Category Archives: Life

…then why doesn’t it work?

 

“Give your life to Jesus and you’ll never be alone again”

Or any other variation of that exact pitch. The promise that God in your life is going to make all the difference. The promise that he has the perfect spouse for you, the perfect goal or job in life or even health and wealth if you play your cards right.

The idea that making a spiritual alliance with the creator of all existence will somehow solve your deepest inner dilemma’s once and for all. Always with the disclaimer that it won’t be easy all the time.

And that’s only the starter kit. After that we have plenty of groups and programs to help you on your way to finding whatever it is you’re looking for. Prayer meetings, soaking sessions, seminars on the gifts of the holy spirit, preaching  and teachings on whatever we can construct out of the bible, and if that doesn’t work we’ll build on top of what was already built on top of that. Weekends where one church visits another one so you can all mingle. Weekends where we’ll tell you to be guilt free while at the same time telling you what a horrible sinful abomination of a creature you are.
And have you heard of our special one on one spiritual/therapy hybrid sessions?

Also, if you stick long enough with us you can even aspire to become part of our team.
You’ll fly like an eagle distributing pamphlets, praying for people, operating lights and sound, being on stage giving a pre-made preaching or even, yes you guessed it, doing the dishes and cleaning the toilet for the glory of God himself no less.

It doesn’t matter what you want to do in life we’ll try to make it work…just as long as you try to become like us.

And whatever you do, always say Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to you.
Did I say Jesus? I meant to say our church.

What more can we do to sell our Lord and savior, I mean Church, I mean product to you today?

*applause*
What a sales pitch huh? All of this buzz and activity around this cute and innocent idea they’re trying to sell. And surely it must work because these people are highly motivated.

Lets get back to the title. Then why doesn’t it work?
Why is it that after years and years of this crap I’m right now in a place in life where I’m putting the pieces back together again after leaving the aforementioned circus behind? Why is it that I am seriously considering getting some professional therapy to help me through the damage that’s been done by this sort of malarkey?
Why?

And please don’t tell me I didn’t try hard enough. Just don’t.
You can’t promise a God and a church that will take care of everything eventually and then shove it all in my shoes, that’s not fair by any stretch of the imagination.
That sounds more like a cheap scam.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not knocking theism of any kind. We’re all entitled to experience the contemplative journey that lies behind that door if we so desire to and I feel we have a right to pilot that one ourselves as well in a healthy way.
But organized religion is just a scam, it’s just another way people found to exploit one of life’s wonderful innocent things and turn it into yet another gaping wound.

It’s the market place where a certain Nazarene once got quite angry.

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Christian parenting gone wrong

Wow, now there’s a topic that’ll have plenty of panties in the bunchiest of bunches.

If you’ve been or still are part of a church you probably have been confronted with the topic of how to properly raise children in a christian environment or with a christian mindset.

Right of the bat, I don’t have any kids myself. I’ll give you that much. But I have been one myself for a while…heck some would even argue I still am one at 30.

What I have mostly witnessed in church is young children getting taught the bare basics of faith in a very pre-packaged way. And what other way is there to do it anyway? I mean an 8 year old is barely going to have the insights to properly asses all of the ins and outs that come with a particular faith in a world as big and diverse as ours is.

However if you have an eye for generations passing by you’ll quickly notice a few  constants.

Kids are smart, kids grow up fast and kids rebel.

Kids are smarter then we often give them credit for and at a younger age then we expect. At some point you should explain them that different people believe in different versions of God without having to make a statement of monopoly on your view being the exclusive truth about existence.

Next to that, at some point every kid is going to rebel, even if it’s just a little like spitting on the sidewalk when mom isn’t watching or sticking your finger up your nose when the pastor is preaching about yet another way he found to interpret those 3 vague lines of scripture (whooptie-frigging-doo). It’s natural, everybody does it, I would even argue it’s the way God made us. I bet you Jesus was quite a scoundrel himself, that’s why they got rid of the writings talking of his teenage years I’m sure. It’s a part of growing up, forming an identity, learning to think for yourself and so on. And here is where Christianity drops the ball.

They get God involved, or rather, they say he is.

I once saw a mother giving her child hell for having two promises at the same time.
At first she was supposed to be at her fathers (parents divorced) but then she found out mom went swimming. She lied and said that was cancelled so she could also go swimming.

Not entirely correct, but I doubt the world will explode from it.

What followed once this came to light was nearly half an hour of her mother giving her hell about it. And what’s right is right, a mother should correct her child but it’s the way she went about it that bothers me.

She went on and on about how God didn’t approve and how she surely has chosen the devil now. If it went on much longer I would have sworn she would have started trying to “cast out demons” from the poor thing.

First off all, that’s ridiculous, if you want to make clear to your kid that you’re displeased with her. Make sure you let her know it’s YOU who is displeased with her. You are NOT God. What God has to say about this is between the kid and God himself. If you really believe he exists you also have to believe he can speak for himself.
You have no business speaking for him, none whatsoever. Lest you be stoned to death like a false prophet. I may be borderline agnostic but if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s people prancing their self invented “words of God” around. Analise yourself and show a little respect to the originator being please.

Second of all, what do you think is going to happen when she grows up? Rebellion, rebellion against everything she experiences as unpleasant and oppressive. And since you did such a bang up job involving God almighty himself in every single tongue lashing she received, God, her final fail-safe in life, might be rebelled against as well. And you, the over concerned and conservative parent, has done everything to make it that way. This child didn’t have the devil inside of her, you put it there.

To close, here’s a video displaying a similar situation. I’m sure this young man will grow up to be one fine and healthy minded individual…once pigs take on aviary flight.

I don’t know about you, but I had an urge to vomit when I saw that young child being spiritually abused like that.

Warning about the warning.

bible-reading-can-be-habit-forming1

Ain’t that wonderfull news?

Nope.

And here’s why. Because it’s unrealistic. Sure theres this idea in christianity based on scripture that, when you read the bible you are drawing closer to God and God closer to you. And to a certain extent I guess you could say that’s true, seeking God can start or take place in the bible.
But please don’t pretend that it’ll be a happy clappy joyride. That’s a lie from modern christianity that is about a big of a lie like the next date some whackjob church sets for the rapture to happen.

Reading the bible can be traumatising for a believer, or even a non believer. If you read the account of genesis all the way through and think everything that happends in there is glorious joy unto the Lord…wow are you some kind of psychopath?

Don’t you just get furious at parts where God just wipes out an entire people just because? Doesn’t that at the verry least raise some questions? What about Noah, who puts a curse on his grandson for what one of his sons did? Don’t you at least feel like Noah, God’s chosen, is beeing a bit of a jerk there?

Regardles of where you stand on God’s sovereign will or intention behind his actions in these passages. You owe it to your human nature (which is after all, made in the image of God as the bible says) to atleast aknowledge feeling of regret and pain towards those who perish in the bible.

When I read about the flood, how God wiped out everything because he regretted making mankind. I feel angry. I feel angry because they didn’t get the Jesus passcard. I feel angry because somehow God is giving us a go while they didn’t. Yes that may be verry unchristian of me, but it’s honest.

It’s more honest then the people who pretend like God is good all the time. And somehow that idea by itself is a reason to celebrate everything that happends regardless of what our real emotions tell us.

It’s more honest then rejoicing in God’s vengeance or wrathfull hand, trying to somehow justify ourselves beeing alive and “on God’s side” while they aren’t. As if we get to cheer God on as he slays the wicked and lets us live because we are suposidly better then they were. We’re not, never were, never will be. At the end of the day, if you take the christian setting for what it is in general, you’re done for if it’s not for the grace that is Jesus his sacrifice. Let alone taking slight diffirentiations on that premise: open theism, universalism, …yeah I know a few fancy words don’t I?

The reason I write this is too set some balance for pictures like the one above. Yes there may be a God like the one described in the bible, currently I believe that the bible shows little bits and pieces of something we can’t grasp. And it verry well may be the most correct one (taking into account history/translation/culture/…) But don’t take my word for it, walk your path in life. I don’t want you to feel betrayed because of what I told you to believe. All I can do is tell you that beeing a theist, can have marvelous moments, but it can also be devastating. It can do serious harm. It’s not all butterlys and strawberries. Anyone who tells you that is either a serious liar or just hasn’t lived yet.

Please christians, stop pretending that beeing on our side is the best just to get more people on board. People are dead tired of that kind of advertising.

I dare you to be honest.

Things that I do like, for a change.

So instead of trying to rip church culture a new one, lets be positive about the future.

I haven’t gone to any church meetings in about a year or so now and it’s been pretty uplifting to be honest.
My life is getting back on track, I’m starting to feel confident about myself again, heck I’m even getting over my anxiety attacks little by little. Life is good man :D. Not to mention I seem to be more popular with the ladies again. I’m not a full on ladykiller womaniser (yet?) but it sure feels great throwing flirty smiles back and forth again. Just to give you an idea, not long aggo it would be throwing gazes of death and despair around. Because that’s how I felt inside,…thus scaring all the skirt away.
At this rate I just might find that ever so elusive “her”. And finally, the idea of killing myself is far off into the distance.

Well now ain’t that sweet? So just to celebrate here’s a list of things that some christians out there are doing that I do like. If you are like me, fed up with church, you struggle with believing because you actually ask questions and you really hope for church to lose it’s …*hack*… churchyness then this is a list for you.

1: Pastor Bob Beeman and his Sanctuary ministry.

This guy I can’t even begin to explain. I know him personally and he was there for me in some of my darkest times. He got to see me at my most christianese, awkward, on the edge of insanity phase. And he little by little talked me out of it. Thank God he came allong otherwise things might have gotten ugly.

Other then that he feeds the homeless on a daily basis, spreads the gospel in a verry human and unchristianese way. And whenever the christian metal world does something huge, chances are pretty big he’s involved somehow. (like he was around when that all started even).

http://www.sanctuaryinternational.com/
http://www.pastorbobbeeman.com/
http://thebridgebunch.com/ (donations for this one right here are always a blessing for the poor)

Ok now Bob gets spot number 1, because he deserves to be there, the rest of these are in no particular order.

2: The Bad christian podcast

I discovered these guys not too long aggo because they did an episode with Peter Espevoll, the singer from extol. And I’ve been listening to their stuff ever since. These guys are funny, down to earth, they have interesting guests. And they know how dire the church situation is. They’ll also talk openly about what life on the road with a band is like (which I also find interesting). And they have interesting conversations about all kinds of stuff surrounding old bible belt christianity versus newer upcoming kinds of christendom and other cultures. Theres some episodes on here that make my lip tremble because they sometimes say things that make me go “finally someone understands me!”.

http://badchristian.com/podcasts/

3: Drunk ex-pastors

Haven’t really dived into these guys yet, but I do intend to do so. Interesting story behind these guys, they’ll talk about pretty much whatever the twist is that one of them is a catholic and the other is an agnostic and both have roots in other parts of chrisitanity. And to make stuff even more interesting is that they drink during the podcast (here the church christians go “WHAT?!!” and the non church ones go “And?”).

http://www.drunkexpastors.com/

4: God without religion

This is a nice story actually. About a year or so before I met Bob Beeman I was part of a certain christian metal forum. And it’s the kind of…let me put it this way.
Christian metal in the states started back in the 80’s and there was some really good stuff there. Some diehard devotion to it and it was alive. Think of bands like stryper, bloodgood, whitecross,…
And eventhough they’re not always my cup of tea I do have huge respect for these guys because they did pave the way for the huge and diverse christian metal scene that we have today. With it’s glorious moments and also little shortcomings. At any rate, theres a part of christian metal that is still stuck in the 80’s and their theological mindset with it (the fans that is). Before mentioned forum was a prime example of that. It was always bickering and fighting about scripture this and practice that… and as I have a pretty humanist approach I was a little out of place. Until one kind stranger sort of picked up on that and decided to send me a book as a gift. He sent me (all the way from the usa) “God without religion” by Andrew Farley. I can not recommend this book enough. I hate the idea of promoting christian literature, because usually it’s just more feelgood hoggwash by either Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen. But this book got me thinking and opening up a little.

Shortly after the guy left the forum (or he got kicked off) and I never got to thank him. This was years aggo and still to this day I can’t help but feel like…that’s one of those things God did in my life. So if you’re out there dearest stranger who sent me this book, know that I’m ever so gratefull. You helped me steer my life in the right direction.

http://andrewfarley.org/

5: Heart of the matter

Wow this one is a ride. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this guy but I’ve been watching pretty much every episode since. Shawn McCraney was raised Lds (that’s mormonism if you didn’t know) and left that behind to become a christian. The thing is, what made him leave mormonism he also finds in christianity. So he’s picking appart both and trying build something from the ground up, no religion, no systems but truth. Lot’s of things to learn from this show and Shawn’s always a pleasure to watch.

http://hotm.tv/

6: John Crowder

I was all over this guy once I discovered him, nowadays I’ll check him out every now and again. There’s like two sides of this guy that we get to see. One side is wildly spiritual, controversial,…pretty much everything that put’s a church building a flame. And the other side is a nice scriptural teaching.
I like the latter better from this guys. When all of the crazy calms down I do really appreciate what this guy has to say about art, genuine expressions of God and love, music, …

http://www.thenewmystics.com/

I’ll leave the list at this for now and update it as I discover more. If you have suggestions that might suit my taste please leave them in a comment bellow 🙂 (maybe they’ll make the list eventually)

The good old days

I was reading this post by Ben Irwin

http://benirwin.me/2015/05/21/6-ways-mainline-churches-should-respond-to-decline/

And it trigered something in me. Memories of young people sitting in a living room just having a good time and enjoying just talking about God, just dreaming up ideas about how we could take the gospel to the people.

Heck we’d even delve into a little prayer and God permit a little prophecy on the side from time to time. It all seemed to innocent and refreshing.

And as time passed we moved onto the next place, where we even got to have our own little rock concerts…well the music wasn’t quite where it needed to be but hey, atleast we were jamming for God and it was still fun and exciting. There was even talks of taking our worship to the bars, to the people on the streets…

I was a brand new christian myself and as such kind of naive. I really felt like this could be the direction for my life for a while. I was genuinly excited for the adventures to come.

And then it all came to a screeching halt. Rock music had to make way for more prayer meetings and more bible studies. …But instead of hanging out and talking about life and God like we did in the beginning, now we all of a sudden had dvd’s and programs. A bit more stern and robotized. Just a little bit more…controlled into the directions they wanted.

And word got out of our new little church group so other christians started joining up. People that were tired of those old conservative chruches who we’re just aching for something new. We welcomed them with open arms and hearts…because hey, no way our church would become stale and boring like those others right?

How wrong I was.

It quickly became apparent that our church became nothing more then a group to drop of christianitys local misfits and youngsters. And an easy place for passer throughs to quickly get some worship going until their travels took them to their next destination.

I stopped going little by little. Every time I got rejected by yet another christian girl it was just another shove out of the door for me. Everytime I had to explain these people how good quality music is not made the way hillsong and the likes do it…another shove out of the door. The more mainstream church culture became the focal point of it all. And the more this little group seemed to tap into the mainstream chruch culture the more it died for me.

Until there came a point of total disconnect and bitterness.
I almost forgot there used to be good times. I did bring it up a while aggo but was met with “oh but in order to grow we have to let go of the past”…how beautifully quaint and empty.

They have their bigger location now, and they have their weekly attendance showing up…good for them. But one by one, all of the people that made this church what it is today are packing their baggs and leaving. That should mean something. That should raise some allarms.

But the “leaders” won’t even show the common courtesy of asking why. Sad. Verry sad.

So if you’re like I was back then. You’re part of a small group of christians and things are genuinly fun. It adds to your life when you hang out with these people and you look forward to the next meeting.

DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN!!!!!! => TO KEEP IT THAT WAY <=!!!!!!!

I know the pastor, leader, or whatever he calls himself would love bigger attendance and a bigger building to justify bigger tithings to be paid. But trust me, it’s not worth it. Because the good and innocent times you are having right now…will die a slow and painfull death.

And you may think your churchgroup is going to be diffirent and that you and your friends will stand the test of time. And you may, if you keep your eyes open and your senses sensible.

But don’t let it be ruiend…for the love of a donut DON’T aspire to become the next Marshill, Hillsong united, … or whathaveyou kind of church. Keep it small and innocent.

People say showbizz will kill you once you get too big… church is not a hair diffirent. Not a SINGLE hair diffirent. If not worse.

This is angry fish…also a bit bitter now.

Goodbye Christian girlfriend

Just for shits n giggles

Just for shits n giggles

So here’s a picture I made for all of you to enjoy and share with your friends. And here’s why.

As I’ve been going through the paces of expieriencing, digesting, contemplating,… a lot of the aspects that come with beeing a believer in God. I feel strong disconnect from typical Christianese culture.

One of the areas specifically is christian women. Holy sanctified crap, are christian women ever so charismatic and over spiritual about matters. Don’t even get me started about trying to find a date among these. It’s been one dissapointment after another and I find myself more and more letting go of the idea that I should have a christian wife since I am a christian believer.

For those who don’t get that reasoning there are passages of the bible that lend themselves for interpretation that says you can’t marry a non believer or a believer outside of your own faith. Theres many reasons why this is in fact not even a bad idea, …but my personal expierience tends to say otherwise.

Most don’t take the hint that you are interested, some just want your attention and then leave you for dead, some will flirth with you for a while and then go “God told me you’re not the one for me” (if you’ve ever told anyone this, chances are you’re a false prophettes and you deserve to be stoned to death=> read your bible), some just flat out promise you that this is it “lets get married someday and have kids” only to go sleep with some random Joe Shmoe a couple of days later, some situations went even further painfully south. And the list goes on and on like that, all real expieriences of mine by the way.

Remember in Luke 14 where Jesus tells about a master who sent out his servant to invite his friends? They all had excuses why not to come so instead he invited random people of the streets. Ofcourse this refers to who gets into heaven and who doesn’t and whatnot and every christian denomination or schollar has 10 diffirent interpretations of this…but all that aside. I feel like that master. I’ve been inviting christian women to date me, trying my best to be a good guy to them and everything they could hope and dream for. I’m far from perfect, but hey I got a job, a bible and I’m pretty set on not cheating. Not too shabby for starters right? Yet none responded to my invitation, if they werent playing with my emotions they’d lie, cheat,…break my heart over and over again.

No more, the banquet is open. If the perfect woman comes around and it turns out she’s a believer, then that’s great. But this market is all about supply and demand and I hear there’s some pretty decent and respectfull women at the agnostic departement.

As for the picture, I might as well use humour right? It’s been depressing enough as it is.

(ps: I stole the picture from this site=> http://www.mountsalem.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Praise-God-Faith-Stock-Photos1.jpg)