PurpleLilac

Did you ever email your former pastor?

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I still go to a mostly fundie church with my Christianhusband and kids. The pastor is very hung up on the idea of the resurrection and how it makes Christianity different from all other religions. 

I was watching Richard Cartier in youtube yesterday and he lists a handful of “dying and rising” gods that the Greek writers of the gospels would have known about. 

Part of me wants to send the pastor a brief note. 

But it’s probably best to not engage. 

Has anyone ever tried to take on their pastor or former pastor?

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What do you hope to accomplish by doing this?

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Providing accurate historical information to your pastor is not "taking on your pastor".  It's simply providing him with correct information.  Tell him I said so if you need to.

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2 hours ago, older said:

What do you hope to accomplish by doing this?

That’s what I ask myself. Ideally,he looks something up and maybe stops harping so much on the resurrection. But I think I know he will respond with scripture and thoughts about faith etc. 

Hmm. He will probably also tell me all the historical ways the Bible has been “proven” to be historically accurate and those other Greek gods faded away blah blah blah. 

 

1 hour ago, sdelsolray said:

Providing accurate historical information to your pastor is not "taking on your pastor".  It's simply providing him with correct information.  Tell him I said so if you need to.

 

I doubt he will take either of us seriously. 

I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

Neither of you answered my question about your own experiences with this. 

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Something that a lot of us have observed is that it is incredibly hard to demonstrate to a committed Christian that there are many critical flaws in their belief system unless they are at a point in their lives where they are willing to critically examine their faith.

 

First just think about the average Christian.  To consider that their faith might be wrong means:

- letting go of their cherished belief in an afterlife for themselves and their loved ones/ having to face the reality of death

- admitting they wasted many many years and a lot of money on something that was false

- likely catastrophic effects on their marriage and relationships with family  siblings children parents Etc

- lost friendships

 

So even just the average Christian has a lot of reasons to plug their ears and Shout lalalalala to all of the perfectly sound logical arguments you present to convince them why they're wrong.

 

Now let's think about a pastor. In asking a pastor to consider that their faith might be wrong, in addition to all of the barriers the average Christian faces in considering this, the pastor would also have to be prepared to:

- walk away from their job, their source of income

- transition into the secular world where they likely have no marketable job skills and only church service on their resume

- admit to themselves and their congregations that they've been spending their whole life teaching a lot of misinformation

- break the heart of a spouse who likely married a pastor as part of their own personal calling

 

One last thing that makes it really hard to convince pastors: unlike the average Christian they've already heard a lot of these arguments and they've already rationalised them away effectively locking the doors to the reasoning parts of the brain

 

 

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I would say leave it but unless it is a cathartic exercise for you. It's like poking the facebook hornet's nest for me when I see a friend or relative post something incomprehensibly stupid, I'll correct them, not because I think any good will come of it but it makes me feel just a tad better. And I NEVER read the replies. Ok, I sometimes read the replies. But in general, just don't. 

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6 hours ago, Insightful said:

Something that a lot of us have observed is that it is incredibly hard to demonstrate to a committed Christian that there are many critical flaws in their belief system unless they are at a point in their lives where they are willing to critically examine their faith.

 

First just think about the average Christian.  To consider that their faith might be wrong means:

- letting go of their cherished belief in an afterlife for themselves and their loved ones/ having to face the reality of death

- admitting they wasted many many years and a lot of money on something that was false

- likely catastrophic effects on their marriage and relationships with family  siblings children parents Etc

- lost friendships

 

So even just the average Christian has a lot of reasons to plug their ears and Shout lalalalala to all of the perfectly sound logical arguments you present to convince them why they're wrong.

 

Now let's think about a pastor. In asking a pastor to consider that their faith might be wrong, in addition to all of the barriers the average Christian faces in considering this, the pastor would also have to be prepared to:

- walk away from their job, their source of income

- transition into the secular world where they likely have no marketable job skills and only church service on their resume

- admit to themselves and their congregations that they've been spending their whole life teaching a lot of misinformation

- break the heart of a spouse who likely married a pastor as part of their own personal calling

 

One last thing that makes it really hard to convince pastors: unlike the average Christian they've already heard a lot of these arguments and they've already rationalised them away effectively locking the doors to the reasoning parts of the brain

 

 

 I appreciate your reply,it makes a lot of sense. 

I’m not sure how the information would have affected me just a few years ago. 

I just want him to stop talking or more accurately, I want to stop going to church. 

Another topic for another time. 

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21 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

I still go to a mostly fundie church with my Christianhusband and kids. The pastor is very hung up on the idea of the resurrection and how it makes Christianity different from all other religions. 

I was watching Richard Cartier in youtube yesterday and he lists a handful of “dying and rising” gods that the Greek writers of the gospels would have known about. 

Part of me wants to send the pastor a brief note. 

But it’s probably best to not engage. 

Has anyone ever tried to take on their pastor or former pastor?

 

It's different from other religions, therefore......put money in my plate!

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Insightful said:

Something that a lot of us have observed is that it is incredibly hard to demonstrate to a committed Christian that there are many critical flaws in their belief system unless they are at a point in their lives where they are willing to critically examine their faith.

 

First just think about the average Christian.  To consider that their faith might be wrong means:

- letting go of their cherished belief in an afterlife for themselves and their loved ones/ having to face the reality of death

- admitting they wasted many many years and a lot of money on something that was false

- likely catastrophic effects on their marriage and relationships with family  siblings children parents Etc

- lost friendships

 

So even just the average Christian has a lot of reasons to plug their ears and Shout lalalalala to all of the perfectly sound logical arguments you present to convince them why they're wrong.

 

Now let's think about a pastor. In asking a pastor to consider that their faith might be wrong, in addition to all of the barriers the average Christian faces in considering this, the pastor would also have to be prepared to:

- walk away from their job, their source of income

- transition into the secular world where they likely have no marketable job skills and only church service on their resume

- admit to themselves and their congregations that they've been spending their whole life teaching a lot of misinformation

- break the heart of a spouse who likely married a pastor as part of their own personal calling

 

One last thing that makes it really hard to convince pastors: unlike the average Christian they've already heard a lot of these arguments and they've already rationalised them away effectively locking the doors to the reasoning parts of the brain

 

 

 

Excellent point!

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Hey P.L.

 

When I first admitted that xianity (well...all religions for that matter) are man-made BS I wanted to convert the world and prove to Pastor Ass-Hat they he needs to stop fucking with people's psyches. 

 

I still want to but I will not initiate the conversation for the reasons listed by others here. I will, however, be prepared if/when that conversation takes place.

 

That said I DID have a convo with him a couple years ago wherein I pointed out a few inconsistencies and inaccuracies and down-right unbelievable things I had read in the Bible. First he told that I was a poor reader (BS in CS From Columbia, Summa-cum-laude) and that I needed to re-read those chapters - only this time with the "lord in my heart!"

 

Then he proceeded to say that "You just need to believe." and that "Disbelief is a sin!"  

 

At this point I'm thinking the whole deconversion of others or "taking them on" is a waste of time but simply being myself and showering them with love and understanding and allowing them, if it happens, to think on their own, is my plan of action.

 

Sorry PL. Was that too wordy?    :P

 

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My last pastor appreciated my doubts before I became a full blown apostate, but I haven't discussed my completed deconversion with him. A pastor friend whom I interned under acknowledges that the emperor has no clothes and agrees with most of my conclusions, but he remains in his cognitive dissonance as a pastor and continues to lie to his church. Leaders have been much more understanding with my position than followers. 

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53 minutes ago, TrueFreedom said:

My last pastor appreciated my doubts before I became a full blown apostate, but I haven't discussed my completed deconversion with him. A pastor friend whom I interned under acknowledges that the emperor has no clothes and agrees with most of my conclusions, but he remains in his cognitive dissonance as a pastor and continues to lie to his church. Leaders have been much more understanding with my position than followers. 

 

Interesting! I have often wondered how many church leaders are in that rather unenviable position -- they no longer believe, but cannot muster the will to leave.

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3 hours ago, MOHO said:

Hey P.L.

 

When I first admitted that xianity (well...all religions for that matter) are man-made BS I wanted to convert the world and prove to Pastor Ass-Hat they he needs to stop fucking with people's psyches. 

 

I still want to but I will not initiate the conversation for the reasons listed by others here. I will, however, be prepared if/when that conversation takes place.

 

That said I DID have a convo with him a couple years ago wherein I pointed out a few inconsistencies and inaccuracies and down-right unbelievable things I had read in the Bible. First he told that I was a poor reader (BS in CS From Columbia, Summa-cum-laude) and that I needed to re-read those chapters - only this time with the "lord in my heart!"

 

Then he proceeded to say that "You just need to believe." and that "Disbelief is a sin!"  

 

At this point I'm thinking the whole deconversion of others or "taking them on" is a waste of time but simply being myself and showering them with love and understanding and allowing them, if it happens, to think on their own, is my plan of action.

 

Sorry PL. Was that too wordy?    :P

 

😄 I have a reputation now. 

“Disbelief is a sin” pretty much shuts down the conversation,I agree. 

I’m still wavering on the email. I have found in my limited time being ex-C that I need to be in a good place mentally to allow people into my peaceful space.

 

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1 hour ago, PurpleLilac said:

😄 I have a reputation now. 

“Disbelief is a sin” pretty much shuts down the conversation,I agree. 

I’m still wavering on the email. I have found in my limited time being ex-C that I need to be in a good place mentally to allow people into my peaceful space.

 

Peaceful space....yes...I'm thinking grape juice...copious amounts. 🍷

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Well. I sent my pastor an email this morning. It’s a big church,about 3,000. I told him about the dying and rising gods and how they sometimes spent time in the underworld and even ascended to heaven. I told him how I was deeply troubled that the first gospel was written around 95AD AFTER the Pauline epistles. 

Sigh. I briefly recounted thirty years of claiming Christ,graduating from bible college (I always feel the need to add that detail even though my oldest child could easily google this stuff) and that I still attend church with my family because I love them. But I also told him I don’t believe any of it anymore. 

So yeah. As I wrote the email,I realized that what I really want to know is how the pastor responds to this kind of denouncing of Christ and challenging statements. I want to know how the church responds. 

Maybe I’m pointing arrows at myself for no reason. Maybe I just want to fight someone? As if a could verbal sparring could give me back three decades of moaning and wailing and pleading with god? I’m not sure of all my reasons today. I think I feel like I have allies now. Even if y’all just nod along while wearing your been there,done that T-shirt’s. 

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I never did after deconverting. I used to spar with pastors over stuff they preached that wasn't biblical, and they never liked that. They want a smooth running congregation. One pastor brought in the concept of "healing of memories" by re-experiencing the trauma but imagining Jesus being there to prevent/comfort. He contended that it was really god going back into that time magically and doing something. I contended that this wasn't even remotely biblical and that he was teaching people to lie to themselves and call it god.

 

Same guy liked other fluff and misquotes like the famous "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" meaning you create reality by seeing yourself a particular way. That's all fine, but the Bible doesn't say that. The actual quote is "as HE thinks in his heart, so is he", leading one to ask for the context to find out who HE is. Turns out the sentence fragment taken in context deals with Solomon telling his son not to make deals with other kings who throw parties because they really just want to take the kingdom.

 

Turns out pastors don't really care usually, they are going to preach what they like and you are a minion. If you cause trouble, they have their lackeys deal with you.  Then again, some pastors are themselves questioning. Pointing them to this site may be useful for them in the future.

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Well,here is his reply. It is so predictable it’s almost boring! I guess I expected him to come up with at least one thing that would make me think? Satan has counterfeits?! Are you kidding me? The dying rising gods came over a thousand years before the story of Jesus! Just wow. Okay,I expected more from a man who had been the pastor for thirty years. I changed my name,his name and the church’s name but here is his reply and my original email to him. 🙄

 

 

Hi PurpleLilac,

First, let me say that it took a lot of courage for you to send me your email.  Thank you.  I appreciate your honesty and transparency.

As you would expect, I do not agree with some of the research that you have accepted as true.  For example, there are many myths about god-figures coming to earth or defying death.  That should not be surprising.  Satan always counterfeits the real.  However, there is nothing in antiquity like the claims of Jesus.  We're not talking about a legend or myth, but about an actual historical figure of whom claims are made that are extraordinarily credible.  Comparing the historicity of Jesus to a Greek legend is apples to oranges--maybe not even that close.

Or, for example, I don't know where you got your information that the first gospel was written around 95AD, but that is simply inaccurate.  That is about the time the last gospel was written.  Most scholarship shows Mark wrote his gospel as early as the 50s.

Now none of this may matter to you.  No amount of evidence is sufficient for someone who has decided the option of belief is out.  But I would challenge you to honestly investigate the arguments of credible scholars who disagree with the conclusions you have reached.  You might start by reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.  Or check out J. Warner Wallace's website for some reading.  There are so many more works, books, and essays by legitimate, credible scholars that deserve your attention.  I realize faith is a leap, but it is a reasonable leap.  The God of heaven has given us compelling reasons to believe the story He is telling through Jesus.  And I don't think you can lightly dismiss the global and historical impact of Christianity.  Allow me to be highly skeptical of any "myth" having that kind of lasting power.

In short, you can find whatever you want to find on the internet to discredit the story of Jesus, but if you want to find compelling arguments for the legitimacy of his life and his resurrection, they are there.  I hope you will be diligent in that search.

Again, I'm thankful for your email, and I will be praying for you.  I realize you might think prayer is a waste of time.  I'm going to anyway.  You don't have to believe in God for God to believe in you.

Blessings,

Pastors Name



   

 Good morning,

   I never thought I would be writing an email to a pastor like this but here goes. 

   You often mention that Jesus is the only God who died and was resurrected. I’ve heard you say many times in my six years at Church Name that this points to the validity of Christianity being the true religion and that we can trust the Bible as Gods Word. 

   But I’ve been researching the history of Christianity and when the New Testament was written. And it’s troubling to find out there have been many detailed,written accounts of both Egyptian and Greek gods who came to earth,,were killed for various reasons (Odin plunged a spear in his side!),went down to the underworld for various lengths of time,were resurrected (some with their own power and others by gods that viewed the deaths) and some even ascended into heaven!!

   These myths and legends  were very likely known to the writers of the New Testament. From what I understand,there was a serious political and religious struggle to get Christianity on top of the Greek religions of the day. Also, I found it deeply disturbing to find out that the gospels were written AFTER the Pauline epistles. The earliest gospel was written in 95AD. There have been other upsetting discoveries for me these last three months but these are probably the most condemning. 

   I called myself a Christian proudly for thirty years. Prayed hard,graduated from Bible college and have tried to raise my children to follow Christ. But now? I seriously suspect Christianity was largely made up by Jewish people who needed hope to survive what was happening under Roman rule. Which means my whole life .....has been some kind of strange fairytale. Heaven probably isn’t real. Hell isnt real. Satan and demons aren’t real.  I hope God is real,somehow loving everyone and presiding over all the faiths. But I doubt it very much. Maybe in nature somehow. Letting go of lifelong comfort is difficult. I have a feeling comfort  and fear is why the religion has lasted so long, as well as Judaism and Islam. 

   I’ve asked myself what I hope to gain by sending this email, in all your years of ministry,I can’t possibly be the first person who has written this kind of letter to you. I feel angry when you say Jesus was the only one who was resurrected when a quick google search reveals otherwise. But I never thought to look. Ever. 

   I walk outside and think about all the comfort Christianity used to give me. And now it doesn’t. It’s a rock in my stomach. And my oldest is 11. My husband baptized her two years ago. And now I see it as a dip in water. I feel.....betrayed and duped and angry. 

   Thank you for reading. I still go to Church Name with my family because I love them. 

   Sincerely,
Purple Lilac 



 

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Satan always counterfeits the real. Question begging fallacy. When the existence of God and Satan are the question, it restates a conclusion to pull in Satan to explain anomalous evidence.

 

gMark by most scholars is dated closer to 70. A date of c. 50 is not a consensus among scholars, unless your pastor only considers fundamentalist scholars as scholars.

 

You may appreciate taking a look at Robert Connor's recent post about the reliability of the bible, in particular the NT:

 

http://www.debunking-christianity.com/2018/11/how-best-to-bury-christianity-by-robert.html

 

All best, Ficino

 

 

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Lee Strobel is a credible scholar? That's funny!

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Wow. That was fascinating to read. I am just gobsmacked that this religion has survived so long. 

That it has caused this much pain. 

Ugh. 

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52 minutes ago, PurpleLilac said:

We're not talking about a legend or myth, but about an actual historical figure of whom claims are made that are extraordinarily credible.

Abaluly!

 

That's why there are so many written accounts, by numerous historians, from that era. 

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7 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

Satan always counterfeits the real.

And so how does he know that Christianity is real and not a counterfeit by Satan?

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8 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

 

...And I don't think you can lightly dismiss the global and historical impact of Christianity.  Allow me to be highly skeptical of any "myth" having that kind of lasting power...


 

 

I don't think he makes a valid argument here.  If separating Christianity as a distinct belief system from its historical connection with Judaism, there are several religions that are still practiced today that originated prior to Christianity, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.  While with perhaps less populous than Christianity, they have had significant global and historical impact.  Also Christianity places a much stronger emphasis on spreading the gospel and gaining converts.  Additionally, Islam has been around for around ~1400 years - does he not think that Islam has had lasting power?

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11 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

First, let me say that it took a lot of courage for you to send me your email.  Thank you.  I appreciate your honesty and transparency.

     Now he knows what areas to target in upcoming sermons.  He can really bang the old jesus is unique drum.

 

11 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

As you would expect, I do not agree with some of the research that you have accepted as true.  For example, there are many myths about god-figures coming to earth or defying death.  That should not be surprising.  Satan always counterfeits the real.  However, there is nothing in antiquity like the claims of Jesus.  We're not talking about a legend or myth, but about an actual historical figure of whom claims are made that are extraordinarily credible.  Comparing the historicity of Jesus to a Greek legend is apples to oranges--maybe not even that close.

     This apology is very old.  I've seen the term "diabolical mimicry" used.  I believe Justin Martyr may be the earliest use of it but you'd have to check that for yourself.  Anyhow, it's the idea that Satan knew gods plan in general and so invented all the "false" religions in an attempt to get there first.  This way he could mislead the gullible before god did his thing.  This is why all the various religions share traits with the one true religion.

 

 

11 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

Or, for example, I don't know where you got your information that the first gospel was written around 95AD, but that is simply inaccurate.  That is about the time the last gospel was written.  Most scholarship shows Mark wrote his gospel as early as the 50s.

     This is a pretty conservative timeline.  G.Mark was probably written at least 20 years later at the earliest (and that could still be conservative for some folks but it's probably the currently accepted timeline for most).

 

11 hours ago, PurpleLilac said:

Now none of this may matter to you.  No amount of evidence is sufficient for someone who has decided the option of belief is out.  But I would challenge you to honestly investigate the arguments of credible scholars who disagree with the conclusions you have reached.  You might start by reading The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.  Or check out J. Warner Wallace's website for some reading.  There are so many more works, books, and essays by legitimate, credible scholars that deserve your attention.  I realize faith is a leap, but it is a reasonable leap.  The God of heaven has given us compelling reasons to believe the story He is telling through Jesus.  And I don't think you can lightly dismiss the global and historical impact of Christianity.  Allow me to be highly skeptical of any "myth" having that kind of lasting power.

     So he just ships you off to two apologists of the same stripe.  Have fun with them.  They both have cases for old christ.

 

     I'm also skeptical of any "myth" that doesn't have lasting power.  That's why I worship the Egyptian pantheon.  After all, we know that they lasted at least 5000 years.  Jesus ain't got shit on them.  We all know that once a god reveals itself then it never goes away and comes back later.  That's just bullshit.  Once people forget about a god it ain't never coming back.  This is what makes xianity real.  Oh, and my Egyptian gods.  Can't forget about them, again.

 

          mwc

 

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