Losing Faith in Faith

Dan Barker’s story is chilling on so many levels. Originally written in 1984, his journey has no doubt been followed by so many others, and I cannot help but identify.

As Julia Sweeney said in “Letting Go of God” (and this is loosely paraphrased)… “I would have been such a good Christian if I hadn’t have been so serious about it”.

I don’t want to lose faith in faith. I don’t want to let go of God. Maybe if I didn’t care so damn much about the truth of it all, the reality of what it means for me and others…. maybe if I just remained ignorant, didn’t read my Bible or think about God so much… maybe then things would be easier.

Here’s part of his story. I hope you will read the rest.

I did not lose my faith, I gave it up purposely. The motivation that drove me into the ministry is the same that drove me out. I have always wanted to know. Even as a child I fervently pursued truth. I was rarely content to accept things without examination, and my examinations were intense. I was a thirsty learner, a good student, and a good minister because of that drive. I always took things apart and put them back together again.

Since I was taught and believed Christianity was the answer, the only hope for “man,” I dedicated myself to understanding all I possibly could. I devoured every book, every sermon, and the bible. I prayed, fasted and obeyed biblical teaching. I decided that I would lean my whole weight upon the truth of scripture. This attitude, I am sure, gave the impression that I was a notch above, that I could be trusted as a Christian authority and leader. Christians, eager for substantiation, gladly allowed me to assume a place of leadership and I took it as confirmation of my holy calling.

But my mind did not go to sleep. In my thirst for knowledge I did not limit myself to Christian authors but curiously desired to understand the reasoning behind nonChristian thinking. I figured the only way to truly grasp a subject was to look at it from all sides. If I had limited myself to Christian books I would probably still be a Christian today. I read philosophy, theology, science and psychology. I studied evolution and natural history. I read Bertrand Russell, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, John Dewey and others. At first I laughed at these worldly thinkers, but I eventually started discovering some disturbing facts–facts that discredited Christianity. I tried to ignore these facts because they did not integrate with my religious world view.

For years I went through an intense inner conflict. On the one hand I was happy with the direction and fulfillment of my Christian life; on the other hand I had intellectual doubts. Faith and reason began a war within me. And it kept escalating. I would cry out to God for answers, and none would come. Like the battered wife who clings to hope, I kept trusting that God would someday come through. He never did.

The only proposed answer was faith, and I gradually grew to dislike the smell of that word. I finally realized that faith is a cop-out, a defeat–an admission that the truths of religion are unknowable through evidence and reason. It is only undemonstrable assertions that require the suspension of reason, and weak ideas that require faith. I just lost faith in faith.

42 thoughts on “Losing Faith in Faith”

  1. <><>If this “stuff” truly satisfies you, then more power to ya.<><>And to you too! I genuinely am happy for you if you get meaning from what you believe to be true. I am merely suggesting that we can get those same experiences outside of religion and gods.<><>All I am sharing is, that from my belief stand point, and experiences (both personally and externally), we are all searching for God. You can obviously deny and even explain this away by numerous means (that’s the power of free will=love), but that won’t make it go away. <><>Come one, that’s merely YOUR belief, as is evident from the fact that we are all born atheists, and we are all atheists to some “revealed” deity. We have to be indoctrinated into “faith” – and there is NO evidence that we are searching for God. If you don’t believe there is a God, then the search is over.<><>Something is driving all of us to experience a sense of fullfillment, and my understanding is that only God can provide that. There are plenty of substitutes (list your vice…), but given the test of time and honest self-examination, I believe that they will show themselves to be hollow and substanceless.<><>It’s the human experience … the search of what provides meaning to our individual lives. It’s a moving goal, because if it wasn’t, we would stagnate. It’s the essence of growing as human beings, both individually, and as a species.Thanks for the chat!

  2. eddie – that was kind of dissapointing.Since you are basing your belief on the evoluionary randomn and designless model, doesn’t it seem a bit strange how ALL humans share this same constant? And I would add that I was not referring to the desire for more knowledge and understanding, that’s a given. I was attempting to define that far more illusive longing that most try to fill with such things as drugs, sex, God, or love.

  3. <><>Don’t feed the trolls.<>Shit, and I assumed you are one of the nicest Christians I have ever met? Let me hold onto my delusion for a little longer ..<>Eddie, I thought you’d know I wasn’t talking about you; I was addressing the comment directly under yours (which you addressed as well). If you read freddy’s blogger ID and “blog”, you’ll see he pretty much set it up just to make comments (and apparently rude, nasty, ignorant comments) on others’ blogs. I was trying to defend you.Not everyone is here to attack you, ya know.

  4. While I hesitate to embrace atheism, eddie’s answers deserve consideration. On the level of happiness, you’d find just as much, and even more outside of the Christian faith who are happy, who have meaning and purpose.

  5. ha kohen said:“but is this loss of faith completely unconnected to your home life? “My question exactly.Steve, having followed your journey for some time now I must echo ha kohen’s question.It seems to me that your faith may have always been in the peripheral things in your life…”ministry,” wife and kids.Yes, even family is peripheral (I’v e been married for 25 years and have 5 kids), which is why Jesus’ very tough words about looking back after putting our hands on the plow, the “hating” of even our families and the eating of His flesh point to something that in itself is meant to increase our faith.By being willing to even consider following His words proves that faith…tough faith…is present and its growth potential is great.Steve, it seems to me that you’ve placed your faith more in the roles that you’ve played (i.e., youth pastor, husband, father) instead of Christ Himself, which is why your view of the church and your failed marriage is so bitter.I’m concerned that your recent profanity-laced posts reveal more about your state of mind or rather state of faith.Remember Job. A man who lost everything BUT his faith and was rewarded when he kept focused on the One that really matters.

  6. <><>1a. Do you believe that there is some kind of undefinable/undeniable drive/need/longing, that is inherent to all human beings (that includes you…), for…(and this is the tricky part) something larger/greater than oursleves, more importantly, something to quench this mysterious thirst for fulfillment?<><>I believe we, as a human race will always try to understand more than we do – maybe that’s the “desire” you refer to … it’s quite natural <><>1b. If so, what is it?<><>Curiosity.<><>Where did it come from?<><>Nature, evolution?<><>And what would it look like to satisfy it? <><>A RATIONAL explanation of what it pre-supposes ??? …

  7. <>I don’t want to lose faith in faith. I don’t want to let go of God. Maybe if I didn’t care so damn much about the truth of it all, the reality of what it means for me and others…. maybe if I just remained ignorant, didn’t read my Bible or think about God so much… maybe then things would be easier.<>Steve, your heart seems earnest, and I’m moved by your aching questions. I’m curious what exactly you’re looking for, though. It doesn’t seem to me that the core of your doubt is about scientific proofs or evolution vs creation or anything like that, but more about whether God is who the Bible says He is, or maybe whether He is who Christians seem to think He is. Or, perhaps, do you doubt His love, His goodness, His faithfulness, and that shakes the whole foundation of your relationship with Him, and that leads you to seek for truth elsewhere, perhaps in something that’s easier to trust or believe?(<>shrug<> — I don’t know, and I’m not saying that’s it. Just trying to understand your quest.)Whatever your questions and your hopes, thanks for letting the rest of us be a part of your search, and may God speak to the needs of your heart.

  8. eddie – as I mentioned at the onset of this tangent…If this “stuff” truly satisfies you, then more power to ya. All I am sharing is, that from my belief stand point, and experiences (both personally and externally), we are all searching for God. You can obviously deny and even explain this away by numerous means (that’s the power of free will=love), but that won’t make it go away. Something is driving all of us to experience a sense of fullfillment, and my understanding is that only God can provide that. There are plenty of substitutes (list your vice…), but given the test of time and honest self-examination, I believe that they will show themselves to be hollow and substanceless.By all means, walk your path and find whatever truth and reason satisfies this urge. All I can ever challenge anyone to do, is to continually examine ones motivations and state of fullfillment with an open and honest mind/heart. If you can unashamedley look at yourself in truth, then it is most likely that you’re in the right direction…

  9. Ninjanun, I agree; I figured someone would misunderstand me. I said it was none of our business. I don’t write off his search for truth simply because their may be motivating stimuli. I don’t think he needs to give us an answer. These questions were not meant to be answered. I am of course much more concerned about the faith that breaks instead of bends. I just think that in light of the parallel coupled with the lack of transparency offered in relation to other possible stimuli, perhaps the connection had not yet been fully examined (or worsted yet was stuck in denial or had gone unnoticed) for Steve personally (not here). I don’t want to be someone’s online psychiatrist but in this case I think it is a legitimate concern to wonder if Steve had made this correlation. My point is simply this: Faith does not stand alone but is connected to our experiences. We are emotional beings that often tend to equate personal dissatisfaction with what then becomes an ever compiling discontent in our spiritual lives (not that this cannot be valid – but only that it should be acknowledged if one is truly seeking unclouded answers).

  10. Hey StevoMmmmm, this sounds all to familiar. But from where I now live, “faith” in the Christian context is a very fluffy concept. I congratulate you for seeking blunt validity and for asking tough questions about what you believe, and why you believe it.For so long the apologists have posed the question about Jesus: he was either Liar, Lunatic or Lord. I’d like to turn the tables on that, and say: Either Jesus existed (as depicted in the Bible) or he didn’t. There is a host of questions that neither science nor faith can answer, but that question is fairly simplistic to answer. The overwhelming evidence shows that the story doesn’t square. My problem with “faith” is that the external burden of god is placed on us, instead of god manifesting himself/herself to us. Frankly, if there is a God, I hope she is a woman.In the 1600, a Zen monk with the name Shosan asked:<>I ask, why has this almighty Deus (God) manifested himself only <>once<> in the world he claims to have made and rules over? And why only to the Southern Barbarians? He must be a truly stupid Deus to think that as free people with a mind of our own that we would easily believe this. <>Read the rest of Shosan’s comments < HREF="http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=13379&hl=barbarians" REL="nofollow"> here<>: Yeah, I’d like the answer to that question too, and that’s why I lost faith in faith! The minute I stopped using “faith” to make the Christian god real, the fog cleared. I was lost as a Kristian, but now I am saved from such trivial concepts of what the God of our universe might be like. And the most amazing thing is this: I have more “spiritual” experiences now than I ever had as a Kristian. Like Barker, I lost faith in faith, because like you, I cared to much about the truth …

  11. My response to Dan’s discoveries, beg the question: what does faith mean to him? From where I’m standing, it sounds like his faith became a waiting game. “I sit here in faith and waith for God to reveal himself.” I am a firm believer in the individual interpretation and understanding of what and who God is to everyone, but I’m pretty sure that faith requires a little bit more interaction than that.The very basis, if not difference, of Chrisitanity versus religion, is that it is in fact a mutual relationship. And for any healthy relationship to exist, both parties must be “doing their part”.So ultimatly it begs the question: “What have you done for Him lately?” And this should not be confused with: “What have you expected from Him lately”. Not that we shouldn’t have expectations of him, but they are empty without action on our part.

  12. <><>Not everyone is here to attack you, ya know.<><>Hey Ninja, I realized that afterwards – my apologies – and why it seemed incongruent at the time. K, you are still the coolest nun I know … 🙂<><>With that being said, I have one question. What was the catalyst that started you on your journey away from faith? Was there a moment when, as a Christian you said, “Wait…” and began the search?<><>The day I lost my fear of hell and god. It was a gradual journey, but a key moment in that journey was reading the Ragamuffin Gospel. This established the foundation for me no longer living in fear, and for a short while, I became a grace hippie. My curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to really, really know and understand the origins of Christianity, irrespective of the outcome. I simply lost faith in faith. I couldn’t sustain my faith with all the nagging questions about the historicity of Jesus. My best friend, who is still a Christian, had the opposite experience. Understanding grace, strengthened his faith.We must all live and walk out our journey as authentically as our convictions allow us. I just got tired of a one-sided relationship with the so called creator of the universe …

  13. <><>Dan Barker’s story is “chilling”? Oh for crying out loud, he’s the Ray Comfort of atheism.<><>You have a point about Barker, but uhm, I wouldn’t exactly peddle Robert Turkel aka J.P. Holding as the great hope for Christian apologetics. His fraud, lies and deceitful tactics are well documented all over the web. Turkel is no different or better than Comfort and his ilk. He is a spin meister of the highest order.

  14. eddie – I would like to take my last comment, and direct it at you, if you will induldge me, in the form of this two-part question:1a. Do you believe that there is some kind of undefinable/undeniable drive/need/longing, that is inherent to all human beings (that includes you…), for…(and this is the tricky part) something larger/greater than oursleves, more importantly, something to quench this mysterious thirst for fulfillment?1b. If so, what is it? Where did it come from? And what would it look like to satisfy it?

  15. Hey. Like this post! I wrote something somewhat similar… questions I ask myself < HREF="http://nakedpastor.com/archives/1016" REL="nofollow">here<>. Thanks again.

  16. Frankly, Steve’s home life is none of our business. And to suggest that his doubts about his faith are connected to his home/life situation…well duh! But he doesn’t owe us answers, and any attempts to “write off” his arguments due to his life circumstances is a cop-out. Steve has every right to probe Christianity’s precepts, and he doesn’t owe us any explanation for his motivations for doing so. I would be more concerned with people who gloss over their problems and pretend everything is okay, and never question their faith or try to go deeper.

  17. Ha Kohen: <>I don’t mean to analyze you… it just seems that if I were in a similar situation (not saying I understand yours), I would be using my personal life as illustrations for my faith discussions. The two unavoidably impact each other.<>Or maybe you meant to say, using my faith discussions as illustrations for my personal life. HK, we are systemic people, and matters of faith and matters of life are not lived in a vaccuum. Of course they impact each other… you would have to think that I am some kind of imbecile not to recognize that.But be sure… there are many things that I have written over the past two years that I have not posted for fear of trying to manipulate situations in my personal life. The questions (or doubts)I have had over the past several months regarding my faith have been present for YEARS (since I was a pre-teen)… yet changes (drastic changes) in ones life causes one to sometimes reveal things for what they are. We become more honest about who we are and what we think. We become less afraid of speaking the truth about ourselves. We don’t mind “rocking the boat”… since the boat is already rocked.I have been a reflective thinker all of my life. Trust me… it would be easier not to be. Sometimes I do wish I could turn it off, but that would be denying something that brings me happiness (although it is painful) and is useful to influence or encourage the lives of others (in sometimes unique or backhanded ways). And, if you believe, it was God that created me this way… then He (or She) can certainly handle it my little measly questions.

  18. Steve, forgive me for jumping in here, but I gotta …lowendaction Here is my reply to your comments:<><>I’ve been listening to Christopher Hitchen’s book: “God is not great”, and what strikes me about all of these ‘God disprovers’, is how much time and engergy they spend in explaining their Godless positions…and yet, are they truly happy? <><>I think it’s a tad bit arrogant of you to make assumptions about other people’s lives or the state of their happiness, just because they don’t believe in your god. If you read Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, etc., then you would understand WHY they do it. In fact, they spell it out for you, and why does it bother you what the hell they spend their time on? How is this any different from holding a 9 to 5 job? Is it perhaps possible that they love the field of philosophy and care a great deal about the subject? Or how about the fact that maybe non theists would just like the same recognition politically than what is afforded the “faithful” in this country? Have you noticed that there is a real push from evangelicals to get “anointed” Christians elected into office? Why should non theists sit in the corner and shut up, just because some Christians are too thin skinned to deal people who publicly oppose their sacred position. So, the question is not a simple as you make it out to be. I’d much rather vote for a president who uses his brain instead of hearing god’s voice through prayer about where to take the country. The list really goes on and on ….<><>I understand that there is a very real relief of burden that occurs with those who have been opressed by religiosity most of their lives, but what will ulitmately quench that unspoken/undfineable/undeniable desire that all humans have: ______(fill in the blank)?<><>Exactly what desire do all humans have, and based on what evidence do you assume we have this desire? Where did you get this information?<><>Is it really logical answers and explanations of the world around us? Look, this isn’t some lame christ-motivated knock on science and higher knowledge. But I look at many of the very people, who pride themselves on their ability to explain God away, living unfullfilled lives…unhappy (and no, I’m not talking about a fleeting emotional kind of happy…the kind that feeds the soul). <><>Explaining < HREF="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLlSySWuoiA" REL="nofollow"> away<> most gods is real simple, and what model did you use to come up with the assertion about them being unhappy? Can you point me to some statistics that can back this claim up?<><>That’s not to say that all christians are happy either…far from it. I’m just trying to understand what the alternatives to life without God are.<><>How about living your life? Why exactly do you want a cookie-cutter formula for the universe, about how we should be living in it, or what we ought to “desire?” Why isn’t it enough that we are mature enough to find the meaning for our lives in our own way without appeals to any gods? Your problem is a false dichotomy – it doesn’t have to be one OR the other. You really can’t speculate about the lives they life unless you have tried it on for yourself, and thereby you have the finger you point at them has just condemned YOU!<><>If all we are, is a lucky accident of molecules, then why is there such a universal need for truth, understanding, and at the end of the day: love?<><>I believe it’s called evolution.<><>How do these non-tanglible needs spawn from nothing?<><>Who told you these are non-tangible? <><>How is that logical or scientific? After all the arguements have died down, and flaired tempers have settled, what are we holding on to? What do we REALLY need?<><>Whatever it is we decided gives meaning and purpose to our lives and those we care about. Again, you are creating a false dichotomy between the choices you present. The golden rule was alive and well long before the religions Abraham spawned, wrote about it. Matter of fact, we can observe it in nature itself.<><>If disproving God/faith/church…whatever, does it for you, great!<><>Yep, and no permission seeked. If proving God/faith/church…whatever, does it for you, great! Non-theists simply care about the truth – that’s all. And by that I don’t mean the question about IF there is a God, but the questions about the gods all organized religions peddle to us.<><>But if there is still that unexplainable void left…could it be the designer you seek?<><>What void? Desinger? Designer of what? <><>Weren’t most of the greatest concepts and understandings we now hold to born from someone having faith in…?<><>Translation please …<><>“We see what we are looking for.”<><>And that’s what most people hold onto their faith in false religions that use fear to control their minions. Honestly, if you need a God, the < HREF="http://www.godvsthebible.com/chapter14.htm" REL="nofollow"> deism<> makes far more sense than most all other religions.C-YA!🙂

  19. I’ve been listening to Christopher Hitchen’s book: “God is not great”, and what strikes me about all of these ‘God disprovers’, is how much time and engergy they spend in explaining their Godless positions…and yet, are they truly happy? I understand that there is a very real relief of burden that occurs with those who have been opressed by religiosity most of their lives, but what will ulitmately quench that unspoken/undfineable/undeniable desire that all humans have: ______(fill in the blank)?Is it really logical answers and explanations of the world around us? Look, this isn’t some lame christ-motivated knock on science and higher knowledge. But I look at many of the very people, who pride themselves on their ability to explain God away, living unfullfilled lives…unhappy (and no, I’m not talking about a fleeting emotional kind of happy…the kind that feeds the soul). That’s not to say that all christians are happy either…far from it. I’m just trying to understand what the alternatives to life without God are.If all we are, is a lucky accident of molecules, then why is there such a universal need for truth, understanding, and at the end of the day: love? How do these non-tanglible needs spawn from nothing? How is that logical or scientific? After all the arguements have died down, and flaired tempers have settled, what are we holding on to? What do we REALLY need?If disproving God/faith/church…whatever, does it for you, great! But if there is still that unexplainable void left…could it be the designer you seek? Weren’t most of the greatest concepts and understandings we now hold to born from someone having faith in…?“We see what we are looking for.”– anonymous

  20. Who was that arrogant fuck with the terrible writing style and the shitty grammar? Get a proof reader buddy! Even without the limitations of your freshman logic… you still look like a moron.

  21. Steve,Keep in mind one thing: The Richard Dawkins and Sam Harrisses of this world are every bit as fundamentalistic in their adherence to atheism as Falwell and Robertson are to Christianity. I too am engaged in a similar struggle to yours, but this is indeed one thing to consider

  22. <><>eddie {f} let me put this in a way that makes more sense to you (though why you don’t agree with this is beyond me – it helps prove some of your points). <><>I suppose, I don’t GET the connection ….<><>Perhaps you will like this in reverse more: The person says, “I’m gay”, “Irish people treat gay people well”… Therefore leprechauns exist”. <><>You have made a jump in your argument. There is NO connection between gay people and leprechauns. Thus, your argument is invalid.<><>The point is simple: A + B do not = C. If Irish people treated gay people well that would not then mean that leprechauns exits. In the same way, if Christians were to treat gay people well that would not then mean that God exists. They are actually unrelated.<><>I agree – they are unrelated. My question remains, WHICH god?<><>Beyond that… the analogy had nothing to do with you whatsoever.<><>I agree, because I didn’t think this is about ME, but homosexuality all together as painted in the Christian Bible.<><>It was used only to show how people sometimes base their views on issues of emotional importance and then use rationale as a supplement rather than the other way around.<><>Then, are you saying that Christians change their “rationale” as times changes? If you do, then how can you claim the Bible as the Word of God?

  23. This is just to clarify Steve. You have already satisfied my reservation. I remember going through something very similar (from what I can tell) about 5 years ago. Now… to poke fun at myself a bit I’ll tell you what first sent me into questioning. It was extremely stupid. I found out that the bible contains two creation accounts from two different times in history (if taken literally of course… they contradict one another). A day later I calculated the number of Israelites (from the number of “fighting men” listed) that should have been fleeing in the Exodus (it came out to about 3,000,000 people – which is not even remotely possible as a literal/historical figure). All of the sudden, order went to chaos, Jesus was a sage, and the world was meaningless!Eventually my questions came to be a little more ingenious but that was where I started. Steve, I don’t have a problem with the questions. What’s more I think they need to be asked. In the end though, I came out of it all a much stronger and much more analytical person of belief. I will pray for something similar for you. What I was saying was just that we should attempt to separate the emotional elements of our lives from our reasoning (integrating the emotional into a rational understanding only after a clear picture has been come to). Sometimes people think like this: “I’m gay”, “The Church treats gay people poorly”… “Therefore God must not exist”. The logic doesn’t really work. This is then used as a starting point and everything else is skewed from then on because of the inability to see the emotional element. Not everyone makes this connection (I would say that most do not). Not being able to move out of denial does not make someone an imbecile… it only means that they cannot handle the connection.

  24. DOOOOOODE!!! This post is AWESOME…I love it! Praise the Lord that he actually MADE me dig in to my feed reader today! I am going to linklove you tomorrow on my personal page at http://www.blogpaul.com but this is the EXACT reason I write a brand new blog http://www.romans12.com …because there are so many people out there that need to NOT conform, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of their mind (THROUGH CHRIST)!!! Thanks again man. I love you and I have never met you..crazy huh!!!oh and also thanks to all of the people who posted comments to this post…I have already found a few more sites I am excited to know about!!! pauly

  25. <>Faith is a Gift<> Ephesians 2:8-9 say that faith is a gift from God so that none can boast. One little phrase that has stuck with me since my conversion to the Way of Jesus and the God of the Holy Bible is;Many Are Called but few are chosen…Chosen for what, one may ask?I think it is the relationship we have with the creator and our willingness to converse with someone we can’t see. Perhaps the underlying concept of faith is whether our conversion is one that is genuine perhaps a test is in order. Check my blog shortly for just such a test.http://whatisthechristianchurch.blogspot.com/

  26. I offer only one simple suggestion. Completely accept your predicament. Accept your doubt, fears, and concerns. Accept the journey you are on. I have found that peace of mind starts with acceptance.

  27. <><>Who was that arrogant fuck with the terrible writing style and the shitty grammar? Get a proof reader buddy! Even without the limitations of your freshman logic… you still look like a moron.<><>English is NOT my first language, and you are right, I ought to filter this through a proof reader. My apologies.However, instead of saying nothing, why don’t you refute the “freshman” arguments I have made instead of attacking me? This actually makes YOU look like the moron! Anyone can attack a different point of view without making an argument. It’s a high school debating trick. It’s old!<><>Don’t feed the trolls.<><>Shit, and I assumed you are one of the nicest Christians I have ever met? Let me hold onto my delusion for a little longer …<><>Sometimes people think like this: “I’m gay”, “The Church treats gay people poorly”… “Therefore God must not exist”.<><>That is actually a false analogy conceived from your personal point of view. The Bible is explicit about homosexuality, unless of course you are a “liberal” Christian and can reason it away with fancy exegesis. The Christian god abhors homosexuals, both in the Old and New Testaments. Granted, Jesus didn’t utter a word about this, but the men who claimed to speak for God both after and before Jesus made a strong case against “men lying with men” etc. I have read both sides of the argument, and I have no conclusion, one way or the other. I simply don’t know what they meant to say, but given history, I don’t believe they accepted homosexuals as we do today.I don’t believe the *Christian* god doesn’t exist because the Church treats gay people like scum, but because I have examined the texts and evidence of the bronze age tribalists who wrote the book based on their very limited understanding of the universe. And by that I don’t mean to imply that we know shit about shit. I reject Jesus because of the lack of evidence for his existence. I honestly don’t need to tease out of the Bible a Jesus that loves homosexuals. My case against his existence supersedes such trivial arguments. So Freddy, if you are man enough for a debate, let me know, and I will tell you where and when. You can present your case, and I will present mine, or are you only into responding to “jerks” with a knee-jerk reaction without actually making a substantive point?And again Steve, thanks for indulging me, I’ll go away as soon as you give the word …

  28. <>Frankly, if there is a God, I hope she is a woman.<>The best damn thing (along with Ninjanun’s comment) that I’ve read so far today. 😀

  29. But Ed(f) remember the banana analogy – that made a lot of sense – and Comfort was the man with the knowledge behind the banana. How it’s perfect to peel and everything – I take comfort in Comfort’s apologetics. Note: This comments is purely sarcastic and in no way should be seen as a thumbs up for Ray Comfort’s apologetics – even if they are the ‘best of the best of the best’.

  30. This is truly a sad thing to read. But when I see you put up these kinds of things I can’t help but wonder if you are compartmentalizing. It is none of our business mind you, but is this loss of faith completely unconnected to your home life? I don’t mean to analyze you… it just seems that if I were in a similar situation (not saying I understand yours), I would be using my personal life as illustrations for my faith discussions. The two unavoidably impact each other.

  31. <><>Since you are basing your belief on the evoluionary randomn and designless model, doesn’t it seem a bit strange how ALL humans share this same constant?<><>I am not basing any BELIEF from this, I am merely answering your hypothetical. I am not even sure that I agree about this “constant” you are making a case for. To be honest, I don’t see the evidence for such a constant, so, I can only revert back to generalities from what I think you are trying to convey. My mistake if it didn’t come across that way.<><>And I would add that I was not referring to the desire for more knowledge and understanding, that’s a given.<><>And I was simply trying to say that humans are naturally curios to understand more.<><>I was attempting to define that far more illusive longing that most try to fill with such things as drugs, sex, God, or love.<><>I don’t know what this elusive properly is that you are attempting to explain. Most non theist fills their lives with stuff, other than the alternatives you mention. Perhaps you are making a connection that really doesn’t exist. It’s possible …

  32. “I finally realized that faith is a cop-out, a defeat–an admission that the truths of religion are unknowable through evidence and reason.”A defeat? This must be one competitive dude speaking here. What’s a ‘win’ then? Not having an iota of faith but merely believing every single thing a scientist, philosopher, or an archeologist can throw at you? One could say using the wording ‘defeat’ connotates that not a single thing within faith is ‘true’ or ‘holds any weight’ – but isn’t this a misnomer in the direction of ‘bias’? No reasonable person can say all aspects of faith are ‘defeatist’ since it comes off as if there is nothing at all to faith – no shred of decency even to it? No truth within it? Not even a sniff of a historical accuracy? No scientific proof any of these miracles could of happened? I wonder – is this truly being non-biaed and actually looking for ‘truth’ or the more grandiose idea of ‘winning’.

  33. If God was to manifest Himself just once, what act would He have to do to prove that He was undeniably God? How many witnesses would there have to be? Should He do it once for every generation, or is once for all time good enough? Not rhetorical questions.

  34. Powerful post…Will be back to read more… I found you through Sarah’s MySpace (we went to college together) and I’m sure glad I did… I’m also going to be sure to check out this book…

  35. eddie {f} let me put this in a way that makes more sense to you (though why you don’t agree with this is beyond me – it helps prove some of your points). Perhaps you will like this in reverse more: The person says, “I’m gay”, “Irish people treat gay people well”… Therefore leprechauns exist”. The point is simple: A + B do not = C. If Irish people treated gay people well that would not then mean that leprechauns exits. In the same way, if Christians were to treat gay people well that would not then mean that God exists. They are actually unrelated. Beyond that… the analogy had nothing to do with you whatsoever. It was used only to show how people sometimes base their views on issues of emotional importance and then use rationale as a supplement rather than the other way around.

  36. Fortunately, I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to “feeding the trolls”, however eddie did make it clear that I did an aweful job at attempting to make my point.Allow me to rephrase and summarize: I believe that all mankind is made with a God-sized hole. That is to say, that we are all looking/searching for something (even if we aren’t fully aware of the search itself much less the content or purpose of it). Wether this is an evolutionary step from the “hunter-gatherer” instinct, or part of God’s design, matters little to my point that it is inherent in all of us.So what I was attempting to drive at, was the “what” we end up filling that hole with. This of course could be everything from, religion, drugs, sex, friends, succes, God, to knowledge. None of those are “bad” things (well, maybe the religion!!) to have in ones life, but I am specifically referring to that ‘void’ we are all trying to fill.When I alluded to “happiness” or “joy”, it was the fullfillment of that gaping hole (or at least the path towards doing so).My point/belief is simply this: no matter what we end up dumping in there, only one thing will truly fit/fill it, and that’s God. Can I prove this? No. That’s why it’s a belief. And though I can not pretend to know the mind or state of ‘happiness’ of anyone besides myself, based on this very belief, I am convinced that any substitute ‘hole-filler’ will always leave the host…empty and unfulfilled.

  37. mac, forgive me but there is no frigging way something on your or anyone else’s blog can test the “genuine”-ness of anybody’s faith. When you perceive to judge the wheat from the weeds, the next inevitable step is to go weed pulling. And then… I dunno. You start a megachurch or something.

  38. CYNIC SAGE: One thing that bothered me about this critique of Dan Barker (mentioned above) is this…The writer says that Dan Barker cannot be trusted since for a time being he was in a place of doubt or even “unbelief”, yet continued to perform his duties as a minister.I am not sure what this has to do with anything. At the time of his “faith crisis” I am sure a certain amount of emotions, denial, uncertainty about the future, “what will all my friends think”, etc came into play — not to mention just the pure practical situation such as where he was going to get a paycheck to support his family. There are plenty of people that perform their “normal” jobs just knowing that they are taking a job with another company shortly… yet we wouldn’t consider them dishonest (yet they aren’t being totally forthcoming). Much of this writers critique is based on the assertion that Dan Barker was deceitful during that time, so how can we trust him now… that sounds like a straw man argument to me if I have ever heard one.

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