O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Feedback on Faith (or the lack thereof)

posted by Jason Boyett

I’m working on a project and need your help. It’s about Christianity, questions/problems related to it, and reasons why some people don’t buy into it.

I’m looking for feedback from people who are either a) atheists, agnostic, or otherwise non-believers…or… b) Christians who doubt or struggle with their faith. This is not a question for super-strong purpose-driven pillars of faith.

Here’s how you can help. Please leave a comment below and tell me the following:

1. How would you describe yourself? (i.e. atheist, doubting Christian, former believer turned agnostic, spiritual but not necessarily Christian, etc. Whatever’s most accurate.)

2a. If you are in the non-believing camp, why do you not accept Christianity? What prevents you from wanting to be a Christian?

2b. If you are a believer, what are the elements of the Christian faith that give you the most trouble? (possible answers: the Bible, Christian history, conflict with science, hypocritical Christians…that sort of thing.)

Please answer those two questions, and feel free to explain as much or as little as you’d like. If you prefer to post anonymously, no problem.

And since we’ll hopefully have both believers and non-believers sharing the same space, please keep it civil. Thanks!



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Anonymous

posted September 16, 2009 at 9:32 am


I'm a believer… a pastor, even. The thing that keeps me up at night is the whole concept of hell/judgment. I find that I'm almost to the point of becoming a Universalist. (Although I would say that I am a CHRISTIAN Universalist… In other words, the whole world will eventually be saved, but only through what Jesus accomplished on the cross. It's not an "all roads lead to the truth" kind of thing. It's JESUS – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – who will eventually – somehow, some way – bring all to salvation.)That's the biggest thing I struggle with… I guess IF hell is real and people are heading there every second (especially if they have never had the opportunity to respond to the gospel) – that is really tough for me to take, especially in light of the God of mercy and love and compassion that I have experienced. Does that make sense?



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Anonymous

posted September 16, 2009 at 9:33 am


I'm a Christ Follower, but there are several thing (particularly in the Old Testament) that I have trouble wrapping my head around. I guess Creation would be the best example. I 100% believe that God was the sole motivating force of creation, but the how of the Creation story I have my doubts about. I basically chalk this kind of stuff to the Bible being passed down by oral tradition for all those years before finally being written down, but who knows? I don't feel like these doubts rock my core faith though.



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Jennifer Campbell

posted September 16, 2009 at 9:41 am


I consider myself a Christian. But I will admit, I have questions. Let me start by saying that I feel that God is Almighty and powerful. I feel that the tip of his finger can stop even the most heinous of atrocities. Being that as it may, why do we STILL hear of our children being raped, abused, and murdered almost on a daily basis? I have always been bothered by that. Doing a paper in college on the subject of child abuse, I had to read some of the sickest, most heartbreaking stories of what abused children go through and it tears away at my heart. I may receive some heat over this, but if Jesus loves the little children, why are they being treated like they are??? God can stop anything-why not stop this????? And I know it's Satan getting into these people making them treat children the way that they have, but God is even more powerful than Satan! Tell Satan to STOP ALREADY!!! I'm sorry, but that just upsets me so much! And don't get me started on why people like my grandfather, who was a Christian, deacon of his church, and all-around salt of the Earth guy had to suffer and die of cancer at 63 years of age while people like my child's father, who has abused me and my child and other children of his will probably live to see 100. I would love to have those answered for me.



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Chad

posted September 16, 2009 at 9:41 am


I'm also a believer….and I wonder why as a believer that its so difficult for me to maintain a healthy relationship with Christ? Why isn't it easy for me to find time to build a stronger relationship with Christ? If I'm willing, why not throw me a bone already?



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Kin

posted September 16, 2009 at 9:51 am


BelieverReformed theology's God predestining people to hell.That god sounds like a real [insert appropriate expletive].



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Anonymous

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:06 am


Kin: AMEN!! And I know God's NOT an s$$h@le! That's what I was talking about… (I'm the first commenter.)I grew up with that Reformed theology. I love the All-Powerful God, but the whole "I'm going to create eternal souls and damn them to hell forever – FOREVER in conscious torment. Oh, and I'm not going to give them any real choice in the matter. But I *will* pretend to give them a choice."Yeah. That sucks.



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Dan Lewis

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:07 am


I used to call myself a Christian, but I try to stay away from calling myself that. I tell people that I try to follow after Christ's teachings and I try to be like him even though I constantly fail to even come close to Jesus. I feel that if I call myself a Christian then it automatically puts me in a category and says exactly what I should be, what I should say, and how I should behave. To many people the word "Christian" has become synonymous with words like "Republican" or "Anti-gay" and I am neither of these things. If anyone has a problem with me not calling myself a Christian I just ask them this question:"Does God care about what's in our hearts, or does he care more about the terminology we use to describe our worldview?"I feel that having doubts and asking questions draws me closer to God. I didn't feel as close to God when I used to act like I knew everything.



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Autumn

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:10 am


Christ Follower.I have plenty of questions, however:"You don't have to understand everything to believe in something"-Andy Stanly



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Dromedary Hump

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:21 am


Jason,I am an atheist. Have been since I was a teenager, I'm old now.I was fortunate to have been raised in a non-religious family. They had belief in God, but never forced their religious beliefs on any of the kids, allowing us to seek and learn ourselves.I reject Christianity for the same reason I reject every other religion & god man has ever invented. Having been a student of comparitive religion and well read in Judeo-Christian scripture, I recognized four things that all religions have in common.1) That man invents god/s in their image…albeit, empowering them to do things, perform feats that are beyond man's ability.2) That each god/s demand certain behaviors which happen to put power into the hands of those who are their god's "emmissaries on earth." Religion is a means of societal control, an ancient method of cultural identity / adhesion, and concentration of power in the hands of a few.3) That the god fables all attempt to answer what was the unanswerable to people who had no knowledge of the uinverse, natural law, science.4) Finally, all religions claim to be the true religion. Ones acceptence of one religion or another as the "true" religion (or true god/gods) is rarely by independent evaluation / revelation, and largely an accident of parentage and geography. I therefore see all religion as myth and fable passed on from generation to generation. But I find Christianity to be particularly onerous. It's demand for belief lest people be tortured forever in a place of pain created by this god just for his creations, is an obscene doctrine… a doctrine unique to Christianity, and patently at odds with the Christian concept of a loving God. (He's loving unless you don't believe…then he's a blood thirsty maniacal torturer of deceased Jewish and pagan men, women and children.) Christians like to default to the "God gave you free will" fallacious argument, as though by using rational thought / rejection of the unseeable you deserve what you get. It is a mechanism employed to help them ignore the singularly exclusionary, intolerant, and fiendishly hideous aspect of this doctrine. At any rate, there it is. To summarize, I reject supernaturalism and "belief" of any kind without objective / natural evidence. Bart



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NycParanoia

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:23 am


Well Jennifer, I think that what you wrote falls under the Problem of Evil discussion.For child abuse to be gone from the world, Evil itself would have to be obliterated from the planet.That perfect scenario of no pain and no tears won't be present until Jesus' second coming, correct?Also Anonymous pastor, by questioning Hell do you mean the eternal separation from God or the physical place with the Lake of Fire that we're all scared to deaf of? I most certainly believe in the former but I have doubts about the latter.



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Buddy Ketelle

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:24 am


1. I'd describe myself as somewhere between an agnostic and a deist.2a. The main reason I rejected Christianity after many years growing up in the church was that there is hardly any evidence to me that there is a genuinely loving or perfect God out there or that Jesus Christ was his son. No, no I'm not one of those "why do bad things happen to good people?" non-believers, I just find that the way things are in the world around us makes it far more believable that God is distant, dead, indifferent or non-existent. For example, every day people are murdered or persecuted by people who think that God has told them to do so. This is true of nearly every monotheistic religion whether Christian, Muslim or other wise. All these groups have hypocrites who go out and do acts that clearly go against their religious texts yet no god ever steps forward to stop these people. A problem that falls into a similar arena is that the Christian God should he exist is terrible at gathering followers. When I began questioning my faith earlier this year I prayed and prayed to God for proof of his existence but nobody answered and no proof was ever provided leading me to conclude that either God does not exist or really doesn't care if I believe in him. And I wasn't asking for a God that does "parlor tricks" or whatever, I just wanted a God who was willing to show me he existed. I don't rule out the possibility of any God existing because nobody can know for sure but I'm absolutely certain that any God who rewards blind faith as opposed to reason, damns people born into the "wrong" religion by chance and sends far more people to hell than it does to heaven can not be called loving, just or perfect. Perhaps the God of walking contradictions presented in the Bible does exist but if so the words loving, just and perfect do not apply because a God that acts like this can only be called selfish or flawed and those are the nicest terms one could apply to such a being.So in other words, I did everything I could do to maintain my faith and God didn't step up to the challenge and according to your beliefs is sending me to hell for not continuing to follow him blindly. So tell me, is this something a genuinely just or fair God would do?



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NycParanoia

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:26 am


Wow, I mistakenly wrote Deaf instead of death.My bad.



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A Friend

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:39 am


I would say that I'm a longtime Christian who is hesitantly moving toward agnosticism. (I still love Christianity and desperately want my faith to return.)My biggest problems with Christian belief are the following:1. Most people accept the faith of their parents, community or culture. It's difficult to wave the flag of a particular belief system with the knowledge that–had I been born in a different time or place–my belief system would be completely different. Most of the Christians I know–and this is true for people of other belief systems as well–grew up in an environment in which that belief was accepted as fact.2. The idea that Christians are the only people who get it right and are the only ones who aren't going to hell is difficult. Making it worse is that many Christians even believe that other so-called "so-called Christians"–yes, it's a double negative–are going to hell. Yes, the road is narrow, but this just seems ridiculous. When everyone is screaming that they're the only ones who have it right, I start to think that nobody really has it right.3. I think that a lot of Christians don't understand that the burden of proof is on Christianity. When you come to me and say, "I have this book that was written by an unseen God, and it says that he had a son named Jesus who died for you. You should accept him as your personal savior," the burden of proof is not on me to disprove it. It's not the job of the non-Christian to disprove Christianity. It's the job of the Christian to prove it. (Of course, when the word "proof" comes in, people will counter by claiming that Christianity is about faith. However, having faith in something if it holds no logical or reasonable weight is no different from believing any wacky cult, fad religion or Santa Claus. There needs to be a reason for faith.)3 1/2. This doesn't really cause me to doubt, but it certainly doesn't help me believe: Christians too often try to use Christian assumptions to prove Christianity. When I say, "I'm not sure that the Bible is fully true," and you respond with, "But it is true. It says so right here in the Bible," I want to pull my hair out. You can't use the Bible to prove itself. That's like looking up a word in the dictionary and having that word in its own definition. It's circular logic.



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Jere

posted September 16, 2009 at 10:58 am


I was never raised in a Christian household as a kid. I lost my dad or "Spiritual household leader" when I was 10 and every member of my family goes to a different church, so I went to a lot of them, and basically got the same message. Even as a kid- the thought of some supernatural dead guy who let a bunch or ignorant tribals sacrifice him so the rest of us can be "saved" has never made much sense. I had friends that were Christian that tried to witness to me, and all it really managed to do was irritate me into a further disbelief. I remember at one time actually "trying" to accept Christ, and it just felt well… flaccid and empty. It used to cause me a lot of pain and fear to think that I would go to hell for not accepting- It was that same fear that I later discovered on my own that was the thing that was keeping Christianity alive. Its a tool of fear. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think the world is ready to go all-out agnostic or atheist. And Im not saying there isn't a "sprit" trapped in each living thing- the world would be a much worse place if those same ignorant people that followed Christianity blindly need to be unleashed on the world without a fear of going to Hell. I'm just saying that without the basic moral codes the Bible puts in place- you know that same basic ones that we should ALL follow (don't steal, kill, rape, et al.) the world would be a much worse place. So basically we have not evolved as a race to go beyond a common fear of eternal damnation to make this world tolerable and safe place to live. I understand that I may sound somewhat bitter, and I apologize for that. I do think there is something out there beyond this realm, but I don't think the measly 10% of our brains that most of use can truly comprehend a creator of the entire universe in all of its vastness.



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Rachelle

posted September 16, 2009 at 11:24 am


Hi!I'm an atheist. :) To me, religions, inc. Christianity, are secondary to the issue of "God"/gods themselves. I don't understand why other 1000's of gods that have "existed" throughout the ages are deemed "silly, made-up or unreal" by many modern theists who are all too willing to accept the "existence" of the "God of Abraham." "Christianity" sounds simple enough…until you talk to different people from the many different sects of Christianity.



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T-Bone

posted September 16, 2009 at 11:30 am


I guess I would currently classify myself as a doubting/skeptical Christian. I have been a believer for almost all of my life. It has only been within the past few years or so that I have really found myself doubting the veracity of the Christian faith as I understand it. I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church, which for better or worse colored my worldview and understanding of Christianity throughout my teen and young adult years. Over the past few years as I have moved further and further from that particular flavor of Christianity, I have also found myself plagued with growing doubts about things that I once accepted as incontrovertible truth. Things like a literal interpretation of scripture, intelligent design and the treatment of moral issues like abortion and homosexuality were the bedrock of my identity as a believer. Today these seem doubtful to me at best. For example, a belief in the literal translation of scripture and a belief in the biblical account of creation taken at face value would support the theory of a young earth (~10,000 years old or less). However, based on what science tells us about the speed of light and the distance of the stars this doesn’t seem possible. If a star is 1 million light years away, than any light that is visible to us had to leave that star 1 million years ago, long before the universe is supposed to have been created. I also struggle at times with the very nature of God and who He is. Is He the loving Father that I have been taught about my entire life or is He this sort of cosmic bully who set this whole thing in motion and set a course for us that we ultimately have no control over but are expected face eternal judgment at the end just the same? I have experienced things that could lead a person to believe in either point of view. But if God is not consistent than what is He? Have I just based my life on a series of carefully crafted stories designed and passed down through generations to elicit faithful obedience to a particular set of values? Or is part of the wonder that the stories are true in spite of the fact that they can’t possibly be so? It seems that much of what I believe and have been taught hinges on accepting certain things at face value and tossing out the rest because it doesn’t jive and therefore can’t be true. Of course, there are answers that my Christian friends and church leaders would provide for any number of apparent inconsistencies or difficult questions but they always seem to ring hollow to me. If there’s not an answer they just tell me that we can’t understand it all and we just have to take some things on faith, but more and more I feel like that’s not enough. All the things I struggle with are the things that I was warned that I would struggle with if I fell out of fellowship with God and other believers. Did they know something that I don’t or is the game just rigged? Sometimes I feel like my heart (which wants very much to believe) is constantly trying to convince my brain (which isn’t sure anymore) that this is all ok.



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Kionna Shanice

posted September 16, 2009 at 11:39 am


At th point in life where I am at right now I dont like to put labels on things but for the sake of saying so I would describe myself as spiritual but not necessarily a "Christian."2b.The elements of the Christian faith that give me the most trouble would not be hypocracy because in some ways we all could be deemed hypotcrites but more so would be the condemnation that occurs within the church walls. Most 'christians' claim to be accepting and so forth but in my experience that has not been the case. If things arent cut & dry and molded in a specific way then they arent acceptable, they arent right and you dont fit.This bothers me because Christians are supposed to be Christ-like but being Christ like reflects one main element: LOVE.



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NewEnglandBob

posted September 16, 2009 at 11:50 am


I am an atheist. I was born into a Jewish family but I was skeptical of religion from about the age of 10. When I was 14, I realized how hypocritical people were about their faith verses their actions. Nevertheless, I married under Judaism and brought up children, exposing them to it but I was never into it all along. About 15 years ago, I stopped participating in religious ceremonies except for weddings and funerals – those were for the individuals and not the silly rituals.I find Judaism to be nothing but ancient fears and fantasies. I find Christianity to be especially silly with its myths about a son of god, resurrection, original sin and about Christ dying for others' future sins. It appears that you can be as bad as you want as long as you repent at the last minute. Doesn't everyone find that to be as horrible as possible? I find Islam is a religion of deceit and lies and treachery and murder – and that was just by its founder!Any and all religions are equal and all are just myths and fantasies. There is no evidence of prayer having any affect on anything and a large portion of those who have 'faith' are truly despicable people.There are or have been thousands of religions. One is just as stupid as the next.Science has come a long way to opening the curtain on fear and suspicion by showing how things work in reality. It is a continuing process that brings enlightenment and is one of the true reasons for existence. Life is what the individual makes of it and a life of faith instead of logic, reason and critical thinking is a waste of a life.



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Dromedary Hump

posted September 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm


Jason,Allow me to add another thought about why I find Christianity absurd. The Christian concept of "original sin" simply makes no sense. God must have known his creations were going to disobey him, he is credited after all as being omnicient, and he created them. Yet he places them in that position, knowing they would "sin", then punishes them for doing exactly what he created them to do and knew they'd do. It's so preposterous. A no-win test. The authors clearly never considered the contradictory aspects of the fable.Plus, if the purveypors of faith did not oppose independent knowledge, reasoning and learning, why was the forbidden fruit from "the Tree of Knowledge?" Such a doctrine clearly implys that knowledge is bad (thus be defaultlack of knowledge/faith is good) and explains much of why so many fundamentalist Christians reject science and secular learning.Then, the concept of collective guilt and sacrificing a selected being to cleans the sins of the group goes back to the concept of heaping the sins and crimes of the group onto a sacrifical goat. A way to appease a diety and cleanse the community. Finally, the illogic associated with a god having to sacrifice himself in order to appease himself so he wouldn't have to punish his creations in a place of eternal damnation he created for them, because human ancestors disobeyed him like he knew they would is just plain bizarre. The illogic would be obvious to a child, had not that child been indoctrinated to religion at such an early age. That Christians cannot, will not, and refuse to examine this critically, intellectually, stepping outside their indoctrination has always been a wonder to me.



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Anonymous

posted September 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm


I guess I would consider myself a follower of Jesus. I was raised in a Christian family and I will note that my family are my best friends still to this day. If anything makes me believe in God, it is my parents. They amaze me. My problems with "Christianity" really boils down to church. The concept as a whole, the political structure or power structure. I have been part of many churches in my 31 years, and all of them have split for one reason or another. Luckily for me, I have had undeniable experiences with God that have kept me from turning away completely. I also think that people hold on to tradition and the attitude that "this is the way we have always done it." In this time we live in it makes sense to me to be seeking God on what HIS way is.



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Marni

posted September 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm


I'm a Christ follwer. I truly struggle with church. Not "The Church" but local church. I attended a church that became very unhealthy. I work for an organization that plants churches. I see firsthand how people have agendas that usurp God's, but they claim these agenda's are God's will. So frustrating to see church and religion get in the way of a relationship with Christ.



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Stephanie

posted September 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm


I would describe myself as a Christian who is growing closer to God every day!The elements of the Christian faith that give me the most trouble are the idea of predestination (why would God predestine some to hell and some to heaven to matter if they receive salvation or not), speaking in tongues (what is the purpose in incoherent rambling that no one understand but it is glorifying to God), the Trinity (the father is the same as the son is the same as the Holy Ghost, HUH??)and lastly but not finally I am confused about creation, He created us to worship him and walk with him in a glorious perfect garden, but then he allowed Satan to trick us so that we would be separated from him and live in a very ugly, hurtful world ( I get the free will answer but why would God want us to have free will if it causes us to be separated from him).



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Chip Chandler

posted September 16, 2009 at 3:55 pm


I don't know where exactly I fall on the spectrum, whether I'm closer to agnosticism or deism or full-out atheism. I'm interested in the sociology of religions, but I'm not particularly self-reflective about my own beliefs.I suppose a schism in my childhood church started me down this road — one of those typical smalltown things where the preacher (who I liked quite a bit) wasn't … whatever enough for the rest of the congregation. As I recall, he was replaced with someone considerably more conservative. That really was a minor incident, though. The main problem I have with Christianity, as it is typically expressed in this geographic area particularly, is the attitude about homosexuality. Even as I was discovering my own orientation, I never doubted that gay people were born that way. Try as I might, I simply cannot comprehend the "love the sinner, hate the sin" pablum that some people espouse. And I can't abide that a religious prejudice is being used to deprive me of my civil rights.The value, as I see it, in Christian teachings boils down to "love thy neighbor." That's a philosophy I try to live up to, and I think you can be a good person without buying into the mythologizing that surrounds the religion.



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2009 at 1:21 am


I'm a long time Christian with a deep belief in Christ as Savior, but I, too, have a problem with hell. However, recently I've decided that God is bigger than this and that when people are dying, even in a split second, that Christ could still come to them and offer salvation, and who would not receive it, once he/she has looked into his eyes? That's what I believe and I'm sticking to it! Also, someone said hell was unique to Christianity. I believe the Jewish faith has a similar fate, called Gehenna, which Jesus used in the parable about the man who cried out for just a tiny bit of water from the burning pit in which he found himself after death.



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2009 at 1:26 am


I just posted, I'm a long time Christian, but wanted to add another doubt I have. It's really hard to believe that the God of the Old Testament, as he is portrayed there, can be the same God that Christ presents in the New Testament. Jesus presents the Father as a God of Love. Jesus taught to turn the other cheek. But in the Old Testament, God is wrathful and sides with armies to wipe out the other side, etc. It even seems to me like Jesus came to set everyone straight — as if the way people were perceiving God from the OT wasn't correct. I'm sure there are theological answers. I'd like to hear them.



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2009 at 1:41 am


Though I've already posted my own doubts as a Christian, I still want to convince other posters that Christ is real! Go figure! I think one of the big things so many people tend to overlook is that if the Christian belief system IS true, then it has to be a Supernatural thing, this faith of ours, and the One we worship a Supernatural being. Jesus didn't heal people because he was just the Carpenter Next Door. He was the Supernatural Carpenter Next Door! We live in a fallen world, I have no doubts about that, and more and more I feel that God has been merciful simply for sticking around here in the muck and mire with us. Why did He set it up this way? (i.e. the garden, the sacrifice, etc.) I dunno, but I have to believe that there's a deeper reason. Maybe because we have to learn something and this is the way he chose to teach us. I have a lot of doubts about certain aspects of things, but I've been touched by his grace and mercy too many times to doubt that He's a merciful, loving God. Hence my problem with hell. :)))



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Anonymous

posted September 18, 2009 at 11:07 am


I'm an atheist. I alway have been. As a child I was sent to a Catholic school, (Grades 1-6) Being a curious youngster I asked questions, it didn’t take long to figure out religion was nothing to take seriously. My questions went unanswered and was told not to question faith.My young critical thinking skills told me, when someone tortures and kills their own son, you should build a prison to throw them in, not a church to worship them.They tried to scare into believing with their threats of hell, But their hell was not as scary as the god they worshiped. Besides, if you you go to hell for not believing in someone's god, won't Christians end up in the hell of another god that they don't believe in?When I was first told about these stories of gods "love" I looked at the way He treated HIS OWN SON! He had him tortured and turned into a zombie! And two times actually asks a father to sacrifice his own child! (He stops only one of them.) Only an evil, sick monster would even think to ask such a thing. Remember the Passover? God has a hey-day murdering all the innocent first born boys of the Egyptians. I could go on for hours about the children murdered by the loving deity in the bible.In my search to find a nicer god, I discovered they were all just stories and mythology. – KrateKraig.



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Shelley

posted September 18, 2009 at 11:31 am


- atheist, formerly devout xtian.- I rejected xtianity because of the inherent intolerance of it. I was upset (at first) by the way the church treated gays. I knew that was not right, and did not follow the golden rule. Plus, I couldn't find anything in the bible against gays anyway, so I stopped wanting to follow/believe a church/religion that didn't even follow what they considered their sacred texts. Hypocrites, all. Once I got past wanting to believe, I became a voracious reader and skeptic. Where was the evidence of a god? Where was the evidence of a christ? Where was the evidence of the truth of a xtian bible? Was I duped my entire life? Researching only showed me to what level I'd been duped. There has been more evil done in the name of a xtian god than any other cause. The things in the xtian bible describing a god are horrific, psychotic, and genocidal. Dash the children on the stones? Without some sort of concrete proof of existence, no WAY am I going to espouse that kind of belief. It's dangerous to mankind to encourage xtianity or any other religion. I see them as being equal, and equally false, and tools of power and fear.



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zarton

posted September 18, 2009 at 11:36 am


Hi Jason, I call myself an atheist or nontheist, sometimes I refer to myself as a recovering christian as I was a christian at one time. I no longer believe in god for the same reasons you don't believe in mermaids or leprachauns. They may in fact exsist, but I do not lay awake at night worrying about them, even if they did threaten me with hell. I would even go so far as to say that even if it were true, I would still prefer hell over heaven. I could not stand to worship and praise, for all of eternity, a monster who is letting some of my loved ones roast. That would be hell for me.Thanks,zarton



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Anonymous

posted September 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm


Hi Jason,I'm an atheist. Raised in a reform Jewish household in Texas and later Kansas, I was exposed to the Christians around me. The adults didn't try to witness me, but many of my fellow students made it their 'mission' to show me the way of my errors. Do you know how PATHETIC child\teen witnesses are? This spurred me to do some research about religion in general having read the Torah and parts of the New Testament. By the end of high school I considered myself an atheist.Now for a very long dissertation of why I reject Christianity (since Jason asked specifically…)On a Historical basis:No one and no research I have done, has even shown that Jesus (as a person) even existed. Unlike Nero and various Roman governors and emperors of the time period, there is no record outside the New Testament (tax record, coin, court record, personal diary, letter, etc.) that has been found. Christians like to point to historians that supposedly either lived during the period such as Josephus (AD 37 – 100) or others who live decades later. The two passages that Josephus purportedly wrote about Jesus (Testimonium Flavianum) have been shown as forgery done by early Christian scribes. A second passage about Jesus having a brother James is also in dispute as well. For a fascinating read on Josephus and the Jesus forgeries, see this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus.On a philosophical basis:Christians insist the trinity (or not; some Christians don’t hold to the trinity) is all about “perfect” personal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving being. Unfortunately, logically, these attributes are self-contradicting… especially in light of the problem of evil and predestination. (Much of this is from (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Category:Philosophy)If God is all-loving, then he does not want evil to exist. If God is all-knowing, then he must know about all evil in the world. If God is all-powerful, then he must be capable of doing something about it. Therefore, evil should not exist. Dropping any one of those four premises would resolve the contradiction, but dropping #4 would require us to fundamentally redefine evil in some way, and dropping any of the other three would undermine the Christian concept of God. Defining God as all-loving contradicts the numerous Old Testament verses in which he orders genocide and murder, as well as Isaiah 45:7 in which God says, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these." Out of the numbered deaths in the Bible, YHWH kills 2,391,421 people. Satan only killed the 10 of Jobs family.Defining God as all-powerful contradicts Mark 6:5: “And he could there do no mighty work”, Hebrews 6:18: “It was impossible for God to lie”, Judges 1:19: “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”Defining God as all-knowing contradicts Genesis 3:8: “And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord, amongst the trees of the garden”, Job 1:7, Job 2:2: “And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it“, 2 Chronicles 32:31: “God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart’, Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” God should never need to ask for any information, Jesus should be the wisest (no need to INCREASE), etc.On a Theological basis:I agree with the Jews who dismiss Jesus being the Messiah due to the fact he doesn’t meet the criteria for being the Messiah. (See http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/questions-a-answers-primary-234/68-the-jewish-messiah/374-messiah–the-criteria) for a complete list of Jesus's disqualification.Jason, I hope this helps with your project.Regards, Fastthumbs



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Anonymous

posted September 30, 2009 at 10:47 am


Nice site Jason.I am an A-theist..I guess I'm a "genetic a-theist" more specifically..I never bought into any of it..as a child, it made no sense! I was always fascinated with science, nature and the stars. The god deal was never important. My family is Catholic but my mother taught us all critical thinking from as far back as I can remember. As a child, I never believed in Santa Clause; didn't want to hurt my parents feelings so I never said anything! My wife and I have raised all of our children to think critically, and to use reason and logic in decision making..I'm an MD and have my PhD in molecular biology. I do respect everyone's right to believe what they want as long as they keep it private and not expect me to listen and not judge others with their holy stuff..I have no comment on hell or any other silliness. I would have to leave too much of my intellect at the door to consider such things and that doesn't work for me. Thanks for you time and good luck with the site! Respectfully,doc-doc



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Chris

posted October 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm


Hey, so I'm two weeks behind. Thanks to the beauty of RSS I'm still catching up.To answer your questions:1 – I'm a Christian with doubts.2 – The more I study the Bible, the harder it is to believe. I see far too many parallels to other cultures' mythology and it makes me wonder how much of the Bible is the true Word of the Living God and how much is someone's made up story. There are plenty of silly nitpicky contradictions between books and translations that I won't even get into. The hardest contradiction? The classic "problem of pain." Yes, I've read the book by CS Lewis. I tried to explain that recently to someone whose daughter had been raped, and other daughter recently killed in a gruesome car wreck (the other driver clearly asleep at the wheel). Just how CAN a God who loves us that much do (or allow) such terrible things to happen?



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Justin

posted October 13, 2009 at 8:24 am


I don't know where I fall in terms of believer/ non-believer. I think most christians would say I'm at best an apostate. I grew up in a very strict baptist church and actively participated for about 20 years when I felt like the blinders were lifted and I saw the church as a manipulative and dangerous organization. I want to believe in what I used to but I'm having a real hard time believing that what we have as "the word of God" hasn't been manipulated and transformed into something created by man to control society and make things run smoother. Also I've lately been trying to figure out if "God" is a)a good God and unable to become involved with our lives because of self imposed rules b)an evil God or c)just not that concerned about life on earth. I believe there HAS to be a God, I think every living thing points to some form of higher being or creator. But, if God is able to stop the horrible things we do to one another and doesn't, he has to be either evil or apathetic. If he cannot become involved then it raises serious questions about Christ and his claim to deity.All in all, I'm kind of a mess at the moment.



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