The Instigator
backwardseden
Pro (for)
The Contender
badbull0823
Con (against)

From minister to atheist and continuing the journey

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 504 times Debate No: 114947
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

backwardseden

Pro

Taken from "The Atheist Republic" "A reader sent us this story in response to our newsletter "Personal pathways to atheism." We enjoy reading these personal accounts of people"s journeys and wanted to share this one with you. For reasons you will
come to understand, this member of our community wishes to remain anonymous."

My father was a fundamentalist Christian minister. For those of you unfamiliar with what a Christian fundamentalist is, he or she is someone who believes the Bible is inerrant and infallible. Every story in the Bible happened exactly the way the Bible said it did. Given that there are some pretty tall tales in the Bible " talking asses, floating axe heads, strolls across the surface of a lake, etc." this seems a ludicrous position to those who are not fundamentalists. But that was the environment in which I was raised. I believed that everything in the Bible was true, that when I died, I would go to heaven (if I were good), and that Jesus might return before my death, so I didn't have to even think about mortality. I believed that my church and I were right, and everyone else was wrong, and it was our job to lead them to Jesus. I believed that modern science and history were attempts by evil people to subvert the truth about God.

There were cracks in my fundamentalist foundations from very early on. As an 8-year-old I fell in love with astronomy. I was stunned to discover that there were objects in space whose light had been traveling longer through space than the Bible (or at least my Dad's copy of it) said the universe had existed. I was troubled by this, but accepted it as an anomaly to be explained later. As a 10-year-old, I wondered why dinosaurs had become extinct. If two of everything were taken aboard Noah's ark, what happened to all the dinosaurs? (I didn't care how many million other species might have become extinct. I was dinosaur-centric.) My mother told me that God had put dinosaur bones in the ground as a test. That seemed unlikely. As a 12-year-old, I began opening my eyes during prayer. All I could see was other people with their eyes shut. It seemed as though they were praying to empty air.

But it was the idea of prayer, or more specifically, which prayers were answered and which were not, which began pushing me in the direction of non-belief. I was born with a disability; it wasn't serious, but it sometimes caused me to be made fun of. (Kids can be such delights.) My father conducted a monthly prayer service for those who wanted to be healed. I came forward. Every month. For years. I was prayed for. Nothing happened. Until finally my father said maybe it wasn't God's will for me to be healed. What? Why? Other people were healed, although I noticed that it was always healing for things that either go away on their own " headaches, fever, anxiety " or things which can go into remission, like cancer. Nobody was ever healed of a deaf ear, a blind eye, a missing limb, etc. Nobody even asked to be. It was as though everybody (but me) knew that the power of prayer was limited to things that, well, we heal ourselves.

Despite all this, though I no longer voluntarily went to church, I still considered myself a Christian. Then I took a course on the Old Testament from a historical perspective. I was confronted by the reality that the Bible is a book written by people who were trying to get other people to believe in their God in a certain way, to behave in a
certain way. They used stories not to convey history or science, but theology.

And then I had my "atheophany." One night, I had a dream in which the earth was baking under the red glare of our sun in its red giant phase. It was a barren cemetery of a planet. I could see my name on a gravestone and, though blurred, the gravestones of my children, grandchildren, etc. for millions of years. The earth had died, and nothing of me, nothing I had done, nothing I had believed in had survived. A reluctant atheist? I was plunged into a months-long existential depression. Although I had already stopped believing in the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God long
before, the consequences of my belief had never really come together. I felt adrift in a sea of meaninglessness and oblivion.

I couldn't accept it. I couldn't go there. A friend introduced me to the works of Paul Tillich (a liberal [probably also atheist] Protestant). Reading Tillich's Systematics made me think, "hey, here's a smart person who is still a Christian." I began to look for a non-fundamentalist Christian path. I found a church, and ultimately decided to become a minister.

If anything robs a person of any vestige of faith in the reality of God, it's being a minister. It's like being an actor. Theater-goers may be amazed by the performance on stage. The actor knows what went on behind the scenes to make it happen: the blocking, the rehearsals, the set designers, the prop people, lighting, sound. It's not magical to him or her. It is the same way with a minister. Over time, Christmas and Easter, indeed, every Sunday can become a performance. The minister knows what went on behind the scenes, and it's often lonely and empty. Ten years into the ministry, a series of tragic deaths followed by very difficult funerals led me back to where I was as a college student. God was a vacant hole, and I couldn't be his prophet any more. So I left the ministry and became something else.

End of story? I wish. There is something in me that is always searching for meaning and purpose, a philosopher, I suppose. And I couldn't let go of the idea that there was some objective source of meaning that could somehow be found in religion. So I went back. They took me back. I fought for many long years to shape religion into a form that would be acceptable to my congregants and yet also acceptable to me. I couldn't. I can't. I quit.

But, I haven't circled back to that terrified college student this time. I love the world too much to give up on meaning and purpose. I love the stars; I love the furtive fox trotting through my back yard, the wren that sings against the cold, white heart of winter, the bright eyes of a wandering infant. For as long as I live, I will devote myself to enhancing life. If there is a God, she is no more than the Universe and no less. I would never go back to religion. But I will never stop loving the world.
---
You can read more personal pathways here http://www.atheistrepublic.com...

dsjpk5 will not be allowed to vote in the voting process.
badbull0823

Con

To start I fully understand and agree about all of the confusion in the world. I have seen the same as you and suffered much agony. I've been where you've ended and we must start from the same point to accurately debate. All of your points I agree you've won the debate thus far. It is what we see in the world. If you can agree to clear your mind and approach this from a "sandbox" perspective as though you were teaching your newborn I can help. Its very simple.

Start here - Athiest (religiously confused)
Wipe mind clear - meditate and only think about this conversation.
Keep mind clear and don't let any other thoughts in.
Start with Holy Trinity defined strictly as "Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"
Keep mind clear.
Start from left to right. What is the father? Well okay maybe its my dad.
Who is the son, well probably me if father is my dad. We say this all the time.
What the heck is the holy spirit then?
I've meditated plenty on this- if the Holy trinity is the father, the son, and the holy spirit binding the two, then the holy spirit is just a english phrase for something else. A synonym. So I substituted different things in for holy spirit. At first i had an image of god and it got complicated. I lost hope. Then I realized well what do i have for my dad? Well mixed feelings, but in a perfect world it should be love. So holy spirit is now = love as my first premise. It fixes my world view, my catholic church accepted me because of it even though i started off an atheist. And now my world is super easy and positive. If i ever change the holy spirit from love to anything lesser I feel bad so I don't since I want to love my own father so much.

My second step was to just look at biology and then go upward in my bloodline and grant the idea that maybe god is the father of my dad's dad's dad's dad 10000x up somewhere. I can't disprove it or prove it but time might if technology keeps improving.

Maybe this helps?
Debate Round No. 1
backwardseden

Pro

You know something? It really bothers me when someone like you, an obvious christian of stance CANNOT READ. What is wrong with you people? Do you know what "reading" is? You know. Words. Sentences. I mean its NOT THAT HARD. What does the very first paragraph say? Why it says "Taken from "The Atheist Republic" "A reader sent us this story in response to our newsletter "Personal pathways to atheism." We enjoy reading these personal accounts of people"s journeys and wanted to share this one with you. For reasons you will
come to understand, this member of our community wishes to remain anonymous."

Duh. So it is point blank ridiculous to name anything thus far in this debate that you have read in RD1 as "my points".

Now let"s move on.

"It is what we see in the world. If you can agree to clear your mind and approach this from a "sandbox" perspective as though you were teaching your newborn I can help." Um no you can"t. You are a christian. Its very simple.

Start here - Athiest (religiously confused) Atheists, in general know a lot more about christianity than those who claim to be christians. Oh please do google it. Oh and btw, there's really no such a thing as being a christian. Have fun in watching this video because YOU nor practically anyone except for possibly 1,000 people on planet earth can follow his ridiculous orders. Oh and oh yeah, you cannot even prove that your precious savior has ever existed. http://www.youtube.com... - Why Does Every Intelligent christian disobey jesus?
Wipe mind clear - meditate and only think about this conversation. Well that"s impossible because you already started off with misguided folderol.
Keep mind clear and don't let any other thoughts in. Oh you must mean like you a blabbering oaf from farmsville screaming his head off at his noisy loose cannon chicken killing spree.
Start with Holy Trinity defined strictly as "Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" More like it never existed because christ was a false prophet. But let"s get into that a little deeper because god most certainly had nothing to do with it. Oh and btw, you cannot even prove that your god has ever existed as well. Ready?
Are the laws of the Old Testament still binding?
Yes, they are binding forever.
The laws are an everlasting covenant, for a thousand generations, always and forever. That means that nobody, especially a piddling little squalor of a christ can change them. Not for any reason. Not ever.
* The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7
* All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16
* Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.Proverbs 30:5
* The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8
* Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9
* Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway. Deuteronomy 11:1
* Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations ... an everlasting covenant. 1 Chronicles 16:15
* Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Psalm 119:151-2
* Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160

God will curse you if you don't obey his commandments.
* Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God.Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Keeping the commandments is the whole duty of every human.
* Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.Ecclesiastes 12:13

Remember (and obey) the law of Moses.
* Remember ye the law of Moses. Malachi 4:4

Jesus instructed his followers to obey all of the commandments.
* Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:18-19
* It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16:17
* One came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him ... if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Luke 19:16-17

And even Paul seemed to agree with Jesus on this (sometimes).
* The doers of the law shall be justified. Romans 2:13
* Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Romans 3:31
No, they were only temporary.
After the birth of John the Baptist the laws no longer applied.
* The law and the prophets were until John [the Baptist]: since that time the kingdom of heaven is preached. Luke 16:16

* People are justfied by faith. The law doesn't matter.
* Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28

If you've got grace, you don't need to obey the law.
* Ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14

Jesus's body made you dead to God's laws.
* Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ .... We are delivered from the law, that being dead. Romans 7:4, 6

Believe in Jesus and you can ignore the law.
* Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.Romans 10:4

Jesus saved you from the curse of God's laws.
* Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13

The laws are were meant to teach you about Jesus. Once you believe, you can ignore the laws.
* Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:24-25

Ignore God's law. Be led by the Spirit instead.
* But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Galatians 5:18

Jesus destroyed the laws with his flesh, nailing them to his cross.
* Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. Ephesians 2:15
* Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances ... nailing it to his cross. Colossians 2:14

Now notice one thing, just one for your bearded eye that has no ability to see, with all the NT "christian" laws that supposedly made christians, christians, how many of them were approved by your god? If you"ve answered 0, then you"ve answered correctly. Thus "the law" DOES NOT EXIST. Thus jesus was false (if he ever even existed), christianity is false and the entire NT is false. Thus the "trinity" is a true laughable underarm joke to be puked upon. And since your god did not approve of any of "the law" in the NT, then your god"s laws (all of them) stands firm from the OT, like it or not, too bad if you don"t.

Keep mind clear. You don"t.
Start from left to right. What is the father? Well okay maybe its my dad. Your father is most certainly your dad.
Who is the son, well probably me if father is my dad. We say this all the time. Who is this "we"? Kindly exclude those that are intelligent and those that have an education from your farce of equations and constipated evaluations. K snookums?
What the heck is the holy spirit then? Some whacked upped nut job from the panty line.
I've meditated plenty on this- if the Holy trinity is the father, the son, and the holy spirit" whoa there barf bag teeny bopper zit cream, the trinity for you was just proved to be false. So I substituted different things in for holy spirit. Well that"s an impossibility considering the absolute fact that ---nobody--- can define what the holy spirit, god is. What tests have been done. What demonstrations have been done to claim your god? Nothing. So you, nor anyone can possibly imagine what god or the holy spirit is.
At first i had an image of god and it got complicated. I lost hope. Good. lose hope. All the better from a terrorist in print god that hates children.
Then I realized well what do i have for my dad? Well mixed feelings, but in a perfect world it should be love. Hold it there speedy. Many children HATE their daddies. There"s no blame in that. After all, according to you, since your god creates everybody, this god of yours, knowingly creates millions of children ever single year to be raped, beaten and tortured by their daddies and or some other authoritative figure, probably a male. So don"t take to me or anyone about "love". Sure we all want love, except for those that rape, beat and torture their children, and those who are serial killers, rapists, tortures, sodomizers, the Hitler"s, Hong Xiuquans"s, Mao"s, Stalin"s, Pol Pot"s etc etc etc all in which your god knowingly created, so your god is ultimately responsible for them. So sure, why not, call that "love"? It is so clear that you have no idea, none as to the definition of what "love" is.

So holy spirit is now = love as my first premise. How can it be when you cannot even define it?
It fixes my world view, Tell yah what, fix your worldview on your own and then get back to me.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
No you didn't enter the debate properly because you like the true typical christian, you CAN'T READ. As stated in RD1 (round 1) you didn't even bother reading the first paragraph. RD1 is not my points, they are someone else's entirely. And you didn't even read what that person had to say and bounced feedback off of what that person had to say. You like the typical christian went off into his own la la land persona. That's fine, but you got slaughtered. I mean you mentioned the "trinity" twice, at that, which of course, as proved, does not exist, namely because christ was not the savior, and namely because god's laws from the OT are "perfect" and thus cannot be changed especially by a nothingness like christ. So god's laws from the OT stand firm and thus christ is false, christianity is false, and the entire NT is false. Regardless, you cannot even prove that your god or christ has ever existed. Now I may sound a bit harsh, sorry about that, its my lingo, sarcastic and splintery, its never meant to do any harm. Laugh at the stupid leotard insults.
Now the reason for me taking so long is I am in absolute agony, my hands are in so so so much pain, easily the most pain I've ever felt, so typing is a b**ch. And trust me, I do know what pain and suffering is, which is grade A+1 to never believe in your god, but is not by far the soul reason.
Posted by badbull0823 3 years ago
badbull0823
Can anyone confirm I entered the debate properly? Or am I just impatient? My apologies. First time user here - thank you.
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