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.

27 comments:

  1. "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. ..."


    So, as an evangelical, you didn't know about how cruel the OT God was or you didn't really think about it too much? Like you, I'm a former believer. Not Pentecostal, but Baptist. I knew about a lot of the terrible stuff in the OT, but I guess it never really occurred to me in my "believer's mindset" how immoral it really was. I guess I assumed that since Israel was God's chosen people, any amount of bloodletting was OK in order to protect them. But digging into the Skeptic's Bible and many other books (two of which by former pastors turned atheist), I came to think otherwise. I found your site from atheistforums.org by the way. Peace!

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  2. Sadly, atheists see their god each and every time they see their "image" in a mirror ;-(

    Self-service to the utmost ;-(

    Yet, while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!

    For Miracles do happen.......

    Father Help! and HE does.......

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  3. ElderChild - excellent job repeating phrases you heard elswhere. When you get an original thought - let everyone know.

    "Sadly, atheists see their god each and every time they see their "image" in a mirror ;-(" - No, if anything an atheist (in generalities) understands that they are an extremely small component of the universe and that it truly amazing that we have this one spot (in space and time) to live a fulfilled life.

    "Self-service to the utmost ;-(" - Ah yes, and we eat babies too! I think my family, friends, co-workers and community would disagree with you on this point.

    "Yet, while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!" - Define spirit, show any evidence you might have that it is real.

    "For Miracles do happen......." No they don't - unexplained things happen. Thankfully as scientific understanding has increased the frequency by which things happen we don't understand has decreased significantly

    "Father Help! and HE does......." - Present some evidence - do mormons have fewer heart attacks? I certainly have a hard time believing that Jews are the chosen one - they have had a tough time of it in recent (2,000 years) history. I'd rather remain unchosen.

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  4. And ChatPilot - I have really been enjoying your series.

    Raised as a Catholic in NYC, I began to realize the inconsistency associated with religious thought and had a number of problems with being born into a religion - I'd ask a number of times why geography has had so much to do with what religion you are? If there truly was one god, why not communicate more clearly and avoid the possibility of entire continents of people going to hell? At which point I always got the "mystery" answer - a cop out

    Keep up the good work!

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  5. Quite obvious that religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Simply sad for you ;-(

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  6. Atheism is not a religion, it is a rejection of the theist belief that there is a supernatural being, due to a lack of evidence.

    No dogma, I can wear clothes made up of more than one fiber, eat a burger on Friday and work on Sunday without the threat of being stoned or eternal damnation.

    Don't be sad, I wasn't born broken and neither were you. Even though I don't like the T-shirts - life is good.

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  7. @Elder, Did you notice what Dennis said? If you were born in Kabul, what religion would you be? How about in Beijing or New Delhi or Harare? Whatever someone believes is an accident of birth. That's all.

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  8. Your lack of understanding reveals the darkness you abide in ;-(

    Quite obvious that religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Simply, sad for you ;-(

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  9. Thanks everyone for your feedback your comments are greatly appreciated. @ElderChild the only one who seems to abide in darkness is you. All of the accusations you made against atheists in your first posts are inaccurate just like your bible.

    It's hard to escape from a deeply embedded delusion, luckily some of us are bold enough to venture into questioning our beliefs and breaking the spell of superstition.

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  10. Your lack of understanding reveals the darkness you abide in ;-(

    Quite obvious that religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Simply, sad for you ;-(

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  11. Your response is indicative of one who finds Truth to be offensive ;-(

    More reason to be sad for you ;-(

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2008/10/religion-is-way-of-this-wicked-world.html

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  12. How wonderful that pastor said to read the Bible. How odd to say only read it once in a lifetime! It doesn't take that much time. How revealing that there must be so many Christians who have not read it. When properly read the Bible is the best book to convert someone to atheism. Each time I read it as a Christian I found it disturbing as you wonderfully spelled out, but I always said there must be something wrong with me. Now as an atheist I read it and it blows my mind how it doesn't wake up Christians to how evil its god is. No better than any pagan god.

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  13. Simply religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Most definitely those who believe they are descendants of monkey's, are ;-(

    Simply sad for you ;-(

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  14. I am not a descendant of a monkey. Monkeys and Humans share a common ancestor. At least understand evolution if you are going to use it in an argument.

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  15. Simply religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Most definitely those who believe they are descendants of monkey's, are ;-(

    Simply sad for you ;-(

    ReplyDelete
  16. Simply religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Most definitely those who believe they are descendants of monkey's, are ;-(

    Simply sad for you ;-(

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  17. This is almost eery. I was deeply religious until... I read the bible cover-to-cover. Big surprise. Most Christians I know have not read c-2-c.
    .
    In Bronze Age Israel, disease was not known to have come from viral/bacterial sources (science was a far way off), instead they foolishly assumed some angry god or spirit (like Azazel the goat-like demon lord in Leviticus) cursed people with it. Animal sacrifice for some unknown sin was their primitive solution (as it was for many primitive "pagans"). Following arbitrary and complex social/civil laws were also part of this "solution" to avoid natural disasters/disease.
    .
    2,000 years of apologetics then turned this concept of sin into something different & sophisticated. The "prophets" used this ancient cause-and-effect mentality to blame some social/moral "sins" for Babylonian captivity (like Samuel claimed that god punished his "sinners" via Philistine defeats - it wasn't poor tactics?).
    .
    Later Paul was the worst offender at carrying this primitive cause-and-effect ideology forward. He rationalized Judaism's temporal/physical into the Hellenized metaphysical ("spiritual Jerusalem," Jesus=Melchizedek, etc). The temple was about to be smashed and every messiah claimant had been killed. Paul was an educated (Greek philosophy in Tarsus with a Pharisee professor in Jerusalem) man from Tarsus who was a *religious extremist* murdering Christians for his "god." He couldn't accept a Roman defeat over Judaism. His rationalizations and bastardizations created more Christianity (church structure, heirarchy, ministerial guidelines) than Jesus' supposed words in the 4 gospels.
    .
    For me, rational thinking and a reasonable mind won out over mindlessly repeated catch phrases and judgmentalism masked in facetious/fake sad faces - ElderChild, stop pretending you're sad for people who realized Balaam's talking ass is a fairy tale ;-(
    .
    PS: we are not descendants from "monekys" (you mean apes, read a fucking book), we most likely came from a *shared* ancestor. Evolution is clearly seen in humans using "unnatural" selection to create hundreds of dogs out of one common canine ancestor within only a few centuries. The flu virus mutates to be immune to antibiotics on a nearly annual basis, and evolutionary mutations like sickle cell anemia developed to fight malaria. A talking snake and magic fruit, or mountains of scientific evidence proving evolution? I pick the latter.

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  18. Simply religion has had it's way with you ;-(

    Most definitely those who believe they are descendants of monkey's, are ;-(

    Simply sad for you ;-(

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  19. ElderChild is one messed up SOB. A clear danger to society and the whole of mankind. Reading his blog and profile he is definitely an unhinged individual. Locate him and lock him up before he commits serious crime!!

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  20. anon:

    Appreciate your concern, and for me to be "locked up" would be a blessing indeed for then i would be truly free from the prison that is this wicked, evil world!

    Quite obvious that you are of this wicked, "messed up" world and it's religions and so it is when one liken unto you would declare me to be "messed up" that but strengthens my Faith.

    Appreciate the encouragement!

    Yet i am simply sad for you ;-(

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  21. I'm following your story. Trying to understand something: John MacArthur is not charismatic ... he just studied that type of worship ... I did not read the book in question - but wasn't it just reporting on those actions without endorsing it? Curious as to why you did not try one of the churches in your area that he was affiliated with? Again, just curious. That's all. Continuing to read your story.

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    1. MacArthur's book confirmed some of the many superstitions I had already come to believe through my own independent study. His book did not convince me it confirmed to me that I was on the right track. I was so impressed by his book that I wrote to him and asked for a list of churches he might have been affiliated with in my area. I received a reply three months later but by that time I had already left the church with no intent of looking back.

      It wasn't just the charismatic aspects of my faith that led me away it was what I read in the Bible about God that convinced me that he was false and just another ancient superstition.

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  22. Experience and revelation needs be The Teacher, not the biased and perverted "colored marks written on a dead tree and bound in fabrication"! (I John 2:27)

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2011/01/all-biblical-translations-are.html

    So it is that pagan catholicism and her harlot christian daughters, as well as islam, judaism, buddhism, and ALL other religious systems, atheism and science inclusive, are anti-messiah!

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2012/08/religion-is-anti-messiah.html

    There is but One "Pure Religion and Undefiled"! (James 1:27)

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2008/10/pure-and-undefiled-religion.html

    Simply, ALL other religion, atheism and science inclusive, IS "IMPURE and DEFILED"!

    Yet, because of pagan catholicism and her harlot christian daughters "The Way of Truth is evil spoken of"! (II Peter 2:1-3)

    "Come out from among them 'ALL' and be separate!" (II Corinthians 6:17)

    No longer have your portion with those who are destroying Creation(air, water, land, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which IS SPIRIT(Truth, Light, Life, Faith, Grace, Mercy, Peace, Love, Wisdom,,,,,,, ALL that is Truly GOOD)!

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2012/06/now-nothing-will-be-restrained-from.html

    http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2012/10/taking-bait-and-lies-are-swallowed-hook.html

    Father Help! and HE does.......

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    1. Umm for the gazillionth time; atheism is not a religion!! As to the rest of the garbage you posted, whatever dude!

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  23. Sadly, religion has had it's way with you and all atheists!

    Yet while breath is, HOPE IS!

    For Truth IS! Miracles do happen.......

    Father Help! and HE does.......

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    1. elder, if I had a penny for every theists who stated and claimed emphatically that they had the "truth" I would be a billionaire by now. You claim your interpretation is true I know of at least another 39,000 Christian religious sects that would beg to differ with you.

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