Update: Comments on this thread are now closed because there are too many. I have reposted the article here. Comments in the new thread are welcome.
Since I began this website back in 2001, and during most of the decade that followed, I identified myself as a “Bible-believing Christian” in no uncertain terms. For example, here is how I described myself in my old FAQ (which remains on the old version of my site for historical purposes):
Are you a Christian? Protestant? Catholic?
Praise God, I am a man saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesian 2:8). I am a non-denominational blood-bought Bible-believing Trinitarian Christian. I believe that the true “faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) is well stated in the early creeds of the church that Christ founded.
Likewise, here is my testimony about the purpose of my website on the old homepage:
To this end I labour, to glorify the Triune God; to glorify the Father Almighty, Creator of all, to glorify His Son Jesus Christ my Saviour and Hope, and to glorify the Giver of all divine gifts, my Comforter, Guide, Teacher and Friend, God the Holy Spirit. To You be the glory, thrice holy blessed God of Eternity! To You be the glory, now and forevermore. Amen. Amen. Amen.
And here are the thanks I gave to Christ on my old About page:
I remain eternally grateful to my Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, for shedding His Light upon me and guiding my path – usually without my knowledge – and giving me both the burning desire and the ability to proclaim the neverending wonders of His Holy Word. Oh! The wonders of His Grace! Had He left me to myself, doubtless I’d be dead or wandering aimless and lost through this dark world. Thank you, my Lord!
So, that’s where I was at for most of the last couple decades. How then is it possible that I now reject the faith I once believed with such passion? What changed? The answer is really pretty simple. I was “blinded” by the light I saw in the Bible. Anyone who has entered in to the Bible with believing eyes knows how it can capture the soul. It feels alive. It touches chords that resonate down into the deepest parts of ourselves. It seems to be filled with light everywhere you look: the Gospel message shines with its numinous symbolic elements like the Alpha Omega, the Cross, the Dove, the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and on and on it goes. Who wouldn’t want to believe such a story? Indeed, the believer wonders how anyone could resist such an amazing Gospel message. And beyond all that, I had the overwhelming witness of the Bible Wheel which seemed to confirm everything about the Bible as the very Word of God. All these things blinded me to the “dark side” of the Bible. I simply “overlooked” all the problematic passages, errors, contradictions, and moral abominations that didn’t fit with the amazingly glorious, and blinding, vision of the Bible as “God’s Word.”
So here are three of the primary issues that conspired to finally convince me that the traditional Christian faith is not true:
1) The Doctrine of Hell
I cannot conceive of a good God who would design an eternal evil in which souls suffer eternal conscious torment. This is a central doctrine accepted by the vast majority of Christians. It always bothered me throughout my time as a Christian, but I put it on the “back burner” and didn’t think about it much.
2) The Bible contains many errors, contradictions, logical absurdities, and moral abominations attributed to God.
This point covers a very large class of problems. Many recent threads on my forum deal with them. The most significant to me are the moral abominations attributed to God, such as his command to kill all the men, women, and children of people in Canaan.
3) God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers.
This fact seems incontrovertible and it directly contradicts the central promises of the Bible. It was the “final straw” for me. It has nothing to with any personal prayers that were not answered. The problem is that the promises in the Bible simply are not true.
There were many other issues, such as the general corruption of institutional Christianity (as witnessed by the ongoing cover-up of Ergun Caner’s decade of lies) and the general gullibility and anti-intellectualism of Christians (as witnessed by Harold Camping predicting the end of the world on May 21, 2011 and being given $81,000,000 by his brain-dead followers even after his previous failed date), but this is a pretty good overview. I would be delighted to discuss these points in detail with anyone interested.
In my next post, I will begin reviewing the Bible Wheel book to see what it looks like without my “blinders” on. I am very curious because as far as I know, all the evidence for the apparently “supernatural” design in the Bible remains true. This is the great mystery that now confronts me. The evidence for the Bible Wheel remains despite the obvious flaws in the Bible. So what does it mean? I don’t know yet, and before trying to come to a conclusion, I feel a need to critique my own book with the same honesty I have critiqued the Bible upon which it is based.