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MelodyAM75
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Hi. My name is Melody and I am new here today. I live in Mississippi where most Christians are fundamental in their beliefs. My parents did not attend church so I only sporadically went to church as a child and teenager. I became involved with The Salvation Army church when I was teenager and even considered joining their ministry. I have always had quesions about the Bible and how churches have interpreted the Bible. In college, I took a comparitive religion course with Clayton Sullivan who is the author of books such as Rescuing Jesus from the Christians and he really opened my eyes to a lot that Christians take for granted as "truth" because of what the churches teach.

 

I seldom attend any church now, but often my children want to go because that's what their friends do, but I have a hard time reconciling my progressive beliefs with fundamental church beliefs. I am a special education teacher and I share an office with two other teachers, one of whom is a Baptist preacher's wife, and when I say things to her like I believe the Bible was written, recopied, and translated by men who could have easily made changes/mistakes or when I say to her that I don't believe non-Christians are going straight to hell, she gets upset with me and just says I am reading the Bible wrong and then offers to pray for me. I, on the other hand, think I should be the one who should be praying for her and others who have such rigid beliefs.

 

So, it is a lonely world for someone who thinks like me in southern Mississippi. I just can't stand the hypocrisy that exists in many churches and the judgemental nature of many Christians. Back in the 1950's my grandmother was few up with the hypocrisy in the church when she was chastised for being divorced so she attempted to burn down the church. She was arrested and sent to Whitfield, the state mental hospital, for a time. However, I don't think she was crazy. I can totally understand her exasperation with the church. Don't worry...I am not going to be burning down any churches...

 

Anyway, that's my introduction. I hope to get to know others here who share views similar to mine.

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Melody,

 

Welcome to the forum. I think you will find you are not as alone as you would think. It takes time to undo what generations of hand me down church teachings have done to both ourselves and our children. I think change is coming an an exponential rate and not without much kicking and resistance from many. When the individual is open and ready a different perspective will come. So glad to have you here and not unfamiliar with your introduction story. I look forward to reading your further views and thoughts.

 

Joseph

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Melody, The patience you show with your students, it seems you are applying to the teachers as well. You are a light in the darkness for some who are watching from a far. I am glad you are here and I hope we help to keep the flame lit.

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Hi Melody. I left fundamentalism after being forced out. I have a friend who thinks I would be changed back if only I went to an Alpha course (an intro course for fundamentalists). All I can say is some hope and I do not want to be forced out twice. I understand one's frustration and I suspect it is even harder living in the bible belt. I suspect back in the 1950's that whole communities would have sided with the church and if you do not fit in then I am sure that would hurt a lot. I feel sorry for your Grandmother.

Just remember here you can relax and just be at home. Agree or disagree on points, it is up to you, but whatever you do we are glad to have you join us. Welcome..

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Thanks for the welcome. I left the church the first time because at 19 I let me boyfriend move in with me (we lived together for 7 years, but now have been married for 11 years so we've been together a total of 18 years). I knew the church would frown on "living in sin" so I just didn't go all those years to avoid judgement. I worked as a secretary and volunteer coordinator for The Salvation Army from the time I was 19 until 25 so I learned to appreciate the charity side of the church. However, it was disheartening when I would see the church membership rolls and see the code for back-slidden church member next to my name. I didn't really feel back-slidden at all; I felt like I was moving on.

 

Yes, what happened to my grandmother was terrible. I never knew my grandfather, but I know he was an alcoholic and that at times, in drunken stupor, he touched my mom's older sisters inappropriately. He did not work regularly and did not always provide for his family. So, my grandmother divorced him 3 times. She kept remarrying him to try to make things work because that's what everyone told her she should do. She was a very strong person to have dealt with all that. She also lost a son to whooping cough when he was 6 (before my Mom was born) so if she was indeed crazy when she tried to burn down that church, I can totally see how she came to be that way. Luckily, her stay at Whitfield was only for a few months, but while there she endured treatments that were common in that day such as shock treatments. Her father, my great-grandfather, also spend time at Whitfield and died there when he got in a fight with a maintenance worker who killed him. I am not sure what he did to end up in Whitfield, but I have heard that he and his family were in constant disagreements about alcohol prohibition and religion. My grandmother lived to be 83 and died in 1995. She never talked about what happened to her much and most of my family prefers to not talk about it out of embarrassment.

 

Hi Melody. I left fundamentalism after being forced out. I have a friend who thinks I would be changed back if only I went to an Alpha course (an intro course for fundamentalists). All I can say is some hope and I do not want to be forced out twice. I understand one's frustration and I suspect it is even harder living in the bible belt. I suspect back in the 1950's that whole communities would have sided with the church and if you do not fit in then I am sure that would hurt a lot. I feel sorry for your Grandmother.

Just remember here you can relax and just be at home. Agree or disagree on points, it is up to you, but whatever you do we are glad to have you join us. Welcome..

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However, it was disheartening when I would see the church membership rolls and see the code for back-slidden church member next to my name. I didn't really feel back-slidden at all; I felt like I was moving on.

 

Melody, I am curious what the code for "back-slidden church member" is. Did they make a distinction between those who are no longer active for various reasons and those who have "back-slidden?" I am also curious, if you don't mind saying, what denomination this is.

 

George

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