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  1. 5 points
    Over the past 2 years, I've gone through a lot of the earth-shattering kind of chaos that might induce someone to want to believe in some kind of higher power. I've slowly been trying to put my life back together from what might be considered a tragicomedy of errors. It hasn't really made me want to believe in anything outside of myself; but it has made me want to believe more in myself. I've come to adopt an attitude of, "I've been through worse; this ain't nothing." With that said, I've also noticed a huge shift in my attitudes toward life, stability, career, possessions, etc. Things I once thought I wanted no longer seem important. I think part of that just comes with age; but, for me, part of it also comes from getting fed right the fuck up with life slinging its bullshit my way. Edited to add: This is only the fuckteenth time I've had to rebuild my life from the ashes; but the Phoenix don't fly without the fire, boys.
  2. 4 points
    I used to have a boss who would always ask if I would be willing to work on Christmas day. I would always answer, "jesus never came to any of my birthday parties; why should I show up for one of his?"
  3. 4 points
    And that (emphasis mine) also bears repeating. Yes some are talking shit on both sides, but that's not proof that the entire topic is bullshit.
  4. 4 points
    I just tell people I'm an atheist. I don't care if some consider the term pejorative. I'm too old to worry about what other people think. People need to know we are here,
  5. 4 points
    I tell people all the time I'm not a fundy or an Xtian. In fact I tell them straight away that I am an atheist - family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers. I get responses... 1. met too! 2. you should reconsider that. 3. I believe in god but not Christ. 4. I am spiritual 5. I will change your mind ("good luck, penis breath!") 6. blank stare You know What?... I live through it. It usually is not awkward. I stay married (your actual mileage may vary) I am still friends and on speaking terms will all So buck up and let it rip. You'll feel better! <<HUG>> - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)
  6. 3 points
    It *is* nice when cults finally fail. Good to hear that one is dissolving. Hopefully he won't be able to keep his adherents for a spin-off. Even in typical Nazarene churches, I saw pastors get too full of themselves and hurt people in the name of god. Here's to more of them dissolving!
  7. 3 points
  8. 3 points
    actually I am largely Cherokee. I never said I don’t like immigrants. I feel like democrats are often making harsh judgments like this. I was pointing out a loop hole that you apparently support? So let’s recognize people cheating the system on both sides, and work to fix it... pointing fingers gets us nowhere.
  9. 3 points
    The country seems to be as deeply divided politically as it was just prior to the Civil War, and the battle lines appear to be about in the same places. Compromise has become a dirty word in Washington and those that endorse it often find themselves looking for a job after the elections. Radical extremism seems to be driving both parties. I think the extremists on both sides politically have placed the country teetering on the brink of mass anarchy. Many major metropolitan areas have been overrun with violence and homelessness. And there appears to be no political solution to any of the major problems facing the country because we’re so divided.
  10. 3 points
    Often conservatives are religious based, with their ideas being based on church teachings such as bans on abortion, bans on contraception, speaking out against gays, non-Christian immigration, or fighting sex ed and separation of church and state. While there are many one issue voters out there, you will find the more educated voters will look at candidates stances on a range of issues and find incompatible ideologies as they dig deeper. When the extremes are raving SJW's on one side and Christian bigots on the other, I wouldn't be surprised to find most atheists would be more central. As for not wanting to help lazy people, its understandable but very hard practically to implement. There are hard working people who fall on hard times, suffering illness or accident outside of their control. To provide help to those in need without giving handouts to those who want to milk the system is very hard. This is one area where Conservative speakers like Ben Sharpio struggle, when pushed to explain how aid to those in need should occur they give a hand wave "charity will pick it up", knowing full well that it never could with the resources available.
  11. 3 points
    It's quite insulting, isn't it? Nobody would be stupid enough to "choose" to go to a place where they'd be tortured forever. A lot of Christians can't wrap their heads around the fact that there are people who really don't believe, and the best response they can come up with is regurgitating a thoughtless, idiotic threat based solely on their fairy tale.
  12. 3 points
    Labeling yourself invites argument and getting a negative label. My 10 year old grandson lost "friends" because he told a friend his mother didn't believe in god. My daughter and sister don't use any term to describe themself. If questioned about religion or belief in god, they say, "religion is a personal issue, and I prefer to not discuss it." And they refuse to discuss it any further unless they are convinced the person is open minded, and truly intetested. The discussion usually ends there. HA! My grandson now has the answer memorized. But he obviously is now wrestling with concept of god after the extreme reaction he got from a couple of friends. He is at that age where kids want right/wrong answers.
  13. 3 points
    In heaven they maintain the 'blacks with blacks', 'whites with whites'....
  14. 3 points
    Biblical prophecies appear to be accurate but that’s because they were written, or modified, after the events have already occurred. Remember, historians have validated, peer reviewed, evidence the Bible has been edited, redacted, changed, modified, and rewritten countless thousands of times. Apologists are also very good at linking random events and coincidence with some obscure Biblical text and then claim some prophecy has been fulfilled, when in fact the events had nothing to do with each other. Apologist are experts when it comes to reinterpreting the Bible so that it appears to validate their agenda. Just as it is a defense lawyers job to reinterpret evidence in favor of their client, it is an apologist job to do the same thing with scripture. Defense lawyers and apologist have a lot in common when it comes to having the ability to manipulate and parse words.
  15. 2 points
    You evil, vile, terrible soldier in the war on Christmas!
  16. 2 points
    Two sides of your mind are doing battle: the rational side and the irrational side. It's OK to have irrational fears. We all have them. The key is to know that they are irrational and, even if they won't go away, you won't be hurt as a result. Thus at the end of the day you can put those irrational fears back in their box and sleep well.
  17. 2 points
    I see your point and am glad it was in the Rants and Replies section. But there are ways to vent anger without being disrespectful to others. My situation may have been different from some others. Mine was such that I never felt "abused" by anyone in the christian scene, at least on purpose. Even though some of it was whacky stuff, I always considered they thought they were doing me a favor by trying to "save my soul." I understand how they came to be how they are, and actually feel sorry for them. Also, consider that being disrespectful to them simple reinforces the belief they already have of us, as being depraved or warped human beings.
  18. 2 points
    Well, I don't mean to imply that I have succeeded in becoming a better person; only that I have recognized the problem and made provisions for addressing it. I know I'm no longer dishonest, manipulative, narcissistic, etc.; but I also know that I don't always get things right and still have a lot of work to do. I've failed miserably, with people I care deeply about. Some stuck around; others didn't. But being able to recognize and correct my own flaws is, for me, probably the greatest benefit of leaving christianity behind. I'm no longer bound to the idea of trusting jesus for absolution, which always kept me from making direct amends with people. Now I know that the onus is on me; and the best apology is changed behavior.
  19. 2 points
    Ah, to be the cool uncle possessed by a goat satyr...
  20. 2 points
    When things are out of control, I may pray. Or cast a spell. I dont see myself returning to fundamentalist Christianity either. The most I could go is some liberal, bible-less, Jesus-less theism. But I dont really have an interest in it. I'm pretty intellectually immune.. but some stressors can wipe out that immunity. I dont feel guilty about praying, either. Or casting spells. Or believing in woo. At least for 5 or 10 minutes.
  21. 2 points
    Well, we just got back from turkey at our daughter-in-law's. Mrs. Older had made a pumpkin pie for the occasion. And it should be noted that Mrs. Older's pies are legendary. Grandson set the pie on the stove. We all went out to the art studio behind the house to see what was happening out there and when we returned we discovered that one of D.I.L.'s five large dogs had jumped up and eaten the pie. Everyone laughed and I managed to smile and hide my disgust. DIL's five dogs are absolutely untrained and they are all over everything and come up to the table when you are eating. DIL did put them in the other room for dinner but they were around the table while we nibbled on the pecan pie and the store-bought, low quality, substitute pumpkin that the other grandma rushed out to buy. DIL yells at the dogs and they just ignore her. The dogs know to stay away from me but they are nevertheless often under foot (as much as a 50-75 lb. dog can be "under foot") and sprawl all over the livingroom furniture such that there is no place to sit. We tolerate all this because of the grandkids, and fortunately there are no political or religious problems between us, but I sure hate those fucking dogs.
  22. 2 points
    It's a little late in the game for people to change their minds. All the impeachable offenses have long been on the table, with mountains of evidence of all kinds, and the only thing left is to decide if they can be overlooked in the name of party, agenda or mandate from God. Mueller left it in the hands of Congress to do their duty once the facts were assembled.
  23. 2 points
    Hi Renora, and welcome. Florduh is right. Most of us just maintain a low profile. I'll bet there are more than you think in the pews on Sunday, there just because, and perhaps for the social aspect and the food. And we're here to listen any time you want to vent.
  24. 2 points
    That's good news for the USA. We don't have all the loonies.
  25. 2 points
    I know what you mean. But I finally realized there is a lot in life we will never know, and nothing is totally guaranteed, HA! except taxes and death. I'll just live life the best I know how, try not to hurt anyone along the way, and take whatever comes at the end. LOL, If there is a life after this one, I'll do my best to come back and tell everyone! Anyone care to make any bets about me coming back? (excuse me for being in a funky mood tonight) Heck, why am I asking anyone to excuse me? I'M IN A FUNKY MOOD TONIGHT!
  26. 2 points
    A lot of clergy don’t believe in god. One in 50 Anglican clergy in the UK believes God is merely a human construct, according to a new survey today. Just eight in ten believe there is a personal God and a further three in 100 believe there is some spirit or life force. https://www.christiantoday.com/article/one-in-50-clergy-dont-believe-in-god/42082.htm Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/18/archbishop-canterbury-doubt-god-existence-welby Are you a religious professional who no longer believes in the supernatural? Have you remained in vocational ministry, secretly hiding away your non-belief? http://clergyproject.org/
  27. 2 points
    Are you sure it wasn’t because of the baptists’ totally wrong view of baptism?
  28. 2 points
    Welcome to ex-c WWOAC. So glad you found us! To answer you question, ''did anyone have anxiety''? Oh yes. This is the site that helped me out of the muck.They pretty much saved my sanity! I hate to keep posting my own testimonial but sometimes it's just easier for people and newcomers to see what others have gone through when they arrived here. This was almost 10 years ago. So here is my, ''Please Forgive Me'' letter to god. I want it to go in my urn when I die because if there is a loving christian god, I want him to read it and maybe have mercy on me. Lol Big (hug) honey. Go easy on yourself. Time will show you. Keep reading and keep posting.
  29. 2 points
    I can understand the conflicted feelings that you are having. If it makes you feel any better, people have certainly done worse. I would: 1) chalk it up to inexperience, and whatever developmental condition that you have; 2) consider it a learning experience; and 3) maybe get some therapy concerning boundaries with other people.
  30. 2 points
    Talking it out will certainly help considerably. I'd suggest not getting too caught up in finding the right answers (there are none); and don't concern yourself over-much about what the end result of your journey should look like, or be. Just follow the process and learn what you can along the way. You'll be fine.
  31. 2 points
    In the context of the phrase, Jesus indicated it was when his enemies attributed his miracles to the devil. He threw a hissy-fit and said they were essentially damned. He did something similar to a tree that didn't have fruit out of season, he could have caused it to make fruit, but instead killed it. But neither Jesus nor the devil actually exist, and the words and actions of Jesus were invented by someone writing the story.
  32. 2 points
    The Bible is full of threats of dire punishments in the form of eternal torture. The one unforgivable sin is rejecting Christ’s sacrifice and thus the Holy Spirit. Is that the same as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? The Bible is clearly a collection of human writings. It is replete with inconsistencies, contradictions, and factually incorrect statements. There is nothing Holy or inerrant about it. Christianity is just another run of the mill religion created by humans. It’s based on rewards and punishments, neither of which can be proven to exist. Our knowledge of science and the laws of physics tell us, with a high degree of certainty, that neither the reward or punishment found in Christian doctrine and beliefs can possibly be true. Faith is required because the promised rewards and threats of eternal punishment cannot possibly be true. So, what does blasphemy of the Holy Spirit mean? Nothing, absolutely nothing at all.
  33. 1 point
    Yes, Christian apologetics focused on self- importance, convenience and irresponsibility are particularly smarmy.
  34. 1 point
  35. 1 point
    Roads were shitty so we got to avoid meeting my son's gf's family and having an awkward, uncomfortable T day. Yayyyyyy!
  36. 1 point
    I haven't read the book, but I think about this subject often. A big part of the problem, in my opinion, is the interpretation of who "the founders" of the United States are, and the decision to omit the previous 170 years of social evolution from the discussion, as if that epoch was irrelevant to what happened in the 1770s-80s. Some of the early migrants to North America were leaving England or Holland for religious reasons. The Separatists ("Pilgrims") left Holland, where there was religious toleration, for Plymouth, along with other non-members of their sect. The Separatists were highly religious and idealistic. But their tiny sect didn't last in North America. The Puritans left England because of ongoing hostility to their rebellious ways by the Stuart kings. They were much more successful in the new world than the Separatists. The Massachusetts Bay Colony that they founded flourished despite rigid rules and no toleration for other sects. Still, Puritanism was not evangelical, they did not try to spread their faith and it remained limited to their region, and not influential outside of it. The main settlers of Virginia and Carolina were Anglicans, who were strongly opposed to the Puritans. The settlers of Pennsylvania were Quakers, a liberal form of Christianity from northern England. They were opposed to the Puritans and Anglicans, but had a high degree of tolerance for all religions. Most of these sects were opposed to Catholicism, which was illegal to practice in 10 out of 13 colonies before the war. So, in most cases, the main people establishing local governments in North America were doing so under the pretense of some form of Christianity. These sects were at odds with one another. They had no intention of ever "uniting" with one another. The whole purpose of their migration was to establish autonomy for their sect, with no oversight from the Church of England. The sole exceptions being Virginia and Carolina. There was no thought whatsoever about ecumenicism with the other sects colonizing North America in most cases. All of these sects were opposed to monarchy except the Anglicans in Virginia and Carolina. So the ideology of the American Revolution was ever-present from 1620 onward. The Great Awakening was a revival movement in the 1700s that ignited religious enthusiasm throughout the land. The point of all this is to demonstrate that North America from 1607-1787 was deeply immersed in a multiplicity of Christian sects, ideas, and enthusiasms. The "separation of church and state" was not necessary because if you didn't like the religious authority in one area, you were free to migrate to another area, or move to the hinterlands and start your own religion. The people are "the founders" of the United States, not a few elected officials who met in Philadelphia in 1787. So it doesn't matter what the religious ideas of the latter are. The people had already broken from the king of England in 1620. The only thing "founded" in 1789 (after the new Constitution was ratified) was a central government with unlimited taxation powers, a court system, and a small standing army. No national church was founded, but that is a trivial point since there never was anyone calling for such a thing, and the vast majority practiced some form of Christianity. The majority of people were still Puritans (Congregationalists), Anglicans (Episcopalians), Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, etc. These are the ones referred to as "we the people" in the Constitution of 1787. They were the ones who ratified the new Constitution. Had the Puritans (for example) seen the new Constitution as a threat to their religious authority in Eastern Massachusetts, they surely would have voted it down. Very few people saw the new central government as being, in any way, hostile to Christianity. The personal opinions of a few people who drafted the document was irrelevant.
  37. 1 point
    @Wertbag, wow, you are indeed an old hand here. You inspired me to check my own join date. In about a month and a half it will have been 7 years for me. Back when you joined this site I was still a believing Christian. I deconverted in the summer of 2009, and joined this site about 3 and a half years later. I feel like it's been forever, which I consider a good thing. At this point I can scarcely remember what it was like to be a Christian. Yet I still strongly identify as an ex-Christian and detest Jesus as much as I did when I left the faith. I'm glad to have this communit of ex-Christians. We may be a philosophically diverse mix of people. Yet I feel that our common attribute of having escaped the influence of Jesus lends us a common trait that is very rare in the general population.
  38. 1 point
    Hi Bird28! Wecome back! Good to see you..... although I'm so sorry you are going through a hard time right now. I understand you want to keep peace in your home. But at what price? You can't be who you really are? Thank goodness he is only a casual christian. Does he know the whole bible or just the part that says if you believe in jesus you will go to heaven and if you don't, you'll go to hell? Because if that's all he knows, I would let his comments run like water off a ducks back. Sometimes we have to choose our battles in a relationship. Or I would start to joke about it. I'd tell him how lucky he is to go to heaven. Or you can tell him the truth about who you are. If you don't mind answering (and you don't have to) how strong is the marriage? This is an important factor. Do you mostly enjoy a good companionship with him? Hun, I personally believe (just my opinion) that the more we get real about who we are, the more ''un-bi-polar'' we become in our moods. Even if you have the diagnosis of bi-polar, taking back your power will help so much. I have wasted a lot of years being resentful for different things that have happened to me in my life (And I even caused some of those situations) and I have learned that it is literally the biggest waste of time. You will become bitter and unhappy. (I did) Don't do this to yourself. You are the only one who holds the key to your life. You are the only one who can put that key in the door and step into something new. Don't let fear and resentment from your past stop you anymore. If you didn't get one job, try another and another until you get hired. You have to put the work in. Stay here for awhile and read and post! You will get so many good answers from the board.They will give you their opinions about the situations you are in. You will find out how many others have dealt with things in life and something might help you. So keep us posted on how you are doing! The very best to you. (hug)
  39. 1 point
    But I can hardly get my head round why church leaders preach it, encourage it. OK a lot of it, maybe, is about self-preservation, but surely they know (deep inside) that they are telling a lie. I don't understand how they can live with that. I suppose it is possible to preach and lead without referring to the dodgy bits (that's nearly all of it!) but, sooner or later, things will catch up with them - for example at Christmas or Easter or in junior church or at the bedside of a dieing parishioner. I think, in my case, I simply didn't read outside of evangelical / fundamentalist sources and didn't discuss with my radical Christian friends. Thus I had a closed mind and shrugged my shoulders at contrary views. Shame on me. But I knew no better. Thank goodness I'm out of it.
  40. 1 point
    I'm a young un - 3 years
  41. 1 point
    I'm a little over 6 years; and 16 years from deconversion.
  42. 1 point
    And as I stated elsewhere, the phenomenon of sight can be demonstrated to even one who lacks the ability to see. There is proof available to anyone regarding sight, gods not so much. Not at all.
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
    Thank you everyone for your responses. I don't have a problem with the idea of a creator at all which makes sense to me. I too certainly have a lot of questions for Christianity that I know I can't ask especially around here. Thank you for the link ficino. @ Geezer some book references would be great. I'm trying to learn more about the history of hell although I no longer believe in the traditional view of hell that most people have. How did you get over your fear of hell? What if we're all wrong, what am I supposed to say to God on judgement day? Have any of you had anxiety from your religious experience and if so how did you deal with it because I have times where I can't hardly breath and I started having panic attacks about 2 years ago.
  45. 1 point
    There has been some great discussion in this thread, but there is something that I think has been lurking just under the surface the entire time and it relates to the above quoted paragraphs specifically. I haven't been very active for the last few years here, but I would like to share something that I have noticed happening in the Lion's Den, both during the time that I was more active and over the last few years when I was mostly lurking here. This impasse that you talk about frequently seems to have a really simple cause. Warning: I am about to generalize, which is something that I usually try to avoid, but I think is warranted in this case. There is one thing that religious people seem to have a very hard time doing that skeptics usually don't and that is saying three simple words: "I don't know". Christians, and occasionally believers of other varieties, come here to discuss their faith all the time. We like to ask them questions to get them to explain their beliefs, problems that we perceive with those beliefs, and whether they can offer any good evidence to convince us to share their beliefs. Occasionally, those questions get very uncomfortable, for reasons that most or all of us can understand, since there was a good chance that we found ourselves in a similar position when we were believers. There don't seem to be good answers, and for a good answer not to be readily available feels like a failure on the part of the believer, one who should be " always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" (1 Peter 3:15). What happens is the believer in question finds themselves in a position of not being able to give an answer that sounds satisfying even to them, so they evade, attack a strawman, or they engage in blatant logical fallacies even as they (occasionally) accuse us of the same behavior. The simple fact is, saying "I don't know" is often the only intellectually honest answer and I have seen that answer avoided at all costs by believers. They seem to think that saying that is a far larger defeat, the conceding of far more ground in a debate than it really is. This is were we get in impasse, if more believers were willing to admit ignorance on questions that they genuinely don't have answers to, it would lead to far more meaningful discussions when we would then be able to move on to other matters.
  46. 1 point
    I agree completely. Even this business about fundamental consciousness can not change your approach from what I understand about it. Axiom 1 stands regardless. We can doubt just about anything except for the brute fact that we exist as experiencing entities of some type. We may be a brain in a vat, or some program in a computer simulation, but by gollies that still makes us some type of existing thing, engaged in the experience and awareness of existing. If consciousness is absolute or some similar claim, Axiom 1 still remains. Axiom 2 stands as well. Just because human perception happens within the brain, doesn't mean that the external world doesn't exist. Modern philosopher Peter Russell goes into this while address the hard problem of consciousness. Whether or not we're perceiving an external reality as it actually is, is questionable. But that we're still perceiving something out there and interpreting that perception within our brains seems very straight forward. This can be explored further, but that's the general idea. Axiom 3 stands in the same way. Whether a simulation, fundamental consciousness, or whatever, the brute facts of existence such as gravity remain. It would just go back to meaning that these brute facts are part of the simulation, part of a fundamental consciousness, etc., etc. The facts are not deniable via these popular alternative ways of trying to view reality. New Age views and religious views would have a hard time trying to counter these axioms with eternal consciousness claims or anything similar. The three axiom's look bullet-proof as far as I can tell.
  47. 1 point
    One can do heavy-lifting like building hospitals, schools, etc. only if one has resources. Obviously the Nepalese folks do not have those resources. On a smaller scale, consider a family that has a hand-to-mouth existence. They cannot obviously do financial charity since they have to feed themselves first. Now if they had surplus finances then it would be expected of them to give some to charity. The Western world has those surplus resources and so can do the heavy-lifting...which is a good thing. But should we go into how those resources came about? We will then have to tread into history. And there are many skeletons in the Western world's closet; think about wealth amassed through colonization, think about cheap/free labor through slavery, think about genocide of native indigenous people to grab their land and resources. From my perspective, this wealth wasn't truly obtained by fair means. A common theme through these skeletons of the past has been religion. Christianity was used to either subdue the indigenous people or to make their way of life similar to their conquerors. It is another thing that we get to enjoy the fruits of the ills that one group of people inflicted on another. The noble and rightful thing to do here was to do the heavy lifting selflessly. With the advancement and benefit of the other world in mind. But man is selfish and will not do it if there is nothing to gain from it. If the Nepalese were expansionists, like the Europeans were, they could have used force and perhaps their religion to do the same and we could have been in a similar position now with a different majority religion. Even today, the major heavy lifting that happens in the third world countries, has big religious undertones to it - Convert to enjoy the spoils. Something to think about.
  48. 1 point
    One way of countering fine-tuning arguments is simply to grant the point. Yes, if the universe had been different, we wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be able to make discoveries, whatever. So what? Here we are. It just doesn't follow that things have been specially designed this way. Say we have an oddly shaped hole in the ground, which fills with water, which then freezes. If the ice is carefully removed, its shape will exactly match that of the hole. Those who argue from design basically take this kind of situation and say "aha! Someone must have made the ice into that shape!" Obviously this is false. The hole shaped the ice. The universe shaped us. It might have been different, but it isn't, and that doesn't mean it was designed this way, it just means it is this way.
  49. 1 point
    All of what you said is understandable and, personally relatable, Fear and confusion and guilt. They are, in some way, normal reactions in your situation.You are not alone or the first to feel like that. Sending compassion via the internet web I cannot offer you all the explanations in the world, but might give some pointers. You speak of loving encounters. This would mean some sort of personal experience. There so many things that provoke personal experiences, and many have studied and replicated in laboratories. Many people experience loving encounters while on some drugs, because those drugs modify the brain chemistry and produce those feelings reactions. You must know that even alchohol can produce certain reactions like euphoria in some people, which can be interpreted. Second, certain events, or areas, like church gatherings where al the people sings and feel something can produce a rush, like in any crowd. That is why sometimes decent peaceful people can become aggresive in violent when in large crowds. Third, if one has a sincere conviction he is actually talking to a loving God, that sometimes produces an effect. Expectations condition experience. If you believe that behind your door there is a vampire, you feel fear no matter of the reality. Your body produces feelings consistent with your beliefs or interpretations of those beliefs. Fourth certain tehniques, like long prayer, repetetive prayer, certain positions in the body when held for long produce effects in the body. Yoga postures are a great example of this. Fifth, some people just have brain misfirings or an hyperactive imagination. I have one. I graduated Screenwriting so I even worked it. I was in the top of my class. These creative people are the most suggestible to hypnosis or guided imagery forms. Sixth, fasting, or certain diets produce these effects. I once ate once a day some green leaves for some while, after a strict diet already and felt that I was floating. These only a few and very general explanations, naturalistic ones that COULD be also true in those conditions. Fear of hell is programmed in you since a long time ago. Many people struggle years after they are deconverted, some no. It depends. But many cults, The Moonies, to the Manson family to many put this fear of leaving phobia on. Now, if this God truly exists, then I would suspect his idea of LOVE is very different from ours anyway. So what you describe is your own experience and expectation. I learned this from Orthodox theology. God DOES NOT have feelings, these are only metaphors.And Orthodox mysticism is very, I mean VERY skeptical about feelings in general. Not despise or rejecting them, but healthy skepticism as they are not by themselves true indiction and can often lead one astray. So I hope if this God exists, he will show you the Truth in due time. In the mean time, you have here some people that understand and have compassion for your experiences. It is not a lot, maybe only tiny bit, but it is something. And something real.
  50. 1 point
    I vote with the leave-it-alone group, and for reasons already stated. One of the things that annoys us about Christians is that they want to push their religion upon us — some strongly and some subtly. So in the same vein, we should not do anything that they might interpret as pushing a point of view upon them. I recall once going to lunch at a fast food joint with someone I hadn't known before that day. As we sat down with our burgers, he asked if I minded if he said grace. I said fine, and he put out his hands wanting me to grab on. I did but was extremely uncomfortable with that, and in retrospect I should have said that I was not a Christian but didn't mind if he went forward on his own. It was a one-shot meeting so there was no future to think about.

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