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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/05/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    “Bowling leagues and birding are sure to be taken over by the religious here... and that is exactly the issue... there is no place that people in Texas do not feel like it's ok to want to put you on their prayer chain when you have a cold, if they don't want to just lay hands on you right there and claim your healing in Jesus name.“ I’d recommend picking up a vice. Something other people don’t do. Something that’s sure to scare off the religious. Have you tried coming out as gay? Worked for me.
  2. 3 points
    Howdy! My social circle disappeared after leaving church. I started doing things that I enjoyed and ended up finding a new circle of people. I'd call a few of them friends, most are still at a social level. About 12 years ago, I took voice lessons and at the nudge of a friend started singing at a jazz club, piano bars, jazz jams, and such. It was fun, scary, challenging, and got me out with other people doing creative things. There are a few Christian-Lite (mostly Catholic or Lutheran) people, but most are not. I've only encountered one mostly-fundy (who is an outstanding jazz singer) but that's rare. I never hear from the old crowd at all, or even most of my believer family. I'm fine with that for the most part. The cult has a lot more power down where you live, and is so part of the social culture that its hard to escape it. Besides bars, you might try the arts communities and see if you click with anything. Artists tend to think more freely.
  3. 2 points
    but, yeah, getting back to Hell. Obviously, the definition of Hell, and even it's very existence, mutated over time not due to further revelations from God, but because it became useful to keep the sheeple in the fold and further manipulate them.
  4. 2 points
    I came across a concise article on the invention of hell and thought that it would make a nice introduction to a thread for historic teachings about a place of suffering after death. "This article seeks to chart in particular the provenance of ideas regarding Hell, particularly how it came to be the everlasting inferno that many people in the West still envisage to be the eventual fate of the wicked." https://infidels.org/kiosk/article/the-invention-of-hell-939.html
  5. 2 points
    Another brief, quality intro to the invention of hell in audio/video:
  6. 2 points
    I left the Church of Christ, as well. I am in my late 50s, still pal around with relatives a bit -- some of them are pretty "churched up", but we can generally have a good time if we avoid religious topics. I have a good friend at work that I go to lunch with on weekdays. I get together with another friend from childhood every few months. Plus, i communicate with several "internet friends" from time to time. That pretty much satisfies my need for socializing! If you feel a need to reach out, try to find like-minded people on the interwebs! Ya never know -- some of them may be within driving distance....
  7. 2 points
    Your experience is pretty normal Blindfaith. I was Church of Christ. Shunning is just part of who they are, so our social structure disappeared when we left. Our situation is similar, I’m in my 70’s now and a non-believer but my wife is still a Christian. She’s a member of the Methodist Church now and they are pretty liberal and definitely not dogmatic. She has accepted my apostasy and it isn’t an issue any more. I haven’t made any effort to rebuild my social structure, because I live in the Bible Belt too so I know what that’s like. I’m retired and have no trouble finding things to keep me occupied. There are atheists groups everywhere if you want to find some likeminded folk.
  8. 1 point
    I am hoping someone here can relate and might even have some answers. Some background. I am 50+. I broke free of fundamentalist christianity more than five years ago after a lifetime of being everything from somewhat religious to over the top preachy christian wackadoodle. I was even involved in ministry for a minute... I am still married to a believer who does not accept my deconversion and hopes that with the right hocus pocus I will be brought back into the fold. The problem is that I am having trouble developing a life away from religion/church, which has always been at the epicenter of my friendships. I've found that making new friends at this age is not as effortless as it was in my youth when any roomie, neighbor, or coworker was a potential friend. It is also not helping that I live in the buckle of the bible belt, where nearly everyone is religious, most are christian, and 'I go to this or that church' is often the thing people share right after their name. It's also a disadvantage that I am an ex-christian, because unlike the garden variety heathen or those of another faith I am unlikely to be won or proselytized. In other words it's not that I don't know what I'm missing and what a great deal salvation is... While I am not advertising my deconversion with T-shirt and bumper stickers, I am also no longer interested in religious discussion and will either try to politely steer a conversation in another direction or quietly excuse myself.. Further complications are that I live a more rural/agrarian lifestyle, although I do work 'in town' so have some human contact, I just seem to be missing connection. I've thought about something like a UU church but I am not even particularly spiritual anymore. I tried joining a women's travel and adventure group but found the facebook events page loaded with prayer requests and disproportionately large number of the membership evangelize at events. Homesteader and farming groups- super religious. I've joked that even our local bars are full of christians. So... for those of you who have moved away from church attendance, etc., were you able to maintain old relationships on new terms? Find new friends? Learn to deal with being alone more? I'd love some suggestions. TIA
  9. 1 point
    Hello all, Glad to see that there are so many others who have left the oppressive regime of Christianity. I have noticed, not only here, but among ex-xtains in general that there seem to be two categories, Christian or atheist. While I fully respect Secular Humanist, I cannot believe that there is absolutely no supreme being. I am now of the Hindu faith and find it extremely liberating and with much spiritual latitude. When I ask a theological question, I am not told "not to question, just have faith". There is an answer somewhere and the faith welcomes questions. OK this is not an attempt to win Hindu adherents, but just an explanation as to how it has impacted me. I grew up in the notorious Bible Belt of the USA. My mom was EXTREMELY Christian but my dad was not at all. However he let mom have free reign in that aspect of our lives. My sis and I went to church EVERY Sunday, and were read Bible stories every night. I can remember dad condemning organized religion esp the Catholic church. Once he said that the church retarded the progress of science by thousands of years and that the church controlled the printing press in early ages, but mom had us so conditioned that we prayed for dad not to go to Hell. It never occurred to me until years later that he was correct. I feel lots of anger but mostly at myself for having been a Christian so long into my adult life. However the fact that I swallowed the whole cock and bull ultimately says more about me than it does Christianity. It leaves me to wonder why my powers of discernment are so lame. Actually though since age 24 I have had serious doubts about the truthfulness of the whole Jesus message. Something of which I had utmost faith to happen and for which I prepared myself did not materialize in all honesty was the "crack in the shell that eventually broke the egg". It never occurred to me to look elsewhere until I started taking yoga (which some Christians say is a sin in itself), that there was a viable alternative to the Bible myth. If any Hindu or other spiritual people are here feel free to PM me if you would prefer not to do so here. Welcome all comments Jag
  10. 1 point
    At least hi to anyone who gets this far. I was raised a baptist in a christian home in MS and maintained my faith until my early 50's. My conversion, or de-conversion, depending on one's point of view, was gradual, taking close to ten years. The beginnings of my transformation started roughly fifteen years ago when I attempted to outline my own apologetic. Eventually, An honest assessment of all I learned during this process forced me to conclude that the entire structure of my belief was built on an invisible foundation. Though it was hard at first, and there are still issues with family, I feel mentally freer than at any point in my christian life. Cheers, Moby
  11. 1 point
    Hey @BlindFaith, Finding/building a new social fabric is a toughy when one spouse is still a completely indoctrinated, over-the-top, no other life than Jebus, in-your-face, obnoxious funday-ass! (Where did THAT come from? ) I'm not social myself but Mrs. MOHO is the social director and she, her adult son from a previous marriage, his entire family, and a few Jesus freaky folk comprise the all of it. DougTucky co. OR is the Bible Belt of the Pacific Northwest and it's hard to avoid them here too. I think I'll just watch this thread and see if I can pick something up too.
  12. 1 point
    Thanks MOHO. I like your name!
  13. 1 point
    Thanks Destiny Turtle! Am trying
  14. 1 point
    Isn't this along the lines of William L Craigs argument developed from early church apologists about the most powerful being existing in all possible worlds? And because we can imagine a most powerful being in one possible world it must therefore exist in all possible worlds? Ah yes, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontological_argument I've never found this argument convincing in the slightest. By this logic if I imagine an all power dragon to exist, because this dragon exists in my mind then it must exist in reality. Bullocks!
  15. 1 point
    "It is well to note at once the nature of the argument; it is transcendental and not formally logical.  An argument for the existence of God based on formal logic would imply the ability to define God and arrive at a comprehensive rationality of all our experience. A transcendental argument on the contrary, is negative in so far that it reasons from the impossibility of the opposite." In short, god exists because god cannot not exist. Well... I'm convinced.
  16. 1 point
    Best idea yet! I haven't tried it... but there is this hot barista where I get my coffee in the morning
  17. 1 point
    "Religions and beliefs change over time." This is because they are the absolute, inerrant, word of God who, despite being perfect, changes his position over time because he did not get his position correct he first time. Or the second time, or... Poppycock. (I was unaware that flowers had... ) Anyway I experienced this first hand growing up LDS. We were told that blacks could not hold the priesthood because they farged up, royally, in the "pre-existence". Eventually they discontinued this racist practice as the world is an ever changing place and holding steadfast to these beliefs would do nothing to foster conversion from the black community. They explained the change, however, as enough blacks having been born and deceased that the glut of evil soles had now been purged. Yes all blacks, from now on, were OK!. Lest anyone get the wrong impression - I am not stating the Mormonism is wrong because it allows blacks in the priesthood but, rather, because it changed it's interpretation of scripture, and it's bylaws, due to human events - not God's supposed word.
  18. 1 point
    Thanks for sharing these, TF. The evidence that Hell is a concept that evolved through the millennia cannot be pointed out too often around here. Everyone who deconverts from Christianity has to deal with the issue at some point. Some of us - like myself - weren’t inclined to believe in Hell even when we were believers. But others start down the deconversion road but then are haunted by fear of Hell in the event that they’re wrong. One of the most valuable things we can do in this community is to ease and eventually dismiss those fears.
  19. 1 point
    Now Florduh, have you considered rituals and ceremonies that involve beer? Having been involved in a few such rituals and ceremonies, I heartily endorse the concept. (BTW, the Vikings made lots and lots of beer and even the kids drank it.)
  20. 1 point
    I've always advocated community college classes. While that doesn't filter out the fundies, there are also people there who are thinking and searching. A class related to a hobby interest might be a good choice.
  21. 1 point
    You are correct Blindfaith. The one thing organized religion excels at is socializing. They are great at building social net works and if you’re new in the community going to church will provide you an immediate list of potential new friends and contacts.That is because they have a recognized time and place to meet. Just show up and you’ll be warmly welcomed. Non-believers have a difficult time getting a significant number of like minded folks together at a specific time and place for a specific purpose. Therefore, their social networks, such as they are, tend to be loose and disorganized. Sites like this are helpful though.
  22. 1 point
    Welcome to X-Xian, @Moby! I'm so glad that you feel freer now! Cudos on the courage it took over the years to wake up to the truth
  23. 1 point
    Hello everyone I new to forum my name is Markus and l am a ex Christian I just wanted to ask for a newcomer is there any advice you would have for any new ex Christian because sometimes it hard because my family does not understand my position on Christianity
  24. 1 point
    I meant the idea of the old familiar church community, not the dogma or belief system. If everything from birding to bowling is infested with religious nuts, you'll just have to move! Or...... have you looked into meetup groups? Freethinker groups? Maybe even a Unitarian church might be a place to find people who aren't totally crazy. The arts is a good place to find freethinkers and non-religious people, so maybe a theater group? Good luck, it's a tough place to be.
  25. 1 point
    The overall problem, as I see it, is that, for christians, everything has to be defined within the context of christianity: charity, compassion, morality, peace (both internal and external), even logic and intellect. Truly hateful things are done in the name of Christian "love"; and horrific atrocities committed in the pursuit of christian "morality". It is reminiscent of the double-speak of 1984--"war is peace, freedom is slavery..." Their definitions are radically different from those understood by the rest of humanity; and some might describe them as fundamentally flawed.
  26. 1 point
    I get the idea. I assume humans have some sort of woo-woo gene that drives them to invent rituals and ceremonies. I lack that gene, so I probably don't belong in such discussions.
  27. 1 point
    Secular scholars have rational discussions about the Bible all the time. Rationality goes out the window when one party believes the Bible is the Word of God, infallible, an historical account or a science book. Without agreement on rules of evidence or how logic works the encounter is pointless aside from demonstrating the weakness of the Christian arguments to onlookers.
  28. 1 point
    Hi Serenely Blue - I haven't read too many threads that you were a part of, but I did see one thread where you were treated pretty badly and I felt sad for you. Glad you're back.
  29. 1 point
    The question presupposes the existence of Satan and a claim that this satan can deceive. You might want to start with establishing the existence of Satan as a real entity, then establishing that it has the ability to deceive in the manner which you are asking about, before asking if NDE's could be a result of said satanic deceptions. Since my research leads me to conclude that Satan is entirely a human construct I can rule out any satanic connection with NDE's unless evidence shows otherwise. @midniterider We were discussing NDE's in another thread. Got any take on this?
  30. 1 point
    I see. Now I'm wondering if epilepsy isn't actually demon possession. Abrahamic theology really fucks with people.
  31. 1 point
    I too struggled with this. I call it a vicious circle. You're trying to break free from Christianity by turning to your Christian beliefs (brainwashing) for answers. It literally took me years to overcome it. I finally figured out how irrational it is. I couldn't find any rationale, answers or comfort in prayer. You're commisioned to think that you're incapable of overcoming things without god. However, you can do a whole lot more than you could ever imagine. You need to look inside yourself and come to the realization that god has never truly helped you in any way, quite simply because, he isn't there. It's been you the entire time. With that realization you begin to break free of Christianity's brainwashing.
  32. 1 point
    Many of us also prayed, fasted, claimed promises, quoted scriptures, "bound" the devil, etc, and nothing ever happened. The one reason for this is that there is no god there to hear us, no spirit creature cares if we go without food, none of the promises in scripture or any of the many stories of miracles are true they are all just stories, there is no devil or god just religions galore and nothing to make the magic real. It is a sad thing that so many humans are intent on convincing others that all the stories are real and trustworthy, that billions are spent annually on making churches and sending people all over the world to preach fairy tales. If instead all that energy was put into helping our neighbors, feeding the hungry, visiting the lonely, and so on, how much better humanity would be. None of the crystals, spells, tarot readings, and other things that are supposed to be magic have worked either, but people continue to insist that it's all got validity. I'm sorry that you are in pain. I'm sorry that the church promised you help and then gave you bullshit that didn't work. I'm sorry that all we can give you here are words. I hope the words can help you find a bit of strength in yourself. You are the one that has lasted through all of this, and all of the fake promises of help. You are the one that has lasted, demonstrating more strength that you may realize you have. Still, it sucks to have to be strong all the time. I don't even know how many real friends I have after years of associating with people. There are probably two or three out of several I know. The rest are good acquaintances, but I wouldn't be able to share anything deep with them.
  33. 1 point
    If God isn't helping then talk to a human being. Humans are often quite helpful when God just doesnt seem to care.
  34. 0 points
    I’m still praying nightly and daily despite no answers. I ask for help and to stop things from continuously happening.. to stop the pain.. I ask for god to respond..I ask him to comfort me. Of course none of this happens .... I feel desperate and still somehow still believe inside. I just can’t stop this. What can I do..?
  35. 0 points
    This is a photo I downloaded from a Christian's profile online. (Basically it's this Christian's mascot for God) Look at this picture for a while, imagine what that fundy is doing to this little girl's mind. Will this fucking religious madness ever end?


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