Why I am no longer a Christian?

On several occasion I usually get some version of the two following Question and all these questions are really not about the existence of (any generic) God, but Why I don’t ultimately believe in the Christian God.:

  • What is the ONE thing that makes you not believe that God does not exist?
  • What is the ONE big issue for you when it comes to the existence of God?

For me there is no one thing convinces me that God does not exist.  If there was really just one thing, I would probably still be a Christian.  For one unresolved discrepancy was not enough for me to shake my faith back then.  Really for me there were several reasons, many of them I blogged about, but many I did not.  But when it came time for me to resign from my leadership position at the church and tell my wife and pastor that I was no longer a Christian; I had to give them a reason.  So outlined for them the SIX MAJOR issues for why I am no longer a Christian and created a manifesto of some sort.

      1. Bible Difficulties and Contradictions
      2. Historical Discrepancies
      3. Unanswered Prayer
      4. The Character and Attributes of God
      5. Bible Atrocities and Morality
      6. Science

In addition when I sent this email to my loved ones, I also included a rebuttal in the email about the problems and biblical inconsistencies of believing out of Faith.  There were many other things I did not talk about, but which I could of: Classical arguments against God, Failed Prophecy, Faith vs. Reason, problems with organized religion.  Yet I felt these six were the biggest and most damning against the existence of God.  (And in addition to that my manifesto was already long enough, there was no need to make it longer.)  So go ahead and click on the link below if you would like to check it out.

Why I am No Longer a Christian -By M. Rodriguez

I never had any intention of ever putting this attachment on my blog because I was planning with the intention to further expound upon some of the topics in the unofficial manifesto in further detail.  Putting them up in sections and series.  However on the blog Sifting Reality, the Blogger JB asked a question to atheist,: “If you had to narrow it down to one (or two at most) thing, what is the most dubious, implausable, preposterious thing about theism?

And when I listed my six reasons as to why, the response from some the commenter’s were that my listed answers were vague, unsatisfactory, and incomplete and that I need to elaborate.  And I tried to elaborate a little more, but it is really hard to condense 24 pages of information into a comment box, when the 24 pages of information is already condensed enough with information its self.

About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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26 Responses to Why I am no longer a Christian?

  1. Rodriguez,

    I quite curious to understand your view about “Unanswered Prayer”. You, as an agnostic, you have about 50-50 believe about God.

    So, for discussion purpose, let say there are God (on your view), how prayer and supplication suppose to be understand. Is it supplication must come in direct or indirect way

    As Example, If one kid pray, “God, please I want Power Ranger toy”. So, if the prayer being answered, is it must come :
    directly from heaven (like Santa maybe),
    or come through parent,
    or God giving a better present, a book for example,
    or in form of different thing such happiness,
    or God will sure give it but in different time, next year or in future or when the life at throat,
    or it never being answered,
    or you just have different view on this.

    • Arkenaten says:

      If prayer works for power ranger toys then it should work for important things.
      Name one amputee that god has cured in answer to prayer?.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      really for me when/if you read through that point. was that the problem with unanswered prayer is not that goes unanswered. But from the youth of our faith, christianity, (or for you islam), we are indoctrinated in that we can pray to God and ask for anything, but at the same time this indoctrinate their is this parallel indoctrination, that even though we can pray for anything, that does not mean we will get everything. And we become indoctrinated into that mindset, that even God hears our prayers, he will not always answer our prayers. And then indoctrination starts with why God does not answer your prayers….Just google unanswered prayers you will get the same tired responses as to why God has failed in answering prayers, and half of them is because something we may have done wrong…(secret sin, did not tithe, not enough faith, did not pray correctly) and the other half are the norm theological talking points on a sunday service (It was not his will, it was not in God timing, God answered, but you didn’t listen.) Really we have been indoctrinated from the suckle to expect God not to answer our prayers…And its time to hold those unanswered prayers accountable.

      But as the dicussion, I point to an excerpt from the manifesto…So in familiarizing ourselves with these prayer scriptures, the new (young) believer believes that in prayer that God is capable of doing anything & everything. So in their prayers they too ask for anything & everything. In many cases, the new believer’s prayers are bold, forward, and straight to the point. Because they believe in an infinite God, who could do the impossible, thus so in prayer we ask for the impossible.
      Then we realize in our time of prayer, too many times the impossible prayer request is never filled. Then we ask for the improbable, but that too falls short. Thus we realize that just because we can ask for anything & everything does not mean God will do anything or everything. In essence our prayer changes from the most miraculous and impossible things to basic things, like Lord keep me safe and bless my food. So in this indoctrination of prayer, we relearn how to pray, to keep ourselves from being setup with disappointment and doubt. No longer waiting with guaranteed assurance that our prayer will be answered with 100% expectation. But now praying for more abstract things….Guidance, Strength, Salvation, Wisdom, Forgiveness and a more loving spirit to be more like you Christ and heal our marriage. Because we know in our hearts if we ask for anything else, then we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment.

      Really we don’t believe God answers prayers this is why we pray for frivolous things like a power rangers toy, a good parking spot, our bills payed, or a good day. because if we ask for anything more difficult than something done by human request, than we know deep down in our hearts that that prayer will never be answered.

  2. I have read your manifesto few times (on Unanswered prayer). I don’t go through other 5 manifesto because this one (unanswered prayer) rarely being discussed. I will read others later.

    When I write my comment “directly from heaven (like Santa maybe)”, I don’t expect it was the understanding of Christian. Of course, others explanation to support it. Hemphh, I believe many Christian is literalist.. but that was not a real problem.

    I go through the manifesto again, I found that, It not the the problem of “God answer the prayer or not”. The real problem are:

    What is prayer itself? What is the purpose of prayer? Why we need prayer? Why we do this? And why we do that?

    From my believe, prayer and supplication is 2 separate things.
    As being indicate in Quran The purpose of prayer:
    1) because God ask me to pray. It more like an order after you acknowledge Him. (11:114)
    2) To comfort our soul, it more like a therapy to human mind (70:19-23 and 13:28)
    If we pray to get something (materialistic), the purpose of acknowledging Him/comforting already void.

    Back to supplication unanswered.

    As non-literalist; the verse:
    “Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer) (40:60)

    must be read in conjunction with
    God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (13:11)
    But you will never find in the way of Allah any change, and you will never find in the way of Allah any alteration. (35:43)

    So, if I want to find my key (as per you manifesto), I will pray and also must strive to look out for the key. If, I can not found it, I just let it go, and don’t burden my thought (positive thinking).

    If I want to be success, I will pray, and at the same time, I must strive to achieve the goal. If I success, that God permit me. If I fail, there must be something wrong with it because (you will never find in the way of Allah any alteration) 35:43. This verse also show that law of physic will never change from the beginning.

    In Islamic theology, the prayer without doing anything is stupidity and works without prayer is arrogant.

    It was a tough philosophy.

    • Most Muslim are non-literalist, so I feel very awkward to called myself non-literalist… I sound that I the one only one who non-literalist…

      I was still thinking what is the meaning of literalist in Christian ideology.

      • M. Rodriguez says:

        A literalist by my understanding is that they believe that it the bible/quo ran where written literally by god with each word chosen by god

      • Different idea, from my understanding,
        All Muslim understand Quran is word of God, so there are no argument on that. The argument inside our religion is how to interpret the word to today life, or toward original context. So the meaning of “literalist” have different view.

        1) Literalist is a people who have read the book and they understand the book literally (direct translation or just based on other supporting scripture).
        2) Non-literalist is a person who also read the book and they understand the book and also with other supporting scripture and relate the understanding with nature’s law and other subject of life.

      • M. Rodriguez says:

        I thought in the muslim theology of the quoron, that arabic is the only inspired and inerrant version of the quoron, and anyother version is considered inherently errant and deeply flawed (by human translation)

      • Yes, Quran is only one book, the Arabic word. Sorry, in my language “translation” can also be refer as “interpretation” (direct translation).

        Similar as any book in this world, it require to be understand. To understand that, you need to read it and critic and test the verses. In the way of testing and critic the book, the have come out with variety of understanding and some scholar have write a book through his understanding. We called it tafsir, http://hifzanshafiee.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/tafsir-quran/

        For us, Quran is evolving word through interpretation. Even One “letters” are counted. So, when criticize letter by letter, word by word, verse by verse; human sure make a mistake. So we require many type of interpretation to understand the real meaning of Quran.

        Human being educate in different way, some learn logic, some learn science, some through experience. So, everyone have their own way of thinking about the scripture itself (even it was a same book). We have theology called “All interpretation are not wrong, unless it was proven wrong”.

        As Quran in 11:118 said-
        And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ.

        So what happen, many school of thought… In Sunni itself, 4 major school of thought is well known, Maliki, Hanafi, Shafii and Hambali. So, the idea of “finding the truth” is must be encourage and be supported. And to combine such big idea, we have a theology called “finding similarity, and managing the dispute”. So, openness and transparency is very important in our theology.

  3. T. J. says:

    Hi, I really enjoyed reading your manifesto today and agreed with much of what you said. I have a big problem with prayer at a higher level. If God is all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful, he already knows what is best for me and is already at work doing it. In this context, prayer is downright dangerous. Say my prayer was somehow so effective, it was able to change God’s mind – hey it happened in the Old Testament, it could happen again! In this case, we would be going from the optimal state to some sub-optimal state. God was already at work doing the very best thing for me and for the universe, but my prayer somehow changed his mind, so it can no longer be the best thing. Really, the only intercessory prayer can be “Your will be done”, and since God’s will is going to be done regardless, no intercessory prayer is needed. Yet Jesus told us to pray and the rest of the New Testament says to “pray constantly” But how can we do something that is logically unnecessary and perhaps even harmful? More evidence that the people writing the Bible were misguided.

    • T.J,
      A miracles can not be consider as foundation of prayer. In most scripture, there are a story miracles, example in Quran “Mary, mother of Jesus receiving a food in front of her praying mat every day” and many other stories.
      Yes, there are miracles but it not the fundamental of prayer and supplication. Lesson learn from the stories is “There are nothing impossible in this life” and it doesn’t mean “I pray and I will get it”. We need to read in right context…

      I believe that why it being called miracles is being called “miracles”…

      In the term of “God changes His mind” or “prayer effectively”. In my theology, my answer is “We don’t know”. Actually we never know either the answer of our prayer because of “God’s will” or “Free will”. We can assume, but it doesn’t mean our answer is correct. So, work need to be done, because it was nature law. “You work hard, you gain something”.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      you know what T. J. that is an excellent point

      that is the Classical argument against prayer because god is all knowing so prayer is futile cause he already knows the outcome, however my part in unansered prayer was not about the doctrine of prayer in philosophy and its theological talking points and flaws. but it was about the INDOCTRINCATION of prayer, that we are tried with the mindset that God will fail us, and we already have the excuses as to why.

      but of course you do make a good point. I just started work on a series post on the issue s of prayer and unanswered prayers and this is one of the points that I will be covering.

  4. T. J. says:

    And hifzan, thanks for your enlightening comments. I know the Bible does not actually say “God helps those who help themselves”, but it sounds like the Koran has a verse very similar to Ben Franklin’s saying.

    • I don’t know who is Ben Franklin, but wiki said ” one of US’s founder”.

      • T. J. says:

        Yes, he was a man of many talents and played a big role in founding the US. In one of his books he wrote “God helps those who help themselves” Many people believe this is a BIble verse, but it is not and actually goes against many Christians’ theology. They would say God helps those who cannot help themselves.

      • Arkenaten says:

        You know the Qu’ran inside out and you don’t know who Ben Franklin is?
        Oh dear, oh dear……

      • M. Rodriguez says:

        Well if they are not an american , I would not expect a person to be familiar with American history.

        And if he was an American he probably still would not be familiar with American history, considering nearly a fourth of the population can’t name who the vice president is. And what happened last week when I asked my coworkers who: s Frederick Douglas. Nodody knew the answer not even the black coworkers.

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  8. Charles Allen of South Africa says:

    Everything christianity stands for is one big fat self-indulgent lie. Before I became a christian, I lived a happy and comfortable life with everything I needed, but thanks to 2 so called Pastors of the AFM in South Africa, when I became a christian I lost everything, yes even my family. I had a good well payed job, and the one Pastor and his wife asked me to come and work for them, with promises that I will achieve great success. Being the words of a Pastor I believed him and I resigned from my well payed job to go and work for him. After the 3rd day working for him, he approached me and told me exactly how they work. The products he was selling were not legal products and he told me everything done is done under the table so that the authorities and the Tax man does not find out. Because of this dishonesty, I thought it best to walk out, and not to get invovled with this Pastor’s illegal activities. Because of this, now having no income, I lost my house, my furniture and my family. The head Pastor and this corrupt Pastor approached me and told me it is Biblical to forgive and that I must forgive this Pastor and keep silent about everything. The head Pastor then gave me a miserable R2.00 and said I must buy a bread with this money. I left the AFM and joined the Full Gospel Church, only finding that they were just as corrupt and false. Working at their missionary for almost no money at all, I got my 4 small children back and we lived in a small space at the missionary. After being there for 3 months, the Pastor approached me and told me he needed the space where my children and I were living because his brother lost his job and needed a place to stay. That same day at 5 pm the Pastor took me and my 4 small children and loaded us of on a corner in town and said we now on our own. I phoned my sister and asked her to take my 4 children in, which she picked them up and took them home. I was left to survive on the street. Still determined not to give up my life as a christian, I survived and made it on my own. But, each time I achieve something positive it is always the christians who try bring me down. With many shocking stories of what christians have done not only to me but also to many others, will fill a book of a 1000 pages. For this reason I have found the truth, and that is, that christianity is the most evil religion found on the face of this earth, and as for the Bible, I have my doubts about this too. So back to the world I go to search for what the truth is all about, no more christianity for me thank you.

  9. Sophia says:

    I came from an alcoholic/abusive home growing up..always told I am a retard by my mother..etc..etc…Then ended up in abusive relationships..cheated on, beaten etc… etc…at the point where I could not take it no longer and was suffering horrible depression I gave in to the Christian church ad got baptized..but not until I studied that bible a lot ! Everything in the OT that was evil of God to do etc… was excused by the church and they always had some reason for it . I guess I just blindly followed ! I believed the bible to be truthful and God truthful ! I served the church doing all the jobs that others who have been Christian much longer would never do ! I was so bogged down with jobs it was tiring ! Hearing sermons often regarding the robbing God if you do not pay your 10% tithe…being on a fixed income, single mom in low income housing, and with young sons to feed, cloth and care for I still gave me 10% tithe happily ! I was a happy giver ! We ate at food banks to get by and had horrible furniture and did without cloths, shoes etc… most of the time ! never complained then either ! Being I had sons, no family and alone and had to be on assistance ..I finally got a job by lying that I had experience. I lost that job and never did anyone want to hire me after this over the commandment regarding the Sabbath day ! The God/ Jesus freak I was I wanted to be so faithful to Him and keep his commandments ! I lost my job and went back on low income…my son was troubled and diagnosed with Bi polar and I had him taken from me by child protection because I was working to feed us..that he was not properly supervised all the time ( even though I had an adult babysitter ) My son was 14-15 at the time ! I got physically ill also at this time, and my son was being abused in care all the time and crying home, I had to fight in court for over a year to get him out of their system and get him home ! When I got him home I got hit with the government in every department saying I was over payed years ago and had to pay them back ! Over 8,000.00 dollars ! Your can bet when I got my son back home we ate even less and did with even less than before ! All this time I have been praying to this Christian God and nothing at all ! Sinning ? No way… I turned and repented of everything..I was so straight laced it was funny ! Nothing but Christian music, bible study and prayer ! Did God or the Church help me…NO ! All I got was sorry that happened and changed the subject ! Pastors of every church avoid phone calls and never call back ! Help came from non believers/Atheists !
    Year later I tired this God/Jesus/ bible thing again and prayer ! Lost my 5 year love relationship over the church…almost ready to commit suicide now…..!! This religion is so dangerous ! Those who believe and comfortable with their faith are lazy and have not risked much for this God they believe in so fervently in….they have not suffered enough yet ! Ask us who have tested this faith and this God with our lives and your God is a big fail ! Can the damage be repaired or replaced ..NO..never..can I really honestly move on knowing that…NO…never ! ! I suffer everyday and night now i so many ways due to this false religion and fake/made up God ! I was a sweetheart person before the church and kind to others since I was a child before this God thing…..still am only very damaged and hurt. I didn’t need the church or this false God to live right or to teach me to be good ! I already was on my own ! Only now my life is damaged and destroyed !

  10. Sophia says:

    By the way.. I would rather end up in hell away from this evil/false God then to spend eternity with him like some zombie all day….saying Holy, Holy, Holy ! The only holy he is is Holy CR@p !
    Prayer is only to make yourself feel like you are doing at least something to make yourself feel better..that is all it is ! The Positive thinking stuff does the very same thing ! When you think your prayer was answered…it is just random life happening or other humans helping..not answered….also random life or no one helping .Some have it good in life and others don’t and that’s that ! But getting involved with this religion in anyway will be the downfall for sure ! I too have learned by the Christian churches not to even bother with prayer at all ! They make so many excuses for it not being answered I just figured out it was because it can never be answered by something that does not exist or is evil ! I used to believe in God so much and always referred to him as the GREAT I AM ! But not now….if he is real he is evil, weak, has no integrity to keep his words and not worthy to be praised or even called a God ! He is a wimpy god ! Letting children suffer and die to decrease the surface population and is one reason I heard from Christians and sounds like the movie scrooge ! If that was true ..just get rid of the evil Christians/churches and feed the hungry children and make room for them so they can live !!!..That would be much better ! I Say they are evil ..because they are OK with their God’s evils and make excuses for it ! Makes them an accomplice to the evil !

    • lilbit says:

      I imagine heaven would be very much like the world that Winston had to live in after leaving the ministry of love. He lived his shitty life. He was judged and found not to have love in his heart for (Big Brother) so he was tourtured for not accepting him as his savior and loving him with all his heart; but after enough torture he learned to love and accept him as his savior. When he finally accepted him as his savior he was released back into the world. He learned to love Him even knowing that he will be squashed like a bug at any minute by Him.

  11. lilbit says:

    So basically from what I hear from christians this is my understanding: God is the creator. He created all. Good and bad. God is good and bad but because he is the creator he is all good and all bad which apparently is what makes him great?. God is love. But people are bad. But if god who is both good and bad made people who are good and bad but tells them that they can only know him by being good but if people were good enough to know him, they would know evil because god is evil, but wouldn’t that make man god-like by already knowing evil?
    which also goes into the whole “if god didn’t exsist we wouldn’t have morals” –
    So basically god is great by being both good and bad. but god told humans which things they couldn’t do that he considered bad (even though he isn’t bad for possessing these same qualities).

    So basically, by definition, god is a hypocrite, causing the death of millions while telling people they will go to hell for eternity if they kill UNLESS god tells them that he wants them to kill in his name… then its ok. God is, according to his followers, emotional reactive and lacks logic. and this, they believe, is what makes him great… or rather they think he is great so that when contradictions come up they can convince themselves that it is above their thinking capabilities to truly understand gods way… When christians see people killing they think those people evil. When they see god doing the same exact thing, instead of seeing it as, by definition, hypocrisy, they use it as proof of god’s greatness.

    How confusing.. That’s like convincing yourself that Big Brother loves you.. if he didn’t love you he wouldn’t torture you with your worst fears as punishment for not blindly loving him. If were any other situation it would be seen for what it is, but not when it comes to god.

    Relgion truly did create doublethink
    Orwell just gave it a name

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