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About HeartFromTexas

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    Religion, philosophy, politics
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    44 years evangelical. 5 years atheist.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. He literally said that? How fucked up is that. It’s one thing for a brainwashed 9-year old to say it, but wholly another for a father. I expect that my parents, knowing something is up and also that I just married a Jew 2 1/2 mo’s ago, are slowly changing their theology to eke out a workaround so that she and I still end up in heaven.
  2. Easy peasy: they rejected the free gift of salvation offered by a loving sacrificing savior. CS Lewis said it best: the doors of hell are locked from the inside. Those who never heard, due to accident of birth? The creator endwelled within all the knowledge of Him and His Son. In their spirit they rejected Him. And God is gracious and loving and welcomes those whose hearts sought His. Seriously. This is what I KNEW to be true. Any of the dozens of problems and questions that immediately leapt to mind when you read that bullshit? Easily ignored, overlooked, or logically pretzeled around. Sigh.
  3. Hell was the concept that began my deconversion. For most/all of my 43+ years as a Christian Id accepted the standard fundagelical line: no Jesus belief, Hell was the eternal destination. Period. No discussion. But the book Love Wins by Robb Bell started the process. After it was published I ignored it for quite some time, as obvious heresy and therefore unworthy of my time. Furthermore, a buddy was Bell’s literary agent (and agent to many other big Christian names - Eldredge/Jeremiah/Maxwell/and more) and that book blew up the firm: many of the conservative authors threatened to bolt if Bell remained a client. But I read it. And it blew my doors off - actual scriptural evidence to support the hypothesis that hell might not be permanent. So I read Francis Chan’s response - and found it pretty weak. I also realized that both these guys used scripture to make competing claims and Bell’s, especially from the morality perspective, made sense. So I reread them both. And had the same conclusions as I did initially. Then I made a huge mistake: Amazon’s suggestion after buying those two books was one called “Losing My Religion” and I bought it. Initially interested due to the REM lyrics it brought to mind, I read the summary: it was written by an ex-Christian writer for the LA Times Religion section who lived in Orange County and FOR YEARS HAD GONE TO THE SAME MEGACHURCH I was attending. It re-irritated some long long long ignored itches that I began to vigorously scratch. Yada yada yada ... I became an atheist. Since then, I haven’t given Hell a second thought. Nor heaven. Nor invisible friends or enemies. Fucking awesome.
  4. You caught that - yes, I was being cagey. Thanks!!!
  5. No kidding. Total can of worms. Frankly, the classical liberal position is very libertarian on other’ lifestyles - dow hat you like, provided it has the approval of anyone else involved. I’ve ALWAYS had that perspective, although it probably had a little “love the sinner but hate the sin” thrown in - that’s now gone. lol. Thanks and chat w you later!
  6. There are only 3 things that still REALLY bother me 5 years after my faith left me: (1) Regret for the staggeringly countless hours, dollars, emotions wasted over 44 or so years of having an imaginary friend. (2) Most of my kids are are still infected with the virus, several of whom have directly told me that my being in Hell for eternity won’t bother them as they’ll be worshipping Jesus in person. (3) I cloak the truth from my parents as it’ll kill them. When I was in I was REALLY in: Christian schools through college; married into a family full of pastors, Christian educators, and such - I was proud that they were Jesus Royalty; involved in lay leadership and ministry as much as one could be; and more. It’s pretty fucking embarrassing, frankly. It was a several-years-long process that I went through. It involved massive amounts of reading, studying, debating, and listening. It wasn’t easy and I was pretty unhappy about it. I didn’t really want to leave the cave, but as soon as I suspected that I had been just looking at shadows on the wall I couldn’t rest until I knew for sure. Once I knew, however, I was in the real world and the efforts to climb out were perhaps the best moments of my life so far. One thing that that hasn’t happened and I seem to be in a minority, is that I remain politically a classical liberal. For some reason, rejecting supernatural claims seems to result in many people taking up a position on the left (or far left) of the political spectrum. I don’t see how rejecting faith as a valid way of knowing all of a sudden means that individual liberty and freedom are somehow less valuable. Other than for the Objectivists or a handful of outliers, being faith-free seems to be (mostly) synonymous with progressive. A buddy told me of this site and im glad to be here! Thanks, HeartFromTexas (a fake name designed to hide my identity and location, lol)
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