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I'm Thinking Of Going Back To Christianity, To A Less Crazy Version Anyway


zeldarocks
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I've been doing some introspection over the last 24 hours; having come to the conclusion that had I remained in the Calvinist, Reformed Church of my upbringing, I would likely still be a Christian. I've found that the Reformed Tradition tends to be considerably less crazy and Fundamentalist, and overall less apocalyptic than the Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical branch.

 

I don't know... If anything, consider this me thinking out loud and considering what might have been...

What do you guys think? Should I give it another shot?

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If you still believe the Christian mythology to be true, then worship it wherever you feel comfortable. If you're just looking to be in a comfortable or familiar social setting, then you're doing yourself a disservice. Only you know how much magic you can believe.

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As long as you don't hurt anybody else it's all good.

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It's whatever you are comfortable believing.

 

I can genuinely say that I care not one jot whether you believe in some version of Christianity - provided you don't try to evangelize.

 

Years ago I wondered something similar.  For me, the nonsense of fundamentalism so poisoned Christianity that it was an impossible step.  I know someone who took a different approach and would now claim Christ as his deity - albeit not in any readily recognizable Christian form.

 

Take your time and think it through is very good advice

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Whatever makes you happy. I will say that I personally find Reformed doctrine one of the more disturbing sects of Christianity, because of God knowingly creating people who have zero chance of avoiding hell.

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If my parents weren't crazy people I might still be Christian too. I like to focus on reality and the way things actually are now, rather than what if situations. Do what makes you happy though. :)

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I started out in the Calvinist/Reformed camp. By the time I was 16 I had figured out that it was an illogical set of ideas. After I left, the illogical nature of the movement became more obvious. It's as if it looks like a fine house when you're standing inside it, but when you walk outside and cross the street and look back, you realize it's a wreck, and that the wallpaper was holding up the walls. It's a free universe, do what you want, but I personally wouldn't do it.

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I've always thought along these lines...leave religion for the right reasons, but make sure you stay for the right reasons, too. (if one should choose either path)

 

Only you know. smile.png

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Religion is just philosophy with stories and superstitions and rituals mixed in. Everyone needs philosophy in their life, but the mythology of religion is extraneous at best, and potentially misleading and harmful.

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I've been doing some introspection over the last 24 hours; having come to the conclusion that had I remained in the Calvinist, Reformed Church of my upbringing, I would likely still be a Christian. I've found that the Reformed Tradition tends to be considerably less crazy and Fundamentalist, and overall less apocalyptic than the Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical branch.

 

I don't know... If anything, consider this me thinking out loud and considering what might have been...

 

What do you guys think? Should I give it another shot?

 

Speaking as a Dutch Christian Reformed boy that once in the sixties eagerly raised his hand and quoted a verse that proved Once Saved Always Saved, I'd say go ahead.

 

Only you can decide what you believe and what you don't believe, and if you really believed as a child, no Hell awaits you. In other words, take your time to make up your own mind, either way it'll work out for you.

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I've been doing some introspection over the last 24 hours; having come to the conclusion that had I remained in the Calvinist, Reformed Church of my upbringing, I would likely still be a Christian. I've found that the Reformed Tradition tends to be considerably less crazy and Fundamentalist, and overall less apocalyptic than the Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical branch.

 

I don't know... If anything, consider this me thinking out loud and considering what might have been...

 

What do you guys think? Should I give it another shot?

 

I think you should just say no.

 

Religion is like a drug. You think you can get just a little fix just one more time... this time i will get it right bs... Believe me you are in denial and you need to stay far away from this crap.

 

Don't do yourself the disservice of going backwards. If you are out now stay out and save yourself.

 

The only thing in the mind of people like me that you could have been is a follower in your own life rather than your own leader. As long as religion has its teeth in you, you are nothing but food for that monster.

 

Is there some specific reason you are even thinking about going back?

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Zelda : I am saying this as someone raised in a Reformed tradition.  The theology is every bit as screwy as the more fundie groups; they are just more polite about it, and more bookish.  It's the same screwy logic.  THe two big questions for you are:

 

1. How much of it, if any, is true?

2. What can you live with?

 

But your OP is a yes or no question, so if that's what you're looking for I would say emphatically NO.  

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It seems as though I am looking at it through the nostalgia-goggles:

I first became a Christian within the Calvinist Tradition (incidentally enough within Sovereign Grace Ministries) and have nothing but fond memories toward absolutely everything from that period, be it the Church, the people, the music, and the doctrine (I like me some OSAS).

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I can definitely relate.. you're not alone.

 

There's no deadline for this stuff.. it is your life and only you can decide.

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I can definitely relate.. you're not alone.

 

There's no deadline for this stuff.. it is your life and only you can decide.

 

He would never have said anything here if he could decide all on his own. Frankly it would be a disservice to himself if he goes back now but he can always try again in the future assuming he gets one. You never know what tomorrow brings and I for one don't worry about what may be I worry about what is and try to shape what might be based on that and what was.

 

thankfully it is his life and if we don't like it or agree we can just move on and leave him to it. I for one would rather not see him end up as fodder to the monster.

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I've often wondered what would have happened if I had been raised in the much more lax Lutheran tradition of my grandparents, rather than in the drunk-in-the-spirit pentecostal tradition.  Maybe I would have remained christian, I don't know.

 

However, as others have mentioned, it really boils down to what you are willing to believe.  For me it is impossible to believe that jesus is the son of god, the messiah, the savior who paid the price for my sin.  It is equally impossible for me to believe that yahweh is the one true god whose love for us prompted him to sacrifice his only son.  I can believe these things no more than I can believe that there is no god but allah and mohammed is his prophet; or that Joseph Smith was given divine revelation in the form of golden plates.

 

If you are willing to believe that the christian religion is true, or that one particular version of christian doctrine is correct, then, by all means, follow that tradition.  If you can't believe it, but want/need the social connectivity offered by the church, then you really are being unfair and untrue to yourself.  It may take time, but you can find other ways of fulfilling your social needs.

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If it makes you happy to pretend to believe silly things that you deep-down know aren't true, go ahead and try. I think you are too smart to be satisfied by that for long, but only you can decide.

 

And, like others said, please don't do any harm while in the christian mode -- i.e., don't drag others into it, and don't act (including voting) to repress/discriminate against other people.

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I've been doing some introspection over the last 24 hours; having come to the conclusion that had I remained in the Calvinist, Reformed Church of my upbringing, I would likely still be a Christian. I've found that the Reformed Tradition tends to be considerably less crazy and Fundamentalist, and overall less apocalyptic than the Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical branch.

 

I don't know... If anything, consider this me thinking out loud and considering what might have been...

 

What do you guys think? Should I give it another shot?

 

At least tell your parents you believe, love, worship Jesus. Even if you dont. Until you can leave home.

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Why not try a liberal church or Unitarian Universalism?

 

What may help is relieving yourself of the idea that you have to make a decision right away and it must be a permanent one.  Believe what you believe today, you can make tomorrow's decision tomorrow.

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It seems as though I am looking at it through the nostalgia-goggles:

 

I first became a Christian within the Calvinist Tradition (incidentally enough within Sovereign Grace Ministries) and have nothing but fond memories toward absolutely everything from that period, be it the Church, the people, the music, and the doctrine (I like me some OSAS).

Ha! I was in SGM, and have had the *exact* opposite thought:if I had been in a progressive liberal Christian sect instead of fundyish neo-calvinist wacko SGM, would I still be a Christian? Probably, so just as well to me. :)

 

Personally I think sgm is a cultish controlling authoritarian place, so I would recommend finding your reformed calvinism elsewhere if that's what you are looking for.

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Had my faith not been irreparably destroyed beyond recognition by all the turmoil the last church I visited caused me, I'd have probably gone to a different branch of xtianity instead. Early on, there was a time when I thought about going back, but then I remembered why I left. 

 

Do this. Remember why you left church in the first place. What is it that you miss about church? Is it the community setting? Is it the social aspects? Maybe there are local meetups you can try in lieu of church, the good ones offer a sense of community and may be what you're really looking for instead. Is it the weekly rituals? Go somewhere on Sundays instead, like Walmart or the mall, whatever's open. Do something fun with your family if they're on your side, or even with a friend. 

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Zeldarocks,

 

Here is my response, and I went through a lot of this consideration over and over. I confess I'm not that familiar with the liberal Christianities, even though my parents went to a church when I was a teen which had some of this. They were successful in keeping up the evangelical bubble, just as North Korean parents are capable of keeping up the North Korean bubble around students who leave for a year or so.

That being said, the Daughter had moved out, we had moved, and now it was just the Wife and I. Time to redecide on a church. This issue for you is about you, not me. But when I considered the idea of convincing Her to go to a more liberal church, I had to ask myself the following questions:

 - Do I believe in God?

- What do I think about the Bible?

- What do I think of Jesus?

I had a few more questions for myself that I had to weigh under careful consideration. This is because if we went, and She disagreed with some liberal thought, and I was either ambivalent about it, or maybe even agreed with it, I would again be on the wrong side.

I don't know if you're married or not, if you're worried about what your parents think or not. But you need to figure out what it is you are looking for. I understand if the "do what makes you happy" maxim doesn't work for you. I confess, it has never made sense to me in full either. I never even got it when Christians like my mother and others would become extremely animated and panick-stricken whenever they heard it. Some of us find out what works by sorting things out. I'm positing that for you, this is figure-out-able. It was for me. Whatever brand of Christianity ™ you were to belong to, your way in is going to be through belief. Belief in some rather basic tenants, including the sin nature of humanity, being good without God is impossible, Christ died for your sins, you are nothing without Him. And a few more, plus whatever tenants apply to the specific brand you wish to ascribe. And when you do join, you will need to profess, more or less convincingly, that you do believe these things. Look at this totally areligiously: Let us say that you wish to become a professing Feminist. Now, you may or may not believe all the stuff the kids write about on Tumblr, claiming that a man looking at a woman is rape, or that for every single sexual move during foreplay and sex the man should ask before making any moves. You may be grown up enough to find all of that stuff juvenile. But in order to become a Feminist, you must at least believe in their concept called Patriarchy. You must believe, as a male, that you are at least somewhat responsible for a whole list of ills. In other words, you must believe in a reformed Original Sin, for males at least. There are very moderate, very humanistic, very intelligent Feminists. I have learned a lot from a few. But what separates them from plain old gender egalitarians or human egalitarians in general, is that their belief is that gender discrimination trumps all: greater than the 70% unemployed rate among the blind. Greater than the racial issues. Trafficking in girls is a greater "sin" than the trafficking in boys used for slave manual labor. That doesn't make them right, that doesn't make them wrong. But there is a separation and a distinction. And frankly, it was one such intelligent coherent Feminist who laid this out for me, and called me a gender egalitarian. In contrast to herself. I'm too old and a bit too battle-hardened, as it were, to be offended by labels, especially when explained with such rational clarity. I say all this, because I can't call myself one of them. I can sympathize with many things many of them are into. I'm an ally on many things. But due to some differences of belief, I can't claim I am one.

In the same way, I can't claim myself a Christian. only way more so, because while I support Christians' natural rights as I do anyone else's, I don't believe any of their spiritual claims.

An ideology or a religion requires you to believe certain things in order to be part of it. That's why, although I was a Libertarian when I was younger, I don't call myself that now. My thought system has evolved, and I simply don't buy all their claims. Some of them, yes. A great many of them, not anymore.

These are just my thoughts, as ideologically unorthodox as they might well be on a lot of levels to a lot of people. It is how I ultimately concluded I wasn't a Christian at all, and my mind caught up with my emotions, creating synchronisity within myself.

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The question seems to me to be a little ironic, given that Calvinism is littered with the notion that there is no real choice to be made. God will either choose you to be saved, or He will not. He will either reveal himself to you, or He will not. Moreover, once He has chosen you there is no going back. You cannot recant your faith. You are either a truly saved for all eternity, or you never believed at all. So it seems to me that if Calvinism is true, then there is nothing to worry about. The matter is already decided. If you are meant to be saved, you will find not returning to the faith to be literally impossible.

 

Seriously though. Whatever makes you happy.

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The latest I read of a Calvinist was they have changed somewhat. They think you are predestined, yes. But if you are predestined, you will always have seeds of belief, or even seeds of doubt in your unbelief, that will ultimately draw you to their god ™ again. It sounds like phony bologna to me, too. But, apparently some of them are trying to account for the challenges.

On another note, I always wondered how Calvinist missionaries did what they did, outside of supporting the dominating political regimes I mean. Why go, if people are already chosen?

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On another note, I always wondered how Calvinist missionaries did what they did, outside of supporting the dominating political regimes I mean. Why go, if people are already chosen?

Calvinist missionaries believe that their destiny is to be the means by which God reaches the elect.

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