A biblical blog by Rob J Hyndman 

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An end of faith

Published on 29 July 2013 in Articles

This week I resigned from the Christadelphian faith after nearly 30 years as a member, and having attended Christadelphian activities almost every week of my life.

I resigned because I no longer believe. I don’t believe the Bible is inspired by God. I am not even sure there is a God. Perhaps there is, but he is not who I once thought he was. I was an active and enthusiastic believer from the time of my baptism at age 16, right up until a few months ago when my world of faith fell apart.

I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. I had embarked on what I thought was a quest to re-examine my beliefs, and encourage reform within the Christadelphian community. About two and a half years ago, I started this blog in which I publicly discussed some areas of Christadelphian beliefs (my beliefs) that I thought needed a re-think. I looked at our stance on voting in governmental elections and found it weak. I looked at our position on creation and evolution, and was persuaded by the arguments for evolution. I then tried to re-interpret Genesis (and some New Testament passages) in the light of this knowledge. I explored inspiration, and what it means, and how it might have worked. In particular, I wondered about the obvious errors in the Bible, the contradictions, the mythology borrowed from contemporary accounts, and I tried to construct an approach to inspiration that took all this into account while retaining divinely guided scriptures. I felt like I was part of a group forging a new and more enlightened way for Christadelphians.

But then, quite suddenly, I could not think of a good reason to believe any more. Far from inspired, the Bible now appeared as a collection of ancient human documents, full of propaganda, legend, and bigotry. Yes, there was some wisdom there, and some beautiful poetry, some uplifting words. But the attitudes to women and foreigners that it describes, sometimes commands, were not worthy of the God I once believed in. The alleged miracles seemed more like the superstitions of a primitive people than evidence for enlightened belief. Even the prophecies that I once found so convincing, appeared to be either contrived, out-of-context, or written after the alleged fulfilment. What I once thought were answers to prayer now appeared to be coincidence or imagined. My faith was always based on what I thought was evidence, and once the evidence was removed, the faith quickly followed.

The last few years have been difficult for me and my family, especially the last few months. It makes me sad to think that my actions have hurt the people I love the most. I feel like I’m letting a lot of people down, but I cannot pretend to believe when I don’t. I have always tried to be completely authentic in everything I do, and this is no different.

I will miss the extraordinary community that I’ve benefited so much from. There is something wonderful about traveling to foreign countries and finding strangers ready to invite you into their homes, share their food and belongings, even lend you their car. I will miss the camps too; those weeks apart from everything else in life, having fun, enjoying music, exploring ideas, with delightful people who hold a shared perspective on the purpose of life. A perspective I no longer hold.

Almost all of my family and friends are Christadelphians. Almost all of my social activities have been with Christadelphians. I have spent a couple of weeks every year attending, and often speaking at, Christadelphian camps and Bible schools. While I would like to think that my friends will remain my friends, the reality is that Christadelphians spend an enormous amount of time together, making it difficult to retain friendships with “outsiders”. Nevertheless, I would like to somehow continue the friendships forged over many years of shared experiences.

I expect some people to say things about me that are not true. That is a natural reaction, as my loss of faith will create doubts in others, and demonization of me will help people feel more sure. However, please do not impute motives that I don’t have.

So what should I call myself now I am not a Christadelphian, or even a Christian? I don’t like the term athiest, because it carries a sense of militancy and certainty that I don’t feel. I don’t like agnostic, because it implies (in Australia at least) a lack of interest in the questions of religion. I think I prefer “unbeliever”.

Eventually I would like to write a little about my new perspective on things I once believed. I would like to explain to people who have read my books why I now think I was wrong. But that can wait until later. I will keep this blog here, as I can see no good reason to hide what I’ve written — this is a record of what I thought at that time in my life.

I’d particularly like to thank the Ringwood Christadelphian ecclesia for doing all they could to make us feel at home for the last 12 months. I am grateful for the love and warmth and friendship I have been shown.


Further reading:


 
63 Comments  comments 

63 Responses

  1. Grahame Grieve

    🙁

  2. Jon Ladson

    1Co 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;
    then we shall see face to face.
    Now I know in part;
    then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
    But the greatest of these is love.

  3. Jonathan Burke

    Rob I appreciate your intellectual and moral honesty. There are plenty of us who wrestle with the same doubts and questions, and I’m sure you’re well aware of this. I would be deeply concerned if none of us thought critically about our faith.

    As you are aware, a number of us have been working together for some years, addressing the issues collectively in ways which are far more effective (though far more demanding), than struggling alone.

    While I understand and respect the path of questioning you undertook, I don’t believe you went about it the right way. I’m saying that not as a personal criticism of you, but to encourage others to understand that your decision to question and investigate was not wrong. It was right; I just disagree with the way you went about it. There is a better way, and I want to encourage others to take that path.

    I see no reason why you cannot still enjoy substantial benefits from the Christadelphian community, with which I hope you will continue to associate in whatever way you find possible and most comfortable.

    • Russell Downs

      1. The Deistic God, Einstein’s God, based on the fine-tuning of the universe that you have given talks on. Not a theistic God, but at least a starting point.
      2. Prophecy about the people and land of Israel given before the time of Christ that has been fulfilled over a period of nearly 2,000 years. That is the survival of the culture/religion or whatever you call the Jewish identity. This occurred by natural circumstances of history. The miracle is the prediction. If you like, the conditional probability that it would happen, given that the prophecy was made, was low. This was not some obscure set of prophecies. From one point of view it is what the OT is all about.
      3. The resurrection of Christ based on the historical data. No, it is not proof. But resurrection is the best fit of the data. This was one of the major two arguments used by the apostles.
      4. The resurrection of Christ based on the OT prophecies. That was the other argument used by the apostles. Yes, they used the rabbinical approach, not the modern one. Nevertheless it is worth close attention.

      I don’t imagine that any of this is new to you. But if you abandon everything else then these things can be sometime to hang onto.

      Needless to say there are many shattered people, Rob. Maybe something can be salvaged.

      • John Bedson

        Russell: You wrote :”Maybe something can be salvaged.”

        I agree. If you, Jonathan Burke, Ken Gilmore, Lenny, Chris, Fortigurn, Evangelion and all of the other contributors to Berea-Portal would come to your senses and resign along with Rob; we might salvage something from the mess that is Christadelphian error.
        That would give us a working group who could set about deconverting all of the rest of the Christadelphians, who still believe Iron Age nonsense.
        It’s over Russell; the religion is finished. The smart people are leaving. The Christadelphian Titanic is sinking and so it should. No one knows that better than me. Rob’s resignation is merely the tip of a much bigger iceberg. But confidentiality seals my lips.
        I encourage you to join Rob and me in the first round of resignations and not wait to lamely follow later in the second round, as the dam breaks and Christadlphians leave in hundreds every month.
        We who leave now are making Christadelphian history. One day we will be respected as the pioneers who deconstructed the religion. Join us in this great mission and do not be afraid of Iron Age superstitious falsehood.

        • Shay Sagan

          John, the way you describe your movement sounds like it’s own cult-like crusade. It’s kind of off-putting, which is unfortunate because I think offering a support group can be beneficial.

          I just can’t imagine describing someone’s friends and families in an enemy-like context is going to persuade them to come to you for advice or support.

          • John Bedson

            Shay: Thanks for your comment. I’m not really offering a “support group” although people are welcome to write to me if they want support. Ex-Christadelphian support is offered through Julia Walman and Suzanne Pillion who run a fantastic Facebook Group with over one hundred and forty members. I’m not associated with that group and I’m not even a member. But I do recommend people to join if they need support. That group is a lot of fun and they do some great work readjusting Christadelphians back to society and a normal way of thinking.
            My work is out on the front line challenging Christadelphian beliefs and putting the case for rational thinking and the attenuation of cognitive bias in religious belief.
            As with Rob, once you get people thinking rationally and rejecting Confirmation Bias, their faith rapidly collapses and they resign.
            But I can assure you that Rob has not joined a cult. When he resigned to become an Ex-Christadelphian he did not kill a chicken and smear blood on his house roof to prevent aliens reading his thoughts and he did not give away all his money to help pay for the gold Rolls Royce and private jet of a leader. 🙂
            If we are to have a leader, I’d vote for Rob to lead the Ex-Christadelphians. I think that we should all get together and buy him a mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour. 🙂

          • Shay Sagan

            Well, you certainly make a good case for becoming a cult leader! I could use a private jet…

            Seriously though, I appreciate the response, and I think I understand a bit better where you’re coming from.

            Cheers!

      • Joel

        Einstein did not believe in a personal God, and stated so many times. I think he would appreciate if people stopped associating him with that view.

    • John Bedson

      Jonathan: What you are saying is that instead of thinking this out for himself, Rob should have sought refuge in the group mutually reinforced delusional thinking of Berea and other bastions of irrational Christadelphian thinking.
      Don’t you see the massive damage that your efforts have already caused to our community by trapping people in a superstitious, Iron Age way of looking at life? Rob’s obviously under a colossal amount of strain right now. It will probably take him years to get over this. It took me twenty years to recover from the shock of losing my faith.
      We’ve now got a further approximately sixty thousand people to rescue out of your sect/cult. The emotional pain is not possible to be calculated as those brethren and sisters come to realise that they have been fooled.
      I urge you to do some serious thinking and join with us in the mission to rescue those poor souls and not start sniping at us escapees as we run from the prison camp that has held us chained in delusion for decades.
      We are damaged people Jonathan. We need to recover and readjust back to normal society. And as we do, we don’t need people like you shooting us in the back while we run for our freedom.
      Rob has been incredibly brave. Leave him alone. Let him be.
      And when Rob and I and Corky and Paul Davis and Julia Walman and all of the other brave brethren and sisters who have fled their captors dare to return to the prison to throw you guys ropes of freedom; may you grab them with both hands and free yourselves.
      Just because we challenge your beliefs does not mean that we don’t love you guys as our own. We have tears in our eyes that you remain trapped in our old religion and are not free.
      Listen to me Bereans WE DO THIS FOR YOU because we love you as our beloved brethren and sisters and we sorrow that you do not share our freedoms of thought. Wake up and realise that we all made a terrible mistake.
      Please cease compounding the error and instead help us Ex-Christadelphians to clean up the almighty mess in our community. Stop loving The Truth and instead love the truth. Don’t be a Robert Roberts who froze the truth in a deep freeze. Be a John Thomas and have the nerve to join us in searching for it.
      Do something useful with Berea instead of going round in ever decreasing academic circles. Let it join with us to form a core of bright and intelligent brethren an sisters who can act as a redemptive force to cleanse the Christadelphian community from 165 years of gross mistakes. And let it also join with us seeking to heal the stress, trauma and pain that the leavers like Rob experience as they wake from their religious enchantment and walk in the light of day.
      No greater love has any brother or sister, than that they work to undo the harm that Christ and all of the other Bible con-men have wrought in our wonderful community of beloved brethren and sisters.
      If you Christadelphians love your brethren an sisters as we do, then join with us to dedicate your lives to their welfare. Because as that religion slowly falls apart, they are going to need us.

      • Jeremy Simon Payne

        John Bedson;

        I will not go into my opinion on this subject, but I admire the way that Rob said and discussed what he did WITHOUT the negativity.
        Nothing in this world has ever been done properly with an overhanging emotion. Think clearly, and raise your mind in a mature way as this subject is above the obvious defense you seem to think is necessary as if the Christadelphians have attacked you.
        Rob stated clearly, that his stance was purely from his thought process and not from ill feelings. Your not spending your time wisely my friend.
        Free-will, not entrapment.
        If humans lost the humanistic feelings of “I am a victim”, and tried to pursue a higher objective with each other then I think the negative feeling you have may be lessened somewhat.
        I do not condescend your feelings nor do I suggest I know you and what you have possibly gone through. I know for a fact that not everyone has it right (the methods of acting out ones faith-if present), but it calls for understanding and forgiveness.
        This is understandably hard if those who seriously need to wake up do not realise this, yet then it is out of our hands and we need to pray that God does what we cannot.
        You might laugh at this, but is there anything I can do for you?
        I am not a healer,
        I cannot forgive sins or judge one against you,
        and I am not the Son of God…..
        but I will do what I can if you need me.

        Rob: Taking into context the fact that things change, do we suppose it is the word of God that has possibly done so
        (initially deluding us in our belief) or do we realise that the human race has socially altered over time, experiencing deep changes in every way of society which along with it has also taken decision making, thought processes and assumptions into a whole other bias whereunto it is altogether based on a entirely different set of standards or benchmarks or something that we compare
        and contrast everything with? Depending on what method we use to shed light on a subject, we may alter our final reasoning entirely. I do this in my job at work as a process engineer, and find if I am not careful with my selection of criteria, then my results are almost opposite in nature. This is a little more serious though. I hope you can see what I mean by saying.
        this?

        • John Bedson

          Jeremy: Your “I am a victim” thought is something generated inside your own head and not taken from my words.
          Christadelphians DON”T attack me. I wish that they would; so that we could discuss these issues. Look at my website; an attack on me is incredibly rare. I never delete attacks on me. Instead I smile broadly and enjoy the show.
          Please attack me everyone and I will be your friend for life! 🙂
          People simply don’t attack or even challenge me. Instead I challenge them to think rationally about their beliefs.
          I act from a genuine desire to shed light into the darkness of Christadelphian thinking. Rob has outlined how dark that thinking is and explained why he rejected it.
          I would say more, but Rob does not approve of debates on his forum, except with his permission. So we either have to drop this subject, or ask his permission.
          I sense that he is a bit shook up right now. So we either drop the subject, or we discuss real nice with each other so that Rob does not get concerned that a debate is starting.
          But this day is Rob’s day not mine. Perhaps we should forget about boring old John Bedson and instead try to work out how Rob came to this extraordinary decision resign.
          It looks to me Jeremy, after reading his resignation letter several times, that he started to think rationally about his faith approximately two and half years ago. That gradually deconstructed his faith until, like a cartoon character running off a cliff, he realised a few months ago that nothing was supporting his faith.
          Why doesn’t that happen with Jonathan Burke or yourself, or any other smart Christadelphian? How come when they try to think rationally about their faith, it does not blow up?
          What are your thoughts Timothy? I’d like to know. What are everyone’s thoughts about this?
          Stop bemoaning that he became an Ex-Christadelphian and try to work out why it happened. I’m not quite sure myself.

    • Merrilyn Mansfield

      seriously Jonathan, you have an emotional something missing. Please stop posting things all over the internet that are unhelpful. You don’t know how much damage you do 🙁

      • Matthew Hawkins

        Agreed. Jonathan, if you carefully considered what you wrote in your post to Rob, you will find that you contradicted yourself there, and it also appears to be unwise in what you said in your comments, all for which provides more opening and fuel for error.
        Please think about that please.
        Sincerely Matt

  4. Corky

    Congratulations Rob,
    I know what you mean by the word “atheist”. It means nothing except “not theist” but the way it is spoken by theists, it sounds nasty and dirty. It is the hatefulness of ‘believers’ that makes an ‘unbeliever’ feel like they think of him as pond scum or filth under their feet. Consider using “free-thinker” as a descriptive, because that’s what you really are.

    Now that you have freedom, please strive not to be locked into any more boxes. You can use your freedom to learn new things, make new friends, exercise your rights as a citizen etc. Not trying to tell you what to do with your new found freedom but please don’t go ‘wild’ with it. You will find that false accusations will be plenty enough to cope with without doing anything to deserve it.

    Again, congratulations, Rob – and best wishes to you.

  5. Leonie Dangerfield

    Hi Rob,
    Thankyou for sharing your thoughts. There still remains a burning question with us. IN times of trouble, where do you seek comfort from , apart from your dear and loving wife….
    but from above.
    Leonie and Peter ox

  6. Justin Sawell

    Have you read the “Ishmael” series by Daniel Quinn?

    Very interesting explanation of what the tree of knowledge of good & evil is and who Adam, Eve, Cain & Abel represent.

  7. James

    Dear Rob,
    It is so sad to hear these words. We all struggle with doubt at times, but Faith in God comes not from “facts” but from His word. It is the evidence and the power to enlighten and save. Please go back there to rekindle your faith, no amount of “data” will convince or alter God. God spake, and it was done. He spake about His son…and it was done. You know that we have not followed cunningly devised fables, the word of God is above that!
    May God be with you brother. God bless

    James

    • Simon

      Congratulations Rob. Hopefully the realisation that you are escaping the clutches of a group of people who put quotation marks around words like “facts” and “data” provides reassurance that you are making a sound decision.

  8. Jonathan Pogson

    Dear Rob

    your resignation makes this a very sad day all our community. Of course you aren’t the first to honestly conclude that God (if he exists) “is not who I once thought he was” nor struggle with loss of faith in the Bible as his inspired word. But what stood out for me (surprised me) in your letter was no mention of the role and influence of Jesus Christ in your life, except perhaps indirectly in the friendship and family experiences you have enjoyed for 30 years across our community. This is not the Rob I thought I knew. And I thought we both understood from the Bible’s own teaching that the Bible’s intrinsic and fundamental limitations are not only there but are meant to direct us to Jesus Christ as the superior revelation of God. I can only wonder whether your quest to re-examine our beliefs led your focus away from Jesus Christ as the foundation of faith and back as it were to weaker and more beggarly elements – books, miracles, facts, inerrancy and the like – which failed you as surely as they have failed others. It seems that an evidence based faith and objective detachment can become a contradiction in terms. Life is either given meaning when experienced in Jesus Christ or it has no meaning at all, and I do not accept that your life has had so little meaning in Christ Jesus to be insufficient for the needs of today.

    • Shay Sagan

      In my humble opinion, I would have to say that the fact that life is finite perhaps invests it with more meaning, and certainly not less.

      We find meaning in many of the same things (I would hope) you do. Family, nature, friendship, art, learning, love — to name a few.

      The difference being, our actions are not based on a need to please a god.

      I have found that once I accepted that my life will come to an eventual end, I was more motivated than ever to make each moment matter. I want to leave behind a positive mark on the people I come in contact with, and the world I will leave behind.

      I do not say this in a way intended to undermine your belief. If you find meaning in your life through Jesus, that is your choice, and I can respect that. Many of the people I love in my life share that with you.
      I just hope you can maybe see how others can find meaning in life in different ways, and that although they do not share your personal beliefs, that in no way makes their lives meaningless.

      Finding meaning and value in life, is profoundly instilled in being human. And we are all human regardless to what belief (or non) system we subscribe to.

      • Jonathan Pogson

        How can life have meaning if it has no purpose? How can life have purpose if there is no God? Sure, we can create transient meanings in life within our transient experience of it, but ultimately those meanings prove futile – vanity of vanities said the Preacher. Of course, the unbeliever would argue that if God does not exist outside of our imagination then our imagination of God and meaning is as futile and transient, which is true. So the choice to believe or not believe in God is a choice to believe the existence of life in the Universe brings meaning and purpose or not. Ultimately if there is no God then life, the Universe and Everything (including your imagination) are truly just a meaningless accident appearing from nothing for no reason or cause.

        • Shay Sagan

          First I would like to address your statement that unbelievers believe that everything came from nothing. That is a gross generalization, that many would disagree with. It’s similar to me asking you where God came from? Do you believe he came from nothing, or just always was? And if he always was then is it not just as possible, that perhaps the Universe always was just in different forms? I don’t claim to have a definite answer to these questions. I have ideas, but the truth is, I will probably die one day and never know the impossible.

          Whether you believe in God or not, the fact of the matter is, our reality remains unaltered. Instead of being told that our purpose is this, we are responsible for determining our own purpose.You have to seriously consider “What do I care about? Where am I needed? What makes me happy?” and answering these questions and acting on them gives you purpose.

          We live on a planet where every one person that does any (even small) thing to help make a difference, can matter in significant ways that they may never even fully appreciate. To insinuate that these actions do not have purpose is insulting, and not just to unbelievers, but to yourselves. That’s like saying every good thing you have ever done, was only done because you were commanded to. .

          And if I am a “meaningless accident”, that means that the chances of my existence are so incredibly small, practically nonexistent,and yet here I am. I am unique, and I am fortunate to exist, and it is that knowledge that gives my life meaning and purpose. There is only me and there will never be another me. I get to live and experience, and maybe I get to be part of other people’s experiences. There is such wonderful purpose in that.

        • David Jose

          Poggo – I get that the unmoved mover has reached down into your own transient world and your own transient experience of it and given you rock solid meaning and purpose. Good for you. What I didn’t quite understand was how you made the step (forgive the understatement) of being certain that this is not just another transient experience in a transient world by a transient human being. Lets be real here – if you truly had an explanation for this you would be the most lauded person in the modern Christian world. You’re not, and disappointingly you have for many years been aware that this is a poor argument/proof for the existence of god. Incredulously, you write as if the unbeliever were the one with the epistemological problem. You live and work with people much smarter than this and I can only conclude you wrote this for consumption by people who don’t know any better. :/

          • Jonathan Pogson

            David, I think we can be reasonably certain that we live in a real Universe that had a real beginning, and that the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics and science generally to describe observed phenomena demands a higher form of explanation – a supernatural form – as a matter of fundamental principle. And as you well know, fwiw this belief is shared by many of the brightest and most qualified to comment minds on the planet.

            Whether such a prime force has ontological qualities, or has ever communicated with mankind or sent his Son to save us from our sins is a matter of faith, historical evidence, personal experience and testimony. I well understand the difficulties caused by the diabolical cocktail of misplaced human expectations, willing ignorance and the clumsy teaching so commonly served up by so many Christians, including ourselves. But this, to me, is common to man and hence the story of the Bible, which to be understood must first be seen sympathetically through the eyes and misperceptions of its immediate audience. Christadelphians transfixed by a 19th century view of the world may be just another chapter in the rich tapestry of human misperceptions that arise as the Eternal is forced to engage his transient creatures on their own transient terms. Examples of this communication problem abound throughout the length and breadth of the Bible – in the volume of the book it is written – the imposition of and then removal of the Law of Moses perhaps the best known, but examples could easily be multiplied. Hence John’s “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

            Anyway the point is that God is greater than our clumsy ideas. God is a Spirit, God is creating spiritual creatures from dust, and his most effective engagement is through the engagement of heart and mind together – not one separated from the other. As a rational I too am tempted to put God to the test by putting my heart to one side, make sure I am not deceiving myself and following an illusion…but thats catch 22. Were I to succeed I would be as deceived by my achievement as the man who thinks his interpretation of the Bible is inspired because he can read it in English. Soon God for me would no longer be God…God would die, killed off in my heart by my superior mind.

          • David Jose

            Jonathan. I get faith and do so from the inside out but these days I no longer have any. Specifically I get that faith is not enough for all or most devotees. The inadequacy of faith as a basis for a belief system is supported by the appeal to (poor) post facto
            rationalisations and mysticism when all else fails. I am actually comfortable with mysticism per se as a underpinning of faith but it is the post facto rationalisations that leave me very cold and ironically first opened me up to the “difficult” knowledge that all is not well in faithland.

            Your assertion that the unreasonable effectiveness of science and mathematics “demands” a higher/supernatural explanation (teleological argument for those that are brave enough to google for research) is a post facto rationalisation. In other words, you first had faith and now everything you see supports the original premise to the point where you are happy to even go so far as to set your own faithful belief as a “fundamental principle” for all mankind. The weakness of this approach is that our belief systems are laid down like patterns in our brains and we then go about seeking these same patterns as confirmation and validation in the world around us. By way of example – I love my dogs
            and believe they are the best breed available. I can pick a mini Schnauzer out that is too far away to see properly, if there is a whole lot of dogs in the room I am drawn, to the exclusion of all others, to the mini Schnauzer and of course when I do take notice of other dogs it is always only by comparison to the superior attributes of my breed. Unfortunately for my little belief system but fortunately for everyone else this does not mean that no other dogs exist or that all other dogs are inferior to mine. Our brain works the same way with everything be it dog or god. Quantum Physics sheds even another angle on this – there is no such thing as the privileged observer in the universe, that is, what we understand in our head influences what we see – literally. In my example above
            while this centricity makes me very loving to mini Schnauzers the down side is that it precludes me from loving other breeds in the same way or, for the point
            of the argument, conceiving of a universe without mini Schnauzers.

            With a starting point of faith and armed
            with a post facto rationalisation you are now able to go on with a statement like – “…as you well know, fwiw this belief is shared by many of the brightest and most
            qualified to comment minds on the planet.” Such a statement is worth nothing (and your tentative use of fwiw indicates to me you know so) because this
            belief is also not shared by many of the brightest and most qualified on the planet.

            As for the teleological argument it is flawed and massively so like this; “I can’t explain the unreasonable effectiveness of science and mathematics so I
            will attribute cause to an inexplicable, invisible, unknowable, unprovable non-demonstrable force.” Putting the faith glasses on makes this the perfect post facto rationalisation to the very point where the wearer cannot even see its very irrationality.

            The remainder of your post amounts to an appeal to mysticism in support of faith. The Christadelphians disavow mysticism (very unwisely) and so you have
            dressed it up with words like heart, love and personal experience to hide the fine line you are treading doctrinally. From my point of view the best basis for faith is a mystical one – it is more authentic and leads to a better more rounded person than the distorted and
            twisted products of rational christadelphianism. Better still is no faith at all in imagined beings – a surer path to uncovering our humanity.

        • Joel

          We can give ourselves meaning. Meaning comes from ourselves and from our relations with each other. We can derive meaning from having life.

  9. Di Sawell

    Rob- thank you for your honesty. I have left Christadelphian faith also, and while it’s for reasons other than you have mentioned, there is some overlap. It is never easy and is never a decision made lightly, especially with the social ties you have mentioned. All the best 🙂

  10. Di Sawell

    Hi Rob, – thank you for your honesty. I have also recently left the Christadelphians. It’s not easy or a decision one makes lightly, especially with the social ties you mentioned. Keep being authentic, and all the best.

  11. Merrilyn Mansfield

    Hi Rob,

    Blah, I’m sad because you are such a cool dude with a great brain that questions and tries to answer, etc, and I’m tired of all the good people leaving our community.

    I will always be your friend (that’s a given), in fact, I’m in Melbourne next week – want to catch up?

    Love,
    Merri

    • Meg

      Rob,Look after yourself and be strong.Thanks for sharing your honesty and your kindness with others.Best wishes.

  12. John Davy

    Hi Rob, I guess we all have doubts about the reality of God from time to time – I know I do. But if we are wanting absolute proof none of us will never find it. It is a case of basing our faith on evidence or simply trusting that there is a compassionate God of righteousness until such time as someone can prove the reverse.
    From my observations it seems to me that the universe may in fact be old and that evolution may account for the diversity of life but science doesn’t really have a credible explanation for the origins of the universe, or space and time and life. The simplest and most credible explanation is still a God that always was.

    I understand that the bible may have its flaws and that some of its accounts are similar to those of old cultures but give the common history of all mankind it would be odd if these did not exist.
    I still daily find remarkable truths in its pages and delight in its complexity and wisdom.

    If in fact we are simply accidents of a mechanical universe that will eventually self destruct then there can be no meaning or purpose to life and people will just perish for lack of vision. Do you have a vision for your kids?

    • David Jose

      Rob if it is any consolation I got the whole guilt trip thing about my kids when I left as well. You are being honest with yourself and that in the end of the day is what counts. Good on you and the very best wishes for you and family no matter where your journey goes.

  13. Freeandclear

    Nice! I’m finally interested in reading your blog now! There are thousands of blogs rehashing biblical junk, but not many honest enough to ditch the lot and start searching for real meaning.

    Oh, and congrats for freeing yourself from the cult I used to be part of too. Soon you’ll wonder why it took so long, and marvel at the crap you used to subscribe to.

    Don’t let it pull the stuffing out of life… Just realise you’ve progressed to the next stage, and there is a whole new world of meaning to explore!

  14. Ginters Bušs

    Well, given that the Bible is written by a pen and during a long time span, it certainly has its flaws but nevertheless its message might still be true; especially its newest part – the new testament – might still have some material to think about.

    I was a true atheist, a pro-science person until about a year ago when my family encountered a ghost in our apartment. The ghost was so annoying (touching, making noise, waking everybody up at night) that we had to move out. We went to another apartment in the same house and the ghostly stuff continued. Don’t tell me about a scientific explanation of this because I was and still am a pro-science person, but I also know that I felt many times that someone lies into my bed next to me such that the bed physically bended; and my wife and myself felt several times that someone touches us. And all those sleepless nights when I was awaken by the steps in my room.
    This experience was pretty sufficient to turn my belief system upside down – now I believe that we consist of both the flash and the spirit. And that the spirit continues to live after the flash dies. Add to this the countless near-death experiences documented in www, and you’ll see that the Bible has something to say about this.

  15. Bret Jones

    Hi Rob – Faith is the confidence in things hoped for – maybe you havent lost your faith – maybe youve lost your confidence in the things that you once hoped for…… talk soon, Bret

  16. John Bedson

    Another thing that I think that we need to discuss is this: If Rob has lost his faith; he thinks the Bible is a fake; he thinks it is doubtful that there is a God; there is not going to be a judgement seat of Christ; from where does he now derive his moral guidance? I know what I think; but I’d like to hear Rob’s thoughts on this.
    Let’s put the question to Rob another way. Rob: if you now think that the grave is irreversible, what motivates you to behave morally upright, (because we all know that’s exactly what you are going to do) if there is no reward for the evil and no punishment for the wicked?

    • Joel

      There can be other sources of morality other than the Bible, even if those sources are just what we have decided as humans to be acceptable. I would also argue that people are allowed to be ‘good’ without requiring a higher power to punish them if they aren’t.

    • PreviousConvictions

      Are you saying the only reason you are good, is beucase you hope to be rewarded for it?

    • Shay Sagan

      To insinuate that morals are exclusive to the bible or any other religious guide, is actually insulting. People have morals because we have evolved with core values embedded in our brains.

      We are instinctively compassionate creatures. We care about when other people are harmed, loyalty, fairness, etc. All humans have a fundamental understanding that other people matter to themselves as much as we matter to ourselves. And with that understanding we have no reason to believe that one person can matter more than another.

      To say that a person cannot feel compassion for another human being, or have a sense of justice without believing in a supernatural creator, is the equivalent to saying that the only reason believers are moral is entirely self-serving and only done because they are told to and fear the consequences of disobeying.

  17. TrevorN

    Thanks Rob for your ongoing example of honesty, candour and grace.

    I didn’t read your statement as either an invitation to turn you into a poster child for atheism or a request that you might become a unique opportunity for others to witness to you, and I hope the debating chamber can be moved someplace else.

  18. anon

    As a former sunday school student taught with The Way of Life, now going through a similar transition in my life, this is really encouraging to see. The courage, integrity and humility it must take to move on after so many years spent as part of this religion is inspirational. I look forward to reading what you write about what led you to this conclusion, and comparing it to my own thoughts.

    I also hope the commenters here will have the sensitivity to realize that such a decision is not made lightly and be able to respond with tact and empathy.

  19. Pam Mumford

    Hi Rob, you have my greatest respect for your honesty and strength in making a huge life-wrenching change to leave a community where most of your good memories, friends and family are.

    Please excuse me for commenting – I mean well and I care for you as one human being to another. I am trying to build my faith in Jesus and get to know him as a real human who lived and who still lives. The last bit is the struggle, and so to help any smidgeon of faith that I have, I pray the same words in my own words that the man mentioned in Mark 9:24 : “Lord, I believe. Please help my un-belief.”

    I am a member of a Christadelphian church in New Zealand.

    Pam

  20. Craig Fairweather

    H Rob,
    Thank you so much for your intellectual courage. The pain you have gone through to find this out and to publicly say this must have been tremendous. Your doubts are completely justified, but you can only persevere past the pain, and the fears and the pressure, and the ties of burdensome social-relgious obligations, because your mind values truth above comfortable lies. Your cry and declaration remind me of some quotes from other bravehearts : “Let the truth be told though the heavens fall!”, “Here I satnd. I can do no other”(Luther), “They do not know you oh ye higher powers who do not wait and watch in the midnight hours’.
    Please think about visiting some kindred spirits over at Facebook’s Ex-christadelphian group site. Many have found there, and told , stories that speak to our hearts. It is possible to have been wounded by a cult-like machine and not realise that you have been bleeding all along! What a relief when you find others with similar experiences. Try it and see.
    I also was baptised at 16, but I awoke at 23 and, “behold, it was a dream”. I have not regretted waking up, these last 30 years. Best wishes to you, more strength to your arm, and you are not alone. Regards,
    Craig Fairweather

  21. Sad :-(

    Dear Rob

    I’m a very simple Christadelphian and a pretty terrible Bible student. I get easily bored and distracted in most talks (even yours!) and tune out quickly so I know I could never attempt to have a theological debate with you about the existence of God. You know more Biblical passages and history than I ever could and you’re older than me so you also have more life experience and you’ve seen and done things that I haven’t had the opportunity to. As such, I know that I couldn’t hope to convince you of the existence of God now that you have chosen not to believe.

    Here’s the thing I don’t understand though… assuming you have children (I don’t know if you do or don’t)… but if you do… when you look at them, how is it that you don’t see the existence of God? I look at my little boy and I’m done. I could never have created something as wonderful as him. He is a gift and even though I was the vessel to bring him into the world, I didn’t make him. You can tell me all the science in the world behind his formation in my womb and that would only make me marvel more that
    our creator was so amazing!

    I know that you feel as though you have had an epiphany and that you can finally see the ‘truth’ clearly, but from my very simple perspective – it looks more like you have been blinded as a result of your intelligence… that you have had your nose in the books so long that you have forgotten to look up and see the evidence of God all around you. No one would question that you are a very intellectually smart man but from what you have written it just seems as though you have over-analysed everything way too much and have put all your trust into your own‘wisdom’, yet not in your heart. You set out to justify your faith in God (and obviously failed because it made you an unbeliever), yet faith in God is one of those things we can’t justify… it just is.

    Christadelphia is not perfect and unfortunately one of our biggest flaws is that we too often put our favourite speakers on pedestals. We look up to them and we idolise them. This will be true of you too Rob. There would be many people out there who
    would look up to you and listen to all your views because you are an intelligent man. I know you intend to throw yourself into disproving the Bible soon using all your new-found “unbeliever energy”, but can I suggest that you sit on it for a bit? You’ve just started this new path in your life so I realise that you’re pumped and want to change the world, but you really need to take a minute to think about the fall-out.

    Think about it this way. If we Christo’s are wrong and there is no God and we don’t wake up after we die… then who cares? Have we hurt anyone by giving up our Sundays to go to Church every week? People can choose for themselves – it really
    shouldn’t matter to you! But if you go ahead and write your book and condemn our faith and try and prove to people that God doesn’t exist then all you’re achieving is killing hope in those that would be guided by you. You may think that you are giving them the gift of freedom or whatever, but really you are taking something wonderful away from them. And like I said, if we’re wrong then there’s no harm done… but if you
    are wrong then the damage you could do to other people is insurmountable. Do you want to be responsible for taking people away from their faith?

    Rob, please look into your own reasons for wanting to disprove the Bible and the existence of God. Is it to convince yourself more? Is it to draw people away from their belief in God so that you aren’t so lonely on the “outside”? I really want to challenge you to take a year off… to get your nose out of the books and to stop over-analysing and over-thinking everything and try and take a new perspective. You’ve already chosen a new life for yourself, so maybe give yourself 12 months of “chill-out” time. No reading… no writing… Just spending more quality time with your family (I hate study for that reason alone – it takes time away from family) and go and see if a world without God is what you want it to be. I personally couldn’t go a day without talking to him and would feel helpless and depressed if I didn’t have Him in my life! Please just try and hold back on your crusade for a bit. You may feel differently again in another year.

    You’re still my brother and I will still pray for you.

    Take Care

    • Jared

      Blinded by intelligence? That is absolutely laughable. How about blinded by faith? It’s unbelievable to me that someone claiming to have all the answers in a book written thousands of years ago can, with a straight face, call a person who has sought answers and a deeper understanding of the world by educating themselves “blind.” Delusion sure is a powerful thing….

      • Sad :-(

        Jared, you obviously misunderstood me. What I meant was that when you’ve had your nose in the books so long, you often fail to see things from another perspective. I say the same thing of all those very studious Christadelphians that study their Bible 12 hours a day and forget to go out and show love to their fellow man! I say that they are just as “blinded by their intelligence”.
        To put it another way… if you’ve ever watched The Big Bang Theory tv show… Sheldon Cooper is obviously very smart, but has no clue about social interaction. I think those that spend all their time pouring over books forget to go out and live life!
        The one thing I’ve realised today is that all the “unbelievers” posting in this blog are so angry and bitter!! All of your comments are either nasty and just plain cranky. That to me isn’t a selling point for giving up my hope, joy and peace.
        Chill out people 🙂

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Very Wise words indeed spoken from the voice of experience.
      It would be best Rob if you do take the time to stop and think things through, and think of the outcome, as to see what your actions will do if you go down that path.

      But besides that Rob, have you recently made the time to stop and to think about the many things that have happened in you life over the past 30 years at all?

      Have you considered the many times that you were delivered out of trouble and peril, and how those circumstances came about?

      Have you considered some of the wonderful blessings that you have received in you life, especially with that of your family?
      In regards to faith Rob, and to that of reading the scriptures, some words of wisdom to consider is that,
      “We don’t go to the Bible to find what we believe.
      We go to the Bible to believe what we find.”

      We are told that the just shall live by faith, as you should know, and that faith comes by hearing, and hearing (or understanding, as better rendered) the word of God.
      Faith is what motivates us to live, and to endure. It’s gives us the ability to see clearly a lot more things that many thousands of others do not see or recognise.
      It is what gives us the power to endure and to overcome the world, that is only if we let it be so in Yahweh, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Yes sure enough we all do fall, and also fail miserably at times, and also say and do silly things at times, even repeat some of those silly things a few times over.
      But if we do make the time to stop and think, and be completely honest with ourselves, and examine ourselves without respect of persons, even not being a respecter of persons towards own ourselves, we then are faced with the conscience and morality to truly see and know what is right and what is wrong.

  22. John Bedson

    For thirty years Rob poured out his heart and soul for the
    Christadelphian Theists. He helped many thousands of them in every possible
    way. Now, several days after his resignation, only thirty three people have
    bothered to comment on his resignation letter and over half of them are
    Christadelphian Atheists telling him that he did the right thing. 🙂

    Why the deafening silence from the Theists? How come it’s
    the non-leading Theist brethren and sisters who are here valiantly trying to
    persuade Rob to return to the fold, while the leaders have nothing to say about
    this calamitous blow to their religious philosophy?

    I applaud you lovely non-leading, non-speaking Theist
    brethren and sisters who love your Lord and who are struggling against impossible
    odds to show to Rob that he has rejected the sacrifice and suffering of Christ.
    I don’t agree with your religious philosophy; but I do admire your passion for
    what you believe.

    But where are the Berea-Portals? Where are the Bible
    Discussion Forum writers? Where are the Arranging Brethren, the Speaking
    Brethren, the CMPA committee members, Andrew Bramhill, Roger Long, the leaders
    and gifted writers in the Theistic Christadelphian side of this discussion? Where
    are all the Christadelphian Theists who made use of Rob’s websites, read his
    books, listened to his talks, accepted lifts in his car, ate meals at his home
    and picked his brains in the past?

    You have just lost one of the leading lights of your
    movement. Don’t you leaders and influential brethren in the Christadelphian
    Theists have ANYTHING to say here? Are you going to leave it to lovely people
    like “Sad :-(” to struggle to do your job for you?

    Pull yourselves together my Christadelphian Theist brethren
    and sisters and show a bit of effort here. Put up some sort of fight to save
    your brother lest he be lost to you for ever. Show him some sensible reasons
    why he was mistaken in his resignation letter. Give him some credible evidence
    for belief in God.

    Because if you don’t, I can see that within a very few
    weeks, Rob will transform this website into a powerhouse of reasoning why his
    new view of God and the Bible is correct and hundreds of Christadelphian Theists
    will begin to think rationally and decide to follow Rob and play for the
    opposing team.

    In my own mind I am convinced that Rob has chosen to play
    for the stronger team. But at the same time we want a challenging game against
    you guys. If you Christadelphian Theists are going to roll over and die at the
    first sign of trouble; then that is not going to be much fun for us.

    There are plenty of other teams for us to compete against if
    you guys are not up for a match. For example we could register for the big
    league and play against some of the major world religions and show to them that
    their faith based religions are bunk.

    You should not be afraid of our star players. We promise to
    go easy on you and not kick too many goals early on until you get warmed up. So
    please bring your talent out onto the field of play and let’s see what you’ve
    got.

    So are we all agreed here? – It’s Game On. – Yeah? – Are
    you up for this or not?

    • Jonathan Burke

      Many people have contacted Rob directly, in private. If you ever want to engage people like the Berea team, feel free to start doing so.

    • Rob N Lis Evans

      Sorry I have not posted on here, I have been busy praying as much as I can for all involved in this.
      Rob I hope you realise this.
      Love to you and family.
      Rob Evans

  23. David Jose

    Rob,

    A brave and great step – done with both grace and respect. Take time, breathe and give yourself room to doubt. I say this not because I want you to either have a particular faith or a particular doubt but rather that you can permit yourself the time and space to move through this whole process (and it is a very natural and needful process). I would like to say that ultimately the CD belief system is soul stripping in terms of any of the benefits of “spirituality” – the only way to make it all stick together is to divide yourself into two and live a life of duality, spending most of your energy trying to get it all to hang together. Thinking people who manage this successfully do so in large part by having a practical belief system that is incongruent with the basics of the Christadelphian faith. In particular you will be carrying a lot of baggage derived from the Christadelphian belief system that is centred on the search for certainty. In this case, the search for the indubitability of faith with the bible as the bedrock of certainty is, the best and most powerful expression of human self centredness. Illustrated no better than by Descartes himself.

    Breathe and allow yourself the room to doubt, it will either lead to a new and more authentic faith or none at all but I know it will not lead you back to the Christadelphian beliefs and system of religion. I am not a believer but I understand “faith” from a little more of an objective viewpoint given my former beliefs. Leslie Newbigin has written a coherent defence of faith albeit a very different one proposed by the certainty seeking Christadelphians and Pentecostals (same animal, different stripes) – You may find it helpful when you are ready but for now just a quote…
    “In seeking a kind of supracultural and indubitable certainty, these Christians have fallen into the trap set by Descartes. They are seeking a kind of certainty that
    does not acknowledge the certainty of faith as the only kind of certainty
    available. The only one who has a context-independent standpoint is God. The fundamental error of Descartes,surely, was the suppositions that we ourselves can have such a standpoint. Christian faith is not a matter of logically
    demonstrable certainties but of the total commitment of fallible human beings
    putting their trust in the faithful God who has called them.” (Leslie Newbigin, Proper Confidence – faith doubt and certainty in christian discipleship. P99)

  24. Clive White

    Dear Rob,

    We havn’t spoken in many years, but we used to spend a lot of time talking together and were good friends, as well as brothers in Christ.

    Your announcement of resignation came as a huge shock to me, as I am sure it did to many people. It is scarcely comprehendible that someone with your depth of knowledge of the scriptures, and the wonderful works you have done regarding your (past) faith, has come to this!

    I have been struggling over the past few days to come to terms with it. My rationalisation is that at the end of the day, you have decided to put more faith in the discoveries and thinking of mankind than you are prepared to put in the Word of God.

    An example of this is your long held belief in the Theory of Evolution. I will always remember that moment when you said to me that Evolution was a fact, if I didn’t believe it I was denying the overwhelming evidence that was in favour of it.

    However the Theory of Evolution is a very poor theory, for the simple reason that it has changed many times over the years to explain new facts as they have come to light. Take the following quotation from Bowler 2003: “The development of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s, incorporating natural selection with population genetics and Mendelian genetics, revived Darwinism in an updated form.” People who believed in Darwin’s original ideas came to be called “Darwinists”, and for many years were discredited. However, modern research has apparently revalidated the original work “in a modified form”. Does this mean Darwinists are not so discredited now? The fact that the Theory of Evolution has undergone so much change means it is a Bad Theory.

    The problem with a Bad Theory is that it sounds plausible, because it explains previous findings. However, it can’t be relied on to explain new discoveries. The problem for Christians is that such a constantly changing theory is difficult, if not impossible, to disprove. As soon as a discovery is made that the theory cannot explain, it magically morphs into a theory that can explain it. In theory, such a theory can explain anything! Therefore rigorous modern science should throw out such a theory. The fact that this hasn’t happened is a sad reflection on the science of modern mankind.

    So what is an example of a “Good Theory?” Take Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Although it took a few years for him to develop, the theory has basically held true ever since. In fact, one of the reasons the Hadron Collider was built was to confirm (or refute) certain predictions resulting from the theory. The predictions were confirmed.

    In a similar way there is a huge gap between “Bad Theories” and the statements of the Bible. The Bible was written hundreds of years ago, but we can still get the same Bible today that could be bought several centuries ago. The Bible has not changed. The Bible has stood the test of time, and is very widely believed in, without the need for continual revisions and updates.

    So my conclusion is that my former Brother has decided that the constantly changing beliefs of mankind are more trustworthy than the solid and unchanging Word of God. This is a huge shame. It reminds me of a line from 1st Corinthians:-

    But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise …..

    My Prayers are with you and your family my friend. Please rethink this step you have taken, and return to the solid and certain Word of God that has so much to promise those who hold onto their belief in God, and to all your brethren and sisters in Christ who have benefited from your many years of work in “The Way”.

    Clive White.

    • Jonathan Pogson

      Sorry Clive, but parading such an appalling ignorance of the facts can only add weight to the unbeliever’s cause.

    • Shay Sagan

      I have to ask; What exactly is your understanding of what Evolution is?

      • Clive White

        Good question. My understanding of Evolution is that it is the theory of the origin of species of plants and animals.

        • Shay Sagan

          Biological Evolution refers to a process that results in heritable changes in a population (Not Individuals) spread over many generations.

          The existence of biological evolution is a fact that can be demonstrated today, and has an overwhelming amount of historical evidence for it’s occurring.

          The exact mechanisms of evolution however, has several theories.

          “Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two SEPARATE accomplishments; establishing the fact of Evolution and proposing a theory -natural selection- to explain the mechanisms of Evolution.” — Stephen J. Gould, ” Evolution as Fact and Theory”; Discover, May 1981

          It is good to note that Darwin created his theory of Natural Selection without any knowledge of genetics. So you are correct in saying that portion of his works has been debated and many scientists do not think that it is the best theory for the mechanisms of Evolution. I think it’s a good thing to be able to acknowledge you might have been wrong as you learn more. Otherwise we may still be convinced the earth is flat, or that bloodletting is an effective method for curing most diseases!

          The definition you used to define Evolution is not the common scientific definition. In fact many of the definitions you can find in a standard dictionary are inexcusably false.

          “evolution: …the doctrine according to which higher forms of life have gradually arisen out of lower..” – Chambers

          “evolution: …the development of a species, organism, or organ from its original or primitive state to its present or specialized state; phylogeny or ontogeny” – Webster’s

          These definitions are shamefully inaccurate. When you’re speaking to someone who understands Evolution they are speaking on behalf of a process that can easily be demonstrated (Simply: Changes in a population that are passed down to the next generation). From that perspective, saying that you don’t believe in evolution is like saying you don’t believe in gravity.

          I hope this helps in any future discussions you might have on the topic. My main point is, you can understand and accept Biological Evolution and still maintain your faith. 🙂

  25. Graham Parcell

    Dear Rob
    Very sad to hear your decision, your book The Way of Life in particular has introduced many to our faith in a constructive way.
    On occasions such as this it always puzzle me that many get stuck on the age of the earth and other issues with little or no emphasis upon: DNA “God’s Programming Language for Life”, Design and Biomimicry. DNA is the most effective storage media known to man.
    The more we learn about DNA in conjunction with our Computer-Age the more I believe we are compelled to the Master Programmer, the God of Creation.
    I sometimes think the Intelligent Design people are ahead of a lot of Christadelphians some of whom get bogged down with evolutionary “theory”.
    Hundreds of scientists throughout the world in all fields are calling for a re-vamp of evolutionary theory.
    David got it right when he declared that humans are: “Fearfully and Wonderfully made”.
    It takes more faith to believe that male and female of all creatures in the world evolved simultaneously with the ability to breed.
    I believe in One Common Originator, not one common ancestor.
    Thank you for all your good work in the past and of course I hope you don’t have any followers !!
    With best wishes
    Graham Parcell

  26. Lance

    Hello Rob,

    I came across your book after reading some of your answers on stack exchange. It is interesting to me that you use the term “Unbeliever.” I agree that atheist and agnostic are not sufficient to span the variety of ways to disbelieve in God. I am not a member of any specific church or theology, and strictly speaking I do not believe in a God or gods as portrayed in literature. However, I do believe in church and religion. There is certainly a preponderance of evidence that religion can help individuals and groups overcome adversity and find joy and meaning in life.

    It seems that many of the benefits from these groups are tightly bound to belief in God. I think the reason for this is that there are many tenets in life that must be held with firm conviction in order to make confident and consistent decisions. Faith in God allows faith in God’s words, which frees the mind from so many troubling questions about right, wrong, and the meaning of life. Obviously people with faith in god do ask these questions, but they ask them in presence of an underlying answer common to members of their community.

    I have always thought of God as human contentedness. People are connected through experience, and past experience creates and shapes future behavior and interactions. These connections tie together the past and the future, and weave a web between every living and not living thing. Out of that web has come a myriad stories about god, religion, and the meaning of life. The answers that religion provides to the unanswerable questions that humans create spring from this web in many different forms across history and geography, each tailored to the local environment of their origination.

    The amazing thing is that the bible, and ancient scriptures from all over the world continue to provide meaningful contribution to the human condition. I greatly appreciate you helpful posts on stack exchange.

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