Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Broken and Spilled Out

107 Comments

shattered-glass-1-daniele-smith

Often when reading blog posts I’m triggered.  Not into a downward spiral of despair.  More of a remembrance.  A remembrance of who I used to be.  A remembrance that causes me to take note of who I am today in relation to that person.

As I read this post at VictoriaNeuronotes and the subsequent comments I was brought to just such a remembrance. I remembered when I thought so little of myself that wanted nothing more than to be broken and spilled out because of what my supposed savior had done for me.  I was, in my mind, such a wicked person; so evil and vile that only a perfect blood sacrifice could atone for my shame, my depravity, my iniquity.  Unworthy of such a sacrifice I would be willing to sell my soul to the one who had made such a sacrifice.

I was reminded of this song by Steve Green which used to be a sort of personal anthem:

Broken and Spilled Out

One day a plain village woman
Driven by love for her Lord
Recklessly poured out a valuable essence
Disregarding the scorn

And once it was broken and spilled out
A fragrance filled all the room
Like a prisoner released from his shackles
Like a spirit set free from the tomb

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of You, Jesus
My most precious treasure
Lavished on thee

Broken and spilled out
And poured at Your feet
In sweet abandon, let me be spilled out
And used up for Thee

Lord, You were God’s precious treasure
His loved and His own perfect Son
Sent here to show me the love of the Father
Just for love it was done

And though You were perfect and holy
You gave up Yourself willingly
You spared no expense for my pardon
You were used up and wasted for me

Broken and spilled out
Just for love of me, Jesus
God’s most precious treasure
Lavished on me

Broken and spilled out
And poured at my feet, in sweet abandon
Lord, You were spilled out
And used up for me

I so identified with the very first verse of Amazing Grace:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

I even took to heart that John Newton had originally written, “…that saved a worm like me.”

A worm.  I was nothing more without Jesus than a wriggling worm in the dung heap of life. As a result of being told over and over that I was born as an affront to God, his enemy, I needed Jesus to mediate on my behalf. Made in God’s image, of course.  But I marred that image from the start by my own unrighteousness.  Anything good, and noble, and beautiful were the remnants of God’s perfect image.  The blackness, the ugliness, the humanness, that was all me. And that part of me deserved eternal damnation in a lake of fire. I needed a savior. And like anyone who has ever been saved from a sure fate of hell I was enamored with the savior.

This, folks, is the prescription company defining the disease and selling the cure.

I wanted to be broken and spilled out and used up in sweet abandon for any cause to which my savior called me.   And I was.  I was broken.  Every bit of my essence spilled out.  Shattered into a million little pieces.

You see, just as Victoria states in her excellent post, this all comes at a price.  Any notion of self-worth is hijacked and jack-knifed. Why would any loving parent want their child to be so broken?  How can this be called love?  In any other setting, if you removed the super-natural being from all of this, we would see it as twisted and abusive.  How can we just excuse this and say that because this is God there is some sort of caveat that makes this all different?somethingnew

So I’ve taken my million little pieces of broken and spilled out mess and I’m putting them back together.  I’m making something new.  I am reborn.

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107 thoughts on “Broken and Spilled Out

  1. Loved this, I remember teaching this to my own children, so many regrets.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Both yours and Victoria’s posts are so powerful. To me it’s like reading about aliens. It’s a world I can’t imagine. And reading about it, from your perspectives, makes me think it should be made illegal.

    Each to their own is one thing, but to cause such damage is a whole nother world.

    What perplexes me even more, is adults who willingly embrace this. Conversions. Testimonies. Whatever. It is seriously spooky. *shivers*

    Liked by 6 people

    • “And reading about it, from your perspectives, makes me think it should be made illegal.”

      It should be. When I started this blog two years ago I attempted to share what I’d gone through. In one of my earliest posts I wrote:

      ———–
      “When I made my final departure from Christianity, and religion all together, I realized that I didn’t know who the hell I was. “Me” didn’t exist anymore. I have not been able to articulate that feeling, yet, and every time I try, I cry.

      I had to pretty much start from scratch. Reinvent myself while working on atrophying (pruning) neural networks created by religious programming.

      What a huge feat that was for me. My previous passions and interests didn’t surface for a long time, and some were not able to be revived. I had to deprogram myself, and I did it alone because no one in my life understood what I was going through, and to try to explain it to them seemed to threaten their own faith.

      No one in my community, nor any family members had gone through what I’d gone through. A deconversion.

      No one understood.

      Today, almost a decade later, I am still dealing with the repercussions of leaving the faith — but

      It’s good to be alive.”
      ———–

      For people going through a deconversion or have been psychologically impacted by mainstream Christianity, there’s really no place to seek professional help — counseling. Even psychologists like Marlene Winell states:

      “Religion can and does cause great personal suffering, fractured families, and social breakdown. There are many individuals needing and deserving recognition and treatment from informed professionals. We need to let go of making religion a special case in which criticism is taboo. It is our ethical responsibility to be aware and our human obligation to be compassionate.

      http://www.babcp.com/Review/RTS-Trauma-from-Leaving-Religion.aspx

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks for text and not a vid link ;). And a very interesting one too. It’s just such a black and white world to someone like me. And yet, for deconverts it is so many nuanced shades.

        I would offer help if I could, but, it’s really people like you and Ruth who can offer the most solace and support as you have been there and done that. I’m really on the periphery, on the outside watching in.

        How does this suit though?

        Liked by 2 people

      • You know, even within Christianity there is great personal suffering, fractured families, and social breakdown. It’s not just when someone leaves the faith. It’s sometimes when a family member chooses another denomination. I’ve seen people literally shun family members who didn’t belong to the right sect. It’s familial breakdown when parents reject their children because the got pregnant out of wedlock, or because they’re gay, or because they fell in love with someone of another race. It’s societal breakdown when church members are excommunicated or shunned because they fell into “sin”. It’s personal suffering when people like Michelle are shunned because of stigma, or when someone like me is told abuse is not an acceptable reason to separate from your spouse, much less divorce them. When people are told they must sacrifice to the point of martyrdom to stick to the rules to be pleasing to some far away deity it’s traumatic. It’s not just people going through deconversion. Hell the people left behind need help.

        Liked by 1 person

    • And reading about it, from your perspectives, makes me think it should be made illegal.

      Yes Roughseas, I concur… HOWEVER, as we read and briefly discussed over on my last blog-post, that would be HIGHLY unConstitutional according to our Founding Fathers as well. Even those believing in Peter Pan or Marvin the Martian of Looney Tunes/Warner Brothers… are protected under our Constitution. Even if it’s all “spooky or shivering”, if it doesn’t LITERALLY kill law-abiding citizens it’s all free game! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Psychological Abuse Law & Legal Definition

        “Psychological abuse is a kind of abuse committed by a person subjecting or exposing another to a behavior that is psychologically harmful. Such abuse is often related with marital relationships, bullying, child abuse and in the workplace. It is also termed as emotional abuse or mental abuse.”

        http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/psychological-abuse/

        But if the psychological abuse takes place behind tax exempt church walls, it’s protected by the Constitution. Is that what you’re saying Professor?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Victoria, you bring up a fascinating yet controversial point. I wasn’t being that specific, and your point gets into a level of federal(?) law of which I am unable to expertly answer. 🙂

          With that (ignorantly) said, the first issue I can think of is the long standing “state’s rights/governing” versus federal governing, or intrusion as MOST Texans would scream it. Certain individual states will always, always fight too much federal intrusion into their social/cultural lives and courts and legislation. And we both know the type of money & resistance there would be behind those groups & individuals! 😦

          Second issue I can (ignorantly) think of is how lengthy & difficult it is to defend or prove “emotional and/or mental abuse” in a court of law, ESPECIALLY in those specific Red states of which we know and live in. 😦

          But to answer your question Victoria… no, I hear what your saying, I’m on your side of course, but I also know what sort of slippery slope that proving psychological abuse is with law enforcement, local & state courts, and pushing that cause to the federal courts inside ultra-conservative municipalities, counties, and states. Make sense?

          Liked by 3 people

          • Professor, proving abuse would perhaps be easier if the U.S. would ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. More countries have ratified the Convention than any other human rights treaty in history — 192 countries. The U.S. is the only developed country who hasn’t. No surprise there.

            Psychologist Marlene Winell states:

            The most difficult thing to overcome, by far, is overcoming the intense indoctrination of early years. As an adult, for example, the fear of hell can pop up and cause panic attacks even if a person rationally rejects the doctrine. They have to learn how to label the emotion as “conditioning” instead of “truth” in the process of healing what is essentially early brainwashing. Gradually people in recovery can learn to trust their own feelings and discover critical thinking. Self-trust is the key to reclaiming one’s own life, and not easy when there has been mental abuse.”

            It’s perfectly legal to subject children to harmful childcare practices in the U.S. — to terrorize children in the name of Christianity. This is a fucked-up country.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Darling, I think you lot take your constitution a bit too seriously. You need a clause in there that includes common sense. It seems to be lacking. You’d have been better off under British rule 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • That clause is in there, it’s just that people are so hell bent(pun intended) on having this be a Christian nation that they twist it(big surprise) to mean what they want it to mean.

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      • I think that the First Amendment of the Constitution is being misused. It covers an awful lot of stuff. This, as I’m sure you know, is what it says:

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

        So freedom of religion really just means that the government can’t establish a state religion, and it can’t prohibit individuals from practicing their religion. What does that mean exactly? I believe it was intended to keep the government from interfering in individual worship. These same people want to prohibit abortion asking who is speaking up for the unborn child. Yet they don’t want anyone to interfere in the way they rear their child, even if includes scaring the hell out of them. Who is speaking up for those children? What about the rights of those children?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Do adults willingly embrace it, or were they just as brainwashed and indoctrinated as children and didn’t have the ability to see things differently? It is so unfathomable though. I agree.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well there are blogs out there of people (mostly men that I’ve read) who seem to convert in, say their 40s. Sort of like chasing young women, or buying sports cars or motor bikes maybe? Ark’s theory is that they are all recovering from drugs, porn, or some other life issue. Who knows? Many claim to have been True Atheists before as well.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not even sure that they have to be brainwashed and indoctrinated. The power of suggestion is strong, especially in impressionable children.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Here in the U.S. one would be hard-pressed to make this illegal. Everybody is all about freedom. Their own, that is.

      I would suggest that in the U.S. it is hard to escape indoctrination. Even those who “converted” as adults were likely sent off to Vacation Bible School or taken to Sunday School when they were kids. When I was a kid the Gideons were allowed to speak and give out little Bibles at my public school. So even if the notion of demons and angels and heaven and hell isn’t shoved down your throat the subliminal messages are out there. Just hearing one time when you’re five how if you don’t believe in God and Jesus you’re going to be punished or just that you’re a bad person can have lifelong effects.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kate. Be glad it’s like reading about aliens. Be glad you can’t imagine it. Here in America people are all about their freedoms. They don’t want anyone telling them what they can believe or how they can rear their children. But they want to be able to tell women what they can do with their vaginas. Go figure.

      Here in America there are very few, if any, adults who haven’t heard about Jesus and God, heaven and hell, angels and demons, from a very young age. Even if they didn’t give much thought to it they heard it. Just thinking about how traumatic it is for a child to hear things like, “you’re stupid,” or “you’re ugly,” or “you’re fat,” I can’t imagine that hearing, “you’re bad and you’re going to be punished with fire if you don’t believe in Jesus,” would be any different. They can deny it all they want, but it’s there. Always.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this the comment and the encouragment. Also for the follow. -mike

    Liked by 2 people

    • I look forward to reading more over at your place. Thank you for your kind words. It means more to me than anyone could ever know that I might be an encouragement to those who find themselves in this place.

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  4. Ruth, I think there is something profoundly wrong with the way religion was/ is taught in the US of A.

    My sadness comes only because of the sleeping time I lost and the few times I doubted myself that maybe, just maybe a god was watching.

    So, while, I too was religious, I think most of the blogs I have read of deconverts from the US of A were really messed by their religious teachers.

    It must be ecstatic to have left all that behind. I am happy for you and for anyone who went through this and came out the other side safe

    Liked by 11 people

  5. Ruth, you really expressed some identical thoughts I once had when I was a Christian, and it grieves me that this is “the” main message of Christianity. It’s mind-control tactics that were initially practiced by Christian clergy such as Jonathan Edwards. He accidentally discovered the techniques during a religious crusade in 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He realized that by inducing guilt, shame and acute apprehension, the “sinners” attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit. Charles J. Finney was another Christian revivalist who used the same techniques four years later in mass religious conversions in New York. These same techniques are still being used today by Christian revivalists, clergy and cult leaders.

    My heart breaks when I see the cruelty of these teachings, and all the while our government is giving these churches and religious organizations tax exempt status so they can continue their abuse. I’ll never forget when I made the decision to deconvert. It hit me that I didn’t know who I was. It was the weirdest and most scariest feeling I’d ever experience. I had to reinvent myself, literally. I’m sorry that my post caused you to have triggers, but I am amazed how far you’ve come in such a short period of time. You nailed it when you said you have been born again. Same here. That peace they talk about — the peace beyond understanding? I never experienced it until my deconversion. Oh the irony. 😉

    *hug* ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m trying my best to trudge through a rather thick book about the psychology behind Bible believers. Perhaps, if I ever finish it, I’ll write a review.

      I’ll never forget when I made the decision to deconvert. It hit me that I didn’t know who I was. It was the weirdest and most scariest feeling I’d ever experience. I had to reinvent myself, literally.

      Yes. Yes. And yes.

      Your post just brought back some memories. I’m not down about it. In fact I don’t feel the sadness or the pain that I used to. It makes me breathe a sigh of relief that it is just exactly that. A memory.

      *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes I still feel the sadness and pain because I experience empathy towards others, especially those in the process of a deconversion. Sometimes I can experience triggers, and I still have to deal with the repercussions of being a non-believer in the most religious state in the Union. However, I have never felt more alive. I hope you will write a review of the book you are reading.

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  6. As Chris Hitchens once said, this kind of religious governance is like North Korea, in other words, a Thanotocracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hadn’t seen that video. Awesome! Unfortunately here, there are a lot of politicians pandering to their demographic who keep promoting the idea that this should be a theocracy. No. No. No.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The former faith kept promising rebirth and never delivered. How sad is it that it breaks people to the point of needing to do it themselves?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. These comments of readers who have deconverted, sometimes with great efforts, I find very interesting. I was brought up (outside the USA) among Protestant families who didn’t attend church regularly. But my parents sent me to Sunday School and made me read a Bible for children. I still have a copy of that book on a shelf behind me, and sometimes page through it, as it is really nicely illustrated, and written in such an attractive language that it still captures me now, 75 years later.
    But not for one moment have I ever believed those stories, I had no need at all to struggle against ideas; I see myself of having been born and baptized as an unbeliever. Easy, isn’t it?
    Maybe the nearest point I come to belief, is the, sometime inevitable, thought ..”What if all that is true?”… Needless to say that I reject it two seconds later, relieved.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Absolutely. I read the fervent blogs of believers and wonder what they are on. Mmmm, I might like that. And two seconds later? Get real Kate. But you can see the strange addiction before your eyes.

      Liked by 2 people

    • There are some politicians here who are proposing legislation to make it a law that citizens must attend a worship service of their choosing on Sunday.

      I envy the fact that you could read those stories and dismiss them for what they are. We were taught that they were true. And we believed that. Then we were discouraged from learning any different. Imagine believing for some 30-some-odd years that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, that Jonah was swallowed by a giant whale, that it flooded for 40 days and 40 nights. Imagine accepting all that and more. Then finding out, by accident really, that all of that is physically impossible. It seems so stupid to me now that I never questioned it sooner.

      I have that same fleeting, “What if it’s all true,” thought and, like you, just as quickly, “Nah…that’s ridiculous.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ok. Fine, I wish to worship [insert extremely sexual content here], or the local dog refuge shelter, or a few trees, or my extremely well made curtains. Or the cycling God. And I will worship him/her by going out on my bike. I mean, for real?

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        • The proposal was pretty quickly squashed for the very reasons you mentioned. Plus freedom of religion is really meant to be freedom to be religious or not. Those seeking to make this a theocracy forget that bit.

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      • You must be aware of Wally – a reborn evangelist – who comments here and there.
        I occasionally leave links to deconverts blog’s especially if a topic is relevant to one he posts.
        He deletes them all.
        I sense he understands but suffers a bit of cognitive dissonance when confronted by such things.
        Was it like this for you, Ruth,or did you simply dismiss any alternative explanation as born of the devil or similar?

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        • I thought he left one of yours up on the Crusader pic AGAIN! to say he had deleted all your other comments. Nearly mentioned it but so figured you’d see that that totally nice pic again anyway. Don’t think he loves me any more. Sad face.

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          • Haven’t visited for a day or two. Has Wally deleted all my comments? Really? lol.
            His chum, James , has banned me outright but loves to put up thinly veiled slagging posts , although sometimes he omits the veil almost entirely.

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          • Ya need to try subtle huh? Although you do managed to entice abuse. And you are such a sweetie, who tries to look after dying insects!

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          • I just popped over to his latest ”Armor of God” post. My comments are still up.
            I realise now I was referring to links I post for him. Those he deletes toot sweet. Maybe he is afraid of seeing some real truth?
            I rather liked my last comment, though, after he insulted John, too.
            I think dear Wally has had his sense of humour surgically removed.

            https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-armor-of-god/#comments

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          • I wondered what the links were. Yeah that was what I meant. Sorry, my head is spinning with other whacky idiots. Oops. Really nice intelligent Christians. IB has given me a post. I have made it!!

            I nearly answered your last one, John is in Sao no? Not Rio. Although I suppose he might go to Rio, my rellies did.

            All much ado about nothing.

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          • Yes, of course he is but he doesn’t want the locals to know now does he? Sheesh Use your noggin.
            Those rescue animals would likely never recover from the shock, poor things.
            😉

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          • Do you think John needs to rescue Wally? 🙂 I’ll shut up!

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          • Oh dear. I see Wally is using the same psychologically abusive tactics on his own followers:

            “The truth is, we are all lousy and have absolutely no righteousness of our own.”

            What’s really disheartening is that he most likely taught his children this. 😦

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          • And this type of projection is what gets right up my nose.

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        • I’ve seen him commenting maybe at yours and Violet’s? I have seen him around.

          I’m not sure if you saw the comments by Charity down below, but mainly I thought that anything-anything-that didn’t line up with scripture was of the devil. I eschewed science even though I had a proclivity to it. I always did well in the sciences at school. Then again, when we were taught about the theory of evolution in my science class it was poo pooed by the teacher as so much hooey. She just had to teach it because it was in the book basically.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I thought that anything-anything-that didn’t line up with scripture was of the devil

            Yes, just ask Galileo! Though I see in recent times the Church has retrospectively apologized to Galileo. Seems Scripture was not wrong, just the interpretation of it!

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  9. Oh, that is a brilliant last line!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s all so bizarre when you really think about it. Not the least bizarre is how sane is appears to those who believe. It seems so obvious that if you treat someone like they are good and valuable they are more likely to be such then if you assume their nature is to be sinful and wicked. There was that famous experiment in Germany where they had test subjects pretend to be prisoners and guards and when they took on those roles it really transformed them. While they never show it, sometimes I think that fundamentalists really have to be going through a constant battle within themselves. It must be exhausting.

    Maybe I’m the worm because your blog has me hooked. 🙂

    Sorry, a bad pun. My thoughts are with you and Victoria this week so I thought a little levity might help.

    *hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heh…I thought there was something fishy about you! 😛

      Ah, but the insanity is in the fact that they know it’s bizarre and relish in that fact. They know it’s unbelievable and crazy but there are scriptures that tell them that this is what makes it so magical. I’ll have to dig it up but I listened to a textual criticism lecture where the lecturer said something to the effect that this all appealed to the poor and uneducated because it elevated them to a status above the rich and nobility. Those who are above believing in the fairy tale are the idiots. Smh… It might take me a couple of days but I’ll dig it up. I think I’ve got it on an old school iPod Shuffle.

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      • I’d love to hear that lecture Ruth if you can find it. More importantly, great pun! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Here is the lecture from Dr. Richard Bauckham. It’s called The Gospels as Histories from Below. There are two parts and they are each about an hour long:

          http://www.sbts.edu/resources/lectures/jb-gay/the-gospels-as-history-from-below-part-1/

          http://www.sbts.edu/resources/lectures/jb-gay/the-gospels-as-history-from-below-part-2-2/

          I couldn’t find it on my iPod. It seems like I remember that it was broken down into several shorter sessions there but I may not be remembering that just right.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Did you listen to this on your iPod while driving? If so I am impressed with your ability not to crash and burn by falling asleep at the wheel. This guy is a horrible lecturer. Other than the fact that I do think there is a “common people” perspective in the Gospels. The degree to which they are history is questionable. But this is the problem with most Christian scholars it the take a priori the existence of Christ as real, his divinity as real, and that God most definitely exists. When you start out with these premises as being true, it colors what you are trying to demonstrate in a very particular way. As Bart Ehrmann’s book Jesus Interrupted points out that when you look at the Gospels from a historical point of view there are many contradictions and non-matching details between the Gospels. The best agreement comes between (I believe) Matthew and Mark, but this is only because Matthew was written based on Mark as it was written afterwards. Furthermore, the Bible wasn’t a terribly popular or well circulated book until much later, so to the degree that the Bible has appeal to the common people, or poor people is questionable until the printing press is available.

            Look I can see the “magic of it all” as being alluring. While the common person may not be considered poor in those days, because most people lived at the subsistence level, subsistence level is still a difficult life. One that requires daily effort to survive. With no education, and with the only educated person in your community possibly being a clergy telling you what the bible is all about. It’s easy to like that story. And since for the most part you just worked until you died, I think the more important people is the hope that it gives. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s false hope. I was watching the Shawshank Redemption last night and thinking about being in prison for 40 years. The routine, day in and day out. This is very much what it’s like for the poor even today. Who would like to believe a story is real that has an awesome reward at the end. The problem is, that it gives them no hope in their daily lives. In the only existence that we know is real. It teaches them that they must accept their earthly burdens for a magical one. And the fact that this lie is perpetrated by the rich and educated is the real crime here. And I don’t mean to just single out Christianity, because you can find the same thing in the Hindu religion. Karma and reincarnation is also “magical thinking” and as Victoria points out the psychological impact can be very damaging. To know that if you don’t act right, you could come back as a poor person, or an ant…or who knows. The impact on low caste people psychologically is even more damage. They are led to believe that their lot in life is because of something they did in a past life, and so they also are told to accept their earthly burdens so that they can be rewarded in a later incarnation. As a result the caste system in India has been in place for 1000’s of years. It is only within the last 30 years that the government has treated them as equals, but in the minds of the people, this will take much much longer as it is deeply rooted in their culture and religion. Quite simply I feel if you are not doing what you can to raise people up in this plane of existence, you have no business telling people of a magical future in which everything is better. And you also have no business making people feel guilty for their lot in life.

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          • Haha! No, I did not listen to this while driving. He is an awful lecturer! If memory serves I was listening on my iPod while gardening. I had to keep moving to keep from going into a coma. The kicker? My mind would start to wander so I would have to rewind and listen again. I’d catch the tail-end of something interesting and think, “wait, what did he just say?”

            I agree with you that I might challenge the degree to which this is histories from below for the very reasons that you state. But I did find it an interesting concept. Yes, anyone who accepts any of this as factual history is starting with some presuppositions about the Bible and the Gospels in general. I completely disagree with any conclusions drawn from this that the characters and players are somehow real. I don’t mean to say that they are entirely fictional either. Historical fiction would be where I would land on quite a bit of the writings.

            The thought that, for instance, the wisdom of the wise was foolishness or that the meek would inherit the earth, or that the poor would inherit the kingdom of heaven, or that those who persevered through hardships of any kind would be rewarded somehow in an afterlife while all those rich, smart sons of bitches got what was coming to them? Sure, false hope, but perhaps their only hope?

            As you can see, though, I haven’t and don’t just listen to and read things that support my own view(even if it is as boring as hell). I don’t mind being challenged.

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          • I know you are not someone who tries to remain in a bubble. Part of the reason why I like your writing is that it’s clear you show understanding of other points of view and smartly challenge those points of view for their validity. Mostly I found his points of view challenging my ability to remain conscious. Lol That being said I do find his thesis that these “histories” have a point of view that speak to the common people. I find the bible and religion fascinating from an academic point of view so I appreciate serious scholarship about it always (perhaps with a more concise and enthusiastic speaker lol).

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          • Swarn wrote: ” I find the bible and religion fascinating from an academic point of view.”

            I find it fascinating from a neuroscience POV. As you know, the brain was the last organ to be studied, and the brain is, yet again, not the main focus of explaining belief, yet it should be if we are going to understand how and why it has taken hold of our species. People tend to be skittish about discussing this because no one wants to think that there were abnormalities going on in their brain during belief, but there were. That’s why authoritarian religion is so dysfunctional because it’s founders and leaders were dysfunctional.

            Quote:

            “There is much evidence in history that the more profound religious insights occur alongside mental dysfunction. The psychologist William James, in his survey of religious experience, comments that there are a massive proportion of prominent religious people in history that have shown signs of now-recognized long-term neurological complaints. James:

            “Religious geniuses have often shown symptoms of nervous instability. Even more perhaps than other kinds of genius, religious leaders have been subject to abnormal psychical visitations. […] They have led a discordant inner life, and had melancholy during a part of their career. They have […] been liable to obsessions and fixed ideas; and frequently they have fallen into trances, heard voices, seen visions, and presented all sorts of peculiarities which are ordinarily classed as pathological. Often […] these pathological features in their career have helped to give them their religious authority and influence.

            “The average believer does not suffer from such severe cataclysms, however, and merely believes in the irrational results of others’ experiences that have become codified as part of a religion. In normal believers, it may be a long-term background dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex that leads to illogical beliefs:” http://www.humanreligions.info/causes.html

            ————————————————

            You know, I can laugh about this now because here I thought that there was something terribly wrong with me that I wasn’t having these same kinds of “spiritual” experiences. How many Christians thought there was something wrong with them — that they weren’t “spiritual”, “holy” enough, submissive enough, so they kept “dying” to themselves hoping to become just like the ones who had neurological dysfunctions. It is for this reason that I consider myself very fortunate that I broke away because the longer you stay in an environment like this the greater likelihood you will experience hippocampul atrophy, increased gray matter volume in the right amygdala, deactivated circuity in the prefrontal cortex, plus misfiring — abnormal electrical activity in the limbic system.

            Quote:

            People with greater paranormal beliefs showed lower levels of executive function. Particularly, they had less impulse control and greater disorganization, independent of age, sex, or level of education. In contrast, people with greater moral attitudes showed greater executive functioning in all areas measured (motivation, impulse control, empathy, planning, and organization). These findings support studies suggesting that superstitious thinking involves some degree of dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex, even in the general population, while moral attitudes involve better prefrontal functioning.”

            http://www.humanreligions.info/causes.html

            I just know that the more I moved away from this indoctrination the clearer my mind became.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree, the clarity of mind you get as you move away from belief based thinking and move towards critical thinking is astounding. In your research Victoria what do you think is the best way of dealing with this dysfunction? Is there any way of convincing such people that treatment is in their best interest? Can the ardent believer be convinced that there is something wrong with them?

            Liked by 1 person

          • “Is there any way of convincing such people that treatment is in their best interest? Can the ardent believer be convinced that there is something wrong with them?”

            Swarn, the only thing I think will make a different is education, education, education. I atribute my studious nature for the reason I escaped, yet it was my studious nature that initially played a role in furthering my indoctrination. Dr. Marlene Winell addresses the mental health community, and states: ” We need to let go of making religion a special case in which criticism is taboo.”

            I think that until we, as a society, stop glorifying superstitious believe, and affording it privileges, things won’t change much. However, we are starting to see a trend in the decline of authoritarian religion in the U.S. and abroad, and I do attribute that to living in the age of information. No one wants to be told there is something wrong with them, but we can bring awareness about what wrong with authoritarian religion, i.e., Christianity.

            Like

          • Great link by the way. Lots of great resources there.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m pressed for time right now. I’m not ignoring you all. I’ll be back later to join in the merriment. Until then, feel free to talk amongst yourselves! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. When I read blogs like yours, Victoria’s, and Zoe’s, I can’t help but feel soooo thankful that I’ve been away from all that for close to 20 years. I’m also grateful that I didn’t go through the “hell” you gals did when I finally made the decision to walk away. This isn’t to say there wasn’t some pain involved (family not liking/accepting my decision), and of course the tremendous feelings of guilt and fear that maybe I was “wrong,” but my discomfort was nothing compared to you ladies.

    All I can say at this point is … time does heal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m in a really good place. I feel better and better the longer I’m out. I was writing this mostly for any lurkers out there who are on the fence. I always like to remember where I came from because I think it’s helpful for others who are right now questioning, who are right now hurting, that there is something on the other side to live for. And to affirm that if there’s something in their gut that is telling them this is all just absurd it’s okay to listen to it.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Healing does come, time is part of it, scars often itch though, sometimes tear and get a bit inflamed . . . the stickiness of adhesions are sometimes the worst part. It may be that one day I won’t blink an eye at all of it . . . on the other hand, I’d probably have dementia if it ever came to actually forgetting it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amnesia. Selective amnesia.

      You’re right. There will always, always be a scar. A lot of scars. And sometimes that tissue is irritated. So I’m not in a funk about any of it. It is painful to remember it, but it’s such a relief not to still be stuck in it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi friends,

    To those who have had very few dealings with religion, especially our friends from outside of the US, I’ll try to explain why it’s so prevalent here in the US from my own experiences. I hope Ruth doesn’t mind. I appreciate her for the kind and caring human being that she is.

    In this country religion is a powerful source, especially in the Midwest and the South. These areas are considered quite traditional and people are proud of God, country/military, family and morality, as well as their own home grown politicians. However, most of the US is still fairly religious, including areas that are not even in those regions.

    I am originally from Michigan and around the time I was one year old (early 1970s) my parents were heavily involved in the “Jesus People” movement. They met in places like coffee houses between Pontiac and Detroit. Pentecostalism and worship music was on the rise as people congregated with their long hair and bell bottoms. This is where we really began to see a lot of tongues again, water baptisms and the likes of Kathryn Kuhlman and Keith Green. Healing services were once again in vogue and everything was about wooden crosses and surrender. Unfortunately, the idiotic book “Pigs in the Parlor” about demon possession became a phenomenon in some Churches.

    In the 80s there was a huge “Charismatic” movement. Word of Faith was common (look up Robert Tilton and Kenneth Copeland) and there was a big surge of “name it and claim it” theology, positive confession and even dance began to be a big deal in Church (Earl Paulk, Donnie and Reba Rambo Mcguire). At this same time morality, right wing politics and prayer for government became huge thanks to Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. It was also in this era that Jim Bakker (Yes, it’s spelled this way, I’ve been to Heritage USA three times, I know what I’m talking about.) and Jimmy Swaggert “fell” (sexually, financially, etc.). Integrity/Hosanna music cds were everywhere! Charisma magazine was a huge publication founded by Jamie Buckingham that many Pentecostals/Charismatics read ferociously in the 80s and 90s.

    In the 90s there seemed to be a huge “outpouring” or “revival” in Churches all over the globe: Argentina, England (Sunderland), Canada (Toronto, Kelowna) and the US. It was near the end of that decade that the “Pensacola Outpouring” came about (which I visited often from Georgia and it later became my home Church as I moved to the area). There was a big emphasis on moaning, howling, laughing, tongues and people became addicted to altar calls. Preachers would scream and yell for new converts in Churches and on street corners. If Jesus was not the first thing on your mind when you woke up and the last thing on your mind as you went to bed, you just weren’t holy enough! Salvations and water baptisms were once again commonplace. There was also a movement within that movement of prayer and intercession (Cindy Jacobs), worship (Hillsong, Matt Redman) and the need for connecting with “Father God” (Jack Frost).

    As we approached the 2000s there seemed to be this gravitational pull to downplay a lot in Church. People began to dress more casual for Church, it was like “Hipster Christianity”. Congregants focused more on coffee and donuts and Churches seemed to tone it down. This is when you may have heard such phrases to describe some Churches at the time: “laid back”, “seeker friendly” and “doesn’t make ways”. However, in revolt IHOP became huge! International House of Prayer grew out of the Midwest and even as far out as Redding, California. This is the place that many of those spooky, lusty worship songs (spoken of on Victoria’s blog recently) came from if I remember correctly. (Look up Misty Edwards).

    This is the best I could do in the shortest amount of words possible. This is just a few decades of a few aspects of the power of religion in the US. I hope it helps you all to understand how powerful it is in our country and why it’s so easy for us to be overwhelmed with indoctrination.

    Liked by 2 people

    • However, in revolt IHOP became huge! International House of Prayer grew out of the Midwest and even as far out as Redding, California.

      I have a friend acquaintance who has been a missionary to Israel and is now a deliverance minister in Atlanta through IHOP. Scary stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is! I equate it with Morning Star with Rick Joyner. He’s someone I have actually seen speak several times. I’ve even been to one of his conferences. What was I thinking?!

        Like

        • One of the Christian works that made the most impact upon me was Rick Joyner’s The Final Quest. I lapped it all up, it influenced my thinking for 15 years.

          Though I recall subscribing to Rick Joyner’s weekly prophecy bulletin. That had some weird stuff in it. I grew uneasy about it and concluded that ‘God’ would be unlikely to issue weekly prophecies just ot meet a publishing deadline. So discontinued my subscription.

          Like

          • When I went to his New Year’s conference in Jacksonville, Florida something odd was obvious to me. I had traveled with other singles from my Church in Pensacola (the revival one) to attend for the weekend to welcome 2001.

            I noticed that as the worship team led the service every speaker, including Joyner, just sat together on the side of the stage. They didn’t clap, sing and raise their hands. They didn’t even stand as the singers and congregation did during the music portion of the service…not one of them! Then I noticed that as the speakers spoke, led prayers and made announcements, the praise team was busy going in and out of the sanctuary (hall), talked to each other and were clearly not interested in anything the speakers had to say. Of course, I just blew it off later on, but it really bothered me every session.

            Final Quest is like one super sized acid trip. Unfortunately, many people have read that book about his trance like hallucinations. I have read and heard about some of his theology. He clearly believes that he no longer needs the Bible, that God is constantly talking to him with new insights and he supposedly teaches this same thing to his students at his school.

            What can one expect from a ministry that has taken over the old Jim Bakker property?

            Like

          • Joyner creeped me out and this was before my deconversion. He was always making predictions about doom. So did his sidekick, Bob Jones who spent time in a mental hospital because, from the sources I read, he believed Jesus was telling him to kill a few people. Neuroscientist Michael Persinger did a study of of over 2,000 Canadian students, and found that those who fit 4 criteria — attended church weekly, were male, had a ‘religious’ experience, and temporal lobe lability (like deja vu, ‘sensing a presence’, pins and needles sensations, fleeting visions during twilight sleep), almost half of the students (44%) said they would kill if they thought god told them to.

            Back to Rick Joyner, he and his Oak Initiative political organizing front, and leaders affiliated with Joyner have pledged their lives to implement biblical law in all sectors of society, who is rubbing shoulders with Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Yakunin. To add insult to injury, on September 30, 2013 he called for a “military takeover” of the U.S. government and imposition of “martial law” who boasts close ties to former high-level U.S. military and intelligence community leaders. The Oak Initiative which as a board that is dominated by “apostles” from the radical New Apostolic Reformation movement also boasts of having organizational ties both to the evangelical Republican Party leaders, and to leaders who have helped create the anti-government American militia movement.

            On September 16, 2014, Rick Joyner issued a “prophetic” statement that envisioned a massive state level revolt against the federal government led by militias which, speculated Joyner, might ally with U.S. county sheriffs. In Joyner’s dream, that anti-government militia revolt led to violence and anarchy which, in turn, triggered the military takeover and imposition of martial law that Joyner had called for a year earlier, in October 2013. He claims that the gates of hell have been open. https://youtu.be/prIQR7pxyZ0

            Like

          • He was always one who believed in war. One of those mighty warrior for God types.

            Like

          • Indeed. I remember one time he predicted or “prophesied” that god told him that South Carolina was going to be hit with a nuclear bomb. He believed Satan hated South Carolina because so many of god’s “true” Christians resided there. I went through my deconversion while living in South Carolina. There are hoards of radical fundies there, no doubt. I lived just 40 minutes from Bob Jones University.

            Like

          • Last year I went to a church event where a team from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry were visiting. They are right out there. The place was absolutely packed.

            I came away disappointed. I think i was looking for some special blessing from God. Various people testified to healings but they were all things you couldn’t tell whether it really happened or not. What I do know is that no-one I know who was prayed for was healed.

            They also had lots of prophecy, but it was all very general comments about how good a Christian various people were.

            They come from the place of the floating gold dust!

            Like

          • Hi Charity

            It was very telling, your observation of the attitude of the worship team at the New Year Conference. it implies it was just a job, just a performance, not heart felt.

            It reminded me of Martin Luther’s disillusionment with the Catholic Church after his visit with Rome.

            Like

    • Weird. But I never liked Sunderland (UK) anyway. They probably needed something to distract them. Awful place, still, they could have found other things to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you, RS. To me, it seems like a sad place, but so does Newcastle and Peterborough. I understood why Trixie was upset about having to move to Newcastle should she marry the minister on “Call the Midwife”. I absolutely loved Thrapston and some of the other villages there, absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

        Ken Gott was pastor of the Church to where said revival had happened (Sunderland.)

        I had ministered throughout England and Wales. I have to say that the nicest Christians I had ever known my entire life were from the UK. I never understood why people are so hard on those from the British Isles. I have known you all to be honest, helpful and genuine.

        RS, it is all weird. Even while I was typing all of that I couldn’t believe that I was consistently in the thick of that mess! I can now look back at Christianity and see it as nothing more than constant programming. I spent my entire faith saying prayers, scriptures, confessions and songs simply trying to convince myself that Jesus loved me and God had a plan for my life. So, even when teachers, prophets, pastors and faith healers aren’t brainwashing you, you’re always brainwashing yourself as a Christian. It’s a sick trend, especially in this country. However, the numbers are slowly changing in our favor. That totally gives me hope.

        I know we don’t “talk” much, but I always appreciate your perspective as someone who was never “sold out” for Jesus. While at the same time, I appreciate your understanding for those of us who were formerly of the faith. Thank you for listening to our woes. It means so much.

        Like

        • I nearly got a job in Peterborough. I did live and work in Newcastle for ten years. Gosforth. There are only two places to live in Newcastle, Gosforth and Jesmond. But, I worked in the other areas. I walked down the streets in Benwell where the doctors’ surgeries had steel shutters and buzzers for appointments only.

          Understanding? No. But as much empathy and sympathy and help as you require. Just ask.

          Like

          • I think England is so much more progressive than the US. I envy that about you all. I live in west Tennessee and it’s super conservative and religious here. My little town is made up of 53% Southern Baptists alone! That doesn’t even take into account all the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons. I have had Jehovah Witnesses at my door a lot recently: Thanksgiving (November), Christmas, March and again near Easter in April. And those are the just the times that I know about because I was home and/or not too busy. I think they’ll leave me alone now. I yelled at the lady the last time she was here. I then immediately sent out a form letter that I have on my computer to the two closest Kingdom Halls near me. It’s clearly against proselytizers. It had my address on it and I also included the “Kissing Hank’s Butt” script. I let them know that’s how they all sound to me.

            RS, I think you are very compassionate. I appreciate your patience in dealing with those of us who have backgrounds totally different from yours.

            Like

          • Compassionate? Please don’t ruin my image !

            Liked by 3 people

          • Ha! I think she’s really just looking at us like we’re monkey’s at the zoo. 😛

            Liked by 1 person

        • What you said here reminds me of that Babbie Mason song, When You Can’t See His Hand, Trust His Heart. Always with the brainwashing. With everything we listened to, everything we read, everything we thought about. I actually had a pastor tell me once that we sin when we’re not thinking about Jesus. My response: “It’s a good thing some of us think of something else. Otherwise you might not get paid.” o_O

          Liked by 1 person

          • I do like that come back! You should have told him to just “trust God” for his paycheck. After all, if we dovour part, God will do his.;)

            Like

          • Now I find her “can you reach my friend” song whiney. I can’t believe some of the crap music I liked. I can still rap DC Talk songs. Abstinence? Yuck!

            Like

    • I know that I have just been hogging several blogs lately and I’m awfully sorry about that. I just wanted to add to my above comment that the idea of leaving God didn’t cross my mind for MANY years. Not because I didn’t want that option, I honestly didn’t know that it was an option. Does that make any sense? I understand that there is Stockholm Syndrome and I recognized it in me in my faith, as well other relationships. However, abuse also causes you to not see what is outside of a horrific relationship. Now I see abuse as being stuck in a small house with a violent person, but there are wide open spaces outside of that structure where a victim can flee, run and find other structures to hide. He or she can then be free. During my faith I saw my relationship with God as big as the universe. That there really wasn’t just any way to get out of it, there was no way out of it for God is the beginning and the end….Alpha Omega, etc. When one sees God as everything, all powerful and all mighty there is no escape.

      I hope this explanation will give others who can’t relate to my experience a little more insight as to how an imprisoned religious person thinks. Yes, there are options for struggling believers, but what good are they if one doesn’t know that they exist? That is why I absolutely love blogs by Nan, Victoria, Ruth, Matt and Nate. These men and women show a huge world to Christians that they may not have known even existed. I applaud their efforts and insights.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charity, I’ve been deconverted for 10 years now, but it took me 8 years to find the courage to go public about my personal experiences. Who was the person who inspired me to start my Victoria NeuroNotes blog?

        You!

        Like

      • You can write here all you like, Charity. You’re not hogging at all.

        …the idea of leaving God didn’t cross my mind for MANY years. Not because I didn’t want that option, I honestly didn’t know that it was an option. Does that make any sense? I understand that there is Stockholm Syndrome and I recognized it in me in my faith, as well other relationships. However, abuse also causes you to not see what is outside of a horrific relationship. Now I see abuse as being stuck in a small house with a violent person, but there are wide open spaces outside of that structure where a victim can flee, run and find other structures to hide. He or she can then be free. During my faith I saw my relationship with God as big as the universe. That there really wasn’t just any way to get out of it, there was no way out of it for God is the beginning and the end….Alpha Omega, etc. When one sees God as everything, all powerful and all mighty there is no escape.

        Yes, this makes perfect sense. Abuse definitely narrows your field of vision. Even if you can see what is outside of a horrific relationship, you feel you can’t reach out there and be a part of that. It closes you off. So seeing God as outside of space and time, literally everywhere, there is nowhere to go that he is not there:

        Where can I go from your Spirit?

        Where can I flee from your presence?

        If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

        if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

        If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

        if I settle on the far side of the sea,

        even there your hand will guide me,

        your right hand will hold me fast.

        If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

        and the light become night around me,”

        even the darkness will not be dark to you;

        the night will shine like the day,

        for darkness is as light to you.

        Psalm 139:7-12

        If anyone takes the Bible seriously this scripture says there is literally no place to go outside of the presence of God. There is no escape.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly, Ruth, exactly! God is the ultimate “Big Brother”. He’s a stalker, slave master and tormentor. Everywhere you go, there he is. People can tell me that I was just “spiritually abused” or the God they know is not like that, but that’s not true.

          Like

    • Hi Charity

      Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was always wary of ‘tongues’. He once made the observation that there was a revival in a part of Africa and in one region they had taught about tongues before the revival and in another area they had done so. He observed that although the revival affected both these areas ‘tongues’ was only manifested in the area where it had been previously taught.

      He then went and talked about the revival of the 18th century, the great Awakening. Apparently there was a quite a bit of ‘charismatic’ activity at that time. But whilst Jonathon Edwards encouraged it, others like John Wesley and George Whitefield remained skeptical about the various manifestations.

      My experience of tongues in churches would would seem closest to the sort of activity that Paul criticised in his letter to the Corinthians. Last year I had a coffee with a Pentecostal Minister who mentioned problems in his church with people who interrupted the service to speak loudly in tongues. Our conclusion after discussing the matter was that if it was not done in an orderly manner and there was no interpreter then it would not seem to be ‘of God’.

      Of course since then I have concluded it is all psychological. I mean to say, even in the Bible Paul admits he had no idea what he was saying when he prayed in tongues.

      Like

      • “Of course since then I have concluded it is all psychological. I mean to say, even in the Bible Paul admits he had no idea what he was saying when he prayed in tongues.”

        LOL — Peter, can’t sleep or do you normally rise around 3AM? 😀

        Like

      • Hi there Peter,

        Tongues is something that significantly divides Churches here in the States. I have been involved in a number of denominations, some who acted as though

        1) it has never existed: Methodist and Missionary Alliance;
        2) others who sometimes speak it: Foursquare, Hope Chapel (basically a denomination within the Foursquare denomination), Calvary Chapel and middle of the road non denominational Churches;
        3) those who can’t stop speaking them: some Assemblies of God Churches, Full Gospel houses of worship, and Charismatic non denominational Churches.
        4) And finally, those who are very much against them and/or only believe they existed or were significant in the Apostle Paul’s time in the Bible. Those Churches are Southern Baptist ones that I attended in southern California and here in Tennessee.

        Oddly enough, praise and worship is about the same with the same controversies, treated in similar fashion as the above Churches I’ve mentioned.

        The last Church service I attended before my deconversion was at one of those Southern Baptist Churches where I currently live. We attended this Church for about half a year, had a very difficult time forming friendships and just didn’t seem to click with anyone or anything at any level. We attempted to try other Churches for about 15 months and decided to give that Church another try. In our last service at the SBC I noticed the pastor reading from one of the epistles. We had only been back for one to two months and I was trying to write notes. I say trying because I honestly felt that I hadn’t learned anything in any Church for many years at this point. Still, I tried. Any way, as he read Scripture, he CLEARLY skipped all the jazz about tongues in the Bible. He literally read up to the verses right before it’s mention and skipped right to the verse after it without missing a beat. At this stage in the game, I just wasn’t taking it anymore, either take the Bible as it is or don’t follow it at all. I deconverted two months later.

        My mom led me in a salvation prayer at home while I was just three years old. Five years later she lead me into the baptismal of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues at home in a different house. She had me say “praise you, Jesus. Praise you, Jesus” over and over again until my words were slurred and I stuttered.

        Like Jonny Scaramanga has mentioned about himself, I can now just blubber on in tongues without any thought or labor. It’s just blubbering without any rhyme or reason. I see nothing deep, religious or spiritual about it. Tongues equals thoughtless noise.

        Like

        • Once I ventured into Pentecostal circles, especially a small home group, I experienced all sorts of spiritual ‘manifestations’ including speaking in tongues. But in my heart I was always had a question about it all. It never really seemed right. But I was desperate for ‘experience’ I think to prove to myself I was a ‘real Christian’ so I sought it out.

          I recall discussing it all with a seasoned Christian lady from the reformed tradition, she was deeply skeptical. She had been the principle of a Christian School and was a person respected by everyone who knew her for very good reason. She told me how two of the teachers at her Christian school had eagerly introduced her to the ‘Toronto Blessing’. In her view it was all psychological.

          Looking back on my own experience, I realise I was so desperate to find some manifestation of God I would have lapped up what ever was on offer quite uncritically.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Me too, Peter, me too!

            Like

          • The only tradition I’ve been a member of is the Southern Baptists. As such we were ardent deniers of such ‘gifts’ as speaking in tongues. That all, as Charity said earlier, went the way of Paul. It died with him. As well the gift of healing and prophesying. So all those charismatics weren’t really real Christians. Looking back on it I think that was our way of trying to prove to ourselves that we were really real Christians. Nobody could tell us if we couldn’t speak in tongues we didn’t have the Holy Spirit.

            I have a couple of friends who claim they speak in tongues. One says she only does so in private prayer. She has no idea what she’s saying, but God does. The Holy Spirit translates for her. The other one spoke in tongues while laying her hands on me and praying over me. She kept chanting the same unintelligible gibberish over and over. When she got done I asked her what it meant. She had no idea either. But she assured me that God did.

            Like

  15. Ruth,

    After all of that, I just want to say that I love you. We may have never met, but I still care so much about you. You are probably one of the kindest and most respectful people I have ever known. It breaks my heart when I read about your rough childhood, abusive first marriage and all the hurt you’ve been through sincerely seeking God with all of your heart.

    I am glad that you are free from the bondage of religion. I am glad that I have found you. Be loved and be encouraged, my friend. You deserve every goodness in life that’s out there.

    Char

    Liked by 1 person

  16. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/2015/05/twelve-reasons-why-i-never-argue-with-internet-atheists.html?ref_widget=popular&ref_blog=diaryofawimpycatholic&ref_post=dzhokhar-tsarnaev-all-out-of-mercy

    Did anybody else read this ridiculous post? How convenient, no one can post a comment.

    He thinks we’re religiously ignorant? Someone is in absolute denial of a little thing called deconversion. Deconverts are well aware of theology, prayer, doctrine and Church history. Most of us threw ourselves into our faith more and more over the years because we were desperate to hold unto God at all costs, only to become atheists and agnostics instead. Oh, boy! Somebody needs to step out of the Church once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 3. Arguing religion doesn’t work – This is also why I don’t argue with Protestants, Buddhists, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Moonies or members of the Church of the Four Square Gospel of the Sixth Revision.

      I read the article and I think he’s just ruled out any conversation with anyone outside his own faith tradition. We’ve all rejected his God because we learned about the wrong one. That and we didn’t truly seek the right one, however one might do that. :rollingmyeyes:

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: My Original Sin | The Brunette's Blog

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