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Did You Ever Feel Spiritually Dead As A Christian?


sethosayher
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Meaning, you didn't have profound spiritual experiences, or felt dissatisfied, bored or not particularly impressed with the experiences you did have?

 

Growing up in an pentecostal church (one that I still attend due to family pressures) it's clear that feelings are a powerful tool employed by xians to justify and substantiate their faith. A calming feeling, or an intense emotion is often all a christian needs to "know" that God exists, or that he is working in a particular meeting/gathering. Despite being an atheist for 5 years now, I still occasionally feel "pangs" of spiritual sentiment that I'm tempted to attribute to the holy spirit, despite knowing it's all hokum (It helps to have loud music, a boisterous preacher vamping for God, and social/family pressure all working towards pushing you to religion).

 

But I've also heard stories of devout, hard working and sincere christians who felt and heard nothing from the Lord when they prayed, worshiped and read the bible. Was this you? How did it make you feel? Were you guilty, angry? Are you mad at people who essentially blame you for not doing enough to 'deserve' God's touch?

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My experience was more of a very painful loneliness. Even toward the end of my hanging on by a thread, worship music would bring me to tears, not because of my love for God, but because I was accepting the fact this was all a hoax. Almost like divorcing someone I loved who wouldn't love me back.

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Never felt a thing except boredom or fear. I certainly tried to feel the positives, wanted to have an authentic spiritual experience that was also an authentic xtian experience. But nada. The total silence and non-responsiveness of god was stunning to a mind that wanted to believe.

 

I continued to pray long after my rational self concluded the xtian god was only a myth. I was angry for years at the non-response of a guy I didn't even believe in. Ridiculous, I know. But that's religious conditioning for ya.

 

One of the things that still hacks me off to this day is the statement by some pseudo-intellectual xtians that "the silence of god proves the existence of god." Sort of an advanced version of the famous "god-shaped hole." Destructive, dangerous, deceptive hooey.

 

Xtianity has probably killed or prevented more authentic spirituality than any force on earth.

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I grew up in the Pentecostal church also so I know what that's all about.

 

I never felt much of anything, never spoke in tongues, was never "drunk in the spirit" or "on fire for Jesus", etc.

 

The fact is, I am not a very emotional person by nature and emotion is a big part of religion. Personally I don't even like overly dramatic or uncontrolled displays of religious emotion in others - to me it's a sign of mental instability. So that environment wasn't for me.

 

Now I think "spiritually dead" is just another way of describing someone as rational.

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THIS.

 

I never felt that "emotion" so many people tend to feel. Sermons just sounded like garble, music just sounded like music with words that used adjectives like "holy" and "blessed" over and over again. I went to Acquire the Fire once and Winterfest at Liberty University (and met Jerry Falwell x.x;) twice. I was bored out of my mind and would start faking that I was feeling something so no one caught wind that I felt NOTHING. I didn't want people to think something was wrong with me. I would sometimes force myself to cry because everyone else in the room was crying about something. I constantly told my parents that "God won't touch me" but they always said that I hadn't become spiritually mature enough or something. Towards the end, I would've taken a dream or any sort of foreign feeling as a sign of God, I was THAT desperate to have God confirm to me that he was there. I prayed and prayed and prayed and in the end, I felt nothing.

 

I have been "spiritually dead" all my life, the only things that ever brought me back to Christianity at any point was guilt or fear.

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Yeah, for sure. I even went way out of my way to try and have experiences, such as driving up to the mountains and staying awake all night praying for something to happen. As it turns out, I'm just not the kind of person who has a deep need for all things spiritual. Today I'm just fine without it.

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I always felt dead, and because of it i never felt like a true Christian no matter how much i wanted to be.

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I always felt dead, and because of it i never felt like a true Christian no matter how much i wanted to be.

 

Agreed. But instead of "dead" I'd say "sane".

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Guest wester

I can only comment on my mom, who is going through a horrible never ending depression.

 

I think she feels worse than spiritually dead and probably subconsciously knows it's horrid BS , but would never admit this and will carry it with her to the grave - 'praying' and pretending all the way - because to even consider for a second that the whole charade was nothing but a pack of lies, would cancel her ticket to "heaven." (whatever that is supposed to mean).

 

She's long since stopped believing that her 'baby' son (me) has anything to contribute. She's surrounded herself with totalist nutjobs who offer no real help, fill her head with fantasies, reinforce her delusions, and will no doubt eventually send her to a mental institution and/or debtor's prison. It's like she's starving to death and prefers to eat her right arm while jumping into a black hole.

 

The situation is very dark. And yes, I still think Christianity = Nihilism.

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"the silence of god proves the existence of god."

 

Wha? WendyDoh.gif

 

This is so stupid it leaves me speechless....

 

Yeah. I know. I can't figure it out, either, Mike D. But it has been said to me several times by the more high-church, intellectual kind of xtian. They seem to think because it's such an abstract statement and so full of what they like to think of as paradox (i.e. bloody nonsense) it'll just bowl me right over with wonderment.

 

I dunno. What can you expect from people who think Jesus and god are the same person and different people at the same time? Or think that god existed before anything .... erm, existed?

 

These people -- right from snake-handling fundies up to the most ivory-tower xtian philosophers -- aren't in the business of making sense.

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Dead no.

 

Bored out of my freaking mind yes.

 

 

I mean I slept through most of the services that can remember, or was in a mental state similar to that.

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Meaning, you didn't have profound spiritual experiences, or felt dissatisfied, bored or not particularly impressed with the experiences you did have?

 

Growing up in an pentecostal church (one that I still attend due to family pressures) it's clear that feelings are a powerful tool employed by xians to justify and substantiate their faith. A calming feeling, or an intense emotion is often all a christian needs to "know" that God exists, or that he is working in a particular meeting/gathering. Despite being an atheist for 5 years now, I still occasionally feel "pangs" of spiritual sentiment that I'm tempted to attribute to the holy spirit, despite knowing it's all hokum (It helps to have loud music, a boisterous preacher vamping for God, and social/family pressure all working towards pushing you to religion).

 

But I've also heard stories of devout, hard working and sincere christians who felt and heard nothing from the Lord when they prayed, worshiped and read the bible. Was this you? How did it make you feel? Were you guilty, angry? Are you mad at people who essentially blame you for not doing enough to 'deserve' God's touch?

 

In the beginning when I started praying or sang in the choir I could feel the dopamine release holy spirit but as the years wore on I didn't feel that anymore.

 

Lord Dopamine, why hast thou abandoned me?!?!?!?

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Meaning, you didn't have profound spiritual experiences, or felt dissatisfied, bored or not particularly impressed with the experiences you did have?

 

Growing up in an pentecostal church (one that I still attend due to family pressures) it's clear that feelings are a powerful tool employed by xians to justify and substantiate their faith. A calming feeling, or an intense emotion is often all a christian needs to "know" that God exists, or that he is working in a particular meeting/gathering. Despite being an atheist for 5 years now, I still occasionally feel "pangs" of spiritual sentiment that I'm tempted to attribute to the holy spirit, despite knowing it's all hokum (It helps to have loud music, a boisterous preacher vamping for God, and social/family pressure all working towards pushing you to religion).

 

But I've also heard stories of devout, hard working and sincere christians who felt and heard nothing from the Lord when they prayed, worshiped and read the bible. Was this you? How did it make you feel? Were you guilty, angry? Are you mad at people who essentially blame you for not doing enough to 'deserve' God's touch?

 

In the beginning when I started praying or sang in the choir I could feel the dopamine release holy spirit but as the years wore on I didn't feel that anymore.

 

Lord Dopamine, why hast thou abandoned me?!?!?!?

 

That just means it's time to move on to sex, drugs, and rock n roll.

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For me, yes, I think I felt spiritually dead most of the time. Maybe I never was a "real" xtian, and maybe I have really been a de-facto atheist for years.

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In church, in the christian school, I felt like my soul was dying. If I had stayed any longer, I would have been spiritually dead. Christian religion is a funeral that never fucking ends, and it was taking me with it.

 

Thank the gods I'm out.

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