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42 Reasons Why


Riven
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I'm in the midst of processing my deconversion. I wrote this today. I'm probably a little shrill, but whatever. 🙄

 

I really hope any current believers that lurk here see this. I wrote a bunch of stuff over the years, much it from a place of incredible emotional pain and torment, as I felt my heart slowly get ripped away from my faith.  It's hard to read now. However, this list came to me, after pouring through those writings today.

 

42 Reasons Why I'm Not a Christian Anymore

 

 

  1. The idea that if you are divorced because you were in an abusive marriage, you’ve got “no grounds” for a “scriptural divorce.”
  2. Seeing Christians more motivated by who they hate, than by who they should love. (Um, that would also be people groups that your savior, Jesus, said to love.)
  3. Attacking each other if you dare to offer any other rational idea to a problem than the accepted “party line.”
  4. All forms of “We’re a Christian Nation!”
  5. The idea that you will go to hell if you don’t worship or believe “X” way.  I’m talking denominational differences here.
  6. Theological in-fighting. I’m right, you’re wrong, about “X” theological presumption. And writing endless books to prove the point. Pre-trib, post-trib, who cares?!
  7. Christians would rather argue about the evils of social justice in the church, rather than lift a finger to help the hurting.
  8. Oh, and if you do want to help the hurting or needy, you’re a liberal!
  9. You must believe the exact literal interpretation of creation as written in Genesis. 
  10. Young earth teaching.
  11. Random TV Morality: “Desperate Housewives” is OK, but Harry Potter or Twilight isn’t.
  12. Arguments about symbolic rituals: baptism or communion comes to mind.
  13. My Christianity is better than yours! And we are all better than those that don’t believe “our way”.
  14. Jesus would be a Democrat.
  15. Jesus would be a Republican.
  16. Actually, any sentence that begins with, “Jesus would be a....”
  17. If Christians are being criticized, it’s the devil attacking. It's never because they are being cruel, mean or unfair.
  18. The evil upturned eye when you get when say you are interested in learning yoga or meditation. (“Don’t you know they are “gateway exercises”!?)  Ignoring completely that meditation is in the Bible. 
  19. The Boy Scouts are bad! They let in homosexuals!
  20. Beware of psychology!
  21. Science is run by liberals! (And therefore, has a hidden agenda!)
  22. 12 Step programs are evil!
  23. If you are gay, you can’t be a Christian!
  24. Elevating some sins over others.
  25. Social justice is “invading” the church and should be stopped, at all costs!
  26. Shooting your wounded.
  27. Shaming messages. If you are hurting, it’s clearly YOUR fault. You don’t trust God enough.
  28. All forms of  “Should we be friends with this unbelieving family who ______?” (Fill in the blank….drinks, smokes, lives together, is less modest….etc)
  29. We have the right to diagnose and point out non-believer’s sins, and we do this in the name of “loving them” (Ours aren’t up for discussion, though.)
  30. We have the right to tell non-believers how they should and should not live, whether they want to live our way or not.
  31. We have the additional right to legislate what their morality should be.
  32. We have the right to email out slanderous, racist, vicious emails about President Obama, including portraying him as a MONKEY because we don’t agree with his political views. Never mind that the Bible says slanderers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Just details!  (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
  33. And on that note, only in the church can someone who is obese feel morally superior to a homosexual person. Ever heard of gluttony? God sure has. (See Proverbs  23:2)
  34. All forms of spiritual abuse.
  35. All forms of legalism.
  36. Rules are elevated to be more important than love and compassion.
  37. Grace? What’s that? Oh yes, something you say Jesus gave his life for freely, that you won’t extend to others. Got it.
  38. Invalidating people’s pain. Be sure to bring up how someone else is suffering far worse than they are…..somewhere in the world.
  39. Tea Party.
  40. Feeling it’s OK to slander anyone with impunity if they don’t share your religious beliefs, political ideals, or any other number of issues (fill in the blank)
  41. For shaming anyone who has every struggled as a believer, when they sought out answers to sincere questions and doubt.
  42. For completely invalidating someones faith experience, if they have left the church. 

 

 

 

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The Walk of Shame. Repentance required coming before the congregation to confess your sin & publicly ask for forgiveness.  :( God apparently wants everyone to know about your sins.  :wacko:

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I greatly appreciate your list.  I am surprised you experienced #42 so early in the deconversion process.  I got hit with "You must not of really ever believed" about a year into the process.  Pissed me off to no end!  Really, after everything I did during the previous 25 years you devalue and write me off like used chalk?  

 

Now that I am 8 years in these "tactics don't get to me much at all.  But the process to get to this point was so very painful.  But, so totally worth it.

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Yes times 42. A few of my own off the top of my head...

1. Our prayers have healed you and you can stop taking your meds now

2. There is nothing wrong with a woman vowing to obey her husband in a marriage ceremony

3. Mission trips

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13 hours ago, Geezer said:

The Walk of Shame. Repentance required coming before the congregation to confess your sin & publicly ask for forgiveness.  :( God apparently wants everyone to know about your sins.  :wacko:

 

@Geezerthat's just horrible! We didn't do that in the main church I went to for so many years, but I did go to one once when I lived in another state, where the preacher would "call out" that he "just knew" there was someone in the audience that had something to confess. It was so uncomfortable because he wasn't going to move on until someone stood (however, they just went up to get prayer, they didn't have to say what it was).

 

12 hours ago, ConsiderTheSource said:

I greatly appreciate your list.  I am surprised you experienced #42 so early in the deconversion process.  I got hit with "You must not of really ever believed" about a year into the process.  Pissed me off to no end!  Really, after everything I did during the previous 25 years you devalue and write me off like used chalk?  

 

Now that I am 8 years in these "tactics don't get to me much at all.  But the process to get to this point was so very painful.  But, so totally worth it.

 

Thank you @ConsiderTheSource! I did a lot of online interaction from the time I was really seriously questioning, until I'd finally had it. The attitudes in #42 were experienced online, not in person. Still, this is one of my biggest triggers. The idea that every single moment of your time, dedication, commitment, tithing, bible study, and attendance, and ministry service are invalidated under that banner of, "not really a believer" is just evil to me. It's the ultimate form of gas lighting in my opinion. I'm still so incredibly triggered by the thought that a Christian just deems it so, thereby editing your reality.

 

11 hours ago, Eowynesque said:

Yes times 42. A few of my own off the top of my head...

1. Our prayers have healed you and you can stop taking your meds now

2. There is nothing wrong with a woman vowing to obey her husband in a marriage ceremony

3. Mission trips

 

#1 is so dangerous! Scientology comes to mind. (Although that's a different fake religion!)

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A lot of these points are fairly church and country-dependent, though some are not. I think even as a Christian (and even post-university when, despite having hitherto been pretty liberal, inclined towards pretty theologically and politically conservative inclined churches, with a lot of people believing in stuff like YEC) I still was troubled by the sort of bile that was being emitted stateside. Still heard lots of horror stories about churches which could be abusive, engage in "heavy shepherding" etc. so maybe I just went to the nice ones.

 

And of course we still had the teachings against homosexuality etc. which made things very difficult. The amount of arguments I've had on online fora about that and other less pleasant aspects of Christianity are something I am pretty ashamed of these days. Defending homophobia, sexism, religious intolerance, quasi-historical accounts of genocide and other hairy historical issues like slavery is not much fun and something I was often inclined to think deep down were really wrong, but the Bible says this or that (at least according to our interpretation) so...

 

And of course the doctrinal differences. Along with claims of prophecies, revelations etc. and knowing that some claims have to be wrong, it got me questioning towards the end- if X or Y is wrong, why not the whole thing?

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20 hours ago, Riven said:

#1 is so dangerous! Scientology comes to mind. (Although that's a different fake religion!)

 

Yep two family members of mine hospitalized because prayer healed them

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Scientology isn't a religion. They were wise enough to use their influence and money to be categorized as a religion for tax purposes & constitional protection. 

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

Scientology isn't a religion. They were wise enough to use their influence and money to be categorized as a religion for tax purposes & constitional protection. 

 

It wasn't Hubbard' intent to start a religion but adherents today certainly behave like it is one. It meets certain definitions of religion. How would you define religion? What are the essential criteria and does it have to include a belief in god/s? 

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5 hours ago, TheLyniezian said:

A lot of these points are fairly church and country-dependent, though some are not. I think even as a Christian (and even post-university when, despite having hitherto been pretty liberal, inclined towards pretty theologically and politically conservative inclined churches, with a lot of people believing in stuff like YEC) I still was troubled by the sort of bile that was being emitted stateside. Still heard lots of horror stories about churches which could be abusive, engage in "heavy shepherding" etc. so maybe I just went to the nice ones.

 

And of course we still had the teachings against homosexuality etc. which made things very difficult. The amount of arguments I've had on online fora about that and other less pleasant aspects of Christianity are something I am pretty ashamed of these days. Defending homophobia, sexism, religious intolerance, quasi-historical accounts of genocide and other hairy historical issues like slavery is not much fun and something I was often inclined to think deep down were really wrong, but the Bible says this or that (at least according to our interpretation) so...

 

And of course the doctrinal differences. Along with claims of prophecies, revelations etc. and knowing that some claims have to be wrong, it got me questioning towards the end- if X or Y is wrong, why not the whole thing?

 

@TheLyniezian true enough! I guess the list is my personal hot button list! Regarding doctrinal differences: I look at that now, and wonder why I didn't question more. I mean, if the religion as a whole can't agree...... 🙄

 

2 hours ago, Geezer said:

Scientology isn't a religion. They were wise enough to use their influence and money to be categorized as a religion for tax purposes & constitional protection. 

 

True. I did watch the Leah Remini series, so I know the history. I guess (now) I equate believing in body thetans and Xenu as being just as weird as believing in a virgin getting inseminated by a god. :magic:

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