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Bird Of A Different Feather


lynx
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At the risk of boring you to death, I've decided to post a testimonial. I've read a lot of these threads this past year, and I find so many similarities between my journey and what the rest of you have experienced.

 

I was never a churchgoer like most of you. I was raised in a very low-key Lutheran church (I'm grateful for that, since I cannot tolerate those phony histrionic charismatic churches), but I only attended Sunday school and occasional services as a child, not as an adult. My mother sent me to Sunday school because she thought it would be a fun, wholesome activity for me, but my parents were never really involved in church or Christianity. My mother identified herself with Christianity, based on her upbringing, but she did not live it and it wasn’t a focus in her life. My father was an atheist, but never talked much about it. So, the subject of God was rarely discussed in our home.

 

I chose Christianity myself when I was about 18, which is one of the reasons walking away from it is so difficult. No one ever pushed it on me. I loved its idealism. I hated the lifestyle my parents lived, and hated that I was subjected to their indiscretions and dragged through the muck with them. As I became a young adult, God and the bible was like a refuge for me. My personality, in contrast to that of my parents, easily fit Christianity's ethics, so it was natural for me to be drawn to it. In my ignorance, I believed that this path would bring me great comfort in this ruthless world. Instead, I found just the opposite, yet I continued to have faith for many years, but that is a long story.

 

Organized religion was always a complete turnoff to me, for so many reasons, so I never did partake in it. My Christian life was not a social one. I never intentionally interacted with people who called themselves Christians, and when they did cross my path, I never allowed them to dictate how I should think. I had a mind of my own, and I hoped the God that I believed in would be my source for all understanding and open my eyes to the truth, not just the supposed truth in the bible--which I did not believe was completely trustworthy. Because I was a loner, I think that drew me even closer to what I perceived to be God. From my observations of flocking churchgoers, I seemed much more devout, serious, and more concerned with my morality, even though they attended church and I didn't. That seemed contrary to what should be expected, but people find validation in church, so maybe that had something to do with it. In their eyes, I was a non-conformist who was disobeying God by forsaking the fellowship of other Christians (even though we were never birds of a feather, regardless of the Christian label).

 

Church seemed like nothing more than a social event, and a performance of appearing to be good by showing up each week. I never believed that man's church is what God had intended, because it made no sense to me. As a result of keeping my distance from organized religion, I was never influenced by Christian fundamentalism or other dogmas. There were always aspects of the bible that I questioned, but I believed those aspects were due to errors in writing and translating the bible (including some self-serving elements not meant to be there), so I was not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I never believed that an intelligent God could be as contradictory and illogical as the bible sometimes was, but humans certainly could be, therefore I concluded that they were responsible for the errors (problematic--why wouldn’t an omnipotent God prevent that from happening to such an important document?). Christians say there are no contradictions if you take the bible as a whole, in its proper context. We've all heard that before, haven't we? We’re just foolish little people who don’t get it, huh? I don’t think so. No doubt most of us have been very diligent and sincere in our search. My unresolved questions have finally led me here, to this forum. I never imagined I could turn away from Christianity, and I feel like I'm condemning myself merely by being here, even though my logical mind refuses to buy that. The bond that I believed I had with God was not one that I wanted to end. If a God exists, then he ended it against my desire and my sincere, relentless pleadings and prayers. Experiencing the unraveling of my faith in the past couple of years, I have not changed as a person and my morals have not changed in the slightest. I will continue to live as I always have. While this is a painful awakening, it’s also fascinating and I’m finding that my mind is expanding in ways I’ve never experienced before. I’m just not sure where this will lead me.

 

I’m very impressed with the depth of thought on this site. The discussions are intelligent and enlightening. Most internet forums are dominated by tweeners (teens-20s age group) with limited life experience who often engage in discussions of little substance and tend to be cliquey (although that can happen in any age group). I find the maturity of this forum to be extremely refreshing, because of the greater mix of age groups. I've been lurking here for a while and finally decided to join you. I'm very happy to be here.

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Hi, Lynx. Welcome to ExC.

 

Yours is an interesting story. I'm not sure I remember a person who came to and stayed in Christianity quite the way you did. There was apparently little or no parental or other social pressure to get you to become a Christian. Rather, you made the decision on your own as a young adult (age 18). And what I find most interesting is that on top of the fact that you made an adult decision to become a Christian with little or no influence from others, you stayed in the religion on your own, apparently without the dribble from the pulpit.

 

I'm tempted to say that you may have had a more "pure" form of Christianity than I did since mine, and probably most of ours on this forum, came to us through the slicer and dicer, all chopped up just the way it was needed to fit in the denominational menu.

 

The bond that I believed I had with God was not one that I wanted to end. If a God exists, then he ended it against my desire and my sincere, relentless pleadings and prayers. Experiencing the unraveling of my faith in the past couple of years, I have not changed as a person and my morals have not changed in the slightest. I will continue to live as I always have. While this is a painful awakening, it’s also fascinating and I’m finding that my mind is expanding in ways I’ve never experienced before. I’m just not sure where this will lead me.

 

These words of yours that I quoted above, resonate so well with me. I also didn't want it all to be untrue. But once the terrible truth was revealed, there was no going back.

 

I am glad you found us and that you posted your testimony. I look forward to hearing more from you.

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At the risk of boring you to death, I've decided to post a testimonial. I've read a lot of these threads this past year, and I find so many similarities between my journey and what the rest of you have experienced.

 

Hi Lynx! Welcome! I am so glad you're here! Nobody could bore me with their testimony. I love reading the stories! And wow - Can I ever relate to your story!

 

I was never a churchgoer like most of you. I was raised in a very low-key Lutheran church (I'm grateful for that, since I cannot tolerate those phony histrionic charismatic churches), but I only attended Sunday school and occasional services as a child, not as an adult. My mother sent me to Sunday school because she thought it would be a fun, wholesome activity for me, but my parents were never really involved in church or Christianity. My mother identified herself with Christianity, based on her upbringing, but she did not live it and it wasn’t a focus in her life. My father was an atheist, but never talked much about it. So, the subject of God was rarely discussed in our home.

 

This is my story! I came to 'the lord' all by myself when I was 20 years old. My mom just belonged to a good ole' united church where she played the organ for years. She did not preach anything and never really forced us to go to sunday school. My dad also was a non-believer. I remember saying to Dad before he died: 'Dad, isn't it about time you started believing in God'? I wish he was alive today to talk with him more about why he was a non-believer.

 

I chose Christianity myself when I was about 18, which is one of the reasons walking away from it is so difficult. No one ever pushed it on me. I loved its idealism. I hated the lifestyle my parents lived, and hated that I was subjected to their indiscretions and dragged through the muck with them. As I became a young adult, God and the bible was like a refuge for me. My personality, in contrast to that of my parents, easily fit Christianity's ethics, so it was natural for me to be drawn to it. In my ignorance, I believed that this path would bring me great comfort in this ruthless world. Instead, I found just the opposite, yet I continued to have faith for many years, but that is a long story.

 

I also came from quite the dysfunction and when I accepted Jesus as my savior at 20 - I thought I would end up having a 'normal' life from that point on.

 

Organized religion was always a complete turnoff to me, for so many reasons, so I never did partake in it. My Christian life was not a social one. I never intentionally interacted with people who called themselves Christians, and when they did cross my path, I never allowed them to dictate how I should think. I had a mind of my own, and I hoped the God that I believed in would be my source for all understanding and open my eyes to the truth, not just the supposed truth in the bible--which I did not believe was completely trustworthy. Because I was a loner, I think that drew me even closer to what I perceived to be God. From my observations of flocking churchgoers, I seemed much more devout, serious, and more concerned with my morality, even though they attended church and I didn't. That seemed contrary to what should be expected, but people find validation in church, so maybe that had something to do with it. In their eyes, I was a non-conformist who was disobeying God by forsaking the fellowship of other Christians (even though we were never birds of a feather, regardless of the Christian label).

 

I also was known as 'the rebeller' and had my own opinions AND QUESTIONS; did not like hanging out with a lot of people (still like that today!) I went to church every chance I could get because I wanted to develop a really close relationship with 'The Lord'.

 

Church seemed like nothing more than a social event, and a performance of appearing to be good by showing up each week. I never believed that man's church is what God had intended, because it made no sense to me. As a result of keeping my distance from organized religion, I was never influenced by Christian fundamentalism or other dogmas.

Good for you ! Lucky for you - I got in with the 'fundamentalists of fundamentalists! That's where I got real 'brainwashed', even though I had soooo many questions!'

 

There were always aspects of the bible that I questioned, but I believed those aspects were due to errors in writing and translating the bible (including some self-serving elements not meant to be there), so I was not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I never believed that an intelligent God could be as contradictory and illogical as the bible sometimes was, but humans certainly could be, therefore I concluded that they were responsible for the errors (problematic--why wouldn’t an omnipotent God prevent that from happening to such an important document?). Christians say there are no contradictions if you take the bible as a whole, in its proper context. We've all heard that before, haven't we? We’re just foolish little people who don’t get it, huh? I don’t think so. No doubt most of us have been very diligent and sincere in our search. My unresolved questions have finally led me here, to this forum

 

.My unresolved questions led me here also.

 

I never imagined I could turn away from Christianity, and I feel like I'm condemning myself merely by being here, even though my logical mind refuses to buy that. The bond that I believed I had with God was not one that I wanted to end. If a God exists, then he ended it against my desire and my sincere, relentless pleadings and prayers. Experiencing the unraveling of my faith in the past couple of years, I have not changed as a person and my morals have not changed in the slightest. I will continue to live as I always have. While this is a painful awakening, it’s also fascinating and I’m finding that my mind is expanding in ways I’ve never experienced before. I’m just not sure where this will lead me.

 

I could have written this paragraph myself!

 

I’m very impressed with the depth of thought on this site. The discussions are intelligent and enlightening. Most internet forums are dominated by tweeners (teens-20s age group) with limited life experience who often engage in discussions of little substance and tend to be cliquey (although that can happen in any age group). I find the maturity of this forum to be extremely refreshing, because of the greater mix of age groups. I've been lurking here for a while and finally decided to join you.

 

I'm very happy to be here also, and I really am soooooo happy that you are here with us. It is so great to have another friend to 'reason things out with'. I am also in the very painful stages of 'deconverting'. Losing God is like taking everything that I thought was true and good, and telling me at this age that there is 'no Santa' ! You have come to the right place - already in the last 3 weeks, my new friends have helped me so much. I look so forward to hearing more from you! It's one hell of a journey, isn't it? :grin:

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Thank you for the welcome and your insightful replies, Overcame Faith and Margee. I really appreciate everything you both had to say. It's good to know that there are others here who resonate with different aspects of my experience. I'm very much looking forward to sharing ideas and thoughts with you in the forums.

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I’m very impressed with the depth of thought on this site. The discussions are intelligent and enlightening. Most internet forums are dominated by tweeners (teens-20s age group) with limited life experience who often engage in discussions of little substance and tend to be cliquey (although that can happen in any age group). I find the maturity of this forum to be extremely refreshing, because of the greater mix of age groups. I've been lurking here for a while and finally decided to join you. I'm very happy to be here.

 

Welcome to the forum, Lynx.

 

This is what keeps a lot of us coming back. Although I'm one of the old farts, I'm often impressed by the depth of some of our younger members. Glad to have you here and looking forward to your input.

 

 

 

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You sound a lot like me lynx, I was a christian for the same reasons you were, but I was silly enough to go the church route even though I always saw in it the things you did. I really believed I had a deep and enduring relationship with god, and I wanted to believe it so badly. But when the chips were down, I realised I didn't have it at all. All I had was me, and yes that does open the mind in ways I never thought possible. Peace on your journey :)

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This is what keeps a lot of us coming back. Although I'm one of the old farts, I'm often impressed by the depth of some of our younger members. Glad to have you here and looking forward to your input.

Thanks, par4dcourse. I have no doubt that is true, because most of the conversation I've seen on this site, regardless of age, has been insightful. But no matter how impressive the depth of the younger members, the balance and experience you "old farts" bring to the table is the reason I'm here. I have absolutely nothing against 14-year-olds and value their perspective as well, but there are times when I require more mature company and there is no way around that for me. I'm very happy to meet you.

 

 

You sound a lot like me lynx, I was a christian for the same reasons you were, but I was silly enough to go the church route even though I always saw in it the things you did. I really believed I had a deep and enduring relationship with god, and I wanted to believe it so badly. But when the chips were down, I realised I didn't have it at all. All I had was me, and yes that does open the mind in ways I never thought possible. Peace on your journey :)

I appreciate the input, Galien. I'm so grateful I did not go the church route, but knowing what I do about myself, it never could have happened. I can strongly relate to what you said about only having yourself when the chips were down. I can't count the number of times I've been there.

I've seen your posts throughout the board and I always find them valuable. Thank you for your thoughts.

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