I am Glad that I have found you all!

sent in by David

As a young man this Christian doctrine was forced on me like it was forced on many others. I was lead to believe that if you did not bow down to Jesus that you would forever burn in hell. But, they did not explain that while Jesus may have lived at some point that his teachings were twisted by other men and then in order to stay in a position of power over others they made these magical stories of Jesus walking on water and being raised from the dead. They have forced fed this crap onto us for far to long. They use this teacher as a way to murder millions or to force these same millions into servitude to the leader. The Catholics used the inquisitions to further their hold when people did not believe in what they had to say they killed them and with few non-believers around this helped to spread their disease.

I was able to break loose after reading many books by different scientists and finding that one there is no possible way that the Earth could be only 6,000 years old as the Christian heads have always said. Two they never explained things like history which if you do not have a working knowledge of the history of the time period or of the people you will not understand what you are reading when you read the Bible. Without the history you will be looking at the Bible through the eyes of someone modern and this does not enable you to read the truth. Which is that Jesus while being a good JEWISH RABBI and leader of HIS own JEWISH people he was no God he only wanted his people to be free of the roman rule and to have the JEWS back in control of their own land. But, in order to keep the followers in line and the money they were receiving coming in the early church fathers had to make up something. And this is the myth that Jesus was a God and so they have flourished for over 2000 years and continue to rain death and destruction until this very day. The Christian Bush is now killing Iraqis that had little or nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks but we must take the heathen God's justice. (So we can get Gods oil) Sorry about the political view I get carried away sometimes.

Anyway there is no sign of the Christian movement going away. But, as for myself although I do not think any of the religions of the world have it right just in case there happens to be one out there that responds to this I will quote John Milton from Paradise Lost: "It is better to rein in hell than to serve in heaven." But, I do not think that most of the mindless Christians out there give much thought to reading anything beyond their flawed Bible.

Marion
Ky
USA
Joined: 13
Left: 25
Was: Baptist, Methodist
Now: Freethinker, Agnostic
Converted because: Fear of Hell , Adults kept shoveling this on us.
De-converted because: Began to self educate and read the bible and other books and found the bible to be a propoganda tool of those in power trying to keep us good little sheep in line so that they could further enslave our minds and our bodies.
email: dlee_75 at yahoo dot com

45 comments:

Hellbound Alleee said...

Thanks for the article.

But you don't have to continue to believe that "Jesus was a good Rabbi." Since we know nothing about Jesus, if he existed (although there is no reason to believe that), the only thing we have in which to judge the character is what's in the scripture. From what I read, there is nothing to suggest morality and greatness. He was a horse-thief, and a frustrated cult-leader who preached terrible suffering in hell. He used people, and sponged off of Greek widows with land. He was racist, and "loved" his own people like a white supremacist "loves" his own people. This is the character the bible shows us.

Where is the Jesus we were taught? I have no idea. Those who preach this character have no regard for their own scripture.

Bentley said...

"They have forced fed this crap onto us for far to long."

I totally agree, I'm so sick of seeing the name(jxsxs)there's no jxsxs, he was such a great man, but he could not write his own words, he could raise people from the dead, but he could not write his own words, he could walk on water, but he could not write his own words nor compose his own written book nor personally express his philosophy, but he could not write his own words.

God or (Gxd) created the entire universe in just 6 days, but he could not write his own words, gxd is so great, but he could not write his own words, Gxd can do anything and is not limited in his own ability, but he cannot write his own words.


I heard a preacher say that Atheists would like to run God and Jesus off of the face of the Earth, so I renting a big bulldozer and I'm going to push gxd and jxsxs off of the face of the Earth.

Michelle Mybell said...

Good points, Ben!

jim earl said...

I'm glad you have found us as well. It's always great to see another one leave the flock. I saw a sign on a church near Syvania,Ga. which stated the following: "There is no gray area. You are either for God or against him."
That is typical of the way christians, should I say, think. No, since they lack the ability to think, I'll say believe. They can't admit that their deity does not exist so they come up with these ridiculous slogans like the one above. They should have said: There no gray area, either God exists, or he doesn't.
Being an atheist, I hate it when confronted with things such as we hate god, etc. etc.
Hey cretins reading this, I don't hate any gods or goddesses, or even satan. I simply don't believe they exist. That's a big difference. Prove to me your saviour lives outside your heart and mind and I'll be the first to join you in your beliefs. Until then, I'll be a happy atheist, living a peaceful existance as much as possible in your screwed up world. (Brought to you by the religious.)

Piprus said...

David:

I'm glad you're here as well, and that you've joined our group.

Of course what you have concluded from your search will get a lot of approval here. Christianity is simply our cultural myth, with no more validity as reality than the Wizard of Oz. What a pity that so many people in the Western world take it seriously.

Please join in regularly, post your thoughts. We're glad you're here.

Piprus

Anonymous said...

I liked the comment about Bush, more people need to speak out about that prick who is bringing our country down.

freedy said...

According to the Jews,.. to even become a Rabbi you had to be married.Although you were probably using this as a loose reference to being a good "teacher".

Welcome,..and thanks for you ex-imony,I enjoyed very much!
P.s.I agree with others,..there is know way to really know if Jesus ever existed.He is just one of 20 or so ascending-descending mythological messiahs.

Anonymous said...

"The Christian Bush is now killing Iraqis that had little or nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks but we must take the heathen God's justice. (So we can get Gods oil) Sorry about the political view I get carried away sometimes."

Hegemony.

"The dominance or leadership of one social group or nation over others; "the hegemony of a single member state is not incompatible with a genuine confederation"; "to say they have priority is not to say they have complete hegemony"; "the consolidation of the United States' hegemony over a new international economic system"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

"Hegemony is the dominance of one group over other groups, with or without the threat of force, to the extent that, for instance, the dominant party can dictate the terms of trade to its advantage; or more broadly, that cultural perspectives become skewed to favor the dominant group."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony

Baffeled by Bullshit said...

I have a few puzzling questions I need answered and I reckon I’ve come to the right place, in that, from what I can see we have some seriously learned folk around here.
1)The Holey Babble.
I heard some lame preacher on TV the other day going to great lengths to explain hell and how & who gets to go there. This mainly for those with curious minds that want to know about the injustice of eternal punishment. He was going on about how hell has various levels of punishment, citing an example: Hitler, Stalin and other perpetrators of heinous crimes would get the “full-house” treatment, the most severe punishment meted out to them, while the lady down the road who was too arrogant to accept jeezus, will go to hell, but only be subjected to a bit of mild heat. ALL xtains will go to heaven, but when it comes to the award ceremony, if you committed the same heinous crimes, it’s simply a case of not receiving any glorious and bejewelled crowns and/or mansions, and you would be conspicuous by their absence. Not that this goes to any lengths to satisfy any sense of justice, but this is the first I’ve heard of a “mild kinda hell” and a “watered-down heaven”. Were do they get this from, as preacher man did not give any Babble references. I would hazard a guess and say that this forms part of their ongoing apologia for those that ask too many questions.
2) The Queer Qu’ran.
What I read here nearly blew my sox off while I was investigating their 72 virgin jihad idea. Allah’s heaven has 5 entry points, no less!!, and jihad is one of them were the biggest & best gets dished out. The other entry points dwindle down to where the Imam of a mosque will get a fair number & the ordinary guy-in-the-street gets a smallish number of “houris” (lovely, nubile, big breasted virgin women that don’t have “unclean” problems like monthlies, giving birth, defecating or urinating. Family members from generations past will all meet up, and have themselves giant orgies in celebration. Rivers will run high and be filled with the best wine and drink imaginable. To top that, for those with paedophilic inclinations, there will be a smorgasbord of “shiny, diamond, pearly” little boys for their pleasure. It is said that clever ole’ Mohammed, keen on getting all the splintered Arab nations together, decided on this version of heaven because he knew the perversions of his own mind clearly mirrored those of the general male Arab populace, thus ensuring that Islam would be spread relatively easily. As far as I know, no mention is made of what happens to women? They definitely don’t become “houris” as much is made of them being “supernatural beings”. I guess it could be assumed that they die off simply as animals would, and are not worthy of an afterlife. If there’s a fundy, Islamite out there, this infidel would like some answers.

Dano said...

Baffeled by Bullshit wrote:

"If there's a fundy, Islamite out there, this infidel would like some answers"

To BBB from Dan,
I agree with you.

IF it is possible for another largely held religious belief to be any more silly, ridiculous, illogical, irrational, and down right scary than Christianity, it is Islam.

The sayings of Mohammed are so full of laughs, it would be worth reading them just for comic relief.

This site has been exposing Islam or shining light on it for a very long time and doing a damn good job of it!
http://www.news.faithfreedom.org/

Ian said...

Hi David. Knowledge is your best defense against harmful christian beliefs. If you read about historical saviors from history such as Mithras and Dionysis, you will see that all these saviors and Jesus share MANY things in common. They are not 100% alike, but they share a lot.

I believe that Jesus did exist as a historical person, but I also believe we know pretty much zilch about the guy. The bible, especially the new testamet is written to push an agenda, not to acuratly record historical data. I personaly believe that after historical Jesus died, his followers, who wanted to uproot the rulers of their time, added a lot of mythology to Jesus's life to push thier agendas.

Hmm...if I had seen what I just wrote three years ago, I would have considered whoever wrote that hell-bound. Amazing what time does to those who seek for truth.

*Smile*

Keep looking and keep searching David. You will find truth and you will find what you are looking for.

Bluesman said...

Damn, I guess that it is impossible to be a republican, or at least conservitive, and be an Ex-Christian. I guess that maybe I need to go back to church then and pray for god to forgive me for my unbelief, all because I am a conservitive, at least politically (But I am socially moderate). From Iraq with Love, Audie

.:webmaster:. said...

Bluesman,

I don't think being aligned with any of the American political parties is a necessarily defining position. I believe the reason you see our Republican party condemned more often around here is because of the open pandering to the religious right. Personally, I think both major parties display a severe lack of authenticity: much rhetoric and little substance.

Bluesman said...

Like I said when I joined back in Oct 05, I am not here to debate the war or politics, I just get frustrated sometimes when it gets thrown into the mix. As much as I'd like to lash out at the liberals around here, I have to remember the true purpose of our group- That we are Ex-Christians!!

At one time, all (or most) of us was ensnared in the Cult of the Bastard Messiah, but we are the lucky ones, the ones to escape! And that is truely what we share.

To Marion, great post. I'm sorry that it was used for political ranting. I'm glad that you are here and hope to hear more from you soon.

Catch ya later, Audie
"armyairborne509@yahoo.com"

J. C. Samuelson said...

I've been in the military for 14 years of my life, and if I were to put a label on myself politically, it would be "Centrist."

I don't align with either of the major political parties and agree wholeheartedly with the WM that neither offers much in the way of substance.

Like others, I've noticed the conflation of religion and politics in the threads too. But with both political parties pandering (great word) to religious people, this can perhaps be expected. The GOP has done a remarkable job of this - it is the values party after all - so equating Bush, Cheney, et. al. with conservative Christianity is bound to happen.

I even catch myself doing that sometimes.

Anyway, just some random thoughts.

Thanks David, for the post and I hope you stick around!

Bentley said...

Hi Audie, Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts and your ex-christian perspective.

I've been at the presumption that people wanting to step up to the cause of freedom, called Enduring Freedom was from people volunteering from Bush's call of God's Holy Will. Now please tell me where I'm wrong, because I'm a somewhat confused, when it comes to issues reguarding taking human life especially when we leave this soil and go to other countries and defend our freedom by killing people on their soil.

Let me explain, when we took out Saddam Hussein, why did not the conflict end immediately, if Saddam was such a great threat to the world and the Iraqi people where under such oppression, why have not the Iraqi People not take over their own contry and resolved their own peace?

So if your answer turns to the conflict between the Shiites and Sunnis, then this conflict may never be resolved, so would you please enlighten us here in the USA, how this conflict can be resolved, or why has it taken the most powerful country in the world the USA, has taken over what 4 years? to resolve this conflict?

Can you tell us what the Hell is really going on over there?

Thanks Audie, TC Ben

Bluesman said...

Wow, actually positive response! Thanks for the replys. As I said, this is Marion's post, not mine.

If anyone wants to hear what is going on over here, at least from the perspective of someone who IS here, let me know and maybe I'll start a seperate letter. But not no and not in Marion's letter replys. For now, let's get back to welcoming her into the group.

BTW 3 more weeks and I'm home to the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Later, Audie

Bentley said...

Ok my friend, watch your back!
If you have time to post what is going on over there that would be great, otherwise I may e-mail ya if you'd rather. TC Ben

Dave8 said...

"BTW 3 more weeks and I'm home to the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Later, Audie"

Great news, you got to enjoy the beach in the heat, but you get to miss the sandstorm season ;-) Watch yourself, it's the coming and going that provides the most exposure to threat. Take it easy, and hope to hear from you when you get back.

Steve said...

This has to be the sadest web site I have ever seen. It is a testimony to what having "religion" without experience and relationship with GOD will produce.
I hear and concur with the pain and frustrations of many of the writers, but from the perspective that they have not tasted the truth of GOD but rather have been force fed religion. Many people profess belief in GOD and Jesus himself said, "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' 23 Then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.' 24 "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!"
I challenge anyone from this site to give themselves this opportunity. Ask GOD to show them in their hearts that He is real, and that though they have had manifold bad religious expeiences at so-called "churches" would like to know if He is real after all. Of course many will scoff at the very thought, but what do you have to be afraid of.... if GOD is not real then you have wasted only a moment of time, but if HE is real then you will have made an awesome discovery.

Anonymous said...

Christianity is the world’s most exclusive club. Its sole reason for being is for the benefit of non-members who won’t actually understand this unless they actually decide to join. The first step of faith will be the only blind one, I promise, ‘cause I thought I was crazy when I took it. You cannot describe or understand what you haven't tasted.

Cheers big ears,
Mike

Mike said...

Ben said:

"...when we took out Saddam Hussein, why did not the conflict end immediately, if Saddam was such a great threat to the world and the Iraqi people where under such oppression, why have not the Iraqi People not take over their own country and resolved their own peace?"

I can probably explain a really complicated situation with a really simple comparison:

If children are rescued from a narcissistic or sociopathicly dysfunctional household, why aren't they immediately functional?

C’ya
Mike

J. C. Samuelson said...

"I challenge anyone from this site to give themselves this opportunity. Ask GOD to show them in their hearts that He is real, and that though they have had manifold bad religious expeiences at so-called "churches" would like to know if He is real after all..."

I challenge you to prove you have True Christainity™. Your post reeks of the condescension typical of your ilk.

Knowing nothing about anyone here, you come with accusations and challenges, not even knowing your own friggin' scripture. See Deut. 6:16, Isaiah 7:12, and Matt. 4:7 for what your scripture says about what you're telling us to do.

We have been there, done that, burned the t-shirt. Your words are meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Steve said, "Many people profess belief in GOD and Jesus himself said,..."

Matthew 7:21-27:
7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:"

7:25 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."

7:26 "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:"

7:27 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

"I challenge anyone from this site to give themselves this opportunity. Ask GOD to show them in their hearts that He is real, and that though they have had manifold bad religious expeiences at so-called "churches" would like to know if He is real after all. Of course many will scoff at the very thought, but what do you have to be afraid of.... if GOD is not real then you have wasted only a moment of time, but if HE is real then you will have made an awesome discovery."

Steve, Jesus also said, call on the Lord and you will be delivered, care to explain?

Joel 2:32 "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered."

Acts 2:21 "2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Looking forward to hearing from you Steve.

Anonymous said...

Mike said, "You cannot describe or understand what you haven't tasted."

However, a person need not be a child of a narcissistic or sociopathicly dysfunctional household, in order to immediately spot one, right.

Physical experience is a wise teacher, but not the only teacher. Please, explain what it feels like to freefall from an aircraft at 3,000 ft, with a malfunctioning parachute, and no reserve, thanks.

Matthew 7:16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits..."

Sometimes, the wise, learn from what they observe, and, observation is one form of "experience".

Ted said...

I personally challenge any Christian to post One thing or event that has come true prophesied in the Bible, that Jesus said or any Biblical charactor said and has become true.

This challenge will exempt Israel becoming a Nation, which is hardly a prophesy, a cheep one at that, and the fact that we all will die, which is a given known fact.

Any takers?

Just post one thing, that Jesus said, or Paul said, or any Biblical charactor said, any event that has become true.

Anyone! Just post one event in past history, that has become true!

Excluding Israel and death!

Just one Biblical event or prophesy, please I beg anyone, to post one proven Biblical event.

I'm waiting for one proven event that was prophesied from the Bible
since was written!

1.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone! Just post one event in past history, that has become true!"

All events of past history are by default true. Proving history based on writing is another matter. One cannot prove whether an event was written pre-act or post-act, unless they were at the scene, witnessing the event. Or, unless they are willing to take on faith, another persons' word, that they have never met. I'm not holding my breath that any christian is actually going to post something, but, it would be fun to see them make the attempt.

Steve said...

Dear Jeff,
I apologise for appearing condescending, it can be difficult to convey tone when writing. My objective was to be imploring, which mark I obviously missed.
Concerning proving my "Christianity", 2Co 13:5 reads:- Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? So at the risk of once again sounding condescending, I have to state it is my firm belief that the Spirit of Christ is indeed dwelling inside my heart. By no means does this mean I am perfect nor consider myself in any such way, but rather that I have a compelling desire to love GOD and my neighbour, though in my humanity I often fail in this endeavour.
Concerning "testing" the LORD, I neither used that word nor suggested any such thing, but rather suggested that GOD is ready willing and able to respond to all who call upon Him with a sincere desire to know the truth. To taste of the LORD's goodness is very different from putting Him to the test.
The point I was trying to make was the difference between the legitimacy of a very real and loving GOD and the illegitimacy of religiosity.
It is true that I do not know anyone on this site personally, but I can still hear the hurt and frustration and dare I say anger in the posts.
What saddened me was that so many people have been wounded by religion that such a post as this exists.
I don't think I made any accusations, and I only made one challenge.... to give GOD a chance to show His love to anyone who asked.
I should have used the word implore, for that is the heart of GOD, reaching out to us with loving arms, imploring us to turn to Him.

Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank-you for making a very good point. This is the crux of what I believe is at the very foundation of so many peoples negative religious experiences. In-as-much as the persons whom Jesus rejected had "religion" but no relationship with GOD. He never "knew" them. They thought because they had done this or that that they were assured a place in heaven. Seeking as it were to earn their way, rather than accepting the free gift of GOD of eternal life. The only reference that I see of them calling on the name of the LORD was on the day of judgement, when all men will give an account of their lives. In their assertion of good works, "calling on the LORD" is conspicuously absent. Rather they recount there deeds that they percieved to gain them entry. The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is salvation by Grace... a free gift, that cannot be earned by anyone.
So it would appear to me, that they had not called upon the LORD at all, but not unlike so many who possess prominence in religious organisations (like the Pharisees and Saducees) had only an outward appearance of piety, thinking that they were better than other men on account of their works, but on the inside were full of dead mens bones.

Anonymous said...

"They thought because they had done this or that that they were assured a place in heaven. Seeking as it were to earn their way, rather than accepting the free gift of GOD of eternal life."

You reference Matthew.

"The only reference that I see of them calling on the name of the LORD was on the day of judgement, when all men will give an account of their lives. In their assertion of good works, "calling on the LORD" is conspicuously absent."

Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Romans 2:6, 2:13 "Who will render to each one according to his deeds. ... For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

Well, maybe its not so conspicously hidden, there is in fact scripture that supports calling on the lord, to give salvation. And, to also do good deeds, in the same book of Romans. Perhaps, you care to explain, what "conspicuously absent" means.

"Rather they recount there deeds that they percieved to gain them entry. The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is salvation by Grace... a free gift, that cannot be earned by anyone."

So, you suggest the bible suggest salvation by grace is "the" way to get into heaven? Then, why do all of these other passages exist? You expect people to believe, from your explanation, that the authors of the bible wrote their passages to prevent people from seeking other ways to find salvation? Then, lets look at another passage.

Psalm 62:12 "For you render to each one according to his works."

Now, if you suggest that people were looking for a way out, during their day of judgement, then why wouldn't Psalms say "Your works, alone, will not save you on the day of judgement, only salvation by grace".

So, salvation by grace is "where" in the bible?

Jeremiah 17:10 "I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Ezekiel 18:27 "When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness ... and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul."

Matthew 12:37 "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Matthew 19:17 "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

James 2:14 "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?"

James 2:17 "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

1 Peter 1:17 "The Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work."

Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life."

"So it would appear to me, that they had not called upon the LORD at all, but not unlike so many who possess prominence in religious organisations (like the Pharisees and Saducees) had only an outward appearance of piety, thinking that they were better than other men on account of their works, but on the inside were full of dead mens bones."

Steve, show me the scripture that supports your statement above, thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I should have used the word implore, for that is the heart of GOD, reaching out to us with loving arms, imploring us to turn to Him."

1 Peter 1:17 "And if ye call upon the Father, who without respect of persons, jugeth according to every man's work."

Steve, you must be reading a different bible than the one I have. The one I have, displays a get er' done god, at any cost, god has no respect for any person in that process, period.

Deuteronomy 10:17 "For the Lord your God ... regardeth not persons."

2 Chronicles 19:7
For there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons.

Acts 10:34 "God is no respecter of persons."

Romans 2:11 "For there is no respect of persons with God."

Galatians 2:6 "God accepteth no man's person."

Ephesians 6:9 "Neither is there respect of persons with him."

Colossians 3:25 "There is no respect of persons."

Steve, I implore you to explain why your loving god, has a "no respect" clause for people in the bible, thanks.

Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

what I meant by "conspicuously absent", was that in their account of "good works" they didn't recall "knowing GOD" but only referred to what they had done in His name.

Salvation by grace....
Eph 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

The way I understand it is that the gift of GOD is eternal life, but the gift can be squandered. So James writes "faith without works is dead". The works he is referring to are the works of love. The works he uses as examples in his letter are works of charity.

The calling of believers is to show self sacraficial love (See Corinthians 13) as Christ showed for us in His dying on behalf of us.

Pharisees, Saducees and Scribes were the "clergy" of the day. But they recieved the most vehement rebukes from Jesus on account of their hypocrisy.

Mt 23:13
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Mt 23:15
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.


Mt 23:27
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 "So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Steve said...

"NO RESPECT"

I think you would agree that many people recieve deferential treatment in our society. Either by their position in politics, the media or on account of their business acumen.

When GOD says he is no respector of persons, I believe that what He is referring to is He wont take into account your position in life, whether you were the pope or the Queen of England. He looks at your heart and the things that you did.

Pr 4:23
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Steve,

"I apologise for appearing condescending, it can be difficult to convey tone when writing."

Thanks, I appreciate that. Yes, you're absolutely right that a great deal gets lost in translation through text. That said, many of the Christians who visit this site communicate very nearly the same thing as you did in the post I was responding to.

My frustration comes from the seemingly continuous (and false) impression that ex-Christians here - or anywhere for that matter - just didn't get True Christianity™.

"Concerning proving my "Christianity", 2Co 13:5 reads:- Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves."

Well, that's not really what I was getting at. I have no doubt you are a True Christian™. That is, I don't doubt that you have faith personally. My point is that accusing someone of not having been a True Christian™ is both offensive and arrogant.

"Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"

Whether a person feels a connection to the divine within themselves is a matter of opinion. It is highly subjective and only the individual can decide how to identify it. You choose to call it Jesus. Others call it the goddess, or the Force, or whatever. The name for it is merely a placeholder, nothing more.

That is, you cannot effectively assert that any connection to the divine that I might feel is actually Jesus. Only I can decide that.

"Concerning "testing" the LORD, I neither used that word nor suggested any such thing, but rather suggested that GOD is ready willing and able to respond to all who call upon Him with a sincere desire to know the truth."

You advised us to ask the Lord to "show [us] in [our] hearts that He is real." In practice, what this would mean is that in our doubt we say to God, "Prove yourself to us." That, my friend, is testing the Lord according to scripture.

"The point I was trying to make was the difference between the legitimacy of a very real and loving GOD and the illegitimacy of religiosity."

A valid point. However, there is no way you can know whether a person has experienced what you describe. This is as true in your church as it is here.

You choose to believe those with whom you share fellowship if they say something to the effect that they really felt the presense of the Lord. Having had those experiences yourself you accept what is said willingly and without hesitation. But you cannot see into that person's heart to determine whether what they experienced (if anything) was real. Nor can you determine if it conformed to what you personally would call a real experience of the Lord or an experience with what you might call a "familiar spirit."

"I don't think I made any accusations..."

Not directly, no. But the challenge you laid before the court carried the implied accusation that those of us who are ex-Christians were never True Christians™.

"They thought because they had done this or that that they were assured a place in heaven."

An apt description of religiosity. However, the reasons for leaving the faith are very diverse. Many of us, myself included, at one time felt just as you do. It wasn't about avoiding judgment and getting to heaven.

To get a better sense of what it's all about, you really should read more than just a single testimony.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Almost forgot, to all the anonymous posters please note there is an "Other" button you can use to give yourself a posting name. No sign up required.

It helps us all to communicate much better if we can uniquely identify each other.

Steve said...

Dear Jeff,
Thank-you for your understanding and polite response.
I want to make it clear that in no way was I judging anyone's particular experience of faith as being illegitimate or otherwise. But rather was trying make the point that many so-called churches themselves are not representative of Christianity but rather churchianity. Places where religious legalism squashes the liberty that only exists in the Spirit. And that there may well exist the potential for some of the persons posting here to have been subjected to the burdens that such assemblies are prone to place on the shoulders of those whom they would bind into their religiosity.
Also I would like to apologise if I have been simplistic in my post. As each of us has his/her own bias, I too have mine which has been in part formulated by my many experiences of encountering religious assemblies who though they have a form of godliness, do not actually believe in the teachings of the Bible. Therefore having the diabolical consequences of tainting anyone whom they might have an influence over with the sense that GOD is as dead as their faith.

One last comment on the subject of testing GOD. I think perhaps there are differences in the tests and as a consequence, different rules to govern said tests. For e.g.
Mal 3:10
" Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."

This is an instance that the Children of Israel are told to test GOD. And....

Ps 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

This is more of what I meant when I "challenged" or should have implored anyone to give themselves an opportunity to "know" Him.

Once again, I apologise if this seems arrogant or causes offense by my over simplification. I have seen this experiment work in instances where my intellectual resources have become exhausted in an attempt to show people what I believe to be the Truth.

.:webmaster:. said...

Steve said: "...Christianity is salvation by Grace...a free gift, that cannot be earned by anyone."

Then Steve said: "...they had not called upon the LORD at all?"

So which is it, a free gift that cannot be earned, or a prize that can be earned by calling upon the LORD?

If it cannot be earned, is truly free, and is entirely by "grace," then there is NOTHING anyone can do to obtain this "gift." If I have to do something then I am fulfilling requirements to obtain this salvation — I am earning it. I may not be doing much to earn it — just calling on the LORD — but if I don't call upon the LORD, then there is no salvation for me.

Ultimately it falls to me to save myself.

So, if I'm reading you right, Steve, salvation is a metaphorical life preserver. It's there, floating on the water, within reach, but I have to grab it and hold on to it. If I don't notice that life preserver, or don't recognize what it is, or if I instead grab one of the rotten imitation, fake preservers that are floating around and cluttering up the sea™ then I'll sink into the eternal ocean of hell prepared by the god of unconditional love.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. — James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the first Church in Jerusalem.

Interesting that James, Jesus' brother, would have understood that the movement his brother started was intended to do good works. It's also interesting that not once in the book of James is salvation by grace theory mentioned once — nor for that matter, the resurrection!

Hmmm.

I wonder why Paul is such a star in the Christian movement while the actual brother of Jesus is barely remembered? In fact, all the early apostles are barely remembered. Quite honestly, the very words of Jesus are barely quoted in comparison to Paul. I'd have to say that the religion of Christianity owes it's present form almost entirely to this guy Paul.

Too bad Jesus wasn't as smart as Paul, he could've started his own religion.

Bentley said...

Great answer WM! You see, Paul wanted to be second banana to Jesus, that is the reason that he wrote as if Jesus had spoken to him directly, but since Jesus was suppossedly dead, Paul became first banana, but since he wrote about Jesus whom was supposed to be dead, Paul became famous over Jesus, just what he really intended.

Thank you! Dave

Anonymous1 said...

"The way I understand it is that the gift of GOD is eternal life, but the gift can be squandered."

So, its conditional salvation. Which of the following do you suggest a christian follow in order to "keep" their salvation.

By Words "only":
Matthew 12:37 "Say the right things. For by thy words thou shalt be justified."
-----------------------------------
According to Works "only":
Revelation 2:23 "I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

Matthew 16.27 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."
-----------------------------------
Through Belief/Faith "only":
Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith."
-----------------------------------
Do & Believe the Right Things "only":
James 2:17 "Do and believe the right things. Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
-----------------------------------
Believe in Jesus "only":
Acts 16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
-----------------------------------
Be born again "only":
John 3:3 "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
-----------------------------------
Hear Jesus' words & Believe the Messenger "only":
John 5:24 "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life."
-----------------------------------
Be Born of Water & the Spirit "only":
John 3:5 "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
-----------------------------------
Be Washed by the Holy Ghost "only":
Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."
-----------------------------------
Believe and be Baptized "only":
Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
-----------------------------------
Call upon the Name of the Lord "only":
Acts 2:21 "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
-----------------------------------
Confess by Mouth "Jesus is Lord" & Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead "only":
Romans 10:9 "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
-----------------------------------
Follow the commandments (at least some of them) "only":
Matthew 19:17-19 "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life."
-----------------------------------
Keep the Commandments & the faith of Jesus "only":
Revelation 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
-----------------------------------
Endure to the End "only":
Matthew 10:22, 24:13, Mark 13:13 "He that endureth to the end shall be saved."
-----------------------------------
Don't Judge Other People "only":
Matthew 7:1, Lk.6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged."
-----------------------------------
Have Lots of Babies "only":
1 Timothy 2:14-15 "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing."
-----------------------------------
Be Given by the Father & Come to the Son "only":
John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
-----------------------------------
Be chosen (Predestinated) by God "only":
Mt.22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."

Romans 8:29-30 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate ... Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
-----------------------------------
Be Poor, Not Rich "only":
Luke 6:24 "But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation."

Matthew 19:23-24 "Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
-----------------------------------
Just Ask! "only":
Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
-----------------------------------
Just Love "only":
Luke 10:26 "He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."

The books of the bible, were written as stand alone scripture, to be taken only according to the specific book. The New Testament was not put together or canonized, by collecting all of the epistles and books until much later, ~369CE. So, please Steve, tell us which of the authors were most correct, or, does a True Christian need to follow all of the rules to "earn" their "salvation"?

Anonymous1 said...

"When GOD says he is no respector of persons, I believe that what He is referring to is He wont take into account your position in life, whether you were the pope or the Queen of England. He looks at your heart and the things that you did."

Pr 4:23 "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life."

So, what springs out of a heart that holds hatred?

Luke 14:26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

Dano said...

STEVE!
Exactly what are you trying to prove with all the bible verses?
I don't know of any ex-Christians who give the bible any credence whatsoever!

(Well, I will say that it does what most religious cannons do, and that is try to suck in believers, and then tell them that there is no alternative, or safe way out.) BELIEVE THIS OR BURN IN HELL FOREVER!

You can quote bible verses till the cows come home, but it still does not explain the "UNEXPLAINABLE"

If you want to believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, being who is looking out for all of his starving, and suffering creations, your going to have to do it by faith alone, because all of the scribbling's of a bronze age tribe ain't gonna prove nuthin!

Dan (Who is just like you. I don't know anything about God either)

Steve said...

Interesing how so much energy is spent trying to crucify someone who you do not believe exists.

I will now leave you to hate free of my interruptions.

Anonymous1 said...

"Interesing how so much energy is spent trying to crucify someone who you do not believe exists."

Interesting how so much energy is spent trying to crucify someone who you do not believe.

"I will now leave you to hate free of my interruptions."

I will now leave you to hate free of your interpretations.

Dano said...

Webmaster,
Maybe you should make up a list of all the "Apologists" that have put up the good fight here on your site, and then have one of those "click here" thingys next to each one that would elicit a "door sound," signifying their current status. Some slamming hard, some soft, and some creakin open again, and in the case of "Goldie",opening quickly and then slamming just as quickly.
Dano (ex-never was a true Christian)

GoneNsane said...

"Interesing how so much energy is spent trying to crucify someone who you do not believe exists."

Actually, all we do is try to get you people to quit telling us your imaginary friend is real. You are the ones who are insisting your invisible buddy be allowed to rule our government, make our laws and determine how we celebrate our holidays. You are the ones who engage in silliness and false history and insist it's real. We don't want to play your game anymore but you keep getting in our faces and forcing it on us. So how dare you fault US for shouting back that we're done playing?

At any rate, I hope you fundies aren't psychologists. I'm sure you'd treat other emotional abuse victims the same way: "So your husband tells you you're worthless? Well, you are, aren't you? Better just accept it, he knows what's best for you."

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