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#233766 - 06/26/08 11:51 AM For those Angry at God
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In responce to those who have experienced abuse in the name of God, I offer the following POV.

I feel that I must point out that my faith in the Lord is not, will never and has not ever been based upon people. Nothing in the bible mentions anything about ever having faith in any humans. It never mentions (in the new testament) putting ANY individual in a higher role or high position of power that anyone else. Thus, I'm clearly not Catholic (I only mention Catholoisism because there is a lot of confusion surrounding the "Christian" label)

The bible does call for us to fellowship with others (just like we do here). That, bible-based education and support are the only things I seek in a church.

Is what some people experience within a church "in the name of God" dissapointing, destructive and hurtful? Heck YES! Will I allow people to shake my faith in the Lord? Heck NO - NEVER.

My life was SO dramatically changed once I was saved, you'd probably say I "turned a 180" at age 14. From that day-on, Christ was the only entity that stuck by me no matter what.

It makes me SO sad to read how people abuse. How they abuse the church, children, the name of God, money etc.

This is where I get up on MY soap box:

If you ever put people in positions of authority you will have abuse. I believe that to be an absolute law of reality for life. People are sinful no matter what. Christians are not free of sin. No where in the bible says we will be free of sin. It does say we will be freed from our sins if we accept Christ as our savior. Many people have the wrong idea surrounding that issue. They believe that Christians and their leaders are supposed to be free of sin. They are WRONG! And many love to point a finger of "SEE !!!! Look at that hypocrite" when Rev Jimmy-Joe-Bob-Redwhiteblue Fs-up and is found in a hotel room with an ounce of cocain and a prostitue.

Authority and power allow abuse! Think about it. Even in the non-church-based CSA cases here and anywhere, what is a common denominator? Power and authority. So why would a church be any diferent? Where you have people in power and authority, you'll have abuse!

There are millions of cases abuse of power...no? To EVER expect human nature to change is foolish. Thus we ought never-ever put people in positions of authority and higher power when it comes to religious faith and fellowship. The bible does NOT call for us to do that!!! If you do, you get abuse....ALWAYS!

I'm VERY sorry for the abuse anyone experiences "in the name of the Lord." Those who commit such an act will be held accountable. Those evil ones are actually working for the other side...trying to drive you away and get you to hate God. And from what I hear and read everywhere...they are making a lot of progress. I just hope that someday you'll get to experience God's love the way I do.

I hope none of this offends any of you or ticks you off at me. But I feel a need to at least try to clear up some points of mis-understanding.

I'm no bible schollar, but I invite ANY questions or challenges to my faith. If I did not welcome these challenges, my faith would not be considered real anyway.



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/26/08 11:54 AM)
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#233770 - 06/26/08 11:59 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Selfish, self-centered, brat-boy, Bump

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#233774 - 06/26/08 12:18 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Rob,

I share many of your points of view.

I've seen people apply Christianity the right ways, and I've seen them apply it the wrong ways. I had people reach out in caring ways to me in the name of Jesus, and I've had some abuse me in the "name of Jesus." Because there are people who applied in caring ways, I have to conclude it's not the concept of Christianity itself that is abusive, but rather it is some of the people - those who are self-serving - who are abusive.

As you said, where there is power in an organization, or person, there is potential for abuse. It doesn't matter if one is Christian, atheist, non-conformist, whatever-ist. If they have power over person or people, the potential for abuse is present.

A

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#233778 - 06/26/08 12:45 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Robbie,
There are guidelines for people who oversee the the internal affairs of the church. 1 TIM 3:1-6 and Titus 1:5-9.
I agree that power corrupts and you have to be very careful whom you place in these positions of authority and have strict guidelines on them in using this authority.
ms has mods to ensure that the rules are followed or there would be caos . AS in life there are laws to keep order.
Is it perfect? no, we all fall short of the mark.
That's why we need Christ. WE ALL SIN and need forgiveness.
mike

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#233799 - 06/26/08 01:59 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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i'm cool

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#233810 - 06/26/08 02:21 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Robbie,

Thank you for this post. I am grieved by the occasional post on MS that seeks to blame our faith, our Savior, and by inference - all Christians in which I take as a personal attack for their CSA and resulting problems. I have to guard myself from such posts. I cannot read them because I am triggered horribly by them and if I allow myself, I will only add to the dissension by my reply. I easily become bitter over these things and I don't want that to happen. I REALLY, REALLY want MS to remain a safe place for all of us no matter what we believe. Unfortunately I don't always feel safe here. I prayed about this and about the post in question this morning while driving to work. MS means to much for me for these things to cause me to shrink back.

God bless you Robbie and thanks!
Mike

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#233820 - 06/26/08 02:54 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Barkabus]
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Mike,

You raise a good point. In my mind I did an immediate comparison to the two sides:

** One side doesn't feel safe if their faith is attacked, or perceived to be attacked.

** The other side does not feel safe with the perception that Spirituality, or specifically Christianity, is prevalent on the site.

In my near-four years on the site, I have not seen how it would be possible to reconcile the two sides, since they are so opposed to each other. Neither side wishes to feel insulted by the other, but it's gonna happen simply because each of us is not really responsible how a person perceives messages. However, we are all of course responsible for how we conduct ourselves on the site. I have my view of what this means, as I'm sure others do.

Andy

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#233832 - 06/26/08 03:17 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: FormerTexan]
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I saw your post. i got sucked into reading it. Then I remembered. It all came back. A little blond 6 year old boy in Hawaii attending the Church of Christ on the Navy Base. The priest had a back stairwell that led to the basement. I remember now being molested by this man under the stairs during Sunday School. Wow, I forgot all about it, sort of. I tried talking to my first therapist about it and it got blown off. But I haven't talked to anyone else since then until now. I believe in God, okay? But I don't know why he allows this crap to happen to kids. Maybe someone would like to take a stab at that question.


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#233834 - 06/26/08 03:23 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: michael banks]
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Originally Posted By: michael banks
Robbie,
There are guidelines for people who oversee the the internal affairs of the church. 1 TIM 3:1-6 and Titus 1:5-9.
I agree that power corrupts and you have to be very careful whom you place in these positions of authority and have strict guidelines on them in using this authority.
ms has mods to ensure that the rules are followed or there would be caos . AS in life there are laws to keep order.
Is it perfect? no, we all fall short of the mark.
That's why we need Christ. WE ALL SIN and need forgiveness.
mike


Certainly, once a earthly organization is formed, it needs to adhere to all laws.

A "church" need only consist of two or more people. Again though, placing anyone as and equal to or proxy of Jesus is complete folly.


What I was also saying was that as soon as you place anyone in authority, dont expect them to be super-human and free from sin. The opponents and enemies of Christ LOVE to point that finger of condemnation as soon as Rev Jimmy-Joe-Bob is found with the prostitute....NO? And they all say "See...Christianity is a big fat lie!"


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#233838 - 06/26/08 03:32 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: LW1527]
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Originally Posted By: LW1527
I saw your post. i got sucked into reading it. Then I remembered. It all came back. A little blond 6 year old boy in Hawaii attending the Church of Christ on the Navy Base. The priest had a back stairwell that led to the basement. I remember now being molested by this man under the stairs during Sunday School. Wow, I forgot all about it, sort of. I tried talking to my first therapist about it and it got blown off. But I haven't talked to anyone else since then until now. I believe in God, okay? But I don't know why he allows this crap to happen to kids. Maybe someone would like to take a stab at that question.


LW,

I don't speak for anyone else here...just my own views on this and what I firmly believe. That is: God did not "allow it to happen." He did not "make it happen." Nor does he promise us that bad will not happen to any of us. In fact, he promises Christians that they will be persecuted by the world for being Christians.

Bad stuff happens. YOU, right now...and I, right now can sit in our cars and mow-over pedestrians to our heart's content. Will God stop us? No. Free will allows us to hurt others. It also allows us to help others. Similarly, no one is commanding you to come to MS and be a help to the injured boys and men here...but you chose to do it all the same.

Just MY belief \:\)

BTW: Other Christians can feel free to hop in and bail me out :0



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/26/08 03:35 PM)
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#233840 - 06/26/08 03:47 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: michael banks]
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Originally Posted By: michael banks
Robbie,
There are guidelines for people who oversee the the internal affairs of the church. 1 TIM 3:1-6 and Titus 1:5-9.


These do say that "an elder must be blameless" and deacon be of sound, true nature. However, gievn that no humans are free from sin and super-human (above reality of human sin-nature) they are all destined to sin...No?

An elder must be "blameless." At the point where he is discovered to be of blame, he is no longer an elder. he must be removed from position. I cant (so far) find anywhere the bible says (NT) that we need to structure our church with ANY hirearchy whatsoever.

Structure and given-authority were a very significant factor of all churches back then. Clearly evolved from the Jew's structures. If we DO assign a leadership hirearchy, then yeah...we ought to adhere to those rules.

But again though, if we put "faith" in people, we are destined to be dissapointed and judged by the world. I've seen plenty of instances where people put faith in their church leaders to "be good" and "be above reproach." And when the leaders fall in disgrace, the organized church is in shambles, some followers are discouraged in their faith and the outside world condemns us as hypocites and liars.

Because the Catholic church puts ample faith in people, they are vulnerable to summary judgement and world condemnation as soon as one of their "people" commit horrible sin.

When Rev Haggard was caught in sin, the media and enemies of the Christ rushed to point out to the world that Christianity was all BS. Why and How could they do that? Because some/many put super-human faith in a PERSON.

If we DONT put faith in people and their performance, we will never get caught in those train-wrecks.

BTW: I define Faith and Expectations quite differently.



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/26/08 04:01 PM)
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#233851 - 06/26/08 04:43 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: LW1527]
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lw1527, thanks for the opportunity to share on this topic. my take is this [and it is just mine, but you posed a question which elicits a response in me, so i will share; and btw, i am neither frowning or typing angrily into the computer]

god neither allows nor disallows things to happen to people. it happens because we live in world that is in the process of evolving. there is no eye in the sky pulling any strings. it is all out of control. shit happens, but any shit that happens to us is happening to god as well. that is the whole point of christ. if it touches us, it touches him.

i am not 'a' christian, whatever that is. i do not subscribe to specific institutional religious beliefs. however, i am christian in the sense that in my years of searching for the divine in all things, christ as savior and redeemer of my tendency to 'fall down down down' is the best answer to how thing can go 'up up up' at all.

and is it foolish to look for a messiah in all this crazy mish-mash, this world of shit? i think not since all we have to do is look back behind us and see throughout his/herstory every race and culture reaching out beyond themselves to understand the same kinds of questions that we face today.

some far far greater minds than mine have offered profound insights on the topic of suffering and its purposes. there is an excellent book on the subject of suffering from the christian point of view. i studied it during my time i lived as a trappist monk at gethsemani monastery. written by dom von zeller it is called approach to suffering. unfortunately it is out of print, but if you ever get a chance to visit gethsemani for a retreat, it would be worth going just to check out this publication and some of the others that are written on this topic. modern day mystics are still interested in it, and amonst their numbers i include all of us here.

ron

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#233859 - 06/26/08 05:36 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: FormerTexan]
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Rob - right on for starting this thread (or bumping it) and affirming your own experience and view and feelings. That is great.

The post I made actually followed a long conversation with a friend from MS, part of which was about how religion becomes divisive here so I would like to state very clearly - I don't in any way feel part of a "side." Alot of the people who responded to that post were Christians who were able to affirm my safety to speak up here. I definitely do not feel like I am not on their side and they not on mine. I feel much more connected to them now.

But Andy, I also want to make clear about something. The prevalence of Christianity here does not make me feel unsafe. The feeling that I can't say certain things here because it might offend people, does.


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#233861 - 06/26/08 06:17 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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I'm confused!

First I thank you for this post, Rob. It definitely, for me is very thought provoking. And that is something good for me, and probably for many of us.

Yes I do belive in God, I consider myself a Christian. And I know that God did not, as you say "make it happen." I know he is sad also when traumatic events happen to people, to countries, to the nation.

But I am confused by the statement that God did not "allow it to happen." Yes, we all have free will, but God can do anything, he can perform miracles, he can heal the sick and can do whatever he feels or wants to do. Then in my feeble mind, He/God DID let CSA happen to me. I don't blame him or hold him at fault. But I do know that he could have stopped it.

Am I wrong here or am I just not seeing or understanding something?

Ken

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#233866 - 06/26/08 06:28 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: KENKEN]
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Ken,

I think I see what you are saying. I agree God did allow it to happen, but that to me is once again on the basis of free moral agency. In other words, God is not going to step or send an angel in between two people and shout "No!" Yes, under certain biblical circumstances, God intervened to show that He is God (I.E. Daniel and the lion's den, parting the Red Sea, etc). However, it is not God's way to come up to us and direct our every choice, including those of our perpetrators.

I have this theory that if we took a poll of the population in general and asked how many of them would want God interfering with their choices of today, most of them would say not at all. They would want the control over their choices, they would not want God making their choices for them. By the way, that applies to everyone across the board, even ones who commit crimes whom we do not know about. Otherwise it would be partiality.

Andy



Edited by FormerTexan (06/26/08 06:29 PM)
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#233877 - 06/26/08 07:29 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: KENKEN]
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Originally Posted By: KENKEN
I'm confused!
...But I am confused by the statement that God did not "allow it to happen." Yes, we all have free will, but God can do anything, he can perform miracles, he can heal the sick and can do whatever he feels or wants to do. Then in my feeble mind, He/God DID let CSA happen to me. I don't blame him or hold him at fault. But I do know that he could have stopped it.


Sorry for the confusion Ken. I was not clear there. I went looking for this answer myself off and on through the years. I had to given that I use to pray to him to stop the sexual abuse and the physical beatings from my father....and the fear of being killed by him in my sleep. He never stopped it for me.

Then I prayed for him to kill them...kill the perps and kill my father. He did not kill anyone. So I prayed for him to kill me...and here I am tapping keys 30+ years later.

The way I should have stated that he "did not allow it to happen" ought to have been "he would not disallow it."

To visualize it beyond myself, I looked at the hollocaust. If he did not hop-in there and change what we saw, why was he gonna stop things for me?

The other aspect that I see is that I have no idea what he actually may actually have stopped. I am willing to accept that I don't neccesarily know everything God has planned.

For example, there was a USA Army platoon in Viet Nam that was in the jungle for WAY too long. They were tired and in a generally pissy mood. HQ radioed in to them to clear an area of the jungle of a certain large diameter and do it now. The soldiers questioned the LT why they ought to do it and refused to do what seemed like more busy-work. HQ radioed again and asked if the area was clear of trees, etc. The LT had to say "no, it was not." He then found out that the entire region was to be napalmed that night as there was a vast concentration of NVA active there. The clearing was to be the landing zone for helicopters to extract that platoon. So the end result was no napalm attack, and no extraction of the tired platoon.

I accept that there are things I can't control in life. There are aspects of God's world and reach that I will never comprehend, and to attempt otherwise would be futile.

Sorry...long way to say "he did not dissallow it."





Edited by Robbie Brown (06/26/08 07:29 PM)
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#233894 - 06/26/08 08:22 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: testingWaters]
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Originally Posted By: testingWaters
Rob - right on for starting this thread (or bumping it) and affirming your own experience and view and feelings. That is great.

The post I made actually followed a long conversation with a friend from MS, part of which was about how religion becomes divisive here so I would like to state very clearly - I don't in any way feel part of a "side." Alot of the people who responded to that post were Christians who were able to affirm my safety to speak up here. I definitely do not feel like I am not on their side and they not on mine. I feel much more connected to them now.

But Andy, I also want to make clear about something. The prevalence of Christianity here does not make me feel unsafe. The feeling that I can't say certain things here because it might offend people, does.


Matt,

Just so you know, I did not post this as a counter to your post. I've wanted to say all of this for quite some time now. I looked at the stregnth and conviction and said to myself "its time."

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#233911 - 06/26/08 09:03 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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TW,

"But Andy, I also want to make clear about something. The prevalence of Christianity here does not make me feel unsafe. The feeling that I can't say certain things here because it might offend people, does."

Pardon me please for I do not wish to over-generalize.

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#233928 - 06/26/08 09:33 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: testingWaters]
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Originally Posted By: testingWaters
... The prevalence of Christianity here does not make me feel unsafe. The feeling that I can't say certain things here because it might offend people, does.


Matt,

Is that limited to Christians or inclusive of other categories as well?

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#233932 - 06/26/08 09:37 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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More specifically?


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#233935 - 06/26/08 09:50 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: testingWaters]
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Other categories that label people: Gay, Jewish, Conservative, Black, White, Male/Female...etc

In other words, not only Christians can be offended based on challenges to this aspect of their life (although NO one can offend this Christian with challenges on Christianity...so far).

I guess what I'm digging at is this: Does Christianity own a special plot of land in the CSA landscape to the exclusion of other life-categories?

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#233947 - 06/26/08 10:06 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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bad idea for me to do this one right now. love tw



Edited by testingWaters (06/26/08 10:11 PM)

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#233950 - 06/26/08 10:08 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: testingWaters]
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This is one topic that I think that I better stay away from!!!!!!

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#233963 - 06/26/08 10:53 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Trucker51]
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Originally Posted By: testingWaters
bad idea for me to do this one right now. love tw


Originally Posted By: Trucker51
This is one topic that I think that I better stay away from!!!!!!


K....but why post that you are not gonna post?



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/26/08 10:59 PM)
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#233975 - 06/26/08 11:55 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Christianity seems to own plenty of "special plots of land", especially here in this country. And there seems to be an entire cadre of radicals ready to defend their sacred turf.

Twice in support groups, once this spring on an ex- cult member support site, and the other time in a substance abuse and CSA group in Arizona in 1999, members of my mother's radical cult have tried to shout me down and/or intimidate me into silence. The level of their hatred of ex-members is astounding. The guy that they planted in Prescott had a minor alcohol issue and no CSA issue, but he was the son of a long-time business associate of my step-dad's and radically fervent in his beliefs. I didn't get 10 seconds of my problems with my mother's cult out and he was shouting me down in front of the entire group. And the thing on this other support site is bizarre. The cult has made a habit of monitoring the site, to try to figure-out who the person is, to try to silence them. This happened in April, even though the cult membership is down by 75% in the last 30 years.

In Minnesota I had a Southern Baptist preacher in my sober house and in group too. We used to argue up a storm over every issue under the sun. Conservative vs. Liberal, Radical Christianity vs. Atheism, Rich vs. poor, Unrestrained Capitalism etc, etc. But two years later when I was leaving Minnesota, he sought me out and told me how much that he cared and how much that I had been of help to him in the eight months that we had shared the sober house together. My experience with him was rough at first, but nothing like my ongoing problem with the cult. Not one person from the cult has ever tried to support me, all that they want is to keep me feeling small.

The other site is Christian Way.org, and a much different version of my story is on their site listed as Mark's story. You don't have to register to read their topics or respond anonymously. Of course, my story is also on here in two parts. I posted it a month ago when I first joined.

So Rob, I am not trying to discourage your faith. I am just trying to get you to see it from my perspective.

Please don't take offense either. Did you see my response in the Rochester Post Bulletin in response to Tom's story. It is a bit long, but I was counting on a wider format. I made a strong and convincing arguement. Now I just have to figure out how to edit it!!! Just have to wait and see, I guess.

Thanks for caring in advance, my man.

Mark

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#233984 - 06/27/08 12:30 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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I had responded then deleted it because I'm feeling a little too tender for it right now. But when you edit a post you gotta put something there.


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#233985 - 06/27/08 12:31 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Trucker51]
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Originally Posted By: Trucker51
So Rob, I am not trying to discourage your faith. I am just trying to get you to see it from my perspective.


NO problem at ALL. You cant shake my faith. What you said above only solidifies my position that we ought never put people in positions of un-natural authority in the name of God.

It looks and sounds like some genuinely sick stuff went on with this cult your mother is in. These folks are NOT Christians! Not by any stretch of the definition. They are doing exactly as they are commanded...to hurt you and drive you far away from God...to get you to hate God and spread the news.

Well, they need to be put in their place. I'll stand out front with you...with a bull-horn to tell them what they are.

Quote:
Christianity seems to own plenty of "special plots of land", especially here in this country. And there seems to be an entire cadre of radicals ready to defend their sacred turf.

Twice in support groups, once this spring on an ex- cult member support site, and the other time in a substance abuse and CSA group in Arizona in 1999, members of my mother's radical cult have tried to shout me down and/or intimidate me into silence. The level of their hatred of ex-members is astounding.


Again..these are NOT Christians! They can CALL themselves Christians all day long....they arent anything but evil lost nut-cases. These are sick bastards that think they can get away with more by wearing the label. They wil all pay.

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#233989 - 06/27/08 02:01 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Rob:

They always project such a normal outward appearance, but you have to live it to experience what they are all about. They are currently down to 60,000 to 70,000 hard-core members here in the US and almost half of their onetime total of 2,000 churches have closed down in the last 30 years. Many of the others are just barely keeping it afloat. Their church in Pasadena, CA, just happens to be one of their wealthiest remaining congregations. The building is 95 years old and was originally built to seat over 1,500. These days they are lucky to draw 80-90 mostly elderly members on a Sunday, and are kept alive by endowments. Their Sunday school recently drew maybe 25 kids. And they are the last of 3 grand Pasadena churches that have had to combine to survive. Their decline is starting to look a lot like what happened to the Shakers. Except as they collapse they are adopting a siege mentality. Everyone else is to blame and needs to be silenced. You are right, they are one sick group promoting one very sick concept. And I am stuck with them until she is gone, no matter how much distance I can put between 1974 and now.

The branch church that I grew-up in closed its doors in the early 1990s despite having been crowded with as many has 200 adult members and 100 or nore kids as recently as the early 1970s. The adults died off and the kids quit coming, as they all realized just how far out on a limb that the concept was. And now we are being blamed for what happened by what remains of the membership, as they flounder helplessly in search of a scapegoat. There is even some splinter faction who now embrace members who choose medicine.

Thanks for your support Rob. I really appreciate it.

Mark

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#233990 - 06/27/08 02:27 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Trucker51]
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To those who hurt us in the name of anything good... We Are Strong! and you will not defeat us!

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#233998 - 06/27/08 03:58 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Rob & all

When I read the initial topic I copied something to clipboard and decided to read through the rest of the thread. I got most of the way through but to be entirely honest, I've lost interest and am now curious as to what's on my clipboard. So I'm going to quote it and see if I'm still inspired to say something to it:

Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
Those evil ones are actually working for the other side...trying to drive you away and get you to hate God. And from what I hear and read everywhere...they are making a lot of progress. I just hope that someday you'll get to experience God's love the way I do.


Oh Yeah!

I just wanted to say that when I 'sorted' out where I was at with religion/God/spirituality... I came to recognize that I was "categorically failed by what I believed God was." and actually not failed by what I am comfortable with calling, "God".

Andy mentions in his reply that he has seen people apply Christianity in the right ways and he's seen them apply in the wrong ways.

For me the times that I've seen "Christianity applied in the right ways" have been so few and far between that I just don't care to call myself a 'Christian' anymore.

Similarly as a web developer, I have to make sure the code I write looks good in all the popular browsers. I check it in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Other browsers simply don't have enough market share for me to care about using those browsers... It's simply not worth my time or effort to bother with it.

Throughout my life, the market share of Christians actually applying Christianity "in the right way" has dropped way below acceptable levels to actually still think of faith as being a good thing for me...

I was never directly hurt by anyone "in the name of the Lord". However, I can look back and see significant trauma brought on by people misusing the teachings of the Bible to instill terrible fear and condemnation in me with the hopes that the outcome would be, likely, better behaviour and stronger conviction when it comes to Sin and maintaining faith.

I don't believe the ** M A N Y ** people who taught me about fear were 'evil doers' by any stretch of the imagination. Rob, you say that they were "working for the other side...trying to drive you away and get you to hate God." but I'm afraid I disagree. I feel they were actually trying to get me to follow God, inadvertently employing fear as a reason for me to continue following God until I was old enough to figure out better reasons for myself.

I'm old enough now to think for myself and have evaluated much of what I was taught. Again, I believe those teachers had a true passion for God and thought they were teaching me the right way. In my case, it truly backfired and for that, I'm finished with organized religion for a very VERY long time.

On the upside I am openly a very spiritual person and I am experiencing a closeness to "God" that I've never had before. Evicting/renouncing religion from my life has been one of the greatest steps I think I've ever taken for myself.

In closing, I do want to note that I don't judge those whom are letting the whole 'Christian' thing float their boat. Others have different experiences with it that are genuine and nourishing. I believe that there is potential for a lot of good to come from such things but like I said, that has been entirely lost on me.

Cheers,
~Brian




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#234027 - 06/27/08 09:09 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: frost]
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That's cool Frost. That's your experience.

My only questions:

1) How do you define "fear of God?"

2)
Quote:
I came to recognize that I was "categorically failed by what I believed God was."


What did you think God was and how did it/he fail you?



My only comment:

1) I don't believe Christianity is "applied." I actually can't think of any single instance where/when I can say one applies it. You either have Jesus in your heart or you don't. I dont ever veiw Christianity is a "philosophy" or "method"....ever.



Thank you for hopping-in.

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#234046 - 06/27/08 10:29 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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initial comment: this is a really intriguing thread, it seems to bring out the worst in all of us, or at least challenges us to hold up our own ideals to a greater light.

none of us wants to recast our own very personal experiences thru the filter of another person's biased point of view. rob, i do not mean this as an attack, but at some point i have to ask, regarding your beliefs, who are you trying to convince, us or you? i would really like to get to know you and understand you, but i feel it not possible because of my own past experiences with religiosity. my question to you is valid, because my impression upon reading your commentaries are that your god is standing somewhere above you with a set of commandments ready at any moment to bring crashing down on your head, rather than walking along side of you arm in arm. i have to say i get an admiring chuckle every time i see your signature, because the 'born again christian ron' would have raised a shaking fist into the air with a hearty 'right on'! the 'ex-born again christian ron' see the statement now as a glass half-full mindset. but then again, i have fired the whole post a.d. christian senate that used to sit in my head and replaced it with a single person.

and not saying i am right, just telling you about me, but all the rhetoric you use smacks of a kind of christian fundamentalism lash that has left its scars on me over the 55 years of my experince with it.

admittedly, for a period of time in my life i used the whole jerry falwell/pat robertson camp as a benchmark for my own impossible moral standard; i used it to browbeat and berate myself for not being able to live down to all the expectations of the biblical writers. i just knew that i was not trying hard enough, and if i just kept pressing on and not looking back once having placed my hand to the plough, i would fight the good fight, run the race, and would find approval.

where was christ in all this, my friend, my savior, my redeemer? he couldn't get close enough to me; he'd have to make an appointment, but chances are, he's keep getting shuffled to the bottom of the deck. take a number jesus.....

one day, when i got into recovery, i realized that i had to let go of my systemic religious thinking, and just let god be god. and that was a brave leap for me, because that is the one thing ultimately that 'they' get you with: to walk away from your 'walk' would lead to the ultimate damnation, and is the proverbial sin against the holy spirit.

i didn't realize until i got into recovery that god is not interested in religion and its cliques. i slowly but surely began to accept my own frail, human nature with its tendency to sink, and one by one started to remove the chains that bound me to such a closed minded way of living.

in the process i become 'vulnerable' to other broader perspectives such as the rev mel white, that were not necessarily endorsed by the fundamentalist camp. and through that came to realize that i mostly needed saved from myself as a product of systemic indoctrination.

i became less afraid of god, and the old fear became replaced with a healthy respect of him. human dogma has no bearing for me on how my relationship with god measures up. so even tho i have chosen for my own personal with the divine, to wrap god in a human form in the person of jesus, i know that that is not the only way to find salvation [from one's self]. these outer figures are only models of who we are inside at our highest and best, and that's the beckoning finger i chose to be led by.

my words were not meant to offend, and i hope that they are received in the spirit that they are intended, simply sharing my truth with you.

ron

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#234069 - 06/27/08 12:34 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
michael banks Offline


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Robbie,
Relaxxxxx!!!!!
If you had read the versus that I gave, they have nothing to do with making someone equal to or replacing Jesus.
There is only one GOD and HE's not down here with us.
Also he gave us all free will to accept HIM or to reject HIM.
HE still choose to died for all of us.
your brother in CHRIST---Mike---

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#234072 - 06/27/08 12:45 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: michael banks]
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Originally Posted By: michael banks
Robbie,
Relaxxxxx!!!!!


I'm really not on edge about any of this. Completely calm. Maybe i write otherwise? I don't know. Sometimes rebuttals seem tense? *shrug*

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#234089 - 06/27/08 01:17 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Sans Logos]
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Originally Posted By: Sans Logos
none of us wants to recast our own very personal experiences thru the filter of another person's biased point of view. rob, i do not mean this as an attack, but at some point i have to ask, regarding your beliefs, who are you trying to convince, us or you? i would really like to get to know you and understand you, but i feel it not possible because of my own past experiences with religiosity.


Well...would you agree that:

1) there are AMPLE and regular attacks and slams on Christian faith and Christians here and in the media? If not, I can dig up hair-curling examples. I think we saw one here at MS yesterday with some pretty rough elements.

I mean, when someone says "I fucking hate Jesus" I don't think it too wild an idea to offer another survivor's perspective on same?

Furthermore, since Christianity is regularly blamed for CSA (which it clearly, in-arguably is blamed), don't you think I ought to at least attempt to be clear that my Christianity does not contain elements routinely present in CSA cases?

I DO feel, very strongly, that Christianity is targeted as a category quite unfairly. I'll go on about categories in another reply if you wish to know what I mean.

2) the "Spirituality and Survivors" forum just might be a place for spiritual discussion and arguments surrounding stuff here? I know that's a stretch, but gee wiz.... \:\) ?...or should it be a place to complain and attack?

3) that there are big bunches of misunderstandings and variations of what is called Christianity?

4) that if I have a view that may be helpful to my brothers in healing, wouldn't I be negligent in not floating out there?

I was speaking to a Mod recently. We discussed the fact that the "Spirituality and Survivors" forum was intended as a platform for (hold yer hat), spiritual discussions. It was directly compared (directly) to the existential rationale for a "Gay" forum. BTW: I've not seen any attacks on gays in that forum. I'm sure they have existed, but certainly not with the regular challenges and attacks on Christianity.

I'm certain that there are "idiological positions" described and taken in the Gay Forum. If I don't give a hoot in hell about these issues, I don't go there. Its never shoved down my throat.

It seems as if you feel that by posting my postion and clarification, I'm shoving it down your throat.

Quote:
my question to you is valid, because my impression upon reading your commentaries are that your god is standing somewhere above you with a set of commandments ready at any moment to bring crashing down on your head, rather than walking along side of you arm in arm.


THIS one realy has me confuzzled. Please show me a citation leading to that conclusion....porfavore!...seriously....PLEEZ show me!


Quote:
none of us wants to recast our own very personal experiences thru the filter of another person's biased point of view.


1) I totally fail to see how and where I ask anyone to do this.

2) that very thing does in fact go on here at MS all the time. We write-out our stories, we exchange viewpoints, we offer advice, we compare experiences, we seek wisdom from some the the professionals here and those whom have progressed greatly in their healing.

Here at MS, we offer POVs and we ofter food for thought in hopes of changing their POV. Dont believe me? See what happens when someone comes to MS thinking out loud that survivors are destined to molest children. What do you suppose happens?


BTW: I think you entirely missed the subject and focal points of my original post.




Edited by Robbie Brown (06/27/08 02:05 PM)
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#234111 - 06/27/08 03:20 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown

I was speaking to a Mod recently. We discussed the fact that the "Spirituality and Survivors" forum was intended as a platform for (hold yer hat), spiritual discussions.


how well i know... it was at my suggestion to the MOD at the time Wuamei that the name be changed from, at the time "Religion and Survivors" to what it is today, "Spirituality and Survivors". the change was requested specifically to escape the rantings of religious zealots who used it as a soapbox for impressing their own viewpoint on the entire community.

here's the original thread request

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#234138 - 06/27/08 07:23 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
frost Offline
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Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
How do you define "fear of God?"


To me, God represents that which cannot be explained. That which man cannot fathom.

When I was a child, I was taught to a solid understanding of God's wrath and how God dealt with sinners. I also feared God in such a way that I knew I couldn't ever 'live up' to his expectations (now what I call false needs).

Today I believe that God's neediness is based on man-made impressions. If God were all powerful this entity certainly wouldn't have basic human needs like relationship and a series of hoops to pass through in order to 'stay in the good books'.

Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
What did you think God was and how did it/he fail you?


Please note Rob that I was failed by what I believed God was.

One one hand God was the all-powerful being whom saw every move I ever made, including all of the sinfulness that I now call 'sexual abuse'. So to be fair, I also categorically failed God's expectations by not stopping the abuse.

On the other hand, God was touted to me as some sort of all powerful Saviour. He was somehow going to do what I couldn't do: save me.

I can't even venture a guess as to how many times I prayed, begged, even cried out for God's forgiveness and received silence in return. I later was taught that "God works through circumstances, the bible and the church". So I sought answers from the bible which only ever seemed to tell me how condemned and royally fucked I was. I also sought answers from the church at one point, only to find out later my confidence was betrayed.

Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
I don't believe Christianity is "applied." I actually can't think of any single instance where/when I can say one applies it. You either have Jesus in your heart or you don't. I dont ever veiw Christianity is a "philosophy" or "method"....ever.


Christianity is indeed 'applied'. In this statement you simplify what could be considered the essence of Christianity. "You either have Jesus in your heart or you don't."

Unfortunately that statement in and of itself carries varying amounts of weight depending on where it is used. There are constantly strings attached to it. For example, what do you believe happens to me if I don't have Jesus in my heart? It can be perceived as though the very definition of Christianity is based on this one fundamental judgment.

I hereby reject it.
~Brian

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#234171 - 06/27/08 09:09 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: frost]
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.



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/27/08 10:14 PM)
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#234175 - 06/27/08 09:22 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
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SORRY...not supposed to talke about mod actions



Edited by Robbie Brown (06/27/08 09:26 PM)
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#234181 - 06/27/08 09:29 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
MarkK Offline
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for what little it may be worth, Rob - I'm in you're corner on this one.

Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
when Christianity is taken for a red-neck truck-dragging, not a word is spoken nor deleted


it does seem more than a trifle ... off balance. but even God's holy Word gave warning of this. so I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised...

still hurts like **** though.

M


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#234344 - 06/28/08 06:51 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: MarkK]
Trucker51 Offline
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Rob and Mark:

Maybe we could create a subforum for those of us with issues from religious abuse. A number of us talk about ***triggers*** and religion, spirituality, and faith can be a trigger both ways. Both sides can get hurt from the fervent beliefs of the other side of the coin.

I realize that across society as a whole only 10% to 15% of us fall into the non-religious category. Yet this site should be a productive venue for all of us afflicted with the primary topic. Would it help to provide some seperation of the two parties? You will have your spiritual support and those of us with issues will have somewhere to go for our own spiritual issues and needs?

I am not trying to push my views on religion on anyone or attack anyone's long-held convictions. But at the same time you have to realize where I (and others) are coming from. I am not trying to offend you guys either.

I have always been an urban trucker with liberal politics. It would not be unusual, given where I am from or where I have been. Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York City and Boston, was my life for so many years. I was just trying to gain some trust with and offer some support to a couple of other people who seemed to be looking down the same road that I have been down. I wasn't out to hurt you guys or ridicule your beliefs.

Lets think about a separate way to support those with separate spiritual needs equally. Lets refrain from feeling hurt over each other's long-held beliefs. The main reason that we are here are our CSA issues.

Just want to let you know that I consider both of you guys my friends.

Mark

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#234352 - 06/28/08 07:25 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Trucker51]
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You guys check out Tom (Muldoon's) public disclosure in a mid-sized urban daily newspaper? How many of you managed to get over there and offer your support? We will just call it my 200th post. There is a link to the newspaper's website in his topic about a lack of men's groups from a few days ago.

Mark

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#234355 - 06/28/08 07:29 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Trucker51]
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Originally Posted By: Trucker51

I am not trying to push my views on religion on anyone or attack anyone's long-held convictions. But at the same time you have to realize where I (and others) are coming from. I am not trying to offend you guys either.


On this point I fully agree that ideals and bleifs ought not be pushed on others. However that principal needs to be observed by ALL people on ALL topics uniformly (Gay, Conservative, Liberal, Hillary/Obama, Mary-Ann/Ginger)...and I don't think that's possible.

I must also point out too that I was a total mess of a kid at 14. I was doing it for cash or just cuz. I was an angry snarling mess (I know....so what else is new). But I was led to salvation by this one hippie street evangelist who would not give up on me...even when I though he just wanted sex. So I don't want to deny others that same saving message that I received.

Quote:
I wasn't out to hurt you guys or ridicule your beliefs.


Dude...I know that! All is well \:\)

Quote:
Lets think about a separate way to support those with separate spiritual needs equally. Lets refrain from feeling hurt over each other's long-held beliefs. The main reason that we are here are our CSA issues.


AMEN to THAT!!!

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#234844 - 07/01/08 02:48 AM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: Still]
genXpoetsurvivor Offline


Registered: 07/01/08
Posts: 8
I'm not angry at God, but that might be because I developed a new way of believing in God. I'm not Christian, but I do not hate Christianity or even the way Christians believe in God. However, I think sometimes that my Dad may have used Christian language when sexually abusing me. Like eat this body, drink this blood, sort of thing regarding his abuse. So, growing up with my Mom taking me to church, everytime I ate Communion, somewhere in my memory or mind I was reliving what happened with my Dad.

This is one reason I don't call him my father.

I'll look into Christianity again although I'm very happy being a Gaian. I also read those Toltec wisdom books. I do, however, want to get the truth behind the teachings of Jesus and Communion, and all of that. Even if I don't become Christian.

Wait! I am angry at what I consider to be the Masculine side or Father side of God. I mostly worship Her, the Feminine side of God, but secretly resent even use of the word Father for God. This is out of balance. This is not working. I just got to keep distinguishing the difference between my Dad, a mortal human perpetrator, etc., with God the Father, immortal and love.


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#235114 - 07/01/08 10:42 PM Re: For those Angry at God [Re: genXpoetsurvivor]
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How I feel,

First of all, I would like to say, I read this string from start to finish. I have many several dissorders. This may not be a complete list, as more will be revealed. You already know the first one,second i am a recovering alcoholic, I have O.C.D. and let's tie in some inherited deppression,with a bow, just to make the package more appealing.

I belong to a fellowship to which i owe my life.(A.A.) It has saved my life,and I know no other way. Bonus info, I got all spun out yesterday,which in a nutshell has to do with disclosure (when to reveal my sexual self in relationships)That said: it's,One day at a time,stay in the moment(to the best of my ability)No future tripping and No Backtracking...That's how I roll.

So I find myself in a (let's face it)christian organization, and i Don't do organized religion, and yet there is no conflict.Let me explain,I should probably trancend past the hypocracsy I see in organized religion,i.e. How SOME people treat other people in organized religion,certain beliefs of mine, I believe their are a number of people,who are born gay(I have a huge resentment about that).

That said where do we go from here,my first question to myself is:Do I believe in a power greater than myself? Answer: Well, yes I do,through much soul searching I believe in a POWER,A SOURCE,A supreme something,mother nature,or father time,
GOD,Heavenly father,or any other label,i.e.(give me any other religion).It all works for me.

For me it's not about the label (A rose by any other name, does it not smell as sweet) In the end, all I need to know is their IS a higher power, and it is not ME.

In the physical world, if I need proof, I try to wrap my mind around a black hole, or better yet,that entity that control's all the black holes.Let's expand, all physical matter and the powers that govern..i.e.gravity,time...ect...

when i told someone(in the program)my black hole concept...They pointed out that black holes are so powerfull,that they swallow light.

Now, I'm sure you all know that many peoples concept's involve light.And this was pointed out to me... My reply was simply this,if your on the other side of the black hole...your going to need a strong a*s set of sunglasses.

O.K. lets dive into the non-physical side...I could talk on this subject FORE-EVER.

So, ...Let's just tell a personal story. MY dad has E.S.P. (I believe I also,i was feeling, before, said events, occured...this power was taken from me).Whenever my dad said, "Thats mom on the phone." I could pick up the phone and say, "Hi Grandma."
He was never wrong,and we didn't need caller I.D.(not that it was available then)

So,now that I've established that I am a "Believer",let's get back to the subject:Why did you let this happen to me?

The best that I can come up with, is that there are forces of good and evil,and these forces are allowed to exist in order to maintain, some form of, "PERVERTED",balance.

In the end, I believe, their will be a judgement day,and everyone will be held accountable for their actions...The good,and the evil will be separated through some type of distillation process. Off topic :(No alcohol for for me thank you).

Furthermore, I believe my justice has been already been served,my perp is already dead.(My councilor advised me at the time, that, I had the power to talk to him,or not...I let him die, ( in shame).

The fallout: I need to accept,that i am mentally ill, and that my maturity has been somewhat disrupted.

What a difference a day makes,yesterday I had a psychotic episode(i spun HARD).
Thankfully, my sponsor, and my grand sponsor saved me and pulled me back from oblivion,thet pulled me back into the liferaft,and we went the other direction back towards the light.

The difference is this: Yesterday it was a kind of,Welcome to the monkey house,and add a bag of CRAZY,sort of days.

And today,i am filled with a type of SERENITY,as i got a,asiatsu (oriental style) overbar type of massage therapy.(She stands on my back and massages me with her feet). Question:How deep? Answer:Bottom of the ocean.

This is just a guess,but I believe (And I have to clarify,she is a proffesional,no hanky panky) when two souls make a perfect union, (the re-oriention of the soul) Healing is at it's highest form.I only wish,I had enough money to get more messages.

Also I forgot to note, due to the lack of services on this island, I believe, I have found someone who can help me,it is not well known,but due to my extensive reading, there is an exception to having a same sex sponsor.(You have to justify why you need this relationship...and it can't be sexual).That's right, I'm pulling the trump card. ANYONE THAT WAS ABUSED AS A CHILD. And even though I haven't contacted her. I believe, I have found someone that can help.

TEARS OF JOY, Their is Hope.

1islandboy

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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