Tag Archives: worldview

I found my life back

I’ve been meaning to write another post for a while now, and I’d have many exciting ideas to ponder and write about. But not really to extent that I’d actually sit down and start writing. Also because I’ve been insanely busy lately, lots of activity and productivity, I’m glad.

I thought, lets write another one about theological standpoint this or the other. Or lets write about how much I loathe and despair the Christian cultural heritage in light of a greater truth. Just little ideas you play around with in your head but none of them really that breathtaking that I’d have to share them with the world.

However now that I finally have a moment to myself and am somewhat rested I find the time is right to write. And what I want to share about is a particular moment in my day to day routine. When I’m home there’s always the moment where I’m in the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, or make some food. And while that’s heating up I take a moment to lean at the window and reflect on the day. It’s a moment of serenity. Because I’m not at my pc where I feel I have to keep an eye on social media (now there’s an addiction I gotta kick) or anything else for that matter, just the food doing it’s thing.

And for a good while, it would be feelings of dread, boredom, being tired and annoyed.
As if life was over, you had all the chances in the world, got involved with Christianity and now everything is gone. You made your bed of stupid choices now sleep in it.

I’d look outside and sigh under the weight of walking what seemed like a dead end path of mediocrity into my grave.

And I’m glad to say that slowly that veil of darkness has been lifting. Life has been extremely kind to me by giving me companions that walk a very similar path to mine.
Hah, narrow is the path right? It sure was, some things are just too amazing to just give up on the childlike wonder and hope for what mystery there is beyond this life. Having the right people around you makes such a difference, it has kept me from growing bitter.

And those are different people for everyone I guess. For me it’s the people church has rejected. Either knowingly and willingly by choice. Or ignorant yet persistent by not understanding and not being a home unto them.

As the bitterness fades I learn that I’m willing to let go of adversity towards those who have wronged me. It’s in the past and my life must move on. The time has come to let go and pick up where I left off so many years ago. And this has been a process that’s been going on for a year or two now. Healing takes time.

The church downstairs has moved out, and as final symbol of new and better days ahead the place is being stripped down in order for someone else to move in. I hope to everything that is holy and good it’ll be a nice and quit store of some kind.

And my personal hopes and dreams have been given chances again as well. It’s hard work and the road takes many twists and turns, but all of a sudden the goal is clear again.

When I stare out of the kitchen window now, I don’t see the road to my grave so much anymore. I see adventure and hope ahead for things to come.

Life has meaning again.

(I might close this blog since I feel it has served it’s purpose, or maybe I’ll keep it only for it’s sentimental value and for others to learn, I might start a new one…we’ll see)

This is not a prayer

Have you ever noticed how some Christians post their prayers on social media and completely ignore Matthew 6:5-6? But lets not be hypocrites here, every believer no matter what kind ignores plenty of scripture, because lets face it, living by the book 100% is just impossible.

No, what irks me more about that is the idea that somehow by posting their prayers “to God” in public they want to achieve… what?

Lets rephrase and deconstruct that a bit shall we? The interaction with God, the prayer, is being interacted with other people. So either it’s a prayer to God or it’s a message to people.

Because ask any “christian” or even people from other faith’s and you’ll notice that nearly all of them will confirm that prayer is to be done unto God, not other people. Well, there’s always that weirdo sitting in front of church of course…

Then why is it that Christians do this? Why do you so often see some “defender of the faith” taking on the internet trying to win an argument by obnoxiously stating their beliefs and finishing that of with a nice big fat “AMEN”?

It’s not like their statements get more validity that way right?

No it’s not that either, there is something about posting a “prayer” that is cringe worthy and  a bit hypocritical. And it’ll usually come from the same people who post those flowery and quaint pictures with scripture on it along  the lines of “a prayer a day keeps the devil away”…(for the theists among you: that’s not how that works btw)

The interaction of posting a prayer is more likely to be a false way to either:

1: “Win” an argument with a non argument

2: Gain approval and favor from fellow believers

3: Tell people what you think is right

4: Get attention

5: Christian slacktivism

6: Showboating (self-)righteousness

I’ve noticed this at prayer meetings as wel (that was back when I used to attend those gatherings of awkwardness). Some poor girl praying her heart out telling God she was so grateful for her parents accepting her for who she is. While she was sitting right next to them. And sure that might be a little ironic it’s also absolutely beautiful, humanity showing one of it’s more humane sides.

But in a way I do feel bad for her, she was raised in a way that this was the norm. Why do we have people who feel so locked in their beliefs that they can’t just flat out say what’s on their hearts? Why did the christian culture evolve into something where prayer has become a vessel for our communications to other people when according to “our beliefs” it’s supposed to be an interaction with God exclusively?

So tell people what you want to tell them, and do it directly. Trust me if you start doing that, you might even cut down the church gossip in half.
Pray to your God, and do so privately. You’ll be less confronted with people knowing too much about you, or even taking advantage of such information.

If I may even may raise the challenge a bit higher, do it like you mean it.
Say what’s on your heart even if it’s less holy.
Don’t pretend with your God, after all, he’s supposed to know every nook and cranny of who you are.

And for the love of keeping your souls hinders out of the eternal frying pan, keep your prayers of the internet.

The silence of the sheep

Our little church fellowship was quick to adapt to the latest internet trends and implement them for their own use. That’s how we ended up with our own little private facebook group.

And the fact that it was private was great for a while, you could ask for prayer or similar things of a more personal nature that you didn’t feel comfortable sharing outside of your own church community.

That’s also how I approached church. I shared everything like it was family, some people were even surprised sometimes. Someone told me once she was impressed with how I openly shared that I had my heart broken by a girl back then (to give an example). And as much as I appreciated her positive noticing. I couldn’t help but also feel a slight disappointment.

Why was this noteworthy? Why wasn’t this commonly practiced to really share your feelings among another? It’s supposed to be a family right? But she was right, this wasn’t an everyday practice. In fact it would happen more often that I would open up about something deep during “smallgroup” like gatherings and it would lead nowhere or awkward silences. Oh don’t worry I always kept things appropriate. It’s that they just didn’t know how to deal with real conversations. Look if you’re going to encourage your church members to open up about personal feelings and experiences, don’t be surprised and stand by helplessly when they actually do come to the surface.

It’s embarrassing and hurtfull to the person opening up and it makes you look like a  jackass. It’s the equivalent to saying “fall backwards, I’ll catch you, just trust me” and then just letting the guy drop on his ass. (Yeah I’m a theist who uses semi-salty words, what about it?)

Which brings me to another instance. I once posted on before mentioned private facebook group an article about things that athiests and christians can find common ground in, and how we can improve living alongside one another.

In fact here it is=>
http://www.cracked.com/article_15663_10-things-christians-atheists-can-and-must-agree-on.html

It’s a long read and I don’t expect you to read all of it, it kind of boils down to this=> regardless of what your views and/or beliefs are, don’t take them too serious and cut others some slack.

I’d say that’s a healthy approach to things and one that everyone should be able to find some common ground in right? If all of humanity collectively unlenched a bit once in a while about their “way”. Maybe we’d end up with less decapitations and bombings.

But apparently this is against the agenda of the average christian church pastor. Apparently posting articles like these causes you to be called aside to receive a stern talking too. He found it necessary to point out that spreading ideas like these might be bad and confusing to the newcomers.

What newcomers? And what’s confusing? Suddenly when someone visited your church they’re automatically considered to be a convert? And those so called newcomers can not be subjected to ideas that aren’t yours? What are you going to do, lock them up until they learned to interpret existence and everything in it your way?

*cough*CULT*cough*

To close:
In all seriousness, if you find in ANY way shape or form that the church you attend shows any sign of oppressiveness towards ideas that are humane, loving towards others, and open minded, leave that place. If you are like me, a searcher of truth and honesty you will be dissapointed and disillusioned sooner or later with that place so you might as wel save yourself a lot of heartache and get going. Sadly there are more power hungry pastors out there then you’d like to know. Also, if you find that some church gatherings are awkward and leave a lot to be desired, don’t go and be honest about it. And don’t let anyone shame you or talk you into going, that is a shame on them, not you. God never wants you to go to any of these meetings if they don’t feel natural to you. God never needs you to share your personal feelings, thoughts or history with anybody from “church” in order for Him to work with it. Don’t be too trusting of “churchleaders”, they have to earn your trust just like anybody else. And they can also lose it like anybody else.

God bless you on your journey through life, I hope you’ll be safe and spared from situations like these.

 

Those other apostates over there

Apostacy

A word that gets thrown around christian denominations and sects every now and then usually as an insult to point out how others beeing diffirent is wrong and even blasphemous.

And mostly it’ll come from conservatives, charismatics, Kjv only reading, evangelicals, …you get the idea. The kind of christian that believes God is around every corner, not only ready and able, but also about to part a sea and make literall mountains move to display the ginourmousness of his genitals.

Wether or not God is or has that kind of traits to his or it’s personality aside, it comes with a certain attitude. The kind of attitude that says, I’ve chosen to be on God’s side, or God has chosen me to be on his side (armenianism vs calvinism) therefor everything in life is about me. As long as I keep exalting God, He might see fit to increase me at some point, just as long as I keep denying myself over and over again enough, maybe some day…

That’s the kind of paranoid mess of a people we’re talking about here. And yes I can get away with it because I used to be one myself…so don’t call me a jerk, you jerk :p

It’s usually those that find some kind of mental gymnastic to discount other types of christians over the most minute details. Even to the point of shouting apostacy over something as superfluos as beeing post or pre trib (as someone who leans more toward preterism I have to laugh at both of these :p).

And I could easely say “see? they don’t believe it the right way so they’re not saved, they’re just invested in something dead” but I tend to not do that. Because I’ve learned, come to realise, been thaught, allowed myself to learn, whatever you want to call it, a certain degree of subjectivism. (yes I watch heart of the matter eagerly)

And yet… theres this thought lingering in me lately.

When you go through the expierience of beeing invested in the charismatic with all of it’s weird beliefs and practices, theres two things going on in your mind.

One side wants to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, every question that rises up becomes just another trap or riddle from the devil trying to put you of course from your divine quest with God.
The further you digg the more you find desperation, paranoia, …but there will always be enough christians around you to motivate and encourage you to keep going the direction you are assuring you that’s just how it’s suposed to be.

The other side constantly wonders, what am I doing with my life? Is this new introduced element of beliefs really worth giving up everything you’re giving up? And what ridiculous beliefs they are, are we really going to hold onto these? This side starts noticing that church has either young people that are awkward and just as confused as you are or old people that are bitter and just have given up. God has defeated them so they just go allong with the flow of the church institution taking contentment with the few good things they have been allowed by the community. Because when push comes to shove if they don’t want you to smoke and drink, by golly you’ll give it up or get pushed out of the door but there will be tension until either one happends.

Now as far as I know people usually end up on either side of these two and tend to stay there for the majority of their lives. And it doesn’t even have to be the diffirence between beeing a theist or an atheist. That’s not the diffirence I’m talking about because as far as I’ve contemplated and learned this stuff I know now that this can get as diverse and unique as your individuality. Well an obvious follow up to this would be ofcourse, it’s a part of your individuality.

But I do make this verry crude and basic distinction, people that are okay with the church institution, it’s aspirations and demands and those that can’t find peace with it. Not that I’m any form of authority on the matter mind you. And to be clear I do mean church the institution and system. Not the body of believers or so called bride of Christ. The first one beeing a verry tangible idea in our reality, I’d venture to say it’s a practical matter but having lived among one I can say it’s anything but practical. The second one beeing more of a theological idea, more filosofical in nature I guess.

Now back to apostacy, I do notice this tendency that pro organised church people throw the apostacy card around a lot more towards the other camp than visa versa. In other words you’ll far quicker hear that old grumpy conservative christian say “that hippie can not be saved even if he says he loves Jesus” compared to that verry hippie who probably has a more laid back attitude toward other lifestyles and worldviews.

But today the hippie bites back. Yes I’m in a bit of a flower power mood myself lately.

Of all the charismatic practices, be it speaking in tongues, excesive prayer meetings, jerking around uncontrollably on the ground, prophecy, “healing” , driving out demons,…and so on and so on. It kind of hit me that the people who hold fast onto these things, including me back when I hold onto these forms of faith, have a layer of them,…that might in fact be apostate about it.

Take this basic example, the wheelchair patient that shows up at a charismatic gathering.
Now all the young and excited people there would love nothing more then for that guy to get healed and start walking and jumping around again. As do I still! Anybody would love that to happen regardless of their worldview or faith. But we all have to admit, it rarely happends. In fact I’m pretty sure most of the stories you hear about these instances are made up. And the instances where it did actually happen are extreeeemely far and in between. I think of the storie where a soldier in a wheelchair during war got out of his chair to run away from an imminent explosion. His mind was that strongly set on getting out of there it actually managed to activate his leggs. Amazing, but also believable.

Now the other stories about where some faith healer did his magic prayer or whatever, I take those with a moved-mountain sized lump of salt.

People who stand behind faith healing however, they tend to believe more stories then they discount in this area. And sadly it takes it’s toll after the years. It creates this blind faith that becomes mind over matter after a while. Or a flat out refusal to accept reality when it’s staring them in the face.

Just like the refusal that speaking in tongues might just be a bunch of noise. Refuting the idea that not everything needs a prayer meeting in front of it. The idea that, most prophecies are just flat out cold readings…

And verry far in the back of their head is this little voice that says “listen, all this stuff might be unnecessary. Which for them immediatly gets labeled and hammered back as the voice of satan because they’ve have that hammered in so hard. But I wonder though, that deep down, they know it’s the voice of reason …or might even call it the voice of God in some way…but they refuse it because they’re afraid of it. Or on one side they don’t actually believe most of the stuff they tell themselves that they do…they’re afraid of admitting it too themselves because they’re in too deep.

And that might be by itself a form of apostacy.

Bam!

Now that said, I don’t discount their basic beliefs in God and Jesus and whatnot, but there is something to be said about the more detailed matters.

This is angryfishguy singing out saying
Act natural, you have no idea how super it can be!

Jesus has just left the building

Ok so that’s a verry lame and obvious one as far as tongue in cheeck jabs at institutionalised Christianity go. In fact keep reading this one might not be what you think it is.

I’m reading a lot of conflicting information from diffirent camps within the church lately, and I bring that up as if it’s been any diffirent throughout history, anyway that aside.

One side is showing a red flag. The older streams of church are pulling the allarm that the churchpews are collecting dust, tithes are not beeing paid, Jesus is beeing removed from the gospel and ofcourse every topic from tattoos to gay people is on the table because all of a sudden and out of nowhere pops up a generation of people who have no real connection to church and don’t really see the point to have it either. (can you blame them?)

On the other side we have the younger generation of optimists. “God is going to do something new, Jesus will be proclaimed in the Streets hallellujah I saw it in a dream. Revival is coming!!!”. They refuse to stand still with the idea that there is a huge culture shift and stubornly hold fast in the belief that God is going to pull some kind of kosjer rabbit out of his crown.

I stand somewhat between these two but also a bit on the sideline of the field with a slurpee in my hand.

To the conservatives, look the world got a lot bigger for us. There are a lot of issues today that you guys don’t really have a clearcut answer for. Or you do have answers and solutions but they tend to be quite christianese and in some cases not so healthy from a humanist point of view.

To the optimistic free gracers and whathave you. If you are one to hold that God is going to heal his church and it’ll be glorious….have a seat.

If we look at our Catholic neighbours they’ve been going through quite a rhough patch. As we all know the pedophilia scandals came floating up and it wasn’t pretty. And I too for a while found it easy to say “see? that’s why I’m a Christian now”. God have mercy I was a naive and uneducated fool back then, not long aggo even.

Then I heard this from friends, they somehow visited a prayer meeting of some sort where some catholic bishops (or some rank I don’t know exactly which one) were involved. And one of the prayers was one of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for hearing the pleas they had made for God to clean and purge his church.

Makes you silent for a moment doesn’t it? Because as much as we’d like to turn our eyes away from this painfull subject…it had to come to light in order to have change.

So I want to suggest for the evangelical/charismatic/…or any other part of christianity that finds itself praying for revival or similar things.
It might be the right and sincere prayer, but when God does come around…it might hurt for you guys as wel.

The fact that people are leaving the Sunday morning culture in droves might seem conerning. But at the same time…I catch myself beeing an optimist here.
I don’t go to Sunday morning services anymore…sometimes I’ll pop my head in to say hi to some people but that’s about it. And you’d think I’d lose faith because of it. That’s what the pastors and brothers in the congregation used to say…you gotta stick toghether or the devil will get ya!!!

And while on a superficial level I have become less “christian” in that I’ll go out for a drink or two, consider having a tattoo at some point and heck I’ll sometimes even try asking a non christian girl out. Doesn’t seem to make any diffirence anyway. Just as uninterested like the christian ones…

But beneath that,…it’s given me tromendous space to think a lot of things over, to study church history with a more critical eye. To ponder about existentialism in light of a creator beeing.
And I have to say that it has made my faith more grounded and solid versus beeing the young christian that nearly pisses his pants when you bring something up like atheism.

So just maybe God is leading people out to learn how to stand strong without the institutionalised church format in preperation of reconstructionworks.
God wouldn’t demolish a building with half of his children still inside right?

…and NO…this is not a prophecy.
But I will encourage you to consider it.

May God bless you and yours
Angryfishguy

Well…you say you believe…

…looking over my facebook at all the diffirent posts from diffirent worldviews, diffirent disasters going on and beeing exposed, at times it does feel a bit like the last of days doesn’t it? Mother nature giving us a run for our money that we so greedely try to hang on to. Suddenly you get confronted with the fact that your participation in the world of kapitalism is costing lots of freedoms of others, lots of wellbeeing, lots of lives…and lately it’s finally gotten to a point where it’s starting to bother me just enough for me to start expressing it instead of shoving it under the carpet. Not just the things I summarised here, but all of it. The world seems like such a hopeless place lately, as if we’ve been looking forward to the apocalypse but maybe we’re already in it and have been for ages now. When you zoom out planet earth a little bit and look at the population of it…we humans are a horrid little bunch aren’t we?

And at times it’s conflicting with my beliefs as I’ve held them for a while now. Why would a loving God allow this and that? Can’t he just blow the planet up, get us all into heaven and get it over with? And these are questions that most Christians are prepared for with a little bit of scripture mixed with a little bit of deduction aimed in the right direction and voila…and that used to work for me as wel. But I’m starting to run out of those to be honest.

When the bible says “those who the Lord sets free shall be free indeed”…alright then, why do I still struggle with lots of nasty habbits? Guess I’m still a sinner after all? Oh but I guess you can also say our righteousness isn’t completed into his during this life because otherwise it would go to our heads…beeing a christian in and of itself does that to most so I guess that would make sense.

Questions like these are annoying yet interesting, they keep you busy, and it makes for a good intellectual excersise.

But that’s not what I want. I want the real deal. I wanna have a final answer “God are you really, really, really out there, or am I just talking to myself?”. In the beginning when it was all visions and prophecies God would swoop in directly to asure me of His presence. Then a few times it hapened that I would wander off and He’d let me go off on my own for a while (much like a parent would let it’s todler walk a bit in the park while keeping a watchfull eye about 10 meters off). But He would show up again, with signs, dreams, visions, those moments you really know God’s out there…and the question would go away again.

But nowadays it’s new yet again…one day no doubt about it, God lives and is displayed through Jesus Christ who rose again. Then the next day I’m agnostic. Then the next day I’m watching through the eyes of an athiest. The day after that I’m listening to debates between Hitchens and William Lane Craig (and several other people who have similar debates and sermons) and I end up giving consideration to even weirder alternatives…maybe we do come from aliens…but where do they come from?

And yet I still pray daily…even if it’s just me blurting out “JUST TALK TO ME DAMNIT!” I still go to Him.

A close and dear friend of mine says “live your life in front of people”. And that’s what I intend to do, to be an honest testimony of a life lived with God. If theres one thing I can’t stand is this “lets just all walk in the same line of christianity because we don’t wanna look like a disorganised bunch that has a thing called personality” atmosphere you find in most churches…God that pisses me off!

It’s not easy. It’s absolutly not a God of the gaps for me…in fact it seems to only creates more plotholes in some instances. It’s frustrating trying to find your way beeing given this new way to look at life and having the old way so firmly ingrained in you. And what really is the way to be practicall about matters? What is really a sin, and what is just something culture made into a sin just because it was convienient?…Those are the things that keep me busy…and it’s driving me mad at times…

I find myself praying this a lot “God please just give me a place to call home”, be it a church that I can be myself in a bit more, a wife that understands me and is able to love me and be loyal. Some friends that I don’t have to pretend with, if they’re Christians I don’t want to have to pretend to be more christians then I am and visa versa if they’re not.

Well dear reader, whoever you are, I greet you and say thank you for hearing my troubled mind.