Questions From Christians
by mike mcclellan
What was your 'born-again' and spiritual experience?
I was 'saved' in 1960 after my father died. His death brought home the fact that one day we all face death. I was devastated by his loss and began to
be concerned about my own soul. I had an intense interest to know God and "get
right" with him realizing that, as a mortal, I too would someday face what my
father had just experienced - death of the body and permanent separation from
all that he had known and loved since he was born.
Shortly after my 'salvation' I attended a fundamentalist, full gospel, pentecostal
bible college for four years. After graduation, I went out into the world to
preach Christ and win souls to Him. If it was God's will, I wanted to
pastor a church, and preach the gospel.
What caused you to leave the born again, fundamentalist religious persuasion?
In an evolutionary chain of events in my life, I began to seek answers to questions
which weren't being answered by pastors, Christians and the Bible.
What were the questions you had?
In the beginning, I questioned why subjects such as evolution were often considered
heresy and looked upon as
an evil, satanic idea. I questioned when I found what I knew to be contradictions in the
Bible. I felt that I had found a large supply, but I was told by Christians as often as I
questioned, that there are no contradictions in God's Word and I just
simply wasn't discerning things spiritually.
I found it utterly impossible to believe that an all-knowing, all-wise God would
personally murder innocent infants and the elderly because blood
wasn't smeared on their doorposts during the first Passover. (You'll find this account
in Exodus) And born again Christians dare to say that if God did it, its OK.
Any Christian (or non-Christian) worth his salt would decry the mass murders influenced
by Charles Manson and his followers. If the infanticide described above isn't enough,
keep in mind that biblegod is the biggest mass murderer in the world's history. If
the story of the flood is true, biblegod killed everyone on earth except for eight
people (Noah, Mrs. Noah, their three sons and their wives). That's one way to get
rid of the problem!
More recently, I questioned the flagrant self-righteous hatred and outward
discrimination of many Christians who allegedly
long to present the "love" of Jesus Christ to the world.
"Promise Keepers" supporter,
Colorado Springs pastor Bernhard Kuiper said in 1994 during, a Promise Keepers
gathering: "It should be made clear that in order to live
a Christian life, any Christian must be able to discriminate and hate, because
that's what the bible says." Kuiper mirrors the attitude of the biblegod whose
evil and murderous deeds and
massacres are described so vividly in the old testament.
* "Promise Keepers" is a born-again Christian men only organization dedicated to
putting women back in "their place" and eliminating rights of minorities. There are
several good links on the previous page containing information on the Promise Keepers.
I read in disbelief that insects have four legs (they have six), rabbits chew their cuds (rabbits don't produce a cud), bats are birds (they are, of course, mammals),
camels don't have cloven hooves, snails melt and snakes eat dirt. Did the omniescient
bible god momentarily forget what he created?
(As a result of this web page, a born again Christian recently wrote to me that
God purposely 'booby-traps' the Bible so that those who are not spiritual cannot
discern the things of the spirit in the bible. It seems odd that God
deliberately attempts to confuse those who read His "Word". How does one attain
spiritual discernment if he is deliberately confused by "booby-traps"?
The "Easter" experience is an excellent example of scriptural confusion if not downright
contradiction. A $1000.00 reward is offered to anyone
who can narrate the Easter account according the the four gospels, Acts and
Corinthians. Click here
to read more about the reward offered.
Is my desire for more knowledge and information wrong and even sinful? I am still
counselled by Christians that it is, to varying degrees, wrong and all the
answers I ever need will be given to me through prayer and Bible study.
I was have been admonished not to question spiritual things since this is a wedge used
by Satan to drive me from God. I have been encouraged to stop questioning
and to place my faith in the bible and
God, to lead me and guide me in my life's journey. I have even been told by
Christians that the pursuit of a higher education and further knowledge
would be a waste of my time
Are those the only questions? Perhaps they can be explained.
Those are only a few of many questions. Consider when biblegod flooded the earth and
killed all of humanity except for the chosen Noah family.
A conservative estimate of the number of creatures pairing up in the shadow of the massing
thunderheads is twenty-one thousand known land-loving and freshwater species times two.
Noah had to pick seven pairs from each species. That's 294,000 critters. The bible
doesn't mention that Noah had to have aquariums for the thousands of fresh water species of fish and
other fresh water loving animals. Nor does it mention how he aeriated the water in the
tanks for 40 days. Nor does it say where he got the fresh water to replenish the
water in the tanks as it evaporated. And that's assuming he had aquariums. Remember,
fresh water fish and animals couldn't have lived in the salty oceans for 150 days.
The feeding of the animals and the amount of food required in addition to the diversity of the food sounds like an
overwhelming task for the crew of 8 folks. It amounted to each person caring
for over 24,000 animals each day.
Then there's the question of how Noah's crew cleaned the ark after the animals each
day. Shoveling the excretion from 294,000 animals daily must have kept them fairly
busy. The methane gas from the excretions had to be overwhelming. I've often
wondered how Noah dealt with exhausting those deadly methane fumes. That's not
to mention the ammonia fumes from the urine.
Even if the number of animals is reduced significantly, the task is obviously one of
great difficulty if not an impossibility. For argument's sake, lets reduce the number
of animals to one-fourth of my original calculation - roughly 75,000 animals. Working 14 hours shifts, each crew member
would have had to care for more than 400 animals per hour or over 60 animals per minute.
And that includes both feeding and shoveling. And remember, the number has been cut
very generously to one-fourth.
One of the latest suggestions by born again
Christians who have written me is that perhaps the animals weren't living but were
in embryonic or egg stages. The bible simply doesn't tell it that way.
Looks like they didn't get too much sleep (or anything else).
"I was just thinking about that ridiculous Noah story.
When it refers to the four corners of the earth, if
the bible were the word of god and god made the
heavens and earth, wouldn't god know that the earth
"Or did god make it with four corners, decide it was
unappealing, and say.. ah. what the hell,.. may as well
make it into a big ball? THERE!!! THAT"S BETTER!!
And the moon looks plain DUMB with four corners!
THERE!!! THAT"S BETTER!!"
"And God smiled, and the people rejoiced!"
"Hey now THAT should be in Genesis." (From 'A Little Bit of Logic and Humor' - Lynn Harrington)
How does one "discern" the "things of the spirit" as taught by most born-
The 'born-again experience' usually occurs when one "accepts Christ" which consists
of asking forgiveness of sins, repenting or turning from one's sins and asking
Jesus Christ to come into one's life. This is a very general explanation and I
say that for the benefit of those who would say my description is not entirely
At that point, the Spirit of God then allows the person who has just been saved
to be able to discern things spiritually. While this cannot be proven objectively,
the "new born" Christian is expected to believe it without question.
What I find interesting is that usually, the new born Christian has either very little or no knowledge
of the bible.
He places his trust and belief in an ideology he knows very little or nothing about.
What he knows at first is taught by
other Christians. The seasoned Christians immediately begin to indoctrinate the
new Christian by teaching him God's plan and what God expects of his life from
here on. It is only later, often - much later, that the new born begins to read
bible for himself. By then, he has been 'taught' what is "true" and how the
bible must be interpreted in accordance with his teacher's interpretations. And
of course those teachers at some time went through the same process.
Born againers whether wittingly or not, use conditioning. It is accomplished by repeating
the same thing many times over a period of time. In addition to repetition,
reinforcement of the concept is provided by other individuals lending
encouragement. In the case of a religious belief, i.e born-againism,
the new born again Christian is exposed to "truths" in Sunday school, worship
services, and being surrounded by persons of like beliefs. Eventually,
especially if the new Christian likes what he is being taught, the teachings
become as "truths" to him as he is being condtioned. This is one reason new Christians
are encouraged to attend all church services, once they are saved.
Where has your quest for spiritual truth led you?
I have come to the realization and knowledge that the born-again belief system
is no longer valid for me. I have become a Freethinker
which is a person
who forms opinions about religion and belief systems on the basis of reason,
independent from tradition, authority and established beliefs. I no longer
accept the old prescriptions which would direct my life without my decisions,
based on a book of errors, inconsistencies and contradictions.
The truth is that I have not distanced myself from God one iota by accepting
new truths in my life. I can finally re-examine my old beliefs and re-evaluate
them in a new light without the tremendous guilt feelings and fear of an angry
God waiting to punish me forever in a burning fire, for questioning.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The mind, once expanded by a new concept, can never
return to its original dimensions".
Why don't you forget about logic and knowledge. Just let go and place your
faith in God and His Word?
So often I'm urged by well meaning born again Christians to "just have faith" in God.
I wonder if no one has ever examined faith. Its very simple. Faith is "(a) firm
belief in something for which there is no proof". (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary)
. To take it a step further, faith is a blind belief in the unknown. Christians
reply to me that they "know" their belief is true when they place their faith in god and His word
because "His spirit bears witness to their spirit" and "God speaks to their heart".
Talk about being subjective!
Christians tell me how their faith in Biblegod and/or Christ
has resulted in
miraculous changes in
their lives, including being rescued from drugs, alcohol. The same
"miraculous" cures result in nearly all of the world's various
religions. Christianity is not unique in the "miraculous cure"
In reality, believers are making
the changes happen. Nothing exists physically that does not first
exist in thought and mind.
The "religion" part of the miraculous change is the physical reinforcement for the person
who is experiencing the life changing experience. Reinforcements vary according to
the individual. Some use religious beliefs, some use meditation.
The prospect of attaining wealth
can be a very strong reinforcement.
The reinforcements all have a common purpose, they help the person to make things happen.
What Are Your Spiritual Beliefs Now?
There is a Tibetan Buddhist saying: "When the student is ready,
As I began to seek truth outside of the born-again system, I bought
a book by a Tibetan Buddhist and discovered that some
of the concepts I had begun
to formulate on my own were also found in the book.
I attended a seminar, "Silva Mind Control"
which teaches a
mixture of Eastern and Western techniques used to relax the body and
control one's own
mind through a procedure called "Dynamic Meditation". The thrust of
the seminar was to put
one in touch with his 'inner self'. The simplistic teaching is
that while we cannot
totally control our outer environment, we can, to a great degree,
control our attitude and thoughts toward the environment, thus
becoming more in harmony with the "outside" world. For me, adherence
to this system has resulted in a deeper and profound spiritual life.
The philosophy and meditation techniques of Silva work well for
me and I am entirely comfortable with it. I'm free to use
what I wish from the teachings but I'm not required to subscribe to
all or any of it. (Much unlike born-again fundamentalism which
demands complete and
unswerving acceptance of ALL the doctrines fundamentalist Christians
believe the bible teaches.)
Many born-again Christians are convinced
that most or all of the
teachings which I have described are evil and inspired of their
Satan - a convenient bad guy touted by the Old Testament and
Christianity in general.
Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians are taught and readily believe that
anything which does
not agree and coincide with their dogmatic teachings and belief system
must necessarily be evil and even inspired of Satan. Their
erroneous belief and
teaching in this regard serves them two purposes. It controls those
who would seek
knowledge and truth outside of their beliefs and at the same time
belief system but their own. It is usually a very effective control, especially with
individuals who tend to lean toward superstitions.
Galileo was a victim of this sort of mindset when he was threatened with death by the
Christian church if he did not recant his theories, one of which was that the earth revolves around the
sun rather than the opposite. The resultant effect of this sort of mindset by religious
institutions is obvious. It deters humankind from progressing both intellectually and
Born again fundamentalists go so far as to say the the Church in Galileo's
time was Roman Catholic and not actually a Christian institution. (With born-again
fundamentalists, "The bible says it, they believe it and that settles it". Logic is
always out the window!)
Any advice for those who have similar feelings and questions?
For those who are now questioning as I once did, I offer what I have found to
be true in my life with regard to born again fundamentalist teachings. Most
of the truths I now hold oppose the authority of the bible as the "word" of God as
well as the fundamentalist dogma.
If we are ever to be free in spirit, we
must continously examine our beliefs and, if necessary, get rid of the ones which
will not allow us to grow and progress in our spiritual lives.
The born againers will, once again, use bible scriptures to try and refute what
I have said above. Born-again fundamentalist Christians attempt to turn
the bible into a
book. According to the born-againers it sets forth its own rules. Then it claims
to be the true word of god.
Then it threatens and intimidates by telling its readers that they may not
digress in ANY manner from its
teachings. Neither may anyone add to it or take away from it. No one is allowed
to question its authority or its "truths".
You are allowed, however, to interpret it to you own satisfaction if you are "of
the spirit" and if your interpretations agree with what ever sect of born-againism
your are aligned.
There are hundreds of churches and sects - all have their beginnings from the bible. Most
all of them claim THEIR particular spin is the one and only true interpretation.
That's where the craziness begins.
I'm reminded of the hideous terror of the Holocaust where millions
of Jews were murdered. The painful memories of the living continues as we realize the horror of this incident in history. As you know, Hitler ordered them executed first and
then burned them to ashes.
Unlike Hitler, the god of the old and new testaments
of the bible is allegedly doing something on the same line. The two differences
are that He isn't killing the victims first and he is far more efficient with genocide.
Biblegod's victims burn alive forever - for
all eternity. And according to born-again Christians, that's just for not
believing in him. Does that sound like a loving, fair, just, and wise god? At
least Hitler spared many of his victims the horrible pain of fire.
"The Bible is not the Word of God. If God exists, I believe he would take less offense at my not
believing in his existence than to believe that he/she performed the
atrocities ascribed to him by the authors of the Bible."
Copyright © 2001 - 2002 Mike McClellan