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Seeking

Are There Any Ex-fundies Out There?

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I also liked the DaVinci Code. And yes, it is fiction. But I think their were cords here and there that maybe somewhat had a bit of truth to them. And that bit of truth is enough to scare the bejes... out of some.

 

Btw, whether it is true or not doesn't seem to make something bad, you know those evil Harry Potter books about a make believe wizard practicing pretend magic.

 

--des

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Really! des. I mean are those books any different thanThe Wizard of Oz? I have never heard that one slammed and it always weirded me out!

 

Xian, the "we" is my husband and myself. He doesn't know that we are "seeking", lol. But he agrees with me on most things. I am the real searcher, tho.

 

I thot the DaVinci code was totally absorbing (I mean on tv, as I haven't read the book). The author certainly did a lot of homework, it seems. It was totally credible, but I would have to read the book to be more convnced, if then. I don't see what effect it would have on my spirituality even if it were true. Just a very interesting concept.

 

 

Seek

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You know I heard that The Wizard of Oz *was* slammed by the more fundamentalist type when it first came out. However, they weren't quite as vocal as they are now.

OTOH, you never hear them complaining (and they never did) about CS Lewis' "The Witch and the Wardrobe". And most won't complain about Tolkien. CS Lewis made quite a point about the idea that this was all Christian metaphor. And Tolkien made a pt. of tellign everyone when it came out that he was a Christian, etc. However, JK Rowlings has only said that she maybe occassionally attends the Anglican church (aka she is not a *real* Christian in the eyes of fundies-- though to my knowledge Tolkien was also Anglican.)

 

Also many fundies dislike other aspects, like Harry's rule breaking etc. They take these things quite seriously imo.

 

I read a long treatise somewhere of why Tolkien or CS Lewis were ok and Jk Rowling wasn't. It was quite involved and included things like "the beings who practice magic in Tolkien aren't human"-- well maybe they are some kind of other creature, but they seem pretty human to me. I doubt any kid reading them would think of this (or other things that this author suggested).

 

--des

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An interesting thread.

 

Myself, I've been through the mill, chewed up and spit out the grinder. I've been so far out where the crows don't even think about turning back - for three days I thought the world had been blown up, stuff like that.

 

But that was years ago, in 1972 -- and, no, no drugs or dope were involved, just worrying too much about God and love, salvation and damnation.

 

A lot of the books mentioned here are quite useful to some degree. Someone mention Tomas Merton, the only problem with him is that he wrote so many books and not all are easy to understand. Elaine Pagels should also be mentioned for an introduction to some of what was going on and coming down during the formative years of the Christian Vision

 

But one book youall seemed to have forgotten is ECCLESIASTES. And that is right there in your Bible. That book much too much overlooked by preachers and other God-biz people who whistle Dixe and pass-off rubber checks in God's name.

 

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor riches for the intelligent, nor honor to the wise, but that time and chance fall upon them all..."

 

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work, nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, wither thou goest"

 

And this is the infallible Word of God?

 

I say that too many beliefs is a sign of too little faith.

 

 

Rgrds

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The DaVinci Code is great fiction - the benefit seems to be the idea that PEOPLE had a lot to do with how the bible was translated, which books were canonized, and which creeds were accepted. I think this leaves us more open to ideas, less dogmatic, and, perhaps, more comfortable with knowing we don't know.

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As far as the Bible goes.....well, I am certainly not willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I feel that it is still a great work and a good life guide.

 

Yes, there are inconsistencies that are quite obvious. Which ones are worth troubling ourselves over? Which ones are not? I am sure it is a matter of individual interpretation. But, I think it is only fair to read the entire thing with a new perspective in mind, do some comparing and then decide. I think God would want us to do that. Also, so so many things have just plain been taken out of the entire context of the message that is trying to be conveyed. So many fundies do that. Different religions each have their "pet verses" on the tip of their tongue to spit out at you when they are threatened.

 

I have never really been one to argue religion. Perhaps it is because deep down I didn't feel comfortable with all of the spewing! (I don't argue politics either :rolleyes: )

 

I guess I am being kind of secretive by being on this board. Not that I wouldn't tell anyone or deny it. I just am not ready to be put thru the ringer! You guys know exactly what I am talking about.

 

The really strange (or not) thing is that those that would oppose you really don't have any idea as to what I am heading toward, so they automatically oppose it without a thot. God is not narrow minded, but gee whiz people! :blink:

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I have been reading thru the posts here and find them very interesting, but my old fundie thinking kicks in.  I am not a Bible scholar or close to it, but have been exposed to it enough to keep comparing interpretations with the old slant.

 

I am from the south (which makes a huge impact), so I don't know any progressives.

 

I have many, many questions!!!!!!!!!!!! :huh:

 

I come from a similar background. I ended up in Seminary which helped a great deal! Biblical study doesn't have to be that formal but I personally needed it because I was tired of everyone telling me all the things the bible said (and contradicting each other) and needed to find out for myself. Even though I didn't find all the answers (probably found more questions) I learned enough to overcome the intellectual issues of coming from a fundamentalist - ish background. I still struggle with the emotional ones, which is why I'm here.

 

My favorite movie is The Matrix. You are at the point where you've chosen to take the pill where you leave the Matrix rather than stay in it. Being out of the Matrix isn't as pretty as being in it, but at least it is honest!

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My favorite movie is The Matrix.  You are at the point where you've chosen to take the pill where you leave the Matrix rather than stay in it.  Being out of the Matrix isn't as pretty as being in it, but at least it is honest!

We had a Matrix thread going in the Cafe for awhile. Check it out. And welcome aboard. :)

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My favorite movie is The Matrix.  You are at the point where you've chosen to take the pill where you leave the Matrix rather than stay in it.   Being out of the Matrix isn't as pretty as being in it, but at least it is honest!

We had a Matrix thread going in the Cafe for awhile. Check it out. And welcome aboard. :)

 

 

I will, and thanks! :)

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Seeking,

 

I would recommend that you read the following books to help you with your issues.

 

1. Ten Things I Learned Wrong from a Conservative Church by John Killinger

&

2. Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity by Bruse Bawer

 

The first book was written by a former Southern Baptist pastor who is now a pastor of a different Baptist congregation.  Very readable and insighful.

 

The second book is more strident in tone and a bit too brash for my likes, but the author does deliver some knock out punches to fundamentalism.

 

You can read reviews of these books by visiting http://www.amazon.com

 

but I always encourage people to purchase books from their local independent bookstores (or to obtain it from a library).

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Seeking,

 

I would recommend that you read the following books to help you with your issues.

 

1. Ten Things I Learned Wrong from a Conservative Church by John Killinger

&

2. Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity by Bruse Bawer

 

The first book was written by a former Southern Baptist pastor who is now a pastor of a different Baptist congregation.  Very readable and insighful.

 

The second book is more strident in tone and a bit too brash for my likes, but the author does deliver some knock out punches to fundamentalism.

 

You can read reviews of these books by visiting http://www.amazon.com

 

but I always encourage people to purchase books from their local independent bookstores (or to obtain it from a library).

Thanks for the tips on the books, BrotherRog, also I think you comment on buying local is very commendable. thanks

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"Stealing Jesus" is on the angry side, but very good for that bringing the points out there. I actually liked a bit better than "Ten Points", but I find it readable as well.

 

 

--des

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Seeking, I see a lot of people above all responding to your question with book titles. I think this is wonderful. Books really do make a difference and I think they've recommended some great ones. But books are no substitute for relationships. I think the best way to recover from fundamentalism is through a supportive community or at least some supportive friendships. Ideally, this would be friendships with people where you live. If you really don't think you can find anyone like yourself where you live, then I hope you will continue to turn to me and the other folks on this board for support. I think we all want to be able to help. So keep us posted on how things are going for you.

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Well, I was orginally "seeking", but I chickened out and left the site for a while. In the meantime, I forgot my user and password, so I came back as Sissy. Sorry about that!

 

These posts are really interesting. I have kinda put this on a back burner because all I seem to accomplish is to get my mind all stirred up with no conclusions!

 

I will look for some of the books, but I don't have time now to get into them. I am in the middle of getting my youngest daughter married and moved 14 hours away! Seems like this is taking all of my mental energy! If you have "grown" kids, you definately know what I mean.

 

To be honest, I have just considered giving up on the whole thing. If I try to change my way of thinking (ingrained for sure), I get so depressed. It is easier to just not think. But, of course, I do think! So around and around I go. I haven't read the books yet (chicken again, I guess) so I suppose I need to do that and see if lightening strikes, lol. Can you tell that I am a worrier? :o

 

I really appreciate all of the posts, and this time, I will hang around!

 

"seeking" Sissy (lol, I really am trying to find myself)

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In the end you'll realize that it never was between you and them. It was always just between you and God.

(paraphrased from quote in Calcutta on Mother Teresa's orphanage)

 

 

Seeking/Sissy - God is big. You don't have to "choose sides", or DO anything.... glad you feel welcome here. It's a good place for questions and thoughtful, respectful replies regardless of the answers that work for you.

 

Godspeed

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Consider, too, books that aren't really "liberal" or conservative, but somewhere in the middle.

 

Authors like Philip Yancey, Brian McLaren, CS Lewis and Tony Campolo. They all fall into the traditional, moderate to conservative category, but they all think outside the "fundamentalist box".

 

PS - I'm glad you are back. I'd wondered where you'd gone. Don't you dare leave again! :angry::lol:

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Like you, I was "away" for a while because it just felt more comfortable NOT to think about things....but as you've realized, you can't just stop thinking about it. That's God working in us and telling us..."don't give up on me."

 

Here's my update from the last few months: I was last struggling with deciding which church to go to. I like the contemporary praise/worship style commonly found in the non-denom churches, but wasn't comfortable with the fundamentalist, "only way" theology. It seems that now I'm questioning Christianity and organized religion altogether. I feel like I'm going backwards....but am I really moving forward with this thought?

 

There are such strong arguments for AND against Christianity that the more I investigate, the more confused I become. I love the deep sense of worship/praise that Christians exalt for God...but as you all know....they don't always practice what they preach. I just attended a Chris Tomlin concert, and was just so happy to see thousands of people worshipping God. That is part of why I've called myself a Christian.....no other religion/spiritual group lifts up the name of God so passionately like Christians do. Of course, they're also lifting up the name of Jesus....and I don't have a problem with that. In the same way that I can't say they're right, I also can't say they're wrong either. It's not my place, nor anyone else's, I think. I just join in to praise GOD.....period.

 

And so, I start to wonder like many of you. What do I do....who do I believe....WHAT do I believe. I believe in God. That's it. Nothing else. That is the ONE thing that I believe regardless of what I read or what I am told. I guess now I just need to figure out whether or not I believe in (or need) religion.

 

I just heard of a book by Sankara Saranam titled "God Without Religion." This may help many of you, as I think it will help me, too. It has been out only a few months, and has already been highly acclaimed by other best-selling authors. It immediately grabbed my attention because of where I stand right now in my spiritual journey. I'm certain of God....but everything else I'm not so sure about.

 

Thank God for this board....you are an amazing group of people. I truly feel at home here, even though I don't visit often. I'll try to make it a point to. PLEASE feel free to reach out to me anytime. I'm much better at keeping in touch via e-mail than on forums! I would consider anyone here a friend, since we are all on the same journey. Heck....the whole world is on the same journey, whether or not they know it! Some of us are just at different places....but rest assured, we'll all get there. And when we finally leave this life and go to God, WATCH OUT! It's going to be awesome.....then we'll look back on this life and laugh....and perhaps wonder...."how did I not figure that out!" It really might be as simple as just believing in God with all your heart and soul...and loving your neighbor as yourself...and letting God take care of the rest.

 

Anyone here is welcome to e-mail me at tpirob@yahoo.com if you'd like to talk outside of these forums. I'm not an intellectual or anything....just a 31 year old guy looking for his place in this world, and trying to connect to God.

 

So, "Seeking Sissy".....keep the faith. You are not alone. None of us are, until God brings us together.....and so here we are. Praise be to God!

 

Take care, and God Bless.

 

-Rob

Conway, NH

tpirob@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Well, I was orginally "seeking", but I chickened out and left the site for a while. In the meantime, I forgot my user and password, so I came back as Sissy.  Sorry about that!

 

These posts are really interesting. I have kinda put this on a back burner because all I seem to accomplish is to get my mind all stirred up with no conclusions! 

 

I will look for some of the books, but I don't have time now to get into them.  I am in the middle of getting my youngest daughter married and moved 14 hours away!  Seems like this is taking all of my mental energy! If you have "grown" kids, you definately know what I mean.

 

To be honest, I have just considered giving up on the whole thing.  If I try to change my way of thinking (ingrained for sure), I get so depressed. It is easier to just not think.  But, of course, I do think!  So around and around I go.  I haven't read the books yet (chicken again, I guess) so I suppose I need to do that and see if lightening strikes, lol.  Can you tell that I am a worrier?  :o

 

I really appreciate all of the posts, and this time, I will hang around!

 

"seeking" Sissy    (lol, I really am trying to find myself)

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Consider, too, books that aren't really "liberal" or conservative, but somewhere in the middle.

 

Authors like Philip Yancey, Brian McLaren, CS Lewis and Tony Campolo. They all fall into the traditional, moderate to conservative category, but they all think outside the "fundamentalist box".

 

PS - I'm glad you are back. I'd wondered where you'd gone. Don't you dare leave again!  :angry:  :lol:

 

Good picks. I like Yancey. It is obvious from his writings that he is relatively broadminded, very intelligent, and a deep thinker. He brings in thoughts from many different traditions and approaches. If I remember correctly, I get the impression he was burned by a narrow minded fundamentalist approach growing up.

 

Very fundamentalist folks are interesting. I have seen web sites where they blast what others would see as pretty conservative Christians. Some of these sites blast psychologist James Dobson, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, John MacArthur, etc. On top of that they swear the the New Kings James version (NKJV) of the bible is of Satan. How far to the right does one need to step to be doctrinally sound???

 

North

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hi, tpirod. Glad to find someone at the same place on the journey. I haven't posted much, but do read and keep up. Lol, I love the new nick "SeekingSissy"! kinda like "Good Will Hunting", hehe (but no genius involved for sure)

 

I certainly understand what you are saying. Maybe we have to go thru a full cleansing of what we have been taught so that we can accept new ideas? Things get really fuzzy for me.

 

Oh, and thanks all for the thoughtful posts!

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For what it is worth - I have given up trying to "measure my spritual growth" because I don't think it can be measured linearly or quantified in any way. I just focus on knowing God and striving to live in love.

 

I feel much better since I gave up the "am I growing spiritually" question and just focused on knowing and loving God.

 

Which leads me into my thoughts - that Salvation, which I understand to be a relationship with God - is a process. While that process has certain points that we can easily identify and measure (ie: baptism) I think those points are all a part of the overall salvation process. But since the process is never ending, we are always going through the process. Therefore, we lack the perspective to see where we are at in it - so it can't be measured linearly.

 

I think this process is the spiritual reality identified in my faith traditiion with the terms: prevenient grace, salvation, sanctification and glorification.

I am leary of any faith tradition that requires us all to move through certain steps in a certain order at a certain time.

 

I think our individual reltationships with God will all progress individually through this great process of knowing God (salvation).

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North said: Good picks. I like Yancey. It is obvious from his writings that he is relatively broadminded, very intelligent, and a deep thinker. He brings in thoughts from many different traditions and approaches. If I remember correctly, I get the impression he was burned by a narrow minded fundamentalist approach growing up.

 

I finished "Reaching for the Invisible God" not too long ago and I absolutely loved it. I'm currently reading "The Jesus I Never Knew." Just like "Reaching" I'm blown away at how Yancey, a relatively conservative evangelical Christian, can constantly touch my heart, open my eyes, read my mind and help me look at things in new ways. I just finished the chapter in "The Jesus I Never Knew" called "Showdown in the Desert" about the Temptation. WOW! I'll never look at it the same way again. B)

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Rob - Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing so deeply. It really brought a smile to my face this morning.

 

Feel free to email me at theparisfam @ hotmail . com. I too love to correspond via email.

 

Also my yahoo messenger ID is aletheiarivers. Of course I have an email addy there too, but I never check it.

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Hey Rob, I'm a 31 year old guy too.

 

I second Aletheia's response to your post. Thanks for sharing what you've been up to, and thinking about.

 

I've been thinking a lot lately as well... just haven't been in the mood to engage in public discussion. I know what you mean about questioning Christianity and organized religion. I'm finding myself evolving equally far away from "conservative" and "progressive" forms of Christianity alike, so suffice it to say I haven't really been feeling at home anywhere myself.

 

Feel free to drop me a line anytime @ fred (at) polgardy (dot) com.

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Thanks for the replies Altheia and Fred......glad someone is reading my stuff! :D

 

Fred, we seem to be on amazingly similar paths here....although I will admit that I tend to pull toward Christianity simply because it's what I know the most about. Not to say that I agree with everything, but there are many things that DO make sense to me.

 

My brain hurts so much from hearing what every "authority" has to say on their particular belief system.....each providing compelling evidence that their beliefs are somehow superior to that of others. Whether it's atheists, Christians, Muslims, etc...each has their "proof" for their case. Each in and of themselves provide some pretty powerful stuff, but when considered relative to each other, you start to wonder who is full of crap!

 

Even the prospect of God without religion is amazingly compelling, which is why I might go ahead and read the book on this subject. But even an idea as simple as this will cause those adherents to say that EVERY religion is false.....which makes you wonder about the validity of the such a notion of God without religion. Sorta puts them in the same boat as every other group that says their way is the best or only way. Arrgh.....where'd I put the aspirin!?

 

Anyway....thanks again for listening....er...reading! I appreciate your responses!

 

-Rob

Edited by tpirob

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