My Crazy Journey in Search of God, Faith, Reason & Truth

Archive for the ‘Deconversion’ Category

Yoga- Not as Old or as “Hindu” As We Thought!

For many years in fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches, I was taught to be wary- even fearful, of practicing Yoga. Years ago, I was taught that practicing Yoga could open up a person to the demonic world. (Did anyone else see the Christian film “Gods of the New Age?”)

It’s been many years since I was fearful of yoga, but I still have religious friends who would be unable to practice it in good conscience. I also still feel very uncomfortable with meditation.

With that background, this article fascinates me deeply as it suggests that the Yoga we know in the U.S. is not as ancient or as “Hindu” as we think it is!

Fascinating!

http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/not-as-old-as-you-think

Something Happened in Mexico

Something happened to me in Mexico recently.  Don’t worry, this is good news.

In early December we took a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We hadn’t taken a real vacation for about two years. It was so-oo-oo-oo nice! It refreshed all of us!

And at some point, something happened!

I changed.  I became happy again.

Scary how much I resemble this statue!
Singing “Fa-La-La-La-Laaaaaaaaa!”

 

The last four years have been a time of major transition in many ways. One of the transitions has been the re-evaluation of my faith and religion and the loss of much of that faith and religion.  So it has been a time of deep reflection accompanied by a gamut of emotions.  But somehow, in December, I think that I moved on.  I accepted myself for who I am at this time in my life.

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The God of Abuse?

Does the God of the Bible act like an abusive lover or spouse? 

Below is a great article that compares attributes of God as portrayed in the Bible with an abusive spouse or lover.  Some of the comparisons of God’s words and actions are chillingly reminiscent of an abuser. What do you think?  Based on the Old Testament prophets’ depictions of God, is God someone you would want your daughter to date or marry?

The God of Abuse- ExChristian.Net – Articles.

Too Many Absurdities

These days I find it hard to “believe” in things that are patently absurd.

I could probably believe in a limited amount of absurdity if there was good reason or some evidence to do so. I might be able to believe that a virgin conceived a child if there was reliable evidence recorded at the time of the event by credible witnesses. I can also think of many strange, hypothetical circumstances that would lend evidence to such a “miracle.”

There are some things that I can believe.

I can believe a man named Jesus was born in the first century who had a close and special relationship with God (assuming arguendo there is a god). I can believe this man traveled, evangelized, started a movement and was sentenced to death. I don’t have any problem with that per se. I can believe there have been many peaceable, wise, spiritual people to walk this earth. Assuming the existence of a supreme God, I could believe such a God started the process of creation.

However, to believe that God made a mud pie in the shape of a human and then blew magic breath into it and the figure came to life? 

This pushes my rational mind too far.  I cannot permanently suspend my disbelief on this one. I just can’t do it, as I can’t believe that somewhere an Italian boy named Pinocchio began his life as a wooden puppet or that near Hansel and Gretel’s home there really was a cottage made of gingerbread and candy.

Even if I could believe the following: that a virgin gave birth to Jesus, whose father was the Holy Spirit, and Jesus was half-God, caused miracles, explained the wisdom of God to us, was crucified, rose again and then ascended into heaven in front of his disciples; there is no contemporaneous evidence that any of these things actually happened.

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“Do you still like God?”

One recent morning, as I and my two kids sat at the breakfast table eating raspberries for breakfast, my daughter asked me, “Mom, do you still like God?”

I paused. “What do you mean sweetheart?”

“Is God still your friend?

“Are you asking me because you think I used to be friends with God and you don’t think I am anymore?”. She nodded and said, “Yes, I don’t think you like God anymore.”

Again I had to pause. After collecting my thoughts, I said something like, “Oh honey, I still like God, I’m just not sure whether people know as much about God as they think they do. Everyone says, ‘God does this and not that’ or ‘God likes this and not that,’ but I don’t think they really know as much about God as they think they do. And I’m trying to figure it all out.”

She seemed reasonably satisfied.

Then I added, “And I promise that what I figure out, I will explain it all to you when you are old enough.” She seemed pleased with this and had no more questions for me.

Faith Years and Doubt Begins….

FAITH YEARS AND THE BEGINNING OF DOUBT

PART ONE: COLLEGE FAITH YEARS

A little more on my journey and what caused me to begin to doubt……..

I haven’t talked much about my journey yet but I can tell you where I am today.  Today I am happier and less angry than I was a few years ago when felt I had reached my breaking point with Christianity and religion.

I became a born-again Christian when I was 18 during the spring of my first year of college.  After being born-again I was water baptised by immersion and baptised in the Holy Spirit, complete with the gift of tongues.

For the next four years while earning my bachelor’s degree, I worked and served as a student evangelist in every free moment.  I attended multiple weekly bible studies, led many evangelistic student groups, attended church at least twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday night!), and devoted an average of (at least) 1 to 3 days a week to evangelistic outreach. I helped run and man an outreach table in my college student union providing bible tracts and engaging students in conversation about God and Jesus to evangelize.  For about five years I studied the bible for *at least* an hour a day, on average.  I don’t want to belabor the details here. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

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Dear Born-again Christian, (a letter by Marlene Winell)

As I journey from certainty to openness in my faith walk, I often wonder how to help others who are locked into a rigid belief system that does not encourage them to question their assumptions.  I am still working on a letter to others, in my head of course, to help myself and others to begin to question their own belief systems.  However, in the meantime, below is a letter, “Dear Born-again Christian” by Marlene Winell, a psychologist and writer who counsels people who are leaving harmful religious systems.  I think the letter is nicely done.  

Winell’s letter points out how a rigid born-again belief system can seem to solve problems for people, such as give us comfort in our fear of death and loneliness and also give us absolutes for answering the big questions in life.  She correctly suggests that the born-again belief system could create other problems  system, such as cutting ourselves off from our fellow humans on the planet and sharing in the human journey and by causing us to miss the reality of our life here and now (the only life we can be sure of, I might add) by living one’s life for a  future, hoped-for afterlife that may not materialize.  

I think that anyone, such as a born-again christian or anyone else, who begins their journey for truth by accepting a system that proposes to provide all the answers for them, is unlikely to find the truth.  However, once having accepted a system promising the “truth” to all questions, it can be hard and frightening to begin to question that belief system.  I think Winell’s letter is a good attempt to help a person locked in a belief system to begin to consider opening their mind to questions and answers outside of that belief system.

Here is Marlene Winell’s letter. What do you think?

http://www.marlenewinell.net/content/dear-born-again-christ

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