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Weezer

Personal Story: TRUTH, A GRADUAL AWAKENING

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Very interesting read. It's most unfortunate that so many like yourself are indoctrinated into a doctrine that isn't even practiced correctly according to the very book that is claimed to be through divine inspiration. But that is what organized Christianity is doing to people, or rather the people within those belief systems that are doing the misleading. I find it typical of lazy humans that do not even bother to read the book they follow but instead rely on the pastors to teach them what is written. BIG MISTAKE.

 

Personally, I wasn't tainted by the churches misinterpretations but rather took on the search on my own. I got a KJV bible and started reading. It didn't take long before I started to see just how out of touch those churches are with what the book actually says about "sound doctrine". Truth be told, those buildings should never have been built in the first place. It is not biblical at all. Scripture says to not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, that's it, as in "...where two or more are gathered together..." thing. It is man who added all the buildings, rituals, etc. In fact, the bible talks against such things describing how the chief priests love to wear fancy clothes, be seen of men, etc. All of that stuff is the work of men, not a god.

 

Christian versions of the bible. The two couldn't be more different, but both are guilty of not following their own book. Also, many don't seem to understand that the Old Testament is the Judaic Law, while the New Testament is the Law of Grace, but one must understand the OT law to understand the Law of Grace.

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 @Weezer, I haven’t been able to read your testimony in the format you posted yet; I have an iPad I use most of the time and it doesn’t have the software necessary to open your document, have to wait and get on a desktop to read. But I have followed all your responses to the comments here and I just want to say that, when I get around to writing my testimony my thoughts will be as ordered and well-written as yours.

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Mike, i never did understand how my story became an attachment.  Hopefully you will consider it ordered and well written after you have read it.  The version attached here is a many times edited story over about 15 years.  I even have another revision since this one was posted.  Best wishes in writing your story.

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On 2/18/2018 at 9:15 PM, Weezer said:

It has been very interesting to see how different people react to evidence, that to me should lead to doubt and questions.  Some whom I regarded as more liberal thinkers, and secure enough to explore new information, have been the ones who got angry or simply "tuned out" of the discussion.  I have stopped even bringing the subject up.  But have wrestled with whether to do so or not.  Did I plant a seed?  Will it germinate later on?  

 

How do some of you handle this?  Do you ever do any even slight proselytizing?  Or just keep quiet And respond if someone asks about your position?  A part of me wants to do what was done to us.  Get right up in their face and say,  "hey, have you ever considered this?"

 

This seems to be the crux of the Ex-C life. We always wonder if there is a magic key that will cut through the programming of religion, and will undo both the myths and the person's unwillingness to question. Is there anything we can do or say to trigger it in others?

 

This religion emphasizes belief as super important for survival, and I've heard it said that once the brain is convinced of a survival-level thing, it becomes by nature something that is very difficult to un-believe (since such belief is a mechanism of evolution needed for survival). Then add to it the tribal inclusion that often happens with new believers, and the sense that there is now real magic, a purpose to life, joining Hogwarts, a real god that hears my prayers and has promised to answer, and there is strong motivation to find out exactly how to please this god and fit in with the others. Those are all very basic goodies to the human psyche, even years after they are obviously not actually really working. The hope that they someday will all perfectly happen is enough carrot to keep most people going, AND to fend off things that would seem to rob them of the promised paradise and love and answered prayers and and and and and...

 

It takes that internal change, perhaps an error-checking program of sorts, that raises a red flag and says "This really doesn't make any sense. What about ____? And what about _____?"  That seemingly small correction is the thing we want to create in others, and that seems to darn elusive. It gets past the mental defenses because it seems to come from inside and is therefore trusted at some level. I keep hoping that there is a way we haven't yet discovered that will consistently trigger it.

 

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On 3/11/2018 at 2:09 AM, Geezer said:

I had to find absolute proof that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God, and I was surprised to discover how easy that is to do. After doing that atheism was the only option left. 

Why didn’t you consider changing to one of the many Christian denominations who accept that the bible is flawed? Eg. Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox?

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2 hours ago, LostinParis said:

Why didn’t you consider changing to one of the many Christian denominations who accept that the bible is flawed? Eg. Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox?

 

Dr. Robert M.Price, Hermann Detering, David Fitzgerald, & Dr. Richard Carrier convinced me that it is more likely, rather than less likely  , that both Jesus and the Apostle Paul were literary figures not real people. I also found sufficient evidence that convinced me the Gospel Story itself was fictional.

 

After years of study and research it became obvious to me that Christianity is a manmade religion and the Bible is simply a collection of theological myths. Therefore, no version of Christianity appealed to me. Atheism was my only alternative. 

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2 hours ago, Geezer said:

Christianity is a manmade religion and the Bible is simply a collection of theological myths.

 

As are all religions.  The largest misconceptions ever released on the world.

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On 5/5/2019 at 3:40 AM, Geezer said:

 

Dr. Robert M.Price, Hermann Detering, David Fitzgerald, & Dr. Richard Carrier convinced me that it is more likely, rather than less likely  , that both Jesus and the Apostle Paul were literary figures not real people. I also found sufficient evidence that convinced me the Gospel Story itself was fictional.

 

After years of study and research it became obvious to me that Christianity is a manmade religion and the Bible is simply a collection of theological myths. Therefore, no version of Christianity appealed to me. Atheism was my only alternative. 

I would disagree on that point, based, I confess, mainly on the thoughts of dr Ehrman. I reccomed reading his books. I highly, highly doubt they were JUST literary figures. But anyway, you said something that is mostly obvious, that religions, even when they claim supernatural inspiration, are actually made , as in written preached by people. I disagree that the Bible is just a collection of myths, as there a lot of things in there which have at least some historical reality, as in the Jews are real, the Romans were real, etc. It seems to be more of a blend of reality and , dare I say, fantasy, intentional or not. I do not know about the fantasy part, but as I said there are things which can be verified.  But that is how we all live, with this blend.  I mean Hogwarts never existed, Jerusalem did.  I think it is real danger in going from innerant word of God to it is all fiction. They seem to me both extremes.

 

BUT, Having been around the Orthodox , there is no thing as the Orthodox accept the Bible as flawed. Some people, maybe do that, but what they mainly do is 1. Place Scripture in the larger framework of The Tradition, understood as the direct transmission of the grace of the Holy Spirit from jesus, to the apostles, to their disciples until this day, and 2. Highly intricate and allegorical interpretations. There are interpretations that explain away all discrepancies between the Gospels, the Gospels and modern Church life, and the such. Plus, I would say their emphasis is not so much on the Bible, and NT, but on the recognised Holy Father s interpretation, and the Ecumenical Synods of the first thousand years and more. That it is how it seems to me. A little more in the line of how tribal shamans transmitted knowledge in the absence of writing. When writing appeared, is was just an instrument, it did not replace the original setting. It added and maybe modified it a bit.

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6 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

I would disagree on that point, based, I confess, mainly on the thoughts of dr Ehrman. I reccomed reading his books. I highly, highly doubt they were JUST literary figures. But anyway, you said something that is mostly obvious, that religions, even when they claim supernatural inspiration, are actually made , as in written preached by people. I disagree that the Bible is just a collection of myths, as there a lot of things in there which have at least some historical reality, as in the Jews are real, the Romans were real, etc. It seems to be more of a blend of reality and , dare I say, fantasy, intentional or not. I do not know about the fantasy part, but as I said there are things which can be verified.  But that is how we all live, with this blend.  I mean Hogwarts never existed, Jerusalem did.  I think it is real danger in going from innerant word of God to it is all fiction. They seem to me both extremes.

 

BUT, Having been around the Orthodox , there is no thing as the Orthodox accept the Bible as flawed. Some people, maybe do that, but what they mainly do is 1. Place Scripture in the larger framework of The Tradition, understood as the direct transmission of the grace of the Holy Spirit from jesus, to the apostles, to their disciples until this day, and 2. Highly intricate and allegorical interpretations. There are interpretations that explain away all discrepancies between the Gospels, the Gospels and modern Church life, and the such. Plus, I would say their emphasis is not so much on the Bible, and NT, but on the recognised Holy Father s interpretation, and the Ecumenical Synods of the first thousand years and more. That it is how it seems to me. A little more in the line of how tribal shamans transmitted knowledge in the absence of writing. When writing appeared, is was just an instrument, it did not replace the original setting. It added and maybe modified it a bit.

 

I enjoy Ehrman’s books but he is very much part of the academic community and clearly part of the “Group Think” that goes with that.  He has made it publicly clear that he would destroy the academic career of any Professor that believed and taught that Jesus was a literary character, even though he admits there is no evidence for a historical Jesus.

 

The authors I referenced are not part of that community, so I believe they are more honest. Price is a Professor but is so respected he’s immune to Ehrman’s threats.

 

Jesus is a money making business so the Biblical Jesus has to protected because admitting He never existed would cause a financial calamity. Everyone is obviously free to believe whatever they want, but no one claims they have ever found a historical Jesus.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

I enjoy Ehrman’s books but he is very much part of the academic community and clearly part of the “Group Think” that goes with that.  He has made it publicly clear that he would destroy the academic career of any Professor that believed and taught that Jesus was a literary character, even though he admits there is no evidence for a historical Jesus.

 

The authors I referenced are not part of that community, so I believe they are more honest. Price is a Professor but is so respected he’s immune to Ehrman’s threats.

 

Jesus is a money making business so the Biblical Jesus has to protected because admitting He never existed would cause a financial calamity. Everyone is obviously free to believe whatever they want, but no one claims they have ever found a historical Jesus.

 

 

 

He had a debate with dr Price, and he has a book about that issue.  The claim dr Ehrman posits, from what I gather, is that, as ancient characters are concerned , he is one of the most documented. Please do say where he says he would destroy anyone s career. 

 

I highly doubt that dr Ehrman, which gave up his religion in his search for truth, would deny it for wordly concerns. And just because Price is not part of the community does not mean he is more honest. A lot of conspiracy theorists and total wack jobs are outside the main community, that does not mean they are right, not by a longshot, or more honest. He is not THAT well respected, as his views contradict most of his colleagues.  That does mean I think Ehrman is right on every matter, quite the contrary, but here, yes. And he is a man which stepped off the group think of a lot more tight community than scholars, I mean he is one of THE FEW atheist/agnostic bible scholars. He would have a large vested interest in denying Jesus existed. Plus he stated that truth claims about ancient history differ from truth claims from other branches of study. 

 

And admitting Jesus never existed would not cause a financial calamity for dr Ehrman, not one bit. He is a New Testament scholar and early Christian historian. Even if Jesus never existed, the New testament exists and is a worthy study field, and early christianity existed as well. How would it affect him? The fact that he would have to admit he was wrong? As I said, he went to fundamentalist preacher to agnostic proffesor of NT. AND, he saud every time he writes and researches a book, he learns a lot and changes his views. He seems to be accustomed to admitting he was wrong.

 

Price s reputation, however, rests almost solely with the idea that Jesus never existed. He is much more tied, personally and professionaly to his thesis than is Ehrman. Ehrman s expertise spans a lot more areas. none of which would lose that much. 

 

It seems to me that, if someone has a lot riding on this idea, it is Price, not Ehrman. This how I see it. 

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26 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

He had a debate with dr Price, and he has a book about that issue.  The claim dr Ehrman posits, from what I gather, is that, as ancient characters are concerned , he is one of the most documented. Please do say where he says he would destroy anyone s career. 

 

I highly doubt that dr Ehrman, which gave up his religion in his search for truth, would deny it for wordly concerns. And just because Price is not part of the community does not mean he is more honest. A lot of conspiracy theorists and total wack jobs are outside the main community, that does not mean they are right, not by a longshot, or more honest. He is not THAT well respected, as his views contradict most of his colleagues.  That does mean I think Ehrman is right on every matter, quite the contrary, but here, yes. And he is a man which stepped off the group think of a lot more tight community than scholars, I mean he is one of THE FEW atheist/agnostic bible scholars. He would have a large vested interest in denying Jesus existed. Plus he stated that truth claims about ancient history differ from truth claims from other branches of study. 

 

And admitting Jesus never existed would not cause a financial calamity for dr Ehrman, not one bit. He is a New Testament scholar and early Christian historian. Even if Jesus never existed, the New testament exists and is a worthy study field, and early christianity existed as well. How would it affect him? The fact that he would have to admit he was wrong? As I said, he went to fundamentalist preacher to agnostic proffesor of NT. AND, he saud every time he writes and researches a book, he learns a lot and changes his views. He seems to be accustomed to admitting he was wrong.

 

Price s reputation, however, rests almost solely with the idea that Jesus never existed. He is much more tied, personally and professionaly to his thesis than is Ehrman. Ehrman s expertise spans a lot more areas. none of which would lose that much. 

 

It seems to me that, if someone has a lot riding on this idea, it is Price, not Ehrman. This how I see it. 

 

There is no absolute proof that Jesus did or did not exist, so everyone Is left to draw their own conclusions. I’m convinced, for a number of reasons, that Jesus was a fictional character and the gospel is a fictional story. You have a different perspective. So be it.

 

I would recommend Dr.Richard Carrier’s YouTube video, The Gospel According to Dr Richard Carried, as another scholars perspective for why the gospels and Jesus are likely fictional. 

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Even if Jesus was an actual person, I think he got fabricated into something he wasn't.   

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If anyone can't download my essay, send me your email address by Personal Message, and I can send you an updated version.

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7 hours ago, Weezer said:

Even if Jesus was an actual person, I think he got fabricated into something he wasn't.   

 

Ehrman and Price would certainly agree with that.  And it’s plain when you see how Jesus evolves from the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of John.

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On 7/31/2019 at 5:17 AM, TABA said:

 

Ehrman and Price would certainly agree with that.  And it’s plain when you see how Jesus evolves from the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of John.

 

I didn't post about it at the time, but think I saw an article several days ago that said Dawkins came to the same conclusion.

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On 9/27/2019 at 11:41 PM, Weezer said:

 

I didn't post about it at the time, but think I saw an article several days ago that said Dawkins came to the same conclusion.

 

Also, after reading the Gnostic Gospels about Jesus that the Catholics tried to destroy, I decided he may have existed.

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On 3/16/2018 at 3:37 PM, Lerk said:

If you're calling yourself "Weezer," should you not use a picture of Buddy Holly?

 

On 3/16/2018 at 10:41 PM, Weezer said:

Did he have that nickname?

 

No, but a band named Weezer had a song called Buddy Holly.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Holly_(song)

 

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Weezer, thanks for sharing your story. I finally got a chance to read it and there's a lot there that I can identify with. Grappling with the issues surely is a process.

 

There is one comment on page 3 that I'd like to address, though.

 

Quote

My confidence and sense of wellbeing soured during that time.

 

Based on the context, I think you meant to say, "My confidence and sense of well-being soared during that time." Soared and soured are quite different, so that typo drastically changes the meaning of the sentence.

 

Anyway, thanks again for your story. It was a very good read.

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I noticed that and drew the same conclusion.😀

Weezer, I had not seen your paper. Many many thanks. I read it whilst having a coffee whilst my wife was in church. An excellent read, much of it resonates with me.

Not to criticise, I would have liked to see some development of the latter parts - but I am a lazy so-and-so and should do it myself.

Thanks again.

 

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11 hours ago, Citsonga said:

 

Based on the context, I think you meant to say, "My confidence and sense of well-being soared during that time." Soared and soured are quite different, so that typo drastically changes the meaning of the 

 

LOL, that was probably due to predictive text, and I didn't notice it.  Yes, I meant SOARED. 

 

11 hours ago, nontheistpilgrim said:

 

Not to criticise, I would have liked to see some development of the latter parts -

 

 

I remember getting into a hurry when retyping that last part about deciding all religions are simply myths.  The computer I used for the original story had crashed and I had lost record of some of the sources I used.  Is that what you are talking about?

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