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franknhonest

Eternal Sin

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Hi all,

 

I wonder what people think of this topic?

 

I thought I once was a Christian but an experience I had last year (April 2005) changed everything. I had a mental breakdown, went through an inner "death phase" and ended up with a void which is hard to explain. I had to take the rest of the year off work. For several months afterwards I was suicidal, although thankfully this has now worn off.

 

I don't read the Bible anymore, or pray or go to church. I have this knowledge that I made the biggest mistake possible. According to my experience and the Bible, I blasphemed the Holy Ghost. Somehow this is meant to make me worse than Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao and Pol Pot put together, although to me this just seems absurd.

 

The thought of eternal punishment in a lake of fire is bad enough but how can one cope with the idea of a punishment not only everlasting in duration but also infinite in degree? I may have made a big mistake but this seems way out of proportion.

 

What does everyone think of this?

 

 

Jon.

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Hi Jon,

 

Glad you found you found the site. We are here to support you and let you know you are not alone. We understand the pain and suffering of extracting Christianity from our psyche.

 

Sin and hell are scare tactics used to keep Christians in line, in church, and keep the tithes flowing.

Where would they be without it?

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Hi Jon,

 

You will likely find that most of us here will agree that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

 

 

Consider the best explanation here:

 

a. There really is a such thing as blasphemy of the holy ghost and god is sooooo sensitive that he in his infinite wisdom and mercy just couldn't possibly forgive someone who attributed his works with the devil (or whatever it is that this blasphemy is).

 

or...

 

b. Religious leaders, wishing to gain total control over their flock through the use of fear, introduced this doctrine to scare the bejebus out of everyone so that no one dare question their authority or dare think on their own.

 

Since god is often used as a metaphorical father figure let me pose a question. If you are a father (or at least can put yourself in a father's shoes for a moment) would you ever, for any reason, ban your children to a place of eternal torment? Especially for an attitude or a sentance or two they spoke once, perhaps even in haste?

 

It's good your bullshit detector is flashing because something about this doctrine stinks.

 

Welcome to the board btw.

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I suggest becoming highly educated on this topic very soon. It seems that emotionalism is what brought about your deconversion, and it will drive you back to religion if you don't take the proper steps.

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Fuck the Holy Spirit, he's a evil ghost, he did satanic miracles.

 

Yet...

No one have put me in hell or God go gaga over me yet.

It's just a stupid doctrine to control you, don't let it get to you.

Woot, spiritually healthy life, here I come!

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Hey franknhonest -

 

Man, your story is so much like mine it's eerie! Seriously, I know exactly what you're going through, including the depression and the 'void'. It took me years to get all that crap out of my mind, but it wasn't until I began to study critical thinking and began learning about the 'real' history of xtianity.

 

You have an opportunity to speed up the process, though, thanx to the web and sites like this. I wish there had been something like this when I was trying to un-brainwash myself.

 

Read up on some of the links and information around here, follow some of the threads, and most importantly just try to relax and realize you're not alone.

 

We've all been burned by bible-thumpery here! :fdevil::notworthy::crucified:

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Thx for the replies. Interesting that All Gods Fail has had a similar experience, although I'd be surprised if it was exactly the same!

 

The best I can do to explain it is that it felt like a breakdown of conscience - on a physical level. You might wonder how someone can 'break' their conscience but it is something that can happen over the course of only a few weeks. I had no idea I was in that kind of state until it happened, and now it's happened I can't reverse it. I felt like I had died inside.

 

It's weird because I feel like I'm 'starting my life all over again'. Many of my memories from the past were simply erased in a single stroke.

 

I think this is what the Bible means by the 'blasphemy of the Holy Ghost' because a loss of conscience would make someone no less than the devil incarnate. And the devil can never be forgiven. Apparently this is how Judas ended up - you might remember that verse in the Bible that says 'Satan entered into him'. I felt this at one moment.

 

 

Jon.

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Thx for the replies. Interesting that All Gods Fail has had a similar experience, although I'd be surprised if it was exactly the same!

 

The best I can do to explain it is that it felt like a breakdown of conscience - on a physical level. You might wonder how someone can 'break' their conscience but it is something that can happen over the course of only a few weeks. I had no idea I was in that kind of state until it happened, and now it's happened I can't reverse it. I felt like I had died inside.

 

It's weird because I feel like I'm 'starting my life all over again'. Many of my memories from the past were simply erased in a single stroke.

 

I think this is what the Bible means by the 'blasphemy of the Holy Ghost' because a loss of conscience would make someone no less than the devil incarnate. And the devil can never be forgiven. Apparently this is how Judas ended up - you might remember that verse in the Bible that says 'Satan entered into him'. I felt this at one moment.

 

 

Jon.

I believe it is said in the bible that no-one on heaven and earth will forgive you for sinning against the holy spirit.

 

The thing is, I forgive you, and I'm on earth (last I checked at least). So, either the bible is in error, or you didn't sin against the holy spirit, or I am somehow not on earth.

 

I wonder which it is. Take care man, a lot of christian doctrine was added, changed, and/or misinterpreted (and most of all misunderstood).

 

We all have moral breakdowns. Sometimes it is simply burn-out, from trying to be perfect. Sometimes it is simply our human tendency to be distracted. Very few people have the mental discipline to not have a moral breakdown. According to christianity, the only one who acheived this was Jesus himself.

 

Also, I would imagine your perception of a void is that something you held dear for a long time no longer does it for you or captivates your attention away from whatever it is you have broken down and done.

 

Here's the deal, if there is any functional validity to this Holy spirit claim, it can only be meant that while one is in the Flesh, by denying any supra-material energies, then they cannot really be 'saved' as their sense of reality is completely defined by the passing elements of the material universe. This discounts the existence of consciousness, thought, and feeling and considers any experience which does not harmonize with a hard materialist view to be false or delusional. If one has taken this position, they will certainly be sentenced to death, thinking themselves to be that which dies rather than what is aware of that which dies. So, no 'forgiveness' is realized. Until one recognizes that these non-material perceptions are equally a part of existence, the trials and tribulations of the material world no longer works.

 

Or it simply means that the one's who are damned to hell are the ones who simply reject the idea of mercy and grace and actually choose hellfire. In this case the holy spirit would be considered the Grace of God.

 

Anyway, phenomena are not fixed, independent, and unchanging. That includes the phenomena of belief, thought, feelings, etc. Some last longer and are more-pervasive (and therefore seem everlasting and all-pervasive) but none are solid and eternal. This means that they are not worthy of making our happiness dependent upon them. This is much like the 'building one's house on shifting sands' analogy so popular in Christianity.

 

As you seem to not have disavowed your beliefs, please realize that some of the greatest Saints of the Christians have gone through something similar to what you are going through now. They have termed it the dark night of the soul, where all the previous means of believe and thinking no longer work, but now they must feel there way in the dark. So don't rush to any conclusions here about any sort of 'eternal' punishment.

 

Biblically speaking, there is no guarantee of eternal damnation in the first place (without making unfounded assumptions which go against the portrayed benevolence and mercy of God). Jesus spoke of those who constantly cry out but never take the time to receive or assess whether they need to be crying out in the first place. IMO, it is the crying out which is the actuall Hell in this instance. And in Revelation, it is said that God will throw Hell, the Devil, and his Agents in to the eternal lake of fire (which is God's will). It doesn't make any explicit statements that human beings under the sway of the devil will be thrown in, but rather suggest that the influence of demonic powers will be thrown in. This means that man will at last be able to live outside the the sway of destructive, life-stealing forces.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure whether this post will be confusing or helpful for you. I hope it will be the latter.

 

Take care

 

_/\_

metta

 

Also, I would imagine your perception of a void is that something you held dear for a long time no longer does it for you or captivates your attention away from whatever it is you have broken down and done.

 

and that your having made a MISTAKE has somehow made you unworthy of Grace & forgiveness, and that you yourself are doing the damnation.

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Thanks for that metta.

 

Although I have resisted the Spirit and ended up where I am now, it would be foolish to suggest that I actually chose to go to hell. Actually I didn't think I was heading for hell until it happened, by which time it was too late to do anything about it.

 

Why is it that Christians say that everyone else "chooses to go to hell"? I don't know of anyone in their right mind who would choose to go there, but everyone makes unwise choices about other things. Christians cannot look down on other people and say they somehow "made the right choice" whilst other people didn't. This is simply absurd. Perhaps if someone else was in my position they'd end up doing exactly the same thing. People's choices largely depend on the circumstances in which they are living.

 

Actually the Bible doesn't talk about not receiving forgiveness on earth, but rather that "every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or the age to come" (Matt 12. 31-32). The forgiveness spoken of is forgiveness from God, not from men.

 

 

Jon.

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but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or the age to come

 

So what exactly does that mean then?

 

And what I mean by choosing to go to hell, I mean in the sense that we beat ourselves up unnecessarily for making mistakes. Any god that will not forgive me for making a mistake is not all that benevolent, IMO.

 

take care

 

_/\_

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This "blasphemy against the Spirit" business used to have me stumped for awhile, too. It is simply not clearly defined - yet another example of how Xianity cannot possibly be the truth. No god with half an ounce of understanding would give us such a bunch of convoluted mumbo-jumbo and expect us to decipher it and understand it as said god does.

 

Now dance, varmint! th_chaingun.gif:jesus:

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Hello Jon,

 

I'm new to this site too. I've been reading a ton and taking it all in. I plan to write my story soon. I just wanted to tell you that I think I understand your fears of "offending the holy ghost." (Although I can never say I completely understand.)

 

From the time I was little, I ate, slept, and breathed god and the christian church. I've suffered horrible mental affects from all this christian belief stuff including the holy ghost thing. I think, thanks to this site and a few friends, say I'm truly no longer afraid of hell.

 

However, allowing myself to "let the concept of god go" is truly more difficult. I can't believe in a god that sets up rules and regulations that keep me in constant fear. I *can* believe in people who develop rules and regulations to keep me in constant fear.

 

Losing touch with yourself for a time is very frightening--this I know. I have PTSD and an anxiety disorder due to my christian background. I've been sucidal many times in my life. The only thing I can say, my friend, is take it slow. Letting go of your christian beliefs is a big step for some of us. Your fears are real. I have to tell myself this when my superstious thinking starts.

 

I've been struggling with my christian belief system for over 10 years. I've never found long lasting happiness in this system. IMHO, you're headed in a good direction for finding happiness. I just told my husband a few minutes ago that I am so happy to finally strive to be a kind and loving person because I want to be and not because I'm trying to please some god who would toss me into a lake of fire at a moments notice.

 

Take care Jon! You're not alone.

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Guest JP1283

Hi Jon,

 

I can identify completely with what you're going through. The second I realized that I committed the "unforgivable sin," I could not have been more terrorized. I still have not fully recovered from the effects. It will get easier with time, and you will realize that neither God nor Satan is punishing you; it's all in your head and you are punishing yourself. If you ever need to talk, feel free to send me a PM.

 

JP

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Thx for the replies. Interesting that All Gods Fail has had a similar experience, although I'd be surprised if it was exactly the same!

Well, I'm sure it wasn't exactly the same - but in general, I think it's pretty close. I believed somehow that I had blasphemed the holy spirit (although to this day I'm not even sure what the unpardonable sin really is), which lead to a major depression, extremely intense panic attacks, and afterwards an awful, dead feeling inside. For the longest time I felt nothing - I shut down emotionally. I went through the motions of living, but just felt a void inside.

 

That was over 16 years ago - today, I feel better than I ever have perhaps in my entire life. :phew: It took some time getting the brainwashing out, but this was before the internet. Finding a site like this would have been (pun intended) a godsend at that time.

 

Anyway, a lot of people at this place have gone through the kind of misery you're going through - and it does get better, I promise you! :woohoo:

 

PS: I'm AGF for short.

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I ran across a great article that explains this Christian escape-proof mental trap. Would be worth your while to read. Here.

 

:begood:

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I ran across a great article that explains this Christian escape-proof mental trap. Would be worth your while to read. Here.

 

:begood:

 

 

That is a great article! Thanx for the link!

 

Once sucked into the parallel universe of Christianity, the adherent is too intimidated by the existing framework of threats and rationalizations to attempt escape. Even thinking along alternative lines will induce severe feelings of guilt. And should one run the risk of losing faith by examining its true foundations, he is certain to be chilled by the dictum, in Hebrews 6:4-6, that "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened...if they fall away, to renew them again..." Those who originated a religion based on deception and delusion clearly knew that if the conditioning broke down or wore off, it could not work again. But that's when the true enlightenment occurs.

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I've yet to figure this one out in any certain terms. It's so incredibly vague. How does one go about determining what is and isn't the holy spirit. Many who shaped the early Christian church denied people's claims of being inspired by the holy spirit, so that means the whole Church is potentially unredeemable.

 

Personally, I have not found the dictums of the Church to be perceptively functional, and seem to go beyond what was actually stated by Jesus himself.

 

One possible way of looking at this, though, is that while the absolution of sin by Jesus is not extended to certain actions, that doesn't mean things can't be fixed by oneself. While the sin itself may not be pardoned, that does not necessitate eternal torment.

 

It would be very helpful if you could give us a little bit more on the nature of your 'sin against the Holy Spirit'. That would help us be better able to offer appropriate advice.

 

take care

 

_/\_

metta

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It would be very helpful if you could give us a little bit more on the nature of your 'sin against the Holy Spirit'. That would help us be better able to offer appropriate advice.

 

Hey, that was slick! A nicw move. In sales, we call that steamrolling...presupposing the outcome of the question in your question. To answer it directly, one has to assume first that there was an actual"sin", meaning a god to account to, to begin with. Nice move! Let's see if he buys it. I think he's too smart though. But, you can certainly be comforted in knowing that you have been a good christian soldier.

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I suggest becoming highly educated on this topic very soon. It seems that emotionalism is what brought about your deconversion, and it will drive you back to religion if you don't take the proper steps.

 

That is absolutely accurate advice.

 

I took note of the feeling like you died inside and the breaking of your coscience felt for the duration that you noted, and it sounds like typical depression, with the "breking of your conscience" being a typical way people cope with iT : depersonalization.

 

Depersonalization can be frightening and can be the one symptom of depression that drives people to therapy. These staes of depersonalization have a lot of euphemistic descriptions, that one is "...split off from their feelings and unable to respond emotionally to many things..." puts it in a nutshell. When you think of these things in psychological terms, you have the factors under your control.

 

If you think of these things in terms of conscience and god, you must address these issue through people who believe and can make you believe that they are the custodians of gods will and spirit. Some of them may uncyuously remove themselves from positions of authority in order to gain your confidence, and while you think you are following your own way, you are praying as they suggest.

 

Depression can re-occur, so you might want to consider seeing a therapist. They will most likely prescribe some medication. Also, take the advice of the quote above. That will help you.

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It would be very helpful if you could give us a little bit more on the nature of your 'sin against the Holy Spirit'. That would help us be better able to offer appropriate advice.

 

Hey, that was slick! A nicw move. In sales, we call that steamrolling...presupposing the outcome of the question in your question. To answer it directly, one has to assume first that there was an actual"sin", meaning a god to account to, to begin with. Nice move! Let's see if he buys it. I think he's too smart though. But, you can certainly be comforted in knowing that you have been a good christian soldier.

 

What are you talking about?

 

pardon my stupidity and/or laziness in figuring out what you've assumed I'm doing

 

_/\_

metta

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btw, i was asking for what the original poster felt he/she did in their own words. As they seem to not have gotten rid of their Christian mindset, I attempted to speak in their language. Sorry if I came accross as a subversive evangelical type, but you're insightful perception into what my ulterior motives and tactics are mere projection.

 

BTW, I'm a practicing buddhist and I am agnostic, just in case you were wondering. I had my 'crisis of faith' back in college when I roomed with a hard atheist/materialist who was very much an intellectualist. I remained open-minded and managed to realize I had no idea whatsoever whether there was any such thing as a Christian God, and that it was likely that no-one else really did either. I'm not saying that people don't have perceptions that support their belief in god, it's just that they really have no idea whether their conclusions have any basis in reality beyond their own conclusions and perceptions. Anyway, I studied Taoism, Hinduism and Kabbalah then finally landed on Buddhism as a practice. That's where I am now. Let me know if you want more details.

 

take care

 

_/\_

metta

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...It's about time that you stepped out of the insense smoke and spoke plainly. You sure sound like a stealth christian from your other posts. And you may still be, but if you are Buddhist as you say that is entirely more reasonable and a stronger foundation to deal with life. If your posts to this troubled person remain just as clear and direct I won't call you on the "closings" employed. But I'm not here in the first place to talk about you or I, outside of how I felt you were leading the original poster back toward what caused his problems. He could be in very serious trouble. People in that kind of depression need a hand, I've seen it many times.

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I just try to meet people where they're at, see which direction they are pulling tpwards and try to make an appropriate response, and correct the error when I see it. If this person wants to keep his belief system in tact, I will try to point out his unnecessary conclusions within his desired belief system. I will point out, to the best of my ability, where the Christian Church distorted and misinterpreted its original teachings, and if the person will listen, where the belief system on the whole is lacking/does not hold water.

 

take care

 

_/\_

 

And if I'm a stealth christian, I've managed to fool myself pretty well, not to mention my wife and my parents. I just so happen to understand why I believed what I believed and what I actually meant by my theological interpretations/understanding.

 

Anyways, getting offtopic.

 

take care

 

_/\_

metta

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...Good, good...now, original poster, if you are coming back and reading this, and want to be spoken to honestly without a lot of condesending talking down to you "...within your belief system..." I will speak to you as an adult and not a child, and tell you some real things that you can do right now to get on top of the feelings that you feel are threatening to overtake you. No nonsense. Shoot me a private message if you like.

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