An Ex-Christian suffering from guilt

Sent in by J.G.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home. Always fearing the "fire and brimstone" I was warned of, I - as you can imagine a young scared child would do - accepted Christ as my personal savior, albeit I hadn't the entire idea of what that meant. So I grew up calling myself a Christian cuz I felt like I had to because of pressure to go to church or to be a good Christian from church and family.

Now I have left the Christian faith and begin my spiritual journey fresh, if there is a spiritual journey to be had. My problem is, though, that I suffer from extreme guilt and confusion. I kinda miss the idea of talking to an unseen protector, but I can't logically believe it. Is there anyone out there who can relate to my "withdrawals" out of the addiction of Jesus Freakiness?

Texas
Joined at 8
Left at 20
Was: I was a Baptist
Now: Agnostic/Mystic
Converted because: I was "led to Christ" by my fundamentalist father.
De-converted because: I couldn't whole-heartedly believe that Jesus was the "Son of God"

23 comments:

non conformist said...

I can totally relate...The hold that this belief system has on a person is immesurable. It's very scary to abandon something that has identified who you've been all your life, no matter how "right" it may be to do so. I went through periods of extreme guilt and shame; but the biggest feeling I remember having was fear...fear that I might be wrong, that the devil had me is his grasp and was leading me away from my salvation, that I would spend all eternity burning in hell for my lack of belief. Then it hit me: all of my decision concerning religion cenetered around FEAR. Why would anything that was supposedly good and holy resort to the ugliest of emotions to control me? It's abuse. So, tentatively, I started to face my fears. I started reading and studying all religions (btw, the fear theme is the common thread with most religions), and I realized that I had to enjoy life because I have it; I should care for it, care for my family, nurture all of the good in me and not expect some heavenly reward that is so loaded, it's not even worth it.

Just know that your place in this world is up to you determine, and that spirituality has nothing to do with a deity...that love does not derive from fear. Good luck in your journey.

Ian said...

J.G., guilt and confusion are very common for someone who has left the faith. I did two years ago, and the emotional pain I went through was so much that at times, I diddn't want to live anymore. The good news is that this pain, confusion (and very often, fear) does NOT last. It WILL leave in time.

As a spiritual seeker myself, I recommend that you start out reading many different viewpoints (yes, athiest included) on spirituality and come to your own conclusions. Eventually there will come a point where you move away from looking to books or websites for the answers, and where you'll start to get the answers from yourself. And when that day comes, life gets just a little sweeter.

Being a spiritual person is not easy, nor is it a walk in the park, but for me, it's worth every step, and it can be very rewarding. And it is definintly more open, free, and self-building then christianity was for me.

Best of luck to you in your search.

Susan said...

I agree with non conformist and Ian. It is really scary at first.

You know, I had forgotten how scary it was until I read your post. I remember wondering if I was doing the right thing, too.

The fear goes away the more you face it. As you can see, I hardly remember that I had been afraid. Now I can think clearly, logically and it's made my life better.

Keep seeking and remember, everyone sees the world differently. I don't believe in anything supernatural, but my husband, who is basically an atheist still believes in a sort of afterlife. I have a friend who talks to a "spirtual" thing that she doesn't call God, but at the same time helps her get through tough times.

It's OK. :)

jim earl said...

Welcome JG.

I have a son your age and I would like to offer some advice. Yes, it is normal to feel what you are feeling. We all feel guilty to some degree but believe me, it will pass if you give it the time. Your guilt will turn over time to the point where you will feel "how did I ever believe this crap."
Both my sons were raised going to church by their mother but they also had my influence on their lives and they both are non-religious now. They are 21 and 18. My advice to you includes reading and gaining all the info you can about religions and the origins of man. That was a big help to both my boys and myself. There are also many great books available that will help you in this time. One of the best is Dan Barker's Losing Faith in Faith. I highly recommend it. Remember, the more you know, the less influence religion will have on your life. Also remember that almost one and a half billion people in the world don't feel guilty about not respecting or believing in Jesus. They're another religion but that's their problem. Anyway, welcome to the world of reality. It's a nice place to be in your life.

Bentley said...

If there is a supreme creator, this creator will take care of it's creations, it will not let what ancient men of times past interfere nor disrupt this creators original intentions, if you've been a basically good person, as a majority of people have, then this all knowing creator God will not allow anything to harm them in the future.

If there is a God, then the premise of this God has been totally destroyed by men and their ignorance.

If you want to believe in a God, then a belief is all thats required, nothing more!!!

The Bible writers wanted to make people think that they had an open communication with the creator God, this would make them appear Saintly and Holy by their peers.

Forget the Bible, it's ancient man's garbage.

Kelsie said...

I really sympathize...the Southern Baptist Convention is the most dangerous religious organization in America today...it is the very cult it claims everyone ELSE is.

steamboat_willey said...

I totally sympathize. When I pulled my hands off the plow my wife thought her whole world was crumbling. I stopped going to church and she thought it meant divorce. That was 20 years ago and we are still together.

Remember, nobody can make you feel guilty without your permission. Don't give them permission. Tell everybody you know you will believe what you want to believe. Don't let them put you on the spot. Sometimes you won't have an answer, but you can find one if you have time to read and think things through. Confusion is not conviction.

Another important piece of advice is, don't mistake nostalgia for faith. Familiar words aren't necessarily true ones. Your head is full of that stuff, so it's easy to think you belong to it. It took me several years before I was able to pick up a Bible without feeling sick. Now I do it all the time, but only as a pastime, or to refute fundies.

You have chosen the reasonable route. Give it time and you will feel better about your choice.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Funny thing is that I was no less scared when I was a christian! I suffered more mental torment then than i do now.

Yes there is still that lingering, "What if I'm wrong" fear that creeps up every now and then, but then I remember a verse from the Bible itself that claims that perfect love casteth out fear and that if we fear we have not been made perfect in love.

Nonconformist said it the best:
"Why would anything that was supposedly good and holy resort to the ugliest of emotions to control me? It's abuse."

I could not have said it better myself!

Piprus said...

JG from Texas,
O,yes indeed, I can sure relate to that bible bangin' southern baptist hellfireandbrimstone, scared as hell to JEEZUS religion. Fortunately, it didn't last long, until I started asking the big questions, for which there were no rational answers. I do understand those conflicts, just as the other members here do. You'll come to the knowledge that they're just phantoms...not to worry. Keep exploring for the truth, JG, it will come to you, and you'll love life on its own terms.

Welcome.

Hellbound Alleee said...

What you have to do is, you have to go ahead and deconstruct those ideas that are giving you guilt. This takes a lot more work than you might be thinking right now. For some people it takes years.

There are a lot of ideas that were drummed into you from a very young age, and of you, and they are harming you right now. I say you start by giving yourself a boost of individualism. Realize that morality comes from you, from reality. Realize that for you, bad actions have consequences. For christians, they pretty much have it all backwards. They might say to you that you have no basis for morality because you don't believe in hell. Actually it's the other way around.

What do christians have to fear from any horrible sin, when they simply have to be sorry about it and confess? It's off to heaven they go, where God can wash their minds of any feeling that eternal torture for their loved ones might be a bad thing.

Hold your moral autonomy in front of you, know who you are, be honest, and no boogey men can get you.

Oh, and if you feel guilty, keep reading the bible. It will show you enough horror and immorality that you'll feel practically self-righteous for denying the religion. Believe me. I would consider starting with The Brick Testament, online. It's the whole bible, in legoes. That way you don't have to torture yourself further.

Sarge said...

I have always been an atheist, but my parents immersed us in the Southern Baptist thing from early my early childhood on. Choir practice, training union, Royal Ambassadors, the whole hocus-pocus...with emphasis on the hocus-pocus. A part of your identity is changing, and this isn't an easy thing to endure, but it can be endured. I'd suggest a book called Leaving the Fold which others have found most helpful.

I have always felt that religeon did for bullshit what the Empire State Building did for concrete, girders and glass.

Since I was musical, the church my parents frog-marched me to had a musical thing going that I was involved in. We travelled in Virginia, North Carolina, and East Tennessee at times and put on shows, and if I ever started to think I was wrong, I just thought about some of the believers I ran across. In one place there had been a diatribe directed against 'worldly' things, especially dancing. We were playing a lively number and Lo! People got up and started to do something like clogging, enjoying it, too. I mentioned this seeming discrepancy to one of the members, and was told they weren't dancing. Looked like dancing to me. I was informed that it was dancing if you crossed one leg in front of the other, and they took care not to do that, thus avoiding sin and the wrath of their diety. Sort of a 'step on a crack' thing. These weren't stupid people, just scared and making up 'let's pretend' as they went along for some reason that made sense to them. Sorry, that could never be for me.

My favorite cousin (and best friend) is a fellow atheist, and he has been married to a practicing Methodist minister for forty years now. She is also one of the best friends I've ever had. She recently transfered her affiliation to the Unitarians, and it has caused stress on her, she's still a 'believer'.

Remember the suit you wore to church when you were twelve? I doesn't fit you anymore, and you've outgrown the church you used to wear it to as well.

muttmutt1978 said...

dont feel guilty, thats the way they want you to think, christianity has a stronghold on lives even after you deconvert, thats what this website is for to break the chains of indoctorination and to learn that christianity is based on fear guilt and shame, thats the real trinity of christianity.

tigg13 said...

Having an invisible friend can make you feel less lonely and vulnerable - until you realize that that friend doesn't exist.

You need to make new friends who aren't invisible. The first one you should start with is yourself. One of the things christianity does is to make you feel lowly, incompetant and unworthy. Learn to trust yourself, be there for yourself and be a good friend to yourself and you'll wonder why you ever wasted yout time on old What's His Name.

Houndie said...

Welcome to the world of sane people. I had the same feelings you are having when I first left but keep doing your research (books, mags, this website) and you will see it makes more sense to not believe. As for invisible protectors you could just as well talk to Superman, Batman, or Charlie Brown, it'd do just as much good. happy trails.

J.A.B. said...

I just wanted to let you know that I see a lot of myself in this - I'm in a very similar position. It's like years of propaganda - some of them in formative years when I was too young to be able to tell reality from fantasy reliably - are up against logic, and it's a fierce battle. Then again, I was also taught that being intelligent actually made it more difficult to stay faithful and that it would be something I had to pray about to make sure it didn't get in the way. That should have been a huge red flag to tell me that something wasn't right.

I'll be honest; I'm really scared. But the alternative is to continue being disgusted with myself for being unworthy of anything, and feeling constant shame. I'd rather be afraid of what might be than to (falsely) know that I'm worthless except as a tool of some other entity.

I have partially reconciled the "supernatural" in my own mind; in my view, everything that happens obeys laws that will be explained by science, once humans have discovered those laws. We haven't yet, and that is why some people believe fictions. That's what the ancient cultures often did, as a way to explain phenomena. I don't believe that the modern Western world is any different in that respect, except that perhaps there are a few more of us going "Hey, wait a second. This isn't real."

Yes, lingering fear sometimes keeps me up at night. But that's better than being up crying and being thoroughly disgusted with myself due to the lies and feeling that I would never be "good enough." I'm trying to fully believe, instead of only suspect, that I really do have the capability to be a good, helpful person, to myself and to others, without needing to let my body be used as a deity's robot case. Humans make pretty crappy robots for carrying out divine programs, really, and an omniscient, omnipotent deity would know that. I mean, I figured it out, and I'm only 26. God's had at least millennia to work on a plan.

I'm still "spiritual" in some sense; religiously, I would probably be considered an atheist, but not believing in a God (except in those moments of doubt) doesn't stop the feeling of wonder when I think about the vastness of the universe and all the possibilities of what COULD be out there for us to discover.

Anonymous said...

all of this has made me incredibly sad. To me, it looks like you have had many negative christian influences in your life. But let me tell you, this is not where it should end with you. I have been lucky enough to come into contact with down to earth christians, christians that struggle deeply with the notion of Hell. Christians that are well educated, liberal and open. They appraoch their faith with an attidtude of humblness, They question, they ponder they grapple with the paradoxes of their faith. but the desire to better the world and to find the truth in creation is still somewhere in them. This desire is actively restored,and shows up, out of the lethargy and laziness of my own selfish and comfortable mediocrity. Trust me, we are all slimy, and tragically flawed. (I know i am) To deny this, is to cheapen the complexity of the human heart, and the gift of grace. And yet, there is this desire to see justice done, to find the order in creation, to improve things. I think that this is the product of a benevolent and incredible God. Many christians do not think that this world is a waiting room for the afterlife. They want to see change, here and now. they want to make things better, not out of guilt, but so that they can bring about the kind of peace and order that should to characterize creation. to find a wholeness that is foreighn to us. It has nothing to do with fear, it has everything to do with the love our creator, Jesus Christ. a love that is subtle, and tempting to ignore. A love that calls us to appreciate the immediate joys, the pleasures of life, but also, to immerse ourselves in humanity's plight. to engage actively in the world around us, through art, through leisure, through work, through dialogue, and through self sacrifice. Christians are not called to simply "look heavenward" and ignore suffering. Nor are they called to alienate themselves from every day, worldy life. it is the opposite. they are called to jump right in, and live with a passion that can only be made perfect through determination, humbleness, kindness and reconciliation. it has nothing to do with feeling superior, or scaring 'non - believers'
There is an excellent quote by CS Lewis that goes "Christ has payed us the intolerable compliment of loving us." It is natural to reject God's promise of salvation. the idea of heaven is a scary notion, in some ways. it is much too epic and much too huge for us. it is an eternal thing, and we prefer the constraints of time, because endings make sense to us. we prefer the small things, we love logic, we love reason. God knows this, and he has given us logic as a gift, for some reason,
He is not confined to it.
If we choose to recieve the scandalous gift of grace, we can really start to live life. to be fruitful, to find contentment through the gritty, the painful and the hard to understand realities of earthly drama. I encourage you to keep thinking, to keep pondering, to fight, to doubt, to look, to explore.I hope that God's face will emerge through all of it.I hope that His love for you becomes the source of peace, and that christianity will become a less muddled and ultimately irresistable blessing. christianity becomes shallow, hypocritical and meaningless when pride gets in the way, and when fear becomes the base of it. It is a religion that has been distorted, and it has been used to justify atrocity. but at the root of it, is a goodness, that we must strive to recognize. At the root of it is the sacrafice of Jesus. At the root of it is an almost sublime kind of logic, a logic that requires a leap of faith, but becomes achingly evident, in the flawed world around us. a world full of joy and of evil. It has nothing to do with evangelical nutjobs.
so...yeah. i'm not crazy, hope this little bit of insight is okay.

stronger now said...

Anonynutter:
"I think that this is the product of a benevolent and incredible God."

This is the opinion of someone who is "slimy, and tragically flawed".

".. he has given us logic as a gift, for some reason,
He is not confined to it."


What? So you shouldn't expect logic from god even though he supposedly gave us logic to determine the truth? This is absurd!

"It is a religion that has been distorted [sic] but at the root of it, is a goodness, that we must strive to recognize. At the root of it is the sacrafice of Jesus."

So you define goodness as human sacrifice? Your sick! Religion undestorted is sick in and of itself. It closes the human mind to alternatives and opens it to atrocities.

"At the root of it is an almost sublime kind of logic, a logic that requires a leap of faith..."

That "leap of faith" isn't logical without credible evidence. And then it isn't faith. The two are mutually exclusive as far as I can tell.

stronger now said...

distorted

AtheistToothFairy said...

Anonymous wrote:
>all of this has made me incredibly sad. To me, it looks like you have had many negative christian influences in your life
----

Anonymous (who I'm sure will never reply to this, just like all the others)

A few up-front suggestions for you:

1. Learn how to form PARAGRAPHS. Your post, like many xtian post, are HARD to read.

2. Figure out how to pick a nickname for yourself, so we can identify you from the many 'anonymous' posters we get.

3. Try reading through this website BEFORE you start preaching the same crap we have heard 666 times already, and that was just this week.

Now, I see nothing 'sad' about J.G.'s story, other than perhaps that he was brainwashed as an innocent child, and then had to learn to escape the clutches of your religion.

Why is it that most of xtians who choose to write this 'stuff' always assume that someone left the fold because they had a bad experience with fellow humans of whatever church?

Why is it that you ignore J.G.'s own words, when he plainly says he can't logically believe in your myth anymore?
Why do you automatically just assume that he couldn't possibly have discovered using his BRAIN that your xtian god is no more real than Santa Clause?

Okay, on to the rest of your blatherings now:

>I have been lucky enough to come into contact with down to earth christians, christians that struggle deeply with the notion of Hell.

Well that is truly "SAD", that you found some brainwashed xtians and didn't bother to educate them that there is no such thing as Hell.

>They question, they ponder they grapple with the paradoxes of their faith. but the desire to better the world and to find the truth in creation is still somewhere in them.

Excuse me, but what 'truth in creation' are you talking about?
Surely you don't mean to imply that your god created us, right?


>Trust me, we are all slimy, and tragically flawed. (I know i am)

I beg your pardon!!!
None of us consider ourselves 'slimy' or 'flawed'.
Perhaps you enjoy seeing yourself in that distorted mirror, which is truly "SAD"


>To deny this, is to cheapen the complexity of the human heart, and the gift of grace.

Well, I got news for you....I fully deny it. Chew on that for awhile anony-mouse.
My heart is a complex as it needs to be, to pump my blood.
No matter how complex YOU might deem us humans, that doesn't infer that some god created us, now does it.
And heck, what kind of 'gift' is this grace crap?


>And yet, there is this desire to see justice done, to find the order in creation, to improve things.

I agree, we do desire to see justice done and that justice begins with stopping you fundies from brainwashing little kids.
Why would I have a need to find 'order in creation'?
The world is what it is, whether it's orderly or not, it just IS.


>I think that this is the product of a benevolent and incredible God.

Oh gosh, I'm soooo surprised that you think this....yeah right.

>It has nothing to do with fear, it has everything to do with the love our creator, Jesus Christ. a love that is subtle, and tempting to ignore.

Or it might have a tiny bit to do with greed. Greed of so wanting to go to heaven, that you would do ANYTHING to get that reward.

>Christians are not called to simply "look heavenward" and ignore suffering.

Unless that suffering happens to reside in folks who don't agree with your beliefs or who you see as being too un-sheep like to swallow your poison.


>There is an excellent quote by CS Lewis that goes "Christ has payed us the intolerable compliment of loving us."

Well please tell your DIC-tator god (aka DICK) to take back that awful love he pretends to give us.
It's far from being unconditional and his 'conditions' are too SICK to contend with.


>It is natural to reject God's promise of salvation.

Yeah, which is why it's very necessary to brainwash children before they dismiss your god, like they all learn to do with Santa.
Get to them early on, before they wise up, is your creed.


>the idea of heaven is a scary notion, in some ways.

How can something that can't exists, ever be considered 'scary'?

>it is much too epic and much too huge for us.

Yeah, just how 'huge' do you make this heaven, out to be, hmm.

>we love logic, we love reason.

Well, SOME of us love logic and reason. Some, also known as xtians, do NOT.
For if they did, they would see thru the fog of your beliefs.


>God knows this, and he has given us logic as a gift, for some reason,

Or perhaps our brains evolved in such a way as to enable us to have that logic function, all without any god(s) having a hand in it.

>If we choose to recieve the scandalous gift of grace

Well it's about time you admitted that religion is nothing but a SCANDEL.
Now you're on the road to recovery from your miserable addiction.

>to be fruitful

Being fruitful is how we landed up with TOO many people on this small planet.
Don' t you think that at some point your god should have rescinded that command, like before we landed up with 6 billion people on this earth?
Oops, I guess he didn't get the memo that we filled the earth, beyond capacity now?

>I encourage you to keep thinking, to keep pondering, to fight, to doubt, to look, to explore.

I also hope that J.G. keeps right on doubting, keeps right on exploring (sites like this one), keeps on fighting (fighting off xtians, that is)

>I hope that God's face will emerge through all of it.

Well if his face emerges, then we are all dead, because as I'm sure you know, one can't look upon his face and live.
(Well, with a few exceptions it seems)


>I hope that His love for you becomes the source of peace

Actually, his love is what caused most of us much turmoil and strife in our lives, until we vanquished him out of our lives.


> and that christianity will become a less muddled

Christianty is muddled for a very good reason.
It's all hype based on old myths and has been misused to support whatever agenda any nut-job had in mind to gain power over humans.
If your holy ghostie was real, then your bible book wouldn't be so MUDDLED with riddles and contradictions.

>and ultimately irresistable blessing

It would more compared with the BORG being irresistible.
You give up your own mind if you give into your sky daddy.
Talk about your assimilation techniques.

>christianity becomes shallow, hypocritical and meaningless when pride gets in the way

Actually, it is already all these attributes, with or without pride being a factor.

>It is a religion that has been distorted, and it has been used to justify atrocity.

Excuse me, but your xtian religion is greatly distorted and can never be reconciled. It's beyond repair and has been since it began 2000 years ago.

>but at the root of it, is a goodness, that we must strive to recognize.

We did recognize it for what it truly is....CRAP.

>At the root of it is the sacrafice of Jesus.

And what did your make believe jesus ever sacrifice
It sure wasn't himself, as he only went to sleep for TWO days.
It's not like he stayed DEAD, for if he had, we'd be better off.

>At the root of it is an almost sublime kind of logic, a logic that requires a leap of faith,

How on earth do you merge Logic and Faith together?
Religion is not logical and faith requires one to believe without logic and reason to verify that belief.
Your 'leap of faith', is more like blind faith and that leap is one off a tall cliff for sure.

>but becomes achingly evident, in the flawed world around us.

It NEVER was self evident to me. Mainly because it not only doesn't make any sense, but it lacks any credible proof for it to stand upon.

You say the world is flawed.
Would that be your learned opinion?
The world is what it is, and a belief in some imaginary god will not remove any flaws from it.
Your god has yet to show his power to rectify any of earth's so called flaws, just as he never gave a hoot about the flaws he put into our human bodies.

>a world full of joy and of evil. It has nothing to do with evangelical nutjobs.

I think your a bit prejudiced against your fellow xtians.
I'm quite sure these evangelical nutjobs would tell you that you're doomed to hell, for not buying into their version of this god fable.
So what we have is a religion that the founder of (god), has chosen to ignore the many problems of.
If your god really wanted his human pets to follow his creeds, then he would make sure that every human on this planet received the exact same messages from him.
Instead, we have over 3000 xtian sects, some of which would be willing to brutally fight other sects in order to maintain their greed of power.

I suggest anonymous, that you take a sharp long pin and stab that bubble that is keeping you from seeing outside it's walls.
Until you do, all you will do is go around in circles inside it, trying this flavor of your religion versus another, but never escaping the bubble itself to realize it's all been a horrible deception that you couldn't resist buying into.


ATF (who see's here, yet ANOTHER xtian with the 'perfect' knowledge of what god's mind is about)

P.S. I double-dare you to come back and justify your creed to us)

boomSLANG said...

Anonymous...... hope this little bit of insight is okay.

Actually, no, it's not only not "okay", it's the most perverse, convoluted, asinine Christian "insight" I've read lately.

Annoyin'us...I have been lucky enough to come into contact with down to earth christians, christians [who] struggle deeply with the notion of Hell. Christians [who] are well educated, liberal and open.

Evidently, they are not that well-educated--either that, or said education didn't quite rub off enough. What I was going to say, Anony', is that if you are a person; if you are a human being, then you are a "who", not a "that". On the other hand, if you regard yourself as "slim", then maybe a "that" is much more appropriate, on second thought.

BTW, I don't care if your three Christian friends graduated from an Ivy League University, or from Mother Goose & Grim's daycare---you, and/or, they, will never convince a clearly-thinking, rational-minded adult that snakes, donkeys, and vegetation can speak the human language, or that invisible, semi-dead, god-men want to have a relationship with us. 'Sorry, charley.

Annoyin'us...Trust me, we are all slimy, and tragically flawed. (I know i am) To deny this, is to cheapen the complexity of the human heart, and the gift of grace.

Listen up----you have it completely back ass-wards. It is YOU who cheapens the human experience by suggesting that we are "guilty", and that we are unworthy of "life", this, before we are ever even born. If you want to go through your life berating yourself 24/7 because your belief-system requires it; if you want to regard yourself as "slimy" and "tragically flawed", you are perfectly free to do it. But don't you dare try to include us under your umbrella of mystical superstitious bullshit.

Annoyin'us...It[what Christians aspire] has nothing to do with fear, it has everything to do with the love [of] our creator, Jesus Christ.

Oh, good grief. WRONG. Christianity has plenty to do with fear. For one, Christians frequently claim they are "God-fearing" Christians. Um, duh? Secondly, the concept of "hell" would be utterly useless if people didn't "fear" it. If "hell" were not meant to strike fear into people, well shit, the alternative to "heaven" may as well be Baskin Robbin's Ice Cream Parlor....i.e.."Oh looky!..if I don't choose God, I still get all-you-can-eat Ice Cream!...Yaaay!" pLeAsE.

Annoyin'us...the idea of heaven is a scary notion, in some ways.

Um, what happened to "it's not about fear"? And really now, if being reunited with our deceased friends and family somewhere in the clouds for a never-ending existence of pure bliss is "scary", then how do you sum up the notion of being kept alive, and perpetually incinerated?....i.e.."tortured"????

Honestly, to keep referencing your post makes my skin crawl. I'm done here; I can't continue. Pathetic, Anony'...you are pathetic.

Astreja said...

J.G., great Ex-timony. I particularly like the line "if there is a spiritual journey to be had". That's something I occasionally struggle with: Is there anything beyond the physical world, or are we merely translating odd little brain artifacts into personal mythologies?

Anonymouse: "Trust me, we are all slimy, and tragically flawed. (I know i am) To deny this, is to cheapen the complexity of the human heart, and the gift of grace."

Read what you just wrote, please.

And then read it again.

You have the unmitigated gall to call humanity 'tragically flawed', then turn around and say that denying it cheapens us?

Um, no. Your sorry little religion and its unwholesome views on humanity is what's cheapening lives. Whatever value Christianity might have had is utterly destroyed by the concept of Original Sin.

And didn't you get the memo? I abolished Original Sin on December 30, 2000. (writes Anonymous a ticket for a moving violation)

anonymous (responding) said...

You are right in saying that the refusal to comment back would be a totally cowardly thing to do (on my part).
I was embarrassed reading over my post, mostly because looking back at it, I sounded preachy and self righteous. a lot of what i said was scattered and probably just plain repulsive to some. In NO way did I mean to be-little 'non believers' or brainwash any of you.

The origin of evil is a touchy subject. But one thing remains clear: evil exists. I found the most comprehensive understanding of its beginnings in the Bible.
Maybe this sounds like childish drivel to some.
please don't picture me walking around with a serene smile on my face, handing out bibles, cursing non-christians under my breath. destroy that image, if you can. Even though I know you'd rather uphold it. it's simpler that way, right?
I did not mean to come off sounding smug, or superior, or snobbish. I usually do not do this kind of stuff. This is all new to me.
Would you respect me more if denounced my faith? if I suddenly changed my beliefs because people oppose them? there is zero accountability if I do that.
That being said, I am not just defending my beliefs to prove a point. When all is said and done. I am a Christian. and I will remain that way. It is the realest thing in my life.
Abandoning my faith, would have little to do with puncturing my 'christian bubble'. And by bubble, i assume you mean, my world view, something that EVERYONE has, regardless of their religious affiliations. Intolerant extremism can find its way into any world view, it is not restricted to a christian one. Many christians despise the hostility associated with that kind of evangelical bigotry.
Deeming any religion as inherently corrupt is deeply offensive and small minded. The christian religion, above ALL things stresses love, selflessness, joy and peace. generosity and hope. Even from a secular standpoint you cannot call these things distorted.
go ahead, and call the tactics used to carry out Christ's teachings distorted. People have mis-interpreted the bible. None can argue that. But To call an entire religion distorted is just ludicrous.

ps - Personal attacks and petty name won't solve anything either.

boomSLANG said...

Anony'... I was embarrassed reading over my post

Yeah, you should be.

Anony'... I am a Christian. and I will remain that way.

Uh-huh, we know all about it....you are committed, a priori, to upholding your belief. It's called a conviction.

Anony'... It[Christianity] is the realest thing in my life.

I have to say, once again, that I find it extremely sad that your belief in invisible beings is more "real" to you than your own friends and family---in other words, people whose existence is unquestionable, and whose love for you, is presumably, unconditional....as opposed to an intangible being who requires constant faith, and whose love for you is clearly, conditional.

Anony'... Abandoning my faith, would have little to do with puncturing my 'christian bubble'. And by bubble, i assume you mean, my world view, something that EVERYONE has, regardless of their religious affiliations.

The difference is that your "bubble" is impenatrable; your "faith", unshakable.... as you pretty much alluded to. I'm not so committed to my position that I won't change my mind in the face of evidence. 'Got any?

Anony'... Intolerant extremism can find its way into any world view, it is not restricted to a christian one.

Intolerance and extremism are not mutually inclusive. I don't have to be "tolerant" of people who promote and propagate a doctrine that condones the killing of all who oppose it, including family members. There is nothing "extreme" in my rejecting that. I don't have to be tolerant of people who push to get mysticism and superstition taught as "science". Again, there is nothing "extreme" in my concern about that.

Anony'... Many christians despise the hostility associated with that kind of evangelical bigotry.

Then "many" Christians "despise" their own holy books. There's a good reason that the biblical literalists end up being the "extremists". Duh?

Anony'... The christian religion, above ALL things stresses love, selflessness, joy and peace.

Lol! Tell me, Christian....where is the "joy" in being asked to believe something you see no evidence for, when the only alterative is to get incinerated in everlasting hellfire if you don't believe it? Good grief....either you've been reading your "holy" book "buffet style", or you have a serious reading comprehension problem.....or then again, maybe you've never seen it at all.

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