Rover recently posted a couple questions for us that I thought I would highlight.
“I have been on this site for several weeks now and the views shared here have challenged me greatly. I was wondering if some of the de-cons might answer a couple questions?
- There are Christians like myself who claim that the universe is finely tuned and shows evidence of being created by God. I have read many arguments refuting this claim, but what have you found to be the best one and most irrefutable?
- How can atheism truly support the evolution of sacrificial love? Dawkins arguments on this subject seem inadequate. Do you have any others?
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”–Carl Sagan
“I hate men base in deeds but wise in words”–Pacuvius
Dear Family and Friends,
I think it’s necessary to put on paper where I stand with the Mormon Church. The 11th Article of Faith says that “we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
According to the dictates of my own conscience, I have determined I can no longer believe in the Mormon Church. Let me put this in plain terms. Over the years, I have observed situations, and uncovered many facts about the church that have brought me to the inescapable conclusion that the church is not led by true and living prophets…
A new blogger, Joan Ball, from the “Flirting with Faith” blog, recently found herself “in the land of Christian de-conversion.”
According to Joan’s testimony, she “woke up one morning a churchgoing agnostic (following years of rabid atheism) and put [her] head to the pillow that night a newly minted, highly unlikely Christian.” Of course, she was recently told by an atheist that because she converted, she was never a “real” atheist.
Here’s her reaction to our humble blog:
Now de-conversion may be a hot topic in Bible-college circles, but I wasn’t even sure if it was a real word. Webster’s online says that it’s not, but the folks that are contributing and commenting at http://de-conversion.com use it frequently.
I am sure that there is much to be said theologically about whether or not “de-conversion” is possible if a person had a genuine experience with Jesus, and I am not remotely studied enough to go there, but as I read the posts of dozens of self-proclaimed “former believers” I saw a pattern emerge: …
My Early Years – Growing up, I was a typical American kid. I had a brother and a sister, a loving mom and dad, and we were taught to believe in Christianity, America’s status quo faith. Mom and dad were not religious fanatics, but they were mild fundamentalists who believed that Christianity was the only way and that no one could have the highest morality without belief in the Christian God. I swallowed this philosophy hook, line, and sinker from day one, though I didn’t become a baptized believer until my eighteenth birthday.
I was converted for the same reason that many others were — I was at a time in my life when I needed emotional and psychological support. I had fought my own battles with depression growing up, but when Christianity came along, that was the end of my singing the blues! Finding something to believe in is a big part of the psychological make up of the individual. I had also just fallen out of a relationship with a girl and this made me begin to “look upward” for help like I’d never done before. I was a party-goer, by and large, but I knew that someday, I would have to give up my selfish life and become a part of what I was taught God told me to do — to be baptized and live as a Christian. I remember how it felt to start looking for answers in the bible and pray like I never had before. I was a changed man at my conversion one cold February morning in 1994. What I felt Christ did for me was all too apparent in my mind. I decided to live for him since he gave so much for me, and I was so thankful that I had escaped the eternal flames of Hell that awaited me …
“Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever serve you…”
I grew up singing all the lame-ass church songs that you know are lame at the time, but you are too afraid of eternal condemnation to even whisper a critical comment about them. I grew up with church leaders who were bitchy and judgmental and used the only place they can criticize others without it being a sin to pick on kids in youth group. I have been to summer camps, winter camps, mission trips, water-ski trips, watermelon seed spitting contests, paint-balling, pizza parties, pool bashes, and bible jeopardy extravaganzas galore. When I was in 4th grade, I made sure to memorize as many Bible verses as possible so I could get the prize of a giant strawberry lip-smacker or fun-size Butterfinger. I wore dresses, which I hated, to church. I tried to fake sick to get out of church at least once a month. I had done all that a young evangelical can do between the ages of 1 and 21…everything that is, except think for myself.
I was pretty brainwashed until I was 18. My best friend and I secretly hated church and would goof off all we could and make fun of everyone because we thought we were cooler…but essentially I was under the spell. I was terrified of sin and anyone who sinned. I was freaked out by homosexuals or homeless people. I thought that divorced women were bad, that non-Christians who rode their bikes on Sunday instead of going to church, deserved an eternal pit of fire. I do not believe I was inherently judgmental, I was just overexposed to the church and God…
Since de-converting from Christianity, many who claim to follow Christ have accused me of wanting to lead a life of sin or wanting to hide from God, or just plain turning my back on God. I had one Christian named Dan, after I said the sentence that is the title of this post, tell me “Then you shouldn’t be, shame on you. It’s called faith for a reason. Sure God could reveal himself to us quite easily but he wants us to have faith in Him and Trust Him not just believe and not to be tempted.”
It’s odd to me that I do not attack their character and yet they attack mine, that somehow does not seem very Christian to me. I have some wonderful Christian friends and family. I have also made new Christian friends who I have met through various web sites.
Recently, I asked Dan a simple question – “Do you think I’m telling the truth when I say I don’t believe God exists” his response: “In a word…No.” I had given Dan no reason to call me a liar.
In fact, I do not call Christians liars for believing in God, yet some of them are so sure of their belief that they would call unbelievers liars for saying they don’t believe in the Christian God. I guess I understand this because I felt the same way when I was a Christian, though I never accused anyone of lying. I felt they had fooled themselves, not that they were flat out lying…