Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

Oh What A Relief It Is!Although I left Christianity over 20 years ago, it took a long while for me to erase the doctrines that had been embedded within my consciousness for 15+ years. It was not an easy road.

As Stephen Van Eck wrote on the Deism.com website: “Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, [a person] is too intimidated by threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt.”
Writing my book helped tremendously because of all the research and reading I did. Learning how and why certain doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., final judgment, burning fires of hell, Satan and his demons, the end-times) were introduced into the faith was extremely liberating … and removed a ton of guilt and fear.

I also found out some things about the Bible. As many others, I had been taught the Bible was “God’s Word” (even though the interpretation of what “He” said varies considerably among denominations). Through my studies, I discovered that much of what is in the bible is the result of stories, epics, myths, legends, proverbs, etc. that were passed by word of mouth from one generation to another. This is particularly true of the Hebrew Bible, but intrinsically typical of the New Testament scriptures as well. Can you imagine the burden that was lifted when I found out I wasn’t genetically inclined to sin and thus in need of someone to save me from being human??!?

Contrary to what one might think, the many discoveries I made did not turn me into an atheist. However, I definitely do not believe in a supernatural being who lives somewhere “up there,” who can be manipulated by prayer, or who has a “will.” Rather, my image of “God” is far more encompassing and has nothing to do with religious belief. In fact, I’m extremely reluctant to even use the word “god” because of all its connotations.

In any case, I find my life so much more fulfilling now. Truly, what a relief it has been!

Reblog: On Biblical Standards and Natural Understanding

A superb outline of bible teachings and their place in today’s society.

A Humanist's perspective

The Bible is a volume of writings which were hand selected (and in some cases hand edited) by the early Roman Church in the 4th CE, and subsequently deemed as the exclusive and sacred word of God. About a thousand years later, these same writings were divided and organized into chapters, verses, and into a two fold division of an “Old” and a “New” Testament. The earlier major section of these writings reflects the personal, social, and religious values of a relatively isolated, desert people of an era of some two millenniums past; whereas the latter section reflects the ethical values of the Greco-Roman era of a slightly later time. The latter section likewise seems to serve as the subtext for a 2nd CE struggle between two general factions of the then recently conceived religious movement known as Christianity.

Each of the two major sections of the Bible center upon…

View original post 852 more words

With or Without: Does It Make a Difference?

Following is a comment related to this posting by the Closet Atheist:

I’ve believed in God for years and not believed in God for years. It doesn’t seem to make any difference in how my life flows or how I perceive this world. Life is with or without this belief.

I drove by a church on my way to the bike path. I saw people walking into church. I had a thought that it’s weird that people need a man made structure and a man made day of the week to praise their creator. I was driving back from the bike path and watched the same people filing out of the same church. A thought came to me, ‘well, I hope you guys feel better.’ I felt better after rollerblading down the bike path..alive…blood pumping…sound of wind and birds and others smiling and walking. Their little respite from the world is to sit and listen to a preacher talk about God. Mine is different. I hope the way they filled that hour gave them the same joy as the way I chose to spend my hour. People can chose what they want until it becomes an obsession and they affect how others live.

How many of you can identify with this person’s comments?

Why People Leave Christianity – Repost

Someone recently “liked” this post that I wrote back in 2011. Of course, I had forgotten what it was all about, so I took a quick look and discovered the information is as pertinent today as it was then.

I had very few visitors to my blog in those days so I decided to repost it for my “expanded” audience. 🙂

Enjoy!

I just read an excellent academic article from the Journal of Religion and Society  entitled “Explaining Deconversion from Christianity.” I was referred to it by another blog (ReligionandMore.wordpress.com).

Since I rejected the Christian faith several years ago, I was interested to know why others had followed the same pathway.

  • One ex-Fundamentalist said he left because of the ongoing battle within himself between faith and reason. Eventually, he said, reason could no longer be suppressed.
  • Numerous ex-Christians expressed concerns about the doctrine of hell. For them, eternal punishment simply did not fit with their conception of a loving God. One questioned why God would create the human race and then knowing we would sin against him, send us to spend eternity in burning and suffering. Others could not reconcile that God would send their loved ones to hell simply because they did not believe in Christianity.
  • Many had problems with the idea of God’s passivity with suffering, whether individually or globally (tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.).
  • Some mentioned God’s active role in suffering, especially as described in the Old Testament.
  • The bible itself also played a role, both in relation to the many unbelievable stories (see my “Outrageous!” posting), as well as the fact that, scientifically, many of the described events could not have happened.
  • A large percentage of people, while believing in the existence of God, could not understand why he didn’t help them in their time of trouble. In other words, their prayers went unanswered. Some felt that God did not keep his promises (ask and you shall receive, follow me and I will bless you, bring your tithes and I will open the windows of heaven, etc.)
  • Many felt they had done their part – praying, waiting, being faithful – but God had failed them or let them down.
  • Not surprisingly, many left Christianity because of other Christians (hypocrisy, being judgmental). Plus they tired of “pat” phrases (e.g., “God works in mysterious ways,” “God will never put more on you than you can bear,” “It was God’s will”) whenever they faced some kind of crisis and needed moral support.
  • Church leaders also played a role because they could not provide satisfying answers to perplexing concerns. Instead, they would instruct the person to read the bible or pray about it.

According to the article, in nearly every instance the ex-Christians expressed no ambiguity. They made their decisions based in complete certainty and experienced no regrets.

Amen to that!

Here is the link to the original posting if you’d like to read the comments.

A Bit of Catch-Up

Hello all!

Perhaps a few of you have noticed my absence? It’s OK if you haven’t because I realize there are a plethora of other blogs to visit.  Even so, I wanted to let you know I’m still alive and kicking and to share with you the reason for my “non-presence.”

Are you ready?

(Drum Roll)

We sold our house! And we’ll be moving into the one we wanted so badly (that I referenced in a previous post)!

Our buyers requested an extended closing, so we won’t be making the physical move until the first of August (more time to pack. Ugh.) but the process is underway. Yay!

And guess what!??! It all came about without any pleas to some “Big Guy in the Sky.” Just a lot of positive thinking. 🙂

Finally! A Win!


Courtesy CNN Politics

Ordinarily, I would just reblog the following post, but it’s so relevant, so timely, so “right-on,” that I decided to copy it word-for-word to ensure every visitor to my blog reads the whole kit and kaboodle.  If you want to comment on the direct post, you can click here.

“How am I doing? Am I doing OK? I’m president. Hey, I’m president.” – Donald Trump in the Rose Garden after the health care vote

Finally, Donald Trump got a win! That’s right Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable your President finally fulfilled a campaign promise in Congress yesterday, he repealed and replaced (cue the sinister music) OBAMACARE! Then he took his new friends, the Republican congress men and women that represent you Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable to the Rose Garden so they could all high-five, sing Kumbaya, and have their picture taken which will become a 5 x 7 they put in cheap frame from Walgreen’s and place prominently on their desks at the capital and at their home. They will probably send one to their mothers too.

So what did you get Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable? What is so great about Trumpcare? What will Trumpcare do that (cue the sinister music) OBAMACARE couldn’t? Here is something fun you can do, call your Republican Congressman or Congresswoman and ask them that question. Better yet, start with these questions, “Congressman ______________, did you read the Trumpcare bill before you voted for it?” The next thing you need to ask them, “Congresswoman ______________, what was the CBO score of the Trumpcare bill you just voted for?” 

Let’s be very clear, Obamacare wasn’t perfect but it filled a very important hole in the marketplace. And rather than fix the broken parts your President convinced you, Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable, that it was a flawed planned because of one reason and one reason only, the name, (cue the sinister music) OBAMACARE!

So who will Trumcare benefit the most?

  1. High-income earners
  2. Upper-middle-class people without pre-existing health conditions
  3. Young, middle-class people without pre-existing health conditions
  4. People who wish to go without insurance
  5. People who want less comprehensive health coverage
  6. Large employers

Where do you fit into this list Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable? Will you remember how your representative voted when they are running for reelection in 2018? You will if you have a pre-existing health condition or are on Medicaid or Medicare.

Let’s hope the Senate can stop this reckless bill. I am not happy with the President you elected Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable but I don’t want you to pay for your boneheaded vote with your health either.