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About Lizard

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    Not really an amphibian..
  • Birthday 01/21/1960

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Carl Sagan
  1. Welcome, SC...you're antitestimony was a great read. Hang in there..before long you'll be out of the parents home and can be truly free of the cult. And..another Trek fan here..
  2. Wow, Grinchy..I decided to click the link in your siggy, and am glad I did! Awesome telling of return to rationality. Took me 23 years..
  3. Not everyone is Atheist..I'm somewhere in between Atheist and Agnostic. I believe there is a sort of "divine", not in the sense of "god" who is in control, but more like..well, its hard to explain. I guess that we are all god..co-creators of what is.. As to reading books..I read all the time..
  4. Kuro..this had me absolutely transfixed. You are an excellent writer. I would love to see more of these from the other point of view. And..awesome point made. Now..if a christian would simply respond?
  5. This might just be a "replacement" of sorts..but I began exploring other hmm...areas? of belief about the afterlife, and whether there is one or not. I waver back and forth on the issue. I've experienced/seen/felt things that tell me there may be (nope, can't back that up with "proof" ) but just looking into what other possibilities there were..that banished the notion of eternal hellfire for me. Now..I just don't know. I kinda hope there is something after this.." If you believe in forever, then life is just a one night stand. If there's a rock n roll heaven, they must have a hell of a band!" Ok..I've been listening to XM 70's all day..got me melancholic and reminescing..and thoughtful.. I do know this, when I was finally able to give up the fear of an eternal hell..I became a more balanced person. Not quite so much urgency to things..I can take this life one day at a time and not worry about forever. Its hard to say how to get to that point. I spent 23 years living in fear. That's half the time I've been alive and its hard to let go. I had gotten to the point where I feared that if I thought the wrong thing at a lousy driver, I was going to hell..what a way to live, huh? I think the final blow to my belief was when a friend got sick. He was an uberfundie christian..and towards the end of his life, got really weird. He had a message board, but ended up banning most of us because we didn't live up to his standards. We didn't understand at first. It wasn't until we found out just how sick he was, that we did understand. He softened in the last few weeks of his life..before the cancer took him completely. But, he never gave up his belief. Weird/sad thing..after he died, I had this dream/vision type thing. He was sitting on a rock..not able to "go into heaven" cuz he still wasn't "good enough"..I thought long and hard after that. Was it a sign? Who knows? Most likely just a conglomeration of my thoughts of Jerry and his death..and the helplessness that brought. I never met this man in real life. I heard his voice on some tapes he made..good singer, if you're into country.. But, if there is an afterlife..is it determined by what we believe here and now? Like..if you believe you are going to hell..will you? Ok..now I really am rambling on..too much coffee and oldies music, I think.
  6. I'm reading your story..and got totally caught up in it. You have been through much. I had to go back to the beginning to make sure I read the first line right: I have at least 20 years on you..and my children were all born in that same timeframe. You have much wisdom..thank you for sharing that part of you. I am also glad that you didn't fully fall for the bullshit that so many of us did, causing further harm..
  7. I posted my ex-imony two years ago on the first board, but its long gone now. Of course, much has happened in the meantime. Here is a bit about it..it has no real ending yet, because that is still up in the air. I don't know what I believe, but I do know what I don't believe. Guess its easier to just say "I don't know." I don't believe the Truth can be found in the bible..or any other "holy book" for that matter. Spiritual Truth is subjective. Subjective to each person's feelings, thoughts and experiences. My "view" often changes as I learn new things, explore new areas. So..that said, here is what I have so far. Thanks for reading..no insult if you don't. It began almost 26 years ago. Funny how fear and loneliness are a sure “in” to religion. Twenty years old, alone in a strange town what better to do than seek out a church, right? And that’s just what I did. I had no real background in it. My parents were not practicing Christians. They would have told you they were Lutheran. And the was the extent of it. Whatever that meant, I never learned growing up. So, at twenty, alone and pregnant, though I didn’t know that until later, I sought help and comfort. Billy Graham was on tv in the cheap motel I was in. Seemed a good thing to find “church people.” That was the start of many years of up and down confusion. I had had a belief in “god”, but really had no clue what that might mean. Life growing up was not the greatest with two alcoholic insane parents. No wonder I sought something outside of that, there had to be “better.” I started in a small Charismatic church. Believed for a season, left for a season. Kept returning, seeking that which seemed to be missing in me. Always felt “less”. Not quite measuring up, having a child without benefit of a spouse. And not just one, but three! Oh, was I the lowest in the group. Never good for much. I was allowed in one church to clean it after services. Time went on. The kids grew up with a slightly scizo mother. Sometimes super christian, sometimes super heathen. Then..the “Left Behind” books came out. My adult stepdaughter was reading book one on a visit to us. (She’s only 6 years younger than I). I started reading. And reading. Talk about hook, line and sinker! I had never heard about this rapture/tribulation thing. It seemed so “real”..so possible! I went in search of the website for the books and found a message board. My very first, and it was quite a shock! That board has since gone pay, but we all traversed to another..and then another. I found people who’s whole focus, 24/7 was on this crap. I became obsessed with the return and the rapture. I would look at a cloud and be convinced that Jesus was behind it, coming any moment. I became most obnoxious too. Then.. I got slammed with a new one. The preterist view. Basically it says that all prophecy has been fulfilled already. I reasoned if that were true, then what were we doing here? It must be a lie, this rapture thing. If that was a lie, what else was too? It was a quick crash and burn. It was very emotionally hurtful too. At this point, it had been 23 years since my conversion. House of cards continued to crumble. First, the belief in prophecy. I always had trouble with the hell issue, except for brief moments of fanatical fundamentalism. At those points, I was convinced everyone was going to hell except an elite small group, of which I was a member. I did a return about a year later. It was of much shorter duration, but quite spectacular. I even joined a very fundamentalist group, became an admin briefly, got banned for posting on a “heathen” board, came back, was admin again and got banned once more for posting about “Paulites”, my version of those who choose to follow Paul instead of Jesus. At that point, I was finished with fundyism for good. I still held some liberal views..such as prayer could be answered, heaven was a real place, Jesus really died and we needed salvation. Real life has a way of intervening though. At work, I saw children who were practicing Muslems and Jews, met their parents. I could not fathom that these people were “wrong” and I was “right”. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m fascinated by science. Science and religion are a hard mix. Being told I’m a heretic for believing in evolution and the ancient age of the universe really opened my eyes to the idiocy that pervades religiosity. A trip to the “Creation Evidence Museum” really clinched it.
  8. Definately! There were three of us, all together. Right smack in the middle of a christian message board. Actually, it was a couple months after the mass exodus from the Left Behind board, it had gone pay. Boy..what a time that was. I wish I still had my extimony..it was way back on the first board and seems to be long gone Shoulda saved a copy, I guess..although, I think parts of it are still on that other board.. Called it "My Shattered Soul"..on the xtian board, that is. Because that's what it felt like at the time. Ok..here I am giving my testimony in someone else's thread. I'm going to write my own up..or cut and paste from the one back then.
  9. Welcome, Karen. It is often a slow progression. Its been over 2 years since I started my journey out. I understand what you mean about the emails. I've recently added something to my signature on my emails..we'll see what the reaction is, the next time I get one of those emails, and respond.
  10. Welcome Susan! I really enjoyed (related to) reading your story..
  11. It has definately been an encouragement to me, one who has dealt with that same guilt for so long. The wanting to believe..and not being able to. Thank you for sharing this..
  12. Those are excellent! I do PaintShopPro..but, what is Painter?
  13. Welcome, PurpleRhino.. We've all been for a ride..I've not dealt with the gay issue for myself, however, as a sexually active hetero, the church tends to respond in a similar manner. Not quite as harsh, but close enough. I remember one Home Ministry leader telling me that I would never find a mate for life (her actual words were "husband") because of my bastard children..yeah, that was helpful, huh? And the demon possession thing..I can feel the pain of that too. I had been convinced that I had multiple demons too, at one time, early in my xtian life. Lets see.."demon" of smoking, "demon" of lust, "demon" of alcohol.. Imagine my confusion/hurt/anger/etc..when said "demons" could not be "exorcised"..you are left feeling like a total failure. I do have to say, I've exorcised the demon of alcohol on my own..
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