Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

For 13 years now I have been decorating a large church for Christmas services 
with over 3,500 people attending. 
 I remember the first  time I ever attended a Christmas service after leaving the cult.  
It was sensory overload.  It was visually and audibly stunning.  
Glorious music, choirs, magnificent grand processions, 
Rabbi's reading Hebrew scripture, the Gospel stories, and so much more.

That strange, unexplainable event that occurred over 2,013 years is filled with mystery, awe and wonder.  What ever may have happened in that cave centuries ago has had an impact thousands of years latter that cannot be ignored.  I revel in the mystery of an event that cannot be rationally explained.  I don't want or need pat answers like the Church of God has for everything.  The unexplainable cannot be explained  no matter how many COG leaders claim to have all the answers.  

May the unexplainable mysteries continue to disturb and attract you 
to something bigger than our wildest imaginations could ever imagine!


Anonymous said...

Having an emotional experience is not to be confused with a spiritual one. I went to such a church for many years but most of the people were not particularly spiritual, moral, or insightful.

Benjamin Dickmann said...

This is the first year I celebrated Christmas since I left the RCG Armstrongism cult, so it was a special one. I'm not religious anymore, so I don't go to church, but it was nice spending the day with my family again.

To have such a thing happen in my life, I must thank you, Dennis. There were quite a few websites that helped me leading to, during, and after my exit from hell, but Banned has without a doubt been the most therapeutic of them all and I think a lot of it has to do with the intelligence laced humor that is constantly delivered on this blog. Armstrongism, in and of itself, is humorous, but I think you have a clever way of presenting it.

Think of the many people you have helped guide away from a ruined life because they ran into this blog while researching these COGs. You'll never know how many, but one thing is for sure - you're doing your part, and it is a positive one.

Merry Christmas.

Allen C. Dexter said...

I, too, think this is one of the most helpful blogs and Dennis is a great part of it.

Byker Bob said...

Defective Product Warning:

Caution, Armstrongism when used as intended by its manufacturer, may cause all or some of the following symptoms and side effects:

Anxiety, paranoia, delusions, elitism, blurred vision, headaches, nausea and vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, depression, loneliness, loss of appetite, poverty, racism, loss of will to live, distrust of mental care or healthcare professionals, halitosis, body odor, and gas, and, in extreme cases, death.

Antidote: Serious open-minded study, accompanied by the reaquisition of critical thinking skiils, not to be undertaken in the presence of duress.


NO2HWA said...

Anon at Dec 25, 3:23

Worship can most certainly be an emotional experience. Emotion and deep spiritual experiences are directly tied to one another. Armstrongism deliberately robbed us of all emotion in church services. Emotion was frowned upon as pagan and for the unconverted.

In a thread on a Facebook page discussing this same topic the following was posted:

"...I so appreciate your comment about the sensory aspects of worship. The church taught us to deny and distrust this aspect of our humanity, our experience of being human creatures in a world of diverse beauty and rich sensory detail and our ability to enjoy and delight in the array of wonder that surrounds us, whether we are walking in the forest or a garden or on the beach or immersing ourselves completely in well-orchestrated worship service as Gary describes so beautifully above."

NO2WorldReligion said...

Christmas is certainly pagan. Just as Christianity - including the tiny COGs offshoot - is pagan designed to control people and their resources by the ruling clergy on behalf of local/nat'l governments.

Just as Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, etc., - in their organized and corrupted forms - are pagan in format and purpose.

Above all of this fakery, I believe in a Maker and the obvious intelligent design of the universe around us. Atheism is just another religion which now admits an external creative force which originally brought about our world.

I seek Our Maker free from all false world religion. The original seekers of Our Maker can be glimpsed by researching the earliest roots of some of these beliefs.

The moral system of ethics in Buddhism apart from the organized effort is indeed noble and worthwhile for attaining well-being.

Seek Our Maker with all your being is my advice - that is, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Karma - receiving good for doing good or bad for bad - is a universal law which none can avoid.