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Showing posts from May, 2015

Clinging Hard to Faith...For What?

By American Apostate ~ I must first start off by saying how grateful I am that this forum exists. I have been encouraged by the fact that I am not alone in this very personal journey. The fear, anxiety, and loneliness that accompanies walking away from a religion you've had your whole life can be overwhelming at times. It is during those times I have come here for encouragement, and keep the fear at bay.I have read many, many stories here, and now I feel confident enough to share mine. I was six years old when I first prayed the sinner's prayer. My family are Christians, so I became one too as soon as I understood that I was going to go to hell if I didn't accept Jesus into my heart. Seriously. That's what prompted me to do so that first time. I was taken to see this evangelical drama designed to "win souls" for the Lord. It was called, " Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames ." It was basically an anthology of stories featuring people disc

Living by Faith: Always the WRONG Things to Do

By Ben Love ~ “We live by faith, not by sight.” T his is straight from the New Testament, words penned by Paul in one of his letters to the Corinthians. To be quite blunt, this might be the most incoherent statement I’ve ever heard. On the surface, it sounds profound and admirable, but some light dissection quickly reveals that there is actually nothing under the surface except hot air. “We don’t live by sight.” What does this mean, exactly? I think the implication is that “sight” in this instance really refers to our collective five senses. Or perhaps a more accurate interpretation would be to say that “sight” refers to the natural world, and living by faith, then, refers to depending on the unseen or supernatural world (this existence of which you as a believer are taking for granted). Question: how do you not live by your senses? Name one activity that you do on a daily basis that does not depend solely upon that which you can smell, taste, touch, hear, and see. “Thoug

Too Good to be True

By Carl S. ~ A fascinating offer came in the mail yesterday. The Trust Insurance Company, whose motto is: "Trust works both ways," offers a policy that really is different. (They claim to have 6.72 million satisfied subscribers.) Here's the contract: For the sum of twenty dollars per month and as long as my payments are made monthly, they will assure me of complete happiness for the remainder of my life. "Complete happiness" is defined in the contract as: "freedom from physical and emotional stress and all suffering, including pain, worry, and anxiety as resulting from or pertaining to natural causes." This contract would become effective "the first of the month following receipt of the initial payment." In the included brochure, this policy is described by personal endorsers as "heavenly." Question. In What way do you think I should handle this offer? What should be my next step? There is something familiar about The Trust Ins

Now My Eyes Are Open

By WidePathGirl ~ I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian family, we went to church twice every Sunday, once every Wednesday, and every night of Revival which was usually held in the Spring and would last from 6 pm until midnight or later. In the summer while all my friends were going to exotic locations and theme parks for vacation I went to 2 weeks of church camp where we attended service 3 times a day. Growing up I could not wear shorts, a 2 piece bathing suit, go to school dances, any movies other than rated G. I could not watch all the fun television shows my friends at school watched, we only watched Little House and the Waltons, Hee Haw , Lawrence Welk , etc. Oh and every Sunday before church we watched the church shows. If I said "gee" or "heck" I'd get beaten. On Sundays I could not go to the movies, swim, fish, or buy and sell anything, or "work". I was not allowed to play school sports or attend most school functions. We p

Sex criminals for Jeesus

By Sofronia ~ S o. Another christian man is discovered to be a sex criminal. That would be Josh Duggar, oldest son of the Duggar family, of "19 and counting" fame. The show is a "reality" show that features the Duggars doing their best to look like freshly scrubbed, wholesome, models of christian family life. Here's a link to the story: Long story short, Josh Duggar reportedly molested five girls, including some of his sisters. Jim Duggar, the divinely appointed control freakhead of household, knew about it and waited a year to report it to the police. When he did, Dad Duggar told a cop who was a family friend. Friend kept his mouth shut and failedto investigate the case until the statute of limitations ran out. How convenient. And it gets worse. Family friend turned out to possess child porn, gotprosecuted, and is in prison. No wonder he didn'

First Do No Harm

By Carl S. ~ “ First do no harm .” T hese words are in the very beginning of the Hippocratic Oath, which dates from the 4th century B.C.E. Be aware that this oath is never taken by the agents of god, which explains a lot about their attitudes, actions, and policies. There are powerful consequences as a result of this. Papyrus text: fragment of Hippocratic oath. A person who swears upon this oath is dedicated to healing the patient placed in his or her hands. It is understood that doing no harm does not mean healing without pain, which might be unavoidable. Whether in the home or hospital, or on the battlefield, healing and ending suffering are the only goals. Are these words, "first do no harm," a basis for trust, integrity, and dedication? And why are they the first? Can we trust religions to do no harm? Ask any religious person to explain why his religion is morally superior to ordinary human goodness, and you will be given examples of the good works, the "

An Atheist's Response to Common Christian Arguments

By Ben Love ~ I have been an atheist for six months now. They’ve been an incredible six months, comprising both good and bad experiences. The bad experiences came from other people’s reactions to my new stance. The good experiences came from my own reactions to my new stance. (Thus, as it is most things in life, we must observe that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your choices as long as you know they are right.) Not all of the reactions of have been ugly, though. Many people, even ones from a Christian background, have seemed honestly perplexed by my choice, as though to them atheism is not too far from insanity. Still others have expressed a genuine interest in knowing what made me choose this; even they themselves would never choose the same. What’s been the most interesting, however, is that people who have had no prior experience with either Christianity or atheism and who therefore stand in the middle ground of uninformed agnosticism (as opposed to informed

Who Is to Blame?

By John Shores ~ I t has been five years since I left Christianity. My own personal struggle can best be defined as a search for "understanding why." Why did I believe the Christian story? Why did I leave? Why didn't I see the truth sooner? This seems to be a common path for people like me who are trying to cope with a whole new reality. What I recognized in myself, though, was that I really wasn't looking for an answer to "why." I was looking for someone to blame for not having seen the truth sooner. So, I sought for the answer to this question instead. What I discovered was surprising. Where the Blame Does Not Lie "Christian doctrine" is not the problem. I know this sounds astounding, but that's the long and the short of it. Here is why. Religious doctrine has no power of its own. As Reza Aslan said in a recent interview: Quote There's this misconception that people derive their values from their scriptures. And the tru

And I Feel Fine

By ToonForever It’s the end of the world as we know it . It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the end of the world as we know it, And I feel fine. – R.E.M. T he end of the world as we know it. I can tell you from experience that most Evangelical Christians live like it’s going to happen tomorrow. They don’t follow Christianity as a live for today, just be a good person sort of thing. They are intensely interested in the future and modern politics. They are convinced the rapture is right around the corner, followed quickly by the Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ . What is written in the Left Behind books they believe is really going to happen. According to modern apocalyptic thought, one of the main hallmarks of the final conflict and the tribulation will be a one-world government headed by the Antichrist . They believe that one of the Antichrist’s main tools will be control of the world financial system via a single currency, and that this currenc

Where's the Product?

By Bob Keye ~ I was staying in England promoting my business which involved the setting up of product seminars. At the end of each seminar there would be a “Testimonials” slot for the for the final sell or the big push. This was my business in an entrepreneurs market. Although I was very busy I needed to keep my christian faith ticking over so I joined the christian Alpha course in a local church. THE ALPHA COURSE On the first night of the Alpha course it was jam packed with attendees. The Alpha course promised to answer “Tough Questions” regarding God and Christianity. We were put into groups to ask questions and discuss Jesus, God and faith in christianity. The problem was that the lady and young boy leading our group were not theologically educated. To combat this I said that I would make a commitment to study my [largely unread] King James bible in my spare time and add something beneficial to the group and perhaps convince non believers rejoice and bathe in the gl

The Atheist Journey

By Isabelle Hernandez ~ A t the age of ten my mom became the drama director of our church and I was cast in the lead role. Our church wasn’t very big and no one was really looking at resumes or talent, for that matter. Willingness was all that was needed and I was not only willing but I was thirsty to serve God and let him use me to speak to others. I wholeheartedly poured myself into my role, conveying as much as I could into the acting so that the audience might not see me but see God and God’s plan. Granted, my experience in life and all matters concerning it was limited and to be honest I didn’t understand Christianity; they were just stories to me. Some stories I loved but most inspired fear. When I was 11 we lived in Miami and we attended a super church that was super obsessed with the occult and the ways the Devil tries to get into our lives. I remember a Saturday morning, Mom woke me up and she instructed me to gather my ceramic unicorn collection which I loved more than