By Billy B
I'll just shoot the run down and get through my little "all about ME" stuff...short, sweet...m-kay?
I'm a 56-year-old married w/kids dude. I'm atheist and a former "real deal" fundie. I'm also an ex-boozer and (substance) abuser. These past 18 years of sobriety have been a climb out of my hole of childhood indoctrination and baaaaad habits. Today, things are great.
Short enough? Good deal.
A Miracle...? I leave that to you to judge.
On with my rant...
How many of us ex-believers gave THOU$AND$ of hard earned dollars to the church? Speaking for myself , it was a big chunk of change. At least 10% of my income for over eight years went straight into the plate. A big enough dollar amount that I began to wonder if there might be any possible way for me to recover any... even ONE DOLLAR... of my money.
Seeing is believing...
I had a very strong hope that a "refund from God" was possible....this hope was well founded because of something that had happened to me years ago. Way back in 1981, I was a robot for Jesus. Those who understand what I mean will agree; THINKING was a seldom exercised option for us back in those days. OBEDIENCE was paramount.
(I'm gonna fly through this to keep it short. There is a lot of detail that I'll be glad to share -- if you're interested.)
Praise The Lord... indeed!
So, I'm alone one night and watching The P.T.L. Club on TV. (keep in mind that I'm a God-zombie at the time.) Ok, so, some fat-fuck-preacher starts pleading for mo money!! He sez; "Somebody out there hears the Holy Spirit telling them to send in One Thousand DOLLARS !!"
Yup....I did it.
My wife about shit the bed when I told her what I had done. Seriously, folks. It was a big deal 'cause... Well, c'mon... it was a LOT of money. It was a big enough deal that we took the situation to our Pastor's wife -- Sister Barnett.
Sister Barnett sez to me; "The Bible says 'Bring your offerings to the Lord into the storehouse.' "Billy, the LORD wants us to bring our offerings (cash) to Him at the place (church) where we are 'fed' (indoctrinated)."
In other words she meant, "Billy, you stupid idiot, you're supposed to give your money to ME!! (storehouse = Sister Barnett)
Me: Oooooh....O.K....Gee, Sister Barnett, I really messed up, huh? What should I do
to correct my stupid mistake?
S.B.: Well... hmmmm...? Maybe you should call P.T.L. and explain to them that
you have made a grievous error and see if they will return the $1,000.00?
Me: YES !! I will do that, and if they are willing to return the money, I will then be able to bring it into THE STOREHOUSE!
S.B.: (nodding & smiling) God's Will be done.
Nobody admitted it, but we ALL knew that I had already said good-bye forever to my thousand bucks. It was in God's hot little fist (via PTL) and, one way or another, He was keeping it. I was not going to piss off the creator of time, matter, and space over a thousand bones.
BTW: The TV preacherman also PROMISED that God would bless my offering and return it to me in the amount of $10,000.00. Suck on that, doubters!
I called PTL and (keepin it short) they understood the situation, and after I allowed them a $100.00/10% 'love-offering,' they actually were nice enough to send me back $900.00 buck-a-roos. In true robot fashion I promptly made a $900.00 deposit into 'The Storehouse." My (now ex-) wife never fully recovered from the ordeal...
Now I know that there might be people who won't relate to my experience. They are/were Christians, but, they weren't/aren't as convinced as some of us are/were that The Holy Bible is/was actually and factually the WORD of GOD. I know people who've gone to church for decades and hardly ever dropped a dime into the offering plate. My opinion of these folks is; they don't really believe the whole bible the way that some of us did/do.
I was a "True Beliver" -- yes siree.
My next 'refund' experience came in 2006... This time I opted to deposit the funds into MY storehouse.
Coming soon: God has no statute of limitations... Hmmmm?
To be continued...
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)