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Everything posted by ExPCA

  1. The christian would maintain that he/she is an ordained by god physician of the the soul and say that god’s will is perfect and not always understood. Trials are your soul being perfected. The human being that hasn’t been brain warshed would say, yes probably chance and yes probably some forces we can’t understand could have been at work. Let’s move on and not be fucks.
  2. Yeah man, church people and overly religious people creep me out big time. Some people need to fuck off and get a life.
  3. I take all music references personally because I love music dearly. AND as always, we must come to define what words mean to us, or how we understand them (this is probably more important in our present time than ever - we must always strive to articulate ourselves properly to ourselves and our audience). christian music sucks. It’s just bad. We need to realize that. christian musical lyrics are ok because they have some relics of reasonable and/or rational truth VERY loosely based on scripture—-which is shady as shit as most folks know at ex-c. Because there is some useful truth in the bible, but most of it seems very made up. But shame on me. So fuck fundy music and let our music live beyond dogmatic and legalistic bullshit.
  4. This summarizes my experiences with almost every christian I’ve met. I even tried to live like this when I thought I was a christian and I couldn’t sustain such a bullshit existence.
  5. Why are all elders and pastors creepy as shit?
  6. This is similar to the cultural christian anecdotes: “let go and let god” or the puritan saying “all is mercy and grace this side of hell.” I read a tweet from a younger friend of mine that had a mindless reference to scripture with the hashtag #Notincontrol... Uhh excuse me sir, you’re in control of your life quit drinking the fucking dumb shit kool aid.
  7. Hence reading or listening to something that is not a novel... something that is less taxing to think about or that you have listened to or read before.
  8. I wish it were that simple. I am unsure why I came to Christianity, why I stayed in Christianity, and why I continue to be haunted by Christianity. While I would love to grasp onto many anti-Christian systems of argument that I have encountered, I have found it very difficult to severe the ties... particularly the fear that I am going to eternal torment when I have a heart attack in less-than-or-equal-to 40 years... interestingly even when I was a very devoted attendee of Christian events, I was still very fearful of dying and going to hell because I was a church outcast and always shamed for my questioning of church elders in bible studies. I was always mocked from the pulpit during sermons for my outspoken nature amongst ‘friends’ and in ‘confidential’ bible studies. Perhaps I really do need to investigate more into how Christianity is completely fucking bullshit. Hence, the importance of full deconversion that has been stated in this website. Any help would be appreciated.
  9. For the two years after I left the PCA church I attended, I have experienced episodic panic attacks. Please understand that I am a grown ass man, I work full time, and I am (for better or for worse, in regards to increasing my panic) a doctor. For all of the mental and physical strength that I know I have, I am a weak person against the fear of death and the anxiety it produces from my religious past. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for life has somewhat pried open my eyes to presuppositional apologetics in historical, philosophical, and psychological truths. He addresses Jung, Freud, Rogers, Nietzsche, and others and makes many good points about the universal symbolic nature of man. I suppose I can only recommend reading or listening to his book to totally understand where I am coming from. I can assure you that my “faithful attendance” at church today was motivated by anxiety of being myself, the fear of death, and eternal pain in hell rather than belief in jesus or god.
  10. Recently, I’ve read Jordan Peterson’s book, “12 rules for life.” His references to psychology, biology, and philosophy has gotten me to a point where I am considering attending church again... I say this with the caveat that I am still so angry and utterly upset about my past experiences in the church that it is hard to foresee my return to regular attendance. That being said, I attended a nondenominational church today and I walked out halfway through... granted, the last church I attended regularly was PCA. Fuck me until the cows come home, ExPCA
  11. Bedtime is tough. And I do agree that leaving a church or way of belief can be especially taxing on ones conscience and, therefore, sleep and rest cycles. The best advice I’ve received is to listen to a book or read a book that is LIGHT and not very heavy or provocative... something that has a storyline that is not necessarily suspenseful or necessarily thrillingly or demands the utmost attention of its reader/listener. I have come to believe that once one lays down and rests and then eventually feels/senses/thinks about self-created (so to speak) abstract storylines in ones head and feels these stories raveling and unraveling, that it is at this time that sleep is beginning to occur... or perhaps that dreams are beginning to develop in basal forms. What do you think? Does this make sense?
  12. Thanks for your story and I hope you are able to benefit from this site as I have... albeit gradually and somewhat immaturely. I was most struck by the passive aggressiveness and narcissistic sarcasm from Christians or believers in your story. It seems to me in my experiences that Christians are always laden with these manipulative behaviors and sense of divine self worth. It really is a scary thing, now that I am seeing it from outside the faith. Such behaviors come to mind: people being afraid of lightning and storms as they perceived it might be the striking of god himself. Also, a friend from church feeling guilty for buying a new car. Classic paranoia symptoms of a person gone insane from falsehoods of Christian religions.
  13. In my experiences this has always been my observation too. I’ve given Christianity many tries and I always come out the other end more convinced that YOU have to do things for yourself and pull yourself up by your bootstraps (somehow, whether it feels good or not) ..... I’ve watched so many Christians just flail and fail through life, believing that they are on some path of glory when in reality they are just fucking idiots and creepy.
  14. The terms that come to mind when I visit this zany forum are determinism, gods supposed providence, and gods supposed elect. As with many arguments involving religion, the beliefs in these terms hinge on whether you believe the scriptures that vindicate these beliefs are inerrantly true. And god inerrantly said them to people who supposedly were able to copy them down word for word. This was then copied and edited hundreds of times and over many many years... and still it is the inerrant word of the creator of the universe. Oh.... this must be a sacred mystery.... huh. The fact is that no one knows. Seriously, no one does know. They cannot say they know for certain. One argument for believing in something that does not necessarily have proof can be the mystery of faith. Well ok, belief in something that does not exist can also be called psychosis. The point I am trying to rant about is that the mind, brain, soul, heart, whatever you want to call it... is a powerful thing. Beliefs about oneself and the world drive all that we do and say. So it is significantly confusing that some people base much of their beliefs on such weak ground, i.e. it is perplexing that we base much of our life on things that don’t readily make sense. This leads me to believe that perhaps since we experience things we cannot explain (or we don’t feel comfortable explaining in factual terms the things we cannot explain), we seek out a solution that we cannot explain... an unexplainable problem and an unexplainable solution... The ultimate unexplainable problem is what happens after death and what to do with the fear of dying...
  15. The majority of church staff is not qualified to counsel people on their lives! Let’s face it. They are people with degrees from seminary schools that teach religion. Or, they have no degree at all and are riffing off of the older church leaderships bullshit. Yuck!
  16. “You gotta get back into the bible.” http://www.cc.com/video-clips/vyol1f/stand-up-rory-scovel--get-back-into-the-bible
  17. “The bible doesn’t speak to everything in life directly, but it speaks indirectly about everything in life.”
  18. When I would ask about the bible and its interpretation OR express my current 'status' of faith, pastors would recite "we are trying to learn about the character of god." So you can learn about the entire character of a celestial, benevolent being from errant text? Bullshit.
  19. Playing devil's advocate here. I mostly agree. You did not provide much context for the Matthew 7:21-22 text. Christians will argue that the right path is obedience to god's law as laid out in the bible. And when failing (which everyone does and which apparently sanctifies if rightfully repented of), they are to fall back on the ideas that there is vicarious justification and redemption through Christ. It is a mindlessly frustrating cycle. What are your thoughts on this, Geezer?
  20. I've had a pastor tell me that he was jesus and I was Peter and that the devil wanted to sift me like wheat. Another pastor told me that satan puts burs between people. Can't be thankful enough that I am out of the insanity.
  21. HARVEY AND IRMA...GOD'S JUDGMENT? Someone asked me on Sunday whether devastating hurricanes are the judgment of God. I pastor a small congregation in Tampa, Florida and write this even while watching forecasts of category 5 Irma barreling down on our state. This storm of course is following close upon the terrible devastation of Harvey on the city of Houston and surrounding areas. Shelves in Tampa are bare of basic supplies and people are nervous. I just filled 10 sandbags to put around our doors if needed. So is this God’s judgment? Jesus addresses this very question in Luke 13:1-5 1There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Apparently Pilate the governor of the region had killed some Galilean people while they had come up for sacrifice, likely for unknown political reasons. Additionally, there was a calamity involving the collapse of a tower, killing eighteen people. Jesus perceived the thinking behind the question brought to him. Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners…. do you think that they were worse offenders…? Here is the logic of many people: Step 1: Certain people encounter disaster. Step 2: Disaster is ultimately from God. Step 3: They must have been judged for their sins. Step 4: They must be really evil. This is common thinking, isn’t it? Haven’t you heard people ask if Katrina hit because New Orleans because it was more evil than other cities? Don’t people draw such conclusions about various terrible events in the world? These are common questions. What does Jesus say? Notice first that Jesus does not refute “step 2” - the idea that such disaster is ultimately from God Some respond by saying that God had nothing to do with such things. After all, God is good and loving. How could he do something like this? But this thinking must be rejected as an option. Evil and sorrow is in the world because of mankind’s sin, but Scripture is very clear that in an ultimate sense, God is still in control even of such things. Here are just a few verses: Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it? (Amos 3:6) Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:11) Even when the direct cause is not nature or disease, but evil people, still God claims ultimate control: 27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. (Acts 4:27-28) To affirm these things is to approach the incomprehensibility of the Almighty God, but he is indeed the Almighty. To say that any event is outside of the scope of his power and ultimate design robs him of his eternal power and divine nature. So Jesus does not deny the ultimate sovereignty of God. Jesus does not directly refute step 3 either - the idea that such events are judgment. God is doing many things in disaster and calamity. Judgment is certainly one of his purposes. Think of the greedy rich man that Jesus spoke of. But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' (Luke 12:20) That man died in the night, and whether it was sickness, murder, accident, etc., it was the judgment of God falling upon him. We must also recognize however, that for those in Christ, calamity is most certainly not judgment. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) If a Christian dies in a hurricane, it is only gain. If a Christian loses all their possessions, it is absolutely terrible, and yet we trust God’s word that God is working for his or her good. God uses all things in the life of the Christian for their ultimate and eternal good, though we may not understand how. God is carrying out many purposes that we cannot presently see through various disasters. But yes, judgment is one of those purposes. But where Jesus sets us straight is particularly step 4 - the idea that those who suffer must be more evil. 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. …5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Jesus understands the self-righteousness of the human heart. How easily we look at those suffering the horrors of war in Syria or Iraq and conclude that it must be their fault and we are morally superior. How easily we conclude that the starvation that so many North Koreans or Yemenis face is somehow an indicator of their greater sins. How easily we elevate ourselves. Have you ever had the thought that you enjoy the good life because you are a good person? Wrong! Notice the key word that Jesus uses: “likewise.” “but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." He compares the fate of these various people to what “you all” will experience - “perishing.” In other words, every single person should look at disasters and see a picture of judgment. But you should not so much think about others. And you should certainly not elevate yourself above others. You should think about the judgment you yourself will face when you stand before God. And therefore you should repent. Disasters in this present time do not follow a strict plan of “good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.” Rather, God’s dealings are veiled in mystery until the great day of judgment, where every thought, word, and deed will be judged with holy and perfect justice. Conclusion: So are these hurricanes God’s judgment? Yes, in some limited sense, along with many other purposes of God. But the take away for all people is see in these things a picture of the awesome power and judgment of God. C.S. Lewis called pain, “God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Look at suffering, and recognize that yes, God will judge the world. God will judge you. And you will perish, unless you repent. God has provided a way of salvation. The Son of God suffered the full weight of God’s judgment upon the cross. Jesus Christ perished. He died so that we might live. He went to the cross as a substitute for sinners. All who will repent, turning from sin and trusting Jesus Christ, will be saved. This is the grace of God.
  22. THE OUTER BANDS...OF GOD The outer bands of Irma are presently passing over Tampa, intensifying by the hour. I write from a home in Alabama, to which my family has evacuated. It was the thought of category 3 or even category 4 winds raging over my home which compelled me to pack up at 2:30 AM on Friday morning, load my wife and two toddlers in the car, and drive for twelve hours. As friends who stayed behind give me updates on the conditions, there is one core issue that that we all are thinking about: the immense power of this storm. The outer bands are just the beginning. For all who find themselves awed and perhaps trembling by the raging of this power, let me call you to consider God’s word. There are in fact other “outer bands” of tremendous importance. Job is a man known for his intense suffering, but in Job 26, he teaches us this: Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? (Job 26:14) Job is speaking about what is called the omnipotence of God. Or in other words, he is describing the very edges, fringes, or “outer bands” of the Almighty. Job says that these outer bands include the following: The Creation of the world: 7He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. His providential ruling over all meteorology: 8He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them. He covers the face of the full moon and spreads over it his cloud. His majestic design of the waters and light: 10He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. His awesome rebuke of evil: 11The pillars of heaven tremble and are astounded at his rebuke. His dominance over chaos and evil: 12By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. `13By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Think for a moment about this: the creation of the cosmos....just the fringe of God’s power; the unleashing of the cyclonic power of Irma....barely the edge his designs; the casting down of Satan himself and the powers of darkness from heaven....only the tip of the finger of God. In other words, take the most vast physical, spiritual, and providential happenings of the heavens and earth....and you have just barely touched on the outer bands of the omnipotence of God. You cannot discuss the omnipotence of God (his attribute of being all-powerful) without realizing that he is also incomprehensible. Verse 14 - But the thunder of his power who can understand? We can say that He is the Almighty, but what does that mean? All my years of study and thought cannot give me a full grasp. All of eternity itself will not be long enough to scale such heights. For some reading these words, I wonder if you have ever thought about these things. Isn’t it odd that so many have not? After all, Job tells us that the dead think about this continually. 5The dead tremble under the waters and their inhabitants. 6Sheol [the grave] is naked before God, and Abaddon has no covering. And yet, we seem so dull to it. Further, Moses says this: Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? (Psalm 90:11) Indeed, who does think about this? Who sets their mind on the power of God, and especially on the power of his wrath and anger? If you have never done so, I plead with you to do so now. God send storms like Irma so that you would be awakened (Isaiah 26:9). Do not miss the opportunity. There is an Almighty God and you do have an eternal soul and you are a sinner and there is a great conflagration to come: the undoing of the created order in fire when God judges all human beings and angels. His omnipotence will be expressed in the perfect justice of the Judge of all the earth. And who can stand in that day? Those who do not consider such things are far more foolish than those who remained on the beaches of South Florida in vain hope of being spared the fury of Irma’s power. Do not ignore the outer bands. For those who are willing to consider the truth of God and humble their own souls in acknowledgment of sin, there is something more awesome and wonderful yet to be said. It can be seen in the midst of a storm on Sea of Galilee some two thousand years ago, where frightened sailors woke up their sleeping teacher asleep on the boat: And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:39-41) Who indeed is this? It is Jesus Christ, who, as Job said, “By his power he stilled the sea.” The Almighty God became man. The infinite and eternal one took upon himself the finite and temporal nature. He did so because he is not only omnipotent in his judgments, but he is omnipotent in his love. This is a mystery no mind can grasp. God became man and died for sinners. On the cross, Jesus took the wrath of divine justice in the place of all who will trust in him. And here, I think we must say we pass beyond the outer bands into something far more central. We come to a sort of “eye” in the storm. By the grace of the Lord Jesus and his gospel, we find that at the center is the joy of those who are at peace with God. We find the pleasures of knowing the one whose love surpasses all knowledge. We come into a true relationship with the Incomprehensible God, who comes to us as a Father to a child. And we can join with confidence in those words of Job, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27) Because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I can say to all who trust in him and repent of their sins: do not fear Irma. (Prudence and wisdom, yes, but fear…no). Fear God. The fear of God quiets all other fears. And like Job, do not merely fear him, but let your heart faint for him. Through Jesus, you have the unspeakable joy of knowing him. And one day, you like Job will indeed see him face to face.
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