The Dreams of a Deconvert

“I don’t give a shit about being a ‘Christian’. I don’t give a shit about going to church, how much money you give, or how good you are.

Who is Jesus? 

He’s my Lord, He’s my Savior, and I want to be JUST… LIKE… HIM

From my dream just before I woke up. 

I was screaming this in the face of a Pastor who was raging and angry and ready for blood in the streets as I rebuked him and called him back to sanity and a walk with and for Jesus.

Even in my dreams, I still preach the gospel. 

This really does represent who I was, except the ‘not caring about how good’ part. Jesus was my all in all. He was my Rock and my very Identity… my Source and Daily Supply.

Knowing now that the bible is not what it represents, the infallible, inerrant Word of God, and knowing now that the Jesus portrayed in the New Testament is a religious fiction and mythological narrative rather than an actual person who walked the earth, lived, died by crucifixion, much less “really and truly, you gotta believe me” rose from death three days later… how do I move forward from here? 

My dreams still call me back  to simple Faith, Trust and Discipleship to Jesus, my Lord and Savior… the Rock of my Salvation and my Identity. But how? How is it possible, with intellectual and personal integrity, to follow Something or Someone that you now realize isn’t true? There may have been a Jesus/Joshua person, but the Jesus in the New Testament is neither Lunatic, Liar or Lord… he’s a Legendary creation of Religious Fiction.

Can I just take the ‘good bits’ and spit the bad? Is there a way to accept the Baby (Jesus) and toss the bath water (the baggage of Christianity and the Bible), when in reality not even the baby, as pictured in the New Testament, was ever a historical person? 

Honest questions looking for honest answers:

Can one follow Jesus as their “Saviour and Lord and want to be Just… Like… Him” knowing that the New Testament Jesus is pure Myth?

If so… How?

-kia

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10 thoughts on “The Dreams of a Deconvert

  1. I’ve been going through a spiritual crisis myself. There’s so much baggage:
    complementarianism: God says men are leaders, heads of the family, women are to submit to their husbands
    calvinism: God chose only the elect for salvation, everyone else was chosen for damnation; you can’t be saved even if you wanted to if you’re not elect
    arminianism: you can choose to be saved, but you can lose your salvation

    But one thing I do believe is that some things are a pretty good idea no matter who you are and what you believe – Jesus’ Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” exists in some form or variation in just about every religion; “do no harm”, “don’t burn bridges”- that’s pretty good advice.
    Looking at Jesus’ example, he defied the rules of his day – he hung out with the outcasts and despised, he spoke with women in public, he touched lepers; there’s a lot of things in there that he did that’s just being a good and decent person even if it looks a lot like rule-breaking and ignoring cultural traditions based in fear and superstition.

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  2. The answer, actually, is yes. You know the historians over the past two centuries who have studied the Gospels, realized that much of it is “myth”, and attempted to find the “Historical Jesus”? The vast majority of them were/are Christians.

    A few years ago, I ran into the same questions that you’re asking here. I discovered Marcus Borg, a progressive Christian and mainstream historian who studied Jesus. He actually passed away recently. You might check out his short, older book called “Meeting Jesus again for the first time.” He looks at the parts of the Gospels that are most likely to be historically accurate, and he discusses who Jesus probably was in history, and what Jesus can mean for us today. I think you’d love it. Borg was respected by historians of all (and no) religions.

    Of course, hardcore atheists and fundamentalist Christians will have many not-nice things to say about you for both caring about Jesus and not treating the Gospels like a history textbook, but if it works for you, who cares? It is absolutely possible to be a Christian and not pretend that the Gospels, despite all appearances, are “really” a list of enlightenment-style histories. Many Christians, both in the past and in the present, are perfectly happy to agree with you on that.

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    • Thx for the encouragement and I’ll look for the book you recommended. Coming from a fundamentalist, bible believing Christian background, it would be tough to follow Jesus, if there is no reliable way to accurately ‘know’ who he was and was not, what he did or didn’t do. Thus my quandary and dilemma. I guess I’m still in Recovery and transition. Thx again for your comment and encouragement

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  3. ‘Can one follow Jesus as their “Saviour and Lord and want to be Just… Like… Him” knowing that the New Testament Jesus is pure Myth?

    I would say no as ‘Saviour’ means that salvation is necessary. This then brings up the whole concept of sin and punishment. It means that one has to accept the Bible’s teaching on:
    – there being a God;
    – that God being a judge;
    – humans to being guilty and deserving punishment;
    – the sacrifice of Jesus paying for the punishment;
    – that those who have faith in Jesus as ‘saviour’ then have the punishment that Jesus faced attributed to them so that they no longer face punishment.

    I don’t see how this can work if one sees Jesus as a myth.

    Perhaps it is possible to see Jesus as ‘Lord’ being a figure who’s teaching are followed even if the stories are myth. I would see it in this regard as akin to Buddhism.

    The point is that the teaching ascribed to Jesus are in essence reworked versions of earlier Jewish teachings and Buddhism in any case. On the ethical front the teaching attributed to Jesus was not original (this is acknowledged by Biblical scholars such as William Barclay).

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    • Thx Peter again for your thoughtful and we’ll spoken comment. I agree. It would be very difficult to follow the Jesus of the nt knowing that he is not a real person in history and as you said, not original in most of his moral teaching. He’s also not very moral is some of his ‘moral teaching’ either. Wouldn’t you agree?

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  4. Mike, dreams can have a real impact on us. At times they can seem really vivid. I suspect a lot of it is our mind sort of working through issues, it is apparantly.

    a few notes I wrote in 2010:

    ‘I am just back from the ecumenical service at Corpus Christi. I was surprised to be asked to read part of the Gospel. Funny thing is that I had dream about being involved in a Catholic Church overnight. Though my recollection of the dream is a bit hazy, I seem to recall the Pope being there and I went over to talk with him and to correct some of his variant teaching

    ‘A few days earlier I had a dream about going to a Muslim event with a Muslim friend. I had intended to keep a low profile and just observe as it was meant to be moderate Islam. It turned out whilst it was pretending to be a moderate event it was actually radical. The event was being televised live and the Holy Spirit came upon me and I walked boldly to the centre of the stage and denounced the speakers in the name of Jesus. They try to come against me to stop me, but I held out my hand and they were all powerless to come against me, because they were overwhelmed by the power of God.’

    ‘On 29 October I had another strange dream where some people from the Anglican Church were seeking to see God. Then God appeared to them in a form of disguise and turned their head towards me, I remember I had been trying to keep a low profile up to that point and God said the following words to them, “Listen to him. He will speak the words to you that will give you life”.’

    ‘I dreamt that night that I came across a group of people who practiced a religion with a name like Tahocation (or something like that). They claimed to worship God, but did not make any reference to Jesus. They had a little idol which was the centre of their worship; it looked like a sort of Mayan sculpture. I went up to them and asked how they could worship God and not acknowledge Jesus, and then said I could determine if religion was true or not. They agreed to let me proceed, so I grasped their idol in one hand and went to say “By the blood of Jesus we are saved”, but I could not get the words out whilst holding the idol. So I immediately through the Idol to the ground and said “this religion is not of God” and gathered up all their material and burnt it with a great deal of zeal. The people accepted this action and thanked me for showing them the truth.

    ‘A person told me they had dreamed about me the previous night. According to their dream this person was involved in helping set up setting up the hall at some major evangelical event where apparently I was the keynote speaker. They even described in detail how I was dressed. I don’t think I will read too much into this particular event.’

    Anyway seven years on none of these dreams came to fruition.

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