December 26, 2008
Continued from … Zeitgeist and the Christ Conspiracy.
As far as the positive aspects of Christianity, which I want to mention first before I go on, I think there are some, but at least one of them, in my opinion, is the idea of respect for each individual’s life, regardless of who they are, the sacredness of each life and the importance of free will.
Working backwards in time, so, … before that, I had picked up a book called James the Brother of Jesus by Robert Eisenman, thinking that it couldn’t possibly challenge my Christian beliefs. But I was wrong and I found it shocking. I became very skeptical of the New Testament at that point.
At the Painful Truth web site, I read the amazing book Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, which had harsh criticisms of the Bible. And since I had spent years studying the Bible I recognized the problems, including one conscience-disturbing incident that stood out for me about how Moses became angry when the Israelites spared the women and children. Because of Paine’s book, I considered myself a deist for a while.
Around the same time, I also discovered The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty.
I found that I had many concerns about biblical teachings and ethical doctrines where Jesus seemed to imply that we are to let others walk all over us. Having been in a cult, these issues rose to the surface very quickly when I started allowing myself to ask questions.
Age of Reason, James the Brother of Jesus, the Christ Conspiracy, the Jesus Puzzle as well as my own experiences and study led me to reject the Bible and Christianity. It may seem ironic, but having a detailed familiarity with the Bible also helped me. It also helped that I had been paying attention to what the Church taught.
Confronting and testing what we are presented with and learning as much as possible is a tool that can save us from misery and mental enslavement. And now I wish I had learned even more when younger and I wish I had confronted these issues earlier. This is because false beliefs can hold us back in so many ways and blind us from the truth about the world we live in and the lack of power we have.