A Crossroad: An email to a church member
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09-12-2013, 11:20 AM
A Crossroad: An email to a church member
He texted me a few days ago asking if I was all right because we haven't been to church in months. I sent him a few sentences telling him we were good and we would seen him soon. I wrote this email to him, but I haven't sent it yet. I feel he deserves and explanation because he is a good guy... heck, the whole church is awesome and filled with good people. But yeah, here it is:

Hey ****, I know my text was a little nebulous, and I feel that I at least owe you a little more than a few, choppy sentences. You and Bro. ***** have really reached out to us, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. In fact, we’ve never been more welcomed to a church and by a church family as we were at [current church]. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love [current church]. I love the people. I love the preaching. Everything about it is great. But, sometimes… sometimes, that’s not enough.

I don’t know if I want to be a “Christian” anymore, ****. And, don’t take that to mean that I’m turning my back on Christ and all that garbage. I’m not. My wife’s not. My family’s not. I still believe in the Bible and its inspired message. I still believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. I know that He is the only way into heaven, and only through acknowledgement of His choice can one be saved.

I believe all this. Jess believes all this. This is what I’m teaching my children.

But, in that… I don’t want to be attached to “Christians” anymore. I don’t really want to have that term even attached to my identity anymore.

When all the crap went down at [former church], I thought I was fine to move on. Jess and I both thought we were fine. That’s why we came to [current church]. It had a profound effect on Jess, and she is just now realizing it… and in a sense, it had an effect on me. With me, though, I’ve long realized and grown contempt for the church and its followers.

About the time I got hired on with [current employer], my brother (a pastor), got fired from his position as a Family Life Pastor in North Carolina. They fired him because he wasn't a “good fit”; not because of misconduct or heresy or committing a crime… no, those are understandable. But, it was because they just didn't want him anymore. He had been there for a couple of years, and he uprooted his family to move to North Carolina because they wanted him there. And, then they fired him without any prior warning or corrective actions. Just “bam”. Sorry, you’re done.

I know [current church] has no bearing on this situation; nor are any of you in any way related or in any way have caused either of these situations. If anything, you guys have been there as support. However, not everyone in Nazi Germany wanted to commit genocide, either, but that’s how we identify them.

I didn't mean to go all Goodwin's Law on you or this situation, but I need an extreme analogy to communicate the level of disgust, contempt, jadedness, and scorn I and my wife have for “Christians”. Time and time again, “Christians” have displayed a level of malice towards not only outsiders and non-believers but also fellow Christians. And sometimes it’s not even malice that they show… it’s just simple indifference.

An example: When I got laid off and almost ended up without a house, almost every Christian I knew told me that they were “praying for me”. Not that I don’t I believe in prayer, but I believe “praying for you” is a lazy get-out-of-jail-free card for Christians. It’s a “hey, yeah, I’m here to help. See, I’m praying!”

I received zero monetary help from Christians. My atheist friend sent me $250 to help keep my electricity on. My other atheist friend told me he wasn't going to let me lose my house. I have not met either of these people in person before, but they display a level of loyalty and love that I have never seen from a Christian.

What I've seen with Christians is, as aforementioned, malice. Greed. Hate-mongering. I don’t want my children around that. They are going to be exposed to enough of this throughout their lifetime, and I don’t want to shove hypocrisy in their faces with the “loving” church. Thank goodness my children are too young to understand why we stopped going to [former church]… or why their Uncle Jared had to move back home… or why we don’t associate with other church people anymore.

I know you guys aren't immune to this either because of what happened a few years ago with the Calvinist/Arminian fallout. How and why would I ever want to expose my family to people who are supposedly the “body of Christ” yet we have 33,000 denominations of Christianity because we fight with each other so much?

It’s a conundrum, ****. I believe as Christians do. In terms of labeling, I’m as much of a Christian as anyone at the church… but I don’t want that anymore. ****, you were the only person that I told about my beliefs regarding salvation, origins, and eschatology because I knew you wouldn't pass judgment. Not everyone is like you, though. How do you think the other people at the church would respond if they knew that I believed in evolution? Sure, they would be nice… but I would be a pariah behind closed doors and through whispers. I would be talked about and labeled and be an outcast in a sense.

Why is that, though? Some great Christian men and theologians are Theistic Evolutionist and Evolutionary Creationist? Why?

Because Christians… heck… the religious… don’t amalgamate. They separate and vilify. Protestants and Catholics. Calvinist and Arminians. Pre-trib and Millennialist. Young Earth Creationist and Theistic Evolutionists. All of these identifiers. All of these separations. Instead of just one “Christian”.

So, I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want that term… that association… anything to do with it. Unfortunately, this might even include church.

So… thanks for all that you've done, ****. I hope you understand. Keep in touch.

-Jeremy

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09-12-2013, 11:25 AM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
tl;dr

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09-12-2013, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2013 12:16 PM by Ohio Sky.)
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
I get where you're coming from with your disgust for a lot of Christian behaviors. But if this pastor is a genuine and good person, he might not deserve to be compared to Nazis. I think I would take offense to that in a similar situation - like, say, if someone said I was as complicit in the oppression of black people as the Nazis were to theJews, just because I'm white. Just my 2¢. I don't know this guy or your relationship to him so you know how to approach it best.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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09-12-2013, 11:34 AM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 11:20 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  He texted me a few days ago asking if I was all right because we haven't been to church in months. I sent him a few sentences telling him we were good and we would seen him soon. I wrote this email to him, but I haven't sent it yet. I feel he deserves and explanation because he is a good guy... heck, the whole church is awesome and filled with good people. But yeah, here it is:

Hey ****, I know my text was a little nebulous, and I feel that I at least owe you a little more than a few, choppy sentences. You and Bro. ***** have really reached out to us, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. In fact, we’ve never been more welcomed to a church and by a church family as we were at [current church]. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love [current church]. I love the people. I love the preaching. Everything about it is great. But, sometimes… sometimes, that’s not enough.

I don’t know if I want to be a “Christian” anymore, ****. And, don’t take that to mean that I’m turning my back on Christ and all that garbage. I’m not. My wife’s not. My family’s not. I still believe in the Bible and its inspired message. I still believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. I know that He is the only way into heaven, and only through acknowledgement of His choice can one be saved.

I believe all this. Jess believes all this. This is what I’m teaching my children.

But, in that… I don’t want to be attached to “Christians” anymore. I don’t really want to have that term even attached to my identity anymore.

When all the crap went down at [former church], I thought I was fine to move on. Jess and I both thought we were fine. That’s why we came to [current church]. It had a profound effect on Jess, and she is just now realizing it… and in a sense, it had an effect on me. With me, though, I’ve long realized and grown contempt for the church and its followers.

About the time I got hired on with [current employer], my brother (a pastor), got fired from his position as a Family Life Pastor in North Carolina. They fired him because he wasn't a “good fit”; not because of misconduct or heresy or committing a crime… no, those are understandable. But, it was because they just didn't want him anymore. He had been there for a couple of years, and he uprooted his family to move to North Carolina because they wanted him there. And, then they fired him without any prior warning or corrective actions. Just “bam”. Sorry, you’re done.

I know [current church] has no bearing on this situation; nor are any of you in any way related or in any way have caused either of these situations. If anything, you guys have been there as support. However, not everyone in Nazi Germany wanted to commit genocide, either, but that’s how we identify them.

I didn't mean to go all Goodwin's Law on you or this situation, but I need an extreme analogy to communicate the level of disgust, contempt, jadedness, and scorn I and my wife have for “Christians”. Time and time again, “Christians” have displayed a level of malice towards not only outsiders and non-believers but also fellow Christians. And sometimes it’s not even malice that they show… it’s just simple indifference.

An example: When I got laid off and almost ended up without a house, almost every Christian I knew told me that they were “praying for me”. Not that I don’t I believe in prayer, but I believe “praying for you” is a lazy get-out-of-jail-free card for Christians. It’s a “hey, yeah, I’m here to help. See, I’m praying!”

I received zero monetary help from Christians. My atheist friend sent me $250 to help keep my electricity on. My other atheist friend told me he wasn't going to let me lose my house. I have not met either of these people in person before, but they display a level of loyalty and love that I have never seen from a Christian.

What I've seen with Christians is, as aforementioned, malice. Greed. Hate-mongering. I don’t want my children around that. They are going to be exposed to enough of this throughout their lifetime, and I don’t want to shove hypocrisy in their faces with the “loving” church. Thank goodness my children are too young to understand why we stopped going to [former church]… or why their Uncle Jared had to move back home… or why we don’t associate with other church people anymore.

I know you guys aren't immune to this either because of what happened a few years ago with the Calvinist/Arminian fallout. How and why would I ever want to expose my family to people who are supposedly the “body of Christ” yet we have 33,000 denominations of Christianity because we fight with each other so much?

It’s a conundrum, ****. I believe as Christians do. In terms of labeling, I’m as much of a Christian as anyone at the church… but I don’t want that anymore. ****, you were the only person that I told about my beliefs regarding salvation, origins, and eschatology because I knew you wouldn't pass judgment. Not everyone is like you, though. How do you think the other people at the church would respond if they knew that I believed in evolution? Sure, they would be nice… but I would be a pariah behind closed doors and through whispers. I would be talked about and labeled and be an outcast in a sense.

Why is that, though? Some great Christian men and theologians are Theistic Evolutionist and Evolutionary Creationist? Why?

Because Christians… heck… the religious… don’t amalgamate. They separate and vilify. Protestants and Catholics. Calvinist and Arminians. Pre-trib and Millennialist. Young Earth Creationist and Theistic Evolutionists. All of these identifiers. All of these separations. Instead of just one “Christian”.

So, I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want that term… that association… anything to do with it. Unfortunately, this might even include church.

So… thanks for all that you've done, ****. I hope you understand. Keep in touch.

-Jeremy

Yes This is how it begins. It's a good letter, you express yourself and where you are emotionally and intellectually well. You are respectful but firm. I'd say go ahead and send it.

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09-12-2013, 11:47 AM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 11:25 AM)DLJ Wrote:  tl;dr

Too bad. It really is worth reading. Thumbsup

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09-12-2013, 12:01 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 11:20 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  He texted me a few days ago asking if I was all right because we haven't been to church in months. I sent him a few sentences telling him we were good and we would seen him soon. I wrote this email to him, but I haven't sent it yet. I feel he deserves and explanation because he is a good guy... heck, the whole church is awesome and filled with good people. But yeah, here it is:

Hey ****, I know my text was a little nebulous, and I feel that I at least owe you a little more than a few, choppy sentences. You and Bro. ***** have really reached out to us, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. In fact, we’ve never been more welcomed to a church and by a church family as we were at [current church]. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love [current church]. I love the people. I love the preaching. Everything about it is great. But, sometimes… sometimes, that’s not enough.

I don’t know if I want to be a “Christian” anymore, ****. And, don’t take that to mean that I’m turning my back on Christ and all that garbage. I’m not. My wife’s not. My family’s not. I still believe in the Bible and its inspired message. I still believe in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. I know that He is the only way into heaven, and only through acknowledgement of His choice can one be saved.

I believe all this. Jess believes all this. This is what I’m teaching my children.

But, in that… I don’t want to be attached to “Christians” anymore. I don’t really want to have that term even attached to my identity anymore.

When all the crap went down at [former church], I thought I was fine to move on. Jess and I both thought we were fine. That’s why we came to [current church]. It had a profound effect on Jess, and she is just now realizing it… and in a sense, it had an effect on me. With me, though, I’ve long realized and grown contempt for the church and its followers.

About the time I got hired on with [current employer], my brother (a pastor), got fired from his position as a Family Life Pastor in North Carolina. They fired him because he wasn't a “good fit”; not because of misconduct or heresy or committing a crime… no, those are understandable. But, it was because they just didn't want him anymore. He had been there for a couple of years, and he uprooted his family to move to North Carolina because they wanted him there. And, then they fired him without any prior warning or corrective actions. Just “bam”. Sorry, you’re done.

I know [current church] has no bearing on this situation; nor are any of you in any way related or in any way have caused either of these situations. If anything, you guys have been there as support. However, not everyone in Nazi Germany wanted to commit genocide, either, but that’s how we identify them.

I didn't mean to go all Goodwin's Law on you or this situation, but I need an extreme analogy to communicate the level of disgust, contempt, jadedness, and scorn I and my wife have for “Christians”. Time and time again, “Christians” have displayed a level of malice towards not only outsiders and non-believers but also fellow Christians. And sometimes it’s not even malice that they show… it’s just simple indifference.

An example: When I got laid off and almost ended up without a house, almost every Christian I knew told me that they were “praying for me”. Not that I don’t I believe in prayer, but I believe “praying for you” is a lazy get-out-of-jail-free card for Christians. It’s a “hey, yeah, I’m here to help. See, I’m praying!”

I received zero monetary help from Christians. My atheist friend sent me $250 to help keep my electricity on. My other atheist friend told me he wasn't going to let me lose my house. I have not met either of these people in person before, but they display a level of loyalty and love that I have never seen from a Christian.

What I've seen with Christians is, as aforementioned, malice. Greed. Hate-mongering. I don’t want my children around that. They are going to be exposed to enough of this throughout their lifetime, and I don’t want to shove hypocrisy in their faces with the “loving” church. Thank goodness my children are too young to understand why we stopped going to [former church]… or why their Uncle Jared had to move back home… or why we don’t associate with other church people anymore.

I know you guys aren't immune to this either because of what happened a few years ago with the Calvinist/Arminian fallout. How and why would I ever want to expose my family to people who are supposedly the “body of Christ” yet we have 33,000 denominations of Christianity because we fight with each other so much?

It’s a conundrum, ****. I believe as Christians do. In terms of labeling, I’m as much of a Christian as anyone at the church… but I don’t want that anymore. ****, you were the only person that I told about my beliefs regarding salvation, origins, and eschatology because I knew you wouldn't pass judgment. Not everyone is like you, though. How do you think the other people at the church would respond if they knew that I believed in evolution? Sure, they would be nice… but I would be a pariah behind closed doors and through whispers. I would be talked about and labeled and be an outcast in a sense.

Why is that, though? Some great Christian men and theologians are Theistic Evolutionist and Evolutionary Creationist? Why?

Because Christians… heck… the religious… don’t amalgamate. They separate and vilify. Protestants and Catholics. Calvinist and Arminians. Pre-trib and Millennialist. Young Earth Creationist and Theistic Evolutionists. All of these identifiers. All of these separations. Instead of just one “Christian”.

So, I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want that term… that association… anything to do with it. Unfortunately, this might even include church.

So… thanks for all that you've done, ****. I hope you understand. Keep in touch.

-Jeremy


King -

Thats a lovely letter. I don't have a lot to say about it, other than I would keep in mind that the desire to categories, separate, and group ourselves is not a "christian" characteristic. Its a human one.

There is wealthy. then the wealthy have their own sub categories of wealthy, ultra wealthy, and holy fucking shit insane wealth.

There is intelligence, then there is average, smart, and genius.

the list goes on and on….

Star belly Sneeches, my friend. Star Belly Sneeches.

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09-12-2013, 12:11 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Yea, the nazi thing threw me off, too.
Quote:... 33,000 denominations of Christianity...


WOW! I didn't realize there were that many! Sheesh... seems we can't swing a dead cat without hittin' a christee! Angel
***

Well, I applaud your step in what some might see as a precarious direction. I hope your friend takes it well and with gentle understanding. I'm thinking, though ... he will think "it's just a phase". The incomprehension will appear very soon... it will knock at your door, in fact ... be prepared to be "handled".

Big step, man... if anyone give you shit, just say, "Fuck you, I walk among heathens ... what have you done, lately, bitches?!?" or your own words, whatevs. Drinking Beverage

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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09-12-2013, 12:13 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Getting closer to that fence ,eh?

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09-12-2013, 12:15 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
King, it's an excellent letter. You present your thoughts and feelings well.
and
on the subject of Christians and money - no joke - my mom's church is the ONLY church I've ever known of that when people find themselves in a financial bind - those people Literally open their wallets and write checks. They really believe what they preach. I've always been impressed by that. As far as Christians go................. these people are GOOD people. Prayer? Yes. REAL solutions? Oh yes. [1]
Sorry your own congregation wasn't like this.
On the other hand - congregation or none - your faith remains unshaken- which speaks volumes that what you believe is utterly real to you.
Fake people are just annoying. Happy to know you - for you are not a fake.



[1] maybe bullshit in other areas - but crisis IS crisis and at least they were always good to others in crisis!

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09-12-2013, 12:18 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
If you send, I suggest you send without any expectations on the outcome. I'm not saying nothing will happen, just keep be mindful that any expectations might cause further darkness.

*hugs*

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