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Christian upbringing? (me, too) Recently born again? Let's talk!

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posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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Hi, guys n gals!
I'm putting this in Conspiracies in Religions as opposed to the OffTopic Religion Faith Theology forum, because I would like to purge the hornet's nest.

There is much condemnation, name-calling, negativity, bashing, insulting -- and other unpleasant behaviors -- going on on the "faith-based" forums of ATS lately. One of the problems, as I see it, (please note I said one of the problems) is that there are "whole-life Christians' who have life experience, who are interacting with 'just-lately Christians'. Those of us who were brought up in the faith (whichever denomination), and left...and those of us who stayed....and those of us who quit and returned.....

As I watch the online drama between the different "factions" (if you will), I notice a lot of pain. People saying "I'm tired, and I want to go home," or "I wish the end times would get here," or "I'm bone-weary, sick of this." The more recently "baptized" or "converted" in particular seem to have some deeply-seated, recently traumatic, things going on.

This is one of the common themes among members who post in these forums and are also extremely passionate about their particular view of the spiritual.

Millions of people have chronic stomach aches....headaches....insomnia....due to stress in their lives. I would like to open a dialogue and explore the various childhood experiences that led members....who were, or are now, calling themselves "Christian".... to where they are today. Many are later-life converts, and many have profound personal childhood experiences that have contributed to the trajectory of their spirituality.

In the interest of finding common ground, I'm hopeful that we can establish a level-headed, non-hostile, compare-and-contrast type of discussion.

I'll go first:

I was brought up in the Episcopal church; the American off-shoot of the Church of England/High Anglican tradition. I effectively left it in my mid-teens. When I was 19, I moved away from home, and shortly thereafter was exposed to the Urantia Book, Hindu/Krishna-ism, etc.....for the next four years went to church only when I was feeling weak, and wanting to stay somehow connected to my family. I felt nothing, at an Easter Sunrise service! My mom kept telling me to "go to church" to meet new people, and I always refused. Always.

I had a gut feeling that "church people" were kind of 'off', or 'toxic', even. This was based on early childhood exposure, and also middle-school aged exposure to other faiths, and "clubs". Mustard Seed; revivalist sects, Catholics, etc....

Even so, my first wedding was a full-length feature in the Episcopal church, and my first child was baptized in the Episcopal church. By the time my second child was born, I felt it was unnecessary (just like circumcision).

I pursued my interest in world religions, and learned about several Buddhist sects....adding to that my upbringing and adolescent explorations into "forbidden" or "crazy" mind-sets, I have become quite acutely aware of the issues between those who follow them.

So, here I am. Baring my soul. Some say "new agers are spiritually dead", some claim their belief is the "only Way, Truth, and Life" ......but some say "all religious traditions have a grain of truth."

I would like to discuss the differences between us...civilly, courteously, kindly. Anyone interested?

The "conspiracy angle" being: How did your particular denomination influence you to give yourself over to it?

PS: I am content, healthy, and feel very whole. Anyone who would like to discuss "how", is welcome to reply/ message me!
edit on 16-7-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-7-2012 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I would be interested in discussing our differences.

Let's begin with "unconditional love", except in the following chapters that give a very long list of people who are so NOT loved, they will go to hell if they don't morph into sheep and get very meekly led by the hand into the ranks of conformation. Homosexuals, nature worshippers, those who eat pork, or anyone who has been circumcised. Not to mention those who lay with their wife during her moon cycle.

But his love is unconditional. Shall we discuss that?



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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Well, hi there... I grew up a Baptist...a southern Baptist...yup.

I grew up with God and Jesus and every Xmas was the Christmas Story and the church play redoing the Nativity Scene or some variation there of. Every easter, we had Sunrise service, and breakfast, and then church.

I know and still love all the old traditional hymns. Love and read the Bible. And I like the good old fashioned "hell fire and brimstone" style of preaching.

Many is the night we would be sitting at revival... listening to a visiting preacher lay the good word on Heaven and Hell... and it would be hot, and we would be flapping the paper and stick fans from the funeral home...the ones with Jesus kneeling in the garden or Jesus knocking at the door... and we would finish up with tearful renditions of Just As I Am or Softly and Tenderly jesus Is Calling...

Also, any good Baptist Church is known for their good cooks... if we won't preachin and singing and were at church... we were eating... deviled eggs, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, BBQ, sweet tater pie, chocolate pie... hotdogs and chips and ice cream at Bible School...and the hot dogs better be read... in NC, we eat red hotdogs... Jesse Jones or BrightLeaf

Anyway, Like any good teen, I strayed when I went to college... nothing like a sweet little number in a fraternity jersey to lead one into temptation...

then I found a short wave... about 1993... listened to preachers I never heard preachin stuff I never heard... found out stuff in the Bible I never knew... Behemoth, ezekiel's Wheel... then a few tragedies and divorces and some other bad stuff... and when I had gone so far the other way... I made my way back.

Oddly, as some claim the Bible actually pushes them from Christianity. I found it actually explained a lot of unanswered questions... and basically reaffirmed my faith.

I am a Christian still... but I am not an organized religion member... most churches have lost their fire... have no truthful guidance... deny the existance of demons, gifts of the spirit, the coming apocolypse, and really avoid any topic...either Biblical or contemporary... that is out of the comfort zone.

they just want to hear the same old comfy luvy, duvy sermons every Sunday... no stepping on their toes... I want to be challenged. I want to have to learn new things... and I want to get the meat of the Bible... all of it... Enoch, 3 Earth Ages, Giants and Nephillium, the apostacy of the church, Jesus may have traveled a lot in the east in youth and was influenced, ... stuff like that. most folks in church think that we will just float around on clouds with little chereb wings.... not so.

Anyway... that's me. Not everyone believes... that';s your business..I used to judge, then matured as a Christian... try not to judge any more... try not to do a lot of things that were selfish about me 10-20 years ago... I am still a butt hole at times...now I smile and say I am sorry.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Sure! Let's discuss! Thanks for responding.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:33 PM
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You are a brave soul, madame.

What would you say is a foundational belief for you at this point in your life?
What do you measure every other belief against?
If you get what I'm asking.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I was born and raised up as an Evangelical Protestant Pentecostal Christian . It has one of the most strictest teachings and ordinances of the Christian denominations. Apostolic members being the only one a tad more strict in that they actually run around with the snakes whereas we just have faith that if we took up serpents, they would not harm us. We didn't feel compelled to prove it though.

Anyway, I was one of several daughters who grew up in this faith with a father who was a preacher . I was "strongly urged" to study the Bible for myself so that if I ever was in a situation and I did not have a Bible on me, I would be able to draw upon my learning. It sucked back then, but it's so funny now. I can tell when people are misquoting scripture and when they are using it out of context. I may not remember the chapter for the verse but I remember whole passages.

I left the established faith a long time ago (I will not share why) and I even tried other denominations, and found them to be either lacking in some areas or obsessive and zealous in other areas. I found others to be more of what I would call, the religious arm of the United States Republican Party. They don't preach Christ. They preach politics. So, now I guess I just consider myself a Christian who's very spiritual. Now, I focus on just the teachings of Jesus Christ and use the rest as encouragement.

There is a whole lot more that I left out on purpose , but that's all I'm sharing.


edit on 16-7-2012 by skepticconwatcher because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


I want to get the meat of the Bible... all of it... Enoch, 3 Earth Ages, Giants and Nephillium, the apostacy of the church, Jesus may have traveled a lot in the east in youth and was influenced, ... stuff like that. most folks in church think that we will just float around on clouds with little chereb wings.... not so.

Anyway... that's me. Not everyone believes... that';s your business..I used to judge, then matured as a Christian... try not to judge any more... try not to do a lot of things that were selfish about me 10-20 years ago... I am still a butt hole at times...now I smile and say I am sorry.

Yes. Thanks for responding. I've been looking into the Giants thing lately. I actually do buy into the Nephilim/ Ancient Aliens stuff. I just have not found any "organized" religion that reflects what I believe.




posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


What would you say is a foundational belief for you at this point in your life?
What do you measure every other belief against?
If you get what I'm asking.

I do get what you're asking!

I would call myself a "new ager"....as distasteful as that is for many on here. I think that every religious tradition has valid things to offer. I believe that every person has to find their own path, regardless of early indoctrination...because each of us is unique. No other human being can "tell us" truly about the "truth that passeth understanding". We must find it on our own. Thanks for responding.

Not so much "brave" as 'confused'.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by skepticconwatcher
 



Evangelical Pentecostal Christian

Indeed. And I thought I was in the hardcore stuff. You must be one tough cookie. Have you cut your hair since leaving? Play any cards? I guess my real question is have you relaxed some since you've been away from that?
If you don't want to answer, no problem. Thanks for sharing what you did.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Explain to me the justifications of "unconditional love" becoming so conditional, so quickly. It's a little bit of a turn-off, worshipping a god that judges so harshly, so quickly, when he's the one who supposedly made us this way, just so we have to fight our entire lives to resist the nature he bestowed us with. The mere act of creating hell says that he's ready on a hair-trigger to condemn us for all of eternity. Yet his love is so unconditional?

Explain this to me, please.

edit on 16-7-2012 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


I am a Christian still... but I am not an organized religion member... most churches have lost their fire... have no truthful guidance... deny the existance of demons, gifts of the spirit, the coming apocolypse, and really avoid any topic...either Biblical or contemporary... that is out of the comfort zone.

they just want to hear the same old comfy luvy, duvy sermons every Sunday... no stepping on their toes... I want to be challenged. I want to have to learn new things... and I want to get the meat of the Bible... all of it... Enoch, 3 Earth Ages, Giants and Nephillium, the apostacy of the church, Jesus may have traveled a lot in the east in youth and was influenced, ... stuff like that. most folks in church think that we will just float around on clouds with little chereb wings.... not so.

I agree with you. I understand what Christ is reported to have said. Good message. But I have not found any 'organized' or 'unorganized' Christian "take" on things that resonates.

I do believe he traveled in the East. I do believe that he learned from Tibetan monks....and also from his Essene family (and extended family). I don't believe that he actually "resurrected".....
but there is no question that his message is worthwhile (as were previous messages from venerated teachers).

Love one another. The Golden Rule. That is all.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by Klassified
reply to post by skepticconwatcher
 



Evangelical Pentecostal Christian

Indeed. And I thought I was in the hardcore stuff. You must be one tough cookie. Have you cut your hair since leaving? Play any cards? I guess my real question is have you relaxed some since you've been away from that?
If you don't want to answer, no problem. Thanks for sharing what you did.



I did things .

I did things




posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by skepticconwatcher
 


I left the established faith a long time ago (I will not share why) and I even tried other denominations, and found them to be either lacking in some areas or obsessive and zealous in other areas. I found others to be more of what I would call, the religious arm of the United States Republican Party. They don't preach Christ. They preach politics. So, now I guess I just consider myself a Christian who's very spiritual. Now, I focus on just the teachings of Jesus Christ and use the rest as encouragement.

It's perfectly fine with me that you left out some info. Nevertheless, why do you choose not to disclose? I respect absolutely your right and feeling to do so. This is one of the things I want to discuss.....

with those who are willing. Are we afraid of ridicule? Condemnation? Shunniing?

Brightest blessings, conwatcher!



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Explain to me the justifications of "unconditional love" becoming so conditional, so quickly. It's a little bit of a turn-off, worshipping a god that judges so harshly, so quickly, when he's the one who supposedly made us this way, just so we have to fight our entire lives to resist the nature he bestowed us with. The mere act of creating hell says that he's ready on a hair-trigger to condemn us for all of eternity. Yet his love is so unconditional?

Explain this to me, please.

Erm, I'm afraid can't. I don't get it either. I don't believe in the Biblical asshat God who then became the all-kind, unconditional-love guy.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by skepticconwatcher
 


I did things .

I did things

So did I.
We've all 'done things'. It doesn't make us condemned. It's part of being human.

Some dance outside the fire. Some don't. I'm a "don't".



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Thanks, folks, for responding. The point is for us to discuss "why" we feel the way we do....what was the particular "approach" that your religious upbringing presented? Do you feel like you are a failure? (I do not, anymore, feel that I am a failure).....

In the spirit of Conspiracies in Religion....what did your early (or later) indoctrination put in your head regarding "worthlessness" or "perpetual sinner" who is beyond redemption unless.....

Unless....

I just don't buy it.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:04 PM
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Okay, I have to log off now.. I spent a good hour (adding up all the efforts for the last 2 hours) putting this idea together...and now I have to sign off. Be assured I will check in asap....
and hope we can have a great dialogue about this issue!!

~w



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:05 PM
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I have been noticing a common trend among non-believers. The trend is not specific to any one group of non-believers. Some are angry, some have never believed, some have believed and now do not but feel like they have figured it all out. Now, lets get to this trend I speak of...it seems that so many of these people are jaded because they feel like God should be what they want Him to be. That is a big problem. This problem stems from humans having difficulty being servants. They want to be their own Gods. They want God to be one who accepts them regardless of their lifestyles, but is there to answer at their beckon call when they meet some kind of adversity. This is not the way it is. People need to put aside their arrogance. God is watching, waiting for you to reach out to Him. We don't get to make up the rules. The rules are His. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. You have to have faith in Him. We don't get to question God's will, we just have to accept it.

I'll get off my soapbox now...flame away.



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I will remain civil, or I will just stop replying, okay? I read all of your original post, then scanned it a few times. I didn't catch where you stand today? What is your faith, and how much of it do you practice in your everyday life?

As for me, I was brought up catholic, but only in a sense that it gave my mother time away from me by ordering me to church on Sundays. She didn't go to church, and she never preached any type of belief in a god. But, I don't think I would've believed anyway. When I made my confirmation I happened to be seated next to my friend. I heard him sniffling and I turned to find him crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I've never been touched by a bishop before."

I looked at the bishop at the alter, and all I saw was a man. So, I'm guessing I wasn't open to feeling some kind of specialness about religion and its practices.

I can't count how many times I watched the movies of Jesus (Max Von Sydow was my favorite Jesus character) and Moses. But, I enjoyed them in the same way as I enjoyed The Wizard of Oz. Just great movies.

In my early twenties I got into reading the bible. Maybe I was opening up to the possibility that the bible stories might be real, but I all got out of it was thousands of questions and no answers.

In my thirties, a dream is what completely woke me up to the ridiculousness of a Christian biblical god. It wasn't even a religious dream. I don't remember much of it. Maybe I was walking downtown to meet someone - I just don't remember. What I do remember, though, is a drunken bum with long dirty hair and beard, in a filthy overcoat and carrying a near empty bottle of booze. This drunk staggered up to me and said in slurred words, "Hey, hey, buddy, did you know there is an ALL-powerful, ALL-knowing, invisible being who created the WHOLE universe, and who lives in another dimension called heavennnnnn?"

For quite a while (I'm talking years) I pondered that drunk's statement. And the more I thought of it, the more absurdly impossible this statement became, to the point where I felt embarrassed that I had even considered buying into such a childish fairy tail. Over the last 20 years I have even become embarrassed for the billions that actually fell for this crap.

Is there SOME kind of a god? I honestly don't know. Are the biblical gods real? Not even close!



posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by Verity27
I have been noticing a common trend among non-believers. The trend is not specific to any one group of non-believers. Some are angry, some have never believed, some have believed and now do not but feel like they have figured it all out. Now, lets get to this trend I speak of...it seems that so many of these people are jaded because they feel like God should be what they want Him to be. That is a big problem. This problem stems from humans having difficulty being servants. They want to be their own Gods. They want God to be one who accepts them regardless of their lifestyles, but is there to answer at their beckon call when they meet some kind of adversity. This is not the way it is. People need to put aside their arrogance. God is watching, waiting for you to reach out to Him. We don't get to make up the rules. The rules are His. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. You have to have faith in Him. We don't get to question God's will, we just have to accept it.

I'll get off my soapbox now...flame away.


Amen brother. It's his way or no way and it always has been. We have to meet him on his terms not vice versa. He is not the one that has to surrender, we are and the terms have been set.

Most people do not want to accept this, they want to do it their own way thinking they are the masters of their own fate, and so they are but there are only 2 choices. Life or death. Better a living dog than a dead lion.



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