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WIS0320

If You Were A Christian And Now You're Not...

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I could have written so many of these responses. Never fitting in, feeling the warm glow; always looked down upon whenever I questioned, felt an outcast; realizing the true face of those s0-called christians, and not quite being able to make myself just accept on faith that the bible was true.

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I'm not sure if I should contribute because I'm not sure I was ever a Christian. My mom was raised methodist, my dad catholic. Most of my relatives were (and are) still fairly religious. My parents were non-practicing and I'm honestly not sure what they believe. I went through a period where I tried very hard to be Christian. I went to church with some friends, did the whole VBS thing, prayed a lot, got saved, etc. My big issue, the one that never went away, was that I could not get any of it to make SENSE. Christianity claims that God is loving and kind, and perfect, yet he does so many incredibly cruel things in the Bible. Not just stands by while bad things happen, but actually goes out and kills/smites innocents because some other people did bad stuff. That was probably my first big issue.

 

Then I started realizing just how nonsensical the idea of praying for stuff you want was (even good, important stuff, like the health of a family member). If God has a plan for all of us, isn't asking for things interfering with that? I know some people only pray for guidance, but honestly, it seems that God guides people to do all sorts of pretty horrifying things.

 

The final straw came in really REALLY studying history. Seriously, the Bible and divine inspiration have been used to justify every*horrible*thing that has happened in the last several hundred. Some good things too. But if people doing bad things think that God told them to, then how do I know that I'm doing good things if I do what I think God is telling me to? It kinda starts to seem like everyone is just guessing and interpreting scripture to suit their own wishes. Sure, many Christians choose to be kind and loving, and credit Christianity with this kindness and lovingness. But there are lots of Christians who are judgmental and hateful, and attribute it to Christianity. It seems rather arrogant to claim to know which one is true...

 

Yet if the "No one comes to the father except through Jesus" then onee of those has to be *true*...

 

And that led me to agnosticism, and after a long while to the realization that I don't think there is anything out there, and atheism. The whole "one true way" thing is probably the biggest issue. Also the realization that I'm not sure I want to be associated with the God who did all the things in the Bible. And the realization that I've read the bible a lot more than most Christians, apparently, since many of them don't seem to know what's in there.

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I'm not sure if I should contribute because I'm not sure I was ever a Christian. My mom was raised methodist, my dad catholic. Most of my relatives were (and are) still fairly religious. My parents were non-practicing and I'm honestly not sure what they believe. I went through a period where I tried very hard to be Christian. I went to church with some friends, did the whole VBS thing, prayed a lot, got saved, etc. My big issue, the one that never went away, was that I could not get any of it to make SENSE. Christianity claims that God is loving and kind, and perfect, yet he does so many incredibly cruel things in the Bible. Not just stands by while bad things happen, but actually goes out and kills/smites innocents because some other people did bad stuff. That was probably my first big issue.

 

Then I started realizing just how nonsensical the idea of praying for stuff you want was (even good, important stuff, like the health of a family member). If God has a plan for all of us, isn't asking for things interfering with that? I know some people only pray for guidance, but honestly, it seems that God guides people to do all sorts of pretty horrifying things.

 

The final straw came in really REALLY studying history. Seriously, the Bible and divine inspiration have been used to justify every*horrible*thing that has happened in the last several hundred. Some good things too. But if people doing bad things think that God told them to, then how do I know that I'm doing good things if I do what I think God is telling me to? It kinda starts to seem like everyone is just guessing and interpreting scripture to suit their own wishes. Sure, many Christians choose to be kind and loving, and credit Christianity with this kindness and lovingness. But there are lots of Christians who are judgmental and hateful, and attribute it to Christianity. It seems rather arrogant to claim to know which one is true...

 

Yet if the "No one comes to the father except through Jesus" then onee of those has to be *true*...

 

And that led me to agnosticism, and after a long while to the realization that I don't think there is anything out there, and atheism. The whole "one true way" thing is probably the biggest issue. Also the realization that I'm not sure I want to be associated with the God who did all the things in the Bible. And the realization that I've read the bible a lot more than most Christians, apparently, since many of them don't seem to know what's in there.

 

yeah. like this. TOTALLY feel the same way.

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Thank you for so succinctly illustrating the point many of us who have turned away from Christianity have made over the years on this board.

 

astrid

 

I never snort...but **snort**. :tongue_smilie:

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Please don't quote, as I may wish to delete.

 

I grew up Baptist, not because my mother was Baptist, but because my sister was. So church Sunday morning (3 hours), Sunday night (2 hours), Monday (Awana-equivalent--2 hours), church choir, etc.

 

Three sets of experiences nagged at me, and the final one led me to leave. When I left the Baptist denomination, I became UU, and I'm not longer Christian.

 

1. I generally felt excluded. My mother didn't attend church, I didn't have a father (he died when I was three), etc. Even later, when my mother did attend a Baptist church with me, and I was nineteen and engaged, I was excluded from a "ladies shopping trip" to a nearby city (which my mother and I wanted to attend together) and told I should try to start a youth group instead.

 

2. I asked questions which both led to lousy (I thought) answers and further alienated me, even as a young child. I was about seven, and I asked about what the day before God began creating was like, and why the information about dinosaurs (co-existing with humans) was different from what I was learning in school. The worst was when I asked about heaven/hell for my little brother who has Down's syndrome. I was told that if he died when he was older than three, he would go to hell.

 

3. The final experience was a retreat I went to when I was about seventeen. There was a revival-style meeting in which we were called to come up front and pray together if we vowed to "preserve our purity" until we were married. I didn't, and I was the only one who didn't. The next day, the minister said, "It's not too late," and tried to get me to make such a vow individually. I really felt dirty and yucky, as I had already had my innocence taken as a child by two men who both claimed to be Christian, and I felt really looked down upon for not going up front.

 

After the retreat, my mother and I tried the other church, and when that didn't work out, I left for the UU church.

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I'm late to this parade, but I wanted to add my two cents anyway.

 

I remember clearly when I realized that I didn't believe that Christianity was "true". I was 13 or 14 and started to read about ancient history. It just suddenly struck me how improbable the miracles of the Bible were viewed by a believer of another faith. I'm sure if I'd lived in a more diverse community, I'd have realized that sooner. After that I just could never bring myself to believe it again. I was raised Catholic so I never had to try to reconcile my interest in dinosaurs with a literal interpretation of Genesis, otherwise I'd have probably had my epiphany sooner.

 

I didn't have any negative experiences of backbiting, exclusionist Christians until I moved to Texas and began hsing. But, that's been pretty minor, and I do have good friends who are Christians but aren't worried about my eternal ****ation. Christians are a very big group, and not surprisingly, there are some truly lovely people and some real humdingers in there.

 

I've also come to realize how important religious identity is as a component of culture by navigating how to raise my kids. We ended up deciding to baptize them and do their first communion, but not to hide our beliefs if they ask. It's a bit hypocritical, but it works for us.

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Y'know Beth, you might get something out of this book.

 

Rosie

 

thank for posting that:001_smile: Some times it is hard to express what you are looking for and this may help me wrap my head around my quest

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hana, the bit about who goes to heaven and hell was always a big sticking point for me too. I remember looking around at some of the small-minded, but genuinely faithful people around me, and thinking "THOSE people are going to heaven, while someone like Ghandi or the Dalai Lama (generous spirits more in keeping with the "good" Christ-like deeds than nearly anyone on the planet) is going to hell? How the heck does that make sense? Many would even postulate that someone like Mother Theresa wouldn't be able to go to heaven because she was the wrong *kind* of Christian. And ironically we learned after her death that she, also, had serious misgivings about her faith.

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I appreciate all these posts. I have had many faith questions lately and many of the things you say here mirror some of my questions and thoughts. I feel at liberty to say more on this forum. But thank you! Please think of me while I struggle.

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I wanted to understand and believe. I've always believed in God, always had a very open mind about other religions, but I really felt drawn to Christianity for a long time, even though I never fully embraced it. But - the more I tried to become Christian (fully, I guess) through study and research, reading, talking, etc., the more I found myself not relating to it at all.

There was too much contradiction even within one denomination, and we were to just ignore those because we had faith. Very few Christians I knew actually did anything they were supposed to be doing, and it seemed more like a club than a faith at times. It just never felt right for me, something was always nagging at me that I was missing something bigger. Also - I never could embrace the "one way to heaven" issue. The 'inclusive' homeschool group here really made me look more deeply into my concerns as I certainly didn't see Jesus working through their actions.

What finally made me really decide that I was not Christian, and that that was ok, was discovering Deism. I had never even heard of it. When I read about it, I realized that I had been a Deist all my life - I just hadn't known there was a word for it.

I still take what I can from all religions. I find Jesus's teachings to be as valuable as the Buddha's and Plato's for example. I believe they all have truth in them. I also believe that every person has their own path, and that each path is valid (as long as it harms no one else). Some need a more structured faith, some need more community, and organized religion provides that.

It is still difficult to not be Christian. It is kinda funny, in a sick way. People I've known for years, who have always respected me , trusted me, thought we were a wonderful family, etc., find out that I'm not Christian (it's no secret, but sometimes it just hasn't come up - they've just assumed, I guess), all of the sudden they no longer see me as the same person they've known. When I can stand back and analyze their reactions without emotion it can be a very interesting sociological finding.

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I went the other way, from atheist to Christian as an adult. I think it's interesting that so many people lost faith over Christians acting contrary to the Christian faith. I think God has a strong opinion about this also:

 

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

Isaiah 66: 3-4 (on hypocrites)

“He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man;

he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck;

he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood;

he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.

These have chosen their own ways,

and their soul delights in their abominations;

I also will choose harsh treatment for them

and bring their fears upon them,

because when I called, no one answered,

when I spoke, they did not listen;

but they did what was evil in my eyes

and chose that in which I did not delight.â€

 

Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrites:

http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=hypocrite&qs_version=ESV

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Thank you for so succinctly illustrating the point many of us who have turned away from Christianity have made over the years on this board.

 

astrid

 

Well, it is the crux of Christianity that "Jesus is God." So, anyone who has studied it and researched even slightly, even if in total disagreement shouldn't miss that point. I don't think my one comment illustrated anything but common knowledge, perhaps the poster missed along the way. I truly wasn't trying to offend anyone. Very sorry, though, if you took offense.

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I was raised Baptist and then went to a Catholic high school (figure that) where we went to Mass every Friday. To be honest, it just never made sense to me. I find it odd that the Bible is considered "fact" no matter how preposterous things in it might be (swallowed by a whale?), but other religious books are considered "stories" and "myths." It seems insulting to approximately 70% of the world who aren't Christian. We're right and you're wrong. The fire and brimstone and d**nation of anyone who doesn't believe is also a bit wacky IMO. If God is so forgiving, then what's that all about? Believe or you will be punished? Seems to go against the whole love and charity bit. If some God came to me and said I'd have to kill one of my children to prove my faith, I'd have to go with thanks but no thanks. How is that loving? I know that according to the Bible God stopped it, but still.

 

I don't doubt that Jesus was a real person who was kind and loving and had a good heart, but I do not believe he is the son of God. Muhammad, Siddhartha, Confucius and a whole host of other founders of religion were also real people who had almost the same message, so what makes them wrong? That's not to say that I necessarily think they're right as I'm not religious, but if that's what their followers believe, who am I to tell them that Christianity is the only way?

 

There are also many Christians who turn me off of the whole deal. There are loads of Christians who think along the lines of 'love everyone except those who don't agree with me or fit the ideas of Christianity.'

 

This is not to say there aren't many, many wonderful people who are Christian. They are kind and generous and accepting of everyone, which I think was the message that Jesus, the man, was trying to get across. I don't think all Christians should be painted with the same brush.

 

Honestly, people can believe whatever they want. I personally don't care as long as they don't try to shove it down my throat or use their beliefs condemn and take away personal civil rights of people who are different. Let me live my life and you live yours and let's just coexist. If it gives you comfort to believe and pray, then by all means, do so. I don't mind.

 

ETA: If a person now came along and said they were the son of God, most people would think he's insane. If a person proclaimed that God led them to write a book that should be included in the Bible (The Book of Joe Schmo), he would be laughed at. If a person told everyone he'd been swallowed by a whale but was not digested during that time, what would people think? If someone killed their child and said God told them they had to do it to prove their faith, they'd be arrested and likely put in jail or in a mental institution. Why is this considered acceptable and reasonable 2000 years ago, but not today? It simply doesn't make sense.

 

Except for the very first sentence I could have written this post. I was raised catholic by two non-practicing parents. I was sent to classes through first communion because I was the first grandchild and that's what you did to make grandma happy. But it never made sense to me. Later in life after getting married to another catholic who's parents were very much practicing but who wasn't himself, we both really tried to get back to the church. I took RCIA classes to finally be confirmed, we went to church every week and it still just didn't sit right with us. After our 3rd child we thought, maybe it wasn't the christianity we had issues with but the "flavor" so we joined the luthern church as it seemed to remove the things from catholisism that we didn't agree with. After a year there we realized, that no it wasn't the flavor, that we just didn't buy what they were selling. We're more science minded and weren't willing to just through all that knowledge out.

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I am so sorry. True Christianity is not what some of you have described here. I am truly sorry that God and Jesus have been misrepresented to some of you by self-righteous, hypocritcal, sanctimonious, condemning, egotistical hypocrites. For what it's worth, they make me sick.

 

The tough issues and seeming contradictions in scripture need to be dealt with head-on, not avoided by hiding behind some pat answer given in "christianese." That makes me sick too.

 

I really am sorry.

 

I appreciate your apology, but really I need someone to be willing to prove it to me at this point. Show me that when the rubber meets the road, that they are actually willing to think through and sit through the hard stuff with me. So far I have NEVER met a Christian like that. They would rather just brush it off as me not having enough faith.

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In our church, which is nondenominational btw, we refuse platitudes, pert & insulting pat answers. Our pastor has his doctorate from oxford. The man is a thinker, and he has been teaching us to be thinkers: question everything.

 

When we get to know our husbands or friends, what we really are saying is we know their character and we know their mind (for the most part). We can predict with a great amount of certainty what they like, how they will probably feel about something, etc. This, to me, is the closest analogy to true christianity: knowing the character of Christ.

 

When i hear stories of ignorant "christians" who have turned others away by misrepresenting Him to others, I could spit nails. No, a boy with down's syndrome is not going to hell whether he's over the age of 3 or not (this is the "age of accountability" argument). Does there come a time when we are capable of understanding and either accepting or rejecting Christ? Not for everybody, no. Some down syndrome kids or autistic kids may never have that capability. Does that mean they are destined for hell? ABSOLUTELY NOT! And I could go on about not reading the "right" version, not wearing the right clothing, being told you're not submissive enough. It's all a bunch of crap.

 

NONE of those things are required by anyone other than ignorant people who have a gross misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of scripture.

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Well, it is the crux of Christianity that "Jesus is God." So, anyone who has studied it and researched even slightly, even if in total disagreement shouldn't miss that point. I don't think my one comment illustrated anything but common knowledge, perhaps the poster missed along the way. I truly wasn't trying to offend anyone. Very sorry, though, if you took offense.

 

Do you really think that I somehow missed that Christians believe Jesus to be the human incarnation of God? And don't you think that if I actually believed Jesus was God, I'd still be a Christian?

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I was born into it and it never made sense to me. So I searched through several different sects and none of them made any sense.

 

So then I sat down and read the bible not from a, "I have to have faith!" perpective but as a historical document. And as I read it that way, I noticed that many of the fables in the bible occur in many other stories around the world And I also realized how very violent most of the stories were. And then I realized the bible had as much significance to me as Grimm's Fairy Tales.

 

It's got sea monsters and talking animals and sons from virgin goddesses and so on and so on. It's a good story written and edited by hundreds or thousands of different people. But it's not "holy" to me.

 

And then I attended a music festival for women and met THOUSANDS of people who rejected organized religion and embraced science and technology and stopped worrying about life after death and if god was watching me touch myself in the shower. :001_smile:

 

This is me, exactly. I was born into it. I remember feeling "wrong" because at 10 I asked Jesus into my heart like I was supposed to and felt..... nothing. Not a thing. I hid that and pretended for another 6 years. My parents had the rule that I had to go to church every Sunday until I was 18. I stopped going the Sunday after I turned 18. I went a bit in college still trying. I gave up completely at 20 and have been back maybe 5 times since then, usually to support my dad, who is a minister.

 

Oh, and I didn't go to a music festival. I went to college! I found cool poets, singers, and philosophers. And I didn't feel so alone.

 

I was agnostic for a long time. I finally claimed complete atheism about 5 years ago. It's a relief mot to feel 'wrong' anymore.

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Well, it is the crux of Christianity that "Jesus is God." So, anyone who has studied it and researched even slightly, even if in total disagreement shouldn't miss that point. I don't think my one comment illustrated anything but common knowledge, perhaps the poster missed along the way. I truly wasn't trying to offend anyone. Very sorry, though, if you took offense.

 

And see, the fact that you don't understand why others took offense to your words just serves as further confirmation. See Mergath's comment below: --- ETA: I guess it's above! See Mergath's comment ABOVE!---

 

astrid

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Do you really think that I somehow missed that Christians believe Jesus to be the human incarnation of God? And don't you think that if I actually believed Jesus was God, I'd still be a Christian?

 

:lol:

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Do you really think that I somehow missed that Christians believe Jesus to be the human incarnation of God? And don't you think that if I actually believed Jesus was God, I'd still be a Christian?

 

Yes. Who in the world could possibly miss that point!? The point is that non-Christians don't believe in Jesus and many Christians are unable to accept that basic fact. There lies the underlying conflict. There is no missing something or failing to grasp something when you just don't believe it. It's like telling someone they don't believe in ghosts because they are simply not trying hard enough. Ya do or ya don't. Hope that came out right:tongue_smilie:

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Do you really think that I somehow missed that Christians believe Jesus to be the human incarnation of God? And don't you think that if I actually believed Jesus was God, I'd still be a Christian?

 

Reminds me a bit of the folks I see fairly regularly who claim to be "sharing the good news" about Jesus, etc. I have some news for those folks:

 

We live in the US, where most people are Christian. EVERYONE KNOWS the "news" that Jesus came to save us from sin. Really, we've heard. This is the US, the "news" is 2000 years old, and has been talked about incessantly since the founding of our country. We just disagree. And that's ok. But really, there are more useful things you could be doing than wandering around whatever festival sharing the good news which every.single.person knows. Especially when you are looking to share that Jesus is here to save me from my sinful lifestyle. You know, the one you ascertained I had by seeing me with my wife and kids.

 

Even all that I could roll my eyes and move past, if you would please stop trying to "save" me from my family IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN.

 

Gah. (This happened again yesterday and I'm still a little annoyed by it, apparently. Sorry for the soapbox.)

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Reminds me a bit of the folks I see fairly regularly who claim to be "sharing the good news" about Jesus, etc. I have some news for those folks:

 

We live in the US, where most people are Christian. EVERYONE KNOWS the "news" that Jesus came to save us from sin. Really, we've heard. This is the US, the "news" is 2000 years old, and has been talked about incessantly since the founding of our country. We just disagree. And that's ok. But really, there are more useful things you could be doing than wandering around whatever festival sharing the good news which every.single.person knows. Especially when you are looking to share that Jesus is here to save me from my sinful lifestyle. You know, the one you ascertained I had by seeing me with my wife and kids.

 

Even all that I could roll my eyes and move past, if you would please stop trying to "save" me from my family IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN.

 

Gah. (This happened again yesterday and I'm still a little annoyed by it, apparently. Sorry for the soapbox.)

 

:iagree: I once had an on-duty police officer spend almost an hour telling me all about his friend Jesus and how if I just believed, my life would wonderful. When the person trying to convert you is wearing a loaded gun, it's a bit harder to speak your mind. :glare:

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:iagree: I once had an on-duty police officer spend almost an hour telling me all about his friend Jesus and how if I just believed, my life would wonderful. When the person trying to convert you is wearing a loaded gun, it's a bit harder to speak your mind. :glare:

 

Oh my! Never had that one! That would be challenging.

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Probably about the same time I learned the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and all the other fairy tales. I now fully believe that belief in any religion is a crutch. Some use the crutch to help them live their lives, while others use the crutch to bash over the heads of those who don't agree with them.

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Reminds me a bit of the folks I see fairly regularly who claim to be "sharing the good news" about Jesus, etc. I have some news for those folks:

 

We live in the US, where most people are Christian. EVERYONE KNOWS the "news" that Jesus came to save us from sin. Really, we've heard.

 

Even all that I could roll my eyes and move past, if you would please stop trying to "save" me from my family IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN.

 

 

When we first moved here, I wanted to join a church. The first time the minister invited me to couples' bible study, I explained that DH is an atheist and that we would not be participating in couples' bible study. He asked me three more times, on different occasions. Sorry, but NO means NO. What part of "atheist" do you not understand?

I found this very pushy and bordering on offensive, because he clearly did not listen to what I had to say.

Needless to say, I did not join the church.

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But that's the point of Christianity...God did "introduce" himself as a "person" in the "person" of Jesus Christ. Sorry you missed that in your study of Christianity, but this is a very crucial point that shouldn't be missed as it changes the whole idea of God being "out there." He actually walked our soil, and breathed our air. When you look at Jesus Christ, you see the Father.

 

 

Hmm. I am not sure this is actually correct, from a Christian perspective. It seems to be confusing the persons.

 

If your point is that Christianity doesn't actually say God is contained in a book, you are correct, though maybe a gentler way of pointing that out would be appropriate. Christianity has a very strong apophatic element which says that God can't be contained in or comprehended by human language at all, or the human mind, that God is outside of Being at all.

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This is not an answer to the original question. At the moment I am still a Christian. However, that doesn't mean what it did to me 15 years ago. That is why I feel I have something to add to the conversation.

 

I truly believe Christianity is going through a great upheaval similar to what happened during the reformation, but we don't see it easily because we are in it. I think globalization and the internet have sparked this upheaval, similar to what the printing press did at one time.

 

We now have the research information and thoughts of experts and charlatans at our fingertips. It is so easy now to see where and when traditional religion goes wrong. And when it does, it turns our world upsidedown. We need time to process what is right with religion as well as what is wrong. In spite of its faults, I believe there is still a role for Christianity, and other religions, just not the role we once thought it had.

 

My biggest beef with Christianity has been the lack of education in the history of religion and the Bible. It is very ironic because the churches I've attended have blasted other religions for not allowing their members access to information that would change their minds and lead them to "the truth." Yet, for years, I felt like I was being held back from learning what I wanted to know.

 

Five years ago, I knew nothing about modern Bible scholarship and the uncensored history of religion. I understood that I knew nothing and it bugged the heck out of me. Since then, I have made it a kind of mission to educate myself. In spite of what I have learned, or maybe because of it, I still believe in God. However, the God I believe in does not look like the stereotypical Christian God any more. And what a relief that is!

 

I've also learned that religion doesn't have to mean believing in the literal truth of a set of impossible propositions. It can just be a trust that there is something "more" that is part of us, and we are a part of it as we are part of each other. It can be saying, as a philosophical follower of a person named Jesus, "I choose to oppose imperial domination and oppression," and "I choose to work for the radical equality of all classes of people," or "I choose to be a healer of mind and body." Etc.

 

Being a Christian in today's world looks a lot different, too. In fact, so different, that I feel like a wimp when I find out some of the things other like minded Christians are doing with their lives. I don't know if I have it in me to step out of my comfort zone.

 

I highly recommend the scholarship of Karen Armstrong, Marcus Borg, and John Dominic Crossan for anyone who would like to search along the same lines. I've almost exhausted those sources and would love to find others if you have any recommendations.

 

Are you specifically looking for one kind of resource? Many people enjoy Tom Wright as a historian. For anyone interesting in serious thinking about Christianity I'd recommend Chesterton, though he can be hard to get a handel on right away - he writes like a Victorian (and from that historical perspective), has an odd sense of humour, and tends to enjoy approaching subjects through paradox. But he has probably some of the best commentary on the modern period there is available.

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

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Reminds me a bit of the folks I see fairly regularly who claim to be "sharing the good news" about Jesus, etc. I have some news for those folks:

 

We live in the US, where most people are Christian. EVERYONE KNOWS the "news" that Jesus came to save us from sin. Really, we've heard. This is the US, the "news" is 2000 years old, and has been talked about incessantly since the founding of our country. We just disagree. And that's ok. But really, there are more useful things you could be doing than wandering around whatever festival sharing the good news which every.single.person knows. Especially when you are looking to share that Jesus is here to save me from my sinful lifestyle. You know, the one you ascertained I had by seeing me with my wife and kids.

 

Even all that I could roll my eyes and move past, if you would please stop trying to "save" me from my family IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN.

 

Gah. (This happened again yesterday and I'm still a little annoyed by it, apparently. Sorry for the soapbox.)

 

I know this should not be funny, but it truly is, in a tragic sort of way. Believe me, I am not laughing at your pain, and I agree completely with you.

 

What gets me are the constant calls for Christians to stand up against persecution in this country. You know, gotta save our schools, our kids, our work places, our government, our parks, and so forth from the evil influence of gays (2%) of the population, Muslims, atheists, Mormons, etc.

 

Thanks to the sustained efforts of very powerful Christian groups, it is looking more and more likely that women who are raped or the victim of incest, or in danger of losing their lives, will be categorically denied access to abortions. Not just for Christians, but for all groups.

 

I really want to know how they can legislate their religiously-based morality upon the majority, and then shamelessly affect a victim mentality.

 

Heck, I'm a Christian, and I feel oppressed in this country, which is why I plan to permanently leave. I can only imagine how you must feel, and the shame of such behavior deriving from Christianity burns me.

 

I don't have the patience anymore for the propaganda and the mindless reductionism of other human beings in their ploy to create some sort of theocratic society.

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Reading this thread I can only say that Christianity in the USA is highly bizarre.

 

I will agree! I am the OP and I had a lot of the same problems with Christianity and negative experiences with it in my childhood through 20s that made me NOT want to be associated in any way with it.

 

I've learned to appreciate solid Christian theology, not the modern Christian feel good "one way ticket to paradise" that is being shilled from many a slick pulpit. There are an awful lot of very shallow, self-focused Christian groups marching around with judgment and scorn directed at others. It is troubling and I am not surprised that so many people disassociate with Christianity when they become adults based on the current climate of Christianity in the US today.

 

Anyway, I am a Catholic and have sincere gratitude for my faith. But I still have mixed feelings about parts of Catholicism and the larger implications of corruption that have occurred within the hierarchy. It is definitely more about worship of God and working towards holiness for me rather than worrying about externals and being "right" which seem to be the focus of a lot of Christian groups. Hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks for all the replies.

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I once had an on-duty police officer spend almost an hour telling me all about his friend Jesus and how if I just believed, my life would wonderful. When the person trying to convert you is wearing a loaded gun, it's a bit harder to speak your mind. :glare:

 

I am a Christian and this happened to me as well and I was VERY offended. I had gotten into an argument with my boyfriend, was driving home and crying, got pulled over for speeding.

 

The cop put me in the back of his cop car and lectured me for 45 minutes about how if I gave my life to Christ I wouldn't be so upset about a fight with my boyfriend. I was crying too hard to even explain to him that I already WAS a Christian.

 

When my parents found out they blew a gasket, marched up to the police station, and filed a complaint against the officer for using his position of authority in such a manner.

 

It was awful.

 

 

 

.

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I'm coming out of lurking to answer a previous post. I'm not very good at expressing myself in this format, and I have no idea how to quote. But...

 

People from many backgrounds care about their children's education. That is why they homeschool.

 

The people on this thread were asked a question. They are answering it. I'm glad. It is nice to see that I am not alone.

 

I think I got out everything I have to say. So, I'm stopping here!:)

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

 

I can see you are new here.

 

Yes, Audrey is a witch. What more is there to understand?

 

2 mamas and 3 babies... Means two women in a relationship raising 3 children. exactly what it says. No trickery or Tom-foolery. I promise. :tongue_smilie:

 

We have all kinds here. We are one big family that argues a lot but also loves a lot. If you are looking for homogenous, you are in the wrong place.

 

 

 

.

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In our church, which is nondenominational btw, we refuse platitudes, pert & insulting pat answers. Our pastor has his doctorate from oxford. The man is a thinker, and he has been teaching us to be thinkers: question everything.

 

When we get to know our husbands or friends, what we really are saying is we know their character and we know their mind (for the most part). We can predict with a great amount of certainty what they like, how they will probably feel about something, etc. This, to me, is the closest analogy to true christianity: knowing the character of Christ.

 

When i hear stories of ignorant "christians" who have turned others away by misrepresenting Him to others, I could spit nails. No, a boy with down's syndrome is not going to hell whether he's over the age of 3 or not (this is the "age of accountability" argument). Does there come a time when we are capable of understanding and either accepting or rejecting Christ? Not for everybody, no. Some down syndrome kids or autistic kids may never have that capability. Does that mean they are destined for hell? ABSOLUTELY NOT! And I could go on about not reading the "right" version, not wearing the right clothing, being told you're not submissive enough. It's all a bunch of crap.

 

NONE of those things are required by anyone other than ignorant people who have a gross misunderstanding and lack of knowledge of scripture.

are stupid).

:iagree:with the bolded!

 

:iagree: I once had an on-duty police officer spend almost an hour telling me all about his friend Jesus and how if I just believed, my life would wonderful. When the person trying to convert you is wearing a loaded gun, it's a bit harder to speak your mind. :glare:

 

I hate that too!:glare: Nowhere does Jesus say if you believe in Him your life will be suddenly wonderful! He says; "follow me", "take up your cross", etc.

 

Reading this thread I can only say that Christianity in the USA is highly bizarre.

:iagree: To be sure! I am a Christian, an Orthodox Christian, but I almost hate to say that because who knows what the other person thinks that means.:confused: Do they automatically think that I believe they're going to hell for whatever reason? Or that I think I'm better than they are because I *get it* and they think, I think, they don't? Do they want to avoid friendship because they fear I'll always be trying to get them "saved"? Or if they are a Christian do they think I'm a idol worshiping cannibal because I don't believe their version so I'll just be in hell with the rest of those who don't perfectly comply with their understanding. Gah!:001_huh: I'm really trying to learn to just worry about myself!

 

Sorry for the hijacking rant!;)

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I'm not sure if I should contribute because I'm not sure I was ever a Christian. My mom was raised methodist, my dad catholic. Most of my relatives were (and are) still fairly religious. My parents were non-practicing and I'm honestly not sure what they believe. I went through a period where I tried very hard to be Christian. I went to church with some friends, did the whole VBS thing, prayed a lot, got saved, etc. My big issue, the one that never went away, was that I could not get any of it to make SENSE. Christianity claims that God is loving and kind, and perfect, yet he does so many incredibly cruel things in the Bible. Not just stands by while bad things happen, but actually goes out and kills/smites innocents because some other people did bad stuff. That was probably my first big issue.

 

Then I started realizing just how nonsensical the idea of praying for stuff you want was (even good, important stuff, like the health of a family member). If God has a plan for all of us, isn't asking for things interfering with that? I know some people only pray for guidance, but honestly, it seems that God guides people to do all sorts of pretty horrifying things.

 

The final straw came in really REALLY studying history. Seriously, the Bible and divine inspiration have been used to justify every*horrible*thing that has happened in the last several hundred. Some good things too. But if people doing bad things think that God told them to, then how do I know that I'm doing good things if I do what I think God is telling me to? It kinda starts to seem like everyone is just guessing and interpreting scripture to suit their own wishes. Sure, many Christians choose to be kind and loving, and credit Christianity with this kindness and lovingness. But there are lots of Christians who are judgmental and hateful, and attribute it to Christianity. It seems rather arrogant to claim to know which one is true...

 

Yet if the "No one comes to the father except through Jesus" then onee of those has to be *true*...

 

And that led me to agnosticism, and after a long while to the realization that I don't think there is anything out there, and atheism. The whole "one true way" thing is probably the biggest issue. Also the realization that I'm not sure I want to be associated with the God who did all the things in the Bible. And the realization that I've read the bible a lot more than most Christians, apparently, since many of them don't seem to know what's in there.

 

:iagree:

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I do not judge others choices, or try to 'preach' to those who are not interested. However, I do want to say--'Christians' seem to be the number one reason why people turn away from Christ. This is so sad! As Christians, we should be modeling love. Sadly, this is not the case...

 

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mahatma Gandhi

 

This is EXACTLY how I feel. Christians should be known for who and what we love. Instead we are known for hate. This is a very sad thing.

 

I am so sorry. True Christianity is not what some of you have described here. I am truly sorry that God and Jesus have been misrepresented to some of you by self-righteous, hypocritcal, sanctimonious, condemning, egotistical hypocrites. For what it's worth, they make me sick.

 

The tough issues and seeming contradictions in scripture need to be dealt with head-on, not avoided by hiding behind some pat answer given in "christianese." That makes me sick too.

 

I really am sorry.

 

:iagree:

 

It is interesting (and sad) that most people were disappointed by other Christians - not necessarily by Jesus.

 

Exactly.

 

True Christianity would appear to account for less than 5% of those who call themselves Christian, IME. And I still call myself one. Though I don't claim to be a very good one at all.

 

I don't claim to be a good one, either. I do my best. I am imperfect, just like everyone else. I accept others with their imperfections as well. Unfortunately, many Christians miss the mark on this. They focus too much on judging the imperfect souls around them. Meanwhile, they seem to forget that they are imperfect as well.

 

This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

 

:001_huh: Your post is very confusing and actually borderline offensive. And I am a Christian! I think your underlying tone prooves exactly what these ladies above have mentioned.

 

So are you shocked that there are homeschool mothers who are not Christians? There is a great big world out there with many different belief systems. This board is diverse and demonstrates this variety. You don't understand that Audrey is a witch? What is there not to understand? And the lady who ends her post with 2 mamas and 3 babies? Again, just because she is DIFFERENT from you, doesn't mean that she is WRONG.

 

The topic is not unusual. It just makes you uncomfortable. I am a Christian. But the Christianity that you are demonstrating is not the same that I subscribe to. You come into this thread and toss out some random statements that seem to be condemning to others but then you refuse to back yourself up with an explanation? Where does the Bible indicate that is acceptable?

 

"When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7

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I can see you are new here.

 

Yes, Audrey is a witch. What more is there to understand?

 

2 mamas and 3 babies... Means two women in a relationship raising 3 children. exactly what it says. No trickery or Tom-foolery. I promise. :tongue_smilie:

 

We have all kinds here. We are one big family that argues a lot but also loves a lot. If you are looking for homogenous, you are in the wrong place.

 

 

 

.

 

Exactly.

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Christianity has a very strong apophatic element which says that God can't be contained in or comprehended by human language at all, or the human mind, that God is outside of Being at all.

 

There is also an element of Christianity which says that God IS "being," not as in a seperate entity but as in Existence itself. In that case, God is present in all that is, and we are all sons and daughters of God. So, then there would be no denying that Jesus was a son of God, just as I am a daughter of God.

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

 

nm :glare:

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

 

Not everyone here is Christian, and even among those who are, there is a wide diversity of opinion. Not everyone homeschools for religious reasons. Not everyone on this board even homeschools.

 

People are diverse here. And if that shocks you, I suggest you read more and post less until the shock wears off.

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I will agree! I am the OP and I had a lot of the same problems with Christianity and negative experiences with it in my childhood through 20s that made me NOT want to be associated in any way with it.

 

I've learned to appreciate solid Christian theology, not the modern Christian feel good "one way ticket to paradise" that is being shilled from many a slick pulpit. There are an awful lot of very shallow, self-focused Christian groups marching around with judgment and scorn directed at others. It is troubling and I am not surprised that so many people disassociate with Christianity when they become adults based on the current climate of Christianity in the US today.

 

Anyway, I am a Catholic and have sincere gratitude for my faith. But I still have mixed feelings about parts of Catholicism and the larger implications of corruption that have occurred within the hierarchy. It is definitely more about worship of God and working towards holiness for me rather than worrying about externals and being "right" which seem to be the focus of a lot of Christian groups. Hope that makes sense.

 

Thanks for all the replies.

 

Yep, working toward holiness, that's pretty much what I meant by saying I feel I just need to worry about myself.

 

I also hate those groups that seem more worried about getting people to comply with their version of acceptable behavior than showing them Christ's love.:glare:

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

 

It isn't an unusual topic. Perhaps it is a topic you've never explored before personally but that doesn't make it unusual.

 

I'm sad to see that the sentiments of so many who have posted in this thread were proven true by your post. :glare:

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I can see you are new here.

 

Yes, Audrey is a witch. What more is there to understand?

 

2 mamas and 3 babies... Means two women in a relationship raising 3 children. exactly what it says. No trickery or Tom-foolery. I promise. :tongue_smilie:

 

We have all kinds here. We are one big family that argues a lot but also loves a lot. If you are looking for homogenous, you are in the wrong place.

 

.

 

 

Not everyone comes from a place where "witch" in the sense of a kind of neopaganism, is a familiar term. Especially outside of the western world but also in some places within it. So they see that term and think "person with a pointy hat casting spells to become invisible" and they think it is impossible because people can't cast spells to become invisible. Or they live in a place where witch conjures up some very real and rather dark practices, which may seem perfectly possible but very nasty.

 

So probably the poster is thinking Audry thinks she can become invisible and everyone else is going along with it, either to humour her or because we are nuts too.

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What I can't understand is women on this board opening themselves up for the abuse they knew they were going to get when they posted.

 

An incredible sacrifice I suppose, throwing oneself under the bus to be honest and speak what they believe.

 

I understand not believing.

 

What I don't understand is fully believing and walking away because HUMANS disappointed you? If Christ was RIGHT in your mind, how could you let the mistakes made by very fallible Christian believers sway you from what you believed was right? Either you never believed or you took your eyes off Christ and put your expectations in people, no? :(

 

People will always let you down. They are fallible. They get confused, they get lost, they choose wrong.

 

I'm not a Christian follower. I am a Christ follower. If I look all around I can find 1,000,000 people to let me down. Myself included in that tally. Thank God my faith doesn't depend on the actions of humans. I would be so heartbroken and disappointed.

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This is certainly a shock to see sooo many mamas, who hs thir chilren, have such different views.

I'm confused on a couple things~Audrey says she's a witch, which I don't understand that at all.

 

Then there is a lady, who ends her posts 2mamas and 3 babies??

 

What an unusual topic. Most of my views re completely opposite most of yours, and I won't try to explain them.

Why are you shocked? The homeschooling community is as varied as the world around us. (I would have been shocked at one time also...but that was because I was living in a fundamentalist bubble at the time ;) )

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What I can't understand is women on this board opening themselves up for the abuse they knew they were going to get when they posted.

 

An incredible sacrifice I suppose, throwing oneself under the bus to be honest and speak what they believe.

 

I understand not believing.

 

What I don't understand is fully believing and walking away because HUMANS disappointed you? If Christ was RIGHT in your mind, how could you let the mistakes made by very fallible Christian believers sway you from what you believed was right? Either you never believed or you took your eyes off Christ and put your expectations in people, no? :(

 

People will always let you down. They are fallible. They get confused, they get lost, they choose wrong.

 

I'm not a Christian follower. I am a Christ follower. If I look all around I can find 1,000,000 people to let me down. Myself included in that tally. Thank God my faith doesn't depend on the actions of humans. I would be so heartbroken and disappointed.

 

 

I didn't leave the church because of christians, although I haven't met many who resemble Jesus. I left the church because I think it's a myth/fairy tale like so many others over the centuries. I left because of scientific facts.

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.

 

So probably the poster is thinking Audry thinks she can become invisible and everyone else is going along with it, either to humour her or because we are nuts too.

 

shhhhhh..... Don't let the secret out! :tongue_smilie:

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