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Old 12-31-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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Glad you liked it!
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Old 12-31-2004, 10:22 PM
 
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Hey, I guess I'm one of ya'll, too, although I still kind of think of myself as a Christian.
But I don't really believe in the Bible (although certain parts like the sermon on the mount seem to be possibly divinely inspired).
I've been figuring out what I belive since I was about 15, when I started having problems with fundie theology.(I was very involved all my life in a enourmous fundamentalist/republican church). When I was 15 I decided they were the antichrist after I tried to "correct" their theology and they started praying for me...which just pissed me off.
I went to Christian school...church 3 times a week...I felt really lost for a few years.
Now I just feel greatful that I somehow escaped the brainwashing.
I still wonder, though, about how many ways that intense early indoctrination might still be coloring my world outlook...
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Old 01-01-2005, 08:57 AM
 
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Whenever I see the phrase 'original sin' I just have to pop in and vent all over again.

Disclaimer: The following has everything to do with me and my de-conversion/decompression and explicit deconstruction.

Original sin as was taught to me is that 'man' messed up (woman gets the blame and hard child birth blah blah blah blahs) and now Jesus needs to save man because all those other nifty rituals just were not working out according to whatever expectations of the day.

I cannot possibly tell you what was in the apple or what kind of apple it was, but if ou pull our head out of church long enough and critically look at the big picture, you might (might not!) come to the conclusion that basically the snake somehow convinced dear old Adam and Eve (both! don't pass the buck Adamites!) that they were not like God.

I call this the parent of all lies. Every believeable lie must have this at it's core: you lack something. You're not smart enough, you're not good looking enough, gee sorry but that's the breaks. Lack, lack, lack, lack.

And generally the church has exploited this lie for over 1,000 years. Today's version is the same as yesterday's version hidden right under our collective noses: you're a fuck up (we blame Adam and especially Eve) but Jesus can wipe the slate clean and give ou a fresh start.

Back to the original lie. Adam and Eve were perfect the way the were. There was nothing wrong with them. But the snake got them to believe, and therefore act on that lie. That's what caused them to eat the apple.

So I see this as a metaphorical way of saying we humans are susceptible to believing in things that we shouldn't. Damned gullible lot! How eas it is to follow your mind and not your heart (that right there... all that judgement comes from 'believers' who believe only with their mind and therefore do not have love). I could go on and on and on about this whole topic

I can't present my entire argument here, but I'll jump ahead and give you the ramifications. These are wholesale, wide-reaching, and outrageous.
- you were born okay the first time.
- you were born perfect as is. You do not need Jesus. Anyone who says you need Jesus in order to be saved from hell, have the holy spirit, etc, is conned and is spreading the con. But read on
- There is no God 'out there'. There IS a God/Divine Being 'in here'. We are God, we are the epitomy of divine awareness and being when we get our mind to serve our spirit.
- Jesus is not coming back physically to rapture believers off this planet and tell those who didn't believe to fuck off. I really wish he would though as his so-called believers have exposed themselves so incredibly broad as to invite disbelief.
- Jesus might come back via planet wide awareness (duh!) that we truly are all connected. We have a choice to make: do we practice love and include others? Or do we practice religion and exclude others because they don't believe the same God as I do? I have to agree that there is absolutely NO getting around this truth: you do indeed reap what you sow so, really, don't act surprised when the shit comes back onto you seven-fold.
- Here's some good news, pun intended: DO love yourself, nobody else will. DO not expect anyone else to love you. You do not need another person in order to be happy. And when you learn how to do that, then you will see how to love whomever passes into your sphere. You don't change them, you let love change you first.

One other thing that amazes me about my experience in church was this simple allegory, and I'm sure you've heard it somewhere yourselves and that is convincing people they need Jesus is like convincing fish that they need water. The fish starts thinking (and boy, thinking is the problem, versus intuitive awareness/knowledge) that he needs water. He starts separating his body mind and can objectively start rationalizing his need for water and will do anything to get his need filled. The other fish see this behavior and it influences them as well. [gee, I could go on a huge tangent trek right here but suffice it to say it has been proven that when an animal changes its behavior, others nearby AND FAR AWAY do the same. Reason: we're all connected!!!!!!]. The other fish start wondering what's wrong with them and start doing whatever that first fish was. This starts spreading to the seahorses and pretty soon the whole ocean is confused: what does this ocean not have enough water in it?

God bless you. Just kidding.
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Old 01-01-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Owen's Dad! Great stuff. Stick around.

I think original sin is a lousy simplistic explanation for the existence of evil. Fine for the Bronze Age, silly for us.
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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It's so very, very funny that I had told you guys my story. My birthday was the 30th. Well, yesterday (the 31st) I get a card in the mail from said Aunt. The card wishes me a happy birthday and tells me how special she thinks I am. Enclosed in the card is another smaller card. It had a picture of Jesus on the front holding a dead man in his arms. In the dead man's right hand is an old wooden hammer and in the other hand is a very large nail. (This struck me as a bit odd because I read that to mean that Jesus even forgave the guys who nailed him to the cross......what was so odd is that this guy is wearing a purple tshirt, blue jeans and black sneakers....a bit dated for fashion...no?). Ok, on the back it says

"FORGIVENESS

Do you know the joy of being forgiven?

Through forgiveness the arms of Jesus lift you, His blood cleanses you, and His love changes you. It is His free gift to you. Turn your heart toward Jesus. Pray to receive Him and His forgiveness by faith today...He will come into your heart and make all things new"

I almost sent her an email to tell her that I don't need her forgiveness NOR do I need for her to define the role that Jesus will play in my life. She doesn't make any sense...AT ALL. Isn't it a basic Jewish thought that Jesus IS NOT THE SON OF GOD? Aren't they still waiting on their messiah? I mean, if this is her chosen faith, why oh why is she preaching Jesus to me?

Thanks Darylll for the info about Judasim not buying the original sin theroy. Maybe I should do some more research into that belief and mail it to her. You are an endless source of incredible knowledge and I have learned a great deal from you.

Owen's Dad - What a great rant. Vent away!
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:11 PM
 
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Justice2 - The religion that your aunt is practicing is not Judaism. Here is a website with some good information about the Messiah in Judaism: http://www.jewfaq.org/moshiach.htm

The only way someone can be Jewish is if one has a Jewish mother (and was raised Jewish - the Reform movement says mother or father) or if one converts. Having a "member of the family" that converted doesn't mean that they are Jewish (unless it was their mother and they were raised Jewish).

If I'm wrong about any of this, someone let me know!
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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Justice... If I were you, I'd send the aunt an email and say "thanks for the sweet card... of course I forgive you".

Melanie
Magical Mama, joyfully home educating my three wonders: FR (12/02), EG (05/05), DK (06/09)
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Old 01-02-2005, 08:28 AM
 
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Forgiveness is such a loaded word that no one seems to dig under and see what it means or better yet, how to practically apply it to their lives.

You can not bestow/impose forgiveness on someone else than you can get a fish to wear a dress.

Forgiveness always was meant to help you heal and move on. How many times should I forgive my brother for hurting me? As often as you allow yourself to be hurt by the actions of others. If you hurt me once, it's your fault. If you hurt me again, it's my fault.

It's easier to hold a grudge, hold onto anger, hold on to hurt and be and act the victim. And what will you have to show for it? You reap what you sow.

Forgiveness doesn't require the perp to be present. Forgiveness is simply letting go of hurt, learning from it. Resentment means to feel anger again. If you resent, you need to let go. Yesterday is gone but funny how shit can time travel and stay with us today, but only if we let it!

I find that a lot of christians and their church leaders simply have a fogg concept of forgiveness (and lots of other things!) because IMO they're just plain irresponsible and lazy, preferring to let God do the work and everything somehow, someway will turn out alright. Oh, never mind that God gave you a brain!!

So, I like the idea to send your aunt a card that says you forgive her. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Whatever you do, don't let them get under your skin. Find ways to amuse yourself with this evangelical nonsense
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaToFallon
Justice... If I were you, I'd send the aunt an email and say "thanks for the sweet card... of course I forgive you".

Ohhh. I really like this idea!

Why are people so frikkin presumptious?
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Old 01-05-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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i just found this thread. i'm definately an ex-christian. in fact, i can't even say for sure that i was one to begin with! when i was 12/13, i got a new best friend.. she was a born again christian, and always talking about it with me. at the time, i was living in a very abusive situation.. my father physically abused me, my mother emotionally/verbally abused me. i didn't have many friends, i was very shy and unsure of myself (like most other 12 year olds!). anyways, what she was offering, at the time, seemed like complete 'salvation'.. i needed a place to fit in, a god who loved me, and a church that would love me to.. .a pseudo family. so anyways, i joined her church and youth group. i did my best to fit in. i don't know for sure how much i really truly believed, and how much i just *wanted* to believe, ya know? anyways, when i moved away to go to university, i really looked at my beliefs, and decided to start over.. i wanted to believe what *I* believed, not what other people were telling me to believe. and now i don't believe in anything. i don't believe in or worship a god, but i also can't say for 100% sure that there is none either. i don't believe in organized religion. i consider myself an "apathetic agnostic".. because i don't know what exactly believe, and i'm don't really care about it, in the sense that it does not affect my life.

anyways, that's me.

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:58 PM
 
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Church of Christ/Assemblies of God escapee here.

I remember the day I admitted to myself that I could never believe. I even remember what I was wearing that day! I was fourteen years old, and in the library reading some "feminist" apologetics for Christianity.

Wish I could remember the title of that book, but I remember thinking to the author, "Lady, you're not even convincing yourself!"

Since I was really just a kid when I rejected Christianity, I didn't know where to go from there. I became a closet atheist, internally raising an eyebrow at religion of all stripes. It was (and still often is) obvious to me that organized religion is nothing but another form of social control.

So I skipped right over liberal spirituality. As I get "older" (yeah right, I'm all of 24) and have lost one child and begun raising another, I feel a little less... suspicious... of all things spiritual. But there's a lot of conflict there.

I still ID as an atheist, openly now. But now that my atheism is in the open and I'm not afraid of the Old Nick or my parents' opinions, it's also a less militant atheism than it was at 17. Not that I'm a freakin' softie now or anything, mind you.
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Hi Ferret!
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Hi Ferret!
Helllooooo, Dar! You gotta be the last person on earth I haven't pissed off in the last 24 hours.

Unless there's something you're not telling me. *insert shifty-eyed paranoid smilie here*
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:04 PM
 
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Thanks Darylll for resurrecting this thread (hmm ... pun intended?! ). It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one that has walked this road, that doesn't know which direction to turn, and yet that knows she can't go back.

Dh and I left Christianity (non-denominational and "messianic") this summer when I started researching (such a dangerous thing to do!) the whole jesus thing and whether or not he could even been the "messiah". Now we are floundering around in no-man's land and unsure of where to turn. I feel drawn back to my metaphysical beliefs given to me by my mom and also somewhat to paganism (wow, that was weird to type). Dh is jaded by it all and will probably take a while to figure out what he wants or believes.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:07 AM
 
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"Resurrected." LOL

Someone reminded me of this thread and I thought it was a good one and wondered if anyone else had stories to share.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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I am a Christian however, I am frustrated with the fundie yada yada yada...totally exclusive and you can't win for losing. I cannot base my faith on these "believers" and am often "excommunicated" from their circles....oh well
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:32 AM
 
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I know I have never posted in this forum before, so sorry for the potential hijack. Also, I have not been able to read all the pages of this thread just yet. But I just wanted to offer some to all those individuals grappling with their loss of faith. I grew up in a VERY Christian household and took ownership for my faith at a very early age. God/Jesus/Faith were issues that I thought about very deeply even as a child. BUT, based on my personality alone, I always felt a certain conflict because I QUESTIONED everything and required EVIDENCE for everything. (It should make sense then that I excelled in science and am pursuing a career in that field.) And all the people around me were the exact opposite, and I felt alienated for needing so much proof. And one day in my early 20s, I woke up an atheist. I'm sure this transformation was much more gradual. But it felt JARRING. (Anyone who knew me in that old life would never, ever believe it, btw. I'm the last person anyone would have suspected of claiming atheism.) I just wanted those people who are feeling adrift or shaken to know that it does get better. You read. You research. You discuss. You do your best to defend yourself from the inevitable onslaught of your family and friends. But there does come a point when you feel at peace, when it makes more sense, when you realize that -- finally-- all of your values, beliefs, and natural inclinations are aligned. I think it's the alignment that is most important, no matter what you choose to believe (or not believe). And it will happen eventually and you'll feel so much stronger for it. Peace to you all.
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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I grew up in mostly Baptist churches. I don’t remember getting ‘saved,’ it was just something that always was. I got baptized at 8 because all my friends were. I was never really passionate about it, except during and immediately after church camp/retreats/revivals. I was involved in a LOT of church activities, mainly for something to do and to hang out with people. I did youth group, Campus Life, Sunday service, and a school Bible Club (I was even the president for a year!). I attended a Pentecostal church for two years and did every youth activity they had to offer. I loved that church when I attended, because it was a very small congregation (we’re talking 20 people) and it felt like a family.

When my family moved, I stopped going to church regularly because we had been within walking distance of church and now we were 20 minutes away. No one else in my family was as ‘churchy’ as me, so I didn’t have a ride. When I went to basic training, I became very religious again (as most people do in that situation) and attended the base church every week, which extended into my technical training. I attended church, read my Bible every night, etc. I had been at technical training for a couple of months when I missed church for the first time because I had decided to sleep in. I mentioned to my friend Kittie (a Wiccan) that I was feeling guilty for missing church. She gave me a funny look and said, “You were tired. You slept in. Why would you want to do something that makes you feel bad?” That comment hit me HARD.

Several months later, I borrowed a book on the basic beliefs of Wicca from another friend and began learning all I could. I officially dedicated myself around Samhain 2002. For the first few weeks of my studies, I called myself a Christian Witch (mainly because I was afraid to give up the title Christian), but after my dedication, I became a Wiccan, period.

I still fight with guilt and worry regularly. It was so ingrained in me from before I can remember. You’re not worthy, you can never do enough, you can think you’re saved and still go to hell, if your friends go to hell and you didn’t witness to them it’s your fault, gay is evil, women are weaker than men, you deserve to burn for any one sin and God is just granting you mercy, etc, etc. Silly as it sounds, it makes me feel better to read about the contradictions and fallacies in the Bible, because it reminds me that I made the right decision.

I am ‘out of the broom closet’ completely. I am ashamed in NO WAY of my beliefs. I’m seen as the black sheep in the family for it. My mom didn’t speak to me for six months after she found out. She thinks I’m trying to convert both my cousin and my sister into my ‘covenant’ (she doesn’t know the difference between a covenant and a coven). She doesn’t believe that I’m not trying to convert anyone, because the idea that we don’t claim to be the one true path is so foreign to her that she thinks I’m lying. Her idea of what Wicca is boils down to “I asked my pastor about it and he said it looks good on the outside, but it’s really evil.” She thinks Satan is deceiving me. The funny part is, I haven’t known her to attend a church since I was 13 (ten years). She swears she does, but we visit a lot on the weekends and she always works on Sundays.

Enough of my saga. I’m really loving this thread!

BLESSED OSTARA EVERYONE!

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Old 03-24-2007, 02:58 AM
 
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Wow - I know most of this thread was written a while ago but it really got me thinking. My spiritual path has sure ended up in places I never expected. I was raised in a pretty conservative protestant church...very strong sub-culture...and it was a good time - a good experience. I have no major negative stories. I went to christian schools all the way through college and thought that this was my life. Well - its not and it is. Internally I am so far from the way I was raised. (Questioning the existence of God pretty much does that to a person) but culturally I'm still sort of there, on the fringes. The cool this is that I'm OK with that. I'm gradually growing into the idea that my spiritual walk is mine alone and I don't have to be ashamed either of how I grew up or of who I am now. But I married someone from the same Christian denomination (much to my surprise) and he is not quite as far out there as I am. So the tough part is how to talk to my kids about things. I'm just feeling my way. I'm a musician and currently work for a protestant church and I feel so comfortable on some level with the ritual and the routine and the thought-provoking sermons and the nice people. At the same time I not sure I'm really a Christian either. Its part of me...but I just have too many questions that don't seem to have answers. The one thing that bothered me was feeling so alone about it all. It didn't seem like anyone else thought like I did. However, I just found a few blogs from members of a progressive element in my childhood church and it is pretty cool to see that I'm not the only one. If I were single...I'd be in major exploration mode. Out of respect to both our families I am chosing to be more moderate and private about my search...at least for now. Am drawn to buddhism and nature although not totally at home with what little I know of Wiccan practices. (A good friend of mine is a Wiccan prietess). I think its more about the form of it than the content. I like 'high church'. I find the divine in great music, poetic prayers etc. But I just like to be left alone to enjoy it my way...not the way someone else tells me I should.

OK - I'm seriously rambling. I'm just so glad to read this thread and to hear other stories. What a journey. I remember feeling so excited when I first realized I wasn't really a Christian. It was like doors and windows were flying open all over the place in my brain and cool refreshing air was rushing in. At the same time I felt kind of lost and a little scared. "...I was experiencing a queer since of loss..." was a line in a book I read that pretty much nailed how I felt.

OK - time to go be with the kiddos. I hope this thread revives again. (No pun intended....or not. :-> )

J
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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bump!

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