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Introduction


Rucky8453
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Hello, I'm happy and relieved to have found this place.

I have been a member of fairly fundamentalist congregations for over 30 years, starting out thankful that I had found what I thought was the truth. As time went on I became aware of what seemed like a "still, small voice" within me questioning the doctrines that formed what I believed were the foundations of my faith. Afraid that my faith would fall like a house of cards if I listened to that voice, I tried to convince myself that I really did believe those doctrines, but deep within me I think I always knew the voice was what I truly believed. A couple of years ago two things happened which changed everything.

First, I decided one day to follow a chronological reading of the bible. In reading the four gospels simultaneously the discrepancies in the gospels became obvious to me. I eventually became aware of discrepancies throughout the scriptures.

Second, my son came out about his homosexuality. I was struck by the fact that my son's faith was completely unshaken by this, and I delved into the original Hebrew and Greek writings in scripture about homosexuality and again was hit between the eyes by the difference between what I had been led to believe and the actual writings. I realized that I had to question everything I had accepted as truth, and I have been on a spiritual journey ever since.

The amazing thing is that I have come to a place where my faith, whatever that means, is stronger than it has ever been. I am finding that a search for the truth is an enlightening experience rather than a frightening one, and I am no longer afraid of that house of cards falling. Actually, that house has fallen. My life and faith are being rebuilt on a much firmer foundation. I still regard the bible as holy, but in the sense that I understand it as an effort to explain man's understanding of God through time, not as a guidebook or rulebook. God is too big, too great, for us to grasp, and I not only accept that, but find it releasing to be able to say it at all.

Anyway, it is a joy and an honor to find people who are honest and fearlessly on the same path I am on. I look forward to a long fellowship with all of you.

 

Rucky8453. Actually my name is Russell. I answer to either one.

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Russell,

 

Welcome and thanks so much for the introduction and background. While reading it is was kind of uncanny at just how similar my own experiences and thoughts were in my journey . it was quite long ago but the same order except it was my brother who came out of the closet rather than son. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with you here.

 

Joseph

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Russell,

 

Welcome. Lots of stories and autobiographies here, as well as a variety of views. We are all one, yet we are all unique in our own way, and this is respected.

 

Hope you enjoy your time here, and learn like the rest of us.

 

All the best

Derek

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Guest billmc

Welcome, Russell.

 

We're glad you're here! I think you'll find a number of like-minded and "like-life'd" people here in this community, though we have lots of variety also!

 

I've had a similar journey myself with my house of religion crumbling at my feet me but finding a small tree of life and compassion growing up through the rubble. Life and love finds a way.

 

Again, welcome!

 

Regards,

billmc

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Welcome, Russell.

 

Yes, many here can relate to your story. It has occurred to me, that if you read through many of the personal stories of others here, this emerges as almost a "template" upon which so many of us lay out our personal experiences that have brought us to this place in our journeys.

 

Breaking away from what we've been taught to believe, the worldview we've been conditioned to all our lives, isn't easy. Even after you've consciously realized and begun the transition to a new way of seeing and thinking, it takes time to sort it all out, re-structure and re-align our new personal beleifs system that is emerging, sometimes painfully struggling with the birth-pangs of becoming a "new creature." I think for most of us, even with our new awareness, there will be times old ingrained elements of our past condtioning will continue to arise, to be confronted, struggled with, overcome, and replaced with something better suited to where we are now.

 

Jenell

 

I've found this a wonderful place where I experience a sense of fellowship with others traveling similar journeys, struggliing in their own ways with those birth-pangs...I hope it will be the same for you.

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Russell, Thank you for the introduction. We are so lucky to have the life experiences that guide us to a better place. May we help each other to listen to the Divinity within that is enlightening our life. Your strength is appreciated...............................

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Welcome to the board, Russell, and thank you for the thoughtful and meaningful introduction. This board is great place for sharing experiences like this, and many of us come from similar fundamentalist backgrounds. I know the feeling of fear that my faith would "fall like a house of cards." But that small, still voice seems to guide us through both faith and doubt.

 

Again, welcome and thanks.

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by Mike
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Hi Russell, from one newbie to another - welcome.

 

Not to distract from your welcome and I don't want to take this off topic, but you say: "that I delved into the original Hebrew and Greek writings in scripture about homosexuality and again was hit between the eyes by the difference between what I had been led to believe and the actual writings."

 

I'm not gay myself (but clearly still affected by my upbringing or why else would I feel that I have to point out that I'm not gay!) but fully support the right for people to fall in love with whomever they want, regardless of sexual orientation. I have often argued with Christians about homesexuality not being a 'choice', and had only just recently read that apparently there are only 4 passages in the entire bible that 'condemn' homosexuality. Of those 4, apparently 3 are most likely to refer to homosexual child abuse, and the 4th (Paul's) is just Paul's bias (I read this in Marcus Borg's didactic novel, Putting Away Childish Things).

 

My question is, do you have any relatively quick and easy resources which support this argument? I would like to provide some more accurate information to my sister (and others) who believe homosexuality is an 'abomination' and who pray that some poor gay will wake up to themsleves and return to God's fold etc etc (I'm sure you're familiar with how it goes).

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Paul do a forum search on homosexuality within the forum here and i think you will find quite alot of information as this thread is as you say a welcome thread only for Russell and if you don't find what you are looking for start a thread in Progressive Christianity or if you don't identify as a PC in the debate section with your specific questions and all can reply there.

 

JosephM (as Moderator)

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