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We Are Breeding Ex-christians


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Thought you may be interested in my article to a Christian forum.

 

We Are Breeding Ex-Christians

 

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Though I hold to the Security of the Believer (a Christian cannot lose his salvation), let's not discuss that doctrine now. Let's discuss why the "Ex-Christian" community is growing on the internet and society. These are people who claim to have been saved but are now enlightened apostates.

 

They are the most vigorous in attacking the Christian Faith. Notice that almost without exception the most popular atheist debaters and defenders claim to have come out of Christianity.

 

I am convinced that there are two major reasons for what I call the Ex-Christian Syndrome. First, it tends to be an American syndrome. America is blessed to have a strong Christian foundation and presence. But this church-on-every-corner environment can foment "Ex-Christians" by allowing people to buy into the noise and fury of Christendom and miss Christ. Religion without Christ is easily blown away.

 

Second, we have started preaching a man-centered gospel that puts Christianity on par with the latest fad or lifestyle choice: "Try Jesus for a good quiver in your liver". When one's temporal desires or pragmatic needs fail to be met by the "conversion", it's all over. "Try it for 30 days or your money back!"

 

Now, many "Ex-Christians" are not that shallow. But I suggest that without a genuine relationship with Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, one is vulnerable to philosophical arguments that may sound more convincing at the time (Col. 2:8).

 

Arguments, evidence, apologetics, and philosophy are part of the sanctification process in the life of the Christian and are informed by the Christian worldview. They don't replace the inner-witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16 ) and one's personal, growing relationship with Christ - they support it.

 

Folks, that skinny New Zealand evangelist Ray Comfort is right. And he may be used of God to bring about mass evangelism. If a person does not know why he is coming to Christ, he will come for the wrong reasons and just may remain unconverted. Then, the trials of life and false philosophy deconverts and innoculates him (Matt. 13:3-23).

 

We come to Christ for salvation from the coming wrath of a holy and righteous God before whom we will stand one day. His gracious provision is the Cross. Or, you can stand before God on your own terms and merit and take your best shot. Good luck.

 

I was raised in the evangelistic equivalent of "You've tried drugs, sex, and Disney Land, now try Jesus for a better experience". It must stop now! We are cranking out "Ex-Christians" at a furious rate.

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I rather think the reason why you have a growing number of Ex-Christians in America is because of the extremistic, fundamentalistic and literalistic teachings. Besides, you don't know anything about how serious or deep my faith was when I was on the top of my religious walk. To even hint that it wasn't genuine, is presumptuous and ignorant. And the more you push for your faith, the more Ex-Christians you're likely to see.

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I rather think the reason why you have a growing number of Ex-Christians in America is because of the extremistic, fundamentalistic and literalistic teachings. Besides, you don't know anything about how serious or deep my faith was when I was on the top of my religious walk. To even hint that it wasn't genuine, is presumptuous and ignorant. And the more you push for your faith, the more Ex-Christians you're likely to see.

 

 

Of course I don't know the depth of your sincerity. But since when is sincerity a guage for truth? Besides, I am not the one who says it. Jesus said it and the apostle John said it. They gave some explanatory options.

 

Biblically, I think there are three options:

 

 

1). A person was never truly converted to Christ.

 

2). A person was truly converted to Christ but has fallen into a carnal state of doubt, rebellion, anger, false philosophy, etc. (this happens to all of us to varying degrees).

 

3). The doctrine of the Security of the Believer is false and a person can genuinely lose his salvation.

 

I think the first two are the most legitimate options but good Christians disagree.

 

And yes, few things can harm a person like legalistic extremism. But the issue is the claims of Christ - not someone's fun-bashing aunt or theocratic fundy uncle.

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Biblically, I think there are three options:

 

 

1). A person was never truly converted to Christ.

 

2). A person was truly converted to Christ but has fallen into a carnal state of doubt, rebellion, anger, false philosophy, etc. (this happens to all of us to varying degrees).

 

3). The doctrine of the Security of the Believer is false and a person can genuinely lose his salvation.

 

I think the first two are the most legitimate options but good Christians disagree.

 

And yes, few things can harm a person like legalistic extremism. But the issue is the claims of Christ - not someone's fun-bashing aunt or theocratic fundy uncle.

 

 

LOL, there was a time (about a year ago) when everything you wrote would have caused me to go into an offensive mode but now I find it just plain funny.

 

People used to believe in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, mythology just like they do in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Christianity isn't nearly the violent religion that it used to be and Judaism isn't violent like the bible claims it used to be either, those are sure signs that a religion is on it's way out the door along with the belief. More and more Muslims are easy going too. Judaism has pretty much fallen to the wayside, its only a matter of time before Christianity and Islam do the same. :shrug:

 

Yeah, those last two years of my 30 year 'walk with Christ', I was just faking my sincerity in seeking the truth. I enjoyed having my kids in tears worried about going to hell, and I enjoyed hurting my husband, and I really truly enjoyed spending hours asking God for help...it was a hoot.

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And Kevin, why should you think that anyone here would give a rats butt about that ridiculous article? No person drove me away from my belief, it was reading the Bible for the truth that it really was.

 

People in the Bible didn't need blind faith, if there is a god and IT wants me to believe in him then I deserve the same courtesy extended as he did for Abraham, Adam, Eve, David, the disciples, etc. You know, a guy you can sit and have a chat with and literally see.

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This is pretty laughable. I was as sincere a Christian as they came. However, the entire thing just started to unravel for me. It made no sense and I got tired of wasting my time.

 

We will see more and more ex-christians and Jesus will go the way of Zeus...To be examined in English Lit courses.

 

And Kevin, why should you think that anyone here would give a rats butt about that ridiculous article? No person drove me away from my belief, it was reading the Bible for the truth that it really was.

 

People in the Bible didn't need blind faith, if there is a god and IT wants me to believe in him then I deserve the same courtesy extended as he did for Abraham, Adam, Eve, David, the disciples, etc. You know, a guy you can sit and have a chat with and literally see.

 

 

I totally agree. I wish the Bible god would come down, in person, and have a chat with me...And don't give me that, "You have to meditate and listen for god's voice" bullshit either. I want him to fly down on a flaming chariot and invite me to dinner and drinks.

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Biblically, I think there are three options:

 

 

1). A person was never truly converted to Christ.

 

2). A person was truly converted to Christ but has fallen into a carnal state of doubt, rebellion, anger, false philosophy, etc. (this happens to all of us to varying degrees).

 

3). The doctrine of the Security of the Believer is false and a person can genuinely lose his salvation.

 

I think the first two are the most legitimate options but good Christians disagree.

 

And yes, few things can harm a person like legalistic extremism. But the issue is the claims of Christ - not someone's fun-bashing aunt or theocratic fundy uncle.

 

 

LOL, there was a time (about a year ago) when everything you wrote would have caused me to go into an offensive mode but now I find it just plain funny.

 

People used to believe in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian, mythology just like they do in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Christianity isn't nearly the violent religion that it used to be and Judaism isn't violent like the bible claims it used to be either, those are sure signs that a religion is on it's way out the door along with the belief. More and more Muslims are easy going too. Judaism has pretty much fallen to the wayside, its only a matter of time before Christianity and Islam do the same. :shrug:

 

Yeah, those last two years of my 30 year 'walk with Christ', I was just faking my sincerity in seeking the truth. I enjoyed having my kids in tears worried about going to hell, and I enjoyed hurting my husband, and I really truly enjoyed spending hours asking God for help...it was a hoot.

 

 

Notice that I did not denounce or question sincerity but just pointed out that it is not necessarily a test or guage of truth. We can be sincere - yet sincerely wrong.

 

Also, it doesn't follow that just because people believed in god or religion X at one time Christianity is therefore false. Nor does the abuse of Christianity prove it false.

 

I am truly sad for the apparently past turmoil in your family. I'll just point out that we don't come to Christ for a better lifestyle, family dynamic, or fulfilling marriage. I think those things can be a byproduct. We embrace Christ because of who he is and what he has accomplished for us.

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Jeez Kevin!

 

Why would Ex-Christians be a big deal to you guys anyway? Why the fuck should you care? Anytime you are worried about your numbers, why not just hightail it to Christianforums and just look at their membership numbers.

 

The biggest threat to you fucking dogma isn't us....it's the dogma itself! Other people had nothing to do with our individual de-conversions. No one "convinced" us that religion was bogus. We learned the frightening truth by ourselves.

 

Then we were very lonely. Each of us felt totally alone. That's a hard feeling.

 

Thanks to the internet though, we can now find each other! We don't have to just put on the christian costume so we can have friends, crossing our fingers in the hopes that we meet a few folks like ourselves (which could take YEARS to figure out).

 

Thanks to the internet, we who used to believe, but don't anymore can come out of the closet (we aren't a new phenomenon, we've always been around)! And nothing the panicking evangelists can do is going to make us go back in.

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I am truly sad for the apparently past turmoil in your family. I'll just point out that we don't come to Christ for a better lifestyle, family dynamic, or fulfilling marriage.

 

 

Okay, you just crossed a major line. I didn't come to Christ for a better lifestyle, family dynamic or fulfilling marriage. I stayed a Christian because I 'loved' Christ and felt obligated to serve 'him' ought of appreciation for what he supposedly did for me. I was seeking a relationship with him, but you can't have a relationship with a dead guy and yes, that God doesn't show himself to me in person like he does the CHARACTERS in that pathetic piece of literature, the Bible, PROVES that God does not exists. It proves that the Judeo-Christian God is bunk. Other religions died out because it's followers realized that those gods/goddesses were all bunk too.

 

I chose my family over trying to serve an invisible, ancient tribal version of what God is. I'm just so thankful that I didn't totally ruin my children or my marriage. Even if your god was real, it's a monster and unworthy of worship.

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And Kevin, why should you think that anyone here would give a rats butt about that ridiculous article? No person drove me away from my belief, it was reading the Bible for the truth that it really was.

 

People in the Bible didn't need blind faith, if there is a god and IT wants me to believe in him then I deserve the same courtesy extended as he did for Abraham, Adam, Eve, David, the disciples, etc. You know, a guy you can sit and have a chat with and literally see.

 

 

Your Christian past is showing! You said "rats butt"! True Ex-Christians use the "A" word!

 

I think the people here would be interested in the article because it concerns Ex-Christians.

 

You bring up two issues: 1). Blind Faith (fideism) and 2). Hiddeness of God (or Divine Hiddeness).

 

First, as you pointed out, the Bible does not demand blind faith. Faith, the assent or trust that a proposition is true, can be warranted or reasonable faith. Christian faith can be reasonable faith.

 

Second, God has revealed himself in such a way as to promote relationship with him as opposed to mere acknowledgement of his existence. God has shown in history that flashy miracles serve only to undergird specific and timely revelation and has little value in promoting the personal relationship God desires. That's why we have seen a progressive "interiorization" of God's work in the heart throughout Scripture.

 

Allow me to give a quick illustration from Kierkegaard:

 

A beautiful, powerful, and wealthy king falls in love with a peasant girl. He has two choices to win her love. One, show up in full regalia with horses and treasure at her door to entice her. Or, two, become a peasant for a time so she may get to know him for him rather than his position.

 

You're the peasant girl. What would you have the king do?

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Allow me to give a quick illustration from Kierkegaard:

 

A beautiful, powerful, and wealthy king falls in love with a peasant girl. He has two choices to win her love. One, show up in full regalia with horses and treasure at her door to entice her. Or, two, become a peasant for a time so she may get to know him for him rather than his position.

 

You're the peasant girl. What would you have the king do?

this is a very bad analogy. If we're the peasant girl, no flesh and blood son of god comes to our door, none of any social class. All we get is a book written by a motley gaggle of people from bronze aged tribesmen to Hellenizing self-promoters like Paul to meanspirited psychos like the author of Revelation. I think most of us actually have chosen the fellow peasant - real live human beings like ourselves - over the book.

 

You read the book seriously and you realize, as many have said in answer to your article, Kevin, that the problem with Christianity is not false believers or man-centered churches - it's the doctrines of the religion themselves.

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Notice that I did not denounce or question sincerity but just pointed out that it is not necessarily a test or guage of truth. We can be sincere - yet sincerely wrong.

 

Gee, I have never heard that line before. Tell me more... :Hmm:

 

Also, it doesn't follow that just because people believed in god or religion X at one time Christianity is therefore false.

 

Yup, agree with you there. On the other hand, just because people like you make sincere appeals doesn't make xtianity true either.

 

Nor does the abuse of Christianity prove it false.

 

Also true, there are oh so much better arguments out there that prove xtianity false; loads of them.

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A beautiful, powerful, and wealthy king falls in love with a peasant girl. He has two choices to win her love. One, show up in full regalia with horses and treasure at her door to entice her. Or, two, become a peasant for a time so she may get to know him for him rather than his position.

 

You're the peasant girl. What would you have the king do?

 

Here's a retarded idea. The king is NOT a peasant. To pretend to be one would be deceptive. She wouldn't be getting to know him! She'd be getting to know a character that he feels would appeal to her that she wouldn't be intimidated by (he is already assuming she will be intimidated).

 

Also, to show up at her door blazing with treasures is insulting too! It imples her heart could be bought! Not to mention lays bare the extreme class difference between the two. Not courteous at all.

 

What is the matter with meeting her somewhere like a bridge or something, still recognizably himself and not blazing with wealth either, and saying "Hello, I saw you the other day, and I was intrigued. Might we sit here and talk? I'd like to get to know you. If you feel the need for a chaperone, I can wait right here too. I respect your honor."

 

This way he's not LYING (by playing peasant)

OR being CONDESCENDING (by shock and awe tactics)

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First, as you pointed out, the Bible does not demand blind faith. Faith, the assent or trust that a proposition is true, can be warranted or reasonable faith. Christian faith can be reasonable faith.

 

You intrigue me Kevin, please demonstrate for us "reasonable faith."

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Of course I don't know the depth of your sincerity. But since when is sincerity a guage for truth?

It was your words.

 

Besides, I am not the one who says it. Jesus said it and the apostle John said it. They gave some explanatory options.

And they were wrong.

 

Biblically, I think there are three options:

 

1). A person was never truly converted to Christ.

Not me.

 

2). A person was truly converted to Christ but has fallen into a carnal state of doubt, rebellion, anger, false philosophy, etc. (this happens to all of us to varying degrees).

Carnal state of doubt? Yes I was in extreme doubts. So extreme that I didn't have any faith left. But was it for carnal needs? No! Unless you call Love And Care For Your Family as carnal. I compared My Love to God's Love. And he was lacking, failing and constantly missing the opportunities to show a hint of care or love, and I had to take care of my family when they were in need. God wasn't there. Didn't do anything. And when I needed emotional support, he still wasn't there, and didn't answer my prayers even for my need of comfort. Then I needed help to believe, and yet again he failed to show one ounce of action by giving me support. No Christian friend got any supernatural calling from God to give us a signal or give us moral support. Nothing, nada, zilch. And of course you will claim, God won't answer all prayers, so how is it about "faith" really? Where does faith come from? From God of from myself? If it is from God, then God must act to give me faith, if it is from myself then it's not a miracle to believe or be in a delusional state.

 

3). The doctrine of the Security of the Believer is false and a person can genuinely lose his salvation.

I'm not sure what you mean with that.

 

I truly believe someone can lose their "faith", because I think "faith" is nothing but an emotional state of mind.

 

I think the first two are the most legitimate options but good Christians disagree.

Then maybe you're not a good Christian.

 

And yes, few things can harm a person like legalistic extremism. But the issue is the claims of Christ - not someone's fun-bashing aunt or theocratic fundy uncle.

You promote Christians to spread more religious drivel, and you think more will become Christians, but I think you're wrong.

 

---edit---

 

But I do think you're correct that you and your fellow Christians are the reason to deconverting Christians. But I don't think you can help it by becoming more ignorant and more intolerant.

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I think your reasoning for the number of ex-Christians in America is wrong.

 

My thought is that of course there will be a lot of ex-Christians in America - there's a lot of Christians to start with. Naturally there would be more ex-Christians here than in Iraq.

 

And the more we learn about how the world really works, the less we're going to attribute to God. And there seems to be a tipping point where, I at least, started down the road to realizing that if God didn't do X as attributed in the Bible, then why should we assume He did Y.

 

And aren't ex drug addicts some of the strongest opponents of drug use, ex alcoholics the strongest opponents of alcoholism, etc? An ex-Christian obviously got out for a reason. I doubt that there are many ex-Christians who deconverted just to sleep in on Sundays - although that's certainly a nice side benefit :grin: Why would we (possibly mistakenly putting words into others' mouths) want someone to go through the same things we did?

 

Making the assumption that anybody here was any less of a Christian during their time as a Christian than you are now is a mistake that you should not make. Honestly, it's insulting. You have no idea how strongly I, or anyone else here, believed in Jesus prior to deconversion.

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Here's a retarded idea. The king is NOT a peasant. To pretend to be one would be deceptive. She wouldn't be getting to know him! She'd be getting to know a character that he feels would appeal to her that she wouldn't be intimidated by (he is already assuming she will be intimidated).

...

This way he's not LYING (by playing peasant)

OR being CONDESCENDING (by shock and awe tactics)

Yes...This is retarded in that it is in the realm of reasonable. A truly stupid solution.

 

I say the king put on some act and trick the girl. Then he reveal his "true" self as a rich king. This will make the girl realize she is rich too and love him even more. That's a better story. Until she realizes he's been hitting on every girl in the land this way. Uh oh.

 

Or maybe it's as Ficino says that he's just been sending out the same crusty old love note for the past 2000 years telling the peasant girl he's coming for her soon so be ready. He loves her a lot. So she turns her back on all her real opportunities for love and dies alone because some jerk that lives in a cave thought it would be funny to play a joke.

 

mwc

 

 

Notice that I did not denounce or question sincerity but just pointed out that it is not necessarily a test or guage of truth. We can be sincere - yet sincerely wrong.

True enough. This is why we all have no doubt that you sincerely believe in the bible and jesus with all your heart.

 

mwc

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KevinH:

 

By your Security argument and belief I was never christian.

 

For that assesment I thank thee considerably.

 

Now, just as kindly bugger off telling me what/where/why/when I have discontinued to follow a shriven shell of trivial banal bullshit.

 

When the need for a cosmic babysitter expired and I grew up, fear of being lashed and burned by said 'sitter went away.

 

You ass-U-me that you know the reasons superficial to deep why the majority of folks toss off their chains.

 

I counter that you are ignorant and by far too biased and interested by your own form of reasoning to make any particular judgement call on the situation(s) and lives of the ExC's.

 

You sir are n o t free to socially contract this mean_old_man to your conditions and stipulations. I simply refuse to be bothered much by the claims you postulate, and in return reject any attempt to stamp me with your preconceptions.

 

In Liberty

 

kevinL

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Sounds like this KevinH is a True Fundy. He needs to hie his ass over into the Colosseum and pit HIS "faith" and doctrine against K9Jake's Liberal goobledeegook. May the Real Christian show us heathens the Light of Christ™. :wicked::loser:

 

Oh, and for MY reply to the OP?.... :jerkoff: Whatever. I just want to know WHY Christians are so panic-stricken and afraid of our Ex-Christian numbers? We're a drop in the religious ocean, and they're worried that we exist "in such GREAT numbers"? What a load of shit. Almost equal to the "Christian Persecution" fiction. Blow me, KevinH.

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Allow me to give a quick illustration from Kierkegaard:

 

A beautiful, powerful, and wealthy king falls in love with a peasant girl. He has two choices to win her love. One, show up in full regalia with horses and treasure at her door to entice her. Or, two, become a peasant for a time so she may get to know him for him rather than his position.

 

You're the peasant girl. What would you have the king do?

this is a very bad analogy. If we're the peasant girl, no flesh and blood son of god comes to our door, none of any social class. All we get is a book written by a motley gaggle of people from bronze aged tribesmen to Hellenizing self-promoters like Paul to meanspirited psychos like the author of Revelation. I think most of us actually have chosen the fellow peasant - real live human beings like ourselves - over the book.

 

You read the book seriously and you realize, as many have said in answer to your article, Kevin, that the problem with Christianity is not false believers or man-centered churches - it's the doctrines of the religion themselves.

 

 

It is not a perfect analogy but it is a good one. But you have uncovered a few issues. Namely, God is not "flesh and blood". Which door should he knock on and why? Splitting the sky and knocking your front door down could always be aliens from space (!), a hoax, hallucination, or natural phenomena. I would look at the life and words of the flesh and blood Jesus Christ for the truth of Christian theism.

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So what would you have said made a true Christian? How did you come to this conclusion, Kevin?

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How can words prove any truth? Just cause something says it's true it is?

Your religions dieing cause it don't work in the year 2006 where we know virgins can't have babies and women don't come from ribs. And that turn your other cheek bullshit will get you killed now days.

Ok, my words are the truth cause I written them down and said it was :lmao: I swear a trillion years from now some bodys gonna find a harry potter book in a cave and he will be the new jesus.

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