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Email From Former Mentor


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Yeah, the "you just want to live in sin" thing was what really stood out to me too. That usually seems to be the assumption, but then, when I was drinking the kool-aid I probably would have thought the same thing. 

 

Of course, there was also the bit about "religion", as if he was trying to bring in that "religion versus relationship" bullshit. 

 

Also, I thought the reply you typed out was very classy. You didn't back down from your convictions, but you weren't nasty either. I know if it was me I would have been tempted to fill it with profanity on purpose (since he seemed to be offended at you using saying an oh-so-evil curse word). Whether or not you send it, I hope things get better for you and your family soon. 

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I'm toying with the idea of responding. I go back and forth. I have typed this out but I have not sent it:   (former mentor), I have debated whether or not to reply, but decided that while we may no

I sent it.

he sent back:   "We love you guys Michelle. Know that we're praying for you and your family. Also know that (my former church) loves you guys and your always welcome there. I've said it before and I

I think that was really nicely worded as well. The guy's letter was so controlling, manipulative, and condescending that it's remarkable that he thinks he's acting in a spirit of love. Oh well. Ain't the first time we've seen "love the sinner, hate the sin" and known it for the bullshit it is.

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Yay! You're being very brave here. It's not easy standing up to someone who used to have power over you, especially when there was the threat of getting beaten up by his daddy if you disobeyed him.

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Also ask him these two questions:

 

1) Do you have proof a supernatural being exists

2) Do you then have proof that it's your supernatural being

 

Usually it goes the other way, the bible proves said being exists.

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Way to go!

Sometimes, it's necessary to piss people off. I think it's healthy for 'em, on some level.

One thing, though, that's blowing my mind... this was all precipitated by a "shit" uttered in Walmart?? What. A. Bluenose. I'm so glad you're more level-headed than I am, or I'd be tempted to send the most elaborately profanity-laced diatribe of all time his way. If it would make you feel better, maybe you could draft one, just to keep it for yourself - if nothing else, it could feel cathartic. And, you can feel proud that you sent the even-handed one instead.

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Yay! You're being very brave here. It's not easy standing up to someone who used to have power over you, especially when there was the threat of getting beaten up by his daddy if you disobeyed him.

 

I'm nervous, but I'm also tired of feeling bullied and being drug through the emotional ringer every few weeks. They don't have to like it, but I want them to respect it. And if they refuse, I'll do what needs to be done. I will not be talked down to anymore. sleep.png

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I saw my former mentor at Walmart yesterday. I happened to be asking my friend if she needed "some cleaning shit" as I saw him, so he heard me cuss. I guess that's where the "sin" stuff comes from in the email....

 

I wanted to share with you guys because I'm not feeling strong enough to handle this on my own right now. I feel defeated and I do not want to go back, but I need some encouragement. Here is what he said:

 

"Hi Michelle. Seeing you yesterday moved me to send this message to you out of love. It was good to see you. I wish we could've talked. I know we were both kinda busy at the time. The truth is, I want to send you a message everyday until you come to the Lord Jesus Christ. I don't bombard you out of respect, though I feel I am letting you slip away. I believe you feel some sense of freedom from "religion", and no responsibility to spiritual truth right now, but I am 100% sure that the freedom you feel is not really freedom. It's bondage. I've been there. Not having to answer to a God I perceived to be too far away.

You see, there is a false sense of security that comes from denial. We can suppress the truth, but it's still truth. Not being mean here Michelle. If i were believing a lie, i feel (hope) i would want someone to tell me the truth. If you are believing a lie, wouldn't you want someone to tell you the truth? Sin is pleasurable for a season. And sin manifests itself in rebellion. Thats why it separates us from God. You once walked in Christ's light according to the truth. You had fruits of righteousness. The tears you shed and the testimonies you gave were/are real from a heart that loved the Lord. You could not have faked that. God is loving, merciful, forgiving and faithful. He loves you, He will be merciful to you (when you return to Him), He will forgive you if you ask, and He will be faithful all your life.

Satan is the author of confusion. He is a real enemy. Yours and God's. It's a slow fade Michelle. I've been there too. Don't give up.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – Isaiah 1:18

In Isaiah’s time the views of how one interacts with the gods were very different. The ancient gods were vengeful and unpredictable. But Isaiah presents the Lord as one who wants to reason with us. The maker of the universe is willing to humble Himself to help us see our faults and need for forgiveness. This was as radical back then as it is today. When we couldn’t understand God, He came to us in Jesus Christ to reason with us and bring us back to Himself.

We love you."

 

Prosthelytize much!

 

"I've been there"  "wouldn't you want someone to tell you the truth." "Satan is the author of confusion......... I've been there too"

 

Platitudes and sympathy.  I would say false sympathy but I believe this person is being genuine in their caring.

 

I will say this person is a false friend.  They haven't contacted you out of respect, but they never bothered to call you up for coffee and have a non-jesus conversation either it seems.  Therefore, they don't love you like they claim. 

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I thought it was a good response.  It took some courage to send it. Keep us posted!

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This is what I got back. I believe he is being sincere. I'm going to take some more time to mull it over before I reply. I won't try to explain myself because he won't understand and I shouldn't feel the need to justify my thoughts or feelings. I want to end the conversation without being rude. I'll think about it lol. Anyway, here it is:

 

Thanks for "winning the debate" to reply Michelle. Lol. Things are good between us. I (and others who care) are merely trying to stand between you and an eternity separated from God. I don't know if anyone else is standing in the gap for you but I am. I know you don't want to debate or argue doctrine. It's not my intent. I do wonder what changed your heart from loving the Lord to denying Him. You don't owe me any explanations, I know. We don't have to answer to each other so much as we have to answer to our creator. Something convinced you that the bible is fallible and not sufficient. It takes faith to believe, and discernment to understand it. It's only given by God. If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence? Without Him, nothing would exist. We cannot fathom that, believer or not. You mentioned that it did not work for you. Did you not once believe? When did it stop working for you? Was I wrong in believing? Am I wrong now for believing? I know you wouldn't try to convince me not to believe. I cannot deny the truth. Even if I did, it would still be truth. I am burdened for you. I don't mind saying so because your my friend. Don't give up Michelle.
"If you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me". Jeremiah 29:13

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Oh man, if he was asking me then I would smack Jesus with the truth so hard that it would make the Holy Spirit cry.

 

I also like watingongod's questions.  Asking those would be good too.

 

msipsy218 in the end it's your call but this former mentor of yours is laying it on very thick.  But then again you are never going to change his mind so you should decide when you don't want to waste any more effort on him.

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I would flip the conversation and turn the spotlight on him. 'Why do you continue to believe, in light of zero evidence? Why do you believe in a god who condones and commands murder, genocide, rape and torture? Why do believe in a book whose original pages dont even exist?' Etc etc etc

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I must admit that these types of threads are the ones that interest me the most. But after this one year of my deconversion I am not sure i see any value, minds changed or understanding gained by them. But again I love reading them. They truly show the heart of our community here.

 

BUT the believer may begin a process that we can't see right now and begin their way out. We can only hope.

 

I have dinner in a few days with a believer who has been reading Dawkins to better understand me. I do admire that. Will let you know.

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Wow... that must be tough. It never fails to surprise me how incredibly disrespectful they are.

 

He basically (in both messages) insults you and is calling you stupid, deluded, false, rebellious and a liar. He places himself above you through the passive aggressive 'love' he spews. He has questioned if you were ever a 'real' believer.

 

You have WAY more patience than I would have.

 

(ps he's also terrified of you - what you know now)

 

Stay strong... <hugs>

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....I do wonder what changed your heart from loving the Lord to denying Him....We don't have to answer to each other so much as we have to answer to our creator. 

 

Ouch.  Judge much?

 

Something convinced you that the bible is fallible and not sufficient. It takes faith to believe, and discernment to understand it. It's only given by God. If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence? Without Him, nothing would exist. We cannot fathom that, believer or not. 

 

Who are you calling, "we," Kimosabi?

 

Something convinced you that the bible is fallible and not sufficient. It takes faith to believe, and discernment to understand it. It's only given by God. If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence? Without Him, nothing would exist. We cannot fathom that, believer or not. You mentioned that it did not work for you. Did you not once believe? When did it stop working for you? Was I wrong in believing? Am I wrong now for believing? I know you wouldn't try to convince me not to believe. I cannot deny the truth. Even if I did, it would still be truth. I am burdened for you. I don't mind saying so because your my friend. Don't give up Michelle.

"If you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me". Jeremiah 29:13

 

Uhhh...  Did you receive my reply?  I believe that I made myself pretty clear.

 

"I do not perceive god to be "too far away" but rather, nonexistent. A figment of my imagination. Yes, I really felt the things you talk about. They were very real to me. But not because of a spiritual "truth" but rather, because of a psychological manifestation. You are right, we cannot suppress the truth and that is why I am where I am....It did not work for me."

 

 

Was I wrong in believing? Am I wrong now for believing?

 

Yes.

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Thanks for "winning the debate" to reply Michelle. Lol. Things are good between us. I (and others who care) are merely trying to stand between you and an eternity separated from God.

In other words, "It's okay for me to treat you in a condescending and disrespectful manner because HELL."

 

This is the language of abuse. It's okay for him to hit you because he loves you. It's okay for him to yell at you because he just wants you to become a better person.

 

I don't know if anyone else is standing in the gap for you but I am. I know you don't want to debate or argue doctrine. It's not my intent. I do wonder what changed your heart from loving the Lord to denying Him. You don't owe me any explanations, I know. We don't have to answer to each other so much as we have to answer to our creator.

Manipulation again. He's appointed himself your White Knight without asking if you even want him to do that. Martyr complex much? And of course he doesn't want to argue doctrine. He'd lose and he knows it.

 

And you're not "denying" god. You realized there was no proof of its claims and that the culture around Christianity was hurting you in every way, and left. You realized that loving this god was like loving any other fictional character. And I mean we all love Batman, but at least Batman doesn't demand 10% of your income or tell you he'll send you to hell if you don't kneel to him.

Something convinced you that the bible is fallible and not sufficient. It takes faith to believe, and discernment to understand it.

"... you poor, stupid slut."

 

How sad that you're just soooooo dense, AMIRITE? Obviously if you left you just didn't have discernment. You were disobedient. Get back in line, girlie! Put those blinkers back on! FAITH! Because you can't go using your ladybrainz on stuff.

It's only given by God. If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence? Without Him, nothing would exist. We cannot fathom that, believer or not.

Argument from authority. Argument from design. Argument from ignorance. Wow this guy is a dumbfuck. This is the best he can do? Tide comes in, tide goes out, you can't explain that? How science-denying IS this church?

 

You see, yes, we can fathom it. We're making huge strides in understanding our universe. None of those arguments involve the supernatural. As Greta Christina's pointed out numerous times, every single time we've seriously investigated supernatural claims, such as "demon possession causes leprosy" and "a god riding a chariot causes sunrises," we've discovered the thing in question was quite natural in nature. How many of these claims have we ever found are supernatural in cause? ZERO NONE NADA.

You mentioned that it did not work for you. Did you not once believe? When did it stop working for you? Was I wrong in believing? Am I wrong now for believing? I know you wouldn't try to convince me not to believe. I cannot deny the truth. Even if I did, it would still be truth. I am burdened for you. I don't mind saying so because your my friend. Don't give up Michelle.

"If you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me". Jeremiah 29:13

I'm aghast at his abusive behavior here. Your sincerity is not up for discussion or debate. He has no right to judge how much you loved his fictional deity, or how hard you tried to maintain your faith. He has no fucking right whatsoever and you have every right to be outraged at his presumption and blatant attempts at manipulation. He may attack your reasons. He may attack your arguments. But he may not ever, ever, fucking EVER attack your sincerity, because your sincerity has NOTHING to do with whether or not Christianity is true.

 

And you did not give up. You still seem very curious about the world and eager to learn all the stuff you missed out on while trapped in religion.

 

This guy is a fucking asshole. I'm really holding back here. I want to unleash the full fury of my sailor-daddy upbringing but I'm somehow managing to restrain myself to the "7 Words You Can't Say on Television". He is abusive, manipulative, makes a number of presumptuous and callous assumptions about you as a person, attacks your sincerity, implies that you're stupid and willful, and flat-out tells you he doesn't want you to tell him why you left if it involves actual facts and rational arguments.

 

YOU'RE A STUPID SLUT BUT BABY THERE'S STILL HOPE FOR US.

 

Jesus fucking fishsticks, does this bullshit actually work on anybody?

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Hi, msipsy, I agree that the stuff about your denying Christ and about your giving up is patronizing, to say the least.  It presumes the truth of Christianity, the very thing that is in question.  Do you still want to have a relationship with this guy?  I'm not sure that there is a genuine friendship there anymore.  I would say "fuck it" and not answer.  If you do want to try to salvage a friendship, then, as you say, you can't be talked down to or treated as though your serious conclusions are just manifestations of pride and/or obtuseness.

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I've been reading everything guys, just haven't had time to write a reply. I'll try to get to a more detailed reply later tonight but I wanted you guys to know I'm reading and appreciate it all. I haven't sent anything back. My kids are keeping me busy :)

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Putting your LIFE first is the best thing you could do...because that's what it's all about really, getting your life back, yes? don't forget the self-care and a little extra pampering (hard with kids, I know, sometimes for me it's just a bowl of ice cream or a hot bath)

 

This.. guy... and his abusive crap doesn't merit your time or attention, IMHO. Process this at your own speed.

 

and you owe us, nothing... take your time.  We aren't going anywhere  :)

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This is what I got back. I believe he is being sincere. I'm going to take some more time to mull it over before I reply. I won't try to explain myself because he won't understand and I shouldn't feel the need to justify my thoughts or feelings. I want to end the conversation without being rude. I'll think about it lol. Anyway, here it is:

 

Thanks for "winning the debate" to reply Michelle. Lol. Things are good between us. I (and others who care) are merely trying to stand between you and an eternity separated from God. I don't know if anyone else is standing in the gap for you but I am. I know you don't want to debate or argue doctrine. It's not my intent. I do wonder what changed your heart from loving the Lord to denying Him. You don't owe me any explanations, I know. We don't have to answer to each other so much as we have to answer to our creator. Something convinced you that the bible is fallible and not sufficient. It takes faith to believe, and discernment to understand it. It's only given by God. If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence? Without Him, nothing would exist. We cannot fathom that, believer or not. You mentioned that it did not work for you. Did you not once believe? When did it stop working for you? Was I wrong in believing? Am I wrong now for believing? I know you wouldn't try to convince me not to believe. I cannot deny the truth. Even if I did, it would still be truth. I am burdened for you. I don't mind saying so because your my friend. Don't give up Michelle.

"If you seek me with all of your heart, you will find me". Jeremiah 29:13

 

Dont want to debate...then proceed to debate. :-)

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" If God is nonexistent, how can we explain everything in existence?"

 

Why is there a need to explain everything in existence? Why is there a need to assign God as its cause?

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I agree with Ravenstar.  This jerk is a black hole eating up time and energy that you will never get back.  You gave him an explanation.  That was more than he deserved.  You don't have to give him the time of day.  You don't even have to think about him ever again.

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In response to this...

 

"I know you wouldn't try to convince me not to believe."

 

I'd reply with something like this:

 

"No one convinced me not to believe, either... But here I am.  If it does all come crashing down for you the same way it did for me, just remember that you know somebody who's been there too.  I may not be able to give you your faith back, but it might help to talk it out."

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