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R_Collins

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R_Collins last won the day on December 1 2017

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About R_Collins

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    Doubter

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    freethinkersbooks.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Alabama
  • Interests
    Exposing fallacies and deceptions of Christianity
  • More About Me
    I am an ex-Christian who saw the light of reason when I was in ministerial school studying to be a conservative Christian minister.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
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  1. Although millions of Christians believe that the Bible is inerrant (without error), it is quite easy to prove that, in a few cases, the authors of the Bible believed that some other books of the Bible DID contain errors. One easy way to do this is to compare the stories in the Gospel of Mark with the same stories reported in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. I've created a 10+ minute YouTube video which compares 9 different events in Mark, and shows that there are irreconcilable contradictions between Mark's report and reports of the same events in Matthew and/or Luke. I hope this gives you some interesting things to discuss with your Christian friends: Did Matthew and Luke believe that Mark was infallible?
  2. I've lived in the Bible Belt (Alabama, USA) most of my 6+ decades of life. Most folks down here are Christians, and so Christianity, church, etc, comes up frequently in conversation, at work, etc. I'm continually amazed at how little Christians know about their own beliefs. Their own knowledge of the Bible, Christian history, major Christian theologians, etc is abysmal to nonexistent, and this doesn't even bother them. So how do these Christians decide which "absolute truths" they are supposed to believe? I don't think it's Jesus or the Bible. I've created a YouTube video about where most Christians get their beliefs, and why Christian leaders - preachers, priests, ministers, etc - foster and encourage this willful ignorance. I hope you enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABg39W_e7HQ
  3. Thanks to everyone, Tsathoggua9, ficino, MOHO, Riven and Older, for your kind words of encouragement. MOHO, my videos focus on Christianity, because that is my area of expertise. If you would like to view similar trends for other religions, you can view and download the Gallup data at http://news.gallup.com/poll/1690/religion.aspx
  4. Thank you for your kind words, ficino, older and Geezer. I've found some academic research papers that say there is some evidence that some Christians are repulsed by churches getting into politics, and leave their church; in many cases, they leave organized religion altogether, although they usually retain some kind of personal religious belief. That's the good news. The bad news is that the departure of those Christians leaves a residue of hard-core "Christian soldiers" in the churches who firmly believe that it is their god's will for them to take western culture back to the "Good Old Days", when there was no Separation of Church and State, i.e.,the Dark Ages. Make America Great Again.
  5. The decline in the percentage of Christians in the USA has been well documented by several long-term, statistically valid studies. I got curious about when Christians might become a minority in the USA, so I plugged some of this data into a spreadsheet and made some forecasts using linear regression. The forecast, based on the 70 year trend, is some time in the early 2100's. But this downward trend has accelerated significantly recent years. The forecast, based on the most recent 20 years of data, is sometime in the 2040's, and "nones" may outnumber Christians sometime in the 2050's. I've created a 7 minute video that discusses these forecasts in detail, and gives some reasons why the downward trend in Christians has been accelerating in the past two decades. Here's the link to the video. I hope you enjoy it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvdq4Cz9MTQ
  6. Good observation, ReadyForChange. I hadn't seen that argument about Zerubbabel before I published the video. I've spent most of today researching it, and I only have a partial answer. Please allow me a few more days and I'll post on this forum what I found. Late Edit, June 6, 2018: Please refer to my edit in my original post.
  7. Welcome, Knott!! I am an ex-Christian who became an Atheist/Agnostic while I was in a Bible-believing minister's school working on a Master's of Divinity degree, with the life goal of becoming a conservative Christian minister and professional Christian apologist. For me, the issues were (1) The Bible is filled with errors and self-contradictions, (2) Christian apologetics is a complete failure and is very intellectually dishonest. There were other factors, such as Jesus failure to answer prayers, hypocrisy of Christians which got worse as you climbed the pyramid (preachers were more phony than church members, preachers at big churches were more hypocritical than preachers at small churches, etc). But the Bible and apologetics were the main reasons. I've created YouTube videos that describe many of these issues in detail. My channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/freethinkersbooks I wish you every success in your search for truth.
  8. The genealogy in the Gospel of Matthew is essential to this Gospel's main theme: that Jesus was the Christ because he was the King of the Jews. But a close look at the Old Testament shows that this genealogy proves the exact opposite of what it was supposed to prove. It proves that Jesus cannot be the Christ because Old Testament prophecies prohibited two of the men in this genealogy from being an ancestor of any King of the Jews. I've created an 8 minute video that discusses this, and the Old Testament prophecies related to it (Jeremiah 22:28-30 and Jeremiah 36:30) I hope you enjoy it, and that it gives you some interesting things to discuss with your Bible-believing friends. www.youtube.com / watch?v=WHiBf7EDfe8 SEE NOTE BELOW LATE EDIT June 6, 2018: Friends: Several days ago, ReadyForChange asked a question (see below) about whether some later statements in the Old Testament effectively removed god's curses on Jechoniah and Jehoiakim. This is a very good question, and it brings up an issue that I had not discovered in the background research that I performed before I started creating this video. This argument is based on Haggai 2:25, which says, "On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, says the Lord of Hosts". I spent a couple of days reviewing the arguments that Christian commentators gave for this interpretation, and even found some ancient Jewish commentaries on it. I am convinced that my video is correct, and that this interpretation of Haggai 2:25 is wrong for several reasons: 1 - Zerubbabel was not a king. He was a minor sub-governor who served at the pleasure of the Persian king and did not even report directly to the king, he reported to another provincial governor named Tatenai (Ezra Chapters 4-6) 2 - The curses against Jechoniah and Jehoiakim are direct and clear. The Bible contains no direct statement that the curses were removed. 3 - The Bible gives no indication that the curses against Jechoniah and Jehoiakim were conditional, i.e., might be revoked or altered, depending on someone's future behavior. Nevertheless, I think that an honest Bible believer could make a plausible argument for interpreting Haggai 2:25 as revoking the Bible god's curses on Jechoniah and Jehoiakim. In my videos, I try to discuss/debunk Christian beliefs for which there are no plausible/honest Christian counter-arguments. I do this not only to expose errors in Christian beliefs, but also to let Christians see for themselves the intellectual dishonesty of Christian apologists. I want Christians, who try to verify the claims in my videos, to do some web searches and find these dishonesties for themselves, because these kinds of Christian dishonesties/deceptions were some of the biggest reasons that I rejected my own Christian beliefs. (Although my de-conversion/enlightenment happened before the Internet, Christian apologists' reckless contempt for the truth was very obvious to anyone who objectively read their writings, even decades ago.) So, although I am convinced that my video was factually correct, I HAVE DELETED IT FROM YOUTUBE because of the possibility of plausible counter-arguments. If you are still interested in this subject, I will be happy to send you a Wordpad transcript of my video (RTF format) , and my notes on the research I did on Haggai 2:25.
  9. In Leviticus 26:27-29, Deuteronomy 28:53-58, Ezekiel 5:5-10 and Jeremiah 19:9, the Bible says that, if the Hebrews do not obey God, He will make them eat their own children. According to the Bible, this threat was carried out during the seige of Jerusalem, as reported in Lamentations 2:20 and 4:10. These children died of starvation, disease and dehydration, then their starving parents ate their bodies. God violated his own law by doing this, because Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20 say that the child shall not suffer for their parents' sins. But Jerusalem was beseiged and conquered because their parents were disobedient to God, according to the Bible. I've created a 7+ minute video that discusses these Bible passages and the historical context around them. I hope you find it to be interesting. "Did God Make the Hebrews Eat Their Own Children?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4uFSJQEtPU
  10. Thank you for the compliment and feedback, ficino. Thanks also for setting me straight on σημεῖον. I looked it up in my Young's Concordance, and you are right.
  11. I am an ex-Christian who became an Atheist/Agnostic while I was in a Bible believing ministerial grad school, studying to be a conservative Christian minister and professional Christian apologist. One of the most difficult issues for me, from the day that I was "Born Again" until I renounced my Christian faith, was the prophesies in the Bible. Christian ministers, seminary professors, para-church leaders and others kept talking about how "precise" and "miraculous" these prophecies were. But the more that I investigated them, the more they looked like pious frauds and contorted misinterpretations of Scripture, or worse. Eventually, this was one of the reasons why I rejected Christianity. I've created a 14+ minute video that lists 10 of the most easily disproved "prophecies" that were spoken by Jesus Christ, according to the Bible. In most cases, I use the Bible itself to disprove them, although 2-3 disproofs are just common sense. I hope this provides some interesting topics for your discussions with your Christian friends. Enjoy!! Top Ten False Prophecies Spoken By Jesus Christ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGmyEcDoc3M
  12. If Jesus was really loving, all-knowing God, he would have known that Christianity would be plagued by enormous problems for the next 2,000 years. A partial list of these include slavery, Christians persecuting Christians, epidemics such as smallpox, abusive spouses and parents, corruption of New Testament manuscripts, embarrassing scientific errors, mistreatment of people with seizures and mental illness, and many more. But the Bible does not report that Jesus said anything that would have helped his followers to avoid these tragedies. In fact, the Bible gives no hint that he even knew about them. This is a powerful argument against his divinity. I've created a 10+ minute YouTube video that discusses many things that Jesus should have said if he really was God. I hope you enjoy it. Also, I am interested in what YOU think Jesus should have said if he really was God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txes_XjWvlk
  13. I was a full-time student in a hyper-conservative ministerial school, working on a Master of Divinity degree. By then, I'd been a fundamentalist Christian for about 8 years, so I had spent thousands of hours independently studying the Bible, in addition to going to "apologetics conferences", hearing hundreds of sermons, etc. So I thought I really knew the Bible, but my knowledge was very compartmentalized. I had never thought about doctrines "A" and "B" at the same time. Everyone in the seminary was super-WASP (white Anglo Saxon protestant). They invited this black Christian guy to speak at chapel, and he started talking about the book of Joshua, where the Israelites conquered and killed all of the indigenous tribes who were already living there. I'd heard all that before. But then he said, "Did you ever think about the people who got killed?" and he went on to draw some very good analogies between the Canaanites and Blacks in the Deep South from 1865 - present. Although I'm a white WASP, I had grown up in Alabama during the civil rights era, so this really hit home. I started thinking very deeply about why a loving God would tell the Israelites to murder all of those innocent people, then I started thinking about lots of other things in the Bible that contradicted each other. Within a few months, my Christianity had died a well deserved demise.
  14. RachelSkates, thank you for the info about Suetonius. I had done a lot of searching in preparation for my video, but I had missed that one. I'll be sure to look it up. mymistake, thank you for the feedback on my videos. Some topics are very complex and require long videos. But I'm discovering that, on YouTube, the vast majority of viewers prefer shorter videos. So I am going to try to pick more narrowly defined subjects for most of my future videos.
  15. Justus: "...it sounds like the LORD must have sent you a strong delusion..." Not long ago, I would have said something very similar to what you said in your post. If you are happy with your beliefs, then I respect your right to believe whatever you want to believe. But if you are like I was - outwardly sure but inwardly conflicted - then I invite you to visit my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/freethinkersbooks and my web site: http://www.freethinkersbooks.com These are designed to help sincerely questioning Christians learn things about the Bible and other aspects of the Christian faith that Christian leaders have tried to hide from them. You can view this material in complete privacy without any other Christians suspecting that you have secret doubts. My web site also contains an email address where you can send any comments or questions that you may have.
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