4/05/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Ex-Pastor Dan ~
Just last night I was contacted through a very famous social network, by a Christian zealot that I had attended church with over 30 years ago. He was sure that he had me and my situation all figured out. Like my pastor cousin did a couple of years ago, this yay-hoo apologized for what other Christians had done to me. WTF?! He assured me that he and Jesus still loved me, and of course threw in the little hint (scare tactic) that I would meet Him someday….would I be ready? I am so sick of this sh*t! I decided to post my answer to him.
I'm not sure, but I think you are the DJ that I used to know when I was still in the delusion of Christianity and attending the Oak View Full Gospel Lighthouse?? If you are, then I would like to leave you with the TRUTH. I didn't leave Christianity because of what was done to me and my family by "men of God". Even though a couple of them should be in prison for the crimes that they committed against my family and me! If I believed in Hell (which I don't), then theses ‘anointed assholes’ would most certainly go straight there (do not pass go, do not collect $200.00) for the "evil deeds and debaucheries" that they were, and still are part of.
No, DJ, I spent almost 20 years finding my way out of the mind-fuck of fundamentalist Christianity. As Brother Mac used to always say, "you must have a foundation of more than an emotional experience...subjective experience will lead you into all kinds of wrong directions. You will find yourself being led by the Devil if you trust in your experiences. The only solid foundation for our faith is the WORD. That is why we believe in the FULL Gospel; every jot and tittle; from cover to cover...the word of God, the BIBLE!"
So, when subjective experience had let me down; when fasting and prayer, and crying out to God brought NO answers; when speaking in tongues and worshiping God - prostrate on the sanctuary floor (all night) - brought nothing but silence....I began to search the scriptures. That too, brought many more questions than answers. I earned a Master's Degree in Bible Subjects and was 1/3 of my way to a doctorate in Theology when I was booted from the ministry (for trying to minister). I then began a search for truth. A search for truth, no matter where that search might take me. I had to know truth! Where did this Bible come from if it was to be the answer to all of the questions, the BIG questions? If this was truly "God's words,” how did we know that they were the ONLY words He ever intended to be interpreted as the ONLY WAY, the ONLY TRUTH, the ONLY LIFE? How did we know that Mohammed or Joseph Smith didn't also hear from the real God and write down His message for mankind? How did we know that the largest religion in the world was totally wrong and that WE (western, Protestant Christians) were right?
Christianity, the ONLY TRUE Religion, huh? Christianity, the religion that has over 33,000 different denominations, cults, orthodoxies and off-shoots; the religion whose holy book was not formulated and combined until the fourth century C.E. The book that was put together at the behest of Constantine for purely political reasons; the book that was then changed in the seventh century and argued over for the next several hundred years. Do you mean the book that Martin Luther dissected and used to start his own version of TRUE religion? The book that is most certainly written by men and then re-written and re-translated; misquoted, added to, redacted, shortened when books when certain books were removed (just pick up a Catholic Bible and see how many books are in there - certainly more than the 66 of your very recent Protestant version), etc., etc.
I have studied real biblical scholars such as Bart D. Ehrman, Richard E. Rubenstein, Geza Vermes, Elaine Pagels, Soloman J. Schepps, John W. Loftus, David Eller, Edward T. Babinski, Paul Tobin, Hector Avalos, Robert M. Price, Richard Carrier, etc., just to name a few. I now know where the WORD came from, and it wasn't from any God.
When my foundation (the word) no longer existed, all I was left with was empty, emotional, subjective experience, and that was no better than any other religious zealot who worships at the feet of a hundred different deities. Every religion around the world claims to have the TRUTH and their truth is exemplified in their heartfelt experience. Muslims claim a personal relationship with Allah and Mormons are convinced that they have the latest TRUTH, sent straight from God. Many religious zealots are so convinced, they are willing to DIE for their truth. What is even more frightening is that they are also willing to kill for their God. Lest you say that your Christianity is different, remember its past - the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Northern Ireland, Westborough Baptist, etc.
No, DJ, I didn't leave the delusion because of poor treatment by ignorant and self-righteous men, I left because I was on a quest to find TRUTH, and I discovered TRUTH! And once you discover truth, you can't UN-discover it!
God does not exist, and it is looking more and more like the man, Jesus, of the Bible didn't ever really exist either (check out ‘The Jesus Project’ and the new Mythicist movement). The religious myth of the god-man, Jesus, seems to be approximately the 13th incarnation of the same story - i.e., Virgin Birth, son of a god, comes to earth, rises from dead, goes off to the heavens, will return again to earth someday, etc., etc. That story line is thousands of years older than what most young earth creationists think the earth is! LOL!
You must base your life on reality, not belief in a belief! I have found it, and it is fantastic! I no longer live in a fantasy world which is driven by guilt and fear. I educated myself out of the brainwashed delusion that I was in, and I have never been so fulfilled, joyous and peaceful. I didn't leave christianity so that I could become a Nihilist or a Materialist, and I never intended to become an Atheist. I left to find truth and to become better than I was. I, like most every Christian, was a pathetic excuse for a human being, and I was sick of it!
It worked! My life which was just about destroyed by the church, along with my warped view of the world, has now become a wonderful thing! I no longer judge others; I no longer hate; I no longer am a homo-phobic, chauvinistic, self-righteous asshole! My wife, who almost left my sorry ass, is in love with me (maybe for the first time), and my children have given me a second chance, and are part of my life again. What the lunacy of christianity took away, reality and true love has given me back!
Please go to this web site - ExChristian.Net and look up my moniker. I go by Ex-Pastor Dan. I have written several articles that are posted there, along with thousands of others from people just like me; ex-christians. It is pretty eye-opening and I think you will be surprised and enlightened. I have written 9 chapters of my autobiography, (also posted there) entitled "Screwed Up, Beyond Belief". Please take a look.
I also would encourage you to do some real scholarly studies to find out about the faith that you claim is so real, and this mythical character that you claim to have "met" in person, and have a relationship with. Hmmmmmm... I too used to say things like that, but saying them doesn't make them so! Millions of people have relationships with un-seen ghosts and spirits. They talk to them and believe that the invisible person talks back to them……………………………………………………………………we call them our children!
I bid you peace.