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Showing posts from 2017

Christianity didn’t flow out of Judaism

By John Draper ~ I t was stapled on by the Church—and ham-handedly. I came to this realization the other day when I was busy arguing with myself on Facebook—my former self, my mid-20s Sold-Out-for-Jesus self. These young evangelicals and I were discussing my post  No one has a personal relationship with God . I was trying to get them to see that the “relationship” they had with God was nothing special. It’s the same thing all devoted religious people have. In fact, what they call a “relationship with God” is just what nonbelievers call  life . So when an evangelical says, “God has given me a  peace  about this decision,” a nonbeliever just calls it “gut instinct.” Of course, they couldn’t process that. So they grilled me. How could I say Christianity was just like all the other religions? Didn’t I realize that other religions are people reaching  up  to God—whereas Christianity is God reaching  down  to humans? As they went on, I couldn’t help but see myself in college, goin

Love Is Not Christian - It Is Human

By Fernando Alcántar ~ I ’m sorry. I used to challenge the veracity of your love and doubted your understanding of it on a regular basis. I believed you didn’t really know love, or understand the fullness of love, because you didn’t know Christ like I did. At times, I’ll admit, I wondered if that hurt you—but to be honest, at times I also hoped it did. I figured that if you felt that way than somehow that would discomfort you enough into seeking what I considered to be the source of true love—Jesus. But, I also did it for selfish reasons. I boasted of some proprietary rights on love because I considered that to be my greatest evidence toward the existence of an invisible being. That feeling inside my chest was really the one true “tangible” piece of truth I could sort of really hold on to. Let’s face it, not much else can truly be proven between Genesis and Revelation. 1 John 4:8 reads,  “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  This theme is narrated and

Judeo-Christian Absolute Values

By Carl S ~ A friend of mine, Wizened Sage, asked me to submit my response to a commentary that appeared in a weekly newspaper on Oct. 19. I spent over three hours that night (finished at 2:15 a.m.) composing this letter. I was very reluctant to write it, but even more compelled to respond. It was published on Oct. 26. In essence: The guest commentator described himself as “Christian, fundamentalist in faith, with conservative values,” and is very upset, most likely as a result of believing those “war on Christianity” fear tactics his fundamentalist leaders have been propagating for decades. He blames “the Supreme Court's church-state separation decision of the 1940's,” plus the ongoing removal of crosses, nativity scenes, the ten commandments (all on public property), the removal of prayers and bible readings from public schools, etc., as reasons for a breakdown in our “moral values,” and the reason why we have public massacres! He asks, “What has been the effect of

Nothing They Told Us Was Actually the Truth

By Karen Garst ~ I started challenging myths when I was about twelve years old. That’s right! I was a young skeptic, very young. Being raised in a religious cult can do that to a kid. Through the lottery of birth, I started my life in a family of religious zealots. You might say that I was forced to hit the ground running. We don’t get to pick our parents. Mine were total outliers. Thus, I grew up living in a closed society. When I was eighteen, I left home with a small bag of personal belongings and little else. I was attempting to find my place in the civilian world. The decision to leave the church ended with my excommunication from the family. So, with no money, no family, no friends, no job, no world experience, no car, and no driver’s license, I was soon sorely tested by the great, big, unpredictable world. Of course, I’d been told that Satan ran the world! Sometimes, it actually did seem like evil prevailed, but I wanted to stick my big toe into the civilian waters


By Steven Dustcircle ~ O n the way to the gym, I drive by this house that has a weird display. For years, this rickety, little house has a weathering paint job, rusty vintage vehicles, and a roughly constructed wooden cross shoved into a hole in the ground. Across the crossbeam are crudely-painted, blue capital letters reading, VOTE BIBLE. Perhaps—like myself—you've already mentally pictured the type of person that would do this. You've drawn him or her, or a couple and their kids, in your head. Like me, maybe you've put together their theology or how they would debate you considering religious matters. Maybe you've put together their voting patterns and maybe what kind of work they do, or what kind of health they are in. I mean, really, what kind of person puts a homemade Etsy reject in the front of their property, to face a fairly busy street of traffic for everyone to see. VOTE BIBLE What does that even mean? Any theologian—and layman—would tell you that

Alabama Conservatives are Right: Roy Moore’s Behavior is Perfectly Biblical

By Valerie Tarico ~ C onservative Christians often proclaim that the Quran encourages marriage and molestation of girls who are too young for consent. But it’s rare that they take to the airwaves proclaiming that the Bible does the same. By citing the Bible and Christian tradition in defense of Roy Moore, that is exactly what they have done. And their arguments have merit. Moore is a former Alabama judge, now senate candidate, who believes emphatically that the Bible should take precedence over the U.S. constitution and American tradition of jurisprudence. He fought long and hard to keep his preferred version of the Ten Commandments—carved in stone—on display in the state supreme court. Moore boldly proclaims his allegiance to the Bible, citing verses at will. So, when he was accused recently of making unwanted sexual advances toward several young teens while a lawyer in his 30s, people accused him of hypocrisy. But if Moore’s only transgression was exploiting his greater age and

God Ain't Nothin' but a Tool

By Carl S ~ M y former co-worker was a black man raised in Alabama. He'd quote words of wisdom from his father, who lived through years of extreme racial prejudice in the American South. One time, my partner was summoned to the office on what he suspected were trumped-up allegations against him, and told me, “My daddy always said, 'Never give a man a stick to beat you with.”' Isn't “God” a stick used by others to beat you into feeling guilty or embarrassed about anything harmless you think or do - whenever they want you to? One dictionary definition of a tool is: “a means or instrument.” Words, as symbols, are tools. A physical tool is an extension of an organic body's abilities; symbols are tools of the imagination, extensions of ideas. For thousands of years it was believed only humans made tools, but observations have confirmed other animals make tools to accomplish their wants and needs. Humans, with more wants, needs, and more solution-driven complex imag

An "Earthquake" in My Faith

By Srdjan ~ F irstly, excuse me for my bad English, I am citizen of an ex-communist country. My name is Srdjan (derived from greek Sergios, meaning Saint from Hyos) and surname Michailovic (like famous writer Fyodor Michailovic Dostoevsky, looooool..) During my school years atheism was imposed to us pupils. I thought that humankind during thousands of years believed in God, and that my teachers must be wrong, that they cannot be smarter than many previous generations which believed in Christ, so I started to read and study Bible daily, and regularly attend orthodox Church (at least twice a week). I had met many interesting people there, and we all thought that we were right and the rest of the world was wrong. All we hated atheism, and communists (in spite of evangelical "love your enemies") for their imposing dialectical materialism and evolution as final truth that must be learned in school as "scientific" worldview. For my opposition to majority in school

Are you willing to use your personal BS detector on your own holy book?

By John Draper ~ T he most incredulous person in the world is a fundamentalist who is reading someone else’s holy book. Suddenly, they can smell subterfuge a mile away. But point out something ridiculous about their holy book—and watch the fur fly. Obvious discrepancies are “apparent” discrepancies. Any “apparent discrepancy” a True Believer can’t resolve is an “unsolved mystery.” We’ll just have to ask God about that when we get to heaven. Everybody seems to have a personal bullshit detector, which they’re eager to use on all holy texts except their own. I discovered this truth when I was researching my first novel, which is about a Mormon missionary who goes insane on his mission. I read more books about Mormonism than you can shake a stick at it. How can people believe this crap? Then I read the Book of Mormon itself. Here’s the Book of Mormon in 79 words: It was Jews who populated North America, coming over first in wooden submarines. The good Jews were “white and delig

An atheist obeys 1 Peter 3:15

By Thin-ice ~ (Prelude: I was a Bible school grad, a missionary in Europe, and de-converted about 8 years ago, after 46 years as an evangelical, born-again Christian. I have posted my original de-conversion story, and 3 or 4 subsequent updates, here on, first under the name "Portland Guy", and then under "Thin-Ice". Here's another small episode, that I experienced today.) T oday I was on the Portland streetcar, when I saw a young fellow near me, wearing a t-shirt with the name of a small rural high school near where I grew up in Spokane, WA. He was also writing in a journal which had a cover with an embossed Bible verse reference. I decided not to talk to him, seeing that we had different worldviews. But my curiosity got the best of me: maybe we knew people in common in that rural community. So I asked if he went to school there, and I mentioned the name of the church I grew up in, thinking he might even have attended there. But he didn&

A letter about leaving Christianity in mid-life

By Susan ~ This is a letter I sent to my loved ones that have been concerned about me... H i Family and Friends:) Many of you have been interested/concerned/curious about my recent stepping away from the church/christianity, and I wanted to take some time to share my heart so you can better understand my decision. First off, thank you so much for loving me. It has been a long journey.   I once was a wide-eyed, the-world-is-my-oyster-as- long-as-I-love-Jesus kind of a girl.  I was unwavering in my faith and wanted nothing more than to live my life well, pure from pretty much anything of ‘the world’.  I was the girl that my friends would apologize to after swearing.  I felt  SO  guilty after drinking beer in Jen Carter’s basement in Grade 8 that I promised God I would never go to a party again.  I was always trying to bring other teens to youth group or a DC Talk (Kevin Max tho'....such a dreamboat...) or Micheal W. Smith (less hairspray and tanning cream please!) c