Insiders story of big church politics and wrong doing

sent in by YouJon

Around 2000 I began going to a cutting edge growing church. By 2003 the brainwashing was successfully and I was a full-blown believing Christian. The church was in the final phases of a 14 million dollar expansion. They were in the market for a highly skilled building maintenance person. Believing in God I applied and was chosen over others who also applied. I left the auto industry where I was a top notch tech making good money. I bought into that crap that God would take care of me and pay me back for what I was doing for him. I took a $12,000 a year pay-cut to fulfill his will for me. The first year I was so busy I didn't even have time to talk to people. I didn't see the politics, evil and just plain screwed up people working there. The second year sh*t started going sour and I began questioning whether God could really be true with the things I was seeing inside the church.

During the expansion phase the church hired a man to serve as a general contractor. He was self-employed at the time and had his own business. When the project was done the church asked him to stay on as a Facilities director. Ultimately he became my boss as well as the truth and light for me. This guy was robbing the church blind as well as leaving during the day at all times to go to a job-site he was working as a general contractor on the side. He also was in charge of setting up concerts which left him setting himself up to work the concert as an outside electrician, director etc. He was not only getting 60k for being facilities director he was also collecting for anything that came into the church as well as still running his own business.

On Aug 2005 I filed a written complaint with the Director of Ministry and Director Of Operations (his boss). The complaint listed multiple items of theft, conflicts of interest, failure to get three bids, hiring his brother-in-law, misappropriation of funds, failure of the church to provide accountability, failure to get the best price for things, etc.

All together there were 15 whistle-blowing items. I spoke to the Director of Operations but after a month they still hadn't done anything nor did they get back to me. But they did do one thing - my boss was no longer speaking with me. I told another employee there that I didn't feel either of the directors truly believed in God and that it was all about money. Guess What? They fired me for that... almost immediately.

They never came to me or asked me why I felt that way, or anything, and there was nothing in my file for any wrong-doing. Here comes the neat part: non-profits don't pay unemployment. I found myself on the street with no severance pay or unemployment. I lost over $3,500.00 'till I found another job. Not very cool or humane when you're single with your own home. Not one person ever called to check up on me - not even just 1 of the 4 ministers. In the weeks to follow my faith lasted for 4 of the 8 while searching for a job. This was my reward from God. Yeah right. I am now free and working my way back to the top in my field once again. Also, I have deleted all Christians from my life, including my girlfriend of 2 years.

Lancaster
Pa
USA
38
42
Was: non-denominational Bible church
Now: full-blown Atheist
Converted because: looking for meaning or purpose
De-converted because: It's all about money and control
email: infidel666 at comcast dot net

63 comments:

phoenixron said...

You probably should not have dumped the GF. It would be neat if you deconverted her and then dumped her, if you were so inclined.

Anonymous said...

You probably should not have dumped the GF. It would be neat if you deconverted her and then dumped her, if you were so inclined.

Jim Lee said...

Some of us have to learn the hard way that Christianity is a farce at the best of time. Christianity has been a fraud ever since its conception.

Luke said...

"De-converted because: It's all about money and control"

That's exactly what it's about. This is why religious institutions exist. You give them your money and the right to dictate even the most intimate aspects of your life. What do you get in return? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

What do they get? Money and power. I know plenty of spiritual people who see no reason to have religious institutions act as an intermediary between them and God. If God does exist, what exactly are the various religions and houses of worship doing to bring you closer to him/her. They are not doing anything you can't do on your own.

So, to sum up, religions exist to rip off and oppress gullible believers.

Leroy Sutton said...

Around 2000 I began going to a cutting edge growing church. By 2003 the brainwashing was successfully and I was a full-blown believing Christian.


No you weren't. You were brainwashed, yes. But you weren't a Christian. A Christian has a measure of faith, a faith given by God, a faith, therefore, that is given supernaturally. I'm not saying you didn't have an experience... brainwashing, from what I've read, can be powerful. But please, don't in any way infer this was a 'conversion' experience. It's not fair to those who have truly had such a conversion, and it impedes the work God may be wanting to do in those who are still searching... or don't even know they're searching. (Notice: I said the work God is doing, not the work some 'mega' church leader is doing, brainwashing you and others like you. I'm sorry for the grief this caused you. Next time, and I hope there is, perhaps you'll rely on the supernatural. Until you do, any faith you think you got is only that... all in your head.

Jess said...

What actually is a christian? I've personally never met one or seen one. Do they wear red suits? or shinny shoes? How does someone recognize a christian? OH, they have to tell you that they are a christian.

Luke said...

Leroy Sutton,

Of course, he was a Christian. A Christian is someone who believes Jesus is their savior. How they arrived at that conclusion doesn't have any relevance.

Most people who are Christian never had anything that they believed was a supernatural experience. By your definition probably 99% of people who claim to be Christian really aren't.

Anonymous said...

Leroy Sutton wrote:

"Next time, and I hope there is, perhaps you'll rely on the supernatural. Until you do, any faith you think you got is only that... all in your head."

Why do all the so called Christians who post here post the same lame arguments about "not really" being saved? It points to their ignorance really.

Leroy I hate to let you in on a little secret buddy, but YOUR faith is all in your head, there is no supernatural. Get a grip!

Onanite
http://onanite.blogspot.com/

.:webmaster:. said...

...it impedes the work God may be wanting to do in those who are still searching... -- LS

So, the Christian God is so impotent that His will can be impeded by nearly everything.

Interesting!

Leroy Sutton said...

Luke said: Of course, he was a Christian. A Christian is someone who believes Jesus is their savior. How they arrived at that conclusion doesn't have any relevance.

LS... Oh but it does. The bible says you must be born again... a procedure that, to the best of my knowledge, isn't being performed by OB-GYN's... or worse, building contractors and mere men at mega churches.

Look... it sounds pretty cut and dried, these men offered another man a 'deal' ...The deal was too good to pass up and the man, having never been born again by the Holy Spirit of God Almighty decided to go with them down a merry trail of deception in pursuit of the almighty dollar. He got played, comprende.

Next time he won't be so trusting, and that's a good thing. The world is full of this. But God does not lie... Ye must be born from above, born from the spirit. Don't say nothing 'bout no brainwashing. LS

Leroy Sutton said...

Onanite said: Leroy I hate to let you in on a little secret buddy, but YOUR faith is all in your head, there is no supernatural. Get a grip!

No sir! It's you that is in need of what you so quaintly say is, a grip. I would never be so bold or presumptious as to profess to know what another man is or is not thinking. That's where our original poster got into trouble, he assumed he was dealing with Christians. The Bible says we are to love and not judge, and that we are to wait patiently for 'The Day' when all man's works, good and bad, shall be revealed.

We all like to believe we're deeply complex and sensitive creatures, however we seldom allow ourselves to view others in that light. Please Onanite...let us try and do that for each other. Happy New Year

.:webmaster:. said...

LS said: "...the man, having never been born again by the Holy Spirit of God Almighty."

Then he said: "The Bible says we are to [...] not judge"

Hmm...

.:webmaster:. said...

LS said: "It's you that is in need of [...] a grip"

And LS said: "The Bible says we are to [...] not judge"


Hmm...

Jeff said...

I'd be willing to bet this guy will reconvert to xtianity. I think he is a "mad at god" atheist, who will brought back to faith by a "true" church that is totally different (no really!) than the false prophets who deceived him. He doesn't give background before 2000, and seems to be an all or nothing type of guy.

Luke said...

Leroy Sutton,

John 3:6-8
6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[a] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

John 3:2-4
2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Ok, define the meaning of born again based on the above verses. It doesn't specify the need for a supernatural experience.

So, anyone who says I believe Jesus is my savior and who believes they feel the presence of a spirit is a Christian. In fact, you could say a person is born again each time they acknowledge this belief.

"I would never be so bold or presumptious as to profess to know what another man is or is not thinking."

You were bold and presumptious because you professed to know what YouJon was thinking when he converted to Christianity.

Luke said...

Jeff,

Let me guess. Of all the thousands of religious sects yours is the true one.

Jeff said...

Luke
I'm atheist.
I just think this guy will reconvert. He seems highly suggestable. Quitting a good job for the church, and then dumping his girlfriend because he dumped the church. He'll fall back to christianity and then tell everyone that he was athiest and saw the errors of his ways. His conversion contained no critical thought elements (at least from the post)

Luke said...

Jeff,

Sorry for the confusion. Who knows though. I've met people who had a bad experience in their church that started a process of questioning that eventually led them to abandon their faith. But, yeah, some "atheists" or "agnostics" do reconvert because they acted out of anger and never discovered that Christianity was baloney.

Leroy Sutton said...

Webmaster said:

Then he said: "The Bible says we are to [...] not judge"

Hmm...

LS...replies by saying, I'm truly sorry you're incapable of making a distinction between an observation based on a person's oral testimony (unsolicited, right?) and the act of judging another by what you perceive to be their thoughts and motives. Your 'perception' may be colored but their words are down in black and white for all to see.

I only made an observation based on what the fellow said, never by what I assume he felt or reasoned. How would I know what he was truly believing? Only by what he said... and what he said was, "By 2003 the brainwashing was successful"

That's pretty cut and dried, right?

If he came to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in any other way he should've said so. For now... in the present realm... it's best to communicate verbally if you'd like to be fully understood.

But if you're a step ahead of me, WM, and can discern what others are truly believing... well, this old world must get kinda dull, eh?

.:webmaster:. said...

LS said: "I'm truly sorry you're incapable of..."

And he said: "The Bible says we are to [...] not judge"

Hmm...

LS also said: "But if [...] (you) can discern what others are truly believing..."

And this: "...the man, having never been born again by the Holy Spirit of God Almighty..."

Hmm...

And let's remember this one: "The Bible says we are to [...] not judge"

Luke said...

LS,

You're very much a literalist, aren't you? Brainwashing is more of an emotional term. A person who was raised Christian by their parents, who went to church and Bible study, had some experience their church told them was supernatural, etc. will feel like they've been brainwashed when they realise it's all a myth.

.:webmaster:. said...

LS said: "...what he said was, 'By 2003 the brainwashing was successful'

That's pretty cut and dried, right?"


It's only cut-and-dried if you're of the position that Christian salvation is formulaic, and that the correct formula is required in order to receive the application of supposedly "true salvation."

Formulaic approaches to religion are fairly new on the historic scene. Until about 150 years ago, religionists did not hold such a simplistic understanding.

Hmm, perhaps the entire bulk of Christians up until 1850 or so just weren't "true Christians."

LS is apparently able to "judge" between true and false faith in another person. It's easy for him: if there's no magic fundie formula mentioned, then there was no conversion. And, judging that someone is not "truly" converted is NOT really judging, it's just observing.

Anonymous said...

Webmaster wrote about Leroy's posts:
"hmm"

I thought that was well said, and my feelings exactly. Leroy Sutton seems to have a need to respond, but when he does, he just digs himself deeper into a whole.

My experience with many Christians over decades also points to their inability to step back from the rhetoric they have been taught and think their positions and statement through.

Sadly for Leroy, his protestations just make the point for those of us able to think clearly and logically.

The best thing for the religiously bound to do is make their case, and let go. Unable or unwilling to do so they start stepping on their own words and in doing so unmask their obviously flawed logic. They appear to enlighten folks like an animal caught in a trap trying to gnaw its own foot off. Eventually they are often successful, limping away only to die from the injuries they have themselves caused. Sad really.

Onanite
http://onanite.blogspot.com/

benji said...

Leroy Sutton said:
LS...replies by saying, I'm truly sorry you're incapable of...

Are you truly sorry, Leroy? To me it sounds like you're being a hypocritical smartass, and an increasingly defensive one. (As you can probably tell, most of us here won't think twice about judging people. It's a perk that comes with being unsaved.)

I'm not saying you didn't have an experience... brainwashing, from what I've read, can be powerful. But please, don't in any way infer this was a 'conversion' experience. It's not fair to those who have truly had such a conversion...


Can you please describe the method you use in distinguishing what you would call a "true Christian" from a false one, or from one who is only going through the motions, or from one who is merely pretending? How do you go about determining if a person is truly saved or not? Do you interview the guy in question, or do you just take a real hard look at him? What are the minimum requirements, in your opinion, of an accurate conversion experience? Does this person need to have a vision of some sort? Does Jesus himself need to appear? What if the vision experienced by a person is legitimately formatted in your opinion--except that it only happened because he'd accidentally struck his head just then, or had just dropped acid? Is his conversion experience any less valid if it is cued by such "external" stimuli? Can you speak for the conversion experiences of other religions and cults, such as Krsna or Zoroastr?

I'm "truly sorry," Leroy, but you really should speak for yourself on the subject of religious mysticism. It only makes sense. To negate anyone else's religious experience as phony is to open oneself to similar charges, no matter how real it may have seemed. Many of us "heathens" have no problem calling the bluff of all conversion experiences, however, using our greatest weapon in our arsenal, Reason. I suppose this is yet another privilege of being unsaved.

Luke said...

Onanite,

"My experience with many Christians over decades also points to their inability to step back from the rhetoric they have been taught and think their positions and statement through."

If they did this they would no longer believe in Christianity. It can't withstand much thinking.

SL said...

Luke said: LS, You're very much a literalist, aren't you? Brainwashing is more of an emotional term. A person who was raised Christian by their parents, who went to church and Bible study, had some experience their church told them was supernatural, etc. will feel like they've been brainwashed when they realise it's all a myth.

LS said: You realize all of the above, all of what I'm sure you believe is salient and relative, is, in reality, moot. Until the original poster weighs in, and clarifies what he did and did not feel---- well, what's the point.

It'll no doubt begin to center wholly upon semantics and second guessing as to what brainwashing is and isn't... or what 'is' is... and Bill Clinton once said.

Thanks all-the-same for sharing your thoughts and comments, Luke. Have a nice weekend.

benji said...

Onanite said:
They appear to enlighten folks like an animal caught in a trap trying to gnaw its own foot off. Eventually they are often successful, limping away only to die from the injuries they have themselves caused.

This metaphor is one for the books. Very well put, Onanite.

Luke said...

SL,

We can know he wasn't referring to real brainwashing because if he was he would have mentioned that he was taken away somewhere and forcefully converted. No second guessing is required, just a basic knowledge of the English language.

I guess you won't be telling me where they Bible specifies that born again refers to a supernatural experience.

LS said...

WM said: It's only cut-and-dried if you're of the position that Christian salvation is formulaic,

LS said: I am. How perceptive of you to pick up on that. Here's the formula in the form of a question:

If you're not willing to die for what you believe... how can you really say you believe?

I'm inclined to agree with Jeff's take on this...

Jeff said...
I'd be willing to bet this guy will reconvert to xtianity. I think he is a "mad at god" atheist, who will brought back to faith by a "true" church that is totally different (no really!) than the false prophets who deceived him. He doesn't give background before 2000, and seems to be an all or nothing type of guy.

I'll reiterate... till this guy checks in again and speaks for himself-----

Let us all (Leroy bows his head) refrain from passing judgment. lol

SL said...

benji said: It only makes sense. To negate anyone else's religious experience as phony is to open oneself to similar charges, no matter how real it may have seemed.

Again... for the fourth or fifth time, Did not the original poster claim his experience as invalid by referring to it as a brainwashing? Brainwashing... as defined by yet another poster... as emotionalism. Spiritual mysticism... despite what you may 'feel'... is not emotionalism. There may be similarities, yes... but if they were identical experiences, people would abandon the Pope and Dali Lama and pursue Susan Lucci of ALL MY CHILDREN instead... But I'm sure you know that... or I hope you did.

Luke said...

"Did not the original poster claim his experience as invalid by referring to it as a brainwashing?"

Nope, he never once claimed that his experience was invalid. You made that claim. There is no where in the Bible that states one must have a supernatural experience to be considered a believer.

SL said...

First off Luke, if his experience was valid, Why wouldn't he be a believer, quietly praying for the lost to this very day, had he not had an unshakable supernatural experience. I don't hammer folks with the word of God (apparently you have an online Bible at your beck and call), but let me see if I can recall a few things from years back: You must be born from above... Jesus to Nicodemus. No one comes to the Father unless the Spirit draw him nigh. God is the author and finisher of our faith. (Not the brainwashing emotional sermons of the mega church on Highway 61.) You can argue as to whether these constitute worldly and explainable events, or whether they're of a supernatural order. But what's the point? You believe as you do and I believe as I do. The beauty is that no man can rule over what's inside of each of us. Peace out.

benji said...

LS said:
Spiritual mysticism... despite what you may 'feel'... is not emotionalism. There may be similarities, yes... but if they were identical experiences, people would abandon the Pope and Dali Lama and pursue Susan Lucci of ALL MY CHILDREN instead... But I'm sure you know that... or I hope you did.

Allow me to clarify. It was not my purpose to equate mysticism with brainwashing. As I understand it, their similarities are struck down by their very meanings. Brainwashing is a process acted upon an individual, whereas mysticism may be an intensely personal experience like conversion or awakening, regardless of any external force. Some of us are semantically challenged, apparently.

Luke said...

SL,

Nothing in the Bible says that belief must be based on a supernatural experience. Your particular brand of Christianity probably teaches that but there is no Biblical basis for that belief. One is considered a Christian if they accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. A perceived spiritual experience is not necessary.

"believe as you do and I believe as I do."

You have specifically come to this exchristian support site to try to convince people to think like you. You want to convince us that we were never real Christians because we never had a vision or spoke in tongues or whatever you believe is required to make one a "real" Christian. But you have no Biblical "proof" to back up your claim.

Dave8 said...

SL: "You believe as you do and I believe as I do. The beauty is that no man can rule over what's inside of each of us."

I tend to disagree with that statement. A newborn child, with no knowledge, is totally programmed via conditioning. Over time, the baby puts words to actions (verbs), objects (nouns), etc... The baby grows up, thinking that they are in control of their own lives. However, a life is nothing but living according to past influences, and present conditions. Mankind, controls what rules our perception and demeanor from the time we are born.

A point comes, in most peoples' lives, when they are persuaded subconsciously to deconflict the internal values they have beeen "taught", and the experiential knowledge they had gained over time. Is it a coincidence that many people hit the psychological wall (a.k.a. mid-life crisis) within a five year window per gender.

Reality is the ability for a person to be capable enough to see past human influence in this Universe. If a person is not capable of doing that, because they are still too psychologically conditioned to accept the window-dressing of the environment in front of them, they will continue to be controlled by those in the environment who are experts in the art of manipulation. Call it business marketing, sales, etc., manipulation of perception is everywhere.

So, again, I disagree, that we, throughout our lives have "total" control over what is metaphysically inside of us. However, there is "hope", that some can mentally break through the shallow barrier that covers and paints the Natural truth. Typically, it requires a humble outlook on life, and the ability to detach oneself from their environment, so that they become intterdependent as opposed to co-dependent. Thus, a person can rise above the "self", and the "environmental" influences to introspectively see themselves in an objective manner. Until a person can introspectively and critically break themselves down, psychologically, and come to personal truth by facing all of their past life, without relying on crutches, and excuses for their life will they finally find themselves.

This sounds really easy, doesn't it. However, I know many people who just haven't come to terms with who they are, and are still trying to figure out life, hence, the reason mid-life crisis still continue to be an episode psychologists can always rely on to keep them busy.

.:webmaster:. said...

The argument that "I believe in supernatural mumbo-jumbo and you believe in a naturalistic world" is fallacious.

These are not two sides of the same coin. It is NOT "I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe."

Christians believe in invisible nonsense that cannot be corroborated by anything. In contrast, non-believers simply do not accept the uncorroborated nonsense until it is corroborated.

Christians disbelieve in the claims of every other religion on Earth yet find it hard to accept that anyone would disbelieve in the claims of their religion.

Powerful "spiritual" experiences are documented in many religions. LSD has even been touted to bring on "powerful spiritual experiences." The chemistry and emotional states of the mind are still very much shrouded in mystery.

I'm embarrassed to admit that the three decades I was immerssed in Christianity, I was satisfied that my "powerful spiritual experiences" validated my beliefs. Now I realize that those experiences, although emotionally thrilling, bore no relationship to logic, reason or reality, except of course, in my own imagination.

SpaceMonk said...

"Believing in God I applied and was chosen over others who also applied. I left the auto industry where I was a top notch tech making good money. I bought into that crap that God would take care of me and pay me back for what I was doing for him."

He was enough of a 'true believer' to take personal risks in his life based purely on faith.
I don't know how much more of a 'true believer' he can be.

"On Aug 2005 I filed a written complaint ...
...I told another employee there that I didn't feel either of the directors truly believed in God and that it was all about money."

Seems like he was doing exactly what LS or any 'true believer' would have done - out of loyalty to his god.
What did his god do for him?
Dumped him into the scrap heap of society, where he has learned he's better off without such a god (indeed he has done better both before and after his faith-in-god period).

Mr. L. Sutton said...

Luke said: “Your particular brand of Christianity...”
LS: You’ve already erred once – presupposing that Jeff was a Christian when he was not... Ready to strike out again?
Luke again: “You have specifically come to this exchristian support site to try to convince people to think like you.
You have specifically come to this exchristian support site to try to convince people to think like you.
LS: Who are you?... The Amazing Kreskin. I was directed to this website off a Google search and began reading the very FIRST story I saw. I hardly had anytime to formulate any thought, least of which would be to convince someone to alter their personal philosophy or belief system. I’m not so shallow as to compel others to conform to my way of thinking. Oh, by the way, have you got it all figured out yet. What is my way of thinking? What are the stars or tea leaves telling you? Hey, do yourself a favor and relax. Try to live and let live. It’s a big world out there. Not everyone is a big bad Christian come to blow your house down. Although by the paranoid and accusatory tone of some of you – your ‘house’ must be built of cards.


Leroy said: "You believe as you do and I believe as I do. The beauty is that no man can rule over what's inside of each of us."

Dave8: “I tend to disagree with that statement.”
Leroy says, Okay. You’re free to disagree. See... I can’t rule over or determine your thoughts. Nice going. Thanks for the help.

Dave8 said...

Dave8: “I tend to disagree with that statement.”
Leroy says, Okay. You’re free to disagree. See... I can’t rule over or determine your thoughts. Nice going. Thanks for the help.

Where did you get the information so that you could form a thought, to disagree with me? Nice try, unless you are going to tell me you were just zapped from a metaphysically Transcendent being with the inspiraion of knowledge to form a disagreement. By the way, are you LS or SL. By the way, can a new-born baby disagree with anything requiring abstract throught? I supposed a child doesn't get to disagree... or perhaps, you didn't read my post thoroughly. Be good to hear what you have to say on the subject of independent thought, that somehow resides outside of the bounds of natural environmental influences.

Dave8 said...

LS: "I hardly had anytime to formulate any thought, least of which would be to convince someone to alter their personal philosophy or belief system."

Thought... LS, what is thought... I mean, from your perspective... will it require "thought" to define "thought"... if so, where did you get the information on "thought" from to guide you to your belief? From someone else who had a "thought"?

LS, please describe the process by which a person may use to make "decisions" in life... thanks... are "all" decisions in life, based on thought?

If your purpose isn't to assuage people towards a religious, more specifically a christian flavor of philosophy, then what would be your intent?

My intent, is to debate philosophy, science, etc., in an effort to derive a more refined philosophy, as... one can't truly have a "thought", without "knowledge"... or do you in your eruditious reasoning, not agree...

SL said...

Webmaster said: "The argument that "I believe in supernatural mumbo-jumbo and you believe in a naturalistic world" is fallacious.

L. Sutton: Yes, I agree, when stated in an arguement it is fallacious. But I never argue... it's against my personal belief system.

WM: These are not two sides of the same coin. It is NOT "I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe."

Leroy: It is...and can be...so long as both sides respect each other's freedom to do so. To not do this -- is to encounter strife and war and nastiness -- and that would be so no matter what was being discussed.

WM: Christians believe in invisible nonsense that cannot be corroborated by anything. In contrast, non-believers simply do not accept the uncorroborated nonsense until it is corroborated.

LS: You could easily replace the word Christian with right-wing Republican in support of war in Iraq and still have a viable paragraph. As it is, in the above and the paragraph below, all your hammering is at Christians. But this would make sense, your site is afterall is exchristian.com. But I do hope, in the effort to make your case, you don't begin to come off as hyper antichristian. It seems to me that you can make perfect sense without having to resort to false claims. I don't happen to know much about the religion, but I've read Thomas Merton, a Catholic, who seemed quite open and respectful of the Buddhist faith. I'm sure, too, there are other Christians who are not as narrowly bigoted as you claim. Maybe I'm wrong... I'll give you that... as I said, I don't know too much about it.

Christians disbelieve in the claims of every other religion on Earth yet find it hard to accept that anyone would disbelieve in the claims of their religion.

Dave8 said...

LS: "Oh, by the way, have you got it all figured out yet. What is my way of thinking?"

We have words on a PC/laptop monitor, and although its difficult to know your personality type and cognitive mesh from a distance, which forms the neurological process that "facilitates" the "thought process"... many of us, can 'glean' what 'knowledge' you hold by you statements if you are indeed sincere in your statements...

Although, there can be a deep discussion on the physiological limits of the thought process, and the glass ceiling of "finite" thought... its much easier to 'observe' how much a person knows, by their own unobstructed words... In short, many people say much that they don't believe when approached by others, in an effort to pacify... However, on a blog, people tend to say, what they think, and thus... it gives a more accurate picture of the persons' level of knowledge... not necessarily where they gained the knowledge, but definitely the breadth and depth of topical knowledge and their ability to cognitively converge knowledge/information to obtain a more accurate picture of reality...

Luke said...

"LS: You’ve already erred once – presupposing that Jeff was a Christian when he was not... Ready to strike out again?"

So, you're not a Christian but you are born again? I thought they went hand in hand.

"I was directed to this website off a Google search and began reading the very FIRST story I saw. I hardly had anytime to formulate any thought, least of which would be to convince someone to alter their personal philosophy or belief system."

Ok, so why the heck have you dedicated a large part of your day posting here?

"Oh, by the way, have you got it all figured out yet. What is my way of thinking? What are the stars or tea leaves telling you?"

I don't believe in anything supernatural, which include stars and tea leaves.

"Hey, do yourself a favor and relax. Try to live and let live. It’s a big world out there. Not everyone is a big bad Christian come to blow your house down. "

I am quite relaxed, thanks. You're getting defensive though. We all have you on the ropes, it seems.

Anonymous said...

Christians have more excuses for God then my son has for not doing his homework.
If God was real he would not need people making excuses for him.
Also he would realize that the whole church thing now is about power, money and politics (sin).Thus making it a failure. Failure is nothing new to God. The great battle in heaven God wins. But he allows Satan to mingle here with his new creation and pride and joy. OOpps duh (failure)
God send Jesus for his people. They would not listen (failure). So his gift came to us. AKA the dogs.

Dave8 said...

L. Sutton: "Yes, I agree, when stated in an arguement it is fallacious. But I never argue... it's against my personal belief system."

Regarding breadth and depth of knowledge... the longer you stay on this topic, the more information is gleaned regarding your "knowledge" base... for instance...

Argument: "A fact or assertion offered as evidence that something is true;"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

LS: "I never argue... it's against my personal belief system."

Is that a "fact"... or an "assertion", offered as evidence to your "true" and "sincere", thoughts? If so, nice "argument"...

Of course, the alternative is that you are not sincere in your words, and thus, your words are meaningless and you are providing nothing but literary trash for amusement... So, which is it LS...

SL said...

Dave8 tells me, "If your purpose isn't to assuage people towards a religious, more specifically a christian flavor of philosophy, then what would be your intent?

Then ol' Dave* goes on to give me the upside on his intent, he tells me, My intent, is to debate philosophy, science, etc., in an effort to derive a more refined philosophy, as... one can't truly have a "thought", without "knowledge"... or do you in your eruditious reasoning, not agree...

And lastly, tired old L. Sutton tells Dave8, my intention was to pay a few bills interspersed with surfing the web when I got bored (and when paying bills, the yawns come on pretty fast and quick).

But now the bills are done... and I've lingered far longer than I could've imagined at the onset. It's... well, I wouldn't call it fun----but it's been interesting. I'd be poor company for you Dave, I don't overthink life at this point. I just try to enjoy every day. Peace out.

Leroy Sutton said...

Luke said: "I am quite relaxed, thanks. You're getting defensive though. We all have you on the ropes, it seems."

Leroy (has to laugh a bit loudly over that)... yes, Luke, it might appear that way to the casual passerby. Though I would surmise, after perusing a few threads on the world famous exchristian.com, that that, indeed, is your modus operandi.

Maybe one day... a few of you will learn to think on your feet and be man enough to discuss an issue one on one. But... you have to grow up a bit for that to happen.

Dave8 said...

LS: "Hey, do yourself a favor and relax. Try to live and let live. It’s a big world out there. Not everyone is a big bad Christian come to blow your house down."

Good argument... I tend to agree, but, in the effort to live and let live, there must be tolerance... and thus, eradication of the intolerant seems to be a noble cause... how does one identify a person who is "intolerant"... Uh, these would be the people who walk around spewing hate speech, call it their beliefs, using a holy book as their guide...

I don't care if someone believes the jolly green giant is god, as long as they don't attempt to influence, law, education, economics, peace processes, etc., with their shallow non-individualistic views... is that possible? If a person actually "believes" their jolly green giant god is "true", then how is it possible to "not", consider everyon else "wrong" and promote "exclusivity"...

Anonymous said...

Leroy Sutton wrote:

" (typical stuff) ...Maybe one day... a few of you will learn to think on your feet and be man enough to discuss an issue one on one. But... you have to grow up a bit for that to happen."

Leroy, I notice that you seem to be getting a little nasty. I also have been reading here long enough to know that Christians like yourself always seem to do it.

I guess your Jesus love is very thin skinned, and it is starting to show. You obviously don't have anything new to say, so why not just say "good night" Gracie?

Onanite
http://onanite.blogspot.com/

Dave8 said...

Well, it appears Mr. Leroy Sutton is also AKA SL.

Dave8 said to LS @ 1/07/2006 10:52 PM : "If your purpose isn't to assuage people towards a religious, more specifically a christian flavor of philosophy, then what would be your intent?"

SL said to Dave8 @ 1/07/2006 11:19 PM: Dave8 tells me, "If your purpose isn't to assuage people towards a religious, more specifically a christian flavor of philosophy, then what would be your intent?"

Unless there's a typo, it appears the two are one and the same person...

LS: "I’m not so shallow as to compel others to conform to my way of thinking."

Then why post under an alias, if indeed you are Mr. Leroy Sutton...

LS: "Who are you?... The Amazing Kreskin. I was directed to this website off a Google search and began reading the very FIRST story I saw."

That is amazing, as there was an SL in another few posts, frequently giving comments. That would take the novelty away from the your; "oops" look what I found on google, explanation.

So, you say that perhaps, I think too much. Is that your final "argument" for the night. If so, thanks, but, I really didn't think that much. I already had the knowledge I used to post with, not over-thinking at all... Perhaps, to those who don't have the knowledge, and don't care to grudge through the information its considered overthinking. However, I would consider "thinking" a constant, with a variance in knowledge bases.

benji said...

Maybe one day... a few of you will learn to think on your feet and be man enough to discuss an issue one on one. But... you have to grow up a bit for that to happen.

Wow. Is that it, then? Do all non-topics, such as your foray into semantic re-interpretation, inevitably come reeling from civil discourse to crash-land in a petty morass? As a ragtag group of the damned, we've met every challenge you present, calmly and logically--while you haven't yet justified what you've claimed beyond pale witticisms and banter. The one thing you've succeeded in doing, to great satisfaction, is calling into question your judgment for even coming here. Now you tell us to grow up. Does this mean you're leaving, of all things? Or, will you still lurk over your inbox as the topic wanes and we move on? Ever the clever one, our boy Leroy.

LS said...

It's very late. I just got in from a wonderful evening. Match Point, Woody Allen's return triumph, is absolutely riveting. Catch it if you can... it opens up to more screens in due time... another week or two and it'll be playing out in Fargo.

I stopped by to see if anything new had been added... and I can see... No... Not really.

Dave8... enjoyed your comments as always. And the rest of you... well, there's a benji dropping I'd like to scoop off the monitor...

Benji: "As a ragtag group of the damned, we've met every challenge you present, calmly and logically--

LS: Well the calmly and logically thing is easy to explain when you're engaged in a tag team wrestling affair with anyone who wanders through here. I wasn't even wandering through in the name of anyone... but I can see, from the posts I've read, how lovely and tolerant you are of anyone who happens to suggest your not geniuses and maybe wrong about things no one knows for sure. One of your 'damned' group -- Luke, I believe -- even copped to that, saying, "We all have you on the ropes, it seems."

Well if that's what you care to believe, if that's what floats your boat, believe as you wish. But answer me this, How can you think of yourself as damned when none of you believe in Hell? How does that work? No matter, I tend to think of you differently after reading the posts that were written while I saw Match Point. I tend to think of you, and see you, as guys on a web site playing with yourselves. And it's not a pretty picture.

Now remember, boys, I'm going to be watching from here on in, 24/7.

benji, Luke, onanite, WM: Really?
LS: No... Not really!

.:webmaster:. said...

You pinned it Dave8. They are one and the same.

Why this guy likes to troll this site, I couldn't begin to guess.

Jon said...

I see my story started quite a debate. I will clear up a few things.
1) I was Agnostic for all of my life.
2) My girlfriend and I were having problems before the firing. Afterwards all we did was fight about the existance of God. She continued to got to church and would sing. I felt betrayed and not supported by her. This was not somebody I wanted to be close to me.
3) I removed all practicing church Christians from my life because of them being fickle.I felt I couldn't depend on them or predict them. Even though the Bible doesn't teach this, they get it from how God himself behaved in the Bible.
4) If my church leaders couldn't deal with my little situation.They have no business running a church and trying to help others.Their inability to even communicate with me shows their true disfunction as a human being.They are the ones who need help.
5)Someone said I am angry with God and will return. LOL I am angry with the Christians at church who pretended to be my friends.As far as God goes, He proved his lack of existance. Why would I return to worshiping something that isn't there? And for those of you who believe in God-Why would I worship a God who screwed me royaly and blessed them? If nothing else I am very good at determining who wishes me harm.

benji said...

Leroy said:
I can see, from the posts I've read, how lovely and tolerant you are of anyone who happens to suggest your not geniuses and maybe wrong about things no one knows for sure.

If you mean by this that we're not tolerant of people coming on here and making baseless claims, such as these winners:

"You were brainwashed, yes. But you weren't a Christian"

"I only made an observation based on what the fellow said, never by what I assume he felt or reasoned"

--then by every measure, yes, we're intolerant. Chasmal lapses in reason are easily targeted by many of those present. It could go on ad infinitum if you keep backing into the corner. The observed tag-team wrestling effect is inevitable.


How can you think of yourself as damned when none of you believe in Hell? How does that work?

Sarcasm. n. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule. (American Heritage)

I figured from your posts that you understood this concept, at least, though I've been wrong before.

SpaceMonk said...

"...If nothing else I am very good at determining who wishes me harm."

Well said Jon.
Some might say he's testing you, but for what? His own pleasure? To bring yet more glory to his infinite ego?
To save you even better than you already are?
Well none of those worked out - because you thought for yourself and didn't take such shit.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches;
and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and, of the human frame,
A mechanized automaton."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab

I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.
- Aristotle

benji said...

Jon said:
If my church leaders couldn't deal with my little situation.They have no business running a church and trying to help others.

No joke. As you know churches operate under a pyramid scheme of telling you you're scum, then offering you a fix, then taking your money so they can tell the next person they're scum and take their money...on and on. They prey on the downtrodden and the plain gullible. Combine this with a dynamic preacher and mega-churches are a sure thing.

I feel sorry for the situation with your girlfriend and your friends but everything else about your decision seems justified. I, for one, would have difficulty removing every Christian from my life, because I value too many of them I suppose. If only I could remove the Christianity and keep the person!


Someone said I am angry with God and will return. LOL I am angry with the Christians at church who pretended to be my friends.

In my opinion, friendship can only take Christians so far--they put faith in something that is a life-or-death situation. When I fell away from my church, those people who I felt were my friends thought I was insulting their own beliefs. In a roundabout way this is true. Part of me still feels bad for letting them down, but the years have healed the wounds, and now I have other Christian friends, although thankfully none I would consider too pent up in their beliefs.

As far as being angry with a god, well, from my standpoint it's bizarre to think of a person as angry at something he doesn't believe exists. But I think Jeff, the poster who said that you were angry at God and would return to the fold, thought you were still fence-sitting on the issue. He makes a good point regardless--there is a definite "mad at God" type of ex-Christian who has been thoroughly defeated by his religious inclination. I don't know that you fit the mold so cleanly.

Anonymous said...

benji: "He makes a good point regardless--there is a definite "mad at God" type of ex-Christian who has been thoroughly defeated by his religious inclination. I don't know that you fit the mold so cleanly."

Another fabulous judgment rendered by the resident expert.

freedy said...

Churches and christians have taken advantage of more people over the years than tyrants & drug dealers have.I was involved in about 10 large ministries over 22 years as a music minister and in the inner circle of many.The outright conning people out of their hard earned money is "just buisness as usual."It makes me furiated at the losses of the young and elderly alike.I could type five pages of the horrible things that I saw place in the name of"JEAASSUSS"..
When is it going to stop??
Tax free robbery in the name of gaud!.........peace ,.freedy

Anonymous said...

"I could type five pages of the horrible things that I saw place in the name of"JEAASSUSS".."

Didn't Jesus say, Be wise as serpents but gentle as doves? He must've know some terrible things would be done in His name. How could it not be so, ministries are made up of men, are they not? So He offered a disclaimer... Watch out. Let's be grown up, now, shall we? Let's try to separate the words of our Lord from the rather reprehensible behavior of His alleged followers. If He exists, which I believe He does, He will be fair freedy: He will only ask what You did... not the good reverend so and so of the mega church in the valley.

Anonymous said...

I was saved when I was 5. I went through some pretty heavy experiences since then. I have to say that I never had an experience so profound (some could say supernatural) as my first encounter with a Buddhist monk. I felt an electricity in the air, very bizarre.

On the church leader stuff. I was a SP4 in the Army in the late 70's. I was watching the PTL club (we didn't have 900 cable channels back then) and Jim Baker made an emotional appeal to send money for (I can't remember exactly, starving Africans?) I sent a $100.00. That was a lot of money for a SP4 in the 70's. I hope his dogs stayed cool, because it seems that donations were used for air-conditioning units for his doghouses. Or maybe he used the money to take Jessica Hahn out for lunch before he bagged her. I could have bought a lot of cheap of beer with that money, but I digress.

You fundamentalist make me sick. YOU RUINED MY LIFE - I WANT IT BACK!!!

Scottnogod said...

"LS: Well the calmly and logically thing is easy to explain when you're engaged in a tag team wrestling affair with anyone who wanders through here. I wasn't even wandering through in the name of anyone... but I can see, from the posts I've read, how lovely and tolerant you are of anyone who happens to suggest your not geniuses and maybe wrong about things no one knows for sure. One of your 'damned' group -- Luke, I believe -- even copped to that, saying, "We all have you on the ropes, it seems."


Well LS first you assume to know whether someone was genuine in their belief that you have never met. Now you admit that know one knows these things for sure. Guess what- that makes you an agnostic not a christian.
As to sincerity. Many including myself gave many years of their life to "jesus". Most with much emotion, devotion, blind faith and the utmost integrity of heart. If that doesn't make their faith genuine then nothing can.

The simple fact is WE started to use our brains and realised how utterly without foundation and horribly ilogical and historically suspect christianity is.
I dare you to go to a some web sites that give a different view to your own and read with an open mind. Remember the truth never has anything to hide.

Emerson said...

Wow, ugh I hate how christian preachers say to "tithe 10%" even Joyce Meyer says this! Like you, I haven't seen that money come back to me!

Ugh, I'm sorry that you had to go through that bullshit! I've learned the tough way, that money is king, if you want to have a lot of it, you need to do what it takes to get it.

I don't mean stealing, I mean like working hard and having a job that pays well, going to interviews, etc..you can pray and wish all day but only action gets things done.

I'm not surprised at the hypocrisy of your old church, their all money grubbing whores! They are! Then they try to make people feel guilty for wanting to have it, well I don't feel ashamed of liking money. I think there's a difference between wanting to live nice (which you need money for) and greed.

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