T Nation

Atheism-o-phobia Part 2


#1

Looks like I got the last post on the other thread and it locked out. Continuing here.

Eph, I'm gonna have to respond to your statement tomorrow. I tried to get there today but there was just too much work and my son decided NOT to take his nap. Which, in my opinion, is a positively immoral act on his part. :wink:


#2

lol I was expecting flecth to start it but oh well.


#3

..i thought the kettlebell was a large castiron japanese teapot, but yeah, you could say i was distracted, lol...


#4

From the last thread

Ah you and fletch bring up a very heated point of contention among Christians and that is whether can a true believer depart from the faith or is it impossible for them. Someone like Tiribulus would contend that it is in fact impossible to do so while I wouldn't be so hasty as to claim whether it is possible or not from the bible.

Anyways many people in churches have not come to Jesus personally instead relying on others to know about Jesus instead of knowing him, this may sound insane or schizophrenic to the majority of atheist here or even a few Christians but when one has a relationship with Christ there is communication. There is a promise in the bible that says that God reveals himself to those who seek him with all their heart.

If you or flecth want to share how you guys became atheist that would be interesting.


#5

Hey Cortes I never read the screwtape letters but I assume its something similar to what Romans 1 describes or James 1:13-15.


#6

That thinking comes with the once saved, always saved mentality or faith alone. Which is funny because faith alone is basically basically one side of the heresy coin called saved by works.


#7

Screwtape letters is a strange book, C.S. Lewis writes as an elder demon and a junior demon in correspondence with each other. The elder demon is helping the junior demon on how to keep people from going to Heaven. Interesting book.


#8

..one of the few men i admire:


#9

I tried posting and got a message saying the thread was locked and then it gave me a link to follow if I wanted to start a new one. So I did.

I apologize if anyone feels I acted presumptuously. Cortes is now a thread stealer. More immorality. What a hypocrite, eh?

:wink:


#10

I've read Screwtape Letters, but it's been a while. Can someone remind me what C. S. Lewis has to say about this? Does he believe that once enlightened and born of the Spirit, it is possible for people to fall away?


#11

Works for me.


#12

Joab, to answer your question it was a process of stepping back to honestly consider the possibility that everything I had been taught to interpret as evidence for the existence of god (burning in the bosom, inspiration through prayer, miracles, etc.) might be explained as coming from natural sources. I had very deep, personal feelings of commitment, communication, and what I considered a real relationship with Christ, but honesty required me to admit many years later that this may have all come from within.

As a psychologist, I understood how our beliefs, emotions, and thoughts can be subliminally generated by the brain. None of my experiences had to come from a supernatural source. I realized that some of my most deeply cherished beliefs, which I knew to be true through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were factually impossible once I did objective research on my faith. I won't get into details on any of that here, except to say it was a very sincere process of documenting the best evidence I could find on both sides of the argument, and honestly considering the conclusions required by the evidence.

I also realized that people of different faiths can be equally sincere, equally convinced that god has spoken to them, equally born again, and equally accepting of Jesus as their Savior, yet their conclusions based on what god has told them contradict those of other faiths. Logically, it is impossible for them all to be correct, so it calls into question this whole process of inspiration and the conclusions we draw from that inspiration. I now believe those conclusions, however sincere, are derived from entirely natural processes and are not proof of the divine.

Not to say this disproves the possibility of god(s). It's impossible to prove something doesn't exist, so honesty requires admitting the possibility, however remote. However, lacking any reliable objective evidence, I think it is similarly dishonest to draw conclusions that something exists when in fact there is no real proof that it does.


#13

When I first talked about my questions and doubts to my bible study leaders and a minister, they told me I was experiencing 'a crisis in faith' and told me to pray to God and read the bible for my answers. While I was in the church, it was generally thought that once saved always saved. I'm not really sure what the bible has to say about it. At this point though, I don't believe in consciousness after death or an afterlife in the spiritual sense.


#14

Has anyone been converted yet?


#15

In that book he really doesn't say.

The premise is as stated above to keep the object of wormwood from attaining heaven.
When the guy becomes a Christian they turn to trying to render the Christian useless
in his faith. Followed by screwtape being ok with the younger demon failing, because
that is good for the more mature demons.

I would gather from his writing in a grief observed that he believes in once saved always
saved.

I would comment on why those who believe in once saved, always saved would argue that you are not saved, but I don't think there is much point.


#16

As he is more in sync with the High Church Anglican/Catholic Church I would suspect (especially with the Screw tape letters) that he believes that it is possible for people to fall away after baptism.


#17

Fletch, I had the same experience. Our senior church leader refused to even look at my research or to address my actual concerns, other than telling me to pray about it.

BTW, the bible does say it's possible for people to be enlightened by the Spirit, and fall away after. Some churches wink at that part.


#18

Oh...were you Mormon by chance?

I have helped several people either come to the Church, or revert back to the Church. Goes something like this:

Friend comes to me one day, "You have to become Mormon!"
Me: Why?
Friend: It's the truth.
Me: Is it?
Friend: Yes, the elder...we talked and then that night I asked God and I felt it like he said I would.
Me: Did the elder ask you to read the Book of Mormon and then pray to the Holy Spirit to show you if it is true?
Friend: Yes, and He showed me the truth. I am getting baptized tomorrow.
Me: Well, I want you to try something before you make any rash decisions, just to make sure Mormonism is the truth.
Friend: Okay...what is it?
Me: I want you to before you go to bed read the Nicene creed (and other "evangelical" tracks) and pray to the Holy Ghost and ask him to show if the Nicene creed is true, and if these Catholic tracks are telling you the truth, if the Catholic Church is truth.
Friend: Okay...
Me: Can I pray over you as well?
Friend: Sure
So, I pray over them and tell them to call me in the morning to let me know what happened.

In the morning...
Friend: I'm confused, two days ago I prayed to the Holy Ghost and I felt like he told me Mormonism was the truth.
Me: And now?
Friend: Now, He is telling me Catholicism is.
Me: That's because it's bullshit! Just a two-bit hustle. You didn't think it would be that easy to hear to the voice of God did you? You just felt good because you read something logical, and then prayed. Your brain made mental connections that was easy to agree with then meditated at a time when your body is ready to fall asleep. You'll naturally feel as though you are being filled with something. Discernment is a much harder process than just praying one time. Let me show you...


Honestly, I always have one or two missionaries show up to my parish each summer after doing that, and I have to explain to them or have a priest explain to them what happened. I do enjoy the LDS crowd, they do work hard at being good people.


#19

Well Catholics aren't ones to try and convert anyone, so your commit is ad hominem. Thanks for playing.


#20

Looks like he did believe you could fall away after being saved. Not surprising, since he knew his bible pretty well.


- Mere Christianity, p. 162

  • Mere Christianity, p. 49