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Proving You Actually Were A Real Christian


kruszer
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Ok so thanks again for everyone's input.  After I calmed down a couple days, I wrote my friend this response, you'll see some of your hlepful ideas made it in.  

Sorry for the other night.  I get very defensive and it hurts when people assume I was some kind of half-assed Christian or wasn't true in my faith.  I gave everything and more and spent a LOT more time seeking God and trying to know God and the Bible than a lot of happy-go-lucky believers ever do, who never really have reason to question the God of their childhood and have no reason to seek answers outside their supportive and healthy church family.   

I don't know if you remember this, but that time that you guys made a compilation from the girls in our social group in order to create the perfect woman from all of us, it was apparently my spiritual strength that was chosen from me (and I think maybe my legs too, lol).   When Kevin first considered me when I was 19 or so, he wasn't physically attracted to me, he said, but he was attracted to my godliness.   I was and strove to be as real a deal as real could be.    

My faith at the time I had faith was as real as yours.   I dug into apologetics and Bible reading, prayer and Bible study as hard as you have because I wanted to believe, even when my faith was lined at times with doubt.    If all I ever had was a shallow facade of a faith then isn't it kind of of odd that neither you nor any of the others were ever able to "know a tree by its fruit"?   Is devotion to prayer and Bible study and evangelism and gargantuan efforts to maintain sexual purity (even if I wasn't perfect) signs of "bad fruit"?

When you make accusations suggesting that I wasn't a real Christian or I never would've left, I do understand in a way.   I think you're scared to admit that I might've been just like you in my faith - because that means there's a small chance that if I could walk away then it could happen to you too.   I know you've admitted struggling with your faith at many times, so I understand if you need to see the problem lying with ME not with the faith system I abandoned.  

You don't quit and I did, not because I was any less devoted to God/Jesus than you, at the time I truly believed in him, but because you don't want to quit.   I didn't want to either but I am devoted to seeking truth wherever it lies and I eventually came to believe that Christianity was not the truth.   I followed the evidence where it led, and it led away from the faith of my childhood.   

Walking away was the HARDEST thing I have ever done and I did not do it light-heartedly.   I did it because I found the answers of the Christian faith to be unsatisfying and because I finally came to terms with the fact that I lacked any real experiential or empirical evidence of a deity in my life.   

So in a way it does turn out that I only had a "head-knowledge" of God and Jesus - not because I wasn't a REAL or devoted Christian, but because that's all ANYONE has or can have if God is not real and Christianity is a cultural tale in that has been passed down through generations, as appears to be the case.   

It's easy to believe and to think you believe and to even amass anecdotal evidence to convince yourself that you believe.   It's incredibly hard to listen to the voice of doubt and the questions in your heart that make you wonder why everyone else seems to be having a richer "experience" of God than you.   Anyone can build a rational-sounding argument for God.  But sometimes the best and most reasonable argument is the one deep down inside you that suggests a different answer.  

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Hey Kruszer, great response.  I don't see how anyone can be offended by this.  I hope your friend understands, takes you seriously, and that your friendship is strengthened by honesty and mutual respect.

 

It's so easy for friendships to die, esp. those from our youth...  sigh.  Hope that doesn't happen in this case.

 

BTW I forget whether you're up on the "no true Scotsman" fallacy, but it's exactly your friend's reasoning.  Your friend may feel encouraged by a fallacious argument that convinces him that those fervent Christians who later "fall away" were never true Christians.  He probably is not considering how that argument pushes his own position toward being unfalsifiable - like the claim, say, that there's an invisible, undetectable unicorn in my living room.  Claims about the existence of a given entity are very unconvincing when there is in principle no way to falsify those claims.  You start to wonder, why should I believe that the entity exists after all?  One wonders that about the God of Christianity when potential counterevidence is explained away at the outset.

 

I still find that list of the characteristics of the perfect godly woman pretty funny, and a little bit sad.  It's like something I could imagine on an episode of a "Christian Girls" program on HBO if they ever do a Christian knock-off of "Girls."

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I'm kind of late to this party so to speak but - if I had a dollar for every time I was told I was never a real one of them, I'd be pretty well off. It usually comes at the end of a debate regarding everything and anything but especially with the bible. My area of interest is with the nt of the bible but I often mask my background for a while to get them to say absurd things about various verses. Then when I nail them with their own words they usually come back with 'you're taking those verses out of context' or 'you just don't understand the meaning because the bible was written for us and not you'.

 

Then I'll hit them with something about my 25 years in their cult and 3 years of it being a hardcore xtian apologist. That's when they counter, like a 2 year old, that I wasn't 'really' one of them. Maybe I wasn't? Who knows? Maybe my critical thinking skills didn't totally die when I entered the cult? LOL

 

Anyway, just consider the source of the criticism especially the psychological reasons for their defensive nature and simply move on. Okay?

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When I expressed my new opinion that people aren't intrinsically bad, my mother told me, "You never understood." Garbage. I understood perfectly well--and had believed--the biblical teaching that people are bad and deserve to die eternally in hell, but de-conversion changed my opinion. My father said my tossing out faith is evidence that I never was saved. That's bull. They can't read our minds; they don't know what we thought and felt. Sorry to hear folks are being like that. Bunch of snotty secret-club elitists.

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Perhaps I'm trying to get credit for how hard I worked to have faith and maintain my faith, while others showed up to the Jesus Bless-me club and "got their blessing" and had an easy time knowing God was God and that God was good - even if they barely cracked open their Bibles.  

This is a key point IMO, They barely read their bible they are new to the faith and want to believe, coupled with sermons of human interpretation of scripture, coupled with a few choice verses from the bible to support their belief ( even though the scriptures are out of context and strewn throughout the bible, which, even as a child I thought was weird and wrong and silly) and this is the result! people who can easliy believe because they never look for the truth an accept what is told to them by a supposed authority on the subject, however if these pastors were a true authority on the subject they could let every one know that many of the christian practices are based on ancient pagan rituals and beliefs and gods.. look at isis and horus- mary and jesus is a replica of that whole story. the queen of heaven and mother of god was the name given to Semiramis about her son Nimrod. you can go and see the depictions and engravings of these gods that predate judiasim and christianity- and now islam... 

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To them we're sort of like the Nightmare Court: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Nightmare_Court

 

We reject the teachings of the bible and go our own way, or at least the mainstream interpretations. At best we are misguided, at worst we are corrupt. Either way we are not worth listening to, lest we corrupt them as well. zDuivel2.gif

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I've dealt with this before. Basically, I wrote up a detailed description of my life as a believer and what I went through trying to find out whether or not Christianity was true. This was onine, and the person basically ran away from the thread, and every single time I would copy and paste my story of genuine belief and struggle, he would run away. The truth is these people are most likely going to dismiss you in anyway they can, because they just can't stand the cognitive dissonance, and you have to accept that and let it go. There's nothing wrong with writing something up and storing it away for people who say you were never really a Christian, because it can be fun to shove it in their face and leave them speechless, and it just MIGHT cause them to reconsider, but just learn to let it go and not go out of your way to prove anything to people who just don't give a shit about reality.

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Christianity is all about shame... and shaming is a control tool.

 

We take a certain pride in our 'positions' no matter what those may be. It's part of maintaining a healthy self-esteem. It would be like what (I hope you do not take offence Margee that I'm using you as an example) would happen if someone came on here and called Margee a hateful, dishonest and mean bitch. This is as far from reality as you can get, and would hurt her terribly.. and she would come back trying to defend herself. Because she is NOT that, and takes great pride in being a caring and understanding, honest woman. It would be a statement MEANT to 'control' her by getting a reaction... and if coupled with an accusation that becoming an ex-christian made her that way could cause her to doubt herself - for a second anyway. In that second she may be vulnerable to being influenced. Being in a defensive stance is a position of weakness.

 

This whole 'true christian' thing is the same.. as long as people doubt their 'worthiness' they are controllable - they will 'tow the line' trying harder and harder to be the 'true christian'.. until they are so convinced of their failure that they are paralyzed by fear and doubt. Not a very good place for independent thought.

 

Another thing it accomplishes is it sets up a sense of being 'elite'.. special even, for those who claim that they 'are' true christians.. better than. and if nothing else the religious are addicted to self-righteousness and anything that ensures them that they don't actually have to look at themselves or can point the fingers at those deemed 'sinners'.

 

They love things that make them feel superior. It's systematic of pathological narcissism - and narcissists tear others down to make themselves look better - it's a classic modus operandi. It's also an extrapolation of tribal loyalty - which had a place in human society a very long time ago, but is now contra-indicated as an expression of social health.

 

When someone accuses you of not having been a true christian, they are slitting your throat on the altar of their own fear that they are not all that and a bag of chips, you are a sacrifice... a scapegoat... to the ego needs of the accusers.

 

Laughing at them is a good recourse.. as in.. "hahahaha, whatever".

 

Reject anything that smacks of shaming.. and remind yourself that only the insecure resort to such emotional blackmail. You can even feel pity for them... cause it is pretty sad, really.

 

You can not convince them - their defense mechanisms are like an iron fortress.. but read Margee's testimony... the letter one. There is NO doubt that she was (as we all were) true christians. They lie.

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Hey, if they were real friends they would not diss you. That response your friend gave says JERK!    And once you leave the fold, you will actually find out that your morals and values do not change and now you can look at these xians for what they are:  Sheep for some political crusade brainwashed to quote biblical verses for the cause.

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Ravenstar and others - I've decided to try not to say in various debates that I was one of them for 25 years. I am soooo sick and tired of EVERYONE of them, without exception, telling me that I never experienced true salvation or a real relationship with baby jesus, etc.. And those sickening attempts to pyshoanalyze me (I'm mad at their god because I had a lousy xmas when I was a kid, etc.) - sheesh....

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I think it was ravenstar who said: Christianity is for people who cannot accept that shit happens.    Also, people who put others down are doing it because they cannot handle their own issues and it makes them feel powerful.

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I'm late to chime in, but really wanted to toss in my hat, too.

Yes, I get this line a lot.  My response is similar to those others have posted here: "I'm not a True Christian, because I fell away before I died?  By that logic, you are not a True Christian either, because you're not dead yet..."

On the other side of the coin, I also get the line from family and friends that I still *AM* a True Christian and am merely going through a "phase" or a "journey" or a "dark night of the soul."  It's just temporary backsliding and rebellion, and I'll "get over it."

I did go through such phases when I was a True Christian.  They were distinctly different than the so-called "phase" of my deconversion.  How?  They were times of inner turmoil and a desire to rebel against what I did believe, but that I didn't want to be true or felt was overbearing or unjust or what-have-you.  I was raging against a god I very much still believed in.  Deconversion, though tumultuous, has been marked with clarity and a lack of any sense of "need" to "rebel."  It's turning on the light and finding out there are no monsters.  It has none of the self-destructive behaviors of any previous "backsliding" I partook of as a True Christian.

 

Anyone else with me on that?

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I was working the teller line at the bank one day.  A black dude walks up and see my name tag and asks if was a christian.  I replied not anymore.  He laughed and called me backslider. 

 

I pissed me off. 

 

I realized later that this thread is why.   

 

I so wanted to tell him that calling me a backslider was a bad as me calling him a nigger.   Probably would've gotten fired over that one. 

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My response is similar to those others have posted here: "I'm not a True Christian, because I fell away before I died?  By that logic, you are not a True Christian either, because you're not dead yet..."

 

That's not bad. Though I'd probably modify it to: "So I've shown that I was not a True Christian because I fell away before I died? By that logic, you can never know whether or not you are a True Christian either until you're dead." Leaving it there might give them something to ponder about themselves. False hope in a certain destiny seems like one of the main draws of some forms of religious delusion. Taking that certainty away might cause one to question things a bit. Of course, now that I think about it,  it might cause them to double-down on the crazy and try to be even more fervent.

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I was working the teller line at the bank one day.  A black dude walks up and see my name tag and asks if was a christian.  I replied not anymore.  He laughed and called me backslider. 

 

I pissed me off. 

 

I realized later that this thread is why.   

 

I so wanted to tell him that calling me a backslider was a bad as me calling him a nigger.   Probably would've gotten fired over that one. 

If you're ever asked that again just reply "nope, I'm Irish (or Italian, Jewish, etc.) I had one come up to me ages ago and ask 'do you know Jesus?' I replied 'nope but if you hum a few bars from the song I may remember it'...

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 chrisstavrous - not to go off topic here but the other one is locked. I think you agreed that you exercise 'faith' in expecting your kids to love you. You fell into their classical trap of redefining the word. I disagree about you using faith - you are exercising parental expectations BASED on (and this is very important) your demonstration of your love, as a Dad, to your kids. Sound okay to you?

 

And regarding the bs spouted that we 'take comfort in knowing when we die there's nothing out there'. Yeah, I'm jumping up and down with joy over the thought of never seeing my loved ones again once I curl up my toes and become fertilizer. How incredibly disgusting they argue. They no longer have anything so they merely use presuppostional reductionism to spout their nonsense.

 

Okay, 'nuff of the preaching and back on topic. Bill - EXCELLENT reply. Glad to see you are now down to my level of discourse with them. lol

Maybe they're finally get it? lol

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Response to Xtian: How do I know I was a real Xtian? Because I said stupid things just like you do. bill

And I'll wager no matter what kind of dumb stuff you uttered I could beat you with my shameful history in the cult.

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 chrisstavrous - not to go off topic here but the other one is locked. I think you agreed that you exercise 'faith' in expecting your kids to love you. You fell into their classical trap of redefining the word. I disagree about you using faith - you are exercising parental expectations BASED on (and this is very important) your demonstration of your love, as a Dad, to your kids. Sound okay to you?

 

Thanks raoul - I saw how OC ignored all of the important points I was trying to make and just redefined 'faith', which is why I didn't bother responding.  No, I wasn't surprised as that is his modus operandi.

 

I don't have 'faith' that my kids will return my love.  I work hard to help them grow up to be emotionally healthy, moral, kind and loving people - and I hope that the result will be a good, loving relationship with them in the future.  Hope is different than faith.

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 chrisstavrous - not to go off topic here but the other one is locked. I think you agreed that you exercise 'faith' in expecting your kids to love you. You fell into their classical trap of redefining the word. I disagree about you using faith - you are exercising parental expectations BASED on (and this is very important) your demonstration of your love, as a Dad, to your kids. Sound okay to you?

 

Thanks raoul - I saw how OC ignored all of the important points I was trying to make and just redefined 'faith', which is why I didn't bother responding.  No, I wasn't surprised as that is his modus operandi.

 

I don't have 'faith' that my kids will return my love.  I work hard to help them grow up to be emotionally healthy, moral, kind and loving people - and I hope that the result will be a good, loving relationship with them in the future.  Hope is different than faith.

 

Well stated New2me - well stated!

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I was working the teller line at the bank one day.  A black dude walks up and see my name tag and asks if was a christian.  I replied not anymore.  He laughed and called me backslider. 

 

I pissed me off. 

 

I realized later that this thread is why.   

 

I so wanted to tell him that calling me a backslider was a bad as me calling him a nigger.   Probably would've gotten fired over that one. 

If you're ever asked that again just reply "nope, I'm Irish (or Italian, Jewish, etc.) I had one come up to me ages ago and ask 'do you know Jesus?' I replied 'nope but if you hum a few bars from the song I may remember it'...

 

LOL  glad I didn't have a swig of water in my mouth when I read that. 

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To them we're sort of like the Nightmare Court: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Nightmare_Court

 

We reject the teachings of the bible and go our own way, or at least the mainstream interpretations. At best we are misguided, at worst we are corrupt. Either way we are not worth listening to, lest we corrupt them as well. zDuivel2.gif

 

Caith will defeat them. :-)

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