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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/19/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Remember the story where Paul started a fight between the Pharisees and Sadducees? It's in Acts 23. He used the fact that the Sadducees didn't believe in a resurrection to get them into an argument and get himself out of a jam. There are a number of passages in the Gospels and in Acts that make it clear that the Sadducees didn't believe in any sort of afterlife. It's presented as strange, and just plain wrong, but why? Because by the time of the NT most Jews did believe in such things. So why not the Sadducees? The answer is simple: It was unscriptural! Christians today look at the NT and impose it on the OT, but in the 1st century there was no NT! The Sadducees read their Bible, which is, in general, what we call the Old Testament, and there was nothing in there about Hell, and nothing about people going to Heaven or anywhere else when they died. Heaven was where the god lived, and that's it. This makes it obvious that the Jews had picked up the idea of life-after-death sometime "between the testaments." It's proof that Judaism evolved, and Christians just started with 1st century Judaism and mixed in other things. My point is this: Among the things that make it clear that the Bible isn't some perfectly consistent book, but rather, and assemblage of beliefs about a god/gods, is this total lack of any belief in life after death in the Old Testament. It's all speculation, and none of it is real. Jehovah isn't real. Jesus, if there ever was such a person, wasn't a god. There's no Holy Spirit that can be "blasphemed." And there's no such thing as Hell that people should be afraid of it. If I understand correctly, the original thinking of the Jews was that their oppressors would go to Hell. Christianity turned it into a place a person would wind up, not if they were bad, but if they merely didn't believe the right things. That belief is a big part of Christianity's success as a meme, so it's no surprise that you would have the fear -- but don't! It's bogus. You only have to take one step back to see that there's no such place, in exactly the same way there are no such things as ghosts, spirits, angels, demons, gods, or any other sorts of minds without bodies. The speculation about a place of eternal torment is a very powerful mental device, but that's all it is -- a scare tactic that evolved organically and helped a religion to survive. Hope this helps.
  2. 2 points
    I'll be sticking around this time for sure. Guess I had to find out the hard way that it's not a quick process. I will definitely be contacting them. Looks like they also have some group meetups which sounds great to me. The closest one is about 80 miles from me, but it's probably worth the drive. Thank you. I will be keeping in touch, and I'm really glad to have this place. The people around me are generally supportive, but it doesn't seem like they understand exactly where I'm coming from, so groups like this are very important to me. Thank you very much for the suggestions. I'm willing to try anything.
  3. 2 points
    Hi cb1500. I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time. Although I've experienced deconversion of course, as we all have here, I've never suffered from anxiety as some others have. I'm just not prone to anxiety, whether it's Nature or Nurture or whatever, but I know it's very real for a lot of people. I see where you were only very briefly active here at Ex-C, three years ago, and then disappeared. Of course nobody is under any obligation to stick around, but I think it is important for many. Deconversion experiences are as varied as the people who have them, but one thing I can say for sure is that's a process, not an event like changing channels on a TV. It often takes years for religious faith to lose its grip on your mind. For me and for many others, that process was helped by hanging out here in these forums. Although I was already no longer a Christian when I first posted here (also around three years ago, as it happens), I've progressed since then, my deconversion has deepened, and I became ever more at home in my new view of life and the world. So I'd suggest that you become a regular visitor here and absorb some of the ex-Christian "vibe", maybe. I do hope you get professional help, and I strongly support LogicalFallacy's recommendation that you contact the folks at Recovering from Religion. They've walked the walk and can understand what you've been though, and unlike me and the others here, they've been trained to help people. In the meantime, you could do a lot worse than make sure you get vigorous exercise and eat well, and spend time outdoors, in sunshine if possible. And of course get good rest, if you can. Some of the best things in life really are free. We're here for you man. We understand each other in a way that others can't. Keep in touch, OK?
  4. 1 point
    And let this be an example to viewers of this site as to why so many of us left religion. It gave us a false hope. If that works for you - so be it. For those who would rather confront reality, either by choice or because reality is thrust upon all of us, kudos!
  5. 1 point
    The death of a child is always horribly tragic. I pity the parents, but this delusional "false hope" is something that raises my ire. I wish that they would stop this idiocy and get on with the natural grieving process.
  6. 1 point
    Redding... I was there when the preacher I promoted (David Hogan) preached about raising the dead and how he'd seen it 21 times, plus every part of the body healed or replaced. Charismatics eat that shit UP because it seems to validate their frustrating relationship with their powerless invisible friend who controls the universe. We did the same thing in Portland's largest church (City Bible) when a beloved underling pastor died. I think it was 48 hours of prayer and fasting in the presence of the body. I brought handkerchiefs that had been prayed over by Hogan and his men, and that they anointed with oil. The body stayed cold and dead. When healing doesn't happen, Hogan would harp on being even more committed since that is the only thing that looses the power of god. The more obvious answer is that we were in a cult worshiping an imaginary friend, reading aloud the stories from a book of myths and expecting reality. But when a room full of people gets going in worship, one can feel all kinds of "manifestations" that seem to validate the reality of spiritual power. Not sure if it is group hypnosis/hysteria of a sort, or what exactly. But the dead stay dead, amputees stay amputees even if you feel "power".
  7. 1 point
    Why would Jebus care to know when I scratch my balls next? A lot of wasted knowledge, imo.
  8. 1 point
    I'm not sure I'm following your reasoning here. I think I stated earlier that it's not an assumption, but a logical conclusion. The assumptions are: God exists, God is all knowing, and God gave humans free will. We are also assuming Omnipotence. All these are unproven assumptions, and unprovable that is true. That does not prevent us applying logic to these assumptions are reaching the conclusion that the God as described, and free will are logically contradictory. One can imagine a God that knows everything but cannot cause anything, and another God that is omnipotent but not all knowing. In that that case the omnipotent God could give humans free will, while the omniscient God knows what will happen and this won't cause any logical contradictions... I think. I haven't thought about it - it just popped into my head now. Maybe I need to more carefully define the problem because I think you are just thinking about some random God that might know what you will do, as opposed to the specific all knowing God that knows the hairs on your head type. And knew everything you'd ever do before he set in motion the events/creation that would lead to you doing it.
  9. 1 point
    You could contact Recovering from Religion. I understand they have trained professionals to deal with exactly what you are going through. Probably better than a doctor or just general secular therapist because they are specifically trained for dealing with religious trauma. They've got live chat function, ability to phone call etc. It probably should have been my first suggestion in hindsight - I know about these guys, don't know why I didn't immediately recommend it. But I am now - give these folks a call or contact them via website. https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/ (phone 1-844-368-2848)
  10. 1 point
    Bart Ehrman thinks he was a person who got mythologized; Richard Carrier thinks he was a myth entirely. It doesn't really matter because either way it ends up myth. You can find some youtube videos that explain it, but I don't think it's worth worrying about any more than stressing about whether Zeus is mad you didn't sacrifice to him this week.
  11. 1 point
    I know you feel drawn to it, but you must stop exposing yourself to their lies and brainwashing. First, why not try to prove to yourself that a god actually exists. Is that god the Bible god? Did he create a hell for his creation? Do you know the Jews don't believe in hell and neither do some Christians? Forget the apologist "arguments." Do they have any actual evidence or just certain Bible verses and Christian authors/preachers to prove their point? No, they do not.
  12. 1 point
    A VERY GOOD POINT! Children tend to bring out the engrained values, and can change the game plan.
  13. 1 point
    Having been near a volcano and sulfur springs, I can vouch for this. It would scare the crap out of me if I didn't know what it was all about. How else would you explain it 2000 years ago? Many other things that were ascribed to gods have been proven to be natural events with specific, measurable causes including the wind, rain and thunder. What would they have thought if you could go back in time and fly over them in a helicopter? Quit reading that bullshit. And if you get too stressed before your local counselor appointment, call this national help line: 1-800-273-8255. They're there 24/7. It's a secular hotline that anyone under stress is welcome to call. It was founded by the federal government, works with the VA, and gets evaluated by a foundation at Columbia University, so I feel comfortable suggesting it.
  14. 1 point
    I Highly doubt that you blasphemed God. Some Christians think that saying "God Damn" "holy shit" or "Jesus fucking Christ" are ways to blaspheme God or "the holy ghost". Others say that blaspheming the Holy Ghost is denying the call of the Holy Ghost for Salvation. I started researching this subject when I was christian looking up key words in the strongs Hebrew/greek dictionary. In the old testament it is worded that "Thou shalt not take the Lords name in vain and that anyone who Takes the Lords name in vain will not be held guiltless." If you look up the words Take and Vain, Take means to lift up and Vain means nothingness, lies, deceit. So then its "Thou shalt not lift up the Lords name in Lies, Deceit, and vanity. Fast forward to the new testament where it says anyone who Blasphemes the Holy ghost can not be forgiven. It is the exact same thing. The only way you can blaspheme the Holy Ghost is to say the Holy Ghost sent you to do something Evil. It happens all the time in cults. Ministers saying that God or the Holy ghost wants them to take your daughters virginity, or take your wife to be his, etc. That is Blaspheming the Holy Ghost and taking the Lords name in vain. It is kind of ridiculous to think that denying the pull of the "holy ghost" (which is all in your imagination anyway BTW) would be unforgivable. Most people do that a few times before they actually can't stand the guilt anymore and commit their lives. If you did it once you wouldn't be able to get "saved" that next time would you? LOL. So odds are you have not committed this sin anyway. Most people haven't even if they actually think they have. On another note, The bible is filled with brainwashing guilt trips that mess with your head. The whole prospect of a Fire and Brimstone hell didn't come into play until the new testament. After the region had been heavily influences by greek mythology and other religions with dark underworlds. There is no Hell to fear. Just don't get near a volcano and you'll never have to worry about what it feels like under the earths mantel. It was just how their mythology developed to explain volcanoes, sulfur springs, etc. To them these natural phenomena became something supernatural because they didn't have the years of scientific research we have today. Anchor your fears and Beliefs in proven fact and not in silly stories from thousands of years ago, written by ignorant people. Lets think about this logically as well. If you have this fear so badly why would you want to kill yourself? That would be like taking a high speed express ticket straight to where your afraid of going. Live your life. Don't be afraid of all these things that are just the trappings to control the people of past civilizations. It was all political propaganda to instill these fears that you have so the people would always be obedient to their rulers. The rulers controlled the scripture and their ticket to heaven. Life is a beautiful thing my friend and you should make the most of it. A book that brainwashes it's readers to the point of feeling the way you do, isn't a book worth reading. If that is God's word, I have no use for such a God or his word. I hope you find peace with this and are able to move on, living a long fruitful life as an ExChristian. Sincerly, DB
  15. 1 point
    Fear of hell is one of the biggest hurdles. I would encourage you, as you've already stated you will, to seek professional help as we are not trained professionals. What we can do is try and answer questions you may have about hell... which actually sounds to me an extraordinary concept because I don't believe hell exists. So I'm literally answering questions about an imagined bad place. And I think that's a key - once you realise hell is imaginary and doesn't exist, the fear of it should subside. There is another great video by another person about the history of how the idea of hell came about - that might help you to understand how this imagined place got written about. Hmm there are a few, and I haven' listened to them so I'm loathe to post them here, but this video about a conversation that Alley43 had with a scared Christian is good.
  16. 1 point
    It is all nonsense. Watch this: (I made it, yes it needs updating and I can do better, but it gets the point across hopefully)
  17. 1 point
    Interesting! You've reminded me of something that has not been with me for over 50 years of happy marriage. But I do distinctly remember travelling on a train with my girlfriend (who bacame my wife) and I quizzed her about whether she was a Christian. I was a fundamentalist and she was fully involved in a more liberal church. Of course, I now think "What an awful cheek, she should have dumped me straightaway". I'm so glad she didn't. The 'confrontation' was not a problem in reality. I only tell this story to add to the point that young people who are 'very Christian' (and who are not open-minded towards other Christians) can be so pig-headed (with apologies to pigs). So honesty and openness are essential I believe.
  18. 1 point
    The fact that she is “very Christian” concerns me. I think my perspective as a member of the Unequally Yoked club may be helpful.... I often attend Catholic Mass with my wife. We were both raised Catholic but both ended up in the Church of Christ, where we met. While I was in the process of deconverting, my wife wanted to start going to a Catholic Church again. This works much better for me as a non-believer. The mass is very ritualized and doesn’t include personal witnessing or other hallmarks of fundamentalist churches. We go in, go through the Mass, then leave. I enjoy the beauty of this particular church so it’s not unpleasant for me, even though I believe none of the theology. I remain silent during the Apostles’ Creed. The sermon (known as a Homily in Catholicism) sometimes contains wisdom and sometimes irritates or amuses me. I don’t take offense easily. I expect the priest to be Catholic; don’t bother me none. I don’t ever go forward to take communion. I feel no pressure to be anybody other than who I am. And there’s my main point: that wouldn’t be possible if we attended a fundamentalist church. If I showed a lack of passion for Jesus, I’d likely come under scrutiny and if my non-belief became known, I’d become a target of a major drive to save my soul. I couldn’t stay around for that. And of course if my wife were fundamentalist herself, she’d either have to cope with the thought of me being headed to Hell, or else she’d have to abandon fundamentalism. One or the other. Even in my situation, I still worry that my wife’s faith could metastasize into a more virulent form that couldn’t tolerate my unbelief. So even at its best there’s risk for you in becoming involved with a Christian lady. And if she really is a fundamentalist, then it doesn’t look good at all. Unless you’re willing to fully embrace the faith. I wish you the best.
  19. 1 point
    I’d say leave it alone too. If they are open to questioning Christianity in any way, knowing that you no longer go to church may lead them to ask you questions of their own accord. If they are not, they likely won’t, and might even resent you bringing it up. But most likely they aren’t open to questioning so they’ll either not bring it up or they’ll try to bring you back to the Lord. Best thing you could do, in my opinion, would be to bear silent witness that you are good and contented without religion.

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