The emperor is naked

sent in by Albert

I grew up with very little religion. My parents had had it forced down their throats and didn't want the same for my sister and me. So although I understood the basic framework of Christianity and we celebrated the holidays, we never went to church, prayed at the dinner table etc.

My wife on the other hand had been raised an Anglican all her life. Although I never cared much for the liturgies and rituals of her church (although I liked the music and hymns), I always enjoyed the sermons by the minister because they were insightful and related to everyday life rather than being some kind of esoteric high powered theology. Eventually the minister went back to Northern Ireland and was replaced by a pleasant but very boring fellow. Neither my wife nor I found this much to our liking and we attended church rarely after that.

A few years after that I attended the funeral of one of my colleagues and was really impressed by the minister from a local evangelical church so we decided to give his church a try. Now this church is one of those "seeker friendly" types which has adapted itself to the culture around it in order to recruit members. Initially it was rather exciting with the contemporary worship and the enthusiasm of the church members. Quite a contrast to the rather turgid environment of my previous Anglican church.

This environment of enthusiasm rubbed off on me and made me really start reading and getting into Christianity. So I started reading a variety of books, but guess what started my questioning? Amazon.com! How so you say? Well there's something over there called "reader reviews". So when you start reading that not all people think highly of the apologetics of someone like C.S. Lewis, it gets you thinking. To make a long story short, after three years of intense study the whole thing just fell apart. And when the best answer your pastor can give to tough but fair questions is "read your bible and I will pray for you", you realize the whole thing is nothing more than a shell game. In some ways I think my deconversion is especially relevant because I never really had any significant negative experiences the way some here have had, so my deconversion can't be blamed on "bad" christians etc. My wife has gone back to an Anglican church which she attends occasionally and I go with her on the holidays, it's fairly painless. We get along as well as ever.

At present I have not put any new metaphyscal labels on myself because none really seem to fit and furthermore I feel there is too much of that "us versus them" mentality in the world already. So that's my story. maybe not terribly fascinating but so be it.


Montreal
Quebec
Canada
25
45
Was: Anglican, Evangelical
Now: No labels please, they leave stains which are hard to wash out :-)
Joined: Because of wife
Left: I had questions, but they had no good answers
potterdoc13 at yahoo dot ca

44 comments:

Thomas said...

Hi Albert, I like your analogy of the religious shell game. Under which shell is Jesus, is he under shell no.1, shell no.2 or shell no.3? and if you miss, just add a few more dollars and you get to guess again. Never to find Jesus only in someone's imagination. It's like bait and switch, come back next week folks and keep praying maybe you'll eventually find Jesus. I too, think that church is a religious carnival. It's cheap entertainment, I mean dog-cheap, it goes on here in the US every Sunday in three hour intervals, since we have three separate time zones. It starts here on the East Coast at 9am Sun. morn., then God has to wait 1 hour in middle America and then God has to wait 2 hours on the West Coast before he can get his worship, poor God. Then sometimes it snows so much on Sundays, that the God worship gets cancelled, thats when God gets so depressed and holds a gun to his head, because of his much desired worship gets cancelled, of course the preachers get their salary money anyway, it's a blessing in disquise for them. We now know it's all a hoax and a scam. Welcome aboard to freedom, Albert.

Interested Atheist said...

Thanks a lot, Albert! It was a great story - anybody can see the truth if they just work and think about it.

"After three years of intense study the whole thing fell apart." Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Albert wrote:

" ... At present I have not put any new metaphyscal labels on myself because none really seem to fit and furthermore I feel there is too much of that "us versus them" mentality in the world already. So that's my story. maybe not terribly fascinating but so be it."
Albert, thanks for your testimony, although it is very different than my experience. I will bet you money that a lot of folks are much like yourself.

When anyone with an open mind looks at the myths of the Bible, or evangelical doctrines, they come up with the same answers, that there are none.

Welcome to the board.

Onanite

Jim Lee said...

It's great to see that you never really got caught up in the brainwash. Pity a few million indoctrinated people cannot see the truth also.

Albert said...

I was also appalled at the generally low level of education of ministers and pastors. Mention the name Thomas Paine and usually you got a "deer in the headlights" look.I also found that if you show them that you've done your homework they get intimidated and start avoiding you.

Albert said...

I also gave a couple of them a copy of Ed Babinski's book "Leaving the Fold". They actually read it, but it didn't make a dent in their beliefs. Amazing!

Sarge said...

Good going, Albert. My wife is a practicing methodist, but in our forty two years together (the last thirty seven as husband and wife) religeon has never been a issue. One son is a beliver, the other is an atheist, and no friction. I was dragged to church until I was big enough to sky out of it, but at one point in those lonely, horrendous teenage years I wondered. I am dyslexic, (didn't know it then, just that I had a major problem which was crapping up my life something ferocious) and maybe I had another kind of dyslexia that made it difficult to impossible for me to see things other than the written page like others. So I tried, really tried, but at the end of six months I still couldn't jolly myself into believing that that turd on my plate was a Baby Ruth bar. It was a turd, would not be anything else no matter how hard you tried to polish it. Was finally back to being honest with myself, and life, while it got harder, was at least a little more clean. I could look at myself in a mirror again.

Sarge said...

Sorry, I should have clarified, I've been an atheist from the age of five.

FREEDY said...

Welcome Albert,I'm glad you didn't have to go thru what many of us did to realize that churchianity is a shell game.Ripping off gullible & desperate people seems to be totally acceptable in America
Some may call us blasphemers,I say christians are the blasphemers for making gaud in their own image,...jealous,violent,vengeful,
egocentric and of course, LOVING???
PEACE,..FREEDY

Dano said...

"God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says 'This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, 'No, this is mine.'"

Now! we can believe that this simple minded f--k is saying this shit just to promote his TV show or we can believe that all the morons like him really are going to keep escalating the religious hatred in the world and cause our demise by a self fulfilling prophesy!

What the f--k is the difference between his views and the lunatic that is running Iran now?

The only difference is one calls God, Allah and has a psychotic pedophile for a prophet, and the other calls God, God, and has a deluded rabbi who was convinced that he was the only son of God.
Dano

DCShrink1 said...

Check out http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com
for information, support and great reading material

Bob (Been There, Got the T-Shirt) said...

Welcome, Albert. I'm pretty new here and there is a wealth of information and objects of support. It's like Washington D.C. or Disneyland, you really can't see it in a day.

DCShrink1 said...
Check out http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com
for information, support and great reading material

1/12/2006 4:32 PM

Thanks for that. It is a great response to www.godhatesfags.com, which is a "hoot". It's just a very sick and disturbing "hoot".

Dano said...

DCShrink1 wrote:
Check out http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com
for information, support and great reading material
posted: 1/12/2006 4:32 PM EST  

I would like to thank you for the link to (http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com)
It should be required reading in every school.

He shows by implicit example, how all religious belief is simply too dumb to take seriously. Even a six year old should be able to see the fallaciousness of belief in imaginary beings after reading this.
Dano

Bear said...

Hi

Just wondering what were some of the things there were no good answers for?

Cheers

Albert said...

<"Bear said...

Hi

Just wondering what were some of the things there were no good answers for?">

I'll give you a couple of examples

1) Remember those plagues in Egypt? Well after a few of them the pharoah was starting to weaken a bit so God had to "harden his heart". So I asked if that wasn't in fact interfering with the free will of the pharoah. The "brilliant" answer I got was that "God knew he wasn't going to back down then anyways". O stars for that one. It also implies that, say I swat you on the head. That action may not have been of my own doing but rather because God "hardened my heart". Talk about opening a pandora's box about the cause of evil!

2) There were others but the clincher for me revolved around the "second coming". I've looked at this from every angle and the only reasonable way to read the NT is to say that there was an expectation (either by Jesus and/or the NT writers) of a return within the lifetime of some of Jesus' contemporaries. To say otherwise is to grossly distort the clear meanings of plain words and phrases. And to try to link this coming with the destruction of the Temple is pathetic. That would be like me saying "remember my aunt Ethel who died last year? Well that tornado the other day that was her way of coming back and saying hello to us all!".

3) But worst of all, most of my qustions were shrugged aside and never even give an answer! Well if they can't be bothered to answer me I can't be bothered to believe in their theology anymore either. And believe me I talked to lots of different ministers and pastors both in person, by email etc etc. The only ones who would really bother to engage with me were those of a fairly "liberal" bent.

I could go on for hours.............

Angie said...

If Jesus walked into a church, my guess would be that they would throw him out. I know the damage religion does. It is the sharpest of counterfeits. It ensnares you at your most vulnerable...when you are new and seeking. They endoctrinate you in their deceptive slants, false promises, rules and regulations. They enslave you and use your enthusiasm to work you like a dog and then, when you need them the most, they are not there for you. And, to top it off, as false representives of Christ, they turn you off to the only one who can sucessfully expose them and help you to overcome them. Don't give up on Christ. He didn't give up on you.
Angie
http://rants.8m.com

Angie said...

P.S. My husband and I are at least two people that not only survived the evils of churchianity but we continue to grow in Christ outside of organized religion's grasp. Yes there is life after churchianity. We're the "unchurched" if you will. I was "churched" from 74-76, until it was exposed that they were not helpers but hinderers of the true seeker. Don't let them win!

Dano said...

Angie,
Isn't there a tad bit too much mysticism and magic involved in being a Christian to make it the basis for your life.

Just think about this one concept. Why would God need a sacrifice of any human (Jesus)? I dare you to analyze it, examine the logic of the whole story from the immaculate conception to the Ascension.

Doesn't it look a little like the same story that you find in pagan religions that preceded Christianity?

The people of this site will attest to the fact that it is possible to live a happy, optimistic, secure life, without a blind acceptance of a mythological story.

The only difference is that we go through each day, still in wonder at the creation of life. We aren't presumptuous enough to think that we know what/who did it, or how.
Dan

Dano said...

Angie,
Check out the testimony of another Angie!

http://www.exchristian.net/testimonies/2005/12/fantasy-versus-reality.html#comments

Dan

Anonymous said...

"Just think about this one concept. Why would God need a sacrifice of any human (Jesus)? I dare you to analyze it, examine the logic of the whole story from the immaculate conception to the Ascension."

Hello Dano-
I am a christian and am here to just clarify a few things about your questions. Please know that I completely respect your decision to leave Christianity and my sole reason for posting is to clarify, not judge.

The immaculate conception and ascension (of mary) is nowhere found in the new testament.

Also, in the old testament, God prohibited the sacrifice of humans. Actually he was so opposed to it that after years of withholding judgment on those who practiced these heinous acts, He later commanded the hebrews in Moses' time to destroy the nations that were engaging in child/human sacrifice. Unfortunately though, the bible recounts that they too ended up doing this detestable thing. God responded to them, as he did with other nations, with anger and judgement. Ezekiel 16:20-22

God's request for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was not a required law, but rather a test of his faithfulness. But, Abraham did not just submit blindly for he knew about God's character, and he did not believe that He would allow it.

In Gen 22:5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE (emphasis mine) will come back to you." {anticipation that he will return with Isaac with him)

Then Gen 22:8 Isaac asked Abraham why they were going to offer a sacrifice without a lamb. He answered, "God himself will PROVIDE the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."

Thanks,
evelyn

Anonymous said...

Dano - i wanted to add one more thing:

God does require a blood sacrifice, however. This is a concept that is uniform throughout the bible. From the old to the new, any wrongdoing must be "paid" for by atonement (shedding of animal blood in OT, shedding of Jesus' blood in NT). the bible does describe God as a consuming fire because of his absolute hatred of any wrongdoing (sin). But since the bible also describes him as loving, he has deflected this payment to fall on animals (OT) then later onto himself through Jesus (NT).

Hebrews 9 explains this further, if you were interested in looking it up for yourself.
Thanks,
evelyn

Dano said...

Evelyn you said:
"Dano - I wanted to add one more thing:
God does require a blood sacrifice, however. This is a concept that is uniform throughout the bible. From the old to the new, any wrongdoing must be "paid" for by atonement (shedding of animal blood in OT, shedding of Jesus' blood in NT). the bible does describe God as a consuming fire because of his absolute hatred of any wrongdoing (sin). But since the bible also describes him as loving, he has deflected this payment to fall on animals (OT) then later onto himself through Jesus (NT)"

Hebrews 9 explains this further, if you were interested in looking it up for yourself.
Thanks,
Evelyn

If God hate "SIN" so much, why did he create it? Very simple question. Now let me see how you skirt around that.
Dan

Anonymous said...

Dan,
Please explain why you believe God created sin. What are your views on this matter? It will help me better understand.

Evelyn

Ben said...

Either the Bible is the absolute word of God or it's all a lie.

Evelyn Please read:

Isaiah Ch.45 vs.7
I form the light, and create the darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all theses things.

Now according to the bible, this God is the creator of all things, this leaves only God to be responsible for creating all Evil, Satan, and allowing all evil to exist.

Now Evelyn, are we to believe what the Bible says, or are we supposed to believe what you want us to believe?

Since we do not believe that the bible was divinely inspired, we do not believe it is the truth.

We do not believe that there exists a god and he creates evil and runs and hides and looks out from undercover to see who believes in him and who worships his ass.

Anonymous said...

Hello ben,
you wrote: "Either the Bible is the absolute word of God or it's all a lie."

I absolutely agree with you. As for Is 45:7, I see you are quoting from the KJV. However, modern translations like the NASB or NIV renders the original hebrew as "calamity" or "disaster".

Isaiah 45:7 contrasts opposites. Darkness is the opposite of light. However, evil is not the opposite of peace.

The Hebrew word translated "peace" is sha?lo?m, which has many meanings, mostly related to the well being of individuals. On the other hand, Ra??a?h, the Hebrew word translated "evil" in the KJV often refers to adversity or calamity.

There are two forms of the word in Hebrew. If you look up this word using Strong's Concordance (this textbook looks up meanings of the original hebrew text), the form used in this verse most often refers to calamity or distress.

Obviously, "calamity" is a better antonym of "peace" than "evil."

And yes, the bible speaks of many instances that God causes calamity such as the global flood described in genesis.

Dano said...

Evelyn
Ben did a real good job of explaining it, now all you have to do is resist the temptation to not read what he said, or stick your fingers in your ears and run away.

"Isaiah Ch.45 vs.7
I form the light, and create the darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all theses things."

Thanks Ben!
Dan

Dano said...

To put it another way Evelyn

The guys who wrote the bible were not very big on logic. They just said "shit" and every one back then took it at face value. No matter how screwy it was. They had a saying: "It's not so important WHAT we tell the masses as long we stay in power and can rule them by making stuff up, and telling them that if they question us they will go to hell and burn forever!"
Dan

Ben said...

I have three bibles and have owned them for over 30 years, every one say the exact same thing verse to verse, and it is the same bible KJV that my fundy parents so adhere to. Now either they have been lied to all these years by preachers or the bible is the absolute truth.

I say the bible is all a lie, and my parents have been lied to all their friggin fundy life.

Now Evelyn you may take your beliefs and your precious NASB or NIV watered down bibles and have a happy life and you may decide to rewite the KJV bible to make it suit your needs, so you have displayed the typical fundy response, you want your bible to be the true one that you want to believe and if you do not find one that suits you, you will search and find one that does.

Evelyn thank you for such a waist of Dano's and my time. I'm sorry Dano but I thought I could help, but one must want help before it can begin. Cheers Dano, with lots of respect, Ben

south2003 said...

Is this Anonymous person for real. They must be kidding right?

Hey guys, we are required to learn hebrew in order to understand the buybull. On top of that, make sure you guys are reading the correct transulation, not the KJV BUT the NIV/NASB..oh brother, another apologetic BS.

Anonymous said: " Obviously, "calamity" is a better antonym of "peace" than "evil."

Calamity: disaster, catastrophe, mishap, misfortune, tragedy, blow

Evil: wickedness, malevolence, sin, iniquity, vice immorality

No wonder you slick bastards try to get away from the word "evil" Tell me something Anonymous, everywhere else in your NIV evil remainds evil, correct? So why is changed with this one verse? Get it straight Anonymous. This so call god book has been revised, transulated so many times and so evil is now soften (only in the NIV and NASB)to read "calamity" Too many hard questions concerning that verse, so I guess someone decided to be slick.

For those who reads the KJV (speaking about christians, if they ever read it) will see what it really says. Dammed if you are not reading the NIV or NASB.

some inspired book that is *phew*

By the way, hate means hate or are you going to tell us we need to learn greek.

Anonymous said...

Ben,
First of all i didn't ask for help, but thank you for your odd way of "offering help". Second of all, your response sounded like a big emotional meltdown - which were unnecessary. I answered your question as logically as i can based on what the text in question was written in in the original language. I wasn't putting down your dear KJV. Nor was i exalting other translations over it. That was your misguided assumption.


South2203,
Calamity (natural disasters, deformed childred) and evil (moral evil such as murder, cheating lying) does not carry the same meaning at all the last time I checked the english dictionary. If you can't see that then I am at a loss for words.

Speaking of dictionaries, there is no such word as transulated. oh..you mean TRANSlated.

I thought I would be able to discuss matters in an intelligent way here. I was wrong.

Ben said...

Evelyn would you please just go away and live in your own mental delusion, you're just a fundy robot repeating verses and phrases that you been programmed to repeat by preachers, not by any god.

Evelyn you're really not wanted here, you have an excuse for every breath that you inhale. you live in a lie, you believe in a lie, you love a lie, you steep your brain in a lie, just go on and worship Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, all those people helping spread the biggest lie and hoax and scam ever invented in the history of humankind.

Anonymous said...

Dear ben,
I don't like pat robertson. I don't even know who jimmy falwell is, sorry. But anyways, since you said "please" i will do as you requested. And I'm sorry that some christians has caused this bitterness. It broke my heart to hear you talk about your parents being lied to. Good luck,
Evelyn.

south2003 said...

Anonymous,

HAR HAR HAR, is that all you can say regarding my post - about the word that I mispelled?

So this god makes deformed kids for what? Isn't that wicked? Dig deep into your goody bag once again, grap two ears...it's the same old sh*t bunny rabbit. It's no better than someone who murders. Speaking about murder, how many did god kill or ordered to be killed? - so screw your yet again apologetic sap bullshit<(checking my spelling. Yep it's right)

You thought you could tell us a story that we've never heard before and low and behold, you had the melt down when you realized we weren't buying it.

And thanks for doing my spell check Nonny. Make sure you do same fro thsi oen alos.

P.S. If you keep up your babble in trying to spread your "good news" on this site, especially when we don't want to hear it, it will be scrubed.

later fundie

Animouse said...

Anonymous 1/19/2006 5:18 PM: "I answered your question as logically as i can based on what the text in question was written in in the original language."

How about we just sit here are correct your grammar.

Instead of: "...on what the text in question was written in in the original language."

How about a more lucid ending:

"...on the original text in question"

It gets rid of the double "in" used. Also, next time you want to critique grammar and format, use a capital "I", instead of a lower case "i", as in your sentence.

Anonymous: I wasn't putting down your dear KJV."

How do you know how endeared anyone holds a piece of literature. You are being presumptious and drawing conclusions, unless you are going to claim omniscience.

Anonymous: "Nor was i exalting other translations over it. That was your misguided assumption."

If you claim one translation of a word is more "correct", than another, then you are asserting by default, that all other translations are "less" correct. Are you asserting, that all bible translations are equally correct? If so, then the word "evil" stands in the KJV, as equal in correct translation. Unless you are going to make a different claim.

Anonymous: "I thought I would be able to discuss matters in an intelligent way here. I was wrong."

If you want to appear intelligent, learn how to click on the "Other" button and post a name. Maybe you need a class on how to scroll with a mouse, and select objects online.

If you are trying to make a point, why not just make your argument? Then you can support your argument, based on your scholarly knowledge of the issue. If you make a statement of "fact", and it is contradictory to other bible translations, then you assert they are incorrect. So, lets hear this wisdom you are desperately trying to pass to the visitors and regulars on this site.

south2003 said...

grap two ears should read: grab two ears

I sure don't want be admonish about my spelling *in tears*

Ben said...

Evelyn it breaks my heart to know without a single doubt that my parents and you too have been lied to, by not only by any preacher that you may know, but you've also been lied to by your fake manmade bible.

I have a website I would like to recomend to you, theresfinersfire.com, you'll simply love it there and you two can sit around and discuss how you love God and baby Jesus, and how everyones going to hell except you two.

Shannon said...

If the bible is god’s word then it would not have to be translated from Hebrew to Greek and then into any modern language. For that matter if it were god’s words, they shouldn’t have to translated at all. The words would be universally known and universally understood. There wouldn't be: “No, no, that’s not what he meant, you dumb ass! This is what he meant!"

And if they were universal words, we would all be born knowing them. We’d all be baptized in our amniotic fluid as (select the One True Religion and insert) and not as the atheists that we are all born now.

‘Calamity’ was not put into place to flatter ‘peace.’ It was put in place to squelch the ‘evil’ doings of your ever-so-loving god.

Ben said...

Exactly Shannon, All god's works would be self-evident to every living person, not just some that claim to have a "gift". Also if there was a heaven and hell, it would be visible from Earth, you could wave to people you knew in heaven, while you could watch mean people deserving hell, burn and beg for a drop of water.

Brillant Shannon, We have a Winner !!!!

Stay with us Shannon, and post some more, we need you.

cdmon said...

The NASB and the NIV are watered down bastardized versions of the KJV.

The words in many cases are sugar coated to make the violence in the OT more palatable for modern believers.

Not that the KJV is not chocked full of discrepancies, contradictions and absurdities, which somehow seems to elude the minds of the believers.

If an all knowing, almighty deity wrote a book it would be the greatest book ever written. Authored in a style far beyond the intelligence and abilities of any mortal author. It would be simple to understand and a person could read it from cover to cover in one night. Even a young child would be able to understand it with complete clarity, and there would be no reason for people to disagree or argue about what it means.

The bible is obviously not such a book...

Cheers

Fran said...

If a god wanted everyone to know
that it was his Holy words, he
would have fixed it to where every person that read it could understand it, without any
confusion regardless of nationality or age or race or creed or color, and no
contradictions and no different denominations even a child could have read the Bible and have complete understanding, this way a person would not have an excuse for rejecting the word of God.

The only reason the Bible is so contradictory is because it was not written by a god, it was written by a man.

A God may not be the author of confusion, but man surely is, which is self evident in the buybull.

I can hear some christians saying right now, But I understand completely every word of the bible. ah piss off...

Anonymous said...

The only reason that the bible is confusing is, because it's a lie.
A confound lie.

Dano said...

Evelyn,
Golleee Ev, I thought you would stay around and try to splain some of the difficult contradictions of believing in mythology. Things like: Why would God need sacrifices?
Why doesn't God stop suffering? Why did God create a system of life here on earth where the most fit survive by devouring the weak? Why are all the freaks and sick, and deformed people born? If God can do anything he wants, why all the pain and confusion, and chaos in the world? He either doesn't care anything about us or he can't do anything about it. Why doesn't he just come on TV and splain things?
Dan

Emerson said...

Hey whatever it takes to get you into the path of freedom! Even Amazon.com reviews can help. A lot of them are written by intelligent people and not mindless religious drones.

cj said...

Hi Albert! Just thought I'd leave a comment at your post since yours came before mine and you've shared with me. Be sure and let me know if your wife ever comes around. That would give me hope with my husband...

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