A letter to my stepdad

By Michael

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.

Love,

Michael

7 comments:

Rich said...

Michael,
You give me great encouragement. Richard Dawkins writes in his book, "The God Delusion", that he hopes his writing will inspire readers to change their minds -- a goal that is notoriously difficult to accomplish when you mean Christians seeing the truth about their religion. Many atheists, unlike myself, believe that changing the religious is a fools errand. This is why I take great encouragement in your conversion and grow to admire Richard Dawkins even more. Continue to follow reason and logic. My best wishes to you.
Rich

Lance said...

I have another book recommendation. It is called "Leaving The Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists" edited by Edward Babinski. A great read for christians and non-christains alike. Although I ask christians to read it with the purpose of trying to understand these people, not just to look for reasons to condem them.

Steven Bently said...

Hi Michael, I like many posters here, have had a similar experience as you. I was watching a church and it's members on TV mimicking the crucifixion of Jesus and as I stand back now away from the Bible, I can see how repulsively stupid the whole crucify a man on a stick thing is.

I mean here we have a God who can create the whole universe in just six days, yet this God cannot save souls by himself, he had to figure out a way to make people believe that he sent his only begotten son to be murdered on a stick to save souls, it's just so fricken ridiculous, there's no words to discribe the stupidity.

Here are these Americans dressed up in Arab costumes, and we're over-seas killing Arabs BTW, most people here in America would not give an Arab the time of day from the hatred of Arabs, and where did the Bible originate, but from Arab countries.

I noticed on the news reciently where they are still growing poppies for Heroine and other drugs and this is 2007 can you imagine what drugs where available 2000 years ago and no laws against drug use?

The white Europeans brought over their Arab forgiving book, before 1492 there had never been a Bible or church on American soil.

People have been spreading their Bible lies for over 500 years because they are afraid of what the Bible says might happen to be true.

It the biggest pile of shit ever contrived by human beings along with the koran. IMHO

Welcome out of the insanity club.

Bill said...

Steve Bently said,

"it's just so fricken ridiculous, there's no words to discribe the stupidity."

How true........It's just so nutty looking at the absurdity of religion through atheist's eyes. It's been about a year for me, and the words, books, and thoughts of the religious only add strength to my non belief.

I was in Wal Mart the other day in the book department and saw a thick hardcover book by a famous lady preacher who's name escapes me, about the amazing powers of prayer. WTF? As if getting down on your knees and talking to nothing will do one a bit of good.

I was at my wife's aunt's house where she had a decrative cross in the window which read, "Through God all things are possible." I think to myself, what a load of worthless information.

I just find myself analizing everything religious and just shaking my head in disbelief that the vast majority of Americans buy into the bullshit as second nature.

Telmi said...

Steven Bently,

"It the biggest pile of shit ever contrived by human beings along with the koran. IMHO"

I think this should go down as one of the top quotes in Atheists' Quotes - just change "It" to "The Bible's".

IMHO - I fully agree with you.

resonate11 said...

"We believe our parents. We believe them because we evolved to believe our parents. If we didn't, we would die."

Yes, this is what faith is--instinctual trust. It is mostly trust in those who love us and care for us. But it is also reliance on those who know what we would like to know or need to know but haven't yet learned. Faith becomes problematic when it is in a non-existent deity or in someone who has demonstrated disregard for our well-being or for truth.

Anonymous said...

Tell me about it. For some reason, perhaps the fact that she is getting older now and fears death, my sister, once one of the most rationalistic and scientific people I ever knew, has started going to a church and, worse yet, urges me to attend it with her! It's an Episcopalian one and thus, not a wacky fundy one. But when I tell her I don't feel any need to go to any church, I feel spiritually aware without the need to do the church thing and in fact feel vaguely uncomfortable in church, she gets annoyed and says that I should go because, in her words, "it's not the Southern Baptist type of church we were exposed to as children." So, that makes it all better?

They have doggy church each month(kind of cool, really, at least they are not bigoted against dogs), and I think that is the real reason she picked it. She even wanted me to bring my dog to it one Sunday. I joked, "My dog is Jewish." What do I do??

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