I am a former Atheist. Oh, I grew up in the Church. My parents were Catholic, but that didn’t work for me – and sometime in junior high I told them I didn’t believe in God. That honestly may have been just a case of a teenager trying to get under his parent’s skin, but as time went on my doubt became real. In high school I started preparing for a career as a journalist – was trained to question everything. I spent my adult life in that line of work and saw and reported on a number of tragedies- all which only confirmed my believes that God didn’t exist – if he did he’d never would have allowed something like this to happen (a tornado, a hurricane, a murder, sexual assault of a child or whatever.)

 

But that all changed when I was 33. For the last 5 years I’ve been a bible thumping, Jesus freak. However I continue to think that the biggest problem with Christianity is the Christians. And so I am here in part to show the world that we are not all judgmental and self righteous.

 

So I decided to create this thread; Ask a former Atheist. You can grill me or attack me here. I think one truth is that Atheist talk about God as much as believers – if not more so – because it is such a fascinating topic.

 

By the way – just as a plug- I ‘ve written a book called Gradually to God which is all how finding faith as an adult. It can be purchased on amazon

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Gradually-God-Finding-Crossroads-ebook/dp/B00...

 

                                               

Thanks for your time

Doug Wahl

Views: 135

Tags: atheist, christian, debate, god, jesus

Comment by William C. Walker on April 14, 2011 at 4:28pm
Re your 'finding Jesus' - how much Greek & Roman history did you study. How many biographies have you read on Emperor Constantine. He is the REAL founder & FUNDER of Catholicism / Christianity, 325 CE. All he really wanted was a new god under which he hoped to unite his sprawling & decaying Empire. That didn't work, but he DID  found a new religion. There's NOTHING new or original in Xianity. The Wholly Babble is simply a sloppy compilation of hearsay, folklore, mythology & fairy tales, spanning the Middle East & India & over the five centuries preceding the council he convened & directed. His instruction to "Make it to astonish" was carried out.                  Please come back after you have familiarized with the origins of the  religion you have chosen as the one true religion.
Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 6:03pm

Gaytor your second question on the 3rd chapter of John has had me thinking all day. It’s a great question that I’ve never thought about – but I do have an answer (it’s kind of a knee jerk reaction so I may come back tomorrow with a totally different perspective.)

 

I don’t think the confusion was over the language, I think it was over the concept. You’ve had conversations with someone and even though the two of you were speaking English you still couldn’t understand what they were trying to say.

 

So even though Nicodemus would have understand the words meaning “from above” – keep in mind that this is a guy whose entire life has been told a relationship with God is all about keeping the rules, following the law – so the very concept of a spiritual birth would have been foreign to him – this literally would have been the first time he ever heard it and so his confusion makes sense to me.

 

It if very interesting to me that you  brought up Nicodemus because he was a critical person in my journey. When I started my pursuit I thought I would have a moment. You know Saul becomes Paul in a flash of light – and when that didn’t happen for me I almost gave up.

 

Nicodemus is the one person you see in the Bible for whom it doesn’t happen right away. Instead for him faith is a process – it’s a journey. I don’t think you would call him a follower at the at end of the 3rd chapter. Maybe he was later on in John when he kind of speaks up for Jesus in front of a council of people who want to murder him. Nicodemus certainly had to be one by the end of the book when he and another guy risk their life to give Jesus a proper burial.

 

The point is when I saw that he moved at a slower pace, that it wasn’t automatic, it gave me to move at a slower pace – which is how I got the title for my book : Gradually to God

Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 6:07pm

I am going to skip over Kenneth and Apple because it appears that both of those post were greetings – and I sincerely thank you both for welcoming here.

 

So this is for Voodoobones, who has so far written by favorite post.

 

1)      My faith is based in the Bible. And I have read the entire thing. But in my view being a Christian comes down to your thoughts on Jesus (that’s who you are following after all). So it’s not a matter of what you think of the entire Bible, it’s just your thoughts about 4 books: “Mathew, MarK, John and Luke.” That’s the field we’re playing on. And yet too often people want to switch it to something else. “I don’t want to talk about Jesus, I want to talk about Exodus or Genesis.” Listen I have questions about those books too, I believe a lot of what they say but I do have questions. What doesn’t make sense to  me is this “all or nothing” mentality. For people who pride themselves for critical thinking  how does it makes that a question over here can have an impact over there….especially when the space between is at least 2 thousand years.

2)      You are right. I was wrong. I just looked it up in the 30th chapter. It does say speckled and spotted but they are talking about goats and sheep not cows as I was thinking

3)      And I think this will make sense – I am a former television journalist. Spelling and grammar really didn’t count in my line of work. I used to do live shots with notes written on the back of napkins. My passion for my work started to fade once the internet came along – and suddenly everything I blew off started to really seem important. Listen I am going to make mistakes on these posts….I am not sending these through spell check, and most are being written while I am multi tasking on something else- so I hope you will understand

 

Comment by Voodoobones on April 14, 2011 at 7:09pm

Doug, I totally understand! LOL, I'm a former Disc Jockey. :)

And Like I mentioned, I am the last one to say something about grammar but I thought you were a print journal it and it struck me odd that I would think that someone who should be correcting me was making mistakes. No worries. ;)

 

I find it interesting how people will call themselves a Christian and yet have such varying views on what a Christian is. I guess this is why I am so fascinated by religion. Is there a branch of Christianity that only goes by the word of Jesus and doesn't consider the rest of the bible as important or is that a personal thing?

Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 8:06pm

For Marc B,

  I think I kind of addressed this in the post above. I really don’t think one needs to believe in everything in the Bible to believe in Jesus. This may end up being one of those things where we agree to disagree.

    But what I found really funny is that the common perception in the world is that nonbelievers are opened minding and believers are closed minded. But look at what you wrote here. I am not sure that I’ve ever read a more closed minded statement; “All I have to do is read Genesis 1, maybe the first page on the Bible, to see clearly this is a work of fiction.”

    Really – before you pass judgement on who Jesus is don't you think you should read that part of the Bible that pretains to him?

 

Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 8:06pm

For Marc B,

  I think I kind of addressed this in the post above. I really don’t think one needs to believe in everything in the Bible to believe in Jesus. This may end up being one of those things where we agree to disagree.

    But what I found really funny is that the common perception in the world is that nonbelievers are opened minding and believers are closed minded. But look at what you wrote here. I am not sure that I’ve ever read a more closed minded statement; “All I have to do is read Genesis 1, maybe the first page on the Bible, to see clearly this is a work of fiction.”

    Really – before you pass judgement on who Jesus is don't you think you should read that part of the Bible that pretains to him?

 

Comment by doug wahl on April 14, 2011 at 8:19pm

This is in response to Joseph; I understand why you think every Christian is judgmental. Do you know who’s to blame for that image problem: Christians are! For too long pastors and believers have sent out the message that in order for us to be in community with you – then you are the ones who are going to have to change. You’re going to think the way that think – act the way we act.

   That holier-than-though approach has been the worst possible interpretation of the Gospels. And it takes away from what I think is one of the most beautiful facts in history: that no matter what you think about it Christianity is a movement of flawed and failed people. It’s not a group of people who have figured it all out – it is a group of people who are still searching. (I know that second part won’t make sense right away.)

   In my case one of the biggest hurdles to becoming a Christians were the Christians that I met along the way- I didn’t want to be clumped in with them.  So here is what I mean about now wanting to be judgmental; I am not hearing trying to change anyone else’s view of the world. My goal is not to get you to think the way I think. You can be exactly who you are and I will still be in community with you. My love (or in this case my on line friendship) does not come with the condition that we see the world the same.

 

As for your point on this site being about what is true, for the moment I just want to say one thing. It seems to me that a lot of people who have posted on this site seem to think that if a person has faith then they no longer have doubt. Faith and doubt are not opposites. Faith and certainty are opposites. In my life faith and doubt are woven together.

 

I think a lot of people approach the topic of God with a number of unanswered questions….and they basically say unless I get these answered I am not going to believe. But that’s not how it works at all and I am going to try to get into that more when I respond to Reg’s question

Comment by Scarlette Blues on April 14, 2011 at 9:07pm

You seem to have a "non-denominational" view of Christianity, correct me if I'm wrong.

This branch seems to be growing in my neck of the woods. My mom's family & my best friend's family both attend these type of churches. As did I when I was a Christian. It's based more on the love of Jesus rather than the wrath of god, like fundamentalists. To me, it's a humanistic form of Christianity. Love thy neighbor, kind of thing.

 

Anywho, welcome to T|A. I will say, your thread has been one of the best reads from the theists :) We mainly see theists who are 100% that they are right and we are wrong. It's nice to see someone who will admit to still have doubt.

Comment by Akshay Bist on April 14, 2011 at 9:16pm

I have a friend who is like you. He wasn't an atheist but he wasn't very religious but after going through a bad break up he started reading the bible & 'talking to god' daily and now he says he's much better off. But he's got this annoying habit of aggressively pushing his faith on others, or atlest on me(he asked me to live like him - read the bible & talk to god daily for a month, after that I was supposed to become a devout christian).

So, getting back on topic, I have a couple of questions for you -

  • Why Christianity? Did you try to learn about other faiths & decided that Christianity is the better faith for you or did you just went back to what was familiar? If its the latter then maybe you were never really an atheist. Maybe you were just trying to piss off your parents or were pissed at the church/god & wanted to rebel or maybe a combination of the two.
  • Secondly, why are you here? Are you here because you want to have a stimulating, open-minded discussion about faith & atheism, which is very welcome & refreshing thing for a theist to do. Or are you here to try & convince people here to abandon their beliefs and follow yours(like my friend). I'd ask if you were a troll, but going by your post that doesn't seem likely.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on April 14, 2011 at 9:32pm

Welcome! 

I am always thrilled to have a Theist on the site. 

Mainly because I have so many questions for you! 

I'll give you a while to settle in and get accustomed to the place before I badger you, though. 

 

Welcome to the community!

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Blog Posts

Creationists Dispute

Posted by Fouad on December 24, 2014 at 7:26am 3 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service