**All photos and posts are my original work. Please do not reprint photos or articles without permission.**

Friday, February 19, 2016

Not A Nice Story

From babyhood they said "You are a dirty sinner, there is nothing good in you, you are destined for hell because of your nature."

So we, small humans, awoke to a world where toddlers need the sin and foolishness beaten out of them with switches and wooden spoons and belts.

They said "Only with Jesus are you worth anything."

So as small children we begged Jesus to come into our hearts and make the dirty clean.

They said "Because of your sin, God cannot look at you, Jesus had to die. You killed him."

So we mourned that we were so sinful that God couldn't look at us without someone else standing in our place.

They said "You are human, a sinner, you cannot help it, only Jesus can make you worth anything."

So we felt that we were worthless, that no matter how hard we try, we will never be good enough, while some kept trying anyway and some completely gave up.

They said "If you fall in love with a boy, you are committing emotional fornication."

So we guarded our hearts lest sin defile us with merely a thought, and when our hearts betrayed us and we fell in love with a boy, we hated ourselves and knew we were worth less than before, we had lost a piece of our hearts we would never get back.

They said "Your body needs to be hidden because it is dangerous and if a man lusts after you because of your clothing or movements, it is your fault".

So we covered our bodies from head to toe, swathed our femininity in fabric hoping no one would notice the curves, and spent years of our life worrying that we may cause a man to stumble and thus defile our own hearts and his.

They said "Boys only want one thing, so be sure you don't do anything that makes them think they can take it from you. They can't help it, this is how God made them, we must help them."

So we lived in fear of men who God made pigs then placed the responsibility for their pig-ness on us.

They said "If you kiss a boy, you're like a lolly-pop that's been licked, a paper heart that's been torn, you are worth less than before, and you've given away a part of you that you can never get back."

So we spent our days afraid, terrified we would lose our worth and have nothing to give a future spouse.

They said "Virginity and purity give you value, don't give that away."

So whether virginity was taken forcefully or given lovingly, we were left worthless, used goods, and told no godly man would want us now.

They said "You cannot hear God for yourself, you must obey your authorities. They know what is best for you."

So we submitted to things that no human being deserves to suffer, because otherwise God would be angry and not bless our lives. Submitting to unjust treatment was what Jesus did, after all.

They said "You are rebellious. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft."

So we begged God's forgiveness for the ways we wanted something different than they wanted.

They said "You are a woman, emotional, incapable of leading, easily deceived. You must stay in your place, submit, and only then God will bless you."

So we felt loathing for our womanhood, wondering why God would make us inferior, and feeling guilty that we dare question the Almighty's plan, that we are not happy with his decree.

And now.....now we are told "Why are you depressed? Why do you have anxiety? Why the addictions, the anger, the rage, the self-loathing? Why can't you just be happy and normal?"

As if no one can connect the dots. As if their actions did not have consequences. As if a child can be raised to hate themselves in the Name of God and suddenly grow into an adult that is healthy. As if a lifetime of emotional trauma and spiritual abuse suddenly vanishes because a person changes their mind about who they are and their place in the world.

That's not how it works. That is only the beginning of a journey that could take the rest of our lives. A journey we are told not to speak of because it makes people uncomfortable, because they'd rather call us names like "bitter" and "unforgiving" than to look deep into the darkness of our hearts and hear tales of pain and see the rawness of souls taught to hate themselves. Because those stories aren't nice ones. But we will not change them in order to make others comfortable.

Do not tell us to "forgive". Forgiveness has nothing to do with it. Do not tell us to "get over it". One does not "get over" years of trauma and brainwashing and brain-wiring from babyhood just by making a single choice. We do not choose the nightmares. We do not choose the triggers and the gut-level reactions and the panic attacks. We had 18+ years of being taught that we are worthless, that God cannot stand to look at us, that we killed Jesus, that our worth is in our virginity or how well we obey our parents, that who we are is dirty and sinful. Give us at least 18+ years to re-wire our brains and heal those festering wounds and to learn to love ourselves where before there was only self-loathing. Some wounds cannot be healed. They can only be lived with. And scars do not disappear on a whim. But they can tell our stories and make us strong.

And tell our stories we will, and get stronger for the telling. We heal a little more every time we speak out loud what was hidden and decide that we are worth loving and our stories worth the telling.


  1. Darcy, it is obvious that you belonged to a group that twisted scriptures and had a distorted view of what God is really like. This is not my God. God loves us and sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. God is not a crazy heartless tyrant that the cult you grew up in made God out to be.

    1. If I had a dime for everytime someone said "that is not the real god, THIS is the real god" I'd be rich. All humans create their gods in their own image. I reject them all.

    2. That's because God doesn't exist, so people make it out to be whatever they like and it's usually a reflection of the things they'd never get away with doing if it was their idea, so they make it 'god's' instead.

    3. I think that sometimes it is a reflection of the worst of people. But sometimes people's versions of god are a reflection of what they wish was true. The idea that there is a reason for everything, that we could live forever, that there is somebody out there who loves us and to whom we are special, and that our lives are divinely ordered by a wise, all-loving god. The desire to see god as these things helps people to ignore the really awful stuff about the god of the Bible. It's not a desire for power, but for purpose.

  2. Darcy, it is obvious that you belonged to a group that twisted scriptures and had a distorted view of what God is really like. This is not my God. God loves us and sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. God is not a crazy heartless tyrant that the cult you grew up in made God out to be.

    1. Most of what darcy describes here is mainstream teaching about Christianity: -i.e. we killed god. *our* sins nailed him to the cross. i.e. those who do not believe go to hell. i.e. it is a sin to have premarital sex.

      Whether you agree or disagree with those teachings, whether you think those teachings are abusive or not, it's hard to deny that those teachings are 100% mainstream teachings in protestant churches and that they are not just in sub-alternative religious circles.

    2. Gid is the infinitely malleable front man for infinitely malleable faith systems that have no connection to reality. Your plea that "This is not my God! This is not the True God!" ring dead and hollow. One person's god is as good as any other's.

    3. Gid is the infinitely malleable front man for infinitely malleable faith systems that have no connection to reality. Your plea that "This is not my God! This is not the True God!" ring dead and hollow. One person's god is as good as any other's.

  3. Most of what darcy describes here is mainstream teaching about Christianity: -i.e. we killed god. *our* sins nailed him to the cross. i.e. those who do not believe go to hell. i.e. it is a sin to have premarital sex.

    Whether you agree or disagree with those teachings, whether you think those teachings are abusive or not, it's hard to deny that those teachings are 100% mainstream teachings in protestant churches and that they are not just in sub-alternative religious circles.

    1. This is very true. All I wrote here is various aspects of the principle of atonement, which is a mainstream Christian teaching. I just took out all the flowery, spiritual words, the white-washed pleasantries, and laid it out straight and ugly as it is.

    2. Darcy while those teaching are mainstream Christianity when they are taught with a heavy handed emphasis on sin combined with what I call a “we are an unworthy worm” theology without mercy or grace they become damning words that destroy the soul. It also forgets/neglects that God loves and cares deeply for those He created. He weeps with us in our pain and comforts us when we hurt. That kind of teaching also ignores the compassion shown by Jesus as He walked among us. He did not judge or condemn us but weep with us. We were/are valuable to Him. God did not create junk. We are not worthless pieces of trash to be discarded. We are valued. We are precious in His sight. Without mercy or grace there is only despair leading to hopelessness knowing that we can never measure up to an unattainable standard. So we either live fearful and frustrated lives or give up and walk away from it all. The result is a fear based faith – fear of the world, of public schools, those who don’t believe like us, gays, liberals etc., that it is not living in the freedom Christ came to bring, it is being in bondage to fear. As a Christian I don’t want to live in a bubble of only likeminded people afraid of those who think differently. How boring that would be.
      The more I read of what you and others write the more I realize how so much of today’s teachings are fear based instead of faith based. While we have come to different conclusions what you and others write is important it needs to be said and heard. And you are right we don’t just get over it, forgiveness is a process that can take a lifetime to happen, wounds may heal but the scars remain and gut level reactions and flashbacks occur decades after the original trauma. For me peace and freedom has come as I have realized I don’t need to be perfect, that I don’t need to strive to win God’s approval because I already have it, that I don’t need to work to be accepted because I already am and that God loves me unconditionally that there is nothing I can do to remove myself from His love or approval. I write this last paragraph from personal experience as a grandmother who continues on the journey begun a few years back and knows that while it is hard it is also worthwhile. I applaud you for your courage and determination and wish you well.

    3. I fully acknowledge the fact that many people have found healing in various versions of god.

      But I know my Bible. And I cannot get behind the progressive version of god that ignores everything awful and ugly about the god of the Bible. I cannot see the concept of atonement as anything but abusive and terrible. People have been trying to tell me all week that it's not about *what* is taught, but rather *how* it is taught. But I don't care what language you use or how lovingly you present it, some concepts are awful and cannot be made prettier by being presented better. The concepts themselves are bad. They are illogical. They are disgusting. No amount of presentation is going to change that. If you and others have found healing in different, non-abusive versions of god, then that is your story and I will not seek to invalidate it. But there will be no convincing me that the god you present has anything to do with the god of the Bible. I have been a Bible scholar my entire life. Textual criticism and Bible study are why I am an atheist and an honest one.

    4. In order to accept the version of god that says he is all-loving and kind, I would have to throw out most of the Bible and be intellectually dishonest about most of it and it's teachings. I simply cannot do that.

    5. "People have been trying to tell me all week that it's not about *what* is taught, but rather *how* it is taught. But I don't care what language you use or how lovingly you present it, some concepts are awful and cannot be made prettier by being presented better."

      Blog commentators say: "god really, really loves you and wants the best for you," but they still mean: "he will still send you to hell if you don't get this love thing figured out on earth."

      This very much reminds me of my transition from homeschool circles to evangelical Christianity of the mainstream type, and the church said, "oh, here we don't believe women are inferior to men like the fundamentalists. We believe they can go to college and work," and at first I thought "ya, relief," but then they proceed to speak of the ways that women complement men, and I realized no, they just dress up and flower up sexism in a way that we didn't when I was a kid.

    6. Lana - Yes some say one thing and really mean something different but far more of us say what we mean and mean what we say.

    7. Darcy - I respect your honesty and while we have come to different conclusions on the subject of God there have been many times over the years of reading your blog I have thought "yep, she hit the nail on the head with that post". I am just sorry for the hurt that has been done to you and so many others like you in the name of Christ and "good Christian parenting" which is neither good nor Christian.

    8. Meg - I'm actually a theist, so am not saying there are not Christians out there who are progressive. but I am not sure why christians feel a need to go around to blogs telling people that they just haven't found god's love yet. In other words, belief hits some, and it doesn't others; that's just the way it is. I can't make someone a believer anymore than people can make me an atheist. atheists often leave comments on my blog asking me why I don't give up faith: I shrug and say, "I have no idea."See, belief just kind of it me, and I can't explain it. Same for agnostics/atheists/people of other religions, etc.

    9. Lana- I agree with you. I really dislike telling someone what they have to do or have not done. Or being told "what you need to do is or if only you would do this then you would experience Gods best or you are not trusting God if you do or don't do whatever the person thinks you should or shouldn't be doing". It drives me insane. Just because it is my experience doesn't make it yours or even right for you. We are all different. There is a difference between saying this is my experience and understanding that it is not yours and saying you have to experience the same. I am hoping that what I have said in earlier posts came across that way.

    10. I appreciate your kind comments, Meg. I hope I didn't come across as harsh, I was just trying to explain why I personally can't accept those concepts.

    11. Sure, Meg, I appreciate that. I wasn't speaking about you specifically.

    12. I like your comments Lana. I, too, am a believer(I'll reflect on it in another comment.); it has gotten me interested in the blog you mentioned you have: may I please have a link to check it out.

  4. And this people...is why you can't abuse your kids. It leads to nothing good. You can't beat or drill Christianity into people. Christianity needs to be lived out and loved in the truest form. Love in it's truest form. Jesus Christ who truly loves us and gave himself for us.

    1. It is also why you can't isolate and shelter your children from the world. There is a big world out there that they need to be aware of and experience in order to grow into well rounded adults.

    2. I completely agree Meg. My children were raised in a Christian home and are adults now. I think it's really easy to want to protect our kids from the evil things in this world. We should when they are little. As they get older we have to teach them how to deal with things and be aware of things just like you said, so they can grow into well rounded adults!

  5. Hey Darcy! First of all, thank you for posting this. This is one of my favorite ex-Christian articles I've ever read... it puts so clearly how even seemingly "tame" Christianity can fuck us up. And it's unapologetic about forgiving on our own time. I truly love it.

    This post actually comes at the perfect time... have you heard of allostatic load? It's basically what happens when we go through a lot of stress, but aren't allowed to destress, so that stress builds up and wears away at our bodies. I think Christianity does just that to our minds, and your post gives some PERFECT examples.

    I actually quoted some of them in an article I wrote about the Christian allostatic load - I hope you don't mind! If you want to see the context, it's here: https://maxgoesgodless.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/the-allostatic-load-of-christianity-how-toxic-theology-can-stress-the-shit-out-of-us/ If you want it removed, I'll do so.

    Again, thanks - I can't wait to read some of your other posts :+)

    1. Yes, I have! I'm a student and I just completely a course last semester on stress, trauma, and the effects on the brain and body. It was very eye-opening for me. I have figured out the reason for so many things since that class and talking to my therapist. It's fascinating and it definitely helped me be kinder to myself knowing how what I went though affected the very cells in my body.

    2. That's awesome! I'm actually learning about that very topic in psych right now. It's definitely eye-opening - I'm glad you were able to figure things out using therapy and that course :+) it's such a great feeling, and so validating, isn't it?

    3. (Oops - forgot to reply to your comment rather than the post, that's fixed!)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. This post has had me bawling my eyes out. I could have written it myself. Thank you for helping me realise I'm not alone.

  8. "...tell our stories we will, and get stronger for the telling."

    Darcy, thank you for sharing your story - it strengthens others, too!

  9. The latest research confirms old Arthur Janov's experience in his therapy work. It demonstrates that the body develops while responding to the environment: If mom hates that she is pregnant and suffers depression, that becomes a physical reality for the baby, a threat that might change a set-point in breathing or a sense of doom, somatic sense of doom. If the mom is abused by a spouse, that harm causes the baby to develop with a knowledge of the harm impending, the worry and so forth.
    I am not ascribing blame here at all and certainly not suggesting it is all up to a pregnant woman to create a perfect environment for birth.
    Christ came to die for our sins. This is love. What the fuck? How can a woman fully give herself to her pregnancy when she is brought up believing she is fallen and her role is defined. This bullshit stops right here in my life. Christ did not die for my sins. I wasn't even a dream of a dream when and if that Christ existed. So when I hear that Christ loves me and weeps with me and so forth, well, BUULLLLSHIT! I walk with me when I weep alone and I know that others care for me, family, some friends. You are not a sinner. You are just a human being. It is all an abusive lie that begins its abuse even before you are born when they pray for you and say these things about how we are born wicked and so forth. Why must we do these things to ourselves?
    Thank-you, Darcy. I too am very grateful for your words here. -the Baptist preacher's boy.

  10. Oh Darcy . . . you just told my story. -- Except that you wrote it better than I think I would have. Thank you so much.
    -- Elisabeth

  11. Give us at least 18+ years to re-wire our brains and heal those festering wounds and to learn to love ourselves where before there was only self-loathing.

    This. I always say that it takes as much dirt to fill the hole as was dug out of it. Good luck on reclaiming your self-image, and don't let anyone dictate the timetable to you. It takes as long as it takes, and it's worth doing, no matter how long it takes.

  12. *My Position (respecting everybody else's position)*

    Just to clarify the God of the Bible.
    God doesn't call us to hate ourselves. God doesn't want us to suffer. God doesn't want us to hurt. God wants us to live a good life. Everything the Bible tells us about how to live and who we are is so we could live at peace.

    Darcy you clearly know what the Bible says, and it sucks that you feel the way you do and experienced what you experienced. I don't believe in indoctrination, I don't believe in bible thumping. I believe in living life.

    Jesus told us 2 important things before He left us. 1) love God 2) love others as yourself

    Where are those believers who just love others, and love themselves. I am around atheists every day at my job, and every day I show them love. I really hope one day someone will show you some crazy amount of love.

    My job as a believer in God is to show love period. The same way He did to me. That's it. It hurts me to see so many people hating on God, hating on the Bible, hating on the church. It sucks, because its true. Majority are hypocrites. Majority are haters.

    We need to love others. That's what God teaches us, not to shove bible down people throats, not to indoctrinate. But to love.

    1. Your version of God is nice. Lots of people have nice versions of God. Definitely not the God of most of the Bible. Not the god that so many people say "this is the true god". Everyone has their version of god. I just decided to ditch them all. Though your's is appealing, it's based on emotions, not anything objective and I can't do subjective gods anymore.

      I have been shown crazy amounts of love. But people didn't need God to do it. Humans are quite capable of love all by themselves and seem to do it better when they aren't trying to follow some god's rules about what love should look like.

  13. Thanks for your response Darcy!

    I love being able to have this discussion with you because you know your Bible.
    Now, look at the Bible objectively. What do we know about the Old and the New testament?

    There was an Old Covenant based on the Law which required man to follow the laws that God gave us, as you may know laws are not bad, they are good they keep the bad in check and allow the good to prosper.

    Then there was the New Covenant which was established after Jesus resurrection from the cross. He decided to die on that cross to eliminate the need to live by the law but instead He showed us the ultimate love by allowing to live by His grace.

    Objectively if you look at bible you will see that the Old Testament was all laws, laws that protected us, laws that kept the evil the bad out. And in the New Testament you see that Jesus died on a cross so that we can live a life with Him for eternity, without having to follow the strict law in the Old Testament. [Paul writes all over the New Testament about this: Not about the law, but about God's Grace]

    Emotions? Kind of. We are an emotional species.
    Truth? Yes. If you really understand the whole narrative of the Bible it will always point to two things. God Loves you and He is always working for you to destroy evil, to destroy sin. If you honestly look at the Bible objectively its impossible to not see the love and care God has for us.

    I would love to continue discuss with you, I don't care to "win" or "debate" when I respond and talk with others about their beliefs I want to make sure that I am not following something that has a weak spot or is not true. But after many years of different experiences I have not been able to find any fault in what is the Bible or who God is.

    It's not emotion. It's proof from text.

    Hope to hear from you soon !

    1. Sorry to kind of jump in, but I'm honestly super confused about something you said and I'd like clarification. You say that "if you honestly look at the Bible objectively it is impossible to not see the love and care that god has for us." I'm not trying to be offensive but... HOW? Honestly, how can you be so sure that this is something that everyone who reads the bible objectively gets out of it? I tend to think that I have read the bible through many different lenses multiple times and I have to say, I've never come away with a consistent view of god's love or lack thereof. Usually I get some odd mixture of love and hate and mercy and cruelty and really all in all a very inconsistent picture. Now, you might disagree with me and that's fine. But I really don't understand where you come to the conclusion that your view of god's love is "impossible" not to see! Could you clarify for me? Thanks!

    2. "There was an Old Covenant based on the Law which required man to follow the laws that God gave us, as you may know laws are not bad, they are good they keep the bad in check and allow the good to prosper."

      How in the world you can be familiar with the entire Mosaic Law and think that the laws were all "good" is beyond me. I think you're still looking through your rose-colored glasses that says "God has to be good, therefor his laws have to be good". Your presupposition is clouding your vision.

      God ordered genocide, forced women to marry their rapists, ordered stoning of disobedient youths, laws on how to take, keep and punish slaves, laws that were about how to punish a woman that lied about her virginity, laws about how God would destroy them if they worshiped any other gods. The Mosaic Law is full of commands and punishments that can only be defined as "good" by a sociopath or someone who has no concept of human rights and ethics. If you're going to tell me that "take her to the temple, have her drink this stuff, and if she's lying, her thighs will shrivel up" is a "good, protective law", then I'm afraid this conversation will be over.

    3. "Then there was the New Covenant which was established after Jesus resurrection from the cross. He decided to die on that cross to eliminate the need to live by the law but instead He showed us the ultimate love by allowing to live by His grace."

      So God changed his mind? He decided it was no longer necessary to sacrifice animals and force all his people to follow harsh, damaging laws? So those laws were unnecessary, God could've saved his people a lot of heartache by deciding that they could "live by his grace" before he spent centuries punishing them for disobeying him. Christians often like to say that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then they come along and contradict that by trying to classify the Bible into the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, which are complete opposites. You cannot have it both ways. An objective reading of the Bible shows two very different gods (actually, I would argue more than two). This is something people like Marcion figured out as early as the first century.

      If you really understand the whole narrative of the Bible it will always point to two things. God Loves you and He is always working for you to destroy evil, to destroy sin. If you honestly look at the Bible objectively its impossible to not see the love and care God has for us."

      When I stepped away from my life-long beliefs to give the Bible an honest chance, that is not at all what I saw. Instead, what I was was a God who was tempremental, who ordained laws that were harsh and hurt people, who thought nothing of telling his chosen man to sacrifice his son, who made a man keep a stupid promise and sacrifice his virgin daughter, who caused his people to commit atrocities in his name, who thought very little of human life at all. He decided to devastate Job, not because Job was evil, but because HE WAS SO PERFECTLY FAITHFUL. So even the faithful don't stand a chance. He punished people, not always for hurting other people (and he set up laws that actually hurt other people), but for failing to worship him the way he wanted. He set humans up to fail, then when they did, he punished them. Then he decided to send his son to suffer and die for sins and failure to obey laws that he caused in the first place. And now, unless we believe that he did all these things and that Jesus died to save us from him or ourselves, he'll just punish us for eternity. And even if we're faithful to him, we'll probably suffer horribly anyway in this life because then we know we're really following Jesus well. Sucks to be human, according to the Bible. God's whims are very unpredictable but humans seem to get the bum deal of them all.

      That's what an objective view of the Bible gets you. Christians, you included, past-me included, tend to read the Bible with confirmation bias. We mentally disregard the bad and unpleasant and contradictory parts, and absorb the good parts, thus giving us a very non-objective view of God and the Bible. It's tough to step outside that perspective in order to read with non-biased eyes, but it can be done. Hundreds of thousands of ex-Christians prove it can be done.

    4. Wow, I am sorry if I upset you.

      You have MANY points here, but I want to start with saying again, thank you for your response and for allowing us to continue the conversation :)

      I will begin by responding to your first Reply:

      "I think you're still looking through your rose-colored glasses that says "God has to be good, therefor his laws have to be good". Your presupposition is clouding your vision."

      If any logical being was to determine whether God is good or bad according to the outcome of their life that would illogical. Good is good for one reason and one reason alone. We deserve hell, because we are sinful. God gave us a way out of hell by accepting His free gift of salvation. That is why God is good. God is not good because I have a beautiful wife, or a great job, or a healthy family. God is good because He saved me from eternal damnation.

      "The Mosaic Law is full of commands and punishments that can only be defined as "good" by a sociopath or someone who has no concept of human rights and ethics."

      You mention real laws from the Mosaic Law, but again you are not looking at it objectively, you are simply or repeating something you heard or reading without any type of investigation.

      These 613 commandments were all demanded by God to be followed. (obviously) But many of these laws, especially the more extreme ones were never carried through, we don't have record of these laws being carried out. Secondly let's clarify that these laws were given to God's chosen people, Israel. Let's look more in depth:

      1) "God ordered genocide"
      The times God ordered genocide it wasn't Holocaust you look different die. Nor was it because God felt like it. The common example of the Canaanites led by Joshua is a great example of this. The Bible is clear when it says God PATIENTLY waited 400 years for them to change their ways. Two, these people committed infant sacrifices, had ritual sex, committed incest, and bestiality. God stood by 400 years for these people to change their ways. It's similar to the reason we have war. God wanted to wipe out a people who were destroying their society in a sick and evil way, and patiently waited for their conversion.

      2)"Forced women to marry their rapists"
      There are two parts to this. Firstly, the man is an idiot. So in this, He needs to ask permission from the Father, Pay the father money, and then marry her in the sense that she is to be taken care of for the rest of his life. This was a protection for the woman. I know its hard to understand in today's context but woman's virginity was GOLD in the day, Remember women had no rights, and not being virgin meant or public humiliation or abandonment. This was an entire process, not simply, you got raped get married. The father, as it was in those times, still had the final word.

      Note: if a man was to do this with a married/engaged woman. The man was punished. Severely.

      No Evidence that a rape victim is ever recorded to marry her rapist.

      Part 1/3

    5. 3)"Ordered stoning of disobedient youths"
      This is one is pretty easy.

      You didn't clean your bed. STONE HIM!!!

      No. That's not what the law means at all.

      If you read the entire passage there is actually six things that we learn that fall into consideration:

      1. SON not daughter
      2. He was stubborn, rebellious, glutton, and a drunkard
      3. Parents were the only ones to condone the child BOTH must concur in the complaint to make it a legal one
      4. Brought before the elders and investigated
      5. The mere fact the law existed was strongly confirm the authority of parents and deter you from disobedience (harsh) (but so was school beatings from teachers)(times change, just like this law changed)

      No evidence that was ever a case in which a person was put to death under this law.

      4) "Laws on how to take, keep and punish slaves"

      One thing we need to put into context here. Slaves in this time and in this culture were not what you and I consider slavery. No one was forced into slavery no one was captured and forced to do anything. No one was a slave due to their skin color or nationality.

      The Bible clearly condemns race-based slavery and racism period. The Bible even has a law condemning anyone who "kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught"

      The slavery of the time and in that culture was a slavery usually led by debt or by economic means. A person would sell themselves and work the debtor or work an amount of time to cover the cost. Many slaves in the day would rather become property of a wealthy person and be taken care of then wandering the streets.

      Like you said there is plenty of laws that regulated how you were to acquire, discipline and take care of slaves.

      5) "Laws that were about how to punish a woman that lied about her virginity"

      Context: This was some 3,000 years ago. Virginity was GOLD. And the virginity of a woman was considered the family's reputation, specifically the father on how well he took care of her.

      When the woman would get married she had to prove she was virgin to her husband. By being found guilty of lying, disgracing her family, and disrespecting God and her husband. At the end of the day again, it was according to what the father decided, since the shame was on him.

      6)"Laws about how God would destroy them if they worshiped any other gods."

      After seeing the many miracles in person... face to face with God, Moses warns Israel surely God will destroy them. But also in other passages there is a direct sentencing to destroy those who worship other gods. So harsh.... But again we have to look at this objectively why? there must be a reason?

      Many times the Israelites were tempted to follow pagan gods and by following theses gods all the rituals that came with it (most of the time as disgusting as infant sacrifices or rape rituals). God wanted none of that. He needed His people to focus on Him and Him alone, He needed Israel to survive so the messianic lineage would not be destroyed. Jesus wouldn't have been if it wasn't for Israel.

      God ordered the destruction of those who worshiped other gods, and participated in the vile gross sins to maintain Israel's identity and sanctity.

      Part 2/3

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. 7) "Take her to the temple, have her drink this stuff, and if she's lying, her thighs will shrivel up"

      Israel was given this test, for women who would be under suspicion of cheating. The woman would drink this drink and if she was innocent nothing happened. If she was lying she would die a pretty gross death. Along with man who committed the adultery as well.

      Note: The woman always had the option of simply saying she committed the sin and would be divorced, the husband get his dowry back and again like mentioned before be a shame to her family or else all according to the father in that custom.

      NOTE: There isn't any evidence that anyone woman died through this method of punishment. Again it was a law placed to scare women from cheating on their husbands and not lying about it.

      Wow. If you read up to here. You are an awesome person.

      To conclude. All 613 of these laws have common sense reasoning and are backed by the Bible's narrative and other non-biblical Jewish writings about culture and religion.

      To answer the "So God changed his mind?...."

      No. Let me try to explain the Old vs New covenant in a different way:

      Old Covenant: Laws. God established this long list of very very difficult laws to show us that there is no way on earth we can live up to the standards of God. The Old covenant wasn't an evil plot set up by God to hurt us for thousands of years, but a glimpse of how impossible it is to live a life under the law.

      New Covenant: God sent Jesus to follow the law perfectly. Taking our place in just being of example of the perfect man but also taking the death toll for the sins we have made. The minute He died the Jewish temple was destroyed and the veil that separated the "clean" and the "dirty" was destroyed. Jesus died and didn't destroy the Old covenant He fullfilled it. But now we are under grace, instead of having to follow a bunch of laws about how to worship him and cleanse ourselves now we have one law established by God. Which goes to my original point.

      1) Love God, the same way you love yourself
      2) Love others

      As you can see I am up to discuss ANY argument you many have. I too learned a lot from typing all of this, and I thank you for allowing the opportunity to write on your blog and making things clear for me.

      Warm Regards

      Part 3/3

    8. I'm not upset. I just shoot straight with my words.

      You haven't told me anything new here. I've heard all these excuses before. Heck I've said some of them. They are not compelling.

    9. You are still working under several assumptions.
      1. That the Bible is true and inerrant
      2. That it is one, coherent work
      3. That it describes only one God
      4. That this God is always good and blameless

      I have no such assumptions and do not approach my reading of the Bible with them. You do, as evidenced by everything you wrote. Until you recognize those assumptions, we cannot have a real conversation. Because all you post is your bias based on assumptions that you have yet to prove, assumptions I do not share because they have not been proven. You would first have to go back and prove why all those assumptions are fact, then we could talk about why all your words here make sense or don't.

    10. Good Morning!

      Please continue to be straight with your words, forgive me for misinterpreting the language.

      Thank you for clarifying this, it seems the 3 part babble was a waste of time (my fault) without first tackling this part of the argument its impossible to argue anything else.

      Let me try to prove these points you bring up, which are all really just one point; Proving the Bible's God's word and that its true and inerrant.

      How do we know the Bible is error free? How do we know if everything the Bible tells us actually happened or will happen?

      Note: We are talking about the Christian Bible

      When believers in Christ are asked to believe, follow, and worship a God in the heavens the first question to pop up is why should I? Other believers respond by saying, "because the Bible says" The Bible is the sole authority of the believer because we believe the Bible "God Breathed" meaning that God used man that He chose and influenced what they wrote, so there would be no personal influence in His writings.

      So what?

      Well how on earth can we tell if these writings in this book are really God Breathed and not Man Breathed. How can we believe what a few men thousands of years ago wrote is not a bunch of crap of ancient man and tradition. How can this book we call Bible convince thousands of people for thousands of years that there is a man in the sky who created the universe?

      So your question is, how can the Bible and everything the Bible says about who and what God is and has done be true. Those four points you pointed out are not assumptions, I just don't feel like they are true, I wasn't brainwashed that they were true, they are true. And the only solid physical, logical evidence I have is this book we call the Bible. How did I come to the conclusion that the Bible was true, error free, and God Breathed not Man Breathed. Well I tested the Bible in 5 different parts, i will summarize these 5 points.

      1)Historical Accuracy

      For many years Historians bashed on the accuracy of the Bible because certain nations were mentioned that didn't exist and several kings were said to never even had exist.

      Some evidence has been archeology some famous examples include:

      - Tel Dan Stele
      - Dead Sea Scrolls
      - Messha Stele
      - Nag Hammadi Library
      - 'Ain Dara Temple
      - John Rylands Papyrus
      - Nabonidus Cylinder
      - Pilate Dedicated Stone

      The Bible named a few nations that critics denied ever existed like the Edomites, Horites, and the Hitties. Archeologists later discovered artifacts from these nations and proved them correct.

      There were about 40 different kings mentioned in the Bible that have been found in external documents as well.

      Bottom Line: There is plenty of external evidence that proves that History mentioned in the Bible is true. From a History standpoint the Bible hasn't shown any error.

      Part 1/3

    11. 3)Prophetic Accuracy

      The entire Old Testament prophesied the coming of the Messiah hundreds of years before it happened. The location and time of His birth was prophesied and came true. His death and resurrection was prophesied and came true. But I am sure all these prophesies mean nothing to you.

      In Revelation about 90 A.D. it was predicted that many nations would view the same event within a few days time, back in 90 A.D. this was unheard of as news and information could take months to arrive at the time. Today, me and you both know this is possible due to the mass communications we live in today.

      Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be completely destroyed, scraped to the floor. And that's exactly what Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great did.

      Not a single prophesy in the Bible has been proven false.

      4)Unity of the Bible

      This is one of the more amazing points to the reason why I believe in the Bible's 100% accuracy.

      There were many many many many many many factors that make the Bible technically impossible to be as accurate as it is:

      - Written by 40 Different Authors
      - From 3 continents
      - In 3 different languages
      - Within the span of 1,500 years (beyond several lifetimes)

      - With currently 20,000 manuscripts in existence (New Testament) and 1,200 manuscripts in existence in the Old Testament.

      - The accuracy of all these manuscripts are at 99.5% accuracy

      - The New Testament and Old Testament authenticate one another with over at least 320 different passages confirming the other Testament.

      5)Life Changing Power
      The Thousands of people that have genuinely changed their life to better the world around them cannot be compared to any other organization or entity.

      When there is catastrophe hits the first people there are the church.

      When bad times come many turn to the church.(After 9/11 church attendance spiked)

      Christianity is not perfect. And the same way you find bad people in any type of group, Christians have some pretty bad people out there to.

      The argument here, is that the Bible time and time again has changed peoples lives for the better in a way and in such a large number that it cannot be compared to anything else.

      Part 2/3

    12. I want to end with this, it comes from Luke 16:29-31:

      ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

      30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

      There is plenty of speculation in every single point i made, and if you wish we can tackle each individual point through civil, intellectual conversation (like we have been doing). I would be more than happy.

      Like I said before, if I am wrong, I want to know. I do not want to follow something that is false, but at this point evidence that the Bible is in any way erroneous is simply not there with the evidence presented.

      That verse in Luke is something that i recently have learned in my walk through the Bible. Even if I am able to present logical proof that the Bible is 100% accurate in every aspect and present sensible evidence. Many will still refuse to believe because they have already made up their mind.

      My purpose is not change your mind or to change you. That's not my job. It's to present to you what proof I do have. (You probably already know all of this evidence I presented already)

      Again if you wish to continue discussion I am up for the challenge, as I have learned a lot from discussing with you and others.

      But if this is not enough evidence and you don't think I will be able to convince you by continuing the conversation, then we can always just stop here. I respect your views and beliefs and will continue in my journey as you continue on yours.

      Thanks again for reading and allowing me to be part of this discussion with you.

      Part 3/3

    13. Josh, you keep forgetting I've heard all this before. I've read all the apologetic books, been to the MacArther conferences, used to own "The Case For Christ" and was a huge debater. You also seem to have never read anything about textual criticism from outside your little bubble. It's not my job to educate you on what you're missing here. You can do what I've done, and what thousands of others have done before me, and honestly search out materials from "the other side". Becuase the fact is that most of what you wrote is quite easily debunked as false by written and unwritten historical evidence, as well as textual criticism, as well as an honest reading of the Bible. Atheists like me became atheists from reading the Bible. We aren't getting out of it what you are, because we decided at one point to let it speak for itself, even if that meant proving itself false.

      I recommend starting your search for truth (if that's really what you want) with Bart Ehrman's books and Youtube videos. Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" is also very good in this context. Once you get through those, come back and we'll talk, because you'll have a better perspective on what the rest of the world knows about the Bible and better able to talk critically about this subject.

    14. Also, when debating a non-Christian, quoting your scripture at them about why they won't understand your scripture is laughable. That would be like someone quoting the Quran at you to prove why they are right and you are wrong about your beliefs. Completely meaningless, but it makes you feel better I suppose.

    15. I wrote that passage in Luke because its exactly the response I expected to receive, I just wanted to see for myself if maybe there was a change to further the discussion. That verse says that even if God raises a person from the dead in front of you, you won't believe. That's okay.

      I watched "The God Delusion" a few times. Two of my close friends are atheists. I have these discussions often.

      The research I have made and testing the waters of what the Bible tells me to do has really made a huge impact and change in my life.

      If even with everything you had, all the research you did, all the debate you did, you still were not convinced. Then a conversation online with a complete stranger isn't really going to do anything.

      It was a huge pleasure talking with you and again thank you for the opportunity of speaking here. I will continue following your blogs regardless. Thanks! :)

      God Bless.

    16. "That verse says that even if God raises a person from the dead in front of you, you won't believe."

      Well then, your Bible is wrong. Because that would be considered evidence to any skeptic. It's just a verse to make Christians feel better about their superiority. But it is highly incorrect.

  14. Hi Evan!

    My friend, that is an awesome question! Honestly a difficult one to answer but let me try:

    Throughout the Bible from the first story of the creation to the final prophesies of the end times you every story connects to the main theme. The Gospel.

    In the Old Testament the Old Covenant was based off of laws, God used laws to keep his people in check, were His people perfect? Hell no. They did some crazy atrocities. Was the law full proof, Hell no. The society and world around us is perfect proof that even if there are laws people break them and we somehow end up in some crazy crap.

    Now, you may see God as "hateful" "cruel" God. But that is subjective, your view of God is bias because its based off of something that you may be dealing with or something you went through. Give me some examples of the hatred and cruelty you see from God in the Bible.

    In the New Testament the New covenant was based off grace, God sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins to resurrect and then ascend to heaven to prepare a place for us. God decided that the laws were great but something greater was needed, an example, so He sent His Son.

    So this all may still be confusing so let me summarize it.

    From the beginning of time God has placed laws, sent us signs, sent us prophets, and ultimately sent His own son.


    Because He loves us.

    Life here on earth is hell, not because God allows it, but because humans are disgusting. We have done crazy crap. Some of us do alright in life like I am sure Darcy and yourself live life. Wholeheartedly. But there is just something more than living a good life, we are not animals that just "live a good life", we unlike any other species of existence have souls. Those souls are missing something.
    And humans are constantly trying to fill this gap in our souls with things that die out, family, money, education, power.... God gave us the answer to fill that gap, and the Bible is the story of how we came to live and how God strives to give us the answer.

    I would love to look at specific passages that you may not understand or that you seem contradictory to my statement.

    Thanks so much for listening this far, this is the first time I am able to have an intellectual discussion with a group :)

    1. I'm having issues with the commenting box... hang on...

    2. Thanks for replying! I agree with you that my view of god as described in the bible is subjective, but I'm saying so is YOURS. I disagree that you and everyone who agrees with you about god are somehow immune from bias in your reading of scripture, while everyone who comes away with a different opinion is failing to be objective. We could debate about how the character of god is depicted in the scriptures, but to me, it's a purely academic exercise and not my intent. We could argue about whether we felt that King Lear from Shakespeare's play is a sympathetic character or not, but there is no such thing as reading King Lear objectively to find the real opinion of his character. In the same way, there is no way to objectively surmise the character of god from the bible. The very act of reading the bible and interpreting the words into meaning imposes your own biases and subjective values onto it. You claim that I can "objectively" read the bible and, if I do, it will be impossible to come to a conclusion other than yours regarding the nature of the god depicted there. I just don't see how that is possible. By what manner do I objectively read the bible? How can I test my level of objectivity or yours?

      You might object a little to my King Lear comparison if you claim Shakespeare's play describes fictional events, while the bible describes historical events. That's a fair objection, but it doesn't really solve the problem. All it means is that there is a "right" answer to the question "what is the nature of god?" but it gets me no closer to figuring out how to objectively obtain it from the bible. For example:

      The bible states that "god is good" and the bible also states that god ordered genocide against entire nations. There are a million viewpoints to take on this. One might say "clearly this is a contradiction and god can't both be good and genocidal." Others might say "those people deserved to be wiped out because they were evil. Therefore, god can both be just and order genocide." Others might say "the bible misrepresents god here; he never ordered the genocide, but the Israelites claimed he did." Others might say "clearly when the bible says god is good it means he is good only to people he likes." Others might say "I don't know why god committed genocide, but since he is good, we must assume he had good reasons." On and on.


    3. My question is not "which one of these is right" but rather "which one of these viewpoints (or others) was obtained OBJECTIVELY, without any bias from the person proposing it?" I claim none of them were. All of them are affected by biases: either a bias because of our personal opinion of what "good" means, or biased by our assumptions that god must be good, or biased by our opinion the the bible is either lying or telling the truth, or biased by our very understanding of what the words described mean, etc etc etc. If there is an objective interpretation, I wouldn't even begin to know how you're supposed to find it. So you can tell me what your preferred interpretation is if you want (I'm not telling mine or if mine is even on the list :P) but unless you can explain why your opinion is objective it's not really answering my question.

      One last thing: I do think that some people approach the bible (or anything) more objectively than others. In other words, you can open the bible thinking "I believe that god is good/evil and the bible is going to prove it!" and read it that way and you will definitely be more strongly biased in that one respect than someone who says "I'm going to form my opinion after I read the book." But even the latter person will be subjective in his or her assessments, no matter what they try to do to avoid it. It's inevitable. Please feel free to share your thoughts. If you want, I can also make a thread on my blog if you'd rather talk there and not fill up Darcy's lovely space (also, Darcy, if you would prefer or not).

      Sorry I got so wordy; I had a long bus ride to kill!

    4. Great Points Evan!

      I would like to await Darcy's approval to continue the conversation here or take it your Blog, as I have already started a hopefully lengthy great discussion with Darcy already.

      May she be the judge of how we proceed in her domain :)

    5. Thanks guys, whatever you want to do is fine.

    6. Thanks! I'm going to set up a discussion on my wordpress since I'm having trouble replying to the correct person here, and also there I will get notifications when you post. You will find it at https://shelteredevangelical.wordpress.com/

      Be aware that I am not known for putting up with disrespect or proselytizing behavior on my own forums, so take note of that when you post and be aware that I can always ban. Thanks!

    7. Thanks Darcy! and Thanks Evan for allowing us to continue the discussion.

      Let me clear on one thing. We can disagree ALL you want, and have different worldviews but this will never affect the way i treat you or others who may disagree with me. I have nothing but respect and even admiration in the fact that are able to discuss like civilized folks via online without the often trolling and disrespect the internet is known for.

  15. Josh, would be so kind as to explain how you find gnostic texts to be evidence of the accuracy of the Bible?

  16. Darcy,
    I stumbled on your blog today. I am so sorry you have so much bitterness. It is truly heartbreaking. I do pray God opens your blind eyes. Please see him while He may be found.

    I was raised by non Christian pagans, physically abusive and heavy drinkers. I am the oldest of 7. I became a Christian when I was 16 because a grandma took me to church every Sunday. And Darcy I have no bitterness, I love my family. I know God uses all things and He brought me to Him. I am now 53 and I lost my mom 12 years ago but she died a believer and I mourned her death because I loved her so. As I love my Dad, who is now a believer. You know that God can only make the blind to see and Darcy I pray He makes you see and heals your bitter hate filled heart.

    1. hey, guess what? I'm not bitter about anything. I tell my story with all the emotions that humanity feels becaue I tell the truth. Also, bitterness isn't a bad thing like Christians teach. It's just one of a wide range of human emotions and state of being, like happiness, joy, sadness, anger.I know that Christians are afraid of many human emotions, like anger, but you don't have to be. They can be very healing and helpful too. Don't be sorry for me! My life is full of love, joy, an purpose. Your sorrow would be mis-spent on me, my friend.