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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Outrageous!

Someone once said, “The more outrageous a story is, the more it is believed.”

There is a lot of truth to this statement. Take, for example, some of the stories god_thronein the bible. Was there really a talking serpent in the Garden of Eden? Did Jonah truly live in the belly of a great fish for three days? Did the sun actually “stand  still” for a full day? Will horses with lions’ heads and tails like serpents really appear in the “last days?” Does God, in fact, sit on a throne in the sky?

Conventional wisdom discounts such fantasies, yet there are hundreds of thousands of Christians who are totally and completely convinced they are TRUE. Why? Because they have been told the bible is “God’s Word” so if God said it (no matter how outrageous), then it must be true.

Sometimes I think people leave their reasoning powers at the door when they take on the label of “Christian.” Seemingly intelligent, level-headed, and well-informed people completely turn their back on logic and common sense and begin to believe, and even vehemently defend, some of the strangest stories ever told.

In the course of writing a book on some of the more popular Christian doctrines, I have done considerable research into many of these curious tales and the role they play in modern-day beliefs. It’s been a fascinating and eye-opening study.

(If my book is one that might interest you, drop me a line and I’ll let you know when it’s available.)

NOTE My book is now available. You may read more about it here.