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From minister to atheist and continuing the journey

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 426 times Debate No: 115913
Debate Rounds (4)
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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

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


I have seen את eth-the travail, which ELOHIYM has given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He את eth-has made everything beautiful in his time: also he has set את eth-the world in their heart, so that no man can find out את eth-the work that ELOHIYM makes from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of ELOHIYM. I know that, whatsoever ELOHIYM does, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and ELOHIYM does it, that men should fear before him. That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and ELOHIYM requires את eth-that which is past. ECCLESIASTES 3:10-15

Our Creator doesn't give us anything our ancestors didn't get. It is the same today as yesterday was till the end of time. Christo-pagans insist on turning the Word into fable, failing to realize they have created fable from parable.
The atheist no different, creating fable from peer reviewed theory, with love of the world installed within.
Debate Round No. 1


Who cares about what YOU say? This is about what the author of the article had to say and how you related to what he has to say.

Very well since you can't read, have it your way.... time to pulverize you and you deserve it since you CAN'T READ.

* Do you think you should be put to death just because you blaspheme? Y____? N____? Your god thinks so. Leviticus 24:16 "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death."
* Do you think you should die if you work on the sabbath? Y____? N____? Your god thinks so. Exodus 31:14 "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.", Numbers 15: 32-36 " And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35 And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses." Now notice jesus worked on the sabbath, he was not put to death. Strange? And YOU said "I believe that every commandment fits in with the natural law: the body of unchanging moral principles" So by your morals and principles, and following god"s unchanging laws (and there are many verses that also state this), jesus should have been rightly executed for working on the sabbath. He also did not have permission of ---any--- kind from his god to change his god"s laws, thus your jesus was a fake and a fraud. Oh there"s plenty more on why jesus was a fake and a fraud and why YOU are not a christian by any means, but that"s not the main topic of this debate. Trust me, unless you want your christianity to be completely shattered, you DO NOT want to get into it.
* Do you think you should die foe merely cursing at your parents? Y____? N____? Your god thinks so. Exodus 21:17 "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death., Leviticus 20:9 "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.", Mark 7:10 "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:, Matthew 15:4 "For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death."
* Do you think you should die if you commit adultery? Y____? N____? Your god thinks so. Leviticus 20:10 "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

These plus many more completely absurd examples show how completely inane and insane this biblical god is, and yet no one can even prove he even exists. What's worse is this so-called god would never use text as a form of communication, the worst form of communication possible.


Why the silliness? Obviously, as stated, my reaction to the author is what I gave. And now silly man wishes to use what he is unfamiliar with, written for other men of a different time, as justification for his own silliness.

You say,
"Who cares about what YOU say? This is about what the author of the article had to say and how you related to what he has to say."
Am I to take this oxymoron seriously? What I said is my reaction. Let me react to the rest of your silliness.

* Do you think you should be put to death just because you blaspheme? Y____? N____? Your god thinks so.

Everyone dies sooner or latter, no escape.
If a man agrees to live by a statute, yes, he should be held accountable to its constitution.

* Do you think you should die if you work on the sabbath? Y____? N____?

Again, did I agree to be bound by this constitution?

"Do you think you should die foe merely cursing at your parents? Y____? N____?

I don't know, would the world be a better place if Stalin's mother would of drowned him?
Most parents won't, seen again and again in scripture. Job was intent on securing his children's favor, from his Creator, as they seemed to care less.
The sons of Ely where priests who's father knew they where up to no good. A prophet no less, who could not. But then he agreed to be bound by this constitution.

* Do you think you should die if you commit adultery? Y____? N____?

Adultery? People insisting on sticking to their word, for life and agreeing to its constitution is a bad thing? Of course it is in this Burger King existence. "Have it your way".

It's really a lot of fun answering questions, of someone who doesn't care what you have to say.
It's all about narcissism with you and your intent, some how, to build yourself up from my defeat.
Debate Round No. 2


In the second paragraph of RD1 you said "Our Creator", thus that is in no possible way "my reaction to the author is what I gave." So would you like to try again? No not really I'm tired.

My silliness? OK then you consider your god silly. He's the one that came up with your 10 commandments that ARE silly. Yeah. That's the death penalty if you don't follow them. So clearly, you do not believe in your god. Then why did you accept this debate?

1. You went completely bonkers into hooplah land with RD1 and did not relate to what he had to say, so who really knows what adventurous trip you were trying to be a quarterback for?
2. And since only you knew, I did identify with your neanderthal christ religion because I do more than know allllllllllllll about your religion, and gave you the 10 commandments and showed you of what your god would do if you break the codes in not worshiping them. And you consider them "silly".

You must consider your completely immoral god "silly".


Hahaha, this is a joke!

"I do more than know allllllllllllll about your religion"

What's silly is the all knowing man.
Debate Round No. 3


"I do more than know allllllllllllll about your religion". That's why I don't believe and you do. That's why I'm moral and you and your god are immoral as proved in which you cannot even prove that your god even exists. Thankfully. That's why I have genuine friends and loved ones and you don't in which is a HUGE red flag. Btw, those genuine friends and loved ones that I've referred to would die for me. That's why I know ab-so-lu-te right from wrong in comparison to you. You proved it in RD2. That's why I know up from down, east from west, and north from south in comparison to you. That's how I perfectly baited you in this debated. And wah lah you creator, who you think its silly to have people die because they blaspheme, work on the sabbath, curse at their parents, commit adultery oh why you'd think it'd be so silly if you were sentenced to death or of someone close to you were sentenced to death (but its been established you have no one) or if you were to have a long estranged kid die to these absurd rules, that'd be a real kick because you think its silly.

Oh but wait, your god demands death for those who are gay, those who do not worship him/ worship other idols/ gods, he loves slavery, this god of yours absolutely loves rape - maybe he can rape you, this god of yours loves abortions, loves his deliberate genocides, truly truly truly truly truly hates children, oh but wait, you don't believe me... GRRRRREAAAAATTTTTT!!!!!!!!

* god hates gays in his bible and wants them stoned to death LV 20:13 proving god hates,is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god hates anyone that blasphemes and wants to put you to death LV 24:16 which is true 100% hate and evil and nothing but and shows that god is nothing but hate and evil.
* god hates anyone that does not believe in him in his bible 2 CHR 15: 12-13, ESPECIALLY if someone worships another god/ idols other than himself, thus wants to kill them DT 13: 9-10 and 17: 2-5 proving god hates, is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god endorses slavery in his bible EX 21 the entire chapter especially 20-21 which is truly sick and disgusting, LV 25:39, LV 25:42, LV 25: 44-46, DT 15: 12-15, DT 23: 14-16, MT 18:25, proving god hates, is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god gets jealous in his bible EX 20: 3-5, EX 34:14, DT 4: 23-24, DT 32: 16-17, DT 5:9, DT 6:15, JH 24:19, PS 79:5, PS 78:58, 2 COR 1:2, proving that he is evil, hates and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god wants you to die in his bible if you break the sabbath EX 31:14, NU 15: 32-36 proving god hates and is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god issues death warrants on those that curse at their parents (they are probably children) EX 21:17, LV 20:9, MK 7:10, MT 15:4 proving god hates and is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god wants to put you to death in his bible if you commit adultery LV 20:10 proving god hates, is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god has freely admitted in his bible numerous times that he IS evil IS 45:7, 2 SAM 12: 11-14 sick and disgusting, EX 32:14, 1 KS 1 22: 22-23, 2 CR 18:22, JM 19:3, JM 19:15, JM 23:12, AM 3:6, DT 30:15, 2 KS 22:16, JU 9:23, PV 15:3 thus proving that he IS evil which is irrefutable and also proves he hates and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god in his bible knowingly and truly hates children through numerous passages such as LM4: 9-11, MT 10:37, MT 2:16, JG 21:10, 2 SAM 12:11-14 which is truly sick and disgusting, DT 2:34, NU 31: 17-18, LV 26: 21-22, 1 SAM 15:3, HS 13:16, 2 KS 15:16, EZ 9: 5-7, HS 9: 11-16, EX 12: 29-30, IS 13: 15-18, MT 2:16, (EX 21:17, LV 20:9, MK 7:10, MT 15:4, MT 10:21), JG 11: 30-33, PS 137: 8-9, 2 KS 6: 28-29, DT 21: 18-21, DT 32:25, DT 2: 32-34, DT 3: 3-6, JG 19: 24-29, EX 12:29, 2 HS 2: 23-24, LV 26:29, JM 11: 22-23, JM 19: 7-9, JM 51: 22-26, 2 KS 8: 9-15,LM 2: 20-22, RV 2: 18-23 only to name a few proves god hates and is 100% pure evil and 100% proves he cannot be involved with love.
* god hates women in his bible LM 4 9-11 sick and disgusting, HS 13:16 sick and disgusting, JD 21:10, 2 SAM 12 11-14 sick and disgusting, DT 2:34, NU 31 17:18, LV 26 21:22, 1 SAM 15:3, HS 13:16 sick and disgusting, DT 2 32-34, 2 KS 8: 9-15, 2 KS 15:16 sick and disgusting, EZ 9: 5-7, HS 9: 11-16, 2 KS 6: 28-29 sick and disgusting, JD 19: 24-29, LM 2 20-22 sick and disgusting, 1 COR 14:34,1 TY 2:12 proves god hates, is evil and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god loves rape in his bible NU 31: 17-18, 2 SAM 12: 11-18 sick and disgusting, JD 19:24-29, JD 21: 10-24, DT 20: 10-14, DT 22: 28-29, DT 21: 10-14, JD 5:30, EX 21 7-11, ZE 14: 1-2 proving that he is evil, pure evil and nothing but, is filled with hate and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god commits abortions who knows how many times within several verses in his bible, so that means that christians do not follow their god which is extremely hypocritical and contradictory from his bible HS 13:16 sick and disgusting, 2 KS 8: 9-15 sick and disgusting, 2 HS 15:16 sick and disgusting, HS 9: 11-16, and perhaps the biggest acts of abortions were committed in the great flood according to this so-called god of the bible in the great flood (which never happened btw) so who knows how many pregnant mothers died there in his bible thus proving this god to be nothing but pure evil, hate and thus cannot be involved with love.
* god loves yummy cannibalism in his bible LM 2: 20-22, JM 11: 22-23, LV 26:29, 2 KS 6:28-29, LM 4: 9-11, proving this god to be truly sick and completely whacked out thus is evil, hates,and thus cannot be involved with love..
* Indeed god is far far far worse than Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hong Xiuquan, all serial killers, all rapists, all tortures, all pedophiles, all sadomasochists etc etc etc combined. After all god knowingly created them which means that he is ultimately responsible for them. Its either that or god is not a god and lets them off the hook with nothing but a tap on the shoulder for their horrific, disgusting, repugnant crimes and simply god---does---not---care. Now here's some examples of god"s sickened, diseased, abominable atrocities for absolutely no reason at all... the great flood according to the bible (which never happened btw) so who knows what the body count was there? 3,000 EX 32:27-28, 14,700 NU 16:49, 24,002 NU 25: 1-11, 12,000 JOS 8: 1-25, 10,000 JG 1:4, 120,000 JG 8:7-10, 42,000 JG 12:3-6, 1,000 JD 15:14-15, 3,000 JD 16:27-30, 25,101 JD 16:27-30, 1 SAM 4 34,002, 1 SAM 6:19 50,070, 2 SAM 8 65,850, 1 KI 20: 28-29 100,000, 1 KI 20: 30 27,000, 2 KI 19 35 -37 185,000, 2 CHR 13 17-18 500,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 2 CHR 28:6 120,000, Esther 9:5-18 75,813, 2 CHR 14: 9-14 1,000,000!!! etc etc etc Yeah god is really so moral huh? Nope.

And now my beddy bye calls. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!


Because you have reference means nothing outside its context. Your heady assertion of knowing all about anything is laughable. Enjoy your victory, I know how important this is to you.

Then said his woman unto him, Do you still retain your integrity? bless ELOHIYM, and die. But he said unto her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we את eth-receive good at the hand of ELOHIYM, and shall we not את eth-receive evil? In all this did not Iyov sin with his lips. JOB 2:9-10

Silly people expect only good from "our" Maker and are uninterested in learning from life. Your like a big baby saying "WAAA, THERES NO GOD BECAUSE THERES EVIL IN THE WORLD!"

Grow up silly man.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by BlueM 3 years ago
@Backwardseden, respectfully, I am far from an Atheist.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
@BlueM - That's because you are an atheist. After all you break god's rules and you make up your own.
Posted by BlueM 3 years ago
A waste of time, honestly.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
It's a Christian vs Atheist debate, with backwardseden being the atheist.
Posted by Gtworld3 3 years ago
What is the debate about?
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