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You Just Haven’t Been To My Church Yet!

June 23, 2009

In the past, when I’ve discussed my non-belief with Christians I’ve often been told: “You’re just an atheist because you haven’t been to my church yet!”. Before I became an all out atheist, or more accurately, before I came to understand that my position was atheism, I decided to see if these Christians were right. In the last fifteen years I’ve been to several different kinds of churches, each with it’s own take on the story of Christianity and each a unique approach on how to better teach its gospel. I think I can now safely say that it is not the individual church, nor is it the way in which the church presents the “good news” that keeps me from being a Christian. It is what is at the heart of every Christian church, your theology contained in your bible.

Either the stories contained in your bible are the literal truth or they are not. Either the world presented by the scientific community is a fiction or it is not. Both entities are opposed to each other whether you like it or not. Your bible contains many stories that cannot be true when put against the tests of the scientific mind. They have been contested for the last two thousand years and up until recently those who contested your bible have not been debated, they have been tortured or murdered, which seems quite ridiculous when one understands your entire faith is based on the torture and murder of one man, but I digress.

The biblical account is found wanting by the skeptic because of the extraordinary stories presented and the lack of any evidence to prove these stories true. No matter what light you show your god in, we will easily be able to see the truth of the matter by taking a quick look at your book. We see genocide, slavery, misogyny, and xenophobia covertly trying to be covered up by a thin layer of “love” and “compassion”. We see the justifications for a father who hits you because he loves you, but anyone with common sense can see that love is love because it doesn’t beat the shit out of you, even if you might deserve it.

The rest of the world moves forward scientifically and ethically, past the bronze age rules and punishments detailed in your book. Christianity will never be able to convince the skeptical community on the whole because your religion will always have to be based on the accounts in your bible. The cornerstone of your faith is also the rock you have tied to your feet, enthusiastically drowning yourselves.

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24 Comments
  1. June 23, 2009 12:55 pm

    Oh, but my church is different!

    Same bible, same crap, leave me alone.

  2. King's Bro permalink
    June 23, 2009 1:09 pm

    “You’re just an atheist because you haven’t been to my church yet!”

    It’s just a lazy attempt by Christians to evangelize. Christians should be preaching the gospel rather than inviting nonbelievers into the church. The church is not for evangelism. The church is for worshiping the one true God.

    “We see the justifications for a father who hits you because he loves you, but anyone with common sense can see that love is love because it doesn’t beat the shit out of you, even if you might deserve it.”

    Very interesting. So you believe fathers should not discipline their children for disobeying them?

    • June 23, 2009 1:34 pm

      I don’t see any reason a parent should have to resort to physical violence with a reasoning child. Especially beating the shit out of someone for eternity. An infinite punishment for a finite crime makes no sense.

      • King's Bro permalink
        June 23, 2009 2:00 pm

        The people who will be punished for eternity are children of the devil not God. Also, you must understand that those people want to spend eternity in hell because they hate God and do not want to submit to Him. They would rather be miserable in hell rather than submit to God. God gives us to our desires of our hearts. He is not punishing His children for eternity. He is punishing His enemies.

        One more thing, to understand why one sin deserves an eternity of punishment, you must understand how Holy God really is. He is perfect and He demands perfection. We all fall short of that and sin. You must understand that God abhors sin and His anger is full speed against it. We all deserve hell, but God, through His grace, came down, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day. He bore the sins of those who will believe in Him on the cross so that whoever does believe may be washed of their sins and come in the presence of the holy God in heaven. There is a way to God through Jesus Christ. Believe in Jesus Christ and you will be saved from eternal punishment and be able to enjoy God in His fullness.

      • June 23, 2009 2:58 pm

        You’ve put your god in an awfully small box.

        I most certainly would not want to be tortured for all eternity just because my creator can’t “inspire” a more thought out book. In your mythology, your god created humans in such a way that they could have the capacity to sin, therefore the fault is pretty much entirely on him.

        The god of the bible is a terrible monster, if your fiction were true I would indeed rather spend eternity in Hell than worship someone who behaves like an angry child. Infinite punishment for a finite crime is not logical.

        Threats of your Hell are no more threatening than those of Muslims or any other brand of crazy.

        • King's Bro permalink
          June 23, 2009 3:32 pm

          I forgot to mention this: What deems the crime finite? Are you not choosing not to believe in God forever? If God let you stay on Earth infinitely, would you not be sinning infinitely? So isn’t it an infinite crime? To stop something short does not mean it would stop on its own if the outside force didn’t stop it. It would continue on.

          The amazing truth of the gospel is that Jesus Christ bore the eternal punishment for all who believe in Him on the cross. You can be purified of your sins rather than live in them. I am not trying to threaten you with hell rather to say that you can enjoy God forever in His presence. Jesus Christ is the way to God and if you believe in Him, you can enjoy God in heaven.

          How can you relate God to an angry child? Are you saying that you want a god that doesn’t punish sin but rather just forgives it. That totally contradicts His character.

          If your friend gets murdered by a guy and gets caught. He goes to court and the judge says “I am a loving judge and so I will let you go free.” Would you not be mad and demand that this judge be unjust? He just let a murderer go free without any punishment. Wouldn’t you want the judge to be just and punish him for the murder?

          God must be just and punish all who have sinned.

  3. June 23, 2009 2:35 pm

    It’s especially funny when you hear variations on that from people you used to go to church with. I don’t tend to get, “You just haven’t been to my church,” but it’s equally stupid counterpart, “Some Christians just don’t get it.” One of these days I kind of hope I decide to be mean enough to directly point out the illogic of that statement…

  4. June 23, 2009 5:04 pm

    The invitation to come to a church or other place of worship is, underneath it all, really just an attempt to appeal to your emotions. Churches help to create and sustain that emotional connection with ones religion.

  5. so much love permalink
    June 23, 2009 5:13 pm

    lots of people go to my church – the television

  6. June 23, 2009 11:04 pm

    “The cornerstone of your faith [the bible] is also the rock you have tied to your feet, enthusiastically drowning yourselves.”

    A great line, so very true.

    How can any church really be any different when they are all based on the same book?

    Oh, that’s right, they interpret it any way they feel like.

  7. godlesspaladin permalink
    June 24, 2009 1:39 am

    I once went to a friend’s church, not knowing what was in store for me. (This was before I became an Atheist) It was one of those churches where they all spoke in tongues and wailed and collapsed on the ground. It scared the crap out of me. When I saw their huge supply of food stocked up all I could think of was Waco. (In reality though, they ran a food bank ~_^)

    • June 24, 2009 2:38 am

      The two churches I had most of my experiences with were Pentecostal and Seventh Day Adventist, so I dealt with snake kissers, tongues talkers, and a doomsday cult.

  8. June 25, 2009 3:40 am

    Hi all … I know I am in the minority here, but I am a Christian that just happened upon your blog while using Stumble! I agree with some of the comments regarding odd churches … there are some weird ones out there. I am not trying to debate, save, or argue with anyone here. I have no desire to change any of you … my only comment regards the following line from the original post:

    “Either the stories contained in your bible are the literal truth or they are not. Either the world presented by the scientific community is a fiction or it is not. Both entities are opposed to each other whether you like it or not.”

    I disagree with this statement as I believe the most things are not so black and white. As far as the Bible is concerned … whether you believe any of it or not, it is a fact that it is comprised of 66 separate books and a multitude of literary styles. Some of it is indeed literal while some of it is hyperbole, imagery, and the like. There is a number of different poetic elements included in Scripture.

    I also think your statement is false when applied to science and the relationship it has with faith. If both faith and science are supposed to lead us to truth, then they are in perfect harmony with one another. Science has nothing to fear from faith and faith has nothing to fear from science.

    Anyway … sorry to invade on your space and all. Again, I will continue on my stumbling journey now.

    Clark

  9. June 25, 2009 10:38 am

    If both faith and science are supposed to lead us to truth, then they are in perfect harmony with one another.

    The problem lies in that first “if” clause. Science is a method of discovering reality by evaluating evidence, so it’s fair to say that it’s “supposed to lead us to truth”. Religion is a set of claims about reality which were thought up before humans had any significant knowledge of reality to work with. As a guide to truth, it’s little better than random guesswork.

    Science has nothing to fear from faith

    Galileo, Copernicus, and a lot of stem-cell researchers might be able to provide empirical evidence to the contrary.

  10. June 26, 2009 4:44 am

    Sisyphus — you never REALLY gave Christianity a chance !
    What Christianity offers her believers is a place to raise kids with morals (you don’t have kids yet, do you?), a place to find supportive friends (sounds like you have some and are doing fine), a way to feel good about yourself (you don’t sound lacking in that arena), a means of gaining status in your business community (doesn’t sound like you are a local business man), a place to still your psychological fears (you sound like you are fine there) and a place to find a spouse who thinks like you (you won’t find that there either).

    So to be fair, you have not experienced what other Christians have experienced — you don’t have their needs.
    When Christians argue scripture as the source of their faith, they are using fart logic — the real sources of faith for most people are very simple and have nothing to do with dogma.

    • King's Bro permalink
      June 26, 2009 11:56 am

      What you described, Sabio Lantz, as Christianity is not true Christianity, that is a great perversion of the truth.

      True Christianity offers the believers peace with God. We are sinners of the holy God and therefore, we are enemies of God. We are at war with God and if we surrender to God, God will offer us peace with Him. Christianity is not about a place to find a good wife or success in business but about Christ, the One who came down to save sinners like you and me.

    • June 30, 2009 7:37 pm

      @Sabio Lantz: Very insightful :)

  11. June 27, 2009 10:13 pm

    Sisyphus – great post… and, so true! The old, “you just didn’t go to the RIGHT church”… is right up there with the “you weren’t REALLY a Christian before”… or, “you only don’t believe because you are arrogant and think you know everything and you don want to NEED a god”, or my personal favorite: “you really DO believe, but you just don’t want to admit it because you don’t want to give up your sinful ways”. ?!?!

    *sigh* People just don’t get it. I don’t think Christians who are in the thick of it CAN get it. I can understand that, because I remember being one of them, and thinking like that.

    I wrote a little about this same thing a while back, if you’re interested at: http://savemenot.wordpress.com/2007/09/30/greatest-love-story-of-all-time/

  12. Mark permalink
    June 28, 2009 4:19 pm

    I totally understand why you posted this, “You Just Haven’t Been To My Church Yet!”

    I’ve heard it sooooo many times. It’s still the same old Jesus and God stuff. You can dress up a turd, but it still reeks.

  13. DharmaBum permalink
    June 30, 2009 11:47 pm

    Sabio Lantz brings up a really good point. Whether consciously or unconsciously, churchgoers aren’t just trying to be good people through their relationship with their god. For them, especially if they were raised going to church, it’s a place where no matter who you talk to, you know you have something in common.

    That said, I think that religion and the bible are extremely outdated now. Like Infidel said, religion is guide to truth and morality based on a fraction of the knowledge of reality we have now. Why is it not possible to have community social gatherings based in goodness without telling fairy tales and ghost stories?!?

    • Cenobite permalink
      July 1, 2009 2:51 pm

      “Why is it not possible to have community social gatherings based in goodness without telling fairy tales and ghost stories?!?”

      Perhaps this is because The Greater Good is also a fairy tale and ghost story.

      • July 1, 2009 4:30 pm

        Cenobite — that was brilliantly hilarious !! Thank you

  14. July 3, 2009 2:08 pm

    This is the reaction of people trying to sell their community under the guise of apologetics for their religion. As social animals we often don’t think further than our experience with other people and churches are communities—”If the community feels solid, works well for me, and I have decided that the religion is the reason for that well-oiled community, I won’t look any further.”

    Had a bad experience with one flavor of Christianity? Surely you had a problem with the community at that church—come to mine instead!

    Doctrine can be as fluid as the congregation; especially because the more moderate the community the less they think about the specifics of their dogma or ideology.

  15. August 6, 2009 4:59 am

    I get the “You haven’t been to MY church” line quite alot. I typically respond by pointing out this is the only reason it’s still there.

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