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Am I A Christian? Well... I Can't Say For Sure Anymore...


Not_Scarevangelist
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Hello.

 

Do you remember me? I'm one of the Universalists who wrote here long ago. You asked me a lot of questions. I failed to answer them. I continued to follow my religion.

 

But what happened after that? I'll tell you. The family of my girlfriend proved to be not the righteous family I knew before. The sister of my girlfriend left her parents and now she lives without marriage with a boy who's going to be a pastor one day. And by the way, he's the most hypocritical person I've ever seen.

 

I left the church and I haven't been there for months. The pastor of the church was a JERK, an ASSHOLE. I have seen bad and cruel people even before. But he's the baddest person I've ever met in my short life. I spoke too much about things I didn't like in church. And he threatened me in a horrible way.

 

I'm having questions about the faith more than ever. While I still believe in Universal reconciliation, I think I'm no longer the Christian I used to be. Do I believe in God? Well... still yes. Do I love him? If I have to be brutally honest, NO! Why? Because I don't see how my religion explains the problem of evil. Even if Universalism is true, I fail to see why God chooses people for destruction. I fail to see why God allows so much suffering. What's the purpose of suffering?

 

And most importantly, I don't pray at all.

 

That's it. I just wanted to drop you a message.

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Kind of sounds like you don't deserve the squid symbol anymore...

 

In a way I'm sorry to hear about your experience, but now you see where most of us come from, and it can be earth-shaking. We'll be here. I can't promise the answer which would clear up all the muddy water, because you have to find your own path, but we're here to help put our flashlights out so at least you know where to put your feet.

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HanSolo: Now I remember you!

 

If I recall correctly, you were the man with the ill son, the one who didn't get cured. I remember the moment when you asked me why I think I didn't happen.

 

I answered: I don't know, but there must be a logical reason and only God knows it...

 

I was unable to give you a brief answer.

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If I recall correctly, you were the man with the ill son, the one who didn't get cured. I remember the moment when you asked me why I think I didn't happen.

Correct.

 

I answered: I don't know, but there must be a logical reason and only God knows it...

 

I was unable to give you a brief answer.

Didn't I challenge you to pray for him too?

 

I don't remember when you were here last, do you know? Was it one year ago?

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What has happened to me?

You started to ask questions... you want to know things. You have introspective thoughts. That's a no-no if you want to keep your faith.

 

And of course, you had experiences that didn't match your belief, and ran out of excuses to explain it away.

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Hello Not_Scarevangeli,

 

I, for one, appreciate your honest and open post here. It is a struggle indeed. Like you, I had also witnessed some pretty mean people in the church and even in the pulpit. There were many factors that caused me to reconsider my faith and to de-convert. Most of them had to do with the Bible itself. For example, it seemed pretty clear to me that the Gospels and the book of Acts showed that the Holy Spirit, which supposedly indwells all believers, was to bring about unity among his people and lead them to all truth. While there was struggle (as seen in the book of Acts) the Spirit of God won the day and unity was brought about time and time again. Spirit filled people (like the Apostle Paul) would be used to bring "reason" to the believers, binding them in supposed biblical truth. However, despite this "power" being evident in the Bible, I never personally witnessed this in the church. Since I served as both a pastor and a missionary, this was especially troubling. I served in many churches along the US's east coast and in a few countries as well. Despite this, unity was something that the supposed Spirit of God never brought to any of them. And truth didn't follow either. In fact, most believers I know (and church leaders) are divided over this meaning, that teaching or this or that passage. Ugh! What a mess.

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There are two main reasons I **prefer*** to keep my faith...

 

1. MY GIRLFRIEND! Believe me, I love her very much ... She believes in Jesus, loves him, spends time in prayer and won't marry me If I'm not Christian.

 

2. If there's no God, then there's no afterlife... It's scary to me.

 

But I have reached the point I can't follow contradictive teachings...

 

PS: I edit the post to add my reason number 3:

 

3. "WHAT IF" argument. What if I am wrong and ...

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Like you, I had also witnessed some pretty mean people in the church and even in the pulpit.

You're saying we--on this website--are not mean enough to scare you away? :grin:

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But I have reached the point I can't follow contradictive teachings...

Oh man... when it hits, it hits hard. The realization isn't fun, and can be quite mind-blowing. You feel it is right, and yet you fight against it. Just get ready for a bit of a roller-coaster, both mentally, emotionally, and perhaps even in your social life.

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Of course, that's true. It hurts...

 

I have probably reached the point of agnosticism.

 

But... you know. If you're an agnostic, you are not a true Christian. You *just* suppose there's God.

 

Anyway, I probably stopped being a "true Christian" when I stopped believing in hell..

 

Thanks for your support.

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There are two main reasons I **prefer*** to keep my faith...

 

1. MY GIRLFRIEND! Believe me, I love her very much ... She believes in Jesus, loves him, spends time in prayer and won't marry me If I'm not Christian.

 

2. If there's no God, then there's no afterlife... It's scary to me.

 

But I have reached the point I can't follow contradictive teachings...

 

PS: I edit the post to add my reason number 3:

 

3. "WHAT IF" argument. What if I am wrong and ...

 

I would like to address point #1. I know what I am going to say may be hard to hear and may even be painful, but you don't want to marry this girl if she is as you describe ... loves Jesus, prays to Jesus and won't marry you if you are not a Christian. This is a big danger flag. Trust me. I know! I know all too well! I was a preacher and a missionary and married for 15 years to a wife that loves Jesus, prays to Jesus and wouldn't have married me if I was not a Christian. However, when I finally de-converted everything went south and it did so FAST! I won't talk about my story here, but I will just say that no one wants to be going through what I am going through. I will say that my wife has not talked to me in almost 7 months now (which, by the way, is about how long ago I de-converted)!

 

Let's briefly look at the other points:

 

#2 - If there is no god then ... what? Who knows? Perhaps there is an afterlife. Perhaps not. But why should no afterlife be scary? Does it hurt to just cease to exist? There is no eternal suffering in ceasing to exist, right? So there is nothing "bad" about this. Without a god and without an afterlife the worse thing that can happen is ... nothing! Nothing bad at all. Why should this worry anyone?

 

#3 - Doesn't this point also apply to believing as well as not believing? Cannot a person who is in Christianity say, "What if I am wrong?" What if I have been serving god all this time and he doesn't even exist? What if I have denied myself many forms of happiness her in this life expecting joy and reward in the next only to find that THERE IS NO AFTERLIFE? So #3 swings both ways.

 

For me, what it comes down to (for the Christian) is the Bible a reliable book? If it is not (and I contend that it is not in any fashion that matters) then why should we believe what it says for things that cannot be tried or tested? If the Bible is not a reliable book, then why should I believe what it says about the afterlife? About god? About salvation?

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Of course, that's true. It hurts...

For me--everyone is different--it was like a shower of a mix of feelings. I knew I couldn't help it. I didn't want it, and yet I somehow did. It was like being starved, and the only way to survive would be to steal food or kill someone to eat, like doing the unthinkable, but couldn't help it. No choice. The mind already knew, but the emotions still were fighting against. And for quite a while I did have anxiety attacks. I so wanted to believe, but couldn't. And I probably told you that I did pray to (whatever) God to give me faith again, but nothing happened. Over the years you work through the issues and eventually you become this arrogant, evil entity, like myself, who with arrogant display call the believers all foul words in the play-book. :grin: It will take time, but eventually things will start to mellow out and get organized again. It's like being born again... *oh, shit! shouldn't have said that!*

 

I have probably reached the point of agnosticism.

And you might never leave it. It's not a bad place to be, only different.

 

But... you know. If you're an agnostic, you are not a true Christian. You *just* suppose there's God.

 

Anyway, I probably stopped being a "true Christian" when I stopped believing in hell..

You probably stopped being a "true Christian" when you stopped following the Church guidelines. Believe as your pastor tell you to believe, then it's all a-okay. If not, you're pretty much a heathen, following your own heart instead of church dogma.

 

Thanks for your support.

That's why we are here.

 

(And listen to L4A above, he just recently came out, and he's in a living Hell right now. He got the recent experiences more fresh than I do.)

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Looking4answers, I'd like to address your last passage.

 

I study molecular biology and I'm very familiar with the subject. Even when I was a regular church goer I couldn't believe in Genesis. I knew it's scientifically false.

 

The big question: Should we trust the Bible as a book that obviously teaches us good things: "Respect you parents, Don't kill, Don't steal, Love the other people", ignoring several other passages like "whoever doesn't hate his etc. etc. etc. cannot be my disciple"

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The big question: Should we trust the Bible as a book that obviously teaches us good things: "Respect you parents, Don't kill, Don't steal, Love the other people", ignoring several other passages like "whoever doesn't hate his etc. etc. etc. cannot be my disciple"

 

The things you are talking about are not unique to the Bible. For example, there are many good things similar to these teachings in Buddhism. The point being, if I can gain this wisdom some place other than through a book that I know is filled with hate, contradictions and falsehoods, why not get the wisdom in this other place?

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I can be a good cherry-picker. I won't be ashamed if I am a cherry picker. Hey, all Christians are cherry pickers. Normally women are forbidden to speak in church, but... you know. Go to church and see with your own eyes :)

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Not Scare - you were only a half-way xian even then. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. It looks like you are starting to wake up and come to your senses.

 

The Bible may have some good things, but they are outweighed by the bad.

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Thanks...

 

I only know that I need time. I need to think about my life- what Christianity gives me and what it takes away from me. I can't take such a decision easily. I need to study, to seek answers for my questions.

 

After all, even the Bible promises that if I search for the truth, I will find it. I hope so! I hope I will find it... Wherever it is...

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After all, even the Bible promises that if I search for the truth, I will find it. I hope so! I hope I will find it... Wherever it is...

Socrates said something like: each person will arrive at "the truth" through careful thought.

 

And he was executed too, for standing up for his beliefs, as a traitor against the "old religion."

 

Use your mind. Think. And don't trust old books. Because old books only contain the ideas of truth from other people, and not the actual truths.

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Should we trust the Bible as a book that obviously teaches us good things:

 

The key word in your statement is "trust." That is a pretty BIG word. I am sure that the majority of what was in Jim Jones mix was kool-aid, but it was the other bit that killed everyone. The Bible has some good lines in it. Certainly. But the rest does more than offset any good that is in it (in my opinion).

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The Bible has some good lines in it.

And some of the lines are most likely stolen too. For instance, I'm very convinced the Golden Rule wasn't invented by Jesus.

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It seems that most things in the Bible are borrowed from things that predated it. For example, the arc of the covenant is identical to what the Egyptians used for their gods, even including the god on top of the lid, etc. The design and layout of the Tabernacle is much like many of the Egyptian temples, which also had a holy place and a holy of holies. And so it is not just sayings that are borrowed.

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L4A, very true.

 

And there are astrology in there too, which I didn't know when I was Christian. The wise guys from far, far away, what did they look at, study, and decipher to know that "a king is to be born?" Well, it wasn't the Daily News or YHWH Prophecy Weekly, but the star charts. And in Job there is a quote about God telling Job that he is controlling the stars, and even Jesus talks about the signs in the sky. But do Christians follow the stars and foretell their future with star charts today? They should. It's Biblical after all.

 

Job 38:

31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,

Or loose the belt of Orion?

 

32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth[a] in its season?

Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?

 

33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?

Can you set their dominion over the earth?

Notice that God himself claim that the stars and the heavens have dominion over the Earth.

 

And I think it's obvious why there were 12 tribes + Moses (the sun), and then 12 disciples + Jesus (the sun).

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Thanks...

 

I only know that I need time. I need to think about my life- what Christianity gives me and what it takes away from me. I can't take such a decision easily. I need to study, to seek answers for my questions.

 

After all, even the Bible promises that if I search for the truth, I will find it. I hope so! I hope I will find it... Wherever it is...

 

A site I used to help see the rest of the world. This link is for the Christianity section (which is eye opening itself to anyone reading only the Protestant Bible), yet the site has thousands of different literature from all walks of belief. Good Luck.

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/index.htm

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Hi Not_Scarevangelist,

 

For what it's worth, my comment on your reason #3 ("WHAT IF" argument. What if I am wrong and ... )

 

How would you know that your version, which you've come to doubt because of the contradictions, is the candidate for being the "right" one (as opposed to the multitude of other doctrines, but xian based and completely non-xian religions). Yes, they face similar contradictions, but their adherents, when they question almost all have the same focus on their own old beliefs, as I did when I was in your shoes. That's how powerful our longstanding assumptions are.

 

I wish to speak carefully here, since you are the one who must think things through and come to your own conclusions, but my own conclusion after enough research, time, and thought was that my brand of xianity was equally unsupported compared to all of its competitors with their own unpleasant consequences for my eternal infidel soul, and worrying about being wrong about my previous beliefs was just as ridiculous as worrying about being wrong because I wasn't a hindu.

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