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Emotions Are The Glue


Seabiscuit
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You know after reading many posts here (mostly in testimonials) and talking to friends who found christianity a fairytale from the start, I've been wondering what made me stay for as long as I did. Now, in my own defense, I "left church" over ten years ago. What stuck with me was the fear that "they" might be right.

 

When I read all of the errors of thinking in the bible, I wonder how I was so gullible. I was never one to delve deep into the facts. Facts were served to me from my family and from church folks. What kept me put were all the emotions that went with christianity. Emotions like god really loves little 'ol me? Or, the end times are coming get ready fast no time to think. Drama! That's what kept me hooked from the time I was very little until I was 27 years old or so.

 

With my christian beliefs, I was never without some action to take. You're dying of cancer; I'll pray. Dad's having trouble with work, we'll pray. I feel sad and I'm not suppose to, I'll pray. Now, I have a friend dying of cancer and all I can do is support him. I no longer believe in prayer. What do I do with all my emotions now? Fear! Fear was a biggie growing up. No matter what questions I asked I had to believe because fear was around every corner, in ever one of my pockets, and in every wrinkle of my brain.

 

Maybe it's not emotions but control or a mix of both? How come it took so long to see christianity for what it was? Was I just stupid? I asked a ton of questions. I didn't like all the answers, but then life wasn't meant to be comfortable or so they said.

 

Come to think of it, life's pretty comfortable now without christianity--they were wrong about that too. Boy, am I gullible! :Doh:

 

What kept you hooked and for how long?

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My whole family is Christian, so I was born and raised in it, and totally believed all the fairytales. Got "born again" at 7, speaking in tongues at 12, read the whole frigging Bible 3-4 times, and the NT probably 10, struggled with faith some years ago, and all of a sudden it just vanished. Roughly 30 years of delusion.

 

The details you can read in the ex-imony section.

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Emotions are definitely a huge part of my own reasons for staying. My faither was strongest in the five years after my dad died... it helped me deal with grief, but on the other hand, I couldn't help the nightmares and fear that came from believing he was in Hel. I also thought that the apologists were right and made sense... whoopsie!

 

Life IS much better without Christianity. It takes a while to get used to the fact that no one is around to tell you what to do in every situation... Godidit was a nice explanation for a lot of things too. But at least I have only myself to answer to, and it makes me able to have some self worth, whereas before... well, it's complicated, but you know what I mean.

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....

What kept you hooked and for how long?

 

Christianity gave me structure growing up, but when I turned 21 I wised up to the irrational nature of all religions and had to bag it. My whole family is christian, so it certainly was the path of least resistance. As far as I know, I'm the only apostate in the whole family. Whatever.

 

The church provided lots of friends and I really enjoyed (and miss) that part of it. But not the conformity part of it, or the constant self/group evaluation, you know, "am I reading enough scripture? Am I praying enough?"

 

I was a christian about 10 years.

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Emotions I'm sure can be a big deal. Witness Pentecostalism, for instance.WHOO WHOO!

 

The idea of a big all loving Father who didn't care that I was ugly and fat and socially retarded (social anxiety)... Yeah, a nice emotion. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"

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I've always been artistically inclined, so I feel a deep, spiritual joy when I encounter beauty. It doesn't matter if it is a spectacle of nature or a man-made work of art, I feel very moved by and attracted to anything lovely.

 

The Catholic Church is full of beauty, so I felt great joy being part of it. I didn't question the details of my faith anymore than I question the details of my home's plumbing system, as long as it works I don't care.

 

But then it stopped working, and the mess it made was the spiritual equivalent of a sewer backup. Suddenly the details of how the thing works become a matter of life and death -- you can't just ignore the stench and live with it.

 

A good plumber can fix a sewer problem, and a biohazard team can fix the mess, but nothing can fix Christianity. Once you open your eyes to that all you want to do is get away from the putrid rot.

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What kept you hooked and for how long?

 

A lot of odd things, really. First, I was a little different than most other youngsters in my time. I was rebellious, but not against my parents or my upbringing - I was rebellious more against youth pop culture. I always had more acceptance at home than amongst "peers", so when I started getting rebellious and deeper-thinking like all kids eventually do, I rebelled, but against the current pop culture of the time. I shaved my head, listened to heavy metal (not at the height of popularity back then, in the early-mid 90s), wore all black - and went to church, read the Holah Babble, prayed the Rosary and jumped head-first into Catholic studies, even resumed serving Mass as an Acolyte. Yup, I was an odd one, and it was that spirit of rebellion and adherence to something traditional in opposition to the nihilism and self-destruction of youth culture that was the first hook that kept me stuck to Xianity. Were it not for that, I'd have probably dumped Xianity as a teenager.

 

That held most of my life till now. Reason and facts always trump emotionalism, and I just couldn't ignore the facts anymore. Xianity was not this wonderful source of traditionalism or "family values" or morality, like I once thought it was (check my thread "Christianity as I Saw It" for more on this). Xianity is an antihuman pacifistic doomsday-obsessed deathcult that is 2000 years past its expiration date and does nothing but promote self-hatred and slavery to a god which clearly does not exist. When I finally admitted that to myself, I pulled the hook out of my mouth and got free.

 

Emotions keep a lot of people stuck to Xianity. Not just the fear of burning forever, but good emotions, too. I know a lot of folks who just can't see why anyone would dump Xianity when Jesus was such a nice god to suffer and die for us. They are suckered in by all the luuuv; the luuuv of Gawd, the luuuv of Jeezus, luuuv luuuv luuuv. They are programmed to think it's somehow an act of love for their god to come to earth, let himself get killed to convince himself to change his mind, and then hold that as a gun to our head saying "have faith in this act or burn forever!". They don't stop once to think of it like that, and are all caught up in how luuuving the Lard Gawd is to have suffered any sort of discomfort to save their worthless, sin-riddled souls.

 

Emotionalism trumps truth for those who don't dare to question.

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I was hooked for 14 years. The first couple years weren't so bad, but as time went on my church was becoming more fundamentalist, and I saw discrepancies between how people acted and what the bible said, and then upon looking closer, I saw discrepancies in the bible itself...well, one thing led to another. At first, I just assumed I was given wrong teaching or interpretation, so I began what I thought was a search for "true" Christianity. I examined other denominational teachings (outside of my Protestant holiness background); especially Pentecostalism, as they claimed to have further revelations and anointings, or whatever, than other churches. I even visited a few charismatic churches. But while searching info on this movement, I ran across Hank Hanegraaf, who said the Pentecostals were really promoting a false gospel, mixing in new age beliefs. I wanted to make sure he was correct, so I went out and read some new age materials. And...it was like a light bulb lit up in my brain. Whatever you think about the new age movement (and I don't follow that now), they at least have a positive view of humanity, and certainly promote more self-esteem and self-discovery than the Christian religion does. I knew I would leave my church once I started studying this new viewpoint. After going to a Unity church for awhile, I saw problems there, too, similar to what went on at my previous church, concerning both congregational politics and doctrinal/dogmatic issues. I guess once I started questioning Christianity, and saw its problems, I was keen to pick up problems in any belief system. I now pretty much am seeking out ethical ways of living, and letting that be my guide. I have a respect for Taoist philosophy, and attend a Unitarian church, where you can pretty much believe (or not believe) anything. I am free to grow and change.

 

To sum up...I stayed too long in the church because I was doing careful research of Christianity; I really wanted Christianity to be true. In the end, my searching for the "real and true" faith actually led me away from the fold. No wonder evangelical/fundamentalists don't want you to ask questions!

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I've always been artistically inclined, so I feel a deep, spiritual joy when I encounter beauty. It doesn't matter if it is a spectacle of nature or a man-made work of art, I feel very moved by and attracted to anything lovely.

 

You said very well what I think has kept me stuck in christianity stuff. I too am deeply moved by beauty. I pick up emotions easily and can feel deep empathy for others. I've heard many people say that when they were quiet or seeking god (yuck I hate all those terms!) nothing happened. That wasn't true for me.

 

I've lived for years with a still small voice that was like an intense presence. I've been away from church for years. I guess I had an "attic full of christian beliefs" and just didn't want to get rid of everything.

 

Now I do. I want it all to just go! I've been thinking a lot about there not being a god. Then what was with that sense of Devine presence? Was that just me talking to myself? I hope I don't sound too nuts here, but I really believed that I had a personal relationship with god.

 

This wasn't just any voice; it kept me from doing myself in. It kept me getting up after hard falls of failure. It gave me courage and it should me beauty. But now I can't believe in that christian god any more. Not one that murders and destroys! (I've never been clearer then after reading the thread on god and rape.) There's nothing beautiful about that christian god. I want all of it to go! I guess I figured that if I kept my christian beliefs in the attic then I'd be safe from that horrid god of my childhood. I wouldn't go to hell after all. (Except that I did toss my bible into the garbage. So maybe its always been too late for me :dumbo: )

 

I realized this morning that after my abusive christian experience I've been looking for a safe place to be. After years of being hit in the name of god, all I really want is safety. As it turns out, no religion has a safe place for me.

 

After hours of sadness while thinking about all this and some tears, I guess I was stronger then I thought. Maybe I am courageous. Maybe I find beauty by myself. Maybe I embrace the wonderful parts of life because that's what I seek. Maybe the people whom I dearly love and who love me are here in my life because I found them by myself.

 

I've no idea if this is too personal for a board like this, but I feel so afraid to let it all go. Toss out ALL the christian beliefs--even the ones that felt good to me. I'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow without that still small comforting voice that got me through life this far. With tears in my eyes as I write this, I'd rather know the truth and live "real" then play anymore religious games with myself. I'd like clear head and a clear mental attic. I just hope I don't lose my grip on life in the process.

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I've no idea if this is too personal for a board like this, but I feel so afraid to let it all go. Toss out ALL the christian beliefs--even the ones that felt good to me. I'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow without that still small comforting voice that got me through life this far. With tears in my eyes as I write this, I'd rather know the truth and live "real" then play anymore religious games with myself. I'd like clear head and a clear mental attic. I just hope I don't lose my grip on life in the process.

Life is the process.

 

Whatever "process" you're going through, that's your life.

 

And never worry about saying things here that are too personal. What could be more personal than an emetic cleansing of all the crap polluting one's natural connection to existence --? Yet that's what we're all doing here in Dave's House.

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You know after reading many posts here (mostly in testimonials) and talking to friends who found christianity a fairytale from the start, I've been wondering what made me stay for as long as I did. Now, in my own defense, I "left church" over ten years ago. What stuck with me was the fear that "they" might be right.

 

When I read all of the errors of thinking in the bible, I wonder how I was so gullible. I was never one to delve deep into the facts. Facts were served to me from my family and from church folks. What kept me put were all the emotions that went with christianity. Emotions like god really loves little 'ol me? Or, the end times are coming get ready fast no time to think. Drama! That's what kept me hooked from the time I was very little until I was 27 years old or so.

 

With my christian beliefs, I was never without some action to take. You're dying of cancer; I'll pray. Dad's having trouble with work, we'll pray. I feel sad and I'm not suppose to, I'll pray. Now, I have a friend dying of cancer and all I can do is support him. I no longer believe in prayer. What do I do with all my emotions now? Fear! Fear was a biggie growing up. No matter what questions I asked I had to believe because fear was around every corner, in ever one of my pockets, and in every wrinkle of my brain.

 

Maybe it's not emotions but control or a mix of both? How come it took so long to see christianity for what it was? Was I just stupid? I asked a ton of questions. I didn't like all the answers, but then life wasn't meant to be comfortable or so they said.

 

Come to think of it, life's pretty comfortable now without christianity--they were wrong about that too. Boy, am I gullible! :Doh:

 

What kept you hooked and for how long?

 

What kept me in it was my fear of rejection from my family and friends. I was terrified that everyone I knew would hate me if I deconverted. I hadn't believed in it literally since high school, but I went along with going to church because I was expected to, especially when I was in college.

 

I told my parents and they took it well enough, but I knew they didn't take it literally, they just go to church for the socialization. I never had any close friends in church, so I didn't have as much of a reason to stay as they did. I met my closest friends in college and in the Star Trek fan club I joined there.

 

I've never been outgoing and it seems to me that church is constructed primarily for extraverted people. If you are introverted, you really have no reason to have to go to church other than guilt or fear. It was mostly the guilt and my family's expectation that made me go. Once I realized I didn't believe in hell anymore, I had no reason to keep going.

 

As for emotions, I deal with them by writing. I journal both online and offline, and I write poetry and short stories. It helps immensely.

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After hours of sadness while thinking about all this and some tears, I guess I was stronger then I thought. Maybe I am courageous. Maybe I find beauty by myself. Maybe I embrace the wonderful parts of life because that's what I seek. Maybe the people whom I dearly love and who love me are here in my life because I found them by myself.

 

When I realized this, it took my breath away. The really wonderful things that I attributed to god are really parts of me! I am that divine presence! I AM! What a great gift to discover in one's own life.

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I've no idea if this is too personal for a board like this, but I feel so afraid to let it all go. Toss out ALL the christian beliefs--even the ones that felt good to me. I'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow without that still small comforting voice that got me through life this far. With tears in my eyes as I write this, I'd rather know the truth and live "real" then play anymore religious games with myself. I'd like clear head and a clear mental attic. I just hope I don't lose my grip on life in the process.

Life is the process.

 

Whatever "process" you're going through, that's your life.

 

And never worry about saying things here that are too personal. What could be more personal than an emetic cleansing of all the crap polluting one's natural connection to existence --? Yet that's what we're all doing here in Dave's House.

 

The feedback here has been extremely helpful! AND I've been thinking about my current state being my "life process." So many things in life tell us that we've yet to arrive. So after we've, obtained enlightenment, gone to heaven, or lost weight, we'll arrive to at the door step of life all happy and such.

 

I no longer wish to gain something so I can be "out there." Being here is what's most important. So, in a sense I've arrived. :woohoo:

 

Soul in Triumph (previously known as Soul in Crisis) thanks for your statement about finding a beautiful gift. That is exactly what I'm coming to at this point in my "get rid of the rest of your xian beliefs" process. Yes, it is a beautiful gift!

 

It's amazing and frightening to think about it's just me. All that I choose to be and do is up to me. I'm not pleasing some bible god or appeasing. It's just about choosing to be a good and honest person 'cause that's what I want. Very freeing. I don't need or want bible god in my life anymore. (Now I just have to tell my mother :ugh: ) :-)

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Guest Beyond_Belief

Many Christian testimonies I've heard on Christian radio seem to involve crying or weeping at the moment Jesus or the Holy Spirit `enters' them :wicked:

 

So emotion is heavily involved in conversion at least.

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I've always been artistically inclined, so I feel a deep, spiritual joy when I encounter beauty. It doesn't matter if it is a spectacle of nature or a man-made work of art, I feel very moved by and attracted to anything lovely.

 

You said very well what I think has kept me stuck in christianity stuff. I too am deeply moved by beauty. I pick up emotions easily and can feel deep empathy for others. I've heard many people say that when they were quiet or seeking god (yuck I hate all those terms!) nothing happened. That wasn't true for me.

 

I've lived for years with a still small voice that was like an intense presence. I've been away from church for years. I guess I had an "attic full of christian beliefs" and just didn't want to get rid of everything.

 

Now I do. I want it all to just go! I've been thinking a lot about there not being a god. Then what was with that sense of Devine presence? Was that just me talking to myself? I hope I don't sound too nuts here, but I really believed that I had a personal relationship with god.

 

This wasn't just any voice; it kept me from doing myself in. It kept me getting up after hard falls of failure. It gave me courage and it should me beauty. But now I can't believe in that christian god any more. Not one that murders and destroys! (I've never been clearer then after reading the thread on god and rape.) There's nothing beautiful about that christian god. I want all of it to go! I guess I figured that if I kept my christian beliefs in the attic then I'd be safe from that horrid god of my childhood. I wouldn't go to hell after all. (Except that I did toss my bible into the garbage. So maybe its always been too late for me :dumbo: )

 

I realized this morning that after my abusive christian experience I've been looking for a safe place to be. After years of being hit in the name of god, all I really want is safety. As it turns out, no religion has a safe place for me.

 

After hours of sadness while thinking about all this and some tears, I guess I was stronger then I thought. Maybe I am courageous. Maybe I find beauty by myself. Maybe I embrace the wonderful parts of life because that's what I seek. Maybe the people whom I dearly love and who love me are here in my life because I found them by myself.

 

I've no idea if this is too personal for a board like this, but I feel so afraid to let it all go. Toss out ALL the christian beliefs--even the ones that felt good to me. I'm so afraid that I'll wake up tomorrow without that still small comforting voice that got me through life this far. With tears in my eyes as I write this, I'd rather know the truth and live "real" then play anymore religious games with myself. I'd like clear head and a clear mental attic. I just hope I don't lose my grip on life in the process.

Please don't drop that voice. It isn't the Christian god, it is you own intuition and it is geniune. I believe this voice is god (for lack of a better word) because I believe that we are all parts of god. It is what was born in us and it can be trusted. It is life itself. It is what made us reach up for our loved ones when we were children. It is what is seen as genuine in children. It is natural to be loving. God is natural.

 

These are just my opinions of course, but I think god is not something that is outside talking to us...god is us and everything else. We just have to trust our nature and that is where god resides. I hope I helped a little.

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