Saturday, December 27, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Pastoral Medicine

Back around 1994 I began deputation ministry for my denomination in order to go to Chile as a church planter. As I began traveling (about 6000 miles per month) I began gaining weight. About this time my wife reported that my snoring had also increased. In short, I simply didn't feel well.

I went to my pastor for counseling. He said "Kevin, you look like you're gaining weight. And you look tired. How is your prayer life?" I told him that it "wasn't what it ought to be." He then told me how prayer would help me handle stress, blah blah blah.

Of course, being the dutiful drone, I bought it. But not a whole lot changed. I went to Chile, lost weight, and was able to take a siesta in the afternoon. During periods of heightened stress I would snore terribly, and my wife began to notice me gasping breath in my sleep.

I came to the states and took a stressful job as a therapist serving low income people. I gained back most of the weight I had previously lost. This time, I didn't go back to the pastor. . .I went to an MD. She referred me to a sleep specialist, who performed two sleep studies on me. The diagnosis was severe obstructive sleep apnea. I wake up about 30 times per hour at night, and always feel dead all day long, especially in the afternoon.

The doc prescribed a CPAP machine, and I slept with it for the first time last night. I woke up on my own after 8 hours of sleep (whereas I ususally awaken about 3-4 times fully per night). I have had energy all day long, and even after having a beer with lunch don't feel the need to nap. I even rode about 5 miles on the bike with my wife this AM.

So, the pastor told me to pray. He can't be faulted, he's not qualified. But isn't it funny how he didn't even think of a medical condition?

I wonder how many other people have fallen victim to this type of quackery. . . .

Kevin

Friday, December 26, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

God does not need your help to defend him from a fool

I don't intend to enter into a debate over the truth or untruth of Christianity or any other religion with you in this letter. As a far more intelligent person than myself once said, "God does not need your help to defend him from a fool". What I would like to address is the base hypocrisy in your entire movement.

You portray Christians (or anyone "stupid" enough to acknowledge God) as being brainwashed, programmed, and generally sheep led by bigger sheep. In it's place you offer another belief system for which you can offer no more proof than the one you wish the world to divest itself of.

I will be the first to admit, many Christians are hypocritical, self-righteous, proudly ignorant, irritating, and generally no fun to be around. Anyone who has a belief system which they think people around them would be better off sharing can be like this, including atheists and agnostics. The annoyance isn't Christianity, it is anyone who is arrogant enough to think that they have solved the mysteries of the universe (and at the same time thinks that you haven't).

I am a Christian and my best friend is an atheist. We respect each others beliefs, and we each know that neither of us will ever convince the other of the "truth" of our respective positions.

To me, this website is on the same level as the many Christian polemic websites which degrade atheists and agnostics as hellbound heathens. I would defend to the death your right to say whatever you want about me and my faith, as long as you are leaving me alone to practice my beliefs. I long ago decided that the only soul I have any direct control over is my own, and that I should allow everyone else in the world to worry about theirs in their own way.

My fondest Christmas wish is that everyone else in the world, believers and unbelievers, would do the same.

Dominus Tecum,
emailaddress: audibel@mycobbweb.com
Atlanta, Georgia

Wednesday, December 24, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Religion Detoxification

Dear Ex-Christians,

My Name is Clint Clark and I’ve developed a small website that may be an interesting link addition to your site. I call it “Religion Detoxification.” One of its features is “The Logical Ten Commandments.” It also has some history on the development of Settlement Religion along with some important points about Oral Tradition.


The address is: www.artdsm.com/religiondetoxification

Thank you for your consideration

Sincerely,

Clint Clark
clint@artdsm.com

One World for LIFE - Animal Nations: Homo sapiens

Sunday, December 21, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Obviously you were never truly saved...

Obviously you were never truly saved, which means that you were never truly
a Christian. Why? Because you think that GOD is the reason for everything.
When you met people that didn't believe in God or believed some other crap,
you thought it was GOD blinding their sight so they couldn't see clearly.
I'm sorry, but GOD does no such thing. SIN blinds us from seeing clearly.
SIN is darkness, like a fog, that we cannot see the light through. GOD did
not create nor allow SIN. MAN allowed SIN by first doubting and then
denying. GOD cannot look at SIN, which is why CHRIST had to die on the
cross. His blood covers our SIN and makes us white as snow. Hence the reason
why we're all doomed for HELL if we do not repent and accept Jesus as our
blood sacrifice. We deserve HELL because GOD cannot stand SIN nor to be near
it. Suffering is also not in conjunction with GOD. Suffering is in
conjunction with SIN. SIN created suffering. If there were no SIN, there
wouldn't be any suffering.

It's all very simple, easy to comprehend, common knowledge. You weren't
praying to an "invisible man," you were praying to GOD. Regardless of what
religion you believe, there is no denying that we were created by a higher.
We did not come from a speck of dirt that exploded. A dirt speck smaller
than a period CANNOT result in what you see before you. Use your head and
THINK! Tiny dot. Mass galaxy. Hmm...

And so, being that a higher being created us, there would have to be some
way of communicating with him. Prayer is that communication. Whether you do
it on your knees or as if you're talking to yourself, knowing that a higher
being had to create all this, you know you are talking to him. He may not
answer back in your tongue, but reassuredly he does answer you.

Prodigy

emailaddress: Prodigy@backpacker.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

I feel so sorry for you

This website is formed directly from the pits of hell. If you only could open your heart to Jesus Christ, your life would be filled with much more happieness, joy, and reward. I pray the the Lord comes into your life and softens your heart.

God created you, loves you, and will forgive you no matter what you have done. I pray the you come to find this out and know the lord.

God Bless you!

Laura

Tuesday, December 16, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Good Luck BUD!

I must say that you are the most unintelligent fool I have ever come across. Your ignorance is amazing. There's not a single contradiction in the entire Bible. To save time, and make my point, we'll deal with your "major" contradiction theory. You claim that 1 John 1:8 vs. 1 John 3:6-9 is contradictory. I suggest that you go back to kindergarten and receive a graduation diploma on reading because you obviously learned nothing your first time around. Let me explain this for you, seeing as how unimaginably slow you are in the head.

1 John 1:8 is self explanitory. If we tell ourselves that we do not sin, or have never sinned, or aren't a sinner, we decieve ourselves. Therefore, the truth of the matter is not in us. You understand this, yes?

1 John 3:6-9 is just as self explanitory. At least for those of us with intelligence. More specifically, you're trying to say that 3:6 is the contradiction because it's the only verse of the four that has anything "similar" to 1:8. Let me explain this VERY slowly for you. This verse does NOT say that when we are in Christ we never sin. Far from it. Even while living in Christ we are still tempted by sin. However, God floods us with His grace at those times so that we can resist the temptations. We can either choose to accept His grace and back away from the temptation of sin, or we can give in to it. If we abide, or remain, in Christ, he strengthens us so that we can resist the temptations of sin thereby not sinning.
"Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not:" All past sin is forgiven to those who have repented and asked for forgiveness. After that point, if you remain in Christ, when you are tempted by sin and take advantage of His grace to resist that temptation - YOU DO NOT SIN. Get the picture? If you get the urge to kill somebody, you have two choices. You can kill him, which causes you to sin. Or you can resist the urge, which causes you NOT to sin.

I'll be happy to disspell any other "contradictions" you "think" you have. For instance, Noah's ark. In one spot is says two of every animal while in another is says seven. Well, if you're intelligent enough and know how to read and can understand what you read, God tells Noah to take two (2) of every animal BUT to take seven (7) of the CLEAN animals. Understand? Good boy/girl/it! :o)

Name: Xtreme

emailaddress: Good@luck.bud

Sunday, December 14, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Raised a Heathen

Main Entry: 1god
Pronunciation: 'gäd also 'god
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
Date: before 12th century
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value
4 : a powerful ruler

I was raised a heathen. My parents both came from Christian backgrounds, but were not at all religious when they reached the age of reason before my birth. Although I have had to deal with the arrogance of and rejection by Christians I never succumbed to their faith. About 20-25 years ago when I was looking for a mate I lived in an area where most everybody was Christian. I studied Christianity and Judaism because I figured that I may have to settle for a Christian mate, but I saw them as screwed up although I or didn't really analyze them as sufficiently as I should have. I eventually found a mate that was a Christian, but it was more difficult in those days.

I post the definition of "god" to propose that an atheist is not actually,

Main Entry: athe·ist
Pronunciation: 'A-thE-ist
Function: noun
Date: 1571
: one who denies the existence of God

From what I have seen reading atheist opinion they are great believers in "reality".

If you look at the premise of the #1 definition of "god" above it says,

"God is the supreme or ultimate reality."

It is after the premise is stated that we get into religion based aspects of "god/reality" that are rejected by atheists, myself and other rational thinkers.

Perhaps c should be added to #1 stating,

god: the supreme or ultimate reality, c. of whose aspects are yet to be totally defined.

The premise of the definition god = reality seems agreeable to most. Of course, there are those that probably do not view our existence as reality.

Anyway, It's food for thought.

I think definiton #4 could be in reference to President G.W. (God Willing) Bush.

When I look at the religious right in politics today trying to destroy the ideals of our founding fathers, establish Christianity as our preferential and national religion and push us around with their organized political clout I am deeply disturbed.

Are or can atheists, rationalists, deists, pantheists, agnostics, and the like organize to protect ourselves from the organized religious right already entrenched in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government? If we do not organize politically, politicians will overlook our opinions and continue to cater to others who have organized a political body. Any suggestions?

Guy DeBryan

Friday, December 12, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

The C.H.R.I.S.T. Method

I would like to present to the Freethinkers on this site a new way to define how Christians use there twisted mindset to interpret reality and what unbelievers say in order for it to fit into their own world-view.

I call it the Christian Harmful to Reality Ignorant Switcharoo Technique or C.H.R.I.S.T. for short.

You people know exactly where I'm coming from with this one! We see it in the debates all of the time. We see it especially in the evolution/creation debates and we expecially see it when we open our eyes to the world around us.

Can I get an AMEN my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Life?

Fweethawt

Wednesday, December 10, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Cleck it out...

Hi! I used to be the webmaster of www.geocities.com/ragemachinez, atheist ex-Xian from Singapore. I now have my own site, singaporeatheist.com.

Have been a fan of your site since, fuck, I can't remember.. Keep up the good work and give my site the once over.. We atheists/ex-Xians gotta stick together ya know..

Hades

check out this photo

HELL TO PAY!Master of the web,

Check out this photo I took of an outrageous billboard in surburban Atlanta, Ga. Talk about intimidation, can you believe this crap!?

Maybe you can post it on the letters/testimonies section so everyone can get a look at it and sound off.

Thanx

DM

(webmaster note: The sign says "For Me - Against Me" on the left and "Against Me = There is Hell to Pay" on the right"

Remember: JESUS loves you, but, if you don't love him back ................... )


Monday, December 08, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

My Two Bits...

Dave,

Thanks for your open and honest testimony. It was helpful and I found some similarities (and some differences) with my own religious background. I am now in a "holding pattern" regarding Christian belief and practice, being in my mid-thirties with a young family and a busy job taking most of my time and headspace. However I have not given up on the idea of trying to come up with a world-view that makes more sense to me. Oh, I have dispatched with organised religious practice some time ago after spending 12 years in a cult (Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God). The de-programming continues...

For what it is worth, I have enjoyed reading Scott Peck's books. You may have read "The Road Less Travelled"? He is I guess an unconventional Christian with a background in Psychiatry. One of his theories of personal growth talks about four stages (bit like Fowler): chaos, formal religion, skepticism, mysticism. Originated with his observation over time that many of his patients with strong religious tendencies often left therapy as athiests/agnostics/skeptics, and vice versa. I'm in the skepticism bit I guess, and hoping that I might progress to mysticism if its more than just mindgames.

Out of interest, Peck is a believer in the "still, small voice of God" that 'talks to us'. Have you ever had the experience yourself of hearing a voice in your head that was not your own? I haven't myself as yet, and to be honest would be a bit worried if I did. How could I judge whose voice it might be? God or the devil? Or a second personality? (Shades of Gollum: My precious, we wants its...!!)

I sense that the larger questions of life cannot be answered until I die: either oblivion and therefore not a problem, or an afterlife to discover the answers. Not sure where that leaves me in terms of a logical way to live now. Morality mostly seems sensible. Trouble is, if you read Ravi Zacharias, that leads to God's existence as moral lawgiver. I seem to be stuck with acknowledging God exists but then having no way to adequately progress from that assertion to a way of life. Christian religion has failed me and relying on myself (or the Spirit, ahem) seems fraught with my imperfections. I have certainly not read as much as you have but my instincts are that much of my dilemma has been addressed by theologians and philosphers down through history. But clearly there has been no outright conclusion, just camps of opinion. Will have to read some more, won't I.

Well, that's my two bits. Take care of yourself.

Gray
gm_robertson@hotmail.com

Dear ‘Ex-Christians’

This site is amazing. It is evil, but it is amazing. It is strange to see that so many Christians can just leave the truth. Yes the truth.

Anyway, Let me first tell you a bit about myself. I am a devoted Christian who already been and gone through many of your stages. For 2 ½ years I asked questions, like “why is there evil?” and the like-like. Fortunately for me, God opened my eyes to let me see the truth. He did this in a very strange way. I was walking home one day and I said to myself “I know I’m a sinner, and I believe you’re kinda real, then the next minute I was asking for forgiveness and I became a Christian. So you’re going to ask “How did you know God was now in you?” Well it’s really an easy answer. I felt this power, a strange feeling through me. So when I got home I looked and read the bible and I found a passage that basically said “When the Holy spirit enters you , you’ll be granted not only life but gift to serve God. How I thank him.

So being a devoted Christian I can tell you some problems with the bible and Christianity. The first one is that when God spoke -to Moses in particular (he is the main writer of the OT), Moses may have changed the verses to make them sound better. I’m sure that Moses would have first pondered on them. There is also the translation error. There are many Greek words that are similar and some words have the same meanings. This can confuse how the bible is translated. The last and main problem is us. We have our own independent opinions on what the bible says. Look around! There are Baptist, Anglican, Grace, Protestant. etc. All these churches when looking at the bible can translate differently, some symbolically and others literally.

So I personally do not believe it is you who does not believe, yeah sure you are the judge of what you believe, but I believe it is your church. They have confused you and that is why you ask many questions . You are so confused that you are following Satan. I mean, look at this site! A Wiseman once said to me, “Whatever God does, Satan will try to do also”. Is this site not a perfect example?! Look, you have testimonies, evangelisms to your belief, praying for each other (to whom I ask?) and you have some person claiming to be God (Is that not a contradiction to your new belief). You are so caught up in your own human limitations -to ask questions, that you sit here worshiping the devil!

As you can see there is much to talk about on this topic. I could add so much more if I wished. But let me say this, You people who are out there still deciding to ‘leave’ Christianity, why don’t you read the bible, not the OT but the New. You may find the answers you’re looking for. A true Christian would not just give up on what they believe, they would search and find the answers to questions. Then they would rejoice because they found those answers. A true Christian would not be temped by false truths (aka lies) they would search and find the answers to the falseness. A true Christian above all will remain true to God, even in the bad times. I ask to those ‘Ex-Christians’ were you even Christians to begin with, or were you just plain Atheists.

To the person who can speak tongues. I honestly questioned that, I thought “Wow! Not one person in our church speaks tongues -that I know” You have a gift. You also have the choice wether or not you use that gift. I almost envy you, I would love to speak tongues. Fortunately God gave me another gift: Wisdom. Paul stated “do not boast about your strengths but your weaknesses.” Now wisdom is a weakness, people don’t like wise or smart people, but that does not matter. You see I can already tell some of you have questions ready to ask me, and I pray that God will give me the answers.

Devoted Christian

Saturday, December 06, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Hello again Dave,

I've just looked at your bible quiz. . Pretty interesting. As a bible student I'd certainly come across many of those inconsistencies before, but as we both know, the "faith" answer can be used to justify every nutty concept.

That leads me to a few problems I have had with the whole concept of "faith" for a while. The Bible implies that Christians are rewarded for their faith, which it defines in Hebrews 11 as the "evidence of things not seen". Elsewhere it talks about our faith being "more precious than gold that perishes".

My problem is, why is faith so important?

It would seem that God is hiding from us (some talk of a "shy" God, ...please!) and wants us to pray and have faith to get the answers we're looking for. Some churches teach that we grow in faith by going through trials of suffering and believing God will get us through them (evidence to the contrary notwithstanding). You may even recall a popular little piece of a few years ago, "Footsteps in the sand" about God carrying us through our hard times, even though it feels to us that he isn't there. Why is God playing hard to get if he really wants a relationship with us? Some would say we've earnt the separation from God through original sin. So I guess this really makes earth hell as some define it?

I don't buy the faith-building tenet. If we go to an afterlife with God and will "see him as he is' (Book of Revelation, I think), why would we need faith -- we can see him, and talk to him directly presumably?

Perhaps I am confused or ignorant. But I'm not sure how many Christians have thought this through.

What are your thoughts?

Gray

The de-programming continues...

Dave,

Thanks for your open and honest testimony. It was helpful and I found some similarities (and some differences) with my own religious background. I am now in a "holding pattern" regarding Christian belief and practice, being in my mid-thirties with a young family and a busy job taking most of my time and headspace. However I have not given up on the idea of trying to come up with a world-view that makes more sense to me. Oh, I have dispatched with organised religious practice some time ago after spending 12 years in a cult (Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God). The de-programming continues...

For what it is worth, I have enjoyed reading Scott Peck's books. You may have read "The Road Less Travelled"? He is I guess an unconventional Christian with a background in Psychiatry. One of his theories of personal growth talks about four stages (bit like Fowler): chaos, formal religion, skepticism, mysticism. Originated with his observation over time that many of his patients with strong religious tendencies often left therapy as athiests/agnostics/skeptics, and vice versa. I'm in the skepticism bit I guess, and hoping that I might progress to mysticism if its more than just mindgames.

Out of interest, Peck is a believer in the "still, small voice of God" that 'talks to us'. Have you ever had the experience yourself of hearing a voice in your head that was not your own? I haven't myself as yet, and to be honest would be a bit worried if I did. How could I judge whose voice it might be? God or the devil? Or a second personality? (Shades of Gollum: My precious, we wants its...!!)

I sense that the larger questions of life cannot be answered until I die: either oblivion and therefore not a problem, or an afterlife to discover the answers. Not sure where that leaves me in terms of a logical way to live now. Morality mostly seems sensible. Trouble is, if you read Ravi Zacharias, that leads to God's existence as moral lawgiver. I seem to be stuck with acknowledging God exists but then having no way to adequately progress from that assertion to a way of life. Christian religion has failed me and relying on myself (or the Spirit, ahem) seems fraught with my imperfections. I have certainly not read as much as you have but my instincts are that much of my dilemma has been addressed by theologians and philosphers down through history. But clearly there has been no outright conclusion, just camps of opinion. Will have to read some more, won't I.

Well, that's my two bits. Take care of yourself.

Gray

Tuesday, December 02, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

find yourself in Hell

I am sorry but I do not appreciate your website at all your utter disrespect for Christianity is appalling. I pray that God has mercy on your soul and that you find the truth before it's to late and you find yourself in Hell!!!

Appalled Christian