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  1. Hello, dearest Ex-C friends! I logged in the other day and responded to a few posts, I was so happy to see some familiar names and received a few messages of greeting from some old friends. For those of you I have not met or interacted with, this post will hopefully bring you some hope, peace, and encouragement. Here is my original post, so long ago. I have had years now to really sift through my upbringing and some of the lasting scars I will carry with me because of the brand of Christianity that was imposed on me. Everyone here was right, it gets so much better! If you are where I was so l
    8 points
  2. Hi all. I don't think I've told my story in full here, so now is as good a time as any. It's fairly long, but thank you for reading in advance and I hope it helps somebody. My Story - From a pastors kid to an atheist. Religious History I was a Christian from birth for 32 1/2 years of my life. When I was born my parents were in a non denominational church which followed the teachings of a Pentecostal (Ex Baptist) divine healing preacher. Several years after I was born my parents left the church over doctrinal disagreements and started house meetings. This continued for some yea
    7 points
  3. I don't know how to start but I was a devout Christian for over 30 years. I would go to church every Sunday, ask forgiveness for my sins every night and pray to god and I even read the four gospels of the bible. But a few years ago I came across a YouTube channel called A voice in the desert. This channel preaches that in order to become a Christian and be saved you must sell all your possessions, quit your job, and preach the gospel day in and day out. When I first heard of that I was very shocked and was very confused. So in order to confirm that this channel wasn't lying I decided to read
    6 points
  4. Do you think the D-K effect describes people who are certain the 2020 election was 'stolen' despite the lack of evidence in 50+ lawsuits? Or Qanon and other conspiracy followers?
    6 points
  5. Welcome, Mrjukes. I'm glad you've found us. I know you're in a tough spot right now; but let me say, up front here, that this, too, shall pass. Everything is impermanent, including your confusion and depression. Give yourself some time to heal. There's no need to become a full-on atheist right now; and there's no reason you can't keep believing in the christian god, even if you don't exactly trust him right now. It is enough right now for you to simply be. You don't need to fix a label on yourself and you don't need to have all of the answers. For now, just be. What, who, and how you
    6 points
  6. Seems everything in the Bible is the literal truth handed to us from the mouth of God, unless it's merely symbolic. Only the true elect among God's people have the ability to discern the difference. And it seems that none of them agree on which is which.
    5 points
  7. Recently I've come across a lot of examples of Christianity lacking definitions. Most recently was the discussion about being made in the "image of god" but no one really knows what that means. Is image a physical shape? A mental ability? Something about our personality? What do we have that animals do not? Similar to what exactly a soul is. Do only humans have one? What does one do? Why do our memories and personalities change if we are recorded on an immaterial soul? If they aren't recorded on the soul, then what exactly would transfer away at death? Then I came acr
    5 points
  8. I'd have given anything to be like BAA when I first joined this website. He was so calculating, level-headed, and stoic; while I was (and still am) aggressive, abrasive, and brash. I talked about it with BAA once and he told me, "we all play our own roles." That has stuck with me throughout the years; and I've come to understand that the rapid-fire common sense approach I take is just a vital as the solid point-rebuttal approach of WalterP. All of the ground has to get covered. Walt can cover a veritable swath in a single post, while I run mini-sprints through a ha
    5 points
  9. Fear is a huge motivator, which is why the church latched onto it. That is also why they target sex so much, it is an inescapable drive for most people, so they label it a problem and then sell the "cure". Hell is not a concept from Judaism, and if Jesus had really preached about it, the actual Jews of the time would have mocked him for trying to convert them to the religions of the Greeks and Romans. That is not something you will hear in church. I noticed in reading through the Bible several times that there was a curious lack of damnation in the Old Testament. I asked my Jewish
    5 points
  10. Well I have one word for all of that: Bullshit. For the anti vaxer's I encourage them to not vaccinate themselves then expose themselves to the many disease for which we have vaccines for. That would thin the herd rather effectively. You will not find sympathy for those people from me. That's what I think of them. On predictive programming - basically a modern day version of people seeing shapes in the clouds and thinking it means something when it doesn't. In this case they think there are messages in media when there isn't. Now that's not to say there is no messaging
    5 points
  11. Welcome MrJukes21 You'll find many here have been in similar positions. There are many such interpretations of the bible. Christians have been arguing about the right way to interpret and believe since the inception of Christianity. Entire wars have been fought over the right way to become a Christian and be saved. Martin Luther's reformation was over this very thing. Yeah, me neither. As I told my parents, either God is ignoring me, or is unable to answer me, or doesn't exist. Regardless of which one it is, the final result to me ends up
    5 points
  12. Welcome, you're in the right place. You don't have to decide what your label is today, or ever. Atheism isn't a goal, it's a conclusion someone reaches after failing to find adequate reason to believe in gods. As you critically examine your former beliefs and teachings you were exposed to you may get to that point, or you might not. My personal guide is to believe that which has evidence and dismiss the unsupported myriad claims people make. Discerning which is which becomes easier with time.
    5 points
  13. Hey, you can all call me Tasi. I've been a doubter my whole life, but I only shed the last vestiges of belief and doctrine earlier this year. I'm not out to my family. A lot has happened this year that has left me socially isolated, I'm sure we all feel a little like that in lockdown. My boyfriend of 8 years left me and our social group with him. All I've got left are devout christians everywhere. Even my online guild is full of pastors. Collapsed at work, had to have surgery, money is super tight. Part of my grieving and lonely brain thinks I'm being punished even though I know suffering does
    5 points
  14. Hi Tasi! To echo the Prof, Welcome Home! Here, unbelief is not only accepted, it’s the norm. It’s good to be part of a community with this in common! It’s kind of like being greeted by a pet when you come through the door: even if you’ve had a lousy day and it seems the whole world is against you, here’s somebody who “gets” you and is happy to see you! This place has made a big difference for me. Not only was it great to be warmly welcomed by fellow travelers, being here helped me gain confidence that not only is it OK to no longer believe in Jesus/God, but life wit
    5 points
  15. The thing is, questioning atheism and the rest is largely due to your current lack of depth of understanding all the issues involved. You're new at it. You can't possibly have the experience to navigate all of the contributing factors involved. So it seems wide open. That can all be narrowed down over time to where it's much less mysterious and much more cut and dry, though. I can try and fast forward you through some of it. Many of us have contemplated god to the point where it finally boils down to some very glaring conclusions. That end with us coming to peace with it all.
    4 points
  16. Mrjukes21, Oh my goodness gracious, I can so relate with you (you can find posts on here where I battled with this same fear several years ago) and I PROMISE YOU this gets better. You just have to stick it out, you've been indoctrinated, other humans have told you things that they have NO WAY of verifying until they die and find out for themselves. Remember that. Anyone who claims to have an answer to this is full of shit. 1) I comforted myself a lot, in the beginning of my deconversion, by reminding myself that "If I really was saved, I couldn't go to hell by seeking t
    4 points
  17. First, what the D-K effect is: See the connections to religion? This can be very apparent when analyzing the effect against many christian apologist's. They are certain and confident of things which in reality are associated with very low, to zero certainty. Willfully ignorant every step of the way as to how uncertain, their certainty based claims and beliefs are in reality. The religion is just one means of many in which the D-K effect can play itself out. So it's the D-K effect customized to their personal beliefs. This give
    4 points
  18. Thanks for answering the question, that clarifies things a lot. The thoughts of evangelising for god are well known here, this is one audience that absolutely gets it. Many of the people here have done exactly that for decades, if not the majority of their lives. When you say: You show a lack of understanding of the audience, as most of us have heard these types of things many times before (religious experiences, success at life, life changing events, absolute certainty of beliefs). I really don't think you've said anything that is unique. These same discussion points haven't been
    4 points
  19. I'll try to keep to some sort of structure, but my style is as messy as my life and this may not all make sense. I warn any readers ahead of time, mine was a painful journey, mixed with abuse and brainwashing and abusive brainwashing. But I'm here because I dearly need a community and if sharing my story fosters that, then here goes! I was born to be a scapegoat. In case you are not familiar with the term, there is an old jewish practice of symbolically transferring the sins of a community onto a goat with a red thread/ribbon/string tied to it. The goat would then carry off the si
    4 points
  20. 4 points
  21. On a strict theological view and analysis of the Gospels. Leaving aside the issue of divine inspiration, of there being four Gospels, plus Paul s interpretation of the teaching of Jesus, plus that the man himself wrote nothing nor is there ANY command in the Gospel - write this stuff down, et. so leaving aside all that, which is already a lot. I want to tackle another sweet and sour subject - translation and cultural context. Jesus spoke Galilean Aramaic, commenting on Scriptures written in different form of Hebrew over thousands of years, and his words were preserved in koine G
    4 points
  22. That was the exact passage that started my deconversion. I had been raised in a proper Presbyterian church with a silk robed choir and large symphonic organ, but at home this was enhanced by beliefs that the Bible is the inerrant Word Of God, the Blood of Jesus, etc. I expect more than a few can relate to the high expectations of a young person starting to read the Bible in earnest for the first time: This book will contain amazing insights, beyond the mind set of mere humans. This book will speak to me directly on how to live fully. I will receive instructions directly from God
    4 points
  23. Hi Mrjukes. I'm so sorry you are feeling so bad right now. Take your time. I want you to know how much I understand what you are going through so I will post my testimony that I posted when I first arrived here at Ex. I hope you will understand that this letter I wrote speaks for many, many new people who come here. We understand what you are going through. Take your time. Do a lot of research. There are hundreds and hundreds of articles that our intelligent folk have presented to us as to why the bible is such a fuck up. It's not that it doesn't contain some points of wisdom from the ancient
    4 points
  24. How do we know that jesus said those things? Because some unknown authors wrote about it decades later? That seems a shade suspicious to me. The fact is, if jesus even existed, there are still simply no first hand, eyewitness accounts of anything he said or did. Why?
    4 points
  25. Yeah, I think going up to a Christian in aggressive argument mode is about as useful as them coming up to me... although they do seem to get converts so there's that. However, if you have a congenial conversation, on the surface there may not have appeared to be any gain, but quite often things said (or written) percolate in the brain when we are away fro the person/keyboard and this affects our positions subtly. That's how many of us ended up decoverting- because something someone said when we were not open to it started festering away in our minds.
    4 points
  26. Hi Mrjukes21, and welcome to the community! This place has helped a lot of us to get through the deconversion process and emerge happier and more at peace than we had thought possible. I hope you have the same kind of experience! And it IS a process: realizing that so much of Christianity just doesn’t add up is just the beginning. I learned a lot more after I had already declared myself an ex-Christian, and certainly benefited from being part of this group of supportive people. You’ve already been well advised above to let the process unfold naturally as it it typically did for most of u
    4 points
  27. Well for me, it was 'the science' which was a bit part of my deconversion process. Things like Noah's flood, evolution, lack of archaeological evidence, a critical analysis of how the bible was written and by whom all greatly helped. I also found logical arguments and philosophical arguments persuasive. The problem of evil for instance was a logical problem that while it doesn't disprove god outright, it does show that an all benevolent God cannot exist. And then there was study of the bible itself. For example was Jesus killed on the day of preparation of t
    4 points
  28. I haven't looked in on this forum for a number of weeks. Hmmm... Maybe I'll look in again in a couple more weeks.
    4 points
  29. People were convinced of their beliefs for different reasons and will have those beliefs changed for different reasons. Attacking the ridiculous should happen in as many ways as possible as the next argument may be the one that cracks the armour. I personally found the story of Noah's ark and the science showing how impossible such a story was, very convincing. Philosophy never comes to answers but science can show what the conclusion is and importantly how that answer was reached. Once you doubt the validity of the Bible then everything else loses its mystique.
    4 points
  30. Brothermario Casserole 1 lb Classic Projection 6 oz Narcissism 2 oz Hubris infused with Arrogance or Condescendance (your choice) 5 oz Essence of “I’m Special and You’re Not” 3 oz Claims of Special Reference Add Denial as needed Dashes of Informal Logical Fallacies Sprinkle with Hate and Anger to taste Mix all ingredients well, bake for 20-30 years. Serves one.
    4 points
  31. Alan Watts has some lectures that have been cut up into youtube videos. He lectured about the above. The scope of knowledge of the bible writers didn't extend beyond the concept of a celestial monarchy. They were not seeing into the remote future beyond their own, contemporary monarchial, kingly court, type formats. There's no sense of monarchy being a man made concept and system and a transcendent god going "beyond," by definition, these man made ideas. It's just another one of the many little points that reveal the human origin of biblical writings and shortsightedness of the wri
    4 points
  32. @Freed If I remember correctly, you deconverted not too long ago, correct? I ask because this doubt or internal questioning of "what if I am wrong" is normal. I went through the same questioning. I kept wondering if there was some piece of evidence out there that would somehow vindicate the claims of Christians and their holy book. I kept studying Price, Ehrman, Carrier, and those scholars who came before them. Over time, I came to the conclusion that Christianity had an extremely low probability of being true. My confidence that I really don't need to worry about hell, or heaven for that matt
    4 points
  33. The other thing to consider is the western world is capitalist democracies, both terms you won't find in the bible. All of the lands in the bible's times were ruled by monarchies and that was considered the norm. Western societies freedom, progress and wealth is due to these structures, none of which came from Christianity. In America the founding documents specifically limit religion and give freedom to all beliefs, again not a Christian idea. Also all of the important parts of the 10 commandments existed in civilisations throughout history that pre-dated Christianity. "Thou shal
    4 points
  34. Going back to this thread that I started three years ago when I joined Ex-Christian.net, I have just written this short outline of my current views. Christianity without a Historical Jesus The Gospel story of Jesus of Nazareth does not have to be historically true for any of the core ethical ideas of Christianity to remain valid. Jesus himself stated in a line repeated in all the synoptic gospels (Matt 13:11, Luke 8:10, Mark 4:11) that he speaks to the general public only in parables, while reserving the secrets of the kingdom for initiates. The historiog
    4 points
  35. The main difference, I think, is motivation. If someone makes bald claims and unfounded assertions, I'll point that out to them. If someone is using logical fallacies, I'll identify them. Certainly if someone is condemning, judging, or otherwise being rude, I'll throw back with an equal measure of aggression. But my motivation for doing so is not because I want, or need, to convince that person; I am simply observing the rules of engagement. I have neither the need nor the desire to convince anyone of anything. Even if I did, it is not my place to do so. We all walk our own
    3 points
  36. I have already received the Mark of the Breast.
    3 points
  37. While it is a good idea, it looks like moving toward evidence based christianity could be a very long drawn out process. Reading about how mass movements get started, I don't see the Factors needed to attract the masses. If anything, it looks like religion overall is slowly dying on the vine. How long do you think the trend will continue?
    3 points
  38. "How much of what I believe do I believe because I really believe it; and how much of what I believe do I believe because somebody else told me to believe it?" That is how the question presented itself to me.
    3 points
  39. I wouldn't get y'all's hopes up, if I was y'all. Brothermario ain't with us no more. As it happens, though, I also have 2 college degrees, one of which is also in English. If y'all would like, I can hurl insults at you for three paragraphs and then tell you it's your own fault for not having the exact same experience I had.
    3 points
  40. Well thanks guys for all your support it means a lot to me. By continuing to give advice you guys somehow make my day just a little better and give me some motivation to live
    3 points
  41. What about all the videos of people claiming to have been abducted by aliens? There are a million (probably literally) crazy, outrageous claims. You concern yourself with Christian mythology due to where you happened to be born. You could also fret over the claims of Islam, Voodoo, Scientology or Mormonism. It's a big world full of crazy people - don't listen to them. They all can't be right, but they can all be wrong.
    3 points
  42. Lightning is a sign of gods in pain or anger, the seasons are the constant battle between gods for control of the weather, pregnancy is the blending of two souls blessed by God, disease is God's wrath, a person unable to have children is cursed by God... When you make so many claims about perfectly natural phenomenon which are then shown to be incorrect, it really makes it hard to trust in yet another claim by the same group. "I know we were wrong the last hundred times, but this time it really is God!"
    3 points
  43. An evidence based movement would seem to have an attraction to those who enjoy the tribal aspect of belonging to a group, like a christian sect of some type. I think a lot of people aren't comfortable leaving to become buddhist, hindu, neo-Pagan, or just plain atheist. They enjoy belonging to what they're familiar with and the people who they're familiar with. But, some of them don't actually believe it all. They may be atheist or agnostic in their own minds while keeping within the group. If Robert or anyone similar were able to pull it off and start influencing people to read th
    3 points
  44. I hereby publicly, of sound mind, sober judgment, and under no duress of any kind, do intentionally blaspheme the holy spirit and declare him/her/it to be an ignorant, incompetent and inglorious fucker of goats.
    3 points
  45. The other issue is that the bible is basically a post-Bablyonian captivity writing venture. So that makes it extremely younger than whatever christians like to assert. Daniel, doesn't date back to the supposed time of Daniel. The writer(s) showed poor understanding of history and politics closer to the supposed time of Daniel and a better understanding of history and politics far off into the future of the supposed time of Daniel. This same situation applies as you step back through time. There are tell tale signs that open up a whole can of worms. And you can break into that by re
    3 points
  46. Hard core Christians reject both religious historical scholars & their finding. They believe religious scholars are possessed by the Devil, the father of lies. They also believe the Devil manipulated history & planted false evidence to deceive people. As I recall early Christians believed similar things when their beliefs were challenged. A closed & fully indoctrinated mind is virtually impossible to reason with. Modern day liberal Christians interpret the Bible symbolically anyway so they don't need a real Jesus. Liberal Christianity is as much about the social aspect
    3 points


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