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How Do Christians Explain My Life?

reprobate

Rather than asking each Evangelical to “explain” my life, I thought I’d let the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God answer for them:

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I John 2:18-20

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections:… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:16 –32

My defection from Christianity is proof I never “really” was a Christian. Real Christians persevere to the end. Real Christians keep going to church, reading the Bible, praying, tithing, and living according to the Christian social code until the end. A real Christian believes, walks, acts, talks, and lives like a Christian. And the standard for this believing, walking, acting, talking, and living? Each Christian’s interpretation of the Bible, thus reminding all who are paying attention that there is no such thing as Christianity; just Christianities, with each believer having their own form of the faith once delivered to the saints.

According to Romans 1, I have the clear marks of a reprobate. A reprobate is one whom God has condemned to hell while still in this life, unless you are a Calvinist, then God condemns some people to hell before they are even born.  To the reprobate, God says “ I am done with you, do what you will.”

Supposedly, since I am now a reprobate, this is how I live my life:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:26-32

In other words, I am now supposed to a homosexual, a murdering, evil, hater of God, among other things.

Never mind that I live a better, more wholesome life than most Christians. Never mind that I love my neighbor as myself. Never mind that I am faithful to my wife, love my children and grandchildren.  All that REALLY matters is whether I pray THE prayer, where I park my ass on Sunday, what book I read, and whether I pray, tithe,witness, oppose abortion rights, think homosexuality and same-sex marriage is a sin, and vote Republican.

Here’s how I see it: this is one of those did he resign or was he fired moments.

Did I leave God or did God leave me?

Matters not.

The divorce is final.

The relationship is over.

All that is left is the scars and memories.

Telling me I was never a Christian denies the life I lived for almost fifty years. Telling me that I am still a Christian denies the life I have been living for almost a decade. The ONLY explanation for my life is that I once was a Christian and now I am not. I once was saved and now I am not. I once was a follower of Jesus and now I am not.  But, Bruce….the Bible says….

And therein lies the problem. Most Christians are incapable of seeing what is right in front of them. The Bible has become blinders that keep them from seeing and understanding anything that does not fit their narrow, fundamentalist worldview.

9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Karen

    “…unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…”

    The thing is, I have a really, really hard time accepting that the non-Christians were all like this Back Then. How do you run a civilization if everyone is like this? So, if I’m right, that means the bible says ex-Christians are much worse people than people who haven’t bought into the Word. That’s just a breathtakingly difficult assertion for me to swallow.

    I think my mom-in-law is struggling with this. Her bible describes unbelievers one way, and her children and grandchildren who have walked away from religion behave very differently. In fact, they behave pretty well, on average. Actually, they behave pretty much within the same parameters as those children and grandchildren who are still Christians (nobody involved here is currently intensely Evangelical). That’s tough to get your mind around, especially when you’re in your 80s.

  2. Avatar
    Brian

    I admire your honesty, Bruce. Not many people are honest. It is a very high calling to live up to and it seems to me that you are doing pretty well in that department. For me, and this will no doubt seem odd, you stand apart in an age as Christ stood, hopelessly at odds with things as they are in the world. I feel very comfortable, very safe in your blog-home. Why was I never allowed to feel safe with Jesus at church…. I sure longed for that for a long time….

  3. Avatar
    Palmer

    Bruce, I am deeply touched by your post. I understand the torture of trying to remain in the church while feeling like I must be faking it, trying to figure out what I believe with enough certainty to stay or leave, being caught in that limbo, being prodded by my parents (who are missionaries) and all of the evidence to make a choice either way. I have felt that pain, and my heart hurts with yours. I had been searching for answers for such a long time that I became jaded and my heart was hard. A real friend recently came to me with no prompting and said he asked God to let him help someone other than himself for once. And he talked to me about things no one else would allow. He is as rational and intelligent as I am and we went round and round. After months of this, and of what I have finally accepted as undeniable signs from God, I have finally found some degree of peace and understanding. I still have scars and bruises from the years of torture, darkness, confusion, and in no way have I figured everything out. I am wishing you healing and peace. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Avatar
    kittybrat

    Ah! It’s either good or evil, black or white, night or day, Christ or Satan… there is no in-between, no variance, no grey area, no dusk, no nuance… not with those blinders you described, Bruce!
    “The Bible has become blinders that keep them from seeing and understanding anything that does not fit their narrow, fundamentalist worldview.”

  5. Avatar
    Jada

    ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.’

    This verse has always been extraordinarily annoying to me as it’s so excessively wordy.
    ‘They weren’t like us, so they split.’ I could rewrite the bible accurately and cut the whole thing, at the very least, in half.

  6. Avatar
    Ian

    The exact same scriptures are used when speaking about me. No matter that people could feel the Holy Ghost moving when I led music. No matter that people were blessed when I spoke. God can use both clean and dirty vessels.

    The thing I learned from this all is that I should have just quit church and lived like hell. Then, when I died, church people could have said good things about me.

  7. Avatar
    Brian

    Hi Palmer, every dawn is is Creation made anew and every free breath that begins in now is glory wide and floors me with a whelming over…. Call it God or Lolly or Zimmy as you please. I prefer to let it be and be there with at as much as I am able this Friday dawn.
    I am happy to know that as somebody born to woo-woo and somebody who has survived it, you now experience some healing and some peace, and that you wish it for others. You sound like a reasonable (mostly, anyway, apart from the undeniable God-signs;))
    I am a child of the woo as well, my dad a Baptist preacher and my mom the daughter of a Baptist preacher. My family is spilling over with people who have given their lives. Thank-you for sharing too. You know I profess that I have begun to know my humanity but in so many ways I still deny myself and all humans. All the religious folk know that the answer is in denial, that denial is enlightenment and peace. Not for me, Palmer.

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