The mindset of living a lie
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31-07-2017, 06:15 PM
The mindset of living a lie
My decades of Christianity showed me (although I was slow to realize it) that Christians not only believe in an imaginary god, but their whole religious lifestyle is one of uncomfortable invisibility and playing pretend. Most wearisome to me was the consistent realization that the most unhappy people in the room were those who were highly involved in leadership at their churches.

I am swimming in a family of Assembly of God pastors. Although they are good and even sometimes kind and moral people I have just seen too many times where they pretend to be successful and happy. And that living a lie ends up putting so much stress in their lives. It bothers me to see the religious people in my family pretend to be happy and at peace when they fly off the handle at little things. Or to walk around with an air of success when they worked factory jobs before entering ministry. It befuddles me to see them repeatedly bite off more than they can chew and the resulting train wrecks that happen when they try to pretend to be professional leaders or counselors. They end up brittle and easily offended yet sarcastic and confrontational.

Christianity is like playing poker at a large game and being dealt really crappy cards, but convincing yourself that you always have the winning hand. You can only keep a poker face for so long. You end up cheating to compensate for the flawed hand you were dealt. Or, you end up trying to sabotage other players because your illusion of perfect superiority is always hungry for validation.

This is a video of a guy who was living a lie for too long and finally got caught. I know of so very many pastors and deans and evangelists and church elders who are porn addicts, embezzlers and living a double life. But that is the problem. When you sign on to serve an imaginary god you find yourself compensating for the fact that said god never lives up to the hype. Your mind and emotions step in to keep the balance and it sometimes takes decades to realize how such a lifestyle was anything but peaceful or fulfilling. Christians become their own secret santas to keep from facing the truth. That does not create a healthy mind. I don't see these people as "falling from grace" so much as I see them as 'the inevitable consequences of living a lie.'




"If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost."

Robert Green Ingersoll
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31-07-2017, 06:31 PM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
Some of it is "core belief" they are indoctrinated with. Some of it is a grasping of the only paradigm of the world they've ever known. Some of it is a fear of questioning beliefs. Fear of not being in the group. Fear of death. Fear of unknowns. Believing they have the pretend illness and must seek the pretend cure. Some just have never really considered that their mythology is just a story they've been sold. I think there are lots of reasons they live a lie.
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31-07-2017, 06:37 PM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(31-07-2017 06:31 PM)Hitcher70 Wrote:  Some of it is "core belief" they are indoctrinated with. Some of it is a grasping of the only paradigm of the world they've ever known. Some of it is a fear of questioning beliefs. Fear of not being in the group. Fear of death. Fear of unknowns. Believing they have the pretend illness and must seek the pretend cure. Some just have never really considered that their mythology is just a story they've been sold. I think there are lots of reasons they live a lie.

Yup to all you said.

"If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost."

Robert Green Ingersoll
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31-07-2017, 07:51 PM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
This is written so well. And hits home so deeply. I was recently asked by a very well-respected person to run for the town board. I surprised myself by being up front and honest with him as to what my goals/agenda would be if I did, including trying to have the town crest drastically changed and eliminating the invocation before town meetings or making them secular, and how I knew those things would go over with the other board members like a lead balloon. And that I truly couldn't imagine this town electing an atheist. He listened and then still tried even harder to get me to run and said he would support my bid for office. It was very flattering. I thought about it. A lot.

What I didn't say was that I am still not "out" with my relatives. Husband, yes. He's still coming to terms with it. Daughter, yes, who was not at ALL surprised and asked intelligent thoughtful questions without judging me. But my siblings? No. And my elderly father, NOOOOO. It would break his heart and make him fear for my eternal soul. I can't do that to him. And running for town commissioner, well, the other candidates would certainly bring my atheism to the forefront and even though we are naught but a small town, it would be "news-worthy" here. Enough so that I had to consider it being picked up and spreading here in the bible-girdle. And there is absolutely positively no way I could allow that to be the way that my father found out that I have left Christianity in the wind.

So I allowed the deadline for filing to pass. And a couple of the people running are basically crazy-assed evangelists. I feel a sense of shame with myself for being such a chicken-shit. For living a lie. For hiding myself from people who love me the most. Siblings would reject me. Possibly my father as well, even though he taught me the value of unconditional love---my fears----well, am I underestimating him? Probably not. I think he would have a better chance of accepting me if I told him I was gay (I'm not) than if I told him I am an atheist.

On another thread Gawdzilla advised one of our new members: Avoid when you can, lie when you need to. This is not worth getting hurt over, so just chill. That made me feel a lot better about myself.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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01-08-2017, 10:08 AM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
And from an Aussie's perspective? Michael Guglielmucci is a total arsehole and a lying piece of shit—and that's not anything to do with his religiosity, or lack thereof. That he was arrogant enough and self-centred enough to plead for public forgiveness was a travesty of every moral and ethical value we hold dear Downunder. In my opinion he should've been jailed for fraud, and/or obtaining money by deception—royalties received from his multiple CDs for example.

Guglielmucci was also a pastor and writer musician with the Hillsong Church here in Australia. Hillsong is more of a cult than a church, and has been accused of tax evasion and misuse of government subsidies, and its current director Brian Houston accused of misappropriation of members' funds—in order to live a millionaire lifestyle with multiple properties, investments, and luxury cars and boats etc. Houston's father William Francis Houston [d. 2004] was a self-confessed multiple paedophile who fled New Zealand in 1977 in order to escape conviction, and who founded the forerunner of Hillsong as the Sydney Christian Life Centre.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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01-08-2017, 11:06 AM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(01-08-2017 10:08 AM)SYZ Wrote:  And from an Aussie's perspective? Michael Guglielmucci is a total arsehole and a lying piece of shit—and that's not anything to do with his religiosity, or lack thereof. That he was arrogant enough and self-centred enough to plead for public forgiveness was a travesty of every moral and ethical value we hold dear Downunder. In my opinion he should've been jailed for fraud, and/or obtaining money by deception—royalties received from his multiple CDs for example.

Guglielmucci was also a pastor and writer musician with the Hillsong Church here in Australia. Hillsong is more of a cult than a church, and has been accused of tax evasion and misuse of government subsidies, and its current director Brian Houston accused of misappropriation of members' funds—in order to live a millionaire lifestyle with multiple properties, investments, and luxury cars and boats etc. Houston's father William Francis Houston [d. 2004] was a self-confessed multiple paedophile who fled New Zealand in 1977 in order to escape conviction, and who founded the forerunner of Hillsong as the Sydney Christian Life Centre.

I don't disagree with a single word you said.

"If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost."

Robert Green Ingersoll
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01-08-2017, 11:27 AM
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(01-08-2017 10:08 AM)SYZ Wrote:  And from an Aussie's perspective? Michael Guglielmucci is a total arsehole and a lying piece of shit—and that's not anything to do with his religiosity, or lack thereof. That he was arrogant enough and self-centred enough to plead for public forgiveness was a travesty of every moral and ethical value we hold dear Downunder. In my opinion he should've been jailed for fraud, and/or obtaining money by deception—royalties received from his multiple CDs for example.

Guglielmucci was also a pastor and writer musician with the Hillsong Church here in Australia. Hillsong is more of a cult than a church, and has been accused of tax evasion and misuse of government subsidies, and its current director Brian Houston accused of misappropriation of members' funds—in order to live a millionaire lifestyle with multiple properties, investments, and luxury cars and boats etc. Houston's father William Francis Houston [d. 2004] was a self-confessed multiple paedophile who fled New Zealand in 1977 in order to escape conviction, and who founded the forerunner of Hillsong as the Sydney Christian Life Centre.

Holy hell... and I have vivid memories of singing along with Hillsong CDs during worship in my ministry school back in my religious days. Wow...
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01-08-2017, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 01-08-2017 08:34 PM by Deltabravo.)
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(31-07-2017 06:15 PM)Oaken Wrote:  My decades of Christianity showed me (although I was slow to realize it) that Christians not only believe in an imaginary god, but their whole religious lifestyle is one of uncomfortable invisibility and playing pretend. Most wearisome to me was the consistent realization that the most unhappy people in the room were those who were highly involved in leadership at their churches.

I am swimming in a family of Assembly of God pastors. Although they are good and even sometimes kind and moral people I have just seen too many times where they pretend to be successful and happy. And that living a lie ends up putting so much stress in their lives. It bothers me to see the religious people in my family pretend to be happy and at peace when they fly off the handle at little things. Or to walk around with an air of success when they worked factory jobs before entering ministry. It befuddles me to see them repeatedly bite off more than they can chew and the resulting train wrecks that happen when they try to pretend to be professional leaders or counselors. They end up brittle and easily offended yet sarcastic and confrontational.

Christianity is like playing poker at a large game and being dealt really crappy cards, but convincing yourself that you always have the winning hand. You can only keep a poker face for so long. You end up cheating to compensate for the flawed hand you were dealt. Or, you end up trying to sabotage other players because your illusion of perfect superiority is always hungry for validation.

This is a video of a guy who was living a lie for too long and finally got caught. I know of so very many pastors and deans and evangelists and church elders who are porn addicts, embezzlers and living a double life. But that is the problem. When you sign on to serve an imaginary god you find yourself compensating for the fact that said god never lives up to the hype. Your mind and emotions step in to keep the balance and it sometimes takes decades to realize how such a lifestyle was anything but peaceful or fulfilling. Christians become their own secret santas to keep from facing the truth. That does not create a healthy mind. I don't see these people as "falling from grace" so much as I see them as 'the inevitable consequences of living a lie.'




I had similar feelings but have had a bit of an "awakening" since moving to a Muslim country.

You talk about Christians believing in an imaginary god etc etc. Try Islam on for size. Same imaginary god. However, they start with all the corruption, greed, dishonesty and all the other sins imaginable. But for them, it's part of their religion. No part of their religion is ethics based. There's no sign here of any "golden rule" or treating your neighbour with any kind of respect. They don't even make a pretense of it. The men all cheat on their wives, they all lie, daily. You can trust someone here who is selling you a loaf of bread, or washing your car, but beyond that, it is corrupt to the core.

What distinguishes Islam from Christianity, for me, is that Islam accepts people (men) as they are, douche-bags, and validates their behaviour. It's easy to be a Muslim man. Nothing is expected of you. You can shit on your wife, your neighbour, whoever you like. You can visit prostitutes, be dishonest in your business dealings, lie to customers of your business, be rude to strangers. That's the ethos here.

I think it's the fact that in a Christian country, you lack the historical context out of which the religion rose. Trust me, it's ugly here and one despairs for the whole region.

It's not uncommon to sit down with a Muslim government employee and within a few minutes have the conversation turn towards an anti-Jewish tirade. I hired a guy to build a fence and he was the same. It's ingrained into them from birth. I had one guy at a party, best friend of the host, who extolled other party goers with stories about killing Greeks during the "war" here. He then came over to me and started talking about illicit sex. His wife was with him. It's truly extraordinary what is the "norm" in this society. If you lived here as an atheist you would, after a while, read the NT, forget all the hocus pocus and long to be in society which has any kind of moral compass.
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01-08-2017, 11:57 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017 12:08 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(31-07-2017 06:15 PM)Oaken Wrote:  But that is the problem. When you sign on to serve an imaginary god you find yourself compensating for the fact that said god never lives up to the hype.

Bah. Your imagination-fu is weak. You just have to imagine that God lives up to the hype. There are a couple of Trump supporters around here who prove it is possible.


(31-07-2017 06:15 PM)Oaken Wrote:  Christianity is like playing poker at a large game and being dealt really crappy cards, but convincing yourself that you always have the winning hand. You can only keep a poker face for so long. You end up cheating to compensate for the flawed hand you were dealt. Or, you end up trying to sabotage other players because your illusion of perfect superiority is always hungry for validation.

No, that's not Christianity. Christianity is going full gunslinger and throwing the poker table over hollering "You think this is a game? You think this is a motherfucking game? THIS IS NOT A GODDAM GAME. YOU FUCKING BLASPHEMOUS MORONS." At least that's WWJD. Smile

(31-07-2017 06:15 PM)Oaken Wrote:  ... Assembly of God pastors.

Assembly of Man. That's what I'm gonna call my church. ... lemme see if it's taken.

Apparently not. The Assembly of Man. ... (oh, I had to invite somebody to make the church so I invited JohnnyC, just to fiddle with his Gwynnies).

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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02-08-2017, 12:20 AM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2017 12:24 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The mindset of living a lie
(01-08-2017 11:57 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Assembly of Man. That's what I'm gonna call my church. ... lemme see if it's taken.

Apparently not. The Assembly of Man. ... (oh, I had to invite somebody to make the church so I invited JohnnyC, just to fiddle with his Gwynnies).

Ha! JohnnyC has already signed up. Prophet. Check. That's a big one. Church has gotta have a prophet.

We got all sorta folk around her for the music. I'm thinking Thumper and Elkster and julep on flute for a Jethro Tull sorta thing without the pedo stuff.

Priest? Church gotta have a priest. ... The HellboundPreacher. Yes

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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