For the Christians Who Often Think Like Atheists… August 20, 2011

For the Christians Who Often Think Like Atheists…

I wonder how many progressive Christians out there feel as guilty as this person does:

Noooooooo! Don’t ask for forgiveness! You’re doing it right!

(Ok, not exactly *right*, but close enough to right that I’ll let most of the other stuff slide for now…)

I guess it’s a good thing god’s never going to answer him.

(via nakedpastor)

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  • Lynn123

    God’s never going to answer him?  From my experience, people hear from God all the time, and they believe he certainly does answer their prayers.

    “You’re doing it right!”  Not according to the Bible, he’s not.

  • Robert Crompton

    During all my time as minister way over at the liberal end of the spectrum, I never felt the least little bit guilty about being liberal and progressive. But I did have nagging doubts about setting myself the very modest goal of encouraging people to ask questions and answer them honestly.  Should progessives be far more outspoken in denouncing the absurdities, the bigotry and the wrong that is promoted by much of the church?
    I guess we have been far too concerned to “honour each other’s diverse tradtions” in thename of ecumenical relations.   

  • Anonymous

    Hearing voices in your head doesn’t mean they’re coming from god

  • Anonymous

    “Should progessives be far more outspoken in denouncing the absurdities,
    the bigotry and the wrong that is promoted by much of the church?”

  • I think the naked pastor came from a more conservative evangelical background.  It seems to me that the conservative evangelical belief system is difficult to maintain in the modern age without a large support system and much peer pressure.  One either becomes more entrenched into the beliefs or breaks free.  It seems to me that naked pastor’s drawings are all about his breaking free of the conservative evangelical beliefs and making the transition to a more moderate set of beliefs.  People who have long been progressive Christians may well be quite comfortable with those more moderate beliefs and wouldn’t be plagued with any guilt that they are not living up to some conservative evangelical expectation.  But then again, I’m a life long atheist, so I’m only talking about my 3rd party observations.

  • anon

    I follow the naked pastor on fb. He always has great things to say. Unfortunately, I think he takes a lot of crap for it.

  • Adrasteia

    Huh. God’s never demanded I apologize for believing any of that.
    Of course, God hasn’t said much of anything at all to me…

  • Adrasteia

    Huh. God’s never demanded I apologize for believing any of that.
    Of course, God hasn’t said much of anything at all to me…

  • Allison Collins

    Having made exactly that transition myself (followed by an eventual change to atheism altogether), I’d say you got it about right.  

    I spent 10-ish years avoiding church in the guilt (and/or rebellion, depending on the day) of not living up to their impossible ideals.  After that, I found a lovely UCC church that fit my personal moral ideals better.  One Easter Sunday, after a particularly moving brass performance, it occurred to me that I didn’t believe a whit of it, and that rather than deriving morality from religion, I’d been forcing my values onto church.  Still took another year or so, but I eventually came out (to myself, at least) as an atheist.

  • dauntless

    Unfortunately, a lot of his “great things” are tempered by mystical nonsense. If you just read his cartoons, you’d think he was an atheist or at least a pragmatist of sorts. When you read his blog, however, you find that he asserts a lot of “holy spirit” stuff like the “Z theory”.

    I’m always a little disappointed when I see Hemant link to him and suspect that it’s a one-way relationship, since nakedpastor would never link to Hemant’s blog. He should be giving Hemant money for getting so many clicks from him.

  • dauntless: You’re a jerk! How’s that for a “holy spirit” thing to say? Since when do artists pay to have their work used? I suppose it’s done. But it’s because of people like you.

    May I suggest that you haven’t read the z-theory carefully enough? Even though I might use the word “spirit” in it, I have been raked over the proverbial coals because it isn’t used in a traditional Christian way. The z-theory was the primary cause of me having to leave the ministry. So even though you might be disappointed in the fact that I still find myself, precariously, within the Christian religion, you are quick to distinguish yourself from me.

    You also haven’t read through my blog because I’ve linked to Hemant and other atheist bloggers many times. And atheism is a constant theme in my cartoons, which is why Hemant uses them WITH MY PERMISSION. We made a deal.

    Think before you write next time. Geez!

  • Anonymous

    God, please forgive me for loving the wrong kind of people
    I’m sorry, but didn’t Jesus instruct his followers to “love thy neighbor” and state that this was of utmost importance?  Such Biblical ignorance as this is quite staggering, even by your standard  Hemant.
    God, please forgive me for thinking that you love everyone equally
    Again, this is breathtakingly misinformed.  God apparently loved Jabob but hated Esau and He is angry with the wicked every day.  Epic atheist fundamentalist FAIL.
    God, forgive me for questioning the existence of a  place of eternal torture called Hell
    Empty appeal to emotionalism.  If we separate torture/the iron maiden/the rack/ being drawn and quartered from eteranal separation from God, it seems to lose it’s graphic imagery.  Some Christians are guilty of falling for this nonsense though.
    God, forgive me for thinking that another person’s sexual orientation is none of my business
    Are Christians commanded to snoop into the personal lives of others?
    God, forgive me for not judging people of other faiths as wrong
    God, forgive me for not critically examining my belief system to see if it is something that a reasonable person would believe.  There, fixed it for you.

  • Pseudonym

    Yeah, I tend to agree. Progressive Christians tend not to go for the whole guilt thing.

  • David, I’m curious about z-theory.  Do you have a link to where it is described?

  • dauntless

    Looks like I hit a nerve.

    What I was trying to explain is that your cartoons make your worldview look more rational than it is. No matter how different your beliefs are from other christians, the fact remains that you hold major beliefs for which there is no evidence. I describe your z-theory as mystical nonsense because it is not based on any facts or evidence, is not practical, and requires faith in a non-existent deity.

    Keeping that in mind, and remembering the generally hostile comment threads from fundamentalists, you are correct when you assert that I have not read your blog (extensively, at least). For that, I apologize and stand corrected. However, I can’t stand the discussion going on at your site, with the fundamentalists jumping down yours and everyone else’s throats about how wrong everyone is on the bible except for them. I also can’t bear your mystical nonsense; just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s somehow better than the fundamentalists.

    So I won’t be paying you via the ad revenue you’d get from my time at your site. And that was the basis for my /joke/ about you paying Hemant.

  • ad revenue? you really don’t read my blog. i have no ads.

    you’ve jumped to conclusions about my ideas about “diety”. i am not a diest and doubt i am a theist.

    i agree the fundamentalist spill on my blog can be frustrating. as well as conservative and atheist. but i believe we have to learn how to live in the world together. that’s my concern.

    thanks for responding.

  • Erp

    David, I just wanted to say I appreciate your cartoons even if I don’t always agree, and, it is good to have a diversity of opinion.  One wonders whether your Sophia will meet other seekers who might not have the same ideas as her yet do not seek to chain her.  BTW have you considered the Unitarians?  Admittedly they are a bit scarce on the ground in New Brunswick.
    The ads he is referring to might be your own advertising and he may not realize that you depend upon selling your artwork for a living since you are no longer a paid pastor.

  • JimG

    Gee, JDCurtis, since you’re such a Biblical scholar, can you direct me to the verse in which Jesus says “Thou shalt display thy pomposity in My name?”

    Neither Hemant nor nakedpastor are showing ignorance of the Bible. They’re merely pointing up three painfully obvious facts about Christianity:

    1. In assembling their individual and denominational worldviews, Christians – all Christians – cherry-pick the Biblical bits they like and ignore the rest.

    That’s really inevitable, because

    2. The Bible is in n0 way a coherent guide to behavior. It’s a mishmash assembled over centuries, and for every loving statement from Jesus (however dubiously attributed) you can find another verse to justify hating just about anybody you want.

    Of course, it’s not all about the Bible; for example, both Heaven and Hell are rather vague in the actual text.

    3. The common picture of both, and many other current “Christian” beliefs, are distortions and unsupported elaborations upon the Bible itself, comprised of borrowings from other traditions, fantasy, and more than a little insanity.

    I’ll leave you with my own cherry-picked quotation: Matthew 7:1-5. I’m sure you’re familiar with it.

  • Anonymous

    The only people God speak with are:  Sarah palin, Michelle Bachman, Bush., Obama,  Ricky Perry, Mitt. Huckabee, Sharpton, Right, Robinson,  etc etc.  is he telling Clinton: Go kill libyans for their own good.  Don’t tell anyone we killed the family way before any aeroplane fell out of the skies.

  • Anonymous

    If the bible was written today it would be laughed at, stumped on and never published by any publisher concerned about reputation. 
    It is registration of primitive thoughts, fantasies that can only come from the mind of sickos.  And the new book that gets a piece of humanity to idealize a sadistic assassination that was very common for the Romans to practice  is like the cherry on top of the sundae of scizophrenia

  • Anonymous

    They stole everything and people are here worried if this guy makes a living.  The pope and the reverends and the politicians walk around with all the loot in the world, and they are concerned about a few dollars that can come from this.

    We deserve it. The only reasonable explanation

  • Drew M.

    God, forgive me for not critically examining my belief system to see if it is something that a reasonable person would believe.  There, fixed it for you.

    Comedy gold.

  • Anonymous

    And God said:  Now go on to your cruzade 2.o  Take the Middle East and parts of Africa.  Destroy the nations, decimate them.  Kill the guilty and the innocent alike.  Lie to the whole world, distort the entire history, and tell all it is humanitarian and for democracy.  Make them believe that everybody is the devil

  • I have known a few Christians who have honored Matthew 7:1-5 about not judging others.  This handful of Christians I have known have said that any ultimate judgment is up to God and God can bestow mercy as he sees fit – including granting mercy to atheists and other “infidels”.  I personally don’t believe in an afterlife nor any cosmic deity sitting on a thrown passing judgment on people after they die, but I do respect those Christians that don’t themselves try to “play God” and do their own judging.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christians I have known are all quite willing to say who  is saved and who isn’t.  I typically hear that one must “do X and accept Y” in order to be saved and go to heaven where X=”repent” and Y=”accept Jesus as your lord and savior”. 

  • Anonymous

    Heaven and hell exist in the mind of the feeble who fear independent thinking

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