MamaCaz

OH, the irony of my apostacy!

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Bear with me here, I'm going to try to make this coherent but, as with all things xtianity, there will be some weaving. ;)

 

Ok, so I'm a preacher's daughter (that is NOT the ironic part).  I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 6. When I was 20 I married my highschool sweetheart, and that holy union lasted a whopping 1.5 years (almost 2 if you count the time we were separated before the divorce was finalized).  I had been spiraling spiritually for a while, and after that I went full on heathen.  All the while I was sinning I still knew I was saved, I was just grieving God and my sin separated me from him so that my prayers felt like they were bouncing off of an iron sky (I think the reference to that is in Ezekiel).  When I was 24, after two back to back DUIs, I hit rock bottom and moved back in with my parents.  I spent the next year working to pay off my probation, and while at work and home I read the entire Bible from cover to cover because I said "why am I asking God what he wants me to do, he's already said everything he's going to say right here in this book, I just have to read it for myself and listen.". So after that I felt called to attend the Baptist college in the town I was born in, and to pursue a Christian studies degree to really get the discipleship I needed, and to make up for the decade of wallowing with the pigs. 

 

In one of my upper level courses we had to write a "research" paper on a topic from a list. (I put research in quotations because the research was really just gathering loads of sources on the topic and forming and supporting an opinion with them, it wasn't research in the scientific sense).  I chose to write on apostacy, and it was a damn good paper. I always wrote good papers ;). Using at least 15 sources from Christian publishers, and mounds of scripture, I supported my opinion that once saved always saved, because otherwise our free will would be more powerful than the power of God.  I harped away about the necessity that if anyone could walk away from their faith, they must not have been really saved at all, and their apparent lack of faith was their own fault because if anyone truly seeks god with their whole heart they will find him, right? Another paper I did was Arminianism vs Calvinism, in which I buried Calvinism under a mountain of scripture, demolishing scripture with scripture hahaha.  

 

So I graduated in 2011 at 29 years old, and life trucked on.  After going through the the gruelling 2 year process of desperately trying to to salvage my faith I realized that nobody actively chooses what to believe, it's simply a result of one of 2 things: indoctrination or education.  I was indoctrinated so I believed in Jesus with my whole heart, so by that definition I was 100% saved.  Then, because I educated myself on topics of cosmology, evolution, the origins of the Bible, and the origins of xtianity, I lost all of that belief.  I didn't choose to lose it, it was simply a result of education, and what my brain naturally did with that information.

 

SO!  The irony, ohh the irony, that I am now an apostate myself, knowing full well that I was a genuine Christian, who held firm that our belief or disbelief was a matter of free will, is astounding to me.  I seriously can't "believe" I got here.  Anyone who knew me before, my whole family, would have no choice but to affirm that Calvinism has to be true if they knew that I have left the faith.  They also would have to abandon their OSAS doctrine.  If Christianity is true, then the ONLY reason I am not saved is because god has refused to grant me faith, and therefore created me for destruction.  The Calvinist doctrine, something that Calvin himself wrote and that most Calvinists aren't aware of, explicitly states that the people who fall away are people to whom god has given just enough faith, a taste, to justify their damnation, because they wouldn't be able to be eternally punished for something they didn't know about.  So god reveals just enough of himself to every person to qualify them for damnation, but to some, a tiny few, he gives faith enough to save them so they can glorify him for damning everyone else.

 

I just don't even...  Man.  I guess I'll stop here because I could go on and on.

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@MamaCaz,

 

Thanx for sharing your utter frustration with the logical fallacies of the xtian doctrine. 

 

Fear is such a powerful tool and the fundy asshats behind the pulpit will stop at nothing to exploit it to its fullest extent. 

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It's just amazing to me, having once thought my eyes were opened and non christians had theirs closed, and now knowing my eyes are fully opened and theirs are closed.  Another irony.

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8 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

It's just amazing to me, having once thought my eyes were opened and non christians had theirs closed, and now knowing my eyes are fully opened and theirs are closed.  Another irony.

Perhaps there's hope for Mrs. MOHO.

 

 

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Yep. I remember hearing one Calvinist sermon that actually said that perhaps Jesus died to save the elect (and only the elect) from damnation, but also to more fully and completely damn the unelect so that God would be justified in torturing them more horribly for eternity. They interpret the 'world' in John 3:16 as referring only to the elect. Some would even acknowledge that not only do they believe God does not love the unelect, but actively despises them. 

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4 minutes ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Yep. I remember hearing one Calvinist sermon that actually said that perhaps Jesus died to save the elect (and only the elect) from damnation, but also to more fully and completely damn the unelect so that God would be justified in torturing them more horribly for eternity. They interpret the 'world' in John 3:16 as referring only to the elect. Some would even acknowledge that not only do they believe God does not love the unelect, but actively despises them. 

I've always thought the Calvinist position was as fucked up as could be.  I used to think it was practically blasphemous, because the god I knew wasn't like that.  But now that I'm no longer a Christian I totally see how Calvinism is necessary to explain away people like us.  Why else would we  simply NOT be able to believe like they do?  Only explanation, if one were to believe in Christianity, is that god grants faith to some and hardens others' hearts like he did pharaoh's.  I'm itching to come out just so I can posit that conundrum to my former tribe, many of whom are not Calvinist.  But for now I am a coward.

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It also shows the gross abuse that people can take as normal and promote as right. I wrote a blurb on this about 9 years ago called The God of Abuse that shows how messed up this is.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

Only explanation, if one were to believe in Christianity, is that god grants faith to some and hardens others' hearts like he did pharaoh's.

Calvinism has an eventual appeal to extremely proud evangelicals who have tried to convert people for a while and failed (and can't comprehend why they're not persuasive). If everyone doesn't immediately agree with you, then it must be because they're irreversibly depraved, right?? Everyone who is not evil thinks I'm right, right???

 

14 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

  I'm itching to come out just so I can posit that conundrum to my former tribe, many of whom are not Calvinist.  But for now I am a coward.

I have come out to my family who are definitely Calvinist. Let me tell you it hurts. I think for me personally it was the right decision though. I wouldn't say you're a coward you're just weighing your choices carefully, which is smart.

 

Don't expect a conundrum to become a catalyst to open their eyes, though. People often double down on their cruelty and nonsense then you confront them about it!

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9 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

Only explanation, if one were to believe in Christianity, is that god grants faith to some and hardens others' hearts like he did pharaoh's. 

The next time I'm told this in person by the calvinist believers in my family, as to why I don't believe, (ironically they've probably never heard of Calvin or are even aware of his doctrine), I hope I have the guts to respond, "and what does this say about your god?"

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6 minutes ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Calvinism has an eventual appeal to extremely proud evangelicals who have tried to convert people for a while and failed (and can't comprehend why they're not persuasive). If everyone doesn't immediately agree with you, then it must be because they're irreversibly depraved, right?? Everyone who is not evil thinks I'm right, right???

 

I have come out to my family who are definitely Calvinist. Let me tell you it hurts. I think for me personally it was the right decision though. I wouldn't say you're a coward you're just weighing your choices carefully, which is smart.

 

Don't expect a conundrum to become a catalyst to open their eyes, though. People often double down on their cruelty and nonsense then you confront them about it!

 

 This is why I'm really trying to be careful and respectful of my husband's faith right now.  I think he's in a good place of lukewarm Christianity, and is even really compromising some key theology to make himself feel better about both of us.  I certainly don't want to shove him back into the fundie hole.

 

6 minutes ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

The next time I'm told this in person by the calvinist believers in my family, as to why I don't believe, (ironically they've probably never heard of Calvin or are even aware of his doctrine), I hope I have the guts to respond, "and what does this say about your god?"

 

Exactly...

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47 minutes ago, Fuego said:

It also shows the gross abuse that people can take as normal and promote as right. I wrote a blurb on this about 9 years ago called The God of Abuse that shows how messed up this is.

 

 

 

I just read it.  Loved it!

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I look back and laugh at how sure I used to be about my faith, and how other people needed to have the same beliefs. Now, it really does spin my head sometimes to think about what a change my brain has done.

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Calvinism and predestination is a complete mindfuck... the past 2 days I’ve been almost convinced that the reason that I find God to be silent is because I’m not one of the elect, rather than it being because he isn’t there. The trouble is it’s almost impossible to find a way out of this way of thinking because the experiences of other non- or ex-Christians can be explained in the same way. All the objections we have to the bible and to faith? Same reason. Believers are those whom God has chosen and given faith to and there’s nothing we can do to change our fates. How do you find your way out of this view? 

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58 minutes ago, Kat34 said:

Calvinism and predestination is a complete mindfuck... the past 2 days I’ve been almost convinced that the reason that I find God to be silent is because I’m not one of the elect, rather than it being because he isn’t there. The trouble is it’s almost impossible to find a way out of this way of thinking because the experiences of other non- or ex-Christians can be explained in the same way. All the objections we have to the bible and to faith? Same reason. Believers are those whom God has chosen and given faith to and there’s nothing we can do to change our fates. How do you find your way out of this view? 

 

For me it was studing and researching the origins and evolution of both the Bible and the Christian Faith. It soon became quite clear it is all manmade nonsense.

 

Drs Bart Ehrman, Richard Carrier, and Robert M Price are excellent historians to read or watch on YouTube. And there are many others too, of course, like Richard Dawkins. 

 

In other words, education is the key IMO. 

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1 hour ago, Kat34 said:

Believers are those whom God has chosen and given faith to and there’s nothing we can do to change our fates. How do you find your way out of this view? 

 

I don't think you do. You just gotta accept that possibility. There's not much you can do if it's up to god to elect you or not.

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2 hours ago, ToHellWithMe said:

 

I don't think you do. You just gotta accept that possibility. There's not much you can do if it's up to god to elect you or not.

 

Seriously? How can anyone live with that fear long term? It would drive you literally insane...

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3 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

For me it was studing and researching the origins and evolution of both the Bible and the Christian Faith. It soon became quite clear it is all manmade nonsense.

 

Drs Bart Ehrman, Richard Carrier, and Robert M Price are excellent historians to read or watch on YouTube. And there are many others too, of course, like Richard Dawkins. 

 

In other words, education is the key IMO. 

 

Yes this must be it. Of course according to Calvinism we are so corrupted by original sin that our reasoning is faulty. This is what I mean about it being a mindfuck.

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4 hours ago, Geezer said:

 

For me it was studing and researching the origins and evolution of both the Bible and the Christian Faith. It soon became quite clear it is all manmade nonsense.

 

Drs Bart Ehrman, Richard Carrier, and Robert M Price are excellent historians to read or watch on YouTube. And there are many others too, of course, like Richard Dawkins. 

 

In other words, education is the key IMO. 

@Kat34When these thoughts start going around, it's time to turn to the books and start reading, and have other thoughts. It's going to be like a thought war for awhile until your mind has absorbed what the books and the evidence and the arguments tell you, because it's all there.

 

And then there's the "I don't give a fuck, I don't worship evil" part, and that works very well for me.

 

You need to set aside time for that education, it's the key to winning that thought war.

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Calvinism is a perverse theology. Christianity is full of contradictions & inconsistences but Calvanism is just plain bizarre. :blush:

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:

Calvinism is a perverse theology. Christianity is full of contradictions & inconsisancies but Calvanism is just plain bizarre. :blush:

Yes, it is. I edited a dissertation a few years back on the Scottish Covenanters, and now when I look back on it, examining how truly bizarre the concept of Calvinism is, really played a part in my awakening from religion.

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6 hours ago, Kat34 said:

Seriously? How can anyone live with that fear long term? It would drive you literally insane...

 

Well, it gives me peace, so it's the opposite of what you think. The idea that I might be deluded and the craziest fundy might actually be correct calms me down.

 

If they're right, we'll see. If they're not, we'll never know.

And also right now we can't know.

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17 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Yes, it is. I edited a dissertation a few years back on the Scottish Covenanters, and now when I look back on it, examining how truly bizarre the concept of Calvinism is, really played a part in my awakening from religion.

 

In what way do you guys mean? I know a bit about it and that he developed some of Augustine’s ideas - and that this view wasn’t known in the early church ie pre Augustine. It seems lots of early church ideas were much more inclusive eg the idea of universal salvation. 

 

From what I gather, Calvinists subscribe to once saved always saved. They have to, because everything happens according to God’s will. So surely all those kids who pray the sinners’ prayer then later change their views are actually still saved. And in that case, given how impressionable young children are, surely any child could be convinced to pray it and mean that prayer genuinely. Totally unethical but we could all choose to get our own children to do that and be saved. But that would potentially contradict the idea of them being chosen from the beginning of the world. 

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5 hours ago, Kat34 said:

 

In what way do you guys mean? I know a bit about it and that he developed some of Augustine’s ideas - and that this view wasn’t known in the early church ie pre Augustine. It seems lots of early church ideas were much more inclusive eg the idea of universal salvation. 

 

From what I gather, Calvinists subscribe to once saved always saved. They have to, because everything happens according to God’s will. So surely all those kids who pray the sinners’ prayer then later change their views are actually still saved. And in that case, given how impressionable young children are, surely any child could be convinced to pray it and mean that prayer genuinely. Totally unethical but we could all choose to get our own children to do that and be saved. But that would potentially contradict the idea of them being chosen from the beginning of the world. 

The whole idea of some people being chosen and others not chosen. What does that say about God?

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9 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

The whole idea of some people being chosen and others not chosen. What does that say about God?

 

Oh okay I see - yes totally - as some Christians (like John Wesley maybe?) argued, that view of God made him worse than the devil. In a different context, C S Lewis said his fear wasn’t “So there’s no God after all” but “So this is what God is really like”.  

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6 hours ago, Kat34 said:

 

Oh okay I see - yes totally - as some Christians (like John Wesley maybe?) argued, that view of God made him worse than the devil. In a different context, C S Lewis said his fear wasn’t “So there’s no God after all” but “So this is what God is really like”.  

Yeah, my ex religion is pretty clear that one should fear god, and for good reason, there's two sides to that coin. And when I started to probe the whole "god is love" claim, it all fell apart. It made it much easier to leave.

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