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My Pastor Sets Me Straight


Fish153

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I went to church today. Great Service. I spoke to my Pastor afterwards, and mentioned to him about contributing to this board. “Why are you on that board?” he asked. I answered that I wasn’t really sure— that deconversion boards intrigue me. That the thought of someone “believing” and then apostatizing seemed so hard to believe or accept. We talked a bit more and I explained that I thought deconverts never really believed— that they were like the people at the end of John 6. “Disciples” who thought they believed but never actually did. (Below is a paraphrase of how My Pastor answered. It is not word for word. Just the main train of thought he gave):

 

My Pastor said. “No. You are wrong. “Some” are like that, but many REALLY WERE believers”. I was very surprised at his comment. “Many actually STILL BELIEVE (are truly saved) despite their proclamations of Non-belief”. He said.  I asked him to explain because now I was really confused.

 

”Many of them are just disgruntled believers” he said. “They are like people getting on a boat and putting full faith in the Captain of the boat. They have exercised “faith” by trusting the Captain to get them where they are going. But the problem is, they begin to tell the Captain what to do. And because the Captain is not taking them in the direction THEY desire, they begin to find fault. Soon they question the Captain’s credentials. They begin to say he is no captain at all. Then they ask to be put ashore. This is deconversion.”

 

“Many deconverts are not really “unbelievers” at all. They are “believers” who have never allowed Jesus to be Lord, and Jesus has withdrawn from them. But their continued desire to discuss God—though in extremely negative ways most of the time, shows God is still in their lives. God is there but they can no longer grow. That privilege has been taken from them. And because the Spirit has departed (has drawn back very far) they no longer profess faith, or have a desire for God. And their “open denial of Christ” has put Christ to an “open shame”, and they have caused God to close the door on any further growth in their lives. They have publicly denied Him, and thus they are “re-crucifying” Him.

 

They are declaring it was worthless to believe in Him. Thus, they have “insulted” the Spirit of Grace, and He then REFUSES to work any more in their lives. Those deconverts who truly “believed” once will be saved. But as John states they will “draw back in shame” at the return of Christ. They will have no reward and they will have no crown. They will be “saved, though as by fire”. They were given HUGE privileges which they have rejected. They will realize one day what they have done and weep openly in shame. God will wipe the tears from their eyes just as he has promised, but the shame they will feel that day will FEEL like an ETERNITY. And they will always know they have no crown to wear— when others throw their crowns at Jesus’ feet, they will have no crown to throw. The choice they have made to deconvert will have eternal consequences, but they will still be God’s Children”.

 

I was truly VERY surprised that he believed these “deconverts” would remain “saved”. I had “written them off” in my mind. But the thought of their future sorrow and embarrassment at Christ’s return still had an effect on me— I cried out to God that I might remain as faithful as possible to Him as I could. The thought of “drawing back in shame” was terrible. My Pastor said it was too late to pray for THEM— they had already made their decision to renounce Christ.

 

I told my Pastor that I thought maybe I could convince some of the board to come back to God. He said “No, you’ll never be able to do that”. I asked why. He turned to the Parable of the Sower and the seed. “There are (4) groups of people mentioned” he said. “Two groups are NOT believers, and TWO groups ARE believers” he said.

 

”Jesus explains the (4) different groups of people: the seed that “falls by the wayside” are those who hear the Gospel and reject it, or ignore it. The seed produces NOTHING.  The seed that falls on STONY GROUND” are those who “receive the Word with Joy” but then “only believe for a while” and eventually shrivel up. They have no ROOT (no saving faith). Their “belief” is not REAL. Usually deconverts who only believed for a short time and then renounce are included in this group— though it is hard sometimes to judge who is who”

 

”The seed that falls among thorns” are TRUE believers. They receive the Word, but the cares of this world cramp them, and they never “grow” as believers. Many deconverts are from this group of people. They “believed”, maybe even for years, but there were things they could not let go of in this world. Demas was one of these. Paul says “Demas has deserted me, having LOVED this present world”. Those in this group CAN escape— God says “break up your fallow ground”, meaning that you don’t have to STAY in this group of people— you can repent and submit to God so He can use you. But there is a line that can be crossed. It “appears” to be publicly renouncing Jesus Christ.

 

“Some” of this group of people are mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 6. They can only grow further “if God permit”(verse 3). IF they have reached a place of OPENLY RENOUNCING JESUS CHRIST after having REALLY BELIEVED the Holy Spirit will withdraw from them and they will find it “impossible to repent”. One can only repent with help from The Spirit. If He no longer permits growth, then the one will continue to be a mocker until the return of Christ. He will then be one of those mentioned above who draws back in absolute shame and embarrassment when Jesus appears. They will not be able to BLAME GOD for their predicament — it will be obvious to all what has happened. They will be saved. They will have the tears wiped away. But they will always know they have no crown to throw at the feet of Jesus.

 

The seed that fell on GOOD GROUND is of course people who receive the Word and believe it. They submit themselves to God and His Word. Of course, they doubt at times and have deep struggles with their faith. This is because God is testing their faith to see if it is real and will endure. They don’t tell the Captain of the Ship what to do, or challenge his credentials. And the last thing they want is to be put ashore!”

 

As I mentioned, this is a “paraphrase” of what he said. Now, I don’t believe my Pastor is infallible or anything even like that. He was just giving his explanation. But as a Christian it made good sense to me.  I apologize for saying ALL OF YOU never actually believed. And if you read above you will see that My Pastor believes MOST deconverts will go to Heaven one day. Although they will recognize by their lack of anything to give back to Jesus what a most horrible mistake they made on earth by renouncing Him publicly.

 

My Pastor told me though that I am wasting my time here because it is impossible to bring most of you back to God. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us— and if He has withdrawn from you, all that is left is mocking and scorn. I realize now why you mock and scorn. I am glad (if my Pastor is right) that most of you won’t go to hell (though I know you mock that concept anyway). But I feel so sad that by your renunciation you have put yourselves in a place of facing great future embarrassment and shame. I realize you mock this NOW, and really don’t care NOW, but you surely will then.

 

My Pastor is right. This has been a very lengthy post, and I expect the replies to it will be filled with sarcasm and scorn. This is to be expected. I am going to concentrate on boards dealing with Evangelism, and with respect for the greatbLord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It really has been fun posting here for the most part—- and the Moderator is a gem— a rare gem. One of few with that kind of patient Spirit to let discussions continue without banning or admonishing people. This was MUCH appreciated. I hope all of you take good care!

 

—Fish153. (By the way this name was taken from John 21, though I’m sure some of you knew that by now).  Goodbye!

 

 

p

 

 

 

 

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Josh—

 

I’ll most likely be involved with Wycliffe or India Gospel Outreach from now on. As I said in the post, I understand far better now why you mock and scorn. I really just need to leave though. It’s been fun.

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Pastors are some of the most self-deluded of anyone. Leading to many of them leaving the faith when the self-delusion becomes too much to manage any longer. His analysis sounds like a 'once saved always saved' theology. Which christians who don't subscribe to don't believe anyways. Just more of the same. Where in Revelation can you show me where it discusses people who leave christianity, still get saved anyways, but get a slap on the wrist while everyone else goes off to a lake of burning sulfur???

 

Just more of your non-biblical assertions.

 

His theological views about ex christians are not supported by the bible in the first place. And there remains no hard evidence for any of this, the bible included, to be considered anything other than subjective fantasy all the way around.

 

Every bit of what you have to say, what you think right now, all of it, is entirely in your own imagination. You're imagining that the bible says X and we're showing you in black and white terms where the bible doesn't even say what you're asserted that it does. By quoting the actual verses in question. You've left the scriptures behind for your own imaginative ideas about what you think the scriptures say, when they don't even say that in the first place. It's demonstrable. 

 

Common sense indicates that no one's off to great rewards or any punishment. It's mythology. It's always been jewish mythology hybridized with near eastern pagan mythology. It's not become any different now, 2,000 years later....

 

 

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I find it highly telling that Fish was unswayed by any argument, keeping to his "apostates never believed" story until some pastor gave him another story ( it is not an argument, but a story)

    This seems to show that his mind was actually closed to us from the start, but totally open to someone with authority from the "faith".

    But, of course, good luck to you , MarineAnimalwithgills153!

     

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32 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

I find it highly telling that Fish was unswayed by any argument, keeping to his "apostates never believed" story until some pastor gave him another story ( it is not an argument, but a story)

    This seems to show that his mind was actually closed to us from the start, but totally open to someone with authority from the "faith".

     

 

I dont care what his pastor says. They are both christbots and arguing from an imaginary authority. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Fish153 said:

I went to church today. Great Service. I spoke to my Pastor afterwards, and mentioned to him about contributing to this board. “Why are you on that board?” he asked. I answered that I wasn’t really sure— that deconversion boards intrigue me. That the thought of someone “believing” and then apostatizing seemed so hard to believe or accept. We talked a bit more and I explained that I thought deconverts never really believed— that they were like the people at the end of John 6. “Disciples” who thought they believed but never actually did. (Below is a paraphrase of how My Pastor answered. It is not word for word. Just the main train of thought he gave):

 

My Pastor said. “No. You are wrong. “Some” are like that, but many REALLY WERE believers”. I was very surprised at his comment. “Many actually STILL BELIEVE (are truly saved) despite their proclamations of Non-belief”. He said.  I asked him to explain because now I was really confused.

 

”Many of them are just disgruntled believers” he said. “They are like people getting on a boat and putting full faith in the Captain of the boat. They have exercised “faith” by trusting the Captain to get them where they are going. But the problem is, they begin to tell the Captain what to do. And because the Captain is not taking them in the direction THEY desire, they begin to find fault. Soon they question the Captain’s credentials. They begin to say he is no captain at all. Then they ask to be put ashore. This is deconversion.”

 

“Many deconverts are not really “unbelievers” at all. They are “believers” who have never allowed Jesus to be Lord, and Jesus has withdrawn from them. But their continued desire to discuss God—though in extremely negative ways most of the time, shows God is still in their lives. God is there but they can no longer grow. That privilege has been taken from them. And because the Spirit has departed (has drawn back very far) they no longer profess faith, or have a desire for God. And their “open denial of Christ” has put Christ to an “open shame”, and they have caused God to close the door on any further growth in their lives. They have publicly denied Him, and thus they are “re-crucifying” Him.

 

They are declaring it was worthless to believe in Him. Thus, they have “insulted” the Spirit of Grace, and He then REFUSES to work any more in their lives. Those deconverts who truly “believed” once will be saved. But as John states they will “draw back in shame” at the return of Christ. They will have no reward and they will have no crown. They will be “saved, though as by fire”. They were given HUGE privileges which they have rejected. They will realize one day what they have done and weep openly in shame. God will wipe the tears from their eyes just as he has promised, but the shame they will feel that day will FEEL like an ETERNITY. And they will always know they have no crown to wear— when others throw their crowns at Jesus’ feet, they will have no crown to throw. The choice they have made to deconvert will have eternal consequences, but they will still be God’s Children”.

 

I was truly VERY surprised that he believed these “deconverts” would remain “saved”. I had “written them off” in my mind. But the thought of their future sorrow and embarrassment at Christ’s return still had an effect on me— I cried out to God that I might remain as faithful as possible to Him as I could. The thought of “drawing back in shame” was terrible. My Pastor said it was too late to pray for THEM— they had already made their decision to renounce Christ.

 

I told my Pastor that I thought maybe I could convince some of the board to come back to God. He said “No, you’ll never be able to do that”. I asked why. He turned to the Parable of the Sower and the seed. “There are (4) groups of people mentioned” he said. “Two groups are NOT believers, and TWO groups ARE believers” he said.

 

”Jesus explains the (4) different groups of people: the seed that “falls by the wayside” are those who hear the Gospel and reject it, or ignore it. The seed produces NOTHING.  The seed that falls on STONY GROUND” are those who “receive the Word with Joy” but then “only believe for a while” and eventually shrivel up. They have no ROOT (no saving faith). Their “belief” is not REAL. Usually deconverts who only believed for a short time and then renounce are included in this group— though it is hard sometimes to judge who is who”

 

”The seed that falls among thorns” are TRUE believers. They receive the Word, but the cares of this world cramp them, and they never “grow” as believers. Many deconverts are from this group of people. They “believed”, maybe even for years, but there were things they could not let go of in this world. Demas was one of these. Paul says “Demas has deserted me, having LOVED this present world”. Those in this group CAN escape— God says “break up your fallow ground”, meaning that you don’t have to STAY in this group of people— you can repent and submit to God so He can use you. But there is a line that can be crossed. It “appears” to be publicly renouncing Jesus Christ.

 

“Some” of this group of people are mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 6. They can only grow further “if God permit”(verse 3). IF they have reached a place of OPENLY RENOUNCING JESUS CHRIST after having REALLY BELIEVED the Holy Spirit will withdraw from them and they will find it “impossible to repent”. One can only repent with help from The Spirit. If He no longer permits growth, then the one will continue to be a mocker until the return of Christ. He will then be one of those mentioned above who draws back in absolute shame and embarrassment when Jesus appears. They will not be able to BLAME GOD for their predicament — it will be obvious to all what has happened. They will be saved. They will have the tears wiped away. But they will always know they have no crown to throw at the feet of Jesus.

 

The seed that fell on GOOD GROUND is of course people who receive the Word and believe it. They submit themselves to God and His Word. Of course, they doubt at times and have deep struggles with their faith. This is because God is testing their faith to see if it is real and will endure. They don’t tell the Captain of the Ship what to do, or challenge his credentials. And the last thing they want is to be put ashore!”

 

As I mentioned, this is a “paraphrase” of what he said. Now, I don’t believe my Pastor is infallible or anything even like that. He was just giving his explanation. But as a Christian it made good sense to me.  I apologize for saying ALL OF YOU never actually believed. And if you read above you will see that My Pastor believes MOST deconverts will go to Heaven one day. Although they will recognize by their lack of anything to give back to Jesus what a most horrible mistake they made on earth by renouncing Him publicly.

 

My Pastor told me though that I am wasting my time here because it is impossible to bring most of you back to God. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us— and if He has withdrawn from you, all that is left is mocking and scorn. I realize now why you mock and scorn. I am glad (if my Pastor is right) that most of you won’t go to hell (though I know you mock that concept anyway). But I feel so sad that by your renunciation you have put yourselves in a place of facing great future embarrassment and shame. I realize you mock this NOW, and really don’t care NOW, but you surely will then.

 

My Pastor is right. This has been a very lengthy post, and I expect the replies to it will be filled with sarcasm and scorn. This is to be expected. I am going to concentrate on boards dealing with Evangelism, and with respect for the greatbLord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It really has been fun posting here for the most part—- and the Moderator is a gem— a rare gem. One of few with that kind of patient Spirit to let discussions continue without banning or admonishing people. This was MUCH appreciated. I hope all of you take good care!

 

—Fish153. (By the way this name was taken from John 21, though I’m sure some of you knew that by now).  Goodbye!

 

 

p

 

 

 

 

 

@Fish153

 

I am not going to throw sarcasm your way on this. That was a beautiful exit speech and a wonderful way to look at us. Most Christians basically tell us we are going to hell. Just as you were when you started posting. This post is a breath of fresh air. 

 

I'm glad we could discuss all this with you in a mostly respectful manner. And I greatly appreciate the apology. While I'll never believe in the biblical God, the Bible, or its myth again. It is nice to see someone exit so gracefully. It would be nice if most Christians viewed us in that light. 

 

I hope the rest of your life is filled with happiness on your path. I know I don't voice this much outside of the ex-christian spirituality forum. But I am agnostic/non-theist. I don't believe in any man made religion. I know that most likely there is nothing after life on this earth for our consciousness. But I hope that if. And I know this is a big IF!! But I do hope that if there is an afterlife that it is through reincarnation. That appeals to me more than the bibles heaven. I would love to live, laugh, love, and experience life all over again. I love life on this earth. And being able to experience life with all of its ups and downs is my ideal afterlife. 

 

In the event that that happens. I hope our paths cross again in the next life. 

 

Best Regards,

Dark Bishop

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Hi Fish, I'm glad you explored some questions with your pastor. And I'm glad that you've come to believe that we were indeed earnest Christians. Please consider discussing your questions about apostates with other pastors or biblical experts you trust, allowing them to give their answers without any clues about the explanation you were given from your pastor. See if you don't get a completely different answer. When you do, please feel free to come back and discuss it here.

In the meantime,  all the best to you.

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2 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

 But I do hope that if there is an afterlife that it is through reincarnation. That appeals to me more than the bibles heaven. I would love to live, laugh, love, and experience life all over again. I love life on this earth. And being able to experience life with all of its ups and downs is my ideal afterlife. 

 

In the event that that happens. I hope our paths cross again in the next life. 

 

Best Regards,

Dark Bishop

Interesting. I hate this life on earth, like I said elsewhere( that's why I do not even consider having children) and I hope if an afterlife exists, it would be an apocaliptic renewal akin to Abrahamic notions of the end of the world and ressurection. I personally find reincarnation kind of stupid and unnapealing ( which , in all honesty is what many Eastern religions also think, as the goal of their religions is to ESCAPE reincarnation)

      We'll see which one comes forth. :))

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12 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Interesting. I hate this life on earth, like I said elsewhere( that's why I do not even consider having children) and I hope if an afterlife exists, it would be an apocaliptic renewal akin to Abrahamic notions of the end of the world and ressurection. I personally find reincarnation kind of stupid and unnapealing ( which , in all honesty is what many Eastern religions also think, as the goal of their religions is to ESCAPE reincarnation)

      We'll see which one comes forth. :))

Lol. I guess we all have our preferences. I guess I like roller coasters to much lol. But my kids and all the good times mean a lot to me. And I enjoy it. And I've had plenty of shit in my life. Guess I'm a glass half full kinda guy. 

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39 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Interesting. I hate this life on earth, like I said elsewhere( that's why I do not even consider having children) and I hope if an afterlife exists, it would be an apocaliptic renewal akin to Abrahamic notions of the end of the world and ressurection. I personally find reincarnation kind of stupid and unnapealing ( which , in all honesty is what many Eastern religions also think, as the goal of their religions is to ESCAPE reincarnation)

      We'll see which one comes forth. :))

Sad.  You tend to find what you are looking for.  Do you not believe you can change anything about your llfe?

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1 minute ago, Weezer said:

Sad.  You tend to find what you are looking for.  Do you not believe you can change anything about your llfe?

Sadness is a subjective state, so you might find it sad, but I do not. But this is not the topic for it, don't want to stray too far offtopic.

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50 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

Lol. I guess we all have our preferences. I guess I like roller coasters to much lol. But my kids and all the good times mean a lot to me. And I enjoy it. And I've had plenty of shit in my life. Guess I'm a glass half full kinda guy. 

Well, I just think people are deluded into optimism the same way some people are deluded into religion. Yes, I am saying I think you're deluded about that, but I reaaaly don't think any argument makes a difference, here or another place, just as much as going into a church and preaching atheism does. And I do not either the stamina or the interest in converting anyone right now :)). That would maybe even end up making me seem bitter, which I'm not. I understand you may think I'm the one being deluded, depressed, etc. I don't agree. 

    There is some secular  research about optimism bias anyway. 

    Just that, that is why I find Buddhism so attractive, The first Noble truth recognising the common existence and experience of ( but not only) dukkha ( I hesitate translating this as "suffering", I heard better variants such as " unsatisfactoriness" ) and ways to get out of it. 

    I do not have nihilim or antinatalism as a dogma, though. Just everything I've experienced ( or read) so far leads me to that conclusion, but, as with science, new evidence can bring new conclusions. 

     I only said it as another example of an afterlife where we, including Fish, could meet. 

    Like I said to Weezer, I don't want veer offtopic more than this.

     I'm glad you're happy though. :))

 

      

     

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I write this, more in sorrow than in anger and without sarcasm or scorn.

 

Fish says that he has been set straight about his being in this forum and now wishes to leave it.

 

If he does this without putting right his sin (bearing false witness) against me, then he will have to answer for it when he is judged by God.

 

 

But, there is still a chance that you can put this right, Fish.

 

You needn't do it publicly, if that's what's stopping you.

 

This forum has a private messaging facility which you can use to reach me without anyone else knowing about it.

 

If you do reach out to me in this way I give you my word that it will remain just between you and me.

 

Even if other members ask me if you've been in touch, I will not reveal that information.

 

 

The next move is yours.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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20 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well, I just think people are deluded into optimism the same way some people are deluded into religion. Yes, I am saying I think you're deluded about that, but I reaaaly don't think any argument makes a difference, here or another place, just as much as going into a church and preaching atheism does. And I do not either the stamina or the interest in converting anyone right now :)). That would maybe even end up making me seem bitter, which I'm not. I understand you may think I'm the one being deluded, depressed, etc. I don't agree. 

    There is some secular  research about optimism bias anyway. 

    Just that, that is why I find Buddhism so attractive, The first Noble truth recognising the common existence and experience of ( but not only) dukkha ( I hesitate translating this as "suffering", I heard better variants such as " unsatisfactoriness" ) and ways to get out of it. 

    I do not have nihilim or antinatalism as a dogma, though. Just everything I've experienced ( or read) so far leads me to that conclusion, but, as with science, new evidence can bring new conclusions. 

     I only said it as another example of an afterlife where we, including Fish, could meet. 

    Like I said to Weezer, I don't want veer offtopic more than this.

     I'm glad you're happy though. :))

 

      

     

Yeah.... I was just saying everyone is different and that's cool. 

 

We all have to find our own path to happiness or zen or whatever. Under Christian indoctrination it's not possible for anyone to be themselves because they all have to try to be like jesus. 

 

I would much rather be the best me. Than to push myself out of the way and try to be like Jesus. Someone apparently non of his followers can figure out. 

 

But ....... maybe that thought is for another thread. 

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12 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

Yeah.... I was just saying everyone is different and that's cool. 

 

We all have to find our own path to happiness or zen or whatever. Under Christian indoctrination it's not possible for anyone to be themselves because they all have to try to be like jesus. 

 

I would much rather be the best me. Than to push myself out of the way and try to be like Jesus. Someone apparently non of his followers can figure out. 

 

But ....... maybe that thought is for another thread. 

The thing that I am reflecting right now, and this partains to the Fish tooic, is how much things like "delusion" even have meaning. Like, we all have our own perceptions and, this is going to be a little philosophical, I don't really know if "objective" world is really something more of a convention. All we have is our perceptions, that is one of the reasons I really have a big issue with anyone claiming exclusive acces to reality.

    "Science " itself is just a collection of human experiences. 

    I don't have answers, I just really ponder this stuff now.

     What I think happens with some people is an inability or unwilingness to accept that other people have their own perceptual world. Like you might be "right" in your perceptual world, and me in "mine". Not saying we are isolated, because we do communicate, but I don't think we  do we completely become the exact same thing. There is a Jainist epistemology theory called Standpoint theory with something like that. What I find fascinating is glimpses into other people's inner world. I include Fish153 here.

    This what I think I observed with Fish153. An unwilingness to consider other people's ( deconverts here) inner worlds as valid, at least partially. His own perceptual world was supreme - that is why I dared to call him egomaniac. I was like that I think. He had his own image of us and tried to force that upon us, refusing any feedback from the outside.

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Jimmy was a mid-level sales associate with Salvation Inc., a company that sold afterlife insurance policies.  He'd been with the company for nearly fifty years after being recruited as a young man.  He never really made many sales; but that didn't matter since he would not receive the commissions he'd earned until after he died. 

 

But Jimmy was secretly fascinated by Deconvert LLC., an indirect competitor of his company.   They seemed to have a number of different and exciting afterlife policies, compared to Salv. Inc's one, rather boring, policy.  Decon. also seemed to have next to no real marketing strategy, and yet people seemed to be canceling their Salv. Inc. policies in droves all the time and buying into the many policies Decon. offered.

 

Jimmy decided to do a little covert research and joined the Decon. website.  He met many satisfied Decon. policy holders; but refused to believe Decon. policies were so much better than the policy he sold.  He even thought the reason Decon. was so successful was because its customers had never really owned the Salv. Inc. policy.  He was convinced of it.

 

So convinced that he decided to approach Bob, a more senior and successful member of the Salv. Inc.  sales department.  After hearing of Jimmy's findings, Bob assured him that anyone who held one of Decon's policies actually still secretly held a Salv. Inc. policy that would override any and every other policy that they may have.  Bob explained that Salv. Inc. had a secret, low-budget policy that automatically got assigned to anyone who canceled their regular Salv. Inc. policy.  So, those who had switched to a Decon. policy would still be covered, albeit to a much more downgraded degree, by their Salv. Inc. policy.  Bob even told Jimmy not to waste his time on Decon. customers; because they were not a sales-friendly demographic, having already tried Salv. Inc's product and decided it was garbage.

 

Jimmy believed Bob; even though none of what Bob had told him was written in the Company Handbook.  But Jimmy was still fascinated by how much more successful Decon. was than Salv. Inc.  Jimmy may never know...

 

 

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13 hours ago, Krowb said:

It would be interesting for him to ask other pastors of denominations he thinks are also saved (if any) and get their differing perspectives.

I really hope Fish does this. I know if it were me, my pastors of the past would have told me that this was Satan at work and to steer clear of anyone who challenges the truth of the bible. That was the standard answer for any concept or any person that did not agree with the literal stories in the bible. It helped believers to avoid critical thinking. If I could rewind back to those days when I was questioning the truth of Christianity, I think I would have replied with a question: Shouldn't any concept/religion/philosophy that demands I make critical life decisions based upon that said concept/religion/philosophy be able to stand up to scrutiny from "external" sources?

We need only look to history or current events to see what happens when "authoritative sources" tell their followers to stay away from anything or anyone that challenges their beliefs.

 

I also hope Fish rereads some of the questions and even if he doesn't answer them here, I hope he makes an honest attempt to answer them for himself. It seems he hasn't completely closed his mind. But 50 years of indoctrination makes it difficult to open one's mind completely. Obviously he's open to what pastors have to say. Perhaps he'll eventually consider what other theologians (like Bart Ehrman) have to say.

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