My response to her is in blue.
Dear Jennifer, Dear Brenda,
We're doing some sight-seeing on beautiful VI before we move into our house on August 16! Too much moving!
Here's my response to your reply:
I have long suspected your departure from Christianiy. Oh, you've kept a judgmental eye on me, did you? What gave me away?
Not walking the walk and talking the talk anymore, eh?
I will continue to love you and be your friend but of course the dymanic will change because my life belongs to CHRIST. As you know my conversations will always include HIM.Gets a bit tedious, don't you think, when there are other disciplines to talk about such as science, religion, history of religion, art, literature, culinary art, sociology, archaeology, travel, movies, etc. etc.
I am not indoctrinated as you suggest,
When you're told that the bible is the infallible word of God, you're indoctrinated
When you're told if you don't accept Jesus as your Lord and saviour, you'll go to hell, you're indoctrinated
When you're told you have to go to church Sunday after Sunday for more indoctrination, you're indoctrinated
When you're told you can only study the bible within the confines of the bible, you're indoctrinated
When you're told you can't use reason, logic and modern scientific evidence to test your beliefs, you're indoctrinated
When you're told to use your brain is to sell your soul to the devil, you're indoctrinated
When you believe in mythical beings such as Yahwh, Jesus, The Holy Ghost, Satan, Zeus, Apollo, Thor and the gazillion man-created gods that have existed since time immemorial, you're indoctrinated
When you're told you're special and favoured by god and others are not, you're indoctrinated
I can remember when I had my conversion experience, it was real and I always say there wasn't a Baptist around when it happen, there was no religious person around to tell me what to do or how to do it. Likewise, there was no atheist around to tell me that the bible was cobbled together by ancient, superstitious old MEN who had little knowledge of science. (They relied on superstitions, myths and fables to make sense of how the world worked.) In fact, I used Jesus' own exhortation - "Seek and you will find..." I sought with all my heart and mind and found out that Fundamentalist Christianity is a bunch of nasty, contradictory crock as are all religions. I did not even know what really happened to me but when I cried out to GOD and told HIM to help me and I would do anything including giving HIM my life, He took it at that time and changed me. I could not have done this by myself that is how I KNOW THIS IS REAL!!!! Yes you could have done it by yourself. Thousands of people do (who have never even heard of the Christian god). Most who seek the help of therapists/psychologist/ psychiatrists find that it's not the professionals who actually help them, per se, but by connecting them to a healthy cognitive understanding of themselves, they can find that inner strength and understanding in order to bring about positive change in their lives.
I am not sure if I ever told you about my conversion but maybe someday you would let me tell you. Only if I'm allowed to tell you of my deconversion.
I am sorry that you have been exposed to a form of christianity that has dissolutioned you. It didn't only disillusion me, it was downright toxic and psychologically unhealthy! The bible teachings about personal unworthiness - not to mention sexism, racism, homophobia, condoning incest, condoning rape, condoning slavery and child sacrifice opened my eyes to see what a horrible religion Christianity is. I read the bible cover to cover for over 50 years! In my searching, I read it without the pastors telling me to ignore the horrendous parts and indoctrinate myself on the good parts.We are all fallible and do things to hurt one another that is why we strive for perfect but will not attain it until we see HIM face to face and He changes us. Thank goodness I don't have to strive for perfection anymore! I'm free to be me - warts and all. Perfectionism is a psychological flaw that more often than not leads to anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
I know you have heard this all before because you have sat in the pews of many churches but I fear HE did not convert you. And how would YOU know, Brenda? You went along with the form of religion for whatever reason and you never really belonged to HIM. And YOU know this because you and God are as thick as thieves and God REVEALED this to you? It is not something that you decide but it is what GOD decides to do to you. Yeah, god does horrible stuff to people! You have no choice in the matter. So if I have no choice in the matter, why bother to seek him then? Of course you can stray away and be angry for a time but HE will never let you be alone. Wait, you're contradicting yourself. You just said "you never really belonged to HIM" Thank goodness, I don't BELONG to anyone anymore. I am free at last.
Why do you assume I'm angry? I'm the most peaceful I've ever been in my life! And why would "HE never let me be alone" when I never really belonged to him?
I suspect you never had a true conversion experience, this is not being judgemental this is just the truth. Yes, it IS fucking judgmental! Meaning you're a better person than me! (Well at least in your and your god's eyes)
We can even fool ourselves that we are Christians, So how do you know that you're not fooling yourself? and I have have come in contact with several people that introduced themselfs as Christian and for all intended purposes they look on the outside like they were, but I sensed that there was something wrong, So what did you sense that was WRONG? I didn't talk the talk and walk the walk, like perfect Brenda did - was that it? I don't blame you, Brenda, because that's what Christianity and other religions do to their followers - makes them smug and judgmental. I regret the fact that I was once like that. As a matter of fact, I am a much better, more honest person now than when I was a Christian.
I did not say anything of course took them at thier word and years later they did have a conversion and were born again.
You cannot explain this to someone who has not experienced it. What about 1 Peter3:15 "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." When I buy a car, I don't only want to SEE only the shiny metal exterior. I want the salesperson or mechanic to let me see what's under the hood and EXPLAIN to me how the engine and all the parts work before I buy the car. Same it is with FAITH. Otherwise it will be BLIND faith and you can end up with a crock. ( I CAN explain my deconversion to you because it's based on logic and reason, but I suspect you'll refuse to listen because your bible says "
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11: 1) Hope and faith are NOT EVIDENCE. When I was a Christian, I always thought that scripture was so profound. It sounded nice - but I had no idea what it REALLY meant, but I went along with the pastor's babble, because it made me feel good. I know! I swallowed that stuff hook, line and sinker. I was born and baptized into it.
There are many who say LORD, LORD but He has said I never knew you.There will always be a remnet. The word is remnant. So you're part of the remnant, Brenda? Oh, no, wait a minute, you're part of God's IN-crowd! You and all the other Fundamentalists/Evangelicals whom "HE CHOSE".
From my experience it is usually the Atheist that take up and run from the friendship. In my experience it's the Christian that takes up and runs because "How can light associate with darkness now, isn't that so? As far as Christians are concerned, Atheists are these nasty Enemies and Haters of god, not so? That's what I was indoctrinated with regarding atheists. Christians typically spout that kind of propaganda to demonize atheists. It's been going on for millennia. In Medieval times atheists were burned at the stake. So much for a loving god and those who do his bidding!
I am stronger than that because my strength comes from GOD. So to your disappointment I'm not in the least disappointed. I'm totally neutral. I am SO much STRONGER because I believe in ME!
I am not running any where, I do hope our friendship will continue and you do not put limitations on it like our conversations that will include the most important person to me, JESUS. Excuse me, but you're the one putting limitations on future conversations by saying that you'll be talking about Jesus. So long as you don't get pissed off when I debunk the Jesus and the Christianity myth.
I love you and I hope we have many more good times together now that you are closer in distance.
Please call me anytime, looking forward to what is next with our friendship.
Yeah, time will tell how the friendship evolves, eh?
You never did tell me what city you have moved to on the Island? send your address, later send pictures ,where are you staying now?
Will you also be exploring the main land? do do want help from me to unpack or maybe once you are settled I can go over on the Island I can go to see your new place like I have at other places? still remember my trip thought it was too short to Mobile AL.
You have had such an exciting adventurous life with all your moves, though it is harder as we age as I know.
I am sorry you feel I am judgemental we are all judgemental at times.I really do not want to argue for fight about this difference we have in our opinion.
We have been friends for 25 years and have spoke about many things, I thought?
I did notice that the sign off was without the love this time does this means its over for you? No need to be rude or nasty because we disagree.
I don't give up my friends that easily, Christian or not, I have many friends that are not christians and we get along just fine.
Hopefully our friendship can continue.
"I am sorry you feel I am judgemental we are all judgemental at times"
I think it's rude and arrogant of you to take the moral high ground
and judge me. That's the ugliness of Fundamentalist Christianity that I'm so glad
I'm unshackled from. I am very mindful to NOT judge people.
"I really do not want to argue for fight about this difference we have in our opinion."
I don't want to fight, but in a friendship I look to having open discourse about ideas
and not a one-track topic conversation about "My boyfriend, Jesus, with whom I'm SO
Thanks for your offer to help unpack, but we're really okay in that regard.
Have a great summer!