Posts tagged ‘belief’
I am new to the whole blogging experience, and I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of your discussions. I have seen so many great questions and valid points made here on the d-C Blog. This subject matter (former Christians who’ve decided to de-convert) is really interesting to me so if you have time to respond to a few questions, I would really appreciate your feedback.
Just as converting is a thoughtful, careful decision, de-converting seems to be the same type of process, and I am just trying to understand it.
- What usually starts the painful process of de-converting? How does one suddenly believe so strongly one way and then reject that belief the next? (Not to imply that it is a decision that one would ever take lightly or not struggle with for some time)
- Do de-cons often continue to attend a church? If so, why?
- Are de-cons open to returning to the faith or is that impossible?
- What is it that turns you off about Christianity the most? The Bible? Christians themselves? Jesus?
- What made you the most miserable as a Christian?
- What do you really currently think about Christians?…
Hello again everyone. I’m happy to say that I finally have some time to make a post on this blog. Sparing you the details, let’s just say that finishing up grad school is pretty time consuming… but enough about that, on to the my topic!
Without question, the internet has increased the level of human interaction and discussion (this blog alone stands as a perfect example). Through the years, I have seen discussions of all sorts, but naturally, I am most interested in ones concerning religious manners. I have seen countless arguments on why Christianity is a fraud, so I thought that I would share one with you.
One way to argue the falsehood of Christianity is to point out the human element of the Bible, that is, to demonstrate that the Bible contains political and social biases of the variety of authors. Doing so provides evidence that the book is more or less human invention and therefore discredits any divinity claims.
There you go! That is one way to de-bunk big bad Christianity!! The end!
Carried the Cross, in his post Reasons I Remained Faithful for so Long, described himself as having felt like a “doubting Thomas” at different points in his life, wondering if some sin was keeping him from being able to accept Christianity as “Truth”.
I think about this myself, as I struggle with my faith and doubts, wondering if God exists and, if God does exist, if the Christian understanding of God has any truth to it. John 20:29 haunts me. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
Then I wonder, who are these people Jesus is referring to? According to the gospels, Jesus had told his disciples that he was going to die, then rise again “on the third day” (Mt 17:22-23, Mk 10: 32-34). The disciples had, reportedly, witnessed many miracles, including Jesus raising people from the dead. If the gospel accounts are true, there is no reason for Jesus’ disciples to doubt his claim…
(The following entry was originally posted as comment #87 on 8 Reasons why I no longer believe)
After I left Christianity, understanding morality was one of the harder challenges I had to face. I had been told all my life that without God, we had no basis for our morality. Without that lifeline, I have to admit that it was pretty scary there for a while.
Many theists approach this subject from a false premise. They ask a non-believer where the universal standard of morality comes from if not God. Rather, I submit that there is *no* universal standard of morality.
To a theist, that is scary. I understand that. It is cold. It is harsh. It is raw, amoral naturalism. My wife recently asked how our children were going to get their morality if I was no longer a Christian. Wow. She knows I am a good man, but that Christian mindset that there is no good without God is so ingrained in her that she is not even aware of it. That any morality can come without God is inconceivable to most of us!
But now that I have been away from Christianity for a while, and have had a chance to observe my former faith from the outside – I think I have a pretty fair idea what is going on. The bottom line is, I do not believe there is a universal standard of morality…
If you want to slim for Him, there are now plenty of programs, books, and DVDs to help you. Christian diets are now part of a multi-million dollar industry. Many are claiming that faith is providing the ingredients missing from traditional diet programs that tend to be universally discredited as inevitably failing and even leading to weight increase.
Overeaters Victorious was founded by 248-pound Neva Coyle from Minnesota, who had failed at every commercial diet program she tried. She turned to the Bible and lost 100 pounds. The ingredients provided by faith are motivation, and power to do the impossible.
Faith can provide a positive and a negative motivation. First, there can be the positive desire to please a deity. Programs such as Praise Aerobics, or Praise Moves (the Christian alternative to Yoga) can tap into this motivation in two ways. On a surface level, you can participate in worship as you move to the worship tape that is played as you exercise. On a deeper level you can please ‘the Master’ by caring for your body (the body that he made and gave you as a gift) for him. And subliminally, of course, you are making yourself beautiful for him (Roman Catholic nuns don’t have the monopoly of being married to Jesus)…
I had, over a period of many years, thought about a number of questions regarding faith, life, etc., but I usually stopped short of taking my thoughts to their logical conclusions. At some point last year, however, I realized that I had drifted from standard Christian theism to pretty much of a deist position.
Last summer, I was asked to write a book review of Parenting Beyond Belief, which endorses explicitly atheistic points of view with regard to child-rearing. When I initially got the request, I jokingly said to myself, “I’d better be careful or I’ll be a full-fledged atheist by the time I finish the book.” In fact, I almost declined the review because I didn’t want to risk endangering my faith. Then I realized that, if my faith was that flimsy, then it wasn’t worth keeping. Sure enough, as I read the book, I kept pausing and thinking, “that idea makes an awful lot more sense than Christian idea X.” After I wrote the review, I realized that the book had pushed me into systematically thinking through many of the questions I had shelved over the years. This was the catalyst that prompted my de-conversion process.
At that point, I went through an intense period of searching for answers. This was the denial phase of grief over my impending loss of faith. I did not want to lose or give up my faith and I fought to keep it…
I’ve been thinking a lot about sin lately. No, I don’t have a guilty conscience. Quite the opposite. My conscience has never been clearer, although I think my fundy friends would say that it’s been “seared with a hot iron.” I consider it liberated from guilt theology. The big question of the day: is it even possible to sin? My short answer: no.
At a recent Interfaith Dialogue I was struck by how Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are so dominated by sin consciousness. The primary thrust of each religion appeared to be an attempt to find atonement for sin and be reconciled to God. My favorite college professor delivered the guest sermon at church yesterday. His teaching, along with Brennan Manning’s books, helped me to overcome the narcissistic guilt I inherited in the church growing up. True to form he preached about God’s forgiveness and willful forgetfulness of our sins. That is a very necessary message to help people come out of the trap that is fundamentalism. It’s like opening the prison doors and setting people free. I don’t want to play off the Matrix too much, but at this stage of the journey I’ve come to realize that there is no prison to begin with. We are imprisoned only by the smallness of our minds…