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  1. 8 likes
    There's a lot we don't get. We don't get things like universal healthcare, marijuana decriminalization, decent public education, maternity/paternity leave, fair wages, topless beaches and leaving other people the fuck alone. It's all because we're a Christian nation doing everything right and everything else is Satanic Communism.
  2. 7 likes
    I know a lot of you only tolerate me here - I'm prickly on my good days. I was a youth pastor, evangelist and worship leader. I was a street preacher. I know the bible back and forth and can discuss various nuances in theology in depth if I choose. Why, then, am I so dismissive of people who claim faith in Jesus, etc? It's simple - it's because, at the end of the day, every single one of the people you could name, whether a famous apologist for Christianity or a random believer you know, is only clinging to the version of "faith" that satisfies their deepest felt needs and fears. Whether their god wants them to prosper because their daddy was rich and they should be, too, or whether they need a Daddy in the sky to hold their hand because their earthly daddy was a drunken, idiotic fucker - no matter how lofty or mundane their issues are, they have a god, a theology, a worship style, a lifestyle to fit them. Are you a racist asshole from the suburbs? How about some nice hymns (if you're over 60) or some nice white-bread acoustic-guitar campfire songs? No drums, please, and no repetitive choruses. Maybe you're the humble, open-minded, liberal-leaning evangelical who wants to adopt from Africa and feed the homeless - great! You can cry yourself to sleep over your personal failings and have a heaping helping of songs on Sunday that talk about the perfection of your god and how rotten you are as a person, because your motives must always be suspect. See, I never said I didn't understand how people could come to their conclusions by reading the bible - if you believe the bible is true, lots of other things can semi-logically follow. What I said and always will say is that none of those logical formulae make any of the bullshit less than bullshit - you just have your own spin on the bible stories that turns god into whatever you need him to be. I believe ALL the versions of Christianity are equally true - not true at all. I also believe they are absolutely as true as each individual neurotic narcissist needs them to be. Yes, that's right - believers are neurotic (there's always something wrong, with the world, with my part in it, and with me personally) and narcissistic (the eternal deity of the universe gives a personal, individual shit about me and my failings, and there are even parts of the all-powerful deity's plan - both for me personally and for the entire PLANET - that won't/can't come to pass if I fuck up). I could talk all day with "believers" about how to logically and philosophically defend guilt-by-association through Adam. I could spend hours talking about how true Christianity is founded upon the covenant God made with Israel, and that there is a natural, logical need for both a connection to Israel's sacrificial practices AND a necessary renewal of/break from/re-purposing of those same practices. It's just that the ONLY reason there's any point in constructing and defending such positions is if I need those things to be true in order to make sense of my life and my place in the world. I don't need those things to explain what I don't yet know - that's what travel, reading, listening, eating, talking and even fucking are for. To expand your borders and gain experience and amalgamate wisdom if and when possible. Folk-tales are awesome when they're told well and when they transcend culture even as they bathe us in it. They don't need to be true, though, and no attempt to prove them makes them any more so.
  3. 7 likes
    The other day, Facebook decided to send me back down memory lane and remind me of this post I made a few years ago: Nothing about this post is particularly profound (IMHO), but it does underscore the honesty and deeply held beliefs I once held dear. I find myself being critical about the way things were, but I understand that I was unaware of the reality my life was in. I genuinely wanted a deep and strong relationship with God. I wanted it so much. But, as I look back now, I understand it was all in my head. It really was all a one sided relationship. I miss the feelings I got when I felt "god's presence" and how what I perceived as being vulnerable to him made me feel. I can still muster up those feelings at times just by being honest with myself. But I think that the ability to "direct" my honesty to "God" made it seem like so much more than it really was. But I also have come to understand that my relationship with God was nothing more than chasing feelings. Much like a drug user chases a high, I spent all my time looking for that next "encounter with God". And much like the gambler who wins every so often, I got enough of those "encounters" that it kept me going until I got to the next one. I was completely blind to all the stuff in between: unanswered prayers, silence when I wanted to hear from him, things that just didn't make sense, cognitive distortions. I completely did not pay attention to those issues that I see now because I was so focused on the next encounter with God. While I regret that I spent so much of my life as a Christian, I have to admit that I am now who I am because of it. If I had left the faith earlier, I would likely be a very different person than I am now. Those beliefs and feelings, as much as I wish I never had them, have shaped me into the person I am now. And I cannot say that I hate that. I cannot say that I regret who I am. I am someone who has just learned the truth. I am someone who understands life in a much better and real way. All of my life has led me to this moment. And I like it. Maybe I am coming to terms with who I was and maybe I will eventually be able to be unaffected by Christianity in regards to hating it and wanting nothing to do with any aspect of it. I am not there yet, but I think I am getting closer. This makes me happy. Its a good day.
  4. 7 likes
    I couldn't agree more, doesn't matter what you believe: Casey
  5. 7 likes
    Greetings Everyone, Thank you for letting me join your community. I am a new ExChristian and am still kind of…… (For lack of better words) in a state of shock. I hope that I can eventually help in any way possible with the cause. But for now I could use a little help myself. I’ve been reading other testimonies. I apologize in advance for the length of this testimony but I wanted to get as much in as I could. I was born and raised in the South East US. Christianity (predominately Baptist) has been a core value in my family for generations. One of my great, great, great grandfathers was a preacher, my great grandfather was a preacher, I have one uncle by marriage who is a preacher, and I also eventually answered the call to preach when I was 24 years old. I titled this testimony “The house built upon the rock has fallen” because of the scripture in Mathew Ch. 7. To sum it up there were two men. One was wise and the other was foolish. The foolish man built a house on sand and the wise man built his house on the “solid” foundation of rock. Jesus went on to describe how the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon both houses. He said the foolish man’s house fell and great was the fall of it but the wise man’s house stood because he had built it upon the rock. The scripture goes on to explain how the foolish man built his life in the cares of the world. While the wise man built his life on the word of God. I wasn’t perfect and from time to time i messed up even when I was at my best. But for the most part I felt like I had built my house upon the solid foundations of Christ outlined in the bible. The bible said that the fall of the foolish man’s house was great. But I’m here to testify that when the wise man’s house falls it’s more destructive. Because he never saw it coming until it was too late. From an early age I was indoctrinated in Sunday school and through church services in Christianity. I call that laying the foundations. When you are told something as far back as you can remember. You are going to believe that it is true. If I told an infant that the sky was truck over and over again, and no one ever told that child any different. He would always call the sky truck. I was told all about the bible, how Jesus came to earth and died so we could go to heaven, how Moses had lead Gods people out of Egypt and into the promised land, how the armies of the Israelites had marched around Jericho seven times and god made the walls of the city fall, and countless other stories like David and goliath and all the miracles of Jesus. As a child they were watered down without all the blood and gore you hear about as an adult. But eventually you get the full story, which compounds the intensity of the story 100 fold. I was saved the first time when I was ten years old. We were going to a revival at an old family church. We had went several days, I think it was about Wednesday or Thursday that this happened. The preacher had done a very good Job building upon his messages all week long. He was a fire and brimstone type preacher or a “ah hah!” preacher as I like to call it. Because he got so excited when he preached that when he caught his breath he would say “AHH HAHH!” Later in life, during my early ministry I adopted this trait as well. He had been outlining in detail the descent of man into sin through Adam and Eve, The punishment of sin, And the life of Christ, and that night I believe was when he went into the agonizing detail of Christs death and resurrection. How that it was his love for us that compelled him to do this even though he was innocent. It had started to click with me the night before and from the time I walked across the churchs’ threshold that night I had progressively gotten more ill with the guilt that I felt. It seemed that the weight of the world was pressing down upon my ten year old shoulders. After the sermon he gave the invitation, they sang two songs during the invitation and I gripped the pew the whole time. I didn’t want to go to the altar, I didn’t’ want everyone to know that I was a sinner, I didn’t want to have to go to the front, but I did want this horrible feeling to stop. I said to myself that if he played one more song that I would go. He did and I took the hardest steps I ever took in my life. Especially since I had to walk past my mother to get out of the pew. After I prayed I felt light as a feather because I felt that all that weight had been lifted and that the love of God was in my life again. I knew heaven would be my home. I didn’t get to follow up on my salvation for very long because my parents started having trouble with my brother in church services because he was autistic. They just couldn’t keep him settled down and as a result we stopped going to church for several years. They did eventually start going back to church when he got older, I was a teenager and of course like most teenagers I was going through my rebellious stage. But I went to my mom and dad’s new church with my girlfriend at my mother’s request. We have always had a close relationship and I am admittedly a mama’s boy. But during the sermon the pastor said something that a Christian let alone a pastor should never say. I imagine that homosexuality was a hot topic in the news in the political arena at the time. I know now that he was probably angry about it. But that still doesn’t excuse what he said. During the sermon he stated that, “all gays needed to be lined up and shot”. Now even though I didn’t agree with the way of life. I knew that a Christian wasn’t supposed to wish death on anyone. It infuriated me to the point that I turned my back on the Christian faith until I was 22. During that time I experimented with Wicca on a solitary practitioner level. Just buying what books that I could on the subject and learning from there. When I was 22 I had my next salvation experience. I visited my Aunt and Uncle who was a preacher one night. He made me feel welcome and is a very funny, charismatic man. I had a lot of fun that night listening to him and his friend, who was also a preacher, do skits revolving around the funeral home they both worked at. When I left he gave me some of his group’s gospel tapes and asked me to listen to them. Also the next day I watched a video of his group, which he also preached in. All those foundations came to the forefront in my mind and once again I was that ten year old boy in need of salvation. The next day I asked Christ into my life again and promised from that day forward I would do all he asked of me. I joined the church my aunt and uncle were members of. Started studying the bible everywhere I went. I had a bible at work, I had a bible at home, and I had the bible on cd for the trip back and forth. I traded in my heavy metal music for southern gospel. I went to church on a regular basis and if I wasn’t at work and there was a church function I was there. Eventually I felt that I was being called to preach. I answered that call when I was 24. I began to build my ministry. I started a weekly radio ministry at my uncles radio station, I did some street ministry, I went to nursing homes to preach, and preached at any church that would invite me. And yes I did consider myself an “ah Hah” preacher during this time. Later on I moved my membership to a church closer to home and started working with the youth. I was the awana commander at that church which was probably the highlight of my ministry. But it was in that church that I saw the destructive power of differing interpretations of the bible. The church was split right down the middle on a few issues that I thought were somewhat…… petty I guess. I didn’t really see why it mattered so much that they would openly argue in church services. There were times that the children acted more like adults than they did. It was around this time that I came across another Christian faith. (The Church of God of the Gospel Assembly) which was a church that branched off of the (union assembly) if anyone is familiar with them. They presented their beliefs with such conviction and so much scriptural evidence that they got me hooked. The difference in doctrines also made me feel like several of the beliefs I had had since a child in the Baptist church had been lies. Which was the first time that my foundations had been shaken since rededicating my life to God several years before. By this time I was about 29 years old. The tension in my church came to a head and the church fell apart. I took this as a sign it was time to move on. So I completely converted to the Gospel Assembly. The beliefs between what I was raised to believe and what I had been shown to believe were so far in contrast that I never did quite recover from that shock. From that point forward I began to question more and more beliefs that maybe I was wrong about. Sometimes even those of the assembly. But I couldn’t deny all the evidence that was drawn from the bible that I had never seen presented that way before. It wasn’t like they used one scripture to prove a point like I was used to in the Baptist church. NO when they proved a point they would bring out scripture after scripture from Old Testament, New Testament, and revelations. I began to study the word from the perspective of the assembly feeling like a baby again trying to figure things out. I went on trial to become a Bishop in the assembly. After a year the elders of the church laid hands on me and I received my ordination. Later I became assistant pastor at one of their churches. I continued to preach but never with the fire and confidence that I had before. I couldn’t stop the flood of questions after that. If I had been so wrong about the bible before….. What else was I wrong about? After a few years our church dwindled down and wasn’t doing very well. We had some older members pass away and never really gained any new members. If we did, when we would start preaching on the more controversial beliefs of the assembly that didn’t coincide with popular Christian beliefs, we would usually lose them. I had gradually went down a spiritual spiral to the point that I was starting to drink from time to time which was something I hadn’t done in a decade, and strictly forbidden by the church. My wife and I were having problems among other personal issues going on in my life at the time. I took a step back and looked at Gods people around me. And I was able to see all the pain and anguish that some were going through. I thought of my own children and how I punished them when they did wrong, but when they did well they were rewarded. I began to ask God since he was our heavenly father why we were not treated the same. I began to get angry with God. Whenever I would confide in one of the other leaders the answer was always something to the effect that God was trying my faith. But I also knew that if I was a sinner in the same situation that it would be said I was being punished and God was trying to get my attention. When I was 33 the church I was assistant pastor at closed and I decided that in the state of mind I was in I wasn’t fit to preach until I sorted things out. I stopped going to church and continued to question my faith in God. I prayed for God to show me the answers I needed to get back on track. Like the man that had spoken with Jesus concerning his son in Mark 9:23 I asked God to help my unbelief. The answers I was looking for never came. I’m 36 now and since then my wife and I have focused on our marriage and each other. Things had started looking up for us and until recently the plan was to eventually get back into Gods Good graces. Things really started to fall apart when my son basically told me that he was atheist and that he felt the bible was a “bunch of bs”. I wanted to do my best even though I wasn’t in the best situation myself with God to show him the truth behind Gods word. I know he is a very logical young man so I would need to support Gods scriptures with evidence. I thought to myself, “what better way to do that than to relate it to archeology”? after all it is 2017 and we have a wealth of knowledge at our finger tips on the internet. I remembered the story of exodus and how a massive amount of people left Egypt and wandered in the desert for 40 years. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would have left tracks and by now they had probably retraced all their steps. To my dismay, I was dreadfully wrong. It didn’t take me long to find out that there wasn’t any evidence of it. In a panic I kept googling for a few days trying to find something and the only thing I found was about a few wagon wheels at the bottom of the red sea. That wasn’t enough to prove the type of exodus the bible spoke of. In fact I finally found an article that stated archeologists had given up the search for evidence of a biblical exodus because it had become a fruitless effort…… Fruitless!!!!!! OVER A MILLION PEOPLE WANDERING THE DESERT AND NOTHING WAS FOUND?!?!?!!? I felt that a spear had been stuck into my own side. Even Jesus said that you would know them by the fruit that they bore and the bible wasn’t bearing any physical fruit! This wasn’t the final blow though. I found another article written by Jewish scholars stating that the biblical exodus was probably over exaggerated and that it was only the small tribe of the Levites that had wandered in the desert. They were a supposed late coming tribe to Israel and when they came the land had all been divided up. So they gave them the job of the priesthood and the task of performing the duties in the temple and to god. Since they didn’t have any land they were given 10% from all the other tribes. The problem was there was a big controversy because the Levites worshipped Yahweh and the Israelites worshipped EL. They eventually came to a decision that the two were actually one and the same, from that point forward they used the names interchangeably. So I started searching for ancient EL beliefs, and found out that ancient EL worship mythology included a whole pantheon of Gods and Goddesses just like in Greek mythology! This little tid bit of information brought down the wrecking ball. My house that I had built upon a rock for over a decade had become weak but now it had been completely obliterated. I’m still picking up the pieces as this has been very recent. I feel like everything I believed about my existence on earth has been stripped from me. I’m going through a series of mixed emotions that the only way I can relate it to you, is it’s like the stages of grief. I’m trying to get through it but I’m having trouble getting out of the depression stage. I keep trying to attain acceptance but there is just still that heaviness in my heart. But I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Because I’m starting to realize that it wasn’t a house that I had built upon the rock. But a prison cell. Now I’m starting to see I can travel the rest of my life without the confines of religion holding me back. I’m just trying to get past the rubble that’s left around me. Eventually I will be able to move on. I hope that this public testimony is my first steps in the right direction. Thanks for reading, any positive advice is appreciated. Dark Bishop
  6. 7 likes
    Break it all down and what is it. That we are created without our consent. We are cursed for a crime (if you can call eating magic fruit a crime), that we did not commit. We have our thoughts and actions watched every day by an invisible being who both loves us, yet is filled with regret for making us. Who is also vengeful. We are given a book to guide us. Its authors are mostly unknown, the times and places it was written are not exactly known. It is filled with error and contradictions. Its leading two subjects are the Father and the Son, one of whom had the other murdered to appease His own wraith. Both are the same person, although. Many of its other secondly characters are racist, murderous and sexists. Moses commits genocide, yet is respected as a great lawgiver. It convicts us of thought crimes and requires us to enslave our mind to a being we cannot see. We are told we are worthless, sinful and deserve to be tortured for ever......simply for being alive. It makes promises that are not real and discourages intellectual growth and well being. Without it we might have conquered many more diseases, we might have working space ships and off world colonies. It has been the enemy of liberty, of real justice, of human worth and happiness. It has enslaved humans both in mind and literally. It has raised the flag of war and of conquest. It is wicked and cruel.
  7. 6 likes
    Hence the admonitions to stay away from unbelievers, to curtail knowledge, to only seek the lord. Look elsewhere and you might find answers - answers not concordant with your beliefs. I know - what do you think happened to me Jon? I questioned the bible, some weird verses, stuff didn't stack up. That's ok I thought, I'll listen to a biblical archaeology documentary and restore my faith..... hmmm well once you get into biblical archaeology your house of cards comes crashing down. Add some science, some critical thinking, and asking other Christians for answers and you quickly realize why no christian is encourage to seek truth from any other source than the bible. Nothing else backs the bible up. Keep something in mind - we where are not an atheist from birth that is 'attacking' Christianity - we are all ex Christians telling you what we have found out.
  8. 6 likes
    Admit it, Jon, even if only to yourself: The existence of ex-Christians scares you. If we could lose faith, so can you. Your salvation, and your hopes for eternal life, could simply rot away, or they could vanish in the blink of an eye. For all you and we really know, or ever could know, you're not a True Christian™ either. Arguing with us will not save you, and could well hasten the demise of your beliefs.
  9. 6 likes
    You should seek only to find what is actually true, not look for excuses to believe what you want to be true.
  10. 6 likes
    I didn't turn away from god. After much study and research, I realized the christian god did not exist . The silly first book of the bible, Genesis... completely convinced me that the whole thing was fraudulent.
  11. 6 likes
    That was the sad conclusion my brother's family made when one son and his girlfriend slid on ice over a cliff to their deaths. How in the hell could that be a testimony of god being faithful and good? But the only way they could make sense of it was to conclude that god wanted them to use it as a testimony. In reality it was force, mass, gravity, and lack of friction. That's it. No divine plan, no mystery, no guardrail on a curve. They kept saying "I don't know how I would have made it through this without Jesus", but they DID make it through without Jesus. I'm not mocking them, they are doing the best to cope with what they have. I find it so sad that when reality smacks people in the face, they still are able to hold onto the fantasy instead of opening their eyes.
  12. 6 likes
    After I've told someone I have leukemia: "I'll pray for you." Don't pray for me, damn it. Vote for politicians who support stem cell research.
  13. 6 likes
    I recently disclosed my deep skepticism / non-belief to a very dear friend of 20 years. He and I used to attend the same college fellowship group together (where we met) and eventually the same church. One summer, he came back to college a rabid Calvinist. It didn't take long for him to convince me that "predestination" was true. From there, I was ripe-for-the-pickings for the deeper indoctrination that happened after I moved to a new city to start grad school... He ultimately went on to become a conservative Orthodox Presbyterian pastor. I even used to buy him biblical commentary sets for his birthday! He knew that I was "struggling" with my faith a few years ago, so he began counseling me by phone each week. After a while, I went silent about it. This December, I gave him my Nov 2016 Creed (posted here: This initiated a 3 hour phone conversation that was spread over a few weeks. He was more than kind - eager to hear my views on things. Of course, he wanted to help steer me back onto the path of faith. But he was very respectful. I really enjoyed getting to express my thoughts and beliefs out loud. It was therapeutic. What surprised me was how familiar he was with each objection I had - the immorality of killing infants and old people during the killing of the Amalekites, or the injustice of killing David's child for DAVID's sin.. Or the seemingly disproportionate duration and intensity of hell... What also surprised me - and saddened me - was that he had already rationalized each of these away, sufficiently enough for his own mind. I came to a point in my mind where I thought - WOW, if he has already accepted and rationalized all of these moral atrocities, absurdities, and contradictions, there is nothing left to ever convince him that his worldview is faulty. He has walled himself in deep, beyond the reach of rational thought. Then I asked myself, Why? Why would such a brilliant man (which he is) believe such things despite a very rational mind and excellent logic? The answer came as we got to the topic of what happens when we die. I said that my best understanding of all of the evidence we have is that, in all likelihood, we cease to exist. There MAY be something more, but I doubt it involves conscious eternal punishment... My sense, though, is that we simply drift into permanent non-consciousness. I told him that I am OK with this. Death is a natural part of life - flowers bloom and fade. Animals run and eat and mate, then grow old and die. It's OK. We have our time under the sun, then we get out of the way for the new generation... I expressed to him my surprise in NOT finding the hopelessness I was told I would find (by Christians) but instead finding that life has become infinitely more precious. This one life means everything to me now - as does every person in it and ever experience to be had. My choices and actions matter tremendously too because they are not "erasable" with a divine hand-wave. At this point, he admitted that even the thought of ceasing to exist filled him with an uncomfortable feeling - one he didn't like at all. He said that he would not be able to handle such a way of thinking as I do. And in that moment, it became clear to me why he NEEDS his worldview to be true: he is in denial of his own mortality. I've mentioned this before, but this conversation only confirmed it all the more for me: I believe the main reason logical, sane, rational people suspend all of their rationality and logic to cling to the absurd, contradictory, and immoral things in Christianity is because THEIR DENIAL OF DEATH REQUIRES THEM TO DO SO. Christianity being TRUE is the only hope they have of escaping death's clutches. My friend admitted his obvious NEED to believe - his NEED to make Christianity be true. And that explains all of the mental gymnastics... Maybe for others, the need to believe comes from somewhere else: to avoid isolation/ostracization from social groups, family members, loved ones; to avoid the loss of a job/career (for pastors, Christian teachers, those in ministry, etc); to save face in front of all the people they've proclaimed their superior knowledge to, etc. Or some combination of these. But whenever we run into that irrational web of rationalizations and self-delusion, somewhere deep beneath it are that persons REASONS for needing to believe. So long as those reasons remain, it will be hard to help them see things any other way. I bet for most of us, at some point in our deconversion journey, we hit a point where it became OK to not believe... we no longer needed to believe any more.
  14. 6 likes
    Many consider teaching such things to innocent and impressionable children to be abuse. It is one of the most harmful things Christianity does. I would do anything necessary to stop it from happening. The child must be everyone's priority, so confusing and frightening her with sinister superstition should be of primary concern to any responsible adult. Imagine what you might be willing to do if the child's mother were indoctrinating her in Nazi or White Power doctrine.
  15. 6 likes
    Yeah, I'm not afraid of hell anymore, either. When the subject comes up, my mind already has it categorized in the same folder with talking snakes, talking donkeys, dragons that knock stars out of the sky with their tails, people waking on water, unicorns and satyrs. Can't forget the satyrs. Everybody always forgets the satyrs.
  16. 6 likes
    I'm not even sure where to start with myself - maybe somewhere between a discombobulated mess and a guy who is trying to get his life together in some form. Born and raised in a black hole known as Kentucky - if you never heard of it, look in the 1950s. This state is so ass backwards, it isn't even funny anymore. Been deconverted officially since 2009, when I left the ministry a year following the death of my best friend. My causal for turning my back was the fact that the scriptures lied in saying that anyone with the faith of a mustard seed, their prayers would be answered. I prayed for best friend to be spared; he was not. I'm generally easy to get along with, and have very few hardline stances on anything. I'm a firm middle of the roader on the political spectrum, am a fanatic self improver, and a bit cynical to boot. Very active in martial arts (Shaolin Kempo), and enjoy being active in general when my health permits it, and am just trying to carve a path in this journey we walk. I deal with depression quite often, a lot of self doubt (that interferes with my improvement), and many sleepless nights where I wonder about the status of my life, the past mistakes I look to not repeat, and the future which holds so much uncertainty. I try not to let it drag me down on most days, but some are tougher than others. Some days I wish I could pass away quietly. Other days, I have enough energy to power a large city. The joys of the the highest highs...and the lowest lows. Single, never married, no kids - and that's probably because my face scares a lot of women away. Just a theory though. My name is Travi, and it's nice to meet you. Don't hesitate to drop a line, I am happy to share my experiences, and am happy to help those who have decided to walk the same path as I have, It's a tough road, but support is there. Just ask.
  17. 6 likes
    Hi Deidre! So good to hear from you hon. I have to say (as TrueFreedom did) that I have a touch of pantheistic woo in me also. I like to think that we are all part of the universe and our planet. When I came out of the closet here on Ex-c, I was so incredibly angry when I decided for myself (after reading hundreds of posts and investigating) that there was no personal god. Even though I tried not to show that anger outwardly, it seethed inside of me. I definitely called myself an atheist for awhile but now I just call myself a 'non-believer'. It's much softer for me. My greatest project right now is to play a game with myself to see how positive I can stay throughout the day, so I love to read a lot of positive memes and articles. I will always admit till the day I die, that there are certain aspects of the church that I miss. But I could never go back and listen to the 'devil verses god' or any of the other sermons that are taught out of that book which completely screwed up my life...... Keep well sweeetie.... (hug)
  18. 6 likes
    Hi Deidre Thanks for starting this topic - its an interesting one, and everyone has a different tale. A few comments in general. The human longs to belong to a community. Upon leaving one community the initial response is to identify with another. I don't define myself as an atheist as an "identity" any more than I do an aunicornist. I don't believe in God, and I don't believe in unicorns. If I tell you I am atheist the only thing that tells you about me is I don't believe in any theistic Gods. It doesn't tell you about my beliefs or lack of them in a deistic god, or any other form of belief. For a Christian to assume because I use the term atheist to describe my lack of belief in god, that they then know what my entire worldview consists of (and there are Christians who have stated this to my face), is presumptuous and arrogant beyond reason. I don't know what my worldview is, so how would anyone else know? I haven't started on a different religion, and I don't see myself doing so. I don't seem to have high spiritual needs, and very much ground my existence in reality and logic. Whether or not this is correct is open to interpretation but its the way I find best suits me. Deidre, possibly one of the reasons people seem to 'immediately' identify as atheist upon leaving a religion is that they have already searched out the evidence of other religions and found them also lacking. Thus it hasn't been an 'immediate' decision, but rather a journey of discovery and belief, that by the time they officially leave the religion, they already know that they are atheist. This is what happened with me. As a side note, when I am communicating with others I tend to avoid the term atheist because of the baggage that is hard to get past in a conversation. So I say "I don' believe in any gods". If I am told "oh you are atheist" we then start a conversation as to what they mean by 'atheist'. If by atheist you mean I simply don't believe in gods, then you are correct. If by atheist you mean I'm a godless commie who wants to butcher Christians cause that's what atheists do, then no you seriously misrepresent the term and how it relates to me. Don't assume my atheism yo!
  19. 5 likes
    Belief is important... Yeah, I know. Some of you are probably thinking that I'm about to write a testimony where I go completely off the rails. But, before you jump to conclusions, just hear me out. The reason I state that belief is important is because I'm nearly 100% convinced that it's true. The Bible doesn't have a lot of good advice, but that doesn't mean that everything written in it is completely wrong either. For example, the book of Proverbs is full of practical life advice, and not every teaching of Christ is completely without merit. Of course, that's not to say that everything in Proverbs falls into the category of sound advice or that everything Christ taught is to be admired either. Now, with that being said, I am going to attempt to make a larger point using an old Bible verse that many of you are probably familiar with - a point that helped me out tremendously during my deconversion process. My hope is that it will benefit you as well. After all, what better way to get mental revenge on the system that held you down for so long than to use its own teachings to further a cause that is contrary to everything it stands for? In the book of Proverbs chapter 29 verse 18 the author states, "Where there is no vision the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." I only want to focus on the first half of the verse because, as far as I'm concerned, the second half of the verse can be thrown in the garbage disposal (laws should only be admired and respected when they don't interfere with basic human rights). The truth in this verse is simply that a person needs to have a vision or a hope for his or her self because if he or she doesn't, there is a good chance that he or she might lose the willpower and ambition needed to be successful in life. Part of having a vision for oneself is believing that it will somehow come true whether it be through a combination of willpower, hard work, and a drive to succeed or something else. So, what is a good vision to have for oneself outside of the archaic and misleading teachings that are found throughout most of the Bible? Or, what is it that one should believe in if he or she has given up on the psychologically and emotionally torturous tenants of organized religion? That is a very good question that does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. For some people it might just be a belief in oneself. For others, it might be a belief in the power of love. And still for others it might be a belief in a higher power or a higher order that exists outside of man-made organized religion. None of these answers or belief systems are bad. In fact, I am going to say that embracing some sort of belief system is integral for a person to live a happy and fulfilling life. Some of you might disagree with me, and that is okay. I'm not here to change anybody's mind about anything. I am simply stating a personal truth that I discovered that helped me fill the hole that religion had left behind. For a few years right after I deconverted I was lost and vulnerable. The anchor of religion that I had relied upon for so long to keep the ship of my life steady was suddenly nowhere to be found. For awhile, I drifted aimlessly. I found that I would act out in situations where it was completely inappropriate for me to do so, and I found that my emotions were about as unstable as a dilapidated barn in a wind storm. I could be wrong, but I'm almost sure that there are some of you who are reading this who can relate. It wasn't until I started searching for some truth that I could truly call my own that I was able to finally find something resembling peace of mind. I started studying a mixture of science, eastern philosophy, and pantheism - subjects that are as different as night and day. Nonetheless, I found that these subjects gave me peace and hope in different ways - peace and hope that was much greater than anything Christianity had ever given me. Some of you may not feel the need to follow a similar path, but I think there are others of you who just might. I have always tried to keep an open mind about life, the universe, and everything. I believe in science, but in saying that, I'm pretty sure that the scientific discoveries that are made over the next couple of hundred years will make the scientists of our day and age look like primitive cavemen. For example, it wasn't all that long ago that respected scientists and doctors believed that cutting a person open and bleeding the disease out of him or her was a legitimate way to treat illness... Thank Zeus, Thor, Osiris, and mostly science that doctors do not engage in that kind of ignorant and archaic behavior anymore. Anyway, the point I'm making is that the universe is full of unknowns and those unknowns can be a source of hope and expectation. Just because we have given up on Christianity does not mean that we have to throw in the towel and give up on our hopes, dreams, and our imaginations. All are beautiful things. At one time, the skeptics would have scoffed at the idea that a man or a woman could instantly communicate with another man or woman on the other side of the world through a magic little box we call a cell-phone. What would they think if they could see the world we live in today? Isn't it great that somebody believed that such a thing was possible? So, you see, the power of belief and the strength of imagination is not something any of us should let go of. Albert Einstein had this to say about imagination, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." In my humble opinion, this is something that is worth believing in. I just basically wanted to leave some advice for any of you who might be wondering where to go after your deconversion from Christianity. For some of you, atheism might hold the answers you are looking for. However, for others, an alternative path of spirituality might be more appealing, and that is perfectly okay. No matter what belief system you choose to embrace for yourself just make sure that you keep an open mind. None of us have all of the answers, and anybody who claims to is lying. The universe is much too big of a place for any of us humans to ever truly comprehend. NASA has this to say about the nature of the universe, "It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe" (NASA, 2017). Those statistics should make you stop and really think for a minute (or a lifetime). There is so much we just don't know... In conclusion, I just want to say this. I don't know if there is an afterlife. I don't know if reincarnation is real. I don't know a lot of things. However, I can say with confidence that I do know that the Bible is not the grand source of all truth that it claims to be. I found peace in simply coming to the realization that no matter what does or doesn't await me beyond the grave will take care of itself if I just focus on living this life the best way I know how. I try to be open-minded, I try to show compassion to those who need it, and most importantly, I always try my best to be honest with myself and others about everything. If there is a God, I can't see how he, she, or it won't respect that. If there isn't a god, I can at least go to the grave with the knowledge that I took full advantage of life while I had it and didn't live it with regrets. For me, that is the only belief I will ever need. Well, that is about all I have to say on the matter. I truly hope that what I've written here helps somebody out there. Thanks for taking the time to read this! NASA (2017). Dark energy, dark matter. NASA. Retrieved from https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy
  20. 5 likes
    I am cleaning out my house. I let go of several study bibles but I found this one tucked away in a closet and thought it was pretty interesting looking through it. So I took a couple of pictures to show you how much I loved my bible at one time. It showed me how much I really tried! Anybody else's bible look like mine? Click on pics to make them bigger.
  21. 5 likes
    I think he may have self-raptured.
  22. 5 likes
    You're here to support former believers through the painful and often brutal process of deconversion? That's weird... why would a christian do that?
  23. 5 likes
    Moral law is what someone believes to be good and it involves some line drawing. Christians have their moral law. Muslims have their moral law. Nazis have their moral law. Individuals have their own moral law. Atheists are not a monolith. There is no dogma. There are morally responsible atheists and also some real assholes, just as we find with followers of religion.
  24. 5 likes
    For some of us, being together with family members is the very definition of hell. I guess the joke's on god.
  25. 5 likes
    Hello everyone, I have a close Christian friend who is a martial artist. He is a 4th degree black belt in an Okinawan style of Karate. I was observing a tournament match that was just a demonstration between a master of Taekwondo vs a real Shaolin monk who is a master of, what else, Shaolin Kung Fu. I noticed that the monk was totally relaxed and had to use a minimum of effort in his little match with his opponent, while the Taekondo master was working up a sweat. I mentioned that to my Christian friend and he said something interest that he had noticed. He said that the Shaolin monks are at complete peace with what ever they do, while Christians are constantly worried about every move they make, every thought they think. Me suspects my friend may be starting to deconvert. He may not admit it, at least not now, but to notice that, there has to be something working there.
  26. 5 likes
    Link ..large snippage, good article kL
  27. 5 likes
    "Fuckin's Legal" "Sellin's Legal" "Why isn't sellin' fuckin' legal?" Lord Geo. Carlin
  28. 5 likes
    And looking closely we can see the human in its natural habitat. Evolution is working here ensuing that the less suitable males don't breed with the females in the pack. No naturalist has quite figured out what quite causes this self destructive anti breeding behavior, but what we do know is HIS NUTS ARE SORE!
  29. 5 likes
    Damn it, End3! I thought this was going to be a thread about loose women. Fuck!
  30. 5 likes
    Well I think it's a number of things that tend to come together at that age. It's easy for us men to not grasp the magnitude of the changes in their bodies and probably their brains around menopause. Still amazes me that they go though pregnancy, childbirth and menopause and still live longer than we do. Also this tends to coincide with the emptying of the nest, which is a huge deal for mothers in particular. Along with that, a couple may realize they've become almost strangers to each other during the parenting years. This tends to result from a couple not nurturing their own relationship, emotional and sexual, during those years. As a Christian you may not agree with this, End3, but I think humans are not strictly monogamous by nature. Having one partner for life certainly can work, and can be extremely fulfilling, but like a helicopter in flight, it requires near-constant work to keep it stable. Otherwise the human eye will inevitably rove...
  31. 5 likes
    I don't know what to tell you so you won't fear Hell. I have neither belief in nor fear of Hell. I worry about jumbo jets falling on my house more than I worry about going to Hell. And I don't live near an airport. It's just not gonna happen. But there is a type of Hell you should be worried about: the living Hell that your friends and family would endure if you were to take your life. I know people in despair sometimes think they would be doing everybody a favor if they were gone, but what they leave behind is the agony of thinking they could have, should have done SOMETHING...
  32. 5 likes
    I do not fear hell nowadays anymore than I get mad at Santa for sucky gifts. I am deprogrammed in that area at least. Good luck.
  33. 5 likes
    You know what I find especially cruel? Everyone who receives the Christian message has an opportunity to accept and become "saved", but those who fall outside of the message through time and geography do not get the same opportunity. Lived and died just before the Christian era? Spent your whole existence at a location separated from those who could provide you with this message? Sorry, Charlie.
  34. 5 likes
    Faith is defined in the bible as belief without evidence, but there is evidence, and lot of it but that evidence only confirms the bible is a collection of fictional stories with fictional characters. Dr.Bart Ehrman, a noted Bible historian, research indicates the Bible has been edited, redacted, and rewritten more times than there is even words in it. Every ancient Pope changed the Bible to conform with his ideas, theology,, and the church's evolving beliefs & traditions. The Bible is essentially an adult fairytale.
  35. 5 likes
    Both the Left and the Right have handed over the reins to extremist idiots. Both types of idiot have plenty of brainwashed idiots supporting and following them. I miss reasonable discourse and compromise.
  36. 5 likes
    The "evidence" I used to convince myself that I was a True christian is the same evidence used by every True christian: the bible, the indwelling of the holy spirit, the fruit of the spirit manifest in my life, my personal testimony and baptism etc. If, based on said evidence, I was never a True christian, how can any christian be certain using the same evidence?
  37. 5 likes
    Dear Mr. Segal, My mind was on Christ, completely and fully. I gave everything for the sake of the gospel. I daily dreamt of eternal life in heaven and set my eyes on future glory. I grieved and tore my hair out over my sin and repented and pleaded whenever I felt shame, which was whenever I sinned. I was fully driven by the gospel, gave my belongings and money, lost everyone in my life, committed my life to ministry and laid my life down for Christ. I grieved over "lost souls" and lived in the joy of eternal life. And yet I went astray. So tell me, then, what did I do wrong? "Nothing will look like paradise compared to the awful punishment they face." I saw the sinfulness of God, that Christianity is a game, and I had too many questions. God is highly improbable. Still, today, I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I work it out with much fear, confusion and difficulty that no, I will not face punishment someday. I am merely facing the lingering threats and terror that religion brings. In other words, fuck off. You don't know how this works. Take your terror and sick threats somewhere else.
  38. 5 likes
    I might have a tiny touch of pantheistic woo, but I've been identifying more and more openly as an atheist, though I don't feel that I'm really a part of any atheist groups. I might feel better labelled a none, though I really hate to be labelled based on my disbelief in a popular idea of a god. Thankfully I have believing friends who believe that I'm a good person even though I've told them that I'm an atheist.
  39. 4 likes
    Lol ain't that the damn truth. I'm starting to love biblical archeology. I need to find a subscription so I can stay up to date on everything they find. I never would have believed that the bible could be unraveled so quickly just by doing a lil truth seeking.
  40. 4 likes
    The above mentality you have just displayed is the biggest lie Christians ever convinced themselves of, just so they don't doubt God's power to save. I was raised to believe in the baptist church and may have even said this exact thing until I saw some men and women I had felt the spirit pour off of fall away from god. This and my own experiences are the reason I quickly stopped believing and preaching the theory of once saved always saved. I was one of his ministers for over 10 years. Served him for twelve. Before leaving the church in a state of confusion. If anyone was ever biblically saved then then I was one of them. You should hold your tongue when it comes to making a judgement on what lead us to the point we are in now. You say that Athiests can't disprove "God" and I will loosely agree with your statement. But Science and Archeology both have certainly disproved the biblical God which you worship. In the bible it states how God will try us in the fire yet it also tells us to have faith in him. So that we don't question. The reason is because when you finally do start trying him you find that his "biblical" exploits, his "biblical" origins, and even his own name are all just lies. I challenge you to do this. Jesus call out to his God on the cross. Matthew 27:46 Around the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, saying "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" which is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus shouted in a loud voice, "Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus was calling out to his God who was named EL. My challenge is that you find out who he is talking to. research the god EL. When you look that up you will start to see where the bible started. Also I challenge you to find proof of the biggest event in Jewish theology. The exodus. Go ahead. Your gonna have to find more than a couple of wagon wheels in the red see too. There were two million people in the desert for 40 years. Go ahead and look at all the evidence that archeologists have been able to dig up. Two million people can't do anything without leaving a mark. I'm sure you will find that study interesting. Doing a little study on biblical forgery my be good for you aswell. Because you may be surprised at what books they have found to be forged just to advance some man's beliefs from 1500 years ago. You seem like a fairly young christian and while I may seem a little rough around the edges. If you can see what we see now then you will be saving yourself a lifetime of disappointment because you found out sooner than most of us here. We can probably all testify of things we did and decisions we made to suite our religious mentality that if we could go back we would probably have done things differently. My advice to you is to always question. Because that bible you love so much now can be interpreted a 1000 different ways. And when it is being used by the wrong hands it will do more harm than Good. You think you have seen the light but in reality you just confined yourself inside the bounds set by men who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago. Best regards, Dark Bishop
  41. 4 likes
    Hello everyone. I'm new here, and I just thought I'd introduce myself. I've spent the past few years coming to terms with life as a nonbeliever. During that time, I found myself dropping by this website off and on to read other people's stories because I was always able to find encouragement and strength through reading about what other people, like myself, had been going through after they decided to leave Christianity behind. I finally decided that I wanted to become a part of this community because I would like to be there for other people who might be going through the same or similar struggles that I went through during and after the deconversion process. I guess you could say that I just want to return the favor. Like many of you, I was raised in church. My father is a minister, and I spent the better part of my life having to follow in his footsteps. By the time I was a junior in high school, I started having serious doubts about the validity of my religion and the steadfastness of my faith. My dad and the elders in the church were all pushing me to become a minister, and the thought of committing my life to the church in that manner was way more than I was mentally or emotionally prepared to handle. Over the years that followed, I started researching different forms of spirituality on top of any and all history that related back to Christianity. I read controversial books like the Satanic Bible and watched movies like Zeitgeist - basically, anything and everything I could get my hands on to discover the truth. However, I was never fully able to let go of the belief system I had been brainwashed to accept as my own. Every now and then, I would veer off the straight and narrow for awhile, but the fear of hell and God's disfavor was just too much for me to completely get past. As you can probably imagine, this cyclical process left me a confused and depressed mess. So, it's no surprise that I fell into the clever traps set by people like C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, and the king of pseudo intellectualism, Josh McDowell. There apologetic works always managed to answer just enough of my questions to keep me in the fold for a little while longer. Nonetheless, there was always something that didn't quite add up - something that nagged at me and wouldn't go away no matter how much I prayed, studied, or researched. I just couldn't shake the feeling that my life was being stolen from me by invisible hands that cared nothing for who I really was or what I really wanted (metaphorically speaking). It wasn't until I decided to go back to college to finish my bachelor's degree that my eyes were finally opened to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It all started when I took a secular Old Testament history course that was taught by a professor who didn't laugh at or belittle my skeptical mind. In fact, he encouraged me to be a critical thinker. He taught the Old Testament strictly from a historical, archaeological, and academic perspective. By the time the class was half over, I realized that I had found the evidence that I was looking for - the evidence I needed to walk away from the "faith" for good. To sum it all up, I discovered that there is little to no historical or academic evidence to support the claim that Christianity is any different from any other mainstream religion in the world. In short, it was a cult started by rebels that was later propagated and made popular by the Roman government who realized its extreme potential as a tool for social control. The Christianity that is taught in the world today is a product of nearly 2,000 years of political and social evolution. There is nothing God-inspired about any of it... After the Old Testament history course came to an end, I began exploring other academic fields like sociology, psychology, and biology. Of course, these academic disciplines did absolutely nothing to restore the faith I had given up on - they did the exact opposite. I quickly came to the realization that this world is an absolutely huge place with thousands of religions, cultures, ways of life, and historical traditions. I discovered that all of us, to a great extent, are products of the environments and the cultures that we were brought up in. And, the list goes on and on... That basically brings me to this point. Obviously, I could say so much more, but I think this will have to do for now. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this! I look forward to getting to know all of you.
  42. 4 likes
    ... I just wish it hadn't taken half my life to see it. Regardless, I made it out alive. That's better than not. :-) Hello to everyone. I'm very new here, and so happy to have found this forum. I'm looking forward to reading the boards and learning from everyone. My journey out came a year and a half ago, in November of 2015. I literally just walked out. I was a ministry (lay) leader, worship team leader, musician, Sunday School teacher, you name it, I volunteered for it. I spent the first year so incredibly angry and hurt that I couldn't really process anything about my faith or what beliefs would remain. Then I went through the reading phase. I started with Pete Enns, and got a basic smash course in biblical criticism and began to wonder how any seminary educated pastor could preach the bible as inerrant (as was done in my evangelical church). After that I moved on to Bart Erhman and it was all over. My faith collapsed like a house of cards. (A metaphor about building my house on sinking sand is starting to creep in... I will resist.) Anyway, I hope to fully share my story at some point, and in the meantime, I will look forward to reading what others have shared!
  43. 4 likes
    "It's God's will." -- said to my friend upon delivering a stillborn child at 8.5 months. (I so wanted to say "Then your god is a cruel asshole.")
  44. 4 likes
    Guns and trafficking of children are not pertinent to any arguments regarding legalized prostitution.
  45. 4 likes
    Daff, I've always found it bazaar how a being that supposedly created life, the universe, and everything in it, including human contentiousness, could be so unbelievably focused on reproductive organs. The folks that wrote that crap into the book must have had some SERIOUS hangups! Probably suffering from micro-penis.
  46. 4 likes
    Personal blame is how the cult survives. The sell a cure for being normal, because normal is defined as bad. You will always be normal, so always bad, always filled with self blame, giving them money, time, endless emotions, and service to perpetuate the cult. Along with that come some basic flaws in the human psyche that give us seemingly real spooky experiences when we get into the right state of mind. I've heard a voice speak to me; felt energy zipping through my body as it shook uncontrollably; felt heat pouring down on me like a vent in the ceiling had opened up full blast; and more. But now that I am on the outside looking in, I know that none of these things were the Christian god. I don't know for certain what they were (though I'm curious as hell), but they weren't that particular god. If it was another one, then it is doing itself a disservice by making it seem like that god is real. Getting "communication" doesn't validate it when all the facts stand squarely against the Bible's many tales. You are totally forgiven, but that is irrelevant if you don't accept it ("it" being death of self and all desires, complete and utter subjection to the dictator king, cooperating with all of his caprice and fiat as good and the very definition of love). They sell faith as an instant passport to the greatest love. But then you find out that you still have sins, and though you repent, they still won't stop (like wanting to mate, wanting to better yourself in life, questioning the existence or goodness of the dictator king, etc). But because others around you seem to be "getting it", you stick with it for years. You may feel things or not. Then they seal the deal by telling you that you have a deadly enemy out to trick you. FEAR. Fear to question, fear to disobey, fear to think you figured out that they were scamming you from day one. For many, that fear keeps them in check even when they have figured out that the whole things is baloney. Jesus isn't even good because his whole story is about satisfying this bloodthirsty god, and being cruel to those who are unbelievers. He didn't rise again, and some of the stories even indicate that people weren't sure it was him. Mark originally ended without a resurrection. They tacked it on because the others embellished a new flashy ending so they couldn't leave it at the tomb. All in all, there is nothing a church can dream up that can make the Bible true. And all of what they claim to believe comes from that book. A local church is plastering up billboards around the city "Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Jesus is Alive!" That is simply a lie intended to get people to all their number and listen to a recorded preaching. They make claim after claim, none of which is backed up with reality. But the fear they plant tends to stick around because they made us fear for our lives. Survival level fears are not typically easily overridden, and that is by nature so that we don't disregard warnings that could keep us from harm. So that is why the fear is hard to defeat, but the myth behind the fear is still a myth. The more we can test this, the less the fear controls us.
  47. 4 likes
    Jebus is my very best close personal friend (say it like Forest Gump). I have a collection of quotes from various sources in response to almost every line of crap a Christian manufactures. This thread reminded me of this one: "I have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ." Do you gag as much as I do at hearing this pious crap? I've known my sister for over 6 decades. Although I live in Tampa and she lives in Boise, so we only see each other every couple of years, I can tell you: • how tall she is. • what color her eyes are. • what color and how curly her hair is. • the different kinds of prescription drugs she takes, and what for. • which parts of her have been operated on. • which colleges she attended. • what jobs she's held. • what cities she's lived in. • what her hobbies are. • the names and breeds of the various dogs and cats she's had thru the years. • her favorite sports teams, and which one she has season tickets for. • the TV programs she watches regularly. • that it's her on the phone just from the sound of her voice. • her attitude toward eating meat. • whom she voted for in the last presidential election. • what kind of medical care she wants in case of a terminal illness. • her favorite color. • and about 50 other things. Now that's a personal relationship. Could any of you Bible-thumpers manage even half a dozen comparable answers about your "deep, personal friend" Jesus? And, even assuming your overwrought imagination could in fact gin up a few stabs at them, what are chances that they'd agree with any other equally deluded True Believer? OTOH, you could ask any of my sister's other good friends about the above characteristics, and they'd give you the exact same answers I would. That's because my sister, unlike your Jesus, is real — a 3-dimensional, flesh-and-blood, living, breathing, real-world human being, with a life, preferences, substance, and history. So, Mr. or Ms. True Believer, let's say you're walking across the mall one day, you see your good buddy Jesus in a crowd of folks ahead of you, and you holler "Hey, J, dude, wait up!". Would he? Let's not kid ourselves. This would never even happen because there's no way you'd be able to pick Jesus out of a crowd. Heck, you couldn't pick him out of a 1-person lineup. You wouldn't know him if he walked up to you on the street and handed you his business card. (In fact, it would tickle me pink to see your reaction if somebody actually did exactly that.) So we both know exactly what your claim to have a "deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ" is. It's bullshit. You know it's bullshit. Everybody else knows it's bullshit. The only reason you keep on repeating this bullshit is because it's the slogan of the club that some con artist or charlatan has suckered you into believing you really want to be a member of. All you have to do is keep repeating the magic bullshit phrase "I have a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ" and you can keep going to the club meetings. (Provided you keep paying the dues, too; let's not forget what's really important here.) But don't think that repeating that phrase is going to win you anything but contempt or possibly some degree of pity from anyone with a functioning brain. All you're really demonstrating is that you don't know diddly about real relationships or the way the real world really works. You are, in short, a pathetic dupe. And full of bullshit to boot.
  48. 4 likes
    You've misunderstood the purpose of my quoting the rules. It was simply to point out that Christian beliefs are not protected here, they are fair game. And the larger context of this website is for ex-Christians (myself and others) to help encourage struggling Christians and wavering ex-Christians (you). We can't help you if you don't expand. Alluding the questions isn't helping anything aside from you entrenching yourself in Christian views. Is it embarrassing to discuss? If so, why? Do you know deep down how silly it is for a so called former atheist to claim experiencing the Holy Spirit? I'm being generous with silly. But it's not as silly as you suggesting that I'd shut you down or not want you posting here. Why would I want that? I'd rather closely analyze your story and see where that leads....
  49. 4 likes
    Just following you both Deidre and Josh I can see both your viewpoints regarding the purpose of this forum, and the subject of this thread. Its an interesting one because this forum is locked and requires permission to contribute to it so it seems the mods feel it may be a 'safe' forum like the Ex Christian Testimony sections? If anything moving the topic to the Lions Den would prevent any rule breaks, but I don't see the need. I tend to agree in part with both of you - I don't think Deidre has an agenda, but considering the nature of this forum, answering questions asked would seem to me to be the honest hing to do considering the nature of the forum. (PS I hate putting a foot in both camps - both sides ends up disagreeing with me lol) An interesting thought there. I would say that my reasons for leaving Christianity are intellectual, but i don't know if I could claim I am an intellectual atheist, or that I'm not immune to returning. However if I did return I do know that I would require some hard evidence that God is real and Christianity is 'the religion'. What that evidence would be I don't know - I'm pretty skeptical, but if God exists he'd know what it would take. So far I've seen nothing to remotely suggest the existence of God out side of special pleading and post hoc rationalizations... which don't influence me. So intellectually I'm not sure where I stand in regards to your thoughts above Josh. Deidre, this is the response you gave me in regards to me asking why you returned to Christianity. I know you have some disagreement with Josh about answering this, but please consider answering my questions below: You never had the holy spirit experience prior. Could you describe to us this experience, and did it just hit you by yourself out of the blue, was there some praying/lead up to it occurring, or were you in contact with protestant/Pentecostal Christians when it occurred? Regarding your last statement, you are very correct - no religion can survive too much rigidness. It must change with the people. But this is post hoc altering the religion to deal with modern times. The reason you don't believe the bible is literal is because of the overwhelming evidence against it (The literal parts that can be demonstrably shown to be false). So some part of you knows its not all true, but still believes in God, and the holy spirit etc. I wonder if you might be cherry picking because this idea of God and having an emotional experience gives you joy/comfort etc? I ask this because you mention that "atheism left you feeling empty at times". This to me indicates a lack of fulfillment within yourself that you have refilled with Christianity. And at this point I question, is this really God, or an emotional experience? Please forgive the forthrightness of my post above, but I find this area of inquiry very interesting, especially because I sought for many months and years for the holy spirit and never 'got it'. And all examples I have seen of it can be traced back to human emotion. Thanks LF
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    While I agree with the sentiment that one should not look to one's friends for the meaning, purpose, and contentment which should come from within one's self, I don't see how looking to an imaginary friend instead is a viable alternative. At least a real friend is... real.