I was, but I'm not anymore
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10-12-2011, 02:55 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(09-12-2011 05:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(09-12-2011 01:58 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  A picture of Reverend Erxomai before he was hellbound. Circa 2000ish.
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Goddam HP, if you had been selling anything other than Jesus, anything at all, you'd be a filthy rich fucker by now.

Really? Would you buy a used car from this man?

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10-12-2011, 04:06 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(10-12-2011 02:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  Really? Would you buy a used car from this man?

I would if I were you. The last used car I sold, I got talked down from $5200 to $3700. Big Grin

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10-12-2011, 05:15 PM
 
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
I believed in god, just not the bible, which I never actually read (asides from a few sections). Wasn't hard to turn agnostic, then atheist, after learning more.
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10-12-2011, 06:18 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(10-12-2011 02:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(09-12-2011 05:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(09-12-2011 01:58 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  A picture of Reverend Erxomai before he was hellbound. Circa 2000ish.
[Image: 373876_10150451351153399_721933398_85214...3779_n.jpg]

Goddam HP, if you had been selling anything other than Jesus, anything at all, you'd be a filthy rich fucker by now.

Really? Would you buy a used car from this man?

I have aspirations of running a megachurch someday - there's a buttload of $$$$ in selling Jesus. Every time I hear Joel Osteen on CNN I'm convinced I'm in the wrong business.

My wife tells me I can't do it because I'm an atheist - but I think that's just part of the appeal - "I once was blind, but now I see" Wink

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10-12-2011, 06:42 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(10-12-2011 06:18 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  I have aspirations of running a megachurch someday - there's a buttload of $$$$ in selling Jesus. Every time I hear Joel Osteen on CNN I'm convinced I'm in the wrong business.

My wife tells me I can't do it because I'm an atheist - but I think that's just part of the appeal - "I once was blind, but now I see" Wink

I had a "heathen" friend when I was fresh out of Seminary and starting a small church in Sacramento. He was finishing up a physical therapy degree and it was his intention to build a big practice and become rich. He said to me one day, "Pastor Erxomai, when I'm rich in the future, I'm going to buy you you're own TV Evangelist show!" lulz... My kind-hearted friend had it in his mind that TV Evangelist was like the top rung of the ladder that all pastors should ascribe toward. Pff, I was just happy to get 20 people to show up for my church plant! Big Grin

But now I don't have those Christian morals so I wouldn't mind getting on TV and getting mine by fleecing the Sheeples. If you want to do it, I'll look up my old friend in Sacramento and see how far along he's coming on building his fortune.

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10-12-2011, 06:52 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(10-12-2011 06:42 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  But now I don't have those Christian morals so I wouldn't mind getting on TV and getting mine by fleecing the Sheeples. If you want to do it, I'll look up my old friend in Sacramento and see how far along he's coming on building his fortune.

I just keep seeing the Jerry Maguire - "show me the money!"

It's all about the quan baby...

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10-12-2011, 08:12 PM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
Eeew. Money can't buy me no Gwynnies. It does buy me Hershey's Kisses with caramel. If I wasn't poor, I'd be ill. Big Grin

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11-12-2011, 08:22 AM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(10-12-2011 04:06 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(10-12-2011 02:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  Really? Would you buy a used car from this man?

I would if I were you. The last used car I sold, I got talked down from $5200 to $3700. Big Grin
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I was wondering...
What started your change?

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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11-12-2011, 09:30 AM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2011 09:49 AM by Erxomai.)
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
(11-12-2011 08:22 AM)The_observer Wrote:  I would if I were you. The last used car I sold, I got talked down from $5200 to $3700. Big Grin
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Smile

[/quote]

Yeah, I guess the old turn the other cheek stuff is hard to get out of one's system. Smile

(11-12-2011 08:22 AM)The_observer Wrote:  I was wondering...
What started your change?

Dammit, when am I going to learn and stop giving this information out for free? Big Grin

Lucky for this lazy procrastinator, I have bits and pieces of this answer scattered around here and there so, some of you have read this before in PMs or various posts.

Here it is in a shortened version. (You've also reminded me that Kingschosen created a whole thread for me to do this in, so I better get to work on that one too!).

Looking back, there are 2 significant events that I can point to, that at the time I had no idea they were the chinks in the armor.

Sometime around 2000, I was looking something up online for a sermon. I found an open letter that a former pastor, now atheist, had written about his experience. If I had ever known about pastors turned atheists, it had certainly never been as real to me as this man's letter. He was a real guy. He had real emotions and real struggles. I tried to imagine the anguish it would cause to not only leave the ministry, but even worse to leave Jesus? Heavy stuff, man. Repress those questions for later, son.

Then around 2002, I briefly dated this chick who, when it came time for her to break up, told me I didn't have any passion for doing what I was doing and she needed to be with someone who had passion for their work. I thought this was ridiculous. How could she say such a thing, and did this mean we weren't going to have sex anymore?

Her comments really stuck with me. It was the inertia I needed to start the process of leaving the ministry, which still didn't happen until a year and a half later. I still went to church, and I still identified as a Christian, I just no longer was a pastor. I suppose for most people, they would just say, "Big deal, so you quit a job. Everyone quits jobs and moves on." Well, I can say from experience, quitting a job working for Burger King is a heck of a lot easier than leaving the ministry. In some way, it may be worse than coming out as an atheist (which I haven't fully or publicly done yet...8 years later and my mom still has a tough time understanding why I'm not a pastor anymore).

Once I stopped going to church, little by little the brainwashing wore off, but it took a very long time. Most of the past 8 years have been spent with my brain turned off. I didn't want to read anything on the topic of religion. I didn't want to debate anything with anyone. My mind became an intellectual wasteland (and that was before I started smoking pot, so imagine the wasteland it is now!). Over time I realized I had become a de facto agnostic (though still leaning toward theism), but last Christmas Eve, as I left the service, I made the decision that that would be the last time I voluntarily went to church. I'd still go if there was a funeral or something, but I had finally quit the church once and for all. Throughout this year I found Dawkins and Harris and Barker and Seth, and I ended up here. In August, I said the words out loud, "I'm an atheist," and I finally felt the freedom that I was supposed to have in Christ, but never found. In the 70's, around the US, there was a Christian campaign to put bumperstickers and billboards all around that said, "I Found It!" It was supposed to generate conversations about being born again. Well, after all these years, I've truly found it...It is This. And This is all there is, so we might as well enjoy it!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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11-12-2011, 10:47 AM
RE: I was, but I'm not anymore
Erxomai, have you heard about the Clergy Project? It's good stuff... an attempt to help out clergy who have become atheists but don't know what to do after that point.

I myself was a Christian for many years, but after a lot of bible study I found that the bible's commands didn't align with how Christians believed. For instance, after reviewing Jesus' words that with a tiny amount of faith you can move mountains, I put that to the test. Guess what? Even with a mustard 'tree' full of faith, you can't move a penny. My family explained it away to the point of irrelevancy, trying to make it sound like 'ask and ye shall receive' means anything other than 'pray and you'll get it, if it's okay with God'. As you now know, prayer doesn't actually affect anything, and any attempts to test prayer will end in crushing disappointment.

There were other things, too. I didn't understand why we ate pig and shellfish now, even though the bible never gave permission. I didn't understand why we stopped keeping the Sabbath holy (it's one of the 10 commandments!) or why Paul's admonitions about women and their place weren't kept (yes, ladies, we support your right to have a voice now).

I'm happy to report that I'm an atheist now, and I don't have bouts with doubts like I used to when I was 'saved'. My parents still think of me as a Christian (because the bible says 'you can't be plucked from God's hand') even though I'm obviously not a believer, nor is it likely that I ever will be again.

I'm happy to read about your escape, Erxomai, and I'm so glad that I didn't have as much invested in my religion as you did. You had to sacrifice a lot more than I did.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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