Posts filed under ‘HeIsSailing’

In Fear and Trembling – The Peace from Our Lord

Hieronymus Bosch's depiction of Hell.  Detail from the right panel of the Garden of Earthly Delights tryptich c1450LeoPardus recently published 3 articles which focused on reasons he left Christianity. I will be reprinting 3 slightly edited articles from my old website that highlight only one of the main reasons I left Christianity – the tortuous doctrine of eternal damnation. If you have already read these, forgive me for this second go-around.

I used to wear a button on my hat. I wore it everyday for years. It was one of those buttons that I used to identify myself as a Bible Believing Christian, without having to go through the trouble of actually having to say it to everyone I met. My button had a cliché printed on it.

It read “Know Jesus Know Peace, No Jesus No Peace.”

Why did I have peace in Jesus? I was to have peace because my faith in Jesus Christ gave me hope of an eternal reward in Heaven. No matter the trials of this mortal life, no matter how I was persecuted for my faith, no matter what physical ailments may become me, no matter if death knocked on my door, I could say “O death where is thy victory, O death where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55)…

Continue Reading November 12, 2007 at 9:58 pm 46 comments

Questioning the very notion of faith itself

QuestioningYears ago, as a younger Christian, I had serious doubt about Christianity, but I decided to hold onto my faith in Jesus. Most Christians doubt their faith at one time or another, so what I was doing was pretty normal. Many Christians, in fact the vast majority of them, admit there is really no evidence to believe in God. However, they are quick to point out, that is where faith comes in. We believe, because God wishes for us to believe without any evidence. That is the importance of faith, and as a scientist who is conditioned to rational thinking, I clung to living by faith for many years.

About a year ago, I was really struggling to hold onto my Christian faith. I was reading every fundamentalist’s favorite Gospel, the Gospel of John. Several places in that Gospel, Jesus praises people who have faith based on no evidence, and trashes people for not believing without a sign. This all culminates with the classic scene at the end of the Gospel where Thomas refuses to believe unless he sees the risen Christ for himself. Jesus appears to Thomas, and what does Jesus say to his dumbstruck disciple?

“Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed…”

Continue Reading November 4, 2007 at 10:09 am 19 comments

A Mixed Marriage – Agnostic and Catholic

WeddingLostgirlfound, Karen, DaGoodS and a few others around the internet have written stories and comments about de-Conversion from Christianity and how it has affected their marriages. I would like to write an article with a dual authorship. Me – HeIsSailing, and my wife, oh… let’s call her RoseMary. We are going to write this article together, maybe each writing a paragraph or two, and asking each other questions as we go. Maybe this will give us all an insight into how to communicate when one person in a marriage leaves Christianity, and another continues in the faith.

HeIsSailing: RoseMary is a little nervous about what to write, so I will lead off with a couple of questions. How would you describe my Christianity when we got married? How do you describe my beliefs now? How are our beliefs different?

RoseMary: You were very by the book. You always quoted the Bible, and sometimes I did not know what you were saying, because I did not grow up with the Bible. I grew up being part of the Catholic Faith, so we did physical things like join the choir, gathering supplies for the people in jail, collecting canned goods and other similar items for the slum areas.

Continue Reading October 21, 2007 at 2:35 am 40 comments

Another Look at Homosexuality and Christianity

Gay 1I have a confession to make. I am a red-blooded, heterosexual male. Like most men, I love attractive women. I have never had what I would consider homosexual temptations, or any other attractions to the male gender. I know only a couple openly gay men, I don’t understand the lifestyle or mindset of the gay man, and I cannot conceive of how any man could be sexually attracted to any other man. I just don’t get it.

But that is not my confession.

My confession is, even when I was a Christian, I did not condemn homosexuality. Yes, I knew what the Bible said, and I remember how all my former pastors told us to ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’. I know that by and large Christians view homosexuality as major sin, and I was expected to agree with God on this issue and condemn it just as he did. But the truth of it is, I just never cared about that. I never told any of my fellow Christians at the time, but I am now telling you, the random internet surfer. As a Christian, homosexuality just never bothered me. Nope. Never did.

I looked at it like this. Jesus, when asked by a lawyer, basically summed up the entirety of the Mosaic Law into two basic, simple commands…

Continue Reading October 17, 2007 at 5:00 am 63 comments

Today’s Sermonette – on Spiritual Experience and Worship

Freedom of Worship by Norman RockwellWhile most good Christian believers are spending this Sunday morning in their various churches, temples and other places of worship, I thought I would place a sermonette here for the benefit of us heathen Christian apostates. Actually, my heretical brand of theology ought to make easy pickings for Christians and athiests alike.

My favorite Christian blogsite is Carol Howard Merritt’s Tribal Church. She is a Presbyterian minister, author, and wife of Brian Merritt, aka PastorOfDisaster. I find both Christian sites thoughtful, thought-provoking, meaningful, and bring out the best attributes of a liberal branch of Christianity. Even though I am no longer a Christian, they are a breath of fresh air compared to my rigid and unthinking fundamentalist background. Last week, Tribal Church published an article on spiritual experience that I replied to. Can a non-believer in a personal God, or any god for that matter, have a spiritual experience? I think so. I would like to reprint her article and my reply here – and I sure hope that is okay with the original author:

Continue Reading September 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm 39 comments

Fahrenheit 451

Harry Potter book burning, Christ Community Church, Alamogordo, New Mexico, 2001Heather, a frequent commentor on this site, once made the following comment to one of my articles:

“…another thing I’ve found interesting about conservative Christianity in general — discouraging members from reading books that promote opposing viewpoints. Or just reading books on those opposing viewpoints that are written by conservative Christianity.”

So several months ago when Heather made this comment, I put my memory cap on, and I sat about thinking about what books I have been discouraged from reading, what movies I was discouraged from watching, etc. I tried to remember everything that I was explicitly warned about by clergy or my parents, for strictly religious reasons. Were they trying to protect me? Were they trying to hide something from me? Were they trying to keep me from falling into sin, or challenge God with questions?

I published a long list about 7 months ago on my old website, and I thought I would re-publish them here. Maybe some of the readers here can relate to this.

When I was a very young boy I was told, by either the church or my mother, to dispense of, not watch, or pay no heed to the following items:

Continue Reading September 22, 2007 at 10:46 pm 30 comments

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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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