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Straws That Broke The Camel's Back.


The Sage Nabooru
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A lot of people leave Christianity just because they lose faith in it, but others because some parts of its dogma and doctrine are simply impossible to live with. I was the latter.

 

The "unbearable" laws for me, were:

 

*Animals have no souls. I remember hearing somewhere that I shouldn't have prayed for my dog when she was sick, because to do so suggested that it felt pain, was a "being", etc. and thus had a soul. Having had animals I simply could not accept this. I actually found that animals had a lot more soul than humans.

 

*It's always the woman's fault. I couldn't get my head around, I'm born a certain way, so I'm doomed to be more sinful and less valuable. I remember being told that those evil Catholics were so bad because they allowed women to become saints - even went so far as to pray to them, dedicate churches to them, etc. In Lutheranism you'll find a bevy of male-saint-named churches, but no women. That's because women just cannot be that holy and pure to God. In our theology, Mary wasn't a faultless virgin but just a regular sin-minded dumb chick like every other woman. I couldn't understand why it was my duty to dress like a librarian, when he had the sex drive; I couldn't grasp why God would plan for half the human population to be born into automatic sinfulness and neccessary submission to another.

 

*The ol' "We're the only ones who go to heaven" bit. I couldn't understand how God could send five-sixths of the world population (the Catholics of course being excluded from salvation) to hell for the rather strange reason of not choosing to believe this one guy was their savior. I mean, I could sorta understand being sent to hell because of your bad behavior.......but not accepting this Jesus character? That's not really "just", is it? Especially when we're talking about the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, etc.

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*The ol' "We're the only ones who go to heaven" bit. I couldn't understand how God could send five-sixths of the world population (the Catholics of course being excluded from salvation) to hell for the rather strange reason of not choosing to believe this one guy was their savior. I mean, I could sorta understand being sent to hell because of your bad behavior.......but not accepting this Jesus character? That's not really "just", is it? Especially when we're talking about the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, etc.

This is the one that gave me trouble (when I didn't sweep it under the rug, that is). I usually chalked it up to the Mystery of God, He knows what is best. After all,I thought, EVERYONE is a sinner and without excuse, no matter who they are or where they live. Sin could only be handled through accepting Jesus, not through being good. (What was it that Jesus was supposed to have said; only God is good? The good deeds of the Dalai Lama and Gandhi couldn't stack up against that.) I used to teach the teen Sunday school class, and I remember claiming that if some "heathen" was really questioning their personal beliefs, and cried out to God for help, God would see the desire of their heart and get the Truth to them one way or another; whether by sending a missionary to their country or by somehow enabling the searching "heathen" to move into an area with a church. Ack, was I foolish. :twitch:

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I remember claiming that if some "heathen" was really questioning their personal beliefs, and cried out to God for help, God would see the desire of their heart and get the Truth™ to them one way or another; whether by sending a missionary to their country or by somehow enabling the searching "heathen" to move into an area with a church. Ack, was I foolish.

 

So I guess if you were, by God's mysterious plan, born in North Korea, you were pretty much screwed? I was on the same shaky boat with that.

 

I remember believing the same thing......that classic image of the far-off little boy in China going to hell for not hearing about Jesus was really crushing to the ol' time religious faith, I tell ya.

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The ones that bothered me were:

 

1. God's vengeance -- the idea that there is a kind of punishment that God applies that is not intended to do any good for the person being punished. This idea is simply grotesque -- it makes God out to be the most irrational, bloodthirsty, and vicious person in the universe!

 

2. Christianity's dim view of humanity. Apart from Christian "faith," humans are simply valueless and totally corrupt. This idea just does not comport with evidence that I have collected. Sure people have improper appetites and do cruel things, but these are what the philosophers call "accidents" to human nature and not their "substance." In fact, the best evidence that humans are thoroughly corrupt comes from Christian history.

 

3. Christianity's rigid rules about sexuality. Christians aren't supposed to look at a sexy member of the opposite sex and react with admiration. Christians aren't supposed to have any sexual thoughts. It is a crime for Christians to experience "even a hint" of sexual immorality. I don't think I haven't done or thought 1 thing in my entire life that wasn't twinged at least a teeny bit with thoughts of sex, and for Christianity to lay these kinds of burdens onto humanity makes me see that Christianity is simply not suited for human flourishing. Rather, it creates all manners of sexual disfunction. It is not a wonder that people with the most disordered sexuality that hurts themselves and others tend to be the most devout Christians.

 

I piss on this thought system.

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Predestination.

 

The idea that gawd already had his favorites picked out from the dawn of time, and to hell (literally) with everybody else. That idea was irreconcilable with any notion of gawd as love. That's a monstrosity not worthy of anyone's adoration.

 

There were a lot of "exit points" from xianity for me, but that was a big one.

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Predestination.

 

The idea that gawd already had his favorites picked out from the dawn of time, and to hell (literally) with everybody else. That idea was irreconcilable with any notion of gawd as love. That's a monstrosity not worthy of anyone's adoration.

 

There were a lot of "exit points" from xianity for me, but that was a big one.

My parents are die-hard Calvinists -- you know the five points, etc. But when they began to see how unhappy I was with Christianity, they told me that, in order to be a Christian, I didn't have to be a Calvinist, and that I could be an Arminian instead (denying predestination). I just thought that was kind of hypocritical of them, to believe that the Bible taught deterministic Calvinism, but suggesting to me that I believe a "kinder, gentler" Arminianism simply to keep me within the Christian fold. They didn't know that my problems with Christianity went deeper than the idea of predestination. I disagree with things that every Christian group believes in, including Arminians:

 

1. I find it bizarre to say that humans somehow "deserve" to be cursed by God, and that we should be so grateful for pardon because we all "deserve" to be injured.

 

2. The whole theology of the cross (‘propitiation’—‘sacrifice’—‘the blood of the Lamb’) is very silly, immoral, and shocking. At base, it conveys the idea that God wants blood, guts, and suffering for its own sake.

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*Animals have no souls. I remember hearing somewhere that I shouldn't have prayed for my dog when she was sick, because to do so suggested that it felt pain, was a "being", etc. and thus had a soul. Having had animals I simply could not accept this. I actually found that animals had a lot more soul than humans.

I don't believe animals have souls. Then again, I don't believe humans have souls either. :HaHa:

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I shared many of the same concerns already mentioned.

 

With the animal thing, when I went to Catholic grammar school they told us animals went to their particular heaven. When I started going to the Evangelistic churches in high school, all that changed. And yes, I cried at age 19 because my beloved hamster wasn't going to heaven. :shrug:

 

I as well hated the fact that the billions of Indians and Asians (and especially the millions of tribal people) were going to hell just because of where they were born. I asked my sister about that once, she said that everyone is born with a want to know and find Jesus. Huh? That was so awkwardly silly. I asked about their souls, if the Catholic idea of limbo was real. She said no, that they were unfortunate to die before they were proselytized.

 

Although I was disgusted, I still believed, but I struggled with the "all loving God" part.

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Well there were many straws and basically it was over a year of soul searching of how I wanted to live my life and what I wanted to do with my life...

 

For a long time, I thought I was just a lazy bad xian who just needed to get motivated and find the right church home. I still belived.. I thought god was with holding blessing because I wasn't devoted enough. So I would go to church once every several months with a friend.

 

I believed in non-traditonal families.. ie two parent heterosexual familes as being NOT the only way to raise helathy kids..just because xians say that is how god made us...

 

I didn't know if I wanted to raise any children in xianity... I had no problem in being with someone who didn't not believe in god.

 

My friends told me I wasn't a xian because I didn't believe what they did. This pissed me off.. who are they to judge my relationship with jesus...

 

Hypocracy with xians in the church.

 

Not beliving in the core tenenants of xianity.... identifiying more with humanist values

 

The final last straw that I geuss I would have to say broke the camels back was how rigid and legalistic the church is on it's views on sexuality, women and the evils of sexuality outside of marriage...all based on what is suppossed to gods divine word. When I did not believe I was sinning or have any guilt for indulging in carnal desires. Why would I want to stay in a religion that I didn't belive in, other than being brainwashed since a babe that jesus was the only way or I was going to hell.

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No. 1 The plan of salvation does not work theoretically or philosophically.

 

I could twist my brain to make the others "work" if I tried hard enough. I feel a lot freer just to believe that there is no invisible all-seeing-eye watching me.

 

The predestination one was huge for me, too. I worried about it a lot. I could twist most scriptures not to be predestination but not the chapter about Jacob being chosen for good and Esau for evil. The very worst verse in the Bible (I never read the truly gross stuff or I glossed it over) was the one where Paul wrote that God hardened Pharoah's heart so god could use him for a vessel of dishonour.

 

All the other crimes in the bible dimmed in comparison. God to MAKE a person have a hardened heart so he could send the person to hell--that was WRONG. I had a lot of trouble with that chapter. And Mennonites aren't even predestinarian. I always wonder how people in Calvinist church manage to grow up without getting twisted even worse.

 

After what I've learned by now about biblical societies and cultures I no longer believe Paul meant that Pharoah would burn in hell. He simply meant that some people are born in aristocratic society and some people are born slaves. In that time and place there was no social mobility where people moved up in society when they earned more money. Whatever class you were born into was the class you would die in. I think that is what Paul meant. Every KJV bible should have a footnote on this.

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I never understood what the concept of a "sacrifice" meant to an omniscient, omni-present god who was the creator of everything. Why would a "sacrifice" from this being be meaningful when he could just recreate whatever he "sacrificed" with a snap of his fingers? That and the fact that this "just and fair" being ordered all sorts of genocide and assorted cruelties, but is supposed to be the epitome of "love". That convinced me those silly christians were just kissing his butt 'cause they were afraid of him. Just sucking up to the schoolyard bully so he wouldn't beat up on them. frickin' pussies...

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