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BarnOwl

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BarnOwl last won the day on February 6

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About BarnOwl

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Michigan, US
  • Interests
    Reading, Video Games, Computer Programming, Deep Discussions
  • More About Me
    I have been a Christian my entire life. However, I am turning 24 in a few months and am just now realizing how much of the past 10 years I spent hiding I was gay in order to fit the box of my religion. I am now in a limbo state, unsure of what I want or what I believe.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I honestly don’t know right now

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  1. Thank you! I understand the arguments people make for a Christian case for homosexuality. However, after reading multiple books and spending weeks researching the material, I still find that the Bible doesn’t allow for homosexuality. One of the reasons why I also may be closed off to that idea is also because if we are just simply reading the scriptures “incorrectly” then God allowed homosexuals to be pointlessly persecuted by his own church for the past century. For me, I fee like it puts me between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, I can’t bring myself to accept that the way I feel and who I am is inherently wrong. I also can’t believe or accept that God would allow his church to persecute a portion of people in this way if he was ok with it. I’m finding it harder and harder to believe in this faith that I’ve had for so long. Now though, I’m starting to be ok with that. Hey just finished reading “Leaving the Fold” by Dr. Marlene Winell, and that was such an eye opening book. After reading it, I’m now going back through and working through her suggested exercises. It has been very helpful in dealing with the emotions I’ve been having with leaving the faith and other emotional issues I’ve pushed aside in relation to being closeted.
  2. I’m not even sure how to stop believing if I wanted to. It doesn’t seem like something I could just turn off. Despite everything, I still feel a lot of connection with my faith. And hello, as well How are you enjoying this week of Michigan weather? lol
  3. I did some research on the Jewish beliefs, that was an interesting read to see how much the Jewish faith has started to accept homosexuality. I could choose to believe in God and believe that God is ok with homosexuality. But I guess I just feel so exhausted, rejected and neglected by my religion that I don’t want to keep making excuses for it the rest of my life. The 6 scriptures on homosexuality are only a small part of the issues I’ve come to have with Bible, although they’re the ones that have caused me personally the most hurt. A very interesting read, as well. I never considered God asking Adam to pick a mate from the animals to be a serious question. But then, I’ve felt for years that the Biblical creation story is essentially a Jewish myth anyways, an explanation to children on how the world was created in ancient times. Today, it should only be treated as literary reading, not factual evidence of something greater. Even so, I do recognize arguments that could be made for homosexuality from a Biblical perspective. You both have mentioned a couple, and there are some I’ve found during my own re-reading of the Bible. Yet, I just feel like I’m using those reasons in order to avoid confronting my beliefs, whichI don’t want to do.
  4. Thanks! I’m truly looking forward to it.
  5. Thank you. It took me a while to work through your testimony, but it was worth it. I identified with your testimony in so many ways that it will definitely be something that I come back to and read again as I work through things myself. I’m just so glad that this isn’t something that I have to go through alone. I’ve been doing it alone since I was 14 just handling the idea of being gay and the thought of having to go through losing my faith alone was terrifying. I’ve thankfully not been a suicidal thinker, but I can attest that the idea of doing this alone as well almost didn’t seem worth the effort. So again, thank you. I feel a lot more hope and less alone than I have in a while just from reading your testimony.
  6. Exactly. That’s not a life I would want to live, constantly trying to justify my interpretation of scripture to others and to myself. I want my life to make sense in some way, and as you said, being an openly gay Christian is way more complicated than just being a Christian. As for your comments on the afterlife. One pattern I’m finding in Christianity is that the real reason for belief isn’t evidence or experience. It’s this idea that the more we devote our earthly lives to God, the more rewarded we are in Heaven. Then, every question or doubt you have in response is essentially answered with this blanket statement of faith, and that trusting that faith means you don’t get into heaven. Essentially, to get into heaven you have to believe the word of regular people, since there’s nothing pointing to any evidence that God himself said these things. The entire faith is based on trusting the words of men and if you don’t trust them, then you don’t get into heaven. They literally have you trapped in from both sides, because even doubting it could be seen as a lack of faith that results in not getting in. Reading is exactly what I’ve been doing, and quite a bit of it. I definitely am enjoying the atmosphere of openness here - it’s refreshing after living in the church where even bringing up these ideas is seen as the work of the devil. I was actually talking with mom yesterday a little bit about how I felt there were inconsistencies in the Bible. Her response was that Satan was finding the chinks in my faith and that if I go looking for inconsistencies in the Bible, of course I’ll find them. It just made me realize how closed of people of faith are to any open discussion by comparison to people on these forums for example.
  7. Learning that just because I make mistakes doesn’t make me morally wrong at the core is one of the most liberating ideas I’ve read yet on here. I’ve always felt that everyone was good at heart and just made bad decisions because we’re not perfect, and we’re learning as a species. I’ve been avidly reading material on here these past few days and it’s been very thought provoking and forced me to really critically think on things I believe. Lol, there is only logic, not special logic. Something that made me both laugh and also helped me realize a few things myself. Thanks I read the first two chapters of that book, and it’s amazing. I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP and read it through - it’s one of my goals this week.
  8. As somebody later replied in this thread, the mental gymnastics that requires made me realize that I may as well leave the faith anyways if I choose to follow that path. Trust me, I’ve done months of research to see if there was any chance that the scriptures could be safely reinterpreted to allow for homosexuality, but I found they just don’t. If I’m going to be a Christian, then I’m not going to be one that picks and chooses which parts I want to live by. Writing that though makes me realize how ridiculous all of it sounds though. “Safely reinterpreting...” We shouldn’t have to interpret the Word of God. If God is truth, wisdom and love, the you would think His word would be pretty clear as is. So no, I have been living the past week in a state of high stress and anxiety at the ideas I’ve been considering. I know that I am either choosing to leave my faith or choosing to bare my cross.
  9. Moving at my own pace can be a little challenging for me, lol. As I said in my previous post, I have a hard time pacing myself and ensuring I’m really taking things in rather than overwhelming myself. I really need that, some time alone to just think. I’m thinking about planning a day like that this week sometime, not sure when yet though. It’s just been a really stressful and exhausting time for me, and I think some time doing something by myself is needed. Also I love that quote, so thank you for sharing it. If it matters, I forgive you for posting it again for me Hey, thanks! Glad I won’t be taking this journey alone, then, at least —————————— A couple things I wanted to add that I thought of while replying here: I like to ask lots of questions, so apologies if it ever feels like I post a ton later on with lots of questions- I’ll try to make sure I try to find the answers on another thread first, if I can. I also can be very wordy, so sorry for any long posts. I’m still reconciling myself with being gay. I don’t think I’ve been entirely clear on that front, but while I can easily say that I’m gay, I’m still struggling and debating with the idea of whether or not I should act on it. My family knows that I’m gay, but I’ve convinced them since coming out that it is just “my struggle” and not something I want to act on. (So I traded being closeted for being out and just not doing anything about it. I guess small steps?)
  10. Thank you for the welcome! I’ve been reading a bit, but I’m kind of overwhelmed with the amount of information available. I have to keep reminding myself that I spent 23 years indoctrinating myself into Christianity, I can’t expect to learn all of this overnight. Thank you for this. Those experiences are definitely one of the hard things for me to dismiss. I’ve been asking God for help and answers for over a year now, only recently realizing that there might not be anyone there to answer. I have read and had similar issues with the Bible in the past, though of course there is always some apologetic with an answer and context to make it make sense. In fact, I could probably give apologetics answers for majority of what you stated. However, for me I’m exhausted with constantly trying to make the Bible make sense. If it’s God’s inspired Word, we shouldn’t need special logic and historical knowledge for it to make sense today. Thank you, I really need that reminder to just breathe. I have a tendency to throw myself into things too much and overwhelm myself, so I needed the reminder that I just need to take it easy and work through all of this. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I feel better already knowing that I have somewhere I can go with questions or concerns. Thank you.
  11. Thanks! That does sound liberating, but also terrifying if I’m honest. I’ve been taught my whole life that I can’t trust my own heart and head, so even now I question the validity of my reasoning. Barn owls are my fav animal, so that’s what I went with Your analysis is very accurate and made me sit back and think for a minute before I could continue reading. For me, the two are intertwined because whatever I choose for one, the other follows. If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t even be doubting my faith so much to feel the need to post here if it wasn’t for being gay. But being gay and wanting what that means is forcing me analyze my faith and why I believe the way I do. Part of me even wonders if the idea of losing my faith is an emotional one in order to give myself permission to live the life I want. I can definitely say that thought is one that prevents me from being able to even trust my own judgement right now. Essentially, being gay means leaving the faith. Staying with the faith means either staying celibate or trying to find a way to “be straight.” I don’t see a way to separate the two, personally. They basically go hand in hand in my mind.
  12. Hello, my name is Joseph. I’m currently 23 years old and have been closeted gay since I was 14. I spent years of my life questioning my sexuality and what I liked and didn’t like. For all of those years, I isolated myself more and more. I also became angry and irritable towards my family. My mom would inquire about my attitude, but I would always shrug off her questions as me just being a “moody teenager” or being under stress from school. In reality though, I was keeping this major part of my life a secret and was even resenting her and my family for making me feel like I had to keep it a secret. Until recently, I had never even considered leaving my faith. Surprisingly enough, I actually decided to look up atheist arguments against Christianity while reading some books by CS Lewis my mom had just bought me for Christmas. Reading his writings, I realized that I had never taken the time to see what the other side of the argument was. Rather, I had always assumed what I believed to be true and kept my gayness in check because of that. Soon after some Google and YouTube searches though, I was beginning to realize that I had been doubting my faith for years. Many of the arguments against Christianity were similar to the questions I was already thinking but too afraid to ask for many years. Now, I’m in this state of limbo, feeling stuck with these beliefs that I’m not really sure I have anymore but also feeling this desire to let go of it all and finally allow myself to be the person I’ve been hiding for years. The more I realize how not-unique my story is and how many people share a similar experience and walk away feeling better because of it, the more I want it for myself. I still feel stuck though, like I have to get God’s permission first to stop believing in Him, even though I know how ridiculous that sounds. I don’t necessarily want to believe, but I also can’t escape the feelings and experiences that have propped up my faith for the past 23 years. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to maybe finding a community of people that I can actually talk about these things openly with.
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