Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Anonymous ...

Dear Anonymous …

thank you so much for taking the trouble to read my long ‘Conversions and De-conversions’ story, and for replying with your thoughtful comments.  I too had to leave Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque back in the early 1990s - 1993 if I remember correctly.  It became too big, too fast – the hypocrisy, the guilt, the Cult of Personality surrounding Pastor Skip – it was all driving me crazy.  The School of ministry at Calvary Chapel Albuquerque opened around 1990, and I was very tempted to sign up in its inaugural semester.  I did not have the money at the time.

When were you there?  It is possible that we have met.

But your attitude sounds like the one I had when I left Calvary Chapel in 1993.  I still believed in God, in Jesus, but I was burned out on Christians, on religion, on Christian culture.  I continued to believe in God, in one form or another, for another 15 years.  Your attitude though, and the way you write, sounds so similar to mine around 1994 or so. 

THE END?  I hope not.  I just turned 50 years old last week.  My wife Rosemary and I continue to grow closer to each other, and I have a new appreciation for the discoveries of life after completely leaving my Christian Faith.  There was once a time, especially upon leaving Christianity, that I posted blog articles at a ridiculous pace.  These days, I rarely post articles because I am content with my life, and I don’t feel compelled to write about doubt, unbelief and the outrage of leaving religious belief that I once felt.  THE END?  As I get older, I hope to enter a new chapter in my life.  Right now though, I just do not see belief in a Deity being a part of it.


... Zoe ~ said...

Happy Belated Birthday HeIsSailing.

Ruth said...

Happy belated birthday!

On a related note, I very much enjoyed your blog posts on subjects other than your doubt. You write so well and I've missed your posts.

Ruth said...

Oh, and I'm very glad you're content. Sounds like your life is pretty sweet.

Anonymous said...

Dear HeIsSailing,
Thanks for your reply!!! Reading your testimony wasn’t trouble at all, it was very interesting and triggered much reflection.
I attended the School of Ministry in 2006-2007 so there is little to no chance for our roads to have crossed, especially because I am not originally from Albuquerque. I was there for the school year and went back to Canada. It was the hardest year of my life, yet, the year I’ve been most spoiled by the Lord.
I don’t know if it was the same for you, but in my case, my attitude changed not only towards church but society and life in general. But I guess because my faith had such a huge place in my life, it was the sphere of my life that was most obviously affected. Five years ago, when I turned 25, I flung open all windows of opportunities, even the most outrageous ones, and considered each of them honestly in my heart before closing or leaving it open instead of letting society or my surrounding make the decision for me. Do I like to dance? Do I want to study? Do I like women or men? Would I go on a nudist beach? Do I really want to buy a house? Do I really want to get married? Do I want kids? Do I want to go to church? Do I have to be a morning person? Do I like going to the gym? Etc.
For the past few years, I’ve learned to get to know myself much better and I’m working on the very hard task of breaking any box that family, friends, society and religion want to impose on me and put me in. As a matter of fact, I’ve left behind and aside all the people (Christians and unbelievers) who aren’t honest with others and especially with their own selves, all the people who constantly try to change me rather than love and accept me for who I am, all the people who are all the time negative or sucking the life and joy out of me, all the people who are way too narrow-minded and think their way is the way. I try as much as possible to surround myself with people full of passion for life.
God is one of the windows that was left pending. For 5 years, I’ve been repeating to Him: “I don’t know what to do with You.” So I do nothing. I don’t want to throw away the baby with the water. I’m trying to break the box in which Church has put Him in, so I can have God stripped naked of all traditions, legalism, preconceived ideas, etc. But the box is so deeply rooted in my mind, so it is not an easy task. I want to have a relationship with Him where no other beings will have a say about it, it’s only between Him and me. If I have an argument or a wonderful time, it is between Him and me. I used to feel like Jonah all the time, called to do things I didn’t want to do. But like any relationship in my life right now, I will no longer push myself to do anything I do not want to or I am not ready for, so I pray that God would be patient with me or should there be anything I should be called for, then let Him take care of changing my heart. I want to be more like Peter, asking Jesus to walk on water, just for the fun of it. Asking Him to be seated at his right in Heaven because I’m a nut case. Asking to put my finger in His wound just out of curiosity.

Anonymous said...

In Church, we are always taught to follow the road that we should take. Especially in CC, we are taught that the heart is foolish and we should follow God with my mind. I’ve found life much easier when I follow the desires and dreams of my heart while I leave it to the mind to find a way to get there. When hard times come, life does not seem as bad when I know this is the road I have chosen and wanted. I am happier now than ever doint the things I love, but this life is a learning process, a long road full of discoveries, new lessons and wonderful surprises, and I believe that the best is to come. I do realize I am not yet free, I still have some walls of the box to break through. 
Sorry for the long post again, I guess it is nice to write to someone who I have the feeling would understand it. I really appreciate your blunt honesty about everything, it’s like a refreshing breeze. I am glad that you are content with your life and that things are going great with your wife. 50 years old, huh? I wish you to never lose the ability to be in awe and be thankful for the blessings and the loved ones in your life. Happy Birthday!!!

HeIsSailing said...

Thank you for your birthday wishes, Ruth and Zoe. I am officially over the hill!!

HeIsSailing said...

Dear Anonymous, if you are 30, you are about the same age I was when I finally left Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque. I do not mind your long comments at all. I understand and relate to everything you have written about. From what I am reading, I thought very much as you do when I was your age ("when I was your age"? Oh dear, I have gotten old when I talk like that!) The one thing that is different though, is that when I was 30, the Internet was in its infancy, and I had no thought to get online and start writing. If you have not already - I recommend starting up a blog - and just typing and writing whatever you feel like. Whatever your thoughts and feelings are with your religious convictions. What do you find troubling about it, and what strength and meaning do you gain from it? That sort of thing. It helped me tremendously when I started doing it. Tell me when you start doing it, and I will be your first reader and follower!!

Whatever happens, or whatever end of the theological debates you wind up on, I wish you peace on your journey.