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Posts posted by Riven

  1. Google "process addiction." That's what you're describing with the phone and sugary food. It shares some characteristics with a substance/chemical addiction, but it's different.


    You sound like you already know it's a problem. If you're not open to therapy, maybe doing some online research will help.

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  2. Well, speaking as a former worship team member..... and I would like to note that was not allowed to be a worship team LEADER....... I'm pretty happy that I don't have to play guitar under the leadership of someone with far less talent than I have. Of course, I'm not playing guitar right now.... lots to work out there... but I digress.


    I no longer have to worry that as a woman, I'm not qualified to teach a man.


    I no longer have to hide the fact that I'm divorced from a short-lived, abusive marriage 18 years ago, that evidently, disqualifies me for even participating on said worship team.


    I no longer have to have to couch every idea I come up with as "probably not a good idea but...." so I'm being properly submissive to my male church leaders.


    I no longer have only knitting, sewing, and scrapbooking events to choose from in my spare time, because evidently, that's the deepest Christian women go in ministry ideas.


    That's just the first things that came to me in the moments I took to write this. I'm sure there's more.



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  3. 8 hours ago, offtheromanroad said:


    I also never understood why certain Christians tend to see "the devil" in everything.

    You know, I have a theory about this.... I think it's got to be that Christianity operates and survives by teaching "black and white" thinking. Something is either "all good" or "all bad." Therefore, something is either "of God" or "of the Devil."  This stage of cognitive development is usually grown out of in early adolescence (although I do know some adults that operate this way). It's an immature way to view the world. But then again, Jesus did say that were to "be like little children." Mission accomplished.

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  4. 15 hours ago, justaskingquestions said:

    Why is God always labeled as a "just" God when he does categorically unjust things?


    Bingo. So, the (circular reasoning) is this: God is not to be questioned. He is God. When he does horrible things like, oh, say... genocide...ordering murder.... then it's "righteous anger." When we do that, it's a sin. God doesn't make mistakes, ever, but we are failed human beings the minute we come out of the womb (original sin). We're screwed, and God is never wrong.


    I am so glad I'm out of that manipulative mind-you-know-what. Good riddance.

  5. On 6/14/2018 at 1:45 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

    I was told the other day that I'm not to blame for the fact that I lost my belief, as the devil is to blame for that. Of course it wasn't said but it was implied that the devil now runs my life. 

    I don't see how such logic can not fracture the basis of this friendship. I am not willing to take the judgement any longer. I'm only willing to surround myself with people who accept me without judgement clouding their vision. And yes it hurts, much more than I thought it would. It leaves me no space to share my life and who I have become. 


    @TruthSeeker0 I relate to this SO much. I had (what I thought were) meaningful, close relationships in my church. When I left, so did the friendships. I would say I was shocked that happened, but I used to be one of them. I know why they don't want to associate with non-Christians in close friendships. It says a hell of a lot about them and the fear-based religion they are in. I would of still been friends, in a heartbeat. I'm not a shallow person, and yet I evidently had shallow friendships, easily dropped. It sucks.

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  6. 2 hours ago, offtheromanroad said:

    Another one:

    Why are certain Christians so preoccupied with praying to Jesus, loving Jesus, finding out what HE wants for their lives and praying for a parking space... but then they don't follow his example? Hello.... anybody out there? Jesus hung out with exactly those people that they wouldn't even look at when walking past them. Immigrants, foreigners, prostitutes, criminals, single mothers, the divorced. And I don't think he cared about people's sexual orientation as much as they do. Dear "Christians"... open your eyes!

    Sorry... stuff like this makes me SO angry.



    I hear you @offtheromanroad


    This is actually one of the core issues that caused me to walk out the door. The very people that Jesus hung out with are demonized as "the other" in Western Christianity. It's sickening. I have trouble getting past the rage some days. Of course, I'm fresh off the turnip truck as they say, so I'm still raw.

  7. 18 hours ago, sdelsolray said:


    According to Bart Ehrman, among other Biblical scholars, 2 Timothy is forged (in Ehrman's meaning of the term "forged"), not written by Paul but someone else, most likely a follower of earlier writings attributed to Paul.


    I thought about that yesterday.... it's like I'm in this whole new world where I'm learning that some of the most quoted scriptures have spotty origins. I go back and forth between feeling stupid, getting angry about it and then happy that I'm free from it.

  8. 5 hours ago, Storm said:

     If God never changes, and his law is perfect, why is most of it no longer applicable today? And secondly, what formula do you use to determine which OT laws still apply today, and which no longer apply? All of this simply became too much for me to reconcile and the cognitive dissonance was too great to overcome that I ended up on my path out of Christianity.


    It's amazing when you think about it that way, right? Incest was OK, until it wasn't. Polygamy was OK, until it wasn't. Concubines were OK, until they weren't. And the way Christianity explains this away as "cultural at the time" is stunning. They act like on the one hand that we should excuse the Bible on the grounds "that was the culture at the time" but at the same time, their own holy books says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16.


    It's actually hilarious to see that they don't even get how they hold two competing ideas as truth at the same time.

  9. 57 minutes ago, sdelsolray said:


    I can't remember the source (it was Ehrman, Carrier, or someone else) but the 'no man knows the time' is plausibly an interpolation added to Matthew at a later time to address the 'this generation shall not pass' problem because all who lived at the time of Jesus had died.


    Mind = blown. I had NO idea! 🤯


    I looked it up. It was Bart Ehrman, Orthodox Corruption, p. 91. (I have Google skills!)


    You know, this is exactly the problem. The "scribes" have had thousands of years to either fix up, or produce reams of commentary, to obfuscate the obvious. The Bible has all kinds of consistency issues. And adulteration throughout the centuries.


    I'll just add this to my growing heap of knowledge. This is a good one! Thanks!


    OH! And P.S. --- It also creates a "Jesus can't be divine" problem too!  If he and the father are one, "he is in me and I am in him," as Jesus said, then how would HE himself not know? (Cue the theologians screaming that Jesus "gave up his divinity while on earth" so he wouldn't have known.) I know all the arguments.... lol.

  10. Welcome from another long-time lurker and recent poster!


    I understand energy and time being at a premium, especially when you are dealing with all-encompassing diagnosis, but I'm happy you're here, and thank you for posting your story. I truly appreciated it.

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  11. Welcome to the struggle. When I'm weary, I tell myself that I'd rather be on this journey, than stuck swallowing all the shaming messages of the church's teachings.


    Your list is a great personal manifesto, and also a great source of reminding yourself of your personal boundaries. You fought hard to come to these conclusions, they are your victory. And there is much more to come.


    I wish I could say that peace will come, it does -- in spurts (at least for me), but the journey is the journey. And it's worth it.


    Welcome. I"m pretty new too, and I recently wrote a list too! 🙂 You're in good company!!

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  12. @Joshpantera - I actually just made a post about man-made thinking, as it's something I've been pondering a lot, and today I had an insight (I'll leave it for my post to explain though.)


    But to your point, I'm always amazed at how there are still people that are hooked into these "end of the world" cults. I mean, it's not that hard to know about others who said that same, and were wrong. And, if that's not enough, there's the Bible itself saying, "No man knows the day or time..." and that anyone saying so is a false prophet. I realize the dynamics are complicated and multifaceted. Sometimes it's the leader's personality, or other factors. 


    Re: Daniel and Revelation. I'd be interested in learning more about how those books might dissuade someone from believing in exclusivist claims!


    I agree about Europe and their post-Christianity. In fact, I went on a mission trip to Europe in the 90s, and that's all we talked about. How lost they were, how they didn't understand what a "personal relationship with Jesus" was, etc. OMG. So, fast forward 20+ years and I'm actually rooting for that dynamic to come to the U.S.! 🙄

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  13. I just made a really important connection in my work to understand my deconstruction journey.


    When I was still a Christian, I realized that the only way anyone would listen to me trying to make a compelling argument for something, was to infuse your point of view with Bible verses. You needed rock-solid "proof" of your position. Since our own opinions don't count for anything inside the religion, I needed God on my side. I got really, really good at making my case with the Bible as my supporting documentation.


    Then, I was in a church where all kinds of crap was happening in leadership. Long story short, I'd finally had enough, and summoned the courage to write a huge email about the problems I was personally experiencing under someone's leadership. I quoted Bible verses. I knew the concepts that were being violated were absolutely against what scripture was saying. It was, in a nutshell, a very damning case against this leader.


    The end result? A lot of throat clearing, hemming and hawing and uncomfortable silences. They knew I was right. They knew the Bible backed me up.


    Guess what?


    In the end, it didn't matter. They did what they wanted to do, not what their God said they should. At the time, I understood it to be men being in self-will and disobeying what God said, and I knew to be correct. (But I still believed in God at that point.)


    However today, I just realized that church leaders do what they want to do, and just put a God stamp on it. When someone like me comes along and points that out -- I'm the problem. The problem is not the problem, the person speaking truth is.


    And hence, I just realized that religion mimics a dysfunctional family dynamic. It the same thing. The person (usually the parent) that is behaving badly is not the problem. It's the person (usually the child) pointing out the issue that is the "problem." The family then focuses on the "problem" so they don't have to look at the real cause.


    I came from a family dynamic like this. It hooks you in to having to "prove" that you are being reasonable, speaking truth, etc. But it doesn't matter. The mistake you are making is you are trying to use reason and logic with people who do not use reason and logic.


    The church was exactly like my family of origin. This is probably why I was "hooked in" for so long. I spun my wheels trying to reason with people who were incapable of reasoning. Or being intellectually honest.


    Now I'm just tired. And pissed.




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  14. On 6/11/2018 at 7:31 PM, Geezer said:

    The Church of Christ literally believes they are the only true Church on earth.


    And there's the logic flaw right there.


    I was listening to a podcast the other day where they were interviewing a Mormon guy who left his church. He wrote a pretty well-known letter to the governing body about his questions/issues with the doctrine. It's now a book (cesletter.org). He was talking about the Mormon church being the "one true church" and that he really believed it. Felt special and blessed because he was born into it.


    That really hit me. It's exactly what evangelicals believe -- that they are the only ones that have it right. (And then there's all the subsets of evangelical Christianity that also believe that only their subset has it right -- like the CoC folks).


    When you step back from that and logically look at it, you realize that it's all man-made thinking. I know I've said this before, but I'll never understand how I was so bamboozled. Or why it "worked" on me. UGH.

    • Like 3
  15. On 6/15/2018 at 11:17 PM, JenniferG said:

     I got the feeling that he regarded my husband and me one of his flock and tithers - his salary guarantors. One of his members was a less known pro golfer who from time to time invited the pastor to tournaments where the pastor could "minister" to other christian pro golfers who were of course excused from attending church on Sundays  because they were busy hitting a little white ball for obscene amounts of money. But that was okay, because they could "bless" the church and the pastor with that money! Obscene, isn't it?


    Extremely obscene. And, talk about a scene emblazoned in my mind.... here's my memory: I was a new Christian, in my church for just about 6 months. I knew some choir people, but that was about it. I had met and was dating a TV personality that was very well known. We had been seeing each other about 3 months privately (mostly not going out in public and keeping it low key) and it was getting serious enough to attend each others churches. When he came with me to mine that first time we walked in and sat down. The senior pastor (who had never spoken to me up to this point) made a friggin' bee line to where I was sitting and said a quick hello to me (he didn't know my name, but knew I went there from me being on stage in choir/worship team), and then turned his attention to my guest. Awkward. They talked for like 5 minutes until it was time for service to start. I was a bit miffed, but chalked it up to his high profile. But amazingly, after that I was invited to the senior pastor's home for dinner, his wife sought out a friendship with me, and I was suddenly the pastors new "discipleship" project. This lasted until the guy and I broke up. Then I went back to being someone he didn't pay attention to. I'll never forgot that moment where he made the bee line to me when he first spotted my famous date with me that first day. UGH. 💰


    18 hours ago, HisGrace said:


    The answer some people give to this is that any human would have done the same thing. In which case god's creation wasn't perfect and humans already had the "sin nature" they supposedly only got as punishment. So it doesn't make sense regardless. 


    Exactly. So many holes in that story you could drive a truck through it. Even as a Christian, I never believed that (although I never advertised it either). Add the talking snake, and puts the crazy over the top.

  16. 5 hours ago, Ellinas said:

    I know little about Facebook or how it works, as I've never joined it and have no intention of so doing.  But, if you are tempted to walk away but cannot because of private, work connected groups, cannot you simply unfriend/unfollow/set to ignore/delete with maximum prejudice anyone who is not in those private groups?


    I certainly wouldn't worry about throwing over Facebook friendships - if they are that problematic, they are hardly friends.   And it's always worth remembering the Christian only views you as a friend if you are a Christian as well, and only calls you "friend" out of hypocrisy when you appear to be a candidate for conversion.


    In short, be ruthless.


    You are right. I still care too much what they think. I need to do some work around that.

  17. Thanks, everyone, I appreciate the replies. I know I'll get less triggered as time goes by, and I do more processing and healing. Still, sometimes getting triggered is just..... crappy. 💩


    I just spent the morning rearranging my FB and adding a friend list that was all my old Christian friends. I then unfollowed everyone on it. So, that way I can go into the stream for that list IF I want to, but they won't show on my main feed at all.


    aaaaaaaand, @RealityCheck thank you so much for that suggestion. I just installed it! This is a game changer for me.



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  18. I'm once again, all tied up in knots, and have wasted the better part of my Saturday afternoon.


    In a word: Facebook.


    I have considered so many times just walking away from it. I'm so upset that I can't just enjoy my news feed stream, which is mostly full of things that really interest me. Of all the friends I have, I'd say 95% or more are believers from my former evangelical life. I've already "unfollowed" almost everyone, due to being so triggered by the awful memes these loving Christian people slap up on their feed. But Facebook also shows you comments people make on OTHER pages, whether you want to know about it or not.


    I'm not sure if this is just part of my deconversion, but I am still getting SO BLOODY TRIGGERED when I see/read these comments -- which are unavoidable when FB decides I need to see something my friend wrote on a page they follow, which I don't care about. I've tried "telling" FB "see less comments like this" but that friggin' algorithm just doesn't get the hint.


    I know it's something inside of me that gets hooked in. I'll read something, and then end up researching Bible verses to counteract the insane arguments I see.  But then I realize I'm just "proof texting" the person back, and that they are so entrenched in their ways that it won't matter anyway. So, I put away the verses, don't post, and disengage.  Except, I don't really. I spend the next several hours ruminating on various scenarios of things I could have said, what they might have said back, etc. I can't let go. The fact that people can pick any Bible verse they want, and use it to justify something they agree with, feels like a thousand gut punches. I don't know why this affects me so much.


    It's insane.


    And, I can't seem to stop. I'll be OK for sometimes months, but then inevitably I'll see something, and it will send me spinning.


    I can't leave Facebook, because I belong to several important private groups for my work. I thought that unfollowing 95% of my friends would solve it (and, honestly, that's just so sad it has to come to that). The truth is, I just want to live in peace. But these days, I can't do that. I just feel really defeated right now. I mean really, really defeated.


    I am seriously considering counseling. I know I'm the one that LET this ruin my day. I just can't seem to stop getting triggered.


    Thanks for listening.

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  19. 20 hours ago, Fuego said:

    Another question: "Why are churches so intent on getting money and making buildings instead of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked?"


    I always felt like the real believers were outside the buildings. I even talked to a small group that was picketing a church, saying that the church was far more concerned with money and nice cars than in Jesus. I told them I agreed with them. The pastor there was decked out in multiple rings, and had a cadre of business cronies surrounding him at all times to keep the riff-raff like me away. The church emphasized tithing and if you questioned at all, their reply was "I think you'd be happier somewhere else". They wanted controllable gullible sheep, nothing else. And they got rather a lot of them.


    The only thing churches want less than that, is a hurt Christian who arrives emotionally damaged from another Christian church. They don't want to deal with the fallout. They'd rather have starry-eyed new converts, who are thrilled to work for free for the church, and give their hard earned money too. Best racket around. Free workers, and they pay the church too! Of course, it's all wrapped up in a neat little god-package that you are doing the work "for the Lord." In fact, if you ever think you are being asked to do too much, they say that your relationship with the Lord is the problem, not their church. I mean, we're supposed to "count it all joy...." right?


    End of rant.

  20. Modern cry: “Marriage is between one man and one woman.”


    Actual Bible:

    Man + Woman – Genesis 2:24

    Man + Wives + Concubines – (Check out Abraham’s family & their wives throughout the OT)

    Man + Woman + Woman’s property – Genesis 16

    Man + Woman + Woman + Woman (polygamy) Essau (3 wives), Jacob (2), Ashur (3), Gideon (lots), David (lots), plus many others

    Man + Brother’s Widow - Genesis 38:6-10

    Rapist + His Victim – Deuteronomy 22:28-29

    Male Soldier + Prisoner of War – in both Numbers, Deuteronomy

    Male Slave + Female Slave – slave owner could assign a female slave to a male one – Exodus 21:4


    The logic goes like this:

    Christian points to Adam & Eve, stating this is the ideal.

    Christian says all other Old Testament marriage examples are “from a different culture and time”

    Christian does not seem to understand the Adam/Eve story is in Genesis - also in the Old Testament

    Additionally, all verses on homosexuality are valid for this culture today.


    And then, there’s Lot. He was down for offering up his daughters for gang rape, because if he didn’t, the angry crowd outside his house would gang rape the angels visiting him he had inside.

    HOWEVER: The bible never records the residents of Sodom performing homosexual acts, but it does make it clear that they were guilty of injustice and being inhospitable, and therefore deserved judgment.

    You know, because those things are worse than gang rape.

    And additionally, he does absolutely nothing about those practicing injustice or inhospitality today.


    Makes perfect sense.


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