Then it happened -- the hell-fire sermon

Sent in by Heather

In truth, I have already written a testimonial recently. "Look ma, I'm an agnostic!", but I wrote that out in pure blind anger. I thank all who replied to that, but now I'm a little less angry, and probably can write the whole story. Since I was born into a christian home, it is basically my LIFE story, I'm afraid, quite literally.

I was born in the later part of 1987, the first child and daughter to two doctors in a small town within Northern Ireland. My mother was of the Church of Ireland (Anglican), my father a Presbyterian and I was baptised within the faith my father belonged to as a baby. Just over a year later, my sister was also born, and went through the same motions.

Living and growing up in Northern Ireland is very different from the rest of the UK, and even down south in the rest of the Island. It can sometimes make you wonder if you've stepped back 50 years, if you ignore the Internet access and other conveniences of a modern world. Socially, it seems to be stuck in a time warp sometimes when you talk to the older generations.

The ISLAND of Ireland is in general more religious than its neighbour, Great Britain- by a long shot. 55% identify themselves as Protestants (in the religious sense, not just in the political form), and 35% are Catholic.

Think about it, that's NINETY PERCENT WHO ARE CHRISTIANS.

(I am sure American ex-Christian's minds just exploded, they have it bad enough with 75%)

A measly 0.5-1% (or similar) are Islamic, and the numbers for other religions are barely worth registering. I don't think, apart from Islam I have ever SEEN anyone in my home country who was anything other than a Christian, if any religion at all.

Before you rave and cry out in horror, I must add it is not ALL bad, and what you probably see or hear on the news is most probably an exaggeration. I do not, as of the Protestant community for instance want to, or ever have wanted to, shoot up the place when a Catholic enters the room. I am also not a 'Queen lover' (I don't hate her, just don't love her, she's just a person and I don't know her personally).

I also have friends who are 'catholic' (In the sense that there parents are anyway). I went to a 'mixed' school of both faiths in both Primary and Secondary school. As for the Ireland V Britain debate, I couldn't really give a damn. I didn't even as a christian give a damn about it. People who think it should continue being a 'big deal' are lunatics. It's gone on long enough. No one sane cares anymore. GET A LIFE! Stormont acts like a bloody circus, like children, sometimes I just want to slap them and put them in the corner.

Despite this, as I said, I never really had a 'bad' childhood. Even though I currently am in England for University, I can say it was hardly traumatic. Northern Ireland isn't as bad as the news makes it to be. Not great, a little dull even sometimes, but hardly a war zone like many think. It used to be, but not now.

I can walk down the streets without fear of getting blown up/shot at/beaten up to the same degree as my parents had to when they were my age in the 70s, for instance.

(They both went to Belfast for their medical degrees, which made the whole experience 'interesting' putting it mildly)

But I am getting away with myself, back on track now.

As I mentioned- I was brought up, with my sister, in a Presbyterian church. My first few years were uneventful.

Although I had when I was younger had enjoyed the novelty of going to church, I soon grew bored and tired of it, as did my sister. I was naturally a tomboy, and my sister wasn't exactly a girly-girl either. My mother would have to force us into our (in our minds) revolting Sunday best with threats of no television and sweets, so we'd eventually relent.

For an hour of boredom- complete and utter boredom. When you are five years old, that hour seems like forever, doesn't it? I attended Sunday school, then church, then CHILDREN'S church, which released us from the mind-numbingly-dull adult sermon.

For the most part I liked Sunday school and Children's church. It was just the church itself which bored me. That and Orange parades (even before I grew a disdain for them when I realised what they represented and caused, they bored me).

At least Church bored me at first.

Yes my first 7 years of my life were largely worry free and happy. My parents as moderate Christians, did not expect much other than for us to say a prayer before we went to bed each night, and perhaps reading a bible story to us once or twice a week on a day which wasn't Sunday. Other than my aunt, who was uber-religious and who had always struck me as a little odd even as a kid didn't scare me. I still loved her, I mean she was family after all.

No I was happy.

Then it happened.

I think we've all heard it.

The hell-fire sermon.

To be fair, it wasn't our regular minister who gave this sermon to me, it was an English visitor of a Baptist church who we had ties with, one which a few members decided to visit, and I tagged along, only mildly interested, and so bored even an evening service seemed tempting. Without my parents, but with friends of the family.

I don't have to go into details, but I was absolutely terrified. The man ranted and raved about the internal punishment that as time went on, I felt sure I would face. I wanted to cry, to run, DO ANYTHING, but I remained frozen to the little plastic seat as he glared at each member in turn.

I gave myself to Jesus that night, as I shook in my room, crying my eyes out.


But eventually as time wore on I realised I didn't know what it was to BE a christian. I was only a kid after all, I never really knew what that meant. No-one had ever explained it properly to me and my biblical knowledge wasn't exactly extensive, especially then.

So skip forward to the age of 12, still a 'True believer', but unknowing of what that really meant.

I was in for the shock of my life when I entered secondary school.

I had been sheltered all my life, apart from that one awful sermon, I did not know hardship, I knew nothing. I was one of the freaks, the oddball, for I had never even known SWEAR words let alone innuendo which seemed to enter the conversation every day. I was shy and timid before, and grew quieter even more so then.

I found some solace in the Scripture Union of the school, but until eventually, half way through my school year, I made 'friends'.

But they were not all real friends, at least not at that point of time. Many of them took advantage of my naivety, and took delight in the fact my feelings were so easily hurt. The ages of 12-15 were quite literally hell for me, in many ways.

Then something happened again.

When I was 15. One of the 'friends' (In truth, one of those who was a little less than kind), was involved in an accident.

Despite her cruelty, I felt terrified, and scared. Had I subconsciously brought this on her? Had God done this?

Scared once more, I turned to 'God' once more. Crying again, I called for him, saying I was sorry for everything and for her to become better again. I said "I'll do anything if you can make her better again!"

I felt in a bizarre way almost responsible. I had thought in my head that I'd hated her upon on occasion, perhaps God had got the wrong end of the stick, perhaps he'd thought I'd wanted this!

I visited her regularly and helped her out when I could, though I couldn't do much.

After a few months of intensive care and physiotherapy, she survived, and has moved on from the accident.

And bizarrely we became better friends. In fact we're still friends. And when I go home for a visit, I see her too. I used to treat her like glass if I'm honest, but she now stands on her own.

In fact I became better friends with all of them, they didn't take advantage of me anymore, I didn't act such a baby about the littlest thing all the time.

I was convinced that her recovery was a miracle.

I immediately started spreading the 'word'.

When I look back I sometimes wonder why I never attributed her getting better to her will to live, or the hard work of the medical staff.

I mean my parents ARE DOCTORS. Why hadn't I ever considered that?

Eventually however I found my faith tested by my friends, many of which did not give a thought to a religion unless I asked. My friend got understandingly pissed off when I said her getting better was because of Jesus.

Like many people I mentally ran and cowered.

Testifying and converting was just not ME. I was shy, I still am, and I felt in danger of disbelieving.

So instead I found a new type of testifying which could apply to me.

The Internet.

I must add, I was 15, and if you ever met me at that time in the years 2002-5 I am so terribly and terrifically sorry. It almost became my calling, I set to spread the 'Good News'. Apart from fights with my aunt (I believed Catholics were 'saved' too, she didn't), I was the good little christian girl. My friends still stuck with me, despite their annoyance at me when I sometimes felt if briefly the urge to 'testify'.

Sometimes I got challenged on the net, and sometimes I didn't. If I was challenged, I'd mentally block myself from it. (Does this sound familiar?). I didn't preach face to face, I felt that was risky.

Eventually however, I went to University, and boy was I in for a surprise there.

My flatmates and I got on really well, though most of them were agnostic, they accepted me. Within the first week I found out that one of them was a lesbian.

That didn't shock me, what surprised me was that I realised I really didn't care. I didn't feel any differently toward her. I even encouraged her to not to try and force herself to be straight for her Grandparent's backward views.

Then within my course (Biology- I know, I was just ASKING to be de-converted), I met up with real science, I became fascinated with Evolution (which, I still am). The Creationist 'science' book I was given before I left by church members (I think they sensed the end before I did), was reopened, I suddenly found out most of it was completely and utterly bullshit, not to mention out of date! It seemed like it had come from the 70s, despite it giving a birth date of the year 2000. Their arguments were flawed and transparent, that even I with out even one year of university education, could plainly see through.

I found myself questioning my beliefs around that stage seriously and it all came to a head when I made friends with not just agnostics/atheists but also (GASP! HORROR!- My aunt would say). Members of the Islamic faith.

This bothered me.

I liked these people, they were good people, all of them, Islamic and of no faith, yet my own religion condemned them to eternal hell fire for eternity.

All because they picked the wrong religion (or none). This didn't rest well, and I decided, to sit down and actually READ the bible from cover to cover.

I was disgusted and questions flowed. How could a God condemn innocent children? How could he condone the rape and murder of countless people? Why were there so many contradictions? Why was Paul (putting it bluntly.), such an arrogant ass who seemed to go out of his way to destroy Jesus' own teachings rather than reinforce them?

Then I realised, I'd been taken in, duped and played for a fool. I did not believe in Allah as some of my friends did, so why did I believe in 'my' version? What made their system any less valid than the one I was currently in? I'd only had latched on to Christianity because it was convenient for me.

Why had I placed so much faith in a book over 2000 years old without any proof?

I still ask myself that question. It' s not even been a year since I've 'seen the light'

My parents still don't know. I don't think they'll stop loving me, but I wish I didn't have to disappoint them into thinking that their eldest child is going to hell.

They don't know either that I expect I may be bi-sexual. An odd version, which seems to be only sexually attracted to the male gender but still find females attractive in a kiss and hug sort of way.

I'm still really going through it. I'm at a fragile place right now. I need to sort my head out.

Someday, I will tell them. And someday they may be able to come to terms with it and be happy for me.

But a part of me is wondering if my aunt will poison her younger sister (my mother) against me somehow. The most religious member of the family, to a point where it scared me even when I thought myself a Christian.

We'll just have to wait and see.

I am now on a journey of discovery, and while some people (like my aunt) would say I'll end up in hell for taking this road, I'd rather say I'm on the road to finding out who I really am, after having my teen years taken from me. It is scary, yes, but at the same time exciting.

Life is an adventure. And its a gift, whether or not you believe in some big bloke in the sky.

27 comments:

Heather said...

Slight mistake- I mean that 35% catholic, 55% Protestant in NORTHERN Ireland rather than the whole, my apologies

Anonymous said...

Welcome Heather,say what ever happened to all those Christians blowing each over up over there?

Did they just get tired of all the bullshit violence?
--freedy

Heather said...

Well freedy, the violence does sometimes happen, I mean everytime you see a murder on tv there is a 99% liklihood that it was sectarian...

I remember however there used to be a murder somewhere EVERY WEEK when I was in my early to mid teens (and considering there is only 1.5 million of us that's kind of alot).

We're sort of at a cease fire stage right now. Its weird now I'm in England looking in on it all from the outside. I get news from my parents and the actual news- I wouldn't trust my aunt to give an unbiased view at all!

Bombings... yeah... either my town was bombed just before I was born or after... mmmm, I'll have to check that.

The only bombing I remember was omagh, vaguely- and recently they just released the last suspect.(like a few months ago)

I'm pissed at that. They released alot of murderers of both sides early just to "keep the peace"- murder is murder, why does belonging to a terroist org. make a difference?!

To see segregation at its 'finest' you have to go to Belfast with its barbed wire fences and crap. And Portadown during the 12th of July of course is always 'great' (sarcasm).
(Orange parades are shit. And boring. And I realise that it James had won, we'd probably still have the same problems anyway)

It's getting better honestly, and many people my age/ bit older (not all but more def. than the last generation) or younger are getting the whiff of- "You know what? this is a load of BOLLOCKS!"

Houses and homes ar seperated, as well as most schools. I

Thank my parents for sticking me in a mixed school at Primary- honestly segregating the kids when they were at Primary is just asking for trouble, its indoc by parents at its finest.

Also my schools were among the best in N.I., so much for us 'fighting' and it being a 'detriment to our studies'. No I was lucky. My last 2 years at school were great. Apart from a few nutters, most people agreed with the sentiment "Lives are not worth what country you are from".

Firt year at my school can be a nightmare because my primary and secondary (Grammer) school was one of very few which accepted both Protestants and catholics- And those which had been kept seperate at Primary before going can often be (and still are to this day) little pieces of shit.

Thankfully by 2nd/3rd year they will see the light eventually. The only segregation THERE is R.E. lessons in your first 3 years, then you are lumped together if you take it as a GCSE (I did.) Or A level (I didn't).

Seriously I think seperating the kids is probably the worst thing people could do. Mix them up good and early and you probably wouldn't have half the problems they have.

Anonymous said...

My Dearest Heather. You can never understand the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with your mind. It is spiritual. It is only understood by your heart/spirit. Whatever made you come to the conclusion that you came to is definetely not the Bible. It is some other book but not the Bible. Everything on earth is about Jesus, all things were made for him and by him. He is the word of God made flesh.Jesus is Lord. And he loves you regardless of what you believe. Do not be tossed to and fro by every false doctrine in the world. Jesus is real and he is coming back. And those that deny his Lordship will be judged. That is the Truth!

stronger now said...

Anony:" You can never understand the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with your mind."

So...don't think about it? Ever? Sounds like you're trying to say that your beliefs cannot hold up to the light of reason. If they be true, they would be running from it.

"It is spiritual. It is only understood by your heart/spirit."

First, try and give evidence for a "spirit", or at least give us your definition. Second, the heart cannot understand anything, it pumps blood and that's all it does. You have to use your mind to understand anything. Emotions can tell you all sorts of lies. For instance, a child may experience fear of the dark, and that is the fear of the unknown, then said child insists that it "knows" there is a monster in a dark room. See, emotion doesn't help to understand objective reality. It can often obscure it.

" Whatever made you come to the conclusion that you came to is definetely not the Bible."

Wow. Figured that out all bt yourself did ya? Never even occured to you that the bible is a book of mythology, did it?

"Everything on earth is about Jesus, all things were made for him and by him."

No. Was polio, smallpox, wasps, influenza, and multiple sclerosis made by and for jeebus? If so he was an asshole.

"He is the word of God made flesh.Jesus is Lord. And he loves you regardless of what you believe"

But if you don't love him back he'll fry your ass forever and ever and ever. That's not love. It never was and it never will be.

"Do not be tossed to and fro by every false doctrine in the world."

So, you want her to be tossed to and fro by the false doctrine of christianity only? Sounds stupid.

"Jesus is real and he is coming back."

If you could give us any credible evidence for that, we might start listening to you. Got any?

"And those that deny his Lordship will be judged. That is the Truth!"

The truth is you don't have any credible evidence that suggests that the best way to determine reality is thru emotional experience. The truth is that if you cannot question the truth, and then if you do you find it false, it isn't the truth.


Sideshow Bob: "You want the truth! You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! Bah! I deride your truth handling abilities!"

heather said...

Anon

I appreciate that you think you are doing what is right. Really, I do, but you've been brainwashed into the system like I was.

Please read the Bible for your self, buy information and science books on both sides of the secular and christian sides. Thats what I did. And in the end it just didn't add up for me.

Huey said...

Hi Heather! Nice to have you here and I wish you luck on your never ending journey to self discovery. I hope that not a day passes by without you discovery something new about yourself. I can't say that I truly understand what you went through. You see when I was a child and they tried the fire and brimstone tactic on me, I didn't believe them so they never really scared me. It is heartbreaking yet revealing to know that xtians have to resort to such tactics with children.

From a quasi-Irishman (my family is originally from Tyrone County) I hope that you do well in life. You should now that you see it for what it really is. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to take the trash out.

Anonymous said:

"Whatever made you come to the conclusion that you came to is definitely not the Bible."

To quote an old girlfriend: HEY MORON! Have you even read that disgusting piece of quasi-literary work? I doubt it! Yes there are some great pieces of advice contained therein, like don't lie, don't steal, love thy neighbor, etc. Hardly original though and it certainly does not balance out the remaining filth, like stoning to death your disobedient children, selling them into slavery, giving your daughters virtue to an angry crowd, killing your daughter because you promised your loving “male” god that you would, etc. Is that enough or would you like more examples of the moral repugnancy contained in this truly god forsaken tome?

"Jesus is real and he is coming back."

I thought that was supposed to happen back in 2000. At least that what virtually every pastor, priest, minister, parson, etc was saying at the time. If all those people believed it then it must be true right? Wrong! Just like the several hundred predictions that have taken place in the last two millenia concerning jesus and his return. They were all wrong then and you are wrong now. Find a way to deal with it.

Now go away!

Kristin said...

I remember when I was a child, my mom, aunts and godmother were watching a "last times" movie that was popular back then. I was scared in the middle of the movie, so I went in my aunts room to chill out. She came in and convinced me to see it to the end. I did, and it was terriflying ( Just like a Fire and Brimstone preaching). They all got in a prayer circle to hold hand, and when it was my time to say something I remember I prayed that nothing like that would ever happen, because I thought, the m movie was an example of what COULD happen if we kept being bad and didnt listen to God. I felt there was a way to avoid it.
When I was in my pre-teens, yes a preacher put down a brimstone and hellfire sermon and I was scared. He talked about "men becoming lovers of themselves" ( GLBT) and changing seasons. I was not ready to be "saved" and live like the old "whores and sinners" of the church ( notice how some leaders in some church were former serious sinners) who became missionaries. I promised myself that when I saw more GLBT's and changing seasons I would get saved before god came.


what a mess.....

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I understand your fragility - I am in the same position, but after 50 years of the brainwashing. I don't know what I believe, but I know what I don't believe now.
Good luck.
DK in Atlanta

Druk said...

Your story is so familiar to my own, I sympathize for sure, and wish you luck in the days ahead. I'm also one year out of Christianity, and I don't know if I can ever tell anyone I know...my dad is a pastor, and all my friends are devout Christians...just scares me to death to think that they would scorn, hate, or pity me for the rest of my days.
I haven't even told my fiancee, though I plan to tell her before the wedding, she deserves that much.

Sometimes I wish I could erase all memory of all useful knowledge and reason, and just be a happy Christian for my loved ones - it'd be so much easier.

But as I see my parents indoctrinating my much younger sister in the same way they did to me, it depresses me and drives me to extreme hatred at the same time. I absolutely HATE anyone who manipulates children, it is unforgivable to me...how do you love and hate people at the same time?

Anyway, thanks for your life story to make me feel less alone, and yay for the Internet so I can anonymously rant!

extrajoker said...

I was 15, and if you ever met me at that time...I am so terribly and terrifically sorry.

Haha! You know, I bet most people could say that.



Take care and be well!

Lori :)

casper said...

I don't know about you folks but when I starting reading that first anonymous message I suddenly had the music from the Twilight Zone playing in my head...

I suspect my sub-conscious mind is enforcing that which I already know - religious folks are NUTS!! Not to mention mentally unstable and plain scary.

Welcome to the sane side Heather.

Cheers, Derrick in Canada.

Anonymous said...

A comment on being bi-sexual:
If you just like hugging and kissing females innocently in a friendly way, you're not bi-sexual, you're just a very kind and loving person. If you like cuddling and making out with females, and/or get turned on by the females themselves, it might be another story. There's a difference between appreciation for humans and/or their beauty (including the beauty of the body under their clothes), and having an actual sexual lust for them.

Ziggy Blacktail said...

That was a touching story, Heather. The only time I was ever exposed to a hellfire sermon was when we read a Puritan sermon something in high school (who are Calvinist like the Presbyterians) and this one preacher who came to our college every semester yelling at people for not turning to Christ.

Anyway, I can relate to your story. When I was Christian, I never felt comfortable testifying to other people and always believed I can have people come to me when they see how happy I am. But I never experienced that sense of serenity. Instead things about this religion (relationship....whatever *roll eyes at the Christians who insist that relationship over religion thing*) kept not adding up and it ate away at me. I never changed and most of the Christians I hung out with never changed either even though they claimed they have. Enough ranting.

Phant said...

Anonymous Said:
"Jesus is real and he is coming back. And those that deny his Lordship will be judged. That is the Truth!"

Talk is cheap christian Anon. Of course I understand that you are frustrated due to the fact that another day has come and gone and your precious Jesus has once again failed to show his face.

This God who supposedly performed all of these great miracles has now been reduced to a bunch of cheap talk from christian losers like yourself. That's all that is left of your precious savior. Nothing but cheap talk and lip service along with an out of date book called the bible. That's all that is left of your Jesus who still continues to fail to return or identify himself in today's modern day world of science and progress.

It's no wonder other countries such as Australia, Canada, and Germany are so much more ahead of the American Educational System. They are not stuck in the past worrying about some dead myth named Jesus. These countries know how to rely on their own human intellect instead of some dead spiritual man. It's American Bible Beating Fools like you Anonymous who are holding this country back and causing us to be a laughing stock.

Much like your savior Jesus you also fail to identify yourself by posting under the name "Anonymous". I guess you are just following his example by doing so eh?

It's too bad for christians like yourself that Jesus will not lend you a helping hand in presenting your case for Christ.

Christianity = Cheap Talk from some with no real power or evidence to back it up.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Wrote: "My Dearest Heather. You can never understand the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with your mind. It is spiritual."

Nobody can understand the gospel of "YOUR" lord Jesus Christ because he refuses to reveal himself to anyone in a personal way period.

Instead of revealing himself or communicating in an easy and practical way that humans can understand, your Jesus/God expects people to be naive and stupid enough to believe in his faulty gospel by being told to just simply have faith.

As far as the gospel of Jesus Christ being impossible to understand with your mind and it being spiritual. That is nothing more than another typical excuse that christians like to use anytime they cannot back up their claim when it comes to proving the case for Christ. It's nothing more than a lame excuse.

For those christians who claim they have experienced God or encountered him in a personal way, the only thing you have more than likely experienced is a very overly active imagination with no proof to back up your claim that you have actually had an encounter with God.

Think about this next statement:

If God wanted to use a christian's so called encounter that they supposedly had with him as a testimony to back up his existence, he would provide some type of evidence that would bring validity to such a claim instead of expecting others to "Take your word for it".

Sorry to tell you this dearest christian anonymous. You and a lot of other christians like yourself have a lot to learn about how life in the real world works.

Until you get rid of your own personal superstition such as the fear of hell you will continue to live in denial and you will continue to stumble around in the ancient darkness and oppression of an ancient spiritual belief that continues to enslave your mind dear Anonymous.

However I have good news for you Anonymous. You can be like Heather and the rest of us who have figured out how to live victorious lives outside of Jesus. Just accept reality and the way life really works. Learn to tell the difference between superstition and reality.

In some cases where Severe Christian Brainwashing has occurred you may have to seek out the help of a secular counselor/therapist in order to teach you how to cope with life in the real world.

Come on over and join prosperous living, and stop living in fear of hell and damnation. Stop letting christian oppression enslave your mind.

Anonymous said...

Heather,

Just a few questions for you to consider. Your answer is not required to be posted.

Did you in your life ever know, really know, that Jesus was real, and that he loved you and that He wanted the best for you, and made sure that he protected you in the things that could be dangerous for you?

If so, what changed? If not. Would you want to find out if this is real? I'm an accountant, I have completed my university degree. To make is short, I am well educated, and employ reason in every thing I do... I must, it is required of me as my profession. Yet, there are certain things that happened in my life starting from the point where I walked into a church, the church I just started to go to, because I was wondering if Jesus was actually real and if the things that were being said about him were true.

So I went in one day after work, went on my knees, and said, "Ok, I’m done. I love being in control of things. If I want to leave an event, I leave. If I want to go somewhere, I go. But I'm tired of thinking I'm in control when, in fact, when I do these things on my own, I see that I'm not in control as I think I may be. Cause things happened that I would never foresee. So I give up. I give up being in control... so you better come through, because I have no other choice. And if u do, I'll know. If you don't, I'm gone."

I was real with God. I didn't care for the 'proper' terms, etc. I just spoke to him the way I would anyone else. And from that day, things started to happen that I could not explain other that it must have been God. (So much for my reasoning)

Have you had moments like that? If so, do u miss it? And if not, would you want to find out if you could have moments like this... where God showed up and did things you didn't even ask him to do?

I noticed that many people that reply to your post take time to fight with each other... so let me make this as clear as I can. I am speaking to Heather, and other comments are not needed. (I know this comment will get more attention than anything else I've written, but I hope you, Heather, can understand that I am honestly trying to engage you to answer these questions that I am asking of you, for yourself). I care not about what others think. But would encourage you to think about these questions and see what you come up with.

I understand that you did research and so forth, and come now to understand that God, church, religion, all of it could be a big lie. I don't know about that, I have not done the same research. However, even if I did, I know God has my back. He's had my back when I didn't even ask him to. If I was to tell you where I was, and where I am now, it would seem like I did it on my own. Then I would tell you the things that my family has been thought... all of it can't be accidentical. This is what I know. I can't convince you of God's existence by what I know. That is for you to find out yourself. God said something in the New Testament. Come close to me, and I'm come closer to you.

I encourage you to try and see what happens. Talk to him (others call it prayer), but it is just like talking to a friend. Use the same words, tone, phrases, nothing fancy. Tell him all of the things you wrote here. Ask something of him... see if he comes through. But important... you read the bible. It says that what God has written (his word) he has to obey. So throw his word back at him. Find a promise he said, and give it back to him. See if he keeps his word. But be careful, ever promise has a requirement. Something u must do, etc... Not all of course, but some. Just read the entire passage to see what the conditions are, then throw his own word back at him. Challenge him. See what happens.

And when you do, I would be very interested in how your 'reasoning' will explain it. I say this, because I did the same thing, and I was blown away when it happened.

You see, I came to understand that reasoning is needed, yes, but it limits us. Use it, yes, but do not be bound by it. If God can be never-ending and ever-beginning, then surely some things about him we can not explain.

It’s kind of like those 3D arts that came out back in the day. You look at it with ur eyes and see foolishness. Then, if you blur ur eyes, then the image comes into focus. Crazy isn't it, it works backwards, not logical at all, yet, the image is surely there. So, what is your perception?

Again, don't take this as me trying to bring you back, only you can do that. Just test God at his word. Dare to tell him to prove it. Be honest with him, be real, be Heather! And see if he will be God. Oh, and be bold enough to give him a deadline to prove his word to you.

Looking forward to your response.

Brown.

P.S. sorry for the lenghty post.

.:webmaster:. said...

Brown,

I realize you weren't addressing me, but I feel like interjecting. Hope you don't mind.

Since you're so well educated, do you think you could use some of that brain power to at least type in a nickname the next time you post? Or, better yet, create a user name with which to sign in? Thanks.

Oh, and in the future sometime, try a little experiment. Try doing your accounting problems without using your logical mind. In fact, just pray and then start writing down random numbers. Then, when you drive home, pray, let Jesus take the wheel, take your own hands off the wheel, and see how far you get.

You use reason in everything you do, you say. You say you must. But when it comes to certain life skills, you take your hands off the wheel?

You seem to realize that in your job (or in your driving) it is asinine to give up control. In fact, you know good and well that it would be retarded to do so. I can't imagine why giving up control and setting aside your mind would be preferable in any situation.

Regardless of all that, I'd like to share something with you that might surprise you. I've had many, many good and amazing things happen to me over the years. I've been at the right place and at the right time for some decent job opportunities. I’ve been married to the same wonderful woman for 22 years. My kids are tremendous and never went through that "I hate you" teenaged phase. They aren’t on drugs and don’t have STDs and are on the Dean’s list in college. I've had close calls in my car, one time even totaling it by a head-on with a telephone pole that crushed the top of the car. The car was ruined, but I didn’t have a scratch on me.

Amazing, huh?

When I was a Christian, I credited the good things in my life to my personal invisible friend, Jesus. I've been an atheist now for several years, and guess what! Good things just keep right on happening! In fact, that big wreck happened while an atheist! And, I got the best job I've ever had in my life since becoming an atheist!

Can you believe it! Praise No-God!

The point, Brian, is that good and bad stuff happen to people regardless of their religious leanings. There is no explaining it, really. Life just is what it is.

Oh, and 3-D art is quite logical. It is based on a good understanding of our vision and our mental processing of visual images. If your analogy was anything like religion, you’d have one person look at the picture and see a lion, while the next person saw a bear. Meanwhile, in reality, the dots didn’t form any kind of pattern at all. That’s religion. Seeing things that just aren’t really there.

boomSLANG said...

Boy, if it wasn't disclosed that the "lenghty" post up there was written by a graduate of some University, I'd swear it was written by a 14 year-old....You look at it with ur eyes and see foolishness. Then, if you blur ur eyes, then the image comes into focus?

Seriously?....that's what thousands of dollars worth of education gets you? Good grief, nevermind the 12 paragraphs of bare assertions and appeals to emotion---the teenage "short-hand", alone, is enough to not take it seriously.

Oops!...gotta go...p o s!(parent over sholder)CU!

Steven Bently said...

Hi Brown, I frequent this site occasionally and noticed that you speak to God or God speaks to you as you claim, thusly....

Brown:
"I encourage you to try and see what happens. Talk to him (others call it prayer), but it is just like talking to a friend. Use the same words, tone, phrases, nothing fancy. Tell him all of the things you wrote here. Ask something of him... see if he comes through. But important... you read the bible. It says that what God has written (his word) he has to obey. So throw his word back at him. Find a promise he said, and give it back to him. See if he keeps his word. But be careful, ever promise has a requirement. Something u must do, etc... Not all of course, but some. Just read the entire passage to see what the conditions are, then throw his own word back at him. Challenge him. See what happens.

And when you do, I would be very interested in how our 'reasoning' will explain it. I say this, because I did the same thing, and I was blown away when it happened."

Now when I speak to God, he answers to me either in Hebrew or Greek, or Arabic, or Yiddish, just as he spoke to the Bible writers. I do not understand one word he says, I need a translater or an interpreter in these languages.

Can you translate God's Holy spoken words to me? Thanks for your help!

Anonymous said...

Steven, Boomslang, Webmaster,

Thank you all for your comments. They are appreciated. Steven, ask God to give you the translation, he speaks your language. Boomslang, ttyl. Webmaster, sorry, I did not read what you wrote, but I'm sure it was interesting.

I did notice, however, that neither of you is Heather. (I'm sure I predicted this somewhere in my original post - guess the 14yr old language was too complicated to understand)

God bless you all nonetheless.

.... Alright, seriously. Sorry for the sarcasm. But must you all answer things to which you do not know? I do not expect any of you to be Heather. Yet, you all felt that you had an important point you must make - however irrelevant.

If I tell you about simple things and you do not understand, why then should I add any level of difficulity?

Heather, hope you are doing well. Hope things work out however which way you desire. Most importantly, if you come to know if there actually is or is not a God, I hope you do well in life.

God bless.

Brown.

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

Brown...Steven, Boomslang, Webmaster,

Thank you all for your comments.


Ur welcome!

Brown...They[the comments] are appreciated.

Well good, then. I, like you, always appreciate it when someone corrects my errors... this, as opposed to me defending them in perpetuity. Let me know if you need further help...for instance, with any of the "big-boy" words---words like "you", and "you're".

Brown...Webmaster, sorry, I did not read what you wrote, but I'm sure it was interesting.

Lying is a "sin", yes? 'Just checking.

Brown...I did notice, however, that neither of you is Heather

That's very perceptive of you. With such astuteness, you are then probably aware that this is a public forum, yes? To be sure, it is---and that of course means that we don't need your permission to respond, nor are you under any obligation to read our responses. You can simply not read them, just like you "did not read" the Webmaster's response.

Brown...I'm sure I predicted this[that people other than Heather would respond] somewhere in my original post-

Wow, so then I guess that makes you a "prophet". Simply incredible...'must be a "God" thing.

Brown...- guess the 14yr old language was too complicated to understand)

No, no!....no one said it's hard to understand; it's just annoying, and a bit of a challenge to believe it's coming from someone with a "university degree", etc---especially one in a profession that requires them to deal with the public. Imagine:

Re: Brown's accounting.

"Dear Ms. Smith,

Ur taxes r done, please feel free to pick up ur return @ ur leisure.

Sincerely, (Mike?) Brown."


Brown...God bless you all nonetheless.

Aaaw, that was nice. Let me return the thought. Okay, may my lucky shrunken-head-on-a-stick bring you a prosperous life.

Brown....... Alright, seriously. Sorry for the sarcasm.

Don't be sorry!...sarcasm can sometimes actually be useful tool when presenting an argument, provided it is used in conjunction with logic and reason.

Brown...I do not expect any of you to be Heather.

Phew!..that's a relief!

Brown...Yet, you all felt that you had an important point you must make - however irrelevant.

You're right, while fun, my scrutinizing you for the teenage "aim slang" has no relevance to whether "Jesus" exists/existed, or not---only evidence is relevant. 'Got any?

Brown...If I tell you about simple things and you do not understand..

Honestly, what is it we're not understanding? You're evidently peeved because people other than "Heather" have responded to your post. That seems to be the crux of your argument, as best as I can tell. And of course, I'm sure the fact that you've encountered people who've dismissed your biblegod as fancifil myth, doesn't help matters.

Brown...why then should I add any level of difficulity?

Feel free to add all the "difficulity" you want. Listening.

Dear Heather,

What can Brown do for you?

Steven Bently said...

Brown: "I'm an accountant, I have completed my university degree. To make is short, I am well educated.


Analysis:
Browns reading and spelling comprehenion skills on a scale from (1 to 10) oh about a 1.

FYI, I also happen to be a Biblical Scaleor and of the Babtist perswayion...duh..yuk..yuk


So my question to you Brown would be. When did your God learn to speak English? Apparently s/he never taught you how to spell words correctly.

Oh, let me guess! Since your mommy and daddy happen to speak english too!

I bet your god sounds just exactly like...well, just like your own voice to you, doesn't it?

Or does your god sound like Mickey Mouse or Peewee Hermon?


Brown: "If I tell you about simple things and you do not understand, why then should I add any level of difficulity?"

Oh please mr.jesus impersonater...don't tell us you're more smarter than you're pretending to be here...we just can't handle your ancient wisdom...duh!

What a meathead you are Brown.

Thanks for nothing, which is all you had to offer here in the first place.

Continued mental delusions to you.

.:webmaster:. said...

Well, Brown. When you post on a public forum, many people will respond to your postings. It's not a private email, capeesh?

And as far as your sarcastic, dismissive remark that was directed at me, thank you very much for that. Nothing confirms the real heart of Christianity like rude Christians.

Perhaps in the future you would condescend enough to actually respond like an adult instead of just throwing out childish insults. But, then again, perhaps that's all you have to offer when presented with questions that challenge your religion?

Have a pleasant religious and delusional day! And do try not to get your panties is such a wad when someone tells you on this site that your god is imaginary. After all, this is ExChristian.Net.

Bye!

January 30, 2008

Anonymous said...

You guys are all funny. Again, didn't read anything you said, just noticed that you all are talking about my post... lol... Wow!

Time will wasted.

Heather, again, God bless.

Brown.

Steven Bently said...

((((What))))????~~~~~I can't read Browns post, I'm sure it's funny.

I cant look at it!!
Will someone read Browns post for me?

I know it's funny, because I saw you talking about us.


Time will wasted

Gob bless ye all!

I pret for you awl 2

I'm so mart..yuk...yuk

Great going there Brown...duh

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