Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2012

Higher Trails to a Beauty Beyond God

By Chris Highland ~ W hile studying Philosophy at Seattle Pacific ("free" Methodist) University, a wise old professor suggested I thumb through some Nietzsche . My evangelical mind was already stumbling numb from reading Socrates in Greek, and staggering in and out of Confucius, Walt Whitman and Kierkegaard. On the personal side, I was discovering the joys of (sinful) sex while attending a "house church" led by a Jews for Jesus -type friend and paling around with some Muslim students. But Nietzsche? Wasn't he the "God is Dead" guy? I quickly found he was much, much more, and I've returned to his writings off and on over the long journey out of faith. At this point I read him now and again during my "meditation" times (my wife knows this means while I'm in the bathroom sanctuary). This morning I came upon more delightfully upsetting lines from Mr. N's little book of pithy sayings called, Human, All Too Human (HATH, 187

My Past Problem with Salvation

By Paul So ~ I ’m not sure if everyone had this experience, but in my deconversion story Discordance and my other article Problem with Repentance , I pointed out that the main reason why I abandoned Christianity is I could not really know whether or not I’m saved, I can only believe that I am saved. Now, I understand that this is not sufficient to undermine Christianity but I would say that it has lead me to question whether any of this is true; Because atonement, for me at the time, was one of the main foundational pillars of Christianity, questioning atonement was really a hard blow on my faith. I would like to treat this essay (or article) as a sub-story of my deconversion. I find this to be very important part of why I deconverted but I want to make several things clear. First, this deconversion was strictly from being a Christian to being an agnostic deist (with nihilistic tendencies); in other words, I cannot prove that God exists but at the time I thought God’s existence

Diseased by Religion

By tothemorning (formerly known as HickoryGrove) M y journey began 30 yrs. ago at the tender age of 14. An invite to a youth service resulting in a trip to the alter where I repented of the evil that I was and accepted man's defined plan of God's salvation. Here in this Assembly of God Church the process indoctrination of guilt ridden salvation that left scar tissue. Through all the traumatizing years my young but mature mind would rationalize the Godly leaders immoral self-serving leadership by passing it off as being part of the human-factor. My only desire was to have a heart after God's own heart: to serve him in a most excellent way. But the years of a heart burning with a fire of pure sincerity for God was finally blown out by the winds of truth and deception. The following is a simple time line of incidents that finally took their toll and lead me to freedom. Here we go... Following my salvation I became very involved in the youth ministry. The m

Washing the Brainwash

By Agnes ~ H ello. I have recently been able to say [with my own voice that I have recently developed for the first time] that I am not a christian, and I have searched for a place like this for support. Image by Sand Creation via Flickr I was born into a Lutheran family, and attended my Lutheran school/church for 6 days a week, for the first 14 years of my life. This adds up to 4,032 days of my life, not including minor exceptions for Saturday church events. I blossomed at this place, from sitting in Sunday school at age 7 contemplating my existence while everyone else sang " Go Tell it on the Mountain ", to wondering what happens to Ethiopian children after death while my 7th teacher talks about hell. I have a deep love for nostalgia; Despite the beautiful and deceptive memories I have of "fellowship", and of my "faith walk", I have realized that I was born into a family with a mind that is incapable of working like theirs. I realize now, l

How Did I Once Believe Like This!?

By Ex Baptist Pastor ~ I suppose this would be a rant. I want to come back and properly introduce myself, but this has been running through my head and I just want to get it out there. I'm a former Baptist pastor of the neo-Calvinist strain. Not to long ago my former co-pastor and I were emailing back and forth as he tried to keep me from leaving the faith. Image by Jack Batchelor via Flickr One of the things we talked about was how I'd only recently learned that my step-daughter had been molested by her biological father six years ago during her last visit with him. This happened at the same time as my wife and I were being baptized and joining the church. I asked him why God, who is supposedly sovereign, ordained this to happen and then kept it from us for so many years? He said he didn't know, but that he was thankful that God had stopped it before her father went any further. I asked him if I should thank God that he'd only let her be molested

So You Want to be a Methodist?

By Danimal   (aka  Aspieguy)  ~ W ould you like to be a Methodist? As a former United Methodist, I am here to tell you how. As the movie " A River Runs Through It " says, Methodists are Baptists who can read. If you can follow these simple steps, you can become a member of the United Methodist Church : 1. Be sure you know nothing about the denomination. Don't know who John Wesley is or the Book of Discipline . Be ignorant of the itinerant ministry and don't know who your bishop is. 2. Participate in the church prayer chain. Remember, the only prayers allowed are for the sick, injured or dead. Anything personal is off-limits. If someone recovers, make sure the prayers get the credit, not the doctors or nurses. 3. If you like to debate or argue, be sure you only argue over insignificant things such as musical styles, worship styles, or how good the sermons are. 4. Avoid controversial topics such as homosexuality and abortion. 5. Possess multiple persona

Reality Check

By Carl S ~ H ere's the "reality" most people are taught: There's a creator who made everything that exists, as it is. Out of all the billions of galaxies, this creator chose this particular planet to be God's own planet. He made it, pronounced it "good," and has been finding fault with its human inhabitants ever since. Now, the human inhabitants are to serve this god on earth, obediently do his will, and get a reward in an eternal blissful afterlife, or go to eternal torment. Anything this god does, or allows, is good. Anything his chosen people do in his name, for his glory, is virtuous and a.o.k. It's called justification. But, just how the will, wishes, or work of god is defined, is never questioned, just obeyed. This is quite interesting. For a Mormon , not imbibing in alcoholic beverages or coffee is the will of god, and proselytizing is the work of god. For the Moslem, pork is forbidden, likewise the Jew. God permits one wife only, or m

The Indifference of Truth

By Brian Kellogg ~ I believe the title of this post really strikes at the core of religious belief. Humans, in general, so desperately want to believe that they either personally have magical power over a chaotic world or they have a god that can exercise such power for their benefit. It is a very traumatic event in one's life to honestly confront the fact that the Universe is wholly indifferent to us and is in fact quite chaotic and out of our control. The religious find comfort through the illusion of control and power afforded by their religion in much the same way superstitious fisherman or baseball players do with their good luck charms and other good luck rituals. I can understand and sympathize with this to a point. We see such thinking often played out in disasters where one church is destroyed but another survives seemingly miraculously. The parishioners of the surviving building thank god for his goodness, but what of god's goodness for the parishioners o

Construction of Purpose

By Paul So ~ O ne of the most common assumptions among Christians is that there is only one kind of authentic purpose which is something that is built into human beings when God designs them. If you remember the doctrine of Deus Imagio (Image of God), propounded by the theologian Irenicus, Christians believe that we all posses the image of God which means we all have the potential to be like God and the entire purpose from this image is the fact that we are meant to go to heaven. Admittedly it sounds like a nice idea but there seems to be an implicit double standard in this way of thinking: Whatever purpose God creates is meaningful, but whatever purpose human creates cannot be meaningful. Image by Bill Gracey via Flickr Why is this? Well, perhaps one plausible explanation is that Christians emphasize a lot on God’s sovereignty which involves creating authentic purposes that human beings are incapable of building. Whatever purpose that we create just isn’t good enough as that o

Happily Abused

Christian woman’s advice to abused wives reads like a handbook for  ascetic self-mortification . How to Use a Woman’s Faith & Trust to Make Her a Willing Accomplice to Her Own Abuse Can you say, "Stockholm Syndrome'? by Vyckie Garrison A fter stumbling across yet another piece of alarmingly dangerous advice for abused women of faith titled,  Surviving Emotional Abuse Six Steps  by Christian author, Darcy Ingraham, I am wishing I had more middle fingers with which to express my extreme irritation. Ack! I will to try to calm down long enough to use my words rather than profane gestures to talk about spiritual abuse. To begin with the author assumes that only those husbands who abandon their faith become angry, bitter, and abusive – and she offers no help for women whose abusive husbands are fully committed Christians acting in accordance with patriarchal teachings derived from the bible; she quotes random bible verses out of context to convince abused women that the

Ship of Fools

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ T he ship of fools is an allegory which depicts a vessel populated by humans who are confused, frivolous, or deluded, and often ignorant of their own course or destination. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the ship of fools concept also served to parody the 'ark of salvation' as the Catholic Church was sometimes called. Ship of Fools (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) In some ways, the Titanic could be seen as a “ship of fools.” The designers of the ship, its owners, and its captain and crew were all fools in one way or another, leading the doomed ship to a watery grave. Following the disaster, two official inquiries, US and British, reached similar conclusions; the number of lifeboats aboard was inadequate, the Captain failed to take proper heed of ice warnings, many of the lifeboats were only partially loaded when launched (due to inadequate crew training), and the ship was steaming through a dangerous area at too high a speed. The whole ent

Religion as Xtreme Sport

By Astreja T here's a lot of black-and-white thinking in the world of the believer.  It's unfortunately quite rare to find nuanced argument; all too often, we're treated to binary ranting and raving.  Don't worship God?  You must be a Devil-worshipper, then.  Not saved?  Then you're condemned. Things get a little more interesting when one challenges a believer on the morality of their demonstrably immoral god.  Yes, Biblegod destroyed the ________  people, but they must have somehow deserved  it. Christian apologists , professionals and amateurs alike, never seem to offer any good historical evidence as to what the ________  people actually did  to merit genocide and the express elevator to Hell, but it couldn't possibly have been Biblegod's fault because Biblegod comes predefined as Infinitely Good and Infinitely Just. We're told that coveting a friend's candy bar is morally exactly equivalent to committing mass murder . This is interes