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I consider myself a cultural Christian

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Sent in by Angela

 

Let me first start out by saying that I love Christianity. Many of my fondest memories as a child and some of my dearest relationships are based on this religion. But I am not a believer.

 

There was a time when I struggled to reconcile my doubts about Jesus, the Bible and the Christian Church, but now I am able to completely accept the logic that used to nag me.

 

Despite my evolution of thought, I have not completely expunged Christianity from my life, and I don't think I ever will.

 

I now consider myself a cultural Christian.

 

I feel free to partake in all religious rituals and holidays because Christianity is a part of my family history and culture. I don't skulk away or outwardly protest at family gatherings when a prayer is said, I just respectfully bow my head. I don't take any of it too seriously, it only means something if you let it.

 

People who have strong beliefs about Christianity or Atheism may see this as a dire conflict to be resolved, but life is too short to spend time quibbling, especially with loved ones.

 

I am a homeschooling parent and I am teaching my Children about all religions, but they are Culturally Christian and often are read bible stories by their grandparents. I teach them that it should be taken lightly, but to treat all peoples beliefs with respect. Hopefully they will someday come to see that there is wisdom and truth to be found everywhere, in the Bible, in other religions, in nature, in science, and in their own life experiences.

 

http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2008/04...-christian.html

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The thing about belief or lack of is that like opinions everyone has one. I like your open minded approach to other belief systems but does this include atheists?

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So you "love" it but don't believe in it. Sorry, I can't wrap my mind around this type of rationalization/mental gymnastics. Not at all sure how that works. However, I can appreciate this statement:

 

Despite my evolution of thought, I have not completely expunged Christianity from my life, and I don't think I ever will

 

I like the honesty here. Yet I am still not sure why you would want to expunge something from your life that you love.

 

To an extent all of us unbelievers are still "cultural christians" because we have been brought up in a christian culture, like it or not.

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I live in a Christian "culture" but I am not a part of it. Their ideas and agendas are harmful to individuals and society at large. I will not give them my tacit support.

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It's a case of double think... she likes the people, not the idea... but the only way to hang out with the people then is to handle their beliefs as a charming eccentricity, rather than the monstrous cult it is...

 

Been there... Life's too short to be nice to assholes...

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What exactly is it that you love about the religion?

 

I get that you want to celebrate the holidays and do not wish to be a wet blanket around your xian friends and family. But how do you resolve the fact that the religion itself espouses some pretty awful things?

 

Mainstream xianity holds that we are all worthless unless we are doused in the blood of a man who supposedly lived and rose again 2000 years ago. That may have taken a positive spin in the minds of those who don't take it seriously, but you don't have to get very deep before you realize that the religion teaches we are all just horrible creatures in god's eyes. Doesn't do much for the self esteem.

 

Mainstream xianity teaches that unless we put our faith in an old jew that we deserve to and will burn in hell for all eternity; even if we are generally good, responsible, moral people. In my opinion this is child abuse. You may not have taken it seriously, but what about all those kids in Sunday school? I was one of them and the fear it instilled in me kept me up nights into my early 20s.

 

As far as the culture is concerned, most of what you consider xian culture was taken from traditions much older than xianity.

 

I fail to see any reason to love the religion. I can understand why you wouldn't wish to make an issue of it, being that life is short and all, but to love it? I don't get it.

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Hell, I like High Mass in Latin...

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Wow, we have very different views, Angela.

 

I believe the world would be a better place if Christianity had been extinguished by the Romans. All the peace, love and forgiveness preached by Christianity is offset by the war, "righteous" hatred and intolerance so prominent in the Bible and practiced by Christians.

 

Plus, it was Christians and Jews who talked to Muhammed and planted the idea in his mind to start a new religion spinning off from those two, one he called Islam, which means "submission" to his false god.

 

I think the Christian culture that is so prominent in society today has gone a long way toward polarizing our nation. The Christians see those who disagree with them as pawns of the devil, and they see almost every issue in the world as just another struggle in a cosmic spiritual war that will end with Armageddon (after they are safely raptured, of course).

 

People argue that Christianity has good things to offer, and that the Bible has beautiful sentiments in addition to the bad and flawed theology. Well, if you mix a steak dinner with a pile of shit, that's not something I want to partake of. And I believe any beneficial elements of Christianity are offset by the pollution, the vile contradictions, the discrimination, the DEMAND for obedience at the threat of a sword from Jesus' mouth (see Revelation for details) that will slay us before we who disagree are cast into the eternal fire pit this god has so lovingly and forgivingly created.

 

It's just sick.

 

I can understand a reluctance to abandon all the trappings of one's upbringing and traditions, but I just can't agree that it's good to hold on to these trappings.

 

Perhaps it is time for some different traditions, rituals and culture that isn't so tainted.

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I also consider myself a cultural Catholic, but I never saw that as a particularly good thing. I was raised Catholic and I can't get rid of that anymore than I can ditch my American accent. I'll always know how to behave and what to do at mass, I'll always sing Catholic songs at Advent, Christmas, and Easter, and I'll always have a crucifix in my house. The songs are beautiful no matter what I believe, they are fun to sing, and I already know the lyrics (that's always a plus). The crucifix has been in my family for many generations. It traveled across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1800's and I'm honored to have it as mine. When I look at that crucifix, I remember my great-grandmother. I also remember a very funny event. When I got it, one of the nails (the one in his feet) had fallen out and my dad was nailing it back in. He hit the hammer and the other two fell out. So he had to nail all of them back in. Gave a new meaning that Christian saying: "You and your sins drove the nails into Christ's hands and feet." I have to keep that crucifix -- too many memories attached to discard it.

 

That said, I do not love the church. I have some fond memories of her; I also have a ton of negative feelings and psychological harm from her. But that's the story of my childhood. I can't change it, but I can adapt to it and I intend to do so.

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hmmmm

 

 

 

well I guess my views are exactly the opposite, I see american culture as being moronic, ignorant and wastefull...and put a large amount of the blame on christianity. Therefore respecting christianity as a cultural thing seems silly to me

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hmmmm

 

 

 

well I guess my views are exactly the opposite, I see american culture as being moronic, ignorant and wastefull...and put a large amount of the blame on christianity. Therefore respecting christianity as a cultural thing seems silly to me

 

 

oh, and by that I mean the cultural attitudes expressed within america....not americans themselves

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hmmmm

 

 

 

well I guess my views are exactly the opposite, I see american culture as being moronic, ignorant and wastefull...and put a large amount of the blame on christianity. Therefore respecting christianity as a cultural thing seems silly to me

 

 

oh, and by that I mean the cultural attitudes expressed within america....not americans themselves

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Come to think of it, I guess I'm a "Cultural Redneck."

 

I live and work with a lot of rednecks here, and while I don't buy into the culture of racism and blood sport, I'll wave a Confederate flag once in a while just to fit in. Occasionally I have to attend a cross burning. I don't believe in that of course, but I go along to get along.

 

What could be wrong with that?

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Come to think of it, I guess I'm a "Cultural Redneck."

 

I live and work with a lot of rednecks here, and while I don't buy into the culture of racism and blood sport, I'll wave a Confederate flag once in a while just to fit in. Occasionally I have to attend a cross burning. I don't believe in that of course, but I go along to get along.

 

What could be wrong with that?

 

Hmmm. Well. Er. Harumph.

 

Are you saying it's okay being who we are?

 

I'll skip the cross-burnings and flag-wavings and just be a cultural Christian who loves the culture. It seems not to harm anyone that I can see aside from some obvious stuff that would probably happen anyway.

 

I see this is the Testimonies section....

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Just a little hyperbole, RS. I (along with others) just think it makes no sense to continue playing at Christianity after you no longer believe it. Those opposed to the cults of Christianity and Redneckism shouldn't try to fit in with them.

 

- Chris

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Going by the logic of the opening post, since we're all born atheists and learn to believe in God later as we get older, then does that mean that all Christians are "cultural" atheists?

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I also consider myself a cultural Catholic, but I never saw that as a particularly good thing. I was raised Catholic and I can't get rid of that anymore than I can ditch my American accent. I'll always know how to behave and what to do at mass, I'll always sing Catholic songs at Advent, Christmas, and Easter, and I'll always have a crucifix in my house. The songs are beautiful no matter what I believe, they are fun to sing, and I already know the lyrics (that's always a plus). The crucifix has been in my family for many generations. It traveled across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1800's and I'm honored to have it as mine. When I look at that crucifix, I remember my great-grandmother. I also remember a very funny event. When I got it, one of the nails (the one in his feet) had fallen out and my dad was nailing it back in. He hit the hammer and the other two fell out. So he had to nail all of them back in. Gave a new meaning that Christian saying: "You and your sins drove the nails into Christ's hands and feet." I have to keep that crucifix -- too many memories attached to discard it.

 

That said, I do not love the church. I have some fond memories of her; I also have a ton of negative feelings and psychological harm from her. But that's the story of my childhood. I can't change it, but I can adapt to it and I intend to do so.

 

I guess you could say I am that way also. I do have Catholic literature littering my bookshelfs among other apologetic material. When I attend services, I go through the motions. There is nothing to it. A good faking can still go a long way.

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It just sounds like a conflict of interest to me. Reminds me of being divorced from your ex and still sleeping with him/her.

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Guest recoveringXchristian

Wow. There are way too many ideas to respond to here, so I'm just going to add my own LOL.

 

I consider this a matter very close to me, with good reason. I am a liberal non-christian living in a conservative adventist community. Most adventists who leave the faith continue to consider themselves adventists or at least cultural adventists. I can say this with some authority as I have several adventist and ex-adventist family members, including both my parents, who are ex-adventists. I myself was not raised adventist during my formative years, but because of the length of time I have been a member of the adventist community recently and my family associations, I am now a part of the inescapable "adventist grapevine". Basically there are so few people associated with this religion worldwide that I am now associated with everyone in the religion through the people I know from my adventist experiences. So even though I wasn't really even *raised* adventist (I was raised christian, though), I consider myself culturally adventist to an extent. It's not something I've chosen. It just is. I can't erase it. I will never accept adventism as a religion, but I will always be connected to these people.

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Hey, I got through the smarmy OP without throwing up.

 

Isn't claiming to be cultural Christian like saying there could be compassionate Nazis?

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Hey, I got through the smarmy OP without throwing up.

 

Isn't claiming to be cultural Christian like saying there could be compassionate Nazis?

 

Thanks for cutting to the chase, Heretic. Somebody's gotta take over for GH! :vent:

 

Well said.

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Sounds to me like you're in a cult that still has its hooks in you. I know, because I'm sort of in the same situation, except I'm taking steps to get out, such as disassociating with those I used to consider "family." (Not my biological/marital family). When you say you will always be connected to these people... that's your choice. It is something you've chosen. You don't have to be connected to anyone you don't choose to be connected to. You said before that you love the culture (or is that "cult-ure" :) ) What is it about adventist culture that you find so appealing?

 

 

Wow. There are way too many ideas to respond to here, so I'm just going to add my own LOL.

 

I consider this a matter very close to me, with good reason. I am a liberal non-christian living in a conservative adventist community. Most adventists who leave the faith continue to consider themselves adventists or at least cultural adventists. I can say this with some authority as I have several adventist and ex-adventist family members, including both my parents, who are ex-adventists. I myself was not raised adventist during my formative years, but because of the length of time I have been a member of the adventist community recently and my family associations, I am now a part of the inescapable "adventist grapevine". Basically there are so few people associated with this religion worldwide that I am now associated with everyone in the religion through the people I know from my adventist experiences. So even though I wasn't really even *raised* adventist (I was raised christian, though), I consider myself culturally adventist to an extent. It's not something I've chosen. It just is. I can't erase it. I will never accept adventism as a religion, but I will always be connected to these people.

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Isn't claiming to be cultural Christian like saying there could be compassionate Nazis?

 

No, I think it's more like becoming disillusioned with Hitler, renouncing Nazi ideals, throwing out your copy of Mein Kampf, but continuing to attend rallies and perhaps persecute a few Jews for the sheer enjoyment of it and/or because you're just so used to doing it.

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