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Showing posts from December, 2022

My Journey Out of Christianity

By G.M. Gates ~ I t was the spring of 2003. I had broken up with my then girlfriend for what was, probably, the fifth or sixth time in the span of a year. The cause of the break up wasn't incompatibility, or even trivial matters. It was Evangelical Christianity. I had been part of various Charismatic/Pentecostal ministries throughout my mid to late teens. When I was 15, I saw a man preach who claimed to receive messages from God for random people seated in the congregation. This is what's called the Word of Knowledge in Charismatic churches. Being that I had been raised Baptist, this experience was completely new. And when the preacher spoke these messages, people would often become overwhelmed with emotion. I went forward to become born again. A few days later, I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues. The next six years of my life would be a roller coaster of emotions. I would take the Great Commission literally. I would preac

Call for Research Participants:

M y name is Ines W. Jindra, and I am an assistant professor of Social Work at Idaho State University. We are conducting a study that examines the biographies of those leaving various Christian churches, and the process by which it happens. The study also includes questions about the consequences on people’s sense of identity, well-being, on their relationships, their relationship to specific rules within the Christian churches, and on coping mechanisms that arise from the difficulties that this process might entail. This research will be valuable in helping us understand the differences between people who stay and those who leave a specific church. We are interested in talking to people who are willing to share their experiences with us about this topic. Participation in this research study will take approximately one hour to maximum an hour and a half. Interviews will be conducted in person or via zoom, depending on your personal preference and location. Your information will be ke

May Be My Last Words. The DIY Obit.

By Carl S ~ W izened Sage and I entertained the idea of writing our own obituaries. We don't want others taking advantage of our deaths to impose their superstitious absurdities. We don't want people assuming we were believers. What led me to bring up this subject? Got a letter from a true radical believer I've corresponded with over the years. Referring to something I mentioned in three letters, he writes, "You can believe what you want to, just as I do, although you can change your mind any time at all." So I wrote back, "You too." I wrote about asking a pastor, "If I am a good moral person, but don't believe, can I get into Heaven?" His answer was immediately, "Yes." I asked my wife's pastor the same question. His answer, after a long silence, was "No." When I told my wife about her pastor's answer, she said, "WELL, THAT'S HIS OPINION." I envy her ability to sum up things so fast. This guy

A God So Unloved the World

By Carl S ~ I f you've watched videos of police interrogating suspects, you'll understand. Sometimes there's a time of relief for both questioner and suspect. It's when the cop reaches a point where he can safely say, "Quit the bullshit, okay? You and I know you did it." And the perpetrator begins to unburden. That's the kind of relief, of liberation, we need more of. Curiously, I revisited a biblical text you won't find discussed in bible teaching classes, ever. There's an interesting site, Bible Gateway, to find texts merely by punching up book, chapter, and verse. So let's approach the texts with the maxim of the British Royal Society: "Take no man's word for it." Here we go. Bible Gateway's "Genesis 8, v. 21, in all English translations." (I counted 54 on the same text, and suggest reading all of them.) Of course, they each say the same things in their own way. Number One: The Lord says, in his mind or ve