Saturday, January 13, 2018

Armageddon Days: Goodbye Bible Prophecy



 Bible Prophecy messed me up. I wish I never had seen those Left Behind books, and that my years of being scared of a nuclear war, living in a giant metro city that was at the top of the list for the nuking and other PTSD events didn't comingle into a nasty stew that helped me fall for Last Days theologies. There's a toxic element to any religion that thinks the end of the world is inevitable and desires to find glory in it.

As a fundamentalist Christian, that world was all about bible prophecy. I fell for it and warned people about the coming "one world religion" which of course as a fundamentalist we were taught every other religion means you go to hell, and the "one world government" and "whore of Babylon". We were taught in fundamentalist and even mainstream evangelical church to read the Bible like it was a blue-print map for the future.

There's tons of Christian writers I read who wrote on the doom that awaited. I read books from church libraries, like ones by David Hunt and Cathy Burns. All this study did was take me more and more into a skewed world-view that changed reality. Digging one's self out of something like that takes some time.

 Some may see these things as just "fringe" philosophies with very few believing them but don't kid yourself, in the evangelical world now and not just extreme fundie land, bible prophecy and the end of the world is the normal belief. These are the folks who voted for Trump. A cynical part of me wonders how much of it is multi-layer trauma programming as the doom-porn quadruples? After all a frightened population is an obedient one. If they think God is coming back soon, they aren't going to call national strikes.

Remember Jim Bakker? He was a disgraced 1980s televangelist with a heated dog house and golden faucets. He is making money hand over first selling buckets of food to people for prepping and to avoid the would be famines to come. He uses a lot of fear to do it too. In my independent fundamentalist baptist churches especially after the emotional laden 9-11 era, they told us America would collapse, and war would come and on online Christian conspiracy websites, one was told that FEMA camps would round up Christians and kill them and even more horrible fates.

Websites like David Bay's Cutting Edge, Rapture Ready, Jesus is Savior as examples among many all served as feeders for a ton of information on the horrible fates to come for humanity that ranged from Yellowstone exploding  and covering two thirds of the country in volcano ash to the Nephilim returning to wreck havoc. With time, I got the feeling there sure seemed to be an agenda to make sure Christians were as scared as possible. Fear and control keep people compliant.

Hell already served that purpose for a lot of afraid people, but what does all the trauma programming and focus on scary events do to human beings when they are told the world will end all the time? What does it do to people's minds when they are told their fate will be dying in a nuclear holocaust or rounded up and killed by a dystopian government or have their eyeballs all bleed out from Ebola or die from some world wide flu? Sure there's tons of troubles in the world that can happen but why go looking for it? America is one very afraid and traumatized place.

The "get out" clause is the Pre-Trib Rapture, you float up to heaven with all the other holy people, and Christians were supposed to be spared the worse as the mushroom clouds and sirens went off.

I was more post-trib technically and thought the pre-Trib Rapture was easy escapism but I still believed time on this earth was short. Figuring out the scientists were right about millions of years of epochs and about human's truly small blip on the eternal time map, told me how absurd some of this stuff was. I also studied things like the Millerites and their great disappointment and little cracks started to form in my beliefs.

One thing that should scare all of us, is there are many conservative politicians, who believe we are in the last days and are blase' about this world ending, after all God will make a new one. Who cares if the environment collapses, God will save us! This is why Trump had no problem shutting down the EPA. Dominionism which I never accepted has only grown. The religious right wants to control everyone's lives and to expand the police state while preaching "small government". A worldwide nuclear holocaust has entered the place of acceptability as our Cheeto in Chief antagonizes multiple nations large and small.

There's probably an influx coming out of the churches, or I'd like to hope so because the evangelical/fundamentalist world has been revealed as the snake pit it really is with Trump, his minions and the prosperity preachers that support him. One entire party is now owned by them and this society is paying the price. Instead of Star Trek as our future, these people are taking us down the road to Idiocracy and the Republic of Gilead. 

The book of Revelation bothered me more and more, so earth gets blown up too, and we are brought locusts and more suffering on humans like life isn't hard enough. I believe that humanity sought truth and there are some true moral and philosophical teachings in the Bible but it is limited by humanity striving to figure things out. Revelation by the way is a book, that most Christians don't agree on either. Evangelical or not. It's like an 8 ball everyone shakes, to try to figure out a code and yeah plenty of people wrote books on Bible codes too years ago.

Do enough online apologetics as a new gung-ho Christian and it's a circle that seems to lead nowhere. I studied the book of Revelation intently and even wrote and discussed on multiple Christian websites about multiple bible prophecies and later conspiracies. RFID chips still disturb me and are "real" but I would never take one for freedom purposes. Bible Prophecy can also be an avenue into conspiracy theory, and I was there too, reading books like "The Shadows of Power" and various books written by Dennis Cuddy, and others. I guess conspiracy theory sells in a lot of places now.

I know my environment and life took me to some crazy places. I moved to a very small and remote rural town in 1999 and would live there for almost 10 years. It is actually known for being very conservative. There I was surrounded by preppers, libertarians, and others who believed bible prophecy. What later became the alt-right was being molded. There was a guy who even bragged about being in a miltia. Let's just say this while the community was behind the times and that brought some positives, I look back on it now as a very extreme and unusual echo chamber.

 It is hard to explain to you the world I lived in then. I met people who had renounced social security numbers and were homeless living in RV campers because they were anti-government and believed social security numbers were the mark of the beast. They would visit my one IFB church sometimes and that's how I met them. I talked them into taking a caretaker job so they wouldn't have to live so primitive, and they did, and lost contact with them around 2010 after I had moved here. They lived in an RV camper for years behind this guy's farm. I never went over there. The majority of people I knew in town not only in my own IFB church but most of the others homeschooled their children. I visited one lady's extreme church where they believed in bible prophecy and analyzed their dreams. I knew people who had sold everything and other preppers there and those who grew and store food on farms.

Outside of church, when politics came up, the main thought was despair, with the idea that only God could save us now, because the town was dying around us. The American Dream had died long ago. We had escaped Chicago to find peace, and safety, and while we found a small quiet town, there were problems there too. As I wrote in the science article, Carl Sagan was spot on in his prediction that people in their despair, would turn to extreme religion and superstition.

I know my PTSD, trauma and other issues took me into extreme religion. I had been spiritually abused and told I was going to hell when young over and over for questioning my family's religion. I remember when I was young and I have a journal from 1989 still where in it, I write quotes by Ingersoll, lyrics by the band The The [see the song above it was one of my favorites] and Unitarian Universalist quotes about freedom and not believing in hell. It is kind of ironic I have come full circle now with fuller understanding going back to my UU roots but as my husband said recently to me, "You had gone through so much, and I knew you were trying to find answers, thinking you would find them in this form of Christianity".

 People are turning to drugs and religion to fix their pain. The religion part applied to me. Extreme religions and cults always have been more attractive to the vulnerable, abused and people with challenges. Many Christian pastors know the siren call to broken people of "Jesus or I can fix you and your life" will bring some in the door. I am guilty of the religion thing obviously. My own economic duress took me in too, once my career imploded, I saw the shiny happy middle class and above world as a very far off nation where smart phones and careers existed, so I ended up going into a religious version of fantasy and superstition. Science was for rich people. They lived in a STEM technocratic universe, I viewed with suspicion more and more as the socio-economic barriers grew wider and wider. This is probably something if the Democratic party hopes to survive or to really effect any change, they need to pay attention to.

 The deliverance minister believed in bible prophecy too and warned of the new world order online. When I first met her she lived in another state but told me that God had directly told her to ride out the Tribulation in another backwater Southern state. This was 12 years ago. It does disturb me that something this extreme became normal to me, but by then I had read dozens of online fundamentalist Christians saying the very same thing. I was told everyday at church, God would direct my own life and give me answers. 

 Some people have confessed to me that when young they felt freaked out being told the world would end soon. They feared they would never be able to have families or marry or a future. I worried too about my own time being cut short but my own health loomed as a bigger threat. Sometimes now I am disturbed how evangelical Christian websites pound on about constant wars, threats from other groups of people and more. It has helped in some of the circles to advance xeno-phobia and very dark views of the world. While some liberal Christians may preach that God will make the world better, for evangelicals and in fundamentalist circles, it was all about the world falling apart. Some non-believers would wonder about the death cult edge to this all. I do not believe the alt-right would even exist without bible prophecy and conspiracy theories fueling it.

Have you ever wondered how much of this doom-porn in Christianity is related to people just having no more economic hope anymore and socially disconnected lives in America. You see other Western European nations still with a bit of hope in the future. These nations by far are far more secular or religiously liberal and are far happier places. Ever wonder about that?

I am wondering myself how near death, horrible disabilities that deafened and deformed me, and isolated me, messed me up to be receptive to all this junk. If you think about it, if a great swathe of American are THIS AFRAID, this country is screwed, and religion and bad Dominionist politics have stirred together into a stinking stew. That's not where any hope, happiness or joy in the future, is going to come. We got the austere, the miserable and the nothing to look forward to. Some of these extreme Christians are dystopians who desire a shitty future for us all.

 I know being told everyone was going to die and we would all be nuked or persecuted all the time upset me. It was a Machivellian Divide and Conquer especially as the uber wealthy have people fighting over a smaller share of crumbs. The religious right are screwed up in the head because a lot of the churches shove constant doom down their throat, false righteous anger with everyone as the enemy who isn't just like them and endless warnings that the Muslims and the gays are coming to destroy them all. Some groups have vestiges of racism scapegoating other races like Trump.

 Bible Prophecy is not a good influence on mental health in many ways. Neither are extreme conspiracy theories. How did I wake up? Everything just grew more irrational to me. The faith was crumbling from reality hitting home as I have attested to on several articles already but there were other nibbling details. Further study took me to different places, and the insanity of the deliverance minister was a huge nudge. It's hard to explain but I realized more and more of the conspiracies were bullshit, when I saw this stuff about the Mandela Effect online and saw Christians and others believing this stuff, I was disturbed. People have faulty memories and some believing that reality had been altered was very scary to me. I knew then things have gotten crazy. Don't get me wrong, I still believe there's a lot of bad stuff going on and what's theory about conspiracy when people plot and plan to do evil all the time? Refer to George Carlin here. He got a lot of their antics accurate. However there's a lot of scripted and delusional stuff and among the most religious circles it's the worse.

Think about it this way, the wars in the middle east were sold via bible prophecy. Trump is adapting policy to the deceptions of the religious right, such as in ending anything to do with climate change. Trump moving Israel's capital to Jerusalem has the religious right getting excited, and a lot of bible prophecy runs that show too. I realized how conspiracy people were all herded into voting for Trump via Alex Jones [Remember even Hillary complained about Alex Jones and I realized a lot of it was just another con.

I remember the days when Alex Jones told everyone both parties were evil and with the "Illuminati". This was just one facet among all the other nuttiness growing with fake news, and so much propaganda. Now the Illuminati is just another mainstreamed "meme", and has been recently featured in a Taco Bell commercial. This weirded me out as I told some people on a Christian website some time ago they would be "mainstreaming" all the conspiracy theories. After all if Alex Jones Infowars was almost like Trump's election headquarters who knew what else would happen?

 Religion was getting crazier, and to me became a source of fear, pain and guilt instead of any comfort or solace, and I know this is one reason my deconversion began along with my intellectual changes. I did not feel like I belonged and I never belonged. I had cognitive dissonance and unhappiness for years as I described on the other religion articles. That push and pull between my real liberal values and this religion that was messing me up inside. It was time for a change.

 Things could have been worse for me if I was not married to an agnostic husband, he told me some of these bible prophecy people and the deliverance ministers were getting crazy, and her curses were like Skipper and the Tiki, and would tell me these extreme people were wrong. [He loved me and hung in there with me and I didn't force religion down his throat.] Anyhow I had an individual foot in both worlds doing war protesting and art/music co-op and environmental volunteer work so I had that push and pull going too. I still went to music concerts so I had some contact with reality.

Now I can be more comfortable and back in intellectual honesty instead of the constraints of extreme religion. I had been in the UU, which I am back in now, I had studied art. So there was always that push and pull. Bible prophecy sends some completely over the bend. People have done things like sell everything or make life decisions dependent on false prophets and religious crying wolf. I think it's impacting our culture in some insidious ways and I know it did me.

I Hate the Religious Right

Recovering From Bad Religion

Fundamentalist Religion and the Rejection of Science in America

More Religious Thoughts

Leaving Fundamentalism Related to ACON Recovery?

15 comments:

  1. Dear Peeps, back in the 80s these bumper-sticker right-wingers creeped me out. But worse than that, i equated the Christian faith with dour judgmentalism and just plain meanness. And a part of me still does. i wonder if Paul, once i highly successful individual, sometimes found himself wanting to go back to the beautiful people ; could this have been part of the "flesh warring with the Spirit"? No i am by no means comparing myself with Paul. It's just that all of us develop mindsets and preferences, and they're (the flesh) hard to shake.

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    1. I had to deal with a lot of bumper-sticker right wingers in the 90s-10s. LOL but I know what you mean. There's some nice Christians out there, I know them but they tend to be the kind that are biblical literalists, they have this idea of Jesus in their head, as a nice moral teacher. The more you take the Bible seriously the more it does take on into dour judgmentalism, all that hell and bible prophecy doom stuff doesn't exactly make one relaxed about life and other people. There is a lot of meanness and I have noticed it correlates with the most conservative and biblically literalist circles. Didn't Paul go back to the "beautiful" people in some ways? He sure preached a lot of conformity.

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  2. I’m sorry you went through this hell because you were a victim of spiritual and emotional abuses during your childhood years. You were lucky to have a supportive husband who stuck with you during your questioning years and after you began to de-convert last year.
    I complained about similar stuffs 20 years ago and it took me years to get the picture. I have a long story to tell you about my experiences when I was in my 20s and 30s. I was angry with God for years because I was single and he did not help me find a husband. I felt slapped in the face these spiritually abusive people getting married and having children told me that God had “wonderful plans” for my life and singleness was one of “his wonderful plans for my life.” Members and leaders of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowships were the worst bunch who excommunicated me for refusing to “accept God’s plan for my life” and for refusing to come back to my abusive narc mother.
    I went through confusing times and dealt with many adjustments after I started college. I grew up in a community that included traditional marriages, where women could be stay at home mothers and fathers could be breadwinners. During my high school days, I was with teenagers who planned to get married and have children after they graduate from high school. I joined a church group of successful high school students who warned me against marrying young. They advised me to go to college and meet my future husband there, as their parents found each other in college.
    I hung out with children of doctors, attorneys, teachers, professors of a local community college, hospital employees, and white-collared professionals who had college education. My high school math teacher advised my class to work hard on our grades and our extracurricular activities so we could get scholarship. We could meet our future spouses in college and get a training for a better paying job in college.
    Unfortunately, because I was black and am adult victim of child abuse, I had a hard time finding a husband. I did not know until recently that I was a victim of the purity movement of the 1990s that prevented me from finding a “Christian husband.” Purity movement was cloaked in racism and classism that kept me from finding a husband. I did not meet their ideas of a perfect wife because I was black and an adult victim of child abuse. If I knew about the purity movement years ago, I would have joined the UU churches or would have given up on churches and date atheist men.
    After I accepted Jesus as a savior at age 22, I took two Bible courses with a Jewish scholar who studied Historical Jesus, biblical interpretations and the history of Christian churches during the Old and New Testament eras. I learned a lot in these two courses. Unfortunately, I was still confused and asking questions. At that time, I began to discover more about my abusive adopted mother and received answers slowly. Several years later, I hung out with a college classmate and her mother who introduced me to Calvary Chapel churches and some of conservative fundamentalist “Christian” ideology that Trump and his “evangelical Christians” supporters embrace.
    I also want to tell you that my college classmate named Ann was very rude, disrespectful and emotionally abusive. She invited me to a retreat run by a conservative fundamentalist Christian group in college. During the retreat, the instructor named Jeff and Ann brushed me off and ignored my concerns about marriage prospects after I listened to a speech that sounded off. Ann, Jeff, and other participants of the retreat walked away and ignored me when I tapped on their shoulders asking them questions why God did not help me find a husband. I was 24 at that time so I was losing patience. (cont.)

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  3. Jeff made a speech about our attitude toward God, such as how God wanted us to run to him like a child running to his or her parent. Jeff claimed that God wanted us to forget about getting married and having children because God was absolute, as he wanted to know if he was first in our lives. Jeff said that God gave us a choice to test our commitment to him—to choose him or our future spouse. He essentially wanted to test us on who is important in our lives: God or our future spouse. We had to make a choice and if we chose God over our future spouse, we should not get upset if we become single. If we chose marriage and family because we did not want to be single and alone, we would go to hell since we did not put God first in our lives. God was testing us and if we failed his test, we are not Christians! We would go to hell. Jeff pointed that he was watching us so he would discipline us if he did not think we put “God first in our lives.”
    I was very angry asking Jeff for further clarification because what he said did not make sense to me. His behavior was not Christ-like. I asked Jeff, Ann, and other people in the retreat questions, but they kept on walking away from me and ignoring me. It was hell and I never came to that retreat again. In the future, I refused to donate money to that organization or for their ministry. I did not like the way they treated me.
    After I came to Ann’s house, Ann’s mother, Bea, talked to me for about 30 minutes because Ann told her that I was miserable in that retreat. She was kind and understanding. Bea asked me how the retreat was and whether I would go to a different Christian retreat in the future. Because I had better experiences with Christian gatherings in the past, I said yes. Then Bea talked to Ann for another 10 minutes.
    When Ann gave me a ride home, she claimed that I refused to choose God over marriage and family because I did not feel good about myself. It did not make sense to me. I was about to cut Ann out of my life after Bea talked to me. I went to see my therapist after classes the following Monday. I talked to my therapist upset because he was a Christian counselor. I told him I was willing to get a different therapist because I did not like how people treated me, and how people ignored me when I cried and tapped on their shoulders. My therapist told me he did not like what these people said or did to me that weekend and he was not offended when I told him I did not want to be single. He added that Ann, Jeff, and other people in the retreated had cold heart and they are not my friends. He thought I should cut these people out of my life because were emotionally abusive people. He called them "baby Christians." I did not see Jeff and other people I met at the retreat again. (cont.)

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    1. So I was not a Christian believer or under any Christian oppressions when dating, and married a fellow artistic person, and this probably helped. Later I often thought when meeting men in churches, that none would have married me if I had been single. Many in conservative fundamentalism, Calvary Chapel and evangelical circles were far more rigid, life was about rules. I was kind of clueless thinking I could make my way through the thicket of being a biblical literalist and rejecting the authoritarianism I saw around me, but finally I figured out the authoritarianism was built into the religion itself. Conservative authoritarian men do not want women who ask questions or stand up or pursue other interests outside of babies and housecleaning. This may be another problem you faced in finding a husband, as it seems like you are a more academic inclined person and have interests beyond that.

      So to be honest I was fortunate to be dating outside of Christian religious circles. I think many Christian women are under immense pressures and churches give stupid advice. Sorry to be so blunt here, but they are not realistic about women, men or sex. It is weird how they expect people to denounce all sexuality and stay virgins until the wedding night and go from zero [barely touching] to 60 and full intercourse on the wedding night for a honeymoon baby or something. I think about all the put downs I got for living together with a man who I later married and it was insane and absurd.

      I hope you learned a lot from the Jewish Scholar he seemed like a real academic. I did a lot of bible studies too and over the years I realized pastors and others did not like a woman studying too much or becoming informed, probably another point that led to my deconversion. Yes sadly I got introduced to that same world too. I attended a Calvary Chapel for some time in my present community too, before finding the last IFB.

      I went to some Catholic retreats in high school and one the summer before college, and remember bad advice about families and marriage there too. It is too bad these folks gave you such a hard time. It is natural to want to be married and I wonder why they dissuaded you at every turn. One thing about religious circles is a false promise, is they tell people to be open about personal and other struggles, but that can be dangerous. People think these holy Christian people will understand my pain and give me solace or open up to me, but I found that in many places to just be a surface act.

      I did do some single ad dating while in the UU, and did some dating penpal ships with two UU men. I wrote two for a year. One I was friends with for a few years and he shared Frank Zappa tapes with me but we lived too far away and neither of us had the finances to visit. Another was in the Navy and he was nice but personality wise and physically wise we did not click. Of course this was in the days before Internet. As a young UU woman I was not given idealistic advice about marriage. I took a college class on connections and love which helped me as a young Aspie. I wish I could retake that class, and it emphasized being an authentic person and finding someone you truly could connect with. I think that class helped me in finding my present day spouse. I consider the advice in the evangelical church for dating to often bad, focusing on appearances, a fear and repression towards sex and rigid sex roles for men and women, and other non-realistic things--the economic advice became a joke.

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    2. Oh I never really dated the penpal men, but was more a friend, we never did meet but it was an opportunity to meet others in an attempt to date and find a mate.

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  4. Several days later, Ann invited me to a dinner out in a nearby restaurant and when we ate, she asked me if I would like to join her church’s bible study that evening. We went to a bible study in a big Calvary Chapel church at Costa Mesa, California, where I saw Chuck Smith in person. However, my relationship with Ann deteriorated further and eventually our friendshio went south within a year mainly because Ann was insensitive, dismissive, critical, judgmental, and disrespectful. She talked behind my back when I said something she did not like. She brushed me off when I confronted her for slandering against me. I caught her slandering against me and confronted her several times. I confronted her many times for being heartless and judgmental.
    Ann lied to herself and God when she claimed that she was willing to give up on a husband, children, and risk being single for God. I knew she did not feel that way and pointed out she lied to herself. Ann chanted the right words to say many times to get these words on her head. However, I could see she was angry and bitter. Several times, she told me that several psychologist told her that she needed mental health counseling rather than a medication for “Grave’s Disease. I was there when Ann talked to her mother (Bea) about psychologists who told her to get help. Bea wrongly told Ann that because she had Jesus Christ in her heart, she would not need mental health counseling.
    For the next ten years, I visited Ann and Bea asking questions about God. In the late 1990s, Bea kept in track of the worldly news and told me that Jesus Christ would come back and the world would end soon. I was angry because I felt God was unfair to me if he left me angry over being single and that he did not give me a chance to marry and have children. Several nights before Thanksgiving one year, I had a horrible dream about a white Christian couple who was very cold to me. A well-dressed white man walked by me and ignored me. I saw his closed up hands that told me he did not want to touch me because he did not see me as a woman and he thought I was tainted. He looked at me in a very cold, scornful manner. I yelled and cried for him to be merciful and caring. He pushed me and shooed me out. A perfect white woman came to him and they hugged each other. I cried and screamed for understanding. I woke up upset about my dream but felt relieved it did not happen to me in real life. I went to work upset that day and then I came to visit Bea and her family for Thanksgiving.
    While I walked to Bea’s apartment from a bus stop, I ran into Ann and her husband. Ann lost a lot of weight and she looked like a happy little girl who received protection from her perfect husband. Ann and her husband had a perfect Christian marriage during the purity movement. During the dinner, Ann talked about a dream she had several days earlier. In it, she angrily pushed and pushed people away because they were annoying her. Then she saw that she pushed her sister, Mary, away. Mary was confused when Ann mentioned that she wanted to push her away. Ann’s husband was very cold and conservative, just like that very cold man in my dream. He barely talked to me.
    Within the next two years, Bea’s husband divorced her and slapped her with legal documents informing her that he refused to support her financially for the rest of her life. She emotionally and spiritually abused him for years. I also learned that Ann was unable to bear children. I have so much more to tell you. It was awful that we had been victims of spiritual abuses. Yes, Jeff and Ann played guilt trip and gave me messages of fear if I refused to give up on marriage and family, God would send me to hell or punish me.

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    1. It's terrible you had a bad time with a friend like Ann. She may have befriended you as a "Fix-it" project like I warn about in the Project Friends article. This can happen in churches and religious circles, actually far easier. If they see someone who is troubled, or different or in need of a friend, instead of it being a real relationship, some religious women will befriend someone as a charity project. I believe this happened with one ex narc friend I discussed on here. One red flag of those types is they are trying to reform you. I had done volunteer work for years and this one got me into making cards for people in the psych ward. I liked doing the work, but I realize now this was not a spontaneous project between two real friends but a religious woman [WELS: Lutheran] in this case doing a 'reformation" project on the disabled "troubled" fat woman she did not see anywhere near an equal. So your dealings with Ann remind me of that person. She was critical and I know I would have had to end the friendship even for sake of my husband because she criticized him too! [especially near the end]

      Many people do abuse using the name of God to do so. I have to admit now, while I have some nice Christian friends, I am wary of meeting very conservative and evangelical women now or hard core conservative "church ladies" because I have gone through too much. I am pretty outwardly liberal now so they probably would write me off as a hell-bound heathen and leave me to my fate but I think about these people I thought were friends, and I was nothing but a religious project to them and yeah it hurts a lot. What you experienced with Ann is very familiar to me.

      Many women in these fundie churches will say the right things and overdo the martyrship for God. As God doesn't answer many prayers...[I don't believe anymore so take this sentence with a grain of salt] many overcompensate with a lot of cognitive dissonance to keep the religious framework up. I was guilty of this preaching anti-war to a bunch of authoritarians. Ok their prayers aren't answered and life turns downward so they say this must be God's will. They are angry but in Christianity, God is perfect and never wrong even as bad events happen to many people, so they have to deflect anger somewhere and it often goes on themselves and others.

      Thyroid conditions cause a lot of mental problems. Her Graves probably did make her agitated. I heard the stuff in the IFB too against counselors. That Jesus would fix all problems [another false promise and a dangerous teaching I think in some ways] I ignored this edict having been in counseling for PTSD and my abuse on and off, but I remember feeling shamed and thinking "I better never let any of these church people know I go to a counselor".
      continuing...

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    2. It's too bad Ann and Bea introduced you to bible prophecy. Sometimes lately I have the feeling that bible prophecy is appealing to people who have had many losses, and why not have the world end then if your own has ended. I used to think I don't want the world to end, there's lots of babies here who need a chance too for some time, but now thinking about the end of the world stuff, it makes Yahweh just seem more cruel. So sure you are still young thinking when will I get to live my life and get married and have children. I hate that I believed in this stuff, I still "lived" life, no moving to the bunker for me but many around me in that small remote town had moved into bunker mentality even if they were not full blown preppers it was there. There was a hopelessness to it all too. The world's going to get worse. Don't have any dreams. One IFB even preached to me don't fight for social justice or rights, the antichrist is coming soon anyway. I fell into the conspiracy stuff that made life even more hopeless.

      continuing...

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    3. I noticed something in the churches everyone who had their life not follow a script left. Illness, divorce, no children, single for too long. The churches at least the ones I attended the people in them at least appeared too "perfect" I realized there was a reason there was not one divorced or single person over 30 in my last IFB. People who wonder about the failings of the false promises probably don't last too long. They also wonder about the lack of intervention, I never saw any. I even thought God had answered a prayer when we moved here and he lost that job. There's a point when a supposed divine being disappoints you so much, you realize you are praying to a Santa Claus in the sky who never brings you any presents [not just talking material goods] or at least any meaning in it all. You are having to make yourself love God, when God is reminding you of your narcs in his silence, withholding and simply not being there, and in my case I moved to the point of asking if he was real. I can still accept a divine "first cause" or greater power as a possibility but the idea of a God intervening on our marriages, what happens in this life, like we are on "some plan", that's long ago gone.

      Your dream shows the racism and rejection. I felt I was tainted in conservative Christianity. They simply helped to back up what my abusive narcs did to me in all the programming, I thought I was never good enough. I was a worthless sinner. ETC. Nothing I did was ever right. In my case, being so fat, and the socioeconomic stuff weighed heavily. I was so JUDGED and tired of it. So when you had this cold couple appear in your dream, they were a fascimile for all the judgmental types. The church ladies and men issuing edicts from from on high.
      Mercy and caring were rare. They always told me their God was merciful but the Bible seemed full of plot holes, God loves humanity but drowns millions in Genesis, and then blows up the entire planet of the 95 percent or so unsaved people in the end [Revelation]. If that's love what's hate? Christianity doesn't add up for me anymore. Even all this Bible prohecy stuff wheres the love, mercy or comfort, it's all bad shit going down, like nuclear war, and death and after a millenniums of dictators, we are supposed to be sent a HUGE DICTATOR to outdo Hitler, Mao and all the rest [the Antichrist] to really sock it to us. I had thoughts God hated humans actually quite a lot. And the punishments way outweighed the crimes for the majority, maybe not for the rapists, child molesters and murderers but certainly for most.

      continuing

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    4. The fact the two people were white speaks to the racism. They were closing you out. I had dreams about perfect thin church ladies, usually standing around in a circle telling me to lose weight, and that I was an unholy imposter [maybe they were right with the latter since I have deconverted :p]

      The purity stuff messes people up. I had weird moments in the IFB where they seemed kind of upset to see a couple so in love. A few church people told me "your marriage is too egalitarian you are not following God's will for marriage. "I guess he is supposed to be my master and me the slave.

      I think you were around people who were very rigid and authoritarian and they were not the people for you. I was in the wrong place too and understand.

      Think about this as much as they criticized you, were their own lives in order? One was infertile, one was divorcing with a very angry and upset husband who perhaps tired of the religious oppressions. This was true of other Fix-Its in my life. One lived off her family not even paying her own living expenses and other problems. One thing as ACONs, we get used to the narcs telling us we are broken and it's everyone's job to fix us and order us about, but many of the people on the fix it projects are more broken and claiming they are perfect at the same time. Think about this why did they want you to give up on marriage and family? So they could feel superior? or something like that. People who want you to accept less in life are not friends. I got tired of the religious threats too. I am glad and happier to be free of hell and the whole mess of it.

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  5. Thanks anon. Yes my husband was supportive through all this. This helped a lot. I am glad I never tried to impose religion on him, though it got hard being hounded on constantly at times for having an "unsaved" husband.

    Some people who deconvert can have relationship problems especially if the spouse is still wanting to be in the church or religion that has been left. Yeah this has been a process of years for me too. I feel sad that you were told so many lies about being single and not be able to marry. I remember single people being told this stuff, to accept their fate and that this was God's will, often I got the feeling the marrieds simply wanting to lord it over. In many churches families are everything and being single is seen as a "black mark" and child-less a secondary "black mark". It's ironic because Jesus in the Bible never had a child or married. The "wonderful plans" for life stuff definitely was bunk. Hey I have been having my thoughts too about becoming a Christian, and I wasn't think prosperity junk but I at least thought God would answer a few prayers or allow me to improve things a bit or bring comfort. Christianity is sold as a life improvement plan to many [not prosperity for money] but better well-being, comfort, close cohesive fellowship and it didn't work out for me anyhow. The false promises can leave people reeling. I saw where they told young women that God would choose their spouse and other nonsense, and I thought many of those women could end up single forever, if they took all this overly idealistic advice seriously.

    I heard them tell single women even ones of advanced age "this is the place God wants you" etc etc.


    I am sorry Intervarsity oppressed you for not accepting "God's plans" or for doing false forgiveness they try to impose on so many ACONs.

    It sounds like to me you were brought up in an environment where you may have faced some prejudice and racism. I don't know if sociologists have studied this but I believe that interracial marriages are rarer in evangelical and conservative circles. Even if someone had wanted to date you very Republican parents may have dissuaded them. I ran into racist IFB people online who said that intermarriage between races was a sin. None of my churches took racist stands like this but I wondered if it was a subtle them.

    I believe if I had been raised evangelical or fundamentalist, I probably never would have married. I noticed in the IFB as the years passed, meek, mild, obedient women were the ones who were chosen for wives. I did not fit that personality. Purity stuff would have destroyed all my dating options, and I was better off being a non-believer during my dating years. My family was angry I married a non-Catholic and were against the wedding, and some didn't show up. So I had some weird religious garbage. I did "live in sin" before marriage and was considered in "religious rebellion" to the uber Catholic relatives. Some told me I was going to hell and a "heathen" for being a UU. It is good I am no contact now and they won't know of my religious deconversion and return to the UU. Purity culture does have connections to racism too and demands for what kind of female personalities are acceptable. I was too old and already married but a lot of evangelical advice I saw pertaining to family, marriage and children bothered me more and more. Their advice did not resemble or apply to my life. I thought they gave young women horrible advice in trying to find a husband and liked about physical attraction, sex and they pounded on men and women fitting certain stereotypes. I know that no "good" Christian man would have married me who wanted to impress his family and keep his church happy just from my weight and other disabilities. Yes they would have put these pressure on the young men to marry a certain kind of woman, and many could have dissuaded them even subtley from an interracial marriage.

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    1. corrections above should be--- LIED about physical attraction

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  6. I think, like my boyfriend, christians end up focusing on these "prophecies" in order to avoid facing the real problems in the world. some made up problems are easier to deal with than real ones? "easier" as many of these real problems are pretty bad. to cope with probably a better expression.

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    1. I think it's a form of escapism. Some want to escape the grim reaper--the rapture will come for us. Others feel overwhelmed with the problems of this world--oh God will blow it all up and make us a "new world". Some may be overwhelmed by their own personal problems and use this as an overall escape which probably applied to me. Sigh.

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