Instead of reading scholarly responses to (Bart) Ehrman as recommended, he (Gary) renounced faith. …The pastors at Gary’s former church were concerned as he sparred with capable disciples of Ehrman that he had not yet come to an understanding of Lutheranism. His formation as a Lutheran required time and inculturation. So, yes, in this sense I failed to form him as a disciple of Jesus and for that I am sorry.
—my former orthodox Lutheran pastor
My former pastor is not alone in his assessment that my lack of knowledge is the source of my problem. Many a Lutheran pastor and layperson has accused me of not fully understanding Lutheran doctrine and teachings as the cause of my loss of faith and deconversion from Christianity. What’s fascinating is that many an evangelical pastor and layperson has accused me of not understanding “true Christian” (evangelical) doctrine and teaching as the cause of my deconversion. Both groups have given me long lists of apologists (from their respective denominational flavor of Christianity only, of course) to educate me in the truths of Holy Scripture (as they read and understand it).
But here’s the thing: I don’t need to understand the nuances of the Doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration, the Real Presence, Predestination, or Justification by Faith Alone, to know that the Bible is a book of nonsense. All I need is a high school education and a functioning brain.
|Do you really believe the story
of the walking, talking snake?
Here are the cornerstone beliefs of orthodox Christianity:
1. The first human was created by an ancient middle-eastern god blowing air into a pile of dirt.
2. Death, disease, and all the pain and suffering in the world are the result of the first humans eating an ancient middle-eastern god’s fruit.
3. This same ancient middle eastern god soon had pity on humans for inflicting horrific suffering and death upon them for eating his fruit, so he decided to send himself to earth, in the form of a human being, to sacrifice himself, to appease the righteous anger of…himself.
4. This ancient middle-eastern god sent himself to earth in the form of a human being by having his ghost impregnate a young Jewish virgin, giving birth to…himself….as a divine god/man.
5. This divine god/man grew up to then preach the news of eternal redemption and forgiveness for ancestral forbidden-fruit-eating; “good news” meant for all the people of earth…by going to one desolate, sparsely populated, backwater corner of the globe where he taught in riddles that not even his closest followers could understand.
6. Even upon his death his closest followers had no clue what he was talking about. This god/man left no written instructions regarding what he required of mankind, only his confusing, often contradictory oral riddles. However, he allegedly left the job of written instructions to four anonymous writers, three of whom plagiarized the first, and, one bipolar, vision-prone, Jewish rabbi, who concocted contradictory wild tales of resurrections and ascensions into outer space.
Dear Reader: You do NOT need to read the books of Christian apologists, theologians, and pastors to determine if these assertions of ancient, middle eastern facts are true. No. All you have to do is use your brain: These kinds of things do not happen in real life. These things only happen in fairy tales and ancient myths. It is all superstitious nonsense.
NO ONE in the 21st century with a high school education should believe these ancient, tall tales.