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Archived Letters

Thursday, October 30, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

My only question to you is why?

Name: Missy

emailaddress: emilybronte30@yahoo.com

Comments: I respect that you have a right to your opinion, even if I don't agree with you. If you're interested in the other side of the coin, a couple of books might interest you. When Critics ask and The Case for Faith (this one is definitely an easier, more entertaining read) are both excellent arguments FOR Christianity, REAL christianity, not empty religion or tradition.

My only question to you is why? Jesus did not gain anything from his time on this earth, nor did the apostles. Quite the contrary, they were all tortured and killed for their beliefs. They might be "famous" today, but at the time they did not gain fame, wealth, or power from their teachings. In fact, their whole message was to downplay themselves and preach love for others.

So, the only options are that Christ was either crazy, lying, or God.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Only God Logic is a reliable source

Interesting site, but one problem with the arguments against God!

You and many other atheists claim to be using common sense and logic when it comes to these matters but you are using flawed human logic so therefore you cannot trust it - Only God Logic is a reliable source which doesnt help your case all that much.

Remember that you are not perfect so your thinking is not perfect which right there Proves God :)

Walker

Tuesday, October 28, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Ex every day but I come back to Christ within the same breath

I have to say that this website contains some of the most illogical crap that I have read to date. The logic used is nonsensical. Take a college course on logic and debate and you will see what I mean.

This propaganda you have on this site rates second only to that of the Nazi's. (Can you feel that Christian love yet?)

Look if you got screwed over by a person who happened to be a Christian realize that the person did it to you, not the Christian faith. Then more than likely your own human mind did in its search for where to lay blame for your more than probable troubles and sorrows, did lay it on Christianity.

Grow up and just get over it. See a shrink and take some medication and maybe you will be ok. Don't drag other people down with you.

Have a nice day

Jesus Freak

God still loves you

Dave,

my name is darrel and I am a Christian but I am not here to spew filth or verbal diarrea at you.

Despite the fact that I disagree with ideologically I think it is wonderful that you are so interested in matters of philisophical interest; you say in your anti-testimony that people are not the reason you 'deconverted' but you recite a great number of inconsistent Christians; well, there sure are a lot of them, including myself! You may find this corny, but I really don't care; God still loves you; at this point you would say that there is no God but the whole world can deny him and that doesn't change the facts

God Bless You Dave, May he watch over you and protect you, Have a great day

Darrel

Monday, October 27, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

An Awesome Community Here

I've read the responses this community have given to the letter, "I need help," submitted by Emily, the 17 year old girl who is deconverting from Christianity, and I am overwhelmed, myself, by the kindness, compassion, encouragement, and depth of understanding in them. And what I realize is that these responses are not just words, they come from REAL people.

Agnostics, atheists, humanists, and so forth, were demonized by the Christian religion I grew up in. As I have made my own journey out of Christianity, I have met people just like you folks here, and see the lie for what it is.

I read that one of the men is bipolar, and experiences depression. I, too, am bipolar, and part of the reason I have left Christianity is because of how my church and the religion itself, responded to me.

Because of the stigma attached to "mental illness," my mother and father never talked about bi-polar mood disorder in my father's family. His father was bipolar, and his grandfather was also. But it was the great embarassment in my family, apparently, because my parents never talked about it.

Then my father experienced adult on-set bipolar when he was in his late 40's. It's a long story I won't go into here, but he elected not to take lithium, which was all they had back then (there are many more medications now), and as is true for 30% of people with bipolar who don't manage their brain chemistry with medications, he committed suicide.

There are no words to express the grief and shock and trauma and disillusionment I felt. I was in my mid-20's when this happened. Even through my father's mania and depression, my family still did not even talk about what was happening right in front of our terrified eyes -- us kids. The stigma of "mental illness" is very powerful. It has the effect of causing us to be discreditted. No matter what we do or say. We're written off.

My father was an active member of our church, and faithfully thithed from his significant income the entire time we were there, and taught Sunday School, and did anything he was asked to do. It is a non-dinominational congregational church. Your basic bible-believing church.

When it came time for the memorial service, even though this is a Calvinist church which teaches eternal security (once saved, always saved, no matter what), there was dissention in the leadership as to whether my father should be memorialized in the church lest it give the message that a person can commit suicide and go to heaven.

We did have the service at our church as it turned out, but my mother got a phone call a day before telling her that not everyone supported his memorial. So we kids and my mom cried our way through the service in which we honored my father and loved him and grieved for him, knowing that there were unknown people around us despised the ceremony.

My father had served in the Navy, and so we decided to use the bronze marker they give to veterans. We wanted to honor his military service. It had a simple cross over his name and date of birth and death. We liked it.

Not long after this marker was placed on his grave, my mother was informed that several of the men in leadership at our church had visited his grave -- for what purpose, I don't know. She was criticized for using the marker the Navy gave for him, and was told she should have given a stronger "witness."

All this time, we were reeling from the horror of his demise. He had driven up into the hills behind our city, parked his car, and walked into the shrubbery where he sat down and put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Hikers found him.

Still, no one was talking about bipolar with us kids. Nothing.

Then, my mother and we kids were invited to the home of a deacon and his wife after Church one Sunday. It was our first invitation and relational, social contact with anyone. (No one knew what to say so they pretended nothing had happened.) We were really looking forward to it. After lunch, this man proceeded to grill us as to why my father killed himself. After about 45 minutes of this, he launched into very thinly veiled intimations that he was in hell for committing suicide. We were all in tears by now. If you can imagine it. Here is a family dealing with suicide, and we're all crying around his table (his wife sat silent), and proceeded to make sure we knew that suicide is a mortal sin for which there is no forgiveness. Forget a life devoted to God and love for humanity, my father was in hell. Then he showed us out the door, single file, and shut the door behind us. We were all crying. Even my three brothers.

And it goes on.

There are two things I want to highlight in my letter to you. One is the cruelty in Christianity that is systemic. The second is the issue of mental illness and related mental anguish.

In the evangelical world we were entrenched in, things like depression or any other emotional difficulty were viewed as spiritual problems. The person wasn't completely yielded to the Holy Spirit. Or they weren't reading "the Word" enough. Or there was something else THEY weren't doing correctly in relationship with God, which was the reason for their emotional/psychological difficulty.

If only they had enough faith in the Lord, they wouldn't be depressed. If only they trusted God more and let him work in their life, they wouldn't be ill. It was always interpreted as a spiritual problem and the pastor was who you turned to. Which only further burdened the person, because now, not only are they suffering, it is their fault that they are.

There was little appreciation for such things being organic, or simply chemically produced by the brain. Seeking help through therapy or through a psychiatrist was heavily stigmatized. And "being on medication" for an emotional or psychological problem was the biggest kept secret there was.

This is the reason so many people don't seek professional help for depression or other difficulties.

The probability of the bipolar gene my father had being passed on to us children was that at least two of us would have it. But no one said anything to us about it. The way the church and my mother handled it was to just forget it. Put it behind us and ignore it.

By the time I was thirty-five I was able to look back at a pattern in my life that accounted for why I wasn't able to provide for myself. I was a jack of all trades and master of none. There was a very clear two-year cycle. I have never lacked for energy and enthusiasm and reach-for-it-all attitude. I'd start down one path in college that I got really fired up about, and then all of a sudden I lost interest and quit. Then I sat around for a while until the next burst of energy came through and I went off in another direction altogether. Then that ended.

I have been a pattern-maker in the garment industry, I have learned orchard management for citrus and avacado production, I have prepared to teach English as a second language overseas, I have intended to become an accountant (?), etc. Everything I did, I did really well. I just lost interest and quit. I relied on the energy, the enthusiasm that came from within me.

No one saw this pattern in my life, or helped me with it.

When I was 44 years old I experienced adult onset bipolar. I was manic for three months, then psychotic for another three months. When I got arrested at the local country dance place for disrupting the line dancing, my husband arranged for me to go to the locked unit of a hospital and be treated against my will. The state of California decided I should live, and be treated. I was. Five weeks later I came out of the hospital, and I have been on a roller coaster ride from hell trying to find the medications that will work for me. That experience of mania and psychosis slammed me onto the couch for two years. Literally. I couldn't move. I had drained every single bit of energy right out of my body. I rushed so hard I thought it would drive me right into the ground.

At any rate. I have left Christianity. And I have chosen to own my life for what it is and not to be ashamed or embarassed of myself. I have challenging brain chemistry to manage. That's the sum and substance of how I feel about this. I don't see myself as ill or diseased. In myself, in my inward person, I am whole.

I continue to have surging chemistry which produces all kinds of life experience, but I do everything I know to do to achieve balance in my life. I eat properly, I exercise, I sleep well, I do things and think things that inspire my spirit, and I used medications to balance myself.

All of our experience is a product of our brain chemistry. Everything we feel and experience through our senses is produced by our brain.

I don't have a spiritual problem. I carry a gene that flares up in my body.

Also, as I bring this to a close, while I was manic and psychotic, I experienced things that gave me insight and understanding that I did not have before. There are many, many good things that can come to us individually and corporately from those of us who experience other kinds of "brain chemicaly driven experience." I became truly brilliant during this time. I was able to make instant connections in my mind with all the files and folders I'd collected through my life experience to date, whatever I read I understood completely and immediately. Etc.

As we all know, many of the great contributions to humanity have come from people just like me. Music, Art, Literature, Politics, Philosophy and so forth.

I don't know that I have any great gifts to give humanity, but I have resolved many things in my own psyche that were at odds my whole life. I was split between my bodyself and my spiritself. This is the product of the Christian religion I was raised in that is anti-body, and also western philosophical materialism that says matter is separate and discrete.

So this "illness" I experienced of mania and psychosis HEALED my wounded psyche. Life can do interesting turns. It certainly has so for me.

Anyway, thank you to all of you who responded to Emily. I read them as though they were written to me. I wish you were my neighbors!! You are. Here.

Thank you.

sunlightofday
sunlightofday at netscape.net

Sunday, October 26, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

One Question

Hello everyone.

I am no longer a Christian anymore. I recently made the decision, and simultaneously discovered this great site. I found that I could no longer believe in the stories of the Bible, lacking any concrete evidence. I also could not accept some of the terrible morality that the Bible espouses. I am much happier now, but I had a question to ask that has kind of been bothering me for a while.

How can the supposed healings in Christian churches be explained? I realize in most cases, people are not healed. I was sick for over a year and tried to be healed multiple times, but it never happened. My aunt has cancer has has been healed multiple times, but she is still sick. But, it seems that some people are healed. How can we explain this? And I've heard about personal accounts of people seeing miracles and what not? Is the only explanation that these people are delusional or lying?

Thursday, October 23, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

I need help

I don't know if I am putting this in the right place, but this is where I figure everyone will see it. I need your collective help as a community.

You may remember me from not too long ago; the story of the 17 year old Ex-Southern-Baptist with depression problems.

It has only been about 6 months since the first time I said out loud, "I am not a Christian." It has only been about a year since I first began to realize that my beliefs were largely irrational and started to question my faith.

Where I stand now, I am no longer uncomfortable thinking about religion in general; I am firm in my disbelief. However, there are certain things that can...get to me. Triggers, if you will, that set off an enormous wave of emotions, particularly doubt (that I am doing the right thing, etc.).

The main "trigger" is the Bible. When I was religious (and oh, how religious I was) the Bible consumed every waking thought of my time. For three years I ate, slept, drank, and shitted scripture. I still have my three Bibles: my original Bible given to me when I got "saved" at 5 years old, my trusty "study" Bible filled with my own notes and underlinings, and my four-version "translation" Bible to compare all the different versions. I cannot get rid of them because my family would notice and at this time that is not advisable. Anyway, I LOVED the Scriptures with a passion. I have always been a big literature buff, and even now I have to admit that when considered as a piece of fiction, it is still a masterpiece. Perhaps a masterpiece of lies, but most works of fiction are.

And therein lies the problem. I can't so much as pick up my study Bible without my brain going absolutely nuts. Waves of nausea and doubt roll over me. I once felt the Bible to be the absolute authority, and it still holds some effect over me. Particularly passages that I once loved. I was hoping I could just live with them in the knowledge that they were nothing more than beautiful pieces of writing, but they cannot be that, apparently. They are burned into my mind. I am at a loss.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Other triggers are praise songs (I have always been musically inclined) and memories (we all know how strong they can be).

What am I to do?

Also, without my religious crutch, I have a newfound fear of death. I am having a hard time dealing with the idea of annihilation. And when I say a "hard time", that is a gross understatement. I am not an atheist but neither am I a theist--it's rather hard to describe and I don't want to get into it--but suffice to say that I believe in the existence of immortal souls. However, looking at the face of time, this doesn't seem rational. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I welcome comments on this particular issue from anyone but I would PREFER to hear from someone who isn't a total atheist. Just to see if anyone has a view that isn't irrational.

Someone please give me some thoughts to chew on. I am quite young and very overwhelmed.

---

If you are a Xtian PLEASE do not respond. I only want comments from people who aren't part of the problem in the first place.

Emily

Tuesday, October 21, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

I pray that God will draw you back

I am so sorry you feel so strongly against Christianity that you would go to all this trouble. The thing is, God's grace is amazing and his mercies no NO end. He sent His Son to die for you and apparently you once knew that. Christianity won't solve all your problems or erase them but He is the reason you are able to manage them, get through, and triumph over them. I pray that God will draw you back to Him in a mighty way and that you will one day soon use your energies in a way that is pleasing to not only your Father but in way that will inspire peace and truth in your life.

God Bless

I'm not atheist

Unlike so many exchristians, I'm not atheist.

Christians would have you believe that if you walked away from Jesus and bible that you have walked away from God.That is such pretentious bullshit.I've kept my belief in God but it's far removed from this corny man made God that thinks and reacts like a human.

A God made in our image. Like I said I still believe in God but I've stopped pretending to know unknowable things. For all I know the atheists are right. For all I know the Christians are right. It's my opinion, though that the idea that we are born with a sinful nature,a condition we desperately need to be saved from,and that God became a man and a blood sacrifice for our sins, is the biggest lie in human history.

Tom Dixon copyboy8 at netzero.net

Sunday, October 19, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

You Should KILL YOURSELF!!!!!

This amazes me! How you put down God! How about you go to http://www.carm.org and find the answers of why God allowed some wars. Further, these false contridictions in the Bible, you didn't take into consideration that through God, all things are possible. Albert Einsten said we use at the most 10% of our brain power, so who posses the other 90%? If you guys REALLY were athiest however, you wouldnt go through all the trouble to make a website, because plan and simple, athiest could careless because in the end it doesnt matter. You are trying to find answers, you are agnostic. Why try to tell us not to believe in God when it just dont even matter when we die? Furthermore, you were never a real christian because real christians dont fall away from God and understands why God allows to do some things.

I will just leave you with this thought, In the end if you are right, I have nothing to lose, but if i am right, you have ALOT to lose.

Furthermore, I think you are angry with God for a tramatic event that has happened in your life, when in truth it's not his fault.

If our life doesnt matter, i think we should just all kill ourselves...cuz whats the point of living.

Lorraine

Tuesday, October 14, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

What is this all about?

I dont understand how anyone who could finally learn about the lord and feel the feeling when u know god is working in you and then jus decide to give up on him and beleive in nothing...Since I have found god in my life more miracles have happend to me then ever before and it is all because the lord has a plan for me and non beleivers should honestly figure out the true way of life but they dont need me to tell them that god will lead them to him in his own time when they need him trully. in all opinion on this website it makes me sick and sad but honestly u will relize the path u should of taken in the end or be glad u changed...

Sara

Sunday, October 12, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

You are doing an excellent job of debunking Christianity

Dave VanAllen,

I think you're for real. You are doing an excellent job of debunking Christianity. Let me be quite up front with you throughout this message. It will take me a while to say some things, but I will be real with you as you are real with the world through your webpage. I would be honored if you would read my message through to the end and I believe it will be worth your while whatever your final conclusion. However I imagine that with a site this big you must receive quite a bit of mail and have quite a bit of work on your hands. So suite yourself, it's your life and your time. I for one am choosing to spend some time writing you. As a friend perhaps? That's for you to judge. Maybe there are no real friends, only people deluded into thinking so. Maybe I'm one of them. Once again..., let me not waste any more space. I want to quote you 3 times and put in some response.

<<>>

Originally reading this I had some thoughts I wanted to put out but later I see your final position is atheism. I know the philosophical shift between these two positions is a big one and one of a lot of thought. Anyway perhaps I shouldn't have quoted this section, I just could really identify with it in my life. I'll share more later.

<<<...That is another topic that contributed to my first suspicions that Xtianity is a false lie. The striking ignorance and loathing for learning or reading that is rife in the Christian community. Claiming to love god with all their hearts and souls, yet reading his word, memorizing it, studying theology to better understand HIM, is quite beyond most, if not nearly all, Christians. Finding anyone who understands the history of Christianity prior to Darby's dispensational gospel is nearly impossible.>>>

TRUE!!! I was raised in the church and by the age of 15 I knew more theology than anyone I had ever met. Also more Christian apologetics. And beyond that, to go into other issues. I found normal run of the mill pagans to be the friendliest people I'd ever met and couldn't imagine them going to hell! Christians the meanest and deserving of hell! I never had faithful Christian friends, and I never met more than a few Christians that weren't either blatant hypocrites or atleast stupid ignorant ones. I'm trying to be concise, I tend to be wordy but you hear all this stuff all the time, or atleast you've experienced it for yourself so why repeat it? I just want you to know I have been through what you've been through. I left the church and my religion at the age of 20. I was saved at 5, grew up in a Christian family. Was homeschooled. Learned it all, knew it all, knew more than it all. Found Pastor's to be theologically inept and boring. Found hypocrisy and emotional
hedonism at every turn. I grew up hearing the bored hymns in churches where nobody thought emotion was necessary. And the wales and cries of those who thought that emotion was everything. Who thought that they could replace and make up for their secret profound doubt deep inside by tearing up to some Christian song of praise.

<<>>

Fence sitting is existentially difficult isn't it? I fence sat for a year. Constant thought and grinding agony for a year. I went to a few extian websites at the time but most of them were too shallow. I tried to get into some of the deeper Christian Apologetics but I found that shallow too. The extian websites were shallow in that most of what they said weren't the reasons I was doubting. I could suspend judgement about those things, they didn't help my faith, but I could live with them I thought. What really got to me was my own experience with the whole thing. I found sin impossible to really conquer, and Christians always talked of "accountability" and I never heard of that in the Bible? I found hypocrisy, catch phrases, a lot of people unwilling to admit they were doubting, and because of it they were crippled intellectually and messed up in general. Sorry for my poor sentence structure. The extians had never been Christian enough to be good extians. I was a
good Christian. Like yourself, I knew more than my pastor and everybody elses pastor too. The Christians I was around treated me often treated me like dirt, and I treated them back with love. Some were nice I must admit. I'm not boasting, I'm being honest. I don't give a rip about any of this. It's all a joke what they did or I did, devil take it.

So you have become an "evil Atheist" I assume that you added evil as a humorous reference to how Christians will think of you. I believe you are sincere so forget that. Evil's not so scarry anyway. Anyway. Fence sitting isn't existentially feasable. Fence sitting between Christianity and agnosticism is less existentially feasable than between agnosticism and atheism. But I believe that you are refering to moral issues? In otherwords, for a while you searched for the mysterious essence, or something like that. And then you found that you couldn't find it, if it even existed. And then you found that what is unfindable is unmeaningful. And the issue here is whether there is anything to believe that makes sense at all? Something you can find with your being, and not through years or centuries of study. For if this "Thing" is existentially worth finding, then it must be findable. One interesting thing about life is that it happens. Samuel Beckett's play waiting for
Godot, (I hope you've seen or read it?) I think it's very applicable. I'll assume you have read it. There is no meaning when you're waiting for meaning. Atleast that's how I look at it. That interpretation is obvious to me because I've been there. I rode the fence for months, maybe a full year, and then I decided that fences aren't ridable. So I became an agnostic.... Whatever that means. I looked a while for The Thing. Which btw, that term is an invention of this message to be cute. I guess you could say I was looking for meaning. Meaning. What is meaning? You find meaning in making a webpage like this. Or maybe truth?

Well I existed like this for a long while. I had grinded my mind constantly. My job was a simple one and so I was able to think pretty much 24/7. I read anything I could. Actually that's a lie. I was bored with most everything I could read. Same old stuff on both sides. Like you I realized that Christians weren't at all able to help me. Shallow panny waists peddling malarky at charge. I went to bed at night listening to Enigma or maybe the soundtrack from Riven or some other nonsense. I wanted to sense and experience, and see what there was to know or do or feel or believe or not believe, or want, or be content with.

I feel like there's more I want to comment on. Let me go back and look. No I have a lot to say. I want to say that after a few years of solid doubt and then unbelief, or rather agnosticism, I slowly but surely came back to Christianity. But never in the way I left it. Before I left I knew it was a fraud, and in coming back I was a rebel. I can't stand church. Ignorance and stupidity fill those places.

I guess my statements about coming back to Christianity need more said about them. I'm still trying to perceive what I should say. I think I'd like to make a side comment that will maybe guide me back to the main theme.

I see we have another thing in common. A love for beautiful women. I guess 95% of men have this in common. I almost left your website as soon as I got here because of them. It seems rather insincere to have them on here, when trying to draw Christians away from Christianity. Or if your purpose is to encourage extians, then keep them up, they need them. I found them distracting and I confess to putting my hand up on the screen to help myself read what you had to say. I'm young and I have hot blood. But then after reading your anti testimony or whatever you called it, I can see where you're coming from. Anway, it seems to me that in leaving the pictures up, the Christian visitors who come to your site will probably find themselves lusting and sinning, and then find your message more pertinent about their religion being powerless. Because their religion is powerless. You have proven that and it isn't hard to prove.

Anyway, if you're read this far then thank-you, I am being more long winded than I intended to be, but the matter of how to approach you isn't exactly clear to me yet.

I guess I have little to say afterall. Or perhaps my little will take a few pages to say because even a little needs to be said properly. Life isn't just about ideas, it's about their meaning to human beings.

Your website is filled with antichristian arguments. Many of them seem to be well constructed, and sincere in nature. As a student of philosophy, as a well informed Christian, as an exextian (cute huh?), as a thinker, I don't find any of them compelling me to leave my faith or even doubt it's absolute truth at all. Some of the material on your website is more of a negative aesthetic association sort of thing, and soe essentially an attack against ignorant Christians rather than the Bible. But other stuff is a lot deeper. You use all your tools, I'll give you that forsure. Nothing is new here for me. I formulated half of these arguments myself independent of you, and the other half I don't care about. I believe in Christ once again and I have good reason to, having also had good reason not to. I have found Him to be the truth and His power is in no way lacking in my life. Case in point, I did not lust after the woman on your site. The glimpse I got made my heart bea
t fast but I wouldn't be writing this email if I let her get to me. I only bring this up because you say Christians are hypocrites. If I am then I'm also a liar. Some women are very beautiful. Intoxicatingly beautiful. Unbearably beautiful. I used to struggle with pornography and the guilt of partaking of it. Repenting and sinning again as soon as my drive became strong again. Lust, sin, let down, repentance, lust, sin, let down, repentance. It rendered me, not hypocritical, for I always looked for an answer, and I was young- but very angry because there were no answers! When I couldn't find one, I quit trying.

I see you as being very sincere. I wanted to share my testimony with you as also a very sincere one. I am far beyond needing to argue with anyone about these things. I don't really have the time to do it anyway. I believe time is valueable- despite the evidence to the contrary in my wordiness :-) (that's how I think).

So I'd like to be forward with you as to why I'm a Christian. I had reasons for why I specifically came back to faith in Christ.

A lot of my philosophical questions were answered by my own thinking for one. These are my answers and they don't come cheap apparently.

And I have reasons for coming back that I don't believe you'll find to be good at all. Maybe you will, maybe you won't.

Morally I needed a compass. I couldn't condone Hitler or Stalin. I couldn't condone surival of the fitest at any cost. I couldn't live without law. My own heart was incapable of making me live by anything. I needed directions and there were none without God. I could pretend there were but there weren't. But when I say I needed a compass. Don't think I compromised with reality. I threw out needs and looked reality squarely in the face willing to face whatever would come. Atheism or Christ or some sort of Henotheism or Pantheism or whatever.

I also needed meaning. A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. But a skunkweed by any other name won't. We can find our meaning within ourselves. We can deny meaning. We can play all kinds of games, but in the end we live for something. Perhaps our sex drives. But something didn't work for me. I could perceive that it wasn't just religion's influence that had brought whole aspects of mankind's personality to some sort of state of interest beyond my state of interest- sex. I believe that there is meaning in life, beauty, etc.... I find my source for meaning in God.

But all this, I wondered if it was my upbringing creating this "need"? If it was just the way I was raised? You'll notice I'm not arguing. I'm just stating. I don't know what I'm even saying forsure. You know. I think I do. I believe you are sincere. I've been through the same things. I want to offer you my exextian testimony. For you personally, man to man. I just want you to know I exist and that I am a bondslave of Jesus Christ. That way you can do whatever you want with your life but please know that I understand what you've been through and I've been there and I have been back again.

My needs for morality and meaning may could be weaknesses, or they could be my very nature programmed by God. Or they could be the leftovers of childhood. It's up to you to decide. I have reason for why I believe that they are needs but that reason is very deep, very personal, very intuitive. If it could be argued, and maybe it can, I wouldn't argue it; that's not the point.

It took me several years to readjust to even reading my Bible when I came back to God. At first I had to vomit out all the stuff I had been taught before. The catch phrases, the theology that Scripture didn't teach. The soft answers to real questions. The same stuff you spit on, I spit on. I remember when I was in my doubt, I knew I could write the book that would kill Christianity once and for all. I hadn't seen your website at the time and most of the extian websites were too shallow. Their arguments were more aesthetically compelling than logically compelling. Few people deal completely honestly. To be honest, I believe you're sincere, but I see stuff on your website that shows me your heart is pretty hard now. The images of the women. Some of the other images are rather mocking. You can leave Christ without abusing Him can't you? You'd look more objective if you just left out all the banners and fire and lewdness and you would look more respectable. I guess
in spilling my guts to you I'm suffering for you. I have a lot of reason to call you my enemy and to not trust you. I am a very real person and I want to be up front here as well. I don't like writing you. Broadcasting my worldview and heart to you who hate my God and fight against what I fight for? No I won't like knowing you have this knowledge of my life in your hands. If anyone could make me loose my religion it would be you right? No that's not the real source of my suffering. The real source may yet reveal itself.

I want to give you a chance to change your mind about your decision in leaving, not the church (the church is pathetic), but in leaving Jesus Christ. When I was an agnostic, I eventually got over needing to write about how it's all false. The religious were religious and the extians and pagans were extians and pagans. Who cared? Let them be, I came to conclude. Who really cared? My own parents were afraid to talk to me about my unbelief. It really hurt me. I lost all my sense of self esteem. I was so tied into my knowledge of theology and Christianity, that when I lost it, I lost everything.

Anyway I'm several times lost in thought. I want to say.... The answer is within your sense of the value and meaning of things. Within your willingness to be honest with your own heart about how you feel about moral issues, if there are any for you. Can you condone survival of the fitest and would you like to live in such a world? I used to think I would at times. But then I realized I wouldn't be fitest in such a world. I've been a little sickly for years. I'm just throwing questions out. Only you can give answers.

But there is an answer found in my testimony to you, one man to another. I have found Jesus Christ to be the truth. The fact that you were struggling with lust as a young man shows something. It showed something about me too. Let me pour out some more to you whom I have not met; my declared enemy whom I love.

I've suffered a lot lately. My sister came close to death and the cause has been parasitic infection. I've grown up with bad health problems and round worms and tape worms have been the unknown and undiagnosed (until now) cause. You told Christians to be honest with themselves and you put a lot of pertinent Scriptures in there. Christians really don't keep Christ's commands and so they shouldn't call themselves Christians. Maybe there are no Christians left? I can't remember, I think you said there weren't. I agree. But knowing these things..., these Bible passages you quoted in your Plea- when did you learn them Dave? Wasn't it when you still considered yourself a Christian? That's when I learned them. I always wondered about them. Not whether they were true, for I came to believe them. But I wondered..., how my church could be so incredibly stupid to not teach them. Then I got to the point before my doubt, where I couldn't go to church because I was trying to
live the's Bible teaching, and nobody would support me. Only tear me down with their nonsense religious "praise songs." The whole thing fell as I tried to do the impossible and live the Christian life.

But something's happened to me. After coming out of my doubt I learned a lot of different things. I slowly but surely came back to reading my Bible over a couple year period. For a long time any Christian word would make me almost puke. I coudn't stand them!!!! I couldn't stand any of them. I replaced them with philosophical words and studied philosophy independently of the Bible. I continued thinking etc.... Well through various circumstances and existential needs and sufferings I came back to The Bible- all the hard, violent, and obscene, parts included. When did you learn those passages of Scripture set forth in your Plea to us Christians? I think it was when you still called yourself a Christian. But did you ever follow them? I know you tried. Maybe you tried your very hardest. But did you ever follow them Dave? Were you really ever able to give up your lust for women in exchange for the God who created woman? Before my doubt I never followed those Scriptu
res fully either. I tried, I failed, I tried again, I failed again. Repeated that 1000 times and you have my story at that time in my life. I loved God enough to feel bad for my sin and I loved my sin enough to feel bad when I didn't partake of it.

Dave, it seems you left Christianity because it doesn't work and because the church is laughably ridiculous. That's why I left. It got beaten out of me! But there's more here. There are other passages. Jesus said in some place. "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the Earth?" And in another place it is written, "Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." Could our experience be normal for the times in which we are living? Maybe you don't like it, but admit that Christianity predicted it's own failure. Or maybe not. Maybe failure is a strong word. It predicted it's own repulsiveness to the point where people wouldn't be willing to follow it in view of the immediate pleasures of lust and materialism etc.... There is a lot hard to accept in the Bible! The church with it's doctrines of absurdity, like original sin, and calvinism or arminianism, or dispensationalism and covenant theology, make a mockery out of philosophy a
nd out of Scripture. Christian catch phrases make everything seem rosy when things are complex and big, just like God. Jesus said things that made him repulsive to most people of his day! He didn't mind saying those things. But I remember being at a Bible study recently where the teacher taught, "Failing constructively." The sermon title was "One day with Jesus. What would we learn?" "Failing constructively was on the list. He didn't support it with Scripture. He felt the need to add it I guess. Considering the fact that we all do fail and we must do it constructively..., blah blah blah. Whatever. If he would have pulled from Scripture he might have found. "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord'and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6.)

I'm driving at something here Dave. Jesus says in Jn. 12 "He who loves his life will loose it but he who looses his life for my sake will gain it to life eternal." Paul says in Phillipians 3 that he counts all things loss for the sake of Christ. And that he rejoices in suffering for those he is writing to. He then tells them to adopt his passion and suffer for the growth in faith of others. But if there is no resurrection, we are of all men most miserable he says in 1 Cor. 15. Somebody lived it. Paul did. Others have since. I humbly want to say I'm one of them. I should get sleep. This whole thing is being written in one setting and my kidneys are hurting from some of the events surrounding the extermination of these parasites. I am just being honest to show you that I am willing myself to live my faith, and that I'm not afraid either to tell it like it is. Jesus wasn't afraid to say He's God's Son, and I'm not afraid to say the same.

There is a real issue here Dave. Grab a hold on life and you find that lust and sex and power are limited. Beauty is limited and pornography is an artistic form that hides the reality's of life. Nomatter what your age you can always look at 18 year olds. Ofcourse, age may dullen your appreciation for them. But sometimes silent pictures are easier to enjoy than a stupid woman (no sexism intended or implied). But a real woman responds! But she can carry diseases and heartache for those with hearts. And if you have no heart will she be catchable without rape? But rape isn't natural because then she won't respond. Unless you have appetite for it. If you're healthy, 4 orgasms and you're out for some time until the passion returns. It's all a mess. Our fairy tales dream of love. As children we believe in romance don't we? I don't know. In the end what it all comes to, is, it's up to you to decide. I want to get back on track.

Faith is always forward. You didn't keep going forward and you lost the light you had. Invest or loose. Some seed falls on soil that can't grow because it isn't right. Yet Paul says in Phillipians that even he himself forgot what lay behind and pressed forward. And then in the last few verses of the chapter 3, he talks of those who are enemies of the cross of Christ. Who's god is their stomach and glory is their shame. Who set their minds on Earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Savior from there, The Lord Jesus Christ....

He is basically drawing the lines. You either focus on Earth and live without faith- eventually being consumed by worms, be they nematoads or cestoads..., or you set your hope on something much much better. On a resurrection body, on a future life in a kingdom in which all is made right again and suffering is extinguised. Yet maybe that's just a dream for infant minded fools like myself.

This decision for faith in the next world where my citizenship is, has been a difficult one. I have been plagued with questions and drives. The sex drive topping the list! I'm still single and staying away from lust is a daily thing in a modern environment with unclothed women at every corner and nobody to see. If there is no God, then I'm suffering a lot in vain!! But let me draw the lines for you myself.

Christianity didn't work for you, the whole thing was a flop in your own life and in the lives of those around you. I've been there.

But what would have happened if you would have chosen to look beyond your church, knowing that Scripture contradicts your church's teachings or atleast emphasis..., and would have truly learned to take up your cross daily and follow Christ, setting your hope beyond your sex drive and into the next world? He gave you insight, were you too weak to exercise it? Did you have no fear of God and the "Christians" around you had less than yourself? Maybe you couldn't keep going. I couldn't. I fell into doubt and agnosticism. But I'm offering you a second chance. This offer extends until the day you die. Repent and you will find He is still there. Maybe you never knew Him before. Maybe reason seems to hold you back. God created it; our sense of it is finite and limited. Look at Christians who can't see the Scripture in front of them and still believe blindly in their falsehood. You and I both agree on one thing. Modern Christians are hypocrites. Jesus spoke to the rich y
oung ruler. One thing you lack. Go and sell all your posessions and give the money to the poor and come and follow me.... The rich young ruler went away sad for he owned many things. How hard it is for those who have pleasure and power right in front of them to enter heaven. I understand.

If you never really ever believed in Christ enough to come to the repentence He called you to, then how can you say you tried it? You never did. You tried church doctrine, not Bible doctrine. Yes I know. I spoke as you speak. Don't answer me, answer yourself. It's too hard; it's impossible come to my mind. NO IT ISN'T Dave! I live it and I know others who do. Few, but yes they exist. Somtimes they sin, and fail. Sometimes I do to. But it is rare and rarer all the time- and we are alone. We aren't being encouraged or helped. Everbody is halfhearted or cop out and not admitting it. Our churches are our often our worst enemies. But we are surviving, yeah even conquering through our God! What is impossible through our flesh is possible through faith. And faith is tested and does grow. And we can know God and He can bless us to be free of sin. The Bible says we are dead to sin. It's my experience that through faith I am.

Dave. At any point in your life when you are willing to really repent and set your hope on the next world instead of this one, giving up all that holds you to this Earth. At that time, you'll find that through faith and patience and humility, HE IS THE TRUTH.

If you don't take Jesus' words seriously enough to follow them fully, you'll find yourself failing the way you did before. I never conquered my "big sins" until I repented of my little ones. Until I freed myself from my own right to myself and gave myself to God as a bondslave willing to suffer anything for love of Him, in response to His love of me, I couldn't conquer anything. And really all I was doing was for once in my life, taking Christ as seriously as He asked, unlike the whole world, and the whole church does (with very few exceptions). I counted everything loss in view of Him and I gained Him. I've tried it and it works.

Another thing I want to offer you is this testimony. Not only do I have power in my life to conquer sin, and particularly lust, but I also speak with God. When I pray He answers. And I don't get mostly no's. I get constant yes's. Some "wait's" but rarely a no. "If my words abide in you, ask what you wish and it shall be done for you...."

Just the other week for example, God spoke in my heart to pray for my boss, who is a Christian herself. I don't know her very well because I work only part time at this job and rarely with her, but she has young kids I've seen, and I felt convicted that she needed to quit her job so she could spend time with them instead of being a workaholic mom like she is. 2 months later after that prayer she quit. I had almost forgotten about the prayer but I remembered it and I asked another employee why she quit? "So she could spend time with her kids" Came the answer back. This is just one case in point. I don't expect such possible coincidences to convince you. They don't convince me either. They just happen. I don't need convincing.

One night a couple years back I lay out under the stars, sort of camping out in my backyard. I've only shared this with my close friends but I want to share it with you. I was praying. Now having come out of my unbelief I came to learn a lot about the nature of faith. And I believed. But I was out there praying and suddenly I asked God if He'd send a meteorite in a particular portion of the night sky for me. I felt it would be no trouble for Him. I hadn't seen one all night though being out there for an hour already, and I felt if He was God He could and maybe should do it since I was His son. As soon as I said that I said, "wait, I don't need a sign. I would doubt it was You if I saw it anyway! (I would think it was a coincidence and a wicked generation asks for a sign.)" And just at that very instant when I got the last word out, the meteor shot bright and cut right through the section of the sky I was gazing into,(where I had asked for my sign to appear.) What d
o you think my reaction was? I immediately doubted God sent it. But then I caught myself and reasoned backwards, and just chuckled. That was one of the most fun experiences of my life. I played chess with God for an instant and He gave me a move. I felt honored and still do. And I got something sealed in my mind once and for all, that I already believed firmly, but maybe not in my emotional center. And that is that only faith can see God. Sight is blind in this regard. The senses are for observing phenomena. Faith is for coming in direct contact with the nomena. With reality, with God. It's your choice. Of course, what is your reaction to my story? Does the sign convince you? Me neither. But I believe the sign was from God through faith. I didn't see another meteor the rest of the night.

I want to bring up one last point.

It is highly absurd to set our hopes on the next life isn't it? But I think that life itself can bring a man to not see it as being near as absurd as he may at first think it is. The door of suffering may open someday and whole sections of reality come to light that can't be existentially dealt with through our limited world view. But I guess every animal dies unwillingly huh? Except True Christians :-) It's up to you to decide. I don't know what to expect from you in the way of response if you have any. I'm not asking for one. It's up to you, I'm a busy guy but if you want to write, so be it. If not so be it. There's not much to talk about. We both know about eachother. If the things I've said aren't interesting to you now, maybe someday years from now you'll find them so. Will you do me one favor? Remember.

Your Friend,
Benjamin J. Scott

John 3:16-21 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Benjamin Scott

Saturday, October 04, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

good vibrations in Christ

Hello Dave,

As you know, I absurdly recommitted my life to Jesus Christ a while back, and I am still gloriously serving Him even though my site denies Him and debunks my religious bullshit. I planned it that way to confuse people for Jesus!

Your website deeply pains me. I have read a lot of what you have posted, and while truth and facts are important, why pay attention to them? Why must you publicly hate God so much? He murdered Himself for you! Does that mean nothing to you?

I am going to tell you THE TRUTH Dave, and I am praying fervently that the Holy Spirit will quicken the reality of it to your inner spook, I mean spirit.

Don't you know that God loves you? The Bible says God created the universe by speaking a powerful magical spell from Nowhere. The Bible also says that an invisible man named Jesus lives in the sky, and that he blasted off to Heaven from two different locations miles apart at different times after he gloriously defeated the Talking Snake and Death by letting the version of Him in heaven murder him on a big giant stick. Then the version of him in Heaven magically undeadened Jesus and he floated up to heaven, as I said previously.

Now, what is so unbelievable about all of that? It should be crystal clear that the Bible is TRUE!

It just doesn't matter what you think, say, do, or believe. If you don't know JESUS, you are evil and depraved, and just making silly excuses to deny God in your evilness! You are LOST, and you need to stop listening to the lies of a talking animal and realize your need for Christ!

Give your life and your brain to JESUS today, Dave! I am trusting God that you will make the RIGHT choice! Oooohhh, thank you in advance, Jesus!! Glory!

I love you, and Jesus does too! Jesus loves you very much, but if you don't love Him, he will roast you and torture you forever in HELL! He is so wonderful!

Yours sincerely with good vibrations in Christ,

Jeff

Thursday, October 02, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

DROPPING THE BLIND(FAITH)FOLD

I have heard throughout my life about the “soul” of man. This disembodied entity animated by the “spirit”. (Both of which, in their roots mean “breath”,) The soul, of course, connects us to an existence outside of the body. In other words, a transcedent existence from the natural.

Well, as I now see it--that is a belief based on faith. And faith comes in two forms: 1) Reasonable faith, 2) Blind faith.

Reasonable faith says “this chair will hold you up” or “this train is going to Chattanooga”. You don’t KNOW that it is, but all the evidence around you points to the logical answer. We use reason and thus our belief is rational.

Blind faith says “there’s a ghost in here” or “you’re soul will burn in Hell”. You can’t prove there’s not a Hell or a ghost, but the reality of it is contrary to the sum of evidence for such a belief.

These believers in blind faith say such things as you can’t prove there is no afterlife or no God. To which they are being unreasonable--you can’t prove there isn’t a Santa Claus either or a Tooth Fairy or a spirit troll named Larry dancing inside your pancreas either. These are Universal Negatives. Of course I can’t prove there are no ghosts, but I can use my reason to look at the evidence for and against such phenomena.

Does the spirit realm, the soul, the afterlife...etc...etc.. exist? I do not know either way, but I am pretty convinced that based on the evidence (or lack thereof) that these things are mere inventions, myths, wishful thinking, and superstitions of primal man which have carried over due to fear, ignorance of science, and intimidation from religious zealots.

However, this day and time, most of the belief in these things stem from desire to believe in something better than this world, governing by one’s emotions rather than reason, and brainwashing (in some cases) by psychological manipulators.

No, I do not know, but I have based on the arguments for and against and the lack of credible evidence, my reasonable “faith” says -- “It’s all bunk.”

T.L. Goble

I will pray for you...

May God have mercy on your soul. Before the return of our Lord I pray that you will have seen the light. I will pray for you that the Lord will show himself to you and open those blinded eyes and hardened heart.

Harold