A Reading from ‘Born Again To Rebirth’

Disinfonauts! My 2nd book, Born Again to Rebirth is available now on iPad. The book is about my philosophical journey out of Penticostal Evangelical Christianity into a new paradigm. Here is a reading from the chapter, “Exodus” in which I describe the feelings and decisions I had and made as my faith came to an end.

Pick up your copy or a sample on your iPad here.

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  • kowalityjesus

    Thank you for sharing, and I admire your concerted effort to devise a medium that can communicate your experience.

    I am tired of hearing that God condemns people to hell. Yes that is true, but he only condemns them according to their own basal behavior. It is comforting to know that there is punishment for asininity, and simultaneously terrifying to think that those I care about and interact with could see such a fate. This is one of the primary, if not THE primary, driving basis behind Christian proselytization.

    I have had much the opposite experience as you, instead of growing up in a religious and idiosyncratically irrational household, I grew up in an irreligious and scientifically ‘rational’ household. It was years later, when suffering from mental problems and a lack of objective clarity regarding what God’s plan for me was, that I turned to Christianity, specifically from non-denominational to Episcopalianism and finally Catholicism, to give me a format to deal with God and the stature necessary when approaching and dealing with matters of divine gravity. I find scripture an indispensable element of my religiosity, but admittedly common sense in what could be called ‘conventional superstition’ are nearly the entirety of the foundation of my ongoing fear of God. Call me naive, with God as my witness.

    I know a number of people who have renounced and denounce Christianity, particularly a friend who is gay and grew up in an evangelical household that had no format for his archetype. I hate to criticize your perspective for fear of conjuring misery, but this disaffectation is typical of the effect that Christian dogma visits upon those who have not been allowed to understand the darkness and misery without the shadow of God. Thus my impression; generally one must not discuss matters of religion (excepting morality) with the young if one expects them to have any when they are older. Godspeed in your quest, and Jesus loves you more than you can know.

    • jnana

      I, too, was fortunate enough to not have been raised in a religious household. It gave me the opportunity to seek Truth without a sense of guilt if I didn’t believe a certain way. There were other guilt trips, but no religious ones. I was also never made to feel ashamed when I did find faith in Jesus Christ, later on in life. Not by my family, that is.
      There is much said in our culture about the religious folk and their intolerance of others freedom of thought, but not much said about the other side of the coin. The materialist’s intolerance of mysticism. Both are harmful to the free pursuit of knowledge

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I guess my conclusion (after years of being involved in various spiritual paths) is that there are many Spiritual Paths, and that each one is perfect in its own way but also subject to human flaws and foibles. I mean, I think of it that way, that’s the nice way to say it but what I really mean by “subject to human flaws and foibles” is SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP. You can dig up just as much dirt on the Dalai Lama as you can the Pope.

    I think its somewhat naive to think of yourself(not you personally but anyone in this position) as starting out in a fucked up path and then moving on to a pure one, because none of them are pure. But I’ve gone through that. There’s dirt in Buddhism, there’s a even more shady stuff in “New Age” groups, and more crass materialism. But at thee same time, I think there is good. And the worse thing to do, the worse sin really in the New Testament is Spiritual Pride. So I can call out bad behaviour when I see it, but I can’t really judge if any given path is valid for people, but also I have reason to believe it is.

    Now, Evagelicals get a bad rap for telling people they are lost and going to Hell, but most paths actually do the same thing. There is a Buddhist hell, you hear about it more in Asia than in the US. But what it is is that most religions want new people to start from square one. That’s pretty common. They want people to begin from ignorance.

    I go back Bagavad Gita.4:11

    “All of them–as they surrender unto Me–I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”

  • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

    I listened. I heard you say “Thank you so much for listening.” You’re welcome.

    I see it’s been two weeks after the original post and the video has ~250 views. It is with moderate regret that I must tell you that I will not be one of the ones who buys your book (in the immediate future), and that is because I am very poor.

    In many ways, the rise and subsequent fall of macro-level “supply” and “demand” is a breath-takingly tragic thing. During the bubble’s macro-inflation, many things of inferior quality boomed, and many things of superior quality boomed as well. During the deflation, many things of great quality are now bound to rot on the vine along-side many things of non-lasting, inferior, planned-obsolesence quality.

    Your thoughts and writings are of quality, but will the people “buy” them enough to keep you alive to your retirement years, with economic security? I wonder. And I doubt. The economics of our lives are just too tragic. In my case, I would love to support you with more than an internet +1 or +like, but it’s all I can do to keep myself in peanut butter sandwiches, to say nothing of books like yours that I can appreciate but that all the people all around me can’t appreciate yet at all. The economics are tragic. And they point to a much worse future.

    And in your case, if you had “gone Hollywood” — and not cared about putting out a genuine message from yourself, and instead just whored out your talents and played the part of a bureaucrat, or an institutional toadie, or someone who plays the personal politics of power in Hollywood to stay alive, rather than to be a person or artist true to himself — well, then you could have much more financial-economic security. We seem to live at a time where the better and best people have no economic use, when measured by and against the people that have all the economic say-so.

    * * *

    In closing let me offer this bit of hope. I got it from a site linked to on disinfo(dot)com. It’s a modern analogy of an old parable — “Stone Soup”.

    In the tale of Stone Soup, a hungry ex-soldier comes to a town, and wants some food, but no one will just give him food, as he is nothing but a wandering tramp. It’s out of the question.

    So he starts making soup in a big pot outdoors with only a stone in it for ingredients. People come and watch him, and they actually believe the ex-soldier when he tells them that the soup is going to be delicious and hearty. He says he will share it with them if they contribute some extra ingredients — for extra flavor and robustness, of course, not to say that the soup needs them. In this way, people come and contribute all kinds of ingredients which actually do make the soup hearty and delicious (because we know the ultimate truth was that stones don’t make soup at all by themselves).

    So where people had thought it was impossible that they should give food to this empty-pocketed outsider, it turns out that everyone could actually eat well in a medley of mutual interest. The things that hold us back are just all in our heads. This is the story that inspires me when I see the down-sides of our ridiculous financialized economic way of life.

    The source of the story:
    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/01/31/stone-soup-for-the-capitalists-soul

    (“Stone Soup for the Capitalist’s Soul”)

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