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  1. Hello allI wasn’t sure where to post this so I hope it is ok here. I have been (though see below) a Christian for about 30 years (I am 53, today actually), and I am terrified of hell (specifically, the lake of fire). I have wanted to leave Christianity because the last 10+ years have been terrible. Not every day, but enough that I had to do something. The anxiety is literally ruining my life and I can’t cope with it. I was happy being a Christian, but then, I thought I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit back in November 2010. I just thought up a bad thought/image for no apparent reason - what therapists might call an 'Intrusive Thought'. After that, as I say, it all changed for me and Christianity became a fearful thing. On the 15th July 2021, I had a therapy session and I said to the therapist, when I first got into Christianity, I didn’t know it was true, but I decided to become a Christian for various reasons. If you had put a gun to my head and said “tell me what you really believe”, and you knew whether or not I would be lying, I would have admitted I did not think Christianity was true – but hoped it was. Today I realise, I still think Christianity probably isn’t true, only, instead of thinking, “Christianity probably isn't true - but I hope it is”, I now think “Christianity probably isn't true - but I fear it is.” Then it struck me - if that's the case - I have never really believed it was true. Truth is, I really do not know, either way. I really do not know if it is true, and I really do not know if it is not true. But I think it probably is not true. Even if all my anxiety was removed for a minute, so that it would not influence my thinking, this is what I would honestly think. I never wanted any of this. I was once a happy Christian, with the hope of an afterlife. Over the years I ended up being a member of two churches (at different times of course), and I read the Bible a couple of times, studied the Bible on my own, studied as part of a midweek church group, and I prayed and tried to live a Christian life. But the anxiety has been so bad I reached the point where I felt I could not carry on like this; the suffering was simply too much. Just to clarify, I am not really saying it is definitely not true. I can’t make that claim (just like I cannot say it definitely is true). I think I’m saying deep down, I mean, really deep down, when it comes to it, I honestly don’t know – but I think it’s probably not true. Here is the salient part: If that is how I really think, if that is what I really believe (and I think it is), and God exists, then God already knew this before even I realised it. I might have been able to hide the fact from myself but I never did nor ever could hide it from God. In that respect, seeing as God already knows this, there is no longer any point pretending things are different. God already knew and knows I think Christianity probably isn't true. I am not sure what happens next, but I do feel a bit better. That said, I also feel anxious, sometimes, quite a bit anxious. But I cannot deny what I believe any longer. Having done a little research, I think I would be classed as an Agnostic-Atheist. And guess what? I now find myself worrying Islam might be true. I am serious. If there actually is a God, I hope they understand that I am sorry it came to this (as I said earlier, there was a time I was happy as a Christian). I could not take the anxiety anymore. I persevered for over 10 years. But in the end it was too much. I hope this gets easier.
    6 points
  2. My ex christian beliefs are as follows in 10 simple points, each of which has been the focus of one debate / discussion or another around here: 1 ) I believe that all religions are man made social constructs geared towards politicizing ancient mythology and folklore. 2 ) I believe that no one really knows with certainty the answer to the question of origins or destination. 3 ) I believe that the bible is demonstrably false from the outset as a guide to the truth of the universe or the human condition. 4 ) I believe that anything basing itself on the assumption that the bible is true is automatically false, as the bible is demonstrably false. 5 ) I believe that morality is an evolved concept which continues to evolve and has never been static or handed down from on high. 6 ) I believe that the morality of the biblical writings is long since outdated and mostly irrelevant to modern society. 7 ) I believe that modern scholarship has revealed the truth about the biblical writings and the evolving theistic concepts contained therein. 8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and christianity, through counter apologetics. 9 ) I believe that as painful as it may be at times, it's ultimately for the greater good that christianity and similar religions are losing membership and declining into the future under the weight of their own growing lack of relevance. 10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need organized religions in the contemporary period in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along according the standards of modern society. What do you believe????
    5 points
  3. Yes. My deconversion was a brutal, four year long catastrophe. Although I am better for having had the experience, I would not wish it on anyone else. In retrospect, I can honestly say that I did not have the strength, fortitude, or wherewithal to endure such a struggle. I think I only survived it out of stubbornness and defiance. You are where you are, dude. Learn to live there and don't worry so much about getting to some other "place" in life.
    5 points
  4. Very well, Semi-Wise. You are welcome to stay; you are no longer welcome to be heard. Your comments will now require moderator approval before they are posted. If you're still interested in martyrdom, I'd recommend Foxe's Book. Have a nice day.
    5 points
  5. Thank you for the support TABA, thank you all, I really do appreciate it. This site is my greatest means of support and I’m glad and fortunate it exists. I’ve been in some horrendous situations where the suffering was so bad. I’m not sure what I would have done if this site wasn’t available. Might have had a break down or something. I might have had one to some extent. Anyway, in my opinion there are no strangers here, only friends I haven’t met yet. As they say, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’.
    4 points
  6. Hi SeaJay, I’m delighted to hear this! I’m not completely surprised, to be honest. Your decision to finally step away from Christianity once and for all is something you’ve been wanting and needing to do for a long time now, give the misery you went through these past few years. I’m sure you know that it’s not likely to be all plain sailing from here. There will likely be setbacks and rough days as your anxiety kicks in. It may roll over you like that San Francisco fog I told you about. But as sure as anything the sun will rise higher and it WILL burn off. You’ve wisely decided to stay well away from Christianity - and any religion - from now on, and in doing so you’ve gained the upper hand. You’ve taken the hardest step, my friend. Now you’re fully a part of this community that is here for you and others going through this process. You’re among friends who understand you in a way that few others can. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m proud of the courage you’ve shown!
    4 points
  7. Yesterday and today I’ve been feeling much better. Compared to how I have been, it’s as different as night and day. Thank you all very much for the support.
    4 points
  8. 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
  9. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/freethoughtnow/christianity-is-collapsing/
    3 points
  10. Religion is a virus; and christianity is a particularly virulent strain. Viruses mutate to maintain survival; and can often become something completely unrecognizable compared to the original wild type. Christianity will also mutate to survive and attempt to remain relavant; and could even become more virulent than its current forms. I hope not. The only solution is herd immunity and that comes as a result of mental vaccination.
    3 points
  11. If God is real, loving and wanted you to believe in him he would not stay in hiding. He would not allow you to worry and be anxious. I am pretty darned sure Jesus does not exist but if he does and he wants worship like the bible says then I demand he appear. I'm not going to kowtow to a god with poor behavior or lack of social skills. I got tired of the kowtowing nonsense in 2003 and said bye bye to Jesus. I got no response. I did have a bit of post conversion fear but it helped to tell myself I was more powerful than god and jesus and satan. I stood up to them and they faded. Even if it is all real and I end up burning in hell I will lift my burning middle finger towards heaven for all eternity and tell god to stick it, because sending good people to hell because they didnt kiss your butt... is evil. But there really isnt any indication in reality that there is a God, Satan, Jesus, or Hell. You should be able to have a frank and open conversation and criticize God to his face. I'm not going to live in fear for all eternity. (Hope that's helpful)
    3 points
  12. I’d say the great majority of us here at Ex-C share this outlook. You’re in good company! That’s very typical too. A combination of feeling scared and liberated at the same time. As time goes by the fear diminishes and the feeling of liberation dominates.
    3 points
  13. Thank you TABA. Thank you. I’m still coming to terms with it. Still can’t quite believe it. I mean, I’m not a dyed in the wool full on atheist, but I do think agnostic atheist is an accurate enough term. I.e. I don’t think Christianity is true - but I also admit that I don’t know for sure that it isn’t true. I can’t, know. I appreciate the fact this site exists. What did people do before the internet! I also appreciate the time people take to reply to my posts, especially yourself and Hierophant.
    3 points
  14. Argument from Incredulity: "Y must be true because I simply cannot believe X". I can't believe that was just a coincidence; therefore god... god must be the creator because I ain't come from no monkey... Too many good things have happened in my life for me not to believe in god... A sad excuse for "evidence," indeed.
    3 points
  15. I'm lazy and didn't read all the posts. Was the mystery of who created the endless cycle of creation solved?
    3 points
  16. I actually agree with this statement. The irony here is that every single non-believer here actually DID give a lot of thought to what we believed, challenged our own beliefs, allowed ourselves to scrutinize the bible, and made a huge paradigm shift, despite the strong emotional attachment to our faith. So you are talking to people who are perfectly capable of giving serious thought to ideas that counter their own. If those ideas are dismissed, it has nothing to do with an inability to think before speaking.
    3 points
  17. "I don't subscribe to the concept of experts, religious, or the educated have any more to say than anyone else could say as well." - Semi-Wise.
    3 points
  18. This is the place bullshit artists come to hone their skills. I find it sad that even one thinking person here would still give such a bullshitter the attention he so desperately seeks. The relentless barrage of pseudo intellectual posturing and assertion of facts not in evidence reminds me of L. Ron Hubbard weaving his tales of Xenu, Thetans and other such bullshit. At least Hubbard was smart enough to profit handsomely from his bullshit. But, humans being what they are, I'm sure there are some poor souls out there who would believe even these disjointed tales of twisted history and scholarship.
    3 points
  19. Thanks both. I’m feeling a bit better after rationalising it and reading both your posts. The funny thing is (and cutting a long story short), knowing what I know about this friend, if anyone was going to knock my door and tell me they had a message for me - it would definitely be this friend. But not only did they say nothing of the sort, they said things that sounded to me, just plain wrong. Also, I think to myself, if this was a sign: (a) I admitted to myself that Christianity probably isn’t true, 11 days ago, so why did I have to wait so long, why not 10 minutes after I admitted it, or even two or three days later? The timing doesn’t really make sense, unless it’s nothing but a coincidence (b) I’m utterly convinced that a supreme creator of the universe could let me know in no uncertain terms that I was wrong; I know they could do a much better job than that (and I’m not even trying to be remotely sarcastic or disrespectful in saying that). So what my friend said (and didn’t say) also doesn’t make much sense, unless it’s nothing but a coincidence. Trying to think logically about it.
    2 points
  20. The evil morality of fundamentalist Christianity, including all beliefs that conflict with science, faces a tectonic shift. Just as continental plates build up rigid pressure until an earthquake, so too religious systems have an unyielding quality that means their adherents will hold on to the point of collapse. This report is just a sign of the tremors before the big quake, as the anomalies in the dominant Christian paradigm of God mount up. The problems described here are not intrinsic to all religion as such, which at base just means how we connect to reality. Rather, it is that Christendom Christianity is intrinsically depraved and corrupt, and needs to confess its cardinal sin of a failure to value evidence and logic. Forgiveness is conditional upon repentance. While churches remain unrepentant they are damned.
    2 points
  21. I would hope that as long as the generations that saw 911 are alive, that we would do everything in our power to keep Islam from gaining any control in our country. Seeing what is happening in Europe I don't know that the right makes it a bigger deal about it than it is. Concerning the OP: Maybe the fanatical Christian movements that we see today is a result of everyone with a functional brain leaving. The idiots and extremists are becoming the majority in the church. The idiots being the flat earthers and double split type people. And the extremists being the racists and Qanon type people. Which really only aids the collapse. I think as more and more of the reasonable folk in the church leave we'll see more of these type people making headlines until it completely implodes.
    2 points
  22. I can see it happening. They have already made good inroads here and everything is in place for expansion. Well meaning liberals here are having success at desensitizing us to the excesses and horrors of Islam, not to mention the danger it poses to any free society. The Right portrays Islam as a bigger problem than it actually is at the moment, and the Left severely underestimates their potential, IMO. They have their foot in our door, so let's see how "woke" America can get and still survive!
    2 points
  23. Hi SeaJay, good to hear from you. I totally understand the dilemma, the anxiety and the false doctrine of hell that they preach to scare the shit out of people and keep us under control so we'll keep their churches going.. You hint at a strong need to belong and believe in 'something'. I think a lot of humans have this in common. ''No man is an island'' they say. We need each other for survival. I think some people must have a 'higher power' of some sort or they literally couldn't make it on this earth. They would give up. Sometimes therapy and antidepressants don't work for the trauma of what religion can do to you. (Although I would always promote getting a good therapist.) Maybe these things can work to a certain degree but I had a very hard time with the topic of hell and nothing made me feel better. I constantly thought, ''what if they're wrong?'' Sometimes we just need to feel safe. That's why I am going to post this. I wonder if you have ever listened to the ''Gospel of Peace/Gospel of Grace before? It's quite fascinating concept. If I need to relieve my fear of hell when it comes back to torture me (which it still does to this day) I listen to a man named Mike Williams. If I was ever going to go back to church and listen to another opinion of the bible it would be, ''The Gospel of Inclusion''. Thousands of pastors are preaching this new ''good news'' now and it is not the hard core shit we got thrown at us and brainwashed with.. The message of ''the gospel of grace'' is that Christianity is an embarrassment to what Jesus did for us on the cross. According to this message, Jesus died for the whole world. Sometimes the doctrine of Hell is so ingrained in people that there doesn't seem to be a way out of it's fear. It can ruin one's life. I am not trying to promote another Christian doctrine, I am showing you that millions of others follow this 'Good News'' as they call it. When the image of hell starts to enter my mind, I can listen to a podcast of this ''gospel of grace'' and get truly comforted. Everyone has to do what they have to do to bring themselves some peace of mind. Maybe it might help you to know that not everyone in the world preaches the literal version of the bible. When nothing else works for me, I can listen to one of Pastor Mike's podcasts and I become comforted because what he says makes much more sense to me. I was truly 'blessed' to have met Pastor Mike Williams while I lived in British Columbia 25 years ago. I spent 5 days with him at his seminars. The rooms were packed for those 5 days with many other Christians looking for a different message and I was one of them. I was aghast at how many people were packed in that hall. I wasn't the only born again Christian who wanted to hear this message of 'grace'. This was around the time... and was the beginning of my doubting of the bible. I had so many questions about Christianity and it's doctrine. I ended up having a few private talks with him that calmed my breaking heart. I never thought I was good enough for the church and always thought that I would go to hell because I couldn't seem to abide to the rules of this very legalistic church that I belonged to. I was always 'sinning' one way or the other. The city that I lived in then was called ''The Born Again Capitol of Canada''. Everyone was 'Born Again' in this city!! It was filled with legalist churches of every brand. The Born Again churches actually put up signs that if you attended this pastors seminars, you were not welcome back into their church. Being the rebel that I am, I had to go and see what they were afraid of. What was he preaching they scared them?? Maybe someone was going to tell me that the doubts I had about certain things could be true? Mike knew every high flutin', famous pastor from all over the world and had been a Born Again pastor for many years and I wanted to hear what he had to say.. (his story is unbelievable of how he left the whole lot of them behind!) He is now considered a blasphemous pastor because he teaches the gospel of inclusion. Now thousands more have joined him in this new 'Gospel of Grace'. According to Mike, we are all saved on Exc . It goes further than that. The whole damn world is saved because of Jesus. Period. Even though it is another version of reading the bible, it is an interesting one to me (even today) and a completely kind, loving one at that. Here is a 3 hour long podcast on how he views hell. It's very comforting (even if none of it is true, it's another way of looking at the bible and this terrible topic of hell) It may help you to know that many people look at the scriptures today ''in context'' (when, where, timeline of when the books were written...this is what they look at) and not like the legalistic churches where everything they preach today is cherry picked. This is not to confuse you with another doctrine but it may bring you some peace. But If I was going to follow Christianity today, this is the teachings I would follow. If you choose to listen to it, I hope it brings you comfort about Hell. He has a lot to say about it. It's long. 3 hours. If you need something to hang on about Jesus, get brainwashed by this. Jesus is not judging you one bit according to this new gospel. Not. One. Bit. This gospel of grace makes your heart sing, not be afraid. Just press the download button and hear what he has to say. It's called ''The Irrelevancy of Hell.'' Comfort to your heart my friend. https://gospelrevolution.com/product/the-irrelevancy-of-hell/
    2 points
  24. This I agree with. You've mentioned elsewhere that you think that the bible will be regarded as Greek mythology soon enough. Because it's too ridiculous not to end up that way. One thing that has to happen is that people like this sample of so called atheists have to become familiar with the fact that none of these examples equal god. As people claim that it does equal god and other people argue that it doesn't, the word will spread around. Someone had a near death experience, so god is real. No, that's actually one of the weakest explanations given an entire set of explanations. So while is too ridiculous to argue about, it's going to have to be argued anyways by those willing to keep the arguments goings. Or else no one's learn anything that they themselves can't conceive of or muster up on their own. Those who are blinded by religion depend those who are not in order to gain any sort of chance at beating it. I'm atheist now mostly because I had a debate with an atheist that I could not win. When I realized I could not win I was extremely angry. But then the anger led to accepting the truth of his argument. And then as it worked out subconsciously, my belief went away and I realized that all of the praying and everything else was merely internal dialogue the entire time. But it took arguing with an atheist to get that response.
    2 points
  25. That's exactly what Dr. Kirby Surprise has been dealing with through patients for years. You are expressing textbook synchronicity issues. Especially concerning the "signs" issue. You should go through his book and read about some of the case studies and the general content of the book: Synchronicity by Kirby Surprise | Audiobook | Audible.com
    2 points
  26. It was presented to me the way Myrkoos said as well initially. But honestly to me as a Christian that didn't really make sense. I mean either way if you deny the "Holy spirit" you go to hell. So how can willful rejection be unforgivable. Ya here testimonies all the time of how someone rejected "Gods call" in church. And how it took several days if not years for them to accept "Gods truth". Think about the apostle Paul. How many times would he have had to reject "the truth". However what made sense to me is that it was supposed to be in relation to the ten commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. And from my perspective that was to claim the lords name to do evil in his name. Which fit with this instance with Jesus. He was casting out devils. The pharisees accused him of casting out devils by the devil. They were accusing him of something that was unforgivable. He was claiming to be Gods son. So he says no. How can I cast out devils by the devil? Because how can the devil cast himself out. Then explains that to blaspheme the Holy Ghost is unforgivable. What is supposed to lead a Christian? The holy ghost right? So If I told someone that I was lead by the Hoky Ghost to kill a bunch of Asians at the local rub n tug. Then that would be Blaspheme of the Holy Ghost because God can't do or tell someone to do that which is evil right? And that made more sense to me back then. I think that was the original meaning. But it evolved into being unforgivable to reject Gods truth as a fear tactic, which has obviously worked with you. They just teach that to make hell that much more fearful. Basically convert and don't question what we say or burn in hell for eternity. 1 John 4:1, NASB: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into Seajay, all you have done is tried the spirits. Your making sure that what you are being told is the truth and are finding that it is not. Its funny that this scripture is in the Bible. Because when you follow these directions thats when one begins to see its all a lie. Bottom line. Your not going to hell. Hell doesn't exist. I hope you read "Heaven and hell" by Bart ehrmann. You really need to read that. It will go a long way to ease those fears of hell. He shows how in the earliest Christian belief there was no hell like what is taught today. Hell and heaven were evolutions in the faith over time for various reasons. He does a very good job laying it all out.
    2 points
  27. Long story short, no. Though I did see quite a few visions reasonably sober at strip clubs, parties and whatnot. As a xian I would have to say these were not of god. The best visions never were. mwc
    2 points
  28. Seajay, It sounds like you have a lot of Religious trauma right now. But it also sounds like your on the right track to gaining your freedom from religion. I hope this community is helping you in this process. Your right, it can take a long time. My deconversion process started years before I had the ultimate revelation that completely ended my faith in Christianity. My hope is that you as well have that moment where everything clicks into place and that fear that plagues you now disappears. I know right now your thinking what if Christians are right. And that is a big question to overcome. As always my best advice is to keep reading studies from secular scholars about the bible. The Christian apologists will only confuse you and do their best to keep you in the Christian snare. Always keep in mind that the Bible is demonstrably false. That is a fact. And if the Bible is demonstrably false, then there is no way Christianity is right. A book supposedly inspired by an omni God such as the bibles should not be able to fail under scrutiny. But it does. As far as Islam goes. It is based on the same fallable old testament that Christianity is based on. If the Bible fails to be an accurate and true text for Christians it will also fail to be an accurate and true text for Islam. I wish you the best seajay. DB
    2 points
  29. I need to make another thread dedicated to faith which corresponds to the separate issue I've started about belief. Because I have a lot of thoughts to put down on being ex christian, not religious, not theistic - but at the same time managing through life with both belief and faith nevertheless. There is more to belief and faith than merely the usual religious definitions and generally accepted ideas about the two. Since we've had apologists coming through trying to game towards making us confess that we "believe" in things and have "faith" in things, I decided to try and fully explore of those avenues a little bit. With an open invitation here in the Den for any christians to try and do whatever they think they can do with what I will be claiming. It's no secret that I have different views than some people about faith. In the religious sense, I see faith as very misguided and agree with popular atheist arguments against faith from that perspective. But from the mundane, non-religious, secular world of day to day life I think that faith plays a strong role in the scheme of our existence as evolving animals on this given planet. Once the religious direction is removed, there's still faith to consider. It doesn't just vanish. Which has led me to believe that faith plays a much more central role beyond religions that have popped up in recent years on an evolutionary scale. They are taking this natural, evolution and survival oriented faith and they are misguiding people using IT as a tool. I'll explain more. Recent introspections have led to a need to express this publicly and put these initial thoughts on the chopping block. I was going through facebook and I saw a post from one of my SDA cousins. It was about how hard it is for the man to be the spiritual head of household and how appreciative she is to her husband, and basically calling attention to the usual BS about biblical roles of the male and such. But it sent me off into a rabbit hole of contemplation. Growing up my father played that role. But what it amounted to, was that everyone was gathered around the common "belief" and "faith" that god, no matter what, would provide. And that my fathers strong faith in god was the axis of all good luck, favorable coincidences, and general positive outcome concerning financial problems or whatever else. At the core, I'm looking at a social structure of a nuclear family of evolved great apes where everyone puts "belief and faith" into an alpha male figure geared towards the means of survival and prosperity. Take the blinders off, and we're animals behaving in these certain ways, for certain reasons. Now this should NOT apply only to male figures, of course, but in the biblical sense it does. That's one of the misguided aspects in my opinion. It can apply to whoever is out front making things happen and carrying the larger weight of it. So then I look at my current family, stripped down to the core reality, and it's still the same thing minus the bible and religion. My wife and the boys don't doubt that I'll pull it off all the time and make things happen for us. Even when there's no clear indication as to how or why. Based on a history of making it happen all the time, they've developed "belief and faith" in my ability to make it happen for everyone. Now I could be female and doing the exact same thing. Sex doesn't matter from this secular perspective. It's just that in my house it happens to be a male leading the way in the more or less traditional sense of income and such. Minus the religion! Minus religious faith and belief! And to be honest, the fact that they do believe in me and have faith that I'll keep them provided for, drives a burning ambition to meet that standard and never fail them. In the past, all of the things that I've managed to do and manage to pull off on a weekly and monthly basis would have been considered the result of a god in conjunction with strong faith and belief on my part in that god. Just as it was for my father back then. But the glaring reality is that it never was god bestowing things on my father in the first place. It was all him. He was making these things happen. Whatever he was doing that may at times seemed miraculous or from divine intervention, it was just the natural result of some guy who believed and had faith 'in life' that he'd over come adversity, provide, make ends meet, etc., etc. There never was a god involved in it. Or spiritual realms of helping entities guiding things along. Because I'm doing everything he ever did now, minus religion, minus theistic belief, minus theistic faith. Same general results though. Same structure of a family believing and having faith in me to keep things going. And it all has to do with survival! When things are really challenging, that's when it seems to ramp up and really kick in. I have unwavering faith in my ability to navigate this life and land feet down in any given situation that life presents. Because what else? What is my alternative? I have to live this life experience all the way through to it's natural conclusion. Which involves providing for a family. And the survival of us all. I can sit back at age 45, 30 years outside of church and belief, and see that I have always had "faith and belief" within me the whole time, from a natural and nature based core. Religion, then, while I was still a small child, perverted and misguided this natural set of survival instincts towards a direction of self interest for the denomination in question. They require that your "faith and belief" be directed to a set of PRESUPPOSITIONAL claims, which, are never first established as true to begin with. And from there, natural, nature oriented "faith and belief" in life and survival that likely come from birth are misguided and misdirected towards a fallacious set of claims! So what happens then, is that people think that it's this misguided version of "faith and belief" which is giving them all of these results towards their survival. Blessings from above. But it isn't. And the fact that godless people like me can do everything they do and more sort of firms this up. They aren't doing anything in life that atheists can't also do. In terms of placing "faith and belief" on god and a particular religion, versus placing "faith and belief" only in mundane, secular, and essentially natural and nature oriented directions. Who thinks what about this topic, and why??????
    2 points
  30. "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." --Thomas Jefferson Think about it this way: The idea that there is sin beyond redemption assumes that Christians still have a law they have to live under and follow to avoid condemnation. It implies that the sacrifice of Jesus was to remove sinners from under the law but that it couldn't do the whole job, blatantly contradicting Romans 5:20. It's part of Christian theology which makes no sense. And the whole idea of the "devil"...a super-angel who knew God better than any other, knew that God was the creator of everything including super-angels, knew that God was omnipotent and held everything in existence with his sheer will.....and this super-angel waged a war to overthrow that omnipotent deity? And had an army of angels side with him? We're supposed to believe that heaven was full of Q-anon angels who followed a leader who would have to be either doorknob-stupid or a blithering loony to think he could defeat the omnipotent God? If he's stupid, he could hardly be the threat he's made out to be. If he's mentally deranged, then he can't be held responsible for his actions. Either way, the "rebel angel" scenario falls apart under scrutiny. Have you read "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine? I think you might find it intriguing.
    2 points
  31. You're being very logical and objective with this approach. Yes, if there is an all knowing god, then the all knowing god would already know what you believe or don't believe before "the creation of the earth," as it were. Not just before you were born. Always. And then, what's more, is that this same all knowing god would have seen through you being born knowing full well that you wouldn't be truly believing this bit about christianity. And still created the world, still had whatever hand such a god has in anyone, including you, being born. I don't if this helps or not, but some of us have had very similar thoughts and have gone through the same general logical deductions you're going through now. I've heard several people express that even if there were such a god, they'd have no interest in groveling around and worshipping it. Because the god comes off as some type of cosmic ego who wants non stop praise all the time. And the scenario makes people out to be bowing, groveling, subjects and who wants to spend an eternity praising some ego anyways? Imagine being put on Cuban shores and having bow and sing and praise forever and ever to Castro for all of eternity. Because all of this praise is pleasing to his delicate ego. That's literally a parallel to the scenario presented in Revelation. And does anyone really want that anyways???? Another way of looking at it could be that a god exists but no one religion actually understands it or has it all right. All are merely struggling towards understanding something that they don't or can't possibly understand, including the biblical narratives. In this case, holy books don't carry much weight or matter very much one way or another. They aren't literally accurate, so it doesn't matter very much. And whatever any of them say about the afterlife can't be literally true either, as they don't or can't actually understand the truth of any of it. That looks to be a do your best, live and do good in life, and go off into death believing whatever you will about it and take it for whatever it may be, because no one really knows what to expect. I've thought about another scenario too. What if this is all a big test? And christianity is a deception? This isn't left field. There's a lot wrong with christianity and a great many deceptive lies found within the bible and the religion itself. What if only those who can 'detect the lies' are those found worthy in the end? And the groveling lot of lowly subjects bowed down for eternity who don't question anything or use their minds are a way of "weeding out the wankers?" I'm dealing in terms of fiction here, this idea is a very fictional way of putting a creative twist on the issue. But it can cause a pause for thought. There's something honorable about having a mind of your own. And not just falling in line with what the crowd is doing, or jumping off a cliff because everyone else in the majority is doing it. If the majority are christian, so what? That only illustrates how an entire majority can be this wrong about something. That's not left field either. We've had countless illustrations throughout history where a majority of people have dead wrong about something or another. It's no different now where christianity is concerned.
    2 points
  32. I suspect that a hell of a lot of ex christians have plenty of faith, even though they may not look at it that way. And there's nothing wrong with having it or admitting as such because nature seems to have ingrained within us a sense of believing in ourselves and having faith in our ability to navigate a given lifetime. My dad as remained an agnostic theist through life. He survived a pretty bad covid complication this year. He knows that the bible isn't literally true and has inaccuracies and problems. But he thinks that there's a god and that people just don't really understand who or what the god actually is. He thinks this, in large part, because of all of the things that have worked out for him over the years. Especially thinking he was near death in the hospital and this mystery god kept him alive. The mystery god, of course, has always been himself. His unwavering belief and faith while focused on an unknown god up there somewhere, has been driving the coincidences, happenstances, and the general consistency of things working out more so than failing. But I don't think he'll ever see it that way. And I'm not going to get into it with him. I've decided to just leave it be and let him think whatever he wants about it.
    2 points
  33. I have come to love your perspective. It has really caught my eye since I've been here and even helped influence my own perspectives. It's true. We are the masters of our own destiny. And I think religion may be the reason some people fail to become successful in society. The reason I say this is that the belief, that some external force outside yourself, will make or break you is dangerous. For example, a Christian fervently praying to God to get a higher paying Job may lead that Christian to believe that this is a mountain that God is going to move for him. Maybe this position requires a certain amount of education or experience that the Christian lacks. However in the Christians mind this is a minor obstacle for his God. Obviously said Christian has little to no chance of actually getting the job as he has applied for something beyond his abilities. When this Christian is turned down he will be disappointed and may just chaulk it up to "not being in God's plans for him". He may get mad at God. He may just continue to put in for better Jobs waiting on God and not taking it upon himself to make himself more appealing for the position. Or he might. Who knows. But either way, if the Christian does get a bite on a job all the praise and glory goes to an imaginary being. It is good to have pride in yourself for achievements and I think a lot of that gets lost in Christianity, bc as you said, all of the good things that come to a Christian aren't his or hers. No, they are blessings from God. As for you or I, we would look at the criteria for the Job. If we didn't qualify we would set a goal and take necessary steps to achieve a reasonable qualification for the position. Then we would spruce up our resume and put forth our best effort during the interview. If we failed we would know we needed to set some new goals and try again later. Looking back on my life, my career started soaring when I stopped depending on God. Before I would always talk about how I was a Godly man during the interview, mention being a preacher, etc. In my field it doesn't make a damn whether your Christian or not. All of that talk was wasted words not even pertaining to my qualifications for the job. As a result I think I bombed some interviews in the name of God. Now several promotions later. I'm glad I only have to depend on me and not A deaf dumb God like Jehova to get me to the next level. I have faith, I have faith in myself and my ability to overcome. I haven't always made the right decisions and I'm sure I'll still fuck shit up from time to time, but in the end. I'm the master of my destiny and overall do a decent job getting mine and my families wants and needs. And I'm very thankful that my destiny doesn't lie in the hands of the Christian God. Dudes a real prick sometimes so far I've succeeded in bring two children to adulthood and provided for myself and family. Now I'm getting to a point I just want to wind down and enjoy life for awhile. Get the house paid off and get ready to retire in about 20 years. I know I won't. But I wish I could see the day when humans evolve past religion and become united in a common cause. I feel that humanity as a whole could achieve any goal we decided to shoot for. I feel we are seeing the start of that process in our lifetime. I guess I'll just have to be thankful for that .
    2 points
  34. Your right it does seem to be more calm in a news paper. All the snyde voices, eye rolls, and sarcastic remarks are lost through text instead of speech. Makes me want to subscribe to the local paper.
    2 points
  35. I agree. I never watch the news on television. It seems like they just want to rile people up in order to keep them tuned in to view the ads. I read the news, that way it is at my pace and I can think about what I am reading.
    2 points
  36. My brother seems to have gone full Trump/Qanon/Conspiracy mode a while back. I talked to him on the phone a few months ago and he was basically channeling Tucker Carlson. He's a church-going Christian by way of the fundy wife as well. So it goes hand in hand. Sorry you have to deal with that nonsense with your brother. Maybe you can gray rock him. Just give the minimum feedback to his texts. If you reply at all. I think the take-away for me after this last election is to be personally vigilant to NOT worship the person I voted for, and to put a critical eye on what they say while in office. If I'm not disagreeing with the person I voted for now and then, then perhaps I've been infected with the mind virus of politician worship. (Note: I am aware of the drama that both CNN and FOX whip up. I've been looking to less partisan news sources lately.)
    2 points
  37. The ability to say "I don't know" is a truly valuable quality. It helps protect against the impulse to embrace fallacies to stave off the discomfort of not knowing. Coupled with curiosity, it's a huge incentive to do the hard work of seeking out evidenced based answers. And if the question is not answerable, or not answerable in our lifetime, or not answerable by you, or just not answerable yet, not knowing is so much better than believing something you don't have good reason to believe.
    2 points
  38. "Name one thing that religion figured out that we could know was true before science verified it to be true." That people are gullible?
    2 points
  39. There are other weapons in the apologist's arsenal besides teeth and nails. Outright denial is one. 'It's only a theory' is another. Those at the more extreme end will opt for conspiracy theories to prop up their beliefs. E.g., if the Mars rovers find traces of ancient life - then NASA is faking everything and there are no space probes that made it to the red planet. Or if another 'Wow!' type signal leads us to a bona fide source of alien transmissions - then the scientists are just faking that too. Thank you. Walter.
    2 points
  40. They have to face the fact that even though physical substance breaks down to energy and waves, perhaps even consciousness if we entertain that, all of these diseases and deformity stand as is regardless of energy or consciousness at the root base all material in the universe. It still is what it is regardless. And thinking doesn't change the physical like that. Thinking of regrowing a limb, doesn't regrow a limb. Even in the event that all is mind disease and deformity through genetic factors persist. What these new age adherents seem to be missing is that this is how nature works. If the universe is mind, THIS display of disease and deformity that we observe is how all of this mind apparently plays out. Especially the part about mind not growing limbs or erasing deformity. If it could work that way, then you'd expect that we'd see evidence of it working that way. But we see the opposite.
    2 points
  41. As we were getting ready to leave her house yesterday she asked if she should get involved. I asked "involved in what" and she proceeded to tell me one of my cousins had posted on social media celebrating pride month. A few fundamentalists were assaulting my cousin for condoning and celebrating "sin". They were met with severe and swift pushback from most everyone. My sweet mother wanted to post something along the lines of "the more you speak the Truth, the more people will attack you for it" supporting the anti-gay posters. I asked her what her clothes were made from as well as why she was wearing men's clothing (jeans & t-shirt). She knew nothing of the prohibition on mixed fabrics (Leviticus 19:19) and men's clothing (Deuteronomy 22:5) in the Old Testament. If those don't apply because they're only in the OT, then . . . where is the prohibition of homosexuality in the NT? Left her thoroughly confused. She did not post anything on my cousin's timeline.
    2 points
  42. I like the joke: It's easy to stop drinking and smoking, I've done both dozens of times. Both drinking and Church can involve socializing. That's what I used to enjoy about them. Maybe you need to find a group or club of some kind where members have some common interests. Also wife,girl friend(s), dating, family, friends in general, travel, hobbies, all can stimulate happiness. Best of luck.
    2 points
  43. I think Hubbard's tale of Xenu is as compelling as any other creation myth. It also has just as much evidence.
    2 points
  44. @SemmelweisReflex, this is NOT a conspiracy website. This is an ex-christian website. If you want to discuss jesus, we're happy to oblige. If you want to discuss your conspiracy bullshit, find someplace else to go. I WILL NOT TELL YOU AGAIN.
    2 points
  45. True, but when you attempt to insult someone else's grammar using atrocious grammar of your own, you just come off looking like a fucknut. Of course, you don't need an educated ruffian, such as myself, to tell you that, do you, fucknut?
    2 points
  46. Now put it all together. When a majority of the world says god exists, it's the group think. Most people say it's true, so by your reasoning that should be the first and foremost RED FLAG waving back and fourth advising you that it isn't true. By your own thinking processes. Why do you apply that logic to just about everything EXCEPT the majority belief in the existence of god, or a monotheistic majority here in the west????? Yes.
    2 points


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