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Geezer last won the day on March 5

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About Geezer

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    Born Again Non-Believer

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Deep South in the buckle of the bible belt
  • Interests
    Religious History, Cosmology, & Theoretical Physics for dummies.
  • More About Me
    Former Christian Fundamentalist

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. I was Church of Christ & I have no idea why anyone would want to be a preacher in the c of c. They serve at the whim of the Elders & it wasn't uncommon for "new" elders to fire the preacher just because they didn't like him or their wives didn't. We were in one larger c of c that fired their preacher about every 2 years like clockwork. This went on for about 8 years until they finally appointed new elders that put a stop to it. The c of c has a reputation for treating their preachers like crap, so I can understand where you're coming from Daffodil.
  2. If historians are correct the Q gospel was the original gospel but that was lost in antiquity. The unedited version of Mark is thought to be copied from Q or at least Q was the source for Mark. The original version of Mark may be an edited version of Q. In any event Mark didn't have a virgin birth element or a resurrection event. Those events were added later.
  3. I've just about finished the book. Atwill's theory is so complex I've had to read some of his theory multiple times to understand the connections he's making. Some of his theory seems plausible and some of it, like the women going to Jesus grave only to find it empty, was one of the parts of his theory I had to read multiple times to see the picture he's painting & even then it was still murky. Arwill has invested years researching Josephus & Roman history to develope his theory, so this isn't a frivolous effort. I've found most of his theory to be at least plausible. The gospel story, there was only one originally, was created by someone, almost certainly a Jew, but for what purpose? Atwill's theory answers that question. Christians oviously believe the gospel story reflects an actual historical event but, so far anyway, no verifiable evidence has been found to support that theory. Likewise there is no valid evidence that a man identified as Jesus of Nazareth ever existed in the flesh either. The existing evidence strongly suggest the gospel story was written in the literary form known as typology aka Jewish mid-rash, in other words OT stories & characters were used to create a new story with new characters. This was & still is a common Jewish tradition. Moses became Jesus in the newly created Jesus story. Moses brought his people out of Egypt, Jesus came out of Egypt. Moses wandered in the desert 40 years, Jesus wandered in the desert 40 days, both Moses & Jesus faced three challenges. They numerous examples of typology in the gospel story is easily identified & found throughout the gospel story & this is also the basis of Atwill's theory. Recognized scholars like Dr. Robert M. Price is one of a growing list of scholars that are convinced Jesus was a literary figure not a real person. The idea that Jesus wasn't a real person isn't new many scholars came to that conclusion hundreds of years ago, but that view remains a minority mostly for social reasons rather than academic ones. I've explored this theory that Jesus wasn't a real person enough to convince me the gospel story is fiction & so are the characters in it. Atwill's theory is obviously controversial & his theory may be proven to be wrong based on evidence that blows holes in his conclusions, but his theory is still an interesting read.
  4. Iron Horse is just playing with ya. He's been around here for years. I suppose he's looking for lost sheep to save, but I don't think he's ever found one.
  5. We have a better chance of going to distant planets than heaven, because, unlike heaven other planets actually exists. Both Heaven and Hell are mythical places created by humans as a necessary part of establishing a new religion (Christianity). Religions must have a reward (Heaven) for being obedient to their dogma and a punishment (Hell) for those that challenge leaderships authority. Without Rewards and Punishment religion could not control their adherents, or attract new believers.
  6. I've been active, on & off since 2005, on a site called Ex-Church of Christ. I was Church of Christ for 27 years. (Evidently I'm a really slow learner). Anyway for the last year I've been posting a lot of biblical historical data that challenges the belief the bible is the inerrant inspired words of God and that the bible is historically accurate. The Church of Christ believes the bible is the literal words of God and therefore they have turned it into an instruction manual from god. Their actions and focus on the bible indicate they actually worship the bible, but they of course deny that even though the evidence says otherwise. I've managed to instill some doubt about the bibles claim of inerrancy for a few folks over there. I post references to various bible scholars and the books they've written such as Ehrman, Price, Armstrong, etc. A few participants over there have actually acknowledged to me that they have come around and accepted the bible has human origins and that it's not historically accurate. One particular poster has acknowledged the bible is a collection of myths and therefore it is neither literally true or historically accurate. She even refers to Xianity as Christian Mythology, but she insists that those bible myths are still relevant and has encouraged me to read some of Joseph Campbell's books such as The Power of Myth. I've listened to all of his Youtube videos and read excepts from all of his books that are available on kindle. I haven't purchased any of his books because, even after watching his videos and reading all the excepts available from his books, I am unable to connect with his thinking. Before buying one of his books I wanted to see if I could connect with his unique way of understanding & approaching spirituality but it has become clear to me that I can't. I've even explored the concepts of Buddhism, spirituality without a deity, but that didn't register either. That has led me to conclude that I am simply not wired to be either religious or spiritual. That same individual over at Ex-Church of Christ is involved in a study now focused on why some people are religious and some aren't. The preliminary findings indicate some people have analytical minds and others don't. Apparently I am one who does and that explains why, even as Christian, I was constantly asking questions and challenging established traditions and teachings. I always wanted to know why "we" believed they things we did and where did all these beliefs and rituals originate? I remember many years ago listening to a SS teacher present a lesson on baptism. I was young and full of myself and I remember asking him in class where baptism came from? Somebody had to be the first one ever to be baptized, so who was it and why did they get baptized. I remember the teacher just staring at me and other heads were turned looking at me like I'd just grown a second head. The teachers answer was, "I don't know and that isn't important. The Bible says to do it and that is what God means." Years later I decided to find out where baptism came from and it comes from Judaism (big surprise). It is a symbolic cleansing ritual that is still part of Judaism. It's called Mikveh. I confess I never did find out who the first guy was to get a Mikveh ceremonial cleansing though, but I found out both men and woman were nude when they were cleansed.
  7. I assume those Christians that were beheaded by Isis were probably wondering why God wasn't answering their prayers too when they felt the knife touch their throats. That begs the old question, "What's the difference between a God that won't act in the face of evil & one that can't act?"
  8. It is my firm opinion that people who leave the faith need to know why they are leaving. If the reason is emotionally based then maybe you need to take some time and think about what you're planning to do. If you're leaving because you see the dark side of religion and you have noticed the inconsistencies & contradictions and realize some of the things you're told to believe could not possibly be true. If the Bible no longer makes sense to you then your critical thinking skills are maturing & that is going to cause you problems until you find answers for the things that are bothering you. Dr. Bart Ehrman is a good bible historian to read if you want to know the truth about the Bible. He has written a lot of books and they are all good. I would encourage you to pick a couple of them out and read them. There are lots of other equally skilled scholars too and I would encourage you to seek them out as well. Folks here will be glad to give you referrals if you're interested. Personally, as I've noted, I think leaving your faith needs to be an intellectual decision not an emotional one, because emotional decisions don't address the doubts you're having. I wish you the best whatever you ultimately decide to do.
  9. My biggest disappointment came, after years of study & research, when the results of my study convinced me that none of it was true. It was depressing to discover that the Bible simply isn't true. It's a collection of fictional stories with fictional characters. The realization I was foolish enough to believe it for as long as I did was both embarrassing & disturbing.
  10. My boss was a super great boss. He was handsome,smart, kind, generous, & compassionate. I'm sure all the employees loved him. Oh, did I mention I was self employed?
  11. Do you think a marriage between a diehard radical Clinton loving Democrat and a gun totting, Trump loving, Republican would work? If you think that could work then marry the lady, but assume you'll be sleeping on the couch a lot as well as cooking your own meals.
  12. The concept of sin only exists within the framework of the church. The concept of sin does not exist in all religions. It is a major component of Christianity & Islam though. Sin is touted as breaking God's law, but in reality it's breaking Church law. What is & is not the law of God varies from group to group. I'm not a believer so it is not possible for me to sin because I'm not a member of any church. I can, however, be guilty of breaking laws established by society. And society isn't big on forgiveness but they seem to like the idea of punishing law breakers.
  13. I was an Elder in the Church of Christ, & the Elders have all the power in the c of c. Everyone, including the preacher, is subject to the authority of the Elders. I was also a trained evangelist, meaning I held Bible studies with denominational Christians to show them in the Word of God that they weren't really Christians unless they had been baptized into the Lord's Church (the Church of Christ). I converted a lot of baptist, a JW, and a few Methodist & Presbyterians. At at the time I really believed I'd saved their souls.
  14. Welcome, that was quite a story. Growing up is never easy, but you've had more than your share of issues to deal with.