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I don't want to be a Christian anymore.


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In fact, I'd go as far as to say I am not one.

 

Really.

 

So many events, discussions, people, observations and prayer have lead me to this place.

 

1) The woman who was sent from "our" church office with a list instead of some real help/counseling.

2) The idea that "divorce is not an option"

3) When, in a video announcement for "our" church, they had a man, silent, flipping sheets of paper with issues on them to come to Celebrate Recovery: addiction, porn, infidelity, same-sex attraction.

4) When any young child, ever, is told another person will go to hell if they don't believe, worship and celebrate in "X" way, with "X" bible.

5) Wifely Submission.

6) Spanking.

7) "Modesty"

8) Bad science aka in order to be a Christian, you must believe in a literal application of the Bible always, no matter what.

9) It's ok to go to foreign nations and tell people that how they understand God is wrong.

10) The elevation of a piece of paper "marriage certificate" to a living status.

11) Seeing "sin" everywhere. Honestly, I miss the mark often and have a discrepency between how I'd like to behave and how I *do* behave. I believe (no, I know) I need God. But I don't feel "depraved", "fallen" or evil.

12) Seeing certain "sin" more than others - usually sexual.

12) Exclusionary spiritualism.

13) Sex, intimacy.

14) "CSI" is ok, but Harry Potter, Twilight isn't.

15) My translation is better than your translation.

16) Male Leadership/Teaching only.

17) Arguements about *symbolic* gestures: baptism, Holy Communion

18) My Christianity is better than your Christianity but we are all better than the Jews, Muslims, New Agers, pagans (who don't deserve a capital letter)

19) Don't say "Oh, God".

20) Being angrily, stalwartly, against feminism. Yea? Go, ahead, read Mary Pride (I did when I believed her). Then see how she (and cohorts) handled Cheryl Seeloff.

21) Duggars.

22) Prayer in school. But what they *really* mean is Christian prayer in school.

23) Jesus would be a Democrat.

24) Jesus would be a Republican.

25) If we are being criticized as Christians, it's good because the Bible says we will be. It's never because we are being close minded or judgmental or unkind or just plain dumb.

26) All "other" practices of spirituality are wrong. Some of those are evil.

27) Yoga, meditation and Tae Chi are gateway exercises.

28) Extreme courtship.

29) Youth groups should be serious, for study.

30) Youth groups are evil.

31) "Church discipline"

32) Beware of psychology

33) Protect your kids from "the world", "keep their innocence by not telling them 'too early' about biology".

34) All forms of "should we be friends with this unbelieving family who {drinks, smokes, lives together, is less modest_________}

35) Christians who are against 12 step programs.

36) Because my son was "warned" at a homeschool class setting for having - gasp - a slight mowhawk.

37) Because of the hypocrisy of churches who would woo and ordain my xh but not welcome me into leadership because I have a vagina.

38) Because of the more generalized hypocrisy in church leadership.

 

 

 

Don't pray for me on this, really. Truly. I'm fine here, and in the afterlife. I believe that God created this earth and it's science. I believe Jesus was conceived in the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, that he was born, had about a 3 year active ministry, was crucified, dead and burried (not so sure about the descended into hell thing) and resurrected and ascended into heaven. The trinty? Not sure. I believe God is God and in the presence of the Holy Spririt (in many forms).

 

 

I'm not at all worried about this belief.

 

I'm just sad that I can't stand the doctrine at most (including my present) churches but I am stuck there because it's best for my family. I'm sad that my student peers will get good counseling training and go out as professionals and break the first ethical rule: Do no harm.

 

I love God. I hate many, many, many of the things people attribute to him or claim in his name.

 

Editing to add this interesting link.

Edited by Joanne
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One of the best things I ever did as a young person was embrace Christ.

The best thing I ever did as an adult was to leave Christ.

 

I thought of Anne Rice when I read your post :) I see that you have linked to an article.

 

I wish you much joy and freedom, Joanne.

 

Tori

 

ETA: Ah, on another reading I see how our views differ, but I still wish you freedom in your decision to still serve your Jesus divorced from Christianity. :)

Edited by freethinkermama
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I think you are confusing religion with Christianity. They aren't the same.
Religion not equaling Christianity is somewhat tiresome. I've heard that for 30 years and believed it for 20 of those years. (I'm 42)

 

The word "Christian" is a label. Sounds to me like she hasn't lost belief but she's casting off the label because she doesn't want to be associated with the label and all it entails anymore.

 

One of the best things I ever did as a young person was embrace Christ.

The best thing I ever did as an adult was to leave Christ.

This.
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I struggle with a lot of the reasons you listed in your post. I also agree with you that God is real, as is the Holy Spirit. That I can't deny because I've felt his presence and influence in my life.

 

To me it boils down to a personal relationship with my Savior. In the end that's what matters. I'm not protestant but in browsing some materials by Veritas Press I was struck by their comment that it doesn't say in the Bible that you're saved by your doctrine. It's been an interesting thought for me to ponder....

 

I guess I just wanted to say you're not the only one who feels that way. I'm sure opthers struggle with the things on your list that I don't and vice versa. Life is about learning and growing, I really believe that.:grouphug:

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Joanne,

 

It seems to me that the majority of your list does not have to do with "I can't stand the doctrine at most (including my present) churches," but that most of your disagreement is with attitude (!!!) and practice. The glaring exception to that would be the points that deal with the lesser doctrines, such as those regarding the roles of women.

 

If you can teach your children (that's usually the core of what I care about anymore: whom am I raising?) the difference between doctrine and practice/attitudes (essentially I'm saying those areas that *you* count as areas of freedom or liberty vs. the foundational, uncompromisable doctrines, such as the ones about the nature of God and His work) they will be much better Christ-followers and lovers of their fellow human beings.

Edited by Valerie(TX)
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I'm a Christian. I struggled for a while with my Christianity.....one day I realized that it was certain Christians, it was what man had turned Jesus and the Bible into, it was so many man-made Christian "habits", it was people that I needed healing from and not my faith, hope and love for Jesus.

 

I believe that Christianity today is very different than Jesus had meant for it to be. Just MY thoughts , from my experiences.....please no one attack me.

 

And with that being said....I'm re-learning who He is.

 

Wishing you peace and clarity Joanne.

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It could be that you're simply not the same stripe of Christian as the church/social circle you're in. I have Christian friends for whom acceptance and social justice go hand in hand with what they believe. Their church activities focus on homeless outreach and supporting each other, and no one gives a flying foo about what color peoples' hair is or how it's cut. They are evangelical Christians, but of a different type than the legalistic ones you seem to be most familiar with.

 

I myself am not a Christian, I just wanted to point out that the certain worldview you seem to associate with Christianity isn't universal to the religion by any means. You might be chucking the baby out with the bathwater, particularly since you still seem to hold a core of Christian belief.

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I remember having lots of the same thoughts you have in my twenties and early thirties. One way that I have come to understand the many different layers of Christians is the concept of stages of Christianity. Scott Peck, MD is a psychiatrist who has wrote many books from a christian and psychological perspective. He is one of my favorite authors! Reading his books helped me to understand why I wanted to run from some Christians (stage 2) and loved being around other christians (stage 4). It also explained why some christians left the church but it was actually a positive experience in their christian faith. Now, I know that God can handle all of our honest questions and critiques of the world we see. Scott Peck said the the path to holiness lies in questioning everything.

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21) Duggars.

 

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

 

On a more serious note:

 

18) My Christianity is better than your Christianity but we are all better than the Jews, Muslims, New Agers, pagans (who don't deserve a capital letter)

 

Can I ask why Pagans don't deserve a capital letter? Do you know what Paganism is?

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Joanne...:grouphug:...I have been there, too. I could have written much of your list. But years ago I had a very wise Christian man tell me this: The world is full of bad churches, bad people, bad situations, and satan wants to use those bad things to convince Christians that all churches are full of hypocrites and they aren't worth all the trouble. The Lord intended for churches to be an uplifting, encouraging place for believers to go. He wanted Christians to love and respect and uplift everyone. The sin of the world has dirtied that plan. But does that mean that ALL Christians are hypocrites? No!!! Does that mean we should stop hoping for the kind of Christian experience that God wanted us all to have? No!!! It makes us better people to go through all this fire, even though it hurts. It isn't pleasant to see loved ones judged and discouraged, but makes us more sensitive to be the kind of people we ought to be. Please don't let the stupid people and negative experiences turn you away from all the wonderful ones. :grouphug: Remember, I've been there...and I am there now. But I am not alone, and neither are you. God wants HIS best for us all. We just have to keep growing as loving individuals and believing that, no matter what. :)

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You may not be open to this, but a great book I've found that boils it down to Christ and dispensing with the tertiary matters is John MacArthur's book "THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JESUS." It is about Jesus' OWN , repeated warnings to those who claim to be HIS children and yet who get caught up in unimportant minutiae (however you spell that). I am so thankful for this book as I too was overly concerned with the various religious debates/discussions and this book really helped me boil it down to JESUS' GOSPEL which is MUCH more simple than what man has done with done with matters religious. The book summarizes what I believe is GOD'S "Take Home Point." Just thought I'd throw this idea out there. In any event, best wishes to you and your fam!

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Guest Cindie2dds
Religion not equaling Christianity is somewhat tiresome. I've heard that for 30 years and believed it for 20 of those years. (I'm 42)

 

The word "Christian" is a label. Sounds to me like she hasn't lost belief but she's casting off the label because she doesn't want to be associated with the label and all it entails anymore.

 

This.

 

Sadly, I have to agree.

 

I just wanted to say that i read through your post. I am sure you are not alone in your thoughts.

 

:iagree:

 

4) When any young child, ever, is told another person will go to hell if they don't believe, worship and celebrate in "X" way, with "X" bible.

 

6) Spanking.

 

8) Bad science aka in order to be a Christian, you must believe in a literal application of the Bible always, no matter what.

9) It's ok to go to foreign nations and tell people that how they understand God is wrong.

10) The elevation of a piece of paper "marriage certificate" to a living status.

 

12) Exclusionary spiritualism.

13) Sex, intimacy.

14) "CSI" is ok, but Harry Potter, Twilight isn't. <don't even get me started on Lord of the Rings being okay when HP isn't.>

15) My translation is better than your translation.

16) Male Leadership/Teaching only.

17) Arguements about *symbolic* gestures: baptism, Holy Communion

18) My Christianity is better than your Christianity but we are all better than the Jews, Muslims, New Agers, pagans (who don't deserve a capital letter)

 

20) Being angrily, stalwartly, against feminism. Yea? Go, ahead, read Mary Pride (I did when I believed her). Then see how she (and cohorts) handled Cheryl Seeloff.

21) Duggars.

22) Prayer in school. But what they *really* mean is Christian prayer in school.

23) Jesus would be a Democrat.

24) Jesus would be a Republican.

25) If we are being criticized as Christians, it's good because the Bible says we will be. It's never because we are being close minded or judgmental or unkind or just plain dumb.

26) All "other" practices of spirituality are wrong. Some of those are evil.

27) Yoga, meditation and Tae Chi are gateway exercises.

28) Extreme courtship.

29) Youth groups should be serious, for study.

30) Youth groups are evil.

31) "Church discipline"

32) Beware of psychology

33) Protect your kids from "the world", "keep their innocence by not telling them 'too early' about biology".

34) All forms of "should we be friends with this unbelieving family who {drinks, smokes, lives together, is less modest_________}

35) Christians who are against 12 step programs.

36) Because my son was "warned" at a homeschool class setting for having - gasp - a slight mowhawk.

37) Because of the hypocrisy of churches who would woo and ordain my xh but not welcome me into leadership because I have a vagina.

38) Because of the more generalized hypocrisy in church leadership.

 

 

I'm just sad that I can't stand the doctrine at most (including my present) churches but I am stuck there because it's best for my family. I'm sad that my student peers will get good counseling training and go out as professionals and break the first ethical rule: Do no harm.

 

I love God. I hate many, many, many of the things people attribute to him or claim in his name.

 

Wow, Joanne, I think you hit on how a lot of people feel, but haven't voiced it yet. There were a lot! I thought I would just quote one or two. The last sentence speaks volumes! I kept in the reasons that stood out most to me.

 

The question always pops up in my mind, remember the two most important Commandments? It's on the top line of my blog. I think people forget Jesus commanded us to love God, then everyone else.

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Guest Cindie2dds
I believe Joanne was being sarcastic. :) She's a fair-minded lady who would find this sort of thing rude.

 

T.

 

:iagree:

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I feel ya Joanne. I was raised strict Southern Baptist. Legalism at its best there. It was awful. I almost lost my Jesus because of all the horrible things people, "Christians," did to one another. The disgusting judgements, vile acts behind closed doors, voodoo theology. For the longest time I didn't know where I stood with Jesus. Sometimes I still don't. All I know is that I love happy Jesus. Legalistic Jesus is mean and a bastardization of the real, Bible Jesus. I'll take my happy, loving Jesus, who loves me even though I drink, cuss, and fail at least 27 times a minute, tyvm.

 

Oh, and I totally get the "This sin (usually sexual) is worse than that sin" attitude and I hate it as well. I have an uncle who posts non-stop on Facebook about coming to God, judgement is coming, hate on the gays crap, yet he sells boot-legged copies of movies and smokes pot.:confused:

 

You know, I get that some things are probably black and white when it comes to theology, doctrine, and all that, but honestly, I don't care all that much. I choose to focus on the whole "Jesus is love" concept and make a feeble attempt to show that love to others.

 

I know your journey will be hard. People will likely stop talking to you out of fear you may awaken some of their own doubts. They are lame. Find you own path to God. Heck, find a Quaker meeting house. That sounds right up your alley, that is if you feel like you need that.

 

:grouphug: to you as you figure all this out.

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It could be that you're simply not the same stripe of Christian as the church/social circle you're in. I have Christian friends for whom acceptance and social justice go hand in hand with what they believe. Their church activities focus on homeless outreach and supporting each other, and no one gives a flying foo about what color peoples' hair is or how it's cut. They are evangelical Christians, but of a different type than the legalistic ones you seem to be most familiar with.

 

I myself am not a Christian, I just wanted to point out that the certain worldview you seem to associate with Christianity isn't universal to the religion by any means. You might be chucking the baby out with the bathwater, particularly since you still seem to hold a core of Christian belief.

 

:iagree: It sounds to me like you're still Christian, just not the ultra-conservative/fundamental variety - and as much as there are groups of that stripe that would say that anyone that doesn't believe what they do aren't really Christians, it's not true. Don't let them co-opt the name.

 

There are many, many mainline to liberal Christian denominations that would reject everything on your list and still consider themselves very much Christian.

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In fact, I'd go as far as to say I am not one. Really.

 

 

I don't know if you're serious, but this is definitely me. I stopped using the label because of the treatment I received and witnessed. It's not been a positive experience and the way I experience God, I don't believe he would want any part of what I've experienced either.

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I still want to be a Christian. I just don't want to have much to do with organized religion. I don't like the 'rules' or the stereotypes that so many churches and Christians so readily fall into.

 

I don't agree with most of the professed doctrine at our current church (by this I mean what the 'governing' body officially states) but I attend the church because it meets people where they are for the most part. All are accepted. I figure it's not my place to do anything but make them feel welcome. God is big enough to handle what HE feels HE needs to handle with each person and I need to stay out of it. Of course I pray for people but I'm not going and telling someone they are 'sinning'. I have enough of my own problems. I have no business telling someone how to run their own life.

 

I don't think books should be restricted. I don't care for Harry Potter - not for any other reason but that the genre doesn't appeal to me. I haven't read Lord of the Rings or Narnia for the same reason. Ditto TV shows. Who am I to police what people read, watch or listen to? Heck, I am a diehard metalhead and that's not changing anytime soon.

 

I am a modest person. While I would like not to see certain parts of others anatomy if it's within the legal bounds of decency I can turn my head and ignore it if I don't like it.

 

Joanne, thank you for putting a point on some things that have been bothering me lately. I couldn't quite figure out why I was so disgruntled with religion lately but you really hit on some of my reasons for discontent.

Edited by pdalley
not enough coffee = unclear wording
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I haven't read the responses, but wanted to say that I am sorry you haven't been able to find a church/community that meets your needs. I feel the same way you do about most everything you posted, but am lucky to be in a church that doesn' t ask me to "leave my brain at the door". I attend a local Episcopal church that has a woman priest, and I would say most if not all believe in evolution, science, etc. Also, regarding hell, I always loved something I learned in a Catholic Church...that the church "knows" there are people in heaven, but for all they know there may be no one in hell at all. Hugs. Your experience of Christianity would certainly make me miserable.

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ABC....Admit (you are a sinner), Believe (He died and rose again), Confess (your sins)....sounds like it is possible that you already do the "three things" required by the Bible to be a Christian. When I say Christian, I just mean a follower of Christ.

 

There is legalism everywhere. Hypocrites are everywhere. You have to overlook those things and find the true Christ that's buried underneath them all. You and God know whether or not you are a Christian (believer, saved, child of God, however you want to say it). And don't let the negative connotations skew your view of that word.....just a follower of Christ. If you are a follower of Christ, then you are a Christian.

 

Like someone else mentioned, Satan uses all the "bad" things about Christianity to taint it for everyone else. He wants you to see all the hypocrites in church, all the people using God's name for other purposes, etc. That's exactly what he wants.....to turn it sour for you.

 

I do believe that a follower of Christ would want to obey what's written in God's word. And some things need to be prayed about how they are interpereted.

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:iagree: It sounds to me like you're still Christian, just not the ultra-conservative/fundamental variety - and as much as there are groups of that stripe that would say that anyone that doesn't believe what they do aren't really Christians, it's not true. Don't let them co-opt the name.

 

There are many, many mainline to liberal Christian denominations that would reject everything on your list and still consider themselves very much Christian.

 

:iagree:

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One thing I've noticed with some of these issues that come up is that there is a difference between DISCUSSION, which recognising personal opinion and respecting others for theirs, and the ATTITUDE of "I'm right, you're wrong, and we need to make you see it our way". And btw, I've been guilty of this myself in the past, but I've been growing and changing a lot the past couple of years (and I hope people will forgive me for my past mistakes both here and elsewhere).

 

Joanne makes some good points though. It's why I left fundamentalism.

Edited by mommaduck
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I remember having lots of the same thoughts you have in my twenties and early thirties. One way that I have come to understand the many different layers of Christians is the concept of stages of Christianity. Scott Peck, MD is a psychiatrist who has wrote many books from a christian and psychological perspective. He is one of my favorite authors! Reading his books helped me to understand why I wanted to run from some Christians (stage 2) and loved being around other christians (stage 4). It also explained why some christians left the church but it was actually a positive experience in their christian faith. Now, I know that God can handle all of our honest questions and critiques of the world we see. Scott Peck said the the path to holiness lies in questioning everything.

 

I've been a Scott Peck fan for years - he's recommended in many AA circles (I've been clean and sober for going on 20 years).

 

For those who are saying I am confusing Christianity/religion/organized religions and that there are Christians who feel the same as my list....not really. Trust me, I've insisted for YEARS, even on this board repeatedly, that Christians don't all look the same.

 

But I've finally admitted that I depart from some basics:

 

* Jesus is the ONLY way

* Evangelism ("the great commission") if it means telling people they need to believe in Jesus

* the *authority* of scripture and the absolute "drop like dew from God's mouth" and coming directly from God through human hands perception.

 

From the article I posted earlier:

 

 

The trouble is, the Christian scriptures themselves, describing the nature of that earliest form of the faith, are already products of the development of a "Church," of a set of dogmas and practices that developed in the decades after Jesus walked the earth.

 

No, my decline of Christianity is far greater than the parts of my lists that are usually attributed to legalism.

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I remember having lots of the same thoughts you have in my twenties and early thirties. One way that I have come to understand the many different layers of Christians is the concept of stages of Christianity. Scott Peck, MD is a psychiatrist who has wrote many books from a christian and psychological perspective. He is one of my favorite authors! Reading his books helped me to understand why I wanted to run from some Christians (stage 2) and loved being around other christians (stage 4). It also explained why some christians left the church but it was actually a positive experience in their christian faith. Now, I know that God can handle all of our honest questions and critiques of the world we see. Scott Peck said the the path to holiness lies in questioning everything.

 

:iagree:This helped me to be more understanding of some Christians. :) Just wanted to say...good for you!!!! and not all churches are like the ones you described. Unfortunately many are, but there are some that are very different :)

 

Take care of you!

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I've been a Scott Peck fan for years - he's recommended in many AA circles (I've been clean and sober for going on 20 years).

 

For those who are saying I am confusing Christianity/religion/organized religions and that there are Christians who feel the same as my list....not really. Trust me, I've insisted for YEARS, even on this board repeatedly, that Christians don't all look the same.

 

But I've finally admitted that I depart from some basics:

 

* Jesus is the ONLY way

* Evangelism ("the great commission") if it means telling people they need to believe in Jesus

* the *authority* of scripture and the absolute "drop like dew from God's mouth" and coming directly from God through human hands perception.

 

From the article I posted earlier:

 

 

 

 

No, my decline of Christianity is far greater than the parts of my lists that are usually attributed to legalism.

 

I've departed from all of these basics . . . and I have doubts about a few more.

 

I describe myself as clinging to the far liberal fringes of Christianity, but I am very comfortable in my United Church of Christ congregation. (I don't mean to imply that most of my fellow congregants are as far gone as I am, but the noncreedal nature of the denomination enables me to feel welcome.)

 

ETA: I'm not arguing with your rejection of the Christian label, btw. I can certainly see why you might not want to use it anymore.

Edited by Melinda in VT
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Joanne, maybe you should find a UU church. They love and accept everyone and are open to all beliefs. If I were ever to join a church to feel the sense of community a church can bring it would be a UU church.

 

Eventually, I can see that happening. With my DH and my kids and situations/relationships being what it is, that is not an option right now.

 

I'll have to keep going where I am going and having lunch discussions like:

 

"Do you remember the video announcements about Celebrate Recovery? I believe in some of the concepts of healing in CR, but I need you to know that I don't believe "same sex attraction" is a sin that needs healing."

 

And

 

"All the Pastors at our church are male. There are Christians who believe that is the way God said it should be. I don't."

 

"Your step-dads son is a missionary who feels he is doing what's best for other people. I don't agree."

 

"No, I don't believe that your Buddist (or whatever) friend is going to hell."

 

And having to pull students out of "science" classes because non-Creation perspectives are not welcome.

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I would also add fear of masturbation to that list.

 

I would like to believe a thoughtful god would not allow teenage boys to have arms long enough.

 

Who needs a snake and a tree as temptation when you've got hormones...and ...

Edited by LibraryLover
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Eventually, I can see that happening. With my DH and my kids and situations/relationships being what it is, that is not an option right now.

 

I'll have to keep going where I am going and having lunch discussions like:

 

"Do you remember the video announcements about Celebrate Recovery? I believe in some of the concepts of healing in CR, but I need you to know that I don't believe "same sex attraction" is a sin that needs healing."

 

And

 

"All the Pastors at our church are male. There are Christians who believe that is the way God said it should be. I don't."

 

"Your step-dads son is a missionary who feels he is doing what's best for other people. I don't agree."

 

"No, I don't believe that your Buddist (or whatever) friend is going to hell."

 

And having to pull students out of "science" classes because non-Creation perspectives are not welcome.

 

:grouphug:

 

I, and many others here, know how long, hard and tiresome this becomes, and is for you already to come to this point. It's exhausting and emotionally draining, and so many of us are feeling for you and pulling for you, Joanne. I'm new to posting here, but I've been reading the forum for a long time. I've always appreciated, and admired, your strength. Even strong trees are felled be enough ax swings though. But falling isn't so bad. :) And then you find that you didn't really fall, you actually grew some more. (And your darn glad of it, because it's really hard!)

 

T.

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What you listed is not about Christ...it's about opinions and interpretations of people trying (and sometimes failing) to follow Christ. Two very different animals.

 

I hear that you are frustrated but, honestly, your list is as judgmental as the people you are calling out.

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One thing I've noticed with some of these issues that come up is that there is a difference between DISCUSSION, which recognising personal opinion and respecting others for theirs, and the ATTITUDE of "I'm right, you're wrong, and we need to make you see it our way". And btw, I've been guilty of this myself in the past, but I've been growing and changing a lot the past couple of years (and I hope people will forgive me for my past mistakes both here and elsewhere).

 

Joanne makes some good points though. It's why I left fundamentalism.

 

Thank you. I was trying to think of a nice way to say this, but I couldn't.

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WOW

 

OP - A lot of what you are rejecting isn't Christ.

You are rejecting a label. (but in a sense you are establishing your own righteousness, as well)

 

I'll not mince words. You seem bitter. This is a heart issue. I think you asked that others not pray about it, so I'll honor that.

 

Sift through all of the stuff that you are upset about. None of that is Christ. If you don't want to do the church thing - don't.

 

Maybe the issue is your "circle."

 

But KNOW that there are plenty of vibrant churches and Christ followers that aren't like that at all.

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Joanne isn't calling out people, she's calling out attitudes, statements and beliefs that have all stemmed from Christian (of various flavors) teachings. Now, Christians, may not agree with them all, but they have come from the Christian world-view, right or wrong. I bet if you asked the people who said those things, they'd all profess to be Christians.

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I think that some people are putting words into your mouth, Joanne. You are not just rejecting a label. You are rejecting many certain teachings that some beleive are very important to this particular religion.

 

I left the religion many years ago and have been SO much happier since! I understand that the concept of true happiness apart from christianity is, quite literally, unbelievable to most, but it is true.

 

No more pretending to put up with stuff I don't believe in, no more wasted time. I absolutely WILL NOT rear my children in this!

 

And Library Lover, THANK YOU! I have been saying that for years. I think it is absolutely DREADFUL and dangerous to tell teenagers to abstain from sex until marraige, but don't masturbate. WHAT A WAY TO SET THEM UP FOR FRUSTRATION AND DISASTER AND YEARS OF GUILT! :001_huh:

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First, can I just say that attending church and living around Christians in the Bible belt is a different experience than other areas of the country? "Christianity" (yes, that is a proper use of quotes here) is a part of the culture here in the South. I just thought I'd throw in that perspective for you've stated before that you live in the South.

 

I've visited my brother's church in Seattle, and the attitude and flavor is so much different. Yes, good doctrine is good doctrine wherever we go, but churches, people, and attitudes vary so much in different regions. Of course, there are bad churches in all parts of the country and fantastic churches in the Bible belt, I'm just trying to say that when you're used to the *culture* of the Bible belt you may be used to getting a warped perspective on Christianity. (I realize you talk to people all over the U.S. and have read books/articles from all over.)

 

One of my favorite pastors is from the Seattle area. His name is Mark Driscoll. Based on some of your posts, he seems like a guy you might connect with. He's funny, blunt, and uptight people consider him irreverent.

 

One of our favorite series is on Ecclesiastes. http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/ecclesiastes

 

I hope I've not said anything offensive here. I enjoy your posts. I don't always agree, but I love the different perspectives this board brings. It's caused me to rethink and sometimes change my positions.

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WOW

 

OP - A lot of what you are rejecting isn't Christ.

You are rejecting a label. (but in a sense you are establishing your own righteousness, as well)

 

I'll not mince words. You seem bitter. This is a heart issue. I think you asked that others not pray about it, so I'll honor that.

 

Sift through all of the stuff that you are upset about. None of that is Christ. If you don't want to do the church thing - don't.

 

Maybe the issue is your "circle."

 

But KNOW that there are plenty of vibrant churches and Christ followers that aren't like that at all.

 

 

I don't want to be prayed for on this issue because I don't believe I "need" it.

 

I'm really not bitter. I'm sad.

 

"Establishing my own righteouness" reminds me of the "Christian-speak" I can no longer accept.

 

My "circle" has actually been quite liberal. Your final sentence tells me you are focusing on my specifics on the list instead of the ideas/principles and my additional posts.

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