Time for a Christmas Question

What are some of your least favorite Christmas songs or Carols? Here are a few of mine:

  • Taylor Swifts version of “Last Christmas” (too fast and full of teen angst).  Just give me Ertha Kitt any old day… or night for that matter. Meow, Catwoman!
  • “Mr Grinch” by whoever that baritone bully is. The entire song is one long string of insults and attacks. It gets harder to listen to as the season progresses and the more often they play it on the ‘all christmas, all the time’ radio station we listen to.

And last but certainly not the end of my list…

  • Any version of what I call ‘the masher song’ when it come on… “Baby its cold outside”. I mean, I know it’s cold and he ‘says’ he’s got her best interests in mind, but something tells me that he might have other plans that involve a trip to a police station by the end of the night. Can you say ‘rape kit’ on  wordpress? “… how could you do this thing to me?”. Yeah right buddy!! Back the truck on up and unlock the damned door!!

Your input and responses appreciated

Now it’s your turn, let me know in the comments your thoughts on Christmas songs and carols that are the banes of your holiday existence.

-kia

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Leaves Leave, Grass Withers. It’s only Natural

The Manipulative Character of God’s “Conditional”  Unconditional Love

“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” -John 15:6 KJV (of course)

I read a recent post on a Christian Blog I follow about Abiding in Christ, the vine to our branches.

It wasn’t a new concept to any Christian who’s read John’s gospel, chapter 15. I used to read thru the gospels and Acts of the Apostles monthly as part of my devotional reading and bible study. I’ve even taught the verses and chapter fairly regularly as part of my teaching/discipleship of other men down thru the years.

The message is that Life, Hope, Meaning and Identity itself is derived from and dependant on our continued connection to and subsistence from Jesus as our “life giving spirit”. (1 Corinthians 15)

Overall, the encouragement to remain connected and “life supplied” by the connection In and To Christ was a positive one, offering greater freedom and “abundant life” (John 10)

“For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” -James 1:11 KJV

But there is always another side of any coin

The same promise of peace and abundant life and loving acceptance and security “in Christ” offered just as sure a “promise” and warning of destruction, abandonment, hopelessness and loss of value and even personhood if you ever were to stray, or if any of His Branches should ever  “Leave” Him. 

This is the emotionally manipulative power of “Indoctrination” in action rather than simple teaching. 

Teaching is communicating and passing on knowledge and understanding. 

The process implies and in fact relies on a two way give and take, a teacher teaching and a learner learning, most of the time by asking questions, working things out, challenging answers and sometimes even changing the answers by mutual discovery. Learning is primarily an exercise in Discovery and questions.

Indoctrination on the other hand is not about Discovery and Questioning to understand or even Evaluate truths. It is primarily what used to be called “rote” learning. 

Everyone can remember High School History classes. Names, dates, people, places often devoid of meaning or context. “You don’t have to understand it, just learn it”. As most College students or graduates can tell you though, they “learned” it only for as long as they needed to hold on to it and pass the test or quiz or semi final. Then it was summarily jettisoned to make room for the next mass of ‘edible’ but indigestible information. 

Indoctrination comes at the Price of your Freedom

As Christians, we are taught to learn and study and assimilate material and ideas and concepts absolutely vital to our Eternal Survival, but never to question, evaluate, judge or Discover, much less reject, the truthfulness of the Truth ™ we are “learning”. 

This is how Teaching differs from Indoctrination and Brainwashing, to use a purposely loaded term, differs from Real Learning. The extra kicker is that the constant threat of Rejection, Punishment, Abandonment and Eternal Torture in a place called Hell loom in the back of the mind, always presenting the counterbalance of Fear to the encouragement to Faith and Love for a God who says he offers Unconditional Acceptance, Love and Forgiveness.


If love, acceptance and forgiveness have as conditions Remaining Faithful or not questioning, they are not Unconditional. Doubt, Questions, Discovery and Understanding by challenging and evaluating answers are enemies of this kind of Faith and Learning. There is always the Firebrand waiting to set you ablaze for the crime of leaving or doubting. The threat of Hell and Eternal Torment is enough for most “branches” to Abide in the Vine. 

Happily, there is no evidence that such a place of Eternal Torment such as a Biblical/Christian Hell actually exists in reality outside the pages of scripture and the Sadistic Minds of wannabe advocates and Amateur Internet Apologists of Christianity.

But some, like me and others who have deconverted from previously long held beliefs and cherished memories, have had the courage to evaluate and judge for ourselves, challenge and even reject what we previously were taught, believed, and even taught to others to be True ™, after going on a Journey of Discovery and finding that they just were not actually true in reality.

 

Yet… The threats and taunts from others who are still believers like we were, afraid to question and unwilling to accept that they even could, come daily as reminders of the Fear we once called Faith.

One man’s “abide” is now become my “you better not leave”… motivated at least subconsciously by “…because I can’t”. My freedom is too much for them to bear. It beckons them to Freedom also. A freedom that they are taught to Fear on pains of Hell.

  • But what kind of life is that? 
  • To Fear the God you love? 
  • To Love the God you Fear? 
  • Why not find out if there is any Truth in what you believe to be Truth ™? 
  • If it were all just a bunch of Bulls#!t, wouldn’t you want to know?

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” –1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

This is why Christian blogs Fear deconverts and Block, Edit and Delete our Comments on their blogs. But they have no control here to “stop the mouths” of those who don’t believe their Apologetics BS anymore.

My encouragement for Christians like I was is to Think for yourself. Start your Journey of Discovery today. Like, comment, share and subscribe to The Recovering Know It All. Let’s do this.

-kia

CTOTD: Santa’s just another Working Stiff

For a more Professional Demeanor today

Here is another of my newer Christmas ties. Yes, that’s a tiny little Santa with his bag of goodies. No, he’s not the “Devil with a red dress…”. Hes just a working stiff like you and me on a Wednesday morning just trying to make it work out. 

Hes got a lot more elven mouths to feed and support than you or I do. They count on him to “bring home the bacon”, pardons to my vegan and vegetarian friends, by taking the toys and stuff to you and yours every year. 

Although the finale of his season is only one day (can Santa suspend time to make 24hrs stretch into enough time to get around the world?) He and his crew are working hard all year in preparations. 

Yup… just another working guy. Like you and me. Making Christmas Great Again!! Lol.

-kia

CTOTD: Satan’s Claws

Good Happy Monday all you out there in blogosphere land. And welcome to the first real Christmas Tie Of the Day Post for this year. Today, I’d like to introduce the season with one of my newest Christmas ties. 

I don’t have but a couple of ties with Santa and the sleigh, but the ones I have are all within the last two years or so since our deconversion from “the faith once delivered”. 

I didn’t like Santa all my Christian life because he stole the show and redirected the attention away from Jesus, the birthday boy. We even had a birthday cake for Jesus nearly every year. I was bit of a Grinch for the Holidays. It even caused a major issue early in my marriage. 

Do you know Santa and Satan have the same letters? And that the european Krampus character is eerily and ironically like the character of Santa? Don’t let him get his Claus into you!! He’s a lie of the devil to rob your houses of the True Gift of Christmas… Christ Jesus. 

Of course now I know that the Jesus of the New Testament has no more reality than that Jolly Old Elf in Red. Santa is beginning to make a playful and Joyful presence in our home and even my Holiday Wardrobe. So enjoy this Most Wonderful Time of the Year with the Big Guy. No… Not me silly, Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Lead by Rudy too, of course.

-kia

CTOTD: Monday means Funday for Christmas Ties

Many who know me at work, and a few outside of work, know that I love ties. My wife thinks I have a problem… 😉  I have around 45 regular ties in my closet.

Although not required by my job, I like to wear ties to work, except on Fridays and very seldom during the 110+ degree days in the Arizona summers.

However when Christmas time hits, I’m in overdrive. I have enough separate unique Christmas ties to wear a different one every day, even on Fridays, thru the end of the year.

I’d like to share them with you this year… One by one, one for every work day excepting Fridays, thru the end of the year. Is it a deal? Great. Thus was born the Christmas Tie Of The Day Post series. There might even be a story, poem, HaiKu or just a snippet of life in them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy these ties.

-kia

My Journey pt 7: So Much More Without Him.

Without Him I am Nothing?

Self Esteem vs Christ Esteem

I used to think this was the most profound statement of faith that described the life of a Disciple of Jesus. I now see it for the lie that it is.

While promising worth and value ‘In Christ’, it violently negates any value or worth or ‘personhood’ outside of Him. At once it seeks to give meaning and purpose to people, mostly young people like I was at fifteen years old and then again at twenty two,  who naturally are struggling for meaning and purpose in their lives. The reverse image of this supposedly affirming picture is assertion that meaning and purpose ONLY come from Identity In Christ.  Of course I know this now to be false and damaging to young minds at the exact point where they should be being encouraged to become who they want to be, learn what interests them, and grow into the full stature of adulthood.

Are people just “Joe Dirt”?

Instead they, and by they I mean I and many others like me, are told not only that they are worthless and valueless pieces of dirt ( ‘adama’ clay is it?) that can only be and do and have breath and meaning by grovelling at the feet of a ‘loving father’ who may have only ‘created them for destruction’ but now offers Identity only in Himself… but also that even when they come to receive the marvelous gift of ‘Christ in you, the hope of Glory’ they STILL have no value, worth, meaning or purpose outside of Him. Their lives, if they do them rightly as a Disciple of Jesus, will continue to be grovelling and begging and kneeling in defeated submission the feet of their ‘loving father’.

Is there no Escape even After Deconversion?


And don’t you ever think of leaving. It’s not that you’ll go back to being that piece of dirt… you still ARE that piece of dirt. It’s that NOW you’ll have God to fight and His ally, your own mind telling you are even lower than whale scum without Christ to provide your value. And His people, still afraid of their own value without Christ, will tell you you need LESS self esteem, not more… MORE Christ esteem, not less. They’ll tell you that you need to be ‘Childlike’ forever to be fully Human and Adult.

Paradise is a Prison Planet

The truth is that you’ve been lied to and held in bondage to a mental, emotional and spiritual childhood that has Stopped, Stunted and in some cases Regressed your growth and value as a individual person and adult human… unless you’ve accommodated your Christianity to allow for your Self Esteem, then you aren’t being honest with the full implications of your ‘Nothingness’ without Christ.

The real story of “Nothing Without Christ” is that even after you accept Christ, you are STILL Nothing even IN Christ. Jesus is ALL. You are Nothing. Is this reality? Is this healthy? Is this truth?  No. No it is not. The problem with Christianity’s “Nothing without Christ” is that it is Self Immolation and Self Destruction.

But there is Escape… you can still be Free. Think for yourself. Ask questions. Challenge the ‘answers’. You DO have value, worth, meaning and purpose in yourself. It’s been stolen from you. Take it back. It’s not easy and it is painful, but it can be done. Commit to Recovery. Commit to YOU today.

-KIA

My Journey part 12: Who Am I? Pictures on my Wall

For those who may doubt my stories, these have been on my walls for years. They are displays of my former Faith, who I was, what I did, what I was about and Why I lived.

It’s All about Jesus, stupid

“Three Nails, Three Days, One Way to God”

The first is from a larger “spray can” painting gifted to me by a brother who stayed at my home years back while going thru a divorce. He kept talking in circles about his wife this, his wife that… i told him i didn’t want to hear anything about her anymore. He needed to come back to “the simplicity that is In Christ”. Can’t get much simpler than the Death and Resurrection of Jesus as the Foundation of Christianity. He later gave me this as a token of the ‘gift’ I had given him. If only Marc could see me now…

“For me to Live is Christ… to Die is Great Gain”

This next one is what I call Discipleship 101. Identity is everything for a True Christian ™. As a Disciple of Jesus, you are nothing, you have nothing, you own nothing and you deserve nothing. You quite literally are Dead so that Christ might “Live and Move and have His Being” in your life. You are possessed and obsessed, captivated, motivated and animated by “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory”. You are a Shell for His Being and the glove for His Hand in this world. But you are Dead, Hopeless and your life, such as it is, is ultimately Meaningless without this Wonderful Truth of His Aim in your life… to Use you for His Purposes. You are Dead, He ONLY is Alive in you because you are alive In Christ. 

Heady stuff, right? This is why it is extremely difficult to reason rationally with and get thru to Evangelical, Fundamentalist Biblical Christians when trying to show them where they’ve gotten it wrong or have been lied to, especially on Blogs and Twitter… and why it’s Soul Wrenchingly and agonizingly difficult for Deconverts, and even ‘near’ deconverts, from Christianity like me to separate themselves from their Identities “In Christ” even when they’ve accepted the Facts, Evidence and Truths that show that the Bible is mythological, unreliable, and Christianity itself is founded on lies and bald unfounded and unsupportable assertions that run directly counter to what science, reason, rationality and REALITY says about the world as it actually is. Identity is Everything and YOU are Nothing without Christ… and even WITH Him. You are nothing.

Jerusalem, Judea and the Uttermost Parts

Next up is my Mission Statement of Purpose that I created for myself after reading a great book “The Path” by Laurie Beth Jones, the amazingly encouraging, motivational and ‘prophetic’ author of “Jesus CEO”. 

I started with me and my dedication to Be and Know and Learn and Grow, then moved out to my fellow Christians and church family to Teach, Disciple and Shape others into the Image of Jesus, then moved into the outer concentric circle of “Out There”, meaning to influence others for Christ in my daily life. I was a Disciple, Discipling Others to Disciple the World for Jesus. 

In fact, the very first preaching/teaching in ever did was from Matthew 28 and the Great Commission being NOT about making “Descision for Christ” or winning people to walk down an aisle or say a Sinner’s Prayer or “come to church”… it was about Making Disciples and, in my case, dedicating myself to lead others to become Dedicated Disciples of Jesus. And just as Jesus in the Gospels had His Multitudes, His Twelve (the Twelve Disciples… including Judas Iscariot), His Three (Peter, James and John), and His One (john), so did I. I had my concentric circles of influence for Christ as I Discipled Disciplers to Disciple the Nations… or at least my Arizona portion of them. 

If anyone at all is a True Christian ™, I was

These things I did because I was Convinced that I was right. I was Convinced that I either “Knew it All” or knew someone else who could answer questions I couldn’t and Trusted them and the God of the Bible, and His Only Begotten Son Jesus, that if all else failed THEY would be able to “lead me beside still waters” and bring comfort to my soul, even if there were no answers “this side of heaven” to those questions.  I was wrong. I did not Known it All. Neither did any of my contemporaries or teachers or favorite authors or Apologists. And I’ve been in Recovery Mode ever since. 

I am not who I was. I am Less and I am More

I am no longer bound to an Identity from Mythology. If the Truth of Reality hath set me Free…. I am “Free Indeed”. 

I’m not sure who exactly I am anymore or what I’m doing in my life, but I can tell you with certainty that I was not a fake or misled or misguided or any kind of “No True Scotsman” Christian you could think of as an excuse not to consider my words and ideas. 

You may dismiss me, you may argue that I’ve become apostate and reprobate, you may call me names and denigrate me as just another ‘nut job’, no talent idiot. But one thing you will never be able to do and I will never allow you to do is say I wasn’t REALLY a True Christian ™. I most certainly was and it’s the reason I am as adamant in my rejection of Christianity today. So repeat after me: 

  • I was a True Christian ™. 
  • I was Wrong. 
  • And now I’m in Recovery. 

There’s room for you too. Won’t you come along also for the Journey? Comments below, please. 

Thank you again. -kia  

Blogging success… or not

“What kind of a blog is this?  Rebooted old posts almost no one read the first two, three, or more times they were published, bitterness, and links that don’t work? Not sure how I found this place but I wish I hadn’t.  Utter waste of time.”

Sometimes I find myself agreeing with this kind of comment, left by an anonymous person in Minot North Dakota. 

I wonder why I even try sometimes to write posts that seek to “exfoliate” the matted tangle of hairballs that had accumulated over the decades of my personal history with Christianity and the Church. 

Why I continue to send off missives to the minions who still represent what and who I was until fairly recently. 

Why do I persist in doing response posts and answering comments from people who apart from a miracle of God will never consider the other point of view, never change their mindset to allow themselves the freedom to challenge or question seriously or honestly what they have been taught and what they Believe, but do not and cannot Know to be True. 

Weeks like this give me pause. They leave me to question why I even still have a blog. What useful or instructive or helpful or even meaningful things do I have to say that haven’t already been said, re-said and repeated thru history from thousands and millions of other mouths, pens and keyboards? Right now, at this present moment, I have zero motivation to blog anything. 

No, I’m not quitting. Of course I will continue. I’m not giving up the blog or my writing. I still believe it’s not pointless, hopeless or “pissing into the wind” to keep writing and exchanging ideas here at The Recovering Know It All blog. There are plenty of people, Christians like I was, that may see my stuff and story and identify. I still have an opportunity to reach someone, if only the lurkers who read the comments left by people like CS, Wally, JB and the others in order to derail, discourage and intentionally misrepresent the issues and questions we raise here. When they seem unchangeable… there may be someone like I was who read here and start to ask questions, search for Real Answers on their own and come to the same conclusions that I did about my Faith. It’s mostly for these that I continue.

No, I am not quitting. I just needed to get off my chest how I’m feeling this weekend. Thanks for reading, subscribing, commenting and interacting here. Please continue to do so in the future. “…In all things Charity”

-Kia