My biggest problem

Sent in by Caleb C

I have enjoyed reading some of the testimonials on this site. I concur with so many of the thought processes shared. I myself, cannot imagine that the God of the Bible and Christianity is for real. I do believe in Karma or at least some kind of "spirit force." I mean, I've at least experienced at times in my life the old adage, "what goes around comes around."

Coming out with my doubts and disbeliefs now is hard for me for several reasons. 1. All of my friends are devout Christians... I don't wanna lose them. 2. I've been programmed my whole life to believe in the God of Christianity. 3. I am a former youth pastor and non profit ministry director where I preached so passionately about the truths of God and Jesus Christ. We saw hundreds saved!

None of it makes sense anymore though. There is no rhyme or reason to the truths of the Bible. None of the guarantees work, and the history is not very credible at all. I have such a problem with how the canon of scripture for the Bible was compiled too. I mean, all of those "saints" with all of their agendas, deciding on what the sacred text should be. Seems so political, and godless to me. I mean, aren't they the very kind of men that the modern Christian Faith's founders dissented from?

My wife started having these feelings first. She came out to me about her disbelief several years ago. She was raised in church, and was programmed to belief in Jesus as God since birth. It just never became real to her.

Anyway, I guess my biggest problem is making the decision to leave it all behind. I'm scared to close that window, because I could be wrong. I almost feel that if I never formally make the decision to leave Christianity behind, I can still go back to God if I need to. Isn't that lame? It is all just fear on my part. If I'm right, and the God of the Bible does not exist, we are screwed. I mean, we just die and that's it! That is a scary proposition to me. Anyway, I guess I am writing this to hear advice from anyone that may have had, or is having an experience like mine. Thanks for reading.

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40 comments:

D Laurier said...

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.
Trying to keep believing in something you just CANT believe in any more is painfull and frustrating...
Just stop forcing yourself.
Let go and enjoy life

Lorena said...

Caleb,

I can sense you are in great emotional pain right now. We've all, here, been through it.

The problem is that, as much as we want to, we can't tell you what to do.

You will leave Christianity when the pain of making yourself believe the unbelievable is greater than the pain of losing your faith and your friends. Not a minute before then.

Maybe you are not ready to quit cold turkey yet, but you are on the path of no return.

Maybe you should stick around church until it makes you want to throw up. Then you'll be sure of what you want.

All the best!

jfraysse said...

Hi Caleb:

I feel your pain, bro and have no magic answers. The idea that this life is all we get is a bummer and I don’t think anybody really likes the idea of being dead, especially in America where life for so many is very enjoyable, particularly if you are healthy and have a positive mindset. You were a Youth Pastor, so you probably have these important attributes and your success in all those conversions is a likely testament to this. Your love of life and passion are obviously attractive to many, so roll with it, man!

You have another benefit. Your wife has also rejected the Church. Without trying to belittle your anguish, you are light-years ahead of those who still have a “God Conflict” with someone they love.

With of without God, you MUST live with yourself. For me, it is important to be able (and willing) to succinctly support your current beliefs. Just listening to yourself talk or Blogging (here?) with others can be very therapeutic.

Away from the highly political and corrupt Canonization process and good ole Constantine who, in my estimation, created the unholy alliance of Church and State and assured Christendom’s hold on the Western World, we have the Evil Nature of the Biblical God. Then there are all of those confusing requirements and conflicting dogmas. And who could forget the endorsement of slavery, genocide, the subjugation of women, child abuse, rape and murder for unruly kids and homosexuals. Heck, I don’t even care if you can conclusively prove that every word in the Bible is authentic, I would still reject large portions of its books because of what they actually teach or allow, notwithstanding all the self-contradictions and scientific and historical errors.

Concerning the Church - you may not have to give it up! It may not even be advisable for at least awhile until you work through your feelings and can be brutally rational with yourself and others. Honestly, I can tolerate most churches but I refuse to evangelize others or tell kids that they are going to Hell. I go along with some “Church Stuff” in the way that I go along with Halloween, that is, I reject the negatives, embrace the positives and encourage others to do the same. As you will probably agree, there can be many good life lessons associated with Bible Study, but I won’t give up a family outing for it.

Well, what if you are wrong? I look at it this way. If a deity had anything to do with this gorgeous planet and the rich abundance of life on it, then this same deity will understand that I used the brain that was given me to see through the veil of divisive and evil religions to live my life in a grateful, rational and honest fashion, willing to love others more than myself and hoping at life’s end to have encouraged others to do likewise. Who knows, we may yet hear, “well done good and faithful servant!” But if we don’t, I think I might actually enjoy the silence!

All the Best to you and your family – Good Luck on your Journey and Welcome!

Caleb said...

Thanks for the input guys. Believe it or not, what started this whole journey for me were fellow members of the faith. Some of my friends and I became frustrated with church for several reasons. 1. It is so boring! 2. Pastors and leaders seem so consumed with building thier own legacy via big buildings, large congregations, and big salaries. 3. We realized how the current model for church is so inconsistent with the Biblical model of church in the new testament. Therefore, we started our own fellowship / accountability / bible study time meeting in eachother's houses. I began to seek God with them on such an intimate level. I wanted to see him come alive in my life. I wanted to have that close intimate relationship with Him, that I always lied about having before. However, as so many of you know, this quest ended in emptiness. So really, I haven't been involved with church for a couple of years now. I really feel like it is a waste of time for me and my family. I also believe in some ways it can be detrimental when it comes to teaching and programming people to believe things that aren't true. I kinda echo the sentiment from jfraysse's comment to my original post about church.
Anyway, again I am glad to have such encouraging responses to my post, and yes this is an enlightening journey to say the least. I am a 5th grade teacher specializing in science, and it is nice to be able to teach reason, logic, and real scientific theory without my guilt over God getting in the way.

Yogi Bear said...

Caleb,

Any of us can sense the great emotional pain you're in. The only thing I can do for you is pray and ask you to please, kneel before God one more time and plead with his mother. Simply say one, sincere, Hail Mary, you know she is full of grace. She will help you with your decision.

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.
Amen.

Jamie said...

Interesting how different each denomination is. In mine (Seventh-day Adventist), praying to Mary was considered a grave sin, since Mary was only human and had been dead for 2000 years.

So even if I were still Christian, someone telling me to say a "Hail Mary" would have been meaningless.

Lorena said...

Jamie:
So even if I were still Christian, someone telling me to say a "Hail Mary" would have been meaningless.

Lorena:
Not only that, I think it's downright hilarious.It sounds as if somebody asked me to trust Hansel and Gretel!

Lynn said...

Dear Caleb, here's what I have to offer: please have patience with and compassion for yourself, nothing has to be decided right this very minute. It's Ok, healthy and honest to use your (God-given or otherwise) head and heart to understand the questions you are asking and the answers you seek. Of course you don't want to lose people in the faith who you love, of course you have doubts. I think that a just and loving god is not only not afraid of questions, she he or it welcomes them. It's not lame to want the option to go back to christianity, given the threat of eternal torment, how in world could you feel otherwise? It's "just fear" on your part? Don't discount the intimidating power of fear, the people who claim to know god use it for a reason. A just and loving god does not need to use fear, a just and loving god wants you to be healthy and happy and asking as many questions as you want to. I hope this helps, I have been where you are, I still go there sometimes. What I know for sure is that if there is a god, s/he does not need or want me to lie to myself in order to believe. take care, you are among friends.

Thackerie said...

"The only thing I can do for you is pray and ask you to please, kneel before God one more time and plead with his mother."

Yes, get down on your knees and plead. We are lowly scum and need forgiveness for the sin of being human.

Pardon me, but's that Bull Shite!

One of the most wonderful things about breaking free of the mental prison of christianity is that you no longer have to cast yourself as a low-life begging and pleading to some deity (or its mom). You can get up off your knees and stand as a human being able to live up to your full potential. You can live a good life, knowing that life is what you and you alone make it, and you can do good "for goodness sake" and not because of hopes of heaven or fear of hell.

To me, that's a lot more attractive than bowing and scaping and wimpering "I am unworthy" to some figment of one's imagination.

Yogi Bear said...

"So even if I were still Christian, someone telling me to say a "Hail Mary" would have been meaningless."

If you were a believer (or when you were), didn't you believe that the woman that gave birth to Jesus is in heaven today?

Don't you believe that God would bring his son into the world through a pure "vessel"?

If you examine the words of the "Hail Mary" we don't pray to her as a God, but as an especially blessed woman, among all women. If you believed in the divinity of Jesus then the statement "Mother of God" is logical. This certainly does not make her greater than God, God created her. God only asks that we honor his mother by trusting her as being with him in heaven. What loving son wouldn't do anything for his mother? We have proof of this in Cana, right?

Please remember that she is being prayed to for intercession on our behalf, not as someone we worship. But, we do venerate her for humbly accepting to bring Jesus in the world.

People can most certainly be saved by only praying to Jesus. But, they may very well find their prayers answered much more quickly by pleading with his mother to intercede. God has decided to give special graces to those that honor his mother, you might want to kneel down and try for yourself.

Sincerely in Christ,
Yogi

Hellbound Alleee said...

Don't fear being wrong! I don't know who or when that silly fear gripped us, but it MUSt be overcome!

Think about it this way. Out of thousands of religions, you chose one small sect of a popular one. Or rather, your family chose it for you. What chance then did you have of being "wrong?" THE SAME AS NOW.

You're better off with a worldview that doesn't include torture as a righteous punishment. Having the might and the capacity for everlasting cruelty does not make one the arbitor of all morality.

Keep you eyes on your values. Know who you value, and grow the ability to judge whether your values are rational, and beneficial.
You'll be ok.

Don't jump on the cowpath. Don't look for the comfortable way out. Don't trash your own integrity to please the "Supposed tos."

You'll be ok.

Jamie said...

If you were a believer (or when you were), didn't you believe that the woman that gave birth to Jesus is in heaven today?

No, I didn't. Seventh-day Adventists (SDA's) believe that Mary is dead, like everyone else who died (exceptions would be Moses, Elijah, and Enoch who were specifically mentioned as being taken to heaven). SDA's believe that Jesus will return, physically, to Earth, raise the dead (including Mary, the Apostles, Saints and whomever) and take them along with the righteous living to heaven.

They also believe that the Papacy is a representation of the Anti-Christ on Earth, and show how the latin on his hat can translate to the numbers 666.

So when I was a believer, no, I did not believe Mary was in heaven or that it was possible to pray to her. In fact, I was taught that was all part of Satan's deception.

One way I was lucky, though, is SDA's also teach that hell is not everlasting but believe that if you don't get to go to heaven, you will only fry until you are dead, and then that is the end of you--completely. So I was lucky not to have the fear of eternal torment to keep me from the questioning that eventually led to my loss of faith.

Aspentroll said...

Caleb:

There are many great books available now, written by authors who have better insight than most of us. Dennet's book "Breaking the Spell" approaches your problem and the problems of others who are trying to get away from the BS delivered by the bible.
The preachers in their pulpits have an agenda to keep the gullible under their thumbs. They should try earning their living in a more credible way.
A good whack of the paddle to those non-freethinking parents who selfishly brainwash their children into religions long before they are capable of making up their own minds.
Ah well, maybe some day common sense will reign.

D Laurier said...

Yogi,
Please understand that even when I was still a christian, I realized that praying was useless.
Its an excuse to not actualy do anything, And thats all it is.

Kneeling is great practice for people who intend to spend forever sucking the sacred dick of Jehova... But other than that its a waste of time.

I have resorted to the "hail mary" prayer, It never did me a bit of good. Mary never gave me any advice or guidance or help.
No matter how sincere and humble and submissive I was, Mary never said a word.
I could have used the protection and support of Mary at the time... (Being that I was being raped and tortured almost daily by the pigs at that time in my life).

So maybe instead of feeding us your paternalistic crap like we were a bunch of semi-retarded children in a daycare center, Maybe you might try treating us with a bit of RESPECT.

Yogi Bear said...

D Laurier,

No words from any human being could diminish the immense suffering that so many have lived in this sinful world. I am terribly sorry to briefly hear about the horrific experiences of your life. I also experienced sexual abuse and verbal abuse in the way of the objectification of women. I thank God that what I lived most certainly pales in comparison to rape and torture.

I'm sorry if my praying and persuasions for Caleb are offensive to you but I have the same rights as you with my opinion. I respect you all enough to tell you that you are wrong to turn away from the truth and to choose a complete denial of God. I respected you enough to share a very simple and sincere act, a prayer, that could change Caleb or your life forever.

Please know that I don't mean to condescend in any way, I only hope to share and discuss the truth about God.

I'll pray that you can find it in your heart to forgive your assailants some day. Despite the magnitude of the offence, carrying any anger within us is an impediment to our spiritual growth. Those individuals abused you once, please don't let them continue to abuse you through your own anger and hatred. To release the anger and hatred caused by grave sins, it is nearly impossible for a mere human. I would recommend you pray to Jesus or his mother for help. This is the only way I got through certain sufferings of my life.

Smarter Than The Average Bear said...

Yogi - What part of EX don't you understand? This is a website for EX-christians - EX as in been there, done that, rejected it, no longer a christian.

Do you think you are offering something new? Do you seriously believe that the regulars here never heard a prayer before? Don't you realize that ex-christians once prayed as fervantly as you - some of them for decades before they gave up on christianity?

In short, are you really so arrogant as to think you're going to win any converts here? If so, I believe you are even more deluded than most christians.

stronger now said...

Yogi,

I have a responsibility, as a human, to tell you that you're so full of crap. I Prayed for help and got nothing. Just because you need an imaginary friend to get thru your problems that doesn't mean the rest of us do. I like to deal with my problems in a real and meaningfull way, without resorting to hocus-pocus, oogie-boogie magical mysterious nonsense.


The strength to overcome the crushing problems in life can only come from within yourself. If you want to deny that then go ahead, But don't try to fool someone else into thinking that they are too weak. I've heard that before and it's bullshit!

And why forgive the assholes for committing such sick and vile things? Hate them all your life and draw strength from that hate, if that is what you need to do to live your life. If you feel you need to forgive them then I'm sure you can find the strength in yourself to do that. Anger is not an impedement to "spiritual growth", it is part of being human and can be a good thing. It can be a powerfull motivator to change your life from the mentality of victimhood to one of strength.

Inner strength. THAT is the life changing power. Not some bronze age fantasy. So yogi stop pretending you know what we all need. It's disrespectful.

Jim Arvo said...

Yogi said "...you are wrong to turn away from the truth..."

Calling something "the truth" does not make it true! You don't seem to understand that. You can call it really super-duper absolutely true TRUTH that is undeniably TRUE with nothing false about it... but that still does not make it true. You can hold your breath until you turn blue insisting it's true, but that does not make it true. If you want to convince anybody that what you're saying has any merit, you need more than conviction; you need evidence and reason. As those seem to have eluded you, you have precisely zero chance of convincing anybody here to adopt your fantastic beliefs. Is any of this sinking in?

(You really do sound a lot like Marc, another fundy who has no ability to reason about beliefs.)

dano said...

Cookie cutter Christian, Yogi is all over this website, offering the most banal, of all the banal, Christian advice and apologetics.

I predict by the tone, of this most recent offering of his, for Caleb C to pray to the Virgin, that he is coming to the end of his rope, and will be getting angry soon, and accusing us of picking on him, and threatening to leave and never come back, just like most of the Christians that come here do, thinking they are unique, and have something SPECIAL to tell us that will make us see the light.

When yogi first arrived on the scene here at Ex-Christian, he sounded like someone who was genuinely thinking about some of the more complex issues between believers and nonbelievers, but with this "pray to the virgin shit," he is beginning to sound like a south American peasant, who gets off every time he sees a man in a dress. Someone akin the funny little Pope with the "Who" hat and the red shoes.
Dan

Jim Arvo said...

Dano, I think the similarities between Yogi and Marc are starting to mount. Note the pervasive "spamming" behavior, where he's starting to leave his predictable replies in many threads. Note that he cannot bring himself to question anything he believes, and that he places *belief* above everything else. Note also his many references to Mary, which indicates that he's probably a Catholic. I haven't done a word-frequency analysis on the posts, but I may try that for fun later. (I'm assuming he's at least smart enough to post from a different IP address, so I won't pursue that.)

So, Yogi, are you Marc? Be honest now.

.:webmaster:. said...

Yogi (is that you Marc?) said: "You are wrong to turn away from the truth..."

And your Catholicism is the truth, I suppose, right? So, how do you know that your BELIEF is "truth."

Care to explain how you came to that conclusion? There must be some thought process behind your bold assertion. I'd love to know how you came to be so sure your religion is the "truth" while ever other worldview, philosophy, religion and denominational affiliation is not the truth.

Thanks in advance for your well reasoned response.

Yogi Bear said...

Why I am a Catholic:

(1) It is the only thing that really prevents a sin from being a secret.

(2) It is the only thing in which the superior cannot be superior; in the sense of supercilious.

(3) It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.

(4) It is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message.

(5) It is the only type of Christianity that really contains every type of man; even the respectable man.

(6) It is the only large attempt to change the world from the inside; working through wills and not laws.

.:webmaster:. said...

Yogi,

Perhaps you misunderstood my question.

What process did you use to determine that your god and your religion are "true?"

Hopefully that will illicit a better response from you. Your attempt at a response explained that you BELIEVE certain things about Catholicism, but failed miserably at explaining why you came to conclude that your system of religion is "true." If you think it is "true" because it "work" for you, then that is a kind of an answer, but because a system of religion works for a person certainly does not make that religion metaphysically true, wouldn't you agree?

My question is not "Does your religion work for you, and how so?" but rather, "What process did you use to determine that the premise of your religion is true?"

Your individual statements don't satisfy my question.

"It is the only thing that really prevents a sin from being a secret."

What does that mean, and how does that show that Jesus is really god and magically lives in your heart?

"It is the only thing in which the superior cannot be superior; in the sense of supercilious."


Again, what does that mean, and how does that show that Mary answers prayers and Jesus is really god and magically lives in your heart?

The same goes for the rest of your bizarre responses.

Is that you Marc? Fess up!

rickyusvi said...

Why i used to be a Catholic:

1. I was fortunate that my parents had the One True Religion.

2. I was fortunate that my parents had the One True Religion.

3. I was very fortunate that my parents had the One True Religion.

4. I was astonishingly fortunate that my parents had the One True Religion.

5. Catholicism made perfect logical sense to me, when viewed from the basic premises that i held because...

6. I was fantastically fortunate that my parents had the One True Religion.

boomSLANG said...

Yogi Marc said: No words from any human being could diminish the immense suffering that so many have lived in this sinful world.

Once again---there's no such thing as a "sin". By calling someone's actions a "sin", you are falsely implying that there exists a "Divine" universal "code", and from there, implying that there exists a "Divine" giver of said "code", and that this giver's "Word" is intrinsically "ethical", no matter what---no "if", "ands", or "buts". WRONG.

For example, killing innocent people is unethical, whether a "God" condones it, or not; stoning rebelious teenagers is unethical, whether a "God" says it is, or not. If "Jesus" started telling Christian parents that it's "okay" to throw rocks at their teenaged children if they should become rebelious, what percentage of Christians do you think would actually start doing it? And if there was a small percentage of mentally ill people who would actually follow through, thus, causing division amongst "followers", which group would be considered the "True Christians"?...the ones who pelt their kids with rocks?... or the one's who choose not to? ' Careful how you answer, "Christian".

(hint- your "God" already condones it)

Yogi Marc: I respect you all enough to tell you that you are wrong to turn away from the truth and to choose a complete denial of God.

That's not called "respect"; that's called deluded self-rightiousness. Where is the evidence for your belief that your worldview is "Truth"? I see a lot of fluff, but nothing that resembles objective evidence. What---some people stared directly at the sun for twenty f%cking minutes?.... and the sun appeared to "flicker"???? Ooooh my gosh!

Yogi Marc: Please know that I don't mean to condescend in any way...

Please know that you are condescending by mere association; you are condecending whether you "mean" to be, or not. The philosophy you adhere to is, at best, implicitly condescending---not to mention, threatens bodily harm for non-compliance. Nice.

Yogi Marc: I only hope to share and discuss the truth about God.

'Tell ya what...why don't you share some evidence that your belief is linked to reality, m'kay?

Jim Arvo said...

I'm quite convinced that our friend "Yogi" is indeed the nuisance troll formerly known as "Marc" and "UnBlinded". It only took two minutes of digging to turn up this little quote from Marc on May 14: "G.K. Chesterton says it best 'Catholicism is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message.'"

Compare this with what "Yogi" said above: "It is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message." While it's possible that two people chose the same quote, I think this pretty much seals it given all the other clues. For example, in the same post from March 14, Marc wrote "The Truth is never outmoded. A true religion doesn't spend it's time trying to change because it knows it's anchored in the Truth." Note the same fixation on the word "truth", and the same inability to grasp the need for supporting evidence.

By the way, Yogi/Marc plagiarized his entire post above. See this link. While he gave an appropriate attribution back in March, he gave no such attribution this time, yet he copied significantly more.

Okay Marc, the game is over. I hope your "god" is pleased with you. From what I understand, he rather dislikes dishonesty. The fact that you refused to answer direct questions as to your identity does not absolve you; you've been hiding under a new name for the express purpose of deception, and you blatantly plagiarized. You are dishonest, Marc. Clearly your religion failed to instill basic decency in you.

D Laurier said...

Yogi,
"I would recommend you pray to Jesus or his mother for help"

Then you would be recomending that I repeat the same failure that I gave up repeating some 20 years ago when it became so glaringly obvious that neither your Jesus nor his "mother" were doing a damned thing.

I can assure you Yogi, That all the praying to Jesus and/or his "mother" in the world... hasn't done anything.

I got far better results from attending secular therepy sessions to address the nightmares and panic attacks that used to be a normal part of my life.

Please try to understand this simple fact.

Astreja said...

You do realize, Marc/Yogi/whoever the Sam Hill you are, that "Mary" is a co-opted version of the various goddesses worshipped across the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean region? (smiles quietly to Herself and pours Herself two fingers of single-malt Scotch)

Off you go, luv. Pray hearty.

Jim Arvo said...

I forgot to mention that the previous post of Marc's (aka Yogi) that I referred to above is in the thread Debating the existence of God; he called himself "UnBlinded" back then. His March 14 post is a reply to me. Several times I pointed out to Marc that extreme credulity (which he exhibited from the start) is a form of intellectual dishonesty, but I had no idea the guy was this unethical.

Lance said...

Hi Caleb,

Getting back to the original post and leaving Yogi behind...

You said:
"It is all just fear on my part. If I'm right, and the God of the Bible does not exist, we are screwed. I mean, we just die and that's it! That is a scary proposition to me."

But how is this for another proposition. That a god of some kind does exist and he/she is going to ask questions about how you lived your life.

What I always ask christians is what if they get to heaven and god is not the christian god. What if he asks the same kind of questions we ask here?

He/she may say something like this to them: "And you really thought I would send people to eternal torment just for not believing the correct doctrine? What kind of an asshole did you think I was?"

To which they would reply, "It was in the bible, and it was what my church leaders taught me."

To which god will reply, "What the hell made you think I wrote that crap, and why would you believe the kind of jerks that ran the church? Didn't I give you a brain? Why the f--k didn't you use it?"

So my advice to you is to screw the fear and live a life of integrity and love. Not because it will get you into heaven, but just because its good to live that way. Or as d laurier said in the first comment to this post, "Let go and enjoy life."

Or if you can't get rid of the fear, then use it to spur you on to live this life to the fullest, as it may be the only one you get. So make it a good one.

We can't be certain of the whole god/afterlife thing, but can be absolutely certain of this: We are alive today.

Good luck.

Astreja said...

Beautifully said, Lance. Love and integrity may not fully eradicate our fears, but they certainly make life more pleasant and fulfilling. They are the foundations of the inner strength that Stronger Now spoke of.

Live while you are alive to do so, folks. Accept no substitute!

MothandRust said...

Hooboy, when I left church a couple of years ago I was sure the sky would fall on me at some point. Thought I'd hedge my bets and go with the agnostic label. You might stoop your head for a while anticipating the lightning, but once you stop looking at the world through stained-glass windows you'll rest easy in the concept that there's no one at the wheel, and more to the point, there's no wheel. Live, love and die... and stay as comfortable as you can until then.

The bible has its own built-in clauses to explain away people like myself and that makes the whole thing work wonderfully. It would seem a strong delusion spell has been cast on me in order for me to believe a lie, and that I was 'not ever of them'. Whatever works for them, but I really think this is a cop out. If this delusion spell is on me then my freewill has been compromised and therefore my ability to work out my salvation has been biased and is not in my favour. That's a bit unfair don't you think?

Hail Yogi full of crap, the booboo is with thee. Having a guy named yogi giving advice to pray to Mary in an ex-christian chatroom? I was sure he was joking. How sureal. How inconceivably dumb and entertaining at the same time. Sorry for feeding the trolls but I just thought this hilarious.

dano said...

Lance,
That's the way I see God, if there is one.

At least as smart as I am, and for Gods sake, hopefully a whole lot smarter.
Dan

.:webmaster:. said...

Yogi is Marc/Unblinded, the troll.

He'll be disallowed from posting, again, but I'm sure he'll be back eventually.

Jim Arvo said...

MothandRust said "...but once you stop looking at the world through stained-glass windows you'll rest easy in the concept that there's no one at the wheel, and more to the point, there's no wheel."

I can understand how this might be initially disconcerting to some after being so accustomed to believing that there is an all-powerful all-knowing being at the helm. I agree that there is "no one at the wheel", nor even a wheel, as MothandRust nicely put it, but I think there is something else wonderful in its place. Perhaps those who recently left Christianity will not gain solace in this, but to me the astonishing resiliance of the human mind, and the eons of "wisdom" from which this springs is a calming source of equanimity and self-composure. In other words, while there is no "guy in the sky" to calm the seas, neither has nature left you ill-prepared for the journey. You are here because countless ancestors survived and thrived, many through harder times than you will ever imagine. Countless human dramas played out in countless clans and dynasties, and you carry inside your every cell the precious "wisdom" that they have passed on to you. Whatever life serves up you and those close to you can handle it--you don't need a make-believe guardian.

I'm bewildered by those who think there is no sense of awe without religion. As I sit here imagining the journey my genes have taken before I was even conceived, I'm filled with a sense of awe and excitement. I feel somewhat like an Olympic torch-bearer, carrying the flame for a while before passing it on. Add to that the stories and ideas that we pass on through our children, with which we humans greatly enhance our genetic legacy, and you attain something akin to immortality. What an awesome privilege. What an amazing process to be a part of. To look at all of that and say "I want MORE--I want to PERSONALLY live forever, surrounded by infinite riches"--to me, that is a myopic and childish view that can only spring from religion. Christianity, in particular, engenders this infinite conceit, and it compounds it by disparaging (if not fomenting violence toward) those who do not share it.

We can do far better than to adopt the credulous thinking of religion. We have the capacity to ask questions and to filter out nonsense, but this does not come easily. It takes some work, and it takes some extra-genetic help from our predecessors through the gifts of language, literature, philosophy, art, and science. There's so much to be inspired by, and to be encouraged by. Who has time for make-believe.

(Please pardon the sermon from a nearly life-long atheist.)

dano said...

Jim,.....
.......and who has unique thoughts like yours, forged by all those generations of your ancestors that we can afford to sacrifice to the God of conformity, and never hear? Thoughts that most certainly are those man coming of age.
Dan

dano said...

Jim,
restated after lunch!

Thoughts as unique as yours, forged by all those generations of your ancestors, cannot be sacrificed to the God of conformity.

We all must be allowed to hear what the courageous have to say, their minds unbound from the tyranny of superstition, guilt, and fear.

These thoughts most certainly, are the most honest thoughts of "Man," who is struggling to leave ancient ways of thinking behind, and to come of age.
Dan

freethinker05 said...

Jim Arvo, thanks for the inspiring and encouraging little "sermon". Those words "truly" went through my brain down to my heart. Peace, Roger

stronger now said...

Dano,

Poetic they may be , I love your thoughts.May they be heard more. I do wish to hear more. Thank you.

Caleb C said...

Thank you for the comment Lance. That is what I am currently convincing myself to do... enjoy as much of this life as I can. I am truly fortunate to have a beautiful loving wife, and two healthy children. In the past (and still some now)I have been such a worrier. Filling my thoughts with scenarios that cause me such stress and anxiety. All of these thoughts centered around the question, what could happen if? I realize now that so much of that stems from fear of God. Deep down I wonder if I'm living like I need to so that God will bless me or give me His favor. Worried if I am repenting enough to get enough of God's Holy Spirit on my side. I am trying to remind myself (almost every second it seems) to adopt a more relaxed mentality about my life. I want to finally be at peace with myself, and who I really am. I found a good quote credited to the Dalai Lama that gives me solace (religious figure I know, but still a good quote). He said,
"If you have worry, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it. If you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry."
Again guys, thanks for the comments.

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