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Heaven, Hell And Punishment (Wtf)


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Hi Folks,

 

A while back I thought I had committed the unforgivable sin and no matter what I just couldn't get peace with it.  I think Jesus meant it literally.  I told my girlfriend and she actually got pissed at God.  Murderers, Pedophiles can all goto heaven but if you say anything with a negative conotation about the Holy Spirit that is you doomed.

 

That sounds completely unfair and quite fucked up which has got me looking deeper into the faith that I sort of still believe.

 

My Question :: Why do we need to believe in Jesus?

 

People will say because he is Lord but honestly the only option we have is Jesus or Eternal Hell?  How is that fair.

God Created hell originally for the angels - they knew more than humans so they do deserve it,  Us humans dont know that much so why do we a finite being deserve it.  We did not ask to be created!

 

God gave us free will, God created the Lake of Fire and God will still send people he 'Loves' there for eternity,  He even sent his son to be 'innocent' and 'sinless' to die for us in a very horrible way.  Seriously God who created the Heavens and Earth needed someone to be martyred before we could come to him.

 

Worse still is the Free Will?  Free will is a choice to either believe or not.  If you want to believe then Yeah heaven should be a reward for giving up stuff.  But if you dont want to believe how is hell an adequite alternative.  I would sooner not be born - again Gods fault.

 

What do you think?  Are my wrong for thinking like this.

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I don't think you need to study anymore my friend....you are sooooooo on the right path. Do not doubt what you know to be the truth for you. Your observations are 'right on'.

 

Keep posting!!smile.png

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I don't think you need to study anymore my friend....you are sooooooo on the right path. Do not doubt what you know to be the truth for you. Your observations are 'right on'.

 

Keep posting!!smile.png

 

Thanks Margee,
 
I am beginning to see the light - I am actually quite pissed at the Christian Concept of God.  Against other deities the God of the Bible offers only two options 'Eternal Heaven or Eternal Hell' all other dieties speak of punishment but they are never eternal!!!
 
Since I am on a rant here lets take relgion by afew points thats really got my goat.
 
--- Jesus
I believed him - I put my trust in him and I followed him,  I never thought even 3 months ago I would come to this view point.  I would say as far as Christians go I was a true one,  I fed people when they were hungry, I gave my last penny to others who needed it.  And yet I was ridiculed for asking questions that many did not like.  I am a software engineer so I needed logical answers and none were fourth comming only people who pushed me away.
 
If I asked a Chrisitan why do they believe in Jesus the response would be 'Jesus is Lord, and we will be in heaven with him'.  Theres their motive to goto Heaven,  They are ignoring that their same God is supporting the concept of torture for eternity even for Good people.
 
Sor to most christians (Jesus == Insurance Policy).  Yet even christians seam to ignore a very real threat.
 
Jesus said : 'Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.'
 
So based on exactly what Jesus is saying its still a 50/50 chance I could goto Heaven/Hell?  As you wont know - clearly people saying Lord Lord were obviously convinced he was 'Lord' even casting out deamons in his name.
 
--- Trinity
 
Ok this is single handidly the most ludicrus thing I have ever heard.  I am sorry to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit on this one but seriously this is a real invention of humans.  The line 'In the Beginning was the Word.... The Word was God'  That was in Johns Gosphel however lets have a looksee here.  This is Johns opinion,  Not Jesus speech.
 
Jesus never once said he was God Almighty - the Holy Spirit decended on him like a Dove again there is 3 seperate entities.  In my opinion they would be.
 
God = Almighty
Jesus = The Son (Not God)
Holy Spirit = Spirit of God = Energy of God / Power of God
 
--- Paul
 
This fella is a guy ive never liked from the day and hour I became a Christian,  He made himself out to be a goodie two shoes and everyone seams to forget that most of his life was murdering people.  Most christians judge other christians yet no one questions Pauls actual integrity.
 
Paul is known for making many outlandish view points in the bible.  E.g. Better to Be Single than Married,  Better to be in Chains for Jesus.
 
Actually the part of him being in Prison is also a problem - Because we see on several accounts that he was offered to go free by various governors but he wanted to see cesar so he willingly let himself be imprisoned not because it was optional.  a Prisoner of War is not an optional thing.
 
I could go down the route and take the clean swipe out of paul.  I find it more upsetting that Christians listen to Paul more than to someone like James.  James spoke the truth in the right way he was Jesus brother so he I am sure knew him better than anyone and James just spoke of love.
 
Funny how people who were in it for their own wrote more view points and scripture than the guy who lived with Jesus his entire life.
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Welcome ChristianGuy1000!

Yeah, Paul's a jerk. Just not a nice person, really.

Enjoy the forum, I think you'll like it here.

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You’re religious indoctrination appears to be developing cracks. These cracks are likely being created by your realization that the religion you’ve been indoctrinated into is flawed. You are beginning to see the inconsistencies, contradictions, and the irreconcilable dichotomies. Cognitive dissonance has kicked in and is forcing you to resolve the dilemma you now find yourself in. Fear not! What you are experiencing is called the early stages of enlightenment.

 

I understand Margie’s advice, but I would tweak that just a tad and modify it by saying I agree that you should stop reading apologist because apologetics is the tool that religion uses to indoctrinate their adherents.  Education is definitely the key to enlightenment, but be careful what you are filling your mind with. I strongly encourage you to switch your reading material and begin reading and researching religious history instead of apologetics.

 

I have found these religious historians to be an excellent source of factual information. Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels, Robert M Price, John Dominic Crossan, & Karen Armstrong just to name a few.

 

I found Marcus Borg to be helpful during my initial stage of transition. Borg is a liberal apologist but I found his book, “Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not Literally” to be very helpful in the early stages of my de-conversion because the Bible is the foundation of faith for virtually all believers. His book puts the Bible in perspective and he acknowledges it isn’t true in any literal or historic sense. I personally believe demystifying the Bible and disestablishing it as being sacred is probably the best place to start your reeducation, assuming you are so inclined.  

 

In any event, I wish you well in whatever path you choose to follow.

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Welcome to the forums! 

 

Salvation based on belief is flawed.  Why?  Because belief is largely involuntary. I could tell you aliens are real and that you should believe in them, but depending on what you've experienced in life will play a massive role in whether you can believe that or not.  Belief is not a switch you can merely flick on or off voluntarily.  So, to base a system of eternal reward/damnation on this is extremely unjust and is highly affected by circumstance or ie luck.  This also causes problems for the free will doctrine.  Your will is only as free as the circumstances you've experienced allow it to be. Do Christians really believe a person who's buried their 7 year old due to untreatable and terminal disease has equal opportunity to believe in an all-loving, compassionate god as someone who's never experienced such tragedy?  Many people face obstacles that are far to great to overcome when it comes to belief and Christians pretend like it's the unbelievers fault for their lack of belief.  

 

But for your unbelief... Something that you just couldn't make any sense of, you get the eternal smoking section.  How precious is that?  God is great isn't he! Praise Jeeeebus!!!

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When I attended a xtian camp years ago, the central speaker was the xtian author Derek Prince. He explained to me that blasphemy against the holy spirit, one can tell from the context, was the attributing to the work of the devil a manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The Biblical context is Jesus driving demons out of pigs.

 

It made better sense to be quite so specific about what it actually is, because otherwise there is simply no end to what could, in principle, (implicitly) constitute such blasphemy -- and indeed churches use precisely this fact to frighten people into adjusting their values and mindset. It's basically the same with other religions that have hard-line components to them. But they can't all be right.

 

I recall reading that hell is, in Western theology, a medieval concept, originating in Eastern mysticism. And there's a strong case to be made for the idea that Paul never existed - at least, that he wasn't remotely the individual we are led to believe he was. Many would say the same about the figure of Jesus also -- just get Googling it.

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Watch this

 

 

I don't think anyone should worry too much about what Luke says, as he wasn't an eye-witness author.

 

You and most fundamental Christians would not get along well.

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I don't think anyone should worry too much about what Luke says, as he wasn't an eye-witness author.

 

You and most fundamental Christians would not get along well.

 

 

No, they do nothing but pervert what they read in scripture and see in front of them (as though their own prism is the ultimate arbiter of what may be said to be the work of the Holy Spirit), which some would say is full-on blasphemy.

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--- Paul

 
This fella is a guy ive never liked from the day and hour I became a Christian,  He made himself out to be a goodie two shoes and everyone seams to forget that most of his life was murdering people.  Most christians judge other christians yet no one questions Pauls actual integrity.
 
Paul is known for making many outlandish view points in the bible.  E.g. Better to Be Single than Married,  Better to be in Chains for Jesus.
 
Actually the part of him being in Prison is also a problem - Because we see on several accounts that he was offered to go free by various governors but he wanted to see cesar so he willingly let himself be imprisoned not because it was optional.  a Prisoner of War is not an optional thing.
 
I could go down the route and take the clean swipe out of paul.  I find it more upsetting that Christians listen to Paul more than to someone like James.  James spoke the truth in the right way he was Jesus brother so he I am sure knew him better than anyone and James just spoke of love.
 

 

Yeah, Paul is horrible. When I first started looking at who wrote what in the bible (about age 14), Paul made me incredibly uncomfortable. Other than the "love is patient, love is kind" thing, most of what he said is so fucked up, so twisted. Once it clicked that "This guy is a total woman-hater," how could I reconcile what he said as "God's words of love"? Why should Saul/Paul be trusted in the first place? Was this the origin of "You can be as horrible as you want, but as long as you preach Jeeezus, it's okay on some level" that we now see with public figures and politicians?

 

And I think you did the same "unforgivable sin" as I did around the same time, ChristianGuy. You haven't clarified, but I suspect it was "blaspheme the holy spirit," right? I remember one of my first full-out panic attacks (before I knew what they were or that what I was feeling even had a name) was around the same time I mentioned before, age 14. I was taking a bible class and going to a Christian school, and this was also around the same time as the Jim and Tammy Baker scandal happened. It was the first time I started really thinking about how many different "kinds" of Christianity there were, and not all were like my church. I was awake in the middle of the night, struggling with thoughts about who was to be believed and trusted -- TV robots? Old people at church? School administrators? -- if it could suddenly all collapse in a dramatic "I have sinned against you!' melodrama. Long, long story short, that night one of the thoughts that went through my head was "... like if I were to even think 'Fuck the Holy Spirit'-" and my blood ran cold. Inadvertently, I'd committed the Unpardonable Sin. Despite all of my years of trying to be good, a thought that I didn't even MEAN had just condemned me to everlasting Hell. That was it. I was done.

 

I spent that night in an agony of terror, praying, sobbing for forgiveness. I ended up creeping into my parents' room and sleeping at the foot of their bed, seeking any minimal comfort, because I was now damned, ruined. It was all over. 

 

I don't remember exactly how I talked myself back into not being damned for all eternity because of that one second of words I didn't believe connecting together in my head, but I know it took several days of that blank, gray, wrenching panic. I know I didn't tell anyone, and I read the bible, and eventually must have found something that convinced me otherwise, and continued along my guilt-ridden Christian way for several more years. But as I look back, not only do I recognize the horror that is organized religion, making ANYONE believe that something THAT TRIVIAL could damn a good child to an afterlife of Hell, but that God, who was supposedly love and forgiveness, could have ANY "unforgivable sin." Mass murderer pedophiles can repent in jail and be assured by weeping clergy that yes, Jesus loves them and they will go to Heaven. But a thought like mine could equal eternal damnation?! What sense does that even MAKE?!

 

Peace IS possible, ChristianGuy. Even happiness and joy and love and all of the stuff we were promised came only through Jesus. Maybe that is why it's the "peace that passes all understanding"; because it happens based on exactly NOT what we understood as Christians. 

 

You're safe here to talk and ask questions, any questions. There is no "unforgivable sin."

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Please keep ranting, not only does it help you, but it helps us new comers/lurkers. I didn't like Paul, glad to know I am not the only one lol!

 

Deconversion is a long process, but when you are true to yourself, not following a god out of fear and obligation, that is peace!

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I don't think anyone should worry too much about what Luke says, as he wasn't an eye-witness author.

 

 

Just like all the other New Testament authors.  You can't actually see something that never happened.

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Wow, Pantophobia, that was a great post! It is truly frightening how religion can take a perfectly intelligent, rational person and make them LITERALLY crawl on their knees in fear and humiliation. I always questioned the notion of an unpardonable sin, especially one so trivial as "blasphemy" against the Holy Spirit. What about God and Jesus? Are they fine with forgiving you for blaspheming their names? I thought the Trinity was one being...It never made sense to me.

Thankfully most of us are recovering from all the fear and superstition and growing into more confident, reasonable human beings. I'm glad to be a member of this great community! smile.png

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--- Jesus

I believed him - I put my trust in him and I followed him,  I never thought even 3 months ago I would come to this view point.  I would say as far as Christians go I was a true one,  I fed people when they were hungry, I gave my last penny to others who needed it.  And yet I was ridiculed for asking questions that many did not like.  I am a software engineer so I needed logical answers and none were fourth comming only people who pushed me away.

 

If I asked a Chrisitan why do they believe in Jesus the response would be 'Jesus is Lord, and we will be in heaven with him'.  Theres their motive to goto Heaven,  They are ignoring that their same God is supporting the concept of torture for eternity even for Good people.

 

Sor to most christians (Jesus == Insurance Policy).  Yet even christians seam to ignore a very real threat.

 

Jesus said : 'Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.'

 

So based on exactly what Jesus is saying its still a 50/50 chance I could goto Heaven/Hell?  As you wont know - clearly people saying Lord Lord were obviously convinced he was 'Lord' even casting out deamons in his name.

Hi ChristianGuy.  I must say that I found your comment here very insightful.  The doctrine of hell has been my principle objection to Christianity since deconverting.  Christians believe in a god who will eternally torture anyone who doesn't convert and profess faith in Jesus; this basically overshadows anything else they might preach or believe.  It is a horrendous and hateful doctrine, and for this reason I believe that evangelical Christianity is an evil religion.  Being an evangelical is the moral equivalent of being a Nazi.  I do not understand how evangelicals can be remotely tolerated in this country.  Evangelical Christianity ought to be classified as a hate group.

 

 

 

--- Paul

 

This fella is a guy ive never liked from the day and hour I became a Christian,  He made himself out to be a goodie two shoes and everyone seams to forget that most of his life was murdering people.  Most christians judge other christians yet no one questions Pauls actual integrity.

 

Paul is known for making many outlandish view points in the bible.  E.g. Better to Be Single than Married,  Better to be in Chains for Jesus.

 

Actually the part of him being in Prison is also a problem - Because we see on several accounts that he was offered to go free by various governors but he wanted to see cesar so he willingly let himself be imprisoned not because it was optional.  a Prisoner of War is not an optional thing.

 

I could go down the route and take the clean swipe out of paul.  I find it more upsetting that Christians listen to Paul more than to someone like James.  James spoke the truth in the right way he was Jesus brother so he I am sure knew him better than anyone and James just spoke of love.

 

Funny how people who were in it for their own wrote more view points and scripture than the guy who lived with Jesus his entire life.

Regarding Paul, I likewise had difficulty with him, but not for the same reason as most people.  What bothered me is that while Jesus gave his authority to the 12 apostles, he showed up after the fact, claimed to have a vision from Jesus, and began to argue with the other apostles and even start his own churches.  His ministry was blessed by the other apostles, perhaps because it was already so successful.  I don't know how the early church even recognized him as speaking for Jesus.  His story always seemed quite shady to me.

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I don't think anyone should worry too much about what Luke says, as he wasn't an eye-witness author.

 

You and most fundamental Christians would not get along well.

 

 

No, they do nothing but pervert what they read in scripture and see in front of them (as though their own prism is the ultimate arbiter of what may be said to be the work of the Holy Spirit), which some would say is full-on blasphemy.

 

nothing different than what you do right?

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The doctrine of hell is ironically one of the most powerful pieces of evidence against Christianity.

 

The more intellectually honest thought you give it, them ore you realize an omni-benevolent being would never create such an unfair and unjust law. Most Christians probably wouldn't be OK with being eternally punished for being Christian in the event another religion turns out to be true, and yet they are expected to turn a blind eye to the fact that their own religion preaches this.

 

The harsh reality is that believing a person deserves to die for their lack of beliefs is, on a philosophical level, just as bad as actually killing. Fundamentalist Christians are no better than Islamic extremists.

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Yeah,

 

I agree with everyone's comments. I have a tendency to look at things Logically.

 

Regarding the Apostle Paul I have those same problems with him.  He seams to be the equivalent of a big Evangelical e.g. Lots of Steam.  The fact he came on the scene after Jesus said he was the last revelation is a bit of a problem.  Heck even the Disciples had problems with him yet everyone learned to 'Accept Him'.

 

Most Christians Quote directly from Paul over anything Jesus said - Paul was probably the biggest con-man in history.  Why are Christians blindly believing in a fella who lets face it as less Credibility at that time than anyone else.

 

Lets go back to Jesus - I read a blog about 50 problems with Jesus.  I have to say I agree with the Majority of them.

 

Can someone agree with me that on the whole Jesus was an Ass Hole?  He walked around spreading so many different messages and parables that no one at that time even his disciples had a clue what the hell he was on about.  (Children Inherit the Kingdom of God / Only People who Follow the Law Get to Heaven / Everyone Who Believes in Me Gets to Heaven)  He even went to some people if you don't believe in me believe in his miracles.  Like fuck sake people back then never believed him what hope is there for us now with absolutely no proof apart from a book which texts are copies of copies of copies.   Found in a cave that was conveniently left empty for 2,000 years.

 

If Jesus was God would he not have left and said other things previously for future Generations,  Sure he said he would be back soon 2,000 years ago - Did he seriously think that people would not have problems with his Word.  Surely this is a blunder on God's part.

 

Lastly the story that gets me completely:  The story of JOB,  Most Christians say that it shows faith and that Job remained faithful but really WTF.  God took a perfectly nice fella who believed in him and let Satan fuck it all up including killing his family.  Just for God to prove a bet against Satan.  It also has some problems in the fact that we also read that Satan goes up-to heaven to talk with God - I thought God could not be in the presence of evil.  Yet Satan is clearly talking to god In Heaven at a Staff Meeting.  It even sounds like God is quite Chummy with Satan.  E.g. why didn't he banish him from the Garden of Eden.

 

The way the Bible makes God sound is like an idiot - Who is easily swayed and easily pissed off,  And that little Humans seam to have more compassion than the big man himself.  Hey God please don't wipe out the city if I find 20 people and somehow negotiates it down to 5 people like seriously God does negotiations does he.

 

Last night I made my last prayer to God I said "Lord God Almighty and Jesus, I am beginning down a path which will lead me not to believe in You.  If you are a kind caring and loving God,  I appeal that you will give me a vision tonight that I can know that it you are still with me and that you still love me. I also ask that you cure all the cancer in the world tonight"

 

Result:  Prayer Unanswered when I was Genuine / Desperate / and asking for help from the God I followed and he didn't help.

 

Output:  If God exists and doesn't want me then why the fuck should I be nice about his 'Word' - I cant believe in something that would never even give someone a little vision when they are on their last stages of belief.  E.g. Jesus being the shepherd seen me and went there's a sheep away - Aww well (Sounds more fitting to the bible though).

 

OK Folks I've a problem - This is a biggie and I need encouragement

 

The last 2 - 3 weeks I've been ok with going against God and Christianity its been working - But the last 2 - 3 days I've had problems of doubts e.g. What if It's all real?  -- Can someone please tell me that this Phase passes.  From what I written above its clear I know the holes and problems but Its breaking the old belief is hard?!

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Yeah,
 
I agree with everyone's comments. I have a tendency to look at things Logically.
 
Regarding the Apostle Paul I have those same problems with him.  He seams to be the equivalent of a big Evangelical e.g. Lots of Steam.  The fact he came on the scene after Jesus said he was the last revelation is a bit of a problem.  Heck even the Disciples had problems with him yet everyone learned to 'Accept Him'.
 
Most Christians Quote directly from Paul over anything Jesus said - Paul was probably the biggest con-man in history.  Why are Christians blindly believing in a fella who lets face it as less Credibility at that time than anyone else.
 
Lets go back to Jesus - I read a blog about 50 problems with Jesus.  I have to say I agree with the Majority of them.
 
Can someone agree with me that on the whole Jesus was an Ass Hole?  He walked around spreading so many different messages and parables that no one at that time even his disciples had a clue what the hell he was on about.  (Children Inherit the Kingdom of God / Only People who Follow the Law Get to Heaven / Everyone Who Believes in Me Gets to Heaven)  He even went to some people if you don't believe in me believe in his miracles.  Like fuck sake people back then never believed him what hope is there for us now with absolutely no proof apart from a book which texts are copies of copies of copies.   Found in a cave that was conveniently left empty for 2,000 years.
 
If Jesus was God would he not have left and said other things previously for future Generations,  Sure he said he would be back soon 2,000 years ago - Did he seriously think that people would not have problems with his Word.  Surely this is a blunder on God's part.
 
Lastly the story that gets me completely:  The story of JOB,  Most Christians say that it shows faith and that Job remained faithful but really WTF.  God took a perfectly nice fella who believed in him and let Satan fuck it all up including killing his family.  Just for God to prove a bet against Satan.  It also has some problems in the fact that we also read that Satan goes up-to heaven to talk with God - I thought God could not be in the presence of evil.  Yet Satan is clearly talking to god In Heaven at a Staff Meeting.  It even sounds like God is quite Chummy with Satan.  E.g. why didn't he banish him from the Garden of Eden.
 
The way the Bible makes God sound is like an idiot - Who is easily swayed and easily pissed off,  And that little Humans seam to have more compassion than the big man himself.  Hey God please don't wipe out the city if I find 20 people and somehow negotiates it down to 5 people like seriously God does negotiations does he.
 
Last night I made my last prayer to God I said "Lord God Almighty and Jesus, I am beginning down a path which will lead me not to believe in You.  If you are a kind caring and loving God,  I appeal that you will give me a vision tonight that I can know that it you are still with me and that you still love me. I also ask that you cure all the cancer in the world tonight"
 
Result:  Prayer Unanswered when I was Genuine / Desperate / and asking for help from the God I followed and he didn't help.
 
Output:  If God exists and doesn't want me then why the fuck should I be nice about his 'Word' - I cant believe in something that would never even give someone a little vision when they are on their last stages of belief.  E.g. Jesus being the shepherd seen me and went there's a sheep away - Aww well (Sounds more fitting to the bible though).
 
OK Folks I've a problem - This is a biggie and I need encouragement
 
The last 2 - 3 weeks I've been ok with going against God and Christianity its been working - But the last 2 - 3 days I've had problems of doubts e.g. What if It's all real?  -- Can someone please tell me that this Phase passes.  From what I written above its clear I know the holes and problems but Its breaking the old belief is hard?!

 

 

What you are experiencing is perfectly normal. You are leaving the second stage of deconversion and entering the third stage.

 

Into The Clear Air

 

Part I: Exaltation

 

The first stage of deconversion consists of the believer’s pre-deconversion religious beliefs, which exist either because they were indoctrinated with religion in childhood or experienced an ecstatic religious conversion later in life. In this stage, the believer is often very happy, even joyous.

 

 

Part II: Doubt

 

In the second stage of deconversion, the sense of confident assurance that comes from religious faith begins to melt away as the believer’s doubts grow, typically despite intense efforts to suppress them.

 

 

Part III: Darkness

 

In the third stage of deconversion, the person’s former faith has collapsed, but they do not yet have anything to replace it with. Unfortunately, most people are taught that only through religion can they hope to find happiness, meaning, purpose or fulfillment in life, and this belief often persists after all the other aspects of religious belief have gone, leading to a feeling of emptiness and hopelessness, of having hit rock bottom. Fear, undirected anger, and feelings of depression are common. Often a person feels overwhelmed and lost, adrift in the world without a framework to make sense of it all.

 

 

Now you need to replace your old Christian Reality Tunnel. Build your new reality on solid facts, not blind belief.

 

Part IV: Illumination

 

The fourth and final stage of deconversion begins with the new atheist’s journey out of the darkness of uncertainty, and ends with their arrival in the light. Most people, by this stage, have learned that they are not alone, that their path is one that many travelers have walked before; that there are whole communities of freethinkers out there, glowing like galaxies through the dark veils of blind faith.

 

 

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Deconversion in Stages

 

The Stages of Grief Re: Atheist De-Conversion

 

No Answers in Genesis!

 

http://talkorigins.org/

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I am certainly not defending Paul.  I think the problem with Paul and his epistles, for those who have left the faith, is that they are not reading him in context.  His epistles are the oldest Christian writings we have. They preceded the gospels by several decades. That fact is huge and must be taken into consideration when evaluating Paul’s writings.

 

If Paul is read “outside” the gospels the contexts of this writings dramatically change. Christians read Paul as an extension of the gospels, but the gospels didn’t exist when Paul wrote his epistles. Earl Doherty’s book, “The Jesus Puzzle” puts Paul epistles in context. The Jesus Puzzle brings the reality to light that Paul likely never even heard of an earthly Jesus.

 

Paul’s epistles, if read in context, reveal that he was not aware of any earthly Jesus or any of his supposed teaching, works, or miracles. For Paul, Jesus was a spiritual figure that existed in the heavenly realms, but was, at some time in the future, going to come to earth and establish an earthly Kingdom. I do not believe Paul was intending to start a new religion. I’m convinced he was simply attempting to reform Judaism and make it more accessible to Gentiles. Doherty’s interpretation of Paul makes far more sense than anything else I’ve ever read.

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My Question :: Why do we need to believe in Jesus?
 

 

Doctrinal arguments are fine for the believers, but let's cut to the chase.
 
The Bible is mythology. End of story.
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