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Author Topic: Finally left the church  (Read 10888 times)
Skydaughter
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« Reply #15: June 27, 2011, 03:46:43 am »

Well. It's official. I've been out of the church over a month and still no desire to return. Ever. I don't even miss it.
Yay me.  Cheesy

I sorry the church wasn't a healthy place for you. Church can be tough... I remember leaving and I'm glad I did too. While I eventually realized that I can still be Christian without most of negativity, judgment, or needing someone else to tell me their interpretations as though it were fact, I sincerely hope you find what works for you!  Smiley Good luck!
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« Reply #16: June 27, 2011, 01:45:25 pm »

I sorry the church wasn't a healthy place for you.

No, it wasn't. At first it was awesome, it boosted the christian faith I already had. But over time I realized this fundamentalist evangelical church was not my cup of tea, and that I did not fit in with any of them at all. They were the sort of church which encouraged all women to wear skirts ALL the time, to grow out their hair. They claimed a quote from Paul in Acts was the rule that all women should have long hair. They claimed the lord blessed ladies who had long hair. I never grew out my hair, and I was in the church over 3 years.

Speaking of church last night I had a dream I went back, but it wasn't my old church, it was another pastor in a town nearby (I've dreamt of this church before, but as far as I know it doesn't exist) and the people I knew from my old church were there asking me where I've been and if I was gonna come back and if they could pray for me... I stayed for a while but ran out the door, jumped in the car and sped off the first chance I had.  Cool

Also, I'm not very emotional, though I am a woman. So it was hard for me to become emotional like everyone else could become during worship. It was awesome if you could get into it, because one time I did and I really felt the presence of god, it was like he was so close I could touch him.

But it got to the point where I could no longer justify staying. It was like a shell that was dead that I carried around in hopes of it coming back alive. It was time to throw off the old shell and grow a new one.  Tongue After all, I didn't believe in the Bible at all. They believe it's literal and inerrant, I don't and never have. It got to the point where I no longer believed in christ at all, and since I no longer shared most of their beliefs, I could not justify staying.

Another big reason I did not fit in is because I am bisexual. The church is adamantly anti-gay, they believe it's a sin. It's ok to be LGBT, as God sometimes made people that way, but it wasn't ok to act on any of those feelings. IMHO I'm sick of being lonely because I can't find a man. What about finding a woman?  Smiley I have that freedom now since I left the fundamentalists.

The Norse gods - namely Thor, Odin and Loki - have been hanging around for years and they aren't going away. I don't want them to go away. I want to be an Odinist or Asatuar, but I can't. There are no pagan groups here at all. If there is, it's all Wiccan, and I won't attend Wiccan groups.

I used to be Wiccan, it was the first Pagan religion I was. I had no problem practicing that, and wearing my pentacle I found many many other Wiccans in my town. It's just a matter of someone starting a kindred.

Anyways.  Cheesy
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« Reply #17: June 27, 2011, 02:06:02 pm »

I've tried practicing. It's down to the fact that I usually am not in the mood for ritual, ever.
Fellowship, in Odinism? Not possible. There's nothing in Central WI where I live. At all.

And I really haven't had "direct contact with a deity". Just a dream or two. And it's been quite a while.
One of the biggest reasons (beside not believing) for becoming an atheist was because I had finally given up on religion. It was a long time coming.

Ok, I'm going to be blunt here - it's your religion. That means YOU have to do the work. You can't sit here complaining about there not being a ritual practice when apparently all you've done to create one is wait for it to magically appear. You keep coming in here and complaining about things not being the way you want them to, then shooting down every single suggestion for not being perfect. Well, sitting there complaining and waiting for something to tailor-make you a solution isn't going to get you anywhere. You want something that fits perfectly, you do the work to make it. You can't be bothered to make it (which, for the record, is perfectly okay - a lot of us can't!) then settle for something that's good enough. Just please, stop expecting everyone else to do the work for you while just complaining that it's all not good enough and not perfect enough a fit.

--Chabas
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« Reply #18: June 27, 2011, 02:11:10 pm »

It's just a matter of someone starting a kindred.

Someone - like you?
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outlaw393
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« Reply #19: June 27, 2011, 02:27:13 pm »

Ok, I'm going to be blunt here - it's your religion. That means YOU have to do the work. You can't sit here complaining about there not being a ritual practice when apparently all you've done to create one is wait for it to magically appear. You keep coming in here and complaining about things not being the way you want them to, then shooting down every single suggestion for not being perfect. Well, sitting there complaining and waiting for something to tailor-make you a solution isn't going to get you anywhere. You want something that fits perfectly, you do the work to make it. You can't be bothered to make it (which, for the record, is perfectly okay - a lot of us can't!) then settle for something that's good enough. Just please, stop expecting everyone else to do the work for you while just complaining that it's all not good enough and not perfect enough a fit.

--Chabas

I WASN'T COMPLAINING. I disregard things I've already tried and haven't worked. It's called logic. Why try things again when they didn't work the first time around? It's like, if I try to start my car 10 times and it doesn't start, I don't do it an 11th time. I get out of the car, pop the hood, and check underneath. Or call a tow truck. Or do whatever else I can try.

In religion there's not a whole lot more I can try. Except give up. Again.

I'm not expecting anything of anyone. YOU misinterpreted almost everything I wrote.

And there's a difference between being blunt and being nice. I don't see this post as real nice.  Sad
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outlaw393
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« Reply #20: June 27, 2011, 02:28:39 pm »

Someone - like you?

Nope. I'm not clergy and I'm no leader. If I was, I could start something. But I have neither the motivation or the training for such things.

 Smiley
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« Reply #21: June 27, 2011, 02:32:02 pm »

Nope. I'm not clergy and I'm no leader. If I was, I could start something. But I have neither the motivation or the training for such things.

 Smiley

Kindred doesn't require clergy, as I understand it.

And the one guarantee in life - if you don't try to do SOMETHING, nothing will ever happen.  You want there to be a kindred, start a pub moot.  Have casual meetings.  Hold a blot.

Gods, do you really think I WANTED to build an entire philosophical system?  We don't do these things just because we wake up one morning WANTING to.  It's because there's a void that needs filling and we lift up our hands to DO it.
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« Reply #22: June 27, 2011, 02:43:50 pm »

I WASN'T COMPLAINING. I disregard things I've already tried and haven't worked. It's called logic. Why try things again when they didn't work the first time around? It's like, if I try to start my car 10 times and it doesn't start, I don't do it an 11th time. I get out of the car, pop the hood, and check underneath. Or call a tow truck. Or do whatever else I can try.

In religion there's not a whole lot more I can try. Except give up. Again.

Right now what you're doing isn't popping the hood and checking underneath. You're chucking one car to move on to the next, which isn't perfect either, so you're chucking THAT as well. Then you complain about how none of those cars work right. You should try popping the hood, seeing what's wrong, and seeing if you can fix things so it'll work, instead of insisting you've got all these cars and NONE OF THEM WORK.

I've not seen you come up with ANYTHING to improve your situation. I've not seen you take ANY advice. All I've seen you do is complain things don't work, and insist nothing will work without trying anything. Things will not magically change to fit what you want just because you want it really badly. If you want things to be different, figure out what you need changed, and work on it. No one here can do that for you.

--Chabas
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outlaw393
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« Reply #23: June 27, 2011, 08:40:38 pm »

Kindred doesn't require clergy, as I understand it.

And the one guarantee in life - if you don't try to do SOMETHING, nothing will ever happen.  You want there to be a kindred, start a pub moot.  Have casual meetings.  Hold a blot.

Gods, do you really think I WANTED to build an entire philosophical system?  We don't do these things just because we wake up one morning WANTING to.  It's because there's a void that needs filling and we lift up our hands to DO it.

Well, I meant Coven. Since there are no other heathens in my town, just a bunch of Wiccans. Why would I start a group for a religion I don't even follow anymore?

I have no clue how to do blots. I've never known how to do any rituals in Odinism hence my problem with practicing. It's much easier to practice Wicca than it is Odinism. I know more about Wicca, as well.
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« Reply #24: June 28, 2011, 12:56:21 am »

I WASN'T COMPLAINING. I disregard things I've already tried and haven't worked. It's called logic. Why try things again when they didn't work the first time around? It's like, if I try to start my car 10 times and it doesn't start, I don't do it an 11th time. I get out of the car, pop the hood, and check underneath. Or call a tow truck. Or do whatever else I can try.

I'm with Chabas.  I don't see you popping hoods, just abandoning cars and leaping to other ones. 

Sometimes when we try things and they don't work it's because we haven't developed the skills to do them effectively.   If you're not experienced with cooking and your first meal is a flop, you don't say "I'm never cooking again."  No, you keep trying until you develop the skill.  Same thing with art, writing, sports...all of these things require practice.  Some of the above mentioned things are frustrating when you first start out, because you're using parts of yourself you're not used to using.  If you want to be able to run for a mile without stopping, but you're completely out of shape, you won't be able to do it right away.  You need to strengthen your muscles.  If you're going to do ritual, there are certain parts of you that have to be "strengthened" as well. 

The rituals I perform were awkward for me at first.  Once I learned the steps and felt more comfortable I stopped obsessing about doing things "right".  Then I was able to quiet my mind and feel the Gods' presence.   That's a very subtle feeling, most of the time.  If you're waiting for something intense to bash you on the head, you'll be disappointed.  Usually I just get a subtle, peaceful feeling.  Very occasionally, I'll have a stronger sense of the Gods' presence.  Sometimes I'll go for awhile feeling nothing, and I get frustrated.  I get lonely.  I miss my Gods.  I keep practicing anyway, because I've had enough experience to know they still appreciate ritual.  They don't always "talk" to me but I believe they listen.   

I think I had to go through periods of not feeling their presence to develop a stronger relationship with Them.  For me that's what faith and trust are about:  getting to the point where I don't need constant reminders anymore. 

The bottom line is that you're not going to get anywhere with your spiritual journey if you can't tolerate some frustration.   

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« Reply #25: June 28, 2011, 01:18:13 am »

I have no clue how to do blots. I've never known how to do any rituals in Odinism hence my problem with practicing.

So, find out?

I'm sure there are a number of people on here who can recommend books on how to do this.   How much time do you spend on the Asatru SIG?  Have you gone on there and asked any questions?   Maybe you'll find out you like blots once you find out what one actually is.   Otherwise, how can you know?

Not Asatru, but I'd imagine you don't have to do a full blot.  Can't you simply light a candle and make a small offering? I would think you could just address your God in your own words.  Start with the basics of re-building the relationship.  Make a commitment to do this regularly until it starts to feel "normal."  Maybe give yourself, like, 5 minutes a day for awhile.  Everybody has that much time.  If Odin is worth it to you then I'm sure you can manage that.  Or, do a completely different schedule.  Maybe a longer prayer/meditation every week.  In the end I think the commitment is more important than the time/length of time.   Just find some way of showing him that you care, and are willing to make some investment. 
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« Reply #26: June 28, 2011, 01:31:07 am »

the lack of any meaningful practice or fellowship with others who believe the same.

Presence/absence of community is something you simply cannot control.  You can try to attract people of like mind.  You can increase the likelihood that they'll show up.  I'll bet you there are more Pagans in your area than you think.  It's just a question of getting them into one place.  That's not easy, but it's possible. 

At the end of the day, though, you need to find a path that works for you whether you have fellowship or not.  I knew I was on the right path when I found a faith I would happily practice whether I was with 20 people or one person (me). 

Years ago when I first started exploring Wicca I had a friend who was a good mentor to me.  I told her that I did not want to be "solitary."  Her response was "yes, but we're all solitary."  I didn't get what she meant until years later.  We all have to make our own choices about our spirituality and nobody can make them for us.   No two people believe the exact same thing even if their religion has the same name.  Everybody sees the Divine through their own lens.  Community is nice but it cannot validate your faith.  You have to do that for yourself.
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« Reply #27: June 28, 2011, 10:25:37 am »

I have no clue how to do blots. I've never known how to do any rituals in Odinism hence my problem with practicing. It's much easier to practice Wicca than it is Odinism. I know more about Wicca, as well.

Again, if you feel that Odin, Thor et all are hanging around waiting for you, why not start developing some way of worshipping Them and some kind of meaningful religious practice? Learn about Odinism. Read up on the rituals and then start doing it. You keep talking as if there's absolutely no resources available to you simply because the only pagans nearby are Wiccans and not Odinists themselves. Well, there are books and there's the internet. I bet you could EASILY find an online group for fellowship. And if not, there's nothing wrong with being a solitary practitioner.
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« Reply #28: June 28, 2011, 04:20:10 pm »

Again, if you feel that Odin, Thor et all are hanging around waiting for you, why not start developing some way of worshipping Them and some kind of meaningful religious practice? Learn about Odinism. Read up on the rituals and then start doing it. You keep talking as if there's absolutely no resources available to you simply because the only pagans nearby are Wiccans and not Odinists themselves. Well, there are books and there's the internet. I bet you could EASILY find an online group for fellowship. And if not, there's nothing wrong with being a solitary practitioner.

There's always Saxon Wicca, too.  Cool
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« Reply #29: June 28, 2011, 04:28:44 pm »

There's always Saxon Wicca, too.  Cool

That's true, but I imagine there's a huge difference between a Wiccan view of Odin and a heathen one.
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