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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/10/2019 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I grew up in a family that was Christian in name only. We did not go to church except Christmas, because it was tradition. My father is an atheist, my mother was a sort of minimal Lutheran. I went to Lutheran confirmation and became a Christian for a short time as a teenager. After some really bad stuff happened, and God did not help me, despite lots of prayers I stopped being one. Later on, after meeting my current husband ( married 20 years), he convinced me I should give God another chance, and we became members of the LCMS Lutheran church. I think I brainwashed myself into believing, and was quite happy to be a fundamentalist Bible thumping Christian for a little while. I liked the church friendships we made, and it was nice being part of a group, and it was nice thinking there is a God that is there when you need him. I made the same excuses every other Christian makes when prayers are not answered " oh, it was not part of God's Plan" , " God will answer it later" , " maybe there is some unconfessed sin in my life and that's why " , "maybe some good will come out of some bad later" , blah blah blah...you all know the excuses. Anyway, this went on for a good 10 years, until the cracks started to appear. Things just went majorly wrong in my life, and in those around me, despite all the prayers in the world. I started question things in our Bible studies that didn't have answers and almost got me kicked out ( like pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible , or telling someone that survived cancer, that it was not a miracle, but modern medicine, after all 50 years ago, that same person would have died from it for sure) . The number one question I got no answer to was "why do animals suffer"? why would a loving GOOD God condemn innocent animals to suffer not just because of us evil humans in factory farms ( yeah, why nothing in the Bible about treating animals well?) but just by the nature of them. We have guardian dogs that protect our livestock ( goats and sheep) from coyotes and bears and such. These dogs are super friendly to us, but if you see what they do to a groundhog or fox, or other dog, or cat, anyone with any sense should question what sort of "nature" God has created there. Ever watch a cat with a mouse? This is nature. Nature if full of cruelty and suffering. Some Christian excuse this by saying that animals don't feel pain and have no feelings at all ( bull!!!! ) , others just say they are part of a fallen creation caused my human sin ( so it is OUR fault...hmmm...I did not create nature) . Others don't care at all. I hate that. Part of why I am a farmer is to raise livestock in a humane way, so we can avoid factory farm meat. It makes me cry to see how some Christians treat their animals around here ( not all but some). But there is nothing I can do about nature itself. If God created it, he sucks! Then there is the prayer thing. I have to be honest here. I had an accident recently and got injured. Everyone told me " I am praying for you" and when it turned out I was going to be ok, they all agreed it was THEIR prayer that made that happen. What about all the prayers all over the planet that don't get answered? What about people's kids disappearing and getting brutally murdered for example? Aren't those prayers more important than my relatively minor accident? Why does God allow wars and famines that kill and injure millions? Why do 5 year old's die from brain tumors? Why did God create Adam and Eve if he knew they were going to sin and we were all going to suffer because of it? Why "free will"? Free will is not mentioned in the Bible at all btw. Why would God create different races and languages only to cause endless conflict amongst humanity because of it? Why not make everyone look the same ? Yes tower of Bable, but really???? They wanted to build a what 100 foot tower to "reach the heavens" and God punished them by making them speak different languages?>??? That really makes God seem like a moron. First, they were obviously NOT going to reach heaven, and God would have known that. Second the punishment seems very severe for such a minor silly thing. It makes God seem like a petty asshole. The flood. Again, why are the animals getting punished ? And what happened to the unicorn? I could go on but I am new here and don't want to ramble endlessly. I no longer believe the Bible is the word of God. If you don't believe in the Bible, you really have no basis for any sort of Christian faith, so I am no longer a Christian. The problem I now have is that almost all of my friends are still Bible believing Christians. I don't really believe in prayers, but they want to pray for me all the time. I don't know what to say to them. I don't want to be rude or make them feel bad, or cause them to lose their faith like I did. It's not a good feeling to lose your faith. Faith gives people hope and comfort. I just don't have any anymore for the reasons I wrote. My problem is what to say to my Christian friends. I am a terrible liar and not good at pretending. I just usually say "thanks for the prayers" and offer prayers in return when they need some, but it is so damned insincere, I hate doing it. But at the same time I would really hate saying " your prayers are just nonsense and there is no God going to do anything for you or me" , which is what I am really thinking. I try to say things like " well wishes" instead of "praying for you" , but that always sticks out, especially if I post it on facebook or something like that. EVERYONE offers prayers, except myself offering "good thoughts and well wishes" ., So I continue to say I am praying for them, even if I am not and don't believe it, just to make them happy and avoid making anyone feel bad. I love my friends and don't want to lose any of them because of this. It's very hard. Thankfully most of MY relatives are not really Christians either , my husband sort of still is, but he understand why I think the way I do and also does not believe the Bible is the total truth. Thanks for letting me write this on here, no place else I can say these things! Jane
  2. 1 point
    Great post, but I thought you may want to know that the term is actually "run amok."
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  4. 1 point
    How about Festivus for the rest of us? Put up your Festivus Pole and celebrate.
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    As an example, I found out Friday that I did not get a job that I was really hoping to get. It would have been a "perfect" position for me; and certainly "the next big thing" for my career. But the company found somebody else they liked better. It happens. In the past, I would have obsessed over missing out on the prestige that would have come with working with that particular company. I would have fretted over the lack of financial security I'm currently facing, and lamented the loss of the salary that position offered. I would have used this opportunity to wax philosophical, poetical even, about the vanity of life, as our esteemed author of Ecclesiastes did. Instead, however, I've spent my time this weekend reflecting on The Moment. I ask myself, "Did I really need that job, when right now I have a good, home-cooked meal in front of me?" Or, "Do I really need more money in the bank, when right now I have a nice, warm winter coat on this frosty morning?" "Do I really want to pour more if myself into my career, when right now I have a beautiful wife who is having a wonderful time going grocery shopping with me?" Obviously, this shifts the focus off of the negative (I didn't get a job I was perfect for and it really sucks); and onto the positive (I don't need an incredible job, when I've already got a pretty rad life). But it also enhances The Moment I am currently experiencing. I am able to be present with my family over dinner, present with my new coat, present with my wife... present with a good cup of coffee and nothing more. Rather than just being present with the suckiness of life; I am present with the awesomeness of my life. That's what helps me out, anyway. Take it for what it's worth.
  7. 1 point
    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?"
  8. 1 point
    Have you looked into moving out here to Florida? First of all, the taxes are cut dramatically. Everything is generally less expensive by comparison. My aunt and uncle moved to Orlando from the Santa Monica area a few years and were taken back by the savings. The hundreds of thousands of dollars difference in comparable real estate. I haven't looked into it concerning business, but I don't see why it would be any different. No state taxes is a huge plus. More money for helping people yourself, rather than the state coming in and taking a lion's share and squandering it!
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  10. 1 point
    Hi Dreamer, I'm non-binary and dealing with Christian fallout as well. Being non-binary actually has nothing to do with being LGBTQ, although some people of course are in both camps; gender and sexual orientation are totally different things. I'm guessing your parents will refuse to understand the difference, though. Good on you for using your sibling's preferred pronouns, and for your support of them! If you're in your second year of college, that means that you're 18 or older, right? That means that you are a legal adult, and your parents can only have as much control over you as you permit them to. I came from an abusive family as well, so let me toss some tough love at you; it's time to become an independent person. If you want to get back to the mainland and can't afford it yourself, suck it up until the end of the summer, and yes I know it's hard, so that your parents will pay to send you back… and then just cut them off. Change your phone number, and don't give them the new one. Go to your college's financial aid office and find out what is available to you. You might also be able to qualify for loans without your parents cosigning: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/how-to-get-student-loans-without-parents/ If that still doesn't provide you with enough money, you'll need to get a job. You might need to go to school only part time. You might need to withdraw for a few semesters to build up some cash reserves. Yes, that will suck, but you will be in control of your own life at last. As a bonus, you'll have a way to help your sibling get free once they reach 18, which you won't be able to do if you are still dependent on your parents. And again, yes, it sucks. It sucks that your parents are the way they are. It sucks that your choices are to deal with their abuse or to have to be independent years earlier than other people your age. The sense of freedom and control that you will gain will be worth it. The example that you're setting for your younger sibling will be worth it. The damage that you will be preventing to your psyche from not having extra years under your parents' psycho rule will be worth it. Best of luck to you!

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