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My path as a Christian began at a young age, baptized at around 6-7 years old, having been raised in the southeast in a family that is Christian, occasional church-goers. Mostly Baptist and Methodists, so I grew up in a god-fearing environment, but never went to church regularly. All those years, four years in the US Navy, and then nearly 30 years after I lived thinking I was a Christian. In fact, about three years after leaving the Navy, where I was a technician on fighter jet simulators, I decided that I needed to make a change in my life as it wasn't going anywhere, and it so happened, I had a roommate that I worked with that was a devout Christian, though not imposing. So, I felt that if I believed I was Christian I needed to know what that even meant. So the search and education began, even to include about a three-year span trying to live as the bible says a believer should, selling everything and "taking up my cross" and literally lived on the streets as a "preacher" to the homeless. I didn't do much preaching but just teaching people what I knew whenever the opportunity arose.

 

In all my life I never studied any book more. I became an expert in what the book says. At the height of my journey, I was able to debate all comers on "sound doctrine", and regularly scolded the church-goers on the errors of their understandings and practices of the faith. It didn't take very long before I started seeing major misunderstandings and outright incorrect teachings in the church buildings. I got to the point where it wouldn't take 10 minutes talking with someone to have a really good idea which denomination they were. I had many sword fights with Baptists to Mormons and pretty much all others in between. Confronting Catholics and Jews was a favorite. I did not seek out people to battle, but when they showed up, I took it as God putting my enemies at my feet and therefore it was time to preach the gospel as I understood it.

 

Little did I know at the time, that education of what that book actually says was showing me the truth of the matter, that what the bible says, and what "organized Christianity" was and is teaching their congregations is two different things. Quite literally the pastors are leading their flocks astray due to incorrect teachings and misinterpretations of scripture. I thought how ironic that was! The very book that warns about false teachers was telling me of the very people I was encountering every day, so it all must be true, right?

 

In searching sound doctrine, it takes a TON of reading and cross-referencing verses, etc. I had my KJV and concordance and could search out virtually any subject and come up with an understanding of what the bible says about it. But I must admit, I had...doubts, but even scripture addresses that so I accepted that. It made sense seeing the bible says that due to the actions of Adam and Eve, we are all flawed in the flesh, we make mistakes, etc, we are not perfect. Salvation only brings perfection in spirit, not the flesh. Sounded reasonable. But those doubts actually grew over time as I became more versed in Bible text.

 

The first big problem I had with what the bible says in Ezekiel 28:15 about the "covering cherub". This is where Lucifer is being talked about and how the character was perfect "till iniquity was found...". WAIT a minute! WHAT? How is that possible I asked myself? (cont.)

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Welcome to Ex-C Lefty

 

It sounds like many of us that it was the reading of the bible that started the seed of doubt. Christians say "you need to read the bible". My response: I did, that's why I'm atheist.

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LOL, touche'

 

Yes, I agree. Quite ironic. One of my most motivating verses was "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life...". I use to live by that, and so I did, daily, for years. Once a person actually reads it and studies it on their own without anybody telling them what it means, it starts to make some sense sort of. And that compels one to read further and ask more questions, and eventually one can find the real truth if they will just keep at it long enough. I think the major key is in a person separating themselves from the church system and all its trappings. The organized church system is designed to make people good little citizens, to "Obey your masters...". But if one reads it themselves, they will find the actual command is to be separate from the "world" and it's evil ways, yet church-goers are knee deep in the world, rubbing elbows with all those unbelievers. They REALLY need to reread the story about the Prodigal Son!

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Welcome Lefty. In some ways,  your story is similar to mine. Glad you found your way out. 

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I thought I was reading my own story there for a little bit, including 4 years in the Navy, but as a Jet Engine Mechanic for me.The false teacher references brought me back to my Church of Christ days, a time I wish I could forget. The c of C has a real hang up about “false teachers”, meaning anyone that disagrees with their teaching.

 

As I noted, I see many similarities in our stories. Glad that you found your way out of religion. I feel certain you will find this site helpful. Welcome aboard. :wave:

 

Oh yeah, I’m a lefty too. B)

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Welcome aboard, Lefty :)

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Thank you for the warm welcome.

 

Geezer, yep, I'm a lefty, nothing political. And a little like a geezer too! 55 years old, and yes, spent 4 years in the Navy (81-85). Was a Tradevman, I worked on training devices which for me was flight simulators for F-14 and F-4's at NAS Oceana, and some SAR helos at NAS Jax. Pretty much a computer geek.

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22 hours ago, Lefty said:

 

 From then on, I smelled the stench of man, not the hand of a god in writing that book. So, after much thought and research, I came to the conclusion that I had to admit there are no gods. We have so many religions because we have so many people with their own understanding of why we humans even exist, but we all wonder why we are here. And it is that very wonder that has moved some people to offer up their own answers, even to the extreme of forming a religion behind it. Some are sincere, some are not and have had ulterior motives for their doctrines, but the bottom line, not a single god has come forward and saved their creations from themselves. NONE. Humanity is the same now as it always has been. Nothing has changed but the humans involved. Dare I say, I found the truth to be that humans who sincerely just want to know the truth have been played by their fellow humans.

 

 

Those few sentences sum it up very well.

 

Hey Lefty, welcome to Ex-C!  It's always a pleasure to welcome new members.  Kudos to you for being willing to seek the truth and to face the hard questions!

 

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On 3/5/2019 at 3:52 PM, Lefty said:

 

One of my most motivating verses was "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life...". I use to live by that, and so I did, daily, for years. Once a person actually reads it and studies it on their own without anybody telling them what it means, it starts to make some sense sort of. And that compels one to read further and ask more questions, and eventually one can find the real truth if they will just keep at it long enough. I think the major key is in a person separating themselves from the church system and all its trappings. The organized church system is designed to make people good little citizens, to "Obey your masters...".

 

 

This points to how Christians keep their theology together:  it starts by choosing a denomination (or more likely, your parents or distant forebears chose it for you).  Each denomination then focuses on the parts of scripture that support their doctrine and either ignores the parts that don't or insists that those parts don't mean what they say.  It's very dangerous to the faith to do what you did: embark on a reading and study of the whole Bible without having somebody tell you how to interpret it.  The problems and contradictions are laid bare.  Luther and the other early Reformers thought they were promoting Christian faith by making the Bible available in the language of ordinary people, whereas the Catholic church had inserted itself between the scriptures and the faithful to make sure they got a coherent story.  But instead the mish-mash of 66 (or 72) books - some of them in turn being compilations of various writers - led eventually to the huge number of denominations we have today, each with its own unique highly selective reading and application of scripture.

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7 hours ago, Lefty said:

Thank you for the warm welcome.

 

Geezer, yep, I'm a lefty, nothing political. And a little like a geezer too! 55 years old, and yes, spent 4 years in the Navy (81-85). Was a Tradevman, I worked on training devices which for me was flight simulators for F-14 and F-4's at NAS Oceana, and some SAR helos at NAS Jax. Pretty much a computer geek.

 

I'm a bit older, 58.  I was an Army helicopter mechanic and crew-chief for nine years.

Again, welcome to our community!  I hope you'll be active here.

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Thank you TABA. From your posts, sounds like you get it. Well done.

 

Side note, my wife has a few relatives in WVA. She's from the other side in VA.

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Welcome aboard, Lefty! We don't have a lot in common, except that (like others have said) it was reading the Bible that made atheists out of us. Like several here, I was in the Church of Christ. Unfortunately I was 52 years old before I realized it was just mythology.

 

As to your question, where did all the gods go -- Psalm 82 says that one of the gods (presumably either the Most High God [El Elyon] or Jehovah/The Lord [Yahweh/Adonai]) demoted them. Because they hadn't judged righteously and had favored the rich over the poor, he made them "like princes," meaning that they were still higher than common people, but they were no below the angels and no longer immortal -- they were going to eventually die. How many Christians know that's in the Bible?

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Thanks Lerk. I come from no denomination. As a child, I went to Baptist and Methodist, but as an adult, I rejected all denominations. Of course, I was then looked down on by church-goers for not going to church and being under some pastor as my divine leader.

 

As for my question, it's rhetorical. The gods reference is all the gods of the world's religions. None of those gods have responded to it's faithful. They are still in the same misery as they always have been.

 

I have no interest in the Christian explanation as it's biased to say the least. Besides, the Psalms (nothing more than a book of songs allegedly written by King David) reference is talking about the members of the Jewish ideology, the believers of Judaism. Look at John 10:34 where Jesus references that very Psalm. The key is in which translation you are using. I have never use any version but the KJV. Any newer versions are not needed unless of course, one wants to change the context of scripture, which many have done with their "versions", especially the NIV. If a person cannot read and understand the KJV, I'm sorry, but they need to go back to school and demand a refund.

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16 hours ago, Lefty said:

Thanks Lerk. I come from no denomination. As a child, I went to Baptist and Methodist, but as an adult, I rejected all denominations. Of course, I was then looked down on by church-goers for not going to church and being under some pastor as my divine leader.

 

As for my question, it's rhetorical. The gods reference is all the gods of the world's religions. None of those gods have responded to it's faithful. They are still in the same misery as they always have been.

 

I have no interest in the Christian explanation as it's biased to say the least. Besides, the Psalms (nothing more than a book of songs allegedly written by King David) reference is talking about the members of the Jewish ideology, the believers of Judaism. Look at John 10:34 where Jesus references that very Psalm. The key is in which translation you are using. I have never use any version but the KJV. Any newer versions are not needed unless of course, one wants to change the context of scripture, which many have done with their "versions", especially the NIV. If a person cannot read and understand the KJV, I'm sorry, but they need to go back to school and demand a refund.

 

Sorry if it wasn't clear: I don't believe any of this. I agree that Christians don't know what's in their own Bible. When I was a Christian I studied the Bible a lot, but I always imposed the beliefs I already had on it. I imposed the New Testament on the Old Testament, and I imposed the "logic" passed down from the "restoration movement" onto the New Testament. I imposed the fundamentalist idea that the Bible is 100% consistent from beginning to end upon the whole thing, which basically means that when you run across something that doesn't say what you believe, or that says something that contradicts something else, then either you have to explain why it doesn't mean what it says, or just say "this is a difficult passage" and move on to something else.

 

So when you asked where the gods were, I understood it to be rhetorical. It's just funny to me now because I realize that the oldest stories in the Old Testament treat the gods of other nations as if they are perfectly real gods who are inferior to the god of Israel. Only later does Israel come to believe that there's only one god. And you can see the evolution of belief right in the text!

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Welcome Lefty! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. You are certainly not alone on this site! We totally get it.

Glad to have you here at Ex-c! Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

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LOL, excellent point. Could we say the pot calling the kettle black!

 

My wife asked me the other day actually if there is magic in the bible. I said yep, most well known I'd say is the story of Aaron with his staff doing one up magic tricks with Pharaoh's court magicians. I don't lump any of the acts of Jesus, water to wine, etc because he wasn't playing fair, being God in the flesh. So yeah, other gods, magic, the murder of women and children, war, you name it, it's in there. And both sides were listed as being guilty of less than godly things.

 

RIght, but even after they committed to "the one true God", they still would dabble with the other side throughout the ages. That being one of the main factors for me because there is no way one can justify any god allowing its creation to get so out of control that it would have to strike thousands dead in their tracks because they messed up, because its law said it was required. I mean seriously? HELLO! If you made the fucking place, how about just fixing it and saving us all the trouble! This so-called god made humans with free will because god didn't want to force their servitude? And yet if that servant didn't follow the rules, even though the book itself due to sinful flesh they are not perfect nor capable of fulfilling the Law, said god would smite them to a crisp? 

 

A real good one goes all the way back to the garden. Think about it. God made Adam and Eve, knowing all along the serpent was wiser than any creature, yet god STILL allowed the serpent to tempt Eve? Then punish them and all humanity for it? That is outright insanity.

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Thank you Margee!

 

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