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Hello everyone smile.png

 

  I've spent many hours the past few days browsing this forum, and wanted to post something on here.  Currently I do not consider myself athiest, but I neither consider myself a Christain anymore.  You could say I am seeking the truth, I want to know if what I have taught my entire life is truly a lie, a delusion.  Let me tell a little about myself.

 

  My father was born in a old fashioned, KJV Bible believing, Baptist family.  Believing the Bible is the true infallible word of god.  My Father and Mother were married and shortly after I was born (my mother wasn't raised as old fashioned as dad, but she soon accepted the way dad believed).  I was raised, as far back as my memories take me, in church.  Our church believes the Bible literally, they believe the KJV is the only true word of god, salvation is received by faith (some preachers say faith and "repentance" whatever that is supposed to mean), they believe the rapture is coming soon, anyone that is not saved is doomed to hell, all that stuff, like I said, its old fashioned, so called "True Bible believing baptist".

 

I grew up in this environment, our family never missed a service, dad had rules, you went to church unless you were running a fever or throwing up.  Growing up I heard preachers talk about hell, and how everyone had a "sin" problem and needed a savior from sin (Jesus).  I never went down to the alter, until I reached the age of 16, our church attended a "Revival meeting" (looking back, it should have been called a "Emotion meeting").  This revival, our family went to every single night, for 2 straight weeks, every night the preacher talked about hell, and told "scary stories".  I went down on one of the final nights, to the alter, I honestly remember very little of what happened, I knelt at the alter, had a bible opened in front of me, the pastor of our church, my father crowded around me, I was given the "Salvation plan" and was told to say a prayer.  I prayed, asked Jesus to save me, said amen, the pastor asked if I was certain that I had gotten saved, I said yes, everyone was happy everything seemed great.  So, fast forward a few months, (almost a year actually) and I started having serious doubts about my salvation, was I really saved?  If I died right now would I go to hell?  It was a extremely stressful time, late nights, studying the Bible.  Never, did I get peace from god, but I did come to the conclusion that I wasn't experiencing the same thing everyone in my church claimed to have, I didn't have joy, peace and happiness, it was fear, anxiety and guilt.  I came to the conclusion, that I was not truly saved.  I kept this from everyone, no one knew my little "secret" and I continued to act like everything was ok, and played church I tried with all of my being to "Believe on Jesus" but it felt like I had complete inability to do so. I felt as if I could not be saved, so I finally gave up.  

 

Now, 2 years later.  I am 18, I sing in the choir, I handle the church website, and I am the sound and video coordinator at church.  This past year, church has gotten to be such a drag, its the same sermon it seems every service, I don't feel the same way everyone else does.  I feel frustrated that I'm told in preaching that I am choosing to be "lost" yet I tried with all my might before to believe, how is this my fault?

 

  I came in contact with a girl online recently.  We quickly bonded, and we are now officially dating.  Dad has no idea about this, because he believes that I should date someone that shares the "exact" same views as "we" do. This girl, does not share the same views, in dads eyes, he say she is "worldly".  Now I love this girl dearly, she meas the world to me, but if dad found out, he would do everything in his power to break us up.  I find that the way our church believe is extremely judgmental, this is the nicest girl I have ever met, yet they would say shes a terrible sinner. 

 

  Among all these circumstances, I have begun, for the first time in my entire life, to question the bible.  You are always taught to never question it, its a sin to do so dry.png .  I have many questions, why would god create me (to which I have no choice) knowing I am going to be birthed into "sin" and immediately on my way to hell.  Why would god not save me?  Is the bible really a trustworthy book, where did it even come from?  Can the man jesus even be proved to have existed at all using documents other then the bible?  Is evolution a good alternative to creation?  If salvation isn't works, and there is supposedly nothing I do to earn it, why tell me I must repent (works) in order to be saved?

 

  So, a question to all those that are here. Why do you believe that there is no god? what material would you recommend me to read, or videos, or websites for me to view?  I am looking at this completely open minded, I want the truth, if the god of the bible is real, then so be it, if hes not real, then so be it.  I have been taught my entire life this stuff, so I don't think that I am going to be convinced over night, but, the more I have got to actually thinking about this whole thing, the more ridiculous it sounds, I just want to be sure.  

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Why do you believe that there is no god?

Welcome to Ex-c unsaved. I only have a couple of minutes so I'm just going to hand you over the letter I wrote when I first joined EX-c. Hopefully, that will give you my reasons for giving up on the Christian god. I wrote it for me, but many have told me how it helped them.

 

You stick around here with us and post all your concerns. We have the smartest people in the world on the board here who can help, guide and direct you. You are NOT alone my dear friend. *hugs*

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/44259-please-forgive-me/

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There's all kinds of info out there on the history of the bible. Google and ye shall find.

 

Here are a couple of hints: The bible as we know it did not exist until hundreds of years after 'jesus'. Prior to the council of Nicaea (where catholic big-wheels VOTED on which books would be considered canonical), Christians of various sects (with wildly divergent beliefs - most of which bear no resemblance to modern protestants of any sort) referred to DOZENS of books similar to those in the bible.

 

Lots of these have been translated into English, and are readily available online- or at your local university library if you find that more credible. An easy collection to find is the "Nag Hammadi Library". The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a fun read. And once you realize that the ONLY thing that separates these books from the gospels is a vote by some catholic big wheels hundreds of years ago... it becomes pretty difficult to take the literalist view of the bible seriously.

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You are asking all the right questions... and the answers are out there. My conclusions and how I got here may be different from yours, but truth is truth. Keep asking.

 

I just wanted to say one thing though.. other than 'welcome!', Evolution isn't a replacement for creationism, it's a fact. It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be how things work here on our little planet... but, and here's the interesting part, it has nothing to do with 'the spiritual'. Many christians believe in evolution and still maintain belief in a god.. so do many of other faiths. Don't mistake evolution for abiogenesis... that's one of the fallacies that apologists try to use to mess people up.

 

There is a huge amount of material here that addresses many of your question and some you haven't even thought of yet (with citations!) historical issues, textual/scriptural issues, philisophical issues as well as hard science and what it tells us about our universe. Read, read, read!  and keep asking... you will find the answers you seek.

 

Welcome!

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Hello everyone smile.png

 

  I've spent many hours the past few days browsing this forum, and wanted to post something on here.  Currently I do not consider myself athiest, but I neither consider myself a Christain anymore.  You could say I am seeking the truth, I want to know if what I have taught my entire life is truly a lie, a delusion.  Let me tell a little about myself.

 

  My father was born in a old fashioned, KJV Bible believing, Baptist family.  Believing the Bible is the true infallible word of god.  My Father and Mother were married and shortly after I was born (my mother wasn't raised as old fashioned as dad, but she soon accepted the way dad believed).  I was raised, as far back as my memories take me, in church.  Our church believes the Bible literally, they believe the KJV is the only true word of god, salvation is received by faith (some preachers say faith and "repentance" whatever that is supposed to mean), they believe the rapture is coming soon, anyone that is not saved is doomed to hell, all that stuff, like I said, its old fashioned, so called "True Bible believing baptist".

 

I grew up in this environment, our family never missed a service, dad had rules, you went to church unless you were running a fever or throwing up.  Growing up I heard preachers talk about hell, and how everyone had a "sin" problem and needed a savior from sin (Jesus).  I never went down to the alter, until I reached the age of 16, our church attended a "Revival meeting" (looking back, it should have been called a "Emotion meeting").  This revival, our family went to every single night, for 2 straight weeks, every night the preacher talked about hell, and told "scary stories".  I went down on one of the final nights, to the alter, I honestly remember very little of what happened, I knelt at the alter, had a bible opened in front of me, the pastor of our church, my father crowded around me, I was given the "Salvation plan" and was told to say a prayer.  I prayed, asked Jesus to save me, said amen, the pastor asked if I was certain that I had gotten saved, I said yes, everyone was happy everything seemed great.  So, fast forward a few months, (almost a year actually) and I started having serious doubts about my salvation, was I really saved?  If I died right now would I go to hell?  It was a extremely stressful time, late nights, studying the Bible.  Never, did I get peace from god, but I did come to the conclusion that I wasn't experiencing the same thing everyone in my church claimed to have, I didn't have joy, peace and happiness, it was fear, anxiety and guilt.  I came to the conclusion, that I was not truly saved.  I kept this from everyone, no one knew my little "secret" and I continued to act like everything was ok, and played church I tried with all of my being to "Believe on Jesus" but it felt like I had complete inability to do so. I felt as if I could not be saved, so I finally gave up.  

 

Now, 2 years later.  I am 18, I sing in the choir, I handle the church website, and I am the sound and video coordinator at church.  This past year, church has gotten to be such a drag, its the same sermon it seems every service, I don't feel the same way everyone else does.  I feel frustrated that I'm told in preaching that I am choosing to be "lost" yet I tried with all my might before to believe, how is this my fault?

 

  I came in contact with a girl online recently.  We quickly bonded, and we are now officially dating.  Dad has no idea about this, because he believes that I should date someone that shares the "exact" same views as "we" do. This girl, does not share the same views, in dads eyes, he say she is "worldly".  Now I love this girl dearly, she meas the world to me, but if dad found out, he would do everything in his power to break us up.  I find that the way our church believe is extremely judgmental, this is the nicest girl I have ever met, yet they would say shes a terrible sinner. 

 

  Among all these circumstances, I have begun, for the first time in my entire life, to question the bible.  You are always taught to never question it, its a sin to do so dry.png .  I have many questions, why would god create me (to which I have no choice) knowing I am going to be birthed into "sin" and immediately on my way to hell.  Why would god not save me?  Is the bible really a trustworthy book, where did it even come from?  Can the man jesus even be proved to have existed at all using documents other then the bible?  Is evolution a good alternative to creation?  If salvation isn't works, and there is supposedly nothing I do to earn it, why tell me I must repent (works) in order to be saved?

 

  So, a question to all those that are here. Why do you believe that there is no god? what material would you recommend me to read, or videos, or websites for me to view?  I am looking at this completely open minded, I want the truth, if the god of the bible is real, then so be it, if hes not real, then so be it.  I have been taught my entire life this stuff, so I don't think that I am going to be convinced over night, but, the more I have got to actually thinking about this whole thing, the more ridiculous it sounds, I just want to be sure.  

 

Always question those that want you not to. Often those that would ask or force you not to ask questions have something to hide. What do you think they might be hiding from you?

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I would recommend the book A History of God by Karen Armstrong as a good place to start your search.

 

http://www.amazon.com/History-God-000-Year-Judaism-Christianity/dp/0345384563

 

Or the youtube version for an introduction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SmmyFAem2g

 

Google Dr. Bart Ehrman if you want an expert analysis of the bible's flaws. He has a number of excellent books detailing the problems that plague the bible. His scholarship conclusively proves the bible is certainly not inerrant nor inspired. I became so obsessed with this issue that I ended up investing about ten years of my life studying the history of Christianity and the bible but that's just me. I love history.

 

 

Since you are so young I would caution you that if you ultimately decided to walk away from your faith that will have serious family and relationship consequences. I think it would be wise, should you decided to leave your faith, to keep that to yourself until you are old enough to be on your own. If your family and friends are typical fundamentalist they will likely disown you if they find out you’ve left the faith.

 

 

I wish you well in your research.

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I say all of the above ideas are very helpful....read and watch videos etc. The most important thing is that you need to trust yourself. I know that as a Christian you are taught that you are a vile creature and cannot trust your own heart or motives or intellect but that isn't true. You can. You have a wonderful gift...choice. You can do all the research and then decide what, if anything, you believe. I did not come to the conclusion that there is no God, although I do not believe in a personal God that gets all involved in our lives. The beauty of it is that you can believe or not believe wherever your intellect and reason takes you. It is real freedom...enjoy!

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Welcome, unsaved.

 

I have a bit of background in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist KJV-only world myself, though I'm a few years removed from it. I graduated from an IFB Christian school and my in-laws are Ruckmanite KJV-ers to the core.

 

Perhaps a helpful starting point for you might be this Youtube series. I would also humbly recommend my blog, but especially the sites I link to on it.

 

I'm glad to see you're making it out at an early age, but as Geezer wisely cautioned, you may want to seriously weigh your financial situation and available resources before you decide to be to open about your loss of faith acknowledgement of reality.

 

 

 

 

Prior to the council of Nicaea (where catholic big-wheels VOTED on which books would be considered canonical)

 

I see this canard repeated ad nauseum in atheist circles and I've yet to find anything to substantiate it. I've looked into the formation of the canon a bit and I have found no evidence that the council of Nicaea ever voted on the canon. Several other councils did, of course, but for some reason I always see Nicaea popping up. There's evidence that Constantine had some bibles commissioned and there's a reference that Jerome makes about the council's supposed position of the book of Judith, but that's about it. The formation of the canon appears to be a much more complex issue than an up or down vote at any single ecumenical council.

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Welcome, unsaved!

 

Watch this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0996614/

I will also recommend prplfox and Evid3nc3 for deconversion videos on youtube.  Aaron Ra and potholer64debunks are great on evolution.

 

Read Jesus, Interrupted by Bart Erhman and Why I Became an Atheist by John Loftus.

 

And this! http://www.theingersolltimes.com/

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My reasons boiled down to;

- Just not feeling it man. No point in faking what you don't have, I didn't have faith anymore and it didn't make sense to me to pretend I did.

- Taking a goooood look at the God I was worshipping and deciding he wasn't very nice actually. I valued the choice it said God had given us - free will and all that gubbins very highly, but it was expected of us not to use it and blindly fall into line anyway. I suppose I grew tired of that contradiction.

- Realising I was a Christian because my parents bought me up to be a Christian much in the way I'd be a Jedi Knight if my parents had bought me up to be a Jedi Knight.

 

 

Anyway, I hope my perspective is in some way helpful for you, but obviously you have to draw your own conclusions, it's your life so remember it's your right to choose which creed or whatnot to live it by - not your parent's to choose it for you. But hopefully you're not going to heaven or hell or creepy mirror-world afterlife any time soon so you have plenty of time to work through your indecision and don't need to jump to a conclusion about the way life works any time soon, as confusing as it all may be. I hope it goes well for you!

The only other advice I have to give you is - don't make your most important decisions out of fear or your life will be ruled by it, don't sacrifice what could be a great relationship with this girl just because you're scared of what your dad will think.

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Welcome, unsaved!

 

You know what? Atheist / Christian is a false choice. There's a literal world of beliefs/non-beliefs out there, and you can be whatever fits you. Not everyone on the board is Atheist, even. You have the freedom to think whatever you want, and research whatever you want. We're here to support you!

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For material to read, I'd recommend Deconverted by Seth Andrews. I'm currently finishing it up and have really enjoyed the read. It talks about his struggles and his questions and how he had to conclude that the faith was not what he had believed it was his entire life. Definitely, try to read that book if you can.

 

Your questions are valid. The church may not believe so but they don't don't have the monopoly on truth as they'd very much like to believe. Look at the evidence of this supposed truth... This belief system that is supposed to be based on truths. Look at how divided it is. Look at the turmoil within the ranks. While at the same time, this God says he's not the author of confusion. The church is in such division, such disarray over their founding material that supposedly this same non-confusion-causing god, authored. 30,000 sects of Christianity and they all believe they're the right one?

 

Unfortunately for believers, the data supports the idea that we're overwhelmingly a product of our parents, culture and society's action or inaction on our lives and since this is the case, salvation isn't a choice, it's a result influences that we are thrust into by way of chance. Essentially, it boils down to luck.

 

Think about this. You believe what you believe largely due to the fact that someone else WANTED you to believe it so they did everything in their power to ensure you believed it. I'm sure their intentions were sincere and driven by what they thought was best for you as most parents would do. But they framed your world-view before you could adequately rebut it. You should define you, you should choose what you believe and what better than to completely disconnect from it, scrutinize it, question it and choose if this central part of your identity is a genuine you.

 

That's what I did and I ended up calling bullshit on this whole Christianity thing.

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  Among all these circumstances, I have begun, for the first time in my entire life, to question the bible.  You are always taught to never question it, its a sin to do so dry.png .  I have many questions, why would god create me (to which I have no choice) knowing I am going to be birthed into "sin" and immediately on my way to hell.  Why would god not save me?  Is the bible really a trustworthy book, where did it even come from?  Can the man jesus even be proved to have existed at all using documents other then the bible?  Is evolution a good alternative to creation?  If salvation isn't works, and there is supposedly nothing I do to earn it, why tell me I must repent (works) in order to be saved?

 

  So, a question to all those that are here. Why do you believe that there is no god? what material would you recommend me to read, or videos, or websites for me to view?  I am looking at this completely open minded, I want the truth, if the god of the bible is real, then so be it, if hes not real, then so be it.  I have been taught my entire life this stuff, so I don't think that I am going to be convinced over night, but, the more I have got to actually thinking about this whole thing, the more ridiculous it sounds, I just want to be sure.  

 

Welcome to ex-C, it's good to have you.  I'm glad you found somebody to love.  Don't let your folks break that up.  Enjoy life while you can and make the most of it.  When you can afford it move away from your folks so they won't be controlling your life anymore.  When I moved away from my folks I moved hundreds of miles and it was worth it.

 

I believe there are no gods for the same reason that I believe comic book characters are fiction.  People have been inventing gods for thousands of years.  There is nothing special about the gods of the Bible.  They are rather typical gods.  Nearly every culture prior to the enlightenment created gods. 

 

People are taught to never question the Bible because it's a hold over from the time when the church had the power to kill anybody who questioned their authority.  The Bible was created by the Roman Empire.  (They included the Old Testament which had been created by Ezra.)  Rome considered the hundreds of cult writings that were floating around at the time and picked the ones they thought would unify their empire.  Rome invented Christianity.  You see contradictions in the Bible (like works vs. grace) because the Romans used books that didn't agree with each other.  As for Jesus there were a number of men named Jesus mentioned in history but none of them did any of the things attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible.  There were many historians during the first century but none of them mentioned any Jesus of Nazareth.  Jesus Christ was probably an invention of Paul of Tarsus.  Then once the Jesus story became popular it grew like the King Author legend with each new writer adding more to the story.

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Welcome to the forums!

 

I was raised fundy (but not quite as crazy as your family), and was always taught that the bible is absolute Truth. And since truth can't contradict truth, I felt quite confident that I could explore whatever ideas I wanted to and still remain a christian. I had been taught that it was important to "not check your brains at the door" and to understand why I believe what I believe. So I started to read not only apologetics, but stuff from other points of view. Something odd happened - the people who had told me that the bible is so obviously True that anyone who believes otherwise are stupid willful idiots got scared and angry when I started asking the wrong questions. I guess I wasn't supposed to think that hard! That's when I started to suspect that the Truth they'd taught me may not really be as "firm a foundation" as I'd been led to believe.

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Your background religion is identical to mine. I got saved when I was four, back when I still believed in Santa Claus, so the brainwashing began further back than my memory goes.

 

I remember thinking, How come I'm not feeling what everyone else claims to be feeling? Now I think it's sort of a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, everyone exclaiming how the gold threads shine, but no one willing to call bull**** on it. Everyone in the church WANTS to believe in God so badly and WANTS to see God working miracles in their life that they'll see what isn't there.

 

I googled evolution vs. creation to see what my education had left out. (I went to private Christian school.) Then I searched through "the other side" of the arguments that I'd never been exposed to before... and I was stunned. Evolution is not in dispute at all. One of the arguments that creationists used was that if there were really evidence, transition fossils, then everyone would believe it, but there must not be enough proof to show evolution happened definitively. But they were wrong--there is PLENTY of fossil evidence. TONS of it. And more and more of it every year. But even the strongest evidence can't persuade people who refuse to look at it. And bible literalists simply refuse to look at it. They want to pretend they're living in the 1800s before science made such advances in carbon dating, DNA (which has gotten so good just in our lifetimes that forensic scientists can make an exact match for the purpose of criminal trials when in the 80s they could only show blood type.)

 

I felt stunned as I looked up all the fossils that they'd never taught us about in school. My brain was spinning. I mean, how could they ignore all this? How could they pretend it didn't exist? Did they think all those fossils from all over the world were some grand enormous on-going hoax by atheist scientists spanning decades??

 

Once I knew that the earth was as old as they said it was, and that evolution happened, I couldn't take bible literalists seriously anymore. (Also google the skeptics annotated bible--it showed me the absolute absurdities of the bible in one sitting--it's a condensed summary of the bible, book by book, and it made me shake my head and wonder how I hadn't seen it before.)

 

Finally, knowing that so much human history had happened long, long, LONG before the bible was written or jesus came o the scene (if he existed at all) I realized the bible didn't go back to the beginning of time and Adam and Eve could not have literally existed anyway.

 

I've enjoyed studying all this though, seeing where Christianity borrowed from other religions. (The book of Job came from other stories in other religions, the concept of hell was already there rather than invented by the scripture writers, the idea of a human sacrifice and virgin birth and feeding thousands through miraculous means all had their root in previous beliefs of the people living back then.)

 

One word of caution, if I may. When I lost my whole belief system, I also lostall my boundaries of what was right and wrong for me. I'd known other people who lost their faith all at once and became alcoholics or drug addicts or got pregnant or made other reckless choices, because, hey, if sin doesn't exist, nothing is off limits anymore, right? Take some time to really think through your own ethical boundaries before you allow yourself to indulge in anything you haven't indulged in before. Study the consequences as thoroughly as you're studying the evidence against Christianity. Be careful and thoughtful in your actions not because you'll go to hell if you turn from god too much, but because you don't want to mess up your brain, hurt your life, or hurt someone else's life. If you have sex, do it safely. (I think a lot of Christians get pregnant or get their girlfriend pregnant because using protection was considered "premeditated sin" whereas getting caught up in a moment of passion seems more forgivable.) If you drink, be responsible, don't drive drunk, and learn how much each kind of alcohol affects you and decide before you go out how much you'll allow yourself to have and stick to it--determine your own boundaries and adjust them as needed.

 

I know this sounds protective and you aren't a child anymore, but you probably have had limited exposure to people who behave responsibly with sex and alcohol, so you'll have to figure some of that out on your own. (Growing up, my school taught abstinence only until marriage and that no amount of alcohol drinking is acceptable, so... you know. I thought you might have had the exact same experience.)

 

Good luck as you navigate through the next exciting chapter of your life, and you'll always be welcome here if you have any questions or just want to find a supportive community of like-minded people.

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My thought would be to not try to force yourself to believe anything-- Christianity of any type, atheism, or whatever.  I think your only "dogma" should be to believe what you think is most likely true based on what you know-- and see where that takes you. Doubt the doubtful, believe the probable, be willing to change your mind.  I think traditional types of Christianity are extremely improbable, so I can't say that I think any of them are true.

I like this Tao Te Ching quotation:

"There is nothing better than to know that you don’t know.

                Not knowing, yet thinking you know—

                This is sickness.

                Only when you are sick of being sick

                Can you be cured."

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Thanks so much to everyone for your replies!  I have read a lot of fantastic advice, some of which I have never heard of before.  I know several have mentioned about seriously considering the consequences about opening up, and I have considered this and have determined that if indeed I find this all to be a delusion, it would be best that I kept it to myself until I move out.  I don't know of anyone from our church that has left because they stopped believing, but I know of several that left, every time a member leaves the "flock" the gossip, and slander always goes crazy throughout the church (funny because the Bible talks about that too).  For someone like me to just leave, I can't imagine what would happen.  I will be actively studying all the links, videos and books that was recommended to me.  I'm glad I came across this forum.  I'll be on here a good bit, I look forward to getting to know you all more, and learning new things. 

 

Thanks!

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Welcome, unsaved.

 

I have a bit of background in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist KJV-only world myself, though I'm a few years removed from it. I graduated from an IFB Christian school and my in-laws are Ruckmanite KJV-ers to the core.

 

Perhaps a helpful starting point for you might be this Youtube series. I would also humbly recommend my blog, but especially the sites I link to on it.

 

I'm glad to see you're making it out at an early age, but as Geezer wisely cautioned, you may want to seriously weigh your financial situation and available resources before you decide to be to open about your loss of faith acknowledgement of reality.

 

 

 

 

Prior to the council of Nicaea (where catholic big-wheels VOTED on which books would be considered canonical)

 

I see this canard repeated ad nauseum in atheist circles and I've yet to find anything to substantiate it. I've looked into the formation of the canon a bit and I have found no evidence that the council of Nicaea ever voted on the canon. Several other councils did, of course, but for some reason I always see Nicaea popping up. There's evidence that Constantine had some bibles commissioned and there's a reference that Jerome makes about the council's supposed position of the book of Judith, but that's about it. The formation of the canon appears to be a much more complex issue than an up or down vote at any single ecumenical council.

HymenaeusAlexander

You're right.  It is rather complicated.  The first "correct" list of the New Testament books came from St. Athanasius (Easter Letter, 367).  Nicaea was in 325.  Athanasius didn't have the first list of course-- and others had most of the NT list "correct" before that.  

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Welcome, unsaved!  There really is a lot of information on this site.  I've learned a lot from it and it will help you to think and decide on your own.  

 

Personally, I just questioned everything too much from a young age and the bible stories we learned as kids just didn't make sense to what I knew about the world.  The older I got the more I questioned beyond the obviously mythological Adam and Eve, Noah, etc.  I had a strong faith as a young teen, becoming born again, but that just petered out on its own over time.  It seems that people who question and want logical answers end up here!  The bible is not big on logic.

 

Take your time and read and digest all this information!  We're not afraid of learning here!

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Thanks so much to everyone for your replies!  I have read a lot of fantastic advice, some of which I have never heard of before.  I know several have mentioned about seriously considering the consequences about opening up, and I have considered this and have determined that if indeed I find this all to be a delusion, it would be best that I kept it to myself until I move out.  I don't know of anyone from our church that has left because they stopped believing, but I know of several that left, every time a member leaves the "flock" the gossip, and slander always goes crazy throughout the church (funny because the Bible talks about that too).  For someone like me to just leave, I can't imagine what would happen.  I will be actively studying all the links, videos and books that was recommended to me.  I'm glad I came across this forum.  I'll be on here a good bit, I look forward to getting to know you all more, and learning new things. 

 

Thanks!

Welcome unsaved...

 

I think you will find meaningful discussion, information and companionship at this site.

 

I would suggest one thing.  Take the time to study Logic 101 (or equivalent).  Being familiar with formal and modal logic sharpens thinking.  Being able to spot informal logical fallacies will help greatly in your analysis of and thinking about religious dogma, tenants and customs, as well as the apologetics offered by the faithful (which, by the way, are replete with the use of logical fallacies).  In short, familiarity with logic is a needed tool in the "Bologna Detection Toolbox" (to borrow a phrase from Carl Sagan).

 

Telling folks that you are studying logic and rational thinking may generate suspicion in the minds of certain theists, perhaps some close to you.  However, you can comfort them by stating that you are only doing so to sharpen your critical thinking skills.  What could possibly be wrong with that?

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Welcome unsaved. You have a huge advantage over us older people in that you have the internet! The information that we had to dig through volumes at the library is at your fingertips - and especially this forum!

 

If I were you I would start with church history. Baptists make it out that they existed as a true church from the time of Jesus.  That idea is simply false. No medieval Christian would have a clue what they were talking about. Study the Catholic Church, the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church and why they split. See how uncertain Christians were about their own doctrines! Then see that the Bible has errors. Factual and historical errors. Dr. Bart Ehrman is a good source. You can simply build on your research using what everyone in this thread has recommended.

 

I promise you this research will demolish any faith you may have remaining!

 

And it is also true that it is not a question of Christian, then Atheist. Be your own person and study other ideas about the world and see what fits with your own experience.

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For me, it is the disgusting way Christians judge people that finally pushed me away. If the bible is true, why do I see none of this love that is meant to be shed abroad in Christian hearts, why does the body count of Christians with cancer that god doesn't heal grow every day, why did I have to be born with a sinful nature I did not want because some woman can't follow simple instructions?

 

The more I thought about it, and the more shitty behaviour I saw in Christians, the stupider it all became. After 36 years of being a Christian, I just realised I had no evidence whatsoever for the existence of god.

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You are always taught to never question it, its a sin to do so

 

That, and that alone, should trouble you deeply.

 

Things that are real and true and have sufficient evidence to support them do not run scared from questions.

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As Exbooster said:

"You have the freedom to think whatever you want, and research whatever you want. We're here to support you!"

The Bible is the best evidence against itself. Read it with a critical eye, rather than a worshiping one. And the books suggested above, particularly by Bart Ehrman. His books

will help you spot many of the inconsistencies and errors in the Bible.

 

For 2,000 years Xtians have been figuring out rationalizations for errors, i

inconsistencies and absurdities in the Bible. Remember, ever since Constantine in the

4th Century, Christianity, in all its denominations, has the most financially

successful organization(s)in history, so it has received enormous support by those

involved. Those who defend the churches and their doctrines(called apologists}are

protecting enormous wealth.

So they say things like: "Do not depend upon your own understanding." This means listen

to them to tell what the Bible means and why it is the perfect word of god. But the truth is you,in the last analysis, must decide what is right for you, as opposed to an

apologist who has a vested interest in what you decide. Good luck. bill

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Hello everyone smile.png

 

  I've spent many hours the past few days browsing this forum, and wanted to post something on here.  Currently I do not consider myself athiest, but I neither consider myself a Christain anymore.  You could say I am seeking the truth, I want to know if what I have taught my entire life is truly a lie, a delusion.  Let me tell a little about myself.

 

  My father was born in a old fashioned, KJV Bible believing, Baptist family.  Believing the Bible is the true infallible word of god.  My Father and Mother were married and shortly after I was born (my mother wasn't raised as old fashioned as dad, but she soon accepted the way dad believed).  I was raised, as far back as my memories take me, in church.  Our church believes the Bible literally, they believe the KJV is the only true word of god, salvation is received by faith (some preachers say faith and "repentance" whatever that is supposed to mean), they believe the rapture is coming soon, anyone that is not saved is doomed to hell, all that stuff, like I said, its old fashioned, so called "True Bible believing baptist".

 

I grew up in this environment, our family never missed a service, dad had rules, you went to church unless you were running a fever or throwing up.  Growing up I heard preachers talk about hell, and how everyone had a "sin" problem and needed a savior from sin (Jesus).  I never went down to the alter, until I reached the age of 16, our church attended a "Revival meeting" (looking back, it should have been called a "Emotion meeting").  This revival, our family went to every single night, for 2 straight weeks, every night the preacher talked about hell, and told "scary stories".  I went down on one of the final nights, to the alter, I honestly remember very little of what happened, I knelt at the alter, had a bible opened in front of me, the pastor of our church, my father crowded around me, I was given the "Salvation plan" and was told to say a prayer.  I prayed, asked Jesus to save me, said amen, the pastor asked if I was certain that I had gotten saved, I said yes, everyone was happy everything seemed great.  So, fast forward a few months, (almost a year actually) and I started having serious doubts about my salvation, was I really saved?  If I died right now would I go to hell?  It was a extremely stressful time, late nights, studying the Bible.  Never, did I get peace from god, but I did come to the conclusion that I wasn't experiencing the same thing everyone in my church claimed to have, I didn't have joy, peace and happiness, it was fear, anxiety and guilt.  I came to the conclusion, that I was not truly saved.  I kept this from everyone, no one knew my little "secret" and I continued to act like everything was ok, and played church I tried with all of my being to "Believe on Jesus" but it felt like I had complete inability to do so. I felt as if I could not be saved, so I finally gave up.  

 

Now, 2 years later.  I am 18, I sing in the choir, I handle the church website, and I am the sound and video coordinator at church.  This past year, church has gotten to be such a drag, its the same sermon it seems every service, I don't feel the same way everyone else does.  I feel frustrated that I'm told in preaching that I am choosing to be "lost" yet I tried with all my might before to believe, how is this my fault?

 

  I came in contact with a girl online recently.  We quickly bonded, and we are now officially dating.  Dad has no idea about this, because he believes that I should date someone that shares the "exact" same views as "we" do. This girl, does not share the same views, in dads eyes, he say she is "worldly".  Now I love this girl dearly, she meas the world to me, but if dad found out, he would do everything in his power to break us up.  I find that the way our church believe is extremely judgmental, this is the nicest girl I have ever met, yet they would say shes a terrible sinner. 

 

  Among all these circumstances, I have begun, for the first time in my entire life, to question the bible.  You are always taught to never question it, its a sin to do so dry.png .  I have many questions, why would god create me (to which I have no choice) knowing I am going to be birthed into "sin" and immediately on my way to hell.  Why would god not save me?  Is the bible really a trustworthy book, where did it even come from?  Can the man jesus even be proved to have existed at all using documents other then the bible?  Is evolution a good alternative to creation?  If salvation isn't works, and there is supposedly nothing I do to earn it, why tell me I must repent (works) in order to be saved?

 

  So, a question to all those that are here. Why do you believe that there is no god? what material would you recommend me to read, or videos, or websites for me to view?  I am looking at this completely open minded, I want the truth, if the god of the bible is real, then so be it, if hes not real, then so be it.  I have been taught my entire life this stuff, so I don't think that I am going to be convinced over night, but, the more I have got to actually thinking about this whole thing, the more ridiculous it sounds, I just want to be sure.  

 

Look at evilbible.com and http://godisimaginary.com   for some bible refutation.

 

"he would do everything in his power to break us up" - what power does he have? Maybe control of whether or not you live at home, but you could live with a friend as a roommate provided you have some income. Your Dad's power is diminishing, especially now that you are an adult.

 

"they would say shes a terrible sinner." - everyone's a sinner according to church doctrine. You could mention Matthew 7:1-3 and Matthew 7:3 if you feel like arguing the bible against them.

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