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Geezer

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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. I’m 74 my wife is 76. I’m in good health but she is having some issues. At our age death becomes a certainty rather than an abstract reality. Like you Weezer returning to religion isn’t an option for me either. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that both Heaven and Hell are myths created by ancient superstitious cultures. I am also convinced, after much study and research, that Jesus is a mythical character in a fictional story. Christianity is just one of many ancient man made religions. Death is simply the end of life. There isn’t anything else.
  2. florduh read your post. I think, like me, he might see your reasons for taking a step back from your faith as having more to do with you not wanting to live the Christian life than anything having to do with any specific theology or the existence of a God. That is the reason some folks leave their faith, but for most of us we’ve left because it just isn’t true. We’re more focused on the science, physics, cosmology, and historical realities that provide proof and evidence that God only exist in the minds of believers. Your posts suggest to me that your reasons have more to do with you not wanting to follow the traditional laws, rules, and commands that are commonly associated with the more conservative versions of Christianity. Switching to a liberal version of Christianity might be more in line with what it appears you’re looking for.
  3. This impeachment, IMO, is for show only. This is about rallying the Dems base and converting some open minded Republicans & Independents to vote for the Democratic candidate in the next election. I believe that because Pelosi knows the votes are not there in the Senate to convict. No sensible prosecutor would bring charges against a suspect knowing he didn’t have the evidence to convict. In Trumps case the evidence is there but the Jury is so bias they aren’t going to convict and everyone knows that. This impeachment is a political tactic designed to strengthen the Dems in the upcoming Presidential election. The Republicans tried that with Clinton and it blew up in their face. The Dems are betting that won’t happen to them. It will be interesting to see if they’re right.
  4. Well, duh. Because the Bible instructs believers to go into the whole world and tell them the good news, and if they don’t their God of Love will burn them alive in Hell forever. Better to freeze now than burn later. ‘
  5. How about Festivus for the rest of us? Put up your Festivus Pole and celebrate.
  6. The journey out of religion is often similar, but at the same time also different, for all of us. Welcome to the board. It is comforting to be with likeminded folks that understand the trials and tribulations encountered on the road out of religion. Dr. Robert M. Price is a Biblical author and scholar that I think you might enjoy reading. He has written a lot of books and they are all excellent.
  7. IMO, God isn’t the problem for most people. Religion is the problem. It’s religion that wants to brainwash and control people.God is just a tool they use to accomplish their goals. God, for many people, is simply nature without the laws, rules, and commands. Hell is a control mechanism that was created by humans to scare people into being obedient, and thus vulnerable to all the dogma religions create. Ultimately, religion is about controlling people’s minds and manipulating them into being obedient and submissive robots. It’s a big mind game, but no one has to play their game. It’s a choice. Those of us here have chosen to get out of the game and not play it anymore.
  8. Geezer

    New to the mix

    Welcome to reality! You will find this site very helpful in your journey out of religion.
  9. Religious beliefs require deep and prolonged indoctrination. Can a mind that has been deeply indoctrinated reject that indoctrination? People can be persuaded to leave a cult but it requires eduction and education requires a receptive mind. Penetrating an indoctrinated mind is difficult, and virtually impossible if the person is satisfied with their indoctrinated state. I think something has got to trigger doubt, in an indoctrinated persons mind, before their mind will consider new information that challenges their current beliefs. If they become convinced their current beliefs are wrong and are willing to accept new information, can that be reversed later on too? I think so, if doubt about their new beliefs and direction occurs, then I think they would be vulnerable to returning to their former beliefs. I’m certain there are examples of that. I know some on this site have returned to their former beliefs and become Christians again. I think the fear that hell might be real is the motivation in those situations. Once a person has become indoctrinated that information never goes away.
  10. Yes, but preaching about sin and sinners is a real downer. People don’t want to hear that kind of stuff, except, of course, for the fundies. They seem to thrive on preaching about sin & sinners. They hunt for sin like there’s a reward for it.
  11. The country seems to be as deeply divided politically as it was just prior to the Civil War, and the battle lines appear to be about in the same places. Compromise has become a dirty word in Washington and those that endorse it often find themselves looking for a job after the elections. Radical extremism seems to be driving both parties. I think the extremists on both sides politically have placed the country teetering on the brink of mass anarchy. Many major metropolitan areas have been overrun with violence and homelessness. And there appears to be no political solution to any of the major problems facing the country because we’re so divided.
  12. A mega large Presbyterian Church in our area notes that folks will never hear the word sin coming from their pulpit. They are all about grace, love, & forgiveness. Their emphasis is on helping others and those in need. They have somewhere around 12,000 members. This is the new focus because they realize the old hell, fire, and brimstone isn’t working anymore. People want church to be entertaining and fun now. That’s why mega church services are essentially Christian rock concerts these days. Church has learned marketing is their key to survival.
  13. Christianity doesn’t have anywhere near the influence it did when I was growing up in the 50’s & 60’s. The internet has been a game changer IMO. The historical reality of the origins and evolution of both the Bible & the Christian faith are readily accessible all over the internet. The truth about the Bible & the Christian faith is no longer a secret that can be hidden from the faithful & the general public. Religion continues to decline in numbers and influence with each new generation.
  14. It’s easy to think Christians make up the majority of the population, but they are kind of like flies. They seem to be everywhere and they annoy the crap out of people. Glad you found this sight. I’m certain you will find it helpful.
  15. Welcome, as your journey out of religion continues it’s likely your views and beliefs about supernatural deities will evolve and change. I explored Deism and Pantheism during my journey but eventually came to the conclusion there is no such thing as supernatural beings. I have found life immensely more enjoyable without religion and their invisible deities, but that’s just me. As others have noted the journey out of religion is long, bumpy, and sometimes treacherous. Hang in there it does get better with time. I think most of us ex-Christians will agree that study and research is an essential element in the de-conversion process.
  16. Are you referring to the book, “Caesar’s Messiah”? The originator of that theory isn’t a biblical scholar, and has no training in religious studies. His book and “research” has been widely debunked by actual biblical scholars as nonsense. I read the book. Some of his theories are entertaining, and a few seem somewhat plausible, but most of his theories are confusing, silly, and downright ridiculous. According to actual religious scholars the answer to your question is no. The Romans did not invent Jesus or Christianity. Mark is accepted as the original Gospel. The author appears to be Jewish and was apparently highly educated but his identity is unknown. The actual authors of all the four Gospels are anonymous. And it’s also doubtful that Paul was a real person. What is known is that no one named Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John wrote a single word of the gospels that bears their name. The Catholic Church assigned those names to the four most popular versions of the gospel, of the fifty or so versions that existed at that time.They did that to give the impressions the authors of those gospels were eyewitnesses to the events they wrote about. There are no known witnesses to anything written in any of the gospels. That is probably because the original gospel was a fictional story and the others were edited rewrites of the original. That becomes obvious when the four gospels are read side by side and line by line. It becomes apparent those are four different stories. Each author appears to hav e a reason, or agenda, for writing their gospel story. The bottom line is this. The Bible simply isn’t true. It’s a collection of mythical stories with fictional characters and that includes Jesus.
  17. I can recommend 2 YouTube channels that are very informative and interesting to watch that point out biblical errors and also how religion indoctrinates believers. Theramintrees & nonstampcollector
  18. Biblical prophecies appear to be accurate but that’s because they were written, or modified, after the events have already occurred. Remember, historians have validated, peer reviewed, evidence the Bible has been edited, redacted, changed, modified, and rewritten countless thousands of times. Apologists are also very good at linking random events and coincidence with some obscure Biblical text and then claim some prophecy has been fulfilled, when in fact the events had nothing to do with each other. Apologist are experts when it comes to reinterpreting the Bible so that it appears to validate their agenda. Just as it is a defense lawyers job to reinterpret evidence in favor of their client, it is an apologist job to do the same thing with scripture. Defense lawyers and apologist have a lot in common when it comes to having the ability to manipulate and parse words.
  19. I served as a deacon multiple times in the c of C. I taught Bible classes for 40+ years in both the c of C and the Southern Baptist Church, I preached a little in the c of C, & served as an Elder twice. I was a trained evangelist in the c of C, meaning I held Bible studies studies in the home of non c of C believers with the purpose of ultimately baptizing them into the c of C. In all the home studies I had I only failed once to baptize the prospect into the c of C, and that was because the prospect didn’t believe the Bible was the inerrant word of God. When he told me that I thanked him for his time and left. I’m telling you all of that to confirm my c of C credentials. I was the real deal. My doubts began in the late 90’s when I could no longer pretend that I didn’t see the inconsistencies & contradictions that are replete throughout the Bible. How could a supposedly inerrant book contain such obvious errors? I was able to find ways to manage my cognitive dissonance for a few more years, although that was often a struggle. The dam broke in 2005 at an Elders retreat. During a somewhat heated discussion about the fate of our obviously dying congregation I spontaneously admitted that I no longer believed the Bible was inerrant and that it likely had human origins. That admission resulted in me being removed as an Elder. My wife and I left the c of C and thus began a journey that is still ongoing. In my search for truth I discovered the scholarship dedicated to the Historical Critical study of the Bible and the Christian faith. That scholarship is dedicated to a purely secular historical study and research of the Bible and the Christian faith. That has been an eye opening experience and convinced me, without a single doubt, that the Bible and the Christian faith have absolutely pure human origins. Heaven & Hell are mythical places created by humans as part of the rewards & punishments necessary in all religions to control people and force them to be obedient to the doctrines, teachings, and traditions of the faith. I also discovered there is no historical Jesus or Paul. Those are characters in a story, they were not real people. Paul’s Epistles were likely written by Marcion and Simon Magus in the early part of the 2nd century. I realize all I’ve written will be difficult for you to believe and that is because all religions deeply indoctrinate their member, in the case of fundamentalists versions of Christianity, like the Church of Christ, that indoctrination reaches the level of actual brainwashing. It takes years of study and research for most people to overcome that. Leaving any religion, especially a fundamentalist version, is extremely difficult and usually takes years to be deprogrammed. Many people have written books about their experience. I would highly recommend anything written by Dr.Bart Ehrman, a recognized bible textual expert, as a beginning point. He points out the Bible has been edited, redacted, changed, & modified more times than there are even words in it. Leaving religion requires a re-education process that takes years to fully free a persons mind from the crap they’ve had indoctrinated into it. A word of warning, stop reading anything written by an apologist. They are deeply brainwashed professional liars. This site contains a list of recommended books. I encourage you to check that section out. PM me if you have questions or just want to vent. Don’t get discouraged. Leaving the faith is probably the most difficult thing you will ever attempt to do. I guarantee you there is no such place as heaven or hell. Death is simply an endless sleep.
  20. I’m Ex Church of Christ, and a former Elder, so I clearly understand what you’ve experienced. My wife and I were Southern Baptist and become became associated with the c of C through a Bible study. Restoration theology has a certain logic about it that makes sense for those that already believe the Bible is literally true, historically accurate, and therefore Divinely inspired. It took me 27 years, and a lot of study and researching the secular historical origins and evolution of both the Bible and the Christian faith, to confirm that it’s all man made mythology. My study and research convinced me, beyond a doubt, that both Jesus and Paul were literary characters not real people. I’d can offer you some book references if you want. I’ve been an admitted atheist since 2012. My wife is still a Christian and a member of the Methodist Church. We’ve been able to work that out. I don’t miss anything about being religious. All religions are manmade nonsense and the fundamentalist versions are indeed “cults”. Glad you found this site, I’m certain you will find it helpful.
  21. The Bible is full of threats of dire punishments in the form of eternal torture. The one unforgivable sin is rejecting Christ’s sacrifice and thus the Holy Spirit. Is that the same as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? The Bible is clearly a collection of human writings. It is replete with inconsistencies, contradictions, and factually incorrect statements. There is nothing Holy or inerrant about it. Christianity is just another run of the mill religion created by humans. It’s based on rewards and punishments, neither of which can be proven to exist. Our knowledge of science and the laws of physics tell us, with a high degree of certainty, that neither the reward or punishment found in Christian doctrine and beliefs can possibly be true. Faith is required because the promised rewards and threats of eternal punishment cannot possibly be true. So, what does blasphemy of the Holy Spirit mean? Nothing, absolutely nothing at all.
  22. I’ve been reading this exchange and it has taken a predictable path. It validates what has been well established eons ago. Religion is based on emotion not facts, evidence, logic, reason, or science. Attempting to reason with a believer is a waste of time and energy and therefore a pointless endeavor. People leave the faith when they figure out on their own that it’s all manmade nonsense. Until they figure that out on their own they will never reject their beliefs. I have come to accept that some people just have to have a God to worship in their life. Life, for some folks, without a God in charge of the world is just too scary to even consider.
  23. Welcome. Glad to hear you escaped from the bondage of religion. Isn’t freedom wonderful!
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