I'm kinda new here. Been lurking in the shadows, never made a real post until now. I've hesitated to get involved because I don't like the label "atheist" (too much baggage, misunderstood, etc.) plus I'm not really interested in encouraging people to "think atheist" per se. (I just want people to "think." The atheist will follow naturally if they're doing it right.)
Anyway, I am introducing myself as an "ex-true-Christian," a term that I have coined to anticipate a common objection I hear. If you're like me, you've heard it a thousand times... "You were never a true Christian in the first place..." In fact, I used to say it myself to others who left the faith before me.
Jesus was everything to me. He was my life, my breath, my fountain of grace and mercy. I would have died to spread the gospel, and I was more than prepared to give my life for his sake. I felt like I had found "freedom" in the gospel, until I finally woke up to all the bullshit by choosing to be HONEST with myself about unanswered prayer, Bible contradictions, the hopelessly endless disagreements about God among Christians themselves, and other such nonsense.
I've managed to meet a lot of atheists who were fortunate enough to reject religious nonsense when they were very young, as well as many atheists who never really believed in the Christian God in the first place but played the role of believer for years just to keep everyone happy. I'm finding it rare and difficult to connect with other ex-believers who were deeply and genuinely in love with Jesus. If that is you, then PLEASE friend me, connect with me, check me out on Twitter, etc. etc. Share your story with me, and I'll share mine.
Please connect with me anyway, but I definitely want to find other "ex-true-Christians" out there. I feel very much alone in rejecting a belief system I was once incredibly passionate about.
Hi there and welcome to TA! I'm not sure if I was ever a 'true-Christian' because I don't know who could objectively define that sort of thing. I fully believed everything I was told, but even early on I had trouble resolving many of those things. I really stretched myself intellectually to rationalize those things: prayers were not automatically granted because god had other things to do; the 6 days of creations may have just been 'figurative' days; early Romans destroyed all records of Jesus - only to later adopt him as their god; etc, etc, etc.
By my mid-teens I would have been the sort of Christian that I now call a "deist clinging to Christianity", believing the bible was really just a metaphor for a greater truth. It would take another five years before I would finally realize there wasn't even a basis for those metaphors. Even as an Atheist I still find modern Christianity's sugar-free, low-fat Yahweh-lite to be an abhorrent desecration of the god I once revered. It makes me feel bad for the cosmically bumbling benevolent little fellow who can't exist without our belief.
Anyway, I'll let you decide and add me as a friend if I am another ex-true-Christian; or add me anyway, I can never have too many friends without faith.
No one has replied to you about the Jesus thing, Scott. Since I was very young I never bought into the god thing, and my mother was the only one in the family of 6 interested in it. She didn't press it. She was disappointed that none of us pursued it, but she seemed to accept it. Dad accompanied her to church just to keep the peace.
Anyway, the odd thing though is that I have always been attracted to Jesus and his story. Truly! Especially when I majored in art history; there were so many beautiful depictions of him. I do believe he may have been the perfect human being. And I find Christian principles to be sound and rational. Check out a painting entitled "Christ Before the High Priest" by Gerald Honthurst and look at the expression on his face. Of course it's an artist's interpretation of what he felt to be Christ's demeanor. But it embodies all that I love about him. Loving beyond measure, compassionate and the wisest of the wise. What's not to like?
That being said....the son of god? I think not! Returning to earth for "rapture"? Yeah, right! Helping people in need? Uh, look around you! Why do SO MANY PEOPLE buy into this whole notion of a supreme being that looks down upon us and anwers prayers? What's that? Your prayer wasn't answered? Oh, no, they say . God always answers prayers! It's just that sometimes the answer is no. I'm going to send this because last night I lost my whole text but I have more to say.
What a crock of shit is THAT? So if you're praying that your stepfather will stop beating your mom and stop raping you, but it doesn't stop....the answer was no? If you're praying for the safe return of a kidnapped child, and the child is found dead....the answer was no? How the goddies find a way to praise their god, no matter what, is a source of infinite amazement to me. Tornadoes in Alabama that kill over 400? Praise the lord how many survived! Schoolbus crashes and kids are killed? Oh, god works in mysterious ways. He called those children home! It was their time to go! Everything happens for a reason!!! It will all be explained at the rapture! Living in the Bible Belt, I am absolutely SURROUNDED by religiosity. My 11 year old daughter said that at school recently, the teachers put up little lists of things that were important to them, and almost all had God or Jesus, my savior at the top. As much as I extolled Jesus' virtues moments ago, putting his name on a public list rather gags me. Oh, and her science teacher scoffed at evolution, and said, "We normal people know that's a bunch of garbage".
I have to admit, sometimes, when I look at a canopy of trees, a star-studded sky, a pink and purple sunset, floating clouds, it is seductive to contemplate that they were put in place for humans to enjoy. Does that not cross the mind of the strongest atheist? For me, though, this is only fleeting, and I come to my senses and stick to what I've always felt: there is no god. Now I must sign off, as this poor (literally) atheist who shares a computer with 2 kids has a daughter who wants to show her a laughing camel on Youtube. Good night, fellow atheists.