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Outlaw393

Feeling Called Back To The Church

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Instead of the term "called back" I should use the term "tempted back". This has happened every time I have left my church, I start to miss it and want to go back. I left in early May of this year, and almost immediately lost my christian faith and began walking the Pagan path again.

 

It took me about a month before I officially went full circle and decided to be Wiccan again. So, I did. As of right now I am Wiccan.

 

However the feeling of being "drawn back" is quite strong and I don't know why. It's always like this every single time I've left the church. Christians would claim that Jesus calls back his followers who left. One thing that's given me strength is the fact that I have to make a free-will decision to return, that no one can make me return.

 

Another way to view it is I'm all alone on my pagan walk, which for a while I didn't mind - no one to tell me who, how, or when to worship. And this drawn back thing is simply me missing a community which accepted me.

 

I'm not sure exactly what to do yet. What do you think?

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Sounds to me like you miss the community, but I could be wrong.

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One god's as good as another. If you miss the old church, go back.

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People are pulled back to old habits, good and bad. It's how we're wired.

 

When you read about a woman who was abused by her father seeking abusive male partners when other men are available to date, is she being called back to that treatment by Jesus? Or is there something magnetic to our brains about familiarity?

 

Phanta

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I bet everyone on this site will instantly tell you to go back to church.

 

But seriously, look at all the bullshit in the bible. None of that happened. It's not real. How could you go back after knowing that?

 

People just don't make sense to me.

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I bet everyone on this site will instantly tell you to go back to church.

 

But seriously, look at all the bullshit in the bible. None of that happened. It's not real. How could you go back after knowing that?

 

People just don't make sense to me.

My point was that she already accepts some Pagan gods, why not the Christian one? If that's where she's comfortable, a god is a god is a god to me. None have any more or less evidence for their existence than any other. If you're happy pretending one of them is real, why not go for it and be part of a community that embraces the common superstition?

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I bet everyone on this site will instantly tell you to go back to church.

 

But seriously, look at all the bullshit in the bible. None of that happened. It's not real. How could you go back after knowing that?

 

People just don't make sense to me.

 

Honestly the way I view the Bible is that I'm not old enough to have been alive when all that stuff was purported to have happened. So do I know 100% positive that none of it occurred? No. Though they keep finding archeological evidence that supports accounts in the bible, and supposedly have yet to find stuff that proves the bible wrong.

 

I don't believe in creationism. But the rest of it may have happened. I'm not old enough to know for sure whether or not Noah really built an ark and somehow jammed a sampling of every animal on it and kept them all from eating each other. Or if David really beat a giant named Goliath. Or if two cities named Saddam and Gemorrah were really nuked with "fire and brimstone". Maybe something strange happened there and god didn't cause it because of "sin", probably something that can be scientifically explained?

 

I'm not 2000 years old so I can't tell you for sure about Jesus, or if he was really divine, or if he was real. But I believe he was real. I'm not sure if he was ever divine, but the facts that I have reviewed have sorta convinced me that he might have been. The idea of Jesus is nice, a man who died for our sins and was resurrected - meaning he conquered death - and then ascended into heaven.

 

I just can't figure out why I keep getting drawn back. Why can't I be happy as a Pagan? I think if I had a real solid Pagan community I could depend on, I wouldn't be so tempted to return to the church.

 

Also, what about my other gods? I don't want to turn my back on them. Pagans would be better suited to answer this thread, since I don't think an atheist or agnostic could understand.

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Honestly the way I view the Bible is that I'm not old enough to have been alive when all that stuff was purported to have happened. So do I know 100% positive that none of it occurred? No. Though they keep finding archeological evidence that supports accounts in the bible, and supposedly have yet to find stuff that proves the bible wrong.

 

 

You need to research Christianity a little bit more, bro.

 

And I am neither an atheist or an agnostic. I'm not dissing religion. I'm dissing christianity and its obvious falseness. You apparently didn't look into that much when you deconverted. I'd suggest doing that before you think about reconverting. There are lots of places to do that at. The simplest place to start would be our "general theological issues" forum.

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Honestly the way I view the Bible is that I'm not old enough to have been alive when all that stuff was purported to have happened. So do I know 100% positive that none of it occurred? No. Though they keep finding archeological evidence that supports accounts in the bible, and supposedly have yet to find stuff that proves the bible wrong.

You can't prove that the fourth planet in the star system Proxima Centauri isn't populated by walking, talking dining room chairs, either, but that's not a reason to order your life accordingly, just in case it's true.

 

As for the archaeological evidence for the Bible, it is thin to non-existent in many places -- for example, the only non-religious documentation for the existence of Jesus is a passing mention in Flavius Josephus that is now widely regarded as a later forgery / addition. Another example is evidence for the Egyptian captivity and Exodus -- the archaeological evidence points to different places for the origin of the Jewish people, and there is no evidence to support, for example, that Jericho's walls collapsed at some point. There is decent evidence for some things -- if I recall correctly, the town of Nineveh from book of Jonah was found at some point, for instance -- and I have personally stood on the spot in the ruins of ancient Corinth where Paul gave one of his famous speeches. However, none of this proves anything other than that some Bible places and sometimes even Bible characters were real historical places or persons. If Nineveh exists it doesn't prove that it was destroyed by God or that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. All it proves is that the Book of Jonah mentions a city that actually existed in that region.

 

It's true that you would have to be over 2,000 years old and have lived 2,000 years ago in a particular area of Palestine to verify that Jesus did not exist or that the reports we have of his ministry are false or innacurate. But you weren't in Hitler's bunker in Germany in 1945 either, and yet if I told you that Hitler bodily ascended into heaven rather than committing suicide you wouldn't be tempted in the slightest to believe me, would you? Ask yourself why one is not a problem and the other is.

 

The only difference is that everyone you know -- your authority figures, your mentors, your role models -- or at least most of them -- fervently believes the first fairy tale. But I would be the lone voice in the wilderness with regards to the second (Hitler) fairy tale. Plus I'm a stranger, if you disappoint me there are no repercussions.

 

I conclude that you are a victim of societal and peer pressure. At some point you have to be your own person and decide what you believe and require others to satisfy your need for evidence. There comes a time when it's unhealthy to be beholden even to your parents, elders and teachers -- and if you have good parents, wise elders and competent teachers they would want you to stand on your own at some point anyway.

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It sounds like you want to go back because of you miss the social group, which is understandable. But if you're deconverting from a toxic faith and it's better for you personally to stay away from Christianity, you might need to get off the fence and tough it out. Deconverting is lonely and definitely a struggle. I guess you just have to look inside yourself and really decide which way you want to go.

 

For me I would rather be alone and suffer than remain in what I knew was wrong for me.

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If you went back to that church, could you be "you?" Or, would you timidly keep quiet about what you think and how you feel (about "spiritual" or "doctrinal" matters) so as not to get rejected by the group?

 

I guess the question is how much does being authentic as a person mean to you and how much does being accepted as that authentic you mean to you?

 

1) If you are content to shyly keep yourself hidden so as not to offend or be outcast, then go back.

 

2) If you feel that they will accept the real you, errant thoughts and all, then go back.

 

 

I'm sure there are plenty who engage in #1. I doubt there are too many Christian churches that would live up to item number 2.

 

Personally, I would feel awful having to exist within the confines of a church with approach nbr. 1.

 

And I have yet to find a place like #2, even in the midst of the Unitarian group around here.

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I'm not old enough to know for sure whether or not Noah really built an ark and somehow jammed a sampling of every animal on it and kept them all from eating each other.

 

It's true you aren't old enough to have been present to personally verify that the story of the ark is not true, but you are old enough to know the answer to this (and other issues). All you have to do is use your logic and reason. Here's what I mean:

 

1. Exactly which biblical account of the flood is the one you are going with? There are more than one, you know? They were melded together in the book of Genesis, but there clearly are more than one account. There is this:

 

19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

 

Genesis 6:19

 

And there is this:

 

1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

 

Genesis 7:1-3

 

For more details, take a look at the following book: "The Bible with Sources Revealed: A New View into the Five Books of Moses" by Richard Elliott Friedman. You will learn something that might be uncomfortable for you. And that is that all of these stories were a patchwork of various and conflicting stories from oral traditions which were woven together by various people over a long period of time. Did you also know there is more than one version of the creation story in the Bible? I could go on and on.

 

2. But if we assume that somehow Noah collected all these animals from all over the world, places like North America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc., etc., how exactly would he keep them alive for the duration of the flood? How much food would he have to store for them? And how did he feed the meat eaters without giving them meat? And if he gave them meat, how did he store that much meat without refrigeration? And if he brought livestock onto the ark in enough abundance to feed the meat eaters, how and where did he keep them? How did he feed them? I think you get the picture.

 

3. If we assume, as the Bible tells us, that there was a great flood which killed every living person and animal on earth except for those on the Ark, then that means that every human being except eight were killed. Those eight people were Noah, his wife, and Noah's three sons and their wives. Presumably, they were all the same race. So if the story of the ark is true, then how do we account for all the various races on earth today? Scientific evidence today tells us that homo sapiens began in Subsaharan Africa something like 250,000 years ago and then they began to migrate from there to places all over the world. The different races developed due to the various environments in which they lived. Where it was colder, people's skins turned lighter and they became somewhat hairier with men developing beards and the like. Just how does the Bible explain the various races developing in a short period of time from only eight people? It doesn't, because it can't.

 

As you can see, it doesn't require you to have been there to debunk these and other biblcal stories. It just takes a little thought and you can see them for what they really are. Many of them are mythological tales told by primitive people who didn't even understand some of the most basic things that we today take for granted. They didn't know there were other continents like North and South America. They didn't understand that the earth revolves around the sun or that the sun doesn't truly rise but only appears to rise because of the earth's rotation on its axis. They didn't understand that our sun is a star and that other stars are much, much larger than our sun. To them, the stars were just tiny dots and something different.

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It sounds like you want to go back because of you miss the social group, which is understandable. But if you're deconverting from a toxic faith and it's better for you personally to stay away from Christianity, you might need to get off the fence and tough it out. Deconverting is lonely and definitely a struggle. I guess you just have to look inside yourself and really decide which way you want to go.

 

I would fervently disagree that Christianity is in any way, shape or form "toxic". People tend to assume (and you should never assume anything) that I left the church because of the people. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I left the church because of ME and my beliefs and issues with the church.

 

Honestly since becoming Pagan I can say not much has changed. I have more gods than I was allowed to have in the church, but that doesn't matter, since none of them seem to care about me either way. I don't have the religious comfort or experiences that Christianity used to bring me.

 

The gods seemingly don't care. At all. And I've seen no religious (or otherwise) proof that they exist. No personal gnosis, no nothing. So I'm starting to think, maybe none of the ancient gods exist. I mean, some of them are a nice idea. But if there's no interaction between them and me, then I can naturally conclude they don't exist.

 

But yet I can feel a tug on my heart from the other direction. There's no real "effort" I suppose you could say, for the pagan gods to try to pull me in their direction. Again leading me to believe, that maybe possibly they aren't real.

 

Personally I'm sick and tired of either seeking, or jumping from one side of the road to the other with religion. I wonder sometimes, why can't I be "normal" and just be one religion, and stick with it? Usually I use Christians as the example here. Bottom line: Most Christians have never been taught about other world religions. I think if they learned about other religions there would possibly be a mass exodus out of the religion. Hey, it could happen.

 

Learning was my problem. My curiosity and subsequent exploration of the world's religions caused me more problems than ever. I was 100% Christian until one thing caused doubt and the other was my curiosity. My parents never taught me about other religions. Everything I know about all the other religions I've learned about has been by my own self teaching.

 

Sure, I've learned a lot, but at what price? :unsure:

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This is all emotional, not logical. There is no evidence for god of any sort. There has not been any archaeological evidence that supports any miraculous claim in the Bible and I challenge you to show otherwise. You miss the sense of community and that's all it is. Why can't you spend time with them outside of church? If they don't want to, then they aren't your friends in the first place. Find a new community and don't go back to supporting such a screwed up religion.

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I'm not 2000 years old so I can't tell you for sure about Jesus, or if he was really divine, or if he was real. But I believe he was real. I'm not sure if he was ever divine, but the facts that I have reviewed have sorta convinced me that he might have been. The idea of Jesus is nice, a man who died for our sins and was resurrected - meaning he conquered death - and then ascended into heaven.

 

I just can't figure out why I keep getting drawn back. Why can't I be happy as a Pagan? I think if I had a real solid Pagan community I could depend on, I wouldn't be so tempted to return to the church.

 

Also, what about my other gods? I don't want to turn my back on them. Pagans would be better suited to answer this thread, since I don't think an atheist or agnostic could understand.

 

The sentence I bolded is the answer to your question - I feel it is the answer to why you want to return.You like this idea. You like Jesus as presented by the New Testament and as further described by the Apostle Paul. I only know if I still felt the same way, I would be back in church. I would still struggle with many of the other teachings, I would have some problems, but if I believed in the resurrection of Christ and the sin/redemption story, I would just have to deal with it.

 

I don't even like Christianity as a mythology anymore, never mind if its "true" or not. If I still found it attractive in any way, I would go back to the liberal church. However, I don't accept or like the sin/redemption story at all - not even as a mythology. I studied what Biblical scholars had to say about Jesus. I came to the conclusion we will never know what he was really trying to say. He was primarily an apocalyptic preacher in the tradition of John the Baptist, who was most likely his mentor. If you think he is still divine in a unique way, and not like your other gods, I can understand also why you would want to go back.

 

I don't know if this helps or not. Just giving my perspective.

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I would fervently disagree that Christianity is in any way, shape or form "toxic".

 

I take the opposite stance that it is largely toxic, for the reasons that it considers us humans unclean by nature, that even our good deeds are like dirty diapers to God (Isaiah 64:6), that our only hope of salvation from burning in everlasting fire is the human sacrifice of Jesus, and that the controlling deity seems to have a genuine bloodlust throughout the Bible. The basis of all Christianity is that Jesus was born to die, and that his death would satisfy God's sense of justice, and that without this sacrifice, God would burn us all alive forever, also to satisfy his sense of justice. Throughout the Bible, its god emulates an abusive husband. Jesus echoes this attitude, and agrees with burning his enemies alive while watching their torture (Rev 14:10). Does that sound like something you want to support and sings songs of praise and adoration to?

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We are all divine because we are all thinking humans and as humans we think we are something special above the other animals. If Jesus lived he was just one more person on the planet.

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God either does not exist or is too ineffectual to matter anyway. Religious activity is all make-believe ("magick" in pagan-speak). If you still want to participate, why must you commit to one or the other? If you want to do both, why limit yourself? Besides, there was always plenty of room in the pantheon.

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Personally I'm sick and tired of either seeking, or jumping from one side of the road to the other with religion. I wonder sometimes, why can't I be "normal" and just be one religion, and stick with it? Usually I use Christians as the example here. Bottom line: Most Christians have never been taught about other world religions. I think if they learned about other religions there would possibly be a mass exodus out of the religion. Hey, it could happen.

 

Learning was my problem. My curiosity and subsequent exploration of the world's religions caused me more problems than ever. I was 100% Christian until one thing caused doubt and the other was my curiosity. My parents never taught me about other religions. Everything I know about all the other religions I've learned about has been by my own self teaching.

 

Sure, I've learned a lot, but at what price? :unsure:

 

Normal is stupid. People who just blindly follow one religion are idiots. If you're using religion for comfort, fine, then I have nothing more to say to you, but if you are seeking the truth, than this attitude will never get you there.

 

There are many religions, or no religion. There are many different paths of looking for the answers to the questions you are looking for. We can't say for sure which one is right, but we can cross names of the list of things that can be right.

 

Christianity is one that should be crossed off that list. I'm sure everyone on this site, by definition, agrees with that statement.

 

You shouldn't just jump from religion to religion until you know what you are leaving is WRONG. Don't leave christianity because you "feel like it", otherwise you'll experience what you are experiencing now. Look into Christianity. Figure out the facts. Figure out if it has evidence to support those facts. Decide in your own mind whether christianity is "Real". If you think it is, be a christian. If you think it isn't, look towards the next thing. For many people, it just goes straight to atheism. You seem to like the idea of a religion, so just pick another. Repeat process.

 

That is how you make decisions. You don't just bullshit around.

 

I really hope I didn't waste my time typing all of that.

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If you still want to participate, why must you commit to one or the other? If you want to do both, why limit yourself? Besides, there was always plenty of room in the pantheon.

 

Again, I'm going to ignore the blatant anti-christian bias (not just "ex-christian") that most of the repliers have shown. Also I have been nothing but correct when I said that atheists just wouldn't understand. Obviously since this forum appears to be dominated by atheists, I have obviously asked this on the wrong forum.

 

To the quoted replier: If I don't commit to one or the other, I am only a hypocrite. I'd have to ignore the first commandment to still follow the pagan gods: You shall have no other gods before me. Also it is impossible to be a pagan when you are christian. Also I've heard by many polytheists that many of the pagan gods don't appreciate anyone still following Christianity when also following them.

 

What did Jesus say about having two masters: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." - Matthew 6:24

 

I'm only one step away from rejoining the church. But I know if I go back, I'll probably have the same issues that led to my leaving in the first place.

 

Oh well. :shrug:

 

Normal is stupid. People who just blindly follow one religion are idiots. If you're using religion for comfort, fine, then I have nothing more to say to you, but if you are seeking the truth, than this attitude will never get you there.

 

There are many religions, or no religion. There are many different paths of looking for the answers to the questions you are looking for. We can't say for sure which one is right, but we can cross names of the list of things that can be right.

 

Christianity is one that should be crossed off that list. I'm sure everyone on this site, by definition, agrees with that statement.

 

You shouldn't just jump from religion to religion until you know what you are leaving is WRONG. Don't leave christianity because you "feel like it", otherwise you'll experience what you are experiencing now. Look into Christianity. Figure out the facts. Figure out if it has evidence to support those facts. Decide in your own mind whether christianity is "Real". If you think it is, be a christian. If you think it isn't, look towards the next thing. For many people, it just goes straight to atheism. You seem to like the idea of a religion, so just pick another. Repeat process.

 

That is how you make decisions. You don't just bullshit around.

 

I really hope I didn't waste my time typing all of that.

 

I've been an atheist. I've lost my faith 100%. It's one of the more depressing conditions I've been in. So I know this much from that experience: I am a theist.

 

The book I'm reading right now is "The Case for Christ" which is really good. It chronicles a man's own research into Christianity. He is a former atheist. And I guess he ended up finding enough proof in the end to justify his return.

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If you still want to participate, why must you commit to one or the other? If you want to do both, why limit yourself? Besides, there was always plenty of room in the pantheon.

 

Again, I'm going to ignore the blatant anti-christian bias (not just "ex-christian") that most of the repliers have shown. Also I have been nothing but correct when I said that atheists just wouldn't understand. Obviously since this forum appears to be dominated by atheists, I have obviously asked this on the wrong forum.

 

To the quoted replier: If I don't commit to one or the other, I am only a hypocrite. I'd have to ignore the first commandment to still follow the pagan gods: You shall have no other gods before me. Also it is impossible to be a pagan when you are christian. Also I've heard by many polytheists that many of the pagan gods don't appreciate anyone still following Christianity when also following them.

 

What did Jesus say about having two masters: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." - Matthew 6:24

 

I'm only one step away from rejoining the church. But I know if I go back, I'll probably have the same issues that led to my leaving in the first place.

 

Oh well. :shrug:

 

Do you even look into the factual components of a religion before you join it? Do you even care if its true?

 

 

 

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Do you even look into the factual components of a religion before you join it? Do you even care if its true?

 

Yeah I've looked into all sorts of stuff like that. And all religions are "true" to those who follow them. For example, the hindu gods aren't real to me. But they are to the next guy. So be it. Perhaps they are real on some level, just not on a level I recognize.

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Do you even look into the factual components of a religion before you join it? Do you even care if its true?

 

Yeah I've looked into all sorts of stuff like that. And all religions are "true" to those who follow them. For example, the hindu gods aren't real to me. But they are to the next guy. So be it. Perhaps they are real on some level, just not on a level I recognize.

 

I'll agree with that. But have you read the entire bible? Do you know what kind of things go on in that book?

 

What the leaders of Christianity will have you believe about what the bible says, and what the bible says is very very different.

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Here. I'll refer you to this thread as just a small part of what goes into the bible. It's about how the God of the bible has commanded the genocide of entire races of people. It asks the question: If you're going to look to follow God, do you really want to follow a genocidal one?

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/47652-why-do-you-follow-a-genocidal-god/page__p__683405__fromsearch__1#entry683405

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If you're not willing to give up the theistic concept, then I don't know what harm you would suffer from going back to church. As mentioned earlier, it would all be the same for you.

 

I would humbly suggest you revisit your most fundamental beliefs.

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