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Showing posts from October, 2014

MY JOURNEY TOWARD ATHEISM

By Ben Love ~ I never thought I’d be writing an essay like this one. It never even occurred to me that such a thing could ever be possible. Nevertheless, here I sit, typing it, hoping to formulate my thoughts into a cohesive argument to describe how a man who once would have gladly laid down his life for Jesus Christ became an implacable atheist. Yes, I was a Christian. And I wasn’t one of those moderately involved ones either; I was hardcore. I worked at several different churches and even help start a few. I went on mission trips. I was instrumental developing Christian communities on several campuses all over St. Louis, Missouri. I wrote over 100 worship songs, many of which are still being used in churches across America. I was one of those guys that people came to whenever they needed their faith boosted, when they needed someone to talk to who would set them on the strong path again. I even wrote and published a book on Christian theology (suggesting a new route which, I tho

Sins of the (Pumpkin) Flesh

By Klym ~ E very day I find new reasons to be glad/relieved that I am no longer imprisoned by Christian theology. Here's a fine example that was posted on my Facebook news feed just yesterday. A former student of mine who became a Christian in her teenage years posted some Bible verses that had her really upset about celebrating Halloween. A "friend" of hers posted the following on her timeline---and I copy it verbatim: "When I taught little kids Sunday school class...we made a jack-o-lantern...but used it as a teaching tool about salvation. How we are all dirty & yucky on the inside(sin) & how if we ask Jesus to forgive our sins...He cleans out all the yucky stuff...and puts His light inside of us...so others will come to know Him from His light shining in us. Our classrooms didn't have windows...so once I put a candle in it...we turned off the light and saw just how much light one little light could give off. And we sang This Little Light of Mi

Letter to a Christian Mother

By Bore Venal Charlatan ~ I had a long discussion with a proselytizing Christian student at the bus stop, who had made a habit of passing out tracts. He had been around a few times so I decided to ask him about his side, and tell him of my version as well. Turned out to be Baptist (not surprisingly) and brought up all the familiar evangelical tools - man's sin in face of the ten commandments, the parable of the sower, the impending judgment day, and so on and so forth. He seemed surprised when I mentioned I had used the exact same arguments when 'witnessing' when I was still a Christian. Every evangelist uses the exact same old arguments which I have refuted so often and thoroughly they do not cease to withdraw into the classic 'Only God can know' defense. Naturally my friend assumed I had never known Christ to begin with, which is false, especially considering I probably had more experience in evangelism/apologetics than he did. Thankfully our experience did n

Bible vs Quran—Test Your Knowledge of Who Deserves Death in Which Religion

By Valerie Tarico ~ T he world has watched in horror while members of ISIS justify the next mass murder or icy execution with words from the Quran, followed by shouts of Allahu Akbar —God is the greatest! If beliefs have any power whatsoever to drive behavior—and as a psychologist I think they do—there can be little doubt that the Quran’s many endorsements of violence play a role in how exactly ISIS has chosen to pursue religious and political dominion. At the same time, it should be equally clear a sacred text filled with violence is insufficient to trigger mass brutality unless other conditions are present as well. Culture, empathy, education and empowerment—and other factors that scholars understand only in part—appear to have a protective influence, safeguarding even most fundamentalists against the worst teachings of their own tradition. We know this in part because the Bible contains commandments and stories that are as horrific as those being used to justify butchery in Iraq

Leaving the Mind Numbing Cult

By Winged Witch ~ I wanted to share my story as an ex-Christian . I was raised in a Christian home although I don’t believe it had an extreme influence on my life at that time. The one and only time I prayed for help as a teen, I of course got no answer even after pleading and praying for over a month. At that time I was naïve enough to actually think I would be answered by the all powerful one. After I left home, I gave no consideration to a religion of any sort. I had a bit of a mystical experience that was life altering. Unfortunately, within a week of that experience, an acquaintance stopped by to tell me she was a new born again Christian . Of course “sin” came up. Apparently that hook had been placed deep enough in me that it took hold. I never stopped to contemplate the word. I searched out other religions and sure enough they didn’t have a plan in place to forgive “sin”. Gee, this is so embarrassing to even talk about now. That day started a 16-year slide i

On the night that Jesus was born...

Carolyn Hyppolite ~ T hink about any nativity you have passed by around Christmas, what are the components? Mary adoringly staring at her son, Joseph standing behind her oozing with paternal confidence, farm animals surrounding the humble Jesus, Shepherds on bended knee, and wise men bearing gifts. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, supposedly the place of Jesus' birth (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) As a Christian, you assume that is one part of one coherent Biblical account. As you read the Gospels, you forget the details from Matthew that are not found in the Gospel of Luke and vice versa. The Christmas Crèche is a compilation of stories that reflects none of stories reflected in the Bible and that’s just the beginning of the problems found in the Nativity narrative. Neither Mark nor John’s Gospel report a nativity story. This is odd given the important events that allegedly surrounds Jesus’s birth. First, he was born of a virgin—that doesn’t happen everyday; it’s n

A message to my old christian friends

By Anne R Keye ~ GOD SAYS “I CREATE EVIL!” WHAT? W ell here it is dear reader and it is not pleasant reading I can tell you, but if you can walk the walk and have the courage of your convictions then read on, God says in Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil : I the Lord do all these things. —Isaiah 45:7 Now let us read that again, “ I make peace AND CREATE EVIL, I THE LORD do all these things. ” Hmm, so god or yaweh or whoever you wish to pass the buck to is the creator of evil. Remember Isiah 45.7 dear christian reader because this will solve all of your problems about the unjustness of the world. Your silent partner is responsible for it all. But do the unfortunate people and situations they encounter deserve it. Do you deserve a terrible life and death. Do you deserve to be punished? Do you deserve to be stoned or burnt at the stake ? [They burnt women and men at the stake you know]. Do you know this Christian Wives a

BIBLICAL FATHERHOOD

By EChamberlainMD ~ "Virtually every major social pathology -- violent crime, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide -- is strongly associated with fatherlessness. A majority of prisoners, juvenile detention inmates, high school dropouts, pregnant teenagers, adolescent murderers, and rapists all come from fatherless homes. The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. An estimated 70% of the juveniles in state reform institutions grew up without fathers. After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, teenagers from single-parent households are 1.7 times more likely to drop out of high school than teenagers living with both biological parents." (Reference: ncpa.org/pub/st267) S o, apparently good fatherhood is important. Now, the very last verse of the Old Testament pro

Halloween Night and Happy Anniversary to Me

By Carl S ~ I t was on Halloween night 60 years ago that I was evicted from the Trappist monastery. It was just before Compline , the last church service of the day. Everyone filed into the church. I was held back and taken to a room where the clothes were laid out for a change back into being a member of society again. When this was done, two mail carriers, who were there for a retreat, drove me with them, dropping me off at my parent's house. (The Catholic Church didn't have to pay for my bus ticket home.) On the way, we stopped at an all-night diner, where the jukebox was playing Bill Haley's “ Shake, Rattle, and Roll ” with the lyrics including “your soul.” This felt strange. Here was a case of listening to the word “soul” in quite a new context from where I just came from. One of the men ordered a hamburger for me. (I was so wasted as a result of monastic brain-washing that I couldn't even make simple decisions for myself anymore.) You might wonder what i

Screwed Up Beyond Belief, Chapter 11, Patience Rewarded

By Ex-Pastor Dan ~ Let’s Back Up for just a Moment I had put in one year of college as soon as I graduated high school in 1969. After that freshman year, I decided to take the next year off and visit my brother, TM, in Brooklyn, New York . He had recently left our home church, where he had been Brother Mac’s Assistant Pastor, and answered God’s call to join David Wilkerson ’s street ministry - Teen Challenge . Wilkerson’s outreach to the “gangs” of New York had been spotlighted in his hugely popular book (later a movie) ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’. TM and I were raised in the Southern California beach city of Ventura. Ventura was founded as a Mission Outpost in 1782, by Padre Junipero Serra, and christened San Buenaventura (Saint of the Good Winds). Ventura became one of southern California’s “surf cities” in the 1960s, and is now known as part of the Gold Coast. Why in hell would my brother leave such a bucolic setting and drag his wife and baby daughter 3,000 mile