I was so convinced and now life is to be completely overhauled

sent in by sightedone

I posted here a while back but didn’t really tell my story. I feel like the time has come for me to really put my thoughts and experience in writing for my own growth.

I grew up in what seems to me to be a pretty classical evangelical family. I spent the first 20 years of my life in the “Covenant” denomination and then from college on tried several other churches. I went to bible camp every summer for years, was a model youth groupie and went on two different month long mission trips to south America by the time I was a freshman in college. I went to a Christian college where I received a degree in psychology, and got married with one of my professors giving the message at my wedding. Not long after marrying, my wife and I went into the mission field for a half year in a third world country. For the next 10 years I refined my beliefs and got to the point where it was really all making sense to me. However, whenever I was really honest with myself and admitted I had doubts I would hit a wave a depression that sent me reeling deeper into radical obsession and, as I call it, my “Jesus drama.”

My wife and I moved across the country to go to a “Ministry School” that was part of a local church. Even at this point in my journey, I can still look at this church and honestly say that the theology and practices (though still fundamentalist and evangelical) were very different than anything I had ever heard of. The main thrusts of their efforts are on grace and peace and teaching people that God has already provided everything, literally everything, that he has to give and that it is Jesus’ faith that got us what we need, not our faith. So, we don’t get God to do things, we just open up to letting him do things. God wants what we want, he doesn’t force his will on us and he works with our desires to do his will. Its all a lot more complex than that, but what I intend to say is that after all my years of searching scripture, discussing deep theological issues and experiencing a huge variety of Christian environments, this one really worked for me.

But I was still plagued with guilt over my ongoing “sin” of lust (which I poured into pornography). My wife is an absolutely amazing woman, but I was so controlling, self-absorbed and egocentric that I just used her to meet my emotional and “needs” and fit her in my objectified view of women. I was very subtle in my control however. In the midst of it all, I have still always had a very sensitive side, and it was easy to come across to everyone as such a loving, “saved” man.

Well, she had enough. She kicked me out of the house saying that I needed to decide what I wanted (eventually I was very thankful for this move – it taught me a lot and I am even more proud of her). I was of course devastated and confused. On top of it all, I had two beautiful boys whom I missed terribly and felt I had failed them and could never make it up to them.

While I was on my own decided what I wanted first of all was Jesus, and second that I just wanted to “be.” Some of you out there may know what I mean. I wanted to drop all the things I was expecting myself to do, be it to get closer to God, to get my life in order, to make more money, to meditate more, etc. I just wanted to be. I wanted to be me and just live, without all these extra demands. I expressed this sentiment in a men’s group that I had been attending and the leader looked at me blankly for a moment and then said, “You mean you want to labor into rest, right.” I think there was a turning point there. Of course, I just tacitly agreed with him, but inside I was thinking that this really wasn’t what I meant. I began telling myself that all the extra stuff I was doing to get closer to God and to myself was not helping and that I needed to just live and let God affect me.

Well, eventually he did, only when he did, he wasn’t a he, he was a she. I read a book my wife had received called “Dance of the Dissident Daughter.” This book is about the male dominated church and society as well and about one woman’s own personal journey away from Christianity and toward her own spiritual beliefs. I began to notice essentially how arrogant Christianity is in nearly all of its beliefs and practices (no matter how much they vary from one person or church to the next) and I began to open up to ideas outside of my usual proverbial “box.” Primarily at this point my main idea was that, according to the Bible, God created man in God’s image, and made them male and female. So, I didn’t figure there was any harm in calling God she. So, I began to pray to her. I even prayed to mother God when I was praying with my son. He is at such an impressionable age that he didn’t think any thing of it. Just the act of praying to mother, drew my attention to all of the other possibilities if I would allow myself to learn from new sources outside of the Bible and Christians.

So, I began to read and watch many other things(by Echart Tolle, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Don Miguel Ruiz, Neale Donald Walsh, Amit Goswami, Joseph Campbell, Movie: “What the Bleep Do We Know”), and my wife read most of the same things and came to many of the same conclusions. It has taken probably a year and a half or so for me to fully let go of my attachment to the title “Christian,” and, to let go of the major fears (going to hell, being made an outcast, losing all of my friends, upsetting my family, etc.). I still lean toward some sort of spirituality, but I am not attached to any particular belief system. I am just learning, exploring, and living. I love it. I am so open and receptive to so many things. Life is so big and rich and I am slowly letting go of my restricting, mostly unconscious beliefs about myself, God, life, everything. I would say at this point that my spiritual ideas tend toward what Amit Goswami terms “monistic idealism,” which is that the universe is one consciousness. There is one energy, one existence, etc. Of course, this echoes the underlying principles of many religions and philosophies, but it seems to fit very nicely with the developments of science over this last century as well (namely quantum physics). I also have to say about it that the terms spirituality, God, religion, etc. don’t fit this idea really at all. The whole point is that “spirituality” is really just about living life and living it in a very conscious manner; experiencing it fully and directly (such as is taught by the Zen Buddhists).

My wife and I have slightly different views on all of this. But, in fact we are closer in belief and experience than we ever have been before. We have both participated in some self-awareness programs that have opened our eyes even further to stop judging the world and ourselves and to stop trying to figure it all out. My marriage is absolutely phenomenal now and we are in sync. We flow together in life in ways I never would have dreamed of (largely because of our old rigid beliefs).

Now the big challenge is what to do with my son. All of this certainly doesn’t matter to my youngest, but my seven year old still goes to “children’s church” at the church I mentioned. I am very much not happy about this, but I am in the process of talking to him about how his mom and I don’t agree now with most of what they teach there and that if he wants to keep going I want to talk to him every time about what they learn and how he can use the information but be very discerning about the specifics. I am astonished by my son’s ability to understand some extremely deep concepts, and so I think this is possible and have hope that eventually he won’t want to keep going either. However, if he continues I am beginning to see that I will still be okay and that I don’t have to force my beliefs on him anymore than I wanted my parents to force their beliefs on me. On this whole thing I am very torn, but my wife and I have been talking about it a lot lately and are together on it, so I am fairly confident that we will work it out for him.

There is so much more I would like to say, because life just isn’t that simple. Also, there are many other experiences I have had that others would maybe identify with and learn from, just as I have learned from all of you. But I will be satisfied with this, and hope that I can contribute to someone out there as you all of contributed to me.

male
Joined: 5 or 6
Left: 33
Was: Evangelical, non-denominational
Now: Spiritual and open-minded
Converted: It was the only thing that made sense
De-converted: It didn't make any sense
email: dejteach at juno dot com

29 comments:

Sm said...

Brigid,
you sound so angry at God.

The bible does not only indicate how God feels about lesbianism, but also adultery and fornicator..so pursuing a homosexual lifestyle is just the same as pursuing an adulterous affair.

All this to say, that God talks about these things in His word to us so that we can be protected from the inevitable consequences that will ensue..broken lives.

It's not about condemnation..it's
about living a life that is whole in every way, so that we can be the women or men we were created to be.

I understand that you may not be interested in change, or might not even believe it’s possible. But if you get to the point where you find life isn’t working for you the way you had hoped, I pray that you will turn to God and his offer of new life, even if it’s only with 1% of your heart. He’ll be waiting with his arms and his heart open wide.

SM

Jim Arvo said...

SM: "Brigid, you sound so angry at God."

But we don't believe in your god. How can anybody be angry at something that doesn't exist?

SM: "The bible does not only indicate how God feels about lesbianism,..."

But we don't believe in your god.

SM: "All this to say, that God talks about these things...:

But we don't believe in your god.

SM: "...in His word..."

But we don't believe in your god.

SM: "...I pray that you will turn to God..."

But we don't believe in your god.

SM: "...and his offer of new life,..."

But we don't believe in your god.

SM: "He’ll be waiting with his arms and his heart open wide."

But we don't believe in your god.

Get it?

FatherTyme said...

SM, which God?

Sm said...

Jim,
If Brigid wasn't angry with God or even those who sincerely serve Him, then it would not be a big deal to her if someone calls her a sinner cause she's a lesbian. If she's so confident about her lifestyle choices and the happiness that she experiences because of it ..then who cares what others say?

You, like her and the others on this forum may CHOOSE not to trust in Him and all that He says in His word concerning you ( His love for you, His desire to be in a relationship with you that will satisfy every need in your heart) but that does not make Him non-existent nor will it change how He feels about you all.

Ben,
The God I am talking about out is the only One who exists. Everything else is religion

Jim Arvo said...

SM: "If Brigid wasn't angry with God or even those who sincerely serve Him, then it would not be a big deal to her if someone calls her a sinner cause she's a lesbian."

So, if I logged on to dozens of Christian web sites, and declared that all the believers there are going to Hell because they do not bow to the one TRUE god, Allah, then it's "no big deal" because they don't believe in Allah, right? And when they respond by telling me that I am wrong to believe in the Islamic god, and that the one TRUE god is actually three-in-one, etc., I should chalk that up to them being angry with Allah, right?

SM: "If she's so confident about her lifestyle choices and the happiness that she experiences because of it ..then who cares what others say?"

I'm not going to speak for brigid. As for me, I take issue with religious bigotry, which is routinely exhibited here by the majority (albeit not all) of the Christian visitors here. The problem is not with your make-believe god, it's with how believers treat those who do not share their beliefs.

SM: "You, like her and the others on this forum may CHOOSE not to trust in Him and all that He says in His word concerning you..."

You STILL don't get it. WE DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR GOD! If you could simply wrap your mind around that for a second you would see why most of your rhetoric is nonsensical.

SM: "...His love for you, His desire to be in a relationship with you..."

WE DON'T BELIEVE IN YOUR GOD! You can claim all sorts of things about a make-believe entity. It's all complete nonsense unless SUCH A BEING EXISTS.

SM: "...but that does not make Him non-existent nor will it change how He feels about you all."

YOUR belief does not cause your god to exist! Making dozens of claims about her does not make her exist!

SM: "Ben, The God I am talking about out is the only One who exists..."

Oh, that's classic. According to whose opinion, SM, yours? How about a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim? *Every* religionist thinks THEIR god exists, and all the others are fake. You do realize that, don't you?

Sm said...

Jim,
what do you believe?

Jim Arvo said...

SM, can you be more specific?

south2003 said...

Sm said...
Jim,
what do you believe?
3/02/2006 3:33 PM

Sm,

Let me chime in... I think the answer to your question is, it is not what we believe but what we do not believe *phewww* and it just so happens that it is not in your god - or any other god that for that matter.

Get it?

P.S. If Brigid needed your "sermonizing," she would have asked for it or visit the nearest church. Listen, if I were you I would lay off. She has a way of making funny fundies like you leave here with their tail between their legs.

Sm said...

Jim,
I mean, what happens to us when we die....how were we created...things like that for which I would use the bible for answers. What do you say?

Jim Arvo said...

Q: what happens to us when we die...

When out brain stops functioning, we cease to perceive or feel anything. Thus, the time after I die will be the same (to me) as the time before I existed. I have never seen a scrap of credible evidence to suggest that *we* are anything more than biochemical processes. One might as well ask what happens to all the symbols and images on my computer screen when I turn my monitor off. They are simply an epiphenomenon of the monitor itself, hence they have no independent existence. Similarly, we are epiphenomena of biochemistry.

Q: how were we created...

What do you mean by "created"? I have no reason to believe that some conscious entity "designed" us, if that's what you are getting at. That assertion merely begs the question as it assumes something far more fantastic than the phenomenon it purports to explain, and I have seen no credible evidence to support it. On the other hand, there is extensive evidence that we came about through natural processes (evolution), so that is by far the more plausible explanation to me.

Why do you turn the Bible for explanations? Why do you believe that a mere book holds answers to such fundamental questions? And why THAT particular book? Why not the Koran? Why not the Hindu Vedas, or the Book of Mormon?

Jim Arvo said...

Also, let me emphasize what south2003 said. It's NOT that we have unsupported beliefs in place of each of your unsupported beliefs. As for me, I look at the evidence and provisionally accept what it supports. If you claim X and can offer nothing at all in support of X, I simply have no reason to believe you; and that is so whether or not I can offer some other theory/explanation in lieu of X. In general, no evidence ==> no belief. Applying this to any and all god-concepts, lacking anything credible to support a single one of them (Zeus, Yahweh, Mithra, Attis, Osiris, Allah, etc.) I harbor no such beliefs. It's really quite simple.

Dave8 said...

SM, What could a person believe, if they didn't have the bible to hang their entire life on.

Belief: "Belief is usually defined as a conviction to the truth of a proposition."

Conviction: "An unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence.

Belief = Unshakable conviction to the "truth" of a proposition.

It appears that the key word here is "unshakable". Someone willing to believe in something, so stringently, that no matter the evidence against or lack of evidence to support the proposition given them, they will continue to believe.

The "belief" isn't as relevant as the "conviction" of the belief SM. Some people, see the futility of stating there are absolutes, that garner, yet, "demand" total unquestionable conviction, as only an "omniscient" person could support such a proposition with credibility.

Yet, there doesn't seem to be a lack of religious people willing to say with omniscient conviction their beliefs.

And then, there are those who realize, that we aren't really omniscient, and that our beliefs are really based on our subjective reasoning. Our beliefs, are nothing more than the experiences in life, we associate and impose/project onto our surroundings, and not at all, omnisciently. See, SM, some of us don't feel insecure within our own minds, and then, there are the others, who seem to have a need to build validity of their thoughts, by enforcing their subjective and unshakable beliefs onto others.

Here this should make it easy; I believe that no one should force or impose their non-omniscient views onto others for the purpose of deliberately controlling them. Now, do you agree with that, or not?

Sm said...

I believe that we can all safely agree that you guys, who don't believe there is a God, cannot be 100% sure that this is indeed true...the same way that I, who believes He does exist, cannot be 100% sure either...unless we know all the proofs in the world that there is to be known.

Since you cannot know all evidence, it is possible that evidence exists that proves God's existence, or at least supports his existence.
Therefore, it is possible that God exists.
If it is possible, then faith has its place.

south2003 said...

Sm: Therefore, it is possible that God exists.
If it is possible, then faith has its place.

Sm, how can your god exist by just mere faith? We know that faith is believing in something without proof, sort of like wishing it was true. If you are to make that assertion regarding faith, then ALL faiths are valid and this faith is rightfully valid for all the other gods (8,000+). Therefore, I concluded, going on your declaration, there is a "possibility” that the other gods do exist merely by just faith.

So why did you pick Yahweh?

Jim Arvo said...

SM: "If it is possible, then faith has its place."

You cannot disprove Zeus. Therefore, by your reasoning, faith in Zeus has its place.

You cannot disprove Krishna. Therefore, by your reasoning, faith in Krishna has its place.

You cannot disprove ____. Therefore, by your reasoning, faith in ____ has its place. (Fill in the blanks with any of the thousands of gods that people have ardently believed in.)

Have fun with your pantheon. Personally, I think I'll hold out for some positive evidence.

south2003 said...

Pantheon = A temple dedicated to all gods and all the gods of all people. Fill in the _______.

freeman said...

SM,
The evidence is begining to show that the "creator" is nothing more than the Big Bang and Colapse of the Universe. It has always existed and will always exist. It is not know to any religion, for religion is man made to control weak minded individuals who are scared of death! Everything in the universe originated from, either directly or indirectly, the Big Bang. It requires no worshiping.

freeman said...

My biggest question to you christians who happen to be listening is, why do you worship your imaginary god on the first day of his work! I thought you were supposed to keep holy the sabbath which is a Saturday?

south2003 said...

freeman,

Those laws are outdated *tsk *tsk*

How have you been?

freeman said...

South2003,
Been hanging in the background mostly and occasionally I'll throw a jab!

Outdated laws! Who declared it so? I don't know, it is all to confusing to be real! They pick and choose what they want, that is why there is no such thing as a "true" christian!

I did have fun this past week and went to celebrate Mardi Gras with those heathen Catholics in New Orleans! It was my children's first time and they had a blast! What little heathens I am raising them to be!

Dave8 said...

SM: "I believe that we can all safely agree that you guys, who don't believe there is a God, cannot be 100% sure that this is indeed true...the same way that I, who believes He does exist, cannot be 100% sure either...unless we know all the proofs in the world that there is to be known."

Let me short-hand this...

How does a non-omniscient person, using combinatorial logic, model/create an infinite "god" object/concept/being in their finite mind?

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you nowhere...

Lets see... if you create a set of god elements, then they must be based on finite physical elements, and thus, away goes the omniscient and infinite god concept... if you state that a god concept is beyond the bounds of human knowledge, then... "everything" experienced in the afterlife becomes a potential candidate for a "god" object... absurdity.

So, its easy, either god was created by mankind, using mental modelling and limited language to represent the "god" concept... or "god" is "everything" that can be experienced in the afterlife... Thus, there is nothing "special" or "significant" about any one object in the afterlife, and thus, someones' personal "god" can never be "known"...

So, SM, it is possible to prove your god doesn't exist by the manner in which you define "god"... Your god is either a man-made concept using finite physical elements of this natural world, or, your personal god without specific characteristics is formless, substanceless, etc., and can never be "known", hence, if something can "never" be known, then, it can be said, to not "exist"...

SM, your "god" does not exist, the second you describe your "god" concept, because your god becomes a set of combinatorial "finite" elements of this natural reality... If you state, that its not possible to describe your "god" concept with specific detail, then, your god is nothing but one of an infinite number of objects one may possibly encounter in the afterlife, hence, your god is in fact "unknowable" amongst the infinite number of possibilities in an aferlife...

Thus, SM... your god does not exist, that is a fact... not by what I may say your god is... but based on what "you" say your god is... or isn't...

SM: "Since you cannot know all evidence, it is possible that evidence exists that proves God's existence, or at least supports his existence."

Again, the second you provide "any" evidence, god becomes laden with "finite" elements of this natural reality and nothing supernatural, a christian concept of god. If god can not be given form or substance, in the here and now, then of course... one can "never" locate a "god" in the afterlife...

You suggest that evidence might exist, that provides credence to the concept of a god... Perhaps, you haven't really thought that statement through... If one were to "find" evidence, then of course, their evidence would be of this natural reality, and thus, would be reducing the god concept from a supernatural entity to a more natural entity... If one were to find "all" evidence of "god" in this natural reality, then of course, god is a physical part of this universe and is a natural god, "not" a supernatural god, as christianity claims...

SM: "Therefore, it is possible that God exists."

The christian concept of "god", in fact can not exist, period. As, christians only accept the precept of a supernatural "god".

Simply stated... Existence is dependent on description/definition... God is beyond description/definition... Hence, god doesn't exist...

Well, unless you are going to suggest you can describe your god in good finite natural detail.

SM: "If it is possible, then faith has its place."

Faith is defined as "trust, confidence or assurance". Faith, most definitely has its place in our lives, however, lets be discrete about the types of faith... Some have faith, based on "evidence", i.e., the sun will rise tomorrow, because it has my entire life, etc. However, some have faith, based on "non-evidence", i.e., christian concept of a transcendent supernatural god, etc.

"Hope" is a common element of faith. I have faith/confidence the sun will rise tomorrow, but since I'm not omniscient, I must concede that the sun may not rise tomorrow, and thus, there must exist some degree of hope in my belief - as its not absolute with unshaken conviction. Evidence that supports ones' faith, provides "hope" with a solid foundation.

However, there are other non-evidence beliefs, based on pure logic alone. Such faith, could be said to be based on foundationless support, thus, creating those who are more "hopeful", than those with evidence to support their faith.

And yet, there seems to be a third category for faith based hope. Those who have "faith" in a concept that in itself is self-refuting. Not only is there no evidence, or just logic or "lack of evidence", but... tragically, the concept or statement one has faith in, is self-refutting and absurd. Thus, this category, I give the description... "false-hope". And, there seem to be a lot of people in this world, who live in a reality with "false-hope".

You may not get a discussion on global culture, civil liberties, or value sets, but, it would appear that if you wanted to continue this conversation, the obvious next step would be to discuss the pros and cons of living a life with false hope as opposed to living a life based on real evidence and enough hope to bridge the gap between a finite mind and omniscience.

To end, there are some belief systems based on faith and hope, with a natural concept of a greater entity... and then, there are some belief systems based on faith and false hope, with a supernatural transcendent concept of a greater entity... Wanna, guess which of the two belief systems, christianity falls into.

Although, I choose to live in this reality with evidence, and base my decisions in life, on faith and hope, I realize there are others who have the right to have faith and false hope. And so, SM, I put the question back to you...

Where does faith based on "false hope" have a place in society.

Sm said...

Yahweh is knowable.
As a christian, the moment you ask Jesus to come into your heart, what you have entered into is a relationship...not a list of rules that will guarantee your salvation.

The evidence for that is a changed life....in spite of yourself.

Yahweh proved His love for me by sending Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins. He could have left me to eternal damnation, becuase that is what we all deserve.

No other "god" proved their love for me.

There are tons of evidence for the accuracy of the bible, as well as the historical and archaelogical proof of Jesus and the resurrection.

The bible is not just a mere book....if it was then it would have no power in and of itself to change the human heart. It would just be a nice book full of inspirational stories or sayings.
It is Yahweh's love letter to us so that we can live a life of wholeness...when I follow the bible,life works..my marriage works, my finances work, my rel. with my children work.

I trust Yahweh with all my heart and the bible, becuase He has shown me time and time again that He can be trusted.

When I die I have a much greater life to look forward to.

.:webmaster:. said...

In SM's post above, if the reader exchanges the word Yahweh with the word Allah, and exchanges the word Koran for the word Bible...

Sm said...

How did Allah prove his love?

Jim Arvo said...

SM: "As a christian, the moment you ask Jesus to come into your heart, what you have entered into is a relationship..."

Sure it is. I have just such a relationship with Plato and Shakespeare and Hume and Voltaire, etc. When I read what they have written, I connect with them as people, even though they are no longer alive. But the difference is that I realize my "relationship" is with an image of them that I have built up over time. It's not "them," but my own personal internal image.

SM: "The evidence for that is a changed life....in spite of yourself."

Every religion changes lives. Changed thinking changes lives, whether or not the foundation of those ideas is correct. I'd say that religious beliefs quite radically changed the lives of the 9/11 hijackers; they are now in heaven enjoying 72 perpetual virgins, right? Lest you dismiss that example as insanity (which I would not argue against too strenuously), Buddhism and Hinduism also change lives, for the better. Non-radical Islam also can change lives for the better. Paganism and Wicca can also change lives for the better.

SM: "Yahweh proved His love for me by sending Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins."

And this you know from the gospels; a collection of anonymous books that plagiarized from one another and clearly borrowed a great many ideas from previous religions.

SM: "He could have left me to eternal damnation, becuase that is what we all deserve."

So we all deserve to spent eternity in horrific torture, is that right? Please explain what crimes we've all committed that deserve such pointless retribution?

SM: "No other 'god' proved their love for me."

Have you "opened your heart" to Krishna? (To borrow a popular phrase from Christians.) How hard have you actually tried to communicate with these other deities? How do you know that you aren't just being fooled by Satan, and that the REAL god isn't Krishna or Allah or Mithra or...

SM: "There are tons of evidence for the accuracy of the bible, as well as the historical and archaelogical proof of Jesus and the resurrection."

Oh? I believe this is your FIRST mention of any such evidence. I hope you realize that we discuss this type of thing here extensively. I can virtually guarantee that all this "historical" and "archeological" evidence that you speak of is nonsense. Do you want to discuss Josephus? That comes up often. What else do you have? Have you read any scholarly works that examine the foundations of Christianity critically? If you had you would probably realize how weak the historical evidence really is for Christianity, and for the resurrection in particular.

SM: "The bible is not just a mere book....if it was then it would have no power in and of itself to change the human heart."

Beliefs change people. If I got you to believe that you were an artichoke, it would change your life. Right? If I got you to adopt Buddhism, it would change your life. (Incidentally, both could possibly be an improvement from where you stand now, but I digress.)

SM: "It would just be a nice book full of inspirational stories or sayings."

A "nice" book?! SM, have you actually READ that book? Come on, be honest now. How can you call a book that is so filled with ghastly violence "nice"? Is it "nice" to dash babies against rocks? Is it "nice" to rip open pregnant women? Is it "nice" to smear dung on someone's face, or to "harden" someone's heart,or to command genocide? Come on now, SM. Read your Bible. The *whole* thing.

SM: "It is Yahweh's love letter to us so that we can live a life of wholeness..."

Love letter? I can't imagine anything containing such filth and violence being called a "love letter".

SM: "...when I follow the bible,life works..my marriage works, my finances work, my rel. with my children work."

Guess what. All those things work for me, and dozens of my colleagues and friends, and without the help of any imaginary beings.

SM: "I trust Yahweh with all my heart and the bible, becuase He has shown me time and time again that He can be trusted."

What you trust is the imaginary being that you have constructed within your own mind. If that works for you, then good for you. You have every right to keep believing whatever you want. So do we.

SM: "When I die I have a much greater life to look forward to."

Well, to me that is sad. But, on a positive note, at least you won't ever learn of your mistake if you take it to the grave with you. Your decomposing brain will not be able to process the thought "Ooops, I guess there isn't life after death after all." Just as well, I suppose.

freeman said...

sm,
allah proved his love by sending the prophet jesus!

if you are so inclined to believe such rubbish!

Dave8 said...

SM, you believe YWHW lives, only because the word YWHW exists. There is nothing more to the term that you can show as proof of something supernatural.

YWHW = ~1,200 BCE, Southern tribe of Judah.

The word YHWH was created by the Southern tribes of Judah, to represent an ideal no earlier than ~1,200 BCE, YHWH didn't exist before then? The term YHWH was created as a response to the earlier god El, of the Northern tribes of Judah. El never died and the same Jews that believed in El, believed in YHWH eventually over hundreds of years, because of Southern Judean influence.

There are many more gods that predate your YHWH, what makes your god different? The only possible way to answer that, is to say you know the other gods, and YHWH in order to make a comparison. You assert Allah is not as worthy because you are attempting to look for deeds of the gods to determine their merits, like how did Allah show his love.

YHWH is a youngster to many previous gods. Take "Nut" for instance, the Egyptian creator goddess, circa 3,000 BCE. "Nut" was being worshipped almost two thousand years in Egypt before the word YHWH was ever created. Her deeds? She is the creator of other gods, who provide sun, and other many nautral needs those of the universe. Her children? Isis, Osiris, Seth, and Nephthys.

SM: "The evidence for that is a changed life....in spite of yourself."

SM, your "ideal" and reasoning to hold onto YHWH as a god, is premised with... You as a sinful piece of filth, naturally defective, and in dire need of something greater to make you whole and less repulsive.

Well, sorry SM, your christian god by the christian understanding can be proven to not exist, because your god can never be known - Ever. By mainstream christianity, your god YHWH lives in a transcendent reality, outside of this universe, and is infinite.

The word YHWH, itself, has no meaning in any language, the word and ideal were created to compete with the god El. Maybe you don't know your religions' history. Okay, those who created YHWH wanted to create the "supreme" god, because there were many, many gods being worshipped at the time, and all were saying that their god was doing wonderful things in their lives also. So, YHWH was created as an ideal to do away with the need for other god worship, however, in order to compete with the other gods who were representative of this natural universe, star formations, stars (sun), heaven (space), etc., they had to stick their god higher... And... they stuck your god, outside of the Universe, in a transcendent realm, so he could be top god/dog...

Now, not too bad, thinking primatively, I mean, I can see the logic of wanting to have the most powerful god, as gods were used to determine who was going to be the winners in combat and war, etc. However, by placing their god out of reach of mortal understanding, they pushed him out of "existence", because no one can ever "know" YHWH as an ideal or otherwise.

However, because there are many people who obviously haven't read anything about their own religion, they attempt to "pull" their god back into this natural reality, in an effort to "prove" this gods' existence. If they were able, then obviously, YHWH would no longer reign supreme, but be nothing more than just a mere peer god with the other over 4,900+ gods historically recorded over time accros this planet.

Now, you are attempting to play the game of a transcendent god, outside of this existence, and reality, as being that driving force that makes you do "good" things in your life. However, because your god is outside of this universe, you have no way to make that statement, it could be one of an infinite number of gods in a transcendent reality pushing your forward in life. You can't possibly, know any different. Your god was thrown outside of existence, and the door was slammed shut.

Now, I suppose you can be one of the many branches of christianity who attempt to find some crack in logic to bring their god back from the ethereal realm in order to prove existence, but, its only because of their ignorance that they do such.

SM: "Yahweh proved His love for me by sending Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins. He could have left me to eternal damnation, becuase that is what we all deserve."

SM, those who told you of eternal damnation, were not omniscient either. And, again, its quite impossible to make claims of a transcendent reality, where a god, hell, etc., are located while living a non-omniscient natural life. You believe in the people that gave you information, people I may add that got their information all the way back to a group of people who wanted nothing more, than to create a supreme god, to outdo all the rest of the gods.

You make statements of Jesus, etc., of which you have no evidence for. Further, you allude to eternal hell, which is supposed to exist in a transcendent reality outside of this universe. If you suggest there is natural evidence, then your god is equal to all of the other gods, if you suggest that eternal hell, god, etc., is supreme and in a transcendent reality, then, you can't possibly make any statement with credibility.

SM: "No other "god" proved their love for me."

Many people claim natural gods, that can in fact be "known", like the "sun" god for instance. Now, your god, resides above and outside of this universe in a transcendent reality, and therefore, can not "possibly" have proven anything. The only proof you have, is based on what someone told you or that you read. But, they themselves were nothing more than mere mortals who weren't capable of knowing the details on a transcendent reality

Lets get one thing straight, you can prove your love towards an ideal or object, like your love for a god. You can not prove an object or ideal loves you, period. If you feel peace, harmony, etc., because of your relationship with an ideal, then its all "you", and no one else. Might I remind you, that there were many people throughout history who have used your god object or ideal to create mass murder. However, we both know, its not the object or ideal that is important, its how the person worships and uses the object in their life and how it affects others. Hence, why it really doesn't matter whether the four characters Y H W H are used or A L L A H.

SM: "There are tons of evidence for the accuracy of the bible, as well as the historical and archaelogical proof of Jesus and the resurrection."

Jesus + Archeological Evidence = 0

The bible and the OT prophecies being fulfilled = 0

The historical writings of the bible = Evidence of cultural writings, of which, no originals exist today. Although, the writings of the bible, are mostly anonymous, the writings only reveal the political and cultural atmosphere of the era in which they were written. The writings are great for understanding the cultural changes, wars, etc., of the past, but were not written by a deity, especially one, who is supposed to have been living in a transcendent reality outside of the universe as these words were theoretically written.

SM: "The bible is not just a mere book....if it was then it would have no power in and of itself to change the human heart."

SM, hate to break it to you, but every person on this planet has the power to change their own outlook on life. You can not possibly suggest that those who don't worship your four words Y H W H, can't possibly be living a prosperous life full of peace and harmony, with valuable relationships.

SM: "It would just be a nice book full of inspirational stories or sayings."

Actually, there are many stories that are not so flattering in the bible, and not very inspiring.

SM: "It is Yahweh's love letter to us so that we can live a life of wholeness...when I follow the bible,life works..my marriage works, my finances work, my rel. with my children work."

However, any other inspirational writing could have done the trick. Because its obvious that a god not of this universe could have possibly scribed the words in a book. The bible is nothing but a compilation of letters gathered over hundreds of years, and placed in a canon after a group of men came together to vote on which ones were "inspirational". It wasn't gods' choice, which letters or inspirational writings made it into the bible.

SM: "I trust Yahweh with all my heart and the bible, becuase He has shown me time and time again that He can be trusted."

You trust the words that were given to you. There is no "He" involved as in a god.

SM: "When I die I have a much greater life to look forward to."

You have no "knowledge" or "idea", on what exists in a transcendent reality outside the bounds of your mortal understanding. The day you present a transcendent object for evidence, then we can proceed with the verifying of the term transcendent as having some real meaning. When you die, you could just as easily find yourself being reincarnated, yet another religion, being followed long before YHWH came onto the scene of humanity as a word.

SM, you suggest that your life is not based on "false hope", because you believe in the words in a book and how it inspires your.

False Hope = Hoping for something, that is definitively self-refutting, and impossible to know. If one can't "know" something, then it doesn't exist. No one can possibly know of anything in a transcendent reality.

False Life = Making decisions in ones' life, based on false hope.

Some choose to live their life based on "known" reality, and then there are those who choose to run from reality, and find "escape" through idealistic ventures, even those ventures that call for false hope.

Escaping from ones' self in an effort to find something better, means that someone sees themselves as nothing of worth. False hope, is nothing but a lie, accepted by someone without enough knowledge to know the difference. Further, there are those who accept this lie, who want to believe in the lie so much that they find ways to make the lie somehow better, i.e., I have a strong relationship with my family, etc., as a result of accepting a lie.

I wonder what parents tell their children who lie, and then say, well, because of my lying, I gained some benefit. Does that make the lie somehow better? And, yet, christian parents have the audacity to question their children about lying. What, as long as one is benefitting in the afterlife, and the other is benefitting in this world, makes a difference... No, lying, is still lying. I suppose one could just be ignorant, but, then, that kind of puts god even further away, beyond transcendent, doesn't it.

Dan (Rationalist) said...

Isn't that sweet? SM is having a glorious relationship with Jesus, and is soooo! happy. The only reason he or she hangs around this ex-Christian website so much is that she wants us to be like her, and be so grateful to God for accepting the hideous sacrifice of Jesus, so that no matter what awful things we do now for the rest of our life, they will be forgiven and we can live in paradise, while two-thirds of the rest of us fry in hell.

I just love thinking about those billions of people cooking in hell while I will be kissing Gods ass forever. It makes me so warm and fuzzy!
Dan (Rationalist)

Dan (Rationalist) said...

Sm wrote:
How did Allah prove his love?

Every time a Muslim blows himself up and kills a bunch of people he goes to heaven and is greeted by 72 beautiful black eyed virgins.
Dan (Rationalist)

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