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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/28/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Ex Christian Forum Dear friends, My name is Danny and I’ve been reading your forum for some time now. I was never a Christian but was a believer in God for most of my life. In fact, I’m Jewish, and for a few years up until recently I was a practicing, orthodox Jew. Even though I was never a Christian, Christianity profoundly changed my life. You see, almost four years ago I met the the love of my life. My neighbor set us up. She knew my girlfriend from church, and knew me since we lived a few doors down from each other. Our first date was magical. Things flowed and we connected. We fell in love and I was the happiest I’d ever been. I thought finally I had found the one. I always dreamed of this relationship with this girl. Being 35 at the time, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get a chance at such a relationship. We couldn’t see each other enough. We could talk, and we could hold each other in silence for hours on end. It didn’t matter. We did everything together. I couldn’t love her more than I did. She became the center of my world. I knew she was a devout, evangelical Christian from very early on. And she knew I wasn’t. I told her that I was a strong believer in God, and that seemed to be enough at the beginning. The night I told her this, we were on a date, and as we walked she reached out and held my hand for the first time. I’d never experienced this before in life. No girl had ever done such a thing to me. Everything felt so right. I told her I thought her faith was beautiful. I was open to changing my religious beliefs, as I’m an open minded person and really didn’t know anything about Judaism or Christianity at the time. I also realized quickly that I wanted to marry her, and in order to do so had to become a Christian like her. So my journey began. I dived into the Christian faith with all my heart. Together with her and on my own. We attended church together and prayed together, and I read countless books and articles about Christianity. I kept getting close to finding Christianity to be true, but would backslide with small doubts. As a Jew, I had this pull to hear why Jews over the millennia didn’t accept Christian beliefs. Were we missing something, I thought? Surely we were, as there were billions of Christians in the world. How could they all be wrong. How could my love be wrong? She had lived her entire life with Christianity at the center, loving Jesus in the deepest recesses of her existence. Needing him more than anything for all the reasons Christians do. Over the course of our relationship, I continued my studies and devotion to prayer, asking God to make things click so I could marry the girl of my dreams, have kids, and live this amazing life we all dream of with our person. But the doubts swirled, becoming stronger and stronger. Was hell real? Was my non-Christian family all going to hell? My grandfather, a pediatrician who saved thousands of childrens’ lives during his life, was he in hell? Did I really need Jesus to die for my sins? Were the authors of the New Testament being honest in their writings? Did history support the Christian faith? Did the Hebrew Bible support the claims of Christianity when studied from the Jewish perspective? During time alone, my feelings overwhelmed me as I knew things were unraveling. I had to drink to calm my nerves knowing that I was soon going to lose my girlfriend. I kept the relationship going for a time, hoping maybe she would examine her beliefs critically, but it wasn’t happening. Finally one day as we held each other on my couch, 8 months into our relationship, I broke down. I began to weep uncontrollably, telling her about the lies in the New Testament. There were so many. I don’t remember much more from that day, other than telling her I’d walk away with no questions asked, so she could find a Christian guy and be happy. That’s all I wanted was for her to be happy. She didn’t want that, she wanted me she said. She wanted to understand what I had learned. I thought there may be hope that she would see what I did, that Christianity wasn’t true. We kept going another month, but we fought. We tore each other to pieces. She couldn’t doubt Jesus. It became Jesus or me. And eventually I told her it was over, that we had to end our relationship. I fell to my knees and sobbed. We both did, holding each other sobbing for hours. Leaving her that night felt like the Universe was imploding, and forever changed our lives. I’ve never been so crushed emotionally. In the wake of all this, I was angry. I left books at her door, such as “Why Jews Rejected Jesus” and others. I wrote her letters saying how much I despised Christianity and that she was living a lie. How the NT was full of hate towards me, a Jew, that it was responsible for so much hate, death and suffering over the last 2000 years. I had become unglued. I hurt her more than I can imagine. Who had I become? I dived into Judaism, becoming an orthodox Jew. It gave me some respite from the inner turmoil I was experiencing, a drug that lessened the pain. I felt Judaism was the best antidote to Christianity. Jews could destroy the Christian faith and New Testament. I still believe this. I had to prove to the world that Christianity was false by living out Judaism. Maybe somehow that would bring her back. But it didn’t. She wasn’t coming back. She shut me out of her life completely. Blocking my texts and calls. I couldn’t see me when I looked in the mirror anymore. Who was this person, full of anger and rage? My innocence was gone, my kindness and gentleness gone. Only anger remained. It’s been three years since the end of my relationship and a year since leaving orthodox Jewish practice. I needed to get back to being me. The person who loves people, smiles, loves adventure and the outdoors. The person who wants the most out of life and to make a positive difference for others, and who lives with joy. And a person who can love again, as I know how important it is to love and be loved. I decided to write this finally because the truth is, I’m still struggling. I’m still heartbroken that I lost her over a huge lie, the biggest in history. I miss my ex so much. I love her so much despite everything that happened. I know nothing is her fault. Everything the result of her upbringing that makes her who she is. I recently saw her unexpectedly, and it was hard. I told her I missed her and thought about her alot, and that I was so sorry. I cried. I want to move on, I want to stop dwelling on everything, and move forward. It’s been hard to find people to talk to, since most of my friends are Christians or believers in God, or just have their own lives. The forum has provided me with some comfort, a knowledge that others understand. I needed to write this to someone in order to continue to heal, and let things out. I’m an atheist now, I don’t see any reason to believe any of it, especially with the suffering in the world. I like being a secularist, following evidence in search for truth and doing my best to reduce suffering in this world. I know it’s the right thing for the future. Any words of encouragement or ideas to get over my lost love would be great. I’ve dated some, but it hasn’t been the same. I’ll keep working at it. Thanks for taking the time to read this it has helped to get it all down on paper.
  2. 3 points
    Clay, I am guessing you, like I was, born into christianity. Into a set of assumptions about christianity taught to you by family, church, and the society around you. I even attended 2 Christian colleges. Was taught the Bible was the inerrant word of god, the source of pure truth, and to question it would endanger my soul. And other religions were false. But at one point it dawned on me that if I had been born in a different country, which primarily followed a different religion, to parents and extended family who were very devoted to that religion, I would be just as devoted to that religion, thinking Christianity was a "false" religion. Unless you have good knowledge of all religions and Gods, and the history of religions and gods, how do you know which one is the true one? While my friends were praying for more faith in Jesus, God, and the bible, I prayed to God to help me find the TRUTH about religions and gods. After 20 years of honest study I finally decided all gods are myths. The New Testament was brought to you by the Catholic church, who was killing people, and burning scripture that didn't agree with them. Not by a bunch of "holy" Jesus followers who loved their enemies and prayed for them. I think Jesus probably existed, but was made into what the Catholics wanted him to be. And, by the way, Jesus wasn't officially declared divine until 325 AD. If you are basing your faith on the christian Bible, and haven't done a rational study of how it came to you, and with an open mind, of the history of all gods and religions, you are like a person studying the tail of an elephant, and thinking you understand the whole animal. Religions with "supreme god heads" are the largest superstitions in the world. How do you know you have the truth if you haven't looked at all the available evidence??
  3. 2 points
    I have no proof a dog walked through my yard. Now I have live life knowing that my failure to be able to do so doesn't matter one whit whatsoever. Well, except, now I have to take it on faith that a particular dog, not just any dog mind you but a very special dog, walked through my yard in the past. This dog loved me and continues to love me to this day. It's already dead, of course, but when I die I will go walkies with this dog unless I fail to believe it walked in my yard. mwc
  4. 2 points
    Interesting here. Jesus from the Bible was said to have performed numerous miracles in front of masses of crowds. Healings, ressurections, materialisations. I fail to see modern day preachers of any denomination with that kind of activity. :). Of course I know some apologetics to this.
  5. 2 points
    How can you tell a vegan? You don’t have to; they'll tell you. Over and over.
  6. 2 points
    I shouldn't have to 'believe' in miracles. Maybe just observe or experience one.
  7. 2 points
    I have long harboured the hope that this current frenzy of American fundagelicalism might, in fact, be the final death twitches of christianity here.
  8. 2 points
    My preconceived bias was FOR the supernatural. I was raised and thoroughly indoctrinated into Christianity and I had no desire whatsoever to leave it. If I was merely following my preconceived bias, then I would still be a Christian. My loss of faith has absolutely nothing to do with preconceived bias and everything to to with the overwhelming weight of the evidence.
  9. 2 points
    No, what christians understand is that this so called intentional double symbolism is feed to them as if true, when, reading it objectively starts to show a pattern. You can literally go into the bible right now and cut and paste out of context sentences here and there and claim that they are referring to someone or something now, when, they were never referring to that someone or something now but someone or something contemporary to the writers and writing. The young maiden and the child named Immanuel were contemporary references to contemporary people. For Matthew (anonymous writer) to then look through the scriptures, see that, and claim: 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”). It's a very convoluted claim. Completely out of context. The prophet was talking about something that was already fulfilled back in the preceding chapter of Isaiah, not hanging around waiting to be fulfilled nor being fulfilled twice - once in the contemporary period and then again way in the future. It's no wonder that the jews scoffed at these claims. They are ridiculous claims. In fact, they are as ridiculous to jews as are the claims of mormons to christians. It's complete made up and evident fantasy. Both being guilty of the same twisting and manipulating of some previous religious framework to suite their own agenda. It's all black and white obvious when the blinders come of. You have the blinders firmly attached though.....
  10. 1 point
    "You do not believe in miracles | Bible | God because you have a preconceived bias against the supernatural." I hear this statement come up a lot when theists are debating agnostics/atheists, it really becomes tiresome. There are actually two arguments I have against this statement, and I think my second argument has more power to put theists into an apologetic stranglehold than the first. Here is my first objection to the bias against supernatural statement: It is not a matter of taking a predetermined stance against the supernatural, it is the mere fact that there is not good evidence to support the idea the supernatural exists. In my opinion, theists believe agnostics/atheists do not buy into the supernatural merely because they secretly hate God, or even the idea of a God. According to theists, those outside of religion are there because they want to live in sin, or they were hurt by the church, etc. In their mind, they just cannot reconcile the idea that people are not in the church because they find the evidence to be illogical and contradictory. Consider how many different versions of Jesus/God we hear from various apologetics. My favorite being “God is love.” Based on our observable reality, I just do not see how that is possibly true. At any given moment, there are thousands of living organisms experiencing pain and suffering. Children are being raped, tortured, and murdered. If what Christians say is true, and that God is all-knowing, then what exactly is he doing when these heinous acts are being carried out…shrugging his shoulders? Is that love, is that how anyone would even describe love, let alone the standard of maximum love – sounds like divine apathy. How can you say you love someone, but yet not act consistently to ensure their safety and well-being? In the Bible, some NT writers comment that God chastises his children as a good father would do. Dare they push that analogy too far. What good father lets his children starve to death? What good father sits by while his children are abused? So really, the father analogy does not make it past punishment to correct behavior. Anything beyond that, it simply does not work nor is applicable. Really, I am just scratching the surface of anti-apologetics with my argument against the God of love. I could write a book on the various discrepancies I hear from Christians. Most of which cannot keep their own theology straight. I have yet to meet a Christian who presents a systematic way of thinking about the Christian God, or the Bible, without contradicting themselves at some point in time, usually sooner than later. My second rebuttal to the claim nonbelievers are biased against the supernatural is that often times, I wish there was a supernatural. I wish there was an all-powerful being who would be able to handle the problems I find overwhelming. How about climate change? “Carbon emissions causing global warming – I got you fam” – God. I do not like the idea that everything in this life is so tentative. There are so many variables outside of my control. I would much prefer divine protection and guidance – if there was such a being inclined to provide these things. There are definitely some comforts I lost as I came to terms the world most likely is naturalistic. While a believer, I used to think that if I kept my head down and tried to do the right thing, then things would never get too bad, maybe a significant inconvenience, but nothing heinous. I used to think that people who really suffered somehow brought it upon themselves. Now I know that you never know if something absolutely terrible will happen to you or the ones you love. Plenty of people are born into this world, live shit lives, and then die. That is it, end of story. And frankly, that sucks. I wish things were not that way. I wish there was some justice in an afterlife. I wish that people who suffered in this life could find peace in a next one, but once again, there is no good reason to believe any of that is true. At the end of the day, the universe is cold, hard, and unforgiving. Reality more often than not, is disappointing. Perhaps many people find a naturalistic worldview comforting, I do not. But it is the reality I have to contend with. I would much prefer a universe where a loving God was in control. It would look a lot different than the world around us.
  11. 1 point
    25 minutes: 15:50 - kind of funny 17:40 - interesting how we incorrectly describe ourselves
  12. 1 point
    I'd say if you want me to believe some extraordinary claim then just show me some evidence. Actual evidence, not a Bible verse or a quote from Joel Osteen. Requiring good reason to believe something is not a bias, it is clear thinking.
  13. 1 point
    Welcome Danny. Im so sorry for you as i have experienced the loss of someone who i should have been with through the faith virus. Its made harder by the fact its based on the biggest con in history. Hang in there buddy. It gets easier.
  14. 1 point
    I think the Google generation will continue the decline of religion just due to how easy it is to fact check claims. People searching for bible references or any apologetic preacher will always find counter arguments and clear evidence against the claims. Education reduces religion and technology improves education. We just need to help the third world get more education and the religious growth in those places will start to reverse.
  15. 1 point
    Tao: The Watercourse Way and This Is It were early influences. People here talk about “woo” with varying degrees of skepticism; but even if you don’t believe it, or aren’t sure if you believe it or not, some woo just feels good.
  16. 1 point
    It is said that vegetarian is an old Indian word. Means "poor hunter."
  17. 1 point
    I'm not Vegan (wouldn't that mean someone from Vega?), quite the BBQ cook actually. But I've had several Vegan meals that were outstanding. There was a burrito shop in the town where I grew up that was vegan, but I didn't even realize until someone said so because it was so damn good. I've also been to some Indian places that had really tasty stuff. Surprisingly, our friends from Calcutta tell us that their region is distinct in not being vegetarian. They have a great appreciation for good meat, and doubly so after working in Iowa for years (lots of excellent BBQ). As far as a philosophy, I haven't seen anything compelling for humans. We have canine teeth, and so far as history shows we've always been omnivores. I know some that couldn't bear the thought of an animal suffering for their food. But nature is replete with examples of animals from birds to lions killing and eating other living creatures. Some don't even bother to kill their prey, they just catch it, start eating, and the prey eventually dies. Lots of things eat humans also, since we are often easy to catch. Life eats life, always has. That's one explanation I've heard for "why aren't more life forms evolving from dirt?" The answer is that there may actually be such things, but they are quickly eaten by other existing bugs and bacteria. Humans can get a single amoeba up a nostril, and it eats through to the brain and multiplies until the person is dead. No malice, the person is simply food and can't fight off the attack.
  18. 1 point
    Even if Jesus was an actual person, I think he got fabricated into something he wasn't.
  19. 1 point
    As are all religions. The largest misconceptions ever released on the world.

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