Putting away Christianity

Sent in by Ellis

I grew up in a Christian home and at a young age always believed in God and Jesus. I always loved the Bible stories that they told at Sunday school and loved to pray. I was always on and off from church-going and its activities, but gradually faded away from it once I was close to graduating from Elementary school. Prior to graduation, I went on some church retreats and attended Bible studies from time to time, but none of it really meant anything to me. No one even bothered to explain why we believed what we did.

Anyway, when I entered high school, I completely quit going to church and claimed to be an atheist telling these Christians that they were brainwashed. It wasn't until 2004 that I was "convicted of my sins" through the ten commandments. I returned to my old church and for the rest of that year, I went on to preach, witness and spread the "good news" through many different outlets such as audio recordings and classes. Unfortunately, none of the people seemed to really care about my "conviction" and I was still treated with subliminal contempt like I had always been. They failed to notice me as one of their brethren, yet I worked through the discouragement all alone. By the end of the year, I decided to leave the church. I wasn't growing spiritually as a Christian. Someone told me that church wasn't for social interaction, but they strongly misunderstood my intentions. I wasn't going there for social interaction, I was going there to "grow" like the rest of them. I wondered if they even knew what fellowship was and not just going there to sit around for an hour listening to a sermon and then splitting up.

Once I left the church, I felt so discouraged that I didn't want to return again. I never did. In 2005, I tried my best to follow God and obey him like what a Christian would do. However, it started interfering with the way I did daily activities and routines. It was always about that conscience thing and whether I should stay clear from something if it even had the bit of evil in it. I was also accused of being a legalist from hypocritical Christians that continuously claimed to "repent from sins." I was only trying to do what was right. It didn't make any sense to me. Also, the fact that so many people stressed the importance of church made me feel like they didn't appreciate my own experiences or feelings and just cared about church over God. The fact that all of these hotshot Christian preachers and writers were selling their books felt like they were only in it for the money. The fact that all of these people were so forceful was also a major turn-off. I began to realize that the only truth was reality.

It was also in the middle of 2005 that I split away from one of my best friends and I regret that. The reason for this was that the Bible said to not yoke with unbelievers. My life as it is was difficult enough. I didn't need all of this constant fear and alertness for "deceptive" religions and foolishness. I didn't want to listen to those on-going debates about which religion was correct and which religion was wrong. It was a total brainwash. Nevertheless, I still tried to cling to the faith and seek the supposed truth, but it was almost as if Christians didn't exist. Then, there were the internet Christians who were by far the worst people that I have ever met. They were constantly forceful and nosey. It was like they wanted to know everything about me. They were all hypocrites too. It was around 2006 that I started to believe that these people were all wrong. I hated the religious superiority that they held against other people as if they had all authority. I hated the way they treated people like they were lower than them. I also hated the way the Christians were so snobby and egotistical, thinking they knew all the answers to life.

In the middle of 2006, I left the faith. Now, according to Christians, they would argue that "true" Christians are always Christians or some nonsense like that. It's just a heavy addiction to mythical teachings, that's all. The further you get into it, the further you're "enlightened" or fascinated, just like with anything else. I personally think it's the epitome of complicating a person psychologically with its forceful antics and contradicting lies. It was unhealthy. I couldn't understand how a person could follow some story so profoundly when there was very little evidence to the "deity's" existence. Also, the fact that Christians are called to be "witnesses" didn't make sense. To be a witness, you'd have to personally witness something (in this case, JESUS). The whole religion felt like a feel-good self-help therapy cult. Ever since leaving the faith, I felt free from restrictions and slavery. I felt free to once again do what I did best and focus mentally on the things that did matter in my life. I also felt like a normal human being and not the constant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with this whole divine intervention thing. Praise God? How about praise luck.

Joined: 21
Left: 23
Now: Atheist

56 comments:

Dave Harty said...

"I couldn't understand how a person could follow some story so profoundly when there was very little evidence to the "deity's" existence."

The irony of course being that the story is the only evidence!

Congrats on your atheist title! Wear it with pride, even if the other 90% of the world hates you for it.

The funniest thing about the basic tenets of christianity, is that they go the farthest to disprove the religion! Prayer is about as useful as wishing on a lucky horseshoe, and the bible is full of idiotic contradictions! To help you on your journey and inspire you I leave you with this quote, which I copied from that BBC Athiest special:

"All religions have this in common, that they are an outrage to common sense, for they are pierced together out of a variety of elements some of which seem so unworthy, sordid and at odds with man's reason that any strong and vigorous intelligence laughs at them." - Pierre Charron, Catholic Theologian 1541-1603

Reese said...

Forget Christianity then, for the moment.Talk to God, without the mumbo jumbo, in words all your own; til then, may I suggest a quick read of Brennan Mannings' "Raggamuffin Gospel".

boomSLANG said...

Congrats on your atheist title! Wear it with pride, even if the other 90% of the world are self-righteous zealots who worship mythological non-existant beings.

To help you on your journey and inspire you I leave you with this quote, which I copied from that guy who thinks the theory of evolution is a joke:

"The funniest thing about the basic tenets of christianity, is that they go the farthest to disprove the religion! Prayer is about as useful as wishing on a lucky horseshoe, and the bible is full of idiotic contradictions!" ~ Dave Harty, Amateure Theologian 1979 - Eternity

Anonymous said...

boom slang and dave harty, are you the same guy?

boomSLANG said...

"boom slang and dave harty, are you the same guy?"

Nope. I'm a guy who doesn't believe in a God, or any of it's euphamisums...i.e.."Intellgient Designer". I believe that evolution is both theory AND fact, just like Atomic theory is both theory AND fact. If I detect facetiousness, I'll kick and prod it a little bit to see what's up. Why?...what's on your mind?

Dave Harty said...

No, we're not the same person, Boomslang persists that I'm a diest, despite my repeated claims to be atheist (which I am regardless of what others want to think.) My quote from above is from one of history's first known atheists, or at least christian skeptics, either way, its a great quote. Also, just because an idea like Intelligent Design sounds like it should be a religious idea, or its supported by a religious group, that doesn't mean the idea itself is religious. I've also prodded at evolution and found it to be lacking.

I don't worship anything.

There is no god.

Jesus never existed.

Faith is for the ignorant.

boomSLANG said...

"I don't worship anything.

There is no god.

Jesus never existed.

Faith is for the ignorant."

We're on the same page on these 4 points. Hmmm... I think the "Atheist Catholic Theologian" thing might've thrown me. Okay, my public apologies.....there isn't a god, but there is an Intelligent Designer. My bad.

Bentley said...

We're brought into this world by the desire of the male to reproduce and propagate the species and we arrive in a window of time when religious indoctrination and religious brainwashing rein supreme. Most of us have no choice but to believe what we have been exposed to. We presume that since so many follow and believe the religious indoctrination, that it must surely be true, until of course we decide to break away on our own and test and examine the motives behind the religious teachings.

It is not until then, that we finally decide that our parents have been badly fooled also by their parents too before them, we see it's all a lie used to make people conform to society and ancient traditions.

So how do we put an end to all the religious nonsense? Religions are growing like wildfire and people want and desire to believe in the bible and q'uran mostly out of fear.

How do we put a stop to all religious indoctrination?

What is it going to take?

How do we put an end to the indoctrination that has had over 2000 years to qualify their teachings simply by using faith?

Piprus said...

Greetings, Ellis, Welcome. Your story is testimony to the persistence of reason and common sense. Christianity is nonsense. Your world is definitely better now.

JAYBIRD said...
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JAYBIRD said...

"Prayer is about as useful as wishing on a lucky horseshoe, and the bible is full of idiotic contradictions! To help you on your journey and inspire you I leave you with this quote, which I copied from that BBC Athiest special"

Prayer is simply talking to God and putting your faith and trust in him...God says to trust him to find him faithful,,
the Bible is not contradicting, unless you have idiotic presuppositions then it may seem contradicting. If you dont understand it, it's because you don't want to.

How do we put a stop to all religious indoctrination?
What is it going to take?
How do we put an end to the indoctrination that has had over 2000 years to qualify their teachings simply by using faith?
I know! all you have to do is put a stop to God and all your worries will be over....and Logically you can't say that there "is no God"

Anonymous said...

You sound like John Forbes Nash Jr. Yeah, pray to a God...a delusional entity of your own mind. Putting faith into something that has presented no evidence to its existence whatsoever, wow, that's smart.

The fact that you cannot prove that there is a God makes it all the more logical to say that God doesn't exist. I can prove that there are cars just by pointing to one outside.

JAYBIRD said...

God does exist. If you stop and think about it. Just because you cant see him doesn't mean he doesn't exist...you cant see the wind but you know it's there because you see what it does....

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen: A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.
When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: I don't believe that God exists." Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things." The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt. The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not
exist." How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!" No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside." Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me." Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Anonymous said...

To jb,
So you're saying God exists because barbers exists! If that is all the evidence you need then just continue to live in your mental delusion.

If you say the wind exists, but you cannot see it, yet the wind does not claim to have a son born of a virgin girl sent here to save people from their sins (whatever a sin is.)

You know the wind exists because you can feel it and see it raise a kite or a plane, but your invisible god, you cannot feel it/him/her, nor can your imaginary god lift a kite or a plane, atleast the wind is a physical object, whereas your imaginary god is a man made mental concept, not physical nor material, only mental.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"Prayer is simply talking to God and putting your faith and trust in him..."

Which is useful only to the person doing the praying; it makes him/her feel better.

"the Bible is not contradicting, unless you have idiotic presuppositions then it may seem contradicting. If you dont understand it, it's because you don't want to."

Since many Christians believe in the inerrancy of scripture, they cannot allow themselves to entertain the possibility of contradiction. Of course, this in itself is an 'idiotic presupposition.' Think about it.

Just for the sake of being thorough, go here and see if you can resolve these contradictions & problems. Not for us, for you.

"If you stop and think about it. Just because you cant see him doesn't mean he doesn't exist...you cant see the wind but you know it's there because you see what it does...."

Spurious reasoning. Wind has specific properties that can be independently and consistently verified. God does not.

"That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Ah. So a person born with a congenital defect or disease didn't pray enough in the womb, eh? Young children who live in complete squalor, die of starvation, disease, or war must have offended God. Victims of natural disasters must be godless reprobates. Rape victims must be whores, or something equally offensive to God.

Oh wait! If the rape victim is not betrothed, she's to marry her rapist, according to the Bible anyway (Deut. 22:28-29). Guess that last one was wrong, eh?

Nice 'blame the victim' attitude, JB.

boomSLANG said...

Jaybird, just like clock-work, your tired apologetic analogy fails, like so many others.

You're an adult right? Okay, if you were at a crowded amusement park and you happened to witness a young child accidentally get separated from his/her parents, and no one else noticed but you, what would YOU do in this situation? Wouldn't you immediately GO TO the child in need of help?....or would you stand there with your thumb up your rectum while taking pride in fact that you have the POWER and MEANS to help, but yet, wait to see if the child will come to you, first? Get it yet?

Neither you, nor anyone else "knows" a "God" exists. If you believe it?...you're taking it on "Faith", which is EXACTLY what your holy handbook tells you to do anyway. Good boy! good boy! However, we don't take things on "Faith" anymore, because we lost faith in faith. Period. Get over it.

Jaybird: "You can't see the wind... yada, yada..chirp, chirp chirp".

One more non-applicable tired apologetic argument. Check it---we can MEASURE the wind; we can HARNESS the wind and move things; the effects of the wind are CONSISTANT. Additionally, do you see anyone debating the existance of the frickin' wind? NO, you do not, that's because the existance of "wind" is EVIDENT, while the existance of your bible god IS NOT evident. Again, get over it AND MOVE ON.

John said...

"Ever since I left the faith, I've felt free from restrictions and slavery." Omit the word "slavery," and you've named the primary motivation for wanting to leave Christianity and for trying to prove that it isn't true.

To Jay Bird - Suffering doesn't exist because suffering people don't turn to God. They do. Most of the people in Mississippi and New Orleans turned to Him in advance of Hurricane Katrina, and it still ruined their lives. Babies are born with horrible birth defects, and will suffer for the rest of their short lives, even though their parents prayed during pregnancy.

Instead, you should say that the world is filled with suffering, but it's also filled with people overcoming it. Besides, God created US. If there is a homeless man living near you, and he's been there in spite of thousands of people seeing him, whose fault is that, God's or yours? It's yours. It's ours.

sacrafice33 said...

WE must remember that God told us not to judge others. By telling Christians to not to be yolked altogether with unbelievers he means we shouldn't go clubbing, smoking, drinking, (these are all okay without excess and also how well you conduct yourself while your doing them; meaning, if you have a few drinks and ejoy your company, its not a sin, but if someone is always picking up at clubs, different partners weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.. then that's a sinful life; and all God is saying that don't do the things they do.... have them do the things that you, as a believer in righteousness, do... excess is the sin, and if one does not engage in the 'willfull abuse of things lawful' - which by the way is the reason for the Pharisees downfall, and as long as you influence more good onto others then they influence bad on you... then you can do what Jesus did, "love to sit and eat with the sinners..." God tells YOU to become Holy and go out to the Unholy and help them... problem is that people get influenced easier then they influence... mostly... in terms of habits, lifestyle, etc. Love even the enemy...

... I personally did not grow up Christian.. did a lot of drugs, to the point where i was really overpollutted... cried all the time.. couldnt find relief.. at all...

gave up everything, work, drugs, hope, love, friends, family...

... i read the bible then, for the first time...

and i came across a line that said, "will God not give the Holy Sprit to he who asks?" and again, it mentioned that there were believers who believed and received the baptism of John, but had not yet received the holy spirit...

so i took that literally and asked God for a new soul, told Him, "God.. this ones bunk... can i have a new one.. " and that night i said, can i have the Holy Spirit and trade mine in...

and i re-asked and read the bible for a week.. every night...

on 8th or 9th night.. dunno which..

when i slept... i woke up with something inside me.. literally, in my stomache i felt powers, that morning i prayed and it went from belly to brain the whole day.. messaging my soul like an invisible massousse.. its been there for 6 and a half years now... going strong....

i have changed unbeielvable.. except for a few brief months of visions and dreams to show me a few guiders and truths.... (thats an understatement.. that moment of my life is sacred to me...)

... i have learned that true reigion is done in the bedroom alone...

... if someone has not read the New Testement cover to cover... stopped all habits while doing so and asking for the Holy Spirit to enter them (because if done this way, in earnest desire, it WIll happen...) it may take a week or two or three or however.. mine was a week n half... but i tell you...

... i FEEL the springs of living water now... i didnt before...

Good luck and God Bless...

Amen.

R. Shelby said...

sacrafice33 said...

so i took that literally and asked God for a new soul, told Him, "God.. this ones bunk... can i have a new one.. "

I wasn't aware that god make defective merchandise. Did your new soul come with a money back guarantee?

Intuitions23 said...
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tigg13 said...

The sign read "God's Salon".

I went in looking for a hair cut. I had heard the God gave real good haircuts - the best! "Once God cut your hair", I had heard it said, "you'll never need it cut again".

"Just have a seat", said a man with a large, silver mass of plasic hair sculpted upon his head. "God will be with you in a moment."

"Will this be expensive?"

"Oh just 10% of your entire worth - but its worth every penny!"

I sat down and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

I saw people walking past me on their way out of the salon. Some had shaggy, unkept hair; others had ragged, chopped-up styles and a few were completely shaved. None of them looked all that appealing.

"Um", I called out, "how long is this going to take?"

There was no answer.

Nothing.

Nada.

So I got up and left.

"Well', said the guy with the plastic hair, "if he had really wanted a haircut, he never would have left."

.:webmaster:. said...

John said: "Omit the word 'slavery,' and you've named the primary motivation for wanting to leave Christianity and for trying to prove that it isn't true."

Hmm. That's extremely simplistic. That motivation may apply to the occasional teenaged boy, but adults don't generally stop believing in Christianity so they can revel in a morally debased life.

That's not only nonsense, it's offensive. Please give some documented evidence to support your comment.

xrayman said...

Wow tigg what a great post. That story is pretty much a metaphor of me trying to find God/Jesus in my life. I waited and waited and waited and never got an answer, but I was never dumb enough to give 10% I am proud to say.

boomSLANG said...

"Sacrafice" said: "WE must remember that God told us not to judge others."

With all due respect, no, "God" has never "told" anybody anything. I presume you refer to the holy bible for your subjective analysis that "clubbing" is wrong, yes? If so, you make the same mistake that all ministering X-ians make, and that is that they use their holy book for "evidence" that they somehow "know" what their God thinks, wants, needs, desires, hates and so on, and so on. Okay, so how about if someone goes "clubbing" and picks up a girl and rapes her? Is that a "sinful" life? If so, please provide the biblical verse that specifically says that rape is a "sin".

BTW, to what "Sacrifice" do you refer? Surely NOT your Jesus, right? Good, because presumably, your Jesus was resurrected IN the flesh, so if we take that, in conjunction with all the times we hear "Jesus LIVES!!!", then any reasonable person can conclude that Jesus is alive, therefore, there was no "sacrifice". If I donate a kidney and then take it back, I've given up nothing. So maybe you mean that you have "sacrificed" your "self" for a non-existant deity. That?...I'll buy.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"...i have learned that true reigion is done in the bedroom alone..."

I agree. ;)

JAYBIRD said...

To say there is no God, one must be omniscient and omnipresent.
By omniscient, I mean, all knowing, must know everything. By omnipresent, I mean, must be everywhere. For there may be one thing he or she does not know or one place he or she has not been. And, that is that there is a God in heaven, as so expressed in His Book.
God has revealed Himself in the bible. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter two, and learn how God has revealed Himself to men through the inspired teachers of the first century.

Anonymous said...

Okay, nice explanation there JB....not. Seeing how you just decided to embrace a mythological God character and cannot seem to break away from your delusional state of mind. Your book says nothing to SHOW God's existence. Therefore, you still fail with the most illogical argument.

Thackerie said...

Jaybird got it wrong again because, to say there IS a god is what would require omniscience. The "book" doesn't count for evidence anymore than that book by Dr. Seuss proves the existence of Grinches and Whos since the bible is just another man-made creation (though not edited nearly so well as anything by Seuss).

And, as a man whom I suspect is much wiser than Jaybird (i.e., Thomas Paine) once said, even if one actually believed that the various, conflicting books of the bible were actually the word of god, note that they would not be admissible in court because once the word of anyone is transmitted to a second party, it's mere hearsay when passed on to a third.

boomSLANG said...

Dang...Jaybird steadily taking a beating! The new "target boy". LMAO!!

"The bible says..chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!..."

Cap'n Crunch says..AHOY matey!

xrayman said...

It can be proven that the Bible is the word of God, because the Bible says it is the world of God, and if the Bible is the word of God, it only means that God is real. What the fuck is the matter with you people? Them words in the Bible are irrefuteable proof of the existence of God, and I am also coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. Sorry I had to make another cereal reference.

Piprus said...

Jaybird: Pissed off on The Spirit
sacrafice33: Drunk on The Spirit

JAYBIRD said...

Anonymous said... "Okay, nice explanation there JB....not. Seeing how you just decided to embrace a mythological God character and cannot seem to break away from your delusional state of mind. Your book says nothing to SHOW God's existence. Therefore, you still fail with the most illogical argument. "

Ok....mmmmm...probably never read the BOOK...

"Thackerie said...
Jaybird got it wrong again because, to say there IS a god is what would require omniscience. The "book" doesn't count for evidence anymore than that book by Dr. Seuss proves the existence of Grinches and Whos since the bible is just another man-made creation (though not edited nearly so well as anything by Seuss).
And, as a man whom I suspect is much wiser than Jaybird (i.e., Thomas Paine) once said, even if one actually believed that the various, conflicting books of the bible were actually the word of god, note that they would not be admissible in court because once the word of anyone is transmitted to a second party, it's mere hearsay when passed on to a third. "

thackerie...reads too much dr. seuss, and thinks i'm taking him to court....
the bible is translated from the origional hebrew,aramaic, and greek...is that 3rd party?

"boomSLANG said...
Dang...Jaybird steadily taking a beating! The new "target boy". LMAO!! "The bible says..chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!..." Cap'n Crunch says..AHOY matey!"

broomslang couldn't participate this time...chirp,chirp,chirp...and it's not me your are targeting...its Christ.

"Piprus said...
Jaybird: Pissed off on The Spirit
sacrafice33: Drunk on The Spirit "

piprus: wished he were spiritless

you mistake me for "pissed off" because i stand up firm for my belief in a place that i am out numbered. i dont come here out of anger, only love. dont worry i wont ruin your lives for long....i know when i'm not wanted....lol

Anonymous said...

Um, listen here you fairytale-chasing person. The BOOK means nothing, just another collection of myths. By reading the BOOK proves and never will prove anything! You just keep rambling repeatedly about irrelevant things. It's ridiculous. Can you prove to me that elves and unicorns are real? How can reading a "book" show me they are real? In the same way, how can reading a book about a mythological character such as God prove that God is real? You fail.

Dave Harty said...

Obnoxious faith-led intruders:

If the bible is proof of god, then by that reasoning, any god that's ever been written about in a book is also real. If you deny this, than you cannot count the bible as evidence for your god. Where then is there real evidence for your god's existence?

tigg13 said...

Jaybird said "To say there is no God, one must be omniscient and omnipresent.
By omniscient, I mean, all knowing, must know everything. By omnipresent, I mean, must be everywhere. For there may be one thing he or she does not know or one place he or she has not been. And, that is that there is a God in heaven, as so expressed in His Book.
God has revealed Himself in the bible. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter two, and learn how God has revealed Himself to men through the inspired teachers of the first century."

All 1 Corinthians, chapter 2 tells us is Paul's opinion. According to Paul, god reveals himself in ways that non-believers can't understand. How interesting.

OK Jaybird, do you believe in Zeus? Do you believe in bigfoot? Do you believe in Santa? Do you believe in UFOs? Wouldn't you have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say that these beings could not possibly exist?

And how exactly did you make the leap from god(deist) to jehovah/jesus(christian)? Where you there at the Jordan River? At Golgatha? On the road to Damascus?

You have proven nothing - revealed nothing - except your blind faith in an absurd religion.

Dave Harty said...

"To say there is no God, one must be omniscient and omnipresent.
By omniscient, I mean, all knowing, must know everything. By omnipresent, I mean, must be everywhere."

The only reason you would need those faculties is to be able to disprove anything. However, since we are not the ones making extraordinary claims, we do not have the burden of proof you have. Your arguement amounts to me saying Bigfoot exists and then requiring you to prove he doesn't exist. When you can't prove that he doesn't exist, I use that as evidence that he does. It's rediculous. You've made the extraordinary claim with conviction of some sort of evidence, I'm waiting to hear it.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"...the bible is translated from the origional hebrew,aramaic, and greek...is that 3rd party?"

If only it were that simple. There are over 50+ versions of the Bible for some very good reasons.

First, the original texts no longer exist. The earliest fragment of the NT is a portion of the Gospel of John dating to 125 AD/CE. From there, the next earliest fragments date from 300 AD/CE onward. Furthermore, according to Sir Frederic Kenyon in Chapter 4 of his work, The Story of the Bible, at least 96% of the extant manuscripts of the Greek NT date to later than the 8th century. Of course, Sir Frederic didn't live to see some of the discoveries since so this percentage is probably a bit lower. Not enough to be significant, however.

Second, translation and interpretation of ancient manuscripts isn't as simple as picking up a copy of the Codex Vaticanus and whipping a modern Bible up. The Earlham School of Religion has an excellent site, Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts, which has a wealth of resources that very clearly illuminates a few of the problems encountered in interpretation of the Bible, as well as explains manuscript transmission, textual criticism, and so on. In particular, the materials on the Index page are very, very good. There are several examples and a huge amount of eye-opening material. It's a bit on the scholarly side, but still quite readable and understandable.

Third, Hebrew, Aramaic, and ancient Greek don't exactly translate directly into English in a form that is both readable and literal. Scholars are not in 100% agreement about any one translation, and there is no single manuscript tradition that scholars can definitively say represents the original texts.

There is a particular phrase in this essay that I think is relevant:

"Unless a reader is the most naïve literalist who believes that God dictated the books directly to scribes who recorded them verbatim and who believes that people of faith have always interpreted the texts in exactly the same way, modern readers and scholars understand that these texts and their interpretations are the products of changing historical conditions."

Is the Bible product that sits on your shelf today an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy (3rd hand)? Yes, and then some!

"i dont come here out of anger, only love."

You do yourself and us a disservice when you lie. You did not come here and preach to us out of love, so please spare us the false compassion.

Anonymous said...

if you do not believe in something you do not argue, yet you never rest.
If you deny the existance of a creator and your unbelief is genuine, you do not go around making everyone believe you do not believe. So none of the people who claim not to believe are really so. Your spirit knows best that so long as you do not believe in anything YOU NEVER HAVE PEACE. WORSE IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE ONE YOU MADE EVERYTHING.
It disappoints me to hear that even those who believe in other things including EVOLUTION NEVER STUDIED THE CONCLUSION OF THE LIVES OF THE SAME PEOPLE WHO CLAIMED THERE WAS NO GOD. IT'S ANOTHER FORM OF ATHEISTIC IGNORANCE.
I UNDERSTAND WELL WHY THEY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE WHOLE TRUTH...TIZ BECOZ THEY KNOW THAT ALL OF THEM THAT DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD DIED REACHING OUT FOR TRUTH THEY DENIED RIGHT INFRONT OF THEIR EYES.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT RELIGION; RELIGION IS DEAD AS THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE IT.

THIS IS ABOUT YOUR ORIGINS AND DESTINY AND MARK THIS: DESTINY....:
YOU CAN GO ON AND CURSE AND BLASPHEME, BUT AFTER ALL THAT YOUR OWN SOUL CONDEMNS YOU.....MANY DRUG ADDICTS AND SEXUALLY PROMISCUOUS ARE NOT BECOZ THEY ARE STRUGGLING IN LIFE...BUT BECOZ THEY ARE SEARCHING.....AND THOSE WHO FAILED TO ACCEPT THE ONLY TRUTH AS BEING THE ONLY TRUTH DECIDE TO NUMB THEIR MINDS BY ABUSING THEIR BODIES....WHICH ARE IN ANY WAY NOT THEIRS....OH YES THAT'S WHY THEY ABUSE THEMSELVES.

WHEN YOU MIND BECOMES OPENNED YOU SEE CLEARLY YOU DO NOT EVEN NEED THE BIBLE TO GUIDE YOU, IT BECOMES YOUR REFERENCE BOOK......GOD BY HIS SPIRIT GUIDES YOU....BY KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM....HE DIRECTS YOUR STEPS. IF BIBLE IS PREACHED LIKE RELIGION IT NEVER HELPS ANYONE .....IT IS AS GOOD AS ANY OTHER INSPIRING NOVEL OR FICTION.

BUT SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIBLE IS THAT...IF YOU HUMBLE YOUR SELF AND SEEK GOD,,,MARK THIS, NOT THINGS ABOUT GOD...BUT GOD HIMSELF....THEN YOU SHALL FIND HIM...

CONCLUSION: LIFE IS ABOUT RELATING AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS WERE DESIGNED TO MAKE US STRONG AND GREAT AND TO EXCEL IN ALL THINGS BY HELPING ONE ANOTHER...LOVING THE NEXT PERSON THE WAT YOU LOVE YOURSELF....[MANY OF YOU DO NOT EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW TO LOVE ONESELF..HOW CAN YOU THEN LOVE THE OTHER PERSON?..WELL IT IS OBVIOUS WHY IT IS SO]....IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN ALL NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE AND STILL REJECT GOD YOU BECOME MORE BLIND AND EVEN MORE FOOLISH....ITS A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE..., BUT IF YOU ARE DENYING OUT OF LACK OF KNOWLEDGE THERE IS HOPE THAT ONE DAY YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENNED...THIS GENERATION SICKS A SIGN..AND THE ONLY SIGN YOU WILL SEE IS CHRIST SEEKING ONE SOUL THAT CAN REPENT AND ADMIT HIS PRECIOUS SACRIFICIAL GIFT OF LOVE....

DO NOT BE REBELIOUS ...REBELION ONLY DEPRIVES YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME WISER......

NOTE : IT IS NOT ABOUT THE BIBLE IT IS ALL ABOUT YOUR NEED...REALLY DESPARATE NEED...AND IF YOU ARE HONEST TO YOURSELF...FORGET ABOUT LYING INDIVIDUALS... EVEN SO CALLED GOOD NEWS PREACHERS WHO DESIRE TO ACCLAIM FAME FOR THEMSELVES.....SEEK GOD EVEN NOW..RIGHT NOW..HE WILL ANSWER YOU.....I WANT TO BE VERY FAIR TOYOU BY SAYING..........LET'S ASSUME THAT THE BIBLE IS FALSE AND CHRIST A LIE.......GO TO GOD OR TALK TO GOD AS YOU WOULD DO TO A MAN... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BEG HIM IF YOU MEAN REAL BUSINESS, ASK HIM TO SHOW HIMSELF TO YOU...I PROMISE YOU GOD WILL DEMONSTRATE HIMSELF TO YOU BEYOND ALL DOUBT.....BUT STILL YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE.....AND THE REASON IS THAT YOU LIKE DARKNESS MORE THAN THE LIGHT.....BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT GOD.... BEFORE YOU EVEN SAY A THING HE WILL VISIT YOU AND SHOW WHO CHRIST IS AND POINT YOU TO HIS SACRIFICIAL GIFT OF LOVE....HE IS WAITING FOR YOU RIGHT NOW....MAJORITY NEVER RULED ..... IT IS JUST MIND GAMES AND POOR BRAIN WASHING.....YOUR CONSCIENCE RULES ABOVE ALL THE NOISE YOU HEAR AROUND YOU....WHEN NOONE ELSE KNOWS BUT STILL....YOU KNOW BETTER...NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST A TEACHER OR PREACHER, GURU OR PRIEST...BUT YOU OWN INNER PERSON TESTIFIES AGAINST YOU... SO YOU DO NOT NEED HELP FROM THE DEVIL OR ANYBODY ELSE ....YOU NEED TO BE RESCUED FROM YOUR OWN SELF..BEFORE YOU COMPLETELY DESTROY YOURSEF.......CRY HELP!!! TO GOD HE HEARS YOU....JUST BE .......YOURSELF....AND BELIEVE.
NO ONE IS PERFECT, WE ALL MUST STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE...IT IS NATURALLY AND SUPERNATURALLY GOD GIVEN...A DESIRE TO GO UP...A DESIRE TO KNOW MORE A DESIRE TO SEE MORE UNTIL HE FINDS US,..UNTIL WE SEE HIM....EVEN ONEDAY FACE TO FACE....WHAT WILL BE OUR EXCUSE....NATURE ITSELF TESTIFIES CLEARLY...NATURE WORSHIPS HIM.....IT HAS NEVER MOVEDD FROM HIS INSTRUCTION...BUT MANKIND IN THEIR DEPRAVITY HAVE TRIED TO DESTROY EVERYTHING FROM LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.... YOU...SEE....YOU ARE YOUR OWN PROBLEM......BUT GOD IS YOU ONLY CREDIBLE SOLUTION.....!!!! P-O-N-D-E-R.

J. C. Samuelson said...

The uneducated, ill-mannered fundynonymous poster said...

"If you deny the existance of a creator and your unbelief is genuine, you do not go around making everyone believe you do not believe."

We do not "go around" making everyone believe we do not believe. Notice that this is one website among millions. We do not evangelize, you will never find me knocking on your door to tell you I don't believe. You came here, dumbass.

[snip the rest of the fundy's ignominious and rude post]

Get some help. Both a psychologist and an English teacher would be advisable.

boomSLANG said...

"THIS GENERATION SICKS A SIGN"

?

I don't think that we can quite conclude that ALL religious people are ignorant, however, I DO think that we can conclude that most of the Christians who pop in here(especially lately) are brain-washed moronic jackasses.

UNbelievable.(and scary)

JAYBIRD said...

Obnoxious faith-led intruders:
"Dave Harty said...
If the bible is proof of god, then by that reasoning, any god that's ever been written about in a book is also real. If you deny this, than you cannot count the bible as evidence for your god. Where then is there real evidence for your god's existence? "

If it were possible that i could actually show you God in person, because you don't believe in him you would probably call him and alien or a ghost or something other than God because of your presuppositions. We see his hand in our lives, and i'm not saying that we are perfect and dont sin or make mistakes,(better make that clear before one of you runs away with that one). By the way where is the evidence that he does not exist....?

"tigg13 said...All 1 Corinthians, chapter 2 tells us is Paul's opinion. According to Paul, god reveals himself in ways that non-believers can't understand. How interesting."

1 corinthians 2:10 states that "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."

this means Non-Christians cannot understand God and they cannot grasp the concept that God's spirit lives in believers. it all seems silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate fine music, the person who rejects God cannot understand God's beautiful message.

But, in VERSE 12 "VERSE 12 states that "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God." Verse 16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

But through the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into some of God's plans, thoughts, and actions-- in fact "we have the mind of Christ."

"tigg13 said... And how exactly did you make the leap from god(deist) to jehovah/jesus(christian)? Where you there at the Jordan River? At Golgatha? On the road to Damascus?"

I never claimed to be a deist, a deist is someone who believes that God exists, but that He is not involved in the world. However i am a theist and a Born Again Christian. A Theist believes that there is a God Who is distinct from the world/universe, that He created the universe, and that He is involved in the world.

"Jeff the Ubergeek said...
Is the Bible product that sits on your shelf today an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy of an imperfect copy (3rd hand)? Yes, and then some!"

This is a common misconception. Some people think that the Bible was written in one language, translated to another language, then translated into yet another and so on until it was finally translated into the English. We translate from the original language into our language. It is a one step process and not a series of steps that can lead to corruption. It is one translation step from the original to the English or to whatever language a person needs to read it in. So we translate into Spanish from the same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Likewise we translate into the German from those same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts as well. This is how it is done for each and every language we translate the Bible into. We do not translate from the original languages to the English, to the Spanish, and then to the German. It is from the original languages to the English, or into the Spanish, or into the German. The fact is that the Bible has not been rewritten. Take the New Testament, for example. The disciples of Jesus wrote the New Testament in Greek and though we do not have the original documents, we do have around 6,000 copies of the Greek manuscripts that were made very close to the time of the originals. These various manuscripts, or copies, agree with each other to almost 100 percent accuracy. Statistically, the New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. That means that there is only 1/2 of 1% of of all the copies that do not agree with each other perfectly. Therefore, the translations are very accurate and trustworthy in regards to what the Bible originally said.

"You do yourself and us a disservice when you lie. You did not come here and preach to us out of love, so please spare us the false compassion."

Boy, i didn't know i was lying, i guess Jeff the Ubergeek is a mind reader....hmmm

Anonymous said...

jaybird your problem is you still can't offer any evidence that God exists. The best you have come up with so far is "We see his hand in our lives," I'm curious what exactly it is you see that you consider proof of God's existence? Also if as you say non-Christians cannot understand God that means followers of Islam and Judaism cannot know God, and I believe that is contrary to current Catholic belief as well.

Alan

J. C. Samuelson said...

"It is a one step process and not a series of steps that can lead to corruption. It is one translation step from the original to the English or to whatever language a person needs to read it in."

JB, it's obvious you didn't read or understand a single thing. I never said anything about translation from language to language to language. I was talking about the transmission process and textual criticism. Not that I'm terribly surprised, but it is disappointing.

I'm finished with you. There is nothing to be gained from further discourse with you.

"Boy, i didn't know i was lying, i guess Jeff the Ubergeek is a mind reader....hmmm."

You did not come here out of love. The content and attitude of your posts on every thread on which you've chosen to contribute (and I use that term very loosely) is evidence of that.

Time to go away, JB.

J. C. Samuelson said...

And by the way JB, you really need to stop plagiarizing others' work. You pulled the content for your last post from here without citation.

So much for JB honoring the 8th commandment.

boomSLANG said...

Uber'...how could you? I'm afraid you've ruined it for me, man......I mean, here I thought JayBird was an original True Christian----I wouldn't've had any idea that he was stealing data straight off Apologetic websites. Then again, that's the only stuff without heinous grammatical error, so...

ROFLMAO!!!!

J. C. Samuelson said...

Sorry, Boom. I know, I know. You want to believe the best of everyone, but I'm afraid we all have to get used to disappointment.

Maybe the next fundy will be a bit more honest and at least try to learn something. Nothing wrong with dreaming, is there?

JAYBIRD said...

You did not come here out of love. The content and attitude of your posts on every thread on which you've chosen to contribute (and I use that term very loosely) is evidence of that.
time to go away, JB.

You call me a lyer and then tell me i did not come here out of love. Would you not defend yourself to being called a lyer? I have no need to lie to you....

"Jeff the Ubergeek said...
And by the way JB, you really need to stop plagiarizing others' work. You pulled the content for your last post from here without citation.
So much for JB honoring the 8th commandment."

Like you would allow me to post a Christian site on here and not get blasted for it...would i win either way? I would like to post lots of things here but i dont because it's YOUR PARTY...i'm only trying to show what i believe is the truth and nothing more....don't worry, like i said i won't crash it much longer....I will knock the dust off my shoes and leave soon :)
I can hear the cheering now....

Dave Harty said...

Okay, so what definitive evidence do you have that shows that what you believe is truth?

.:webmaster:. said...

Yes, please show us your evidence.

We know you believe, we all used to believe similarly.

Now, as Dave H said, show us.

boomSLANG said...

Bird: "You call me a lyer and then tell me i did not come here out of love."

Trust me, no one's calling you a "lyer".

Bird: "Like you would allow me to post a Christian site on here and not get blasted for it...would i win either way?"

No, you'd lose either way, and that's because neither a Christian website nor your Christian bible is evidence for anything. Maybe if you'd present us with OBJECTIVE evidence for a change, and do it using your own words, while also hinting that you have grammar skills beyond 8th grade, we could begin to take you seriously. Give it a try, won't you?

xrayman said...

I was listening to an interview with David Mills author of Atheist Universe on a radio call in show, when a 97 year old atheist called in and said the following:

"It is very irrational for and atheist to think he can have a rational conversation with a Christian."

I think we are proving that here.

Go to davidmills.net for some great audio downloads of his interviews.

J. C. Samuelson said...

"You call me a lyer and then tell me i did not come here out of love. Would you not defend yourself to being called a lyer? I have no need to lie to you...."

Fine, JB. You came here out of love. Some select examples of your love...

"They want to live a life
filled with sin and iniquity without any censure. So, just do away with God, and we can live like we want to live."


Yes, JB you just called us amoral hedonists. Great way to start the love-fest.

"Christians are supposed to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient,and all that....However we dont have to be Tolerant to think that we ought to accept and believe everything we hear..."

So you came here because you can't tolerate that someone (ex-Christians) thinks and says something different.

Gimme some more o' that love, JB...

"...so i try to spread the Word..."

Ah, so you came to spread the Word. A Word that everyone here has heard (repeatedly) and rejected. It's nothing short of arrogant to crash a party, tell the partygoers they're amoral and hedonistic and expect to be welcomed, as the WM has pointed out.

"...unless you have idiotic presuppositions..."

Idiotic...hmmmm. I suppose if you redefine 'idiotic' to mean all those things that wind up being backed up by evidence, sure.

Trust me JB, I'm not so thin skinned as to be truly offended by any of this, but looking at your postings one would be hard pressed to see the "love."

"I would like to post lots of things here but i dont because it's YOUR PARTY...i'm only trying to show what i believe is the truth and nothing more...."

As is seemingly the norm, you missed the point entirely. You've had the opportunity to post whatever you wanted in the way of evidence for your beliefs. In fact, we've even addressed most of the material you've posted. However, it is dishonest to post work as your own when it isn't (and it's one of my pet peeves). It's called plagiarism (<---follow that link). If you want to post something, cite your sources. It's as simple as inserting a link.

twincats said...

We can never see jb's proof because we're all spiritually tone-deaf!

So, stop singing, already, JayBird.

Bentley said...

Dave Harty wrote;

"If the bible is proof of god, then by that reasoning, any god that's ever been written about in a book is also real. If you deny this, than you cannot count the bible as evidence for your god. Where then is there real evidence for your god's existence?"

I think that pretty much nailed it right there..thanks Dave!!!

tigg13 said...

(Sorry, I've been away from this thread for a bit.)

JBird:
I wasn't calling you a deist. I was referring to your earlier statement where you said:

"To say there is no God, one must be omniscient and omnipresent.
By omniscient, I mean, all knowing, must know everything. By omnipresent, I mean, must be everywhere. For there may be one thing he or she does not know or one place he or she has not been. And, that is that there is a God in heaven, as so expressed in His Book.
God has revealed Himself in the bible. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter two, and learn how God has revealed Himself to men through the inspired teachers of the first century."

Your first four sentences are basically a deist argument that could be applied to any and all gods. (Its a weak argument, but an argument just the same.) What I was pointing out was that just because A god MIGHT exist that doesn't mean that that god must be YOUR god.

You also took issue with my understanding of 1 Corinthians, chapter 2 which I summed up as:

"According to Paul, god reveals himself in ways that non-believers can't understand. How interesting."

To which you responded"

"1 corinthians 2:10 states that "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."

this means Non-Christians cannot understand God and they cannot grasp the concept that God's spirit lives in believers. it all seems silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate fine music, the person who rejects God cannot understand God's beautiful message.

But, in VERSE 12 "VERSE 12 states that "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God." Verse 16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

But through the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into some of God's plans, thoughts, and actions-- in fact "we have the mind of Christ.""

I don't see a whole lot of difference between what I said and what you said except that you included that stuff about having the "mind of christ" (and I did it in about a tenth of the space).

What I find so interresting about this is that, as an un-believer, I can only see god's revelations as silly. So how can I possibly know that god has actually revealed himself?

Its kind of like, god has this secret club and in order to become a member of this club you have to know the secret handshake. But, you have to be a member before you can learn the secret handshake, so there's no way to become a member.

Unless god decides that he wants to reveal himself to me, I will not understand him and can't believe in him. But if he does reveal himself to me then I would not be coming to him of my own free will but by his will.

Furthermore, trying to say that we should believe in your god because he has revealed himself to you in a way that you admit we will find ridiculous is probably not the most intelligent decision you could have made.

SpaceMonk said...

Jaybird: “To say there is no God, one must be omniscient and omnipresent.
By omniscient, I mean, all knowing, must know everything. By omnipresent, I mean, must be everywhere. For there may be one thing he or she does not know or one place he or she has not been.”

No, the opposite is true. Is god hiding in some obscure corner of the galaxy that we can't reach?

We don’t need to be omnipresent if god already is.
If there is a spot where god isn’t, then he is not omnipresent.

Hmm, wasn't there also some theory about Hell being the absence of god?

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