hard to breathe

sent in by MJ

I am new to this site. I posted a testimony. It's in the recent articles.

Sometimes just thinking about what has happened in the past 2 years makes it very hard to breathe. I went for so long with Christianity programmed into me that it's really hard. Do I still believe in God? I can't answer that. Sometimes I don't think I do. Sometimes I think He's there. I can't decide.

I was at a bar recently speaking w/ someone. They asked me what I believe in. (why is it that we are all programmed to have to have something to believe in?) I told them. Well, I do believe God exists. They asked if I thought that all would go to heaven. I replied no. They asked if I thought that I would go to heaven. I said with the way I am living, I would go to hell.

Does that scare me? Yes, I would go to hell.

I am so confused right now. I am sure many of you have gone through this. But it's hard. I know that we all have to find something to believe in; even if it's not to believe in something. I know there is no easy answer, there's no easy fix. I made this huge lifestyle change (not living for god) and it hasn't gotten any easier. Christianity broke my heart.

It's painful to see old friends from church and they don't support my decisions. I don't have a huge support system saying that it's okay to make this change.

HELP.

It's hard to breathe.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow your honesty is refreshing. Whenever I doubt that I've made the right decision I go back to the thing that made me re-think christianity in the first place. The inherant contradiction between a God whom we are told is perfect love, and the God who creates a lake of fire to torture his imperfect creation in for eternity if they happen to make the wrong decision. This same God being in control and chosing those who will be saved therefore condemns through inaction most of his creation to hell arbitrarily. There are smaller contradictions all throughout the bible and christianity but this one is just too big to swallow.

Anonymous said...

Hell isn't a real place, it's a state of mind that you live right here. No deity worth worshipping would send people to burn for eternity.

Do a Google search for "New Thought," you may find some satisfactory answers there.

jimearl said...

I went through the same thing years ago. Now after many years of reading, studying and searching for the truth, I no longer have any fears of hell or of missing heaven. Those things are both of the fantasy world of religion. They simply don't exist. We are only assured of the life we all have on earth and nothing more. Life is for the living. Clear your head and live life to the fullest. You won't regret it years from now. I left the church several years ago and even though I still live and work in the same area, the religious leave me alone. I like it that way and even though we do have contact, I am treated fairly by most of my old friends who probably think that I will someday come back to their beliefs. I know I could never go back to that kind of life. I am happier that at anytime in my life and I am 60 years old. Life will get better. The key is study and searching for the truth. You will know the truth when you find it and it will indeed set you free.

Anonymous said...

MJ, believe in yourself! Don’t be afraid to take a look at yourself. Being perfect, forget about it. You as well as everyone else will continue to make mistakes. If you want a purpose, seek to be a better person. What is that? Someone who tries to improve themselves and seeks to treat his fellow man fairly and compassionately and do those things which help the human race. That is how you should define morale; is this good or bad for humanity. That doesn’t mean be a doormat for anyone who wants to walk over you. Law and order is quite important in modern society.

After reading your story, I would suggest you stop beating yourself up. The purpose of life is to live not to prostrate ones self for some magic god/man in the sky. Have a good time while you’re among the living and to those religious people out there screaming that I am just a hedonist, my recommendation does not mean just do anything you want regardless of the consequences. There is right and wrong but there is much grey and it does depend on the situation. The howls of ‘situational ethics’ is deafening here but that is what life is for humanity. Is killing babies (un-born or otherwise) bad, not if you’re god. Read your bible. So even the Xtians believe in situational ethics; they merely deny it.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

MJ,

I feel for your turmoil. It has been about six months since my "big life change" (deconversion) and I too have had similar experiences. I was in the process of becoming a pastor in my church and was leading several differnt ministries full of people that I loved and cared for. I was wrapped up in support.
My situation differs a little from yours in that, the church was not the direct cause of my decision to leave. I was making discoveries contrary to the beliefs I had been running so passionately with, and it rocked my world! I had to make decisions based on the new perspective that I was obtaining. Since then, the support system I refered to previously, and the entire church I attended for that matter, has turned it's head. Oh sure, I have had many, many counsiling sessions with the Pastors and my wife along with several fellow church leaders trying to "bring me back" or to show me the "error of my deception" to frighten me with possable damnation. I have even had the senior pastor try to manipulate my relationship with my wife (who is still a strong believer), all in the name of "love".
All I can say is that the process is hard. I believe that the more sincere to your previous faith, the more difficult it is to "just walk away". I have noticed a pattern in my new life similar to the pattern I had when becoming a Christian. It was similar to a roller-coaster, where in the beggining I had days where my faith was strong and I was confident and then there would be a gradual slide down to the "valley" where I questioned whether I was really "saved" or not. I am experiencing that sort of emotional imbalance now too. However, with time and frequent visits to this site where I am reminded, encouraged, comforted, and educated in the way that seems more true and accurate to me, I feel a greater sense of freedom and confidence. Unfortunately, I have realized like never before, how saturated the world is with this christian worldview. And frankly it's a little scary. Even the people around me who have argued against christianity to me before my deconversion, have now even more, argued against my agnostic/athiest viewpoint. It is a wierd phenomenon, but as I felt like somewhat of a minority as a christian, I can multiply that feeling by a factor of a hundred to my new way of thinking.
Hang in there! I, as well as many others here support you. Oh, and another thing I repeat Gonensanes' comment that Hell does not exist. This was very helpful to me in shaking off the "fear factor" that christian will try to shackle you with.

Keep pressing!
truthbound

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with what you said, Jim Earl.

MJ, I understand exactly what you are going through. It took me about ten years before I felt any peace after leaving my church. But I found it impossible to continue believing a "God of Love" could be so incredibly evil.

Think not only about how He supposedly burns immortal souls in hell for eternity just because we didn't know He was really real; but also how He commanded the murder, torture, slavery, and rape of so many in the Old Testament. That's a weird kind of love!

The only hell that makes any sense is the one you're living in now, and you can get yourself out of it if you just let yourself see how crazy it really is.

Anonymous said...

If there really is a God, and his total concern is of saved souls, it would have been such an easy task for this God to keep up with all those souls himself, after creating the whole universe in just six days, instead of passing the responsibility of soul keeper and judge over to a human transformed into a God as described by the sinful humans that this God supposedly created in the first place. Gen.6:6

And ask yourself why did it take this God over 4000 years before he came up with the Jesus salvation plan. It's all a HOAX invented by the imagination of death fearing, father fearing, emotionally insane men.

We've all been infected by the word written down in a book taken from ancient tablets, just because they lived before us, does not qualify them as having more knowledge than we, at this time in history.

Where the Bible writers made their mistake is by assigning their own personal name to the books of the Bible, had they left their names off, it would have been easier to pass the Bible off as being from a God, had this invisible God left the scriptures for someone to find, with no credit given to the named authors and being signed by God himself, would have been much more believable.

Anonymous said...

why do people "christians" keep coming to this insisting that the xchristians on this site were not ever really christians, how can anyone make that judgement? Is it because they cannot allow themselves to contemplate the possibility that some of us "woke" up and realized that it's all made up?

Anonymous said...

MJ - You can rest assured that there is no such place as hell. You will not be going there when your life comes to an end. You need to stop worrying about it and stop talking to people about there belief systems. We are all human and no one knows the truth. The bottom line is that christianity is not true and you need to find a way to stop worrying about it.

Anonymous said...

The over looming fear of hell is one of the hardest aspects of christian indoctrination to overcome. The questionable love of a god who affords you the freedom to chose your own way in life will turn and condemn your soul to everlasting torment if you don't choose his way. It's all apart of the fear that was taught to you. Your old friends/church members will turn on you, they have to, it's the christian way. Loving isn't it?

Finding your new life is realizing that the old life is unacceptable. There is really no middle ground to occupy during the transition.

Hell and the hateful christian fear tactics will begin to loosen it's grip on you and the undeniable truth that you will discover will make you happier than you ever thought possible! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

MJ

Man, oh, man. I have been very fortunate in my realization into godlessness. God was sort of around in my youth and I was only vaguely inconvenienced with Sunday school for about a year when I was six. The most precious thing I didn’t get was the Fear of Hell-fire, wailing, and gnashing of teeth for FOREVER.

Now, the abstract of hell, I find disturbing because, well, it is disturbing. But it’s an absolutely, unworthy abstract to waste my valuable time worrying about it. I worry more about someone stuffing me into a dark, dank crawlspace filled with spiders. It's real because RIGHT NOW beneath my house I have a crawlspace and there are spiders in it. Crawlspaces with spiders are tangible.

Honey, you got the divorce yet why are you keeping a miserable, mean-spirited in-law around? You’ve relinquished your hold to god but the hold of devil should have gone first. I cannot truly perceive what you are going through but with everything you lost, it is my opinion that the unworthiness that you feel should have gone with it, too.

Beer and melancholy do not mix well together and discussing one’s confused life’s philosophy in a bar would leave anyone feeling a little off-centered. Although melancholy and life crises may not wait for the proper place and time, seeking counsel during daylight hours and from a place where there are less inebriated people might thin out the doubt better.

The Exchristian on this site have your back. They've been there. Stay here. You are not alone or unworthy. Ask questions and question everything until you find the answers worthy of you.

Anonymous said...

So the church members don't support your ditching Christianity?

You self absorbed phony, why did you think they would?

Do you support them?

Of course not, you hate them?

You fraud.

Anonymous said...

Emanuel:So the church members don't support your ditching Christianity?

You self absorbed phony, why did you think they would?

Do you support them?

Of course not, you hate them?

You fraud.

Actually Emanuel, I did think that they might respond with Love, maybe peace, how about patience or thoughtfulness, self-controll or even kindness. But of course this would prove the manifestation of the spirit by exhibiting these "fruits" and we all know that that is a load-a-pucky! I mean, just by reading your post, I'm guessing that your are a christian robot here in an ex-christian forum (odd?), and you have so diligently shown your fruits now haven't you.
Another thing comes to mind from my past (the cult era) that your Jesus said:
"But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell"(Matt 5:22). So I am left wondering, if you might need to get down on your knees and beg for forgiveness AGAIN, or perhaps it would be for the first time, since you appear to be the real phony around here. Or perhaps you didn't get the "real gospel" which your brothers and sisters all seem to have found, or at least claim to have found, in which case, they all think that you are bound for eternal hell!

good luck

Anonymous said...

I think Emaunal comes off as a Christian/Athiest, which he himself proves that he is neither, this would also classify him as being a total fraud TROLL.

Sorry Emanual you're stuck here on this Earth with genuine Athiests, and the is not a friggin thing you can do about it, so just suffer you useless zombie Troll.

Anonymous said...

Emanuel Goldstein: "Do you support them?"

As a person who can separate a person from their religious belief, and therefore, I support all of humanity as a humanitarian... its what separates me from the bigots, who haven't reached that level of mental maturity... I'm not sure this will make sense to you however, based on your level of mental maturity...

Anonymous said...

(So, somebody named "Emanuel" ("God with us"?) comes in throwing bombs!

MJ is the focus of this line of comments, not the bomb-throwing Taliban.)

Hi, MJ. It is hard to shake the past, especially when so many of the people pushing belief on us are loved ones, family members, and friends.

I think the best approach is to celebrate reason, the exercise of which you are vastly capable. Under the chains of religion, the employment of reason only brings punishment. Here (Exchristian.net), its employment brings assurance that the natural world is, well, natural!

The crutch of religious communal emotionalism is characteristic of the rationally handicapped. That is not where you are now.

Anonymous said...

MJ I left Christianity in 1987. Thank God! You may feel confused, but your healing and growth has just taken a giant leap. Do what you have already done (bravely, I might add....it's not easy to go with what you really feel in the face of all that opposition!)listen to your own inner feelings. You will find your way. A book that has helped me enormously recently is, 'The Jesus Mysteries', by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy. This, along with their other books have been a source of joy and inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in a church. I felt like I did not really get it, the spiritual connection to god, and was blown away by some fire and brimstone preaching that scared me to death, and I can say also left scars. My faking it till I made it did not seem to work, and as an adult I continued to attend as I was supposed to but without really an attachment to it. I find myself wondering again about it all, age 45 and still learning, and now sure where I will end up. I feel like I carry a shame /guilt relationship with my "church" attendance in the past. Keep searching, I just don't really know where to start looking except inside to try and figure out my "history" of feeling detached from it and why.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the situation is now in your life, the fact remains that if there is such a god, and christianity is indeed a "personal relationship" as it is touted to be, the truth is obviously not forthcoming to you from this god of the christian bible. Think about it for a minute. Even if you choose to believe in the face of your overwhelming doubt, he is nonetheless content with allowing you to suffer in your current state needlessly with no revelation to you to end your confusion, and no help whatsoever from this "indwelling holy spirit" of his whose job it is to lead you to the truth in the first place. Also, god's allowing thousands of differing and quarreling denominations who are all supposed to be filled and led by the same holy spirit to believe completely opposite, confusing, and contradictory things about him as well as the most important aspects of faith in him are additional proof that this religion is false. These perplexing things are absolutely not attributes of a loving or all powerful diety, but should be considered the final proof to you of his non-existence. My advice to you would be to study the testimonies of believers and former preachers and pastors who have left christianity and apply what you learn to your own experience. Mental freedom awaits you. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Its a bluff. Don't be afraid.

Mike said...

MJ-
"Treat others the way you want to be treated." It is a shame that that simple statement is the one so easily abused and/or forgotten by so-called christians.

I read your testimony and I believe that I would want to be treated the way you treat others. You are what christianity is supposed to be.

Don't be afraid.

muttmutt1978 said...

christianity really did a number on you didnt it? id recommend near death websites. I was so miserable as a christian. It was force fed on me and living in the bible belt i knew nothing else. To me christianity is admitting to the murder of Jesus, a guy who might not have existed at all. there is life outside of christianity, and the God of the christians seems dumb to have thought of Jesus as a solution only a few milleniunms ago when the world is much much older than that. Hinduism and Buddhism is much much older, and what if they are true instead? or what if there is no true religion as ive concluded? learn to think for yourself, and not use the bible as a crutch or fear of hell to think outside the box.

Anonymous said...

My wife keeps telling me it is the people that screw it up, the people are the ones who create all of what should not be going on, and that it should be about what you personally believe. I tell her I understand that, but it is hard to sort through all the stuff with the baggage I carry from my prior experience. I have found that a lot of my frustration with "church" is feeling that other humans let me down, which I am told is the wrong way to look at it. Sorry, but they were the ones I was trying to get something from, so where does that leave me? Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Are they "old friends" or "FORMER FRIENDS"? It sounds like you are lonely, and need some relationships or interactions with some people. there must be somewhere or something in your area that could help provide that for you. Keep looking.

Anonymous said...

These feelings of alienation and fear of hell are the flagships of christianity.I feel your pain and would like to know where people like us can do or go to replace the
co-dependant fellowship the "church" provided. I encourage you to hang in there,and go thru the grief.You are stronger than you think! Thanks for honest testamony,it helped me realize that I'm not alone,...freedy

Mike said...

Emmanuel's comments are just what we have come to expect from the so-called christians and that is exactly why the fundamentalists and the conservatives are the very evil corruption that is destroying the real christianity.

I don't mean to demean your suffering, MJ and I'm sure the last thing you want to hear is a pep talk from a real christian. Just so you know, the so-called christians who have treated you this way are absolutely NOT christians and they make me absolutely sick to my stomach because I am a christian, a real one.

I said in an earlier post that you are what christianity is supposed to be and anyone who would try to make you feel anything less is, quite frankly, evil.

I'm not going to tell you that you should not stop believing, that is a decision that must come from your heart. Believe it or not, this site is a good place to visit because the people here are open minded and understanding. I disagree with just about all the beliefs promoted here but you know what? I love 'em all because even though I still, and always will deeply believe in God, they have accepted me here and have respected my comments. In turn I respect each and everyone of their comments and I love the discussions we get into.

Stick around, MJ, the true christian ethic is ironically here. Everyone here will treat you with respect.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst things about believing in christianity for me, was believing in a system devised long ago that just doesn't work. Prayers go unanswered, christians are hypocritical, christian doctrine is absurd and nonsensical, and christian theology is just plain screwy. I am now free to believe or disbelieve as I will, and I find comfort in knowing that I do not have all the answers. It is refreshing to admit this. Never again will I fool myself into believing in nonsensical theology.

Anonymous said...

MJ - I am currently a youth pastor. I have been in church all my life. No, I'm not an ex-Christian, nor will I ever be one. I was forwarded this web site from a friend. It breaks my heart to read the posts, but I'm not here to posts my rebuttle against anyone because everyone is entitled to their own opinions & beliefs. It just utterly amazes me that everyone in this forum was once a believer...WOW!

MJ - All I can say is that if your having a hard time coming to grasp w/your "deconversion" than you perhaps in your heart truly know that the faith is the truth. First of all, I don't want to even touch up on the word "religion" because I have never been nor will I ever be involved with religion. I have a relationship with God. Yes, with God. You may not feel or believe that right now there is a God, but I wouldn't dare ever say those words because God has truly shown Himself in my life, in my family's life & in my youth group's life.

It's a bit ironic how on this forum a lot of the ex-Christians claim that they have found the truth themselves, but yet many of them have read books about "God Mysteries" and even come here for support altogether. I am in no way, shape, or form knocking that, but it's apparent that it was not a decision based solely on one's individual findings. Instead it was based on influence. We as humans always want support. If we find others who agree with what we do, even if it's just one person, than we feel peace.

MJ - Whether you believe in God or choose an atheistical viewpoint, make sure it's what YOU feel in your heart...not what others are telling you.

As a Youth Pastor, I can only share what God has placed in my heart, but I can't impose them on the youth. Each youth has to search their own hearts & decide what they really believe in.

I will share this with you, I have seen the hand of God move in such a powerful way! I know that I know that I know that there is a God...the one & only true God! All this talk about religion, well, that really doesn't matter. What matters is our personal walk with the Lord & how we live a life worthly of the calling.

God is love! I know many people cannot fathom how a God of love would condemn His own creation to eternal damnation if they don't choose Him, but I want to offer up this example to help you understand it a bit more.

Parents love their children and raise them to follow their examples, their beliefs, their way of living. However, not all children choose to follow the upringing they were given. A lot of children choose to abandon their morals/beliefs & they go a completely different route. Parents, still love their children & are always waiting for them with open arms, but the parents have to let the children make their own decisions, which will cost them consequences. The parents dont' want their children to get hurt & to suffer or to potentially die (for those who choose drugs, alcohol, gangs, etc.), but they did everything they could & now the children have their lives in their own hands. If a child dies due to an overdose, a shooting, a murder, or any other catastrophic reason, this doesn't mean the parent didn't love them & didn't try. Well, this is the same with God.

He did give us the freedom to choose, which is why He won't meddle in, but for our choices there are consequences that we will have to pay.

Now, there's always the reply of "Well what if I don't do any of the above. What if I am a good person who lives my life doing good, but I just don't choose to believe in anything." To this I rebuttle I ask, "If there's no God & if we're just here to live our lives & one day die, then how did we just come about? How did humanity begin? What happens when we die. Is that it? Life is just over? I die & that's it? I'll never again know what it is to live?"

Perhaps the Christianity's worldview of the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, Final Judgment, & the New Heavens & New Earth, seem fiction & sound like a fantasy, but one thing I tell my youth is this..."If we're wrong & everyone else is right, we lose nothing! But if we're right & everyone else is wrong, they lose everything."

I can only speak for myself when I say that I truly have a relationship with the Lord. I have seen firsthand how He has come through for me & my family in our most dire times of need. I would be a liar if I stated that all my life I have wondered if my faith in God is real. Sure everything may sound like a fantasy or like a huge mumbo jumbo, but I haven't based my faith upon all that. My faith is based upon my relationship with the Lord & how I have experienced Him. I have seen the glory of God. He HAS answered thousands of prayers for me. He HAS spared my life so many times. He HAS spoken to me through His Word & through other people. Yes the Bible has many different authors, but so do our history books, yet no one ever questions if George Washington really was a human who became our 1st President. None of us were alive during many of the battles or wars that we were taught about in school, yet we believe it. No one has ever met Aristotle or Nostradamus, yet many people worldwide believe in their teachings even after many of their prophecies have never come true. So, what makes the Bible different? Again, it all boils down to this: what do you believe in? What do you feel in your heart? Not what do the ex-Christians on this site believe in or what they feel in their hearts...no, what do YOU believe in & what do you feel MJ?

I know what I believe in & what I feel in my heart & there's no one or anything who could ever persuade me or influence me to negate my faith. God is real! There is a heaven & there is a hell. Now, every person has a choice once again to believe it or not.

So, MJ, I leave you with this...you know in your heart what you feel. You know why you're having a hard time trying to breathe...you know...so make your decision according to what you know is the truth because we only have 1 life & 1 chance.

Take care & God bless you.

Anonymous said...

The brainwashed fundy little boy said:

As a Youth Pastor, I can only share what God has placed in my heart, but I can't impose them on the youth. Each youth has to search their own hearts & decide
what they really believe in.

How about come back a show us what God has placed in your heart.

My heart has blood, it's a pump, it does not think, nor express emotions, as described in the bible, surely God would have known it's your brain that expresses emotions. But the people that wrote the bible, also thought that the world was flat and God and Jesus lived above in the clouds, and that the Earth was the center of the universe, plus they thought that the heart controlled all thought and emotions.

You're just repeating useless rethoric from the bible. Youth Pastor means to us, momma's little goody two shoes pretty boy Jesus cult worshipper. Grow up Peter Pan.

Anonymous said...

Youth Pastor???? I bet your mother and father are soooo proud of you.

I bet Jesus would have liked to have you around when he was living, to help explain all the answers to the universe to the peons in his church. All churches have made a mockery of the true teachings of Jesus, with their assigned titles and labels and programmed hypocrisy. If there really is a God, he will come back and burn down and destroy all the manmade churches and temples and mosques, because of the falsehood man has made religion into. And you're helping perpetrate a lie and a hoax, and you're the brunt of the joke. Shame on you hucksters.

Anonymous said...

God is love?
As a parent I love my children unconditionally. They may mess up, go their own way, and suffer consequences, but I can tell you one thing...as a parent, I would never, ever, ever, subject my children to an everlasting burning hell for making human mistakes. God is love? I don't think the scriptures prove that one.

Anonymous said...

“I have been in church all my life”

That statement alone speaks volumes for me

“I have never been nor will I ever be involved with religion.”

This an attempt at credibility by parroting off a cliché …not very original…not to mention false


“apparent that it was not a decision based solely on one's individual findings. Instead it was based on influence.”

It is “apparent” that he didn’t bother actually reading anything else on this site


“Whether you believe in God or choose an atheistical viewpoint”

there are only 2 choices in his mind… his religion or atheism


“If we're wrong & everyone else is right, we lose nothing! But if we're right & everyone else is wrong, they lose everything."


Yawn…Pascal’s wager….Polly want a cracker?


“ There is a heaven & there is a hell”

“...so make your decision according to what you know is the truth because we only have 1 life & 1 chance.”

One last final threat of hell



Why are you here? If it is to bring converts back to your cult…you are not welcome!

Or are you having questions yourself?

“No, I'm not an ex-Christian, nor will I ever be one.”

“I have a relationship with God”

“ I have seen the hand of God move in such a powerful way! I know that I know that I know that there is a God...the one & only true God!”

“My faith is based upon my relationship with the Lord & how I have experienced Him. I have seen the glory of God.”



I too once said all of those things and more…..now I see the cult for what it is.

MJ: You are suffering from the effects of the brainwashing. This is why it is so hard to leave and why it takes great inner strength to leave the cult. Notice our little fundie left with a thinly veiled threat of hell.

That’s all they have..threats….take away the fear and what is left?

As far as a “support system”….

I urge you to join the forums…I found it very helpful.

And many on here would be more than happy to correspond with you via e-mail


Welcome to freedom!!!

muttmutt1978 said...

one life eh? ive been here more times than you can count christian youth pastor. oh yeah animals have souls btw- something you refuse to acknowledge as a christian. oh and theres other things out there besides atheist or christian. theres agnostics pantheists buddhists and dao(ists) too I feel much better after i left christianity, youre not convincing me chrstianity is right. accept jesus or go to hell isnt free will anyways. it shows who the real wolves are. its the christians themselves.

Anonymous said...

Youth pastor.
It used to be that a youth pastor could fool a whole group of youths and keep them fooled, but now with the Internet, there is a good possibility that more than a few of your youths are more well read and certainly more educated than you. You are an antique. most of your youths will go on to learn CRITICAL THINKING.

They will examine your religious clichés, your relationship with God, your personal walk with the Lord, the one & only true God, your, "If we're wrong & everyone else is right, we lose nothing! But if we're right & everyone else is wrong, they lose everything." (Pascal's wager), the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, Final Judgment, & the New Heavens & New Earth, and they will go beyond your emotional investment in your cult. They will ask the hard questions, and demand LOGICAL answers.

They will read about the damage your mysticism does. (http://exchristian.net/2/2006/01/is-religion-root-of-all-evil.html) ,and how it stunts your intellectual growth, and turns people into parrots like you, saying things that are based on magic, and an ancient necessity to believe in a magical God. They will realize that your Pagan religion is no different from any other of the thousands of stories that ancient men made up, and are still making up to explain our existence.

Youth pastor, your kind will always be around, but science has proved the bible to be just a collection of ancient writings, full of contradictions, and ridiculous illogical concepts.

A lot of your youths will discover that we aren't supposed to be miserable in this life in order to attain the next, and that they can live a perfectly happy life without PRETENDING to know what God is or what it want's.

They will discover that they are wiser and happier NOT learning what you have to teach them. They will survive your brainwashing, and learn to think.


It is not too late for you either. Perhaps you could get with the brightest of your group, and let him or her explain to you, what is real and what is not.
Dano

Mike said...

. . . . And the masks come off. The youth pastor came in here and and shared some heart felt beliefs to a person who has been having a hard time. Just like everyone else has been doing for MJ. But the moment someone comes in and expresses a belief that is different from yours you all attack him like a pack of wolves. Isn't this exactly what you all constantly accuse the christian fundies of doing? The youth pastor had an opinion to share and he did so without being disrespectful to anyone else's beliefs and you all bit his nose off and spit it back in his face. So much for being fair, respectful and open minded.

One of Truthbound's responces to the so called Emmanual was,

"and you have so diligently shown your fruits now haven't you."

Well, I guess you all have, haven't you?

Anonymous said...

I read all the comments posted to my email, which was solely intended for MJ, but all I can say is this...None of your comments have offended me. I know who I am in God, yes in God, & it is evident that although all of you who responded claim to be "FREE" you really aren't because if you were free indeed you wouldn't harbor such harsh, unexplainable anger & hate towards Christians. You all have made your decision on what to believe, but MJ was asking for help because he's confused. This is why I responded, yet EVERYONE but MJ, took it upon themselves to respond (on MJ's behalf) so rudely & so harshly. It just shows that there are still a lot of repressed feelings & emotions. I can only hope that 1 day you will all truly know & understand the meaning of freedom. My words were only directed to MJ, so those of you that found it necessary to respond need to understand that backlashing & responding so forecefully towards Christians doesn't offend us or bother us because we truly are at peace w/our decision. It's so sad that adults could be so angry & so hateful, but it just goes to show that the same way you all claim Christians are trying to spoon feed lies & hoaxes upon "poor innocnet souls" you all are trying to enforce your non-Christian viewpoints to others, not to mention trying to persuade all those that come here to "live a life as an ex-Christian." How sad!

P.S.
I am a woman...not a man...which goes to show the "fundi" mentalities. So sad!

webmdave said...

"...you all are trying to enforce your non-Christian viewpoints to others..."

Really? We are expressing our viewpoints on our website. No one, absolutely no one, is being forced to log on to this site and read the material. It's a private site that is publically available.

It seems more like YOU are trying to FORCE your thoughts on others to me.

cdmon said...

Youth Pastor said: “It's a bit ironic how on this forum a lot of the ex-Christians claim that they have found the truth themselves, but yet many of them have read books about "God Mysteries" and even come here for support altogether. I am in no way, shape, or form knocking that, but it's apparent that it was not a decision based solely on one's individual findings. Instead it was based on influence.
MJ - Whether you believe in God or choose an atheistical viewpoint, make sure it's what YOU feel in your heart...not what others are telling you.”


It appears to me that YOU are also trying to influence MJ. Are you not trying to re-convert MJ? Are you not also trying to persuade this person to be a xian?

Youth Pastor said: “Parents love their children and raise them to follow their examples, their beliefs, their way of living. However, not all children choose to follow the upringing they were given. A lot of children choose to abandon their morals/beliefs & they go a completely different route. Parents, still love their children & are always waiting for them with open arms, but the parents have to let the children make their own decisions, which will cost them consequences. The parents dont' want their children to get hurt & to suffer or to potentially die (for those who choose drugs, alcohol, gangs, etc.), but they did everything they could & now the children have their lives in their own hands. If a child dies due to an overdose, a shooting, a murder, or any other catastrophic reason, this doesn't mean the parent didn't love them & didn't try. Well, this is the same with God.”

Get real YP, it is NOT the same with god? Decent human parents would never subject their children to eternal punishment. That is something your god could use some people skills on. So based upon what I’ve read about your god in the buy bull, I too have to question his alleged love.

Youth Pastor said: “He did give us the freedom to choose, which is why He won't meddle in, but for our choices there are consequences that we will have to pay.”

Well again your wrong YP, according to your buy bull he created the evil for the day of evil. Whom he did foreknow also did he predestinate. According to most popular xian thought, your god already knows… so he has already made up his mind regardless of how much you wish to think you will spend eternity with him. Sorry YP, there goes your free will theory. But I ask you this, if HE won’t meddle in, Why are you meddling in?

Youth Pastor said: “I would be a liar if I stated that all my life I have wondered if my faith in God is real. Sure everything may sound like a fantasy or like a huge mumbo jumbo, but I haven't based my faith upon all that. My faith is based upon my relationship with the Lord & how I have experienced Him.”

You’re experiences cannot be justified by anything other that blind faith. There is no empirical proof of your claims. This reason it sounds like fantasy and mumbo jumbo, is because it is exactly that.

I’ve asked many others like you who have visited this sight, to arrange a personal appearance from Jezus. If you could do this one thing, I guarantee I’d believe in him, and so would many others here. You would convert a bunch us in one fell swoop. But all who I have asked can only extrapolate his alleged existence through blind faith. Sorry, no evidence, no belief.

And it sounds to me at times you have also doubted. Okay now that I can believe. Ah, a little glimmer of honesty in the quagmire of all the rhetoric. If you have truly experienced HIM or have a “relationship with HIM” the way you say you have, should there be any doubt at all? Sounds to me like the ground you base your faith on is shakier than you would like to admit.

Youth Pastor said: “Yes the Bible has many different authors, but so do our history books, yet no one ever questions if George Washington really was a human who became our 1st President. None of us were alive during many of the battles or wars that we were taught about in school, yet we believe it. No one has ever met Aristotle or Nostradamus, yet many people worldwide believe in their teachings even after many of their prophecies have never come true. So, what makes the Bible different?”

The other history books don’t threaten us with everlasting fire if we don’t believe what it says without question. Can you say the same about your buy bull? I know I will never burn in hell for not believing in George Washington. And though there is ample evidence that GW existed from many, many sources. The main source that states jezus was who it says he was is highly questionable. Just read its history.

What of the prophecies jezus made? Namely that he would return with his kingdom during the lifetimes of disciples? That prophecy did not come true, did it? That pretty much makes either jezus a false prophet or the people who wrote the bible suspect don’t you think?
That being said, either way we can easily state that the bible is fallible and therefore NOT god’s word.

Youth Pastor said: “I know what I believe in & what I feel in my heart & there's no one or anything who could ever persuade me or influence me to negate my faith. God is real! There is a heaven & there is a hell. Now, every person has a choice once again to believe it or not.”

Good for you. And much luck to you on your path. You have yet to prove your god is real… if you could, you would not have to have faith (pretend). Heaven and hell is merely conjecture based on the fear you've been taught.

But back to the choice thing, the buy bull definitely points to determinism and not free will.

Youth Pastor said: “so make your decision according to what you know is the truth because we only have 1 life & 1 chance.”

What if the Buddhists or Hindus are right? That means you will be reincarnated, and have to pay some wild karma for teaching these young minds to fear and doubt. Perhaps you’ll come back as a dung beetle, and have to roll up some of the stuff you’ve been spreading.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Ok lets get this straight...we do not hate god or christians, mainly because it's just a concept that you've been (INFLUENCED BY PERSUASION INTO YOUR BELIEVE)

Influenced by persuasion meaning that you had to be coerced either by a threat of Hell or by a promise of Heaven and under duress by undue influence.

Now you christians can deny this fact all day long, but it is truth and it has not set you free, it has put you in bondage, you must now perform with a pretence that what you've been programmed to believe is the truth. This is mind control. All you christians are under the spell of a mental image planted in your brain by meticulous repetition. You have allowed yourselves to accept the religious dogma in hopes of an imaginary promised reward. You have essentially forfeited your common sense for an promise that cannot be kept. You were not born with a knowledge of an almighty god, you had to be influenced by a parent, friend, or colleague by association, in order for you to allow and trust that the information(dogma)to be viable and sufficient for you to believe. In short form, Monkey See Monkey Do.

Learning to walk, learning to speak the local language is rote mimicking from memory, the brain stores information it has received and uses it to put you into a comfort zone to mingle you and your brain with other members of like thinking with the same programming so as to be accepted, and not look indifferent or out of place.

You christians coming on here are just repeating something that you've heard someone else say before. Had you been raised in Iraq, you would be coming on here saying "Allah is the only God" and not speaking in English, but in speaking in Islam.

All you christians are all phonies, from the very moment that you accepted christianity, you became phonies with a fraudulent message to be passed on from your mental programming. We have tested the programming and have found out that religions are false, they serve no purpose but to control and deceive the gullible victim, it seeks gullible victims, religions thrive on the gullible and naive, how else can it survive?

Look at how you've allowed something that was written down in a book over two thousand years ago control what you think in the year 2006. If you believe that your God heals the sick, through prayer, then do not ever go to a hospital or doctor, you will be going against your faith in your god. And never get into an automobile, ride a donkey or camel to work, show your real faith in travel 2000 years ago. Never use modern technology it would not be gods holy will to use modern methods.
For whatever needs you have, use PRAYER, nothing works better than the power of prayer. Fast and pray always these are the commandments set out by the law of god.

2006 time to grow up and pull that little bugger out of your head that has been implanted by other people, not implanted by a god EVER !!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, youth pastor.
You People, infected with the Christian meme just don't get it. You all use the same rhetoric in your attempt to proselytize here on this EXCHRISTIAN website. You all tell us how sad you are that we are not like you, and when we try to help you see your way out of the mind numbing cult that is devouring your life, you accuse us of being angry and hurtful.

You wrote: ("P.S, I am a woman...not a man...which goes to show the "fundi" mentalities. So sad!"). Your accusations of "cruelty to Christians," probably comes from the habit of using the "poor little defenseless me" card.

If you want to see what a really strong woman, capable of using the brain that the creator gave them, sounds like, hang around this site and read comments by females who are not brain dead from the Christian virus. Some of the most profound, powerful, concise, and compassionate writing I have ever seen, is by the girls.
Dano

Anonymous said...

I am a woman...not a man...which goes to show the "fundi" mentalities. So sad!

A woman who believes in a book that says she is less than a dog.

Anonymous said...

Why any female or fellow homo would believe the crap in the wholey babble is beyond me. Like South said, we are treated worse than dogs. That is why I can't say much about those folks thrown out of their idiot xain schools for being gay, having gay parents, etc. What the hell did they expect. Jeez.

The thing that kills me when these buybull babblers come on here is that they talk about how "loving" thier gawd is. Whata joke. Yea, kiss your gawd's ass or bam, straight to eternal torment. Yep, loving all right.

Youth pastor says believing is a "choice." I am surprised he said that! He makes a choice to believe in his fairy tales, not some divine insight or gift from jeebus or message from the holy spook? WTF? Couldn't he get thrown our of his church for that?

Regards, carol

MJ said...

BTY..MJ is a female as well. If you, YP, would've taken the time to click the link in the first sentence then you would've realized why I ran away from xianity in the first place. YP, you told me to follow my heart. Thanks, my heart tells me to run far, far, far away from xianity. I don't want to be hurt by xianity anymore. I came to this site becuz I was angry and hurting. It's hard to just leave xianity behind when it's been programmed into you for so many years. That's why. I am not having doubts about leaving the faith. It's kinda like I am a struggling alcoholic, one who knows they have a problem but are so addicted they can't set the bottle down. I was so addicted to xianity, it's hard to just set it off to the side. Now, as for the 1 life, 1 choice, 1 chance thing. The bible even says that xians will be turned away as well. Many will say Lord, Lord... He will say depart from me for I never knew you. What baffles me is a FATHER who turns his own children away and pretends not to know them. I know we as people suffer consequences for our actions on earth. An alcoholic and drug addict, loses friends, family, house, everything, plus they might end up dying from disease becuase of the choices they made. Someone who cheats on their spouse, will suffer the heart ache and other things hat goes w/ that. Someone who commits crime is punished on earth by going to jail. So, if we suffer consequences on earth for our misdeeds, why should we suffer for an eternity. When Hell is shoved in our faces, what makes you think we have free will? We don't, we have a choice, yes. Choose God, live good life, you MIGHT go to heaven...Choose life w/out God you are going to HELL. So really it's never been about free will. Free will is being able to choose without having any hinderances and not being held back. Some xians choose God, simply becuz they are scared to death about going to HELL. I realize, YP, that your heart does break when you read what people have to say about xianity. Does your heart break becuz of what xianity has done to us or becuz we don't believe in exactly what you belive? See if I was a xian that found this site...my heart would break becuz of the horrible things that most of the people here have had to endure because of fellow GOD followers. So, YP, thanks for stearing me in the right direction!

Anonymous said...

MJ,

Woman to Woman, thanks for sticking it way up up up there to YP. *snickers*

The manner in which these fundies talk to us, it's as if we lay with them at nights.

MJ said...

Yeah not a problem south2003. I normally am pretty gentle. I am just get upset when xians try to convert me again. I left for a reason. I would be stupid to go back. I learned something in customer service that was listen to the customer before you try to fix the problem. If xians, would listen to what we are saying they would stop jumping to conclusions and stop spouting the same garb that we have heard for what seems an eternity.

Anonymous said...

MJ, I apologize for mistaking you for a man. You stated, "I just get upset when xians try to convert me again." I was encouraging you to follow your heart because you've been through a lot within the church. You've been in leadership positions, so I know that it all still sits near to your heart.

You stated, "It's hard to just leave xianity behind when it's been programmed into you for so many years." That's where the root of the problems lies! Our relationship with God is an innate passion & desire & not something that's "programmed" into us, though many would object.

It does hurt to know that the majority, if not all, of the ex-Christians on this website have been so hurt & broken by the church itself, but that is why God explicitly states in His Word, "Damned is the man who places his confidence on another man."

We're all human. We all make mistakes whether Christian or non-Christian. But this is why we have to ensure that we put our eyes on God & only God because man will fail us. It's horrible that all of this has occurred within churches, but all I can say is hypocrites are in & out of church & sinners are in & out of church! We don't live a perfect world & we'll never be perfect. Every one decides for themselves, individually, what to believe in & what not to believe in. Everyone on this website obviously at 1 time believed in God for whatever reason, whether raised in the church or through a loved one, but it seems that the only reason every one has left is because of what "someone" else did to them. What about God? Why should He be to blame because of someone else's doing?

To each it's own, but I know that everyone here has had experiences & memories with God that no pain, hurt, or anger can erase because a lot of you were in church for years! Although you have claimed to have "deconverted," deep down inside the truth lies & one day it will come to light.

Anonymous said...

Anony said:” But this is why we have to ensure that we put our eyes on God & only God because man will fail us."

I guess you do not appreciate the affection that is expressed in the form of a hug or a kiss, from a fellow human being.

To you, holding hands and skipping through the rain is only enjoyable if you do so with an imaginary friend, because they will never let you down.

You do not feel a close connection to THIS life, looking into the eyes of a newborn child, nor find joy in the laughter that echoes when kids are playing and having fun.

You do not feel moved by the sound of beautiful music, as created by the minds, ears, and hands of humans.

You can only look at artwork as merely being an inspiration from a great ghost in the sky, and not possibly as an expression of people’s dreams, talents, and abilities.

You do not read wonderful words in books and relate to the places that it takes you in your mind, because the words were came from imperfect authors.

You do not drive a car or live in a house, because that would require you to trust the human hands that built them to be capable of making things that are safe and secure to take you where you need to go and to sleep in a comfortable shelter.

In addition, you do not recognize the efforts of millions and millions of people who care for those less fortunate and in dire need of a REAL helping hand in this world.

Your logical deems people that give aid and comfort to other human beings as being nothing but untrustworthy, sin filled, failures. However, your invisible force hidden in the darkness of the cosmos is more trustworthy and capable than all of mankind combined.

You do not accredit those of us who work everyday, to provide attainable answers of hope to those in serious need of answers, instead you limit us with your stories of doom and gloom.

You think anyone that works with their minds and hands everyday to save life, give life, and change lives for the better, are not to be trusted to help anyone because we did not use magic and prayers.

You do not acknowledge that there are millions and millions of us, that are guided with a selfless mind, which seek to be an example of compassion in action everywhere we go. Yes, People can and do, improve the quality of life for their fellow man all over the world, with hard work and determination.

You do not appreciate that the simple gestures of kindness and understanding can bridge the gaps between us as a result of our willingness to live in harmony with other human beings.

You are also denying the love that is exchanged on a daily basis between those of us who seek this joy as another source for living life well. No, to you this human emotion is not worthy of trust, because it is rotten at its core.

You have no respect for the time, money, effort, experiences, studies, ingenuity, integrity, tolerance, equality, knowledge, blood, sweat, and tears behind all the greatest achievements that we humans are capable of producing.

You reject all of this, even though you benefit from it everyday of your life.

Your quote above proves your illogical statement to be nothing but false propaganda. People like you encourage all others to see nothing but the failures while demanding they follow that which is fictional as a means for giving this life a (pointless) purpose.

Plus, if you follow and adhere to that quote as the truest expression to describe what you believe validates your (un)proven faith, then that would mean you have never received any science based treatments at a doctor's office or in a hospital. That would also include never having taken man made medicine of any kind, to aid you in healing or recovering.

If you were bit by a poisonous snake, then you should be unaffected because you are completely trusting gods’ promise of being immune to poisons.

DO you trust your faith enough for you to accept only healing from the unknowns above rather than seeking help from your fellow man?

Only one of these is real and proven to provide you with an actual treatment that could save your life in a matter of minutes.

If you had a horrific auto accident that left you with a life threatening condition, where would you go for treatment? Do you head over to your church OR do you go to the emergency room?

Do you seek faith to save you from death or do you go to the hospital where they use many man made inventions and techniques that have been developed throughout the modern history of mankind, which have resulted in thousands and thousands of life saving measures?

Who do you trust when you or someone you love is facing a life sustaining choice as to where to place your trust for being saved?

To you, brain tumors, cancer, heart disease, broken bones, pneumonia, are all treated by which of these two options:

MAN or god?

One of these uses its alleged powers to threaten us throughout life for not believing in it or not being obedient enough, while it sits up on a big hidden pedestal waiting for you to pray harder for a little rain, while people down here die of poverty from the severe drought.

The other uses its power to save you unconditionally, without ever asking you if you believe in it, or not.

I have a hard time with folks like this showing up to make empty statements about ignorant things that they themselves, do not adhere to. (Be honest!)

My kids fail me everyday, but I love em' to no end and I do not require them to worship me, nor do I ask them to stop trusting their family, friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers, etc... simply because I HAD a problem with religious induced fear based on doubts and fantasies from following an ancient form of mind slavery.

It is impossible to put your eyes on god; that is a fact.

I trust what I can put my eyes on; it is called humanity. As for me and my house, we shall surely observe reality.

If only the mindless religious abusers in this world would stop demonizing mankind by using their bible thumping chants to incite mistrust amongst the people who inhabit this planet, maybe we might stand a chance to attain peace.

So, let me break it down.
The majority of the worldwide populations leading with authority are made up of those with religious/faith based beliefs, and yet the world continues to be in the sad and misguided shape that it is in, that should tell you something about the incapableness of the church and all its sponsoring governments.

Awaken to the possibilities of this life and the lovely people that trust ourselves and each other to honor our existence.

Only then, can we actually change the world to be a better place to live because it is shared by everyone, equally. That means accepting responsibility for your part in the work that needs to be done as it can only be done by those who are actually a part of it, us humans.

I can deduct from you statement, that you live in America, where most people do not appreciate anything. They take it all for granted and they are taught to worship power and guided to print the name of their higher power on the object of greed as a part of their divine plan to save souls while they spend more money at god’s chosen store; Wal-Mart.

PRAISE MAN!

Anonymous said...

Dear MJ,

Welcome to the fellowship of freedom, here at Exchristian.net!

Lots of wonderful people in this forum and the webmaster is a brilliant man for knowing there was a need for those of us living without support, in letting go of a previous belief in christianity, or any religious belief, as well as the many people that are not or have not been guided by any mythical faith concept, whatsoever.

I wanted to say that it does get easier with each passing day, but I am not you. I can only say, I know what you may be going through.

Take a deep breath and relax into this amazing life that we are all a part of. Laugh at yourself naked. (Even if you look good)That is the way you came into this world, celebrate your peace!
(Uhm...that sounds funny and is open to interpretation, lol!)

As an atheist, I benefit from yoga and meditation to help me focus on inner peace and to clear the unwanted junk out of my mind. It is good for your body too. Nothing spiritual in my practice, but I am a very energetic person that loves to put my efforts towards improving the human conditions on this third rock from the sun.

I agree with Don B. who said: "Believe in you!"

Most importantly, TRUST yourself.

It is okay to say; I Don't Know. As a matter of fact, no one has possession of the ultimate answers to life's biggest questions.

I personally think it was an important part of our evolutionary proccess and these questions were required to further our understanding of ourselves and the natural world we live in.

The answers invented by the ancient sagemen did not help me and trusting the bible was like living in a dark room with no door to enter or leave from. Eventually, I took the task of defining my life's objective into my own hands.

The big questions keeps us searching to define our existence to the best of our abilities, and it urges us to survive without ever knowing exactly how or why.

But, since we are here we should strive to live for what is attainable, knowable, lovable, and enjoyable. When you gotta cry, let it all come out. Scream and dance, but, don't hold it in to become the burden of pain and anger.

No more pressure to appease anything grand hiding from us in the wild beyonds and we do not need to be saved from this life either.

We are born of eternal compounds and we stay eternal, in my opinion. We may not be aware of that fact when it is all said and done in the final act of death, but we remain as constant as the elements of all matter that is found in everything, eventually becoming a part of the vast winds blowing through the universe, constantly changing and growing into the span of time.

I might be wrong, but I like the connection I have and may continue to have with the wonders of nature.

Hope is here and now, with us!
Be someone that has nothing to prove, and you will improve the world.~Melissa Be the change you desire to see in the world around you.~Ghandi said it I think?

Stay strong and learn to start accepting yourself and don't worry about what you don't know.

Nice to meet you and I look forward to seeing you around.

P.S. Hello to Dave8, Madbuni, South, jim, muttmutt,gonensane, and everyone else! It has been a while but as always, I sure am glad to see everyone is still here...May you all be well!

webmdave said...

Another Anonymous Parrot said: ..."hurt & broken by the church itself, but that is why God explicitly states in His Word, 'Damned is the man who places his confidence on another man.'"

I can't imagine what Babble verse Polly was thinking about. The only one that I remember even coming close to what he "quoted" is Psalm 118:8, which says: "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

(Rhetorical question: Why is it that a guy who's been an apostate for several years knows the Buy-Bull better than a suppposed "True Believer?")

Now, as far as it being "horrible that all of this has occurred within churches," I'd agree, especially in light of the fact that Jebus himself is supposedly building his church:
Matthew 16:18 "...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

I think Jebus might need some lessons in church-building, or, more probably, the whole religion is bunk.

I vote for the "bunk" explanation.

Anonymous said...

First of all:

Mellisa, wonderfully communicated! Will you marry me? :)(jk).

I wanted to comment on anony's post.

Anony said:It does hurt to know that the majority, if not all, of the ex-Christians on this website have been so hurt & broken by the church itself, but that is why God explicitly states in His Word, "Damned is the man who places his confidence on another man."

and...

Anony said:We all make mistakes whether Christian or non-Christian. But this is why we have to ensure that we put our eyes on God & only God because man will fail us.

While this may have it's degree of truth somewhere in it, I must say that it certainly does not apply to my situation at all.

In fact, it is quite the opposite. I desired to KNOW God's will for my life beyond a shadow of a doubt, and how that should play itself out in daily life. I dedicated myself to searching what is supposed to be "His word" in order to figure this out, leaving open the idea that man just might have altered Gods message because of the mere fact that man is supposedly "fallen" and "sinfull" in nature. So why should I trust what they say?

I figured that God would beable to speak for himself through "His word" , that if indeed it was "Holy" and that His desire should be that He reveal himself to me, and that if I seek Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, that the truth shall set me free! Indeed it has!

I "put my trust in Him, not in man" as you say, and began to discover that man had certainly failled me by selling me an idea that I was anxious to accept. So anxious in fact, that I turned off any manners of educating myself beyond the constraints of biblical theology. I had given myself completely to it's message and decided to cling to it with utmost dedication, to defend it's promises to those who were objectable to it (knowing that they were unable to see) and to share it passionatly with anyone bound to listen (because God had positioned and prepared thier heart for such a time as this) I bought into the motto "One life at a time, one world in a lifetime".

But as irronic as it is, I began to discover the truth about Christianity and it's origins. The deeper I went, the more horrified I became until it finnaly broke the shell of ignorance that I had embraced.

You are right, it is hard to accept. To be able to admit that you have been fooled so deeply. I still struggle with it to this day. You are also right in saying that man will certainly fail you, in that they will lead you into a man made belief that can alter your mind and behavior.

The men and women that I know from the church never once hurt me to cause a drastic change in my faith. It was not until after I announced my position, that things began to change, and understandably so. I regret it, but I also remember how they think and why they think the way they do, which helps me to understand why it is so difficult for or relationship to remain the same.

Point is, that my heart was for God, and I was willing to face excrutiating pain to leave the comfort of my position to be truthful with myself, with God, with my friends and family, and this has cost me almost everything (which is more simmilar to what Abraham had to do, as well as Moses and many others, who were instructed to leave behind the world as they knew it to pursue God's will in light of hardship.)rather than sit in a pew and be brainwashed by the pulpit(man). You see, I didn't walk I ran from man and search for God and yes, I have been set free.

I cannot attribute this freedom to a "God" however, because in truth, I have not found any revelation, devine or otherwise to ascribe to. I've had to walk on my own and force my eyes open to see the world we live in for what it is, not what I hope that it could be or even should be. To try and change the world is to stand in opposition to it(religion. To come to terms with reality and try to harmonize with it, is "life", however short that term will be.

Believe me anonymous, we understand your plight. We have all been there before. It is painful to listen to you caught up in the same nets we have finnaly broken free from. We wish you well, and truly hope to see your testimony to freedom one day on this site.

I recently ran a google search on my old Christian debate posts, and they are sill up on the web for all to read. Where I was defending the faith as hard as I could. It is almost embarassing to see and read those posts now. But hey, I was doing what I thought then was right as a "soldier of Christ".

Please consider what you are truly trying to sell here before you leave any more artifacts behind that may come back to haunt you later, particularly those posts that create more hardship for those who are struggling enough as it is. Try being compassionate for a change. MJ is not your trophy to be had, she is a real live human being who knows what she is talking about. Peace-

Craig - aka: Truthbound


-Craig-(aka: Truthbound)

Anonymous said...

Melissa, (And other rationalists)
Check out, http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/ I think you will like it.
Dano

Anonymous said...

That is:

http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/

MJ said...

So, when God said that it was not good for man to be alone and made Eve. You think he was lying? You that we should keep our eyes on God and not man. Then why did your God say it was not good for man to be alone? INCONSISTANCY!!!! If your God didn't want us to have faith in man then why did he make them? Ya'll keep spouting we are only human, we came from sinful nature so don't trust in us. Well, really. Stop making so many stupid excuses!

MJ said...

Truthbound said: "Please consider what you are truly trying to sell here before you leave any more artifacts behind that may come back to haunt you later, particularly those posts that create more hardship for those who are struggling enough as it is. Try being compassionate for a change. MJ is not your trophy to be had, she is a real live human being who knows what she is talking about."

Thanks. I need to comment. I have been around this forum long enough to see that xians come here to try to win a battle that they cannot. None of us will be their trophy. We will not shut up, we will not stop fighting for the right to be able to choose. If xians would just get their heads out of their own ass and listen to what we are saying, they might, just might e able to see "their truth" for what it really is. B/S.

Hypocondriacs (sp?) can believe that they are sick and then they get sick. Our minds are powerful things. If we can believe we are something hard enough, we can see the results. Xians believe that their is a loving God so much, that they might be able to hear him, see him. I think that all of us here on the forum have been cured from that illness. We realized that what we were trying to believe in was a lie.

I am glad to be mentally healthly!!!!

Mike said...

Yp came in here to offer some words of kindness to MJ, her first post certainly didn't sound to me like she was trying to win any trophy but to offer some words of kindness; the kinds of words that we never hear from the 'fundies' that love to come in here try to demonstrate their superiority for having God in their lives. She didn't say anything (at least I didn't notice anyhing) to try and sway MJ back to the faith. What it seems instead what she was trying to do was let MJ know that was that the way she had been treated by the 'christians' in her old church were not necessarily the ways of a true christian and that she should follow her own heart (not the misguided) hearts of others.

When christians talk about suffering from original sin they are completely misunderstanding what the bible originally meant by 'original sin'.

The word "sin" was used as a translation for three different things. Although I can't at this moment recall the the second two, the first word or statement that was translated to mean "original sin" was not sin at all but a loss of complete security.

When we are all in the womb we are completely at one with our mother. we have no knowledge of hunger, cold, lonliness or discomfort of any kind because all of that is taken care of through our 'one-ness' with our mother.

At the very moment of birth we lose all of that and for the very first time and from that time on throughout our lives we are constantly struggling to return to that state of one-ness; that total lack of want or need. That is really what the bible meant by suffering from original sin and that interpretation has been so completelu distorted (by man, not by God) that now, according to the fundies, we have become a race of evil doing sinners that must repent or go to hell.

The fundamentalist have completely corrupted the bible by interpreting word for word absolutely literally and have therefore missed the point all together. Anyone who refuses to believe as they do will obviously have to go to hell.

the exchristians (please forgive the generalization) have done exactly the same thing. They have interpreted the bible, word for word absolutely literally (much more accurately by the way) and see that as being utterly rediculous. In each case the absolute truth has been completely missed.

I think everyone here knows the difference between good and evil. The first century writers of the books of the bible however, did not have as good a grasp on what was good and evil. They didn't truly understand God and therefore were writing, not necessarily to encourage others to truly find the path of one-ness, the path of re-connecting with that perfect peace and security with God, but to scare the shit out of their enemies.

So, look within yourself for how YOU might achieve that one-ess and perfect peace and security with God. No one else can or should try to tell you how to acheive that.

You can't tell a fundy that their bible is a load of crap and expect to successfully defend your stance by using the same book you just said was crap.

Someone help me out with a little quantum theory here. (I only got a C in physics). Was it Schrodinger's cat theory that suggested reallity doesn't exist until it has been observered? And then it only exists to that particular obsever. If I am understanding that correctly it means that one person's reality cannot be reallity for anyone else because everyone's observation of that "potential" reality will be different.

Anonymous said...

Mike: "When christians talk about suffering from original sin they are completely misunderstanding what the bible originally meant by 'original sin'."

Mike, just inquiring, if you don't believe the bible is the inerrant word of god as a fundamentalist would. How do you ascertain the "intent" of what "should" have been extrapolated from historical reference. You discount original sin as it is misinterpreted, however, you seem to accept original sin as a necessary facet of your belief system. The words "original sin" do not appear in the bible, the entire concept is interpretive. What makes your way better? You appear to start from a more gently persuasion, wanting to see the best of the bible, and you interpret the word accordingly. You are using eisegesis of the word, which is a direct contributing factor that has established 34,000 different christian denominations in the world at this time.

Mike: "the exchristians (please forgive the generalization) have done exactly the same thing. They have interpreted the bible, word for word absolutely literally (much more accurately by the way) and see that as being utterly rediculous. In each case the absolute truth has been completely missed."

Mike, there is no Universal "absolute" truth, it doesn't exist from a species who can only interpret and perceive this reality from a subjective position. So, no one can establish a totally "objective", absolute truth. However, there are "some" who want to "impose", their beliefs as if their view is "absolute", controlling organizations pushing absolutist rhetoric.

Mike: "I think everyone here knows the difference between good and evil. The first century writers of the books of the bible however, did not have as good a grasp on what was good and evil. They didn't truly understand God and therefore were writing, not necessarily to encourage others to truly find the path of one-ness, the path of re-connecting with that perfect peace and security with God, but to scare the shit out of their enemies."

Its kind of presumptious for you to assert that those who lived closest to the timeframe a Jesus, etc., would have lived just didn't correctly record events. And then, you attempt to interpret what "should" have been, based on their words. If you didn't have the bible to begin with, how could you have made any determination at "all" regarding christianity. Its all based on historical writings, 2,000 years removed.

You state that god is the re-connection to a state of perfect peace devoid of attachment. That is a very buddhist thing of you to say. However, lets see how far you are willing to go down this chain of thought. Do you assert that non-existence is the presence of a metaphysical god? Where does "non-existence" reside, in this reality, or an alternate reality?

Is it possible to hold non-traditional christian views in general, and still be considered a christian...

Mike: "So, look within yourself for how YOU might achieve that one-ess and perfect peace and security with God. No one else can or should try to tell you how to acheive that."

Is oneness an intrinsic search for peace, disassociated from god and nothingness or is one attempting to find nothingness and non-existence as an achievable state of being based on mind states. You make a push for individual choice, but base it on your personal claim of truth, that's illogical.

Mike: "You can't tell a fundy that their bible is a load of crap and expect to successfully defend your stance by using the same book you just said was crap."

Uh, Mike, that's absurd. One The logic looks similar to this; "If this, then this..." and is much different than "this is, therefore".

Lets review... If "x" (the bible is the inerrant word of a perfect god or fill in the blank), then "z" (why so many contradictions).

That's different from;

The bible "is", the inerrant word of "god" per christianity in general, therefore, if contradictions exist, then god did not inspire the bible...

Now, the first example, prompts the defender of the bible, to "explain" the apparent contradictions so prevalent in the bible. In the second example, presupposes the bible as the "inerrant word of god". Personally, I don't presuppose, I start out with an "if" statement, and place the burdon of proof on the shoulders of those making extraordinary claims of an omnipotent god inspiring ancient writings that should be heeded in modern civilization. So, Yes, Mike, I can tell a "fundy" to put up, or shut up if they are attempting to make a Univesally Absolute claim based on their "presupposition" of an inerrant bible.

Mike: "Someone help me out with a little quantum theory here. (I only got a C in physics). Was it Schrodinger's cat theory that suggested reallity doesn't exist until it has been observered? And then it only exists to that particular obsever. If I am understanding that correctly it means that one person's reality cannot be reallity for anyone else because everyone's observation of that "potential" reality will be different."

Mike, I am not sure where you are going with this, but it appears you are looking between objectivism and subjectivism.

Metaphyiscal Objectivism: "Metaphysical objectivism is the theory that there is an underlying reality that exists independent of our perception and consciousness. This is in contrast to metaphysical subjectivism."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_objectivism

Okay, this means, a reality exists somewhere "external" to the "self" (both in a physical and metaphysical sense), and beyond the bounds of thought, & perceptual experience. This is the root of any religion, philosophy, or belief system who believe there are "Absolute Universal Truths", which reside in some alternate reality, which according to many people, can not be accessed without being clouded by "subjective" human perception.

Make up your own mind on the topic, but ask yourself, how someone came to figure out there exists a "Totally" Objectivist view using their "subjective" and "clouded" perception. I have seen people of belief and non-belief accept Objectivism, lets just say... its logically fallacious, and I put it in the realm with blind "faith", in something than can't be "known". Objectivism is nothing but a "word", to describe existence and the limits of existence. I can count numbers for the rest of my life in the hope that there exists "infinity", however, "infinity" by definition means I will never be able to reach a "finite" end... Personally, for those who stick themselves in this omnibus loop, I would enjoy nothing more than making them count endlessly until they prove their unprovable point, eventually they may come around to the total absurdity...

Metaphysical Subjectivism: "Metaphysical subjectivism is the theory that perception creates reality, and that there is no underlying, true reality that exists independent of perception. One can also hold that it is consciousness rather than perception that creates reality. This is in contrast to metaphysical objectivism."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_subjectivism

In short, this appears to be what you are describing... perception is reality, and reality doesn't exist, until after someone is born, as they have no reference until they are born. In objectivism, "this existence" will "always" be here, before we get here, and after we leave, it is independent of our perceptions, experience, and consciousness...

Now, subjectivism states, that once one dies, reality ceases to exist. This leads into "thought", consciousness, etc. Objectivism is more of a Universal theory, attempting to justify a "universal absolute truth", and Subjectivism is more of a self-focused theory of reality, creating an explanation for reality based on the Individual. I have toyed in other posts regarding these topics, to see, how someone would defend one or the other. In the end, I let the topic die, and just nihilated the universe as mere shades of gray, based on our subjective perception :-)

However, if you want to delve into a deep conversation of "reality", and your own personal theory to see if it holds water, then perhaps someone will answer the post. Personally, I don't see how people, with "subjective", and unique levels of perception based on nature and nurture are going to come to a "univesal" objective truth. But hey, perhaps, you can get around that, by suggesting AI is the answer to humanities' limited and non-conformed perceptions. By the way, I have "never" taken physics, and yet, I can research and understand the laws because I use logic. Math based science, is nothing but quantitative symbolism of ideas. Ideas can be logically reduced and analyzed. Its how I think, but, many others work from the math side first, and apply it to the idea. In either case, one doesn't have to be a physicist to understand if something makes logical sense.

Mike said...

When I am referring to original sin it is not the fundamentalist interpretation of Adam's original sin in the Garden of Eden.

Adam's original sin was not the eating of the forbidden fruit it was the separation from God.

Now I was also referring to three different words in the original translations all of which the word "sin" were used for. These are the words:
1. Paraptoma - The original sin, the alienation of the creature from the creator. The substituting of the creature for the creator

2. Hamartia- The state of life in which we live. Life that misses the mark. The life separated from the love that frees one, leaving us shackled in the self-centeredness of our insecurity.

3. Parabasis - The bad deeds that flow from our fallen state, revealing our sickness. (Spong, John S. This Hebrew’s Life)

This is how sin is supposed to be interpreted throughout the bible but it is not and that is where all the problems arise.

Now, as I understand the Buddhist belief of achieving total separation, I think that was how you thought I meant it. Well that is exactly the opposite. In relation to Hamartia, the goal is to re-establish total oneness with God, to regain and reconnect that perfect union we once had with God which is not entirely dissimilar with what Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus when He said “Do not marvel that I say to you, you must be born again,” (John3:7). Prior to which John, through the response of Nicodemus, made the first jibe at the fundamental literalist naiveté’ “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and born?” (John 3:4).

Honestly, everyone, I am not trying to win anyone over to my beliefs. My church stopped giving away free toaster ovens for that back when microwaves came out and they were too expensive. I just see an alternative way of understanding Christianity that doesn’t rely on the literal translation of the bible and just want to share it.

MJ said...

Mike I appreciate you trying to stand up for what you believe and and by trying to keep us tame on this forum. However, I didn't ask for help from any xian. I asked for support from other people who have gone thru what I am going thru. Please don't take this as me being mean-spirited. I think that you are really confused about your beliefes. Mike, you stated that the bible is open to interpretation and that is why we shouldn't take it literally. Well, the bible says to love others. I guess that when xians see that they interpret it as treat sinners w/ disrespect!

Mike said...

MJ
that's the biggest problem, I think. Everybody is hell-bent (excuse the pun) on telling others what the bible means. And BTW although I have not gone through anything as terrible as you did and I would never try to belittle your experiences, but I am an ex-catholic. I did not believe the catholic interpretation of God. But I didn't abandon God, I abandoned the catholic church and discovered God on my own terms. I'm not confused about my beliefs, I am learning about them.

I haven't come to my present understanding of the bible through my own deduction. I have read several different books by several different authors both believers and non-believers. I have had several very in depth conversations, many of which took place right in this forum. And I am far from finished.

Bible study is something I enjoy doing but you don't need to study the bible to know God.

Hang on a sec:

MJ, I just went back and read your testimony. Did someone at any of these churches ever tell you that you had to be in THEIR church to be part of God?

Did it ever occur to you that when Jesus said He would be sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves he might very well have been referring to you?

You had a really bad experience because you were constantly surrounded by ignorant sinners (wolves). And what did you do? Did you gather those young kids who were gay and lesbian and looking for a place to be accepted for who they were? No! You allowed yourself to be scared off by the wolves and then you blamed God for it!

MJ! GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!

Go back and read your own testimony! You got called, Girl! Screw those other church idiots, start your own church and start it with a group of kids and out casts who have no where else to go because no one else will love them except for you. As I said to you in my very first post,

"Treat others the way you want to be treated. It is a shame that that simple statement is the one so easily abused and/or forgotten by so-called christians.
I read your testimony and I believe that I would want to be treated the way you treat others. You are what christianity is supposed to be.
Don't be afraid."

MJ, go and find those kids and all the others just like them that you loved for who they were and make them a church. Make for them a church where they can be themselves and loved by God. Teach them the God you KNOW! Give them the love and unrequited accceptence that they have been longing for. Don't follow anyone else's rules,

SCREW all the denominations and start your own church full of the TRUE love of Jesus and start it in your basement or a rented community center or under a picnic awning at the local park if you have to and then build it up from there!

Anonymous said...

Mike: "Now I was also referring to three different words in the original translations all of which the word "sin" were used for."

"It is entirely presumptuous for the informed to misdirect the uninformed by suggesting: “Let's check the original Greek” when there exists no such opportunity. Conversely in the interest of balance, there are passages which read exactly the same in almost all known manuscripts (John 1:1). Is it then permissible to conclude that these instancies are faithful reproductions of the original composition? The point attempted herein to be made is simply that unless one actually possesses the Original of any copied work (legal, diplomatic, or biblical), one should refrain from enouncing with ontological certitude the exact nature of the unseen progenitor. Words have clear definable meanings and original does not mean similar -- it means original."
http://www.cob-net.org/compare.htm

Mike, I attempted to elicit in the last post that there are "no" original scripts to work from, and that everything that is currently being reviewed is based on translations of translations. Also, let me explain a few methods people apply to biblical interpretation.

Eisegesis: "Personal interpretation of a text (especially of the Bible) using your own ideas"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Exegesis: "The word exegesis means "to draw the meaning out of" a given text. Exegesis may be contrasted with eisegesis, which means to read one's own interpretation into a given text. In general, exegesis presumes an attempt to view the text objectively, while eisegesis implies more subjectivity."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis

Mike: "Adam's original sin was not the eating of the forbidden fruit it was the separation from God."

Is that an Eisegesis statement, whereby you place your own "interpretation" onto the words of the multi-translated scripts, or is that a "literal" exegetical interpretation based on the Hebrew multi-translated scripts. Personally, I don't think you can have a totally "objective" view of the scripture. Why? Because you must take into context the "subjectivity" of the writer. If you apply your "objective" definition (subjectively influenced) for a set of hebrew words to create the tautology/definition of what makes "sin" a "sin", then you have to apply it equally to the same words throughout the bible. In short, there wouldn't exist, three different meanings of "sin".

Why is this important? If one believes "god" wrote the bible or directly influenced the bible, then, the word for "sin" and its meaning would be "exactly" the same throughout the bible, free of the need to "interpret" using eisegesis. The sheer fact there are multiple options, removes the "god" as divine author from options.

Mike: "This is how sin is supposed to be interpreted throughout the bible but it is not and that is where all the problems arise."

However, the fact there isn't a full exegetical method for connecting a "word" or "idea" to a discrete "meaning", leaves the bible up to interpretation as one can apply any of the three meanings to the reference they prefer, and typically its in their best interest. This is the result of how the bible was constructed over a few thousand years. Words changed, the definition of a word also changed, the languages changed and certain words didn't have an exact counter-part in another language so, approximations were made, etc., etc. Today, if a chinese person wanted to convey a thought or idea, directly into english or vice versa, there are many circumstances where this isn't possible, its a matter of linguistic study that proofs this.

Mike: "Now, as I understand the Buddhist belief of achieving total separation, I think that was how you thought I meant it."

Yes, that is how I meant it :-)

Mike: "Well that is exactly the opposite. In relation to Hamartia, the goal is to re-establish total oneness with God, to regain and reconnect that perfect union we once had with God which is not entirely dissimilar with what Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus when He said “Do not marvel that I say to you, you must be born again,” (John3:7). Prior to which John, through the response of Nicodemus, made the first jibe at the fundamental literalist naiveté’ “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and born?” (John 3:4)."

Hopefully, by the foundation laid, you'll understand that I am going to bring up "eisegesis", as... you have chosen "one" of the "three" possible definitions of "sin" to assign to your example. Would the same results be extrapolated if I were to use one of the other two "sin" definitions... If I were to entertain, the notion that you were able to discern through omniscience, exactly what the author was attempting to convey, without the original text as proof, and through the multiple levels of definitions available of the word sin, and through the transliterations and translations between languages with the inexact matching of symbols and meanings throughout history, and through the politics, influences, and agendas of the non-scholars who have had their paws on the "translatinos", and on top of it all, your own subjective lenses and knowledge which creates subjectivity, I would suggest that hamartia requires an "objective" definition of life...

Mark: "2. Hamartia- The state of life in which we live. Life that misses the mark. The life separated from the love that frees one, leaving us shackled in the self-centeredness of our insecurity."

What is the "Objective", "State of Life" in which we Live? Does every person on this planet have the "Exact" same Objective state and quality of Life, or are we "Individuals" with unique Natures and Nurtures which define our Self and our "I"... What is the "Objective", "Mark", of which you speak? Does everyone have the exact same "Purpose" in life? If not, "should" everyone be assimilated and focused on attaining this "Mark" in a defined "Objective", "Life"? Would the Attempt to 'assimilate' humanity towards a common "Mark", be the removal of individual freedoms and the right to obtain happiness based on their own unique understanding of the "Mark" in "Life"?

In "The life separated from the love that frees one, leaving us shackled in the self-centeredness of our insecurity." Buddhism in general from what I have read, describes the detachment from worldly objects, in the effort to find total freedom from the worldly shackles of self-centerdness and thus, by detachment one has overcome "insecurities" in life, and thus found peace. One must overcome their "insecurities" (conscious and subconscious), in order to detach oneself from the shackles of life. Just to be clear, the distilled message is... Lose the psychological "desires" of the world, in an effort to find harmony with the Natural universe. As, not all wants are needs, and wants become desires (like an apple on a tree), and desires cloud our ability to reach peace in our lives.

The "Life" in your small description, can be interpreted in multiple ways. However, may I presume that "The life separated from the love that frees one, leaving us shackled in the self-centeredness of our insecurity.", means, that "Life" represents our "biological" state (psychological desires as worldly people), which separates us from finding a true "Objectively Perfect" state of Peace/Love (typcially the peace/love that resides in a transcendent reality by christian tradition, which can't be logically "known"), and that once "freed" of our biological "defectiveness/quirks", we can "experience" true Love/Peace...

Again, I see similarity and differences between Buddhism and Christianity, but the same thoughts are there. Let me compare and contrast and you tell me what you think.

The differences I see, are that in Buddhism, a person doesn't declare themselves biologically "deficient" or "defective" as christianity by tradition does, hence, "sin" - our inability to overcome our biological states which cloud our ability to receive Objective Love and Peace. Buddhism places a goal of detachment, and in a more positive aspect challenges the individual to detach themselves from psychological desires or unhealthy attachments, which remove them from naturally occurring inner peace. No need to "search" for some external entity to find that peace or love - it must be experienced within.

Christianity, teaches, that one must "forego" the "biological self", as we are beyond "hope", and hope to endure through our defective lives the best we can, with the hope that one day, we can die in our naturally biological, sinful state and "possibly" find that Objective "Peace and Love", in a "transcendent" reality where a deity resides. The difference, is that one must live their lives with low self-esteem, self-respect, self-worth, due to their "fallen" natures, that separate themselves from "true love", which resides in a non-reachable transcendent reality. Now, tis true, that many christians don't buy into the bible, as... many don't even read their own bible. However, notionally speaking, "sin", is one of those fundamental aspects of christianity "taught" to everyone at one point or another, as it is what drives the need for the ritual of baptism. Therefore, most all members of christianity at a basic level, understand that they are "perceived", by everyone they attend church with, everyone in their entire denomination, everyone in their larger religion if pertinent, as "Naturally Defective", and thus, "sinful", with no hope of recovery, without Jesus' saving grace.

Hope that makes things more clear. Its the doctrine itself, i.e., the formula of salvation, and the depraved nature that no one can escape that makes christianity one of the more antagonistic belief systems to humanitarians who believe a person can achieve high levels of inner peace and love while still living on this earth. I don't need to die, to find love and peace in my life, I can find love by self-acceptance and honesty through introspection. I can take control of my life, and with "Predictability", remove unhealthy attachments or abuses that interfere with my attainment of inner peace. The doctrine of christianity in itself, creates a mental image of the self that is depraved and sinful in nature, and thus, many children seek abuse to "resolve" to the "position" in life, they have been taught.

There are many psychiatrists who would assert that millions upon millions of people waste vast amounts of time and energy attempting to make the "reality" of their lives, "conform" to the unreality of Myth/Objectivist Ideals. I don't attempt to create some ultimate perfect state of reality or mythical state of being, and then force my Natural state of being and nature into that mold... Perhaps, I see reality... in my own humble subjective manner, but... I can live with that, and live while loving and caring for myself as nature seems to have provided me the tools to accomplish that task, and I refuse to ignore my natural gifts in this life, so that I "may", obtain greater benefit in a transcendent obejctive reality once I die...

Mike: "Honestly, everyone, I am not trying to win anyone over to my beliefs. My church stopped giving away free toaster ovens for that back when microwaves came out and they were too expensive."

Well, if your church isn't trying to get converts and new members, how's it going to become the next dominant force in the world? Seems your church needs to refine its mission statement, and expand globally with a new strategy. The Catholics kept Rome, and are still using the same tried and true method of out-reach projects to gain world dominance, they haven't declared open war on the world as of yet, but... they are a "nation" and are part of the U.N., which means they get a vote in "global affairs", and "political influence"... The RCC never went away, Constantine I, may have died, and the gov't may have dissolved and crenated back to a localized area of Rome, but... the "power" that supported Rome, The RCC, is still a powerful force in our everyday lives, and its had competitor religions and offshoots since CE, and... no one has toppled or overcome their geopolitical influence... for example;

"Aid agencies have called the Vatican "indifferent to human suffering"

"Family planning organisations caring for Kosovan rape victims are calling for the Vatican's status at the United Nations to be reviewed."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/341833.stm

Mike: "I just see an alternative way of understanding Christianity that doesn’t rely on the literal translation of the bible and just want to share it."

However, Mike, once you open yourself up to using eisegesis, you open the proverbial pandora's box, for "every" other person, for good intent or ill intent to use the scripture for their own purposes... The passages of the bible, state that non-believers are not to be respected, christianity by doctrine/bible is exclusive... The only manner to find inclusion, is to remove the "exclusive" factors, which establish christianity as a unique religion... If you remove those "exclusive" factors, which by definition, establish christianity as a unique religion, then you have dissolved your religion... When I say, exclusive factors, I mean, acceptance of Jesus as the true savior, etc., etc. It really sucks, to want to be friends with non-christians, while having to think of yourself as "naturally defective and sinful", and everyone else "condemned" to eternal damnation...

"John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Somehow, that just doesn't seem appealing to one who believes they can find inner peace while living today...

MJ said...

That's just the problem Mike. I don't want to have anything to do w/ god. yes, I was hurt. I left the church for that reason. It took over a yr to start living my life. Church demoninations start becuz of different interpretations, some start becuz of disagreements. All denominations of xianity are tainted. I am not going to start a church baised on my beliefs or moral system. Besides, I didn't run away from those teens. I was pushed away from them. Those teens made a choice to stay. Who am I to take them away from that? NOBODY. They just learned on their own that jesus isn't real. I just came to terms that god isn't real. It's been hard.

Anonymous said...

Mike: "SCREW all the denominations and start your own church full of the TRUE love of Jesus and start it in your basement or a rented community center or under a picnic awning at the local park if you have to and then build it up from there!"

Dissolve the exclusivity of religion and start a secular outreach program? How novel. Perhaps, even start an online community where outcasts and people of different beliefs and levels of knowledge can come together to commune, and... give it a name, like... I don't know, something like... This web-site for instance...

Mike: "Treat others the way you want to be treated. It is a shame that that simple statement is the one so easily abused and/or forgotten by so-called christians.
I read your testimony and I believe that I would want to be treated the way you treat others. You are what christianity is supposed to be. Don't be afraid."

I really don't agree with this premise... "Treat others the way you want to be treated." I personally, don't welcome christian fundamentalists to treat me as they treat themselves, I don't need the abuse they give themselves, I'm looking for happiness, not suffering on this planet with a bunch of people who have accepted their fate as "Naturally Defective", and looking for an early release in life through death, so they can finally find that "peace and love", they've desperately been looking for all their life...

Perhaps, we should treat others as they treat us, as we harbor an inner understanding of peace, and further attempt to "channel" the negative acts of others towards more "positive" behavior, if that behavior is not apparent. I don't respect those who don't respect me, and I make every attempt to shape another persons' behavior through understanding and help, it just seems more productive. How can we shape and form another persons' behavior, probably best accomplished through dialogue... kinda' like what we are doing now, online...

Mike: "I did not believe the catholic interpretation of God. But I didn't abandon God, I abandoned the catholic church and discovered God on my own terms. I'm not confused about my beliefs, I am learning about them."

Actually, Mike, you are attempting to build a living philosophy, which is a positive thing. However, you have made decisions up to this point in your life, based on "one" word. That would be the word "god". How do "you" define "god", which is indefinable, and how do you use the non-existent definition of a metaphysical being, to make decisions in your life. Is your god different from Zeus? How do you know? Is god what someone wants to "subjectively" create? Or... is god a Universal Objective deity, that we can only experience through our "subjective" perceptions... Nothing like creating the living philsophy, after making major decisions in life, but... better late than never.

Perhaps, Mike, you are like many other people, who have never been given the information that would allow you to come to these terms earlier in life, and you have had to live and make decisions based on fractured information. Its the realization that major decisions in life have been made on baseless pretenses, where the results have led to self-abuse, and frustration that makes people so anti-religious. Religions, don't attempt to "teach" the "truth", they "tell" you their "truth", and its either comply or fly, there is no middle ground... You are either with the group, or you are not, and you are treated accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Hi MJ, I agree that starting a church doesn't seem... right... How does a person start a church, if they can't "pick out" a god of their choice.

Church:
--One of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs and forms of worship
a place for public (especially Christian) worship;

One must have a god(s), in order to worship...

--Church service: a service conducted in a house of worship;

One must have a location where people can come and conduct worship rituals for a god(s)...

--Perform a special church rite or service for; "church a woman after childbirth"

One must have a god(s), that can grant authority so that lay persons can perform rituals...

--The body of people who attend or belong to a particular local church; "our church is hosting a picnic next week"

One must have a god(s), so they can congregate with others of like belief, in order to commune...

wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Churches aren't based on "values" or "morals", they are based on the belief and acceptance of a god(s) authority. There are 4,000+ god(s), that have been cataloged throughout history, and can be picked out to create a church.

Perhaps, there is a tried and true method for choosing the right god(s), for the right mission. I would assume one would have to have "knowledge" and get to "know" each god(s), in order to pick out the right one. Now, how does one get to "know" a god, that can't logically be contacted, because they reside somewhere in an entirely separate transcendent reality :-)

Hope you are doing well, in your journey to find the right path for you. Take care...

Mike said...

Dave8: "It is entirely presumptuous for the informed to misdirect the uninformed by suggesting: “Let's check the original Greek” when there exists no such opportunity.

Dave, how can possibly say that with a straight face? I just went back right now and Googled all three of those words and got the Greek translations. (Apparently, Parabasis has since become a term more commonly used in Greek theatre so that was a little harder to track down).

Dave8: “The point attempted herein to be made is simply that unless one actually possesses the Original of any copied work (legal, diplomatic, or biblical), one should refrain from enouncing with ontological certitude the exact nature of the unseen progenitor.”

Yes, that is the point and that is why I am trying to say when I say that the bible should not be interpreted literally (unless, of course, you have the original manuscript).

Too many people have lost their faith because they did not believe the stupid interpretations that others were making and insisting were the absolute truth, usually for no other reason than to affirm their own power and hide their own insecurities.

Dave8: “If one believes "god" wrote the bible or directly influenced the bible, then, the word for "sin" and its meaning would be "exactly" the same throughout the bible, free of the need to "interpret" using eisegesis. The sheer fact there are multiple options, removes the "god" as divine author from options.

You got me backwards on this one. Or I did anyway. I meant that the word “sin” was used to translate three different meanings.

{Mike: "This is how sin is supposed to be interpreted throughout the bible but it is not and that is where all the problems arise."} Yeah, I had that turned around. There were three different definitions, for which the word “sin” was used. And, yes, I will concur that is an eisegesis interpretation.

Dave8: “What is the "Objective", "State of Life" in which we Live? Does every person on this planet have the "Exact" same Objective state and quality of Life, or are we "Individuals" with unique Natures and Nurtures which define our Self and our "I"... What is the "Objective", "Mark", of which you speak? Does everyone have the exact same "Purpose" in life?

Everything in the universe is relative. So whatever is the mark for me is not going to be the mark for you or anyone else. That is why the bible should never be translated literally and have those interpretations forced upon anyone else. The opinions I express in this forum are my relative opinions that I wish to share with others so that they may read something that gets them thinking and headed off on their own path.


Dave8:”Well, if your church isn't trying to get converts and new members, how's it going to become the next dominant force in the world? Seems your church needs to refine its mission statement, and expand globally with a new strategy.” My church gets converts by leaving our doors open and saying “welcome” to whomever chooses to come inside. We don’t tell them what to think we instead share with them what we think, if they happen to ask.

We do community outreach projects like providing a hot meal once a week to the homeless. Should any of these homeless care to come back for a Sunday service they are welcome to do so. I teach karate once a week. It’s open to the public and the small fee goes to equipment, insurance and to help fund other outreach programs. I don’t preach about God while I am teaching but if someone asks me a question I am happy to answer to the best of my knowledge or refer them to someone who can better answer them.

A man came into my class last week and said, “ I’m Jewish, do you have to be Christian to take this class?” My response to him was, “ God welcomes all of us but if you have stinky feet I have some Gold bond in my bag you can use.”

In short, we don’t recruit, we open our doors and we welcome anyone who comes in with open arms.

Anonymous said...

Can God differentiate between a Jew, Muslim, Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist, etc. I wonder how he does it? I know, he searches everyones heart.

Anonymous said...

Dave8: "It is entirely presumptuous for the informed to misdirect the uninformed by suggesting: “Let's check the original Greek” when there exists no such opportunity.

Mike: "Dave, how can possibly say that with a straight face? I just went back right now and Googled all three of those words and got the Greek translations. (Apparently, Parabasis has since become a term more commonly used in Greek theatre so that was a little harder to track down)."

Mike, the words are interpreted using eisegesis, you concurred, so, no need to respond to this one.

Mike: "A man came into my class last week and said, “ I’m Jewish, do you have to be Christian to take this class?” My response to him was, “ God welcomes all of us but if you have stinky feet I have some Gold bond in my bag you can use.”"

And, if the man had walked in, and said, "I'm an Atheist", would you have replied... "God welcomes all of us...", as that would obviously make the Atheist "unwelcome", not only by you, but by your god as well... Also, not that I want to get into the difference between Judaism and Christianity, but many Jews "envision", their god, much differently than the Christian version, its as if the two gods, are "different" ;-)

Anonymous said...

JusWondering wrote:

"Can God differentiate between a Jew, Muslim, Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist, etc. I wonder how he does it? I know, he searches everyones heart."
Posted by JusWondering to Letters to the Webmaster at 1/17/2006 02:08:17 AM

Hey JusWondering, why would God need to search everyones heart, when he made the heart, and knows ahead of time what is going to be in it? JusWondering.
Dan

Anonymous said...

WEBMASTER wrote: Another Anonymous Parrot said: ..."hurt & broken by the church itself, but that is why God explicitly states in His Word, 'Damned is the man who places his confidence on another man.'"

I can't imagine what Babble verse Polly was thinking about. The only one that I remember even coming close to what he "quoted" is Psalm 118:8, which says: "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

Webmaster...please read Jeremiah 17:5...it is there!

Again, all these posts are so sad! Everyone here claims to be free & that they have left God, yet there's such a dire need to discuss all the memories & experiences in the church over & over, quote Bible verses, get advice, etc, which only proves that every single "ex-CHRISTian" truly isn't an ex-CHRISTian.

As a Youth Pastor who has seen the hand of God upon my life it is evident that the words of 1 Timothy 3:1-4, are literally seen in this website & to all of this I say...May the Lord have mercy & compassion.

Anonymous said...

Good ol' Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 17:18 - Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.

Jeremiah, is conjuring up evil through his god. Oh, sorry, this is the Old Testament, the Jews believed YHWH was Supreme and universal, and did it all, to include good and evil. My how things change in the New Testament, there must have been some outsourcing, and a new "evil" meister was brought in to assist. YHWH needed a break from all that over-time.

Well, I suppose we could attempt to believe this myth, however, I wouldn't trust Jeremiah, he was, just a man, and we know what the bible says about trusting in man, right.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "Again, all these posts are so sad!"

I understand that it makes you sad that we have not all adopted your theology. To me it's sad when a person cannot accept that there are other points of view; i.e. that it is incumbent upon each of us to determine what is true and what is not, to the best of our abilities. We disagree with you, Anonymous. Calling that "sad" is actually quite arrogant, don't you think?

Anonymous: "Everyone here claims to be free & that they have left God, yet there's such a dire need to discuss all the memories & experiences in the church over & over, quote Bible verses, get advice, etc, which only proves that every single 'ex-CHRISTian' truly isn't an ex-CHRISTian."

That's complete rubbish. Again, it seems you cannot accept the fact that we disagree with your theological views. We discuss Christianity here (as well as other religions) for a variety of reasons; not, as you insinuate, because we have lingering beliefs in what we now view as mythology. I understand that the latter explanation would be more comforting to you, but it has no relation to reality.

Anonymous: "As a Youth Pastor who has seen the hand of God upon my life..."

You have observed things that you attribute to an invisible all-powerful sentient being. I suspect that each occurrence that you attribute to god requires you to infer that the event was impossible or unlikely in the absence of said supernatural influence. In absolutely every such claim that I've discussed with believers, this inference involved a huge "leap of faith," and very frequently a naive view of probability. Consequently, I view such claims as very dubious, and of essentially zero value as evidence.

Anonymous: "...it is evident that the words of 1 Timothy 3:1-4, are literally seen in this website & to all of this I say...May the Lord have mercy & compassion."

Again, you come across as very condescending. Do you actually believe that you have some authority to direct your supposed invisible all-powerful sentient being? Do you have any credible evidence at all that your prayers (petitions of this hypothetical being) are heard by anybody/anything but yourself?

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."

So basically you cannot trust your family, friends, clergy, president, pope, checkout girl at the quick mart, and especially not any scientists. You can only trust the voice of "god" inside your head. What a sorry state you would be in if you were actually that paranoid and untrusting. What if that voice gives you authority to kill, as god does many times in the bible, don't you think it may be wise to consult another human in that case? Or are you just going to do whatever you think, err, what god thinks is correct? Believing in a god that can tell you what to do is a dangerous thing, because you can justify any action, circularly, in your own mind.

And in response to your assertion that we are not ex-christian at all simply because we talk about the bible still, I call BS. We see it as a duty to society to oppose such a tool of ignorance. We see your faith, and any other fundamentalist faith, as nothing more than fuel that stokes the fires of strife within this world.

And finally, you wanted us to read 1 timothy 3:1-4 as a representation of this website. Let me clue you in, you meant 2 timothy 3:1-4, and why would you think this website was otherwise?? You believe anything that opposes the bible is evil, even logic and reason.. You would fail to believe your own eyes if you saw proof of the errors in the bible, because you derive truth from your faith. We find truth in things that can be proven and shown to another person, and anything beyond that is pure imagination or wishful thinking.

Tootles

webmdave said...

Jeremiah 48:10 "A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!

Oh Mr. "too stupid or chicken to sign as anything but anonymous" who happens to be a self-important youth pastor.

Every person who ever leaves a mind-bending cult needs to talk about it. Go to college - take psychology 101 - it'll do you worlds of good.

Anonymous said...

1. Dr. Rex Curry showed that the USA's early Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag) used a straight-arm salute and it was the origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis). Dr. Curry helped to establish that it was not an ancient Roman salute, and that the "ancient Roman salute" is a myth. http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html The myth is still repeated in modern efforts to cover-up Dr. Curry's discoveries about the Pledge's poisonous pedigree.

2. The original Pledge began with a military salute that then stretched out toward the flag. Historic photographs are at http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html and at http://rexcurry.net/pledge_military.html In actual use, the second part of the gesture was performed with a straight arm and palm down by children casually performing the forced ritual chanting. Professor Curry showed that, due to the way that both gestures were used sequentially in the pledge, the military salute led to the Nazi salute. The Nazi salute is an extended military salute. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html

3. Francis Bellamy (author of the "Pledge of Allegiance") and Edward Bellamy (author of the novel "Looking Backward") and Charles Bellamy (author of "A Moment of Madness") were socialists. Edward and Charles were brothers, and Francis was their cousin. Francis and Edward were both self-proclaimed National Socialists and they supported the "Nationalism" movement in the USA, the "Nationalist" magazine, the "Nationalist Educational Association," and their dogma of "military socialism," and Edward inspired the "Nationalist Party" (in the USA) and their dogma influenced socialists worldwide (including Germany) via “Nationalist Clubs.” http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-edward-german-connections.html The Pledge was the origin of the Nazi salute. "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party." A mnemonic device is the swastika. Although the swastika was an ancient symbol, Professor Curry discovered that it was also used sometimes by German National Socialists to represent "S" letters for their "socialism." Curry changed the way that people view the symbol of the horrid National Socialist German Workers' Party. Hitler altered his own signature to use the same stylized "S" letter for "socialist" and similar alphabetic symbolism still shows on Volkswagens. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html

Anonymous said...

1. Dr. Rex Curry showed that the USA's early Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag) used a straight-arm salute and it was the origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis). Dr. Curry helped to establish that it was not an ancient Roman salute, and that the "ancient Roman salute" is a myth. http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html The myth is still repeated in modern efforts to cover-up Dr. Curry's discoveries about the Pledge's poisonous pedigree."

Then, Dr. Curry needs to go back to school and learn history, if Dr. Curry believes the Bellamy Salute "began" as a Nazi instrument to show allegiance. The Bellamy Salute precedes Hitler, and his Nazi party.

"The Bellamy salute is the hand gesture described by Francis Bellamy to accompany his Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute." It was first demonstrated on October 12, 1892 according to Bellamy's published instructions for the "National School Celebration of Columbus Day":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

"Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945)"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_hitler

"Nazism or Naziism, officially called National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party, or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. It also refers to the policies adopted by the NSDAP government of Germany (1933–1945), a period in German history known as Nazi Germany (German: Nazizeit, literally "Nazi time") or the Third Reich (German: Drittes Reich)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi

The pledge may well have a tie to the socialist Bellamy, however, Socialism, and the Nazi movement are two entirely different ideaologies.

Dr. Rex Curry: "...origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis)."

Again, at the beginning of the Socialist movement, when Bellamy presented the "allegiance" and "salute", the Nazi Party in Germany didn't exist. What you are selling there Dr. is propaganda. For what reason, one can only imagine.

And, by the way, symbols have been borrowed throughout history, the meanings assigned do change as people take them and use them for their own ideaologies. Did you need to get a PhD to figure that one out? Just because some fruitcake strolls through, and takes a symbol and taints it, doesn't remove the "original" or "previously" assigned meaning. If one can't make that distinction, then, well... they are uneducated or ignorant... which are you Dr. Curry? I suppose there are alternative options, you could just be trying to sell a book, by genning up controversy, where you feel you can find supporters. In that case, I would just call you a liar.

Hope to hear back from you.

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