Going back

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Going back

#1  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 17, 2018 5:55 pm

While I’ve been an atheist for some years now, my wife has kept her faith. She’s been asking me if I’d drive her to church (Pentecostal), drop her off then pick her up when the service is over, she doesn’t drive by the way.

This has gone on for a year or so… and I’ve decided to go with her. I suppose that deep down I was never a die-hard atheist. In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that I was making a mistake by rejecting all that I was taught while I was growing up.

The church we’re going to go to isn’t the one that I was previously involved with. This one is relatively new and just down the street from us. It’s an easy walk in the summer but too cold to walk to in the winter.

I’ve been to their web site and they are really nice people. For newbies they invite you to come early, have coffee with them and you’re free to speak about anything… without judgement. I admit that I really miss the interactions that I used to have with my old congregation. They also have (like my previous church) many group meetings throughout the week where you can meet people, share problems, get counselling or just enjoy rach others’ company.

My wife and I are off on a short holiday starting tomorrow so our first visit to this new church will be on May 27th.

I know this may seem very odd, but in my heart I believe it’s the right thing to do for both of us.
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Re: Going back

#2  Postby LucidFlight » May 17, 2018 6:20 pm

I can understand the sense of connecting with people and I wish you all the best!
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Re: Going back

#3  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 17, 2018 6:31 pm

Nothing wrong with seeking friends and companionship.
Just don't mistake their friendlynesss for evidence of their beliefs.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Going back

#4  Postby zulumoose » May 17, 2018 8:37 pm

In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that I was making a mistake by rejecting all that I was taught while I was growing up.


Bear in mind that if you had been brought up somewhere else, or in another time, you would have been taught something different, but would likely have that same feeling that what was taught must have some validity. That does not in any way lend credibility to a specific teaching, it only demonstrates your subjective bias towards it.

Affinity for community is also natural, religion relies on that to a large degree, what you sacrifice in order to participate in that is the value you place on truth. Someone who values truth can only immerse themselves in a faith based community reveling in confirmation bias for so long before it starts to grate or they drink the kool aid.
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Re: Going back

#5  Postby SafeAsMilk » May 17, 2018 8:46 pm

I hope you didn't reject everything you were taught growing up, because whatever may have pushed you away there were no doubt good things you were taught a well. Im glad you've found a community with which you feel comfortable, it can be s tough thing to find.
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Re: Going back

#6  Postby Ironclad » May 18, 2018 2:11 am

Are you going to talk in tongues or bang a tambourine now? If you are, Pups, I'm going to be quite upset
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Re: Going back

#7  Postby z8000783 » May 18, 2018 5:13 am

If this kicks off....

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Re: Going back

#8  Postby z8000783 » May 18, 2018 5:15 am

Or this....

I don’t simply believe in miracles - I rely on them
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Re: Going back

#9  Postby z8000783 » May 18, 2018 5:15 am

...then get the hell out of there....QUICK.

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Re: Going back

#10  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 18, 2018 6:21 am

Going back in time a bit, I was a Born Again fundie. It's a very powerful force (indoctrination) and truth be told, it's never really left my subconscious when I broke away from my church. It took at least a year or more to quell the feelings of guilt that I had... and fear/concerns that I was doomed for what I had done.

It's probably hard for anyone to fully understand why anyone would become a fundie if one hasn't been there, done that, and got the T-shirt in the process. It really has to be experienced to fully understand its drawing power. I know anyone can shoot holes through religion just using logic/science and reason without being involved in it, but as an analogy, it would be similar to condemning circuses for their cruelty, but working in a circus vs. looking at them from the outside, doesn't give an accurate understanding of why people work for them, promote them and feel that they have done no wrong. The condemnations are no less valid, but a full understanding of 'why they do it and justify it' is missing without the participation factor.

When I go there on the 27th, it will be like going home again. The people, whom I've never met before, will be like family. There's a bond between us, which is very, very hard to explain, that will flow or permeate amongst us where I will be like the 'prodigal son' and welcomed with open arms. Yes, one could join a club but it's not the same.

Plus for the past few years I've felt like there's a huge void within me. I'm a maze of contradictions. On one hand I embrace science, but it's a cold and heartless embrace. With religion the contradictions are put to rest and my mind is at ease.

Anyway, this has to be short for now as we have an early flight to catch in the morning. As time permits (I'll be on a Kindle, big hands, tiny keyboard, a real pain trying to type), I'll try to address any posts as best I can until we return next week.
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Re: Going back

#11  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 18, 2018 6:23 am

Ironclad wrote:Are you going to talk in tongues or bang a tambourine now? If you are, Pups, I'm going to be quite upset


No, I won't be doing that nonsense. :lol:
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Re: Going back

#12  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 18, 2018 6:25 am

zulumoose wrote:
In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that I was making a mistake by rejecting all that I was taught while I was growing up.


Bear in mind that if you had been brought up somewhere else, or in another time, you would have been taught something different, but would likely have that same feeling that what was taught must have some validity. That does not in any way lend credibility to a specific teaching, it only demonstrates your subjective bias towards it.

Affinity for community is also natural, religion relies on that to a large degree, what you sacrifice in order to participate in that is the value you place on truth. Someone who values truth can only immerse themselves in a faith based community reveling in confirmation bias for so long before it starts to grate or they drink the kool aid.


That's so true and I don't have an answer for it. :oops:
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Re: Going back

#13  Postby Skinny Puppy » May 18, 2018 6:27 am

LucidFlight wrote:I can understand the sense of connecting with people and I wish you all the best!


:thumbup:
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Re: Going back

#14  Postby zulumoose » May 18, 2018 7:35 am

Remember that guy that wanted to be reconnected to the matrix? He at least asked to have his memory wiped, so that he wouldn't know it wasn't real. How will you fare when you know?

Is the steak really so juicy that it doesn't matter to you?

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Re: Going back

#15  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 18, 2018 10:50 am

I was surprised you even considered yourself an atheist. I never did.
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Re: Going back

#16  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 18, 2018 10:56 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:
It's probably hard for anyone to fully understand why anyone would become a fundie if one hasn't been there, done that, and got the T-shirt in the process.

Slight nitpick, I'd say it's not hard to understand, but rather hard to imagine yourself in that position.
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Re: Going back

#17  Postby scott1328 » May 18, 2018 8:40 pm

I guess the being on the Trump Band wagon wasn't enough for you. When shall look for the "I was once an atheist" testimonial?
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Re: Going back

#18  Postby TopCat » May 18, 2018 9:24 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:Going back in time a bit, I was a Born Again fundie.

Yep, been there. 30 years ago now, I got out of it.

It's a very powerful force (indoctrination)

It really is.

It's probably hard for anyone to fully understand why anyone would become a fundie if one hasn't been there, done that, and got the T-shirt in the process. It really has to be experienced to fully understand its drawing power.

Agreed.

When I go there on the 27th, it will be like going home again. The people, whom I've never met before, will be like family. There's a bond between us, which is very, very hard to explain, that will flow or permeate amongst us where I will be like the 'prodigal son' and welcomed with open arms.

This is where I think you're fooling yourself.

You will be welcomed, for sure. But I think that a lot of that isn't because of their love for you, it's because you're affirming them by going back.

When it's the other way round, the truth emerges. I left a church, once, making my reasons for doing so fairly public (I'd uncovered some financial skulduggery and the leadership were in on it).

Boy, did I find out who my real friends were... in truth, most of them weren't. Most of my so-called friends - some I'd thought were close friends - dropped me like a hot potato and actively avoided me. So much for Christian love...

A few years later, when I'd got used to no longer being constrained to think in a way that would get others' approval, I realised that I didn't believe in it any more, and started being quite open about my apostasy. The relief, the joy - it was like being born again.

Best of luck, but it seems to me like you're sacrificing truth for comfort.
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Re: Going back

#19  Postby Shagz » May 18, 2018 9:47 pm

TopCat wrote:
Best of luck, but it seems to me like you're sacrificing truth for comfort.

I think comfort trumps truth for many people. Maybe even most people. It seems like a lot of people really need to be a part of a religion. It seems like evolved behavior, like it might be biological. I have no proof, but it seems like it.

I wonder if Pups will find happiness, or if he'll find that it just isn't the same as it once was.
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Re: Going back

#20  Postby Scot Dutchy » May 19, 2018 8:52 am

I think that sums up religion in America; a warm blanket. Never mind the truth feel the warmth.
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