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Showing posts from August, 2013

I Wish I Had Never Heard The Gospel

By Jay ~

“I wish I had never heard the Gospel.”
I whispered this phrase to myself today while staring at the cross still hanging on my living room wall. Life was so much easier before religion got involved. I remember being a simple minded child before being introduced to Christianity. The world was beautiful, it had an almost magical glow to it. Then as I got older around age 13 it came—I heard the Gospel and “accepted Christ”…

It catapulted me into a couple of nice Christian teenage years. The first girl I ever made out with was at youth camp and that was pretty cool. I talked to God all the time and felt that He was leading my life. I remember crying out to God to save my Dad because I didn’t want him to go to hell. Then around age 17 or so rational thinking took over and I quickly left my faith and pursued things like college and getting married.

Fast forward about 8 years and I’m an alcoholic in a strained marriage that I almost lost with a failing business I had started.…

Seeing The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

By Jen ~

Wow. I honestly can't believe I'm here. But I am. I'm still fairly early on in my de-conversion, but all these stories are so refreshing. For the moment, I'm considering myself more of a deist, but there's still so much more to learn, I know.

I was raised in the Grace Brethren Church, a very conservative and fundamentalist denomination. My brother, who was 13 years older than me, even went to a bible college and became a minister, and worked for them for quite a few years. My mother never really went to church. She always had some kind of excuse, like she didn't have anything decent to wear, or she can't sit that long, or something. I never questioned it for some reason. But she did watch alot of religious programs like the PTL Club, Jimmy Swaggart, and Jerry Falwell. But yet she sat and watched soap operas every afternoon. Go figure. Very conflicting values that didnt make sense to me, but again, I didnt question it. Thats where a lot of my sex ed…

Supernatural: An Extimony in Disguise?

By -Demona- ~

If you haven't at least heard of the TV series Supernatural, you've obviously been living in a cave.

At first blush, the CW's popular television series might seem like your typical Monster of the Week show about two brothers who share their surname with a brand of rifle. But, interestingly, it dares to pose theological questions that other shows dare not ask, in a highly entertaining (and sometimes very meta) format.

Supernatural has, of course, gotten so entrenched in our collective consciousness that it's currently gearing up to begin its Ninth Season, after the Season Eight finale where the angels plummet en masse from Heaven.

Supernatural (season 5) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) All of the angels still sucking air, that is. Many of the (ostensibly) immortal beings died over the course of the show. Some were bad to the bone and others weren't so bad, but were still prone to high-handedness and racism against humans ("hairless monkeys" was the …

The religious self-destruct, while the people of the Lord say, "Amen".

By Hopi ~

One among a legion of "fools" brave enough to say, NO MORE!

It's been many years since I've stopped by this site. Ex-Christian, along with all of its wonderful members, was instrumental in the healing process I walked, nay, crawled through on blistered knees, when breaking free of religion.

It was with petrifying fear that I left the faith of my youth. It was that ever-present fear of HELL, which kept me tethered so long to faith in a nihilistic desert God of war, intent on throwing anyone who doesn't believe "his" nonsense into a fiery pit of doom and sadistically torturing them forever more. And this, my friends, is sold to us as "love".

It was in the summer of 2006 that I had the good fortune of signing up for a World Religion class at my local community college. Had to fulfill the Humanities requirement, so I figured this class would be an easy A, not to mention a way of solidifying my own faith. Oh, naive little creature that I …

Discussing Morality

By Apostate Paul ~

"So, you're an atheist now."
Morality (Photo credit: dietmut)One of my buddies asked me this one idle evening after work. A few weeks prior, I had sent out a letter to all of my Christian friends informing them that, while I still respected them and wanted to maintain my relationship with them, I no longer thought that Christianity held any water, and I wouldn't be pursuing it anymore. I would still be the same goofy, Ultimate Frisbee-obsessed guy trying to live a virtuous life, just without the religious parts.

"Yes," I said, laughing. "Why?"

He smiled and said, "We've never mentioned it in person. You said a while back that you were always happy to discuss it with me. So do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Sure, what's up?" I said, wondering what I was about to get into.

"Well, you said that you were planning to continue living a 'virtuous life' even though you stopped believin…

A Doubtful Existence

By Saphire ~

There are many Christians that could tell you the time and date of their decision to follow Christ. I never could. Simply because I'm not really sure when it happened. When I was fifteen, the youth pastors at my church decided that I needed to make a decision. They set up times to talk to me about God and Jesus and the need to decide if I wanted to be a Christian. Honestly, I just decided to become a Christian because I wanted them to leave me alone. I remember lying in my bed and saying the "sinner's prayer" over and over again. I had always heard about this weight lifting off your shoulders, of feeling peace and joy. I didn't feel anything. I just kept thinking I must have been saying it wrong.

But eventually I believe I became a Christian. I did all the things that make you a good Christian. I went to church multiple times a week, joined the choir, went on retreats, and even became a missionary. I had good friends, my family eventually…

Embracing the Reality of Uncertainty

By the Spiritual Pilgrim ~

In recent thought I have realized that whether I decide to continue in the Christian faith, or move in to a different form of faith, in any direction I want to go with my worldview I will have to embrace uncertainty. If I decide I don’t believe in God I have to live with uncertainty. If I decide I do believe in God I have to live with uncertainty. So basically what I’m realizing is quite simply that I need to embrace this reality. I need to find peace in not knowing.

The hard part for me is that the times in my life when I have felt the most joy and the most fulfilled have been in times of strong faith. From that statement the answer might appear simple that I should choose a life of faith and pursue that joy. That’s what I’ve tried for the past two years and I keep ending up back in the same painful position of disappointment. These times of joy and fulfillment never last more than a day or two usually and rarely have lasted up to a month. But I a…

Hope

By Carl S ~

Maybe you have heard the saying about hope being such a beautiful thing, like desire with wings that flies. Allow me to give you my personal observations on hope; as an example, the mousetraps in my garage. Though they have claimed many lives, I keep reloading them with temptation, and the mice never learn. Sometimes, two mice are dead, which means that one is already dead as a warning to stay away. And there is the knowledge that the traps smell of previous deaths.

"It's a trap!" (Photo credit: Stéfan) It isn't only mice that are not learning, but other creatures that keep getting trapped or killed because of their hope. Human beings seem to “never learn,” as the song states, about the trap-bait of wars. They never seem to be able to resist the glory-of-winning hope, even when glory implies death. So, no, hope isn't necessarily a good thing after all, when it blatantly and blindly chooses to ignore reality.

Isn‘t it, after all, hope that impels so man…

What Am I Doing With This Cross?

When the drug called "God" refuses to fix us
By Mark Davis ~

Is it an understatement to say that some adults carry unresolved issues? It’s quite possible that all of us do. After all, as children we may not have had the facilities nor the guidance to fully and properly process any traumatic experiences. And so, our survival instincts kicked in and had us bury and escape the full brunt of the trauma. It is common knowledge (I think) that depending upon the degree of trauma that is buried, the interference in an adult’s life can be extreme and chronic.

We often say of the addict -- be it to drugs, alcohol, sex, work, chronically “falling in love” or any other process or substance -- that he or she is using it as an escape. It’s understood that there is something inside them that they are running from- they are turning away from themselves in some way. We call the using of a drug a “fix,” because the user believes on some level it’s going to fix the problem. We on the outsi…

Christianity’s Three-Headed Beast

By Daniel out of the Lion's Den ~

Accuse a Christian of being a polytheist by worshiping three gods, and they will vehemently deny it. Yet in their own creeds and hymns, they confess that they worship three persons. In a feeble attempt to hold onto the Jewish monotheistic roots of their religion, they have conjured up a three-headed beast that they can’t even explain. Its funny how Islamists, who are farther removed from Christianity, can make the objective observation that Christianity is polytheistic.

Since the Jewish and Christian religions have historically cobbled their gods together by borrowing bits and pieces from other world religions, I thought it would be interesting to look for hints of the Trinity in mythology. These puzzle pieces could reveal how such a notion came to be. I have read that Christians in the first several centuries would evangelize by comparing elements in Christianity with similar elements in other religions. “Jesus was born of a virgin, conce…

Good News?

By Joshua Olsen ~

Damnation

I'd always viewed this notion with a sidelong glance, this is to say I simply could not understand it. I'd been brought up to believe that god was love, that god was forgiveness, that the purity of the love of god transcended all things.

Hell

Pure, unimaginable, nigh-pornographic suffering. Forever. Until the universe unravels. Torture, agony, despair.

Herein came the disconnect from which I would ultimately never recover.

God creates humans, sick as evidently we are, and commands us upon pain of eternal torture to be well again. God, knowing all things, is well-aware of that to which our inclinations will lead us and yet chooses to imbue us with them anyway. God is therefore either unbelievably inept or unbelievably callous and stupid and indifferent. You must believe in X Abrahamic religion or you will suffer eternal torture. God, being all powerful, could simply give the entirety of the world an unambiguous sign as to which religion is the correct …

Why It Takes About 1000 Times More Faith To Be Christian Or Muslim Than Atheist

By Dan Forsman ~

I keep seeing it written or stated that it takes the same amount of faith or even less to believe in a god than it does to believe there is no god. This is typically used to demonstrate that either Christianity or Islam is a much more logical and reasonable choice than atheism. But Christianity and Islam require their followers to accept as fact a very large number of specific inflexible beliefs, many built on top of one another and all originating two thousand years ago. Each belief is separate and requires an amount of faith that is dependent on that particular beliefs’ credibility:
a god created the universe,a personal god is actively involved in human activities, life continues after death, a god became a man,god performs miracles, god is loving, god created hell, god has a plan for mankind, etc. 
The non-believer makes a relatively simple commitment to disbelieve in any god they have heard of which typically includes christian, Muslim and numerous other gods. Sh…

Lessons in Discordianism

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~

A recent posting on this site mentioned the parody religion called Discordianism. In tracking down the link provided, I found a whole barrelful of laughs. But I also began to discover something more serious.

Reading about Discordianism quickly brought to mind Poe’s Law. For those who haven’t heard of Poe’s Law, this is a snippet of what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”
That is, a parody of something extreme is impossible to differentiate from the thing itself.

But, religion (or most of them) is extremism by its very nature, since, to be taken seriously, it requires one to assume a supernatural realm for which there is no physical evidence, and that is clearly an extremist position. If I am correct in this, then there should be many parallels between a parody religion, which is extreme by intention, and …

Free from Fear

By Emmy ~

There are millions of people going to hell because they don’t know Jesus.” I was sitting on a pew at the back of the church, listening to the same type of message that I had heard innumerable times in my life. There was nothing new, different, or spectacular in the pastor’s words. I’m sure, on that particular morning, hundreds of other church-attenders were sitting in similar pews, listening to the same sort of message. But, as I sat there, heart racing, a numb feeling rising from within, I quietly said to myself “I just cannot do this anymore.”

I left the building that morning and have not gone back since. It was, however, relatively easy to leave the building. It was not so easy to make peace with it all in my mind. I had no idea that my faith was about to be challenged, even more so, I would never have been able to imagine, at that particular moment, where it would lead me to. In the years leading up to that particular church service, my struggles with Christianity…

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