Trying to find peace in my soul

sent in by Thomas

I was born into a evangelical family. I became a Christian at age 12,
it was an enormous relief after years of being desperate to know I was a
Christian and no longer facing hell. Through my teenage years I was
100% convinced and read the Bible every day. I was persecuted at school
for my faith but always turned the other cheek when beaten up, which was
not a very successful strategy. At Univerisity I was president of the
Christian Union and led the "mission" to promote Christianity to the
lost students. Nothing made me happier than seeing people come to faith
and find salvation.

I married very young, believing it was better to marry early rather
than risk falling into sin. We attended Church early in our marriage 5 or
6 times a week. The first tremor to shake my faith was a few years
later when I found out that the leader I most respected in the church had
been committing not just a sordid sin but something that was criminal as
well. Furthermore the pastor had known for over a year and had decided
not to challenge him. This experience was devastating and I was
appalled at how the gospel had been brought into disrepute.

We later joined a great church which was growing rapidly and was a
loving and caring community, but I now had conflicting thoughts in my head
about what the truth was.

The next body blow was at the graveside of my baby son. My pastor could
give no assurance as to the eternal destiny of my child, who of course
never believed in Christ. He just said we should trust God. Terrible as
this is I think it does reflect what the Bible says - the age of
accountability is not in there and all are born in sin. I did feel comfort
that people were praying for us, and for the futile jestures of endless
pre-cooked dinners. But after this as the months went by and my wife
suffered horrible grief and pain, and doubt, and believed that she must be
a terrible mother if it was "working together for good" for God to kill
our child.

This started a new phase in my spirituality. I started to really think
about Hell. It is a truely awful and hideous concept, after a billion
years of torture you can only look forward to a billion times as much
pain again. I started to resent the fact my other son, who despite my
investment in Christian schooling, says he does not believe the scriptures
although he believes in God might end up there. It was very hard to
love a God who would allow my son to end up there when he is all powerful
and surely could avoid this happening. I then started thinking about
all the other millions of unbelievers - what about the devout Muslim
teenager who was overwhelmed by the tsumani - why should he have to wake up
in Hell. I stood by Stone Henge that summer and (I am not becoming a
new age hippy BTW) and thought of the hundreds of people who must have
worked on it who were born with a 100% chance of not finding Christ or
Yahweh and hence were going to be tortured for eternity. Or what about my
loving Grandparents who are within months of the abyss right now. This
thinking about hell which I don't think Christians really do, created
severe doubts. An omnipotent, all loving God and the Biblical Hell just
don't fit together.

At this time I increased my reading of science and history and saw
that, while the evolutionary story (for me) really fails to explain how and
why we got here, equally there seems to be compelling evidence that God
did not create the world 6000 years ago as I had always believed. Why
are mammal fossils never found in the cambrian, why are like fossils
always together, what was Homo Erectus doing wondering the earth, why are
there ice cores with 700,000 annual melt rings, why can we see things a
million light years away? Equally Christianity, and my brand of it in
particular, was really a minority part of history, had the living and
loving God really left so many people in the dark?

These doubts, and the increasing feeling that ignoring them is an act
of dishonesty not an act of faith are really hurting. My whole family
life and friendships are based around Christianity and to "come out"
could have devastating effects. Also what is the alternative? The
foundation of my world view is shattering and life seems senseless at times. I
still at times fear Hell and even writing this although it is genuine
feels blasphamous.

Have have never just the internet like this before but welcome comments
of ex or current Christians that might help

regards

Thomas

UK
12
34
Was: evangelical, reformed
Now: agnostic, seeking the truth, doubting christian
Converted because: Believed it to be the truth
De-converted because: Suspect it is not the truth

52 comments:

No. XIII said...

As a closet exchristian I can understand how you feel. I am a freshman in college and I depend on my family way too much right now to reveal myself (selfish I know). Is your wife still a Christian?

I still waver in and out sometimes but I can never hold onto my faith even if I truly wanted to believe. Sometimes I pray to God that he will reveal himself to me personally so I can cast away all of the evidence stacked against him but still no answer.

If your very foundation of life and your relationships are all based upon christianity then you have to ask yourself whether or not you would really lose it all if you left for good. And if so, which is more important, being true to yourself or sacraficing for that which you care about.

Take care man,
XIII

Anonymous said...

Have you considered Christian Universalism? CUs believe everyone will be saved eventually, and that the bible supports this. For more info, read the article below or visit www.tentmaker.org

http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/ifhellisreal.htm

Anonymous said...

Hi Thomas,

You've articulated so well what pushes countless ex-conservative evangelical Christians away from their beliefs. Seems the deeper we were committed the harder the questions hit us and the bigger the emotional cost of leaving. I prayed almost every night of my deconversion over two years that God would guide me. I'm no longer a conservative evangelical so I figure (a) The Calvinists were right and I wasn't chosen but they can have their capricious God! (b) the God I believed in doesn't exist (c) he does exist and doesn't care much for that form of Christianity. After 6 years I've chosen (b) but all the best for your own journey. I'm sure your story will encourage others who will eventually, or have already asked the ultimate questions of Christianity.

Cheers,

A fellow hiker on the road less travelled.

Anonymous said...

Don't be afraid, Thomas. You don't have to believe anything you don't want to. There are many faiths for you to choose from. You can form your own, unique beliefs for yourself, or believe nothing, if you like. Why? The Bible is definitely full of contradictions and lies. The first and biggest one is that God is loving, caring, and all-good, because he does terrible things in that Bible. If you think it's your Bible version, get King James version. Some of my favs are the story of Lot, who the Bible calls "a righteous man" and that is supposedly why he's rescued, but he thinks it's better for the crowd to rape his daughters than a couple strangers he doesn't know. Another is King David, he wrote the 23rd psalm but he was also genocidal. Moses, who heard voices in his head telling him to kill people, and so on. This Bible God isn't good. So, quit worrying about going to Hell. The shepherd's god is a god of wrath and vengeance, because shepherds believe in cursing their enemies and satisfying their own creature comforts. The authors of Bible were slothful and greedy for food and drink, like the story of Isaac "comforting his soul" with mutton stew, he sells his eldest son's birthrite for it. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Very interesting.

David W said...

There is nothing to fear. There is no mad daddy in the sky who will kill you for your beliefs. Killing people for their beliefs is terrorism.

You are simply becoming moral. You are courageous. You must realize as you leave the cult that their psychological weapons are powerful, and the pain you feel in pulling away is something you must go through to get to the truth.

Congratulations on ceasing to be a terrorist!

freeman said...

Thomas,
Take the journey slow. In time you may reveal your "true" self to those you love. However, as you reveal this side of you to yourself, you will become more at ease with it and it will no longer feel wrong, but extremely right and you will find yourself not believing that it has taken you this long to accept the truth.

I am 41 yrs old and it took 20 yrs before I told my parents. It hurt my mother, but it is definitely not a pre-occupation with her.

Best of luck, this site helps with the process of de-conversion.

dce said...

I went through a similar experience growing up catholic and seeing what really went on among the priests and the nuns. They didn't believe in what they practiced. One even referred me to a quote by a Pope in 300 ACE which went something like this, "This myth of the christ has served us most profitably." I've been told by both Anglican and Catholic priests that there is nothing to the christ story and the educated theologians know this. But they don't announce it to the world because of the disruption it would cause. If you want to know about christianity, read it's history....not the white-washed history but the real thing.

Jim Lee said...

Christianity is fraudulent to say the least. My wife and I have been there, done that, and not impressed. In regards to hell it is just mythology used by the church to keep people in bondage. Here is an essay of mine for further thought on the subject of the mythological hell.
Commenting on the use of the word "hell" in Greek / English translation bibles, which is the bible that is found in most peoples homes. We need to understand that the word "Hell" is a mistranslation.

The word "Hell" is not the place of eternal torment, which has held Christians in bondage for centuries. The teaching of the Church is such that any person, who does not accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, will burn in "Hell" for eternity.
First of all we need to be aware that in the Tanach (Hebrew bible) the Greek / English translation call it the Old Testament, the word "Sheol" means the common grave of mankind. (Oxford dictionary) This Hebrew word appears 65 times in the Masoretic text, developed 500 -950 c.e. In the Catholic Douay Version, 1609 -1610.c.e. The word "hell" has been substituted for the word Sheol 63 times, and once only as pit, and once as death. In the King James Version, 1611 c.e. "Sheol" has been translated as "hell" 31 times, as the grave 31 times, and 3 times as the pit

Regarding the word "Sheol" this word appears often in The Psalms and in the book of Job. It refers to the place where all dead people go. It is represented, as a dark place in which there is no activity. So "Hell" in biblical writings is not a suitable word and needs close investigation.

Collier’s Encyclopedia Britannica, "Sheol" in Old Testament times, referred simply to the "abode of the dead."

The word "Hell" that is used today is not an appropriate translation.

It was Greek teaching on the immortality of the human soul that infiltrated religious thinking. The bible record shows that "Sheol" refers to mankind's common grave. The New Testament writings use the word * "Hades" as well as "Hell" and the Oxford dictionary describes *"Hades" as (Greek Mythology) lower world, abode of departed spirits. This is not an accurate word for common grave.

If one does a serious bible study, seeking out centre page references notes you can see that *"Hades" and "Hell" are inappropriate words. Whenever you see the words "Sheol" *"Hades" or "Hell" think of the common grave.

Some believe such as Jehovah witnesses, that "Hell" is not a place of fiery torment, but spiritual death, and on the Day of Judgment some to be raised to everlasting life, and some to everlasting death. "Gehenna" (Latin) "Valley of Hinnom" (Hebrew) may also be referred to as "Hell." in Greek / English bible translations. "Gehenna in New Testament was a place outside of Jerusalem, which was a smoldering fiery rubbish dump, for the disposal of rubbish and carcasses.
The I.V.P. bible dictionary, page 279, under the heading Descent into *Hades, says " Although the doctrine of the descent of Christ into hell is firmly embedded in the early Christian creeds, it first appeared in 4th century A. D. Arian formularies."
* Hades. Greek Mythology. Pluto was the Greek god of the underworld and the dead, Pluto was also known as Hades, and his underground kingdom was also called the "House of Hades."
So as you can see it's all a fraud. If you want to really know true peace, give all religions the flick.

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

I am very sorry that you and your wife had to suffer the passing of your young son. You probably feel almost the same way about losing your faith? The difference is that the Christian faith is not real, and fairly soon you will overcome these feelings, and will eventually even be able to laugh at what you previously believed and felt about God.

Many of the people on this site went through the same process, so you can take heart that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

A realization that helped me not to get too hung up on the concepts of heaven and hell was to realize that at the time of Creation, Adam and Eve were created “perfect”, and it was their disobedience that led to them being expelled from the Garden of Eden and to be subject to death and doomed to hell. If the very first humans on earth broke the law, there is a very real probability that of all the millions of people who could potentially have gone to heaven, someone has broken the law “up there” and now we are all doomed again while waiting for God to forgive us and sacrifice Jesus (or another son?) to save us once more. This sounds crazy, but it’s no different from the crazy story of Adam and Eve’s temptation and disobedience.

Good luck as you recover your life from this madness called Christianity.

Dano said...

Thomas,
I have learned some very wonderful things on the Internet.

I have learned that there are a lot of people in this world who are a lot smarter than me.

I have also learned that there are brilliant people who can't or won't give up a belief in mysticism, EVER!

And there are many brilliant people who can dissect every word of the Bible, and explain the inconsistencies, fallacies, and illogical concepts of organized religion,

But the most satisfying thing I have learned is that the more you stay true to yourself,
over time, you will realize that if there is a God, HE COULDN'T CARE LESS ABOUT JEWISH HISTORY!

He hasn't seen fit to manifest himself on one verifiable occasion, in the last 5 billion years.

Gradually you will come to realize that we are all in this world together, no matter what you believe.

We all know about EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT GOD, and hopefully some of those brilliant people mentioned above, will find ways for us to survive in this world together without the primitive mystical belief systems.

Luke said...

dce,

"One even referred me to a quote by a Pope in 300 ACE which went something like this, "This myth of the christ has served us most profitably.""

I read about a survey of Protestant clergy that was done in Britain several years ago. One third did not believe Jesus was the son of God. The more time you spend studying Christianity, or any other religion, the harder it is to believe.

A lot of priests, ministers, imams and rabbis don't truly belive but they have made a career out of religion and either don't know how to do anything else or don't want to do anything else.

I know an excatholic priest who remained a priest for six years after losing his faith. He remained a priest for several reasons. He enjoyed the respect and power. The church supported him financially and he really didn't know how to do anything else. He also enjoyed serving his congregation and helping the people in the poor immigrant parish he served. He finally left to get married but it took him a while to get used to life in the real world.

I often wonder how many clergy really are believers and how many are just doing the job for the respect and power. And for the evangelicals how many are just doing it for the money.

Anonymous said...

There is a simple solution to the many doubts and uncertainties about your "faith". The christian religion is NOT TRUE. No need to analyze the questions of sin, heaven, hell, age of accountability, ect.

I am truly sorry to hear about your son. That must have been devastating. To add to the devastation you and your family had to try to figure out how "god" was working everything together for the good. This is not what life is about! When one looses a loved one they should be able grieve naturally without the additional heartache of the religious dogma.

I am an exchristian and there is also a grieving process when leaving the religion that you believed in for so long, but it does get better. Time will heal your pain. Don't expect to keep your christian friends. You probably won't want to anyway because as your views change the christian religion will make you sick.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that you would turn from the one who made you. Know that He will always offer you mercy. Even to the end of your time. Accept His mercy and live. Reject it, Reject Him. You choose where you go. He will not send you. You send yourself. His Mercy is always there.

Passerby said...

It truly is sad, anonymous @ 12/06/2005 1:11 AM.

Koran5:73 "Unbelievers are those that say: "Allah is one of three." There is one God. If they do not desist from so saying, those that disbelieve shall be sternly punished."

It looks like you are rejecting the one "true" god. There is doom and gloom in your future, my friend. If you believe in him(Allah) he will not punish you.



I'm eating crackers right now...you want some, Polly?

GoneNsane said...

Deconversion is a painful and disconcerting process, but once you come out the other side you will feel freedom and peace like never before.

When I started doubting, I spend every day for months researching and reading online. That's all I did all day long. I read through many faiths, a lot of history, personal accounts and experiences...I finally found the answers I sought, the ones that resonated deep in my bones as being my personal Truth. And now I am at peace and have become a much more loving person, because I am free of the doubts and the ideas that I will never measure up.

As for hell...as the saying goes, I'd rather spend eternity in hell than one minute with a God who would allow eternal torment.

Hang in there, it will get easier!

Ken said...

Jim Lee's comments is exactly right. The mis-translation of Hell is totally deliberate to cast fear in the unsuspecting believer. Back in the Dark Ages, everyone was said to go to Hell, The Pit, The final resting place. The dead bodies were gathered daily by the townspeople and sent to the outskirts of town Sheol, or to Hell (slang) to burn, because they burned the dead bodies and garbage, and they presumed that their Spirit was rising into the Heavens where God and all the Saints lived. The whole entire Bible is slanted and intentionally misconstrued to control and whip fear onto unsuspecting victims.

What is so incredible to me is that we are here almost in the year of 2006, and the Bible and all the silly beliefs are still around and taught as being pure fact and it's not openly questioned to this very day, not even the Koran, it's still being taught as being pure fact.

Apparently people live in a bubble of fear, afraid to question what is considered authority, people in general are mindless wondering sheep.

How can we all live in a society where we have Automobiles, Planes, Electricity, Television, Hot and Cold running water, Modern Clothes, Modern conveniences, etc, and still believe in something that some people wrote down in a book over 2000 years ago, whom knew nothing about the Earth, knew nothing about germs and bacteria, knew nothing about themselves, But they knew all there was to know about God and all things invisible, including ghosts, holy spirit, angels, heaven and hell, demons, etc. which none of these have ever been seen by anyone and do not exist, except in their own mental perception of what they want to believe for themselves.

That is actually the Key isn't it? Religion and the Bible is really what people want to believe, it is not based on any proof or reality, it is all based on just what people want to Believe, people want the Bible and it's silly contents to be true, they long for the Bible to be true, they wish for the Bible to become true. Sorry folks, it aint gonna happen. The Bible is man's panacea, quick fix, for fear of the unknown, invented solely and purely by death fearing men. The Bible was written for his (man's) escape vehicle from Earth to his imaginary promised land, to escape from his cruelties that he has imposed on to others that he has done wrongly, and needed forgiveness from a higher power, rather than ask forgiveness from the one's that he has done wrong, of course there could be those that he may have killed and regretted later. So the whole thing of Religion and the Bible is a total sham, to deceive and control and to manipulate the masses of the ones finding it easier to follow than to question and find out own their own that it's all a fraud.

jim earl said...

Why can't people sign their posts with more than anonymous? Boy, that guy anonymous really changes his mind quick. Anyway, I am in agreement that you will lose your christian friends. As an example, I had a friendship with a fellow runner for over 20 years. We were almost like brothers. In that 20 years, I lost my religion. I also lost that friend because he could not accept that I was no longer a christian. Our friendship was lost because of religion. I accept that and have moved on. I am atheist today and will never look back or be religious again. IMO, if someone drops you because of religion, it is your gain. Jim

Anonymous said...

Thomas, I hear you. I do hear you. It is a horrifying prospect to think of the millions who die and are bound for hell. It is absolutely horrifying. And I am certainly not as compassionate as I should be in this regard. As a Christian, I should feel some sense of urgency, should I not, to reach the lost? The truth is, however.. yes, many will die and be separated from God. MANY! The road to salvation is narrow, as the scripture says, and only few will find it. Why is this? Is it because God's character is one of cruelty, one of wrath? Is this the picture we're given in the scriptures? Not at all. I know there have been a number of people encouraging you to give up on your faith, and to "wise up" and forget about God, and all the rest. I really hope mine doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Considering your questions about the "age of accountability," the Bible does indeed speak on this. I think it's unfortunate that your pastor could not point you to specific areas of scripture that pertain to this. My favorite is King David, in 2nd Samuel, when he has lost his firstborn son. He says ""But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I SHALL GO TO HIM, but he shall not return to me." In other words, even in his grief, David recognized that he would see his son again in Heaven - he had that assurance. How do I know this? Because later on in 2nd Samuel, David's other sons grow up and become rebellious (toward God) and when his other son dies, David weeps painfully, because he realizes he will NEVER see this son again. He says it very specifically, because this son had grown to be a man and died in his rebelliousness. It is a devastating picture (in contrast to losing his firstborn who had not reached the "age of accountability.")

I think David's story affords us a beautiful picture, also, of God's mercy. Consider everything that David did wrong in his life.. adultery, murder, etc. Later in 1st Kings, a prophet of God is speaking to David's grandson, Jeroboam, and this prophet describes David as a righteous man, a man with a heart for God. How can this be? Is this a contradiction? Not at all. This is God's mercy on display. Yes, David was a sinner. Yes, David was a murderer. Yes, David was an adulterer. But he loved God.. and we are so blessed in that we get to see his heart in the Book of Psalms. He messed up big-time continually, repeatedly (like all of us).. and yet because he had a heart for God, he is given a clean slate. When God forgives sin, it is instantaneous and it is finished. He does not keep record of it. Rather, he sees David as a man with a heart for God.

Thomas, I don't know how long ago your child died. I don't know the circumstances... but there are some things you need to be mindful of... this is not our home, man. We don't have all the answers. We don't see the big picture. How can we? And yet, we have a mutual enemy, man, who wants to convince us that the circumstances we find ourselves in IS THE BIG PICTURE. Our circumstances will try to convince us there is no God, or if there is a God, he is indifferent, uncaring, angry, unjust... These are lies, my friend. And the Bible calls Satan the father of lies. This is his weapon. But what assurances do we have, then, for those of us who are followers of Christ? God loves us. God's love does not depend on us. Even when we were sinning, even when we were enemies of God (and at one time, we all were - and some still are - enemies of God) until through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, redemption was made available to each and every one of us... In other words, God goes to great lengths to reach us. God will allow circumstances in our lives so that we will seek him. Just look at the major prophets in the Old Testament, crying out to Israel about how they've turned from God. In Isaiah, God's heart for his people tells of how he's pursued them, how he's delivered them, how he's provided for them, how he's even ALLOWED them to make stupid mistakes and chase after other gods, etc. Isn't that just the picture of a loving father? You want to hug your kids, you want to protect them, but there comes a time when you have to let them make a mistake, you have to let them learn a painful lesson.. all the while hoping, anticipating their returning to you, saying "Daddy, daddy, you were right. I really messed up."

God's love is amazing, and it does make me sad to read in other's people postings how much they really DON'T KNOW that. I think of all the times I've knowingly chased after sin (sex outside marriage, etc.) and yet.. God's love does not depend on me. Don't get me wrong, there are consequences I've had to deal with, and there will be more consequences, I'm sure. But that is not because God is angry with me. It's just because God has allowed me the freedom to choose for myself, and there are consequences. "God will not be mocked; whatever a man sows, he reaps."

But this is not our home. Everything we "have" (relationships, home, car, children, job, etc.) is on loan to us... These things have merely been entrusted to us for a season. And for a purpose. I'm not going to suggest that God killed your child, although I know there are some people who would suggest that. I do believe that your child is with God, though, and I believe that that is based in scripture. I do believe that you may not have all the answers you seek - certainly not in this lifetime - but of course, if we did have all the answers, then why would we need FAITH? I do believe God wants you to know Him and to question Him and to seek Him. Absolutely..! But recognize that your life as you know it right now.. is for a short time only. Yes, there are many who refuse to hear, or who have not heard, or who have heard and refuse to believe... and what are we called to do? Pray for them. Tell them about Jesus. Gather as many as we can. Are we to go out and save everyone? No. That's not at all practical. And it's not realistic. But in realizing that there are people who do not have the assurance that you have - regarding your child, regarding your own salvation - pray about it, dude, pray about how your life can be used to reach others. I know I need to pray about it, because when it comes to talking to people about Christ, I become lazy, I become tired, I start to stutter.

I will pray for you, Thomas. Remember.. Jesus' parable. The Shepherd with 100 sheep will leave the 99 to go out and find that 1 lost sheep. That's love! Now, in the year 2005 (soon to be 2006) it isn't only 1 who is lost. It's the 99 that are lost, and the Shepherd is out looking, out seeking... God's character is one of love, my brother. Above all else. He loves you. You will see your child again.

God bless you.

- Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

I hope that you will not only seek material that is antagonistic to your faith, but also good Christian authors who have wrestled with some of the same difficult situations you have faced and are facing. While it is true that there are questions that cannot be answered completely from Scripture, those questions certainly are not answered any more sufficiently anywhere else - inluding atheism. Some good authors you might look into are John Piper, J I Packer, and Jerry Bridges. Of course, there are many others who are also very intelligent, wise, humble, and faithful men.

By the way, I find it ironic that so many apparent atheists (I realize that not all here are atheists) are so religious in their convictions. People who assert with certainty that there is no God... well, if they miss the irony, there's no sense in explaining it.


Blessings,

John

freeman said...

John,

Most here will not state there is no god with absolute certainty. It is impossible to prove/dispove a negative. However, we do challenge the bible and mythological creatures named within the pages. Being in the bible doesn't mean it is true or real. The bible is JUST another book of mythology.

Anonymous said...

It is really heart wrenching to see christians come to this site and put people who are really struggling with christianity through the pain and anguish that they put them through. They look for one little piece of scripture to justify their beliefs. These christians need to open their minds and heart. HEY CHRISTIANS - These people are hurting because of this religion. The questions that these people are facing are REAL and some you think that you have all the answers. These people need support not your manmade perspective.

Hang in there everyone!! Life is GREAT!! Be true to yourself or you will never be happy :)

-Jason

Cris B. said...

Doubting Thomas!:

I've been a Christian all my life, the doubts I have always had about things (God is a loving, personal genocidal maniac?) were always pushed away by my fear of burning in hell forever.
I didn't choose to be an Ex-Christian, actually I hesitate to even call myself that as it feels so unnatural after decades of belief. The problem is I can't believe the theology anymore, it doesn't make any sense! I actually was laying in bed a few nights ago thinking and the thought passed my mind "Can I be a Christian and not believe in God?" that cracked me up, at least I still have my sense of humor...

I still go to church, but I realize I lost my faith years ago... I just didn't want to face it and go through the hardship of trying to figure out what I should believe, so I just put it "on hold", now I am facing all of my questions and I want answers!! I don't want to have people worrying about me because I've "rejected God", I don't want people preaching to me (I've heard everything they could tell me already. For now I'm gonna stick with being an undercover agnostic.
Thomas, don't feel the need to do anything rash, time will sort things out.

ped said...

look heres my .02. jesus had nothing to do with the bible. perhaps this jesus fellow was real. think about it "follow me and all will be saved." now every christian church ive ever been to thinks all that means is literally saying "jesus i accept you into my heart, now dip me in water." maybe what jesus meant was believe in what he teaches, his philosophy for living.
maybe the only reason sex outside of marriage is a sin, is for the same reason buddha said that desire keeps you from enlightenment. it turns you into a jihad muslim thinking about how many virgins they get for killing infandels. taking their mind away from the larger big perspective.
point is a church is only a church, they are the same thing as you.. people, human they just pose as authorities, we are our own authorities. be like the christ character and find god/or lack there of for yourself.
i can assure from the bottom of my heart that being an athiest has a very high sense of percpective. (because its ok to be wrong) (and no its not faithful to believe there is no god, i was born this way as were you.)

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "I hope that you will not only seek material that is antagonistic to your faith, but also good Christian authors who have wrestled with some of the same difficult situations you have faced and are facing...."

I agree that it is healthy to read broadly and not artificially restrict one's studies to a single viewpoint. However, in my experience, most religionists show little curiosity about views that run counter to their own beliefs. For example, I find that the vast majority of Christians cannot even articulate what the typical atheist asserts (i.e. that there is no credible *evidence* for the existence of a supreme being), and have never read a single book that is critical of Christianity. Will you concede that doing so (i.e. reading books that examine Christianity critically) would be useful in attaining a healthy/realistic perspective?

Anonymous: "...Some good authors you might look into are John Piper, J I Packer, and Jerry Bridges."

I've read at least one book by Packer ("Knowing God"); I'm not familiar with the other two authors you mentioned. Which books, in particular, are you thinking of?

Have you read anything by Robert M. Price ("Beyond Born Again", "Deconstructing Jesus", "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man"), Earl Doherty ("The Jesus Puzzle", "Challenging the Verdict"), Randel Helms ("Gospel Fictions"), Joseph Wheeles ("Forgery in Christianity"), or G. A. Wells ("The Jesus Legend", "Belief and Make Believe")?

Anonymous: "By the way, I find it ironic that so many apparent atheists... are so religious in their convictions."

Might it be that you are projecting your own proclivity onto atheists? What, specifically, are the "religious convictions" you speak of, and who are the atheists you claim hold them?

Anonymous: "...People who assert with certainty that there is no God... well, if they miss the irony, there's no sense in explaining it."

If you don't know what a "straw man" argument is, well, there's probably no sense in explaining it.

Jimearl said...

Jonathon, in case you didn't know, there are no gods. Not even yours. But as we all know by their actions, the suicide bombers really believe too. They believe so much, they kill themselves. Do you believe in their god? If their god is not real, then they are dying in vain. Could you have that much faith or do you call it ignorance as I do? Just wondering.

Jerry said...

It never fails to amaze me the number of self-righteous christians come on here spewing their phoney religious rhetoric, in hopes of getting a brownie button from their fairytale make-believe God.

What gives some people the authority to pretend that they have all the knowledge of the Universe, and have the complete scoop on God and are spreading God's Holy Words commissioned directly by God himself/herself/it.

This is exactly what this websight is all about, to free oneself from the insanity of religion and the Bible, and they come in here spewing their mind-rot psycobabble religious nonsense, without reading any other single piece of literature written and left here by alot of these brilliant minds, that have already heard and fully rejected the religious brain-washing dogma.

I personally have to admit that my kin folks are just exactly like that. Anything, anything!!!! Said, spoken, read, outside of the Bible, is purely from Satan Himself.

(Fundy Example): Yes my friends,
anything written, spoken, read, outside of the Bible, is from good Ole Satan Himself, even music that does not Up-lift the Lord, is music straight from the Pits of Hell.

This is exactly the kind of brainwashing we are faced with today in the year 2005, so freaking unbelievable. Just wait until they uncover more hidden scripture and find out that Christians are supposed to blow up the non-believers and go to Heaven and recieve 72 virgins, the only problem is that most fundies haven't the friggen balls to blow themselves up, most are purely COWARDS, that is why they believe, because they are total COWARDS !!!! You fundies do not even have the courage to stand up and question the ancient scriptures, written by a bunch of cowardly death fearing wimps, they made up the story of baby Jesus to forgive them, who needs Jesus? The Cowards, the fearful, the wimps, the mentally depraved, the loonies, thats who need Jesus. Jesus is nothing but an imaginary scapegoat figure to blame, to misuse, to get imaginary forgiveness, to bilk people out of their money, to use as an authority from an imaginary God.

How many more thousands of years will it take to wake people up from the religious insane fraud and hoax of Christianity?

There is not one person on this Earth that has any more religious authority than any other person that is alive today and that has ever lived. Infact there has never been any religious authority granted above anyone, it was always imagined and still is imagined by all of the religious kooks.

You religious kooks, have a mental disease, it's to help yourself to the self-righteous feeling that you get from granting yourself a license to preach and minipulate your phoney proselytizing, it's the feeling of religious superiority over others that you get your poersonal fix, it's like a drug, you're hooked on that superior feeling that you need, you get that instant fix every time that you cast off and spew your religious mimicked Biblical phrases. You have been told that you will recieve a reward, in Heaven and you were stupid enough to believe it. I know you fundies will not read anything that you do not want to read, especially this, this truth exposes you and your ilk. You christians are nothing more than a phrase repeating, Bible mimicking robots. You can't even come up with something new, it has to be repeated from that sick book that you've been told is from a God, all you christians have been greatly fooled, so what does that make you? You have fell into the mind trap of a lie, the Bible.

Wake up christians to reality and face what is real and alive today, it's called truth, but I know you do not want to hear the truth, it goes against what you want to believe, a book of lies.

Dano said...

Jonathan,
I don't get it. You pathetic people, who can't or won't give up you magical beliefs come on to a website for people who have spent a lifetime trying to escape the mind control of the Christian cult, and start spouting the very same Biblical shit that has kept them screwed up all of their lives.

You wrote 8 meticulous paragraphs that are full of every piece of nonsensical dogma and silly clich├ęs, that are essentially identical to what every Christian cult member says when he comes here.

Jonathan, give your self a chance at living. Give your brain a chance to work. Experience the ecstasy of clear thinking. The bible has some good philosophy in it but it is mostly silly, illogical, full of contradictions, and written by men who, if you put them in the 21st century, would not be able to compete with the average 6 year old. Just think how really stupid the Jesus story is when held up to the light of rational thought.

Ain't no such thing as Satan. He isn't any more real than any of the Greek or Roman Mythological characters. Satan is just a symbol of evil. Satan is one of the first symbols that virtually every pagan religion made up since man started making up religions as a way to explain their existence.

No one knows what God is and never will. The closest you can come to explaining God, is to say that it is the reason for the existence of the universe. There is not one verifiable instance of God ever intervening in the affairs of man since the big bang.

If you want to see an examples of how beautifully a human mind can function when unshackled from mysticism read: Robert Ingersoll, Mark Twain, Thomas Payne, Voltaire, Ben Franklin, Sam Harris (The End OF Faith)

How awful it must be to read and hear nothing but the circular reasoning of Christian apologists, saying all of the wrong, failed crap that we hear from you cult members when you come here.

How awful it must be to have to put that stupid grin on and go around telling everybody you are having a relationship with Jesus.

Dave8 said...

John/Anonymous: "By the way, I find it ironic that so many apparent atheists (I realize that not all here are atheists) are so religious in their convictions. People who assert with certainty that there is no God... well, if they miss the irony, there's no sense in explaining it."
By Anonymous, at 12/06/2005 12:27 PM

Religious: "Having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity; a member of a religious order who is bound by vows of poverty and chastity and obedience
extremely scrupulous and conscientious;..."
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Irony? I feel a logic statement coming on...

All Atheists have a Belief to some degree, regarding the existence of the supernatural...
Therefore, All Atheists are religious

Then it must also follow;

All Religious people have a belief to some degree, in the non-existence of the supernatural...
Therefore, All Religious people are Atheists

Yeah, I find it ironic, there are people so biased, that they can't see themselves projecting their beliefs onto whole groups of people... such myopic views, of course are the hallmark of the uneducated...

Well, come to think of it, its really not that ironic to see those with bias and uneducated views, project onto others, as if their views are the "only" valid views in the world... such is the symptom of self-delusion... and Intolerance...

Well, John, since you are on this site, and the majority aren't religious, that makes you an Atheist... Hopefully, we can support your Atheistic needs while you are visiting... So, while you are here, I'll provide you with the mathematical formula...

(%)Doubt For Supernatural Existence=(%)Atheism

(%)Belief For Supernatural Existence=(%)Religious

John, I suspect your doubt is greater than my belief, therefore, you are more of an Atheist than I am religious... have a great day...

jim earl said...

Way to go, Jerry, Dano, Dave8, Jim Lee, and others for having the courage to expose the truth. When I was a christian, I thought there must have been something wrong with me because no deity ever came to call. Then I came to realize that I was no different than them, no deity was calling on them either. Like my wife told me months ago, I believe because I want to believe. You just can't fight logic like that, huh? Keep doing what you are doing, you never know when the next ex will come in here and get help. Even after all these years of going from believer to doubter to atheist, I still enjoy this site. Thanks guys and girls, you make my days. I hope to be able to report one day that my wife has finally seen the light. Praise reason!!!Jimearl

Glenn said...

Jerry,

Have just read your lengthy blurb condemning Christianity and its bible. Was wondering what hope you offered in place of Jesus and His Scriptures? What 'truth' are Christians supposed to wake up to? Something substantial and not the drippy "let's drink for tomorrow we die" drivel.

Yopur blurb readily condemned religion. I'm all for the proper rebuke of religion that offers people a fake God. Such peddlers were the enemies of Jesus in his day, offering the common person a God of rules rather than a relational God who reveals himself in the person of Jesus.

As a pastor I continue to meet people who only know what Jesus said but have never met Him in their lives and show no evidence of His life and joy flowing in them. They give Him lip service and do religious things but have never surrendered to His lordship and followed Him. In turn they turn off people from the real Jesus because of their religious life.

I wonder if you have met the real Jesus, Jerry? I can't help but think you met religion and its disciples. Perhaps you may find that Jesus isn't the imaginary God that you think he is.

Jamie said...

Hello, interesting story, you have to think, if God does exist, hes the one that blessed you with your son, im a Christian, im not really a debater and will never argue Gods existance, ill only help people that want to know he exists, i found Jesus through an experience, went from atheist to believer within a month, i was a professed atheist, and experience that changed my life completely, im sure God wanted me to know he exists.....get at me if your curious

email me at jamiehoban@shaw.ca

much love

Dano said...

Hey folks!

E-mail Jamie (below). He is the real thing. He has had an experience. He is obviously a child, and you know how God loves children (That is why about 30 million of them are starving as we speak), and he isn't conflicted with that "all knowledge is vanity" thing. In short, he is young, gullible and stupid, so get your e-mails out to Jamie so you can hear the message from one who is full of the spirit!

Jerry said...

Well hello Glenn, So it's hope that you long for and desire in a here-after life. Just what is Hope? Imaginary Faith. Hope and Faith is a carrot dangling on a stick by a promise of a here-after life as promised by the Bible writers, that will never get fulfilled. And you claim to be a preacher,(you claim), how convenient, it's all self-claimed, where is your credentials? You have none, but you Boast a personal connection to your imaginary God. Why would a God that supposedly created the whole universe, and of all the Billions of people in the world pick you to represent him? Are you that worthy? Or did you just decide for yourself that you are worthy enough to represent this imaginary God? Somehow I happen to think it was you, that elected yourself preacher, and if the truth be known, it was you, yourself that elected yourself the title of preacher, you should really feel proud of yourself right about now.

A rational God would invent the Jesus fraud? Come on Glenn, is that the best your imaginary God can do. God supossedly created the entire universe in just 6 days, including 125 Billion Galaxies similar to our own, but it took God another 4000 years before he thought up the story of inseminating a virgin girl with invisible sperm by an Angel, is that really the best that your silly God can come up with, according to you it would be, because it's something that you want to believe. Read your own Bible garbage Glenn, it says in Isaiah 45:7, I form the light, and create darkness: I create peace and I create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things. Now this God, that you're so proud of, could have eliminated all Evil from the onset, but chose not to, is that a God worthy of worship? No and it was not written by any God in the first place, it was written by Isaiah. Now Glenn since you're so into yourself and you being a self-appointed preacher you should have already figured all this out about God and Jesus being fake and a Hoax, but you've been so busy electing yourself to a High Position to make you look good in front of others. It's all about Glenn isn't it? Isn't religion really all about the self-righteousness and just what you can get out of religion, it's all about you ridding on the coat-tails of God and Jesus, it's safe for you Glenn, you find comfort in Boasting your self-acclaimed title.

Tell your story to the millions of Indians that were killed in the name of God, when the pilgrims brought the Book of Lies Bible with them back in 1492, they had never heard of God nor Jesus and lived thousands of years in comfort without the man-made fairytale of God and Jesus.

Glenn you're just a typical Bible mimicker, you're pretending to mimic the disciples, had you yourself never heard of the Bible, you would not be repeating such non-sense yourself, but you have been infected by the self appointed, self boasting religious disease that was written by men, not by any God. Neither a God nor Jesus never wrote any part of the Bible. The Bible is entirely the invention of men. Try reality Glenn it's more real, you have nothing but what you can claim for yourself, it's all about you Glenn.

jim earl said...

After reading these numerous posts the past couple of days I had a thought I would like to share with all here. Religious people believe that a "God" created Adam and Eve as the first humans on earth. With the dust of the earth he created Adam first and then with Adam's rib he created Eve. Then a few thousand years later when he needed to create another human, namely Jesus, he chose to have him come by means of birth. Why would a "God" have to change his means of making humans? Why wouldn't he have created Jesus the same way he supposedly created Adam? Think about it. "God" could have had a real miracle if he had chosen to fashion Jesus as he did Adam. I guess he had forgotten how he did that so he had to find the only way available...birth. Or maybe the whole story of Adam and Eve is only a myth. No, it can't be a myth, because King David traced his own lineage back to Adam. Since we know this story to be a creation myth among many, just how does one trace his lineage back to a myth? Those folks writing the bible had some imagination. Only rivaled by the followers of religion today. They have some imagination as well. The writers of the bible would be so proud of christians today. To believe those stories after all the evidence and advances of science in the present age just goes to show us how prevalent gullibility is in the world today. I shake my head daily at the foolishness of the world. You can pray to the cows come home and you're blue in the face, but at the end of the day you will be a blue faced farmer with a bunch of cows.

Wayne said...

Hi Folks, After reading several of the responces here. it appears that religion was invented to pretend to impress others that they have some sort of closeness or a personal affiliation with their invisible God. Take Glenn for instance, not knowing anything about him, nor he about us, yet he has taken on the title of Preacher, now either he is a full fledged Preacher called by a God or he's either a fake, I personally do not believe or think for one minute that a God has singled Glenn out of, say millions of people, and call him personally to represent his Holyness. This invisible God, Sorry Glenn, but you loose on this one. Now other people that want to pretend that a God calls them personally, it's just what they want to believe, it has nothing to do reality. Glenn sorry to tell you but you are clearly a fake, and you only represend what you yourself want to believe, and you're trying to impress others that you are a man called by a Universal God. But it is totally you Glenn that has elected and appointed yourself the title of Preacher. I do not think you have convinced the regular posters on this websight. I believe that the only person you have convinced that you are a preacher, called by a God is yourself. Who are you trying to fool Glenn?

The Anti-Atheist said...

The poster said she was persecuted for her faith?

But by who?

We know atheists would never do that!















"We will never submit to atheist rule!"

Anonymous said...

Anti-Atheist: "The poster said she was persecuted for her faith? But by who? We know atheists would never do that!"

In the story, she said she was a Christian, so, it was possibly a few Jews. Her own pastor later on, didn't even believe in Jesus Christ as God.

Anti-Atheist: "We will never submit to atheist rule!"

If Atheism is synonymous with living in a free society without being tormented by fundamental evangelists, then you're too late. The Constitution provides that framework, its called a democracy. You might want to read it in your spare time.

Blair said...

Hey anonymous, atheism is not synonymous with democracy; it is more synonyomus with totalitarian control by the strongest.

In a democracy, all are created equal; as far as atheists are concerned we are just biochemical machines, some more fit that others.



But Thomas, if you have come here "trying to find peace in your soul" you will NOT be helped.

These people will say you have no soul! You are a biochemical machine which simply digests, excretes, and had mental burpings called thoughts.

All they want is notches for their belt because they thrive on hating.

Dave8 said...

Blair: "Hey anonymous, atheism is not synonymous with democracy; it is more synonyomus with totalitarian control by the strongest."

A democracy where people can freely have their beliefs, and not be persecuted is fine with most Atheists I know. However, in a theocracy, like Rome had, where the religious were in control, you get millions of people tortured, and murdered because everyone is supposed to be assimilated exactly the same - as a Christian. Don't believe me, ask the Jews is a democracy supports them, or if they were better off in the Roman theocracy back in the day.

Blair: "In a democracy, all are created equal; as far as atheists are concerned we are just biochemical machines, some more fit that others."

A democracy allows Atheists to have their own opinions on creation period. And, if a religious person doesn't believe we aren't biochemical machines, then they need to re-attend high-school chemistry and biology. Religious just believe there is a ghost inside the biochemical process. If you don't believe some people are more fit to live than others, then go down to hospital once in a while, and see if there are any babies born with deformaties, which decrease thier life expectancy. If you find at least "one", then the point that we are not all biologically the same has credibility.

Blair: "But Thomas, if you have come here "trying to find peace in your soul" you will NOT be helped."

Some of us believe that we ourselves are part of the whole of the Natural Universe, and connected with everything in some form. The fact that some don't attribute that to a ghost, who lives inside us, can not be proven and has never been proven, but the religious would have someone believe they can go to a building for a ghost tune-up, and when asked for proof, they say. Don't you feel at peace, where, at peace is their biological state of being - can anyone say, religious hypocrites.

Blair: "These people will say you have no soul!"

No, personally, I'll say, your terms and definition of "soul", are no more than a persons' holistic state of being. Religions will say, everyone has a ghost inside them, and there is this big daddy ghost, called the overarching holy ghost, which touches their ghost to make them feel joy, peace, etc. Now, that's a lot of ghosting going on, with no proof. As a matter of fact, Blair, define "soul", the etymology of the word back in the day meant essence. What is the "essence" of a person, their sum total of life is what I'd say, but I am sure you have seen a soul and that makes your definition 100% correct, and everyone elses' belief wrong.

Blair: "You are a biochemical machine which simply digests, excretes, and had mental burpings called thoughts."

And religions, have everyone assimilated to believe they are the exact same. Dead, filthy sinners, who are depraved of evil, with dirty souls, and in need of salvation or their depraved dirty soul gets thrown in the pit of fire for all eternity, because of some guy who ate an apple in a garden back in the day. Blair, religion makes people "less" than biochemical machines burping thoughts, they believe we are "all" biologically the same, unless you concede that some are more fit than others which makes your the same as the Atheist you describe. Then religion wants everyone to believe they have the same dirty "soul", which needs to be washed in "blood" to make it clean, another "biological" method of cleaning out the spirits. Then religion wants to "make" everyones' spirits equally clean, by assimilating everyone to believe the same way, which way? just ask any religion, they all have the "correct" way to believe.

Blair: "All they want is notches for their belt because they thrive on hating."

Personally, all I want is to allow people the opportunity to research on their own, without pressure, to determine, freely, and without pressure what they believe. Go to different sites, ask questions, return here, state answers check out what others have to say with a different perspective, and in the end gain enough information to make an educated decision about ones' life, before they go running off down the aisle of a church swearing themselves a depraved sinner, because they masturbated the night before, or because they thought of a pretty woman or handsome man and thought themselves taken in by their dirty little souls while being married. All religion has to offer is "fear" of today, tomorrow and the future, and they believe we should "all" be equal in that regard, "totally", hence totalitarian type government would be best. The best day of a christians life according to all that fear, is the day they "die", its what they look forward to, as they hold out not being natural for some greater reward. The death-benefit system of religion, yeah, that's what religion has to offer.

Carmen said...

Response to Thomas:

Please write me at carmen@therefinersfire.org. I can answer your questions about your sweet deceased baby, about science vs. the Bible, and a host of other things. I don't wish for us to carry on a conversation about God and the Bible in an atheist chatroom where they will do their level best to confuse you.

Hell IS real and we all need to be afraid of it.....

Carmen @ The Refiner's Fire

.:webmaster:. said...

Be afraid Thomas - BE VERY AFRAID.

God loves you with an unconditional love that has many severe conditions associated with it. If you don't accept that UNCONDITIONAL love, then you are going to suffer forever and ever in horrific torturous agony at the hands of your unconditional lover.

UNCONDITIONAL!!!!

If you aren't confused by and don't see the contradiction between the concept of unconditional love and the concept of horrifying eternal retribution for temporal "sins", then by all means - DO BE AFRAID!!!

Dave8 said...

Carmen: "I don't wish for us to carry on a conversation about God and the Bible in an atheist chatroom where they will do their level best to confuse you."

Confusion: A bible where the Old Testament prophesies were never fulfilled, before a "New Testament" was created...

More Confusion: A bible where the New Testament prophesies, i.e., Jesus' return before the apostles tasted death, were never fulfilled...

Ultimate Confusion: The authors of the Hebrew Old Testament (Jewish Written Law) didn't mention Jesus once..., and when the Jewish Oral Tradition was finally written, they declared Jesus a heretic who was boiled in excrement, hanged, stoned, strangled, and decapitated... The confusion comes in, when a Christian takes the Old Testament, and slaps it against the New Testament and actually attempts to say, they provide homogenous guidance...

Confusion, is someone who tries to hold the Old Testament and New Testament as divine guidance, when everything that has supposed to have happened, has not come to pass, and then banking on the hope that what hasn't happened, will... i.e., revelations, death, and the end of the world...

Oh, confusion is also asking someone to give a definitive way to discern between an "Evil" demon spirit like Satan, and a "Good" spirit like "God"... its not possible, hence, confusion...

Further Confusion; the Jews who authored the Old Testament, believed in Gehenna, a place where sinners spent no more than twelve months paying for their sins, the New Testament, gives their version of Hell, as eternity with no hope for paroll from a loving and merciful God...

As a matter of fact, I can't think of anything that isn't confusing when comparing the OT and the NT... Perhaps, the Roman Church should have just started their Own religion, without using the Jewish Old Testament... well, except for the fact the State Sanctioned Roman Church was trying to put an end to Judaism, and thus, created Jesus at the First Council of Nicaea as an "answer" to the Jewish Messiah... Perhaps, there is "less" confusion when one actually reads the bible, Talmud, and earlier historical writings...

Sacagawea Extreme said...

Hello, just read the comments at the bottom. Dave8 appears to be making some rather outlandish comments. For example, on what basis does he assert that Jesus was "created" at the First Council of Nicaea? After all, the council was held in 325 AD, far after the New Testament (which refers to Jesus regularly) was written. So in what sense was he "created" at the council? Perhaps what Mr. Dave8 meant was that Jesus was identified with the Father in the face of the then-current Arian heresy.

Dave8 also seems to assert that the Old and New Testaments are irreconcilable. Again, this issue came up in the early days of the Church. Scholars throughout the centuries have affirmed their compatability, and have illustrated instances of Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. The Gospels and the epistles of St. Paul themselves point out Jesus's fulfillment of prophecy. Dave8 presents no concrete instance for his assertion that the Old and New Testaments can't be read together.

Dave8 said...

Sacagawea Extreme: "Dave8 appears to be making some rather outlandish comments."

Lets see... I'm sure you're more intelligent than you appear...

Sacagawea Extreme: "Hello, just read the comments at the bottom. Dave8 appears to be making some rather outlandish comments. For example, on what basis does he assert that Jesus was "created" at the First Council of Nicaea? After all, the council was held in 325 AD, far after the New Testament (which refers to Jesus regularly) was written. So in what sense was he "created" at the council? Perhaps what Mr. Dave8 meant was that Jesus was identified with the Father in the face of the then-current Arian heresy."

Well, if you had read your bible, the the Old Testament cleary shows no "Jesus" in the Jewish Tanakh which is the "same" as the Hebrew Old Testament...

Therefore, there was no "agreed" unpon "nature" of a Jesus of Nazareth, in many religions, Mr. Jesus didn't exist... and if he did, it was for three years out of his thirty three, and don't get me started on the number three as having astrological significance...

And, if you were able to read, as it apparently is clear you are not... then you missed...

"One of the earliest attempt at solidifying a canon was made by Marcion, who rejected the entire Old Testament, all but one gospel (Luke), and three of the Pauline letters. His unorthodox canon was rejected by a majority of Christians, as was he and his theology, Marcionism. Around 200 the Muratorian fragment was written, listing the accepted works. This list was very similar to the modern canon, but also included the Wisdom of Solomon (now part of the Deuterocanonical books) and the Apocalypse of Peter. The New Testament canon as it is now was first listed by St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in 367, in a letter written to his churches in Egypt. That canon gained wider and wider recognition until it was accepted by all at the Third Council of Carthage in 397."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_testament

Perhaps, Mr./Mrs. Extreme meant to say, that the New Testament, as canonized today, wasn't conclusive until "well after" the First Council of Nicaea ~325CE. There were many letters being passed around, gnostics, Pauls, and many others, and the nature of a Jesus wasn't accepted and believed by the masses as a "God", hence... the whole reason for the FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA... Constantine gained the throne, and legalized Christianity, after setting up the rules with his created Roman Church... Perhaps, what I meant to say as I did... was..

"IF" a Jesus of Nazareth, of whom the religious writings portray, lived, then its quite obvious, he didn't impress many to the point, that they accepted his "nature"...

"Gnosticism is a blanket term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries CE."

"Many Gnostic sects were made up of Christians who embraced mystical theories concerning the nature of Jesus or the Christ which was increasingly at variance with the teachings of orthodox Christian faith as it developed. For example, Gnostics generally taught docetism, the belief that Jesus did not have a physical body, but rather his apparent physical body was an illusion, and hence his crucifixion was not bodily."

It seems clear that Gnosticism, at least in some of its theologically more developed formulations, was influenced by Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Stoicism, old Semitic religions, Buddhism, Christianity (and/or influenced the development of more orthodox Christianity) and (at least in the case of Monoimus) Pythagoreanism."

Sacagawea Extreme: "So in what sense was he "created" at the council?"

Well, for those who didn't believe the bastard was mortal like the gnostics, he was created as a "mortal", and a half-god during the First Council of Nicaea, for those who thought the bastard was a creature (Arianism) created as a sub-unit to God, he was made "equal" to and a Part of God... For the millions, who didn't believe the bastard ever lived, he was entirely "created" out of thin air... For those who believed he a heretic male, as the Jews did, he was "deified" and made their "Created" fucking savior... For those who thought he was a bastard friend of Pauls' imagination, he was "created" as a living entity... For those who needed political purpose to bring together a fractured religious empire, he was "created" as a political "tool" to unite the Roman Empire... There was so much "voted" creation occurring during that "councils'" vote, three hundred years after the fact, shall I reinforce the fact, that millions didn't believe him to be a deity while he was supposed to have lived... to include the relatives of the supposed Jesus, the Ebionites...

"The Ebionites (from Hebrew; Ebionim, "the poor ones") were a sect of Judean followers of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth who existed in Iudaea Province (later Syria-Palestine) during the early centuries of the Common Era. The "Pauline Christians", those who were the spiritual antecedents of those who were ultimately successful in establishing a state-sanctioned church, did not consider Ebionites "real" Christians: the terms "Pauline Christians" and "Ebionites" are used in this article to distinguish these two threads in early Christianity. "Pauline Christians" not only included the orthodox, but also heretical gnostics such as Marcion, who considered Paul to be the true apostle and Peter to be a false apostle (Tertullian, "Against Marcion" 1.20, 4.3, 5.3). While the Ebionites undoubtedly drew their doctrines from ideas circulating in the first century, Robert Eisenman (Eisenman 1996) argues in great detail the extent to which they existed as a distinct group from the rest of "gentile" Christianity before the destruction of Jerusalem."

"The Ebionites emphasized the humanity of Jesus as the MORTAL son of Mary and Joseph, who was 'adopted' as a son of God when he was anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism, and therefore could have become the messianic king-priest of Israel (by virtue of also being both a descendant of king David through his father and a descendant of high priest Aaron through his mother) but was chosen to be the last and greatest of the prophets."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

At least the Ebionites could logically connect a mortal messiah to the line of David... the Roman Retards made a man-god, removing any hope to make a mortal connection required to be considered part of the Old Testament prophesy, from the lineage of David...

Me thinks, you over-simplify the "nature" of Jesus problem, he was dumped while he was supposed to have lived... if he were a true Romanized Man-God, it would appear that his "power" would have been irrefutable, especially in the light that he was supposed to be here to "spread the good news", and "save mankind" from the created shackles of Original Sin, another great "creation"... as the term "Original Sin" doesn't appear once in the bible...

Sacagawea Extreme: "Dave8 also seems to assert that the Old and New Testaments are irreconcilable. Again, this issue came up in the early days of the Church. Scholars throughout the centuries have affirmed their compatability, and have illustrated instances of Jesus fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. The Gospels and the epistles of St. Paul themselves point out Jesus's fulfillment of prophecy. Dave8 presents no concrete instance for his assertion that the Old and New Testaments can't be read together."

You really need to read this thread in its entirety, further, you need to read more about the religious sects of the early Christian era... and again, the Book of Isaiah... states a child was born in his era... and over 600 years later, the Gospel of Matthew states that the child born in Isaiah's time, was "Jesus"...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaiah

The First Council of Nicaea was nothing but the commitment of the Roman Emperor Constantine to bring peace to the empire, by him creating a "man-god", he also removed the ability for Jesus to be of the lineage of David, as Jesus was a "bastard", born of a ghost, with "no" biological father... the OT third temple was to be built upon the coming of the Messiah, never happened, the Jews were supposed to reunite under one nation, never happened, all gentiles were supposed to see the Jews as the chosen ones finally, and be brought to Jewish belief, never happened, the Jews were supposed to be living in their New Kingdom upon the Jewish Messiah's coming, never happened, those who inflicted anguish upon the Jews, were to have their eyes, mouths, etc., blasting fire out of their orifices, never happened...

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html

And, while we are talking of the Christian version of a bastard Jesus, lets focus more on his mental state...

Question: Mark 3:21 mentions some persons that said Jesus had lost his senses. Does the text say Jesus' kinsmen said he was mentally ill or was it others outside the family?

Answer: The author of Mark divides his narrative into two scenes in 3:20-35. One scene takes place where Jesus resides (verses 20, 22-35) the other is where his "kinsmen" are to be found (verse 21). It was these kinsmen, his mother and brothers, who "went out to take custody of him [Jesus]." One does not take custody of someone who is well. They felt Jesus had lost his mind. In order to take custody of him they had to go where he was residing. As a result, the text says, ". . . his own kinsmen . . . went out to take custody of him . . . ." In verse 31 the narrative describes their arrival at the place where Jesus was staying.

Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are outside looking for him. His answer, "Who are my mother and my brothers? . . . For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother," (verses 33-35) shows that he was hostile to their attempt to see him. There could be but one reason. His family, mother brothers, and sisters, believed him to be mentally ill and had not come simply to see him, but had come to seize him.


Question: Is it true that Jesus' family, including his mother, believed that he was mentally ill?

Answer: According to the author of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 3:19-21, 31), during the period when he was preaching, Jesus' relatives, his mother and his brothers, believed that he was mentally ill. The author of the Gospel of John comments that "neither did his brothers believe in him" (John 7:5). Jesus, in turn, rejected them (Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21). Apparently, Mary, the mother of Jesus, forgot the visits of angels, magi, and shepherds. The prophecies of Anna and Simeon completely slipped her mind. Most of all Mary seems to have forgotten her own impregnation by the Holy Spirit. It is more than likely that she had nothing to forget because these episodes never happened. When Jesus started to preach they had a legitimate concern as to his mental condition. This incident, rather than later claims that his family believed in his message, shows that no miracles surrounded his birth.

Why Jesus is not the Messiah...
http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/web/handbook/s_messiah.html

Of course, these views are from those who believe in the strict interpretation of the Old Testament as if its a "holy" book... Perhaps, I will start posting gnostic writings next, and show Jesus from their perspective... Anyone, who is "slightly" educated on the historical "evolution" of Christianity, knows all of this information and much more...

Perhaps, Sacagawea Extreme, you have more to offer, than supposition, if you do... post your references, biblical verses, historical evidence, etc...

For every piece you pull out, I will find a differing historical reference, as no one believed a man-god lived among them, and they just "missed it", perhaps a mentally ill person, with a caring family, who was transformed, and "created" to become a man-god to pull the Roman Empire together under one belief system, under penalty of "death", if anyone refused the voted divinity by The First Council of Nicaea...

For a "God" who was supposed to come and bring a message, and provide hope to humanity, via irrefutable dictum... there seems to have been a lot of "controversy" over his godness... perhaps, he was just incompetent... if he came to test the "faithful"... then what better way, then to not have shown up at all...

Enjoy, hope to hear from you, I'm sure I am going to get that research, and not just faulty comments on the dates of the canonized NT, perhaps you will refer to the letters being circulated, which found there way into the NT, but, then... they were placed there by influence of the Roman Church after the vote of the First Council of Nicaea, with "no" alternative "views" of a Jesus' nature... and the Old Testament, never stated the word "Jesus" once in its writings...

Cindy said...

Carmen wrote:

Hell IS real and we all need to be afraid of it.....

Where is Hell Carmen? Since you have first hand knowledge of Hell, where is Hell located? Could it exist only in your indoctrinated mind? Yes that's where Hell is, only in your mind where you want to believe that there is a Hell.

You religious dolt........

Sacagawea Extreme said...

Dear Dave8,

Hello, I am enjoying our repartee!

As you hint at, I am no bible scholar, but I will do my best to make some comments on your provocative reply.

Some short comments:

You said that Jesus is never mentioned in the Hebrew Old Testament, or the Tanakh (thanks for the new word!). I guess I just fail to see your point - they don't say his name? I think the claim is that they describe him, or talk about him (see, e.g., Isaiah 7:14 - virgin shall be with child). So the lack of a name appears immaterial.

You also said that proclaiming Jesus a "man-god" negated any attempt to draw a mortal connection to the line of David, as prophecied. Yet, if he is both man and God, as "man-god" appears to denote, then a mortal connection could be drawn on the "man" side of the ledger, could it not? I think you clarify this later by saying that because Jesus had no biological father, he could not be from David's line. Now we're hitting on something interesting. The geneology of Jesus in Matthew goes back through Joseph to David. I know, I know, you're negating the Joseph to Jesus step - but at least as an adopted child, he is of the line of David, yes? The geneology in Luke also traces Jesus back to David, but with different people in between. One interpretation of this is that here Luke lists Mary's geneology - which would be biological.

Finally, you take up my challenge and list some things that never happened, and were apparently supposed to upon the coming of the Messiah (new temple, gentiles recognize Jewish people as chosen, persecutors of Jewish people punished, etc.). My understanding is that Old Testament prophecy allowed for two "days of the Lord" - one a coming of the Messiah, one the end times reconciliation. Is it possible these events occur in relation to the second coming of the Messiah, and will be fulfilled at the end of time? (As for the temple, isn't the temple in our hearts now?) The text appears open to the interpretation, as I remember it - but as you note, I am no Bible scholar.

Let's see, if you're still wasting time on little old me, how about the New Testament claims. I think we may have misunderstood each other. You had asserted that 1 Nicaea "created" the doctrine of Jesus as God. I asserted that the New Testament, written long before this, had indicated that Jesus was God, and hence 1 Nicaea didn't so much create as clarify. You then responded that the New Testament canon was established at the third council of Carthage, in 375 AD. Fair enough, I don't want to argue that point. What I meant was that the works of the New Testament were written during the apostolic period (and granted, deemed canonical later). In these extremely early writings, Jesus is identified as God. See, e.g., John 1:14 (the Word was made flesh). He is also identified as a man. See, e.g., John 11:35 (Jesus wept). So to say that 1 Nicaea "created" the doctrine of Christ's divinity, as if they made it up, is just plain silly. Or if you don't take the bible's word, how about the Letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians, circa end of the first century: "For our God Jesus Christ was ... of the seed of David." (chap. 18).

Your refutation of the popular belief in Jesus as God is a rather lengthy exposition of various sects extant at the time. Fair enough, I don't dispute that some people believed some pretty divergent things about Jesus. But these claims that most people, including those affected by him, did not believe in his divinity don't seem too reasonable.

For one, his closest associates, the apostles, left their homes to spread the gospel. They all (except one) received martyrdom as their reward, never denying the faith. Their writings and teachings attest to his divinity, and they bought some "street cred" with their blood (are you enjoying my lingo?).

Moreover, what are we to believe of the later martyrs? Did they die voluntarily for the teachings of a man?

It seemed as if you think that if Jesus was God, then everyone would have acknowledged this. You say, "[I]f he were a true Romanized Man-God, it would appear that his 'power' would have been irrefutable, especially in the light that he was supposed to be here to 'spread the good news', and 'save mankind' from the created shackles of Original Sin . . . ." You also say, "[M]illions didn't believe him to be a deity while he was supposed to have lived." Why do you think it is necessary that millions should have believed in him, or his power should have been irrefutable? It's clear from scripture that many people believed in him. Moreover, after his death the Church spread quickly, with many Jews becoming converts to the faith. Why did he need millions? As for his power, he irrefutably showed his power on many occasions - the wedding at Cana, healing the sick, the Resurrection itself. Did he need to make a bigger show of it? Would a bigger miracle suffice? What show of power are you looking for?

Golly this is long. A parting shot - how could I resist? You also refer to Original Sin as "created," gesticulating that it is not mentioned by name in the Bible. First, you may as well play your pocket aces, and tell me that Trinity isn't in the Bible either. But neither point matters. Sure, the words aren't there - but the basis and understanding of them is.

RJ said...

S.E. : You claim that all of the apostles, save one, were martyred. How do you know this? I don't believe I have ever seen that in the bible. Also, as far as people being willing to die for the teachings of a man, it happens all the time- 9/11, Heaven's Gate, Waco, Joseph Smith and the men in jail with him at his shootout, Jehovah's Witnesses ban on blood, People's Temple, and on and on. Being willing to die for a belief doesn't prove a thing about whether or not the belief is actually true.

Anonymous said...

test

Anonymous said...

Thomas, my deepest sympathy for your loss. Being a J.W. defector, I was at first so refreshed by Christianity. They allowed me to celebrate my children's Birthdays, and you don't have to let your loved ones die for not accepting blood transfusions!!! Freedom indeed, or so I thought.... Religion does more damage and is responsible for more deaths and hatred that most people are even remotely aware of. The only church I will step foot in now is the Universal Unitarian. They are all about love, and working together for the good of humanity...Look up "Jesus Camp". That drives home the total brainwash effect that many Christians embrace. Religion, in my humble opinion, has created such barriers in allowing us to interact as human beings.... I am grateful to have found this site. Without it I would feel absolutely trapped, as if I were living in a mental ward of religiously brainwashed "zoombies". I wish you peace, and implore you to seek professional counseling to rid yourself of the guilt that accompanies leaving any type of religious brainwashing. "The truth will set you free!" Byron Katie has helped me learn some very good technics on how to free my mind. Thework.org is a great site to look at for personal healing...Anyway, I send positive energy and love out to you and your family. Anonymous for now.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for those of you have been given a false understanding of Christianity. My only comment at this point is that any minister of the gospel that would allow people to believe that the Bible sentences young children to hell because they couldn't believe in Christ is as misguided as any unbeliever. The Bible clearly shows that there is an age of accountabililty before which any child who dies enters heaven. Children are only spoken of as examples of heaven. When God told the Israelites who would be allowed to enter the promised land one of the groups included those who were too young to know right from wrong. Churches that teach that children are sinful from birth and destined to hell if not christened have very incomplete knowledge of the Bible. And hell is not a place of 'torture', the Bible does not use that word. It is a place of torment. A place where people who chose to live lives seperated from God will eternally live with the torment of knowing what they could of had but now spend eternity without it (goodness, caring, kindness, all the things that make up God's character). Before you give up Christ make sure you understand what Christ is all about first.

.:webmaster:. said...

Anonymous, you said, "The Bible clearly shows that there is an age of accountabililty before which any child who dies enters heaven."

Please quote the Bible verses that teach there is such a thing as an age of accountability and/or that catagorically states that all people who die before reaching that age of accountability go straight to heaven.

After that, could you please explain how being confined to a lake of fire for all eternity without chance of parole or rehabilitation is anything less than retributive torture. Or, barring that, at least explain the difference between torment and torture.

Thanks.

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