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From Lutheran To Rationalist


Eric_PK
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So, here's my story...

 

I'm a PK. A Pastor's Kid. My father was, for a long time, a pastor at a Lutheran church.

 

I grew up in the church. Went to services like everybody else, listened to my father preach, etc. Went to bible school and bible camp.

 

But I also always had a scientific bent. My parents obtained (I have no idea how given the cost) a set of encyclopedias named Popular Science, and I read those a bunch of times. Took apart electronics, built stuff, that sort of thing. My parents encouraged this - my father's father was a really sharp general contractor, and my dad had taken engineering classes before he got "the call".

 

I never really felt any personal relationship with god, at least in the sense that the born-agains talk about it. And as I got into my pre-teens and teen years, I started helping my father out with some of the mechanics in running the church. Being an acolyte. Helping prepare for communion. Vacuuming the sanctuary after services, or after weddings.

 

There's nothing like seeing behind the scenes to make you doubt the divinity of the whole thing. Communion wine came from a bottle, went into glasses (or a goblet), and at the end of the day, the excess went back into the bottle. Communion wafers came from a box. Communion bread came in a paper bag from the local bakery. Now, Lutherans don't believe in transubstantiation, but I was surprised by the banality of it all.

 

But I still believed.

 

When I went to high school, I started noticing the difference in religiousity between my friends, and in what they did. The more religious tended not to use drugs, but they tended to use quite a bit of alcohol. So there didn't seem to be much difference there.

 

One day when I was about 16, I was talking to my mother, and mentioned that I had run into a couple of Mormons that day. My father's first posting was to a Lutheran church in Salt Lake City, and my mother had been treated quite terribly by the Mormons, so she had a very fixed opinion about them.

 

She said, "I don't understand those Mormons - they believe something that a guy just wrote down"

 

At which point I realized that christianity is exactly the same thing - though it's been a much longer time.

 

I still went to church until I went to college, at which point I stopped going, and never really felt like anything was missing from my life.

 

My condolences to those whose religious upbringing was something harsher.

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Welcome Eric,

 

You're so right, "my guy that wrote down the story I believe in is better than your guy that wrote down a story that I don't believe in. And my guy is better because I believe him." All of it is so ridiculous.

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I too grew up in Utah, though I was Southern Baptist and not Lutheran. My dad became very much anti-Mormon, and said (and still says) a lot of things about it very similar to your mom. One of the issues that de-converted me was the same argument you mentioned about the Bible. How could a collection of a bunch of writings by different people be God's Word, especially when other people decided that they were God's Word? That doesn't make any sense. My parents believe wholeheartedly in the infallibility of the Scriptures, but the way I see it, since they were written by men they are going to be full of holes and contradictions. Fundies refuse to see it that way, even pulling excuses out of their asses for the blatant contradictions, illogical arguments, and immoral actions that are present.

 

Welcome! I look forward to your contribution to our forum.

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