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Christianity brags that it holds the ultimate meaning and purpose for human life. It states most emphatically that the whole purpose of the human experience is to enjoy God and glorify Him forever. It boldly claims that any and all activity outside of the narrow path is worldly, of the devil, and ultimately worthless.



While finding a valuable meaning for an individual life is something most people desire, to accuse all who reject the claims of Christianity to be living worthless lives, is arrogantly rude, and historically it’s been destructive.

In 540 A.D. Christianity was given a unique opportunity to demonstrate the power of its worldview. Soon after the bubonic plague struck Byzantium that year, striking down 10,000 people a day until 100 million lives had been lost, the Roman Empire was destroyed. Christianity benefited immensely from the pandemic as droves of terrified people flocked into the Church.



Christianity castigated secular medicine for failing to cure the plague. The Church subsequently declared all secular medicine heretical. For the next ten centuries, blood-letting, herbal remedies and prayer became the treatments of choice for every ailment. With medical advancement at a standstill, millions died, perhaps as many from the treatment as the malady.



Developments in science and technology were abandoned. Extensive aqueduct and plumbing systems created by earlier generations disappeared. Since the sinful flesh was to be despised, even washing was discouraged. Disease of ever type ran rampant as hygiene and sanitation was forgotten. The vast network of roads that enabled transportation and communication fell into disrepair and remained that way until the 19th century. Ref



Book burning became commonplace. In the sixth century B.C.E., Pythagoras had already suggested that the Earth revolved around the Sun. By the third century B.C.E., Aristarchus had outlined heliocentricity while Eratosthenes had measured the circumference of the Earth. Hipparchus had invented longitude and latitude.



After the onset of the Christian Dark Ages, it wouldn’t be until the 1500’s that Copernicus would reintroduce the forgotten theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. When Galileo attempted to promote the theory, he was tried by the Inquisition in Rome for heresy. It’s untrue to assume only the Roman Catholic Church condemned heliocentricity, Calvin and Luther, the founders of the Protestant Reformation, also harshly condemned the idea, insisting that as it contradicted the Scriptures, it was therefore false.



Even as early as the fourth century St. Augustine had written, ”It is impossible there should be inhabitants on the opposite side of the Earth, since no such race is recorded in Scripture among the descendents of Adam.”



Historical research was nonexistent and what history there was, was rewritten to conform to the Bible. Modern archeology has proven that human history far exceeds 6000 years, but until very recent years, nearly all English Bibles placed a date on Genesis 1:1 at 4004 B.C. We now know that well before 4000 B.C., rich cultures already existed with well developed art,agriculture, architecture, city-planning, dance, drama, trade, writing, law, and even a few forms of democratic government.



History is replete with significant forward development followed by major setbacks. While Christianity claims to have gradually lifted humanity out of dark ignorance of a dark pre-Christian world, the truth is opposite. The longest and darkest setback in the progression of western civilization lies at the feet of Christianity.



Ignorance was crowned king when the great libraries in Alexandria in were burned in 391. Ancient academies were closed and education for anyone outside the clergy ended. The Fourth Council of Carthage, in canon 16, permits only Bishops to read the books of heretics in a time of need.. Jerome, a Church Father in the fourth century, reportedly rejoiced that the classical authors were being forgotten. St. John Chrysostom, a preeminent Greek Father of the Church said, “Every trace of the old philosophy and literature of the ancient world has vanished from the face of the Earth.”



Whether medicine, art, science, history, music, reading, writing or math, everything was to be brought into conformity with the accepted doctrines of Christianity. The laity and the priest craft were kept ignorant of any ideas outside of a religiously Christian framework. Even the monasteries, filled with educated monkish scribes, were consigned to only preserving works of religious devotion. All other types of literature were consigned to oblivion, hidden away or destroyed, considered at best meaningless works of the flesh, or at worst distractions to lead astray the pious. Worldly writings were thought more suited for the flames, as their authors were destined for hell. Every thought was to be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.



I know that in my own life, while a youth, I believed there was no greater purpose in life than learning about, and serving, my Lord. I believed the Rapture would occur any day, and nothing could take priority over saving the lost. Prior to my conversion I was an A student, but in the following years I spurned secular academics and neglected my studies in exchange for what I considered more worthy, eternal pursuits. In my mind, higher learning and high paying jobs were vain. Temporal pursuits, I thought, were not worthy of an eternal resident of heaven.



So what about purpose?



While immersion in a religion may bring about a feeling of purpose, it is a false purpose, one that ultimately hampers all human creative expression and growth.



Without religion, or belief in a God that is directing history, it becomes immediately apparent that our species and our lives are fragile, subject to being snuffed out without much notice by the rest of the Universe. Our sun and our planet are obviously not eternal, and our survival as a species is fraught with uncertainties. Great monsters, called dinosaurs, ruled this planet for an impossibly long time before extinction took them away. Without some god to guarantee our survival, extinction is a very real possibility for us. Without a promise of personal survival in some heaven, the only real immorality we can hope to achieve is through our children and grandchildren – the generations of humanity that follow in our footsteps. Pursuing personal enlightenment through religion may provide an appearance of purpose, but it is ultimately a selfish pursuit. Personal religion is about my salvation, my god, my jeweled crown, my holiness, my Bible, my prayer time, my church, my group, my denomination, my experience, my, my, my, my, my.



I would say that a far higher purpose – a better purpose – than mindless obedience to religion, would be a life devoted to making the world a better place to live for all of us. By striving to better our neighborhoods, our communities, our nations, and our world, we have a better chance of ensuring a good future for everyone.



Ultimately we each make and choose our own purpose. Jesus does not have a plan for my life; I have a plan for my life. It falls to me to take responsibility for my own life and bring my plan to pass.



This has been the podcast of ExChristian.Net for April 9, 2006.



Related article: Another, "The Meaning of Life."





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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Though I'm an ex-christian, its to bad that this site doesn't offer some type of middle of the road view. It seems that "either its our way (Athiest)" or nothing at all.


Anonymous Melissa said...
Webmaster,

Thanks for posting this transcript.
I feel like the cavegirl of the internet world. I am without podcasting...I think. Lmao! I will have to ask my teenage son this.

Anyway, it was great to be able to read along with the rest of the crew. You clearly demonstrated why and how many of us who live by objectivity and naturalism can have just as much happiness and meaning in our life (if not more) without relying on religious faith in superstitions. Great job sir.

Cheers to that!


Blogger emptycan said...
Hei, Dave, I have been glad each time I read your writing. This one is no exception. You made big declaration of

"Jesus does not have a plan for my life; I have a plan for my life. It falls to me to take responsibility for my own life and bring my plan to pass."

Two thumbs up!!

But, Dave, there are things in our lives that we can not control, like Iragi children killed in war, uncurable genetic deseases, etc.. Do you think we are responsible for those, too? In this case, may we need to pray to God? or Do you imagine a petit heroism that can take every disaster stoically?


Anonymous Ben said...
Anonymous said...
Though I'm an ex-christian, its to bad that this site doesn't offer some type of middle of the road view. It seems that "either its our way (Athiest)" or nothing at all.

April 09, 2006 10:36 PM

Glad you asked anon,

Whomever shall believe in the Grand Order Of The Yak, shall go to greener pastures, those that do not believe, will certainly be cast into the pit of YAK DUNG, up to their chins for all eternity.

Grandaddy Yak is not willing that anyone should be sent to the Dung Pit, but go to greener pastures.

Therefore he sent his only begotten calf to die pulling a haybailer, that anyone who believes in him, shall not perish but have everlasting life in the pasture with fields of golden hay bails and barley and oats and molasses, forever and ever.

All you need is a little Faith, which is a gift from the Grandaddy Yak.

I pray for your sole that you may invite the Yak Calf into your heart, otherwise if you reject him, I cannot be held responsible for your sole's destiny.

http://www.nomorefakegods.blogspot.com


Blogger emptycan said...
Another comment

Dave, you said that "I would say that a far higher purpose – a better purpose – than mindless obedience to religion, would be a life devoted to By striving to better our neighborhoods, our communities, our nations, and our world, we have a better chance of ensuring a good future for everyone."

It sounds nice, but some vague also. What do you mean by "making the world a better place to live for all of us"? In other words, what is the better place and how we can make it? And do you think that a person can really be satisfied by devoting his life to making world better place? If the person want to have his own personal purpose and untimate meaning of his life, what can we recommend to him? In this case, a religion, not necessarily xnity, may be needed, may it not?

Do i have any hidden cause in asking those questions? No, none. I just ask them because I also think about the meaning of a life.


Blogger emptycan said...
Third comment.

Xnity is not the only religion which choked the development of human civilizaition, especially science.

The eastern religions, which regarded the nature as deity character, also effectively blocked the development of civilization.

At least, xnity made it possible for human to analyze or even destroy the nature without guilty feeling because they think the nature is merely object of god's creation.

But, in eastern religion, the nature is really mother or father nature, everything comes from her or him and everything goes back to her or him. So it is difficult for the people to analyze the naturue as an object, which is the way of scientific development.

I know this kind of relgious thinking has caused the eastern world to become the colonies of the western world with more scientific and deadly weapons.

So i think that it's not only xnity which has blocked the development of human civilization.

Why do i say this. I don't know. I am just saying blah blah yada yada....(*.^)


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
"Though I'm an ex-christian, its to bad that this site doesn't offer some type of middle of the road view. It seems that "either its our way (Athiest)" or nothing at all"

Well, I can see why you think that. I consider myself an atheist now, so I do write from that perspective, however, many on the site have other views. One of our prominent founding members, Heimdall, who posts frequently in the blog section of the forums, is a die-hard Deist.


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
Melissa,

If you have speakers on your computer, you can listen to the podcast. Just click on the littel gray player at the top of the post.


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
"It sounds nice, but some vague also."

Yes EC, intentionally vague. Christians often torture themselves, sometimes for years, trying to find the will of God, so they can have some great purpose. All I was trying to point out, is that there is a world all around us, right next door, where we can make a difference, should we feel like we lack purpose. Purpose is much, much more than serving a deity -- that's the whole point.

Some people do strive toward making the world a better place and find it quite satisfying -- without religion. I know two atheists who spent many years serving in the Peace Corps. Self sacrifice is not reserved for the religious. The understanding that giving to and helping others gives great pleasure, has been true and a part of many great philosophies through history. Nothing new there.

Do some need religion, or belief in a god? Perhaps, I can't speak to that -- personally, I don't.

"Other religions have hampered science..."

I suppose. I was a Christian, and this is ex-Christian.net.

For me, I believe life has plenty of meaning, great value, and tons of opportunities. As a Christian I saw things narrowly, in a box, a god box. What is a better world? One where freedom of expression, opportunity for success, plenty to eat, peace between nations...add your own. Is this achievable? Who knows? We've never really tried...yet. However, as long as people are fighting over who is serving the correct version of the right deity and holding the purest religion, I doubt it.

Now, instead of another string of questions for me, EC, why not post your own thoughts and let people respond to your thoughts as they think best? Just a thought...


Blogger emptycan said...
Post my own thought? I hope i do that, but i don't think or try to not think about relgion any more. However, I still visit this kind of site, it's funny, maybe this is my cursed destiny, maybe hm, maybe like yours, dave. I feel some connection with you because it looks like you may not escape the world of damned religions in your whole life.

I don't know if I have my own thought. I may say this. While i had devout religious zeal in the xnity, I was not still satisfied with the westminster shorter catechism's allegation of the meaning of life. That says the meaning or purpose of men's lives is to glorify god and rejoice in him eternally.

It is blessing for the people who can be satisfied with that answer. But I was not that much blessed. My question goes on: Can the meaning be proper and effective end line of human quest for unltimate meaning? Why my life's meaning is defined by giving glory to god? If so, who is the god who want my glorification that much?

When moses asked to jehovah, who are you? Jehovah said I am who I am. That's funny and not so much helpful joke. What a stupid anwer to the serious question!

Jehovah's answer sounded like he wanted men only to stop thinking and just obey him without any question. If somebody can do that, I think he or she is blessed because jehovah likes that kind of person. But me, and maybe you dave also, was not that much blessed.

Now I am almost convinced that there is no such stupid damned fucking idol jehovah. So what? I don't know. I am just missing the time that i spent on the stupid religion, although I know my environment of hardship in my youth drove me to the religion.

What is the meaning of life? It is really attractive and seducing question without any possibility of any proper answer. So i try not to think about it any more. I don't know what the meaning of my life is. But I know that i am just living now and here. If I die? I don't know, either. I just remember what Confucius said as a good answer: How can I know things after death when I don't know things even in this life?


Anonymous Dano said...
EC,
How can we have a discussion about God, unless we define the meaning of the word God?

How can I say that I do or don't believe in God, unless I know what God is?

Does anyone know what God is?

I don't think so!

Dan (Humanist, Rationalist, Agnostic)


Blogger emptycan said...
Dan, I think your point is very valid. It would be very difficult to define the word god.

But we know quite clear image of the biblical god including the the stupid description of it as i am who i am.


Blogger chad said...
Great piece Webmaster. After all, rather than family indoctrination and fear, for many ex-christians, their involvement with Christianity centered around a personal journey of trying to find meaning/purpose in life.

I've noticed a annoying flaw in my own thinking regarding the meaning of life that is a residual from Christainity. To a certain degree, I still find myself defining the criteria of a meaningful life based on a key theistic assumption: that somehow life must be eterernal in order to possess ultimate or real meaning. So, instead of striving to attain a heavenly salvation of eternal existance, at one point, until recently, I concluded that striving to attain a humanistic salvation of eternal existence (i.e. contributing to society in some fashion that would flow into a cause bigger than myself or leave a long-lasting legacy).

However, upon deeper reflection, I realized two problems with this perception of the meaning of life: 1) It still embraces theistic notions of eternity (which is dependent upon some supernatural realm and the existence of God) and 2) This assumed criterion of meaning is false in light of experiential/empirical evidence. Simply put, myriads of people derive a satisfactory sense of meaning without obsessing over the enternal prospects or quality of their life. When an individual decides to become a professional sports commentator, he doesn't do so because he is concerned about the eternal impact of his career; on that contrary, he does so because sports possess intrinsic value from his vantage. When an individual decides to become a computer specialist, he doesn't do so because computer work fufills some sort of esoteric desire for eternity; rather, he does so because he knows that gainful employment in this field constitutes a comfortable lifesyle and his passion for the subject. Examples could be multiplied beyond measure, but I think you get my point by now. A strong sentiment of personal meaning does not require any sort of significant contributions to society that will yield long-lasting or "eternal" impact. In fact, one may accomplish goals that are totally self-absorbed and lacking any humanitarian ethic while experiencing a tremendous "high on life" as a result.

Meaning, then, is not dependent on the old, theistic assumption of eternity; it is categorically subjective and temporal.


Anonymous Ramza said...
Hello all,

Good to see a very well-written article like this on Ex-Christian.net! While the suggestion on making the world a better place might be a bit vague as others have commented, maybe it really should be that way. Each of us can "make and choose our own purpose" is what the article says, and thus the statement is wide enough to fit the purposes that apostates everywhere have made and chosen.

The article reminds me of the writings of one of the most famous atheist thinkers: the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The author mentioned the feeling of insignificance we may experience when we measure the vastness of space and time and compare it with our small, short lives: lives that we may see as futile and absurd. Religion is a hole that people dig for themselves so they can stick their heads in it and pretend that they they are not insignificant, that they have souls, afterlives, a divine plan, and other rubbish. Thus, Nietzsche pointed out that religious people despise this life, whether they admit it or not - indeed, whether they know it or not. Religions hope for the hereafter where everything is perfect, unlike this wretched "valley of tears". In effect, they give up on this life in favor of the next one.

Nietzsche condemned the religious plan of action, of course. He taught that we should embrace this life instead, with all its insignificance and absurdity, instead of rejecting it in favor of the next one. When we accept our lives and claim them as our own, we can then mold them into whatever we want them to be. This point was brought across when Nietzsche wrote that the god is dead, in his books like Die Frohliche Wissenschaft and Also Sprach Zarathustra. It is with that idea that those books, and this article as well, show us what being an unbeliever is all about.
______________

Oh, and as for ol' "I yam who I yam": Popeye said the same thing. He had super powers too, and he was about as real. However, he doesn't go preaching about how the afterlife is so much better than this one. He's strong to the finish 'coz Christ is just rubbish.


Anonymous Dano said...
EC,
I guess I should be nicer to the biblical God. After all it's not his fault that he was so stupid and immoral. He didn't have the advantages that I have had. back then it was OK to rape and pillage and fly off at the handle and kill everybody in sight. Back then people expected that God couldn't wait for his next blood sacrifice, and didn't see his constant need to be worshipped as a mental illness.

Nobody knew how to make a universe properly, or how DNA works. God showed up 4 billion years to late to be able to under stand "Natural Selection," so naturally he made his people out of mud, and didn't under stand that there were billions of other galaxies and more billions of planets.

He didn't know that knocking up someone else's girlfriend was wrong. Or for that matter, having his own son murdered, just to appease himself, seemed perfectly normal back then.

Unlike Popye who knew how to use his super powers, God made a lot of mistakes when he created life here on earth and still does, but he is and always has been a slow learner. Just because he makes babies with two heads, and lets innocent people be slaughtered, and starved to death, doesn't make God a bad guy.

Maybe I should say that he did get one thing right, and we all know what that "one thing" is. The only problem is some of the biggest assholes get to do it with some of the prettiest people.

I have a theory that since God made us in his image, and so many of us have the same flaws as him, maybe that is why his atrocious behavior was condoned back then.

I am doing my best to be a good example for God, so that he can learn to use his omniscience, and omnipotence properly. I try not to kill anyone, and post a lot of suggestions for him on this website, such as "Take time out God, to help starving and suffering people once in a while, and quit making sick and diseased freaks" I try to explain to him how "Not Nice" it is to live with an extra body growing out of the top of your head, and stuff like that.

Anyway when and if the God who created the Biblical God, shows up to explain things better, we should all try to be more tolerant of Biblical God.
Dan Agnostic, Humanist, Rationalist, and follower of Mark Twain)


Anonymous Jim Lee said...
Enjoyed the read but what Christian is going to believe it. The lies and fabrication that the church puts forward to it's brainwashed followers is never ending. It would not matter one iota whatever evidence could be produced to prove that Christianity is fraudulent which it is, and that the New Testament Jesus is a myth along with a God to the followers, due to the complete brainwash where the brainwashed follower's own conscience is made to feel guilt. Christianity has been allowed to develop and expand over centuries, that it is now very much rock solid and firmly established around the globe. If you can tell and expand on a lie long enough people will believe the lie to be a truth.


Blogger Brother Jeff said...
Excellent post, Brother Dave! Glory!


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
Thanks Jeff!


Anonymous Lorena said...
Hi Dave,

The whole post touched me deeply. It is absolute beautiful as far as I am concerned. I am always deeply touched when somebody can put into words ideas I haven't been able to process just yet.

I found the following paragraph to be so true:
"Personal religion is about my salvation, my god, my jeweled crown, my holiness, my Bible, my prayer time, my church, my group, my denomination, my experience, my, my, my, my, my."

I remember being in bible study once. That day I had been thinking a lot about the homeless of my city, about how little I was doing about it even though I was giving over $400 a month to my church.

The other Bible study members were talking about their time shares in Hawaii, completely unconcerned about anything that didn't affect them directly.

Yes, christianity makes people selfish. Did anybody ever hear stories from missionaries who receive used bags of tea in the mail from "godly Christians?"

Way to go Dave!

Lorena


Anonymous Dano said...
Lorena wrote:
"I remember being in bible study once. That day I had been thinking a lot about the homeless of my city, about how little I was doing about it even though I was giving over $400 a month to my church"

I'm still pissed about the nickel that my hard working mother, who was a widow with 7 kids gave us to put in the collection plate every Sunday when I was a young boy. If I had known how many perverts, thieves and hypocrites were running those cults back then, I would have bought more candy. (Like I did sometimes, and got beat, when I got caught)
Dan (Who believes "Something" created everything)


Blogger muttmutt1978 said...
that was long. great history of christianity there. to anonymous there are some non xian middle of the road people on this board. Im Daoist with some other things mixed in(none of it christian or islamic thats for sure eww) but thats not really middle of the road i guess. oh and i forewarded the long letter to friends of mine.


Anonymous jeremullet said...
Anybody bother to check his sources? I did, and to be honest, most of them sucked or where horrible misconstrued beside that fact that they were from the internet which we all know isnt exactly the wellspring of truth. Not to say that the article should not have been written, but more time should have been put into it than basing it on flippant internet sources. Cite books, cite scholarly articles. It takes a lot more time, but the argument comes across much more credible. I mean, if credibility is what your after. If it isnt then you are doing a bang up job.


Anonymous Lorena said...
Jeremullet,

He did not need to use scholarly sources, because the topic is in the public domain. We, the well read people, have known those things for a long time.

So he cited the Internet. What is wrong with the Internet? You think historic facts may have changed from a couople of years ago when history happened?

His sources are much better than those used by Lee Strobel in The Case for Christ, who only used fundmamentalist Christian "scholars" to support his highly biased arguments.

That he didn't use scholarly research doesn't make the facts false. If you want to refute an argument that exposes the history of the christian church you should do much better than that.

Lorena


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
JM, I think you should actually read the sources I used. Some are scholarly books while others are from universities.

I purposely cited sources on the net for the convenience of readers. If you'd like to refute a particular statement, or denigrate a particular citation, perhaps that would better serve your apologetic purpose.

As it is, you just come off as an angry fundie.


Blogger Brother Jeff said...
In answer to Brother Jeremullet

"Anybody bother to check his sources?"

Yes. I appreciate it when links to quality information are given. Thanks, Dave.

"I did..."

I find that unlikely based on your assessment of the sources.

"they were from the internet..."

Gosh, how awful!

"Cite books, cite scholarly articles"

Um, he did.

Brother Dave, you managed to piss a fundie off. Great job! Glory! :-)


Anonymous Jeremullet said...
"most of them" those were my words. I am not angry at all about the post. I just thought that you could have used better sources. What I mean by that is just as some of you believe Lee Strobel's book was biased, so are these sources. Some of the quotes that were used and the information that was taken from these sources are biased. Anyway, keep posting...it doesnt anger me, I enjoy reading them.


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
Jere,

Please, do tell which sources were biased, and which sources should have been used instead.

Or, better yet, please point out the error in any single point of the above article.

When specifics are addressed, it's called discussion. When general accusations are tossed about, it's just angry.


Blogger emptycan said...
Oh, I found today Mr. The Scholar, whose name is Jeremullet. He is so scholistic that he can not bear any sources from the internet.

Why?

Because it's internet and internet is not scholastic.

Why not?

Because it's internet. I am not angry.

Which one is biased, more specifically?

Because you could have used better sources.

Hm~?

Anyway, keep posting...it doesnt anger me.


What a scholar he is!


Anonymous John said...
Jeremullet - I liked what you posted. But the essay above these comments will always be credible to anyone who wants to hate Christianity. This is because many people need something to use as their excuse for not wanting to practise Christianity, rather than simply admit that they hate it for forbidding promiscuous sex, profanity, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and selfishness.

Muttmutt - "None of it Christian or Islamic, that's for sure, ewww..." Oh, of course not. Nothing that whites and Arabs believe, because all whites (except for the esteemed guests at this site) are racists, and Arabs blow up buildings for a living, I suppose. And nothing that those evil Jews believe, either, because they're the people who wrote all of those ridiculous things in the first five books of the Bible, anyway. Right? Isn't that a little closer to what you think?

Dano - "If I had known how many perverts were running those cults..." I can't disagree that a lot of priests and ministers have molested children, but the majority of victims of sexual abuse are attacked by people OUTSIDE of the clergy.

Lorena - "That he didn't use scholarly research doesn't make the facts false..." Boy, that's a loaded one. For one thing, how do you know that they're facts? Is it because you want to believe them? Scholarly research would have given the essay above some authority.


Anonymous Lorena said...
John,

Let met tell you how I see your post from the "depraved" eyes on an exchristian.

According to this:

"This is because many people need something to use as their excuse for not wanting to practise Christianity, rather than simply admit that they hate it for forbidding promiscuous sex, profanity, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and selfishness."

You called me a slot, immoral, a pornography addict, and many other things.

Boy if anybody can boast of being moral it is I my friend.

And you just lost all credibility, not you ever had any, by coming here to insult a bunch of very honest people.

You should pray so that the holy spirit "leads you to all truth," since, by the looks of it, you are currently severely mistaken.

Lorena

P.S. If you so badly need more scholarly references, you can look for them yourself. It shouldn't take you too long to find them, if you are nearly as smart as you make yourself to be.


Blogger Shannon said...
John,

Sure, the majority of victims of sexual abuse are attacked by OUTSIDE of the clergy. But then with only 10% of the U.S. considering themselves not religious – going out on a limb here with my own opinion, most people are not attack by non-religious folks, either.

That is besides the point, anyway. Where else but the confines of a church should one feel the entitlement of safety? And if one cannot trust the sanctity of something holy, then what good are a ghostly henchman and his boss?


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
So John,

What specific point in the above little article is false? Please let us know.

Thanks.


Blogger muttmutt1978 said...
acutally i have nothing agianst jews. i thought aobut becomign one at one time. then i thoguth better of it because it wasnt for me. the tenack is an extended version of the torah. lets put it this way. personal experience made me Daoist and one of my bosses from a previous job had a book on it.


Blogger muttmutt1978 said...
one more thing John God made me daoist who are you to question ITs wisdom


Blogger J. C. Samuelson said...
John enlightened us with...

"But the essay above these comments will always be credible to anyone who wants to hate Christianity."

Yep. I just woke up one day and decided I wanted to hate Christianity. Boy, you sure got me there.

"This is because many people need something to use as their excuse for not wanting to practise Christianity, rather than simply admit that they hate it for forbidding promiscuous sex, profanity, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and selfishness."

Wow! Such incredible insight your God has given you into my soul and spirit! I want to have unlimited sex with any and all creatures great and small, cuss at anyone at any time for any reason, abort all my children, take pictures of my sex acts and post them for all to see, and it's all so I can inflate my self-importance. How dare you call me on it!

Sarcasm button off.

John, more than likely you have no moral compass except what you have been told by the Bible or some random priest who may have some significant skeletons in the closet. Frankly, your God has many more (and greater) crimes to His credit than I will ever have, and that's just the ones described in the very text which you likely cling to and believe with all your heart. You would do well to check YOUR sources.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
"This is because many people need something to use as their excuse for not wanting to practise Christianity, rather than simply admit that they hate it for forbidding promiscuous sex, profanity, homosexuality, abortion, pornography, and selfishness."
You are suggesting there is less immoral behavior within Christianity, but that is not the case. People who claim to follow Jesus are just as likely to commit any of the acts you mentioned as those who don't.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Though I'm an ex-christian, its to bad that this site doesn't offer some type of middle of the road view. It seems that "either its our way (Athiest)" or nothing at all.
I am a Deist, which means I believe in a Creator, based on the evidence of creation. But I don't believe in a personal god who intervenes in our lives, rather a deity which caused the universe into existence, and allows things to occur naturally, according to physical laws of nature. You can check out more about Deism at http://deism.com/


Anonymous boomSLANG said...
I've seen plenty of Deists post here. So, as long as we're on the subject: Where is this "evidence" for creation? You, me, and everyone else, exist because our parents engaged in sexual intercourse. So then , are they "Gods"?


Blogger freeman said...
anonymous,
As a deist myself, the creator was the big bang! What ever it is, did not give a shit on trying to plan anything. It is trying all possibilities/combinations that are posssible, but letting it happen by chance. (In my opinion)

However, I totally disagree with christianity or any "revealed" religion doctrine. It is totally bogus, including a creation myth.

Boomslang,
While my wife and I were engaging in sexual intercours, she screamed out God and I answered "yes my dear" and nine months later we had a child! Does this make me a God also. I am god, I created "man" in my image! lol


Anonymous follower said...
Unfortunately Christianity requires a faith in that which we do not see. Christ as portrayed in the New Testament is the answer. (John 6:35)

The authenticity of this has been research through history and I will name but one. Simon Greenleaf a Harvard law professor and one of the greatest legal minds, applied the rules of legal evidence to the Gospel accounts of Jesus as crucified and risen Lord in his book The Testimony of the Evangelist. He said the following: “Let the witnesses be compared with themselves, with each other, and with surrounding facts and circumstances; and let their testimony be sifted, as if it were given in a court of justice, on the side of the adverse party, the witness being subjected to rigorous cross-examination. The result, it is confidently believed, will be an undoubting conviction of their integrity, ability and truth”

When you start (with an open mind, free of preconceptions) researching the Christian faith and comparing it to other world views, there is no comparison.


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
"The authenticity of this has been research through history and I will name but one..."

First of all, can you name any more?

Secondly, what you have demonstrated is not authenticity, but possibility. To say that the gospel accounts are possibly true is perhaps reasonable, but many things are possibly true. I don't think it wise to live my life in a particular way because something may possibly be true. If I buy a lottery ticket today, it is possible I'll win -- unlikely, but possible. If I bet all my savings on a game of change in Vegas, I might possibly win, but...

Another argument is to say that your lawyer has presented a reasonable explanation for all the contradictions in the gospel stories. While it may be a reasonable explanation, there are many other competing reasonable explanations that are at least as likely to be true.

Finding possible or reasonable explanations for obvious contradictions is not proving authenticity -- that is admitting that there are obvious contradictions and trying desperately to find a way to justify all the errors.


Blogger Jim Arvo said...
follower,

You brought up Simon Greenleaf, the former supreme court justice who espoused the belief that the "testimony" in the gospels would hold up in a court of law. Well, Greenleaf's thesis has been discussed here many times. Having read his book, I can tell you with great confidence that his argument is a huge tapestry of wishful thinking and, dare I say it, shoddy legal thinking. Here are but a few things to ponder:

1) Greenleaf *begins* with the assumption that the gospels are a 100% trustworthy account. I can cite numerous statements that Greenleaf makes that are outlandish because he simply takes the gospel accounts at face value. This alone demolishes his argument.

2) In order for a document to be considered as legal "testimony", it must be established that it has not been tampered with in the least. Since the Bible has been redacted and amended countless times by scribes and others, it fails this test rather spectacularly.

3) Greenleaf simply ignores all evidence that calls the gospel accounts into question, such as the detailed similarity with older "pagan" beliefs, and the almost incontrovertible evidence that the gospel writers were not independent (e.g. Matthew and Luke borrowing from Mark, all three borrowing from "Q", and John redacting all of the above).

4) Greenleaf unabashedly asserts that the gospels were inspired by god--the very god that he happened to worship, and the very god that the gospels assert exists. The circularity of this position never once seems to trouble Greenleaf. While he may have been a top-notch legal scholar, this goes to show that religious beliefs can and often do circumvent one's ability to reason in other domains.

In short. Greenleaf's thesis is not the least bit convincing. By the way, there are numerous examinations of Greenleaf's "legal analysis" by other legal scholars. You can find them on the web. Have you availed yourself of any of them? If not, why not?


Blogger emptycan said...
Hello, Dave, Mr. Webmaster,

If possible, I would like to suggest a debate about the truth of jesus resuresction.

I have a friend that I have talked with for a long period of time. After some discussion, he always hide himself behind of the miraculous resurection of jesus. And I had some difficulty in responding his conviction of that resurection.

Maybe the jesus resurection is the corner stone of the xnity. How can I or we refute the claim of the resurection? I am curios and want to learn.

(For example, I have some difficulty in explaining the change of the desciples' attitude after the so claimed resurection. They look to have become a lot bolder about their religion.)


Blogger emptycan said...
I want to make it clear that I have no interest for Xnity. But jesus resurection is just a difficult problem for me. I hope to learn from anybody who has a idea about the jesus resurection. Anyway this is easter week.


Anonymous boomSLANG said...
Excuse me, Mr. Emptycan---

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you initially show up on this site as a Christ-follower? If I'm wrong on this, I certainly don't want to offend you, notwithstanding, your comments come across with a very thinnly veiled sincerity, if not totally patronizing and condescending.

Anyways, if you are truely a critical thinker, then the resurrection story really shouldn't be a "difficult problem" for you when debating with your "friend", should it? No more of a problem than convincing your "friend" that snakes and vegetation don't speak the human language. Good luck trying to convince your "friend"....::wink::


Anonymous Heathen Sister said...
Emptycan:

1. The new testament was written 200-300 years after the death of the supposed jesus. I've written this before on this site that if newspaper reporters can't get a story right that happened hours ago, the chance that there is any truth to the new testament (or entire bible) is minimal.

2.There is doubt as to whether an individual named jesus ever existed and there is speculation the new testament is a compilation of writings about several individuals that the writers merged into one.

3. Jesus had 12 apostles, Mary Magdalene and his mother ( and probably others) to help pull off a scam if he wanted to. With that many folks participating, it would be easy to create an illusion of reserrection. The folks beating him could have been paid off to make it look good without hurting him. He could have pretended to die when he really wasn't dead yet on the cross. There are poisons that mimick death he could have ingested. I'm sure 12 men could have found a way to move the stone from his tomb and get him out. Hell, maybe they dug a tunnel out the back before jesus was ever put in it. All he had to do was disappear afterward and !viola! you have one reserrection of the dead.

4. The whole sins/died for our sins is complete rubbish. If god is so loving why create sin? And if jesus and god are one, then god killed himself to save us from the sins he created? What kind of sense does that make? NONE.

The History Channel has had some really interesting shows on bible/xian topics (mostly refutes them)and there are lots of books out there, including The Jesus Puzzle which is at the top of my list.


Anonymous Dano said...
Posted by emptycan
"I want to make it clear that I have no interest for Xnity. But jesus resurection is just a difficult problem for me. I hope to learn from anybody who has a idea about the jesus resurection. Anyway this is easter week"

The resurrection was no problem for Jesus. He knew the right people. The real problem lies in the fact that there is not one shred of empirical evidence that he ever lived, or any history of him written during the time that he supposedly lived. There is no verifiable evidence that he has manifested himself in any way for two thousand years. In fact all evidence points to Jesus, if he was a real person, being nothing more than a Rabbi who got himself killed for rabble rousing during a Roman holiday.
Dan ( Agnosticus skepticus)


Blogger emptycan said...
Hi, guys,
Thanks for your answers. I agree you with the fact that xnity is full of unreliable stories and myths. But my problem is why the desciples attitude changed abruptly to more boldness for their religion. I know this is also bible description and unreliable. But there is something that I can not refute easily. That is xnity actually grew at that time. So my difficulty is what made their attitude change.

p.s. Thank you, boomslang, for your concern. I think you may want to know if i am xtian or not. My answer is I am truth seeker. I have to much doubt to become kind of ordinary xtian. I think i am an agnostic and truth seeker. However, I believe that it does not forbid me from asking and pursueing answers to problems that I don't know well. I can clearly say that I am not xtian spy. If you worry about that, please have a peace in your mind.

And if somebody really wants to have clear knowledge, I think the person does not need to be afraid of any question.


Blogger emptycan said...
Maybe i am wrong that I said "xnity actually grew at that time." Actually i don't know that clearly, either. I just guessed like that because xnity did not disappear but succeeded to permeate into people's minds.

Maybe the fanatic desciples could not admit the pains of disappointment caused by their master's death. So they kept trying to believe him and finally to the stage of seeing or mistaking some image of jesus with purpose or without it. Or maybe beause of the disappointment they fabricated whole story. Who knows? But still, I find myself who does not believe the miraculous resurection of jesus. It's impossible.

But they made the story and trusted it upto their death? This is my problem. Whoever has some idea?


Blogger emptycan said...
I know the problem of my question is maybe the fact that i am thinking inside of the biblical claim. It maybe is like some person wonders what the true paint color of the door of the house is, when the house is just an imagination and false. And I know that there is no reality of the house if it is seen outside.

So some person perhaps can say the eagerness and martyrdom of the desciples are also myths. But if everything is myth, why the xnity is here infront of us, that we are criticizing against. I don't know. Whoever has some answer?


Blogger emptycan said...
During my writing here, I found some answer myself.

The desciples' rapid change of attitude was perhaps possible because there was one or a few guys who invented and deceived other desciples. And other desciples took it very true and gave their lives for the fabricated story. I think this is a very possible explanation if the persons did think and believe to the stage of deceiving themselves. They might have seen some illusion and believed it and spreaded to others and caused their and others' deaths of martyrdom. I think this is a very possible answer, although i don't know who were the few.


Blogger emptycan said...
Mostly, I guess, the person who made the plot would not sacrifice his or her life for it. If so, who made the plot? Peter martyred and paul martyred, etc... And the first witnesses were women in the bible, and they did not martyred. If so, who could be the plotter? Maybe and maybe, it's Mary the mother of jesus....who had a child before she married to Joseph and might deeply admire her son's extraordinary religious genius.

Who knows...somebody would make a novel about this?


Anonymous tigg13 said...
EC, you're going to have to make up your mind; either you believe the bible is rubbish or you don't.

There apparently was some kind of "Jesus" cult that existed during the first century AD. This cult spawned a Christ cult that Paul belonged to. These cults evolved and cross pollenated after the fall of Jerusalem and eventually became christianity. But this new religion needed some historic backbone in order to convince people that it was legitimate, so its members began fabricating stories about Jesus and his apostles. These stories may have been based on actual members of the earlier jesus cult, but it was all fiction.


Blogger emptycan said...
Thanks, tigg13, yours seems a good explanation.


Blogger emptycan said...
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


Blogger emptycan said...
I would like to say this to fundamental christians who read my question about desciples' atitude change. If you think my question supports jesus resurection, that is totally wrong.

I do not think jesus resurection ever happened in the history of the earth. My question is actually about the gullibility of human mind. Many people martyred for what they believe, for example, muslims, many cult followers, communists, etc., etc.,...

So it is no wonder if jesus decsiples were killed for what they believe - jesus resurection. Their claim of seeing resurected jesus can not be valid as a proof because human minds can be easily conditioned or controlled. It is especially true for the jesus' desciples' minds who strongly wanted to be conditioned by the news of the resurection of their master.

My question is never about whether jesus resurection is true or not true. Although you suppose that jesus' resurection sounds true, it can be easily denied in the long human history by the inability of the god jesus. The reality of the world is always much more easily and rationally explained with earthly explanation. With concept of god or resurected jesus, it is just much more awful to explain the tragedies on the earth.

For example, in the civil war, both sides prayed to god, jesus. The result is that the north defeated the south. Why? Because jesus predilected the north above the south? Or Jesus hated the slavery? Look up to you bible. There is no word jesus hated the slavery system of that time. It is very plainly easy to explain the result like the victory of the north was possible because the north was more indutrialized and made better and more weapons. See, god's concept just make the explanation much more tangled and difficult.

If you are really love jesus, I shout to you that you must abondon his godness or deity, because, if so, you are actully claiming that he is so impotent and unable god. Just abnadon the idea of god, if so, it would be much more easy for you to understand the world as it is.

My question is only about what made the martyrdom of the desciples possible. I think it was caused by the desciples' wrong conviction. If so, who made the wrong conviction? This is my question. If you think you have a good answer, please be kind enough to tell me.

Again, I totally deny the fact or possiblity of jesus resurection.


P.S. to atheists,

I know that some people think that whole jesus story is fabricated story and immitation of other religions like mythraism. But, the myrtyrdom of the desciples, like stephan, sound so real and i think it could be something really happened at that time. So I asked the question. Thanks


Anonymous Anonymous said...
First of all... most Athiests here where i live aren't exactly the best people. They love violence and cursing and fighting. However on the other hand Christians here are always nice ang giving. Let's talk about people against God. An example is Hitler. Nice world order eh? killing innocent people like the Jews. Aitheist kids always worship Hitlet. It's like Aithests and people who worship the devil are related. Besides I'm just too lazy to list all the mistakes Aithests did. God has done many miracles and gave me strength. I think the people at the Church you used to attend to were idiots. No one said you would gain supernatural powers and be extra ordinary. Wow. Maybe you mistakened that for Samson (a bible story). I go to church still and they have never taught anyone that. God has performed some miracles for me as i prayed b4. for ex. Once I really didnt want to embarass myself infront of all the people on my team in volleyball. This is probably my worst sport and i alreayd went through a day with this at school (Gym class). I complety missed the ball on numerous occasions. The same day i prayed to God that i would play volley b. a lot better than i did that day. Surprisingly even to me i played about 5 times better than i did b4. It's like he gave my abnormal concentration. And i will swear to God this story is true. I have lots of other occasions where God gave me that "helping hand". You think the bible is just a big superstition? Well think again. America was made out of these so called "superstitions" (not that i think they are). Jesus does have a plan for my life. I will repay him for all the things he has helped me on. He is building my life and making it better. This is probably the reason i am writing this.
Why dont you Aithests tell me how this world was created and this better be a better explanation than the bible's. I am eager to hear you response. And I am very sorry if i seem Anti-Aithest but i'm not. Even if the Bible was true (which i believe in) it gives a goal and motivates a person to do good.


Blogger Bentley said...
I'm an Atheist, and I skin cats and dogs, while living...he he he he, on a regular basis, and mutilate cattle, and burn babies alive after they've been cut straight out of the mothers womb, and we eat them alive.

We hate everything, we breathe hatred and we aim to fill Hell with every soul that has ever lived and we claim every soul for Satan, Praise Be To Satan forever and ever amen, so be it! and it will be.

I throw nails on the major interstate roads just to watch people wreck and die horrendous deaths and watch my Father Satan snatch their souls as their mingled bodies are strewn all along the highway and I laugh and laugh, until I puke watching people scramble and get run over by the big rigs. I can sometimes breathe fire and spit flames 40 to 50 feet by laughing. I curse God and Jesus and defy them to stop me and they have absolutely no power, they cannot destroy my Father Satan, nor Atheists, they have tried, but Father Satan stole God's secret power belt away from him when he was not looking, and now God wants it back, but it's too late, Father Satan has now collected more souls than Jesus and God, and now Satan has the Keys to Life and Death and Heaven And hell, and Jesus is powerless against Father Satan. We pray to Satan every waking day, to burn bibles and churches, Satan can direct lightning bolts too.

Atheists are the meanest, vile, vicious, dirtiest rotten stealing, child molesting, baby raping, SOBS that ever walked the face of the Earth. We collect souls for Satan, we kill babies and innocent women, men, animals, we set fires to forests and grasslands, we cause rock slides, tornados, hurricanes, tsunami's, earthquakes, and cause Dam breaks and floods, and celebrate whenever innocent people get violently killed, we worship Satan and Hell.

I live only to please my Father Satan, The Devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Prince of Darkness, Anti-christ, Anti-god, Anti-good, King of the Universe, Owner of Heaven and Hell and Life and Death and Destruction.

I'm going to have a red suit fitted by Father Satan, with 10 horns and a red pointed tail and I'll be fitted with cloven hooves..HAh hAH hAh haH

Soon God and Jesus will be destroyed by our great army of Satan worshipping Atheists, they already know this, and they are praying to Satan to have mercy on their weak souls and Satan just laugh's flames of fire and brimstone.

Atheists are disguised as Satan, and all wickedness and all evil on the Earth rains out as we command our Father Satan to kill mame and destroy, and God and Jesus are totally helpless.

God and Jesus are like flies sealed in a jar, and Father Satan now controls the Entire Universe. It would be better that you pray that rocks come down from the mountains and be killed, rather than face what we Atheists have planned for you christians at Armeghedden....See you in Hell!!!hah ah ah H HA aH aH ah aha ah


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
That's funny Ben.

You know, I know literally hundreds of people who call themselves Christian, but I only know a handful that call themselves atheists.

I wonder where this guy lives?


Blogger Bentley said...
Sounds like mostly in his own head...lol


Anonymous Heathen Sister said...
Anonymous:

You're an idiot.

"Let's talk about people against God. An example is Hitler."

Hitler was a xian. Why don't you read some history and put your fairy tale buybull down for a few minutes?

The most hateful, judgemental people I've ever known do it in the name of some religion. And if you had signed your name to your post, you'd be on that list, too.

What castle in sky do you live in anyway?


Anonymous Onyx said...
Great podcast,dave!


Blogger emptycan said...
Ben, it's nice sarcasm. You make the point to the target. Ha hA HA ^^

BTW, last night, I searched a lot on the internet and found a good essay on the resurection. The title is "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story" and the link is http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/lecture.html#6


Blogger emptycan said...
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.


Blogger emptycan said...
The link does not show its entirity. So I break the link and repost it. Hopefully now it's work.

http://www.infidels.org/

library/modern/

richard_carrier/

resurrection/

lecture.html#6


Anonymous follower said...
Posted by Emptycan,

“Maybe the jesus resurection is the corner stone of the xnity. How can I or we refute the claim of the resurection? I am curious and want to learn.”

Once doubting Sir Lionel Luckhoo, identified by the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful attorney in the world was forced to conclude after an exhaustive analysis of the evidence, “I say unequivocally that the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room of doubt.”

The authenticity of the empty tomb is bolstered by the fact that it was discovered by women, whose testimony was considered to be so unreliable in the 1ste –century Jewish culture that they couldn’t testify in a court of law. This would have certainly been covered up if it was a legend. Another fact is that the tomb was well known by both Christian and Jew alike. Thus, if it wasn’t empty it would be impossible for a movement founded on the belief in the Resurrection to come into existence in the same city were this man had been publicly executed and buried. Futhermore, it is reported that Jesus appeared to over 515 individuals after the resurrection – not only Christian but doubters and tough minded individuals. Suggesting that the idea of the risen Christ was taken from ancient mythology involving dying and rising gods also falls short when these are seen within their proper context as expressions of the cycle of nature. As Gregory Boyd, author of Cynic Sage or Son of God? says :”Contrast that with the depiction of Jesus Christ in the Gospels … It has nothing in common with stories about what happened once upon a time.” Respected historian Carl Braaten makes this observation: “Even the more skeptical historians agree that for primitive Christianity…the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a real event in history, the very foundation of faith, and not a mythical idea rising out of the creative imagination of believers. Historian J.P Moreland observed that it would have taken something as dramatic as the resurrection to prompt first century Jews to switch from Saturday to Sunday worship and abandoning systems of sacrificing animals for forgiveness of sins. In doing this they would have become social outcasts and risked having their souls damned to hell. “The Resurrection offers the only rational explanation” As C.F.D Moule of Cambridge University said: “ If the coming of the church, a phenomenon undeniably attested by the New Testament , rips a hole the size and shape of the Resurrection, what does the secular historian propose to stop it with?”


Anonymous follower said...
Posted by Dano

“The resurrection was no problem for Jesus. He knew the right people. The real problem lies in the fact that there is not one shred of empirical evidence that he ever lived, or any history of him written during the time that he supposedly lived. There is no verifiable evidence that he has manifested himself in any way for two thousand years.”

A number of historians of the ancient world wrote about Jesus.
Flavius Josephus (AD 37-101) mentions Jesus in Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.
“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles…And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day”
Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions Christ in the Annals
"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus…"
Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112.
"They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."
The Talmud mentions Christ
"On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"
Gal. 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

Luke 22:1, "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. 2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people."

Lucian (circa 120-after 180), Greek writer and rhetorician, mentions Jesus in The Death of Peregrine, 11-13
"The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property."


Anonymous follower said...
Posted by Heathen Sister

“I've written this before on this site that if newspaper reporters can't get a story right that happened hours ago, the chance that there is any truth to the new testament (or entire bible) is minimal.”

Just because the Gospels take different perspectives in describing the events of Jesus, does not mean that they are irreconcilable. If the different writers said the same thing in exactly the same way they would probably have been questioned on the grounds of some kind of conspiracy. For example: Matthew says that there was one angel at Jesus’ tomb while John says there were two. Note that Matthew never said there was only one. John was just providing more detail than Matthew. After studying the four Gospels it is found that there is enough of a discrepancy to show that there was no conspiracy as well as enough of an agreement to show that they were all the writers of the same event.

In the case of the New Testament writers, all eight of them were either apostles or associated with the apostles as eyewitnesses and/ or contemporaries: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude. These were all men who held the highest standard of ethics and were willing to die for their beliefs, as most of them did. There credibility is further emphasized by (1) their tendency to doubt whether Jesus rose from the dead (2) the inclusion of material that reflects badly on themselves (Matt 16:23; Mark 14:47), (3) the multiple accounts by two or three witnesses as the court required (Deut. 17:6)
The Bible is 98½ percent textually pure. Through all the copying of the Biblical manuscripts of the entire Bible, only 1½% has any question about it. Nothing in all of the ancient writings of the entire world approaches the accuracy of the biblical documents.
The 1½ percent that is in question does not affect doctrine. The areas of interest are called variants and they consist mainly in variations of wording and spelling.
Luke who wrote one quarter of the New Testament, has been found to be a incredibly accurate historian, even in the smallest detail. References of Luke to thirty two countries, forty four cities and nine islands was carefully studied by archeologists with not a single error. The general consensus with both liberal and conservative scholars is that Luke is very accurate as an historian. The question thus is if the New Testament is so accurate on the smallest incidental details, wouldn’t they be even more careful and accurate in their account of truly significant events like the death and resurrection of Jesus? Renowned Australian Archeologist, Clifford Wilson concluded: “Those who know the facts now recognize that the New Testament must be accepted as a remarkably accurate source book.”

Know the truth and it will set you free.


Anonymous flogger said...
Posted by Heathen Sister

“The new testament was written 200-300 years after the death of the supposed jesus. bible) is minimal.”

Even the most liberal dating of the Gospels of Mark in A.D 70s, Matthew and Luke in the 80s and John in the 90’s, is still within the lifetimes of various hostile witnesses who would have served as a corrective of any false teaching. Experts believe that there is however a very strong case for dating the gospels much earlier. The book of Acts was probably written between AD 62 and 64. Acts doesn’t mention several monumental events that it would have included if it had been written after they had occurred: The fall of Jerusalem in AD 70; Nero’s persecutions in the mid 60’s and the Jewish war against the Romans from 66 onwards. The New Testament also features letters by the apostle Paul that are dated as early as AD 49. Paul’s writing in Galatians and the meeting of apostles in Jerusalem and confirming his message of Christ as deity added to the extremely early creed about the resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15, demonstrates that the believe in Jesus as divine and risen existed within a few years after his death. Add to this the study of A.N. Sherwin-White, respected Greco-Roman classical historian form Oxford University who established that the passage of two generations is not even enough time for legend to develop in the ancient world.

It is interesting to note that, counting the Latin Vulgate manuscripts and other, there are a total of twenty two thousand manuscripts in existence. Next to the New Testament, the greatest manuscript evidence for any other ancient work is for Homer’s Iliad of which there are fewer than 650 manuscripts. Furthermore, Sir Federic Kenyon, former director of the British Museum and author of The Palaeography of Greek Papyri concluded; “In no other case is the interval time between the composite of the book and date so short.”


Blogger emptycan said...
Hei, Follower,

I guess it's very possible that a few desciples of jesus who still kept their strong faith on their demised master to the degree that they saw or made unknowingly up the story of resurection.

Why do I guess like that? You, Follower, must think that, in that age, it was not very uncommon that people saw gohsts, angels, devils, etc.. Nowadays there are also people who claim to have seen something like ufo's, weeping mary's statues, etc..

I don't think they are lying. I think they speak sincerely what they really saw. But the only problem is that those are illusions.

Let's suppose that some people, at that time, reported that they had seen resurected jesus to the desciples who so deeply wanted their master's resurection as a fulfillment of what he predicted.

It is no strange thing that the desciples attitude was changed by the report so abruptly. It maybe was like pouring gasoline to the smouldering fire.

So which allegation is correct? Nobody knows. In this case, I think we should consult to other reasonable and scientific explanation. By that, jesus' resurection is IMPOSSIBLE. And jesus or the jehovah was so IMPOTENT that we can ignore their claims of deity. I don't think it's our problem that we ignore statements or promise if the person who made those promises did not keep them continuously.

I think it's so TRAGIC that the whole western world was DECEIVED and subsequently so much BLOOD was shed in the name of jesus by a few persons' irresponsible report of jesus resurection.

I am sorry, Follower, I am really sorry for the tragedies happened in the world by their sincere illusion.


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
Follower, even giving you that these historians are actually talking about your Jesus, none of them are claiming to have actually seem or met the man. They are only repeating what they've heard from Christians, or those observing Christians.

That there were Christians, there is no doubt. That many of those so-called Christians were later declared heretics, there is also no doubt.

I was recently reading about the Mormons and Joesph Smith. Guess what — he existed. However, does that mean he actually saw an angel named Moroni who helped him translate some golden scrolls through some magic glasses?

Think about it.


Blogger Bentley said...
follower said,

The authenticity of the empty tomb is bolstered by the fact that it was discovered by women, whose testimony was considered to be so unreliable in the 1ste –century Jewish culture that they couldn’t testify in a court of law. This would have certainly been covered up if it was a legend. Another fact is that the tomb was well known by both Christian and Jew alike. Thus, if it wasn’t empty it would be impossible for a movement founded on the belief in the Resurrection to come into existence in the same city were this man had been publicly executed and buried.

Then I ask?
Why was the Tomb empty? Where was Jesus's dead body? where did it go?

If Jesus's spirit was lifted into Heaven, then why did the stone covering the Tomb need to be moved? ever? after all, he was supposedly dead.

I'll tell who moved it, the 12 diciples moved it, so that Jesus could walk out, and thus fulfill said prophsey, otherwise they would have all been stoned to death and found guilty for perpetrating a deceitful hoax.


Anonymous Heathen Sister said...
follower and flogger:

Neither of you said a thing that proves anything in the buybull is true. All of your arguments are based on the assumption it is true and that completely contaminates any conclusions.

The truth has set me free. I have been such a happy, peaceful, content person since I shed the chains of xianity (guilt, fear, hatred, discrimination, judgement, hypocracy, self-righteousness, arrogance).


Blogger trudy said...
I'm new to the blog scene here and like "anonymous" I'm a new ex-xian, I am not an atheist, I lean more towards a deist.

I did appreciate "The Meaning of Life" - religion gets in the way of what is truly selfless and good.

Like "Heathen Sister", I am glad to be free from the guilt...


Anonymous Fred flintstone said...
hello,
I have been reading this stuff for over two years!!!

I would like to know if there is a real time live chat room.

Thanks
J


Blogger .:webmaster:. said...
Please notice the link at the top of every page that says: "Live Chat."

Here's the direct link: http://ex-christian.net/IRC_chat/


Anonymous Anonymous said...
being an atheist for many years and then experiencing God in an ongoing and wonderful way I am saddened to see such extremism on this site.

I have been so called religious for the last 10 years. I am in charge of my life up to a point and I have a plan up to a point. This site just looks like a reaction to bad experiences within a religious setting.


I have had all that my powers could muster.
The 3 G'd Girls, Gold and Glory. very successful in life and ticked all the boxes .....
But you see i Think whilst you are in the search of the 3 G's you think your happy because you are on the road to the 3 G's. When you fully get there my friends it is never enough and it becomes the cancer of me , myself and I.

Reality is I won't live here forever. Neither are you. Every arguement known against God and his plan I have argued probably for more years than you have lived. But here it is

Jesus is real. It's Just that christian give Christ a bad name.

I will see you in eternity.


Blogger Saved said...
www.battlecry.com


Blogger Wes said...
BattlyCry - using disillusioned and brainwashed kids to propell christian propaganda as far as I'm concerned...

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20060513_battlecry_philadelphia/

Hey, "Saved"; you're not really! -Wes.


Blogger Wes said...
"...Shortly after we sat down, Tom, a man of imposing size who appeared to be a BattleCry security staffer, sat down next to me and my friends and asked us if we were planning any disturbances. I don’t know how BattleCry & Co. knew I was here; they apparently had recognized me from my appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor” (video link) in March. I told Tom that we weren’t planning any disturbances and that, no, I wouldn’t like to meet with BattleCry founder Ron Luce after the rally, nor did I want to give him my phone number. Seemingly satisfied, he ambled off. But later on, as I rose to go to the bathroom, I caught sight of another BattleCry security-type following me. It was very unsettling, to say the least."

Ooh. Very telling. Fucking christian taliban. If it wern't for turbans, etc, you'd never tell these assholes apart. Fuck you, Saved. You're an evil prick. -Wes.


Blogger saved said...
i've been reading the comments for this monologue and i have to say u guys are very quick to judge and ridicule. i put a website, jus a website and got cursed at. Christians are jus another group a people with a belief system, whether some of us are hyppocrites or not. Its jus like ur another group of people who believe in another set of beliefs. Dont persecute because u dont like wat we believe. i wouldnt persecute u guys. wat im tryin to say is wat is on here is very insulting to wat i believe in. if uv been offended please dont be. i really dont want to hurt or offend someone. i like that u stand up for wat u believe in and let nothing shake u. that is an admirable trait that the people ont this website have. So i jus wanted my voice to be heard. thankyou


Blogger Wes said...
Saved, why do you type like that? Just curious.


Blogger Saved said...
i dont know. i guess im just used to it.


Blogger oluwaseun said...
It is amazing to have come across a site of this nature most especially for ex-christians.I will keep my emotions under check in responding to the article.
Sincerely, xtianity isnt a thing but the thing.It is not a life but the life.Until we all so much move to have a rapport with the word of God i.e the gospel, and submit ourselves to divine tutelage, xtianity will for long be a boring adventure to many.
Xtianity is more than real, so being an ex-xtian isnt a crime but proof positive that the one-time xtian had no stake,no drive and isnt aspiring to find out more about what he/she believes.
Xtianity may sometime seems difficult to go by but everyone involve in the faith needs to carry-on,update his/her knowledge of the Word,ask reasonable and sometime unreasonable questions.
I will like to state that no ex-christian can confidently say he/she has found more peace now than when he/she was a xtian.
I REST MY CASE!


Blogger oluwaseun said...
To have posted this site atall is a kudos to the fact that the subject of discussion i.e xtianity has to a great extent generated some heat. It is nice to know however that whosoever has decided to call-it-quit with this religion of life has not cease to be a friend of God.How loving it is to know this.Xtians, non xtians and ex-xtians are all provided for in the package of salvation.All that we ned to do is just subscribe to the life that Christ offered centuries ago.Great peace has never been seen or had in other quarters on earth aside Christ.The fact that someone is today an ex-xtian calls for rejoicing because his/her inheritance in God isnt erased as a result of his acts but kept intact with the entire heaven expecting his return.
Whatever might have been responsible for quitting xtianity isnt as cogent and tangible as the peace and love of God that we will enjoy here on earth and right on our passage to the great beyond.
If anyone would rather sit on any fence on life, i think christ is.Christ is the best fence to sit on even amidst turbulence.
It is funny at times to see how xtianity has affected science, technology and governance,but it amazes me how xtianity has stood the test of time,correcting its wrongs and finetunning the earth for better living.It will be sad to build blocks of criticisms on xtianity in relation to how it affected development centuries ago and neglecting how it has positively affected all spheres of life today.Even science and technology have indeed been a beneficiary of provoked improvement initiated by the advancement of the gospel.


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