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"It's impossible to ____ without JESUS!"


darkplumaged

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This seems to be a recurring theme on fundie and fundie-lite blogs: that one cannot possibly do X (where X is "be happy," "have a healthy marriage," etc.) if one is not a Christian. Some choice quotes from a new post on an annoying fundie-lite blog I read:

Marriage takes a lot of work. And to pull it off. Jesus and the gospel have to be at the center of it.

But, you can learn to be a little less selfish and a little more selfless. This is only possible through the gospel. Jesus and the gospel have to be at the center of it all.

I truly believe that the only way to have a happy and wonderful marriage is to put Jesus right dab smack in the middle of it.

...marriage is about Jesus. Period.

Redundancy aside (yes, all of these quotes are from a single post :roll: ) . . . there are millions upon millions of married couples in the world. Many of them are not Christian. Is it even remotely likely that every last non-Christian married couple is miserable and struggling?

I have had a growing feeling lately that the gap between conservative Christians and everyone else is unbridgeable. That gap will remain as long as they wholeheartedly believe completely implausible things like this.

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I read a blog post that said that people who aren't Christians are "miserable but they don't know it." I could say that I'm a flying rainbow unicorn and I don't know it, and that would make more sense.

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I read a blog post that said that people who aren't Christians are "miserable but they don't know it." I could say that I'm a flying rainbow unicorn and I don't know it, and that would make more sense.

Indeed. I have been miserable, and I knew it. I knew it every minute. Anyone who thinks it's possible to be unaware of misery doesn't know what the word means.

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I have had a growing feeling lately that the gap between conservative Christians and everyone else is unbridgeable. That gap will remain as long as they wholeheartedly believe completely implausible things like this.

Yes, it is unbridgeable. I had a long convo with my former best friend the other day and it was kind of sad. She prays every day for me to return to Jesus (I'm an atheist) and thinks it is her job to use every opportunity in a conversation to shoehorn in some sermon about God and how much He loves me. Everything in her church and churchy subculture teaches her NOT to be willing to even consider the possibility of doubting any part of her beliefs. She will listen to questions that are raised and immediately gloss over them with "Well, I don't know the mind of God." That sort of mental armor makes it impossible to have a genuine conversation with someone - she truly, honestly thinks that she is showing me love by refusing to listen to me and by saying I'm probably possessed by demons and nothing I say can cause her to question her faith because I'm obviously deceived. I've been reading some psychology stuff lately and realized that fundamentalism teaches people narcissism, step by step. The black and white thinking, the superiority to others, the feeling authoritative, etc. No wonder there is so much abuse in the fundie world. It's like if you embrace the ideology and the lifestyle, bit by bit they scoop out your authentic self and replace it with a robotic monster. I grew up that way, and it's been a hard struggle getting out and learning not to judge people so much, and now I'm horrified by what I was and by what I see others turning into.

The good thing is that young people are more and more seeing the futility of fundamentalism. I doubt it will ever die out entirely, but I think its heyday is waning.

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Oh I know my husband is miserable in our marriage. That's not because he's not a Christian. It's because he's married to a crazy gal like me. :lol:

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lmao Avalondaughter. My family is non-Christian and my parents have been happily married for 38 years. My main concern for my future marriage is my husband finding out I'm insane.

My brother had two roommates who came from a conservative Christian backgrounds and after going to college they became atheist. Both are gay, when one of them came out to his mother and she became convinced he is possessed by demons. The other one was forbidden to contact his family for a couple years, but then they did show up at graduation so they might be coming around. But the other one's mom is still crying demons. It's awful. It's really sad that this type of black and white thinking can turn a mother against her child.

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Yes, it is unbridgeable. I had a long convo with my former best friend the other day and it was kind of sad. She prays every day for me to return to Jesus (I'm an atheist) and thinks it is her job to use every opportunity in a conversation to shoehorn in some sermon about God and how much He loves me. Everything in her church and churchy subculture teaches her NOT to be willing to even consider the possibility of doubting any part of her beliefs. She will listen to questions that are raised and immediately gloss over them with "Well, I don't know the mind of God." That sort of mental armor makes it impossible to have a genuine conversation with someone - she truly, honestly thinks that she is showing me love by refusing to listen to me and by saying I'm probably possessed by demons and nothing I say can cause her to question her faith because I'm obviously deceived. I've been reading some psychology stuff lately and realized that fundamentalism teaches people narcissism, step by step. The black and white thinking, the superiority to others, the feeling authoritative, etc. No wonder there is so much abuse in the fundie world. It's like if you embrace the ideology and the lifestyle, bit by bit they scoop out your authentic self and replace it with a robotic monster. I grew up that way, and it's been a hard struggle getting out and learning not to judge people so much, and now I'm horrified by what I was and by what I see others turning into.

The good thing is that young people are more and more seeing the futility of fundamentalism. I doubt it will ever die out entirely, but I think its heyday is waning.

There's a WHOLE lotta insight here, bookworm. I'm sorry about your friend. I had a friend I lost due to a similar situation and I know it sucks.

As far as the whole marriage thing, my husband and I have been drifting further and further away from evangelicalism for a couple of years now, and we've both observed that we've never been happier, both marriage-wise and separately. It feels like so many shackles have been thrown off. Yeah, not going back to that.

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You know, I've been hearing this all my life. Especially that it's impossible to be happy with Jesus and that it's impossible to get over my depression without Jesus (even the friends I have who are pro anti depressants will say that.)

I struggle so hard with this concept, it put me in therapy. I feel like I'm miserable now with Jesus, but if I leave Jesus I'll truly lose any hope of happiness. Talking with you guys was the first indication I had that this might not be true.

I don't know what to think. It's a hard fight.

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You know, I've been hearing this all my life. Especially that it's impossible to be happy with Jesus and that it's impossible to get over my depression without Jesus (even the friends I have who are pro anti depressants will say that.)

I struggle so hard with this concept, it put me in therapy. I feel like I'm miserable now with Jesus, but if I leave Jesus I'll truly lose any hope of happiness. Talking with you guys was the first indication I had that this might not be true.

I don't know what to think. It's a hard fight.

Coping with depression is a difficult battle, I've been there. I've been on anti-depressants for years as well as been through therapy. It's a process, but it does help. One day you will look back and see how far you've come! I'm non-Christian, so I've made it through without Jesus. You can be happy with or without him. Stay strong!

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There was a time when I would have thought it was impossible to have a happy marriage without Jesus. Equally yoked and all that (a verse which seems to only be used to enforce marrying a fellow Christian.)

Now when I look at my fundie friends' marriages, I sometimes wonder if it is possible to be happy WITH Jesus in the marriage. I shouldn't say that so flippantly -- I know that there are plenty of mainstream Christians who have loving, equal partnerships. But with the fundie friends, no matter how much their mates indulge them at the beginning, they all seem to pull the almighty-endorse rank of "head of woman" sooner or later. I just couldn't be happy in that situation, unless heavily sedated.

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To put it simply, things will remain unbridgeable until people realize that you don't need to believe in God or Jesus in order to have a moral compass.

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To put it simply, things will remain unbridgeable until people realize that you don't need to believe in God or Jesus in order to have a moral compass.

Exactly! Someone once asked my mom why she is a good person if she doesn't believe in hell...and it's like, um...because it's the right thing to do? And if fear of damnation is the only reason why someone isn't stealing or murdering then they have issues with their moral compass.

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I was always taught that without Jesus you'll feel empty inside. People try to fill that void with drugs, other religions, entertainment, etc., but the only thing that will really work is Jesus. You may think whatever else you're using is working, but it's not. "Life without Jesus is like a donut; there's a hole in the middle of your heart." XmKkTYOYiJ8

You know, I've been hearing this all my life. Especially that it's impossible to be happy with Jesus and that it's impossible to get over my depression without Jesus (even the friends I have who are pro anti depressants will say that.)

I struggle so hard with this concept, it put me in therapy. I feel like I'm miserable now with Jesus, but if I leave Jesus I'll truly lose any hope of happiness. Talking with you guys was the first indication I had that this might not be true.

I don't know what to think. It's a hard fight.

That's such a frustrating thing to hear. TMI following, but whatever, I broke that barrier here long ago, unfortunately. I've spent a lot of time in the psych ward lately for very severe depression and several suicide attempts. I generally avoid talking about religion with the other patients, but whenever someone would find out that I'm an unbeliever they would declare that I need to get Jesus and all my problems will be gone. They ignore the fact that Jesus apparently didn't prevent them from ending up in the same place I was. (Side note: there are very few unbelievers in the psych ward. At one point we actually had two pastor's wives in there at once.)

That's the only place I've gotten that personally because I'm really not open about my issues at all otherwise, but I've heard that "Jesus will solve your problems" stuff all my life. When I was younger I would wonder what I was doing wrong when I would hear all those testimonies with the "I went through a lot of stuff, but I found Jesus and he set me free from all of it" narrative (Alternately: "I committed all kinds of interesting sins, but I found Jesus and he helped me stop.") and I would wonder why I was still so incredibly depressed when I was constantly asking Jesus to help me.

Personally, lots of serious behavioral therapy has helped me way more than anything else, especially including prayer. I feel like I'm actually working at getting better instead of just waiting for Jesus to cure me.

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You know, I've been hearing this all my life. Especially that it's impossible to be happy with Jesus and that it's impossible to get over my depression without Jesus (even the friends I have who are pro anti depressants will say that.)

I struggle so hard with this concept, it put me in therapy. I feel like I'm miserable now with Jesus, but if I leave Jesus I'll truly lose any hope of happiness. Talking with you guys was the first indication I had that this might not be true.

I don't know what to think. It's a hard fight.

I'm sorry.

I became depressed thanks to my fundie Calvinist upbringing (Calvinist theology teaches that even your best works are marred with sin, the little smidgens of good you do aren't you, it's God working through you, and you need to appreciate your wickedness before you can begin to be properly thankful for salvation. Self-esteem is a tool of Satan. It's a mind-fuck).

I left the fundy church I was brought up in, but I still held onto the thought pattens and until I eventually couldn't hold it together anymore. To make a long story short, I've been in treatment for depression for the last five years. As I've become healthier, my belief in Jesus has slowly melted away. I realised I was only hanging on to it because I wanted some sort of assurance of things panning out in an afterlife, except that I didn't actually believe in an afterlife. In some ways, I'd love to have some sort of safety net on my universe, I just can't make myself believe in it all anymore. And to be honest, I'm still not 100% healthy (I probably never will be), but I'm a damn sight happier than I was with my religion.

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I'm sorry.

I became depressed thanks to my fundie Calvinist upbringing (Calvinist theology teaches that even your best works are marred with sin, the little smidgens of good you do aren't you, it's God working through you, and you need to appreciate your wickedness before you can begin to be properly thankful for salvation. Self-esteem is a tool of Satan. It's a mind-fuck).

Yes! I get this too! It's like, all good things come from God, there is nothing good in you. But bad thoughts can either come from Satan or from yourself. I was like, so, wait; I can come up with BAD on my own, but not good? And even the good things I do are still bad unless they come from God?

I took screen shots of those who responded. Thank you. It is encouraging.

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There was a time when I would have thought it was impossible to have a happy marriage without Jesus. Equally yoked and all that (a verse which seems to only be used to enforce marrying a fellow Christian.)

Now when I look at my fundie friends' marriages, I sometimes wonder if it is possible to be happy WITH Jesus in the marriage. I shouldn't say that so flippantly -- I know that there are plenty of mainstream Christians who have loving, equal partnerships. But with the fundie friends, no matter how much their mates indulge them at the beginning, they all seem to pull the almighty-endorse rank of "head of woman" sooner or later. I just couldn't be happy in that situation, unless heavily sedated.

This stuck out to me because of a friend who was in an abusive marriage. She decided to leave the relationship when she had to take a medication that acted like a sedative on her and he asked why she didn't act like that all the time. It made her realize that she was not going to be happy in the relationship and he wasn't going to change. He wasn't fundy, but that is pretty much fundy men's ideal wife too.

IMO, a healthier perspective religion is more of the "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" verse... more of the using your faith as support if that is what works for you, rather than waiting for Jesus to solve your every problem and refusing to take responsibility for anything you do (/being told it's not you, it's God or Satan working through you - that's a mindfuck) and rejecting any earthly resources (eg healthcare).

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I think the final straw for me was when I realized I could not have a healthy view of myself and believe in penal submission. I find the whole "You are a sinner and Christ died for you," to be very damaging.

Edited: autocorrect fail

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...marriage is about Jesus. Period.

My headship is gunna be pissed. He thought it was about sex.

IMO, a healthier perspective religion is more of the "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" verse... more of the using your faith as support if that is what works for you,

That's still unhealthy. A mentally healthy person would find the strength in themselves.

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My headship is gunna be pissed. He thought it was about sex.

That's still unhealthy. A mentally healthy person would find the strength in themselves.

But you can't do anything with out God or it will turn to crap. And you have to do it through Jesus or God won't honor it. Don't forget your choices HAVE to be in God's perfect will or there will be dire consequences.

I'm so glad to be done with all of this mindfuck.

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I was always taught that without Jesus you'll feel empty inside. People try to fill that void with drugs, other religions, entertainment, etc., but the only thing that will really work is Jesus. You may think whatever else you're using is working, but it's not. "Life without Jesus is like a donut; there's a hole in the middle of your heart."

Doughnuts are tasty, so I'm not seeing it as a bad thing. But I'm a happy heretic, so what do I know? :D

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"I've been reading some psychology stuff lately and realized that fundamentalism teaches people narcissism, step by step. The black and white thinking, the superiority to others, the feeling authoritative, etc."

Maybe TMI from me, but you are so right. After so much time here I realized that the first and only time in my personal life I've heard "stay sweet" was from an insufferable woman that I met, in of all places, a "transitional housing program" (ie. , non-flophouse homeless shelter). Of the 10 single women there, this one was the only one who didn't have a job, and she wasn't looking for one because Jesus would place her in the "perfect job for me" (an uneducated asshole who'd been fired from the one office job she'd ever had). She self-published her really bad poetry, which is fine if you want to do that and many good poets do, but she considered herself a published poet whose books of wisdom were her gifts from God through her to enlighten the world.According to her, and she sincerely believed this, Jesus had placed her in the shelter so that she could minister to the rest of us--who were all hard-working women of various ages (late teens through 50s) who'd been knocked on our asses and were doing our damnedest to dig ourselves out. Meanwhile, this queen bee never had one moment of lost sleep or anxiety, because she was wise enough and holy enough to have a special relationship with Jesus. One of the women, who'd found Jesus when she'd been locked up and was every bit as religious as she was, would engage her in scriptural discussions, but nothing phased this bitch.

I don't know if fundiedom creates narcissistics or just attracts and enables those who already are (witness Abigail), but it's definitely about the special (me) and the evil/unenlightened (everybody else). I bet when this woman is 80 she still won't have one line on her face.

I know that being a a shelter isn't the same as being in prison, thank goodness, but some of the feelings (even with the knowledge that it's temporary) are smiliar--the despair, the self-loathing, the How Did I Get Myself in this Situation, the feeling of being trapped--have to be similar. Which is why I just cringe every time I hear about a Keller or Maxwell going to a prison or nursing home or shelter to "minister" to the inmates. Never, ever, does it occur to them that the people in this situations may not only be lost souls in need of contact with a person that Jesus thinks is special, but might actually be people with experiences, lives, and functioning brains who may know something that they don't. And that "stay sweet" is often not the best survival strategy for people in a tough spot.

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In my own religious tradition (Episcopalian) we parse "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" as "I am inspired by the moral teachings of Jesus" which I am, and which doesn't turn the speaker into a supernatural ventriloquist's dummy or waldo-type robot.

I am fairly religious but never found that it helped or hurt with my (lifelong, serious) depression. Though I do find some of the medieval English mystics to be inspiring when I am down, particularly Dame Julian of Norwich's "And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."

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Yes! I get this too! It's like, all good things come from God, there is nothing good in you. But bad thoughts can either come from Satan or from yourself. I was like, so, wait; I can come up with BAD on my own, but not good? And even the good things I do are still bad unless they come from God?

As someone who struggled with huge self-esteem issues for many years and specifically believed that I was a bad person, this gives me RAAAAAAAGE. I hope you guys are doing OK.

Doughnuts are tasty, so I'm not seeing it as a bad thing. But I'm a happy heretic, so what do I know? :D

This was what I thought too. I was like, "This is an argument for BEING Christian? Cause what I'm getting is 'Life without Jesus is delicious'."

And now if you'll excuse me, I shall attempt to take a shower without Jesus. Sorry to those who saw my edit fail; clearly I cannot edit a post without Jesus.

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Back in the brief heyday of Catholicism between Our Lady of Perpetual Hell, where I went to school in the'50s, and let's go back to 13th-century-Poland of the John Paul/Mother Teresa era, progressive Catholic priests spared some of us the life of low self-esteen hell.

First reconciliation, my brother Steven: I don't have anything bad to say.

Priest: Well, then, tell me about the good things that you did.

YAY! Just think if all of us had been raised thinking about all the good things that we did, are.

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I've never understood the logic that you need Jesus to do anything. I mean all you have to do is someone who manages to be a happy, moral good person without Jesus and that logic falls apart. I've never had Jesus myself, but doesn't mean I go around doing drugs and doesn't mean I'm miserable. I've been miserable. You know it if you are. People who say that if you don't believe in God/Jesus/Hell then there's no reason not to steal or murder people really worry me. Because if you need Jesus to have a moral compass, you have a serious problem. I think it's harder to say It's impossible to do things without Jesus when you live in a diverse area where a lot of people are not Christian. It's something I've never heard in real life, actually.

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