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  • Why I Quit Christianity

    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 archive of my old 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, or the slaughter of all the Midianites except 32,000 virgins that were then distributed to the soldiers (Numbers 31).

    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 do 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.

    This article was originally published on my old WordPress blog (link) which has over 200 comments.
    Comments 101 Comments
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      > About the doctrine of Hell, this is not a biblical doctrine. The times when hell is mentioned in the bible, it is actually mistranslated in our English Bibles. Quiting Christianity can be a confusing thing, because it is also possible to become a "different kind" of Christian, focussing on the Bible itself, instead of what "Christians" believe.
      Personally, I have no interest in creating my own religion from the misunderstood book passed down by people who made up the Christian religion. That just doesn't make sense. Why not start clean with the best of our modern knowledge and intuitive judgment?

      You are correct that "hell" is often a mistranslation. Every one of the 31 occurrences of "hell" in the OT of the KJV is a translation of sheol, meaning "grave" or "abode of the dead." The word itslef says nothing about that place being a place of torment. Most modern translation have fixed this error. In the OT of the NIV the word "hell" does not occur even once.

      In the NT it's a little more tricky because there are a variety of Greek words used, such as Gehenna (always translated as hell in the KJV), Hades (translated as hell 10 times and grave once), and tartaroo (translated as "cast into hell"). This last word is a real problem, because it is used only once in the NT so we have no way to know what it means other than appealing to first century Greek literature. And then we find that tartaroo means "cast into Tartarus, and Tartarus is the place where Zeus imprisoned the Titans in chains! In other words, not only did Peter use the term from Greek mythology, but he also copied the mythological narrative when he said that God had, like Zeus with the Titans, cast the "angels that sinned into Tartarus." I don't believe Greek mythology whether it is found in or out of the Bible. And there is a lot of other pagan myths and primitive cosmology found in the Bible. So I don't think it is redeemable as the "Word of God" in any sense, though it will always be valuable as the book that played such a central role in the development of Western civilization. And it give a lot of insight into psychology. And it may even be a "mystical" book for all I know. But it is not a "moral guide" in any sense, and has no power to compel my intellect.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      > With the atrocities attributed to God I am on one line with you. If you reject faith in God on the basis of these stories, it is understandable. But it is based on a dualistic thinking. There is still something of value in the Bible if it is possible to understand those stories in different ways. Instead of referring to a God outside of ourselves, we can refer to a God inside ourselves. Then those "atrocities" would also refer to a battle going on inside. Your decision to quit Christianity is a logical consequence of battling the "foreign inhabitants of the promissed land," namely the inner reality that is not defined by what others (or even the Bible) says, or how you understand what others (or the Bible) says. Your inner reality is purely yours only. I was taught that nobody can take away your thoughts. What you do with it is your own responsibility. Take this also as a lesson, that you once had taken the Bible without questioning it, but now you do. Good for you. You are acting out the "atrocities", because those things that made you tick before are the same things you now reject. Just like the people that were living in Canaan were living there before the tribes of Israel took possession of it. To face this truth about yourself is as shocking as believing that God did it in some remote past, wouldn't you say?
      I understand you point, and can appreciate why it might seem valuable to you. But if I were going to go about reinterpreting everything like you suggest, I would include all texts - the Koran, Bagavad Gita, the Sunday Comics - since the underlying philosophy is that God speaks to me through my own imagination. There is no need for an external authoritative text.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      > On this one I do not agree. The problem with the whole idea of God answering prayers is our misunderstanding about God and prayer. That God would come to our rescue for our benefit is totally selfish. It also assists our thinking that "we are in need" of God's benevolence and mercy. However, what this really means is that our heart is so poor as to have shut out benevolence and mercy, so that we are actually mutliplying our need in the absence of Gods answers. When we take responsibility for our circumstances and see in it the abundance already bestowed on us, our life will turn from poverty to riches. It is just a bitter fact, that we can not expect that anybody else carries our cross, as much as we want to. But once we accept our own cross (the burden of life we find ourselves in), we can turn that cross into a light weight, conquer its obstacles and overcome it in a way that we are free. This freedom comes from the inner digestion of truth. To find this capacity, to overcome any obstacle through the confusion we are all surrounded with, is the true meaning of being "redeemed". As this phenomenon expresses itself in different ways in different people, we have to come to a point of inner peace before we can expect things to improve. Once inner peace is achieved, "prayers" become like breath, and the oxygene, the life giving benefits of it, become aparent in every move you make.

      Congrats with your conversion,
      Cuc.
      Actually, it appears you agree with me on this point. God does not, as a general rule, answer prayer. You seem only to be saying that all the Christians and the Bible are totally wrong when they exhort us to pray and TRUST GOD for all our needs. They tell us if we are sick to pray. If we have any need to pray. This is taught in every church every Sunday all over the planet. It is the essence of the Christian faith, and it is false.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Just a quick note for folks commenting. I really appreciate your comments and will reply as soon as possible, but I'm real busy with a software project right now. I'm hoping to be able to find some time later today.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
      Hi Richard,

      I believe that when God said that He had other things to tell us but we were not ready for them yet, that He meant this for times in which we are seeking the truth and not accepting all things blindly. I trust that He will reveal the things necessary for us in His time. Gods' speed, for you and for me. It is a pleasure to know you.
      Hi Trey,

      Thanks for the encouraging words. I took a glance at the site you linked, and saw it was presenting Swedenborg's interpretations. I tried reading some of his stuff a few times and it never clicked with me. It's so far "out there" with his claims about talking to angels and all that kind of thing that I just can't find any reason to believe it.

      All the best,

      Richard
    1. Gayle's Avatar
      Gayle -
      A few years ago I, like you, threw up my hands in the face of the absurdities, contradictions, etc., that Christianity (as all established religions) insists on foisting on its followers, and determined that I wasn't going to believe anything anymore just because somebody else said it was true. My path has been... interesting... ever since.

      Not long after making this decision, I was led to kabbalah through a lucid dream (I had to search for months on the web - this was pre-google - before I found out what the image was I had been shown. Turned out to be the Tree of Life glyph), and it's been an incredible path for me. Combined with energy work and advanced (kundalini) yoga, the path to Divinity has been opened for me in a way that Christianity never could approach - in fact, I believe that Christianity as an institution is quite vested in making sure that its adherents don't get anywhere NEAR the path of true discovery.

      I don't "disbelieve" in Jesus as Christ, I just have no idea about what that means. Jesus as a Presence is incredibly powerful and beautiful and REAL; I'm in awe of Him. I just don't know what He ***is***, and I refuse to let anyone else define Him for me. The closest definition I've been able to come to on my own, is that He is a kind of a cosmic Doorway/connector, the great mediator between the energies/realities of heaven, and earth.

      Keep seeking, keep searching, keep knocking, brother... it's a brave, healthy path you've started down. Many blessings to you

      Gayle
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
      A few years ago I, like you, threw up my hands in the face of the absurdities, contradictions, etc., that Christianity (as all established religions) insists on foisting on its followers, and determined that I wasn't going to believe anything anymore just because somebody else said it was true. My path has been... interesting... ever since.

      Not long after making this decision, I was led to kabbalah through a lucid dream (I had to search for months on the web - this was pre-google - before I found out what the image was I had been shown. Turned out to be the Tree of Life glyph), and it's been an incredible path for me. Combined with energy work and advanced (kundalini) yoga, the path to Divinity has been opened for me in a way that Christianity never could approach - in fact, I believe that Christianity as an institution is quite vested in making sure that its adherents don't get anywhere NEAR the path of true discovery.

      I don't "disbelieve" in Jesus as Christ, I just have no idea about what that means. Jesus as a Presence is incredibly powerful and beautiful and REAL; I'm in awe of Him. I just don't know what He ***is***, and I refuse to let anyone else define Him for me. The closest definition I've been able to come to on my own, is that He is a kind of a cosmic Doorway/connector, the great mediator between the energies/realities of heaven, and earth.

      Keep seeking, keep searching, keep knocking, brother... it's a brave, healthy path you've started down. Many blessings to you

      Gayle
      Hi Gayle,

      Congratulations on following your heart and mind and finding freedom!

      Your path sounds very interesting indeed. It sounds like we have a lot in common. I also had a very Kabbalistic lucid dream back in 1990 when I was first began seriously studying esoteric topics. Oddly enough, it led me to faith in Christ which then transmogrified into fundamentalism because I thought I had "proof" that the Bible was the Word of God. I tell the story of what happened in a thread called Looking for Dumbo. Check it out ... I think you will find it interesting.

      I love your comment about Jesus. It makes a lot of sense to me.

      Thanks for taking time to comment. Don't be shy!

      Richard
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      Hello,

      With the respect of all "to believe what they want to believe"; I still maintain that research (objectively) and with a sincere heart will lead someone to the true God.

      At the offset let me say that in the prayer circles I've been in I have seen thousands of prayers answered.
      Hi Earl,

      I appreciate your comments, but your assertion that you have seen "thousands of prayers answered" indicates to me that you have a very subjective view of an "answered prayer." Forgive me for being skeptical, but how many of them could be objectively verified? Thousands of people have stood on the stage of Benny Hinn's $alvation and Healing Carnival claiming God healed them of all sorts of ailments. But when Hank Hanegraaff (The Bible Answer Man) asked Benny for just the three top miracles with the best confirmation, he found that not one of them could be objectively verified. This shows how people get lit up with a religious fervor and think that they've been healed when really it was just an emotional experience that folks have in any number of circumstances like meditation, hypnosis, cult meetings, whatever.

      You will note that I am careful to say that "God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers." To say that he never answers prayers goes beyond my limited knowledge. But we know that he doesn't usually answer prayers because we can take a hundred Christians and a hundred atheists with the plague, and let the Christians pray and give antibiotics to the atheists. Who lives? Who dies? I don't see any ambiguity in the answer.

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      And as for hell.. There are 3 words Sheol (hebrew) and tartaroos (greek) which are both speaking of the grave. Then.. there is the interesting greek word Gehenna (greek) used by Jesus to describe a place of eternal burning, that was designed for Angels who rebelled against God, and is also a punishment place that those who reject God, and becoming one with his spirit (purposes, will and direction) will end up.

      Not that God will send them there, but thier rejection of God, and his plan will leave them no place else to go to.

      Heaven is reserved for the Spirit of God, and all who join to, and become one with that spirit. All of humanity; in the end of this time of being sifted (will we join God or reject his Spirit?) who rejct that invitation will remains carnal. And all that is carnal (natural, or unspiritual according to the Spirit of God) will burn with fervent heat.

      That's what scripture teaches, and it makes sense that if you don't accept the Spirit of God (and adhere to his loving method of offering a single sacrifice as the doorway of acceptance into that spirit).. then all that remains for you is the choice you made to remain with the natural (carnal) things that will all burn up. And when you consider the countless universes that includes.. that's gonna be a long, long time burning.

      You're right; a loving God wouldn't send someone to a firey hell, but a just God is not going to force someone to go someplace they don't want to go to, or enter into a relationship with him, if they don't want to! But the only option if you don't want to go to the spiritual place, and be one with the spirit of God.. is the eternal burning of the carnal things! You'll be found either in the spiritual kingdom of heaven, or the carnal kingdom of burning. The choice is yours!!!

      This of course is according to my understanding of scripture. And of course if I'm right, then in the end of time (as we know it) everyone is going to be given the opportunity to see that the choice is indeed a real choice, and that their individual spirit will now be redirected to the destination that they choose.. A spiritual heaven or a carnal burning!

      God don't make the choice for us, but will be found not to be a liar, and those who made the wrong choice will realize too late that it was a bad decision!
      I've heard this argument a thousand times. Unfortunately, it's entirely incoherent with everything else Christians traditionally teach. If God doesn't want me to go to hell, and I don't want to go there, then who is going to force me to go there? I would love to live with God forever if Christianity were the truth. So if I find out it is true when I die, then great! You say that God won't throw me into hell, and I certainly won't do it myself, so unbelievers have absolutely nothing to fear if we follow your logic.

      Of course, it seems pretty unlikely that you actually believe what you wrote. It is most likely that you believe it will be too late after I die. My fate will have been sealed, so that when I finally have PROOF of the truth, it will be too late to change my course (how perverse is that?). That's the standard Christian teaching. That's why there's all the weeping and gnashing of teeth at the FINAL JUDGMENT that determines who gets thrown into the Lake of Fire. Does that sound like a place anyone would "choose" to go? Of course not. You attempt to rationalize the doctrine of hell is a total and complete failure that makes a mockery of God as the Supreme Judge. It contradicts both logic and the traditional Christian teachings which are based on the Biblical teaching that God himself will throw sinners into hell.

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      My comment about God not being a liar brings me to my next point, and this is a challenge I hope you will accept... You wrote that there are too many contradictions in the Bible, so I ask you before all who read this site to give me only 5 of them! (and allow space for my cross examination of what you presented)

      Many of those who suppose to know scripture are making comments and writing things that are indeed contradictory, but as to the word of God (Bible); I have read it through, and I haven't found any contradictions, and believe me.. I am a researcher.

      I have given you my real name for this challenge, and will give you my e-mail address below.

      In ending this post, I want to again reinerate.. All people have the right to believe what they want to.

      BUT if you decide to slam an accepted truth, religion or even scientific law or property.. Then you open yourself up for debate with those who have acceptance of truth you yourself reject.

      A lot of people will read this thread, so why not be bold enough to debate (and defend) your belief system, right here where you've stated an opinion that can effect the life and judgement of others!

      I'm up for it! Earlleo2@Yahoo.com
      I accept your challenge! I'm really glad you threw down the gauntlet. There are few who seem willing to really stand behind their words.

      So let's start with the most obvious direct contradictions:

      • Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. (2 Kings 24:8)
      • Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:9)

      So how old was he when he began to reign? I know you will probably want to say that this is just a "scribal error" and that's fine - indeed, it seems the most likely explanation. But we have no way to know the truth, so we must simply accept that there are indeed contradictions in the Bible (for whatever reason).

      Second, I offer you Dan Barker's Easter Challenge (discussed in my forum here). All you need to do is present a coherent account of what happened on the morning of Christ's resurrection without omitting any details from all four Gospels and Paul's account. Here's how Dan stated it:
      The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.
      As far as I know, no one has been able to meet the conditions of his challenge. I say it's because the four Gospels contradict each other.

      Third, the direct contradiction between the statements of Christ that he would "come in power" during the lifetime of his audience which he referred to as "this generation." This was confirmed in many other books of the NT which say that the "last hour" was happening in the first century (e.g. 1 John 2:18). A careful study of Biblical eschatology will show that it is logically incoherent. This is why no one can agree about what the Bible actually teaches on that topic. And this leads to the fourth major contradiction.

      Fourth, the Bible says that God is not the "author of confusion." Given the history of Biblical interpretation, nothing could be further from the truth if God is indeed the author of the Bible.

      Fifth, when I say "contradictions" I am often thinking of Biblical teachings that contradict known facts. For example, we know that "heaven and the earth" were not created together "in the beginning" because the universe began about 13.75 billion years ago whereas the earth was formed about 9 billion years later! That's not "in the beginning" by any stretch of the imagination. So the Bible gets it wrong from its very first verse. And just six verses later we are told that there is a solid dome that divides between the waters that are "above" and those below. This was a common cosmological myth of the Ancient Near East at the time the Bible was written. And excellent explanation of the "three-tiered" universe of the ANE (flat earth standing on pillars with a dome over it) is given by the evangelical Christian think-tank www.Biologos.org. Here is the picture that they say represents the Biblical teaching (which they support with many Bible verses) from their article Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography in the Bible


      If that's not a "contradiction" with reality, I don't know what is!

      Sixth, the moral contradictions. God commanded the Hebrews to do things that are universally rejected as immoral. And this causes Christians to DENY that infanticide, genocide, and slavery are immoral because "God commanded it" so it must be moral. And this leads to the outrageous absurdity that Christians simultaneously assert that there would be no "moral absolutes" without the Christian God!

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      By the way.. I came to this site to look into the Book "Hebrew Word pictures", because the info I've gotten concerning that book seems believable.
      I still think that "Hebrew Word Pictures" are valid. Dr. Seekins thought I had copied his work because our conclusions were so similar. This shows how the study has an objective foundation (independent researches come to the same conclusions). I wrote about the convergence of our conclusions in this article.

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      I'm not against knowledge, but knowledge is either truth, or only opinion being presented as such.

      But all truth proves itself out, and that through research. But the Word of God is Spiritually understood, and your presentation is obviously lacking that Spirit that is needed for the research, so I'm willing to do it for you!,

      It's not my hope to convert you, only to establish truth concerning what you present.
      I am glad you are willing to work with me on this. And if you persist, you will find that I have solid logic and facts supporting my assertions.

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      For instance.. The bloody slaughter you mentioned in your "reason" was one of several historical steps that proved no matter what people did in obedience to be a people of God.. their human failure would make it impossible to live up to the standard. Later animal sacrifice couldn't accomplish it. and so forth and so on.. Moving down to God's pre-intended purpose of providing a way of being acceptable as his people that included a grace of being flawless, as long as a person is giving their sincere effort to being his people.

      You know the message, so I won't bother to embarrass you with the details.
      I have no idea what you are talking about. The command to slaughter all the men, women, and children of Canaan with the express purpose that the Hebrews could steal their land and property, directly contradicts all morality.

      Quote Originally Posted by Earl Leo Branham View Post
      As for those who were killed in the battle, In God's way of thinking.. they were already refused from the possibility of being his eternal people because they worshipped Idols, and even sacrificed their own children to false Gods! Their own bloody lifestyle became their own destiny! God don't need to excuse himself for using what is already eternally wasted for his purposes.

      However, the love message of Jesus eliminates mankind's right to use God as the excuse in the willful hurt, killing or even verbally attacking one another.

      Unless it's self defense, legitimate warfare for a soldier, or legitimate line of duty action by a law enforcement officer.. then the killing, hurting or wounding another human being is wrong.. scripturally, Spiritually, and morrally.
      I am constantly amazed at how Christians justify genocide by demonizing the victims. Have you considered the absurdity of the idea that God would command the Hebrews to slaughter ALL the Canaanite children because they killed some of their own children? Where's the logic in that? And have you never thought about what it would be like to be an Israeli soldier slaughtering women and babies all day ... except the 32,000 sexy virgins that were then distributed to the soldiers (Numbers 31)?

      Well, we've got a good conversation off the ground. I look forward to working with you on these things.

      All the best,

      Richard
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      Richard,

      I find it astounding that as such a "fervent believer" in Christ that you would "deconvert". That alone makes me beg the question of your faith. While that is not place as a Christian, it is my place to point out, that if you TRULY read the Bible, STUDY it's word, and cross-reference it's passages, contexts, and messages, you WILL discover there are NO contradictions. Many people make the mistake of reading a passage one day and some time later read a passage that at first glance appears contradictory. However, when you read and study further into these passages, you will discover that they are not at all in contradiction of one another. As offered by a previous commenter, if you will share which "contradictions" bothered you the most, I WILL do the research, reference research I have already done and by all means look into these contradictions further for you. Again, as a Christian, it is not my job to "push the subject" if you are not willing. However, the offer is there if you decide that you want to look further and deeper. Also, one of your issues was an issue that I experienced at one point myself, and to simply state it, the "orders to kill", the "allowance of warfare" were all used as a demonstration and warning for others of the reality of punishment. Just as in the court of law, if a murderer or rapist were on trial, we the people would be screaming for justice. If the judge did not provide that justice by means of punishment such as the death penalty, life in prison or whatever, we the people would be angered by that. So, if we can expect a human judge to provide justice for illegal activity, WHY would we not also expect punishment for those who sin and do not recognize the reality of that sin. Even that is being more merciful than what we expect of our judges. For those who have sinned, but recognize their sin and turn to Christ are provided with grace. We don't allow that grace in our court rooms if a murderer "repents" from his actions.
      First, it is important to understand that I came to the conclusion that the Bible was filled with contradictions, errors, logical and factual absurdities and superstitions AFTER studying the Bible nearly every day as a fundamentalist Christian for over a decade.

      Your assertion that the commands for a Bronze age tribe to kill everyone "were all used as a demonstration and warning for others of the reality of punishment" seems absurd to me. It makes God look like he was impersonating the false tribal war gods of that primitive time. This is why the Bible is so bad for people. It makes them reject the common morality that everyone else adheres to. Genocide is BAD. Killing babies is BAD. Can't you see how outrageously ironic is it for Christians who normally go about opposing abortion to suddenly say that there was nothing wrong with killing thousands of innocent babies if God commanded it? Where's the logic in that?

      You say "We don't allow that grace in our court rooms if a murderer "repents" from his actions." That's right! It would be unjust. How would you feel if some madman killed your family and raped you? Would you be happy if the judge let him off merely because he "repented"? Where then would the justice be? This reveals the fundamental injustice of the Gospel. Believers get to go to heaven without ever paying for their sins. That's unjust. If God let's some people off, why not everyone? Hank Hanegraaff attempts to justify eternal conscious torment in hell by saying that if Hitler didn't get punished, then justice would be impugned. If that's true, then why do the "believers" get off without paying for their sins? This brings up the central injustice of the Gospel - God said that children could not be put to death for the sins of their fathers. This is an example of a general principle that says no one can take the punishment due another. Just think about it for a second. Would it be just if someone volunteered to take the death penalty for a convicted murderer? No! So the central concept of the Gospel itself is a violation of justice.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      I found your site by accident and your deconversion caught my attention. Thinking it sincere, I read more, finding things to cause concern. This is not my business except as you make it public, so let me make a few observations and then suggestions, admitting I have not read your entire site.
      I appreciate your comments. There is no need to read the whole site since you are responding to specific comments I have made.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      1. INCONSISTENCIES

      You note inconsistencies (A) between the Bible and science, (B) within the Bible itself in factual or historical matters, and (C) in moral issues--or God's described dealings with man.

      (A) Faith and Science

      Scripture is not a treatise on the physical means used in the Creation, only, I think, a testimony that God caused and directed it, establishing the order to be followed. After all, his great gift to all things is order, within and upon which we can flourish to full potential, and without which chaos would sap all energy from growth.*

      The Bible merely testifies that he has created this time and place for us to experience what we otherwise could not, and he likewise works for our success day to day, always respecting our individual agency, but warning us of our corresponding individual accountability.

      It is a mistake to pretend the Bible answers scientific details, and that science answers *ultimate questions. Both benefit life, but on very different levels.
      I agree that it is "a mistake to pretend the Bible answers scientific details." And why is that? It's because the Bible was written by ignorant humans and so it incorporates a lot of primitive mythology and superstitions. Therefore, we cannot think of it as the "Word of God" in the way that most Christians would say we must. And if it is a book filled with errors, why should we believe it at all? How are we supposed to separate the error from the truth? Why should we believe the primitive concept of blood atonement since that too looks like a primitive superstition? And no matter what conclusion we come to, the book will have lost its authority.

      And I agree that science does not provide answers to "ultimate" questions, but then, neither does the Bible. Those questions probably don't have answers at all ... at least not answers that we can know with any certainty.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      (B) Internal Inconsistencies

      Textual, factual, and historical inconsistencies within the Bible may cause some to doubt its divine authorship: "If God is perfect, how can his word be less?" Isn't it enough to admit that his word is perfect, but our transmission and preservation of it is not? The human tragedy--as described again and again in scripture--is that he speaks and we neglect it. He will not force his perfection on the human family if we insist on something less.

      Then what of the humble seeker of truth, or the "daughter of Zion" so long left abandoned by societies and nations? These will read scripture feasting on the ample feast of heaven therein, while giving little attention to the mistakes of progenitors who could have done better to preserve and transmit it to posterity.

      Who are those who refuse the feast to point out the errors?
      No, it most certainly is not "enough to admit that his word is perfect" since we both know that it contains errors, superstitions, and primitive mythology. The idea that God originally gave perfect documents that then were corrupted seems rather odd. If God was able to make the originals perfect using fallible humans, why could he not preserve that perfection? And besides, it is clear from textual analysis that many of the problems in the Bible were in the originals.

      I agree that a believer will find an "ample feast" in the Bible, just as a Muslim believer will find in the Koran or a Hindu in the Vedas. Or a Mormon in the Book of Mormon. That testifies to the psychology of belief, not the accuracy or divinity of those different religious texts.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      (C) Moral Inconsistencies

      Moral or doctrinal inconsistencies in the Bible are troubling only so far as we are apt to question or judge God; otherwise we should be content to try to learn the "why" behind the issue--that is, the truth of God's character and law. He is unchanging. He cannot lie. And he will fulfill and verify every word he ever gave man. The happy mystery is in discovering his great consistency. Being but children and ignorant of his higher ways and thoughts, it is all too easy to allow ourselves to accuse him of inconsistency. Any parent of young children has faced the same accusation, knowing the child cannot yet understand the unifying reality.
      It is meaningless to say that God is good when God does things that are universally condemned as immoral. I am not "questioning God" - I am questioning a book written by humans which other humans say was written by God. That's nothing but hearsay. Why should anyone begin with the presupposition that the Bible or any religious text is from God?

      It is very curious when people try to justify genocide commanded by God by saying that "his ways are higher than ours." Genocide is not a "higher way." Imagine how you would feel if the Jews today said that God had commanded them to slaughter all the Palestinian men, women, and children. Would you accept that as true? If not, why do you accept it just because the Jews wrote it down in the Bible?

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      2. HELL

      This, the ancient dilemma. How can a merciful and loving God cast his own children into eternal flames? On one hand it is the cry of those who might justify their experimentation by accusing God. On the other, it involves a misunderstanding of his system of eternal rewards and punishments. He does nothing except for the benefit of his children. Even hell is a blessing for those who need it to overcome and become clean from what stains them.

      He is abundantly merciful, and above all, Love. Thus he is also a God of destruction. He will allow his children to bind themselves and their posterity only so far in wickedness before saving them from making their situation eternally worse by destroying the chains of their societies, governments, laws, philosophies, traditions and religions, even if it means erasing them as people from off the earth, as in the Flood, Sodom, Canaan. Where infection does not respond to gentler remedies, surgery must intercede.

      The Book of Mormon sheds much light on hell, destruction, and final rewards and punishments. It and Isaiah spend much time describing the Lord's pain in destroying his precious children for their own benefit.
      Words have lost all meaning when hell is called a "blessing."

      God is apparently a lousy surgeon. Killing everyone in the flood, in Sodom and Gomorrah, and in all the genocide he commanded has not helped the world. On the contrary, the primary problem on this planet has not so much to do with "sin" as with violence. And that's the message of the Bible that I simply cannot accept. It presents a God who appears to being doing everything in his power to emulate a brutal Bronze age tribal war god who sees VIOLENCE as the only solution to all the problems in the world. I find it totally unacceptable. But don't get me wrong - I am not "judging God," I am judging the book written by humans claiming to speak for God.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      3. INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION

      Human frailty is easy to find. Divinity is just as evident, we are just less prone to look for it. But the question*"Is there a true church?" is an enduring one. With many contenders for the title, ours is the pleasant task of judging for ourselves.*"Pleasant" because with faith in Christ how can we doubt finding it? So both the search and discovery will be instructive experiences--as he surely designed.
      What do you think about the fact that the LDS institutional church has spent a lot of time and money to cover up the truth about Joseph Smith?

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      4. PERSONAL PERSPECTIVES

      You want proof, and you reject the efficacy of prayer. To the meek, faith IS proof*(Hebrews 11:1). And to the humble follower of Christ, prayer is a wellspring of solace, empathy, light, and power. God answers my prayers--but that is a private matter. Let me just say that life is heavy, but in prayer he makes it happy.

      Prayer does not cause God to shape my life to my will, but shapes my will to his, and my life to his purposes. And thankfully so, for eye hath not seen what he has prepared for those willing to make that sacrifice and change.
      That is similar to the attitude I had about prayer when I was a Christian. But that's not the attitude the Bible or most Christians teach. If prayer is just a "a wellspring of solace, empathy, light" then there is no promise of an actual God who actually answers prayers. It may make you feel good, but then, so does meditation, a good time with friends, or a good night's sleep. The problem with prayer in the Christian tradition is that believers are constantly told that there really is a God who really will do more than just pat you on the back and make you feel good. Just listen to any Christian preacher and they'll tell you have God is real and that he really answers prayers. Unfortunately, that view is demonstrably false. God does not, as a general rule, answer prayers. We are on our own in this world. The proof is totally obvious. God was perfectly happy to let his believers die horrible deaths from easily prevented diseases no matter how much they prayed and begged him for mercy. But he chose to act as if he does not exist and to let them all die. It was only when we finally began to stand on our own two feet and to develop science and medicine that we were able to save ourselves when God refused.

      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      If you are searching rather than retreating, take a look at Mormon.org.
      The Book of Mormon is one of the most blatant frauds in the history of the world. I can't imagine why anyone would believe it, other than childhood indoctrination or some psychological dependency issues. I hope you don't mind if I speak plainly - I really enjoy it myself and encourage it in others. It's the fast track to truth.

      Thanks for taking time to share your comments. Don't be a stranger.
    1. Trey's Avatar
      Trey -
      Hi Richard,

      Just stopping by on my search for the truth. Came across a gentleman named Emanuel Swedenborg who translated the First five books to their spiritual meaning. It blew my mind. When the Lord says that He will lead you into all truth, I believe. I don't subscribe to a religion, I just believe in God. I can honestly tell you that you have helped me a great deal. You spoke what others blindly follow and you confirmed for me that there had to be more than what I can see or understand, and there is!!!! revealed by the Lord, when it is our time. So here is a book that I came across, that... You judge for yourself. Look forward to hearing from you. http://www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/perf/PPtc.htm
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trey View Post
      Hi Richard,

      Just stopping by on my search for the truth. Came across a gentleman named Emanuel Swedenborg who translated the First five books to their spiritual meaning. It blew my mind. When the Lord says that He will lead you into all truth, I believe. I don't subscribe to a religion, I just believe in God. I can honestly tell you that you have helped me a great deal. You spoke what others blindly follow and you confirmed for me that there had to be more than what I can see or understand, and there is!!!! revealed by the Lord, when it is our time. So here is a book that I came across, that... You judge for yourself. Look forward to hearing from you. http://www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/perf/PPtc.htm
      Hi Trey,

      Thanks for the link. I read a bit of Swedenborg and it just didn't sound real to me. I have no way to confirm anything he said since he was talking about talking with angels and all that kind of stuff. Why do you find him convincing? Is there any way to discern between what he says and mere fantasy?

      Richard
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      Sorry for the duplicate posting. iPad glitch. Thank you for your comments clarifying your course.
      No worries. I just deleted it. Don't hesitate to write if you have more you would like to share.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
      The Book of Mormon is one of the most blatant frauds in the history of the world. I can't imagine why anyone would believe it, other than childhood indoctrination or some psychological dependency issues. I hope you don't mind if I speak plainly - I really enjoy it myself and encourage it in others. It's the fast track to truth.

      Thanks for taking time to share your comments. Don't be a stranger.
      I don't like to argue, but frankness is good.

      It seems that your ten years of study*(shaped by the choices you made during that time to do one thing or another, or follow one path or another) have left you with these questions:

      "What is truth?"
      "Is truth one or more than one?"
      "How can I discern what is true from what is not?"
      "Is God alive or a myth?"
      "Whose God?"
      "And how can I know with certainty?"

      Are you pursuing answers?
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
      The Book of Mormon is one of the most blatant frauds in the history of the world. I can't imagine why anyone would believe it, other than childhood indoctrination or some psychological dependency issues. I hope you don't mind if I speak plainly - I really enjoy it myself and encourage it in others. It's the fast track to truth.

      Thanks for taking time to share your comments. Don't be a stranger.
      I don't like to argue, but frankness is good.

      It seems that your ten years of study*(shaped by the choices you made during that time to do one thing or another, or follow one path or another) have left you with these questions:

      "What is truth?"
      "Is truth one or more than one?"
      "How can I discern what is true from what is not?"
      "Is God alive or a myth?"
      "Whose God?"
      "And how can I know with certainty?"

      Are you pursuing answers?
      Yes, frankness is very good! Of course, too much salt makes food uneatable. I think we both understand this.

      My serious study of the Bible began back in 1990, so it's been over two decades now. It is inevitable that we are all "shaped by my choices" no less you than me.

      Concerning your questions:

      "What is truth?" - If you don't know, no answer would make sense. Truth is fundamental.

      "Is truth one or more than one?" - Ultimately, truth is one. But from our fragmented point of view the unity of Truth is not always evident.

      "How can I discern what is true from what is not?"

      "Is God alive or a myth?" - What do you mean by God? Allah? Brahman? The God of the Perennial Philosophy? The infinite hierarchy of Gods taught in Mormonism?

      "Whose God?" - Exactly.

      "And how can I know with certainty?" - Good question. I've pursued that question with some passion. We must begin by asking how we know anything. The unity of truth is a good place to start. Have you heard of the book called Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge by E. O. Wilson? It's a good place to start. He discusses how all the science are unified - Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology, Evolution, Geology, Mathematics, and so forth. That's one reason folks who argue against evolution are so obviously wrong. When they attack Evolution, they attack the entire unified body of human knowledge. But that's another topic ...

      So why do you believe in Mormonism? Have you ever researched the history of Joseph Smith?
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      First of all you're an idiot.

      It's typical for you hellbent sinners to attack hell and these "contradictions" are always stuff that you're too dumb to understand and easily destroyed. Another thing about your kind is you always think you're very brilliant people.

      Here's something to ponder about hell:
      http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001665.cfm

      And God answers prayer but he doesn't always answer them in the ways you want them answered. But in your case since you've never been born again of course God doesn't answer your prayers, why would he answer the prayers of the enemy? That's illogical.

      All these so called contradictions your devil kin has come up with have been answered and destroyed, you're search skills must really suck.

      So what is the sin that you refuse to give up? Sodomy? Kiddy fiddling? Porn? Mammon? usually one of those you guys refuse to give up.
      Or is it your "i'm so smart" lie? You're a moron, let me be the first to explain to you that you're one of the dumbest people alive, much sooner than you have planned you will go to the place you don't want to exist.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Also Caner and Camping, none of them are Christians, just like you've never been a Christian. You like the rest of the tards out there are so quick when these tards call themselves Christians you right away believe them, while the Bible warned about that stuff, to check them, you failed at that, just like you failed to check if you really was born again, which you never were.

      The Bible is clear only a little minority are Christians, you've never been one of us, you're belief in evotardism proves that, see what a shaky foundation your belief in evotardism has:
      http://www.themythofevolution.com

      A whole bunch of assumptions. If you were a skeptical man you would not have fallen for evotardism instead because of your highmindedness you fell for it because it leave room for your flesh to be as wicked as it wants to be which is your real problem, you actually thought you're a lot smarter than you are, if you remember the Book warns about being puffed up by knowledge, this is what happened to you, just as puffed up and arrogant as the rest of the worlds evotards. You people are the biggest frauds and liars on the planet, up there with false prophet Muhammad and all the popes.

      It becomes even more funny how you use a rubber ruler, you accept evotardism with it's billions upon billions of dead things and its hero DEATH without any question yet you lament because God has evil people killed, that makes you besides being an idiot, it also makes you a hypocrite like the rest of your ilk.

      Btw I'm glad you no longer call yourself Christian, I just wish the rest of the catholics, orthodox, protestants, pentecostals, charismatics and the rest of the pseudochristians would stop tainting our name, you at least had the guts to stop lying about you being a lost hell deserving devil, the others have not come to that stage yet.

      And do cut your hair hippie, i can almost smell your disgusting hippie hair from here.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      First of all you're an idiot.

      It's typical for you hellbent sinners to attack hell and these "contradictions" are always stuff that you're too dumb to understand and easily destroyed. Another thing about your kind is you always think you're very brilliant people.

      Here's something to ponder about hell:
      http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001665.cfm

      And God answers prayer but he doesn't always answer them in the ways you want them answered. But in your case since you've never been born again of course God doesn't answer your prayers, why would he answer the prayers of the enemy? That's illogical.

      All these so called contradictions your devil kin has come up with have been answered and destroyed, you're search skills must really suck.

      So what is the sin that you refuse to give up? Sodomy? Kiddy fiddling? Porn? Mammon? usually one of those you guys refuse to give up.
      Or is it your "i'm so smart" lie? You're a moron, let me be the first to explain to you that you're one of the dumbest people alive, much sooner than you have planned you will go to the place you don't want to exist.
      I thought this post must be a spoof, but then I remembered Westborough Baptist Church (God Hates Fags) and how fundamentalist religion corrupts both the minds and the morals of all who adhere to it.

      The case was closed long ago, but the evidence continues to pour in. I think this is Item #45,323,943,777.
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
      So why do you believe in Mormonism? Have you ever researched the history of Joseph Smith?

      Yes, I have studied Joseph Smith, and there is mud enough slung over the decades to energize endless debate. And no, I have not spent much time with academic philosophy, seeing that landscape littered with endless permutations--always one more to be tasted, but always again with the same unsatisfying result.

      People are quick to tell me what I believe, or what they think Mormons believe, expecting me to say "sure, that's it" so they can hurry to tell me how foolish it is and I am. Never does anyone look past the "Mormon" label (and their own foregone presumptions) to the person wearing it. I wear it proudly for its beauty and perfection, but that never comes up because the line is long of people wanting to hit me over the head with this thing they've heard of Joseph Smith, or that thing of supposed doctrine--none of it actually learned from a Mormon, ironically.

      But laying my label and the division it seems automatically to impose aside, along with sterile philosophic academia, which can neither claim nor proclaim truth or certainty, I wonder whether we share any common, native ground.

      For me, the first question is*"What am I?" But this is impossible to answer without making many assumptions, so I move to an easier question--one I can answer for myself as well as anyone can for anyone. Indeed, here I am my own incontrovertible authority:*"When I die, do I cease or continue to be?"

      As with all really important things in life, this is as much a decision as a conclusion; as much faith as knowledge, and hope as certainty. It is a choice to live my life on the most fundamental premise I can identify, and therefore a valid (if not required) exercise of the primordial powers of rational thought and agency that make me human and enable all the noble qualities to which I might aspire.

      I have decided, on all the internal and external evidences my senses have touched, that I do not die, but change at death, and that therefore my time here has important meaning and purpose.

      Whether God is or not, or Joseph Smith was or not what he professed to be, or the Bible or Book of Mormon are or are not what their own words state, do we share common ground on the soul's immortality? Or might there be something else?

      I wonder if it is possible for two persons in our respective positions, one with the dread Mormon handicap and the other loosed from institutional moorings, to build a discussion from bricks of agreement rather than the other kind.
      You are a very good writer! I think there is much hope that we could "build a discussion from bricks of agreement"! Have you been reading my writings? My primary purpose in all discussions is to find the point of agreement and build from there. Otherwise, we just talk past each other. It may be that we finally find a fundamental point of disagreement. But that is great progress because it means we understand our differences.

      I know there is a lot of mud slung in religious debates, but from everything I've read, which includes the original writings of Joseph Smith and the leaders that followed after, it seems totally obvious to me that the religion was just made up. I mean do you really believe he was shown "Golden Plates" by an angel and given magic spectacles so he could read them? Really? And do you really think that he could translate "reformed Eqyptian" or that the funerary document was really the "lost book of Abraham" as he contended? His claims have been proven fraudulent and you know this if you know anything about your religion. There are so many holes in the basic Mormon doctrines no one needs to sling any mud. All they need to do is accurately quote the official teachings of the church and that pretty much settles the issue. Mud only confuses the otherwise obvious fact that Mormonism was fabricated out of whole cloth by an obvious conman. Believe me, after two years in Scientology, I can smell a conman from a mile away.

      Now I trust you won't be offended by plain speech. Truth is too important to cover up falsehood with fancy words. I don't know anything about you, but you claim to be knowledgeable of your faith, so you know my words are founded on fact. If I have erred in anything I have written, you need only provide the proof and I will publicly repent. I've got nothing to lose but the false opinions I may hold, so you will be doing me a great service. And besides, if the things I have read about Joseph Smith are false you should take this opportunity to share the truth.

      Now as for your decision to believe in an immortal soul, that's fine. We have no certain knowledge so you are justified to believe whatever you like. And there is no harm believing you are immortal since you won't be there to see your error if you are wrong. The only harm would come if you ruined your life here in hope of a false future.

      But I can't say that we share a common belief because I am agnostic about the soul. I don't even know if there is such a thing as a "soul" separate from the body, let alone if it is immortal. Many Christians believe the soul is the body, and you don't exist when you die, but you will exist again when God resurrects you. Given so many possibilities coupled with my ignorance, why would I choose one belief over another? I'm happy to live and not worry about, especially since no amount of worry or speculation will change a thing.

      Great chatting! I look forward to building with bricks of agreement.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      This is difficult. Was your leaving Christianity an affirmative move toward something else, or just a kicking off of shoes grown restrictive in favor of bare feet? And why would anyone want to tear down another's faith without having something better to offer? Believing nothing is carefree, but so is a fall until the sidewalk, then consequences quickly become disastrous and perhaps irreparable.

      So before I engage in another round of defend-my-faith, what are you offering? And as my suggested common starting point wasn't, what is?
    1. Richard Amiel McGough's Avatar
      Richard Amiel McGough -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
      This is difficult. Was your leaving Christianity an affirmative move toward something else, or just a kicking off of shoes grown restrictive in favor of bare feet? And why would anyone want to tear down another's faith without having something better to offer? Believing nothing is carefree, but so is a fall until the sidewalk, then consequences quickly become disastrous and perhaps irreparable.

      So before I engage in another round of defend-my-faith, what are you offering? And as my suggested common starting point wasn't, what is?
      Hey there "unregistered" - it would help if we are going to continue this conversation if you entered some screen name so we (and our readers) can keep track of what has been said between us.

      My quitting Christianity was a very affirmative step toward "something else" ... the "something" being truth, of course.

      I have no desire to "tear down another's faith" at all. But such can't be avoided if their "faith" is not based on reality.

      And I most certainly have something better to offer - TRUTH! FREEDOM! REALITY! - though it is not I who offers it, of course. It is presented to each person in this world through their senses and their understanding. But it gets all mucked up with invented doctrines that are utterly absurd. All Christians know this because they see others lost in religious delusion whether it be other religions like Scientology, Hinduism, Islam, etc. or aberrations within Christianity such as the Benny Hinn $alvation and Healing Carnival. So you can't have anything against what I am doing, except that you don't like the fact that I am applying the same standards to your beliefs as I do to all others.

      A good common starting point? I don't know. What do you think we are hoping to accomplish in our discourse? Do you want to defend Mormonism? If so, then begin by presenting facts that prove he wasn't a conman who just made up his religion out of whole cloth. Prove that his assertions about the lost Book of Abraham are not the utter absurdity that they appear to be. Give DNA evidence that supports his assertion that the Americas were populated by Jews. Things like that - FACTS - would be a great place to start.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
      Hey there "unregistered" - it would help if we are going to continue this conversation if you entered some screen name so we (and our readers) can keep track of what has been said between us. My quitting Christianity was a very affirmative step toward "something else" ... the "something" being truth, of course.
      Here is the dilemma. I come painted with predefined beliefs–you want me to defend everything Mormon–while you, disclaiming belief in anything, need defend nothing. You claim to offer truth, but really only liberation from others’ truth. Your freedom seems to be to question everything, making every answer interim, everything uncertain, and undermining the rightness of every moral standard and the nobility of every virtue. A building never gets built if the builder always questions its design. And who among us can see or foresee the complete design of our reality? So far, no bricks of agreement appear.

      The discussion you seem to want is futile. I’ve been around it many times. Mormonism presents a juicy target for those with no interest to understand it, because it professes a divine source and authority, continuing revelation, an ultimate truth, and an eternal standard of right and wrong. And when I gain some traction on one topic, it is quickly changed, like a carnival shooting gallery where a yellow duck on the wheel is shot down, only to pop back up on the way around and reappear unruffled. My faith is too personal for that. I love and cherish its beauty and power centered in Christ. If you're ever interested, look at mormon.org.

      Thank you for the chance to exchange a few thoughts on your blog. I'll sign off now.
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