I always find it amusing when theists assume that I have not read the Bible. They insist that if I did that I too would see that it could not have been the work of men. That I too would see the divine stamp of the so called invisible guy in the sky all over it. The truth is that I have read the Bible in its entirety. In fact, I have read it four times from cover to cover! The first time I read it as a deluded evangelist who at the time believed myself that my faith was unshakeable. But the first reading had the opposite effect. Instead of being more secure in my beliefs it made more sure that there was something very wrong with my beliefs.
It's ironic, but contrary to what many may think of me aside from my experiences in the church and ministry it was actually reading the Bible that eventually led to my rejecting the faith! After I left the church I realized that this was quite a common occurrence. Some of atheism's most well known proponents were at one time believers. People like John Loftus, Robert M. Price, Hector Avalos, Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Richard Carrier, etal. All of these men formerly mentioned are now renowned biblical scholars and all of them admit that the more they sought to know about the Bible and its truth; the more they came to the realization that it was just not so.
I don't know about them, but there is not a man or woman of God on this earth that could ever drag me back into their superstitious beliefs. I remember when I finally decided to call it quits in 1994' that the last prayer I prayed to the Lord who I still believed in reluctantly, was that if he wanted me back that he had to prove to me that he exist. I asked him to give me the same privilege he gave Thomas who did not believe that he had come back from the dead but Jesus came to him and fulfilled his request.
When it comes to salvation I demand proof and concrete evidence of the existence of this biblical god, and confirmation that the tales spun on his behalf in the scriptures are true beyond a shadow of a doubt. Faith is not enough for me, I cannot make a life commitment based on empty hopes with nothing to back them up.
When I left the church for good I took my Bible and set it on fire and watched it burn to ashes. To many this may seem a little extreme, but the act itself held a lot of symbolism for me. Watching that book of myths and superstitions burn to ashes represented the falling away of the shackles of myths that had once held me down for so long.
This image of course is not my Bible but it brings to remembrance the sense of freedom I felt when I literally was able to free my mind. There are many biblical quotes that I use to try to explain this but there is one in particular that suits my purposes just fine. I know it is being quoted out of context but in this case that is intentional.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
I did not find the truth in the Bible or in a belief in the figure of a fictional Christ. I found the truth when I relinquished my beliefs in superstitions. When I stopped making arguments in favor of faith which in the arena of reason faith has no place. I found the truth when I realized that reality is much more better than fantasy, and that believing in false hopes would only lead as it has done so for almost two thousand years to self delusions.
The Bible says that there is one sin that is unforgivable which in the grand scheme of things makes no sense whatsoever. Considering that according to the scriptures all manner of sin will be forgiven. Rape, incest, murder, pedophilia, adultery, fornication, bestiality, homosexuality, violent crimes involving assault, robbery, lying, cheating, and stealing, etc. ad infinitum. But there is one thing that get's under God's skin so bad that even he cannot forgive it! Are you ready for it?
30“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
That's right folks, speaking about the Holy Spirit in a derogatory manner also known as blasphemy is unforgivable! It is the ultimate death sentence! I am glad to report that I have done this on several occasions so please stop wasting your time trying to save me. As the title of this post states I am beyond redemption and salvation. Although I find it ironic that this is the one sin that God could not forgive when the Bible clearly states that there is nothing impossible for God.
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
I know this refers to the difficulty of a rich man being saved and entering into the Kingdom of God, but I am focusing on the "nothing is impossible" part. Obviously salvation for someone who has blasphemed against the Spirit is. From a logical standpoint does that make sense to you? That you could commit all manner of sin and immoralities and that a few words you speak that the good Lord does not like can damn you for all eternity? This is just one more of the many absurdities contained in the scriptures.
The truth is that I don't want to be "saved" because I don't feel the need to be saved from anything at all. I don't believe in God and sin if defined as an offense to God or of his commandments becomes null and void outside of a religious context. I have been saved already when I realized the depths of my delusions as a believer. When I saw that Bible and its teaching for what they were: man made superstitions and myths. I am free from the lies that turn man against man and that is the cause of so much hate and prejudice in the world. I am free to think for myself and make my own decisions and to use my mind in a rational and logical way in the process. Truth dispels myths and shines the light on the darkness of ancient superstitions.
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.