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About Henry

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  • Birthday 04/01/1940

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    Somewhere in Colorado
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    Wood Working, Photography
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    Professional Woodworker

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Not that I can think of.
  1. Welcome Bunzooh. So many of us here experience a "Crack in the dam" that leads to our eventual chucking of the entire Christianity thing. Mine was the "Doctrine of Original Sin". For a lifetime "Fundie", life without God is difficult at first. I was struck by your statement "I'm turning away from a false god, and finding out who God really is." It would be nice to have a God who will coddle you and take care of you but that isn't Bible God; Bible God, as I am sure you are aware, can be pretty vile, bitter and angry (Don't piss off Bible God). So Bible God had to go; he simply does not exist. At this point I look at the Universe with it's vastness, it's structure and it's laws as sort of a force that looks after us. Keep on questioning....
  2. If you haven't seen Margee's 'Please Forgive Me?' thread in this forum, it's worth checking out. I read "Please Forgive Me" and loved it. That was a very heart felt piece Margee, thanks.
  3. This is where my wife is right now. She knows that if she continues to have 'faith' it'll be in something that isn't real. She's leaning towards being a "Jesus follower" which essentially means a "person who loves others". I'm (gently) trying to point out that she doesn't need faith for this... This idea of being a "Jesus follower" reminds me of the final days when I was about to make the big cross over to being an Ex C. I kept asking myself "What do I do with Jesus?". I knew that other than the Gospels, there was very little if any historical writing about Jesus. There was an account written in the late 1800's that purported that he had traveled in the east during the "lost years of Jesus". Other than that, there was only the Gospels. The Gospels had been written many generations after Jesus died and it is pretty well known that they were politically (both church and state) influenced. So, the question was, did Jesus even really exist and if he did, did he really say and do the things he had purported to have done. So much for that; I basically wrote him a "Dear Jesus" letter, "Dear Jesus, it's been nice, but let's just be friends from now on" At that point, the things he was supposed to have said and done became irrelevant. Is he devine? OF COURSE NOT! Buh Bye christianity.
  4. Thank you FlorenceHami, this is great stuff. Consider this: the Doctrine of Original Sin was formulated by Augustine (boo hiss) and adopted as a doctrine of the church in the 5th century. So, based on what Florence has said, the original christians and Jesus, for that matter, believed the Jewish traditional interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve. It wasn't until 500 years later that this abominable doctrine was introduced; this demeaning and spirit crushing idea that has done so much harm to countless millions of fundamentalists over the years. >I just wanted to say to all of the exchristians on this forum that I am so sorry that you were indoctrinated into such a terrble self loathing. I wish I could tell my still Christian friends that they are not wretched sinners, but are wonderful, warm, imperfect people who need no redemption. They only need to make an effort every day to be a better version of themselves. >I want to hug you all. You are truly a dear person, Florence, thank you very much.
  5. Yes, and Matthew Fox was accepted into the Episcopal denomination. And what about Bishop Spong, the Episcopalians have never booted him out in spite of his extremely liberal views. What about Thomas Jefferson, he was an Anglican (the English ancestor of the Epis. church); he was also a Deist and compiled his own version of the new testament (he removed all references to spiritual and supernatural). I have always said (and still do) that if you absolutely, just gotta, be in some christian denomination, choose the Episcopal denomination; it has to be the most liberal of the bunch.
  6. Yes, thank goodness for those liberal, progressive christian leaders like Bishop Spong, Matthew Fox and others. Another that I am familiar with is Robin Meyers, the senior minister of the UCC of Oklahoma City. In spite of the fact that they are still within the framework of christianity, the ideas that these teachers and preachers espouse serve as gateways out of the demeaning and demanding kingdom of christianity.
  7. The doctrine of original sin appears to be one of the most vulnerable and critical spots on the soft underbelly of christian doctrine. You might even say that it is the brainstem of the christian mind(lessness). (oooh, this is fun). It is interesting to note that our approaches were from different directions; mine was spiritual, i.e. the spiritual idea of original sin was invalid, to be replaced with the ideal of original blessing. Your approach was scientific, i.e. the theory of evolution disproves the existence of the Adam and Eve and hence invalidates the whole story including the idea of original sin. Just shows that any way you approach it, the doctrines of christianity are a CROCK. (hee hee)
  8. Damn, somebody older'n me. I was young, but one thing I do remember about those war years: everyone pulled together and we all helped each other. Fortunately, we lived on a farm and had cows, chickens, pigs and other animals that provided food which was rationed. We didn't hoard it either, we helped other folks. Yep and those radio programs were the best, I loved them! Cheers
  9. Thank you. I had to leave out a lot due to brevity. In actuality, I read the book about finding your inner child first and set the "Original Blessing" aside. It was several years later before I read it. Not really knowing what the book was about, I picked it up and started reading it. My mind was blown! The author, Matthew Fox, was a Catholic priest at that time (they kicked him out and he became an Episcopal priest) and he got into a lot of "spiritual talk" which lost me. But, I got the general idea. NO ORIGINAL SIN! And like the house of cards that it is, christianity began to fall. The interesting thing is that that book was just what I needed at that time in my life (not years before when I bought it). That happens to me a lot. :-)
  10. Hello, my fellow ex-christians. I was born the year before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning or World War II. What I remember best during those years were the family times; we would regularly go to the Drive In Movies where we would watch Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Esther Williams in some of the good old family classics. At home, we would sit by the radio and listen to "The Green Hornet", "Amos 'n Andy" and other shows; my father usually was there with his beer and his cigar or pipe. After the war my parents became quite active in our little non-denominational fundamental evangelical congregation. Oddly enough, my parents never pushed me to "get saved". However, everybody else in the church felt it was their duty to warn us kids about the Rapture when all the "saved" people would be taken to heaven; that scared me to death. So at age 9, I responded to the alter call at a kids evangelical meeting and went down front. A few days later, my parents congratulated me for "getting saved" and I thought I was done with that stuff. However, then came the horribly embarrassing ritual of Baptism where you quoted a bible verse and were then dunked into a tank of water built into the stage at the front of the church. The church didn't believe in going to Movies, smoking and drinking. So no more family fun time at the Drive In Movies. My father quit drinking and smoking…at least in public. He attempted to hide his evening drink from me but being a young boy, I noticed everything and I knew what was going on. My father did not have a drinking problem. He never came home drunk and beat my mother or me. He simply had a drink in the evenings, much like I do now. But I was confused; furthermore, because he hid it from me, I felt like an idiot. My self esteem and self worth fell through the floor and I still have problems with those issues. Years later my father and I reconciled but I knew that it was pressure from the church that actually caused those issues. Of course, I completely forgave him. Other than being a little rebellious, I was a good little Christian. I did 3 years in the Army, went to college, go a job and married a wonderful Episcopalian girl. We got married in the Episcopal church and later on I became a confirmed Episcopalian. I sometimes reflect that those little cracks of doubt which happen to our "faith" gradually widen into large fissures which begin to let the truth flow into our life. I was never a staunch, bible thumping Christian, but I still believed in some of the basic doctrines. However, some of those doctrines began to crack when I was about 50. Because of my self worth problems, I decided to go to a Christian counseling center where I met with a psychologist who recommended two books. One was a book about discovering your inner child and the other was a book by Matthew Fox titled "Original Blessing". He warned me that the second book was somewhat heretical, but I paid it no mind. Interestingly, when I called to make another appointment with the same psychologist, I was told that he was no longer associated with the clinic. I guess he was a bit to heretical for them. In the "Original Blessing", Matthew Fox countered the "Fall-Redemption" view with what he called "Creation Spirituality". The "Original Sin" was replaced with the "Original Blessing". In other words, we weren't condemned to Hell at all. It all made sense to me and I totally bought it. So, if we weren't condemned to hell, then why the need to be "saved". Why did Jesus have to die, rise again and become like God. No hell, no rapture…the crack had widened and the truth started pouring in. We moved to Colorado in 2000 and started attending a small Episcopal church. The Rector came to visit us and in the course of our conversation, he said that he had written two books about a fictional religion professor who had sought out a Native American Shaman or Medicine Man to help enlighten him about the Spirit. Those books had a profound effect on me; I loved reading about the spirits of men and animals being able to commune with the "Great Spirit". So here's how it went: there was no original sin which pretty much invalidated the whole christian argument of "getting saved", etc. So god sent his son? BS, the god of the bible was mean, vindictive and arbitrary. Good riddance. Heaven and hell were antiquated ideas that dated back thousands of years. Get real! What about prayer? Exactly to whom do we pray? After all those years of christianity, I found myself all alone in the universe; no personal god, no one to pray to. However, I began to realize that there was some kind of order in the Universe; not a predestined path that could not be varied, but more like a huge ever changing web that connected all things together. The universe provides us with life, sustenance, intrigue, hope; all the things that bible god was supposed to provide but could not. I could write more, but I am running out of space; maybe later. I finish by saying that I am more pleased, happy, content with my spiritual life now than I ever could possibly have been when I was trying to adhere to the whims of Christianity. May the FSM be with you, ramen.
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