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Centauro

Book Challenge By Fundy Wife!

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I will not let anyone speak for me or sit silent if I have a difference of opinion when in a discussion forum, ie bible study.

 

Great job Centauro, I find that the hardest part. I always feel like I would be out of line speaking up, so I just interject questions or comments to make people think, but without revealing what I really think. Or just remain silent. Your choice is better, hope it goes well.

 

 

Thanks. But I have to admit, I was silent for many, many years for fear of causing anxiety and an attack from the wife. All that did was make me angry, and that is unhealthy. I am selective with whom I respond...won't waste my time with morons. Now I don't care how my beliefs reflect on how parishioners view my wife or me. That's their problem, not mine.

 

I did send an email to the organizer of the bible study, letting her know I am not an inerrant literalist and if that will affect the invitation to join the study, I would bow out with no hard feelings. I await her response. If she says its OK, I am not holding back and will say what I want and back it up. This ain't gonna be a mutual admiration society meeting for sure. I hope to enlighten some, but am sure some are gonna be pissed off on occasion...we will see.

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Sorry your book challenge ended poorly. The bible study sounds pretty interesting. I couldn't do it. I am still too affected by the pressure of other people. Not that I would change my views, but their majority agreement would silence my disagreement. Thus I would only be uncomfortable and extremely irritated. So I bid you good luck and stay strong - you sound like you are pretty strong in your beliefs and in yourself which I applaud. And I'll keep working on my own issues in this department and maybe do the same some day.

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Sorry your book challenge ended poorly. The bible study sounds pretty interesting. I couldn't do it. I am still too affected by the pressure of other people. Not that I would change my views, but their majority agreement would silence my disagreement. Thus I would only be uncomfortable and extremely irritated. So I bid you good luck and stay strong - you sound like you are pretty strong in your beliefs and in yourself which I applaud. And I'll keep working on my own issues in this department and maybe do the same some day.

 

 

Thanks Midnight..

 

Everybody is affected by group pressure, I am sure I still am to some extent. Much less now than ever before. Not worrying about it is not an overnight process, it sometimes takes years. In my early 20's I quit worrying about what others thought of me. I was who I was and if someone didn't care for me...no problem. I tried to be a good person, live and let live and if that wasn't good enough, adios, no hard feelings. I never wasted time with that shit.

OTOH, my wife needs to be liked by others a lot, and sees me as being arrogant and full of pride, when I say it doesn't really matter what others think of me. I have no control over that. Then she calls me a control freak....that is what I am up against somedays. :banghead:

The same rule applies to my wife, I am who I am, she has to deal with it, especially from a spiritual point of view :jesus:

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I will not let anyone speak for me or sit silent if I have a difference of opinion when in a discussion forum, ie bible study...

edit...

 

 

Thanks. But I have to admit, I was silent for many, many years for fear of causing anxiety and an attack from the wife. All that did was make me angry, and that is unhealthy. I am selective with whom I respond...won't waste my time with morons. Now I don't care how my beliefs reflect on how parishioners view my wife or me. That's their problem, not mine.

 

I think you moving in a more productive direction.

 

It will not be an easy direction but there is good potential for personal growth.

 

My experiences with these kinds of discussions (mine over email) was that fundys will circle the wagons and gang up on the lone apostate. If you dig in and get aggressive, they will certainly respond in kind and in unison. If you've never experienced this, it is a very powerful experience and very stressful. Their perception will be that the holy spook is speaking to you and that you are "under conviction". The reality is that the individual is being oppressed and attacked by dweebs.

 

What helps, and listen carefully, is to simply know what is happening when it happens so that you can respond with dignity in a logical way rather than with your emotions which may be confused and angry.

 

Unfortunately, my tendancy is to meet them at their low level and heap scorn and derision to them sometimes wrapped in a witty put down. There are worse things than that but were I do do it all over again I'd try to rise above their abuse and respond self-assertively and with dignity.

 

Standing up for youself with dignity will speak more to your wife than any clap trap that the preacher can push on her.

 

An audio book I recently listened to is The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defence. This is a high-dignity method of asserting yourself; I recommend it for anyone. This author really knows her stuff.

 

Mongo

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My experiences with these kinds of discussions (mine over email) was that fundys will circle the wagons and gang up on the lone apostate. If you dig in and get aggressive, they will certainly respond in kind and in unison. If you've never experienced this, it is a very powerful experience and very stressful. Their perception will be that the holy spook is speaking to you and that you are "under conviction". The reality is that the individual is being oppressed and attacked by dweebs.

 

 

My experience with speaking up as an ex-Christian in a Bible study was different- fortunately less aggressive, but arguably just as frustrating.

 

Every time I asked a question or made an observation, I was just ignored. The leader would say "thank you, that's a good point" or answer in the most wishy-washy way possible, no one else would say anything, and everyone would move on like I didn't say anything at all.

 

It had been my intention to see if Bible study could possibly be less of a devotional/worship type group and more of a philosophical discussion- all the members were students at a secular college and I'd classify them as evangelical rather than fundy- they were mostly pretty fun and easy-going apart from religion. And even with a group like that, an attempt to get them to think outside what they'd been programmed was meaningless. I was defeated by vanilla niceties, as no one would actually disagree with me- they'd say good point and then go on to make the exact opposite point. Getting angry would have been pointless and so I didn't find it worth my while to continue.

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I am still too affected by the pressure of other people. Not that I would change my views, but their majority agreement would silence my disagreement. Thus I would only be uncomfortable and extremely irritated.

 

I'm pretty much the same way. I feel so outnumbered that, though I would like to be able to voice my concerns, for the most part I just haven't been able to bring myself to be open about my complete disbelief in the Bible. Most of my family and friends just wouldn't understand....

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I guess we are meeting this friday to determine the specifics of the "study", the what, where, when and how long etc...

 

I got an answer back from the couple organizing the study in response to my telling them I am not an absolutist/inerrant/literalist. No problem, they say. "We are all different with our levels of faith in Christ". Oh boy, this is going to be interesting.

My wife appears to be getting ready. I noticed a copy of Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" on her reading table, the 1972 edition!! I haven't read it, but have read the reviews. I paged through it and it's almost comical!! So much circular argument, sighting "scholars" and listing references from major secular universities (these were students who helped him, and did not list them as such!!) Unbelievable.

 

I will keep all posted on what happens..

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And even with a group like that, an attempt to get them to think outside what they'd been programmed was meaningless. I was defeated by vanilla niceties, as no one would actually disagree with me- they'd say good point and then go on to make the exact opposite point. Getting angry would have been pointless and so I didn't find it worth my while to continue.

 

Yes, I can see that happening too.

 

What shocked me is the abject inability of most of them to disagree with the vocal/dogmatic ones in the group even when they are absolutely wrong.

 

There is a knee-jerk support for "whatever the leader said" without parsing.

 

Only when a very smart and strong minded xtian surgically pointed out a specific error did the others follow. It was always an error of fact and circumstance, never one of logic, reasoning or morality.

 

It's a club and membership as well as the leaders determine who is right and who is wrong. They all vote for right and wrong with each ejaculation of "Praise Jesus".

 

I would not choose this environment to influence a xtian to think differently.

 

It may however, serve Centauro to demonstrate good intentions. Certainly it may enhance his skills.

 

Mongo

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My goal is not to influence anyone in the group. Frankly I don't care what they believe.

I am using this as a way to inform them of who I am and where I am coming from. To improve my skills in communicating that information, backed by historical evidence and my knowledge of the bible and it's problems. I am sure it will create debate, but I will not debate theology.

I believe that if I narrow my focus on the historical origins of the bible and how we came to our present day bible, through probabilities like Ehrman stated, it will get my point across.

I have no doubt it will fall on deaf ears, but that is the nature of the beast. It may make some of the curious and check out Ehrman. That would be wonderful. It will at least get them to look outside their usual literature and make them possibly think outside their literary constraints at least for a little while. But I have no illusions of changing anyone's mind.

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And perhaps your gentlemanly-like presence and informed opinions will create some cognitive dissonance. :^)

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My goal is not to influence anyone in the group. Frankly I don't care what they believe.

 

 

Thanks. I think I get it now.

 

Mongo

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And perhaps your gentlemanly-like presence and informed opinions will create some cognitive dissonance. :^)

 

I hope so. There is one husband in the group who is open minded and may not be a true fundy.

I am hoping he will interested enough in what I have to say and will keep the conversation flowing. He is a smart and curious guy and a very congenial person, which makes me hopeful that this will be fun. His wife is a confrontational fundy, so he may be more in my camp if there is a good dialog and someone there to bounce things off.

 

I know one other couple, and she is very into fundamentalism. Her husband is well educated and a smart guy also. He is a fundy, but may be the kind of husband I have seen at my wife's church that is going with the flow to avoid any confrontation on the home front, so to speak.

 

I will start off very slow and probably mostly observe and see where things go. I won't be spouting absolutes, put down anyone or be confrontational. In fact, at the introductions I am planning on laying my cards out on the table, stating I am not an inerrant literalist, and am there to learn AND to offer information from my point of view only to let others know who I am and not to be an evangelical for my person beliefs. I will most certainly be a gentleman and hope all points of view will be heard, including mine.

 

I do have no doubt this is going to be an uncomfortable thing for my wife, as she is very concerned about her stature in her circle of friends. I will be diplomatic, but I am finished with compromising my speech when discussions of religion are brought up, especially with the format that we are taking part of. If this is a "study" then we are going to explore many aspects of the bible :wicked: . I am not there to stroke the fundies, but to state my opinions. I think that is my first amendment right :woohoo: . Unfortunately, many fundies think the first amendment only pertains to them.

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Fundies in particular are a peculiar lot. Why have a bible discussion if the only conclusion could be "The bible is inerrant"?

 

Does everyone else say, "Yep"? meeting adjourned.

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Fundies in particular are a peculiar lot. Why have a bible discussion if the only conclusion could be "The bible is inerrant"?

 

Because if you read the bible alone you might start to realize it's a load of bullshit. If you study it in a group you can use the healing power of peer pressure to blind yourself to the contradictions and the absurdities. And as a bonus, you are now a biblical scholar!

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Fundies in particular are a peculiar lot. Why have a bible discussion if the only conclusion could be "The bible is inerrant"?

 

Because if you read the bible alone you might start to realize it's a load of bullshit. If you study it in a group you can use the healing power of peer pressure to blind yourself to the contradictions and the absurdities. And as a bonus, you are now a biblical scholar!

 

Bible studies are an opportunity for an individual to serve their flavour of religion to the participants.

 

If I were determined to participate then I think I'd try and find as many difficult questions I could and plant them at the right time.

 

I think it was Burned Out who said he liked to bug fundys by asking them difficult questions that they can't answer. I think that came out in a thread about a hairdresser who was having a hard time at the salon full of fundys.

 

If you have the time to search it out, there may be some wisdom there.

 

Mongo

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Fundies in particular are a peculiar lot. Why have a bible discussion if the only conclusion could be "The bible is inerrant"?

 

Because if you read the bible alone you might start to realize it's a load of bullshit. If you study it in a group you can use the healing power of peer pressure to blind yourself to the contradictions and the absurdities. And as a bonus, you are now a biblical scholar!

 

Bible studies are an opportunity for an individual to serve their flavour of religion to the participants.

 

If I were determined to participate then I think I'd try and find as many difficult questions I could and plant them at the right time.

 

I think it was Burned Out who said he liked to bug fundys by asking them difficult questions that they can't answer. I think that came out in a thread about a hairdresser who was having a hard time at the salon full of fundys.

 

If you have the time to search it out, there may be some wisdom there.

 

Mongo

 

Asking difficult questions is the way I was going to approach this.

 

I probably should close this thread and start a new one, specific to the bible study. In fact, I think I will. It might get more people involved and I need all the help I can get.

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It still amazes me how few christians, and especially fundies, have no idea how the NT was developed and groomed to be the text that is is today. They actually believe that the words they have today are original and inerrant. Truly amazing..

 

This is exactly how I was until very, very recently.

 

(I'm a little late to this thread....)

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It's hard to come to terms with the thought that [...] you can't just give a truth-seeker the Bible and see them convert.

 

Heh, actually that worked on me, but the other way around. By reading the Bible carefully, I converted from a lifetime of fundamental Christianity (believing the Bible was the inerrant word of God) to being an agnostic. :)

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re: Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", there is some good stuff on it here:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/

 

Thanks, atimetorend, for this link, because at the bottom of the page, there's a list of other reviews and one was titled "Evidence that Demands A Refund." :yelrotflmao:

 

Yeah, that's good stuff there. ;^)

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