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Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Monday, June 30, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Dear disillusioned:

A letter from Barbara
Perhaps in response to this testimonial? -- webmdave

I am sorry to know that you did not get to know the God of mankind as I have. Being a Agnostic or an athesist does not solve your problem for God is Lord of all and is a reality.

Should you choose to ignore God it will not cause God to disappear. I as a parent can understand why a man who is a pastor react to you becoming his son-in-law. I am indeed sorry that you are hurt by his reaction but one day you may feel what he felt when you came into his circle and "changed the atmosphere.

Man was born with a self-satisfying nature. It is a nature which seek to satisfy itself without regard for the creator's glorification. The Bible teaches that all glory belongs to God and that He, God, will not share His glory with another. Your wife is a disappointment to her parents because she did not stand up for what is considered the faith of her father.

Her reaction shows that she is not deeply rooted in God and as such she will be spued out of God's mouth. The Word declares: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. When Adam sinned, mankind inheritted the "sin" genes and it is passed from father to child. God's covenant was with Adam - not Eve - so God imputed the sin through our fathers.

I think you should not close your mind - but should research diligently the scriptures for yourself and reason out the concepts. Yet, if the things of God are hidden from you, then sadly there is nothing anyone can do because not all of us are called to righteousness and just maybe you are one of those who was destined for hell like Judas - when the scripture said, none have I lost except the son of perdition.

Saturday, June 21, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Try to be more respectful

A letter from Ken

Im all for free speech and creativity, and i enjoy coming to this site as i am in a transition mode spiritually...but i would just suggest to try and remain as respectul as possible with the content you can control. The gallery with the artwork and the shirt and key chains leave a bad taste in my mouth. Once i viewed the gallery and shop this site switched from something mature and intellectual to something juvenille and mocking, and that is no way to have people listen to you. To me this should be a place where Christians and exchristians alike can come and talk faith, an open forum where doubting christians can come without fear of mocking attacks or being made the villian. Obviously since this site is called exchristian i would assume that those in charge would understand where people are coming from and the long held emotional connections to imagery and beliefs they have. I once fought for my faith so strongly and it built up in me extremly powerful emotions and sensitivities. This process is not over nite especially if youve been believing since youth, and many as i have will come to be fed more info, more testimonials, more articles and videos, in hopes of making their final decision. Infuriating emotions regardless if they are in the process of getting discarded is no way to have a person full of doubt listen. Seeing a jesus fish being humped by the evolution fish is not "encouraging ex Christians", it will only perpetuate the myth of the pious that without christianity we are just assholes waiting to happen, with no tact or sensitivity toward others. They will just go into defense mode and the mind you are so hoping to open and 'encourage' will shut like a bear trap as soon as they see this stuff. Thank you for your time.

Leaving your Religion?

or still feeling the effects?

It's not the end of the world!

Join the recovery retreat in August, 2008, in Berkeley, CA.

Release and Reclaim I, Aug. 8-10, will be a supportive retreat for those who are beginning to let go of toxic beliefs and recover from an authoritarian religion such as Christian fundamentalism.

Release and Reclaim II, Aug. 15-17, will be an advanced weekend for moving beyond religion and reclaiming a life of joy, creativity, and connection. It will be open to those who have already attended a retreat or have done healing work already.

Both retreats are led by Dr. Marlene Winell, author of Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving the Fold. Interested participants are asked to discuss their situation with Marlene first. Both weekends are also open to professionals by special arrangement. Call Dr. Winell at 510-292-0509


RELEASE and RECLAIM I: Sorting it out and Healing

Do you feel alone in your struggle for healing? Join us for a powerful weekend with others who can understand and support you. We'll rant and rave, tell our stories, discuss the issues, visualize, role-play, dance and draw – whatever it takes to let go of toxic teachings and reclaim our lives. A joyful, empowered life is your birthright and we will use individual and group processes for learning new directions. Bring your sense of humor and plan to have fun too.

WHEN: FRIDAY, August 8, 7PM until SUNDAY, August 10, 3PM


RELEASE and RECLAIM II: Growing and Thriving

Have you left your religion behind but you're not sure what's next? Join others who are feeling liberated and wanting to rebuild a life that allows full, creative expression of who you are. We'll help each other with courage and confidence dealing with "the world," sharing our experiences and doing exercises for tapping into inner resources of wisdom, love, and strength – perhaps more than you ever expected if you were taught to be dependant!

We'll look at issues of enjoying life now instead of later, sexuality, "spirituality," and relationships. In a supportive group, we'll use art, movement, and visualization as well as discussion. Bring your wild and worldly self and plan to have a great time.

WHEN: FRIDAY, August 15, 7PM until SUNDAY, August 17, 3PM.

BOTH RETREATS:

WHERE
: A beautiful house in Berkeley, California, with hot tub and other amenities. The closest airport is Oakland, and we can help you with connections from there.

COST: $320 for the workshop, $125 for room and board. $445 total. $25 discount given for full payment by July 20. Financial need considered and options available.

TO REGISTER: Contact Marlene Winell for a telephone discussion about your interest. Send an email to mwinell@gmail.com or call 510-292-0509. $100 deposit will then secure a space. Register soon as group size is limited to 8.

Note: These retreats are designed to help develop networks of support that extend beyond a single weekend. With time for sharing meals and relaxing in a house together, participants often make lasting friends - face to face, not virtual! We also have an online group and conference calls as a follow-up support system.

See a Youtube video of a retreat at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7tXprPoqYk
Read comments about a previous retreat at: http://marlenewinell.net/node/31
More information: www.marlenewinell.net

Tuesday, June 17, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Was the Jesus myth plagiarized from pagan religions?

A question from William H

I have a question and I hope that someone can answer it for me. I have heard that the story of Jesus was basically stolen from earlier pagan religions and films such as The God Who Wasn't There and Zeitgeist have both made these claims.

This knowledge did much to help me in my de-conversion process, but now I am hearing people claim that Christianity didn't plagiarize older pagan religions the way many people claim. It seems like there is kind of a battle going on right now at least from what I have seen online as to whether or not this is the case.

I was wondering if someone who actually knows something about ancient history could please tell me what the truth is regarding this matter. Is the Jesus myth actually copied from earlier pagan religions, and if so to what extent? Any accurate sources of information such as links to websites would also be greatly appreciated.

I was just about to come out to my fundamentalist Christian family regarding my unbelief and I wanted to have my facts straight because I know they will try everything they can think of to reconvert me. Many of them do nothing but read book after book of apologetic arguments and a few of them have been to Bible college. I want to make sure that any information that I give them as reasons for my unbelief are accurate, beyond the common sense stuff in which case they are oblivious anyway.

Friday, June 13, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

What can I do? What should I do?

A letter from Patsy

Over the past month, I have been e-conversing with Pastor Tim O’Brien who has some limited national recognition throughout the US. The conversation started because I was upset after seeing how the children were treated in Jesus Camp, and I expressed that to him. As a result, the conversation continued to grow.

He and I are polar opposites. I am an atheist and I have been questioning much of what he does. He has told me in several emails that he has healed the sick with prayer. He says has healed leukemia. He has told me of two incidents where he has prayed and “watched” a leg grow, one inch in front of him and another one inch overnight. He says he has healed back problems. His claims own hearing was healed by prayer when he was 10 years old.

His church sends out missionaries and they have recently been to India supposedly healing at least 12 AIDS patients. They have been totally cured for at least a month, so it is said.

I have never been able to get him to admit he’s taken money for these prayer healings. His non-answer to my direct question leaves me with the impression he indeed has suggested and accepted money. I have been trying to get him to try James Randi’s $1,000,000 challenge. Of course, he won’t do this, because he knows it’s “rigged."

Tbe best email was when he told me something along the lines that it's not so hard "to make a human from dust. All the combined ingredients would cost about $2.79.”

Somehow, with all these interesting beliefs, he manages to stay under the radar. There is nothing about him on the Internet where someone claims to have been cheated out of money for a false healing (at least nothing I’ve found). When I started to write to him and questioned his reports of prayer and healing, he removed comments pertaining to prayer and healing from his website. (Last time I checked he also removed his sermons after I poked fun at them).

This man is charismatic and it’s easy for me to understand how he charms anyone. While I’ve been appalled at much of what he’s said to me, and I’ve expressed that to him, in most cases he’s remained calm. I, however, am haunted with this, thinking he will tell a person who is genuinely sick that he’s healed them.

Is there anything that can be done to stop this sort of action? Am I out of line pursuing this? Should I just leave those who are vulnerable to fend for themselves? I would really like to see an operation like his shut down. I need the perspective of others. Any thoughts and assistance will be appreciated.

I have all the email conversations between us. He is in Missouri and I am in Arizona. His website is www.roaministries.org .

I don’t know of anyone who has claimed to be hurt by this man ... I’m just worried.