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Hi Folks,

 

I am still presently a Christian Hanging on by a thread.  Why are my in this position you may ask.  Well to be honest I felt that I committed the Unforgivable Sin and for 4 months of extreme depression and fear of hell I kept getting more and more worried.

 

Then I came to this site and read some Atheist Testamonys and it made me feel better.  Why?  Well because what I was reading from this site made sense.  Imagine God denying someone heaven for a simple sin yet let someone like Hitler or a Pedophile in?  That hardly seams fair and as most people say is it really a God I want to worship.

 

So this has given me three options and I need help deciding which is best.

  1. Become a full blown outright athiest.
  2. Become agnostic (I feel that I still need to believe in something)
  3. Believe in God of the Old Testament only.  Afterall both Judaism and Islam both say not to worship anyone but God in Heaven however Christianity says the opposite.

 

The wierd thing here that I have found is that should I die its a 50% chance I would goto Hell anyway.  Because if Judaism and Islam say not to worship Jesus which God says is a Grave Sin according to them then you would goto hell.

 

However in Christianity if you dont believe in Jesus you will goto hell.

 

  • Judaism/Islam + Worship of Jesus = Hell
  • Christianity + Worship of Jesus = Heaven
  • Christianity - Worship of Jesus = Hell
  • Judaism/Islam - Worship of Jesus = Heaven

Quite literally its a 50/50 chance.  After being this aflicted I have been reading and it is becomming clear that the bible is not standing up to some arguments.  I believe God who spoke to Idioits in comparison to us now a day if they understood God how come our best theologians have so many conflicting theories.

 

What do you think?

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What about all other religions? Maybe the gods of some native tribe in south america or the old greek or egypt ones are the right ones.The chance that you pick "the right religion" is probably 1/10000000. You just looked at those that you are familiar with, but that doesnt mean that they are the only options.

 

It is the wrong approach to pick a religion just to be safe and your belief is not something you should "decide". I can not decide to believe in santa claus because there might be the possibility that he is real and i can get presents if i believe.

It is a process to find out what and why you believe. Look at the OT. Why do you believe in this weird stories that is a mix of other myth and just applies to the time that it was written in? Why do you not believe in old greek myth like "hercules"? Why do you want to believe in the OT god that enjoyed war and babies being smashed against rocks ( Psalm 137:9)?

 

You dont have to label yourself as "atheist" or "agnostic". Just figure out what you believe and dont believe blindly or in something that doesnt feel right.

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I've decided to take a similar approach to decluttering (stay with me! ) I think if one article of faith is up for questions then they all are. Im poking and shaking every religious concept i held and seeing what falls off. If it survives it can stay.

So far the Bible as a sacred text has not made it back into my life. Parts of the poetry csn stay because they still speak to me about the beauty of the world.

Also the resurrection is out, for lack of empirical evidence. And so on and so on.

 

So question everything, if the answers are not good enough, don't give it houseroom :)

 

And these forums are brilliant for support xxx

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Hi Folks,

 

I am still presently a Christian Hanging on by a thread.  Why are my in this position you may ask.  Well to be honest I felt that I committed the Unforgivable Sin and for 4 months of extreme depression and fear of hell I kept getting more and more worried.

 

Then I came to this site and read some Atheist Testamonys and it made me feel better.  Why?  Well because what I was reading from this site made sense.  Imagine God denying someone heaven for a simple sin yet let someone like Hitler or a Pedophile in?  That hardly seams fair and as most people say is it really a God I want to worship.

 

So this has given me three options and I need help deciding which is best.

  1. Become a full blown outright athiest.
  2. Become agnostic (I feel that I still need to believe in something)
  3. Believe in God of the Old Testament only.  Afterall both Judaism and Islam both say not to worship anyone but God in Heaven however Christianity says the opposite.

 

The wierd thing here that I have found is that should I die its a 50% chance I would goto Hell anyway.  Because if Judaism and Islam say not to worship Jesus which God says is a Grave Sin according to them then you would goto hell.

 

However in Christianity if you dont believe in Jesus you will goto hell.

 

  • Judaism/Islam + Worship of Jesus = Hell
  • Christianity + Worship of Jesus = Heaven
  • Christianity - Worship of Jesus = Hell
  • Judaism/Islam - Worship of Jesus = Heaven

Quite literally its a 50/50 chance.  After being this aflicted I have been reading and it is becomming clear that the bible is not standing up to some arguments.  I believe God who spoke to Idioits in comparison to us now a day if they understood God how come our best theologians have so many conflicting theories.

 

What do you think?

 

Why do you have to belong to any of these belief/non-belief systems? Search your heart and find spiritual things you like and keep them. Other spiritual things you dont like, discard them. As you go through life you may find new spiritual things you are drawn to and old spiritual things you fall away from. There is no law you have to pick a premade system and stick with it. 

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I think you are relying too hard on "decisions" and "choices" right now, ChristianGuy. And (in Christian ideology), no sin is unforgivable if you ask Christ for forgiveness. Try if you can to not be so hard on yourself and so firm with definitions right now. Humans (as God created them) are organic, not things pinned with irrevocable labels. 

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I guess I am like this because longer term I have never quite 'GOT' the bible?

 

I became a Christian during University about 6 years ago.  I felt all the warmth etc but after a while it died.  I moved away to an Internship and not a single christian 'Friend' wanted to hang out when I got home.  This started me to begin to be angry with people who judge me.

 

As Software Developer I generally day in and day out question everything and so as I was studying the Bible I had literalised views that all christians disagreed upon.  E.g. If God created ultimately created evil why did he need to go to extreme lengths to bring Humans to Him?  Also why would humans be punished in the same way as Satain when we as Humans dont know of heavenly things.

 

I ask many questions and have many problems with Christian theology and I was hanging on by a thread.  When It comes to the Bible I would have taken the view that God would not write stuff to confuse people so everything is face value as opposed to some complex Apologetics stance.

 

So right now I dont even know if I want a faith,  I've held off on reading my bible every evening for a week but I still miss it but everytime I read it I keep asking more and more questions.

 

When I sought help from others I felt worse because I felt I was the only one asking these questions and others distanced themselves from me for asking some real genuine questions.

 

E.g. Why do people quote more from 'Paul' who was a murderer and which we have no actual proof of meeting Jesus.  Against Jesus himself!

 

Jesus lived for 30+ Years and since he is God do you not think if something was Important he would of said it so why would God need to go and convert Paul it seams odd that when he was on the earth he didnt feel the need to say anything about marriage or anything but suddenly when hes Gone he starts forming strong opinions.  Paul even contridicts Jesus in some areas which is very puzzling.

 

So I need help here people what do I do,  I asked for Spiritual help afew times over my 6 years however everytime I am fobbed off with you have to have faith when I wanted Answers.  I was always told the Bible had all the answers from God but when I asked Ministers and Pastors for these answers it was always a complex mess of different verses to hold their point and no real one teaching.

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Trust me Christianguy1000 you don't want to try and hold  on to your beliefs. Just do what feels natural if you have to force it something is wrong. One thing you can do though is inform yourself. Satan for example is FREQUENTLY mistranslated from the original greek and Hebrew. the greek means adversary and comes usually from the word satana. The Hebrew just means the prosecuter. One thing I learned is the  more you put the bible into context the more you see how it is just a conglamoration of various  religions.

 

One thing you can be sure of

 

follow the Christian religion-100%  go to hell  I have biblical proof for this

Judaism generally has just an afterlife no heaven no hell

Islam is based off of the later therefore no heaven either

 

 

Heaven is just a carrot on a stick.

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Welcome, ChristianGuy1000!

About your "three options", you don't have to pick one, and you're not limited to those choices, either. Here's a pie chart derived from the really helpful (and accurate - it's their job, after all) CIA World Factbook online. Skipping the "you're going to Hell" mess entirely, everyone else is a very respectable 43% of the world population. You don't have to make up your mind just yet (or arguably, at all). Do some research. The Bible is far from the only holy book, or philosophical discourse. It's not my forte, but I'm sure other members of the forum here will be able to tell you about all kinds of histories of the Bible, and how it was written. Maybe read some others, from very different cultures, to see a fresh perspective.

I find East Asia is a good place to start, because of a three-millennia-deep tradition of writing.

Chinese Text Project:

Taoism: Dao De Jing.

Confucianism: The Analects of Confucius.

Followed up later by Buddhism, introduced from India in the late 3rd Century:

Buddhism: Diamond Sutra

 

The only real judge is that if you're unhappy, things need to change. The field is wide, wide open after that.

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Welcome to Ex-c ChristianGuy1000! Very good to have you with us!!

 

Looks like you joined the board and have all the same type of questions that we had when we joined Ex-c. Take your time with all this. Your 'world view' is about to blow wide open!! We will be here to support you all the way. Keep reading and asking all the questions you want. Someone is always here to guide you through. The smartest people in the world are free thinkers and there are many on this board who have investigated Christianity more than any 'pastors' or 'preachers' out there in the world.

 

Don't be afraid..it will all fall into place. Letting go of what you believed for a very long time can take time. Once you get some questions answered, you will not ever feel alone again.

 

So very glad to have you!!

 

Sincerely,

Margee

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Welcome ChristianGuy, I'm glad we were able to help a bit.  I was a Christian for over 30 years and all that time I suffered from deep depression.  I never had a choice about what I believe.  But I reached the point where I no longer could and suddenly my depression disappeared.  In my case my problems had been caused by believing in God, Satan, angels, demons, heaven, hell, all those people the Bible says were killed by God, and the rest of it.  When I became an atheist I cut all that nonsense out of my life and didn't waste any time or stress over it again.

 

Let me know if you would like to hear specific deprograming advise.

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Please pardon my redundancy. I’ve noted this numerous times in my posts. You are contemplating a life changing decision. Accepting a designation of atheist, agnostic, Deist or whatever doesn’t make you any of those things. Your heart will determine what you are spiritually/religiously and that will change with the passing of time.

 

Changing your religious beliefs is a PROCESS not an EVENT. There is no off/on switch that you simply throw and become something different. I’m 10+ years into my de-conversion. In my case, that doesn’t mean I have any regrets nor am I second guessing my decision to follow the path I’ve chosen. I could never return to Christianity or any other organized religion.

 

Based on the experiences of multitudes that have taken this journey before you I strongly encourage you to do some serious reading and research into the history of Christianity and the Bible. A good book I would recommend to start would be Karen Armstrong’s “A History of God”.

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0345384563

 

I don’t think it’s enough to simply say, “I don’t believe. I am convinced you need to know why you no longer believe. A study of religious history will provide volumes of evidence that conclusive proves Christianity, and all other religious, as well as the Bible, and all the other supposed sacred writings, are positively man made. There is nothing unique or “Divine” about any of them.

 

You, and all of us former believers, were indoctrinated into "believing" all the nonsense we were subjected to. We were told we have to accept all it of on "faith" because God's ways are not our ways and God doesn't provide "proof or evidence" Hogwash! Christians don't provide "proof" because there isn't any. It is highly doubtful that a man named Jesus of Nazareth ever existed in the flesh. There is no, as in none, evidence such a person ever existed.

 

Education, IMO, is an absolute necessity if you are serious about taking this journey.  And by the way, heaven and hell were created by the early Church fathers as a rewards/punishment system designed to control the adherents. The evidence indicates the God of the Bible, heaven, and hell are myths created by humans.

 

I wish you well in your journey.

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... I was always told the Bible had all the answers from God but when I asked Ministers and Pastors for these answers it was always a complex mess of different verses to hold their point and no real one teaching.

You're not under any imperative to decide on any specific belief or position.

You've taken a healthy step to question your acquired beliefs, the baggage given to you by others.

From what I gathered, you experienced the "sugar high" of a fast food religion that promises much but delivers little.

You've now become dis-illusioned, which means you've distanced yourself from an illusion.

That's a positive step in my opinion .

Naturally, there's now a vacuum that you want to fill with something to replace that which you've questioned as being truth.

Pastors and preachers make their livings selling opinions and speculations as "facts" and as you've discovered, their teachings are a "complex mess".

As difficult as it is, I wouldn't feel too compelled to take any position at this time, just investigate and file the results in your mind for now.

I'm agnostic because after years of reflection it makes the most sense to me.

Threats of hellfire and damnation no longer work, much to the dismay of the preachers, pastors, and apologists that tried to ram their fantasies down my throat.

You don't need their neurosis either.

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Hanging onto a thread, I know what thats like. See the problem herw is that your to real for this primitive god. He wants you to fear him so you will not do the wrong thing, but you already want to do the right thing without any arm twisting.

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Hi, ChristianGuy.  Welcome to ExC.

 

Your pondering what you should believe post-Christianity, sounds a lot like me when I was at or perhaps a little beyond where you are now with Christianity.  After I first determined that Christianity was a false religion, I decided that if Christianity is untrue, then the next logical step would be to embrace Judaism, or, to be more precise, the God of the Old Testament.  My deconversion was, as you can see, from Christianity and not from God.  It was not until later, after more study and consideration, that I determined that the God of the Old Testament also did not exist.

 

What I am saying is that there is no formula for devonverting.  Each person is an individual and each person must handle it the way that is best suited for them.  Try taking it one step at a time.  If you follow my pattern, for example, the first question is whether or not Christianity is true.  To answer this question, I focused on the four gospels and after studying them carefully, I determined that those four books did not represent reality.  I then branched out to the other books of the New Testament and made the same determination.  As I have already said, that left me with the God of the Old Testament and when I branched out to study that, I made the same determination about it as I had about Christianity.

 

Once you make your own individualized determinations about Christianity and, perhaps, the God of the Old Testament, then and only then should you think about whether there is some other religion or spiritual path that makes sense to you.  As others have said, do not feel like you have to put yourself in any particular box and label yourself atheist, agnostic, or anything else.  There really is but one label and that label is Human Being.  I think the real struggle in life is to determine what does it mean to be a Human Being and most particularly, what does it mean to be YOU.

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I think you are relying too hard on "decisions" and "choices" right now, ChristianGuy. And (in Christian ideology), no sin is unforgivable if you ask Christ for forgiveness. Try if you can to not be so hard on yourself and so firm with definitions right now. Humans (as God created them) are organic, not things pinned with irrevocable labels. 

This. Don't rush out to find a new label. I stopped calling myself a Christian about six or seven years before labeling myself an atheist, and that was after about five years of scrutinizing my faith in Christianity. I feel like taking my time helped me to let go and develop my new belief system naturally, instead of rushing into something I didn't completely understand (although that wasn't really the whole reason I did so). It sounds like you're about done with Christianity. Why rush into something else? Do research. If you're really interested in atheism, study up on it... there are a lot of good resources out there. And good luck on your journey!

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I don't have much to add other than to agree that deconversion is a process that may occur over many years. I too began to question Christianity, then other faiths and became sort of a pantheistic type before settling into agnosticism. That eventually took on new meaning and I currently consider myself an agnostic atheist. I seriously started to question my beliefs around 2009 after living in Afghanistan. It's now about four years later and I'm just becoming comfortable with the realisation that I'm an atheist.

 

Read, contemplate and continue to discuss your thoughts and feelings. One of my mistakes was that I didn't talk about my transition until recently when I joined this site. Good luck.

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All of the above will be helpful to you if you follow through. It took me many years to complete my deconversion, If complete is even the right word. I think this will be an ongoing process for the remainder of my life. Just think about the fact that no christian churches educate their congregations about christian history. They no they would have a lot of explaining to do if they tried. The history is atrocious. There are the christian apologists who have distorted Xtian history into something it was not. Josh McDowell is a Xtian writer who wrote a very one-sided book called, "The Evidence That  Demands a Verdict". It is an intellectually dishonest book attempting to convince people that there is no doubt that Jesus was resurrected  and ascended to heaven. He claimed that the bible was perfectly written and translated. His reasoning and conclusions are obviously way off track. There are numerous books by atheists and others that overwhelming show McDowell's reasoning to be faulty and his conclusions erroneous.

 

Your path through deconverting is by education. A good book to start with is, "The Age Of Reason" by Thomas Paine in the 18th Century. Also, Robert Ingersoll, who wrote in the 19th Century. Both are well known and well respected, except by Xtian apologists and the like.

 

Welcome and good luck.   bill

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Hi Folks,

 

I know that the system of being a Christian is not an on off switch.  As a Child I knew about God and Jesus but I really did not like that Jesus took all the Glory from God so I basically prayed directly to God and not through Jesus.

 

Then I became a christian and I got the 'Spiritual High' that everyone gets,  But then things started getting rough - I started asking questions that many could not answer and in the process lost many friends because I formed views that they did not like.  These views are literal biblical points where they tried to sugar coat them or twist them.

 

I was worried about the Unforgivable Sin and I counted 11 different opinions on it.  So this was one of the main final straws.  Simply because I began to realise there is no one view on anything.  E.g. Heaven and Hell some people say its eternal , others say its metaphorical others say its anialisam and others yet still say its Universal Reconcilliation.  And they all use the same scripture to make their point.

 

This made me even more confused e.g. How can every single little thing in the bible have two sets of opinions,  at that point the penny dropped which religon is correct I asked myself.

 

I read alot about Church history and I can conclude that the Bible itself is not a good source of Christianity.  If we take 3 religions (Eastern Orthadox, Catholicism and Protestant) each denomination has its own bible with additional scriptures removed or added.  This opened my eyes from the beginning.

 

People then say about the Lake of Fire now again theres many views on this however history shows that Revelations was narrowly added in place of the Apocolypse of Peter - Reason: Because Jesus taught peter that everyone will be saved in the end.  And the Church fathers didnt like this so they pushed revelations with alott more problems (e.g. no author, no real location, no meaning and completely metaphorical) just to get round it.

 

When you start to see this you realise there are more faults.  I feel I should at least try and believe in God of the Torah but not Jesus of Nazerith as the more I read the more I find problems.

 

Believe me I always felt that I wasent a Christian because I asked questions that people would never ask and that people could never properly answer. I think this is a baby step in a long walk but a walk thats been planned for years.

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Keep asking questions, keep reading about the history of the Christian faith and the Jewish faith, about who really wrote the books of the Old and New Testaments, about how it was decided by the Council of Nicaea which books were included in the Bible and which were not, though the Catholics kept several of then in there.

 

I recommend reading "Abraham, A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths" by Nicholas Feiler, which examines the origins of the story of Abraham and how he has been used by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to promote their religions.  Also read "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong, which examines Western society's belief in one god and examines those three faiths and the evolution of their concepts of god.

 

Keep on being inquisitive.  Some people might not be comfortable with that but what is the point of having a faith and belief if it does not stand up to questioning?  If you turn off the questioning now, it will come back later.
 

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Hi ChristianGuy.  I think Ralet has aptly stated why it's futile to calculate odds that you will go to hell.  You can bring up or even invent new religions in order to suppress this probability as much as you like, at least the way you're calculating it.  The issue here is that you are making the assumption that each religion is equally probable of being true.  Is that a good assumption?  You said yourself that Paul often contradicts Jesus.  As for Jesus living 30 years, doesn't that seem like an awfully short time for God to live on earth?  And he only preached for 3 years!  Contrast that with Moses, who lived for 120 years, or Abraham who lived considerably longer.

 

As for what to label yourself, can't you believe in God without believing in Jesus?  A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that for God to exist, Jesus must necessarily be God.  Again, is that an assumption you want to go with?

 

Oh, good to hear you're a software developer.  I'm an astrophysicist and have to do a lot of software development at work, so I think we can relate on a professional level.  We're also both trained in logic, which is always a good thing when talking about religion of any kind.

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Believe in whatever crazy shit gets you through, but please stop worrying about hell.  That is something only the human mind could come up with.

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