Right off the top of my head, I'd point to the story of Paul and Barnabas in Acts stirring up a riot in Lystra - the (superstitious) locals decided those two were Zeus and Hermes, started building temples for them and commenced worshipping. Paul and Barnie were not too happy about that and caused a real ruckus.
That's just it, though. The Bible stories (and other ancient texts) love to accuse non-believers of being superstitious, which only really makes sense if they thought their audiences would view superstition negatively. The people who are depicted as superstitious are all uncivilized pagans worshiping false gods that must be shown the silliness of their beliefs and elevated to the truth of the one true God. Much as we look around us and accuse tribal or historical societies of being superstitious, so too did the early Christians do the same exact thing--with the same exact assumption that they were intellectually superior and enlightened compared to their superstitious neighbors.
When looking around on Google, I found plenty of examples of superstitions
, but nothing on how many people were actually superstitious. We could do the same today by listing modern superstitions (horoscopes, sports rituals, not walking under ladders, the number 13, zodiac signs, fortune tellers, etc.), but that says nothing about how superstitious our culture really is compared to others throughout history. The best I could find is a blog post
arguing from a clearly biased viewpoint and mostly citing other blog posts... which is hardly an authoritative source.
It's certainly true that there was less scientific knowledge, and that many people believed philosophical theories that were later found to be inaccurate (such as matter being made up of 4-6 elements), but that doesn't say much about how credulous people were or weren't outside of that limited knowledge. My guess is that credulity waxed and waned to some degree with the popular philosophies (i.e. it may have been lower during periods when skepticism and/or rationalism were big), but I don't know of any evidence that actually tells us one way or another.
I don't know what merits I can give to the texts that make up the religions of the world. There is virtually no credible secular corroberation of magic associated with Jesus, Moses... If the Torah spoke of Jesus coming to life. If temples in Egypt spoke of first born genocide, if Romans Greeks and American Indians spoke about the sun turning off mid day for a time 2,013 years ago, if dinosaur bones were all interlaced with pottery and human remains from a giant flood wiping out all but a select few live on earth then Noah would ring true. As it stands scientific research still leads me to see an old universe with natural origins.
Me too. And, in fact, the majority of worldwide Christians belong to denominations that accept scientific evidence for an old Earth. While the fundamentalist movement advocating a strict literal interpretation of the Bible is certainly loud
and is growing in the US (30-40% from various sites), it's still a relatively new denomination (~100-150 years) and still encompasses a small percentage of Christians worldwide (<10%). And though they claim their view is the closest to that of early believers, and while the texts were certainly read more strictly 2000 years ago than they are today, the writings of early Christians (such as Augustine) suggest that discussion of which stories were literal was at least on the table.
The idea of the Bible being the sole source for Christian teachings didn't even become big in literature until the Protestant Reformation (1600s), and even then there's not really much suggestion of strict literalism until the rise of the fundamentalist movement. That's over 92% of Christian history. So this notion that reading the texts and seeing their merits means rejecting the scientific evidence for an old universe is not representative of traditional Christianity.
That being said, there are other things in the texts that may appear dubious to unbelievers: you likely don't have a strong reason to believe in the Resurrection or Christ's teachings on salvation. Which is why I suggested that the next step was to see if and how this connects to the experiences of yourself and others.
Of course, if you're unable to see merit in the texts and are unable to see God working in your own life, it's pretty unlikely that you will be able to cultivate faith and pretty unreasonable for me to expect you to do so. The best I can hope for is that at some point your perception will change, and that you will come to recognize God. That's not likely to result from someone screaming at you on a forum, though, and is liable to have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, there is a significant percentage of believers who insist on screaming anyways, and I suppose the rest of us are stuck with them until atheism gains enough traction to win them over (take some of the Muslim fundamentalists too, while you're at it.)
Mormons and JW's are of course faithful and not easily swayed from their belief. Again I was saying to the mainstream christian that they were easily swayed to a wrong religion.
They're certainly strange beliefs to a mainstream Christian, and contain beliefs that are bit easier for a nonbeliever to dismiss out of hand. I just don't see how this reflects on the adherents being "easily swayed." It would seem to me that those who are easily swayed would be quick to abandon these group's teachings, which has not been my observation.