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Guest Perfect Insanity

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Guest Perfect Insanity

I know what someone may be thinking.

 

"I knew he was faking it" "I knew he didn't really leave" "I knew he was trying to mess with us" "I knew he couldn't go through with it"

 

Whatever. Think what you want. I'm not here to post like I did before.

 

First off, I'd like to say this. If I offended anyone, or came across a certain way, I'm sorry. To be honest, I don't really see how I could have, but apparently I did. Talking over the internet doesn't always get everything across the way they were intended to, and things can be easily misunderstood. That last post I replied to rubbed me the wrong way, and really pissed me off. It took me by surprise. But like I said, if I come across that way, I'm sorry. It wasn't intentional, as far as I can understand myself. Anyway, no hard feelings, I hope.

 

I've been wrestling with the same fears and anxieties as before. But something happened just now.... I won't go into details about it.... I'm truly starting to believe, I think God really is trying to draw me back in. I can't get any rest or peace, and I think that may be because God will not let me have any rest or peace, until I come back. Or it also could be the OCD. Or it could be a little of both. I don't know. I can't say. But as I was saying, something happened that made me start to see what I think is God protecting me. If things had gone normally, I could have been killed today. But my plans changed yesterday when I made an appointment with my doctor. I kept thinking about canceling the appointment, but for some reason I never got around to it. So I kept the appointment, didn't do what I normally would have, and I'm alive right now, when there's a chance I might have died if I had canceled the appointment. I'm sure this doesn't sound convincing to any of you, but if you could see the full story from my perspective, you might. On one hand, I feel slightly amazed and thankful that God might actually be still protecting me from harm, even though I've talked so much shit about him. But on the other hand, I feel... slightly depressed, that this might confirm such a depressing worldview. Not depressing that maybe God cares enough to have intervened and saved my life, for that I'm thankful. But depressing as far as the biblical worldview goes. If I'm interpreting it right, then this worldview/mindset is indeed a mindfuck. Maybe there's a chance that I'm caught up in unbiblical legalism, and the "truth" is actually a lot more liberating than I see it to be. I hope that's the case. But unfortunately, I don't think so. So I don't really know what to do with these feelings. I think I need to pray.

 

I just wanted to tell this to someone and get it off my chest.

 

I wasn't sure what forum to put this under. This probably doesn't fit well into "ex-Christian Life", but it doesn't really fit under any others either. If this is out of place, feel free to move it.

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When one believes in God, any event can be construed from coincidental to meaningful. Something good happens? God saves you. Something bad happens? God punishes and/or tests your faith. When a child survives a plan crash and a hundred others die, did God save one and not the others? Or did he kill the others and miss one? For believers God wins everytime, and when events must have meaning, it becomes hard to learn from them. It was God that started the forest fire, not dry conditions and a littering smoker... Then of course God must have provided the rain to douse it, not the fact that humidity naturally rises off the ocean and is attracted to the ashes... It's sort of a Catch-22. Since this supposed God cares for you, every event in your life must be for you, or good for you in some way.

 

Or maybe trying to interpret events through a deity that can't be proven to actually alter or cause events is indeed a mindfuck. Isn't the simplest answer 'Things just happen according to unchangeable laws.' Improbable things are bound to happen mathematically due to the Laws of Large Numbers. If that child surviving that plane crash is a statistical norm, then how it is a miracle? So long as something is physically possible, why is it necessary for a higher power to intervene? And if something is not physically possible, how could it happen?

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Guest Perfect Insanity

When one believes in God, any event can be construed from coincidental to meaningful. Something good happens? God saves you. Something bad happens? God punishes and/or tests your faith. When a child survives a plan crash and a hundred others die, did God save one and not the others? Or did he kill the others and miss one? For believers God wins everytime, and when events must have meaning, it becomes hard to learn from them. It was God that started the forest fire, not dry conditions and a littering smoker... Then of course God must have provided the rain to douse it, not the fact that humidity naturally rises off the ocean and is attracted to the ashes... It's sort of a Catch-22. Since this supposed God cares for you, every event in your life must be for you, or good for you in some way.

 

Or maybe trying to interpret events through a deity that can't be proven to actually alter or cause events is indeed a mindfuck. Isn't the simplest answer 'Things just happen according to unchangeable laws.' Improbable things are bound to happen mathematically due to the Laws of Large Numbers. If that child surviving that plane crash is a statistical norm, then how it is a miracle? So long as something is physically possible, why is it necessary for a higher power to intervene? And if something is not physically possible, how could it happen?

 

Valid point.

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It'll come as no surprise that I think you're succumbing to the christianity mindfuck. But really, I hope you find some peace one way or another. if "god" can do that for you, then go for it.

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Guest Perfect Insanity

It'll come as no surprise that I think you're succumbing to the christianity mindfuck. But really, I hope you find some peace one way or another. if "god" can do that for you, then go for it.

 

God can't do that. That hope was false. Everything I fear about Christianity is true. I may as well throw my life away. Drink til I can't think about it anymore. God dammit, I'm going to hell. I honestly believe that. In my mind, that's as true and real as this keyboard I'm typing on. I envy anyone who is able to cease believing in the mindfuck. Because I can't. I thought a could see the light at the end of the tunnel.... I thought I could see a glimmer of hope... But no. That was a lie.

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I have to agree with Shallow. Or, consider something like this:

 

You commit a 'sin.' You don't get caught. In fact, it almost seems like somebody's on your side, making sure that you can commit as many 'sins' as you want. You're never disciplined, and you never feel genuinely bad about the 'sins' because honestly, they shouldn't be viewed as 'wrong.' This has happened to me several times in the last few months (mostly while I was a xian, in fact). I mean, it has nothing to do with my free will...and god doesn't aid sin...so how do you explain it? Coincidence. I've been getting very, very lucky. God hasn't been beating up my conscience for it, and I've been fine no matter how 'bad' the things I do. Sure, my parents might catch me...maybe they'll get a premonition of sorts, telling them to worry about me. When they realize their fears aren't unfounded, they'll count it as god's intervention, when really, I just wasn't sneaky enough and left evidence of my 'sinning.' Or maybe they heard about someone else's kid doing the exact same things I'd been doing, and they get suspicious. It can all be explained without god. Promise.

 

Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is that circumstances can often work themselves out in your favor, and they certainly do for both xians and atheists and theists alike. Attributing all the good things to god doesn't make sense, because things do just happen. And I suppose I'm just reiterating what Shallow said, since he/she said it best. What about people that have rejected god completely; what about people that god knows can't be brought back, the ones he knows are going to hell? Why would he try to make their lives cush and cozy? Why would he 'reward' them? He wouldn't, plain and simple.

 

Not to mention, the fact that god screwed around with your memory seems to argue that he didn't allow you your free will to make a decision in the matter...

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God can't do that. That hope was false. Everything I fear about Christianity is true. I may as well throw my life away. Drink til I can't think about it anymore. God dammit, I'm going to hell. I honestly believe that. In my mind, that's as true and real as this keyboard I'm typing on. I envy anyone who is able to cease believing in the mindfuck. Because I can't. I thought a could see the light at the end of the tunnel.... I thought I could see a glimmer of hope... But no. That was a lie.

 

I'm genuinely sorry that you aren't able to find peace about this, PI. I really hope that you do find what you're looking for, and that you keep searching and learning and living. It's not fair that somebody did you a disservice like that, telling you that you're bound for hell. Because you aren't. Best of luck to you in everything that you do, and I really wish that I could help. If there's anything anybody can do for you on ExC, don't hesitate to ask. The worst they can say is* 'no.'

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Everything I fear about Christianity is true.

No it isn't.

 

I know it does nothing to tell you that, but it had to be said. Again.

 

Good luck.

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I used to think I was special and "protected." I could give several examples where I would have been crushed, or paralyzed, or dead in many different ways, but I never have had a broken bone.

 

It took me about 20 years to realize that I was just lucky, and human, and normal. Considering I used to do stupid things like "Jesus Take the Wheel" while I closed my eyes and deliberately crashed my bicycle, I was incredibly lucky.

 

It wasn't until I saw others suffering and dying that I realized that good people, bad people and everyone in between can have misfortune or good fortune. One child is found in the woods, it's a miracle. What the fuck do you call a child that wanders from home and is found dead and partially consumed by scavengers? A Miracle!?

 

If your focus is too narrow, you won't see that it isn't divine providence that protects you, but luck.

 

I believe that reading Thomas Paine opened my eyes to the impartiality of reality. It was one lesson that has, in fact, saved me many times over.

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I could give several examples where I would have been crushed, or paralyzed, or dead in many different ways, but I never have had a broken bone.

 

Anyone who drives on a superhighway can give those examples. I could offer 3 from yesterday.

 

Phanta

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Guest Perfect Insanity

I have to agree with Shallow. Or, consider something like this:

 

You commit a 'sin.' You don't get caught. In fact, it almost seems like somebody's on your side, making sure that you can commit as many 'sins' as you want. You're never disciplined, and you never feel genuinely bad about the 'sins' because honestly, they shouldn't be viewed as 'wrong.' This has happened to me several times in the last few months (mostly while I was a xian, in fact). I mean, it has nothing to do with my free will...and god doesn't aid sin...so how do you explain it? Coincidence. I've been getting very, very lucky. God hasn't been beating up my conscience for it, and I've been fine no matter how 'bad' the things I do. Sure, my parents might catch me...maybe they'll get a premonition of sorts, telling them to worry about me. When they realize their fears aren't unfounded, they'll count it as god's intervention, when really, I just wasn't sneaky enough and left evidence of my 'sinning.' Or maybe they heard about someone else's kid doing the exact same things I'd been doing, and they get suspicious. It can all be explained without god. Promise.

 

I think it depends what the "sin" is. If it's some trivial little something like saying a "bad word" or something stupid like that, who cares? But if it's something that's actually wrong, like robbing a bank or murdering someone, a person should not get away with it. Even if they can.

 

Then again, I'm not the right person to talk about that. Sometimes I feel like causing some mischief when I'm pissed off.

 

Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is that circumstances can often work themselves out in your favor, and they certainly do for both xians and atheists and theists alike. Attributing all the good things to god doesn't make sense, because things do just happen. And I suppose I'm just reiterating what Shallow said, since he/she said it best. What about people that have rejected god completely; what about people that god knows can't be brought back, the ones he knows are going to hell? Why would he try to make their lives cush and cozy? Why would he 'reward' them? He wouldn't, plain and simple.

 

I'm not saying "something good happens = God, something bad happens = satan/random occurance/god works in mysterious ways" because obviously, that's not the case. The rain falls on both the just and the unjust. What I am saying is, the way all of that worked out seems like more than a coincidence.

 

Not to mention, the fact that god screwed around with your memory seems to argue that he didn't allow you your free will to make a decision in the matter...

 

Yeah. "Do as I say or burn" is not a choice of free will.

 

 

I'm genuinely sorry that you aren't able to find peace about this, PI. I really hope that you do find what you're looking for, and that you keep searching and learning and living. It's not fair that somebody did you a disservice like that, telling you that you're bound for hell. Because you aren't. Best of luck to you in everything that you do, and I really wish that I could help. If there's anything anybody can do for you on ExC, don't hesitate to ask. The worst they can say is* 'no.'

 

It never fails to amaze me how compassionate everyone here is. So much more than most Christians.

 

I have to say, though... No one is necessarily (in person) telling me I'm hellbound. I get most of that from teachings and doctrines I dug up myself in the past. And the Bible.

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Guest Perfect Insanity

No it isn't.

 

I know it does nothing to tell you that, but it had to be said. Again.

 

Good luck.

 

I'm not necessarily saying that the religion is abolutely true. I don't know. It obviously has it's problems and contradictions. All I'm saying is, I believe that everything I fear about this religion is true, whether the religion itself is or not.

 

 

I used to think I was special and "protected." I could give several examples where I would have been crushed, or paralyzed, or dead in many different ways, but I never have had a broken bone.

 

It took me about 20 years to realize that I was just lucky, and human, and normal. Considering I used to do stupid things like "Jesus Take the Wheel" while I closed my eyes and deliberately crashed my bicycle, I was incredibly lucky.

 

It wasn't until I saw others suffering and dying that I realized that good people, bad people and everyone in between can have misfortune or good fortune. One child is found in the woods, it's a miracle. What the fuck do you call a child that wanders from home and is found dead and partially consumed by scavengers? A Miracle!?

 

If your focus is too narrow, you won't see that it isn't divine providence that protects you, but luck.

 

I believe that reading Thomas Paine opened my eyes to the impartiality of reality. It was one lesson that has, in fact, saved me many times over.

 

Luck is right. Most of the time anyway.

 

No you're not.

 

I hope you're right. I hope such a place does not exist. I hope no (normal) human being has to go there.

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Just take your time and think things through - no need to panic!. If God is real, he will not fry you for questioning and seeking truth. If he's not real, you have nothing to worry about. Sounds like hell is a persistent fear. Do some studying about where the idea of hell came from in the first place. It's not even in the OT - it was added later. Others here might know some good websites that address this.

 

Cut yourself some slack, do plenty of reading, and best of luck to you!

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No you're not [going to hell].

 

I hope you're right. I hope such a place does not exist. I hope no (normal) human being has to go there.

 

I am right about this. If you look at it from a Christian perspective, then I am betting my "immortal soul" on it by renouncing Christianity totally and utterly. If the Christians are right, then my act of apostasy is a damnable sin (for which I shall never seek forgiveness from a non-existent god). I am that confident.

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Guest Perfect Insanity

Just take your time and think things through - no need to panic!. If God is real, he will not fry you for questioning and seeking truth. If he's not real, you have nothing to worry about. Sounds like hell is a persistent fear. Do some studying about where the idea of hell came from in the first place. It's not even in the OT - it was added later. Others here might know some good websites that address this.

 

Cut yourself some slack, do plenty of reading, and best of luck to you!

 

As pathetic as this proves me to be, I already know hell wasn't in the OT. But somehow... something about it... Maybe it's the stories I've heard, maybe it's just the fear factor of reading a verse about hell and forgetting that it is (was) a new invention, or maybe it's something else.

 

No you're not [going to hell].

 

I hope you're right. I hope such a place does not exist. I hope no (normal) human being has to go there.

 

I am right about this. If you look at it from a Christian perspective, then I am betting my "immortal soul" on it by renouncing Christianity totally and utterly. If the Christians are right, then my act of apostasy is a damnable sin (for which I shall never seek forgiveness from a non-existent god). I am that confident.

 

I don't see how you can be so confident about something that is unknowable and unprovable until the day we die.

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I don't see how you can be so confident about something that is unknowable and unprovable until the day we die.

 

You've hit on the point precisely. If it is unknowable and unprovable then a god who uses it as a way to compel you to act in a certain way made a mistake. For the threat of hell to be an effective method to compel you to act a certain way, it must be knowable and provable. Otherwise, it is of no effect for that purpose because then anybody can make up anything they want and tell you it's from god and you can't differentiate between two or more competing unknowable and unprovable claims. So without hell being both knowable and provable, it is no more of a threat than Thor's lightening bolts and no more real, either.

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Guest Perfect Insanity

 

I don't see how you can be so confident about something that is unknowable and unprovable until the day we die.

 

You've hit on the point precisely. If it is unknowable and unprovable then a god who uses it as a way to compel you to act in a certain way made a mistake. For the threat of hell to be an effective method to compel you to act a certain way, it must be knowable and provable. Otherwise, it is of no effect for that purpose because then anybody can make up anything they want and tell you it's from god and you can't differentiate between two or more competing unknowable and unprovable claims. So without hell being both knowable and provable, it is no more of a threat than Thor's lightening bolts and no more real, either.

 

But that's where the validity of the Bible starts to come into play, which is an even bigger headache.

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I don't see how you can be so confident about something that is unknowable and unprovable until the day we die.

 

You've hit on the point precisely. If it is unknowable and unprovable then a god who uses it as a way to compel you to act in a certain way made a mistake. For the threat of hell to be an effective method to compel you to act a certain way, it must be knowable and provable. Otherwise, it is of no effect for that purpose because then anybody can make up anything they want and tell you it's from god and you can't differentiate between two or more competing unknowable and unprovable claims. So without hell being both knowable and provable, it is no more of a threat than Thor's lightening bolts and no more real, either.

 

But that's where the validity of the Bible starts to come into play, which is an even bigger headache.

 

What about the validity of the Koran?

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What about the validity of the Koran?

 

If we're talking about Islam's version of hell, yes.

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What about the validity of the Koran?

 

If we're talking about Islam's version of hell, yes.

 

So you see that Koran as being as valid as the Bible?

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Guest Perfect Insanity

What about the validity of the Koran?

 

If we're talking about Islam's version of hell, yes.

 

So you see that Koran as being as valid as the Bible?

 

No.

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The problem with thinking of Christianiy as a safe bet is that by believing it you are rejecting 1000's of other religions that may be right. If so then you're risking going to their hells. So if the reliability of the bible is something you're wondering about, look into it. Read a Christian apologist and compare the validity of their arguments to an opposing viewpoint. Any of Bart Ehrman's books, will help you think through these issues. And if hell scares the hell out of you right now, then keep praying for god to guide you. If he's real he can show you truth. If he's not, you'll just be a little wiser and hopefully closer to finding answers?

 

I think I understand where you're coming from. I went through a period of time where I was doubting but reluctant to really examine any atheist arguments or any questioning of Christianity. I was afraid to be "led astray" by Satan and I fought very hard to shut off these doubts and questions. Then one day I realized that Christianity would have to stand up to some rational scrutiny. I'm not telling you what to think. No one should. But I do want to encourage you to think. Examine the issues and evidence and come to your own conclusions, while trying to set the fear aside. People should never be afraid to ask legitimate questions and to seek answers.

 

Part of the discomfort, in my own life, anyway, comes from having had a Christian mindset of having neat little answers to everything. Now I'm learning to be comfortable with some unknowns.

 

Hope this helps a little :-)

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Guest Perfect Insanity

The problem with thinking of Christianiy as a safe bet is that by believing it you are rejecting 1000's of other religions that may be right. If so then you're risking going to their hells. So if the reliability of the bible is something you're wondering about, look into it. Read a Christian apologist and compare the validity of their arguments to an opposing viewpoint. Any of Bart Ehrman's books, will help you think through these issues.

 

My hangups are not so much from the intellectual side, but, as I've said before, the experiences of others. Now, I'm not saying that I buy into every little hocus pocus story that someone tells, but some of them hang me up a lot, and have no explanation if there is no such thing as the supernatural. One story off the top of my head, there's a guy I used to watch a little bit on YouTube, and his mom had some kind of tattoo that God apparently didn't approve of. Some way or another God showed her this. One night while she was asleep, she felt some kind of a burning sensation where the tattoo was. The tattoo was gone after that. He showed before and after pictures of his mom, one with the tattoo, and one without. There's no way to rationalize that without there being a God in the picture, as far as I can see.

 

And if hell scares the hell out of you right now, then keep praying for god to guide you. If he's real he can show you truth. If he's not, you'll just be a little wiser and hopefully closer to finding answers?

 

That's what I'm afraid of. That he is showing me the truth. Mindfuck and all. I feel like he's showing me how extreme it is, and that I can either accept it and have hope for eternal life, or reject it and burn in hell. That's how I feel. But hey, feelings are deceptive, right?

 

I think I understand where you're coming from. I went through a period of time where I was doubting but reluctant to really examine any atheist arguments or any questioning of Christianity. I was afraid to be "led astray" by Satan and I fought very hard to shut off these doubts and questions. Then one day I realized that Christianity would have to stand up to some rational scrutiny. I'm not telling you what to think. No one should. But I do want to encourage you to think. Examine the issues and evidence and come to your own conclusions, while trying to set the fear aside. People should never be afraid to ask legitimate questions and to seek answers.

 

I'm definitely not afraid to admit that much of Christianity does not stand up well to rational scrutiny. I do admit that.

 

Part of the discomfort, in my own life, anyway, comes from having had a Christian mindset of having neat little answers to everything. Now I'm learning to be comfortable with some unknowns.

 

Sometimes it's good to just be humble enough to admit that some things are unknowable. Christians don't always admit that. Or the people of other religions for that matter.

 

Hope this helps a little :-)

 

Believe me, it does. All of you here have helped me very much.

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Guest Valk0010

You cant explain every little wierd story, but its bad reasoning to just say because you cant explain it has to be god, what about just saying you dont know and would need more info to say its something divine.

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