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inorbit

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Everything posted by inorbit

  1. And then this just happened. Facebook Christianity officially jumped the shark: Here is the link. Please tell me this is just trolling. Even if it is, it's still so sad and telling that Christians are falling for it... Poe's Law, anyone? http://www.maxresistance.com/ice-bucket-challenge-exposed-satanic-ritual/
  2. Ha, yeah. I can empathize with the missionary thing. And I also was in China for a bit. Looking back now, I can see the BS. I sincerely believed it before, like so many other things in Christianity... I've thought about moving back to China, too.
  3. About the time this was first posted, I had been thinking/going through the same thing. It haunted me ever since. I even ended up drinking a bit too much one night with a Christian friend and apparently spilling the beans about my inner turmoil, even going into details about my experiences I never tell anyone. They were cool about it, thankfully. I can't entirely remember everything I said... Man, I slept great that night. Well, it's still bothering me, so I decided to vent about it on my blog. Here's the link, but the text is below: ----------------- The ache in my heart wants it to be true. For better or worse, something has been awakened in my… soul? I feel the ache in my chest in random, quiet moments. So many moments of screams and heartache met by silence. Those far outnumber the small tastes of apparent goodness. In those moments, there was such clarity. No hints of whatever it was being esoteric. I touched something very real. Whether that something was God or the universe or my own consciousness… I don't know. But, it was a strong hit that has left me a recovering addict ever since. Once. One night, alone in a foreign country, with an aching desperation, I connected with something. That was almost 15 years ago. The ache still remains. It flies in the face of logic, even the part of my brain that tries to explain it in the context of the complexities of neuroscience. Talk about cognitive dissonance. I have nothing else to back up what I've seen, no objective viewpoint through which to interpret my experience. The Bible does not stand up to scrutiny. History does not either. Christianity has no corner on the market of Truth. Though I cannot believe in the face of overwhelming evidence, yet that experience still profoundly affects me. After that night, there were so many nights. Many. Hundreds. Probably thousands. On all of those other nights, my soul was tortured by the silence, the emptiness, the steel ceiling that rebounded my tortured prayers. So, why should that one night haunt above the rest? Why should the battered woman return to her aggressor. "But he said he loves me!" I used to cry so hard that I would almost get sick. I would drive aimlessly at night, park in empty parking lots, crawl in the backseat, and cry out for God. I was brokenhearted, disillusioned. And there was never an answer. Not once. That one night was the exception. I was to believe that this was all part of God's plan. I was told my hunger was a positive thing. I was told I would be rewarded for the "desert season" I was in. The season of great, tortured confusion and anguish did eventually pass. It gave way to resolution, a sort of good-natured resignation. I stopped fighting. I accepted that God was "just there" whether I felt he was or not. That lasted, until I began to really research what I had believed with a truly open mind. I've written about that before, so I won't reinvent the wheel here. But, that's what led me from resolute (read: resignation) faith to… Well, to no faith. But, I'm still haunted by that night 15 years ago. It breaks my heart to think, to realize that it could have truly all been in my own mind. And, if it was, then ensuing emotional roller coaster was all for naught. And, fuck, man. That's really shitty. My emotional and mental wellbeing were in shambles for over 10 years, all thanks to a misconception engrained through indoctrination? At the same time, part of me is sad to let that memory, that night be buried for what it probably truly is. It is a cherished memory. But, it is a memory with so many painful strings attached. Until I stepped back from Christianity for a while, I never realized how emotionally unhealthy and abusive the Christian relationship with "God" truly is... --------------------- From how everyone else has replied here, I know I'm not alone in this.
  4. I'm late to chime in, but really wanted to toss in my hat, too. Yes, I get this line a lot. My response is similar to those others have posted here: "I'm not a True Christian, because I fell away before I died? By that logic, you are not a True Christian either, because you're not dead yet..." On the other side of the coin, I also get the line from family and friends that I still *AM* a True Christian and am merely going through a "phase" or a "journey" or a "dark night of the soul." It's just temporary backsliding and rebellion, and I'll "get over it." I did go through such phases when I was a True Christian. They were distinctly different than the so-called "phase" of my deconversion. How? They were times of inner turmoil and a desire to rebel against what I did believe, but that I didn't want to be true or felt was overbearing or unjust or what-have-you. I was raging against a god I very much still believed in. Deconversion, though tumultuous, has been marked with clarity and a lack of any sense of "need" to "rebel." It's turning on the light and finding out there are no monsters. It has none of the self-destructive behaviors of any previous "backsliding" I partook of as a True Christian. Anyone else with me on that?
  5. This was a status, posted with a photo of a couple young men hoisting a big dresser: I am so grateful first to God and these lovely men of God. It is amazing being a woman and being weak and unable to move stuff like men. The Lord blessed me with this amazing dresser for a little nothing. I have always just been such a planner and executing things out. Since my walk with The Lord I have really discovered that it is ok to be weak, broken and lean on him. This dresser weighed soo much. I was like Lord how in the world am I going to get it in my house??? Plus I needed some exercise equipment moved to the basement. Uggghhh. I just prayed. Asked God to help me and these beautiful men came to rescue my moving efforts with such tender care and love. I thank God for the men of God who look out for us single ladies. Love y'all so much. Blessings to all men that keep it real and help us single ladies out!!
  6. I had extensive theology as a part of ministry training. This was a major part of where my questioning began, ironically. Knowledge is power. And, yes, it has practical application in studying history and culture.
  7. But it also says love is jealous, in Song of Songs. It says it rather explicitly, in chapter... 6? I'm on my phone, or I'd post it here. Rough paraphrase: Love is a jealous all-consuming fire, as jealous as the grave. It may be chapter... 8? Anyway, the point still stands: there are serious contradictions here. Is love jealous, or isn't it? Bible says, "both," as it does with so many things. And Christians brush this off with a cop out about "mysteries."
  8. Heck, no, I left. My discussion to do so went over well with my immediate supervisor. I used safe and generic language, but she seemed to understand what I was intentionally not saying. I found out later through a mutual friend that she's in a very similar boat and she has since also left. There are a lot of us, actually, but we're all in the closet. When we find each other, it's wonderful. "Enjoy feeling like they're doing something without actually getting their hands dirty." Sums up the IHOP culture perfectly. So many times I was in actual need and no one would help. In fact, one time I was moving and didn't have a vehicle. Not a single IHOP staff member or friend helped me. They all had flimsy excuses, some of which included their "ministry" commitments (ie, needing to be in the prayer room). So, my lesbian neighbor couples spent the whole day helping me move with their own truck. For free. Refused payment. Yeah, that one REALLY made me think about the parable of the Good Samaritan. And that story so perfectly sums up how much IHOP sucks at community. They are too busy praying to make a difference to make any actual difference. They miss the forest for the imaginary trees.
  9. Shockingly, there has been no change for all that prayin'. The only reason crime and poverty has gone down is that more of them are moving here all the time. That's changing the demographic. They generally ignore the community, their neighbors, and other area churches (though they adamantly claim otherwise). And they ban any undesirables from the premises. Some they have to for legal and safety reasons. As you can imagine (and as you've said), a place like this DOES naturally attract some genuine loonies.
  10. Oh! Ha, sorry for the confusion. International House of Prayer. Google it "for a good time." It's a rabbit hole...
  11. I'm tempted to sit in the prayer room and read Dawkins, but I'm still in the closet and many on staff know me, even the "higher ups." I could say it's for research, but I'm already suspect. But what an epic and ironic setting for reading The God Delusion... I suppose I could field questions at some point. I don't agree with their theology or...logic... But, I could explain it. If I ever could believe, their version of God and theology would be the closest to what I could accept... in some ways. Other stuff from other churches and doctrines I would rather go with in other areas. Ah, the buffet of Christianity! Pick what you want to be true! It's more obvious to me now, but thankfully my missionary and theological training (ironically) helped me begin to question everything- well, that's all in my extimony. I am so glad to have this place to vent.
  12. No, literally crazy. Besides the religious and devout and curious... there are the crazy people that come to IHOP and stay. They need medication and care, but they are mostly tolerated, ignored, marginalized, or (in the case of the more outspoken ones) banned from the premises. It just bothers me a bit. Like, the guy here in the coffee shop who is muttering to... someone. And then there's the fact that the more fanatical of the IHOPers is indistinguishable from the mentally challenged. Constantly praying in tongues under their breath, while seeing demons and Jesus in everything. Most aren't like this and no one mainstream is... But there is a fringe following. It explains why people who visit could mistake this place for a cult. And sometimes they drive me crazy (the fanatics, not the ill).
  13. Fuck. Just got the call that my grandmother passed. The week I'm starting my new position at work. Promotion is good. Having to deal with grief, and time off for a funeral... Ugh. I mean, FUCK. Fuck death. If one more person I love dies, I swear I'll kill them.

  14. I did know. I had solid "assurance"- emotionally, theologically, and experientially. ...And look at me now! lulz
  15. I wanted to shake Howie as I was reading that. Ugh! He fails at hermeneutics. The irony!
  16. Seriously, I used to rant against it even as a Christian... but never to fellow IHOPers. I would have been thrown under the bus. They probably would have said I had demons or something. They are so entrenched in dominionism that they don't even realize it. I always found it odd that they would seek to make Jesus into their American Republican mold, rather than building "his kingdom," which was supposed to extend above borders and cultures... but that was just my cross-cultural training, I guess. Even as a believer, I had fairly radical views regarding contextualization and disagreed with attempts to mix church and state. My brand of "changing the world for Jesus" involved serving the poor and laying down you're life for others and being a good neighbor and all that. I sincerely believed that would transform the culture, as much as it needed (and less than the radical Right supposed, for I was careful to distinguish "gospel" values from cultural ones). Maybe that's why it was such a short step to "falling away?" I never bought it quite the same as I was supposed to, and tried to remain critically thinking... Oops. Heh...
  17. Ugh. You should be here at IHOP (prayer, not pancakes) during an election year. Even when I was a radical believer on staff, they drove me bonkers, so angry. Then again, they regularly let Lou Engle take the mic, so what can one expect? I have seriously no idea how they maintain their tax exempt status...
  18. Same thing happened to my friend with her father, almost to the letter. I agree that it's a cultural trend. ExCBooster nailed it.
  19. Had that happen once. Was just coming home from a trip. I live with roommates (cheaper rent), so it wasn't like my house had looked empty while I was away. As I was unloading my luggage, a random car came down our street and came to a sudden halt in front of our neighbor's house. I figured they were there to see our neighbors, but only one guy got out, while they kept the car running. He wandered around our neighbor's yard (creepy much? It's dark outside) before he finally approached me on one of my trips out to grab more bags. He had some sob story about needing gas money so that he and his cousins could go pick up his daughter clear on the other side of town. He definitely did not know my neighbors. I live on a secluded street, the sort that no one would just "happen" down unless they lived there or had a reason to be there. It's nowhere near where he was supposedly trying to go. I told him the truth: I keep no cash on me. I was rigid in my response and stared him down. I didn't like how he was looking around, nor eyeing my vehicle. I put a hand on my side casually, as if I had a concealed carry (I don't, but who's to know?), and he quickly excused himself and got back in the car. Then, they pealed out and floored it up the street. Strange behavior for a story about supposedly being "lost" and "almost out of gas." I finished unpacking, double-checked the inside and outside of the house, and called the police to report the incident. They agreed it sure sounded like this car was out casing the neighborhood. They sent a patrol out to search for the car and keep an eye on things. I later found out that a house just a block over was broken into and robbed that very night. Huh. Imagine. At least from my description of the vehicle and the man, the cops had a vague lead... Call the cops. Describe the creeper. They'll put two and two together if crime starts happening. At least then they'll have a description of a suspect.
  20. ...Wow... This was posted by a fellow ex-minister, but the source doesn't change the crappiness of the original person who actually did this...
  21. My dear friends, we have to focus on not what makes our children (or ourselves) "happy", but teach them to make God and His plans for their life a central priority. It is more important to obey God, His words & and His calling for you, than to "do what makes you happy", "feels right", or elevates your "status" in the world. God, let this generation seek your face, not their own! If you want joy, peace & contentment, you will not find it in some Eastern "philosophy" or in the search for some "inner self". We need to teach or children that seeking God with all your heart, mind, soul & strength is the only way you will find contentment & blessing. It should not be so shocking that the answer to low esteem is not found within an individual, but by connecting with the One and Only True God who not only created you, but already knows the plans & purposes you are here for. Why don't you ask Him why you are here, instead of some guru/philosopher/prophet/great thinker/yourself? More Jesus, less "me, me, me"!
  22. HAHA! I just realized I said, "Best to wash your hands of them..." *snicker*
  23. My roommate just did it again. Went to the bathroom (a longer sit down session, "let the reader understand") then didn't wash their hands... and went immediately into the kitchen to use both the kitchen sink and the microwave. *GAG* Dude. Wash your hands. Srsly. Best part? They don't think I'm home. They're talking to themselves, too. Oh, and they work in the food industry. I never want to eat anything where they work... This is the same Christian roommate who stays up half the night drinking alone and sleeps in until.. what time is it here? 11am? Yeah... This is the same roommate that you also can't say anything to about anything. They get super defensive and turn it into this weird gaslighting. Once, last summer, they pulled their car up too close to the garage and I couldn't get my motorcycle out. When I politely asked them to please not park so close, as they were usually so good about doing... They got all jr-high-girl on me and snapped that they guess the would just not park in the driveway ever again. I said, "Umm... What?? Hey, are you okay? Is something bothering you?" because, you know, that's a seriously immature overreaction... and they refused to answer me. And they haven't parked in the driveway since, only on the street. Nutcase Christian with emotional issues, anyone? Their home life was of a super fundy, strict, homeschooling variety. The roommate is relatively young, too. They drink way too much, stay up late, are sexually active, and wracked with guilt and confusion. Part of me wants to feel sorry for them.... but the majority of me doesn't want to get involved with someone who's so off their rocker. I've learned from hard experience in my younger days that attempting to help someone who isn't willing to help themselves is just a miserable entanglement for all involved. Best to wash your hands of them and let them hit bottom first. Why not move? Rent is super cheap, my interactions with this roommate are limited, and it's hard to find a place with a garage (especially at this price). That, and I hate moving more than I hate living with this person. I keep praying (snicker) that they'll move out, or be forced to move out. They are uncooperative on many issues of house management and often can't pay their bills on time (they spend a good chunk of it on alcohol). I'm hoping they will be asked to move out, but we'll see. The landlord is exasperated with them, too, and the third roommate (who's super cool) is currently moving out and having a hard time finding a new renter. I'm afraid rather than try to find a replacement renter for both the exasperating roommate who isn't cooperating with bills AND the current roommate moving out, he may just evict all of us. That would suck, but totally possible. Sorry, just had to vent. I know I've vented before.
  24. Oregano any further? Or would someone have a catnip-tion?
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