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Everything posted by DestinyTurtle

  1. I think a lot of people just want to be seen and understood, and once they get that assurance from this site they go off to face their life problems. Also life is just super busy. I love this site but I can't be on it as often as I would like, or to post my thoughts with as much thorough discussion as I would like.
  2. @Karen I completely agree - it's home grown evangelical terrorism.
  3. Hello and Welcome! You know I've heard a lot of fundamentalist/former-fundamentalist types that they got lured in to it after they were embroiled in a more lukewarm version of the religion, eventually to find that they still felt a lack of purpose or meaning. I guess it's a temptation to double down and hope that a more intense version of the faith would give rise to that exhilaration again. Anyways, seeking a deeper meaning and purpose, I think, is a good trait, and can help you a lot outside of the context of religion (which ultimately doesn't help with this need anyways). Hope this site helps!
  4. Welcome! Glad this website seems to be helping! My dad's a preacher too so I empathize.
  5. Welcome! I personally mainly think institutionalized religion is bad, since the institution inherently distorts truth and reasoning to maximize its organizational persistence and power.
  6. Oh, wow, a whole thread about Calvinism! I'm super late to the party! Sorry I've been super busy with private life matters lately, so I haven't have the time for interesting debates. Going back to the original question that @midniterider posted (waaaay back when - I don't even know if it's appropriate to bring it up at this point) the Calvinists in my life interpret the "world" in "God so loved the world" in John 3:16 as referring only and specifically to the Elect. In their mind Jesus only died to save the elect, and in fact some Calvinist pastors will argue that one of the consequences of Jesus's sacrifice is an even deeper damnation for the Unelect. So basically if you're one of the Unelect Jesus died so you can be punished even more horribly for all of eternity, thereby glorifying God with your suffering. God so much enjoys your suffering that he would send his only son to die just that you would suffer more, it seems. Anyways, long story short, if you redefine words willy nilly like Calvinists do you can make any sentence in the bible mean anything (notice all the debating as to what 'elect' means, exactly). If Calvinism was a natural interpretation of the bible then they wouldn't have to rely so much on their own terminology and precise definitions. Take, for example, Five Point Calvinism. If these Five Points (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Preservation of the Saints) were the absolute core of Jesus's teachings, as these Calvinists claim, then Jesus would have laid out the five points precisely in that manner ( after all, he clearly laid each member of the Holy Trinity, didn't he? ). But no - Calvinists have a lot of things to say and a lot of quotes to make and a lot of fancy academic theological terms because that's how they drown out the nonsense they use to justify that somehow cruelty is a desirable trait in a divine authority figure. Figures. Adios, -DT
  7. It always boggled me how these churches that claim a "good" and "benevolent" god also really lay in in thick how unworthy you are and how much that same god hates everything you do and is disappointed in you. The reason why they are so intent on destroying your sense of self worth is so that you'll fork over your power and your money...
  8. Welcome to X-Xian, @Jane! Let's be clear about the fact that you don't (and you never have) *made* them feel bad. They are responsible for their feelings, and their choice to believe in a nightmare reality where you can go to hell for not believing in exactly the right thing... that is their failing.
  9. Welcome, @Christopherhays! You are not a disappointment, and I am proud of you and people like you who show courage and perseverance under a great risk of alienation and manipulation! Glad you're here.
  10. Geez. That kind of performative, and narcissistic self-abasement is a dime a dozen. I've seen christians of many different kinds do this. It gets really bizarre sometimes with people taking turns trying to "out-humble" each out in a game of one-upmanship. I've seen preachers boast about their history of sexual conquests on stage, because, you know, it showed how "great" the mercy they received is. In reality, though, it's just them boasting about their sex life in public. I think the first one to do this was St. Augustine himself, in "Confessions" - that, and eating Pears, which apparently is REALLY BAD. I mean REALLY BAD. He STOLE a PEAR and LIKED IT. LORD SAVE ME. *cough* excuse me... anyways he thought stealing pears was the worst thing he's ever done never mind the womanizing... I've noticed people, in practice, mostly project whoever they are or whatever they value to the vaguely defined "god" or "Jesus" figure. People with a sadistic edge picture a sadistic god that enjoys inflicting pain on people (hell fire and brimstone), and sensitive and kind people will define god as a principle or person described as such. I have a certain affection and partiality to the ancient Greek gods who all represent character traits that all play in a weird, psychedelic, drama rather than attempting to describe a supreme entity that is impossible to describe by definition. In the end different Xian denominations are providing colorful illustrations of what character traits they want to elevate. That's all I got right now. Sorry my brain is soup at about this hour when I get back from work. Praise Zeus!
  11. Yes. They definitely did! Man did their attitudes and speech change behind closed doors! Half the time they were floating about other christians, who they deemed were 'fake'. I don't think they people they were talking about knew it.
  12. Yep. Unlike some other people in this forum I don't have any trouble with family trying to re-convert me since they believe that I am impossible to save (because they have decided I am unelect). This does simplify things a bit in some ways. It is also incredibly hurtful and alienating in its own way, but c'est la vie.
  13. I have a thorough deconstruction and criticism of the doctrine scattered about as comments throughout the site, I think? For one thing the theology is two-faced: believers in Calvinism like to harp about how they believe in an all-powerful God, unlike proponents of free-will (which apparently compromise God's power, according to Calvinists), yet they'll go on and on about what god "won't" do or "can't" do with respect to saving people's souls. Similarly they'll argue about how God's mind is unknowable and then proceed to regurgitate a detailed list of who they believe is or isn't one of the elect. Most of all it's a horribly arrogant, sadistic, and narcissistic world view. I mean c'mon what kind of person wants to claim that most people were created for the explicit purpose of being tortured for eternity to serve the "glory" of a God that apparently enjoys inflicting this suffering-without-purpose-or-end? Add to that the tendency of Calvinists to have a personal, private list of people they believe were created for this purpose and then to privately gloat about how "good" it is to know that these people, who they personally know, will suffer forever. I can't go through life wishing and rejoicing in people (including friends and family) to go to hell. Anyways that was more of a vent than a rigorous argument. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
  14. I was a Calvinist! It is absolutely not worth it. Will not recommend. Then again, according to my parents it's because I'm one of the unelect and was therefore predestined to not "get it" so...
  15. I grew up meticulously reading the bible, as a child. I used to be a devout fundamentalist. During a particularly emotional and transitional moment in my deconversion process, I threw it in the dumpster. Years later when I was able to approach the bible from a neutral, academic, and scholarly perspective I got a new copy of the bible. Now it sits on my bookshelf for reference because it is, after all, a very historically relevant and referential text.
  16. I'm proud of you, @Jace! That is some serious courage and character you demonstrated! My dad thinks I'm going to hell, too! It sucks and it took many years to get over, but trust me it's better to leave that toxic abusive nonsense.
  17. I found it interesting after hanging out with atheists and "non-believers" that most of them are much more sexually moderate, respectful, and self controlled than most so-called born again Xians. I really think in a lot of cases that repression *is* what causes people to become sexually violent. Also some of the basic foundational attitudes of Evangelicism is to violate people's boundaries by threatening or coercing them into their "faith" and I think that attitude carries onto their view of sexuality as well.
  18. I am completely and absolutely not surprised. I imagine the convicted pastors will eventually make an impassioned speech about repenting and being born again (for real this time), and then proceeding to publicly boast about their sexual endeavors in a larger BS narrative about how it shows how great god is. Their future congregation will lap it up.
  19. Welcome, @jupiter789! Man I hear you. I grew up in a fundamentalist family, too, and also feared similarly about economic and social abandonment by my family. I look back in awe at how much I was able to reclaim, but I still struggle with a deep seated anger at the things that they deprived me of - to the extent that they could. In any case, we get to live our own lives now.
  20. The situation sounds terrible and I'm sorry to hear it. It's important to remember : It's not your job to fix him. You set your boundaries clearly, which is great. What he does with his life and his addictive personality is his responsibility.
  21. Hello and Welcome! It's good to know that X-Xian self-expression doesn't only land on deaf ears and that sometimes it does communicate and persuade people. What a powerful impact it can have on an individual's life, if they have the earnestness and courage to face it! Anyways, glad you're here!
  22. Acceptance is a complex and nuanced thing. It feels good as an X Xian to talk to people with shared perspective in this matter, as it helps to feel less alone in the struggle and it helps to reassert your own sense of reality. I think this website is great in this respect. That being said, people have a variety of beliefs and attitudes. For example, although people usually avoid talking politics here, you might find that a person who deeply shares your perspective on religion will suddenly turn and fiercely disagree with you on a political opinion (or some other matter). That can feel like rejection. Ultimately it is important to learn to accept yourself and feel secure in that, and random ferocity and disagreement, in time, will feel less like personal rejection. It won't matter if you're a good X Xian. It does, however, delight me personally that you escaped toxic Xianity, and this isn't because I care whether you like me ( although it is welcome if you do ). I just personally believe more people should should do the same.
  23. Perhaps there is still some hope for the US!
  24. So glad you're free! Crazy how much people beat themselves up over rules that don't even serve the purpose they were originally intended for (assuming they had a good intended purpose in the first place)!
  25. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this I find in my life that it's pretty much impossible to talk reason into delusional people. It does indeed sound like a cult.
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