Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
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11-12-2011, 10:02 AM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
I just posted this in another thread, but realized what a party foul that was since KC set up this thread for this very purpose. So at long last, and most have probably already read it, but here it is in a thread with my name on it, so it will be easier for me to find next time! Smile

Looking back, there are 2 significant events that I can point to, that at the time I had no idea they were the chinks in the armor.

Sometime around 2000, I was looking something up online for a sermon. I found an open letter that a former pastor, now atheist, had written about his experience. If I had ever known about pastors turned atheists, it had certainly never been as real to me as this man's letter. He was a real guy. He had real emotions and real struggles. I tried to imagine the anguish it would cause to not only leave the ministry, but even worse to leave Jesus? Heavy stuff, man. Repress those questions for later, son.

Then around 2002, I briefly dated this chick who, when it came time for her to break up, told me I didn't have any passion for doing what I was doing and she needed to be with someone who had passion for their work. I thought this was ridiculous. How could she say such a thing? I was as dedicated to the Lord's work as anyone could be.

But it seemed her comments really stuck with me. I kept thinking about what she said and I kept talking to a couple of trusted friends about God's Calling on my life. Was I called to be a pastor for life, or could I leave when it was time to move on to the next great mission that God had in mind for me? Turns out, this brief summer romance was the inertia I needed to start the process of leaving the ministry, which still didn't happen until a year and a half later. Even after I quit the ministry, I still went to church, and I still identified as a Christian, I just no longer was a pastor. I suppose for most people, they would just say, "Big deal, so you quit a job. Everyone quits jobs and moves on." Well, I can say from experience, quitting a job working for Burger King is a heck of a lot easier than leaving the ministry. In some way, it may be worse than coming out as an atheist (which I haven't fully or publicly done yet...8 years later and my mom still has a tough time understanding why I'm not a pastor anymore).

Once I stopped going to church, little by little the brainwashing wore off, but it took a very long time. Most of the past 8 years have been spent with my brain turned off. I didn't want to read anything on the topic of religion. I didn't want to debate anything with anyone. My mind became an intellectual wasteland (and that was before I started smoking pot, so imagine the wasteland it is now!). Over time I realized I had become a de facto agnostic (though still leaning toward theism), but last Christmas Eve, as I left the service, I made the decision that that would be the last time I voluntarily went to church. I'd still go if there was a funeral or something, but I had finally quit the church once and for all. Throughout this year I found Dawkins and Harris and Barker and Seth, and I ended up here. In August, I said the words out loud, "I'm an atheist," and I finally felt the freedom that I was supposed to have in Christ, but never found. In the 70's, around the US, there was a Christian campaign to put bumperstickers and billboards all around that said, "I Found It!" It was supposed to generate conversations about being born again. Well, after all these years, I've truly found it...It is This. And This is all there is, so we might as well enjoy it!

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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11-12-2011, 10:39 AM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
Eric, oh my! You definitely seem to have found the passion now. Wink

I feel like some kind of zoo exhibit... and how can you compare Gwynnies to TB?!?!

Rawl, says the tiger. Come in here and say that. Rawl. Big Grin

KC, there's my LC thread in "positive atheism" if you want another perspective. Me and the Preach are a curious pair, but two older types who've seen the world from such opposing viewpoints meeting up in this forum speaks volumes for the validity of atheism. Wink

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11-12-2011, 07:29 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
Eric, thank ya man! I really appreciate your transparency and willingness to share. Queenschosen really wants to read this, so I'll so it to her when she gets back tonight.

(11-12-2011 10:39 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Eric, oh my! You definitely seem to have found the passion now. Wink

I feel like some kind of zoo exhibit... and how can you compare Gwynnies to TB?!?!

Rawl, says the tiger. Come in here and say that. Rawl. Big Grin

KC, there's my LC thread in "positive atheism" if you want another perspective. Me and the Preach are a curious pair, but two older types who've seen the world from such opposing viewpoints meeting up in this forum speaks volumes for the validity of atheism. Wink

I'm going to check it out.

I guess I could be y'all third wheel. You know... the squeaky, bent one whose tire never stays aired up... yeah, that one.

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11-12-2011, 08:27 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
What'd we adopt this kid, Preach? Funny I just PM'd Stark about me making Preach Picard and me Ryker; that makes you Ministry of Faith... yeah, that'd be alright. The daily voyages of starship T-Atheist... Big Grin

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11-12-2011, 08:30 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
(11-12-2011 08:27 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  What'd we adopt this kid, Preach? Funny I just PM'd Stark about me making Preach Picard and me Ryker; that makes you Ministry of Faith... yeah, that'd be alright. The daily voyages of starship T-Atheist... Big Grin

Boldly going where no Christian has gone before...

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11-12-2011, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2011 08:35 PM by Erxomai.)
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
I have visions of this voyage being more like Red Dwarf. Undecided




(11-12-2011 08:30 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  [quote='houseofcantor' pid='60679' dateline='1323656822']
What'd we adopt this kid, Preach?

You know how it is with strays. You toss them a bone and they'll never leave your side again.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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11-12-2011, 08:37 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
Eric... what the crap did I just watch?

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11-12-2011, 08:39 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
(11-12-2011 08:37 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Eric... what the crap did I just watch?

It's supposed to be a cult classic.

I guess if you're in a cult, you might find it classic. Sadly, I wanted to really like this show, but couldn't. I bet you Hughsie is a big fan, though.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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11-12-2011, 09:57 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
I never got into Red Dwarf either. Like the Preach said, it should have been cool. Firefly was cool, Red Dwarf was stupid... How about KC as the Purifier?

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We all began as something else. That was a good fucking role, right there. Wink

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11-12-2011, 10:11 PM
RE: Ok, that's it. Calling out Erxomai.
(11-12-2011 09:57 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I never got into Red Dwarf either. Like the Preach said, it should have been cool. Firefly was cool, Red Dwarf was stupid... How about KC as the Purifier?

Come on, broski, Firefly ain't cool. Firefly is flippin' ├╝ber awesome!!!

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