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WIS0320

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

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I don't know about you, of course, but I definitely think it is true for a lot of people. Response after response talked about reasons they left Christianity which had nothing to do with Christianity itself. That was my point and I definitely think it's a big issue... an epidemic, really.

 

 

Well - mine did. I mean - sure - the non-Christian acting Christians didn't help any :) But - it was the theology that I saw as illogical; it also seemed as mythological as all other religions now and all throughout human history. I know that may sound offensive - but - I'm saying I don't think Christianity is true - so obviously I'm going to think it's a kind of mythology.... I think in the West, Christianity doesn't seem like those other religions because we're just used to it culturally.

Really - reading the history of Christianity itself, and learning about the religions that preceded it, was rather eye-opening as well.

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I don't know about you, of course, but I definitely think it is true for a lot of people. Response after response talked about reasons they left Christianity which had nothing to do with Christianity itself. That was my point and I definitely think it's a big issue... an epidemic, really.

 

You obviously didn't read all the responses, or just didn't read them completely and made assumptions. Most christians I have met are judgmental, sadly, although they are commanded specifically not to. That is still not the reason the vast majority of us left christianity. I could no longer believe a myth, fairy tale, story, what ever you want to call it. If that offends you, you are in the wrong thread.

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Well - mine did. I mean - sure - the non-Christian acting Christians didn't help any :) But - it was the theology that I saw as illogical; it also seemed as mythological as all other religions now and all throughout human history. I know that may sound offensive - but - I'm saying I don't think Christianity is true - so obviously I'm going to think it's a kind of mythology.... I think in the West, Christianity doesn't seem like those other religions because we're just used to it culturally.

Really - reading the history of Christianity itself, and learning about the religions that preceded it, was rather eye-opening as well.

 

:iagree: What I was trying to say only you said it much better. :)

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Well - mine did. I mean - sure - the non-Christian acting Christians didn't help any :) But - it was the theology that I saw as illogical; it also seemed as mythological as all other religions now and all throughout human history. I know that may sound offensive - but - I'm saying I don't think Christianity is true - so obviously I'm going to think it's a kind of mythology.... I think in the West, Christianity doesn't seem like those other religions because we're just used to it culturally.

Really - reading the history of Christianity itself, and learning about the religions that preceded it, was rather eye-opening as well.

 

Same here. I always doubted my childhood faith, even before I was exposed to hypocrites and religious zealots that turned me off to church. My reasons for not being a Christian are not because of Christians, but because I just don't believe that anyone knows the "right" answer to god or salvation.

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I don't know about you, of course, but I definitely think it is true for a lot of people. Response after response talked about reasons they left Christianity which had nothing to do with Christianity itself. That was my point and I definitely think it's a big issue... an epidemic, really.

 

Maybe it is because the responders are summing up their thoughts in a nutshell. If I were to explain my journey from a person raised in a Christian family to one who really just doesn't know, it would take pages and pages that no one would really want to read. Getting to this point didn't come from shallow thinking.

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I'm not saying it's just the hypocrite issue that we have to watch out for, though that was a repetitive one. But even the ones that didn't state hypocrites in their top reasons for leaving Christianity, it was often things equally meaningless (in terms of searching for the truth) like feeling unwelcome, things they didn't like, other ideas they found more appealing, etc. All these things are missing the point.

 

I'm not saying this is what you're doing for sure because I don't know, but I wonder if you have thought a lot about these things and have solid reasons for what you do believe? Red flags to me are when you say certain things "ring false" to you, and there are things you "simply dislike." Sometimes even when people know something to be true, they choose not to live like it was so (irrationally, I'd say). But if you really want to know and believe what is true, at the end of the day, what does what you dislike have to do with it? There are a lot of things about Christianity to not like: people making fun of you, family strife, people thinking you're a bigot, principles that you can't bend even when it would be easier to do so... for the early Christians and still plenty today in place like Sudan... things to not like include being tortured, getting your kids taken away, being oppressed. And if we're talking about thing you have to believe... again, what does liking or not liking it have to do with the truth of it? The reason it's a big deal to get this stuff straight is because if Christianity IS true and you turned away because you simply didn't like something you had to do or believe... there are some pretty serious consequences (and regrets) to be had.

 

Same thing with phrases like "ring false." I hear a lot of this so it's not just you. But I scratch my head because it portrays the idea that you don't have any legitimate, well thought out reasons for what you think is false, and you know it. That my sound harsh, but that's not my intention. I'm just trying to point out that we cannot trust what "rings false" or "rings true" for that matter. People make mistakes! Especially when you aren't really investigating, searching, reading. I am continually amazed at what gigantic decisions people make about religion, eternal truth, their souls, etc, based on "what rings true to them" or what they "thought" without ever reading, thinking, struggling with the claims and implications.

 

We need to remember that this isn't deciding which cereal to eat in the morning. It's investigating the truth. It's probably not a wise path to just decide what The Truth is based on what you like, don't like, or "rings false" or "rings true." People make mistakes about everything. All the more care needs to be taken when you are considering something like whether Jesus is the Son of God. If you're wrong, there are huge stakes for yourself, your family, your children.

 

I'm sure you didn't mean this to be insulting, but I'm insulted. You make it sound as though it's something I've just casually decided. It's not. How do you know I haven't read, thought or struggled with it? I have, and for me, it's not something I believe in. I don't appreciate being told that I've made my decision lightly and that I need to take more care. I don't appreciate being told I need to investigate. I don't see where I have to give a legitimate reason as to why I don't believe. I have plenty of them, but I don't have to share them. If you want to believe that Jesus is the son of God, go right ahead. I don't mind, but don't try to tell me that I'm wrong in my way of thinking. Perhaps many people simply say something doesn't ring true to them without expanding because they don't feel like getting a lecture on how they are clearly wrong.

I don't think the stakes are huge because I don't believe. Guess what? I'm not the only one. Roughly 70% of the world is not Christian are we all bound for h*ll and d*amnation? Seriously? This is one of the many, many things that turn me off to Christianity. Who are you (general you) to decide whose religion is true? If there is such a thing as a merciful God (which again, I don't believe), then why would he condemn a person who has lived a decent, moral life to eternal d*mnation, and yet give the murder/child rapist/what have you a place in his kingdom simply because they decided to "repent?" It absolutely makes no sense. You can be a good, descent, loving person, but if you don't "come into the fold" that's just too bad for you, but go out and commit all the heinous crimes you want and then say you believe and all is forgiven? I can't get behind that.

 

I could have gone on for a very long time as to why I don't believe, but I tried to keep it simple.

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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.

 

 

 

.

 

 

Thanks Heather.

 

We really do need to go shoe shopping soon. I'd fly on over on my invisi-stealth broom, but it's in the shop at the moment and I'm short on newt eyes to pay for the repairs.

 

And, sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier, but I was putting the finishing touches on our first quarter of lesson plans. It would have taken less time, but I spilled a batch of troll defense potion on it.

 

No worries, though. I bought another goat and made more.

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I have noticed that the vast majority of responses don't talk about how they came to the understanding that Christianity was not true for x, y, z, reasons. We can lament hypocrites in all religions, ideologies, and the PTA for that matter, but I just wanted to point out that the presence of hypocrites has nothing at all to do with whether or not a religion is true. It is essential to understand that. It is frustrating and sad that people often don't think clearly enough to consider the validity of a religion based on the claims IT makes, not the faithfulness of so-called members. In terms of Christianity, we can't forget that Jesus predicted that there would be wolves in with the sheep (there already were in *his* day, let alone ours! -Judas, anyone?). Christianity has become so huge there are bound to be millions of hypocrites. In fact, Jesus said there would be, so we should not be surprised, and most of all we should not base *our faith* and what we believe to be *true* on what other people do or say! If you turn from the Christian faith it should be for intellectual reasons... not because you found a "new idea" or because another idea made you "feel better" or because a lot of Christians you met weren't what they were cracked up to be. Nobody who leaves for these reasons were there because they thought it was *true* and that's the real question, isn't it?

 

I think the prevalence of horrible, cruel Christians is an excellent reason not to want to be a Christian. One thing that all Christians seem to believe without many exceptions is that becoming a Christian "changes your heart." Why in the world would I want to become more like all these people? People filled with judgement and meanness and hypocrisy?

 

And who are you to judge who left for adequate reasons or not? I'm fairly sure that all of us who were raised as Christians and then left had multiple reasons. I know I did. However, you want intellectual reasons as well, so here they are.

 

The God of the Old Testament commands mass murder, turns a blind eye to things like rape, incest, and slavery when it's convenient for the plot, picks and chooses favorites based on bloodlines, and seems to be an all-around jerk.

 

Most of the New Testament was written by someone who had never even met Jesus. Between history and translation errors, most of what's there is probably jacked up all to heck anyway. While there is a lot of wisdom in the Gospels, there are four different accounts of one man's life that don't always match up very well, and so I won't be regarding that as a source of inerrant truth anytime soon.

 

Also, I'm not going to base my life and my morality on the archaic laws of a culture that existed a couple thousand years ago and is essentially alien to the way we live now. I'm not going to be part of a religion that loves to cherry pick rules from Leviticus just to support the social issue of the day.

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I have noticed that the vast majority of responses don't talk about how they came to the understanding that Christianity was not true for x, y, z, reasons. We can lament hypocrites in all religions, ideologies, and the PTA for that matter, but I just wanted to point out that the presence of hypocrites has nothing at all to do with whether or not a religion is true. It is essential to understand that. It is frustrating and sad that people often don't think clearly enough to consider the validity of a religion based on the claims IT makes, not the faithfulness of so-called members.

 

this is a contradiction in itself. If the truth of a religion could be ascertained, it would be science. Since the truth of a religion can not be ascertained, it requires faith, belief.

A good way to investigate Christianity's truth claims is to look at the claims that almost no Christians disagree with: God exists (rule out atheism), God has revealed himself (scriptures & Jesus), Jesus is the Son of God like he said, Jesus rose from the dead. These are the core truths that you can investigate with some reasonable hope of finding the answer if you are truly seeking with an open mind.

 

As you say, these are claims. One can either believe that these are true, or not. The core of faith is the choice to believe without conclusive proof. This contradicts the search for an actual truth. If I can not independently verify without believing first, and if, in fact I am not supposed to know, but to just have faith, then the truth of these claims is a question outside a rational analysis.

 

The Bible most certainly is not an adequate tool to search for truth, because it has been written by humans and edited by humans who chose which parts to include in the canon and which to omit. Paul, for example, was human and not God; I have strong issues with his opinions and do not see why I should accept his authority over how to behave. The fact that his contributions feature prominently in the NT simply reflects the mindset of the men who assembled the Bible in its current version.

 

And: if one's experience with Christians is that religion brings out the worst in people and that whole groups of believers are judgmental and self-righteous, then this is a perfect reason not to be associated with this group in any way. As I said, I do not have an issue with God - but with the interpretation of God by the humans who congregate in churches.

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I don't know about you, of course, but I definitely think it is true for a lot of people. Response after response talked about reasons they left Christianity which had nothing to do with Christianity itself. That was my point and I definitely think it's a big issue... an epidemic, really.

 

I summed it up that way, but in reality the whole story of why I've ended up where I have is WAY too long for here and really isn't the sort of thing that I people want to read about. Suffice it to say that I tend to not want to learn about or follow a belief system in which I am unable to find anyone who is able to act in a loving, caring manner to the people around them. And perhaps I'll go to hell for it, but really, I'm already in hell so I don't really care.

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Same here. I always doubted my childhood faith, even before I was exposed to hypocrites and religious zealots that turned me off to church. My reasons for not being a Christian are not because of Christians, but because I just don't believe that anyone knows the "right" answer to god or salvation.

 

It's so interesting to me. Though I was doing my best to "help" our children believe in Jesus--singing hymns at home, Bible study as part of school, family devotionals, not to mention Church, AWANAS, etc. I will never forget the relief on my daughter's face when I told her her Daddy and I didn't believe anymore and that we weren't going to church.

 

She was upset for a while, and scared her friends would be mad at her. . . and then she said, "I'm so glad I can stop. I never really believed this stuff."

 

And I don't think she was saying it just to say it, or because her father and I no longer believed--she had always been the ambivalent one, the one poring over her NIV children's Bible since she was 7 and trying to work it out.

 

I'm rather impressed at children who can stand strong in the face of some rather strong indoctrination. My daughter's a toughie :)

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Thanks Heather.

 

We really do need to go shoe shopping soon. I'd fly on over on my invisi-stealth broom, but it's in the shop at the moment and I'm short on newt eyes to pay for the repairs.

 

And, sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier, but I was putting the finishing touches on our first quarter of lesson plans. It would have taken less time, but I spilled a batch of troll defense potion on it.

 

No worries, though. I bought another goat and made more.

 

I knew you had a broom and could go stealth.

 

Here's what I am having for dessert tonight!

Palm-Sunday-Troll-Doll-and-Rainbow-Cupcake.jpg

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Thanks Heather.

 

We really do need to go shoe shopping soon. I'd fly on over on my invisi-stealth broom, but it's in the shop at the moment and I'm short on newt eyes to pay for the repairs.

 

And, sorry I didn't get back to this thread earlier, but I was putting the finishing touches on our first quarter of lesson plans. It would have taken less time, but I spilled a batch of troll defense potion on it.

 

No worries, though. I bought another goat and made more.

 

 

:lol::lol: Missed your wit, though. It is much more entertaining. Thanks for the troll defense potion. :D

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It's so interesting to me. Though I was doing my best to "help" our children believe in Jesus--singing hymns at home, Bible study as part of school, family devotionals, not to mention Church, AWANAS, etc. I will never forget the relief on my daughter's face when I told her her Daddy and I didn't believe anymore and that we weren't going to church.

 

She was upset for a while, and scared her friends would be mad at her. . . and then she said, "I'm so glad I can stop. I never really believed this stuff."

 

And I don't think she was saying it just to say it, or because her father and I no longer believed--she had always been the ambivalent one, the one poring over her NIV children's Bible since she was 7 and trying to work it out.

 

I'm rather impressed at children who can stand strong in the face of some rather strong indoctrination. My daughter's a toughie :)

 

Aww... she is a toughie. :)

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I'm sure you didn't mean this to be insulting, but I'm insulted. You make it sound as though it's something I've just casually decided. It's not. How do you know I haven't read, thought or struggled with it? I have, and for me, it's not something I believe in. I don't appreciate being told that I've made my decision lightly and that I need to take more care. I don't appreciate being told I need to investigate. I don't see where I have to give a legitimate reason as to why I don't believe. I have plenty of them, but I don't have to share them. If you want to believe that Jesus is the son of God, go right ahead. I don't mind, but don't try to tell me that I'm wrong in my way of thinking. Perhaps many people simply say something doesn't ring true to them without expanding because they don't feel like getting a lecture on how they are clearly wrong.

I don't think the stakes are huge because I don't believe. Guess what? I'm not the only one. Roughly 70% of the world is not Christian are we all bound for h*ll and d*amnation? Seriously? This is one of the many, many things that turn me off to Christianity. Who are you (general you) to decide whose religion is true? If there is such a thing as a merciful God (which again, I don't believe), then why would he condemn a person who has lived a decent, moral life to eternal d*mnation, and yet give the murder/child rapist/what have you a place in his kingdom simply because they decided to "repent?" It absolutely makes no sense. You can be a good, descent, loving person, but if you don't "come into the fold" that's just too bad for you, but go out and commit all the heinous crimes you want and then say you believe and all is forgiven? I can't get behind that.

 

I could have gone on for a very long time as to why I don't believe, but I tried to keep it simple.

 

:iagree:

 

It took me years and years of trying to believe before I just realized the truth. Eternal da*nation is a big stick to wave around and try to scare people with.

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I always just laugh at people who think I brushed Christianity off lightly. It took years and years of seeking and reading, talking to pastors, reading Strobel (gag), reading CS Lewis (him I like). I started at about the age of 10 and didn't really come to where I am now until I was about 30.

 

As for risking hell, Pascal's Wager is not a good reason to believe in a religion; and anyway - if you don't believe hell exists, I fail to see the problem.

 

I will never chose my faith based on fear.

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Search for Wicca on google. It will tell you more about Audrey and her beliefs. It's very much not the pointy hats and brooms you may have in mind.

 

 

.

 

 

Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

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:iagree:

 

It took me years and years of trying to believe before I just realized the truth. Eternal da*nation is a big stick to wave around and try to scare people with.

 

Isn't that the truth!

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I always just laugh at people who think I brushed Christianity off lightly. It took years and years of seeking and reading, talking to pastors, reading Strobel (gag), reading CS Lewis (him I like). I started at about the age of 10 and didn't really come to where I am now until I was about 30.

 

As for risking hell, Pascal's Wager is not a good reason to believe in a religion; and anyway - if you don't believe hell exists, I fail to see the problem.

 

I will never chose my faith based on fear.

 

:iagree:

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It's so interesting to me. Though I was doing my best to "help" our children believe in Jesus--singing hymns at home, Bible study as part of school, family devotionals, not to mention Church, AWANAS, etc. I will never forget the relief on my daughter's face when I told her her Daddy and I didn't believe anymore and that we weren't going to church.

 

She was upset for a while, and scared her friends would be mad at her. . . and then she said, "I'm so glad I can stop. I never really believed this stuff."

 

And I don't think she was saying it just to say it, or because her father and I no longer believed--she had always been the ambivalent one, the one poring over her NIV children's Bible since she was 7 and trying to work it out.

 

I'm rather impressed at children who can stand strong in the face of some rather strong indoctrination. My daughter's a toughie :)

 

Good for her for investigating on her own and thinking for herself.

James Bond and I don't discuss religion for the most part, but Indy is of course familiar with it all. My mother says stuff about it all time and he went to a Catholic K where he had to go to mass every week. One day in the car he told me he didn't believe the Bible was true. I asked him why and he said it just made no sense. Dinosaurs were real, so how could the earth have been made in 6 days with people put on it when people didn't live when the dinosaurs did. He said the stories were weird and sometimes scary and kind of "mean."

 

While JB and I do not believe, we have had both boys christened in the Catholic faith, because while we may not believe, they might grow up to and if that's their path, well, that's okay.

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I always just laugh at people who think I brushed Christianity off lightly. It took years and years of seeking and reading, talking to pastors, reading Strobel (gag), reading CS Lewis (him I like). I started at about the age of 10 and didn't really come to where I am now until I was about 30.

 

As for risking hell, Pascal's Wager is not a good reason to believe in a religion; and anyway - if you don't believe hell exists, I fail to see the problem.

 

I will never chose my faith based on fear.

 

:iagree: Exactly. Well said!

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Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

 

Audrey, may I ask you for a link that discusses your beliefs (or comes close) more specifically? I read an old thread where you did, but by the time I read it, the link was dead. Or just a "quick and dirty" explanation from you? I'm genuinely interested and haven't been able to puzzle it out myself.

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Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

 

:lol::lol: I don't think you have to worry about her sending you a pm.

 

Now I have to go Google "Green Witch." :)

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Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

 

 

Is a Green Witch and a Hedge Witch the same, or are they different?

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Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

 

Let's not forget those of us that are theistic non-Wiccan Pagans. ;)

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That's sad, and I do know there are people (and entire parts of the country) who hold that type of belief. I guess I'm just lucky not to have been exposed to them very much.

 

I'm also fortunate not to have Christian relatives or neighbors who are so closed-minded. I can't say other Christians pushed me away from faith because most of the Christians I know are lovely people.

 

IRL, I can say the same thing. I live in an area with lots of Mennonites and Hutterites. There is a Hutterite colony very near our farm and I have a very good friend there. My dh's mother used to be the kindergarten teacher on that colony.

 

I find her faith beautiful -- and she's been through a tremendously difficult few years losing her son to a farming accident and then her husband to heart attack -- the way she weathers every storm is amazing. She loves me even though I'm a witch. She doesn't have a problem with it. I think it's because we have some very similar ideas on what constitutes goodness and rightness and a life well-lived. She has said to me (and I agree) that I would make a good Hutterite, if I could just get past all the praying and believing. (It's our little joke.)

 

Anyway... I also find the Mennonites very easy to get along with. As a group, they are generally very compassionate, socially minded and peace loving. We get along great.

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:lol::lol: I don't think you have to worry about her sending you a pm.

 

Now I have to go Google "Green Witch." :)

 

LOL, that's what I just did! I had no idea there was such a thing as a green witch.

Audrey, does Toyota make a Prius equivalent broom for you? ;)

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I don't know where I am right now. I believe in God, not so much in religion. Ds and I finished Gilgamesh today. We're going to explore more comparisons of Utnapishtim and other ancient tales to Biblical stories.

 

My confusion, for lack of a better term, comes from the omission of stories like that and many other thing about the bible. that's not even accounting for the vast in fighting among denominations.

 

Ds and I exploring this journey together. Right now I can't go to a church, it would feel like a hypocritical thing to do. Ds could hone his debate skills, but he's in the searching phase too.

 

If things like evolution, ancient stories that match Bible stories etc, are not true then why not teach them too? Shouldn't a christian be informed and make a well reasoned decision? Decision about your eternity shouldn't be made from a position of ignorance on the whole of the discussion.

 

But I'm still in the midst of it all, not sure where I'll end up.

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Actually I think in the beginning there were quite a few responses that stated reasons for leaving Christianity that had nothing to do with Christians themselves. There are some Christians that turn me off, but they aren't the reason I don't believe. I don't believe because I simply can't. There are too many contradictions, too many things that ring false for me and too many things that I simply dislike. I don't believe Jesus was the son of an almighty deity and born of a virgin. I don't. I believe he was a real person who had a good, peaceful, loving message, but that's all. I don't believe he was divine.

 

:iagree: I don't think I made any comment about Christians in general either. I also read the bible cover to cover as an adult and many other traditions teachings, as well as The History of God (Armstrong),etc etc etc. It was a process that took a number of years for me as well, starting probably at age 10-12. It just doesn't ring true to me, given the historical context, the inconsistencies, etc. If it helps people find peace and live a more fulfilled and moral life, I have no problem with what others believe. I am very tolerant of others beliefs or lack thereof, and I think the world could be a better place if there was more tolerance.

 

These are the 7 principals of a UU church. This basis is working well for our family as a community ...

 

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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Let's not forget those of us that are theistic non-Wiccan Pagans. ;)

 

Or us theistic non-Wiccan Pagan Witches. :D Guess we're as diverse a lot as anyone else.

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Is a Green Witch and a Hedge Witch the same, or are they different?

 

 

Pretty darn similar! :001_smile:

 

ETA: Except for me, you just need to take out any deistic references. I practice a purely Nature-based spirituality. No gods necessary. :)

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Pretty darn similar! :001_smile:

 

I went to an 'Energy Night' awhile back and there was a lady there who said she was a Hedge Witch. I wanted to know more, but I was never able to track her down after that. I enjoyed the feel of her if that makes any sense. I never really did any research after that, I tend to learn best in the early phases from talking and well, no one to talk to means I just leave it.

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Did this thread get back on track? I think it did so I'm replying like it did, even though I'm late to the party as usual.

 

I was raised in a Christian church and even voluntarily went to a Church of Christ throughout my junior high years. When I met The Spouse, I agreed to check out LDS and eventually became baptized and even sealed in the temple.

 

I honestly don't know where the break happened. Between the gossip, the using testimony to complain about others, the heartbreak I felt of seeing so many babies and pregnant women when I was hormonally raging on fertility drugs. I just couldn't take Church anymore. Slowly, piece by piece I lost my faith all together. Praying felt like a farce, I just couldn't believe that asking for a Higher Being to watch over my loved ones, or to help those in need was anything but silly. It's not that I think I'm smarter than those with faith, it just stopped working for me personally. The more questions I needed to be reconciled with my faith the less did. I really envy those that can peacefully have faith in their spirituality.

 

 

ETA: Religions in general still and probably always will fascinate me. The rituals and covenants and texts and commandments etc are very intriguing. I love learning about different beliefs.

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Pretty darn similar! :001_smile:

 

ETA: Except for me, you just need to take out any deistic references. I practice a purely Nature-based spirituality. No gods necessary. :)

 

Yet another thing I would LOVE you to blog about! Please!! :D

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:iagree: I don't think I made any comment about Christians in general either. I also read the bible cover to cover as an adult and many other traditions teachings, as well as The History of God (Armstrong),etc etc etc. It was a process that took a number of years for me as well, starting probably at age 10-12. It just doesn't ring true to me, given the historical context, the inconsistencies, etc. If it helps people find peace and live a more fulfilled and moral life, I have no problem with what others believe. I am very tolerant of others beliefs or lack thereof, and I think the world could be a better place if there was more tolerance.

 

These are the 7 principals of a UU church. This basis is working well for our family as a community ...

 

 

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;

  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;

  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

 

 

:iagree: :) Especially with the bolded.

 

ETA: I *do* have a problem with people not accepting that I have a right to my own spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. My truth may not be others' truth; that should be accepted.

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Ok another thing at first I thought maybe I didn't believe in Christianity. That's all I knew. Then when I explored other religions that didn't work either. Really in the end I discovered I just don't believe there is a deity/creator/etc.

 

Me too. I delved into Tao, Buddha, and a variety of other "spiritual" paths. The only thing I have ever felt a true connection with is the Earth.

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Just to clarify... I know I've said this before, and it's really not a big deal. I don't mind being called a Wiccan, but I'm not one. Wiccans believe in deities. I do not. I'm a plain old Witch -- specifically a Green Witch (hence the avatar, folks!). Not all Wiccans are Witches either. Some of them don't do witchcraft at all.

 

But... googling Wicca will get you a lot closer to an explanation of my spirituality than not.

 

Oh, and upthread someone suggested pm'ing me to ask about being a Witch. Umm... don't Elsie. Don't ever pm me. I am generally a very easy-going gal, but even I have my limits.

Whoops, sorry Aud. I brought up Wiccan = witch thing.

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Let's not forget those of us that are theistic non-Wiccan Pagans. ;)

 

That's what I was before I became a Christian

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IMO it wasn't the "troll" who really ruined this thread, but the people who wouldn't just ignore it. And that is a total shame, because IMO we had a very insightful and informative discussion going on.

 

Can't the moderators just go in and delete everything that went off-track? Even the jokes? It's frustrating to have what was a serious and important (to many of us) discussion go off the rails and just keep getting pushed.

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Yet another thing I would LOVE you to blog about! Please!! :D

 

 

Oh, Cindie. You know I love you but.... I stopped blogging a long time ago for various reasons, but the biggest reason was because it was feeling like a chore. I just wasn't loving it anymore. I don't see myself getting back into it any time in the foreseeable future.

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Ok another thing at first I thought maybe I didn't believe in Christianity. That's all I knew. Then when I explored other religions that didn't work either. Really in the end I discovered I just don't believe there is a deity/creator/etc.

 

 

I went on that journey, too. I just couldn't reconcile with the deity clause, either.

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I enjoyed the real discussion and the jokes in very different ways.

 

Even with the degeneration of the thread, I was still able to get a lot out of knowing I'm not alone in my experiences.

 

For what it's worth, I did too.

 

I have noticed that the vast majority of responses don't talk about how they came to the understanding that Christianity was not true for x, y, z, reasons. <snip> It is frustrating and sad that people often don't think clearly enough to consider the validity of a religion based on the claims IT makes, not the faithfulness of so-called members.

 

As you've seen by responses to your post, many of us did give reasons beyond "Other Christians drove me away". What makes you believe we didn't think clearly and consider the validity of the claims?

 

Point being, just because there is disagreement on something does in no way imply that the thing doesn't exist. There is in fact, evidence that dogs, even brown dogs, do exist. Your analogy doesn't work.

 

It is also clearly true that ALL of their claims are not true because we know by pure logic that a bunch of claims that contradict each other cannot be true at the same time. They can't all be true, but they can all be false.

 

 

Actually I think in the beginning there were quite a few responses that stated reasons for leaving Christianity that had nothing to do with Christians themselves. There are some Christians that turn me off, but they aren't the reason I don't believe. I don't believe because I simply can't. There are too many contradictions, too many things that ring false for me and too many things that I simply dislike. I don't believe Jesus was the son of an almighty deity and born of a virgin. I don't. I believe he was a real person who had a good, peaceful, loving message, but that's all. I don't believe he was divine.

 

:iagree:

 

I am not phased by the negative comments. I guess because this isn't a raw fresh feeling for me. I've beat this horse to death years ago. I've come to terms with it. So at this point there really is nothing I haven't heard before.

 

I do feel for those who feel raw and hurt about it.

 

I'm not hurt by them either. Usually I just brush them off, but I do try to correct misconceptions. I don't know why though. It's often fruitless. :banghead:

 

it was the theology that I saw as illogical; it also seemed as mythological as all other religions now and all throughout human history. I know that may sound offensive - but - I'm saying I don't think Christianity is true - so obviously I'm going to think it's a kind of mythology.... I think in the West, Christianity doesn't seem like those other religions because we're just used to it culturally.

Really - reading the history of Christianity itself, and learning about the religions that preceded it, was rather eye-opening as well.

 

This.

 

I don't think the stakes are huge because I don't believe.

 

Yep. I'm not afraid of something that I don't believe is real. I'm not afraid of ghosts. I'm not afraid of zombies. I'm not afraid of monsters. And I'm not afraid of hell.

 

It's so interesting to me. Though I was doing my best to "help" our children believe in Jesus--singing hymns at home, Bible study as part of school, family devotionals, not to mention Church, AWANAS, etc. I will never forget the relief on my daughter's face when I told her her Daddy and I didn't believe anymore and that we weren't going to church.

 

She was upset for a while, and scared her friends would be mad at her. . . and then she said, "I'm so glad I can stop. I never really believed this stuff."

 

And I don't think she was saying it just to say it, or because her father and I no longer believed--she had always been the ambivalent one, the one poring over her NIV children's Bible since she was 7 and trying to work it out.

 

I'm rather impressed at children who can stand strong in the face of some rather strong indoctrination. My daughter's a toughie :)

 

Sounds a lot like what went on with ds. I was trying to keep my questioning to myself, but found out that he never really bought it anyway. He was 8. Lucky him. He didn't have to wait until he was an adult to leave.

 

:iagree:

 

It took me years and years of trying to believe before I just realized the truth. Eternal da*nation is a big stick to wave around and try to scare people with.

 

And what they often don't realize is how it's not scary to those of us who don't believe it.

 

Ok another thing at first I thought maybe I didn't believe in Christianity. That's all I knew. Then when I explored other religions that didn't work either. Really in the end I discovered I just don't believe there is a deity/creator/etc.

 

That's what I did. I thought it was just Christianity and/or Abrahamic religion. I investigated various forms of Paganism, Eastern religions, and even New Age. Eventually I realized that I don't believe any of it.

 

Outside of trolls and proselytizers, I'm enjoying the conversation here.

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Oh, Cindie. You know I love you but.... I stopped blogging a long time ago for various reasons, but the biggest reason was because it was feeling like a chore. I just wasn't loving it anymore. I don't see myself getting back into it any time in the foreseeable future.

 

I understand. I only blog about once a week myself now. The only reason I still do is because I have never scrapbooked and never will. I have a digital scrapbook, but it does feel like a chore sometimes.

 

I will do a Labor Day post ... hopefully Monday. This Union girl will be laboring on Labor Day. ;)

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I'm not afraid of something that I don't believe is real. I'm not afraid of ghosts. I'm not afraid of zombies. I'm not afraid of monsters. And I'm not afraid of hell.

 

...

And what they often don't realize is how it's not scary to those of us who don't believe it.

:iagree:

When my son was about 8, he was bullied on a playground by kids from a church group who threatened him that he would go to the devil because he did not believe in God.

His response: "I don't believe in the devil either."

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Yep. I'm not afraid of something that I don't believe is real. I'm not afraid of ghosts. I'm not afraid of zombies. I'm not afraid of monsters. And I'm not afraid of hell.

 

And what they often don't realize is how it's not scary to those of us who don't believe it.

 

Outside of trolls and proselytizers, I'm enjoying the conversation here.

 

:iagree:

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I understand. I only blog about once a week myself now. The only reason I still do is because I have never scrapbooked and never will. I have a digital scrapbook, but it does feel like a chore sometimes.

 

I will do a Labor Day post ... hopefully Monday. This Union girl will be laboring on Labor Day. ;)

 

 

Loved your posts on Blair Mountain from last year! Which reminds me... I need to dig up my old VHS copy of "Matewan" for this weekend.

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Loved your posts on Blair Mountain from last year! Which reminds me... I need to dig up my old VHS copy of "Matewan" for this weekend.

 

Thank you. I wonder if Matewan is on Netflix... what a great idea.

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Getting into this thread really late, but here's the short answer: I was an extremely devoted, Sunday Morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, daily bible reading Christian. My first doubts came when I realized everyone on Sunday Morning seemed so concerned for that one hour about eveyone else going to hell; but in that last two minute prayer, it seemed that everyone's thoughts turned to the roast at home in the crock pot.

My second doubts came when one of the leaders in the church was talking about some teenagers in the church who'd been misbehaving and he blamed it on parents too afraid to give them the good "butt-whipping they deserved". :blink:

The final straw was when our Sunday school topic was on how America was founded as a Christian nation. That got me researching and I read Thomas Paine's Age of Reason--big mistake.

I now just consider myself "spirtually messed-up". I still "talk to God" daily, because if it's not God, then it is just me talking to myself and I am not sure which one of those two options in crazier.

I also don't hold any animosity towards Christians, which IRL, seems to be the norm from those I know who've left the faith.

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I'm not sure I was ever properly Christian, but I come from a Methodist background and we went to a religious-based preschool and did choir and Sunday School for a while when I was young.

 

The irrationality of it all started me on the path of rejection (as mentioned upthread, the fantastical nature of many Biblical happenings rang false), and then I was further discouraged by what I'll call the provinciality of it. The universe appears to me to be vast and deep, and viewing it wholly or even partially through the lens of the experiences of a small group of people who lived a long time ago in a land far away seems terribly restrictive.

 

Additionally, I'm just naturally stubborn and difficult and fussy. You wouldn't necessarily see that upon first meeting me, but I have a strong childish streak that reveals itself as, "You're not the boss of me!" I remember very clearly attending church and being subject to a very angry, yelling sermon on the nature of faith and how you just have to jump and that's the point. My immediate and permanent reaction was "Oh yeah?! Just try and make me, buddy."

 

I see many positive attributes in religion and religious life, and the teachings of many charismatic leaders, but my overall loyalty lies on the side of "reason" (if we're just choosing between faith and reason), and I see absolutely no special magical properties to Christianity that would lead me to select that belief system as a guide for my life.

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