9/06/2015 | Share this article: View Comments
The memoirs of a former fundamentalist pastor who left religion (but not God) and battled Depression, Addiction, Unemployment, Hearing Voices, Divorce, Co-dependency, Dating and Adult Aspergers with humor and good books.By August Stine ~
As a young unmarried man I read Saint Augustine's views about original sin, women, and sex. His Confessions book made me very angry. I thought to myself, "Someday I will write a book of to offset his views." This is it; however, as I set out on my determined quest to enlighten the church, I noticed an unhealthy trend of being overly serious as I described my victim/hero stories of leaving Christianity. So, I decided to sprinkle this book with religious and other humor to maintain a healthy balance. Humor has been a major factor in my getting well again. My Battle with St. Augustine is a serious look at extreme religion along with a laughable look at my faults and Augustine's as well. Because of this I added the humorous Rating: "PG, Oh Gee, & My Goodness!"
Excerpts from the book:
*Don't Cross Me!
I once talked with two real estate con men whose specialty was selling real estate lots. Senior citizens from all over the country would be flown to their huge complex where they would be wined and dined and then whisked away in style to look at real estate lots. Over the loud speaker would come a booming voice every few minutes or so stating that such and such a Lot number had just been sold. This fake "hurry up and buy" scam was effective. They made a lot of money.
Our emotions are swayed by pomp and circumstance. Religious Peer Pressure is responsible for many conversions to Christianity. In some cases it is years later before some of us wake up to a painful "Jesus Remorse." Instead of freedom and joy, we find ourselves in a Christian box that seems to be continually shrinking and quite limited. There is no written contract stating what we originally signed up for. It is peer pressure that says; "believe" and many of us bravely stood up and said, "I believe." The catch comes when Christian leaders say — "Here is what Christians believe." Christianity thus often becomes "Us against the world." If this were a written contract, there would be very fine print at the bottom the page saying, "You must give up everything you hold dear to follow my rugged path of the cross . . . and don't you dare cross me!"
I read a story (source unknown) of a famous magician who was entertaining at some large tall building. After doing several card tricks, he took the deck of cards and threw them at a large window. Amazingly, the Ace of Spades stuck to the window. Everyone was astounded. They were even more awed when they realized that the Ace of Spades was on the outside of the window several stories up and it was pouring rain. No miracle, just a skilled magician doing his job. Most of us average folks don't realize that the magician has a lot of helpers behind the scenes. There can be as few as one or two and on up to fifty or so folks helping him do his work. I believe in miracles; I have no doubt that God does quietly work many miracles, but I also have a balancing skepticism because of the many times I have been conned by smiling people. Time does distort facts; the more time that passes, the more probability the facts will be less accurate.
Let's take the miracle of feeding the 5000 by Jesus. Let's suppose that half the crowd fit into the naive category. They didn't bring anything to the Jesus event. But, what is the chance that a mom with kids went to see Jesus? Would she take her kids out on a hot day to a place out of town with no nearby McDonalds without making some preparation? So the non-naive half of the crowd could likely be sheepishly shamed into sharing their food and drinks with the other half after the prayer. This doesn't have to be a miracle. It could well be common sense. I do hope they had some sort of Porta-Potties for after the meal, too.