Excerpts from "Why You Don't Go to Church Anymore"

INTRODUCTION

(with Table of Contents)

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.”  Marcus Aurelius

 

"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.” Delos McKown

“If the Prodigal Son is a parable, and Adam and Eve are a metaphor, then why is God himself not one huge figure of speech?” Dan Barker

            You went to church or synagogue as a kid, didn’t you? Many of your family members continue to attend. But you stopped going some time ago. Perhaps you didn’t make an explicit decision to stop going, but you just drifted away. Have you ever asked yourself why this happened? This book will help you answer that question.

            Why did you become a Christian in the first place? After all, children are born atheists. They have no religious ideas of any kind. Yet Christian parents tend to have Christian children, Muslim parents tend to have Muslim children, Hindu parents tend to have Hindu children, and on it goes.  This is not by chance, of course; children learn religion from their environment. They do not conduct an investigation concerning their options before they commit themselves to the same god(s) their parents worship. Later in life, the children will choose their first car with more care.  Of course, Mom and Dad believe whatever your grandparents believed. We may have to go many generations back before we find an ancestor who did the thinking and analysis that should precede a declaration of faith. How far back do your family’s religious traditions go? Instead of following blindly down the family path, let us wait to fall on our knees until there is a god who is an improvement over the ones we’ve got.

           Some of the reasons you’ve abdicated going to religious services may be plain to you, but you haven’t been able to articulate them well.  This book will change that. Other reasons are in your subconscious. This book will bring them to the forefront – you’ll say “Aha! I’ve agreed with that all along, but I didn’t know it.”  And some of the reasons may be completely new to you. That’s OK. It’s always fun to learn from new evidence that you were right all along.

 

           Now, there are a lot of scholarly books out there on disbelief. I could have created this book by quoting the experts, but I did not. My primary source of evidence is the Bible itself. Carefully read, the Bible gives literally hundreds of verses that discredit western religion.

           Free yourself. Why continue to believe that the earth is in the hands of a local tribal god who is given to fits of anger, and who expresses himself through killing and war?

            I hope this book will help you break free from the bonds of cultural and familial tradition that hold you, and I also hope the book will allow you to explain to family and friends why you don’t believe. Some of them will look down on you for abandoning faith. There will be those who will accuse you of being intellectually, morally, and physically lazy (on your couch on Sundays). You were exposed to religion, and now, they say, you’ve tossed aside the truth. This hurts your parents’ feelings. They raised you in faith, and now you are rejecting their instruction. They probably believe that you think you’re smarter than they are – that you look down on them for holding Christian beliefs. They take it personally.

           With the information that you now have in your hands, you’ll have a prepared response to their claims of miracles and answered prayers. You could share your copy of my book with them, or buy them one of their own (my personal preference, naturally!) if they’re open-minded and willing to consider points of view that contradict their own. Or, simply, when some religious topic comes up, you’ll have an educated contribution. Here you’ll be given the specific Bible verses to demonstrate your thinking and contradict what your challenger claims to be the truth.

Here’s what’s in the full book:

  1. Getting to know who God is
  2. Christianity 101

  3. Christianity's sins

  4. Jesus

  5. Saviors galore

  6. The Bible

  7. Evil and cruelty

  8. Sex

  9. Science

  10. Prayer and miracles

  11. Ridiculous arguments for God

  12. Simply weird

  13. Devil's advocate

  14. I agree but ... does this mean I'm an atheist

       Final thought: I expect you’ll sleep easier at night once you have worked out one of man’s greatest questions: are we god-created or did we arise from the cosmic dust? Put your money on the dust. It may not be attractive but it won’t send anybody to hell

Locked gate to white Greek Orthodox Chur