A fellow in my home state, Mark Farnham, from a relatively close by bible college, has decided to make a list of why people have left his religion. And of course it’s the same baseless claims, and ignorance. He has this nonsense on a rather vehement evangelical conservative Christian website called “Sharper Iron”, and claims he wants comments. Of course, you can’t comment there unless you agree with these Christians (and like all Christians they are quite sure that only their version is the right one). So here we go. As always, nothing new here that I haven’t written before, so feel free to ignore.
So, Mark, did you ever actually talk to an atheist? Seems not, and you just made up nonsense to convince yourself how great you are.
Per your own bible, no one can be “rescued” since your god has already chosen who it will let accept it and then it just damns the rest for no fault of their own. But let’s look at your claims. I do note that no one can comment on your nonsense unless they agree to the doctrinal statement of “Sharper Iron”, which is nothing more than typical fundamentalist Christian, and therefore, baseless claims. Always good for being able to spread false claims without challenge; So much for this: “Comments, input, and corrections are welcome.”
“1.They have experienced some hurt, trauma, or abuse at the hands of professing Christians, churches, and/or pastors.”
Nope, not at all, and many Christians love to hope this is true so they can ignore what non-christians say because is “just emotional”. I don’t believe in your version of the Christian god, and other gods, because there is no evidence for them and plenty of evidence against them since not one event claimed to have been caused by a god can be shown to have happened.
“2.They have spent too much time reading, listening, watching, and talking to people espousing weak theology, heresy, and the hiss of the serpent asking, “Did God really say?”
This is the common claim of “sophisticated theology”, e.g. non-christians haven’t heard the “real” religion. I have and I’ve also looked into all of those versions of Christianity that you claim are wrong. Funny how you can’t show yours right, just like them.
I did indeed spend a lot of time reading about Christianity, its many many contradictory sects, and other religions. I found that religion has nothing going for it.
“3.They have wittingly or unwittingly absorbed and adopted naturalistic, atheistic, and hedonistic assumptions and presuppositions and then critiqued the Bible in light of those. As a result they find the Bible objectionable, ludicrous, or repugnant.”
The bible is indeed objectionable, ludicrous and repugnant. I’ve read it cover to cover. This is the typical claim of the Christian about “rebellion”, and daring to think differently than they do. They don’t like the bible to be critiqued like any other book, “holy” book or not.
I quite “wittingly absorbed” information that shows that Christianity fails, because I dared to read something other than Christian books, and was smart enough to follow the information, not my wishes that some god existed. That’s why knowledge is death to religion. Religion depends on willful ignorance and fear to keep its followers in line.
“4.They have tired of the scorn, ridicule, and pressure of the unbelieving world, and find it easier to abandon the faith to just get along.”
Nope, not at all. I grew up in and lived in a society that has a ludicrous amount of respect for religion. So no “pressure” at all. I was indeed tired of the scorn, ridicule and pressure amongst Christian sects, and found it pathetic.
“5.They had deeply-felt expectations for life and what God would do, and when disappointed, could not bear the thought of worshiping the God they feel has let them down.”
Oh this is a good one. Funny how the bible’s promises fail and the believer should ignore this fact per Mark. What’s even more amusing is that it is a common Christian argument that one should join their religion since it doesn’t fail like other ones that they claim are only to idols. It fails with the exact same frequency.
I found it was ridiculous to keep making up excuses why this god doesn’t do anything. Apologetics is just that, making up excuses and if your god needs this, you don’t have much.
“6.They have misunderstood and misinterpreted the Bible’s revelation about the character and actions of God, and have come to believe that they are more moral than God, and now stand in condemnation of God’s character and his actions in the pages of Scripture.”
This is the same as #2, where the theist insists that everyone but them misunderstands what the bible really says aka “sophisticated theology”. Yep, I have no problem in pointing out that this god is a moral monster. The Christian will find it rather hard to use their arguments for objective morality when they excuse this god for doing that they, hopefully, would find abhorrent if a human did them. Their morality is subject to who/what something is, not the action itself. If it’s wrong for a human to kill children, then it would be wrong for a god to, if there were indeed objective morality.
“7.They grew up in legalistic churches and families where an abundance of man-made rules were added to the gospel and to God’s moral law. At some point they tired of these oppressive environments and could not separate true Christianity from the legalism, and so left the faith.”
This is also #2 again, with the Christian insisting that only his version is the TrueChristanity™. Alas, poor Mark can’t show that his version is “God’s moral law”. He’s just one more crab in the bucket.
I grew up as a Christian, then when I was questioning it, I went straight to the horse’s mouth, and read the bible, asking this god for help. Unsurprisingly, nothing at all happened.
“8.They fed on liberal social justice and incipient Marxism, and found the Bible’s acceptance of inequality because of the curse of sin and the Bible’s call to suffering wanting, according to their new belief system that salvation is deliverance from inequality.”
I do love this. Alas, for this Christian, Jesus was quite the communist and social justice warrior, at least sometimes depending on who the anonymous writer is inventing. And hmmm “the Bible’s acceptance of inequality” ?? I seem to recall a certain supposed savior that claims equality for all, again at least some of the time. Hmmm, what was that? Oh yes: “16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen.” John 13 (and oopsie there’s that bit that shows that there is no free will).
“9.They simply no longer wished to be bound to the biblical ethic, most often related to the Bible’s clear restriction of sexual activity to one man and one woman in a monogamous covenant of marriage. They wanted to have sex and not feel guilty about it.”
Nothing more than #3 again. This is the common Christian “you only want to be a rebel” nonsense that always fails since poor Christians can’t agree on what morals aka “biblical ethis”, their god wants. Alas, the bible doesn’t restrict sex to one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship. One has to wonder if Mark ever read his own bible.
So, gee, that can’t be why people leave poor Mark’s Christianity. BTW, I’ve been in the same relationship for 33 years so that isn’t the reason I left.
“10.They were never true believers to begin with. They are apostates who posed as Christians, very convincingly and for a long time. 1 John 2:19–22 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.  But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.” (ESV)”
The typical false claim of a desperate Christian who needs to pretend that no one would ever disagree with him. It’s rather like the Muslim nonsense of needing to kill apostates out of fear too. It’s very easy for a cult to make this claim, and since Christianity is just a cult, they do. I was indeed a faithful believer, and Mark does nothing more than lie when he claims otherwise.
it should be entertaining to see him fail “unpacking each of these” in the coming weeks.