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Worrying About Dysfunctional Fuck-ups Who Were Dangers To Themselves.


Vomit Comet
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At my youth group there were a lot of fucked up high risk kids. These weren't just your typical suburban emo wristcutters, though we had those too. More common were kids who ran a much higher risk than average of overdosing on drugs, being driven to suicide because of heavy mental illness (like, schizophrenia and shit), or of being violently murdered. I think the most common cause of premature death, when it did happen, involved bullets. This youth group wasn't in the hood, but the hood wasn't far away, and the emphasis had always been on outreach to the most hard-up kids so maybe only 10% of the youth group fit the profile of typical white bread church kids. Most the kids who darkened the doorstep were on hard drugs or trying to get off of them, and many had lengthy rap sheets or were involved in some of northern Los Angeles County's worst street gangs.

 

I had several people I was close with who fit that profile (high risk), including one girl I was kind of in a relationship with and developed an obsession over. I was always worried that they weren't right enough with the Lord, which worried me more than the possibility of their sordid premature death. Their death I could deal with, providing they were right with the Lord. In fact, when one close friend did get shot and killed in a gang incident, I didn't cry or feel sad or anything, because I knew I was going to see him on the other side.

 

But if that girl I loved, who was always back-and-forth on the fence about the Lord, and who I feared might die from an overdose or suicide... words cannot describe how much it would have devastated me, not simply because she was dead but because there was a fair chance she'd be roasting in hell on top of that. If they were wishy-washy or obstinate about the Lord or were always out fucking around instead of living in a way that demonstrated they were right with God, and high risk on top of that, I would fret and fret and fret and it would kill me inside.

 

Can anybody feel me on this?

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One of the families that I went to Christian school with always went to Michigan for their big family reunion. Two of the boys died in a drowning accident in a lake in the park. Initially, details were very sketchy and all we knew is there were death(s). I remember praying that it would be specific ones that I knew were right with God - somewhat illogical since they were obviously already dead. Turned out it was two of the boys that had a good testimony, so that was satisfying because their brothers that weren't right with God still had another chance.

 

Release from these feelings of wondering about other people's eternal destiny has been one of the many good things about leaving Christianity. Makes walking up to a casket a whole lot better - I can think about the good times spent with the person, and be thankful that this person was in my life.

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Release from these feelings of wondering about other people's eternal destiny has been one of the many good things about leaving Christianity. Makes walking up to a casket a whole lot better - I can think about the good times spent with the person, and be thankful that this person was in my life.

 

When my friend got killed, I was 95% certain he was right with the Lord. In fact, he was conscious and lucid on the scene, though he died in the ambulance, so I figured if he hadn't quite been right he would have gotten right in the minutes he had left. So when I walked up to the coffin, I put my hand on his (all saggy and room temperature) and said "I'll see you on the other side, homie" a few times with full assurance and conviction.

 

Shortly after my deconversion, I thought back to that moment and said "fuck! I guess I'm not going to see him on the other side." :( It depresses the shit out of me if I think about it too much. There he was, killed dead in his early 20s after straightening his life out and getting a decent job, by the very gang he had escaped from a few years prior. (I don't think the kid who pulled the trigger would have known that fact.) Aaaaaaand... that's it.

 

The tragic, violent, senseless death of a young man who nevertheless was raised up by Christ into the eternal gloriousness of heaven was unceremoniously reduced to... the tragic, violent, senseless death of a young man. And that's all she fuckin' wrote.

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Yeah, I know how you feel V.C. I didn't know any kids in high school who were into any gangs etc, but I remember a cool girl I liked and her boyfriend dying in a car wreck. It tore me up, because so far as I knew, she wasn't a christian. Now that I know the truth, that Christianity is bullshit, while it's sad to know she and her boyfriend are truly dead, at least they're not being tormented forever by an omnipotent asshole.

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On one hand, at least I don't question why God would let someone die in such a horrible way anymore. I don't believe in God and I also don't believe that there's some reason why one person dies in the car accident and the other doesn't. I don't think there's any cosmic reason at all behind who gets shot, gets cancer, etc. So, in that sense, I don't feel betrayed by god anymore.

 

On the other hand, it's a downer to think I'll never see my grandfather again. Or my friend who died of leukemia, or the ones who died by suicide. I dread the day my parents die. Don't know how I'll handle it.

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I remember when my grandfather was dying, I was not sure he was going to heaven and that brought me lots of pain. I would try to talk to him. He was a professed Christian, a former Sunday School teacher, he studied the bible and tried to do right but I just wasn't sure about his salvation because he drank a lot and cursed and was treating his family like crap near the end. In my mind, he wasn't the right KIND of Christian. A few days before he died he 'saw" my grandmother and her mother and "a friend" at his bedside telling him it was time and that gave me some measure of peace. If my grandmother was coming to get him with a possible angel, then he must be saved.

 

Now as a unbeliever, I wonder about his hallucinations. Did my grandmother really cross over to tell him it was time or was he just hallucinating?

 

My mother had the same issue when her husband died. Again he was a good man, a Sunday school teacher, etc but still we wondered if he was really saved. I remember her grieving so hard when he died because she was unsure. She had a measure of peace, when she felt him and dreamed about him after the funeral. Again, we suck! Why did we question everyone's salvation and have such impossible standards? I guess it's to be expected since I regularly questioned my own salvation.

 

When my dad died, I just refused to believe he was in hell. Although he was not a Christian, he did go to church for a few months when I was a kid and I decided he must have "made his peace" with god then. My mom said, "He and God had an understanding". I've always wondered why we gave him so much grace and not others? Maybe because we didn't see him as a hypocrite?

 

I, too, am so glad not to have to worry about people's souls anymore. I see the Hell people create for themselves and I find it unimaginable that a god would then throw them into hell for eternity on top of that for not believing the correct things about him.

 

freedom

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I can handle death pretty well in general (before I was a Christian my best friend died. Even though I still miss him I didn't get hit by grief or anything like that) but when I was a Christian one of my closest friends died and that tore me apart. Not because he was dead but because I believed he was in hell. We both grew up irreligious and at about the same time we both took up some sort of fundamentalism. I took it up as a Baptist and he, a Mormon. We often got into debates but we didn't convince each other. I was emotionally broken for a couple weeks, if a thought even momentarily entered my mind about him I would break down in uncontrollable tears. People tried consoling me that maybe he was saved at his very last moments but I knew that was bullshit. We all *knew* he was in hell, if I believed anything different it was because my emotions were affecting my judgement. I was *this* close to giving a gospel presentation at his funeral. I'm very glad I didn't.

 

Not too long after changing churches there was this guy who died in a car accident and it affected a big group of people because the guy was very well liked by most and was pretty well known (being one of the pastor's kids). After his death his fb wall was covered in messages like "See you on the other side" or "I'll see you in heaven" and I thought to myself these people must have gone delusional from their loss. The guy was a "Sunday Christian" at best and had no real visible fruits. I was quite convinced he was hell bound and thought people were just trying to comfort themselves with falsehood. I think I voiced this on several occasions when people made comments like the above and I felt like I couldn't let it slide. Yes, I know, I'm an asshole. I feel bad about it now.

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After his death his fb wall was covered in messages like "See you on the other side" or "I'll see you in heaven"

 

Holy shit! I just had a great idea for a website. "Gravebook.com." An archive of links to the Facebook pages of people who have died. Good for hours of voyeuristic macabre fascination. Well shit, does any of you got web design skillz? I'll pay for the domain name and act as creative consultant (after all, it was my fuckin' idea!). :HaHa: Maybe we can make a couple of bucks off of advertising or something. Anybody interested?

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I was *this* close to giving a gospel presentation at his funeral. I'm very glad I didn't.

 

Good Lord, you would have been kicking yourself forever had you done that. How embarassing!

 

How do you feel about his death in hindsight?

 

The guy was a "Sunday Christian" at best and had no real visible fruits. I was quite convinced he was hell bound and thought people were just trying to comfort themselves with falsehood. I think I voiced this on several occasions when people made comments like the above and I felt like I couldn't let it slide. Yes, I know, I'm an asshole. I feel bad about it now.

 

Part of me is like "fuck yeah, balls enough to tell dem da truth!" But then that part of me is an asshole, too. And I too was crazy to the point that I took that shit even more seriously than most other fundies! Let alone the general public....

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Good Lord, you would have been kicking yourself forever had you done that. How embarassing!

 

How do you feel about his death in hindsight?

 

I had a few *godly* people *hint* that I should do a gospel presentation and I was very much convinced (up until the day before) that I should do it. I only had one friend who thought it'd be inappropriate but they didn't tell me I just got told that they said that when a conversation started as what they thought I would do at the funeral (I was pretty well respected for my Biblical knowledge and example). The only reason I didn't do it was as I thought about the appropriateness of it (being a Mormon funeral) I would be saying he is in hell indirectly even if those very words didn't come out of my mouth. There was a lot of grieving people there and that would have been a stupid thing to do.

 

I still miss him very much but I am not an emotional wreck about it. Someone who is just dead is a relief to me than someone who is in eternal flames. It's bittersweet I guess you can say.

 

 

Part of me is like "fuck yeah, balls enough to tell dem da truth!" But then that part of me is an asshole, too. And I too was crazy to the point that I took that shit even more seriously than most other fundies! Let alone the general public....

 

 

I generally wasn't an asshole but one of the 2 main things that annoy me are people who bend the rules to suit themselves and those who are "wishy-washy". These very same people would say that Billy Graham is unsaved but when it comes to people that they like they are all of a sudden a Child of God. Examples would include George Bush who has stated something to the effect that we all worship the same God or something like that and I would be *this* close to yelling "Billy Grahams says the exact same thing and you find him unsaved yet because Bush is someone you like he is saved despite saying the same thing!?!?"

 

As for my other pet peeve, wishy-washiness: By my standard most people were worldly and undedicated. I would find the right moments to say cutting remarks to people who didn't fit my standards. For example, someone might mention that they liked song artist so and so and when they asked me if I liked them I would reply with "I don't listen to secular/worldly music". If they asked me if I saw an episode of X on TV I would be like "I dedicate my evenings to Bible study and reading". Yet another example, if I would quote something said from the sermon the week before and someone said "I don't remember that part" I would say something like "It was in the evening service, I don't think you attend the evening services do you? That's probably why you don't remember it" I wasn't a legalist in the normal sense of the word but the way I figured it was your God died for you so you wouldn't bear the punishment for your sin, is it too much to ask to attend church regularly and to read your Bible? Is it really that hard? If you couldn't do at least that I believed it was a severe character flaw and had no interest in those people. It's part of my personality to be black/white. If people are wishy washy I generally have a very low level of respect for them, doesn't matter if they are Christian, Muslims or whatever. Doesn't mean I am right, it's just the fucked up way I think.

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