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Do You Ever Fear That The Fundamentalists Might Be Right?


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I have been struggling with religion for over a year. Right now, I'm leaning towards believing in reincarnation, and that there is truth in all religions. I suppose this would put me in the minority here - but I do have problems with Fundamentalist Christianity. I just don't get how a God who is supposedly loving would send people to suffer eternally, just for having the 'wrong' religion. I know a lot of non-Christians who are a lot nicer than some Christians. Still, all that being said, I tend to have fears that the Fundamentalists might be right, and that the world will end soon, and that I might go to hell for doubting Christianity. This is really devastating. I most certainly don't want them to be right - but it's hard to shake myself from something that I've been raised with. Does anybody else struggle with that?

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Hi, questioner 4. I used to have such fears, but I haven't in a long time. Your reasoning about the incongruity of the whole belief system - loving God sets up eternal torment of rational creatures etc. etc. - is spot on, and you should take confidence in your ability to spot the sources of cognitive dissonance. A big reason for rejecting the fundies is contradictions in the Bible. There are many materials about them in the archives part of this site. Compare the two infancy narratives, for example, or even better, the four accounts of the Easter story plus the stuff in I Corinthians. It's impossible to harmonize all the assertions in them collectively.

 

Fundies also tend to bring out stories of present day miracles as evidence, all the way from "the Lord led me to a word of knowledge about Sister Bowman's refrigerator" up to "my cousin's boss's sister said she heard of a church in Indonesia where a little girl was raised from the dead," etc. etc. These miracles accounts tend to dissolve into:

1. no verifiable evidence, often the story is passed on third hand or worse

2. natural explanations are just as successful and more economical

3. most likely lies - like Dave Wilkerson's supposed vision of the end times

 

Then there are fundy claims of prophecy fulfilled in our lifetime. These too have been debunked often.

 

Happy hunting!

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Do You Ever Fear That The Fundamentalists Might Be Right?, This is a fear I cam't seem to shake off...

 

If the Fundies are right, then god is a cruel, vain, vindictive monster. A monster who intends to send his children to eternal torment. Such a being certainly doesn't deserve our love or respect.

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No, I don't fear they are right, because logically they are wrong. Any god who would torture people for all of eternity for any reason is not one worth worshipping.

 

As someone's sig on another forum said:

 

Hitler burned people like Anne Frank for being Jewish. For that, we call him evil.

 

God burns Anne Frank for being Jewish, forever. For that, theists call him "good".

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I don't think I ever had a problem believing in hell, there is so much evidence in the world around me, and in my own life, that God is capable of tormenting humans. I watched my sister die of cancer, watched my father die of alzhiemers, watched friends wrestle with mental illness. None of these problems are the consequences of poor life choices, these things simply happen. As a believer I had to accept it as God's will. If He can do this to us on earth, why couldn't he do it for eternity?

 

Heaven is a problem though. Where on earth can we find any evidence of heaven? Nature is beautiful but brutal, animals killing each other constantly to survive. Even the best parts of life have a dark side.

 

When I read biblical descriptions of heaven, I don't think it sounds very appealing. So we get to stand around God's throne for eternity, screaming HOLYHOLYHOLY and throwing crowns around. How is that better than eternal torment?

 

Go to hell or go to heaven, frankly I don't think it matters either way. If this God exists, He can't be trusted to keep any afterlife promises. If there is a Christian God he can change the rules whenever He wants to, and according to the bible He does so often. He could turn heaven into hell with the snap of His fingers if it amused Him. We are His playthings, He will do whatever He wants to with us for eternity whether we follow His rules or not.

 

For me it comes down to a simple question, can I worship this monster? I could pretend, out of fear, but that won't save me from Hell. I could follow every rule to the letter, and pour out all my earnings to charity, He could still send me to hell on a technicality. If I have no contol over His choice at the end, why bother trying to live by His rules?

 

Why not live according to my own rules, using my own mind and reason to light the way?

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I have been struggling with religion for over a year.

 

You are freakin light-years ahead of me. I struggled with religion for 25 stupid-assed gullible gomer years before waking up. At least you're starting to realize the problems with it early.

 

I absolutely do not spend a moment worrying about hell anymore. I'll go back to sweatin it just as soon as I see a sliver of evidence of Jesus' words being true: "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it"

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Greetings, questioner4;

 

What is the source of your fear? Is there any intelligent reason why the fundies "might" know the truth that is invisible to everyone else?

 

Suppose a man were to stand on the sidewalk waving a copy of Margaret Hamilton's "The Greek Myths" at you and scream, "Believe in Zeus or you will wander in Limbo forever!!" You would, I sincerely hope, just push the wacko out of the way and move on.

 

The book that the fundies are waving in your face has no more evidence of reality than Hamilton's, and is a good deal less entertaining. So why are you worried about it?

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Mayhaps due to years of religious debate, I consider fundamentalist Christianity the least emotionally troubling (in the sense that it feels likely to be true). Fundamentalist Christianity being, of course, the most obviously contrary to experience and the most dogmatic by far.

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I have been struggling with religion for over a year. Right now, I'm leaning towards believing in reincarnation, and that there is truth in all religions. I suppose this would put me in the minority here - but I do have problems with Fundamentalist Christianity. I just don't get how a God who is supposedly loving would send people to suffer eternally, just for having the 'wrong' religion. I know a lot of non-Christians who are a lot nicer than some Christians. Still, all that being said, I tend to have fears that the Fundamentalists might be right, and that the world will end soon, and that I might go to hell for doubting Christianity. This is really devastating. I most certainly don't want them to be right - but it's hard to shake myself from something that I've been raised with. Does anybody else struggle with that?

 

We have a variety of beliefs here, so you are not in the minority. We accept everyone regardless of what they believe. I too tend to subscribe to a belief in reincarnation and that all religions have at least some degree of truth. However, I don't like to define god, a supreme being, a diety, etc.

 

Though, we do like to debate and make others think here. We do this with each other and it's not personal.

 

It's hard to question a belief system. We understand this and we've all been there. You are on the right track even if you don't feel you are.

 

I struggled with the same things you say you are. I thought I was going to hell becasue I could not accept Christianity any longer. The more I learned the more that feeling faded.

 

The hardest struggle is between what you know in your brain and what you feel in your heart, because you have been programmed to believe a certain way. We have been taught that there are consequences to not believing and we will suffer them because of our unbelief.

 

That is why we are here to support others who are making the journey and to let them know others have done it too and you are not alone. We understand!

 

Taph

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The Christian doctrine of Hell is incompatible with the belief that God does not want people to come to him out of fear. All this idea does is create a mental environment of fear.

 

Fear puts cognitive shackles on people, and those who wrestle with it become caught in a quagmire of unreasoned panic and superstition. The result is a dampening of one’s own reasoning abilities and rational faculties. Fear does not foster a healthy operating environment for reason. It also helps explain why many absurd religious beliefs still exist today. Fear and superstition are powerful. Years of conditioning can take time to overcome.

 

If there is any real chance that Hell might exist, it would make sense to do whatever it takes to avoid the fate of ending up there…if there was valid and substantive reasons for believing in such nonsense. There are none.

 

Once you do begin doing some more research and apply some healthy skepticism, reason and critical thinking to Christianity (and the doctrine of Hell), they can both be seen for what they are - outdated superstitious iron-age myths that deluded religious adherents cling to today in order to quell their concerns regarding their own mortality.

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Ruth,

 

Did it ever occur to you that your emotional instability had to do with the fact that you are a girl and went through puberty, body changes, and hormonal changes that all women experience in their teens? Now you and 17 and your body and brain has adjusted to it.

 

To say that you did anything wrong to cause your emotional state is denying psychology and biology.

 

Taph

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Questioner4, during the Cold War, the super powers were kept in balance because of the fear of a possible nuclear war. The fear worked, but we didn't get the nuclear war. Fear for something doesn't make it real. If fear of possible events controls your life, then you shouldn't fly, drive car, bike, eat meat, drink tap water, breath the air or do anything and for heavens sake don't sit still either.

 

The Fear Propaganda is an effective tool in anyones hands. It can manipulate people to change their views and opinions. It is used in cults and politics all the time. You build up the idea of a possible event and instill more and more "facts" to support it, until the listener have become a believer. But still, it doesn't make it true.

 

Is there a chance I might get killed next time I drive to work? Yes, the possibility exists, and the chance is higher than Hell to exist. Because there are tangible and statistical data to look at, and pictures and living eye witnesses today, right now. So I know the chance to get killed in traffic is there. But does it change my life, or does it mean that I must be killed next time? No! So if something that is a true danger doesn't scare me enough to change my behavior, why should a fear for a fantasy story change mine? What about dragons? Or orchs? Why don't they scare you too? They should, since they are just as made up creatures as the stories of the Bible. Hell is porly explained and not really outlined in full description in the Bible. All you know about Hell is an Add-On description that later Christians invented to SCARE people to faith. And since you can feel the pull, we can know that the technique works.

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No. Not any more.

 

The more you study the bible like the Fundies tell you to the more you realize how wrong the Fundies are on so many things, including hell.

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Hey questioner -

 

Try thinking of hell & fundamentalism in terms of a bona-fide cult - one that is clearly made-up and out to totally control it's members, like the Moonies or David Koresh. Pretend you've never heard of Jesus, God, Paul, etc. Imagine they were just part of some obscure, ancient religion 1000's of years ago.

 

Now, think of the fundie argument and how they frame it - because this 'God' of theirs is all-powerful and pissed-off, he is going to burn you forever in his 'lake of fire' for being a 'sinner'. A 'sinner' is anyone, good or bad, who doesn't accept this religion and completely give themselves over to it. If you do become a christian, and obey for the rest of your life, you'll spend eternity in paradise called 'heaven'.

 

It sounds an awful lot like a cult, doesn't it? If the stick of fear doesn't work on you, then maybe the carrot of heaven will.

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When I read biblical descriptions of heaven, I don't think it sounds very appealing. So we get to stand around God's throne for eternity, screaming HOLYHOLYHOLY and throwing crowns around. How is that better than eternal torment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ha ha. A cartoon in the recent New Yorker shows a couple looking downward from the clouds of heaven. The husband says, "I just think there are more people we know in hell."

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Does anybody else struggle with that?

 

Every now and then I think about the possibility that jehoover might be real after all... but after no more than 10 seconds max I conclude "if jehoover should be real I'd blatantly show him the finger for being the monster he is, according to the babble".

As has been said so many times by so many people, I'd rather go to hell with all those ethical rational people than spend an eternity in the madhouse called "heaven" with all the braindead jebus-arse-kisser-zombies :moon::vtffani:

 

:fdevil:

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What do (most) Christians depend upon for thier great pronouncements about the end of the world and eternal hell? A book. A book many of them don't understand and whose message they can't agree on. A book that can be demonstrated to be chock full of fables, errors, editorial accretions, myths, and assorted nonsense. A compilation of widely disparate documents written at various times that don't even agree with one another, and that were slapped together at the whim of politics, personal preference, and power plays. This, this is the basis for a belief in hell and judgement.

 

Give it time, and freely use your mind. The fear of a fairytale will fade and drift gradually away.

 

:woohoo::3::58::Medal:

 

Right on, Artur!

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Edited by Loren. By definition, a Christian has nothing to contribute on how to deal with problems related to having left Christianity.

 

Unwelcome, unhelpful and already tried Bible verses removed.

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Ruth, quote mining is bad. Quote mining from the Bible is worse. It is a book readily available and on the shelves of most people on this site. If you have a view of your own to contribute to this thread, state it.

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There are several condemnations against the 'end of the world' crowd in the bible itself. For that reason I never bought into the fearmongering of pentacostals or AOG types even when I was a christian. I believed just like Ruth is pointing out, that perfect love drives out fear, and my christianity was a calming, peace and confidence-inspiring thing.

 

Christian or non christian, there is no reason to put any stock in the wars and rumors of wars the fear-mongers try to use to "scare the hell out of you" .

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It's natural to have those fears as you go through the deconversion process. You have been deconverting for a year. If you were a believer for 30 years then you are essentially trying to rid yourself of 30 years of indoctrination. That is a long and difficult process. I had those fears come and go for about five years. I'm ex Catholic.

 

Fundamentalist Muslims believe that all nonmuslims will go to Hell. Do you ever fear that the Fundamentalist Muslims might be right? Of course, you don't, because you were never indoctrinated with fundamentalist Islamic beliefs. But you can bet that a Muslim falling away from their faith might worry about whether the Fundamentalists Muslims are right. Of course, they would never worry about the fundy Christians being right.

 

Your fears are a normal part of the process. Keep that in mind and good luck. Leaving Christianity is worth the struggle.

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