I received this comment in response to my post Why I quit Christianity. Tony brought up a number of important questions so I thought it best to repeat our exchange here where more folks can read it:
I must say I enjoyed your conversations. I admire your works on the bible wheel, and I am quite surprised by your turn from christianity. I ordered your book a few years back and came back to order a couple more for a couple of my friends that were interested in the study. I was shocked to see the statement why I turned from christianity. You said, I am set free from christianity… May I ask how were you set free from freedom? You were once a bond servant set free from the bonds of sin, and now you want go back into bondage. It reminds me of the Galations who were converting back to the law. You noted a scripture: Deuteronomy 20:16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: 17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: Did God not destroy the Earth with a flood? Does that make Him evil? Is He not the judge? Doesn’t He have the right to judge? Do we deserve death, and if not why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did God come down from His throne to die for you? Even the angels ask God, why do you concern yourself with us humans. How can we being the clay even consider judging the potters intensions or motives? Does He not see whats in your heart before you even see yourself? Didn’t the Lord tell Peter He would deny Him 3x even though Peter was ephatic he would die for the Lord? Surely a person with your intellect has read these scriptures over and over, yet now you recant? What has occurred in your life to release you from the ultimate Love?
You haven’t seen evidence prayers being answered? You have to have kidding me? I see prayers answered daily! What have you been doing that you haven’t seen prayer answered? Have you submitted your self completely? Do you put others first? Where is your victory?
You talked about the false prophets and people who have claimed to be of our Father, but live otherwise…. didn’t Jesus state it would be this way? Didn’t He say we are known by our fruits? Shouldn’t we keep our eyes focussed on our Father, and not on others? I Know I am no match for a debate with you, but consider fasting and praying to your Father for an understanding, instead of seeking other spiritual mediums. I agree with your statements about many Christians who fail to discern false people who claim they know the end of the world, but did you really believe Harold? I for one am not looking for the end of the world, but the return of our Lord. Isn’t that our hope? Shouldn’t we be using our time wisely being about the Fathers business? Finally, I am not here to convince you of anything, but maybe I can get you to use the talent our Father has given you to look take another gander and what your rejecting? My dad wasn’t an educated man, but when I was going through college, I would seek his advice because he would direct me to find my own answers. I pray you will seek Him who set you free and ask for Him to reveal His spirit in you to find the answers your seeking. The answers are right inside you, but you are failing to see them. Pray the Father opens the door to your heart to see Him as truth! God bless you brother and I will be praying for you!
Here is my answer:
I really appreciate your heartfelt comments, and I understand where you are coming from. But there are a lot of “assumptions” in your comments that I don’t think are valid. So I’ll walk through them one at a time:
Tony: May I ask how were you set free from freedom?
Are Christians really any more “free” than others? I don’t think so. The concept that Christians have been “made free from sin” is not really true. All honest Christians must admit that they often sin. This is one of the biggest problems I had with Christianity. Folks say words that have no real meaning.
When I said I was “free from Christianity” I was talking about real tangible freedom. I was not talking about some abstract freedom like “freedom from sin” that has no reality. I was talking about freedom to think freely and act in accordance with my conscience which was often at odds with Christian doctrines and things taught in the Bible like the doctrine of hell (as mentioned in my post).
Tony: Did God not destroy the Earth with a flood? Does that make Him evil?
Not necessarily. But that was not my point. My point was that God’s command to kill all the men, women, and children in the promised land was evil. If he really wanted them dead he should have done it himself. Why did he think it would be good to turn “his people” into merciless brutalized baby-killers? And that’s not the only immoral teaching in the Bible attributed to God. This is a real problem that has no solution as far as I can tell.
Tony: How can we being the clay even consider judging the potters intensions or motives?
We have no choice! How do you know that the Bible is true? Is that not a “judgment” that you have made? And when you accepted the concept of the Trinity – is that not a judgment that you made about the nature of God? And on it goes, there is no way we can avoid making such judgments unless we choose to be mindless robots. And besides, why did God give us a brain if he didn’t want us to judge these things?
Tony: I see prayers answered daily!
Yes, but the kinds of answers you have seen are not objectively verifiable. I have no doubt they seem completely real to you, but Muslims and Hindus say the same thing and if you did a statistical analysis you would find that the prayers of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and everyone else are answered with an equal frequency which is statistically indistinguishable from zero. I hope you see that I am merely speaking truth here. Humans believe what they want to believe and have selective memories. They often believe that their prayers get answered, but then they have elaborate excuses for God when he fails to ever answer any real prayers like those of a mother whose child just lost a leg. God has never restored a missing limb! Please think about that because that is what I mean when I say that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers. And this is a huge problem because the Bible tells us that he does.
Tony: You talked about the false prophets …
It’s not just a few here or there. The entire leadership of Liberty University and the entire leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention and leading Christian apologists like Norm Geisler and John Ankerberg and many fundamentalist Christian ministries have actively conspired to cover up the TEN YEARS of blatant lies told by Ergun Caner. Liberty would never have “fired” him if they were not forced by other Christians whom they demonized. All of this is coming from people who claim to be “Christian.” I want nothing to do with them or their false beliefs which corrupted their minds. I despise the “fruit” that has grown from that tree.
I have no choice but to think for myself, and when I do that, I recognize that most of the “traditional Christian teachings” were invented by people that I would have despised, like the many evil leaders in the Roman Catholic Church that ruled Europe for over a thousand years. Think about that. Where was God during all those years? What was the fate of the souls that could not come to real faith because they were not able to read the Bible? Your modern concept of Christianity has no foundation in history.
Has Christianity really produced fruit worthy of God?
Tony: I Know I am no match for a debate with you …
Well, I hope that doesn’t stop you from having a conversation with me!
Again, I really appreciate your comments, and I know how confusing it must be to see someone like me change my mind.
All the best,