8/28/2006                                                                                       View Comments

Saying goodbye

Saying Goodbye
By Ian

***

A few years ago, I was reading a strategy guide for the video game Dino Crisis and came across a quote near the back of the book. In the section of the game, the main character is fleeing a tyrannosaurs rex and has to fire grenades into it's face to slow it down. At the end of the section, the book says "After three or four grenades to the face, he'll (the T-rex) come to understand that some partings are inevitable, that even fleeting friendships help you grow as an individual, and that Regina's (the protagonist) haste to leave Ibis island is in no way a rejection of him personally."

That book was one of the funniest things I've ever read, and at the time I did not give much thought to that particular paragraph. But now, years later, I can see how truthful the general statement of that is: That sometimes partings between individuals are inevitable and that friendships, no matter how fleeting, help you grow.

Why do I bring this up? Because on the 24th of August, 2006, I said goodbye to someone I have known for six years.

***

During the month of august that this piece is being written, I had a great many mornings when I would wake up in the morning, go through my days, and have a feeling that I was not doing something I was supposed to be doing, as if I was being given a warning that something was wrong.

As you can imagine, walking around with a constant sense of dread and uncertainty will inevitably wear and tear away at your emotional health. And when coupled with the fact that throughout the coming and going of days, I was coming across Christian ideas, books and propaganda wherever I went. Even on vacation, I came across those insulting bumper stickers that say "No Jesus, no peace". I even saw billboards that had the words "If you want me to save you, I will…Jesus".

As an ex-Christian of two years, the thought that perhaps something beyond the senses is trying to bring me back into Christianity inevitably comes up. I did sometimes wonder if Jesus was trying to bring me back into the fold, and that the feelings I had were signs that I should come back.

Day after day, it began to build on me. Until finally, on the 24th, I snapped.

***

It was a fairly ordinary day. I woke up, got dressed, got into the car and went to work. Then, afterwards, I drove to college for the day's classes. At that point, the thoughts of what I had been coming across, especially with regards to Christian fundamentalism, was beginning to anger me. When it comes to spiritual matters, I am the type of person who just has to look and see what others say. I can't really help it, because I'm a curious person and I want to know.

Yet…sometimes it can be too much. I kept going over what has been said about Jesus by many different sources, that he was the prince of peace, that he came to earth to show us how to come back to God and to show us how to live. About how he is the great leader and the great teacher of all spiritual seekers.

Yet…I couldn't help but say to myself, "No he's not." So many see Jesus as a kind and friendly man who wants to save you and be your friend. Simply take a copy of the bible, open it up and you'll see that Jesus is far from that. Bible-Jesus is, in all honesty, not the kind of person I would want to make friends with. I'm not sure I'd even want to be with him, or even near him.

Why is that? Because of his in your face attitude, because of how often he uses threats and even how he insults people at time. How he seems to mock people by saying "Oh ye of little faith." several times. Bible-Jesus is not the wishy-washy, friendly being who is seen so often in paintings and drawings. Bible-Jesus is direct, in your face, and threatening. Don't believe what he says? According to Bible-Jesus, you're pretty much fucked. Don't believe what he says? According to Bible-Jesus, you're a fool. Don't believe in Jesus? Then according to Bible-Jesus, "woe to you."

Jesus, at times, resembles a cult leader more then anyone else. He tells his followers to go out and do things for his sake, to leave their families for his sake, and to be glad to be persecuted for his sake, for great would their reward be. He says that if you deny Jesus, he will deny you before God. If you are ashamed of Jesus, he shall be ashamed of you.

Me, me, me.

No wonder I admire the Buddha, Ghandi, and the Dali Lama, just to name a few. They won't damn you for not believing in them, and the lifestyles they lead inspire me to do more then Jesus's life did.

Looking at Jesus' words was an eye-opener for me, but not in the sense of "Wow, I need him!" It was more like, "Wow…Jesus isn't a very friendly guy." Perhaps Jesus' most infamous statement can be found in Matthew, where he says that if anyone does not hate his family and those who love them, they cannot be my (Jesus') follower. Yet even this statement is starting to be white washed. In the study bible at my house, the verse has been changed to "Anyone who does not love" instead of "Anyone who does not hate" Why are people changing Jesus' words?"

Jesus' guidelines on love, possibly the single greatest virtue in the human race, are very odd. The most famous of course, is Jesus’ famous command that we “love one another” (John 15:17). Yet he also “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). In other words, Jesus tells his listeners to hate their families and themselves before they follow him. When you compare that with “honour thy father and thy mother” and John’s words: “he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen” (Exodus 20:12 and 1 John 4:20,), and Jesus begins to get a raised eyebrow of suspicion.

Jesus's teachings are so well known that there is no real reason to go over them all. But they eventually boil down to "The end of the world is just around the corner. Get yourselves right with God now before you're thrown into hell. And you can only come to God through me."

Yet the end of the world did not come. Jesus told his followers and others that the son of man (Jesus) would return within their lifetime, their generation, etc. Yet he did not return. He did not come back. He failed to show himself. As time went on, his disappointed followers were forced to adapt and change some of what they believed.

Today, hundreds of years later, there are, in general, two camps of Jesus followers. Those who see the bible liberally with many metaphors and stories meant to make a point then tell actual history, and those who see the bible as completely literal and infallible, and that Jesus is THE ONLY way to heaven and to God.

Guess which group is more well known? Guess which group is more present in everyday life?

And behind it all is a man who claimed to be the son of God, the son of man, and the person who was going to help bring the kingdom of God to earth at the end of the age. He's dead. All his disciples are dead. All the towns he condemned, all the groups that didn't believe him, are all dead. Judgment day has not come, even though Jesus heavily implied that it would within the lifetimes of his followers and those around him.

I was once a follower of this man. I believed what I had been told, that he was the son of God and the only way to heaven. That without him, you were doomed to an eternity of hellfire. I followed him for four years. And then, even after I left Christianity, I still hung on to him, believing that I could get something from him. And I did this for two years.

But that time has come to an end.

***

How do you say goodbye to someone you've followed for six years? How do you say farewell to someone you trusted more then any human being?

I don't know. All I know is that it ended with cursing and anger and bitterness.

When I was driving to school that day on the twenty fourth, I couldn't stop thinking about all that was being said about Jesus by so many people, how great he was even though when I look at the bible, I see otherwise. I thought about how so many said he was wise and perfect when to me it is clear that he was not.

The cult of Jesus worship. That was what I saw. The liberal, more easygoing voice was nowhere to be found, buried and crushed under the feet of Billy Grahams, Greg Laurie's and others just like them.

I can't remember exactly how it came to it, but eventually my anger began to overflow. And when I reached the parking lot of college, I was raging. I was furious at how so much attention is focused on this…this…this idol that is not a man I'd want to be with, or perhaps even associate with.

What I do remember, all too clearly, is what happened. I had parked the car, I had turned off the keys, and I told Jesus how much I hated him.

I raged, and I told him how much I hated what he said. I raged, and I told him how much I hated his self-superiority, his own self-authority. I raged, and then I told him how much I hated his teachings.

I hate you.

It was the first time in six years, in my entire association with the man that I insulted him out loud. It was the first time I spoke out loud my true feelings about him, where I told him how I felt. Where I had once adored and worshipped him, I now just told him how much I didn't like him. The illusion, the idol, was gone.

Eventually, I was hunched over in my car, my fist pounding my backpack. "Damnit." I cursed. "Damnit, damnit, damnit." Over and over I said it. I had let my true feelings out, and there was no turning back, no denying how I felt.

Eventually though, I stopped. I slowly picked up my backpack, silent from the abuse it had gotten, and I got out. When I left that car and walked across the parking lot to class, I simply said one thing to the man I had once worshipped.

"Leave me alone."

***

I felt different in school that day. We watched a movie in class, "Some like it hot." I didn't pay much attention to it. What I did notice was that I felt…hollow in a way. It was not an unpleasant hollow, perhaps more like the feeling you get when a watch that you've worn for five years is suddenly not on your wrist.

And when the movie was over, I slowly walked across campus back to my car. I noticed how the sky was blue. I looked at the chalk drawings of history someone had drawn on the sidewalk. I let myself go through the grass.

I felt different.

The feelings of dread, of uncertianty, that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing...were gone. And to date, they haven't come back.

And when I got in the car and began to drive back home, my focus turned to God. I told God in my car that I wanted nothing to do with Christianity. I told God that I never wanted to go back. Never again. I didn't want to go back to what I once believed because it would be like falling back into an addiction that had taken so long to break.

And then, for the first time in my entire life, I yelled at God. I yelled at him that I was never going back, and that I would no longer tolerate all the Christian material that I would encounter in my life. I yelled at God that if he was going to try and send me messages, could he please be so kind as to send them in any other way then through religion, and especially through Christianity.

But mostly, I just yelled at him how I wasn't going back. "You got that God?!" I yelled. "I'm not going back! NEVER! DO YOU HEAR ME GOD?! DO YOU?! NEVER!"

And then…it was over. It was done. No lightning bolts came down to destroy me, no car suddenly appeared out of nowhere to crash into me. I was still driving down the road, still driving home.

I pulled over. I got out, found some rocks, and chucked them off the side of the road into a small gorge below. I imagined I was throwing bibles, throwing them away so that no one else would ever find them, ever read them. I threw three rocks. The last one, a heart shaped one, cut my little finger as I grabbed it. I didn't even notice the blood until it had left my hand.

And then I got back into my car and kept driving. And I drove. I drove and drove until I reached a small valley road, away from the cities and the hustle and bustle of life. I drove past a flower stand. Something made me stop at the next parking lot.

Perhaps I was being guided to say my final goodbyes.

Getting out of that car, I just knew that this was it. It was the end of six years of following Jesus. In a sense, I was still hanging onto one piece of my past, one thing I refused to let go of. I had left Christianity, I had left it's doctrines, but I had not left Jesus. I was still hanging onto him, refusing to let go.

But now…now I just couldn't hold on any longer.

As I left the car in the parking lot, I began my walk down the road. The sun was at my back, low to the horizon. It would be dark in another hour or so. My family was expecting me at home, but they would have to wait. This was more important.

I didn't speak at first. I didn't talk for a while until I had crossed the street and was walking next to a hill that I said my final goodbyes to Jesus.

"Listen Jesus…I just don't want you in my life anymore. I don't want you to be in it. Please, just leave me alone. Just…just leave me alone and don't bother me."

I reached the flower stand. I got a small bouquet of flowers for no real reason, other then they looked good. I paid for them, and I started to walk back to the car, the sun setting in front of me, it's light making the top of the trees grow.

***

Maybe in life we're meant to follow some people for a time, then leave when we longer need them, or when they can no longer help us. Perhaps, as the video game strategy book said, friendships, no matter how fleeting, help us grow as an individual.

Perhaps…perhaps I had come to the end with Jesus. I no longer needed him. I had taken from him what would be useful and helpful to me in my life. For although he did say many threatening things, he said some good things too. His commandments to love God and love your neighbor as yourself are very good guidelines one can use during life.

I had known him for six years. We had some good times together. I did grow when I was still with him, but there is only so much room to grow in with one individual, one book, one way of believing. Does the Christian bible not say that when I was a child, I played with childish things. But now I am a man, and I put away childish things?

I am ready to move beyond the need to depend on someone else for everything in my life. I am ready to take responsibility, to learn and grow from my own choices, my own actions. I am ready to make my own decisions based on my own values and my own ideas. I have read about Jesus found in the bible and in Christianity. And I have come to the conclusion that what we have today is an idol who will solve all our problems for us…all in exchange for worshipping him and following him of course.

Follow the herd, or become a lone wolf? That is the question I face. I am a spiritual seeker. I do not limit my search for what is right and what is true to only one source. And in order to have this freedom, you must be willing to give up the security of having a home base, a belief that tells you what to believe and what to do.

Is it a price I'm willing to pay?

Yes…yes it is.

***

As I walk towards the setting sun, to my car and to my family waiting at home…

I see myself walking down a small path in a garden somewhere. The grass is thick and lush. There are flowers in the fields that sparkle and shine. A bird sings somewhere. Mountains, tall and majestic are nearby.

The path I am on is made of smooth wood. It is wide enough for two to walk on it. Looking back, I can see it stretching for miles. Looking in front of me, I see a small platform in the field, also made of smooth and soft wood that is pleasant to my feet. It has a bench on it, and on the other side there is another path, one leading far ahead.

But there is only room on this path for one person.

As I come to the platform, I see a man sitting there on the bench, calmly waiting for me. I recognize him immediately. It's the man I've followed for six years. It's Jesus. He sees me coming to the platform and he slowly stands up, waiting for me.

I walk up to him, and look at him eye to eye. He looks at me as well. I turn to look at the path ahead. It is leading to a wide, open field beyond the mountains that is green and lush. It looks beautiful. Jesus looks at it too. Then we look at each other again.

I talk to Jesus. I thank him for all that he has done for me in the six years that we have been together. I thank him for all the help he has given me. But, I tell him, I can't go any further with you. I wan to walk this path by myself.

He smiles. Looking in his eyes, I know he understands.

I hold out my hand, offering it to him. He looks down at it, and then he takes it softly in his hand. Our palms meet, and we give a gentle shake. And then we give a hug to each other. This is the end of our path together, the path that we have walked.

We hug each other for a long time. But eventually, it ends. It is time to move on.

I do not know if we will meet each other again. I do not know if our paths will cross. I cannot see the future. I do not know what it holds. I may meet Jesus again one day, or I may not. I may be leaving him, but perhaps I will encounter the spirit that was in him along the path.

I take a deep breath. Jesus slowly steps back, giving me room. I look at the path ahead of me. It is so long…but deep down in my heart…I know I want to do this. It is time for me to walk this path by myself.

And then, raising my foot…I take my first step onto the path.

I walk. I keep walking. The path ahead is long and I have a long way to go. But even as I walk, I pause. And then I turn around and look back one final time. Jesus still stands there in his white robe, watching me. He is not angry, nor is he sad. For I know he understands.

He slowly raises his arm towards me, in a gesture of goodwill. And then I hear his voice in my head.

The path is before you. It is yours to walk, yours to enjoy, and yours to see.

Looking back at Jesus, I give one more smile. A deep breath of air enters my lungs. And then I turn back to the path, and I keep walking, each step taking me further away from my past, from all that I have held onto. Inside me, I feel sad in a way.

But there is hope as well.

As the sun sets, and the path continues on, I keep going.

I don't look back…

I keep walking.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is life after Jesus, much life!

Jesus, Jesus who? The man that lives in a book and can't come out and prove himself to us!

God, God who? The deity that lives in a book and can't come out and prove himself to us!

Must we trust a book written by men or must we trust reality?

I much prefer to trust reality any day, any time!

Anonymous said...

Ian,

Maseltov!

I have done the same, with an all-important family member. How revealing that a person can be so tormented and dominated by an non-existant being!

By the way, as you walk that path alone rather than going with the herd, I think you'll find plenty of people walking that path with you. They're called "people".

Oh, and one more thing. The way you describe Jesus, which is great, because even devoted atheists might say Jesus was a good man: you've pushed the envelope quite a big further: sounds like a schizophrenic to me!

Naomi

SpaceMonk said...

"And I have come to the conclusion that what we have today is an idol who will solve all our problems for us…all in exchange for worshipping him and following him of course."

I would say, all in exchange for our weekly tithe and loyal submission to the 'authorities' set up by the actual bible authors (cunning and manipulative humans).

Bentley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bentley said...

To believe in fables and myths, one must make sacrifices and personal commitments. One must be willing to leave a part of one's true self behind. When one must profess an oath that is not natural and underess and a threat of a later consequences it goes against everyone's own common reasoning.

To give up the brainwashing, one must rediscover one's true self before it was stipped away and return to your original self, but you feel like you're leaving a part of you behind, try to forget the past. I myself, wish I had never heard of the Bible, but then I might have been more acceptable to it's teachings had I not, since the authors have had 2000 years to perfect it's apologetics, this is what really snares innocent victims, every conceivable loop hole and question has been completely scrutinized by the people that want to make the Bible appear to be absolute truth. All we can do is pick at the bones and try to find the many discrepancies and there are many.

Try to look at it this way, you were lucky enough to see through the deception and lies, what it was that opened your mind up is exactly what millions of other people need, but either ignore it or refuse to see it out of needless childhood fear.

After 6 years, what was it that broke the camels back for you?

Now do you wish now you could have got out from it the very next day?

Ian, sorry you had to go through such personal torment, my experience was much less intense, although I have moments of reflection from time to time, flashbacks like a war veterian, it's like a mental psychosis. Scarred brain cells maybe?? Many years of indoctrination, takes way too long to forget. TC

boomSLANG said...

"Bible-Jesus is, in all honesty, not the kind of person I would want to make friends with."

Nor would I, but to refer to Jesus as "Bible-Jesus" is redundant, as it implies that there is some "other" Jesus somewhere. There IS no "other" Jesus Christ, Ian....either in reality, or concept. This is because Jesus exists nowhere outside of the pages of the Holy Bible. To delve into the Bible and extract one's own personal rendition of what Jesus "should have" been; how one "wants" Jesus to act; what Jesus "SHOULD HAVE" stood for, is to either consciously, or subconsciously, cling to the "Christ" in Christianity.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that one should do whatever it takes to be at peace after leaving the shackles of Christianity, however, IMO, making little parables out of one's subjective experience with Jesus; to "personify" Jesus---is to really be doing the same thing we accuse those who subjectively manipulate Jesus' teachings for their own agendas, are doing. After all, this behavior is what propagates the Christian meme. The "unchanging" underlying message of "Bible-Jesus" is to accept "Him" as your personal savior, or burn. Period. So, the final scene was omitted, and in accordance with Jesus' teachings should read more like:


"Looking back at Jesus, I give one more smile. A deep breath of air enters my lungs. And then I turn back to the path, and I keep walking, each step taking me further away from my past, from all that I have held onto. Inside me, I feel sad in a way.

But there is hope as well.

As the sun sets, and the path continues on, I keep going.

I don't look back…

I keep walking..."


...THEN, from out of nowhere, the crazy man in the white robe came storming down the path behind me. "But Jesus, I said....I, I thought we had an understanding?...I thought I figured out the 'real' you?" Abruptly, the man in the white robe with anger in his eyes answered, "Well, Ian...you 'thought' wrong!!...and you KNOW what happens now, right Ian?"

Yes, there is hope. Ian, you've flushed the "bath water", now, it's time to get rid of the "baby"---the same "baby" who made the perfectly clean water filthy to begin with. Jesus is not, and was not, EVER your "friend".

No Gods.

Optimist said...

The mythologies of the world are littered with gods who sent their sons down to earth. Christians see that 99% of these are myths. Why do they think Jesus is any different?

An amusing aspect of these sendings is that they always arise out of a god fornicating with a human woman, so it is impossible to distinguish this god-son from any other naturally born baby. Even bible-god's other sons enjoyed screwing with the earthly women in Genesis Ch 6, giving rise to a race of giants. What baloney, but the Christians soak it all up as the "truth".

Ivan said...

Ian,

first of all: I do absolutely understand and share your thoughts on this self-righteous, insane asshole that we find in the bible, Mister Jesus "love me or burn in hell"...

It's really frustrating to talk to even most atheists about "Jesus", because in the worlds knowledge he's existing as the "prince of love and peace", no matter how much this image contradicts the reality of the New Testament.

He is, taking all that is written about him, really more something like an insane pervert, than a teacher of great wisdom.

Even the in first place very positive sounding teachings like "love your enemies and do them all the best", "let yourself beat on the other cheek when your'e attacked" and "love simply everyone", to summ them up shortly (-:, are not that brilliant at all, when you allow yourself to look behind that holy wall these teachings have around them.

These teachings are (for humankind)in fact absolutely non-helping, unrealistic, corny utopias, which totally deny and contradict human nature, and reality in general.

It's a bit like communism.

A nice thought at first, but if you look upon reality, it simply doesn't work, so people must be threatend to live such a way of live. (by the state or by hellfire...)

People want to have individual ownership and don't want to share everything with everyone, people are not able to live the communistic way.

It's the same with the "positive Jesus teachings".


"Respect others the way you want to be respected, try to have kindness for all that is living in general", that sounds to me as a good aim to achieve in daily life.

But Jesus didn't say that.

That would simply be a liberal modern interpretation.

He commands (the first big mistake 'commanding love') "love everyone", "love people who want to harm you".

Love is a gift, the core of love is that you share it only with a special couple of people in your life.

The "I love everyone" attitude of xtians simply is a lie, they don't, it's impossible. (don't get me wrong, I do have love for humankind, but that's a general attitude, it doesn't practically mean I love everyone)

And so all that weird behaviour takes place, christians follow a teaching which is simply impossible.

(and it's not even worth to achieve, damn, I don't want to love everyone as myself - my mother would kill me (-: - and I don't want to love anyone on the streets as I do love my best friends)

This leads to such falseness, to such double-morality.

The christian "love for everyone" leads simply to not loving anyone.

Because "being kind of friendly" is taken as "love" by christians.

So my christian friends love me like they love the postman or the butcher or the haircutter - they don't really!!

The christian love is no love.


My point is, not to make you hate the bible-Jesus more but to put away the "magic coat" from the Jesus-figure, don't leave any holy cows, try to really think about Jesus teachings, and maybe all the rest-admiration which I can hear out from your posting will disappear, in fact there is absolutely nothing admirable about this guy, at least very very few things potentially.

Corny, unrealistic teachings which are connected to the most horrible of all punishments imaginable.

Get the people to love everyone, by threatening them with eternal violence if they don't.

Wanting an impossible and false love for everyone which is making true love worthless by creating fear.

Commanding to love people that are really doing harmful stuff to oneself, to others you love, or to society in general.

Commanding to let yourself beaten up when someone's attacking to win against the evil.

A really great and realistic teaching.

I should go to women-houses and tell 'em about Jesus, so they go back to their violent husbands, which they are not allowed to get divorced with following Jesus words...

Or travel back in time, tell the few people of the german resistance to show the SA and Gestapo-troops their other cheek...

What a bunch of crap...

The so called "positive Jesus teachings" are not a contradiction to the hate and bitterness, the intolerance and mental sickness of many of the most serious "born-again"-followers of him, are not a contradiction to the poisoned social atmosphere in the very christian areas.

They lead to all that stuff in a logical consequence, as they are stupid and false in the core, unrealistic and based on fear and violence, denying the reality of the human race, not leading to a way to change that reality or make the best out of it, but creating desillusioned, confused fanatics which forget what real kindness and love is... (I have experienced how a friend of mine totally improved in loving the important people in her life and having a positive attitude on humans in general, as she left the fold...)

And, of course, accepting that only one human being will suffer forever like Jesus preached it, corrupts all the love people owe.

The love of people who "follow Jesus" is corrupted.

Just think about all that stuff, maybe cross examine all of his teachings once again and look at them as you would look on any concept someone is presenting to you, don't stay in the state of mind that Jesus is still somehow special or admirable.

He's not.

As Nietsche said:

"Jesus was an idiot"

He got the point, man, he got the point.

Try to think about it, and your "goodbye" to this suggestive-hell-preaching-friend will hopefully be forever, and you will be more and more proud to have taken this road.


Ivan

(excuse the mistakes in spelling and grammar, I' German... (-; )

David90212 said...

That is probably one of the most well written stories I have ver read on the subject. I am guessing that yur are majoring in media.

Extremely well put, and an easy read.

And above all... true and thought provoking.

John said...

Oh, wow, six whole years. Man, that is soooo long to be a Christian. Come on! You barely gave it a chance. After four years, you were ready to give up. You didn't try hard enough.

At least read the work of the Early Church Fathers, or parts of the "Suma Theologica" by St. Thomas Aquinas, before abandoning your temporary faith completely. Or read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and ignore the mutterings of people who like to tell jokes about priests and children at sites like this one.

As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said. He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that didn't accept the Gospel.

SpaceMonk said...

"At least read the work of the Early Church Fathers, or parts of the "Suma Theologica" by St. Thomas Aquinas, before abandoning your temporary faith completely. Or read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and ignore the mutterings of people who like to tell jokes about priests and children at sites like this one."

All that stuff is irrelevant bullshit.

Trancelation said...

"Oh, wow, six whole years. Man, that is soooo long to be a Christian. Come on! You barely gave it a chance."

Some people have cancer for a few months, some a few years. Cancer is cancer regardless of how long you have it, and a mental disease is a mental disease regardless of how long you go without treatment.

It is no wonder, then, that survivors, regardless of how long they were sick, are glad to be rid of it.

"After four years, you were ready to give up. You didn't try hard enough."

What, exactly, qualifies as "trying hard enough"? Would he have "tried hard enough" if, say, he were a True Christian (TM) . . . like you, maybe? Would he have "tried hard enough" if he were still a believer, albeit not one like you, not a True Christian (TM) . . . such as yourself?

"At least read the work of the Early Church Fathers, or parts of the "Suma Theologica" by St. Thomas Aquinas, before abandoning your temporary faith completely. Or read the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and ignore the mutterings of people who like to tell jokes about priests and children at sites like this one."

. . . I've been visiting the site, reading the main page and the forum for over a year, and have just now started posting. I am unaware of these "jokes about priests and children" you speak of. Could this be a blanket statement for any negative statements about Christians we have to make? I think it is. There is little posiive to say about individuals suffering from narcisssistic personality disorder. What would you have us say?

On the books: ain't we's sa'p'soed ta' reads own-lee da' Bible? Or do the extra-Biblical works YOU mentioned count? Aren't we supposed to develop our own understanding of Jesus and God? Or are you the Dungeon Master, as it were?

This is what is sosickening about the mental disorder that is Christianity. No two Christians ever agree on anything, and their self esteem is so shattered from their self-loathing religion, that their narcissistic disorder protects their fragile ego by putting them in a state where THEY are right . . . and everyone else is wrong.

"As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said. He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that didn't accept the Gospel."

Perhaps . . . but Jesus was possibly mentally retarded, and the evidence to support this is overwhelming within the Bible. Is it any wonder, then, that Jesus so loved the minds of children? Children are easily manipulated, lack any real understanding of human boundaries, and are mercilessly crue and easily frightened.

Evidence in the Bible also supports the idea that Jesus was a murderously narcissistic individual, hiding behind claims of benevolence and kindness that labeled his dissenters monsters when he himself was no different.

Knowing this, can we say Jesus was an asshole?

. . . yeah.

Lorena said...

John:
"As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said. He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that didn't accept the Gospel."

Lorena:
You know, John. I am not sure that Jesus was this or that either. After all the gospels are just fiction.

Of one thing I am sure, the religion created in Jesus name SUCKS.

Anonymous said...

John wrote;
As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said. He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that didn't accept the Gospel.


No John, Jesus just casts millions of people into a flaming fire pit for just not believing in him.

Nice guy that Jesus.

boomSLANG said...

John the Baptist said: "As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said.
He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that(who) didn't accept the Gospel."

Here's what God had to say about people who don't "accept the Gospel.":

"And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 13:5)

dead, is dead.

Ivan said...

"As for Ivan, Jesus Christ was not an "asshole," as you said. He didn't tell His followers to fly planes into tall buildings to kill people that didn't accept the Gospel."

John, first of all you should tell us which christian believe you share, I mean, you seem to be catholic, and this can mean anything.

As there are many, many, catholic fundamentalists out there, conservative and angry against any kind of joy in life, I do also know many liberal, modern catholics.

They don't take the bible as the unfailing word of god, like the evangelical fundies do.

(and the joke is: the evangelical christians very often look upon catholics as people who still need to be saved, are very often on a rough anti-catholic agenda, but most of the "born again" doctrines such as the god-state of Jesus, the perfectness of the bible and so on are simply old catholic church dogmas which cannot really be found in their bible which they claim to weigh that high...)

They don't take the genesis, the flood, the genocides of god, a burning hell and so on as literal.

I know a bunch of those people, and they are often worried about a fundamenatlists view on the bible, they also think that evangelical christianity/biblical fundamentalism is absolutely insane, that it's compeltely false to take the bible word by word as true history.

So, to have a basis, which Jesus do you mean?

A liberal modern catholic Jesus who is not a hellpreacher, or the bible-Jesus?


Thank you for informing, then we could talk about it... (-;

(as - of course - you don't see him as mentally sick if you simply don't believe that he said the evil things he is supposed to have said or take them in a wishy-washy modern way of interpretation...)

Nvrgoingbk said...

To John: Let's see, Dick Cheese, how long does it take for someone to be a true Christian? How much praying, church attendance, tithing, witnessing, eucharists, Bible studying, and self loathing does it take to qualify one for True Christianity? If he'd had another ten years would you conclude that he had given your cult enough time?

I was a Christian for sixteen years. Is that long enough for you? Some of us that have left your despicable religion had even longer in. How many unanswered prayers, biblical errors and contradictions, need to add up before it is permissible to leave?


I speak for myself, but I am sure this is an experience that many of us can relate to when I say this: There were times I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown and commit myself to an asylum. There were many times it seemed a welcomed release from the torment that went on in my mind due to the contradictions I found and my will to hang on to this Jesus that was fast becoming a figment of my imagination. Do you know how devestating it is to many of us to find out that we have been lied to and to then worry that we will burn in Hell just in case we're wrong? Do you know what it's like to desperately cling to whatever shred of belief you may have for this cult leader when everything in your rational mind, all the evidence you've found, and your own small, still voice says "This is bullshit!" Yet we DID try to hang on, but the dominoes kept toppling over. Even one crack in your doctrine would be too much for a doctrine that is said to be the ONLY WAY to eternal reward and salvation. Only ONE crack would be too much in a doctrine that is said to have the power to save our eternal souls! Only ONE crack would be too much in a book that is claimed to be inerrarnt and God-breathed, but there are HUNDREDS OF CRACKS!!

Who in there right mind would choose Hell? Do you suppose we all just woke up one day and shot Jesus the bird cause we were tired of hearing about how much he loved us? No! We suffered for years, many of us, and tormented, and cried out for answers, and cried out to God to not let us go, to just give us faith, to show us the truth... Do you suppose then that this ALL LOVING GOD you preach about refused to answer those prayers for faith and answers? Maybe the real God out there answered our prayers by showing us the real truth which is that your man-god IS FICTION. Maybe the real God (if there is one) answered our prayers by giving us peace to finally leave that which was scarring us psychologically. Now if you presume that God just refused to answer our prayers for faith so that we could keep believing in his "son" so that we would not perish, then your God is indeed an ASSHOLE for not giving us the one thing that would save our little souls which is FAITH! What kind of loving father would refuse to give his child the very thing he/she was beseeching him for and the only thing that could save him/her? Only an ASSHOLE GOD!

Your very prescence irritates me as you are a self-righteous, narcissistic PRICK and give our cause against Christianity more merit. At least you're good for something!

ryan said...

No matter what our experience has been, no matter what we did or what we tried, a fundie can always come in here and re define xianity to put us at fault. The accusation "you didn't try hard enough" is common.

john, in most churches I have been to (and I have been to a shitload) they carefully explain to you that salvation is a matter of trusting jesus and having faith. It is not your doing. It is not your morals. It is god's grace. Now what do you guys mean when you say "we didn't try hard enough" Are you saying that salvation is achieved by struggle and hard work? So salvation is a matter of our own efforts being successful?

I have heard the opposite just as often. I have heard "you're trying too hard; let the lord do it". Well, after awhile I wised up and began to see that the doctrines of xianity are so fluid that one can say anything one wishes.

If your god is who he says he is, in the book that you insist is his book, then it should not be a matter of "trying". Why do you not read the bible that you pretend to believe in? Did the prodigal son have to "try"? Did jesus say "knock and it shall be opened, but keep knocking harder and harder"? No. It should be sufficient that we approach the lord just as we are, and he should be there to meet us.

And john, just what are your struggles? Hmmmm? How many years have you gone with prayers not answered, trying in vain to reach your absent god. How many years will you keep trying, pathetically telling yourself to just work harder, try harder, believe harder, pray harder?

Let me tell you what happens when you stop beating your head against a wall. It feel great when it stops hurting.

Anonymous said...

About this trying so hard to be a Christian:

I thought that all you had to do was accept Jesus into your life as your lord and savior and you'd be saved.

Why do you have to do anything beyond that? I can do that in 2 seconds. So where's the homework book? Who added the huge additional endless task of workig at it, to that initial elegant statement?

Naomi

ryan said...

Just one little detail I neglected to bring up. Is it possible, john, in your brilliant theological opinion, to be converted on one's deathbed? If one is dying--if one expects to live a few hours or a few minutes--there is no time for trying. It has to happen immediately or not at all. This is called god's mercy. No trying is needed. god does it.

The point is, of course, that the salvation process shouldn't be different for a teen-ager who has his life ahead of him, and a victim of a shooting who is quickly bleeding to death. In both cases, it should be a matter of god being happy to respond, and being quick to do so......uh......that is, if god is real.We do not think god is real. We think that your kind makes excuses for your failed god.

Anonymous said...

I am sad that you have chosen to leave Christ...I have been a Christian for thirteen years and going strong.

A. Nonnie Mouse said...

Anonymous ... It is sad that you have thus far wasted 13 years of your life believing in a fairytale (and a rather gruesome one), but, hey, if that's what it takes for you to get through life, go right ahead. No one's trying to stop you, and no one here really cares what you believe.

boomSLANG said...

Oh please, SPARE us the patronizing BS. No Christian is "sad" because complete strangers have left their "Faith"---shocked or rattled?...sure, but not "sad". Yes, your precious foundation has been rattled because normal living/breathing people much like yourself have discovered that the emotional crutch that we used to cling to called "Christianity"---the one that you STILL cling to---is the biggest lie perpetrated against mankind in known history.

Look, your Jesus appeared to hundreds of people, right? Right, so when "He" appears to me?.. I'll THINK about crawling back. Until then......scram.

Ian said...

Naomi:

It's looking at what Jesus tells you do, and what he says that can add up and cause confusion, especially when he apparently said to hate those who love us and to do everything for his sake. I'm not going to leave my family and those I love.

Anonymous:

Christ diddn't work for me in the long run, so I am simply looking for other things that do work for me as an individual.

twincats said...

John and Anon (13 yrs. and going strong): If you're sad, you'll get over it. Pray, it'll make you feel better.

Me, I'm always happy for anyone who has made a decision to improve his/her life, regardless of what they had to find or give up to do it.

Nvrgoingbk: C'mon, you know as well as anyone that it's NEVER acceptable to abondon Christ (for the christian, anyway) no matter how many years you've belonged to the 'fold.' That goes against the whole "Jesus as shepherd" doctrine and it makes Jesus a failure, dontcha know? The sheep absolutely cannot endure the thought that we ex-believers can ever be happy outside of the fleecy flock.

Hey, John & Anon (13 yrs. and goin' strong): Really, it's not baaaaad!

SpaceMonk said...

And as I've said before, the only reason a shepherd keeps watch over his flock is so that, eventually, he can fleece them and eat them for himself.

steamboat_willey said...

Good one, SpaceMonk

Perhaps John was talking about this thing:

"continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. . ." -- Philippians 2:12

Salvation is a project you work on for your whole life. You should constantly be afraid of the Invisible Judge in the sky. There's no other reason to live an ethical life. If you get it right, in the end you get to hear "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. . . enter ye into the joy of thy Lord." You finally get to meet the invisible Man in the sky and start believing in what you see, not the invisible world that overlaps.

You get to spend eternity on your knees too. God brought you there because you're the kind of person he loves. A person enjoys kneeling.

You'll do a lot of that. There are no movies to watch or books to read because they were all sinful, except for the Bible. There's no science because scientific method was a lie. There's no art. It was all really pornography. There's no music because it all says "Satan" when you play it backwards and glorifies Satan when played forwards. Better learn to enjoy it though. There's no death, so you can't kill yourself.

boomSLANG said...

"You get to spend eternity on your knees too. There's no death, so you can't kill yourself."

Yes, and this just hammers home that the notion of existing atemporally/infinitely would ultimately serve zero purpose. To do an infinite "amount" of things for an infinite "amount" of time would become "Hell"(pun intended).

steamboat_willey said...

Another fallacy I often hear in connection with this is the idea of value. Christians ask me, "what good is anything you do if it's all just going to end some day? How can you have any sense of value without God?"

The counter-question is, "What good would anything be if life is eternal?" How can you have any sense of value if there's no end?" It doesn't seem like there would be any more risk/reward situations. You'd have eternity to correct any mistake, so why try to make better decisions? Why would I even want to work? The rewards would come to me anyway. In real life, value is often partially determined by a temporal factor. Supply and demand affect a stock price upward today, and downward tomorrow.

They say the streets in Heaven are made of gold. Other than the fact that is shines, what value would it have? All resources in heavenly scenario would be worth the same -- approximately nothing.

David said...

I've been a Christian for two years now, and I still am. I hope you all can excuse me for my foolishness in that.

Ian, that was a beautiful story. I hope that you have a beautiful and fulfilled life. To me, that means following the teachings of Jesus Christ, but as you said, that isn't the same for you. I'm not gonna get on your case about that; if you want nothing to do with God, far be it from me to interfere! I will be praying for God to bless you in whatever ways you're willing to accept, though.

Ian never denied the existence of Jesus, nor God. Contrariwise, he said that he wouldn't like Jesus and he left God after shouting Him down.

I know a lot of you won't listen to what I say because I don't believe the same thing as you (doesn't that make you as fearful and stupid as "my people" though?), but I believe that God exists and Jesus was the Christ. I don't believe this because of the merit of the Bible alone, but because of miracles that I have experienced and witnessed in person. I have been healed of two incurable neurological diseases (medical proof is there), just to name one.

Sure, I might be a retard, but you might too. I might be living a lie, but you might too. I feel like I'm more willing to admit it than some of the others here.

Anyhow, if someone tells you you're going to Hell, you should pack your snow gear. I think it's supposed to be cold there when a Christian is willing to admit they're following a shaky doctrine before an atheist or agnostic does.

Before you call somebody ignorant or fearful, check yourself. Everybody's ignorant to somebody, and anybody who refuses to listen does so because they don't think they'll like what they hear. This is true for Atheists and Agnostics, but especially for more "religious" types such as Christians as well.

Alan said...

David wrote:

I don't believe this because of the merit of the Bible alone, but because of miracles that I have experienced and witnessed in person. I have been healed of two incurable neurological diseases (medical proof is there), just to name one.

David:

What diseases? What was the explanation given to you by your doctors? Do they agree that it was a miracle? Is there an alternative explanation for your healing? Has this ever occurred before, or are you unique in the history of medicine? You say the proof is "there," where is there? Will your case be published in a medical journal?

The rule is: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you've got proof that God exists then you need to show it to everyone, because you have something that people have been trying to find for thousands of years.