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When You Lose Your Faith, You Begin To Not Understand Christianity


antix
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I led a good friend to Christ back about 20 yrs ago. But this is odd, as I was losing my faith the past yr, his was growing. He was never a regular church goer (neither was I) but now it is part of his routine and he goes every single sunday. He is also giving big buck donations to the church.   The church needed some repairs so he gave his vacation money to the church and decided no vacation for the wife and daughter this year.    WTF????????????????????????

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There is a lot of power in being part of the club. He is experiencing the love and social acceptance. That was great for me until it wasn't, and then it was horrible. (Oh, don't get me started on the evil I experienced at the hands of my brethren who love me so deeply, cough cough!) Is he still in the "new member" honeymoon stage? I gave a lot of time and money during that stage myself.

 

Do you want to try to help him with that? If so, the only thing I can think of to do is to give him another social outlet that is vibrant and accepting. I don't honestly think you can compete with the cult-like forces the church is going to be using on him, but you can at least help him see other non-church people as equally good and interesting (and much less demanding of your time and money!). It will take some time for the honeymoon stage to wear off, but at least he will have a soft landing, and not feel so much pressure to tough it out just to keep his social network and activities. I wish I would have had an alternative myself, so I would not have banged my head against that wall for so many years trying to make that dysfunctional shit work for me just so I would still have my friends and my activities.

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There is a lot of power in being part of the club. He is experiencing the love and social acceptance. That was great for me until it wasn't, and then it was horrible. (Oh, don't get me started on the evil I experienced at the hands of my brethren who love me so deeply, cough cough!) Is he still in the "new member" honeymoon stage? I gave a lot of time and money during that stage myself.

 

Do you want to try to help him with that? If so, the only thing I can think of to do is to give him another social outlet that is vibrant and accepting. I don't honestly think you can compete with the cult-like forces the church is going to be using on him, but you can at least help him see other non-church people as equally good and interesting (and much less demanding of your time and money!). It will take some time for the honeymoon stage to wear off, but at least he will have a soft landing, and not feel so much pressure to tough it out just to keep his social network and activities. I wish I would have had an alternative myself, so I would not have banged my head against that wall for so many years trying to make that dysfunctional shit work for me just so I would still have my friends and my activities.

 

I think I just pissed him off. I just called him and asked him if he wanted to meet for a beer (we live an hr away from each other another and there is this neat area 30 minutes between us). I knew he would find an excuse and he did. He likes staying at home since he travels for work (been there, done that), but there is no excuse for missing church. I said OK, gotta run, and he became upset because I upset him, but hey.  I think the more he gets into church, the more he has to follow the party line (no booze).

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I’m sure many of us are aware of situations similar to the one you referenced. We received a text from a friend two nights ago who is not aware that we are no longer members of the Church of Christ.  She had just lead a mutual friend to Christ. This friend is a man who has attended the c of c for more than 30 years with his former wife who died a few years ago from cancer. He made no bones about the fact he didn’t believe a word of what he heard and was only there to satisfy his wife.

 

He remarried a couple of years ago and his new wife was anything but a Christian. In fact she had a reputation for being a rather loose woman. His children cut him off when he remarried. The text indicated his son, who is a deacon in the c of c baptized him and his new wife.

 

Another lady my wife and I met while members of the c of C married an atheist. He was once a Christian but his former wife ran off with the Music Minister at a Baptist Church. He wouldn’t go near a church after that and never attended services with his wife. I tried to set up a bible study with him but he would have none of that.

 

Many years later, after she had left the c of C, they visited a contemporary Southern Baptist Church (yeah I didn’t know such a thing existed either). Anyway, after a few visits he became a born again Christian and is there every time the door opens now.

 

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. unsure.png 

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The title of your post got me thinking. In my case I didn’t begin to really understand Christianity until I de-converted. After investing the time to study the history of Christianity and the Bible I at least came to understand why Christianity makes no sense, and why it is so contradictive and inconsistent.  

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@ Geezer. I lived in Alabama yrs ago and attended a C of C 3-4 times. freaked me out.

 

My buddy is extremely dogmatic in his thinking (i.e. stubborn as hell).  Very nice guy, but gets these ideas in his head all the time: At age early 30s he mentioned, I am over 30, it is time to cut down drinking and a few yrs later, I am age whatever, I have to get married etc.   But I am shocked at this church thing: he gave a fair amount of money and I almost said to him: don't be an idiot.   But then again, we all have our priorities. The idea of just sitting around home doing nothing is not mine.  

 

I wonder about a lot of these churches (no offense, but I saw the brainwashing C of C can do).

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The title of your post got me thinking. In my case I didn’t begin to really understand Christianity until I de-converted. After investing the time to study the history of Christianity and the Bible I at least came to understand why Christianity makes no sense, and why it is so contradictive and inconsistent.  

When you're a believer, you devote your study to trying to understand it, including how to ignore the cognitive dissonance. I came up with a wonderful explanation about how the universe could be 13.8 billion years old, yet the clock only started 6000 years ago!

 

What you never study are the stark differences between the Old- and New-Testaments. You try really hard to make them fit, and rely on the Gospels' explanation about how they fit. It's a huge stretch, but if it's all you've ever read, you accept it.

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@ Geezer. I lived in Alabama yrs ago and attended a C of C 3-4 times. freaked me out.

 

<snip>

 

I wonder about a lot of these churches (no offense, but I saw the brainwashing C of C can do).

They get you with a line of reasoning that appears to be logical.

 

Ironically, it was in a several-week study about alcohol on Wednesday nights that I began to see that the abstinence doctrine was not supported by scripture, even though the preacher was dogmatically against touching a drop. If he had just stuck to a sermon I would never have realized it was wrong. Numbers 28:1-7! The Jews were required to have strong drink in their possession for a twice daily offering. Sounds like "god" considers strong drink a blessing, not a sin.

 

But since the whole thing is bogus and god is made up, it doesn't matter anyway! Besides, why would anyone create a god who doesn't approve of alcohol? Oh, yeah, Americans created that god. We always go all or nothing.

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@ Geezer. I lived in Alabama yrs ago and attended a C of C 3-4 times. freaked me out.

 

My buddy is extremely dogmatic in his thinking (i.e. stubborn as hell).  Very nice guy, but gets these ideas in his head all the time: At age early 30s he mentioned, I am over 30, it is time to cut down drinking and a few yrs later, I am age whatever, I have to get married etc.   But I am shocked at this church thing: he gave a fair amount of money and I almost said to him: don't be an idiot.   But then again, we all have our priorities. The idea of just sitting around home doing nothing is not mine.  

 

I wonder about a lot of these churches (no offense, but I saw the brainwashing C of C can do).

 

No offense taken. You are correct. In order to be a member of the Church of Christ a person must be completely brainwashed to the point their brains are functionally inoperable. You have to basically become a religious Zombie in order to survive in their environment. The Church of Christ is the only true Church and members of the Church of Christ are the only true Christians. Baptist, Catholics, Methodist, and everyone else has been deceived and are destined for hell.

 

 

To be unkind but accurate to be a member of the Church of Christ you have to be bat shit crazy and be willing to live in their make believe world. If your friend is a member of the Church of Christ he is without hope. Write him off, He has been assimilated into their collective and no longer possess the ability to think rationally or logically. He will require a complete deprogramming, like leaving any other cult, to regain control of his mind.

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To be unkind but accurate to be a member of the Church of Christ you have to be bat shit crazy and be willing to live in their make believe world. If your friend is a member of the Church of Christ he is without hope. Write him off, He has been assimilated into their collective and no longer possess the ability to think rationally or logically. He will require a complete deprogramming, like leaving any other cult, to regain control of his mind. [/size]

I dunno... You and I figured it out.

 

More and more people within Churches of Christ are beginning to think that they're not the only ones who are going to be saved. Mainline Churches of Christ are becoming more liberal, participating with other denominations in city-wide things, even using instrumental music. Non-institutional CoCs are beginning to get members who think the mainline churches have become too liberal, but who bring with them a kinder and less judgmental attitude.

 

Of course, as they become more liberal, people are less likely to see the flaws. But the overall numbers are dwindling, so that's probably a good thing.

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When I lost my faith, it made me wonder how Christianity ever made sense to me at all.  Like, why is faith considered to be a good thing?  Like, why was it necessary to kill animals to make God happy before Jesus?  Like, why was it necessary for Jesus to die (and specifically, why did he have to shed blood) for God to be able to forgive us for our sins?  Like, why is it important that God keeps himself hidden instead of making things clear for us?

 

Oh, and a million more things.  But, like Geezer said, some things about Christianity became crystal clear... like, how it's all just a big lie to control the masses and extort their money.  Like, how it's just a big social club so that groups of people can join together and feel superior to those who they exclude.

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No C of C.  It is Nazarene.  Not that I will try and have a discussion about it with him, it would kill our friendship.  And as MisterTwo said: It seems Americans have created this right wing God whose real word says you must read your Bible and have an arsenal in your home and abstain from all of lifes pleasures.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I led a good friend to Christ back about 20 yrs ago. But this is odd, as I was losing my faith the past yr, his was growing. He was never a regular church goer (neither was I) but now it is part of his routine and he goes every single sunday. He is also giving big buck donations to the church.   The church needed some repairs so he gave his vacation money to the church and decided no vacation for the wife and daughter this year.    WTF????????????????????????

I wonder if his house burnt down, if the church's pastor would forego his vacation to repair that mans house? Just a thought.

 

I still understand christianity after having left. This guy probably has a strong emotional attachement to both God and the church, this leads him to want to do anything he can to take care of it. It's insanity I know. You should always take care of yourself and your needs and wants first.

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I led a good friend to Christ back about 20 yrs ago. But this is odd, as I was losing my faith the past yr, his was growing. He was never a regular church goer (neither was I) but now it is part of his routine and he goes every single sunday. He is also giving big buck donations to the church.   The church needed some repairs so he gave his vacation money to the church and decided no vacation for the wife and daughter this year.    WTF????????????????????????

I wonder if his house burnt down, if the church's pastor would forego his vacation to repair that mans house? Just a thought.

 

I still understand christianity after having left. This guy probably has a strong emotional attachement to both God and the church, this leads him to want to do anything he can to take care of it. It's insanity I know. You should always take care of yourself and your needs and wants first.

 

 

I think he has a strong attachment as to what one should be doing at a certain age also. In your early 50s, you need to be in church is what is going through his mind.  Everyone is different and I understand, but to drop a fair amount of money and keep putting off your kids college fund and skipping a vacation is not too bright.

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Who knows, but as people get older some people start thinking about death. Most people in churches are older people, unless its one of those whoppin big megachurches that does a lot of social events and entertainment.

 

The church does claim to have all the answers about what happens in the great beyond. There can be great appeal in that. People like certainty.

 

Once you are away from Christianity for awhile, you can clearly see how most of it appeals to the ego.  "I" am saved, "I" have a relationship with God (aren't I special) and that is also very emotionally satisfying, especially to narcissists, but even to otherwise well balanced people.

 

As far as the money donations go, there are a lot of churches that lay emphasis on giving.  The idea is that God blesses you more if you give or you are obligated to give. A lot of guilt tripping goes on in churches on this subject, even liberal churches.

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The title of your post got me thinking. In my case I didn’t begin to really understand Christianity until I de-converted. After investing the time to study the history of Christianity and the Bible I at least came to understand why Christianity makes no sense, and why it is so contradictive and inconsistent.  

 

Makes no sense and I at least tend to look at religionists as a bit odd. There is something inherently peculiar about our gray matter than makes us susceptible to religion at the expense of reason and logic.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

 

 

I led a good friend to Christ back about 20 yrs ago. But this is odd, as I was losing my faith the past yr, his was growing. He was never a regular church goer (neither was I) but now it is part of his routine and he goes every single sunday. He is also giving big buck donations to the church.   The church needed some repairs so he gave his vacation money to the church and decided no vacation for the wife and daughter this year.    WTF????????????????????????

I wonder if his house burnt down, if the church's pastor would forego his vacation to repair that mans house? Just a thought.

 

I still understand christianity after having left. This guy probably has a strong emotional attachement to both God and the church, this leads him to want to do anything he can to take care of it. It's insanity I know. You should always take care of yourself and your needs and wants first.

 

 

I think he has a strong attachment as to what one should be doing at a certain age also. In your early 50s, you need to be in church is what is going through his mind.  Everyone is different and I understand, but to drop a fair amount of money and keep putting off your kids college fund and skipping a vacation is not too bright.

 

Oh I definitely agree with you there, but people still do it. That's what the religion was founded on, and brags about, it was built upon and from the backs of the poor and ignorant masses.

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Just venting. The idea of spending all day Saturday playing computer games and half a day sunday doing church and the mandatory "lets go out for lunch" after church is rather boring.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

Just venting. The idea of spending all day Saturday playing computer games and half a day sunday doing church and the mandatory "lets go out for lunch" after church is rather boring.

Computer games part is fun in the evening. Though I agree with you there, why waste a perfectly good sunday on something like church? Why not just take a 50 mile bike ride just because you can. Go somewhere. See something. Do something. Live life and have fun!

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Just venting. The idea of spending all day Saturday playing computer games and half a day sunday doing church and the mandatory "lets go out for lunch" after church is rather boring.

Computer games part is fun in the evening. Though I agree with you there, why waste a perfectly good sunday on something like church? Why not just take a 50 mile bike ride just because you can. Go somewhere. See something. Do something. Live life and have fun!

 

 

I think that is my main issue. Live life and enjoy.   I cannot wait until he says Bible study, then I will say something to him

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