Jesus Person No More

sent in by anonymous

In 1971 I got "saved and became one of early "Jesus People" who attended Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Santa Ana, California. First it was in the big circus tent, and then in the new sanctuary. I was baptized in 1971 at Pirate's Cove at Corona Del Mar, and I married Calvary's live-in janitor in 1973, for ten years.

I also attended a small charismatic church called Shekinah who had this flamboyant "healer" preacher named Brant Baker, but he ended up dying of AIDS.

There was a lot of conforming for a female in the church to do. I was to "submit" to my husband, "obey" him and in other words, dote on him and be his yielding slave. It didn't bother me at the time, not until after I matured.

Even worse, was the rampant anti-intellectualism. We were not encouraged to go to college because it was "secular" and "of the flesh," and yet at the same time it was demanded of the men to be a good provider and have a stable job. I guess the church didn't ever want us to think too much or to question anything or to use our brains at all.

My husband was very good friends with Greg Laurie, pastor of Calvary Chapel of Riverside, and in 1974 we basically picked up and moved to Riverside, following Greg after his wedding to Cathe. In fact, we all four lived in the same big house, a house that Calvary Chapel of Riverside owned (we cut it in half to make it a duplex). My husband was vying for the position of Assistant Pastor and he wanted it very badly but ultimately it was awarded to someone else and this broke his heart. Greg Laurie went on to form the mega-church, Harvest ministries, and he is supposed to be Billy Graham's replacement.

Ultiimately we moved away, divorced in 1983, I remarried and had a daughter and went to college - something I never felt encouraged to do by the church back then. I fell in love with Psychology and Carl Jung and found Christianity too literal and anti-intellectual. I have not been back to church, since.

It wasn't a sudden de-conversion, it was gradual. And I paid for it psychologically. In fact, I ended up needing to talk about it in therapy a whole bunch. I had a lot of cognitive dissonance over it, alot of thinking I was going to go to hell. Mostly what bothered me was a certain sermon by Pastor Chuck Smith, Sr. about the Sin Against the Holy Spirit. He had taught us that if we "backslid enough, we would not know exactly the moment when we would lose our salvation. I was haunted by this sermon for many years until I was able to resolve my fears in therapy.

Leaving Christianity freed me up for so many things, intellectually. I was free to explore philosophy, other points of view, even other religions. I found I enjoy the wisdom of many Eastern Religions, especially the Dali Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, but I do not have to get involved in the rituals or heavy belief systems if I don't want to. I prefer to think of myself as an Agnostic - I don't know if there is a God and I'm sure no one else knows for sure.

There's a new found sense of inner volition and responsibility that you gain when you let go of blaming everything that happens on either "God's will" or "Satan's attacks."

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are just plain screwed up in the head...

Melody said...

I don't know who you are talking to, but I will say it again....leaving Christianity was the BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE!! Leaving Calvary Chapel and all their phoney agape "love" was the best thing I've ever done.

Anonymous said...

God is patient and you Melody will die in due time. For God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. And you too will meet your God and will be held accountable for your proud (self willed )and rebellous actions for forsaking the right way. In your error you are promising freedom while you are a slave of corruption. For it would have been better for you not to have known the way of rightesnous than having known it, which is why the blackest darkness has been reserved. So much more severe the punishment will be because you have trampled under your foot the Son of God and have regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant which was sanctified. No amount of therapy or psychology. For it is a terrible thing for sinners to fall into the hands of a living God.

Just know this, the very thing you fear the most will come upon you in due season.

As it is said elsewhere,

"All flesh is like grass and will wither and perish. But the Lord and his Word will endure forever"

Anonymous said...

A hate monger posted:

"God is patient and you Melody will die in due time..... which is why the blackest darkness has been reserved..... So much more severe the punishment will be because you have trampled under your foot the Son of God ... blah blah blah"

Oh brother how very sick you anonymous xtians are. I am sure you live a very lonely and hate filled life, it shows in your post. There is no caring, just condemnation. How very sad for you. If there is a hell, you must be living it at this very moment.

Your post makes every atheists point for us. Your god is petty and full of very human hatred. You and your believer friends are psychologically twisted, and I am glad I don't hang with you freaks anymore.


Onanite

.:webmaster:. said...

Ah yes, the love of Christ from another "no-name" Christian.

Why is that the self-righteously condemning Christians always post as "anonymous?"

south2003 said...

Anonymous, your god is a phoney - oh well, but the book that read from has a lot of dangerous ideas in it. When I read your post, it reminds me of such: Unibomber, abortion bombings, and the WTC bombing.

Web Master, I think we have a hot one! - Call the FBI!

Rot8ing Anode said...

I find Anonymous and his comments full of prideful hipocrisy. I guess a lack of humility and prideful, "I am right, and you are going to hell", assumptions don't apply to this particular individual. I think it is just a matter of time before these devout christian hatemongers start showing their true hated towards life itself by strapping on explosive vests, or worse, like the muslim fanatics. How anyone could have such a hard on for the demise of human existence and an assumed "life after death" is beyond me.

spud2290 said...

I would agree with most who condemn the previous anonymous postings. I am ashamed of his blatant condemnations, hatred, and scare tactics. I can understand you anger towards anti intellectualism in the church. I have encountered it myself. It is one of the reasons I became an atheist many years ago. I think that agnosticism is a great place for you right now. It will give you the time you need to cleanse yourself of all the crap that you have experienced in the church. Plus it's a good place to start when confronting the question of the supernatural. I believe by definition that the supernatural is beyond man, and that we can never ascend to it. I believe that the only way we can know it is for it to make itself known. This has been my experience. On September 9 2001, God revealed himself to me, and I converted. This was the proof that satisfied me. I will join in agreement with all that the doctrines like hell and condemnation are just scare tactics to force agreement, and psychologically dangerous to those who fall victim to them. I am sorry for your experience with the church. But I must say that you would be guilty of a straw man argument, if you use things like your experience at Calvary Chapel, and the postings of the previous anonymous to discount Christianity. There are many great thinkers, and authors, and philosophers in Christianity. I would recommend at least starting with Greg Boyd, author of God of the possible. They may not be enough to bring you back to Christ, but a least your rejection of Christianity would be more intellectually honest, and not just reactionary.

Dave8 said...

spud2290: "I believe by definition that the supernatural is beyond man, and that we can never ascend to it. I believe that the only way we can know it is for it to make itself known. This has been my experience. On September 9 2001, God revealed himself to me, and I converted. This was the proof that satisfied me."

So, you seem to say, that the SuperNatural does exist, but mankind can't access it with their Natural minds. However, a SuperNatural god/entity can contact us in this Natural reality.

The reason a Natural mind can't access a SuperNatural entity by definition, is because the Natural mind resides in this Natural Universe, and... because one must have "context", in order to identify what is, and what isn't SuperNatural. Its pretty clear, if one isn't born with a SuperNatural codex to work from, that a Natural mind doesn't have the ability to "discern" the Natural from the SuperNatural, as all a person has to work from is their "Natural" knowledge.

So, how does the mind distinguish between Natural and SuperNatural claims, when no one has a SuperNatural context to work from?

Let me guess, a person will know it when it happens to them. Great, so, a person "convinces" themselves that they have an event and they "claim" it to be "SuperNatural"... How, then, with no "context", does a person discern between "SuperNatural" entities... In short, you say you had a SuperNatural episode, but... who is to say it was your "god", it could just as well, have been the thousand other SuperNatural gods available, believed to exist in the SuperNatural realm, to include Satan.

Dave Koerner said...

Anonymous -

Who *are* you? I was at Shekinah too, and your post-Shekinah evolution sounds a lot like mine!

Write me if you want - david.koerner@nau.edu

Dave Koerner said...

er - by "anonymous" I guess I mean "Melody" - just read more of the intervening posts ....

Gaura said...

Melody, I'm a fellow ex-Christian, living in Riverside (near Pachappa Hill). Do not fear, and do not weep. I truly feel that the only thing that really matters in the end, is-- do we live with love? The label you live with, or live without, is meaningless. I ended up choosing a Pagan path, but that's just me. It's where I am comfortable.

However, as a Pagan, we do keep a watch on those who might wish harm (or at least conversion) on our own. To that end, I am curious, since you seem to have known Greg Laurie rather well. Does he have any specific beef against Pagans or Wiccans? Of course I understand that he's not going to like us, and hopes that we'll "come to our senses" but is there anything beyond that?

Many thanks for whatever you can provide, and please email me at lidia@seebeck.us...

Anonymous said...

I can only say one thing and would appreciagte comments,
You say you were saved, and if this is truely so, then you have a new creation in you, you have the old creation also as Paul said.
So in my opinion, you can run away as far as you want, and refuse to believe anynore, and possibly lose some rewards, but you cant become, "unborn again" if my reading of the new birth in the bible is correct.
That which was implanted in you is sinless and will last till you die and then God will reveal His grace to you...
Calvary Chapel did not save you.. and if you can show me how you can leave Christianity it would be interesting...
You may not practise it, but neither can the rain fall upwards, or the you float to outspace on your own power, God is in control, and if you try to say there is no God, then we dont exist since we are a creation therefore, there is a Creator...

boomSLANG said...

Supergoddess is in control, and if you try to say there is no Supergoddess, then Yahweh, the Christian biblegod, doesn't exist, since everything that exists needs a creator, therefore, there IS a Supergoddess...and she HATES those who worship false gods!

(and don't ask me who created Supergoddess, because rain doesn't fall upwards!)

lol!

Alan said...

Anonymous wrote:

So in my opinion, you can run away as far as you want, and refuse to believe anynore, and possibly lose some rewards, but you cant become, "unborn again" if my reading of the new birth in the bible is correct.

That which was implanted in you is sinless and will last till you die and then God will reveal His grace to you


So in other words, once you are "born again" you can sin all you want and still get into heaven. Thanks for the clarification, it explains a lot of the behavior of "born again" types.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iam david from Norway I think you lost the true way that you once had !
But the good news is God is still
loving you !!
Christianity is not: does and dont
maybee your former church was like that is some sence I dont know but
I feel free and happy as I relaxe in Him and enjoy life with a tremendes peace in my heart that I did not have before I let jesus into my heart ! please try him again and I am sure you will find rest for your soul ! ps He loves you friend....David

Bonnie Jones said...

I will post a comment later.

Hannelore said...

Hi David Koerner and Hi Melody
I was also a member of Shekinah Fellowship from 1973-77. I have spoken with you David and it was nice to email you a couple of years ago. I also left Shekinah but not in any bitterness about Brant only sadness, God did use im to help others you cant deny that. I fell away myself for 20 yrs, but have come back to my true faith in God. Do you remember me at all Melody????
Will look forward to hearing from either of you.
Hannelore
loriwittman@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Melody,
I, too, was a part of the early Jesus movement. There was an innocent naivete' that permeated the day and many were duped by showy, circus barkers!
It is sad that so many legalistic bastards snuffed out the desire to search, learn and find our own way on our journey of life! They used their pulpits to deal with their own insecurities, schisms and addictions!
I feel fortunate to have always questioned everything, searching for truth; and no one could stop me; though some tried!
Today, I am still a believer in Christ as Messiah. I love and respect my friends who believe otherwise.
I have learned over the last 33 years that an open heart and listening ear do more good than narrow minded religiosity.
My prayer for you is that any old wounds that may still fester will become just faint memories, like a bad dream.
My God is a gracious lover of mankind.
Peace.
kit

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