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Geezer

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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Welcome. Glad to hear you escaped from the bondage of religion. Isn’t freedom wonderful!
  10. I believe the number of wounded and killed in mass shootings pale in comparison to the number of people that are killed or wounded daily across America. Gangs would seem to be the primary offenders. Gang violence is nationwide and out of control. It is now even a problem in small rural towns. Shootings and fatalities are a common daily occurrence in the area where I live. Gangs need to be treated like organized crime, because that’s essentially what they are.
  11. Geezer

    Howdy

    Hi, I was a Christian for 47 years before I figured out it was all B.S. I began having doubts about 20 years ago. I quit pretending I still believed about 11 years ago but didn’t pull the plug officially until 2012. Welcome aboard, you are among likeminded folks here.
  12. I enjoy reading the thoughts, perspectives, & experiences from those outside the U.S. I value our international members. They add valuable insight to the international view of Christianity and the issues & problems it presents in other countries. International posters don’t under estimate your value to this site.
  13. Religion is pretty much against anything that is pleasurable. Priest are apparently excluded though. If religion can convince their adherents to deny themselves pleasure, then they know they own you and can make you do just about anything they want.
  14. Christianity (fundamentalism) flourishes in places where ignorance & superstition is rampant. That makes third world countries easy targets for missionaries. However, many books have been written attempting to explain why highly educated people make important decisions based on emotion rather than evidence, logic, and reason. It’s a human tendency that is difficult to explain but one that keeps religion alive and needed in many peoples lives.
  15. The Church he’s singing about has never existed on this planet. And it never will because the people that make up the Church are human beings.
  16. I live in the general vicinity of Memphis TN. There has been 33 shooting on the interstate loop around the city this year, with several fatalities. There is a murder, and usually multiple murders & shootings, every single day. It’s almost like living in a war zone, and this is going on all over the country. This stuff didn’t happen when I was a kid growing up in N/W Indiana. My sister informs me the same thing is happening in the city I grew up in. Much of it can be traced back to gang violence and these gangs are now virtually in every community of any size all over the country. Our constitutional rights make it virtually impossible to stop the violence. The Southside of Chicago is a virtual war zone and has been for many years, and there appears to be no way to stop the violence and senseless killing. And like a disease it has spread all over the country and it seems there is no cure for it. Police tactics that work work are often declared unconstitutional. We have become victims of our Constitution and it’s guaranteed freedoms. What makes us free is also what is killing many of our citizens and many of them are kids.
  17. You seriously need to stop reading apologetic nonsense and start reading accredited historians. Fear is how religion gets and keeps people. Fear is their weapon of choice and what allows them to survive.
  18. The alternative is to die at the hands of a madman with no way of defending myself. I’d rather die with a gun in my hand, trying to stop a madman, than die unarmed and defenseless at the hands of a lunatic. The chances of surviving a random shooter is virtually zero if you are not armed. I’d prefer to take my chances being armed even if the odds are low, that’s still better than being executed. Everyone has to decide that for themselves.
  19. Last week a Walmart about 20 minutes from me had a mass shooting. There were 2 fatalities and 1 responding office was shot. His vest saved his life. The shooter was killed by police. Now another mass shooting at another Walmart with multiple casualties and fatalities in El Paso Texas. I recently attended the World Golf Championship in Memphis. Like all major sporting events every person was checked by security, no handbags were allowed, everyone was checked with metal detectors. Are we going to have to do something like that to enter shopping malls and large department stores in the future? I have a handgun carry permit, but I don’t carry it, but I think I’m going to rethink that.
  20. I think most of us here are aware of the Clergy Project. Christians are blissfully unaware of how many Preachers are faking it, because they need a paycheck. Leaving the ministry is difficult. We know the consequences of leaving religion, and those consequences are even worse for those in the ministry. A degree in theology doesn’t transfer to the secular world very well, therefore finding a job that pays enough to support a family is difficult. The alternative is to stay in the pulpit and fake it. Those that can’t do that suffer the consequences and essentially have to start their life over. I’m sure they don’t tell you about the risks associated with being a minister in seminary for those that later discover they aren’t suited for preaching the word.
  21. Live long and prosper! You will be missed.
  22. There is no absolute proof that Jesus did or did not exist, so everyone Is left to draw their own conclusions. I’m convinced, for a number of reasons, that Jesus was a fictional character and the gospel is a fictional story. You have a different perspective. So be it. I would recommend Dr.Richard Carrier’s YouTube video, The Gospel According to Dr Richard Carried, as another scholars perspective for why the gospels and Jesus are likely fictional.
  23. I enjoy Ehrman’s books but he is very much part of the academic community and clearly part of the “Group Think” that goes with that. He has made it publicly clear that he would destroy the academic career of any Professor that believed and taught that Jesus was a literary character, even though he admits there is no evidence for a historical Jesus. The authors I referenced are not part of that community, so I believe they are more honest. Price is a Professor but is so respected he’s immune to Ehrman’s threats. Jesus is a money making business so the Biblical Jesus has to protected because admitting He never existed would cause a financial calamity. Everyone is obviously free to believe whatever they want, but no one claims they have ever found a historical Jesus.
  24. All versions of fundamentalist Christianity exhibit enough cultish traits to qualify as a cult IMO.
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