Why I Was a Christian

Yes, the verb tense is a not-so-subtle hint.

My first post contains a brief summary of my conversion experience (“Background”). After that, I can think of three main reasons:

  1. Presuppositions.
  2. Experience.
  3. Apologetics.

Reasons

Presuppositions

I presupposed both God’s existence, and that he had revealed himself to humanity.

I reasoned that either the universe must “just exist”, or [a] god must “just exist”.[1] The god hypothesis (though I wouldn’t have called it that at the time) seemed more intuitive to me – probably as a purported answer to the mystery of human consciousness.

I presupposed that God had revealed himself to mankind, because…?

Experience

I had an experience of “The Christian Life” ™.

Only several years ago, a christian told me that there is a “smell” to truth – like when you first open a container of coffee – and that the Bible has that “smell of truth”, that you can just sense it. (A sort of “burning in the bosom”, I suppose.) This resonated with me.

Even from that moment when I was 12, a few weeks before my conversion, when my dad told me about his findings that Catholic teachings don’t align with the Bible, I was operating on that sense of smell. As I said in my first post:

Something about what he was saying just “seemed right” to me…

Shortly thereafter, we started attending an Independent Fundamental church. After a few weeks, Dad and I met with one of the deacons, who presented the gospel to me, so I prayed and got saved.

Naturally, I prayed quite a bit. I read the Bible frequently, and often found it inspirational – or challenging, or convicting. I evangelized when I got the chance, and led a few people to belief in Christ. I even did some street evangelism in college. I sought God’s direction for my life. Sometimes I thought he’d give me the right words to say, whether evangelizing, or supporting a friend. And I chalked those “smelly” experiences (and others) up to the “Holy Spirit’s leading”.

My worldview and the Christian metastory seemed coherent. I don’t think I ever questioned the foundation, or wondered whether it was really true.

Apologetics

I thought what set Christianity apart from other religions (and atheism) was that we had apologetic arguments on our side. In particular:

  • Fulfilled prophecy.
  • The martyrdom of the apostles.
  • Miracles as history.

I can’t say that apologetic arguments had anything to do with my conversion per se, but they surely bolstered my convictions of the truth of Christianity’s claims, and they were factors in my lack of foundational questioning.

In Retrospect

Presuppositions

My postulation of the possible universal explanations seems like an unjustified narrowing of the set of possibilities. If the universe does have a “first cause”, then who the heck knows what a “universe generator” is like? Or whether it’s sentient, or “benevolent” toward humans, or a singular entity, for that matter.

If someone does figure it out, I suspect it’ll be a cosmologist or astrophysicist. At least the truth should be consistent with their observations.

Proposing a god as the first cause could possibly explain universal origins, but then it doesn’t explain the origin of the god, or why or how such a being “just is”, or is logically “necessary”. This seems like a stalemate, at best.

Presupposing that the (alleged) God had revealed himself to humankind now strikes me as a prideful assumption – as does presuming his personhood – or that he presents as a male, for that matter.

Experience

I think there’s some “feel good” theology in the “smell of truth” idea. Besides that, if the foundational beliefs are wrong, then following the smell is liable to take you further away from Truth – not toward it.

So finally I questioned the whole kit and caboodle. And now, after the research that led to my deconversion, I see that there was no empirical or logical basis for my foundational beliefs. Moreover, the Christian metastory is absurd and incoherent. (More to come on this in future posts.)

Apologetics

In short: nope.

In long: more to come.

Notes

1. A God who “just is” – like YHWH – “I am”, or “I am the one who is”. Fancy that.

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88 thoughts on “Why I Was a Christian

        1. ratamacue0 Post author

          I’ve got those, too.

          I found it helpful to sit down and outline what I wanted to talk about in my “journey” series. This post was the expansion of the first big point on the list.

          (ETA: Some of those short drafts may fit into my series. Others won’t.)

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Nate

    Great job! Looking forward to this series! I have to say, your point about presuppositions is spot on. It’s so hard for us to see these objectively, and they have such a huge impact on how we see things. Stepping away from them at a great enough distance to achieve clarity isn’t easy.

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    1. ratamacue0 Post author

      Thanks, Nate. 🙂

      Yes, it was hard. But, I think it was easier for me than some, since I hadn’t been constantly reinforcing the dogma, and I hadn’t been immersed in a christian / church subculture, for a while.

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  2. Think Always

    Congrats! I know it may feel like a loss (it does many days), but in my book it’s worth celebrating when someone embraces truth. You can live life with integrity, knowing that you are strong enough to look life straight in the face and not make excuses. It takes a strong person to leave their faith and be open about it. Definitely look into humanism, as it provides the next steps toward positive life as a atheist.

    I relate with your story and the presuppositions. You definitely have come to the right conclusions on those questions.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Howie

    Hey Ratamacue0,

    Glad to see you posting again – welcome back! I relate to much of this. I remember a lot of the experience I had as a Christian and I would describe it very much like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Matt Barsotti, aka "Brisancian"

    I liked this line: “I think there’s some “feel good” theology in the “smell of truth” idea.” I think I particularly like it because religious believe decidedly panders to the sensory and emotional sides of humanity. I’ve spent a good deal of time reflecting on the odd couplings that one finds in religion – “the horror” of things like butchery, death, crucifixion, fear, etc., tied directly to sunny side notions like love, family, belonging, and peace. These couplets come so frequently in religious faiths and it makes little sense. Just as paradox comes frequently and makes little sense. My own thinking is that it is done this way to press as many pressure points of the mind as possible… Stimulation. In any event, I thought your use of such imagery was very on target – feeling, smelling, etc. 🙂

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      1. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

        Religions, such as the Abrahamic faiths, tax the emotional part of our brain — the right amygdala (negative emotions, i.e., fear, disgust, aggression) and left amygdala (positive emotions, i.e., happiness, but sometimes anxiety). They are nested in the limbic system, the older part of the brain. Information from our senses reaches our amygdalae almost twice as fast as it takes to get our frontal lobes (critical assessment). The right amygdala (fear) is more strongly engaged than the left one in a fast, shallow or gross analysis of affect-related information, which is most likely why fear-based religions are so effective.

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  5. Pingback: WINC: My New Foundations for Beliefs | aspiretofindtruth

  6. Christ Centered Teaching

    You unfortunately should have titled this “Whole I thought I was A Christian”. I was not raised Christian. But I see a lot of difference between the real thing and the norm. In short- the life of Jesus is the standard. He never hurt anyone, He loved everyone, He gave His life for everyone. This is Christ to me. This is true Christianity to me. No religion. Just a relationship with Christ.

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    1. ratamacue0 Post author

      Hi CCT,

      To be fair, first I want to acknowledge that you posted your comment several (8) months ago, and I let it sit in moderation. I had always intended to reply, but I wasn’t doing much blogging for a while, and didn’t want to potentially get in a long discussion at the time.

      Anyway, I’m trying to pick it up again, so now seemed like a good time to approve and reply. You can reply back if you want.

      You unfortunately should have titled this “Whole [sic] I thought I was A Christian”.

      I assume you meant “why I thought…”

      Ex-believers hear things like this frequently – the assumption that since we no longer believe, we must never have been “true Christians” to begin with. It’s commonly known as “no true scotsman“, a logical fallacy.

      That said, I will just add that the notion of a benevolent deity is inconsistent with him turning away an honest seeker.

      No religion. Just a relationship with Christ.

      I think I understand the point you’re trying to make here. When I used to say this, I meant that Christianity isn’t just “empty ritual”, and so I tried to differentiate it from all the other religions. But if you look up definitions of religion, you’ll see that encompasses much more than just ritual – it doesn’t even necessarily include ritual. So even if Christians were legitimately communicating with an invisible being, Christianity would still be a religion.

      It’s also special pleading.

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      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        Archeological evidence for the Bible verified that it is accurate.
        Historical evidence overwhelmingly provides evidence that Christ lived, died AND rose from the tomb.
        Experiential evidence has proven to me Jesus is real.
        Biblically, logical consistency and prophetical evidence support it’s claim to be not only accurate, but inspired.

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        1. ratamacue0 Post author

          If it could be shown that some archeological findings are inconsistent with biblical claims; historical evidence is insufficient to determine that Jesus rose from the dead; and/or that the bible is at times illogical and/or inconsistent, some of its prophecies are not prophecies, cannot be verified, or have failed, would you still believe?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Christ Centered Teaching

          I did answer it. I can tell you already that any source you bring is going to be biased . I can tell you are as well. You want to portray yourself in one light, but you betray the fact you are biased.
          In your,”About Me”, you gloss over or leave out a lot of details that supposedly made you change direction.
          The truth is, you were never on the right path. If you had been, you still would be.
          So yes, I’ll humor you. I’ve heard it all before. The guys I’ll use as sources have beaten the guys you will source in open debate. But in the end, none of it will matter to you. You chose to leave the direction you were on for another reason that you probably will not reveal because you are trying very hard to appear impartial and objective. You are neither.

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        3. ratamacue0 Post author

          I asked you, “Is there anything that could persuade you that you’re mistaken?” As best I can tell from what you’ve said, your answer is no. Have I interpreted correctly? Does that still hold true even if your god is said in his own book to commit or induce immoral behavior; if some of the prophecies aren’t prophecies, and others fail; and the book contradicts itself? For instance.

          No one is without bias, but I sure tried to be objective in testing the Christian god hypothesis. And if I’m mistaken after an honest search, and I must fault the god for hiding and not communicating clearly – he/she/it could be known by me if it wants.

          Consider what you call a source and who you call a scholar.

          Sometimes I use scholarly consensus, but I mainly try to use reason and let the bible show its own errancy. (Please, no evidence-free assertions about “God’s reason” vs. “man’s reason”, when the god’s very existence is in question.)

          In your,”About Me”, you gloss over or leave out a lot of details that supposedly made you change direction.

          Are you suggesting dishonesty on account of that? That’s what my journey page is for, and I’m working on it – and I link to that page from my about page.

          You chose to leave the direction you were on for another reason that you probably will not reveal because you are trying very hard to appear impartial and objective. You are neither.

          Put up or shut up with the character assassination (ad hom). If you have evidence for your accusation, present it. The fact that I drew different conclusions from you in and of itself doesn’t cut it – even if you combine it with bible verses, as that would be circular reasoning, since the very thing in question is whether the bible’s supernatural claims are true.

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        4. Christ Centered Teaching

          Rata,
          You wrote that you think you were doing it wrong, meaning, your Christianity.
          Catholicism and the Baptist church are to be avoided. Legalism is bound up in Baptist doctrinal emphasis. I emphasize the word emphasis. Doctrine may be correct, but emphasis corrupted.

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        5. Christ Centered Teaching

          Christianity is Christ.
          If you don’t automatically think of it this way, and few seem to, then you are doing it wrong. In fact, if you are doing it yourself instead of finding rest in the fact that Jesus did all the heavy lifting, then it is no wonder that you never realized the reality that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

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        6. Nan

          “Experiential evidence has proven to me Jesus is real.”

          That pretty well sums it up. None of the other reasons you provided hold any water. It’s your personal “feelings” and “experiences” that cause you to believe. None of which can be verified by ANY scholar … on either side.

          If Christians were honest with themselves, they would admit this is the primary reason behind their beliefs. But they won’t. They prefer to offer unsubstantiated “proofs” that satisfy them but not the person who uses reason and logic.

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        7. Nan

          Well, CCT, since I’m not a physicist, I can’t give a qualified response. However, if you are trying to say your feelings and experiences are happening at the quantum level, I personally think you’re avoiding the true topic and trying to pull a person into a discussion that has nothing to do with “experiential evidence.”

          Reason and logic are commonplace ways of approaching topics of discussion. To try and divert the use of these mental faculties to a scientific discussion is, IMO, a cop-out.

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        8. Nan

          Sorry, I’m not a scientist. You’ll need to be more specific as to what you’re referring to and then maybe we can discuss instead of playing guessing games.

          Liked by 1 person

        9. Peter

          ‘Archeological evidence for the Bible verified that it is accurate’

          This was one of the factors that influenced my move away from faith. I had been raised on this type of comment, so you can imagine my shock when I found this was not the case.

          Back in 2012 I was studying at a Christian seminary and chose as my term assignment an examination of the archeological evidence for the Exodus. I was shocked to find that there was not one scrap of evidence, not one!. Since then I have paid particular attention to the evidence for other biblical events. What have I found…well.

          The confidence of archeologists in the historicity of the Bible that reflected the era of William Albright has all but evaporated. Perhaps the only major figure who still holds to the argument that archaeology supports the Bible is James Hoffmeier. William Dever is more representative of the trend overall, he started off with the view that the Bible was reliable historically but has progressively moved away from this position.

          Looking back it is easy to see what happened. Archaeologists started with the presupposition that the Bible was historically accurate. They interpreted the evidence in this light. But as the evidence mounted this position became less an less tenable. Eventually they realised their whole approach had to change. So they moved to a position where they looked at the evidence independent of the Bible and asked what this showed. Basically it showed:
          – there were no patriarchs;
          – Israel and Judah were always separate;
          – David was a minor unimportant king;
          – evidence for Solomon is non existent;
          – when Assyria conquered Israel the refugees from Israel moved to Judah and their traditions were merged;
          – the Israelites were traditionally polytheists;
          – most other Bible stories are written based on the realities of the 6th to 8th centuries BC and those realities are then cast back into antiquity, thus stories supposedly based in the 2nd millennium BC refer to nations that did not exist then, but rather existed around the 7th century BC.

          In essence most of the history prior to around the time of Hezekiah (700 BC) should be seen as highly suspect.

          Liked by 1 person

        10. Peter

          I should add that even Albright had to ‘fudge’ things a bit to get the archaeology to align with the Bible. When Albright examined the archaeology in Israel it became clear that the conquest of Canaan could not have happened in the 15th century BC. It was clear that Egypt had firm control over Canaan during that period. This made a Hebrew conquest impossible.

          However two centuries later in the 13th century BC Egyptian control over Canaan was no longer firm and Canaan itself showed evidence of turmoil.

          So Albright and others concluded the Exodus and conquest happened in the 13th century BC. But this did not accord with the Bible:

          “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.” 1 Kings 6:1

          This verse and the timeframe from the book of Judges placed the conquest clearly in the 15th century BC. So what to do?

          The Bible scholars were creative. They said 480 years really meant 12 generations (i.e. a generation is 40 years), they argued that 12 generations was really between 200 and 300 years. In the case of Judges is was concluded that some of the time lines were parallel rather than sequential.

          This sort of too clever by half manipulation of the evidence suggests that they were starting with the conclusion not the evidence.

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        11. Peter

          CCT I noted that you used a figurative wave of the hand to dismiss the evidence I provided. Some hard evidence in response would be more helpful to a discussion of the merits of our respective positions.

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  7. Christ Centered Teaching

    Nan,
    Can anything in nature be three things at the same time, but never only one thing?

    You claim to be reason and logic and science based.
    This question appears to be nonsensical, right?
    You aren’t being graded down for answering no,btw. I’m obviously trying to proove a point, but please give me your most logical, scientific and reason based answer.
    Yes or no?

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    1. Nan

      Ya’ know … I want to play your game. I really do. But trying to “trap” me (which is quite obvious what you’re trying to do to “prove your point”) is a waste of my time.

      I can’t help but get the feeling this is all going to re-route its way back to the trinity … and if I’m right, it’s a futile discussion. As a sidenote … do you even know where the concept of the trinity originated?

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      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        Nan,
        Sure I do.
        The trinity originated with God. Actually, it didn’t originate at all because the Trinity has always been, without beginning and without an end.
        What to get back to you feeling like you’re going to be trapped, I’m sorry you feel that way, I’m just trying to make a point using science logic reason and nature but some things don’t make sense but the real. We have in nature the existence of something that is three things at the same time but never only one.
        The point is that at the quantum level we can observe or at least at the subatomic level that things no longer makes sense according to the laws of nature. They defy logic. And by any reasonable sense these things appear to be ridiculous, but none the less, true.
        So Nan,
        That is scientific proof that the thinking that you’re using and regards to God in spiritual matters is indeed in the Box.
        In order to think and consider the possibility of God, you have to think outside the box and I just proved from a scientific standpoint, which is the resonance structure of nitrate, that’s such thinking is indeed logical and reasonable.

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        1. Nan

          “The trinity originated with God.” No. It originated with man. The word, “trinity” is not in the bible nor was the doctrine taught by the early Christians. It wasn’t until the late second century that Theophilius of Antioch wrote his Apology to Antolycus that the word was even used — and even then, it was not referring to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Spirit. To Theophilius, the “trinity” (Greek: trias) meant God, his Word, and his Wisdom. (Note: “wisdom” is not a replacement in the bible for “Holy Spirit.” The word actually means the “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding” (Lockyer).

          It wasn’t until the early third century that Tertullian, a Latin theologian, wrote a treatise in which he definitively described the trinity as the Father, Son, and Spirit. Church fathers (Hippolytus of Rome, Origen, Novatian) then began to include and expand on this theology until finally Gregory, a bishop in Asia Minor, wrote a Declaration of Faith and treated the trinity as standard theological vocabulary. In 324, the First Council of Nicaea established the doctrine as orthodoxy and made it a part of the Nicene Creed.

          There are also “threes” in other religions: Babylonians had Anu, Bel, and Ena; the Egyptians had Osiris, Horus, and Isis; the Romans had Jupiter, Pluto, and Neptune.

          Seeking out and discovering the FACTS behind the beliefs is my “science.” Not the word of a church father or a group of men who met in a council to determine whether certain parts of the scriptures were true or heresy … and added their own doctrines to suit their personal biases.

          CCT, I understand where you’re coming from because as I’ve said before … I’ve been there, done that. I DO know where your thinking originates. And I DO understand your “experiential evidence.” But I no longer believe the “facts” that you have accepted as real. Nor do I have any desire to live in the “box” where you reside.

          One last thing … and then I’m done … You talk about thinking “outside the box.” Why don’t you try thinking “outside the bible” … or at the very least, read the history of the faith you so adamantly cling to? As the subtitle of my book says … you may discover “Facts about the Christian faith that will surprise and astound you.”

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        2. ratamacue0 Post author

          Tertullian was a layer, actually. He is recognized as the first theologian. He would analyze and deduce with a critical mind, as you claim you do.
          Btw, I’m not the one getting all worked up, Nan.
          Take care.

          Dodge.

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        3. ratamacue0 Post author

          The trinity originated with God. Actually, it didn’t originate at all because the Trinity has always been, without beginning and without an end.

          Odd that you would defend the supposed reasonableness of your belief by asserting an unreasonable part of it without evidence.

          The point is that at the quantum level we can observe or at least at the subatomic level that things no longer makes sense according to the laws of nature. They defy logic.

          Not having an explanation (yet) is not the same as defying logic. Even if it were, that doesn’t give you the justification to make evidence-free assertions, or to be illogical in other areas.

          I just proved from a scientific standpoint, which is the resonance structure of nitrate, that’s such thinking is indeed logical and reasonable.

          What is this word salad?

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        4. Christ Centered Teaching

          In the field of organic chemistry, the structure of molecules in nitrate at the sub-atomic level defy logic. Molecules share electrons which circle the nucleus.
          The structure is called resonate structure. Nitrate has three distinctly different resonate structures. Some compounds even have more. But nitrate resonate structure is never just one at any given time, it is always all three at the same time. Three in one, three distinct structures all the time and never just one. Like the Trinity.
          God rules from Heaven, His Spirit is everywhere at once, and Jesus Christ is God eternal, all at the same time. They are one being in three personages all at the same time, never just one.
          The fact is that nature has an example of the Trinity that can be know by science but it does not logically make sense. It apparently doesn’t have to. It just IS, and we know it.

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        5. ratamacue0 Post author

          [CCT:] I just proved from a scientific standpoint, which is the resonance structure of nitrate, that’s such thinking is indeed logical and reasonable.

          [ratamacue:] What is this word salad?

          I thought you meant that you had just “proven” it in the text that preceded this statement of yours – apparently you meant that you had done it recently, elsewhere, and now you’ve explained yourself a little better. So, out of context, but not word salad, I guess.

          As to the argument you presented, I can’t speak to whether your chemistry claims are correct, but:

          1. Again, not having an explanation (yet) is not the same as defying logic.
          2. Even if your understanding of the chemistry is correct, and even if it did “defy logic”, you’d still only be making an analogy between something demonstrated (the chemistry) and something totally not (the alleged god), which makes for neither evidence nor proof. The argument is a non-sequitur.

          The “trinity” concept seems to me like an attempt at an end-run around monotheism to accommodate the new deity.

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        6. Peter

          When Michael Servetus pointed out that the Trinity was not Biblical the response of Calvin and the Swiss Protestants was to burn him at the stake. Surely a better response would have been to show from the Bible why it was Biblical.

          It was not until the work of the Cappadocian Fathers in the 4th century that some degree of agreement was reached on the theology of the Trinity. Why was this? Well probably because it actually does not make sense.

          When I studied theology I was more confused about the Trinity after I finished then before I started (and I was awarded a Distinction in the subject). It really does not make logical sense. Some people see this as evidence it must have come from ‘god’, but perhaps it is actually evidence that it is a nonsense concept, a big problem Christians created for themselves by trying to make Jesus equal to God but also somehow separate.

          If one reads the first Gospel, Mark, Jesus only becomes the Son of God upon his Baptism, that is he is a normal human who God adopts as his son.

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        7. Christ Centered Teaching

          Jesus was the “Son of Man” prophesied in Daniel 7. This clearly is God. Everyone agrees. Jesus called himself “Son of Man” 80 times in the Gospels and Mark included.
          Paul is hated by Islam because his Epistles clearly point to Christ’s divinity, God incarnate.
          Here’s the thing about your comment on Mark’s Gospel and Christ’s divinity that you may find interesting, Paul’s writings acctually pre-date the earliest Gospel, including Mark, by ten years. Jesus is the Son of Man prophesied in Daniel 7. No doubt.

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        8. Peter

          CCT, I am not overly persuaded by the Book of Daniel as aligning the book with actual history implies that the fourth kingdom is Greece not Rome. The traditional Christian argument is that the four kingdoms are Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece and Rome. However if actual history is used then the book almost perfectly aligns to the four kingdoms being Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece. But this creates major problems for Christians who want all the key points to occur in the time of Rome, otherwise Daniel is failed prophecy.

          The evidence is very compelling (I would argue overwhelming) that Daniel in its final form was written around 167 BC. The prophecies up to this point were fulfilled and after that date they fail completely. It was a common tactic to write books i the name of earlier figures and to include actual history written as though it was prophecy as this gave more credence to the subsequent predictions. Everything points to this tactic being used in the Book of Daniel which seems to have been written at a critical point in the Maccabean revolt of the 2nd century BC.

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  8. Christ Centered Teaching

    ratamacueO,
    Back on subject then. Before that ,I responded to your inference that you may have been doing Christianity wrong.
    Christianity is Christ.
    If you don’t automatically think of it this way, and few seem to, then you are doing it wrong. In fact, if you are doing it yourself instead of finding rest in the fact that Jesus did all the heavy lifting, then it is no wonder that you never realized the reality that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

    Therefore you either never where a a Christian, or you still are and are in denial.
    All who were still are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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    1. Peter

      This interpretation is based on your definition of what it is to be a Christian. This interpretation is that a ‘True Christian’ could never loose faith so thus either the person was never a true Christian or is backslidden and still a ‘True Christian’ who will eventually return to the faith.

      But this bifurcation does not apply if Christianity is actually a man made religion with no divine truth.

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      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        A Christian can loose faith.
        A Christian cannot save his or her self by their own means and cannot be unsaved by his or her own means.
        The thief on the cross certainly didn’t do any works yet Christ told him “today you will be with me in paradise.”

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    2. ratamacue0 Post author

      Definitions of “Christian”:

      [dictionary.com:] noun – 7.[the primary noun definition] a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity.

      [Merriam-Webster:] 1.a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

      [Wikipedia:] A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

      To all of these definitions: I did, and now I don’t. I was a Christian, and now I’m not.

      [CCT:] Therefore you either never where a a Christian, or you still are and are in denial.

      You’re trying to impose your own custom religious meaning to the word “Christian”. With that said…

      I truly believed I was saved – I was just as sure of my status as you are – and I explained some of the fruit of that belief in this post, too. The logical extension of your claim that I was mistaken about having been “saved” / a Christian / a “child of God” is that if I could have been mistaken, so can any other Christian – including you. You can never really know.

      Anyway, this post is only background. If you’re interested in knowing the actual reasons and evidence that led to my conclusion that Christianity is false – instead of making this post hoc, ad hoc ad hom – you can read the later posts in my journey series. (Mind you, it is not yet complete.)

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      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        o Me I will by no means cast out.

        38“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

        39“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
        ~Jesus ~
        (John 6:37,38,39, The Bible )
        Lose nothing means lose nothing.

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    3. Nan

      “Christianity is Christ” — only because that’s what you’ve been taught. In actuality, Christianity is Paul because HE was the one who made Jesus into “the Christ.” Before that, Yeshua was a nothing more than a potential messiah.

      And, as you yourself pointed out, Paul’s epistles were written BEFORE

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      1. Christ Centered Teaching

        Nan,
        Are you a Muslim?
        Paul’s epistles were written 10 years before the Gospel of Mark, the first Gospel.
        Islam teaches that Paul changed a man into God incarnate. That isn’t true at all. All the Gospels point to Christ’s divinity, but Paul pre-dates the Gospels. Islam hates Paul because of the false claim you bring up, which is easily refuted.

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      2. Christ Centered Teaching

        The Gospel writers and the disciples were alive when these things were written. None of them got anything this world has to offer by claiming Christ is God Incarnate. Paul gave up being a leader among the Jewish religious leaders.” A Hebrew of the Hebrews and a Pharisee of the Pharisees.” He wrote 2/3 rds of the New Testament from prison while his back was healing from repeated lashes.
        Don’t insult me.

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    4. Nan

      Whoops! Hit the wrong button accidentally.As I was saying …

      Paul’s epistles were written BEFORE the gospels, so there is little doubt the gospel writers were influenced by his teachings.

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        1. Nan

          Sorry, CCT, but you are wrong on so many levels.

          BTW, I didn’t say anything about “Christ” being God incarnate. That’s an entirely different topic. What I DID say is PAUL is the one who started calling Yeshua by the GREEK title of cristos (Christ), thus removing the HEBREW title of mashiach (messiah). He is the one who formulated the theology that Christians abide by today. I know you will disagree, but if you would put aside the biased viewpoint of the scriptures taught by the church, you might learn a WHOLE lot — not only about Paul, but the entire faith that you claim to live by.

          One other thing — Paul was NEVER a “leader” among the Jewish religious leaders. On the contrary, they despised him … and he them. Don’t you remember the reason WHY he was on the road to Damascus?

          BTW, none of what I’m putting forth has anything to do with the Islamic religion.

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        2. Christ Centered Teaching

          Nan,
          With all due respect, because you strike me as quite a nice person acctually, the religious leaders I’m referring to were the Pharisees and the Saducees of the Jewish Sanhedrin. Paul was known as Saul at the time and was persecuted Christians and having them locked up in jail and he was on his way to Damascus to do that.

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  9. ratamacue0 Post author

    Oh, so you agree that you’re trying to impose a custom religious meaning to the word “Christian”. That’s not conducive to conversation. MOVE ON.

    Unsubstantiated claims from the bible do nothing to demonstrate its truth.

    Moreover, even if your assertion that I was never a Christian were true, it still would have no bearing on the truth, falsity, logical coherence, or demonstrability of either of our arguments or evidence.

    MOVE ON.

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  10. James Pailly

    I like how you put a trademark logo next to “the Christian life.” I feel like that really sums up my problems with religion right now. I would still consider myself a Christian, or at least I’d say that I still believe in something that I choose to call God, but I’ve felt increasingly at odds with the the highly politicized brandname Christians around me.

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    1. ratamacue0 Post author

      Hi James,

      Welcome, and thanks for chiming in.

      I like how you put a trademark logo next to “the Christian life.”

      Hehe. 🙂

      I would still consider myself a Christian, or at least I’d say that I still believe in something that I choose to call God

      If I may: why are you a Christian? Does your idea of “God” differ from what Christians mean by it? (Of course even compared among each other, Christians have widely varying ideas of God.)

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      1. James Pailly

        I’ve stuck with it mainly because prayer gives me peace of mind. In some ways, I think my understanding of prayer is more like Buddhist meditation, but I don’t think I know enough about Buddhism to be sure.

        The more scientific-minded half of me would say prayer has certain psychological benefits.

        As for my conception of God, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. If I ever figure it out, I’ll get back to you.

        Meanwhile, I look forward to following along with your journey. Maybe it’ll help me make sense of my own beliefs.

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