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Interested In Knowing If This Is True...


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So, a couple of friends have posted on Facebook the link to this article about three traits of youth who don't leave the church. I didn't meet two of the criteria of this article, however, I do believe that I was in every way a truly devoted Christian and I did my very best to follow god with all my life. I still ended up leaving the faith. But since we have a large cross section of people in this forum, I thought I would ask: Do you meet the criteria set forth in the article and, if so, do you think there is any merit to what the author is saying? I am just curious.

The author is a Christian minister and it intrigues me that they have come up with these traits:

1. They are converted.

2. They have been equipped, not entertained.

3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.

 

I see some merits in each, however, I believe that trait number 3 probably carries the most weight. I also agree that youth groups often entertain rather than teach and equip. I remember some good, deep discussions and sermons about topics that would lead to growth in my life, but as a general rule, it was all about fun and excitement in my youth group. So, I would agree that if a youth group focuses on entertainment rather than teaching and equipping, then the kids would be more likely to leave the faith.

 

So, I am curious what you all think.

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All that is saying is that they were thoroughly and relentlessly brainwashed. Obviously, few can escape that kind of abuse, and we all seem to be here!

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All that is saying is that they were thoroughly and relentlessly brainwashed. Obviously, few can escape that kind of abuse, and we all seem to be here!

I agree. But I am curious if some of the people here met all three criteria and left anyway.

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I agree. But I am curious if some of the people here met all three criteria and left anyway.

 

 

I did, although I wasn't a "youth" when I joined the Christian faith.
 
The parental influence was delayed, but it was the backdrop for a later conversion. My church wasn't the least bit entertaining - all about equipping.
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I meet all 3, but I think the list is bogus because it describes every Xtian.

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As was yelled out by some buzz killing fundies when I saw Dan Barker speak in London Ontario a few weeks ago.

 

"You were never a real christian!"

 

This is just christians circle jerking when someone leaves that a "true christian never leaves." Its just a tactic to keep people locked in. Afterall if you leave you were never really in to begin with.

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Having seen your responses, I see the article differently now. I do agree that the article was slanted towards youth, and not adults. But I think the same premise exists. As Florduh pointed out, its just about how deeply the brainwashing is placed on the person that determines how long it takes them to get out of the cult.

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Pastors like to make lists. In this case, a guy is trying to explain why anyone would leave the church, but only within the confines of Christian belief. This one concludes that if kids are indoctrinated from birth, then they won't leave. This of course leaves out their own minds, science, noticing the psychopathic nature of Yahweh, noticing that god never keeps his promises, that god ignores prayers and always has a better plan that also never happens, that snakes and donkeys don't talk, that god seems to like blood a lot, etc.

 

I converted myself at age 11, parents had no religion, I read the bible daily until age 43, etc.

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1. They are converted.

2. They have been equipped, not entertained.

3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.

 

 

  1. Converted means what, exactly? If you have Christ in your heart, you're a Christian. If you get baptized in a stinky lake, you're a Christian. Conversion is subjective, IMO. So this fails to be an objective criteria.
  2. They have been equipped...to do what? Pontificate about things they know nothing about? To become boring killjoys like their preaching parents? Oh wait. This is just double speak for "indoctrinated" and "totally freaked out about spending eternity in H-E-Double hockey sticks.
  3. Ah yes, they have parents who lead them in praying the prayer and spit scripture at them at every opportunity. They are usually manipulated or guilted or both into maintaining their belief in Christ. They aren't allowed to stray and if they do, you can bet your Ken Ham-sandwich they'll be in the prayer closet/pastor's office/grounded so fast their heads will spin right off of their shoulders.

Let's recap:

  1. They must have a powerful and entirely subjective experience with their subconscious. It must look/sound/feel like a dead Jew. This should happen before age 16 so that they are unable to critically evaluate what just happened.
  2. They must be kept in line through fear, not friendliness or love. Dangle those love-carrots high enough so that they'll continue jumping through hoops even after they leave home.
  3. Their parents must be God-proxies with keep them from the world and preach/teach that only God's love matters in this life. The enforcers must enforce the equipping!

Mostly boils down to this:

The beatings will continue until morale improves. Jesus is doing this for your own good. Love Him! Praise Him! You are scum. Hell awaits. He loves you! We love you! Why yes, master, I believe and I will give you 10% of income!

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I met all three. I was so thoroughly indoctrinated that I didn't question it until I was 29. I can certainly see how many in similar circumstances to mine would never get around to honestly questioning it. Thank FSM that I did finally see through the sham!

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1. They are converted.

2. They have been equipped, not entertained.

3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.

 

 

1) I was born into the faith.

 

2) My church was as boring as watching paint dry, and I was told repeatedly by my parents and grandparents that you never, ever clap in church.  You are not there to be entertained.  We were evangelical lutheran, but no praise band, no youth groups.  Just boring Bach organ music and hymns.

 

3) I wouldn't say my parents ever preached the gospel, but they used jesus and guilt an awful lot.  I remember my mother countless times would ask me how I thought jesus felt about whatever it was I did wrong.  

 

 

I was pretty young though when I would have been able to preach to my parents better than they could to me.  They thought I was going to go into the ministry I knew the bible so well.  I read the bible cover to cover for the first time at age 12.

 

However, I figured out church was a scam between 6th and 8th grades.  By halfway through high school I had completely removed myself from any obligation of going to church for any occasion, and by the age of 24 I was calling myself an Atheist.

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People who never leave the faith...either have never questioned their beliefs, or they have, and are too afraid to leave.

 

Those are the only reasons anyone remains a Christian, or a member of any other religion. Being ''equipped,'' lol...

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Never questioning your beliefs = Living in Darkness

 

Being afraid to leave = Fear

 

Darkness and Fear, it is clear! God is the devil and he has tricked the masses of believers. zDuivel7.gif

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So... what rigorous sociological study came up with these findings? Citations, plz. LOL.

 

I think it has more to do with what Christians want to believe, than how things actually work.

 

1. They are converted.

"People DO voluntarily buy into this, see? See??"

2. They have been equipped, not entertained.

Because it just can't be that Christianity can't be logically defended...

3. Their parents preached the gospel to them.

Gotta blame somebody, let's blame those lazy, non-brainwashing parents. Obvious guilt-trip.

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Never questioning your beliefs = Living in Darkness

 

Being afraid to leave = Fear

 

Darkness and Fear, it is clear! God is the devil and he has tricked the masses of believers. zDuivel7.gif

preach on sistah! tongue.png

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Never questioning your beliefs = Living in Darkness

 

Being afraid to leave = Fear

 

Darkness and Fear, it is clear! God is the devil and he has tricked the masses of believers. zDuivel7.gif

In truth, that's how I see it though. Words like ''equipped'' is just more Christian bullshit talk. ''Converted'', more bullshit talk. Converted from what? The land of reason and logic? lol

 

Unless one never questions his/her beliefs, or does, and is too afraid to leave...those are the only two choice, in my mind's eye. Wendyshrug.gif

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Xtians who are perpetually trapped in the faith are those who were:

 

Subjected to gospel teaching by parents: first level of brainwashing.

Converted: second level of brainwashing.

Equipped: third level brainwashing, not through entertainment but fear.

 

These people are incapable of "think crime": Thinking outside of the box.   bill

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I was all three easily. The year before I deconverted, I had the most "on fire for Christ" year I had ever had. I started to feel the emotion of church. 

 

This made the silence during my doubt extremely deafening. It was like God had completely walked out on me on day.

 

I spoke to some of my lifelong-agnostic girlfriends last week about my atheism. They told me that they had told their families that I no longer was a Christian and their parents apparently said "well, that's not a surprise. She was too smart to believe in that."

 

Perhaps, but I have other intelligent friends who have remained Christian. I would chalk it up to intellectual honesty, a love of learning, and curiosity in myself. 

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Perhaps, but I have other intelligent friends who have remained Christian. I would chalk it up to intellectual honesty, a love of learning, and curiosity in myself.

 

 

Same here, Waiting Infinity.

 

I don't think that one can be intellectually honest or love learning and stay in the fold without doing some serious ethical bending and breaking. I know that I couldn't and it saddens me that there were many really intelligent and wonderful people in my church who were choking their minds to serve the Lord.

 

Curiosity in yourself = Vanity = Pride. That's how I was taught, anyway. As you know, vanity and pride are sins and sins are punishable by death.

 

I'm glad to be away from it all now and I'm happy to have found community here at Ex-C.

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I will say, that with christianity, ignorance is definitely bliss. My life was much easier when I just blindly believed the crap that I believed. I don't regret finding the truth. But the truth complicated my life.

 

But all in all, I think the article is crap. Its just a bunch of feel good propaganda that Christians can use to support using the methods and tactics to raise their kids in the fold. That is all I see it as. But it was at least thought provoking for a moment.

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I met all the criteria and then some!

 

I was looking for work as a minister when I met my husband, who runs the business that I now work for.  So that ended my church world job search, and I'm very grateful for that!  I would hate to be financially dependent on propagating the lies of Christianity.  

 

I grew up in a christian home, very involved with youth group and AWANA as a kid.  I've read the bible in-depth, done word studies, learned church history - everything!  I think the past few years, as I was really moving away from the faith, it was my knowledge of the history of the church and the content of the bible that led me here.  So many sunday morning messages that repeated the same themes without going to the difficult parts of the bible, or talking about the bloody history.  

 

In fact, I think being exposed to different denominations and going to several different churches as I grew up was a key factor in my deconversion.  I noticed early on that the didn't all do the same song and dance, and none of them had a good reason why they didn't agree.  Hell, while I was in my ministry training, several of my classmates would bring me long, printed out articles on why women shouldn't be in ministry!  And they didn't even agree on why, since one of them was AoG and another Lutheran!

 

This got a little off topic, time to go make some coffee!

 

^_^

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I met all the criteria and then some!

 

I was looking for work as a minister when I met my husband, who runs the business that I now work for.  So that ended my church world job search, and I'm very grateful for that!  I would hate to be financially dependent on propagating the lies of Christianity.  

 

I grew up in a christian home, very involved with youth group and AWANA as a kid.  I've read the bible in-depth, done word studies, learned church history - everything!  I think the past few years, as I was really moving away from the faith, it was my knowledge of the history of the church and the content of the bible that led me here.  So many sunday morning messages that repeated the same themes without going to the difficult parts of the bible, or talking about the bloody history.  

 

In fact, I think being exposed to different denominations and going to several different churches as I grew up was a key factor in my deconversion.  I noticed early on that the didn't all do the same song and dance, and none of them had a good reason why they didn't agree.  Hell, while I was in my ministry training, several of my classmates would bring me long, printed out articles on why women shouldn't be in ministry!  And they didn't even agree on why, since one of them was AoG and another Lutheran!

 

This got a little off topic, time to go make some coffee!

 

happy.png

Thanks for sharing. It does amaze me that despite the sheer number of different denominations, that Christians don't get that its just proof that god isn't real. Its all about humans. If god existed and if he communicated with his people, I seriously doubt there would be 41,000+ denominations out there. I am pretty sure the "God is not the author of confusion" deity would make that clear in his dealings with his people. I'm glad you found your way out. :)

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I met all the criteria and then some!

 

I was looking for work as a minister when I met my husband, who runs the business that I now work for.  So that ended my church world job search, and I'm very grateful for that!  I would hate to be financially dependent on propagating the lies of Christianity.  

 

I grew up in a christian home, very involved with youth group and AWANA as a kid.  I've read the bible in-depth, done word studies, learned church history - everything!  I think the past few years, as I was really moving away from the faith, it was my knowledge of the history of the church and the content of the bible that led me here.  So many sunday morning messages that repeated the same themes without going to the difficult parts of the bible, or talking about the bloody history.  

 

In fact, I think being exposed to different denominations and going to several different churches as I grew up was a key factor in my deconversion.  I noticed early on that the didn't all do the same song and dance, and none of them had a good reason why they didn't agree.  Hell, while I was in my ministry training, several of my classmates would bring me long, printed out articles on why women shouldn't be in ministry!  And they didn't even agree on why, since one of them was AoG and another Lutheran!

 

This got a little off topic, time to go make some coffee!

 

happy.png

Thanks for sharing. It does amaze me that despite the sheer number of different denominations, that Christians don't get that its just proof that god isn't real. Its all about humans. If god existed and if he communicated with his people, I seriously doubt there would be 41,000+ denominations out there. I am pretty sure the "God is not the author of confusion" deity would make that clear in his dealings with his people. I'm glad you found your way out. smile.png

 

 

Your 'God is not the author of confusion' quote reminds me of a time a guy in my bible study group said, in all seriousness, "Our God is not a confusing God."  That got a big WTF from me, even at a time I was fully in my faith!

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I met all the criteria and then some!

 

I was looking for work as a minister when I met my husband, who runs the business that I now work for.  So that ended my church world job search, and I'm very grateful for that!  I would hate to be financially dependent on propagating the lies of Christianity.  

 

I grew up in a christian home, very involved with youth group and AWANA as a kid.  I've read the bible in-depth, done word studies, learned church history - everything!  I think the past few years, as I was really moving away from the faith, it was my knowledge of the history of the church and the content of the bible that led me here.  So many sunday morning messages that repeated the same themes without going to the difficult parts of the bible, or talking about the bloody history.  

 

In fact, I think being exposed to different denominations and going to several different churches as I grew up was a key factor in my deconversion.  I noticed early on that the didn't all do the same song and dance, and none of them had a good reason why they didn't agree.  Hell, while I was in my ministry training, several of my classmates would bring me long, printed out articles on why women shouldn't be in ministry!  And they didn't even agree on why, since one of them was AoG and another Lutheran!

 

This got a little off topic, time to go make some coffee!

 

happy.png

Thanks for sharing. It does amaze me that despite the sheer number of different denominations, that Christians don't get that its just proof that god isn't real. Its all about humans. If god existed and if he communicated with his people, I seriously doubt there would be 41,000+ denominations out there. I am pretty sure the "God is not the author of confusion" deity would make that clear in his dealings with his people. I'm glad you found your way out. smile.png

 

 

Your 'God is not the author of confusion' quote reminds me of a time a guy in my bible study group said, in all seriousness, "Our God is not a confusing God."  That got a big WTF from me, even at a time I was fully in my faith!

 

Just goes to show you how blind we and others really were.

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Oh yeah, I had plenty of information about apologetics and my parents were all into the christian thing. For example, when I was a little kid, our family went over to someone else house for a weekly bible study (complete with original language studies, not just fluffy feel-good nonsense) and there wasn't a separate nursery or anything, so at first I just played with toys in the same room, and when I was a bit older I just talked with the adults. The parents read a chapter of the bible at us every night (yes, even in high school and when we were home during college; mom used to get angry every time my sister went to bed at a reasonable time to get up for work without waiting for everyone to gather 'round for the daily read).

 

The only thing I might have been missing was #1, since I had some issues with the "assurance of salvation" because I was never entirely sure if I'd meant the prayer enough for it to count. Eventually I just gave up on trying to figure that out.

 

I do wonder, sometimes, if I'd have stayed in the church if it were a more liberal denomination. I'm pretty sure young earth creationism was one of the things that made me realize that christians really didn't get the points of view they were arguing against. I fell for it when I was younger, but the more I thought about it, and then met people who honestly accepted evolution and an old age of the earth without being beligerent god-haters, the more I wondered how much my upbringing had mis-represented the rest of humanity. I find it amusing, now, to realize that one reason I left was that christians consistently bear false witness against their neighbors, and I find that immoral.

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