I did not come to my decision to leave the church lightly. It came after much thought and careful study of both the Bible and evidence. I have had my own doubts and unanswered questions for a long time before I took my current job and it is not because of any person here that I suddenly 'fell away' or was 'misled by the devil'. The plain fact is that the Bible does not line up against reality or nature. Its origins are dubious and the pages are inconsistent. It does not take a scientist to see that. There are many who have left the church or rejected Christ because they didn't like it or for a number of frivolous reasons. I am not of that flock. I was on route to ministry and I LOVED JESUS. Imagine the crushing agony of finding your dearest love (of whom you fell in love with in your mind from letters), didn't exist! I was depressed for a long time, even tried to say that it was because of 'demons' or maybe it was the spirit telling me that there is sin in my life. But it was more fundamental. I found out I was wrong and my world isn't how I believed it to be.
I don't claim to be right at all.. In fact, I claim I was wrong. Do I have the answers? No.. All I can do to find God is to follow the TRUTH. It isn't the TRUTH just because someone wrote it in a book. It is TRUTH when it is verifiable and tested. I am afraid the Bible does not stand up well against both historical evidence and natural history. Certainly a book written, or at least inspired by an omniscient and Omnipresent God would not have the inconsistencies or the moral
depravity that the Christian God endorses. In order to see the 'good' in Christianity, you must cherry pick. God's Word should stand on its own in its entirety. It does not. If it did, slavery would still be accepted and women would always be property. I know that you do not think slavery is okay. No one does. But God does. God has instructions for both slave and women about their place and how they should behave. This is just one of many examples.
I have seriously studied the bible and have read the books about it and its history. And I have read other books and read the history from other perspectives. I think it may be important for you to read a few books so that we can discuss this on a more informed level. I know that you know your bible, so you can scratch that off the list, but please read the others and we can talk further on this topic.
The Holy Bible
Misquoting Jesus by Dr. Bart Ehrman
Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (90 or so pages)
The God Delusion by Dr. Richard Dawkins
There are tons of other books I have read, but this selection is a good start to understand WHY I think Christianity is not the TRUE path and why most religions are not the TRUE path.
I am 99% convinced that Christianity is wrong. 99% sure. There is just too much contrary evidence. You say that Jesus himself has demonstrated his truth to you. I am pretty sure I would have said the same things back in the day, but the truth is that at best, Christianity is a placebo. I used to 'feel' the spirit but I tell you this, I feel the same way when I see the mountains, when I look at the universe, when I make love to my wife, when I play with my kids, and when I build a machine from pieces and it works. There is nothing supernatural about that feeling. It is naturally occurring. And what truth do you see? What? A talking snake? or that the world was created a thousand years after the Sumarians invented glue? Or that the sons of Adam somehow found an entire world of people to marry and have kids with? Did God create light from stars as it traveled? I am not trying to insult or poke fun at you, but these are serious problems with 'Gods' version of history.
We were raised by you and mom. Why didn't we think Islam was the correct path to God? Why Christianity? Why did you become a Christian? At what age? I think it is because we are all the products of our parents rearing. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that there IS a heaven and a hell and that if we do not BELIEVE in JESUS we will burn in hell for eternity.. We believe our parents. We believe them because we evolved to believe our parents. If we didn't, we would die. In that respect, we were all infected with a mental virus. A virus that if not overcome as we reached adulthood, we would pass down to our children. I have no malice towards the Christian God.. Malice would assume that He exists. He doesn't. I have changed my mind because I was swayed by the evidence.
All truth is Gods truth. That is perhaps the only thing we can agree on at this point. That and that we firmly believe each other is wrong.
Long days and pleasant nights.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)