My Life as a Christian and How I Got Over It

sent in by twincats

I was born into a Lutheran family, an only child. I grew up in a Southern California congregation with Midwestern values. My first memory of church is probably around age four, sitting in the pew in awe and wonder because God was up there, speaking to us. I believed that the pastor was actually God who’d come down from heaven. My mother didn’t work and since I was the only child, she had plenty of time to coach me about sitting quietly in church and listening to the word of God and who else but God is going to give His word? Time went on, I started going to Sunday school and learned about God and Jesus and the pastor, who really did the preaching. It was a letdown, sure, but everyone else seemed okay with it, so I went with the flow.

My first problem with the faith was around age 6 when they wanted us to bring our friends to Sunday school and church with us. We lived in a neighborhood where we, the Lutherans, were the only Protestants on the block. All of my little friends were Jewish or Catholic and they seemed happy with what they had and I saw no reason why I should try to change their minds! But they offered us a gold fishhook pin if we did and I really wanted one of those, but I still couldn’t bring myself to drag my friends to my church. I really didn’t believe in my heart that mine was better than theirs! I never lost that feeling and always inwardly rolled my eyes every year on Evangelism Sunday.

My next crisis started just before confirmation. I was filled with anxiety that I would not be worthy to take my first communion at age 14. I prayed for guidance and got none, so I talked to the pastor who managed to assuage my fears in time for confirmation.

The next four years were happy ones; I loved singing praises to God in the church choir, I was active in Youth Group and even taught Vacation Bible School. I felt safe and secure in the love of God and my congregation.

Like many, I fell away as a young adult; 10 years in the military, then another four away from home for college. I went to church only sporadically, but never lost my faith. In college, I took Western Civilization and learned about how religion (as in, Catholicism) was used to control the masses and how Luther’s Reformation only succeeded because he had the backing of the German nobility (who were tired of tithing to Rome and seeing no local benefit) and was far enough away from Rome to pull it off. This was the beginning of my long split from faith; Reformation Day (a biggie for Lutherans!) was never the same for me after that.

The biggest blow, however, came when I finally returned home to my childhood congregation. A new pastor had just been installed and he wanted to ‘shake things up’ as it were. He clashed with my beloved music director and she quit. Officially, she retired, but word in the pews was she got tired of his micro-managing the music after having had nearly complete autonomy for over 20 years. It was the first time I had witnessed such politicking in church and I was shocked and devastated! The next music director they hired was a joke, so I made sure that I wasn’t available for choir anymore.

Not long after that, I started seeing a man who was a Pagan. After he proposed, I began learning about Pagan religions and found that (lo and behold!) they have nothing at all to do with devil worship as I had been taught in the church. They had either lied to me outright or not bothered themselves with finding and telling the truth (and they’re supposedly all about the truth, right?) Either way, I had been grievously misled by my faith! That was the last straw! Like Saul, the scales had fallen from my eyes, only in reverse, and I saw Christianity for what it is; a lying, scheming, political and entirely human enterprise much like any other on this earth.

I am happy and at peace now. I have a lovely home and a loving husband. When we lost my husband’s oldest brother last week, the family comforted each other and I did not feel the absence of Jesus’ comfort one bit. I’ve found that all we have in this life is each other, but if you play your cards right, that’s more than enough!

CA
USA
How old were you when you became a christian? from birth
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 37
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Lutheran
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Pagan
Why did you become a christian? my parents were (no choice)
Why did you de-convert? Christianity stopped making sense

38 comments:

SpaceMonk said...

Welcome Twincats,

A well told and familiar story, and I thought it was cute how you thought the pastor was god.

"I began learning about Pagan religions and found that (lo and behold!) they have nothing at all to do with devil worship as I had been taught in the church."

That's something that struck me aswell.
Huh? the word 'occult' simply means 'hidden'? hmm.
When you look at what's actually part of it you start to realise why it's so forbidden to christians.
Astrology is the backbone of christiantity. Can't let any christian find that out...

P.S. your name reminds me of the two cats our family used to own. Little black Orientals, they were so beautiful.

Sarge said...

h, yes, preacher as god. A late uncle of mine was a baptist preacher in rural Maine, but he was an otherwise very nice and sensible fellow. He used to chuckle at the fact that there was usually a child in the congregation who believed he was, in fact, god, and often that they also thought he lived in the steeple.

It's odd that so many preachers (and their "flocks") identify so strongly with their diety that THEY get the inkling that they're actually this entity, or at the very least its viceroy entitled to all the perks, respect and punctilio that they can get. Or maybe not odd at all.

Marty Mets said...

I went to a Lutheran school growing up as well as church. I remember one morning around 5th grade, as everyone was heading to their classrooms, a younger child was being led to his class by his mother. They happened to walk past the principle, who's name was Mr. Rath. (Ironic, huh?)

"Look mommy, it's god!"

"No, no, that's just Mr. Rath"

At this point, the kid looked up and said "Yea, mommy, the Wrath of god!"

I still get a good chuckle out of that memory.

rocky said...

Welcome twincats!

" I’ve found that all we have in this life is each other, but if you play your cards right, that’s more than enough!"

I couldn't agree more. A sweet but naive friend of mine told her atheist daughter that she should believe in God because you have to have hope. "I have a lovely home, lots of friends, a job, and a wonderful family that loves me for who I am," I told her. "Are you telling me that's not enough?" She didn't have an answer, but I could hear the hamster turning the wheel. Hope for what? To meet a vengeful entity who might cast me into a lake of fire for oh, say, wearing pants or using birth control?

"I began learning about Pagan religions and found that (lo and behold!) they have nothing at all to do with devil worship as I had been taught in the church."

You have to wonder what kind of logic drives folks to believe this drivel. Satan is a Christian-based concept, and we're not Christian so how can we worship him, and, um, ....well, you get it. Millions won't.

bill said...

I used to think Pastors were FOGs. (Friends of God)

John said...

Yeah, only Roman Catholic Christianity has been used in the past 1,500 years to control people. No one does that sort of thing in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria. Everyone has the freedom of religion in Muslim countries. And no Jewsish women have ever been required to enter the synogogue through a separate door from men.

Trust me, Twincats, you were only exposed to the evil in the Catholic Church's past because the Catholic Church has a mostly-white hierarchy and the most money among Christians, as well as some annoying political positions in the minds of liberal college professors. They wouldn't dare show their students what horrible things that non-white non-Christians have done to other people, because that would be RACIST. Oh, dear, that word makes me shudder. Besides, they want tenure, and no one gets tenure by offending Wiccans, atheists, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus by telling uncomfortable truths about them.

.:webmaster:. said...

Yes twincats, listen to him. All religions are equally bad.

Thanks for making point, John.

The Liberal Pagan said...

hi, twincats, I had that same feeling when I was told I should try to convert my friends to the charismatic pentecostal church I belonged to. I think it stemmed back to when I was very small my aunt and uncle were christian missionaries in ivory coast, africa, and I remember asking my family what was wrong with what the africans were doing already. my aunt and uncle came back with pictures of these glorious-looking africans with the most beautiful smiles and there were my puny white relatives, who didnt even look worthy to stand next to those folks. but..I was told the africans didn't know jesus and so they were damned until my relatives could show up and 'save' them. I didn't believe it then and I don't believe it now. one of my big issues with christianity is they can't seem to leave other people alone, they won't be happy until everyone thinks and believes the same way they do and I just don't believe that, even if jesus said he was the only way to heaven. so what..its still a crock.

twincats said...

Trust me John, when I tell you that NO ONE is concerned with offending Wiccans; there aren't enough of us and the Christians do quite a good enough job of keeping us on the down-low, right Rocky?

Webmaster: Paganism is not so much about worship or servitude as using our own energy to accomplish our goals rather than being dependent on any particular deity. Sure, some folks use Pagan polytheism as a substitute for structured religion, but lots of us are solitaries and take what we like out of it. My involvement is mainly observing the cycles of the earth (very grounding) and herbalism for health. BTW, you are a true HERO for providing this forum and I have been enjoying the heck (cuz there is no hell) out of it since I discovered it last month, so thanks a million! I hope you get the recognition you deserve in the future once we have lost our need to subject ourselves to imaginary deities.

Does that sound contradictory? I suppose it does, but I believe that a lot of what Pagans are about (the supernatural, spiritual, psi stuff) will be adequately explained by science one day and everyone will be able to avail themselves of the benefits.

Rock on exes, I'll be reading you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't like that kind of pressured evangelism either. If someone shares their beliefs with another, it should be because they feel compelled to do so, not because of a social pressure.
Jesus gave us the Great Commission: 'go therefore and make disciples of all nations'. This should be sufficient, without churches adding extra pressure.

.:webmaster:. said...

Twincats, you're right. My statement was a bit too short and cryptic.

I realize Paganism is not a religion in the traditional sense; I just went along with John's stereotype for the sake of discussion in order to emphasize that Christianity is just a religion and essentially no different than any other religion on the planet.

Philosopher said...

Twincats, it sounds like your story, although painful, is based on miscommunication (or the lack thereof) and individuals who have been ineffective in their roles.

I don't know much about the Lutheran religeon, but reading your story I see people who made mistakes, not an entire organization that made mistakes.

I would agree with you in the generality that, God does not call anyone into an organized religeon. He wants each and everyone of us to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him. I could not tell by your last comment if you have that or not?

Philosopher said...

Twincats,

In reading your story, it appears that several people seemed to have failed you or not lived up to an expectation. I also see several miscommunications. It strikes me that you are holding an entire organiztion responsible for the misgivings and miscommunications by several individuals. Unfortunately, that is how many people perceive God, through an organizaton.

I would agree with you that God does not want us to have a relationship with an organization. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. I can't tell from your posting if you still have that.

chopan said...

To have a relationship with god, just bend over and receive Jesus into your heart!!!

.:webmaster:. said...

philosopher said: "He wants each and everyone of us to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him."

Really? How do you know this? Please quote the Bible verse or verses that use the phrase you just typed. I want to see where it says "God wants to have a personal relationship with you" in the Bible.

Thanks.

twincats said...

Philsopher: I think who I have an intimate relationship with (in my head and outside my marriage) is actually myself. I called it a relationship with God for a long time, but I don't anymore.

I used to be just as shocked and appalled at the concept of "I am God" as you no doubt are, but I got over it. We are all, in our own way, divine; no matter what we believe, so bless yourself!

south2003 said...

philosopher said: "He wants each and everyone of us to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him."

The last time I checked the dictionary, intimate meant warm, close, friendly and dear...well, unless they revised the damn thing. Maybe someone can check into that for me – http://www.dictionary.com.

Listen buddy, change your nic, ok - philosopher my arse. More like Philly blunts because you’ve been smoking. How can you have an intimate relationship with a dictatorial deity? This god concept in your babble is an overbearing arrogant screw-up to begin with, a snotty nosed 8 yr old who – if it doesn’t get its way and wants its ego stroked, it requires a blood sacrifice.

So tell me where is the intimacy and where is the warmth – believe in me or else and do this or else? Why is this god so pissy all the time? Why is it that this "intimate relationship" is so dissimilar from the ones you have with your spouse or friends? Why is it that we require respect from our friends and family and your deity concept can nonchalantly call us filthy rags (bloody menstrual cloth), wicked, wretched and evil? If your spouse and friends had those attitude problems, any competent psychiatrist will tell you to pack your shit and leave.

I see nothing but coldness – someone please light the fire so I can feel the warmth.

Another thing, why is god a “he” and not a “she” an “it” or a “they?”

Anonymous said...

A few quotes from Scripture, to aid debate in the spirit of friendly discussion.

Matthew 11:28-30. "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light".

Matthew 14:27. "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid".

Matthew 28:20. "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age".

Luke 12:22-23. "Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing".

The vengeful and proscriptive God of the Old Testament is replaced:
Romans 6:6. "Now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit".

Romans 8:38-39. "Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord".

2 Corinthians 1:3-4. "Blessed be God ... who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God".

J. C. Samuelson said...

Chopton,

Don't forget, Jesus himself said -

"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matt 5:18

During my days as a Christian, I seem to recall something about Jesus being God, and Paul being an apostle. Hmmm. Wonder who's words the Christian should give more weight to?

.:webmaster:. said...

I like this statement more than any other in the list of Bible verses provided by chopton:

"The vengeful and proscriptive God of the Old Testament is replaced:"

Odd choice of words. Could we have a follower of the teachings of Marcion? And I thought the holy heresy hunters had wiped them out centuries ago.

Hmm.

Anonymous said...

webmaster: yes you are right. 'Replaced' was a bad choice of phrasing. As ever, Jesus puts it much better: the Old Law is 'fulfilled'.

jeff the ubergreek: you are also right. Jesus wants the Old Law entirely 'fulfilled'. But check out what Jesus means by 'fulfilled', because he doesn't mean 'come to pass'. He gives lots of examples of what fulfilled means. Here's one (Matthew 5:43-44): "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you".

boomSLANG said...

Bible translator said: "But check out what Jesus means by 'fulfilled', because he doesn't mean 'come to pass'. He gives lots of examples of what fulfilled means. Here's one (Matthew 5:43-44): 'You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.' "

So that's the definition of "fulfilled", is it? 'Sounds more to me like someone with selective memory simply changing their mind:

"Stone all rebellious teenagers to death!! ; "No WAIT!!.....what are you doing?!?!?!.....do NOT stone rebellious teenagers to death, who told you to do that?" LMAO!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

A few things. First, I would like to say that I am very impressed with this site and the opportunity it gives for people who have left the Christian community to encourage each other. It is just the sort of forum that I would appreciate if I was in that position. I hope you all benefit from it.

Second, I apologise for my persistant posts that are not all in the spirit of the site's aims. I only do it because I think that for anyone who is exploring serious questions about existence, it is just as helpful to have someone facing you to bounce ideas off as it is to have someone by your side encouraging you. It is good for me to have my beliefs challenged too. There is a lot in them that deserves to be challenged.

Lastly, a little bit of background. I have only been a Christian since last December. I have 21 solid years of atheism behind me and have frequently argued against Christians in its defence. There is lots about atheism that is very admirable. It is rationally much more defensible than Christianity, for example. Also, its not as bad as a lot of us Christians make out. There's plenty of coping mechanisms for living without a God that are pretty effective: secular humanism, existentialism, even nihilism, defend human dignity with pleasing results.

For me, Christianity was never (and still isn't) something that could be proven, and I never thought it likely that I would be persuaded by it. In the end, though, the proof was in the pudding. I just tried (just to see) bowing down and accepting Christ and living according to his word (distinct from the word of the Church, of course), and my life has become infinitely better. It wasn't that bad a life to begin with (I still recognise that), but with Christ it genuinely is (for me) infinitely better. Jesus is the one true revolutionary because his ideas (endlessly forgive; give up your life for me; love everybody recklessly) still shock, and always will do.

twincats said...

Chopton, I'm really glad you've found happiness in Christ. I hope you can be glad that I've found happiness in celebrating the earth. Christianity and the Bible just don't make sense to me; maybe they never did, but now I no longer have to try to force them to make sense and that is very freeing.

I would never attempt to persuade you (or anyone else) into giving up what you've found because I've never understood the benefit of prosletyzing, which to me is nothing more than telling others they are wrong when no one really knows for sure.

I spent a year in Turkey and always thought that they were very sensible because prosletyzing is illegal there. Practice any religion you like, but don't advertise, or you'll go to Turkish prison!

boomSLANG said...

chopton: "Jesus is the one true revolutionary because his ideas (endlessly forgive; give up your life for me; love everybody recklessly) still shock, and always will do."

Whaaa? What bible have you been reading? If roasting away in hellfire is to "endlessly forgive", boy, I'd hate to see your God with a chip on his shoulder. And who's giving up whose life? Certainly Jesus did no such thing, or he'd still be DEAD. But "JESUS LIVES!!"....right? So "He" gave up NOTHING. Oh boy, he's "reckless" alright.

Welp, you've been diplomatic, so take care and enjoy your new coersive "relationship" with your dysfunctional deity. Cheers.

south2003 said...

chopton: "For me, Christianity was never (and still isn't) something that could be proven, and I never thought it likely that I would be persuaded by it. In the end, though, the proof was in the pudding."

Where is your/the proof?

Anonymous said...

south2003: well, like I said, I don't think there is any proof. I think most of the proof points in the opposite direction. Every Christian has moments when they are confronted with the absurdity of what they believe.

For me, the "proof" is in the love I give and the love I receive. And whenever I read the words of the gospel I want nothing more. As St Paul says, "If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God." (1 Cor 8:2-3).

I'm sure I will be tempted by non-Christian philosophies many times in the future. But Christ has prepared me for that: "False christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand." (Mark 13:22-23).

All the best,
chopton

Anonymous said...

twincats: I'm glad you have found happiness in celebrating the earth, yes! And there's much happiness to be found. I enjoy celebrating the earth too.

As for Christ, I never said I found happiness in him. I don't go to God for happiness - I go for fulfilment. Happiness is something that comes and goes; fulfilment is forever.

twincats said...

Oh, Chopton, now I have to get philosohical with you and I hate philosophy!

What is fulfillment? Please, don't quote me any definitions, I am aware of the definition; but tell me, what is it I am supposed to feel? I couldn't tell you.

What I can tell you is that I don't feel unfulfilled; I don't feel my life is lacking anything, nor do I feel the need to seek any certain, undefinable something that I don't have.

I am content with my life and beliefs and so, therefore, pronounce myself fulfilled.

Anonymous said...

Twincats: yes, I suppose I'm in danger of making this an exercise in semantics, which is never a good thing! Happiness, joy, fulfilment, contentment, blah blah blah: not really things one can debate sensibly.

At the end of the day, I can't tell you what you're "supposed to feel". After all, I'm only a human, the same as you. All I can tell you is what I feel. But I imagine you would only tell me you feel just as good with your own beliefs, so that would be a pointless discussion too.

What I'd be more interested to know was how you felt when you were, nominally, a "Christian". In particular, how did you feel when you prayed in private? Was it comforting? empty? engaging? fruitless? Prayer is my favourite part of being a Christian, so I'd love to have your perspective on it.

By the same token, how do your new beliefs play out in your day-to-day life? Are they simply a position of belief ("that's how the world works"), or do they have a more direct impact on your actions and everyday thoughts ("this is what I believe, so this is how I should act")?

Whatever your beliefs,
peace be with you (I think that can still be a universal greeting!)

twincats said...

Okay, now it's fun again!

Prayer was only nominally fulfilling for me; more like an insurance policy than anything else. I got a lot more out of singing and liturgy. I still catch myself humming hymns and bits of Matins; I just like the tunes. I've also always been into the ritual of church. I'd likely have remained a Lutheran a lot longer if they hadn't gone and modernized the liturgy!

The way my Wiccan/Pagan beliefs play out in my day-to-day life is that I try to follow the Rede ("An it harm none, do as you will" especially the "harm none" part; lots of people would be surprised at how broadly pagans actually interpret 'harm') and keep in mind the law of three: Whatever energy you put out into the universe, it comes back to you threefold (a great incentive to be positive!)

Pagans believe that humans can tap into the energies of the universe without a divine intermediary and I am a pagan that believes that calling upon gods/goddesses/elementals & etc. is simply a way to focus the mind in order to do that.

I am also included in the group of pagans that believe that there is an afterlife (sorry, atheists, but I still support you!) and we all go to the same afterlife, therefore, all ways of life, philosophies, religions and such are paths to the same truth. Evil is still bad, of course, but we have to deal with it here on this plane of existence.

Anonymous said...

Twincats: well that's pretty hard to argue against! In fact, it sounds extremely similar to the attitude I had before I became a Christian. Except I didn't believe in an afterlife (I still find that difficult now, actually) and I didn't call myself a pagan. I guess I have a lot to learn about paganism.

A lot of what you have said is very similar to Christianity, and a lot is very different. It's important to remember that the Bible is only a MODEL of how the Universe works (but Christians believe it's the most effective model). So when we call God "He", we know God's not really an old man in the sky. Really God is a catch-call term for the whole Universe and how it works. But it is a helpful model to imagine God as a "He" when it comes to praying to him and living according to his word. So God is actually very similar to the pagan universe. He's not a "divine intermediary" to it, he IS the "energies of the universe". Similarly, the Holy Spirit is a way to "focus the mind" to "tap into" God.

So what about the "Rede"? I find this very interesting. It is a tantalising philosophy. It seems to make so much sense. Do as you want, as long as it doesn't harm others. There is a story about a man who was swinging a stick around his head, near to a second man. He said, "I am free to swing this stick as much as you want". The second man said, "no you aren't". "Where does my freedom end?" says the first man. "At the tip of my nose". It makes a lot of sense. It's what most of modern secular law is based on. In part, it even agrees with the gospels. So why don't I agree with it?

I think sins can be loosely classified into two types: those that harm others, and those that only harm ourselves. The first group are easy to justify: don't murder, don't steal, and (very importantly) don't judge others. The second is a bit more tricky. This involves things like having multiple sexual partners, being excessively ambitious, not having a day of rest. It’s tricky because it’s not always obvious why they are bad. “Why shouldn’t I have sex with who I want? What business is it of yours?” Well, of course you should be allowed to, but that isn’t the point. St Paul puts it like this: “all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful”.

Sin is a tricky business, because it always seems good at the time, but you suffer for it later. To give a simple but common example, I might avoid talking to a colleague I find annoying. In the short term, I get relief, but over time it causes division, anxiety and pain. This is a really common situation. That’s why “An it harm none, do as you will” is insufficient for me. Why should I talk to someone I don’t like? It’s not my responsibility. He started it. It’s easy to come up with justifications like that. But living under God, I feel compelled to act differently. I am told to forgive, and forgive and forgive and forgive. I am told to pray for those who persecute me. In the short term, it’s hard work, but in the long term I’m the one who benefits. At root, Christianity is very selfish!

Thanks for discussing with me!
Please now persuade with that I'm wrong :)

Chopton.

boomSLANG said...

"At root, Christianity is very selfish!

Thanks for discussing with me!
Please now persuade with that I'm wrong :)"

So true, you're selfish for thinking that your interpretation of "God" is NOT wrong, and all other's religions are wrong. But that's what religion's all about.... one's subjective beliefs. So why don't you persuade US that you're right?

Anonymous said...

boomslang: you're right really. I suppose I do think like that. One has to in a way - if you didn't think your beliefs were right, why would you believe them?

But I would put it differently. I don't think it's a question of one belief being wrong and another right. I think all sorts of people have all sorts of different glimpses of the truth. I would say that I think Christianity is the MOST EFFECTIVE way of thinking about the universe.

Obviously it has it's drawbacks. I mean, obviously the human race didn't start with Adam and Eve, for example. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming. I'm British and I'm very proud of Charles Darwin! But the story of Genesis isn't about explaining creation, it's about explaining the interactions of men and women. Like I said, it's not the "right" answer, it's the "most effective" one.

.:webmaster:. said...

I'm wondering what "MOST EFFECTIVE" is supposed to mean?

Most comfortable, makes the most sense, makes people live in harmony better than those espousing other worldviews, best way to feed the hungry, gives the most freedom of expression, promises happiness, is best at curing disease... what?

What does MOST EFFECTIVE mean to you?

twincats said...

I didn't find the Bible/Christian model terribly effective. Besides, Chops, you're forgetting the rule of three, which takes care of a lot of what you find lacking in the Rede.

According to the "Ro3" if you're doing harmful things (whether to yourself or someone else) you are only bringing yourself more harm. Three times more harm!

Also, most of the examples that you cite as not being harmful to others actually are harmful to others because they affect people who care about the self! If your behavior is self-destructive, won't your loved ones be concerned?

Of course, we are all only human. If we stop to examine the far-flung effects of every move we make, we'd never get much done, would we? But by keeping both the Rede and Lo3 in mind, I try to do the best I can.

I still get frustrated, angry, sad and afraid, but it's easier for me to let go of those negative emotions (especially if they don't result in any positive action!) because I'd rather have happiness, contentment, joy and purpose multiplied by three!

twincats said...

Oh, also Chopton,

I don't have any interest in convincing anyone that they're wrong. What you believe is what you believe. Besides, I don't know that you or anyone else is wrong, I just know what works for me. I wouldn't even have bothered to tell you about what I believe if you hadn't asked!

I don't want to convert anybody because my self-worth is not tied up in that. I really, truly dislike and distrust evangalism and prosletyzing because I believe it's ultimately self-serving too much of the time. And, no I don't think you're trying to convert me back, Chops ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, twincats, and good luck :)

Archived Testimonial Pageviews this week: