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A Statement From A Recently Turned Non-Christian

K

King James

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I have recently left Christianity. March 30th to be exact. Information that I had discovered that day by accident was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'll give you some back round on my life. I wasn't raised in a strong Christian house in my early life. My dad seemed to have a belief in God but his lifestyle didn't match up being that he was an abusive drunk. My mother seemed to have little to no belief. My dad became in trouble with the law and found God in prison. When he got out I was taken to a variety of churches until my Dad found one that fit his beliefs. I went for a few years, then I stopped and never really went back or to any other church. In my early adult life I got more into my Christian religion and reading the bible, listening to the bible, watching biblical shows, documentaries, movies, reading apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, early church history, early Jewish history, you name it. I never felt that churches represented what I believed by reading the bible. I also didn't believe that God existed in the formation of any of the denominations. I didn't let anything get in the way of my beliefs. Scientific issues never got in the way of my beliefs. I could always find debunkers of scientific contradictions and attacks as well as opposing scientists with differing scientific information. I could always get past secular histories conflicting with biblical histories being that the victors writing history as well as even looking at it with a conspiratory eye giving priority to the biblical(I also did this with the scientific). I could get past virtually all ancient cultures having a flood story and many cultures having a creation story, many of them seeming older than the Hebrew's. You could always say, well the Hebrews only wrote it down on papers so the papers decentagrated where other cultures had stone tablets and such things that lasted longer in antiquity. For Christianity I could get past the fact that there were other older religions and philosophies that contain similar Christian happenings of Jesus in the Gospels as well as his sayings. I thought something similar to Justin Matyr's reasoning that the devil counterfeited the information to man before the actual happenings to cause doubt in the real story except I differed that it wasn't the devil but angel human hybrids with heavenly knowledge that knew of Christ and that he would eventually come that what would happen. The only thing that I could not reconcile is information that I discovered that it appears that the Flavian Roman Dynasty created the Gospels which started as a satirical work as well as a pacification psychological operation. This theory is considered by scholars as not accurate, Christian or secular. It is also rejected by many mythicists. Regardless of what "experts" feel, in my heart, I knew this was true after reading a couple books on the evidence as well as a few documentaries and interviews combined with I saw how it was used by governments and empires as enslavement and mind control. I'm not writing this to be convinced otherwise of my beliefs. That is not possible. I'm writing it as an explanation of how I used to be a Christian(saved about 22 years ago) albeit an unconventional one, an active member here for some time, to now being an agnostic. I won't post any links to my reasoning of my beliefs as this is a Christian site and I don't want to tear people away from their religion. Trust me, I'd rather have J.C. by my side and eternal life in heaven. I just no longer feel this is the situation. As a Christian I've always been a seeker of truth and that's how I've come to my conclusions. Now I have nothing, and I'm learning how to live with that. I still have my morality, likes and dislikes, etc. I also don't feel I wasted my life. I am learning how to convert my beliefs and philosophies into a positive direction.
 
H

His_nee (Jeff)

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potentially, this is the best day of your life. I'm not allowed to post on this site why. but if you are able to get richard wurmbrands books and read them in the next few weeks (the sooner 'maybe' better, but only Yhwh knows)
you might understand why. shalom in christ jesus the only lord and savior and true friend of sinners.
 

Obadiah

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Not sure what His_nee is referring to, but in reading you story above I wonder if you were ever a Christian in the first place. Maybe that's where a lot of your confusion came from. You talked a lot about being taken to church by your dad, and later about learning a lot of head knowledge about Christianity as well as Judiasm, and you refer to your Christian "religion". But were you actually a Christian?

None of the things you mentioned make you a Christian. A lot of people that do these kind of things think they are Christians, usually because others who do them refer to themselves as Christians, but this doesn't always make it so. You never once mentioned your "relationship" with Christ or God the Father, never once mentioned a time that you completely turned your life over to Him and let him come into your whole being and give Him complete control over you, and continuing to allow Him to have control... THESE are the things that Christianity is all about. All the other stuff you mentioned are just side effects that you can also do without ever being a Christian. I'm not accusing you or judging you, by the way. Just making an observation based on what you typed above. To truly understand Christianity takes the knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and to gain that you first have to truly be a Christian: One who has truly and completely turned his whole life over to God, no matter what. IF you never truly did that, you haven't really had the advantage of experiencing a real relationship with God and you can never understand what that relationship is truly like if you have never been in it yourself. Perhaps this is what the problem has been all along?
 
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K

King James

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Yes, I felt I was doing all that. Praying, feeling presence of God, yes all things of that nature you mentioned were done. I've felt strength and protection when I was in need as well as experienced miracles. Sorry, I thought that would have been obvious. My deduction now is the power was within me and or within a combined mental/spiritual strength of likeminded believers that produced the real effects that I experienced.
 

Free

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I have recently left Christianity. March 30th to be exact. Information that I had discovered that day by accident was the straw that broke the camel's back.

...I never felt that churches represented what I believed by reading the bible. I also didn't believe that God existed in the formation of any of the denominations. I didn't let anything get in the way of my beliefs. Scientific issues never got in the way of my beliefs. I could always find debunkers of scientific contradictions and attacks as well as opposing scientists with differing scientific information. I could always get past secular histories conflicting with biblical histories being that the victors writing history as well as even looking at it with a conspiratory eye giving priority to the biblical(I also did this with the scientific). I could get past virtually all ancient cultures having a flood story and many cultures having a creation story, many of them seeming older than the Hebrew's. You could always say, well the Hebrews only wrote it down on papers so the papers decentagrated where other cultures had stone tablets and such things that lasted longer in antiquity. For Christianity I could get past the fact that there were other older religions and philosophies that contain similar Christian happenings of Jesus in the Gospels as well as his sayings. I thought something similar to Justin Matyr's reasoning that the devil counterfeited the information to man before the actual happenings to cause doubt in the real story except I differed that it wasn't the devil but angel human hybrids with heavenly knowledge that knew of Christ and that he would eventually come that what would happen.
I really don't mean any offence, especially since this must be a difficult time for you, but the arguments implied in most of what you have said are quite weak. You speak as though those arguments are actually true but you always managed to "get past" them, which suggests you never really believed any of it to be true.

Science is science and really a non-issue when it comes to Scripture. The idea that the victors write history and therefore the biblical history is not to be trusted, ought to lead one to either deny or become agnostic of all of history, not just biblical history. Of course, any such supposed conflicts between secular and biblical histories would have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. If all ancient cultures have a flood story, maybe it's because there was one very large flood, or maybe they have all have significant floods at one point or another.

As for all ancient religions having creation stories, of course they would, but again, they would all have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. Regardless, this does not make the Judeo-Christian creation story false or even one among many viable ones. If other religions' views on things are even older than Christianity's, that has very little if any bearing on Christianity's claims. Regarding the claim that other older religions have similarities to the Gospels and Jesus, as though Christianity copied from these religions, those claims, too, would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. I will say however, that although it is a popular claim, there is nothing to it, for the most part.

It could be that any such similarities in any of it was God's way of preparing peoples' hearts to recognize the truth, the true story, when it came about at his appointed time in history. Regardless, there are no reasons as to why one would just have to "get past" these things when there are good reasons for believing what Christianity teaches. It's a matter of searching and reasoning, not simply dismissing. Christianity is very consistent and coherent.

In all the above, I took your statement "get past" as though you would dismiss them and simply try to believe what the Bible said, or what you were taught it said. That may not be correct but to me that is how it comes across.

The only thing that I could not reconcile is information that I discovered that it appears that the Flavian Roman Dynasty created the Gospels which started as a satirical work as well as a pacification psychological operation. This theory is considered by scholars as not accurate, Christian or secular. It is also rejected by many mythicists. Regardless of what "experts" feel, in my heart, I knew this was true after reading a couple books on the evidence as well as a few documentaries and interviews combined with I saw how it was used by governments and empires as enslavement and mind control.... As a Christian I've always been a seeker of truth and that's how I've come to my conclusions.
Your last statement contradicts the rest. A true seeker of truth would favor evidence over personal feelings. In this case, if scholars, both secular and Christian, are rejecting such a theory, then chances are very high that they are correct. Yet for some reason you choose what you feel over the evidence, even given the fact that feelings are very often misleading and should not be used as a sole basis for determining truth. That is not rational and a very weak reason for leaving Christianity.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that Christianity is wrong concerning the historicity, authenticity, inspiration, and authority of the NT, not mention the entirety of the Bible.
 

Claudya

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King James, I admire you for being honest with yourself and accept the consequences of the insight you found.
Many people aren't honest or strong enough to go that way; they rather ignore cognitive dissonances and hide the inconvenient truth somewhere in their hearts where they don't have to see it, just so they can continue with the life they know and avoid change.
Thus while it is sad that you have lost your faith it's good that you do the thing that feels consistent rather than lying to yourself.

I did lose my belief in God (that is, in His very existence) several times in the past, so I know it's a painful place to be. It's almost like a break-up or like the death of a dear friend. But you'll recover; and much quicker than you would from the latter two occasions.

Anyway, the thing that puzzles me most is what exactly triggered the end of your faith.
Out of all the reasonable argumentations atheists or critics against religion have come up with over the years, and out of all scientifically or historically motivated doubts people may have it is the "Ceasar's Messiah" theory that makes your faith crumble? Seriously? A theory that is so weird that even atheist historicians laugh at it? There are documents of Christians in Rome (e.g. being blamed for the fire that destroyed half of Rome in 64 AD and consequently persecuted by Nero, several years before the Flavian emperors).
That's really hard to understand, man.
 
B

Blue-Lightning

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Sounds like the mounting evidence against his belief systems was finally pushed over the top by a false history. Nevertheless, were it not this false history, it could be any number of true histories about early Christianity formation that toppled his religious holdings.

I do find that asking him if he's ever actually been a Christian is an incredibly offensive and obtuse request. It's as if someone who has followed your version of Christ cannot question and ultimately disbelieve. But in reality there is no magic that you hold which makes you any different than he - you simply have a belief upon which you haven't deviated, while he has in fact deviated from his.


And there absolutely is reason to believe that Christianity is wrong concerning the historicity, authenticity, inspiration, and authority of the NT, not mention the entirety of the Bible (at least depending on your version of Christianity). I mean my goodness, the literalist view of the bible makes the world exist for 6,000 years when we can see stars of far greater light-year distances than 6,000 (thus showing the universe is much older than the historicity and authority of the hebrew bible's narrative).
 
K

King James

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Anyway, the thing that puzzles me most is what exactly triggered the end of your faith.
Out of all the reasonable argumentations atheists or critics against religion have come up with over the years, and out of all scientifically or historically motivated doubts people may have it is the "Ceasar's Messiah" theory that makes your faith crumble? Seriously? A theory that is so weird that even atheist historicians laugh at it? That's really hard to understand, man.
That may be. We will have to agree to disagree. Like I said in my original post, I'm not going to argue or present evidence for my position as it wasn't the point of my post and is inappropriate on this forum. As far as the validity of what I now believe to be true, I don't base my beliefs off of atheists laughter. Laughter in itself is a primitive form of expression. You realize that you are an evolutionist Christian and that puzzles many people on the board and that an atheist could also laugh at this combination? On that note, some atheists don't even subscribe to evolution. Thanks for your posting. Yes, as you said, it did feel like the death of a loved one. It differed in the sense that it was actually was worse to deal with instead of easier to deal with.
 

Obadiah

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I do find that asking him if he's ever actually been a Christian is an incredibly offensive and obtuse request.
Blue-Lightning, I'm sorry you were offended by the question that I actually asked directly of King James, but I asked it in as least of an offensive way as I could because i felt it had to be asked, and I meant no offense by it. Had King James not understood the things I pointed out, maybe he could have been shown what real Christianity was and helped in his relationship with God. However, he explained his position more clearly in his answer to me and it didn't seem that he was offended by my question or my explanation of why I was asking the question. I would assume most people who are as open and honest as he has been with us would not be offended by an honest and reasonable question regarding the things they were talking about.

King James, If you were offended by this, I am sorry. I meant no offense to you and truly hope one day you will find a closer and better relationship with God that will be a blessing to you.
 

Free

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And there absolutely is reason to believe that Christianity is wrong concerning the historicity, authenticity, inspiration, and authority of the NT, not mention the entirety of the Bible (at least depending on your version of Christianity). I mean my goodness, the literalist view of the bible makes the world exist for 6,000 years when we can see stars of far greater light-year distances than 6,000 (thus showing the universe is much older than the historicity and authority of the hebrew bible's narrative).
Christianity as a whole teaches the Bible is inspired by God and as such, is authoritative. If not, throw it out, it's useless. Regarding authenticity, Christianity teaches that certain persons wrote the Bible at certain times. As it pertains to this discussion, the Gospels were written by those whose names are on them, all followers of Christ, prior to A.D. 100. In fact, all the NT was written prior to A.D. 100. As for historicity, Christianity quite rightfully teaches that the books are actual recorded history, for those which do record events.

The literalistic view of the first couple of chapters in Genesis is one of many views but that is not what I had in mind, and I am somewhat certain that that is not what King James had in mind either. It is most everything that comes after that.

It is just so unfortunate that someone has been persuaded to leave the faith by weak arguments, especially when there is so much good, solid scholarly material against such arguments.
 
B

Blue-Lightning

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Free said:
Christianity as a whole teaches the Bible is inspired by God and as such, is authoritative.
Yes, but different sects of Christianity teach this authoritative essence to be very different (literally authoritative versus metaphorically authoritative).

Regarding authenticity, Christianity teaches that certain persons wrote the Bible at certain times.
Christianity features may different groups and many different teachings... your use of the term as a monogamous group is inadequate.

As it pertains to this discussion, the Gospels were written by those whose names are on them, all followers of Christ, prior to A.D. 100. In fact, all the NT was written prior to A.D. 100.
The Gospels were almost certainly not written by those whose names are on them. This agreed upon by those who study the New Testament on a scholarly, unbiased level.

As for historicity, Christianity quite rightfully teaches that the books are actual recorded history, for those which do record events.
The books are obviously not "actual recorded history" as they feature three different versions of Yeshua's (Jesus) last words. Either one or none of them is correct in that regard, which leaves at least two false accounts of his final statement.

The literalistic view of the first couple of chapters in Genesis is one of many views but that is not what I had in mind, and I am somewhat certain that that is not what King James had in mind either. It is most everything that comes after that.
At what point does Genesis switch from fiction to non-fiction?
 

Vaccine

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The only thing that I could not reconcile is information that I discovered that it appears that the Flavian Roman Dynasty created the Gospels which started as a satirical work as well as a pacification psychological operation. This theory is considered by scholars as not accurate, Christian or secular. It is also rejected by many mythicists. Regardless of what "experts" feel, in my heart, I knew this was true after reading a couple books on the evidence as well as a few documentaries and interviews combined with I saw how it was used by governments and empires as enslavement and mind control. I'm not writing this to be convinced otherwise of my beliefs. That is not possible.
It's unfortunate you feel that way. I mean there is piles of evidence otherwise. Archaeological evidence predating the Flavian Roman dynasty. Ossuaries deifying Jesus:

http://m.livescience.com/18697-christianity-evidence-tomb-inscriptions.html

The Dead Sea scrolls predate the flavian roman empire and quote several books of the new testament. Just in terms of documentation alone, any conspiracy theory has to account for how would anyone from 70-200 AD even know where to find all the texts, ossuaries, roman historical documents, Jewish historical documents, hymns, letters, liturgical documents, and commentaries all dating from before 70AD.
If we know anything at all about history, we know Jesus lived, preached, and was crucified. His life is the most attested to fact in all history. Even non-biblical sources attest to his resurrection, it's just a matter of whether one believes he rose from the dead or not. The matter of Him starting Christianity is settled history so to speak. Pop culture seems blissfully unaware of the piles of evidence the scholars have, unfortunately scholars are largely unaware of pop culture conspiracy theories.
 

Vaccine

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I mean my goodness, the literalist view of the bible makes the world exist for 6,000 years when we can see stars of far greater light-year distances than 6,000 (thus showing the universe is much older than the historicity and authority of the hebrew bible's narrative).
This isn't the science forum but the reasonable evidence exhists to reconcile that. It really boils down to whether we accept the secular presuppositions or refuse to take things as granted.
 
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reba

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Good grief.... A couple of these posts are going to be removed..
As polite as a moderator can Vaccine suggested this is not the thread for this discussion..
.
 

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reba

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King James, When the request came to change your Christian I had hoped it was cause so many who claim Christianity are goofy or jerks...
I am saddened KJ very saddened... You must do/say as you see fit .. Hope you don't mind I will be praying you ask some day to change that satus again. :)
 

JLB

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I have recently left Christianity. March 30th to be exact. Information that I had discovered that day by accident was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'll give you some back round on my life. I wasn't raised in a strong Christian house in my early life. My dad seemed to have a belief in God but his lifestyle didn't match up being that he was an abusive drunk. My mother seemed to have little to no belief. My dad became in trouble with the law and found God in prison. When he got out I was taken to a variety of churches until my Dad found one that fit his beliefs. I went for a few years, then I stopped and never really went back or to any other church. In my early adult life I got more into my Christian religion and reading the bible, listening to the bible, watching biblical shows, documentaries, movies, reading apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, early church history, early Jewish history, you name it. I never felt that churches represented what I believed by reading the bible. I also didn't believe that God existed in the formation of any of the denominations. I didn't let anything get in the way of my beliefs. Scientific issues never got in the way of my beliefs. I could always find debunkers of scientific contradictions and attacks as well as opposing scientists with differing scientific information. I could always get past secular histories conflicting with biblical histories being that the victors writing history as well as even looking at it with a conspiratory eye giving priority to the biblical(I also did this with the scientific). I could get past virtually all ancient cultures having a flood story and many cultures having a creation story, many of them seeming older than the Hebrew's. You could always say, well the Hebrews only wrote it down on papers so the papers decentagrated where other cultures had stone tablets and such things that lasted longer in antiquity. For Christianity I could get past the fact that there were other older religions and philosophies that contain similar Christian happenings of Jesus in the Gospels as well as his sayings. I thought something similar to Justin Matyr's reasoning that the devil counterfeited the information to man before the actual happenings to cause doubt in the real story except I differed that it wasn't the devil but angel human hybrids with heavenly knowledge that knew of Christ and that he would eventually come that what would happen. The only thing that I could not reconcile is information that I discovered that it appears that the Flavian Roman Dynasty created the Gospels which started as a satirical work as well as a pacification psychological operation. This theory is considered by scholars as not accurate, Christian or secular. It is also rejected by many mythicists. Regardless of what "experts" feel, in my heart, I knew this was true after reading a couple books on the evidence as well as a few documentaries and interviews combined with I saw how it was used by governments and empires as enslavement and mind control. I'm not writing this to be convinced otherwise of my beliefs. That is not possible. I'm writing it as an explanation of how I used to be a Christian(saved about 22 years ago) albeit an unconventional one, an active member here for some time, to now being an agnostic. I won't post any links to my reasoning of my beliefs as this is a Christian site and I don't want to tear people away from their religion. Trust me, I'd rather have J.C. by my side and eternal life in heaven. I just no longer feel this is the situation. As a Christian I've always been a seeker of truth and that's how I've come to my conclusions. Now I have nothing, and I'm learning how to live with that. I still have my morality, likes and dislikes, etc. I also don't feel I wasted my life. I am learning how to convert my beliefs and philosophies into a positive direction.
13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13
 

Mike S

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King James, many of us go through a dark night of the soul where we lose our faith and think that God has abandoned us, or never really existed. I pray that God's Holy Spirit will renew your faith in time.

"Let me at Thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief
Kneeling there in deep contrition
Help my unbelief"
 

Barbarian

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King James,
I can admire your devotion to the truth, wherever it takes you. God approves of that; He is truth, and you are better off openly doubting than one who doubts but will not admit it. I have had moments of doubt myself, and I remain willing to accept that I can be wrong about many things concerning Him.

Being Catholic, I accept that a person who truly is unable to believe, but follows God to the best of his ability, is not condemned by God for that, and salvation is open to him, if he continues to seek the truth, and act on it as best he can.

My prayers and best wishes are with you on your journey. He'll be there, even when you aren't sure about Him.
 
I

ironmonk

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I have recently left Christianity. March 30th to be exact. Information that I had discovered that day by accident was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'll give you some back round on my life. I wasn't raised in a strong Christian house in my early life. My dad seemed to have a belief in God but his lifestyle didn't match up being that he was an abusive drunk. My mother seemed to have little to no belief. My dad became in trouble with the law and found God in prison. When he got out I was taken to a variety of churches until my Dad found one that fit his beliefs. I went for a few years, then I stopped and never really went back or to any other church. In my early adult life I got more into my Christian religion and reading the bible, listening to the bible, watching biblical shows, documentaries, movies, reading apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, early church history, early Jewish history, you name it. I never felt that churches represented what I believed by reading the bible. I also didn't believe that God existed in the formation of any of the denominations. I didn't let anything get in the way of my beliefs. Scientific issues never got in the way of my beliefs. I could always find debunkers of scientific contradictions and attacks as well as opposing scientists with differing scientific information. I could always get past secular histories conflicting with biblical histories being that the victors writing history as well as even looking at it with a conspiratory eye giving priority to the biblical(I also did this with the scientific). I could get past virtually all ancient cultures having a flood story and many cultures having a creation story, many of them seeming older than the Hebrew's. You could always say, well the Hebrews only wrote it down on papers so the papers decentagrated where other cultures had stone tablets and such things that lasted longer in antiquity. For Christianity I could get past the fact that there were other older religions and philosophies that contain similar Christian happenings of Jesus in the Gospels as well as his sayings. I thought something similar to Justin Matyr's reasoning that the devil counterfeited the information to man before the actual happenings to cause doubt in the real story except I differed that it wasn't the devil but angel human hybrids with heavenly knowledge that knew of Christ and that he would eventually come that what would happen. The only thing that I could not reconcile is information that I discovered that it appears that the Flavian Roman Dynasty created the Gospels which started as a satirical work as well as a pacification psychological operation. This theory is considered by scholars as not accurate, Christian or secular. It is also rejected by many mythicists. Regardless of what "experts" feel, in my heart, I knew this was true after reading a couple books on the evidence as well as a few documentaries and interviews combined with I saw how it was used by governments and empires as enslavement and mind control. I'm not writing this to be convinced otherwise of my beliefs. That is not possible. I'm writing it as an explanation of how I used to be a Christian(saved about 22 years ago) albeit an unconventional one, an active member here for some time, to now being an agnostic. I won't post any links to my reasoning of my beliefs as this is a Christian site and I don't want to tear people away from their religion. Trust me, I'd rather have J.C. by my side and eternal life in heaven. I just no longer feel this is the situation. As a Christian I've always been a seeker of truth and that's how I've come to my conclusions. Now I have nothing, and I'm learning how to live with that. I still have my morality, likes and dislikes, etc. I also don't feel I wasted my life. I am learning how to convert my beliefs and philosophies into a positive direction.
Faith is natural as logic, let me explain. Let's say you have an argument with your partner and they take off and they say they say their never coming back. You can't use logic or reason to determine if they will come back, this is because of uncertainty. But if you use logic and reason to determine if your partner will or will not return you will inevitably create more uncertain ideas about the situation. Time is also a factor, the longer you wait the longer your mind can create new scenarios that your partner will or will not do. But you will get no closer in having the answer, so what does the brain do to cope with multiple conflicting scenarios. It deploys faith, faith is in that situation hoping for the best outcome and preparing for the worst at the same time.
 

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