Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 5

I remember one day as I was sitting in church our pastor made the suggestion that we all read the bible in its entirety at least once in our lifetime; the purpose of it was so that we as Christians can see Gods plans as they unfolded throughout time. I took this challenge on very seriously, and when I finally got around to doing it what I discovered shocked me. I believed in a god who was our creator, who loved us intensely, who took care of us, that guided us in the spirit as well as in our everyday lives, but that was not the god I found in the bible. The O.T. God was cruel and evil in so many ways, he was unforgiving and even tyrannical. It even said in Genesis 6: 6-7 'And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.' (KJV)

Upon learning about this and other cruelties that the Lord of the O.T. had perpetrated against mankind I began to have questions as to his judgment, I found this biblical deity to be more and more evil as opposed to the benevolent God I thought I worshiped. Then in the N.T. I discovered that he had changed his attitude and his tone, but at the same time the evil was even greater, for the O.T. God just smote you dead and that was it but this N.T. God was not content with just taking your life. This God wanted you to suffer eternally in a place called the lake of fire or hell Matthew 10:28. And what was the crime? The crime was for simply not believing or accepting his sacrificing of himself or his son on the cross. So no matter what kind of life you lived whether you kept the ten commandments to the best of your ability and helped out those in need, according to this deity you were hell bound no matter what. The only way out was to submit your will to his and accept his sacrifice as the only true way to salvation.

The second thing that made me doubt the existence of God was the miraculous aspects of the ministry. I was sitting at home one day watching a documentary on world religions and I came across a ritual that was practiced in India where these young girls did a dance supposedly under the influence of a spirit of a snake. It looked a lot like Christians who were supposedly dancing under the influence of the Holy Spirit. I began to wonder if it was all mental, if there was some kind of correlation between hypnosis and what I was seeing and experiencing in the church myself. I began to read books on therapeutic hypnosis and also its counterpart the entertainment version of hypnosis, I discovered that many of the methods hypnotists use on their patients or participants were the same as the ones used in the church. You had the loud music, the inspirational preaching, the hyped up emotions, and auto suggestion. When a preacher told a congregation that the Spirit of the Lord was about to be unleashed in a wave of blessings upon the congregation and he did a countdown the entire congregation would go into a frenzy. Speaking in tongues, passing out, dancing in the Spirit etc. would all happen at once, I must admit that I was genuinely afraid for the way I was thinking because I did not want to commit the ultimate sin of blaspheming of the Holy Spirit which Jesus said was the only unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:31.

I kept praying to God to show me a sign that my way of thinking was not wrong and that he would guide me in this venture to find out the truth, and ironically I came across a book written by a minister that at the time I felt I could have written myself. It was a book entitled 'Charismatic Chaos' by John MacArthur once I saw this book on the shelf at my christian book store the very title blew me away and spoke volumes to me. I read the cover and decided to buy the book, what I read in there confirmed all of my thoughts and emotions regarding the so called gifts of the spirit and its manifestation in the church. I was so impressed with this book that I wrote its author and he replied about a month later with a list of churches he was affiliated with in my area, I never attended any of those churches. I took it as a sign from God that I had to seek another church that did not emphasize the gifts of the spirit. I began doubting myself and my ministry and could not go on preaching one thing and believing another so I kept it up for a little longer and then I changed to another church.

There was one more thing that happened to me in the church that ultimately was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I was so angry that I left the church once and for all and it has now been 16 years and I have never gone back nor do I feel the need to do so. I honestly feel sorry for those that are still trapped in the delusion that is the belief in God, miracles, and the holy spirit.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 4

It was about 1985 when I back slid from the church and my Christian ways, I had been in the church for about a year in a half. At the same time it was a tough year in a half for me personally, so much so that I found it impossible to serve God and deal with my personal issues all at once. I had made an oath to myself in those days that if I can't serve the Lord one hundred percent then I would not serve him at all. It would not be until 1990 till I came back to the ways of God and began to serve him and returned to the church once again on a mission and on fire for God.

I had gone to the Park one afternoon a few blocks away from my house and all of a sudden this van pulls up. Out came the Spanish Pentecostals with mics and speakers etc. and within a few minutes of their arrival they were preaching and those that came along were handing out bible tracts to everyone around. I sat there and listened to the evangelist preach his message and when he made the altar call I responded but my only intention was to receive some prayer. Then as he prayed for me he stopped and told me that God had revealed to him that he wanted me to accept him then and there and that I should testify. I did as I was told and then after the street service was over the evangelist invited me to their next church service.

That day I arrived home from that service and told my mother that I had accepted the Lord back into my life and that I would be attending church very soon. I went straight to the garbage can and reached into my pocket and pulled out the pack of cigarettes I had there and tossed them in the can. As I did so I recall saying to myself : "If I am going to serve the Lord, it's all or nothing". With those words began my second foray into the search for holiness and divine guidance into whatever it was that I believed God called me for. I began once again to pray fervently and constantly seeking the presence of the Lord. I delved into the scriptures daily, seeking guidance and answers to my own situation; things that spoke to my heart and at the same time seemed to speak to me directly.

I began attending church and that same evangelist that found me in the park became my closest friend and ally in the church. It wasn't long before he invited me to partake with him in his street ministry which he conducted every weekend without fail. We would preach in two different sections of Brooklyn, NY on Saturdays and Sundays looking for the lost souls of the world and hoping to lead them into the light of Christ. It also wasn't long before I was back at it casting out demons and praying for the sick and watching people pass out to my own amazement just by a mere touch of my hand or stare. I had matured this time much more than when I was in high school so I was a much more effective evangelist my second time around.

Within a year I was already preaching in many Spanish churches in the community, and often would get invites to partake in outdoor tent revivals. Sometimes I preached or when my partner in the ministry preached in Spanish I would serve as his interpreter in English. With our combined efforts we were bringing in new church members every week and our congregation began to grow quite fast. I went on like this for about 3 years and then came two events that became the turning point in my life that led me to once again doubt the veracity of scripture and even the very existence of God! On my next post I will go into this in depth so I will see you all then.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 3

As a member of the 'New Testament Church' I quickly began to rise up in the ranks as one of the congregations most spiritually gifted and talented youths. I joined the youth association of that church and I remember that every Wednesday we would meet up and go witnessing for at least four hours handing out tracts and ministering to the public. In essence we were out proselytizing, but the goal at least for me was not just to bring more people into the church but rather to lead as many souls to salvation as I could.

During this time I had one particularly touching experience that stays with me to this day. I was out witnessing with a group of youths one evening and they were running down the street handing out tracts to anyone that would accept them. I noticed that they had ran by a homeless man that was sleeping propped up against the side of a building, I caught up to them and asked them why they had passed him by. One of them said "because he's a bum", I rebuked him on the spot and told him that he was not a bum, in fact he was another of gods creatures just like ourselves.

I went over to him and tapped him on the shoulder till he woke up and I simply said as I held out a bible tract to him; "Jesus loves you". This mans response touched me more than any other in all my days in the ministry. He stood up and immediately rivers of tears came pouring down his face as he grabbed me and hugged me. He told me that no one cared for him or even bothered to say a word to him, he was very grateful and I led him to our church to be fed and to see if we could find him some help.

The most heart rending experience I had in the church was when Micheal had back slid and left the ways of the Lord. Since he was the one that got me on this path of righteousness and salvation it hurt me gravely. I tried everything to get him to reconsider coming back, but he was overwhelmed with guilt because he had fornicated with another young lady. To my knowledge he never recovered from that.

It wasn't long before I was praying for the sick and casting out demons and utilizing all of the so called gifts of the Spirit in my personal ministry. But within a year I had backslid myself. I think it was the cumulative pressures at home and some issues I had in my head that pretty much kept me up at night. I can't to this day pinpoint on this particular occasion why I backslid, but my fall was as hard as my rise. And although I left the church I did not lose my respect and fear of God, I was just not ready to come back for a long time. When I did return it was the last time I did and the first time I declared myself an atheist and rejected God completely. More on this in my next post.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 2

The church that my friend Michael had taken me to was called 'The New Testament Church' and I immediately took a liking to it, the people were of various ethnic backgrounds and cultures and they were all in all very warm and friendly. My first day there was when I met what at the time I thought was the most amazing man I have ever met, his name was brother Carland and he was the pastor of the church. This man lived, ate, and slept Jesus and it was quite evident to anyone who met him that he was completely devoted to his church and his ministry. I remember on those nights when I would miss service he would either call me the next day or show up by surprise to see why I had not attended the service of the previous evening. Another thing he did was that if you were having troubles at home it did not matter what day or time you called him he would go out of his way to come see you and pray with you and your family if necessary.

I recall that about the second week of my attending that church there was one particular night when the Holy Spirit seem to be overflowing and God seemed to be pouring out his Spirit and gifts to those that did not previously have them. The church was in literal pandemonium as people danced in the Spirit, spoke new tongues for the first time, received new gifts from the Lord, and those that were bound by dark forces were apparently being set free in masses. The pastor called me up to the altar and said to me that God had told him that I was going to be used greatly and that I would be a powerhouse for the Lord and that God wanted him to baptize me that very night! After the service they took me upstairs to the "faith home" this is where all the senior ministers that were single lived along with the pastor, they brought a couple of witnesses from the service and they filled a bath tub with water and baptized me on the spot! I remember that when I ascended towards the surface of the water and broke through I felt like I was floating on air. I was euphoric for about two hours and could not stop speaking in tongues for about one hour, I was allowed to spend that night but I could not sleep. I spent the night silently praying and praising the Lord for all the blessings I had received on that night.

After that series of events I began to have a recurring dream that often came as I was between half awake and half asleep and my mind at these times could not differentiate from what was real and what was imaginary. I dreamed that I saw Jesus floating down into my room and he always appeared with snakes at his feet, I asked him what should I do? And he said "rebuke them in my name" and when I did they would always disappear. During those days I prayed and fasted often and was completely devoted to being as useful to the Lord as I could possibly be. I also had dreams where I saw myself ascending to heaven and every time I had this dream I was moving higher and higher than on the previous dreams. I began to experience new things spiritually and it was not long before I was displaying new gifts of the spirit in my own evangelical ministry. The new gifts came in the following order: first was the gifts of diverse tongues, the gift of faith, the gift of discerning of spirits, and finally the gift of prophecy. I was still a very young Christian and was growing at a fast pace. I was as fanatical as you can imagine, I knew most of the bible by rote and took it quite literally. By this time I had learned what I termed "power scriptures" that reaffirmed a believers authority in Christ. I employed the bible verses in the many exorcisms I performed during the early part of my ministry.

Our exorcisms were quite different from the practice of the Catholics, we believed in using the spoken word in an authoritative manner and employing the bible verses as the sword of the Spirit as commanded in the scriptures. I personally was on a mission to duplicate or if even possible supersede the miracles that supposedly took place in the New Testament. I followed Ephesians 6: 10-20 literally in my ministry and it always seemed to work. This was the first time I was in church because after about two years I back slid into apostasy, but even then I retained my fear of the Lord and he was as real to me then as when I was devoted to his cause.

From Christian to Atheist Pt. 1 Introduction

This is going to be a narrative in my own words of how I went from being a Pentecostal evangelist to an atheist. This time I plan to tell my whole story and the road that I traveled both in a literal and a spiritual sense to get to where I am now. I think this is going to take several posts so I will break this up into parts that at this time I don't know how many or how few those parts will be comprised of. Every day or sometimes every other day I will post a new part to this story so come back often. In this first post I will try to give you a little background as to where I am from and what sort of family values and upbringing I was exposed to. Then I will go into how I played my first active role in becoming a Christian and where that led me, so let's get started.

I am of Puerto Rican descent, both my parents are natives of the island of Puerto Rico but I was born here in Brooklyn, N.Y. If you are not familiar with the hispanic culture one thing that does stand out is that it is rich with religious beliefs of all sorts, and even has lots of superstitious beliefs combined. I did not meet my father till I was about age 18 so basically my mother brought me up for most of my childhood, earlier than that I was in foster care. One of the things my mother always instilled in me was that the Pentecostal church was the true church of God and that all the other churches failed on many fronts. Although my mother never was a practicing Christian and knew very little about the bible her beliefs were taught to her as they were to me. As I grew older every once in awhile a neighbor friend of my mother would take me to church with her and she was the one that actually exposed me to the Pentecostal belief system, previous to that while I was in foster care I was brought up a Catholic and was in Catholic school and even baptized Catholic as a child!

As a child I found Catholicism rather boring with all of its ceremonies and readings performed during mass, the one thing I hated most was all of that standing up then sitting down then standing up then kneeling down over and over again. I did not like calling the priest father nor did I enjoy confessing my personal sins to another mortal such as myself. It wasn't till about 1984 in ninth grade when I met a young student at school by the name of Michael, he used to troll the lunch room, the hallways, and all the areas of the school handing out bible tracts and preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen. It did not take much to get me to listen since I had already been told about God as a child. Even though my mom never went to church I got my share of "God bless you, thank God, Lord protect my child prayers to last me a lifetime. I had been preconditioned since an early age to be receptive to God and the bible; his so called divinely inspired word.

The very first day I met Michael I was in the cafeteria eating alone as I tended to do often, and he asked if he could sit with me and I said yes. When he sat down he hands me a bible tract and begins to tell me about the bible, Jesus and all the wonderful things that I have available to me if I simply accept him as Lord and savior of my life. As he spoke he quoted numerous passages from his bible which he actually let me read as he explained them to me. I was reluctant at first but then I gave in, he prayed for me right then and there and I accepted Jesus into my life. That same day I got to see my first example of glossolalia (speaking in tongues) when he approached some guys in the staircase on his way to class. I was headed in the same direction so I tagged along. The guys immediately began to mock him when he tried to offer them a bible tract and he suddenly went ballistic, he began speaking in tongues quite loudly and literally chased them all down the staircase and they ran like scalded dogs in fear. I must say that witnessing this event left me awe struck and inspired a desire in me to want to have this power/gift of God myself, this was my first inspiration to seek out the Lord with a deeper commitment than ever before.

Michael had told me that that was nothing that if we were chosen by God that some of us were chosen for greater things and that we would have many other spiritual gifts that would be necessary to carry out whatever plan or mission God had for us. That same week I met Michael at his church which ironically was about five blocks from my house, it was an amazing service and I got to see what I believed was God's power in full swing. I saw many speaking in tongues, some prophesied, others danced under the power of the Holy Spirit, and others were slain in the Spirit as I watched in awe. I saw the pastor ministering to those that lined up at the altar and with the slightest touch of his hand they would either go limp or stiff as a board and pass out! My prayer from that day forward was that God would give me all the gifts of the Spirit and use me greatly in his service. Michael was the biggest influence and support I had in my church to seek and enter into a deeper relationship with God through Christ.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The bible fills a void

Previously in one of my earlier posts I said that believers of any religion were literally blinded by faith, I even stated that the reason they could not see reason was because they were seeing through the lens of faith. Faith in and of itself is blind, it does not require logic nor reason but rather just complete acceptance of the concepts and ideas presented to you. It's ironic that in Mark 10:15:
15"Truly I say to you, (A)whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." (New American Standard Bible)
The other translations pretty much say the same thing. The irony is that a child is young and as we like to say his/her mind is like a sponge, they learn quickly and pretty much will believe anything. Most kids if taught at an early age will believe in Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, etc. etc. Adults are asked to go back to that child like faith, to accept the absurd tales of the bible with meekness.

Mankind have always created mythological tales to explain things they could not in their time comprehend history teaches us these things, most or even all cultures have some form of religion whether it's the worship of one or many deities, the worship of nature, the stars, the sun, etc.etc. Christianity is not the exception to the rule it is in my opinion just one more of the many inventions of mankind to explain or in this case to foster the hope of eternal life where there would be no more pain nor sorrow. Christianity talks of redemption with its deity of choice and with its believers obtaining a place with this deity in a future life after this present life. Man has always been searching for the so called fountain of youth, they are seeking the means to defeat death and live forever. Science does not provide that for them nor can ever provide that in the sense that not only will you live forever but you will get to see loved ones that have passed away before you once again.

Only through the eyes of faith can you or anyone accept the belief in a mythical man being born of a virgin, rising from the dead after three days in the tomb, ascending to heaven with the hopes of him coming back sometime in the near future. It's even more incredible that it's been over 2,000 years and although he has yet to come floating back down to Earth in a cloud of glory that he even still has a following as large as he does. Apparently the only thing faith does is provide false hopes in a false doctrine based on a deity that does not nor has ever existed. Looking at Christianity or any religion involving deities from the outside looking in it is not hard to see how preposterous these beliefs really are. Apologists work hard to try to rationalize that nonsense that is religious beliefs and practices, here is a question for my theist friends; what is the difference between believing in the power of a rabbits foot and believing in the power of the cross for example? I see no difference, they are both a talisman with alleged power in the one case to attract luck and in the other to keep God near to your heart, some believe that wearing a crucifix will keep them safe and that God will watch over them a little more intently if they do so.

There is no rationality in religious beliefs, they require you to suspend your reason despite how unreasonable the claims of your beliefs may be. The bible makes many promises that fill those longings of man. Eternal life, live in peace, see loved ones from your past, etc. The bible basically fills a void in man that is not due to his longing for God but for his longing to live all those things that the bible promises to those that are faithful. Although these promises are completely fictitious and false people continue to hope beyond reason and all logic. Knowing all of the things I know now about religions I could never go back to worshiping God, I feel that those beliefs are from a more primitive age and mindset. I have no bitterness towards this fictional god, I just cannot stand to hear otherwise rational people trying to make sense of nonsense.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Free will? Really?

One of the things I find funny about Christianity is their so called claim that man has free will. But I have to question this so called free will based on my understanding of it. Man since his "creation" was given free will to enable him to choose between obeying God his creator or rebelling against him by not subjecting yourself to his will. From a secular perspective free will means to me that you basically can do with your life what you wish.

Of course I believe that certain things in life have consequences that can be detrimental to you in the future, but just living a good and decent life should not be one of those things that should warrant punishment. The bible teaches that mankind is sinful and always drawn to those things that are evil and away from those things that are good. Romans 3:23 states that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

This is not true free will because it is linked to your obeying and living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. It's more like conditional will because you don't have many choices. And the wrong choice, in this case living your life your way will result in you being condemned eternally. For this cruel imaginary God the only way to guarantee yourself a place in his heaven is if you agree to stroke is over bloated ego.

If you live a good life and never do anyone any harm according to the bible you will still earn yourself a place in hell because you did not waste your life stroking God's ego. He loves it when you tell him how great he is and remind him how powerful and merciful he is. So by rejecting a belief in God you offend him so greatly that he needs to punish you forever. Ephesians 2:8,9 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The Christian idea of free will is a joke and not even real free will, once again the bible is a lie. The only way to salvation is to accept Jesus as your lord and savior and to then try to live a life that is pleasing to God, and don't forget to pray daily and tell him what a great and wonderful God he really is because if you don't blow smoke up his ass and show him some gratitude for saving you you might make him angry.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Several reasons why Christ did not exist a cumulative argument

Several reasons why I don't believe in an historical Jesus

1. Considering how great he was supposed to have been there is no known image of Jesus that was made during his lifetime, no drawings, paintings, nor busts etc. the earliest known image of Jesus is a fresco of the healing of the paralytic at Dura-Europos (c.230-40) Images of Christ

2. Considering the importance of his mission and message to the world Jesus never wrote down a single word about it. The gospel of John says that he on one occasion wrote with his finger on the ground, what did he write? Nobody knows nor cared to take note of it I guess it must not have been important. John 8:6 'This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.'

3. The fact that none of the many historians that lived during Christ's alleged lifetime and some even were present around the region where he is said to have walked and preached never bothered to utter a single word regarding Christ. http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jesus5.htm

4. The so called holy sites are all symbolic the church does not even know where the alleged tomb of Christ is located nor the actual location of the crucifixion.

5. There are no surviving relics that belonged to Jesus, not even a damn sandal! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relics_associated_with_Jesus

6. The earliest of the synoptic gospels (Mark) is dated at circa 70 A.D. approximately 40 years after the alleged death of Jesus. I think that given the amount of time between the alleged death of Jesus and the aging of the author (Mark) that his memory may be compromised as to what actually occurred. I know from experience that sometimes our memories tend to fail us or even exaggerate a past event when we try to describe it in detail.

7. There are also many similarities between the Christ myth and that of other ancient myths in the region that predated Christianity. The N.T. in my opinion just borrowed many of the ancient so called prophetic sayings of the O.T. and built their story as the fulfillment of those prophecies around a fictional deity; namely, Christ. Some christians argue that if Christ did not exist how can we account for the rise of Christianity etc. But many religions that predated Christianity arose based on fictional characters or deities so that argument fails to support the existence of Christ. In fact some scholars have gone on to say that the real founder of Christianity was Saul/Paul of Tarsus.

8. Relative to my first reason have you ever noticed that any religious person who claims to have seen Jesus, Buddha, the virgin Mary happen to see them exactly as they had imagined them based on what they have been taught that their deity of choice looks like? This indicates to me that these so called revelations and supernatural experiences are rather a psycho-emotional experience instead. Even if those experiences appear to be life changing for the individual who claims to have experienced them.

9. The gospels don't seem to agree as to certain key events that happened during Christ's alleged death, burial, and resurrection. Let's take a quick look as to what the synoptic gospels say about the death of Jesus and what occurred. Comparing Matthew 27:45,51-53 Mark 15:38 and Luke 23:44 we will see huge inconsistencies. They all agree that the temple veil was split in two right down the middle upon Jesus death except that in Luke's version this happened immediately before Jesus uttered his last words and expired. Matthew and Luke must have been high on mushrooms when they wrote that there was a solar eclipse that lasted approximately from the sixth hour to the ninth hour. Generally a solar eclipse from start to finish would last a couple of hours but when the moon obscures the sun completely this only lasts a couple of minutes. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=318 Matthew is the only one of the authors who takes it one step further by adding an earthquake and many accompanying resurrections of the dead who were supposedly seen in the holy city by many. Yet no one who saw any of this was shocked or curious enough to want to write it down outside of the biblical authors whose gospels were originally presented as anonymous works till at least the middle of the 2nd century.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Christianity is a superstition

What is indoctrination and how is this relevant to the teachings of religious beliefs or other superstitions? Let's first begin by defining indoctrination in its proper context as is relative to this post; according to wikipedia indoctrination is the following: Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine).[1] It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. In this definition there is one very vital word that sticks out and that is to inculcate, According to my sage dictionary it means: to teach and impress by frequent repetition and admonition.

Now let's put this into perspective as it applies to religious beliefs. As I stated in my previous post religious beliefs are taught, and not only are they taught they are passed down from generation to generation within a society. What is being taught? The former superstitions of ones ancient ancestors before they even understood what science was and how the world and particularly nature functioned. God was created in the imagination of a primitive mind with limited understanding and resources about the various phenomena of nature.

Roman and Greek mythology are the perfect examples of this premise in that their deities all were named for various functions of nature and human sentiments. Zeus was the god of lightning, Poseidon the god of the seas, Eros the god of love or cupid etc. There pretty much was a god representing every aspect of nature and human sentiments. Religious beliefs were all by definition superstitions according to the Webster dictionary: 1 a : a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2 : a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

Notice that in this definition two concepts stand out as being the result of superstitions; ignorance, and fear of the unknown. All religions that believe or rely upon deities to direct the affairs of men fall perfectly under the parameters of this definition. Christianity is no exception, those that the “truth” or the one and only revelation of God are just as deluded as their ancient ancestors that worshiped many gods. There is no difference Christianity is a religion that is not based on facts but on faith alone, there is no evidence for the existence of their God nor any evidence in any of the scientific disciplines to validate the fairy tales told in their so called holy and divinely inspired book.

Despite the fact that Christianity is nothing more than yet another superstition, its believers insists on its truths as facts. No amount of evidence is ever enough to satisfy the deluded mind of a believer, they will twist your words and use the many prescribed biblical responses to the absurdities of the bible. Despite the fact that the story of Christ is nothing new and that it has been proven to be prevalent in pre-christian myths they insist that those previous versions were “dupes of Satan” to mislead the faithful. They deprive themselves of enjoying their lives to the fullest in order to please him that they believed had called them to be his ministers to the world.

In summation basing myself on the various definitions given on superstition, I have come to conclude that all religions regardless of origin are superstitions. They are taught and impressed upon you from an early age as facts, they are repeated and passed down from generation to generation, they do not rely on reason but rather on the concept of faith which is not in and of itself a reliable source of knowledge.

There is no valid way of proving the existence of Jesus since he conveniently ascended back to heaven leaving no trace of his existence here on Earth. The sooner you realize that religion is nothing but superstition the sooner mankind can move forward and continue to progress.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Religious beliefs are learned

Recently I was reminded by a friend of my daughters something very fundamental to religious beliefs. I have always said that religious beliefs are mythological in nature and then that they are later translated into tradition. Through the transference of these beliefs from generation to generation within a society it becomes the norm to believe in what everyone else in your society accepts as true. Lest you find yourself an outsider or an outcast within your own community.

My daughters friend is a thirteen year old girl as is my youngest and we were talking about some tee shirts that we were interested in buying so I mentioned two of my favorites that I was going to purchase in the near future. One of the shirts says: There is not god damn god god dammit! And the other says: God is fake. The girls reply to this was a simple nod of the head and the words “ you are crazy” lol.

Here is a thirteen year old girl whose mom never goes to church but talks about how much she believes in God though she is not a practicing christian. In fact she drinks heavily and does drugs and has several relationships with at least two men at once. Of course one man does not know about the existence of the other.

Society in general; especially our society has espoused the christian faith and has incorporated it into our government although in a very subtle manner. Our presidents talk about God he is in our court rooms, on our currency, and even in our pledge of allegiance! The church has been trying to force the teaching creationism/intelligent design alongside that of evolution in our public schools. The growth of christianity is not due to any divine guidance at all.

It is traditions that help build a society and once the society is built its traditions and beliefs grow with it. In the case of Christianity this tradition once it was established through the help of the Roman government and through bloodshed and the edge of the sword it became a tradition as well. This tradition was and continues to be passed down from generation to generation that is why you don't need evidence to prove the veracity of Christianity. It's survival relies entirely on being passed on from one age to another.

I personally know of many people who claim to be christians and who state that they have God in their hearts and love him etc. But their personal lives are very different from what the biblical God requires, in fact I dare say that they themselves don't even know what God requires and have hardly ever read a bible in their lives. They know nothing of the origins of the gospels, who wrote them, where they came from, nor what is contained between its covers.

I have asked some of them why they believe what they do and I have gotten some very strange answers. All of the answers I have encountered are based on what they have been taught at home and even their so called experiences are entirely subjective and influenced by their beliefs. Have you ever noticed how people say that they have seen Christ in a vision he usually looks just like the modern day depictions of him? The long hair, moustache, beard, and white robe? The funny thing is that no one ever knew what he looked like. During his lifetime no one thought to sketch him or make a crude painting etc. This is evident here: http://www.religionfacts.com/jesus/image_gallery.htm

This just goes to show that you believe what you are taught and the experiences that you have follow those patterns. To you Jesus may look like the traditional pictures of him depict but to someone else he may look like Ronald McDonald if that is what his culture taught him to believe.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I am not angry at God!

One of the most annoying accusations that theists make against atheists is that we  are "angry at God", I personally find this accusation to be the most idiotic of any of the many senseless accusations they make. In this post I will try to articulate in words why I am an atheist and why I fight theism as I do in the simplest way possible. As many of you know I used to be a Pentecostal evangelist and as a result of my religious beliefs I was an extreme fundamentalist as well. I prayed for hours at a time, I fasted before every preaching engagement for three days, I laid hands on the sick and cast out so called demons from many. At the time I believed that I was able to do all these things through the power of the Holy Spirit which I was sure lived within me and worked through me. The people I ministered to testified of their supposed miracles that they received through my ministry and many were "saved".

When I met my current wife I was still in the ministry and I had met her through another friend from my church, she was his sister. We started a nice, simple, romantic relationship  with no sex involved. Later into the relationship I left my church and began visiting her church but faced alot of discrimination on the part of her pastor who did not believe in the charismatic aspects of the Pentecostals. His church believed that the age of miracles had passed and that they were only used to establish the early church but that once that was accomplished they were no longer needed. He kept me from the pulpit and never let me preach and the one time that he did was when the church was going out to visit another church. He left me to preach to the youth group of the church and left about two elders behind, I preached and prayed for them and we all had a good time. But this discrimination was slowly dwindling my faith as well, it even spilled out into the relationship because at the same time I was in a battle with my wife's meddling mother who was always interrupting every aspect of our relationship. Before all of this I had already read the bible in its entirety and had a million questions on my mind as to why the God of the O.T. was so evil and vicious.

I have never bowed down nor backed down to anyone and have always been defiant, I don't take kindly to dictatorships nor authorities that would try to impose themselves on my way of life. I personally feel that everyone can live a happy and fruitful life as long as what we do does not harm anyone nor anything, I am pro-choice because I believe that a woman has the right to do with her body as she wishes. I am for gay marriage because I don't think anyone has a right to tell you who you should love and go to bed with as long as they are both of legal age and not a relative. I hate drugs but hey if that is what you want to do with you life then have at it, everyone chooses and makes his own path in this life and no one has the right to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. In some cases I do shun drug use, for instance when it leads the user to commit crimes in order to support his/her drug habit, in those cases they are harming thier fellow man and society as a whole.

When I began to rebel against God and began to shun my personal beliefs my main motives were because I did not like what I read in the scriptures when I read the book in its entirety, and I was literally ashamed of the history of the church whose beliefs I at that time espoused wholeheartedly.  Then I began reading books on comparative religion and realized that Christianity is nothing more than a conglomeration of plagiarized pre-christian myths. The first thing I did was to burn my bible as a sign of rebellion and to cut myself off from God and Christianity. I admit that I was angry at God when I first left the religion but those motives changes when I officially declared myself an atheist, this happened about three years after I left the church. I still had "the fear of the Lord" to deal with and it took me that long to get pass that.

It's been fifteen years since then and I now have lost all the remnants of religious belief and fear purged from me. I see religion for what it one of many myths that have existed throughout many cultures and since the dawn of mankind. I am not angry at God but rather at his followers who have since the foundation of the church tried to impede the progress of man on many fronts. The growth of scientific discovery was stunted due to the death penalty imposed by the church to any and all who opposed their teachings and beliefs.  The church was not founded by God or the Holy Spirit but rather by the blood of the many lives they have taken through many years of tyranny and terror that they imposed upon the societies that they have encountered. I fight against Christianity when its followers try to force themselves on our society as a whole through the influencing of politics, politicians and legislators. They try to make their dogma state and federal laws in our country through their own brand of dirty politics. God does not exist therefore I am not angry at him and to fight against him would be to fight against nothing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Christianity: An irrational superstition

Theologians and religious apologists like to pride themselves on the use of "reason" when it comes to determining the so called truths of their beliefs, but are they really being reasonable or logical? Let us start by defining both of these terms in the sense in which they are usually used in philosophical circles of learning. All these definitions are from wikipedia since they seem to be more thoroughly explicated there rather than just getting some quick general definition from a traditional dictionary. Let us start with reason: 'Reason is a mental faculty found in humans, that is able to generate conclusions from assumptions or premises. In other words, it is amongst other things the means by which rational beings propose (specific) reasons, or explanations of cause and effect. Reasoning  as a process takes proposed explanations for considering, contrasting, or fitting them together in order to determine which beliefs, actions or attitudes are the best.'

Now let's see what is the best definition of logic: 'Logic (from the Greek λογική logikē)[1] is the study of reasoning. Logic examines general forms which arguments may take, which forms are valid, and which are fallacies.' Basing ourselves on these two definitions for logic and reason let us try to use these principles in a general manner of course, since putting forth a  logical argument can be a long and in my opinion tedious and fruitless endeavor towards analyzing current Christian expectations. My first question is this: Is it logical to believe that a man who allegedly lived and died around 2,000 years ago has risen from the dead and will return to Earth in some undetermined time in our future? My second question is: Is it logical to believe that anyone having been clinically dead for three days can somehow come back to life? Does it seem more logical to believe that the stories of the N.T. were fabricated to appear to be an extension of the O.T. using prophecies taken out of context to formulate a belief system with both political and societal control purposes?

Wiki states: 'Death is the termination of the biological functions that define a living organism.' One of the key components to life are our cells, so let's take a moment to define cellular death: 'An irreversible process of deterioration in the body's systems and organs. The breakdown of these processes, the sum of which is life, causes a loss of organic functions or death.' Notice the word irreversible which means once this process has begun it can't be undone or remedied. So my dear good Christian fellow please tell me how your precious savior managed to come back to life after being dead three days when rigor morits begins to set in generally about 3 hours after death? After the process of rigor mortis ends the process of decomposition follows. Here is a short article on what happens to the body when you die: http://australianmuseum.net.au/Decomposition-Body-Changes.

Now based on these facts regarding death and the definitions regarding logic and reason I pose my questions again: Is it logical or reasonable to believe that after one has died that he can rise up from the dead after three days and is even expected to come back at some undetermined time in our future over 2,000 years after his alleged death? From a logical standpoint all of these assumptions are outright absurd to believe in and accept as facts without stretching the imagination beyond its normal range of thought. Faith enables a Christian or any believer of any religion to believe the most absurd assumptions as facts, which in and of themselves are both illogical and unreasonable, in fact it would be safe to say that normally anyone who believed in such absurdities is worthy of a stay at a qualified mental institution under normal conditions.

Now to answer my last question I think and personally believe that the N.T. was fabricated, that Jesus did not exist, and that the stories therein were formulated by plagiarizing much of the O.T. and reinterpreting it in such a way as to allow for it to be remolded into a new theology and belief system. Christianity has come up with many ways to make up for the obvious discrepancies in interpretation between the O.T and the N.T. and in doing so have created a system of belief that encompasses both political and societal affairs.Together these two elements are used to obtain absolute power and control over the masses and helped them to gain worldwide dominance through the uses of the ignorance of the populace via fear and superstition. In order to believe and accept the Christian doctrines or any doctrine for that matter you must step out of the realm of logic and reason and into the realm of superstition.

Lets end this post by defining superstition and then you can judge for yourself where you stand:1.  An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. 2. A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance. A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality. http://www.answers.com/topic/superstition

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Concieved by the Holy Ghost

There are so many elements of the christian stories as narrated in the New Testament that I have a great problem with, but there is one in particular that is outright contradictory. The story of Mary and Joseph the parents of Jesus otherwise referred to as the doctrine of the virgin birth which by Jewish laws and traditions does not make any sense at all. The N.T. makes reference many times to the mosaic laws making it quite obvious that at the time of the alleged birth of Jesus those laws were still practiced and binding amongst the Jewish community. Deuteronomy 22:23,24 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;24Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. According to this text Mary would have faced the grave danger of being accused of adultery and would be subject to death by stoning.

Matthew tries very hard to explain how Joseph was able to accept that although he did not have sexual intercourse with his wife she was pregnant with child in Matthew 1:18-23 by stating that the angel of the Lord had visited Joseph in a dream and told him that that child is of the Holy Ghost. So according to the story Matthew accepted this dream as an actual reality and accepted Mary as his wife. The N.T. is full of all these little workarounds to compensate for discrepancies regarding the mosaic laws and also regarding Hebrew traditions. A careful reading of these types of contradictions only raises my suspicions even more regarding the authenticity of the life and times of Jesus.

To me it just seems like someone or in this case the various authors involved in the composition of the synoptic gospels were working very hard to try and fix the many discrepancies that are present in the N.T. I have also heard an argument that states that when the bible refers to Mary as a virgin that the word virgin in the original Hebrew could also be translated as young woman. Here is an excerpt on this matter from wikipedia: 'The Gospel of Matthew presents the virgin birth of Jesus as fulfilling a prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which Matthew adapts to his purpose.[11]Hebrew has a specific word, betulah, for a virgin, and a more general word, `almah, for a young woman. Since `almah is the word used in the Hebrew text of Isaiah, some commentators have believed it at least possible that Isaiah had in mind only a normal conception by a young mother and that Matthew applied this text of Scripture to the birth of the one he believed to be Messiah, as John seems to have applied to his death another text of Scripture that in its original context referred to the Passover lamb.[12] Others believe that Isaiah was directly prophesying the future virgin birth of the Messiah.'

That being said; if it were in fact true then Mary was not a virgin in the traditional sense but rather as used in the Hebrew text from which it was stolen she was just a young woman. But if any one who calls themselves a Christian were to accept this explanation it would make the so called virgin birth doctrine null and void. Not only that but it would clearly contradict the meaning that the author of the gospel of Matthew wanted it to mean. Matthew 1:18 clearly said that she was found with child before her and Joseph had come together ( had sexual intercourse), and it would also mean that good old Matthew (who might not have even authored the book using his name) plagiarized and intentionally reinterpreted its meaning to suit his purposes. The main purpose was to espouse the doctrine of the virgin birth with the intent to mislead those who bought into his lies. This is one of many explanations for which I think that the Jews did not accept Jesus. Stating in any way that he was the literal son of God or even God in the flesh would have been outright blasphemous.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Christian relics

There are many reasons why I don't believe that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure, but on this post I will focus only on one;the lack of Christian artifacts related to Jesus. To date no one really knows where the alleged tomb of Christ is located the same goes for the actual site of the crucifixion. The sites that the Catholic church has established as the original sites are not based on archaeological evidence but are instead considered to be symbolic in nature. In all truth I think it was just an attempt although a very successful one at the church profiting from the gullibility of the many followers of the Christian faith.

Given the penchant that the Catholic church has had for collecting religious relics, it is hard to believe that they have nothing in their collection that actually belonged to Jesus. Despite the fact that there are no Roman records that even mention the alleged trial of Christ there are also no relics that have dated back to the time of Christ. I can already hear all the Christian clowns clamoring that this is not so, they love to bring up the Shroud of Turin, the ossuary that has inscribed on its side James the brother of Jesus, or even one of the latest finds which turned out to be a dud as well, the Jesus Family Tomb. The bible states that a rich man by the name of Joseph of Arimathaea asked for the body of Jesus of Pilate and was granted his request (Mark 15:43-46). He buried Jesus in a brand new tomb that was intended for himself and then he took the body and wrapped it in fine linen and laid it there. I find it hard to believe that the followers of Jesus did not try to preserve this tomb as a so called sacred place, even more incredible is the fact that no one thought to preserve the burial cloth and even hide it if necessary till Christianity gained its footing in the world.

The "true cross" is all but lost and so are the nails he was supposedly crucified with, not to mention the loin cloth which the bible states that the Roman soldiers cast lots on to see who would win it. Then there is the spear that pierced his side of which supposedly flowed blood and water, let's not forget the famous crown of thorns or the whip that was used to lash him with. For being such adoring followers none of them thought to preserve any of the above mentioned relics as proof to future generations of believers regarding the sufferings and finally the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Regardless of the fact that the church managed to hide many of the original books of the bible and even those too have been lost. Now all we have are copies of copies of copies.

What has happened to all of these relics? Well, they have all passed on to becoming nothing more than mythical lore, like unicorns and dragons. The burial cloth is that hoax from Turin, the spear has now been called the spear of destiny which was supposed to give great power to those that possess it, There are over 30 so called nails of the cross that are venerated across Europe; you can read about it and many other relics on a great article put forth on wikipedia right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relics_associated_with_Jesus  the many so called relics that represent the authenticity of the crucifixion and Jesus himself have proven to either have been fraudulently manufactured or misplaced.

The French have really gone out of their way with the legends of Christian relics with such tales as the Holy Grail which some say is the dish,cup or plate used in the last supper. I have personally heard it said in French lore that it was actually the surviving lineage of Jesus Christ, when I first became an atheist I read all sorts of controversial books about Jesus from french lore namely: 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' by Michael Baigent , Henry Lincoln , Richard Leigh and 'Bloodline of the Holy Grail' by Laurence Gardner , Prince Michael of Albany. I personally think that the author of 'The Davinci Code' stole his ideas from these two books I've mentioned previously. So as you can see just like Jesus the so called holy relics are nothing more than religious folkloric traditions that have been passed on to this day. As I stated many times before, Christianity is nothing more than a conglomeration of plagiarized ancient myths that predated it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jesus is coming soon: Part 2

One of those courageous cowards that likes to leave comments on my page as anonymous, tried to refute my claim regarding the return of Jesus Christ and how I had pointed out in a previous post that he had incorrectly prophesied that he would return during the time of the apostles. His first attempt at refuting my interpretation of what Jesus had said was that what he said in Mark 13:30 was actually referring to the race/Israel when he stated that this generation shall not pass. This is nothing but poor biblical apologetics attempting to reinterpret what was actually meant to help good old Jesus and more importantly the Christian religion save face. Now I looked up the same passage in various versions of the bible and the Amplified versions interpretation actually agrees with mine. Here is an excerpt of that and note that this has been translated using the Greek lexicon as a reference.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
 Mark 13:30:
30.Surely I say to you, this generation ([a]the whole multitude of people living at that one time) positively will not perish or pass away before all these things take place.
# Mark 13:30 Hermann Cremer, Biblico-Theological Lexicon; Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon; and G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.

Like my anonymous poster, some apologists also like to make the fatal error of saying that these alleged words of Jesus were a reference to the transfiguration and not the coming of the Lord. Matthew 7:2 and Mark 9:2 speak of the transfiguration occurring six days after Jesus made his prophetic statement regarding how there were some there that would not taste of death till they saw his return. The transfiguration according to the text was witnessed by Peter, James, and John and according to Matthew 17:9 Jesus described it as a vision: '9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.' It was not the actual second coming of Christ that he spoke about in Mark 13:26,27 if you read Mark 13 from verse 5 on down he is talking about his literal return to Earth and not some vision/transfiguration which he allowed his three apostles to view privately six days later. But Luke 9:28 actually disagrees and puts the occurrence of the transfiguration at eight days later instead of six as Matthew and Mark had done. Because in Mark and Luke this so called vision about the transfiguration is place immediately after he makes the statement that some will not taste of death believers assume that it was a reference to the transfiguration.

Matthew 16: 27,28 on the other hand places this statement in its proper context: 27.For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28.Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. If you take a moment to analyze the details of what transpired during the transfiguration of Christ you will see that this is nothing like what he described regarding his second coming.

Matthew 17:1-9 and Mark 9:1-9 tell us what exactly transpired during this so called transfiguration or rather as Jesus called it a vision. Lets look at the details first;
1. Jesus face shone as bright as the sun and his clothes shone resplendently as white as snow.
2.Elias and Moses appeared out of nowhere and were talking with Jesus.
3.A cloud overshadowed them and they heard a voice who said "This is my beloved son:hear him.
4.After falling on their faces in fear they then looked up and it was just old crusty Jesus and themselves once again.

This is obviously a far cry from: 'the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. This solidifies my case that Jesus statements had nothing to do with the transfiguration. So I say again my dear Christians Jesus is not coming soon, in fact he is not coming back at all!