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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

You are a bad kid

Why can't you be more like your brother Jesus!

In psychology we began learning about the effects of childhood guilt, which unchecked later turns into shame. This was spoken in the context of abusive family situations, and led into a long discussion on dysfunction.

I came to find that I suffer from these symptoms of guilt, but I was not “abused”: we just called it being Christian.

It can rightly be said that as a person believes themselves to be – so the are (or act). If you believe youself to be fat, no matter how thin you get you see yourself as fat. If you think you are loser, you tend to behave as one. If you believe yourself to be bad – you tend to behave that way.

Self-image tends to dictate all, and is a demon that is very hard to fight. For those who come from physically or mentally abusive situations there is this deep-seeded twisted sense of self that must be broken with a new sense of truth. This truth however becomes very hard to know or fully realize since it is in direct opposition to years of conditioning.

Now I was not beaten, and I was not abandoned. Nobody neglected me, or poked me with hot sticks. However, I realize that I have a very poor self-image: for I think that deep down I am bad, evil, sinful, and worthy of hell. This was the gift of my Christian upbringing, and as I think therefore I am.

As a child I was taught to believe that I was born a sinner, that I was born fundamentally flawed, displeasing to God, and that I was only capable of selfish acts of destruction. From the tender and impressionable age of 5 and upwards this fact was breathed into my soul by my loving parents, my pastor, youth workers, and a Christian school system. In church every sunday, youth group, home, and in our Christian media I was bombarded with the knowledge of my regret for being born as myself.

There was nothing that I could do that was ever right or good. Nothing would ever be good enough to please these people, or my God. I am detestable, and utterly sinful. In fact, even if I somehow manage to do something good – it is really not me doing it, but it is God doing it through me: for I am only capable of evil.

In fact, the pinnacle of this religion is to be as little like myself as possible (since I am evil), and to try to “be” someone else (Christ) who is good. To the degree to which I am not like myself (or dead my self) and am more like another person (Christ) is the very degree to which I am pleasing God, others, can be “happy”, and am to measure myself.

Abuse and dysfunction also relates to kids who were abused by being told they had to be more like their “good” sister or brother. If God is the father, and we are all Christ’s sisters and brothers – then imagine the level of dysfunction we have here.

Recently there was a lot in the news about a couple who named their son Hitler. He was later taken from them by Social Services. However, I think I can one-up them on that one:

I remember vividly a youth group retreat where the youth pastor spoke a very moving sermon to us all on Hitler and other evil men: killers, rapists, child molesters, gays, and um… cannibals. We were told that inside us was the very same evil just waiting to come out. That the only thing stopping it was Jesus, and that without Jesus in our lives we were destined to only hurt other people and ourselves. Quick, run to the altar and repent for being born: detest yourself, embrace the guilt, let the shame we give you control you and bind you to this religion.

It bound me so much that I actually believed it. I have been bound by this religion for so long due to this shame, guilt, and the fear of what would happen if I were to simply be myself (since my self is sin). In fact, I was initiated in this religion at such a young age that I can not think of a moment where I did not have this sense of fear and shame. It controls me, and keeps me in line or bondage to this religion.

Where is the Christian Socal Services to take this poor child away from this youth group? Where is the support group that I may attend as yet another Recovering Christian?

I tried a couple times to break free from it and just be a good person on my own, but I eventually did make some mistakes. It is impossible not to: who do you think I am Jesus? Then, immediately the voice kicks in: “See, you are evil and you are hurting others and yourself. You are a sinner, you are sinning, and you need to come back to the fold”. We hang our heads in shame and do one of two things: we either crawl back to an altar and repent, or we go off and hurt ourselves in self-hate or punishment.

I realized finally that I am not ready to enjoy the freedom of leaving Christianity until I can get over the guilt, shame, and negative self-image that it instilled in me. As long as I believe myself to be bad I am under its control, and I am also more-likely to self-destruct or behave poorly. Simply put, if I think I am going to leave and then be sinful then I most likely will do that (think therefore I am) and I just fall into the trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. Once this happens I am going to only “prove” to myself that I am bad and that I can not exist and be a moral human outside of the guidance of the Church.

As stated earlier self-image tends to dictate all, and this false sense of self can sometimes be the result of years of conditioning. Even if you “know” the truth in your mind it is not real knowledge until it makes its way into your belief system and actions. You very well may “know” now that you are not a looser, but until that knowledge becomes more than just a fact you are sill going to behave as one. That fact needs to break through the conditioning.

So what happens now? What is the first step?

Take a deep breath, and consider the following 5 things:

  1. You were not born evil
  2. It’s OK to be you
  3. You are capable of doing good without a God
  4. In fact there may not be a God
  5. But if there is one He probably likes you just as you are, and I bet He gets a kick out of you

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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Artesian Well

In my life I have many unfinished wells. I start digging, and after I do not get the desired/expected result in the expected amount of time I get frustrated or discouraged; I quit and start digging a new hole somewhere else.

Maybe the first one went down to a good 500 feet or so before it hit bedrock. The next one I gave to maybe 300 feet before I got frustrated, figured it was going nowhere, and gave up on it. Each one after that I gave up on sooner and sooner than the last; til now its down to just a few feet.

By now the field of my soul looks like a block of Swiss-cheese… littered with holes upon holes, but none bringing forth this life-giving water.

I am a spiritual tourist.

Friday I practiced scrying and tried to talk to my Spirit Guide. Saturday I studied the Kabbalah all day, and then went to a Christian service at night. Sunday I went to Unitarian church, and spent the night singing mantras and clearing my chakras with toning and crystals. Today I studied the Bible, and then practiced Buddhist meditation for a few hours. Holes, I have nothing but holes to show for all of this; I have no well.

I am running out of resources, energy, and landscape. I need a well and not another hole. I need to endure, and simply continue til I hit water, but I am unsure as to where to begin or continue the dig.

If there is a religion whose stance on women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights, social justice and environmentalism is beneath the standard by which I am already capable of living, then why would I lower myself to practice this religion? An encounter with God should increase my sense of purpose and moralty, not lessen it.

By watching the way that you treat others, yourselves, and your environment can I know that you have found something that can embetter me? If you can not match or exceed my own inherent sense of morality, I who do not even profess to know any God personally, then why would I follow your example?

A religion should improve the human or spiritual condition of a being; if not, we debasing ourselves.

So, the question of mine tonight is “What hole do I keep digging in, and which do I abandon?”

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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Jesus Dating AgainSo, Jesus and I finally broke up.

I really thought that things were going to be different this time. He said that he changed… loosened up a little, stopped all his bad habits, said he was nothing like his dad.

I broke it off, and now I am going through all that crazy movie-like post-break-up nonsense.

I went through that moment of feeling empowered, like I can break out on my own and be single, or maybe even start seeing other people again. You know, get back into that religion dating pool. I am pretty sure that Vishnu was eyeing me up the other day pretty hard in the grocery store, and Buddha did slip me his number last month. He’d actually be kind of cute if he lost a bit of weight.

Then all the sudden out of nowhere I got all crazy and started listening to sad emo music, watching bad romantic comedies alone in the dark while eating a tubs of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and I can’t seem to get out of my sweatpants!

Am I better off alone? Is he going to call? Is he even thinking of me? Am I getting fat?

And oh my God! What are my parents going to do when they find out? They loved him! Heck, they were the ones who set us up in the first place. They are going to flip. Oh man, and all of our friends are mutual friends – so how are they going to treat me? We even all hung out in the same places. It’s like I am going to be a total social outcast now.

Losing your religion can be quite a depressing event. I mean, I got “saved” at the age of 5. I can not look back to any time in my life when my religion was not there with me. The earliest memory I have – it is already there… like it or not. I actually have no sense of being or identity apart from it, and no idea as to what life was like without it.

I feel like my dog died. Sure he was a crappy dog, even a bit of a jerk at times, but he was still my dog. He bit me, ruined my stuff, hated and attacked all of my friends, and pooped all over my carpet; Yet, he was still my pet, and although it was a crappy relationship –  at least it was company of some sort.

This also makes me think of people who stay in bad or even abusive relationships. Why do we? Because it beats being alone, or because this bad relationship is the only one they ever knew? Or maybe we do it because the evil of this relationship we know to be tolerable, and that is less intimidating than what unknown evil may be out there.

I just don’t know if I should take some time to be alone, some “me time”, or if I am really ready to start seeing other gods again. From what I hear they are all are just after the same thing anway. Pfft… men!

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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300-stu20611The closer I get to God the less I want to eat meat.

That’s about all I got on this one for now. Yup, that’s about it. That is where I am starting with this thought; that as I experience God I get filled with compassion and gentleness; the more convicted I am about all kinds of social and environmental issues that I never cared that much about before.

I believe that I am experiencing God’s heart on the matter, and now it is becoming time for me to work out my apologetics on the issue and make my case for those who misunderstand me.

People automatically get defensive at this topic. They look at it and automatically think as to what my statement may imply. For me to say “the closer I get to God – the less I want to eat meat” implies to them that I therefore think that I am closer to God than they are since they eat meat. If I say that I think I am feeling God’s heart on the matter it implies they are far from his heart or are unfeeling. It instantly gets put into the perspective of the “I” and becomes some kind of guilt, or matter of offense to their pride.

All I know is that after spending a day in God’s word or his presence I loose the ability or desire to cause harm to an animal, or to sponsor or enable such harm. I am simply trying to make sense of my own convictions first, and later I may make an educated plea for it towards my peers.

So where to begin? Any advice would be appreciated.

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For more heresy please join me on my new blog at www.evolitionist.com

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