7/16/2006                                                                                       View Comments

The Church Shoots Its own Wounded!

by John W. Loftus

How many sermons have Christians heard about Joseph and Potipher’s wife where the preacher asked something like this: “How many men would've been able to overcome this temptation?” And they conclude with, “I fear not many men here could’ve overcome this.” What are preachers saying here?...That Joseph was a man of faith and had real strength of character, but most men, even Christian men, do not. And yet when a Christian (former one) like me actually does succumb to such a temptation, these same preachers are quick to condemn me. Isn't that odd? Which is it?

The story of my affair [which took place 15 years ago(!)] that I tell in my book, Why I Rejected Christianity, is a story that shows the church is the only place that shoots its own wounded. Say it isn't so? If someone has a problem, the church is the first to condemn.

Christians stress that the marriage vows are sacred. And what part of those vows is most important? Sexual faithfulness. Why? Aren't there other vows there too? Like to love, honor, and "obey?" LOL. There are Christian couples out there that can boast of being faithful to each other in marriage for 25 years and more, but they hate each other and bicker and fight all day long. But whoopee, they're faithful to each other! Big deal. Their marriages are a sham.

Ethicist Richard Taylor wrote a book on Having Love Affairs (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1982) and he discusses whose fault it is when there is an affair. I am not excusing myself here, but as he explains, there may be more to it. “Though a wife may be ever so dutiful, faultless, and virtuous in every skill required for the making of a home, if she lacks passion, then in a very real sense she already is without a husband, or he, at least, is without a wife. Similarly, a husband who is preoccupied with himself and his work, who is oblivious to the needs of his wife and insensitive to her vanities, who takes for granted her unique talents and who goes about his business more or less as though she did not exist, has already withdrawn as a husband, except in name.” “What must be remembered by those persons who wish to condemn adultery is that the primary vow of marriage is to love, and that vow is not fulfilled by the kind of endless busyness exemplified in the industrious and ever generous husband or the dedicated homemaking wife…What has to be stressed is that the first infidelity may or may not have been committed by the one who is having an affair. The first and ultimate infidelity is to withhold the love that was promised, and which was originally represented as the reason for marriage to begin with.”

Christians are still condemning me here at ex-Christian.net. Why? Because that's what they do, and it should be no surprise to atheists here that Pastors have problems with sexual sin. Now I am happily married to an atheist and faithful to her. I love that woman. She is my best friend.

In my opinion Christianity is psychologically harmful by creating and maintaining the circumstances whereby we do wrong, since we cannot be free to express ourselves or even confess our problems to other Christians for fear of condemnation. I no longer have to hide my true feelings about anything with my wife since I no longer have the Christian guilt trip and the potential condemnation that goes with it.

For the record, it wasn’t just my affair that led me to reject Christianity. I could’ve gotten beyond the damage that had done to my faith. It was being cut off from the church, of which the affair with her was the catalyst. Taken together with what I was learning at the time, and the subsequent church experiences I had, I eventually came to reject my former faith.

By the way, haven't you seen documentaries on TV where a con-artist (male or female) got someone to marry them for their money and then killed them? There are people out there like that. Wake up! This woman wasn't that bad of course, but she was a modern day Potipher's wife who sought to destroy me because I was speaking out against pornography in town and she was a former stripper who had it "in" for preachers like me. And I never said it wasn't my fault, either.

Now, deal with my arguments. I want to stress the fact that my thinking has indeed changed. You cannot explain away my present ideas by pointing to these bad experiences in my life. They may be what provoked my thinking, but they don’t explain my thoughts. I am an atheist regardless of the experiences that led up to my present way of thinking. In talking with me you will have to deal with my arguments. Otherwise, I could point to your past experiences and explain your beliefs away as a product of what you have experienced too! People believe and doubt for a wide variety of reasons, and that’s all there is to it.

The real questions to me are: 1) Why God allowed this in the first place, if he knew the outcome would be that I'd become an atheist because of it and eventually lead others "astray;" and, 2) Why does the church shoot its own wounded?

56 comments:

Harlequin said...

"Why does the church shoot its own wounded?"

Could hypocrisy be to blame? After all nothing unifies the beleiver better than having someone to villify. The best organised crowd in the world is a baying Lynch mob...

Anonymous said...

Hi there John! I never agreed with the Christian tendency to judge others for what they did in their private lives, even when I was a Christian. As far as I'm concerned, what two people do in the privacy of their own home is their business. If a man (or woman!) has an affair, it's between the husband, wife and lover. No one else needs to be involved. One church I was going to lost a really good preacher (this man was awesome! His sermons were lively, he was quick with a smile and a joke, he refused to preach anything from the OT--said it was too violent) because he had an affair with the church secretary. I'm not saying what he did was right--but it wasn't the congregation's business. And with the way his wife acted (okay, maybe I have a grudge against her because she told me I looked like a whore with all the makeup I used to wear as a teen) it's no wonder he cheated on her! Either way, where he chose to put his "little buddy" had no impact on his ability to preach, so he shouldn't have lost his job over it. But he did!

Now I can see a preacher who stands in the pulpit and preaches against prostitutes, affairs and the like as deserving to lose his job over an affair or being caught with a hooker. Because that's hypocrisy. But the aforementioned preacher didn't do that.

As for the questions at the end of your post, well, I was asking that first question (or a variation thereof) to my husband yesterday. I can think of two possible answers to Question #1: (a) there is no god (b) there is a god, but he's an evil bastard who hates us for the unforgivable crime of being human, which, by the way, is his fault, not ours.

Answer to Question #2: Christians are notorious hypocrites who enjoy gossiping and seeing other people screw up. They hide under a veil of righteousness and compassion, but underneath, they're nothing but a frothing, rabid mob who love nothing more than pointing out someone else's misfortunes and iniquities.

Anonymous said...

Not all Christians are like the people you encountered. Case in point: when I was a little girl, I went to a church which one day made fun of the homemade clothing I and my family was wearing. I quit that church and went to another contemporary church rather than traditional churches. I have never been more accepted in my life. There have been people there who confessed to affairs and other various sins. We certainly did not condemn those people, nor throw them out of worship. Christ particularly favored 'lost lambs', and so do we. Who says you HAVE to be Catholic or Baptist or Episcopal? Try a non-denominational, contemporary church.

Michelle Mybell said...

John, I have no problem with two consenting adults doing what they want to with each other. The fact that you were married to someone else while you did it does color your behavior, but as you stated you didn't feel it was much of a marriage, which you have every right to have.

As far as christians shooting their own wounded, this isn't always the case because I've noticed that in stories about christians and pastors molesting children, members of their congregation are very supportive and talk about "forgiveness" and such. They never mention how the child might be feeling.

Maybe christians are just vehemently against consenting adults doing what they want with each other, which includes gays, and are more in a forgiving frame of mind if it's only a child that is harmed. It's as if the child is a non-person, so it's o.k.

One of the main reasons that the webmaster posts these stories is to show that christians are no more moral than the rest of society. People are going to do what they do based on their character, not what they believe in. It appears that you definitely had some problems in your first marriage which couldn't be fixed by a belief in a fraud. I have experienced trauma in my own life and finally established some normalcy after I put christianity behind me. The crazy belief in hell and insane worshipping weakens the psyche, thereby delaying emotional growth and clarity.

I am sure that your "sin" was the result of being in a bad marriage, not that you were a bad christian. I'm glad you have left that stuff behind and are now in a happy marriage. Happiness is the perfect cure for the sickness of christianity.

I'm sorry if I didn't respond to all your points, I'm sure our other intelligent members will take up the slack. Thanks for sharing your story.

Michelle Mybell

John W. Loftus said...

Wait a minute! I was not fired by my church for having an affair 15 years ago. If I was it would've been justified. I was fired for the typical petty reasons any preacher is fired.

I was pusured by this woman while I was a preacher, but even after being asked to resign I was still heavily involved in the Christian community in our area. That's when she accused me of rape because I had decided to end it all. Such an accusation compleltey devestated me. No one except those who are falsely accused of some terrible deed will understand, especially since I'm a kind-hearted person toward everyone.

Hellbound Alleee said...

It's interesting to see here that the writer of the book that was mentioned is also seeking to define marriage by a belief in what it is "supposed to" be. And who has defined marriage as what kind of sex life the married couple was having? The state! And indeed, the state is telling us that we have to have sex, basically, in order to be married!

How about a couple can simply be honest with each other about what kind of relationship they want, and if they want to register their economic agreement, which is called "marriage" with the state, let them do so. But maybe, just maybe it would be better for all of us to leave the state out of our sex lives. I have no reason to "judge" an affair as "affairs are bad." Being dishonest is detrimental to one's well-being. "Having affairs is evil" means very little to me. I also have no problem with people judging, so long as they don't declare to all that "judging is wrong." That's as meaningless as the statement "affairs are bad."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry there, John...I didn't mean to imply that I thought YOU were fired for it...I was just reminded of another preacher that I knew who was--a completely unrelated incident from what you faced. At the moment, his experience seemed similar to yours, so I thought it relevant. Looking back, it seems it wasn't, so I'm really sorry for mentioning it and thus offending you so sorely. Honestly, it wasn't meant that way. (This happens a lot with me--it's a disorder I have. A person will say/write something and trigger a memory in me that has relevance only in my mind and I don't know it until someone points it out. Thanks for doing that:))

I think we've all faced false accusations from time to time and it seems that the one you suffered was extremely damaging. I don't blame you at all for being upset about it or being hurt. And you're right--it would be nigh impossible for someone who has not suffered such a horrendous accusation (ie, rape) to truly understand the feelings of someone who has not.

freedy said...

It's mainly fundies who shoot their wounded.

I remember a few years ago a well known minister went too,... I think it was Jack Hayford. He confessed that he was having homosexual fantasies,but had never acted on them.Jack Hayford told him to step down from his ministerial position,but soon of course eveyone found out about why.From what I heard,this ruined his whole life at the time.Does anyone know what happen to that poor guy?Might he be one of us now?

* That's literalist churchianity for you,...even a thought can get you fired!

Lorena said...

Hi John,

Delightful post!

I am a de-converted christian with a very eclectic view of god, which makes me, perhaps, an agnostic.

In answer to your question, "1) Why God allowed this in the first place, if he knew the outcome would be that I'd become an atheist because of it and eventually lead others "astray;" and,"

Personally, I believe there is a Higher Power which led me away from christianity and vaccinated me against most kinds of organized religion.

I also believe that that higher power is more pleased with atheists than with religious people.

Atheists, in my view, are the best people. They are honest with themselves, believe only what they want to believe, and do not allow themselves to hear senseless tales.

If there is a higher power out there, I believe that power is an atheist him/her/itself.

I wish there were more people like you in the world, John.

Take care.

THE Anti Atheist said...

Yes, and atheists in power have LITERALLY shot the wounded...and the believers, and the dissenters, and the opposition...

But I was shocked by your book!

How could GOD have allowed such a horrible thing to happen to you?

To be tempted by an ex stripper...and I bet she was a D cup AT LEAST.

Oh, how cruel!

But at least you had a loving wife who forgave you...she was a good woman you say.

Of course, you left her too, like Christianity, because you were "not happy"...well, at least you now get to live live to the "fullest" since, by your own statement, your ethical standards are lower.

But I tell you what...lets get ove this MYTH and LIE that all men cheat with the first pair of BIG TITS that get thrown in their face.

At lot of men love their wives, even though they may not always be "happy" with everything.

Don't assume that everyone is on your level.

John W. Loftus said...

Anti Atheist, like I said, you do not understand the devestation from being conned by a con artist and falsely accused of rape. You really don't. It'll turn you upside down. At least it wasn't with a con-artist who wanted to kill me, and that does happen. What would you think if it was you, or a close relative? And so my question is why God allowed this all to happen. Keep in mind that according to those who preach about Potipher's wife most men would've succumbed. But apparently not you, eh? Stay in your delusions. Preachers themselves say MOST men would have succumbed.

And it was 15 years ago! Do you want stuff you did 15 years ago to judge who you are now?

J. C. Samuelson said...

"Yes, and atheists in power have LITERALLY shot the wounded...and the believers, and the dissenters, and the opposition..."

History demonstrates that violent suppression of opposing worldviews is a human problem, not a faith problem. Nearly all faiths - particularly the two largest monotheistic faiths (Christianity, Islam) - have violently squashed opposition as they spread and in the name of God.

In simpler terms, Christians throughout history have also literally impaled, slashed, shot, beheaded, bombed, crucified, poisoned, lied, cheated, and stolen in the name of God as the faith spread. Each time because they believed they were in possession of The Truth™, and praised their deity for their success in defeating their "enemies."

"...and I bet she was a D cup AT LEAST."

and..

"...the first pair of BIG TITS..."

Feeling a little repressed, are we? You seem a bit focused on breasts for someone presenting themselves as above it all.

Anonymous said...

Marriage as an institution is something that started with religions. It is only in Christianity where one is 'damned if you do and damned if you don't.' Because of the interpretations of marriage by various sects of Christianity such as Catholicism along with fundamentalists sects the creation and continuance of what I call 'lie marriages,' those marriages where the love has long gone leaving behind a skeletal form is rampant. How many of you have witnessed couples who have been married for 20 or more years whose marriage is basically 'dead' and only an 'arrangement' vs. a 'love affair' which is what the best marriages are. How many of you have seen friends who in their single lives before marriage seemed to care about and nurture their appearance and then after marrying really let their personal care 'go' women who once cared about their appearance who once had medium to long hair adopt what I call 'the I've lost my sexual desire and live in a boring marriage arrangement hair cut' which is basically a man's short hair style?

What is saddest about living in a 'lie marriage' is to see a parent die from one knowing that they told a family friend that they stayed 'obligated' because it would financially devastate them.

tigg13 said...

I think a big part of the problem is envy. Most christians deny their physical and psychological needs for passion, intimacy and sex by considering it all to be "sinful". But nature requires us to fulfill needs to live a healthy life so they become emotionally stiffled and physically frustrated.

Then, in walks somebody who has "given in to temptation" and allowed themselves to feed their need for love. How could a "good" christian not feel outraged over the idea that "that sinner" is getting some of what they want so badly.

Don't believe me? Just reread "Anti Atheist" above. He sounds awfully jealous to me.

I was fortunate enough to meet my love long after I escaped from christianity. We intentionally removed the words "obey", forsaking all others", and "till death do us part" from our handfasting ceremony and included the words "for as long as you both shall love" instead. We both firmly believe that it is our desire to be together that defines our relationship and after 14 years it is stronger than ever.

John W. Loftus said...

All I'm doing, Disciple, is being honest with what happened. Why is it you wish to personally attack me? Is it because you cannot handle my arguments, so you must attack the person making the arguments? If you want to make it into something else, then go ahead. But you cannot dismiss my arguments based on something that happened 15 years ago.

Let's say I didn't write anything about what happened. Wouldn't you think something is missing? Don't you want to know what started me down the road of doubt? Well, I have nothing to hide, and I wrote about it in my book. If I were interested in making people converts to atheism, like Christians are prone to do, then I should've tried to hide the truth.

Make of it what you want to, but it's the truth.

Now, how about a full disclosure from you about your ugly past.....naw, didn't expect you would.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Should've known.

John,

Just ignore Goldietroll.

mq59 said...

Emanuel,

I figure this post will be deleted after a couple of hours, but I'll weigh in regardless.

What the heck is that for? It's totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Anonymous said...

Loftus...I don't believe your story. You could not have been in the clergy. You can't even articulate the concept of free will. "Why did God let this happen to me?" It's becuase he gave you free will. You have to choose. You have a moral choice. You wouldn't really be alive if he chose everything for you. Your sucumbing to temptation is just being human. And the fact that you didn't even talk about paul's discussion of this in at least Romans...

There aren't any ex-christians commenting. If you accepted Jesus as your lord and saviour...it's finished. You're covered by grace. You can act badly and hurt god but he still loves you and has forgiven you already. You just need to forgive yourself and others for not being perfect.

Anonymous said...

jeff the ubergeek: you're confusing muslims with christians. That's how the muslims spread their incoherent knock-off of christianity. Cite one credible source for your assertions....

mq59 said...

Never mind about the deletion part--I found some posts I thought had been axed, and they hand't been.

Must be something funky with the computer.

Still Emanuel, no need to be weird.

Marianna Trench said...

I'm sure Jeff can speak for himself but since some anonymous poster wanted some examples of xians committing attrocities in order to try to spread their religion by force, a couple that come immediately to mind are the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. But the truth is, I find it silly to try to decide which is the most abominable religion - fundamental christianity or fundamental islam. It's just two sides of the same insanity.

John W. Loftus said...

What kind of Christians are here?They are not intelligent comments. Nor are they caring comments. Nor are these comments coming from someone with an identifiable name to them. What kind of Christians are these, who attack a man's supposed penis size, who take pot shots at someone whom the have never met, behind the veil of anonymnity?

What kind of faith is this that you have? It's an ugly faith...a very ugly faith.

Sutrina' said...

"Still Emanuel, no need to be weird."

I agree, Emanuel Goldstein is seriously weird, anyone who takes pride in their nano-sized penis has some serious issues, most likely in hand.

John L., stated "The real questions to me are: 1) Why God allowed this in the first place, if he knew the outcome would be that I'd become an atheist because of it and eventually lead others "astray;"

The christian god is an Atheist. Proof Questions: Do most christians consider a "god" concept, something "greater than themselves"? Yes. Can a supreme creator "god", believe in something "greater" than themselves? No. Thus, a supreme creator god, is "THE" Supreme Atheist.

What does a Supreme Atheist God have to gain, by interfering in a mortals' life? Nothing, unless the Supreme God is being challenged for position. Thus, enters Satan, because without a challenge, a Supreme Atheist God has no "reason" to be in anyones' life. However, does any Christian actually believe Satan can actually "challenge" their Supreme Atheist God? No, they almost unanimously believe Satan is a goner, its just a matter of time. Thus, spiritual marketing isn't required by a Supreme Atheist God, there is no true "challenge", its all known to an omnipotent, and omniscient god. A god with such Supremeness just has to sit around waiting for the obvious to unfold.

John L., stated "...and, 2) Why does the church shoot its own wounded?"

Because, many Christians actually believe their Supreme Atheist God is going to reward them, based on a distribution curve, taking into account "faith", and "works" for many. Unfortunately, its harder to earn "positive" points, because churches and religious leaders define what is a "positive" work, and it typically supports the church or religious movement, not humanity as "THE" priority.

Thus, like many middleschool children learn, its much easier to attack the competition, other christians, or other religious members, in order to raise their own "glorified" standing. Its a lot easier to attack another person using the bible, than to find passages which render a person non-contradictory, "positive" support or guidance.

Anonymous said...

we don't look to man--who is imperfect, but to CHRIST, JESUS who is the perfect LAMB OF GOD who washes us from sin! we as christians will never be perfect in this earthly body, but we will be perfect in our glorified bodies!
i've been hurt by my pastor and i still go to that church--i have to remind my self that my pastor is still imperfect in his earthly body! don't blame your temptation on GOD, because you have a choice to choose to do good or evil! to choose to do good requires discipline! we don't want to do that--we want the easy way out!

Anonymous said...

All you guys on this site were never saved... so the name of this website should be, neverweresaved.net

May God have mercy on your souls.

tigg13 said...

Ok, let me get this straight - anonymous said: "we don't look to man--who is imperfect, but to CHRIST, JESUS who is the perfect LAMB OF GOD who washes us from sin! we as christians will never be perfect in this earthly body, but we will be perfect in our glorified bodies!
i've been hurt by my pastor and i still go to that church--i have to remind my self that my pastor is still imperfect in his earthly body! don't blame your temptation on GOD, because you have a choice to choose to do good or evil! to choose to do good requires discipline! we don't want to do that--we want the easy way out!"

So, are you admitting that christians are every bit as evil and destructive as as non-christians - just as prone to violence, hate, selfishness and perversion as all the non-believers - they just get a free pass to paradise because they happen to pray to the right god?

And if god isn't to blame for temptation then who is? He gave us free will, right? He burdened us with original sin, right? He left us adrift in a world ruled by the flesh, right? Everything happens according to his will, right?

The question then is (and I believe this goes back to John's original query) why does god allow us to be tempted? Particularly when the penalty for giving in even a little bit is eternal damnation.

You also seen to be equating "choosing evil" with "being sinful". Keep in mind that, according to the bible, owning slaves, beating children and the wholesale slaughter of non-belivers is considered to be "Good", while doing yard work on Sunday, not screaming "loud enough" if you get raped and having too much money in your bank account are all considered to be "Evil".

It isn't really all that hard to choose to do good so long as that is what you truly want to do. It does take a great deal of discipline, though, to live within the confines of a belief system that was created thousands of years ago by people whose culture and society are extremely different from our own. This is because, sooner or later, what we are told about good and evil and what we come to see for ourselves as good and evil come into conflict. The real problem is figuring out what is, in fact, the "Good" choice. And, being as how we're all imperfect, we are all bound to make bad choices from time to time.

Which brings us to John's other question - why do you blame the sinner for being weak (not being disciplined) and chastising him/her for it instead of forgiving and supporting them since we can never "be perfect" in our "earthly bodies"?

mq59 said...

Anonymous,

Actually, if the doctrine of "perservance of the saints" (which you apparently believe in and I do not, but that's a discussion for another day) is correct, then those people who leave Christianity were either never saved to begin with OR WILL EVENTUALLY RETURN.

Some scaremongers like to point out that "80% of those raised in evangelical homes with leave the church at 18" but if you look at the rest of the numbers, 95% of those come back.

And in any event, if you haven't noticed, the hit-and-run "you were never really Christians" commentary isn't really making much headway around here.

John W. Loftus said...

Anan....All you guys on this site were never saved...

And that's just one of the many delusions you have. We stand as solid evidence against such a stupid theology.

Mary Jane said...

mq59 says, "Some scaremongers like to point out that "80% of those raised in evangelical homes with leave the church at 18" but if you look at the rest of the numbers, 95% of those come back."

Far be it from me to accuse any evangelical of "lying for the lord," but since 90% of statistics are made up on the spot, perhaps you can cite a reference for the 95% figure? ThanX!

mq59 said...

85% not 95% come back. My bad.

Jezebel said...

Ray Comfort? Now I remember! We had a lot of fun on this site a few months back with the video in which he tried to explain how the banana had been perfectly designed by god in order to fit the human hand. What a moron!

Speaking of morons, here's a lovely blog that explains a few of the ways in which Ray Comfort is one. (It also goes into, but just a little bit, how he lies with statistics.) It's at:

http://wth.air0day.com/archives/59

J. C. Samuelson said...

"jeff the ubergeek: you're confusing muslims with christians. That's how the muslims spread their incoherent knock-off of christianity. Cite one credible source for your assertions...."

That you apparently deny the violence that marks much of Christian history speaks volumes about your level of education.

I only had a couple minutes for a quick Google search, but here's a few links to start your education:

Holy Violence Then and Now from Christianity Today magazine.

Christianity FAQ: Christian Violence. The materials cited as sources for the articles are credible.

Must Christianity Be Violent? Reflections on History, Practice, and Theology from Christian Ethics Today.

And who could forget the Bible itself. See The Skeptic's Annotated Bible. Cross-reference the Cruelty and Violence section with your own Bible, if you don't believe what you're reading.

Also, check out this page. Since you won't count this as a credible source, Google the items on it and learn.

Violence is just as prevalent in Christian history as any religion. You can choose to ignore it, but again history speaks for itself.

boomSLANG said...

Returning MQ said:

"And some of the people on this site seem like candidates for eventual return (assuming they don't get hit by a bus first)--they want to believe and still retain many of their old values, but something or another (trashy stupid people within the church, arguments they can't win, etc) makes them think that Christianity is bunk."


Observe: People haven't left the fold of Christianity because of a few inbred "trashy stupid people". Please, they left because somewhere along the line they finally got the courage to take an OBJECTIVE look at Christianity and what it stands for.... and boiled down, that is an offering of love based on CONDITIONS. Combine that, with mythological absurdities such as talking snakes, swimming hammers, witchcraft, 3 in 1 deities---and the rest of the illogical assertions that the Christian handbook is riddle with---well, what you have is nothing more than coerison and fairy tales. Will you go back to believing in Santa? 'Didn't think so.

mq59 said...

Please!!! Don't ever say there's no Santa!!!

freedy said...

It's like waking up on x-mas day and not seeing the "bike' you asked for.
These people who failed and hurt me over 20 years of churchianity were wake up calls screaming,"something ain't
here"!These people caused us to examine our beliefs and they just don't hold up anymore!It's that simple.

"THERE IS NO SANTA!!!!!!!!!"

mq59 said...

All right, who is posting using my user-name? (mad)

For the record, I do not believe in Santa.

Boomslang,

You may have rejected Christianity for that reason (or set of reasons), but not everyone here is like you.

The "sad to leave" poster and the woman who posted complaining about how vicious people on Christian message-boards are the ones who are more likely to fit the paradigm I suggested.

Jezebel,

The banana argument is wrong, considering wild bananas are almost inedible and getting a good banana takes a very complex process that was invented by man.

However, a broken watch is right twice a day. Mr. Comfort might be correct on the 80% figure--after all, it's corroborated by the "Why Christian Teens Rebel" author who spent much of his book criticizing the "evangelical subculture" rather than assuming anyone who leaves was never really a Christian (as Ray seems to believe judging by his position on "true and false conversion").

I'll check the link and get back to you.

boomSLANG said...

MQ said: "You may have rejected Christianity for that reason (or set of reasons), but not everyone here is like you."

I rejected Christianity for reasons I provided. I rejected it, probably, for the same reason you reject all other religions but your own. I believe in one less deity than you.

SpaceMonk said...

MQ59: "...some of the people on this site seem like candidates for eventual return (assuming they don't get hit by a bus first)--they want to believe and still retain many of their old values, but something or another (trashy stupid people within the church, arguments they can't win, etc) makes them think that Christianity is bunk."

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." - Hebrews 6:4-6

MQ, I know you tried explaining away this verse once before, but I forget what it was you said - something about one translation out there is slightly different, or something...?

Anyway, does thinking christianity is bunk really deserve eternal suffering in hell?

J. C. Samuelson said...

"And some of the people on this site seem like candidates for eventual return (assuming they don't get hit by a bus first)--they want to believe and still retain many of their old values, but something or another (trashy stupid people within the church, arguments they can't win, etc) makes them think that Christianity is bunk."

You may be right, but if so it will be due to emotional reasons (fear, self-doubt, a desire to belong, etc.) not logic. Speaking only for myself, there is no chance whatsoever of my returning to the faith short of your God actually stopping by for coffee and smokes. Even then he'd have some 'splaining to do.

Dano said...

The reason we regulars on this web site always prevail over those that come here pretending to be born again, true Christians, is this:

God is pissed at whoever made up the Christian religion and insinuated that man was made in his image.

Whatever power created the universe, is obviously peeved that certain representatives of a life form that has only recently evolved enough to be able to speak a language, and read and write it, considers themselves, somehow representative of that prime mover,

"That Force," observes the humble attitude of us "non believers" ,who readily admit that we know nothing, as to who or what created the universe, or why, or how, and blesses us for our integrity with clear thinking minds, uncluttered with mythology, and pagan magical deities, doing absurd pagan things like sacrificing people and other things to themselves.

To put it simply: God is on our side, and not on the side of ANYONE WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW WHAT GOD IS, OR HOW IT THINKS, or why and how, it does what it does.

Dan (A humble Agnostic)

Orwell said...

I agree with anonymous about a lot of the stuff here being faked.

For one thing, the post from Emanuel Goldstein about his penis size was obviously fakes, as Emanuel would never joke about himself.

Who ya kiddin?

Besides that, I'll be blunt, when Loftus talks about his "temptation" I DON"T BELIEVE IT.

I "lack belief" in his claim.

For one thing, he bases part of his argument on what some unnamed preacher saying about few men being able to resist such temptationn as Potipher's wife gave Joseph.

So some preacher said that? So what? Sound like he and Loftus are projecting.

Further, Loftus says that he now is happier because he has "lower ethical standards".

Well, he has already said in his book that he is a man who likes to be "worshipped" (his words).

Pardon me if I think it looks like he is looking for excuses.

No sale, Loftus!

Sutrina' said...

I agree with Orwell about fakery. Its just as possible that Emanuel Goldstein is a eunuch, however, I give Emanuel the benefit of doubt, if he says he has a nano-sized penis, then, we must take his words as law. For those who are sceptical of Emanuel, due to his track record on this site, which shows his philia for the obscene, obnoxious, and off-topic rhetoric, then I can see the logic, that his comment may have been nothing but a distraction, which is his hall-mark, as he typically has nothing relevant to add to a conversation but noise.

I'd also like to add, that Orwell, has provided nothing except a long post that boils down to his "doubt" of another persons words. Wow, isnt' that ironic. There are literally millions of people who doubt the bible as anything more than creative literature used to persuade the masses to conform to the religious norms of a "cult"ure within a specified era.

On statistics, the glass that is 50% empty, or 50% full, is both positive depending on "what" the observer "wants" to perceive, its based on a desired Outcome. For the observer who wants an empty glass, its positive that the glass is half-empty, and negative that its half-full. In contrast, for the observer who wants the glass full, its positive that the glass is half-full, and negative that the glass is half-empty.

Statistics, are numbers used to represent a deviation from a desired objective/rule sets. Objectives are individually subjective, and rule sets and subjectively created.

mq59 said...

Spacemonk,

Some translations say that it is impossible for people to return to the faith WHILE "putting the Son of Man to public disgrace."

In the historical context, it refers to Jewish Christians who returned to Judaism and denounced Jesus as a fraud who got what He deserved.

Obviously while they believe that, they can't come back. However, if they were to change their mind and stop believing Jesus is a fraud, then they could.

Dano,

If some form of Deism is the correct religion, you might be correct.

.:webmaster:. said...

My client is innocent. If at anytime my client doesn't appear to be innocent, please refer back to my first sentence.

MQ59 — first year law student.

mq59 said...

Don't flatter me, Webmaster. I'm not THAT advanced in the academic world.

SpaceMonk said...

"Obviously while they believe that, they can't come back. However, if they were to change their mind and stop believing Jesus is a fraud, then they could."

mq, as you say, that explanation would be obvious. I think it's even too much of an "Oh, derr" type obvious thing for the original author to have bothered mentioning in the first place.

It seems more obvious that, in the context of the surrounding verses, the standard translation (majority) is more likely - and meant as most other biblical teachings are meant, ie. an added fear factor against people slipping out of the churches control.
Not to mention being an expression of the petty, vindictive and vengeful mindset of that sort of religious fanatic...

boomSLANG said...

MQ said: Some translations say that it is impossible for people to return to the faith WHILE "putting the Son of Man to public disgrace."


'Curious---does one have to "disgrace" the concept of "The Almighty Zeus" in order to deduce that it is a false concept and has zero referant in reality? How about the Easter Bunny? The bottom line, once again, is that there is zero OJECTIVE evidence for the existance of any Deity, especially as an objective personal "being". If one is going introduce the Holy Bible, Holy Q'ran, or Book of Mormon, etc., as "evidence", then Dr.Suess has evey bit as much "credibility".

Green eggs and ham, anybody?

mq59 said...

SpaceMonk,

Here's an interesting article on
the subject:

http://www.cyberstreet.com/calvary/heb64-6.htm

Not to mention there've been many historical cases of people who were Christians at one time, rejected it, and then came back. CS Lewis comes to mind (we've discussed him before when this topic has come up), as well as Charles Wesley.

mq59 said...

Spacemonk,

http://www.gotquestions.org/Hebrews-6.html

Another interpretation--could be referring to Christ being "the only way."

http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/hebrews.htm

The above link is a refutation of "Once Saved, Always Saved," which is the mindset the "you were never really Christians" group holds.

mq59 said...

And one more before I get back to work on my paper on the development of castles.

http://www.middletree.net/hebrews6.asp

.:webmaster:. said...

From one of MW59s links:

"The question is, who's doing the renewing?"

The writer is trying to say that while it may be impossible for men to renew apostates to repentance, God could still do it.

Is it possible for men to renew anyone to repentance, apostate or simple unbeliever?

So, since it is impossible for MQ59 to renew anyone to repentance, why does he spend so much of his time on this site.

Could it be... SATAN?

.:webmaster:. said...

MQ, did you read any of those links. Didn't it strike you as interesting that they all contradicted each other?

Here's a couple that say the exact opposite:
http://www.bible.ca/fall-hebrews.htm#quiz1 | http://www.desiringgod.org/library/sermons/96/101396.html

Christians can't agree on these passages at all. I wonder why? They all have the Holy Spirit guiding them into all truth, right?

Oh well, it could mean this, or it could mean that. It doesn't matter. It's all true no matter what it means.

Hmm...

Trancelation said...

"Yes, and atheists in power have LITERALLY shot the wounded...and the believers, and the dissenters, and the opposition..."

No doubt the poster is referring to famous so-called atheists such as Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.

This is a common Christian tactic: the numbers game. When faced with the reality of the violent history of their religion, they point fingers and instigate that becaause supposed atheists throughout history have killed "more" people than Christians, they, that is the atheists, are worse.

Never mind that if even one religious individual murders someone, that the point of the religion has failed. I there is no change in the idividual embracing the religion, what's the point?

But the poster has committed a grievous error; the poster has attempted to frame the argument, and like all negative argument framers, has failed to correctly identify the nature of the opposition.

Atheism implies a LACK of a theistic belief. Atheists do not place anything within the spectrum of ultimate and transcendant power, and this is not a charcateristic known to be practiced by famous 'atheists' like Hitler and Stalin.

If the state was not the ultimate power, then they themselves were. Clearly Hitler believed he was of divine status. Ergo, it is not possible that Hitler could have been an atheist. The same goes for any other madman that any Christian at any point in time can name and align with atheism.

Never Going Back/Tiffanie said...

Trancelation: Please become more aquainted with the beliefs of Hitler before you claim he was an atheist. Hitler was NOT an atheist. By his own admission he was a Christian. Please refer to his book "Mein Kampf". Hitler most assuredly believed he was doing Bible-God a favor by knocking off all of those dirty birdie Jews who had killed his savior.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you have found multiple "reasons" for not being a Christian. Christianity is not about people, it's about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. People will always disappoint you, and you will always disappoint others. That just proves we here on this earth are all human.

webmdave said...

are you still married to the first wife?