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Greetings!


The Jaded Fool
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Hello All!!

 

Well I registered last week and I have been reading alot of the posts here... as well as reading a lot of info on the website. I have to say... "WOW"... let me explain... =)

 

Chapter 1

 

I "became" a "Born Again" Christian at the age of 16... prior to that I was involed in the punk scene ( the old school punk scene... circa 1986 ). I was involved in the drug scene as well and all the comes with that. A new chapter of my life began... being spiritually illiterate... and being very young... I took what my youth pastor was preaching as "gospel"... I soon became the posterboy for evangelism in my area... ex-druggy punker turned christian... I had a big role to fill... I did my best to live up to the expectations... it was fairly strict denomination and there were a lot of do's and don'ts... one of the do's were that it was an unspoken rule that GOOD CHRISTIANS were to go into the ministry... so what else could I do... off to bible college I went... I succeeded in blindly following the rules and regulations and impressed many people...

 

Chapter 2

 

I became an ordained minister and worked with youth mostly... although I was more of an associate pastor... I preached once a month to the entire congregation since our head pastor was in the national guard... I thought I had it all together... I was on the side of God ( i thought ) and I knew the TRUTH ( LOL )!! I was an arrogant jerk!!! I had a thriving youth ministry... at times my wednesday youth group would out number our regular Sunday service 2 to 1... I could do no wrong... I taught at large gatherings of Youth Pastors and was admired by many... but inside I was hurting... I had started to question the validity of the things I taught and held as LAW... my marriage was floundering... my self esteem was at an all time low...

 

Chapter 3

 

I started using some of the tools I had been given in college... I had taken greek and hebrew... so I started digging in deeper... the deeper I got in the worse things got... my marriage was broken... my religion was broken... I was broken... I read a book by Brennan Manning... Lion and Lamb... Through that book I came to the realization that God was about LOVE... I started to preach Grace, Peace and Love... I realized that much of what I had built everything on were the rules and thoughts of men... not of Gods... I think I was preaching more to myself than anyone else... I soon began to raise eyebrows in the church... and shortly thereafter was labeled a heretic for simply raising questions about what apparently was unquestionable... I ressigned shortly after ( ending my 8 years as a pastor )... from church, my marriage, and for the most part my life... I began to drink heavily, experiment with drugs again, and got in some legal trouble... but through it all I held on to one thing...

 

Chapter 4

 

God is LOVE... That was nearly 10 years ago... I haven't really been to church since... but here I am today... Reading Spong and Borg... and posting here... the fires of life have burnt away all that was not real... The journey has been painful... but looking back... necessary... I have a new career ( IT Management ) and I am gettin married in June... and I went to church this past Easter and thanx to good people, good books, wonderful sites like this, and a God of Love I actually liked it....

 

That is why I say "WOW"!!

 

Peace & Love to you all... I hope to get to know you all better...

 

David

 

The Jaded Fool

"The less you know... the closer you are to the truth..."

 

PS. This is me introducing myself... =)

Edited by The Jaded Fool
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It tends to be very quiet here. Then it can get really noisey!

 

 

Welcome to the board. Thanks for sharing your experience. Many of us have come from similar backgrounds. I am thrilled that you were able to come from the position of authority you held and turn around. Not everyone can do that. I feel for people who are in those positions because there really is no where to go but down. And if you are a thinking person it can really make it hard. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I think that is why so many end up having affairs, using drugs, etc. etc. Something about it being lonely at the top...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there, David, nice to meet you, so to speak. Thanks for sharing your story. I think it's important for other people to know what it feels like to go down a painful road. Then we're all a bit better prepared themselves. We know it's gonna hurt, so we're not so surprised and shocked when it happens to us. There's a great need for honest sharing in the Progressive Christian community. How else can we fix the mess we find ourselves in, both religiously and culturally, if we don't tell our stories to each other?

 

I admire your dogged determination to get it right. It sounds as if you've gone through a lot of pain and suffering on your way to the Truth of your own soul. Congratulations of your new career and your upcoming marriage.

 

Love Jen

 

P.S. Love your avatar! Dogma is such an interesting film ;)

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Hi there, David, nice to meet you, so to speak. Thanks for sharing your story. I think it's important for other people to know what it feels like to go down a painful road. Then we're all a bit better prepared themselves. We know it's gonna hurt, so we're not so surprised and shocked when it happens to us. There's a great need for honest sharing in the Progressive Christian community. How else can we fix the mess we find ourselves in, both religiously and culturally, if we don't tell our stories to each other?

 

I admire your dogged determination to get it right. It sounds as if you've gone through a lot of pain and suffering on your way to the Truth of your own soul. Congratulations of your new career and your upcoming marriage.

 

Love Jen

 

P.S. Love your avatar! Dogma is such an interesting film ;)

 

Thank You Jen!! Nice to meet you as well!!

 

Peace & Love

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David, great introduction. Feeling the pain will help you help others who can't get out. May you use your combined skills to guide people who are ready and enjoy those who aren't.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello David and welcome.

 

I enjoyed reading your initial post. One thing I would like to talk about. You related that you came out of the punk and drug scene in the 80's. Do you believe it is possible for Progressive Christians to reach people who are addicted to drugs, or coming out of addiction to drugs. It seems as if they have to go through Fudamentalism of some sort to organize their being.

 

I think M. Scott Peck said in one of his books that people in that stage can only be reached by Fundamentalist religions . I'm talking about people who are addicted to crack, crystal meth,heroin,etc. People in this state can't go through the questioning introspection that Prog. Christians do , they just want relief. You can easily argue that they just swap one addiction for another but is there any alternative?

 

 

MOW

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Hello David and welcome.

 

I enjoyed reading your initial post. One thing I would like to talk about. You related that you came out of the punk and drug scene in the 80's. Do you believe it is possible for Progressive Christians to reach people who are addicted to drugs, or coming out of addiction to drugs. It seems as if they have to go through Fudamentalism of some sort to organize their being.

 

I think M. Scott Peck said in one of his books that people in that stage can only be reached by Fundamentalist religions . I'm talking about people who are addicted to crack, crystal meth,heroin,etc. People in this state can't go through the questioning introspection that Prog. Christians do , they just want relief. You can easily argue that they just swap one addiction for another but is there any alternative?

MOW

 

Thanx MOW for the welcome...

 

And you bring up an interesting question... I didnt really suffer from any physical addictions... my drugs of choice were pot and mushrooms... my issue was more of an emotional addiction to the escape from my low self image and family problems... when I "converted" I still had those issues and I hid them... because "good christians" dont have those kinds of problems... later on... I made myself feel better by being "right" and winning arguement and theological debates... it was all very dysfunctional...

 

But to answer your question I do think that progressive christians can reach people who are addicted to drugs... if secular programs can help people with these issues... I think that progressive christians ought to be able to as well... I think it comes down to loving people and caring enough about them to walk down the path to recovery with them...

 

Peace & Love

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