Why I became a Christian

This website has been online for over eleven years. I have used it to share my faith and strongly encourage people to believe Christ and the Bible. I have expressed my personal religious beliefs very publicly. But my beliefs have changed a lot in the last couple of years, so it is time to discuss why I came to be a Christian.

Religious beliefs are largely determined by the mere chance event of where you were born. Folks tend to adopt the dominant religion of the region of their birth unless their immediate family follows a different tradition. But neither geography nor family fully determines religious belief. Temperament and life experience play important roles. Not everyone is satisfied with their inherited religion, while others simply have no interest in the big question of “what it’s all about.” Some are looking for certainty in this disturbingly chaotic world. Religion gives answers, like a parent telling a child “everything will be alright.” Others are catapulted into a search for meaning by the traumas of life. Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, left his sheltered home to begin his famous quest for enlightenment after encountering suffering, disease, and death. Though I can’t claim to have achieved his goal, my motivations were largely the same. Read More »

Posted in Losing My Religion, Thinking Freely | 51 Responses

A Reader Responds to Why I Quit Christianity

I received this response to my post Why I Quit Christianity today:

Dear Mr. Richard,

Today, I accessed your website at biblewheel.com which is a very valuable tool for me in my study of The Scriptures and I noticed a message at the top of the page: “My Deconversion.” I clicked on the link to see what that was about and after reading your testimony, I am perplexed and felt compelled to write you this e-mail.

The people of the Most High of whom I call YHWH and Yahuwah are not expected to know everything, are not expected to have the ability to answer every question, or to understand every doctrine. Read More »

Posted in Losing My Religion | Tagged | 13 Responses

An Evolutionary Explanation of the Bible Wheel

For most of the years since I discovered the Bible Wheel in 1995 I felt it was pretty much “self-evident” that God had designed it. The patterns seemed so obvious and profound. I could not imagine how they could have happened by chance, and it seemed impossible that some secret group of humans had done it since the Jews would have had to anticipate the later Christian NT when they put together the OT. So it seemed like an air-tight iron-clad case. I filled my website with the evidence. I wrote a 412 page book. I was dumbfounded that most folks, including Bible-believing Christians, could not see what I saw.

My conviction was strengthened by that fact that no one came close to presenting anything like a significant challenge to my claims despite endless hours on very hostile forums hosted by Christians, Jews, and Skeptics. I believed that the Bible Wheel was truly perfect in the sense explained in the Bible Wheel Challenge: Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel | 21 Responses

Looking for Dumbo

The fall of 1990 was a time of great change for me. I was on a serious spiritual quest. I quit smoking and began exercising and eating better. I daily practiced Zazen meditation to quiet my mind and expand my consciousness. I also began recording and analyzing my dreams and was intensely interested in synchronicity. I was reading many books about the Kabbalah, Gematria (Hebrew Numerology), Tree of Life, Tarot, and similar esoteric topics. I did not, at that time, consider myself a Christian in any way at all.

Then on the morning of November 24, 1990 I had a dream that changed my life. I found myself floating in a blank space half aware that I was dreaming when a woman with black hair in a red sweater suddenly appeared and said: Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel | 9 Responses

Big updates to the Bible Wheel Forum. Check it out!

I upgraded the Bible Wheel Forum from vBulletin 3.8.6 to 4.1.7. And I had a great time doing it. Everything worked well, and it was up and running about two hours after beginning (which included the 45 minutes to download the backup). Kudos to the vBulletin team!

I also dramatically redesigned the look and feel and have made a lot new categories for discussion: Read More »

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Did early Christians knowingly design the Bible Wheel?

A reader left this comment yesterday, touching upon my question Who Designed the Bible Wheel?:

Richard,

After doing a Google search this evening, on another idea, I came across your Bible Wheel site and this post of yours. This is the first I’ve heard of the wheel and I found the concept of it very intriguing. I’ve not been able to read through all of the posts in this discussion but decided to add my thoughts after reading a few of them. Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel | 15 Responses

Explaining myself …

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:

Hi Richard,

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? Read More »

Posted in Losing My Religion | Tagged | 35 Responses

A Critique of the Bible Wheel Book – by the Author! Part 2

The first part of this series may be found here.

Part I, Chapter 2 of the Bible Wheel book is available in html format for viewing in your browser here.

Critique of Part I, Chapter 2 of the Bible Wheel Book:

The second chapter is called The Canon Wheel. It begins with an explanation that the word “canon” refers to the list of books that “belong” in the Bible. I acknowledged that this list differs amongst various Christian groups, but maintained that the differences do not matter for the study of the Bible Wheel per se because the Bible Wheel is defined by the traditional Protestant canon of sixty-six books. I then reviewed the structure of the Old Testament and showed that it exhibits a pattern of perfect symmetry on multiple levels:

Perfect Symmetry of the Old Testament

I then reviewed the structure of the New Testament and showed that the entire Bible naturally falls into seven categories, and when theses seven categories are labeled and colored on the Bible Wheel, we discover the Canon Wheel: Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel Book | Tagged , | 2 Responses

A Critique of the Bible Wheel Book – by the Author! Part 1

Bible Wheel BookWhy would I want to critique my own book? The answer is quite simple. As explained in my last post, Why I quit Christianity, I have recently completed the huge transition from being a “born-again Bible-believing Christian” to being an agnostic without any specific religious beliefs. The process took about 18 months. It began in earnest when my wife Rose and I began our “fireside chats” in December 2009 with the question “Why should we care what other people think?”. Little did we know where that innocent little question would lead. We made the transition together though our individual paths were somewhat different. For me, there were two primary insights that “broke the spell” of Christianity. First, I came to see that the Bible is filled with errors, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God, and that the attempts by Christian apologists to explain them away and/or cover them up and makes them look like fools of the first order. Second, I came to see that God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers, and that this directly contradicts the plain teaching of Scripture and the whole point of the religion which posits a parent-like Father God who watches over us, protects us from harm, and answers our prayers. For Rose, her primary insight was that the Bible is saturated with a strong male bias which has caused immeasurable and unjust suffering of woman at the hands of men throughout the ages and therefore  invalidates any possibility that the Bible could be the “Word of God” in the traditional Christian sense. Read More »

Posted in Bible Wheel Book | Tagged , | 14 Responses

Why I quit Christianity

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: Read More »

Posted in Losing My Religion | Tagged | Comments closed