Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
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15-01-2014, 10:45 AM
Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
Hi All,

I have been undergoing my deconversion over the past 6+ months and I feel so free and happy it is crazy!

I am in the closet about my true beliefs (or lack of) because of a deeply religious family and spouse and there would be too many negative ramifications if I was to be too open about my "none" status. This does not stop me from asking very pointed questions and being clear about my skepticism.

The problem that I am encountering is while discussing religion with some close, trusted Christian friends that I grew up with - I continue to get comments about how the bible may not be true, or was tainted or how it only had "tidbits of truth". My immediate question to that is how they can justify considering themselves "Christian" if they don't even rely on the bible as their source of faith. They tend to give the generic answers about how "Jesus worked in their life" or how "Jesus healed so-and-so" and how it is all personal experiences that are only for them that confirm their beliefs - basically ending with how they "have faith".

I am reading A Manual For Creating Atheists now, but I was wondering how the community here deals with this.

I know that there are many sarcastic comments that immediately come to mind, but please refrain if you can Tongue
I am hoping to hear some tactics that have worked in the real world.


Thanks Smile

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15-01-2014, 12:00 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
(15-01-2014 10:45 AM)zachzachzachzach Wrote:  I have been undergoing my deconversion over the past 6+ months and I feel so free and happy it is crazy!

Glad to hear it! Big Grin


(15-01-2014 10:45 AM)zachzachzachzach Wrote:  The problem that I am encountering is while discussing religion with some close, trusted Christian friends that I grew up with - I continue to get comments about how the bible may not be true, or was tainted or how it only had "tidbits of truth". My immediate question to that is how they can justify considering themselves "Christian" if they don't even rely on the bible as their source of faith. They tend to give the generic answers about how "Jesus worked in their life" or how "Jesus healed so-and-so" and how it is all personal experiences that are only for them that confirm their beliefs - basically ending with how they "have faith".

My wife is this type of Christian. She basically believes the Bible was written by people who felt touched by God in some way, but he was in no way guiding their hand. This makes it easy to dismiss the troubling parts. She even doesn't believe in hell.

To ask how they could consider themselves "Christian", note that all you need to do to accurately label yourself that way is "follow Christ". The range of beliefs that fall under that label is huge.
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15-01-2014, 12:13 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
(15-01-2014 12:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  To ask how they could consider themselves "Christian", note that all you need to do to accurately label yourself that way is "follow Christ". The range of beliefs that fall under that label is huge.

I used to use that line when I was a Christian - I must have blocked it out because I didn't even think about that!

For me, studying the bible and seeing the contradictions is what started my deconversion. I [naively?!] thought that it might have the same sway with others. It is sad to watch, especially with my close friends.

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15-01-2014, 12:30 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
Welcome to TTA.

It depends on what they say. I never argue with people's personal reasons for their belief because you can't fix crazy.

Example: A friend explained they know there's a heaven because they "saw" their dead grandmother who told them so. Therefore god must be real.

You can't effectively argue that without calling them crazy.

All the Jebus stuff was written down between 30-70 years after his death...It's like a game of Chinese Whispers...Simple things become miracles. They are embellished stories and some outright myths retold with his name in the place of others.

Saul of Tarsus (Apostle Paul) never knew jebus -- or from his own writings never knew much about his birth or death either for that matter. Jebus came to him in a dream -- a wild hallucination.

Mary (jebus's mother) seemed to be senile, even tho she was a "young girl" because she seemed to habitually forget that she'd given birth to son of god.. She'd question what he was doing and he'd give her the brush off...LIke "Bitch don't know who I am?"

But knowing and understanding all that doesn't really help you deal with family or close friends.

Depending on how your family is about their religion, depends on how many waves you want to make.

I think the best thing is to be a good person without god and show that atheists aren't assholes....


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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15-01-2014, 12:31 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
(15-01-2014 12:13 PM)zachzachzachzach Wrote:  For me, studying the bible and seeing the contradictions is what started my deconversion. I [naively?!] thought that it might have the same sway with others. It is sad to watch, especially with my close friends.

Yeah, people are going to believe what they want to believe.

Regarding the contradictions, they resolve that in two ways:

1) They cut the Bible some slack, and say it's not meant to be 100% literal. This can be done in many ways.

2) They double down on their crazy and insist there are no contradictions. If you ever get into a discussion with a well-read fundy, you will be amazed at the amount of mental gymnastics one person can go through. It really is equally fascinating and infuriating.
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15-01-2014, 12:37 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
Skepticism about the Bible is an important step on the road from faith, but it is only a step.

Speaking only for myself: I began to question certain Biblical "truths" only about a decade ago (I'm in my mid-40s now). I used to try to reconcile science with Genesis by falling on the gap theory, which places the majority of human history (including the dinosaurs, etc) in between the first two verses of Genesis. Thus, I believed Genesis was literally true, but not complete. Adam and Eve were real. The flood was real. Etc.

The first Biblical story I truly questioned and ultimately dismissed as ahistorical was Job. This story was inconsistent with the rest of the Bible regarding the relationship between God and Satan. Satan doesn't ask for permission to visit evil on man! God wouldn't allow someone's entire family to be wiped out and then make it up to him by giving him a new family (that doesn't work with kids and their dogs; why would anyone think it works for God and his worshipers?).

Once I opened the door for Job to be a story and not history, other doubts marched right in. Adam and Eve weren't literally the first man and woman. The flood didn't cover the whole earth. The diversity of human language did not begin in the middle east a couple of generations after the flood. These stories were not true! (I would later learn that Exodus was a bunch of hogwash, too, but that was post-deconversion).

So for a while, I knew that the Bible was not reliable as history. I was in the same position as your friends: I still held onto Jesus, because I still believed in the resurrection. I could not see how anyone, such as those in the first century church, would be willing to die rather than recant their belief in the resurrection if they knew for a fact that it was made up.

My final break from Christianity came when I looked for the historical evidence of such early church martyrdom and found that there was none.

Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. I was done.

Your friends have not reached that final step. They do not question the basic Christian story. They still believe in the resurrection of Jesus, and as long as they do, they can claim to be Christian, even while doubting other parts of the Bible.
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15-01-2014, 12:44 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
The thought that there is no heaven, makes me really enjoy this life .. I make the best of it.. nobody knows what happens after death.. .. and for people to tell other people that there is an afterlife "with no proof"are ignorant. And for people being good now cause theres a reward later.... ha
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15-01-2014, 01:14 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
(15-01-2014 12:44 PM)truthBtold Wrote:  The thought that there is no heaven, makes me really enjoy this life .. I make the best of it.. nobody knows what happens after death.. .. and for people to tell other people that there is an afterlife "with no proof"are ignorant. And for people being good now cause theres a reward later.... ha

The friend that I was talking to today was saying how he has been at this "crossroads" for a while and was considering not believing anymore, but it gives him comfort to think that there will be an afterlife that isn't riddled with the "emotional mess" that is this life.

I was trying to explain that without an afterlife that makes this life all the better - to make the most of every day and to not succumb to seeing things so negatively because "this is it" is liberating. This friend really has had a hard life, so if he finds comfort in being a loosely labeled Christian I don't want to take that away from him. In this particular situation I do hope that what we discussed marinates with him and maybe gives him the courage to look at life in a better light. I can only hope.

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15-01-2014, 01:39 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
Maybe you can ask your friends under what authority / by what criteria do they reject the parts of the bible that they reject?

And further, should these criteria apply for everyone else? And if not, why not?

Consider

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15-01-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: Christians Who Don't Trust The Bible
(15-01-2014 10:45 AM)zachzachzachzach Wrote:  Hi All,

I have been undergoing my deconversion over the past 6+ months and I feel so free and happy it is crazy!

I am in the closet about my true beliefs (or lack of) because of a deeply religious family and spouse and there would be too many negative ramifications if I was to be too open about my "none" status. This does not stop me from asking very pointed questions and being clear about my skepticism.

The problem that I am encountering is while discussing religion with some close, trusted Christian friends that I grew up with - I continue to get comments about how the bible may not be true, or was tainted or how it only had "tidbits of truth". My immediate question to that is how they can justify considering themselves "Christian" if they don't even rely on the bible as their source of faith. They tend to give the generic answers about how "Jesus worked in their life" or how "Jesus healed so-and-so" and how it is all personal experiences that are only for them that confirm their beliefs - basically ending with how they "have faith".

I am reading A Manual For Creating Atheists now, but I was wondering how the community here deals with this.

I know that there are many sarcastic comments that immediately come to mind, but please refrain if you can Tongue
I am hoping to hear some tactics that have worked in the real world.


Thanks Smile


I feel very RainMan when I say your screen name. So may I shorten it to Zach, please?

Welcome to the shark pit. Your fin size my vary. We do not discriminate against ANYthing here -------- except for stupid. We tend to take issue with stupid. I'm glad you are here and extra glad you appear Not Stupid Thumbsup

Last I checked no one here "creates" atheists. Although spontaneous moments of extreme insight and rational thinking has been known to occur.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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