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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanks for Visiting!

Welcome to my former blog which I wrote between 2009 and 2011.

It was my attempt to blog through the process of leaving and healing from fundamentalist Christianity which I became part of during my first year in college.

I plan to revise this blog so that you can read a quick summary of my religious conversion and deconversion experience. . . but until that happens  those posts can be reached through the list of posts at the top of this page.

The links on the right were last updated in 2011 so I apologize if any links no longer work.  Many of the links ARE correct and there are some great resources there!

For my current blog please visit me at  She Writes She Roars

You can also find me on Twitter @Thinking_Mom and on GoodReads

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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No Longer Just a Searching Traveler.

Hello again!

It has been 4 1/2  years since I last posted here.  My Searching Traveler Blog helped me to write my way through my “De-conversion” from religion and fundamentalist/ evangelical Christianity.

Life has been good! Life has been good without religion.  I do not regret leaving the church.  I have regretted not leaving it sooner and not having had the knowledge, strength, mental health and resources to have avoided rushing headlong into religion in the first place!

I just created a new blog, SheWritesSheRoars !  As I embarked on my new blog, I imagined I had moved on from my journey that was Searching Traveler, but as I listen to the stories that whisper from my soul I realize that there are stories and secrets waiting to be set free and I think this is the place for them.

Below is my first post at my new blog.  I warn you now that if you are easily offended or try to protect yourself from worldly things…well…that blog is not for you. *Winks*  (My second post on She Writes She Roars is a book review for a just released bundle of Erotica novellas so ANYTHING is possible in the future!)

Anyways, here is my first post from She Writes She Roars. I hope you enjoy it and will join me there for all of the excitement to come!  Either way, I hope to see you again soon here on Searching Traveler!

She Writes. She Roars.

Hello again!

It has been more than four years since my last post at my former blog.  A few of you may have read my earlier blog, Searching Traveler, here on WordPress.  I blogged there about my Journey INTO Fundamentalist Christianity and my RETURN Journey OUT of Christianity and Religion.  If that excites you, grab a peek at my former blog, linked below.

SearchingTraveler.Wordpress.com

My whole religion “Journey” felt like a long, strange trip.  Now, I am staying put.  I know where I am and who I am and I’m planning on sticking around for a while.  Join me as I  WRITE and ROAR and do a whole bunch of other things.  I will blog about books and fun stuff, but also about some causes and issues that are near and dear to my heart.  I can’t keep these pressing issues to myself but want to again raise my voice in the chorus of all the…

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Perpetual motion machine

Wow, the Perpetual Motion Machine. Weird but funny. Made me laugh out loud! Ahhhh. Silliness.

Why Evolution Is True

This is the first one that, I think, will actually work:

h/t: Jim B.

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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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How We Treat Our Gay Kids

In the last month there have been at least 10 suicides of young people who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or somehow *queer-identified.  These are the suicides that we know about and that involved kids with a queer identity.  I am sure there have been many more whether they occurred last month or some other month.  Many queer folks have struggled with their sexuality and have faced depression or attempted suicide but thankfully have lived to tell the tale.  GLBT youth face a whole host of woes, difficulties and dangers due to their orientation and identity and our society, schools, churches and christians are failing them.

*I am using the word “queer” to include a diverse group of folks that include gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and trans people and those with other sexual or gender orientations and identities that differ from a binary male and female heterosexual norm.  This is my first attempt writing about these issues so I apologize in advance for offending anyone by how I label or discuss things.  Feel free to let me know if you take issue with anything I am saying here.

In case you weren’t familiar with the plethora of recent, tragic suicides, here is a nice background post from blogger Progressive Scholar about them. http://progressivescholar.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/lgbt-suicides/

The way the church deals with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other queer folk has greatly affected and hastened my exit from church life.  We have a HUGE problem in this country and in our churches that we fail to love and accept people who do not fit into the heterosexual norm. 

When my first child was born, I felt such a love and acceptance for my child that I knew I would love my child no matter what her orientation, genetic make-up, inclinations, choices or actions would turn out to be.  My child will always be my child and my love for each of my children is ABSOLUTELY UNCONDITIONAL.  

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Was I Part of a Cult?

Updated July 22, 2016:

In July 2009, I began writing about my former church and the reasons it has been called “a cult” or “cultish.”  I quickly password protected this entry soon after posting it for a multitude of reasons.  This month- 7 years after my original post- I am re-posting this without the password.  *Yay!!!!!*  I have tried to delete the identifying info for my church.  I am no longer passionately possessed of the need to determine the Cult ranking of the church where I was “radically born again.”

In July 2009, I wrote the following entry:

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Is [My Former Church] a cult? [Links, critiques, criticism of my former church have been removed in addition to identifying information!]

I was part of a church which was once part of a denomination until the denomination disbanded in the 1980’s.  I was a very zealous, dedicated member of this church from about 1994 to 1999.  I am still processing my experience there and how it affected me.  I write this blog to process the experience and find some healing for my soul.

My church was part of a group of churches that used many different names but was essentially different parts of the same organization.

During my time there, I was encouraged to learn from these teachers and schools of thought: Bob and Rose Weiner, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Derek Prince, Dick Mills, Winkie Pratney, Rusty Russell, BILL GOTHARD and his ATI group (the Group that is intricately enmeshed with The Duggars, Richard Fugate- Train Up a Child (Spank your child or he/she will “Take Dominion” over you, the parent”, Gary Ezzo’s “Growing Kids God’s Way”, among other Pentecostal, Word of Faith, and fundamentalist teachers.

Was my former church and its group of related churches a “cult?”  It has been criticized as such many times.

From my experience, there is no way I could fairly generalize about all the groups or churches involved.  What I do know is that there were major problems with the denomination before the breakup and that many critics and former members allege that some or most of the ministries continued to utilize the same problematic practices which they disavowed.

As for my experience, when I was 18 years old, I joined a church that had been part of the denomination but that continued on as a campus ministry after the denomination disbanded.  This was in the 1990’s.  I was an active member for 5 years, after which time I left.

I have stayed on pretty good terms with many people who I knew there. (At least that is what I would hope is true, perhaps the people I know feel differently.  I do know that there have been a few key people who I reached out to on Facebook that ignored me completely, which felt like a rejection to me since I can see they seem to have remained friends with just about everyone else.

I feel it is fair for me to speak about the things that I, or others close to me experienced, as well as my perceptions and thoughts about everything else I witnessed.  While I was there, there were many times that I was uncomfortable with some things and in the later period of my time there, I knew there were problems and I was trying to separate myself slowly from the group because I felt that some of the culture had a very negative effect on me.

I cannot say that the group as a whole, or the particular church I attended, was a “cult.”  However, in my opinion, the church I attended had and has some very dysfunctional, unhealthy, controlling aspects, some of which are characteristic of sociological cults, so I guess I could say it had some unhealthy and cultish beliefs or behaviors, but I wouldn’t label the church I attended as a “Cult.”  However, although I always had great reservations and even anger about some of the things there, it is only now, many years later, that I am revisiting this issue and trying to analyze it better.  I do know that at many times, and especially recently, I have spoken of my experience as if I was recovering from being part of a “cult-like” group.  At this time, I do feel like a cult survivor, and though it was over 10 years ago that I left, my experience there still affects me greatly and I feel like I can’t shake free from this.

Which is why, though I should be sleeping, I am up late blogging about my experience.  I cannot sleep and as I go back and think about my experiences, I feel anger, embarrassment, shame, and a feeling of having been lied to, used and violated.  I feel that my personal dignity and privacy was completely violated.  I have a nagging feeling of, “How could I be so stupid?” or “What was wrong with me psychologically that made me want to join this group?”

I feel taken advantage of because I was an 18-year-old kid who wanted to follow Jesus and these people told me that they knew Jesus personally and that they would teach me to follow Him.

Also, being part of this group at such a critical time in my life had life-altering consequences and affected the course of my life.

I cannot say that there was no “good fruit” that came out of my participation there, however at this time I am trying to process why I still feel so much pain and anger about my experience with them.

Hello world!

Hello World!

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