I no longer consider myself Christian anymore

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Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
February 14, 2013, 17:00

Hi Jordan,

It sounds to me you are going through stuff that other's on this forum have also been through, so know you are not alone. As Ann Maree said it is all part of the process.

If I can encourage you to see a difference between "God" and the "Church" often we put the two in the same basket and then become very disillusioned with God. The church teaches and has us believe that God requires so much from us, to do this and that, attend church so many times. Teaching prosperity ministry, that God will intervene in our lives to the smallest detail. Then when we find ourselves in a time of need and asking God to sort things out for us we find he doesn't. Creating hurt, pain, anger, disillusion etc. You mentioned about God not revealing himself to you as he did in the old testament. I believe there are many aspects of the bible that are for a time and place in history. There are many cultural things that are obviously meant for that day and age and have no relevance to our modern, western world. The church would have you believe that all aspects of the bible apply today. I don't really believe they can back that up with scripture.

I went through a time in my life where I was very let down by the church, God was not answering my prayers, he was not intervening in a terrible situation. In an effort to "help", people were quoting scriptures at me that were taken out of context, were not relevant and really just said silly things. This left me frustrated, hurt and wondering where the hell God was in all this. I felt like everything I believed in was a lie. I realised at that time that God did not intervene in our lives like the church would have us believe. It's easy to go along to church happily and say God is wonderful and answers all prayers when you haven't had to test that and go through some tough times.

I remember clearly feeling that I had been tipped upside down and all my beliefs, my faith, past teaching, values etc were tipped onto the floor. It was like I had a vision of this, everything scattered at my feet. I had to kneel down and examine everything and work out what was true for me and what wasn't, what was important and what wasn't. I started doing my own research of what it meant to be a Christian. And this took a lot of time. For me that means someone who believes in God and believes in the sacrifice of Jesus and that through our faith and belief in him we are saved. The apostles said the gospel was simple, it is, it is the church that makes it confusing and put conditions on our salvation.

You mentioned not judging others, hey if that's the criteria to get into heaven then we are all doomed. This is why the bible says we are all sinners and why we need the blood of Jesus to continually wash over us. Nowhere does it say in the bible we have to be perfect. I think maybe you are trying to have all this sorted and put away into your little filing system in your mind, all nice and organised. Life is not like that, it's messy. It seems maybe you have been spending too much time with yourself and all this has been going around and around in your head driving your nuts. Push it aside and focus on other things. Ease up on yourself, just enjoy being you and as others have said reach out to other LGBTI people and groups. Maybe just go with the flow and see where it takes you, I like what Forestgrey has said. 🙂

God bless

Joined in 2012
February 14, 2013, 17:26

Thanks Mother Hen 😛 I like what you said here

It's easy to go along to church happily and say God is wonderful and answers all prayers when you haven't had to test that and go through some tough times.

I experienced a post from a member of the Gay Christian Network forum where they said something like 'God answers all prayers – put your faith in Jesus', and I know they truly meant well in their message, and perhaps all their prayers have been answered, but it honestly didn't help me because God hasn't answered all my prayers, and I don't think they have been through what I've been through.

I think what I'll take away from all of the lovely comments is:

1) one day finding the courage to get into some sort of community/group where I can talk about things – most likely with other LGBTI people

2) taking niacin everyday for my depression because of the lack of answers from God

Joined in 2011
February 14, 2013, 22:47

Hi Jordan

It's late at night so I'm not going to reply properly now. However – I will do so over the weekend. For now – just wanted you to know I'm thinking of and praying for you.

Take care – you'll hear from me in this space soon!

Sarab xx

Joined in 2005
February 16, 2013, 14:02


Also – try to find a community of some sort – and I really recommend some sort of exercise

Those of us who live in the bigger cities sometimes look for Gay groups but you don't need to do that. Just look at any groups in your area.

Being Gay is a part of you – but it doesn't define you – anywhere that part isn't welcome isn't healthy – but having said that – you don't need to live only a world of Gay friends and groups ( in Sydney we say – Live in the Ghetto )

Have a look around – are there any groups you could join ? Bush walking (In NSW the National Parks Association run great bushwalks – it's a great way to get out and explore places)

Tai Chi ? Judo ? AiKiDo can be good ? Tramping ? Photography maybe ? Many places have Book clubs

And I found when I was depressed a number of years ago – it's not what the activity is that's important – – just go along to one or two a week and see if you CLICK with the people doing the activity. The ones I ended up doing were not ones I ever had an interest in but I clicked with the people and made friends that lasted decades and learned a new sport that I never dreamt of doing …..

I think you may find that will help on several levels ….Build a network, Get you out. Get your mind working on something new (which will allow it to process things in the back ground – often more efficiently). People often find a group they click with – or they often in the looking suddenly work out where they want to head – the act of looking for a group to join can have surprising consequences.

Joined in 2012
February 16, 2013, 14:22

Thanks Shadow, I'm going to an LGBT group on Monday, and I realized that, like you say, we sometimes focus too much on our sexual orientation when it really shouldn't be a big deal – in fact it can take over our lives when we think about it too much. Maybe I should delete all my gay news apps on my iPod because I literally think about my sexuality 24/7 and I think that's unhealthy.

In terms of exercise, I'm starting to clear up my room (It's not that I'm messy, I just have so much 'stuff' now and limited room as to where to put it:-/) so that I can start rowing again. My ultimate goal though is to set up my Weider X Factor and mount it onto the wall in the basement, because my door keeps warping and isn't a good fit in my room, but we're having the builders come to the house in less than a month so they'll be able to suggest a solution (because otherwise I'd have to be exercising in the hallway rather than my room, and that isn't much fun cause it's awkward and I can't listen to my music properly) and hopefully they'll be able to mount it on the wall for me.

Joined in 2005
February 18, 2013, 16:18

Hey Jordan – Good luck with the group (today ??)

Regarding exercise – I encourage it (and there's HEAPS of research that show that it helps with depression or even if you're just feeling low)

BUT I'm suggesting the groups for another reason – and that's to build connections (and that's why I included things like photography and book clubs)

LGBTI groups are really good – and we need them – but what I think you may ALSO find useful – is building connections with people you just click with.

Not only LGBTI people (but that's good to do !) – or Christians (particularly Christians of a particular thought – i.e. charismatic s or protestants etc) but just people.

Dungeons and Dragons playing people – or Trekkies or gardeners or – Bikers – or Dog owners – (these are some of the groups I have belonged over the years – although I'm A Sci Fi buff NOT a trekkie ! I could possibly be a whovian though !)

And if you want a group to discuss religious matters – you could see if there was a Unitarian church nearby.

(If you watch the Simpsons or Futurama – you will have seen a number of Unitarian Universalist Jokes as Matt Groening is both a mathematician and Unitarian but most people don't realise what the jokes are about – like an umberto ecco novel – you need the knowledge to understand the inferences)

Universalist Unitarians tend to be VERY broadminded. I was involved through a partner once with a Unitarian church that consisted of Buddhists, Pentecostal Christians. Hindu's, atheists and a number of people who were not easily classified. They tend to be VERY well educated, ethical and generally all round nice people – and extremely knowledgeable – and accepting – and don't tend to have an overall agenda (although individuals may).

Note – I'm not suggesting you (or anyone become a Unitarian). I'm NOT one myself but a number of people I deeply respect ARE. I am thinking you may find it a good place to discuss things though and see things from a different viewpoint – and many Unitarian churches will have people who are extremely well informed on religious and philosophical matters and you may find some ideas which might interest you there. It might just might be a way you can work out where you might want to explore.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
February 18, 2013, 19:21

Hey Jordan

Some great responses above. 🙂 It's great that you have recognised you miss the sense of community that the church offered you. Community offers us a sense of belonging and we all need to belong somewhere. However that's difficult to experience if you keep yourself locked away.

I agree with Shadow Boxer's comments on exercise and engaging with others for helping mood and general outlook on life.

How did the group go today?


Ann Maree

Joined in 2012
February 18, 2013, 21:43

Thanks guys 😛 I was really nervous because I've been a social/society virgin for many years now and I guess it was the unknown as well, but yeah, my mum, dad and I just met the executive director of the group. We had a good talk and he handed me some brochures at the end. He advised me to go to one of the group meetings, and if I wasn't comfortable with it, to go twice (cause usually the first time is awkward).

Still unsure (although that's just my fear getting in the way of everything yet again), it's all uncharted stuff for me and the road that the organisation is situated at can get really dangerous at night, so I'm a bit wary of that. But yeah, I would like to go to the group later this week or maybe next week. If it's good, hopefully it'll open some doors where I might even find out what I'm good at, and through that, possibly find a job I can do with their advice and expertise – they have a lot of resources there.

I might also be able to speak to someone here on Freedom2b who is gay and Christian and can empathise with what I've been through IRL (won't say who it is though for privacy of course), so that's cool.

Going to sort out my room tomorrow (or atleast make another attempt – lol). Want to get back into rowing asap because I can't wait much longer for the Weider X Factor to be put up.

Joined in 2011
March 3, 2013, 19:31

Hi Jordan,

how are things going?

I read your post a few weeks back and had a couple of things I wanted to say – but it's taken me longer than I anticipated to get there. So… my apologies first up!

I agree with so much of what the others have shared with you – and Jordan – nothing you have said is offensive. It's an honour and a blessing to share in your story – struggles, doubts and all. You are in excellent company I am sure in the struggles and doubts department!

You reflected on labelling yourself as a "Christian" as doing yourself and Christian faith a disservice – and were giving yourself a pretty hard time for not living up to the standards Christ modelled. Hmmm – my understanding of "Christian" is to be a follower of Christ. Christ who was compassionate, merciful, loving, kind… and yes – we all have a lot to live up to in that regard – but you're not alone there. If we all expected that to be a "Christian" was to live exactly as Christ lived – then I don't reckon there would be many "Christians" around! As for someone who models compassion, mercy, love and kindness – I've seen plenty of that from you in your responses to others on this forum. I also read somewhere that God expects less of us than we expect of ourselves… hmmm. that reminds me of God's great love for us.

I too, have been through a great period of questioning and doubts. Someone put it to me like this: "It's like everything you've ever believed has been tossed up in the air – and you have decide which bits to catch and hold on to… and which bits to let go of…" Does that ring true for you? (A bit like what Mother Hen said about everything being tipped onto the floor…)

I think the doubts and questions you express are healthy and normal. Particularly when one has experienced rejection or opposition from the church as many of us here have. I take comfort in the fact that God is bigger and more loving than many of the people who profess to follow him/her.

Forgive me if I jump all over the place in my response to your post – it's a bit of a stream of consciousness thing going on here!

I wanted to share with you a DVD series I have found very helpful. It's called "Living the Questions" I was pretty lucky to be able to borrow the series from the moderator of the uniting church in nsw – who comes to our church… it's expensive to buy but maybe with your internet savvy you may be able to track it down – maybe you could borrow it from a uniting church nearby? It goes through a whole lot of questions – and looks at them through the lens of progressive Christianity – a complete head spin for this little (ex) evangelical duck – but has begun to redefine the way I think about faith, Jesus, God… the whole box and dice… here's a link which may tell you what I'm on about…

You said you had been looking into some sort of meditative practice… I have just started a meditation course – it talks of mindfulness and meditative practice. The evangelicals from my past would have a conniption (hee hee 🙂 ) but I decided that learning to be present, in the moment and learning some healing positive meditations could only be a good thing. I say – go for it Jordan!

I really loved what forestgrey had to say about "not burning the bridges behind you". I have done this in my past – vehemently turning my back on faith, the church etc – only to feel a bit adrift and unhinged. Now – I take a gentler approach – dipping my toe into other perspectves – gently, quietly. I am actually learning to "live with the questions" to "live with uncertainty"… really scary – but full of possibility. It actually allows God to be bigger, more dynamic, inventive, creative, just "more" if we let go of our own contained definitions of who/what God might be and instead sit with the tension of not knowing… the tension of uncertainty. Does that make sense?

I also really agree with shadow boxer about finding some different groups to join. I initially on coming out to myself was going to GLBT things left right and centre. But… a lot of the women were not into the things I'm into. being gay is one part of me… there's a lot more to me than that. I have joined a few "meet up groups" in recent months. There are groups for any interests – I have been along to a musical afternoon for example. Google "meetup" and you might find something in your area.

I see from what you have shared that you describe yourself as a "social virgin" – so I fully appreciate it's not so easy to "just" rock up to a group or similar. And this brings me to something else I wanted to share with you…

I believe that the "story" we tell about ourselves or the decsriptions we use about ourselves hold a lot of power. "Disorganised" "introvert" "shy" "social virgin" "boring" " a burden"… whatever label we choose – it can begin to define and shape us, without us really realising it. My encouragement to you is to try to reframe things – try to "wear the (metaphoric) clothes" of someone who is a joiner, a seeker, engaged and interested. Ditch the "social virgin" tag and try to use another tag… even if it's "learning to be braver" . I really don't mean to make that sound flippant or less hard than I know it to be.

Finally – you spoke about your fear in relation to going to the group. I can very much relate to that. I have been to some lesbian groups and the first few times was almost shaking as I went in. So much is wrapped up in this step… a coming out step… a meeting new people step… an unknown situation step… and yet – everyone else in the group is probably feeling the same thing. Jordan I have seen your humour, your compassion, your interest in ideas, your interest in justice, in activism, in the world around you… in music… all reflected in your posts on this forum. So – you have a lot to offer to other people. You have alot to offer to any group you might join. maybe there's someone in one of these groups who needs a Jordan to come along.

Let us know how you go in your current journey.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

sarab xx

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