Joining a church...

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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:15 pm

Some more quotes:

 I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life. — Andrew Carnegie

All thinking men are atheists. — Ernest Hemingway

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches. — Benjamin Franklin

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. — Edward Gibbon

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church. — Ferdinand Magellan

Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends. — Woody Allen

It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous. — Gloria Steinem
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby cprice12 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:22 am

dmiles2186 wrote:So...an update for those who care.

Taking it back a few weeks, I was kind of purposely trying to avoid Preach (as I'll call the preacher) so we didn't schedule anything. He caught me and had an awkward conversation with me trying to schedule a time. His first suggestion was last Thursday, which I told him was a no-go since, you know, Game 1. We never set a time but he told me he was going to try to get with me about it.

Immediately after this conversation, my wife comes up and whispers to me, "We need to talk about him (Preach). I've got some news about him."

So we get out to the car and she tells me that a majority of the people in the church are unhappy with him, they don't like how he's running things, and they're having a church board meeting with the Pastor and the leader of the church's conference that Tuesday.

So the meeting comes and goes, he apparently said he felt like he 'let the church down,' 'disobeyed their trust,' etc.

He apparently visited my in laws (who are on the church board) and was apologizing to them, saying the same things, just directly to them. While at their house, he looked up at a picture of my wife and I and says, 'You've got a great daughter and son-in-law there.' He made mention of me in some capacity, like about how I wasn't a Christian, or whatever. Almost as if he thought my in laws didn't know. My mother in law corrected him, "Oh, I know his story."

So then he starts telling her. "I reached out to him to maybe try to hang out some time. I feel like I've made a connection there."

He rattled on and my mother in law corrected him, "Well, if there is one thing I know about my son in law, it's that he needs his space (Go her!)."

What made her a little worried is that he was so oblivious to how he was pushing me away, that he felt like he was making a connection with me. And I agree with her, it's always been my problem with him. He doesn't know how to read a room.

Cut to today, get a text from my wife: "Mom just got a letter. Pastor is leaving the church."

So from two weeks ago, it goes from him badgering me to him leaving the church. This is a guy who uprooted his family from Pennsylvania to move to our podunk town in So. Ill. less than a year ago. I feel bad for him, but at the same time, I'm sort of happy that he's not going to be around to bug me like this any more. Just a weird story.


The church I went to growing up went through a few pastors when I was there. A number of folks in the church community didn't like so and so, mainly because he adopted an African American child (pastor was white)...that didn't go over very well, so they ended up ousting him. WTF? And then they had a female pastor...which didn't last that long and they brought someone else in.
I always thought that was odd...that whole process.
It doesn't seem very Christian to "dislike" your pastor for adopting a child of a different color and to talk bad about him or her...and then vote them out or make them leave. Seems douchey, un-Christian, dick-like, etc. They all seemed nice enough to me...but I didn't know all of the details...just hearsay.
Kind of turned me off to the whole church community thing.
And I don't even want to bring up cutthroat church softball leagues. :roll:
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sat May 10, 2014 12:11 am

There is a Religion and Ethics Newsweekly show on PBS. This past week they had a segment on how pastors graduating from bible school can't get full time pastoring jobs. They said it's due to shrinking church attendance in America. They even showed 2 graduates from Covenant seminary in St.Louis who can't find work and one now works as a mall security guard!
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sat May 10, 2014 12:14 am

Cprice, there is an entire form of Christianity called Christian Identity and they are very racist. They say it's justified in the bible that blacks are inferior and should be slaves. I met one once and he said that's how colonists justified slavery for centuries by using the bible!
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby cprice12 » Sat May 10, 2014 2:36 pm

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:Cprice, there is an entire form of Christianity called Christian Identity and they are very racist. They say it's justified in the bible that blacks are inferior and should be slaves. I met one once and he said that's how colonists justified slavery for centuries by using the bible!


Their congregation wasn't Christian Identity, or anything like that...they were just idiots.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sun May 18, 2014 5:23 am

7 Startling Facts about Church attendance in America

His findings reveal that the actual rate of church attendance from head counts is less than half of the 40% the pollsters report. Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7% of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend.

Another study published in 2005 in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religionby sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler — known for their scholarly research on the Church — backs up his findings. Their report reveals that the actual number of people worshipping each week is closer to Olson"s 17.7% figure — 52 million people instead of the pollster-reported 132 million (40%).

http://www.churchleaders.com/mobile/pas ... erica.html
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby dmiles2186 » Sun May 18, 2014 6:54 am

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:7 Startling Facts about Church attendance in America

His findings reveal that the actual rate of church attendance from head counts is less than half of the 40% the pollsters report. Numbers from actual counts of people in Orthodox Christian churches (Catholic, mainline and evangelical) show that in 2004, 17.7% of the population attended a Christian church on any given weekend.

Another study published in 2005 in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religionby sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler — known for their scholarly research on the Church — backs up his findings. Their report reveals that the actual number of people worshipping each week is closer to Olson"s 17.7% figure — 52 million people instead of the pollster-reported 132 million (40%).

http://www.churchleaders.com/mobile/pas ... erica.html


I know your stance on all of this, but what does church attendance matter? I skimmed through the article you posted and it specifically mentioned the # of folks going to church on Sundays. So does this factor in the people who can't attend church Sunday morning so they attend Sunday or Wednesday nights? Because there is a large number of people who do that.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I can definitely see some churches fudging with attendance numbers to make themselves look better but I don't find it as part of some grand conspiracy or anything.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sun May 18, 2014 9:33 am

Dmiles, it's just something someone sent me. I actually have been to several churches and spoken with many different clergy of different denominations. The shocking thing is some of the biggest atheists were hardcore evangelicals at one point!

The producer of the documentary The God Who Wasn't There was a hardcore evangelist before he did the research and found out the truth. The guy who runs the Debunking Christianity blog is a former minister! The Clergy Project is a bunch of ex - clergy who left the church.

The TRUTH is not a single historical character ever saw an earthly Jesus, Moses, Noah, Adam&Eve, etc. and there is not a shred of objective evidence that major characters and events in the bible are any more real than Zeus, Thor, or Apollo! Every day more and more people realize this as secularism grows bigger every year.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby glen a richter » Sat May 24, 2014 7:49 pm

I think the evidence that a figure named Jesus did exist is fairly well accepted. Whether he did or didn't do the miraculous things he's purported to have done is up for debate. I mean there are definitely many good reasons to doubt that a guy could, for example, spit on the ground and use the mud to make a blind man see. But I also believe the bible is meant more as a guidebook than to be interpreted literally. If it were meant to be interpreted literally, we'd all be going to hell for one reason or another and god would be a cruel and vengeful god, at best. As a scientific mind, myself, I do demand evidence to support everything. I won't go as far as to say the existence of a god is impossible, but I also won't say the existence of a god is a certainty. I do know that there is plenty of evidence that Jesus did exist, though.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sat May 24, 2014 11:42 pm

glen a richter wrote:I think the evidence that a figure named Jesus did exist is fairly well accepted. Whether he did or didn't do the miraculous things he's purported to have done is up for debate. I mean there are definitely many good reasons to doubt that a guy could, for example, spit on the ground and use the mud to make a blind man see. But I also believe the bible is meant more as a guidebook than to be interpreted literally. If it were meant to be interpreted literally, we'd all be going to hell for one reason or another and god would be a cruel and vengeful god, at best. As a scientific mind, myself, I do demand evidence to support everything. I won't go as far as to say the existence of a god is impossible, but I also won't say the existence of a god is a certainty. I do know that there is plenty of evidence that Jesus did exist, though.


WRONG dude. "The bible says so" is not evidence. You realize not a SINGLE historical character EVER saw an earthly Jesus, Moses, Noah, Adam&Eve, etc. These characters and events in the bible are clearly allegorical and symbolic and not literal. Nowhere in the bible does it say "we mean this to be taken literally"!

There is a very interesting article I found on how the fact that Adam&Eve is an impossibility and myth destroys the entire foundation of Christianity. I had to cut and paste so it's in the next post.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sat May 24, 2014 11:45 pm

The College is in a ferment over a topic close to my heart: the historicity of Adam and Eve. Even conservative Christians, it seems, have trouble believing that Adam and Eve were the literal ancestors of humanity. That historicity has become increasingly problematic since the appearance of new papers in population genetics, showing that over the last few hundred thousand years, the population of Homo sapiens could not have been smaller than about 12,250 (10,000 who remained in Africa and 2,250 who migrated out of Africa to populate the rest of the globe).

In other words, the human population never comprised only two people. And if Adam and Eve weren’t the literal ancestors of humanity, then a critical part of the Genesis story is wrong: the acquisition of Original Sin. And if there were no Original Sin accrued by a literal Adam and Eve, then all of us—their supposed descendants—aren’t sinful by birth, and Jesus’s return wasn’t necessary.


http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.c ... r.html?m=1
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby dmiles2186 » Sun May 25, 2014 6:17 am

I do agree with glen about the Bible, it's definitely a guidebook on a moralistic way to live life. There are quite a few folks who take it literally though, and I'm not going to hate on them for doing that. It's a faith based religion, so you've gotta go all the way if you really want to believe it. "The Book of Mormon" (the musical, not the actual book) had a theme similar to that. What I believe is crazy to someone else, and what they believe is crazy to someone else, and so on. Every religion, belief, or even choosing to believe in nothing, is unthinkable from the outside looking in. But as long as YOU have the faith/belief in it, that's all that really matters because it's only affecting you.

But I digress.

Part of the reason I still go to church is because the Bible is a good guidebook. I don't take it literally. I'm not sitting there like, 'Oh yeah man. I bet a dude could totally part a sea by pointing at it.' But the Bible definitely is a nice instruction manual, if you want to call it that.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sun May 25, 2014 12:38 pm

dmiles2186 wrote:I do agree with glen about the Bible, it's definitely a guidebook on a moralistic way to live life. There are quite a few folks who take it literally though, and I'm not going to hate on them for doing that. It's a faith based religion, so you've gotta go all the way if you really want to believe it. "The Book of Mormon" (the musical, not the actual book) had a theme similar to that. What I believe is crazy to someone else, and what they believe is crazy to someone else, and so on. Every religion, belief, or even choosing to believe in nothing, is unthinkable from the outside looking in. But as long as YOU have the faith/belief in it, that's all that really matters because it's only affecting you.

But I digress.

Part of the reason I still go to church is because the Bible is a good guidebook. I don't take it literally. I'm not sitting there like, 'Oh yeah man. I bet a dude could totally part a sea by pointing at it.' But the Bible definitely is a nice instruction manual, if you want to call it that.


Dude, you've obviously never read the bible! It is EVIL to the core! It tells you to kill and MURDER people simply because they have a different belief, beat & kill kids, and assault/rape women! I posted a sample of bible passages in the next post so you can see how wrong you are!
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sun May 25, 2014 12:39 pm

You must kill those who worship another god.  Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own.  Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you.  Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own.  Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Mark 6:11

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Re: Joining a church...

Postby dmiles2186 » Sun May 25, 2014 1:41 pm

I've 'obviously' never read the Bible....except that I have. I don't claim to be a scholar or anything. I've not read every single page. And yes, I know there are some negative things in the Bible.

In your quest to prove how wrong we all are (and again, I'm not a Christian), you are doing pretty much what most Christians do: try to prove how they know all and you should join them.

"I don't believe in God." "Here's a verse to show you how wrong you are!"

"I read the Bible and there are some pretty decent things in here." "Here's a verse to show you how wrong you are!"

I guess the Ten Commandments are evil? I can't take positive out of that? Should I disobey the Ten Commandments and murder people? Disrespect my elders? Covet all my neighbors' wives? You also apparently missed the part where I said I don't take the Bible literally. I don't believe the entire Bible. I'm not going door to door to try to convince people they're right or wrong. Just for me personally, there are some definite positive things to take away from the stories in the Bible. That's all.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby cardsfan04 » Sun May 25, 2014 3:52 pm

dmiles2186 wrote:I do agree with glen about the Bible, it's definitely a guidebook on a moralistic way to live life. There are quite a few folks who take it literally though, and I'm not going to hate on them for doing that. It's a faith based religion, so you've gotta go all the way if you really want to believe it. "The Book of Mormon" (the musical, not the actual book) had a theme similar to that. What I believe is crazy to someone else, and what they believe is crazy to someone else, and so on. Every religion, belief, or even choosing to believe in nothing, is unthinkable from the outside looking in. But as long as YOU have the faith/belief in it, that's all that really matters because it's only affecting you.

But I digress.

Part of the reason I still go to church is because the Bible is a good guidebook. I don't take it literally. I'm not sitting there like, 'Oh yeah man. I bet a dude could totally part a sea by pointing at it.' But the Bible definitely is a nice instruction manual, if you want to call it that.


That's pretty much how I am too. I was raised Catholic, and while I don't self-identify as an atheist, a lot of my beliefs are consistent with atheism, if that makes any sense.

But, I do see value in religion, whether it be Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc. The main commonality between them, IMO, is that they establish a code for living. I don't agree with every idea that any one religion puts forth, but, in a general sense, there is value in the morality that they establish. I went to Catholic HS and something they taught was that the Bible is truthful, not factual. Basically, what they meant by that is that not everything in the Bible actually happened (Adam and Eve, for example), but there is a purpose to everything being in the Bible.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby cardsfan04 » Sun May 25, 2014 3:57 pm

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:You must kill those who worship another god.  Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own.  Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you.  Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own.  Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Mark 6:11



FYI, all but one of those are from the Old Testament and the one from the New Testament is clearly symbolic. Christianity generally looks to the New Testament for morality.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Sun May 25, 2014 4:41 pm

cardsfan04 wrote:
JesusNEVERexisted wrote:You must kill those who worship another god.  Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own.  Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you.  Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own.  Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20

Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Mark 6:11

FYI, all but one of those are from the Old Testament and the one from the New Testament is clearly symbolic. Christianity generally looks to the New Testament for morality.


That may be but I even asked a pastor once and he said it's all the same god and it all carries equal weight.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby glen a richter » Sun May 25, 2014 7:48 pm

Everyone knows the old testament depicts a god as a cruel and vengeful god demanding death to anyone who doesn't fit into his/her/its view of how people should be. The old testament is rather loopy, to put it mildly. If I'm not mistaken, the old testament (at least the beginning of it) = the Torah and the new testament was basically the Christian addition. Of course the 1st five books of the old testament includes Leviticus which is probably the most hate filled piece of literature ever written. I'm actually surprised, JNE, that you didn't quote a single verse from that book to support your argument.

For the record, I believe the best way to describe me would be agnostic. I was raised Catholic by a very very religious mother and a not religious father. Of course mom is straight up Italian through and through so her entire side of the family was church Sunday morning, huge Italian dinner Sunday afternoon. I find it very hard to wrap myself around the idea that an unseen entity created everything with the snap of his fingers over a period of one week 5000 or so years ago. Of course this is because I understand things like radioactive dating and the big bang theory. I accept that it is POSSIBLE some higher power maybe set all these things in motion, the universal laws as we know them. That's not out of fear that when I die I'll have to face St. Peter and want to leave myself an out when asked why I didn't believe, it's because I know not to discount anything until it's been proven wrong. The existence of a god, I suppose, is something we'll never be able to prove or disprove until we die. In the meantime, I'll go about my life trying to be the best person I can be for everyone who counts on me and I don't really feel that it's necessary to go to church and try to pray your way to salvation. If there is a god, I think he'd be more satisfied that you lived life properly and never went to church than you spent an hour a week at church and then the other six days a week being a complete moron to everyone you met. If there isn't a god, it's all moot.
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Re: Joining a church...

Postby JesusNEVERexisted » Mon May 26, 2014 4:59 am

You make good points glen but there is one crucial point all you guys must remember. The burden of proof is on the believer! This stuff about you cannot prove or disprove a god is a useless argument because you cannot prove ANYTHING doesn't exist! Even a Christian cannot prove Zeus or Apollo isn't real. You cannot prove a negative but you can use logic to reach some pretty obvious conclusions.

How do you Christians explain the hundreds (if not thousands) of sick Christian kids who die every year? I've even asked Christian clergy about this and they have NO answer. To their parents it made no difference if they prayed to Medusa or Jesus because their kid died.

All I'm saying is if you Christians believe literally thousands of gods are fake then by logical extension and common sense YOUR GOD IS FAKE TOO! I have been to multiple churches of different denominations and Jesus is just as absent there as Hercules or any other god! I noticed Christians are full of doubt and strongly question their own religion. All I'm saying is just be realistic and use common sense! If humans can make up stories of thousands of gods they can easily make up a story of another one that no one ever saw on earth named Jesus!
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