This is actually a post on my own blog, but I figured this group was a good place to talk about it also. When did you first get "saved" and what was it like? How do you feel now looking back on it?

I was three years old when I asked Jesus to come into my heart. Kneeling beside my grandmother's bed, my cousin Jarrod's hand in mine, we bowed our heads and asked for salvation. Of course, I worried that it didn't stick. I "rededicated" myself to God at age 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 19. I was 6 the first time I led someone to Christ, a little 4 year old girl who was attending the same "Fall Festival" party at a church that I was. I tried to convert gay friends in high school, by telling them that God loved them, even if his people were bigoted jerks. When I attended Vineyard Christian Fellowship, the pastor, his daughter, my mother and I used to go to a nude dance club to tell the women who worked there that they were beautiful daughters of God, and that they were always welcome to come by on Sundays. I really wanted God's love to be true. But the Christian definition of love includes condemnation and damnation. In defense of this harsh father figure, Christians will justify torture (hell), calling it correction; subjugation of women, calling it a parable for our relationship to God; and child abuse, calling it discipline.

That's not love. And that's why all those times I gave my heart to God, the loving feeling faded, and guilt and fear crept steadily in. Christian theology states that God is knocking on the door of our hearts, that Jesus is merely waiting for us to accept his gift of salvation and his love. But looking back on a lifetime of belief, I was the one who made all the overtures. I was the one who knocked, who asked, who gave. Like a bad date, time after time, God stood me up.

Tags: belief, reality, salvation

Views: 102

Replies to This Discussion

Oh wow, I need that word. I was raised by a "spiritual midwife" so I've seen some scary shit in the birth department, and I had a freaking horrible pregnancy/birth experience with my son (98 hours of back labor), so I'm a 3-kinds of birth control person now. (implant, condoms, and spermicide) But if they ALL failed, I'd have an abortion. I'm not going through that again.
I've seen still births and ruptures and tears and just about every other horrible thing you can imagine. I think fear of pregnancy is RATIONAL and sane. Actually there must be some kind of evolutionary/hormonal explanation for why more women aren't afraid of it, because otherwise we'd all be on three forms of birth control all the time and the species would die out. (Oh, and with my first pregnancy I was using 2 forms but had also been told I was infertile by jackass male doctors.)
The doctor examined me for a child molestation prosecution when I was 7, so I wasn't on birth control. He just ruled that there was clear evidence of abuse, and that "as torn up as she is, she'll never have kids". (I have one bent fallopian tube and other damage from a year of sexual assault as a child.)

I can copy-paste the above response if you want, but first check out the really long one I put in there, and let me know if you still want this redundant one :)
TOCOphobia is the fear of childbirth
I was raised in a Lutheran church that didn't preach the "age of accountability" nonsense or any of that. In our church, if you believed in your heart that Jesus was your savior, that was enough. However, in my early teens I attended a big Christian music festival and it was there that I "got saved" or "rededicated" or whatever you want to call it. After that, I started going to a youth group at my friend's Pentecostal church and learned all their weird dogma, like speaking in tongues and the Rapture.

When I was 21, at a missionary training school in Florida, my roommates and I had a "spiritual experience." We played worship music and read the Bible and prayed over each other for hours. They kept praying that the Holy Spirit would come upon me and expected me to start speaking in tongues. I didn't; I just didn't feel anything but a lot of pressure to do what they wanted me to do. The charismatic Christians might say that was a sign that I was never really saved. There was no doubting my fervor and dedication to the faith, though. I fully expected, after the missionary school, that I would go to Iran and die a martyr for the faith.
Florida is a great setting for kooky spiritual experiences and ghost sightings.
Hehe I was going to die as a martyr in Mozambique! Also thought to be infertile and tried Casey Treats book which said with the right faith and preparation childbirth would be next to painless! Needless to say I was too much of a sinner for god to grant me such an awesome gift. Sic. So 3 C-sections later after praying frantically for a natural birth and believing in spite of much fertility treatment that it was god who made me pregnant. (The poor Doctors. I apologise for not giving you the credit for all your brilliant treatment) I realise that I am probably one of the women that nature never intended to be pregnant. I didn't want to have kids from when I was 16 (mind you I was thinking about being a nun) but my mother was so devastated by the idea that I wouldn't have kids that I considered it a really really bad thing for me not too. I am NOT cut out to be a mother. Grrr. I gave my life to the lord at 10 when preached to in the school playground by other kids. i had been in church every Sunday since I was born so it was no biggie. Then I had to get the evidence of praying in tongues which took some sweat but I eventually made it happen. Got rebaptised as an adult at the urging of some american fundie or other and rededicated my life to do it "better" over and over.

When I left the church I expected lighting to strike me dead. 3 Months later I realised that it really wasn't going to. My biggest giggle is that I can still speak in 'tongues' the evidence of commitment my foot! All other spiritual 'experiences' I ever had are still available to me. If I put myself in the 'mood' all the things that my brain is programmed to manifest during worship or prayer still happen. Sigh All that time I thought it was miraculous, god, supernatural etc. I can still look at someone and 'know' stuff about them that previously I would have put into prayer and they would have marveled at my connection with god that he told me all that stuff about them. Uh not supernatural just normal connections between the human family. Sooo glad that I have been saved from the saviour!
I was gonna go deliver HIV-infected babies in Saharan Africa for my faith, lol. I think I'm not of child-bearing stuff either, frankly. But I was raised with "spiritual midwifery" and felt like a failure as a woman when I was told I was infertile (and I felt shame, because the infertility was caused by sexual abuse). I definitely think that, whether physically like me (98 hour labor isn't NORMAL) or emotionally/personality/whatever, some women aren't built for motherhood, and that's an okay choice. I think in another generation or two, it won't even be a big deal if a woman chooses never to have kids.
i can still pray in tongues too! shame i can't find much use for it :)
I think maybe we should have a video project, like where all the ex-christians film themselves speaking in tongues and make a montage like the Big Gay Collab?
Why I pray to Jesus every day dear: "Oh Jesus, please save me from your followers"
laughter
this turned out to be a lot longer then I had intended.
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I'm not really sure if I can say I was ever "truly saved." The church I was apart of had baptism and didn't confirm you until your teenage years because they actually wanted you to understand what you were doing. The minister running the thing told us all that if we didn't want to be there we shouldn't be there, which meant I shouldn't really have been there since I was just there to appease my dad; I had lost my faith by this point. However I have what I considered to be a saved experience at a Christian camp my parents sent me off to for 4 summer (Ontario pioneer camp if you really wanna know.) My parents are actually quite moderate Christians so they had no idea how fundamentalist this camp really was. Now to be fair other then the Christian thing it was a very good camp, they owned a huge area on the lake it was on and it was clearly very well funded with sailing ships, windsurfers, a ton of kayaks etc. It also wasn't nearly as bad as the sort of camp you saw in the movie "Jesus Camp," we weren't speaking in tongues and crying for Jesus or anything like that, but they still did their sermons, we had worship every day after breakfast with the Christian rock band with a group bible study right after, they talked about getting saved and an informal poll I did at one point showed me most of the councilors did not believe in the big bang or evolution. One of the bible studies even concluded that dinosaurs probably did exist, but they were around when humans were around. This was a very bad setting for someone young, curious and very impressionable. This was all very new to me, and when my parents picked me up two weeks later they were a little bothered by the questions I was asking about Satan and sin and stuff like that. They still sent me back to this thing for 4 years. During this time I became quite the fundamentalist douchebag. I started thinking being gay was the worst thing ever and was vocal about it, I denounced evolution and the big bang, I got really visibly offended at school if anyone said even the most mildly offensive thing about Christianity, I tried to correct anyone who said Christianity was based on fear by telling them "no it's all about forgiveness." Needless to say, I look back years later and regret wasting my high school years. The saved experience came in my second year there, and it seems so stupid to me now but here it is. I remember I was doing a lifeguarding course for free there and one guy was having trouble making the cutoff time in his 500 meter swim and he was way off, about a minute off. So I prayed for him and asked god to let him make a certain time that was about two minutes below the cutoff, I can't remember the exact time at this point though but I only specified minutes not seconds or anything. He later came to me all exited; he had got the same time I had prayed that he'd get. At that moment I had a profound religious experience, must have been a lot of endorphins and and that night I silently prayed to god accepting him and jesus christ into my heart. Looking back it was very profound, but also very negatively affected my life. I became an even bigger fundy douchebag and was more open about it. My parents became very concerned actually, as I said before they are extremely moderate Christians, and they didn't realize I was getting this from the camp. I look back with regret and think of some of the experiences I gave up because I followed that stupid stupid religion. I didn't be a rebellious teenager when I had the chance. Even though I lost my faith as a teenager, around 16, the damage was done and I really didn't start to loosen up until years later after high school was over. Strangely enough, another experience I had at the camp played a huge part in my fall from grace but this post has already gone long enough so I'll end it here.

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