"A Sabbatical?" or "My Anti-Testimony"

I first posted this "testimony" to the web on July 27, 2001. If you too have found Christianity specifically, or religion generally, to be less than satisfying for any reason, please consider posting your own "testimony" to this site by clicking here, or message me by clicking here.




It is invariably a shock to Evangelical Christians to come across someone who has turned his or her back on the “faith was once delivered unto the saints.” Most believers will quickly dismiss an ex-Christian by piously pointing out that anyone who turns away from Christ was never a real believer. Or, as an insider might say it, “They were never born again.” There is Biblical support for the assertion. 1 John 2:19, which addressed the problem of First Century apostates, states that: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (KJV) (I’d like to point out here that the previous verse, verse 18, suggests that the writer also believed it was the end of history and that the Antichrist was about to appear. It seems that whoever penned 1 John was premature in announcing it to be the “last time.” He may have been mistaken in his quick judgments against those ancient infidels as well.)

For those from a Calvinistic background, the fifth petal of TULIP uncompromisingly declares that those truly chosen by God for salvation will persevere in the faith. They will persevere in the faith because God will preserve them in the faith. Or, as a Baptist fundamentalist might express it: “Once saved always saved.” For fundies, a believer gone bad was just faking salvation or is presently backslidden and will eventually return to the fold, with his or her tail between his or her legs. There are also a plethora of competing denominations that teach people can lose their salvation. To members of those denominations, a fellow believer who has fallen away might have really been saved at one time, but is now lost again. They believe it is possible to get saved, and lost, and saved again, many times, before a person's allotted lifespan runs out.

The reason for this brief essay is to share my testimony about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and my repentance from that relationship. What follows may unnerve some of my closer associates and will likely alienate some of my good friends. I have absolutely no desire to alienate anyone since I have already spent years as a zealous evangelical Christian, alienating dozens and dozens of people in the name of Christ. However, it is only fair to those who know me to allow them a glimpse into where I am coming from, now.

When I was very young, my parents attended a Presbyterian Church. I used to watch my father pray during the service. His eyes would close and his chin would rest against his chest. I wondered if he was asleep. At home, my mother would tell my brother and I Bible stories. I always had questions for her: “Why did God put the tree of knowledge in the garden since he knew what would happen?” I also wondered whom Cain married, if dinosaurs were taken on the ark, and all kinds of things my mother could not answer. My parents stopped regularly attending church when I was nine, but still sent my brother and me to Vacation Bible School during the summer. I was diligent to learn all the Bible lessons, stories and doctrines, earning multiple gold stars in each class. Though I do not remember it, my mother likes to tell a story that even when I was 5 years old, I would come home from Sunday School, gather the un-churched neighborhood kids together on our porch, and parrot all I had been taught that morning.

I was eleven years old in 1969. My grandmother was a staunch Baptist. In fact, she was one of the founding members of the First Baptist Church in Ashtabula Ohio, and was absolutely devoted to the place. The Church had hired an aggressive youth minister who wanted to see more young people attending services. His name was Norm, and he organized a youth rally which featured a movie produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The movie's aim was the conversion of young people. My grandmother invited me to the meeting and of course I loved my Grandma, so I got a ride from my Dad and sat with her to watch the show. I don’t remember the title of the movie, but the basic plot centered on one of the male characters who accepts Christ and starts to tell his friends about it. One of his unbelieving friends makes terrible fun of the whole thing, mocks Christ, and mocks the threat of going to hell. The unbelieving friend ends up accidentally trapped in a burning barn toward the end of the film and dies horrifically, going straight to a Christless grave.

I am not sure how powerful of a flick it was, but it got to me. Before that movie, I knew about God and the Bible and Jesus, but now I realized I had no personal relationship with Christ, and I needed one. When the altar call was given to come forward and accept Christ, I did not go forward, but listened intently, memorizing the “sinner’s prayer.” Later that night, in the dark and quiet of my room, I got down on my knees confessed my sins, repented as much as I knew how, and accepted Christ into my heart. It was a mind-altering experience for me. In my mind’s eye I visualized the Creator of all physically with me in the room. I felt overwhelmed with what I believed was a personal and direct manifestation of the LORD. I cried and cried. The emotional cleansing and reality of that moment has never left me, and as I write about it now, it comes alive once again.

The very next morning, I started carrying a small New Testament to school with me. I was in the sixth grade, reading a KJV, and doing my best to understand what I could from its inspired pages. I began attending church that week, and became a regular customer at the local Christian Book Store. My paper route wages and tips found investment in books and comic book tracts by Jack Chick, which I read and distributed zealously.

After my twelfth birthday I was asked if I would like to be trained as a counselor for the new Billy Graham evangelistic movie entitled “For Pete’s Sake,” which was being sponsored by several local churches. The showings were to be at Shea’s Theater in downtown Ashtabula. I eagerly agreed and dutifully submitted myself to the counselor training by memorizing the required verses and receiving a certificate as a bona fide counselor. At the end of each night, a short salvation message was shared by one of the local pastors, followed by the traditional Billy Graham style altar call. During the course of the weekend, I was able to assist several young people from my own age group as they came forward to make decisions for Christ. Following that crusade, I was excited. I began to do street evangelism on my own. I witnessed to other kids at school, and even led a fellow Boy Scout to the lord while on a week long Boy Scout camp. His name is Phil and is presently a pastor at an American Baptist Church outside of Youngstown Ohio. I started a junior high school Bible study group, and taught the others who joined how to lead others to Christ ala Billy Graham. (“The Romans Road” with some small variations, was what Billy recommended back then.) The early 1970’s saw the height of the Jesus People Movement in the US, so naturally I became involved with other non-denominational youth study groups held at various houses around town. I was introduced to CS Lewis, Watchman Nee and other famous Christian authors during this time. I drank every word written in those books like it was water. A prolific reader even in junior high I was insatiable for more and more information.

Reggie Kirk, my Boy Scout Master, recognized my thirst for more spiritual enlightenment and invited me to his church, the local Assembly of God, where I learned I needed the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to be a complete Christian. I attended one Sunday night when, providentially, the topic being discussed was that very doctrine. I went forward during the altar call to receive the “Baptism” and kept those poor people there long after the service ended as I pleaded with the Almighty to grace me with the Holy Ghost and tongues. Finally, after two hours of eye watering, knee hardening prayer, and some helpful coaching from a woman who stood with me, I babbled a few syllables. Everyone pronounced proudly that I had indeed received the Holy Spirit. Now, as a full-fledged tongue-talking Jesus person, I went full steam into making a difference in the world for Christ.

My parents, who at best were only nominally religious, viewed my obsessive enthrallment with church-stuff as disconcerting and worrisome. My mother, knowing I loved to read, decided to introduce me to her understanding of reality which was embodied in the writings of Edgar Cayce. My mother was a Reincarnationist. I rejected her teaching, witnessed to her unceasingly for the next 25 years about the love of Christ, and read everything published concerning the psychic Cayce. My grades suffered terribly in junior high, as I could not see any value to secular learning. I viewed the world as passing away, valueless compared with heavenly knowledge with eternal relevance.

As puberty became more influential in my thought processes, I struggled terribly with the hormonal demands of my body verses the tenets of the Church concerning any sort of sensual pleasure. Jesus taught that it is just as sinful to have any sort of lustful thought, as to actually act on any of them. I found adolescence very difficult on my thought life, finding myself in a perpetual war with guilt. I agonized over my sexuality, begging God to deliver me from temptation, to no avail. It was depressing.
I began to distinguish myself in music during this time, receiving nothing but positive feedback on my performance. By the time I was 14, I was being hired to play trombone semi-professionally. It was fun. I had begun finding inconsistencies in the Bible when I noticed numerous contradictions between various number citations in the Old Testament. Then I was confused by the multiple conflicting details in the resurrection stories in the Gospels, as well as in Paul’s version. One of the biggest contradictions I could not rectify was whether or not Judas threw his money into the temple and hanged himself or bought a field and fell headlong into it. I wrote to an evangelistic radio ministry out of Richmond Virginia, asking for direction about these apparent problems. I was only thirteen and they responded to my cry for help with a short note. Instead of an intellectually satisfying apologetic, they merely admonished that some things could only be answered through the eyes of faith. I pretty much got the same answer everywhere I went. Regardless, I continued to attend Baptist Church on Sunday mornings, Assembly of God on Sunday nights, and various home study groups during the week. Then, the summer before entering High School, the Baptist church hierarchy decided to fire the youth minister. He had held an all night youth rally event at the church. The geriatric power people in the church thought his tactics to lure young people to church were inappropriate, so they brought the issue to vote and that settled the matter. He was there one week and gone the next. During the same time period, the Pastor of the Assembly of God church was caught having an affair with one of the lady members. Both he and the woman were married to other people, so when the affair was discovered, he resigned and left the church. I still wonder how long that had been going on. My growing dissatisfaction with the church’s inability to answer my Biblical questions, my budding musical career and the hypocritical church politics worked together to help me fall away from Christianity for a time. My grades in school improved immensely. I finished High School early, in the top 10% of the class. I auditioned for the Air Force Band, was accepted, and as soon as I turned seventeen, I left for basic training in San Antonio.

As the years went by, I continued to have an interest in the Bible, studying textual variants and translation problems. I had several years of revival, when I buried my questioning and simply emulated the faith of a little child, trusting that though I could not understand many things, God knew what he was doing. Eventually, I would get a headache from such pious mind games and find myself drifting again. I spent years in and out of Charismatic meetings where healings were performed as well as Words of Knowledge, messages from God, and rousing sermons proclaiming the imminent return of Christ. The emotional feeling of those early charismatic events was like a drug high.

During these up and down spiritual times, I swung between being fanatically zealous, to totally apostate. I comforted myself on my lack of consistency by reasoning that at least I was not lukewarm. In the next few years I belonged to several different Baptist Churches and several different Charismatic Churches in succession. I was married, had a son, got divorced, remarried and had two more children. In my thirties, I finally hit bottom and decided I would simply dig in, buy books like crazy, and study until I got all my answers.

My second wife and I were deeply involved in an English speaking Assembly of God church while living in Japan. We ran the music ministry, the bookstore and participated in English evangelism at a local Japanese speaking Assembly of God. Once again, my inquiring mind reared its ugly head and put me at odds with the church. For years I had accepted the Pentecostal teaching that all Christians must speak in tongues to demonstrate they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. I had also accepted the harsh Arminianism preached there. As I began to study John Calvin, Matthew Henry, John Bunyan, Matthew Poole, Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther and a host of other teachers from the past, I began to realize that there was a whole other gospel of which I was completely ignorant. I questioned the pastor of our AG church on some of these matters. He did not answer any of my questions, assuring me that God would comfort my heart as to the truth of the Assemblies’ teachings in time. He responded to my inquiry by removing my wife and I from all our leadership responsibilities until such time as we came to peace with the issues I brought up. He said if I were to remain in leadership with doubts on various Pentecostal doctrines, it would cause confusion for the congregation. Of course we were welcome to stay and attend the services, he said. We left the church that day. I started a home Bible study where we studied such things as Romans 9, Ephesians 1, and other strikingly Calvinistic chapters, without forcing any dogmatic conclusions. It was well attended. I led that group into street evangelism in Japan, passing out tracts at train stations and other public areas. I wrote letters to Christian leaders all over the world, soliciting their input on various doctrinal issues and spent a small fortune on books, studying the reformed theologians who lived prior to this century’s “charismania”.

I retired from the Air Force, left Japan and started over again in the town where I grew up. My parents and other relatives were apprehensive of my resettling near them, since they knew I was a religious fanatic. We attended, and even joined, several churches over the next few years, trying to settle in with the local evangelical, non-charismatic Christians. We wanted to find acceptance, and learn sound doctrine. As I learned more, and leaned more toward the Reformed Faith, I was made aware that I was living in adultery with my present wife. This was because my previous marriage did not end with a scriptural divorce. One counselor advised me that I should leave my present wife and live celibate in order to obey Christ’s commands. Failure to leave my present wife was considered continuous adultery in this Reformed denomination. This made no sense to me. Can one grievous sin be offset by committing another, I wondered? Should I really abandon my wife and two children because I blew it on my first marriage? I also discovered that any illusions I might have of ever being in any kind of leadership in any Reformed church, was out of the question. Divorce and remarriage was treated, except under the narrowest of scriptural scrutiny, as if it were more unforgivable than murder. The husband of one wife was the badge of acceptance required above all. Of course I still had questions. That, apparently, is a bad thing, as it did nothing but set me at odds with pastors and congregants alike. We finally found a Reformed Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, which accepted my past miscarriage of wedlock and we attended for several months. Originally the church had been an Independent Baptist Church and quite Arminian in theology. They had made the switch to Calvinism in soteriology, but remained Darbyite in eschatology. The primary preoccupation they seemed to have was with such important topics as head coverings for women and hating homosexuals. If the pastor was questioned in private concerning even the smallest detail of his teaching, the next service would be laced with personalized rebuke and condemnation pointedly aimed at the doubting inquiries and directly at those mouthing them. We left that church too.

We found another church some 35 miles away from our house that seemed promising. This church had been very charismatic originally, but had found deeper meaning in the teachings of R.J. Rushdooney. They had made a complete 180-degree turn toward Reconstructionism. I was totally unfamiliar with this brand of Christianity, so we stayed there for over three years. In that time we experienced and were taught a whole new brand of Christianity. Waving the Westminster Confession as the flag of truth we were encouraged to be filled with anger against sin, against worldly politicians, and to be fiercely aggressive political activists, so we might gain temporal power and obey Christ’s command to go into the entire world. “Discipling the Nations” was their clarion call. When the assistant pastor raised money to go and publicly support a civil war in a small African country, in the name of Christ, we finally knew it was time to leave that arena too. During the three years we were there, not one person became our friend. Everyone was too busy condemning pietism, marching and campaigning, and supposedly changing the world for Jesus.

Since leaving that church, I have spent the last couple of years reading other materials. Books by disillusioned Christians, pastors and others who find religion generally, and Christianity specifically, lacking in truth has become my books of choice. I have come to accept my initial adolescent doubts about the Bible. It was not simply rebellion, but the seed of good common logic and sense. I no longer claim to have all, or many, of the answers to life as I once claimed when my fanaticism expanded to full bloom. Since I have had to accept the fact that my theology has been wrong time and again, even though I supposedly had the Holy Spirit guiding me, it is quite unlikely that I have ever been totally right on much. I have changed my foundational beliefs several times as my religious self-education has evolved. I can’t say that I am content to be stagnant even at this juncture of spiritual understanding – I reserve the right to once again change my mind. Surely, if God could make a mistake and repent of making man, I can acknowledge error and repent of making a god and any decisions about my belief in it.

What do I believe now? Like I said, I am not sure. I suppose that makes me an agnostic. At this point, that is the most intellectually appealing position for my tortured thought processes. It allows me the freedom to keep an open mind while absorbing all the viewpoints without completely immersing myself in any of them. You might consider it an R&R from mind control, or perhaps I simply want …………, a sabbatical.

Dave




That is what I said then, and for the most part I would not change a thing. However, as my mind has cleared from the constant programming or self brainwashing I willingly subjected myself to, I have upped the "Anti", you might say. While I really cannot credit or blame anyone else for the positions on religion I have held, I find that much of the feedback I am receiving from this site implies that I have rejected Christ because of how people treated me. I regret I have written in such a way so as to mislead some on this point. Though I indeed was treated poorly by the bulk of Christians I know, I do not hate or dislike any of them. Neither did I leave the faith solely because of their behavior. I endured trials like that for nearly 30 years, and though unpleasant, it did not discourage me from my commitment to Christ. I remained stalwart for years, reasoning, as many of the people who write me, that Christians may be imperfect, but they are forgiven, and Christ is not like them, and so on. The main point I had hoped to accomplish in reiterating a few of the unpleasant experiences I had with the "chosen few" was to show that there is nothing supernatural going on in the lives of Christians. We are taught that the Holy Spirit is within us, transforming us, quickening us, destroying our sin nature, putting to death the "old man" and on and on ad-nauseam. The simple truth is: it is not true. Christians are absolutely no different than any one else. They do not have GOD ALMIGHTY in their bodies, making them into new creatures. Oh, sure, many resist temptation and endeavor to live a pure, moral life, but their thoughts continue to trouble them, and have to be resisted until death. Anyone who claims otherwise is a lying fool.

Now, of course someone is going to give me one of the stock theological answers to this puzzle, such as, the sin nature will never be destroyed until death. Or they might say that we are never perfectly sanctified in this life. There are plenty of well-rehearsed answers, all with supporting Bible verses, and interestingly, many of those bland explanations contradict one another, depending on the denominational bent of the various unharmonious voices. I readily admit that I have never been anything more than a layman. I have no official seminary or theological schooling to adorn my walls. I have, however, read extensively from the writings of Charles Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, Matthew Poole, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, Martin Luther, John Calvin, R.C. Sproul, the historic Confessions of Faith, commentaries without number, The Sword of the Lord, Charisma Magazine, Bill Bright, Frank Morrison, Hendricks, etc.

Listing all my reading is possible, but I only mention the books I can see from my computer desk. If I were to go to the basement, I would recite dozens of other well known authors in Christendom. I owned a Dake Bible and I own an old Geneva Bible. I have a reprint of Tyndale's original English New Testament. I was, and am, highly interested in the Christian faith. Does all this reading make me the authority? No of course not, but it was not only emotional dissatisfaction which led me to my present position. The more I studied the Christian faith, its history, how it has mutated and evolved over time, I began to realize that I was not being intellectually honest with myself. How can “the truth once delivered” change so much over the course of 2000 years if GOD ALMIGHTY was running the show? For example, Arminianism was heresy to Protestants when the Bible was published in English. Now it is the Calvinists who are held in disrepute.

Chances are that many of the Christians who read the mentions of Calvinism, eschatology, soteriology, etc., have no idea what I am talking about. That is another topic that contributed to my first suspicions that Xtianity is a false lie: the striking ignorance and loathing for learning that is rife in the Christian community. Claiming to love god with all their hearts and souls, yet reading His Word, memorizing it, studying theology to better understand HIM, is quite beyond most, if not nearly all Christians. Finding anyone who understands the history of Christianity prior to Darby's Dispensational gospel is nearly impossible. I would try to strike up conversations about theological and historical topics that were churning in my mind only to find blank stares in the Christian's faces to whom I would address myself. Now, that would be understandable if I were addressing novices, or baby believers, but the blankest stares would come from the pastors themselves. One pastor actually admitted to me that he found if very difficult to study the Word of God. He found study of theology very dry and boring and emphasized to me that Christ was relational, seeking a living relationship with his children, not living in dry books but living in beating hearts. Oh, how pious sounding! No doubt some reading this now have heard such tripe, and maybe some even heard their spirit bear witness to them that, yes that is true, Christ desires a relationship with us. To this nonsense I say that since Christ and his Dad are not talking in any other conventional way except through the words of Scripture in these last days, how is it I can hear His voice, unless I immerse myself in His WORDS? How is it I can say I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I love GOD more than all, I am being made into a new creation, and yet still find studying Christianity to be dull? The answer is simple of course. It is dull, and it is dead. There is no living Spirit indwelling believers, and only the compulsive, people like me, have the natural drive to totally focus on boring stuff.

Finally, finding no answers to my questions, I read the books of such people as Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Dan Barker, Charles Templeton, Austin Mills, James Randi, Richard Dawkins, and a host of others. I began to see that there was a whole world of Freethinking Ex-Christians, and NON-Christians out there, people who were fairly invisible to the general public, especially the Christian general public. My mind was opened to reality, and is continuing to be opened to reality, as the myths and gods of my youth are abandoned to be replaced by reason.

I do not consider myself an agnostic anymore, finding fence sitting untenable. I could say I am now an evil Atheist, or I could use the softer sounding title of Freethinker. For now I will simply call myself an Ex-Christian, though there is more to it than being an ex something or another. I no longer believe in any gods or goddesses, they are all primitive imaginings reflecting an escape from fear and ignorance. There are many things we do not know about the world and the universe at large, but not knowing the how’s or why’s of things does not predispose us to believing in a giant Sky Daddy, or Tri-Daddy, or whatever.

None of this proves or disproves Christianity, I realize, but the purpose of this paper is to show the thinking processes that led to my de-conversion.

527 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I am 55 years old, and I still suffer the psychological scars of my early Christian experience.

I was born, or somehow came to be, a desperate people-pleaser. My father was a standard, by-the-book narcissist. Pleasing him was impossible, yet as a child, I was not able to shake off the programming which drove me to keep trying. About age 18, I escaped my father's control (at least geographically), and set off on my own struggle to find a place where I felt like I belonged. I had had an emotional experience with faith at a young age, gotten baptized, taught Sunday School, led the youth group--all the usual stuff--but I never felt like God was involved in any of it. While the Church seemed for all the world to hold out hope for a sense of belonging, it simply isn’t there. I never felt like I was a valid member.

I tried even harder by going to Bible College. In a never-ending effort to gain credentials, I graduated at the top of my class, struggling the whole way to prove myself to my peers. It never happened. The great narcissist parent was only replaced by the greater Narcissist, the Church.

Now, any believer will flippantly say that it was ME who was to blame, that my heart was obviously in the wrong place, that I was being selfish, so of course God couldn't bless me. But the only thing I came to realize was that, if God exists, he had predestined me to fail in the effort to find a place in his church.

At age 30, in what turned out to be the worst decision of my life, I proceeded to try one more time. I applied and enrolled in a well known evangelical seminary. I was living under the deep delusion that seminary was a place where you can think, reflect, figure things out. I was in for the shock of my life. Graduating from that place is solely about one's ability to crank out enormous amounts of work for 4 years, and nothing about your ability to think. It is the biggest cookie cutter Christian factory ever devised by man. In my 3rd year, I grew sick and tired of it, and threw the whole thing overboard. It was like ripping my arms off, and draining the blood out of my veins. I had trouble in my marriage, and the things the leaders of that school did to me are absolutely unconscionable by anyone's standards--except theirs.

As I look back, I truly wish several things.

One, I wish I had not alienated my Christian friends. Whether this wish could have come true is doubtful. You have to lie to them to stay on their good side.

Two, I wish I had maintained the lie for one more year and graduated. I still have dreams at night in which I am a student, and finals are coming up, and I'm not ready. Again, this wish may not be practical because in the end you have to be honest with yourself, even if there is a long term cost. You can hope that the reward outweighs the cost.

Three, I wish I had sought psychological counseling to help me see what was really going on. I could have caught a train on a different track, and not been slammed so hard against the windshield when the forward motion stopped. At the time however, that seemed impossible. The Christian death sentence--rejection by the church--seems so incredibly final.

Four, I wish I had never gotten re-married and had children until I settled some of these issues. Unfortunately for my future family, I still bore the bloody wounds of the battle for approval.

As for theology, the house is shattered, bricks strewn all around. Once in a while, I pick one up, chip off a little of the old mortar and examine it on its several sides. But the house will never be lived in again.

My need for approval makes all the antinomies, paradoxes, contradictions of the Bible seem trivial. I do think one can find some subjective meaning in the literature of the Bible, if you approach it as literature, not insisting that it be scientifically accurate in every detail. For example, if one studies the synoptic issue as a literary development of real people living in real social circumstances, he can appreciate the human beauty there. That doesn't mean it leads us to God any more than Shakespeare or Tennyson or Longfellow. But these literary masterpieces can give us escape, imagination, expression, and healing.

Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for this page. I am currently going through what could probably be best described as removing the blinders, or coming to the realization that I believed a false religion for nearly 33 years. Coming to this conclusion has been truly painful for me--it means I had to give up my belief in eternal life and salvation, in my family going to heaven, in the meaning of Christmas. I don't know how I really honestly believed these things when I read the Bible objectively and apply logic. But I truly did believe them. I don't know whether to be sad that I lost so much time to a lie or to be happy now that I know and understand the truth.

Your web site had nothing to do with my de-conversion, but I just wanted to let you know that I understand why you made the site, and thank you for it.

DMM

webmdave said...

Thanks for the encouragement DMM.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone writing in this section is being rather selfish. The "self-help" concept of this website displays this clearly. Maybe, if everyone made the conscious decision to forget about their own problems and help others with more serious problems there would be a little more love for our brethren. After all, this style of life was displayed and upheld by Jesus Christ. You can choose to be selfish and proud or selfless and humble. And the latter leads to a more jovial life indeed.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous.

This forum is not just for "self-help" and other "selfish" notions, it is here to encourage OTHERS who are leaving the shitstem of Christianity. Think of it like Alcoholics Anonymous. We're not being selfish, we're working through real, actual, mental and emotional damage done by the church.

Anonymous said...

However, deep down, you are in it for yourselves. Stop thinking about yourselves and how you can further the anti-Christian cause. While Christ would rather see you as a believer, I think the world would like to see you doing something other than bashing an institution known as the church which has done immense work throughout the world to help others no matter what they believe. Maybe you all should try living by this facet of the church's mission. And I know you will come at me with examples of how the Christian church members have failed or screwed up a lot. But every institution has some fakers or people who just are not quite completely selfless yet, but the mission still holds to be selfless.

webmdave said...

Why do Christians absolutely refuse to post under anything but "anonymous." It's so annoying.

Anonymous Christian #8,843,485.5, everyone is in it for themselves. If Christianity did not offer a carrot and a stick no one would follow the religion. It's all about going to heaven and avoiding hell. I can't think of too many self-interest motivators bigger than that. Eternal torment vs. pleasure forever.

As far as your comment about the church doing good things throughout history, you really need to take a church history course. Christianity caused the Dark Ages.

Aranea said...

Good Morning,~

I apologize, as I unfortunately stumbled upon your wonderful website after a sleepless night of aimless web surfing.

What you are doing here deserves a hearty "kudos!", and were I more awake I'd probably be able to say something a little more intelligent. lol. I applaud you sir, I really do.

I respect you for being able to deal with all of the nonsensical arguments you're getting. I'd think it would get a bit old eventually, but you seem to just slog on through it. :)

Have a great day!
~ Aranea

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to stumble (of course just as most of you) across the site.

Very intelligent and fine sounding arguments from both sides. Great brains and great arguments.

But what is the final conclusion? (sorry i did not have time to read the entire posts)

Is it... No God so No Christianity
or .. God may be there but No Christianity?
or .. Christianity may be there but we only need Good deeds .. hence no need of Christianity?
or those who call themselves Chiristians should get their acts right?

can some one summerise? Thank you.. keep up your good work!!!

Anonymous said...

You wouldn't know who I was if I put anonymous or Bobby as my name so what is the point. And yes eternity is a great perk to salvation, but no one can receive it unless they trust in Christ. And you can't trust in Christ unless you follow Him. And if you follow Him, you must decide to "take up your cross daily" which means to deny yourself daily. So in other words, if one claims to be Christian but does not care to try and act how selflessly Christ did, they are not a true Christian.

And yes the crusades were horrible and all of the Dark Ages. However, do you honestly believe that the people who participated in murdering copious amounts of people were truly Christians? They may have claimed to be but they got the entire point of the life style wrong.

selva said...

Let’s give a thought to Hindu – ism.

It is an easy to follow religion. If you want to believe in God you can. If not you don’t have to. (Non-believing saints are allowed in the religion) Some say it is actually not a religion, so you can be religious and not necessarily believing. No two Hindus believe in same gods. (They have about 330 million gods as per some of their mythology) If you want to follow a ritual to worship god, you can. If you think it is too stupid, you can invent your own ritual. If you want to be scientific about what you do, you can explain it with science. If you think, blind belief is enough you can just believe. You can agree to disagree everything and no one feels bad or argues with you (within the religion) as long as you just say you are a Hindu. This is an organized religion at the same time there is so much it is not organized about also. All you might need is a blessing from some “Swamy” from India. Don’t worry; there are plenty of “Sways” who can bless you at economical and competitive rates. You still want to worship Christ, no problem, add a picture of him along with all the cow, lion, fish, pig and monkey gods. There is always plenty of room. In fact, when you die you also becomes a god!!!

See, while there are such easy ones to follow, why are you breaking your head with Christianity and its million churches and its beliefs. Do you wanna give it a try?

selva said...

sorry it is not "sways" but "swamys" in the earlier post

Anonymous said...

Well I do appreciate the offer. However, my beliefs tell me that Christianity is "the way, the truth, and the life". This statement is like a cornerstone to my faith. My Bible also states that I am to worship no other god than the one true God. While I can see that your intentions mean well, I must stand firm in what I believe. And I am a non-denomenational Christian. I am not Lutheran, nor Catholic, nor Presbyterian. I am simply a Christian and the Church I attend teaches straight from the Bible so that we do not mix up the beliefs. All the denomenations started because humans added and subtracted from the Bible to make it say what they wanted. This is wrong as the Bible states and I do not wish to wrap myself up in this kind of mess. Thank you for your invitation though.

selva said...

So Mr. Anonymous, which of those million churches is true church?

As you know each of them have different sets of faiths

which is true?

J. C. Samuelson said...

"You wouldn't know who I was if I put anonymous or Bobby as my name so what is the point."

More than 10% of the responses on this thread alone were posted by those who chose the "Anonymous" designation. Having a unique identifier helps facilitate communication.

However, since your language seems to indicate you're of the Evangelical persuasion, most likely you're not interested in communication; you just want to dictate to us reprobates. Save your keystrokes.

"And you can't trust in Christ unless you follow Him. And if you follow Him, you must decide to "take up your cross daily" which means to deny yourself daily. So in other words, if one claims to be Christian but does not care to try and act how selflessly Christ did, they are not a true Christian."

And this is supposed to impress someone here? We've all heard this tripe repeated again and again by the deluded. Some of us have given this same speech when we were still lost in the faith.

But, I seriously doubt you really walk the walk. I suspect that, like most Evangelicals, you cherry pick the verses you like (or have been told are important) and discard those you don't, and have a multitude of reasons/justifications as to why the verses you don't follow don't apply to you.

"However, do you honestly believe that the people who participated in murdering copious amounts of people were truly Christians?"

I believe that every generation of Christians believes their faith to be a greater expression of the Truth™ than the last. Had you been alive during any of the Crusades, chances are extremely good you would have sanctioned the actions or taken part in them yourself.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"And I am a non-denomenational Christian. I am not Lutheran, nor Catholic, nor Presbyterian. I am simply a Christian and the Church I attend teaches straight from the Bible so that we do not mix up the beliefs."

I was right. Evangelical. We will not get anywhere with this one, ladies and gents.

"All the denomenations started because humans added and subtracted from the Bible to make it say what they wanted."

And the version you use is the correct one, right? Which version? How do you know it's the right translation? Let me guess, you prayed and the Holy Spirit revealed the Truth™ of your scripture to you. Or perhaps your church peers and pastor revealed it to you, with additional help from the Holy Spirit?

I rather suspect you really don't know much (if anything) about the Bible beyond what you've been told by those in your faith community. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet you haven't read it cover to cover. Most Evangelicals who post here don't know half of what the Bible says, and I have yet to talk to an Evangelical who knows anything about the Bible's history or textual criticism.

Anonymous said...

How do you (trust in) christ and how do you (follow) christ? I think he's dead!

webmdave said...

Another anony asked: "do you honestly believe that the people who participated in murdering copious amounts of people were truly Christians?"

So, does that mean that no Christians were involved in creating the Atomic bomb? Does that mean that no Christians killed Germans and Japanese during WWII? Does that mean that Christians never kill, even in war?

The crusades were considered "holy war." The religious leaders blessed the troops, and praised them for their faith in going forth to war.

Many of those crusaders were "true Christians™," convinced they were serving their savior. Just like you.

webmdave said...

Still another anony said: "All the denomenations started because humans added and subtracted from the Bible"

Ah, do you have any idea how the New Testament became part of the Bible? A bunch of men got together, argued over the various writings they had available, and decided on which of the anonymously authored books to include.

The final decision was far from unanimous.

BTW, the bunch of men who decided the final grouping were Roman Catholics. Did you know your Bible is a Roman Catholic construct?

You really need to learn some history. All your Christian doctrine is descended from Roman Catholic and Protestant thought. All of it.

Anonymous said...

deuWebmaster, I will respond to your comments. Your claims that the crusaders were true Christians is invalid. You have not used the information that the Bible gives us to spot true Christians. They display the fruits of the Holy Spirit as they are called and they despise sin or evil acts. I would say that the killing of innocent people is not very fruitful or law abiding for Christians. They were not Christians as far as my guess goes and this is just a wild hunch. However we as humans should not condemn others. never. ever.

And now for your claims on the origins of the compilations of our New Testament Scripture. We cannot turn to Acts, to any other New Testament book, or to early church records for an answer to this question. Neither the apostles nor the early church leaders left written records explaining how books were chosen or which ones belonged to the canon. So far as we know, the apostles did not "canonize" their books to make them authoritative. Today a written list of "canonized" books is a necessity. In the first couple of generations of the church, the need for a written list was not pressing since there was a strong oral teaching and apostolic tradition within the churches. The apostles' spoken words and established traditions were considered authoritative in the early church, and by them Christians were taught and knew which books were inspired.

We do not know why written records about the forming of the canon were not made. Perhaps one reason is that the early Christians may have decided, as just mentioned, to rely on verbal transmission of the list of books belonging in the New Testament. Thus they may not have seen the need to put in writing what everyone knew. The apostles may also have thought that it was not important for later generations to know every detail of the process by which the Word was put in writing. They may have thought that later generations would constantly be distracted from the message by turning their attention to the process. They may have also expected the Lord to return soon, eliminating any need for a written record. Furthermore, the apostles may have been too busy living and preaching the gospel and carrying out the Great Commission to make such lists.

So how was the canon formed? The answer is simple. The Christians and the church simply acknowledged the apostles' authority and accepted their writings and the writings of those closely associated with them (such as Mark and Luke) as part of the Holy Scripture. The church did not have to put together a canon by reviewing and examining prospective books and choosing those that qualified to be part of it. How would the church know which books the apostles and their associates wrote? During the opening period of church history, the apostles themselves, or those who received the books, could be asked. Oral tradition would pass the answers on to the following generations.

The next step would be to make a list of these books. Since bookmaking was not developed to where all the New Testament writings could be bound together, one would expect the canon list to develop long before many would have possessed a New Testament canon.

The third step would be for the church and individuals to gather the writings together. Would this be difficult? No, these books were treasured and preserved.

A source of the books in the early history of the church could have been the apostles themselves. One can safely assume that they kept copies of their manuscripts. The writers of the Gospels no doubt had copyists reproducing their manuscripts from the very start so they could be sent to the churches, and the copyists would have had to keep either the original or a copy to do this. One may speculate that the writer of a gospel or any other New Testament book would hardly had put such effort into a manuscript without seeing that it would be distributed. It seems unlikely that Paul would write such a major work as Romans without keeping a copy. There was too much chance that it might be lost in transit to Rome¾or even misplaced by the church in Rome¾for him not to keep a copy. Other authors may also have kept copies of their letters. But above all, the Holy Spirit saw to the overseeing of the distribution and preservation of the books He inspired.

Another source of a canonizing list would had been those receiving the books. They would knew right off that it was an important work since it came from an apostle or his close associate. They surely knew some of the above mentioned views that show these writings quickly were given an important position: (1) that Paul's letters were read in church gatherings on the same level as Old Testament Scriptures (Col. 4:16; I Thess. 5:27), (2) that Peter was aware of Paul's letters to the churches and classed his letters with the Scriptures (II Peter 3:15), (3) that John presupposed his Book of Revelation would be read as other Scriptures (Rev. 1:3), (4) that John's warning about adding to or taking away from the Book of Revelation showed great importance would be placed on it (22:19), and (5) that Paul's critics recognized his letters were "weighty and powerful" (II Cor. 10:10).

In summary, making a canon of New Testament books was no real problem for the early Christians since the church as a whole generally acknowledged the same writings; those questioned were few. When the some books were questioned, it was mainly in later times by individuals or in isolated areas of the church. Those receiving the books¾and possibly the writers themselves¾would have preserved the originals or copies. Copies must have existed from the very start and were available to the church. Those who wrote or more likely those who received the books must have copied them and passed them around the churches.

Certainly what happened concerning the list of canonical books and their preservation was tied to Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit was active in bringing the books together. As mentioned earlier, the church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:20?21). Christ is the corner stone, and He promised the apostles that "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (John 14:26; cf. Eph. 2:20 RSV); thus the apostles built upon Him to form the foundational truths to guide the church.

Let us mention here an interesting development concerning paper and bookmaking that may also have affected the development of the canon. At least some of the first New Testament writings may have existed in a roll or scroll form if Paul "books" and parchments mentioned in II Timothy (4:13) were New Testament. But we are not at all sure these were New Testament writings. These parchment may had been Old Testament scrolls Paul wanted to use in his defense. As Alands has pointed out, "All the literature of the period was written on scrolls (including Jewish literature . . .); yet apparently from the very beginning Christians did not use scrolls format for their writing, but rather the codex." (The codex is a "leaf" formed booklet.) They note that only four of the early known papyri were scrolls, and these four were "either opisthographs or written on used material." Roberts and Skeats suggest the papyrus codex was probably used by Christians before 100 A.D. The reason for this change to codies is unclear. It may have been for economic reasons (both sides could be written on; their use of abbreviations show the scribe wanted to shortened the text), convenience in paging back and forth in the writings, or to break from the Jewish use of scrolls, etc.

Roberts notes that of the 172 biblical manuscripts or their fragment written before A.D. 400, only 14 are in scroll form. He believes that Christians adapted the codex (leaf) form at Antioch before A.D. 100. Before the fourth century, only a few New Testament books could be put together in one codex. During the fourth century paper and bookmaking technology developed to the point where all the New Testament books could be bound together in one book, and the first "one book" New Testament likely came into existence then. This development may have been a factor in Athanasius' making his list

Anonymous said...

I found the article at the below URL's quite interesting.
The first URL is part one. The second URL is part two.

http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/bigbang.html#

http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9501/bigbang2.html

An excerpt from the above URL's --
Sigma Xi, the scientific honorary society, ran a large poll a few years ago which showed that, on any given Sunday, around 46 percent of all Ph.D. scientists are in church; for the general population the figure is 47 percent. So, whatever influences people in their beliefs about God, it doesn't appear to have much to do with having a Ph.D. in science.

End excerpt --

Who knows, maybe 46 percent of all Ph.D.'s are crazy huh ?

Maybe some of you Ph.D.'s would want to chime in. Tell us your name, background and personal interaction with some of the people mentioned in these URL's.

Anonymous said...

"I found the article at the below URL's quite interesting.
The first URL is part one. The second URL is part two.

I read your links, and wasn't very impressed, a lot of information, much biasness, and nothing tangible regarding, proof of a "god".

"An excerpt from the above URL's --
Sigma Xi, the scientific honorary society, ran a large poll a few years ago which showed that, on any given Sunday, around 46 percent of all Ph.D. scientists are in church; for the general population the figure is 47 percent. So, whatever influences people in their beliefs about God, it doesn't appear to have much to do with having a Ph.D. in science."

For a scientific honorary society to make such a comment implies the gross ignorance of the U.S's scientific community. I resent the remark, as I work in a field of science. How large was the pool of people surveyed, what was the demographic and geographic distribution, what was the null set, what retard would provide a statistical product with "on any given sunday" as a valid conclusion. "Specifically", what does on "any" given sunday imply, a "few" sundays, on "any" sunday, which means "all" sundays, or on "some" random sundays, with strick accuracy?

"Who knows, maybe 46 percent of all Ph.D.'s are crazy huh?"

You make the statement, that science doesn't have much to say in regard to having a belief in a god concept, but then, you contradict yourself, by attempting to use 46 percent of PhD's as some valid argument, based on authority, which is a logical fallacy. It appears no one has to discuss anything with you, you discredit yourself quite nicely, and the information you present is boringly inaccurate and presents nothing new in regard to a "god" concept. For every PhD you suggest goes to "church", you are no closer to "defining" a "god".

Lets use your asinine argument. Every child goes to school by law, and of course, according to your logic, that makes all children educated, right? If you believe numbers validate anything, think again there retard, numbers are ambiguous many times, because they have to be applied to an ideological set of objects, and we all know that objects and forms, are not universally absolute, we can generally speak in terms of numbers by definition, but application is an entirely different matter. Just because I say the work Whirple, doesn't mean a whirple exists in the fucking Universe, but, if I get enough people to consider a whirple to exist, and make a solid logical argument for a whirple, then of course, a whirple can by definition only be said to exist, that doesn't make the word whirple meaningful to anyone who has a need to draw relationships together, of things that "exist" in this natural reality.

I have an idea, why don't you dig up "one" PhD, who states emphatically that they can "prove" god exists. If you find one, please, by all means, produce their name, and works, I will shred their argument. Its amazing how little twerps use other peoples' names in vain, to bolster their hopeless arguments. I suppose it would be different if they could "quote" the PhD's specifically on "god", instead of trying to take works done, and piece together what wasn't said by them to build an argument.

Anonymous said...

"Your claims that the crusaders were true Christians is invalid."

Are you the same retard Anonymous who posted the PhD bullshit? Hey, here's another question for you, pipsqueek, define a "valid" claim. One that can be proven? Define "prove"? Can you "prove" anything in "absolute" terms? If not, well, then... shut your drooling pie hole. What a maroon.

Anonymous said...

"Roberts notes that of the 172 biblical manuscripts or their fragment written before A.D. 400, only 14 are in scroll form."

Thus, nothing 100% absolute, some are in scroll form others aren't, but the "time frame" isn't absolute is it.

"He believes that Christians adapted the codex (leaf) form at Antioch before A.D. 100. Before the fourth century, only a few New Testament books could be put together in one codex."

He "believes", well, I believe the fucking easter bunny is kicking darth vader's ass on the far side of mars at this very second, and we have equally valid claims.

"During the fourth century paper and bookmaking technology developed to the point where all the New Testament books could be bound together in one book, and the first "one book" New Testament likely came into existence then. This development may have been a factor in Athanasius' making his list."

Wow, there seems to be a lot of "valid" absolute statements there, um, could, likely, and may. Lets see, the easter bunny, "may" be kicking darth vaders' ass on the far side of mars, but that "could" "likely" instigate an inter-solar war if that knowledge were "validated". Gee, now how useful is that knowledge? As useful as the bullshit that was presented by some fruitcake on religious texts.

Anonymous said...

re. statistical deception

Hey bud, don't bust any blood vessels telling us about how you could beat up any Ph.D. with one of your whirples. Relax, breath deep.

The people mentioned in the article obviously have some pedigree. I mean when was the last time you solved some major equation or won the Nobel Prize?

About the poll, give me your name. l can submit your remark about gross ignorance to the society, and see what they have to say. We could see if they would even bother to respond or not.

And about how they went about conducting the poll with regards to specifics, and your flaming them before even knowing what went on specifically ...

The article spoke for itself. I have no need to defend it. But if you want to go on record stating your name, what degree or degrees you hold and from where, and then tell us what you think of Charlie Townes, or Arthur Schawlow or John Polkinghorn or Allan Sandage or Erwin Schrodinger, have at it.

Maybe the scientific community would be interested to see your comments on paper or on the net. Then again, it's possible that no one even knows who you are.

Save the colorful blankety blank words. They bring nothing useful. Or, is it the rule here that he who uses the most expletives wins?! If so, I'll save my breath for an actual discussion.

webmdave said...

Can there be any doubt, based on the nasty, smartass, self-righteous, arrogant attitudes of the "truly born again™" flocking here lately, that if a holy crusade were to be proclaimed in a new, improved, Christian America, there'd be plenty of volunteers joining "Christ's holy soliders?"

This is truly sad. Relgion is complete emotion — thought means little.

To all Anonymous Christian Nazis, I want you all to notice something. If you do a Google search for ex-Christian websites, you'll come up with a few. Then if you do a Google search for Christian websites, count how many you come up with. Then, of those Christian websites, check how many allow comments to be made by dissenting voices. Hell, check how many allow any comments at all!

Then, ask yourself why.

Anonymous said...

.:webmaster:. wrote:
"To all Anonymous Christian Nazis, I want you all to notice something. If you do a Google search for ex-Christian websites, you'll come up with a few. Then if you do a Google search for Christian websites, count how many you come up with. Then, of those Christian websites, check how many allow comments to be made by dissenting voices. Hell, check how many allow any comments at all!"

"Then, ask yourself why"

Dan guesses what the answer is.
There must be a verse in the bible that says something to the effect of: Be tireless in your teaching and spreading the propaganda that I am somehow mysteriously an outright invention of God, am God, am the son of God, am the holy spirit of God, am the son of one of my own virgin female creations, I was created to be sacrificed to myself, to atone for the fact that my creations were defective, in order to appease myself, so that I wont get angry at my creations, whom I truly love, and toss then into a fiery pit to suffer as much as possible, forever.

There must be another verse that says something to the effect that: No matter how ridiculous, illogical, stupid, and irrational, anything in this book seems, all of you who want to call yourselves Christians, and go to a wonderful place when you leave this life, must suspend all rational thought processes, turn your brains off to anything except the particular doctrine being promulgated by your particular sect.

Stick you fingers in your ears whenever anyone suggests to you that everything taught by your particular sect is not absolutely and positively the truth, and the very words of God, and repeat over and over. "I know that everything in the bible is true, because the bible tells me so"

Dan (Ex religionist, and non believer of any thing that cant be proven by the scientific method)

J. C. Samuelson said...

"...whatever influences people in their beliefs about God, it doesn't appear to have much to do with having a Ph.D. in science."

Nothing new here. Merely choosing a scientific vocation does not preclude a personal exploration of spirituality or metaphysics. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that many in the scientific community would seek answers to these kinds of questions. Faced with the wonders of the universe they, like the rest of us, must eventually decide what to make of it all.

That said, there are no conclusions that can be drawn from the quoted statistics beyond what I said above. Furthermore, despite your later protestations statistics are never conclusive. The results are simply not reliable enough. Statistics are good for following trends, not much more.

As for Dr. Schaefer's lecture to which you linked us, I saw no real problems with it until the final section. For most of the lecture, he seemed to dwell on the implications of the universe having a beginning, rather than being infinite and static. That is, he seemed to be leading toward an argument for God as the prima mobile (prime mover) for the universe.

However, in the final section he draws sweeping conclusions about the nature of his chosen prime mover. While he did present material in the body of his lecture that might seem to support points #1 and #2, the remaining conclusions are nothing more than Evangelical talking-points. Dr. Schaefer, despite his pedigree, is horribly biased regarding these issues and is unreasonable in drawing those conclusions from the material he presented.

By the way, a PhD does not a wise man make. Just look at "Dr." Kent Hovind.

Anonymous said...

re. Jeff the Ubergeeks post,

JEFF SAID - Faced with the wonders of the universe they, like the rest of us, must eventually decide what to make of it all.

ANONYMOUS - We certainly have something in common

My protestation, as you would call it, was that Statistical Deception was flaming without knowing specifics.

The conclusions that can be drawn, are what that was noted in the article. That 46% of Ph.D. scientists attend church on any given Sunday. For those that live and breath all things science, this may give one reason to ponder.

JEFF SAID - That is, he seemed to be leading toward an argument for God as the prima mobile (prime mover) for the universe.

ANONYMOUS - Dr. Schaefer obviously believes that it is something that people should consider.

JEFF SAID - the remaining conclusions are nothing more than Evangelical talking-points.

ANONYMOUS - It appears that for at least the most part, the conclusions were something Dr. Schaefer got from Dr. Hugh Ross.
I am sure that a deeper explanation regarding these conclusions, would have been better.

?JEFF SAID - By the way, a PhD does not a wise man make.

ANONYMOUS - I agree. Christians have been saying this for years. But I don't think you were speaking specifically about the individuals I listed in the previous post. If so, let me know your thoughts.


Thanks for the civil discussion.

Anonymous said...

Hey malaka webmaster,
don't you like posts that expose your narcissistic tendancies - that's why you keep deleting them. You couldn't find fame as a "believer" (as much as you tried) so you decided to do something else. Now you're loved and admired but you are still the same person craving attention. Dave face it, christianity didn't work out the way you wanted it to "no lunches with the Pope". Doesn't that say something to you and your followers?

Anonymous said...

"My protestation, as you would call it, was that Statistical Deception was flaming without knowing specifics."

Oh, I missed this thread for a few days. Lets see, the moron who posted this, is obviously illiterate.

Statistical Deception: "How large was the pool of people surveyed, what was the demographic and geographic distribution, what was the null set, what retard would provide a statistical product with "on any given sunday" as a valid conclusion. "Specifically", what does on "any" given sunday imply, a "few" sundays, on "any" sunday, which means "all" sundays, or on "some" random sundays, with strick accuracy?"

You see, its clearly apparent when some schmo comes on this site, and takes information, they have no clue about, and posts it to support their claim. When asked a question about their claim, they state, by non-reply, that they are clueless of the actual information, test results, and experimentation methodologies. But, the Malaka would of course continue to parrot information to support their claim, without knowing the validity of the information obtained because it fits their need.

Here, you want a scientists' name, and a quote, I'll pick one from that website.

"Einstein ultimately gave grudging acceptance to what he called "the necessity for a beginning" and eventually to "the presence of a superior reasoning power." But he never did accept the reality of a personal God."
http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/bigbang.html#

Okay, Einstein didn't believe in a "god", definitely "not" a "personal god", he was forcefully verbal about his thoughts and beliefs. The "superior reasoning"? Show me where Einstein states, in "quote", that he states the Universe is the product of "superior reasoning", and if you can get that far, then explain why he didn't accept "god" as that "superior resoning" instrument.

Is my name well known? Yes, to those of the community I work within. But, of course, only an idiot stands on their name to enter into a discussion about validation of information. A degree, a title, a position, is meaningless when someone makes a claim, their "words", and ability to "validate" their claims makes the statement for itself.

So, if you want to enter into a discussion on scientists and what "they" believe, because you can't support your own belief, then that is "your" issue, not anyone elses'.

If you actually read something, and make claims with some validation, without cutting and pasting, then maybe some of us will be willing to listen, until then, you have totally failed to present anything requested in the survey, meaning, you are clueless about the survey and methodology, and that you have no problem parroting information without researching. The hallmark, of someone in desperation, who needs to make a case, without the tools to do such, a sad state of affairs, for the mentally desperate. I'd say it was a good try, but... it really wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Malaka Hunter, as much as I don't agree with a lot said around here, I believe the webmaster runs the most fair website on the net, so lay off, become somewhat educated and you too will see the light of reason.

Anonymous said...

Re. Statistical Deception

Regarding Einstein and his beliefs about God -- The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in 'Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists.' This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: 'I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.'

http://www.adherents.com/people/pe/Albert_Einstein.html

Like I have said elsewhere before - though last I heard, Hawking believes that small has its limits, well, the jury is certainly still out on this one. It is yet to be determined how far things go beyond neutrinos, quarks, string theory -- whatever. Do things get infinitely small? No one knows. On the opposite end, how big do things get? Is the universe, or parts of the universe infinite, as Professor Lisa Randall says they might be?

http://209.157.64.201/focus/f-news/1556888/posts

And IF things go on forever, and knowledge there of also, then one could certainly say that in comparison with all that there is to be known, we with our finite amount of knowledge, know next to nothing. In other words, compared with the infinite, our knowledge is infinitely small -- even with regard to the smartest of the smart. Further - when comparing the most genius against the infinite, and when comparing a bump on a log against the infinite, well, they look pretty much the same - that is, when compared against the infinite. In fact, If things do go on forever, and the knowledge of is infinite - one could say, that we with our finite knowledge, are all infinitely ignorant in comparison.

So save the sandbox language of - moron this and moron that. No man holds all the secrets to the universe in the palm of his hand. We are all mortal. Even Einstein could not withstand death from overtaking him. And upon reading Jeff the Ubergeeks words below, one realizes that we are all in this together.

Jeff the Ubergeek said - "Faced with the wonders of the universe they, like the rest of us, must eventually decide what to make of it all"

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typo.

My above post wouldn't show the whole URL on the Einstein article.

Here it is without the http www stuff

adherents.com/people/pe/Albert_Einstein.html

Anonymous said...

.:webmaster:. said...

To all Anonymous Christian Nazis, I want you all to notice something. If you do a Google search for ex-Christian websites, you'll come up with a few. Then if you do a Google search for Christian websites, count how many you come up with. Then, of those Christian websites, check how many allow comments to be made by dissenting voices. Hell, check how many allow any comments at all!

Then, ask yourself why.

7/18/2006 6:10 AM

The Christian sites are very boring.
It is far more enjoyable to argue with you guys. Admit it; without Christians to argue with this site would wilt and die in a week.

Think about it. Then, ask yourself why.

Wayne

Anonymous said...

Anony, once again we have not seen one iota of information regarding the methodology and supporting details of the survey quoted, thus, its become obvious to me at least that you continue to post and make comments about information you have not validated for yourself. Truth is not so easily distilled from words on a web page, even if its a scientific web page. Sure, the scientists who conducted the survey may know the parameters, and even the acceptable error rate, but... you dont'. Yet, you are the one here making claims, because you have "faith", in those who have pieces of paper, and you don't, or, perhaps you do have a degree, but, that's irrelevant, what's relevant is what you can support and validate with your words, not someone elses' words.

Statistical Deception: "Okay, Einstein didn't believe in a "god", definitely "not" a "personal god", he was forcefully verbal about his thoughts and beliefs. The "superior reasoning"? Show me where Einstein states, in "quote", that he states the Universe is the product of "superior reasoning", and if you can get that far, then explain why he didn't accept "god" as that "superior resoning" instrument."

You accurately claim that Einstein claimed to believe something akin to Spinoza's god. But... Spinoza's God, is known in a single word... the mechanism of "Nature", in short, his God was "Nature", and the facets of Nature, which were attributes. A Natural God, is not a SuperNatural God. For anyone, to state that they are the same thing, is sadly mistaken.

Einstein, didn't search for SuperNatural mechanisms of the universe, he searched for Natural causes based on Natural research. Thus, his dissent from the personal god theory, no personal SuperNatural god, that is out of humanity's reach. As a matter of fact, Albert spent the last thirty years of his life, looking for a Natural universal construct for the Natural Universe, it was his passion to the point of alienating himself from many of his colleagues.

His displacement from the SuperNatural and personal god, is a heavy statement against today's modern christianity, who both hold high a Transcendent (Platonic) SuperNatural deity, whom the Natural follower can engage in a personal relationship with - a contradiction of logical terms.

Now, all these PhD's you state in some quirky manner, that attend some church, do they believe in Spinoza's God, or... some other god. Hence, my point of the survey. What questions were asked, how were the questions weighted, how many negative keys were used to prevent skewing, etc., etc. Would "Einsteins'" Natural "god" count as one who believes in "god"? Not in my book. Espcially, when addressing the topic to christians, who have no concept of "god" most times. In christian company, I'd have to explicitly state that Einstein believed in a Natural, impersonal, non-anthropomorphic, element of the universe, which he used to define "his" noun - "god".

Regarding Alberts' views against Atheism. If religion is considered to be the belief in the supernatural, then, Albert was himself an Atheist. If religion, is expanded to incorporate all beliefs from Natural to the Supernatural, then, okay, however, the word "religion" becomes extremely useless when discussing a scientist and religion.

The site you provided suggested that there "MAY", without any evidence, show that Albert had connections with a christian science group. That is a contradiction in terms, "all" christians by definition accept the supernatural, not something Albert would have been drawn into, based on his very beliefs.

Albert Einstein: "What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."

If the quote isn't sufficient, I am sure I can provide more "non" christian (mysticism), quotes. And yes, SuperNatural "gods", equates to Mysticism.

On Hawking, I have differences of opinion, but, that is not of this thread is it. Does Hawking go to church? Does he eat of the body and drink of the blood of sacrament, to remember a mystical ritual performed a few thousand years ago? No, the last time I read of Hawking, he was an Atheist.

The difference between Hawking and Einstein on religion, is that Hawking took a stand on those who continue to "impose" their mystical beliefs onto scientists, whereas Einstein avoided the subject as fervently as possible, he was "not" a public person, and in my opinion, skirted the issue of religion directly by re-defining or ascribing to a "god" concept (which was "not" the common god in vernacular in christian dominant America) and being tagged an Atheist, which during his time, was akin to being anti-American. You have researchers trying to dig into personal letters to find out what his true beliefs on religion were... the man didn't come out and suggest he was a "christian", the silence, makes a resounding and conclusive statement.

Trying to "use" another person, to support ones' beliefs, is ridiculous, its the information and validation of that information that is important, and I am not going to beat the dead horse, of "no response to the survey" criteria. Its about the data, not the degree.

Anony: "No man holds all the secrets to the universe in the palm of his hand."

Yet, there are those who know more than others, and that of course, is what separates many. I do not post my research openly, and I do play a lot with words, yet, I agree, there is much I don't know. Isn't it a paradox to suggest one doesn't know something, its as if they know something, yet they really don't. Hmmmm, quit enigmatic. Dragging this discussion beyond the parameters of statistics, and PhD's attending church, is more than I care to engage in, its apparent you are capable of reading, although the two scientist brought to the forefront of the discussion thus far, were far from SuperNaturalists.

If we can know of nothing beyond, our limited precepts of awareness, then... "god", is as finite as our limited minds, per your comment. Doesn't that mean all of those PhD's sitting in a pew, are worshipping their limited "knowledge"? Thus, are we really all equals? No. Some obviously don't get it, yet... they have no problem attempting to impose their sheer ignorance onto others, and quite forcibly per historical records.

Not the same either, as levels of awareness differ, and thus, as levels or spheres of awareness increase, a "god" concept becomes "less" mysterious in a Natural sense. Einstein was much closer to "his" concept of "god", than "any" christian could ever be according to their transcendent model of a personal god.

An Agnostic typically claims, that people can't really know god, and some go as far as to suggest that humanity can "never" know god, placing a time dimension to their argument. Its an argument against humanity's ability to know "more" than they know currently - hence, the time element.

The Agnostic of course, has to apply with discreteness, their terms according to the "specific" definition of "god". There are many Agnostics towards SuperNatural deities, however, those same Agnostics may not be Agnostic towards a Natural God concept, i.e., Spinoza's God, etc.

An Agnostic of the SuperNatural, may well be a Pantheist, etc. I do find it obscure many times, to see Agnostic terms used without clarification, as it could be used to attack ones' own mental ability to "know" of something. There "is", much that can be known, and there is Much known, that is not posted on the Internet, for obvious reasons.

The bottom line though, for many, is, as agreed, that many have to live together. However, when people use statistics which they have "no" foundation for, based on personal experience to make claims, they are in fact, attempting to "influence" others with information that is not personally validated. That is statistical deception.

And, although I don't like it, we are all imposed upon, by external influences. However, no one has a right to "forcefully" impose undue and unsolicited influence, even if they "believe" they have the knoweldge of a "god", per the biblical writings of primitive people who were much more ignorant of this Universe than those who live today. Religions evolve along with science, they just change their names, and redefine their "god", its really amazing, the "god" of the bible, is "not" the god of many churches today, just ask a Mormon, they have a living prophet who talks to god on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Encyclopedia Britannica quoting the words of Einstein on God ----

" ... I want to know His thoughts, ... "

His thoughts

Straight from the horses mouth.

webmdave said...

When quoting someone, it is disingenuous to only post half the quote. Here is Einstein's full quote: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists," he replied, "not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings." Ref: http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/spinoza.html#spinozasgod

J. C. Samuelson said...

Anony,

You're welcome for the civil discussion but make no mistake I disagree with nearly everything you've said on this thread.

A person can appeal to authority by name-dropping and association and still not prove a thing. Everyone in the world has an opinion. Everyone has beliefs. An honorific, such as a degree or title, does seem to imply worthiness of thought or action. However, all it really tells us is that the person is educated or an expert in a particular - and probably limited - area of knowledge.

Einstein and other scientists are being held up as examples as if to prove that since some believe (or may have believed), there must be something to this God thing. It's a mistake to think that way.

Many Christians latch on to things like this because they believe it validates their faith. They know the strength of scientific knowledge and want it to agree with their holy text instead of contradicting it. The stubborn belief in inerrancy fuels this desire.

The number of believers in scientific professions has certainly fluctuated, but the trend has been toward an overall decrease during the past several decades. Statements such as "an increasing number of scientists believe in Intelligent Design and a personal creator" are misleading. Scientists who believe in God have always been there. The popular ID movement has merely exposed this heretofore little known group to the public at large.

In short, it is useless to point to Einstein or any other scientific figure as proof for the validity of your faith. Ask yourself why you need to do this in the first place.

By the way, it is just as easy to choose "Other" as it is to choose "Anonymous." It costs nothing and really helps people like me to sort through and address specific posts to the right people. Besides, the "Anonymous" tag is just plain annoying.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"The Christian sites are very boring.
It is far more enjoyable to argue with you guys. Admit it; without Christians to argue with this site would wilt and die in a week.

Think about it. Then, ask yourself why."


Wayne, you're projecting. You admit that Christian sites are boring for you because there's nobody there to argue with. It's you who's looking for a fight.

I'll admit that I enjoy that to some degree, but I don't go out and look for it. If all I wanted was to start something I could go to any Christian forum and start throwing stones. It might be fun for awhile (until the inevitable ban), but what would be the point? No offense, but it gets boring arguing with Christians because the vast majority simply repeat the same things over and over, and don't seem to be able to argue their way out of a paper bag.

As the WM has said time and again, this site is for the support of ex-Christians, not a debate site in spite of what may happen. There would still be plenty of discussion without all the Christian interlopers.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you were going to the wrong church if that is all you heard. John Wesley said that it is possible to lose your salvation. I believe that you once were saved and have lost your salvation. but what is important is that you can once again come back to Jesus.

i think your problem is Christianity was the churches you attended. Maybe you should try going to a Nazarene or a Wesleyan Church.

i think you perspective would change. if you went to a restaurant and didn't like the food, would you never eat again.

Anonymous said...

It's the same old story Rick. You just want to be in control of what you aren't.

Anonymous said...

Albert Einstein: "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modelled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature."

No hell, no heaven, no original sin, no salvation plan, thus, no christianity.

Albert Einstein: "A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."

Widening a circle of compassion, is "not" what most separatist religions are about. Most religions, establish and infuse their followers with a "foundation" of inner "insecurity", by the establishment of original sin, hell, and the need to be "more" than one is. Not, an Einsteinian path toward a compassionate enlightenment.

Albert Einstein: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."

To be fair, Albert did use the pronoun "his", etc. to discuss the mechanism of Nature working, emanating, and manifesting itself through all of the Universe. That is far different than a "single" form, or "substance" that is indicative of a human male form. He went out of his way to state, that there is no such thing as a personal "god", thus no true "one form".

His "one" form, was Universal throughout, which we are all a part of. His conviction of the entirety of the Universe and its "connectedness", moving together as "one", with "reason", formed his idea or concept of "god", a "concept", much different than anything that resembles christianity in "any" sense I have ever understood christianity. Jesus, had no place in Alberts' spiritual views, period.

Its obvious that any survey conducted without definitively defining "god", is hedging on meaningless, as any results would provide total ambiguity, where the results can be used by anyone according to their own "concept" of "god". One might as well give out a survey that asks one question: "Is there more to the Universe than what is currently understood?" If the answer is "yes" by the majority, and that "unknown" forms the concept of "god", then, so be it, but the results need to be "stated" in that manner, and not displayed as a support pillar for a niche type "god" concept by one group.

Christians "know" their god, a personal god, one who has given them biblical guidance, and a Jesus to save them from the damned state of human affairs. And, its been discussed on this site before, but there are pews filled throughout the U.S., that hold non-believers in context with the christian god or bible. Many attend church, for social, or personal reasons, a sense of community for many.

""The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge." [from "Science, Philosophy And Religion, A Symposium"]"

To Albert, "god", per his Natural perspective can be "known", by evolution of knowledge over time. In short, as humanity evolves and their sphere of awareness increases through knowledge, so closes the gap between the known and unknown.

One could conclude, with a little logic, that "we" are evolving, per "Alberts'" view, towards a oneness with the Universe, thus... becoming the definition of "god" per yesteryear's god standards.

The doctors who raise the dead "today", are the definitive "gods" per many of yesteryear - based on early CE god expectations. The "reason" many religions don't define "god", is obvious... if we can think it, we can be it or do it, and thus makes us gods eventually over time - religious cults had to kill many people throughout history, who were capable of godly acts in order to repress skepticism/doubt so as to maintain "control" of their religious followers.

Per my understanding of Albert, he would have considered "inspiration", enabled by curiosity, as part of the navigational mechanism used by Nature to elicit the changing perspective of humanity. Its the responsibility of humanity to remain keenly aware of their surroundings, and to continue to ask questions.

Albert Einstein: ""The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

In context, Albert states to never lose sight/perception of curiosity in that which one believes is holy, and to Albert... Nature, and its mechanisms, were considered "holy" to him.

One could easily discern, from reading a little about Albert, that meaning in life, is to listen to the context clues provided by Nature, and follow Nature's guidance as its revealed around us. In short, continue to seek that which is provided to humanity, slowly over time, and to remain vigilent to the slightest of clues. Thus, don't believe in a god, that requires one to stick their head in the sand, and I include all followers of clergy as sticking their heads in the sand, there is no excuse for pawning off ones' own responsibility for paying attention in life onto others, to include pawning off the responsibility for understanding surveys, created by others.

Far be it for me to put words in Albert's mouth, but, I'm inclined to believe, that he would not have accepted the christian form of "god", as a transcendent deity, that can never be known through/within Nature, to include the rare times when "god", shows up for a few years to publish books for humanity as a Natural cosmological relief effort.

By the way, I call my car "betsy", I hope one day, someone doesn't assign a gender to my car in the hope of attempting to prove that cars were in fact manufactured in male/female form. I don't personally believe my "car" has a different "form" than any other, in regards to pronoun use, perhaps I should now start using a uni-gender name... like "Pat".

Anonymous said...

Mark: "i think you perspective would change. if you went to a restaurant and didn't like the food, would you never eat again."

If I saw someone fall over dead from eating the food, and I was feeling a litte nauseated from the food myself, sure, I'd stop eating there. The christian restaurant chain, gets most of its food from the same vendor - King James.

Perhaps, an entirely different food chain would be necessary? Well, no... one can easily live without religion, its not really like food, but if one were ever hungry, I am sure, they could cook for themselves if they made the effort. Not everyone needs a chef, to tell them what food looks like, well, unless the food is invisible. Hard to boil invisible water, right.

Anonymous said...

**The BS is spreading from this nation accross the globe, and competing with other BS religions... where the demographic targets, are the poor and uneducated... I suppose there must exist a comforting body, for those who have no "hope" that they will do anything in life, and therefore need to look beyond this reality... Point is, why not give "hope" in the here and now, instead of focusing on the afterlife...***

Excellent point! I use to work for a Baptist Center in the projects. These people had tons and tons of years of pain, and no hope. At least 90 percent of them had absolutely nothing, and no expectations in life. Kids who lived there felt like just graduating High School would be a miracle wihtin itself. These people considered someone who made 10 bucks an hour to be rich.

The point that I am getting at is, I don't know how many times I would hear pastors from other churches come in and teach these people to just be content with life the way it is. (Learn to be content in an area where there is drug dealing going on and drive by shootings) Look forward to the afterlife. One commented that he had been waiting on his ship to come in. He told God that he wanted this new truck, but God supposedly told him that he didn't need the new truck, so therefore, he told everyone that the reason why he didn't have his new truck is because God decided not to give him his new truck. I was sitting there thinking, what an idiot, go out and take out a loan or write a check and buy your damn truck. That is a prime example of the narrow mindness of Christianity. Not being able to make your own decisions with what I call, a God given ability to make your own decisions in life, which is something that many Christians seem to deny.

Another point is these people in the projects who have never learned how to accomplish anything in life and needed someone to help encourage them, and possibly help educate them, never got that kind of help from the church. All they ever got was free food, a pat on the back, and was told God loves them. Now, I am not knocking giving food to the needy, but the church just doesn't seem to interested in helping these people get out of the slums.

One more final example. We had this young lady, who I personally had nothing against her, who was like the assistant director of the Baptist Center that I worked at. She would lead a Bible Study each week to some of the residents there. I remember one comment that she made referring to the scripture that teaches to store up your treasures in heaven, and not on earth. She also went on to say that people should not expect nothing from God but salvation itself, and people who are seeking anything outside of it will never find anything. She also basically said that if they expect to have worldly success one day to forget it, because it will never happen. We should only seek the cross instead.

The funny thing about this lady is, every evening after work, she went home to her 7,500 square foot, $350,000.00 home out in the country where other high class people lived. Oh, and I forgot, she was married to a lawyer one time, and she got the house when they divorced. I even went to some of the residents and told them about her lifestyle and how hypocritical she was.

I got fired for doing that.

End of story.

Anonymous said...

webmaster,
you know your stuff. the cain and abel scene, what happened there and why? what do you make of it?

Anonymous said...

Webmaster,

As a long term and firm non-believer I was quite shocked at your testimonial. I did not realize that someone as far gone on christianty as you were could actually snap out of it and come back to reality. Wow. Maybe there is hope after all for the religous zealots. I had written them off long go. Keep up the good work - very interesting web site.

Anonymous said...

Web Master,
Great site! I read your anti-testimony and was amazed how similar it was to my own experiences growing up! My parents dragged me along a very long and painful trek - first in the "Charismania" movement, in its various forms from established old fashioned fire and brimstone red in the faced pentacostal AG preachers to the vinyard and everywhere in between (one pastor said god would strike dead anyone who dared leave the church...I'm still here, guess he was a little off). After that they plunged headfirst into Calvinism ( via the OPC, and PCA) at which time my dad got the notion he was called to the ministry and went to seminary(Westminster Theological Seminary to be precise)....meanwhile in all this, I tried it all out with them...I said the sinner's prayer, I was a Royal Ranger scout, I memorized the bible verses and sat through morning, afternoon and evening devotions after every meal, prayed before school (I was homeschooled k-12), I tried to speak in tongues, experience everything they did, but through it all the emptiness of the words I was mouthing and the pathetic attempts I tried to put forth to gain their approval and love seemed more and more unreachable. They drafted me and my sisters into passing out tracts, and arguing with JW's and mormons (who actually are even more insane than Christians, if thats possible). In my teens, as my parents began drifting from the hard-line reformed movement (right about the time when they were confronted with issues such as headcovering and psalm-only singing - I absolutely put my foot down once and for all when they were talking about banning christmas, no presents, fuck that!)I taught VBS and sunday school, meanwhile struggling increasingly as any sexually repressed teenager does with religious mores clashing against hormones...I debased myself time and time again before a god who didnt seem to be hearing me, who wouldnt take away the urges I was told would damn me, who did nothing in regards to the fact that I was lonely, out of touch with anyone my age, sheltered and dying to actually just be normal - and around this time, my parents plunged into yet another new wierdness - my dad became the self-ordained pastor of a church of 8 people in a little yokel mountain town. Any interest I once had was gone, oh sure I tried from time to time to revive it, such as starting a bible study group at the JC I was attending (which nobody showed up for) but soon I was having a new world opened up before my eyes, and as I took more classes I realized there was a whole lot more out there to learn and maybe, just maybe, the xian's i knew didnt know everything. And I also started dating (behind my parents' back...weekend long ski retreats make good excuses by the way).
At this point, I was still pretty much an xian but beginning to question things. The first to go was the concept of hell...Loving god vs. wrathful eternal damnation...hmmmmm After that The TULIP petals fell off one by one. I had a major confrontation w/ my parents and was kicked out of the house...Then the stem was cut off -maybe jesus wasn't exactly god...Finally, does God even exist?
Where I'm at now...Well, several years later, rather than turning into the hepatitis infected druggie living with a stripper who is a member of the church of satan, I am a happily married guy of over a year with a baby, a good job, a college diploma, and a flourshing interest in neopaganism, while all the while maintaining a healthy skepticism of anything that claims to be the "right" way. Peace. - Dan

webmdave said...

Thanks Dan.

Interesting how an education will impact a religiously narrowed worldview. That's probably why most fundie families insist their kids attend religiously oriented universities.

Anyway, thanks again — enjoy reality.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I too stumbled upon your site while researching something else entirely.

I wanted to email my comments but honestly couldn't find a specific email link.

I know we're all busy these days, so I'll be brief with just a few thoughts:

1. Your testimony (since it's still a word used even legally, I left off the quote marks) is very well written. You obviously have a passion for learning and a gift for retaining. You have shown yourself to have studied much more Christian doctrine than other lay folks; and yes that is a lamentable fact, I agree.

2. I too have had my share of being hurt by people in the church and have been all over the landscape of Christian theology in my 20 years in the Church. I'm sincerely sorry for all of your hurt. I both sympathesize and empathsize with you. Again, I'm truly sorry, I can understand how you feel.

3. I've been mad at God at times, as you have been (maybe "are"?) I've questioned and argued with Jesus--even doubting His existence at times too. What makes Him so unique is no matter how much one digs, critiques, or "debunks" Jesus, He shines even more true.

Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it is unfinished. Would you please consider sitting quietly and attempting to just simply tell Jesus everything you feel--even read Him your testimony? I believe He already knows it anyway, and for you I'm only asking you for 20 min of your time. Then simply ask Him to take all that you've learned, all that you've experienced; all your hurts, confusions, and frustations, and just reveal Himself, period. Not doctrine (yet), just Himself.

Jesus really does love you. Search Him out. Eventually, He will show you sound doctrine and clear the cobwebs...I know, it's had to happen with me.

A helpless, miserable sinning machine saved by Christ on no merit of his own,
-Anthony

Anonymous said...

"A helpless, miserable sinning machine"


Speechless.

Anonymous said...

And you can't trust in Christ unless you follow Him. And if you follow Him, you must decide to "take up your cross daily" which means to deny yourself daily. So in other words, if one claims to be Christian but does not care to try and act how selflessly Christ did, they are not a true Christian."

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz....

I have had that scriputre quoted to me a million times.

I just love the way weak minded Christians lean on scripture.

That's the kind of Spiritual Propaganda that holds so many people down in oppression and misery.

Christianity steals people's dreams. I take pride in Success and having a successful career. Not what some dumbass narrow minded preacher tells me.

Man does not live on God alone.

It takes money to make it in this world baby!!!!

So these churches and preachers on TV need to shutup asking for money, because it is evil to pursue money.

We should just die to christ,and be broke the rest of our lives, and look forward to our heavenly home.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....

Anonymous said...

Webmaster,

Put a bible in your hands and you look and sound alot like the worst of the crypto-evangelists from backwoods Mississippi.

...about as compassionate and intelligent.

And what's the deal with uptight turds and thick glasses?

webmdave said...

Thanks for the kind, Christian sentiment, anonymous.

Steven Bently said...

Ironic how people revert to kindergarden name calling and teasing when someone steps on their mental delusion, because that is where it all began when we were little, we were all made to accept the delusion as truth.

One must hang on to the childhood mentality, if one wants to keep the faith.

Little do they realize their actions prove the non-existance of their make believe god and savior.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am ALMOST speechless. I say almost because I know if I say I am speechless someone will jump on me and say, "so why did you say something." Also let me preface my comments by asking your forgiveness for mis-spelled words, it doesn't mean I'm ignorant it just means either i can't type or Bill Gates has spoiled me with that spellchecker thingy.

I am a Christian, a believer, or whatever we want to call it. Jesus Christ has completely changed my life. I'm happy, I have hope, joy, and basically a feeling of purpose. Not a bad life!!!

One question posted here was the idea that if God was a God of un-conditional love then why would I ever go to hell. I have two children and I love them as well as I can possibly love. I teach my children to do the right thing in life (don't play with fire, look both ways before you cross the street, those kinds of things) but if they decide to go away from that truth then they will get injured. Guess what I'll be at the hospital still loving them but angry that they risked their lives in disobedience. Also if my son has a history of making terrible decisions like drug use or the like and my daughter makes good decisions then which one will I give my inheritance to. I still love them both but as a father I refuse to enable behavior that I know hurts them. You too have that free choice to decide.

I happen to believe that God's Word shows us how to live a life of joy, love, peace and when we walk away from that we risk injury. Does anyone doubt that the basic tenants of faith such as the "ten commandments" are a fairly good moral compass to live by. God has given each of us the gift of free choice. You choose whether to walk in His word or not, He still loves you either way.

Let me ask this very simple question:
If I live for Christ (a life that teaches me to have integrity, live at peace with others, love my wife as I love my own flesh, live for my family, love my neighbor as myself, love those that hate me, seek peace with all men, turn the other cheek, walk 2 miles when only asked to walk one, etc....don't lie, steal, kill, commit adultery), and you are right and there's no God and no heaven, then you and me end up in the same nothingness when we die. But I'll bet my legacy will be more honorable than most.
But if I'm right and there is a Savior, a cross, a heaven and a hell then....

I hope I've offended no one and if I have I ask for your forgiveness.

Thank you.

webmdave said...

Anonymous, if those were the only two options, i.e., either Christianity is true or atheism is true, then I'd agree with you.

However, there are many other options to consider. For instance, what if Islam is the correct religion? In that case we'd both be burning in horrific agony forever.

If you're happy living out your days in a fantasy or a dream, well then by all means enjoy the delusion. I'm honestly happy for you, and in some ways envy you.

Unfortunately I'm not wired that way. I crave reality, even if that reality is in any way appears less appealing.

Frankly, to me, it's not what feels good that matters, it's what's true that counts.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, you said it for me. I agree it's not what makes sense, or makes me feel right, or is easier, or something that I can wrap my intellect around; it is what's true that matters. Absolute truth is absolute. I believe that Jesus Christ IS the truth. Thanks for talking with me and for ruture reference (because i believe you and I are going to become friends) I will never belittle what you believe as weakness if you'll give me the same consideration. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Yet, another anonymous X-ian said: "Jesus Christ has completely changed my life. I'm happy, I have hope, joy, and basically a feeling of purpose."

That's fantastic, but please understand---one can have "hope", "joy", and "purpose" without the belief in Jesus Christ. Moreover, this is an EX-Christian website, and if you read some of the articles, you shouldn't be too shocked to find out that, 1) Your personal testimony regarding your Jesus is immaterial to us, as many of us used to have the same "life changing experiences", only now we know that it was clearly self-deception. In other words, your belief that your Jesus is the "absolute truth" amounts to nothing outside of your head, and 2) We've heard a GAZILLION excuses as to why we should still believe in your Jesus, yet, not-to-shockingly, we've not been shown one ounce of evidence that your Jesus, or any other supernatural being, exists.

Anon: "I teach my children to do the right thing in life (don't play with fire, look both ways before you cross the street, those kinds of things) but if they decide to go away from that truth then they will get injured. Guess what I'll be at the hospital still loving them but angry that they risked their lives in disobedience."

The parent/child analogy as been used myriads of times here, and it fails every time. Okay, so when your children are discharged from the hospital, will you take them to a remote place and set them on fire?....just for being "disobedient"? Of course not. But that's precisely what your Jesus does---he gets his revenge be incinerating people in Hell for eternity. And this is for such things as doubting. That's a "father/son" relationship I can do without.

Anon: "Does anyone doubt that the basic tenants of faith such as the "ten commandments" are a fairly good moral compass to live by."

Is gang rape okay, then? Are you telling us that you'd be compelled to forcably take sex from a women, only because you didn't read somewhere that it's "wrong"?? You don't give yourself much credit, do you? What about working on the Sabbath? Should we kill all people who work on Sunday? THINK about what you actually believe, and the implications.

Anon: "You choose whether to walk in His word or not, He still loves you either way."

What bible have you been reading? Your Jesus does not "love" the people he sends to hell. He "hates" the sin, AND the sinner.

Anon: "Let me ask this very simple question:...(insert Pascal's wager)"

Translation: "Play it safe". Okay, Anon, if you're going to believe "just in case", then you should switch to Islam, because their hell is much worse than the Christian hell. Don't DELAY!....do this NOW!...."just in case".

Anon closes with: "I hope I've offended no one and if I have I ask for your forgiveness."

Well, you've implied that we're going suffer in hell for eternity because we don't believe like you do. Gee, I guess that's not TOO offensive.

webmdave said...

Anonymous, I believe you misread me.

I said I prefer reality.

Now, you've told me what you believe, which I already had guessed. However, can you explain why you think your belief in a supernatural deity who impregnated a woman so he could mystically sacrifice himself to himself to appease his own wrath and not be forced to roast his children has anything to do with reality?

I don't believe in supernatural invisible entities of any kind because there is no evidence that such creatures exist. Magic is fun to imagine — Harry Potter is cool like Jesus — but reality is not the same as pretending. Please give me some evidence that what you believe is anything more than pretend.

Anonymous said...

Again I just want to say thank you to everyone on this site for allowing me to simply share my thoughts.

I only want to say one thing to the person who says I got saved "just in case". That's not at ALL what I said. I excepted Christ because MY life was incomplete. I could not find hope, peace, or joy without Him. My statement was "if" there's no God then I am still very happy with my CHOICE.

I think that faith is the question and I think everyone here has faith. Faith to believe or not believe. If you want me to stop posting here I will honor that request, after all this is your house. I have faith to believe in God, I exercise that faith everyday; you have faith to believe there's no God.

The real reason I posted here was because of belittling remarks made about all Christians because of some bad apples. If one Youth Pastor does something terribly immoral then are all Christians immoral? Are all white males bad becasue of Ted Bundy; are all Muslims wicked because of a few terriosts; are all atheists evil because of some that do terrible things.

I'm not asking you to embrace my ideas based on a few comments I make on some website. The truth is I wish and hope that my life will speak of my faith.

Again if this site (webmaster) doesn't want me to post then I'll stop. Thank you again for just hearing me. I hope you all have a great day.

My name is Greg by the way. I really didn't think you would want me to sign up.

Anonymous said...

This is why it becomes a problem when too many people post as "anonymous". No one knows who's responding to who. Nonetheless, one of the anonymous guests wrote this:

"If I live for Christ (a life that teaches me to have integrity, live at peace with others, love my wife as I love my own flesh, live for my family, love my neighbor as myself, love those that hate me, seek peace with all men, turn the other cheek, walk 2 miles when only asked to walk one, etc....don't lie, steal, kill, commit adultery), and you are right and there's no God and no heaven, then you and me end up in the same nothingness when we die. But I'll bet my legacy will be more honorable than most.
But if I'm right and there is a Savior, a cross, a heaven and a hell then...."

This is known as "Pascal's Wager". It boils down to intimidation, and yes, believing "just in case". I'd be happy to explain how I arrive at this, if need be.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous/Greg said: "I think that faith is the question and I think everyone here has faith. Faith to believe or not believe."

No sir, it does not take "faith" to either lack belief in something or hold a position of neutrality. Where there is "faith", there may be belief, but there is an underlying uncertainty...e.g.. you "believe" the Red Sox will win; you have "faith" that they'll win...but you cannot "know" that they'll win. It does not take "faith" to hold the position that it cannot be known if they'll win until we SEE the results.

Moreover--an objective/unbiased universal higher intelligence may, or may not exist. It cannot be known in an absolute sense. Conversely, a personal, subjective, lower intelligence, humanistic deity, such as the Christian Biblegod, cannot, and does not exist---either in reality, or conceptually. Much like we can say that a "married bachelor" does not exist.

Anonymous/Greg said: "The real reason I posted here was because of belittling remarks made about all Christians because of some bad apples."

Christians, and especially their figure-heads, claim a higher morality, positing that those morals were bequeathed to them via a book supposedly inpsired by a "God". In other words, they've got the higher moral ground. Simply put---we're saying that THAT is utter bullshit. Yes, there are "amoral" people from every religion, race, creed, country, etc....and all that shows is that "morals" aren't dictated by religious belief, but by what is mutually and collectively agreed upon by humanity, not forgetting cultural relativity. To cannibals, eating flesh is not "wrong".

Anonymous/Greg: "The truth is I wish and hope that my life will speak of my faith."

That's what any "God fearing" Muslim would say. "Faith" is deadly if misused and/or abused. If you are a good person, chances are, you'd be good without your "faith".

Best regards.

Steven Bently said...

Greg wrote:
"I think that faith is the question and I think everyone here has faith. Faith to believe or not believe."

Faith lets examine the origins of the word "Faith", shall we?

Faith, it's origin is, ans. the Bible.
Where do we hear about faith? ans. the Bible.
Where did you hear about the word faith? ans. the Bible.

Where the first words muttered out of your mouth when you were 2 years old, faith, god or jesus? No!

Most likely your first words were, mommy or daddy or poo poo, etc!

Where did you hear those words, faith, god, jesus, heaven hell, etc.? ans. the Bible.

You see Greg, had you never heard those words ever mentioned before, you would not be repeating them yourself today.

Where and only do these words originate? god, jesus, satan, heaven, hell, angels, saints, virgin birth, miracles, souls, spirits, holy ghosts, sin, savior, faith, etc.

Answer:

The Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Greg tell us how much Faith do you have? 1/2 teaspoon? 1/4 once, a mustard seed size?

Jesus supposedly said that if one had as much faith as a mustard seed, then he could cast a mountain into the sea.

So please be so kind as to tell us the exact quanity of faith that you have, can you move a mustard seed into the sea? If not, then you have very little faith, a deadly sin, oh ye of little faith!

Let the one with a little faith, be the first one to cast a mustard seed into the sea, saith the Lord!

You see Greg the word Faith is a false placebo word that christians use to coax people into thinking they believe in the impossible.

From my observation, Greg you said you believe because you choose to believe, your belief is not based on fact, or evidence, or an imposed threat of hell, it based on what you have selected to choose to believe.

I'm not trying to offend you, I'm merely expressing my observation of your comment, and trying to show you that you have chosen to believe because you merely want to believe and it was not based on fact or evidence or an imposed threat of a burning hell, if you do not believe. Am I close to right in this observation?

So you choose to believe the Bible is true because, your real reason?
___________________________________________________

What is the basis for your strong belief in the bible?

___________________________________________________

Was it from your less than a mustard seed amount of faith?

You must confess that you have less than a mustard seed amount of faith, would you atleast concede that you have less than a mustard seed amount of faith?

I'm looking for true honesty here. Thanks in advance for your honesty!

Kind Regards,

webmdave said...

Faith to believe in no-god?

Who is no-god?

Do you have the faith to believe in no-Santa? Or no-leprechaun? How about no-Zeus, no-Allah, and no-Ra?

Greg, I know Christian apologists like to say it takes more faith to believe in no-God (whomever that is) than it does to believe in God (meaning Yahweh and son) but that's not how it works. I lake faith in God. You either have faith in God or you don't. I lack a belief in God. You either have a belief or you don't have a belief.

Do you believe in Zeus? If not, why not? Do you think it takes a lot of faith to not believe in Zeus? Do you believe in Allah? If not, why not. Millions of people fall down several times a day praying to Allah. Do you think it takes a lot of faith to not believe in that deity?

What takes faith is to believe is something you can't see, hear, touch, smell, or feel with any of our five senses, can't locate with any of our sensory devices, and can't confirm experimentally in any way. If I told you that billions of tiny invisible "sticky spirits" were holding the world together and without those tiny tacky tots everything would blow apart, would you believe me? What if I really believed it? What if I was absolutely convinced that there were itty-bitty glue spirits holding the world together? Would you believe in them then?

Greg, when you figure out why you don't believe in all the other thousands of gods that have been worshiped and adored throughout human history, then you will understand why I don't believe in yours.

Finally Greg, there are three choices for posting: register with Blogger, click the Other button and type in a pseudonym without registering, and of course anonymous, which you've discovered.

webmdave said...

Someone said: "If I ... have integrity, live at peace with others, love my wife as I love my own flesh, live for my family, love my neighbor as myself, love those that hate me, seek peace with all men, turn the other cheek, walk 2 miles when only asked to walk one, etc....don't lie, steal, kill, commit adultery ... I'll bet my legacy will be more honorable than most.

You've just described my life, but I don't believe in Jesus. Do you honestly think Christians have the edge over everyone on the planet when it comes to moral inclinations? Do you think only Christians live peaceful happy lives with their families? I sincerely beg to differ.

Anonymous said...

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. That's from the dictionary on my Macbook. I have complete trust and confidence in SOMEONE (Jesus) while you have complete confidence in SOMETHING (no God).

The question was asked about throwing mountains in the sea "if I had the faith". So I guess I am to question my faith because I have yet to cast any large hills into some ocean. The scripture is found in Matthew chapter 17 and it finds Christ talking with His disciples regarding a struggle that they had dealing with a problem in a young boys life. Their ministry to this boy went completely without result and after Jesus successfully dealt with the issue they asked Him privately why aren't we as productive as you. So I want to respond on just a few points as to the words of Christ and especially as to my faith:

1. The word "faith" in the text used here (and in most places in the Bible) is defined as a moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), abstractly, constancy in such profession. As in reading any text there can be so many interpretations and as I write this I can only speak as to my interpretation of this scripture. I believe that here (as in most places in scripture) we could plant the word faithfulness where we see faith. If you were constant/faithful/convicted of a truth then you could move a mountain. Do I believe that Christ was literally talking about moving literal mountains? Personally I do not. I have "mountains" in my life. Some are in my checkbook, others in my marriage, some in my mind; and I've found that only when I show this kind of faith are those mountains removed. Did He really mean that we should not throw REAL pearls before REAL swine; did He really mean that I had to eat His LITERAL flesh and drink His REAL blood or was that a metaphor also? As a point Jesus later said that this kind of problem/devil can only be dealt with through much prayer and fasting (or faithfulness).

2. If He spoke literally concerning moving mountains with faith. I have studied some about faith and have found that "faith is the substance of things hoped for". Substance by definition is the quality of being important, valid, or significant. Jesus was asked once that since He was the Son of God and had this faith then He should throw Himself off the pinnacle and His faith in God would save Him. He answered by saying that He would not tempt the Lord which in my language means He said, "I don't have to prove my belief by doing some trick". Faith to me is real, about helping me deal with real problems, not doing some David Copperfield trick. If you need that trick to prove that faith is real then you don't have faith. I can hear some one now saying "here's someone else saying they have faith but I'll just have to believe them". I have seen some mountains moved in my life with real bonfide (bad spelling) miracles but I would rather my life, my faithfulness, be the trophy I hold up that speaks of my faith. About the Sox, they won't win without Big Poppy. If you don't believe they'll win then you must have a "strong confidence" that someone else will win. That's still faith.

Finally, maybe I have mustard seed faith, maybe I have turnip seed faith, maybe I have boulder sized faith. Time will tell! Paul said "he that endures till the end shall be saved". Check back with me in a few years; if I'm still running the race, still overthrowing mountains, then I had/have faith.

Jesus was asked repeatedly to PROVE, give EVIDENCE, that He was the Christ. He said that the only sign they would be given was that of Jonah. Three days in the earth and the grave (last I checked) was empty. Believe it or not, that's up to you. I believe it with every fiber of my being.

Thank you again for the civilized conversation.

Greg

Anonymous said...

P.S. I hope you did not get tha idea that I meant that only Christians live by a moral code; or that only we live good lives. I simply said that what I have learned of Christ pushes me to live a great life. Pushes me everyday to live better than the last.

Anonymous said...

Greg said: "Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. That's from the dictionary on my Macbook. I have complete trust and confidence in SOMEONE (Jesus) while you have complete confidence in SOMETHING (no God)."

Greg, with all due repect, you're not getting it. Again, "no God" isn't a "thing"...as in, "SOME-THING". "No leprechauns" is not a "thing". "No" = 0. Furthermore, the non-believer's stance isn't about "complete convidence". On the contrary, the religious conviction---YOUR position---is the one where "complete confidence" is implied.

Greg: "As in reading any text there can be so many interpretations and as I write this I can only speak as to my interpretation of this scripture."

Um, this is the whole point, Greg. It's ALL open to subjective interpretation. And you say that "any text" has this subjective ambiguity? Why is it, then, that we can all agree on what a geometry book says? You either interpret it correctly and it's theorems work, or you misinterpret it and they don't work.

Greg asked: "Did He really mean that we should not throw REAL pearls before REAL swine; did He really mean that I had to eat His LITERAL flesh and drink His REAL blood or was that a metaphor also?"

Did "He" mean that you would "REALLY" go to a "LITERAL" place called "Heaven"?... or did he mean that you would have inner peace in this lifetime? Again, if one thing can be metaphorical, ANYTHING can be as such.

Greg said: "He answered by saying that He would not tempt the Lord which in my language means He said, 'I don't have to prove my belief by doing some trick'. "

In my language it means that it's just one more poor excuse. This tells me that it's much more likely that he doesn't exist at all. Again, you define your Jesus in terms of what he CANNOT do, instead of what he CAN do.

Greg said: "If you need that trick to prove that faith is real then you don't have faith."

Right. If you KNOW something, then you don't NEED "Faith".

Greg said: "If you don't believe they'll win then you must have a "strong confidence" that someone else will win. That's still faith."

Irrelevant conclusion. To remain neutral doesn't require "faith".

Greg said: "Jesus was asked repeatedly to PROVE, give EVIDENCE, that He was the Christ. He said that the only sign they would be given was that of Jonah."

Yet, he appeared to hundreds of people THEN.

Greg said: "Three days in the earth and the grave (last I checked) was empty. Believe it or not, that's up to you. I believe it with every fiber of my being."

How did you "check"? Okay, so again, your argument, like so many of the "Faithful", amounts to "I believe". Bigfoot trackers "believe" in bigfoot.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that you don't have complete confidence that Jesus Christ is not God. If you are completely convinced He is not God then you have faith.

Wow you are awesome at this. I admire your faith, faithfulness to what you believe; or is it what you don't believe. I forget because you don't have faith, or you do have faith.

How did your parents prove that they loved you? How did your spouse prove it? Your kids? Your friends? By what they said or by your faith in them. PS if you've never believed that someone loves you I'm sorry.

I'm running out of comp battery I'll talk again after a quick charge...

To Be Continued

Anonymous said...

I have as much confidence that Jesus Christ isn't, wasn't, and will never be a "God"....as Greg does that Muhammad wasn't, isn't, and will never be a "God"...or for that matter, Zeus, Toth, Shazam, Isis, and the list goes on. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that you would say that it takes "Faith" to doubt all those "other" gods...or would you?(rhetorical)

Quote: "Wow you are awesome at this. I admire your faith, faithfulness to what you believe; or is it what you don't believe. I forget because you don't have faith, or you do have faith.(?)"

It's not that you "forget" what I've been saying over and over about "belief" and "Faith", but more likely that you don't want to accept it. It's okay....your religious conviction get's in the way, and I understand, because I was once there.

Quote: "How did your parents prove that they loved you? How did your spouse prove it? Your kids? Your friends? By what they said or by your faith in them. PS if you've never believed that someone loves you I'm sorry."

"Love" is a verb as well as a noun. The important people in my life "prove" their love to me by their actions---actions that I can detect with my physical senses. To merely read that someone loves me on a piece of paper would mean nothing had I never met them.

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Is erverything you say literal or is everything a metaphor? If you are one of those rare breeds that actually mix it up how do you let people know you're speaking literally or vice versa. Do you say "I'm as hungry as a horse, metaphorically?" I suppose you just expect people to figure out by the CONTEXT of what you're saying that you're just trying to prove a point that you're very hungry. Jesus was trying to show them that it takes very little faith/faithfulness to do something very large. I think even Tony Robbins would agree that when someone is sold out to something, convinced of something, that doors of opportunity seem to open. "if you can believe it you can achieve it" LOL Just a joke there.

CONTEXT: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea. The context was that they were unable to do something right on the spot so Jesus says, "if you can just be faithful" you can do big things. These come out by "prayer and fasting" only. I'm so hungry I could eat a horse, metaphorically speaking of course.

Quick question to webmaster: If you are against all gods (you said you were an athiest) why don't you have a picture of Calvin taking a leak on Buddha or Mohammed. Have you ever heard the saying "Me thinks the lady doth protest too much". Do you really believe in nothing or are you just angry at Christ for not satisfying your intellect? I ask this question very sincerely. I am always troubled when I see pictures like that but I just don't get why everything is about Him and not about all of the gods you say aren't real.

Jesus I guess gave us credit that we would be able to differintiate between metaphor and literal. I will tear down this temple and rebuild it in three days - metaphor. The Son of Man must be crucified and rise from the dead - literal. I will make you fishers of men - metaphor (man would that hook hurt). I send you as sheep among wolves - metaphor. For God so loved boomSLANG and Greg (literal) that He gave His only begotten Son.

Peace

webmdave said...

Greg said: "Are you saying that you don't have complete confidence that Jesus Christ is not God. If you are completely convinced He is not God then you have faith."

What god would that be again?

Sorry, I just don't believe in gods. I also don't believe in leprechauns, in Big Foot, in the Tooth Fairy, or in Palm Reading.

I also don't believe in Krishna, Zeus, Ra, or Allah.

I would guess that you believe in none of those things I've mentioned either. When you, Greg, figure out why you don't believe in any of those listed things, then you will understand why I don't believe in your deity either.

When it comes to all those supernatural entities, you are an atheist. The only difference between me and you is I believe in one less god than you.

If you would quit practicing your amateur evangelizing and read for a few weeks, you might be better equipped to carry on a more intelligible exchange. Until then, I bid you adieu.

Anonymous said...

SO you're saying that when Jesus died for me that wasn't proving His love. (I do get the fact that you don't UNDERSTAND why His death is at all important spiritually. It makes no sense why God would become flesh and die so that i could have relationship with Him. I don't UNDERSTAND why when my wife has a bad day all I have to do is buy a couple of flowers and her whole day changes. They're just plants that will die but I KNOW it works. Faith I guess.) I have read that there is more historical proof in the life and death of Christ then there is of George Washington. He proved it. You may doubt the spirtual validity of that death but the proof historically that a man named Jesus died on a cross on order of Pontius Pilate in the city of Jerusalem exists. I've been to the place where great historians and archeologists (both Christian and non-Christians alike) say He was crucified and where He was most probably buried.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Anonymous said...

I understand now. Since I could never be as smart as you. Forget my degrees, my life accomplishments: I must be too weak brained to carry on a conversation with such a mind as yours so you will take your ball and go home. I will go home as well. I will spend some time redaing though. I will not be reading Calvin or someone's theological exegesis; I will read God's Word and continue therein. I was truly hoping that this would remain at least civilized and non-accusational; but your fruit have found you. I'm so dumb and you're so smart. You win! I lose.

Otay!

webmdave said...

Greg, you're getting entirely too emotional about all this.

I just think your religion is bunk, that's all. Am I not entitled to that opinion?

From the easy way you've become enraged, my position on your religion stands.

You may want to read the site disclaimer linked in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Anonymous said...

Last one. I do see now. You lashed out at my apparent lack of intellect because of my last comment concerning your fixation with Christ. Good luck with that. The Devil doesn't keep me up at night but I think Jesus keeps you busy. Is that a still small voice?

What would it take for you to believe again? I'll pray it happens for you. This is a very serious proposition. Give me something within reason that if it happened you would believe. Maybe someone to say a specific phrase to you in the next few days. Let me know and I will pray fervently that God would show up. Don't do something like say I want a dinosaur.

webmdave said...

Greg also said: "If you are against all gods (you said you were an athiest) why don't you have a picture of Calvin taking a leak on Buddha or Mohammed."

It's simply really. I was born in America, where Christianity is the dominant religion, Christianity is the religion that screwed with my thinking for so many years. That's why.

I happen to think those other religions you mentioned are nonsense, but since I didn't loose 30 years of my life following those idiotic religions, I don't personally have any emotional or economic baggage associated with those religions. I have no reason to hate those religions. I do have a reason to hate Christianity.

By way of analogy: You can't hate someone else's ex-wife. But you can hate your own.

Anonymous said...

I apologize. I was not am not enraged. I am emotional, this to me is more than life and death. I am however an ameteur though.

Again please forgive me if I have come off angry. I tried to even throw a little humor in. I am happy.

Good luck tp you.

webmdave said...

Greg, if your god would grace an amputee with a new limb, then I'd know HE was real. Surely that would not be much to ask. Any amputee from anywhere on the entire planet would suffice.

To be more clear, I am talking about finding a human being who has lost an entire limb and can show that a new one has grown in its place.

An "I heard a story about" testimony will not suffice. Medically verifiable documentation will suffice.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

OK. I do understand then why the pictures and the like. I am sorry you feel that way about anything. I have wasted my time in a career only having to start over so I guess I know a little how that would feel. I was so hoping we could be friends or at least friendly. Usually when I talk to people like you (great intellect and self assurance) I will speak candidly because people like you can take what more shallow people might get offended by.

Again forgive me and I will not visit this site again.

Adios.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I will pray for. An amputee to recieve an authentic miracle. New arm, hand, finger, leg. I'll check back in a day or so.

Awesome. It has been a joy to discuss with you. You are obviously well read and studied.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Is erverything you say literal or is everything a metaphor? If you are one of those rare breeds that actually mix it up how do you let people know you're speaking literally or vice versa."

I'm one of those rare breeds who if someone doesn't hear me and/or understand me clearly, I will repeat myself over and over..::cough::..until hopefully they get it = )

Quote: "Do you say 'I'm as hungry as a horse, metaphorically?'I suppose you just expect people to figure out by the CONTEXT of what you're saying that you're just trying to prove a point that you're very hungry."

For starters, there's no conditions attached to whether someone understands if I'm hungry, or not. Secondly, it's no stretch of the imagination to think that a "horse" get's hungry---so if I said, "Boy, Greg, I have the urge to sing like a horse", that would bring what I said into question, because we know that horses don't sing. BTW, is the biblical passage where a donkey speaks the human language metaphorical?..or is it literal?

Quote: "Jesus I guess gave us credit that we would be able to differintiate between metaphor and literal."

I wish I could give Jesus the same credit for getting "His" message across clearly and unambiguously. After all, "He" is presumably "perfect", right?(nevermind)

Quote: "The Son of Man must be crucified and rise from the dead - literal. I will make you fishers of men - metaphor (man would that hook hurt)."

Satan?..the "talking serpent"? Talking vegetation? Are you familiar with the "Flat Earth Society"? They obviously misinterpreted something somewhere along the way...or wait...was it the rest of us?

Quote: "For God so loved boomSLANG and Greg (literal) that He gave His only begotten Son."

Like I said, "love" is a verb.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "I have read that there is more historical proof in the life and death of Christ then there is of George Washington."

Um, did you happen to read that on an Apologetics website?...because you certainly didn't read it in George Washington's AUTO-biography, did you?

Steven Bently said...

Well folks it seems another fundy has left the arena with his tail between his legs like a scolded pup...ouch! :-(

Well it really hurts when someone attacks the self-appointed halo and thanks Greg for not addressing any of my questions posed to you, and yes you do come off as amateurish and unprepared for the battle, so go away and indulge yourself and self gloat in the man made fable book you so fervently cherish.

Maybe some day you can see the world past your playpen mentality, although you may be considered an adult, you refuse to let go of your childhood fairytale myth that you have clutched in your possesive mind all your life, if myths and fantastic fables bring you inner feeling of false comfort as it does millions of immature weaklings then you have no business, visiting websites such as this one.

So go your own way and sing, Let me hide thyself in thee.

Anonymous said...

To Ben:

I did answer your questions to the best of my ability. You asked about faith. I tried to define faith; where the word originated and what it meant from Matthew chapter 17 which you my friend quoted, not me. Faith is the strong conviction or trust in someone or something. I also showed you the definition of the Greek word pistis which is used in Matthew chapter 17 and translated as faith in English. That definition was the belief in something and abstractly constancy in the following of that belief - or faithfulness.

The word, or idea, of faith does not originate from the Bible or even from the Christian belief. People have had faith (of course it would be called something else in their language) before the days of Abraham. Egyptians had a "strong conviction" in their gods. People in the Far East would sacrifice their children to their gods before Abraham was ever born; that is pretty strong faith.

You asked me if I had mustard seed faith and I answered you by saying that I might have mustard seed, turnip seed, or boulder size faith. That faith is faithfulness to what I do or don't believe. I guess my life will speak as to whether I remain faithful. I also tried to show that I believe that Christ was not trying to quantify faith. He was using a metaphor that His followers would understand. A mustard seed is small and if you have even just a very small amount of faith, again faithfulness, you can see great things happen in life.

I know everyone here hates what I'm saying but I think you all have a lot more than "mustard seed" faith. You believe and practice your faith. Your belief that there is no Supreme Being known as God. Something does not have to be a god; a noun is defined as a person, place, or idea! You believe in the idea that there is no God.

I've learned something however in my studies of human behavior and that is the intimidation of an intellectual bully. What do you do when you feel superior to anyone who thinks something, believes something, you feel is foolishness? Call them an idiot. If that makes you feel better about yourself ok. I am fully prepared to say that I do have the intellect that you obviously possess. I have never read one book on the ideaology of Athiesm so I do not quote its verses.

I have gone through a few of these pages just to scan the great writings of Ben "Ironic how people revert to kindergarden name calling and teasing when someone steps on their mental delusion." That was one of his. He called a 13 year old boy a fool, and idiot. Yet time would not allow me to tell you the sand he has kicked in the faces of others who don't toe the line of his reality. How many people called Columbus an idiot for thinking the world was flat? And yes that analogy works both ways. I like chocoloate milk and you like strawberry. Am I an idiot because strawberry is obviously a more intellectual choice. I live my life as a disciple of Jesus Christ; you live your life as a disciple of someone (insert name here) by the books you've read. You folks talk about being free thinkers but I've yet to read one original thought from ANYONE (Christian or non-christian alike). Someone said that if God would just make an amputee grow a arm he would believe; so being a computer geek I scoured the internet for hours and found that even that request was not original. I found countless pages (dating back as much as 5 years) of people saying the exact same things. You say I am living in a fantasy world for quoting a Bible yet you quote a scientist. Are you the original atheist?

Smooth...

Anonymous said...

Ouch I meant to say "How many thought Columbus an idiot for thinking the world was NOT flat?"

I'm really not that dumb just totally stink at typing.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "I know everyone here hates what I'm saying but I think you all have a lot more than "mustard seed" faith. You believe and practice your faith."

Greg, greg, greg...you just refuse to get it, don't you? Look, the Egyptians "believed" in Amon Ra with every ounce, or "mustard seed", or whatever, of "Faith" that YOU believe in YOUR Jesus. Yet, you don't believe in Amon Ra, do you Greg? No....and do you have to "practice" to NOT believe in Amon Ra? Answer: No, you do not. Do you sit around at your local "Shrine of the Nonexistant Deities", and "pray" for Amon Ra's non-existance? Answer: No, you do not. Greg: It DOES NOT take "Faith", "Worship", "religion" "practice"..or any OTHER rituals to NOT have a belief in something. It's such a simple concept, and I think you would "get it" if you didn't have the idea in your head that you think that you can somehow "level" the playing field by equating Atheism/Agnostism with religious "Faith". And EVEN IF you could, it would STILL not make your personal belief in Jesus an objective "Truth". Greg, you cannot "default" your particular God into existance. 'Sorry.

Quote: "Your belief that there is no Supreme Being known as God. Something does not have to be a god; a noun is defined as a person, place, or idea! You believe in the idea that there is no God."

Lol...give it hell, ol' boy!!! Um, Greg, there are many Ex-Christians here who are Deists. Notwithstanding, the existance of a "Supreme Being known as God" cannot objectively be proven or disproven. But no one's saying that a Supreme Intelligence is disproven, only UNproven. The burden of proof is in lap of the one POSITING the claim. And all that aside, YOU are the one making the leap from "Supreme Being known as God" to your Biblegod.....YOU are. Even the Deist can say that the Christian Biblegod does not exist with as much certainty as they can say that square circles don't exist. Greg, all religions think their god-heads are the "Supreme Being known as God". Is this sinking in yet?

Quote: "I have never read one book on the ideaology of Athiesm so I do not quote its verses."

Evidently, not. BTW, have you ever read one single book cover-to-cover in your life that opposes your Christian worldview? I would guess, "no".

Quote: "You folks talk about being free thinkers but I've yet to read one original thought from ANYONE (Christian or non-christian alike)."

Irrelevant conclusion. Greg---how many different ways can one say that fairies, imps, unicorns, and anything else with zero referant in reality, DO NOT exist? If I tell you a GAZILLION different ways that there's a boogie man under your bed, will you believe it then? Think.

Quote: "You say I am living in a fantasy world for quoting a Bible yet you quote a scientist. Are you the original atheist?"

Are you serious? Now you're equating science with religious dogma? You've really got a lot to learn, my friend.

webmdave said...

Greg,

It was me who said I'd believe if you could show me an amputee that had grown a new limb.

You just condemned me for asking it, because it's been asked before. But the fact remains that you failed to present an example of even a single amputee that has grown a new limb.

Your god seems a bit weak.

Do you believe in hobgoblins? Well, do you? Because if you don't believe in hobgoblins, then I guess you have a belief in the idea of no hobgoblins, which makes those who believe in hobgoblins and those who don't believe in hobgoblins equal in their beliefs, right?

Greg, in all sincerety you really should take a course, or read a book on logic. Not believing in something is not faith, it is a lack of faith, pure and simple.

I don't believe in magic. That doesn't mean I have faith in the idea of no-magic.

This is sad.

Anonymous said...

Ok you have a lack of faith. Semantics I guess.

Are you astrong atheist or a weak atheist? Do you KNOW there's no god or just lack a belief in god?

Anonymous said...

"Ok you have a lack of faith. Semantics I guess."

Semantics? "To have" something and "to NOT have" something is hardly ambiguous wording. They are completely opposing ideas. It doesn't take "Faith" to NOT have belief.

Steven Bently said...

Here's the thing Greg, we were all raised just like you to believe in an invisible God and Jesus, just exactly like you, we once thought and believed just like you, we are no different than you except we've gave up trying to make something that cannot possibly be true, into something that we wish for to be true, only because a consenus of people willing to believe in an outlandish fairytale as indoctrinated by either our parents or a trusted colleage, does in no way prove the bible to be true, maybe to you, but not to us.

We are told, when when we are young, that by believing in Jesus and God, that this makes us very intelligent, in other words, a much overly-honored preacher will get up and say anyone with the knowledge of God is all the intelligence anyone needs, people just like you Greg have determind that a knowledge or belief in Jesus or God is all the profound knowledge that anyone needs which I'm sure you'll whole heartedly agree.

But this is a total lie, do you realize how many people just give up on life, after finding Jesus? They think that they have found all there is to life, they think they have found the "Key" to all knowledge and understanding, and you come off sounding just like them, you give off this pious and self-gloating that only you have been worthy of enough to have found universal understanding, based only on your imaginable faith, that you've been so fool heartedly been told is a "Gift". You seem to come off as if it's "You" that have this rank above others, just based upon you willingness to believe in a most fantastic unbelievable fable and myth, why can't you or why do are you not willing to see that a virgin birth savior is sooo outstandingly unbelievable, why did it take your imaginary god over 4000 years to come up with the virgin birth salvation plan? I'm talking about the "God" that created the whole entire universe, with over 125 billion galaxies similar to our own in "Just Six Days???" a creator with this profound ability and the best thing this creator could come up with is a virgin birth savior???? After 4000 years?????Come on Greg, give it up, the childhood imaginary fables and falsehoods.

Yeah it takes faith alright!!! A ton of faith, much more than a typical human being can muster.

And please do not come back and say I'm trying to measure faith by volume, that is not my point, you know what my point is.

The Jesus myth is the most fantastic lie and myth ever to be devised in the history of the human race!!! There's no intelligence in believing in lies and myths.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ben. That last comment was so very civilized and I could actually understand your logic. You didn't need to lash out as much as usual. Though I still come off as a pious, better than you, hypocrite. I have said repeatedly in this post that I do NOT measure up in intellect with most I have talked to. I admire your intellect; just not your outcome (and I mean by that what conclusions you have come to). I have and will continue to study the idea of atheism and will get back on this site very soon to hopefully discuss this more intellectually. I have been given a gift by knowing Jesus Christ as my Savior. Not because I am special.

I am coming to the conclusion that most of you find great solace in logic. That it is not logical to believe what I do, and it is very logical to think as you do. I've found that you most think there is no absolute truth, so I'm guessing that truth and morality must be subjective or relative?

Ben would you consider yourself a "weak atheist" or "strong atheist"? Do you KNOW that there is no God or do you just not have a belief in that there is a God?

J. C. Samuelson said...

If I may jump in...

Greg,

"I have and will continue to study the idea of atheism..."

There's really only one thing you should consider, in my opinion:

1. Consider what it means to have faith versus not having faith. That is, consider the difference between your faith in God, and your lack of faith in say, Zeus. Which is proactive (i.e., takes effort)?

When you have the answer, let us know.

"I've found that you most think there is no absolute truth, so I'm guessing that truth and morality must be subjective or relative?"

Speaking only for myself, I think there is a hierarchy of truth. Some propositions simply have a greater number of attributes that give it credence over others. In other words, not all propositions considered true are, but may have elements of truth within them.

As for morality, it is subjective. This is not the same as moral nihilism, though. For example, ask anyone whether a lie is immoral and most will respond immediately that it is. However, there are times when it is supremely moral to do so. Take for instance Jews and those that sympathized with their plight living in Nazi Germany. They were completely justified in lying to, or otherwise deceiving Nazi authority. There are also times when killing is moral, and times when it is not.

And those are just a couple examples.

Consider rape and biblical teaching. Virtually every human being today considers rape immoral, yet the Bible has no prohibition against it, and in some cases rewards it. For tacit endorsement of rape, see Num. 31:18 and God's reaction in Num. 31:25-27. In Deut. 22:28-29 a virgin who is a victim of rape is considered the property of her father, who receives 50 shekels of silver from the rapist. The victim is then required to marry the rapist. If a rape of an engaged virgin happens in a city, both victim and rapist are to be stoned to death, but if it happens in the country then only the rapist dies (Deut. 22:23-25.

I only mention this to point out how morality seems to have changed since biblical times.

Steven Bently said...

Well Greg I've been called a Millitant Atheist and really there's no shame in admitting you're an Atheist, the problem lays when Christians put Atheists along side communists, muslims, Jews, etc. anyone that does not accept the Jesus myth as being true.

I'm just wondering what makes you "think" that you need a savior? How did you arrive at that conclusion? Where you born with that information or was it something that you've heard repeated a million times, just like we have?

Us Atheists have decided we do not need a savior! Why? because we link "people" that wrote the Bible with ignorance, you must realize that the Bible was written over 2000 years ago, by people that thought the Heart was the center of all thought and emotion, surely an inspired all knowing God, would have told them about the Brain...huh? But they had no medical knowledge!!! Why not? Yet they knew all there was about an invisible god...huh?

They also thought sickness was caused by Demons, also that the Sun revolved around the Flat Earth and that the Earth was the center of the universe, will you side with ignorance and beliefs or do you prefer to believe a bizarre fable? Can't you see that the bible writers had absolutely no "Merrit" simply because the voices that they heard which was just their own voices and they thought it was from a God, just like you perhaps, you probabaly think you talk to a God, but the bible has been translated over 1600 times, so if a bible god talks to anyone, it must be translated over 1600 times also, unless of course your bible god has suddenly learned how to speak english.

You see Greg, the bible shoots itsself in the foot under close scrutiny only those that prefer not to scrutinize the bible because they prefer not to see the fallacy and the errors, because they want to believe so badly, no matter how foolish or ignorant the bible may appear, they want their belief to become true.

The threat of Hell was invented to punnish those that had they dealed with people that did them wrong properly, had they stood up to them and dealed with them rightly, instead of being a coward and let them trespass over, say perhaps you, now you'll let the imaginary god deal with them in the hereafter, that way you can say god is the final judge, but in reality, it is from being a coward in the first place. That is the reason so many want there to be a "Hell" to punnish those that have done wrong to them. I know, because I was raised to be a religious coward, and my father is a total coward and he cowers to the imaginary Jesus and to the church and to the preachers.

Jesus was described as a coward, he prefered to die than to stand up to his aggressors, he left the judgement up to his imaginary god, he never stood up to anyone.

That is what religion is, a cowards reprive. Many people will get up in church and say that they are ready to meet god, but let someone walk into a church with a gun and watch them scatter, they will herd and trample over each other to get out of harms way.

Religious cowards! Let me hide myself in thee! Very famous lyrics!

You see Greg, you've chosen the easy way out, you're trusting that your bible will turn out to be true and thusly leaving you looking so grand, you've chosen the cowards venue, we've dedcided it's all bunk, because we once fell for the nonsense ourselves, now we know better and every day that I live, each day confirms in me how insane and ridiculous the bible is, there cannot exist a god and ignorant as the one described in the bible, there cannot be a god that had never been seen and yet described by human beings.
So that leaves the door open for inspiration. Inspiration is not an exact science! Inspiration can come under the form of many things, including drugs, alcohol, and the condition of the mind at the time of inspiration, would you agree?

So this Bible god has all the resources at his finger tips, yet he puts man in charge of describing man's "true way" to salvation, you know the very men that he regretted making in the first place! Genesis 6:6

Can there be a god that stupid and that callous? Yet this God is willing that no one should perish, yet he puts salvation in total charge of men and we have over 1500 denominations and sects of religions, how is that possible when god is totally absolute?

So this god hands over his responciblity of leading people to salvation that he created from soil, into the trusting hands of men?

What you actually have faith in is men and their word, not the word of a god, No, God nor Jesus never wrote one single word in the bible. So your trust and faith is in men that lived over 2000 years ago. That is such a stretch, believing in people and what they thought were inspired to write down on papyrus as coming from a god, how grandiose? What serendipity? No wonder they were glad, god finally decided to talk to them, how fantastically bizarre?

I'm just wondering how come the bible god chose the middle-east to inspire, why not the eskimos or the aboriginies or the amazon peoples or the native american indians? Because opium was not currently available to them.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Gregs parents planned his birth before he was born and they knew he would need a savior, but if he happens to choose the wrong savior, he will go to hell, do you think your parents had the foresight to plan your eternal destination before you were born, Greg?

Paul (UK) said...

Hi

I've been reading through Dave's 'anti-testimony' and various responses.

I've found Dave's input very refreshing and been encouraged by his frankness, logical thinking and emotional honesty. I suspect his thoughts are reflected covertly by many Christians as well as those that have had the courage to 'come out'.

I've been inspired to persue a 'project' that has been on the back burner for some time. I confess to Christian affiliations (hope I wont be shot down or verbally assassinated for this (Ben)) - however, I have always held reservations about the lack of genuine dialogue about the nature of faith and its apparent certainties. Therefore I'm beginning my own blog: 'A Certain Kind of Faith' - with an emphasis on 'kind of' both towards certainty and faith.

I will be promoting this among Christians to explore the very questions Dave has raised. Christianity needs to be more honest with itself and learn more from the experiences of people like Dave and many others.

If this results in more 'coming out' than 'coming in' then so be it - although I suspect the paradigm of 'in' and 'out' is less significant than we think it is. Choosing which side of a fence we sit on is often an unnecessary decision (although occasionaly painfully required) - and when it happens we only serve to delude, divide and destroy.

When people hold to precious certainties it appears to me that it brings out the poorest qualities of human behaviour. We defend our certainties at all cost as the tragic history of Christianity has all too regularly evidenced. Sadly, we can do the same verbally when we discuss and debate our thinking. Often reducing our arguments to name calling and claims to being of greater intellect than the 'other'. Maybe, at times, this is the case. But how does it serve to improve the intellectual application of the 'other' when they feel belittled and insulted? Is this more about winning than actually learning something new?

Genuine debate must leave the 'other' open to hold their world view even if we find it absurd. The alternative is to force our view on others - the antithesis of discussion and debate.

So I join this debate and hope those that are committed to free thinking can genuinely debate without fear of assasination? For how we behave in the heat of debate often betrays more about us than our argument does. As someone once said 'Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination'.

Thanks again, Dave, for giving me the nudge to promote honest discussion - come what may.

Best wishes to you and yours..

Paul

Anonymous said...

To Ben:

Then he's back. Civilized for only one moment.

That last comment was at least long, but since I have been convicted of not answering questions, I must say you never answered mine. You just regergitated the same stuff I've read from you over and over. It's obvious that you don't believe (got it).

I went to answers.com (non-christian research website) and did some research into atheism. There is implicit (weak) atheism and explict (strong) atheism. My question was which are you? A strong atheist states that there is no God. He knows there is no God. A weak atheist, basically, 'lacks belief' in a god of any sort. Maybe this time instead of just calling what I believe dumb you would answer as to what stance you've taken. Weak or strong? Implicit or Explicit? Ignostism? Well forget that last one if you were ignostic you wouldn't even be here fighting about it.

You are right in saying that I heard from various sources that I needed a savior. It also bore witness with how I felt and what I had experienced in my life. I eat brocoli because my mom said a million times "you've got to eat more than just hamburgers and fries". Should I not eat vegetables because it was not an original thought. I think the people who told me a "million times" that I needed Christ are great people. They are not authors from a book I've never met they are people I know. I know their lifestyle, their sincerity. Matter of fact after watching (reading) you I would rather listen to them than anyone like you my friend. A person who feels he must build his case on the degredation of other peoples intellect. Wow. You must feel pretty small when no one's around; I mean when you've got no one to try to step on.

Let me say this as well: You're not saying anything Ben that YOU haven't heard a million times. I don't think that makes you weak. I heard a million times my teachers in school tell me that 1 + 1 = 2. Because someone else told me doesn't make it un-true.

Once you've answered at least this one question we can talk about the Bible. I would love to talk about the validity of God's Word!

Anonymous said...

"A strong atheist states that there is no God. He knows there is no God. A weak atheist, basically, 'lacks belief' in a god of any sort."

' Don't mind if I do---Greg, you seem to be missing/ignoring an important point regarding these definitions and your newly found inquisitiveness about non-belief. Even IF a "weak" Atheist concedes that it cannot be known if a "God" exists---AGAIN, it does NOT automatically make the Christian biblegod into this Universal God, whom may, or may not exist. Greg, you cannot use "default" to prove your Jesus. I've told several different ways that Atheists--"weak" or "strong"--- can say with 100 % certainty that the Christian biblegod DOES NOT exist as a supernatural being. If Jesus existed as just a person?.. goody, Captain Kangeroo was a person too.

Greg, can you at least concede that a Universal God would be accepting of everyone? This is what "Universalists" claim---that there IS no "hell", that everybody is accepted. On the other hand, the Christian biblegod accepts only certain people---there are clear-cut conditions, and this blatantly shows that the X-ian biblegod is anything but objective..or UNIVERSAL.


"I heard a million times my teachers in school tell me that 1 + 1 = 2. Because someone else told me doesn't make it un-true."

And even if you've NEVER been told, 1 + 1 = 2 is still a "truth". No one's debating this.

"I would love to talk about the validity of God's Word!"

But we are debating this. It is NOT "valid", in a universal sense. Nice try, though.

webmdave said...

Greg,

We all learn from other people. That's not the point. The point is, that religion, and Christianity in particular, claims to be revealed knowledge, more-or-less straight from the mouth of God. However, it's not true. Everything is learned from other people, and that's all there is to it.

No matter how many times I've been told 1+1=2, that in itself would neither make the statement true or untrue. Verification would be required before complete acceptance of the idea could be achieved.

Now, for some reason you want us to accept the reality of your God. Personally I could care less whether you believe in a god or not, but you seemed determined to sell us on the idea that your god exists, and that it is something we should willingly accept. Okay, fine. So sell us. Please show us the merchandise. I gave you a reasonable condition: an amputee growing a new limb.

I, at least, am not trying to sell you anything. I don't care what you believe. You don't have to change. You don't have to reconsider. We didn't come to you, you came to us. If you are insistent on convincing us of the reality of your god, then give us some real evidence. I can clearly demonstrate that 1+1 does indeed equal 2. I cannot, however, clearly demonstrate that a god exists at all. Please show us how you've verified the existence of your god.

Anonymous said...

Webmaster,

It is in deed a pleasure to talk to you. You seem to be level headed and your comments very well thought out. I am not really trying to sell my faith. To me that would be like selling ice to eskimos. You don't recognize the need for what I have to offer. What I am attempting to do was explain my faith, or for lack of a better word, defend it.

The entire reason I got on this site was because of some disparaging comments blanketly laid on all Christians because of one very bad apple. This bad apple (youth pastor) was a member of a church in my area (Atlanta). I know the people of this church, I have extended friends and family that attend there. They were devastated by this man's terrible lifestyle and mistakes. There's just no way that because one leader in the church is corrupt then the whole church is corrupt. I know that there have been and will be corrupt politicians and/or leaders but I don't believe they're all corrupt. I don't think the Great Ben represents you; you are both proclaimed atheists yet I feel as though you are reasonable and he is not. Should I think that all atheists are angry blow-hards because one is. NO I shouldn't. I don't think all white people are racists, I don't think all black people are thugs, I don't think all Hispanics are illegal immigrants, etc...

I don't think all Christians are non-intellectual; and I don't think all atheists are intellectual. I don't think all Christians have faith; I don't think all atheists serve logic.

I am a pastor of a small church and I hope and pray that as a leader I am not a hypocrite. I do think about that everyday and this site has helped me to focus more on my fruit.

Thanks

Greg Out

Anonymous said...

To BoomSlang:

"I've told several different ways that Atheists--"weak" or "strong"--- can say with 100 % certainty that the Christian biblegod DOES NOT exist as a supernatural being."

Based on the very definition of logic how can you possibly KNOW 100% that the bibleGod does not exist. Your atheism is illogical. You cannot know that He is not God. To do that, you'd have to know All things to know. I know you're smart but come on. You can not KNOW 100%. You are assuming BASED on what you KNOW that He's not God. Tomorrow you will learn something you didn't know and so will I. We used to know that the cell was the smallest fabric of life; yet everyday we learn it's not. What's smaller than the atom? We can't KNOW 100%. We assume based on the information we have. I read just the other day that they have removed Pluto as a planet. When I was in school I was taught the truth, the fact, that we had 9 planets and now we KNOW there's 8. WOW! What will we know in 10 years? What if what you know changes and that assumption is broken? Scientists used to KNOW the world was flat then Columbus and the like found it was not.

I risk attack by saying this but I don't even KNOW 100% that Jesus Christ is God! I take what I know and combine it with faith and get my belief. Jesus said to Thomas blessed are you because you believe by seeing but more blessed will they be who without seeing are willing to believe. (that is a Gregory paraphrase).

Thanks again.

PS are you a strong atheist or a weak a theist? Not one of you have answered this yet and I'm just curious. If you think there is an Universal God (even if it's not Jehovah) then you are NOT an atheist you are an agnostic.

Anonymous said...

Greg: "Based on the very definition of logic how can you possibly KNOW 100% that the bibleGod does not exist."

Using the definition of logic---I can "know" it, precisely the same way that you can "know" that a square circle does not exist. It contradicts reality, that's how. It is an illogical concept, therefore not valid. Square/circle; natural/supernatural; omnipotent/omniscient.

Greg: "I read just the other day that they have removed Pluto as a planet. When I was in school I was taught the truth, the fact, that we had 9 planets and now we KNOW there's 8. WOW! What will we know in 10 years?"

We just had another Christian guest use this analogy the other day. It fails. Greg, in 10 years we may discover more planets based on the information taken in. Time will tell. Science doesn't deal in absolutes, however, there are some hypotheticals/concepts that will NEVER be true...i.e..."square circle". Science is open to change based on new information. On the other hand, religious convictions such as yours, are not subject to change---even in light of evidence to the contrary.(see below)

Greg: "Scientists used to KNOW the world was flat then Columbus and the like found it was not."

Yet, the bible---the "unchanging" word of a perfect "all-knowing god"---still says differently. Just like we "know" that there's no "firmament" seperating the water and sky. Just like we "know" the earth isn't geocentric.

Greg: "I risk attack by saying this but I don't even KNOW 100% that Jesus Christ is God!"

Redundant.

Greg: "PS are you a strong atheist or a weak a theist? Not one of you have answered this yet and I'm just curious. If you think there is an Universal God (even if it's not Jehovah) then you are NOT an atheist you are an agnostic."

In terms of a Universal force, or consciousness...I'm an Agnostic Athiest...or yes, "weak" Atheist. I don't know(Agnostic) if there is such a "God", but I don't have a belief(Atheist) that there is. Nor do I care, really. Notwithstanding, when it comes to personal gods, I am a hard Atheist.

Best regards.

webmdave said...

Greg,

It would be foolish to stereotype an entire population based on the behavior of one, but that's what people do all the time: all black people are lazy, all women are overly emotional, all atheists lack morals, etc. That kind of silly stereotyping is considered offensive because it is uncomplimentary, not because it is untrue. People rarely condemn complimentary stereotypes, no matter how exaggerated or falacious (e.g., All California women are beautiful; Princeton men make the best lovers; etc.).

Now, it is undoubtedly true that there are good and bad people everywhere. People possess varying degrees of education, perception, ability, opportunity... an endless list of differences exists between everyone on the planet.

But...

Christians claim to have the Holy Spirit of God inhabiting their very bodies, their minds, their spirits, molding them, changing them, leading them into all truth, mystically at one with them, convicting of sin, sanctifying, speaking with them, comforting them, supporting them, holding them up, carrying their burdens...

The list is nearly endless.

Yet, what do we see in reality? People — good, bad, smart, stupid, moral and immoral, just like everyone else on the earth.

I don't think logical thinking freethinkers are of more value or worth, or in any way better than Christians — as far as being people goes. People are people, that's all. What I resent, and would greatly disagree with, is that Christians are mystically better than anyone else.

Before you insert "Christians aren't better, just forgiven" in here, stop and think for a minute. The entire system of Christianity ultimately teaches that Christians are better than the rest of humanity. Christians are beloved of God and will spend a beautific heavenly eternity with HIM; everyone else can just go to hell.

Some Christians maintain an air of humbleness when it comes to this realization of thier purported loftier position in the scheme of eternity. But some Christians display an ugly air of smugness, especially when confronted by confident, strong unbelief in their magical stories.

Still don't agree that Christianity teaches Christians to see themselves as better than everyone else? Well, "the first will be last and that last first." This is nothing more than a formula for being first, and to be first is something most humans do enjoy.

I wonder how being congratulated for being the most humble would feel like.

Anyway, to speak more clearly, Christianity throughout history has given no indication of being lead by a supernatural being. Christianity is rife with all the same problems found thorughout society, in equal, if not larger, percentages. Stories about fallen Christian leaders, like your youth minister example, do not "prove" anything, but these types of stories, which hit the papers every week, do serve to provoke thought.

Anonymous said...

Yeah that Ben he's so way out in left field, and his attacking with mere words equal to a verbal assassin, oh he hurts when he speaks, we want kindness, and sweetness and kidgloves, we want to be talked to and held softly, just like momma did when she was breast feeding us because we have never fully mentally grown up!!!!

I started to call you Pastor Greg, because I knew you are a hard core fundy.

Let me tell you something Mr. Jeckle and Hide, you've got yourself into a postion that you are not qualified nor worthy to be in, yet you must bow to and appease your mindless followers, because you're leading them off a steep cliff.

You could not get out of your postion in any shape or form, without moving completely away so far away that no one cared who you were.

You've taken gifts and money and proclaim to represent an invisible myth, that you have no way of proving, nor any way of knowing yourself any of it is true.

People like you are sooo discusting, you'll get up in front of people with your hand taylored suits and big cadilac outside and tell about how Jesus suffered on the cross and you're there with your fat belly stuffed full of fried chicken and potato salad, woundering what is coming on TV after you get through counting your vain money.

You have absolutely no authority to represent a deity that claims to have been sent by a God, and you've not addrsssed one thing thatI have mentioned because you are a coward, you are a religious coward and you know it 100%. We know you're a blatant fraud, you don't deserve the air that you breath for misleading your wondering fools around like sheep, and you know they are fools too, just like you.

I do not see how you can look people in the face and tell them you are a preacher!!!!!

The good ole country boy self-appointed preacher.

You spread lies like mayonaise on a sandwich, and the thicker the lies the more money people are willing to give you, and you know this, you are a low lying snake.

You rob people's minds and then you rob people's pocketbooks, if there is a Jesus and a judgemental god, you haven't got a chance, they will say part from me, theif!!!

You are a theif in the grass, so go running back to your congregation because they refuse to see what a fraud you are, but I knew you were a fraud from day one.

Good riddance!!!!

You may think you have fooled your god and jesus, but you haven't fooled us one bit, you charlaton!!!

As for Paul, no one has invited you here, if you do not like what I have to say, then go somewhere were everyone tells you how wonderful you are because thats all you want to hear. You've have not said one thing worthy of a debate, you just want to hear sweet kind nothings and call that a debate, you're not prepared for bear either. Ben

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben don't come down so hard on the good preacher there! Who cares if he robs them of their jewels and possessions, if he wants to pretend to be a mini-pope for them, then so be it, thats all people want anyway, is to be misled, they want to be told how wonderful and great they are, thats the preachers job and if they happen to think he deserves pay for this, then so be it.

This is exactly what Jesus had in mind anyway by his crucifixion, to elect someone to get up and tell them how wonderful that they are and keep their hard earned money and to sing gospel songs and have huge fine churches built and have fine choir robes made and electronic equipment and wireless microphones and have stained-glassed windows and shinny religious effigys and a big fine steeple on top, with a paved parking lot and the finest materials that money can buy, although Jesus died pennyless, he loves to see those mega-churches and all the fine dressing and papal dignity, with a partridge to comfy the pastor. Jesus supposedly died with nothing, and yet the preachers want money continuely want money, for their selfish greedy selves. Jesus would have loved to see the money grubbing preachers of today, don't ya think???

The church is a total mockery of what Jesus taught and represented, if Jesus was alive he would come back and destroy them all, along with the greedy money grubbing preachers!!!

Preachers and churches are a disgrace to Jesus and what Jesus taught.

Talon said...

Greetings,

Though I have read your post I do not understand still the reason you left Christ? I guess that is a question, it conserns me deeply because I don't understand how a person can believe something strongly one moment and than not at all some time later. (Please forgive and spelling errors and those of grammar as well; I truly speak english as my native language but the written version has always eluded me.) What I read in your testimony about your doubts about the bible and its story brought the following thought to mind:

What is the new testiment? It is a collections of testimonies by people who knew Christ or of people who knew people who knew Christ (luke). Christ did not write a single word that is located in the bible. A testimony is a story the word has come to mean a story about how somebody came to know Christ but all it is is a story. I can tell many stories of the works and power of Christ in my life though I have only known him for 3 years yet I know some folks who have known him for 30 years and can't seem to conjure a single story of grace or mercy not a single miracle do they describe and no stories of joy and peace. from these lips pour complaining, destruction and pain. Yet they know the one who could take all of these things away...this confuses me but it is not my story.

Yes I too have questions about the bible...the most recent is which of the disciples was Jesus talking about when he said that some of you standing here will not taste death until the kingdom of God has come? Didn't all of the disciples die...most of them horrible deaths? But I'm sure I will resolve this one has I have resolved all that have come before it. Any way I would like, if you could please, tell me, if you know, the exact thing that caused you to walk away?

webmdave said...

What was the exact thing that caused me to walk away?

Well, as my story was intended to communicate, it wasn't all that simple. But I guess I could sum it up for you by simply saying I finally realized that none of it was true. That's all.

Once I knew it wasn't true, I couldn't stay.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting and I’m sure for some very challenging autobiography. Webmaster Dave may I ask during this period of your life and the many ups and downs why you felt or knew at that time you were a Christian? Was there some particular experiences or physiological phenomena that occurred or were there other reasons such as a decision that you had made etc? Thank you for your attention.

Anonymous said...

...::sniff sniff::...

Do I smell a True Christian™ in the house?

lol.

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by the amount of effort the Webmaster put into his pursuits and wondered what it was that drove him for 30 years. What at the time made him so convinced in what he believed? Was it a series of experiences, a belief system based on certain doctrine, his iron will decision, a desire to be a “somebody” in the community he was in? Did he just cling to a worked up faith in the bible and ignore his feelings or was it more? Were there certain iron clad proofs (within his mind) that he was a believer and if so what changed that? Was that a type of lightening bolt experience or a series of things and then did he merely explain the past away to himself or was there really nothing to explain away? You must admit it is a most fascinating story that takes up most of his life.

Anonymous said...

Webmaster,

it sounds like people turned you off to God, which is something I've realized to be too common. Christians need to represent the religion better sometimes. Here's hoping somebody else can bring you back. =)

webmdave said...

Anony,

People may have helped, but really it was the Bible and the history of Christianity that finished my faith. As long as you attend your happy-go-luck church, and sing your light praise songs, and listen to your Christian pop music, you'll never leave the faith. If you ever actually study how Christianity spread, developed, and changed over the last 19 centuries, well, it just might create some questions in your mind.

Most Christians are entirely ignorant of the degree of mutation Christian thought and theology has experienced since its beginnings. That realization helped me break the bonds of imagined Christian supernaturalism. Christianity is just another of the thousands of man-made religions.

Anonymous said...

Surely you must have had some grievous doubts over a 30 year period? What did you do to ease those? Were you utterly convinced that you were a convert and what proofs did you give yourself? How did you reinforce your belief system for so long? Sorry Anony but it doesn’t sound like people turned the Webmaster off at all.

Anonymous said...

just answer the easy ones!

Anonymous said...

 The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord, to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end.
Though there be those that hate her.
False sons within her pale,
Against both foe and traitor
She ever shall prevail. 

webmdave said...

It may prevail, but it's still a load of horse manure. And on a hot afternoon, that stuff prevails too.

Anonymous said...

My Easy God is Gone

I have lost my easy God - the one whose name
I knew since childhood.
I knew his temper, his sullen outrage,
his ritual forgiveness.
I knew the strength of his arm, the sound
of his insistent voice.
His beard bristling, his lips full and red
with moisture at the moustache,
His eyes clear and piercing, too blue
to understand all,
His face too unwrinkled to feel my
child's pain.
He was a good God - so he told me -
a long suffering and manageable one.
I knelt at his feet and kissed them.
I felt the smooth countenance of his forgiveness.

I never told him how he frightened me,
How he followed me as a child,
When I played with friends or begged
for candy on Halloween.
He was a predictable God, I was the
unpredictable one.
He was unchanging, omnipotent, all-seeing,
I was volatile and helpless.

He taught me to thank him for the concern
which gave me no chance to breathe,
For the love which demanded only love in
return - and obedience.
He made pain sensible and patience possible
and the future foreseeable.
He, the mysterious, took all mystery away,
corroded my imagination,
Controlled the stars and would not let
them speak for themselves.

Now he haunts me seldom: some fierce
umbilical is broken,
I live with my own fragile hopes and
sudden rising despair.
Now I do not weep for my sins; I have
learned to love them.
And to know that they are the wounds that
make love real.
His face eludes me; his voice, with all
its pity, does not ring in my ear.
His maxims memorized in boyhood do not
make fruitless and pointless my experience.
I walk alone, but not so terrified as when
he held my hand.

I do not splash in the blood of his son
nor hear the crunch of nails or thorns
piercing protesting flesh.
I am a boy again - I whose boyhood was
turned to manhood in a brutal myth.
Now wine is only wine with drops that do
not taste of blood.
The bread I eat has too much pride for transubstantiation,
I, too - and together the bread and I embrace,
Each grateful to be what we are, each loving
from our own reality.
Now the bread is warm in my mouth and
I am warm in its mouth as well.

Now my easy God is gone - he knew too
much to be real,
He talked too much to listen, he knew
my words before I spoke.
But I knew his answers as well - computerized
and turned to dogma.
His stamp was on my soul, his law locked
cross-like on my heart,
His imperatives tattooed on my breast, his
aloofness canonized in ritual.

Now he is gone - my easy, stuffy God - God,
the father - master, the mother - whiner, the
Dull, whoring God who offered love bought
by an infant's fear.
Now the world is mine with all its pain and
warmth, with its every color and sound;
The setting sun is my priest with the ocean for it's alter.
The rising sun redeems me with rolling
waves warmed in its arms.
A dog barks and I weep to be alive, a
cat studies me and my job is boundless.
I lie on the grass and boy-like, search the sky.
The clouds do not turn to angels, the winds
do not whisper of heaven or hell.

Perhaps I have no God - what does it matter?
I have beauty and joy and transcending loneliness,
I have the beginning of love - as beautiful as it
is feeble - as free as it is human.
I have the mountains that whisper secrets
held before men could speak,
I have the oceans that belches life on
the beach and caresses it in the sand,
I have a friend who smiles when he sees
me, who weeps when he hears my pain,
I have a future of wonder.
I have no past - the steps have disappeared
the wind has blown them away.

I stand in the Heavens and on earth, I
feel the breeze in my hair,
I can drink to the North Star and shout
on a bar stool,
I can feel the teeth of a hangover, the
job of laziness,
The flush of my own rudeness, the surge of
my own ineptitude.
And I can know my own gentleness as well
my wonder, my nobility.
I sense the call of creation, I feel its
swelling in my hands.
I can lust and love, eat and drink, sleep
and rise,
But my easy God is gone - and in his stead
The mystery of loneliness and love!

© Copyright - James Kavanaugh

Anonymous said...

Webmaster,

I found your website while searching for information on NDE as well as looking up info as to a discussion I am having on an Australian site at the moment as to Religion being the Bane of mankind.

I too was a Christian for many years, married a Baptist Ministers son, my brother-in-law also a minister, so you can possibly appreciate I got to see the ins and outs workings at the root...of that church at least. The hypocricies I experienced and witnesed while I was living my life "with the lord" were rampant, however at the time I did not speak to protest, as by my doing so, I would have gone against what I was told,or TAUGHT god wanted.

During this time, still a christian, I was involved in a car accident resulting in my "death". I had no "NDE". I had nothing. No "whitelight" warm 'n fuzzy moment with "god", nor a fire and brimstone "satan" experience. The only reason I knew I was been dead was because it was on my chart and the Hospital staff told me. I was constantly questioned by my inlaws as to "what happened when I met god" and when I said I didn't, they were mortified and actually TRIED to convince me I did, saying I had to for "him" to send me back, to fulfill "his" plan. They constantly kept giving me "suggestions" as to what might have happened, constantly going on about the bright white light, the warmth I MUST have felt etc etc etc.. The power of suggestion IS the most powerful thing I know of and because of their suggestion and their suggestion alone, I actually started believing what they TOLD me I saw. (being on morphine for pain at the time helped my own resolve weaken). I weakly, bought into it and they used me in sermons at the church as an "eye witness" to god and all his glory...(puke) recalling their own suggested "experience" as a "truth" and validation for their salvation sales pitch. This got me to look into NDE's as a whole and I noticed that ALL these god/satan "experiences" people have claimed to have, although some minor things altered, the main outcome was the same. For a God one : whitelight, warmth, "feeling of peace"..sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, everything. Where as the satan inspired ones were: Satan (always a caped or "sinister" figure, a lot of screams but no one actually screaming....heat as opposed to warmth... I could go on but I expect you know what I mean. Odd though isn't it, that never ONCE does anyone say that God looked weird and had 2 heads. Nor does anyone say that satan was an average looking guy sitting in a field of dandelions. On having researched this, I have come to the personal opinion that all these alleged NDE's people claim to have had, comes down simply to suggestion and expectation based on a taught concept. From early childhood, we, whether from religious families or not, are some way TAUGHT about the concept of god/satan/ good/evil heaven/hell. There is no middle of the road you are allowed or supposed to take, its either one or the other so CHOOSE.( I am speaking about western "christian" society here as I am an Australian, brought up in a colonised protestant belief backed nation) We are taught, even in public schools where up until recently religious instruction classes were a compulsory part of the curriculum, that god is good and if you follow him and his rules you will go to heaven living by his side for all eternity, but satan is bad and if you don't do gods will you will be cast to damnation forever. All of this is based on instilling fear into people. ALL NDE's where people claim to have these supernatural experiences, are based soley on a taught concept and the doctrine of good/evil, god/satan etc...
In cases of trauma, people usually go into a state of shock, where the bodyand mind as such actually shuts down to prevent us feeling the intensity of the pain associated with said trauma. We close down to whats actually happening around us, but that does not mean that the subconscious is still not working and all people whom have had the "supernatural" NDE's have all been CLINICALLY dead, meaning only their vitals are not responding to monitors for that time pretty much, but it doesn't mean that the subconscious has shut down, as the subconscious can not be read on a monitor. The subconscious. Where we keep all the things we don't necessarily want to deal with. The little part of us with that TAUGHT concept of fear always pulling at us. Now, through my research, I have found that those with the "whitelight" experiences, have lead what the individuals consider themselves as being basically a "GOOD" life (as determined by the taughtconcept good/bad - god/satan) where as those whom have committed crimes or feel in their subconscious that by the TAUGHT standard, they have been bad, always have the satan, screaming etc NDE experience.
I don't know if anyone reading this has seen the movie Ghost, but that is a perfect example of what I am trying to say, albiet clumsily..lol Referencing that movie also goes to show just HOW much this taught concept of fear IS instilled in us all.

I do hope that anyone who reads this understands what I am saying.

And Webmaster, Thank you SO much for creating this site and I fail to see the "concerned mothers" issue with it at all, unless of course she is also just as "terrified" with all the Pro christianity sites out there too and telling them to STOP as well. Otherwise she is as most christians are...hypocritical.

webmdave said...

Thanks for the comments and kudos, Tracey. I understood your meaning, and agree with you.

south2003 said...

Annoy: Webmaster,

it sounds like people turned you off to God, which is something I've realized to be too common.

Even thought this comment was directed to the WM, I thought clearing up the misconceptions that its always for us to leave the cult because some Christian was not being "nice."

For me, the god concept turned me off. What I was told (brainwashed with) was that god is an all loving god and a protector. So a test was put before this god and she failed. Over the course of 18 yrs as a fundie, I came to the conclusion that 1) this god did not give a rat's ass or 2) this god is non-existing. I chose #2 which explained #1.

Annoy: Christians need to represent the religion better sometimes.

I went further and read the bible from cover to cover, read it's history, its past its present and it made me vomit. I am ashamed knowing that I was a part of it. I am content. My moral standards are much higher than what is written in it and what Christianity represents.

Annoy: Here's hoping somebody else can bring you back. =)

Do not waste your time (at least with me) to try and bring me back to the cult. It serves no purpose in my life. I have developed a healthy self-esteem after leaving that mind numbing religion. I was forced to look at myself, learnt new coping skills, instead of stuffing, with every breath, waiting for life to end. Now I define my own purpose. Now I want to live.

I am proud to be an unbeliever. I am proud to be an Atheist.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I've read your story and I must say it is great you to see your open minded approach and honest evaluations of your thoughts. This being said, I do believe God is greater than our senses can comprehend and that we have a spiritual side to us that cannot be measured either. I think we all want to be part of something greater than ourselves seeing that selfish living is a horrible alternative.

Anyway, I'll continue to check your site and see what your conclusions are in the future. I will pray for your continual honest search for the truth -- I cannot pretend to have all the answers, but God has made Himself real to me (as I see at times He has done this for you too).

All the best!

boomSLANG said...

Steve: I cannot pretend to have all the answers, but God has made Himself real to me (as I see at times He has done this for you too).

God has made himself "real". How original. I wonder though---yes, I wonder what the chronology of the events leading up to this was? I mean, did "God" reveal "Himself" to you, first?.. before you ever even heard of the word "God", or "Jesus"?... thus, "proving" his existance?.....OR, did someone reveal to you what God/Jesus actually is, first, and this concept sounded appealling to you, and THEN this "being" made itself "real" to you?

No, actually, I'm being facetious...I don't "wonder"---I know the answer. The answer, depending in which culture/religion you're born into---is that your Muhammad concept; your Jesus concept; your Buddha concept; your whatEVer concept....was revealed to you via other human beings, FIRST.

Nonetheless, I've always been curious as to what "God" looks like. And YES, "God" would HAVE TO HAVE physical attributes for anyone to say that "God" is "real" and/or that "God" is a "He".

So please--anyone who says that their god is "real", and is an absolute "Truth"---if you would, describe for us, in vivid detail, exactly what your "God" looks like. Example: Dark hair/ blonde hair? Green eyes/hazel eyes? 5'6"?...6'5"?...you get the picture.(BTW, this applies to you too, Vynette, if you see this)

This is a challenge that I continually offer, yet, no believer can ever provide such a description. But of course, there's a reason for that, isn't there?

Anonymous said...

To boomSLANG:

It sounds like you have a lot of anger. There are lots of intangible things in life that cannot be "sensed", but nevertheless exist. I can see you've never touched/seen/tasted/heard/smelled your thoughts, but don't they exist?

Broaden your mind my friend. What are you so afraid of? Dave has honestly experienced something from God (as he mentioned himself in this testimony). Have you been steeped in atheism? Wouldn't you have been brought up in this and wouldn't this be "real" to you? I admire Dave's honest approach and that was all I was trying to say.

Should we all think like you? Please, remember that things that are seen are temporal, but the unseen is eternal.

freeman said...

Steve,
Not the same BS, how do you know your parents love you? You cannnot feel love, blah, blah, blah!

Yes, almost all of us are angry with evangelist! Your god/religion is no more "TRUE" than the rest of the gods/religions that have existed or will exist!

We cannot prove that "a god" does not exist. However, there is more evidence that "your god" (that of the bible) does not exist than to say that it does exist! Therefore, we are EX-CHRISTIANS!

webmdave said...

Dave has honestly experienced something from God (as he mentioned himself in this testimony).

No, Dave believed he had experienced something from God, as he mentioned in this testimony. Believing he had experienced something from God is a far cry from actually having experienced anything tangible or real. Once I figured out that ecstatic, emotional and mystical religious experiences are not unique to Christianity, I did some personal research on the phenomena. Now I'm of the opinion that such experiences (even those I experienced) are triggered by some peoples’ natural brain chemistry coupled with an average susceptibility to suggestion.

Things that are seen are temporal, but the unseen is eternal.

Actually, everything is eternal. Haven’t you heard that matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but only changed? You, me, the computers we're staring at right now — nothing ever really ceases to exist at it's atomic level. The atoms and energy that comprise everything get recycled over and over again... forever.

So, the things that are seen are eternal and the unseen gods, devils, angels, and floating cube-shaped cities in the sky are only in the imagination of the temporary arrangement of atoms known as human beings.

boomSLANG said...

Steve: Should we all think like you? Please, remember that things that are seen are temporal, but the unseen is eternal.

Dear Steve,

Please pay close attention, and "remember" this: You are a believer in Christ. I am not a believer in Christ. And for the record, we're talking deities here, NOT "unseen emotions". Anyway, I go one step further in my non-belief and say that I have no belief in ANY "unseen" deity---and this would include deities such as Toth, Allah, Muhammad, Shazam, Isis.. and literally, THOUSANDS more. 'Funny thing is, is I bet you have no belief in any of those "other" deities as well, isn't that right? I will assume "yes", since the one deity that you DO believe in says to not have any "other" Gods before you. Since I can reasonably conclude that you don't believe in any of those other "unseen" deities---shall I come to your "cyber-space" and tell you to "Broaden your mind"???? Shall I tell you that, yes, those other God's are "real" because "the unseen is eternal"???

So no, I'm not "angry"...not in the sense that you implied it in your blanketed assumption---however, yes, I do get a bit pissey when Christians bumble and stumble their way into an EX-christian website, BTW, and minister to us about how our skepticism is "irrational", "close-minded", and a whole host of other "finger-pointing" adjectives.... when all along, they dismiss all other "unseen" deities FOR THE SAME GOD DAMNED REASONS WE DISMISS THEIRS!

Oh, I'm sorry...did that sound too angry? Tisk tisk! lol.

Look, you said your God is "real". Either offer objective evidence that the Christian bible God is "real", as you say, or kindly dismiss yourself from this conversation. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just found your site today. I laughed and cried. I was raised in church. Most of my life I would say I was a Christian, but over the last couple of years, I've had many doubts and questions. As I have examined the "truths" I have been taught, I found them terribly wanting. I know what I have always believed to be true is not and it's a relief, but I have never felt so alone. I haven't "come out" yet, but I know for integrity's sake I will have to eventually. You guys banter back and forth and it's fascinating and funny too, but how do you deal with the social aspect of losing your community; your family and friends? I know it's going to be major when I finally come clean. I don't even know how my husband will react or my kids...gosh, I hate to even think about it. Those of you who have left Christianity; how did all that work out?

Steven Bently said...

I'll describe my situation with my family. My parents have always believed the bible to be the absolute inerrant god breathed inspired word of God. We my wife and I used to invite them to come over to visit, but we got so tired of hearing those worn-out fundy quips. They are so self-righteous they like to think that they are among the chosen few.

After living some 50 years, I decided tell them just how I felt about religion and God and Jesus. I told them it was all a hoax and a scam and their jaws droped to the ground, they looked like Nazi prisoners boarding the train, I'll never forget that look, like total despair, it was like I had just run over their pet dog just for fun, for about 10 seconds.

And then the preaching broke loose about how Satan was in control of my life and I was headed str8 to hell, then their demeaner changed they suddenly became as slobbering revenous rabid wolves, I could see the hate and resentment boiling in their faces, I told them it's only a Belief, not a fact, oh no they would not accept that they had a belief, it was proven pure fact to them, in their minds.

From there after, they determined that anything I had to say carried no merrit, like I was beside myself and seperated from their imaginary world and doomed str8 to hell.

So needless to say, we no longer communicate with them, which is ok with me, but I know for sure that they socialize with their fundy croonies and they share their god speak between them which also condones and verifies their silly beliefs.

I would have never guessed that grown adults could act so childish and immature.

So this is a fair warning to you from which you already know, if you tell them you no longer believe the BS, they will excommunicate you from their lives, because you will be a threat to them, they are braind-ead in the mind fog of jebus.

And we have the same type of idiots trying to run this country. I do not know what it will take to wake Christians up, because they have submitted their very being and mind to jesus. By this, anything else outside of the bible is of Satan and his army of deceptive angels.

Good luck, but I know you're tired of hearing the self-righteous cliche's. TC

BTW, they said they will pray for me, see how frickin ridiculous? Like a slap in the face!

Anonymous said...

Webmaster Dave,
I just heard about the site today, and I just wanted to say that, in a weird way, i'm grateful it exists. I'm a Christian, and so naturally my hope would be that people wouldn't become "Ex-Christians." But since there are, I'm glad i can read your stories.

freeman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
freeman said...

barbiewithabrain,

Take it slow, express doubts about certain issues. Become informed by reading as much as possible. There is a link to Recommended Books on the left side of the page.

How old are your children? I ask just to find out how long they have been exposed. It is natural for children to question the dogma. You can ease them out whenever they ask certain questions.

Your husband and the rest of your family will be less understanding. Again, go slow with your "coming out" and read so that you will be able to counter anything they throw at you.

Also, stick around, read the comments and ask questions.

We have exposed Oz and there is no magical deity behind the curtain!

Anonymous said...

barbiewithabrain wrote:
I just found your site today. I laughed and cried. I was raised in church. Most of my life I would say I was a Christian, but over the last couple of years, I've had many doubts and questions. As I have examined the "truths" I have been taught, I found them terribly wanting. I know what I have always believed to be true is not and it's a relief, but I have never felt so alone. I haven't "come out" yet, but I know for integrity's sake I will have to eventually. You guys banter back and forth and it's fascinating and funny too, but how do you deal with the social aspect of losing your community; your family and friends? I know it's going to be major when I finally come clean. I don't even know how my husband will react or my kids...gosh, I hate to even think about it. Those of you who have left Christianity; how did all that work out?

Hi Barbie,
For me, my family accepted my decision, just as they accepted my decision to be "with" God initially. I do have to say though that my father has always been an atheist, but either way he still loved me and accepted me for what I CHOSE to believe at the time, with no critisism either way. My mother although having her own "christian" beliefs still supported me on my choice to be a non believer. Perhaps I am lucky on both counts that these people whom I love dearly accepted MY CHOICE either way with no question or judgement attached.

As for friends? Well, I had a lot of judgement from them, but those I associated with at the time LIVED by "the word" and they themselves judged me accordingly! lol How ironic! On reflection, it sort of reminds me of a Simpsons ep where Maude has been to Christian camp to learn how to be more judgemental! Any REAL friend will accept you for who you are regardless and if they don't then obviously conditions were attached with that friendship in the first place.


I doubt and hope that your husband and kids don't love and care for you on the condition that you are a Christian as Christianity as all religion is a taught concept. We are not born with bibles in our hands, or labels saying you are "THIS" or "THAT". We are just born and what we are thereafter is determined by a taught concept. With your kids, I have to say though you have been instumental in that taught concept, and as such it is also up to you to show them the alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've been catching up on a bunch of posts since I've just read the webmaster's deconversion story. I've been studying and working my way out of the fundamentalist mindset for about 9 months now, but the doubts started over a year ago. My husband is more accepting now of my right to have a change of thinking, but still doesn't really understand why I would want to leave behind almost 30 years of indoctrination. I've been a member of an online support group for awhile, and the people there have helped me work through many difficult situations. I started out just questioning my KJV-only upbringing and then the Bible in general, and have just gotten tired of the teachings at our small, independent Baptist church. I would like to stop attending completely, but still go because of my children and husband. I've been verbally attacked by someone I thought was a pretty good friend, who no longer wanted to associate with me because she had noticed me changing and heard gossip around the church (I'm assuming), some of which was true and some not. Other people have questioned why I've changed, but no one has really asked me sincerely and wanting to know for the right reason, in my opinion. I'm still trying to figure out how this website works, so I hope this is the right place to post a comment.
Ruth

webmdave said...

You can post a comment here, that's fine.

In fact, comments can be posted in a large number of places, and read by people all over the world.

Also, if you join the forums section of this site (notice the link toward the top center of the page that says "forums") you can post there too.

Have a great day!

AndySocial said...

Wow, what an incredible number of comments. I got here from a post on Dawkins' site.

The way books became part of the bible's canon is rather hard to follow, but the Third Council of Carthage and the Sixth Council of Carthage finalized the formal canon. There is not one shred of evidence that the apostles wrote the scrolls with their names appended, nor is there any evidence that they were in any way involved in binding any codex of any kind. To imply that the church took the advice of the apostles when deciding which ancient Aramaic writings to trust is just bizarre. The first indication that there was anything like a church was at least forty years after the time of the events listed in the gospels.

As for the continual harping of Pascal's Wager, it's true that if there was just one option (Christian God) to believe in, then the logical thing to do would be to believe in him. Just as Pascal said, what have you got to lose? Except, of course, that there's a billion different deities to choose from, so what happens if I bet on Zoroaster and it turns out that it was actually Kali all along? And, how does anyone turn off the critical thinking in their brain in order to accept something which they know to be logically implausible? One cannot get to blind faith through logic.

The study regarding PhDs having equivalent theist tendencies to the general population is interesting. It's also interesting that the members of the National Academy of Sciences are over 90% non-theists. It seems that the more people study and learn about science and the way the world actually functions, the less likely they are to believe in invisible friends. Too bad, since that turtle god sure looks neato.

Some fun places to read: God Hates Amputees, Richard Dawkins, or any of the Skeptic-related sites. Oh, and Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go of God" is a fantastic CD.

Anonymous said...

Hey man, I was actually just looking for a Dake Bible reference on the computer when I found this. I am not going to hound on you for anything, because I used to be just like you. I suffered from a serious depression last year and attempted suicide. I can say, in the least, if I can relate to being "abandoned by God," or anything of that sort. I am not here to tell you my life story, but before I "got" depressed, if you will, I was a very strong "believer in Christ." However, I began listening to bands such as Linkin Park, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson,Evanescence, and a host of others. Through these lyrics I got the notion that "in the end it doesn't even matter,"and thus, concluded to commit suicide. As you can see, I didn't succeed, and I am very glad that I didn't.
It seems to me, if you will accept open criticism with no offense, that you were focusing WAY too much on theology and doctrine, rather than the true dogma agreed of of all churches: that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried and on the third day he rose again, forty days later he ascended into heaven where he sits at the Father's right hand, and he is coming back once more to judge the quick and the dead and the saints and man. THAT is what it is all about. Sure, we all have our own doctrine and criteria of living (who doesn't?), but as Christians we are to love and accept one another as diverse as we may be. Unfortunately, most Christians don't do this. In a letter/rap song written to Slim Shady by Christian rapper KJ-52, he states that "it's just too bad alot of Christians, all they do is hate on you, instead of dropping to their knees and taking time to paray for you"(Dear Slim, pt.2; album IT'S PRONOUNCED FIVE TWO)I'll be praying for you man whether of not you think there's a god up there listening or not. Well, there's just one more ting I've got to say. Hebrews 5:12-14 states that "12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Have you had a child? If so, you very well know that if it were to eat meat while still a child it would kill it. Isn't this correct? I mean, it's been scientifically proven. The same is with a "newborn" Christian. You cannot search out heavy doctrine (including Dake) when you just become saved. Start with the "milk" of the Bible and work your way up.
Well, until next time, I'll be praying for you, and remember, only one God, one Truth, and only one Way.

Anonymous said...

To the 1:33 a.m. incarnation of Anonymous:

"True dogma"? Virgin birth? Someone coming back from the dead after three days, and then getting whooshed up into the sky? Ah. This is obviously some strange new definition of "true" that I wasn't previously aware of.

And FYI, babies less than a year old *do* eat meat. But don't take my word for it -- Google "meat"+"baby food" and see for yourself.

This is Ex-Christian.net, not "NeverHeardOfChristianity.net". We read the magic book. We found it wanting. We rejected it.

BTW, many people (myself included) consider "I'll pray for you" to be extremely rude, if not an outright attack on our persons. Consider the prayers rejected as well.

Anonymous said...

DAVE,

FOR SOMETHING YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN YOU SURE HAVE GONE TO A LOT OF TROUBLE TO TALK ABOUT NOT BELIEVING

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as an ex-Christian......You canbe anti but not ex!

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ! STOP YELLING! STOP IT!! Stupid christians; always yelling their little fucked-up brains out. HOW ABOUT IF WE ALL YELLED AT YOU?? WOULD YOU LIKE THAT?? Dumbasses! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

>>There is no such thing as an ex-Christian......You canbe anti but not ex
>>

Yeah? I'm living proof that you're wrong. And if I'M wrong, then I dare you to demonstrate how I am wrong!! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or do the christians that visit here just keep getting more and more retarded. Can we take a poll on this? I think that we should have a rating system in place for these fruitcakes! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

Well,I don't want to completely write christians off...they could be an important source of protein.

I mean, after all, lions DO have to eat.

Christians, the other white meat!

Anonymous said...

Anony: "FOR SOMETHING YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN YOU SURE HAVE GONE TO A LOT OF TROUBLE TO TALK ABOUT NOT BELIEVING"

FOR SOMETHING YOU DON'T BELIEVE(EX-CHRISTIANS)IN, YOU SURE HAVE GONE TO A LOT OF TROUBLE TO TALK ABOUT NON-BELIEF

Anonymous said...

First up, I have noticed that the majority of christians whom come on here to post, usually do so under the cloak of anonymity. Is it because they are ashamed of their faith? Just wondering...

anony wrote: "There is no such thing as an ex-Christian......You canbe anti but not ex"

Erm no... Like Wes I am also proof to the contrary. "ex" means former..

Sheesh...are they giving labotomies FREE with baptisms these days ANONY? :-)

Anonymous said...

Reading about your doubts and contradictions about the Bible I'm just wondering how you're reading. Just examples: Matthew says that Judas hanged himself. That's a definitive statement. Peter is just quoted in Acts and is repeating the story spread across Jerusalem that Judas fell down the rock. The Book of Acts doesn't make a definitive statement on the subject. The same goes for the vision of Paul. At one point there is a definitive statement in acts, then Paul is quoted. Obviously, after many years, Paul may not have remembered exactly which thing the people accompanying him experienced: the light or the voice. To me that only makes the story more reliable, as Luke might have changed all the details to follow the same pattern. But he didn't.

Same goes for resurrection accounts. They made you an agnostic and they made Josh MacDowell a teist and a Christian.

Another thing is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I got baptised at home praying to God. In my case, I wanted to keep on praying in my mother tongue but suddenly, as despite my intent, in the middle of the word spoken in my mother tonge, I started to speak fully fluently in a language I did not understand. I personally know many people who started to speak in tonges having never heard that such a phenomenon exists. No one told them about the baptism of the Holy Ghost or about the tongues, they got it on their own at home, and then went to other Christians and asked what on earth happened to them.

Then, healings. I personally experienced a couple of sudden, instant healings (severe stomachaches and one earache that continued for a few days before prayer). I prayed for my wife about her prolonged pain related to female problems and it was gone in 10 minutes without coming back again. I also prayed a couple of times about my mother in law and saw results in less than 1 minute. I personally know a couple of women healed of cancer, one women healed of sclerosis multiplex, and one girl that had been slowly dying for 7 years because of a tumor in the back part of her brain that got healed instantly and after 15 minutes she was up and dancing and she's still fine today (over 2 years have passed since then).

Finally, words of knowledge. I'm not a good one at that, but God did speak several times to me very precisely on a couple of subjects. When I was a young Christian God gave me book names and chapter numbers where to look for a thing I wanted to learn about, and there it was. God was telling me where to look for certain things I lost at home, and there they were, even in such strange places as a dust bin. God was giving me very precise and strange names of problems that other people had so that I could pray about them, and later I found out that these were existing words and actual problems.

And what about all those Bible prophecies which are so precise and detailed? details about Messiah, 69 weeks of Daniel to the death of Christ ending in 33AD or 40 AD, appearing of Messiah under the Roman Empire, emerging of an apostate Church in Rome, reemerging of the state of Israel, the war between EU and Asiatic Union which has not even emerged yet, full globalization of the world just before the Antichrist.

You're right to have doubts if they're well founded. If you believed for years and persisted and saw no obvious miracle, no obvious work of God. Many people get dissatisfied with religion. Jesus also didn't like religion. But God is God, and it would be strange if He did not wonders for you, cause I see His unexplainable wonders fairly often.

webmdave said...

Anonymous,

Your interpretation of reality, if it makes you FEEL good, well then, please hold on to it.

Your so-called prophecies are every bit as specific and accurate as Nostradamus' prophecies. Those rantings mean nothing for hundreds of years and then all the sudden someone says, "OH, THAT's WHAT THAT MEANT!!!"

Baloney.

Religious Zealots in every religion believe that some God is talking directly to them. Even the Laws of Hammurabi say "the god told me."

Big deal. The human mind is a complex machine, and everyone of us regularly carries on conversations with ourselves. If you want to believe that when you talk to yourself you are talking to a god, well, whatever. That's up to you.

Your Dispensational End Times doctrines you hinted at were invented just prior to the American Civil War. No Christian anywhere believed any of those doctrines 200 years ago. Sorry. Learn your history.

You're obviously an emotional, sensitive, young woman, so I'll be gentle. You're living in a fantasy world. As life's problems cross your path, you may find your religion a bit shallow and powerless.

For instance, healing stomach aches seems a bit easy to me for an almighty god. Is he good at clearing up rashes, too? The next time you see someone without an arm or a leg, pray to your GOD to regrow the limb. I'll wager he won't. And the reason he won't is because he can't, because HE DOESN'T EXIST.

And the next time you break a bone, or catch severe infection of any kind, or have any kind of severe health problem, just pray. Doctors are unnecessary when you have a pipeline to god, right?

boomSLANG said...

Finally, words of knowledge. I'm not a good one at that, but God did speak several times to me very precisely on a couple of subjects.

Oh, is that so??? What subjects?....the side effects of guzzling mushroom tea? Schizophrenia? Which subjects?

Also, I'd be curious---and I bet many other people would be curious, as well---but what does the voice of "GOD" actually sound like? Firstly, it IS a "male" voice, right? Is it more akin to a bass voice?....you know, like James Earl Jones? Or a tenor?..more like Mel Gibson? Or is it a higher pitched voice, like Pee Wee Herman? And how about language---what language did "GOD" speak to you in? Hebrew? Italian? Southern French? Also, which direction was the voice coming from at the time? The sky? Your ceiling fan? Or did "GOD" speak through something?...like a TV, or a picture of the Mona Lisa?

Anonymous, you said God spoke "very precisely" to you, so we can expect a very "precise" description of this "conversation", right?

Thanks in advance, and we await your reply.

Anonymous said...

Dave, Welcome to the Atheists side. I’m sorry it has taken you so long to undo the brain washing, that must have been horrible. I was lucky and started rebelling against the cult at an early age. I was in 3rd grade when I ran away from home so that I would not have to go to Catholic Sunday school. When I got back home after staying away a day, my mother was crying and told me I did not have to attend church. I was free. Take care my Atheist brother.

Anonymous said...

hi, help me, i am an ex-christy and a blasphemous artist living amongst the fundys vanessa

Anonymous said...

My dear friend,

I am sorry for what the Church has done to you. I hope you do not blame God for what the Church has done.

I guess in all this, I must ask, what do you think of Jesus Christ? Looking at the Church and humanity, you must not have faith in religion whatsoever. I would have to agree with you there. Religion is a failure.

However, I am curious as to what you think of Jesus? How do you feel about Him?

Blake

Anonymous said...

you should check out bill johnson, he's pretty radical. I don't know if you have ever been to any healing conferences, or even any conferences of his, but it's pretty spectacular. You should look up Patricia King's website and see when the closest conference is coming to you. I Don't know how you could not be amazed.

Really, check it out.

Anonymous said...

look em' up

Anonymous said...

Get a good laugh. Preston encourages people to check out Patricia King’s website, so I did.

Get this…you can meet Jesus online!!!

He must have been busy blogging someone else ‘cause when I tried to ask questions, all I got were links to text messages with the same old tired bible rubbish, and links to videos of Jesus. However, it seemed to have everything BUT Jesus videos. I don’t know who was filming Jesus at the time he walked the earth 2000 years ago, but that must have been some camera!

So instead, I tried “Prophets and Prophecies”. And Preston, you must be the most gullible person on earth if you think she is a prophet.

Here are her seven prophecies for 2007:

1) 2007 will be a year of success and fruitfulness
2) There will be Change, Change, Change (Boy, I am glad she narrowed that one down!!!)
3) It will be a year of covenant blessing
4) It will be a year of earth-shaking catastrophes
5) There will be walking on water, which, according to her means “Many will be called out of the “boat of comfort” into “arenas of risk” in 2007.
6) Bible faith will be challenged (NO! That’s never happened before. Must be prophetic!)
7) God’s media army is emerging

I am “really” impressed with this prophet…nothing like making broad, generalized, weasel-worded blather, and then getting the gullible to believe this prophetess have some supernatural connection with the almighty!

She even has a deliverance room, but it’s fraudulent, I went there and not one baby was being born.

Ms. King should be thankful they don't still stone false prophets.

Anonymous said...

It just dawned on me why Jesus wasn't available to talk with online on Pat King's website.

He's busy having his face carved into trees in Jacksonville, Florida.

webmdave said...

Hey Preston!

Please tell me why your God hates amputees. I mean, he will not help an amputee grow a new limb. He refuses to heal anyone with a missing arm or leg.

In fact, HE won't even heal a person with a missing little toe!

WOW.

GOD HATES AMPUTEES!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

I have posted some other comments on your "plea to Christians" post and I have to admit that when I stumbled upon this site, I thought "what happened to this guy to make him an exchristian"

Now I am reading your testimony and let me ask you something -- in reading your testimony, I read that anytime you had a question about the things of God you always turned to another PERSON, or a book written by another PERSON. Have you ever thought about praying to God to answer your questions about HIM? I find that in my walk with God I have come across doubt at times and struggles - the last two years of my life I have felt just as confused and decided praying wouldn't help, but in my very lowest time when my brother had died and I was at rock bottom - had no guidance in my life, it was Jesus who guided me, I prayed and he answered, it was the best time of my life. Then, I had some personal issues in my marriage - purely spiritual- and strayed from my faith, figured God must hate me, I am a horrible person. All that did was send me right back to rock bottom, I then began to attend church again and found that I didn't feel the same as I once had, church wasn't the same, so I stopped attending and spent time alone with God, at home, studying His Word, asking him again for direction. And again he has answered my prayers, given me answers my pastor or pastor's wife couldn't, why? because they aren't God, they are a follower just like me. I went straight to Jesus for my answers and although, I have a ways to go, I know that the start in the right direction that I have made is not because some other person TOLD me I should pray, or TOLD me what God wanted from me, but because I sought God. Their words and advice can help me and books and study guides are just that guides, but for the answers for my life and my path in life, I need answsers from Jesus that I get through my personal relationship with Him through His Word and prayer.

Jen

Anonymous said...

Yeah sure, Jen - Jesus answered your prayers. And guess what? Allah answers the prayers of thousands of Muslims, too! Do you believe that? Bet you don't, do you? I wonder how many people there are out there who are just as religious as you and who happen to be outside the christian bubble and adhere just as adamantly to thier religious worldviews as you do to yours? Ever think about that? Millions, wouldn't you agree? So tell me, Jen, what's so special about your worldview? ...And what gives it so much more credibility than all the other religions out there? Do you believe the claims all these folks make about their religious experiences? Guess what! They're all the same! Yup! Answered prayers, et al - your religion is no more original than any other man-made religion out there that exists now, or has ever existed.

By the way - describe to us exactly how Jesus talked to you? Was it a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside? Was it a voice in your head? Golden tablets? A command from god directly ordering you to slaughter neighboring cities and 'dash their little ones against the rocks" (as per your fucked up toilet paper bible)? Jen - you remind me of that rabid woman on Trading Spouses some time ago (google 'god warrior'). Sorry, Jen - but you need to bring some irrefutable hardcore evidence to this discussion before we consider you seriously. All you have spewed here is the same old chewed up garbage every other christian dumps here - nothing different whatsoever; so no, Jen, you're hardly unique, and guess what? No one gives a rat's ass about your delusions, your rants, your "answered prayers", so maybe you should reconsider posting here again in the future? By the way - I asked before on another thread - why did god get so pissed when the tower of babble was built? And do your reeally REALLY believe that insane story?? Careful now how you answer- this might further damage your credibility here! Or would it? -Wes

webmdave said...

Hi Jen,

I understand what you are saying, and I've had those emotional times and feelings myself. My brother died in a car accident, and the peace I felt during that time was in marked contrast to the rest of my non-Christian relatives.

However, I would still feel the same peace, even though I am not a Christian. It's not my nature to become overly emotional about things. That's just the way I'm wired. And all the wonderful feelings of peace and tranquility I obtained through Christianity I still have. I only imagined that those feelings were being generated by my relationship with an invisible, immaterial deity. I now realize that every spiritual experience and feeling I or anyone else feels is generated in the mind. It is a function of the imagination. It is normal, but it is not evidence of a deity.

Anonymous said...

Rick,

How do you know that you would have felt these feelings of peace without God? You stated that you grew up in Christ from the time you were a small child. How do you know that the feelings of peace and tranquility that you get now that you consider yourself an ex-christian isn't still God's grace upon you to remind you of the peace and tranquility he once gave you?

I can tell you this without Christ in my life, I have no tranquility. I had an abusive father, I have a mother who was so victimized that she can be verbally abusive at times, and has not been able to guide me into my adulthood. I found my guidance from Jesus. I went to others in Christ to get help, was too embarassd to tell my story, but when my brother died, I suddenly saw the breakdown of my family. All I had left that I could do was pray. I didn't depend on others in Christ to tell me what to pray or how to cope, I just prayed, and Jesus gave me a life of hope and peace. Throughout the last 3 years, I have been through some great struggles and turned to friends instead of prayer and you know where that got me? Deeper in sin. I said before I went back to church and it doesn't feel the same, I feel judged, because now I am divorced. But when I open my bible and read it, and pray and ask for forgiveness for MY mistakes, I am forgiven. For the first time in about 3 years, I feel like I have some hope and that began when I began to pray to God every day and not once a month. There are some self serving Christians out there, I have met them, but I won't let their example guide me. There are some Christians out there who have given me advice that doesn't line up with God's word, and again I don't follow them. I can say also that throughout all of my struggles, the one thing I wouldn't do was deny God, because I know that as sure as I am talking to you, I was talking to Him and when I asked for signs he gave them to me, I know He is real. I don't hate you for your choice of lifestyle, why? Because I don't believe God hates you. He does hate sinners, but as soon as you turn from the sin you are forgiven. He loves us enough to wait for us.

My last post on one your forums was responded with so much hatred and I felt attack against me personally, I won't be back, at least to that forum. I felt that in reading your testimony this would actually be a discussion, but I see I was wrong. I will pray for you and your site, that maybe you will again feel God's love one day and that all who come on here will at some point know Jesus.

One more thing, Rick, if you are truly an ex-christian, then why in your testimony do you still capitalize Christ, God, Jesus? If you truly don't believe, why show Him any respect?

Yours in Christ,

Jen

Anonymous said...

Oops, please forgive me, I addressed my last post to Rick, I meant that to be addressed to Dave, the WM.

Thanks,
Jen

webmdave said...

Jen, in English, Christian, God, Bible and so on are capitalized. I didn't make that rule, but that's the rule. You may have forgotten that lesson from your H.S. English class.

Anyway, I appreciate that you've had some problems to deal with, and religion has given you comfort.

As I said, if that gives you comfort, then please pursue it. Perhaps, one day, when the scars of your upbringing fade, you'll be in position to face life a bit more rationally.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

bob jones told a vision that he had from god in one of the latest shows of Extreme Prophetic T.v. One of the things that really stood out was the calling on the young generation. He stated that the third harvest coming will bring somewhere around a billion youth to christ, by around 2020.

If you are alive by that time, i hope you will see and believe. Keep your minds open to the fact god could be real. Because so many prophesies are about this lifetime. I know The coming of jesus is coming this generation. So I ask you to be wise and keep comparing what's going on in the natural to the scriptures that ya'll know so well.

Just Don't dismiss god just yet. We're almost there

Anonymous said...

Hello Webmaster

I stumbled across a website that has given me a much clearer and better insight and understanding to Christians and the Christian faith.

It's called A Christian Think Tank.
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/

I would assume you have probably done alot of research yourself on Christianity and so you have probably heard of it, but just if it interests you.

Anonymous said...

Jen,
what kind of "signs" did you ask for and receive? I asked for plenty throughout my struggle with christianity and never got so much as one.

Daniel said...

The gospels are accounts of people. They will differ. This is the reason for the differences in the NT. As for the differences between the old and new testiment it is exactly what it says "old covenant and new covenant". Justice mercy and love. They all need each other. As for your current views with athiesm it's theology is far more faulty than the supposed ones in christianity. Athiesm by it's very nature makes no room for any kind of morality. You must neither accept or reject any "idea" if you do then you are hinting to an absolute truth and then giving evidence for God. As for the tree in the garden. that falls in with CHOICE every person must have a way to love or deny God to sin agains or glorify to be good or bad. Otherwise, if the coice is not there than the relationship and the love and the glory recieved is worthless. The tree served as that choice. Once man chose against God he fell. I am young like you were when you started doubting and am sensing that you are holding back something. Mainly because you have switched to aitheism which is purely illogical (which makes no sense why you would base half your story on logic).

My final words
the Gate is narrow and also the path is narrow. Make sure you know the Lord. Try listening to Paul Washer at
Heartcrymissionary.com
listen to his YEC in alabama

I am roughly convinced that if you recieved your answers in satisfaction you would not turn back. "he that started a good work in you will finish it" DO YOU KNOW THE LORD. Many will say to me on that day Lord Lord (notice the signifigance of the double Lord) . . . and I will say to them depart from me I NEVER KNEW YOU. Quit looking for happiness. Quit looking for yourself. surrender yourself to the fierce fire that is God.

Anonymous said...

Hey Webmaster,

I wonder in all your readings for answers you have read any early church writings by the church fathers, such as John Chrysostom, Basil, Tertullian, Justin Martyr?

Mike

boomSLANG said...

Daniel: As for the differences between the old and new testiment it is exactly what it says "old covenant and new covenant".

I thought "God's word" was "unchanging"? Or wait, it only changes when it changes?.. and it stays the same when it stays the same, right? Perfect.

Daniel: As for your current views with athiesm it's theology is far more faulty than the supposed ones in christianity

There is no "theology" in "Atheism". Learn your definitions before you spout off such non-sense.

Daniel: Athiesm by it's very nature makes no room for any kind of morality.

Utter bullshit. What is "right" and what is "wrong" is dictated by society, and/or, from culture to culture. "Right and wrong" is purely subjective. The bible says, in no uncertain terms, that we shouldn't work on the Sabbath, nor shall we allow our "slaves" to work on that day. Yet, how many theists are out stoning to death the people who work on sundays? And how many theists have slaves? How do we know it's "wrong" to kill people who work on sunday, and to keep slaves?? I mean, it's right there in "God's commandments". Yes, tell us more about your divine "morality".

Daniel: You must neither accept or reject any "idea" if you do then you are hinting to an absolute truth and then giving evidence for God.

Again, totally preposterous. CHRISTIANS can't even agree on what "absolute truth" is.

Daniel: As for the tree in the garden. that falls in with CHOICE every person must have a way to love or deny God to sin agains or glorify to be good or bad. Otherwise, if the coice(choice) is not there than the relationship and the love and the glory recieved is worthless.

You can still have "choices" without threats. Furthermore, if you want to talk about "worthless"...I would argue that any love received under threats and coersion is "worthless"...e.g....Jesus: "Love me.....or burn!"

Daniel: The tree served as that choice. Once man chose against God he fell.

You are talking about parables in a book of mythology. But I'll humor you: Mr. "Omnsicient" KNEW the outcome in the little garden story. God has no one to blame but himself. So he damned sure shouldn't be blaming me.

I am young like you were when you started doubting and am sensing that you are holding back something.

You are young? Now that's some astonishing disclosure. Thank you.

Mainly because you have switched to aitheism which is purely illogical.

Feel free to show me the "logic" in talking snakes; swimming hammers; a talking domestic ass; camping out inside a whale; unicorns; giants; witch doctors and talking vegetation. Then, using the scientific method, show me the "logic" and "science" in "creation". Waiting.

My final words

Promise?

the Gate is narrow and also the path is narrow. Make sure you know the Lord. Try listening to Paul Washer at
Heartcrymissionary.com
listen to his YEC in alabama


Try reading just one book that challenges your belief. I dare you.

I am roughly convinced that if you recieved your answers in satisfaction you would not turn back.

No shit? That's the whole point---the "answers" ARE UNsatisfactory.

Quit looking for happiness. Quit looking for yourself. surrender yourself to the fierce fire that is God.

Yikes...that's just plain scary.

webmdave said...

"As for your current views with athiesm it's theology is far more faulty than the supposed ones in christianity."

Atheism has no "theology." Theology is the study of god.

"will say to them depart from me I NEVER KNEW YOU"

It always comes down to threats, doesn't it?

To Mike: Yes, I've read those men.

Question for Mike: Have you read anything critical of Christianity?

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

Anonymous of dec. 24 said " I started to speak fully fluently in a language I did not understand." S

She doesn't understand it but she knows she was speaking it fluently. That's amazing.

webmdave said...

Good point, madamehel.

Anonymous said...

So if you're against the money-making religions establishment then why are you taking VISA donation, selling books and T-shirts?

Religion is just a belief system...isn't that what this is?

FOR THOSE THAT ARE TIRED, WEARY, AND LOOKING FOR "ANOTHER RELIGION" YOU'VE FOUND IT!

Cheers.

webmdave said...

Hi anonymous,

It's nice to meet yet another bitter Christian.

I want to ask you a few questions. Do you think newspapers are religions? Do you think magazines are religions? Do you have any idea how much time and money it takes to run a website like this? Do you so resent seeing opinions in opposition to your religion?

Though I have nothing to hide, and no reason to tell you anything, I will tell you this: No one is required to contribute a dime to this website at any time. There is no requirement for a tithe, no expectation of generosity, no plea of funds to "save the lost," no promise of "blessings" to those who do help out, no nothing. The people who do help this site stay online do it for only one reason: because they relate to the purpose of this site: encouraging ex-Christians.

Anonymous: Go back to your loving congregation of mind-numbed believers and give, give, give to support your pastor, your television minister's new Porsche, your idea that the poor starving Africans are finding an apartment in heaven, or whatever you think you are accomplishing by making your religious leaders rich.

Go.

Your bitter emotions are wasted here. I've heard stupid fundie ranting so many times since shedding the rotten skin of Christianity, I could puke.

I mean this in the nicest way.

May your loving, forgiving, and everlastingly fun god bless your defense of his poor, wounded honor.

Anonymous said...

I understand. You have to move onto character attack in order to substantiate your position here. We could argue all day about how we're both wrong, but this belief system (religion) you have here takes faith to believe in. I can say you got MORE FAITH than I got.

If I look at your reply objectively, it looks as if I have struck a cord with this money thing.

Cheers.

webmdave said...

Anonymous, there are thousands of Christian websites for you to spew your nonsense. Please go play at one of those.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You may have turned your back on Him, but He will not turn His back on you . . . hence the many children of God responding to your plight! I know your struggles, as I have the same . . . reading books of people suggesting they know what they are talking about . . . having 'elders' throw their 'systems' to be a Christian down my throat . . . pastors 'pushing' me down in the Spirit . . . pastor's adulterous relationships (that's how my daughter turned away as well) . . . and so much other nonsense . . . until I stopped believing everything 'people' said is truth and stopped believing everything I read and only believe in the One who is truth. People are flawed and have free will and will always believe what they want to believe to make them acceptable to the world and to themselves. When I read His word, the truth speaks to me, no one else. There are no contradictions, just misconceptions. It's funny, if we can't figure something out, we just give up on it! I haven't figured out my daughter, but I haven't given up on her! Or vice versa, for that matter. And I don't believe you completely gave up on God, but on those that believe in Him. I can't say as I blame you there. People can be a huge let down! And why don't they ever see the forgiveness of Christ. For example, if you read Matthew 19:28, Christ speaks that there are 12 thrones for his apostles, which at that time included Judas Iscariot. Judas may have sinned, but who doesn't?! We all fall short . . . and ALWAYS will! That's is why I don't need to know all, just the One who does! I am sorry for your struggle and pray that the hope of Christ through 'His' struggle come to fruition in Your life one day. Been there, and done all that, but am in Him and with Him now and forever. I don't know where I would be knowing the lack luster of my friends and family . . . I just keep my eyes on the prize and take that hope to His word daily for His truth to light my way. No one else has that to offer me. I'm sorry, I'm not meaning to try to convince you of anything. I can just relate to your story and wanted to share mine briefly. Take it as you will.

God's kid

webmdave said...

God's kid,

You seem generally a bit cynical when it comes to people.

Did it ever occur to you that people wrote the scrolls and manuscripts that were eventually combined into your Bible?

Since you say that people are have a tendency to be undependable, I find it striking that you completely trust the writers of your holy book.

You see, people wrote those words in your holy book, GK. No god penned them. You are trusting in people.

Anonymous said...

Well now, that was refreshing. Joining you as you traveled the rocky road of relgion was both exciting and familiar. Exciting because rarely do I get to see honesty on such a level, familiar because I too have known the struggles you have faced. We do not share the same outcome - however, it is not difficult to see how you arrived at yours. By the way, your quite intelligent, well written, and obviously a person of incredible faith. I look forward to seein how your mind eventually comes to terms with your body.

Donna

Anonymous said...

I'll post a longer comment later, but I found myself in much less melancholy when I stopped thinking in religious terms. I like my beliefs now that "what is, is". If you believe in God, great! If you don't, great! The minute you want to push me one way or another, the minute I shove you back and it becomes a negative situation.

Also, I get the reason for the site. This site isn't advocating one way or another. It's basically someone saying "these were my experiences that left me distraught and offended and this is where I blow of steam, and possibly unite with others that feel the same way".

Anyways, off to lunch. Let the flaming begin!

boomSLANG said...

Chris: I'll post a longer comment later, but I found myself in much less melancholy when I stopped thinking in religious terms.

Religion:

1. a: Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b: A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.(American Heritage)[bold added]

Now, Chris, if you "stopped thinking in religious terms", then you stopped thinking in Christian terms. Christianity is a religion. Congratulations!......welcome to freedom!

Chris: If you believe in God, great! If you don't, great! The minute you want to push me one way or another, the minute I shove you back and it becomes a negative situation.

My initial thoughts are that someone here is being disingenuous. I guess I'll see how "great" it is that I don't believe in "Jesus", or any other god, when/if Chris comes back.

Chris: Also, I get the reason for the site.

Somehow, I don't think so, but just to be sure, the site's purpose/disclaimer is available.

Chris: This site isn't advocating one way or another.

It's "advocating" that Christianity is bunk.(in a nutshell)

Chris: It's basically someone saying "these were my experiences that left me distraught and offended and this is where I blow of steam, and possibly unite with others that(who) feel the same way.

(addendum)....and where I say that the Chrisitian biblegod doesn't exist".

Yup, you nailed it = )

Anonymous said...

It's simple Rick, Christianity is just another man-made, phony cult - that's all.

While touting itself as the answer to man's ultimate questions, all it really does is enslave the mind.

If you are trying to say there are good people who happen to be Christians, well then I completely agree. If what you are trying to say is that because there are good people who are Christians that Christianity is true, then I disagree.

Every person who for one reason or another finds themselves captured by a religious cult, finds it very difficult to escape the clutches of that cult. If they ever do escape, they desperately need encouragement.

This site is for those who have escaped or are escaping from the cult known as Christianity.

Now do you get it?

---------------------------

MAN! AS AN EX-CHRISTIAN YOU MUST KNOW THAT CHRISTIANITY IS NOT FOR THE MIND BUT FOR THE SPIRIT. YOU MISUNDERSTOOD IT, DIDN´T YOU? REMEMBER: The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. REMEMBER ALSO THAT: Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. THE BODY!!!!

Martin Stoimenov

Astreja said...

Martin, the body is everything and "the spirit" is merely a state of mind in the physical brain. Life is matter interacting with other matter, not some unproven invisible substance that flies off to an unproven Magical Good Place upon the death of the physical body.

And me, I find study positively exhilarating rather than wearying. If it's wearing you down, you're studying the wrong things.

Anonymous said...

""the spirit" is merely a state of mind in the physical brain."

:)

I live in Mexico, so Mexico is everything. I´ve never seen Malaysia, so Malaysia is a state of mind, as well as most of the world. Most of the world is just a state of mind in my "physical" brain and was brought to me by a "physical" TV.

Martin Stoimenov

webmdave said...

"I've never seen Malaysia, so Malaysia is a state of mind..."

But, it is possible to travel to Malaysia and confirm its existence.

Do you have any evidence, outside the moldering volume of a Bronze Age holy book written by ignorant Middle Eastern peasants 1,900+ years ago, that an invisible spirit of any kind actually exists?

If so, I'm sure many here would greatly appreciate any light you could shed on this topic. So often, Christians admonish us to believe in all sorts of invisible supernatural things without evidence beyond, of course, their personal Christian beliefs or a few words read out of their holy book.

When asked for evidence, they usually say something like, "Well, can you see love?" It's a poor analogy because love is an emotion which is generated and resides solely in the brain. Emotional feelings are not supernatural, and because thoughts and emotions are virtually invisible, that in no way provides evidence that there are invisible supernatural entities flying about the "firmament."

DWTBG.COM said...

If I have no money to travel to Malaysia I´ll never see it, so to me Malaysia will forever remain a "state of mind", an imagination in my physical brain and no matter who and how many times will tell me that he or she went there, it won´t profit me at all. It will be a state of mind to me forever.

Some more. There is no any prove that you exist. I don´t know you. I´ve never seen you and only because you´ve written some website it doesn´t make you real to me.

You don´t have to talk about love in order to prove that an invisable world exists. Every single day we recieve SMSs and e-mails and only because we can read them it doesn´t mean that they are true. May be they don´t exist. May be they are only an image in our physical brain, a picture from the past that we´d like to forget only because they don´t convey an info we like.

Martin Stoimenov

webmdave said...

"I have no money to travel to Malaysia..."

And therefore, God exists.

Martin, have a nice day.

DWTBG.COM said...

I got it!

If I don´t see it, it doesn´t exist.

If I don´t understand it, it´s something stupid.

If I don´t believe it, it´s a lie.

I saw the LIGHT! God doesn´t exist! Thank you, MAN!


Martin Stoimenov

Dee said...

Hi all
I just found this site. I have a question that I can't seem to get out of my head. Where did all the stuff come from? Does the physical world that we see around us just exist eternally? Did something or someone create the stuff? What is the uncaused first cause? Is this an important question? Anyway, I am tired so off to bed I go. I look forward to seeing some thoughts on this subject.
Dee

Inertia said...

Hi Dee, have you ever heard of the "Big Bang Theory"?


Hey Mr. Webmaster it's great to see more sites like this popping up all over the place, keep up the good work ;)

Inertia said...

On a further note i would like to point out this great little pic i found whilst sufing the net:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v609/mithrastheprophet/forum/god-v-satan.png

DWTBG.COM said...

:) Hi, inertia

The probability of life being made by chance (after a Big Bang) would be rarer than the probability of a Boeing 747 airplane being assembled by chance in mid-air after all of its parts were sucked up from the ground by the wind.

:)

webmdave said...

The chance of the one single sperm meeting up with the one single egg that made you is even more unlikely.

Yet, here you are.

Hmm.

I guess people really do win the lottery.

Jim Arvo said...

Hi kls,

Would you mind showing us how you computed the probability of life arising? I can think of a good many biochemists who would be fascinated to see the solution to that puzzle (since, currently, nobody else has a clue). Actually, I'd be curious just to hear a few of your assumptions.

Anonymous said...

Webmaster:

I found your "anti-testimony" fascinating and I'm really glad you posted it here and created this site. Thanks.

It appears that after your various religious activities and large amount of studying and book reading you seem to conclude that people ("Christians") are NOT indwelt with the Holy Spirit (God). Therefore, following this conclusion it is understandable that you think Christianity is a fake and a lie.

Your "anti-testimony" explains your experiences that support the conclusion that people are not indwelt with the Spirit which I can also follow.

However (I guess this is the real reason I'm commenting), I'm confused at the difference in life experience between you and me. (I would go into my own life story, but it would take up a lot of room so I'll just summarize.) Basically, I'm a Christian yet I've seen in my life and in those around me the huge change (for the better) that God has done.

I agree that not all Christians are "good" or nice people and that not all non-Christians aren't nice (I've met several very caring and kind non-Christians).

I'm confused because it seems like you are an intelligent, logical person who has clearly given Christianity a try yet your conclusion that God does not indwell people is far different than mine. Having God as Lord and Savior never changed your life for the better? Did He really not do anything in your life?

This just amazes me because I've seen so many lives change, including my own for the better (These are life changes that are humanly impossible to achieve). I've seen angry people soften and selfish, career-driven people change be aware of others at cost to themselves.

So, if God really didn't impact people and indwell them (change them for the better) I would agree with you that Christianity is a lie. However, I've seen and witnessed far too many occurrences of God working in and changing people to ignore.

I'm sad and confused that our life experiences could produce such contrasting conclusions. Thanks for sharing your story though. I wish there were more Christians out there who thought and read as much as you.

webmdave said...

Hi Karen,

You said, "These are life changes that are humanly impossible to achieve."

Exactly. The person who changes wants to change and does so. It has nothing to do with magic.

Dumbo thought he needed a magic feather to fly, but he eventually realized he could fly without the feather. His belief in the feather was silly.

Peace.

Celera said...

What a fascinating and thought-provoking story! I'm reading it at work and haven't had time to read through all the comments or explore the rest of the site, but I'm looking forward to doing just that.

As a refugee from evangelical/charismatic Christianity myself, I find much that I can relate to in your account. I can also say that I did NOT leave the church behind because of how I was treated. I knew many kind, intelligent, sincere people in the various churces I have belonged to and visited. I was raised in an abusive home, and was able to break that cycle and do a better job wtih my own children, largely because of the positive influence and example of many fellow Christians.

I was never as ardent, or as inclined to evangelize, as you were in your youth. I was brought to church by my parents, and kept there by my first husband. After my divorce, I started attending a less fundamentalist church, but even there -- it was the cognitive dissonance that I could no longer bear. Too many of the church's teachings, on too many subjects, just stopped making sense to me. I'm not quite an atheist, perhaps I am an agnostic. I have read quite a bit of buddhist thought lately, but I'm not totally committed to that either.

Thanks for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more of it. And perhaps I will soon get back to my own blog and share more of my own. :)

Anonymous said...

does anyone else wonder how long it will take christians waiting for their messiah until they realize its all bullshit. i mean, its been 2000 years. thats an extremely long time. what exactly is their god waiting for? sorry, its kind of off subject, but its worth noting.
keith

Jamie said...

Well, if "a day is as a thousand years" to God, then I'd say 5 thousand more years should about do it...that's what, like a week to God?. Hmmm...maybe 5000 more years won't be enough...maybe 30,000?

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