A Challenge to my Story
By Merle Hertzler
I have received an email from Jeffrey Wilson on January 7, 2006 critiquing the story of my life that I published on this website. I attach it here for the interested reader. My words are in black and Wilson's comments are in red, I respond to Wilson at Defending My Story.
I learned early that I was not to question my religion.
Probably meaning he didn’t like the answers he got.
I grew up in a Mennonite home. When I was 14 years old, a liberal pastor was put in charge of our congregation.
Liberal pastors are like cancers in the church. Christianity and the Bible become meaningless in their hands.
My family and I left this church to join a fundamentalist church, one that did not question the Bible.
Nothing wrong with not questioning the Bible but they also should have answers too.
Fundamentalism became a way of life for me. Everything that entered my mind had to come through its filter.
The same goes for the liberal teaching you were getting from the previous church and from the atheism you were getting in school.
I soaked it all in, without serious questioning.
I was terrified of hell and would often lie awake at night worrying about it.
Even in social settings, I would be sitting there worrying about hell.
This sounds like an obsessive/compulsive problem.
Fundamentalism offered a solution. It said that all one had to do was trust Jesus.
This is true of most “Christian” denominations.
So I did it. Did I do it right? I didn't know. So I did it again. I still wasn't sure that I had done it right. So I did it again and again in my mind.
This is normal fears and actions of many new believers.
If I had counted every time that I mentally accepted Christ, I just might hold the world record. I prayed that God would be merciful to me a sinner. I pleaded for the blood of Christ. I begged for his amazing grace to save a wretch like me. I accepted him into my heart. Over and over I accepted him in any way I could think to accept Christ. Finally, I decided that Christ would indeed take care of it and tried to move on. I thought that everybody else surely had similar worries and needed to know this news of deliverance from hell.
In college, I joined an independent Baptist church, which then controlled every aspect of my life.
It is unclear what “they controlled” or what you allowed them to “control” or if this is bitter talk after an unpleasant experience.
I walked the streets of the Bible belt, witnessing to those who may have missed God's gift of salvation. Everybody at this church was told to be a soul winner.
Every believer should be a soul winner. Saving people from disaster is an admirable trait.
The pastor boomed his message from the pulpit, yelling at those who listened to rock music, stayed home on visitation night, gave less than 10% of their income to the church, or attended a movie theatre. We were told exactly how to live our lives, and we obediently followed. It was the only life we knew.
Basically, the pastor was telling people that if Christians did the same things as the unsaved world then the unsaved won’t listen to a Christian witness. The activities of the world show people how to live life without God and only wrecks lives. Christ always preached how one should modify their behaviors continually. Christian people should always be open to how they can improve their behaviors and what things to avoid seeing and doing so as not to become evil like the world.
In my senior year of college (1978) the pastor moved to another congregation, and the church deteriorated into disarray. I was confused. This was all I had to live for, and it had fallen apart. I saw the dark side of the church.
He saw the dark side of one church and blamed the whole church for the unpleasant situations.
There was chaos at some church functions. Once when we were singing Just As I Am over and over as an alter call, people became so bored that the song died in the middle of the verse and we never finished it. I had thought that we were saving the world. Now I looked at the lives that had been "saved", and wondered if it had meant anything.
One major problem with “Christians” and non-Christians is that they look at other people for Christ rather than looking at Christ himself. People can only be a faint/ distant image of Christ in their fallen bodies. It is stupid to have a faith trusting in man and his behavior rather than trusting in God and His promises.
Meanwhile, I watched as the story of Jim Jones and the mass suicides in the Guyana massacre appeared on TV. The story of those poor people following every command of their leader seemed all too real to me.
They followed a raving lunatic and simple common sense should have been enough for these people to know they were mixed up with an imbecile.
I had been living my life much like they had. I could understand why they followed so obediently. Religion can do that to a person. Had I been deluded also?
Yes, religions do demand obedience. Like the religion of atheism and its constant demand of obedience to materialism and evil lifestyles.
There was something else that bothered me. I had been reading through the Bible every year since I was in 11th grade--every word of every verse--and was finding a lot of problems. Have you ever read the tales of killing, greed, and arrogance that fill the Old Testament? Do you ever question their relevance? I was not sure that I could trust the Bible any longer. As my confidence in the Bible withered, apathy set in.
This should have been a reason to actually ask someone about these problems, instead of keeping them to himself. Even if the pastor didn’t have the answers, there have been apologetics books around for centuries that answer Bible difficulties.
I graduated from college with no meaningful philosophy of life.
One has to wonder how much the movies and TV that he was told to avoid was involved in his growing skepticism?
My Christian hope had gone. I can not begin to describe the despair that filled my life for the first two years after graduation. There was nothing to live for.
Schools teach atheism which creates the feeling of no hope. It is the belief of creation organizations that schools teaching evolution have created many skeptics and atheists. But there have been creation organizations around since the sixties which was well before his growing doubts and skepticism.
I wanted to be happy, but I didn't know why that would matter. Two hundred years from now, who would ever care if the bones left behind had supported a happy person or a sad person?
Exactly the same thoughts atheists dwell upon. Clearly you had another influence in your life other than Christ.
Probably nobody would ever care. But somehow, I cared. And I wasn't sure why.
This makes no sense.
I wanted to be happy. I knew apathy, bitterness, struggle, frustration, anger and confusion.
Probably the result of wanting to live in the world and its lifestyle of lies yet knowing it leads to death and hell.
When my Christian hope had faded, why didn't I look for something else? I didn't know there was another way. I had grown up in Christian schools, Sunday schools, and Bible studies.
You also grew up in the public schools that taught evolution 8 hours a day five days a week compared to the one or two hour(s) of Bible per week.
The Bible was the only hope I knew about, and it now seemed inadequate. I never thought to look elsewhere--such is the grip that religion can have.
Ironically, his doubts and despair are the results of having looked elsewhere.
I wish now that somebody had told me how to live the good life without the Bible.
That is an oxymoron.
But I would not learn that until many years later.
In desperation, I turned to Christian books. I had no intention of going back to my fundamentalist Baptist days. But I thought that perhaps a milder brand of Christianity could help.
Lukewarm Christianity is spit out of Christ’s mouth as quickly as direct defiance to God.
As I read, my spirit was refreshed. Was God leading me back to himself? I thought that he was. And so I made a commitment to walk close to the Lord again. I found that Christianity worked much better for me than apathy.
The first common sense thing you’ve said so far and yet it runs counter to everything else you’ve said about Christianity.
I would often go to a park and find a forsaken place alone with God where I could lie down and pray. I would pour out my heart to God, and I would leave refreshed. I took this as proof that Christianity was true.
It is one of the many signs of faith.
I was introduced to the writings of C. S. Lewis, and I found them absolutely fascinating. His philosophy made sense to me. The best aspect was that he did not merely quote Bible verses to establish his points. One could see that he had actually thought about these things himself. I integrated his writings with the fundamentalist teachings I had heard in the past, and formed a philosophy of life.
Sounds like he is still avoiding following Christ and rather chose to follow man’s ideas including his own.
Basically I saw myself and others as rebellious sinners. I believed that I had rebelled against God, and that this had brought on the two years of depression.
It should bring on a lifetime of depression if you don’t ask for forgiveness.
When people did unkind things to me, my philosophy "explained" it--it was because they gave in to their evil, sinful nature.
I would get bitter at those who had followed their inner sinful nature, sometimes snapping at people and letting them know how bad they were.
This isn’t Biblical.
I found religion helped me to keep my mouth shut.
I hope this lesson didn’t take too long to figure out.
Instead of snapping out in anger, I learned to hold the anger inside, for I believed that it came from my fallen nature. And I did not want my fallen nature to express itself. I wanted only my new positive nature, as produced by the Holy Spirit, to come out. So the old, angry words were constrained. I believed that my "old self" was bad, and that every day I had to die to this self. So I set out to surrender my basic wants and desires to God.
Why do I feel like you’re reading this out of a theological book instead of actually believing it and living it?
These teachings may look strange when compared with the teachings of many of today's Evangelical churches,
but I remember when this was the standard fare at many Evangelical churches. One of the most influential books in my life at that time was The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis. He writes:
A recovery of the old sense of sin is essential to Christianity. Christ takes it for granted that men are bad. Until we really feel this assumption of His to be true, though we are part of the world He came to save, we are not part of the audience to whom his words are addressed,
Lewis assumed that we are bad people, and that God was angry with us for being so bad. And he thought that Christianity offered hope only to those who knew they were bad people. Lewis suggests that some Christians might ask, "What call has God, of all beings, to be angry with us?" Lewis declares that to be a blasphemous question. He responds:
Now at the moment when a man feels real guilt--moments too rare in our lives--all of these blasphemies vanish away... At such a moment we really do know that our character, as revealed in [some sinful] action, is, and ought to be, hateful to all good men, and, if there are powers above man, to them. A God who did not regard this with unappeasable distaste would not be a good being...When we merely say that we are bad, the "wrath" of God seems a barbarous doctrine; as soon as we perceive our badness, it appears inevitable, a mere corollary from God's goodness.
Guilt is far too rare?
This should be obvious. The world is full of people continuing in evil behavior.
Try saying that in a modern church!
Clearly, Lewis was talking about fallen man especially.
Modern Christianity is all about acceptance and self-esteem.
Once again, what one church does or many doesn’t eliminate the fact that we’re supposed to follow Christ, not man or his man-made institutions.
You will look long and hard to find anybody who still teaches that guilt is too rare.
Absurd and unfounded statement.
But I remember when this view was prevalent. Lewis was not merely telling us that our actions are bad, but also that our very person is something that God hates.
You’re reaching here and making stuff up. God hates rebellion and sin.
He was saying that God ought not only to hate our sin, but he ought to have wrath on us because at our very core we are worthless.
This is entirely made up or a result of completely misunderstanding Lewis. God can have wrath on us for our sin but man has insurmountable worth.
He goes on to explain that we are vermin because of Adam's sin. Can God blame us for Adam's sin? Look at his response:
Theoretically, I suppose, we might say "Yes, we behave like vermin, but then that is because we are vermin. And that, at any rate, is not our fault." But the fact that we are vermin, so far from being felt as an excuse, is a greater shame and grief to us than any of the particular acts which it leads us to commit.
So we find that we are vermin, through no fault of our own,
“No fault of our own?!?” Where is this said? He is saying we choose to sin and therefore we are vermin.
but because of what Adam did.
Adam allowed us to have the choice to sin and man continues to choose to sin. This is directly a fault of our own.
And Lewis says that it is a shame and grief to us that we are vermin, even though we were born that way. What is the Christian to do? Lewis continues,
Now the proper good of a creature is to surrender itself to its Creator--to enact intellectually, volitionally, and emotionally, that relationship which is given in the mere fact of its being a creature... In the world as we know it, the problem is how to recover this self-surrender. We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved: we are, as Newman said, rebels who must lay down our arms.
Hence the necessity to die daily: however often we think we have broken the rebellious self we shall still find it alive...The human spirit will not even begin to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it.
Do you get the picture? Lewis describes both Christians and unbelievers as vermin, as nasty rebels who need to stop fighting God. He says suffering is the tool that God uses to accomplish this change. This book was the biggest influence in my philosophy of life at that time. I could have found a number of scripture verses to support this low view of humanity. (E.g. Job 42:6, Is 64:6, Lu.17:10, Rom. 3:10-19).
Why do I have a feeling this is leading to some line about needing to find a group that boosts your ego and tells you how to boost your self-esteem. Actions the Bible condemns.
I look at it now, and do not think that I had a very healthy perspective. But this philosophy was mild compared with the Independent Baptist tradition that I had come out of.
Curious how you knew what the Ind. Baptist tradition was?
And it certainly worked better than apathy. This outlook gave me a reason to live.
Exactly. Without Christ, suicide and death is the all consuming expectation or the need to hide these thoughts with deviant sexual behavior, drugs, alcohol, meaningless activities…
I assumed that it worked because it was right. (I now think that it worked because it gave me a purpose.) I had found this one great pillar to support my faith--Christianity must be true because it works, at least it works for me.
“Christianity working” is also another sign of its truthfulness yet once again, one of many signs.
There was a second great pillar on which I based my faith. This pillar had stood firm even during the days of despair. I was quite familiar with the teachings of Henry Morris and the young earth creationists. I thought that this was the most logical explanation for how the earth began. They argued that the earth was created about 6000 years ago, just as the Bible said. During the time of Noah, a great flood supposedly covered the earth. This flood buried many animals, I was told, and these became the fossils we see today. I listened to this side only, and was convinced. Other things in the Bible may have been difficult to believe, but I had these two great pillars of my faith--a belief that Christianity as I knew it worked, and a belief that Genesis was the best explanation for how we got here.
Excellent start. Let us hope you stick with this instead of looking for a way to destroy these beliefs.
In 1987 I moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia , and found an exciting Evangelical church. I met many wonderful people and quickly became involved in many aspects of the program. I had found a home, and was happy. I talked to God every day, and developed in my personal relationship with him.
Some of the Christians at this church came from a range of religious backgrounds. This was new to me. Some people disagreed with the way I understood Christianity. A few believed in evolution, or at least that the earth was billions of years old. Others told me that my religious philosophy did not work, that other philosophies worked better. There were big differences. I thought that we should despise our evil inner self--they thought that we should love ourselves. I thought that we must work hard to keep the evil anger inside of us from coming out--they thought that evil was there because we had not vented our anger, so we had better just let it all come out. I thought that we were evil on the inside--they thought that we were good on the inside, and were wearing masks that made us look evil. I thought that the big problem was overestimating one's self and overconfidence--they thought that the big problem was low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. I thought that we were to die to ourselves--they thought that we need to discover ourselves and self-actualize. I thought that many or our thoughts and desires were evil, and God made us feel guilty about that--they thought that these desires were natural feelings, and that it was the devil, not God, that wanted us to feel guilty about having such feelings. I thought that God allowed people to mistreat us because that was his way of molding our character and causing us to "die to ourselves"--they thought that mistreatment did not always help, but often damaged our psyche, often requiring counseling to overcome the effects. They told me that my philosophy was depressing.
Liberal theology, as I stated above is cancerous. I have a feeling that, rather than helping, these destructive beliefs will lead this story to the author rejecting Christianity.
Do you understand why this was a difficult pill for me to swallow? This was the one great pillar of my Christian faith--the belief that my Bible-supported philosophy worked. Now here were Christians telling me that it did not work.
It’s not just a small group of Christians wanting to push those liberal beliefs. Curious how quickly you were ready to reject what Christianity had taught you previously?
What did they mean it didn't work? Of course it worked! It worked far better for me than the depression I had been in. And I had scripture to back it up.
That should have been end of story then.
It was not easy for me to accept that my way did not work.
I thought you had scripture to back it?
So I prayed about it and read the Bible. It seemed that God was telling me that I was doing the right thing. Seriously, who was I to go against what God was saying?
My experience and prayers told me that my philosophy worked better; their experience and prayers told them that their philosophy worked better. Who was right?
The one where scripture backs it up.
I was soon to have my eyes opened to many other philosophies that supposedly worked best. I would soon meet believers in Mormonism, Islam, Bahai, Judaism, Wicca, and Atheism.
I don’t believe scripture backs these up.
Each was sure that his way had worked for him, thus proving that it was the best.
No, just proves they “thought” it was best or wanted it to be the best.
And I was going to hear of many psychological solutions, again with testimonials for each claiming that it was better than other techniques.
Obviously everyone will say they are best. We can’t be complete idiots and trust everything everyone says.
I was not the only one who had claimed that my experience proved that I was right.
Experience is far from being enough.
Lots of people were claiming that they had tried something and this made them feel better. Do all philosophies work? How can everyone claim that his or her way wins?
People believe Satan’s lies. That’s how.
Some researchers had looked at this state of affairs and asked, "Is it true that 'Everyone has won and all must have prizes'?"
And researchers are somehow immune from mistakes?
I met these people of many religions in the CompuServe debate forum. I began to participate in the religion section, and actively debated these issues with anybody that wanted to discuss them. This was to become the focus of my spiritual life.
A horrible focus. Growing in scripture knowledge and a walk with Christ would have been better.
The biggest lesson I learned during these computer bulletin board debates was how to form an argument. It was not enough for me to state that Jay Adams, C. S. Lewis, or Thomas Szasz had written something that agreed with me on a particular point. After all, one can find somebody who will agree with almost any religious viewpoint that he expresses. I needed a more effective argument. My favorite source was the Psychoheresy Awareness Ministry of Martin and Deidre Bobgan. Their philosophy closely matched mine. They referred to psychological experiments to support their arguments, and often quoted scientific journals.
There can be found research to back any side. A good combination of research, Biblical evidence, historical evidence and hostile witnesses (opponents backing our own claims) is the best debate form.
I found that when I described experiments people often listened to what I had to say, and were less likely to attack my writings. I developed a love for scientific experiments and the scientific journals that described them. And so began a regular series of trips to the Philadelphia Public Library, and later, to the University of Pennsylvania. I would make lists of articles that favored my positions, and would go to the library to get more ammunition for my side.
These trips became time-consuming, and so, in 1992, I subscribed to my favorite journal, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology .
Christians with even a little common sense would know that secular psychology runs counter to truth and biblical Christianity. It’s curious, this author choose to ally with falsehoods and witchcraft.
At $247 a year, this represented a major desire to learn the truth.
If desire to learn the truth has a price, then this is pennies. Maybe a few more bucks would have made the difference.
Having made the commitment, I was determined to learn something from each issue. I began to read articles, whether I thought they agreed with my position or not. This was a change for me. I was not merely reading to prove I was right. I was reading to learn. And I read some articles that were disturbing. I read that trying to suppress thoughts can make them stronger. Were my efforts to keep my true thoughts under control making those repressed thoughts stronger? I learned more about the function of self-esteem. Was my viewpoint of myself as an evil sinner harmful? Slowly, microscopic cracks began to develop in the first great pillar of my faith. It was slow and subtle, but the cracks were beginning.
By dwelling on incorrect thoughts instead of truth, you can modify your beliefs. That’s not brain surgery it’s common sense.
A strange twist of fate put me right into the middle of the creation-evolution debate. That was not where I wanted to be, for these fights were often quite nasty.
Any debate involving religion can be nasty.
I couldn't believe that I was there in the middle of it all. But I was not about to leave a good debate. I decided to let people know that evolution was a bad idea.
Doing that without being prepared is foolish and destructive.
I made some progress arguing that the complexity of genes made evolution difficult,
It makes evolution impossible, not difficult.
but somebody wanted to know where all of those fossils had come from, if not from hundreds of millions of years of evolution. I suggested they might have been caused by Noah's flood.
It should have been your “final” answer not your suggestion.
My argument was defeated in one round. I was asked to explain how it is that we find rocks made of wind-blown sand in the midst of all these rocks under the earth. I had no answer.
You weren’t prepared.
Wind certainly wouldn't be blowing sand around under the floodwaters.
I guess the possibility that he was lied to or that he was given bad information never popped into his head. TJ had research showing that layers that were previously thought to be created by wind only can actually be produced in the lab in flood conditions. This just shows that the previous research wasn’t thorough or that those people had an agenda and were trying to dismantle flood theory to discredit the Bible.
I told myself the problem was that I was not familiar enough with the issues. So I avoided the subject of the flood until I could find better answers. But I never did find a satisfactory answer to this simple problem, nor to many of the other problems with Noah's flood.
CRSQ magazine and TJ magazine answer these questions on a quarterly basis. They have been around long enough that he should have been spending more money on finding truth with Christian journals rather than secular journals.
So I concentrated instead on problems that I perceived with the mechanism of evolution. I describe this struggle elsewhere, and need not repeat it here. ( Click here to read that story.)
Here is an offsite web that totally dismantles all aspects of evolution and anti-creation websites http://www.trueorigins.org/
In eighteen months, after the dust had settled, I had switched to the side of evolution. It was a complete change. Now many have survived the switch to evolution, and they still have faith.
Faith in what?!? Sounds like more confusion.
But the switch to evolution was traumatic for me. One great pillar of my faith was gone.
Meanwhile the other pillar of my faith--the one that said conservative Christian philosophy worked--was severely cracking. When I had met people offering all kinds of psychological cures for the condition of the human heart, I had argued that some researchers had found that it was not the specifics of the cure that helped people, but that it was the caring, nurturing relationship with a friendly helper that was building hope and helping people. One day somebody turned that argument on its end. He asked me how I knew that Christianity worked. Perhaps people were helped within Christianity because they were in a nurturing relationship with caring people, not because of the specifics of the Bible. I had been caught by my own argument, and I had no answer.
This appears to be an epidemic problem, no answers.
I knew I could not be sure that it was Christianity that made the difference.
That’s why experience shouldn’t be the only test of truthfulness of Christianity.
I was finding an even bigger problem. I saw skeptics on the forum arguing that the Bible commanded massacres (e.g. 1 Samuel 15), praised terrorism (e.g. Psalm 137), and allowed slavery (e.g. Exodus 21). I knew I had no chance against their arguments.
Especially if you only read one psychology magazine. It would be of interest to know that the attacks described above were on people who were more vile than much of what America can muster up.
I had known such things were in the Bible ever since I had read the Bible years before, but I had learned to ignore the faults. But it was no longer possible to ignore them. My faith was crumbling.
Once again, there have been plenty of books on Bible difficulties and apologetics for decades. Norman Geisler would have been known to even the smallest churches had a member approached the pastor about Bible difficulties.
I began to incorporate new ideas into my mind. I did my best to piece together a progressive philosophy of life that would keep my faith in spite of these problems. I experimented with ways to include evolution, an errant Bible, a higher view of the self, and even humanism into my Christianity.
A stupid and bizarre combination.
Meanwhile, I moved on to other interests: country dancing, movies,
Things that he was told he should avoid previously lest he slip away.
and romance. Ah yes, romance. I fell in love with a very special lady, who has become my best companion in life. She has supported me through some tough times, and I am very grateful to her. She has a compassion and concern for others that I can only dream about. After 38 years, I had found somebody that I could love with all of my heart. We were soon to be married. (She has not agreed with where my skepticism has finally led me, but she is always my best friend.)
I had drifted away from participation in church.
I’m sure it wasn’t heavy participation to begin with.
I now made an effort to find my place again. There had been a radical change in my thought process. I was no longer the most conservative thinker on the block.
Confused thinker is what I am reading.
Now, I was the most liberal thinker at church (as far as I could tell). I persuaded myself that I could still fit in--after all it was the liberal element at church that started me on my journey—
Journey to apostacy.
but I found it increasingly hard to identify with the church program. And I asked questions that surprised everyone.
True, all sorts of fables and myths can be believed when the truth of Christianity is rejected.
There is no stopping the mind set free. It is like that first leak of water through the dam. It reaches a critical size, and then bursts free. My thoughts refused to stop--the dam had been broken. I read books that were critical of the Bible. I read the Bible from a whole new viewpoint. I found skeptical sites on the Internet. I asked many questions--many of which can be found at this site. I found it harder and harder to identify myself as a Christian Even the label of "Liberal Christian" was losing its appeal. I could no longer believe the basics of Christianity.
Reading only one side will create a one-sided thinker. He wasn’t a free thinker but a single-minded thinker.
In 2002 I decided that I should no longer identify myself as a Christian. What am I? If you need a label, you could call me an Ex-Christian, a humanist, or a freethinker. In September 2002 I created this web site to explain what had happened to me. I hope that it helps you to understand me.
Yes, you’re an idiot.
I have not chosen an easy path. It is not easy to tell people that I no longer believe that this message is true. But I find the evidence overwhelming.
You have showed no evidence.
If the weight of the evidence were marginal, I would follow the believing crowd and not raise the issue. I do not like to be different. I prefer to follow the crowd.
And you did. The crowd follows evolution and you stepped right in line.
All of my life I have been a follower. I have always wanted to fit in. But there are just too many problems with the Bible. I simply cannot unlearn what I have learned. Knowing what I know, I cannot be a Christian. So I choose the road less traveled.
This is the most ridiculous statement ever made. Evolutionism and skepticism fill the globe. Does he even read what he writes?
I am not asking you to follow me. You have a mind of your own. You can decide for yourself. But perhaps you could learn from me.
Learn stupidity? How to follow mindless oafs? How to only read one side of a debate and pretend you know both sides?
I now have a different perspective in life. For instance, I no longer see people as evil.
Why should you? Satan is hard at work trying to get people to believe they are good.
If somebody hurts me, I no longer think they necessarily do it because they are evil. Now I think they may well do it because, from their perception of the circumstance and their knowledge of the world, it seems best for them to act that way at that time.
Moral relativism. I wonder if this good natured attitude would also include when someone rapes his daughter or kills his relatives or burns his house down.
It was hard to forgive hateful vermin who did hateful things. It is easy to forgive confused but well-meaning individuals who do hurtful things.
I guess this means he’s pardoned, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Polpot… men who are responsible for killing 100 million people in the name of humanism.
This change in perspective works wonders. Instead of concentrating on bridling the tongue, one can concentrate on understanding the person who did hurtful things. Rational questioning changes perspectives, and changed perspectives change lives.
Changing perspectives and lives doesn’t necessarily mean for the good. This is an attempt at ending this meaningless diatribe on an intellectual and upbeat note.
I find that I am far happier without the bonds of religion.
Freedom to do whatever you want does bring a form of happiness although he is now under the bonds of another religion, humanism.
It is an amazing thing to set the mind free, free from the need to fit everything into a predefined bias.
I hope that neither you nor I will ever stop questioning.
The funny thing is, you did stop questioning. The inconsistencies continue. Illogical thinking like this is a symptom of those who reject the truth of the bible.
Anybody interested in commenting on this exchange may do so at my blog.