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There Is No Night That Continues Forever, Even When It Rains


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My name is Jordan H. I am twenty-two years old, and I'm currently stuck in Ohio. I mentioned a few things in the thread about the pivotal point in my life in which I decided to take my leave from Christianity. It sounded so very dramatic, but the events leading up to it are surprisingly mundane. This testimony of mine might contain some pretty strong language--though I never swear in front of my mother, I tend to do so profusely when I write.

 

I was the typical kid in a Pentecostal church tale--parents were on drugs, found Jesus, cleaned up, Dad got a good job, both parents are kids' pastors now, and there was peace and harmony in the home. It seemed that way from a distance, and I did my damnedest to keep up the facade, but inside, I was a wreck. From the age of four to about...now, I attended an Assemblies of God church. It's difficult to explain what exactly that denomination is like, so I can best describe the Assemblies of God as a mutated chimera of Pentecostal/Charismatic, with a side of Fundamentalism and Reconstructionism Lite. As such, I was taught that the Bible was literal and infallible, and can be applied to any situation, even those that the Bible just did not mention because it was written thousands of years ago and its writers did not foresee things like the Internet and iPods and crap.

 

The older I got, the more rigid-yet-fluid the rules became, especially because I'm female. These rules shifted constantly, but one remained painfully clear--"Do as we say, or bad things will happen to you". Because I'm fairly introverted, it was especially difficult to form friendships outside the church, which encouraged a degree of secrecy "because the people in the world would think we were crazy"--with good reason. I was discouraged from making any real friends outside of church anyway, except to try to convert them. That made it that much more difficult to make any real friends, as I was already a target for bullies both at school and at church. Thus was the story of my elementary school life. Then, when I went to a non-Christian school for junior high, everything started to fall apart.

 

No longer insulated as I was at the Christian school I went to for two years, the bullying got that much worse. And as usual, I was told to pray and read the Bible, and of course to try to convert those who were tormenting me. Problem was, the more I did that, the worse everything got, especially since it was about that time when I felt...out of place. It would take eighth grade for me to figure out why. It was because I was bisexual, and that was something that didn't wash with church doctrine, among other things I did and was. Unable to reconcile aspects of my very being with what the church wanted--and by some perverse extension, what God wanted--I was drafting sermons and suicide notes in the same notebook by the time I was twelve years old.

 

It wasn't just personal things, it was things I watched, as well. My parents are regarded as "pillars" of the church--my family had been there since its inception in Toledo, so I'm practically on the same level as a pastor's kid. In my many years of attendance, even disengaged attendance, I saw a whole fucking lot, even when I was really young. I saw families ripped apart as people chose church over their own families. I saw kids abandoned because they were gay, and teen mothers raised to the closest that the church had to actual sainthood, and the blatant hypocrisy therein. I saw the head of the fucking worship team basically steal her best friend's boyfriend and the pastor blessed it, yet the youth pastor could not get the blessing of that same pastor, despite the guy she liked being of age. That really upset me, and it got me to thinking.

 

Why do people put themselves through this stuff? Why do people adhere to rules that make no sense? Why all the contradictory messages? And the more I thought about the structure of the church, the more I thought about their version of God and how that church and denomination saw the world. I picked at it, and rebelled in minor ways. I listened to non-Christian music, watched non-Christian TV and movies, started asking questions in Sunday school that the teachers couldn't really...answer. Like, "Why is it that I don't want to kill myself when I watch Saturday Morning cartoons?" and "If God created everything, and it was good, then did God create tapeworms? Why'd he do that?". I guess that they thought that I was a petulant little brat, hence why I went through twenty or so deliverances from the time I was eleven to the age of seventeen. Of course it was demons. Natural curiosity is a demon, you ought not question anything, especially since you're a girl, yes yes. I knew well the rules, both spoken and unspoken and bent them as far as they would go.

 

I guess there's an advantage to being a pastor's daughter. You get to see the dysfunction beneath the glistening surface, the man behind the curtain. I just seemed to...fall out of Christianity. My parents still do not know. About my exit, about my bisexuality, but I think that they're onto it. I'll tell them eventually, when I am ready to do so. These days, I'm Agnostic, but only vaguely so. I'm merely muddling about the subject of spirituality as it is, wondering which form is right for me, if any at all. As it is, I'm ready to explore any and every possible option there is.

 

And what a powerful thing that is, simply knowing of other options.

 

~Jordi

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Welcome to the forums, Jordi.

 

Around here it matters not if you're agnostic, bisexual, or any number of other things. So long as you've made your way out of xianity, you're one of us.

 

I was drafting sermons and suicide notes in the same notebook by the time I was twelve years old.

 

And a little bittersweet irony like this certainly endears you to me!

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Hi Jordi!

 

I live in Cincinnati. I understand completely about Ohio! Your story is very interesting. Welcome to the forum!

 

Rob

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Hi Jordi!

 

I live in Cincinnati. I understand completely about Ohio! Your story is very interesting. Welcome to the forum!

 

Rob

 

I live in Toledo. It's not a terrible place, but it's really boring unless you're married and have kids, or if you're really into the nightclub scene. Neither of those describe me.

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Hello Jordi, I am glad you joined us. You write very well, and the questions you have are ones I have asked myself many times. My father is in his 70s and a Baptist deacon. My parents are lifelong Baptists. Otherwise intelligent, good people get themselves involved in this horror of Christianity. There are much better philosophies and religions out there, in my opinion.

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Guest Nacirema

I'm a pk from an Assemblies Church as well.

If you ever want to discuss things about whether or not God does exist, just let me know!

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Welcome Jordi! I can really relate to your story, my dad did drugs prior to his conversion experience and all that.

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Thanks for the kind welcome, ladies and gentlemen! As I said before, I left Christianity, but since there's a near-endless amount of options, I think I'll do some research. Right now, since I did kind of "fall out" of Christianity and into this odd Agnosticism, something along the lines of Wicca or Paganism is interesting to me. Even as a Good Christian Girl , I never saw anything so wrong about it.

 

 

I'm weird like that.

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Atheism and Naturalism are about as Pagan as you can get without religion. From what I have seen, many pagan religions base their paganism upon the opposite meaning of Christianity or based on an already identified pagan religion, or another way I'm thinking is that pagans view themselves according to the teachings of the church concerning pagans. Either way, I believe a true pagan is a believer of the natural world and free of religion. Ad lib your pagan identity and make it what you want it to be. I don't model mine after anyone. I believe the natural world and all of its evolution is how we got here and to celebrate the natural world, I celebrate the equinox and solstice. I don't celebrate them by going into some kind of gyration or other weirdness. I'm just happy for the changing seasons and the joy they bring to my trees and garden. But to each their own.

 

Welcome.

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