Leaving the Faith

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Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:29 pm

As the name implies, I am curious why people leave their faith. What was it that caused people to abandon their religion? Also, what made these folks believe they were believers in the first place?
To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. -- A.W. Tozer
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Tim-the-Hermit » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm

Hi. What do you mean by 'believers' and why is it important to god? I'll get back tomorrow to answer your questions.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby sayak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:30 pm

Chapabel wrote:As the name implies, I am curious why people leave their faith. What was it that caused people to abandon their religion? Also, what made these folks believe they were believers in the first place?


Only the christian faith or any?
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:47 am

sayak wrote:
Chapabel wrote:As the name implies, I am curious why people leave their faith. What was it that caused people to abandon their religion? Also, what made these folks believe they were believers in the first place?


Only the christian faith or any?


Isn't the phrase "believe they were believers" a dead give away? He is one of these who thinks true believers in his version of Christianity cannot change their mind and cease to believe despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So they have to do this little song and dance which says that anyone who changes their mind didn't really believe after all. LOL Nobody else would use such an irrational phrase. This is an example of the kind of mind games they play to avoid the objective evidence in the world around them. Since they already do this with things like evolution, it is hardly surprising. I think a religion which does this should be called "psychotic", meaning a loss of contact with reality.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:51 am

sayak wrote:
Chapabel wrote:As the name implies, I am curious why people leave their faith. What was it that caused people to abandon their religion? Also, what made these folks believe they were believers in the first place?


Only the christian faith or any?

I was speaking mainly of the Christian faith, but if there are some who have left different faiths, I'd love to hear their story as well.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:52 am

mitchellmckain wrote:Isn't the phrase "believe they were believers" a dead give away? He is one of these who thinks true believers in his version of Christianity cannot change their mind and cease to believe despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So they has to do this little song and dance which says that anyone who changes their mind didn't really believe after all. LOL Nobody else would use such an irrational phrase. This is an example of the kind of mind games they play to avoid the objective evidence in the world around them. Since they already do this with things like evolution, it is hardly surprising. I think a religion which does this should be called "psychotic", meaning a loss of contact with reality.

Sorry Mitch, I am not interested in cult member's beliefs.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby CL Moderator » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:23 am

MOD WARNING.

This is a reminder to avoid derogatory and passive-aggressive personal remarks. Stay cordial and on-topic or this thread may be temporarily closed.

Thank you.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby spongebob » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:38 am

mitchellmckain wrote:Isn't the phrase "believe they were believers" a dead give away? He is one of these who thinks true believers in his version of Christianity cannot change their mind and cease to believe despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. So they has to do this little song and dance which says that anyone who changes their mind didn't really believe after all. LOL Nobody else would use such an irrational phrase. This is an example of the kind of mind games they play to avoid the objective evidence in the world around them. Since they already do this with things like evolution, it is hardly surprising. I think a religion which does this should be called "psychotic", meaning a loss of contact with reality.


I tend to agree and it causes me to interpret his question as a dishonest one intended to entrap people into a circular debate. I hate to assume such things, as I never do this and I find it repulsive and I tend to assume others aren't doing it as well. So if it's an honest question I can at least accept it even if I don't respect the mindset that comes along with it.

So if I assume this question was meant in an honest way, I can answer that I was raised Southern Baptist in a small southern town. In that culture, you are basically blanketed with the dogma from the time you can first understand language. There really was nothing other than being a Christian. The very concept doesn't compute, so there is no doubt you will be a Christian and the only question is when you will get Baptized and whether you will stay a Baptist or maybe join a (egad!) Methodist or Presbyterian church. There were myths about atheists that circulated, but I had never met one and didn't know anything about them other than what I was told (at church), which was generally dark and dire. They were sad, hopeless, angry people who couldn't be trusted and hated god and all things good and wonderful. It was something to fear and rejecting god or questioning god always led to this, so never do it! So I never considered questioning things until I reached high school age. At that point I had obtained enough experience and knowledge that I at least noticed some inconsistencies of what I was taught at church vs. what I knew of the world.

College expanded my knowledge of science and different religions and of people and how they interacted and in general how the world worked, and I found even more conflicts with my religion. But I was stubborn and I resisted the idea that there was something wrong; I must be confused, I surmised. I did discuss these issues with clergy and generally the answers I got were as mushy as mud; things such as "god is mysterious" or "we aren't meant to know such things" or ever-more complicated explanations of scripture. Eventually (after college) I just couldn't stand this anymore and I began to educate myself on other forms of Christianity. I left the Baptist faith and joined Methodism and later attended a Unitarian church, but the more I learned of those the less it helped. I also explored other religions, but after reading the memoirs of Issac Asimov and Piers Anthony, both atheists, I began to realize that this idea defined what I truly believed. I read other atheist works and began to think about the idea more. For a short time this even sent me back more strongly toward Christianity, but that brief experience finally solidified my realization that I didn't believe any of this nonsense. Painful as it was, it was only logical that I give up on the idea that I believed and just let it go and acknowledge that I did not and go from there. That was the greatest relief of my life. I hadn't realized it, but I had been struggling to believe for the past decade, resisting the notion that I did not. The idea was so frightening to me that I had deluded myself into the belief that I could not reject Christianity, that it was too dangerous. But that was finally gone now and I could comfortably explore any aspect of spirituality that I wanted without guilt or fear. And my learning expanded exponentially. I believe that I now know and understand more about life and the universe than I had the first 30 years of my life combined. There are many more details, of course; this is just an overview as brief as I can make it.

Let me make a few things very clear.

#1 - I do not hate god. I do not believe such a being exists, so I can't hate something that I don't believe is real.
#2 - I do not claim to know that god doesn't exist. Based on my knowledge and experience, I don't believe it does, but I could be wrong and I'm open to the possibility.
#3 - I do not hate Christians. I love many of them who are family and friends. I just disagree with them. I respect most Christians and their right to believe. I even respect most of their morals and beliefs and agree with a good many of them.
#4 - I am not an atheist because someone convinced me. I am an atheist because I convinced myself; no one has ever attempted to convince me god does not exist.
#5 - I do not worship science. That should be self-explanatory.
#6 - I am not a lonely, sad, hopeless individual. Anyone who knows me would laugh at the suggestion. The only thing in my life remaining unfulfilled is my status as a superhero. Still working on that one. Is Super Nerdy-Man still available? :smt005
#7 - I did not reject religion so I could "Party". I'm a relatively boring family man and I don't have any real vices other than reading too much science fiction and drinking too much whiskey on occasion. And maybe cursing too often. Nothing I haven't seen a thousand Christians do.
#9 - I have no problem finding "meaning" in life and find it laughable that not believing in Christianity would in any way hinder this.

Well, that's more than a few...
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby sayak » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:21 pm

Great post sponge :smt023
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Tim-the-Hermit » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:22 pm

It doesn't look like Chapabel wants to answer my questions even though they were very straightforward.

But then again, if I were a spokesman for god, I too would find it difficult to explain why it is so important to god that people simply 'believe,' as if all we have to do is something so quick, easy and shallow.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:25 pm

Thanks Sponge. So your thought process began to change in your high school and college years. Do you believe any of the classes you took influenced your way of thinking?
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:31 pm

Tim-the-Hermit wrote:It doesn't look like Chapabel wants to answer my questions even though they were very straightforward.

But then again, if I were a spokesman for god, I too would find it difficult to explain why it is so important to god that people simply 'believe,' as if all we have to do is something so quick, easy and shallow.

Sorry Tim. I just overlooked your post. By "believers" I mean someone who believes in God and their religion.

Personally, I feel that God only requires us to believe because that is something every person can do. There is no physical requirement, no financial requirement, no race or gender requirement. In fact it is the easiest thing to do. God has done all the work because He loves us, and all He asks in return is to believe.
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Tim-the-Hermit » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:47 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Tim-the-Hermit wrote:It doesn't look like Chapabel wants to answer my questions even though they were very straightforward.

But then again, if I were a spokesman for god, I too would find it difficult to explain why it is so important to god that people simply 'believe,' as if all we have to do is something so quick, easy and shallow.

Sorry Tim. I just overlooked your post. By "believers" I mean someone who believes in God and their religion.

Personally, I feel that God only requires us to believe because that is something every person can do. There is no physical requirement, no financial requirement, no race or gender requirement. In fact it is the easiest thing to do. God has done all the work because He loves us, and all He asks in return is to believe.


Thanks, Chapabel, but I thought maybe god has greater aspirations for us? The way it is set out in Matthew 25:31-40 suggests that believing in good is the same thing as believing in god - that is 'believing' in a meaningful way. Surely that is better than believing in a technical or legalistic way, like the pharisee might insist that we do?
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby Chapabel » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:58 pm

Tim-the-Hermit wrote:
Thanks, Chapabel, but I thought maybe god has greater aspirations for us? The way it is set out in Matthew 25:31-40 suggests that believing in good is the same thing as believing in god - that is 'believing' in a meaningful way. Surely that is better than believing in a technical or legalistic way, like the pharisee might insist that we do?

Anyone can believe in good without believing in God. There are alot of people in the world, that most consider good people, who don't believe in God.

I believe that the pharisees did take a legalistic view and considered good works a requirement for God's grace. James cleared up that erroneous thought by clarifying the relationship of faith and works. He said his works were the result of his faith, not the cause of his faith: James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

In the parable you referred to, the sheep were blessed because their works were done as a result of their faith. Notice how Jesus said the sheep did those things because their eyes were on Him while they ministered to others.
To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. -- A.W. Tozer
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Re: Leaving the Faith

Postby CL Moderator » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:18 pm

MOD NOTE -

Let's remember that none of us can get to every question, especially when it's a case of one person being questioned by multiple people. If a person hasn't answered your question, please do not state that they are intentionally ignoring you or are unable to answer. I think it's a safe bet that none of us have read every post, and we've all meant to answer questions and then forgotten. Please just civilly make another post bringing the question to their attention again in a non-harassing way. Let's give people who choose to come here the benefit of the doubt.
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