When you find youself in a hole, stop digging

sent in by Willem Kortekaas

My Testimony to Ex-testimony (the encapsulated version)

To begin, I wasn’t always a Christian. I do not come from a Christian family. The only contact I had with any religion or interpretation of life to begin with was what our state school called “Religious Education”. It was far more like Christian Education.

Anyhow, So I got through primary school relatively sound. Yet for a higher education my parents decided to send me to a Private School, and where I lived only had religious private schools. Turns out I had to go to a school called Nambour Christian Collage (NCC).

High school – grade 8 school camp. My first encounter with ‘sin’. During out camp, (which seemed like an excuse to have us in a church for a week) they preached to us about sin, what it is, we all had it and to make it worse, if we didn’t have Jesus we’d burn in the next life.

I was introduced to many concepts at this time. Sin, God, Hell & Heaven and Eternity. To make me swallow this pill, they used the fear of hell. So at the end of a particular service they got those of us who were duped to stay behind and chant the sinners prayer. Felt good at the time, escaped a painful never-ending end. Also found some of my friends made he same decisions and got to meet some more people.

For the next two years I kept this faith under wraps, at school the pastor would hold bible studies with the few of us that would go. I would read it, not understand it and the pastor would interpret it.. their way.

I first started going to church around 3 years after this conversion. I went with a friend and his huge Baptist family to a evangelical Baptist Church. I started playing in their church.

The church started to claim that because witchcraft had been practiced in the car park one night that they need to move and began asking the congregation to part with large sums of money. The typical unnecessary church building fund. I soon left their and went to another Baptist church (Nambour Baptist Church), made friends and soon became their technical productions person and ran the sound. This church was I thought was good and soon became one of the leaders of the youth group, started teaching Sunday school and began planing and running Christian events.

Today I know I did all these things to try and subdue the questions in my mind. Not only would I read the bible, but I would always be reading Christian Science books and apologetics. For a time, this worked. I had a Christian girlfriend and walked the strait and narrow. Yet still trying to discover myself, what did I like. Who am I? Why am I here? – the Christian answers never contented me and that’s why I was so active, I thought I could find the answers in God and would do his will.

My relationship with my parents degraded because of the void between us. My relationship with my girlfriend also suffered and we were miserable together (quite often anyway). We were together because we thought we’d gone too far together, not sex if any of you are wondering yet we were taught it was wrong.

Christianity, a dieing relationship and overworked in the church was sucking the life out of me. Not only me but my girl as well. So we elected to do what every god fearing Christian would do. Dig deeper. We became involved in more Christian missions as a couple and lit ourselves alight for Jesus. Soon we moved to a fundamentalist evangelical church called ‘Harvest’. This church was all music bells and whistles.

Soon after being there our relationship finally dissolved. First girlfriend, 18 month relationship. Hurt badly loosing that security. To make it worse, in around 2-3 weeks she started dating a friend of mine, and the ex-boyfriend of her sister. This was a shocker.

I dug even deeper into Christian life, yet this time I discovered a book on psychology. A book called “the road less travelled” by author Scott Peck. This book really hit my reasoning on my topics and caused me to think. I started to understand why I did the things I did. There was a section on religion in this book. I read it like the forbidden fruit. I read how religion had caused huge physiological problems in peoples lives. They’d healed only by leaving religion. My bible said those people had to go to hell, yet I could not justify that. This was the first chink in my Christian Armour tm.

With such doubt in my mind I began reading more Christian apologetics to try and find and reasonable answer to my moral question. Yet the books were so drab and dry compared to those free thinkers (btw: Scott Peck is no longer a free thinker, very fundamentalist Christian now). I found a book called Honest to Jesus written by the Jesus Seminars. This started me questioning the whole bible story. Everything I knew, my security blanket, everything I had believed. So I went through a period, a painful scary period where I would ask Christians, pastors and websites for answers to the dangerous questions I was asking. I was only ever mocked and told to hold on and that God will come through in the end.

That end came. Once I started reading through history from a secular point of view. I could not sit in church anymore. There was nothing there, I could finally see how hollow it all was. Nothing, at all. No good at all.

So there I was, alone, yet alive. It was like being born again, literally. I knew so vary little of the world. I began reading philosophy. My favourite book being “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder. This gave me a base, something I was use to. Yet I continued to read. Another great book by the same author is “The Solitaire Mystery”. This opened my mind to wonder and philosophise for myself.

My mind became free, I was suddenly in awe of life and was thrilled to be living it. I worked on my physical condition, becoming very fit, started doing things what were declared ‘evil’ by the church, such as practicing yoga and later on Tantra. Also, my results from study went through to distinctions. Reasoning was simple and I began to trust myself.

My friends are all still fundamentalist Christians, that is the curse of living in a place like Sunshine Coast, Australia, yet, thanks to my free ability to reason (bye bye faith) and the books I had read. I could survive the onslaught condemnation and resounds when someone vocal in a church leaves. (as Dave, the webmaster would know)

I’d like to end with an analogy.
Christianity is like being inside an egg, there is a world around you but you don’t know it. Also an egg is quite strong from the outside, yet from the inside it is weak. Sooner or later some of us hatch.

Thank you Dave for making this website and everyone who contributes! I’ve been visiting and reading the posts and archives for many months now. Thank you so very sincerely, you’ve saved us from being isolated. See you on the web boards soon!

Willem
On the outside, looking out


Sex: Male
City: Sunshine Coast
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Became a Christian: Aprox 14
Ceased being a Christian: 19 years
Labels before: Baptist (probably non-denominational)
Labels now: Freethinker Humanist & Athiest in regards to Bible God
Why I joined: Fear and basic human instinct to save one's hide
Why I left: Knowledge (biblegod is so immoral)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I attended that church for many years and never remember seeing your name? I wonder if you are being honest with us and with yourself about these issues?

Willem said...

I see that my story has been popular since it disappeared off the main Ex-Christian webpage. Very surprising, very surprising indeed. How did you find it?

Mr. Anonymous,

Pleasure to meet you. I have been through three churches. I wonder which one you were at. I also wonder what you think I am being dishonest about; it is a fairly tame testament, especially by the standards of many of the victims of Christianity that nurse their wounds here. I consider myself lucky for my good fortune of escaping when I did.

My story has been graced by both Dave (webmaster) and Dave8, two people I respect for their knowledge, humour and eloquence.

To my dear friend John,

I’m not mad at you. I know you (a bit) and know that your intentions are good. We both just have different premises and conclusions about God, the Universe & Everything else. I will likely see you soon.

To k83

K83 what a strange name, if I had known someone with such a… odd name I would have thought I’d remember you. Ohwell, maybe you have a nickname which you tend to go by. Like Kate? Thanks for taking the time to write. I know the issues look huge. For a time. After a while you realise that you can’t answer them straight away. It’s kind of like asking what the French talk about, your really not going to get it till you go to France. I assume life and death work the same way. You can’t really answer why you are here till you’ve been here. You’re not going to know what happens when you die, till you’ve been dead. I am happy to find out through experience. It will be a glorious adventure!

Who and what am I living for now? Well, I was not under the impression that I had to live for anyone or anything in-particular. But I am now living, each day in the day. Not waiting or sacrificing for some reward that isn’t coming. Not mentally anguishing over what a (in my opinion) mythical deity did some 2000+ years ago (or multiple as it may seem).

I never expected people in the church to be angels. I admit that I wasn’t perfect; I did things that I was ashamed of. You live, you learn. I don’t quite think its people that drove me out of church. It was really a moral dilemma. One that I spend my entire Christian life trying to consolidate, this place called Hell. A place of fire brimstone demons torment anguish death destruction for ever and ever and ever come from a god who is suppose to be love. I don’t get it. I’ve heard the rationale before. I’ve tried swallowing it. As I mentioned in my testament, those who have been totally destroyed by religion, so much so that the only way they can heal is to reject it and all its components, are sentenced to hell. It drove me mad. Probably because I could see each person has a story and a reason for the why they are the way they are. Their upbringing, life experiences and perception, these are the reasons people are the way they are. God is not good. Not by reasonable standards. I do not want a god who will not abide by some reason. I would like to meet a nice god, but I have already asked, a nice god will take her time in replying too.

I see you think that my break-up with my girlfriend caused me to leave religion. I can see how you’d be able to make that connection. I can also see how it helps to brush off my decisions as an emotionally induced. However, I do not agree. I found myself pushing further into god during such times. I remember finding relief in that too. I can clearly conclude that it defiantly was the Hell ticket that got me on the J-train, and also showed me my stop.

I learnt a lot. I don’t like religion, but it is great for a laugh. If only laugher was all it brings…

Before I say goodnight (buenos noches) I would like to address a few of the things you’ve typed;

God is real and one day you’ll have to face him:- this seems like a threatening statement. I don’t know about you, but truth, for me, doesn’t need intimidation to direct it.

Freedom in Him:- that’s not really free as its contingent upon someone else’s instruction. Or is this implying that ‘He’ will provide freedom from someone else? Perhaps Sin? It is my experience that those things deemed to be sins are generally performed by those in ‘Him’, therefore I do not see the results of this freedom.

This is already too long as it is.

Willem

Anonymous said...

Hello

here are some words of advice

don't ditch Jesus

he has not ditched you

yours truly

Anonymous

Willem said...

To Anonymous,

Advice noted. However, Jesus has been ditched and it feels great. Try it before you die, or else you may never know how good it can be to live. Why carry around an ideology that tells you that you're worthless? Rediculous isn't it.

Take life as an adventure and don't opt for the insurance.

- Willem

Your Old Friend Ryan said...

Hey Willem - a big surprise to find you here on this site... I know it is now a year or so since you commented last -- not sure if you will see this again, but it's here for you if you find it.... I want to talk about something you have missed in your experience of 'christianity' and probably many of the other people linked to this website have also missed. Something simple and profound - and it is about LOVE.

Many sceptics towards 'Christianity' comment about the 'lovelessness' of the God of Heaven - as if He is this being that arbitrarily determines some to burn in hellfire, and some to live in deluded bliss. I would like to know where this image of the God I know comes from? It surely doens't come from His word. It surely doesn't come from His Son, Jesus. And it definitely doesn't come from His people... let me define that last one for you to be of help in understanding what I am talking about...

His people are the ones who see Him as the true Son of God, the One who has shown the ULTIMATE LOVE through His crucifixion death, the One who has shown the ULTIMATE POWER through His overcoming the grave and rising again on the third day, the One who has demonstrated that He spoke the TRUTH in EVERYTHING and that God the Father confirms this by Jesus' ascention into heaven after appearing to His disciples and followers (500+) over a period of 40 days after His resurrection. If Jesus lied about who He was, He has no part in the plan that God set out - because, as the Bible declares: "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Jesus could not have done the things He did on earth (healing, 'natural realm miracles' ie: fish/loaves; water/wine; walking on water, casting out of demonic powers) if He was just a man, or not backed by some sort of supernatural power.
The historical evidence outside of the Bible (Josephus - Jewish Historian - non-Christian etc..) testifies that the discples of Jesus were performing the exact miracles that the Bible describes them doing in the book of Acts. The disciples do this after the Holy Spirit comes upon them in power (when Christ has ascended into heaven, and sends the Spirit to testify of Him) - to add to their testimony that Christ is indeed the One that God the Father sent.

Many people who have rejected Jesus (including many 'practicing ex-Christians') have never actually understood the whole 'gig' anyway - they have rejected something that they have only seen in pale light, or in poor testimony. Let me set something straight -
God IS love. Love IS NOT God. God has shown His love in this - that while we were still sinners, Christ died FOR us. There are two clashing Kingdoms (not equal in size or power), the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light. The Kingdom of Darkness is 'staffed' by Satan and his angels, and our fallen humanity. Make no mistake - these things do not want TRUTH or LIGHT or LOVE or JUSTICE anywhere near them. They are LIARS, DECEIVERS, MURDERERS, HATERS, BACKBITERS, SLANDEROUS and undiluted EVIL. How do I know? because they make GOD out to be a liar - they declare that He is false and untrustworthy, that He is dictatorial and calloused in His decisions.

It is true that God is RIGHTEOUS and LOVING, that He is HOLY and JUST, that there is nothing about God that is impure. He demands in His presence only that which is PURE, which is HOLY and GLORIOUS - not because He is afraid of anything unlike these things, not because He is selfish or condemning - the exact opposite. Sin and evil CANNOT LIVE in His presence - because there is no darkness in or near or around Him - He dwells in unapproachable light - the darkness scurries away (like shadows do) in front of His light. THEY CANNOT DWELL NEAR HIM. which includes Humanity in it's fallen and decaying state.
Which is WHY He sent Jesus! He loves Humanity - He made us for His pleasure, and His Love. He made us to show His glory and His desire for us to communicate and commune with Him. But by ourselves we cannot come close enough to talk with Him, to worship Him, to see WHO He truly is! Jesus on the other hand, was with the Father in the beginning of it all. He is righteous and pure exactly the same as God because He is from God, indeed He IS God. And He became man so that we might have a representative, one who not only stands before the Father and pleads for our lives - deserving of death and eternal separation from Him because we are filthy and full of darkness, He not only intercedes on our behalf - He PAID THE DEATH WE OWED! He paid the price for us to stand in the Father's light and have a loving and deep relationship with the ONE BEING who can FULFILL us and FILL us!
That emptiness you taste every time you block your ears and turn your head from Him, everytime you reject His SON whom He sent, everytime you profess and proclaim that there is no God - that is the emptiness that consumes you. The darkness that overwhelms you, the love-less-ness that will devour your soul until you twist and distort into hideous and grotesque dementure. There is a madness that comes with the rejection of God, a half-life wandering of a walking corpse that consumes and becomes you - you seek to put the burn out on the inside and all the while heap more coals down your throat, into your mind and increase the pain.

Christ Died For You. The Only One Who Ever Loved You In Complete And Utter Self-les-sness. The Only One Who Is Capable Of Granting You Peace And Access To The Father In Heaven Who Loves You And Wants You To Come Home. HIS DESIRE FOR YOU IS THAT YOU WILL TURN TO HIM AND RECEIVE HIS LIFE - HIS ETERNAL LIFE - IN PLACE OF THE DEATH YOU CURRENTLY DWELL IN. What sort of a God is He? A LOVING God, A TRUTHFUL God, a HOLY GOD, a JUST God, a FORGIVING God, a MERCIFUL God.
Now is the time that He is offering you His LOVE, MERCY and FORGIVENESS. When you die and stand in front of Him (whether you 'believe in Him' or not) it will be too late for all of us. If I have not embraced His Son before I die, it will be too late for me. HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE - NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH HIM. And I can tell you now - the other option that you scorn at, it loves your scorn, it loves your rejection and your hurt. It can't wait to meet you - becuase it will share the same fate as all WHO REJECT THE SON... 'hell' is this - eternal SEPARATION from LIGHT< LOVE< PEACE< JOY.

I am praying for you my old friend, and I hope we connect sometime soon, so that you can see it is not out of fear or 'religion' that I write this to you - It is out of love, and compassion, and a hope that the light might burst through your soul and take you by surprise. FOR THE FIRST TIME. Becuase if you can turn your back so coldly from the SAVIOUR of your SOUL - you have never really met Him. He is wonderful! I'll be looking for you old friend - among the faithful and saved - among those who accepted His love.

stronger now said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stronger now said...

Ryan,

Your so full of shit it's unbelievable!

Unless you can proffer credible evidence that the biblegod exists then stop spewing your silly rhetoric.

Dave8 said...

YOFR: "I would like to know where this image of the God I know comes from?"

Yeah, I would like to "understand" what you mean when you say you "know" something. And, what is it that you use to establish that you "know" something, thanks.

Susan B. Anthony: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

Ludwig Wittgenstein: "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent"

Emily Dickenson: "Faith is doubt"

Ernest Hemingway: "All thinking men are atheists"

Astreja said...

Not Our Friend Ryan whined: "The historical evidence outside of the Bible (Josephus - Jewish Historian - non-Christian etc...)"

Hold it right there, non-buddy! The consensus among serious Biblical scholars is that the "Jesus" section of the Testimonium Flavianum has been tampered with. There are multiple versions of the Antiquities, and one hypothesis suggests that a 3rd or 4th century Christian apologist rewrote some of the text. Another recent hypothesis: Josephus merely copied the Jesus material from an early Christian gospel and had no first-hand knowledge of this Jesus character.

"Many people who have rejected Jesus (including many 'practicing ex-Christians') have never actually understood the whole 'gig' anyway - they have rejected something that they have only seen in pale light, or in poor testimony."

(falls off chair laughing, then reaches up from under Her desk and takes a swig of gluten-free beer) Um... Has it ever occurred to you that *you* are the one who 'never understood the whole gig', young man?

I contend that the very existence of people daring to call themselves ex-Christians has somehow tainted your enjoyment of your chosen religion. But it puzzles me why this compels you to come barging into our house and shit on our carpet. Damned weird way to re-establish emotional equilibrium, if you ask Me.

Aaanyway.

"Let me set something straight - God IS love. Love IS NOT God."

False. Gods are gods; love is love; apples are apples and oranges are oranges. Deal with it.

"They are LIARS, DECEIVERS, MURDERERS, HATERS, BACKBITERS, SLANDEROUS and undiluted EVIL. How do I know? because they make GOD out to be a liar..."

Okay, kid, it's study time.

Open your Bible to Genesis 2:16. Your god lied when it said that Adam and Eve would die the day they ate the forbidden fruit.

And then there are all those "I'll come back in *your* lifetime!" prophesies that Jesus made in the book of Matthew. He lied, too.

My money's on that cute li'l talking snake. *coochie coochie* At least it told the truth.

You Old Friend Ryan said...

Hi there dave8, for Susan B. Anthony: Romans 12:1-2 " I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present you bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect".
For Ludwig Wittgenstein: 1 John 4:13-14 "By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Saviour of the World".
For Emily Dickenson: Romans 1:16-17 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the powerof God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, but the righteous shall live by faith"
For Ernest Hemingway: He never met (nor read) CS Lewis obviously?! :)

For dave8: Jesus: " I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me"


HI there Astreja - nice to meet you. Interesting discussion points you raise - about the consensus among 'serious Biblical scholars' - I'm assuming you mean histo-critical scholars - but if you can find those 'majority for me' and quote them here that would be a worthy argument to enter into, albeit futile as we are not debating the validity of a widely accepted (including secular sources) commentator on Jewish history in the time post-Christ and around the temple destruction... I believe your gripe is with scripture and not Josephus?

Your 'arguement' about God 'lying' in Genesis 2:16 - firstly, thankyou for attempting to draw arguemnt from the book you seemingly so despise - it shows at least more than a purely emotional negative response - and some rationality is being sought to build your case... however, it is verse 17 you are qutoing and attempting to exegete...
The King James (which I am presuming you are referring to) indeed does read this: "...for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Which does, from an immediate read of the old English version appear to be a statement that at that instant of eating, Adam and Eve will drop dead. The problem is neither in the reading that you have given, nor in the text written by the King James translators all those years ago - it is in the language barriers between Hebrew and English. In the Hebrew, it is in the infinitve absolute - which literally would read... "in the day of your eating from it dying you shall die"

Now that doens't make a whole lot of sense if you read it in the 'word for word literal translation sense' as you would understand is the case in most language translations. The swiss word for licorice has the effect in English of calling it 'bear dirt' which if you think about it not too hard it is talking about faeces... funny because I don't like licorice very much at all!
Easier to understand is the confusion about the text you have quoted - it is a pronouncement of a verdict to be fulfilled at a later date in it's fullnes, but has the starting effect immediately. It's to say "certainly your death is now immanent"... "your dying has begun with the future effect that you will be dead". Hope that is some help to you to understand the issue with translation.

As far as the 'quotes by Jesus' that He apparently said (according to your comments) about coming back in their lifetime (I'm assuming you mean the disciples here) in the book of Matthew - if you can locate those for me, I'd be happy to talk through them with you.

As for Jesus 'lying too' ... John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory. the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth"... John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

And for your friend the 'cute little talking snake'... his days are numbered... Revelation 20:1-3, 10 "V1 And I saw and angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.V2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. V3 And cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more. till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. V10 And the Devil that deceived them was xast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
I don't know how close I'd stand near that serpent when it all comes down! May you find Peace. And I'll wait a little longer for My Old Friend Will I guess.

stronger now said...

Wow. Useing visions of things that haven't happened to prop up an absurd myth of a talking snake.

Oh! What frivolity!

Dave8 said...

Wow, this is going to be fun. I think I'll pull from two literary sources.

Romans for FYOR: Romans 12:14 - "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

Contradicted by;

1 Corinthians 16:22 - "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema."

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

1 John for FYOR: "John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

So in the beginning was the word God, and it was with "some-thing", was that some-thing Jesus or God, or are they the same... many Christians believe Jesus is God, is that true?

Jesus is God;
John 1:14 - "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

No, wait...
Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18 - "And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

Ah, probably an editorial error... because John 8:58 says Jesus is God...

John 8:58 - "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

Doh... I kept reading...

Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34 - "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Okay, let's flip a coin - Jesus is God...

John 10:30-31 - "I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him."

Jesus isn't God...

John 8:40 - "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God."

Jesus is God...

John 14:9 - "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

Jesus isn't God...

John 14:28 - "My Father is greater than I."

Jesus is God...

John 20:28 - "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God."

Jesus isn't God...

John 20:17 - "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

Jesus is God...

Revelation 22:13 - "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."

Jesus is not God...

1 Timothy 2:5 - "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

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

Romans again for FYOR: Can God be found using reason alone?

Yes...

Romans 1:20 - "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

No...

Job 11:7 - "Canst thou by searching find out God?."

Doh, I was using every part of my intellect to find God... it requires thinking and reason to "know" something... FYOR, are you going to talk about something you don't "know", or "understand"?

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

John for FYOR: "John 14:6 - "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Uh, that means, if you aren't Christian, you're going to Hell... But, let's see, who would have "known" whether or not Jesus was God... Hey, perhaps his "family"...

John 7:5 - "For neither did his brethren believe in him."

Well, if the family didn’t vouch, then... what kind of moron would say they knew better a few thousand years later... using “reason” ;-)

And, now, for some non-contradictory quotes.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec: "Some like to understand what they believe in. Others like to believe in what they understand."

Michel Eyquem De Montagne: "Men make themselves believe that they believe."

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next."

Well, FYOR... what do you say about your confusing bible, or... perhaps you would like to ask me, why I find my quotes to "not" be confusing/conflicted :-)

Astreja said...

That Other Ryan Guy Again: "HI there Astreja - nice to meet you."

The feeling is not mutual.

"I'm assuming you mean histo-critical scholars..."

Historians, you mean? As opposed to apologists? When dealing with a question of history, I prefer scholars who are unrelentingly skeptical and methodical.

"I believe your gripe is with scripture and not Josephus?"

Yes. But the moment you attempted to use Josephus as an authority, it became fair game for criticism.

I found this overview of the Josephus controversy to be quite interesting, with links to other relevant essays.

The #1 problem with Josephus, in My opinion: He was born after the supposed time of Jesus and was definitely not an eye witness.

I'm not going to comment on your chosen exegesis of the Genesis passage except to say 'Thank you for pointing out that Bible passages differ wildly in meaning from one edition to another.'

"As for Jesus 'lying too' ... 'Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.'"

Circular logic. You can't just say someone is truthful; he has to be truthful.

Jesus fails that test miserably in Matthew 23:36: 'Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.' If Jesus actually existed and said those words at the alleged time (ca. 30 CE), that particular generation died over 1900 years ago. If he didn't consciously lie, he was at very least guilty of Xtreme Wishful Thinking.

"And for your friend the 'cute little talking snake'... his days are numbered... I don't know how close I'd stand near that serpent when it all comes down!"

Herald! Sic 'im! *chomp* Thanks, luv.

He really is a lovely snake. And fun at parties, too. If he actually exists outside My own imagination, I vow to defend him to the death. And beyond, if such a place exists.

Don't even get Me started on dragons. (glowers for a moment, then nods to a large, restless mob of lóng, rồng, nāga, ryū and lindorm colleagues)

roman said...

Igot news for you son you were never a Christian,you just thought you were.Regards Roman

stronger now said...

I got news for you, roman, you just feel he wasn't a christian. You were never thinking, you just felt that you were.

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