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kruszer last won the day on January 22 2012

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About kruszer

  • Birthday 11/03/1978

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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    activism, Occupy Movement, Pro-Life movement, intactivism, Invisible Children, dance, ballroom-dance, swing-dance, blues-dance, lindy-hop, travel, couch-surfing, photography, arts, cooking, baking, bread-making, writing, journalism, reading, debate, life-long learning.
  • More About Me
    I'm a 33 year-old single Christian who grew up in a conservative Christian home (Brethren) and once believed so strongly that I was sure I would be a lifelong missionary in a remote tribe. Having recently come out as an agnostic after more than 5 years of struggling with my faith, I am now struggling to find my new identity.

    I still hold many Christian values, including opposition to abortion (it's science, not religion), and premarital abstinence (best way to avoid disease and single-parenthood with the greatest degree of certainty) but find myself at odds with the majority of those who carry such values alongside their exclusive Christian faith. I hope ex-Christian.net will bring me the opportunity to connect with likeminded people who aren't dead-set on worshiping invisible historical figures.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Frankie Manning

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  1. Yes! My best friend, disappointed that I as the god-mother to her youngest daughter would leave the faith, told me not long ago: "I believe God wants you to be an atheist for now, so that you're able to reach the atheist community with the pro-life message." (I'm a pro-life atheist) Yes that's right - God wants me to be an atheist. Prick that he is, he would hide his presence from me until I no longer believed, just so he could have a pawn for his agenda. Nice! I still have a good laugh about that every now and then.
  2. This might be a question for another thread, but what is it then that makes us different? We were once as solidly convinced as they are, so why were we able to break through all that and leave the fold?
  3. Ok so thanks again for everyone's input. After I calmed down a couple days, I wrote my friend this response, you'll see some of your hlepful ideas made it in. Sorry for the other night. I get very defensive and it hurts when people assume I was some kind of half-assed Christian or wasn't true in my faith. I gave everything and more and spent a LOT more time seeking God and trying to know God and the Bible than a lot of happy-go-lucky believers ever do, who never really have reason to question the God of their childhood and have no reason to seek answers outside their supportive and healthy church family. I don't know if you remember this, but that time that you guys made a compilation from the girls in our social group in order to create the perfect woman from all of us, it was apparently my spiritual strength that was chosen from me (and I think maybe my legs too, lol). When Kevin first considered me when I was 19 or so, he wasn't physically attracted to me, he said, but he was attracted to my godliness. I was and strove to be as real a deal as real could be. My faith at the time I had faith was as real as yours. I dug into apologetics and Bible reading, prayer and Bible study as hard as you have because I wanted to believe, even when my faith was lined at times with doubt. If all I ever had was a shallow facade of a faith then isn't it kind of of odd that neither you nor any of the others were ever able to "know a tree by its fruit"? Is devotion to prayer and Bible study and evangelism and gargantuan efforts to maintain sexual purity (even if I wasn't perfect) signs of "bad fruit"? When you make accusations suggesting that I wasn't a real Christian or I never would've left, I do understand in a way. I think you're scared to admit that I might've been just like you in my faith - because that means there's a small chance that if I could walk away then it could happen to you too. I know you've admitted struggling with your faith at many times, so I understand if you need to see the problem lying with ME not with the faith system I abandoned. You don't quit and I did, not because I was any less devoted to God/Jesus than you, at the time I truly believed in him, but because you don't want to quit. I didn't want to either but I am devoted to seeking truth wherever it lies and I eventually came to believe that Christianity was not the truth. I followed the evidence where it led, and it led away from the faith of my childhood. Walking away was the HARDEST thing I have ever done and I did not do it light-heartedly. I did it because I found the answers of the Christian faith to be unsatisfying and because I finally came to terms with the fact that I lacked any real experiential or empirical evidence of a deity in my life. So in a way it does turn out that I only had a "head-knowledge" of God and Jesus - not because I wasn't a REAL or devoted Christian, but because that's all ANYONE has or can have if God is not real and Christianity is a cultural tale in that has been passed down through generations, as appears to be the case. It's easy to believe and to think you believe and to even amass anecdotal evidence to convince yourself that you believe. It's incredibly hard to listen to the voice of doubt and the questions in your heart that make you wonder why everyone else seems to be having a richer "experience" of God than you. Anyone can build a rational-sounding argument for God. But sometimes the best and most reasonable argument is the one deep down inside you that suggests a different answer.
  4. Thanks for the great responses guys! That's has been helpful indeed. Yeah, I guess I'm still living with the remnant of seeking aproval from these people since much of my life was spent trying to appear goldy and together. Losing their respect does hurt. Having them think I'm an idiot is insulting, and feeling like my entire life has been discredited in the eyes of people who used to point to me as a testimony of faith and godliness isn't easy. To some degree it seems I still want my sacrifices and piety to count for something. But I guess nothing about deconverting is easy. Which of course begs the question: why would anyone who deep down inside still believes, put themselves through this degree of shame and loss by walking away? So we can sin freely before a God we still deep down believe will punish us? That must be it...
  5. Them. I already know my sincerity for myself. But I don't like being accused of having had a cheap and easy faith or of not knowing what I'm talking about. I suffered to believe and I want to be taken seriously now that I no longer do.
  6. By the way, anyone interested in the video, it was a good one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7XUebtJ_Jw "Martin Luther King gets to call himself a Christian because he actually practiced "loving his enemies"... There's interpreting and then there's just ignoring... If you ignore every single thing Jesus told you to do, you're not Christians - you're just auditing. You're not Christ's followers, you're just fans." ~ Bill Maher
  7. "You never were a xian, it was a hollow facade. Real xians dont quit. And in case you arent getting the msg...since you're own xian faith ended miserably-we don't need a lecture from you on how to live." This messaged was sent by one of my good Christian friends after a FB discussion that ensued from my posting a Bill Maher video on evangelicals and their view of war. I thought that Bill had made some very valid points that were worth considering. As a Christian I had been a pacifist and I still do beleive that this is what the Bible teaches. I similarly believe that the Bible teaches a Calvinistic, predestination gospel. I don't believe the Bible is authoritative and true anymore, but that doesn't mean that I don't know what it teaches. Back when I was a Christian I could post challenges to Christian peers and I'd get back and forth dialog and accusations at worse that I wasn't interpretting the passage correctly. Now that I no longer believe the passages are universal and inerrant truth, I'm often dismissed flat-out with accusations that since I'm not a believer, my thoughts on the Bible are nullified since I couldn't possibly be in a position of correctly interpreting the Bible if I don't even believe in it and am not living it myself. This insulting line of reason is further magnified by people like my friend. He actually knew me at the height of my faith when I was knee-deep in Bible study, theology, and evangelism, and when the guys in our peer group voted "Kristine's spiritual strength" into their imaginary "perfect Christian woman" made from an amalgamation of all of us. It bothers me to hear people say that since I walked aways from the faith I must not really have been a True Believer in the first place. Cause if you "REALLY" know Jesus you don't quit on your faith and walk away from Him, right? I'm not even sure why it should bother or hurt me, since in reality I think that no one is a Christian since Christ (as a Messiah) did not even exist. (I don't need to have faith my friends are there, I know they're there cause I can see and talk to them for real). But I nonetheless find myself trying to justify why I was a better and truer Christian than some of them (I wasn't having premarital sex, I was a lot more active in defense of the unborn and I still found time to work the soup kitchen every week!) I even find myself trying to justify that as an atheist I'm still more moral than some of them - and I shouldn't even have to, because their system of morality is nothing that proves anything. Perhaps I'm trying to get credit for how hard I worked to have faith and maintain my faith, while others showed up to the Jesus Bless-me club and "got their blessing" and had an easy time knowing God was God and that God was good - even if they barely cracked open their Bibles. I want to be able to demonstrate that I struggled to believe but I truly did believe as hard as I could and for years! Pouring hours and hours every week into Bible study and Bible memorization and Christian service, and struggling with apologetics books even years after the question of suffering in my own life ceased to have any answers that truly could satisfy. I want to be able to prove that I spent hours crying and wailing out to God to strengthen my faith and show himself real to me so that I could believe despite everything I was going through. I want to be able to prove that I tried harder than many Christians ever have to, to be able to believe and follow Jesus before I finally gave up. I know it shouldn't matter that something that is quite evidently made up is taken less seriously by some than by others, but still it angers me to think that people upon seeing that I've left the faith, box me up with the social Christians who had a "shallow facade" of a faith. Has anyone else faced this in conversation with others and felt the same burning need to prove that they were indeed "the real deal" before they left the faith? How have you dealt with the accusations?
  8. The recording is shitty, but it's the only one I could find on youtube. I have it on my CD's somewhere if you really want it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwQzB-uSU78
  9. Yup. Once I had a knot in my shoe And it would not come loose I tried and tried and pried and pried But it would not come loose I got so mad I kicked the door and stubbed my little toe, ohhh If only I had learned a little bit of self-control Self-control is just controlling myself It's listening to my heart And doing what is smart Self-control is the very best way to go So I think that I'll control myself I never like to brush my teeth I wish that I could stop I'd have more time for candy bars And drinking soda pop But soon my teeth would hurt so bad From all the cavities, oh me! I'd better learn some self-control So this won't happen to me Self-control is just controlling myself It's listening to my heart And doing what is smart Self-control is the very best way to go So I think that I'll control myself Unfortunately, no one pointed out that you have soft teeth and brush your teeth and still get a shit load of cavities on account of God's shitty design of your body. Oh well.
  10. Yay! I wasn't alone! My all-time favourite was this one. I still sing it when kids are acting impatient and annoying:
  11. That's why you should always save the better stuff with www.keepvid.com or a similar video saving tool. Copyright holders love yanking good stuff off the internet, but the more people who save copies, the less likely they can hunt them all down all the time.
  12. Also you forgot: - The Aventures of Nanny Bird - Bullfrogs and Butterflies - Agapeland / Music Machine (Come on - I want to know who else sung along with "whir whir chicka chicka bomp bomp PSSSSSS!"
  13. I would totally still let my kids (when I have em) /nieces and nephews watch or listen to Veggie Tales and Jungle Jam. They are clever and the kind of pun-filled humor that adults can appreciate with a story that kids still enjoy. I don't think that everything that teaches kids about God and Jesus is necessarily bad for them, no more than letting them watch movies about Santa Claus, or Saturday morning cartoons with imaginary talking bunnies. Many Christian kids programs do an excellent job of weaving values into stories and those values (love your neighbours, don't tell lies) are still handy lessons for kids to learn. Some of the songs are kick-ass fun and funny! No worse than Disney - which has its share of fictional characters. I think as atheist parent/aunt, the fact that I believe these things are ALL imaginary would be obvious in so many other ways, that I don't need to remove all fiction and fantasy from my kids' lives. Furthermore, there is something to be said for having a cultural awareness of the Bible stories. I was talking to a second-geneartion atheist friend of mine the other day and when I referenced the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, she looked at me in confusion and said "who?". I don't want my kids to believe the Bible stories as fact, but I don't want them to be sheltered from them either.
  14. And yet we have no trouble allowing parents to sacrifice the most sensitive part of their son's penis to Yahweh, long before the boy even knows he has penis, what it and his foreskin are good for, and who the fuck Yahweh is and why he should design such a handy penile part only to ask his followers to hack it off in the first place.
  15. I noticed that I can't just upload a picture to a new post, I can only share a url to a picture? I also see a "my media" section from which we can post - and that looks like a fricken cool place to upload awesome pics and songs that other ex-Christians might love. Sadly I don't see an actual upload button. Just how do I upload new material? Third, I'm sorry for posting in the rants section, but perhaps this is a bit of a rant: The forums need a Forum Management section for operational issues and "how do I do X on this site?" kind of threads. Ok all done now. As soon as I have an answer, you can feel free to delete this thread. Though I suspect I'm not the only one to have ever had this question.
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