Excommunication
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26-03-2016, 05:19 AM
RE: Excommunication
(25-03-2016 06:36 PM)debna27 Wrote:  Not sure where else to put this, but here seems to be the best fit, so here goes.
I was baptized into my parent's church at age two and attended regularly until I was in college. In the middle of that, when I was 14 I made my public profession of faith after meeting withe the elders and became a communicate member. Part of this was due to the shame that I felt when all my friends who had professed their faith already and were allowed to take communion while I had to sit there, still a "child"; I was given the impression that god wouldn't view me as an adult until I made my full profession.
However, at the time I did also think that I was truly a believer and one of the elect. The only way I could prove this was by professing myself as such.
So I did. For a few years it was fine, I was a member in good standing, and as far as I know I still am.
But I'm also a professing atheist who doesn't believe in virtually anything that is in my church's confession/creeds/dogma. I feel like having my name on the records is a blatant lie and I don't want to be a liar. I've come out to my friends and family, but not explicitly to my church "family". If I was to come out to them, I'd have to go through the entire excommunication process before being announced from the pulpit as an apostate (and most likely becoming a long-term member of their weekly prayer list). This would destroy my mother, since my dad was excommunicated after their divorce and it traumatized her immensely. I also don't want their pity and condescension.
So, in your opinion, should I just let sleeping dogs lie and remain a member until they contact me (or don't)? Or should I tell them the truth? I don't like living dishonestly, and a part of me feels that I am.

You're now an atheist? Stand up and be counted.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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26-03-2016, 05:33 AM
RE: Excommunication
(26-03-2016 05:19 AM)Banjo Wrote:  
(25-03-2016 06:36 PM)debna27 Wrote:  Not sure where else to put this, but here seems to be the best fit, so here goes.
I was baptized into my parent's church at age two and attended regularly until I was in college. In the middle of that, when I was 14 I made my public profession of faith after meeting withe the elders and became a communicate member. Part of this was due to the shame that I felt when all my friends who had professed their faith already and were allowed to take communion while I had to sit there, still a "child"; I was given the impression that god wouldn't view me as an adult until I made my full profession.
However, at the time I did also think that I was truly a believer and one of the elect. The only way I could prove this was by professing myself as such.
So I did. For a few years it was fine, I was a member in good standing, and as far as I know I still am.
But I'm also a professing atheist who doesn't believe in virtually anything that is in my church's confession/creeds/dogma. I feel like having my name on the records is a blatant lie and I don't want to be a liar. I've come out to my friends and family, but not explicitly to my church "family". If I was to come out to them, I'd have to go through the entire excommunication process before being announced from the pulpit as an apostate (and most likely becoming a long-term member of their weekly prayer list). This would destroy my mother, since my dad was excommunicated after their divorce and it traumatized her immensely. I also don't want their pity and condescension.
So, in your opinion, should I just let sleeping dogs lie and remain a member until they contact me (or don't)? Or should I tell them the truth? I don't like living dishonestly, and a part of me feels that I am.

You're now an atheist? Stand up and be counted.

Nope, that is their decision not ours. I only agree that if the worst you get is loss of contact, and you have plenty of support outside that, then you have a means of survival. But for many atheists, especially teens, and or those who live in really religious parts of society, especially in the East, we have no right to expect them to endanger themselves. They still have us to voice online if they need. But it is still their choice. This isn't an atheist issue, this is a human issue. Unless you are the one fearing threat of real physical and or economic harm, it isn't always as simple as that.

It is actually more up to the ones without the fear to lead to future conditions to make their coming out easier. But again, not an atheist issue. It is a human rights issue. Non atheists live in parts America and are treated as suspect as well, and in other parts of the world gays and atheists and minority Muslims and Christians live in fear too. In India as well, with some pockets of Hindu's and Sikhs, it can be hard for a female to buck gender rolls the family might have raised her in.

We can only lend our support but it is still up to them ultimately.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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26-03-2016, 05:51 AM
RE: Excommunication
Fear is for the fearful.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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26-03-2016, 11:11 AM
RE: Excommunication
Let me just clear a couple of things up: I'm not a minor, I'm a 22 year old living and supporting myself independently in the US. Your replies have made me realize how privileged I am to be facing only emotional distress regarding this decision. But even though the problems could be much, much worse, that doesn't mean the minor ones that I have don't exist at all.

I'm not Catholic, the church that I was raised in is quite Protestant and Reformed (Orthodox Presbyterian, the church of Bahnsen and Machen), and they seem to keep a much closer eye on their membership given that the congregations are so small. So chances are, if I were excommunicated, everyone who heard about it would be someone who knew me personally. It makes this whole process feel very destructive potentially.

I don't think I'm going to come out right now. It's just not worth the trouble. If they care so much about my "soul" let them come after it themselves. I'll be here.
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26-03-2016, 11:36 AM
RE: Excommunication
(26-03-2016 04:59 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Excommunication process? That is the church's superstition, not yours. It is no different than leaving a bad movie, just leave. What silly superstitions they "inflict" on you has no affect in reality. That is their baggage, not yours. The only real thing you have to deal with are humans and how they react once you leave, but their "excommunication" is no more real than a Voodoo doll.

I shouldn't post this scene but every time I hear about excommunication I think of the scene from the movie Becket in which Thomas `a Becket excommunicates Henry II. So much of church is visual and auditory theatrics.




Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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26-03-2016, 01:40 PM
RE: Excommunication
The only excommunication I've ever experienced - is one day I saw my ex-wife standing along side the road as I was riding by -- so I flipped her the bird......................


Other than that - not a word............

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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26-03-2016, 02:55 PM
RE: Excommunication
If it helps, I was a practicing Roman Catholic and my excommunication came about not by the Church, but from within me.

I still attend Catholic services with my 94-year-old mother because I don't want to break her heart, and it makes her happy.

But when I attend, I feel completely separate from the congregation: they say the words, they sing the songs, they bow their heads, and I feel ... separate. Not one of them. I feel like an outsider, looking in.
And these are the ceremonies and the people I have known for 50 years. I still like many of the people, and willingly shake their hand, say hi when I see them in the grocery store, etc.
But at church, I feel "not in communion" with them: I feel no bond, no kinship. I am excommunicated.

Perhaps you feel this way about members of your former church? If so, you are already excommunicated, in the only sense that matters. The rest is just paperwork.

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
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26-03-2016, 04:46 PM
RE: Excommunication
(26-03-2016 02:55 PM)Reducetarian Wrote:  If it helps, I was a practicing Roman Catholic and my excommunication came about not by the Church, but from within me.

I still attend Catholic services with my 94-year-old mother because I don't want to break her heart, and it makes her happy.

But when I attend, I feel completely separate from the congregation: they say the words, they sing the songs, they bow their heads, and I feel ... separate. Not one of them. I feel like an outsider, looking in.
And these are the ceremonies and the people I have known for 50 years. I still like many of the people, and willingly shake their hand, say hi when I see them in the grocery store, etc.
But at church, I feel "not in communion" with them: I feel no bond, no kinship. I am excommunicated.

Perhaps you feel this way about members of your former church? If so, you are already excommunicated, in the only sense that matters. The rest is just paperwork.

It'd probably help to envision yourself as an anthropologist -- observing primitive, superstitious savages......................

...............

Actually -- it's not really even necessary to envision yourself as one..............


You more or less are......................

Big Grin

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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03-04-2016, 09:05 PM
RE: Excommunication
So I'm posting in this thread again because something somewhat relevant to the situation just happened and I could use some more advice.

I posted a quote about aloneness from Lady Chatterley's Lover on facebook. I didn't expect much response (it was a fairly generic quote) but one of the members of the church that I grew up in (he's recently changed his name on facebook to "Christian Pilgrim", which gives you a fairly good idea of what his worldview is) responded with some hearty evangelism about how Jesus is the only way to find contentment. I asked him about Christians who aren't content, and he responded by saying something about how they were full of sin and that's why they struggled. I was having some trouble understanding him (lots of typos, I think his entire right hand was one column over from where it should have been) so I asked him to clarify. He responded by bringing up the vows that I took when I professed my faith about how I promise to "abhor the sin that still exists in me and seeks to ruin me".

This is one of the first times that I've been directly called out by someone within my church regarding my current stance towards those views. It really brought up a lot of emotion for me, and I was surprised at that. I ended up just equivocating my way out of the conversation so that I wouldn't have to say that I don't follow those vows anymore, but I feel even more like a liar. I'm not going to reopen that particular discussion but what do I do if that happens again? I don't want to live my life avoiding the kinds of questions that I have my own answers for just because a lot of the people that I know disagree with me, but I'm afraid of what will happen if I'm honest and public.
I don't know that this actually changes anything regarding my actions towards the church, but I guess I just needed to vent a little and see if anyone has any additional support. Thanks everybody Smile just having a place to talk to sympathetic ears (eyes?) is great.
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04-04-2016, 09:58 AM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2016 10:01 AM by jabeady.)
RE: Excommunication
You took those vows in ignorance, and are under no obligation to keep them now that you have found the premise(s) upon which they are based to be false.

On the other hand, having taken those vows, you are under obligation to yourself to stand up for your decision to abandon them.
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