Question for Ex-Believers
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11-06-2014, 11:33 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(11-06-2014 08:08 PM)Punk Pumpkin Wrote:  Do any of you ever find yourself choking up and feeling like crying when you listen to some of your old favorite songs from church? Sometimes I stumble upon some long forgotten songs I used to sing in church that held such a special place in my heart at the time. Songs I would get so caught up in with my hands in the air, eyes closed with tears streaming down my face, feeling that I was truly experiencing god. Feelings of great joy and happiness. I can't help but feel those same feelings when hearing these songs now, but at the same time when I actually listen to the lyrics I feel sick. It doesn't help that also sang on the worship the team for a while, so I also know a lot of the "hand motions" that we did for the kids. Part of me feels guilty...part of me wants to let go and just sing these songs and get lost in them like I use to, but I feel like if I did that it would just be so weird since I am an Atheist. I can't help but think of what a Christian would say to me if they were watching me. They would tell me I have those feelings even still when listening to these songs because it's "god speaking to me and calling me back".

I know better than that though. I know music has a way of affecting the chemicals in your brain. I felt the same joy and happiness during church worship as I do at a rock concert. Music has a way of transporting you back in time, and if that time you experienced happy feelings, then you will always feel that way when you listen to that song in the future. Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone else ever experiences this.

I still visit churches for various reasons, and the feeling you describe was there for a little while but is now just background noise, a little like hearing children in the distance singing a nursery rhyme.
I guess i feel pity for the people not in control of their own rational thought processes, probably arrogant to think this way, but I know first hand that it is a self delusion in a group hypnosis environment causing the "bliss".

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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11-06-2014, 11:51 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
I can't say I ever got really deep into the songs at my church, but I have some pretty fond memories and feelings about them. My church was also a more relaxed one with a welcoming atmosphere and catchy songs. I think it would be really weird for me to go back and sing along to the lyrics I knew so well. It might make me feel good for a moment, but then I'd feel like an idiot. Mainly because I can't sing very well in the first place, but also because a lot of the songs were just saying how God deserves our praise over and over until our legs get tired and throats get sore.
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12-06-2014, 02:22 AM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
The only songs I remember were when they took regular songs and replaced some words to make it christianity.

I agree with the idea that catholics had not-memorable songs.

“You see… sometimes life gives you lemons. And when that happens… you need to find some spell that makes lemons explode, because lemons are terrible. I only ate them once and I can say with certainty they are the worst fruit. If life gave me lemons, I would view it as nothing short of a declaration of war."
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12-06-2014, 09:37 AM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(11-06-2014 09:11 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  We used to do hold a Wednesday night service in a little one room historical church in the middle of town where all of the youth pastors from the different churches with musical ability would set up and would just jam all night doing the best contemporary worship tunes. There was this one old dude with a hot pink Yamaha guitar and a mullet that would bust out solos at the perfect time in every song.

I actually have some really great memories from those nights, just a free flowing jam from start to finish. I recognize now exactly where the emotion and elation was coming from, not from god, but the music and the comeradery we shared in a united experience.

So the few times a year I go to church with my family I can still appreciate and enjoy the music when it's well done.

And no, we never sang Jesus take the wheel.

Thank you! This is exactly what I am talking about! Music is just powerful man.
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12-06-2014, 09:39 AM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(11-06-2014 11:51 PM)Cyvas Wrote:  I can't say I ever got really deep into the songs at my church, but I have some pretty fond memories and feelings about them. My church was also a more relaxed one with a welcoming atmosphere and catchy songs. I think it would be really weird for me to go back and sing along to the lyrics I knew so well. It might make me feel good for a moment, but then I'd feel like an idiot. Mainly because I can't sing very well in the first place, but also because a lot of the songs were just saying how God deserves our praise over and over until our legs get tired and throats get sore.

When I listen to the lyrics now they are mostly singing about god taking control over us, and admitting how weak and powerless we are. No wonder I was so depressed back then....
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12-06-2014, 12:33 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(11-06-2014 08:32 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Catholics have crappy songs, so no. I can't even remember any, better that way.

Depends what you mean by songs. If you go back far enough (Gregorian chant, Masses by people like Mozart and Palestrina, etc.), Catholics had some of the most sublime music you will ever hear. A High Mass with a good choir can still give me goosebumps. However, such a Mass is hard to find since the mid-1960s (although easier now than 10 or 20 years ago). The typical hymns that they sing at most modern Masses are generally pretty crappy, yes.
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12-06-2014, 02:33 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
Well, not so much the music I heard at church, but there are two recordings that even now, the staunch atheist that I am, I still listen to with some regularity, mostly just because I grew up with them, and regardless of the content, I still like the songs. One is the original cast album for "Jesus Christ Superstar" which my older sisters played constantly when I was younger, and the other is the first album from a Christian band from my hometown, "Sweet Comfort." I got into that one because a couple of the guys from the band went to high school with my brother, and one song from the album ("Ryan's Song") was actually written for my brother (about how they wished he would finally come to Jesus, which he eventually did, unfortunately). I always thought that was kinda cool, though, now I tend to wish my brother had resisted...Tongue

AJ
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12-06-2014, 02:38 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(12-06-2014 02:33 PM)AJRyan6of7 Wrote:  Well, not so much the music I heard at church, but there are two recordings that even now, the staunch atheist that I am, I still listen to with some regularity, mostly just because I grew up with them, and regardless of the content, I still like the songs. One is the original cast album for "Jesus Christ Superstar" which my older sisters played constantly when I was younger, and the other is the first album from a Christian band from my hometown, "Sweet Comfort." I got into that one because a couple of the guys from the band went to high school with my brother, and one song from the album ("Ryan's Song") was actually written for my brother (about how they wished he would finally come to Jesus, which he eventually did, unfortunately). I always thought that was kinda cool, though, now I tend to wish my brother had resisted...Tongue

AJ

JSC wasn't exactly a religious piece.

Ev'ry time I look at you
I don't understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You'd have managed better
If you'd had it planned
Now why'd you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?

If you'd come today
You could have reached a whole nation
Israel in 4 BC
Had no mass communication

...


Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ
Superstar
Do you think you're what they say you are?



No, it asks questions that xtians would find rather difficult to answer.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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12-06-2014, 03:07 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
(11-06-2014 08:46 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(11-06-2014 08:42 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Yes!!!

I would routinely skip the longer mass to avoid the stupid songs...

They were much cooler when I was younger and we'd sing Beatles songs. Big Grin

You sang Beetles songs in mass?!?!? Ohmy

Yes, during the whole touchy-feely mid-late 70s when the shift was from formal to casual -- calling Priests by their first names (Father Bob) -- they began allowing certain popular music into mass. Let it Be by the Beatles and Blackbird was sung too more than once.

Even the song Day by Day (Godspell?) was sung and one song from Hair (which I think was good morning starshine)...


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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12-06-2014, 03:26 PM
RE: Question for Ex-Believers
I agree, music is very powerful. That feeling you get when listening to an effective combination of sounds is probably what about 80% of churchgoers actually feel when they say they feel God's presence. But you don't have to go to church to feel that. You could go to a U2 concert or jazz ensemble. Live music is the best kind of music and when everyone around you encourages you to sing with them, the music is amplified. Being a musician I always pick out things I like in songs so I can use the same methods later. I've noticed a lot of patterns in Christian music and they are really enjoyable ones. There's no doubt in my mind that most people who go to church stay for the music. Props to churches for using such a powerful tool to bring in more members.
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