Who Am I?
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18-10-2015, 11:40 AM
Who Am I?
I'm a real live, bona fide, certified, verified, genuine, card carrying apostate from the Christian faith. For years after I left the Church, I told myself it wasn't the behavior of other Christians that had driven me from the Church, but rather, it was the things I'd read in the Bible. Actually, it was a confluence of many things, including the behavior of other Christians, which ate away at my faith over a period of 25 years.


I'd been finding problems in the Bible for a long time. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew if I thought about these scriptures too deeply, I'd be enjoined by reason to take actions I was not emotionally ready to take. So, like a good Christian, I swept it all under the carpet. It was the behavior of other Christians that released me from my emotional needs and fears as it gradually dawned on me that they were ill-equipped to meet those needs. Only then did I realize just how lumpy that carpet had become.

No matter how ugly Christians act, the Church has a ready answer for anyone who uses that as their "excuse" for walking away. I've been told that Church is a hospital for the sick not a museum for saints. How apt, for there are people laid up in the hospital sick with stuff they didn't have when they went in there.

I became a real Christian (reciting the "sinner's prayer," taking communion, etc.) in my teens, under the influence of a prominent televangelist in the so-called Word of Faith Movement. Here, I learned that God wants to heal me. I have a visual and hearing impairment. They told me all I needed was faith and according to the Bible, my faith would force God to honor his covenant by granting me whatever I asked for. Of course, when I wasn't healed in a reasonable amount of time, they explained to me that my faith was not strong enough (as if Jesus had said if we have faith as a mountain we will say unto a grain of mustard seed be thou removed). Or I was doing something to hinder my faith. Even my parents jumped on me. "Why're you not healed yet? You must be doing something wrong." A man who called himself a prophet told me that since the Bible says faith comes by hearing because I am hearing impaired, faith can't come to me. The next day, he reminded us that without faith it's impossible to please God. Catch 22. Need to be healed to have faith. Need to have faith to please God so he will heal me. I was in tears for days.

To take matters to another level of crazy, I went to a Christian university with heavy Calvinist leanings. Trying to reconcile Calvinism with the Word of Faith movement nearly led me to a panic attack.

Still, none of this destroyed my "personal relationship with Jesus." That didn't happen until I started reading outside the carefully selected memory verses they gave us in Sunday school. I found things in the Bible that turned my stomach. The questionable moral teachings and horrid way God treated people was so much that I closed the book, unable to read anymore. I told myself that I could remain a Christian without the Bible because God is bigger than the Bible and his word is not subject to the approval of the Nicene Council. It took time for it to dawn on me that outside the Bible, there is no basis for believing in Jesus or interpreting my life experiences as coming from him.

I was in an online discussion group defending the Bible against a long list of biblical contradictions someone had posted. Why was I defending a book that I could no longer read? Tell me and we will both know. Anyway, it was easy to attack the weak ones and leave the rest alone until someone came in and reminded me of all the terrible things God did to people in the Bible. Check mate. Such a little thing that should not have destroyed my faith. Yet, the last straw is not necessarily the heaviest straw. The next Sunday when the Church van came to pick me up for Sunday school, I sent them on their way.

Good things come to those who wait.
But only what's left over by those who hustle.
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18-10-2015, 11:47 AM
RE: Who Am I?
Welcome!


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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18-10-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Hello Rhonda, welcome to TTA. Big Grin

living word
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18-10-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Welcome! Pretty dress Smile

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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18-10-2015, 12:10 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Hello! Big Grin

Hug

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18-10-2015, 01:57 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Thanks to everyone for all the love. I think I will enjoy it here. A guy over at atheistforums.com told me about you, so I thought I'd check you out.

Good things come to those who wait.
But only what's left over by those who hustle.
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18-10-2015, 02:51 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Welcome aboard!

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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18-10-2015, 03:00 PM
RE: Who Am I?
TL;DR no cookie for you

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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18-10-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: Who Am I?
Welcome Smile

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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18-10-2015, 03:27 PM
RE: Who Am I?
A cool name, a wonderful vocabulary and the ability to string together coherent sentences? You'll fit in nicely here. Welcome!

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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