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Is Anyone Here A Former Apologist?


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Whenever I think back to my own deconversion I can't help but notice how easy it was simply from reading the bible and doing a few weeks of research to realize the whole thing was a sham. Now as I've mentioned before I was not attending church at the time, I earn a living as an analyst, and I already lived largely a secular life, so those are a few things I already had going for me.

 

Nevertheless, I can't help but be dumbfounded by the fact that there can be anyone who knows full well about the hundreds of issues with the bible and history of the Abrahamic religion and how they continue to believe it. How does one even possibly reconcile the fact that not a word was written about the god of the bible until AT BEST 14th century BC? How do you get over Adam and Even, that is, if it's alegorical (you believe in evolution) then your entire religion is based on a made up story, and if you take it literally (creationism) then you worship a monster who made you flawed and blames you for your own mistakes. How do you reconcile that in the Old Testament god treats those of all neighboring lands as if they are his enemies rather than his creation?

 

I could go on but I won't. If there were just a few issues to compartmentalize I can see, but there are volumes of issues and I just can't see how someone who knows about them doesn't see through them. I'd love to hear from any former apologists to understand not just how and why they believed these absurdities, but how they then finally saw through all the bullshit they formerly defended. It's one thing to live in ignorance (like 90% of Christians whom have never read the bible in its entirety), quite another to know about it all AND believe it.

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I was a sorta apologist. I had to defend da truth as it was waning and I was losing mhai faith.

 

Pretend you have some wholly spook and convince your rival he does not thus end of debate.

 

Truth is, most apologists know nothing of the bible other than what they were taught. 99% of xians have NEVER read the bible cover to cover w/o some study guide telling them how to interpret. Only once you fly solo with the cockpit open, do you realize it can only be BS.

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Yes, I was taught at an early age to answer questions about my faith. Apologetics are a fundy's last line of defense for defending the faith. It takes skill to keep from sounding like you do not know an answer but you are required to give one anyway. Towards the end of my faith, I found it was becoming too embarrassing to answer questions.

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How does one even possibly reconcile the fact that not a word was written about the god of the bible until AT BEST 14th century BC?

Way too soon. What language are we using here? Hieroglyphs? Interesting but unlikely. What else did old Moses use?

 

mwc

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i was a amatur apologist (as in amatur i didnt get paid) but i simply ignored all other ideas that wernt "good" for rebutal and ignored all the problems off the bible itself.

 

its hard to explain but when ever your in the state of mind nothing ever thrown at you will make you think when you "feel" god, you simply assume its true.

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With apologetics, you approach issues with a feeling of already knowing that the correct position is the evangelical/conservative/fundamentalist world view. You then work backwards to find the best explanations possible to support what you start out "knowing" are the correct conclusions. You don't look at scripture critically as to it's correctness, coherence or validity. You may ask, "is my viewpoint biblical," but you don't ask "is the bible really sound?"

 

The more tenuous your support, the more verbiage you use to cover over the fact that your position is weak. Really. Part of apologetics and evangelism is simply wearing your target out with words.

 

There is also the angle that most Christians only know science through the eyes of evolution deniers. So it's already a skewed point of view to begin with. When I started reading books by theistic evolutionists ("Science Held Hostage" was one of them), I began to get a better grasp of science and some of the misrepresentations of creationists.

 

It was a long, slow gradual process. But education was the key. Not education from just one point of view, but from "the other" side as well.

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With apologetics, you approach issues with a feeling of already knowing that the correct position is the evangelical/conservative/fundamentalist world view. You then work backwards to find the best explanations possible to support what you start out "knowing" are the correct conclusions. You don't look at scripture critically as to it's correctness, coherence or validity. You may ask, "is my viewpoint biblical," but you don't ask "is the bible really sound?"

 

The more tenuous your support, the more verbiage you use to cover over the fact that your position is weak. Really. Part of apologetics and evangelism is simply wearing your target out with words.

 

There is also the angle that most Christians only know science through the eyes of evolution deniers. So it's already a skewed point of view to begin with. When I started reading books by theistic evolutionists ("Science Held Hostage" was one of them), I began to get a better grasp of science and some of the misrepresentations of creationists.

 

It was a long, slow gradual process. But education was the key. Not education from just one point of view, but from "the other" side as well.

 

this sums it up pretty well.

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@freeasabird: MWC brings up a good point!

 

How does one even possibly reconcile the fact that not a word was written about the god of the bible until AT BEST 14th century BC?

 

According to Josephus, the Jews were NOT KNOWN until they crawled out of Babylon with their mystery religion almost 500 years before the common era. That was when they wrote their Torah. A Jew never existed until the Hebrew invented their religion. This also means Exodus and the whole Moses thing was fiction. The OT prophet Jeremiah came close to claiming it was all fake but only mentioned that Moses never received the law of sacrifice. The OT wasn't written during the time of the supposed authors which makes it also a work of fiction based on mythological people and animals. The fact that prophecy is written after the fact, it makes anything in the OT and NT suspect as forgeries. JW bibles used to indicated portions of the babble that were written at later times, especially the NT. Christians will quote the fabricated accounts of Josephus concerning Jesus but ignore the correct historical accounts he writes about the Jews.

 

You are correct that the OT and NT were not written in a timely manner.

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@freeasabird: MWC brings up a good point!

 

How does one even possibly reconcile the fact that not a word was written about the god of the bible until AT BEST 14th century BC?

 

According to Josephus, the Jews were NOT KNOWN until they crawled out of Babylon with their mystery religion almost 500 years before the common era. That was when they wrote their Torah. A Jew never existed until the Hebrew invented their religion. This also means Exodus and the whole Moses thing was fiction. The OT prophet Jeremiah came close to claiming it was all fake but only mentioned that Moses never received the law of sacrifice. The OT wasn't written during the time of the supposed authors which makes it also a work of fiction based on mythological people and animals. The fact that prophecy is written after the fact, it makes anything in the OT and NT suspect as forgeries. JW bibles used to indicated portions of the babble that were written at later times, especially the NT. Christians will quote the fabricated accounts of Josephus concerning Jesus but ignore the correct historical accounts he writes about the Jews.

 

You are correct that the OT and NT were not written in a timely manner.

 

Thanks for pointing that out. Can you point me toward where I could learn more about the accepted timeline of the OT? From the perusing I've previously done, it seems the christian community wants people to believe the 1400 BC figures so I'd like to find some strong opposing sources.

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With apologetics, you approach issues with a feeling of already knowing that the correct position is the evangelical/conservative/fundamentalist world view. You then work backwards to find the best explanations possible to support what you start out "knowing" are the correct conclusions. You don't look at scripture critically as to it's correctness, coherence or validity. You may ask, "is my viewpoint biblical," but you don't ask "is the bible really sound?"

 

Yes, this exactly. It is only when you give yourself permission to ask the question "is the bible really sound" and are ready to accept the answer that it all breaks down and can lead to deconversion.

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1400 BC sounds good if you believe a person named Moses actually wrote the Pentateuch. There is no mention of Moses in Egyptian history nor in the history of the enemies of Egypt. Exodus never happened. The timeline for the real world is around 500 BC, or sooner, when Josephus claimed the Jews first appeared out of Babylon. Josephus claimed there had been no Jew until that time, and that was when the Hebrew began to call themselves 'Jews.' The time of the Jews did not begin until they left Babylon, bringing their Babylonian mystery religion with them. No one knows where it really came from. The Jews arrived out of Babylon and demanded Jerusalem be given to them. They wrote a fictional account of the history of the religion of Judaism.

 

At least one of the prophets, Jeremiah, claimed the giving of the law to Moses was a lie conceived by the scribes who supported the Priests to maintain rule over the Jews. Jeremiah claimed god never gave the law of sacrifice to Moses. The law of sacrifice is what fuels christian fundamentalists in their rants about Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. Well according to the OT, god never gave such a law to the Jew. It was conceived of by the Priests who told the scribes what to write. If man creates laws that god never gave him and man claims god did so, that is blasphemy because it makes a liar out of god by putting words in his mouth he did not say. The christians teach falsely concerning Jesus, if such a person existed. And another apologetics comes from the story of the talking snake. There are no such things as talking snakes, even if ten million people believe in it.

 

Because the story of the talking snake is untrue, man never fell from grace, and again, the story of Jesus falls apart because it was as the result of this story, of the talking snake, that Jesus was born to a woman, allowing the woman to bring salvation into the world, Mary redeemed woman to god. But, only man distinguishes between the sexes. To god, we are all 'Man.' Only to humans are we known as 'male' and 'female.' Man wrote the bible out of fear of the dark, and an OCD concerning death and an afterlife. Any rational god, or human, would not sacrifice themself nor their child, a son, because of a mythological story. The Christian view of Jesus is incorrect.

 

The Christians have continued adding laws, customs, and traditional teachings to their doctrines until that is all they teach, tradition, and ceremonies that are only required because the church says so, such as baptism, and the Eucharist. Churches go to great lengths to convince its members the church teaches the gospel of Jesus. It does not. The church teaches the gospel of the false apostle Paul, Saul of Taursus, who wrote what he believed about Jesus. The church teaches the writings of Paul, hence the church is referred to as the Pauline Church. Paul claimed he got his infor in a three or four second vision of Jesus on the Road to Damascus, a vision he could not tell the same way twice, out of the recorded three times he told it. Paul claimed his gospel was greater than what the original disciples claimed Jesus gave them. Now we have an interloper claiming to also be an apostle, because he wants to be. He also claims to be a Pharisee. Paul gives all these ceremonies and new commandments to the new church and soon the church's doctrine is not even recognizable as that which was delivered by Jesus, the coming Kingdom of God.

 

One of the writer's of the NT warned believers to be aware that they could not enter the kingdom unless their righteousness exceeded that of the Pharisee. Here we have Paul putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of the believer and condemning those who do not believe in HIS gospel. The Pharisee is in charge of the church that Jesus built. Unless one's righteousness exceeds that of Paul's, one will not enter the kingdom. I believe atheists and agnostics alike exceed Paul's righteousness because we are not conned by his gospel. If there is a day of retribution, it is a day that god will devour religion from the history of man, and the destruction of the christian church is close at hand. Christians are responsible for the creation of Islam, though they may not know it. Islam came about as the result of Christian invasion in the mid east and the Crusades, wherein crusaders slaughtered millions of people including Christian Arabs and tried to take over Jerusalem. Islam came about 600 years after the common era. Everything Christianity spawns is a work of evil and deception.

 

How's that for anti-apologetics?

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I had to become an apologist just argue with myself. When my rational mind finally re-engaged fully, I scrambled to find reason to continue believing.

 

It didn't work.

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Thanks for the great write up HZ, that's impressive.

 

Thanks also to the wealth of answers everyone else has given. I can totally see the whole "just start with your conclusion and work backwards" ideology. I recall facing some of the same challenges when I was very devout and just knowing the answer already so how you get there doesn't really matter. It seems like the same thing on just a grander scale.

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Great article about apologists by a philosophy professor in Sacramento...

 

He has a “self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit” in his heart in which he knows that “Christianity is true “wholly apart from the evidence.” With enough diligence and time, any new information can be made to conform to that which cannot and should not be doubted.

What’s particularly chilling and frustrating about Craig here is the tight, and impenetrable circle that he has constructed. First, reason must be subordinated to faith. Nothing can be allowed to controvert Jesus. Suspend all questions and doubts, no matter how legitimate, until you can devise a way to engineer or rationalize them into conformity with the prior belief. The “right” picture of the evidence is defined as the one that conforms with Christianity. No other outcome is permitted. If you have doubts, “cultivate your spiritual life, engaging in spiritual disciplines, like prayer, meaningful worship, Christian music, sharing your faith with other people, being involved in Christian service, so that you will foster the witness of the Holy Spirit in your life so that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Doubting is an enemy to be denied, rejected, or coerced into conformity with the “incontrovertible” belief. Doubting is the evil work of Satan. (Note that in a genuine intellectual investigation with truth as its goal, doubt is best and only tool we have. Doubt is the welcome antidote.) And finally, when you find a way to engineer an analysis of a doubt that can bring it into conformity with the Jesus belief, it “leaves you with the conviction that Christianity does indeed stand intellectually head and shoulders above every “ism” or philosophy that it might compete with.”

 

 

http://atheismblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/defense-lawyers-for-jesus.html

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