So far we have raised 20% of our monthly running costs! Thanks for your generosity!

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
My Rattled Beliefs as A Man of Faith
#1
I grew up in a very dysfunction environment going to a southern Baptist church. My family attended regularly and was actively involved.  At home though it was literally like living in hell. Going to church was a safe haven for me especially in my teenage years when I first entered a very closeted world.  Going to church became a safe haven for me to get away from all that and I got very involved. No one in the church actually knew what was going on behind the scenes but the people there were exceptionally nice and sincere.  At that time I never really firsthand experienced any sort of feelings of condemnation from the pastor or the people there and never experienced or knew about gossip. As a teen I privately did research mainly from the bible scriptures about homosexuality and the scriptures that condemned homosexuals.  From my standpoint as a teen no one even suspected me as being that way. 

At the age of 18, I had a spiritual conversion at that church before leaving home.  Having 2 casual friends my age that were females who were in the charismatic denomination, I quickly left my southern Baptist roots and beliefs and took on the charismatic beliefs fully. As young adult and through out my adult years was very different being involved in those type of churches in the bible belt area.  I did attempt at certain point to reach out to leaders in that denomination for help. I have been through very intense sessions of deliverance and mind control.  I came to the full realization that I am gay and there is no cure or healing for that.  Not that there was one anyway.  I was led to believe that there was, being immersed in that denomination.

Now that I am in my mid 50's it seems that my whole belief system is completely shattered and I am not sure what to believe anymore.  What I do know is that there is a God and that He loves and care about me.  My once strong faith seems weak and fragile.  At this point I am not sure where to turn to to regain that faith that I mostly lost in the church. It never should have been in the church, but in God. I just do not go to or involved in the church nowadays. I do not read the Bible or even pray for that matter. I just know that its going to take a lot of time on my part to rebuild faith and trust.
[-] The following 1 member Likes richhix56's post:
  • ChadCoxRox
Reply
#2
Richard, you might find some clarity in the work of a man by the name of Chris Kratzer. His current book is called "Leatherbound Terrorism" and he makes some highly confrontive posts on FB about his leaving the church and finding God in the process. I know there are many, but none come from the evangelical religious abuse point of view any better than Kratzer. He also has a blog so you can get some free insights. http://chriskratzer.com/

Regardless, I have such a similar background as you describe and am living proof there is peace and love in life beyond all that confusion, pain and fear. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you are on your journey!!
Bighug
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
[-] The following 1 member Likes ChadCoxRox's post:
  • richhix56
Reply
#3
(07-09-2021, 12:50 PM)richhix56 Wrote: I grew up in a very dysfunction environment going to a southern Baptist church. My family attended regularly and was actively involved.  At home though it was literally like living in hell. Going to church was a safe haven for me especially in my teenage years when I first entered a very closeted world.  Going to church became a safe haven for me to get away from all that and I got very involved. No one in the church actually knew what was going on behind the scenes but the people there were exceptionally nice and sincere.  At that time I never really firsthand experienced any sort of feelings of condemnation from the pastor or the people there and never experienced or knew about gossip. As a teen I privately did research mainly from the bible scriptures about homosexuality and the scriptures that condemned homosexuals.  From my standpoint as a teen no one even suspected me as being that way. 

At the age of 18, I had a spiritual conversion at that church before leaving home.  Having 2 casual friends my age that were females who were in the charismatic denomination, I quickly left my southern Baptist roots and beliefs and took on the charismatic beliefs fully. As young adult and through out my adult years was very different being involved in those type of churches in the bible belt area.  I did attempt at certain point to reach out to leaders in that denomination for help. I have been through very intense sessions of deliverance and mind control.  I came to the full realization that I am gay and there is no cure or healing for that.  Not that there was one anyway.  I was led to believe that there was, being immersed in that denomination.

Now that I am in my mid 50's it seems that my whole belief system is completely shattered and I am not sure what to believe anymore.  What I do know is that there is a God and that He loves and care about me.  My once strong faith seems weak and fragile.  At this point I am not sure where to turn to to regain that faith that I mostly lost in the church. It never should have been in the church, but in God. I just do not go to or involved in the church nowadays. I do not read the Bible or even pray for that matter. I just know that its going to take a lot of time on my part to rebuild faith and trust.
the problem with believing in a god is there is no proof or evidence to support the belief.
Reply
#4
(07-09-2021, 07:25 PM)katzgar Wrote: the problem with believing in a god is there is no proof or evidence to support the belief.

That's why it's called having faith in God, you have no proof, but you have faith that He's there.

@richhix56, I was raised in the Catholic religion, but to be honest, I haven't practiced in a long time. If I were to define myself, I would say I'm spiritual. I do pray when I feel the need to, and will give thanks when I can.

There are a few online services for gay Catholics. One of them is called Dignity USA. There are also numerous gay churches in various areas, if you haven't searched for one, you may want to check it out, if it's important to you to do so.
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
[-] The following 1 member Likes CellarDweller's post:
  • richhix56
Reply
#5
Gay Church Search

Lovelove Bighug Lovelove
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
[-] The following 1 member Likes ChadCoxRox's post:
  • richhix56
Reply
#6
Religions point to the Divine, but they do not speak for the Divine. Once you know which way you're going, you may find you don't need something that points the way anymore. You're on your way. The path is your own.
[-] The following 4 members Like Camfer's post:
  • Bookworm, ChadCoxRox, InbetweenDreams, richhix56
Reply
#7
(07-10-2021, 12:08 AM)Camfer Wrote: Religions point to the Divine, but they do not speak for the Divine. Once you know which way you're going, you may find you don't need something that points the way anymore. You're on your way. The path is your own.

Absolutely beautiful. Lovelove
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
[-] The following 1 member Likes ChadCoxRox's post:
  • richhix56
Reply
#8
You need to consider carefully what sort of god would let you waste more than half your life involved with institutions that would have you believe that being gay is something that needs cure or healing. If you want to continue looking for that god, then fine. Just remember that the vast majority of the Abrahamic faiths and their sects and offshoots take a very dim view of teh gay. Why do you think your search for a god would deliver one who disagrees with most of his followers?

You have lost a faith, that's devastating and leaves a huge void. That void arises not because it was filled by god but because it was filled by evil, manipulative bullshitters who wanted to financially fleece and control you.

You'll be doing yourself no favours trying to fill that void with more of the same but differing in just one small detail. You have the chance to ditch the whole sorry edifice and be yourself for the first time in your life. It would be a shame if you didn't at least look at the opportunities that opens up.
Reply
#9
@richhix56 I think what you're about to embark on is what is called a faith deconstruction. Now, since I didn't grow up religious or went to church or anything like that I don't really have a lot of good advice but I have seen through the veil of organized religion. Granted, I have not studied the bible and have no desire to but I can say I have observed a lot of people. Christians are certainly no better people than Atheists or Pagans, they have no better morals than anyone else. They evangelize others, use guilt and fear to keep people in their religion with the threat of eternal damnation.

The unfortunate thing about a spiritual awakening or in your case faith deconstruction is it's not all sunshine and rainbows. It is tough, it is good and bad, it will bring you peace and it will bring you anger.

What I may suggest is looking at things through others' experiences. I interviewed The Existential Ginger, a podcaster, she was a Mormon who left the church. This episode here I think might be helpful, while she didn't encounter the shame and condemnation of being gay, I do think her experience with the Mormon church rings a similar tune. I also didn't know anything about Mormonism and I thought it was interesting to learn more about it.

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/966-the-e...-76544095/
Reply
#10
(07-10-2021, 02:55 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: They evangelize others, use guilt and fear to keep people in their religion with the threat of eternal damnation.


There have been a lot of arguments that Hell as a place of eternal torture isn't even Biblically justified.

When considering the Abrahamic religions, it's important to consider the fact that Judaism was the first. There is no Hell in Judaism, at least no Hell as a place of eternal torture. Ironically, the vast majority of Christians never even wonder why Jews who speak and study Hebrew don't believe people go to an eternal torture chamber when they die.

Death in the Old Testament is "Sheol." Sheol is a rather vague place, and is simply considered a place of darkness where the dead go. It's almost an oblivion that most atheists believe death to be, but again, it's rather vague. By the time we get to the New Testament, we see references to "Gehenna" and "Hades." Burning things in ancient times was a way of getting rid of trash. So references to burning as a negative consequence is a metaphor for the soul dying - an oblivion, not an eternal torture. It gets rather complicated, too complicated for me, and I'm not a Bible scholar, but you get it.

This is something the Jehovah Witnesses believe in, and I would guess is their main "hook."

The Mormons' hook is that only the worse of the worse go to Hell, and that there are different "levels" of Heaven. Gay heathens like you and me go to the Walmart version of Heaven, while they go to the Gucci version. One Mormon told me when you die and you never had a proper understanding of the gospel, you go to some sort of afterlife classroom before you go to one of the heavens. My God, can you imagine dying, then waking up in a classroom while a smiling Mormon is standing over you, teaching you Sunday school? Oh God, now that's a Hell!

Anyway, to Richard - have you considered a more philosophical understanding of God? I once saw a quote online that was attributed to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, but some people later said it wasn't from him. I don't know, but it went something like this:

Quote:Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.
(maybe Marcus Aurelius)
[-] The following 1 member Likes Chase's post:
  • calgor
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)