Poll: Is a Christian conversion a one-way trip?by jason on Sep. 30, 2011, under Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Clarity, Critical Thinking, Faith, God & Bible, Logic, Reason, Religion, Science, Willful Ignorance
And for you Jason,,,,, you are barking up the wrong tree.
If you really want to know God, you need to ask him.
Let go of your self righteous zeal, and ask him.
Kent presumes to know that I haven’t, but he presumes wrongly.
I was once a believer. I was “saved”. I repented of my “sins” and I asked Jesus to run my life. I was born again. I was baptized. I thought I had a relationship with Jesus Christ. I even tried to introduce others to my (imaginary) friend. Of course you’ll have to take my word for it, but I really believed I had accepted Jesus as my lord and savior.
But then I started thinking.
Rational thought is the mortal enemy of faith, which is why religions generally do everything they can to prevent and misdirect any truly rational thought processes.
The start of my thought process was very simple: I asked myself, how could I know that I’m right and unbelievers are wrong? Then I simply followed that question, with all due diligence and no self-delusion or equivocation. And yes, I prayed. I read the entire Bible too. And I asked God to reveal a way that I could know for sure he was there, and prove it to others as well.
The key to this process was that I rejected any form of self-delusion. You can always find something to delude yourself is a sign from God if you want to. A feeling, a favorable opportunity, a near miss accident, a gut feeling, seeing some natural beauty – these things happen to everyone everywhere at some time, and they aren’t signs from God. A sign from God is something for which God is not only a good explanation, but the best explanation.
Since God is most often invoked as an explanation of origins, my search necessarily delved into some aspects of biology, evolution, physics, and cosmology. God is not a good explanation in any of those fields, even in the areas where we currently lack particularly good explanations. The absence of a good explanation does not magically turn the most popular bad explanation good. I did not know all of this as explicitly then as I do now, but it was enough simply to resolve myself against self delusion.
When, after a fruitless search, I finally concluded that God and Jesus were purely figments of the imagination, I left the door open that I might be wrong. That’s a door that remains open today even though I stopped believing over 25 years ago. If God were to show up at my house, he’d be welcome to come in. The only door that’s closed is the door of self delusion – I won’t go there. So I’m not holding my breath.
No person, book, or philosophical argument convinced me to stop believing in God. I convinced myself, by thinking and researching and being honest with myself about what I found. That’s why, though the argumentation on this blog is often fun and sometimes enlightening, I don’t expect to convince anyone with my arguments. My chosen role is just to try and convince people to think.
When I started telling evangelical Christians that I had been saved, but no longer believed in God, they didn’t know how to handle it. Most of them still don’t.
Isn’t getting “saved” supposed to be a one-way transaction in soul redemption? Some Christians say that I’m still saved, just backsliding and I will eventually come back to God. Like I said, door is open, but I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath waiting. But this gets me to thinking…Since I was born again, but now I’m an atheist, would you guys who think I’m still saved be comfortable if I just call myself a “Born Again Atheist?”
There’s some disagreement about whether someone such as myself can get “unsaved”. Some Christians equivocate. Some say you can’t possibly get “unsaved”, but since no atheist could possibly also be saved, I must not have been saved in the first place. Easy for them to say that I didn’t really believe what I believed; I lived it. So according to this line of belief, I need to repeat everything that I already did, and meant, and believed, before…only this time I have to *really* mean it. Otherwise I’m not saved. And even if I’m sure I am saved, ‘cuz I did everything right and meant it, maybe I’m still not. Some speculate that perhaps I didn’t recite the correct magical incantations the first time, or perhaps I didn’t believe in exactly the right kind of Jesus for my salvation to work.
Then there are those who say that I was saved, but by publicly denying the existance of Jesus now I am no longer saved. So if I got “unsaved”, I guess that means I’m “Unborn Again” now too? Hey! Maybe that’s how women could get some of these Christians to consider *their* rights in “the rights of the unborn”.
And then there’s the not-so-insignificant fact that every single one of the possibilities contradicts the scriptures that evangelical Christians say are literally true. I’m apparently someone that the scriptures and the omnicient God who supposedly wrote them did not anticipate.
Why does anyone even care about whether or not I’m ”saved” anyway? Well, according to those Biblical literalists if I’m saved I’m going to heaven, but if I’m not saved I’m going to burn in hell. And the one thing they all seem to agree on is that both of those destinations are one-way trips.
So since my immortal soul is on the line here, I guess I should try for a larger sample size to figure this out. Tell me, especially all you literal Bible believing evangelical Christians: