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Did you have a "special" Bible passage that "opened your eyes"?


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On 03/01/2018 at 6:29 PM, Citsonga said:

 

Very true. An even bigger shocker for me was realizing that, contrary to Christian spin, the serpent in the story actually told the truth. What the serpent said would happen if they ate the fruit is exactly what does happen in the story. It turns out that the story actually has god being the one who lied. The church puts a huge spin on what god says in the story to get god off the hook, but the reality of what the text actually says indicates that god is the liar in the story. It was always right there in front of me, but as a believer I had always viewed it through the Christian filter. I was blown away when I finally realized that what was actually happening in the story was very different from what I thought it was.

 

....holy crap, you're right.

 

My first big disagreement with the Bible's inerrancy was where I finally decided that I couldn't reconcile the inherent superiority of men over women given the deadbeats and good people I saw of both genders. This was after I had tried and failed to know my place as a woman, too. All the twisted christianese logic of "oh, submitting just means loving" didn't make sense compared with what I saw in black and white text. And i realised i was going to have to disagree even if it was being sinful. I remember praying and sayong, "God, this just doesn't make sense and i can't act as though it does. I love you and i want to follow you, and I'm sorry I can't do this--but I will do everything else the way you have commanded it."

 

Of course, once you actually open that door of allowing your own opinions to openly coexist and contradict the faith... well, it's not much more of a step to allowing yourself to believe other things that make more sense than what you're told. I think it was three months after that that I took the final steps and realised I was deconverted.

 

 

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I was a full-time student in a hyper-conservative ministerial school, working on a Master of Divinity degree. By then, I'd been a fundamentalist Christian for about 8 years, so I had spent thousands of hours independently studying the Bible, in addition to going to "apologetics conferences", hearing hundreds of sermons, etc. So I thought I really knew the Bible, but my knowledge was very compartmentalized. I had never thought about doctrines "A" and "B" at the same time. 

Everyone in the seminary was super-WASP (white Anglo Saxon protestant). They invited this black Christian guy to speak at chapel, and he started talking about the book of Joshua, where the Israelites conquered and killed all of the indigenous tribes who were already living there.

I'd heard all that before. But then he said, "Did you ever think about the people who got killed?" and he went on to draw some very good analogies between the Canaanites and Blacks in the Deep South from 1865 - present. Although I'm a white WASP, I had grown up in Alabama during the civil rights era, so this really hit home. 

I started thinking very deeply about why a loving God would tell the Israelites to murder all of those innocent people, then I started thinking about lots of other things in the Bible that contradicted each other. Within a few months, my Christianity had died a well deserved demise. 

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1 hour ago, R_Collins said:

I started thinking very deeply about why a loving God would tell the Israelites to murder all of those innocent people, then I started thinking about lots of other things in the Bible that contradicted each other. Within a few months, my Christianity had died a well deserved demise. 

 

William Lane Craig et al say that the Canaanites (even the children) we not innocent and that they were pagan worshipers and therefore the Israelites were morally right to follow gods command because Gods command to kill them was objectively right.

 

This of course begs the question as to what kind of weak unpersuasive God do you have that the only solution to much of humanity is utter extermination?

 

But most Christians solve their discomfort with this by convincing themselves these people were really bad.

 

Its a bit like Christian arguments against abortion. There are many good arguments against abortion, but "God holds all life precious" has surely got to be the worst. All you have to say is that God either directly, or though commands of his people have wiped out countless babies in the womb. Your argument that he somehow holds life sacred is not supported by anything except your own thoughts.

 

Aside from the fact that if God actually existed then the relationship between us and him is less than that between us and ants.

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Mark 1:9-11

 

This isn't the way it is portrayed in sermons and movies where God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son all have a conversation.  It's just Jesus having a vision.  But why would Jesus have a vision?  That got me to thinking why is it portrayed as the Triune God having a three way conversation?  Preachers had told me that the voice was for the benefit of all the people around Jesus.  But if you read Mark it sounds like only Jesus heard the voice.  And Jesus was suppose to already know he was God the Son.

 

When I asked a christian apologist about that he pulled the typical crap about the passage being divinely inspired but from one author's perspective and that was when I first realized that the author who wrote Mark didn't know what he was talking about so the Bible is the word of men.

 

 

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Lot offering his two daughters to the men of Sodom. Please explain to me how the hell you understand or excuse this "by faith" and argue that Lot was a man of god. And Lot inpregnating both of his daughters.

 

Joshua's genocidal campaigns against the Canaanites.

 

"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that hath not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." - Moses (as instructed by god) in Numbers

 

And last but not least, "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, mymistake said:

Mark 1:9-11

 

This isn't the way it is portrayed in sermons and movies where God the Father, God the Spirit and God the Son all have a conversation.  It's just Jesus having a vision.  But why would Jesus have a vision?  That got me to thinking why is it portrayed as the Triune God having a three way conversation?  Preachers had told me that the voice was for the benefit of all the people around Jesus.  But if you read Mark it sounds like only Jesus heard the voice.  And Jesus was suppose to already know he was God the Son.

 

When I asked a christian apologist about that he pulled the typical crap about the passage being divinely inspired but from one author's perspective and that was when I first realized that the author who wrote Mark didn't know what he was talking about so the Bible is the word of men.

 

 

 

Ah! It says he saw the heavens opened... it doesn't say anyone else saw it! I never noticed that before.

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19 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

And last but not least, "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

 

The Church of Christ in Dickenson, Texas, doesn't allow women to speak in the Wednesday night Bible class. (Or they didn't 35 years ago, anyway.) We visited there once (I was still a believer back then) and I was surprised that as the teacher/preacher was going around the room asking people to read from the text, he skipped the women. Took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on.

 

In most Churches of Christ they let the women read and speak up in Bible class because they say that class isn't really part of the "assembly" and so the rule doesn't apply there. In fact, they're so legalistic that they say the announcements made at the beginning of the "regular assembly" aren't part of it, only the "five acts of worship" are part of it (singing, praying, preaching, Lord's Supper, and passing the contribution plate). But if that's the case, shouldn't a woman be able to make the announcements? Women can't even serve the communion (Lord's Supper) or pass the collection plate in most CofCs, even though that has nothing to do with "usurping authority". There are some Churches of Christ that don't have Bible classes because they don't see anywhere in the New Testament authorizing it. I think those churches are more honest than the ones that have the classes but say they don't count as part of the assembly. Realizing that was the excuse to allow the classes was one of the first chinks in my armor, so-to-speak. It was one of the first times that I realized the CoC wasn't as honest with the scriptures as they claimed to be.

 

Looking back, I start to realize all of the little things that may have added up over the years. The cognitive dissonance that I never acknowledged until the day that I finally came to my senses.

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4 hours ago, Lerk said:

 

The Church of Christ in Dickenson, Texas, doesn't allow women to speak in the Wednesday night Bible class. (Or they didn't 35 years ago, anyway.) We visited there once (I was still a believer back then) and I was surprised that as the teacher/preacher was going around the room asking people to read from the text, he skipped the women. Took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on.

 

In most Churches of Christ they let the women read and speak up in Bible class because they say that class isn't really part of the "assembly" and so the rule doesn't apply there. In fact, they're so legalistic that they say the announcements made at the beginning of the "regular assembly" aren't part of it, only the "five acts of worship" are part of it (singing, praying, preaching, Lord's Supper, and passing the contribution plate). But if that's the case, shouldn't a woman be able to make the announcements? Women can't even serve the communion (Lord's Supper) or pass the collection plate in most CofCs, even though that has nothing to do with "usurping authority". There are some Churches of Christ that don't have Bible classes because they don't see anywhere in the New Testament authorizing it. I think those churches are more honest than the ones that have the classes but say they don't count as part of the assembly. Realizing that was the excuse to allow the classes was one of the first chinks in my armor, so-to-speak. It was one of the first times that I realized the CoC wasn't as honest with the scriptures as they claimed to be.

 

Looking back, I start to realize all of the little things that may have added up over the years. The cognitive dissonance that I never acknowledged until the day that I finally came to my senses.

Women can teach in my ex-church, I was a teacher myself, but they certainly can't be pastors, or serve communion, or pass the contribution plate. Why one and not the other? It doesn't make sense.

When you do become aware of the cognitive dissonance, it's overwhelming. Mine crept up on me slowly over the years, and when I finally acknowledged it, well, the deck of cards came tumbling down, and quickly. I've had people react wtih surprise at the pace of my deconversion, but the truth is, the chinks were there for a long time, and when Dawkins burst the bubble for me, that's all it took. Ehrman put the final nail in the coffin.

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Yup. The Genocide. Also Revelation where it is clear that God is like some monster in a video game that people have to push back into hell to save the world. Only people get it all mixed up and suddenly it is good. Funny, they will be in hell wondering what happened since they did not fight the monster. 

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When the snake spoke to Eve.  I had read it a million times before, but this one time I had just finished watching the Leah Remini's series on Scientology.  They were talking about scientologist believing in the alien space god Xenu.  I was like "yea right, an alien space god.  who would believe that nonsense."  Then I read somewhere online about the snake talking to Eve.  I stopped and re-read the sentence.  Did I just read that right?  A snake... actually talked to Eve... and told her what to do... she listened to him...and caused the fall of mankind.  It was like I had read that passage for the very first time - only this time I saw it for what it was.  A load of crap.

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

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1 hour ago, shelleymak6376 said:

When the snake spoke to Eve.  I had read it a million times before, but this one time I had just finished watching the Leah Remini's series on Scientology.  They were talking about scientologist believing in the alien space god Xenu.  I was like "yea right, an alien space god.  who would believe that nonsense."  Then I read somewhere online about the snake talking to Eve.  I stopped and re-read the sentence.  Did I just read that right?  A snake... actually talked to Eve... and told her what to do... she listened to him...and caused the fall of mankind.  It was like I had read that passage for the very first time - only this time I saw it for what it was.  A load of crap.

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

Yeah, it is great to see things in your "eyes wide open" phase, and realize how preposterous it is!

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On 3/7/2018 at 4:13 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

There are many good arguments against abortion, but "God holds all life precious" has surely got to be the worst. All you have to say is that God either directly, or though commands of his people have wiped out countless babies in the womb.

I have read that something like 2/3 of all fertilized human ova fail to issue in successful pregnancies. Something like half of zygotes never implant themselves in the womb. Others are spontaneously aborted later. But at least acc to the anti-abortion crowd, each fertilized ovum is already a human being. Lots of little souls. Where do they go? Big problems for theology.

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This verse didn't open my eyes at first, but it stands out now: Deuteronomy 22

23"If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city,and the man, because he has violated his neighbor's wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 

 

Can one be sure that the virgin did not cry out? Or that she was able to cry out? Why is the man's sin defined in relation to the fiance and not his rape of the girl? Why is the notion of purging bloodguilt from the community through execution a notion that an omni-God is declaring? So much wrong with this. 

 

It is understandable as a human construction, set down by humans long ago. Taken as truth from an omni-God it is really messed up.

 

Sarah Rocksdale talks about how this verse springboarded her step out of Christianity (a long video but worth it):

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/03/09/listen-to-this-youtuber-talk-about-overcoming-religious-indoctrination-and-abuse/#disqus_thread

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Jonah, I got to thinking about Johah. It was the apologetic's surrounding the story that got me thinking. The debate as to whether it was a whale or a fish. And if a fish, it would have to be a Jewfish (now called Goliath Grouper) in order to be big enough to consume a man. I grew up in the Keys boating and fishing. This story hit close to home. I couldn't stop thinking about what bull shit it is to claim to live for three days in either a Jewfish or a Whale.  

 

And then my mind, for some reason, went back to 2 Kings 6 and the story of the floating axe. I don't know why, probably because it was one of the bible bed time stories my mother used to read to us. I felt this avalanche of credulous shame come down. And it was suddenly obvious that these stories are not different than Greek Mythology or anything else. I remember that I continued praying for while, thinking that maybe some deeper insight would come. But the only insight that came, was then realizing that praying is merely talking to yourself in your mind and the whole thing was just done, just like that. Belief was over. 

 

And from then on, apologetic's always red flagged believers in my eyes. They're just terrible. It always turns out to be the case of taking a hole, and then proceeding to dig it deeper and deeper while trying to dig yourself out of it. Take Genesis 1 for instance. Observe apologist's try and get themselves out of the contradiction and blatant error. 

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On 3/10/2018 at 8:08 AM, ficino said:

This verse didn't open my eyes at first, but it stands out now: Deuteronomy 22

23"If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city,and the man, because he has violated his neighbor's wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 

 

Can one be sure that the virgin did not cry out? Or that she was able to cry out? Why is the man's sin defined in relation to the fiance and not his rape of the girl? Why is the notion of purging bloodguilt from the community through execution a notion that an omni-God is declaring? So much wrong with this. 

 

It is understandable as a human construction, set down by humans long ago. Taken as truth from an omni-God it is really messed up.

 

Sarah Rocksdale talks about how this verse springboarded her step out of Christianity (a long video but worth it):

 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/03/09/listen-to-this-youtuber-talk-about-overcoming-religious-indoctrination-and-abuse/#disqus_thread

 

It boils down to possession. In their culture, females were considered the property of males. That's why the 10th Commandment lumps wives in with homes, servants, livestock, and all man's other possessions (Ex 20:17). It's also why a few verses after what you quoted above there's a commandment forcing unbetrothed rape victims to marry their rapists (Deut 22:28-29). That was basically a you-break-it-you-buy-it policy where the victim is nothing more than damaged goods.

 

It still blows my mind that I used to believe that this pathetic garbage really was the perfect word of a perfect god. Oh, the wonders of indoctrination!

 

P.S. -- I'm checking out the video now. Thanks for posting it.

 

 

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