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Disgruntled

Believing in Jesus but disliking Christianity

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Anyone else dealing with this?  I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick... Tonight I am grappling with the notion that I do not "deserve" love from the Creator.  Did Jesus say that?  The story of Jesus really touches me, and always has since I was a child, but the religion built around Jesus seems to be missing a lot of critical information!!!  I am mostly unnerved by being told that I am essentially worthless and "deserve to be damned".  It seems like Christianity encourages double-mindedness, for instance: I am not supposed to value this life, I am supposed to dislike all "things of the flesh", but I am also supposed to praise God for his "perfect" Creation...  I am supposed to "submit meekly to God"... what does this even mean?  According to the latest sermon I made myself listen to, I have to shun the things I want and do what God wants me to do instead...What does this mean, i ask again?  I want to have a productive, healthy life...is it wrong to want to accomplish things?  Is it wrong to want to be healthy and active?  I have been very unwell for a long time and it seems I am expected to embrace suffering and be thankful for it, according to Christian thought... I am turning into a mental patient!!!  If the Bible just said, "You are being tested, this is just a test", it would be understandable.  But...I know Jesus represents goodness... I've seen evidence of this.  But something is SO WRONG with the picture.  Any thoughts about this are appreciated.

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6 minutes ago, Disgruntled said:

I see the need for a Savior

 

Why?

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A religion designed by a perfect god should not have turned out so imperfectly.

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Hi Disgruntled. Your questions are not foundational to Christianity. I don’t know which group would hold beliefs similar to the ones you have but I’m pretty sure there are some Christian churches out of the many thousands in existence that would hold views you would be comfortable with. Why not just look for another church?

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Hi Disgruntled,

 

Welcome to Ex-C!

 

I don't know where you are in the world, but the Quakers are more focused on Jesus' message and don't have any of the churchy baggage that the vast majority of Christian churches do.

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10 hours ago, Disgruntled said:

Anyone else dealing with this?  I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick... Tonight I am grappling with the notion that I do not "deserve" love from the Creator.  Did Jesus say that?  The story of Jesus really touches me, and always has since I was a child, but the religion built around Jesus seems to be missing a lot of critical information!!!  I am mostly unnerved by being told that I am essentially worthless and "deserve to be damned".  It seems like Christianity encourages double-mindedness, for instance: I am not supposed to value this life, I am supposed to dislike all "things of the flesh", but I am also supposed to praise God for his "perfect" Creation...  I am supposed to "submit meekly to God"... what does this even mean?  According to the latest sermon I made myself listen to, I have to shun the things I want and do what God wants me to do instead...What does this mean, i ask again?  I want to have a productive, healthy life...is it wrong to want to accomplish things?  Is it wrong to want to be healthy and active?  I have been very unwell for a long time and it seems I am expected to embrace suffering and be thankful for it, according to Christian thought... I am turning into a mental patient!!!  If the Bible just said, "You are being tested, this is just a test", it would be understandable.  But...I know Jesus represents goodness... I've seen evidence of this.  But something is SO WRONG with the picture.  Any thoughts about this are appreciated.

 

Taken as a philosophy, much of what Jesus says about caring for those less fortunate, not judging others, etc. provides a good set of ideas on how to live your life. As you are noticing, the religion that has been built up around Jesus no longer reflects those values. This is one of the things that led to my deconversion. I think you'll find that you don't need these sermons that you're listening to in order to live a good life; in fact they are counterproductive and just cause stress and anguish. You might feel better giving the whole thing up and just living your life.

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There is a fairly stark divide between the compassion and call for justice that we read in the words of Jesus, and in the religion that was promoted by Paul and the other apostles. Mostly the good things Jesus said (if he even existed) were about kindness, generosity, compassion, empathy, actively caring for those in need, summing it all up by saying that the most important things to him at the throne of judgment are "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me". Nothing about belief, sin, redemption, missionary work, etc. 

 

The choice of what you do each day is up to you, as is your attitude and reaction to situations and other people. What do you want to embody? It isn't given to you magically through a faith, but by looking at your own needs and desires, and recognizing that others have the same need for kindness that you do. You still need boundaries because the needs of others never end, and you are as important as they are. 

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16 hours ago, Disgruntled said:

Anyone else dealing with this?  I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick...

 

You mean like the core aspect that we are born sinners and need saving in the first place? What a horrid idea.

 

I think humanity needs saving... from this infectious god virus that afflicts the majority of the population.

 

As for the rest of your questions - you are asking a bunch of Ex-Christians so I'd say at the most basic level the response is stop believing in Jesus. You don't need Jesus to be good, to do good, to love and be loved or have a fulfilling life.

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"Christians are always claiming, “he’s the lamb”, “our savior”, “the king of peace”, “the embodiment of love”, and many other names they associate with a loving, merciful nature.  Jesus a nice guy?  Not in my book.  Nor in any other person’s who is capable of compassion and rationality.  Let’s examine who the hell the Jesus character really is.  These verses will show not only that Jesus’ loving nature a joke but so are the Christians who worship him."

 

https://www.evilbible.com/do-not-ignore-the-old-testament/what-would-jesus-do/

 

 

Besides, the only place you'll see what the Jesus character allegedly said is in the Bible, and that book is ostensibly ALL inspired by God - not just the red letters. Every verse carries the same weight as the supposed words of Jesus.

 

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18 hours ago, Disgruntled said:

But...I know Jesus represents goodness... I've seen evidence of this.  But something is SO WRONG with the picture.  Any thoughts about this are appreciated.

  

Disgruntled:

Yes, there are a few good things in the Bible and about Jesus. But these things also exist outside the Bible, and without all the negativity that the Bible brings. If you take a look at "Christian values," you will see that those which are positive exist in many other cultures and religions. Even other animals have shown to have compassion for each other. And if you look for those values which are exclusive to Christianity, you'll probably see negative ones. Christianity is a cult of fear that creates fear in people in order to rope them in and keep them under control. What other religion teaches that you are worthless? Is that a religion that you want to follow?

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Disgruntled, you will find understanding here, and the help is here to help you through.  But the big picture of Christianity,  and religion in general is complicated.  So buckle up your seatbelt and hang on!  It took some of us years to sort it out.

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First, I would say to have, if possible, a good lok at your feelings and thoughts. Where do they come from? For example where did you get the idea of a Saviour and how does it apply to your life.

       By the way the reason I was " forced " to take a step back from christianity was unexplained contradictions upon contradictions that made it impracticable to think act or feel in any way.  But once you step back you can see they are there from.the start. 

 

God is everywhere, but hardly anyone can see him and most have wildly different ideas and experiences.

      Jesus is God so invulnerable but can get killed.

        God the father gives birth to the son but they are actually co existent from eternity.

      Baptism erases sin, as does confession but people still feel sinful impulses afterwards.

      Love and take care of your parents and hate and leave your parents. 

        Jesus brings peace and reconciliation, Jesus brings sword and war.

         God hates his enemies,  God loves them.

           God knows all things and controls all things but humans are free.

        And the list goes and on. At one point, how many weak justifications can you take before it all crumbles? 

        I fail to see so far any coherent structure in that religion.

      

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Disgruntled:

I'll add that if you feel the need for some sort of spirituality, which many people do, there are ways to get that without the baggage of Christianity. I have some friends in the Unitarian church and from what I've seen it looks like a very mellow group. But there are others as well. My sister found Buddhism and is very happy.

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I can sympathize with wanting there to be more. If you're looking for a saviour, though, it seems to me that a God who gets so upset over a piece of fruit that he needs to resort to human sacrifice is probably not the best candidate.

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On 3/1/2020 at 12:46 AM, Disgruntled said:

Anyone else dealing with this?  I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick... Tonight I am grappling with the notion that I do not "deserve" love from the Creator.  Did Jesus say that?  The story of Jesus really touches me, and always has since I was a child, but the religion built around Jesus seems to be missing a lot of critical information!!!  I am mostly unnerved by being told that I am essentially worthless and "deserve to be damned".  It seems like Christianity encourages double-mindedness, for instance: I am not supposed to value this life, I am supposed to dislike all "things of the flesh", but I am also supposed to praise God for his "perfect" Creation...  I am supposed to "submit meekly to God"... what does this even mean?  According to the latest sermon I made myself listen to, I have to shun the things I want and do what God wants me to do instead...What does this mean, i ask again?  I want to have a productive, healthy life...is it wrong to want to accomplish things?  Is it wrong to want to be healthy and active?  I have been very unwell for a long time and it seems I am expected to embrace suffering and be thankful for it, according to Christian thought... I am turning into a mental patient!!!  If the Bible just said, "You are being tested, this is just a test", it would be understandable.  But...I know Jesus represents goodness... I've seen evidence of this.  But something is SO WRONG with the picture.  Any thoughts about this are appreciated.

Really? Jesus said you must desert your own family and follow him. 

Jesus did petty ridiculous things in the Bible. 

At best, it's debatable if Jesus even existed or if he was an invention made by men in the Church who were seeking more followers. The "first person" accounts of what he did or said are anything but. 

As to you being worthless, yes indeed that's the central tenet of xtianity. You see, there exists a being so petty and ridiculous that he "creates" people, then decides that because these people ate an apple (how would they understand the concept of sin as it hadn't existed?) all of the rest of people for eternity are damned but he can reincarnate himself in human flesh, to save them (because he can't practice straightforward  forgiveness - it needs to be convoluted and complicated). 

That's what you worship when you worship such a being - something that doesn't even practice forgiveness to the extent that us humans do. If that isn't petty, ridiculous and evil, I don't know what is. 

This is one of the most successful cases of brainwashing on a mass scale ever, that this "god is love."

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Welcome to ExC.

 

The thing about believing in Jesus is how do you even know whether he actually existed and is not  based on myth expanded upon in the Gospels.  Second, assuming Jesus did exist, how do you know what he actually said and did?
 

Your sources that purport to answer these questions are religious, not historical, texts and they are thus very biased in favor of a particular theological point of view.  Even the four Gospels do not agree with each other on what Jesus purportedly said and did.  For example, let’s take his baptism.  In Mark, Matthew, and Luke, he was said to have been baptized by John the Baptist.  However, in the Gospel of John, not only was he not baptized by John the Baptist, there is nothing there about him being baptized at all.

 

There are many conflicts and inconsistencies between the Gospels.  So many, in fact, that their various stories about Jesus are very doubtful.

 

Try studying on these matters carefully and without the blindness caused by faith.

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If you are looking for salvation of human kind, Jesus nailed it with his statement, "love neighbor as self".  He wasn't the first to come up with the idea, but recognized it as truth.  If he in fact existed, I don't believe he was the son of God.  He likely believed it because he was raised as such, but that distinction wasn't officially given to him until many years after his time.

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Hey @Disgruntled,

Welcome to Ex-C!

 

Why do you need a savior? What did you do that was so bad that you need someone/something to forgive you?

Do you posses the audacity to enjoy sex?

Did you tell a fib?

Steel a piece of candy from the store when you were six?

Take a brief lustful glance at your brother's wife?

Skip church to watch the redneck races?

Embellish on little on your resume'?

 

Calling those things "sin" is a creation of ill-meaning medieval jackasses who wanted to control people. Much like the Taliban of today.

 

OR are you anxious about death? This one is understandable as we are innately wired to fear it. That's how our species has survived so  many years. 

Just because you don't have a savior does not mean there is not something out there beyond this life. Personally I'm leaning towards nothing beyond here but I will be the first to admit the potential for arrogance in that belief. We simply don't know for sure.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own ... as in not a blind follower of anything that cannot be proven)

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On 2/29/2020 at 9:46 PM, Disgruntled said:

Anyone else dealing with this?  I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick... Tonight I am grappling with the notion that I do not "deserve" love from the Creator.  Did Jesus say that?  The story of Jesus really touches me, and always has since I was a child, but the religion built around Jesus seems to be missing a lot of critical information!!!  I am mostly unnerved by being told that I am essentially worthless and "deserve to be damned".  It seems like Christianity encourages double-mindedness, for instance: I am not supposed to value this life, I am supposed to dislike all "things of the flesh", but I am also supposed to praise God for his "perfect" Creation...  I am supposed to "submit meekly to God"... what does this even mean?  According to the latest sermon I made myself listen to, I have to shun the things I want and do what God wants me to do instead...What does this mean, i ask again?  I want to have a productive, healthy life...is it wrong to want to accomplish things?  Is it wrong to want to be healthy and active?  I have been very unwell for a long time and it seems I am expected to embrace suffering and be thankful for it, according to Christian thought... I am turning into a mental patient!!!  If the Bible just said, "You are being tested, this is just a test", it would be understandable.  But...I know Jesus represents goodness... I've seen evidence of this.  But something is SO WRONG with the picture.  Any thoughts about this are appreciated.

 

The Bible/Jesus can cause toxic obsessions. I discovered this, decided it was bullshit and told Jesus he would just have to put up with me as I was. I was not going to continue to deny myself the wants/needs/behaviors that he programmed me with, yet at the same time said were sinful. My faith faded away after that.

 

Ask yourself if a Supreme Being would come up with all that contradictory bullshit you just mentioned in the OP. If the answer is no, then stop giving the bible/Jesus/church your attention. 

 

If this contradictory bullshit doesn't make sense to you then it surely would not make sense to a Supreme Being. Anyone who says it makes sense has probably been brainwashed. 

 

Continue to engage your reasoning  and logic with your belief system. :) 

 

 

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On 3/1/2020 at 12:46 AM, Disgruntled said:

I see the need for a Savior, but there are aspects of Christianity that really make me feel sick...

 

Welcome! 

 

You're asking a lot of questions. Trying to think for yourself. Very good things in my view. You may want to spend some time at the beginning with seeing the need for a savior. Do you think maybe the questioning should go back that far? Back to the very first assumptions? 

 

You're talking to a lot of people who have backed the questioning up as far back as they can manage. After around 30 years of no longer believing that christianity is true, it's hard to imagine why so many people make the assumption that they are in need of a savior to begin with. The whole thing is very suggestive on the part of christianity. The suggestion that we are lowly creatures in the first place, in need of some type of salvation by an external force. It's really quite odd to consider, even though I once believed it all. Very cultish. And very political motivated religion. 

 

Well, anyways, for the sake of deep thinking and questioning everything like you're doing, my suggestion to you is to go as far back to the beginning as you can go, questioning every assumption you've made and considering them very carefully. What are assumptions on your part? What are more than just assumptions? Why have assumptions been made in the first place? Is there a very good reason for it? 

 

The corruption of christianity could go all the way back to what ever origins are still available for consideration......

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Hey Disgruntled:

We haven't heard from you since Saturday. Hope you're OK. (And I hope you don't think we're piling on you.)

 

Here's something to think about: One of the basics of marketing is to create a need and then have something to fill that need. So Christianity creates needs. It convinces you that you are a sinner and that they have the answer. It also creates a fear of death, and announces that it has the answer for that, too.

 

Take a look at these scenes from The Music Man. Prof. Harold Hill comes to River City, Iowa to sell folks on starting a boys' band. But he plans to take their money and skip town without delivering. In the first scene which I've linked, he creates the problem. In the next one, he has the solution. Now just substitute sin for the pool table in the first, and Jesus for the boys' band in the second, and you'll see how it all works. (And then watch the whole show. It's great!)

 

Trouble in River City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI_Oe-jtgdI

 

76 Trombones: (I couldn't find a clip of the scene from the movie, this is a sound track from a Broadway revival) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-42ff-aKq6w

 

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Hello again!  I deeply appreciate everyone who has taken the time to reply to my post!  I am feeling foolish because i cannot figure out how to "like" a post... or "react".  If someone would please tell me how to "like" replies, I would appreciate it!

 

These responses have given me comfort and perspective and I hope to respond to each one eventually.  

 

:)

 

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3 minutes ago, Disgruntled said:

If someone would please tell me how to "like" replies, I would appreciate it!

  

You need a minimum number of posts in order to do that. You'll get there.

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35 minutes ago, older said:

Hey Disgruntled:

We haven't heard from you since Saturday. Hope you're OK. (And I hope you don't think we're piling on you.)

 

Hello!  I am here!  I deeply appreciate everyone's replies!  Just not sure how to click "like" on posts!

 

I have debilitating pain in my hands ( hopefully a temporary flare-up ) so I cannot do much responding right now... but I will do so when I am able to type comfortably!

 

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