Article: 15 Things Not to Say to a Recovering Fundamentalist

Defeating the Dragons has written another post that I must share; read it here.

I have been told most, if not all, of the things she lists; I find them equally as infuriating as she does. Perhaps the most infuriating phrase on her list is, “You were never really a Christian.” To have someone else decide  your personal beliefs weren’t sincere enough or real is very insulting. Most Baptists I know have no trouble saying that to/about anyone who left the faith. Another phrase that stood out was, “If you are truly seeking God in this time, he will lead you to the Truth.” The assumption that Christianity, particularly the fundamentalist version of Christianity, is absolute Truth (to the exclusion of everything outside of it) fuels so many un-Christian thoughts and actions. I’m so thankful I no longer hold to a belief that is so exclusive.

13. “Be careful you don’t lose your faith.” — Hännah

People are genuinely concerned about us, and just want to make sure that we’re ok. However, the concept that we could be “ok” without religion, without Christianity– it’s a little bit too far outside the box for a lot of Christians. To a lot of the people I know, living without their faith would be pretty unthinkable. Thoughts like “I don’t know how people survive without Jesus” (which is a modern remix of “you can do all things through Christ”) are pretty common among Christians– and they mean it. To be honest, I’ve said that sort of thing on more than one occasion. But, let me assure you: we are just fine. For a lot of us, “losing our faith” was the best– and hardest– thing that ever happened to us.

It’s certainly been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Bias, Courage, & a Reporter

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/anderson-cooper-the-fact-is-im-gay.html

I have been a big fan of Anderson Cooper since I watched him cover the Arab Spring. His cynical brand of humor is certainly entertaining, but that’s not what I love and respect him for. He is honest – brutally so – and he has managed to be perhaps the most unbiased sounding reporter I have yet to hear. His interviews are marked by respect and fairness for those he is interviewing – he’s there to get facts, not score an agenda. He has regularly covered a variety of events and people, often stories that other reporters usually ignore or simply deem unworthy of international/national news.

All that being said, I can now add to this description that Anderson Cooper is gay. Guess what – it doesn’t change anything. He’s a great person, great reporter, and he happens to be gay.

I cannot begin to imagine the new flack he will receive over this announcement. I say new because there has been speculation for years about Cooper’s sexual orientation. The argument has been made that his orientation makes him biased and therefore the wrong person to be reporting on issues that involve, say, homosexuality. Funny thing is, everyone is biased – that’s a cold hard fact of life. Even funnier is any outcry that a homosexual is reporting on homosexuality, because heterosexuals can report on heterosexual issues without people becoming upset at them for their bias. Reporters are people, not robots, so they will all be biased about something. Christian reporters, Muslim, Jewish, etc. all have a bias that affects their worldview – and I submit that their bias is no different than the bias of homo or heterosexuals. What really matters is how one’s biases influence the telling of facts.

So long as Anderson Cooper (or any other reporter) continues to tell the facts – all of them – in the most unbiased way possible, I will support and respect him. The courage and class he exhibited in not only “coming out” but also the manner in which he did so has only increased my respect for him. He is clearly a man who has accomplished much in his life, likes who he is, and is deeply contented with himself – he’s truly happy. The world can learn much from a man like this.

Kudos to Anderson Cooper. 🙂

A Link and Some Thoughts

For those who repeatedly claim that we weren’t true Christians, please read this article.

I was certainly a very active member of Christianity – one who prayed, read my Bible, served at church, and sought to be godly above all else. Nobody questioned my faith or sincerity. No-one. It was very, very real. The points made in that article, particularly on this topic, were excellent. The author also points out that many who preach against people who are different (atheists, homosexuals, etc.) don’t really know those people. They know the concept, and they know why it’s “sinful,” but they have little to no personal experience with those people. For a complacent congregation who also has little to no dealings with the “enemy,” the leader’s words sound just and righteous, and so the cycle of ignorance continues.
All throughout history, those who blindly followed what they’re told were the ones who were led astray into atrocities. Those who asked questions and sought the truth saved themselves and others from the mistakes of ignorance and complacency. Had the Germans questioned Hitler’s propaganda and chosen to think freely instead of believing the lies, a lot of people (namely Jews) wouldn’t have died such horrific deaths. Had many Catholics chosen to ask questions instead of blindly follow those in authority over them (the Pope), then countless thousands of people would not have died during events such as the Inquisition. The Crusades, the Salem witch trials… just how many people have been killed or hurt by the ignorant followers of impassioned zealots? Such crazy men as Hitler would not have gotten so far without the support and blind belief of other people.
Don’t believe everything that you’re told, even if it has been culturally accepted for thousands of years. Never stop asking questions. Finding the truth may not be comfortable, and implementing it into your life is certainly uncomfortable, but it is well worth it.

Learning Along the Way

This blog chronicles a journey of spiritual discovery and personal awakening. I spend most of my words writing about Christianity and the Bible’s fallacies, so perhaps to the outsider this blog seems negative in spirit. I see this blog as a very positive thing, though, because it is proof that we came, we learned, and we changed. Too many people are afraid of learning something new, because then they might need to change – horror of horrors! 

Since I made the decision to abandon my previous faith, I have seen and learned many new things that have opened up a broader world to me. As I read about people across the world, and the many faiths and worldviews that exist, I find that many things I was once told by Christian leaders are/were far from the truth. People outside of Christianity are in fact full of happiness and, gasp, joy (I still find it silly that Christians claim that only they can experience this “unique” emotion of joy).
Talking about normal things, like making love, as if they truly are normal is not bad and can in fact be a very healthy approach to take. Witchcraft and other such religious beliefs don’t actually worship the Satan of the Bible, because, well… they don’t believe he exists (major oops on the part of so many who taught me that witches were evil people who made sacrifices to the Devil). Eastern religions, such as Taoism and Buddhism, are not full of mumbo-jumbo that is “wise” but useless – much of the teachings are more deep and truly spiritual than the Bible’s teachings. Loving everybody and working towards world peace is not something to be feared because it will usher in the supposed coming of the anti-Christ – it’s the humane, mature and responsible way to live. LGBT people are not “dirty perverts” who choose to defy God by “sinful lust” – LGBT behavior is actually common in animals (google it!), and is determined by body chemistry and not personal choice. Men are not divinely ordained to “have the rule over” women, neither are women silly creatures who should never be in authority or out from under the “guidance” of a man – that’s all part of one of the biggest and most harmful lies to be perpetrated throughout history. 

Humans should be free to be free. We have voices and must be able to speak out. We have appetites that must be sated. When we are hungry, it is our body’s way of telling us it needs fuel. Why, then is humanity’s sexual appetite cause for suppression? All things in moderation works for food, why not lovemaking? Are we so afraid of our own bodies that we must hide things like sexuality? To some of you reading this, the concept of hush-hush sexuality is foreign and antiquated, but to those in the Christian faith, namely fundamental Baptists, you know what I’m talking about. My parents never let me see or hear anything about sex growing up. In fact, “sex” was a dirty word. My Christian school/Sunday school teachers, the pastors at church, and the teachers at the Baptist college I attended all approached the topic of sex as if it were a great evil to be struck down. Sex was only to be partaken of after marriage, because once you said vows in front of a minister, it somehow made it okay to fulfill the urges you were designed to have. I came through all this teaching with the conclusion that love was somehow more pure if it did not include sex. I now know that such a view is very much in error. The physical manifestations of love, the making of love, give a whole new dimension to the love two people have for each other – it is beautiful, not something to be feared. If sex is not engaged in with the end goal of producing offspring, who cares! Bringing pleasure to yourself is not evil. If eating pleases you, wonderful – just don’t become a glutton or you will harm your body; if making love pleases you, great – just do it in a responsible manner so nobody else is harmed. I could keep going on this subject, but will stop here.

I found this anonymous quote to be very accurate: “There is no religion greater than love and there is no weapon greater than the sword of truth.” 

I will now leave you to ponder that statement and come to your own conclusions about what has been said here.

Brief Thoughts on "The Will of God"


She has a very good point…. 
When anyone (my past self included) presumes to know the will of God – be it from a sudden realization, from a passage of Scripture they read, whatever – their knowledge is tainted by their personal views, desires, experiences. So, what is the difference here between Christians and non-Christians? Non-Christians have sudden epiphanies and then tell people, “Hey! I just had a great idea! I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and after a lot of research, counsel, and trouble-shooting, I now know what I should do.” Christians have the same epiphany experience and tell people, “Hey! Guess what God showed me today! Yup, He definitely revealed His will to me. Praise God for showing a sinner like me what He wants for my life!”
It’s not that they have a very different experience, just that one person has the guts to take responsibility for their work and ideas while the other group claims it’s divinely inspired and now a holy quest. Conversely, when the non-Christian discovers he/she was wrong about the former decision/action, they can take responsibility for the mistake and change the course of action. If the Christian feels he/she was in the wrong, either they must think God had a bad idea (blasphemy!) or His once-so-clear guiding was grossly misunderstood, and if the Christian so grossly misunderstood things, well, he must be “living in sin” or something, right? 
Personally, in my past, I would read through the Bible regularly, study it through outside writing about it, and pray to God every day – I wanted to know His will. As I read and prayed, I thought about everything I saw and felt, and from those experiences I drew conclusions about what was the right thing to do, and considered it to be God’s will. Then later on down the road, when I realized that my original conclusion was wrong, I would feel confused (it had been so clear before, and that was what Scripture had said) and then feel a sense of guilt for being such a sinful idiot for misunderstanding things. After all, God wasn’t cruel and vindictive enough to lead me on or hide His perfect will from one of His children… was He? If I sought Him earnestly and did as His Bible told me to do, was I not following Him and considered to be His child? Consider this passage:

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.” ~ Luke 13:23-27

Ah, so apparently Jesus does not accept all those who seek Him out, which contradicts other passages in which He clearly states that all those who seek Him will be saved. A contradiction? Heavens no – it cannot be! Sadly, the contradiction of free will and predestination is very real, and has been for centuries – it has divided the supposed Bride of Christ into multiple camps, each claiming to be correct and warring with the other camps. If God were so loving and kind, why would He leave such confusing words in His book, because surely He knew it would divide His children and hurt the soundness of His words? After all, Paul teaches in I Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
All of this is a small part of why I have denounced the Bible and Christianity as being totally man-made and therefore not worthy of following. It claims perfection and divine authorization, yet its text is riddled with contradictions, confusing passages, and historical references that are not historically accurate. It is not what it claims to be, therefore it is a lie. 

Why Write?

What drives me to write? It’s simple, really: the quest for truth. I want to seek it out, test out what I find, and write about it as I go. My definition of truth itself has even changed. That alone is unsettling to most people, and understandably so, but I find a great sense of peace in the knowledge that I have grown and changed with my findings instead of stubbornly refusing to believe what I saw.

I don’t write out of hatred. I don’t write out of fear. I may be angry at times, but I do not let the anger control my writing. Rather, I allow it to focus my creative energy and push me to write to the best of my ability.

Much of this blog is about debunking the myths of religion and namely Christianity… but I do not hate Christians or all things Christian. To say that I did would be the furthermost thing from the truth. I do, however, despise the many dark, harmful things that have been perpetrated in the name of Christianity… the centuries of domination, persecution of all things non-Christian, and the pain it has caused so many people despite it’s message of love and peace. So, as you read what is written here, know that it was and is driven by a desire for all things to be fairly considered and the truth to be known.

I have undertaken liberty by opening my mind and setting my soul free. I challenge you to do the same. You might be surprised where the journey takes you. I certainly was.