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(RNS) When Teresa MacBain declared her loss of faith last Easter, she expected to lose her pulpit and many friends. She did. But in the year since, she's gained a new community and a new sense of confidence.

70 Comments

  1. I can only imagine how difficult it is for preachers like Teresa MacBain and Jerry DeWitt to publicly acknowledge their Atheism knowing that their social, career and family lives will be forever changed. It’s difficult enough for anyone to cope when they are going through something like a family change, or a job change, but to come out knowing that your admission will affect every part of your life and, at the same time, isolate you from the very people you’ve relied on for support during life changing events requires unimaginable courage.

    Teresa and Jerry, and all the others that I don’t yet know but who are going through the same things, I salute you! Your courage serves as an example to all of us and I am humbled to be in your presence. I wish you all the best… Human Speed my friends. :)

  2. No surprises there. Today the devil is busier than ever, blinding the eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the Glorious Gospel should shine into there hearts. For Gos so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him, should NOT perish, BUT HAVE everlasting life. John chapter3verse 16

    • or, in the view of people who don’t agree with you, no surprises that rational thought is busier than ever now that people have the resources to work out these things for themselves. get a grip indeed: i wouldn’t expect dawkins to change your mind, but you need to understand that frothing at the mouth and ASSERTING that what you believe is true doesn’t amount to an argument, and is only of interest to small children

      • Folks… it’s funny that you and others criticize people for “refusing to believe” the so-called “fairy tale.” You are clearly very hippocritical. Some people would call it a fairy tale if you told them that an explosion created a universe and a unique world with amazingly complex living organisms that we still struggle to understand today.
        If you think life put itself together…. If you think the chicken or the egg simply made themselves…. Then maybe you should actually do some research and form a logical opinion for yourself. Matter does not create itself, and the universe has a tendency to move towards disorder (aka Murphy’s Law), so you tell me how living things and all the rest of the world’s architecture just worked themselves out.
        Ever think how an eyeball, or brain evolved? How DNA formed itself? If DNA is constructed, repaired, translated and more by proteins… but you must already have DNA to make these proteins… how could one form without the other. Simple… it’s impossible to have functional DNA without all types of complex proteins and there cannot be creation of these complex proteins without a DNA code already in place. Therefore it is self-explanatory if you have any logical reasoning capability… for living organisms to come into existence, just as with anything else, there must be some type of creator / architect driving the creation. Read a little bit about genetics, chaperone proteins, repair proteins, signal molecules and everything else involved, then tell me that you believe it all randomly assembled and evolved into human beings through mutations. If you know anything about chemistry or biology and you believe that it is all random occurrences and mutations that have created themselves… WOW ! WHAT ARE THE ODDS…lol .
        With all the genetic research, testing and selective breeding taking place today, why don’t we see mutations that would lead to new species? There are not mutations that change crocodiles to iguanas…or apes to human beings. But if it helps you to sleep at night, rather than actually looking into the issue and forming reasonable beliefs… go right ahead and know that I won’t judge you for it. Just know that some people have reasons for their beliefs and many times they are much more reasonable than your doubts and criticism.

        • Murphy’s law is not a scientific law, it is an anecdotal colloquialism. I believe you may be trying to refer to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which doesn’t help your case either. As for Fairy Tales of the Big Bang, it is the best explanation from the data available. And if a more sound theory becomes available, Science will change its definitions to accommodate that. Science does not claim to have all the answers, unlike religion. Science is the slow methodical process of observation, experimentation, validation and communication.

          You make many absurd, false, or outright ignorant statements. You cannot grasp that the mutations in evolution are small, slow mutation. There is no instant mutation from ape to human, or crocodile to iguana. That statement shows your inability to debate evolution, you cannot understand it in its most basic form. As for eyes, you can see the slow evolution of the eye over time, it is a complex system that took millions of years to evolve.

          You arguments against DNA and RNA are also a non starter, you do not need a creator. You can actually go through the DNA chain and see where the branches in evolution occur, you can find remnants of those beings we have evolved from, and the dormant, discarded genes from our ancestors.

          Your watchmaker argument is also a very telling point about your inability to use reason. You say everything must have a creator, you push your conclusion without any evidence or proof. And thank you for showing your complete and utter destruction of how probability works. The probability of life occurring here, exactly as it does is tiny. Because probability is not how we determine what is. It is just as probable that life would not have evolved, or that all life forms would be completely different, that does not change the fact that this is the end result. All solutions from billions of years ago to now are infinitesimally probable, because there are SO MANY POSSIBLE OUTCOMES.

          Please leave the thinking to the thinkers, and stop butchering logical thought with your backwards, work from my conclusion, grasp at random things that seem to support it, ignore all the evidence to the contrary idiocy. Stop assigning your God to anything science has not answered yet, that is called the God of the gaps, you worship ignorance (literally) and it shrinks everyday.

          • Ned
            While there was no instant mutation from ape to human there is very compelling evidence for mutations from human to ignoramus. LOL
            We have to be grateful to nutters. They beat most comedians hands down for the most outrageously funny things they say. You can either cry or laugh your head off. Watch some Eddie Izzard or DarkMatter2525

        • Seth, At least you have shown that you have done some reading which is more than many believers will do, but try reading the evidence from nature without your preconceived idea that magic had to be involved. The real “magic” is that what appears to be designed (no matter how complex) is perfectly well explained by evolution. That is awesome. Your statement “what are the odds” is so often said by people who completely misunderstand the mechanism of natural selection. Of course evolution would sound like nonsense if it was solely a random process. It is far from just a random process. I thoroughly recommend Richard Dawkin’s books, in particular ‘Climbing Mt Improbable” for an understanding of the process. Also in his “Blind Watchmaker” he gives a helpful analogy – monkeys writing Shakespeare by random typing of keys – As you would rightly guess it would take forever (it is not going to happen) but with selection pressure applied “as if by magic” a sentence was “created” within a small number of generations. Keep reading and more importantly keep thinking.

    • Your bible is the devil, look at this advice, sexism, slavery, rape, call it what you want –

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      • Richard, people who pick verses to criticize without lookin into the situation or the history behind the verse are all to common. This verse is from the Old Testiment and is in a book written by Moses, about the struggles that he and the Jews went through when they left Egypt and their enslavement there. At the time an entire race of people were kept as slaves in Egypt, so obviously you couldn’t hope to understand the social structures that were in place back then. Anyway, this verse does not condone slavery, it simply tries to give guidelines to follow in a very specific situation that we could never hope to understand because of the vast differences in culture and societies today. Yes the outlook on women is very primitive and disrespectful from our point of view today, but the verse is meant to protect a woman who lives as a slave, (as so many people did in that time). The verse tells a woman that she is free to leave if her man fails her in any of three ways. So you tell me where the evil is? Do you completely denounce other cultures and beliefs as sexist and evil when they still today uphold laws that disallow women from being educated or going out in public alone? Your understanding of the world, history and other cultures is obviously lacking, so maybe do some research and some deep thinking before calling a book evil on the basis of some old out-of-context verse you probably googled and misunderstood anyway.

        • Kind of like Christians who pick and chose verses to go against homosexual marriage? I mean its written right there in Leviticus, quoted as a reason. But right next to it are other abominations that are no longer followed. So nice argument, except for all the absurdity.

          And I do denounce Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and followers of other religions that enslave the mind to not ask questions, not seek evidence, and treat others as evil because of their particular brand of fairy tale.

  3. And why wouldn’t she lose her job and have to give up her keys? This story makes it sound as if those church people were just sooo mean. Well ya kinda have to, you know, actually BELIEVE to be a Christian pastor.

    • Michael-” This story makes it sound as if those church people were just sooo mean.” The story didn’t tell that nearly 100% of her congregation and friends completely shunned her, and even say hateful things about her because she changed opinions on one issue. Contrary to the what is advertised to the world, Christian love is so conditional. If you are “In” you are good. If you a potential convert, you are good. If you ever decide to leave the faith, expect to recieve wrath only exceeded by Islam.

    • you make it sound as if pastors only have themselves to blame when they find themselves trapped with no employment skills other than a job they no longer believe in. the fact is that they get themselves into these positions “in good faith” based on the adamant (if not screeching) assurances by their churches that the evidence of all these things is absolutely proved and sorted out “trust us”. but the story we get over and over is that these people have done far more study into the matter than the typical carping internet commenter, and discovered too late that those assurances were completely empty. realizing in advance that you will hotly deny this viewpoint, having read all the chic tracts and being utterly expert in all the proofs of bible inerrancy, but you need to reed some of ehrman’s books and honestly ask yourself then whether he is not more studied in these matters than you

    • believe in the fleecing of sheeple, maybe. Im sorry but Pat Robertson (the leader of one of the largest Xtian groups in the US) is a thief, a liar, a supporter of slave labor in his own diamond mines. . . yet he is regarded as a great teacher in the Christian faith. So let’s be honest. You have to act like you believe, you don’t actually have to believe or follow the tenants. You just have to be very loud in your lies.

    • She wouldn’t have been fooled into becoming a pastor if she had not been taught the lies in the first place. THAT is the evil of ALL religion. It inhibits education about reality by brainwashing gullible people. Believers prey on people who have genuine needs by teaching them that religion will fix those needs. Sadly many of those people then become so dependent on the crutch that they cannot let go even if they know that it is based on lies and superstition.
      If only they could realise that REALITY is even more invigorating than magic.

  4. I very much doubt that T. Mac Bain still follows the Ten Commandments.

    Lets not forget that the first 4 commandments (depending on the denommination it can be also the first 3) cater to the ego of Jahweh (whom she doesn’t believe to exists). the 4th is honoring the parents so she can live in the land… since she doesn’t live in the land (Israel) that is kinda moot anyway.

    Not killing, stealing, or lying is covered by the golden rule.
    And since she obviously is still married to her husband she is loyal to him. I suspect she doesn’t care for other peoples cattle or donkeys. So that would make one out of ten. Nope I don’t think she needs the 10 commandments, to live a life as a person that respects and is kind to others.

  5. Mike in Wisconsin

    Very interesting story! It’s also interesting that MaBain’s critics seem so threatened by her views. Perhaps this exposes how little they actually believe what they say they believe. Religious terms are vague; everyone seems to mean different things by them and the story doesn’t say exactly what MacBain means by God, atheism, etc. MacBain may have lost her beliefs, but she would have to have incredible faith in life to give up her career and support systems no matter how illusory they might ultimately be. The Clergy Project, the Nones, the Spiritual but Not Religious, the Emergent Church, etc., all seem to be part of a new axial age and the wide spread re-thinking of “the big questions” going on in our society today. It’s an exciting time.

    • Yes we are definitely rethinking things today… Murders, rapes, thefts, abortions (some would call murder), the prevalence of single-mothers, divorce, and all types of other violent and hateful issues are running rampant in society. We have seen an age where the new generation is the first in history to have statistically lower IQs than their predecessors, STDs are at an all-time high and the biggest social issue we are concerned with is whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Yes it is an exciting time alright! The world and our society have never been at such a moral low and IT IS NO COINCIDENCE that these groups such as the “Emergent Church,” and the “Clergy Project” are thriving in the age of evil. Think about it folks… it is very easy to see, and things are only getting worse. Why not just explore the options rather than turning a blind eye to the problems of the world, and denouncing the church without having any experience with real people of God. The message of the church is simple, it is the message of Jesus. All people have flaws and live imperfect lives, therefore to be even acceptable in the presence of God you must be forgiven and have your sins paid for. No person is good enough to do it through works, so Jesus sacrificed himself. Jesus went to the lowliest people, often beggars, slaves and prostitutes when he did much of his teaching. The message is clear, Jesus loves you and died for you, no matter if you are a homosexual, a thief, a glutton, or a murderer. You have the ability to atone for your mistakes in life (sins), be forgiven, and come into the kingdom of God if you only know Jesus as your savior. It is funny how people of the church are portrayed as judgemental, ignorant and evil, when they are the ones providing food and shelter to those in need. My church does not judge people, we simply help out every human being that we possibly can, giving out of our own time and money, just for the opportunity to tell someone how Jesus Christ has drastically changed our lives for the better. I have never talked to anyone with intentions of convincing them to believe what I believe. I simply tell my story along with what I believe and why I believe it. I have a lifetime worth of reasons for believing in God, as well as years of scientific study that has only increased my belief in the existence of our God. It is my hope for you to simply understand what I am saying and look into it for yourself. If you are offended by that… I would have to say that it is a personal problem. I have never met such a group of understanding, loving, and giving people as I have met at Northwoods Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fl.

      • Every statement you make is steeped in judgement. You are horrible at this. Truly giving is when you give freely, tacking your religion onto any help you provide is a cost to those you are “helping”.

        Funny that lower IQs an the spread of STDs are directly related to the introduction of creationism, the removal of actual sex education (or the pushing of abstinence only education) and the complete and total defunding of education by the far right movement in this country. . . i.e. the evangelicals.

      • years of scientific study… really?
        I understand that in your country there is creation museum and “real scientists” (they might fool themselves) who believe it is the truth. I feel very sorry for the poor children brought up by such ignorant people because they are so arrogant about their ridiculous beliefs that they punish their children with their lies. Science doesn’t work unless you take your blinkers off and be prepared to learn the unexpected rather than the expected.
        You might find Peter Boghossian (philosopher) thought provoking.

      • >> an age where the new generation is the first in history to have statistically lower IQs than their predecessors
        I assume you are talking about USA. Intelligence is higher in some other countries where the majority of people stop believing in fairy tales after childhood.

    • Kaitlyn Richardson

      I can’t imagine a more spoiled, privileged remark than the one you just made. I hope you have the chance to actually experience “bashing” one day. Maybe then you’ll understand that it’s not the same thing as people being different from you.

  6. This former Methodist has not lost her belief in God, just because she lost her belief in “divinity of Jesus”. Atheists do not believe in God ruling the world, but many of them follow the Noahide laws that have to do with the ethics that are in Tora. Jews also do not believe that the Jewish revolutionary Jesus was more divine than any other great Jewish man (such as Moses), but that does not make all Jews into atheists, although some Jews are, just as Communists were supposed to be, but had now turned Christians since Communism died.

    Muslims do not believe in a divinity of Jesus either, but are not atheists, since they believe in a murderous God Allah, who uses Muslims to kill those who are not followers of Mohamed, their prophet who was a pedophile, polygamist, rapist, looter and murderer, who do not follow Decalogue….

    A-theism by definition is “absence of belief in God as a prime mover” of the universe and and nothing to do with what we believe about Jesus, who was a good Jewish guy, preaching to Jews and never claimed divinity in his sermon. on the Mount. This former Methodist is NOT an atheist, but a good person who follows the preachings of Jesus, who still believes in Divine…

    • ‘This Easter, Teresa MacBain will mark an anniversary that’s uncommon for an ordained minister — her first year as an atheist.’

      - the first sentence of the article. Pretty sure she’s an atheist.

    • WRONG
      A-t-h-e-i-s-t
      Look again. In the title of the article.
      Stop telling lies. You are only making yourself appear to be silly.
      And stop attempting to distort the truth. Atheism = absence of belief in any god. They don’t exist period. Your addition “as a prime mover” doesn’t help your case.

  7. The ten commandments are a joke. check out
    http://mindprod.com/kjv/Exodus/34.html
    According to that chapter most important rules are:
    1. not making images or statues
    2. picking one particular god over others
    3. don’t put yeast in your bread
    4. you must perform animal sacrifices
    5. don’t cook goat meat in milk
    6. You must hold gatherings
    No Christian pays any attention to this nonsense. Instead their prime rules are.
    1. make life as miserable for gays as possible.
    2. be as nasty and cruel as you can to unwed mothers.
    3. treat women as second class citizens
    4. have as many babies as possible and force others to, even by rape if necessary.
    5. bully children into accepting Christian superstition.

    • Go back to Bible and read Decalogue…10 commandments are not about animal sacrifized but about ethical behaviors: Do not worship other gods (such as money or other such Gods), Honor your parents, do not steal, do not commit adultery, observe a day of rest from work (and shopping), do not kill, do not covet what somebody else has.

      Naturally in our market society, we violate the First Commandment and worship money as a god, and we violate 10th commandment by coveting what other have and buy stuff because we covet. Making people covet what others have is a main principle of marketing in a free market economy…People buy what they do not need and they worship Mammon, the god of money.,

      Being a staunch atheist is a religion in itself, because it does not allow for any uncertainty that there may be a divine principle. I know somebody who hates all religions people and thinks that he is the only one who KNOWS what is true ;-)!

      • WRONG
        Atheism is NOT a religion. We do not BELIEVE in anything. We simply know what is reasonable and what is unreasonable and the spectrum in between. If we don’t know something then we admit that and we sek answers from the reality that surrounds us. We don’t make up shit to fill in the gaps.

    • lol I have to laugh at your ignorance and hippocracy. You target Christians and make false ignorant statements in order to take out some anger that you have created in yourself. Many people who call themselves Christians can be very judgemental and strongly-opinionated for sure. However the belief that it is better to have 2 parents than 1, and the FACT that marriage is an institution that was established as the union of a man and a woman, do not convince me that Christians have an evil agenda…

      Christians are inherently followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus preached love, forgiveness, and the divinity of our God to all those following him. He told many parables that warn against judgemental attitudes. Has anyone ever heard the story of Jesus and the woman who was to be stoned for adultery? Jesus after being asked to throw a stone says “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Jesus again tells us that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. No one is perfect and that is why it is not the place of man to judge, only God is a righteous judge. So YES, people should not be judging others, and often Christians are wrongly judgemental. However you are also wrong to dismiss the message of Christianity because of a few people who are not even following the principles that they claim to live by.

      I believe that homosexuality is a perversion of human sexual nature, whether it is due to an uncontrollable fetish, or due to hormonal imbalance or whatever. I do not judge homosexuals, because it is not my place. It is easy to pick out what you would consider a fault in a person, and condemn them for it, but again it is hippocritical, wrong and unrighteous. I have nothing against homosexuals and even have some gay friends, but that does not mean that I will change my opinion on the issue. I simply think that it is unnatural, as no fruit can come from the relationship (children), I don’t see it in other creatures, and in no way will I ever see a man putting his private into another man’s butt as natural.

      Christians are not called to be judges of their fellow people, but they are not meant to turn a blind eye to unnatural or sinful practices either. Live life and focus on your own faults! Jesus loves and FORGIVES!

      Your last three points (3,4,5) are so outrageous, unfounded and ignorant that I dont believe they deserve a response. But this is not surprising from someone who twists the ten commandments into something else…namely a poorly paraphrased revision that turns into a list of 6 rather than 10.

      • >> I simply think that it is unnatural
        What you think is wrong. You obviously didn’t grow up on a farm or have any knowledge of the natural world. It is without any doubt natural. We don’t have to like it but it is wrong to tell lies about it.
        The same goes for everything about religion. It is ALL based on either lies or on ignorance. Try to prove me wrong on that statement! Hint: Do some research before you attempt to answer that one!

      • Seth,
        Another tricky question for you to think about. Answer truthfully (of course you will else you’d be stoned): If you had been born in a different country say India or the middle east what religion would you be preaching?
        In case that is too hard for you I’ll give you the answer: A very different one. Next question: Does that tell you something?
        Reason should tell you that the most likely answer is that they are ALL wrong.
        Ask any REASONABLE person and they will give the same answer.

  8. “I’ve decided that everything we believe in is complete and utter nonsense, so I’m going to invest my trust in my own righteous self rather than in the mystical crutch that all of you still pathetically rely upon. Wait, why are you firing me and having nothing to do with me? Don’t you still want me as your leader? How can you be so intolerant of my spitting upon your faith?”

  9. I don’t understand why atheists, as seen from these posts, are so anti-Christian. Their materialistic view cannot inform any morals. Why would it be important for that clump of cells and chemical reactions that ahteists consider their mind to believe in a material truth or a myth? Why would it matter if they are even “oppressed” (whatever “they” mean)? After all, they will all face utter anihilation and oblivion at death, and nothing that they do, or their mere existence, will have any meaning or purpose. Let us Christians, who believe in immortality, souls, and realities outside the scientific method live as we wish. After all, atheists, “you” don’t exist, you are a just an accidental chemical reaction of the same value as water mixing with sodium.

    • I can’t speak for all atheists, but I am personally anti-christian, because the things they believe in are old-fashioned, impossible (resurrection, miracles) and ridiculous. Morals are ingrained within us – we know right from wrong and we don’t need a 2000 year old book to tell us what’s right. We know that we will face “utter annihilation and oblivion” (whatever that means lol) at death, and we’re ok with that, because that’s what death is. To quote Scroobius Pip, “Death’s what makes life worth living, so stop crying”. Pretending that you’ll live forever is a childish fairy-tale, that no-one in this day and age need believe.

      Oh and the child raping priests and the cover up by the vastly rich catholic church doesn’t help either.

    • Don’t confuse anti-religion (it doesn’t matter which one) with anti-believers.
      We have very good REASON to be anti-religion (anti-nonsense) but that does NOT mean we have any criticism of the people who believe. I know people who are believers and they are all nice people. It is only the nonsense that they believe that I object to because of the damage it does.
      Your statements are so typical of every believer in that they demonstrate either your ignorance (I remain hopeful) or your lies. Try to open your mind by asking yourself questions like “How do I know …?” If the only answer is “someone told me” or “I just believe it” then try harder.
      Most religious people have a very poor understanding of science in particular natural science. There’s nothing wrong with that (though I find it so hard to understand why they are not more curious about where they came from since they so obviously have a huge need for an answer) but there is something wrong when they pretend to know what they are talking about and teach other gullible people the same lies. I justify the word “lies” because if they bothered to ask themselves the question “how do I know” they would have to admit that they don’t actually know. Lies by way of blindness if you prefer.

  10. I would just like to communicate with people who have chosen to leave behind the ideology of religion….Christianity…just a homemaker that was a true believer for 48 years…and over the past 14 years has come to the realization…it was all for naught……I still am not sure what i believe..which this is the hard part..when you have believed for 48 years in something then it is gone….you are just curious as to who else thinks similar to you.I am still sorting things out….

  11. interested-reader

    Wow, the comments about this article have been intersting if nothing else.
    I am a Christian, about to complete my first year in seminary. I believe in the divinity of Jesus and believe that God is the creator. That said, I have come to recognize that regardless of my belief, I need to respect the beliefs (and non-beliefs) of others. I don’t have to agree, but I should respect that we all have our own opinions. In the end, we are either going to be judged by God when we die OR we will just die and that’s the end.

    I don’t know, but I believe in the former.

    I understand how Christians could and have lost their faith, especially when we read about folks who profess to be Christians doing the very same sinful things as those who are unsaved. Everyone’s faith (it seems to me) has a foundation of love and repsect for one another and perhaps if everyone followed those two priciples, our world as a whole would be a much better place.

    I don’t know, but as I stated earlier, the conversations have been interesting!
    Blessings.

    • Hi,
      Most people will agree with you about love and respect but there is no need to tie it to the superstition of religion. It is abundantly obvious that all of mankind has a tendency towards superstition and it is also very clear why – it fills the blanks in knowledge. As real knowledge grows, the need for “false knowledge= superstition” reduces. We no longer need any gods to explain anything. The only reason gods still exist is because people are insecure – they WANT something bigger to give a purpose to life/the universe because they feel insecure/empty(?). But surely if you must believe in anything it is best to believe in reality instead of superstition?
      You might find Peter Boghossian (philosopher) thought provoking.
      In lieu of blessings … Thoughts

  12. Ralph, morals have little or nothing to do with religious belief. People internalize behavioral standards from their family, friends, and community as they grow up. Plenty of religious people commit horrible acts of cruelty in spite of their religious belief. Furthermore, whay must one live forever to have meaning? Why isn’t 80 or so years of finding meaning and making connections enough for you?

    Debbie – lots of us are right there with you.

    And, finally, “interested reader”: Thanks for being civil. I do have one comment on your statement, “I understand how Christians could and have lost their faith, especially when we read about folks who profess to be Christians doing the very same sinful things as those who are unsaved.” – While that is undoubtedly the motivation for some people, most here would agree that the personal failings of Christians do not necessarily invalidate the creed they follow. We have plenty of other reasons we think the claims of Christianity are invalid, unprovable, and flawed. And most atheists i know are more than willing to have a polite conversation about it.

  13. How in the world can she still adhere to the TEN Commandments??? The first 4 commandments are nothing but religious nonsense, the last 6 commandments are part of any civilized country’s law. For ‘christsake’, if you’re going to come out as an atheist then don’t be apologetic over it by giving any credibility to a book as immoral as the Bible.

  14. I am a believer in Christ Jesus. I also was raised in a Christian home. My dad was and still preaches in Jesus name and my mom still is a faithful children’s pastor at a local Christian school. I have known this my whole life. About 9 years ago I was working at a new job and was challenged by a co-worker about my faith. He was a nice guy and was a “free thinker.” We had good conversations about God. Even though neither side made a conversion, I have to admit and be honest that I did go through an intense faith struggle of “is God really real, I know what I know, but I cannot see Him, is what He says really true?” I was then on a journey and a test of what I believed and why. Not because I was taught it my whole life but I just wanted to know on my own. Because all of my family are Christians, for the sake of seeking answers on my own, I did not share this struggle with anyone. So my struggle was, questioning God’s existence and the reality of it. I wasn’t sure why in mid life I started to question this.
    To start, I remembered the time I actually understood my faith at 19yrs old. I knew right and wrong but had some struggling years of who I was in high school and tried to fit into the world. It was fun for a time but I always felt empty and craved more. No matter how hard I tried, I had that empty feeling and at the same time was destroying a good reputation. My best friend at the time even noticed and point blank spoke truth to me about what I was doing to myself. I wasn’t expecting to hear the truth but that truth sunk deep. I had to realize that truth about myself and deal with it. Needless to say, that was the heart change and life change that took place in me. Me, a mess of a person who talked the walk but was not living it. It was easy to see wrong in others but myself. And ya know, through it all God loved me anyway and still does.
    As I began to really search for truth about my questions, God began to lead me to read various scriptures…Hebrew 10; 1 Corinthians 2; Psalm 145. I also found a book on our book shelf “How the Bible came to us” by Meryl Money, a simple book but informational. Reading was not just the only way of seeking truth, but crying to Him in prayer many times. It was after those times that scripture of truth was given for me to read. For God to do just that proved to me of His existance.
    Even though I had proof I still off and on continued to have the “belief” battle until March 2009. I had no idea that the study I was doing at church (Beth Moore, Breaking Free) had anything to do with the ability to believe Him. Being tired of the constant battle, I was more than ready & eager to settle the matter. One lesson in the book dealt with the issue of unbelief. Christians can have unbelief. Several scriptures reference to it. After thinking of one in particular in the Book of John 20:24-31, when Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection until seeing him, it made me think. Jesus appeared to the disciples & showed Thomas his hands & gave him permission to touch them. He than told Thomas to stop doubting & believe. Those words rang in my ears. Jesus gave him a choice. Believing is a choice. Pondering on this and based on the fact that believing is a choice, I made up my mind to choose to believe. Regardless of my feelings or trying to figure it out. I choose to believe. To believe in Truth Himself. God is truth John 14:6. To deny this truth would be denying all the good things God in his grace and mercy has done for me in my life that were not mere coinsidence…and there are many! But I had to go on this journey to remember that and also to see it for myself. I want to have this hope of life. I cannot live without it. It is available to all. I was a hypocrite in my own faith and God still gave me the opportunity to see Him for who He really is and I am so grateful. My message is to encourage anyone who is seeking Truth. If you are battling as I was, seek Truth for yourself. Ask God, pray to him, He will help you if you are seeking to know truth.
    “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:22-23

  15. Seth, you keep misspelling “hypocrisy.” I get a tickle every time you do it. I was once where you are. All your arguments come from creationist teachers. The whole thing about the complexity of the eye…totally taught to Christians to refute evolution. We were taught little snippets to use. But we never really understood evolution and anthropology. I used to use them too.

    Start reading about science and history and get your focus off wanting to be right. Be open to being wrong. Once I let my pride go, I was able to see the line I was being fed in the church. Most of them are well meaning people, but all of them are wrong and teaching harmful lies to each other. I live in the real world now and I’ve never felt more free. I don’t have to be right all the time. The more we learn, the more we can understand about the world and universe.

    • The only problem with your narrative is that your wrongness may land you in Hell. Of course, if you are fine with that, then we have nothing else to say. I suggest you follow your own advice and stop focusing on being right, just because you read books on science and history does not mean they are the path to truth. Evolution is a tool used by Atheists to prove their unprovable doctrine.

  16. I can understand deriving one’s strength from “who I am the the skills I have” rather than from God. But what does one do in that case, when they become weak, and don’t have the skills they need? Isn’t there is more to free-thinking than individual self-reliance?

  17. One thing that never ceases to amaze me, so called “good Christians” were making death threats and threatening rape to this former pastor. This totally shouldn’t surprise me. Jesus had said to turn the other cheek, but the Satanic Bible said to take revenge. If people who erroneously believe themselves to be Christian live by the “rules” and conduct of the Church Of Satan, why not call themselves what they really are? They follow the right hand path when convenient-when it makes them rich, allows them to lust in denial calling it “love”, get drunk in denial believing they are only buzzed, and most insultingly think they are better than non-believers (pride). Why not just openly embrace the left hand path as that is how they actually live? Not all Christians mind you. Bill Maher said it best, Martin Luther King gets to call himself a Christian because he PRACTICED it. It is very eye opening when the so called godless heathens who are in the churches eyes not even human, merely animals, act more Christian and civil than the hypocrites within the church walls who would murder their own messiah if he actually existed and was teaching because he would want them to act more like the kind Atheists who showed more compassion for this woman that those hateful “Christians” knew how to. Then they wonder why people my age (34) and younger are denouncing their phony faith…I’m not a Satanist by the way, simply a pantheistic Secular Humanist.

  18. The internet is full of Satan’s trolls, who’s favorite slogan is that “the Bible is a fairy tale”. Don’t you people have enough souls for Hell? It is quite revealing how Satan’s trolls bash Christianity and God, but don’t have the answer to life themselves… translation: Satanic Possession.

    • Some people, such as many Buddhists and Hindus never read Bible (either Hebrew Bible which teaches Decalogue, or Christian Bible, which teaches compassion) are very moral. They believe in reincarnation and bad karma, if they live immoral lives this time around. IN the case of such immoral behavior, they believe that they would come back to Earth ins some other form, god, cat, snake or mosquito. One can also be an atheist and believe in decent human behavior…

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