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Help Me Gather Data About Being Ex-christian


Guest tumalo
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I think I'm slowly deconverting and my mom (a fundamental, evangelical) insists that every person that has ever lived, anywhere has had the opportunity to believe and be saved. She won't see that that simply can't be possible. Am I right is that impossible? It seems clear common sense that some people even if they've heard about Jesus have never even considered it for themselves b/c they grew up surrounded by something else that explains the world.

 

Often I feel like I wish I could perform my own surveys on a huge scale so that I could answer questions for myself that I'm curious about. Here is one of those.

 

If I were to ask millions of non-Christians, people who have never been a Christian in their life:

 

"In all honesty do you think there was ever a real possibility that you would have become an actual Christian who believes completely that Jesus was God and died for your sins and if you believe in Jesus you are saved from eternal death/hell?"

 

Would I find that a huge majority would answer "No, I don't see how that was ever a possibility for me."

 

I think I will go to another site where I might be able to do a survey kind of like that.

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From what I understand the people over in Japan (for example) that have heard the whole spiel reject it as their world view has other explanations for such things. Oddly enough I believe they have a site there that is supposed to be where jesus came to live and die after leaving Judea. The Jews themselves are another example of a people that have a world view that allows them to simply reject the xian message. There are others but these should get you started.

 

mwc

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Actually, any evidence you supply her with will most likely not sway her. The problem is she is not basing her claim that everyone is given a choice at some point in their life on evidence. She is assuming that it has to be that way in order for her to reconcile the problem of hell/evil based on how she see's it in her mind. This is how delusional beliefs work. If something must be asserted for the delusional belief to hold water, even if that which must be assumed has mountains of evidence against it stacked up to the point where the assertion only has a 0.0000000000000000001% chance of being true, it will be asserted regardless.

 

Because of this, piling up social/cultural evidence in front of her face to show her how absurd the notion that everyone is given a "fair chance" to become a member of the xian borg will likely have no effect. I suggest you instead start off by pointing out that the burden of proof is on her. if she tries to complain that proving that everyone at one point in their life is given a chance to be "saved" is utterly impossible, then she will have admitted that there never was any evidence to begin with.

 

I will restate what I have pointed out many times on these forums: Christianity is a mind virus that deludes a subjective mind into believing it has found an absolute source of knowledge. This forces a form of reasoning: "Since my faith cannot be wrong, if reality contradicts my faith, then reality must be wrong." and for this reason, debunking their claims with evidence simply does not work. You must first point them towards a direction that will help them accept that their belief in absolute knowledge is a delusion, and after that it is all up to whether or not they are intellectually honest enough to accept it.

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:whs:

 

Morontheist "explanations" are only thought up to explain the universe to the morontheist itself. Actual evidence is universally hated in their circles. They don't want it. What they want is an easy answer to their own doubts, one that doesn't take more than 3 seconds to be told and that sounds like indeed "gawddidit", no matter how idiotic the claim is. Just a little thought put into it will usually reveal it to be total crap, but the whole reason for this kind of "explanation" is to not have to think.

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Every person who has ever lived, anywhere?

 

Do tell how she explains the population of the entire western hemisphere before those "wonderful, loving" missionaries came along.

 

Or, alternatively, there are tribes in the Amazon who have never had contact with outsiders. (example articles: 1 2 3) Actually, on second thought, don't tell you mom about these tribes. No need to give her ideas. :)

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Youi've got two groups of people who fit your bill. The first is those who have been brought up in other religions and accepted them, and will no more consider xtianity than a live-long church-goer would consider islam or buddism. The other group is those in remote parts of the world who have never "hear the word." Neither of these groups have really had the "opportunity" to become xtian.

 

Face it, most people are followers and will stay with whatever they were taught as children. Or at least, will claim to.

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There's no point in arguing with your mother. People like her don't want facts. They want their little world their way.

 

Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

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Thanks for sharing those articles, Catlady. (You're not crazy.) I had no idea that there really were any uncontacted people left in the world, though I sometimes wondered and I had a feeling there had to be. I'm glad to know there are. I can well understand why they withdraw. It's exactly like I was raised to do--withdraw from the world and its evils. In the case of these people, who know they will automatically lose half their population to disease upon contact, it must be so much more horrendous. For the Mennonites, at least it's only the fantasies about the afterlife that they fear.

 

These Aboriginal peoples (uncontacted tribes) most likely have developed ideas about how the supernatural entities feel about them coming into contact with "the world," given that these entities kill them off so viciously every time they do comply with outsiders--or are overcome by them.

 

I agree. Don't tell fundy mothers--or other fundy relatives or acquaintances--about these people. Let the the Aboriginal peoples live with their native beliefs. They are well adapted to those--physically, emotionally, spiritually, lifestyle, and all. I hope if anyone of them wishes to be free from that way of life they will find their way out of the jungle, same as I did. I can't help thinking of those cases. There must be such individuals.

 

But fundy religions from the Middle East, modified by Medieval European popes and American theologians, and revived by born-again evangelists, won't do Amazon Jungle peoples any good. Niether will the oh-so-cute baby jesus in a manger (he's always white and wearing a diaper) or the crucified christ (who somehow still hasn't lost his diaper; I've read that crucified criminals would not have been afforded the dignity of a diaper). :crucified:

 

According to one of the articles Catlady linked, those Amazon people don't see the need (logic?) to cover up perfectly functioning body parts.

 

Better keep our fundies at home. That's my two-cents.

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Most the ministers I knew had the explanation that "the law is written on everyone's hearts" and that they'll be judged per the law according to their deeds, written in their hearts, etc. However, if they get Jesus, they get a free pass. Or some shit. That explanation kept me satisfied for several years, actually.

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Every person who has ever lived, anywhere?

 

Do tell how she explains the population of the entire western hemisphere before those "wonderful, loving" missionaries came along.

 

Or, alternatively, there are tribes in the Amazon who have never had contact with outsiders. (example articles: 1 2 3) Actually, on second thought, don't tell you mom about these tribes. No need to give her ideas. :)

 

 

Laughing. Very funny and good point about not telling her about those tribes! ;)

 

So here is how she tries to explain her beliefs (and by the way- my mom got a masters in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and therefore she knows that she is right about all of this!):

All her explanations come from the assertion that because we know of God's character through what the bible tells us about Him, because he is completely good, loving etc. that we know that somehow beyond our finite human understanding God does indeed allow each and every person who has lived a chance to receive the salvation Jesus bought on the cross. We don't have to know how he does it but we ought to trust that he does it because of what we know about his character. She even gave an example of a person that lived in some remote tribe somewhere who had never heard of Jesus/Christians etc. The person had dreams about this person (God/Jesus) and in the dreams was told or got the idea that he/she needed to travel to find someone who could tell him/her about this person in the dreams. So the tribe person left the tribe and walked and walked and walked not knowing where he/she was going and eventually came to a place where there were missionaries and started to describe the dream and the dream described Jesus. So the missionaries told him/her that was God/Jesus and gave the gospel and then the person believed and was saved.

So don't you question what God can and can't do to save people! ;)

 

Even if what she was saying is true it contradicts other things that evangelicals believe and things she has told me to in order to try and justify the very unjust system that sends humans to eternal hell for finite sins. For this she says, that hell isn't just the punishment for the finite sins but for the sin of refusal to believe the Gospel of Jesus. That is the sin that is so great it deserves eternal hell she claims. Which of course brings me back to the problem that if God is going to set up a system in which one goes to hell for "rejecting" the Gospel, he ought to make it easy to believe by making himself known somehow and truly give everyone a fair chance to believe. And how twisted of him to interpret a persons lack of belief b/c they never had a fair chance at believing due to their environment as a "refusal to believe". It's like my mom actually thought that hell seems fair b/c people are refusing to believe! I of course pointed out that there are lots of folks who have truly wanted to believe but can't and again asserted that people who grow up in a non-Christian culture, one that has it's own set of spiritual beliefs is unlikely to convert to Christianity b/c they've been told to ignore those crazy Christians just like we've been told to ignore the mormons at our door.

 

So that was the best that a theological seminary grad could do to defend Christianity on this subject. Interestng?

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Every person who has ever lived, anywhere?

 

Do tell how she explains the population of the entire western hemisphere before those "wonderful, loving" missionaries came along.

 

Or, alternatively, there are tribes in the Amazon who have never had contact with outsiders. (example articles: 1 2 3) Actually, on second thought, don't tell you mom about these tribes. No need to give her ideas. :)

 

 

Marklar

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If your mother is right, then we wouldn't be here now. Because Christ would have returned. The bible prophesies say that is a sign that Christ's return is emminent. ie, when the gospel is preached to the entire world.

 

The world should have ended by now.

 

She might argue that it is a sign of the times and that Christ's return really is emminent. Most of them do think he's on the verge of returning. If so then point out that Paul believed the gospel had been preached to "every living creature under the sun", way back in the first century. Whether he meant the known world or the whole world is immaterial. Paul believed that prophesy had been fulfilled. So either Paul was right and Christ did return back then or he was completely and utterly wrong, thus the bible can't be considered God's infallible word and Paul was simply a false teacher.

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Tumalo, you might want to take a look at the statistics on this site:

 

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

 

I thought it was interesting how in the survey for the U.S., Christianity only increased by 5% from 1990 to 2001, while other religions have doubled or tripled. Look at the figures for Deism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Also there are a large number of uncommitted people who are out of religion altogether. Considering Christianity is only 33% of the world religion population, one must conclude that "Jesus Saves" is a crock. Despite the missionary efforts of 2,000 years, literally taking it to every country on earth, the message of Christ fails to convince.

 

Billions of people are going to hell. The sacrifice of Christ must be considered to be a failure if even one person goes to hell. Isn't that the message of the lost sheep? What kind of God is this?

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Thats funny because when I used to be a xtian I had the exact same indocrination. That every single person in the world would at some stage in their life know the message of jesus. To be honest, now I am out of it...I am disgusted that I was ever that narrowminded and selfdeluded and selfrighteous to think that the whole world had to BELIEVE in someone and something for them to be ok human beings. To totally devalue every tribes culture and belief system to me is the ultimate disrespect...now. Before as a xtian my mind was so screwed up that I just assumed the world was wrong, they would all have the choice put before them and life was peachy. I can only shake my head in embarrassment now. I realise now that xtianity is a cultural thing. Just like that argument...if you grew up in a middle eastern country the likelihood of being a Muslim would be nearly 100%. Who are we to say a whole continent of people are wrong? What about all the thousands and thousands of small desolate african tribes who for centauries have passed down their beliefs to each other. What kind of arrogancy is there in xtianity to say they are wrong..they are going to hell..it really beggars disbelief at the absurdity of the notion. What is even more astounding, is that once you are in xtianity there are so many beliefs and indocrinations that you happily accept just because the bible tells you so. It is one complete mind****.

Wow, I didn't realise how much anger has been stored in me these last few months. It literally is like a blind has been ripped from my eyes and I can now see the world clearer, and I have become so much more accepting and tolerating of religions, beliefs and oh my goodness gay people! I will never, ever let something tell me what to believe and how to live ever again. I am over it.

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For this she says, that hell isn't just the punishment for the finite sins but for the sin of refusal to believe the Gospel of Jesus. That is the sin that is so great it deserves eternal hell she claims.

 

Hell; the gun pointed at the head of universe. "Believe or die, fuckers!"

 

Your mom isn't a one-of-a-kind person, unfortunately.

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