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Saving Others


Ex-COG
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As Christians, we were told to support preaching the gospel, so that others may hear and be saved. Many of us poured money, prayers, time, and service into fullfilling the "Great Commission". We were made to feel responsible if someone died without being witnessed to, if we didn't give more to the Missions Committee to support ministers in third world countries, if we didn't yearn for more of those "in the world" to be brought into the harvest, even if we said "no" too much to requests to serve as teachers or give over and above our regular tithe. At least in my case, this is what I felt I had to do.

 

Now, of course, I recognize the folly of my actions. No one was really saved from anything through my hard work and financial donations, and all I recieved was less time for myself and a smaller bank account. But I've slowly come to see that I, and most others, can still fall for the "salvation" trap. Not neccessarily the religious kind. There are all sorts of causes out there that attempt to "save" the world, the nation, the people, etc. from a plethora of demons; pollution, terrorism, hunger, war, communism, or what-have-you. Not to say that some of those organizations aren't good, or that finding ways to, for example, reduce hunger is bad. But the emotions that run many of these causes are similar to religious fanaticism, and I am becoming more aware of that day by day. I see it in the Unitarian Church I attend, where you won't find any committee going around knocking on doors proselytizing for a belief system, but you will find meetings on politics, environmental issues, perceived injustices, and such subjects. I see it here on the forum, where strong arguments abound on these same issues. I see it in my mailbox, when I receive all sorts of appeals for contributions to charities that address all sorts of crisis and problems, and claim that "with your help, we can beat this tragedy and save (insert nation, community, endangered species, the children, and on and on...)" We are called to contribute, to volunteer, to spread the word about these causes. Now, if we personally agree, fine. But many times that's not enough; we are encouraged (just like our old Christian churches) to evangelize others to our way of thinking. To be responsible for everything. To save the world, or whatever. I swear, humans must have a built in desire to save everyone from something.

 

I don't feel the need to give into this type of thinking any longer. I am interested in working on myself. That doesn't mean that I don't give to charity or no longer care about certain issues, but if I do it's because that is something I have researched and decided that it is good for me to support. But I won't fall for the guilt trap and think that I "should" do something because others are telling me I need to. I don't like busybodies, and I don't want to be one. Too often, when you get caught up in some organization or cause, that is what you become. This is what I recognized as happening to me, and I want to nip it in the bud. I want to draw some boudaries. I want to think for myself.

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Maybe I'm outing myself as an idiot now, but... I'm not sure what it is you're opting out of. Trying to be active for The Cause, whatever it may be? Understandable, but what does it mean specifically?

 

(Does your posting mean that you'll leave this place? :scratch: )

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Ex-COG,

 

For 40 years as an atheist I've never felt that any charitable action I've taken or any principle I've vociferously avowed has been along the lines of "saving"... just living as right a life as I know how, that's all.

 

But maybe the parallels between "saving" and "behaving with decency" (for want of a better phrase) are keener or different for you than they are for me. :shrug:

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That's good. Christianity is just a business that sells an idea with no money back guarantee. The Bible is nothing but a very bad brochure. You have to read the fine print at the bottom of your Bible.

 

Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

 

WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.

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Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

 

WARNING:**snip*** Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental.

 

I love this! All of it. But this part in particular.

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WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.

 

Thank you. You just made my day.

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As Christians, we were told to support preaching the gospel, so that others may hear and be saved. Many of us poured money, prayers, time, and service into fullfilling the "Great Commission". We were made to feel responsible if someone died without being witnessed to, if we didn't give more to the Missions Committee to support ministers in third world countries, if we didn't yearn for more of those "in the world" to be brought into the harvest, even if we said "no" too much to requests to serve as teachers or give over and above our regular tithe. At least in my case, this is what I felt I had to do.

 

Now, of course, I recognize the folly of my actions. No one was really saved from anything through my hard work and financial donations, and all I recieved was less time for myself and a smaller bank account. But I've slowly come to see that I, and most others, can still fall for the "salvation" trap. Not neccessarily the religious kind. There are all sorts of causes out there that attempt to "save" the world, the nation, the people, etc. from a plethora of demons; pollution, terrorism, hunger, war, communism, or what-have-you. Not to say that some of those organizations aren't good, or that finding ways to, for example, reduce hunger is bad. But the emotions that run many of these causes are similar to religious fanaticism, and I am becoming more aware of that day by day. I see it in the Unitarian Church I attend, where you won't find any committee going around knocking on doors proselytizing for a belief system, but you will find meetings on politics, environmental issues, perceived injustices, and such subjects. I see it here on the forum, where strong arguments abound on these same issues. I see it in my mailbox, when I receive all sorts of appeals for contributions to charities that address all sorts of crisis and problems, and claim that "with your help, we can beat this tragedy and save (insert nation, community, endangered species, the children, and on and on...)" We are called to contribute, to volunteer, to spread the word about these causes. Now, if we personally agree, fine. But many times that's not enough; we are encouraged (just like our old Christian churches) to evangelize others to our way of thinking. To be responsible for everything. To save the world, or whatever. I swear, humans must have a built in desire to save everyone from something.

 

I don't feel the need to give into this type of thinking any longer. I am interested in working on myself. That doesn't mean that I don't give to charity or no longer care about certain issues, but if I do it's because that is something I have researched and decided that it is good for me to support. But I won't fall for the guilt trap and think that I "should" do something because others are telling me I need to. I don't like busybodies, and I don't want to be one. Too often, when you get caught up in some organization or cause, that is what you become. This is what I recognized as happening to me, and I want to nip it in the bud. I want to draw some boudaries. I want to think for myself.

 

 

Um, I get it, if no one else does, I get it.

 

 

Outside of Christianity, and religion there are still all kinds of people, and groups that are, what my daughter used to call, "all about the cause". The "cause" itself doesn't matter, it's the attitude. People who are all about the cause have an agenda to almost anything they do. They appeal to everyone they know, friend, family, perfect strangers about the cause, if others do not get as on board as they are they call them names such as but not limited to, ignorant, stupid, evil, blind, you get the picture. Weather or not I "help" your cause, there will still be a homeless problem, people will still go hungry, and animals are going to go extinct. Also, the world will still revolve around the sun, there will be another day, and some wonderful things will happen, to someone somewhere. Does this mean I live a selfish kind of life, and only think about myself? No, it means I choose, and if I do not get on board with your cause, it doesn't mean I am ignorant, selfish, evil or stupid, no. It means I do what I feel the need to do. If you have a cause, that's fine, I'm not going to tell you do not do, I am not even going to tell you it's pointless, who knows maybe you are the one person who will save the world. When I do not get on board with your cause though, I wish you'd do me the courtesy of realiseing that it is YOUR cause. I can be an inteligent, caring, well informed person and not feel the same urgency that you do.

 

I too opted out a long time ago, I opted out of proselytizing, for ANYTHING! There are no bumber stickers on my car, I have no banners in my sig line, here or anywhere. I never feel the need to tell someone about my new pet charity, crisis or cause. My much neglected Myspace is pretty much about me, but you won't find links to things I feel everyone should do something about, know about or whatever. I have no problem with people who do. I start to have a problem when they make comments about how bad anyone who doesn't get on board with there cause must be as a person.

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That's good. Christianity is just a business that sells an idea with no money back guarantee. The Bible is nothing but a very bad brochure. You have to read the fine print at the bottom of your Bible.

 

Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

 

WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.

 

This is great! May I use it if I give you due credit?

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That's good. Christianity is just a business that sells an idea with no money back guarantee. The Bible is nothing but a very bad brochure. You have to read the fine print at the bottom of your Bible.

 

Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

 

WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.

 

This is great! May I use it if I give you due credit?

 

Feel free.

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That's good. Christianity is just a business that sells an idea with no money back guarantee. The Bible is nothing but a very bad brochure. You have to read the fine print at the bottom of your Bible.

 

Holy Bible - Rated M for Mature for scenes of intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content (including incest), and references to alchohol and canibalsism.

 

WARNING: All persons and events depicted in this book are purely fictional and are intended for personal entertainment only. Any resemblence to actual persons, living, dead, resurrected, or transubstantiated is purely coincidental. Reading this material may result in a false sense of security and superiority, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, intolerance. Side effects may include a strong desire to sacrifice animals, self flagellate, go door to door handing out worthless shit on non-recycled paper. Symptoms may also include uncontrollable laughter, pettiness, hair-splitting, cherri picking, racism, ethnic cleansing, sadomaochism, filicide, homocide, and infanticide. People should check with their doctor and/or psychiatrist before reading this book. People with heart conditions or common sense should not read this book or check with your doctor before beginning a daily reading program.

 

This is great! May I use it if I give you due credit?

 

Feel free.

 

Thank you. I suspect you are about to become a rockstar on my home forum, Heathen Hangout.

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Like Purple, I too understand what you are talking about and it is ditto here. When I was in church, I volunteered out of guilt to *please* god and for appearances sake. We gave literally thousands of dollars, painfully, in tithes and charities. Many people who are involved in all kinds of volunteering, give to charities, drives, etc. look down on those who do not...I even found myself doing the same thing even though I wasn't happy to give/volunteer. Our home needed serious repairs, we had (still don't) no medical insurance, two car payments, and two wonderful children who missed out on a lot of fun stuff because we couldn't afford it after tithing and giving to take them places.

 

Everyone is different and I think it is awesome that so many people find time to be involved in specific efforts to help a cause be it for fellow human beings, the environment, animals. etc. but that same *drive and passion* is not in everyone.

 

I'm selfish now with my time and finances because I want my family to enjoy life while they're here. We give when we can and my children and I have bought food for the homeless that we hand directly to them, but we're not on some team or with a group. Our 9yo dd gives regularly to a local Wildlife Sanctuary but it is done quietly. Someday she wants to volunteer to work there when she is 16. And that is a huge shame right there...she's wanted to volunteer there and at our local animal shelters but people who are sue happy have ruined it for children and now they have to be 16-18 in order to volunteer. She can't help even if I'm with her (this is in NW Flordia, not sure how it is elsewhere).

 

So anyhoo, I don't care if how we live is seen as selfish...not like I'm going to go to hell or something. :D

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Purple and Jubilent got my point. And yes, we don't have to worry about going to hell for not sweating away our time and money for something. No more guilt trips.

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Purple and Jubilent got my point. And yes, we don't have to worry about going to hell for not sweating away our time and money for something. No more guilt trips.

I guess I just don't understand where the guilt is coming from.

 

Is it a residual feeling from Christian days? If not... who, among freethinkers, demands, like the church demands, that you give what you are unable to give?

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Purple and Jubilent got my point. And yes, we don't have to worry about going to hell for not sweating away our time and money for something. No more guilt trips.

I guess I just don't understand where the guilt is coming from.

 

Is it a residual feeling from Christian days? If not... who, among freethinkers, demands, like the church demands, that you give what you are unable to give?

 

 

I do not know that I feel guilt perse, but even outside xianity you have those that believe that "if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

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