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So Many Fears...


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I'm a new member to this site. I just turned into an ex-Christian and I'm loving it. Such a great sense of freedom. But also, I'm 15, and I can't tell my parents because they are super religious and would probably not accept it. So here are some of my continuing fears...

 

What if God is real?

What if things start happening that are too much of a coincidence to the end times?

What if hell does exist?

And simply, what if the world ends and I die? What happens then?

 

These are some things I would enjoy to converse about. My basic beliefs is that there might be a god, but it definitely isn't the Christian one.

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Welcome.

 

You are wise to lay low at your age. Your time will come.

 

Regarding fears, the whole damn religion is based on fear. That's how they control people and make them believe crazy shit nobody in his right mind would believe. And there's the key - we were not in our right mind when we were being brainwashed.

 

Specific fears have been dealt with at length on this site and elsewhere. I won't repeat the volumes of information available, but I recommend that you look around, starting on this very site. Plenty of people will intelligently address the individual issues directly with you over time, but you might want to take the crash course by first perusing the older threads on topic.

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There is no evidence to suggest the actual existence of anything you discussed. Nonetheless, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. BUT, there is evidence. What the evidence appears to point to is that these concepts seem to have been created by man, and weren't even original in themselves. They were borrowed and modified from other elements. So the possibility of such things actually being real are extremely low.

 

Harry Potter, Hogwarts, and the whole shebang, out of sheer coincidence, might just be real. But the likelihood is quite low. Very, very low.

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Lets deal with the questions

 

What if God is real?

You should also ask what if he is not real? At your age I doubt that you have gotten too deep either in the brainwashing or into the origins of your faith. The rabbit hole is very deep and much of what you need to learn, you have to do on your own. We can point you in the right direction but read up on some threads here.

What if things start happening that are too much of a coincidence to the end times?

There are no end times. You have been duped. This second coming has been happening for 2000 years with a no show. Believe me when I say this, the end of days crap is very much an American Evangelical phenomenon. There is a pretty good thread on this topic that is pinned.

What if hell does exist?

It exists but as a reference to the realm of the dead, the grave and an old rubbish dump in Jerusalem that is now a pretty park. There is no fiery place to go to.

And simply, what if the world ends and I die? What happens then?

GAME OVER. We really do not know as no one has come back to tell us either way.

 

Were you self aware before you were born? I was not.

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Regarding the end times stuff, LivingLife is right. It is largely a 20th century(or late 19th century), American invention.

 

Makes you wonder how the great theologians never figured it out for about 1800 years.

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What if the Jews are right? That would mean by worshipping Jesus you're worshipping a false god and all Christians go to hell. There is no winning with religion. Maybe the only true way to heaven is in questioning everything and not following manmade religion. Without tangible fact based (as opposed to personal experience based) proof, the rational response is to reserve judgment. i'm agnostic.

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Hi, Rockalocka, welcome to ExC.

 

You have already received some good advice and I'll try not to repeat any of that except to reiterate the point that at your age and given that you are dependent upon your parents, you are probably better off not coming out to them at this point in your life.

 

What if god is real?

 

It sounds as if you don't believe that the god of the bible is real. But my assumption is that what you meant by your question is "What if the god of the bible is real?" If the god of the bible is real and is exactly as portrayed in the bible, then we're all in trouble. And by that I don't just mean we exchristians are in trouble, but all of humanity is in real trouble. That god is vengeful, he is inconsistent, he is jealous, he orders and condones genocide, he demanded a sacrifice of his own son before he would even consider forgiving his human creatures of their "sins" and requires faith on on our part when the evidence for the truth of all of this is so shallow, he created evil and uses an eternal punishment for those who succumb to the very nature for which he is responsible, he does not answer prayers, he allows millions to die of starvation, diseases, earthquakes, floods, etc.

 

But consider these things as the very evidence that proves that the god of the bible does not exist. Because that is the most overwhelming evidence for this fact. And I do mean "fact." The god of the bible is a human-made concept, pieced together from predecessor religions right down to the concept of a god mating with a human being like Zeus who impregnated the mortal mother of Hercules. None of it is really unique with the one possible exception of Judaism which developed over time the concept of monotheism. Christianity, however, strayed from true monotheism with its concept of the trinity, which is really just a way of explaining away what amounts to polytheism by claiming that the three are both separate and one.

 

What if things start happening that are too much of a coincidence to the end times?

 

You used the correct word here, "coincidences." What people view as end-times events are a combination of coincidences and a shaping of so-called "end-time prophecies" to fit what is happening in the world today. It's just a parlor trick and nothing more.

 

What if hell does exist?

 

The Christian religion has been carefully constructed and interpreted to trap its adherents. It offers a reward (a relationship with god, a promise of eternal life, and heaven) combined with a punishment so terrible that it causes even the strongest adherent to quake in fear. Many Christian denominations teach that even questioning the religion merits eternal punishment in hell. Think about this, why would a religion that offers the truth require an eternal punishment as a stick to keep people in the religion. It's like training your pet dog. Sure, you might be able to teach your dog to sit by beating it into submission. But the way to train your beloved pet to sit is to be gentle and kind and to offer a reward (praise, a treat, etc.) for the desired effect. That produces a happy and obedient pet. Can it be true that a divine being does not understand this simple concept? No way!! And it is this fact that tells me that hell is a man-made concept used to gain control over the masses by those who lead the church.

 

And simply, what if the world ends and I die? What happens then?

 

I don't know exactly what you mean by this question, but I will assume you mean what if the world ends in accordance with so-called biblical prophecy and you die as an unbeliever. If this is what you mean, then your reference is to what many end-time fearmongers say will happen which is that you will go to hell. I have already addressed hell, so see those remarks.

 

As for whether the world will end in accordance with biblical prophecies, the answer is a clear and unequivocal there are no true prophecies either in the bible or elsewhere. There never has been and never will be true prophecies. All we as humans can accomplish is an imperfect prediction of future events based on past events. For example, I can confidently predict that the sun will rise tomorrow because it has done so for several billion years. But that is not a prophecy. A prophecy is when god tells a human being something which he, in turn, wants that human being to tell others. But here's the thing. Why would a god tell one human being something and then have that person tell others? Wouldn't it make much more sense for the god to tell all people himself? That way there would be no doubt about the truth of the words. I find this fact totally convincing that there are no prophecies and there never have been.

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I find this fact totally convincing that there are no prophecies and there never have been.

Precisely. Most scripture was jotted down after the events ad that way could embellish any tale to fit the events.

 

There is however one prophesy that is true for all of us.

 

You are going to die sometime.

 

It is this reality that folk first create a fear of such an event and then try make it less fearful by lying about some afterlife.

 

All cultures have some form of this indoctrination and was a good way to get young folk to dismiss their survival instinct and go to war for their deer leeders.

 

When you are young and some friends die young and unexpected, it is seen as such a waste. As you get older, the fear of death diminishes if you were fortunate to achieve a few realistic goals in life.

 

At my age, the idea of living forever either here and now or in another realm is totally unappealing.

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rockalocka, I think we all have our fears, and if at just 15 you are admitting them then that's a good start. Recently I've been following thread on a World Religions site where someone argued that if people "accepted Jesus" under duress then the choice was no choice at all, and could never be valid. The arguments rocked to and fro - as is the case with us human beings, all being different! - but I think the point was made. It appeared, at least to me and many others, that there are many Christians out there totally incapable of admitting their fears, even after years living within the faith. They appear terrified of questioning or "crossing" the God their minds have created by a whole host of theologies - such beliefs have created a monster. Anyway, enough of others. We all have to face our own fears, and as I said, admitting them and facing them puts you ahead of many.

 

I've found that we can run from them very easily, and I've found that often purely intellectual and seemingly rational arguments don't really do the trick. Sometimes you just have to stand your ground and look them in the face. FEEL the fear, feel the stomach churn, look it in the eye! What is it? What is it, really?

 

The Good Book (I've got a wicked sense of humour!) says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Yet fear is not the END of wisdom, and perfect love drives out fear. So try to love your parents, keep loving them........and when you do "come out" they won't have much to argue with.

 

And from Marcel Proust.......We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness, which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.

Hopefully you will at least regard the world with eyes that can offer it just a smidgeon of mercy, which begins with ourselves. Not forgetting a sense of humour, especially when listening to the next vulture evangelist (who in all probability will be asking for money) as he rants about the "price of sin".

 

Sincerely, all the best. A lot of us have been through it. We've all got our own path.

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I also have another fear. I know the end times thing has already been addressed, but my grandma told me that God told her he (well, Jesus) would return before she died. I think the only reason I'm fearing this is because I don't want to call her crazy. Can anyone help me out with this? And however cheesy this sounds, I'm pretty much on a journey of self-discovery an it's pretty bumpy.

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...God told her...

Perhaps not crazy, but definitely delusional. After all, God told David Koresh, Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate, etc., etc. According to legend, the Jesus character himself told the people he would return before they all passed away.

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I also have another fear. I know the end times thing has already been addressed, but my grandma told me that God told her he (well, Jesus) would return before she died. I think the only reason I'm fearing this is because I don't want to call her crazy. Can anyone help me out with this? And however cheesy this sounds, I'm pretty much on a journey of self-discovery an it's pretty bumpy.

 

You need not call your grandmother crazy nor need you address the issue with her at all. There have been many people today and throughout history who have believed god told them certain things, and I am one of them as are many others on this forum. That does not make your grandmother or us crazy. Rather, it makes us fallable human beings who earnestly thought god was talking to us. I think in many instances, it is a misunderstanding of what goes on in our minds and we wrongly attribute our deep-seeded thoughts to an outside source, god in this case.

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Thanks OvercameFaith, does anyone know a good thread about whether Jesus existed or not?

 

 

rockalocka, you could do worse than try here, using the search facility.

 

Secular Web

 

 

As far as self discovery, I thought you might appreciate a few words from a lady called Pema Chodron, on "loving kindness"....

 

When people start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It's a bit like saying, "If I jog, I'll be a much better person." "If I could only get a nicer house, I'd be a better person." "If I could meditate and calm down, I'd be a better person." Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, "If it weren't for my husband, I'd have a perfect marriage." "If it weren't for the fact that my boss and I don't get on, my job would be just great." And "If it weren't for my mind, my meditation would be excellent."

 

But loving-kindness - "maitri" - towards ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. "Maitri" means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice is not about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

 

Sometimes among Buddhists the word "ego" is used in a derogatory sense, with a different connotation than the Freudian term. As Buddhists, we might say, "Well, then, we're supposed to get rid of it, right? Then there'd be no problem." On the contrary, the idea isn't to get rid of the ego but actually to begin to take an interest in ourselves, to investigate and be inquisitive about ourselves.

For me the message is "be easy on yourself"..........and your grandma!

From someone who is still crazy after all those years.

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"a few words from a lady called Pema Chodron, on "loving kindness"....

 

When people start to meditate or to work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they're going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It's a bit like saying, "If I jog, I'll be a much better person." "If I could only get a nicer house, I'd be a better person." "If I could meditate and calm down, I'd be a better person." Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, "If it weren't for my husband, I'd have a perfect marriage." "If it weren't for the fact that my boss and I don't get on, my job would be just great." And "If it weren't for my mind, my meditation would be excellent."

 

But loving-kindness - "maitri" - towards ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything. "Maitri" means we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. Meditation practice is not about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That's the ground, that's what we study, that's what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest."

 

Thank you for sharing this. It sounds like a very simple concept at its core, yet still very deep and very challenging to apply.

 

 

I'm creating a poster for myself, to both celebrate my birthday and to develop my own philosophy, morals, and ethics to live by. It's just handwritten ideas I've started gathering, but I'm going to hang it somewhere where I'll look at it every day.I've included Chodron's maitri concept :) It'd be good to meditate and contemplate on REASONable things. I am DONE with xianity

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Thanks OvercameFaith, does anyone know a good thread about whether Jesus existed or not?

The one in the bible did not exist unless you're aware of some magical half-god/half-humans that actually exist(ed). But feel free to invent a "jesus" of your own and anachronistically project it into the past. That is what everyone else has done and there are even some decent arguments for them.

 

mwc

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