Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Shedding Your Religion...Some of the feelings we have all had...

Shedding Religion: Sixteen things people report about their journey. 

1. You’re losing your religion but gaining your sanity. 
2. You left the church because it wasn’t safe for your psychological health. 
3. You know you are on the right path, but trying to explain it to others is like nailing Jello to a wall, and you often feel misunderstood. 
4. Your new life beyond religion is not entirely as defined as things used to be. 
5. You have twice as many questions as you do answers, but strangely you’re okay with this. 
6. You were accused of being a heretic, and you took it as a compliment. 
7. You desperately wish someone (anyone!) would just accept where you are right now. Just for a couple of people, you could sit down with face-to-face to share where you are without the threat of judgment and condemnation. 
8. On Monday you feel free, and on Tuesday you wonder if you are going crazy. 
9. You can't listen to Christian music anymore. 
10. You don’t know how to answer the question, "What do you believe?" 
11. You refuse to divulge the titles of the books you are currently reading because you know it’s going to alarm the people who already think you’ve lost it
12. You get nauseated when you hear glib God-talk. 
13. You’re not sure where your Bible is. 
14. Suddenly you find yourself liking the people who were previously classified as “them.” 
15. You don't quite know what to say to people who ask you to pray for them or offer to pray for you. 
16. You remember the things you once believed and say to yourself, "What was I thinking???" © 
Jim Palmer


Anonymous said...

What bullcrap. You could say similar things about anything.

Example: I can't remember where I put my book by that lying airhead Dawkins.

Anonymous said...

Well, with this article the mask is off. Clearly NO2HWA has lost his religion. He is just an atheist and a fake bible teacher. But what did anyone expect from a so-called "LIBERAL Christian" (oxymoron alert!) who can't shut up about "grace" and "Jesus"?

Byker Bob said...

That’s not a Gary piece, you doofburger, it is a Jim Palmer piece!

While I don’t agree with all of them, some of the points Jim makes are indicative of a purer, more sincere outlook, shedding much of the hypocrisy and the showmanship of pre-packaged Christianity.


NO2HWA said...

Well 9:48, your assumption is totally without merit. I certainly am not an atheist.

When people are leaving Armstrongism they have all or most of the feelings mentioned above. I would never apologize for that nor should anyone else. Certainly, some have become atheists, some agnostics and some are comfortable in their standing with God, whether in or out of a church.

I love how angry Armstrongites get when grace is mentioned. It is the ultimate nightmare for legalists and those who bastardize the law, like James Malm and Bob Thiel.

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty accurate list of the many feelings I had when I left Armstrongism. I did not have them all, but most of them. When one leaves religion it does not mean that one necessarily means leaving God. I would say I have a better relationship now than I ever did when in the COG

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

The only Jim Palmer I know is the Baltimore Orioles Pitching great Hall of Famer. Palmer was the "link pin" player being the only Oriole player appearing on all six Baltimore Orioles World Series, - 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1979 and 1983. No other Oriole player appeared in all six Orioles World Series. I assume this is not the same Jim Palmer.


Anonymous said...

Books and articles are often package deals of truth and error. This post by Jim is in this category. You can leave a abusive church, but not God.

Anonymous said...

I not only have left Armstrongism but I eventually also exited religion in general. I have been told that I am "mad at God" simply because I seriously question the existence of God. It is a common belief that if you merely question the existence of God that there is something wrong with you. I guess there is no critical thinking allowed even in mainstream Christianity. I like the people I know that are religious and I don't look down my nose at them but I am sure they see me as inferior because I don't have the "love of Jesus" in my heart. Questioning the existence of God and Jesus will tend to have that effect on the "true believers".

Anonymous said...

When I was in the WCG (1971-1974) I thought that when people left the church they left Christianity. Now I can reflect on my journey and say that I was first an agnostic, then I was a Christian/Armstrongist, then I moved closer to real Christianity. I believe that I moved closer, nor further away from truth when I left WCG. Some people became Armstrongists, then realized that it was in serious error and did an about face, moving back to agnosticism/atheism. My suggestion is just because HWA was wrong (or the RCC, or others) doesn't mean that Christianity, when better understood is wrong. Some "Christian" religions do not clearly represent Christianity. Some people get to Armstrongism and stop learning, they stop because they feel safe and secure, believing that they have all the answers.

James said...

People are sheep and when you examine what they believe in, 'authority' is always part of the equation.

"The most dangerous religion."

Anonymous said...

When I left it was because I got tired of having to start all over again, over and over with people who I had known to varying degrees since I was a teenager. I would move away for a couple of years and come back and they acted like they didn't have any idea of who I was. After leaving I went back to school and started a new career, didn't look back. After awhile I did notice that several of the above notes did apply to me, I just hadn't taken the time to even think about any of it. It's been 20+ years and I am now getting to the point where I'm beginning to feel stabilized a bit. I now know what and why I believe what I do and I'm good with that. I don't think Jesus would be well pleased with any of the nonsense that is going on in his name, none of the COG leaders have a power of attorney to do what they do in his name.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty accurate. I am not atheist but can relate to all of this since leaving. It is helpful to know others go through similar experiences.

DennisCDiehl said...

Always got a bit awkward in my practice in South Carolina where just about everyone goes or claims to go to church. They'd ask, within oh say...2 minutes, "So where do you go to church?" It was never do you? I learned the hard way not to be too direct or give to much info. If I said I did not go to church they would always say "then we'll pick you up and you can go with us." Then they would ask what I used to do? If I told them that, they'd say "What do you mean you USED to be a pastor?" Being the highest calling one can get in SC without credentials, they just didn't understand.

Next they would push and say "Well you still believe in God don't you?" Now we're straying into rule breaking about politics and religion. One woman gave me a list of scriptures to read and then next visit she'd talk to me about them. I asked if she'd like me to quote them to her now. lol.

I got to where when asked what church I went to that I was "Non-Condemnational" and that confused them well enough and sounded like a church so they could let me be.

On Match.com one woman wrote me that she found my profile fascinating. "Until I got the part where you said you used to be pastor. You must be a fool." I wrote her back and said coffee was off and she needed to mind her own business

These 16 observations are very accurate and just a natural part of messy religious and theological transitions as one matures out of "when I was a child, I thought as a child..."

Byker Bob said...

When I was growing up in a small town, we used to ask people what church they went to in the first five minutes after having met them. Later, not so much in the major metropolitan area to which we moved. I think that question is typically asked in all primarily Christian communities, as opposed to just being limited to the Southeastern USA.

I learned later in life that if you don’t ask, people will volunteer the information if and when they feel comfortable doing so. When they do volunteer it, sometimes they do it in an evangelizing way. Sad truth is that unfortunately, Christian discussions often end with people trying to correct one another. This can happen even if both attend the same church with ostensibly the same beliefs. As in the case of politics, you always have to beware of the whack-job extremists.


Anonymous said...

Dennis said that he goes to The Non-Condemnational" Church. I sometimes say I go to the UCFB, the Universal Church of Flawed Believers. Since there is the Priesthood of all believers, I guess I could also say that I am a catholic priest (catholic meaning "universal").

RSK said...

Copyright notices matter!

Byker Bob said...

I’ve sometimes responded to share with people that because I grew up in a horrible, toxic cult, I have my own personal ministry which involves helping the less fortunate, providing free service to Christian churches on the machinery they use to get out the gospel, and assisting others in escaping from cults. People are usually favorably blown away by that. I’ve never had any negative comments, although some ask the name of the cult in which I grew up. When I tell them, just to give us all a read out on whether we ever fulfilled any commission, not a single individual had ever heard of HWA, GTA, the WCG, Armstrongism, or any of the splinters.


mortisrigori said...

Whenever I am asked what church I attend, I always tell them I attend The Church of The Damned. They act shocked and wonder why I would go to a church called that. I explain that since I don't go to their church, in their mind I am damned. That usually ends all religious discussions and conversion attempts.

Anonymous said...

I had lots of things to overcome as I became older but I’m so glad I was never really saddled with religion in the way so many are. I’ve always felt perfectly ok about any religious beliefs I might entertain or none at all.

nck said...


That is so profound.

I am and have also always been in tune with my own thoughts and beliefs.
I was never one of those looney tunes with 2 opposing figures on each shoulder.
One beliefs, thinks, acts...and sometimes the sheeple follow along.