Anticipating 1,000 posts

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Anticipating 1,000 posts

#1  Postby pelfdaddy » Jun 09, 2018 5:38 pm

Many on this forum have accumulated a library of postings the volume of which--frankly--leaves me non-plussed. Having a posting history of 1,000-plus entries is, therefore, not strange to this lifeboat.

For me however, such copious participation is daunting, and after eight years in your esteemed company, I hope you can in some way identify with my excitement at (only now, finally) approaching my 1,000th post.

I can see this milepost in the near distance. There is a bench next to it, and a water fountain for the refreshment of weary travelers. I really want to make it count.

Since I consider all of you to be my friends--many of you have aided me greatly in my maturation as a person, and my understanding of what it means to be reasonable and skeptical after sloughing off the greasy, care-worn garment of Christian faith--I trust it is not too self-indulgent to ask for suggestions.

Keeping in mind that I have learned much from the rest of you as we have toiled to keep this raft on a steady course, and that my contributions are limited primarily to the perspective of a former minister, what topic of discussion would be worthy of a One Thousandth Post?

This is an informal survey, so all responses are welcome, even if it's just "Fuck you, who cares?" or the more Euro version "Bugger off, I can't be arsed".

Thanks
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 09, 2018 5:41 pm

A milestone it is - also known as a grand in these pasts, not to be conflated with narcissistic delusions of grandeur however, so don't worry about it too much, perhaps give the post a full 10mins of consideration or something.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#3  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 09, 2018 6:08 pm

Hey, congrats! I felt the same way about my 10,000th post when compared to other folks with 40, 50 or 70K :tongue: Think I ended up marking it, but didn't say anything special. You could tell us the meaning of life :dunno:
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#4  Postby BlackBart » Jun 09, 2018 6:23 pm

I think my 1000th post was...

'I keep thinking it's Tuesday'

or was it...

'Wagon Wheels arent as big as they used to be.'

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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#5  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 09, 2018 6:23 pm

It would be interesting to hear about what made you go from being a minister to being an atheist. You may have posted that before, but there’s so many posters and posts that I simply don’t recall whether you did or not.

More so I think because you were a Pentecostal, and as we both know, that fundie on steroids.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#6  Postby pelfdaddy » Jun 09, 2018 6:26 pm

Ten minutes' consideration. Check. Meaning of Life. Check.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#7  Postby pelfdaddy » Jun 09, 2018 6:26 pm

Ten minutes' consideration. Check. Meaning of Life. Check.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#8  Postby LucidFlight » Jun 09, 2018 6:26 pm

Perhaps recounting your journey, along with some highlights of interactions here upon the fora, would make for an engaging 1,000th post.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#9  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 09, 2018 6:34 pm

pelfdaddy wrote:Ten minutes' consideration. Check. Meaning of Life. Check.


pelfdaddy wrote:Ten minutes' consideration. Check. Meaning of Life. Check.


Trying to get there faster, I see.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#10  Postby Animavore » Jun 09, 2018 6:43 pm

I remember 1,000 posts on RDF when a 1,000 posts literally meant something.

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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#11  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 09, 2018 8:27 pm

I was raised in a what I would call a "fundie" but maybe not what others would call it. The non-denominational Church of Christ. Our congregation was very conservative. If there wasn't an example of it in the NT, it was not done. No fancy stained glass, no musical instruments, no dancing, no choir... pretty much a literal interpretation of the bible. I began pulling away from church around 16 (as in stopped going and calling myself 'agnostic' because 'atheist' was just too scary of a leap), to the great disappointment of my parents and paternal family. I was a good kid even after leaving the church. I'm not real familiar with Pentacostal ("holy rollers", right?) But, I assume there is some provision as with many protestant religions, for 'excommunication?'

For me, I can only imagine that I was excommunicated, I was never told, nor did I ask. My parents didn't really participate, nor any of my family really, but I was always the "black sheep" after that. Eventually, over the course of a dozen years or so, I became completely and utterly estranged from my family. My existential leanings didn't comport with their world view.

So, worthy of a 1000th post and in true sermon preparation style, I would like to know what you think the effect is, from your unique perspective, on society when individuals are marginalized, shunned, through excommunication. Obviously it's about maintaining the group, cohesion and all that. But what happens in a society where individuals are often forced into lone-ness? How does excommunication perhaps compare to school children who are ostracized? I've often wondered if school shooters, many of whom are defined as 'loners,' would have not been a school shooter had they been accepted and included in "the group."

When I was 7 years old, I went to a new school. While standing in the line for lunch, I saw a couple "cool kids" being mean to a boy in my grade. I felt bad for him and tried to talk to him to commiserate, make him not feel so alone. He turned on me and snapped as if I was trying to trick him into something. Perhaps his history with the other children gave him ample reason to be suspicious of my motives. I often wondered if he was ostracized because he was such a dick or if he became that way due to some other reason. People can be so cruel to one another. I observed him from afar as we both graduated all the way up into high school. He was never accepted, never had friends and was always an outcast. Recently I googled him. Turns out he was convicted of some sex crime or other with a minor (child porn IIRC).

Forgive my storytelling, but it ties into the question about excommunication. How can we justify maintaining the glue that holds the group together (moral code, culture, fear of banishment) in a modern world where doing so ends up harming the very community it is expected to protect?

You could probably fill a tome on that subject, but any preacher I've ever known always had a knack for finding one little nugget, a lesson suitable to make his audience think. I'm betting you can do the same.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#12  Postby pelfdaddy » Jun 09, 2018 8:44 pm

I am more fascinated by the responses than I expected to be. Far more.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#13  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 09, 2018 8:46 pm

PensivePenny wrote:

<snip>

I'm not real familiar with Pentacostal ("holy rollers", right?) But, I assume there is some provision as with many protestant religions, for 'excommunication?'


You're directing this at perfdaddy, so I hope you don't mind if I answer too.

You're' correct, we were called holy rollers. (Because of the weird antics that went on.)

No, we didn't have anything even resembling excommunication. Basically, we were NEVER allowed to judge anyone regardless of their actions. (That's in the Bible.) In my many years in the Pentecostal church no one was ever asked to leave. I left of course, but I was never condemned for it. It's called 'backsliding' when you lose your faith or begin to live in sin. The hope is that you will eventually see the error of your ways and return.

I was visited by a few elders on quite a few occasions to try to get me to come back, but the visits were friendly and they spoke no ill about me or my leaving. They assumed that they could pray me back... eventually.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#14  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 09, 2018 8:57 pm

Skinny Puppy wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:

<snip>

I'm not real familiar with Pentacostal ("holy rollers", right?) But, I assume there is some provision as with many protestant religions, for 'excommunication?'


You're directing this at perfdaddy, so I hope you don't mind if I answer too.

You're' correct, we were called holy rollers. (Because of the weird antics that went on.)

No, we didn't have anything even resembling excommunication. Basically, we were NEVER allowed to judge anyone regardless of their actions. (That's in the Bible.) In my many years in the Pentecostal church no one was ever asked to leave. I left of course, but I was never condemned for it. It's called 'backsliding' when you lose your faith or begin to live in sin. The hope is that you will eventually see the error of your ways and return.

I was visited by a few elders on quite a few occasions to try to get me to come back, but the visits were friendly and they spoke no ill about me or my leaving. They assumed that they could pray me back... eventually.


I don't mind you answering. The purpose of the forum is discourse after all!

You're right about 'not judging' being in the bible. Our church wasn't big on passing judgement either. I didn't mean to frame our excommunication in that way. Our elders performed the same duty as you described yours. But, after a couple visits, if the wayward sheep was unmoved, they would excommunicate you formally by writing your name on the chalkboard behind the preacher, after services of course so as to not impinge on 'the lord's time' and with "heavy heart." This usually only occurred a couple times a year. It was intended as a last resort measure to encourage people back to the fold. We weren't supposed to socialize with an excommunicated member... a formal snubbing. Of course, it was with great rejoice when someone returned! Which was always welcome. Pure control mechanism, not judgement.

I have to say, I was never visited by the elders. LOL
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#15  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 09, 2018 9:04 pm

Skinny... one story (anecdote of questionable origin) that stuck with me was during a sermon, the preacher described one of these elder visits. He said, the elders were invited into the home. Brief pleasantries were exchanged. The men stood in silence in front of a toasty fireplace for a few moments when an elder reached down and using the poker, pulled out a small glowing ember from the hearth. The men stood there for a few moments as the ember slowly cooled and no longer glowed. At that moment, the lost sheep replied, "I'll be there on Sunday."
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#16  Postby pelfdaddy » Jun 09, 2018 11:35 pm

While my own Pentecostal sect did not resort to formal "shunning", neither were they liberal as Skinny describes. Our leadership figures claimed to have scriptural backing for what was in fact a technique of control: warning others not to communicate with those who rejected our doctrines after having had knowledge of them.

I do believe Penny's thoughts are interesting with respect to the psychological damage created by isolation. Those who believe in the positive effects of "the church community" forget just how traumatic it can be when non-conformity results in the loss of those family connections.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#17  Postby Shagz » Jun 10, 2018 3:29 am

I've been reading this forum for nearly 7 years. I currently have less than 900 posts, and more than half of those are from playing mafia. If you want to quickly get to 2000 posts, you might want to get someone to start a few games and join in.

The "shunning" described sounds a lot like what I've read that Scientologists do. They make their members break off contact with anyone not in the church, so that all their friends and family are in the church. It makes it much harder to leave, since leaving means losing contact with just about everyone close to you. That kind of shit creeps me out.
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#18  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 10, 2018 12:27 pm

My 1000th post was probably a curse-filled sarcastic response to some troll.

Or maybe it was something like, "Oh look, this is my 1000th post!"

:lol:
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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#19  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 10, 2018 2:32 pm

PensivePenny wrote:Skinny... one story (anecdote of questionable origin) that stuck with me was during a sermon, the preacher described one of these elder visits. He said, the elders were invited into the home. Brief pleasantries were exchanged. The men stood in silence in front of a toasty fireplace for a few moments when an elder reached down and using the poker, pulled out a small glowing ember from the hearth. The men stood there for a few moments as the ember slowly cooled and no longer glowed. At that moment, the lost sheep replied, "I'll be there on Sunday."



I had an odd experience. I went to our church 3X a week. Tuesday night was a youth meeting, Friday night was a regular service as well as SUnday. The youth meetings were for the teenagers. One for the guys and one for the gals. We were separated so we could ask any questions without being embarrassed. Any question as long as it was respectfully asked. The reason was that Jesus was there with us... literally. For anyone thinking what the hell! Were you people daft? The justifications is here. Matthew 18:20.

So I asked why God killed so many people, especially kids who knew no sin.

I was shot down in a second! I was told never to question God and to never talk like that again. I was putting evil thoughts into the other guys there and such criticisms were not Christian. They then all prayed for me and that discussion was ended.

The elder running the meeting actually got mad at me, but after praying for me all was forgiven... as long as I kept my mouth shut about that issue.


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Re: Anticipating 1,000 posts

#20  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 10, 2018 3:11 pm

I find it interesting to compare religions, Skinny. Not so much now as when I was younger because after a while one sees the same patterns emerge.

But, your story reminds me of how even a nuanced difference can be fairly profound. Like you, I went to church 3 times a week. Wed. and twice on Sunday. Matt 18:20 is one of the passages that I NEVER forgot and even believe (more or less) to this day. I've often experienced, interacting with another person on some shared goal, creative projects are particular obvious, a "third person" with us. There's a synergy I guess, or a dynamic where shared ideas and goals are exchanged and invariably something will come out of the meeting that neither person feels comfortable claiming credit for. Taken as a metaphor, I completely believe in Matt 18:20, for what is worship if not a dynamic sharing of ideas and shared goals between two or more people?

Unlike your experience, we were encouraged to "study to shew ourselves approved..." 2 Timothy 2:15. I had asked questions like yours. While I was never presented with an answer beyond "god works in mysterious ways" or something just as deflecting, I was never treated like you were! I would say that's pretty close to shunning. I asked where Cain got his wife. LOL.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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