Posts tagged ‘religion’

Your almighty deity cannot …

– Save any of his followers from sickness, disaster, disease, or loss of goods or liberty. And this is despite the screaming, fervent, desperate prayers and pleas of his “beloved children”. (What a great father!)

– Heal autoimmune disorders, cancers, genetic defects, paralyzed limbs, lost limbs, dementia, insanity, or even acne. (What a great physician!)

– Show up and convince, scare, bewilder, or just talk to any person, skeptic or seeker, in order to provide them with something to believe in other than wishful thinking. (What a great communicator!)

– Write a treatise that provides clear guidance as to what he is like and what he expects of humanity. (What a great author!)

– Provide his followers with some sensible, logical, convincing, sound, intelligent, ‘non-internally-contradictory information that they can pass on to other humans. (What a great inspirer!)

– Manage to inspire his followers with enough sense, love, information, grace, diplomacy, brotherly love, or humility to keep his church from fragmenting into thousands of squabbling sects. (What a great administrator!)

– Give his church enough unity, sense, inspiration, drive, integrity, or guts to ‘accomplish such good works as to shame people of their slander’, or to ‘withstand the gates of hell’, or to ‘overcome the world’, or to ‘keep the unity of faith’, or to do anything else that he said the church should do. (What a great founder and guide!)

– Do anything. (What a great, all-powerful deity!)

– LeoPardus

October 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm 42 comments

“No God” #1 trending topic on Twitter

twitterbird

In a classic case of irony, Christians tried to get the statement “No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace” to trend today on Twitter.

The result of this effort was the phrase “No God” became the #1 trending topic.

Please understand that atheists have been trying for months to get an atheist related topic to trend and this one was gifted to us.

“God” must be looking out for us :)  Of course, I should note that the phrase really should be “Know God.  No Peace.  No God.  Know Peace.”

– The de-Convert

Updates:

  • The originator of the initial tweet is reported to be @RevRunWisdom.  Thanks Rev Run!!!!!
  • We are officially declaring Oct 20th as “No God Day!” We’ll celebrate again next year.
  • In an apparent attempt to slow the increase traffic to Twitter (lots of the “fail whale” page today). after trending all day as #1, the “No God” hashtag was removed from the trending topic list even though my tests show that it’s still the #1 trending topic.  Then as a part of the cover-up, Twitter listed “no god” as being synonymous with “Know God” and displayed it as “Know God.”  Of course, this is backfiring as there are now new cries of “CENSORSHIP!!!!”

October 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm 101 comments

My surgery: A test of my non-faith

On Monday, 12 October, a few days after my 44th birthday, I had surgery on my cervical spine to replace two degenerative discs. This could almost be classed as an emergency surgery since I started having severe pain three weeks prior when my left C7 nerve root became impacted. There were two large left paracentral disc protrusions which caused impingement of the spinal cord. From my initial visits to my doctor, there it was an MRI on the 2nd, consultation w/my doctor on the 5th, consultation with a Neurosurgeon on the 6th, pre-op on the 7th, and surgery on the 12th. Bottom line, it all happened pretty quickly for me. I should note that I have not been in a hospital since birth and have enjoyed a relatively healthy life that has never included this type of pain (I don’t even get headaches).

This is my first crisis since de-conversion and I must say it was a good, solid test of my non-faith. In this blog, we have discussed the fact that dealing with crisis is one of the major reasons humanity has created gods and developed religious beliefs. I was faced with my first challenge of dealing with crisis without having my imaginary deity to run to for security, comfort and the general “it’s going to be alright.”

The other issue I faced was my response to my Christian family and friends. Even though it was difficult at times, I was respectful and said “amen” and “thank you” to the many prayers I received. I realized early on that they needed to say those prayers not to necessarily make me feel better but to allow them to feel secure about my surgery and that I’d be ok. Initially, their prayers were for my healing (I come from a Pentecostal/Charismatic background). I wanted to explain to them that God doesn’t perform these types of miracles (where degenerative discs are regenerated) but I did not. I wanted to explain to them that the only miracles God performs are the once that are scientifically possible (like cancer going into remission, etc.) but, of course, I kept those thoughts to myself. I wanted to challenge them to find ONE instance where an arm or a leg was grown back via a miracle knowing that there are no such cases…

Continue Reading October 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm 19 comments

The Wedding Saga: My Dilemma

Hold onto your pants, boys and girls, the following sick and humorous story is true…

A couple months ago, an elder at my family church was reprimanded and kicked out for having an “improper hermeneutic”. Apparently he was beginning to question the doctrine of Lordship salvation as he saw that it was being used by the church as an element of control. Basically Lordship salvation holds that a person is not actually saved unless they make Jesus their Lord. This means that a church can, at their discretion, determine whether a member is “making Christ their Lord” based upon the members assessed behavior. Ultimately, this elder was concerned the church was becoming extremely legalistic and un-Christlike in their love towards those attending. Basically, they were using doctrine to be assholes.

Now, step back a few months before. This elder was sitting in an elders meeting in which nearly every elder, except for the pastor, admitted they did not know what “hermeneutics” was. My father is the elder who explicitly said this. They immediately all agreed that they needed to study hermeneutics.

So imagine this elder’s surprise when he is told that he is in a form of rebellion against the church and was being kicked out for having an improper hermeneutic. Obviously, the pastor had a strongarm in this decision. To make a long story short, he was basically told to write his resignation letter or else he would be dismissed that Sunday. He was not allowed to defend himself, his position, or get a clear answer as to what he had done wrong. The most obvious conclusion given the circumstances was that he was the most educated elder besides the pastor and the pastor was beginning to be jealous of the amount of influence he had. The kicked out elder was becoming interested in allowing my brother’s fiance to lead a Bible study and the pastor was basically like “we don’t know who this girl is or what she will teach…”

Continue Reading October 14, 2009 at 1:29 am 73 comments

WWJD Series: Jesus and Anger Management

Jesus is almost always held up as the great, human example of love. He’s supposed to embody all that the Christian should aspire to (WWJD). When a Christian does something mean, unloving, etc, they often say they messed up and need to be more Christ-like. But since I now can look at the Bible objectively -i.e., without filtering it through a set of presuppositions that demand that it must all be (mis)interpreted so that it “looks good”- I see that being angry, hateful, vengeful, even going on the out and out attack, is really being very Christ-like. It’s just the sort of thing Jesus would do.

In fact, according to the gospels, he seems to have had some problems with anger management.

Let’s look at a few situations to see WWJD.

Fig tree withering:

Matt 21:18-19 “Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”

OR

Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. ….. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

Continue Reading October 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm 54 comments

Take this, Transcendental Argument for God’s Existence…

So, I know I’ve said recently I wanted to get away from all of this, but I just couldn’t help but post this because I find it amusing…

It occurred to me today that probably the core loophole in all of theism is found in the inherent impossibility for God /gods to be described without assuming the universe already exists. Try it! (Friendly reminder, you can’t use any words that assume space and time exist. You know, core words like “in”, “outside of”, “before”, “beginning”, “pre-existing”, “incarnate”, “only”, etc.)

Consider one example: the phrase “God is three in one” or even “God is one”.

Apologist Dr. James White said in a recent debate: “numbers are a part of Creation itself”.

However, if God created numbers then it is idolatrous and irrational to use any numbers to describe God. If God did not create numbers yet has properties defined numerically, then a believer admits there is something more fundamental to reality than God.

Now, to help see how silly all this is, imagine how many people have been killed for not accepting the correct numerical description of God…

Continue Reading October 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm 11 comments

seek and ye shall find…. but what?

I’ve been reading the comments here lately and I have noticed that a lot of Christian readers say the same things over and over again: “If you REALLY had been a Christian you would have never de-converted.”

Now the details of the statements differ from reader to reader, some saying “if you’d really had faith,” others saying “if you’d really known the love of God,” or “if you’d really read the Bible with an open heart,” “if you really prayed honestly,” or even “if you were a true seeker you would have found the Lord.”

I’ve been struck by another thing recently as well: noticing that many de-converts were formerly in the ministry.

These two things made me think that maybe it’s being TOO dedicated, too devoted, too much a seeker that is the danger.

Here’s what I mean: Maybe we de-converts were more real in our Christianity than the people who can’t believe we eventually rejected “the truth.” We weren’t content with going to church on Sunday and Wednesday, or with going to confession once a week, or with saying our daily prayers and reading the Bible in a year every year — whatever the flavor of true devotion was in our particular version of Christianity.

We wanted more. I know that is true for myself. I wanted to see the power of God, the way it was described in the Bible. I wanted to experience what the apostles experienced on the day of Pentecost. I was hungry for more of God and I read the Bible every day, over and over again in several translations. I worshipped Jesus with all of my heart.

I know whatever I say here won’t convince anyone that I was a “real” Christian…

Continue Reading September 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm 444 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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