You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
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10-03-2015, 10:02 AM
You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
Wasn't so sure where to post this, here seems like an okay place. I've just recently joined the boards and skimmed over some of this in my intro, I suppose it's the issues that finally tipped me over the edge from putting up with stuff in the church to finally leaving, I've tried to keep it relatively brief so here goes...

I'd say that I've been acting 'as if' in church for a long while, maybe the last couple of years but recent infringement of boundaries, both my own and those of people close to me came to the point that I just couldn't do the 'as if' thing anymore

I'd say I was being good (pretend) christian, attending church and a few other socials in the week, saying all the right sounding things (as much as it made me cringe inside to do so) nobody questioned me - not even so much as; how’s your prayer life, are you reading your bible, nothing. So plastic christian but appearing to be doing all the right things was fine, then the incidents I’m going to post came up. Then it wasn’t okay anymore, I was OMG ‘backsliding'… I knew this, I’d been backsliding for 2+ years only nobody had bothered to ask the right questions else they would have known this. I was looking in other places for answers - places like this site here, the podcasts, watching the Atheist Experience, listening to Hitchens and Dawkins. So it's called backsliding in the church but it felt more like an excursion into using my own independent, rational thought.

So as incidents become personal the alarm bells got louder. The first incident was this:

Telling a grieving child that their recently deceased friend has gone to hell

So I compromised myself and used the ‘he’s in a better place’ line (concerning the recent sudden death of a 42 year old family friend) on my daughter. It's not something I'd usually say, perhaps it was the presence of the evangelical christian I was with that caused me to say it. This was my staunch by the book evangelical mate.
Without any consideration for the age of my daughter (eight at the time), she was in bull at a gate with a response ’no he’s not’, I could hardly get my breath! She started to go to elaborate how he was now in hell and if his life had been bad before he'd sure know about it now!
From my understanding of social etiquette, when someone dies there are things you do/say… can I do anything for you? Are you okay, do you need to talk, even I’ll pray for you/them y’know, anything, standard, surely? But telling a bereaved child that someone they cared about is most likely in hell strikes me as thoughtless at the very least and down right malicious at worst.
Ultimately what most stood out for me about this incident was the total lack of consideration and the self-serving nature of these comments. Sure, this might well be what this woman believes but inflicting these beliefs on a relatively young child is not only confusing but evil.

Moving on...

Running homosexuals out of the church; telling a lesbian that she can change or god will change her or she should even pray for god to change her

I was seeing a close friend of mine becoming increasingly ostracised by the church for being gay. When I first came into evangelical church I was told that god is upset by all sin (assuming sexuality is a sin - a whole new topic), that this loving god didn't distinguish between sin be it telling a white lie or raping a child, it was all sin and it was equally bad to him.
Yet homosexuality strikes me as such a fierce and divisive topic in the church.
I was never that concerned about homosexuality in the church until I saw first hand how a close friend of mine was being treated, alienated, silenced and shunned - so some sins ARE in fact worse than others or as Orwel phrased it:
all are created equal, just some more equal than others
Seeing first hand the way an individual I care about being treated with so little compassion to the point where she doesn't even want to be in church anymore (although she still considers herself a christian and would actually still like to be in church), being judged for indulging in a 'bad' sin just doesn't fit in with the loving, nurturing, forgiving god I was initially told about and using god to hurt people about the sexuality they were born with and their private lives well surely THAT'S the sin?

Finally...

Delivering messages under the guise of 'god told me' to impose one's own moral beliefs on the lifestyle of others

So the cherry on top. Again, pretend christian but presenting as towing the line, fine. Get into a new relationship, the very same christian that told my daughter that our friend is now in hell starts showing up at my home at unsocial hours. I have no idea whether this was coincidence, nosiness or an attempt to somehow catch me out. What I do know is that end result of her dropping in late in the evening and finding my new boyfriend in the house went from little warnings dropped into conversation about potential sinful sexual behaviour and how she hoped I was keeping a check on myself to a full on showdown on the doorstep about whether we were actually living together. In spite of telling her on more than one occasion that it was actually none of her business things escalated to the point where she had received a word from the lord - like he can’t tell me himself, hmmm - this word became so important she was getting increasingly pushy about meeting up, emailing me or even writing me a letter as she felt I must hear and receive this word.
Being in a relationship, the context of which I never made clear to her beyond clarifying that we were dating, was now living together. Still without any confirmation from me that we were in a sexual relationship, still none of her business, I was now ‘sleeping around’, SLEEPING AROUND! I wonder if anyone can help me out here… is any sexual relationship outside of wedlock even if it is monogamous considered sleeping around?

This woman has a penchant for gossip and I’ve not been to church since all of this happened, acting as if was one thing but having my private life judged and no doubt reported to the ministries that I was involved in at the time, it was just enough. Possibly has made me look guilty but I don’t really care, I now really understood what my lesbian friend had been rallying against and my heart went out to her.

In hindsight, this woman wasn’t friend enough for me to confide in her long time ago that my faith was slipping and had no idea where I was really at when she told me that I would backslide (was already doing it, she just hadn’t thought to ask), what example was I setting my daughter (erm… not to rush into a bad marriage like I’ve seen many others do in the name of christianity or to please their bullying church elders?) and that I was going to be going to hell - a common theme with her, I guess if hell does exist it’ll be pretty busy as only the extremely judgemental, pious nut cases seem to be going to heaven…

Common sense tells me that christians have the capacity to be rather nosey and under the god told me… to tell you guise, they can tell you pretty much anything about your life however personal it may be.

- Talking lions, magic wardrobes, witches with Turkish Delight - GOOD - Muggles, Quidditch and Dark Arts Lessons - BAD -
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10-03-2015, 03:33 PM
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
To those who've told me I'll go to hell, my response is "Great, I hear there are many famous brilliant people there whereas God lets all the rapists and murderers in to heaven" That usually takes the wind out of their sails"
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10-03-2015, 09:46 PM
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
Congrats on having the courage to follow reason. You provide great examples of the damage that can be done by those holding delusional beliefs
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11-03-2015, 02:49 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2015 03:48 AM by DLJ.)
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
Welcome to the forum and thank you for the excellent, heartfelt rant.

What I started wondering as I read through, was whether this lady 'friend' represents the norm for your church.

If so, for the sake of your sanity, health, well-being... git outta there!

If not, there may be many others at the church, I'm guessing, who are in a similar position or of a similar opinion as you and a quiet word in the right places would soon create an outcome whereby her gossip is seen as petty or malicious and she will be ignored or even ostracised.

Meanwhile, you have two other more important relationships to nurture... two people for whom logic and reason are valuable commodities.

Atheism and stepping away from a faith-based epistemology has been for many the most freeing experience they have ever had.

This could mean two things for you and those you love...
1) The freedom to be honest with your daughter by demonstrating your preference for reason, logic and evidence (rather than Faith)
2) Great guilt-free sex outside of marriage.

The ladies here would be better councilors than I regarding the latter, so I'll pass that subject over to them.

Let us know how things progress and we'll help as we may.

Hug

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11-03-2015, 11:28 AM
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
(11-03-2015 02:49 AM)DLJ Wrote:  What I started wondering as I read through, was whether this lady 'friend' represents the norm for your church.

If so, for the sake of your sanity, health, well-being... git outta there!

If not, there may be many others at the church, I'm guessing, who are in a similar position or of a similar opinion as you and a quiet word in the right places would soon create an outcome whereby her gossip is seen as petty or malicious and she will be ignored or even ostracised.

Hi there DLJ and thanks for your words of support.


As I sit and think about it, there is very little normal about this woman she’s an a class religious nut, I wonder how we even became and remained friends in the first place.

An incident comes to mind from Christmas just gone.
I invited my mother to come to my old church to a carol service, my mother describes herself a 'secular christian' as well as being a self proclaimed heathen, she is also the most loving, caring, generous and moral person I know. Although a non believer, she would come to church with me a couple of times a year if there was something specific on.

Enter crazy evangelical woman who was sat next to me at this Christmas event and started giving me angry looks until it was obvious she had something she needed to tell me. It transpired that she was outraged by the dumbed down message they were preaching when they had such a captive audience and with that a valuable opportunity to convert people and save souls.
She started referring to my Mother, my Mother wasn’t saved, why weren’t they telling her that she must accept Jesus as her lord and saviour, repent and be baptised and reminding her that were she to reject the chance to be saved that she would be spending eternity in hell - according to religious nut militant evangelical ex friend most everyone I know is off to hell it’s making heaven sound terribly lonely!

Anyway, I think I gave a half hearted nod and was like, yeah, maybe they should whilst internally I was like, wow, if they pulled any of that on my mother she would be out the door before you could say yuletide and likely politely decline any further invites to future events ever. Invite people for a lovely sing-along around the tree before telling them all what awful sinners they are and god hates them but they can solve it by accepting his son into their hearts and starting over, way to get the party started!

Simply put, this woman is crackers and as for concerning myself with her gossip I guess any damage is done now. I’m pretty sure she would have aired my business in church without a second thought potentially getting me thrown out of the outreach ministry I was involved with. I believe I can say with confidence that she is most definitely the exception rather than the norm for that church indeed any of the churches I’ve been to in my city.

- Talking lions, magic wardrobes, witches with Turkish Delight - GOOD - Muggles, Quidditch and Dark Arts Lessons - BAD -
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11-03-2015, 11:35 AM
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...
(11-03-2015 11:28 AM)Nieko Sx Wrote:  ...
I believe I can say with confidence that she is most definitely the exception rather than the norm for that church indeed any of the churches I've been to in my city.

In that case, I'd bet half a month's salary that everyone sees her in the same light and are probably secretly grateful that she latched onto you rather than them.

Start mentioning to anyone within earshot that you think you've angered her by not being devout enough. You'll get sympathy rather than scorn.

Sounds like your mother is a wonderful role model... just the kind of influence that a young child needs.

Smile

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11-03-2015, 12:00 PM
RE: You're perfect as you are, don't worry we'll remould you along the way...



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