I Want to Leave Christianity but I’m Afraid. How Did You Get Over the Fear of Hell, Gary?

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Reader:

Hey Gary, Thanks for your blog. I find it refreshing and an oasis of truth and hope in a very confusing time in my life. I have been leaning more towards agnosticism as of late, after seriously questioning my own religious experiences and convictions. I have a few questions for you. I have studied scripture extensively, but it seems you have more knowledge than I do.

1) How do you account for the “historical” account of what happened at Pentecost in Acts 2, as well as the “Gifts of the Spirit” being acted out in today’s Pentecostal church? How, or why would Luke or whoever authored Acts make that up?

2) Do you still ever feel nagging fear or doubt that maybe you’re making the wrong decision? I want to leave fundamental Christianity, but I am terrified that I might be making the wrong choice and that there will be eternal consequences. How have you gotten over that fear?

Any response will be appreciated. I am trying to break out of this ridiculous “Satan and demons are playing with your mind” mentality that I’m stuck in. This shit sucks. Thanks!

Gary:

I believe that the story of Pentecost as described by the author of Acts is pure theological fiction. He made it up! We know he invented other stories. If he can invent Jesus levitating into outer space (a fantastical event not mentioned by any other author of the New Testament) why stop there? Let’s have five thousand devout Jews convert to Christianity right in the middle of the Jewish capital, all because a hundred or so Christians start speaking in foreign languages while flames of fire dance above their heads!

Yet no other contemporary author, Christian or non-Christian, mentions this incredible event.

Pentecostals: Why is it that Pentecostals seem to experience more miracles than people in all other Christian denominations combined? Read “Miracles” by evangelical apologist Craig Keener. He describes hundreds of fantastical miracles…almost all of them occurring among Pentecostals in the Third World. Are these Christians more devout? Do they have more faith? Or, are they on average less educated and more gullible than other Christians? I believe the latter is the case.

Do I still fear eternal damnation in Hell? No. When I first deconverted from Christianity I very much did. If it has been drilled into your head, ever since you were a child, that God loves you so much that he gave his only begotten Son…but if you don’t love him, he is going to roast your sorry ass on a spit over the hottest fire possible—forever—you don’t just decide one day to abandon that belief. Your brain must be deprogrammed. That is what this blog has done for me. Instead of paying for psychotherapy for a couple years, I blogged. Talking about my beliefs. Debating them with people who still believe them. Reading and researching books about this belief. That is what I recommend that you do to get over the brainwashing of this evil ancient cult. Best wishes, my friend!

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4 thoughts on “I Want to Leave Christianity but I’m Afraid. How Did You Get Over the Fear of Hell, Gary?

  1. Many Christians want people to believe the stories like Acts 2 are historical, but on the flimsiest of evidence. It seems incomprehensible to them that something could be made up. Yet reading the religious books of other faiths has no effect on them (I have to speak the theoretically because of course most Christians never read any other religious books) when the many miracles and events occur. Heck even the “secular” histories of Herodotus or Thucydides contain miracles. If we are obligated to believe something in Acts or the Bible just because it’s there, then we also obliged to believe all the other miracle claims in other religions and historical records.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think another possibility for Acts 2 is that these were stories that were being circulated in the religious community that the author of Luke was associated with. Given that none of the gospel authors tell us what sources they used (although we can infer some of them) it’s very difficult to distinguish between what was simply made up by the author and what are stories that other people made up and “Luke” wrote down. Either way, I see little reason to believe the stories are genuine.

    As for the doctrine of Hell. It’s a pernicious doctrine that has surely induced enough fear to keep some people from leaving the faith. Fortunately there’s no credible evidence that the supernatural is real, or that there’s any kind of afterlife. Celebrate what we have now and remember that belief is not a choice.

    Like

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