Why I Reject Christianity
By Ed Sr.
(This was written in March 1998)
After spending 25 years of my adult life in a cult, (Worldwide Church of God) I've decided that, from now on, I will be making my own mistakes for myself instead of trusting other people to make them for me.
At first I went with just the Bible, Jesus and Me, having completely rejected "organized" Christianity. Then I did some research on the Bible and found that it did not have the authority or legitimacy that I had once thought it did. One thing that Herbert W. Armstrong taught that I still believe is that "if you can prove one part of the Bible wrong, you can't believe any of it." Of course, Herbert W. Armstrong supposedly had an answer to every problem about the Bible. And we believed him and his stooges no matter what they said. Of course, if you would challenge any of their conclusions or pat answers, you would not be a member for very long.
I have not rejected the Bible because I have not read it or studied it. I reject it because I have read it and studied it for the last 25 years. I do understand it. It is flawed so I believe that it cannot be God's word. I couldn't follow a flawed God.
Sorry, I don't want to get into any Bible discussion. I really don't understand how anyone can believe that it is inspired by God. The only proof of that is "from the Bible" and tradition and "all these people couldn't be wrong, could they?" People believe it as a matter of faith and nobody can argue against that. Faith is blind and proud of it. Reason cannot stand against it. It is useless to debate.
If I may quote Steve Allen: "Unfortunately, belief and faith substitute as knowledge in many people's minds and nothing, even if they fell in the teeth of evidence against their claims, could possibly change their minds."
And I don't feel it is my duty to try to convince anyone else otherwise because I don't think it matters to God. If He cared, he would make His wishes a lot more clearer than a confused collection of stories filled with ambiguity and paradox.
If you want to believe the Bible and Christianity, you are certainly in the majority in this country. Of course, the majority of the people in this country also believe that Clinton is not lying to them. And, even if they do think he is lying, they don't care. A good analogy with the Bible in that most people don't even know what is in it or who wrote it but they believe it is God's word without question or research.
You will find Bible quotations on my pages. I can quote it just as well as any of you who still believe it is inspired. That doesn't mean that I believe and agree with everything that is written in it. I can throw Bible quotations back and forth to prove my points just as well as anyone. If I use quotations, it is for the reader's benefit and edification.
After throwing out the Bible, I had to throw out Jesus too since you can only find him in the Bible. Sorry if that offends you. That was a hard one for me but I have to be logical. You don't find logical people in churches.
I know of one young man who said that he was throwing out his Bible and starting over with Jesus! Duh.
Being Objective and Rational
It is indeed difficult for people to be objective because we are all tied up with what we believe already, right or wrong. Don't disturb me with the facts, I've made up my mind.
When a person believes that a book is from God, by faith, in spite of many flaws, then there is nothing that can be said to that person. I could "believe" that God inspired the telephone book but that doesn't make it so.
For a person to be objective, he would have to throw out everything he has ever believed before and start over at ground zero. First prove there is a God, if you can, and go from there. People should not be afraid to examine what they believe and see if it holds up to scrutiny. We, at least, should have learned that from our experience.
If God wanted to communicate with us, He is certainly inept to have used a book, written in ancient languages, that is so confused and confusing as to allow multiple interpretations and misuses and multiple churches with different beliefs being based on the same book. What confusion. And if our salvation rests on our responsibility to pick out the correct set of beliefs from this book, then the god of the bible is cruel indeed.
Just applying a little rationality to the subject leads me to deduce that all this religion and bible stuff must not matter to God or He would have made things a lot clearer to us. If He had something important to say, He could write it in the sky for all to see and nobody to have an excuse.
But religions insist that you throw out rationality and believe them and believe the Bible without question. Have Faith. And then the slavery begins.
The farther people get away from religions and the Bible, the more objective they get and possibly closer to the true God.
Someone wrote: "But God doesn't work by what we can prove by reason and logic. Those are human. God works by faith."
Reply: Faith in what? Faith in a confused collection of stories and letters, many of which nobody even knows the author? Some of which have been written to use and abuse people for the benefit of the ruling class? All of which have been handed down to us by a church known for its corruption. (the catholic church in this case, not the Worldwide Church of God)
Ask yourself this question: "Since most people's religious faith is determined by where they are born, what faith would I believe in if I were born in India, China, Japan, etc.?" If your "faith" is determined by where you were born but there is only one way to be saved, then God must be very unfair. Are all these people that don't believe as you do, lost? Or do all Christians have to do this "work" for God so that all these people that don't have your faith will convert to your faith or be lost? Teachings like that come right out of your Bible. I'm sorry, I can't worship a God like that.
Its not that I haven't looked into my beliefs, I have and cannot be a hypocrite. I know some people that can't even look at their bibles because they feel betrayed. Yet they will steadfastly say that they are Christians. They feel that they must continue to say the magic words in spite of what they truly believe and feel or they will be lost forever. I will take that chance because I will not compromise what I believe. Either I am right or I am wrong but I'm not hedging my bets. I don't believe God would respect a faith like that if it mattered one way or the other to Him.
I believe there is a God. I believe that I am ultimately responsible to Him. What He is doing, I don't know. And I can only think that it must not matter since He hasn't told us what He wants. Those who pretend to know are only fooling themselves and their followers. Check out my page regarding my letter to my Ministerial Student nephew.
I try to live my life now by honoring God and doing good to my fellow human beings as the occasion presents itself.
My conscience is not seared. I have nothing but truth on my web page: Let me just clear this up regarding anything "untruthful" on The Painful Truth website: There are no deliberate untruths on my site, that I know of. There are no accidental untruths on my site, that I know of. There are, most definitely, none from me. I have a notice stating to the effect that, if anyone can PROVE anything on my site is untrue, I will take it down. You have to prove it to ME though. Lies and being untruthful are not what I do as compared to the parasitic religionists who will sell their consciences for a paycheck.
Some people think that it is their job to protect "weaker" people from any information that they don't think these people can handle. They will decide what is truth and what is a lie and they will tell you what you can read and what you can believe. They will tell you that others must be "Christian" or they cannot be trusted. They seem to think that you need "them" to decide everything for you. According to them, there is only one true religion and everyone else is scum.
"Materials such as the Ambassador report resemble the same reporting and credibility as some of the supermarket tabloids. There are some facts, and some embellishment. There are myths as well. Tabloids are usually not successfully sued either."
AR resembled a tabloid because the church resembled a soap opera. I have gotten more straight truth out of the AR's than I did in 25 years of the Plain Truth, Tomorrow's World, Good News, Worldwide News, Correspondence Course...... You see, the AR has nothing to lose by telling the truth. The Worldwide Church of God does.
"I personally feel that you have applied the moral failures and corruption's in Christianity to the bible, especially what you witnessed in Worldwide Church of God."
Wrong. The corruption in the church, the failure of herbies prophecy's and the use of the bible to beat a people into subjection were only the catalyst for my search for what is really truth in the spiritual realm.
"Let me ask you this, if you could prove the bible, would you do it? Would you actually consider proving the bible if you heard about some way it could be done?"
Well now, I'm sure that, if you could prove it to me, you would have done it by now. You can have faith that the moon is made out of cheese but that doesn't make it so. I already proved it herbies' way so I decided to do my own research and the Bible came up wanting.
If these anti-bible scholars were presenting the truth, why do their conclusions disagree?
They do agree: They agree that the book is full of flaws. They may disagree on which one is the most egregious but they all do a pretty good job of discrediting it. The funny thing is that after a lot of them get done showing that it is wrong, they go on to tell you that they still believe in it! Talk about cognitive dissonance!
One person wrote to me:
"But I truly believe that all the research in the world will not make a big difference. Faith is the key, and though it may not be something you could accept as rational, it is the way God works."
No. It is the way you THINK He works. It is the way you justify irrationality and blame it on God. I don't need faith in a book or a religion that offers no PROOF at all.
I deduce that He is bigger than the petty strivings of mankind to shape and mold Him into their own personal God that is going to avenge them and justify them and take them to heaven or nirvana or whatever and leave the rest of us to rot in hell. I don't believe for a minute that the Creator of the Universe has anything to do with the Bible or any of the manmade religions all over the earth. Men have used fear of death and a promise of an afterlife to manipulate and control people from the beginning. Just because one religion has been more successful than others at promoting itself and killing off unbelievers does not mean that God is behind it.
"If the bible cannot be trusted, or any book for that matter, then what standard do we have?"
Everybody just play nice. Do you think people can have no morality outside of your Bible? Sorry about that but I think non-bible believers are much nicer people. They don't have to prove they have the truth and try to convert everyone to their way of thinking. They can just let you live your life the way you want as long as you don't bother them, which is very hard for Christians to do. My parents and my sisters are not Bible readers. As far as I know, they don't even have a Bible. You couldn't find more moral people. My father will move slugs out of his way rather than step on them. I've seen my mother go back to a store because they gave her a few pennies too much change. I used to feel sorry for them that they did not have God's Truth, as I did. What a fool!
"So what is my problem with your website? I simply feel that the efforts are misguided. Many people do need help, but I do not believe this is the approach."
Then set up your own website. You might ask your local minister to sign-up. Your Worldwide Church of God minister is doing the "Money Thing." They are in it for the money. They are "hirelings," to use the Bible term. Take away the money and they are gone.
One person wrote:
"In that case, all I can ask of you is that you consider helping people and avoid those things which hurt people. I believe that some people cannot think critically and may read something and not know how to deal with it, particularly those materials which question the bible."
I believe we all deserve the truth. I won't decide, as you want to and the ministry wants to, which people will be able to know what. I believe that God is able to handle any problems that may arise from people learning truth instead of error. But, maybe my God is bigger than yours. My God is not tied up in a book.
One person wrote: Allow God to attain the justice for what you and others suffered.
I don't want justice for any evil done to me or mine. I just don't want the perpetrators and their descendants to walk away with the money. They can give my share to charity. I want them to admit the evil that was perpetrated on the members in the name of God, in detail. I want people to know the truth so they don't let it happen again. If people want to stay in Worldwide Church of God after they know all that has gone on and how they are still being manipulated, it doesn't bother me a bit. There is a sucker born every minute. At least nobody can say that I covered up the abuse for money. I can't say that about the present administration.
One person wrote: "But as for some of the other material, the question must simply be asked, are people helped by it or hurt by it? I don't mean that they find out the truth, but that they can have their faith damaged, and that certainly is not healing."
If people have their faith in MEN damaged beyond repair, I will be satisfied.
The scandalous past of Herbert Armstrong and the cult he founded should be publicly confessed and apologized for. Just apologizing for doctrinal error doesn't cut it."
By the way, check out my Ministerial Apology page. These are the things that I, and others, think the Worldwide Church of God should be apologizing for before they can move on.
Also check out my page on the Garnet Hill Rip-Off. Here is just one more person who the "church" would like to just walk by and leave laying in the road behind them (sorry for that Bible allusion there) and move on with their newfound "Christianity." The Worldwide Church of God would just like to move on without going back to repair all the damage it has done in the past. Is this in the spirit of Christ? I know what the Bible says on matters such as this. They should take all the money they have and go back and find all those they have damaged and do their best to make them whole again. But there are too many broken bodies laying in the road behind this crew. All the money would be gone! They would have to get jobs. This church was built on the broken bodies of its loyal members. It is a whited sepulcher. It is a phony church. The only reason it continues to exist is to make money and control people.
So do you have to worry about me not claiming to be a Christian, that I will mislead someone by lying to them? You have to decide that for yourself.
I would say that the Worldwide Church of God has been more effective at turning people away from Christianity than I ever will.. I don't even care what people believe. I have nothing to gain from what you believe. The purpose for my website is not to bring about the downfall of the Worldwide Church of God, although I would not be sorry if that happened. It would bring closure to those who feel raped and have left the Worldwide Church of God. The purpose of The Painful Truth is to educate the members as to how they have been misled and misused by men they trusted to be "men of God."
After they are educated, I don't care what they do. If they are still foolish enough to trust men ever again, they can't blame me. They can't blame God. They can't blame the men that continue to mislead them in God's name. They can only, then, blame themselves.
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