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I Cringe When I Remember.......


jonnyb
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Hi, this is inspired by a comment PaulS made in another thread, where he said he cringed at the memory of presenting a creation v evolution argument to his school class.

 

For those of you, like me, who have a background in conservative christianity, what are the things you did in those days that make you want to crawl into the nearest hole?

 

a few i can think of (there are probably better ones that will come back to me):

 

getting sucked into the 'end times' thing, namely Barry Smith and his Y2k/illuminati/masons conspiracy stuff (although, i wasnt as bad as one of my friends who stocked up on bags of rice and had a 'don't take the mark' sticker on his car.

 

Gazing in wonderment at Ken Ham's 'answers in Genesis' presentation and his 6000 year-old earth and pterodactyl sightings.

 

Being in a christian rock band where the drummer would give his testimony and ask all the christians to stand up.

 

 

and you?

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Hearing the same church gospel message over and over at every service.

 

Attending my granddaughters Baptist church recitals and programs and listening to the programming they are being fed and repeating.

 

When people thank God only when they are spared some suferring in a situation while another is not.so lucky as if they are more special.or serving God better.

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Trying to convince people who seemed relatively good, moral, and at peace with the world and themselves, that they were delusional and in fact needed Jesus in their life.

 

Allowing myself to think that it was fair and just for others to be condemned to eternal pain and misery simply because they didn't see Jesus the way I did.

 

Arrogantly believing that I had all the answers as I had been raised within 'true' Christianity.

 

My judgemental attitude toward 'non-believers'.

 

Homophobia.

 

Racism and other forms of discrimination (not the overt kind, oh no, we loved God too much for that, just the covert kind like how we felt about others and how we excluded when it suited).

 

When some little tiny thing was seen as an answer to prayer, whilst conveniently ignoring that God seemed to be more than a little silent on the millions of children dying every day of starvation, malnutrition and other treatable conditions.

 

Believing that cruelty, injustice, misery and pain, are somehow part of God's 'plan' for certain people.

Edited by PaulS
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I just got back from a church retreat with a bunch of liberal Episcopalians,some whom I have known for thirty years. We had workshops which were very "spiritual but not religious" a phrase which drives me crazy. We created story boxes using strips of felt and a plethora of materials from Michaels. The results were sometimes painful but always revealing as people described intimate details of their life stories using novel methods.

 

What does this have to do with the creationists? They want a cheap easy spirituality which any ideal can engender. How about the flying spaghetti monster , a concept which atheists sarcastically give as around as an example of the senseless ideas which Christians toss around.

 

I recently mouthed some of my Spong/Crossan beliefs to some of my fellow church members. I could have been talking about creationism . I dont believe in the virgin birth and the bodily resurection of Jesus? I will save the expressions of my spiritual beliefs for a forum like this and play along with their beliefs.

 

Why is the established church losing so many members while the megachurches thrive? People want a cheap theology which doesn't involve thinking or reason.

 

Kay

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How about the flying spaghetti monster , a concept which atheists sarcastically give as around as an example of the senseless ideas which Christians toss around.

 

Kay, this is, IMO, a derisive and disrespectful characterization of even fundamentalists.

 

Without addressing this particular expression directly, Pascal Boyer (Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought) demonstrates why a "flying spaghetti monster" would not be consistent with religious thought. He says, "Religious representations are particular combinations of mental representations that satisfy two conditions. First, the religious concepts violate certain expectations from ontological categories. Second, they preserve other expectations." He goes on to explain that the first condition (violation of ontological categories) are minimal. The "flying spaghetti monster" would be a maximal violation and therefore an aberration.

 

So, I would say that those who use this expression are themselves uninformed.

 

George

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My dip in the fundy pool was very, very brief. However, it was not so brief that I don't have a couple things I regret...

- I regret not speaking out more against the hate I heard

- I regret the couple of times that I crossed the line when trying to witness to people

 

The fundy community can be so harmful. It's unfortunate, because they can make everyone else who identifies as Christian look bad.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I cringed when I couldn't resolve that "God had a plan for me" when I was also taught that he had given me free agency.

 

I had a difficult time belonging to the "one true church", when so many people that I met of other faiths lived a life that was closer to Christ-like than mine.

 

Basically I regret spending years living a faith that revolved around guilt and fear.

 

But mostly, I want to ask for a big DO-OVER for the times where I got angry with loved ones when they confided that they weren't sure that there was a God. My impulse was to belittle them while covering my ears, refusing to listen to their reasoning. Now that my understanding of God has been "reset", I long for that understanding conversation. I have found that there is no soft approach to the subject, for the same reasons I had in shouting down the questioning of others.

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I cringed when I couldn't resolve that "God had a plan for me" when I was also taught that he had given me free agency.

 

Monteluna,

 

Thanks for your worthwhile thoughts and welcome to the forum. Yeah, I have never quite understood that as well. I first thought it meant a spiritual plan, but I have heard it invoked about more mundane matters such as school, career, relationships, etc. Discovering that plan is another matter altogether. I guess when a plan (attributed to God) doesn't work out, one would claim they weren't listening close enough, resisted the advice or whatever.

 

On the other hand, it may motivate a useful process of introspection and carefully trying to determine the best course of action when confronted with a decision. Maybe, it causes us to focus on what is most suitable for us and weed out other influences.

 

BTW, we normally ask new members to do a brief introduction of themselves in the thread title "Introduce Yourself." This gives others some idea about where the new member has been and where they are.

 

George

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Went to a Bible study group at my college.

Got a lot of things I do not agree with, for example "Humans are sinful and stupid", "When reading the Bible sometimes you will be metaphorically punched in the face by God telling you you are wrong", etc.

 

Now I'm concerned that when (not if, I'm very open about my beliefs) I come out as a somewhat radical Christian who tends to play fast and loose with doctrines they consider untouchable that I will be found somehow unworthy. I've met some really cool people who I want to like me through this group, but their beliefs, and more importantly the assumption that I share them, make me cringe.

 

Fortunately, I'm going home this weekend, so I'll be able to talk to my awesome Dad about it. He'll get it.

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I Cringe When I Remember.......

 

The church NOT supporting civil rights,

 

the church fostering the concept that a womans place is in the kitchen, (Oh that still goes on in certain circles)

 

the church championing the idea that being gay is a sin (oh that is still going on too),

 

the church NOT welcoming someone who is different (oh, that still goes on too),

 

the church teaching that God is to be feared. (again still an active part of church teachings)

 

the list goes on....

 

At least there hasn't been a Christian Crusade in my lifetime

 

steve

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Kay, this is, IMO, a derisive and disrespectful characterization of even fundamentalists.

 

The Flying Spaghetti Monster was originally intended to be a parody of creationists who wanted to teach "Intelligent Design" in public school science classes but it's since taken a life on its own and turned into an Internet meme with a whole mock religion around it but the original idea was just a parody to mock creationists who tried to claim "Intelligent Design" wasn't the same thing as biblical creationism. As for myself, my most embarrassing memory would be how I used to defend the Church of Christ's teaching that worshiping God with musical instruments was a sin.
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The Flying Spaghetti Monster was originally intended to be a parody of creationists who wanted to teach "Intelligent Design" in public school science classes but it's since taken a life on its own and turned into an Internet meme with a whole mock religion

 

I realize that this has become a meme. But that doesn't make it any less derisive and falsely misleading.

 

George

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How is it being misleading about what creationists believe?

 

It implies that a person who believes in a God will believe anything, even something as absurd as a "flying spaghetti monster." That is false. Boyer shows how things like this would maximally violate our ontological categories and would not be within the realm of reasonable propositions about gods.

 

George

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That's not what the goal of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is:

In January 2005,[11] Bobby Henderson, then a 24-year-old[12] Oregon State University physics graduate, sent an open letter regarding the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the Kansas State Board of Education.[8][13][14] The letter was sent prior to the Kansas evolution hearings as an argument against the teaching of intelligent design in biology classes.[8] Henderson, describing himself as a "concerned citizen" representing more than ten million others, argued that intelligent design and his belief "the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster" were equally valid.[8] In his letter, he noted,

I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; one third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

—Bobby Henderson

According to Henderson, since the intelligent design movement uses ambiguous references to a designer, any conceivable entity may fulfill that role, including a Flying Spaghetti Monster.[5] Henderson explained, "I don't have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. If there is a god and he's intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor."

Edited by Neon Genesis
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Creationists believe God created light before creating the sun, they believe God created humans from his own boogers, and they believe that snakes can talk, and that the Earth is significantly younger than what all of mainstream science has theorized. How is that different from the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

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I didn't say it was respectful. You accused the Flying Spaghetti Monster parody of being misleading and I asked what was misleading about it. Being disrespectful is not the same thing as being misleading.

 

It is misleading for reasons I mentioned (twice).

 

George

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From Genesis chapter two:

then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground,* and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
Are you going to try and tell me this is exactly like what scientits believe too? Edited by Neon Genesis
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