Cult mind control is a topic that has recently been popping up more and more in my YouTube feed. This is thanks to my recent subscription to Telltale Atheist, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness atheist YouTuber who examines cults and oppressive religions. He often uses a method called the BITE Model to determine whether different groups are cults, but he is most familiar with his own former cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Continue reading “Is the LCMS a Cult?”
When I was in church as a teenager, the pastor started a series of sermons and bible study lessons called Back to Basics, where he would teach the basic topics of the Lutheran faith. It was a good way to incorporate new members while getting everyone on the same page when it came to more complicated details of their beliefs. Borrowing from this idea, I’d like to do the same thing with this blog; I’ve covered a lot of atheism-related topics so far, like objective morality, Pascal’s Wager, and the paradoxes of prayer and free will. There are a lot of other topics, though, that I’ve only briefly touched on in other posts, but I’d like to spend some time going into more detail on them. The first topic in my Atheist Back to Basics series is going to be that of agnosticism and atheism. Continue reading “Atheism vs. Agnosticism”
As you may know, a while ago my pastor-in-law informed me and my fiance that he had found this blog. The following conversation was interesting, of course, but it probably went about as well as it could have. I took this opportunity of openly talking about our beliefs to ask him a few questions, as well. I’d always been under the impression that the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod was a strict believer in young-earth creationism stemming from a literal interpretation of Genesis; this had actually been one of my biggest reasons for deciding I couldn’t accept its teachings or religion at all.Continue reading “Lutheran Creation Doctrine: Introduction”
I fully believe that followers of any religion or worldview should be treated equally and with respect. This is true no matter how ridiculous your beliefs are. Whether you are a young-earth-creationist, a Scientologist, a Muslim, a Mormon, or someone who believes in astrology or crystal healing, you should be allowed to hold and practice your beliefs. That being said, this is only possible if those who hold each belief does not impose them on others. No matter how positive you are that your beliefs are 100% accurate, you don’t have the right to try and force others to agree. Continue reading “Relative vs. Absolute Truth”
Usually, when I write about my Christian college experience, it’s about coming out to friends or classmates, or about insane Christian teachers who would probably have gotten fired if the college had actually known what they’re teaching to students. Only once before have I dedicated a post to the atmosphere itself of my private Christian college.
After all, other than attending chapel, we aren’t required to fast, read the bible, or go to bible study or church. “How bad can it be?” says the Christian student attending the Christian college.
The Closet Atheist, A Fish out of Water
This past week, I spent a night at my sister’s house. Her husband is a Lutheran pastor, and I don’t know if it’s just a pastor thing, but he always reads books on Christianity for fun. Books on worship, doctrine, Martin Luther, bible study guides, bible commentaries, Lutheran service practices, the Reformation, you name it, he reads it. Every time I see him, he has a new book. His Lutheran books line the walls of his office in the church.
Lutheran pastors reading Lutheran books isn’t all that strange. Of course, in addition to reading his books, he also spends his weeks preparing sermons for Sunday morning. Similarly, my mother loves to spend her free time reading Christian fiction and women’s devotionals. As an organist, she spends her Saturdays practicing her hymns for Sunday morning. She wears a cross necklace around her neck and sips coffee from mugs with bible verses scrawled on them.Continue reading “Changing the World Behind Closed Doors”
Over the past week, I’ve gotten a few comments from readers asking me to explain/defend my atheist position. While I’m no expert in science or theology, I’m still an atheist, and my disbelief is the result of a lot of thought on the various arguments for an against the existence of a god. As I learn more, these reasons can change and hopefully solidify further, but for now, here are my most basic reasons why I don’t believe in God. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why I Don’t Believe in God”
A closeted one. Duh. (Spoiler alert: see Type #5.)
If you want to know more than just that, stay tuned. There are actually seventeen different types of atheists outlined in this post from Common Sense Atheism. I’m going to look at these various options for atheism and see which categories I fall into. Atheist readers, feel free to do it for yourself as well! It could also work for theists if some of the wording is shifted around. Continue reading “What Type of Atheist Am I?”
I had a post in mind that I was going to write for today, but something happened this morning that I instantly knew I would have to write about instead. I was sitting bored in church when the sermon started and the vicar began making remarks about “unbelievers” and the “secular world.” I immediately scrambled for a pencil and a paper, and I started taking notes.
If you’ve read my posts Bible Study Notes and God Works in Mysterious Ways, you might remember my discussions of the weird teachings of my church’s new pastor. Right now he’s away for a couple weeks as his wife has had or is about to have their eighth child Continue reading “Playing with Fire”
This week, I did something really insane. I’m in a class about culture, and we had a project which was to give a presentation about our cultural identity. In an attempt to be honest, I stood up in front of the really big classroom and announced that I’m a closet atheist. It was terrifying, but fine because I took into consideration that no one in the class is a very close friend of mine in a relationship that could be potentially jeopardized by this information. I’ve talked before, though, about whether or not I’m ready to come out more at school (actually, if you haven’t read that post yet, I advise that you read it before continuing here, as it will put my situation into much greater perspective). Continue reading “How to Tell Your Friends That You’re an Atheist”