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Shinobi

I Couldn't Keep the Faith...

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Hello everyone.  I'm new here, and I just thought I'd introduce myself.  I've spent the past few years coming to terms with life as a nonbeliever.  During that time, I found myself dropping by this website off and on to read other people's stories because I was always able to find encouragement and strength through reading about what other people, like myself, had been going through after they decided to leave Christianity behind.  I finally decided that I wanted to become a part of this community because I would like to be there for other people who might be going through the same or similar struggles that I went through during and after the deconversion process.  I guess you could say that I just want to return the favor.

 

Like many of you, I was raised in church.  My father is a minister, and I spent the better part of my life having to follow in his footsteps.  By the time I was a junior in high school, I started having serious doubts about the validity of my religion and the steadfastness of my faith.  My dad and the elders in the church were all pushing me to become a minister, and the thought of committing my life to the church in that manner was way more than I was mentally or emotionally prepared to handle.  Over the years that followed, I started researching different forms of spirituality on top of any and all history that related back to Christianity.  I read controversial books like the Satanic Bible and watched movies like Zeitgeist - basically, anything and everything I could get my hands on to discover the truth.  However, I was never fully able to let go of the belief system I had been brainwashed to accept as my own.  Every now and then, I would veer off the straight and narrow for awhile, but the fear of hell and God's disfavor was just too much for me to completely get past.  As you can probably imagine, this cyclical process left me a confused and depressed mess.  So, it's no surprise that I fell into the clever traps set by people like C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, and the king of pseudo intellectualism, Josh McDowell.  There apologetic works always managed to answer just enough of my questions to keep me in the fold for a little while longer.  Nonetheless, there was always something that didn't quite add up - something that nagged at me and wouldn't go away no matter how much I prayed, studied, or researched.  I just couldn't shake the feeling that my life was being stolen from me by invisible hands that cared nothing for who I really was or what I really wanted (metaphorically speaking).

 

It wasn't until I decided to go back to college to finish my bachelor's degree that my eyes were finally opened to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  It all started when I took a secular Old Testament history course that was taught by a professor who didn't laugh at or belittle my skeptical mind. In fact, he encouraged me to be a critical thinker.  He taught the Old Testament strictly from a historical, archaeological, and academic perspective.  By the time the class was half over, I realized that I had found the evidence that I was looking for - the evidence I needed to walk away from the "faith" for good.

 

To sum it all up, I discovered that there is little to no historical or academic evidence to support the claim that Christianity is any different from any other mainstream religion in the world.  In short, it was a cult started by rebels that was later propagated and made popular by the Roman government who realized its extreme potential as a tool for social control.  The Christianity that is taught in the world today is a product of nearly 2,000 years of political and social evolution.  There is nothing God-inspired about any of it...

 

After the Old Testament history course came to an end, I began exploring other academic fields like sociology, psychology, and biology.  Of course, these academic disciplines did absolutely nothing to restore the faith I had given up on - they did the exact opposite.  I quickly came to the realization that this world is an absolutely huge place with thousands of religions, cultures, ways of life, and historical traditions.  I discovered that all of us, to a great extent, are products of the environments and the cultures that we were brought up in.  And, the list goes on and on...

 

That basically brings me to this point.  Obviously, I could say so much more, but I think this will have to do for now.  Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this!  I look forward to getting to know all of you.

 

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Hello, Shinobi, and welcome. I am glad that you were not sucked into becoming a minister. When I was in college, I was gung ho to become a minister. My mother warned me of the awful things that churches and church people do to their clergy. I dismissed what she said on the grounds that "she doesn't know the Lord." Later on I realized that she had been right. There is much that's dystunctional in the system of Christianity, and that dysfunctionality, alongside the normal human causes, has also as its cause the falsity of the doctrine. Big time. 

 

So stick around here, since I think you have much to contribute.

 

Peace, f

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9 minutes ago, ficino said:

Hello, Shinobi, and welcome. I am glad that you were not sucked into becoming a minister. When I was in college, I was gung ho to become a minister. My mother warned me of the awful things that churches and church people do to their clergy. I dismissed what she said on the grounds that "she doesn't know the Lord." Later on I realized that she had been right. There is much that's dystunctional in the system of Christianity, and that dysfunctionality, alongside the normal human causes, has also as its cause the falsity of the doctrine. Big time. 

 

So stick around here, since I think you have much to contribute.

 

Peace, f

Hi, ficino.  It's nice to meet you.  I know exactly what you mean when you speak of the dysfunction in Christianity.  Even before I deconverted that was a big reason I didn't want to have anything to do with it.  Needless to say, I'm really glad I didn't go down the ministerial path.  When my dad found out, he was highly disappointed, but it's not his life to live.  However, he still doesn't know that I've deconverted.  I really don't talk to him much anymore, so I don't know if he ever will know.

 

Anyway, I definitely look forward to getting involved with the forums in the future!

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Welcome aboard. Studing & researching the origins & evolution of the Bible & Christianity is what led to my deconversion too.

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

Welcome aboard. Studing & researching the origins & evolution of the Bible & Christianity is what led to my deconversion too.

 

Hi, Geezer.  Nice to meet you! It sounds like we have a lot in common.  I honestly can't understand how anyone who has ever taken the time to seriously study the origins of Christianity, Judaism, and Middle Eastern religion in general could ever be convinced that those religions are anything more than human contrivances that were created by the various tribal leaders of the time in order to further their goals of  economic, political, and social control.  I also can't understand how any minister who has a conscience could go all the way through college and or seminary and not come to the conclusion that he or she will be nothing more than a snake oil sales person if he or she continues down the ministerial path...

 

When one starts to study subjects like documentary hypothesis, ancient religious and political history, and archaeology, it doesn't take long for that person to come to the conclusion that the Bible has no more academic and historical validity than the Agamas, the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita.  There are definitely things in all of these books that can be used for historical reference, but they, like all other human literary works, are extremely flawed with inconsistencies, canon discrepancies, half-truths, and political and cultural biases.  For example, archaeological discoveries have been made that put a number of the stories found in the Old Testament into serious question.  It now appears that the ancient Hebrews were just as guilty of retelling history to justify their political decisions and to make themselves look good as any of the other cultures of the ancient past were...

 

In short, if the Old Testament falls apart in the historical and academic arena, the New Testament has absolutely nothing to base its claims on.  Christianity is just another cult that sprang from an older more established religion.  

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28 minutes ago, Shinobi said:

 

Hi, Geezer.  Nice to meet you! It sounds like we have a lot in common.  I honestly can't understand how anyone who has ever taken the time to seriously study the origins of Christianity, Judaism, and Middle Eastern religion in general could ever be convinced that those religions are anything more than human contrivances that were created by the various tribal leaders of the time in order to further their goals of  economic, political, and social control.  I also can't understand how any minister who has a conscience could go all the way through college and or seminary and not come to the conclusion that he or she will be nothing more than a snake oil sales person if he or she continues down the ministerial path...

 

When one starts to study subjects like documentary hypothesis, ancient religious and political history, and archaeology, it doesn't take long for that person to come to the conclusion that the Bible has no more academic and historical validity than the Agamas, the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita.  There are definitely things in all of these books that can be used for historical reference, but they, like all other human literary works, are extremely flawed with inconsistencies, canon discrepancies, half-truths, and political and cultural biases.  For example, archaeological discoveries have been made that put a number of the stories found in the Old Testament into serious question.  It now appears that the ancient Hebrews were just as guilty of retelling history to justify their political decisions and to make themselves look good as any of the other cultures of the ancient past were...

 

In short, if the Old Testament falls apart in the historical and academic arena, the New Testament has absolutely nothing to base its claims on.  Christianity is just another cult that sprang from an older more established religion.  

 

I agree. Jesus is the parallel Moses in the NT that comes to save his people. The typology is obvious. Moses wanders in the desert for 40 years Jesus is tempted by the Devil in the desert for 40 days. The parallels are numerous throughout the OT & NT. Both Testiments are clearly fiction with fictional characters, but I suppose Mythology would be a better word than fiction. 

Christian Mythology sounds better than Xian BS. 

 

 

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I like the way you rightfully refer to Christianity as a cult. One thing they really insist upon is to keep followers away from anyone else who might disagree and even disapprove of their beliefs. All scholars are liberal devils. All atheists are "fools" who don't believe. Those who understand there is no way in heaven or hell Jesus is coming back are "scoffers". So, welcome.

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So nice to find another historian (or at least, someone who thinks and writes like one. Far be it from me to assume your studies).

 

Yeah, the Bible falls to bits once you start applying objective thought to it. So much for inerrancy and infallibility.

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Just now, Syrus said:

So nice to find another historian (or at least, someone who thinks and writes like one. Far be it from me to assume your studies).

 

Yeah, the Bible falls to bits once you start applying objective thought to it. So much for inerrancy and infallibility.

Thanks, Syrus! :)  Nice to meet you.  I'm actually a sustainability, society, and resource management major.  However, history, sociology, economics, and international studies have all played a big role in my studies.  You are absolutely right about looking at the Bible from an academic and objective point of view.  If a person can ever train his or her self to read the Bible through the lens of critical thinking, he or she will quickly find that there is very little that is inerrant or infallible about any of it. 

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On 3/19/2017 at 8:01 PM, FoundationOfUnity said:

I like the way you rightfully refer to Christianity as a cult. One thing they really insist upon is to keep followers away from anyone else who might disagree and even disapprove of their beliefs. All scholars are liberal devils. All atheists are "fools" who don't believe. Those who understand there is no way in heaven or hell Jesus is coming back are "scoffers". So, welcome.

Hey, FoundationOfUnity.  Nice to meet you! :) Yes, Christianity truly is a cult, and I don't just use the term as an insult either.  By definition, it is in fact a cult - it's just a cult that got really popular over time.  Basically, if a man named Jesus (or Yeshua in Hebrew) actually existed and he compelled a number of people to reject the mainstream religion of their time, Judaism, in favor of following his radical new ideas, then he, in essence, started a new cult. And, it almost goes without saying that If someone did the same thing today, most of the world would be in agreement that he or she had started a new cult, and for the most part, it would be shunned and rejected by the majority of mainstream society.  It's funny how the passage of time can transform a cult into a respectable and venerated religion isn't it?

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21 hours ago, Shinobi said:

Hey, FoundationOfUnity.  Nice to meet you! :) Yes, Christianity truly is a cult, and I don't just use the term as an insult either.  By definition, it is in fact a cult - it's just a cult that got really popular over time. 

Time is one test of respectability for cults to become mainstream. But just to say hello and thanks. Most religions that have dominance are cults by the criteria of the definition. Cults vary is intensity of the characteristics of a cult but there is always an omnipotent leader who will kill or destroy or imprison all adversaries. The followers of the cults are slaves. The leaders despots and the glue is sado masochistic love with a promise of the best sex ever in some heavenly bliss. Ain't that true Ahlalalalalalala? Ain't that true some way Ya way? Ain't that true poppy Poop? the more the mock the more the merrrier and truth that cannot be refuted and is full of evidence.

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Hey y'all,

I'm new too. 

 

I've been looking for answers as well. Could any of you guys help me on where exactly to go to seek real answers? I can't obviously rely on Christian speakers anymore. I just want concrete evidence of evolution. 

 

I could Google it or I could ask the men/women on here who sincerely studied and fought for answers. I'm going to trust you guys over the rest of the internet. 

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14 hours ago, skysoar15 said:

Hey y'all,

I'm new too. 

 

I've been looking for answers as well. Could any of you guys help me on where exactly to go to seek real answers? I can't obviously rely on Christian speakers anymore. I just want concrete evidence of evolution. 

 

I could Google it or I could ask the men/women on here who sincerely studied and fought for answers. I'm going to trust you guys over the rest of the internet. 

 

The University of California-Berkeley has a good introduction to evolution website at http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/home.php.  For information on human origins, the Smithsonian website at http://humanorigins.si.edu/ is a good resource.  I also read "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne and "The Not-So-Intelligent Designer" by Abby Hafer, and would recommend both books.  About to start reading "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Richard Dawkins.  I think concrete evidence of evolution is seen in several ways at the microscopic level, such as how the flu virus evolves to become resistant to vaccines and how bacteria evolves to become resistant to anti-biotics.  Note, I am not a scientist nor have expertise in evolution, so investigate everything on your own. 

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Hello, Shinobi, and welcome. I am glad that you were not sucked into becoming a minister. When I was in college, I was gung ho to become a minister. My mother warned me of the awful things that churches and church people do to their clergy. I dismissed what she said on the grounds that "she doesn't know the Lord." Later on I realized that she had been right. There is much that's dystunctional in the system of Christianity, and that dysfunctionality, alongside the normal human causes, has also as its cause the falsity of the doctrine. Big time. 

 

So stick around here, since I think you have much to contribute.

 

Peace, f

Yes, my mum warned me the same things. The more that people being involved with religion or the more religious that person is, the more bitter attitude in them towards life and stigma to other people. This was not a lie, my mum observed it for a very long time. My mum stated that religious people tend to possess bitter,worry and angsty attitude than normal people. Religious people tend to think others as all wrong and in need for correction.

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Hello Shinobi. We are the same. I knew something was off with Christianity but I didn't really take the time to figure it out. Only when I decided to read about it, in a non-biblical way have I realized it's a work of fiction. English is my 2nd language and it's kinda hard to express myself fully but this pretty much sums up what happened to me. 

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