This is actually a post on my own blog, but I figured this group was a good place to talk about it also. When did you first get "saved" and what was it like? How do you feel now looking back on it?

I was three years old when I asked Jesus to come into my heart. Kneeling beside my grandmother's bed, my cousin Jarrod's hand in mine, we bowed our heads and asked for salvation. Of course, I worried that it didn't stick. I "rededicated" myself to God at age 5, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 19. I was 6 the first time I led someone to Christ, a little 4 year old girl who was attending the same "Fall Festival" party at a church that I was. I tried to convert gay friends in high school, by telling them that God loved them, even if his people were bigoted jerks. When I attended Vineyard Christian Fellowship, the pastor, his daughter, my mother and I used to go to a nude dance club to tell the women who worked there that they were beautiful daughters of God, and that they were always welcome to come by on Sundays. I really wanted God's love to be true. But the Christian definition of love includes condemnation and damnation. In defense of this harsh father figure, Christians will justify torture (hell), calling it correction; subjugation of women, calling it a parable for our relationship to God; and child abuse, calling it discipline.

That's not love. And that's why all those times I gave my heart to God, the loving feeling faded, and guilt and fear crept steadily in. Christian theology states that God is knocking on the door of our hearts, that Jesus is merely waiting for us to accept his gift of salvation and his love. But looking back on a lifetime of belief, I was the one who made all the overtures. I was the one who knocked, who asked, who gave. Like a bad date, time after time, God stood me up.

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I really wanted God's love to be true. But the Christian definition of love includes condemnation and damnation. In defense of this harsh father figure, Christians will justify torture (hell), calling it correction; subjugation of women, calling it a parable for our relationship to God; and child abuse, calling it discipline. That's not love.

One of the things that lead to my de-conversion was the fact that I was more moral and loving than the god of the bible. It is not love - it is actually lunacy. Nice post and good discussion topic.

I got baptized at 6 (which was actually really late since most children were baptized as infants), but I don't ever remember being "saved," since my church didn't use that terminology. I pretty much always accepted that the father and son were there for us to come to, and I always considered myself to be a believer in Christian doctrine. I remember my first real experience with faith in elementary school. I knew that in the Bible, Jesus had healed people from death as well as then-incurable diseases, and I had been told that if one had faith, then one could be healed as well. Well, I chipped a tooth when I was 8 and had to have it repaired with acrylic, and every night I would pray so earnestly that I'd wake up in the morning and my tooth would be whole again, every night believing that if I had enough faith in Jesus' power, it would be done. Obviously my tooth is still chipped.

I don't know why this didn't shake my hard faith that God was as the church had taught me. High school was when I started hanging around with fundamentalists, and I do remember sort of "rededicating" myself to Jesus, partially just to "make sure" that I was actually "saved," since I wasn't sure if my baptism and confirmation in the Episcopal church really counted. I actually considered a second baptism also.

I thought I had a relationship with a deity, but I only ever had a relationship with the notion that I was "doing the right thing" and "being a good person" as well as strongly fearing eternal punishment.
I was raised in a faith-healing sect. If my chipped tooth wasn't restored, it meant I was too wicked a sinner, and my own failings "shortened God's arm of healing". Very guilt-inducing.
Episcopal church was so mellow and nice, it was my last one and I think if I'd always been in it, I might not have become atheist. So very... calm.
I was raised in an Episcopal church. Very laid back and mellow, like you said. They focus more on outreach based on love and caring for one another with a hint of Jesus. They don't preach damnation or sin. Definitely Christian, but if I had to convert, I'd be an Episcopal, hands down.
Reading your tidbits about the faith-healing sect and the guilt involved reminds me of the turmoil I experienced once I started being influenced by fundie Baptists. If I'd never strayed from the Episcopal church into the Baptist one, I'd probably still be a Christian today.
If all Christians were Episcopal, I probably wouldn't mind their continued existence. It's so oatmeal (bland). HIZM was insane and I'm glad to be out. My son was baptized Episcopal one of the last few times I went to church before deconverting.
I was raise in the church my grandmother was a holy ghost spirit filled woman if i may say she would preach fire and brimstone heaven and hell as i grew older i wanted a close relationship with god but i had to work so hard to get this relation praying non stop paying my tithes and offering the Christians say it's god's money you are curse with a curse if you don't pay tithes but one day i begun to see things in a different way and start to question myself i knew something was wrong and i had to keep a lot of things to myself i dare not tell no one that i don't think god exist and the bible is a Manuel of destruction for your life.
Well, I thought I did miracles. I thought I brought a stillborn baby back to life in a a faith healing. In 9th grade I was ready to give up god, but I couldn't stop believing he must exist because of that "miracle" in specific. My mom still thinks I have the power to raise the dead, and she's otherwise a very rational, highly intelligent woman.
Haha, well first we'd have to figure out the "root cause" (not follicle) of your approach toward baldness. Are you abandoning a position of authority? Not being the "head" of your own household? If you're children are in rebellion, that can cause baldness. I wish I was making this crap up, but really I'm just remembering it.
Nathan...I discovered Rogaine (minoxidil) about 20 years ago and I found a generic supply at Costco that was relatively inexpensive. Since then it has dropped dramatically in price, costing me just over a penny a day. Anyway, I applied it once a day after my shower and did so for one year. It took a very long time but results were forthcoming. I now have a really nice head of hair and I am father was virtually bald at 70. My male relatives are bald even younger. I pour a little in my left palm then onto my slightly damp head, rubbing it in as you would a hair tonic. It is the same value as brushing your teeth daily...a matter of personal hygiene. I know the directions tell you to use it twice a day and to use an eye dropper-type applicator....this is so you use more and BUY more. My research on the Internet told me it is a growth hormone and need be applied once a day to be effective. After one year, I never looked back and it is a daily thing. My hair is healthy. Everything I had lost from 35 years old to 50 years old grew back. Various studies demonstrate that it re-invigorates hair roots that have lainj dormant for 15 years or less. Try it every day for one year after you shower. Do NOT get year.
Thats a quarter a day Nathan not a here won't let you edit as far as I can tell...Ogden
Now I know how to edit my posts...thanks folks. I even tried throwing a brick straight up in the air and yelling "Jesus Save Me!" where are those bandaids?...laughter




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