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Here ya go - my church experiences
January 9, 2007
6:46 pm
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Loralei

Great quote of yours in your post of 8-Jan-07:

"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

That's the part I found really thought provoking.

January 10, 2007
8:35 am
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bevdee
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Loralei,

Thank you for the website- I've been looking at it, and will explore it at my leisure.

January 10, 2007
3:40 pm
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on my way
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Hi bevdee...yes it is easier to believe what we are "told". Then it is harder as adults to untangle it all. Look for the truth, it's there for you. At least this is what I believe, and I believe if you look for it you will find it.

January 10, 2007
3:50 pm
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on my way
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When I was 11 yrs old I went to a Baptist church and Baptists beleive in altar call. I remember sitting in my sunday school class and my teacher asking me in front of all of the other kids, "If you died tonight would you go to heaven? No, you wold go to hell." FREAKED ME OUT!!!! So, at church service that same day, OUT OF FEAR, I went up and the pastor says to me "We have been waiting for you, we have been so worried about you!!" I thought to myself, "Great, ok, well at least I am not going to hell now"...and I had NO CLUE what had just happened. My decision was based on fear and what my Sunday school teacher said to me.,

I always went to church as a child, but didn't understand or begin a personal relationship with JC until I was 17 yrs. old. This was when I understood what I was doing, and my life changed from that moment on in regard to actually WANTING to know God more. It was like satisfying a real hunger for who he is.

Slowly that hunger has died, but He remains. But I still have to sift through all of the propaganda of "religion" at this point in time just to get to the nugget..JC....simply JC, that is all that I want. So I am now at a place in my life where I believe that I know the truth, but sifting through the crap, and asking myslef, what do I rally believe, want, and why? I always come back to JC, hands down, but there are so many people out there who will try to tell you HOW TO FEEL...and it doesn't work that way.

Just thought I would share my "church experiences" as you call them. Not all churches are nutso, some are real.

January 10, 2007
3:53 pm
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ggfred4
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on my way, thanks for sharing your experience; it helped me feel better about mine....

January 11, 2007
2:22 pm
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on my way
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ggfred4,

wow, really! you are welcome, but what were your's like?

January 11, 2007
4:47 pm
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ggfred4
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go back up; it took me about three posts to get it all out...thanks

January 11, 2007
6:35 pm
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Loralei
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Bev, I was just re-reading the earlier posts to this thread. You said regarding attending church:

"These are very emotional memories for me. I do not think I am unique in this. I think this is why nearly all of us have such strong feelings about it. It is tied up with early memories of our parents, who thought they were doing the right thing. Especially if we were raised in what I think of as "extreme" denominations. It is a culture of fear, shame, guilt, unworthiness, and codependency."

You really got me thinking with that statement. I hadn't associated the emotional feelings I had for my mother and grandmother who I attended church with, with the emotions religious music always triggered in me. I always attributed those emotions to some kind of need for spirituality, yet I never ever felt "religious". Looking back, I now realize that all those feelings were associated with my deep love for my mother and grandmother. Since my mother was very ill throughout my youth and I always feared her death, I think attending church made me feel even more aware of her fragile life. She was always very naive and trusting. I know she hauled me to church every Sunday because she thought it was the right thing for her to do.

When I finally got around to my own deconversion as an adult, my first reaction was a feeling of betrayal. That I had been lied to all those years. But then I realized that my mother had also been lied to and so on up the line. I was the first one in my family to break the chain of religious servitude. It was a big weight off my shoulders. I no longer had the guilt or fear that plagued me while a believer. I can only imagine how much stronger those kinds of negative feelings must incorporate themselves into the really religious folks. I can see how that could really cause a lot of inner turmoil. I suffered from it enough as it was and I was only lukewarm in my religion.

But I had always wondered why hearing church music nearly always brought me to tears. Thanks for making that association for me. It sure explains a lot.

January 11, 2007
8:21 pm
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on my way
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gg..no wonder I couldn't find it at first, I didn't go back 1 month. Will do so and read. Thanks!

January 11, 2007
10:07 pm
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bevdee
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Loralei,

Thanks for you post.

Yes!! Where you say - "When I finally got around to my own deconversion as an adult, my first reaction was a feeling of betrayal. "

I felt betrayal, too. I didn't want to believe- or not believe. Then I felt such sorrow for my daddy, I wanted to tell him!! I felt like he had wasted his life aspiring toward "the afterlife", but after I thought about it, I decided it wasn't going to do any good to even try to tell him.

Something else that triggers me is hearing ministers hollering. It sounds angry to me, and it also brings back memories. Even when I hear it on TV. I have wondered if this oration technique is a way of trying to instill fear.

Bevdee

January 12, 2007
2:39 pm
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bevdee,
I agree with what you say about ministers yelling. Most ministers I remembr yelling were "Fire & Brimstone" ministers as they used to call them. I have no respect for them. Jesus Christ never did that.

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