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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/04/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I was raised in fairly conservative churches/schools. Gradually I started to move away from some of the more extreme elements of that, I believed in evolution, didn't take the Genesis creation narrative literally, was open to certain Bible stories being myths, exc.. Even since I was a little kid and first found out what gay people were I've never understood why anyone cared what gender you liked. The reason I ultimately rejected the whole thing isn't because of anything in the outside world, though, to go along with the whole idea of "faith" you need to accept believing in things that aren't verifiable anyway. Instead it's that the central premise of Christianity doesn't make sense to me now that I've finally seriously examined it, and that the god described in the Bible doesn't sound all wise or all good. It boils down to- A- One thing I've always struggled with is why Jesus needed to die on the cross in order to save people. I got into a lengthy exchange with a school teacher when I was 7 or 8 about this and never got a satisfactory answer. The Bible makes very clear that god can do anything, so why can't he forgive people without killing someone else? Recently I've thought about this in even more depth and it goes beyond the issue of whether god is omnipotent. Forgiving people because Jesus died doesn't make any sense. If I'm going to forgive someone, I don't insist that some random, unrelated person be punished before I can forgive someone. I can either forgive them or I can't. Someone might respond by saying "but that's why god is merciful" but if he were truly merciful wouldn't he be able to forgive someone without killing an unrelated innocent person? Christians consistently say that we should "forgive as god forgives" but wouldn't that mean that when someone asked our forgiveness we'd have to go and crucify someone first before we could forgive them? That kind of thinking only makes sense in the context of a society built around animal sacrifices. It makes the Bible sound less inspired by an all knowing, timeless god and more like a product of a primitive ancient civilization. People try to explain this with the analogy that Jesus is like our parent and it's like he paid for a window that we broke. But that analogy doesn't work because breaking a window isn't a moral issue, and paying for it isn't retribution. It's just an issue of someone suffering a loss and that loss being made right, irrespective of who actually is the one paying. A better analogy would be someone being sentenced to death and Jesus taking their place. But nothing works like that. Even if someone for some reason volunteered to be executed in another person's place, that wouldn't nullify the sentence of death on the other person. Retribution is attached to the person who committed the crime. Again, Christians would say that that is why god is merciful, but if he were truly merciful why couldn't he just forgive people. Killing Jesus was irrelevant to any sins anyone has committed. Another thing Christians say is that the crucifixion was to satisfy god's wrath against our sins. That makes him sound like an unenlightened barbarian, not an infinitely wise god who created the universe. He's so angry that he wants to take it out on someone who did nothing to him? Yet the Bible says humans are supposed to control their anger. But it also says we're to be "holy" like god, and being holy apparently includes murdering innocent people to punish them for things other people did. Add to that that Jesus' sacrifice isn't at all proportionate to evils he's answering for. Killing one person supposedly answers for the death that everyone who has ever existed deserves? Add to that that Jesus didn't truly "die" in the narrative, he never went to hell and came back from the dead. If God is merciful enough to accept a non-proportional sacrifice why isn't he merciful enough to just forgive anyone who asks? Continuing on the topic of forgiveness, for me not forgiving someone means I stay angry at them, it doesn't mean I want someone to be sent to hell and tortured for all eternity after they die. I don't really want that to happen to anyone. Even for someone like Hitler, I'd be sufficient with just letting him die, or just not letting him into heaven and having stay in cosmological limbo. Wanting to endlessly torture someone is vindictive, sadistic, and evil. Especially when it's not just mass murderers but even someone who commits a "sin" as small as stealing a cookie from a cookie jar as a small child. B- I've had some serious bouts of depression recently and I thought in relation to god that if I truly loved someone and I could ensure that they wouldn't feel like this, then I would. Of course the common rebuttal to this is that there are lots of people with worse problems than me, but that just compounds the point. If you look at all the suffering that has occurred throughout history, would a good and loving god allow it all to happen? If a person knew about a child getting raped by someone, didn't tell anyone, and did nothing to stop it, there isn't a court in the world that wouldn't convict that person. Any Christian would agree that it was a sin to not intervene. And yet that's what god does for every murder and every rape that has ever occurred. Again, if we're supposed to be "holy" like god, wouldn't that mean that we'd be as indifferent to all this as he is? I know that the Christian conception of god gives people the free will to sin and that's why we're responsible for our actions. That makes sense for sins that don't directly effect anyone else, like getting drunk, gambling, consensual fornication, lust and so forth. But in the case of sins against others, if it's such a serious sin against another person to justify sending someone to hell, then wouldn't it also be a sin to be able to stop that sin and not do it? Christians talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue. They defend god allowing, say, 9/11 to happen by saying that people's souls are eternal. But if killing another person is serious enough to warrant sending the murderer to hell, wouldn't it be serious enough for god to intervene and stop it? C- This is a smaller thing and it's an issue I've always had, but the New Testament is terribly inconsistent in regards to how to attains salvation. On the one hand there's John 3:16, and on the other hand there's the book of James, which pretty much goes full Catholic. People try to explain away the book of James by saying that the "works" described are simply an outgrowth of faith, but the book specifically says "faith without works is dead" implying that someone who actually does have faith but doesn't couple it with good works is going to hell. Even more blatantly John says "whosoever believeth in me shall not perish but have everlasting life" but then James explicitly says that belief in Jesus is not enough noting that "Even the demons believe and shudder". That sounds like something written by two different authors and not inspired by one source. I could write more, but this is the main stuff. I just finished graduate school and am stuck living at home until I find a job. I'm going to keep going to church with my parents and not rock the boat for now. I'll probably formally "come out" once I'm living somewhere else. I thought of myself as a "bad Christian" who didn't pray that much, but it didn't occur to me how much I really did throughout the day until now, I find myself thinking "Oh yeah, he's probably not real" a lot of the time now. I get the periodic worry about going to hell, and worrying about not being able to pray when I'm afraid, but mostly I feel really good, because I think these are things I've known deep down for a long time. PS- I was automatically logged out when I spent a lot of time writing this and worried that my long post would all be gone and thought "thank god" when I saw that it was all here. Some habits take a while to go away.
  2. 1 point
    Indoctrinated into the Southern Baptist variant at an early age, I finally walked away a few years ago. Reason and truth mean more than delusion. I now feel better about myself, others and this one life we know we have.
  3. 1 point
    I noticed that Ronna Russell's book was listed as one of the recommended purchases on the site. Well--if you want to hear her story, check out this week's episode of MindShift podcast, which features a great interview with Ronna. Her story is literally unbelievable: what happens when you grow up in the evangelical purity culture--with a pastor dad--but things don't exactly...work out the way they were planned? Find out more, here's the links to the episode: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/uncomfortable-confessions-preachers-kid-ronna-russell/id1199559501?i=1000437150070 https://mindshiftpodcast.podbean.com/e/the-uncomfortable-confessions-of-a-preachers-kid-with-ronna-russell/
  4. 1 point
    My journey out of religion has been completed but I stumbled on these videos and have invested hours watching them. They are the best I’ve ever encountered about why Christianity, or any religion, isn’t true. The creator of these videos is a clinical psychologist and he is amazing. I’m not going to link them just go to You Tube and in the search box type in Theramin Trees. You will find he has made a video for just about any question people ask about religion. These videos are truly excellent. It’s like gettin free therapy session for why leaving religion is the right choice. I will note he grew up in a religious fundamentalist home. I can can also recommend videos produced by Recovery From Religion. They have some excellent videos too.
  5. 1 point
    Goes for everyone doesn't it? If you're identifying as X (whatever X may be... muslim, conservative, feminist or whathaveyou), others overhype X to beyond insane level, and you stay silent about the bullshit the fanatics do or say, you do not get to complain about how the rest of the world misunderstands X so so much. Case closed. Now if everyone would comply with this simple rule... hey I can dream can't I?
  6. 1 point
    Before I get started with explaining my situation, I first want to thank @LogicalFallacy, @TruthSeeker0, and @disillusioned for helping me out in the ex-C Discord the other day. I was going through a very rough time and your advice and encouraging words helped me to get through it, when I had already begun to think that there was no way that I could. As you guys know, I have been struggling with major mental health issues for a while, such as severe depression that included suicidal thoughts and feeling like I was worthless and without hope. I also had to deal with the feeling of being angry, all the time. It was like it never went away, even when I tried to distract myself from it. It has led to me experiencing intense moments of rage, which resulted in me lashing out at people, both at work and in my personal life, and I am on the verge of losing my job over it. I even had to be hospitalized last year for this and I was getting dangerously close to having to go there again, before I decided to come back here. The biggest factors at play here have been stress at work, being surrounded with toxic people and not knowing how to get away from them, losing my mom two years ago, and other personal issues that I have struggled with my whole life that made everything else worse. As a coping mechanism, I went back to religion, but not Christianity. I still knew deep down that the old religion is harmful and just plain wrong, so instead, I ended up worshiping the imaginary devil known as Satan. For a while, I had managed to convince myself that it was all real and could feel what I thought were demons trying to possess me. Now that I have come back to reality, I realize that none of it was real. I don’t feel like I saw or heard anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t think I was hallucinating, but I experienced physical sensations that made me think it was happening, similar to how Christians think the holy spirit does things to them when they are at church. It also made things worse that I sought help from religious-minded individuals who tried to push their religion and crazy conspiracy theories on me, because at my worse moments, I was vulnerable enough that those things were able to stick and make me paranoid. It likely would not have gotten so bad, if I would have come back here a lot sooner, to get a nice, big dose of logic. Trying to bottle it all up and deal with it on my own was the worst thing I could have done, but that is what happened. Now, after having said all of that, I do want you all to know that I am doing a lot better than I was the other day, when I ranted about all of this in the Discord server. I am seeing a very good therapist, who I first started seeing after all of the devil-worship BS happened, to help me sort through all of the underlying issues that I have been dealing with. Unfortunately, any progress I made with her help was slowed down drastically by not getting rid of the stupid people around me, who were putting so much stress on me in the first place. I finally got to the breaking point where I was sure everything was going to fall apart, but somehow, I came back from it and found myself back here again. I still haven’t yet found a medication that works yet and I have seen two psychiatrists, but they haven’t diagnosed me with anything, so I feel a little lost there. It feels like they just want to throw pills at my problems, to make them go away, but I haven’t had any success with them. The only thing that has really helped in this case, is smoking weed when I need to (Marijuana is legal where I live now, praise the Lard!). On the plus side, I am through with trying to please everyone. I know I can’t do this because it is impossible and I’m going to start cutting people out of my life. It won’t be too hard to burn those bridges when they are already weak and on the verge of falling apart anyway. Even though I had felt the need to debunk all of the conspiracy theory BS, I don’t see any reason to burden myself with that, when there is no need to try and change anyone’s mind about it. I tried to explain all of this as clearly as possible. It’s been a very difficult time and I feel like I have hope again, which is a huge step forward from a few days ago. I don’t need to “get right with God” like the nutters said, I just need to be at peace with myself and get the negativity out of my life for good. I actually feel like that is possible now. It’s been a long time since I have posted here, but it’s good to be back again.
  7. 1 point
  8. 1 point
    Yep, we're supposed to turn the other cheek, but he demands payment for forgiveness, which means it isn't forgiveness. He can burn people alive because he's holy, but holy people are kind and good and don't burn others alive. Evil sadistic cruel people do things like that. God of the Bible is evil. Parents will spank a kid and send him/her to their room, or give them a time-out for disobedience. God of the Bible kills them. All of them. And ruins the planet. After setting them up for failure in the first place. God of the Bible is a vile bloodthirsty conniving shit. Centuries of believers have wept genuine tears of anguish over being normal humans after being promised that they were born-again, pure, incorruptible, shining like stars in the dark sky. Some have cut off their genitals to try and stop lusting, when lusting is normal and part of procreation of all sexual creatures on Earth. There is nothing bad about it unless used to harm someone. Normal isn't bent or broken or displeasing to some petulant shit in the sky, it is normal, as he would know if he actually created us. Church and religion in general is fucked up nonsense that destroys lives while having a veneer of respectable goodness. It is a mind virus that has polluted human kind for recorded history. Today it is responsible for untold cruelty, justified by the believers as destroying sin. We found our way out, and we need to find ways to unplug the faiths worldwide.
  9. 1 point
    I really enjoyed reading this post. Welcome to the forum, I am really excited to see more of your content! As for a response, I only ever wondered why god could be jealous and we couldn't. I also always wondered why hell was even necessary, it seems cruel. It's only now that I see how many contradictory behaviors there are! "Perfect love casts out fear..." unless you're god and use fear to get people to love you. Apparently it is patient, doesn't envy or boast, not proud. It's not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs....except for if you're god and you keep a record of every wrong, lose your shit over an apple, create beings to boast your own glory, and will send these beings to eternal torment for not finding this behavior acceptable...Where is the patience and the self control and the forgiveness?
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    I hear the Trump administration is hiring!
  12. 0 points
    I believe there a real evil Satan and Jesus dieing on the cross for our sins I believe hes comeing back soon so is meaning for this word idgafism evil

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