ExChristian.Net -- encouraging ex-Christians

encouraging de-converting and former Christians
The ExChristian.Net blog exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave religion behind. It is not an open challenge for Christians to avenge what they perceive as an offense against their religious beliefs.
By Dave, the WM

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, June 10, 1797. The death knell to my Christian faith was sounded in the face of Christian Theonomy /Dominionist /Reconstructionist theology. Christian Reconstructionism seeks to establish the theocratic rule of God over America through political manipulation. Unlike the Baptists who led me to Christ and taught me that Christianity and American politics were forever separated, "The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine." George Washington Reconstructionists and Dominionists taught me that it is the ordained duty of all Christians to aggressively inject religion into every aspect of the political process and into every political, legislative, and judicial decision. I know Reconstructionist Christians who currently hold political office in the Ohio State legislature. Those individuals do not hide their Christianity, but they do veil their overtly theocratic thinking.

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By Webmdave

"How to Get Rich as a Televangelist or Faith Healer" is quick read that is simultaneously entertaining, informative, and unfortunately, heart wrenchingly on the mark. Author Bill Wilson has written a 166-page volume that is at once funny and in some places, embarrassing -- to me. The embarrassing part was being forced to reflect on how I, members of my family, and many friends over the years have been (and some still are) stupidly suckered by Christian scam artists.

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By Webmdave

“You were never a real Christian!”

That’s been the constant mantra in my life since 2001. Well, to be more precise, it’s never been my mantra; it is the mantra I hear from the mouths of innumerable zealots who feel duty bound to harangue me about my apostasy.

If I had ever been a “true Christian,” I was told for the thousandth time in a recent argument over the phone with a relative, "it would have been impossible for me to have every left the fold."

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By webmdave
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. -- 1 John 2:2

The doctrine of propitiation isn’t something that’s talked about too much in modern Christian circles. Hell, heaven, sin, repentance, prayer, Jim Dobson… these are all topics that get covered constantly, but propitiation? Not in any church I attended. I think I know the reason. The doctrine is bizarre, inconsistent and incoherent to even the most religiously brainwashed.

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By webmdave.
William Vanderbloemen, Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Houston, Texas, is well known for leading churches to experience phenomenal growth through innovative change. His evangelical “ancient future” approach in a mainline denomination has built him a reputation as one who has a deep respect for the past and desires to apply it to the future in a dynamic way.

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By webmdave

For those who remember the scandal a few years ago surrounding Tom Tewell, the pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, and who also remember the nearly worshipful devotion in so many of the comments posted here, and who have developed a decided cynicism toward all things Christian, the following information will come as no surprise.
Salary and Benefits
Salary - $145,000
Housing Allowance - $50,000
Benefits including Pension, Medical and Continuing Education - $80,775
Total - $275,775

The Presbyterian Church has created a job for him, one that pays him over a quarter of a million dollars a year. What is this job? He is the executive director over a new pilot program aimed at "renewing Presbyterian ministers."

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By Dave, the WM

I was just reading about 71-year-old Rev. George O. Lowe, that he is in prison for sexually abusing a child in his congregation back in the 80s. There’s nothing particularly unique or interesting about the story; it's just another in a long, long line of sexually perverted religious leaders. What caught my eye in this story is that that the good reverend had recently tried to appease his victim who is now an adult by quoting Bible verses that discourage Christians from taking Christians to court and by claiming that God had already sufficiently punished him.

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By Dave, the WM

A look around at the tremendous variety, beauty, power, and complexity in nature can evoke admiration, awe, and wonder from even the most hardened cynic. Modern Christians often appeal to these emotions to argue the existence of a creator deity. Many Christians consider the arguments from nature to be powerful and convincing evangelistic, apologetic tools.

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By Dave, the WM

Nearly every day I read another opinion piece in the press on how the "raging, militant proponents of the New Atheism” are destroying the framework of our society. Most harshly denigrated in these articles are typically one or more of
the Four Horsemen: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

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By Dave, the WM

Christianity lauds itself as the panacea for the world’s woes, but Christianity’s approach to rescuing poor humanity is riddled with degradation. Before offering its “so great a salvation” Christianity first condemns, denigrates, and belittles people into believing they are vile creatures, wearing the filthy rags of a pointless existence. Self-confident non-Christians are redefined as “haughty and arrogant.” Sincere human compassion that is bereft of evangelical rhetoric is labeled as “selfishly motivated” and incapable of real or lasting good. Difficult circumstances and obstacles in a person’s life is seen as part of ancient curses put on creation by an unconditionally loving god.

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This is Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech. This is the tail end of twenty minute speech given in Canada in November 2006.

The reason I am posting this video here is because I would like to point out that Hitchens does not advocate hating Christians, Muslims, or other religious people. It is religion itself that he says should be hated.

I think that hating individuals because they are infected with religious delusion is just as bigoted as hating people who are infected with a disease, or who are ignorant, or who are mistaken about something...

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By Dave, the WM

"Merry Christmas" gives the political correctness crowd lots to write about, but I think they've all missed the boat on this. We should all be campaigning to preserve and promote the real reason for the season. We need to keep the Mass in Christmas!

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By Dave, the WM
"Give ear to my words, O LORD
Consider my meditation
Hearken unto the voice of my cry,
My King, and my God
For unto thee will I pray
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning
O LORD, in the morning will I direct my prayer
Unto thee, and will look up." — Psalm 5, vs. 1–3

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By Dave, the WM

My son was enjoying some time in a small city park near our home recently, when a scruffy middle-aged man, accompanied by a singularly obese 40ish woman, walked up and began to preach – at full volume.

My son, IPOD ear buds embedded deeply in each ear canal, watched as others lounging on benches or in the grass, stirred to their feet to seek out a quieter perch.

“The sins of the youth in this nation are stoking the fires of hell,” shouted the evangelist. “Repent and believe the Gospel before the time of reckoning!”

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By Dave, the WM

The longer I'm out of Christianity, the more difficult it becomes to comprehend how I could have ever accepted such a twisted view of reality that promotes flying chariots; floating ax heads; talking bushes, snakes and donkeys; magic refilling urns; water walking; zombies; a worldwide flood; giants; raving, naked prophets; fire falling from heaven from time to time; cruel plagues; and life changing visions that resemble the descriptions of bad LSD trips.

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The Christian arguments against evolutionary science habitually revolve around impressive sounding statistics that seem to indicate the extreme unlikeliness for life to have evolved. These stats are used as an apologetic against natural processes in favor of a hands-on, designing creator.

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By Dave, the WM

Though by no means the only understanding of soteriological free will, the overwhelmingly popular view expressed by Christians visiting this site is that all humans are free to choose or reject God's offer of salvation. If people freely and sincerely choose God's generous offer to save them, then HE will. If people freely reject God's loving gesture, then they will suffer everlasting horror.

On the flip side of this interesting "truth" is the belief that once a person accepts God's offer of unconditional love and acceptance, there is no way the person can ever change his or her mind about it. In other words, once a "True Christian™," always a "True Christian™." This is expressed in the frequently repeated mantra, "There is no such thing as an ex-Christian."

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By Dave, the WM

Valerie Tarico, author of "The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth," pointed me toward an interesting website this week. Here's a quote from that site:
A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is one that is set up according to Biblical standards; that is, the husband is the authority in the household. The wife is submissive to her husband as is fit in the Lord and her husband loves her as himself. He has the ultimate authority in his household, but it is tempered with the knowledge that he must answer to God for his actions and decisions. He has the authority to spank his wife for punishment...

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By Dave, the WM

The Virginia Tech shootings are fading from the major media's short-lived stage, but Christian rhetoric is continuing to lay the blame for the tragedy at the feet of non-theists.

Atheism has become very popular in universities--where it's taught that we evolved from animals and that there are no moral absolutes. So we shouldn't be surprised when there are school shootings. -- Kirk Cameron


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By Dave, the WM

What do you make of the so-called miracles of Garabandal?

Never heard of it? Well, you're in for a treat:

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By Dave, the WM

Evolution is a favorite target of Christians. Evolution, say Christians, is being accepted as fact when in truth evolutionary theory is nothing but a belief that has numerous holes in it. Christians will then focus exclusively on one or two of of these so-called holes, expand upon them, magnify them, and stretch the points beyond all reasonable recognition with the hope of rousing the average believer's emotions. Scientists, who are really just people trying to understand the world we live in, and who have given us modern medicine, amazing inventions, comforts not available to royalty in the past, and even men on the moon, are painted as demonically influenced conspirators bent on eradicating religion from the world in order to usher in a millennial reign of perversity and debauchery.

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By Dave, the WM

Some Christians who come to this site testify to having experienced a significant mystical/spiritual experience, an experience so powerful that they know that they know that they know that their religion (typically some version of Christianity) is not only true, it is THE TRUTH. Although finding a rational way of explaining this experience to others eludes them, they still maintain that their faith is not based on any mental delusion, or odd quirk of their own mental chemistry, but on something more... something beyond this world... something more real than what most of us typically understand as reality.

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By Dave, the WM

An increasing number of articles, commentaries, and opinion pieces are being published on what has been dubbed the “New Atheism.” One website, interestingly entitled NewAtheists.org, describes a four-pillared platform on which the so-called “New Atheism movement" rests. It reads as follows:
  • Tolerance of pervasive myth and superstition in modern society is not a virtue.
  • Religious fundamentalism has gone main stream and its toll on education, science, and social progress is disheartening.
  • Wake up people!! We are smart enough now to kill our invisible gods and oppressive beliefs.
  • It is the responsibility of the educated to educate the uneducated, lest we fall prey to the tyranny of ignorance.


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By Dave, the WM

I'd just moved into an apartment in Japan. My daughter was two-and-a-half years old, could talk in full paragraphs, and entertained my wife and I by singing all the words to every chorus sung at the English-speaking Assembly of God church we attended. We were far from home, but the joy of the Lord was our strength, and the oddness of our surroundings only helped solidify our church family relationships and our faith. We believed we had been sent to this far country to represent the one true god.

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By Dave, the WM

Scouring the web this morning, I fell on an interesting website that dismisses all the testimonies on this site as being fakes, fabricated by a large group of people with evil intentions. What would these horrible liars be? What else?! Atheists!

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By Dave, the WM

Smoking in public areas has been outlawed in several States in the US and in many countries around the world. This past November, the citizens of my home state — Ohio — voted to ban all public indoor smoking throughout the state. Smoking is not allowed in stores, restaurants, bars, places of business, clubs or within shouting distance of doorways to any public establishment, private or otherwise.

So it is written, so let it be done.

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By Dave, the WM

What should anyone think when confronted with reported claims of miraculous healings? From time to time a commentator on this blog emphatically claims to have witnessed miraculous healings. Naturally, credit for these magical interventions of divine health is attributed to a moving of the Holy Spirit in some religious meeting, or perhaps by some special "anointing" that spontaneously falls on someone. One believer in supernatural healing commented on a letter posted here: You have a little mind.

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A rant on Christian salvation

By Dave, the WM

I've been thinking about something lately: Christian salvation.

Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians said,
"For by grace are ye saved and through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."

The way this has been explained to me is that salvation is something that comes by grace, through faith, and not something anyone earns.

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Recently a Christian poster made the allegation that anyone who walks away from Christianity always leaves a "strange" version of it. Although this poster declined to define exactly what a "strange" version of Christianity might be, the topic on which this Christian posted his observation had to do with Christians who believe the world is approximately 6,000 years old, was created in six days, in general cling to a Biblical literalism, and who in many cases believe their worldview should be promoted in schools and through other educational venues. Now the Christian poster didn't actually say that such literalists were strange in their beliefs, but that was the implication based on the context of the conversation in which he did say that he had never met a Christian who believed such odd things (World only 6,000 years old, etc). I suggested to this Christian that he hadn't been around much.

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By Dave, the WM

This is a continuation of the article posted here: Morality and ethics without absolutes.

Regardless of all the rhetoric, examples and arguments, the majority of Christians do not believe in absolute morality.

The argument from Christians is that without the Bible, or God, or the Ten Commandments, there is nothing to tell us that murder is wrong. There is no way to make a decision about rape, or theft. Without the absolute morality as defined in the Bible, all society would crash into a subjective chaos of relativistic anarchy where everyone does what is right in their own eyes and everyone is a victim of everyone else's violent, unrestrained lusts.

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By Webmdave

Christianity advertises itself as espousing the epitome of love. Ist John 4:16, We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. Then we are taught that although people can experience love outside the framework of a Christian understanding, the love people have is inferior to the love of God. Romantic, or brotherly love is within the experience of the average person, but Agape love, the highest form of love, can only be experienced by those who have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

When I was a Christian, I accepted this message. I believed that the Love of God was far superior to "base" human love. Human love was characterized as self-serving, looking for selfish advantage for the individual accompanied with little real care for any other person. In contrast, God’s love is giving and selfless, always looking for the best for others.

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Someone who calls himself Ikhyun wrote this:
“Hey Dave wake up! I'm only 20 years old but sorry your lack of maturity someone your age scares me. It's you that need God. God doesn't need you; if you've abandoned Christianity and you've got your valid reasons, that's that. However the way you've displayed pictures of obscene pictures of Jesus engaged in sexual acts shows that you are still just an infant crying out for attention. Let me prophesy; although you're probably three times my age I can say this to you; if you live your life for yourself rather than for Christ, you will one day be at the end of your journey and look back on your life and see that all that you have done in this world were for your own selfish motives, and you will pass into oblivion knowing that it could have been so much more. Your ex-brother until you come back to Christ. Really; I hope you see you in heaven Dave.”
I want to use this interesting post as a jumping off point for the following observations:

It seems to me that the decision to become a believer, or remain a believer, is almost entirely emotional in nature. Now I know there will be detractors that read this and argue that they made a conscious choice to devote their life to Christ based on very rational and well thought out reasons. I used to say the same thing. In fact I read dozens and dozens of apologetic authors in order to bolster my claim to being an intellectual Christian. It took me years to realize that the only people who read apologetics are Christians. At the same time I woke up to the fact that the reason I was reading so many apologetics was because I had so many serious doubts. I wanted to satisfy my rational brain with the assurance that I was not simply fooling myself with all the Christian hype. I wanted to believe, so I found ways to make myself believe. I made an emotional decision.

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Is he cheating?Since leaving the stifling dogmatism of Christianity a few years ago, one of the questions that Christians keep broaching to me is, "What is the meaning of life to you now?"

Of course I know what they are trying to say. As a Christian I understood that the real meaning in life was found in serving Christ. Without Christ there is no meaning in life, so the dogmatic assumption goes. Without Christ, there is only the material world and whatever temporary pleasure can be gleaned from the few short years available to us poor pitiful mortals. Since my own personal philosophy has taken a definite turn toward an existential world view, and having been fully indoctrinated in the Christian perspective for most of my life, I can appreciate the concept that life without Christ does indeed appear to lack any definite point.

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