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Thread: Questionnaire for Ex-Christians

  1. #61
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    ok... weird... can anyone else see my responses? cuz it says I replied.. and yet I don't see em!
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  2. #62
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Church of Christ (hey, Lunacie! )

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    I left the Church of Christ when I was in my early 20’s and joined a fundamentalist charismatic group. I left them a few years later and joined the Roman Catholic church. I was 33 when I discovered the Goddess and 36 when I left the Christian path altogether.

    3. Why?
    I had learned that the divine, however you characterize it, is larger than any words we may use to describe or convey it. It occurred to me that this means that, due to our imperfect receptivity and different experiences, different people could be in communion with the same divine essence while using different names and even different theologies to describe the experience. If true, then divisions between people who were communing with the same divine but using different theologies were evil, and intentionally causing and perpetuating such divisions was tantamount to the “sin against the Holy Spirit,” denying the reality of the divine for the sake of mere appearances. This sin is characterized in the New Testament as unforgiveable; so, you can imagine how serious it seems to a Christian.

    I felt I had to know whether people in other religions, and Wicca specifically, were experiencing the same divine reality I was experiencing as a Christian. There were two approaches I could think of: (a) research, continually revising my evaluation and drawing ever-nearer to a final conclusion – without, however, ever reaching one – or (b) making the leap myself, whereupon I would *know*. I knew that the Bible taught against worshipping other gods, etc.; but, I reasoned, maybe it *wasn’t* another god, not really. Wasn’t that the point? to get beyond accidence to substance? I further reasoned that a loving God would not abandon me in this pursuit because my cause was a righteous one. I compared my action to that of a small child, standing at the top of a set of stairs leading into a dark basement, who hears his father’s voice below saying, “Jump and I will catch you.” Isn’t that faith? I leapt from the cliff.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    The answers are: “Wicca” and “far, far too analytically.”

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    Yes and no. I think the Gardnerians and Alexandrians, and/or other British traditionalists, are trying to “reclaim” the word “Wicca” to refer to their tradition(s) specifically; but for me the word will probably always refer to religious Witchcraft in general. My mind was poisoned early on by Scott Cunningham, for which I shall always be grateful.

    Nowadays my Craft is predominantly devotional. I don’t exclude magical work; it just hasn’t been a priority for some time. Interestingly, though, a week or two ago I felt a nudge in that direction. We'll see if anything comes of it.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    No kids, so any answer to this would be purely speculative.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    Very, very few people not in the Craft have ever known. I kept it a secret while my father was alive because he loved me, would never have understood and would have concluded his son had lost his mind; and I was afraid this would break his heart. I was also concerned that coming out of the closet would destroy my marketability in my profession, but that was a secondary consideration. Now that my father is gone and I am no longer doing the same sort of work, it isn’t quite the issue it once was. I’m not going to broadcast it; but, if it comes out, it comes out.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Lol, see previous response!

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    Oh, yes, and oh, no.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    No, and it has been one of the more difficult aspects of this walk. But the Lady loves me, and I know it’s for good reason. She doeth all things well.
    Last edited by Tom Terrific; January 22nd, 2010 at 06:07 PM.

  3. #63
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    I made this up myself, asking the things about which I am curious:

    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in? - Non-denominational

    2. How old were you when you left for something else? - 18

    3. Why? - I found the hypocrisy, fear mongering, and money grubbing to be stifling.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it? - Not sure what you mean by interest. As in a religious path? Don't have one.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?) - see above.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?) - see above, if I did have children I wouldn't raise them in any path, it's up to them to determine their spiritual direction. I can give them ideas but the decision is theirs.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted? - I don't talk to anyone I went to church with, my mom is turning into a bit of a thumper but that's her prerogative, I'm not about to stomp on her spiritual growth.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly? - I don't have one specifically, however I am comfortable expressing my spiritual views publicly.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else? - I am always growing.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals? - I don't think so, maybe some people share my views and beliefs but we don't feel the need to commune over them, as it were.
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  4. #64
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Roman Catholic. *shudder*

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    13

    3. Why?
    Truthfully... I was just tired of the double standards. They didn't make sense to me. If God was so loving and just, why were women always getting the dumb end of the stick?

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    My first interest was when I met a girl named Katrina. She had this sense of... peace. As if she knew just who she was, and she was content. So we got into discussions about it, and the next thing I know, I'm diving into paganism.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    No. My faith and spirituality has evolved. While I am still pagan, I am much more... educated? I guess. The idea of being goody goody just doesn't sit well with me, and I have embraced the balance of the world. Light and Dark, Kind and Cruel.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    I will raise my children to be aware of many paths. I will ask the gods to bless them and protect them as they grow. But I will not raise them "within" any one path. They must choose for themselves.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    One word. BADLY. But that was 11 years ago, and they've come to accept it... by calling it a "phase".

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Yes. I've had my share of bad reactions... but I will not hide who and what I am.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I am satisfied with knowing what "umbrella" I am under... but it is impossible for every question to be answered in this lifetime. I shall truly enjoy the questing for those answers.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    Yes. We have a Circle on our base, and we meet every Saturday. We always do Sabbats, and occasionally do "random" rituals.

  5. #65
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Methodist
    2. How old were you when you left for something else?
    Officially, I waited until I was almost 18, but I gave it a lot of time first. But to be honest, I don't think I was really "on the path" after my pre-teen years were over. I wanted to commit so bad, but it wasn't meant to be. When you're 6 and you like to talk to trees, the wind, and flowers and make people out of grass ritualistically, you start to wonder if something is off.
    3. Why?
    Christianity never satisfied me. I always felt empty, alone, unwanted. I watched hundreds, even thousands of people open their hearts to God/ Jesus and be filled with a love and warmth that I would never have. I waited, arms wide open for years. Every single day I got up and asked God to fill my heart too, and after so long the heart just gives up.
    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?
    Buddhism, lots of reading up, meditations, the like. It didn't last long.
    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)
    No, it didn't fit me, but it was a good, peaceful transitional stage to where I am now.
    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)
    I do hope to raise my children in a general working of my path but still encourage them to find what fits them best and tell them that I will still love them no matter what they decide.
    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?
    They don't know yet. I tried to come out last year while I was home for a weekend, but as I approached my mother she popped in her brand new Gospel CD and I panicked.
    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?
    Sometimes, if I know my family or friends aren't around. When my roommate (who is my long time best friend) goes home I break out the pentacle necklace and read witchy books.
    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?
    I feel satisfied now that I have started my path. My heart is full and warm with the Goddess, the God, the earth and magic. It's indescribable how wonderful that feeling is.
    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?
    I know one other girl IRL, but she lives rather far away.
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  6. #66
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    When you're 6 and you like to talk to trees, the wind, and flowers and make people out of grass ritualistically, you start to wonder if something is off.
    I resemble this remark too. Yep, yep.
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  7. #67
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?
    Multi-christian. I didn't belong to just one. I just "went" to church. Whatever was closest.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else? I was 19

    3. Why? I didn't like, or feel that Christianity was right at all. I believe it is man-made and was a tool designed to explain the unknown.


    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it? Wicca, and I used the internet to research what it was about. I liked the mysteriousness of it. I also wanted to know why people hated it or condemned it so much. Then I found Spiritualistic Satanism, and that's what I am today.


    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?) I am a Satanist now yes.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?) I would not raise my children christian. I would let them choose their own path if I have children.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted? My friends didn't mind, most were atheist or ex-wiccan. Never told my parents, because they are Christian. I have debated the bible with them though.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly? Not really, it could get me in trouble.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else? I am satisfied with it more than any other religion I have tried.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals? I have some Wicca friends who went christian. But I have never asked or needed someone to do it with me.
    Last edited by NoctisLucisCaelum; January 23rd, 2010 at 10:54 AM.

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  8. #68
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    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?


    Roman Catholocism. I went through 12 years of Catholic School, was quite devout, and had considered becoming a nun.

    2. How old were you when you left for something else?

    17. I became a LaVeyan Satanist.

    3. Why?

    I saw many Contradictions in the Bible, many things that made no sense, and when I questioned, the bottom line was "Just Believe". I needed answers....and faith didn't work for me.

    4. What was your first interest and how did you pursue it?

    Interestingly enough, my first interest was at 11 years old. I became enamored with Greek Mythology and the Gods and very much wanted to worship. I still clung to my Roman Catholic roots, though, and was very sad that no one worshipped the Greek Gods anymore. After that, I left the house at age 17 and became involved with LaVeyan Satanism. The philosophy was sound and honest, and I liked it very much. The philosophy is actually quite similar and compatible with Hellenic philosophy. Very Epicurean, actually.

    5. Are you in the same path now? (If not, why?)


    No. I started out as a Satanist. I left because I discovered that I believed in Deity outside of myself. I went on to Wicca, which was a disaster for me, then Christian Wicca, and that was even worse. Then I went back to Christianity - and found I couldn't conform, and then discovered Hellenismos. I've been there ever since.

    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)


    Yes. Hellenismos is centered around the family, and so my son worships with me. I feel that kids need a moral compass, and a center, and the best way for me to provide that is through my own religion. Should he choose another path, or find that Hellenismos is not for him, I will help him find his way. We have comparative religion discussions. I want him to have all religions open to him, and I also spent some time raising him as a Roman Catholic before I decided that it would be better to raise him in my Religion.

    7. How did your friends and parents reacted?

    Like people. Some liked it, some were scared shitless.

    8. Do you feel comfortable expressing your faith publicly?


    I do. Most people confuse me for a Christian because I use terms like piety, devotion, worship, respect, etc.

    9. Are you completely satisfied with your path, or are you seeking something else?

    For the most part, I am. Hellenismos is a challenging religion, it doesn't allow one to stagnate in vice. For this reason I sometimes become dissatisfied, because sometimes it's so hard to overcome *yourself*, if that makes any sense. The infighting gets to be a bit much - but that's all online stuff - and has nothing to do with my practice.

    10. Do you have friends on the same path (not on MW) with whom you can worship or conduct rituals?

    Online yes. Offline I've met a few people that claim to be practicing Hellenismos, but really aren't. It's isolating to be a Hellenic Recon.
    "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
    instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
    which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."


  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by ♀♥Lady Urania♥♀ View Post
    1. What denomination of Christianity did you start in?

    Assembly of God. And I have good memories of my church, my pastor gave me my first Bible cause I didnt have one. My parents weren't religious.
    I have visions of God coming from Ikea. Some assembly required. Perhaps we did it incorrectly and that has been the problem for several thousand years. jus sayin.
    God is an underachiever.

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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinkle View Post
    6. Will you raise your kids in that path? (If not, why not?)


    Yes. Hellenismos is centered around the family, and so my son worships with me. I feel that kids need a moral compass, and a center, and the best way for me to provide that is through my own religion. Should he choose another path, or find that Hellenismos is not for him, I will help him find his way. We have comparative religion discussions. I want him to have all religions open to him, and I also spent some time raising him as a Roman Catholic before I decided that it would be better to raise him in my Religion.
    Amen, sistah!

    IMNSHO, raising your children with your own religious system is a wonderful thing. Making them follow it when they don't want to...or ostracizing them for not believing as you do...those are not the same things. Because polytheist religions are generally more tolerant of other belief systems, we can instill in our kids a much more inclusive, and less dualist "true vs. false" dichotomy in our kids, and I think that is the best thing...not just for our families...but for the future of Humanity as a whole. And furthermore, if you don't teach your kids about your religion...then GUESS WHAT? The Christians will do it for you, and chances are, they won't have anything nice to say about it either. (*)

    /soapbox

    And Twinkle, interestingly enough...my wife and I recently came to a compromise on religion, as she's been feeling a lot more "pull" to her Irish ancestors. So now the kids are getting "schooled" in Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic religion. (**) Before bedtime, one of us reads a story from a myth-cycle, and then the children each draw a picture describing their favorite moment from the story. It's a very "Waldorf" method, from back when I taught Norse Mythology to kids at a Waldorf school.

    _______________________________________________________________

    (*) Seriously though, I think this whole "I'm not gonna teach my kids religion and they'll figure things out on their own" stuff tends to be because of peoples' issues regarding being brought up Christian. It's refusing to confront an important issue, IMNSHO.

    (**) As a "hard" polytheist, I have no problems worshiping gods and goddesses of other pantheons, so long as proper respect is given.
    Last edited by BryonMorrigan; January 23rd, 2010 at 03:21 PM.
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