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!

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82 thoughts on “Leaving Christianity – Oh What A Relief It Is!

  1. You’re one of the lucky ones who are aware enough to understand that life is so much more than what we’ve been taught. However while you might feel a great sense of relief in arriving at the place where you are today, get ready for new adventures and challenges since life is not a destination but a journey – and yours has only just begun.

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    • Chicagoja: You are totally correct. Life is definitely a journey. Where it ends, no one knows (even though many think they do) so we need to live it fully and completely while it’s ours to enjoy.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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    • There are nearly 200 reference notes in my book. It would be impossible to list all of them; however, here is a sampling of the books I consulted:

      • The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan
      • The Historical Figure of Jesus by E.P. Sanders
      • The Jews in the Time of Jesus by Stephen M. Wylen
      • Satan: the Early Christian Tradition by Jeffrey Burton Russell
      • Noncanonical Writings and New Testament Interpretation by Craig A. Evans
      • The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian Worlds by Alan Bernstein
      • A History of the End of the World by Jonathan Kirsch
      • The Origins & Early Development of the Antichrist Myth by Gregory Charles Jenks

      Plus I list nearly 30 websites although I visited hundreds more. I also drew from TV documentaries on Discovery, the History Channel, Public Broadcasting, and CNN.

      If you are interested in knowing more, I highly recommend you read my book. It covers in considerable detail what I learned through my research and reading.

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

    Hear, hear!

    Nan, we’ve walked similar paths. Deconversion is not for the faint at heart, especially for those who were fully vested, not just cultural Christians. Rewiring the brain, and atrophying neural pathways and networks in the right amygdala (fear), was a bugger. Authoritarian religions are good at increasing gray matter volume in the right amygdala of their followers. They’ve mastered it, which is why it’s so hard to break away, IMO.

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  3. Hey Nan, You know it’s funny. I just said this to Howie, “I’m very happy you found your way to a healthier path.”
    It must be my theme for the day.

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  4. Fascinating! Cool book. I think I have seen you over at David Hayward’s Naked Pastor too where he says his art was part of his therapy when leaving the Church. Sounds like the book was that for you too. Indeed blogging is like that for many. It is interesting to watch the tones of blogs change (sometimes) as people go through that process.

    Question: Is that a picture of you on your book? Whoever it is, that is a fantastic expression on their face!

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    • No, not a picture of me. Just something I found on Dreamstime (I think). Thought it fit perfectly with the theme of my book. 🙂

      Yes, the book was GREAT therapy. By learning the history behind many of the traditional teachings of the church, it helped free me from all the “junk” that had been placed in my psyche.

      Appreciate you stopping by. Enjoy your comments on other blogs.

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  5. – What is God?
    – A God is something you worship. Some have many Gods, some have only one God. Everyone worship something, also atheists. All spend their time with is their God. Time spent on something is what you give your energy to. Therefore worship a God you will enjoy that creates something good for you and the future generations and for nature! If your God seems to lead you in another direction than is good for yourself and for future generations then question your concept of God! I met God in meditation and of course it could be just a fantastic hallucination, but for me God is balance with nature, oneness with nature, truth and pure love.

    – Does God listen to prayers?
    – Maybe. God seems to listen to some of my prayers but not to all. I still do not know why. Maybe other peoples wishes interfere with my own wishes or he does not listen at all but things just happen anyway because of my mental focus that help me see opportunities that otherwise would pass me by. How to prove that he listens or not I do not know. It is still a mystery for me but I like it. It is nice to pray for world peace and balance with nature. If we are many that pray for this God might listen.

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    • While I don’t feel a god is necessary (for worship or prayer or creating good), I certainly don’t begrudge those who believe differently. If your god brings comfort and balance to your life, that’s what is important.

      I do thank you, Maitreya Buddha, for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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      • There are many words to describe truth, but the truth is still the truth and there is only one truth.

        Depending on what you actually do with your time right now you are judged by your inner higher consciousness and live in heaven or in hell on this earth depending on what you now decide to do for future generations and for nature.

        Pure Love and truth
        Maitreya Buddha

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  6. Thank you for your thoughts. Please let me say that even if you believe that you have left Christianity (I don’t use the word), Jesus hasn’t left you. I am a pastor, neither do I use the word, Christian, very often. I am included to use “disciple,” “believer in Christ,” or other such scriptural words. Jesus never told us to become Christians, or to make others into Christians. He said that we must be born again. God’s Holy Spirit is in charge of that task. You might want to check out my Christmas posts; I think you’ll like them. Please know that I will be praying for you, that God will bless you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph 1:3). Please have a blessed day.

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    • Thank you, Equipping, for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.

      I appreciate and agree with your perspective as to using the word “Christian,” even though I’m sure you will agree this is the more common terminology.

      It’s understandable in your position as pastor that you feel a sense of obligation to “evangelize.” However, I can guarantee you there will be no changes in my spiritual outlook, your prayers notwithstanding. As I stated in my posting, my life is so much more fulfilling without Christianity (God/Jesus/Holy Spirit) that I cannot foresee any circumstances (or prayers) that will change my mind.

      Best wishes in your attempts to reach others with what you believe to be “truth.” While I don’t agree, there are many others who feel they need “God” in their life — especially in regards to where they hope to spend eternity.

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      • Thanks for sharing. I understand. Please know that when a person has been born again (that is something that God’s Holy Spirit does), that person can not be unborn again. I wish you well and am always ready to discuss anything with you that you might desire. Please have a good evening.

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        • That’s a new interpretation that has no basis in biblical history or ancient Israeli culture/religion. Unbeknownst to most, the origin of the biblical expression “born again” (see John 3:3) is Buddhism and their concept of reincarnation. So too, there are other Buddhist influences in the Bible like the Law of Cause and Effect (i.e. as you sow so shall ye reap).

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      • Please allow me to add a few more thoughts. My congregation meets on Saturdays.It’s not of legalism but of grace. It allows our people to enjoy their Sundays; I really do! It also removes the burden of “going to church” on a particular day. We, who are born again believers in Christ, ARE THE CHURCH. Our church meets weekly in a building. We don’t have any morney, meetings, or votes. Our Associate Pastor and I are unpaid. We really don’t ever have the need or opportunity to have arguments. We love each other; I love teaching and preaching. We have three key points of emphasis for our ministry. We are evangelistic, apocalyptic and benevolent. We send Christmas cards each year to US military members in combat areas. We have also sent blankets, snak items and Bible study materials. We have even included coalition soldiers in our gifting. God has been very gracious to use us in the manner that has become a blessing for us. I wish that more congregations would adopt a model that is similar to ours. Please have a blessed day.

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        • Equipping, I’m leaving your comment even though it smacks of a commercial. If you wish to add further remarks, please limit them to the subject at hand. Thanks.

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        • Hi Nan. Once, there was a battle on my blog between two of my followers. The battle got so heated that I had to put a stop to all comments to let the dust settle. I appreciate your kindness. I will not let such a thing happen on your blog. I have received one comment, from my comment to you. I can go into a historical discussion of the “new birth,” which is also known as “spiritual cleansing,” which dates to 895 BC, in 2 Kings 5;10. The birth of Buddha was 624 BC, The teaching of Jesus in John 3:3-8 refers to all people, of all created times. So, I will close this conversation, and will not answer the comment of your other follower. Please have a very good night.

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  7. You should not feel restricted about answering chicagoja’s comment. If the conversation gets out of hand, I’ll rein it in. Personally I think his point is valid.

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  8. Hi Nan. I have been praying for The Holy Spirit Of God to lead me in this discussion. If it is not a discussion, there is no reason for an exchange of words. I thank you for the kindness of your words, and will always respond in kind. One of my first thoughts about a discussion that involves the truth of God’s Holy Bible is to consider the people who were key to the Bible. I have to ask myself if I, or anybody else, would die for a lie. The apostles of Jesus actually died a death that was due to their eyewitness account of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and their unwillingness to deny what they had seen. In order to free you page of a long discussion, please allow me to provide two links that will add credable information that relates to those apostles. Please have a wonderful day.

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    • “Would anyone die for a lie”?

      Perhaps not deliberately, but many do in reality. How many people have sincerely died for their faith, Muslim’s, Christians, Bhuddist, Hindu’s, Bahai, Falun Gong. People from all these faiths have died for their beliefs. Not all these beliefs can be true, they tend to be mutually exclusive. Dying for belief does not automatically guarantee the belief is true. It is possible to be sincerely deluded.

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      • Thanks for your houghts. The difference is in the course that people take. The disciples did not behead people. Their motives were always pure, just as were those of Jesus. I trust that you will check out some of my writings. Please have a blessed day.

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  9. Oops! I’m sorry for my quick trigger finger. Here are the links. Again, please have a wonderful day.

    Does the Bible record the death of the apostles? How did each of …
    http://www.gotquestions.org/apostles-die.html – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight
    James, the brother of Jesus (not officially an apostle), was the leader of the church … He witnessed in present-day Turkey and was martyred for his preaching in …
    See your ad here…Ads related to the apostles of Jesus martyred

    Did the Apostles Really Die as Martyrs for their Faith? « Biola …
    magazine.biola.edu/ article/ 13-fall/ did-the-apostles-really-die-as-martyrs-for-their-f/ – View by Ixquick Proxy -Highlight
    After all, why would the apostles of Jesus have died for their faith if it weren’t true? … who has adopted atheism, that some of the apostles were indeed martyred.

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    • As a side issue, it has always puzzled me how James the brother of Jesus became the leader of the Church such that at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) he is the person portrayed as making the decision on behalf of the whole Church. By contrast the person Jesus appointed head, the Apostle Peter, makes a ‘submission’ but not the decision.

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      • Hi Peter. I’m sorry that I didn’t get back with you last night. I wanted to give you something to read, which is beyond my own personal belief about Peter and James. The link that I am providing pretty much explains my understanding of the issue. It appears that James gained favor with the local assembly of believers, while Peter had a responsibility to assist the other Apostles, per John 21:15-17 and Luke 22:31-32. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. I don’t have an ax to grind, other than the ax of truth.
        http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/jamesleader.html#notpeter

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        • Thanks, it seems they suggest that the leader of the Jerusalem Church must be of the Davidic line and this accounted for James. Still seems odd, but many odd things happen in real life.

          AS an aside James Tabor makes some interesting claims along the lines that James was actually one of the 12, being James the son of Alphaeus. He then goes further and claims James was the ‘disciple who Jesus loved’ the author of John’s gospel. These are clearly not mainstream views, but he does make some interesting points, chief among them is why would Jesus have his mother be placed in the care of John rather than James?

          http://jamestabor.com/2012/12/27/sorting-out-the-jesus-family-mother-fathers-brothers-sisters/

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        • Hi Peter,

          Thanks for your comment and for the link. I have provided two passages of scripture that should identify the situation of the identities of the two James characters. There is no indication in scripture that the leader of the Jerusalem church should be of the Davidic line. The line of David will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to reign after the tribulation ends and the millennium begins… At present time, the church of Christ (Matt 16:18) is the spiritual born again body of believers in Christ… As to why Jesus asked the Apostle John to care for Mary, I’m sure that He had a good reason, in that James was martyred many years before John died… You raised some good ideas of food for thought. Thanks for sharing them with me.

          In The Name Of Jesus

          Acts 12:1-3New King James Version (NKJV) 42 AD

          Herod’s Violence to the Church
          1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
          The Jerusalem Council

          Acts 15:12-14New King James Version (NKJV) 52 AD

          12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Menand brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
          Reformation Study Bible
          15:13 James replied. James was the half brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55; Introduction to James: Author). He seems by now to have become a prominent leader of the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2:9). James added a third testimony that Gentile believers should not be burdened with keeping the details of the Jewish ceremonial law; his speech concentrated on Old Testament Scriptures and their application to Gentile conversion.

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      • Peter, it’s just my opinion, but I think the apostle Peter was given a lot more credit than he deserved by a certain faith (starts with a “C”). Most likely, James was the one who got down in the trenches. But this is just speculation. Maybe Equipping has the “true” answer …

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        • Hi Nan

          around the time of the 5th and 6th centuries we see the Bishop of Rome seeking to assert power over the other powerful Bishop’s (Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Constantinople). These were agreed as the five leading positions in the church. The other four agreed to the concept of the Bishop of Rome being the first among equals, but not having complete authority. The Bishop of Rome argued he was the successor of Peter and that Jesus said he would give him the keys to heaven etc (Matthew 16:19). The other four Bishop’s pointed out that Peter had founded other Churches, in addition to Rome and they could just as easily claim the apostolic succession. Secondly they noted that the Apostle Paul had said Peter was wrong (Galatians) so to argue him and his line was infallible was an abuse of Scripture.

          Needless to say they did not agree and the the four bishops representing the Eastern Greek speaking Church starting to drift away from Rome which represented the Western Latin speaking Church. Whilst the formal schism did not happen for another half a millenia, in practice it happened around this time.

          Papal infallibility has been one of the most harmful doctrines the Catholic Church has ever produced. It means that they in effect can’t admit past mistakes. The burning at the stake of Girolamo Savonarola and Jan Huss are surely two of the most egregious actions by the Catholic Church.

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  10. Equipping, perhaps I didn’t make myself clear. I enjoy discussions, but I prefer them to be (1) directly related to the original posting or (2) a rebuttal to someone else’s comment.

    Your latest comment regarding the martyrdom of the disciples is, at least to me, totally off-topic as it was not discussed in my blog posting nor have any of the ensuing comments been related to this subject. If you’re trying to “prove” something about Christianity, don’t waste your time. I’ve been away from the church for over 20 years and have absolutely no intention of returning so nothing you or anyone else can say to “persuade” me will have any effect.

    Also, quite frankly, I can do without your wishes for me to have a “wonderful day.” Since leaving the faith, I have found my life is full of wonderful days.

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  11. All of the information that I posted is about the New Birth. Jesus said that we must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3). The martyred apostles carried that message with them. Please know that I am praying for you. Also, I desire that everyone will have a wonderful day; that was part of my upbringing (from the South). So, you know my same wishes will stay with you.

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  12. The fascinating thing is that the Christian Bible literalists completely ignore that nothing Jesus is claimed as having said supports the core elements of what Christianity became. Jesus supported the Jewish faith, not something new. He would have been appalled that anyone considered him to be god or that human sacrifice could atone for sins. Amazing.

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    • Your right. Some of the central tenets of the Christian faith are not even in the Bible. The teachings of Jesus (the ones that we know) were intentionally excluded from the Bible and his teachings are infrequently taught from the pulpit.

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    • Hey steve

      Its always fascinating how people who know nothing of scripture pretend to teach.

      Don’t worry, nan, just used one coupon, so I’m finished here, wouldn’t want to be accused of the great hijack caper

      But do feel free to use your imagination, and see where my harmless but true statement takes you.

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  13. I was intrigued when you said you didn’t see yourself as an atheist and that your view of God is more encompassing. I’m curious of what this view entails.

    How would you label your beliefs (or lack of beliefs) or do you prefer to avoid labels altogether?

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    • Hi Ashleigh!

      You guessed right — I do prefer to avoid labels. 🙂 However, if I were to explain my outlook on life, I would say I lean toward secular humanism with a bit of scientific pantheism mixed in.

      I believe there is, what I call, a Universal Presence. However, it is not a god. It has no form and is not supernatural. It’s just “there.”

      As I wrote in my book:

      It emcompasses all time and space and is everywhere and in every now. It is within every tiny molecule, every atomic particle. It exists within you and within me. It is the mystery of our beingness.

      Hope that answers your question.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • This sounds very much like pantheism as I understand it, and also similar to the concept of the Light or Spirit in liberal and non-theistic Quakerism, and perhaps similar to the concept of kami in Japanese shintoism and mauri in Maori tradition.

        To myself and many other religious liberals, they all embrace a concept, rather than an actual thing, and we all experience this concept in different ways. For myself I’m unable to separate the spiritual from the religious, but that is purely a personal perspective.

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        • Yes, scientific pantheism, as opposed to just “regular” or “naturalistic” pantheism. From my research, there is a difference. 🙂 Also, as I indicated, I’m not a “strict” believer of either pantheism or secular humanism, primarily because I prefer not to be put into a category as related to my beliefs. Essentially, I guess one could say I’m a “free spirit.” 😀

          Thanks for stopping by and joining our “group,” Barry. Happy to have you and look forward to your input.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. No problem, thanks for replying!

    Your definition of a Universal Presence reminded me of a biblical verse I stumbled across when I was (oddly enough) researching basic quantum mechanics.

    Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

    The quantum mechanics article goes on to talk about how writers often refer to God as light:

    “… most exegetes focus on the metaphorical value of these statements, but as we realize that all forms of matter are in fact ‘solidified’ light (energy, as in E=mc2) and the electromagnetic force holds all atoms together, the literal value of Paul’s statement “and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17) becomes quite compelling.”

    http://www.abarim-publications.com/QuantumMechanicsIntroduction.html#.VPjFZPnF95I

    Kind of this idea of an encompassing presence that’s holding things together through time.

    Anyway, I definitely agree with you about it being a “mystery of our beingness.” I hadn’t heard of scientific pantheism, will have to explore further.

    Thanks!

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  15. I like this concept of “an encompassing presence that ‘s holding things together through time”. It is compelling indeed.
    It may compel people to worship that presence, to pray in order to thank it for giving us this life, or to obtain benefits – both temporary, like rain where water is needed, food where there is hunger, relief when there is pain and sorrow; and eternal, “let there be no more wars”.

    But that same wonderful being, that same encompassing presence does not call me, as a nonbeliever, to worship or to prayers. I think this is a fundamental difference with organized religion. And yet, I’m sure we feel the same awe for its mysterious beingness.

    I’m trying to learn something about quantum mechanics. Not too much – remembering the saying attributed to Richard Feynman, “If you understand QM, you don’t understand QM”.

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    • The Muslims know that once a person has seen through the utter nonsense that is being preached, they are likely to contaminate the brainwashed masses. Therefore, to protect those who have profited from the prophets, they need to be bumped off. Simple as that.

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        • It is surprising that he adopted Christianity, though – the basis there may have lost its utterly disgusting aspects, but the precepts still lie in rather meaningless myth.

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        • Interestingly, the Coptic Church in Egypt is now the only place where true Egyptian is still spoken, as the rest of the country now speaks Arabic. The Sumerian language was maintained in Mesopotamian religious services long after the area had converted to the language of the conquering Akkadians, and as we know, until recently, the Catholic Church retained the last vestige of the Latin language. Religion tends to cling to the past, as I suppose it must, considering that it is upon alleged events of the past that its premises are based.

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        • That is indeed interesting.
          Pity Latin has been phased out. It is most useful as a basis for studying a number of languages as well as broadening the mind on construction.
          Religious clinginess has given some interesting disputes in history. Those who think of a change versus those rooted in custom. Everyone then bleeds a lot.

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        • It does make quite a difference in picking up Italian, and even Portuguese and French, as well.
          I found that adding Afrikaans gave me a good basic grounding in Dutch, Belgian, and a bit of German.

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        • Finding the truth is to be free.Living in the light is to be a child of light.Dr,Taha Hussein found the truth.,like millions of Muslims,who are living a dual life.

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      • Muslims are not alone in this – why else would so many Christian sects “shun” those who leave the church. Granted, shunning is not quite so lethal, but when your family turns on you, at least you’re dead to them.

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  16. I was wondering, Nan….Do you believe that this universal presence created us, created this world, this planet? I find the big bang and evolution hard to believe. The concept of Christianity is not taught correctly, the hypocrisy of the church, the hell and brimstone teachings, and not enough attention on love, peace, and grace causes many of us to run for the hills. I don’t believe in religion, but spirituality can not be denied.

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    • Hi Naturally Toi,

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

      In answer to your question … no. When I speak of a Universal Presence, I am referring to an essence that (I believe) exists everywhere within the cosmos. It is not in any way a supernatural entity that has the power to create. It’s just “there.”

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    • I find the big bang and evolution hard to believe.” and yet, “spirituality can not be denied” REALLY?!

      Toi, perhaps you should spend a little more time with some science books.

      I suggest you watch this, from Nate Owen’s ‘Finding Truth’ site:

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      • For many, spirituality is NOT religion. It is a sense of being one with the cosmos, nature, humankind. One can be spiritual and still believe in every facet of the sciences.

        And personally, I wasn’t all that impressed with the video. To each his own, I suppose.

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        • I can’t consider the word, ‘spiritual‘ without considering its root word: spirit. A spirit is an invisible, supernatural being, of which there ain’t none.

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        • “The word “spirit” comes from the Latin spiritus, which in turn is a translation of the Greek pneuma, meaning “breath.” Around the 13th century, the term became bound up with notions of immaterial souls, supernatural beings, ghosts, etc. It acquired other connotations as well—we speak of the spirit of a thing as its most essential principle, or of certain volatile substances and liquors as spirits. Nevertheless, many atheists now consider “spiritual” thoroughly poisoned by its association with medieval superstition.

          I strive for precision in my use of language, but I do not share these semantic concerns. And I would point out that my late friend Christopher Hitchens—no enemy of the lexicographer—didn’t share them either. Hitch believed that “spiritual” was a term we could not do without, and he repeatedly plucked it from the mire of supernaturalism in which it has languished for nearly a thousand years. ” ~Sam Harris

          http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/a-plea-for-spirituality

          Liked by 2 people

  17. I would venture to say that the final liberation from religious doctrine is when one reverts happily to some of the ritual, because it is fun, while knowing that the actual significance is zero.

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  18. hmmmm…..well…..we all have a right to believe whatever we want to believe, it does sound like a very interesting book….my life is a journey and I hope the journey leads me onto another existence in which there is constant peace and bliss, which is why I try to hang onto the thought of there being a supreme being such as God…there is a saying that comes through my own tongue and how it arrives there I have no ideal, but of course, many would say “it is a learned thing, or I heard this some place else.” I have to say, if I did, I sure cannot remember it. The saying is this and always begins with “Behold_________. I cannot write the words that come after this saying, as they are not English words. I don’t know what language, if any the words really are in, and this saying is always the same, has come to me now since I felt a transition from what I called my own personal world of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ, of which, I have learned many, many things about myself and how I want to live my life personally…….once I said, what does this saying mean as I prayed or talk openly with the supreme being I call God….and back with my own tongue the words came to me in English, an interpretation of this saying, which is “I am with you.” So when this saying comes to me now thereafter receiving the interpretation, I feel it is Jesus who says to me with the first word being, Behold, which sort of me, “stop, wait a minute and listen to what I have to say to you, I AM WITH YOU.

    I invite you to follow my blog. I am following you. I am always interested in the opinions of others about these sort of things and at times, I write what I call spiritually inspired, or Holy Ghost inspired posts as well as all else I have on my blog now. Those times come not at my own will I feel, but the will of whomever sends me to write them, and I say still yet, it is the Holy Ghost, which was sent to us from God, when Jesus left earth. Just my belief on these matters. I know not all will agree.

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    • Connie, thank you for stopping by, for leaving a comment, for the follow, and for sharing your experiences. 🙂 I appreciate your place in life although it is not one that I share. As indicated, I’ve “been there, done that” and much prefer the life I’m living now.

      I hope you will check out some of my other blog posts and leave comments. For the most part, we’re a pretty friendly bunch.

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  19. Nan, so happy to find you. We have shared the same journey. I had no choice in the fundamentalism which reared me and early in life was convinced that I was hopelessly sinful and ugly. The hell of alcoholism and recovery thereof led me out of those lies and into the truth of a spiritual brotherhood. That great escape from fundamental Christianity saved my life. Thanks.

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  20. Similarly, my greatest relief in life was finding out that God *does* exist, that there is meaning to it all and that the Creator loves me very greatly. Anyways, I take issue with some of the claims in the post;

    “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.”

    Stories, epics, and proverbs? Sure. Myths and legends? Not exactly. As for the biblical traditions being passed down by “word of mouth from one generation to another” (oral transmission), that’s entirely non-problematic as far as I’m concerned.

    As I’ve done my several years of studies and stayed up deep into the night reading research papers and whatnot, my view conclusion seems to have become diametrically opposed to your own. The trick of course, is the evidence. Is there evidence that hell was ‘introduced’ into the biblical narratives at some point later on, when it wasn’t present before? Of course not. So, one must be keen to distinguish between some idea that a scholar pulls out of a hat in their book in which they try to conflate with what we can historically validate.

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