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When I Stopped Gambling With Eternity...open Email To Mark


R. S. Martin
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Mark, I saw your email on exC. I have very little to say that has not already been said. When I stopped gambling with eternity I finally found peace, my life changed drastically for the better. I have never looked back.

 

Just so you don't think this is a strong testimony for god, this happened at the precise moment when I turned my back on God. That is when the gamble ended. Now I am free to focus on living. With my new-found peace I can enjoy life, live like Jesus preached, and if God exists I will go to heaven. If God does not exist I have enjoyed the life I had. Can't loose.

 

Jesus also said those who have laid their hand on the plow and look back are not worthy of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was talking about the deep peace that comes with being true to oneself, the peace I got when I turned my back on the religious god. Jesus was not religious. He said we should not look for the kingdom of God "here" or "there," we should look inside of ourselves. I did and I found the perl of great price. I sold all that I had and bought the field. I will never look back.

 

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He also said, "he that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out. My yoke is easy and my burden is light." I found all of this to be true. Truth set me free. The truth is that Jesus as a historical person did not exist. Somebody else wrote up those bits of wisdom. And nobody would have presumed themselves to be truth, way, and life. But Wisdom is truth and way and life. So it's a wisdom saying from an unknown (unknown to me at least) ancient source.

 

You can do what you will with this testimony but you can't negate it. I am no longer in the game, as someone else said. Whether or not God exists is simply beside the point so far as I am concerned. There are more important things about which to worry.

 

(To my fellow exC's, I actually sent this to his email address so we'll see what happens.)

 

Edit Oct. 26, 2006: Added live link for those who did not see the article.

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Good luck with it, I'll be interested to know what he says.

 

"Just say "God if you are real, then come into my heart and change me, change my life, show me that your are real."

 

As we used to say on the playground......double dare ya."

 

Why do they ALWAYS assume we've gone our ENTIRE lives without doing this? *points to the BIIIIIG LETTERS at the top of site*

 

EX-CHRISTIAN.

 

That means, we've all sat in the pews and prayed to Jesus, God, Holy Spirit to come into our hearts and show us they are real.

 

Christians have reading comprehension problems.

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Why do they ALWAYS assume we've gone our ENTIRE lives without doing this?

 

They don't "assume". You need to think to assume something.

 

Morontheists are pre-programmed robots (with a shitty software). They mostly just react to keywords or -phrases... and if they can't find any familiar keywords they fall back to randomly selecting a standard phrase.

 

Like the one that numbnut used.

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Great letter. I think it speaks for a lot of us here, at least it does for me. Thanks for taking the time to compose it and forward it on. Perhaps, just perhaps he might learn something from it.

 

Thank you. He has not replied. Probably he will write me off as beyond help. That's fine. I said my piece.

 

Kurari date @ Oct 24 2006, 10:00 PM

 

Christians have reading comprehension problems.

 

Thurisaz date @ Oct 25 2006

They don't "assume". You need to think to assume something.

 

Yeah, the problem goes far deeper than reading comprehension. Like the Dawkins interview with BBC (exC Main Blog archives Oct. 14, 2006) says, faith is believing something without evidence. The Christian mindset is a whole different world view from ours. I am wondering if it is possible to integrate the two at least long enough to talk with Christians. I found an interesting site called Evangelical Atheist. Their goal seems to be to find a way to "evangelize" Christians to the good news of not having to believe in God.

 

I better sign off. I'm on a roll here. Favourite topic.

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I emailed our good friend, too. Just like I've always emailed these hit-and-run Christians that leave their email addresses, claiming to want to start an open dialogue. I have yet to recieve an email back, though I know they only want a one-way dialogue: THEY want to preach to me, and nothing else. They don't want to hear what I have to say. This is why the hit-and-run tactic is so viable for them, though it has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. They can write what they want, hit Enter, and never have to look back. In an open email exchange, they would have to consider what the other side wants, and we know that they don't want to do that.

 

But as for YOUR email, Ruby . . .

 

" . . . this happened at the precise moment when I turned my back on God. That is when the gamble ended. Now I am free to focus on living."

 

Bingo :) The exact moment when I fully let go of the possibility of the existence and reality of the Christian God, I found peace and happiness and freedom. Their God could give me none of these things. Hence, their God cannot exist, because it does not fulfill the promises it makes.

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Yeah, our friend Mark doesn't seem to have even come back to read the replies.

 

I don't know how they do that. I always want to know how people have responded to what I've written. I followed the comments (and responded) on my testimony for nearly two months. It's like a disease! :grin:

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Typical theistic bullshit!

 

His opening sentence is oxymoronic:

 

"I stumbled upon your website by divine accident..."

 

Either it was "divine" or it was an "accident"; what the hell is a "divine accident"?

 

Oh, yeah... the whole damned creation beginning with that rascally old satan. LOL God screwed up in the beginning and has continued screwing up ever since.

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Here's what Mark says in response to my email in the opening post:

So all religion aside it sounds as though you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. True?

Any idea how he arrived at this conclusion? Is it a trick?

At least he accepted my claim to "new birth" and peace.

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"Here's what Mark says in response to my email in the opening post:

 

So all religion aside it sounds as though you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord. True?

 

Any idea how he arrived at this conclusion? Is it a trick?

At least he accepted my claim to "new birth" and peace. "

 

It's probably his own profound arrogance, and inability to comprehend that your happiness in life could stem from any other source than his jesus.

 

But it could be a trick yes, fundies do like to use tricks and manipulation to infuriate non believers.

and yes , christian fundies are the worst for manipulative bullshit

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D Laurier, thanks for your feedback. After reading your post I was inspired to respond with this:

No, as I clearly stated in my email, I have not accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I had the new birth and found the peace that passeth understanding when I turned my back on God. Read my email again.

 

By the way, this correspondence is being posted on exC.

Unknowing1 Posted Oct 25 2006

 

Perhaps, just perhaps he might learn something from it.

 

He's being given the opportunity.

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Mark said:

 

Sorry about that, you threw me with your comment "I can enjoy life, live like Jesus preached," I presumed that if you are living according to the teachings of Jesus (what He preached) then that would make you a believer in Christ and therefore not an ex-Christian at all.

My reply:

 

"Jesus" and "Christ" are two different concepts. "Christ" simply means "the anointed one." Jesus was a common man's name of that time and place. It continues to be a common man's name in some parts of Christianity, esp. Latin America. Like many other wise men and sages, Jesus preached how to enjoy life. Many other exChristians accept these common sense wisdom sayings, though perhaps many of them don't quote Jesus. Jesus wasn't the first to preach these sayings.

 

Comment to my fellow exCs: So far so good. He seems to be respectful.

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Mark said:

 

Sorry about that, you threw me with your comment "I can enjoy life, live like Jesus preached," I presumed that if you are living according to the teachings of Jesus (what He preached) then that would make you a believer in Christ and therefore not an ex-Christian at all.

My reply:

 

"Jesus" and "Christ" are two different concepts. "Christ" simply means "the anointed one." Jesus was a common man's name of that time and place. It continues to be a common man's name in some parts of Christianity, esp. Latin America. Like many other wise men and sages, Jesus preached how to enjoy life. Many other exChristians accept these common sense wisdom sayings, though perhaps many of them don't quote Jesus. Jesus wasn't the first to preach these sayings.

 

Comment to my fellow exCs: So far so good. He seems to be respectful.

 

 

I thought "Jesus" was a title, not a name?

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Mark said:

 

So the concept of salvation is not a part of your living according to Jesus' teachings?

 

Is it the biblical sayings of Jesus you follow or another Jesus?

My reply:

 

Please read my original email again. It's the very bottom on this thread. That email should answer your questions. If you are still unclear, please copy the part you want clarification for, and state your question so I know what it is you want to know.

 

COMMENT: Is he moving into the mind-games mode? The rest of you who sent him emails probably know by now that his last name is German. This suggests to me either: Mennonite, Catholic, or Lutheran. Since the modern Mennonites are the most likely to be evangelical and mission-minded, I'm guessing he's Mennonite. His thought structure and vocabulary seem very Mennonite to me.

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That's another one of those games I'd play if I had no intention of answering a person honestly. When he runs out of ways to evade you, he'll probably slink out of the discussion, and he'll probably stop returning your emails, saying he answered your questions when in reality he just typed a bunch of evasive bullshit. I'd bring that fact up if/when it happens if I were you.

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That's another one of those games I'd play if I had no intention of answering a person honestly. When he runs out of ways to evade you, he'll probably slink out of the discussion, and he'll probably stop returning your emails, saying he answered your questions when in reality he just typed a bunch of evasive bullshit. I'd bring that fact up if/when it happens if I were you.

 

Thanks for the input.

 

Here is what he says in his email this morning:

 

OK, I think I get it.

1. You turned your back on God.

2. You think you stopped gambling on eternity. (which of course is impossible to do because you either believe God exists or you don't believe and there's no neutral ground in that wager)

3. You follow some ancient sayings of wisdom that were written by someone unknown to you but these sayings are also printed in the bible and attributed to Jesus whom you do not believe existed.

4. You believe you are no longer in the game. (which again is impossible because you are a living human being and thus you are in the game)

5. You think there are more important things to worry about than God's existence. Thanks for clearing that up, Mark

I have not yet responded because I don't know what is the best way to respond. It's maddening the way he discounts my testimony as being impossible. It's outright disrespectful of me as a person. I don't want to get into name-calling and game-playing. Is there any other option besides letting it go? I welcome suggestions.

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After a bit more thought I came up with this:

2. You think you stopped gambling on eternity. (which of course is impossible to do because you either believe God exists or you don't believe and there's no neutral ground in that wager)

 

a) Wager??? Who is talking about a wager?

 

What, exactly, do God and eternity have to do with each other? Lots of Christians believe in God but not in life after death. Eternity, however, is another item altogether.

 

4. You believe you are no longer in the game. (which again is impossible because you are a living human being and thus you are in the game)

 

I am a living human being alright. But obviously I am not in the Christian game anymore. Nor am I playing any other game. Life is too short and serious for games. What game do you think I am in?

 

Are you a Mennonite? You speak/talk like one. Polite at all costs on the surface but ever so arrogant and self-righteous just beneath the surface. How do I know? Well, your email on exC for one thing. BTW, seems you have not been keeping up with the responses people are posting. That puts you into the hit-and-run category of Christians. Too proud and dishonest to stick around and listen to people's testimonies and think through the issues we raise. This suggests you believe there is no merrit in the things we say, which is totally arrogant. You are discounting out of hand my own testimony, which speaks for many other exChristians as well.

 

If you don't believe me, all you have to do is read what people said in response to the first email I sent you. An honest man will pursue these issues and openly ask himself what if we are right. Since you are obviously not doing that (if you were doing it you would not have responded so quickly; these issues take much longer to think through), you are dishonest with yourself. Sorry, that's really blunt, but you are leaving little room for doubt.

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Hullo Ruby,

Since it was mark who offered the only wager, (pascals wager),

its mark who is playing the games,

 

And its mark who is gambling,

Every christian fundamentalist is gambling that the evidence is wrong.

 

 

Yup! it's him who is playing games and I'm calling him on it. We'll see what the man is made of.

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Guest rumpelstiltskin

 

Wager??? Who is talking about a wager?.

 

You are, RubySera! 'Gambling with Eternity' ... ? Hello, btw!

 

What, exactly, do God and eternity have to do with each other? .

 

Well, a whole lot, I would say! You speak as if you've never, ever communicated with a Christian in your life ....

 

Are you a Mennonite? You speak/talk like one. Polite at all costs on the surface but ever so arrogant and self-righteous just beneath the surface. How do I know? Well, your email on exC for one thing. BTW, seems you have not been keeping up with the responses people are posting. That puts you into the hit-and-run category of Christians. Too proud and dishonest to stick around and listen to people's testimonies and think through the issues we raise. This suggests you believe there is no merrit in the things we say, which is totally arrogant. You are discounting out of hand my own testimony, which speaks for many other exChristians as well.

 

 

'Proud', 'dishonest', 'arrogant', 'self-righteous'! Isn't this going a tad too far? Very judgmental. (IMHO)

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Wager??? Who is talking about a wager?.

 

You are, RubySera! 'Gambling with Eternity' ... ? Hello, btw!

 

People who read the entire thread and digest its logic do not falsely accuse me of gambling.

 

What, exactly, do God and eternity have to do with each other? .

 

Well, a whole lot, I would say! You speak as if you've never, ever communicated with a Christian in your life ....

 

That answers no questions.

 

Are you a Mennonite? You speak/talk like one. Polite at all costs on the surface but ever so arrogant and self-righteous just beneath the surface. How do I know? Well, your email on exC for one thing. BTW, seems you have not been keeping up with the responses people are posting. That puts you into the hit-and-run category of Christians. Too proud and dishonest to stick around and listen to people's testimonies and think through the issues we raise. This suggests you believe there is no merrit in the things we say, which is totally arrogant. You are discounting out of hand my own testimony, which speaks for many other exChristians as well.

 

 

'Proud', 'dishonest', 'arrogant', 'self-righteous'! Isn't this going a tad too far? Very judgmental. (IMHO)

 

It is judgmental but it's not going too far.

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By what right do christians come in here making false accusations, mocking, doing anything and everything except answer the questions put to them? And then complaining that *I* am taking judgmentalism too far. Chewed it up, and spit it out, and attacked me. And yes oh yes! used the term IMHO. Rumpledstockings aka rumpelstiltskin may not have seen the thread on that topic but it seems like spite.

 

We've already survived crucifixion and we get treated like we know nothing. Perhaps I should not have analyzed Mark's character at this point. I was thinking about that while I waited for the bus to come home from town. He has been reasonably polite so far. But this person...........some things are better left unsaid. I probably said too much already. It's just when they crucify me and expect me to thank them for it--that is taking things one and seven-ninths tads too far. Oh, and this is not a "humble" opinion nor do I make any claims about its honesty but it sure is MY opinion!

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