Skip to main content

My Battle with St. Augustine

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

Why I left the Canadian Reformed Church

By Chuck Eelhart ~ I was born into a believing family. The denomination is called Canadian Reformed Church . It is a Dutch Calvinistic Christian Church. My parents were Dutch immigrants to Canada in 1951. They had come from two slightly differing factions of the same Reformed faith in the Netherlands . Arriving unmarried in Canada they joined the slightly more conservative of the factions. It was a small group at first. Being far from Holland and strangers in a new country these young families found a strong bonding point in their church. Deutsch: Heidelberger Katechismus, Druck 1563 (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I was born in 1955 the third of eventually 9 children. We lived in a small southern Ontario farming community of Fergus. Being young conservative and industrious the community of immigrants prospered. While they did mix and work in the community almost all of the social bonding was within the church group. Being of the first generation born here we had a foot in two