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  1. #1 Growing Out of Atheism by Mike S. Adams 
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    Hey, man! It was great to spend time with you in Houston last weekend. It was a real honor to be the keynote speaker at the annual fund-raiser for Texas Right to Life. They are a real class act and I thought they put together one spectacular event. It was really something else to be able to speak in front of my parents, my First Grade teacher, and my oldest friend in the universe (I mean oldest friendship as I donít mean to imply youíre old which would mean Iím old, too).

    I must tell you, though, that our conversation after the banquet was the highlight of the whole trip. During the conversation I was most struck by three of your statements; namely, that you were learning to let go of your anger, that you were reading the Book of Luke, and that youíre now taking a Bible study class at the church your dad attended before his unexpected death. In other words, youíre doing what I did just a few years ago: Youíre growing up and out of atheism and embarking on an important intellectual journey.

    You gave some indication Friday night that you have some remorse about how your past anger has hurt other people and interfered with your relationships. You seemed most concerned about how your unresolved religious issues may have caused you to lash out at others Ė mostly with the women youíve dated and even in your relationship with your current girlfriend. I have a few insights that I hope will help you feel a little better about this and will help you focus on doing the NRT. By that, I mean forgetting about the past and simply doing the Next Right Thing.

    Any outbursts of anger you may have displayed during your prolonged battle with God probably pale in comparison with the ones I displayed during my days as a hardened and outspoken atheist. It didnít help that during that time I badly abused alcohol and used drugs that were intended to fill a gap in my life caused by my rejection of God.

    Regardless, I am still having to apologize to people I hurt during that period of my life. But I donít dwell on it because I understand the origins of that anger. Itís all about separation from God. And once we have the courage to step away from atheism - or the intellectually weaker position of agnosticism - the anger just disappears. (Note that the agnostic is literally confessing, as I did for nine years, to be an ďignoramusĒ regarding the existence of God).

    I think anger is one of the reasons people get trapped in atheism or agnosticism. The anger becomes so intense that they lose the ability to discuss religion with more intellectually centered believers. They often become so embittered that they wonít even read anything that challenges their views on theological matters.

    I am now encountering that problem with an atheist professor at UNC-Wilmington. He has a pile of books on his desk by Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and other atheists who think like he thinks. He wonít attend lectures or read books I recommend that provide a different perspective. I have to approach the topic carefully in order to avoid stirring his fiery temper. I donít think itís a coincidence that the most outspoken atheist I know has less control over his emotions than anyone I know.

    But I think most former atheists and former agnostics also find that there is another emotion, which sort of disappears once a solid, intellectually based belief in God takes hold in their lives. That emotion is fear.

    The man who used to be my most outspoken atheist colleague (he is now retired) provides a good example of what Iím talking about. His decision to adopt atheism had nothing to do with honest intellectual reflection. He simply had a horrible relationship with his father and he took it out on God. The consequence of this was a level of emotional insecurity that made him simply impossibly to deal with. He was constantly plagued by indecisiveness and anxiety.
    snip

    http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeS...atheism?page=1
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    Quote Originally Posted by megimoo View Post

    ...

    The man who used to be my most outspoken atheist colleague (he is now retired) provides a good example of what I’m talking about. His decision to adopt atheism had nothing to do with honest intellectual reflection. He simply had a horrible relationship with his father and he took it out on God. The consequence of this was a level of emotional insecurity that made him simply impossibly to deal with. He was constantly plagued by indecisiveness and anxiety.
    snip

    http://townhall.com/columnists/MikeS...atheism?page=1[/SIZE]
    Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

    I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.
    Last edited by wilbur; 10-13-2008 at 09:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

    I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.
    Ah, of course! THEY'RE NOT "TRUE ATHEISTS"(TM).

    Better not ever hear you dicks complain about "true Christians." Ever.

    But I know you will because you're frickin' hypocrites.
    OPEACHMENT NOW!!!

    Stinger:
    "I was... ordered to drop my pants, bend over and spread my cheeks."
    --RagingInMiami achieving the DUmp's highest level of nirvana
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Atheists like that are not really ever atheist, sort of like CS Lewis. The belief in God is there, but some personal injustice prevents them from acknowledging it. They are primed and ready for some convoluted theological platitude to wash it all away and convince them that there is some greater purpose in the sorrowful moments in their lives. This is why most atheist -> religious testimonies are never very convincing.

    I think this is also why so many religious people have such a hard time addressing atheist arguments properly.. they just do no comprehend that many of us really aren't just 'angry with God' or that we explain away God so that we don't have to be accountable to anyone.
    It seems that many of those who "convert" (and I think convesion is bi-directional, i.e. both atheists to believers and believers to atheists) often become as zealous in their new position as they were in their old. You cite CS Lewis, but I immediately thought of a much more powerful literary figure who reflected his conversion to Catholicism in his transition from Prufrock to The Wasteland to Journey of the Magi -- Eliot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinxmchue View Post
    Ah, of course! THEY'RE NOT "TRUE ATHEISTS"(TM).

    Better not ever hear you dicks complain about "true Christians." Ever.
    Well here's the thing Jinx... Atheism and Christianity are similar in that there is really only one requirement necessary to fit the label.

    • True atheism: one simply needs more doubt than confidence in the existence of supernatural gods.
    • True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God.

    So, conversely, that means the only way one cannot be a true christian or a true atheist is if they do not possess the sole requirement for each.

    The people in the article above really seem to have always lacked the one and only feature required for one to be an atheist. Being angry at God means one is not an atheist, by definition. So yes, they aren't true atheists.... and I can, without being a hypocrite, say there are plenty of child rapists, mass murderers etc etc, who are in fact true Christians while at the same time, say the people described in the article are not true atheists.

    But I know you will because you're frickin' hypocrites.
    Jinx, an amazing example of the true transformative power of the Lord!
    Last edited by wilbur; 10-13-2008 at 04:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Well here's the thing Jinx... Atheism and Christianity are similar in that there is really only one requirement necessary to fit the label.

    • True atheism: one simply needs more doubt than confidence in the existence of supernatural gods.
    • True Christianity: one simply needs to worship Jesus as God.

    So, conversely, that means the only way one cannot be a true christian or a true atheist is if they do not possess the sole requirement for each.

    The people in the article above really seem to have always lacked the one feature that must be present for one to be an atheist. Being angry at God means one is not an atheist, by definition. So yes, they aren't true atheists.... and I can, without being a hypocrite, say there are plenty of child rapists, mass murderers etc etc, who are in fact true Christians while at the same time, say the people described in the article are not true atheists.



    Jinx, an amazing example of the true transformative power of the Lord!

    That is incorrect my friend. A true Christian believes that Christ died upon the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus then rose from the dead and acended to Heaven. They repent of their sins as an act of obedience and acceptence of Christ's sacrifice. Finally they obey the teachings and directions that Christ put forth in the Gospels. Anything less is a false Christianity.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    Matthew 7:21-23
    Last edited by FlaGator; 10-13-2008 at 04:25 PM.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    That is incorrect my friend. A true Christian believes that Christ died upon the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. They believe that Jesus then rose from the dead and acended to Heaven. They repent of their sins as an act of obedience and acceptence of Christ's sacrifice. Finally they obey the teachings and directions that Christ put forth in the Gospels. Anything less is a false Christianity.

    Matthew 7:21-23
    Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    It seems that many of those who "convert" (and I think convesion is bi-directional, i.e. both atheists to believers and believers to atheists) often become as zealous in their new position as they were in their old. You cite CS Lewis, but I immediately thought of a much more powerful literary figure who reflected his conversion to Catholicism in his transition from Prufrock to The Wasteland to Journey of the Magi -- Eliot.
    I think people often become more zealous.
    I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..
    I didn't impose anything. I'm just quoting Christ. I can produce quite a few more if your interested... all spoken by Christ not me. All I quoted was the basics. These are common to all Christian denominations.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Once you start imposing all these other requirements it really then becomes 'they aren't a true protestant, or a true catholic or a true pentecostal' etc..
    To say "Christians believe Jesus is God" is exhibiting extreme ignorance of the basic principle of Christianity.

    So before you start bashing Christians again, please educate yourself on the issue.
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