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Krowb last won the day on August 27

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About Krowb

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    definitely a flesh and blood person born and raised in the Deep South.

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

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  1. Our household is well. Hope the same for you! There are two separate issues lurking within that situation that are unfortunately conflated for the majority of people. 1. What are the limits, if any, on executive power to mandate behavior of private citizens. In legal parlance: what is the authorizing clause? - This is distinct from and has no religious implications. 2. What are the limits on "religious exemption" to conforming to the rules of a free society? Issue 1 I dare not answer as I'm too ignorant of the various state and federal cases on the issue. Issue 2 - there must be some rule by which the courts decide what is "acceptable" religious exemption and what is not. Too much discretion in the hands of inferior courts will rightly lead to claims for violation of equal protection and if a religious group predominates among a particular race, then facially valid claims of "disparate impact" will also be raised. People hold all manner of deeply held religious beliefs, some require reasonable accommodation, others do not. Look at how Rastafarians are treated v. tribal groups that use peyote. Look also at how the Amish are given a pass on compulsory education. It's a hodgepodge, but religious exemptions must be more than simply "I deeply believe X to a religious degree; therefore I am exempt from state power". That's the throughline of the position and it is the same sentiment as those nutjob sovereign citizens. By way of example, years ago I had a file in a very wealthy enclave and the previous attorney declined to close. The lender asked us for a second opinion (my mentor was still alive at the time). We scrutinized title and found the previous seller had placed the property in a "divine trust" explicitly governed by the laws of god and not of man, in addition to numerous other useless filings. The previous owner also had some youtube videos mixing sovereign citizen ideology with pan-african christianity. Clearly we'd say he doesn't have a religious exemption to follow the laws of land ownership, but he does have a sincere and deep religious conviction. Should he have been exempt from the laws and mandates of the state?
  2. This is why getting children in the church is so critical.
  3. Tell us how you really feel.
  4. Robert, As usual, you touch on valid points, but once you jettison the supernatural aspects (there is really a creator who is personally involved in human affairs) of the good book then your view ceases to fit within the common definitions of religion. The fundamentalists have the stronger argument, the issue is their premise (this IS GOD's book) is simply false and demonstrably so, as you pointed out regarding the epistles contradicting the gospels. In fact, it was those huge discrepancies that caused me to jettison the epistles entirely on my path of deconversion. Paul was not god, never claimed to be, so who was he to contradict the words of Christ, who claimed oneness with god?
  5. I wish them luck as well as they continue to grow and learn. @florduh has the right of it - those lukewarm believers are quite different from those of us who believed the Bible to be literally true and that Jesus was literally listening to our every thought and physically changed the nature of the universe to answer prayers and that all life was subject to a divine plan. Followed of course by those unlucky enough to win the divine lottery were destined to an eternal torment. Yeah, fundamentalists have to completely rework their/our understanding of reality and their/our place within it. Talk about a crisis of existential dread coupled with some weird hangups.
  6. I listened to about 3/4 of it and it didn't sound too terribly different from own childhood. We were always at the church. I'd spend almost the entire day there on Sunday from Sunday School to night church. But no one goes around calling Southern Baptists a cult. I mean sure, some youth ministers are sadistic but I just thought that went with the territory.
  7. Feel not shame, but an unburdening. Think of everyone you know who are still trapped in that set of beliefs and grow more ossified in it with each passing year.
  8. I think you will have better luck if you engage with a single person at a time. Your question can be reframed to show why your initial shotgun approach is ineffective: You are a New Yorker, perhaps moved to New York or born and raised there. You are at a site of ex-New Yorkers asking them where they moved when they left. It's interesting to you where they moved. Some moved to London; some are in Madrid. A few moved to LA and a few crazy ones moved to Florida. In general, everyone who left moved to all manner of places across the world. It's different because most New Yorkers are more interested in knowing why someone would ever dare leave New York and insist on arguing why we were wrong to move away. So far you occupy a unique position of only asking where we went as opposed to why.
  9. Just like Christians, ex-christians go on to believe all sorts of things - some true, some not. Leaving Christianity is not a single lane country road. To discard one single belief is not to automatically take up another, specific belief. The only universal belief ex-christians share is that continued belief in Christianity is not justified. Where they go from there is entirely up to them.
  10. Everyone's input is much appreciated. Hopefully this matter has been put to bed.
  11. Pray thee forgive me, for I have sinned. The force of your arguments tore me and I felt the lord move through your words. I admit I was deceived and wish to be cleansed of my unfaithfulness.
  12. Also, starting a conversation by saying god gave one of your childhood friends a massive heart attack last month to get his life right and family back in church while hoping god doesn't need to do the same for you is NOT a valid method. Just writing these things out makes me feel almost like my close family are beyond the pale.
  13. Thank you all for your input and encouragement. It was my mother who stated that if our old pastor knew it would grieve his heart and probably lose sleep. I agree her assessment is correct; that given his health and that of his wife, having them come down would likely be counterproductive; and she agreed to not delve into it. I had forgotten the following until in discussion with my mother this weekend she said the pastor's wife was so precise and good with advice and that I should have listened to her. Years ago when I was first trying to piece together the gospels (before I acknowledged that's a seemingly impossible task) I argued to our pastor's wife (who was vacationing at my mother's for the week) there is no way that Judas is in Hell because he did exactly as god instructed - otherwise god made Judas specifically for Hell, which goes against the whole "none shall perish" bit. Also, in Matthew's version of the last supper Jesus says in 26:25 "I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom". There is no indication in Matthew that Judas had left the table (I recognize John 13:30 paints a different picture, but John is so radically different from the Synoptics that it should be treated as distinct and even John 13:27 says "Satan entered into him" - referencing a possession). her response . . . that my mother said was excellent wisdom . . .: "don't think too hard" She went on to talk about the folly of men's wisdom, how the devil uses that to trick people into disobedience and faith like a child. I see it for what it is today, and I absolutely don't want my daughter getting trapped in that mindset. Nothing is above inquiry, yet we also ought to have humility regarding just how much we don't know or understand. Thank you again to everyone for chiming in or just offering support.
  14. Thank you @TABA, I'll look into that book. Mom is in State A, we live in State B, and the old Pastor lives in State C. Mom goes to visit them about every other month.
  15. My mother knows I don't believe, but doesn't care because "once saved always saved" and I'm simply not "storing up my treasures in heaven". I'm also being a bad father and husband as well as putting my young daughter's salvation at risk because we haven't attended church since last Spring and we don't miss it. So now her plan is to have my old pastor and his wife come over at some point once their chemo treatments are done (both have cancer). This meeting will do nothing but damage the fond memories that exist between us, but as compared to her granddaughter's soul . . . This is the same pastor who in my intro a year ago indulged me when I was young to point out the contradiction in his very understandable compassion that those who never heard the gospel were automatically saved (god is good after all) with the compulsion under the great commission to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth (risking known salvation with opportunity to choose death). He is a good man and I absolutely don't want to cause him or his wife any additional hardship. Do I just not consent to letting come down in a couple of months? All because I'm fine not going to church. You want to know how to turn an ex-christian into a vocal anti-christian, pull stunts like this.
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