Christianity Scared the Be’jesus Out of Me!

My mother, who believed in God, didn’t insist that we go to church. She felt there was too much hypocrisy in it and always told us what amounted to: "if you live a positive life and treat others with respect, you will find your way”.  However, I do remember that as a black family that didn’t go to church we weren’t always welcome in other people’s homes—silly but that was the way it was.  

Anyway, when I was six, my mother finally agreed to take us to church one Sunday (my sister says, my aunt pressured her into it). Having never been, I didn’t have a clue—I mean “who was this God guy?” I don’t remember the type of church, probably Baptist because that's what my aunt was, but it was large with creaky hardwood floors, a dark imposing pulpit, and a huge, white, ornate, latticed grill up high, taking up the entire upper portion of the wall behind the pulpit.  

I remember being bored at first, and the music, then the preacher started preaching, I mean really yelling, fire and brimstone, with the occasional ‘ah-ha’, “ander-a”, and the ever constant “wellllll-a”, while rolling and bouncing on the balls of his feet.  I remember him saying that we [the congregation] were all sinners, and we were all going to go to Hell if we don’t repent! He started pointing back at that grill work telling us over and again that God was watching us. He was watching everything we were doing and He knew when we were bad, when we were evil. He was going to punish us with fire and eternal damnation!  Within a short time I was practically hidden under my mother’s arm.  I eventually left the front pew and went to sit behind her, hiding from the man called God who lived behind that grillwork because I didn't want him to burn me up. LOL  

I laugh now, but until I was eight or nine, I used the toilet and took a bath with the lights off because God and his son, Jesus were men and men weren’t supposed to see me naked. I didn't set foot in another church until I was twelve--but that's another story.

I say all of this to say that, sometimes (not always), it isn't the message as much as it is the messenger and the delivery.

Katija Katija
51-55, F
9 Responses Jul 12, 2007

@Wonderwoman<br />
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You pose some very important questions. Thankfully, we're not left completely in the dark. Jesus himself taught that God's word was the truth. (John 17:17) As such, all we need to do to arrive at spiritual truths is to read the Bible. This is what the residents of the ancient city of Beroea did. The sc<x>riptures tell us that when Paul and Silas went to teach them truth, these 'carefully examined the sc<x>riptures daily as to whether these things were so.' (Acts 17:11) Did Paul criticize them because they tried to reason things out? Did he tell them that their investigation was unnecessary because absolute truth was simply unattainable? Not at all. In fact, he encouraged them to make sense of things and wasn't afraid of their scrutiny of what he was teaching them. Why? Because "God is not a God of confusion" and he wanted them to 'love Jehovah with their WHOLE mind'. (1 Corinthians 14:33;Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27)<br />
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In fact, with soooo many people running around sharing their opinions on what the Biblical truth is, now more than ever, it is imperative that we “not believe every inspired ex<x>pression, but test the inspired ex<x>pressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1) <br />
Take for instance the common belief that Hell is a place of punishment and torture. Would you be surprised to know this is ** not ** what the Bible teaches? :)<br />
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Let's take a look, then, at what the Bible actually teaches. Concerning Jesus, Acts 2:27 informs us - <br />
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King James Bible <br />
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in ** hell **, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."<br />
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American King James Version <br />
"Because you will not leave my soul in ** hell **, neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption." <br />
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Bible in Basic English <br />
"For you will not let my soul be in ** hell ** and you will not give up your Holy One to destruction." <br />
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Douay-Rheims Bible <br />
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in ** hell **, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption." <br />
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Webster's Bible Translation <br />
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in ** hell **, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption:"<br />
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Acts 2:31 also tells us - <br />
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King James Bible<br />
"He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in ** hell **."<br />
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American King James Version<br />
"He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in ** hell **."<br />
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Bible in Basic English<br />
"He, having knowledge of the future, was talking of the coming again of Christ from the dead, that he was not kept in ** hell **."<br />
<br />
Douay-Rheims Bible<br />
"Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was he left in ** hell **."<br />
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Webster's Bible Translation<br />
"He seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in ** hell **."<br />
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Surprisingly, many believe that hell is a place of future punishment and the final destination for unbelievers. However, given that Jesus was sent to hell when he died that can't possibly be what hell is for Jesus was not an unbeliever. <br />
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Moreover, the Bible teaches that we all, like Jesus, go to hell when we die. At Ecclesiastes 9:10 we read, "Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly: for neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge shall be in ** hell **, whither thou art hastening.” (RHE, WYC) It's interesting to note that other versions us the term "grave" instead of "hell". This is consistent with the definition of the ancient Hebrew term "sheol" from which these terms are rendered. <br />
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Understanding, then, what the Bible teaches about hell why is it that so many people let themselves be manipulated and terrorized by the unscrupulous? Because they just don't read the Bible. They mistakenly believe that it cannot be understood :)<br />
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Given how easy it was for you to follow this simple explanation, I'm sure you can see the folly in such thinking, right? :)

I don't believe any one man can read and understand the bible possibly groups of people but even then man has translated it so many times is it reliable? I have my special verses and the book of revelations because I believe we are in those times.your mother was right all along you don't need church as for the bible if God wants you to know he will expose you

If you would, take a look at these passages and tell me if this is someone you need to be terrified of :)<br />
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‎"Jehovah is gracious and merciful,<br />
Slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.<br />
Jehovah is good to all,<br />
And his mercies are over all his works." - Psalms 145:8,9<br />
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“Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress.” - Nahum 1:7<br />
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“Throw your burden upon Jehovah himself, <br />
And he himself will sustain you. <br />
Never will he allow the righteous one to totter.” - Psalms 55:22 <br />
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"Whatever our hearts may condemn us in [] God is greater than our hearts and knows all things." - 1 John 3:20<br />
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"If errors were what you watch, O Jah,<br />
O Jehovah, who could stand?<br />
For there is the [true] forgiveness with you,<br />
In order that you may be feared." - Psalms 130:3,4<br />
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"To Jehovah our God belong the mercies and the acts of forgiveness." - Daniel 9:9<br />
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"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing []. By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one, yes, the forgiveness of [our] trespasses." - Ephesians 1:3,7<br />
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“As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” - 2 Chronicles 16:9<br />
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What do you think? Is this someone you need to hide from or draw closer to? :)

Maybe it's not the bible that causes fear but rather religion itself. So many beliefs whose right and whose wrong? They all say we are going to hell if we don't repent and what dose that mean anyway?

See my reply in the latest comment :)

If I could just ask, have you ever read the Bible in its entirety? :)

I've read parts of the bible many years ago. It was part of my days of seeking as a teenager and young adult. I remember being confused by the content, a lot of it didn't make sense to me then. I do remember I stopped reading it because it read like a history book and I hate history. I know sad but true.

Katija, I don't think your understanding is remotely inhibited. You are simply one of those people who is geared up to think for yourself. It's you and people like you (you aren't alone) who keep commonsense alive

I was brought up as Anglican High Church but on becoming an adult and being interested in all religions on checking them out came to think of them as Good stories,went onto think and still do that they were written by intelligent men who were not lords,princes,kings who wanted power,what better way to get the kings ear by declaring your a profit from GOD if you were good at pulling wool over eyes you got your power,now a days we call them POLITICIANS.

I support the belief that you do not need an ordained priest to speak to or seek forgiveness from God. Martin Luther hit the nail on the head. I feel that Christianity came at a time when it was needed for the people it affected. Now that people generally abide by a more loving, care-for-your-neighbor lifestyle, we need to be directing our attention to a different cause: the environment. We have been so absorbed with ourselves and whether we're going to Hell, that we aren't taking care of our fellow Earth-dwellers. Maybe some believe that it's not our job to care for them. I don't know that I feel it's our "job" so to say, but because of our extreme intelligence and ability, and the fact that a lot of the destruction is our fault, we need to focus on other living things...*sigh* fire and brimstone-puke.. it's so obvious that it all stemmed from the time period

In my late teens and early twenties when I was investigating religions I attended a catholic church with my sister-in-law . It was a rather bland experience for me. I suspect that if I had been a Christian I would have felt something but mostly I was turned off by the number and frequency of the rituals. I think by that time I'd already formed the belief that I didn't need another human being between me and the power of the universe (whatever that power turned out to be). I too had a hard time with the concept that confessing ones sins washed them away without there being any assurances or attempts not to go out and do it again. But, though I know about Christianity, I've never been a Christian so perhaps that inhibits my understanding.

I am a Catholic who lost the faith. I think that one of the reasons is that they always talk about sin. I often had a feeling that no matter what I do I will never be something else than a sinner. I had to confess my sins time after time. But if Jesus died for us sinners, why do we need confession???

The Church wants you to have to constantly confess your sins; that way you need them. It's all part of the racket, you know. That silly myth has kept people mentally shackled for two millenia. Worse, many were tortured and killed by the church, because that church was desperate to maintain its power. It's all so evil.