To those who've deconverted from Christianity: when I'm riding to work on the subway, I invariably will see 2-3 people reading what is clearly a long-owned, dog-eared copyof the Bible and/or a weekly devotional guide of some sort.  As someone who's never made it through the book (I've tried, but getting through even Genesis is a really hard slog) I've always wondered what they're doing and why.  Are they looking for passages that will address a specific concern they have at that point?  Or continually re-reading the same sections to reinforce some broad set of guidelines (the Bibles I see frequently are highlighted or have notes in the margins).  From what I've read so far, the "rules for living" seem really obtuse, so it's not clear why I'd be reviewing the material at a time I could be reading the newspaper.  Any insight?

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people read on the bus to be seen to be reading on the bus... cults like jehovah's witnesses actually MUST do things like that and be seen doing things like that to maintain good standing in their church, and yes, waking you up out of a drunken stupor on saturday morning earns them points too!!

 

 

LOL! When i was a JW, I remember waking people up that were clearly drunk the night before! Good times! "Wake yo butt up, you drunk! Open your door and listen to me preach!!" You're right, JW's MUST be seen doing "good things", or what they consider to be good. Aside from the actual preach work, it should have nothing to do with being in good standing with the church, & should have been whatever the relationship with you and God would take you, and what you could do. But like most religions that have hard rules, some hard JW bible thumpers would look down on you if you didn't go out on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

 

I'm really glad that this "cult", whatever that may mean to people with its varying definitions, never asked me for money, didn't believe we walked with dinos and don't believe in hell. They think we were placed here by God to be Earth care-takers. Unfortunately, everything else about the religion, from dis-fellowships to changes in generation teachings, leaves you with an awful taste, as if the religion itself has lost its own faith.

 

I'd never thought I'd say this, but if you ever have the opportunity to speak to a young JW, now's the time to hammer away at them and bring up the tough questions. It's a ripe time to make them think hard about what they are really teaching (as most youth in this faith don't know about the changes and their own past), since there has been some crumbling of faith.

 

Anyways, if you're really there God, it's these devil atheist folks making me say that. ; )

Everyone is looking for answers to questions bothering them in life... Since for the religious folk, the Bible is the ultimate source of knowledge, the answers to their day to day worries lie in the Bible... Sometimes people make a choice and try to find the justification in the Bible for their actions... The Bible is such a long and conflicting book, that you cannot remember all of it... By the time you complete the Pentateuch, you will forget who raped Dinah or even who Dinah is... Thus some people prefer to read the Bible in their spare time rather than a newspaper... Sometimes they just open up a random passage and try to infer some meaning out of it, since God does not directly talk to them... Some folks read the same passage over and over again to understand what it means... Try reading Revelation, you will know... Even if these Bible reading folks might not know much about worldly events, they have convinced themselves that they are in an intellectual pursuit that is far greater than reading a newspaper or Wikipedia...

I used to carry "The God Delusion" to work... People around actually thought it is a devotional book, as the title has 'God'... Nobody stopped to read the title again and understand how powerful a word 'Delusion' is...

Try doing the same thing with Hitchens'  "God Is Not Great".  It wil elicit a somewhat different reaction.

There is a girl at my work who reads her bible in the lunchroom during her breaks. Coming from a christian background myself, I was told that a christian should read the bible every day. Doesn't matter what part, just be sure you do it. Read the bible and pray every day. Kind of like, 'An apple a day keep the dr away.", "a devotion a day keeps the devil away."

I think it's like reading horoscopes.  The words (esp. New Testament) are just specific enough to connect with your daily life, but just vague enough to allow for all kinds of invented personal meaning.  People are desperate to believe that the All-Powerful is watching over them, has a plan for them, etc. and this is one way to strengthen that sense of security.  

Bible reading is also interlinked with going to church, to hear an "expert" spin the same types of wishful applications of the text to daily life.  Dollars to donuts those subway Bible readers are re-reading (and trying to retain) the interpretations handed to them from the pulpit (or prayer group). 

I’m sure they find it just as tedious to read as we do, but probably feel guilty if they don’t put their daily efforts in. You wouldn’t want to take time away from something important to read your bible, so why not simply go through the motions to appease your guilt and get it out of the way on the morning commute? That leaves your evenings free to do the things that matter, like spending quality time with your family, in front of the TV, watching Bill O’Reilly.  I bet these same people keep a copy by the toilet too.

Reading the bible looking for answers is a desperate act. I don't see anyone doing that here because we are a very secure country.

No self-help books in Denmark.

I fully agree - this is why I have never read nor will I ever read the bible!

Also, which scripture to start with - there are so many different ones equally bad. It's all so silly!

How do you know they're bad if you haven't read them? I'm just as much a nonbeliever as most people on these boards, but saying "I will never read this book" puts you in the same mindset as book burners. As unbelievers, we should be more open minded than most, and actually reading your enemy's source material is very helpful for refuting their arguments. Gaining their respect as someone who knows scripture can lend immeasurable weight to your case.

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