My wife lost her faith

sent in by Luke

A cousin of mine used to go out and get drunk every single weekend. After a tough week at work he liked nothing better than to let loose and go wild on the weekend. Stress relief is what he called it. When his wife got pregnant with their first child he regretfully decided that his drunken weekends had to come to an end. He was surprised to learn that he not only enjoyed spending his weekends at home or going out and having a couple of quiet drinks but he preferred it to getting drunk. He hasn't been drunk once since then. That is how I felt before losing my faith. I thought life would be meaningless without belief. I couldn't fathom not having God during difficult times. I thought that nonbelievers must lack a moral compass and that their lives must be very empty. Like my cousin, I realised I didn't need a drug to be happy and to have hope and meaning in my life.

Six months after I got married my wife dropped a bombshell. She had been struggling with her faith for a while now but she was afraid to tell me because she was afraid that I wouldn't marry her. She would no longer attend Mass. I had some disagreements with the Catholic Church but I looked forward to raising my family in the faith. I was devastated. My wife said she had done a terrible thing but she was in love and made the wrong decision. She said she would understand if I wanted the marriage annulled. I loved my wife so I told her we would work through it.

I proposed that we discuss her doubts and concerns and then I would help her to understand the church's position on these issues. So, every Sunday afternoon we would get out our Bibles, books, and articles from the Internet and had discussions. I immediately found that I was unable to explain or justify the many concerns and issues she brought up. They are too numerous to go into here but they included the troubling history of the church, negative attitudes toward women, Biblical contradictions and violence, conflicts with scientific knowledge and the cruelty of many doctrines (especially the one about unbaptized people going to hell or limbo). My wife asked such things as how the church can accuse a frightened young girl of murder for aborting a nonsentient embryo when she isn't ready or able to raise a child, and yet make excuses when God kills living, breathing, sentient babies with diseases, drought, starvation, fires and natural disasters. I found myself overwhelmed. I started to question and have doubts myself.

A guy I worked with named Will was a born again Christian. I told him my doubts. He explained to me that the problem is that Catholicism is a false religion and that it is not real Christianity. He invited me to his church. He told me I would find answers to all my concerns. In my confusion and turmoil, I thought yes, that's the problem. Catholicism is wrong and I can find truth elsewhere. Of course, I told my always wise and questioning wife. She pointed out that Catholicism was the original Christian faith and created most Christian doctrine and the final make up of the Bible. All other Christian sects are simply off shoots. Just like you can't build a sturdy house on a weak foundation you can't create a true religion from a false religion. If Catholicism is true all the other Christian religions are false. But if Catholicism is false the other Christian religions that came from it must also be false.

I told Will about this and of course he came up with justifications and excuses, but I got angry and told him justifications and excuses just don't work anymore. I told him that when you really analyze Christianity it just doesn't make any sense. I told him I was tired of pretending that it did. A month later Will went to work for a new company, so our discussions ended.

I suppose I would describe myself as an agnostic now. There may be no God, one God or many Gods. I have no way of knowing. If he/she/they exist I look forward to asking he/she/them why they have allowed so much evil, cruelty and suffering among the beings they have created and supposedly love. As Tori Amos said in her wonderful song God "You make pretty daisies pretty daisies love/I gotta find what you're doing about things here/A few witches burning gets a little toasty here/I gotta find why you always go when the wind blows." That's what I want to know. The flawed free will argument doesn't work for me anymore.

I hadn't seen Will for a few years. I met him a few months ago. He's an exchristian now thanks to me. His wife threw him out but he's engaged to an ex born again and says he's very happy. We've become good friends. Now if only I could convince my ex-drunken cousin that he doesn't need religion either.

"No man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a belief on one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness as if he were really in doubt and unbiassed; so that the existence of a belief not founded on fair inquiry unfits a man for the performance of this necessary duty."

The Ethics of Belief–William Kingdon Clifford

37 comments:

sightedone said...

Yay for you and your wife and your family! Thanks for sharing.

Dave8 said...

Luke, Great story, its always good to hear that people have stopped allowing themselves to be abused... Of course, the ex-drunken cousin may have just swapped one Self abusive habit for another... It takes a person who has accepted abuse in their life, a while before they finally accept themselves for who they are unconditionally and find love/care for themselves, at that point, they no longer need external "acceptance" for peace in their lives...

I liked the quote you provided, it shows that ethics require a level of judgement, and understanding viewed with relativism, in order to be just and fair... nothing is merciful and fair if its based on Absolutes, and is why religion fails so miserably...

I also like Albert Einstein's quote regarding Absolute mind states...

Albert Einstein (1879-1955):
"You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it."

One must be willing to use their mind flexibly and see from different perspectives in order to solve problems, one who chooses to maintain the "same mind" state will not be able to solve problems, even the personal ones... I hope the ex-drunken cousin, has the ability to eventually define the problems, with an open mind, and then seek our solutions... Thanks again for your post... take care...

droptinni said...

Luke, the best website to answer the tough questions about the Bible and Christianity is equip.org

It is the website of Christian apologetics expert, Hank Hannegraff. It has thousands of free articles on every subject that will answer your every question. I read your article and found many of your claims of Christianity to be unfounded. Secondly, Catholicism is not the first Church. There are so many issues I wish we had time or space to get into but feel free to email me at droptinni@yahoo.com and ask a tough question or go to equip.org and look up your article that relates to your question. I have found this website to actually strengthen my faith for faith is faith in evidence and the Christian religion has the best evidence if you are devoted to seeking the truth like me.

Jeffrey said...

Why would anyone want apologetic answers for something that does not exist? People want the Bible to be true, they wish for it to be true, but there is nothing believable written in the Bible that pertains to common sense and reality.

What people are trying to pretend is, to believe something that was written down 2000 years ago by people that heard voices and thought they were from God but were only their internal voices that they thought was what a God, and what a God would expect and want from them.

The people that wrote the Bible knew nothing about nothing, they knew nothing about the planet nor their environment. To believe in the Bible one must stoop to a level of ignorance, one must dumb themselves down to a level of non-intelligence to conform to the teachings. You must become as little babes, without any knowledge, to believe in the Bible.

How have we survived this long, over 2000 years and yet the Bible is passed off as pure fact, without questioning the Bible as a whole?. There is not one thing in the Bible that is true, never will be true, cannot be true. No one can have a vision in a dream and tout it as pure fact. To look for an apologetic answer is to put a band-aid on the truth. Why would anyone want to believe in something blindly and call it faith, just so their petty beliefs can seem to become true?

Luke it appears that you and your wife and Will have decided to face reality and no longer stoop down to the level of religious insanity, and you are to be applauded. Congrats for breaking out of the mold of religious insanity.

jim earl said...

Luke, welcome to the real world. People will believe anything without evidence because they are taught as children. Children trust adults and by the time they are old enough to think on their own, they already believe in the same fallacies of their parents. That is why it is so important to the church to reach children. Our job as parents should be to let children make up their own minds but that rarely happens. I had the good fortune to raise two sets of children, the first two in a christian setting, the second two in a non/religious setting. The first two have struggles letting go of the beliefs they were taught as children, the second two have no problems and both are freethinkers. Funny how our lives are shaped by what happens to us when we are children. I'm thankful that I was able to discern the truth about religion but it wasn't easy. I can't understand how children can readily accept that Santa is not real but won't accept the truth about the other beliefs they were taught as children. A lesson came to me several months ago when a friend I was debating ended the debate with the statement that she believed in God because she wanted to believe in God and needed no proof. To me that is a real problem we face today with people who want to believe in spite of the evidence againt blind belief. What can we do when faced with that? If anyone can answer that please do so. Thanks, Jim

Steven said...

To want to believe in a fairytale or myth such as the Bible, one must digress their mind to a place where reason and logic exist no more, then the mold of fear sets in and the Bible suddenly becomes real to the person wanting to believe. The Bible is purely psychological brainwashing at it's best. What is so amazing is that people are so willing to believe in something that was written so long ago, before any knowledge of germs or bacteria or diseases, and yet they were experts knowing about the Holy Spirit and God and all things invisible.

Why is it that people cannot, or will not bring themselves to reality and see the folly of religion for what it is. It's like Jim said, it goes way back to childhood, from the fear of our fathers, fear from being scolded and spanked by our fathers, this is also the same theme that the Bible was written upon, based on ingrained fear of our father from childhood. I personally know some people that still have fear of their father, and he has long been dead. I wish I had never heard of the Bible or any religion, it's a sick concept.

Luke said...

droptinni,

As I explained in my testimony I was an apologist myself when I first started having discussions with my wife. I know how you feel because I used to be like you. You believe so strongly in your religion and its such an important part of your life that when doubts surface you want nothing more than to find an explanation. I sincerely believed in my religion and I wanted nothing more than to convince my wife of the truth of Christianity. But like I said apologetics just stopped working for me after a few months. I just couldn't pretend anymore that there were reasonable explanations for everything because my wife always had a good reason why the apologetics were wrong.

I have a friend who said Mark 9 verse 1 was the undoing of his faith. "And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."" Now, Jesus is saying that some of his followers will live to see the second coming, the end times, whatever you want to call it. Well, 2000 years later it still hasn't happened and of course all of Jesus' followers are dead. So, my friend read the apologetics, which satisfied him for a while. But nagging questions kept popping up. He talked to his pastor, his friends, he prayed about yet he still was troubled by it. It took five years but he finally decided that Christians were a bunch of fools waiting for an event that Jesus had said was going to happen 2000 years ago.

The reason I included the quote from William Kingdon Clifford is because it is so true. When you hold a strong belief or have a strong desire to believe something you won't entertain questions that throw any doubt on that belief. "No man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a belief on one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness as if he were really in doubt and unbiassed;"

The are two kinds of exbelievers: those who have always had doubts and those who were strong believers who then had an experience or revelation that created doubt. My wife is the former. When she found out that Santa Claus was make believe she asked her parents if God was also make believe. She was grounded for a week. I am the latter type of exbeliever as you can see from my testimony.

Christian apologetics won't convince me that Christianity is true; Islamic apologetics will not convince me that Islam is true; Hindu apologetics won't convince me that Hinduism is true and so on.

Also, Catholicism was the first unified church. Until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire there were multiple Christian sects with varying beliefs and doctrines. Some believed in the divinity of Jesus, some did not. When Christianity became the official religion of Rome these various sects got together and established a unified theology. They voted on whether Jesus was divine or not and divinity won. They also decided which gospels and books would make up the Bible. Members of any sect who didn't want to join this new unified Catholic (universal) church faced persecution and often murder. So, yes, Catholicism really is the original Christian faith and every other faith came from it.

Jim Lee said...

This essay put together by a friend on mine and worth a read. The numbers represent foot notes.
Christianity is Catholicism, and Catholicism is Christianity

Although not always as apparent to me as it now is, Christianity is Catholicism, and Catholicism is Christianity. To evaluate Christianity, it is necessary to evaluate Catholicism. I say this because, it is a matter of fact, that for some 1500 years of this Era there was but one "True Church" of Christ; and that Church 96 claims with conscious pride the origin and authorship of all the New Testament Books, out of its own Holy bosom, by its own canonized Saints, and it yet claims to be the only true, "Christian" Church. The New Testament Books are, therefore, distinctively Catholic documents.

Further, the Catholic Church, itself engaged in forgery 97 regarding the Books of the New Testament and in all the documents of religious dogma and propaganda and did itself perpetrate all the pious frauds and is their chief beneficiary. All the other Christian sects are sprung or severed from the original "One True Church;" all other forms of the Christian religion originated by secession from the "True Church," and their founders.

All these Protestant sects, therefore, with full knowledge of the guilty facts and partakers in the frauds, found their claim to Divinity - and priestly emoluments - upon and through those tainted titles, and thus must fully share the guilt as accomplices after the fact. The "Reformed" Sects, on breaking away from the old Monopoly of Forgery, appropriated the least clumsy and more plausible of the pious Counterfeit of Christianity, and for the centuries since have industriously and knowingly been engaged in passing the stolen counterfeit upon their own unsuspecting flocks; they are therefore equally guilty with the original Forgers of the Faith.

A definition by a high ecclesiastical authority may appropriately be cited, as it thoroughly defines the chronic clerical crime. The Catholic Encyclopedia thus defines the crime:


"Forgery (Lat. falsum) differs very slightly from fraud. It consists in the deliberate untruthfulness of an assertion, or in the deceitful presentation of an object, and is based on an intention to deceive and to injure while using the externals of honesty. Forgery is truly a falsehood and is a fraud, but it is something more. ... A category consists in making use of such forgery, and is equivalent to forgery proper. ... The Canonical legislation [dealt principally with] the production of absolutely false documents and the alteration of authentic ... for the sake of certain advantages. ...
"Canon law connects forgery and the use of forged documents, on the presumption that he who would make use of such documents must be either the author or instigator of the forgery. In canon law forgery consists not only in the fabrication or substitution of an entirely false document, but even by partial substitution, or by any alteration affecting the sense and bearing of an authentic document or any substantial point, such as names, dates, signature, seal, favor granted, by erasure, by scratching out or writing one word over another, and the like."

Under every phase and phrase of this its own clerics legal definition, the Church is guilty. The proofs of this indictment are marvelously easy in one sense, since they are to be found in amplest record of history and accredited ecclesiastic authorities, and in abounding incautious admissions made by the Recredited spokesmen of the Accused. Unfortunately these damning things of the Church are scattered through many clerical volumes and concealed in many archives, and are not well known to the pious or preoccupied layman. The findings do not lend themselves to abstracts or summaries or sound bytes. The Holy Catholic Church has been at it for 2000 years, although the earlier "Church history" is where most of the dirt started. To properly portray even this requires volumes.

Although not a true student of Catholicism, I have observed them for many years and have read a fair amount on the subject. Catholicism is repugnant to the very core. It was not until recently, however, that it became so very clear to me that Catholicism is the basis for my (former) Christianity. This is worse than finding that your mother is a whore. In that case, you could at least still rise above your circumstances. However, as a Christian you cannot rise above your circumstances - they are what they are. Protestantism is a full partaker of the fraud of Christianity. You cannot untangle this mess, because this mess is, and always has been, nothing more than a tangle - by definition. At one time I thought that the true first original church was on the right path and that Catholicism had veered from that path. This was not - and is not true - it never has been true - this is part of the mythology. There is only one path, and that path is Catholicism - Protestantism is merely varying degrees of watered down Catholicism. You cannot get from the beginning to the present without treading that path. You can weed out all the objectionable aspects of Catholicism, but what you have left is still just another religious myth. Watering down a myth doesn’t create a truth - it merely remains a watered-down myth.

The pious frauds of the theologians have been thus early systematized and raised to the dignity of a regular doctrine. The church has been hard at work lying in their zeal for God’s honor, and to their own dishonor. They have presumed at the price of their soul to assert dogmatically whatever first comes into their head. There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or an uneducated congregation.

So gross and prevalent was the clerical habit of pious lies and pretenses "to the glory of God," that St. Augustine, about 395 A.D., wrote a reproving treatise to the Clergy, De Mendacio (On Lying), which he found necessary to supplement in 420 A.D. with another book, Contra Mendacium (Against Lying). While Augustine disapproves of downright lying even to trap heretics - a practice seemingly much in vogue among the good Christians: "It is more pernicious for Catholics to lie that they may catch heretics, than for heretics to lie that they may not be found out by Catholics."

Many spurious books were forged in the earliest times of the Church, in the name of Christ and his apostles, which passed upon all the Fathers as genuine and divine through several successive ages. Those who have given any attention to the history of mankind, have come to realize that the greatest zealots in religion, or the leaders of sects and parties (whatever purity or principles they pretend to have) did not hesitate to make use of a commodious lie for the advancement of what they call the truth. And with regard to these very Fathers, there is not one of them, as an eminent writer of ecclesiastical history declares, who made any scruple in those ages of using the hyperbolical style to advance the honor of God and the salvation of men.

During that gloomy period when the only scholars in Europe were priest and monks (who conscientiously believed that no amount of falsehood was reprehensible which conduced to the edification of the people) created writings (especially their histories) which were the wildest of fables, so grotesque and at the same time so audacious, that they were the wonder of succeeding ages; and the very men who scattered these fictions broadcast over Christendom, taught at the same time that credulity was a virtue and skepticism a crime.

The Fathers laid down as a distinct proposition that pious frauds were justifiable and even laudable. Even if they had not laid this down they would nevertheless have practiced them as a necessary consequence of their doctrine of exclusive salvation. Immediately all ecclesiastical literature became tainted with a spirit of the most unblushing falsehoods. Heathenism was to be combated, and therefore prophecies of Christ by Orpheus and the Sibyls were forged and lying wonders multiplied. Heretics were to be convinced; therefore interpolations of old writings - or complete forgeries - were habitually opposed to the forged Gospels. This tendency triumphed wherever the supreme importance of dogmas was held. Generation after generation it became more universal. It continued till the very sense of truth and the very love of truth seemed blotted out from the minds of men. Thus the tangled web of fraud, forgery and imposture was woven.

It becomes obvious that the confessed debasing principle of the Church, that the maintenance of its creed is superior to the principles of morality. Ecclesiastical history consists of nothing but the wickedness of the governing clergy. The universality of the frauds and impostures of the Church (herein barely hinted at), taint and corrupt every phase of the Church and of the ecclesiastical propaganda of the Faith. As is well said by Middleton in commenting on these and like pious practices of the Holy Church: "And no man surely can doubt, but that those, who would either forge, or make use of forged books, would, in the same cause, and for the same ends, make use of forged miracles" (A Free Inquiry, Introd. Discourse, p. lxxxvii); as well as of forged Gospels, Epistles, Creeds, Saint-tales - vast extensions of pious frauds.

The shame and guilt of the "Holy Church" can be taken verbatim from the Church’s own histories and historians. These clerical works of confession and confusion are for the most part three ponderous sets of volumes; they are readily accessible for any who would care to spend the time to dig them out. It is doubtful if many will do this (myself included). It is even doubtful that anyone has even read my simple easily read and straight-forward document to this point (If you have, congratulate yourself for being more of a scholar, and more anxious to know the truth, than the majority of Christians - you are probably in the upper 1%.). But for any who care to delve into first-hand research on the subject for further instances, go to some good libraries and bookshops; such as the libraries of the Union Theological Seminary and of Columbia University, in New York City and read:


The Ante-Nicene Fathers; A Collection of the extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y., 1885.
The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers; First and Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

The Ante-Nicene Fathers; A Collection of the extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y., 1885.

The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers; First and Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.

The Catholic Encyclopedia; fifteen volumes and index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop Farley; New York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.

The Encyclopedia Biblica, four volumes; Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The Macmillan Co., New York, 1914.

The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice, and to spare, to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion.

In defense of Catholics (which still doesn’t let them off the hook) is that they after all did totally control Christianity for 1500 years. Then along came Luther’s Protestant Reformation which was essentially a frontal attack upon Catholicism, but not necessarily more correct, nor any inspired by God, than was Catholicism:


"Nor should we ever forget that . . . the Protestants were the aggressors, the Catholics were the defenders. The Protestants were attempting to destroy the old, established Christian Church, which had existed 1500 years, and to replace it by something new, untried and revolutionary. The Catholics were upholding a Faith, hallowed by centuries of pious associations and sublime achievements; the Protestants, on the contrary, were fighting for a creed . . . which already was beginning to disintegrate into hostile sects, each of which, if it gained the upper hand, commenced to persecute the rest! . . . All religious persecution is bad; but in this case, of the two parties guilty of it, the Catholics certainly had the more defensible motives for their conduct." [The Double Standard of Protestant Anti-Catholic "Inquisition Polemics" (John Stoddard)]
Most Protestants by now, unless they are terribly naive, have heard of the Catholic Inquisition which was murderous and cruel beyond the imagination and done under the guise of it being God’s will. So the only interpretation which could be given is that our "loving" Christian God was ultimately responsible for the torturing and killing of "the heretics" - which by definition was anyone who didn’t believe in, and fully accept the Roman Catholic Church and its teachings - it was a matter of believe it or die. But what many present day Protestants may not know 98 (even if they are not naive) is that Protestants became just about as murderous and cruel as the Catholics - for the same reason - of doing God’s will:


"It is unquestionable . . . that the champions of Protestantism - Luther, Calvin, Beza, Knox, Cranmer and Ridley - advocated the right of the civil authorities to punish the `crime' of heresy . . . Rousseau says truly:

"`The Reformation was intolerant from its cradle, and its authors were universal persecutors' . . .
Auguste Comte also writes:


"`The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached.' (Philosophie Positive, vol.4, p.51).
"What makes, however, Protestant persecutions specially revolting is the fact that they were absolutely inconsistent with the primary doctrine of Protestantism - the right of private judgment in matters of religious belief! Nothing can be more illogical than at one moment to assert that one may interpret the Bible to suit himself, and at the next to torture and kill him for having done so! [The Double Standard of Protestant Anti-Catholic "Inquisition Polemics" (John Stoddard)]

Volumes are written about Luther and his cruelty. The death-penalty for heresy rested on the highest Lutheran authority . . . The views of the other reformers (i.e. Calvin) on the persecution and bringing to justice of heretics were merely the outgrowth of Luther's plan; they contributed nothing fresh. Luther’s writings were essentially the early basis for the development of antisemitism in Germany, which ultimately led to the Holocaust. Here was a Christian nation led by Hitler who was greatly influenced by Martin Luther,99 the founder of Protestantism - so there is a very real dark-side to Christianity, which spawned the Dark Ages and the Inquisition, the Holocaust, etc.

What an ugly, barbarous, pagan religion is Christianity, when the whole truth of it is known. But then this is the case with most all other man-made religions (there really is no other kind), have had their very repulsive side as well, portraying ugly, vindictive gods. Christian apologists and the organized church in general have done a wonderful PR job in portraying the Christian God as a loving, caring, wonderful God. This is not too unlike the early portrayal (during World War Two, in the United States) of Joseph Stalin (Russia was our ally) as being a kindly old grandfather type with sparkling eyes, smoking a curved pipe. appearing to be every bit a friendly as Santa Clause - but later we find that he may have murdered more of his nations citizens than did Adolph Hitler. So, Joseph Stalin wasn’t as he was portrayed to be - at all. Neither is God, as truly portrayed in scripture. The question is whether this is God’s portrayal of Himself, or man’s portrayal of an imaginary god. It is entirely possible that there truly is an ultimate high God, who has never revealed Himself (He/She/It/They??) to mankind. We can only speculate about that. There is no speculation required concerning the god of the bible - He never existed.


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

Footnotes:
96 For nineteen centuries the popes at the head of the Roman church have influenced the history of Christianity. It was not until 384 that the bishop of Rome called himself Pope for the first time.

97 No other people in history have been such indefatigable and for the most part clumsy forgers as the Christians. Mosheim: "It was an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by that means the interests of religion might be promoted." Dean Milman: "It was admitted and avowed that to deceive into Christianity was so valuable a service as to hallow deceit itself." Lecky: "the deliberate and apparently perfectly unscrupulous forgery of a whole literature....The Fathers laid down as a distinct proposition [sic] that pious frauds were justifiable and even laudable....it continued till the very sense of truth and the very love of truth seemed blotted out from the minds of men." Edersheim (a Christian Jew): "It will scarcely be credited how general the falsification of signatures and documents had become." Tyndall: "When arguments of proofs were needed...a document was discovered which met the case, and on which the name of an apostle or of some authoritative contemporary of the apostles was boldly inscribed. The end being held to justify the means, there is no lack of manufactured testimony." Origen himself proved that certain passages in Josephus, which represented him as having heard favorable things about Jesus, were forged interpolations.

98 What does the average Protestant know of Protestant atrocities in the centuries succeeding the Reformation? Nothing, unless he makes a special study of the subject . . . Yet they are perfectly well known to every scholar. This is not something that is taught from either the pulpit, nor in Sunday School class, or even in most so-called Christian books. What is taught is that the Christian God is a God of love, which is a totally inadequate, and basically untrue depiction, according to scripture.

99 The Anglican Dean Inge, of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, did not hesitate to say . . 'If we wish to find a scapegoat on whose shoulders we may lay the miseries which Germany has brought on the world, I am more and more convinced that the worst evil genius of that country, is not Hitler or Bismarck or Frederick the Great, but Martin Luther.'

jim earl said...

Luke, you brought out a very important point in your last post. No one believes in another religions tenets. A believer only believes in his own particular brand of....of...of...crap, if you will. I couldn't think of a better word to describe religion. It's bullshit, piled high and served warm but it stinks just the same. Of course, I didn't always feel this way. Most of my young years were wasted on religion. But it sure feels good knowing the score! While many can't fathom living without religion, I can't believe how ignorant you have to be to believe the bullshit without question.

Dave8 said...

droptinni: "There are so many issues I wish we had time or space to get into but feel free to email me at droptinni@yahoo.com and ask a tough question or go to equip.org and look up your article that relates to your question."

Okay, while you are here, can you tell everyone why the OT Messianic Prophesies didn't fulfill, upon the arrival of Jesus, who was said to the "The Jewish Messiah", per the NT... And, if you don't know what the OT Messianic Prophesies are, then you need to go read...

I'll start you on a few to begin with... First "The Jewish Messiah" was prophesied to be born of the House of David, meaning of the Leniage of David... Jesus was said to be born of a Ghost/Spirit, therefore, Jesus doesn't have a "Biological" father, and hence, no leniage...

"The Jewish Messiah", was supposed to bring the "JEWS" into the promised New Kingdom upon the Arrival of Their Messiah, what they got was "Paul" preaching against their oral tradition, and the Jews obviously were not brought into the New Kingdom with Jesus, unless someone is going to claim that Hitlers' Genocide attempt on the Jews was part of their Paradise package deal...

The Third Temple was to rise for the Jews, the second temple fell ~70AD, and no new Temple where "all" Jews would unite...

The Jewish Nation was to be reunited under one geographical area, the holy land... They divided back in the day, and are Still divided, they are scattered throughout the world...

All religions were to fall to the "True" religion, Judaism, and the gentiles were to know them as the Chosen People of God...


And before you ask for biblical scripture, as I have assumed that you are at least slightly educated on the OT, here is one that you don't have to look up, if you need help with the others, I have no problem citing the scriptural sources...


Zechariah 14:9: Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel - uniting the entire human race as one: "God will be King over all the world--on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One"

Zechariah 14:9 - And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and HIS NAME ONE.

10: All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.

11: And men shall dwell in it, and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE UTTER DESTRUCTION; but JERUSALEM SHALL BE SAFELY INHABITED.

12: And this shall be the plague wherewith THE LORD WILL SMITE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST JERUSALEM; Their FLESH shall CONSUME AWAY away while they stand upon their feet, and THEIR EYES shall CONSUME AWAY in THEIR HOLES, and their TONGUE shall CONSUME AWAY in THEIR MOUTH.

18: And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD WILL SMITE THE HEATHEN that COME NOT UP TO KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.

19: This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and THE PUNISHMENT OF "ALL" NATIONS that come NOT UP TO KEEP THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.

20: In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowl's before the altar.

21: Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and IN THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THE CANAANITE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD OF HOSTS.

Okay, droptinni, do you know a time in human history where EVERYONE and EVERY NATION was worshipping the EXACT same God, and had Equal knowledge...

Furthermore, do you know of a time, when the Heathen, and Canaanites were "struck down" with a curse that caused the Indiana Jonesesque scene where the Heathen, or ANY Other Nation not Worshipping under the Jewish God of ISRAEL, had their Eyes, Flesh, and Tongue burst into Fire... Do you think, per chance, somehow, we missed that...

There is much more, but, I'll let you chew on that one... And, its obvious if those propesies didn't come to pass, the NT is obviously NOT from the same "God" who gave the original prophesies... Uh, this is why the Jews are still waiting on the "first" coming... The only thing the Jews can agree on regarding Jesus, was that he did in fact fulfill their prophesy that a liar would show up on the scene and preach against their laws, uh, that would be to include not keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, which he did not... which was total blasphemy back in the day, and punishable...

droptinni: "I have found this website to actually strengthen my faith for faith is faith in evidence and the Christian religion has the best evidence if you are devoted to seeking the truth like me."

You have persuaded yourself to ignore your own bible, and listen to a moron try and explain the "Very" words that are written in the bible... An apologetic is nothing more than a fraud, trying to "make" words mean something different, problem is, there are so many cracks in the biblical scripture, that it does require thousands of articles to try and piece together the irrational texts... And, why would it take thousands of articles to explain, what a "God" was trying to explain in the first place... I suppose this guy has "Gods'" brain, and knows exactly what God was trying to get accross to everyone... because God was incompetent... So, Gods' the mortal now, and this apologetic is God, amusing...

Oh, and while you are attempting to explain those mere four messianic prophesies away, you can try and answer Lukes' observation... Like, Jesus was supposed to return... "AGAIN", before the apostles tasted death... And, its quite apparent Jesus sucks at keeping up on a schedule, because he's a few thousand years late...

So, lets recap... The Jewish TaNaKh/Hebrew OT states that The Jewish Messiah would accopmlish all that was prophesied, of which, the above four are provided, and they never came to pass, therefore, Jesus was not the "True" Jewish Messiah... Therefore, the NT residing on Jesus being the "True" Jewish Messiah is obviously a "Fraud", and therefore, is nothing but a canon published by the Early Roman Church, after deciding at the First Council of Nicaea on the Divinity of Jesus, and over a period of a few hundred years, selectively picking up writings that supported their Divine views...

The First Council of Nicaea was indeed the First "Recognized" Church of Rome... And it became known as "The Roman Catholic Church", whom to this day, touts that it can trace its origins back to St. Peter without a break in its clergical lines...

Yeah, I hope to hear from you... this should be interesting... The last time I discussed such topics with an apologetic, they started carving out OT scripture, and making statements, like... well, those writings were from a time when Israel was dead and God wasn't talking to them... Right, meaning the bible is man-written...

Then the person started picking and choosing which scriptures to keep as Godly word... meaning they placed themselves on equal grounds with their God, as they obviously knew their Gods' Intent... So, again, God is lowered to mortal status, and some dude elevates himself up to Godly status, and able to interpret ancient writings, and which are from a God and which are not from a God...

If this seems ridiculous, it is...

Anonymous said...

I am sure this has been addressed before. Why does xianity, if it is so true, need apologetics? If salvation is soooo important and biblegod soooo loved the world, shouldn't it be made a wee bit more clear, so one could make a more rational decision? Luke, consider yourself fortunate that you have someone close to you supporting your deconversion, I envy you. I was just back home in what I call fundyville and had to bite my tongue several times when the subject of xianity and the god-haters came up. I really don't feel like causing a bunch of hate and discontent. Although, I do have a strange sense my family would accept it. They would only think I was backslidden. You know, that good ole eternal security clause!

Gobbler

Anonymous said...

Droptinni,
Just a little message from god:

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Your Pal,
Farris

Anonymous said...

some person wrote: " If salvation is soooo important and biblegod soooo loved the world, shouldn't it be made a wee bit more clear, so one could make a more rational decision?"

That's the true genius of Christ's plan. If he made it so obvious you were ex's were going to burn in hell, well then, you'd just be under his tent because your fear forced you there. Not good... who wants wimpy malcontents in your house, just there to get away from the rain?! If you are in his house, it's because you BELIEVE, and believe in spite of the secularists, the liberals, the ACLU and all the other God haters who are trying to wish away the final judgment that they, in the back of their minds, know is acoming.
Think about what I've said... there is genius beyond human courage or comprehension in the Bible.

starhum said...

Luke, your insights, and those of the other commentators, are a great inspiration to us old folks who having been doing the same type of analysis and truth-seeking since childhood. The greatest gift (from 'god' ?) we humans have is our gift of reason, abstraction, and communication - it makes no sense that we should not use these.

Anonymous said...

-who wants wimpy malcontents in your house, just there to get away from the rain?! -

All I had to do is open the door, that's when I realized that there was no rain.

Now you my friend are in his house because you are afraid of what is outside.

Your Pal,
Farris

Luke said...

"who wants wimpy malcontents in your house, just there to get away from the rain?! If you are in his house, it's because you BELIEVE, and believe in spite of the secularists, the liberals, the ACLU and all the other God haters who are trying to wish away the final judgment that they, in the back of their minds, know is acoming."

These are exactly the kind of over-emotional arguments made by people who have a desire to believe but cannot defend those beliefs using evidence and rationality.

By the way, many liberals are churchgoers. Is your knowledge of the world so limited that you don't know that?

Dave8 said...

anonymous: "That's the true genius of Christ's plan."

What, to get his all powerful dad to murder him? Or, to be an all powerful God, who committed suicide? I've seen more genius from a rat in a maze looking for cheese...

Sonny said...

FYI,
The true genius of Christ's Plan: As perpetrated by Joseph and Mary.....Mary was at the age of 12 when she was espoused to be married to Joseph, but Mary was raped by the local priest. In order for her and Joseph not to be stonned to death, the Priest quickly devised the insemination by Angels Fraud, otherwise all three would have been stonned to death and people that had been praying for the promised return of their Blessed Massiah, had just been fulfilled. Thus the genius of Christ's PLan was devised by none other than the local Priest, this led to be the biggest Hoax and Scam ever to be devised and believed in the History of the World. Even Mary and Joseph were stupid enough to believe the Priest's concocted story. This needs no proof, it's so very obvious, that it's all such a Grand Hoax.

Dave8 said...

jim earl: "I can't understand how children can readily accept that Santa is not real but won't accept the truth about the other beliefs they were taught as children."

Jim, Santa is easy to dispell, there are few children who reinforce the belief via peer pressure, Santa goes away in a finite time, i.e., Santa "will" stop coming to the tree, its just a matter of time, well, witht the assumption that a child will move away from home one day, and become autonomous... And lastly, this Metaphysical concept (Santa), produces Material evidence, which is easy to observe and make inference, if no presents, then no Santa...

Metaphysial beliefs like, relying on a Metaphysially Objective Reality, where Perfect Beings residing as Objects, are harder to dispell, because, there is a continual reinforcement group in society making a case for the concept... Also, there is zero material evidence for this concept, nothing to observe, in order to dispell the "notion"... The only evidence provided, typically for Christians is the bible for a NT Jesus, but even though the bible taken hisorically shows the obvious disparity between what the OT Jews beliefs were, and the Romanized NT beliefs, some Christians typically are willing to overlook the historical evolution of their own religion, and "persuade" themselves that the OT and NT of the bible was written by the same God concept...

jim earl: "To me that is a real problem we face today with people who want to believe in spite of the evidence againt blind belief. What can we do when faced with that? If anyone can answer that please do so."

Yes, I agree, to me... I have to believe in something I can actually "know" firshand... Religion doesn't have this benefit, people must believe on what Others have told them, by second, third, thousand hand revelation, etc... To disbelieve, requires a person, to acknowledge those who have told them, may have indeed been wrong, or just lied... To ask some people to remove their best frieds, role model, family, etc, from their elevated pedestal, is difficult based on the level of "trust" the person has extended to that messenger... It calls into question that persons' ability to make sound character judgements, and for a messenger in the family, it will cause everything to be called into question, from religion, to Values, etc... to call into question the source that has provided one their Values, Self-Identity, Self-Worth, etc., can place someone is a state where they are no longer Anchored in this reality... Our Conscious is driven by our Identity, if we lose Identity, it challenges our ability to keep mentally sane... Those who have passed through the phase of reconcilliation, and have had to re-establish their Own Values, and Identity, have not had an easy road, many take years to finally come to terms with who they are, and accept themselves unconditionally, with all of their Individual characteristics with humility... Many noted psychologists, have stated, that to challenge a persons' identity, is akin to threatening their mental well-being, some make it through with those who are wise and able to guide, and then there are those who aren't capable of Self-Stabalizing, and go through life continually detached...

We all have to be grounded or anchored to have a peaceful life... Those who are anchored like moss, are attached ever so slightly and co-dependtly on the branches of the great Natural oak... I prefer to be the oak, firmly rooted in the Natural ground... I don't particularly like being swayed, aimlessly, every time the hot air blows...

So, the best one can do, is to provide care to those individuals who are blowing around aimlessly, and attempt to determine their need, and show them alternatives that allow them a smooth transition... being a guide, is an art... hope that offers some insights, that I have picked up, take care...

Ken said...

I believe in what I know is the truth, not what I want to believe in, but what has prooved to be true, this requires no faith. I know that the Sun exists, because I can see it, and feel it. I know that air exists because I can feel it when it or I move. I do not have any faith in anything that someone says exists just by their testimony, saying that something written in a book says that it exists. It takes a lot more faith than I'm willing to muster to over-ride my ingrain common sense and believe in something someone wrote down over 2000 years ago and called it inspired from God. Now that really is a stretch.

/an said...

Quote by Luke

I have a friend who said Mark 9 verse 1 was the undoing of his faith. "And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."" Now, Jesus is saying that some of his followers will live to see the second coming, the end times, whatever you want to call it. Well, 2000 years later it still hasn't happened and of course all of Jesus' followers are dead. So, my friend read the apologetics, which satisfied him for a while. But nagging questions kept popping up. He talked to his pastor, his friends, he prayed about yet he still was troubled by it. It took five years but he finally decided that Christians were a bunch of fools waiting for an event that Jesus had said was going to happen 2000 years ago.


Jesus is not talking about the second coming here.

The Kingdom of God (new creation) that Jesus is talking about started when Jesus died and was resurrected. It came with power when his spirit was poured out at Pentecost and 3000 people were converted. Jesus came 2000 years ago to establish his Kingdom on earth, not simply to die and dissapear with the promise "I'll be back".

Maybe some of the confusion over the meaing of this verse and the equivalent in Matthew 16:28 is due in part to the ignorance of the eschatological tension between the old creation (Adam/death) and new creation (Christ/life). Between the cross and the second coming these two ages overlap, which is how a Christian can be in Christ (part of Christ) and also still sin (part of Adam).

I really hope this can encourage you to dig a little deeper.

Luke said...

/an,

Nope, Jesus is clearly talking about the Second Coming, End Times. Claiming that he is referring to the Pentecost is simply apologetics. My friend did consider that possibility, because like I said he spent five years struggling with this question.

Here is the problem with the Pentecost theory. If you read the epistles of Paul, he clearly believed that Jesus was going to return very soon. Why do you think Paul thought celibacy to be superior to marriage? Because he believed the end was coming, before all of Jesus' disciples tasted death, therefore marriage and childbearing were no longer necessary.

1 Corinthians 7
26Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. 29What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short.

Now I'm sure you'll tell me that no, no Paul was talking about something else. That is the nice thing about the Bible. If any verse doesn't make sense you can always pretend that it was actually referring to something else.

Like I said this particular issue led to the unraveling of my friend's faith not mine. I spent months questioning, reading, studying and debating before I came to the conclusion that Christianity was simply another myth and that the God of the Christians is just as much myth as the ancient gods of the Greeks, Romans, Druids, and Egyptians.

Luke said...

/an,

Another thing. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper. I did an awful lot of digging and I concluded that Christianity is not true.

Did you ever entertain the possibility that your religion is false? If you have never truely and honestly examined it from all perspectives, scriptural, historical, and scientific you have no right to claim that it is true.

Wade said...

Dave 8:

I have been visiting this website for a little over a year now. (This site was a major contribution to helping me put the last nail in the coffin of religion) I must say that I really appreciate all of your post. They are always very informative and well thought out. And of course LEGIBLE….LOL.

Thank You

Dave8 said...

Hey Wade, thanks, its nice to know, that we all can make a contribution to a knowledge base, that helps others... I enjoy, thinking through the many twists and turns, I have grown much myself over the past year that I have been posting... I too have greatly benefitted from the posts, and even the challenges ;-) Take care... Dave8

Anonymous said...

Ian said...Maybe some of the confusion over the meaing of this verse and the equivalent in Matthew 16:28 is due in part to the ignorance of the eschatological tension between the old creation (Adam/death) and new creation (Christ/life). Between the cross and the second coming these two ages overlap, which is how a Christian can be in Christ (part of Christ) and also still sin (part of Adam).

However if we read vs 27 we find that a sign of this his kingdom coming would be "Son of Man, will come in the glory of my Father with his angels and will judge all people according to their deeds." After the resurection he did not come in the glory of the father and his angels and he certainly did not judge all people according to their deeds. It sure looks like all the disciples died before seeing that, which means that this prophecy of Jesus cannot be true.

Jamie said...

hey, my Name is Jamie, thats an interesting story, I myself am a Christian, Im not going to throw any debates at you, but I will say I found Christ in a way most havent, I was raised in an agnostic/atheist home, and I was a professed atheist, until an experience changed my life and I realized God did exist, I dont expect you to go back, but Ill gladly share my story if your curious, id be glad to share, ive had so much evidence in my life Im sure God wanted me to know

my emails
jamiehoban@shaw.ca

much love

Jamie

Ken said...

Hi Jamie, If you have so much information about God in your life to share, this certainly would be the place to share it, so don't be bashful. Fill us in on what we've been missing. Thanks, Ken.

RyanD said...

I'm the one who posed the question if god's plan of salvation were so important that he should of made it a bit clearer. In other words, not let mankind screw it up so bad with all the numerous sects and denominations. Anonymous wrote, "That's the true genius of Christ's plan." Genius huh?Malcontents? Fear based salvation? That is what jesus supposedly died for is the malcontents! Everyone is a malcontent in your god's eyes! Even you! Right, right, your "saved" now. You have the real truth, don't you? And fear, isn't all salvation based on fear? You realize you are sinner according to god's "word" and based upon the end result of his "word" you accept his plan and forego the supposed punishment for being a filthy sinner. So what is that besides fear? Fear of retribution, fear of unknown, fear of death. Fear of whatever. No one comes to the realization one day that they will become saved just because a deity supposedly loves them. Remember it's a reconcilation! You are the one who is in the wrong! You are guilty according his own word. So it is only based on fear and guilt. Because somebody way back ate a piece of fruit! Wow, what genius!

Luke said...

Jamie,

I'm sure that it was not easy being raised an agnostic/atheist (which were you, they're very different) when everyone around you believes in a supernatural being or beings. But I can easily see someone who was raised as an atheist or agnostic becoming a believer, especially since Christians will try so hard to "save" someone like you.

But an exbeliever who becomes an atheist or agnostics will rarely go back. We have dug so deep into our belief systems and found them to be contradictory, cruel and false it would be almost impossible for us to believe again.

Also, you said that you had an experience that convinced you that God exists. Well, people have had experiences like alien abductions that have convinced them that beings from outer space regularly visit Earth. Do you believe their experiences?

Anonymous said...

>>>I am sure this has been addressed before. Why does xianity, if it is so true, need apologetics?<<<

Apologetics is "damage-control" for those who actually read the whole Bible; not just the parts the preacher tells em to.


Jesus' clearly and specifically said he would return during the lifetime of his listeners, NUMEROUS TIMES. The prophecy failed yet we twist ourselves into pretzels trying to convince people (including ourselves) that it isn't a failed prophecy but a future event.

It's taken me 5 years to totally deprogramm after a lifetime of indoctrination. Getting heavily involved in apologetics (damage control) was the beginning of the end of my faith in this fake bullshit.

Finding out that Jesus was a rip-off of Mithra (among other pagan gods) was another.

Looking back now all I can say is WTF was I thinking? Virgins don't have babies and dead guys don't reanimate after being dead - that should have been two big old clues right there. With those two facts one doesn't even have to examine the rest of the buy-bull.

Congradulations to the OP and his wife for not wasting away several more decades on this scary, schizophenic crap. I wish I had back my "lost" decades but hey, it's better late than never.

Anonymous said...

I dont mean to disrespect anyone out there. I just happend to come across this website. I've read some of the comments posted.

Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating site.

I agree that Christianity has a number of very hard-to-believe aspects when looked at through both rational and empirical lenses... I'm currently a semi-Christian/fledgling Ex myself due to these issues (as well as a disenfranchisement from the "apologetics" hogwash - the TRUE word of God would need no such intervention from man to make sense).

But... some of the references cited here by other Ex Christians have as many holes as the porous faith they reject.

Mithra as an influence for Christ? Seriously? If you really believe this, you may want to stop reading what Franz Cumont said and start doing your own research about the differences between Roman Mithraism and pre-Zoroastrian Mithra. Cumont meant well, but this whole "Christ is a rip-off Mithra" concept is sort of predicated on a few assumptions made by Cumont which have later turned out to be less than true, for what it's worth.

Also - to the original writer of the "wife" article. Who is this wife of yours?? She seems as wily and convincing as Eve herself! You always whip her out to debunk all defenses and explanations of Christian faith but you never give any details or get into specifics about what she says.

You certainly think she is very smart, but the only words we've gotten from her are something to the effect that "mainstream Christianity is just an offshoot derived from Catholicism and thus must also be false" which is rather misinformed, so I have my doubts. One could argue that, for the purpose of this article, you've substituted your wife for God. Instead us buying into (supposedly) God's words and ideals without any kind of rationalization to back them up, you expect us to buy into your wife's in much the same manner. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "You certainly think she is very smart, but the only words we've gotten from her are something to the effect that "mainstream Christianity is just an offshoot derived from Catholicism and thus must also be false" which is rather misinformed, so I have my doubts."

You certainly think you are very smart, but the only words we've gotten from you is something to the effect that "mainstream Christianity is not an offshoot derived from Catholicism and thus must not be false" which is rather misinformed, so I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

I've experienced God's tangible power. My pastor has seen the glory cloud of God and so have I. He has also had a visitation from an angel in the mid 1980's. I know that I will never forget the first time I felt the power of God.

.:webmaster:. said...

Anony,

You might want to see a psychiatrist.

Just a thought.

stronger now said...

"glory cloud" lol!

I don't even want to know.

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