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  1. Weird how so many of these later-in-life conversion stories center around some kind of physical, natural, or emotional disaster. It's never, "I was just driving along I-85 southbound near Spartanburg when suddenly jesus himself appeared and was seen by 17 passenger cars, 3 tractor trailers, a crew of inmates cleaning the shoulders, and one highway patrolman who was hiding in the median." No. Instead it's, "Well, I was out back humping the dog when I heard a big 'whoosh bang' and when I looked up a tornado had took my house away. So I called sister down at the strip club to tell her but her sugar daddy had beat her and left her for dead. And as I sat there beside her in the hospital, struggling to breathe, a preacher man showed up and led me to jesus. Now I know I'll see my sister again in heaven; and that preacher man even married me and the dog so we're no longer humping in sin."
    5 points
  2. Hi. First, I want to say that I'm tired as I'm writing this and my grasp on scripture might not be the most accurate. And that my post might be a little all over the place. Hopefully I'm not annoying any of you with a generic de-conversion story. I stopped by ex.christian.net years ago, back when I was still tied to my faith. Initially, I basically held nothing but contempt for you guys. And I guess I'd like to go ahead and apologize for that. Truth is, I never really was a devout Christian. Or, at least not until sometime around last year. When the lockdowns started I fell deep down the conspiracy rabbit hole. I started watching Info Wars and some miscellaneous stuff on Bitchute. I used to talk about it with my grandparents and my mom often, mainly because they were heavily engrossed in Qanon and I wanted them to stop believing that lunacy (in retrospect, it's pretty bad when even Alex Jones thinks it's too crazy). afterwards I decided Info Wars wasn't "true" enough and began subscribing to a bunch of channels on YouTube that introduced me to Gematria and further fueled my eventual meltdown. After a while, it all started to take a toll on me, and I began living in constant fear. So, I started praying more and reading my Bible, trying to get closer to God. I started watching sermons and other videos, and subscribed to several Christian channels. I bought a new KJV because I wasn't comfortable with just the NKJV anymore. Some days before my sister's wedding, I took a bunch of theology books from the free book table at their church (which I never read, I feel awful for taking them). I even stopped talking to my friends on Discord for a while because I was told to "come out and be separate". As far as I knew, I was getting on the right path. I took note of the commandments and tried to follow them. And then there were some things I didn't get. (Luke 14:26) Why do I have to hate my entire family and myself? I did look this up a good bit, and most people seemed to agree that you're not literally supposed to hate your family, simply love Jesus more than them. But while doing this I came across a rather jarring example that went something like, "If God told you to crash your car into a tree with your family, would you do it?" Was "yes" supposed to be the right answer? What the hell!? I reasoned reasoned against this psychotic question with, "no, because God doesn't order people to commit acts of murder". HOO BOY. Something that really got me was the whole concept of "death to self". At first, I assumed this meant the sinful self. But, as I looked that up, I came to know that wasn't the case. "Dying to self" means self-denial to the core, including your own personality. Now, self-denial isn't a concept exclusive to Christianity at all. But I was taught growing up that God created me with my personality, that I was "one-of-a-kind". "God made you special!" as VeggieTales always put it. And now I'm being told that my personality, my interests, my hobbies, my sense of self, are sinful, that I must "put them on an alter and kill them". I must sell everything I have and become a monk, to store up for treasures in Heaven. But why would I even want to go to Heaven if I have to sacrifice everything else to get there? To see my family? Apparently, you have to be absolutely perfect to get to Heaven anyway, which most Christians, my family included, didn't believe. So they probably weren't going to be there anyway. I can only imagine maybe three of my great grandparents being up there, not many else. And even if we were all up there, what's the point? Christian Heaven sounds like an eternal worship service. But the straw that broke the camel's back (well, less of a straw and more of an anvil) was reading about the genocides of in OT. Particularly, the Amalekites. (1 Samuel 15:3) Wasn't God supposed to love and protect children? Aren't they precious in his eyes? Did they have to go as far as slaughtering the infants? Since I started de-converting, though I've gotten better, I'm still slightly afraid of Hell, and absolutely terrified of the Bible prophesy. New World Order, mark of the beast, all that stuff. My mom drilled that into my head starting as young as 7 or 8. And it doesn't help that it's the only thing my grandmother ever talks about anymore. One night, my sister came to visit, the family stayed over and we all had dinner together. Grandmother was talking about the illuminati and the antichrist over steak. Lovely. My siblings didn't like that either, though. I think my dad actually put that best: "You keep worrying about all that mess and it'll eat you up." Also, I'm aware that you guys have a section on coming out, but I've thought over the possible outcomes, and I just can't do it. My grandparents would undoubtable despise me for the rest of their lives, my mom would have her heart shattered and pray over me constantly, and my siblings and my dad, though I do think they'd keep contact with me, would still worry and probably try to convert me back. I hate lying about being a Christian, but it's better than ruining my bond with my family. So, how can I get better at faking it? Anyway, that's about all I had to say. Glad I could get this off my chest.
    4 points
  3. Dads eat free at Chik-Fil-A on Father's Day.
    4 points
  4. When I was a christian, I was taught, and I firmly believed, that my actions should be above reproach; because I might never know who might be watching. My words and deeds were always supposed to mirror christ; because that might be the only gospel a person ever read. Like my dad said, and still says to this day, "Be a witness always; use words when necessary." Behavior is important, especially for a believer. One has to decide for oneself if the behavior of Semi-wise reflects a christ anyone would want to believe in, or not. What I have come to realize later in life is that true integrity is keeping my thoughts, words, and actions always in consistent harmony. Thinking one thing but saying something different is not harmony. Saying you believe in something but not acting like it is not integrity. If I'm being completely honest, it bothers me that I think of Semi-wise as a fucknut; but I'm not going to hide that thought behind formal pleasantries and social platitudes. Dude's a fucknut.
    4 points
  5. Meh, his pride is hurt more than his feelings. He bragged about all these years of experience he has debating atheists online, even said some guy I've never heard of invited him onto his atheism show and then told all the other guests to ignore him. With all that experience, he ought to have thick enough skin to handle a couple of Southern country boys getting rough on him... unless he was lying about having all of that experience. Moreover, I know that he took the time to familiarize himself with our forum rules and guidelines. And, when BrotherMario was mentioned, Semi-Wise immediately caught the reference, which tells me that he's taken the time to comb through our history and past interactions with other believers. In essence, he has studied his "enemy" and should know what he is in for with this crowd. Still, somehow, even with all that history available to him, part of him still believed that with his impeccable intellect and interpretation, we would all be awestruck and immediately accept his message. Now he knows it just ain't so. I hope he's just taking a little time to lick his wounds and he'll come back with a renewed sense of purpose; and a better understanding of us. But, after what he wrote on my feed yesterday, I'm afraid he's done got butt-hurt and r-u-n-n-o-f-t.
    4 points
  6. @SemmelweisReflex I trust you have enjoyed the 2.5 hour dispensation of grace I have granted you. Unfortunately, the time has now come for me to handle my business with you. You are more than welcome to express alternative opinions about religion, beliefs, theological doctrines, and scriptural interpretations on this website. You are not welcome to disparage lifesaving medical treatments on this website by appealing to an authority that is not yours. This website will not be used that way. If you had said, "In my personal opinion, vaccines are insignificant," that would have done little more than further demonstrate the deranged ignorance you have displayed here in such abundance that none of us would have given it a second thought. But you attempted to shoehorn the full weight of the World Health Organization behind your conspiratorial fucknuttery. In doing so, you crossed a dangerous line. Words have consequences, even if you choose to ignore them. Another person, with no more intelligence than you have displayed, might take your words at face value; and, with no more intellectual integrity than you have, that person might not pursue their due diligence in researching the truth about vaccines. Such a person would become a danger to themselves, their children, and their larger society. If you will not take responsibility for your own words, then I have no choice but to take that responsibility away from you. As a result, your account will be restricted until 26 June 2021. You will not be allowed to post, nor will you be able to respond, or start any new threads. Once the restriction expires, you will be welcome to come back and join us again, hopefully with a better understanding and a deeper respect for our community. Please Note: you are not being banned; so you don't get to be a martyr persecuted for righteousness. However, should you choose to run off again and not come back, I'd be just as happy as a whore in a dick tree. (I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course; I hope you will return). Enjoy your time off, John
    3 points
  7. Jesus walked on water, healed the blind, cured diseases and turned water into wine among other cool things. Then he says this: John 14:12-14 New International Version 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. So why aren't Christians doing any such miracles? What is the excuse for a believer who can't move mountains or raise the dead? With the more than 2 billion believers we have we never hear about even one of them doing such things, and they ALL should be doing it. What gives, Christians? It's your book, your savior's words, so it's a reasonable question. Any answers?
    3 points
  8. Not entirely on topic Edgarcito, but I can't agree with your last, throwaway comment. If life is something that just happens then it gains its meaning ONLY from us, the people living it. Not from anywhere else and certainly not from any deity. We alone are responsible to each other and to ourselves to give our lives (and by extension, our marriages) meaning. Thank you. Walter.
    3 points
  9. I'm posting this mostly for the benefit of those reading this thread that may be questioning Christianity. I've noticed that at any point in time we have upwards of 20-30 guests reading the forums. Probably even people like @SemmelweisReflex himself. We are already pretty sure he studied the forum before making his grand entrance. From reading his posts concerning his past it sounds like SF was 27 when he converted. His initial statement that he was an athiest for 27 years isn't entirely accurate. For much of that 27 years he was a child and it sounds like his mother just didn't go to church. He had only had just under a decade to really make his own decisions. He also said that when he was older he started reading these Jehovas witness bibles they had left his mother. Considering that...... was he really athiest during that time?? He said his mother was not religious because of the hypocrisy in the church. My question is did she look into the sciences? Did she discover contradictions in the Bible? Did she see truth in Darwins theory of evolution, or the big bang? I'm just kind of naming things that in his childhood she may have been privy to. If she did some research it seems that she did her son a disservice by not instilling that knowledge into him. Did she teach him to be a critical thinker and to question what he was told by religious people? However if hypocrisy was the only reason she ever gave her son for not being a believer, that is not a strong foundation as an athiest. In that case all it would take is for him to find a religion that he didn't see as a bunch of hypocrits. In his conversion testimony he said that he decided to pray and see if God would answer the prayer. Instantly after praying this prayer a Jehovas witness woman knocked on the door. Now he has analyzed the scripture and created his own apologetics heavily favoring the Jehovas witness doctrin. First let's talk about his miraculous prayer. If this story is in fact true it was a series of coincidences. For every one person that can tell a story of a miraculously answered prayer such as this there are a million more that weren't answered. I prayed a similar prayer once after my deconversion. I went to a homecoming at a church with my ex wife. The guest preacher there was the original pastor of the church. Very old and obviously had a touch of dimintia. When I noticed all this I decided to pray one last prayer. Like I said I had already deconverted but there was this small shred of doubt and I succumbed to it. I began to cry, and I prayed one last prayer, that If the bibles God was real. That this man who had remained faithful, started churches, preached his whole adult life, would come down the isle and tell me God told him that I needed to come back. That I would come back. With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I prayed this. The invitation came for people to come pray at the altar. This was the time I expected God to move him. He didn't. The invitation came and went. Not once did the preacher even really look at me. There was a luncheon afterward. I even went up to the preacher and shook his hand. Again..... not one word from the Lord was spoken to me through this man. In Matt 18:12 Jesus speaks a parable of the Shepard that has 100 sheep and one wanders away. He says what one of you would not leave the 99 to find the one? The 99 are the ones that he didn't have to worry about. The 1 however could be in danger. That day I was supposed to be that 1 sheep. Yet I was in the house of the Shepard. This God in all his Almighty glory could not even speak to me through his own servant, in his own house, over the course of hours. The Bible speaks of deaf and dumb gods, referring to the idols that the pagans worshipped. Yet for millions of praying believers he doesn't speak, he doesn't act, and he doesn't hear. Now let's talk about his personal interpretations. What makes SF so special that God instantly answered his prayer that day? Nothing. Just coincidence. As you can see even he had to make his own apologetic Interpretations to make the Bible make sense to himself. He has thrown out half the core beliefs that many Christians have believed for almost 1600 years. And why in the world would God all of a sudden work through the Jehovas witness? They are a modern religious sect and have many traits of cults. If we are to believe that Jehovas witness, LDS, SDA, Church of God of the Union assembly, and other more modern churches are the "right" ones. What about all those believers up until the past 200 years? Were they all wrong? Was God not talking to them since Jesus ascended? I made up my own interpretations too toward the end of my faith. I had my interpretation of how Gods days of creation must must spanned billions of years. My own interpretations of salvation, I even joined a very questionable denomination that was built on apologetics which I became an ordained bishop in. I can't blame him for making his own thing up. It's really the only way the Bible can be made to make sense anymore. Nothing fits. I keep going back to a thought I had a few months ago. The earliest recorded books of the Bible were written around 1200 - 1500 BC. That was 1200 - 1500 years before Christ. So according to Christians the messiah was prophesied for that many years. During his life he told his followers that there were people there that would not taste of death before he came back with God the fathers kingdom. That was the first teaching that Christians had to create apologetics for. As his disciples lived and died without Jesus second coming. Now 2021 years later he still hasn't come. So the Jews looked for a messiah for 1500 years, but we've been looking for him to come back for far longer than that. In what universe does that make sense? The answer is it doesn't make sense. He wasn't the first and I'm sure SF won't be the last Christian to come here with their brand of doctrine to show all of us here the error of our ways. As you can see several of us provided SF with facts to counter his assertions, yet he only gave his assertions. That doesn't work here. In this day in age there are to many facts countering the biblical account for us to believe. And that is the truth. Dark Bishop
    3 points
  10. The thing is, that explanation can be used for anything that the believer finds confusing, uncomfortable, or just disagreeable. Homosexuality? Definitely literal. But eating shellfish? Nah, he didn't mean that. Beating slaves? Sure. Giving to the poor? Metaphor. It's almost like personal interpretation trumps everything.
    3 points
  11. Yeah, he was going to bring an "army" of prayer warriors with him to shut us down. Said army never materialized. I guess they got lost somewhere between the slits.
    3 points
  12. Is it a double standard that many recovering alcoholics get themselves on a "marijuana maintenance" program, or that some AA groups openly acknowledge and even unofficially encourage this as a substitute for the much more destructive addiction? Live and let live, man.
    3 points
  13. I'm glad there is a "safe zone" for those that want to explore other spiritualities on this site. Granted I contemplate spirituality myself. But to me, spirituality doesn't need to be linked to a God. I think at the very least we had a good lesson in non-god based spirituality when we watched the debate between @Edgarcito and @Joshpantera I was just talking to @TABA the other day about my personal thoughts on meditation and spirituality. There are 5 points of the pentagram. Each representing a different natural element. Earth, fire, air, water, and spirit. For me just reflecting on those five wiccan elements knowing what I know now is cause for amazement. We are made of "essentially" earth, we eat the fruits of the earth, the earth is our home and without it we wouldn't exist. We are 75%+ water. We have to drink water to survive. Without water we would not exist. The air we breath provides oxygen for our bodies that without it we would die and cease to exist. Fire has been instrumental in our evolution, for hundreds of thousands of years we have used it for warmth, to cook, to work Metals, to drive the engines in our modern world, but most importantly our sun is just a big ball of fire that keeps our planet at the perfect temperature for life to exist on this beautiful piece of space dust we call home. Lastly spirit. For me spirit is who we are, Our personalities, our likes, our dislikes, our values, our essence if you will. And it is that aspect of us that will live on in everyone we come in contact with even after we are gone. Because we have been granted this life we will never truly die. Even if our names are forgotten over the course of time. The impressions we made in our lifetime will last for the rest of human existence just as those from the past have coalesced to make us who we are. I guess for me the pentagram has become a spiritual symbol again. But not like it is for a wiccan. So for me. When you strip all of the God and Goddess stuff away from wicca. It is a beautiful religion. While I will never be able to "worship" again, Praying to "X" deity. I can meditate and feel a connection to the universe reflecting on those five elements that make us who we are and realizing that we are all connected. From the beginning to the present and into the future. This is our 50-90 year window to be a part of life and make our mark. For me this is a more beautiful realization than a heaven after life with mansions, gold streets, etc. It makes you want to be a better person today so that you leave behind a good impression and not a bad one that will live on in others. Not to mention the three fold law is just a good rule of thumb. Just like the golden rule is. I dont think anybody could argue that we shouldn't treat others like we would like to be treated.
    3 points
  14. It is. When I was a younger man, from my mid 20s into my mid 30s, I went through a period of hopelessness, frustration, and anger. I resented my parents for bringing me into this world, without my consent, and subjecting me to the misery I had, so far, endured. Much of it I had brought on myself, by making really disastrous life choices; and that fueled not only the suffering to which I was subject, but also further resentment toward the "village" that had raised me without adequately preparing me for life on life's terms. Were I not such a coward at the time, I would have chosen suicide; but, being christian still, I believed suicides went to hell. My deconversion happened right in the middle of all of this. How I survived the utter despair and disillusionment is beyond me. How could a loving "god" see his children suffering and look upon their misery with nothing more than benign indifference? And I knew I had it better than most of the rest of the world. But the very idea that a loving, all-powerful god would have created this wretched and pathetic excuse for a world and then forced us all to try to survive in it, when most of us would then end up in hell, anyway, was one of the final, chilling, nails in my religious coffin. I went back to college at the age of 35. "Life" wasn't much better during those years. I got up at 5am, took care of the family farm, put food on the table for Redneck Jr, went to class, then work, then back to class in the evenings, and came home sometimes at 11:30pm or later. At one point, I had just enough money to either buy diapers for Jr for a week, or ramen noodles for a month, or a used textbook I needed for class. I chose the textbook; because I thought if I could get the education, then I could give Redneck Jr a better life. And that, for me, is one of the main reasons for having kids: I've learned from my parents' mistakes, so maybe I can give him a better childhood. And if he has a better childhood, then maybe he'll be a better man. And maybe if he's a better man, the world will be just a little bit better. But, I digress. In college, I was exposed to new ideas: evolution via natural selection, the actual age of the earth, life-cycles and how they work, oviparous versus viviparous reproduction, cell division along with meiosis and mitosis... One night I came home around midnight and went straight to Redneck Jr's crib because I hadn't seen him all day. I picked him up and held him as I slowly rocked in an old rocking chair that had belonged to my great grandfather. As he lay there sleeping in my lap, it suddenly occurred to me just how extraordinary the chances of "me" happening actually were. It took hundreds of my mother's eggs and millions of my father's sperm to come up with the one unique fusion of gametes that would encompass "me" and my genetic matrix. A different sperm and there might have been a girl instead of "me." A different egg and maybe a completely different boy with blond hair, green eyes, and a belly that didn't constantly feel the need to reach new widths. Multiply those odds by the same odds applied to each of my parents. Had grandpa not come back from the war when he did... Had grandma found another suitor whilst grandpa was away jabbing the life out of Nazis... Now multiply those odds for all 4 grandparents... 8 great grandparents... And keep multiplying until you get all the way back to the first modern humans migrating out of Africa, stopping along the way to thank the Neanderthals for supplying the genes for our immune systems through interbreeding. If just one of those prehistoric ancestors had run afoul of a sabre-toothed cat, I Wouldn't Be Here. If just one of my great grandpas had made just one different decision (plowed the field instead of... "plowing the field") I Wouldn't Be Here. The terms "astronomical" and "exponential" really are too paltry to describe the odds of "me" being alive. Yet, here I AM. And the fact that I am here, despite all the odds, suggests to me that the "good" does indeed outweigh the "bad." I won't say this sudden epiphany changed my outlook completely overnight. But, slowly. Does life still suck sometimes? Abso-fucking-lutely. Have I contemplated suicide since then? Yes, I have. Because I still sometimes deal with depression and general angst. But the fact that I am alive, against all odds, makes "my" life valuable. Same is true for you, in my opinion. Same is true for all life and every human being that has ever graced this mud-encrusted rock we call home (except maybe @TABA). It's not about pleasure versus pain; it's not about triumph versus tribulation. It is about living versus existing. About enjoying and enduring. There is beauty through the horror; and value in even the most degraded and humiliating circumstances.
    3 points
  15. I sure would die for atheism. It's the only way I can ensure that I can enter a state of pure nothingness, non-being or absolutely not existing, when I die. I cannot risk that by even pretending to have another belief system. mwc
    3 points
  16. Hell no lmao. Thats what got people tortured and killed during all the witch hunts in the past. I'd sing like a bird telling them exactly what they wanted to hear so I could live to die another day. And first chance I got I would be a 100 miles away from them never to return. We aren't agnostic and athiest because we are stupid. We question things. We think about things. And we would lose nothing by making them think we were believers. The reason those people died by staying true to their faith was because they thought there would be a worse punishment if they didn't. We know that an afterlife punishment doesn't exist. So why wouldn't we do whatever we needed to do to live?
    3 points
  17. Enforcing fundamentalist beliefs (no, not love your neighbor as yourself, or take up your cross daily, or sell all you have and give to the poor) at the Southern Baptist Convention Back in the 80s, there was a resurgence of taking the Bible more literally, believing in demons and angels, and actively doing something called spiritual warfare that sold lots of books and speaking engagements. Any time believers can feel like they are at war, they tend to embrace the faith more strongly. Show them how the culture has embrace the devil, and they will fervently burn books, records, etc. This blurb is the same thing. It's the same fervency that drives Boko Haram and other fanatics globally. Rightness has been spelled out for them and they will embrace it, though only the parts that don't involve caring for others (especially foreigners), dying to selfish desires, and forsaking the pursuit of money. They are almost a caricature at this point, but there are a lot of them that have an unbending smug anger that drives them to control others.
    2 points
  18. In the meantime we have a temp opening for Christian in the Lion's Den.
    2 points
  19. What if that were so? What of it? If you have come to know folks with whom you share common belief and understanding, why would you not find satisfaction in that agreement and accord? You posit that as if it were some sort of de-facto proof that someone is less than sincere, or wrong in their belief.
    2 points
  20. People here might be more inclined to believe this if they felt like you were actually listening. But several folks have already attempted civil exchange with you through well-thought, articulate posts; and you have simply dismissed their responses and disparaged their attempts. You've called them idiots and insulted their intelligence. I don't mind you treating me this way, as I have repaid you in kind; but our more reserved, more diplomatic, members deserved no such treatment from you. As a result, no one believes you are genuinely here to hear our side of the story, or to have an equal exchange of ideas. Your actions demonstrate you for a liar; and no one trusts you. Your motivations and intentions clearly do not match your words. Soon, no one will bother trying to converse with you at all. If you want to hear our side, I suggest you shut up. Because right now you can't hear anyone over the sound of your own haughtiness and self-aggrandizing delusion. I also suggest you spend a few days reading our testimonials. Many of us put a lot of effort into telling our stories, so that others might benefit from our experience. Here's mine:
    2 points
  21. Folks, note the desperation, shallowness and intellectual dishonesty of poster SemmelwiesReflex's wishful thinking.
    2 points
  22. I really enjoyed this response. Its empowering to know that, yes indeed, just as I suspected, many of the "doctrinally sound" Christians truly do align with thinking from the dark ages. They also shun science while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of science (unless of course they've never taken a medication, used transportation, or a computer,or purchased goods of any sort, or. . . oh lets just say lived as a modern-day human). Thank you SR, and I mean this very sincerely, for confirming again and again why becoming an atheist is one of the healthiest things that ever happened for me. Your posts have put a spotlight on the literal medeival thinking that underpins Christianity. It is exactly this line of thinking that opened my eyes to the truth. In a strange way, you are indeed, spreading the truth of Christianity here!
    2 points
  23. So that would be all of them.
    2 points
  24. Technically, it must be conceded that if he did not believe in god for any reason (including no educated reasons) he was 'without god belief,' the definition of atheist. Lacking god belief. For the sake of debate, and readers lurking along, this is something that needs to be noted. We don't have a good argument against someone not being a 'true' atheist. We have to take them at their word when they say that they didn't believe in god at some point. But what we do have are very good arguments as to whether or not someone was ever a studied, well informed, or intellectual oriented atheist. To date I have not witnessed one single personal testimony, ever, of such a conversion from atheism to theism. It's always uniformed, not well studied, not highly intellectual atheists making the switch to theistic belief. So your gut instinct is correct. SR came here showing a rather poor back ground knowledge base about atheism, science, and related issues. Just because mommy didn't go to church and technically they didn't believe in god, that doesn't make him an authority on atheism nor a spokeman for such, who, saw the light and found truth in jesus. Not even close. So the conversion story is nothing more than converting from one form of uninformed ignorance, to another form of uninformed ignorance. Never having gained any meaningful knowledge of either. I started poking holes in this pseudo intellectual right away. It's a facade. He has no depth of experience arguing Genesis 1. It's embarrassing in this day and age to refer to YHWH as jehovah, since nearly everyone knows that jehovah doesn't represent the tetragrammaton in a meaningful way, except to outdated jehovah's witness's who are stuck with old 19th century theological views and terminology that has long since changed and updated over the years since their cult founder, Charles Taze Russell instigated the cult based on old theological ideas of the time. No "J" in the hebrew alphabet and all of that. Most people know that. Russell apparently didn't understand the situation very well and didn't see the future we now live in. Basically, someone who didn't know anything about god or religion and professed atheism until age 27, got mixed up with some JW cultist's, listened to their admonitions against mainstream christianity and pagan influences, and took off on some magic carpet ride where his ego took off to the stars! He's better than all christians. And he assumed, incorrectly, that he's better than all ex christians. He came here and met his match in several members. He got pwn'd. He's gone silent while leaving many important questions unanswered. Surprise everyone!!! Never saw that coming.... It bizarre, though, how these various apologist's show up basically in single file order. Not always, but most of the time. We'll get some eccentric with crazy ideas one after the next. They'll come in hot and burn out fast. Then another apologist will appear with a different eccentric twist based on something else. One after the next. And for whatever reason we had a Mormon burn out and then this JW show up right behind him. Coincidence? People screwing around? Lurker's waiting their turn to step into the spotlight? It's entertainment whatever the case. It's humorous at times. And it provides members here with clay's to shoot at. So screw'em, they can keep coming. And we'll keep shooting'em down - one by one as it seems.
    2 points
  25. Humans managed to discover and teach that simply washing your hands before eating or providing medical care to another is wise and extremely beneficial. You would think that ol' Jesus could have managed that much while he walked among us.
    2 points
  26. According to @Brothermario & @SemmelweisReflex there is a "correct" way to pray apart from your sincerity.
    2 points
  27. God created Michael first. Then Michael, as Jehovah's master worker, created everything through Jehovah's Holy Spirit or active force. The word Holy means sacred, or belonging to God. Spirit means an invisible active force, like wind, breath, mental inclination. Something that we can't see but that produces results that we can see. The first thing that was created was the spiritual heavens. This was followed by the spirit beings, often called angels. Then the physical heavens, or space as we know it, including Earth, the stars, sun and moon. Then everything on Earth eventually concluding with Adam and Eve. The angels existed for a very long time before man was created, and they had time to mature, like children, so that they knew what was good and bad from their creator. It is important that you understand that being created perfect is much like being born a baby. Parents see their newborn children as perfect, but think about it. They can't walk, talk, feed themselves, go to the bathroom properly - they are bald, toothless, chubby, defenseless little creatures. Perfect in the sense that they have great potential and innocence. By the time man was created the angels had already reached their potential. On the seventh day, when the creation was complete, God "rested." This doesn't mean that God was tired or that he stopped working, it means he set aside a period of time in which we were allowed to mature, as the angels had done. When we would have accomplished this we could, as the Bible says, enter into God's day of rest. In other words, the seventh "day" or more accurately, period, of creation continues to this day. So the knowledge of what is good and what is bad is the eventual possession of that maturity. The ability to decide for ourselves what was good and what was bad, predicated upon an acknowledgement of our own accord, of our creator, Jehovah's rightful sovereignty. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3, King James Version 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. The above portion of Semmelweis Reflex's opening post comes under the scope of Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3. None of the events described above were seen by human eyes. Things not seen by human eyes are accepted as true and real by faith. There exists no physical evidence to corroborate or authenticate them. That is why faith is used by believers to understand how the worlds were framed (created) by god speaking them into existence. According to faith, the things which human eyes do see (the physical world around us) were formed by unseen things. Specifically, god. The upshot of applying Hebrews to Semmelweis Reflex's introduction is simply this. Everything he writes about, everything he claims happened and everything he explains rests upon the foundation of his faith. Not on facts. Not on physical evidence. Not on anything that can be verified, authenticated of confirmed from scientific investigation. Not on the basis of any oral history and not on the basis of any eyewitness accounts. No human saw the the events he believes in by faith. And since the physical world which we can see and touch and examine was, according to scripture, made from unseen things, there is no possibility of ever using what we can see, touch and examine to discover if Semmelweis Reflex's belief are true. This immediately flags up three questions. 1. Why should his faith-based understanding of prehistory be any more accurate than that of another Christian's faith-based understanding of the same period? 2. Why should his Christian faith-based understanding be any more accurate than that of the faith-based understanding of a Muslim, a Sikh or a Jew? 3. Which is more likely to be objectively true and trustworthy - a faith-based understanding of prehistory that cannot be tested or measured or a scientific understanding that relies upon testing and measurement? Thank you. Walter.
    2 points
  28. An all knowing god would know dam well that by the 19th century some scholars would start realizing and writing about the massive lack of contemporary evidence for the life of jesus. Calling the entire historicity of the story into question and running forward into the 21st century with no possible resolve in sight. Due to the lack of evidence back then or lasting from then till now that could resolve the issue. And simply make the evidence plain and irrefutable back then!!! Make sure it lasts through time!!! How about some contemporary jewish or roman court records that last??? Simple explanation, the stories are mostly if not complete myth and legend. No all-knowing god factors in at all, good or evil. And this is obvious when you consider that the bible starts out demonstrably false from the outset in Genesis 1....
    2 points
  29. The other day I listened to a podcast where they talked about the Evil God Hypothesis, the idea that if there is a god, it is more likely to be evil than good. The idea of an omnipotent, good god is brought into question by the existence of so much evil, pain and suffering in the world. If there were an evil god it would explain why humans have received so many conflicting “messages from god”, which have led to all kinds of mayhem: a cluster fuck indeed. But then it was suggested that the existence of an evil god is called into question by the fact that there is also so much joy and good in life. So the best conclusion is that there is likely neither an evil god nor a good god.
    2 points
  30. 2 points
  31. Hey, maybe check out this course (it's free) https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-145 Then see how your knowledge stacks up against those who have actually studied the Old Testament
    2 points
  32. Indirectly. 1. If persons who "believe" could suddenly drink any poison and not die (Mark 16:18) 2. If persons who "believe" could lay hands on the sick and the sick recover - no medical treatment needed (Mark 16:18) 3. If persons who had biblical faith could move mountains (Matthew 17:20) 4. If nothing was impossible for those with biblical faith (Matthew 17:20) 5. If anything would be done by two or more believers on earth (Matthew 18:19) 6. testing god by bringing a full tithe into the storehouse (Malachi 3:10) If any of these could be observed as the bible indicates, it would be evidence the bible is at least speaking to something beyond our current realm of understanding. Also, do you believe in the omni conception of god? To say god can't appear in the universe contradicts several OT appearances and puts a very clear and unusual finite limitation. So far @WalterP has the gist of it. You have an interpretation that you believe is correct (not that anyone would intentionally hold an incorrect belief) yet so far are unable to produce any argument or evidence that moves the needle beyond what other similarly situated belief structures can produce.
    2 points
  33. Regarding the flood. I dont know. Maybe all of humanity would have annihilated each other had God not stepped in (and annihilated everyone himself - lol). So why hasnt humanity annihilated itself since then? Honestly I may have missed the part after the Noah story where God does a tweak on every person's brain to not be as evil as the people before the flood? Why would you have to kill all the people in the world just to 'reset' humanity, so to speak? Couldn't God just give people a subtle new directive right to their brain saying, "Be nice." Why is it that humans can think of less drastic solutions to problems while the loving God's solution is to destroy?
    2 points
  34. Hes just another christian with a different interpretation. Arent all christ based religions considered Christian for the most part? Baptism doesn't make one Christian. The belief in christ does. After all Christ is the root word. I dont accept SR's assertion that he isn't Christian. He believes in Christ, he believes in the bibles heaven, he just thinks he's omitted the pagan aspects. His is just another brand of Christianity made up in his mind with his personal interpretation. Nothing new or awe inspiring.
    2 points
  35. DB, Semmelweis is not a Christian. He's just someone who worships Jesus the Christ. I guess.
    2 points
  36. If this comes as a surprise to anyone then they don't know how vaccines work and haven't been reading the actual scientific reports on them... as opposed to whatever garbage the media spits out. I don't think there is enough education around vaccines and so you get people coming up with what is basically a cookie cutter list of problems that are generally the result of ignorance and stupidity. A combination, as we know, that can be fatal. I shake my head when I hear someone say "someone caught covid after the vaccine" or "someone died". Yeah, the best one has an efficacy rating of 95%. So at least 5 people out of every 100 are gonna get it. Multiply that by the milions/billions vaccinated and yep, people still gonna die. My bottom line is that yes the vaccine is not perfect, it can have side effects, but a risk analysis vs catching covid and all its risks leads me to conclude the facts are on the side of getting vaccinated. Unless you plan on permanent non human contact isolation.
    2 points
  37. I agree 100% if it happens outside this sub-forum. This forum is specifically for those exchristians that want to delve into other spiritual possibilities. Now if they take that and start trying to proselytize converts for Odin. We would probably have to move that over to a debate arena and tear the religion apart showing how it was all made up just as the Bible was. As far as I know that hasn't happened yet has it? You've been around here a lot longer than me. Maybe it has. I can't imagine worshipping some imaginary man made God. But if someone who flees Christianity feels at peace doing so. Its not for me to judge them. Just as its not for me to judge those that feel compelled to go back to Christianity. Each person is different and goes through a different process. Whats good for you and I may not be good for them. I'd hate to make someone feel anymore alone after losing faith in Christianity by bashing their "new found" faith. Because in all reality, eventually they will probably come to the same conclusion about that faith as well.
    2 points
  38. The purpose of this subforum is to allow the free exchange of ex-Christian spiritual ideas. That's how it operates. And so people 'ought' to follow the guidelines regardless of their personal convictions. If you come to this sub and say, "Those gnomes you believe in are nonsense!!", then the gnome believer may chastise you about it. They may value gnomes the way someone else values logic and evidence. The purpose of a church is to worship Jesus. If you walk into a church on Sunday and demand proof of God, and point out bible contradictions, you will get tossed out of the building. That venue has a specific purpose and you are violating it. Even if every single one of those goofballs need to be Hitchslapped with some critical thinking. If someone walks into an atheist meetup and whips out the bible and loudly prays and condemns those darn non-believers then they have the right to ask the Christian to leave. Even if the Christian 'knows' in his heart that these godless people are under Satan's influence. So I have a question: Do those who live by logic, reason, critical thinking always do what is logical or reasonable? Logic says it is unhealthy to smoke, eat cheeseburgers and processed sugar. That new car was a bit over budget but damn it is fun to drive! What's worse, eating a cheeseburger or talking to an invisible gnome?
    2 points
  39. The first one, pretty typical. Never thought much about religion. Meaning never study any of it or knew anything about it. Watched grandpa die and became convinced that dead great grandma had been in the room the whole and time and that the afterlife is a certainty. Then somehow that is probably linked back to the bible even though it has little to do with the bible, but they wouldn't know that because they know next to nothing about religion or the bible. Atheist to believer! The second one knew someone who acted differently after a short death experience in the hospital. Atheist to believer! The third one basically knew nothing about religion and didn't attend church. Blamed seemingly bad luck on getting away from god. Then went back and started viewing reality differently and taking a more positive internal outlook. What could it be if not god???? Except atheist's like myself often live the same up beat life experiencing the same general good luck in the wake of an internal positive outlook. So god literally has zero to do with any of it. The positive outlook itself, if anything, seems a more logical source. Which is common to both parties in question - the godly and the godless.
    2 points
  40. One of the Horsemen (I can't remember now which) said something about a part of the brain, which, when stimulated, would usually produce religious experiences that were in keeping with the person's cultural environment, even if the person wasn't religious. So, an American agnostic might still "see" jesus, while a Vietnamese atheist might "see" Quan The Am Bo Tat.
    2 points
  41. Volunteer to help in the nursery, young kid area. Then play games for an hour and skip the sermon BS.
    2 points
  42. Everything foreshadowed jesus. The only reason anything existed, ever, was to foreshadow jesus. Hell, the story of jesus is to foreshadow jesus (as in the return of jesus). Give this post to an apologist and you'll discover it foreshadows jesus. mwc
    2 points
  43. Hi Josh I am listening to Jamiroquai (Didjerama+Didjital Vibrations) I'm not sure how familiar Americans are with the didgeridoo. It is a traditional Australian aboriginal instrument, a hollow tube of wood, that makes the main drone sound in this Jamiroquai piece, which is clearly deeply influenced by shamanistic spirituality, with the band name from the Iroquois. I used to listen to them 25 years ago. The didgeridoo is a deeply spiritual form of music in indigenous culture. I have an old didgeridoo that I play, but the contested and traumatised situation of indigenous culture means there is not much interest in hearing non-native players. As it happens, I was on stage last Friday with a didgeridoo accompanying me playing Bob Dylan songs. It was a Catholic Church event with the Archbishop as the main speaker, on the Pope's 2015 Laudato Si encyclical on integral ecology. I opened the event playing acoustic guitar and singing Blowing in the Wind, The Times they are a Changing and When the Ship Comes In, as well as my own songs Rainbow Snake and Uluru, with the didg accompanying. Happy 80th Bob! We are moving to a more syncretistic approach to religion in Australia. This event was opened with a ritual smoking ceremony, with Aboriginal people extending a welcome to country and inviting everyone to walk through smoke made by burning green leaves.
    2 points
  44. comparing spiritual superiority, I gather the reason we are not progressing is that Christianity assigns purpose to our consciousness where yours says we are a form, but not so much purpose, rather form drives responsibility? Idk, you'd have to clue me in on if your beliefs require responsibility... I guess consciousness has no "why" in your model? I have a thought on his comment here. He mentions Christianity not progressing. Well that is well and true. Christianity is on the downward trend because they aren't progressing but also because they are not allowing society to progress either. That goes for all Bible related religions. They are wanting the world to adhere to ancient fairytales and superstitions. The flat earther movement wouldn't be going on right now if there weren't a massive amount of people that: A) figured out that the Bible truly does depict a flat earth creation And B ) believe the Bible to be the infallible word of God. Now tons of people have bought into these idiotic conspiracy theories. Could you imagine the things humanity could do if there were no religions to squabble over a bunch of shit that isn't even real? They are fighting about shit from thousands of years ago and a lot of it is just a myth. But they believe its true and affect the whole world with there fanaticism. Millions of people in America couldn't marry the ones they loved until just a few years ago. Why? The Bible. The Bible said homosexuals were bad. So they warred against them. They still stone women for biblical sins in the middle east. I mean seriously. Stoning people in 2021. Religion is a shackle that is holding humanity hostage from our full potential. If the world would embrace human advancement like they do ancient myths. In another 1000 years, who knows ,we could be exploring other galaxies. Mining gold on the moon or iron ore from Mars. Our whole solar system could be a resource for this planet. Now that would be pretty damn awesome.
    2 points
  45. It is easy for me to see why Hell developed into a lake of fire myth. By the time this part of the myth came into being they had already been influenced heavily by Greek mythology and other mainstream philosophical and religious beliefs on the after life. Before this "according to Bart Ehrmanns book Heaven and Hell" The Jewish people had already started believing in a system of punishment for those that had not followed Gods law like the Jewish people had. Jesus story of the rich man in hell is a prime example. Jesus didn't come up with that. It had been circulating for years before Jesus' time. We don't see it in the Bible because the books that reflected these beliefs weren't included in the canonical version of the Bible. They had seen the suffering of the Persian and Babylonian occupations, and were now under the hand of the Roman empire. It didn't seem fair to people that they would suffer at the hand of these people while they lived in the lap of luxury. So they began to developed beliefs that these unholy pagans would be severely punished after life. Couple that with the Hades myth of the underworld and volcanic activity. Literally seeing molten lava flowing like water from beneath the earth, and TAHDAH!!! A lake that Burneth with unquenchable fire burning eternal souls for eternity is born. Not to mention it is a fine way to get people to do what you want them to do. Just make them believe they will be punished eternally after death and ya got some pretty obedient citizens.
    2 points
  46. This isn't a choice between "atheism" and death. It is a choice between converting to a religion or being slaughtered, which was one of the main ways christianity was spread over Central and South America. This is not the same as people dying for something they believe in, as in your examples. Atheism is a lack of belief.
    2 points
  47. I always rephrase the story in terms of a mommy who bakes some brownies, fills the whole house with the yummy chocolate smell, sets them out on the table and then tells the kids "You can have all the vegetables you want, but eat any of these brownies and I'll kill you." If she meant that literally, would she be a good mommy or the most evil one ever? What if she justifies it by claiming to be "holy"? The kids eat the brownies anyway, so in her infinite love takes just one and beats him to death in front of the others. "Now then, my anger is satisfied and all you have to do is tell me that this was the greatest love ever demonstrated... or I'll take you in the back yard and burn you alive." Would we honor and adore the mommy for being wise beyond our understanding? Would we make movies depicting this as miraculous love? Would we say "I'm glad that she made even one way for us to not be burned alive"? Nope. We'd lock her up as a psychopathic narcissistic child abuser and murderer.
    2 points


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