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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:13 pm
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Why aren't you a Christain?

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I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:21 am
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Re: Why aren't you a Christain?

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ejh210 wrote:

I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?


I was born and raised into Christianity.

I believed in the God of the Bible because I was taught from childhood that it was true.
I believed in Jesus because the Bible claims that Jesus was the Son of God.
I decided to do as Christ had commanded and teach the Word of God to all.
However, when I decided to do this, I realized that I would need to first learn precisely what the Word of God actually is.

After all, up to this point all I had to go by was what I had been taught by Sunday School teachers, Pastors, and my own parents. Of course I was also familiar with many of the Biblical stories, but only as they had been taught to me. I hadn't really read them with the intention of fully understanding them in detail.

Also, because I was going to teach the Word of God I started asking a lot of question about the Bible and God. I wasn't asking these questions as a skeptic. I was asking them with the sincere intent to fully understand the answers to I could teach others what the answers are and why they make sense.

What I immediately discovered was that Parents, Sunday School teachers, and even Pastors themselves could not provide sufficient explanations. Not only this but they often became either extremely evasive, or outright nasty toward me if I didn't accept the extremely lame answers they were offering.

I also recognized close-up that pastors don't even agree with each other. This occurred because there were actually several pastors in my own extended family, and they would also invite other pastors over for dinner. So I watched as these pastors themselves would discuss their different views on what they thought the Bible "Should" mean.

This became extremely problematic for me because no the question became, "Who's WORD would I be teaching?" If the Pastors can't even agree with each other, then I certainly can't teach their uncertain opinions as the "Word of God". I would need to look into the Bible myself and find the REAL Word of God.

So I studied the Bible in depth myself and quickly discovered why the Pastors are in such grave disagreement. The Bible itself is extremely ambiguous, and doens't even bother to offer any explanations for why this God does anything. And the Bible does it tell us what God does, not why he does it.

Not only this but the Bible has God acting like a complete idiot, IMHO. Certainly not in a manner that I would personally consider to be intelligent or wise.

As time moved forward, I quickly realized that it's not just the Pastors of our tiny little Protestant denomination that can't agree on much of anything, but the TRUTH is that no two Christians can agree on much of anything. Save for the obvious basics that Yahweh is supposed God and Jesus was supposedly his Son. Once you get past those pillars of the religion everything else is up for grabs.

I quickly discovered that Christianity is the most confused religion in the entire world. No other religion has as many disagreeing sects and demoninations as Christianity.

The very term "Christianity" is a meaningless term because no two Christians can even agree on what it means.

I finally came to the only rational sane conclusion possible. This entire religion is nothing more than an extremely poorly thought-out collection of fables, superstitions and rumors. There's no way this religion could be true unless this God is the greatest idiot of all time.

The very idea that a Creator God would design a world and humans in such a way that the only way he could save them from being damned BY HIM, would be to have them brutally beat and crucify his only begotten Son so that he could forgive them for being as screwed up as he had designed them to be.

This religion is an insult to the very concept of intelligence.

My question to you is, "Why in the world does anyone believe in this utterly absurd religion?"

The fact that this is nothing more than a poorly made-up man-made mythology should be crystal clear to anyone who stops to think about it at all. They've created a God who has a personality that would make a barroom drunkard appear to be a sober genius in comparison.

I know that Christians have fallen for the Jesus thing. But it's not Jesus, it's the utter absurdity of Yahweh that proves this religion to be false. And Jesus cannot save Yahweh.

So this is why I am no longer a Christian. This religion is an insult to human intelligence.

Not only this, but do you realize that in order to believe in this religion you must first place your faith in the idea that you deserve to be damned to eternal punishment?

In short, to even be a Christian you need to first believe that you are so disgusting that you deserve eternal damnation. Rolling Eyes

Is that how you feel about yourself?

And if not, then why in the world are you a Christian? Because if you think for one second that you aren't a totally disgusting person who deserves to be eternally damned then what in the world do you think Jesus is saving you from? Think

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:52 pm
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Re: Why aren't you a Christain?

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ejh210 wrote:

I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?

In short, I actually read the entire Bible and tried to understand the god character portrayed in its pages.

It became apparent that the god portrayed was nothing more than the poorly cobbled together ideas of ancient cultures. If there is a god, then surely it wouldn't be so stupid
and inconsistent as the one portrayed in the pages of the Bible.

Examples

1) The punishing of all women with painful childbirth because Eve did something wrong. Does this god have a nasty streak or something that needs to be satisfied by punishing literally every other woman who gives birth just because one person screwed up? Vengeful much? It accomplishes nothing and makes no sense.

2) The flood to wipe out everything. Come on, on the one hand we supposedly have a god that created everything, yet has to resort to global destruction just to weed out the bad people? Seriously? I can think of many better solutions and they would have actually worked unlike the current situation which apparently did nothing to solve the problem at all. This doesn't even take into account the preposterous story of cramming every mating pair onto a wooden boat that somehow survives the cataclysmic deluge necessary to produce the water levels described, the fact that 8 people would have had to feed, care for, and clean up after all these animals, and them somehow return them all to their habitat afterwards.

3) Moses freeing slaves from Egypt and the plagues god brought down on the people to accomplish the task. Again, a bunch of stupid solutions that ended with wiping out all first born children that had nothing to do with the current situation. If that's not the very definition of dumb, I don't know what is. The creator of the universe could have solved this with little or no death and still made his point. i.e. start at the top of the Egyptian leadership and threaten only them with death until the slaves are freed. One or two people tops would have been killed and the situation would have been over.

Cut to the New Testament and now we have a god that still hasn't managed to solve anything so supposedly comes down himself (or sends his son - depends who you talk to) and other than some stories that become larger with each retelling (later and later gospels) we end up still in the same mess but this Jesus character has left and 'will be back in our generation' and we must believe this will fix everything based on no solid evidence other than some religious promotional material that isn't corroborated by anything else.

In closing, it becomes quite clear that the written materials this religion hinges on are nothing more than poorly thought out fables and stories that must be constantly 'apologized' for in order to even try to make sense of them.

If there is a god, clearly it's not the one described in the Bible. The logical contradictions and sheer folly described make it impossible.

Is there some glimmer of truth in the Bible? Maybe, but it's buried under a mountain of made up stories. I imagine if there is a god, it's pretty mad about what is being passed of as a description of himself. I would be.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:17 pm
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ejh210 wrote:

I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?


By the way ejh, would the Christian God value truth and honesty at all? Think

Here's the irony. I have bent over backwards trying to give the Bible every possibly consideration and chance. I can't tell you how many times I have gone back to reexam the Bible as I've heard new apologies for the Bible over the decades since I have realized that it can't be true. I've always kept an open mind that perhaps it could somehow be "salvaged" with the right apologetics excuses.

However, the TRUTH is that in every single case the reexamination was futile as the apologies turned out to be ineffective, inapplicable, or actually created even greater contradictions than the contradictions they were attempting to resolve.

I have since come to realize that it's never going to happen. There simply cannot be any valid excuses for this extremely self-contradictory, immoral, and ignorant religious paradigm.

And the bottom line is that this is my HONEST assessment after having given the Bible every sane and rational opportunity possible.

Why is this an irony? Well, according to this religion I must then be condemned for being HONEST about what I see in the Bible.

This God would need to condemn me for simply being truthful and honest.

This is just one more self-contradiction concerning what this religion is supposed to be all about.

There is no way that anyone is going to convince me that I reject the Bible because I would rather do horrible evil things and refuse to be a decent moral person. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know that this accusation against me is absolutely false. Yet it would need to be true for this religion to be true.

In order for this religion to be true, I would need to love evil and hate all that is good.

And that simply isn't the case. So the religion cannot possibly be true.

And so now this God needs to condemn me to eternal damnation for being an honest, truthful, and decent person simply because I recognize that the Bible itself is an extremely immoral collection of outrageous fables that can't possibly be true.

No one would love for the entire world to be perfectly GOOD than me. Yet according to Christianity the Christian God has no choice but to damn me into eternal damnation simply because I don't believe in the Bible.

So I have my proof that the Bible is clearly false.

I can understand how someone who actually is evil and desires evil things, might believe in this religion and seek "salvation" to avoid their deserved damnation.

But I can't imagine why any truly decent person would believe in this religion.

This religion demands that you can't even be a decent person. If you are a decent person you have already violated the premise required of this religion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:35 am
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I was a Christian of the 'born again' dogma as a child, I did the giving my heart to Jesus bit when I was 11 as I was threatened with the tortures of hell if I didn't do so! Shocked I prayed most sincerely for Jesus to come through for me when I had a problem, which I certainly couldn't have shared with my parents. I never once had any feeling he was out there somewhere. By the time I became an adult, the doubts about the faith were too strong to ignore and I lost my faith, not something I have regretted. I have no problem with moderate live and let live Christians who don't try to force their faith on others, but I will challenge those who try to force their faith on others by using threats if they don't convert, that is abuse!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:11 pm
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I am an ex-Christian who was a believer for most of my life, but that has now changed. I will refer you to my members notes on this site.

I give my list of reasons why I no longer believe:

https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=740176#740176

And you can also read my story if you so wish:

https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=862962#862962

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:48 pm
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Re: Why aren't you a Christain?

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[Replying to post 1 by ejh210]


Quote:
I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?


There are probably a number of reasons.

But I do have a problem with your conflating Christianity with 'following Jesus' generically speaking.

Not that this is your making. It is my understanding that Christendom (thus Christianity) is conflated with the idea that Christians 'follow Jesus' and adding to that the likelihood that words have been added to whoever 'Jesus' was...there is a lot of sorting chaff from wheat as the saying goes, in puzzling that out.

Specifically I view whoever started the movement which devolved into Christianity as being someone who simply taught 'how to' - how to get along with one another, stop judging each other, help each other - preferably without the state sticking its nose into things, and since - when we don't do so, then it gives opportunity for state to enforce a sort of 'getting along with each other' through decree which also has the unfortunate result of allowing for elitism to prosper - but that in itself isn't necessarily a totally bad thing...but anyway, things unfolded as they have.

I do get that without Christianity things may well be even worse in that regard, but it is still a world view which allows for corruption to sneak on in and have its way, so that - perhaps more than any other point - is the reason I steer clear of all things 'Christian' to do with organised religion.

I just don't personally require it. I don't have to worship an idea of GOD which is enthroned and demands such from me.

I am a theist and love my idea of GOD. I would have to say that Christianity was the gateway to this happening for me, but that does not mean I own anything in the way of loyalty to any of Christendoms many offshoots.

I would not have developed as I have, if I had chosen to remain within the confines of Christendom, but neither am I an enemy to Christendom...although that is my particular stance - Christians may think otherwise, but in that, it matters not.

My focus is on GOD as I am ever understanding GOD. No religion owns the rights to who GOD really is - only how they project their idea of GOD. They have the rights to those ideas. I have the right to reject those ideas.

Worship of GOD to me is in my actions expressed into the external. Not in some bending of the knee toward some image or another presented as being 'GOD' through Christendom or indeed any other organised religion.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:21 am
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Re: Why aren't you a Christain?

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William wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by ejh210]


Quote:
I am writing a paper on why people have decided to reject Christianity and would like to have a discussion on that. If you were once a follower of Christ and are not now, what pushed you to make that decision?


But I do have a problem with your conflating Christianity with 'following Jesus' generically speaking.


I agree that this would be a strange definition of "Christianity".

There was never a time in my life when I was a "follower" of Christ. Nor could such a time ever exist. The reason is quite simple. When I read the Bible Jesus is the first character in the Bible that I actually agree with on moral issues. Therefore it wouldn't make sense to say that I'm "following" someone who already agrees with me. At best all that can be said is that I approve of the moral values attributed to Jesus.

So then the question becomes, "Does agreeing with the moral values of Jesus qualify as person as being a Christian?" I don't think it does. For one thing that isn't even a requirement for being a Christian. Apparently the requirement for being a Christian is to believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of Yahweh who supposedly died to pay for our sins. And the requirement is not that we "follow" Jesus, but rather that we ask him to be our savior and to forgive us of our sins.

I don't believe that Yahweh is God. I don't believe that Jesus was the son of God given for the purpose of being our sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins.

Since I do not believe either of these things, it wouldn't matter if I was in 100% agreement and harmony with the moral teachings of Jesus. That alone does not qualify someone as a member of the Christian religion.

Am I in 100% agreement with the moral teachings of Jesus? I think that becomes a necessarily controversial topic because very few people (especially Christians) can even agree on precisely what moral values Jesus stood for.

~~~~~~

Ironically I actually see Jesus being in agreement with me when it comes to rejecting directives and commandments originally attributed to Yahweh.

Yahweh command that we are to stone adulterers to death. Jesus rebuked that and taught that we should not cast the first stone. So here Jesus rebukes a direct commandment of Yahweh that I had previously rejected myself.

So Jesus agrees with me that we should not obey Yahweh's commandments.

Yahweh commanded that we are to seek an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, and that we are not to take pity. So he wasn't giving us this commandment as an option but rather he was demanding that we do this. The Old Testament even states that this is necessary if we are to rid ourselves of the evil around us.

Jesus rebukes this directly. He calls this out directly and replaces it with "Turn the other cheek". Jesus also rebukes that we are to rid ourselves of the evil around us but instead that we resist not evil.

Matthew 5:
[38] Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
[39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.


I agree with Jesus that it makes more sense not to seek revenge or fight evil with evil. So once again, I find Jesus expressing my views.

How could I possibly "follow" Jesus when he's doing nothing more than expressing my views?

At best all I could do is walk with him side-by-side in mutual agreement.

~~~~~
Disclaimer: There are things in the New Testament attributed to Jesus that I do not agree with. For example, that we should hate our father, mother, sister, and brother. So whether I agree with Jesus on every moral issue is questionable.

But then again, Christians almost never mention that Jesus wants us to hate our own father, mother, sister, or brother. They claim that this was just some kind of metaphor, and not a moral directive.

In the end I hold that we have no reason to believe that anything stated in the Gospels necessarily came from Jesus anyway. Jesus could not have been anything other than just another mortal man with an opinion. He was also vulnerable to having bad opinions on occasion just like everyone else. So even if he did say stupid stuff once in a while that's understandable.

As a final note: I would never follow Jesus if he required that I hate my mother. I would have to tell Jesus that he can just go ahead without me at that point. I have no desire to follow anyone who would suggest such a hateful thing.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:02 pm
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Re: Why aren't you a Christain?

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[Replying to post 1 by ejh210]

I have always been an atheist. I am not a Christian primarily because there is no convincing evidence for any gods, also because Christianity doesn't make sense.

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