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HisGrace

General "Why I Left the Church" Topic

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Welcome, @HisGrace! I completely agree with the points you made on your post. Thank you for sharing it with us! I hope you safely land a job so you can move out and not feel pressured to go to church with your parents! Becoming financially independent was a really big part of my deconversion process. It's super hard in this economy and rising rent prices, though! Keep on trucking!

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Why did I leave church? There are a number of reasons. I was an associate pastor at a Lutheran church. I spent a tremendous amount of time, energy and money in the ministry because I wanted to make a difference “for God”. Admittedly, the deeper reason is..........I wanted to be admired. I was given the responsibility to open up the worship service which, being an introvert, I didn’t like. But I gutted it out. I was sitting in the pulpit one Sunday during the worship service and for the first time as a Christian I wondered, “Why does God need to be worshipped?” Worship in “fear and trembling”? How is that a good thing to demand of anyone? I thought about terms commonly used in the liturgy like “lord, kingdom, servant, throne, bow before him”, and it hit me like a brick upside my head as I was sitting there: What the hell am I doing? I’m involved in some kind of imperialistic belief system that is not appearing to be.........real. This whole church thing is a stage performance. I don’ t want this anymore. I don’t need this.

     Add to the nonsensical idea of worship all the other things I had observed for years in my involvement in church ministry. The politics. The power struggles. The pettiness. The self-righteous pretension. The shame- inducing legalism. The obsession with money. The emotionalism. Arrogant, smooth-talking, pretend-to-know-it-all preachers who try to be your daddy. Church did nothing for me but feed my fear of failure to the point of wanting to commit suicide. I walked away from it all with no goodbyes and no second thought. Today I feel so much better about myself without church and the belief in God.

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On 8/6/2017 at 10:50 AM, SeaJay said:

Why did Jesus have to die for the sins of the world? This is one thought on the matter.

 

Because sin leads to death, spiritual (and physical; the Biblical reason for why everything is in decay). Sin entered the world through one 'man' so the parallel is that it leaves the world through one 'man'. One man brought sin in, so one man takes sin out. Jesus lived a sinless life, so was the perfect sacrifice. 

Such is the theology - theology based on a book with numerous scientific, historical, moral and logical contradictions and inconsistencies, and stories that make no sense. A cut and pasted hodgepodge of confusion. Theology can sound logical. But has any of it been confirmed to be true? Theology is not reality unless it can be confirmed in the reality in which we exist. If not, it cannot be taken seriously.

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I left the church for a number of reasons. Grab some beer and pizza.

 

1. I do not make friends with church people, at least not the fundamentalist Christian types I was raised around. We have nothing in common worth starting a chat.

 

2. The whole worship thing makes no sense to me. I would never want anyone to worship me, and anyone who demands worship is not someone I respect or love, they are a narcissist at best. 

 

3. Churches have the same basic routines.....start with worship, announcements, offering, sermon, and closing song. Its expected and boring. Churches are all about keeping the pews loaded and ppl happy so the money keeps landing in the offering plates.

 

4. I see many evangelical Christians as one dimensional and its hard to conneft with them on any of my interests so I no longer go to church.

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Maybe a late, too late answer, 

 

              But, before saying that sin entered the world through one man, one must define what sin actually is. In this context it seems to be define as a kind of autonomous energy/sickness. That somehow grew bigger and bigger. And that Jesus came, and somehow, gave the cosmos renewed, "pure" energy, let us call it grace, that somehow makes the "sin" energy/sickness go away. A kind of antibiotic. And who takes it, will be free, eventually at least, of this power. In this understanding , his life, and, basically His Ressurection is a kind of energy unleashing event whose vibrations one must participate in. Joining, as it were, in this energy field of salvation through various actions ( physical and spiritual actions like prayer) This event anuls the vibrations of the disobedience and lack of repetance of Adam.  Of course this sounds quite different than the usual sacrifice story.

 

           This does not explain however why Jesus needed to be God, and not just a kind of perfect human, like I understand Islam perceives him.

 

          And what is sacrifice, anyway? I mean God seems to not need anything, so any offering is useless to him. He does not lack anything. He does not need anything in order to be appeased. That means he has a lack in mercy and somehow a human can MAKE a change in God. The whole Moses convincing God not to wipe out the tribe of Israel sounds weird to me. Or The angry God turning soft because of human actions. But, in my own Christian Tradition, The Orthodox one, the Church Fathers have long since said that these are but simple metaphors for simple minded and spiritually very immature people, and they do not describe the Divine being. Not even close. 

 

            Plus if one likes making paralels, actually sin entered the world first through Eve, not Adam. So why not a woman Saviour? Some Orthodox theologians actually said something of the fact the the Virgin Mary kind of participated in this work of salvation, thus redeeming Eve, first. Somehow, through the conception of Jesus, or before, she was also cleansed of all sin, of this energy. 

 

           Interesting to point out that there are more than one, and more than two actually, versions of the meaning of salvation and the work of Jesus. And what love means, what obedience means, what most of things mean in the Bible and reality. Was actually surprised to see this first time I discovered that most people have not the faintest idea of what Jesus was supposed to have done for us and why, I mean the Orthodox view. They rarely even mention him, and instead have this vague notion of a Creator deity. Pretty Jewish in thought and action really. 

 

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@HisGrace, many good questions!

Much the same as things I think about now, well written!

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I left the church because of their shitty coffee.

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On 4/26/2019 at 6:16 PM, florduh said:

I left the church because of their shitty coffee.

 

For the record, all coffee is shitty. Gag! Even the smell is putrid. 😉

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28 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

For the record, all coffee is shitty. Gag! Even the smell is putrid. 😉

You could at least be agnostic about coffee.

 

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10 minutes ago, florduh said:

You could at least be agnostic about coffee.

 

It's the devil's drink 😄

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24 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

It's the devil's drink 😄

 

All the more reason to like it!  Christians generally drink decaf.  Real Men drink real coffee.

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9 hours ago, Citsonga said:

 

For the record, all coffee is shitty. Gag! Even the smell is putrid. 😉

 

Heretic! Blasphemer! I require a minimum of 2 cups in the morning just to get into the shower.  Just more evidence that you never were a real Christian. :P:lmao:

 

What’s next, are you going to tell us you don’t like beer either! :beer: :68:

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4 hours ago, Geezer said:

What’s next, are you going to tell us you don’t like beer either! :beer: :68:

 

Indeed ;)

 

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I'm disgusted by the way many pastors have supposedly figured out the Bible is bogus, but continue to teach it is the word of God. I wish someone had been honest enough to disclose all its baseless essence and vileness when I was starting out as an evangelical at age 27, instead of letting me waste 22 years in the wasteland of evangelical Christianity. None of my " brothers in Christ" seem to want to debate me nowadays 😏, although I  relish the opportunity.  But, I guess the regret of those wasted years is what keeps me far from the Jesus swamp now. Better to wake up at 49,  than die a fool. I've been out for 12 years, and every year of living,  thinking and investigating reality for myself is exhilarating and inspiring. Every once on awhile my sons challenge me to say aloud "F*** Yahweh!"... it's a good elixir.

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On 7/6/2019 at 10:46 AM, Tarlc said:

I'm disgusted by the way many pastors have supposedly figured out the Bible is bogus, but continue to teach it is the word of God.

 

That's understandable, but even though some in that category are full-fledged charlatans, others feel trapped and can't easily get out. The ministry is their vocation and they don't have many transferable skills. With families to support, they have to continue working. I have sympathy for them.

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On 7/12/2017 at 4:38 PM, HisGrace said:

A- One thing I've always struggled with is why Jesus needed to die on the cross in order to save people. I got into a lengthy exchange with a school teacher when I was 7 or 8 about this and never got a satisfactory answer. The Bible makes very clear that god can do anything, so why can't he forgive people without killing someone else? Recently I've thought about this in even more depth and it goes beyond the issue of whether god is omnipotent. Forgiving people because Jesus died doesn't make any sense. If I'm going to forgive someone, I don't insist that some random, unrelated person be punished before I can forgive someone. I can either forgive them or I can't. Someone might respond by saying "but that's why god is merciful" but if he were truly merciful wouldn't he be able to forgive someone without killing an unrelated innocent person? Christians consistently say that we should "forgive as god forgives" but wouldn't that mean that when someone asked our forgiveness we'd have to go and crucify someone first before we could forgive them? That kind of thinking only makes sense in the context of a society built around animal sacrifices. It makes the Bible sound less inspired by an all knowing, timeless god and more like a product of a primitive ancient civilization.

 

Something I wanted to add to this that I thought about during my trouble toying with the notion, if nothing else, then demanding a life, or rather blood, for forgiveness ultimately becomes a self-imposed edict by God. If God is ultimate and nothing exists outside of himself, then demanding blood to forgive is something he required of himself; he instituted it as a method of his forgiveness. So at the end of the day, whenever Christians would go on and on about how gracious Jesus (and especially if Jesus is God) is, it does not really resonate with me, because at the end of the day, Jesus made the whole system up. It is not the same as one of us dying for each other - I would find that to be MORE loving/gracious than I would see as a self-imposed edict being followed out.

 

Maybe there are some nuances to consider - Jesus could have restrained himself and decided not to die, therefore not allowing himself to forgive. I suppose that would garner some merit. But, then I would question the whole reasoning behind needing forgiveness. If forgiveness is needed because of sin, why ever let sin be part of the equation. God easily could have created a universe where sin/rebellion did not exists. What I am really saying is that if you take away the domain of sin, you never create the possibility for it, then it is never a problem. I would call that a win-win.

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On 9/27/2019 at 4:42 PM, TinMan said:

 

Something I wanted to add to this that I thought about during my trouble toying with the notion, if nothing else, then demanding a life, or rather blood, for forgiveness ultimately becomes a self-imposed edict by God. If God is ultimate and nothing exists outside of himself, then demanding blood to forgive is something he required of himself; he instituted it as a method of his forgiveness. So at the end of the day, whenever Christians would go on and on about how gracious Jesus (and especially if Jesus is God) is, it does not really resonate with me, because at the end of the day, Jesus made the whole system up. It is not the same as one of us dying for each other - I would find that to be MORE loving/gracious than I would see as a self-imposed edict being followed out.

 

Maybe there are some nuances to consider - Jesus could have restrained himself and decided not to die, therefore not allowing himself to forgive. I suppose that would garner some merit. But, then I would question the whole reasoning behind needing forgiveness. If forgiveness is needed because of sin, why ever let sin be part of the equation. God easily could have created a universe where sin/rebellion did not exists. What I am really saying is that if you take away the domain of sin, you never create the possibility for it, then it is never a problem. I would call that a win-win.

 

I think the idea is that blood, or some other type of punishment, is required to correct a wrong, is some sort of ancient idea about things balancing out. With "substitutionary atonement" you have a wrong supposedly being committed ("sin" by each person) and a supposedly "just" god having no choice but to require that punishment be doled out, but it doesn't have to be the guilty party being punished -- it just has to happen to  restore balance to the cosmos. Of course, Christians today wouldn't describe it that way, but practically speaking, that's what it is. I don't know exactly how ancient people would have viewed this idea, but today it's repulsive. No matter how much I may be willing to go to prison to pay for the crime of a person I love, that can't happen. Everyone today knows that's wrong, and that justice would not be done if that were allowed. But the claim that Jesus died and paid for the sins of every one who would accept his grace is exactly that -- a "crime" was committed and someone had to be punished; it didn't have to be the guilty party -- it just had to happen. The thing that's so special about Jesus is that he was supposed to have been completely innocent of all crimes or sins, so his complete innocence makes him eligible to stand in for unlimited people all at once.

 

When I was a believer we talked about this requirement that somebody -- anybody -- be punished, as if it just made perfect sense, as if "of course it works that way!" I never heard anybody ask how it served justice. All one has to do is take one step back to see that it makes no sense at all.

 

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(Tongue in cheek) It is my understanding from a learned preacher, from long ago, that the original word for sin meant to, "miss the mark."  So if you are target practicing, be darn sure to hit the bulls eye, or you may go to Hell.

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