A Crossroad: An email to a church member
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09-12-2013, 12:39 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
I'm with Cathy - all this division is human, not just Christian. Christians may profess to have loftier ideals than us heathens and the rest of the world, but in the end we are all just human and we tend to split up into groups.

Praying instead of lending a helping hand - that's the big cop out in my eyes. The church my aunt belongs to - the priest will actually show up at her house to see if she is ok if she misses mass a couple of times. And he will buy and bring food if she is sick or do whatever is needed.

But so do the people at the local animal rescue or the lady's quilting club and who have you. People form groups and many of these groups will look out for their own.

Anyway, I don't think any of this has anything to do with being Christian. It's just human.

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09-12-2013, 12:43 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

I used to belong to a Unitarian Church as an atheist. I stopped going because it had filled it's purpose. I did like the companionship and the liberal attitudes of even the believers. But I increasingly could not go there having to lie to myself or to them. I still loved them, but I cant bring myself to listen to other's fantasies without saying something.

If you don't see the fantastic claims in the bible as true, based on science alone, should be a good reason to reject it. Morally the entire book has a head character who acts like a mugger, "Give me you're wallet and I won't shoot you. Keep your wallet and I will shoot you". That was another reason I DO reject the bible.

I did turn my back on religion, that is not the same as turning your back on your fellow human. I don't go to church anymore, but outside that context I still have believing family and co workers whom I do love, even if what they claim drives me nuts.

Don't feel sorry if you no longer believe that stuff. Don't let anyone guilt you into thinking you've done something wrong. You simply thought about it and it no longer makes sense. If our species never questioned social norms our species never would have left the caves.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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09-12-2013, 12:49 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Powerful letter dude. Give me a call after work if you like.

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09-12-2013, 12:56 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Thumbsup

“Happiness is not the absence of problems; it's the ability to deal with them.”
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09-12-2013, 01:10 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 11:32 AM)Ohio Sky Wrote:  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.

I'll think about it taking it out. I just wanted to express a certain level... but I see your point. I'm tweaking it a bit based on some suggestions from others as well.

(09-12-2013 11:34 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  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.

Thanks. There are some places I may across too harsh. I'm like that in text and I try and work on it.

(09-12-2013 12:01 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  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.

So, is it something I should "deal" with because everywhere I go all people are going to be like this?

(09-12-2013 12:11 PM)kim Wrote:  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

Ha, Kim. I had to do that with my old church. I had to make people back off when I made an exit from that place. But... who knows... may be different.

(09-12-2013 12:13 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Getting closer to that fence ,eh?

Nah. Just more aware of people, I suppose. Has no real bearing on my faith.

(09-12-2013 12:15 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  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!

Thank you for that. Smile

(09-12-2013 12:18 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  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*

Like I said, I suspect that as well. I might include a caveat asking that they not do that to me.

(09-12-2013 12:39 PM)Dom Wrote:  I'm with Cathy - all this division is human, not just Christian. Christians may profess to have loftier ideals than us heathens and the rest of the world, but in the end we are all just human and we tend to split up into groups.

Praying instead of lending a helping hand - that's the big cop out in my eyes. The church my aunt belongs to - the priest will actually show up at her house to see if she is ok if she misses mass a couple of times. And he will buy and bring food if she is sick or do whatever is needed.

But so do the people at the local animal rescue or the lady's quilting club and who have you. People form groups and many of these groups will look out for their own.

Anyway, I don't think any of this has anything to do with being Christian. It's just human.

So... what do you think? Tough it out?

(09-12-2013 12:43 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  I used to belong to a Unitarian Church as an atheist. I stopped going because it had filled it's purpose. I did like the companionship and the liberal attitudes of even the believers. But I increasingly could not go there having to lie to myself or to them. I still loved them, but I cant bring myself to listen to other's fantasies without saying something.

If you don't see the fantastic claims in the bible as true, based on science alone, should be a good reason to reject it. Morally the entire book has a head character who acts like a mugger, "Give me you're wallet and I won't shoot you. Keep your wallet and I will shoot you". That was another reason I DO reject the bible.

I did turn my back on religion, that is not the same as turning your back on your fellow human. I don't go to church anymore, but outside that context I still have believing family and co workers whom I do love, even if what they claim drives me nuts.

Don't feel sorry if you no longer believe that stuff. Don't let anyone guilt you into thinking you've done something wrong. You simply thought about it and it no longer makes sense. If our species never questioned social norms our species never would have left the caves.

My faith is my faith. Can't shake it. It is what it is.

(09-12-2013 12:49 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Powerful letter dude. Give me a call after work if you like.

Will do man. I'll give you a call on my way home.

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09-12-2013, 02:33 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Here's the uncensored version of that letter.

(09-12-2013 11:20 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Hey fuckface, 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. Dickweed 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 [The Stripping Nun]. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love [The Stripping Nun]. 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, imbecile. 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 [The Stripping Nun], I thought I was fine to move on. Jess and I both thought we were fine. That’s why we came to [The Stripping Nun]. 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 [the Devil], 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 [The Stripping Nun] 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 [The Drunken Bishop]… 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, asshole. 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. Fuck you, 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, jerkoff. I hope you understand. Keep in touch.

-Jeremy
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09-12-2013, 02:37 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
You know there's no God right?
Just thought I'd let you know that there's not.

I don't talk gay, I don't walk gay, it's like people don't even know I'm gay unless I'm blowing them.
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09-12-2013, 02:38 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
Confused

my bad
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09-12-2013, 02:41 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 01:10 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(09-12-2013 12:39 PM)Dom Wrote:  I'm with Cathy - all this division is human, not just Christian. Christians may profess to have loftier ideals than us heathens and the rest of the world, but in the end we are all just human and we tend to split up into groups.

Praying instead of lending a helping hand - that's the big cop out in my eyes. The church my aunt belongs to - the priest will actually show up at her house to see if she is ok if she misses mass a couple of times. And he will buy and bring food if she is sick or do whatever is needed.

But so do the people at the local animal rescue or the lady's quilting club and who have you. People form groups and many of these groups will look out for their own.

Anyway, I don't think any of this has anything to do with being Christian. It's just human.

So... what do you think? Tough it out?

I don't know what you mean by that.

But - no reason to assume Christian people will act any different from other people.

Just sort the individuals. No point buying a whole church to have a relationship with a couple of it's members. And, like with all friendships and relationships, sort out the toxic or uncaring ones and keep the rest. Always discard the garbage and hold on to the treasures. Ask the guy and his family out with yours to go - visit an exhibition? A nativity scene? Whatever turns you on. Some kind of kid's xmas thingie? I bet you'll talk then anyway, and face to face is tons better than a letter that can be misinterpreted.

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09-12-2013, 02:44 PM
RE: A Crossroad: An email to a church member
(09-12-2013 02:38 PM)Slowminded Wrote:  Confused

my bad

See... this is why I need to work on my tone via text.

It doesn't come off the way I meant it.

I was just saying that I know how it seems and what some people may think, but if I would have changed, it would have been a long time ago. I'm comfortable enough in my faith to not have negative events affect it.

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