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Josh19 last won the day on August 14 2020

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About Josh19

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    Mid Atlantic
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    biking, fishing, hiking, aquarium
  • More About Me
    I gradually drifted away from God since 2012. It is less painful over time. Still hard to believe, after walking with Christ since accepting him in 1975, instead of getting spiritually stronger and more mature, I no longer consider myself a follower. I am still in a limbo as I firmly believe in the existence of the Biblical God and the Bible. God is very real to me and I carry on conversation with him frequently - cycle of cursing, ask for forgiveness, pray for my kids then more cursing. Best to explain my dilemma is like a father & son relationship went bad. What I trusted as loving, just, merciful and forgiving God is now replaced with adjectives like - cruel, callous, narcissistic, unjust, egotistic and extreme obsession of glory & praise. I used to think I am special and the apple of his eye - his beloved son as the Bible call the believers. My personal experiences, others and the suffering of the world convinced me I am nothing, entirely disposable. Biblical promises, the scriptures I memorized for years are checks that bounced. It is beautifully written and inspiring. But seldom, if ever, works in real life. I am still troubled and sad with my falling out but feel so liberated from the burden of attending church services, endless evangelistic activities, discipleship training, prayer meeting and most of all the guilt and grind of the need to save other souls through emotionless evangelism. Incredible sense of freedom after I dropped all these baggage. Feel incredibly happy for being free at last after 40+ years of being in this mental jail.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Same God same Jesus that I gave my life to 1975

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  1. I would advice to go for it. Enjoy sex in a responsible manner, i.e. not indulge with multiple partners. Since we are born, we are put inside this box, living to please our parents, friends, everyone except ourselves and of course ultimately this God who seems to get his joy from watching people suffer. The whole idea of Christian living seems to base on pain and agony. We were admonished to endure it with joy and thank this sadistic God regardless whatever come our way. Looking back, I so filled with regret in my younger days when I abstain from sexual pleasure because our spiritual mentors (aka real assholes on their high horses) told us it is to sty pure for marriage. And they told us, so is Bible teaching, that there will be a perfect partner that God destines for us. The more you abstained from sex, the sweeter and stronger the relationship. I say this is a big lie, I am sharing with my life experience. There is no Godly woman waiting for you. And you are not going to stay young and manly forever. Bible is just so full of broken promises to tease you. So overcome your reservation and enjoy what comes naturally with someone you care. You do not want to be one day, you are old, and you can no longer do it. You will regret that "...…how stupid I was not to do it while my body can do it all day." Enjoy your youth Please.
  2. I heard the reason why CC change its name was because the bad association of its ministry with the historical crusades when the western invaders slaughtered the innocents in its middle east conquests centuries ago.....and other atrocities the crusaders committed. With the campus became more diverse with all cultures, I guess this was wise.
  3. I heard the "never dater" leadership have realized their mistake in their early years of 1970s (lots of dropped out team leaders). They are now a lot more sensitive to the emotional and human needs of young believers. I also have to assume the young believer experience depended on the individual campus team leader. I was most unfortunate to fall prey to a "never dater" staff member who once consider General Patton as a role model for his disciples to keep marching on. "body count" or " close the sales" were some slogans for my former zealous fisher of men. The endearing memory of this late leader was that "if any creature stands on 2 legs, he will likely witness to. I still remember the days when, as a freshman student overwhelmed with his load of school work, had to pretend to be so pumped up with its daily duty of witnessing, discipleship classes, memorizing scriptures. During the training apartment's daily dinner time, we share our days like how many people we witness to. Under the main ministry leader there will be team leaders (meaning the one most spiritual, sharp looking and charismatic) who different teams of students. The pressure to be spiritual and psych up as fearless practicing Christian was unrelenting. I learn later on the never dater started in the military discipleship. That may explain their militant, insensitive approach to young believers. Their claim to frame were the different illustrations (Wheel, bridge, hand...etc). Memorizing scripture and quiet time were 2 of the most encouraged habit. In my hey day as one of them, I used to write my favorite scriptures on a small stack of cards and carry that wherever I go to meditate on it. One of the activities I hate most was the Friday cold turkey witnessing. Several car load of us will drive to a popular water hole spots and talk to strangers and share our testimonies. Made me extremely uncomfortable and nervous. But to prove that I am one of them, I have to tough it out. Abstinence from any kind of intimate relationship, a thing that some embraced to show how spiritual they are, really enrage me as I look back. There are other groups like IVCF, campus crusades that I heard were a lot more gentle and kind to young believers. The so call "divine appointments" 45 years ago with the "never dater" turned out to be the most tragic and fatal encounter of my life. So many times, I wonder if I have not sat on that particular location in campus and had not met this crazy never dater student evangelist, or have resisted their attempt to save me, what would my life have been.
  4. The nature, our body, the seasonal change, the orderly way how things are with its complexity and beauty convince me that we are created by some form of entity. I accepted Christ in 1975. Walked away in 2012. a span of 37 years relationship with an entity I call God. The relationship was so ingrained into my life, I suppose it takes time to reject his hold on me. I believe I am making progress.
  5. Thank you everyone, I appreciate very much for the sharing and wealth of fruits for thought. Indeed, Life is a journey, and we fine tune our GPS as we evolve. I must say I am so much happier than the first couple years after I left my faith. Now I compartmentize that lingering feeling of "God still has a plan for me" so I can live a normal God-free life. As I shared previously, I threw away all my Christian books but saved my old well worn out Bibles and couple relics of the past. So many times, I was so angry of the way my spiritual friends forcefully imposed their "born to reproduce, pass it on, where is your timothy ?*....) on me, I fantasize taking this one Bible I used for decades to the backyard and hacked it into pieces. I know the date I actually throw out the remaining Bibles and relics is the day I am truly free. * This is the campus ministry group whose members, in the 1970s, claim to be "never dater" (rhythmed with the name of this organization) so they can be more devoted to being a disciple makers.
  6. @MOHO Hi, I am still trying to understand my state of mind. Unlike most ex-C who seems so successfully become atheists, I seems to be a category of its own. The main hold back is my continual acceptance of the existence of the Biblical God and the authenticity of the Bible. But I can truly same I am no longer a Christian because my rejection of God, not because it does not exist but because of the true character of who he is (extreme obsession in glory and worship, sadistic, narcissistic, egotistic, unjust, petty, vengeful, blood thirsty....on and on). It is my goal in joining this forum to better share and learn about myself. May be one day I will truly be free. I need to say that I am so much more happier, care free and live a much better life than the Christian years. Before I have this big yoke and guilt of carry this burden of "evangelism, purity ...the Christian things " on my back, now these are gone. Nowadays, I try hard to keep God away from my mind. If I dwell on it, I start to feel I am the rebellious son who run away from a father who practice tough love.
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people "Religion is the opium of the people" a statement by Karl Max These couple days, I have been thinking how true this statement is to describe my experience with Christianity. Decades ago, while I minded my own business in the campus lounge before class, a student (the opium peddler) approached me and shared a gospel sketch ( first exposure to what opium is). I refused to convert, the peddler was extremely persistent and asked me to meet and invite me to Friday rallies to sing songs, listen to testimonies. I continued to resist until I was curious, being lonely and gullible, looking for friendship, to attend and later said the sinner prayer (tasted the opium). I was hooked by the fun and companionship, the worship songs, the quiet moment of group prayer that was very intoxicating. Oh those hymns and Christian songs always bring me to tears of joy....I felt the presence of God (opium was having its effect on my mind). Gradually it took over my whole life...my finance (yes, donation to church, missionary), my time (family time is not important, I need to be devoted to evangelism - i.e I became another opium peddler to recruit and sell the drug to other innocent, lonely and gullible souls. Even I quitted this opium 8 years ago this year, I still have the flash back of the great feeling of the drug. In quiet moment I still seek out the YouTube hymns and praise songs to feel high. Still thinking of reconnecting to druggies and try another shot of this powerful drug. Anyhow.... just a though of the day on this very truth statement. It is the most potent addiction to many many people.
  8. I have a catholic friend I know for 40 years. We went to college together, attended my wedding (and also witness my divorce). So rare and endearing is the friendship I can not bear to break it off with him. He is such a Trump supporter (pro life is the primary issue for my friend, he is proud of joining a group who travel around the east coast and display hideous abortion photos in highway). I have no issue with his pro life which I agree. But his fervent and passion worship of Trump is almost a Jim Jones cult like. The way I keep the friendship is to avoid anything political. We talked about common favorites like cooking, auto mechanics, getting old advices etc. I think as long as we respect each other, not to insult or out shout others, and impose our belief on each other, friendship can continue. But now I do keep a distance, will not initiate any communication. His devotion to Trump, inside my lizard brain, still bother me. About onan, I need to read up on it. We studied that long time ago. I assume he pulled out from the woman to avoid pregnancy ? God did a lot of shit in OT that is outright horrific. Moses committed the most hideous geocide (Numbers 31) one can imagine. He made Hitler like a girl scout selling cookies. And not to mentioned God drowned out mankind (save 7 souls) because they were so wicked. All the answers I got is " it is not for us to understand, God's way is not men's way" I can not believe I put up with these insanities and atrocities for so many years.
  9. Read this article in our forum about the hell analogy. If there is ever a hell, another indictment of God's cruelty Dying dog analogy - https://new.exchristian.net/2020/08/the-dying-dog-analogy.html#.XzkOVqeSk2w
  10. @DanForsman it is a big baggage to carry around with the false hope of some kind of divine training plan. At my retirement age, really what is the chance of this Samson mentality. I am afraid I have to live with this the best I can. I can not think myself into total freedom. But I can take comfort in the fact that I am now many times happier than before. In Sunday morning like now, I probably will be struggling with writing a cheat sheet as liturgist who will lead the worship service. But I can stay on late, do my own thing, sleep in. During my 40 years of being a Christian, there were some true moments no matter how brief it was of real joy and closeness to God. I will never forget the church retreats, the last day was always the camp fire sharing, the open invitation to accept Christ. The joy of witnessing someone who did. In the quietness of the room, I keenly aware of the presence of God. I can count with only one hand how many people I led to Christ. Seeing them grow spiritually (and later come back to try to save me) and enthusiasm still amaze me. It is what it is. I still feel attached to God but deeply resentful of his hypocrisy and broken promises. This akin to, as I try to analyze my behavior, an abused spouse still hang on to the abuser, just to give him one more chance. The Bible seems to build on the message of building strength through suffering. I used to have a big stack, well categorized 3x5 hand written cards of all these scriptures, many on suffering alone. Along with this cards that I trashed were of Christian books, tracts. The damn brain is too programmed to discard my previous life. So many times I entertain the satisfaction of taking my well used Bible ( so full of fine written sermon notes, people's name and scripture references in fine print) to the backyard and hack it into pieces. Until that day come, this baggage is still on my shoulder. In the mean time, I do my best to live a happy life. Hope pandemic will end soon to allow me to travel that is one thing I enjoy so much. Hey, this is what give me happiness. If you ask me what heaven is like, I say have the skills, tools and space to work maintain this old 1982 VW wagon. And take your true love to the road. https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/284945179401141/
  11. I also want to share why I used Psalm 144:1 in my profile picture. Even at this stage of my journey, I still have this very small pilot light burning that may be all these rebellion and walking away is just part of the training just like Moses spent his time in the desert to prepare for the mission ahead. SDA talked much about the book of revelation of the dark days ahead. That is pathetic thinking I know. May be I will totally extinguish it one day soon. May be it will come sooner than I thought. Anyway, I am not sure what the hell I am talking about. Sometimes I feel like I am crazy trapped in a limbo - free from the Christian yoke yet not entirely. It is good not to dwell in it too much. Drink and be merry, tomorrow you will die.
  12. @MOHO, I am happy to share. I have to go back in time with the story. My spiritual journey was quite weird. I became a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) so I can marry my spouse. Love at first first sight plus pre-marriage indiscretion that rush us to the altar. Even up to this day, I felt like God is punishing me with a bad marriage because we did not stay pure before the wedding. That was a cloud over my head through and through. We manage to stay as SDA for couple years until we both became secular with career and kids. I was a back sliding Christian but I think my wife was never a believer to start with. The spiritual flame was out for a long time until in late 1990s. One night for no reason I thought of my "never dater" ministry team in college days . I searched the organization web site and reconnected with the team leader. That was my 2nd awakening. For the next 8 years I must say I was quite red hot and involved in workplace/college ministries, conducting Bible study in lunch time and witness to strangers. Church offerings, weeknights going to fellowship, outreach were always difficult and contentious. I prayed to God to save my wife and my kids. I thought to myself, what a testimony it will be if she turn into a evangelical partner. That was not to be. Seems like the more devoted I am with my faith, the more distance between us. I recall it was the morning after my younger kid's birthday. I was doing the laundry and she just said " I am taking my kids with me". Separation followed and the lawyers were milking us both. I would not wish divorce for anyone. It is probably the most painful experience especially when you have kids. I felt so guilty up to this day when one morning I and my wife were yelling at each other. I can not believe the loud cursing was coming from my own throat - in front of my two kids. The younger one was in middle school and she was so frightened she hid under her desk and cried. Even as I wrote this, I feel like crying because of the hurt I did to my children. Strangely enough, the following 2 years during the legal stuff, I was super active in God's work and evangelical doors were open to me - just like divine appointment. I assume my ability to deal with the pain was because of those Bible verses I memorized that sustain me. And I love the hymns and church songs. I used to run the music CD over and over again and immersed myself in that spiritual high. What followed in the next 2 years before my walking away were one uneventful evangelical outreach after another. One fellowship was with the restaurant workers. Our fellowship will not start until they get off work which was after midnight. A team of us will drive up to the church, set up the food, pray and wait. Be a fishermen of men must be the most frustrating experience. You spent time building relationship with the strangers with the hope the Holy Spirit will do the work. What ended out was endless nights of hard work without seeing any fruits. It is as if you are doing what God want you to do yet not only he does not help you, he sabotage your work. My walking away from God was gradual. Bottom line is I never really feel the love and joy as other Christian so happily share. They said " Jesus is all you need," I would say now " what a bunch of nonsenses". I need the female companionship, I need intimacy. My coworkers and friends are surprised by how liberal and free wheeling I am nowadays with intimate relationship. I think I suppress my human desires and needs for so long, it just exploded and there is no turning back. I told my friend, I am sure I will go to hell but I am very assured that I will never be lonely. My family and many of my buddies will be there with me.
  13. We are all work in progress, never ending exploration of what life can offer. One small upside of leaving Christianity behind is how much more relaxed and enjoyable talking to people. In the past, I always want to strategize, prepare what to say to a person with the objective of sharing the gospel (bridge illustration) or train him to be a disciple ( hey, man where is your Timothy ? Born to reproduce.... that is how my former team leader challenged us or shamed us). Now I can truly share a no expectation chat and enjoy the friendship. Really a burden off the back. Other big upside for me is "intimacy" liberation. With the "never Dater" campus ministry group I mentioned, self gratification let alone real intimacy were major issues to spiritual growth. I was so concerned with my own youthful lust I marked down failures on my calendar to better monitor and hopefully control my transgression. It is laughable to look back but I was quite ashamed and guilty at the time. Now being single after a painful divorce, I am much more liberal minded. I just wish I am liberated earlier. I can not turn back the clock. The precious time with my kids when they were young were no more. I was too busy doing God's Holy work. Learning to look forward not the past is something I still need to work on. I am using my profile page as a place to store and organize the bits and pieces my self analysis. Ex-C and its members are wonderful place and resources to share and learn.
  14. Hi , so delighted to see all your replies. I am still evolving so I am not sure who I am and how I should be profiled. What I put together are random thought. Hopefully I will see more clearly and better know who I am. I read that many became atheists. I can never be one. The existence of the Biblical God is overwhelming through the beauty and complexity of nature. God is very real to me, I converse with him often, mostly cursing him Best described where I am is a father & son relationship that went sour. A rebel who got so mad with who God is I left him for good. The all loving, all just, all forgiving father are not what I think. Of all the reasons I can think of, one is deep disappointments of what God said in the Bible. I have couple chronic ailments and health issues since youth days. Very annoying that I begged for God's healing. I claimed the Biblical promises. Make no sense for the suffering. Not just me but what happen to other people - why Palestinians are treated like step child over the favorite Israelites ? atrocities in wars, innocent children molested.... on and on . I started building a folder titled " God is love ? ". It was so full with newspaper clippings I have to start another one. Where is this loving God, how long is he going to hide behind the devil and watch on the sideline. I used to be inspired by the book of Job. Now I read that as an extremely cruel and callous God using Job as a chess piece. Whatever that inspired me before in the Bible, I see the polar opposite now. Yes, the early falling out is sad and difficult. It get easier over time. I found nothing in common with my Christian friends who wanted to reach out to me. Thank goodness, no more calls or email anymore. One thing I realize is there is so much happiness, so much joy and love in this world outside Christianity. Chairman Mao said one time " religion is an opium". I have to agree, looking back, I felt like an addict. This drug control my mind, my finance, my everything.
  15. I never thought I will say this, after 40 years of being a Christian - How I wish I never met Jesus and its over zealous followers. What I thought a chance encounter with a fellow student as a divine appointment is one single most tragic event in my life. As a gullible young man longing for friendship, I surrendered under relentless "witnessing to say sinner's prayer in 1975 and accepted the mind control of an extremist ministry group whose unofficial motto by some "spiritual giant" team leaders was "never dater". Dating was, as proudly proclaimed by these leaders, were too distracting to serve God. What was the utmost daily activities were Cold turkey witnessing, memorizing the scriptures, mandatory discipleship activities. Even you felt like crap, you had to psyche yourself up to appear to be spiritual, to show that you are worthy of the calling. The team leader talked about " body count, close the sale" in the number of people accepted Christ through their campus ministry. For the good part of the years afterwards, my brain was programmed to do the same, giving up time with my kids to do God's work. How I hate it !! Hardly a day went by since I walked away from my Christian faith that I do not regret and feel angry of the time cheated. Time I should be spending with my kids or have a hobby to enjoy life. 8 years ago, I walked away from Christ. It was not perfectly happy life but I felt so liberated that I no longer have to prepare for church services or felt guilty for not saving another soul. I would like say to all those self appointed soul winners - leave other people alone, do not impose your idea of happy life to others. And to this ministry group, that I heard have learned their lesson to be more sensitive to young believers, you own I and others an apology for life that were so rudely interrupted.
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