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Cindlady2
May 3rd, 2006, 06:01 AM
OK, a couple of years ago my husband in one of 'winter depression' stages got involved with a very small, newly formed christian church... that was fine, it seemed to be what he needed at the time.

He always knew I wasn't quite christian, but wasn't an atheist either. When I finally told him about my beliefs he had some questions but didn't argue with me about it. I'm sure he would have liked our son to be more christian... but He (hubby) never took him to church so our son is Pagan.

But now I'm wondering just where, and how far he is going with this. He's involved with a church function 3-4 times a week and considering the hours he buts in at work... he spends more time with them, than he dose with us! We have been asked to a few things but I find it rather awkward. I have meet a few of the other parishioners and had a nice 2 1/2 hour conversation with his pastor when I was in the hospital. They all know I'm Pagan, and yes I call myself a plain old witch so there will be no doubt. I seem to be accepted and many seem very interested in my knowledge of herbs. I've even made remedies for some. So far so good.

Well, here's the rub... He's been reading some books and listening to ALOT of christian radio. Some of the things they say can be very 'disturbing' as far as a 'non christian' life goes. I'm worried he's starting to take too much into his own beliefs. The more he takes the Bible as fact, the harder it's going to be for all of us. I do love him. But I would hate to see this drive us apart. I have had my views and beliefs since I was a child. I tried a couple of times to be a good christian... didn't work! And I will NOT abandon my beliefs again!

And I'm also wondering just how good for Him some of these books are. One is called The Men's Manual. It's a guide as to how a man and his family should be as Christians. Well, 2 of us aren't Christians and the views of the book are not how most modern families are. Well, I think it's depressing him more. Because he and his family aren't living up to this book!

I don't know what to do. I hate to try to take this away from him, but I can also see going terribly wrong!

coeur
May 3rd, 2006, 07:20 AM
I think that there's a lack of communication. Certainly you want to respect his privacy and his own religion, but you can't just assume that he will take everything he appears to be reading/listening as literally as you think. It would be good to just come clean with your feelings and thoughts and just confront him. It might also be good to figure out why he's turning to Christianity. Perhaps he needs to see a therapist? Perhaps he is clinically depressed? Perhaps he just likes the community involvement of the church? There are plenty of reasons why someone would spend that much time at a church, and it's not as odd as some people might think.

The Bible itself is not a bad piece of literature. It's very motivational and it has a lot good ethics in there. The bits and pieces about witches being evil and magick being bad are few and in between so it's not like someone who is reading the Bible avidly is going to get wound up in pages and pages worth of anti-witch material. I would personally only become worried about his involvement in Church is he starts showing animosity, contempt, or resentment toward you or your son.

I also feel curious as to when you told him about your religious beliefs (before or after marriage). If you had told him about your beliefs after the marriage, he might feel a bit robbed or cheated of information and might be feeling lost.

All in all you should just sit down and talk with him seriously about these things. No one knows what's going on inside his head except for him so until you get the words out of his mouth, you can't really change anything.

Cindlady2
May 3rd, 2006, 08:50 AM
Yes, I'm sure there is lack of communication... he's not home much., and when he is, it's bed time.
He dose have a strong history of depression, and although we don't fight much he is upset about our finances and his relationship with our son. (He had gone 'off' on him pretty bad when our son was young but it was mostly due to uncontrolled diabetes.)
It's not so much that I'm against the bible... or even what it says about "witches" but the ideas that woman should be so subservient. The book he is reading goes on about how woman can't be fulfilled if they work and how the neglect the family if they do, etc. Altough it dose say to consider her advise.

I hinted at my 'witcheyness' as we were dating... but wasn't "out " yet. I did tell him how I felt... I just didn't 'label' it. I guess I totally 'came out' about 9 years ago. At the time he was OK with it.

What bugs me (or what I think is hurting him) is this book..... It makes him feel like he's a failure because he can't provide like it says he should. And he's not the christian leader of the house. And I don't act like a good little christian wife. Things in general just don't go 'by the book'.

I thought about calling his pastor but I don't want to sound like a pushy /nosey wife. I'm concerned but this is so touchy.

BenSt
May 3rd, 2006, 08:59 AM
I think you as a loved one can empower him to find God through his own way. I mean it does say in the Bible that to a follower of Christ, Christ is the only way...and that followers can not lead the followers...becasue only Christ can do that. Perhaps try and find him alternatives to the books he's been finding becasue it sounds to me to be like a very evangelical missionary group and to be honest I consider that to be one of the more dangerous forms of Christinaity...very literil, very narrow minded. But to me it sounds as though he is happier he's finding some spirituality....I say nurture it becasue after all, a very popular belief is that we do follow the same God by whatever the name so you can share that with him :).

Namaste

Tobias

Jolantru
May 3rd, 2006, 09:41 AM
I am with coeur here. Talk to your husband. Have a good honest heart-to-heart talk.

Good luck and cheers,
Jolantru

RunningRiot
May 3rd, 2006, 09:46 AM
I would suggest making time to talk to him any way possible. He needs to know you're there and you are a real person with real beliefs. What he's going through sounds like, and reminds me of the time when someone in my life started to think reality wasn't quite perfect and decided to get involved with a cult and drugs and then went about accusing all of us of "blashpemy" when we confronted them about it. It was not cool, and I know this story is really out there, but things like this do happen. I'm not saying your hubby is doing drugs, but his reality has definantly shifted.

Talk to him about it. Lay it out flat and don't hide anything back. Be as upforward as possible and ask him outright why he needs to depend so desperatly to his religion instead of on you.

just my opinion

Greyharp
May 3rd, 2006, 08:37 PM
Having been in your husband's shoes, my experiences may be of some help, I hope. Before I was a Pagan, I was a Pentecostal Christian for 12 years. I first went shortly after my 20th birthday. My teen years had been depressing and I'd managed to mess my life up pretty good, so I was looking for something to help me. Sadly for me, Christians came knocking on my door and six months later, I was married off to another new convert and we were having children.

I'd suffered from depression during my teens and it continued all through my years in the church. I was never suited to the religion, although I tried my hardest to be a good Christian. There was a strong emphasis in our fellowship of men being men and women conforming to the role of good wife. I read all the books, stuff like "Maximum Manhood", and tried to live up to the ideal. I spent the whole time feeling guilty because I could never come up to the Bible's standard. I understood the notion of "saved by grace", but it didn't stop the depression of my self-perceived and constant failure.

One thing your husband has which I never had, was a supportive wife who showed love and understanding. My wife also read the books on what a "real" man should be and constantly berated me for not being one. She attacked me in man's weakest point - his ego, which only pushed me further down the path of depression. The good news is that I finally came to my senses, realised that I didn't like Christianity at all, wasn't suited to it and didn't, in fact, even believe the Bible to be true, and so I left the Church. Shortly afterwards, my wife left me for an American she met on the internet, much to her later regret when she found he had five women on the go - there's karma for you.

It sounds to me that your husband, like me, is not suited to Christianity. That is something only he can work out for himself. In the meantime, I think you can only do what you are doing. The advice you've already received has been great - communication - and I would add that you should constantly tell him you love him and build up his self-esteem, praising his masculinity, if you know what I mean.

As for his increasing fundamentalism, I agree with Galadraal, it is extremely worrying. I know. I was a black and white, no shades of grey fundamentalist myself. In fact when I think back to how I used to think, it sickens me. Ironically, the Bible's advice to the "saved" wife with an unbelieving husband is for her to be the best wife she can be, rather than leaving him, and hopefully winning him to Christ by her admirable conduct. Hopefully your husband sees that as a two-way street, applying it to husbands too, and doesn't turn on you because of your "unbelieving" ways.

In the meantime, there is some great stuff available on the internet that talks about what Pagans and Witches really believe, stuff like the ReligiousTolerance.org site and the section on Wicca from the US military Chaplain's handbook. Whether he'll read that or not is another question. I know from my time in Church that we absolutely refused point blank to read anything that wasn't written by a Christian, although the Chaplain's handbook section is certainly a way around that kind of thinking.

Going by my experience, it doesn't sound like your husband enjoys or is suited to being a Christian. I went through the stages of getting into it, becoming fundamentalist, backing off and then leaving altogether - after all, you can only put up with feeling miserable and not good enough for so long. In the meantime, just love him, make him feel like a man and continue to be supportive, things you are doing already by the sounds of it. Hope this is helpful in some way.

Dave

Philosophia
May 3rd, 2006, 08:45 PM
I agree with all of the posters here. You have to talk to him and find out why he "loves" Christianity so much. If he's also depressed, he could be trying to find a way of filling a void that he feels he has.
:hugz: I hope everything turns out okay...

Silvan
May 3rd, 2006, 08:52 PM
I don't know what to do. I hate to try to take this away from him, but I can also see going terribly wrong!I'm going through a similar thing with my boss. Not quite as intimate, but it's a close parallel. He got to listening to those Christian radio stations, and before you know it, well, here we are. It troubles me to see someone who used to be capable of independent thought turning into one of the Stepford people.

I have no good advice to offer you though. Just sympathy for the awkwardness of your plight.

Meadhbh
May 3rd, 2006, 09:45 PM
I agree that you should have a talk with him. Stress the fact that your glad that he has found something that has so much meaning for him. You should also voice that you are worried though on the kind of path that this may be leading him down. Have a heart to heart about the things that he is doing that bothers you. He may not even be aware that he's doing any thing to cause you concern. You'd have to go about this carefully but I'd be firm in telling him that things weren't going to change with you just because he found god and while your happy for him its not right for you to have change your whole life for him.

Little Billy
May 3rd, 2006, 11:52 PM
And I'm also wondering just how good for Him some of these books are. One is called The Men's Manual. It's a guide as to how a man and his family should be as Christians.

Oh, crap. That's "Promise Keeper" stuff.

You're gonna have to do something.

Cindlady2
May 4th, 2006, 03:09 AM
Thanks All!
I really am getting rather 'frazzled' over this. I do want to talk to him about it, but how do you tell someone you love that you think they're being too extreme with their religion? Sometimes I think I may have drove him to it because I'm not the slobber all over affection type. But then we've been married for 17 1/2 years which beat both our first marriages! I know the depression thing was going on long before we even met, but still...
Dang! There is so much I want to say about the books, the radio, he's even gone online now for even more stuff! I know he needs something! I'm just afraid of what he'll find while looking!
Anyway, how can I bring it up without crushing him? What should I say? I'm concerned that his new found glory is making him feel bad for not having the perfect life? Grrrrr

I feel like I should be able to handle this but .... (grrrrr) it would be easier if he had just run off to a cult!

Philosophia
May 4th, 2006, 03:41 AM
Thanks All!
I really am getting rather 'frazzled' over this. I do want to talk to him about it, but how do you tell someone you love that you think they're being too extreme with their religion? Sometimes I think I may have drove him to it because I'm not the slobber all over affection type. But then we've been married for 17 1/2 years which beat both our first marriages! I know the depression thing was going on long before we even met, but still...
Dang! There is so much I want to say about the books, the radio, he's even gone online now for even more stuff! I know he needs something! I'm just afraid of what he'll find while looking!
Anyway, how can I bring it up without crushing him? What should I say? I'm concerned that his new found glory is making him feel bad for not having the perfect life? Grrrrr
I feel like I should be able to handle this but .... (grrrrr) it would be easier if he had just run off to a cult!

This is just a suggestion...
Maybe you can ask him to stay at home for a night so you can have a special dinner in a restaurant or at home, and then ask him about how he feels about his religion, etc.. It'll give you a chance to ask questions about his path and how he feels.
It'll also clear the air a bit, and maybe show how much you love him.

:hugz: Whatever you do, w'll be with you in spirit..._pounce_

jcldragon
May 4th, 2006, 04:57 AM
The Pastor & the parishioners of this Church sound like, "Sermon on the Mount" type Christians. Those are the sort who take things like, "Judge not, lest ye be judged", and "Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you", very seriously. I really doubt that they would cause you any problems.

The problem seems to be that your husband is straying away from them in his thinkng, and is getting involved with Fundamentalism. That in my opinion, is the Dark Side of Christianity. I really don't even consider Fundamentalism, as being a part of Christianity, since it teaches a different Gospel from the Love that Christ preached.

If I've read this situation correctly, then you might want to speak with the Pastor of this Church, and express your concerns. If he is what I think he is, then he'll be glad to help you out. He won't want a good marriage to go down the tubes. AND, if he really is a "Sermon on the Mount" type Christian, he won't want to lose his parishioner to some Fundamentalist church...

Calen
May 4th, 2006, 06:32 AM
That your husband has a history of depression is making me think that his motivation for being so involved at the church has something to do with that. Ask him to stay home for an evening, and do something fun with your son, as a family (nothing that would be objectionable to his churchiness, just so as to not cause problems at this point).

After your son has gone to bed, tell him how great it was to spend time with him, that you'd really missed him. Maybe say something about how happy you feel, to have a good husband and a wonderful child. See how he responds.

If he cannot express those same feelings of satisfaction after spending a pleasant night with his family, either he is depressed, or the things he's been reading have made him feel, like you've guessed, as though he (and you) is not good enough, somehow.

Trying to stop him going to church will probably just get him on the defensive. If he does still seem unhappy with things, start a conversation with him next time you see him reading one of those books. Maybe talk about why a family does or does not have to be a certain way. Those books seem like they would state everything in a pretty absolute way. If you suggest that famillies can function well without being exactly like that, he might not feel so unsatisfactory.

Hopefully, it is more important to him that you think he is a wonderful husband than it is for his church, or some remote author, to think so. Good luck.

Mishka
May 4th, 2006, 10:40 AM
You should be concerned. I completely identify with your being frazzled. The rift in religion almost ended my marriage.

Absolutely communicate communicate communicate. He needs to pick a night of the week where he is home with you.

I highly recommend that you get him out of that church and find somewhere you can both have some religious expression. Obviously Unitarian Universalists are very open, so are some (not all) Methodist and/or Quaker churches.

If he can take the best and leave the rest, enjoy a more liberal form of Christianity, the two of you might be able to work this out and still enjoy and respect each other's faith.

I spent a lot of time at Walk Away from Fundamentalism forum and infidel guy. Infidels is pretty harsh at Christianity, and it's best for you to maintain your supportive, loving attitude. Otherwise you'll add fuel to the born-again fire. But both are good for support and reality checks.

pm me anytime if you want a fellow wife who has been here done that to talk to. Many blessings to you and your family.

Sage Rainsong
May 4th, 2006, 08:43 PM
Anyway, how can I bring it up without crushing him? What should I say? I'm concerned that his new found glory is making him feel bad for not having the perfect life?

Well maybe you should talk about how the behavior is making you feel and how it is affecting your marriage rather than focus on the books and beliefs themselves. That way, maybe he won't feel personally attacked. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

Cindlady2
May 5th, 2006, 06:25 AM
I thank everyone for their help!
If I don't fill you in for a while it's not that i have forgotten your help, it's just this might take some time (hopefully not too much).

1 more snag... he got a call last night that his mom has given up on living. She has alzheimer's, and her health has been bad, now she's stopped eating so I don't know if this will be a good time. We'll see.

Calen
May 5th, 2006, 03:26 PM
...he got a call last night that his mom has given up on living. She has alzheimer's, and her health has been bad, now she's stopped eating so I don't know if this will be a good time. We'll see.


How awful. Yeah, doesn't sound like the best time to have him re-evaluate his belief system. Energy to you both for dealing with this.

unicornwitch
May 5th, 2006, 03:46 PM
I hope you get to read this. You are getting very wonderful advise here. BUT, it won't work until you deal with his depression!! As one who has dealt with depression and tried many holistic (but unfortunately, unsuccessful) remedies, I say get him on antidepressents first. In his state of mind he probably wouldn't go for holistic (or what he may interrept as pagan) remedies. When you are depressed and have had a long history of it, changes in your life (like becoming Christian or pagan) won't fix the way you feel.
I think you can take comfort in knowing that the hard core Christianity thing is a way for him to focus outside of himself. He feels it is "fixing" his depression, but it really is allowing him to think about a life after this one...it lets him believe that there is a reward after this hell he is living in.
You get him living in the present w/medication and a good councelor, he will give up the Christian crutch.
So, my suggestion is focus on the depression now. Be more proactive about that first. It will take a while for him to heal and maybe try 2-3 different medications before he gets it right. I'm talking a good year or more. Hopefully, your marriage will stand the test of time.
Then take on the battle of beliefs. You may find it will fix itself. Peace be with you.

Cindlady2
May 6th, 2006, 06:21 AM
You could be right about the depression. I'm an herbalist and had him on a couple of combinations but they were not working well with his prescriptions his doctor has him on. I think I will see what other herbs might work. I doubt if I can get him to counseling.

Scarlettvixen
May 6th, 2006, 08:17 AM
cindy no advice hun
just :hugz: and good luck dealing with it

Amythyst
May 6th, 2006, 08:56 AM
You have my sympathy.

My ex-husband got us involved with a Christian Fundamentalist homeschool support group. It was a disaster and it's one reason we got divorced.

Groups like this are more like cults. It's "their way or no way". I was alarmed at how quickly and how intimately they became involved in personal decisions with our family. When I was told I shouldn't have any more children (I have six) and I decided to get a tubal ligation, I had these people calling my home, harrassing me, telling me I'm "killing children", etc.

They try to dictate how you dress, what kind of movies/entertainment you watch, what kind of books you read, etc. They even got into diet-- all natural grains, no white sugar, no meat, etc. (Talk about nuts!!-- not necessarily the diet itself, but trying to force it onto other people.)

Anyway, my experience would lead me to run not walk away from them.

The "Men's Manual"?-- I saw men who sat themselves up like little gods in their homes, demanding that their wives be in complete submission to them. It was scary and disgusting. They took away their wive's and their daughter's free will and dignity and respect.

From my ex-husband's experience I can say that it's like being sucked into a cult. It sounds like your husband is hooked. I predict that it will only be a matter of time before they try to "convert" and "save" you.

Good luck. You're going to need it.

jcldragon
May 6th, 2006, 09:01 AM
After my Aunt Marge died, we read her diary. She never told us what a hassel the colostomy bag she had had to use for about 20 years, was to her. She could have recovered from the broken hip, but she decided that she simply was done with this lifetime. So she stopped eating.

The last time we visited her, there was no visible sign that she knew we were there. BUT, I felt her mind touch me, when we entered the room, and saw the life force drift up out of her body at the solar plexus & the pineal.

A few days later, I felt her presence again, no longer encumbered by a worn-out body. She said she was going to take a long vacation on the Spiritual Plane. However, about six months later, she contacted me again, enquiring about Pagans who were about to have kids. Apparently, I have taken Networking to a whole other level...

So I have no need to grieve when someone I love dies. It's almost as easy for me to talk with them, as it is to speak with somebody in the online world, since in both cases, physical distance isn't a factor.

Of course, your husband doesn't know about these things, so when his Mom dies, I expect he will feel like his whole world has been turned inside out. That is going to be very difficult for him to relate to. He might want to become closer to you again, or his fears may win out, & you may lose him.

~sighs~

I wish you the best...

The issue of dealing with depression using chemical means, is very complicated. Everybody's internal chemistry is a bit different, and what may work for one, may not work for another. I suspect, (but can't prove), that the herbal approaches are more likely to succeed, than the drugs currently available. Moreover, herbs & drugs often aren't very compatible. There can be adverse side-effects, so you will need to talk with a pharmacist about this. In my experience, pharmacists generally know tons more about this, than any doctor.

Silvan
May 6th, 2006, 11:33 AM
I feel like I should be able to handle this but .... (grrrrr) it would be easier if he had just run off to a cult!That's part of the problem with this whole, precarious situation. He has run off to a cult, but how do you get him to see that?

Raven_Neurion
May 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Yiyiyi!
Sounds like the church he goes to isn't all that bad, but it's some of the books and radio that seem to have a fundamentalist twist. That can be dangerous.
First of all, I am born again myself - the way Jesus taught us to be born again (spiritual awakening/awareness) and not the way most churches teach it. I was a fundamentalist extremist in the 80s until I literally had to go into the woods and let the Creator & various spirits show me the error of my ways and the path to walk upon. Some folks call me a Christian Pagan or Pagan Christian and that's fine since I believe Jesus himself lived a kind of pagan lifestyle when compared to how the churches portray him...
Anyways, just to let you know I've been in the mix with this stuff... even have Bible College and preaching experience in the past.

To be honest most Christian teachings on how to be a Christian man or husband will teach the "wives submit to your husbands" doctrine and this has been very abused by the church. In fact it can lead to domestic abuse. Jesus taught people to be free of religious legalism and man made bondage, not to be ensnared by it. the only people he ever argued with was the Jewish religious leaders who had an organized religious system very much like many of todays churches. He completely denounced that system and said it was vain. No, actually he called them serpents and a generation of vipers.

I would approach the situation with much prayer and use wisdom when trying to talk about this. If a person is going the fundamentalist route they will become more and more closed minded. No matter what you say they probably won't listen but will just point out Bible verses and fall back on some teaching they read or heard. It's a pretty wicked spell if you ask me. I'll be the first to say that some Christians practice more bad witchcraft than any pagan does. They brainwash by manipulating the Bible to form their own teachings and with subtlety they drill those teachings into a mans heart and mind, with a stern warning of some horrible "judgement" should they stray from the teaching. YUK! Been there too many times and it's a load of crap and has nothing to do with Christ or God or spirituality. All it has to do with is human lust and desire to control others.

I would just pray that the Spirit open his eyes and keep him on a good path, and to detour him away from any negative religious path.

equinox2
May 6th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Raven_Neurion

some Christians ... brainwash by manipulating the Bible to form their own teachings

Yes, I agree that manipulating the Bible is done left and right. However, I've read the whole Bible, and have to say that the fundamentalist, cult type christians are generally much closer to what the Bible says than the open, "Jesus was a nice guy", "God loves all religions" type of Christians. It takes an awful lot of manipulating the Bible to say things that it doesn't, for instance, be accepting of other religions, or of homosexuality, or of equal rights for women, or for even something as basic as condemning anyone who would kill children.


with a stern warning of some horrible "judgement" should they stray from the teaching.

well, sure. Much of the Bible is made up of extremely stern warnings about the horrible judements that will befall you if you stray from the Bible's teaching. For instance this is what the Bible says in Dt chap 28:


However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. The sights you see will drive you mad. The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your fathers. ... The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail.

(.... that reminds me of the whole immigrant worker controversy - are some people basing their response on the Bible?...)

All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.

The LORD will bring a nation against you ... Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. The most gentle and sensitive woman among you...will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God- the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you.


Of course, none of that compares at all to the pain and suffering Jesus says will happen if you disobey. Jesus and the New testament talk about hell, which is unending torture for all eternity. In fact, it is Jesus, more than anyone else in the Bible (more than Moses, Paul, Peter, etc.), who threatens us with Hell the most.


YUK! Been there too many times and it's a load of crap and has nothing to do with Christ or God or spirituality.


I agree. YUK is right. A healthy spirituality, in tune with a God that is worthy of worship, is a spirituality that can see hurtful ideas for what they are, and reject them.

Cindy, the person who posted about this being a cult situation is right. Just because it is part of a religion that has tens of millions of members in the US doesn't mean it's not a harmful, controlling religion (which is what is meant by "cult" here).

You may find this site to be useful:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

He may not know all the stuff that he is signing on to by thinking that the Bible is a "good book". You also may need to know something about the history of how the Bible was collected and appproved by the church, how there are a lot of reasons to know that the Bible is a human creation, not something that dropped out of heaven from God.

Best of luck-

Cindlady2
May 7th, 2006, 06:11 AM
WOW I didn't expect so many responses! Thanks Loads!!!! I guess I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have at first. I was thinking it would be like when he went to church before. Go a couple of times a month, may help out as a usher or help at a special event. I didn't see what it had become until it had a hold on him. Like I said at the start... I don't mind that he found God... it made him feel better... but it changed into more and now 'the beast' is getting stronger! I've got to get him to see the (true) light! Hold this family in your prayers and energies... please! I have a feeling I might spend some time in the "hugs' forum.

Raven_Neurion
May 7th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Raven_Neurion


Yes, I agree that manipulating the Bible is done left and right. However, I've read the whole Bible, and have to say that the fundamentalist, cult type christians are generally much closer to what the Bible says than the open, "Jesus was a nice guy", "God loves all religions" type of Christians. It takes an awful lot of manipulating the Bible to say things that it doesn't, for instance, be accepting of other religions, or of homosexuality, or of equal rights for women, or for even something as basic as condemning anyone who would kill children.



well, sure. Much of the Bible is made up of extremely stern warnings about the horrible judements that will befall you if you stray from the Bible's teaching. For instance this is what the Bible says in Dt chap 28:



Of course, none of that compares at all to the pain and suffering Jesus says will happen if you disobey. Jesus and the New testament talk about hell, which is unending torture for all eternity. In fact, it is Jesus, more than anyone else in the Bible (more than Moses, Paul, Peter, etc.), who threatens us with Hell the most.




I agree. YUK is right. A healthy spirituality, in tune with a God that is worthy of worship, is a spirituality that can see hurtful ideas for what they are, and reject them.

Cindy, the person who posted about this being a cult situation is right. Just because it is part of a religion that has tens of millions of members in the US doesn't mean it's not a harmful, controlling religion (which is what is meant by "cult" here).

You may find this site to be useful:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

He may not know all the stuff that he is signing on to by thinking that the Bible is a "good book". You also may need to know something about the history of how the Bible was collected and appproved by the church, how there are a lot of reasons to know that the Bible is a human creation, not something that dropped out of heaven from God.

Best of luck-


That's if you take the Bible literally and also if you apply it to all people for all time rather than spiritually discern it.
As far as Jesus talking about hell, #1 - he mainly said that stuff to the religious leaders, #2 hell may very well be a symbolic state rather than literal burning & torture, #3, extreme negativity should be cut off so it doesn't affect someone later on (kind of karmic).
The stuff about women is a misinterpretation of certain scriptures coupled with the belief that all of the apostle Pauls letters were divinely inspired. I don't believe Paul wrote divinely inspired stuff when he blamed Eve for sin entering the world.... in fact he contradicts himself because he says in Romans chapter 5 eight separate times that it was the man Adam by whom sin entered. paul had major issues which I have explored and debated about on Christians sites for some years now.
I believe Jesus was a nice guy but also powerful, but in the gospels his powerful statements are always levelled at religious leaders or other religious authority figures like lawyers of the Mossaic law. To the woman caught in adultery he saved her from stoning by the religious leaders and forgave her. Most believe this was Mary Magdalene, which I happen to believe Jesus later married.... of course this is considered blasphemy by most Christians except there are quite a few hints that they were married.
In Revelation chapters 2 & 3 Jesus rebukes 6 out of 7 of the churches in that list of churches that were in the area at the time. I have a funny feeling he has the same to say about 6 out of 7 churches today.
Cult? Yes - I even wrote a lengthy essay a few years ago called "Christian Cult's Expose`" it's actually pretty scary!

equinox2
May 8th, 2006, 10:18 PM
That's if you take the Bible literally and also if you apply it to all people for all time rather than spiritually discern it.

Well, sure – if I go by what the Bible says, it says nasty stuff. If I don’t go by what the Bible says, then why even bother saying that I revere or follow the Bible? I could just as easily take some other nasty document, say, the Malleus Maleficarum, and “spiritually discern” it to mean something else, something nice. For instance, from the Malleus Maleficarum, Part II, Head 2, Question XV:


he (the judge) should rely upon the protection of God, and by the prayers and fasting of devout persons drive away this sort of devil's work from witches, in those cases where they cannot be made to confess under torture even after their clothes have been changed and all their hair has been shaved off and abraded.


Oh, I spiritually discern this not to mean actual torture and shaving, but rather it means, um, drinking and bathing? Yeah, that's it.

But why? Why not cut out the distortion and just instead start with a nice document, such as the Kalama Sutta or Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations? Or call a spade a spade and simply disagree with the text, as you do with some of Paul's writings?

I have no need to be bound to a specific document. If a document is not good, I am free to openly say that, and to move on to a good document, or even better, to just plain good ideas.

Of course, I respect your support for healthy and virtuous ideas. It’s better that you have them, even if you had to take something with the opposite ideas and “spiritually discern” the text to mean something different, something good. I’d rather be around someone like you who is kind and good than someone who, though honestly, took the harmful ideas of the Bible and obeyed them to the detriment of all.


As far as Jesus talking about hell, #1 - he mainly said that stuff to the religious leaders

Really? I’ve read the whole Bible. He said it to anyone who would stand still long enough to listen. Here are some that aren’t directed at religious leaders: mt 5


Now when he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them …

….anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

……..If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. ……

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Besides, even if he had only threatened Hell to the Jewish leaders, how does that make it better? No human being deserves eternal torture. Think about that – a year of excruciating pain? A decade? A century? Even after a million years it will have just started…… Could such a fate ever be just? I don’t think so, and I hope anyone who has an ounce of compassion will agree with me. Is torture OK if it is done to Jews?

Jesus certainly did say things symbolically, but that's easy to tell from the text. In the Hell verses, he is clearly threatening with Hell - you can even look at the passages above. There, Hell is much worse than hacking off your own hand or gouging out your eye. It's not some fluffy symbolic thing, he means it to be scary and painful. If you don't believe me, just try it sometime - try to hack off your hand or gouge out your eye. BTW - Christians have taken Jesus at his word and literally mutilated themselves to avoid Hell.


To the woman caught in adultery he saved her from stoning by the religious leaders and forgave her.

That story probably never happened. It was made up and written into the Bible during the middle ages, centuries after Jesus. I mean, it’s a nice story, but I could just as easily make up some nice stories about whoever. Like a nice story about Raven: One day, a thief caught red handed was brought before Raven………



the belief that all of the apostle Pauls letters were divinely inspired. I don't believe Paul wrote divinely inspired stuff when he blamed Eve for sin entering the world

I agree. Paul wrote all kinds of nasty stuff, including saying that anything God may do, no matter how heartless and cruel, is morally OK because God is super powerful and therefore above the law. That’s the same as saying might makes right. It’s cool to see a person like you who has found the moral and intellectual ability to reject the parts of the Bible that say mean things. I think that is one of the first steps to a real and living morality.


Cult? Yes - I even wrote a lengthy essay a few years ago called "Christian Cult's Expose`" it's actually pretty scary!

Sounds interesting! Is it online anywhere?:boing:

Love and Light-

SilentDreams
May 8th, 2006, 11:10 PM
I haven't seen the replies.

But my advice would be to just wait things out. Yes, a lot of what's going on has the makings for a very hard road ahead. But who knows? Maybe he's just curious about things and exploring as much as he can. He seems to be happy with his beliefs and wants to learn a lot. That's a good thing. And as long as he hasn't started getting nasty twoards you or your son then it's fine I'd say.

No point in worrying about the "maybes". Now of course if he does start trying to convert you two or just starts being rude then you'll have a problem. But until then, don't waste your good times together worrying! Enjoy the (very rare) understanding relationship you two share!

taijiya
May 9th, 2006, 11:24 AM
I agree with the other posters who have recommended addressing your husband's depression and also the lack of communication between you. If you've been married for over 17 years and he's known of your beliefs for nine of those years, then the fact that you're a witch should already be a non-issue--but if it starts to become an issue, like all of a sudden it starts to feel like you're being pressured to convert, then that's where the communication thing will become even more vital. The fact that he's being led in the direction of reading those books on gender roles and such raise a big red flag in my mind; the pushing of archaic role distinctions to the point of fostering abusive situations is one of the things that most disturbs me about the modern evangelical movement.

So yeah, communication; tell him, frankly and lovingly, that you're concerned for him, and for your marriage. And know you've got quite a few folks on this board who'll lend an ear if you need it. :hugz:

Cindlady2
May 10th, 2006, 04:43 AM
Thanks!.... Like I said... this could be while.

Raven_Neurion
May 10th, 2006, 11:43 AM
Sounds interesting! Is it online anywhere?:boing:

Love and Light-


Yep:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfinzone/message/13

It's long....

equinox2
May 10th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Wow - that's a scary story!

I have to say that your experience in organized Christianity is far beyond mine!


Sections like this one are something else:

my chin hit a rock, chipping two
rear molars and making two gashes under my chin. I do not blame
Lorina for this behavior. She was under the mind control of a cult
and their psychological manipulation through fear tactics. All the
while they tried to say I used witchcraft and mind control on her, it
was THEM doing the very thing they were accusing me of doing.
Unfortunately with these kinds of churches, anything thats outside
their limited belief system is automatically considered "Of the
Devil."

Wherever you go, I wish you best....

Raven_Neurion
May 17th, 2006, 10:32 AM
Wow - that's a scary story!

I have to say that your experience in organized Christianity is far beyond mine!


Sections like this one are something else:


Wherever you go, I wish you best....

Yeah, that was probably the worse day as far as physical injury went. But it's the mental & spiritual injury that ends up being worse. In a sense that one preacher was right about physical wounds healing and spiritual wounds needing attention, but he completely ignored my physical wounds and instead of helping the woman he was actually contributing to her affliction. Just a big mess.
What I think is even more dangerous are the agendas of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and others with political clout. They want to take over the whole country and make it a Christian country.... and "Christian" according to them means getting rid of anything they do not approve of which they would establish laws to enforce. Witchcraft & paganism would become a literal crime with possibly fines or jail sentences. Hec, Pat Robertson is even known for quoting the OT passage about "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" so he would probably want the death penalty. If these people ever got in power leave the country!

Kalika
May 17th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Have you looked for any 'positive' Christian and inter-faith books for him? Maybe picking up a few that have different views and opinions on things will help him see that what he's reading may not be right for his family.

'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' might be a good coffee table book to pick up too, just 'cause it sounds like he takes things a little too much to heart sometimes.

:hugz:

It's always tough when a couple doesn't see eye-to-eye on religious matters... even harder when they have a child together. For your son's sake, (and yours, of course) I hope that he'll remain openminded.

Raven_Neurion
May 18th, 2006, 11:30 AM
Have you looked for any 'positive' Christian and inter-faith books for him? Maybe picking up a few that have different views and opinions on things will help him see that what he's reading may not be right for his family.

'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' might be a good coffee table book to pick up too, just 'cause it sounds like he takes things a little too much to heart sometimes.

:hugz:

It's always tough when a couple doesn't see eye-to-eye on religious matters... even harder when they have a child together. For your son's sake, (and yours, of course) I hope that he'll remain openminded.

Excellent idea! There are so many different doctrines & denominations out there that when you start seeing the variety you begin to realize that no one church really has the exclusive on what Christianity is....

dragoncrone
June 1st, 2006, 03:57 PM
I don't know how old your son is but it IMO is vital that he gets support from you and assurance that he does NOT have to become Xtian. Which he does not -- be very clear on that.
Clue him in on Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Ba'hai and the Hebrew faith too, there have to be books for young people out there or online. That way he'll get an idea of the 'big picture' religion-wise, especially in terms of the vast difference in demands and expectations that each faith makes of its believers!!
Right now you are the steady, solid one in the family. If things get tough we're all here for you. Blessings!!!:thumbsup: :uhhuhuh: :p

Dusk
June 21st, 2006, 09:43 PM
Any news to report? As a former fundie, I feel for you. Much luck.

Golliath
June 22nd, 2006, 01:26 AM
I think that there's a lack of communication. Certainly you want to respect his privacy and his own religion, but you can't just assume that he will take everything he appears to be reading/listening as literally as you think. It would be good to just come clean with your feelings and thoughts and just confront him. It might also be good to figure out why he's turning to Christianity. Perhaps he needs to see a therapist? Perhaps he is clinically depressed? Perhaps he just likes the community involvement of the church? There are plenty of reasons why someone would spend that much time at a church, and it's not as odd as some people might think.

The Bible itself is not a bad piece of literature. It's very motivational and it has a lot good ethics in there. The bits and pieces about witches being evil and magick being bad are few and in between so it's not like someone who is reading the Bible avidly is going to get wound up in pages and pages worth of anti-witch material. I would personally only become worried about his involvement in Church is he starts showing animosity, contempt, or resentment toward you or your son.

I also feel curious as to when you told him about your religious beliefs (before or after marriage). If you had told him about your beliefs after the marriage, he might feel a bit robbed or cheated of information and might be feeling lost.

All in all you should just sit down and talk with him seriously about these things. No one knows what's going on inside his head except for him so until you get the words out of his mouth, you can't really change anything.


Out of all the posts I'd have to agree with this one best. seems to me also that there is no over all communication. If at least though, he can create a sort of 'truce' between his and yours religions, or even better, combine them somehow (christian witchcraft perhaps?) then soon you will see that everyting will turn around of the best..


Hope this helped,

blessed be!

:fpipesmok

Cindlady2
June 22nd, 2006, 06:12 AM
OK, here's the update. Good news is he hasn't been reading some of those "extreme" books that he was reading and I've brought up the subject about how I thought the ideas were antiquated and he agreed. (He doesn't seem as depressed since he stooped reading them.)Thank the Gods!

He has decided that we can't afford the gas to go to church functions 3-5 times a week so he has cut that down a bit.

He now has a dog! This may not seem relevant but it gives him someone to go on his walks with and helps keep his mind off 'other things'. (He needs to walk for his diabetes and I have hip and back issues and can't walk with him.)

Our son is working where he works now so they are talking more on the rides to and from work.

The only thing that got worse (that I know of) is he is subbing for the pastor at Bible Study. And has been 'counseling' a few people.


I don't know how old your son is but it IMO is vital that he gets support from you and assurance that he does NOT have to become Xtian. Which he does not -- be very clear on that.
Clue him in on Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Ba'hai and the Hebrew faith too, there have to be books for young people out there or online. That way he'll get an idea of the 'big picture' religion-wise, especially in terms of the vast difference in demands and expectations that each faith makes of its believers!!
Right now you are the steady, solid one in the family. If things get tough we're all here for you. Blessings!!!:thumbsup: :uhhuhuh: :p

I don't worry too much about what path my son will fallow. He is 17 and I was guiding young people on 'the path' almost 2 years before I 'came out of the closet' to most of my family. He has been exposed to many pagan paths for over half his life and most of his best friends were once my 'students'. It's weird but because he was always around when I was talking to and teaching them, they kind of 'adopted' him even though they are 5- 10 years older. He's always been mature for his age and fits right in with them. I'm sure even if his dad tries to make him Christian he will do what's best for him.

So all in all things are a little better... not great yet, but better.
Thanks to you all!

Kmartin60
June 22nd, 2006, 03:25 PM
LOL...I just read your latest up-date...glad to hear all is going better! I come from a family that were all either manic-depressive, or bi-polar...so...it is good that things are working out to keep communication lines open and a form of counseling also...I.E. the dog, and the subbing for Pastor...

me and my husband are born-again,spirit filled christains..Yeah! the Holy rollers! hahaha Talking in tongues, laying on of hands, the whole bit!

but I have always had the ...hmm....what to call it? magical points? So have been incorporating it all prettiy succefully I think! Most churches arnt as extreme as Fallwell or the others you mentioned...thank goodness!

My main problem is daughter...21, very headstrong and set in "her" beliefs...which is OK..mainly close to mine but more extreme..when she found my Tarot for example or my making catholic rosaries...she really had a problem! LOL....."What do you think Jesus is gonna think of that?" I calmly told her "When I asked Him he said the Tarot is just cardboard, just check your intent, and the rosaries are pretty!" LOL she chocked and spluttered...

Mainly just keep YOUR faith, and be tolerant and compassionate for those that havent yet reached the stadge of complete understanding.....good luck to you and yours! Brightest Blessings! Kim