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Idols


Randi
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One of my biggest issues with Christianity was always the idol copout. As a believer I was in constant turmoil with the most important things in my life becoming more important than god. As a single (and let's face it, sex starved) Christian, I long desired marriage and children. In many respects I was depressed at the thought that this was something out of my control, that I was to wait for god's perfect timing. Somehow it was of no comfort to know there was nothing I could do about my misery. As many young Christian women do, I obsessed about my singleness, convinced god had some deep truth to reveal to me and until I figured it out, or he deemed me worthy of the required insights, I'd be at his mercy. There were times that I trusted whole heartedly that he would eventually provide, and even in those times I found it difficult to focus on much else besides my emptiness and loneliness. The general response from Christian friends was always, "You're making marriage an idol." This led them to believe that because I desired it too much, then I wasn't ready, and they would sabotage my relationships by relaying this message to the men in my life. I also got the all too often, "marriage is hard" statement from married friends as if to hint at some deep-seated misery in it, or as though life itself isn't hard. Oh yes, I realize now, a single, sex free life is a fucking cake walk. What was I thinking? I should be grateful. How freeing ((sarcasm)). Often these people were the ones who went on and on and on and on and on and on… about their spouses and how they had the best man in the whole world, etc. Exaggerations to hide some desperate misery I'm sure.

 

 

I should point out that although sex was and still is a big part of the issue, I didn't desire a spouse simply to get laid. I think it's a healthy, natural desire to want to have someone to share our lives with. There were countless times I was encouraged to put my focus elsewhere. I dove into scripture, gaining theological insight, then theology became my new idol. Of course, there was someone willing to point this out to me. I bought my first house as a distraction from the misery of single life. This was a joyous, exciting and scary time in my life. As I began making repairs, upgrades, and replacing appliances I was told that I was making my home my idol. It seemed that no matter where I turned my focus, something in my life was an idol and there would always be someone who "cared" enough to point it out. It's hit me now that the god I served was a petty god who, like a child throwing a tantrum, demanded my undivided attention. God forbid I live my life. Now that the recovery has begun and the chains of religious bondage are loosed, I find no guilt in putting all my energy and passion into the things I love in this life. I find great hope in the thought that I can meet and date whomever I choose, whenever I choose. I'm also relieved that marriage will be something we choose as a lifelong commitment to one another, rather than a means to an end of our celibacy.

 

 

Just thought I'd share some thoughts. Anyone else have the idol thing thrown in their face?

 

 

 

 

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Not to the extent that you did, but I think anyone who has been immersed in the xtian lifestyle has experienced it to some degree. There's always that push to make god or Jesus the center of you're life. A few girls I dated would always stress how god/Jesus always came first...which always grated on me even when I was a believer. I think many xtians miss out on a lot in life because they are so focused on a one way relationship with their sky daddy. I'm very happy not wasting my time Sunday morning at church, but rather wasting it watching football and resting before another work week. The concept of not having idols is pretty interesting though, its a really subtle control technique to keep people in line. Sometimes the most successful people are those with a single passion (idol) like an all-star Basketball player or a successful doctor etc...I wonder how they would relate their admiration for a sports player or gratitude to a skilled doctor with their believe in a jealous god?

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The Bible is an idol to most evangelical Christians. As well as their particular denomination or church. It's above all others and more important than anything else.

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Testify!!!! No, don't do that, we left that behind. None of them (and when I say them I recognize that I used to be that way) really give a shit about predicaments like yours. Who cares that you're unhappy. It only matters that you are making god happy. I have always hated being told that, "you're making that an idol." Everything is a fucking idol to them isn't it? Never mind that whoever wrote the ten commandments was only concerned about people not worshiping anyone but yahweh, and didn't give a shit if people wanted to be married, or weave baskets, or make pottery. As long as they sacrificed to yahweh and didn't have a statue of the Kaballah Monster in their tent, things were cool. Damn I like having my brain back.

 

 

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So, let me get this straight.

 

At every juncture in your life where you became interested in something, invested in something and disciplined enough to make progress in something, you would be told you were guilty of "idolatry?"

 

No offense to any of these people you may care about, but what a bunch of pricks!

 

Some people, myself included, tend to get really interested in something. Devote themselves to discovering as much as they can about it and getting something done. Once "enough" time and energy has been spent, that interest or project is dropped. And they move on to something new.

 

That is 1)normal 2) healthy 3) a function of the personality.

 

Once again, Christianity tries to rob the person of being themselves, probably because select Christians want you to be part of their particular project or interest.

 

I may have a false impression of what was going on. But it seems sad.

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Preachers were always warning us not to let other things (fill in the blank) be more important than God. Since I tended to be quite conscientious, it was an issue of God telling me that something was crowding Him out. Yes, when it's busy running its course, it will darn near drive you crazy.

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At my lowest in the Xian brainwashing I joined an AOG church and the pastor had the nerve to

tell me that my career as a Paramedic/FF was becoming an obsession, because it caused me to miss church,and thus causing me to "backslide". :Hmm:

 

Well at the time I could have sworn that that their "god" wanted people to be safe.This was one of my first *WTF* moments that led to my deconversion.

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That is the way Christian and other religious theologies operate, they pervert human nature in order to make others believe that the religious are superior thinkers and have an inside track on getting close to a god. Keep in mind most of the Christian doctrine centers around SUFFERING as a means to get close to god. Christians go out of their way to make sure others are suffering as they should to appease the Christian god. Having too much fun? That is a sin because it distracts from our suffering. Fun leads to more fun and then more and more fun until everyone is having so much fun they lose track of how god wants them to suffer for his grace. This is why the laws against marijuana use are religious beliefs rewritten to exclude such fun from our lives. Laws are written to protect religious beliefs and not personal rights. When it comes to sex without marriage, I'm all in favor of it, not because I can get sex without marriage but two close people sharing each other builds a stronger bond between them. Can't ask for a better friend than that!

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I remember my pastor ragging on people for fishing,wanting to get out of church and catch the football game, or for being more enthused about the football team than about church. I absolutely love to hunt and fish and I did give up hunting one fall. They just want to form you into a dumb sheep so that they can have complete control over you. It is hard to have much for other interests when you have just a night or two a week to yourself and the rest is church activities.

 

I found being single as an x-tian was not an easy thing either. When you constantly hear "family this, family that, family the other thing" it tears at you and your self esteem suffers. It seemed to me that many x-tian singles suffered from low self esteem. People that wanted to interact and get together were scared shitless of each other and stepping outside of "gods perfect will". I believe that with their low self esteem they viewed themselves as not good enough for someone else. It is rough with no sex, affection,intimate conversation, or even interaction with the opposite sex even though you are around them. In one church that I attended dating was frowned upon. "Stop trying and god will bring someone along" is what they would say. So, "god likes to play games with me", is what I thought. I found it hard to date in the church even though there were prospects around. It is hard to have a conversation with someone who has no life or interests outside of work or church. I was really only ivolved with 2 x-tian women. One of them thought she was pregnant.(could not have been mine) With the other one things went real well for a couple of months. Out of the blue she dumps me. No real explanation, she gives me the "god" excuse. Looking back she had her eye on someone else.

 

I did go out on some dates with other x-tians after that but none of them developed into anything. It does get better. It has been a while, but today I find myself able to be in a relationship with someone I really like. We enjoy each others company, share interests, have good conversations, enjoy sex, and intimate moments. We don't feel like we are walking on eggshells, worrying about what god thinks.

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I remember my pastor ragging on people for fishing,wanting to get out of church and catch the football game, or for being more enthused about the football team than about church. I absolutely love to hunt and fish and I did give up hunting one fall. They just want to form you into a dumb sheep so that they can have complete control over you. It is hard to have much for other interests when you have just a night or two a week to yourself and the rest is church activities.

 

[...]

 

It is hard to have a conversation with someone who has no life or interests outside of work or church.

 

That's so true!

 

The idol thing is totally a tool to control people. I also remember constantly worrying about whether it's idol worship if I happen to love someone or something a bit too much. I felt I was not supposed to love anything besides God and going to Church and I felt guilty if I did. And yes, it's hard to have meaningful conversations with Christians. This is the reason I got estranged from my father. All he is interested in is God. He belittles everything else in a pretty arrogant manner.

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