The crucial nature of belief itself. The very idea that you have to be able to hold these static ssets of beliefs in your head in order to be saved. Especially the idea that you had to have the precisely "right" beliefs about things that haven't happened yet, and that I'm now convinced never will. As the great freethinker Ingersoll wrote, God might as well just declare that all people with red hair are damned. (Paraphrase, of course.)
I became SDA in adulthood, so unlike many of you I don't even have the powerlessness and innocence/ignorance of childhood as an excuse (a topic for a whole other post), but then too I was never able to erase all doubts about the wackier SDA beliefs.
That Saturday was magical.
That Angels would not enter a theatre with me.
That the theatre was sinful.
That, as a female, I was responsible for stopping sex from happening.
That sex was sinful.
That there was someone listening to me pray with my dog.
That while Satan wasn't powerful enough to read my thoughts, he was very good at reading my physical body signals, such as heart rate, etc. and could easily trip me up.
That Christ was coming back on a cloud with a crown and septor.
That wearing earrings meant hellfire for sure.
Actually I was told Satan probably could read my mind.
That's what I heard too. That way he'd know if you'd committed a thought sin (like thinking a cuss word) and would know all your weaknesses to tempt you. For a number of years I would pray for forgiveness every time I had an "impure" thought so Satan couldn't use it against me.
My parents always taught me that critical thinking brings people to the seventh-day adventist faith naturally, because of the prophecy in Revelation and Daniel, and were able to fashion and formulate excuses and reasons behind any inconsistency whatsoever, in order to keep the bible's infallibility up. I just can't believe that I believed that Revelation was actually about anything or that the bible itself could be taken seriously.
I guess the thing that blows me away is the whole Jesus having to die for us thing, the blood, etc, only to echo everyone else, but yes, it was that that I first questioned when I was 9 that still stumps me today.
Hello everyone. I'm brand new to the site, and to forums in general. I'm sorry I don't use my real name as it's just too scary right now. . . My whole "story" is just too raw (and ongoing) and if I ever started it, I'd never shut up and you'd all hate me. So, I thought I'd dip my toe in the water with this rather "safe" whimsical topic.
EVERYTHING everyone else has identified already-- yes, totally!! Here are 3 of my "favorites:"
1. That if I died in an accident and hadn't gotten forgiveness for all my sins b/c I forgot to confess one, I couldn't be saved. This one more as a childhood fear, I think.
2. That technically, it is "ok" to wear a watch that costs zillions of $$-- but NOT ok to wear a $50 ring or necklace. Even better-- the $20 necklace is wrong-- but not if the pendant on it is a watch! (For fun, try explaining that to anyone not raised SDA:-))
Probably the MOST outrageous:
3. That the Catholic Church, probably at the Vatican, actually has collected the names and locations of all SDA's and keeps them stored up--including the actual house plans of the house you live in-- so that they will know where to find them when the time of trouble comes and SDA's are hunted down and rounded up for persecution. At which time you will only be able to defend yourself when tried for your beliefs if you have memorized perfectly the scripture to answer any question asked of you.
I spent many a childhood night wondering if the house could be cleverly modified in some way with secret passages and hiding places that wouldn't show up on the plans so that the Catholics couldn't find us. . . . The Beast was one tough monster.
In today's terms, he'd probably resemble something like an Orc in the Lord of the Rings. . .
There's certainly no "one thing", it's a whole big mess of things. I suppose the most ridiculous thing would be Noah and his ark. Now that I can step back and see that the whole of Genesis is a collection of ancient Hebrew folklore, more like Grimm's Fairy Tales than anything else, most of it doesn't bother me anymore. But Noah's ark still does.
Santa Claus is more plausible.
When I was a teen, going through puberty and stuff, I used to be terrified that Satan and God were watching me masturbate. I used to get this tremendous guilt trip and feel paranoid as if eyes were watching me throughout the day as if to say, "there he is, he was jerking off". LOL, it's funny now to think that my "trials and tribulations" were about jerking off. I used to really believe that Satan wanted to possess my cock. I'd go into deep prayer asking God for forgiveness and begging him to come into my heart so I would stop lusting after women and imagining dirty sex. What a waste of time and mental energy.
In a word: faith.
I must admit that for a long time I bought all that crap and thought that I must simply have faith and everything would be jolly fun. I have always had an overactive imagination, I recall at one point as a child I dreamt that I could fly so the next day I tried and to my surprise gravity still worked. So when at sabbath school I learned that a mustard seed of faith could move mountains, my imagination took that literally and ran with it. As much as I tried and as hard as I believed, nothing ever happened. Growing a little older and realizing that faith had done nothing but make me delusional, I began to really question what I was told and thus started down the path of becoming the cynical person I am today
I never much liked the bible, the sabbath or any damn fool who wanted to impose some arbitrary rules on me. I always prided myself in my adolescence for my resistance to faith and the charismatic speakers with their alter calls. All my friends would go forward and get baptized and I - though often influenced by the rhetoric - would keep my ass glued to the seat (I probably just didn't want to be late to lunch). As it is now, I prefer to be a trouble maker and to question authority. For a long time I thought that this was the wrong way to be. Y'know, you gotta turn the other cheek and let the world have its way with you.
By the time I was nearly done with high school I was ripping pages out of bibles to roll joints, and that's before I had started to consider myself an atheist. Despite my blatant blasphemy, god never did anything to me. I thought maybe he died or fell asleep since no prayers had ever been answered and none of my wrongdoings ever brought any attention. Maybe god spends too much time counting the hairs on all our heads what with the world population nowadays that there just isn't time for anything else.
THere was a time when i invited the devil to come and purchase my soul for 20 years of prosperity or whatever the going rate was in that type of tale, and when he didn't show up That is when a lot began to unravel for me.
I was 17 and in an Adventist Academy when I wrote up a paper and handed it in to Elder Prest in Bible docs class. Stating that if God was as pictured in the Bible He had no respect coming from me. "Kill this captain and his fifty." "Butcher all the able bodied men, but take the comely women as you wish." SO I guess that I have to answer that as a young person I didn't swallow a lot of it.