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Everything posted by hockeyfan70

  1. My whole life was involved in my religion because I was a pastor. It wasn't too hard to disentangle from the actual religious aspects, but the more practical aspects like "what the hell am I doing to do with my life now" have been difficult.
  2. hockeyfan70

    Old Christian books

    I was a minister for a long time, so I had a ton of books. I gave some away to a place that I applied to be the director of - a non-profit that helped disadvantage teens in the inner city (decided I couldn't fake it even there), some I trashed, and I kept the really old ones I have (I have several from the 1800's/early 1900's).
  3. I don't get on here very often, in fact the last time was sometime in November. Whoops! Anyway, since I have had some conversations with some of you, I thought I would share an update. Still an atheist, although I call myself an apatheist - I don't really care if God exists or not. In December, my wife left me and took my daughter with her. There are a lot of reasons why, but one of them is that the church world is all she's known since she was a pastor's wife and us losing all of our friends and connections - essentially our entire world - has taken a toll on her. We are separated but are about to start getting into talking about big issues and seeing if we can come back together. I am a mailman during the day, and by night I was working at a grocery store, but in January I was able to quit that job and have been working part time for my friend Bart Campolo, who is the humanist chaplain at the University of Cincinnati and the son of famous preacher and author Tony Campolo. I mainly produce and edit his podcast, run his social media, and update his website. His podcast is called Humanize Me, and I'm pretty proud of the work we've done on it. He has some really good conversations with people. You can find it here: I'm doing a lot of "soul"-searching, lots of reading (working through all of the Ehrman books again), and spending time with my two cats and a bunny. Every other Sunday I help Bart put on a humanist community dinner in Cincinnati. It's been a great way to connect with people and I'm excited about the future.
  4. hockeyfan70

    Netflix Original: Altered Carbon

    I thought it was really good. It took awhile for me to stay invested when the sister was introduced. I really liked her character but I felt like it was a little forced. All in all a good show though.
  5. I graduated from a Christian college. I didn't have a bad experience there, but now I get pissed sometimes when I think about my professors who told me things that even if they believed they were true, made me stay in ministry and religion longer than I would have because I figured they knew what they were talking about.
  6. hockeyfan70

    An Update On My Life

    Do you have a link to this YouTube teacher! And thank you for your kind words.
  7. hockeyfan70

    Absurd things you still do

    I hope you get the help you desperately need. I have those thoughts at times - my wife and I are recently separated and she took my daughter to live with her half an hour away - and feel somewhat lonely at times. But I have a good humanist community that meets every other Sunday for dinner, and I am slowly sharing with some of my friends the things I face on a daily basis. I would definitely suggest finding some likeminded people and become connected with them.
  8. Job hunting in the "real world" is way different than job hunting as a pastor. From my first ministry at my home church to my last ministry, I have had six ministry positions. I believe that besides one of them, I was the first choice in each church search. When you are looking for a ministry position, you usually start with sending your resume and perhaps a cover letter. Then, if the church likes what they see, usually either the senior minister or the head elder will call and do an introductory interview. Then if that works out, they will most likely bring you to the church. And then you will have some kind of another interview with staff or perhaps the leadership team, and then depending on what position you are applying for, you may have to lead worship for a Sunday morning, or teach and get to know students (those were the two positions I was a minister of: worship and students). Then there is usually a pretty long wait as the leadership talk about you, seemingly for months. And then they'll offer you the position and you move and start getting settled in. It's totally different in the real world. First, when you send in your resume and your cover letter, there's pretty much a guarantee that about 75 percent of the jobs you apply for will not even contact you back. The cover letter is pretty tricky for a minister. How do you translate your experience as a pastor into experience in the business world? I remember when I came back to the midwest after a brief stint in my home state, I applied for some position and the guy interviewing me told me that he went to church and so he framed the questions in such a way that I could answer them in the correct fashion but using my experience. That was the only one. When I decided to step away from ministry, I first started looking at non-profits. I wanted to stay in the area for my family, so I wasn't really looking anywhere else besides within an hour driving distance. There was one I was really interested in, and I thought I got it, but I got second place. Whomp whomp. After rejection email after rejection email and scam after scam (you know, those that claim to be marketing positions or whatever and then you interview and you find out it's a pyramid scheme), I decided to apply for a part-time position working third shift at a grocery store (so I could also focus on getting a full-time career type job). Which I have. I have been working for three weeks, and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. The pay isn't great, but I listen to music and make sure the shelves in my department look good. Not really what I was doing a year ago, but at least it was helping out a little financially. And then I also applied for a full-time post office position, and apparently I got that job (still waiting to hear from HR). So on one hand, I'm relieved because it looks like for now that my job search has ended. What a stressful time, you know? But on the other hand, what I'm doing is so different from what I have done for twenty odd years. But I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about it. For one, I can do my work and when I clock out, I don't have to think about that job at all. I can focus on other things. (Although now when I go to any store and I see a cluttered or messy shelf, it takes everything within me to not organize it.) Secondly, I just follow orders. I follow rules. I don't have to come up with things, I don't have to lead other people (although I may eventually), I can just be me really. There's a freedom. Even though I'm not certainly not making as much, I don't have to worry about the church world anymore. I've also had more conversations with regular people than I have in a really long time. But that's for another blog post. For now, let me end with the fact that ministers really don't understand for the most part how the real world works and I think for every single one, if they decide to leave ministry and do something else, there is a steep learning curve. I think my curve is over. Although I haven't started my full-time job and the lady interviewing me didn't really sell me on it (neither did other people who work or worked for the USPS). But I have a feeling I will be just fine.
  9. hockeyfan70

    Who Goes to Hell?

    Ooh that reminds me of the Lamaze class my wife and I were in where this other guy was in it and somehow he and I started talking about church or something. I grew up and was a minister in the Christian church/churches of Christ brotherhood and he said he went to a church of Christ and I said "oh we are on the same team. I am a Christian church minister" and he said "no we aren't. You don't belong to the church of Christ." I was like "huh?"
  10. hockeyfan70

    Woke up with Keith Green in my head

    Which song? My favorite songs of his were If I Stand, The Love Of God and Hold Me Jesus.
  11. hockeyfan70

    Woke up with Keith Green in my head

    I got to know Andrew a little bit because he and a bunch of friends did a christmas tour every year and they came to our church two years in a row and I was the person putting it all together. He borrowed my car to go to Starbucks before the concert. Great guy. He has done a couple Rich Mullins covers that are really good. One of my favorite concerts ever was a Rich Mullins concert. The World As Best As I Remember It tour.
  12. hockeyfan70

    Woke up with Keith Green in my head

    Keith Green, Rich Mullins and Andrew Peterson were the three guys who I felt were the most authentic when it came to Xianity.
  13. hockeyfan70

    A Better Life Documentary

    I listen to A Better Life podcast which is really good. I want to see the movie though. I think it's only offered through screenings though correct?
  14. hockeyfan70

    Movie Pass

    It has to eventually fail right? I mean, they are planning on getting their money back by selling analytical information or something. But until it does, I say take advantage of it!
  15. I'm giddy with excitement, because in two weeks I'm going to sit down and have a coffee with a famous atheist. Can you guess who?

    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. hockeyfan70


      Hmm, maybe I hyped this up too much haha. Think "son of a famous Christian."

    3. LogicalFallacy


      After a google search I'm going to say:


      Bart Campolo



    4. hockeyfan70
  16. Debunking Christianity is an interesting thing to attempt to do. On one hand, it's kind of easy because there is so much information out there. If there were only a few discrepancies contained in the Bible, or a few inconsistencies, it would take some time to dig them out. But that's not the case. The Bible is filled with errors. On the other hand, it's difficult because as I continue to research and see for myself some of these discrepancies, I find myself having to stop and reflect. This is due to a couple of reasons: 1. Some of what I'm researching and learning are things I really should have known. I was involved in a program when I was in high school, where we learned whole books of the Bible and quizzed over them. I have memorized tons of Scripture. You would think that in doing so I would have caught on to some of the differences between the Gospels, for example. But most of this stuff I had no idea. 2. As I look through this information, I wonder why this stuff wasn't taught in college, and why we gloss over the inconsistencies and errors when we preach and teach the Bible. I can only think of it in two ways: either, like me, church leaders just don't know that the things we preach about are coming from passages and books of the Bible that are not accurate; or most leaders, preachers and professors are willfully deceiving people. After all, if word gets out that there is no way that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, people are going to panic and freak out and lose their faith. Which means those who are in powerful positions in churches will lose power and prestige. And there won't be anyone around to pay for their salaries. It's kind of like how I see Mormonism. I have studied this cult rather extensively. If you research the history of how Mormonism started; if you look at the life of its founder, Joseph Smith; and if you actually discover what they truly believe, you find out that what the people in the pews know about Mormonism, and what the overall leaders know about Mormonism, are completely different. When I talk to the average Mormon, what they say they believe sounds very similar to what I would have considered as Christianity. Except for the polygamy and not having caffeine, minor issues. But when you find out that their "god" was on another planet, and that there are millions of gods, and that we were all spirit babies born on earth, and that our goal is to populate our own planet with other spirit babies - well, it starts to sound like horseshit, doesn't it? Anyway, today I want to briefly look at the New Testament. In fact, I think that most of this blog will be directed at the NT, although I may reference the Old Testament and if I continue on down the road, perhaps there will be time to do the OT as well. Ready for some shocking information? Ok, here we start. The New Testament contains 27 different books. The first four books are what we call the Gospels, or "good news" about Jesus. These were allegedly written by two disciples (Matthew and John), a friend of Peter (Mark), and a traveling companion of Paul (Luke). The next book tells the story about the disciples after Jesus left earth, and it's called the Acts of the Apostles (or Acts for short). Then you have a bunch of collected letters. Most of them are claimed to be written by the apostle Paul, who was not an original disciple of Jesus but became an apostle after Jesus left the earth through a vision on the road to Damascus. Some of these letters are written to churches, some are written to friends. You also have letters supposedly written by the apostle Peter, by James the brother of Jesus, by Jude, also the brother of Jesus, and by someone named John. At the end of the NT is the book of Revelation, also written by someone named John, which is a letter to churches in Asia Minor and deals mostly with persecution and although some people would say differently, was supposed to encourage the Christians of that day that God wins in the end. (As opposed to those who pore over this book and apply modern technology to the things that John was writing about to show that the world is ending soon.) Ready for the shocker? Out of the 27 books in the NT, there are only 8 of them that most biblical scholars believe were actually written by either who the book said within who it was written by, or who other people ascribe the authorship to. That's less than a third of them! Here are the books that except for some fringe scholars, the consensus is that they were written by the actual authors: Romans (Paul) 1 Corinthians (Paul) 2 Corinthians (Paul) Galatians (Paul) Philippians (Paul) 1 Thessalonians (Paul) Philemon (Paul) Revelation (John, although some question if it was John the brother of James) This means that most scholars would say that none of the gospels were written by those who they are ascribed to. This means that some of these books were written later than what was thought and by people who claimed to be the author but weren't. I don't know about you, but the implications are HUGE. Those who would rather shut their brain off might not necessarily be affected by this news, because they might think (or feel) that it doesn't matter that these books weren't written by the people they thought they were written by; they still had a lot of good things to say. However, I can't accept that. I hope you can't either. There are major implications that you just have to start sorting through. Things like: - how can we trust that we have anything correct when it comes to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, since the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses to these events, nor even friends of eyewitnesses? - how can we apply some of the theology and orthopraxy contained within the letters of the NT, when most of them are written by unknown sources, and who definitely had other agendas besides "writing down what God said to them." - how can we continue to ignore the differences in gospel accounts when we now have good reasons to understand why they are so different? - how can one accept the entire Bible, or even just the entire NT, as the "Word of God?" Should we do what Thomas Jefferson did (although he did his with cutting out anything that talked about miraculous events in the gospels) and only pay attention to the books of the NT that we mostly know were written by the right people at the time they said they did? We have a lot to go through, my friend. Let me close this blog post with something from Bart Ehrman. Although I am using research from many different sources, I like Ehrman a lot because he writes in a way that is easy to understand, and although he is an agnostic, he was a Christian for most of his life and is at least sympathetic towards the Bible and Christians in general. He says that the nineteen books that aren't written by the authors ascribed to them fall under three groups: 1. Misattributed writings These are the books of the New Testament that tradition has said were written by an author that clearly did not write it. An example would be the book of Hebrews. There is unsurmountable evidence that even though Paul has been associated as the author of this book, there is no way he was the one who wrote it. Because within Hebrews itself there is no reference to the author, Paul was misattributed as the author. 2. Homonymous writings This just means that the author of a certain book of the New Testament has the same name as someone who we would normally think of as the author. For example, James was a very common name back in those times; therefore a man named James could have written the book, however most scholars believe it was not the James who was Jesus' brother and a leader in the church of Jerusalem. 3. Pseudepigraphic writings This means that some of the books of the New Testament were written in the names of people who didn't write them. Basically, these books are forgeries. In my next blog post, I will talk about Ehrman's ten reasons as to why ancient writers would produce forgeries and then we will start getting into specific authorship of the questioned books of the New Testament.
  17. hockeyfan70

    From Godless in Dixie

    I agree completely. The worst idea that has been foisted upon humanity is the idea of original sin: that we are born with an evil heart, a condition that someone else needs to remedy.
  18. hockeyfan70

    Ex-C losing popularity

    I visited this site a lot before I became employed at two different places. I just don't have the time. But I do enjoy it when I have a few minutes to check in.
  19. hockeyfan70

    Suicide Is A Sin...

    Trying not to be offended, but as someone whose brother committed suicide, I kind of feel like this thread is a mockery of those who have been through this. I think about my brother killing himself everyday. At least if your theory rings true, god knew that there was hope. My brother had no hope.
  20. hockeyfan70

    You aren't a Christian, so what are you?

    I've started looking into Stoicism recently, and I actually find myself drawn to it. Why do you discount it?
  21. Well our country is being run by a man who definitely doesn't know what he's doing, so at least you have that.
  22. hockeyfan70

    If you are going to come out to family and friends

    Good thoughts. I have not come out completely; as a former minister, I unfortunately have had a lot of impact when it comes to Christianity on a lot of people - especially being a youth minister for eight years. I know some people want to be more of an "evangelist" as an atheist and try to get people to give up their idiocy and leave religion; but I know that a lot of the students I had an impact on would be affected negatively by finding out I was no longer a Christian. I hope somewhere down the road I can; especially as America gets more and more secular. But for now, I just answer truthfully to people who ask me personally.
  23. hockeyfan70

    A reality check to the newly deconverted.

    Good points. In my case, my Christian friends purged me but I'm ok with it.