What next?

From Steve:

It seems that many people who cease to be Christian feel some kind of relief as a result. It is almost as if they had taken off something that was ill-fitting and felt the relief at its absence: like taking off shoes which are a size too small. But what sort of religion did they have in the beginning? Why did it fit so badly? Christianity is not meant to be burdensome; quite the opposite. As Jesus said, "Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. For the yoke I give you is easy, and the load I put on you is light." [Matthew 11:29-30] In fact God's perfect teaching makes people free. [James 1:25] It is the truth that sets you free. [John 6:32] What was going on before the decision to quit? When did you look back after you started to plow for the Kingdom of God? [Luke 9:62] What had been the progress since you were born again? Had you matured as a Christian or were you never really converted at all? How did your pastor, elders and Christian friends react when they saw your faith slipping away, just dying, or did your conversion to atheism come in a Damascene moment?

What are you doing to advance your atheism now? Through the intervention of the Holy Spirit working within them and the application of spiritual disciplines, Christians seek to deepen their faith and their relationship with God through prayer; studying and memorizing, and meditating upon, God's Word; fasting; solitude; frugality; collective worship; community service; giving; and witnessing. They have the example of Jesus to follow as His disciples. We develop, we strive and we grow. "I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, as I run straight towards the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers us in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 3:13-14] Christianity gives purpose, direction and reward.

As an atheist what do you do? What sort of introspection or quiet time do you have each day? What books do you study daily to search for the truth? Whose example do you follow? Whose authority do you accept? What disciplines do you practise to grow and mature your atheism? Do you have an accountability partner or support group like the Promise Keepers to help you overcome any lingering spiritual inclination? Where does it lead? Or does it require no effort at all on your part and lead nowhere?

46 comments:

Roger O'Donnell said...

Well done. An extension of 'How can you be moral without a God?'

Meandering and pointless, and overflowing with questions long answered...

I'd recommend Googling 'Good without god' and reading 'Buddhism without Beliefs' and 'A Reason Driven Life'

kisses on the bottom

Grandpa Harley

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Clearly you have not spent enough time here looking and reading. All the questions you asked have been answered over and over.
There is no prize or reward. Only suckers who gave their money away.
You might want to open your mind alittle and do some more research here and on the internet.
Unless your afraid.

Anonymous said...

It is the truth that sets you free. And the truth is, there is no god

Anonymous said...

Actually, Steve, I do deepen and broaden my knowledge, by reading and talking about science, but also about faith. I continue to attempt to understand the mindset of believers and the arguments they use to convince others (and themselves?) of the validity of their beliefs.

I take great comfort from the atheists who went before us and despite being surrounded by believers, did not bow their head.
Like Giordano Bruno, whose story was posted in such a moving form a few days ago. He was a martyr who died for truth, even though he expected no heavenly reward.
Why would he do that? Is such an act not even far more sacrificial than those of the apostles, who are said to have been martyred for their beliefs? They DID expect to be rewarded.

I have no god, but truth comes pretty close to me. And logic, inquiry and reason are the keys to knowledge. Tell me which is more noble: Continuing to believe a comforting story without real inquiry, or pursuing the truth without respecting firmly held beliefs?

The coffee of truth is bitter, but it sure as hell wakes you up.
Or would you prefer to dream?

Anonymous said...

The God Delusion Covers this and many others nicely. For the moment, it and Why People Believe Weird Things are my scriptures.
After so many years of anti-reason, I need to learn/relearn how to reason.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,

Interesting approach and question. Lets see, I don't mess with pedofile priests and murder in their heart tele-evangalists. :-)

But I do agree that originally, somewhere back there, religion was meant to help people. And, personally, I think it still can. But I feel that it would have to be a Personal religion and not a group power trip thing.

So, I am curious. How do you handle all the hate, and mean-ness that so many of todays religious groups seem to be focused on?

Anonymous said...

"Christians seek to deepen their faith and their relationship with God through prayer; studying and memorizing, and meditating upon, God's word; fasting; solitude; frugality; collective worship; community service; giving, and witnessing." Boy Steve, I see how light that load Jesus gives is! The fact that you don't see the incongruity between that long ass list and "Jesus' light load" is indicative of a person not thinking too clearly. Read Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan. And not knowing that most people who post here have been there, done that, betrays the reality that you haven't spent enough time on this site. Keep reading! Darthwonka- I don't think I could love that name more!!

Anonymous said...

Steve, I just take it one day at a time enjoying the miracle of now. I'm in a position where it isn't what it once was. I treat my wife (xian lady, married thirty eight years) with the love, consideration, and respect she is due, I deal with others with respect and kindeness, I teach the young folks around me that compassion, kindness, and forbearance aren't wussy, or weak.

Spent some of my younger days as an automatic rifleman and also as a sniper. All the dieties of those about me seemed to say through their spokesmen (many of them had hankerings of being a viceroy)that this was "good". For my survival it was necessary, but not 'good'.

My life will end a lot sooner than I thought, but maybe I'll have shown some people that honesty and uprightness isn't to be obtained second hand.

And I guess that the reason that most of us left, if we were ever actually 'churched' is becaiuse of one thing; this - ? That's why. That's a void that church couldn't fill, inquiry. Oh, in my case, they tried it on, but they were giving me sawdust, not real nourishment.

n/a said...

"Or does it require no effort at all on your part and lead nowhere?"

What it requires is the effort to develop critical thinking skills, become educated, and attain some degree of scientific literacy. Where it leads to is reality.

Ian said...

Steve, I am not an atheist. I still believe in God, just not the God of religions or the bible. The God I believe in wants us to work at improving ourselves as individuals and to help make the world a better place, both for ourselves and those who are yet to be born. But I will answer your questions from an ex-christian's point of view:

-As an atheist what do you do?

I currently work at a public library putting books, videos, and audio tapes away. I am also a college student, and I am an ameatur writter.

-What sort of introspection or quiet time do you have each day?

I have no real set time for introspection or quiet time. I enjoy them whenever the opportunity shows itself.

-What books do you study daily to search for the truth?

I read a large variety of things: Near death experiences, mythics, theologians, Buddhist thought, new age books, a few christian books that are good (yes, they are out there), just to name a few.

-Whose example do you follow?

Gosh, I don't know. Everyone who strives to find balance, find peace and live peacefully with those around them.

-Whose authority do you accept?

Hmm...none really.

-What disciplines do you practise to grow and mature your atheism?

Not an athiest, but I do practive visualizaion.

-Do you have an accountability partner or support group like the Promise Keepers to help you overcome any lingering spiritual inclination?

I have exchristian.net to help me with regards to my negative feelings about christianity. I am also a member of the near-death message board.

-Where does it lead? Or does it require no effort at all on your part and lead nowhere?

It leads to self-realization, self-growth, and contributing something valuable to the earth and those who inhabit it.

Anonymous said...

Elder Norm:

If it is mean and hateful it is unlikely to be Christian, even if it claims to be and is promoted under its banner. That is why Scripture is so important. By it we can test whether teaching or behaviour accords with God's Word, like the Bereans' response to the teaching of Paul. They tested it by daily Scriptural study to see if it was true.[Acts 17:11]

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're just another fundy idiot!!!

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You've fallen for the fallacy that any person who has left christianity must never have understood christianity in the first place. It's a good fallacy for a christian to hold, because it not only helps you stay secure in your belief system, but it's almost impossible to argue against. How am I supposed to demonstrate to you that I did have a "true faith", and that I understood, believed and even passionately taught all the ideas you've put in your post (even down to the bible verses). I can't. You'll just go on thinking I was missing something somehow.

So, I'm not going to bother. Instead, I would encourage you, like others in this thread have, to read the testimonies of others who have posted on this site. If you really want to understand, you'll find it instructive. If you're only here to try and correct what you see as defective faith, I'd suggest your wasting your time.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you've already confirmed to us here in your mind, that what you intend and want to believe is predestined and based on pure fact.

In fact, to you Steve, the Bible is so believable that anything else outside of scripture could only dwell from the spawn and mastermind of Satan and his legion of deceptive angels.

What would cause you to believe in something that was written down over 2000 years ago by people you've never met and are dead now and make you determine that it was written down by (Arabs)people that you've never met and what they wrote is somehow based upon pure fact?

Why did your God choose the middle-east region of the whole entire world to be the center of focus from which only Holy men existed, when most likely in your mind you hate Arabs? I do not think you would openly admit it.

You know what Steve? I myself did not sign-on before birth, to be brought into this world to be conjugated by written words in a book that were written by people that existed before me and had no formal education, people that 2000 years ago, believed that the Heart was some type of vessel created by God to hold human emotions, we now know it is the brain that holds all human thought and emotion surely an all knowing God would have known that the Brain and not the Heart, is the center of all human thought and emotions?

I also did not sign-on before birth, to be brought into a world where money and religions rule the world.

I did not sign-on before birth, to be brought into the world where there would be people teaching that whoever does not believe the proper belief will be sent to a Hell.

I did not sign-on before birth, to be brought into a world where politics exists and we only have two choices in which to vote, either a crooked rep. or dem. but I would be willing to bet that you revel in politics we already know that you revel in imaginary beings and religion.

I did not sign-on before birth, to be brought up in a world where nuclear weapons and man's wars exist and were used already to annihilate thousands of people and yet to be used agian to annihilate many more.

I did sign-on before birth, to be controlled by an ancient book written by people that believed the world was flat and that the Earth was the center of the universe and that sickness was from demons and from an invisible God's wrath.

Steve, since you believe that the Bible is the absolute insipred word from a God, I suggest you start reading the whole Bible from cover to cover and not skip one word nor one sentence, then before long, you soon discover in your mind that there is no way that the Bible could have been inspired by an all loving God or Jesus.

In Fact, there not one part of the Bible that was written by a God nor a Jesus, why was it not written by a God or Jesus, where they too illiterate also?

How come nothing was insired to have been written 2000 years ago by Satan? Since Satan does exist to you, in your mind! There should have been a counter-book called the inspired word form Satan, would you agree? So in your mind, you would prefer to believe that Satan is the opposite of belief.

The Bible was written about what people thought, 2000 years ago, a God and Jesus would have been like had they both ever existed, not that they or anyone could ever prove that they did exist, the Bible was written about a God not from a God, there is a Big Difference.

webmdave said...

If it is mean and hateful it is unlikely to be Christian, even if it claims to be and is promoted under its banner.

I can't think of anything more mean and hateful than roasting most of humanity alive for all eternity, torturing them with the most hideous, painful inventions, and never allowing them to die or even the relief of a glass of water.

SpaceMonk said...

Steve: "As Jesus said, "Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. For the yoke I give you is easy, and the load I put on you is light." [Matthew 11:29-30]"

How is continually denying yourself and resisting every urge, inclination and instinct that nature can throw at us, an easy burden?
Self control is surely a worthy goal, but we always 'fail', because we are natural beings - yet then comes the yoke of guilt...?

These things, though, are not 'sins', just life as an earthling - and there is no salvation from it other than what we do for ourselves.

Religion may give you some mental relief from such pressures, but so can alcohol.
To have some 'Saviour' take our burden from us leaves us with no progress, no 'spiritual' maturity...

So don't assume we've got nothing compared to you.
You're not 'mature' enough to know.

Anonymous said...

Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. For the yoke I give you is easy, and the load I put on you is light.

Yoke-- A form of shackles assigned to ignorant beasts of burden, used to control animals and make conform to which otherwise the beast would out of normalcy quickly run away.

Anonymous said...

Sherry wrote,

I did not sign-on before birth, to be brought into the world where there would be people teaching that whoever does not believe the proper belief will be sent to a Hell.

But you are here now and you have no other choice, either believe what people tell you to believe or go straight to Hell!!!

Avie said...

I never chose Christianity to begin with. I was born into it. As a child, I was a good little Christian girl. I was always praying and Jesus was my "bestest friend in the whole world!" By the age of two, I had learned the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and the Apostle's Creed by myself. I so wanted to please my friend! (ie, Jesus)

I began to doubt when I was around 8 years old. My father couldn't stay in the same church for very long, so every month, the faces and personalities of preachers, priests and churchgoers kept changing. When we'd find a church we were all comfortable with, the Navy would transfer Dad across the country and it would all start over again.

Many of the people in the churches we'd go to were downright hateful, especially to me. I'd ask questions only to be informed that it wasn't proper for a girl to ask such questins. Then, when I had the audacity to remark that I didn't see how my lack of a penis affected my ability to reason, I had to sit in the corner and read Bible verses they had given me about women. These verses weren't in the children's illustrated Bible that my mother read to me every night, so it shocked me to read them for the first time. I wondered what else was in there, so I started reading. Rape, murder, infanticide, misogyny, slavery, human sacrifice...everything that I'd been taught to hate was in there. Still, I got comfort from the good parts of the Bible, so I put the violence in the back of my head for a while. Maybe it all meant that God had an off-day every once in a while.

Sunday mornings were horrible. Because of the ill treatment I got at church, I would beg my mom not to make me go. This always ended in a screaming match and sometimes a spanking. I almost always went to church in tears and hating church even more. Only church could turn the sweetest woman in the world to an evil harpy for one day every week.

It didn't get any better from there. In school, uber-religious kids would pretend that they wanted to be my friend. But as soon as I said the Sinner's Prayer (I think I've been "saved" upwards of 50 times) they considered their duty done and went back to ignoring me or making fun of me. All they wanted were God's brownie points. Even when I'd tell them I was a Christian, they'd say, "Well it never hurts to be sure!"

The final straw came when I was 22 years old. I was finally getting married. However, there was a problem -- I was a Christian and my fiance, an Asatru. The preacher at my parents' church insisted on doing the pre-marital counseling. He could have said right away that he didn't feel it right to marry a Christian to an Asatru and go look elsewhere. But he didn't want to look like the bad guy, I suppose. He "counseled" us for three weeks (that we could have spent trying to find another place for the wedding) and attempted to break us up. He finally informed us that we were "unequally yoked" and that he wasn't performing the ceremony. He had the nerve to tell us to come back after my fiance had converted. (I think the "unequally yoked" comment offended me the most. I'm a human being, not an ox. I don't wear a yoke.) My father, who is a licensed minister, ended up performing the ceremony.

By now, I couldn't pass by a Christian church without sneering or spitting on the grounds. I became physically ill whenever entering a church. Whenever I came into contact with religious people trying to tell me of their love for Jesus, I was irrationally angry for the next couple of days. Still, I considered myself Christian. I didn't want to leave because I was afraid that if I did, God would make me sick or kill my family.

Finally, my husband told me that it was okay to explore new possibilities. He comforted me, pointed out that none of the things I feared had ever happened to him and promised that I would be safe. So, tentatively, I stepped away from Christianity.

After the first few months of transition, everyone who knew me saw a change. I was happier, more fun to be around and less morose. I stopped thinking about suicide constantly and began to concentrate on living.

Although I'm an ex-Christian in every sense of the word, I'm not an atheist. I'm a solitary Wiccan. (But I suppose a lot of Christians would consider me an atheist anyway. Since they feel there's only one god, there's really no way I could worship any others. No other gods to worship = atheist.)

Looking back on it all, I guess the main reason I left was because none of the Christians around me were kind to me at all. I didn't slip away; I was pushed away. Christians didn't want me; their god didn't want me. If he did want me, he would have let me know that he wanted me, through the actions of his followers. (People need to realize that the way they conduct themselves reflects on their deity. If they are hateful people, then they must be serving a hateful deity. If they only act like a friend for the express purpose of conversion, then they have shown their deity to be manipulative and cruel. If they punish people who ask questions, then the deity they serve must be one who condones ignorance.)

I have more purpose, direction and rewards now than ever before. I see my gods in every living thing, in every wonder of nature. I don't need a spiritual leader to guide me and I don't need an old book to tell me what to do. I am free now to be human and to realize that it's okay. It's okay to love myself, for it is in loving myself that I am free to love others. The more love I give, the more I have. Where does it all lead? I don't really know, but I no longer care. Let life lead where it will, as long as it's a life worth living. And without Christianity, (for me, at least) it IS a life worth living.

Anonymous said...

What I fail to understand is, how people can be brought into this world, by no decision or permission of their own and then take on a belief that was written thousands of years before their arrival.

I cannot understand how people can accept the Bible as being pure truth based upon, "It's supposed to be true because it says it is and you're not supposed to rock the boat and just simply believe the Bible because you are supposed to."

It's like Holidays and traditions, we're supposed to give a present on Valentine's Day or dress-up on Easter, or Mother's Day and Father's Day or July 4th or Labor Day or cook a damned Turkey on Thanksgiving Day or give presents on Christmas, simply because we are supposed to do those things, otherwise what would other people think of us?

Now we are supposed to believe the Bible because we are supposed to believe the Bible or burn in Hell.

Something is very wrong with society and beliefs and handed-down traditions.

I believe it all boils down to: "What would other people think of us!" It appears that we are more concerned to what other people would think of each of us, as opposed to what realy is true!

Isn't that what we are all about? We're more interested in what other people's perception of us is, as opposed to what really is based upon real authentic truth.

Isn't that really the goal of the Christian? To take on the personna to look like the Golden Jesus Ambassador for over all good?

Isn't that what Christianity is? Trying to flex other people opinions about them to be percieved to be Christ-like or a Christian or a doer of good?

Isn't Christianity all about one's self and how they look like the Bright and Shinning Star for the Jewel in Jesus's Cap?

Isn't Christianity all about self-righteousness and how everyone else is destined for Hell except the believer that is based on imaginary Faith that they will inherit a promised imaginary reward?

Steve, if you want to be Christ-like I suggest you get off your lazy rump, sell all your Earthly possessions, and go unto all the world and preach, get off of the computer, get out of the USA, go on foot with staff in one hand and the Bible in the other, and do not worry about food or clothing, your God will provide as according to scripture, live like Christ, walk in his footsteps, do as commanded, regardless of hurdles and tribulations, witness unto the world if you want to be a true Christian(TM), then you must do as instructed, otherwise you are destined for the burning Hell as promised by your own book! And you're no better than us!

Steve get off of this websight and live the life of Christ, show your faith unto the world and Jesus!!!

Steve you must be willing to die for your silly beliefs!!!

That's being Christ-like!!! Otherwise you confess with you lips, but your Heart is not in you!!!

Anonymous said...

Alan,
Right to the point.

Steve,
Classic fundy diversionary technique that refuses to be self-critical and instead insist there must have been some critical flaw in us that resulted in our "apostacy". Certianly it couldn't be because we realized that Christianity is fraudulent and delusional.
And do you know why you do all that self-introspection? You gave the clue:

"Take my yolk and put it on you"

It's called guilt. Something that comes from an acceptance in the inherent evilness of humans. It's a horrible concept but does a great job in controlling the population. That is why so many religions use it. The function of all modern religions is to control the masses. That is why they ultimately serve the purposes of the state.
Think not? Let's see what comes to mind when I mention Isreal, USA, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Syria, Sudan...I could go on but you (might) get the point.

Anonymous said...

Steve

Simply put, you have to do all those things to keep your mind occupied on Christ & the Bible. We wasted enough of our life on it and now to realize it's B.S. Before you give your life for what very well may be a lie, do research! You will find it is a lie, not logical, and is a heavy burden when you think god will waste your love ones in an eternal hell forever simply for not accepting christ. Christ yoke-when lifted, allows you to be you, to better the world, and place your efforts on things which really matter!

Plus.....I’m not an atheist. Everyone here is not an atheist. We are EX-Christians. No one can say with absolute certainty what lies beyond the grave, unless you been there. We all share philosophies of what may or may not exist. If there is no afterlife, or god were ok with it. If there is a god, we hope he is cool, logical and truly loving, nothing that bible god is. Or maybe were all energy in what we call a soul, and there’s something beyond without any “god”. Who knows? My father whom I loved dearly just passed away. He was an extraordinary wise humble and successful man with integrity others could only strive to attain. I would like to think he’s at peace in a better place and one day we will re-unite. For someone to tell me – without any doubt that there is no god is just as presumptuous as a person telling me without a doubt there is! God cannot be proved or disproved…period! The concept of a christian god, or bible god can be disproved logically and morally. I have been on this sight reading (rarely posting) for at least two years. Many fantastic arguments – you would be wise to come here often - even if you decide to remain in bondage to your faith.

Nvrgoingbk said...

What I find so deeply offensive, Steve, is that you presume that people who have left the fold of Christianity, were just faking it, or never really quite grasped the gospel message.

What I find offensive is that you assume that all of our prayers for answers, all of our beseeching to your god, all of our reaching to the sky for reasons to the whys and wherefores, all of our worshipping with hands stretched high to Heaven, all the sacrifices we made struggling to be more Christ-like over the passing years, raising our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, all the excuses we made for this God who creates Hell and allows innocent children to be raped and tortured, all of our witnessing to the lost, all of the "I'll Fly Aways" and "Amazing Graces" sung in uncomfortable pews, all of the hours spent in Bible study, all of the exhaustive research dedicated to finding the truth regarding Biblical doctrine and the origins of our faith, all of the Contemporary Christian music sung at the top of our lungs in traffic, and all of the salted tears spilled upon our bed clinging to God and begging him to not let us go as we felt our faith began to slowly erode...these, you presume, were all delusions and somehow incompetent endeavors of the lukewarm and faithless lot of apostates.

The yoke of Christ is not, as you claim, light. No, there was nothing light about my experience as a Christian. It was a constant excusing of disgusting scripture that claims God would command babies to be dashed upon rocks, women to be raped, and animals to be sacrificed. It was a 16 year perpetual cycle of self-loathing, guilt, fear, worship, awe, sacrifice, repentance, and heart wrenching pleas for answers that were never honored. It was a constant endeavor of making this "god" love me, approve of me, and somehow grant me the grace to overcome all of my "shortcommings"
It was an endless shaking in my boots, clawing at the dust, and crying to the ceiling only to be answered with silence.

You, Steve, your apologetic mumbo-jumbo, and your offensive remarks are the billboard advertisment for Ex-Christians. THank you so much for reaffirming why I left your mind-fucking religion in the first place. You have successfully completed the obnoxious Christian course.

Piprus said...

Oh, Steve, you know so little, maybe that's why you're asking all those questions. You're asking for you, certainly not us. Although some of us left christianity because of outright abuse within the church group, many of us left simply because we READ THE BIBLE, not just the comforting parts. The whole enchilada, then started looking at it in perspective. When we did, we knew...it was nonsense. Just a book of folk tales, fables, myths, poetry, maxims, and some downright fiction. It was no more the word of any god than of Walt Disney.

Those of us who could no longer believe in any gods do so because we believe in what is real...what we can interact with. We live life on its own terms. We've seen no evidence whatsoever of any heaven or hell after this life, so we live in the now. And another silly misconception I'll be pleased to shatter for you is that we believe in no gods because we want the freedom to sin...crap. We live about the same as you bible bangers, just minus a god belief.

The thinly disguised finger pointing in your post tries to berate us for our "failure to grow". More crap. When it comes to religion, I didn't fail at anything. I said "no" to fear and superstition. I've grown far more without the fear of hell, the shame of all those innumerable "sins" mucking up my life, than I could ever have matured under that "yoke" of yours.
Not YOLK, as you put it.

Enough...if you want to really know about atheism, there are plenty of resources on the net. Go and find out yourself, and then maybe you'll be able to come back to this site with some intelligent topics.

JTFINALLYFREE said...

Steve,

The best I can tell you is I am 100% better off since I left this madness called Christianity. At the end of my "Christian walk" I found myself spiritually and financially broke. I got "saved" at the age of 15 and having just turned 30 I now realize that getting involved with Christianity was one of the biggest mistakes I have made in life thus far. Jesus is not the answer bro. Our kids future is the answer. Furthering Science is the answer. Finding cures is the answer. Not Jesus. Jesus is nothing more than a myth created by the church to control the masses!! Jesus Crust is NOT THE ANSWER BRO> OUR LIVES AND OUR CHILDRENS LIVES ARE THE ANSWER!!! CHRISTIANITY IS NOTHING MORE THAN A BAD JOKE! I feel so strongly about that I couldn't even begin to tell you! Oh well Not much more I can say. That little rant is from the heart and I really don't care to say anything else. Once again I thank Dave for this website and I thank everyone for being so supportive. Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

I can still admit that I have not totally recovered from the mind control of religious cults. I wish religion was true, but that is what they are hoping for. But I know the ills I feel are because of religion. The lies make me so angry that I wish they were not lies so I would not be so angry. Know what I mean? I was lied to by JW, Mormonism, and fundy christianity. The later was in my adulthood. People say, no wonder why you can't believe anything. I smile because the truth behind that comment is that I sought the truth and found none. The really mean: Stick with one and demonize the others will keep the masses straight.

Overall, christianity does sow seeds. They are really sowing seeds to destroy if you leave. The is the sheep analogy. Disowning you is the last step in getting you back. I can't understand why christians would fake faith to not challenge their place in the family.

It's funny how TV evan's and other fundys will say Jesus will change your life. The crazy thing is the church will change your life. They give you a false hope in your dispair and when you come to church, you have a new community and new rules. Of course your life is anew, you are in the cult now.

n/a said...

Steve wrote:

"If it is mean and hateful it is unlikely to be Christian, even if it claims to be and is promoted under its banner."

So do something about it. Don't sit around reading scripture, go out and show the world that Christians won't tolerate hatred, meanness, lies, fraud, torture or murder under the banner of Christianity or any other banner. Then you might have something worth following.

Anonymous said...

The 'yolk' is on you Steve!!!Stupid fundy egghead!!!

Farris said...

Steve said, "Christians seek to deepen their faith and their relationship with God through prayer; studying and memorizing, and meditating upon, God's Word; fasting; solitude; frugality; collective worship; community service; giving; and witnessing."

Can I have an Amen for mind control and brain washing? Did I hear...mindless sheep?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Farris said...

Sheepish,

You're the man (or woman)!

Steven Bently said...

Some 2000 years ago!

I, the good shepherd Luk was tending my herd of sheep one day on a hillside along the grassy meadows of Jerusalem, when I suddenly smelled an odor, a dense pugunt whiff of retch, I asked, my Lord what blessing hath thou bestowed upon me? A voice said to me, it must surely be your well loved younger brother Jhn. Jhn said, "Do you love me?" "Have you no bath recently?" I quized him? I cannot leave my sheep, kind brother, therefore I must sleep with them through the night as Gzus has spoken "I shall come as a "Thief in the night," for as No Man or woman knoewth the hour that I might come to gather my flock, and also your flock. I must sleep in the sheep waste to relieve my aching back, it is deep penetrating, but you'll soon get used to it. I will pray for you! Luk says, Oh how blessed of you, bro Jhn and sudenly the smell disappeared.

And it came to pass, that another great overwhelming odor rose out from the deep pits of the valley below and struck Luk and Jhn clinching and grasping for air, they took to the ground, both looked at each other and said gaggingly, "Holy Grandmother of God!! What is that horendous smell?" A voice came from behind yon hill, It is I, Simon (son) of Jonas, Do love me? He asked! I slept inn< the belly of Moby Dick for the last three fortnights with my father, I never realized I retched so bad, no one mentioned it at the town square cafe, where I was cooking and changing money earlier today. Both Luk and Jhn said, I will pray for you. Jonas said, oh how blessed of you both and suddenly the smell disappeared.

Jhn 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord God Almighty! how in the Hell of Bezelbub could any one love you all smellin like that? thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Rom 8:36 For so it is written that Christians are equal in value as sheep, For thy sake are they killed all the day long; they are accounted as sheep for the slaughter, because sheep and Christians are dumb and have no will to rebel and shall follow Jesus and his mind-cult sheeps all of his days even unto the edge over the cliffs to be mingled among the jagged rocks below. amen.

south2003 said...

sheepish........bha bah bha...lol.

What the was that all about? Where's the punch line?

Anonymous said...

South2003......there was no punchline....it was supposed to make u think or to wax lyrical.... like Bentley.

jimearl said...

Hey Steve. I'll bet the smugness is all gone now, right? After reading all the great comments to your post, I am once again reminded of why I find people like you repugnant. You come among us shooting blanks, pal. We have been where you are now and we would never go back. Think about that, Steve. Even under threat of spending an eternity in neverending fire, we would never go back. Why? Because we know bullshit when we see it. Hope you will learn the difference yourself one day. Cheers.

south2003 said...

jim earl,

Steve came here to promoting the "christian banner." Little did he know that the banner represents intolerance and hatered. Steve might say "well, the NT teaches love" but he fails to realize how conditional this love is... TURN or BURN!

When a christian reads a chapter in the bible such as 1Corthians 13, and then reads Luke 14:26, I wonder how they reationalizes both and then fit them together. After all, the bible is in harmony and does not contradicts itself...Phew!

Anonymous said...

I like some of the responses here, but it is clear that Steve tried to tackle way too much, and then did not keep up with the responses. You guys also went bezerk on him, and there's simply no way he can respond to all these. Anyways, I would like to break it down in another thread soon, but for now I will touch on one issue.

To the question, who do you submit to as authority, one guy said "no one." Is that a general athiest thing? Because if so, then I think that is a big flaw. It seems to me that most Athiests would be by nature liberals and therefore not submit to authorites like say, The President. I REALLY do not want to hear why GWB is so bad and why why we should not submit to his authoriy, because that has nothing to do with it. I think that in a democracy like America, submitting our authorities should be on the top of the list of priorities. Now obviously I am biased because I do take a biblical view of authority, but I truly believe that if you do not have someone in your life (on a personal level) that you submit yourself to, there is something wrong, and you will be stunted in your personal growth, if nothing else than by sheer pride. This to me is not a burden at all, but a way to keep myself in check and learn more from others. Ok, ya'll have at it. Please tell if you have authorities in your life. Please do not get too philisophical. Do you respect your boss like you should? Do you think you could do a better job of that, or do you see the possible benefits if more people were to do that? Could you imagine a country that supports their elected leader at least 90%, even though only 51% voted for him? I think we could be a lot stronger if we did, and I know I for one would support John Kerry if he had made it. Maybe not all of his stuff like pro-choice, but in general I would. Why can't liberals do the same with Bush?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you've tossed too many thing into the same bucket by equivocating on the phrase "submit to authority." That phrase can legitimately have several different meanings. If a police officer issues me a ticket for speeding, and I have good reasons to believe that I was NOT speeding, then I will nonetheless "submit to his authority" by acknowledging the ticket and his right to issue it, and by handling it through the proper channels. I may even end up paying the ticket. However, I feel no obligation to "submit to his authority" beyond that: that is, I may still believe he made an erroneous judgment as his authority does not automatically trump my independent evidence. So, the word "submit" can imply either "obey" or "assent". In general, I "obey" those who have legal authority, even though I may not "assent" to the principles, the reasoning, or the factual evidence.

Now, something similar applies to atheists/agnostics. I will generally "submit" to authorities on various subjects in that I will grant them some of my attention to hear what they have to say. However, I feel no obligation to "assent" to their views if I have reasons to believe they are in error. For example, I have great respect for both C. S. Lewis and Alvin Plantinga; I feel both are brilliant and articulate, and it's well worth carefully considering what they have to say. Yet I do not automatically grant them a pass when it comes to their arguments; everyone is fallible, and everyone has biases.

In short, I often look to authorities to show me an interesting path, but I will not accept the say-so of any one person as to which (if any) is the correct one.

n/a said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
n/a said...

Anonymous wrote:

"I think that in a democracy like America, submitting our authorities should be on the top of the list of priorities"

Assuming you meant submitting _to_ authorities, then you really don't understand what democracy is. In a democracy we the people are the authorities, and it is up to us to constantly evaluate what our elected officials are doing, and if we don't like their actions we vote them out of office. Obviously there are serious problems with the current system in the US, but that is how it is supposed to work. This is why separation of church and state is so important, since religion promotes unquestioning obedience to a supreme authority, the opposite of democracy.

Anonymous said...

What Alan said.

I'd also like to add that elected officials are [u]NOT[/u] our "authorities." They are our employees and are supposed to be working [i]for[/i] us, not the other way around. The old-fashioned term for them is "civil servant." If the servant is not doing his or her job properly, we have every right to criticise them and, ultimately, to fire them. Aint democracy great!

jimearl said...

I agree with thackerie. Democracy is great. Perhaps if we're lucky, we'll have our democracy back after the next election. The people we have in charge now are power hungry and we need to change leadership.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I have never been happier and more at peace every since I shed christianity. It's not important to me to know if there really is a god because I don't believe in hell. If there is a god, I am more than happy to find out after I leave this life, if there is anything to actually go to afterward. I don't think humans were meant to spend their lives like hamsters on an exercise wheel, constantly moving but going nowhere trying to be the perfect, sinless, christ-like person while denying our humanity.

I am not so much anti-god as I am pro-human, hopefully not at too much of an expense to our animal neighbors. Christians look at a person and try to see how much "god" they have inside them. I look at christians and try to see how much humanity they have. I could give a damn how many times they say "lord this" or "jesus that." If I get a funny vibe from them or just dislike them, their god cloak is meaningless to me.

As far as submitting to authority, we have our legal system that we inherited from English common law. Laws change and evolve to fit the needs of society, hence the abolition of slavery, the success of the suffragette movement, and the gains made by same-sex marriage advocates. You could argue that laws were first patterned after the ten commandments (which I cannot verify because I haven't researched this), but they have certainly evolved to being less draconian and more in step with society's needs. The fact that the bible condones slavery is enough to dismiss the whole of christianity. It's one of the most abhorrent inventions of mankind, but the bible is so la-di-da, like having slaves is o.k., just don't beat them too much and try not to kill them. THAT ALONE should make everyone burn that ignorant book, but for reasons beyond my comprehension christians seem to be fine with it.

Steve, I encourage you to keep reading testimony after testimony of the ex-christians on this site. You will be amazed at the stories. The most amazing thing is the simple fact that it proves there is such a thing as an ex-christian, no matter how much christians try to deny this. The other amazing thing is that a lot of these ex-christians were the charasmatic (sp?) type, speaking in tongues, healing by laying on of hands, etc. A lot of these people were those extremely spirit-filled christians at one time. But these same people began to notice cracks and flaws in their religion, and ultimately that lead to their deconversion. I read for hours at a time when I first started, I couldn't believe people experienced what I had experienced. That played a big part in bringing me to where I am now.

Steve, if you open your mind a little bit, you may be surprised at what you find.

Steven Bently said...

The Big Question is: How does one become a Christian?

Well when you are born, you have no knowledge of a God or Jesus, so how does one hear about God and Jesus??? It is spread like a virus, human to human, by hearing through listening to others repeat with some self-issued authority, Biblical stories and scripture.

Now had you Steve been born in say Borneo, then cannibalism would be your religion!

Had you Steve been born in say Northern India, then Hinduism would be your religion!

Now had you Steve been born in say Iran, then Islam would be your religion!

How does one learn the English Language or any other Native Language? By hearing and repeating what is heard!

Are all people born speaking their native language? No! Most people can speak their language fluently by five years old. How can this happen without a book? Because it is learned behavior from hearing, called indoctrination!

Just as the Bible is learned and repeated by hearing, called indoctrination!

To deny any of the above statements, shows you do not own up to truth or live with intellectual honesty!

But lucky you Steve you happen to have been born in USA, where Jesus and Bible beliefs rein supreme!

Now how did the Bible get to USA????

Any clue anyone???

Lets see, who discovered America???

hmmmm????? Think Now!! Try it this one time, Think Real Hard!!!!

Answer!!!! The Native American Peoples (named Indians, by C.C.)

I know, you were thinking Christopher Colummbus, Bzzzzzzzt!!!! wrong!!!!

American soil had already been discovered and occupied by approx. 50 million Native Americans, and they had lived happily and successful for over 13,000 years on American soil without your Bible God and Jesus.

So who invaded the Americas with their Bible God and Jesus???? Christopher Columbus, he brought your phony Bible over here.

This is the only reason that you and millions of other self-righteous, self-claiming Christians have a belief in an imaginary God and Jesus, it's the only reason, had you never heard of the Bible, you would have never known it ever existed.

You are quoting scripture that ancient sheep herders wrote down over 2000 years ago. Jesus was bastard child, born out of wedlock, because Mary was raped by her preist or uncle or her father, not inseminated by an angel. Butterfies where called angels 2000 years ago, people thought Butterflies where angels, can you think beyond this??? No, because you've been emotionally scared, so you will be the good little Jesus samaritan that you've been told to be and you find comfort in your fairytale.

Now run along and continue to live in your mental delusion, because you're beside yourself in your thinking, because you're living in a promise of grandeur, it's a promise to be broken and never fulfilled.

I can hear it now, why are you so bitter and mean??...God(or Satan)has harden your Heart???...LOL

You've got alot to learn Steve, but you refuse to know anything past what you've been told to believe.

Anonymous said...

a famous christian speaking in the open air was once challenged to a debate 'belief vs unbelief' he agreed provided there was present evidence of one atheist who was made sober honest & moral by embracing unbelief & he would bring several hundred who had attained this by christian conversion his challenger departed with a diffident wave of his hand

Anonymous said...

So, Ken Hood, if I can bring an African-Americian soldier that is in my Battalion that was messed up on drugs and into gangs and violence, but Allah changed that when he converted to Nation of Islam, whould that convience you that "there is one god, and Mohommad is his prophet?

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