Tag Archives: god

An Interesting Post on One Man’s Rejection of Christianity

This post is re-printed from the ‘Top Stories Forum’ on Topix. We have only re-produced a snippet here. If you want to read all four parts (and I reccomend you do), follow this link.

Why I’m no longer a Christian, Part One

I was raised from my infancy by deeply religious people, surrounded by a family full of Baptist preachers, deacons and missionaries. I myself was baptized, as well as I can recall, at about the age of ten.

I can remember being struck by the fact that everyone around me at the time – and I do mean everyone – kept telling me that what I had just experienced was the most important event of my life, and that everything else I would ever do would shrink to insignificance alongside it. I was receiving the power of the Lord. It was a special time for me.

Well, I enjoyed all the attention, as any kid would, but I remember wondering: Why don’t I feel any different, myself? I thought about my attitudes, my perceptions, the circumstances of my life, and I couldn’t think of a single thing that was any different, now that I was one with Jesus. No matter how hard I tried to find something new and meaningful, there was nothing. It was a hollow, empty, and lonely sensation, and surprisingly so. It was not what I had expected at all.

I concluded after a time that I must not be doing something right. Everyone around me seemed so confident and secure in their faith and mine so tenuous in comparison, I felt left out. The shortcoming, I decided, must be mine. I must be missing something.

I resolved to try harder. I devoted myself to Bible study and prayer. I sensed that everyone around me would be horrified if I were to express any of these reservations I was feeling, so I kept them to myself. I suppressed them, and did my best to forget them altogether.

The years went by and I attended services regularly but somehow I never quite shook the uneasy sense, in the back of my mind, that I had never truly felt the presence of a transcendent being – Jesus, God, or anyone at all.

I remained outwardly compliant, but inwardly I began to feel isolated and as much as I tried to banish this feeling, it persisted. As I reached adulthood it intensified until I became aware that, despite my best efforts, it was not going to go way. More troubling still was the bulk of doubts I began to feel about matters of doctrine. I began to doubt, among many other things, the true value of grace.

Visit Topix at this link to read the rest…

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For These Christians, Everything is Okay as Long as You Pay

This one is from my very personal life files.

My brother-in-law (I’ll refer to him as Jim) attended an Episcopal church in Western New York (emphasis on ‘attended’ – past tense).

A few weeks back he was pulled aside after services by his pastor. He was told they needed to chat.

The pastor explained that he noticed Jim was only attending services every other week and asked why. Jim explained that he was splitting time between two parishes. The Episcopal parish was his wife’s old parish and a 45 minute drive away, so they decided to attend some years back to join the Wesleyan church closer to home. He gave the pastor several reasons for this.

Evidently, this arrangement wasn’t satisfactory in the eyes of the pastor.

He explained to Jim that the issue of splitting time wasn’t really the issue, and that it was more an issue of finances. He said that people worship where they will, but if his parish let everyone attend part time, it would render the parish “financially nonviable.” With that, he simply told Jim he would need to choose a parish.

Jim was perplexed.

After all, his wife and he collectively were parishioners for over twenty years! He performed free electrical work at the pastor’s home, volunteered, attended whenever he could, contributed to collection, brought in new parishioners, etc.

Not good enough.

Jim was forced to choose, and given gas prices, the drive, the commitment, and the cavalier attitude of this pastor, he chose to go.

When I heard this, I was overcome with laughter. This scenario represents everything that is wrong with religion.

Since when is there a price on God? Who made the rule that there is a financial threshold for worship. When does the ‘bottom line’ surpass the right of spiritual salvation and inner peace with your God – whoever that God is?

Anyone who has read my posts or other works knows I’m no fan of the Catholic Church, but not once have I heard of anyone being asked to leave a parish based on the weight of the collection plate.

This built-in, seldom talked about, embedded hypocrisy of mega-churches and those who aspire to be mega-churches, is the black fly in the spiritual wine. Christians nowadays aren’t concerned with the savior, or everlasting life, they worry about raising funds for the new ‘compund gym/daycare facility.’ They worry about image. They need to make sure there is a Starbucks in the church lobby, and valet parking during service. They worry about the Jones’…

When are people going to wake up?

The modern American Christian ideal is a scam, complete with guys like Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn, who rank in my eyes as some of the greatest con-men of all time. Jim’s pastor is a wanna-be, but he understands the game. There is power in numbers, and greater numbers mean more money, and thus greater power.

Someone should ask Jim’s old pastor – did Jesus preach in a stone and marble tower, or did he preach to the people where they lived and chose to listen to his word?

I wonder what his answer would be?

Read a related story here

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