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Geezer

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Posts posted by Geezer


  1. 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. 

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  2. 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.

     

     

     

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  3. 11 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

    Read read read and read some more. Scholarly criticism about the Bible. About the concept of hell. Read accounts written by those who left the church, there are many good books. Read psychology and how religion controls the mind (Marlene Winell writes all about the challenges of deprogramming). Keep on feeding your brain with information. It sinks in eventually and will help. If it helps I'll tell you that the only reason why you're not terrified of the purple poka dot monster sending you to an ocean of muck you'll literally drown in, is because your mind reasons, your logical thinking ability gets you out of it, and number one, you weren't brainwashed. Eventually things will click and the ridiculousness of your former beliefs will be apparent. 

     


    ^^^^^ Yes, do this!  ^^^^

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  4. 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. 
     

     
     

     

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  5. 48 minutes ago, nontheistpilgrim said:

     

    Yes! And the music dulls the mind? I find it hard to believe that such a large congregation is cemented by social action.

     

    And doesn't forgiveness by god rely on sin? 😀


    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. 

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  6. 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. 
     

     

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  7. 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.

     

     

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  8. 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. 


     

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  9. 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. 

     

     

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  10. 7 hours ago, WWOAC said:

    Have any of you heard the claims that the Romans invented Christianity? If so, what are your thoughts? 


    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.

     


  11. On 11/9/2019 at 2:40 PM, WWOAC said:

    First, I just want to apologize if this isn't the appropriate place to put my post because I'm not sure where exactly to go. I've been doing a lot of studying and thinking for a long time and I'm certain based on my research that I had or still have a lot of damage from the religion I was brought up in. I just don't know what to do and I feel lost and that's why I came here because this is the only place I have to go that I'm aware of at the moment. I really don't know what to say or even where to begin. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have for me and any help is greatly appreciated. 


    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  

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  12. 12 hours ago, WWOAC said:

    What are some thoughts on biblical prophecies that have supposedly been fulfilled and are supposedly still being fulfilled today?


    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. 

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  13. 22 hours ago, WWOAC said:

    Thank you everyone for your responses. I don't have a problem with the idea of a creator at all which makes sense to me. I too certainly have a lot of questions for Christianity that I know I can't ask especially around here. Thank you for the link ficino. @ Geezer some book references would be great. I'm trying to learn more about the history of hell although I no longer believe in the traditional view of hell that most people have. How did you get over your fear of hell? What if we're all wrong, what am I supposed to say to God on judgement day? Have any of you had anxiety from your religious experience and if so how did you deal with it because I have times where I can't hardly breath and I started having panic attacks about 2 years ago. 


    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.

     

     

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  14. 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.

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  15. 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. 

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  16. 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.

     


     

     

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  17. 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. 

     

     


  18. 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. 

     

     

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  19. 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. 

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  20. 1 hour ago, UniversalFriendliness said:

    One is hard-pressed to find a religious tradition that recommends masturbation. Some traditions are against it outright, while others will not comment directly but suggest that one ought to be cautious about observing the attractiveness of people other than one's own spouse. What these traditions have in common is the idea that the self-pleasuring habit can contribute to a solipsistic state of mind from which it is more difficult to develop one's talents and relationships. It may be an example of how religions can express a true idea even if we don't want the entire philosophy or worldview.

     

    Religion is pretty much against anything that is pleasurable. Priest are apparently excluded though.:D 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.

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