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To Be Christian Is To Refuse To Enjoy Life


SBeeland
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I've read so many Christian philosophy books and tried to understand the Bible as best as I can and asked "intellectual" Christians so many questions but I never get the answers, so I'm going to say this here and see what the people here think.

 

I've come to the conclusion that to be Christian is to refuse to enjoy life. Since most of life's pleasures are sinful, I see it this way; I can either try my best not to sin and live a truly dull and boring life, truly believe that God's promise is real, and join him in eternal happiness when I die, or enjoy life as I see fit and hope God's not real, so I don't go to Hell. Because I don't see how you could possibly not go to Hell if you enjoy life. Think of all the things that are considered sinful and would keep you out of Heaven; almost all sexual contact, just about everything associated with the Earth, and even thinking about certain things. If I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to masturbate, and that's it. Why should I feel guilty about it? That's like God riding a horse and dangling a carrot in front of the horse so he'll never catch it now matter how much he runs. I happen to like animals, but according to God, I'm not allowed to worry about them and the problems they have, because this world isn't really all that important. I can go on and on. And the Christian always says "repent" but how is that possible? Even if someone repents and messes up once, they have to do it all over again and then just hope they did enough to be forgiven. I'm not going to feel ashamed for two weeks just because I looked at porn for three seconds, when it could mess up my job or cause me to lose money, but Christianity tells me that repenting is more important.

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Since xtians are supposed to be "in the world, but not of the world," it's very important that they not be too much "into" actual life. They need to feel guilty and persecuted to be assured of their salvation.

 

Even their weddings are glum. There's a lot of talk about how marriage is supposed to be forever, through everything, holy - but nary a mention that it should be happy.

 

I wind up going back once a year for my mom's church Mothers Day banquet. Most of the folks there are afraid to be happy even for a banquet. They'll talk about how dangerous society is... And someone always reads the onerous bit from Proverbs about "the good wife."

 

No wonder I have anxiety issues...

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Sheeesh.......

 

You've got a very short list of what it means to enjoy life if you really believe everything in your opening post.

 

 

Other than some lousy circumstances over the last 5 months...............I'm one of the happiest people I know. Even with those circumstances I'm one of that happiest people I know.

 

In fact, when something takes away my joy.......ah, never mind.

 

Tell me what I'm missing. :shrug:

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Um...yeah, while I'm not a Christian, there is more to life than sex.

 

Like food, water, books, music, movies, computer games, the Internet, TV, and friends. Of course, the church also condemns some of those things, like books, movies, music, websites, or TV shows that actually make you think, as well as friends who aren't Real True Christians . Funny how that works, isn't it?

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If I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to masturbate, and that's it.

 

Now, that's the spirit of true blasphemy that I love. It brings tears to my eyes. If you want to also use that as a tool to deprogram yourself, try doing it in full view of a big sad crucifix and say "amen" when you're done. That will either help you or scare the crap out of you, one or the other. Either way, it will throw a lot of unconcious psychological shit squarely in the fans pathway, and get something moving in your life.

 

And a previous poster is absolutely right, there is more to life than sex. And whenever we talk to women, it is a good idea to pretend we care about those things as much as they pretend to....it's just easier, trust me.....

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If I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to masturbate, and that's it.

 

Now, that's the spirit of true blasphemy that I love. It brings tears to my eyes. If you want to also use that as a tool to deprogram yourself, try doing it in full view of a big sad crucifix and say "amen" when you're done. That will either help you or scare the crap out of you, one or the other. Either way, it will through a lot of unconcious psychological shit squarely in the fans pathway, and get something moving in your life.

 

And a previous poster id absolutely right, there is more to life than sex. And whenever we talk to women, it is a good idea to pretend we care as much about those things as much as they pretend to....it's just easier, trust me.....

 

I'm sorry if it sounded like I'm a Christian, as it couldn't be farther from the truth, heh.

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I guess I'm in the wrong place. Thanks for your time.

Dont let the posts of a few turn you away from this site. I see what you are saying, and I agree. Christianitys main point in not doing "evil" things is because it offends God. Many of these things though, you shouldnt do because of common sense and because it may hurt others. Some of these things are human nature and SHOULD be done no matter what any holy book says.

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Sheeesh.......

 

You've got a very short list of what it means to enjoy life if you really believe everything in your opening post.

 

 

Other than some lousy circumstances over the last 5 months...............I'm one of the happiest people I know. Even with those circumstances I'm one of that happiest people I know.

 

In fact, when something takes away my joy.......ah, never mind.

 

Tell me what I'm missing. :shrug:

 

Yes Sofia, but you are pretty broad minded. Are you crucifying your flesh and picking up your cross daily? Are you avoiding sinful thoughts? The bible is not exactly clear on how much freedom god gives for one to enjoy life. Some of it gives plenty of freedom to enjoy the good things and not worry too much while other areas of the bible can get you worked up into a lather where you downright detest your own nature and life becomes a constant struggle to deal with the sin that you cannot overcome.

 

My grandfather for example was a very godly man, respected among all who knew him. He appeared happy, he was wealthy, he had a load of healthy grandchildren who all turned out to be successful in their own right and he basically lived the American dream. On more than one occasion, however, my cousin and I both caught him sneaking peaks at the porno channels on his satelight television. Big deal, but knowing him as I did this inner struggle must have been hell for him. Surely he felt his fleshly desires were a huge threat and surely he struggled against thoughts of unforgiveness and self hatred because of the conflicts between his belief system and his body's own natural desire. This is what I think the OP is arguing.

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Hi Sbeeland. I think christianity is an extreme form of religion in general. My take right now is basically this. Ancient peoples saw bad things happen, which they couldn't explain. Being human and highly intelligent, they tried to figure out causes. Being imaginative, they imagined demons, angry ancestors, spirits, etc. as bringing benefit and harm. So they tried to placate these imaginary beings because the alternative - that life is just RANDOM - was even scarier. Plus, it's fun for the powerful in a society to control everyone else, so control of the secret knowledge about the divine world is an ego-raising thing to have. How cool to be the witch doctor of a tribe! Fast forward through the desert tribes, etc. etc. and you wind up with the anxious citizens of late post-industrial capitalism. How better to maintain a hold over people than to be in the power structure of an ideology that tells everyone that bad things that happen are THEIR own fault! And how better to convince people that they're always at fault than to take natural human impulses toward pleasure and define those as sin. So self-assertion becomes pride, natural sex drive becomes lust, enjoyment of food becomes gluttony, etc. etc. St. Paul says the pagans sinned because they worshiped the creature rather than the creator. Realize that this is saying that any enjoyment of the world around us for itself is sin - that you can only enjoy something by bumping it up into the upper storey of religious God-talk?

 

I agree with you that the tendency of religion to define our natural impulses as sinful serves the goal of keeping us always under the control of the people who run the religion. Why shouldn't a teenage girl mess with her own clit , for example? No pregnancy will result. But she's made to feel evil. Result? Religion and its leaders benefit. And there are big bucks in religion.

 

End of rant.

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If I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to masturbate, and that's it.

 

Now, that's the spirit of true blasphemy that I love. It brings tears to my eyes. If you want to also use that as a tool to deprogram yourself, try doing it in full view of a big sad crucifix and say "amen" when you're done. That will either help you or scare the crap out of you, one or the other. Either way, it will throw a lot of unconcious psychological shit squarely in the fans pathway, and get something moving in your life.

 

WTF? how's that blasphemy? They really think so? I thought it was just sin to them. I think even more so, if you've had a really good day at work, you can masturbate. One relieves tension, the other is just fucking fun to do. Gods gift to males :)

 

I always invite God and Jesus to share in the pleasure, I do it all for their pleasure. Glory Glory

 

He created me this way, I embrace it, and thank him very much.

 

 

And a previous poster is absolutely right, there is more to life than sex.

 

And I thank God when it last more than 15 minutes. I know He's listening, because during those 15+ minutes, she was calling His name and giving thanks to Him too. I always thought it was just me, but apparently God's with us in the bed too.

 

Oh God, oh God, oh oh oh oh oh GOD, YES YES YES!

 

And I just love it when I have to peel her off the ceiling. There's no more sacred an act than bring a woman to orgasm. 2nd best is your own, alone or given.

 

 

 

And whenever we talk to women, it is a good idea to pretend we care about those things as much as they pretend to....it's just easier, trust me.....

 

At least in the beginning of the relationship, eh?

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Sheeesh.......

 

You've got a very short list of what it means to enjoy life if you really believe everything in your opening post.

 

 

Other than some lousy circumstances over the last 5 months...............I'm one of the happiest people I know. Even with those circumstances I'm one of that happiest people I know.

 

In fact, when something takes away my joy.......ah, never mind.

 

Tell me what I'm missing. :shrug:

 

Yes Sofia, but you are pretty broad minded. Are you crucifying your flesh and picking up your cross daily? Are you avoiding sinful thoughts? The bible is not exactly clear on how much freedom god gives for one to enjoy life. Some of it gives plenty of freedom to enjoy the good things and not worry too much while other areas of the bible can get you worked up into a lather where you downright detest your own nature and life becomes a constant struggle to deal with the sin that you cannot overcome.

 

My grandfather for example was a very godly man, respected among all who knew him. He appeared happy, he was wealthy, he had a load of healthy grandchildren who all turned out to be successful in their own right and he basically lived the American dream. On more than one occasion, however, my cousin and I both caught him sneaking peaks at the porno channels on his satelight television. Big deal, but knowing him as I did this inner struggle must have been hell for him. Surely he felt his fleshly desires were a huge threat and surely he struggled against thoughts of unforgiveness and self hatred because of the conflicts between his belief system and his body's own natural desire. This is what I think the OP is arguing.

 

 

Hi, Vigile.

 

I hear what you're saying but I guess it's the all or nothing approach that blindsided me. That NONE of us (Christians) are happy because we can't freely participate in sin. That's like me telling you that all Atheist are immoral when I know that not to be true. ;)

 

Regarding your grandfather.........(and me in my own struggles).....it's life and we're human. While I try and do the right thing most of the time there will be times when I don't do the right thing but I also know it down inside and it doesn't feel good. The rules that I live by are what guides my happiness. The standards are in place to protect me in the end and even though I screw up sometimes (as I have done recently), I'm not living in guilt but instead, moving on and trying to do better. Christians screw up all the time, though some will not admit it.

 

But if you think I don't sip on margaritas, do the Rumba and have a great sex life........(because I'm a christian)...nothing could be further from the truth. :woohoo: My husband just happens to be my partner in all three "sins".

 

Regarding the OP..........stick around and talk.

 

 

Sofi

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I suppose it all depends on what sect of the cult you mean. Some Xtians are Xtian in name only and therefore don't really live much differently than a heritic, blasphemer. Others will say your going to burn for drinking alcohol, for enjoying sex, for dancing, ect. And maybe those Xtians are the "right" ones and everyone in YOUR sect or with YOUR beliefs and actions Sofia, is gonna burn.

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I suppose it all depends on what sect of the cult you mean. Some Xtians are Xtian in name only and therefore don't really live much differently than a heritic, blasphemer. Others will say your going to burn for drinking alcohol, for enjoying sex, for dancing, ect. And maybe those Xtians are the "right" ones and everyone in YOUR sect or with YOUR beliefs and actions Sofia, is gonna burn.

 

Not likely. ;)

 

Anyway....show me where it says I can't drink, dance or have sex and be a Christian, too. But be prepared to get a lesson on context.

 

I think the problem is more in the understanding of what a Christian is.

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Hi, Vigile.

 

I hear what you're saying but I guess it's the all or nothing approach that blindsided me. That NONE of us (Christians) are happy because we can't freely participate in sin. That's like me telling you that all Atheist are immoral when I know that not to be true. ;)

 

I agree with you. Frankly, my life hasn't changed all that dramatically since I was a christian. I maintain values that I was raised with and was pretty happy as a christian in general.

 

A couple of exceptions to this rule however are what I think the OP addressed, though perhaps in an exaggerated way...

 

 

Regarding your grandfather.........(and me in my own struggles).....it's life and we're human. While I try and do the right thing most of the time there will be times when I don't do the right thing but I also know it down inside and it doesn't feel good. The rules that I live by are what guides my happiness. The standards are in place to protect me in the end and even though I screw up sometimes (as I have done recently), I'm not living in guilt but instead, moving on and trying to do better. Christians screw up all the time, though some will not admit it.

 

And this is where I'm more free and happy. I no longer view things as "sin" that make baby jesus cry, or what have you. I no longer live a life filled with guilt and frustration. Of course there are limits to behavior if you want to be healthy and maintain a level of balance in your life, but these are not things that betray an inner unworthiness and they are not things that require groveling before a deity for forgiveness. Before I worried about every little sin and was constantly on my knees in repentance. I'm sure my grandfather had similar struggles. These struggles are and were totally unnecessary and if I might add, psychologically unhealthy. Very unhealthy. Realizing that christianity was not true was very, very freeing to me. I really did have an epiphany of the sort normally attributed to a non believer who gets saved. My epiphany however was that I was free from a spirit in the sky waiting to judge me and/or waiting for me to ask forgiveness from. I'm a fairly deep person who experiences things on a deep level so relief from this was very profound.

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Hi SBeeland, I think I understand what you're saying too, at least basically.

 

I've noticed a tendency to refuse to enjoy life among particularly puritanical Xians. It isn't just about sex, either, although those Xians who are most into denying the flesh holler the loudest about sex, I think. I don't know why.

 

I've known at least a couple of very fundiegelical Xians who seemed to have this idea that pleasure in any form was just bad, maybe because if something was pleasurable it took their attention off of god, and that was something Really Really Bad ™. Pleasure from sex, from laughing, from enjoying good food and drink, even from lying in the sun and enjoying the warmth on their skin - I dunno. It was like just this utter mortification of the flesh. And yes, they were very unhappy people.

 

I'm beginning to realize, though, that you can use any excuse to be unhappy, if being unhappy is what you really want. I don't think it's actually Xianity per se that creates that kind of mindset, although it can certainly be used to support and sustain it. I mean look at the Song of Solomon, for instance. You can either look at it like an erotic love poem, or look at it like a metaphor for gawd's love for his church. I don't buy the latter for a Manhattan minute - but then, I'm not convinced that anything having to do with physical pleasure is bad. Just depends on one's viewpoint.

 

The pleasure-hating Xians I've met probably would've found some way to despise pleasure even if they weren't Xian. Some other excuse would've come up - any excuse, really. Anything other than the real heart of the matter, which is that they just hated themselves and didn't want to be happy.

 

Fwiw. Thanks for reading.

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I've come to the conclusion that to be Christian is to refuse to enjoy life.

 

Well, you just need to go by the interpretation that Christians I know use. You see, if you use your Christian liberty then you can party all you want and enjoy sin as much as the next person.

 

Simple really.

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I'm beginning to realize, though, that you can use any excuse to be unhappy, if being unhappy is what you really want. I don't think it's actually Xianity per se that creates that kind of mindset, although it can certainly be used to support and sustain it.

 

I really agree with this view point. There are christian hedonists as well christian puritans. It does seem a lot of the time that religious beliefs are for many about confirming something that was already inherent.

 

When that happens - happiness ensues (some puritans are really happy to be free of wordly desires and pleasures!) when its something forced on a person that conflicts with who they are at their core - unhappiness results.

 

In my teens I rebelled against my christian upbringing for a while. At the time it ended up appearing to 'confirm' the truth of the religion I had been raised in.

 

I thought that 'leaving the faith' meant living a life a promiscuity and drunkeness. Amazing - this made me as miserable if not more so that the constraints of the religion I was fleeing - so I ran back.

 

Its such a simple truth that happiness comes from living a life that makes us happy - its easy sometimes to overlook it.

 

SBeeland - your statement, 'I've come to the conclusion that to be Christian is to refuse to enjoy life' is the truth - if your understanding and definiton of being a christian would result in you being unable to enjoy life!

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But if you think I don't sip on margaritas, do the Rumba and have a great sex life........(because I'm a christian)...nothing could be further from the truth.

 

:twitch:

 

What's wrong with margaritas? I happen to know Christians who make great margaritas.

 

;)

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But if you think I don't sip on margaritas, do the Rumba and have a great sex life........(because I'm a christian)...nothing could be further from the truth.

 

:twitch:

 

What's wrong with margaritas? I happen to know Christians who make great margaritas.

 

;)

 

 

Absolutely nothing. Especially the way I make them. ;)

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And this is where I'm more free and happy. I no longer view things as "sin" that make baby jesus cry, or what have you. I no longer live a life filled with guilt and frustration. Of course there are limits to behavior if you want to be healthy and maintain a level of balance in your life, but these are not things that betray an inner unworthiness and they are not things that require groveling before a deity for forgiveness. Before I worried about every little sin and was constantly on my knees in repentance. I'm sure my grandfather had similar struggles. These struggles are and were totally unnecessary and if I might add, psychologically unhealthy. Very unhealthy. Realizing that christianity was not true was very, very freeing to me. I really did have an epiphany of the sort normally attributed to a non believer who gets saved. My epiphany however was that I was free from a spirit in the sky waiting to judge me and/or waiting for me to ask forgiveness from. I'm a fairly deep person who experiences things on a deep level so relief from this was very profound.

 

I certainly respect your opinion and I'm not sure that we are all that different when it comes down to it. You can call it sin or convictions, values or morals but we all have certain rules that we live by. I imagine that our values are very similar. There is one difference......I also have a Book that guides me but I think many fundamentalist or legalistic Christians have no understanding of the Bible. (Different subject)

 

When I have done something that I know is wrong, I ask for forgiveness from the person I offended and also ask God for forgiveness, but I let it go after that and try and do better next time. I'm not perfect, in fact my "sin" is probably greater than your's.

 

Vigile~ I am glad that you have found peace. I don't see my relationship with God as one who is being watched all day and night by a spirit in the sky waiting to drop the hammer on me. If I felt like that, I'd walk away from it.

 

The pleasure-hating Xians I've met probably would've found some way to despise pleasure even if they weren't Xian. Some other excuse would've come up - any excuse, really. Anything other than the real heart of the matter, which is that they just hated themselves and didn't want to be happy.

 

I also agree with Gwen that in some cases people that have no joy in their life, won't have it no matter what their circumstances are or what they believe. They're just sour people.

 

Sofi

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SBeeland,

 

I hope you are still around, I understand exactly what you are saying. And I understand that you spoke primarily of the sexual "sin" the most, simply becasue it is the easiest and most memorable.

 

Another thing about christianity, that I'm sure you will agree with, is just the whole "Big Brother is watching you" mentality the whole religious culture encourages. Your fellow church members take sadistic pleasure in gossiping about "backsliders" they know......so you know they are watching your behavior. The content of private conversations with the minister somehow make their way into next Sunday's sermon, and though he doesn't mention the name of the person.....you know who this is about, while your fellow parishoners are cagily looking around hoping someone will "give it away" as to specifically who the minister is talking about. THAT is pressure.

 

And then of course you are flat out told that god is watching you every second of every day, intending to ultimately judge you at the end of your life....MORE pressure.

 

It's not even specific sin that becomes the problem with trying to keep it up. It's the non-stop watched feeling that makes living life and enjoying it to the fullest really impossible.

 

When I allowed myself to "let go" of the dogma that had me.....tension I never knew I was carrying melted away. It was a physical sensation of weight being lifted, and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that religion was more emotionally and mentally draining than it was uplifting. I never knew the monkey on my back was so big until it was gone.

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Oh so true...being in the Christian cult means having to be spied on to make sure your not dong anything contrary to the flock. That is a lot of presure knowing your every move is watched by the harpies.

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