My name is Winston Wu. I am a former Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist. If you wish to read the story of my slow awakening and deconversion long ago, see My Rise to Christianity and My Transcendence From It.
I strongly recommend reading it, as many, including Christians, have been moved by it. My story describes a long process that involved a turbulent inner nightmare as well. To make a long story short, during my childhood I was an Evangelical Christian for about 8 years, and I used all their arguments to defend and support it. I was once so fervent and zealous, as were many ex-Christians that I even did the following kind of things. Once, I almost wrote Bible verses on the chalk board of my mom’s Buddhist study center to try to preach “the truth and light” to them. In high school, I even risked getting physically attacked by Muslim students, by attempting to witness to them. One time in an Art History class, after a lecture on Christian history, I gave the teacher some Christian gospel tracts to inform him of the true story of Jesus, to which the next day, he politely handed them back to me saying that he wasn’t the right person for me to be witnessing to. I felt embarrassed going out on a limb like that, but I thought I was doing the right thing.
Since my early days, I’ve shown a propensity to seek truth on my own. At an early age I deviated from my parents’ Buddhist religion and became a born again Christian, unlike most people who stick with the religion of their family their whole life without questioning it. And when I was 14, I tried debating my church Youth Pastor on doctrinal issues (which was difficult because although I knew my subject, he had a commanding presence and daily experience as an orator while I was a shy timid boy, so I felt intimidated and couldn’t get my point across properly, and plus he kept changing the topic and refused to address my points).
A few years later, at a Chinese American church, I went up to the Pastor and asked him why he was allowing women to speak in the church service when the Scriptures said in 1 Corinthians that the women were to remain silent in church. He looked shocked and annoyed that an 18 year old would insinuate that he was wrong in doctrine, and responded not by answering my question or justifying himself, but went into some tirade about “consistency”. He asked me if I think Christians should sell all their possessions too, like the believers did in the Book of Acts. I answered no, but before I could explain why, he ranted on about why we have to be consistent with our views on Scripture. Yet he offered no explanation why one should not obey the commandments by Paul in 1 Corinthians, or why they didn’t apply to today. He just left it at that, and went about his business. The girl that carpooled me there told me that the Pastor was probably shocked at my question.
Although I often felt that the extreme beliefs (which they labeled as "truth") of Christianity didn't add up, they always gave me a sense of purpose during a chaotic childhood, and served as sort of a crutch for me to lean on.
However, after my hellish time in public school, I no longer needed the crutch. Hence, I was then able to view my belief system from a detached more objective point of view. During this slow deconversion, I discovered many things about the Christian religion and the Bible that I was never told. This book summarizes what I learned from my research. This research helped confirm my feelings that the extreme doctrines of Evangelical Scriptural based Christianity were not what their proponents claimed. Little by little, I discovered a plethora of irrefutable arguments that the Christian apologists could never explain away. I was surprised at this though, because when I was a Bible believing Christian, I thought that there were no credible arguments against the Bible and the doctrines of Evangelical Christianity. Back then I was convinced that my faith and its foundation were unshakable. These discoveries helped give me the confidence to proceed in my spiritual/intellectual growth away from fundamentalist religion, and toward the evolution of a new understanding. I wish to make use of all that I’ve learned by putting it into this book to share with others.
Anyone can read this book of course. But who I had in mind when I wrote it are:
1) Former Christians in the process of deconverting and leaving their faith who need information and solid arguments to give them confidence and assurance that they are doing the right thing.
2) Christians who are having doubts about their faith and looking for other answers or who wish to see things from a broader perspective.
3) People involved in arguments or debates with Christian fundamentalists or apologists who are looking for irrefutable arguments and ammo to use against them, or who want to know how to answer their arguments.
4) Any researcher with any purpose.
Now, of course I don’t expect this book to convince any devout Christians happy with their faith that their beliefs are wrong or false. That just isn’t possible. People will rationalize away what doesn’t fit in with what they want to believe, and find reasons to believe what they want to believe. That’s human nature. One way they rationalize any good arguments against their faith away is to see them as the words of fallible humans, and compare them with the word of an infallible God. After all, who can argue with the creator of the universe, they think? What they don’t realize though, is that fallible humans also wrote their Bible. Therefore, no matter how convincing the arguments in this book are, no matter how many debate points I score against them, they will always find reasons to maintain their current beliefs and rationalize away my arguments. Generally, people don’t change their beliefs unless they are looking to or are dissatisfied with it. Only the dissatisfied or the seekers are open to contrary information.
Since my deconversion, I have always been a critical opponent of brainwashing tactics, after having been brainwashed myself a number of times but learning from it each time. As a result, I’ve written against scams and shady business practices such as extended warranties and multi-level marketing. You can see them in my article index at http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Articles.htm.
Now, let me emphasize that I am not another hateful Atheist with hardcore materialist views. In fact, I believe in God but not that any one organized religion has all the answers, though they may have wisdom in them and contain certain truths. I am also into non-organized forms of spirituality and exploring esoteric phenomena. I wish to try to make this as objective as possible, sharing with you what I've learned. If you see my other widely acclaimed debunking book entitled Debunking the Arguments of PseudoSkeptics and Paranormal Debunkers you will see that I am not a closed minded Atheist.
Let me first clarify though, that I am not attacking God, but rather the Christian fundamentalist religion which claims infallibility, exclusivity, and condemns other faiths. Nor am I attacking Christian people in general. But rather, I am attacking Christian doctrine and theology. In fact, I believe in God, but in a more non-traditional and non-dualist sense. I am a pantheist. The reason I need to clarify this is because while I am able to separate God from religion and God from Christianity, most devout Christians are not. Instead, they see the Christianity and God as the same thing, and therefore if one attacks the faith/religion, then it is an attack on God. That is where we differ, but it can’t be helped on their part due to how they see it.
In this book, I wish to prove the following assertions.
1) The Bible is not infallible and inerrant. It contains huge internal discrepancies and contradictions, scientific and historical errors, unfulfilled and failed prophecies, atrocities by God and his followers too barbaric and monstrous to be of an all-loving all-wise deity, and other errors that make it obviously the creation of fallible imperfect humans. Even if the people in the Bible did encounter God or a divine deity, at best it only represents their interpretation of God.
2) Christianity’s theology, doctrines, and dogmas evolved over time with the people and society who shaped and influenced it. They were not a direct divine revelation from God that has been the same for all time.
3) The teaching that we are all sinners and going to hell unless we believe that Jesus died for us is a technically false teaching contrived by humans, not by God.
4) The Bible is not the ultimate authority on truth that we must all submit to. It is not the sole representative of God’s word, will and message to mankind. It is not the only way to God or to true wholesome spirituality, and neither is Jesus.
I believe that if you consider all the evidence and arguments I present here with an open mind, that you will agree that I have made a compelling if not conclusive case at the very least.
Although this book is written more for the general reader rather than the scholar, I will include links and references to more scholarly works for further study of the subjects and issues discussed.