Discussion in 'Controversial' started by ProDeo, Sep 12, 2017.
I meant Pascal, not you
Makes WAY more sense.
Had to let this sink in first.
Are you implying that Christian life was a burden?
And when you left the faith you felt released from that pressure?
I have to admit that I can somewhat sympathize with hisleast in that regard. Being a Christian is a struggle a lot of the time. It is NOT an easy walk. If it were "easy," I think the Christian population would skyrocket.
Nothing worth doing is ever easy.
True, but I haven't read statements from you like: feeling absolute desolate wailing emptiness in your faith on a 24/7 base. Then something is wrong. As for reasons sin statistically would top the list. You know yourself how destructive a guilty conscience can be even when you rationally know you are forgiven. Let alone if a Christian can't overcome a particular sin and isn't able to break the chains. It has the potential to destroy your faith. I had my own share. I can think of more reasons.
True. I haven't walked away from Christianity. I don't believe I will. But I'd be lying if I said it's never entered my mind. On more than one occasion I've thought, "Why am I doing this?" There's a part of me that knows it wouldn't be wise to turn my back on God. There's also a part of me that wishes the frustrations and struggles would ease up.
Are you implying that Christian life was a burden? That's a surprisingly hard question for me to answer. If I say yes, most will think its because "hisleast wasn't strong enough to endure that the world will hate him for being christian" or "hisleast would prefer to lead a sinful selfish life, rather than a Godly moral one". So on the one hand, the word "burden" might possibly be a good fit, but not for the reasons most would think. When I think of the struggle, it isn't in terms of the world's opinion of me, or a desire for guilt free sinning. I think of the "burden" of waking up every morning overwhelmed with paranoia, fear, confusion, self loathing, and omnipresent social pressure to lie.
And when you left the faith you felt released from that pressure? The paradox is that by the standards I held while being a Christian, I live a better life today than when I was. More sorrow to be sure, but also cleaner, rested & peaceful. I often provoke in jest "what if the holy spirit lead me out of Christianity"? The first year, the only thing that was easier was the internal assurance that I was no longer a liar... that I was, at least, being consistent. In every other way, it was harder. The retribution I suffered from family and friends in the church. That got better over the years, but I still ain't right with my dad, who was the cornerstone of my existence. People always talk about "counting the cost" before becoming a Christian. I say simply count the cost of saying/doing anything true. I paid more on the way out than on the way in.
That hurts brother. I wish there was a way you and your dad could reconcile your relationship. I can't imagine not having a relationship with my dad, or my kids not having one with me.
Wow that's horrible. I've never felt that way once since believing in Christ. I've certainly struggled with the kind of doubt and fear that comes with just dealing with life and facing difficult times and severe losses and etc. but not at all what you describe that's created by the religious environment I'm in, certainly not by my current church which is full of love and grace, and certainly not by the many churches I've attended over the years.
Your story reads very similar to what people experience when leaving a cult. Honestly.
What if the Holy Spirit did in fact lead you out of what doesn't honestly look like Christianity but a pseudo-Christian cult environment?
I mean my kids don't confess Christ or even attend church, but they're still my kids for Pete's sake and I will never in the history of ever stop loving them for not following Christ. That's between them and God. We taught them and try to live out our faith before them, but they must choose for themselves in the end. They're all grown adults who work hard and have stable lives and make good decisions, and I'm so very proud of them for that. We have a tight-knit family and I'm thankful that our kids are as close to us and each other as they are. I can't imagine ever casting them out of my life for adopting a different belief system; unless they themselves choose to cut me off (which certainly can be painful but the love of a parent is the love of a parent and transcends interpersonal challenges). I firmly believe that when it's time God will bring them on home. Meantime they're still our children and part of our lives, the end.
Being a Churchian is a burden.
Being loved by and loving Jesus is not.
His burden is easy and his yoke is light.
If you carry a burden in your "faith," it wasn't God.
That's heavy stuff....
The below likely is premature, but it is how one can read it.
If so, apologies in advance.
If I focus on what I have colored blue, can you say you were Christian because of the social, educational, family pressure (especially from your father) to be one? Knowing the price you had to pay if you did not? And you did, while actually disliking to be a Christian and logically your conscience started to rebel because of the dishonesty you were living, hence the feelings of self loathing, and omnipresent social pressure to lie ending in where you are now feeling relieved because: that I was no longer a liar...
It's something I can understand.
This is only one interpretation of scripture. To bring the thread back to its original purpose... I can't stand the thought that someone believes this, is wrong, and burns for eternity anyway.
No. I would say I was a Christian as authentically and legitimately as you believe yours to be in this moment.
No, that's the Gospel.
Anything else is not
Honestly HL, one thing I really like about interacting with you is that you say it like you see it, at least online. It may be easier to be blunt online than face-to-face (and while that can be a good thing as well as a bad thing, here with you I rate it as a good thing).
When you describe this paranoia and pressure to lie, it reminds me of when I was a teenager and still going through the motions of attending church. If you asked me directly I'd say I was a Christian but really had little idea just what I was involved with, other than the fact I went to church every Sunday because, well, that's what you do on Sunday when you're a Christian. At that time Christianity seemed to be little more than a list of things that began with "Thou shalt not" and a moral maze of juggling the letter of the law with the spirit of the law, with the general tendency that whichever meant you could do less was the one to go with. I can't say I experienced overwhelming paranoia or fear but can certainly sympathise with the social pressure to "be a good Christian" when among Christians, paired with the social pressure to be cool when with other friends.
During my university days there were a few people who were seriously full-on Christians, hugely charismatic types who talked as if every little thing that befell us was down to spirits of this and demons of that. For a time I learned to speak their language and could merrily drive away the spirit of doubt and the demon of uncertainty with the best of them but despite all the talk of a growing faith when it came down to things that actually mattered it just wasn't there. I could cast away the spirit of doubt from someone who spoke the same Christianese that I did yet didn't have the cajones to pray for someone who needed healing because, you know, what would happen if I prayed and they weren't healed? At that time I'd say I was a Christian without a doubt, I used to go knocking on doors inviting people to talk about Jesus and the people around me thought I was a hugely strong Christian, until my doubts started to destroy my faith from the inside helped by the way that in circles like that it wasn't good to admit you had any doubts at all.
I can somewhat identify with this. Back around the time I was maybe 19/20 I walked away from the church completely and went back into the occult. I remember I often justified it with the notion that most people were sorcerers in one way or another and I was merely the honest type who didn't pretend to be anything else. And having left the church at least partly because I had concluded I didn't want to be like the people I'd seen within the church (not all by any means, but enough of them) it didn't take long before it became clear that I was, in many ways, more spiritually inclined than the people who said they were spiritually inclined. Like you, most of my Christian friends more or less abandoned me as I abandoned the church (although a few of them were people I was happy to abandon, as they were the ones I didn't want to be like). I still remember the one guy who stayed a friend to me (and still is, -ahem- years later) and who didn't spend his time preaching at me because he was too busy just being a friend and living his life according to his standards (which made far more of an impact than any mini-sermon type monologues ever could).
Well, I know we are all different but I doubt you will hear from any member here that:
#1. he/she wakes up every morning overwhelmed with paranoia, fear, confusion, self loathing, and omnipresent social pressure to lie.
#2. he/she feels a liar in their faith.
Except from you.
Have you already figured that out for yourself?
As for me -
Scripture says - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Phil 4:7]
Even in times of struggle that is, the knowledge you are His, that you are bought with a price [1 Cor 6:20, 7:23] and that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Rom 8:38-39]
Makes me happy, even when I am going to a struggle it's comforting and makes me thankful.
That's pretty contrary how you experienced your Christian life.
Told myself the exact same thing years ago, with the same verses.
First you tell me to correct you if you're wrong about me, then you tell me I'm wrong about me.
You ask, was I a Christian because of "social pressure"? No.
You ask, was I a Christian because of "family pressure"? No.
You ask, was I a Christian because of my education? No.
I was a Christian, legitimate and authentic. That I struggled with it only makes me honest in my struggle, not illegitimate in my previous belief.
Look, you can believe me or you can imagine me a liar (as many of your brothers & sisters have). Neither stance will change what I know to be true, because I was actually there. I'll tell you once more (for your own edification, not mine): assuming my Christianity was illegitimate and inauthentic is a huge mistake.
Then neither is the you of the past, 'you'. But unless you're prepared to say that you've learned everything, given up, or entered into a static state, there's nothing to disagree over.
It's a basic truth. Give a depressed person everything they want and need, but if they remain depressed, it's the depression that matters. Believe all the tenets of Christianity, but feel empty, and it's the emptiness that matters. Be gifted at something, but lose your passion, and it's the passion that matters.
Is every interpretation one of many, except your view on hell?
I believe in a previous post I said that I don't doubt your sincerity and for the record (and your edification) I haven't changed my mind. There is no judgement in my posts just options for you to consider, as the one Kierk just posted. If there is a judgement after all it would be the notion you possibly haven't figured it out. Or better, another option for you to consider.
Separate names with a comma.