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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life. Lesson-001: Introduction. 1. 2 Peter 1:3: . “According as His Divine Power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness...” "Divine Power" is from the Greek THEOS, the word for God.

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2 peter 1 3
2 Peter 1:3:
  • “According as His Divine Power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness...”
  • "Divine Power" is from the Greek THEOS, the word for God.
  • God\'s own omnipotence is the source of the power we have to live the Christian way of life.
  • The word for "power" is DUNAMIS and refers to God\'s omnipotent power.

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2 Peter 1:3:
  • The omnipotence of God is available to every believer in order to live the Christian Spiritual Life.
  • "HAS GIVEN" is the translation of the PERFECT/PASSIVE/PARTICIPLE from DIDOMI.
  • The word means to give graciously.
  • The perfect tense means that this divine omnipotence was given in the past with the result that it has been permanently given to us.

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2 Peter 1:3:
  • The passive voice is the voice of grace in which the subject receives the action of the verb.
  • God does the giving, we do the receiving.
  • It is unearned, unmerited, undeserved but God gives it to us anyway.
  • The participle identifies this as a principle.

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2 Peter 1:3:
  • "ALL THINGS" refers to everything which is necessary to live the Christian way of life.
  • "THAT PERTAIN TO" is simply the preposition PROS and it means face to face with or belonging to.
  • "LIFE" is the Greek word, ZOE (zo-way) from which we get the word zoo or zoological.
  • It is not the same as BIOS from which we get biology.
  • The latter is the function of life whereas the former refers to the principle of life. "living."

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2 Peter 1:3:
  • Translation: "HIS DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE HAS GRACIOUSLY GIVEN US EVERYTHING BELONGING TO LIVING AND GOD-LIKE-NESS..."
  • As Dr. Kenneth Gangel says in his commentary, "All that believers need for spiritual vitality and godly living is attainable through our knowledge of Him.
  • An intimate \'full knowledge\' of Christ is the source of spiritual power and growth."

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • As Don Marquis pointed out, "A hypocrite is a person who—but who isn\'t?"

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • THROUGHOUT HISTORY, few behaviors have been condemned more often and more soundly than hypocrisy.
  • Almost 3,000 years ago, Homer wrote, "I detest that man, who hides one thing in the depths of his heart, and speaks forth another."
  • In the sixth century B.C., Lao-tzu said, "To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease."
  • In the fifth century B.C., Confucius said, "Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles," and "[The superior man] speaks according to his actions."

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • There seems to be little Jesus of Nazareth hated as much as hypocrisy; he condemned it more than anything else.
  • Jesus claims that hypocrites "have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness" (Matthew 23:23).
  • Peter advised, "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind" (1 Peter 2:1).

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • In the fourteenth century, Geoffrey Chaucer called a hypocrite, "The smyler with the knife under the cloke."
  • Shakespeare: "With devotion\'s visage and pious action we do sugar o\'er the devil himself."
  • Moleire noticed an interesting consequence of hypocrisy, which is as true today as it was then: "Hypocrisy is a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices pass for virtue."

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • During the Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson gave some insight into the underpinnings and history of hypocrisy:
  • “Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.”

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Christian Hypocrites!
  • Hear the Charge: “Those Christians, they say one thing and do another, why should we believe them? Why be a Christian when they are such hypocrites?”
  • It is true that many Christians are hypocrites and are not as good as the Unbeliever.
  • Famous preachers of Christianity have swindled hard-earned dollars from others. Some pastors do not practice what they preach.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • The Christian Defense: Do not judge Christianity based on the actions of those who claim to be followers. Judge Christianity solely on the actions and life of Jesus Christ. He never let anyone down. He never abandoned anyone. He was not a hypocrite. His love is not conditional on your actions, His gift of Salvation is available to everyone, regardless of who they are or what they\'ve done.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • But does this address the problem?
  • Are we destined, as one website says,”If you are Christian, you are a hypocrite.”
  • Is there no hope to overcome hypocrisy?
  • Look at the carnage such hypocrisy leaves:

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Church of Christ minister for 10 years - What a Waste!
  • “Grew up Lutheran, became "born again" when 16 and from there decided to dedicate myself to the Lord. Did the whole Jesus-freak thing in high school, attended Bible college, seminary, learned Greek.
  • I came across some people from the Church of Christ (conservative) and was pretty impressed - but actually I was just pretty naive and idealistic.”

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I left Lutheranism which I viewed as irrelevant, dry, and out of touch. Within a year I was preaching for the Church of Christ.
  • Did this for ten years. During this time, I was so miserable that I couldn\'t put on any weight and usually weighed 125 pounds. Also thought of committing suicide frequently ... pretty much on a weekly basis. The people treated me in such a mean, contemptible fashion it was unbelievable.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Others, also, were treated poorly and made to feel not welcome. Some were doted over and treated like royalty. I moved to new churches three times, and each seemed more hypocritical than the last. Christians were the most stingy, egotistical, racist people I knew. Some were nice ... just ... not the ones in control of the church.
  • The stories I could tell of Christians doing mean things to each other in the name of "doctrinal purity" or "for the good of the cause". You would think I\'m stretching the truth when really I\'d only be touching the hem of the garment.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Finally, ten years into this BS, the church I was with cut my poverty level salary by 67 percent because I wasn\'t converting one family a month (as per my quota), and because I was a Yankee and few other things. Suddenly, I couldn\'t make my mortgage payments, I went bankrupt, lost everything I had, was evicted from my home and as a thirty-something, had to move back in with my parents when I had a wife and two kids to think about.
  • I wanted to die.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • In the end, technology saved me. I was able to transition into the IT field. My wife (who is still a hard-core fundamentalist) went back to school and finished her computer related degree. We have been living in others\' basments for five years and are just about able now to afford a home of our own. The church screwed me royally but I\'m almost back on my feet.
  • The moral of the story is: Christianity isn\'t what it claims to be.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • There is nothing wrong with their highest claims (peace, love thy neighbor, ...), the problem is they consistently do the opposite "in the name of the Lord" and there is something about religion that brings out the most mean-spirited things in people.
  • Christians always doubt their faith, but people who leave christianity never doubt that they made a good choice. I can attest to that as leaving the church was the best thing I\'ve ever done. Won\'t you do the same?

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Why I\'m An Ex-Baptist
  • “My parents were never really super-religious. My sister and I were in childrens chior and Sunday school. We went to Vacation Bible School in the summer and also to church camp. We stopped going to church for awhile up until i was 15. My parents were having marriage problems and my dad decided that we needed to start going back to church. I started going to the youth sunday school classes.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • The people were all really nice to me and I needed friends. Eventually, I started going on Wednesday nights to the youth meetings. They were a lot of fun. one wednesday night, i decided to get saved. i was listening to a speaker one night and for some reason, it hit me. i was a shitty person. i had been living all those years without truly knowing God. i was going to hell. i looked around and saw all of my new friends and decided that i wanted to be like them. i wanted to know what it was like to experience god like that.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • i wanted to be good. i broke down crying in the service (as a lot of people did) and one of the youth leaders took me aside to talk to me. that night i asked jesus into my heart. i took everything i had done very seriously. i wanted to be a part of that group. i wanted to know that i wasnt going to die and go to hell. i tried so hard to be a better person, but it always seemed like i wasn\'t doing enough. i started attending church everytime the doors were open.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • i read my bible everyday. i told other people about my god. i used to really get depressed that i wasnt doing enough. i spent as much time as i could talking to the youth ministers about what was going on. i really trusted these people. they would tell me things like i couldnt call myself a real christian if i associated with non-christians. my very best friend at the time did not go to my church and i was encouraged to start bringing her or stop hanging out with her. i got baptized a couple of months after i \'got saved\'.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • i satyed involved with the church and even went on the spring break ski trip. when i returned from the trip, i found out that my mom had left my dad two days before i got back. i was devastated. i didnt know what else to do, so i turned to my church friends. i became so involved with my church and my friends from church, that i was never home. i could trust those people and i knew that they cared about me because i was their sister in christ. i became involved with what they called \'disciple now weekends\'. basically they were weekend long brainwashing sessions.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • families from the church would offer to host a group of church kids in their home for a weekend long bible study. each group was assigned a youth minister. our parents were told to drop us off at the host family\'s house on friday evening. if we had cars, we werent allowed to bring them, because we werent allowed to leave all weekend. we couldnt make phone calls or have anyone outside the group over to visit. the weekend was devoted to hours of intense bible study. it would often last until 2 or 3 in the morning. the only time we would leave the host home was when we would go out to witness to people.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • it was mentally exhausting. i went to those every time they had them up until my senior year. after that, i started to see that the church wasnt all it had once been. i got tired of hearing my friends judge other people for thier actions. i loved everyone, i didnt think i was better than other people just because i was a christian. i started to go out with my old friends again. my church friends did not like that at all. when i lost my virginity, i told one of my friends from church. she swore that she wouldnt tell anyone, but i started notice the looks i was receiving from my other church friends.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • the first time i tried pot, somehow it got back to everyone at the church. i was an outcast after that. they wouldnt talk to me at all. it really hurt me that all of the people who had once been so close to me could turn their backs on me overnight. ive never been to church since. when ive told my story to other people who claim claim to be christians i get one of two responses. #1...i must have never truly been a christian. had i been a true christian, i would have never left the church.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • #2...all of my friends and ministers from church were not really christians. if they were, they would have helped me rather than turn their backs on me. as far as im concerned, i was doing everything i was supposed to do. most of my time was devoted to being a christian. how was i never truly saved? the one thing that i dont understand to this day is who the christians really are. if i wasnt one, and all the people at church weren\'t christians, where are the real ones?

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • the people at my church were very judgemental, racist, homophobic, sexist, and they particularly enjoyed using the fear of hell and being left behind in the rapture as tools for winning souls.
  • most other churches that i have ever visited are the same way. why would i want to associate myself with a group like that?

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • sex, lies, slander and abuse in the brisbane bible belt
  • Why Left: forced out of the church by slanderous accusations and innuendo [lingering doubt] that i was unable to defend myself against, also saw the blantant hypocrisy
  • Story: Ok. I joined gateway baptist church in november 1994, i felt accepted at first but, but soon i got the impression that people didn\'t want to know me, didn\'t want to hang around me, i\'m a recovering alcoholic but i\'m extremely intelligent and come from a middle class family.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • it was obvious that the majority of these loving caring christians didn\'t want me in their little society, the first cell group i went to the people at this group subtly tried to force me out of their group so i stopped going to the cell group during that time a girl i had absolutely no physical attraction for accused me of harassing her to go out with me, when i tried to tell people i had no interest in this woman apart from her giving me lifts home from cell, no one listened to me which i found rather distressing.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • throughout 1995 and 1996 i continued to attend gateway baptist church with my late freind rodney, rodney was a real ocker australian football player type he was a great guy and the greatest freind ive ever had, he passed way in october 1996 the sunday before he passed away he went for coffee at a trendy cafe where most of these people attended after church not one person talked to him that evening, he phoned me the next day calling these people "______’s" and hypocrites, this was his last impression of the loving nature of christians he died the following friday of a heart attack.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • i continued to attend gateway[ as i had a small handle of freinds]while getting interupted while having conversations with freinds, getting looked at as if i was going attack them by females, and basically giving the brush off by these loving caring christian people in the church. in feb 1997 i started seeing this woman i had liked for sometime [ i was nearly 2 years sober by this time] the relation ship turned co-dependant and i abused, shoved, pushed, but never hit kicked or bashed, but i abused neverless. [i might add that even before the abuse started one of freinds was attempting to break up the relationship because i didn\'t fit into their little group.]

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • any way in july 1997 my girlfriend did what i would have done in her situation - she left me - i was completely devastated, so i started drinking again, i went to the family/relationships pastor for help and he basically called me a loser, my ex girlfriend accused me of raping her but never pressed criminal charges[ lingering doubt ... if i was able to defend myself i would have cleared my name] the pastor in question later during a phone call tried to trick me into admitting i raped her ... it didn\'t work [like hell i was gonna admit to rape when she always consented to having sex with me]

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • in april a good friend of mine distanced herself from me for reasons unknown [lingering doubt] and in june 1998 i had started a program where we took street kids from a teen challenge youth hostel out to dinner at McDonalds after church [i might also admit that only a small minority of the christians who came along lowered themselves to talk to the street kids on one of these nights an altercation happened between me and a female youth worker [which i admitted my wrongdoing to the pastor, the head of teen challenge and a freind who worked a teen challenge] this woman took it on herself to accuse me of stalking but not press charges [lingering doubt] which is weird because i only ever rang her at work about the programs ...

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • it was then i decided to leave the church when the head pastor of gateway refused to assist me, and the head of teen challenge took the side of the youth worker who had told a blantant lie, now i\'m engaged in long term relationship [with a non christian] and i no longer abuse and i feel better about myself now, i\'m collecting information about abuses and corruption and lies in the church..to make a website if anyone has any info please contact me at [email protected] my case is not a lone case ... it has happened at the christian outreach centre and garden city christian church. Both are almost neighbouring churches of gateway baptist.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • recovering fundy
  • Hi. I hope you have the time to listen to my somewhat lengthy story. If not, just delete it. I\'m a college student and I\'m 25 years old. I was raised in the fundamentalist pentacostal charismatic churches. I am now suffering from severe mental illness, and I struggle with alcohol and pill addictions. I think that my current situation had much to do with fundamentalism, and the cult-like atmosphere I was raised in. This started in the early 1980\'s, a time when it was easier for cultish churches to cut people off from the world.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I don\'t remember internet and cell phones and technology being available to keep poeple "connected" to readily available support if they were feeling isolated or depressed, so I\'ll just assume that this technology was not available at that point in time. My mom was "on fire" for the holy spirit, and made us spend hours listening to the ramblings of a crazed holy-roller, who preached the inferiority of women, the evils of contraception, that people who had no faith were the only ones who needed doctors to fix their problems, that TV and radio was a sin, sexuality was wicked and shameful, and how we were all going to burn in Hell.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • The congregation was obsessed with the impending doom facing the human race, the apocalypse, and all of the nonsense in Revelations.They taught only a hard line draconinan Old Testament "morality" (anything BUT moral if you ask me), the teachings of Paul (a disturbed chauvinist and freudian nightmare of a man who never met Jesus, so I hear), and an expanded version of Revelation (a vague dream recorded by John of Patmos). Curiously, the teachings of this supposed Jesus were absent.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I noticed that this church was obsessed with locking themselves away from the world, and retreating into their own disturbed fantasy world, with a hateful angry God who would punish them and allow Satan to decieve them. All pleasure and fun was a sin. You were supposed to spend all your time reflecting on bigotry, self-reproach, disgust at sexuality, and the damnation of the other six-billion on earth. Females, especially, were to reflect on the fact that they were worth half of what a man was, and that their function was to be submissive broodmares for the cult. And always remember to vote Republican.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • There were demons around every corner, trolls hiding in every book, homosexual agenas with an army of abortionists, lesbians, gays, witches, and liberals sent to tear our families apart and confiscate our guns and bibles. We would have two choices, be tortured to death or go to hell.Inside, I grew to hate God. I hated Church. I became so conflicted, that I didn\'t want to be honest and admit to myself I had doubts! I was so scared of Hell, I thought that I could lie to myself and God and act like it was OK.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • By the way, this is very destructive to a developing child with a genetic predisposition toward severe mental illness: paranoia, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized severe anxiety disorder, addiction ...... I ended up with all of these family curses! But like I said, I tried to act like everything was OK. But it was not. I thought God hated me because I was doubting, and because I thought "his rules" were wrong, and I was nothing but a lowly sinning female trying to rise above her appointed station in life.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I was terrified of my budding sexuality, and felt disgusted by my own maturing body. To make matters worse, attention was drawn to it by the others, and I endured years of "Godly punishment" through inappropriate attention, harassment, fondling, etc. Good people are doing sins....what does this all mean? I hated myself I hated God. I hated the world. I was paranoid, fell into a deep depression,became obsessive compulsive about my perceived damnation, became despondent, and suicidal by the age of nine.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I hated the world. I was paranoid, fell into a deep depression,became obsessive compulsive about my percieved damnation, became despondent, and suicidal by the age of nine. They said it was because I was demonized and put me through a bunch of cockamamie rituals, where they would have convulsions, yell in jibberish (tongues), and cry and moan. Mental illness was a constant all around me. I had no point of reference for what was normal.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I accepted the fact that I was damned, and turned to drugs, alcohol, and bulemia. I figured I better actually commit all the sins I was already being judged for. I got involved in abusive relationships and my main mantra became "f**k it!" School was my only sanctuary from the madness,as well as my friends\' houses. Especially the friends of mine who were into crystals and pot smoking. The church recognize my back sliding, and that my brother was having seizures from "demons" (epilepsy, another one of our family curses).

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • Instead of comforting us, and finding us some help, they used it as a wedge to drive between my parents, claiming nonsense that little bro was being punished because my dad refused to come to cult meetings and God wanted my mom to break up with him and put us away. They were just trying to isolate each one of us in a corner by ourselves so we would be stuck without support So we could become drones for their cause- a christian theocracy, pat robertson style. My family was being torn up! Thank goodness that mom left when she did! And these people have the audacity to say they stand up for Christian love and "family values!"

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • This is all very confusing to a kid. Right is wrong, fantasy is reality, good is bad, truth is lies, crazy is normal, pleasure is pain. I deconverted mentally when I was ten years old, but I was still forced to attend the awful brainwashing sermons. I even had a very joyful conversion salvation experience at the age of nine .... but that free and wonderful feeling was crushed immediately by the dogma and shaming techniques of the chuch .... at first I thought it was because I had backslidden into sin (all of my third grade indescresions, like growing busoms and chewing bubble gum in class) ....

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • now I know that I had risen above the church\'s lies and dogma for just three glorious fleeting months to touch something truly loving and divine, the essence of Nivana, if you will .... and I was quickly "rescued" from it by the arbitrary rules of BibleGod. These people are dispicable and they need to be stopped from forcing their dogma on others through legislation. It is no family values..... Now I am trying to get my life back together, trying to deprogram all of that venom from my head.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • The recorded message still plays in the back of my mind whenever I feel vulnerable ..... the ultimate "kick me while I\'m down" .... designed as a constant reminder of those awful people .... to drive me back to their jesus jail whenever tragedy or misfortune strikes. I\'ve become an agnostic, exploring as much book knowledge as I can, with the help of my secular professors at the public Bowling Green State University, majoring in history. True history, not neo-conservative Christian group-think garbage.

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I explore the internet .... (thank goodness for that wonderful tool that is the info superhighway!) ... for support and others likeminded, and I\'ve become an independent liberal. I\'ve studied comparative religion and culture, and I keep a constant watch on the christian right wing. I am still on my journey out of fundyism. It\'s been long and painful. But I owe it to myself, my friends, my fam. I think if there is a God, she is insulted by the lies told about her in the Bible and by fundies!

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Hypocrites and Backsliders: Human Nature and the Christian Life
  • I hope this helps anyone else out there in cyberspace who was in a situation similar to mine, or has a buddy who is. I know all of your stories were extremely valuable to me, and helped me realize that I was not alone, and that I need help.
  • Thanks a bunch, and thank goodness for the internet, my salvation from ... well, salvation!

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