Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

A little background about satis5d

Hello and welcome to RatSkep! :smile: Why don't you introduce yourself here? ;)

Moderators: kiore, The_Metatron, Blip

Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#1  Postby satis5d » Jul 11, 2014 2:04 am

My life has been, and continues to be shaped by my relationship with God through Jesus... which is why I no longer attend a church.

I am hopeful that you and the "good folks" at Rational Skepticism will be what "Church" has become for me.

You see, almost 40 years ago I made a commitment to Jesus Christ, not having a clue what I was doing at the time. But rather than just moving on with the rest of my life, I have constantly searched for truth, and it has taken me all the way to becoming a pastor of a "liberal" fundamental evangelical church and back again. I tell people that nothing has cured me of being part of religion like working in a church!

I still love God (a dangerous assertion to make here, it appears) and it is my earnest desire to please Him with my life-- as any lover would do for the one that he loves. But I'm no rube, either. I love God because I have tested Him and allowed Him to test me as well. Faith has its place, but so does reason and intelligence. I have spent THOUSANDS of hours reading and studying the Bible. And although I still have lots of questions, I have found that if you ignore what most of the "talking heads" tell you the Bible says and actually read it for yourself with an open mind and an honest desire for truth, it can make a LOT of sense.

I'm sure that many of you will enjoy ripping most of what I have to say to shreds, but I didn't come here expecting softballs. Maybe I'm all wrong, or maybe I'm on to something. I guess you'll be the judge of that.
Read my book, Hell Is Not the Issue (free)
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/392349
User avatar
satis5d
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 41
Age: 53

United States Minor Outlying Islands (um)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#2  Postby Made of Stars » Jul 11, 2014 9:34 am

Hi and welcome. You'll find that this forum can provide a fun and vibrant community. :)

ETA: Oh, and you'll find quite a few former evangelical Xians here.
Made of Stars, by Neil deGrasse Tyson and zenpencils

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars” - Serbian proverb
User avatar
Made of Stars
RS Donator
 
Name: Call me Coco
Posts: 9835
Age: 53
Male

Country: Girt by sea
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#3  Postby Fallible » Jul 11, 2014 10:01 am

Hi, satis5d. Welcome!
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 49
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#4  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jul 11, 2014 10:15 am

satis5d wrote:My life has been, and continues to be shaped by my relationship with God through Jesus... which is why I no longer attend a church.

I am hopeful that you and the "good folks" at Rational Skepticism will be what "Church" has become for me.

You see, almost 40 years ago I made a commitment to Jesus Christ, not having a clue what I was doing at the time. But rather than just moving on with the rest of my life, I have constantly searched for truth, and it has taken me all the way to becoming a pastor of a "liberal" fundamental evangelical church and back again. I tell people that nothing has cured me of being part of religion like working in a church!

I still love God (a dangerous assertion to make here, it appears) and it is my earnest desire to please Him with my life-- as any lover would do for the one that he loves. But I'm no rube, either. I love God because I have tested Him and allowed Him to test me as well. Faith has its place, but so does reason and intelligence. I have spent THOUSANDS of hours reading and studying the Bible. And although I still have lots of questions, I have found that if you ignore what most of the "talking heads" tell you the Bible says and actually read it for yourself with an open mind and an honest desire for truth, it can make a LOT of sense.

I'm sure that many of you will enjoy ripping most of what I have to say to shreds, but I didn't come here expecting softballs. Maybe I'm all wrong, or maybe I'm on to something. I guess you'll be the judge of that.


The search for truth is admirable. The problem is that it is hard to find. The most practice thing [IMHO] is to assume absolute truth is unobtainable. It is unobtainable because of what we learn from the discipline called epistemology [which questions how we know what we know].
Part of the problem with only consulting one book like the bible is that one only gets one explanation for things, and can dull one's appreciation for other, perhaps better explanations.
And things are often not what they seem. Are you sure you have tested god against other explanations for phenomena? For example, say one prays several times a day for something good to happen. Chances are, some good thing will happen soon after you have prayed for it to happen. Now if you had not have prayed, the good thing might have happened anyway. Ever day good things and bad things happen. In other words, things things might have nothing to do with a god existing or not.
You will find arguments here that will point to there not being gods. One reason is that as soon as you claim a property of a god, like "all-knowing" or omnipresence, it all does seem a bit silly. There is certainly no scientific evidence for god[s], because no scientific theory has ever required the presence of a god to explain natural phenomena. Thus god, even if he exists, cannot be detected by science. This is weird because if god exists, he has no impact on the world, which means there is no point in prayer, if you wish someone to be cured of cancer, for example.
Further, some questions about a posited god's role in the universe can't even be asked, such as what caused the big bang. The usual argument for god in this type of debate takes the general form: "mystery, therefore god".
The bible. Sure there are some wise words in there, but a lot of it is utter crap and wrong. Genesis is TOTAL crap. The folks who wrote the bible could not even get the number of legs right for an insect. The gospels: Mathew Mark, Luke and John paint different and contradictory "histories" of Jesus Christ, and so on...

Anyway, welcome and enjoy the forums. :thumbup:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
"When an animal carries a “branch” around as a defensive weapon, that branch is under natural selection".
Darwinsbulldog
 
Posts: 7440
Age: 67

Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#5  Postby epepke » Jul 11, 2014 11:24 am

satis5d wrote:My life has been, and continues to be shaped by my relationship with God through Jesus... which is why I no longer attend a church.

I am hopeful that you and the "good folks" at Rational Skepticism will be what "Church" has become for me.

You see, almost 40 years ago I made a commitment to Jesus Christ, not having a clue what I was doing at the time. But rather than just moving on with the rest of my life, I have constantly searched for truth, and it has taken me all the way to becoming a pastor of a "liberal" fundamental evangelical church and back again. I tell people that nothing has cured me of being part of religion like working in a church!

I still love God (a dangerous assertion to make here, it appears)


Probably not. Not a dangerous assertion to make, that is. People mostly seem to get into trouble when they come in here trying to deceive or making assertions that overtly insult intelligence. You might not get a chorus of Amens whenever, though.
User avatar
epepke
 
Posts: 4080

Country: US
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#6  Postby james1v » Jul 11, 2014 1:39 pm

Hi! :cheers:
"When humans yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon". Thomas Paine.
User avatar
james1v
 
Name: James.
Posts: 8953
Age: 63
Male

Country: UK
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#7  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2014 2:31 pm

Are you sure you're not here just to plug your book? Perhaps you think that atheists need to read your book, right?
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 68
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#8  Postby Varangian » Jul 11, 2014 5:48 pm

Welcome! We have a few members who have been pastors, but got better.
Image

"Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings,
and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities." - H.P. Lovecraft
User avatar
Varangian
RS Donator
 
Name: Björn
Posts: 7298
Age: 57
Male

Country: Sweden
Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#9  Postby DavidMcC » Jul 11, 2014 7:13 pm

Varangian wrote:Welcome! We have a few members who have been pastors, but got better.

Varangian, judging by the content of his sig. line, it seems fair to assume that Andrew does not interpret "recovering Christian" in quite the way that we would:
Andrew Doughty
Have you ever asked yourself, "How can a loving, merciful God send millions of people to Hell forever without hope?" or "How can God be good, when there is so much suffering and sorrow in this world?" If you have been looking for answers to these and other similar questions, then this book is for you. Using the Bible itself, you'll see that God's plan for Hell has your best interests in mind.

I therefore suspect that he is just trying to get us to study (and believe) the Bible! Hardly the action of a budding atheist.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 68
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#10  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 11, 2014 8:50 pm

I'd like to know how hell isn't the issue in this respect; if only a true believer can be saved from hell, and people have no control over what they believe, then millions of people will go to hell through no fault of their own. What loving god would run such a shop?

ETA: I'm reluctant to read a whole book when the author could answer the point in a simple paragraph. Hell is the issue IMO and it's what I hate about religion more than anything.
Dinosaurs = atheism
User avatar
Keep It Real
Banned User
 
Posts: 9341
Age: 40

Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#11  Postby satis5d » Jul 11, 2014 9:24 pm

Darwinsbulldog wrote:
Part of the problem with only consulting one book like the bible is that one only gets one explanation for things, and can dull one's appreciation for other, perhaps better explanations.
And things are often not what they seem. Are you sure you have tested god against other explanations for phenomena? For example, say one prays several times a day for something good to happen. Chances are, some good thing will happen soon after you have prayed for it to happen. Now if you had not have prayed, the good thing might have happened anyway. Ever day good things and bad things happen. In other words, things things might have nothing to do with a god existing or not.
[/quote]

Are you assuming that I have only consulted the Bible for my explanations of life? :naughty:

I appreciate your desire to weed out the imbeciles, Darwinsbulldog, but I am not the kind of guy who sees Jesus on a piece of toast and claims that it must be a sign from God.
Read my book, Hell Is Not the Issue (free)
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/392349
User avatar
satis5d
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 41
Age: 53

United States Minor Outlying Islands (um)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#12  Postby pelfdaddy » Jul 11, 2014 9:27 pm

satisfived,

Let me tell you about my strange life. I hope you find it interesting.

I grew up in a world where everyone owned an automobile. They would park their cars in the driveway where everyone could see them. People paid serious money for these vehicles, and they spent a significant amount of personal energy maintaining, cleaning, waxing, and generally enjoying them. Cars were a serious investment in the world in which I lived, and the day I bought my own car, brand new and gleaming, was a memorable day.

But one thing I always noticed, there were never any cars on the road. In fact, when one listened carefully for engine noise at any given time, there was only silence. The streets were kept in immaculate condition, auto parts stores were busy...but no one ever seemed to go anywhere in their cars. It was odd. You would step out on the lawn in the morning to collect your newspaper, say hello to your neighbor over the steam of your coffee mug, and your neighbor would smile and wave. Then he would open his car door and climb cheerfully in. He would sit there and make engine noises with his voice, handle the steering wheel as if he were in a race, and after several minutes climb just as cheerfully out of the car and walk to work.

This odd habit seemed to apply to almost everyone--everyone, that is, except for the guy who lived at the end of the street. HE owned no vehicle, at least not that I ever saw. He would simply step down from his front porch every morning after kissing his wife goodbye and walk directly to work. Everyone said he was weird and my parents warned me not to talk to him.

Everyone else continued this practice of arising in the morning and sitting down in their cars for a few minutes, going nowhere, and then walking to work. When they met strangers at parties, the small talk would consist of "So...what do you drive?" On a first date, both parties would always ask, "So, what do you drive?" Whenever I would visit my grandparents, they continually went on and on about the cars they had owned in their long lifetime. But no one ever drove anywhere. I also continued to sit in my car for a few minutes every day. I would turn the key in the ignition but nothing would happen. Then I would simply get out and walk to work because...well, it's just what you did, you know?

One day on my way to the office, I caught up with the guy from the end of the street and I asked him, "Why don't you own a car?" His answer was more blunt than I had anticipated. He said, "Cars don't go anywhere. They don't really run."

"But..." I responded, "The fact that you don't see many on the road doesn't mean..."

"ANY", he replied. "You don't see ANY on the road. That's what you meant to say, wasn't it?"

"Well..." I stammered, "That doesn't mean..."

"Look", he said, "I've had this conversation with dozens of people. All I can say is, look under the hood. Just go home, pop the hood of your car, and take a peek."

It was days before I had the courage to look. When I did, everything changed. There it was, right in front of me. The empty, silent engine compartment yawning beneath me as I bent to look and saw only the driveway beneath and the tips of my shoes.

I caught up to him again the following week, and asked him, "So, what does it all mean?"

"I take it from your question that you looked under the hood of your car."

I only stared back at him.

"Well..." he sighed, "it's hard to know where to begin. I was just like you, just like everyone else, until I looked under the hood and realized there is nothing there, that cars do not really run, and that everyone is just pretending."

"Pretending?!" I cried, appalled at the accusation.

"What else do you call it?"

So today, I'm the guy who has sold his car, who walks to work without pretending to drive, who always says "nothing" when asked at parties, "So...what do YOU drive?" and who just can't get interested in the auto section of the Sunday paper. In fact, car salesmen give me the creeps because I now realize just what liars they are.

I'll never pretend to drive again, I'll never get into a lively discussion about which tires are better, or which make and model is the coolest to drive. And when I see my neighbors pretending, gripping their steering wheels, giving me that look as I walk past, and advising their children to stay away from me, I just smile and keep on walking. I know that in a few moments they too will stop pretending just long enough to hit the sidewalk and make it to work on time.
pelfdaddy
 
Posts: 1022
Age: 55
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#13  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 11, 2014 9:38 pm

Keep It Real wrote:I'd like to know how hell isn't the issue in this respect; if only a true believer can be saved from hell, and people have no control over what they believe, then millions of people will go to hell through no fault of their own. What loving god would run such a shop?

ETA: I'm reluctant to read a whole book when the author could answer the point in a simple paragraph. Hell is the issue IMO and it's what I hate about religion more than anything.


So am I going to have to read the book just to confirm my suspicion that satis5d fails to address this point? I'll do it, so help me. :(
Dinosaurs = atheism
User avatar
Keep It Real
Banned User
 
Posts: 9341
Age: 40

Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#14  Postby DougC » Jul 12, 2014 12:50 am

Hi!
To do, is to be (Socrate)
To be, is to do (Sartre)
Do be do be do (Sinatra)
SUBWAY(1985)
DougC
 
Posts: 14595
Age: 49
Male

Country: UNITED Kingdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#15  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jul 12, 2014 12:57 am

satis5d wrote:
Darwinsbulldog wrote:
Part of the problem with only consulting one book like the bible is that one only gets one explanation for things, and can dull one's appreciation for other, perhaps better explanations.
And things are often not what they seem. Are you sure you have tested god against other explanations for phenomena? For example, say one prays several times a day for something good to happen. Chances are, some good thing will happen soon after you have prayed for it to happen. Now if you had not have prayed, the good thing might have happened anyway. Ever day good things and bad things happen. In other words, things things might have nothing to do with a god existing or not.

Are you assuming that I have only consulted the Bible for my explanations of life? :naughty:

I appreciate your desire to weed out the imbeciles, Darwinsbulldog, but I am not the kind of guy who sees Jesus on a piece of toast and claims that it must be a sign from God.

I love Cheeses on a piece of toast! :thumbup: :lol: :lol:

I would report me if I were you. This is a thread to say hello, so "hello" :thumbup:
Jayjay4547 wrote:
"When an animal carries a “branch” around as a defensive weapon, that branch is under natural selection".
Darwinsbulldog
 
Posts: 7440
Age: 67

Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#16  Postby Ironclad » Jul 12, 2014 1:03 am

:wave:

Hello, and welcome into the lifeboat ! This is our greeting for all new members and contains some useful stuff for you.

If you haven't seen it already, you may want to take a look at our New Members' Welcome Pack which will give you some helpful resources such as how to modify your membership display settings, how to navigate around the forum, point you to some threads which address commonly asked questions from newbies, and gives you some handy links to other sites which will help you develop your skepticism. It also contains our forum rules, which we ask that you abide by at all times.

If you're new to this type of phpBB software on forums, you might like to take a look at our Handy Hints for Posting On The Forum, which will show you how to change your text, insert images & youtube clips, and do some other cool stuff.

And finally, as a house warming present for you, here's a few laughs for your entertainment.

:beer:
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

"If there was no such thing as science, you'd be right " - Sean Lock

"God ....an inventive destroyer" - Broks
User avatar
Ironclad
RS Donator
 
Name: Nudge-Nudge
Posts: 23973
Age: 53
Male

Country: Wink-Wink
Indonesia (id)
Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#17  Postby Doubtdispelled » Jul 12, 2014 10:47 am

DavidMcC wrote:Are you sure you're not here just to plug your book? Perhaps you think that atheists need to read your book, right?

You reckon? Couldn't possibly be. :nono:

edited to repost in appropriate thread
Last edited by Doubtdispelled on Jul 12, 2014 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
God's hand might have shaken just a bit when he was finishing off the supposed masterwork of his creative empire.. - Stephen King
Doubtdispelled
 
Posts: 11848

Print view this post

Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#18  Postby trubble76 » Jul 12, 2014 11:06 am

Welcome aboard. :cheers:

I hope you're not just here to save our souls, and inadvertently selling a few of your books along the way. I hope you're here because you value truth and reason, unfortunately most god-botherers seem to prefer (self)deception. I guess we'll see.
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.

"Suck me off and I'll turn the voltage down"
User avatar
trubble76
RS Donator
 
Posts: 11205
Age: 45
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post


Re: Hi, I'm a recovering Christian

#20  Postby satis5d » Jul 12, 2014 2:59 pm

I appreciate all of the welcome messages.

As my signature states, yes, I have written a book, and I would be happy to talk about what I've studied and have written. However, it seems to me that the appropriate thing to do would be for someone to either start a thread or point us all to an existing thread on the subject you wish to have me (and others interested) engage.

I am NOT here to push my book, but having written one, and since I offer it free of charge, I am letting you all know that this resource is available to any of you if and when you feel that I have something worthwhile to say. If I find any of you to have some real wisdom to share and I also discover that you wrote a book, I think that I would want to read your book.
Read my book, Hell Is Not the Issue (free)
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/392349
User avatar
satis5d
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 41
Age: 53

United States Minor Outlying Islands (um)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Welcome New Members

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest