Author Topic: Christian training camp thing...  (Read 1586 times)

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Our Wings are Burning

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Christian training camp thing...
« on: May 18, 2008, 05:38:44 AM »
I just got back from a five-day Christian training seminar-series thing with my college's chapter of a nationwide Christian organization (why I ended up here, I'm not completely sure. Maybe there are too many cute females in our chapter, I don't know). There were five "tracks" to choose from and I chose one called "Encountering Jesus" where we went through a "manuscript" (sans chapter, verse, and paragraph divisions) of Mark and tried to "throw out all our preconceived notions" and look at it with "fresh eyes" or something (while using the NRSV or some version, of course).

Anyway, inevitably, we eventually got to the part in the book (in Mark 3) that most Christians refer to as "the part about the unpardonable sin". I feared that I had committed this sin for many years of my life, so of course I had to say something when it was brought up. I tried, really hard, to make people see why I had feared for so long, but was continually fed pat answers from everyone. Eventually our leader came up with the answer I'd heard so many times before, that "if you're worried about it, you haven't committed it" and "it's a state of continual rejection of Jesus" or something, when to me its obvious that that is not what is being said if taken at face value.

Anyway, after that session, I talked to our leader to reassure her that I wasn't worried about that anymore and had found an answer that satisfied me about a year ago. This led to me telling her about my belief in Christian Universalism, which she immediately dubbed a "heresy" since she'd heard of it before. Anyway, I never got a chance to show her why I had been reassured, because it disagreed with her view, and she basically told me I should see a doctor for anxiety problems (which may or may not be a good idea).  Also, she has an anxiety problem herself, so its not like she was just calling me crazy, just looking out for me.

I've only told a few people about my belief, trying to keep it under the radar to avoid strife within the group, but apparently that was kind of unavoidable since I found out people knew about it that I had never told. Also, one of our staff members (who I had also never told) asked me if I was involved in the Unitarian Universalist church, which was fun (I love being misrepresented). But yeah, basically everyone I've talked to (except for one really sweet girl in particular I talked to a month or two ago, who was somewhat open) is not really open to the possibility of changing their beliefs from what is commonly accepted. Lately I've been thinking that one of the biggest barriers to questioning one's faith is being afraid of what other's think and the possibility of losing one's status in their Christian "society" (some of the people I've talked to are newly elected to leadership positions in our organization). I think this mainly because I'm starting to think I need to leave this organization due to these differences and will likely lose friends over it.

I've really been trying to be understanding, since I realize it's a gradual process to change something so huge within one's belief system, but it's hard when you just want to find one person who you can stand with, instead of fighting alone constantly (sorry if I'm getting a little emo).

I think it's funny that I get the same rhetorical bullcrap and leading questions from Christians that they complain about getting from non-believers all the time. The people in my group I've talked to really haven't jumped down my throat or been condemning, but it's quite frustrating when I love these people and wish they were willing to find the answers for themselves, instead of always taking in what's force-fed them from the pulpit. Sometimes I wish I could just believe like they do again, just for the sake of community and "fellowship", but then I remember how messed up I was over that, and can't understand why no one else appears to even think about it.

What it boils down to for them is that apparently I don't have enough "faith", and I really don't have a clue how to debate that, except to say that, "No, YOU'RE the one with not enough faith" which is pointless. I still love each of these people, just don't understand how they think, I guess.

blah.

Mickiel

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 08:18:43 AM »



Eventually you may have to accept that you have a different train to catch, its the same destination that those you Love are going, but your just taking another route. Perhaps a more lonely route, and the heresy is that you begin to believe that everyone is going to get there.

Peace.

martincisneros

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 12:07:02 PM »
A good friend of mine calls this mental backfiling when Christians can pull their ET out of a file when they have to tell it to others, but then when their messy work with "sinners" is over with, then they simply mentally backfile it so that they don't have to deal with the consequences and ramifications of what they claim that they believe. 

It's a form of mental illness because they're on the one hand holding to something very traumatic and horrific with regards to the vast majority of mankind, and perhaps many of their loved ones, who don't attend their Church, but on the other hand, they're dissociating the clear implications of what they say that they believe along those lines.

On the one hand ET is REALITY, while on the other hand ET isn't THEIR reality, so that ET ISN'T REALITY, except when we're having altar calls or receiving the mission's budget from the congregation.

As I said in the Unpardonable thread in the Guestbook on these boards, people are in denial that anyone that they know could have even possibly committed this "unpardonable sin," because if they ever admit that perhaps many people they've known or currently know are "guilty," then ET forces itself out of the mental backfile.

But, then again, 9 times out of 10, those who come into their church thundering about fire and brimstone and an eternal Hell are legalists in the opinion of many of these churches that CLAIM in their creeds and Sunday school lessons that Someone damns the unrepentant.

Pastor:  People do this to themselves, afterall.  If people would listen, then they could be just like us who were wise and timely about our decision to embrace the Lordship of Jesus and to stop sinning before it was forever too late!  If they would just come to our church and do what we say, along with paying their tithes, then...uh....God wouldn't curse the work of their hands.

Church Member:  Does God curse the work of my hands according to Malachi 3, Pastor? 

Pastor:  Uh...no, God doesn't do that.  You curse the work of your own hands when you don't give the GodFather your tithe.  You bring it upon yourself, don't you see :sigh:

Church Member:  So, you're saying that God doesn't damn and He doesn't curse :happy3:

Pastor:  Yes, that's what we're saying.  We bring these things upon ourselves.

Church Member:  Then how in the world is the entire world not ultimately saved through the Blood of Christ if they're their only enemies in this life?

Pastor:  That's heresy!

 :dontknow:

           

Offline Reverend G

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 06:16:08 PM »
They say  you haven't enough faith?  I daresay they have things reversed.  Sounds like you have made the "leap of faith" to actually believe that God loves us all, and can, and will, save us all.  They are the ones who keep thinking that we mere mortals could fudge up HIS plans.  Awfully egotistical of them, don't you think?

WHAT IF ???


I received this as an email; I believe the source was Carol Sigler

"IT IS FINISHED!" is the central-most feature of what is called Christianity and yet
it is called into question by many who own the name "Christian".  Don't you find
that just a little strange?  So, do you believe it?  Well, consider these questions and
ask yourself if maybe you have been brainwashed into doubting this reality.

So ... what if it is REALLY finished?

He might have really paid the price for our sins
He might have really taken them away
He might not ever have to do it again

He might not be shocked at how bad we have been
He might not be shocked by things we still do
He might not be shocked when He discovers our "secret sins"
He might not be shocked by our impure motives
He might not be shocked at the messes we get ourselves into
He might not be shocked when we run from Him
He might not be shocked at how people can mistreat Him

He might not look at us as if He didn't finish His job
He might not look at us as if we need to finish His job
He might not look at us as if we need to pay for our own sins
He might not look at us as ungrateful
He might not look at us as unforgiven
He might not look at us as unworthy
He might not look at us as unclean
He might not look at us as unholy
He might not even look at us as sinners

God just might have believed Him
God just might have accepted His sacrifice
God just might not remember any sins against us
God just might not be mad at us anymore
God just might not look at us the way we look at us
God just might see us as the new creations He made us

We might really be forgiven
We might really be acceptable to God
We might really be worthy
We might really be holy
We might really be made right
We might really be loved
We might really be brand new
We might really be free

We might not have to be afraid of judgment
We might not have to be afraid of God
We might not have to be afraid of the hammer falling
We might not have to be afraid of death
We might not have to be afraid of life
We might not have to be afraid of failure
We might not have to be afraid of anything

We might not need to do anything to receive the gift of God
We might not need to bring about righteousness in our life
We might not need to focus on our sins
We might not need to focus on our failures
We might not need to ask God for forgiveness

We might be called justified
We might be called righteous
We might be called holy
We might be called pure
We might be called saints

We might stop begging God to forgive us
We might stop thinking God doesn't love us
We might stop thinking God doesn't care
We might stop trying get what God has already given us
We might stop trying to make ourselves more acceptable
We might stop acting like the people we used to be
We might stop living like nothing has happened
We might stop calling ourselves what He no longer does

Christianity might be different than the pathetic substitute we've gotten used to
Christianity might be as good as the Bible says it is
Christianity might be as good as you have hoped it was

But then again maybe religion is right, and "It is finished!" does not really mean it it
finished.
In that case ... ignore all the above!
Or else simply believe what your heart has been hearing

     

Offline dockeen

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 08:23:49 PM »
Thank you *very* much for sharing that Reverand G!

Does the relationship that this descibes remind folks on something?

It reminds me of a loving parent, who loves their child unconditionally.

Wayne

Our Wings are Burning

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 09:45:01 PM »
A good friend of mine calls this mental backfiling when Christians can pull their ET out of a file when they have to tell it to others, but then when their messy work with "sinners" is over with, then they simply mentally backfile it so that they don't have to deal with the consequences and ramifications of what they claim that they believe. 

Yes, I've read the article on the main page by Charles Slagle on "Once Saved, Always Saved".  It was a great joy to read because it describes just the way I used to think, and how I nearly drove myself nuts thinking about Hell all the time. 

And Mickiel, I think you're right that I may have to just accept that I'm different.  It's just kind of difficult since I never really had good friends even when I was a good little Christian boy.  Now that I have these people and have more friends than I ever had before, I'm kind of reluctant to give that up, but feel as if it's something I should do.  I think I'm just going to continue discussing how I feel with more of the group until everyone wants me out (although, to be clear, no one has said they want me out yet.  They've actually been encouraging me to stay and discuss my beliefs), which may not take long :sigh:

I don't know, I hate decisions...
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 09:46:51 PM by Our Wings are Burning »

Offline Reverend G

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Re: Christian training camp thing...
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008, 01:24:47 AM »
Thank you *very* much for sharing that Reverand G!

Does the relationship that this descibes remind folks on something?

It reminds me of a loving parent, who loves their child unconditionally.

Wayne

You hit it on the head Wayne....