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Denyoz

A Personal Relationship, You Say?

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Nicely written!

Three pastors never replied? I think that speaks louder than any reply you could have gotten: they've got nothing.

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Guest MadameX

That whole Jesus wants a relationship with you thing - creeps me out, like he is some sort of stalker or something

 

Ew

 

Made me want to take out an order of protection

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While trying to find the approximate date of my deconversion, I found this old email dating 10 years ago.  This is a message I sent to 5 or 6 Christians, including 3 Pastors who never replied:

 

Please excuse my accent, English is not my first language.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

October 1, 2003

 

I was brought up to believe that the most important thing in life is to have a personal relationship with God.

 

When I was 19 years old, I had a spiritual experience. It was so wonderful, it made me believe that God loved me personally. I was so happy, I started devoting most of my spare time reading the Bible, praying and talking to Jesus. I thought I had a personal relationship with him. I was so convinced, I knew this was what God wanted, and that this was why Jesus had come to earth.

 

As the years went by, I slowly started to feel like my relationship with Jesus was imaginary and not real at all. The more I tried to convince myself that it was real, the more it was obvious that it was not. I tried many different approaches, I did everything I could not to lose it, but the relationship just gradually evaporated. There was no Jesus present after all. I dedicated twenty years of my life to this. Twenty years! Today I look back and admit that I never had a personal relationship with Jesus. It was all imaginary. This is the biggest deception of my life.

 

In order to have a personal relationship with someone, I need good communication. This is, to me, the number one ingredient: good, clear, communication. I have worked very hard at having a good, clear communication with Jesus. I have never been able to get it. I can get a good, clear communication with almost anyone, but not with Jesus.

 

How can we communicate with Jesus? The only way I knew was through prayer. That's how I got the communication going. I would talk to Jesus, then Jesus would reply in whatever way he chose. But even his means of communication were unclear. So I would use my discernment. If the reply I got was not in line with the Bible, then it was probably not from Jesus. If the message I got was in line with the Bible, it was not personal anymore.

 

A personal relationship with Jesus Christ was what I wanted more than anything. I am now 40 years old. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 19. I was born again and I am still able to glorify Jesus with my mouth, I can even speak in tongues. But I don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. I went through some pretty difficult periods in my life, and I would always ask Jesus for help and guidance, and then listen to his "voice" in my heart. His messages have always been unclear. Jesus' messages have always been unclear at a personal level. When I decided to get married and asked him if it was a good decision, his answer was not clear. So I got married trusting he was guiding me. After eight years of misery, I decided to divorce and asked Jesus if it was a good decision. His answer was not clear. So I divorced trusting that he was guiding me. When I decided to get married a second time and asked him if it was a good decision, his answer was still not clear. When I asked him how many children I should have, his answer was not clear. When I asked how I should serve him, his answer was not clear. When I asked him which church I should go to, his answer was not clear. Whenever I have an important decision to make in my life, the will of God is never clear. If the personal communication I have with Jesus is not clear, what is it worth? How can I call it a good relationship?

 

It makes me very sad to hear someone say he has a personal relationship with Jesus. I know it's not true because I have been there. It's easy for anyone to IMAGINE that he has a personal relationship with Jesus. Believe me, I know. But sooner or later, we have to admit to ourselves that it's not true.

 

I cannot have a personal relationship with Jesus unless I hear him clearly on a personal level. If my personal friend Jesus, my Savior, my God, my Guide is concerned with the important decisions I make in my life, he must provide me with a simple way to "hear" him clearly. If he is concerned, but has no way of communicating his will clearly to me, then what's the use having a relationship with him? How can I follow him if he can't make his will known to me clearly?

 

I have tried for 20 years to know God's will for me and he won't tell me. I can't say Jesus cares personally about my faith. I can't say God has a will for me. So meanwhile I do what I want. What else can I do? Wait for Jesus to tell me? I can't hear him clearly, and I can't wait all my life!

 

Sometimes I do bad things and it turns out good. Sometimes I do good things and it turns out bad. I soon realized that it doesn't really matter what I do. There is no God out there who tries to get personal with me.

 

To Christians, doing what I want means I'm sinning. Because the flesh is weak, I can't possibly be doing anything good by myself. If I happen to do a good action, it's Jesus doing it through me, right? Even though I don't believe in Jesus any more. I don't believe he ever existed. If he did exist, he was a liar, and all his followers are liars, all pretending to have personal relationships with him. Not one honest Christian can hear Jesus clearly. Therefore no one has a personal relationship with him. The people who claim they have cannot agree among themselves about the messages they receive. Even when two Christians agree on a personal message from Jesus, half the time the message turns out to be untrue or misleading or not quite what they had heard in the first place. I speak from years of experience as a Christian.

 

So I have to conclude that a personal relationship with Jesus is good only as long as you don't tell anyone. What kind of church is that? If the only agreement we have is in something that was written thousands of years ago (the Bible), that's not good enough. Jesus is supposed to be alive today! Can anyone agree on anything personal Jesus is saying to his followers today? Of course not. That's because Jesus is only alive in our imaginations, and everybody has his own imagination. If two Christians happen to get the same personal message from Jesus, it's only because they happen to imagine the same thing at the same time, and this is not uncommon, especially when the two are praying for the same thing. There is no Jesus behind such a coincidence. Jesus could as well have never existed and the result would be the same.

 

Ask yourself this: If we had no imagination, could we have a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

If anyone can explain to me how to get a clear, simple, personal communication going with Jesus, I would like to hear it. No one has ever been able to. I did everything possible, and more. I know Jesus better than most priests and ministers. I loved and trusted him more than anyone I ever met. I know what it is to be personal. I know all about personal relationships. I know how to open my heart. I know how to be true and honest and sincere. If you could see the number of love letters and personal messages I have written to Jesus in the last 20 years, you would be astounded. I spent all this time believing and trusting and devoting all my energy at not losing this "relationship" I had with Jesus. All for nothing. At the end, all I am left with is confusion and disappointment.

 

Why doesn't Jesus care about my faith? Why doesn't he communicate clearly with me? Is Jesus so handicapped? Or mute? Doesn't he know how damaging it is for us to not hear him clearly? He acts like a fool. I would love to be his witness, but a witness to what? To his total lack of communication skills? Even a dog communicates better than he does. I can’t believe such a Christ can exist.

 

It's time Christians start being honest with themselves and admit that they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus. At best, they can say they have found happiness, or love, or harmony, or joy, or a good book to read, or a pleasant way to use their imagination, but not that they have "a personal relationship with Jesus". They should choose their words carefully, and not just repeat what others are saying. They were mislead by hearing this phrase and they are misleading others by repeating it. The longer they keep doing this, the more it's going to hurt when they realize that

there is no such thing as a personal relationship with Jesus today.

 

*****

Five star Post Deny, in my opinion.  This should be 'pinned' for all new ex-christians to read when they come on the site. This would help them immensely.

 

Excellent points you have made here!!

 

Thank you for sharing this!

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Denyoz: Your email clearly demonstrates your sincerity, honesty and humility. It is a plea for help. What good god who gives a damn about your welfare would not answer you?  The question answers itself. Nice job of expressing yourself.    bill

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Christians say "it's not a religion, its a relationship" - it sounds good to someone who needs a friend, but its simply bullshit.

 

Deny, that was a really heartfelt letter. You really tried much more than the vast majority of so-called Christians.  I always say we Ex-C's were the only ones who really took it seriously.

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This is beautiful, Deny. It captures so much of the frustration at not being able to "hear" from Jesus or God like so many others claimed to be able to. The line about a dog being able to communicate better than Jesus was particularly striking.

 

Thank you for posting this. It was well worth the read, even with your accent. :)

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I've pondered this very subject numerous times and you did a great job at illustrating the horrible confusion this "relationship" with Jesus can bring. 

 

Yes the detractors will say we just weren't spiritual enough... We weren't silent enough... But many of us here gave of ourselves in the same manner other Christians do for, for decades.  I'd prayed continuously, daily... Sincerely, longing for some kind of input and reaffirmation from Christ.  It just lead to a feeling of dejected and not worthy of his time...  This the cycle many (I'd say most) Christians are stuck in... Constantly seeking approval from their "creator..."  Looking for something and often times making something out of nothing.  "That was it, that's what I was looking for!"  And that holds them over until they need another. 

 

It's really sad, honestly. 

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Brilliant. And so true. Most of us would have given anything to believe we could have "a personal relationship with Jesus," and tried desperately to do so. But the emperor has no clothes.

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"Even a dog communicates better than he does."

 

I love this line!   And it is so true.   At least when speaking to a dog they turn their head and look at you.   You may even get a lick on the hand!  

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Well thought out and well written, Deny.  I had no idea that you had been out of the cult for so long.

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This was one of my biggest issues while I was in the church. Constantly I would hear about how other people in the church had this great personal

relationship with god. For the longest time it just made me frustrated that I didn't have what they had, until I realized that the only reason I didn't have this "personal relationship" was because I wasn't deluding myself into thinking I did. 

 

I didn't just let the term become a fuzzy feeling within me. Most importantly I wouldn't call a one way communication a relationship.

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Thanks for sharing this! My motto is: No Faith, No Fear, Only Hope

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It's just a way for Christians to convince themselves that they're not just "religious". "It's not a religion, it's a personal relationship with Jesus!" I call bullshit. It's a fucking religion. If you meet up at a church every week, give a tithe, read the holy book, and pray to your deity, it's a fucking religion. Just proves how deluded Christians are. 

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This was one of my biggest issues while I was in the church. Constantly I would hear about how other people in the church had this great personal

relationship with god. For the longest time it just made me frustrated that I didn't have what they had, until I realized that the only reason I didn't have this "personal relationship" was because I wasn't deluding myself into thinking I did. 

 

I didn't just let the term become a fuzzy feeling within me. Most importantly I wouldn't call a one way communication a relationship.

Yup, and this is how Christianity hurts people.  Talk about feeling like you're not worthy of something and all because the others that you thought were worthy... Well, they were just full of shit either purposefully or they were fooling themselves.

 

We have real relationships to build...  Other, very real people to focus on.  But no, we need to focus on Mr Make-Believe and cultivate and strengthen that "relationship."  It's a rip-off and it causes neglect towards the things in this life that really matter.

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It's just a way for Christians to convince themselves that they're not just "religious". "It's not a religion, it's a personal relationship with Jesus!" I call bullshit. It's a fucking religion.

This!

I think the "it's not a religion" idea is popular only because they're grasping for something to make their religion different from the others.

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"In order to have a personal relationship with someone, I need good communication. This is, to me, the number one ingredient: good, clear, communication.

 

His messages have always been unclear. Jesus' messages have always been unclear at a personal level. When I decided to get married and asked him if it was a good decision, his answer was not clear. So I got married trusting he was guiding me. After eight years of misery, I decided to divorce and asked Jesus if it was a good decision. His answer was not clear. So I divorced trusting that he was guiding me. When I decided to get married a second time and asked him if it was a good decision, his answer was still not clear. When I asked him how many children I should have, his answer was not clear. When I asked how I should serve him, his answer was not clear. When I asked him which church I should go to, his answer was not clear. Whenever I have an important decision to make in my life, the will of God is never clear. If the personal communication I have with Jesus is not clear, what is it worth? How can I call it a good relationship?"

 

 

Yes!  Exactly!  Change a few minor details and this could be any of us!! 

 

Awesome job of putting into words what it's like!!  :)

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If Jesus had really been who the Bible said he was and was still alive today, he'd be talking to every believer with a voice they can hear, sometimes even by letting them see him, if he was really interested in a relationship. Not only that, but he'd also go out of his way to prove to his believers that they were not hallucinating by making sure other people witness him being with the believers and communicating with them. Unfortunately... this has never happened. Ever... If anyone claims that such a thing did happen, there would be no way to verify it, unless they could get Jesus to come show himself.

 

As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to the believers, Jesus is more like the unfaithful spouse who just leaves one day and never calls, never sends emails or texts, and never even shows his face. Based on the evidence and the experiences us Ex-Christians have had with Jesus, makes me think he's either sitting up in Heaven with Yahweh, with a trollface smile, roasting sinners over the Hellfire, or he was never real to begin with.

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You really tried much more than the vast majority of so-called Christians.  I always say we Ex-C's were the only ones who really took it seriously.

 

Absolutely, Deva!  I noticed this when I was a struggling Christian, that those who never doubted were those who didn't really believed.  The downfall begins when you start taking it seriously.  The only way to remain a Christian is to be lukewarm.  And we know what Bible-God will do with those:  spit them out of his mouth! (Revelation 3:16).  So who is going to be left?

 

God's redemption plan fails no matter which way you look at it.

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This is beautiful, Deny. It captures so much of the frustration at not being able to "hear" from Jesus or God like so many others claimed to be able to. The line about a dog being able to communicate better than Jesus was particularly striking.

 

Thank you for posting this. It was well worth the read, even with your accent. smile.png

 

Thank you, Thought.  Coming from you this means a lot to me.  Big hug.

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God's plan will be fulfilled when he comes down to live with the Ex-Cs: http://vimeo.com/26809652

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God's plan will be fulfilled when he comes down to live with the Ex-Cs.

 

Yes!  The ultimate sacrifice is to forsake eternity itself to serve a fragile, broken Earth.

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If this god was real, the relationship would be very abusive and neglectful, at best.

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Well thought out and well written, Deny.  I had no idea that you had been out of the cult for so long.

 

Thank you, True.  I'm glad I found this letter.  It's in 2003 that "ex-christian" became my new identity.  When I realized that there was no such thing as a personal relationship with Jesus-God-Spirit, I also realized that there was not such thing as a true Christian, and that Christianity was a lie, the biggest lie I had ever been told.  The next 9 years were the most depressing of my life.  I should have joined ex-christian.net years ago.

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One of the christians I sent this letter to did reply to me.  She said that she had a personal relationship with Jesus and she was absolutely convinced of this.  So I asked her to please tell me how she communicates with God, how she gets clear messages/answers from him.
 
She was nice.  She said that when she prays, she goes into a quiet place and goes inside herself.  Then, she separates her deceived, sad, worried side from her happy, confident, secure side.  Then she creates a communication between her negative side and her positive side.  This dialogue is a series of clear words that can be heard in her mind, and they can be written.  So, the communication IS clear.  This is how Jesus talks to her and consoles her.
 
So this is what I replied to her:  "I did the same thing!  Isn't it extraordinary what humans can do!  I also thought that this internal dialogue was Jesus talking to me, but sometimes, this voice who was talking to me during prayer would say things that would not match with what Jesus said in the Bible.  So, eventually, I had to make a choice.  Who should I listen to?  Who should I obey?  Who should I believe?  Who can help me the most?  The voice that speaks to my heart or the voice of Jesus in the Bible?  I chose to listen to the voice that spoke to my heart.  It's then that I realized that this voice was not Jesus' voice, but MY OWN!"
 
Why the fuck do Christians insist that the voice they hear is Jesus or Bible-God?  When I talk to myself, the voice never says "This is Jesus talking: blah, blah, blah."  When I read a text that inspires me, it doesn't say "It's Jesus who wrote this text."  When I hear a song with lyrics that answer my questions, the lyrics don't say "Listen, this is Jesus!"  We were told, by other Christians, to say that it's Jesus or God, but the truth is, it comes from other humans, or from an unknown source.  THAT is the truth.
 
Anyone can have a personal relationship with an unknown source.  So please, Christians, just says it as it is, if you don't think this internal voice is your own voice, just be honest and say:  "I have a personal relationship with an alien source!"

 

If you want to sing, praise, build a church and tithe the One Almighty Alien Source, I have no problem with that.

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