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Those Crazy Christians!

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posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:04 PM
This is my story.........I hope you enjoy!

My great grandparents parents, on my mother's father's side of my family were by far the most influential people in the religious and spiritual experiences in my family. They were Quakers.

Quakers were radicals for their time because they stressed private interpretation of the bible and that spiritual truth could be found in any spiritual text, such as the Koran or Tao Te Ching.

They believed in the inherent good of all people and the equality of all peoples, including women and people of color.

Heaven, Hell - Quakers believe that God's kingdom is now, and consider heaven and hell issues for individual interpretation. Liberal Quakers hold that the question of the afterlife is a matter of speculation.

Sin - Unlike other Christian denominations, Quakers believe that humans are inherently good. Sin exists, but even the fallen are children of God, Who works to kindle the Light within them.

Baptism - Most Quakers believe that how a person lives their life is a sacrament, and that formal observances are not necessary. Quakers hold that baptism is an inward, not outward, act.

The more conservative Christian sects of the day considered them crazy for their unorthodox beliefs and practices.

3. Early Quakers didn't stress the physical resurrection. Again they got a lot of flack for this. I've seen this in the Nayler writings that I have read--they stress the idea of "spiritual body."

4. They discounted the overriding importance of Christ's death on the cross: not that it was unimportant, but that by itself it meant nothing, and wasn't effectual without the Inner Light.


Skip forward to the mid 1800's, my great great grandparents' daughter, my great grandmother was dissatisfied with her Quaker roots, married and then converted to become a Shaker, much to her parents' horror!

Here's a picture of my "crazy Christian" Shaker great grandparents.

The sect first appeared as an offshoot of the Society of Friends (Quakers), around 1750 in Manchester, England. The leaders of the group--which was called the Shaking Quakers, or Shakers--were husband and wife ministers James and Jane Wardley. The Shakers broke off from the mainstream Quaker church and came under the influence of a group of charismatic preachers and miracle-workers called the "French Prophets."

The Shakers were best known for the fervor of their worship services. Like the Quakers, Shakers would sit in silent meditation, waiting to be "moved by the Spirit," but the Shakers' response to this spiritual power was to tremble violently (hence "Shakers") and to spin and dance. Under the influence of the holy Spirit they engaged in group ring dances, marches, singing and shouting, speaking in tongues (glossolalia), prophecy, faith-healing, miracle-working, and spiritual trances, often accompanied by visons.

Ann Lee joined the Shaker community by 1758 and soon assumed leadership of the small community. The loss of four children in infancy created great trauma for “Mother Ann,” as her followers later called her.
Shakers believed that Jesus was the male manifestation of Christ and the first Christian Church; and that Mother Ann was the female manifestation of Christ and the second Christian Church (which the Shakers believed themselves to be). She was seen as the Bride made ready for the Bridegroom, and in her, the promises of the Second Coming were fulfilled.

Shakers were communal and donated all their possessions to the church. They promised celibacy and men and women stayed in separate quarters, although they did have specific rules and accommodations for married couple.

Of the more curious rituals of the Shakers were their dances.

"The dancing custom of the Shakers is one of the most interesting. A number of singers, probably a dozen or so, both sexes, would take their position in the middle of the room, half of them facing the other half, and begin a kind of song or chant.
"While doing so they would step back and forth in a fashion resembling a double shuffle. If the spirit seemed to move the watchers, they would rise and, two abreast, would begin marching round the singers in the center.
"Soon the march would turn into a dancing step, the faces would be uplifted, and the hands outstretched, palms upward, with a gesticulation as if the worshipers were grasping for blessing falling down from heaven.
"This would be continued indefinitely, sometimes the marchers and dancers falling from sheer exhaustion."

Another notable distinction between mainstream Christians sects of the day was that Shakers denied the physical resurrection of the body of Jesus after the crucifixion. They believed their salvation was in living the Christ like life through doctrine and repentance.

My great grandparents had a son, that married my grandmother, and she gave birth to my mother. Shortly after, my grandfather died of TB. My grandmother became an atheist.


Skip forward to 1950's. My mom gets saved at a Katherine Kuhlman revival meeting and converts to 4 Square, Assembly of God and Pentecostal, all rolled up into one.

Check out this woman's neurolinguistics!

This is the way I grew up.

Today there are still radical Christian sects turning up, but they seemed to more geared toward alienation and bigotry. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like it getting even crazier out there.

Got Christian? Tell us your story!
edit on 30-4-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-4-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:16 PM
First off; Great post, I very much enjoyed reading it, I will have to go back and watch all the videos later.

My story?

Grew up in a Catholic household until my parents divorced when I was about 3-4. Then my mother remained Catholic (but didn't really go to church) and my father started going to a "non denominational" Christian church.

I, for the most part, thought it was boring and just a bunch of stories that parents used to scare kids into behaving, I was always attracted to Science and pursued that all throughout my High School and some of my college years until I had what most would refer to as a "religious experience", my good friend was with me during this experience and he experienced it as well... Since then I have been attending Church every Sunday.

Crazy how much one night can change your life...
edit on 4/30/2012 by ArrowsNV because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by windword

My story involved selling my freedom and beliefs for hope and "eternal life". It felt good to finally belong...but even then, it didn't feel right. Eventually, I decided that I was not going to lie to myself to the point of creating a delusional faith, even so far as to completely rewrite how I think, just so I could have a nice afterlife...especially when there's no proof that an afterlife exists.

So I dropped out of the whole Christian deal, and began my own search. And quite frankly, what I've found isn't exactly Christian...and yet, it has brought me more joy than any church could lay a finger on. To know that science and religion are truly different interpretations of the same reality, a reality we have barely begun to grasp...

It is truly astounding. And I hope that, one day, the entire world will know exactly where we come from, and where we're going...and will choose to grow and progress together, as one race. Because no life is worth living if you only believe in what you want to. That's a Matrix, a prison of the mind...and it yields no fruit for the man who seeks the light. Eventually, we will all find the truth, and those who do not will simply fall away. I myself will never again forsake the truth for hope...especially...especially when the truth is so awe-inspiring.

I just hope everyone else gives it the chance to see the light of day, and that when I see the puzzle in its dazzling entirety, I will recognize it for the perfection it is.

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:25 PM
reply to post by ArrowsNV

Cool, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, it is amazing what one experience can do to change your entire perspective.

reply to post by Starchild23

I hear you! I also walked away from the church and that's when the soul searching began.

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:41 PM
All I can say is WOW that is an amazing story you have there
But it's cool that you can trace your family's roots that far; I can only go back to my grandparents. I do agree its getting pretty wacky out there, but there have always been wacked-out Christian sects in the world, even back when the Bible was being written. If you read through the New Testament you will see Paul correcting those who believed you had to be a Jew first, then become a Christian (Galatians), or those who thought true Christian love was letting your step-son sleep with your wife (1 Cor. 5:1), or those who wouldn't eat meat out of fear that someone may have offered it to an idol prior to sell (1 Cor. 8). Some of what you described I couldn't even call Christianity. After that story, where has that left you as far as religion?

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:45 PM
As far as my story? My parents were Christian but weren't practicing. I went to church a little when I was a small child, but after they divorced, we didn't go, so you can say I was agnostic most of my life. My mom wanted me to get confirmed in the Catholic church when I was 13, so I did, but I was turned off to the Catholic church after I actually read the New Testament. I actually thought, "we can't be reading the same book". But anyway, after learning about different religions and philosophies (I read all the time), I actually came to faith in Jesus when I was 21. I know that in spite of all the foolishness that I saw from the church that seeds were still planted. After much consideration, I came to trust the Bible and what it told as truth, and here I am

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 06:46 PM
reply to post by wjones837

I think that I've kinda come full circle and identify with my Quaker roots the most. I embrace all paths to enlightenment. I don't believe in the literal interpretation of the bible, or that Jesus was born of a virgin, died on the cross, was resurrected or that he was god incarnate.

I'm a spiritual seeker and have been rewarded with some great spiritual experiences. I pursue "Christ Consciousness," rather than Christianity.

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 07:57 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 08:05 PM
reply to post by Iason321

Hey Iason, welcome back, and welcome to my thread.

I'm sorry if you're offended by my OP, but I think you're not taking in the manner in which it's presented. What I mean to say is that, every generation has spin off sects that mainstream Christians think are crazy.

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 08:07 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 08:25 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 08:44 PM
reply to post by windword
Good post, friend. I don't think my family got into Christianity until my Mom, who got religion rather fast after having some kind of experience involving a paranormal event. She fled our home, and went to her Dad's home, where, according to my uncle, would go in the outhouse and pray loudly for hours. She was always scared of me, and called me many names associated with Christianity. She drug me to church on Wednesday, Thursday, and twice on Sunday. I was slated to be a minister, you know. Then there came a time when an argument broke out with me, the preacher, and a deacon over some if the inconsistencies and Contradictions in the Bible. My Mother disowned me in 1987, and died alone. I would give most anything to know what she saw.

posted on Apr, 30 2012 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by autowrench

Thanks for your input Autowrench.

At the time of our parents and grandparents hey day, so to speak, spiritualism was very popular. People were beginning to study Ouija, Tarot, attend seances, etc.

My grandfather, who died of TB shortly after my mother's birth, was heavy into Ouija and Tarot. My grandmother told me that he secretly thought god was punishing him for applying witchcraft, by giving him TB.

My mom was so full of fear, all the time. She used to tell me, many times, like it was the first time, eyes wide and scary, that she saw the devil. As adults, when my daughter, grown, and I went to visit her, she would come into our rooms in the middle of the night, stand at the foot of the bed and start talking in tongues.

Sometimes I wonder just what was really unleashed when we dropped those bombs on Japan, because my mom used to get so pious and say "America is the best country in the world, because he have God and the Bomb! Just evil, pure evil.

edit on 30-4-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 12:18 AM
reply to post by DavidsHope

Are you a Quaker, Shaker, disciple of Katherine Kuhlman, a Jesus Camp employee, or a member of the Westboro Baptist Church? If so, How have I misrepresented or defiled your sect of dogma?

In the OP, I examine the beliefs of my ancestors, and how radical they were for their times. Other, more mainstream, Christians thought they were crazy for their style of worship.

I currently find I align best with the Quakers, as I stated. How is that Christian Bashing? Do you think I hate Christians because I align myself more with Quakers than Pentecostals?

Are you aware that there are Christian sects that believe differently with a different emphasis? Are you uninterested in the the Protestant wing of Christian diversification?

Do you think all Christians have the "way," or just your sect?

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:03 AM

Originally posted by DavidsHope
Yet another Christian bashing thread: I also am not fooled: Neither am I crazy.

How exactly did you come to that particular decision? I see no bashing of any religion here. Why do people identify with a religious organization in the first place? Is it now chic to say, "I am a Christian" upon meeting someone? If you want to see Christian bashing, look to Nigeria:

Attack on Christians in Nigeria kills at least 15

Nine Christians killed following accusations of blasphemy in Nigeria

Nigeria: Christians Killed

Here in America, here in Above Top Secret, we who have researched and studied the Bible and Religious Theory only Educate Christians. We do not kill them. As a Christian, can you explain to me where all the hate comes from?

Why Do Muslims Hate Christians

Why Does America Hate Islam?

Why Do Muslims Hate Christians

You are seeing hate where there is none, and not seeing hate where it is rampant, and in your face. You certainly do not see Wiccans, Buddhists, and Atheists hating and killing each other over religion.
edit on 5/1/12 by autowrench because: to correct spelling error

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:14 AM
post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:22 AM
The Shaking Quakers would be an awesome name for a band.
Nice one windy for letting us have a peek into your family roots.

The only side of my family that seemed remotely religious were the Irish Catholics on my dads side. More interesting to me are the Christadelphians in my fellas family.
edit on 1-5-2012 by Suspiria because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 09:47 AM
reply to post by windword

How nice of you to make fun of people who have different beliefs. Very merciful and generous of you to do. Reminds me of Mr. Savage who went on a tirade against christian teens at a highschool in california.
edit on 1-5-2012 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by lonewolf19792000

I have "made fun" of no one.

I challenge you to watch and listen to the video of Katherine Kuhlman, and then come back and tell me one thing Christian, one thing biblical or one Jesus inspired thing she said. All she talks about is herself and how everybody loves her.

My mother was a disciple of hers. I went to more tent revivals than I can remember. I was sent to "Jesus Camp" every summer, Were you sent to Jesus Camp as a child? Walk a mile in my shoes brother.

I challenge you to watch the Shaker video and tell me that I am making fun of her. She's beautiful and obviously having fun with that new fangled camera tech, as she does a "Holy Spirit Dance." The Shakers emulate Sufism, in my observation.

posted on May, 1 2012 @ 11:10 AM
At times ATS has several threads going that bash Christians, eagerly predict the demise of Christianity, and expound with great vigor upon any defects of the religion and its followers, past, present and future.

But, this isn't one of those. At least I don't see it that it is. Many religions have their "fringe groups" and Christianity is no different. The OP explores his (or her?) roots in some of these Christian groups that could be considered "fringe" and invites others to share their experiences. I can't see that as bashing.

Anyway - I digress.

Winword - you said above..

Originally posted by windword
The Shakers emulate Sufism, in my observation.

I spent some time in a Pentecostal church. One thing I did notice was that Pentecostalism and many of the "spirit filled" branches of Christianity do seem to emulate regions they would consider Pagan in matters of manifestations of the spirit.

The culture and teaching in such churches can be very different that of other more mainstream denominations - and it can be very hard to break from it for some.

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