Note: This is a very long story, but I feel that it's best to tell everything that happened in regards to my time with Christianity, and the effect it has had with my life.
When I was an infant, my parents made a decision that has led me to this day, typing these words in this box on this site. They made a decision that was going to decide my fate in terms of religious matters, and they had no idea just how powerful that decision was.
They decided that they were not going to raise me in any particular faith, that I was free to choose whatever faith I wanted.
I am so grateful to them for making this decision. It helped save me years later. I have told them that this decision is the most important one they've ever made with me.
Why is that? Read on, and discover for yourself.
Where to begin? So much has happened in my past five years of life that I'm amazed I went through it. But then again, maybe it was a good thing that I went through it all.
There's a saying out there that you will attract more bees with honey then with vinegar. The honey is sweet and nourishing, while vinegar tastes disgusting and is repulsive.
Why is it then, that when Christianity uses the vinegar, it seems to work so much better then the honey?
My story with Christianity began when I was 14 years old. Before that time, I was not a religious person. I believed that there was a God, but that was about it. I knew about the stories of Moses, Jesus, the bible, etc. but I really didn't pay much attention to it.
That all changed with a visit to a rendezvous.
I was going with my father to a rendezvous, a grouping where people met to discuss, sell, and buy things like guns, tomahawks, civil war crafts, etc. Basically, getting together to celebrate the old classics of the west and our nations history.
Despite the fact that five years have gone by, I can still recall that day so clearly. My father and I were walking into a large white tent that was selling knives and other trinkets. As my father browsed the tables, I investigated an electric fly swatter, cracking various jokes at how it might be put to good use.
That was when I saw it. That little turntable that had little brochures in it. Within that turntable was a small, individual brochure that said, "Getting on target", showing a man with a shotgun aiming at a distant target.
Curious, I picked up the brochure and began to read. That was the moment that changed my life forever. One little piece of paper changed the course of my life, setting in motion events that forever altered the way I lived.
Isn't it interesting how the little things in life are often the most life changing?
The brochure was a warning. Looking back on it, I now see that it was a threat. In it, the pamphlet used the metaphor of a contestant in a shooting contest. If you miss the target, you loose the competition, and there's no chance to make it up. You loose, and that's it.
Can you see where this is going?
Then it said that this is what our life is. A competition to see if you would win and be right with God. If we lost...then eternal hellfire awaited us.
It was like cancer, only cancer of the very worst kind. Fear. It somehow took hold of me. Wait a minute? I'm in danger of going to hell forever?! What should I do? I grabbed more brochures and began reading them, finding more warnings of how I was a sinner and how I was going to hell.
It was a classic example of "bait 'em with hell, then offer them heaven". There was good news in these little pieces of paper. By accepting Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, I would be saved! Hallelujah!
As my father and I left and drove back home, my mind was racing. What would happen if I died now in a car crash? Would I go to hell? Would I burn forever for not accepting Jesus as my savior?
The drive home took forever.
When I got home, I went straight to my room, sat down, and read all the brochures I had grabbed from that turntable. I read them all, pouring over the words contained within.
Finally, I did it. I spoke out loud to God and Jesus, saying that I admitted I was a sinner who had sinned and fallen from God's grace. I admitted that I needed you Jesus. Finally, I said the magic words.
"I accept you Jesus, as my lord and savior."
Today, five years later, I can still recall how happy I felt, so relieved that I had said it. I did indeed feel euphoric, which I took as a sign that I was indeed now saved, and was now good in God's eyes.
For the next four years, Christianity became the focal point of my life, my entire existence. Little else mattered. School? Yeah, I should get good grades, but salvation is more important! Work? Maybe, but God and Jesus are awesome!
I wasn't a church goer though. Although I was amazed and attracted to the beautiful buildings (I still am, to be honest), I didn't care for the readings, the singing of songs, etc. I was following Jesus' instructions to pray in secret to the father, to let no one see you. I was a secret, underground Christian. Only my mother really knew about my faith, but she didn't press it on me.
Although I didn't belong to any church or specific denomination, I was what you could call a protestant. I believed that salvation was by faith alone, that good needs meant nothing and got you nowhere. I believed that Jesus was the son of God and only through him could one gain admittance to heaven for all time. There was no other way but through him. After all, he said it. I also believed that the bible was the word of God, perfect and clear in all it's ways, that it was really God's handbook in what we should do.
Although I wasn't an official Christian, I sure did act like one. I also did a lot of reading and correspondence with my grandfather, who was a devout Christian and a good man. We exchanged letters for quite some time, sharing our thoughts and ideas on various Christian and spiritual subjects including masturbation (His advice was don't make it the center of your life, which is admittedly pretty good). His answers made sense to me, and reinforced my beliefs and my faith.
For four years I went through life, doing the best I could with my faith, and having a blast...
Or so I thought.
For you see, there was something in my life that I wasn't aware of at the time. Only now, years later and looking back, can I see what it was.
It was the fear.
Although I had accepted Jesus, I still believed that I was a sinner who sinned. If you go through some Christian websites, you will no doubt come across some ministers who say that we sin every day, that we sin simply by thinking certain thoughts! That idea really got to me. If I made one sin, then I could go to hell!
As a result of this, I thought that even though I was a Christian, I was still making mistakes in the eyes of God, that I was offending him every day with almost everything I did. I prayed to Jesus constantly, asking forgiveness of whatever sins I had done that week. Or, when I managed to keep track of what I had done, the prayers went like this:
"Dear Jesus, I'm sorry for what I've done this month. I did have sexual dreams about that one woman, and I got angry at that guy, and I have been overeating a little bit, and..."
Etc, etc. I thought that I had to constantly seek to improve and get better with both God and Jesus by annually confessing what I had done, whether it was pleasures of the flesh, lustful thoughts, etc. In other words, by being a normal teenager, I was doing practically everything Christianity said I shouldn't do, save killing people and murdering.
At the time, I had absolutely no idea how powerful the fear in my life was. It was largely under the surface, out of sight, and unknown to me. Yet it was there, always lurking. the fear that if I did this or that, I would go to hell. The fear that Satan was out to get me. The fear that this and that, that and this.
Perhaps this saying could sum it up:
"Accept Jesus or burn in hell."
That's a powerful way to keep people in line. Threaten them with hellfire if they don't accept Jesus. And while I had already accepted Jesus and admitted that I was (and still was) a sinner, the fear of hell and eternal punishment still got to me.
Granted, not everything was bad during this time. When my grandfather died, I went through it easily because I knew he was in heaven. I don't recall crying once during the period, though I did have to help out my mother and my sister.
Eventually, my time in high school came to an end and I graduated. I was now off to college, ready for the next step in my life. I managed to get my drivers license, get a car, and the only thing I needed now was a job to get money to pay for gas and insurance for car.
But once again, it is the little things that make your life, that often impact it the most.
Switching the view
One day while sitting on the couch and reading a book, my mother came in and said there was an opening at the local library where she worked. After pondering it for a few moments, I decided to go in and give it a shot.
Little did I know that by saying there was a job opening at the local library, my mother had unknowingly started me down another phase of my life.
Getting the job was quite easy. Just a matter of taking a few tests, getting books in order, etc. Within a few weeks I was out in the isles, putting books away on the shelves from my cart.
One day I was shelving some of the 133's (near death experiences) when I saw a book on the shelf. It was a rather nice looking book with a nice paper cover and of medium thickness.
It's title was "Conversations with God: Book 2"
Intrigued, I picked it up, opened it and began to read.
And just like that little paper brochure from four years earlier, my life was changed forever by reading the words on some pieces of paper.
The words written in the book were mind-blowing to me. No, more like, mind-expanding. It was as if I was reading the answers to all the questions in the universe. It was as if God himself was talking to me though this book.
I couldn't put the book down. It just made so much sense, so much damn sense, what was written in that book. What's the sign of a dangerous book? One that keeps you up until three in the morning.
I devoured the book with machine gun rate speed. I read the book, finished it, then re-read it. Everything was falling into place, everything was suddenly making sense. Jesus was completely forgotten as I read conversations with God, book 2. Christianity was forgotten. Sin was forgotten. Everything I had followed for the previous four years was momentarily forgotten, thrown out the window, so to speak.
Here was something that spoke to me, that resonated with me, something that was friendly, loving, and easily acceptable. The bible was the work of a kindergarten student in comparison to the wonder that was in this book.
I checked out the other two books in the series (the conversations with God books are a trilogy, not including the ones that have followed it). I read all three of them with absolute wonder and amazement. It was as if I was flying on a cloud, drifting on a wave of ecstasy and amazement. At last, I had found answers to my questions on heaven, hell, God, and almost everything else I could think of. I had found the answers!
But...wait a minute...what about my faith in Jesus?
This was where the most difficult part of my life began. It was the transition from one faith to another, from one lifestyle and belief system to another. And such transitions are never easy. They are often very difficult.
Compared to what I had found in the conversations with God books, I now saw Christianity as a fear based religion that seemed positively juvenile. To me, Christianity was no longer the wonderful faith that it had once been. It was now a system of fear, threats, and warnings, rather then a loving way of how to live.
With this in mind, I left Christianity and set out on my own personal journey into the fascinating world of spirituality. Jesus promptly vanished, no longer important in my life. What was more important now was God.
I turned to all sorts of spiritual material in my quest for truth, wisdom, and peace. My main source of information on this quest came from near death experiences. When I began reading these accounts and seeing what people had to say, I was floored. If the conversations with God books were the cake, NDE's were the filling, the topping, and the little cheery to top everything off.
Reading hundreds of NDE's, I was amazed at the information they gave, the advice they said, and how useful they were in my everyday life. Compared to the messages of these experiences (Love), the message of Christianity (Turn to Jesus or burn in hell), it was very easy to choose which one to follow.
"These scholarly attempts to disprove a Creator, or our risen, living Savior, sidetrack and cloud issues that in the end, just do not matter! What matters is JESUS! Once you have experienced Him, there is absolutely no argument sound enough to make a true Christian turn, because it is real."
This quote is from amazon.com, on a review of "Challenging the evidence". I have experienced Jesus, yet I turned from Christianity and went to spirituality instead. Proof that someone can experience Jesus and turn.
However, as I soon discovered, Christianity has a nasty little secret. Just when you think you're done with it, it comes right back to bite you.
Christianity bites back
As a result of my conversion from a Christian to a spiritual seeker, I had a desire to know. A wanting to read and absorb and discover everything I could about all things spiritual. I read near death experiences, angel books, psychic books, medium books, and everything in between, save tarot card books.
Part of this wanting came a curiosity about Christianity, a desire to know more about it. So, working at a library, I had easy access to hundreds (and I do mean hundreds!) of books about Christianity.
But with my personal change in spiritual outlooks, these books were now different then they were before by de-conversion from Christianity. Though they seemed sweet and inviting, complete with quotes from the bible, there was something wrong with them, something that just didn't feel right. It was as if my inner self was warning me to stay away.
In this case, the desire for knowledge overcame the fear, and I read the books anyway, getting people's views on things. The result? Let's just say it's like turning back to alcohol after becoming sober.
Soon, fear and worry entered my life again in measure far beyond what is normal in everyday activities. These books gently suck you in, and at the last second say "Turn to Jesus or burn!" They may not mention hell or Satan directly, but you can tell exactly what they are implying with the messages.
Billy Graham was the worst. His books were repulsive and disgusting. Once, I opened one his books ("Peace with God") to a random page and here is what I found.
"God demands death for all sinners!"
WHUMP. That book was closed shut and put back on the shelf faster then an eye could blink. How ironic. Peace with God, who demands death for all sinners. Yet Mr. Graham has spread his messages far and wide, including a subscription to his magazine, thanks to one of my distant relatives (who is very nice but unaware of my non-Christian status).
For those of you who are curious...Mr. Graham's magazine is repulsive. I know the man means well and has good intentions, but all his stuff did was make me depressed and down. And it doesn't help that his stern, unhappy face is plastered on almost every page, glaring at something off in the distance.
Being an evangelist, Mr. Graham apparently takes the bible literally, word for word. That includes Satan, Jesus as the only way to heaven, etc. Going through his magazine, it stunned me at how...how do I say this?...repulsive his views were to me. Everyone who is not a Christian will burn in hell forever. His Q and A sessions are truly sickening at how negative they are in tone.
This man truly believes that there is a demonic being out to get us all, and only those who believe in Jesus will be saved. On an amusing side note, I once visited his website, and all his Q and A sessions boil down to "Accept Jesus and read your bible.".
Everywhere I go, I saw Christianity popping out at me. Magazines, books, churches, etc. It was as if Christianity was saying to me, "I'm still here! I'm not letting you go so easily!"
It didn't help that I kept wanting to read, to understand, to try and make sense of it all. I was, if you could say it, a glutton for religious punishment. I just wanted to know everything I could, but in the process, the fear of hellfire latched on to me and clung to me like cancer.
Probably the worst part of my attempting to understand Christianity came with those infernal books called the left behind series. These books are disgusting, repulsive, fear based Christian propaganda. Their sole purpose is to convert as many people as possible by scaring the shit out of them.
I wrote a review for the book on Amazon.com, and here, for your reading pleasure, is a sample of what I wrote (I should note however, that at the time I wrote this, I had a misguided image of Jesus, which I will talk about later):
"It's downright frightening to see how popular the "Left behind" book series is. It's frightening because these books preach fear, separation, threats, Christan exclusiveness, etc. The final (thank God) book in the series is the atrocity called "Glorious appearing." After reading the book, it became clear that the authors left out an important subtitle: "Hitler returns".
I have absolutely no interest in this series, yet I was curious to see how the authors portrayed the return of Jesus. Afterward I found myself thinking, "How can anyone want the Jesus in this book to come back?" It should be said that the Jesus in this book is an unholy monster, who has no qualms about butchering millions, makes it so that one group of people survive, and wants to take over the world. Does that sound like a certain German dictator to you?
The portrayal of Jesus Christ, one of the most peace loving beings in history, one of the most forgiving and accepting people who ever lived, is blasphemous. I'm sure that Christians are aware that their bible says "The devil can appear as an angel of light". Well guess what folks! The devil returns in this book as Jesus!
The first half of the book is strictly Christian propaganda. It's almost laughable how often characters say things along the line of, "What's going to happen?" "Well, according to Mark 12: 13, Jesus will..." or "I'm frightened!" "You shouldn't be, because Luke 25: 10 says that...". And don't forget that lots of characters continuously talk about how forgiving and loving Jesus is. After ten minutes I was laughing at how pathetically obvious the Christian propaganda was. This is obviously a series designed to get people to join Christianity by scaring the crap out of them.
The problems start showing up when the main characters (all ten of them) start going on about how Jesus is kind, loving, caring, how he's here to save the world, save sinners, etc. But when Jesus actually shows up, he goes completely against everything that is said about him.
How so? Well, he loves bothering millions of non-believers by making them explode, ripping out eyes, organs, etc. At one point the book describes how the blood of millions of dead people congeals together to form a swamp (I really wish I was making that up!). Does that sound like the loving, caring Jesus that the majority of the Christians know and love?
And what is absolutely awful and unforgivable is that "Jesus" uses bible quotes as an excuse for his unforgivable actions of horror and terror. One part of the book basically goes like this:
(Jesus goes across a battlefield)
Jesus: And he who walks in love knows God. He who is love has been born of God
(As he talks, millions of people scream and die, blowing up from the inside and dying horrific deaths that only a sadist would do)
Jesus: He who knows love, knows my father. If you know love, you know me
(Millions more die. Blood gushes everywhere.)
Wow. Prince of peace indeed.
It gets really awful when "Jesus" starts judging people. When he sentences people to an eternity in the lake of fire, even when they were pleading for mercy, I was ready to jump in there and shout, "Hey big J! Why aren't you following your own teachings on love and forgiveness?!" I would never want to condemn anyone to the fires of hell for all eternity, even the main bad guy of the series. And yet Jesus, one of the masters of peace and forgiveness, is chucking these pleading men into the fires of hell. If I want to save and forgive them, and Jesus doesn't, then I think something is seriously wrong with this book.
And the final judgment, where "Jesus" symbolically separates the sheep from the goats, is downright offensive. "Jesus" says that God does not judge, and has placed that duty with the son. Well folks, I hope you're ready to be judged by an egotistical fundamentalist murder who demands that you worship him, and won't hesitate to condemn you to hell for all eternity even though he loves you completely (doesn't that make so much sense? *smile*).
Non-Christians will be thrilled to find out that they are f***ed, as "Jesus" sends every non-Christian screaming into the fires of hell, even when, you guessed it, they are pleading for forgiveness and mercy. People are judged on their faith, not what they have done. Absolutely unacceptable.
I can go on and on. Jesus in this book is not Jesus. This is not the peace loving, all forgiving being in the bible. None of the main characters are interesting. The rebels are a bunch of Christ worshiping, brain dead morons who perfectly fit the stereotype of die-hard fundamentalists. "Jesus" forgets almost all of his teachings when he's busy butchering and damning millions. He forgets about mercy, he forgets about acceptance and forgiveness.
Even Archangel Michael and Gabriel show up, and guess what? They are a bunch of unbelievably annoying bullies! They are both apparently Christians, since they constantly shout, "Bow down to Jesus!" and "Acknowledge Jesus as lord!" In fact, most of what they say has "!" at the end of it.
I love doing Jesus' tree test on this book ("By your fruits you shall know them"), because it fails miserably, getting a grade of "F -". It's fruits are exclusiveness, fear, uncertainty, ego boosting statements, rejection, damnation, etc. And bearing in mind that the fruits of the spirit are joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, it becomes very obvious very quickly that this book is none of those things. This book fails Jesus' tree test completely.
The biggest, most unforgivable error that the book gives is teaching that God and Jesus' love, forgiveness, and acceptance have an expiration date. If you don't accept the "Jesus" from this book as your ego-filled maniac "savior" and become a Christian before the second coming, then you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.
According to this book, Jesus and God love you with all their hearts, but have no problem casting you into hell if you don't give in to "Jesus"'s ego filled demands that you accept him as your lord and savior.
The "Jesus" in this book looks like Jesus, talks like Jesus, and walks like Jesus, yet it's actions are nothing like Jesus.
I could go on and on, but I have this to say. Don't read this book. Stay far, far, far away from this piece of fear based trash. It's not worth your time, it incorrectly portrays Jesus as a schizophrenic monster, it incorrectly portrays God as the big cop in the sky who waits to bust you at any moment, it says that Jesus' and God's love and forgiveness have an expiration date.
I am not a Christian, but I would think that all Christians would be crying "Blasphemy" at this fear based book.
Instead of reading this, go read something more uplifting, such as the US tax code."
If you're curious, to date, the review has gotten 26 out of 56 helpful votes. It's good to see that there are 26 sane people in the world today.
The left behind series really got to me, hitting me hard in the gut with it's warnings of "turn or burn". It's amazing what comes from what is supposed to be a love based religion nowadays.
Conversations with some Christians
Christianity threw it's second punch at me with an online form that I visited. I was still pretty young in my spiritual non-Christian quest at this time (I had only been doing it for about three months) and was convinced I had all the answers. Ahh, the arrogance. Amusing to look back on, is it not?
I got into several long chats with two Christians in particular, and the end results were not pretty. Here, for your reading pleasure, are a sample of part of the transcripts that I saved (over 80 pages to be exact).
> 1 John 4:16 says that God is love
> Yet in Num. 31:17, God says to go and kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with men.
> Now, if God is love, does God kill little boys?
Can a parent punish a kid and still love at the same time?
> Does the parent kill the kid?
Removing the spirit & bringing it to Himself is what God does.
> But does the parent still kill the kid to discipline him?
> And if a person only gets one shot at life, then God doesn't do those kids a favor.
> If they weren't baptized, they go to limbo forever, correct?
Bringing the kids spirit to Himself is bad? How so?
> Do unbaptized kids to go limbo?
Baptism doesn't save.
> What does?
> Okay, now let's say that those kids don't know about Jesus (because Jesus did not exist back then)
> That means that they are all going to hell because God commanded people to kill them
Baptism is what a believer who is already saved does as obediance, just like feeding the poor....etc
> But they still didn't believe in Jesus. Therefore, they went to hell, no questions asked, according to Christniaty
> Oops. Christianity
> Another one...
First of all the Old Test looked forward to Christ, while we look back in time. And in the OT God says those without the law were saved.
Hmm...God killing kids. Let's continue.
> Did I ever tell you that I used to be a Christian?
I'm guessing Christian Religion, not Christian as following Christ & Him living inside of you. Alot of people play church.
> I did believe that Christ was the savior, that jesus was the only way back to God.
> I prayed a lot, I tried to do what the bible told me.
80% of United States claim to be Christian
> But in the end, it just didn't work.
> It's ironic that by leaving religion, I really have found the spirit of God/Christ, and I now ask it to work through me daily.
If you were Christian you would of known that Jesus is God.
> I was a protestatnt to be precise.
You'll never know Jesus unless you walk with Him
Wait for it...the classic, "You were never a Christian!" line.
Right, thats why it should be easier for you now since you have been able to cross off ALL RELIGIONS off of your list.
> But at times, this path is so enlightening that words cannot describe it.
> This path can bring untold peace, hope, and love.
> It is hard path. But I intend to stick with it.
> In a way, these discussions have been exceptionally helpful.
> It has made me take a closer look at what I believe.
And most of all, please never forget that your betting your soul that this really was the True God speaking to you instead of a Demonic one.
> Does the demonic love you all the time? Does the demonic speak of never ending love, hope, and acceptance for all?
> I sense much fear in you.
No, I just don't want any of us to loose our soul over a lie.
> In that there is much fear.
> Is all accepting love, all accepting forgiveness, and acceptance a lie?
> Or are we afraid that it's too good to be true?
yes, I bet my soul on it.
> Then you are afraid.
> I once walked the path that you did.
> I was too afraid.
I believe in a Just God & one that Loved me so much He gave His Life for me.
> If that's your view, then I accept that.
Hopefully you know that one of us will be dead wrong?
> What if it's you?
Right if its me, I'll be in heaven with your god.
> Then thats good.
If I'm right, eternally you'll be in hell with all the evil this world has ever had.
> Then you are deathly afraid. Fear has you in it's grasp, and you may not know it.
> Fear has been quite successful at taking over this world, piece by piece.
Go jump off a cliff. You should not be afraid of falling.
> I mean that you are apparently afraid of spiritual change
Actually, fear has left since Christ came into my Life. He has GARENTEED me that I will be with Him forever.
> What if he's lying?
> Did he tell you personally?
> Or did the words in a book tell you?
If he's lying then I'm with your god. I'm in a Win-Win situation
Yes, when I die, tell me how I'm not in a win-win situation?
> Fear doesn't want you to change. Fear doesn't want you to know the truth about God.
> Fear has been slowly taking over religions, and it has done a very good job.
I already told you that FEAR left after Christ.
> Actually, I had more fear when I was Christiantiy then I do now.
> When I followed man-made religions, I was afraid.
You never had Christ. Once He puts His Spirit into you, He promises to never leave you.
> I know God. When God enters your life, God doesn't leave you.
> God has enriched my life in every aspect.
> I know peace that I have never known before.
Ok, so where's the fear? I know the Joy of the Lord
> I know the joy of God.
> We both know the same thing.
> As to your question, fear is there.
> The question is, do I listen to it?
> The answer is no.
Like I said, one of us will be dead wrong. Only a heartbeat away. I look forward to death.
> So do I.
> Fear tries to tell me that God is less then all accepting love.
> Fear wants me to be afraid.
> Fear wants me to cower, to be less then what I can be.
> Fear tries to tell me that God is less then what God really is.
> Do I listen to this fear? No.
> I listen to my heart.
Should I tell a kid that is they run in the street they will get run over? Or should I shut up because it might scare to kid?
> Why would God want to scare you?
> Wouldn't God win more people over by showing his love?
> That's what happened to me.
> Why would God want to scare you?
> Wouldn't God win more people over by showing his love?
> That's what happened to me.
If the kid has no fear in crossing the street, then the kid might cross and be killed.
> Yes, that's true.
Except your god would never die for you. Never would interfere or protect.
> God can't die in the first place.
> And God has helped me before. God has helped me avoid two car crashes.
> God interferres when I ask.
you said all things are god, so the god animal & god humans do die.
> God is in everything. The physical dies. The spirit does not. And God is spirit.
> I have written a book recently that talks about fear.
Well looks like to sum it all up there will eather be all 3 of us in heaven or just 2.
> There is fear tightening it's grip on you.
I'm heading out. Nice chatting with you both.
...> It is spiritual fear that rarely affects me anymore.
> I have a gut feeling that I might have offended your mother.
> But I see that spiritual fear is very strong these days. I once felt it when I was in Christianity.
> And while I did feel peace and joy when I was in, I have felt much more when I left and explored.
I look at fear as warning
> That is true. I look at it as a warning as well.
> But when I use my heart about spiritual matters, there is no fear.
> When I read love based divine material, there is no fear.
> You and I are from different worlds Adam.
> You and your mother are from Religion. I am not.
> You come from a world that I know nothing about.
> You come from a world that I cannot possibly hope to understand.
> But by studying, reading, and researching other spiritual sources, I have learned much.
> I have learned so much that when I look back at the bible, I am amazed at how little spiritual progress I made while in Christianity.
> The path of personal enlightment can be very hard, but it can be also be the most rewarding thing you've ever done.
> When you look inside yourself, and when you challenge and face your most sacred beliefs, you can learn much.
> When you look and evaluate everything, when you use multiple sources, you can learn much indeed.
> And when I try my best to spread the good news, it is not always well recieved.
> I am not very good at spreading it, that I will admit.
> But I can only present what I know, and let others decide what they will.
> I can tell them that God is all-loving, all accepting, and all forgiving.
> Whether they believe this good news or not is up to them.
> Some do hear.
> Others do not.
> Fear is very powerful these days.
> I see it in every Christian book. I see it in every religious book.
> Fear has creeped into religions and twisted God into a monster when God was not a monster to begin with.
> It is all so simple, yet so complicated.
> Sometimes i'm tempted to just give up an d go down this path sorely for myself.
> But I do feel a need to tell others.
> I want to tell others. You can be born again in religion, then be born again afterwards into a new world of understanding and knowledge.
> The question is, how many people are willing to listen?
> How many are willing to hear that you don't have to fear God?
> How many are willing to hear that God is all accepting love?
> The answer?
> Not many at all
At this point, I was shaking my head. The classic sayings...
1. You never new Jesus! Yet I was a believer in Jesus for four years.
2. I'm in a win win situation. Now I want to ask: Why are you treating God like an insurance policy?
3. 2 of us will be in heaven instead of 3: Yep, really nice way to help people there. Say that they will go to heaven while you...well, you get the idea.
Now, a discussion on morality
Who gave your parents the authority to be your boss?
> I think the answer to that would be the government
Would you like it is there was anarchy?
> Of course not.
So, it is good to have rules?
> Of course.
Would it do any good to make rules and not enforce them?
Is there any authority higher than the US government?
> On earth?
> Hmm...that's tricky...In terms of overall power on earth, no.
> In terms of the spiritual world...
> I don't think the spiritual world has anything to do with our laws or governments.
> They are completely outside of them.
If governments have nothing of authority over them, are goverments an anarchy?
> That's a very good question. And apparently the answer is yes.
If a government is wicked, is the government accountable to no one?
> Apparently yes. Well, maybe to it's own citizens, if they decide to rise up.
Why do your parents have authority over you instead of someone else?
> Because that's the way things work in our society. Its just one of those things that happens.
Does God want anarchy?
> To be brutally honest, I don't think God cares about anarchy or not.
Does God care about what people do?
> God is interested in what people do.
How would Hod feel if I murdered you now.
> Hmm...I don't know.
> God would probably be happy that i'd be coming home.
> I think God would be interested in seeing how you would do after killing me.
Would God aprove of it?
> I don't think God approves or disaproves of anything. God is outside it all, from a vantage point that we can't imagine.
> I think God sees everything as an opportunity for learning and growing.
In Gods eyes, is giving money to the poor and killing the poor equal.
> I think God sees both those activities as opportunities for growth and learning for all parties involved.
Is one option better than the other?
> Both of them present opportunities for growth and learning. One is more painful, the other is not.
Does God care about anything?
> God cares about us.
Do he care what happens to us?
> At least, I think so.
If someone beat you with a baseball bat, would God care?
> God would definitly see it and probably be sad about it, but there's really not a whole lot God can do about it.
> That is, if God gets sad.
> I don't know if God gets sad.
Is God all powerful?
You said the there is not a whole lot God CAN do about it.
> That's correct.
> God gave us all free will and does not interferre with it.
In God's eyes, is there such thing as morality?
> I really don't know. What I do know is that God is above everything, outside of everything.
> God sees things in ways that we can't imagine.
> I think God is interested primarilly in how his/her creations grow and learn.
What does God want people to learn?
> My answer is two-fold.
> 1. Understanding each person's relationship with God.
> 2. Learning how to love.
Is love a form of morality?
> I think the answer could be yes.
Back to an old quetion. In God's eyes, is there such thing as morality?
> This is my personal opinion: No.
> There is only what works for people and what does not work.
Can love work for one person, and hate work for another?
So does God not really care if we love or not?
> I guess so. I think God is most interested in how we learn and grow, and we do that all the time.
> Sometimes however, the process can be very slow, depending on the individual.
You said love was God wants us to learn.
> Do you mean Love is God, and God wants us to learn?
> You still there?
This is what I get from you. God want people to learn to love. At the same time God does not care whether or not we love. This does not make a lot of sence to me.
> I think God does want us to learn how to love. But God knows that there are many paths to love, some harsh, some easy.
I guess I need to come over and burn your house to the ground. God won't care/ I like fireworks.
> God would be interested in what you would do aferwards, how you would react to the consequences of your actions.
Up to now, it was fairly typical discussions. But then things got a bit...creepy.
> God's presence is strongest when i'm alone, when there are no doctrines or religious ideas around, and when i'm just open to him/her.
How come god hasn't let you know whether a she or an he?
> God doesn't have a gender.
> God is not a he, a she, or an it.
> God is simply God.
Then if that is so, your insulting god by saying he/she instead of just God.
> Why can't God be she?
> Or He?
You said god doesn't have a gender. Make up your mind.
> I like mixing things up. It sure gets people's attention when I say "She"
Try calling your dad a she.
> That won't work because my father is a he.
I would think god is due more respect than even a parent.
> Yes, that's correct.
ok, just wondering why you desrepect your god .
> I'm not disrespecting God. We just give human terms to God so we can identify with God.
Oh, so its ok to call god whatever you want to? Maybe the great cow in the sky.
> How about the great potato.
> I'm sure God has a sense of humor.
Sure, we can call your god the great potato.
> I think that's amusing and good for a laugh.
> I wonder if God thinks that's amusing.
Yeah, but funny that the god you meditate on in no more than a vegtable. Now that is funny! : )
> Well, you can apply any term to God because God is everything.
My God is So Holy, that at the Name of Jesus every knee will be bowing.
> How do you know that?
God said it.
On my heart.
> My heart says that God will love and accept everyone with open arms.
Good, and hopefully one of us will be right. : ) It is also in the Bible.
> Guy: Ah. I see.
> GaL. Well, one of us could be right...
> both of us could be wrong.
> God could just be a giant potato that eats everyone in the end.
> Or both of us could be right.
> God will welcome everyone with open arms, and those who go for Jesus will bow before him in revrence.
But since I value my soul more than the entire world, I am going to search for truth the best I can.
> Same here.
I know for a fact eternity is just One Heart Beat Away
> Yes, that's true.
> Eternity is right now.
And I've rejected the Potatoe God & you've rejected the God who died in the flesh for mankind.
> You know, Jesus's followers might have made the sacrifice thing up.
Now the odds are in my favor, since after searching for over 40 years, I have never heard of the potatoe god....lol
> The potato thing is just a joke, a thing to great a moment of laughter.
No, I've recorded the potatoe god as scripture now....lol
During this time, I went though what is called the dark night of the soul. I wrote this in the chat room one day.
> I had a conversation with God this morning
How have you been?
> I'm still going through the dark night of the soul.
> You've been a very important part of that.
Does the big news have to do with the conversation with God?
> No, but would you like me to tell you about it?
The conversation with God?
> Very well. It started at 4:00 this morning.
> I was exhausted from the evining before. I had had a great spiritual crisis and I just wanted to get some rest.
> So at 4:00, my new stopwatch starts beeping like mad for no apparent reason.
> I grabbed it, pressed some buttons at random and it stopped.
> I went back to sleep. Then, fifteen minutes later, it started again.
> So I grabbed it, pressed some more buttons, and it stopped.
> I went to sleep again. And again, fifteen minutes later, it started up.
> At that point I snapped. I grabbed the stopwatch and it's display case and started smashing it against the edge of the bed.
> I smashed it again and again, getting so angry at my spiritual anger, my frustration at fear, and everything that was bothering me.
> I just kept smashing it again and again, and then the display broke in two.
> I grabbed the stopwatch itself and started smashing that against the edge of the bed.
> It just felt good, in a primal sort of way.
> Finally, I just stopped.
> I was drained. I was so tired. I just wanted to close my eyes, go to sleep, and not wake up ever again.
> But I couldn't go back to sleep.
> I just lay there, wide awake, exhausted but unable to sleep.
> After about thirty minutes, I got the feeling that I should go downstairs and write.
> I thought about it for a few minutes, but the feeling kept getting stronger.
> So I finally got up, got dressed, and went downstairs.
> I turned on the light over the dinner table, got a piece of paper, a pencil, and I started writting.
> I wrote a letter to God. I poured out my frustrations, my anger, my hate, and all that I was feeling.
> I told God how frustrated I was at religion, at fear, at the world, at pretty much everything in general.
> I wrote for almost half an hour, just pouring out my thoughts.
> At last, I finished the letter.
> I sat there for a few moments, looking over what I had written.
> Then something happened.
> A thought came into my head.
> It said...
> "you've got a lot on your mind."
> "Yes I do." I wrote down on another sheet of paper. "What do I do with it?"
> Another thought came into my head.
> "Why not keep telling me about it?"
> And so I did.
> I kept writting down my thoughts, and the thoughts that came into my head.
> I got six pages of material, both mine, and the thoughts that came into my head.
> We mostly talked about the christian idea of the last judgement.
> You missed me talking about how I talked with God this morning.
Gal read to story so far on my screen. I sped thru it while adam was setting up this computer.
Ok, go on with your story.
> We talked about the christian idea of the last judgement.
> I would write what I thought, then I would wait.
> Sure enough, a thought would come into my head, and I would write it down.
> More often then not, it would come when I closed my eyes and let it just flow out onto the piece of paper.
> Here's some of what was written down.
> Me: Now, can you please tell me why i'm upset?
> thought: Yes, I can
> Me: Please do. Please.
> Thought: You see stupidity (or what you percieve to be stupidity) all around you...
> ...As you have done more searching then most, you have discovered more and learned more then most.
> Becasue of this, you are continuously bombarded by messages that you percieve to be ignorant and false.
> When they all add up, you are overwhelmed by them.
> Me: Well, that makes sense. How do I konw if they are really wrong?
> Thought: Turn within yourself. Look inside for the answers, not what you find in a book.
> Me: Ah yes, the classic "turn within yourself" saying. I've heard that a lot.
> Thought: Why not try it?
> Me: Well, i've tried that before, with limited results.
> Thought: Tell me.
> Me: Okay. Well...when I look at things like (personal issue) or in bible supporter websites...
> ...I see a lot of fear. And I can't stand that fear becasue I feel it's just not right. Especially the idea of a last judgement.
> Thought: Yes, that has been bothering you recently, has it not?
> Me: Yes, it has. I must admit, it is very effective at scaring someone. It's worked rather well with me, I might say.
> Perhaps it's just the idea of Jesus coming back, judging everyone and sending the vast majority of humanity to hell.
> I just had a thought. Why can't you just take away the fear i'm feeling?
> Thought: Because you need to learn from it. You need to bring yourself to face what you do not want to face.
> You are building spiritual muscles by facing and engaging your fear.
> Me: Well, that makes sense. Too bad it 's so draining and difficult.
> Do the two of you want me to continue?
> Thought: Why don't we face this together, you and I?
> Me: I think I would like that. Please tell me what to do.
> Thought: Why don't you start by writting out the classic judgement day scenario?
> Me: Okay. On the day of judgement, an angel (can't remember the name) blows a horn that is somehow heard by everyone...
> ...At this horn blast, everyone stops fighting. Corpses come out of graves and come back to life, so in a way, it's a zombie movie.
> Thought: That's very interesting. Please, continue.
> Me: Okay. Anyway, Jesus supposidly comes back to earth and gathers everyone who ever lived together...
> ...so apparently, there will be about...oh, I don't know...let's say 10 billion people standing at the judgment.
> Thought: For the sake of this discussion, let's go with that.
> Me: All right. Jesus then seperates the good and righteous souls from the bad, condemned souls...
> ...the good ones go to heaven, and the bad ones go to hell.
> Thought: And how is it determined who is going and who is bad?
> Me: Well, as far as I can tell, it's done by deeds. With the idea seeming that how you treat others is how you treat Jesus/God.
> Thought: Jesus was giving a very important lesson when he said that.
> Me: Let me guess. At how important it is to treat others?
> Thought: Preciesly.
> Now, from here on out, the two of you may not like what was said after that. If you want, I can go on.
> Very well.
> Me: So, was he speaking in another one of his parables?
> Thought: What do you think?
> Me: Well...it seems very probable. By using the model of a last judgement, he was/could have given people a very important lesson...
> ...that your actions do have consequences, and that you will eventually face those consequences.
> Thought: How so?
> Me: During your life review, where you see everything you ever did, think, and said. And you'll have to face up to what you've done.
> So people who help others and be good to each other will be pleasantly suprised. Those who don't help others...
> ...will see how thier life was wasted.
> Thought: Are you seeing where this is going?
> Me: Yes, yes I am. Isn't there a passage in the gospel of Thomas where Jesus talks about the understanding...
> ...the secret behind his sayings? If there is, then if Jesus was secretly telling a parable...
> Wow. The last judgement suddenly makes a lot of sense now.
> Now, the two of you may really not like what is said after this. But if you want, I can keep going.
> Okay, but you may not like it...
> Thought: You have hit the nail on the head.
> Me: So...there isn't going to be a literal last judgement?
> Thought: That's correct.
> Me: That was all a parable?
> Thought: Yes.
> Me: I just got an idea. To get his message of "be good to others" across in the harsh land of the day...
> ...he had to resort to using these ideas and parables, correct?
> Thought: yes.
> Me: Wow. The whole "last judgement" suddenly makes a lot of sense now. We're going to have to face all our actions someday...
> ...so we need to be careful in what we do and say.
> Thought: You have learned well my child.
> That's it. It ended there.
> Afterwards, I went upstairs, went to bed and went straight to sleep.
> I don't recall sleeping so well in a long time.
And how do they react to this wonderful event?
How do you know the thoughts came from God rather than your brain? Well since the book of Daniel, Revelation & other books in the bible tell of the judgement, its clear its REAL & not a parable.
> To Guy: I don't know. They just suddenly came into being, clear as day.
Second, Jesus wouldn't of given His Life for a Parable.
> But he might have given his life to spread his teachings, including his parables, and the meaning behind them.
Third, Revelation tells us that many people will brag about the "Good" they did, & God will answer "I NEVER KNEW YOU"
> But does Revelation say exactly what the good was?
Jesus says that mankinds good is as filty rags.
> Does Jesus say that...or does Paul say that?
That without Him, you can not please Him
> Is God a parent?
Yes, but ONLY when He adopts us thru Jesus
> Then God gives me the apperance of not being a parent at all.
Around this time, I began to notice that there were insults starting to creep in, along with preaching.
It really started to get strange when we got to jealousy. I pointed out the following contradiction in the bible:
God is jealous: "For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exod. 34:14)
Jealousy is a sin: "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious ... jealousy" (Gal. 5:19-20)
I pointed out that according to this, God is a sinner. How do they explain it?
> We're taking the bible literally here, at face value, like God apparently wants us to do.
> And God is telling me that Jealousy is a sin, and that God is jealous. Therefore, God is a sinner.
We're taking it the way God wants us to understand it.
> That Jealousy is a sin, God is jealous, and God is therefore a sinner.
> It's right there. Right in front of us.
No, that the object of your jealouisy is what makes it a sin.
> God apparently gets jealous at things and people, therefore, God is a sinner.
Also, Guy told me earlier in regards to jealousy:
There are multiple types of jealousy.
"Type 1: Being hostile toward someone because the person has something you don’t
If Jack is hostile toward Dan because Sue is married to Dan instead of him, that is an example of Type 1 jealousy.
Type 2: Watchful in guarding a possession
If Jack is married to Sue, and does not want Sue sleeping with another man, that is an example of Type jealousy.
Type 1 jealousy involves wanting what you don’t have. Type 2 jealousy involves protecting what to do have. Type 1 is the type of jealousy the Bible forbids. The type of jealousy God has is Type 2. God made you. You belong to God. God is trying to guard his possession from leaving him in favor of a false God."
Now, I thought that this was a pretty solid argument. But now, I realize something. Jealousy is Jealousy, no matter what form it's in. Jealousy type A is still Jealousy.
Then we came to the flat out most disturbing part of our conversations. And it involved babies.
> Crazy? How do you define a God who murders children?
Taking a soul out of a body is not murder.
> Yeah, but killing little babies? How many people does God butcher in the bible? How many does he kill? How many children?
Everyone dies sometime, it is just a matter of when. Well the Jews didn't have a problem with how God dealt with them. God snatches the soul & then the body dies.
> How do you justify a God who murders children? Why do you worship a God who killed all the innocent first born of egypt?
> If we met a person with God's personality in real life, we'd throw him in an insane asylum.
REad what I said. God determines how long each person lives. Long or short, everyone will die sometime.
> Yep. God murders people. Real lovely God there.
Snatching the soul is not murder. The body is nothing but dirt.
> Why did God command soldiers to run babies through with swords? Why did God command soldiers to dash infants upon rocks?
> Do you have any excuses there?
How come the Jews don't have a problem with that, since the OT was written to the Jews.
> Why don't you have a problem with killing babies in horrible fashion?
Maybe the problem is not understanding the situation.
> We get a school shooting, and people get upset.
> We have a God who murders entire civilizations, and nobody gets upset.
> We have a God who has murdered babies and nobody gets upset.
> How strange is that?
God sees the big picture. Humans do not.
> Hmm...that seems like the easy way out.
How come the Jews don't have a problem with it.
> How come you don't?
> Plus, God breaks his own rule.
God knows that is certain young ones grow up, there would be problems.
> God says "Thou shalt not kill" in the ten commandmants.
Because God will oneday take my soul out of my body. Heaven is much better than earth. In Hebrew its murder, not kill. murder is of the heart
> Ah. So murdering is not the same as killing.
Right. If you killed someone with your car its an accident. Murdering is killing out of HATE.
> "Thier little children will be dashed to death before thier eyes..."
> Well, God killed the guy who touched the ark.
> God killed the guy who spilled his semen on the ground
> God seemed to be pretty hateful then.
I guess if I did something to Adam that you thought was mean, but Adam didn't see it as mean. Then the problem is that you the outsider don't understand the big
> I guess so. But how does one justify the killing of babies, especially when they are dashed to death?
God teaches obedience. If you don't obey. Something bad happens. Like the guy who died by touching the ark.
> Wow. Real nice way to teach obidience. An all loving, all caring God who terrorizes his followers.
Yeah, so your solution is make up other gods. Now that is dumb.
> Well, the God of near death experiences sure makes more sense then the baby killing God of the bible.
I would want to know the truth no matter how good or bad it was.
> "And I am your God, who dashed babies to death, who killed entire civilizations, who reject all who come to me except by this way..."
Actually no, because God says those without the Holy Spirit can't understand alot of what scripture says. That could explain why it seems boring to you to read.
> Boring and unbelivably tedious.
Yeah, because you lack the spirit which gives understanding. We love the bible. It is awesome & powerful.
> That's good.
Not is the Bible is full of lies.
> Well, if the bible is full of lies and It works for you to find God, then that's good.
Lies are NEVER ever good.
This next part disturbed me as I read it, as they typed it in front of my face. The words here are completely unaltered.
> Nazi: Are there Jewish people in this house?
> House owner: No.
> Nazi: Damn! Guess we'll have to look somewhere else.
He didn't have to give an answer.
> That would have made him look suspicious.
God never puts us in a situation where lieing is the right thing to do.
> Then all the people who saved Jewish people by lying in world war two were not being guided by God.
you can save them by not lying
> Explain it please.
And its up to God to save them if he plans to. Not up to me to start lying.
> If I can save a babie's life by lying, should I?
Since your not saved, then your hell bound already. So go for it...LOL
I had a very hard come getting this. A lady who said God never puts us in a place to lie, and that I was already condemened to hell, I could go ahead and save babies. And she laughed at it.
> Wow. You really have a low opinion of me, don't you?
Without Christ, what I say is true.
I was very disturbed to say the least.
Why do you hate truth so much?
> What is truth? How do you define truth? Explain truth.
Ask your parents. They should of taught you this by an early age.
> To you, the bible is truth. That much is obvious. That's not true for someone else on this planet.
(GaL pokes fun (insults?) at me for a few more lines, then leaves quickly and adruptly)
> I doubt she even looked at Christian Andreason's NDE.
I am going to say something that may shock you. God does not send people to Hell for not accepting Jesus as savoir.
> Let me guess. They go to hell because they don't accept the truth, right?
> Then what is it?
People go to Hell because they sin.
> Wow. You apparently seem to have a very low opinion of humanity.
> Doesn't that depress you?
While God loves people, he HATES sin with a passion.
> So, because a child gets some mud on themselves, God tosses them out of the house forever and ever?
God can NOT ignore sin.
> Why not? He's all powerful.
> And if he's all powerful, then that means he can forgive anyone he wants, whenever he wants.
If he did, that would cause problems.
> Really? How so?
> It makes perfect sense to me.
Sin is permanent corruption.
> But if God is all-powerful, then God can fix that.
> If God can't, then God is not all powerful.
The only fix for sin is to counter it with punishment.
> Really? What if God decides not to punish, and simply removes it if the person asks?
> And what if that person is sincere and genuinly sorry?
If God removes sin, he needs to put it somewhere. It just does not go away.
> But if God is all powerful, then God could destroy the sin. If God cannot destroy it, then God is not all powerful.
God is mostly powerful, but has limits.
> Then God is not all powerful.
> I find it odd that God is supposidly all powerful, and yet he apparently cannot forgive someone if he wants.
Sin corrupts people. If people have sin and our in the world, then the world is corrort. It is hard to have a perfect world with corroption in it. So God must move people out of the world to have a perfect world.
> Then God can forgive them if they ask.
They way God forgives is different than the way you think he forgives.
> How is that?
> If someone asked me for forgiveness, and were genuinly sorry for whatever it was they had done, then I would want to forgive them.
> and I would.
You view God someone who ignores sin. I view God as someone who forgives someone by taking thier punishment. ...on himself.
> To a non-christian, that sounds utterly bizzare.
> It makes almost no sense whatsoever.
Is a cop allowed to just ignore a crime?
> The cop can choose to ignore it.
> How about this...
Would the cop be breaking the rules?
> He could be, yes. But it's his choice to do so.
> But let's try this model...
> A man is about to be hanged. He's the worst possible person you can imagine. He's murdered thirty babies by strangling them...
> ...he's set several schools on fire, and he's killed several old ladies.
> Just before he dies, a man comes up and says, "Here. Let me take this for you." So the guy takes the place of the murderer and dies.
> The murderer, on the other hand, walks off free.
> Does that make any sense to you?
Something like that happened when Jesus died...
> Because that's what the christian model of salavation looks like to non-christains.
> It makes no sense whatsoever.
> Anyone can get off the hook simply by saying "yes, please die for me."
> So anyone, no matter what they have done, are free to go and free of responsibiblity because they have accepted Jesus's offer of salvation.
> No more responsibility. No more working to reap what you sow. Just accept an offer and poof! You're off the hook!
The Jesus thing is a loophole in the system,
> Even if you nuke the entire planet and accept Jesus's offer, you still apparently go to heaven.
> It makes absoloutly no sense.
It is like paying someone's bail, and setting them free.
> Even if they have murdered? Even if they've killed infants and children?
> I can see why this is so popular...
> No more personal responsibility. You're saved simply because you said so.
> Creed over deed.
But someone who comes to Christ is someone who wants to change.
> Yet, no matter how good you are, no matter how wonderful and loving you are to others, no matter how many people you positiviltly influence...
> you still go to hell for not accepting Jesus as lord and savior. Therefore, Ghandi is doomed to eternal torment.
> Do you call that justice?
> If so, it's warped and twisted justice.
I will tell you this. NO ONE will be punished in Hell more than they deserve. The punishment is in porportion to the crime.
This part really creeped me out.
> So what will happen to Ghandi? He heard about Jesus yet did not accept him as lord.
He will be punished according to his sins. The better he is, the less punishment he gets.
> Will he be in hell forever?
That is the place punishment takes place.
> All right. Will he forever be away from God?
Yes. God may still be able to look in.
> Then God is apparently a sick, twisted, perverted, sadistic psycopath
> Who is far worse then the worst human who ever lived.
> According to this, God is worse then hitler and stalin combined.
God is just and gives people only what they deserve. No more.
> Wow. God is a real pyscho.
> A real, real pyscho.
> And a sadist as well.
Justice is a bad thing?
> God's justice is insane.
And then, the final one that just ended it. This is where the insults flew, and the self-righteous attitude came out in full force.
> Now, can anyone tell me this: According to the bible, has anyone ever seen God?
In one sence yes, in another sence no.
> Hmm...apparently, we have a contradiction here.
If they were in the SAME sence there would be.
> The bible says that nobody has ever seen God (John 1:18)
> Yet, in Gen 17:1, God appears before Abraham.
> In Gen 32:30, Jacob says that he saw God face to face.
> In 1 Jn 4:12, it says that no man has seen God at any time.
> Yet in Ex 24: 9-11, the leaders of Israel and several other guys saw God, and they eat and drink.
No one saw God in his full and complete form. But people have saw God in a non full way.
> But nobody has ever seen God. The bible says that. I would think that it means that nobody ever sees God in any form.
kind of like I bet you haven't seen all of your parents,,,,example their guts
> Well, I see where this is going...
> This is all really pointless. No matter what I say, no matter what both of you say, we are not really going to change each other in any real form.
> If we're out to convert each other, we're going to get nowhere.
Yeah, you have to convince all the christians, jews & muslims that the OT is wrong.
> It could be.
And that will never happen.
> It might.
> The future is always changing.
> Nothing is set in stone.
1000's of years of studing the OT. I doubt a 19 year old kid can prove it wrong. You would have to be a scolar at the Hebrew language.
> The egyptian book of the dead was around for about three thousand years and then it was out of style.
> Who's to say that the same won't happen to the bible?
The Bible is the only Holy that has not really been PROVEN wrong.
Even you said that NDE people talked about Jesus, & Jesus quoted the OT many times.
> We don't know that.
Yes we do.
> How do we know?
Its written down & witnessed by thousands of people that Jesus quoted OT
> Are any of those people still alive? Are there audio recordings? Is there television footage of it?
> What if bible authors later added that in?
For what purpose? The OT was the ONLY scripture the apostles had. The NT has many qoutes from the OT
> Perhaps if they were trying to convert Jewish people to christianity, they would put in Jesus saying things that he diddn't say, to try and convince jewish people to convert.
The JEWS have always had the OT. They don't even have to have it translated because they know Hebrew & the OT is quoted & studied daily.
> But what if...oh forget it.
> This arguing is quite pointless.
Quit dodging the Facts. The OT is fact for all 3 major religions.
> Yes, that's true.
> But what if it's not right for me?
> What if Christianity, if all those religions, just aren't for me?
If it is right for anyone, it is right for everyone. Now what you do with that Fact is up to you. You can ignore it, but it all points to a God that one day will Judge all mankind, & there is a hell.
> Why can't I just go to God my own way?
For one reason. He bled & died for you .
> Would God turn away one of his creations, whom he claims to love, when it was coming towards him?
Him= Jesus And why your running away from Jesus is beyond me. Since part of God is Jesus, if you go to God without going to Jesus, you are only going to part of God.
> I'm not running away from Jesus. I'm not against him. I just don't believe that he is the literal savior of the world.
Even the Muslims & Jews don't run from Jesus. They look at what He says, but interpret it differant.
> I look at what Jesus says. I look at how he says that Love is the most important commandmant, and I try to follow that. It's a univeral value.
But He also says your works are but filty rags. You can't clean up your sin.
> Did he say that, or did Paul say that?
Please explain how you plan on cleaning yourself up for a Righteous God.
> I try to be kind to everyone I can. I try to be loving towards everyone I meet. I try to treat others they way I want to be treated.
All 3 religions realize there is a Big Sin problem & that God is righteous.
> Based on deed, or creed?
On the OT They all deal with the sin problem but in differant ways.
> I've started reading the complete idiots guide to Judiasm, and it says that God is more interested in deeds rather then creeds.
> It says that God gives us a final exam after we die, to see how we did on earth.
> How we treated others, how honest we were, if we took time out for spiritual study, etc.
So how come He didn't tell us how to get an "A" on this exam.
> According to Judaism, he gave the ten commandments.
> Those are the most important part of God's laws, from what I can tell.
And Judism relyed on animal sacrifices. And they wait for a new temple, so once again the sacrifices would start.
> I haven't gotten to that yet.
And some muslims believe that if they give up their own life, that will get rid of the sin.
> I can tell you believe very strongly in your faith.
Your good deeds, don't make up for the sins you've done.
> What sins have I done?
Have you ever lied?
Kind of like a wedding dress. I don't care that most of the dress is white, if I see that One Ugly Stain. Then you are a sinner.
> It seems that God has impossibly high standards.
Hmm, Jesus took away all my sins. I'm clean.
> If he died for all on the cross, and he died for all humanity, then apparently I am too.
You haven't accepted His gift.
> Wait. I need to accept it in order for it to work?
Only the blood of a perfect one can be exchanged for the sin of men.
> Diddn't Jesus die for all humanity?
He died so everyone CAN be saved, but that does not mean everyone WILL be saved. Do you open up your own gifts, or do you just stare at them?
> I have them either way.
You can't use them unless they are opened.
> What about the buddhist teenager?
The blood of Christ is offered for anyone who is willing to open the gift. What about him?
> There's a buddhist teenager in asia right now. He's never heard of christianity, never heard of Jesus, and he's going to die tommorow from an infection.
> According to Christianity, he's going to hell for not accepting Jesus's gift of salvation.
Hmm, why didn't you tell him about Jesus?
> Because i'm here in the states.
No, you go to hell if you reject Jesus.
> Wait a minute...
And you'll ve surprised how many buddhist know alot about Jesus.
> So, a teenager in asia who dies never hearing about Jesus has a better chance of going to heaven...
> ...then a person who hears about Jesus and doesn't accept him?
If he never heard of Jesus, he won't be judged as harshly as people who have, like you. Yes.
> Then apparently...
> Jesus did us all a great disservice by coming to earth.
WHat Jesus did at the cross saved mankind. No, Him living inside of me has made my life so filled with Joy. I'm glad I didn't have to wait until death to be with Him.
> You know...from a person outside of christianity looking in, a lot of the stuff you say sounds utterly insane.
And Christ is the ONLY one who can truley bring Joy & change a person.
> What about God?
My Pastor for example.... Is a Jew & was on drugs & in Jail. He had no reason to accept Christ. His life was such a mess. Christ was able to change him. And his brother is still a jew. On his mothers death bed, she did give her life to christ.
> I think I know why.
Many Pastors testimonys are so amazing.
> I think I know why that is.
They weren't raised christian, but when they were desperate it was ONLY God that could save them.
> When you hit rock bottom, it's pretty obvious that you'll turn anywhere for help.
He's also a Lawyer & could not prove Christianity wrong. And knows hebrew
> He knows hebrew?
Like I said, you'll Never be able to prove OT wrong. He's jew
> I'm not even going to bother anymore. There's no point in doing so.
Today Jews still read the OT in hebrew.
> Never say never
Good, you finally realized there is no point to disprove something that people for 1000's of years have tried to disprove.
> It's ultimitly impossible to prove or disprove anything, religions included.
And God has let manking believe the OT as from Him, that it would be a sick God to let mankind keep believing a lie.
> Perhaps all these spiritual books and NDE's are God working to help wake us up.
No because most people look at those as laughable works of "mans imagination"
> Have you studied them?
> For how long?
> How many have you read?
Yes. And you only have to read a few, because most come on tv & make idiots of themselves.
> I've read over five hundred of them.
500, & you still haven't read the entire #1 Best Seller of all time. The bible in its entirity?
> I've tried. But it's so tedious and so boring that I can barley read it for ten minutes.
How much have you read? The index? lol
> Maybe a total of one hundred pages. And that was when I was forcing myself to do so.
Did you read John? I remember when I was a kid, anything that sounded like a fairy tale attracted me.
> Guy: Some of it. It's tedious too.
>GaL> But then TRUTH is what attracted me. Not mens imaginations.
> What is truth?
> How do you define it?
So you did not complete Owls homework assinment.
> When was I given that?
Most parents were capable of teaching kids how to figure out truth before age 10
> How did the parents know what truth is?
You were suppose to read John and pray that God will show you who Jesus is. Did your parents even go to college?
Do they also have a problem not knowing how to find what is true & what is not?
> Well, everything we believe in could be a lie.
No, I don't know anyone that dumb.
> The universe could just be a marble in some alien's pocket.
> We don't know.
Now the insults really come in.
hmm, are you on drugs or medication?
I now see where the problem is, something is not clicking in basic skilll of thinking.
> Really? How so?
The part of the brian that can't connect the dots is not functioning. Can't figure out whats real & whats imagination, whats true & whats not. Have you told your parents this.
> Why should I?
I'm not joking eather. You need to tell your parents everything you've told me.
> Well, I have saved everything that we've been talking about here on this message forum.
yes, let them read them.
> I might.
Have your parents read your book?
> No, not yet.
Do they know you have a book?
> Yes. I gave it to them for christmas.
What did they say when you gave it to them?
> I said I hope they would enjoy it.
Yeah, I would love to hear what they think of your book & what was said here.
> I think I know what they would say.
> That you both are very passionate about what you believe in.
No, were talking about what they might think of your book.
> I think they would say the same.
Well let us know what they say. Are we still on for next Saturday.
> Possibly never.
E-mail Adam what your parents said.
> I might. Or I might not.
ok, sounds great!
> A moment, if you will.
> I ask both of you to look at yourselves, and look at what you are doing. What are you trying to accomplish?
Send you on a path to Heaven. Just trying to answer any questions you may have. Just like I do in other chat rooms, talking to all the other religions including witches & NDE people.
> As I can understand it, you are both trying to induct me into your group, which at times resembles a cult more then anything else.
> You are challenging everything I hold dear.
> Every belief.
> Every thought.
> Everything that has helped guide me in my life.
> All of it, is now being challeneged.
Thats what your doing.
> Yes. I am. And both of you have set me down this path.
> I do not know what to do. What to think, what to say, what to do.
> I am a blank spot. I am dulled.
> I don't know what to do.
> Everything I hold so dear...
Come to Jesus. Yes, your life is short & thats been my main point.
> Deep down in my heart, I don't want to become like you.
> I look upon Christianity today, and I feel nothing.
> Or if I do feel something, it's pity.
> For if there is one thing I have learned, if there is nothing else I am going to take with me, it is this...
Your walking on a road that is part of life. We all have to question what we believe & hope were not falling for a lie.
> Religions are driving us apart. Instead of brining us together, they are turning this world into a world of "us and them."
I've already been in your shoes.
> I don't want to become like you people.
The religions will come together some time into one big nasty religion.
> Then we will turn to God in our darkest hour.
> For if I know one thing, it is this. I do not need an intermediary between me and my creator.
> My heart tells me that I can choose to return to God by turning to God.
> For it does not matter how you turn to the one God, as long as you do so.
> It can be by christianity, by Isalm, by Judaism, by any faith you want.
> The importnat thing is this...
> Just turn to God.
> That's it.
> Turn to God for God's sake.
REading 500 NDE books, is not turning to God, but turing to myths & lies.
> My path is not your path, and your path is not my path.
Bingo. You hit it on the head.
> There are infinitly many paths to God. Christianity is just one of them.
And only one of us can be right, or both wrong. No getting around that fact.
> I know in my heart that everyone will return to God.
Is atheism a path to God?
> It will lead to God eventually.
> The heart is more powerful and more useful then any book, any teaching, or any saying.
And how long will your path to God be, since He turns you around & sticks you into another body?
> It is not God that does that. It is my choice to do so.
Good, I'll be sticking with God. Can't imagine being another human sinful person again...ugg Especially since all those natural disasters will be going on soon.
> I think I too, will choose to be with God. I have already done so.
Knowing my luck, I would be a person in Japan when it falls into the ocean.
> Yes, that's what I would choose.
> But there's something I diddn't say with regards to those visions.
I'm just glad that with all the beliefs out there, that they all claim I'm going to heaven.
> NDE's say that everyone eventually go to heaven, and that is what my heart tells me.
> For God does not abandon his/her creations.
So I'm Heaven Bound no matter.
> We all are.
Yeah, your heaven bound in all except Christianity. So you better hope its wrong.
> Again, my heart tells me that everyone will eventually get to heaven.
How to you know your heart is right?
> The heart is the closest part we have to God.
> Have you not heard that the kingdom of God is within you?
My heart believes scripture. The OT is pretty solid ground even from a lawyers perpective. Whos heart is right yours or Owl's?
> Well, which heart is better? The one who is for an all loving God, where everyone eventually goes to heaven, and where everyone will be saved...
> Or the one that says "I'm saved! Others may be going to hell, but i'm saved! Hooray for me!" ?
I say the better heart is the one that leads to truth. No, I say I'm heaven bound & wish that you would go with me.
> Why would God turn me away fro turning to God?
Because you don't want to deal with the sin you've done.
> I've made mistakes. Everyone has. Do we learn from them? I try to learn from mine.
You turn to only part of God. God - the Jesus part.
> Why not turn to all of God? Why would you want to limit God?
Still wondering why you hate Jesus so much?
> I don't hate Jesus. I just don't believe that he is the literal savior of humanity.
> I admire and respect the man. I don't hate him in the slightest.
You won't even read what Jesus said. You find it boring but will read 500 NDE books instead. How many more NDE books you plan on reading?
> I haven't read five hundred books. I've read five hundred accounts. And the Jesus in those accounts are far more sensible then the bible Jesus.
Oh so the Apostles who witnessed Jesus & wrote about him you just toss aside.
> One question:
> Are you happy that you crush souls and crush hope and happiness? How many faiths have you destroyed? Are you happy about that?
> You're sure doing a good job of crushing me and tearing me down.
False hopes do nnot help people. Actually, people see it as the Good News. That Jesus can & is willing to take your sins away & bring you to heaven .
> False hopes? Everything i've done, read, and experienced has empowered me to love God and humanity more then ever before.
No, everything you have read & experianced seems to give you a god of mans imagination. "mans imagination" doesn't get me to heaven.
> Well, it sure makes more sense then the oftentimes crazy God of the bible
> On one hand, we have a God who oftentimes looks like a medieval tyrant.
> On the other hand, we have a God who is always Mr. Rogers.
> Which one do you think people will turn to?
> Sin this, sin that. There are no sins. There are only mistakes. We are spirits here to make mistakes and learn from them.
> I can't stand this anymore. Our religious faiths are tearing us apart, whether we realize it or not.
> It's creating an "us and them" mentality.
You can be helped from your sin problem, unless you realize you have a sin problem.
> What if there is no sin problem? What if that's simply a man-made term?
> It's questions like these that drive us apart, that seperate rather then unite.
You ream what you sow...
> And I intend to sow as much kindness and love during my lifetime as I can.
I mean, you reap what you sow...
> I'm sorry Adam, but I think this is the final chat i'll come to.
> It just isn't working out.
> You can go your way, and i'll go my way.
But you sow more than you realize, so you reap more than you realize.
> You can have a low opinion of humanity if you want, and i'll accept that.
> You can believe in Jesus if you want and i'll accept that.
> But if we keep doing this, it may drive us apart permenently.
> And I don't want that.
> So i'm going to stop doing these.
> We'll continue our paths to God.
> Me on my path, and you on your path.
> And I have to be honest with you...
> NDE experiences make 500% more sense then anything the bible says.
> All you have to do is study them. I've got the feeling your mom rejected them before she even started looking at them.
But they contradict each other like crazy.
> On the little issues yes, but on the core issues, they do not.
> They stress these things.
> 1. God is all-love, all-forgiveness, all-acceptance.
> 2. Loving God and loving others
> 3. Deeds over creeds
> 4. Not fearing God
> If you take the time to really go through them, and read them, and study them, you can learn so much.
> Just because Christianity claims that it's the only way, doesn't mean it's true.
> I can only say this...
If you accept Jesus, you don't need the FEAR God anymore.
> You don't have to fear God in the first place!
> There is nothing frightening about God!
....if your without sin.
> Why can't people get that?
> If you want to believe in sin, fine, I accept that. I'm going to believe in honest mistakes that I can learn from.
Because it is not any any holy books.
> Maybe it's time to update our holy books.
> We could take out the slavery passages. We don't need those anymore anyway.
> I guess it boils down to this:
> 1. I love God.
> 2. I love humanity.
> 3. I love life.
> 4. God and I work together. God has never let me down when I ask him for help or comfort.
> 5. Turning my life over to God has brought me peace.
> 6. This forum however, has not.
> It does not work for me.
> Therefore, perhaps it's best to leave it.
> Allow each spirit to walk it's path.
> Well, I geuss that's it.
I'll pary that you see the truth.
> We both know the truth.
> I know where i'm going, I have a gameplan, and I have God helping me.
> The same goes for you.
> God does not limit himself to those of the christian faith.
If our veiws contradict each other, we do not both know the truth.
> Oh, with our heads we contradict each other.
> But deep down, we both know the truth.
> It's buried deep...
> It can be hard to reach...
> But it's worth it...
> Goodnight Guy.
I hope you a least come to the general chit chat section of my forum.
> I don't know. We'll see. The forum is reaching it's end as a useful tool for growth.
> This forum was useful while it lasted.
> It does not serve my purpose, and now I leave it permently.
> ...sighning off..
And that ended it. No more visits, no more chats. The end of this stage in my life was done.
Full of self-righteousness, threats, egos and bizarre statements. Now, I did say things that I regret now, but I was shocked at how some of what was said seemed so...so...so full of self-righteous craziness.
I was glad to leave.
At the beginning of my life, my parents gave me a gift that was far more precious then all the Christmas presents, all the toys and all the gifts in the world. What was that gift? They gave me the gift of choice regarding faith.
I was not raised in a faith. I was not indoctrinated into one. My father has told me that he views religions as brainwashing people and I'm afraid I have to agree with him to an extent. Religions can lock people into a certain mindset, close down thought, and just encourage blind faith.
Because I was not raised in a faith, I probably had an easier time leaving Christianity then most people do. I was not locked into it, not molded into it's thought process to the extent that most people probably are.
Because of the gift of choice, I was able to leave Christianity when it became too much for me. It was difficult, and it was hard, but I eventually have managed to leave it completely.
What was the key? Giving up. Or rather, I should say letting go. After all, the bible is full of people's views and opinions about things. John tells us his views about women, not God. All religions are ultimately written and governed by men, not God. If people choose to believe religions, then fine. Just don't try to terrorize me or convert me.
Let each person walk his or her own path. Some individuals (such as Guy and GaL above) need religion. Others, like me and the others on this site, do not. I have personally discovered that it's a waste of time to try and convert others to whatever you believe in. Just let each person walk his or her own path.
However, looking back on it, I am glad I went through all that I went through. I needed to experience Christianity, experience what it was like not being a Christian, and talking with other people about their beliefs. Most importantly, I had to come to the understanding that everyone has something that they need, including religion. I could only gain that through experience, not by reading books. I had to learn that first hand.
So I'm glad I went through Christianity. I'm glad I went through the arguments, the anger, the fear, and the hate. Because now, I understand them. They bought me a greater understanding of life and how it works for some people.
As of this writing, I am only 19 years old. I was in Christianity for four years, and have wrestled with it for a year now. But only now have I finally managed to leave it and not be under it's influence anymore. I am glad that I have done this process now in my early age, for it would have been a pain in the butt doing it later on in life. You never stop learning, and you can never start soon enough.
I am still a spiritual seeker. I believe in God, but not the God portrayed by our religions. I am against the view of a human-like God who gets angry, punishes people and is basically a big human with an over-sized temper and the greatest ego in all of existence (why else can this god not stand imperfection? If you have an ego the size of the universe, you consider yourself too good to be approached by imperfection).
I do not believe in the God of our religions, yet unlike many people on this site, I do believe in a God. If you do not want to believe in God, fine. I'm not trying to convert you.
So, after five years, what are the conclusions that I've come to?
God: God exists as life. What we call life is God. God is every tree, every rock, and every blade of grass. God is everything. God views everything on this earth as an opportunity for growth and advancement. God loves everyone unconditionally, does not cause our calamities or our sorrows, and does not send anyone to hell.
God is above our religions and does not care about what faith we are, for God is more interested
God even loves and accepts atheists unconditionally.
Religion: My views on religion have bounced all over the place. From acceptance to hate, to anger, and to the view that all of them are a bunch of hogwash. Now however, I think that there are people who do need religion in their everyday lives. Because of that, I am working at accepting other people's choice of faith, as long as they do not try to convert me or threaten me with hell.
I personally see religion as the bottom rung in the ladder of personal spirituality. It's where most people start, but I think few go beyond it to higher concepts.
Basically, some people need it, others don't.
Life: We come here in life to experience both the good and the bad to further develop ourselves, to learn things, and to help others along the path. For example, all the poverty stricken people in Africa may have come into existence to encourage us to work at eliminating poverty. Without them, we might not and do it.
Experiences are what we are here for. I strongly believe I came here to experience being a Christian, then experiencing leaving it and coming out with a greater understanding. Some may come here to experience a life not believing in God to see what it's like.
Jesus and Christianity: Oh boy...if one does historical research, your eyes really open. Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher who thought the end of the world would come in his generation, and he believed he was going to partially usher it in. He encouraged people to strive for the higher things in life so that they could inherit the kingdom of God. He was not, however, a person advocating family values (for example, the famous passage about anyone who cannot hate his family cannot be his disciple). To Jesus, the kingdom was more important then family.
As for Christianity, it copied a lot of elements from other faiths into it's doctrines, including the resurrection, the son of God, and the last judgment (Take a look at Mithras). It was originally made up of lots of splinter groups who were eventually wiped out by one big group that smashed the other ones into non-existence.
Prophecy: People at the time of the bible thought the end of the world was literally around the corner, and was probably going to happen within a hundred years. The book of revelation? Rome is the anti-Christ, Christians are being persecuted, but Jesus will come back and save them from the nasty romans. Then God will establish heaven on earth. Of course, it didn't happen. But in the following thousands of years, you are bound to find events that match up with some of the prophecies. But still, these prophecies were for specific moments in time. That's my conclusion. The world is not coming to an end. The end times are not here, we're just making a big mess of this planet because of our beliefs and how we treat each other.
If I have come to nothing else after all these years, it is this: What is important in life is what you do with others. How you interact with others. How much you help others. And most importantly, how you love others. God is not interested in doctrine. God is more interested in how you live your life and how you treat others. Words mean nothing. Deeds mean everything.
One day, you will see your entire life from beginning to end. You will see how you affected everyone around you, and how you hurt or helped them. You will see things from their perspective, and you will feel how they felt.
With that in mind, treat others with love and kindness. Be loving and kind. If you don't love others, then you might as well have nothing.
Follow your own paths in life. Don't let others frighten you into what you do. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you want to follow God or not, then that's your choice.
But please, just try to love others and help others, no matter what you believe. If we all love each other, we can change the world. We just haven't gotten that yet.
I will end this with a little saying that I have grown very fond of:
I believe in a God who is bigger than me
I believe in a God who is bigger than me. When he looks at me he need not see perfection he sees that which he himself created quirks and all and smiles. He doesn't turn you out, send you away, banish you break you beat you down by constantly reminding you of all of your faults he simply loves you.
I believe in a God who is bigger than me. A God who is incapable of doing the things about myself which I hate and more capable of doing the tings about myself which are good. A God who doesn't wait for you to come to him a God who embraces and loves you wherever you are.
I believe in a God who is bigger than me. If I can find it in my heart to forgive someone who has wronged me can't God be able to do the same for everyone? If I can put the needs of others in front of mine can't God do this as well? By believing in a God bigger than me I can rest knowing fully that everything is under control. When I pray I can do so out of thanks giving but when needs arise I know that nothing is too large to ask for. I accept the possibility that everything that I believe could be wrong, I accept that his ways are not my ways but I also realize that in order for that to be true his ways would need to be so much greater than my ways. Knowing this sets me free to do as I will not to harm not to hate not to inflict my own selfish desires upon the world rather it sets me free to love. Fully and unconditionally everyone that I come into contact with just as God loves me.
If God is indeed perfect, then God is far above our human emotions, especially our negative ones. If God is indeed more powerful and more benevolent then we are, then God is not like a cruel dictator who seeks to correct or punish us when we do wrong.
If God is infinitely more loving then I am, and if God is above the frailties of the human mind, emotion and body, then God is indeed far greater and more wonderful then we can imagine.
I especially believe that God will not turn people away just because they are not members of a specific faith. If God is indeed perfect, then he is accepting of everyone, faults and all. If God is bigger then us, then God is above the wrathful, angry, human God found often in our holy books.
If God is indeed perfect, then God does not have an ego so enormous that he cannot be approached by imperfections. And a perfect God does not discriminate based on someone's faith.
I believe that God is not a human in the sky. I believe in a God who is love, even if we cannot feel it.
I believe in love. Love for all. Love for God, love for my fellow humans, love for animals and for all upon this earth.
That is what I believe in.
Joined at 14
Left at 18
Was: Believer that the bible is perfect and true, Jesus is the only way to heaven, etc.
Now: Spiritual seeker, humanist, universalist
Converted because: A little brochure scared the shit out of me
De-converted because: The fear eventually became too much
email: ianspino at yahoo dot com