Walking away from Christianity gaining in popularity

June 1, 2009 at 12:32 am 75 comments

theBEattitude recently posted a post on his blog entitled “Losing my religion.  Why I recently walked away from Christianity.”  For the past few days the post has been one of WordPress’ top posts.  According to the author on his Twitter account, he’s had over 50,000 hits in a two day period.  The post has generated over 900 comments as of this writing.

Our humble blog has seen over 1,000,000 hits in our first 2 years of existence and almost 30,000 hits in the past week alone.  We’ve had almost 25,000 comments since our inception.  Other similar sites such as Debunking Christianity and ExChristianDotNet continue to also be very popular sites.

Due to this phenomenon, we are in the process of relaunching our community site to be more of a social networking site where we can in essence build a community of apostates, de-converts, ex-Christians, or whatever label you wish to wear.

Here’s to this new trend!  Why do you think  this is becoming such a popular decision?

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , .

10 Reasons Atheists Are More Moral Than Religious Fundamentalists A Look Inside The Evangelical Mind

75 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GreenStar  |  June 1, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I think this is becoming a popular decision among people now more than ever because we’re actually using our brains and not giving in to the brainwashing bullshit that our parents, grandparents & friends are pushing on us.

    I personally am very happy with the way things are going. When my 13 year old nephew talks to me and brings points up that I haven’t even thought about yet, I know the world is headed in a better direction.

  • 2. Edward  |  June 1, 2009 at 4:08 am

    Perhaps it’s because through the web, people have found that they are not alone in not ‘believing’. Strength in numbers?

  • 3. Not a Church Goer anymore  |  June 1, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I agree with GreenStar, we are now using our brains and starting to peel the fat off the meat and see religion for what it is…a controlling the masses tool. Plus a lot of “religious truth” is continuously being debunked by science and logic and a lot of folks are seeing the inconsistencies of thier religious belief system. “The something just don’t add up factor,” is making waves through the religious communities and causing people to seek truth and drop in a websites like this one.

  • 4. FFFearlesss  |  June 1, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I gotta say, I’m not a fan of the new forum site. It’s not nearly as user friendly. It looks like the early days of the internet with one long rambling text layout. Is this still being developed or is that how it’s going to look?

  • 5. ArchangelChuck  |  June 1, 2009 at 10:16 am

    It’s not so much about “walking away” from Christianity. People are simply being more honest with themselves and with each other.

  • 6. LeoPardus  |  June 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I think Edward got it. The ability to connect with others via the Internet allows many of us to see that we are not alone with our doubts. It also provides a community for people who leave religion to find help in a world without an imaginary friend, and sometimes in a world minus your former (religious) friends.

  • 7. Joe  |  June 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I hope you’ll bear with me on this one. I am a Christian and I have noticed the great increase in deconverts, apostates, ex-christians too. Of course, I have a different take on it. One I am sure you will not like very much. :>)

    If one believes we are living in the “last days” then one see prophetic signs: i.e., Israel is a nation again, the totally rapid increase in knowledge, atomic weapons, speed of information, etc. etc.

    But included in these “signs” is the one in Thessalonians that says that there will be a “great apostasy” before the end. It says that MANY “shall leave the faith”. This is happening with such frequency now it cannot be denied. I personally have never seen so many “ex-christians” before in my life. It used to be a rarity—now it is very common.

    Again though, that’s only my take on it. I’m sure you will all have very logical and “sound” reasons for the increase in unbelievers who “used to be” believers–and I can respect that.

  • 8. Joshua  |  June 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Joe, that’s exactly what a cult would invent to keep the religion alive.

    As numbers decrease, the faithful few who remain feel more and more important. So the faithful few become more and more entrenched, feeling that their ability to remain while others leave is a sign of their great spirituality while they wait for the end times.

    It’s a perfect invention. Honestly, I almost applaud it. But its still an invention. Anyone can start a religion and say that.

    Anyway, personally I think so many people are leaving the faith because of mass access to information (e.g. Internet). It used to be that small cults and sects had strong filters in place to keep outside information from interfering with their faith claims. Now with so much public information, sects and cults have access to opposing information which they may not have had access to before. So people will just keep leaving.

    Except, of course, for those faithful few who arrogantly hold on to their faith because they think being small in numbers is more evidence they are right.

  • 9. Joe  |  June 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Joshua—

    Actually, Christianity has billions of followers, so we are not talking “small numbers” hanging in there. But there is an abnormally high amount of those who claim to be “ex-christians”. I have been visiting websites for a few years now, and I can tell you there are far more than before. I am talking about “apostasy from the faith”.

    Exponentially, the percentage is small compared to those who continue to believe. But the numbers are growing–and appear to point to a greater apostasy in progress. It is simply one of the “signs” of the last days. It is nothing to feel “more important” about at all—-it is a prophetic sign along with the return of Israel, and many other signs which point to us entering/or in the “last days”.

  • 10. Ubi Dubium  |  June 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Whoo Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo haa haa haa…!

    Joe – thanks for my best laugh today. Just when I thought the post might be making sense, you go and blow it with your “last days” stuff. People have thought the “last days” were just around the corner for 2000 years now. When people decide to quit waiting around for a no-show god, you call it “prophetic”! Somehow the fact that people have figured out your fiction is fiction counts for you as evidence that it’s really true.

    You know, there are an even greater number of people who have given up their belief in Santa. Maybe that means it’s time for Santageddon!

  • 11. Joe  |  June 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    “People have thought the “last days” were just around the corner for 2000 years now”

    Ubi—

    Yes–that is very true. And the Bible says that in “the last days” will come mockers asking “where is the promise of his coming?” also. If you thought this was the best laugh of the day you might just be one of those people Peter is talking about.

    I have to ask–how long on this world has man had the ability to destroy the world? Since 1945. When did Israel become a nation again? 1948. Revelation says the “world leader” will be seen by “all the world” at once. How long has that ability been in place? Just since satellites have been put in space—men scoffed at such a notion in the past.

    Those are just a few things that are now in place that NEVER had been in place before. Jesus asked that when he returned if “he would find faith (literally ‘the faith’) on the earth?” Apostasy is one of the signs of the last days. You may laugh, but I’m not–I have seen a huge growth in apostasy in just the last three years. Enough that I have commented on it on several other boards for a couple of years now. It’s unmistakable.

  • 12. LeoPardus  |  June 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I was wondering when someone would bring in the “Great Apostasy” biz. Boy do I ever remember those heady days of learning eschatology. The EU was the Beast, Russia had tanks that could be burned. China was identified as Magog. Man, what fun!

    Santageddon!

    LOL

  • 13. Joe  |  June 2, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Leo—

    I think your memory has suffered a bit. :>) The EU isn’t the beast–but the “beast” will supposedly come out of the EU as the “beast” is a person. I never heard about tanks that could be burned—-but wouldn’t doubt it—there are a lot of crazy teachings out there! LOL Actually, Russia and it’s states are “God and Magog”. China would be one of the “kings of the east” that cross the Euphrates.

    I do not hold to a lot of the “speculations” about who the Beast is, where he comes from and all that. What I do see is the general picture—-the world’s increasingly rapid growth in knowledge. Israel being basically on center stage in the world—despite how tiny they are, with Iran threatening to blow them off the face of the earth. The ability for there to actually BE a world leader—–this was unthinkable a few decades back.

    Everyone’s dream is a “united world” where no more poverty or disease exists, etc. The world is more closely linked than it has almost ever been in history. I could go on and on—but you get the picture. I don’t want to fall into some “crack-pot” predictions about the beast, or setting dates, but the “signs of the times” are unmistakable.

    I know prophetic “predictions” can actually be quite funny—-not ready to quit my job and stand on the roof yet—-but one cannot miss the fact that the world is ready for a HUGE change—–believers and unbelievers alike can see that I think.

  • 14. Joe  |  June 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Correction: Not “God and Magog”—s/b “Gog and Magog.

  • 15. Joe  |  June 2, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    But the subject at hand is why walking away from the faith is gaining in popularity—didn’t mean to turn it into a discussion about prophecy.

    Do you really think it is because more information is available, or it might just be “burn out” in general. I know what I “believe”, but perhaps someone can give a logical reason for this increase of “walking away”?

  • 16. The Nerd  |  June 2, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    THE INTERNET! That’s the primary enabler for me to leave Christianity. I grew up going to Christian school and living in a Christian college town. Where was I to ever learn about other worldviews, if not for the internet? My friends and family urged me to take every thought captive for Christ, but the internet was an open resource book that urged me to reason and come to the most logical conclusion for myself.

  • 17. Ubi Dubium  |  June 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Nerd -
    I agree. We can connect now like we never could before. The internet is the best thing ever for us heretics. I’ve met so many fascinating people virtually that I never could have connected with otherwise.

    Joe -
    When the rapture comes, can I have your car? :) (Or maybe it was last week, and you missed it?)

    Honestly, you make no sense with all your end-times talk. If apostasy is a sign of the end times, and you want the end times to come so you can go off to heaven, or whatever, then why are you trying to convert anyone? Better to push them out, encourage their doubts, and bring on your apocralypse all the sooner.

  • 18. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 3, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Out of morbid curiosity, does anyone know how often the “great apostasy” claim has been made in the past?

  • 19. Quester  |  June 3, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I’m not convinced that a higher percentage of people don’t believe in any gods than was typical in other points of human history. I find it easier to believe that more people are willing to admit it today, which I will happily credit the printing press and eventually the Internet in aiding by allowing us to see we are not alone.

  • 20. ArchangelChuck  |  June 3, 2009 at 2:36 am

    “… the “signs of the times” are unmistakable.”

    “…the world is ready for a HUGE change—–believers and unbelievers alike can see that I think.”

    Evidence or GTFO.

  • 21. Joe  |  June 3, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    “Joe -
    When the rapture comes, can I have your car? (Or maybe it was last week, and you missed it?)”

    lol—Yes you can have my car. :>)

  • 22. Joshua  |  June 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Personally, I think its great that Joe finds us good evidence that the Lord will return soon. How fucking awesome!

    Maybe when he finally returns we’ll have the evidence we have been begging for on our knees for months – or years – on end. Oh gosh, I’ve been wanting evidence of God’s existence. I should probably go out, as Ubi says, and deconvert as many people as I can. This will help usher in the Lord’s return.

    Or maybe Joe is the blind one. Hmmm…

  • 23. LeoPardus  |  June 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Hot damn Josh! I think you’re on to something. A powerful reason for de-con evangelism: We’re trying to hasten the Second Coming. But that would raise a lot of eyebrows.

  • 24. Joe  |  June 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Maybe when he finally returns we’ll have the evidence we have been begging for on our knees for months – or years – on end. Oh gosh, I’ve been wanting evidence of God’s existence. I should probably go out, as Ubi says, and deconvert as many people as I can. This will help usher in the Lord’s return.

    Or maybe Joe is the blind one. Hmmm…

    Ok—I tried to change the subject (see #15). I was giving a “generalized” take on prophecy. As I mentioned, the return of Israel as a nation and apostasy are two “signs” the Bible says to watch for. This is not my “opinion”—it is in any book on prophecy. It is not my “personal” take—-it is a prophetic take on the last days.

    I’m sorry if you see no evidence of God’s existence. When it comes to God you can see the glass half empty, or you can see it half full. If you want to concentrate (as many do) on all the bad things in the world and use it as a reason God does not exist, that is up to you. It is possible however, to look at the Universe, the intricacy of DNA, the fact we all (even identical twins) have unique fingerprints, the awesomeness of nature and the millions of beautiful creatures on the earth, or even love itself and see thing completely different.

    The evil, the corruption and disease, the dishonesty, etc. etc.–these will not last forever. I’ve gone long periods of time also when it appeared God wasn’t listening. But I have also seen him answer prayers in ways I never would have imagined.

    Joshua—-you sound kind of bitter. You mention “begging on your knees for months–or years”. I’m kind of curious, do you “allow” anything to be an answer to prayer—-or do you immediately discount it and call it “conicidence”? Are you another one of those who has “walked away” (to stay with the current subject) due to “personal reasons” i.e., unanswered prayer?

    Again, I tried to chance the subject, but since you want to conitnue I am just asking.

  • 25. Joe  |  June 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    By the way, when I say “personal reasons” I mean that some say they “walked away” because they investigated science, etc.—-but there are others whose main argument for God’s non-existence is their own ‘personal’ experience of unanswered prayer. There are many who point out how foolish it is to base a belief in God on “personal experience” who then turn around and give “personal experience” as their reason for not believing any more. :>)

  • 26. Jon Featherstone  |  June 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I would like to offer the idea that Christianity is simply starting the natural process of dying of old age, just like the many religions that have gone before it. It has, and continues to serve a grand purpose for countless millions (and for this we give thanks) but there is a natural trend that we as a species will evolve and “outgrow” old methods and ideas and adopt newer better ideas.
    The other comment I would make about the “end times” discussion is that there is a very strong case to be made that the second coming of Jesus happenned in about 70AD. This is called preterism and, although not commonly discussed in modern Christian circles that seem to prefer the hollywood razmataz of Left Behind, offers a much more hermeneutically sound interpretation of Jesus’s recorded sayings surrounding his return.

  • 27. Mike  |  June 8, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Joe,

    Do you like genocide? Jehova does. Do you like the stoning to death of children? Jehova does. Do you like swords being driven through toddlers’ throats? Jehova does. Do you think slaves should be beaten? Jehova does GTFO cursed one.

  • 28. writerdd  |  June 8, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Jon, I don’t know why I never thought of this before, but maybe the resurrection was the second coming. Or did Jesus predict his second coming after the resurrection? I’m rusty on my Bible stuff these days.

  • 29. Joe  |  June 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Mike—

    #27 —sounds like you have a personal issue. Thanks for sharing.

    –Joe

  • 30. orDover  |  June 8, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Look at that ad hominem! Classic. Not that Mike’s comment is worth much of a rebuttal, but a personal attack is never the way to go.

  • 31. Joe  |  June 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Look at that ad hominem! Classic. Not that Mike’s comment is worth much of a rebuttal, but a personal attack is never the way to go.

    orDover—

    Not a personal “attack” at all. Read Mike’s e-mail. He obviously has issues regarding Jehovah. That’s all I was saying. How you can turn #29 into a “personal attack” is beyond me. :>)

    Does “Jehova does GTFO cursed one” sound like someone talking in a logical straight-foward manner? :>) He obviously has a strong distaste for Jehovah—-and that’s cool. To each his own. It’s his own “personal” distaste though.

  • 32. writerdd  |  June 9, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Saw an ad on facebook today for pastors about how many teenagers have been leaving the church lately. (I have a lot of Christian friends on FB so I get a fair number of religious ads.) Had to laugh… that’s a good thing! :-)

  • 33. orDover  |  June 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Joe,

    You can think whatever you like about Mike and the nature of his mental state, but it is inappropriate to point to a personal “issue” in lieu of a rebuttal. Mike raised a few relevant points (although I disagree with his combative language). He does not have any “issues” with Jehova that are not laid out clearly in the Bible.

    Mike brought up the issue that Jehova of the Bible is an angry, hostile, genocidal God that commands his followers to kill in his name. That is a very relevant argument against worshiping him. Instead of dealing with criticism of Jehova, you deflected by making a (seemingly) sarcastic remark about Mike’s character. It makes it seem as if you have nothing relevant to say to defend Jehova against Mike’s claim, so you just change the subject with an insult.

  • 34. Joe  |  June 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    “It makes it seem as if you have nothing relevant to say to defend Jehova against Mike’s claim, so you just change the subject with an insult”.

    orDover—-

    It was not meant as an insult. Read the end of #25 and you will see why I said “it sounds like a personal issue”. I apologize if the whole thing was taken the wrong way. Again, Mike can think about Jehovah any way he wants to–it’s a free country. :>)

  • 35. Joe  |  June 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    As far as having nothing relevant to say to defend Jehovah against Mike’s claim–I do need to defend Jehovah–he is very capable of defending himself.

    I will say though that when one reads, for instance, Psalm 103, they will not see an angry, hostile God there. Give it a read sometime if you get the chance—it is as I have said before concerning God—–one can only see the glass half empty if they want to—that’s pretty easy to do—-or one can see it half full–but in order to do that you have to read the FULL content of scripture, and not just concentrate on what one thinks is detestable or horrible.

  • 36. Joe  |  June 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Meant to say “I do not need to defend Jehovah” not “I need to”.

  • 37. Joe  |  June 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    What I mean in #35 is that I often hear “The God of the Bible is a horrendous, evil, angry deity” etc. But then I see Jesus cross the sea of Galilee to heal a demoniac—he makes the journey just to heal this man. That doesn’t appear to be horrendous, angry, etc. So one has to look at the full picture—not concentrate on a few areas of the Old Testament that are hard to understand.

    Admittedly, when God tells Joshua to wipe out a whole group of people I don’t get it. But I’m also not going to base my whole belief or idea of God on passages I can’t understand—there are a myriad more where God is extremely loving and kind too. That’s all I mean to say.

  • 38. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 10, 2009 at 1:13 am

    People can do very loving and kind things, and then turn around and do horrendous things as well. Yet God apparently gets a free pass where we would detest a person who does such things.

    God wipes out entire peoples, orders genocides, and then he heals some people and we consider him loving? When I look at the “full picture” I see something that is, on the whole, appalling. The bad far outweighs the good.

  • 39. ArchangelChuck  |  June 10, 2009 at 1:32 am

    @Joe (#24): Try millennia. This is 2009 A.D., i.e. “roughly the number of years passed since Jesus promised to come back but never did.”

    Your theology is thoughtless, hollow, weak, impotent, trite, silly, and most of all, unfulfilling. It isn’t a mental problem that we don’t think like you, and it isn’t a spiritual failing that interpretations such as yours of what you do — and I do not — call “God” is unacceptable. Don’t act like it is.

  • 40. BigHouse  |  June 10, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Why is it that when you point to the bad parts of God’s character as shown in the Bible, it’s “hard to understand” and “not the complete picture” but the GOOD parts alone ACTUALLY define the deity? Oh I know, it’s because those who defend God start with the premise that he is good and then only pay attention to the evidence that supports that view.

  • 41. ArchangelChuck  |  June 10, 2009 at 9:31 am

    @BigHouse: He could take a different approach, simply admitting that the bible is nothing more than an anthology of fables, myths, and historical fiction, all of which is meant to be read intelligently.

    Fiction != worthless. Remember Aesop’s Fables?

    Admitting that, he could simply say that God’s attributes are not constrained to a book written by primitive, ignorant men. The problem is, he wants to defend both God and the bible.

    But his God is a little god, and he wants to keep Him that way.

  • 42. Joe  |  June 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Actually, the point I was making about not “understanding” is that the Bible is broken into different “dispensations”. Under the dispensation of “Law” we see threatenings, anger, judgment, etc.–but even in that same dispensation we see much talk of love and Grace in many of the prophets, and in David in the Psalms.

    But no matter what “dispensation” you are reading in, there is much mercy and Grace shown by God to many. Just read the book of Jonah for example. It is Jonah who wants the Ninevites judged horribly—-God himself desires to show mercy and does so at the end of that book–even stating how important the very cattle are to Him. Give that a read for a bit of a different perspective. And that was under “Law” not “Grace”.

    However, I understand the take on “god” here, so I don’t expect the most gracious of responses to this. :>)

  • 43. Joe  |  June 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    “@Joe (#24): Try millennia. This is 2009 A.D., i.e. “roughly the number of years passed since Jesus promised to come back but never did.”

    Archangel Chuck (#39)—

    Not sure where your quote comes from above. It wasn’t in my post #24. Perhaps Joshua, the original poster whom I quoted made the reference you’re referring to, not sure. But Jesus never made any promise about the amount of time that would pass before he returned.

    “A day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day…” (2 Peter). 2000 years can be like 2 days to God—so his “long awaited return” is really nothing time-wise to HIm.

    You also state:

    “Your theology is thoughtless, hollow, weak, impotent, trite, silly, and most of all, unfulfilling. It isn’t a mental problem that we don’t think like you, and it isn’t a spiritual failing that interpretations such as yours of what you do — and I do not — call “God” is unacceptable. Don’t act like it is”.

    Archangel—

    It isn’t MY theology. There are many prophetic books that point to many of the same signs. I’m not asking you to “think like me” at all. I was simply stating what many prophetic books state as signs of the last days—-and one of them is a great apostasy. That was all. If you find that weak and unfulfilling, that’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. But it has been a “theology” held on to many years before I was born–I didn’t invent it. :>)

  • 44. Joe  |  June 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    “But his God is a little god, and he wants to keep Him that way”. (#41)

    Archangel Chuck—

    One last thing I forgot. The very Bible you are referrin to says of God “His understanding is infinite”—so I am not sure what you mena by a “little god”.

  • 45. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    You still don’t address my point, Joe. The despicable acts committed by God in the old testament are not even nearly countered by all the acts of love depicted elsewhere.

    Showing “much mercy and grace” does not make you “good” when you’ve also committed atrocities like genocide.

  • 46. Joe  |  June 10, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Snuggly—

    When the U.S. dropped the Atom Bomb on Japan it may seem like a “despicable” act also. Many women and children were killed. But the reason we dropped the bomb was for the greater moral good. It stopped the aggression of Japan, and we will never know how many lives were spared in the long run by dropping that bomb.

    I do not fully understand why God asks Joshua and others to do some of the things they did. Was it for the greater good as the atom bomb was? Many times in history things that appear “evil” actually prevent far greater evil from happening. God shows far more mercy in the Bible than he does judgment. If you want to center in on that judgment that is fine–but some of that judgment may have saved thousands more lives in the long run—-we just don’t know.

  • 47. Ubi Dubium  |  June 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Joe, I know what I mean when I say a “little god”. You claim that your god is the creator of our mind-bogglingly huge universe, which we now know is made up of billions of galaxies like our own, which itself has billions of stars. And yet, this enormous god then becomes the personal tribal war-totem of one small bronze-age mideastern tribe on our small planet, and to them and only them he delivers his true message. He is portrayed as acting like a human being, with all our anger and jealousy and destructiveness, only moreso. He makes defective creatures, then blames them for messing up, and somehow, although omnipotent, requires a blood sacrifice to correct the problem. And the only records of this all-important event are second and third-hand accounts that contradict each other, in a book that has had no updates for 2000 years. Your god does not sound huge and magnificent. He sounds like the invention of human minds, who created a god to fill their needs at the time. Small, like us.

  • 48. ArchangelChuck  |  June 11, 2009 at 12:55 am

    @Joe: Allow me to be more concise, then. What I find to be a weak and unfulfilling theology is the idea of constraining an infinite God to finite books written by ignorant men. You’re right, though. That is my opinion, but it’s one I hold rather strongly. You see, it shields me from the parlor tricks of fools and charlatans pretending to be men of God.

  • 49. epiphanist  |  June 11, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Are you checking your emails? I sent one offering some material last week and haven’t heard back yet.

  • 50. LeoPardus  |  June 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Re post #46: That is a brilliant, short summary of why BibleGod is so absurd. I am saving that paragraph.

  • 51. Joe  |  June 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Leo—

    I admit, #46 wasn’t the best example to use. I was trying to pick some “human” illustration as an example to use regarding some of the things that appear atrocious in the Old Testament. I guess I would fail in whatever I picked.

    The only thing I can say is that in Corinthians it says that many of the Old Testament acts under the law were “types” and are used as “examples” to us. I cannot explain some of the things in the Old Testament under the Law.

    But again, am I going to reject a whole Gospel message of the free gift of eternal life and salvation because I cannot grasp some of the things that happened in the Old Testament? For instance, will I reject the message of Christ because I don’t understand why Elisha would send bears to kill children??

    I as a Christian cannot understand Elisha and the bears—it seems cruel and awful—–but I am not going to use that as a gauge as to whether I accept or reject the Gospel of Grace.

    Ubi— (#47)

    Who are we to tell God how he wants to deal with man? He is infinite–but he is God—if he wants to use one backward nation as the funnel for his plan of salvation, what is that to us? A scientist tries to find cure for a disease by using a small dish with a sample of a virus or bacteria. He may be able to cure all of mankind by running experiments on this small sample (as was the case with polio, etc.). If God wants to confine his will to one nation in the beginning, then he has every right to do so—He is God isn’t He?

    Archangel (#48)—

    Again, as I said to Ubi, who are we to tell God what to do? If he wants to convey his message through a book, then He conveys his message through a book.

    Actually, one can fall to “charlatans” and “tricks of fools” without reading the Bible—-look at all the “devices” in exercise Ads that people fall for every day–some of those are probably atheists trying to shed a few pounds along with the Christians and others “falling” for the foolish hope that this just might be the “miracle tool” to get rid of the flab!! :>)

    One does not need a Bible to be a victim of charlatans.

  • 52. Cindy  |  June 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I need help answering Mark , anyone GAME
    Cindy,
    I think the guy is in some ways grasping at straws. Most forget that the same Bible that has II Thessalonians 3:10 in it also has numerous verses regarding the payment of wages in addition to helping the sick and the poor.
    Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus command someone to starve to death while they work. In addition, II Thessalonians 3:10 is taken out of the context in which it was written. It was not talking about those who could not find work that paid a realistic wage. It was talking about a group of people who were so convinced the Rapture was about to happen that they were not working, nor were they in the ministry. The Bible says that those who work are to be fed, as are those who are in the ministry. The people it says not to feed are those who are doing neither. There is nothing in the Bible that supports the right wing idea of refusing to pay enough to live on.

    Mark A. Cook
    bigalligator@bellsouth.net
    Dunnellon, Florida.

  • 53. BigHouse  |  June 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Cindy, what’s the question?

  • 54. orDover  |  June 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    RE: #46

    First of all, there is no real evidence that using nuclear weapons against innocent Japanese civilians was “for the greater good.” The record of history has shown that Japan had already begun to surrender. Even if you agree that the first bomb was necessarily, the second one surely was not. You’ve already admitted it’s a terrible analogy though.

    God shows far more mercy in the Bible than he does judgment. If you want to center in on that judgment that is fine–but some of that judgment may have saved thousands more lives in the long run—-we just don’t know.

    Does he? In the long run? Has God really saved more people than he has damned? I don’t think so.

    Let’s do an experiment. To make these numbers smaller, we’ll just assume the world began at 6000 BCE. The world had a population of about 5 million, that continued until there was a boom in during the 6th millennium BCE, but we’ll just keep the figure at 5 million. Think of how many hundreds of millions of people lived and died between 6000 BCE and 2000 BCE when God finally revealed himself to Abraham. Considering most of them were spread throughout the globe, we can assume they didn’t have the word of God to guide them to salvation or teach them how to atone for their sins. They’ve all been damned. Then consider for how many centuries God only revealed himself to the Israelites who made up only a tiny fraction of the world’s population. Millions of more damned. What about all of the people who lived in the Americas and Oceania who remained completely ignorant of the Hebrew Bible until as recent as the mid 19th century. Millions damned.

    Even if you start counting at 1 CE, conservative numbers say that 50 billion people have lived and died. In the intervening 2000 years, how many of these 50 billion have been Christians? Even now, when Christianity is at it’s height, it only makes up about 1/4 of the world’s population. Being very generous to Christianity, assuming that has always been the case, that makes 12.5 billion saved, 37.5 damned.

    Now you might rejoice about those 12.5 billion, but what about the rest? They were damned because of God’s rules. He could have made ANY rules, but he decided to make rules that you’d only find out about if you happened to live at a certain time in a certain place. The rest of humanity is damned without even a chance. What a gracious God indeed.

  • 55. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I remember struggling with the fact that some people would die without ever hearing about Jesus or God and wondering how that jived with an allegedly loving God who would punish those people for eternity, even incredibly early in my childhood. I eventually pushed such thoughts out of my mind, because I simply couldn’t reconcile them with what I was taught about God.

    He is infinite–but he is God—if he wants to use one backward nation as the funnel for his plan of salvation, what is that to us?

    It’s a pretty big deal to all the people who die without any chance at this alleged salvation. Such a God is frankly despicable and not worthy of worship.

    I as a Christian cannot understand Elisha and the bears—it seems cruel and awful—–but I am not going to use that as a gauge as to whether I accept or reject the Gospel of Grace.

    This is rather disturbing. You hear about a God who performs such despicable acts, and you’re going to worship him anyway (and with no evidence) because you like the other parts you hear? If someone is telling you what a wonderful person they are and then tell you about the time they murdered a bunch of kids, would you really believe they are good?

  • 56. Joe  |  June 12, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    “Considering most of them were spread throughout the globe, we can assume they didn’t have the word of God to guide them to salvation or teach them how to atone for their sins. They’ve all been damned”

    orDover—

    None of us can really say that. We do not know what happened to all of those people. We do not know what happens to people today. The important thing is—have you heard the Gospel? Have you had an opportunity? And the answer is “yes you have”. When Peter asked Jesus about what John would do Jesus said not to worry about John—worry about your own service—worry about what YOU are doing. You can go through all the conjecture about who wasn’t saved, or who hasn’t had the opportunity—but will you use that as an excuse as to why YOU reject the very same thing you claim they have no chance at???

    Snuggly—

    You said:

    “You hear about a God who performs such despicable acts, and you’re going to worship him anyway (and with no evidence) because you like the other parts you hear”?

    Actually, God didn’t kill the children—Elisha sicked the bears on them. We aren’t told how God responded or how he felt about Elisha’s act. I still don’t understand it, nor understand God “allowing” it. But God “allows” quite a lot of evil in the world—-BUT we have no idea as to why. He has a plan and has allowed evil here to grow to it’s full before he destroys it. It says in Thessalonians that there is a “mystery of iniquity” and when it has “reached it’s full” then Jesus will return and destroy it. I don’t understand it—–but I again, I am not going to reject salvation because I don’t understand something like the bears and Elisha—one day I will understand.

    Will I toss away a life preserver thrown to me while I am drowning because it “appears” others aren’t receiving them too? That wouldn’t be to smart. Will I reject salvation because it “appears” not everyone gets a chance? That is also a very unwise thing to do.

  • 57. Eve's Apple  |  June 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I am deeply troubled at the whole concept of God commanding others to kill for him. If God is all-powerful as I have been told, then why is he asking others to do his dirty work for him? Can’t he take care of problem people himself?

    I decided some years back that God was perfectly capable of taking care of business himself and that he did not need me speaking or acting for him. I think it is high time that all those who claim to speak or act for him do likewise and let God speak for himself. Although I can understand that it can be hard to stand by and watch while he apparently does nothing . . .

  • 58. LeoPardus  |  June 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I had that problem too Eve. One could think of it like a control freak though. Getting others to do dirty stuff drags them down too.

  • 59. ArchangelChuck  |  June 15, 2009 at 1:31 am

    Joe… If you think that God speaks through the bible in any extraordinary way, then you have no idea how the bible came to be.

    No, instead, I accuse you of idolizing a worthless parody of divine perfection, and defending a book that reflects neither divinity nor perfection. I’m tempted to quote John Shelby Spong in saying that atheism “… is always a proper response to idolatry,” especially one so odious as bible worship.

    In other words, if your goal is to build bridges and open dialogues, you’re failing miserably. If your goal is to proselytize, then you better find another damn place to do it, because, from what I understand, it isn’t welcome here.

  • 60. Joe  |  June 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

    “No, instead, I accuse you of idolizing a worthless parody of divine perfection, and defending a book that reflects neither divinity nor perfection”

    Archangel—

    I guess you have every right to “accuse” me of anything you’d like—but it is just your opinion, not an established fact. My goal in the post above (#51) is not to “prosyletize or build bridges”–it was just to say if God “wants” to use a Bible to convey His message He can—-He is God—He can do whatever he wants to do. That was all that I said. When reading #59 it sounds like you are doing far more proselytizing of your opinions than I offered above. But again, to each his own.

  • 61. BigHouse  |  June 15, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    ”–it was just to say if God “wants” to use a Bible to convey His message He can—-He is God—He can do whatever he wants to do

    In your interpretation of god, I guess this is correct. However, I would posit to you, what does it tell you about your god that he did as he pleased in dissemintaing your eternal life instructions in such a primitive and confusing way?

  • 62. Joe  |  June 15, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    BigHouse—

    I’m not sure what you mean. John 3:16 seems to be pretty clear to me. In fact, it is very simple. I think it is we as men who try to complicate it, or “religiousize” it (a word I just made up). The way to salvation is actually very clear if one just accepts it as written.

  • 63. Dave  |  June 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I must say, after 6 years of the peverbial ” soul searching” i recently came to the rationlization that i just dont believe in God..

    i can in no way use big words like the rest of you well educated people whose posts i’ve been reading. for me the conclusion was as Holmes would put it ” Elementary my dear Watson”.

    It just didn’t make sense.

    Is my Christian God THE true god? is his path the way to eternal life? the Bible tells me yes.. but wait.. the koran says there’s is, oh.. but.. what about Buddism, Hinduism, Taioism.. holy crap..

    So i searched and searched for answers but i always got the same answer ” just have faith”.. well, if i had faith, we wouldnt be having this conversation now would we?

    I’m not sure if it’s organized religion, but the more I think about it.. it doesn’t really matter to me anymore.. if there were an auditorium filled with a representative from every “organized religion” arguing on who’s god is the true God and none can prove it.. then for me.. only me.. am I inclined to rationalize that they are all wrong..

    And the other thing, the fear factor! Praise me or I will set your ass on fire!!! Wtf? I didn’t ask to be here, I didn’t ask for any of this. But now, because I am here, by your grace and ‘love’ I by default must subject my self to a life of praise and servitude? And if I don’t, you will burn me for eternity? holy shit.. what a raw deal that is..

    with that said..

    I ,only me, felt that once i stripped away the big words, the ideals, the quotes, everything. and asked myself a simple question. Do you really believe God or any god could create a world like this? in my heart, i could no longer lie to myself.. and it hurt, it still hurts sometimes. but, i’ve never felt more alive..

  • 64. Quester  |  June 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Hang around, Dave. You’ll find many who feel the same.

  • 65. BigHouse  |  June 21, 2009 at 10:19 am

    John 3:16 isn’t the only verse in your Bible. Why didn’t God just send a notecard if that’s all we needed? Seems he is the one sending unnecessary dross our way.

  • 66. orDover  |  June 21, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    The way to salvation is actually very clear if one just accepts it as written.

    After first cherry-picking which verses you will heed and which ones you will ignore.

  • 67. Joe  |  June 26, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    It just didn’t make sense (#63)

    Neither does a platypus.

  • 68. Wyjazdy Studenckie  |  June 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I think that it’s mostly because the church doesn’t want to get with times. As long as religion will mean riddiculous requirements and crazy limitations, younger people will ignore it completely.

  • 69. fffearlesss  |  July 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

    @Joe #67

    The platypus actually makes perfect sense when you understand how and why it evolved. Richard Dawkins does a whole section on the platypus in “The Ancestor’s Tale.”

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  • 72. shawbrooke  |  December 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    My guess is that a whole bunch of people accessing the site are parents who are torturing themselves over where they went wrong since their children deserted their faith. More are Christian parents and grandparents who are looking for a way out of paying to get their non Christian offspring out of some scrape, tired of the emotional games the offspring play, and tired of the unhappiness the offspring spread everywhere.

    Bet you that most readerse are not interested in atheism in the first place.

  • 73. cag  |  December 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    shawbrooke #72, this is a site for people who do not stone people to death for disobedience (exodus 21:17), stone people to death for working on the sabbath (whatever your sabbath is) (Numbers 15:33-35). Same for blasphemy (leviticus 24-16), being a rape victim(deuteronomy 22:23-24), a non-virgin bride (deuteronomy 22:13-21). Do not give us the line about “we don’t do that any more”. You are defying your imaginary friend jesus (Matthew 5:18-19).

    We do not look upon eating shellfish as an abomination (with the exception of some vegans).

    We do not get our morality from some fiction book that condones the killing of children (1 samuel 15:2-3) and the raping of virgins after killing all the adults (numbers 31:7-18). We do not have leaders who use their position of authority to rape altar boys. We do not dictate what goes on between consenting adults. We do not demand ten percent of your income.

    We believe in reality, not superstitious nonsense. Take your sanctimonious preaching somewhere else, somewhere where the readers are so deluded that they will actually believe your deceitful nonsense. We are people who do not have our poor actions forgiven by some fop in a dog collar, we have to live with our conscience.

    Your guess is so far from reality that is boggles the mind. Study up on the crime statistics of Scandinavian countries, where the church has minimal influence and compare that to, say, the USA. It might enlighten you.

  • 74. ubi dubium  |  January 3, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Shawbrooke, you are way off on that. Believing parents whose children have deconverted do not come here, they go to church, where the pastor will reassure them that their adherence to an ancient belief system has priority over their love for their child.

    As for paying to “get their non-christian children out of some scrape”, as a whole, atheists are more peaceful and law-abiding than average. Kids get into scrapes because they are kids. (Except, you know, neither of my freethinking atheist teenagers has ever been in serious trouble. Go figure.)

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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