Christian Ghosting: The Destructive Christian Practice We Don’t Talk About

Christian Ghosting: The Destructive Christian Practice We Don’t Talk About July 19, 2017

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I don’t think I believe in ghosts– I suppose I’m open to the possibility, but never in my life have I seen an apparition of anything ghost-like.

But while I don’t believe in ghosts, I have been “ghosted” and it remains one of the more painful and destructive experiences in my whole life.

Ghosting is something that can happen to anyone, in any social circle, or from any particular social group. However, we American Christians seem to have perfected this to a finally crafted art.ghosting

What is ghosting? You might not know the term, but you probably know the action: ghosting is when someone abruptly ends a friendship with limited or no explanation, and when they proceed to quickly disappear from your life.

For me, I was ghosted by my best friend– and my entire social circle quickly followed without saying a word.

My family and I went from having what felt like a strongly bonded group of people to do life with, to waking up one morning and discovering we were now alone, and had no friends or natural support system. Before we were ghosted, we’d meet on a weekly scheduled evening for “small group” where we’d share meals together, talk about life together, pray for one another, and where we did life together.

On Sundays we worshipped together. Between those scheduled times we’d all hang out, help one another with projects or needs, our kids would play with one another… we’d celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together. Life was good.

And then one day, the world stopped.

I was a teaching elder at our church, and made the critical error of pushing back on folks when they challenged my fitness for serving as an elder when it was said in a meeting, “We have a deep concern that you’re not truly the head over your wife.”

I made the error of saying we shouldn’t force two of our most committed, reliable, and spiritually mature community members to be re-baptized as a condition of being a full voting member of our church.

I made the error of advocating for a higher minimum wage in a television interview (which led to someone literally yelling and walking out of church).

I made the error of preaching a sermon on Matthew 5 and what it means to love our enemies– which got me cornered and rebuked by the other elders because the sermon was, ironically, “unloving” to preach to a bunch of gun owners, apparently.

I made the error of suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place of worship, prompting some folks to threaten leaving the church.

I made many “errors,” and the net result was the tension in our little group continued to increase until my best friend bailed instead of navigating conflict– taking the rest of our social circle with him. We went from texting countless times a day and spending individual, and family time together, to…. nothing.

Quiet. Silence. Distance. Nonexistence.

It was like a magician showed up in my life, covered everything with a blanket, and then with a whisk of the wand it all disappeared– leaving me just holding a blanket.

The damage wasn’t just something I suffered– I also had to navigate hard discussions with my then 12 year old daughter as to why she lost all her friends as well. I still wake up every morning and try to extend grace for the sin of ghosting, but the fact my daughter had her closest friends ghosted from her as well, is something I still struggle to forgive.

Ghosting can happen to anyone, but we Christians sure know how to do it well.

It’s as if for us, loving people simply because they are people made in the image of God is not enough. Instead, we become only willing to love people who we are in harmonious agreement with. As long as we are in agreement, the relationship is solid– but the minute one person begins to grow and shift on this belief or that one, we bail.

We ghost people. We disappear from their lives. We abandon them. We sever ties.

And we do it in the cruelest way possible: with silence.

Sometimes I have to pray like Jesus did and say, “Father, forgive them– because they don’t know what they do.” Because honestly, I don’t think they understand the damage they’ve done.

I don’t think they realize that on the day they ghosted my family, my daughter lost the only close friendships she had.

I don’t think they realize that on the day they ghosted me, it was the day that my marriage started to seriously unravel.

I don’t think they realize how painful it was to experience three failed adoptions in the months after their disappearance– driving home the reality that we had no one to grieve with us, no one to check in on us, and no one who cared if we survived as a family, or not. Every waking morning was a reminder that none of them actually gave a shit about us.

I don’t think they realize that years later, the idea of going to church again or having Christian friends I can trust, is outside of what would be healthy or plausible for me.

I don’t think they realize that when they see us at the department store and turn to walk away before we see them, they’re not quick enough.

I don’t think they realize that I never fully recovered from that life event, and that it still impacts me on a daily basis. I felt it yesterday, I feel it today, and I fear I’ll feel it tomorrow, too.

I don’t think they realize any of those things. Sadly I don’t think they care, either– because if they did, they would have attempted to bind up the wounds they inflicted without letting years go by and life fall apart.

And now, it’s too late– there can be forgiveness, but there will never, ever, be reconciliation. It’s done. It’s finished. There is no reversing the damage, and no returning to what once was.

The destruction from the practice of Christian Ghosting, quite honestly, is often irreparable.

For those of us who have tried to live out the Christian life while being open to allowing new information to shape and stretch what we believe, the reality is that at one time or another, we have friends who will ghost us.

Somehow, someway, too many Christian circles have failed to realize that we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.

And so, when theological agreement is not in harmony, there’s always at least one family who feels like some evil magician made their life disappear without notice or even a preemptive “abracadabra” to give us a bit of warning that life is about to change.

While we can’t control the actions of others, I do think we can do two things:

We can refuse to be the ones who do the ghosting.

And when it happens, we can practice praying, “Forgive them Father, for they don’t have the slightest effing’ clue as to the damage they’ve done.”


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Colin Smith

    I’m friends with people I like. I don’t have to agree with them on everything and they don’t have to agree with me on everything.

    Those people were never really friends with you, but only saw in you a reflection of their own self-righteousness. When you began to show your true self, they no longer saw their own reflection in you, so you ceased to reassure them of their own righteousness, and instead you threatened it.

    Some people are like a species of shoaling fish, only happy in a crowd of identical creatures and afraid of strangers who act and think differently. They see sharks everywhere and cling together.

    You didn’t lose friends. You grew up and went out into the world to meet people like me and the others who do not believe as you do but value what you have to say and the principles you espouse.

  • Terri

    So so sorry you went through that. It sounds heart-rending, especially the cruelty to your daughter. This is one reason why “Christian” no longer means what “Christians” say it means.

    My tale: I accidentally crossed the pastor’s wife. She’s popular and well liked. As it happens, the pastor and my husband work together at a Christian high school (the pastor taught Bible classes there) and the faculty/staff all live here in the same neighborhood. And we all attend the same church, this pastor’s church.

    Yes, it is very much a closed system. I refer to it only partly jokingly as “the compound.”

    After this incident with the pastor’s wife, I made up my mind not to say anything to anyone; this was our friendship problem (the two of us) to solve. So I didn’t. I called her not too long after it happened to say “we should talk about this.” She wouldn’t return my call and refused to talk to me until three weeks later when she had cooled down. (I found this part out afterward. *During* the three weeks, I had no idea what was happening or whether we were going to even attempt to work this out.)

    Skipping over details as they’re not key: I found out the hard way that while I had kept our disagreement to myself, she had not. She’d had plenty to say to others while not talking to me. These were mutual friends from the high school and from church, and they started acting different around me, not wanting to talk, not wanting to spend time anymore, conversations ending when I came up, that sort of thing.

    This pastor and his family then moved away. Leaving me to pick up the pieces of these damaged friendships. Not much of friendships, looks like. Not one person as much as asked me about it.

    This is the price I paid for not gossiping, for standing by a friend when we were in conflict. She left and she (logistically speaking) took everybody with her.

    I’m hurt, humiliated thinking about what she might have said to them about me (and they obviously believed), lonely, and not going back for more. I’ve joined some secular groups and things are going much better there.

    I’d have already quit attending church if it weren’t for my kids. Still trying to set the example. If they grow up and don’t find value in organized religion, that’s their call. I’m trying to do my best for them right now. But I tell you what, if this conflict with the pastor’s wife had affected their friendships (fortunately they have lots of friends from school that they socialize with), we’d be gone.

    God? Yes. Christians? No.

  • jcmchan

    Coming out of the closet was when it happened. Never-mind that these same friends had appreciated, respected, agreed with me, and sought my advice/counsel on my perspective/theological stance on pretty much everything else. Never-mind the closeness that grows out of shared struggles, suffering, joys, and years of friendship. You’re right…forgiveness can and has already happened, otherwise I don’t know if I would even be alive now. But, reconciliation is likely impossible now. Forgiveness happened, but I don’t know that trust would ever be built up again…

  • Al Cruise

    The time is coming when these Churches will no longer be viewed as “Christian” and will become a shrinking minority and move into small niche groups on the fringe of society. Enlightenment is marching forward regardless what they try to say or spin. The exodus continues from these Churches. The recent happenings at the Southern Baptist Convention are causing many more to leave these types of Churches.

  • Rick Bavera

    My life these days is “ghosted”, partly me having withdrawn from things (long story), and part me feeling shunned, especially by people in the church I (still) belong to. Long story short, I have not been attending my “home” church regularly or at all for 2 years or more, and haven’t really attended anywhere for a while. I miss church, but not the feeling of isolation in the midst of people. Its tough. Not sure what to do about it. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I know, because a lot of details are not there, but that is “where I am” at the moment.

  • Ben, it seems to me that you have been rejected by the anti-Christ.

    If we were neighbors, we would still be friends. Okay, I withdrew from Christianity long ago, but I don’t think that would bother you. And it wouldn’t bother me that you did not withdraw. True friends can disagree without threatening their friendship.

  • Nan Sollo

    I have never responded to your blog before but as a pastor who served a church for 71/2 years in a small rural town, I totally resonated with this. Long story, but after I retired well from the church and remained living in the town, I respected the boundaries and did not return to church, waiting for the traditional invite back, but the new pastor never invited me back and the folks who were our best friends “disappeared” from our lives. Ghosted in a town of 1000 people. We lost everyone we spent time with. We wound up moving away but I have never gone back to a church and don’t think I can. One of my pastor friends said to me-“didn’t you know you don’t have any friends in the church?! You were crazy to think you did!” The story is painful and I have gone over it and over it trying to see what my part was. At this time, we still own the house there because it hasn’t sold. I am finally down the road but the betrayal still causes me to wince sometimes. I read all these stories and I wish I was the only one…. It feels so sad to hear how often this happens to others, especially when we pour out our hearts and lives for the sake of Jesus. I hate that getting wiser is such a difficult process. Blessings to all of you who have walked through this and Benjamin, your writing and sharing has been a lovely part of my now churchless life.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Dr. Corey.

    While we can’t make light of or attempt to reduce the impact of the immense damage already done, it is interesting when U.S. Evangelicals make public their refusal to follow Jesus. I’m reminded of U.S. White Evangelical John Piper’s famous “Farewell Rob Bell” tweet. In some ways this might have been helpful, as it revealed much about John Piper’s self-worship and his self-serving fundamentalist followers who continue to deny Jesus in their words and actions. We can make the same observations of exclusionary behaviors of the MegaChurches, as the financial and spiritual bankruptcy of Gateway Church in the Dallas area illustrates so well.

    The time has come to let go of the Ghosting Christians, the raging White Evangelicals who display contempt for God’s Children and God’s Creation. Let them come out of their closets to display their Trump-following nationalism, xenophobia, bigotry, and incitement of violence against society’s most vulnerable. Allow them to shout their gnashing-of-the-teeth gospel on the street-corners all they want.

    Jesus-followers will seek solidarity with those discarded and ghosted by self-worshiping U.S. Evangelical elites: the poor, the oppressed, communities of color, LGBTQ2, sex workers, refugees—the very heretics Jesus himself spent his time with.

  • Me and my spouse have been ghosted for decades!! We were trying to pass as so-called normal Christians for years in order to get to be with people who were seemingly well balanced, affluent, educated, and upwardly mobile. After awhile, When we began to have serious problems mentally and financially,
    it was abundantly clear we no longer fit the demographic!! we realized following Christ was really not the point of going to church.
    The very moment we were broken and outcast is the moment Jesus became a real presence in Our Lives who would never leave, forsake, abandon, abuse or betray!! It feels weird not to have people in our lives like we had before but you know what we never really had them. The relationships were quite superficial all based on a contingency. For us Christianity is no longer an accessory item that goes with an outfit of self-righteousness. Here’s a quote from slacktivist on patheos from a from July 17th blog called when Gatekeepers attack: //You have to understand that those who stand with scorned and marginalized people will be scorned and marginalized.// https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ea6519d97e9c9b0176bc4996bf61ae5220ddd3ab650075a0ae5e4ffc903dcfe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb44b297f68b27e2563d731a59f8ee9ce0087ef78bfe0c15c1ab83c4f970e61f.jpg

  • SusanRogersStLaurent

    We’ve been through this too, Benjamin. We still live on the same street, and it’s like we don’t exist to them. The only consolation is that several others have also since left the church they pastor and the same thing happened to them, and I realized that it wasn’t just me.

    I wonder if I’ll ever completely get over it.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    This is such soul-scarring terrain. I was “ghosted” during my cancer treatment by someone I thought was close to me, and my family was “ghosted” by many people (most from a Bible study where I’d been a member for 15 years) when my son came out 8 years ago and I became an ally. Those wounds are still raw.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    Advocating for a higher minimum wage certainly was an error. It does not help the poor to make it illegal to hire them at the rate that their employers think they are worth. Wage floors have significant deadweight losses.

    You could have instead advocated for a Universal Basic Income Guarantee or Citizens’ Dividend.

  • James Armstrong

    Gosh, your story breaks my heart. I’m a long time churchman, and mostly just by chance I avoided this sort of thing. The nearest I come is what happens when evolving from tradition evangelical to progressive.

    But I’ve seen enough to know the reality of this sort of thing. In how many ways can the name Christian be hijacked anyhow? It makes me want to shout, “Not THAT kind of Christianity”.

    I appreciate the courage and candor of your writings.

    Fortunately, there are gatherings that do Christianity in a simpler way, with more integrity. It’s been interesting to watch them emerge in reaction to stuff like you (and so many others) have encountered. But such mostly smaller gatherings are unfortunately not present everywhere, and not always that easy to find when they are.

    Blessings!

  • Ama Nazra

    If I could give you a hug Benjamin, I would. I have lived your story inside and outside the church. My heart has been fracked into pieces and remade a couple of times now, but I’ve learned more about God’s Love, Faith and Trust in me through the events, and wrestled my sense of helpless rage into a quiet stream of forgiveness, which only sometimes bubbles a little when people see me and deliberately turn their backs. I can only shrug. I don’t know what I did in both of the cases, because no one ever told me to my face, but I heard all the lies .. I found the motto ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ was a help – and quite truthfully, I would rather be a ghost to those people … they are not worth sharing my life’s journey with.

  • Annie

    You describe your friends as Christians, but if I am correct that the heart of Christianity is unconditional love, then your friends were failed Christians at best. I think your grief may be less about their absence & more about realizing that they never were who you believed them to be.

  • Annie

    So not the point.

  • Dan Whitmarsh

    As a pastor, the hardest thing I’ve ever heard was my 5-year-old daughter asking her teacher, “Why are all my friends leaving? Don’t they love my daddy any more?” This in a time when I, too, was attempting to call people to some semblance of healthy obedience to Christ’s counter-cultural teachings. The price I’ve paid is the cost of ministry. The price upon my kids. . .that’s harder to swallow. Thankfully, God blessed that pain with a season of health and fruitfulness, but I still see a reticence in my daughter to grow close friendships at the church. So much damage these people do, even if they don’t know what they’re doing.

  • Iloveourelderly

    I cannot agree with a lot of what you write. Your unrighteous anger is evident throughout.

  • Oh my goodness, Benjamin! I’ve witnessed this so many times over the years, and have experienced it firsthand more times than I care to remember. Now, I’m experiencing it via my Alzheimer’s Mom! After practically a lifetime of devotion & commitment to her church & support to generations of young people needing “sponsors” for some event, activity or cause, as soon as she was no longer able to physically attend or mail in “TITHE” checks, it was as though she never existed. Fortunately now, her Alzheimer’s has progressed so far that she no longer has memory of any of them. BUT … the first few years of her having to transition from her home & independence to a nursing facility … WITHOUT ANYONE there to be of support or encouragement to her was devastating to her. Watching her go thru the pain of so much abandonment was devastating to me. The “ghosting” isn’t always about doctrinal differences, sometimes it’s even more petty than that! THANK YOU for sharing your story, Benjamin!

  • Peter Anderson

    Thank you so much for this, Ben. I never thought it was even a word until I read this post. A best friend in seminary did this to me 7 years ago and even after years of therapy, my heart has never been quite the same. It’s a wound that I think might never go away. So painful.

  • Herm

    Ben, you have built and maintained, in this cyber sanctuary, a world of difference, within which each who remains to share is very much aware and sensitive to their fragility and vulnerability. Most here, as I know you have followed each closely, have been shunned at one time or another before coming here. The difference here, compared to most social gatherings, is that you and most first responders aren’t seeking to survive mentally, physically or spiritually at the cost of another. From this story, you have so openly shared, that is what separates you, and does most commenting here today, from those choosing ghosting as a means of protecting their own from what they don’t understand.

    I cannot thank you and our Lord enough for teaming up to provide this forum to be available to each of us to honestly share, support and learn from each other’s differences. I have never been this long within a gathering of spirit, uniting this much difference, where this much continual empathy, compassion and forgiveness is received and given both inside and outside this house that you have founded in the name of Christ.

    You wouldn’t hurt so much if you didn’t value so highly the love from those ghosting because you continue to love them. You highlighted the most agony Christ felt when, in divine unilateral love, He asked for forgiveness for those who did not know to love Him. That’s the cross most here will bear because they still love those who shun them for being different.

    I love your honesty, your fragility, and your investing your talents so freely in us, thank you!

  • Herm

    Deb, I understand your pain from your mother’s church forgetting her when she needed them most. I’m sharing that fortunately there still remain church fellowships that reach out to victims such as your mother with Alzheimer’s. My father was one of those victims that my parent’s church reached out to support my dad for companionship and my mother for respite for most of my dad’s twelve years of Alzheimer’s, autopsied as genetic. I can’t thank them enough for they, as a church, stayed to support my mother for another 20 years. I can’t thank them enough for my sister and I could not have supported either just between the two of us with such quality of life. I just had to share that there are still some really good people out in our world, also.

  • David

    Can you elaborate? Where is he wrong? Really curious to know what you mean by “unrighteous anger”.

  • David

    Yep, he totally missed the point.

  • “I don’t think they realize any of those things. Sadly I don’t think they care, either…”

    And I suspect that those who practice “ghosting” justify their behaviour by blaming the victim for the situation: “If they hadn’t rocked the boat, everything would still be fine.”

  • sgillesp

    I can’t help but think folks are going to the wrong kinds of churches. I can’t imagine this kind of thing ever happening in ours (perhaps I’m naive), but there is no sense that we all agree on everything or that having the right opinion is what makes a person righteous. On the other hand, we also don’t anticipate texting several of times a day, either. Im so sorry for the hurt – the shunning – inflicted on your family.

  • Autismmomx4

    Whole church when it turned out that my children and special needs and my husband became disabled. I lost my job. And they all disappeared.

  • FLRealist

    Curious – do you believe in the practice of “ghosting”? Have you practiced it in your life?

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    No offense and no lack of sensitivity meant but why in the name of Jesus and his Gospel does any of this come as a shock to you! As an old English professor of mine used to say ” we gave Socrates hemlock to drink and we crucified the Saviour so I guess we should not expect a whole hell of a lot better!”.There is no other group or sect or party or club or any kind of association more willing more able and more inclined to ostracise and condemn either by disassociation or silence the exclusion of those who follow what is good and just than religious ones! They did you a favour whether you know it or not. Do you want a life and a friendship based on honesty and genuineness or on conformity to an outward norm and hypocrisy where smiles hide only thorns and embracers knives!

  • “why in the name of Jesus and his Gospel does any of this come as a shock to you!”

    Probably for similar reasons that it can come as a shock if the person who promised to love and cherish us in marriage, betrays our trust and breaks their promises. I guess there are still some of us who want to believe the promises that are made by people who *say* they love us…

  • Rick Wood

    hahahaha! This is the funniest comment I have ever seen on social media!

  • Rick Wood

    adventures in missing the point. that is a great conversation to have, not a position to ghost someone over.

  • Thanks, Herm. Glad to know there are some out there like those who supported & cared for your family. That truly doesn’t exist in this town (an organized “church”, that is). This is one of the most spiritually cannibalistic areas I’ve ever lived in.

  • DM

    I am so sorry. That must have been brutally painful. It would have rocked my faith to the core. I hope things are better for you now and that you have good supportive new friends.

  • Don Lowery

    I have come to expect this from EVERYONE all of my life. Even a new church I was attending did it because I lost my job at one of their ministries. Now…I am on the brink of becoming an atheist because if my supposed brothers and sisters in Christ don’t give a damn about me…why should I even bother dealing with an organization which cares less if I live or die? At least Wiccans and those who profess to be atheists have treated me better than this. Along with this…I keep asking myself if this is all that life holds and seems to happen over and over…why is there a need to continue? I don’t care what Jesus said…if this hurt and pain is all there is…why continue?

  • MKulnir

    It is probably no consolation to you, but you are not alone. Just google “shunning” and “Mars Hill Church” or “shunning” and “New Spring Church” or other “churches.” Shunning happens. It is wicked. It is vile.

  • I feel for you and hope you got the help for your family that you needed and need.

    When I deconverted, I lost every single Christian friend I had in the whole wide world. They dropped me without a word, without a conversation, without a chance. They went from “hug your neck” and “Sister Cassidy” and “church FAMBLEE” to not even acknowledging my existence anymore.

    Christians definitely are not inhabited by a god who makes them better in any discernible way from non-Christians. I’ve become extremely careful about extending my friendship to Christians as a result; I know how flakey they can be and how insincere their protestations of “Christian love” really are. It didn’t even occur to me that non-Christians were different until I deconverted. I’m just sorry that you found that out during such a greater time of need. Best wishes to your family and to you.

  • Brandon Roberts

    honestly i think you shouldn’t end a personal relationship without a reasonable explanation

  • It gets so much better once you open your eyes to reality. Please hang in there. Seek help if those feelings continue or get frightening–and be reassured that what you’re experiencing is part of a very natural process. Often when Christians begin to engage with their doubts they go through these periods of feeling hopeless or like life has less meaning–that’s perfectly normal, and as long as it doesn’t get more serious you’ll come out of it (if the thousands of deconversion stories I’ve heard are any indication) with a greater appreciation for life and a greater appreciation of your fellow humans. It turns out that life actually means so much more when we figure out its meaning for ourselves, in our lives, in our situations, with our understanding–and so much more when there’s a sharp limit on how much of it we’re going to get.

    Use your observations of Christians and Christian culture in a way that’ll serve you in the future. There are millions of Christians who know what you know right now but stuff it down deep with catchphrases and hand-waving to avoid really engaging with the truth about their religion: that it does not produce good people by itself, and does not create happy and harmonious societies. And that’s a really really scary thing to see, for someone in a religion that preaches exactly those things. Even if Christianity’s supernatural claims were taken out of the picture, the social rules and culture that they create for themselves just don’t work. And now you know that. I don’t know about you, but to me that’d be a serious victory.

  • Herm

    Don, because this is a one time opportunity to be aware of even the smallest good and to be influential to make it better for another because we, too, feel their pain. There is always the chance that around the next bend will be a moment of joy that you can find respite in while you savor. Please, don’t miss that moment … and the next! You are loved!

  • It’s very easy to say that, but often people fear being abused or argued with when they end a relationship. That’s why they ghost. It’s not because they’re evil or mean; it’s because they’re afraid of the confrontation. It could well be that their fear has nothing to do with the other person–but if someone’s noticing that they’re getting ghosted frequently, it might indicate that they are not a particularly safe harbor for their friends’ honesty. When we’re safe to be honest around, then people tend to be more honest around us. If we punish people somehow for being honest, then they’ll stop being honest. The thing to do is not to vilify those who aren’t being honest about ending a relationship, but to see what about us maybe led to that behavior.

    (Every time I’ve tried to give a man a “reasonable explanation” for breaking up, for example, all it got me was a catastrophic blowup on his part and hours of arguing about my decision. Eventually I realized why so many men make that demand, and I stopped feeding into it. Similarly, I’ve never met an evangelical Christian who was satisfied with my reasons for deconverting; to them, there ARE no good reasons, and if any of them even ask me for mine then I know that they’re just setting me up for a long argument about how valid my deconversion is in their eyes. NOT saying you’re like that, just observing two situations where ghosting is penalized that are actually more nuanced than most people think.)

  • It’s Christianese for “anger that he doesn’t personally think is valid.” See also: bitterness, meaning “anger that the Christian using the term thinks should have gone away by now,” and selfishness, meaning “a desire that the Christian making that accusation thinks gets in the way of something that Christian wants from that person.”

  • I’ve got a friend who had so many Christians ghost her children that she’s careful now in choosing their playmates. The Christians let their kids play with her kids, find out that mom is a strong atheist and that the kids are completely unindoctrinated, and POOF they’re gone and she has to explain to crying children why their playmates won’t talk to them anymore. Christian love for ya right there….

  • Matthew

    Forgive me Lord for the times I have ghosted people. Forgive them Lord for the times they have ghosted me.

    Although I walked away from most of my close relationships because of my move overseas and because of my theological growth, I personally wouldn´t be comfortable anymore with most of the people I used to run with.

    That said, what´s the term for Christians who are strictly event/program oriented and only want to meet on Sunday mornings and one time per week for a Bible study? I find this kind of church atmosphere almost equally as painful.

    (Edited)

  • Rihari_Wilson

    Jesus said “Love your enemies”; why is even loving our friends often beyond us?

  • Rihari_Wilson

    Matthew 5:47New International Version (NIV)

    47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

  • I’m so sorry you had to go through this. <3 I don't think there's much more I can say, other than it's terrible and you and your family deserve better.
    Thank you for your bravery.

  • VisionaryJax

    –Somehow, someway, too many Christian circles have failed to realize that we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.– THIS. Why is this? It is tragic and completely rips apart Jesus’ prayer that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Heart-breaking.

    And my heart breaks for you, Benjamin Corey, and your family. I pray Christ’s arms continue to surround and uphold you even though your earthly Christian brothers and sisters have failed to do so.

  • Ron McPherson

    Amen a thousand times!!

  • Delta

    Been there. After my divorce a lifelong Christian “friend” told another friend that she didn’t know if she could keep hanging out with me because her husband was concerned that I would be a bad influence on her. She also said that she didn’t know how me living with my boyfriend was going to affect our friendship. Then she basically disappeared.

    I’ve also been chastised for having non-Christian friends. As Christians, if we aren’t spending time with non-Christians with whom are we sharing our faith!?! I have friends with many different beliefs. We learn from each other and even if we don’t agree with the other’s position, we can come to understand how they developed their beliefs.

  • Herm

    Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    Matthew 5:48 (NIV2011)

  • Jennny

    Yup, it’s also christianese for ‘I have no empathy but it will be A GREAT WITNESS to Dr Corey if I skim his post and diagnose exactly what’s wrong with his christian life.’ Unusually the person hasn’t included a slew of bible verses and exhortation to become like him…or burn in hell!

  • Marie Griffith

    My family is experiencing this now. It’s been one of the most difficult seasons of our lives. For 8 1/2 years we learned, worshiped, served and did life with these people. While a few have remained in contact some of the closest ones to our family have ceased all communications. When we see any of them out and about we are genuinely happy to see them and will show them if given the chance. A couple of times we’ve noticed the turning away. With God’s help we will keep loving them even when they are hurting us.

  • Dontchaknow

    Cry me a river. If people can “ghost” like that you were not actually important in their lives. christians can be the most hypercritical people there are. Friendly to your face but will turn on you on a dime. But let me correct that statement. When I say “christians” with a lower case c I don’t mean those people who have actually dedicated their lives to being like Christ. I mean the majority of those who claim to be Christian but on judgment day will be very surprised when Jesus says He knows them not and to depart from Him. Count yourself Blessed that these phony people are out of your life. Find yourself a true church of Christ and build up a new inner circle but in the meantime remember Jesus (God) is always with you, will never leave you and provides all that you need. People are a dime a dozen and most not worth that much.

  • Realist1234

    I can now see why you turned your back on ‘fundamentalism’. Understandable.

    ‘Ghosting’ (I never knew it had a term) only happened to me once by a single friend whom I had known for quite a few years. It seemed once he entered into a ‘serious’ relationship, he had no time left for our ‘friendship’. He didnt actually give that explanation, he gave no explanation just suddenly stopped calling, but it became apparent that was the reason. It does tend to make one conclude one’s friendship wasnt much of a friendship at all.

  • Realist1234

    indeed. It seems many people who attend church do so on the understanding they are not looking to make genuine friendships.

  • Realist1234

    Rather patronising, and Jesus is not a ‘business’. Some church people are ‘shitty’, not all. And ‘truly honest’ people do not just reside outside the church.

  • Realist1234

    It happened to me and found it unpleasant, but if I had been given the explanation face to face it still would have been unpleasant.

  • Realist1234

    Well said.

  • Realist1234

    I think his anger is perfectly righteous.

  • Robert

    Folks may not appreciate what I’m
    about to say. But, what I say, I say from experience.
    A community centered around any theology is a toxic and deadly community.
    People in that type of community actually think they know and understand God. That polluted perception affords them a sense of superiority….a superiority usually based on fear and condemnation.
    I’ve seen this spirit of “ghosting” manifest itself precisely in the elders of church community.
    I love and respect what is written about The Lord Jesus. But I believe the machination we refer to as “the church” has nothing to do with His message. I believe His message has more to do with being called “out” rather than “joining up….”
    People join up with a religious community (whether large or small) when it coincides with their perception of life. When folks within that community experience a different sort of reality….they are no longer welcome in that community.
    That’s the nature of the beast…and religious community is indeed a beast.
    But…we need the church, we need creeds and dogmas….we have the need to “codify” God….just as the idolatrous Israelites needed the “plan B” of Sinai. As long as there are idolatrous and superstitious people, the church must be there to fill their need to understand and manipulate The Divine.
    The “church”…any church or religion, is a necessary evil on this predatory planet.

  • Realist1234

    I think pastors/clergy are particularly prone to this happening. I suspect the the reality is few ministers make genuine friendships in their church simply because they are in leadership roles. My sister is a minister in an Anglican church and although she is one of the kindest people I know (ok Im biased!), she has not formed a genuine friendship with anyone in the different churches she has worked in, just with fellow clergy she has known.

  • lsomers

    I think that you should appreciate the fact that you were with the wrong people to start with. When you started sounding like Jesus instead of church doctrine, they left you. Be thankful they didn’t kill you.

  • LAnnH

    Yeah, they do — that’s why they do it. Shunning is a traditional word for it.

  • Ghosting is an immensely painful experience that goes with you forever. In the times when I’ve been ghosted (not ‘Christian ghosting’, but ghosting nonetheless), it never changed the fact that I loved them. I still love them, despite it all. None of my friends, past or present, are perfect. I love them despite their imperfections and most of the time they do the same for me.

  • Matthew

    My wife attended basically an evangelical church for nearly two years regularly. She tried to make genuine connections with her brothers and sisters in Christ there. No success. She has since stopped going. I have basically given up on institutional Christianity as well. We do a home service now on most Sundays.

  • Herm

    Robert, I agree with most of your premise. Where I disagree is your assertion that, “we need the church, we need creeds and dogmas….we have the need to “codify” God“.

    After serious years of decompression, after hearing the call calling me out, I can honestly, with experience, say that any physical rote ritual, including words repeated verbatim, is destructively idolatrous barring any chance of honest and open dialog with the assumed deity serviced in the name of a deity of spirit. We don’t need it except to go back to a time where God/Allah/??? was no more real, or reachable, than any mythological deity prior to Christ. Strange that the words conveyed in the sum of the law actually did precede Judaeo/Christian teaching, I mean, it’s like God might have been communicating before Moses?!?!?

    As long as mankind needs a non-communicative, fictitious savior, just waiting for the right moment to swoop in from the wings, they will never know the God they repeat, over and over, again is there for them to feel secure and well nurtured, when they remain ensconced behind their sanctuary walls (that keeps the riffraff separate from the divine).

    I know that you are being facetious, interspersed with facts, but those who need to hear what you are actually saying, who need it most, don’t understand why we need fiction to get to the facts. Most trapped, not free to be in an unplanned and unscripted relationship directly with God/Allah, in churches today want nothing but “the facts”. They make themselves susceptible to being deceived that they are capable of digesting all the necessary facts because clearly, to children of Abraham, they have the entirety of an eternal spirit God/Allah encapsulated in their single compilation of do this in the name of God/Allah and you will live. Divinely fortunate that God/Allah provided them an interpreter in the form of a pulpit speaker to make the facts clear according to their higher “study of God” unique to their church.

    “plan B” of Sinai works no better than “plan b” of Nazareth and is no closer to realizing that God could be real and available to them outside their fortress church plant; inside, also, when invited to be Themselves free form relationship.

    I really don’t believe that “idolatrous and superstitious people” choose to be so because they “need to understand and manipulate The Divine“. I believe that they are such, and do such, because they feel obligated to take responsibility for what they know they are totally incapable of accomplishing. The whole point of being drawn to a deity is that if we do the right things to please this influential omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent entity, whose presence I sense but can’t quite see, then it/he/she/they will make up for all my inadequacies at controlling to survive. Other animal species, than mankind, don’t seem to have this problem because they do the best they can according to the conditions allotted while accepting that they can’t do all necessary to guarantee life for themselves and theirs. Mankind knows that they are inferior to the task at hand but have mastered facade to convey the illusion that they are in control and that they can master The Divine just fine, thank you very much!

    I need so very much to share that God is so very much more real in a desert, physically alone, than in the quiet of a sanctuary full of watchers and judges. I remember as a child imitating those around me to repeat, without error, the Lord’s prayer and the Apostles’ Creed before I knew what an apostle was much less that the Lord Jesus might be more real to relate with than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

    What I’m struggling to say here is that the only way to come out of idolatrous superstition in worship is to face the reality that if our all powerful and capable deity is real then They can communicate directly with us at our level without the magic of ritualistic incantations to please Them. If They really care for my and our well being then They will answer when sought and asked without the adherence to dogma. If, when approached directly, They don’t care to communicate directly then They are not real to us to be related with and we waste our limited resources trying to please Them as dictated by our exclusive church body.

    They are real and available to be spontaneous in each and every moment directly with each us to share the pain and joys of adventuring in a life of unfolding awareness. We must risk to drop our facades that we think hides our flaws, vulnerabilities and needs from God first; then we will have the resource of an omnipresent Guide to lead us to unite with sisters and brothers of Man who we can trust to bare our real heart, soul, strength, mind with to share more capably as one, as does Christ with the Father.

    I like where you are coming from though only the choir will understand. It is those, who need most to come out of their own inferiority complex to live constructively, that I love enough to reach out to that they may understand the negligent harm that they do to others by ignoring that we are first one species (each member different but equally vulnerable and fragile) and then, through our sense of the spirit that we are graced an image of, have an opportunity to actually be one with an approachable God/Allah of love as a nurtured, protected, and taught (as we can each bear) little child (each different but equally loved even as vulnerable, fragile and adorable that we are in Their eyes).

    Thanks for your comment and thanks for giving me the opportunity to think on my keyboard.

  • Andy2002

    There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the experience you described. It has to do with the idea of collective conformity.

    In collective conformity, the group is prime. The collective must then define what is authentic “groupness”. It defines the parameters for group inclusion. This is
    where you get concepts such as “tribalism”. Where we see this most dramatically in the modern age and current culture is the concept of “political correctness”. You are fundamentally immoral if you do not conduct your life in
    a certain way, if you do not speak a certain way, if you do not hold to a
    specific set of values.

    In the church, this presents itself this way: “Who has the most correct doctrine”, and the yardstick of inclusion is some form of orthodoxy. They hold up that yardstick, and they must pass that yardstick over every individual.

    But what happens when someone no longer measures up? You described others in your church questioning your fitness for being an elder because you were not the “head over you wife”…at least according to THEIR definition.

    You go to a church for 15 years or more of your life, you committed enormous amounts of time and resources to that church where everybody hugged and kissed you and told you how wonderful you are. But then you had a conflict, and you got kicked out on your butt. Suddenly you looked around and said, “Where are all my friends?”

    Here’s what happened. The whole time you were there, they were holding up that
    yardstick, and as long as you measured up you were one of them. But the moment they could hold up that yardstick and say, “you are no longer one of us,” they had no other choice but to exclude you from the group.

    Because everything was about the collective.

    All arguments are in service to the collective reputation. How many times have you heard a preacher talk about the reputation of the church? The argument is that individual action will impact the prestige of his “local collective.” This is the presumption of Utopian Prestige.

  • Newton Finn

    When will genuine followers of Jesus, imperfect as they always are, nevertheless find the courage to prophetically call out and condemn the pseudo-Christianity of American Jesus, as Jesus called out and condemned the chief priests, scribes, and lawyers of the false religion of his day? It was sickening to experience, even at second hand, this demonic ghosting diametrically opposed to the Holy Ghost.

  • Lark62

    Yes. They are christians. They are christians because they claim to follow christ.

    “No True Scotsman” is comfortable, but it is a fallacy.

    The truth is that being a christian does not change anyone or make anyone “a new creature.” These are people who happen to be christian, and some people are jerks, christian and nonchristian both.

  • Realist1234

    I wonder if ‘home services’ are in fact the way the church is supposed to be…

    This issue also raises another question – if I, as an evangelical Christian, started to attend a ‘progressive’ church, once it became clear I disagreed with some of the views of the other members, would I make any genuine friends there? I dont think it just applies to ‘traditional’ churches.

  • IconoclastTwo

    I had no idea that any of this had happened to you. I’m not saying this in any kind of bad way because I’ve frequently agreed with you but I also think that this really explains a lot.

  • Matthew

    They (progressives) claim to own a rather large tent that contains room for a variety of viewpoints. My thinking is there might be a tad more chances in a progressive church for a conservative to find genuine relationship than the other way around.

  • Absolutely heartbreaking, and many Christians justify this behavior as “setting boundaries”

    Setting boundaries is good and healthy- in a relationship in which there is abuse. Not over disagreement. Huge difference.

    I’m so very sorry to hear it happened to your family. Thank you for speaking out against it. Hopefully people will see it who need to hear that their behavior of knee-jerk defense of their closely-held beliefs is not always righteous.

  • Robert

    When I said “we need…” I’m referring to the need mankind has for idols and idolatry.
    I would also like to say there is no plan “b” of Nazareth… because honestly… I don’t think Jesus preached a plan.
    The”plan of salvation” is a totally fabricated machination of “evangelical” Christianity.
    Jesus preached about accessing the Kingdom of Heaven. He introduced a new and foreign approach to God based on an unscripted relationship. That’s why he was condemned and finally murdered. And no….that murder was not orchestrated by the dynamic of Caesar. It was carried out by Roman soldiers…but it was hatched by the religious community.
    To not accept and understand that fact is to miss the true meaning of Jesus’ life and purpose.
    Religion, dogmas, creeds, sacraments….always crucify the defenseless dove-like nature of what is referred to as “The Holy Spirit” in the gospels.
    That’s my perception……

  • Ty Pfuhl

    I am an Elder also. Any person or group that does this is not a true Christian. They are wearing a facade of righteousness and holiness that Jesus sees through. They forget the tenets laid out in Matthew 18 on how to resolve conflict with their Christian brothers and sisters. In reality they are the ones sinning and need to search their hearts and souls to find find repentance.

  • Herm

    Thank you Robert. I was, in a very poor and rambling way, attempting to explain why many of mankind need idols and idolatry. I left out that God, according to the witnessed quotes of the Messiah, is spirit … and can, now, be worshiped only in the Spirit. That sort of says to me that all forms of worship requiring pulpits, alters, crosses on the wall and steeples, hand on the Bible oaths of allegiance, pews, marriage, communion, baptismals, and any ritualistic ceremony requiring sacred physical tools to honor and worship God is in fact idolatry.

    I am amazed how many people don’t see that we, even in the Bible, slowly gravitated back to the ornate Levite and Pharisaical forms of worship, with phylacteries wide and tassels long.

    I agree that the reigning high priest, Caiaphas, was the one authority most responsible for the condemnation and murder of the Christ. The one physical tool that he had available (that no other had), to be certain not to make the mistake of crucifying God for heresy in God’s name, was access to the Holy of Holies where he could commune directly with God on just such issues, with the residing “Holy Spirit”.

    Thank you for sharing your perception!

  • Patricia Sjöberg

    Amen!!!

  • Mississippi Truth

    Then these selfsame people wonder why other church groups avoid them!

  • sarah5775

    I had this happen to me. It was back when I was in college. I was involved in a bible study and a Christian group. We were all close and did everything together. But then I started suffering from serious depression, and mood swings. My “friends” said that I was depressed because I did not have enough faith, then later, when they prayed for me and I wasn’t better, that I had a sin in my life that I was hiding and guilty of, and that is why god wasn’t hearing me. Then I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and went on medication for the bipolar, and felt 100x better, but my friends said I was not trusting in god because I was taking pych meds. They wanted me to go off of them. I refused, and tried to educate them about bipolar disorder. As a group, they stopped talking to me. Didn’t return any phone calls, avoided me completely. When I tried to reconnect, they blocked me on facebook. They felt my bipolar disorder was not real, and was an excuse, and that I was refusing to repent of sin (they never said what the sin was, just that I had to be doing something wrong) They did not believe in mental illness, and thought I was just refusing to take responsibility for my problems.

    I have left the Christian faith, not just because of this, but other things too. I don’t intend to ever walk into a church again.

    You are right. christians are very good at ghosting people. I never trust or make friends with Christians now.

  • Digitali

    The genuine followers of the philosophy of Jesus make up about the same percentage of the U.S. population as they did of the Roman empire.

  • WayneMan

    There are a few Christian denominations that use “shunning” or ghosting as a common tool to control the flock. Some parents use it as a club against a gay child. Even Scientology uses this practice, which should tell you something. It is a horrible, cruel, and evil notion. It is basically saying “If you do not agree with my world views, then you are an unworthy human being and do not deserve my presence or my time.”. It is mean, it is heartless, it is arrogance maximus.

  • Truly you only made one error of any consequence. That was failing to notice that God was in fact the most guilty of “Ghoasting”. Once one has come to terms with this all the religious turmoil will not matter. Good luck!

  • Barbara Barthelette

    I share your pain as I’ve experienced this several times. Seemingly, the ‘ghosters’ initially searched me out to befriend and years down the road suddenly find me lacking. The hypocrisy is interesting when they ignore you at church yet approach our Lord in prayer. They might review something about not approaching My altar until you have made amends with your brother. You get over the people but you never get over the hurt.

  • Cheryl Simon

    I am so sorry this happened to you, Mr. Corey.

  • You think you could believe in ghosts.
    So what is a ghost? You don’t know, do you. You don’t know what it is, or how it is or anything about it. Frankly, It sounds like you do not know what you are talking about. WOW!! Super dumb.
    There aren’t any ghosts.

    This “ghosting” is what you get for being a Christian, as if that is a good thing. Being a Christian is just as dumb as believing in ghosts. You will likely never see the parallels. DUH!

  • DuckyShades

    Was ghosted by a girl I talked to for two months. Admittedly we went way too fast. It was one of the sharpest pains and most confusing things I’ve experienced. Your back is totally against the wall because anyway you try to reach out or anything you say you feel totally vulnerable and like an idiot. She called exactly a month later and said she had a huge breakdown. Was fitting with some things I knew. But needless to say I did not let things pick back up, though was thankful for at least a call to apologize and her attempt to jumpstart it again.

  • Kathleen Correira

    That is one of the cruelest, insensitive, hateful remarks I have ever heard being said to a stranger. Your ignorance of what human compassion is, is profound. I’m sorry
    for you.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    The people who ghosted/shunned him were not Christians. Mr. Corey’s actions, beliefs and attitudes were Christian. A heartbreaking a scenario that is causing this fine young man and his family pain. He and his family need a new church home, or they could all become Christian Alumnae, and be free of these narrow minded individuals.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Perhaps Veronica has been hurt by her church or church members who were once her friends. Please do not be so harsh, until you know all the facts.

  • Kathleen Correira

    I wish you peace Mr. Corey. Man’s inhumanity to man in the name of God seems neverending.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Having an equal partnership with one’s wife is “unchristian?” Not since the dark ages. Standing up for the vulnerable, such as immigrants or the LBGT community is “unchristian?” Only if the narrow minded folks who ghosted Mr. Corey and family are living in the past and want to stay there.
    If the “ghosters” were truly christian, they would have had a reasonable discussion with the Coreys and perhaps the”ghosters” might learn a thing or two.

  • DeAnna T.

    There’s an older word for being ghosted: to be shunned. It happened to me when I, like you, made too many waves in my church community; though in my case it was because I knew “too much”. I had studied Hebrew for years, had spent over a year living in Israel as an exchange student, had learned about Jewish customs, beliefs, and practices, and had the audacity to dare to express what I knew, especially when it contradicted the Acceptable American Christian View of Things. My pastor told my husband to get me “back in line” and to take me for “deliverance counseling” (e.g. exorcism) when I wouldn’t sit down, shut up, and be a good Christian wife. He took me to a group of people who yelled Bible verses and demanded the foul demons leave me, and I cried through the shame of that (no demons materialized, but they’d say, “Oh look! Her eyebrow twitched! The demons are on the run!”). After that, the pastor instructed my friends and the leaders of the church to shun me, saying it was “for the good of my soul”. I was suicidally depressed for nearly 10 years with no support whatsoever: only my three young children and the deep fear that I would go instantly to hell kept me here. I finally had a spiritual epiphany that gave me the strength to leave my husband and Christianity so that I could regain my strength and sense of self. Interestingly, in their minds no harm was done and their actions were justified because they “purged the devil’s influence” from their church.

  • Cheryl Simon

    You are correct, Judge!

  • Kathleen Correira

    I was not being harsh. I was being honest. It was cruel, insensitive and hateful. It doesn’t matter why, it matters that it was. Inflicting deliberate pain on others because you may have possibly been hurt is no reason. It’s not. I will say again, though, I am sorry for her.

  • Momminator

    The sad thing is that there are appropriate reasons for each person to be allowed to follow their own conscience within the same body. Just because one person feels convicted that they should carry concealed at church in order to protect the weak and innocent, doesn’t make the pacifist wrong to risk themselves personally in an act of extreme giving should a needy and deranged gunman start shooting in their church. The pacifist’s response is equally valid to shout “I love you, don’t do this, you are valuable to me!” as it is for someone else in the group to sight down and disarm the shooter. BOTH OF THESE responses are ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE AT THE SAME TIME! God gives us each gifts individually as he sees fit. Just because we react differently to the same event doesn’t mean that either person is wrong, ignoring God, or challenging anyone else’s authority.

    This is the error of making a pastor your king instead of Yeshua. This is the error of trying to fit unique people into unnecessary and harmful molds. Church leadership only has authority in areas that they take direct responsibility for. If they aren’t changing your diaper at 3 AM, they don’t have the right to tell you what kind of diapers to buy or whether or not to use powder. Aside from “keep a good attitude” it’s NOT THEIR BUSINESS.

    Pastors decide what they are feeling led to preach in conversation and submission to Christ, not to themselves and their own personal agendas (at least that’s what’s supposed to happen). They don’t have any responsibility to tell a fellow believer where they should live or work, only general principles from the Bible, like “Don’t work in a crack house.” Leadership should NEVER step between a believer and Christ’s leading!

    Teachers the same. They shouldn’t be “expanding’ on a text with their own opinions. There are over 70 questions that have to be asked about a text in terms of context, audience, and circumstances before you can rightly communicate it.
    THERE IS NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATION!
    All of scripture was done openly in front of large groups of people!!!
    YOU CAN KNOW WHAT A PASSAGE IS SAYING!!!!
    SPECIFICALLY!!!
    But many people don’t realize this because they have poorly taught or lazy teachers and preachers. If they abuse you with their opinions, they are WRONG. It’s God’s opinion that matters!

    Apostles and Evangelists have the courage to speak the Gospel to strangers. A person with the gift of Helps should not be expected to operate on such an emotionally risky level if they aren’t gifted that way. Forcing them to do it is damaging the image of Christ expressed uniquely in that person. It is simply wrong to ask someone with different gifting to be something they’re not, or to suppress what God has given them to conform to a “group think” mentality.

    We had a homeless woman live with us for 3 months. She was sweet, schitzophrenic with no medication, and had made wide openings in her mind for demonic entities to seduce her with fantasies that nobody could convince her were false memories. She had dogs, and they were not good dogs. We raise pedigreed cats so that I could afford to stay home and raise our own children and afford car repairs. We were clear that we had limits, and she could only stay with us until cold weather came, when the cats would be living indoors. Her 3 dogs, yes, she had 3 dogs and we lovingly put up with that in our own home, could not be trusted not to kill our cats.

    She had been living in her van, and decided she would move on in search of her fantasy of an art & farming community where she could work during the day and teach art at night, and not have to make any money for food (another sad fantasy she has never been able to fulfill). She could have stayed with us if she could have loved us more than her dogs, which also began threatening our children and my husband. If she could have given up the dogs that she could not afford to take to the vet when they tangled with porcupines, we would have kept her. We loved her. But she has a free will, and she chose otherwise.

    After a few weeks, she came back to our area, and asked if she could park in our church lot and use the bathroom/water. The viewpoints of each of the members the night she asked this were different parts of a whole. They weren’t in conflict. We all understood that we had to submit to the deacon who was responsible to keep the laws about building codes, insurances, and foresight on use of the building and grounds. And while we grieved that we could not provide a “safe” place for her to park, we didn’t send her away with only a stern “no” answer to the request. “No” she could not use our grounds in this way, as we were not licensed and insured for such activities. This was not a ministry we were prepared to provide. She would have to park at a truck stop (which in our area is very safe). But one couple brought her extra blankets and sleeping bags to cuddle up in, one brought extra food. We all hugged her, assured her that we loved her, and would be praying for her. As each expressed themselves, we gave her a full picture of responsible love.
    We applied Justice – she was making bad choices we could not support in this way.
    We applied Mercy – we gave her material blessings and didn’t leave her naked and hungry.
    We walked Humbly with God – we told her that she was loved, by God and us, she would be prayed for, and welcome to continue in relationship with us under the terms our consciences before God would allow.

    What she chose was for her to choose. We did not violate her will. And we did not allow her to violate ours. It is wrong for church leadership to expect everyone to respond as they would. Each believer has an element of the fullness of God as expressed by the local body. None are unnecessary nor necessarily less than another. When the WHOLE LOCAL BODY responds together, but differently, it is an incredibly beautiful thing!

  • The denomination in which I was raised (Mennonite) has had a long history of trying to figure out this practice of shunning (most people probably think the split between Amish and the larger Mennonite body was about use of modern technology, but it was actually about the practice of shunning, way back in the 1600s, long before anything like cars vs. horse&buggy came into the picture.) The practice has caused a lot of pain and problems over the generations. It is a defensive move on the part of the shunning group to maintain group authority over individual conscience. It would be great to see the practice disappear, but given the dynamics of group functioning, my sense is that it will always be around in some form. Totally secular groups often exhibit the same kind of practices in relation to dissenters.

  • ppricer

    Sarah5775,
    I am glad that you didn’t listen to your Christian “friends”. I sincerely hope that you thrive and prosper now that you are, hopefully, free of their influence. Isn’t it rather ironic that so-called “Christians can be so unchristian?

  • This is always the way Christians react to the cold truth. They call the truth hate, and even judge it as insensitive rather than informative and insightful. Christians just want to stay in their own little comfortable fantasy world and then they just double down on their stupidity. The dishonesty is disgusting .

  • And this guy does realize I am an anti-theist, as if he would even know what that means.
    When it comes to god belief and religious dogma the facts are always the same, there aren’t any facts, only detrimental fiction trying to be portrayed as the truth.

  • Kenneth Neal

    Nice religion you’ve got there. Please don’t evangelize. Most of us don’t want it.

  • Yet you went out of your way to hear it. Makes sense.

  • Kathleen Correira

    “People only need other good, honest, decent people.” Those are your words. Your hypocrisy profound. You speak as if you are above others. Calling people dumb, and finishing with the very intelligent “duh”, makes you none of what you profess to know of what others need. And, I am not a Christian. I am a human being who cares about other human beings.

  • Hugh Krone

    Well now I know why I like you. Putting yourself out there like that can help others

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    I’m sorry to learn that you’ve had to go through that, Ben. Unfortunately, the biggest “error” you’ve committed is daring to speak truth (or at least disagreement) to a power that’s essentially a political machine intended to subjugate everyone around them into becoming their own sheep (i.e. the group you recently wrote an article about). As long as that machine keeps running, the “Christians” who are a part of it will betray and vilify anyone who dares to disagree with their dogma, because they value said dogma over the people that Jesus Christ told us to love unconditionally.

    However, I can assure you I am one of many who regularly reads your blog and would be honored to have you as a friend if I knew you in real life. Speaking truth to power is nothing to be ashamed of, and I wish you and the rest of your family the best from here on out.

  • sarah5775

    thank you.

  • Brandon Roberts

    the way i see it the person at least has closure that way

  • Michael Smolensky

    I am sorry their anti-Semitism, a term I use sparingly and with the greatest of care, was directed at you. I hope you will find peace and happiness for yourself.

  • Realist1234

    Im not so sure. Ive found some of the commentators on this progressive blog to be rather ‘reactive’ when Ive put my evangelical views forward. I suspect their tent is no bigger than any other group’s.

  • Realist1234

    Fair point.

  • Jennifer Billingsley

    I think given the examples here of the people you may have been hanging out with…… you likely are better off.

  • JA Myer

    Isn’t that called shunning? I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness they do it all the time to their members and even family. It’s just a way of being superior to someone else. It is making yourself above god who is supposed to be the judge of all.

  • Ghosting can happen for so many reasons. After Trump was elected, a number of Facebook friends unfriended others. Apparently unfriending people and cutting them off from their life was a big thing across many social groups. All because they voted for somebody else. It even bled over into real-life friends and family members.

  • Matthew

    Maybe so … that´s why I feel it´s my task to try and find a way to bring unity between these competing sides. It´s certainly not been an easy task … that is for certain. Peace to you Realist1234.

  • Matthew

    I´m so sorry for this.

    Can´t people learn that we can be friends without having to agree on everything … especially politics! Geesh …

  • Nan Raddish

    This is the very reason why I choose to rely on no man’s friendship or fellowship, but rather to be strong and know that when it comes down to it, it’s just me and God. It’s not easy to be ghosted from people you dearly love, but it would be far worse to be ghosted from God!

  • Realist1234

    ‘It’s gonna be great folks!’

    Perhaps some people thought if you voted for such an awful human being, in some people’s eyes, to be the leader of your country, then you werent the sort of person they thought you were? There is logic to it.

    But hey Im a Brit so what do I know lol.

  • Realist1234

    Its a question of truth and reality. I have not been persuaded by much of the ‘progressive’ views of reality. But that doesnt mean we are not all Christians, trying to understand what its all about. If I dont meet Ben in this life, Im pretty sure Ill meet him in the next (assuming Im there!).

  • Ralph Shade

    I experienced this when I got divorced. I was an active member for a number of years, my daughter was dedicated in our church at birth, and after over a year of counselling in the church, I was divorced. I continued going, and thankfully, one kind motherly woman would make a point of checking in with me every Sunday. Eventually I found another church, and am surrounded with people who genuinely care about me and my daughter. That wound from earlier is still there, scarred over, but making me always cautious in reaching out.

  • “some people thought if you voted for such an awful human being, in some people’s eyes, to be the leader of your country, then you werent the sort of person they thought you were? There is logic to it.”

    Compare to what Ben said:

    “I made the error of advocating for a higher minimum wage…I made the error of suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place of worship, prompting some folks to threaten leaving the church.

    This is the same thing. Did the people that ghosted Ben and his family think there was a cold logic to what they were doing? Probably. There is logic to shunning. Removing people from your life that hold opinions that you find corrupting seems to make sense. That’s what makes it so difficult. Those doing the shunning feel perfectly justified in causing such immense damage to another human being.

    It’s not a binary issue. You can be friends with someone who doesn’t hold the same view as you do. There is a third option that includes not accepting their views and also treating them with love and compassion. Why did Jesus socialize with sinners?

    When Matthew wrote “Forgive me Lord for the times I have ghosted people. Forgive them Lord for the times they have ghosted me.” it was an acknowledgment that we are tempted to participate even when we’ve been on the receiving end of it.

  • Matthew

    On social justice themes I´m very progressive. Theologically, I´m more conservative than most on this forum, but I´m certainly not a fundamentalist like — for example — John MacArthur and Ken Ham.

    I guess to really know where I officially stand, I would need to answer a very long questionnaire, but then there is bias to consider based on who formulated the survey questions — UGH!

  • Great , you are not Christian. I hope you do not believe in some other god as well.
    Here the point is that the entire process is false and doubly counterproductive. People believing in bullshit which is divisive and hateful, and then they find a way to make it even worse. This is stupid people being the victims of people that are more stupid and more hateful than they are. Because there aren’t any gods and Christianity is bullshit, none of this is necessary or desirable in the least. That is the point here. Too bad you cannot see through all of the rubble surrounding it.

    If you could see through this mess you would see I have no hypocrisy, just an understanding of what is real. I simply am not afraid to call a spade a spade. You seem to be and are not afraid to hold a certain level of dishonesty within yourself. I have no need to be dishonest. The truth might do you some good.

  • If you really cared about other human beings as you say, you would seek what is actually true and try to convey that to them rather than make excuses for them. SMH

  • Kathryn Hauser

    Lord Jesus, the Church has been the one to do this
    ghosting to me. Father forgive
    them. Make a way to heal the breach
    where there is no way. Thank You for
    Your merciful intervention. Amen.

  • Samuel Garcia

    Matthew 18:17
    “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

  • Al Cruise

    I’ve said this a long time ago, but I think it needs repeating. These types of Churches should have a warning sign placed outside their door. It should say “DANGER” attending this Church will teach you and your children how to hate your neighbor.

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    What is your heart cleaving To? Is it the warm fellowship of other so called believers, or is it Christ? Christ will never let you down, but people will, even if you think they are faithful. Examine your own heart.

  • Jacob Theunisz

    Benjamin, I think that the chances of ghosting increase when people are too close. This can be a distinct disadvantage of small groups. You get to know each other too well, and then there are allways things in the other person you don’t like. Or you just get fed up with hearing the same stories and opinions. This is no excuse for suddenly ignoring each other, but I have seen it happen more often when there was not enough distance. For some people to escape the suffocating proximity can be to withdraw altogether. In your case it was also the general lack of real acceptance of different opinions. And that message of yours also came too close for comfort. Maybe you should have (gradually) withdrawn before they did?

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    When you “leave the doctrine of the Church,” the Church leaves you. That’s how Christian sectarianism works. Get used to it. Our relationship to God is the one relationship that matters; and it is possible we may have to sacrifice ALL the other relationships if we are looking for a final Truth.

  • Norascats

    This does not just happen in Christian groups. It is something that happens in cliques. The group gets too close and members try to be too much alike. And they become dictatorial eventually, they banish the nonconformer.
    Your bravery and your ethical courage is very admirable. I hope you can find people who share your views and allow for diverse opinions too become friends with.

  • Matthew

    Sacrificing all relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ in pursuit of final Truth?? Is that what you are saying?

  • Matthew

    I don’t think it is wrong to expect warm fellowship. Acts 2:42 immediately comes to mind.

  • First, the passage you quoted is about sin. If there was no sin committed then it does not apply.

    Second, the dispute resolution process starts with meekly (Galatians 6:1) confronting the other person in private. If that fails, quietly bring in a couple more witnesses. If that fails, only then may there be a more public accounting. If it gets to the last phase, then it should be treated as a failure, not a success. There is nothing fantastic about doing it, even if you believe it must happen. It’s a tragedy.

    Third, Jesus immediately follows this up by stating to Peter that he must forgive and forgive (in opposition to Lamech who revenged and revenged). We have no right at all to hold another’s sins against them. (See below)

    Fourth, your responsibility to correct your brother’s sins ends when the dispute resolution process ends. After that, it is God’s responsibility. The only punishment available is expulsion from the church. If they have disassociated (i.e. been expelled), you have no right to do anything more. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

    Fifth, treating someone like a Gentile or tax collector does not mean what you imply. Jesus taught that we should love these. He socialized with tax collectors and recruited one to be a disciple. Paul dedicated his life to spreading the gospel to the Gentiles. Ghosting is not possible.

    Sixth, expulsion from the church is painful enough and should only be undertaken under the most extreme circumstances.

    Lastly, I’ve never seen anyone who was convinced by these arguments.

  • Indeed when one’s life is centered around a bogus and completely made up idea (God or philosophy) and those also involved in it feel the need to change it some one is left out in the cold. An honest, useful, and forthright group will be based on the people within it, and not some outside agency that no one in the group can even define or is sure of the rules. Gods get in the way of people, and people do not need them. People only need other people.

  • Sorry, no need to describe or analyze anything to do with JW crap. It is bullshit from the word go and those involved in it are either charlatans or ignorant and gullible in the extreme.

  • Stephanie R

    Ben, maybe this was a blessing in a painful disguise. When these people left, they also made room for new experiences and new friendships to enter your life. If you can let go of the grief and start moving forward, you might find a true friend, who sticks through it all — instead of a bunch of yahoos who sound like…yahoos.

  • Anderson Tom

    It sounds like a blessing. You were growing and questioning in ways they couldn’t or wouldn’t. They couldn’t hold you back, so they had to let you go…and grow.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Atheists will welcome you to. We have had to deal with a lot of shunning in our lives.

  • Michael Reid

    Yep. As tempting as it is to say, “oh, this is a toxic outgrowth of a toxic belief system”, the truth is, it’s a toxic outgrowth of our tribe-oriented plains ape minds. That it’s tied to something with as much baggage as religion just makes it worse. Sympathies to you.

  • Buzzy1

    This took my breath away. By God’s grace, I have not (yet) suffered this pain at the hands of others. My guess is that there is a direct correlation between a group’s “high respect for authority” and “high permission for rejection”. “Being RIGHT” can become a god, linked to ancient survival instincts–we are so afraid, we cannot afford to be WRONG. Any thoughts?

  • paganheart

    “There is a third option that includes not accepting their views and also treating them with love and compassion.”

    That third option is the hardest one, which is why so few people do it.

  • paganheart

    Yep, it’s shunning by another name.

  • paganheart

    ^^^THIS^^^

    True “Jesus Followers” (Dr. Corey’s preferred term I believe) are very much the exception in the US, not the rule. I consider most self-described “Christians” in the US to be modern-day Pharisees, or worse.

  • Bones

    Actually when a jw leaves the fold they are considered dead.

    Seen it in my aunts family where their non-jw children are considered to longer exist.

  • One thing I’ve come to learn is that controlling somebody through their relationships is a form of bullying called social aggression. The Church’s teaching to “expel the immoral brother”, that is, the instruction to cast out anyone who is no longer walking in obedience to the teachings of the church also includes no small amount of shunning – is in effect – social aggression with an outline of righteousness to justify it. The whole point is to cut somebody off from full participation and full membership and full acceptance in order for them to correct their error – to repent and turn from their sin. We “ghost” people because we’re taught to – but we don’t know how to bring people back from the dead. Once you sever your close relationship, you lose a lot of trust and you can’t built it up to what it was before because you’ll always remember that time they turned their back on you and know that if they did it once then they can do it again whenever they are displeased with you and whenever you step out of line.

  • John Gills

    So perhaps the parable of the Good Samaritan might also be seen as a parable of ghosting?

  • Yes your post brings up several things for me. Groupthink for one and living in a bubble of fear-based Christianity. Here is, by way of a funny Monty Python sketch, an absurdist carrying it to its hilarious conclusion what it’s like to be driven to insanity when living inside that bubble and depending on it for one’s survival.
    https://youtu.be/qdNCEL5JKF8

  • As much as we atheists would love to have you, you aren’t an atheist because you’re mad at other Christians. But maybe this is a time to think about what you believe and why and where you fit in with a faith community or if you need one at all. If you do decide you don’t believe, welcome aboard. If not, at least you will have been honest about your own reasons for believing what you do.

  • I’m confused. I thought this was the Progressive Christian channel, but it sounds like you have been attending an Evangelical/Fundamentalist church. Not controlling your wife? Seriously? I know ghosting is hurtful but if people are that toxic you are better off without them. I have been in all kinds of churches and synagogues and never heard anyone say anything like that out loud, not even Southern Baptists. (I avoid the fundamentalists but I do know a lot of Evangelicals.) This sounds like a situation you should have left on your own rather than being forced out of.

  • Chris Palmer

    My brother, am sorry for the grief you suffered, and that of your daughter as well. Despite the things you’ve suffered (as you’ve clearly wrote here), if you want to be free of it I would highly recommend you delete this blog post because what you’re doing is making a public justification before God and man that there are times in life where reconciliation is impossible.

    My brother please repent of this.

    Because redemption is not found in our superficial need for successful ongoing relationships with mankind, but instead a deep and personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

    And inside the allowance you’ve made to be and to stay hurt, you wont be able to love them as Jesus loved all humanity, when He did it at our worst (killing Him, the author of creation). You also cant love Jesus completely while you still hold onto this hurt.

    You must see that God allows situations to happen to reveal the dross/garbage still in our lives. The fire or painful situation highlights the need for change and spiritual growth. The painful disconnection from those relationships proves you needed those relationships to ‘be okay’, which is a form of worship. But the awesome thing is He knew about it, and did what was required to reveal it. He always corrects those He loves. Now there is a crossroad in front of you, continue in the Jesus way, truth and life, OR pick my way, my truth and my life

    Remember Jesus said deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow. He didn’t say that to oppress us. He said it because if we still live selfishly loving mankind then He cant be everything to us, in us and through us … we’ll still be needs driven, just hoping that others keep meet our expectations. It’s called idolatry Ben. No, our need is Him and Him alone. Everything else beyond should be counted only as blessings, or a blessing. If I have friends, its a blessing! If they leave, then they leave, but love always remains in my heart.

    From a literary point of view my brother, you’ve turned what could’ve been an excellent article on ghosting into a reason why sometimes you just can’t love people any more. But the word of God says love keeps no record of wrong done to it. The word of God says love not your own life unto death. Their sin is not your issue, your issue is this, am I going to love my enemies? Am I going to treat people the way they treat me, or the way I wish to be treated?

    Come on Ben, you are so much better than this! I know it, and God knows it!

    Be blessed

  • Ivlia Blackburn

    Until now I can honestly say that I have never heard of this term. I feel sorry that those around you have the mentality to act in this way, but there is a simple description of their behaviour. It is childish. This is the actions of a child who is unable to cope with critisism and acts by ignoring the person who has critisised them. I see it amongst groups of children all the time, although they never seem to hold the disagreement for long and soon make up again. I don’t know of anyone I know who has suffered this as an adult, so I sincerely pity those you knew because they have obviously never ever grown up.

  • Rick Faircloth

    Stop whining. Your perspectives matter to others. Being a strong advocate of any position will place you at odds with other people. Just ask Jesus. And like Jesus, if you decide to strongly advocate for your positions, be prepared to pay the price.

  • JA Myer

    I don’t follow your meaning… JW’s and LDS are two different churches.

  • JA Myer

    Yes, your are right they do consider the dis-fellowshiped as “dead” and shun or cut them off from all contact from family or friends.
    this I know very well :-)

  • sblawyer

    I didn’t read anything in your blog about what you did to try to reconcile with your group. You recited a list of points that preceded the ghosting, and maybe that was what led to it, but did you ever confirm it? In my opinion, if the relationships were as important to you and your family as you imply, why wouldn’t you take the initiative to reach out to try to restore the relationships? I’m sure it hurt to have them walk away, but you made the choice to move on without an attempt to reconcile.

  • J. Inglis

    Hi Benjamin,

    I grieve for you, and I’m sad that that happened to you. I thank Jesus for your continued faith and pray that he continue to draw close to you. It is true that no real and full reconciliation happens without repentance; forgiveness alone is insufficient else God’s forgiveness would be enough. Rather than making declarations of what is impossible, leave that in God’s hands. Sure, be open to God about hurt and anger and the seeming impossibility of reconciliation. But at the end of the day, leave that with him. I too have been badly hurt when I should have been loved, and there is still not reconciliation, and I cry out to God, but I leave it with God.


    J.

  • Momminator

    I would challenge you not to throw out the Bible, with the rabid demonic apostate “pentacostal” church heresy. When Jesus tells the story of separating the sheep from the goats, the goats complain because they “cast out demons”, performed many “miracles” and “prophesied” in his name. All these things are fake attention-seeking nonsense as you’ve experienced. I encourage you to find believers of the Bible, not people seeking emotional catharsis on a weekly basis. When your experience of God depends on “seeing” the power of God, instead of an interior experiencing of him in your soul, your experience is common. There’s nothing wrong with you. God has brought you through a tough learning experience. Find a church that concentrates on scripture in its original languages for learning about God. Expect a whole different social dynamic in which you work, share to clothe and feed the poor, and invest in the future by teaching Godly morality. I suspect the word “quietly” is a good one to add to that sentence.

  • Al Cruise

    “I didn’t read anything in your blog about what you did to try to reconcile with your group” Obviously you don’t know how shunning works.

  • Momminator

    Actually, the Bible is being proven true in fine detail by archeological digs all over the middle east and Egypt. You can see for yourself the mountain that Moses received the law and the altar to the golden calf at the bottom of the hillside on google earth. It’s called Jabal al Laws – still called the Mountain of the Law– and it’s in Saudi Arabia in the mountain range just east of the Gulf of Aqaba. The muslims just defaced the caves that held the bodies of the elderly Hebrew dead that were left there before they hiked to the mountain a couple of years ago. But our entire modern higher education system is built on hiding and denying that. For the Israelis, admitting that they have rights to their land based on reality would inflame moslem outrage, so they deny the truth crying from the ground to avoid more battles.

    You think you know “facts” but they’ve been denied you. Science and physics disproves evolution. Every so-called “missing link” in their version of human ancestry was a proven fraud to gain grant money for more research, but THAT never gets mentioned. They can “read” background radiation in space now that actually shows the physical history of the universe, but mainstream academia has invested so much in those bankrupt ideas that they would have to rewrite their textbooks! But they won’t because it makes them look stupid.

  • popeye47

    I would have no desire to reconcile with those who don’t respect your opinion.
    We can disagree but remain civil.

  • Exactly what value is there in god belief and ancient religious dogma? The only value is for those that are charlatans and make their living off the credulous. There is no actual value in believing in gods or anything their doctrines espouse. How could there be since gods are a hoax and the doctrines are applicable to an ancient way of life which breeds hate, division, discrimination, etc.
    Those thumbs ups did not read or understand your comment well.

  • Jd Adams

    You forgot one strategy. Matthew 10:14. Change churches, or possibly even denominations. If you are in a church that thinks guns are more important than the Gospel, that’s not a church — it’s a cult. Find a place that’s welcoming, and truly displays the love of Christ. Or, stay where you are, and continue to suffer needlessly.

  • Lakeera Uneek Clinkscale

    It’s kind of shocking to see the attitude that somehow you were responsible for this or should take responsibility now. You are not to blame for this. You are not in blame for this. You are not to blame for this. I’m sorry your community just up & left you. That’s insane to think about & I can’t understand it. I do hope this article reaches some of them & an open dialogue can be had. This is where we get things wrong. Requiring perfection & harmonious dogma of one another. Those things are rooted in fear & have to be broken by the love of Jesus. He won’t turn His back on us. We don’t have to be afraid to stick around with one another when things get hard. Jesus always stuck with us through this hard. Praying that your friends learn this soon. Hopefully Jesus has been picking their hearts all these years & this conversation will be that much easier.

  • There wasn’t any such person as Moses. SMH

    Yup, all the actual Bible scholars, geologists, archaeologists their peer reviewed work are all phony. Science is wrong and doe not work and your interpretations of ” things” is correct. You are insane!!!
    Or are you just trying to be funny?

  • Ian Palmer

    Your article made me cry from the hurt. I have been ghosted twice. The attitudes of ghosters get me. Its poor judgement and its arrogance. And a lack of perspective….the perspective of Jesus: “I come into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved.” To save requires humility, compassion, and communication. Yes, with those not like us. And even more with the poor and disenfranchised overseas. IanDexterPalmer.

  • Momminator

    Nope, I’m actually quite well read. Knowledge is not just doubling now, thanks to computer database usage, but expanding many times per year now. In the 1800’s, it was possible to know ALL there was to know, simply because there wasn’t that much recorded. Now, we have D-wave computers that are essentially artificial intelligences that can do the research for you! People studying small specialized segments of medicine, physics, geology, cosmology, etc are far beyond the high school texts you’re probably relying on for your information. For instance, “archaeology” was born a few decades after Napoleon’s careless desecration of dig sites in Egypt. In those days, people insisted that Pontius Pilate didn’t exist. About 20 years ago, archeologists found and uncovered a small amphitheater in Capernaum that actually has an inscription on the doorway crediting Pontius Pilate with restoring the facility for use in his day. Moses did in fact, exist, and you can see the evidence for him and 400 years worth of Hebrews living in Egypt before they returned to Israel, their Promised Land. Find “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus”, a film that came out in 2014 or 2015, in which you can see for yourself the many many many sites showing this to be true, and that modern Egyptologists have a 400 yr gap in their reasoning.

    Sodom and Gomorrah is found. The pool of Siloam is Found. The memorial site of the return to the Promised Land is found on the banks of the Jordan. But moslems are defacing and destroying many sites today. Luckily, many are bs sites that Constantine’s wife created to make money off of the new state religion.

  • Viclad

    Well , so that is what it is called. I also have experienced something like this a few years ago. Mr. Corey, I understand your pain your anger and your grief. I struggled with all those feelings for months if not years. It wasn’t until I asked God to remove these feelings from me (and change my heart) that I began to heal. At that point I realized that what these people did was between them and God. That I do not have to take ownership of their misdeeds and how they affect me, (or my family) and that because of God changing my heart I can move on with peace. Yes there is still sadness over what happened, but there is also joy at not being subject to the stress of anger and at being able to forgive those that did that to me. I praise God for His healing and how much I have been able to grow in my walk with Him throughout it all. May God bring you a healing as well.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Spoken as a Righteous One who has never been on the receiving end.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Progressives can be just as Righteous as Fundys, just with different dogmas and triggers.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    But the belief system is enlisted to justify and amplify the ghosting.

  • “I was a teaching elder at our church, and made the critical error of pushing back on folks when they challenged my fitness for serving as an elder when it was said in a meeting, “We have a deep concern that you’re not truly the head over your wife.'” Translation: we are challenging you back.

    “I made the error of saying:
    we shouldn’t force two of our most committed, reliable, and spiritually mature community members to be re-baptized as a condition of being a full voting member of our church.
    advocating for a higher minimum wage in a television interview
    preaching a sermon on Matthew 5 and what it means to love our enemies
    suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place
    Translation: you started advocating your beliefs that differed from your church knowing that you would not be allowed to continue without analyzing the fallout that could occur to you and your family. Instead of just silencing you they shunned you. Sounds like a typical man-mad religion and its church.

    “The tension in our little group continued to increase until my best friend bailed” This is the only perplexing event in the above litany. Your best friend choose his church’ views and stopped his contact instead of compartmentalizing your friendship. Obviously this church controlled him through fear: fear of disfellowship or fear of his salvation. Painful but a fairweather friend it seems.

    Sorry it still bothers you but now you are the one with the bigger platform and they all know that. Friends are easier to replace than heath; faith will see you through.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I’ve read somewhere that there is an 80/20 rule to groupthink. That once a group reaches 80% consensus, Groupthink locks in and the dissident 20% are “dealt with” by any means necessary.

    There can be only One True Way.

    Whether that 80% is the proportion of Evangelicals for Trump or Unpronounceables (LGBTQ-whatever) in Gay-heavy SoCal Furry Fandom.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    It’s an old, old pattern.

    Talibani pusuing their True Islam.
    Khmer Rouge pursuing their Perfect Communist Utopia.
    Citizen Robespierre pursuing his Republique of Perfect Virtue.

    Because the final Truth being pursued is so Righteous it justifies any means whatsoever.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    But you’ll get RIGHTEOUS doublepluswarmfeelies from that hate.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Seventh, it’s duckspeak recitation of Cosmic Authority used as a Thoughtstopper.

    “I know I’m Right —
    I HAVE A VERSE!”

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    i.e. You suddenly had Divorce Cooties and they were contaigous.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Shunning in Christianese,
    Disconnect in Scientology.

  • Rick Faircloth

    And you know I’ve never been on the receiving end of shunning how?

  • Ulf Turkewitsch

    It seems that you missed my point entirely.

  • Matthew

    Sorry if that is the case. Maybe you can clarify your point again?

  • Momminator

    Sarah, there’s a lot of damage done by mental illness, and it’s a fairly new “science” so the terms and broken functions of the mind are still not well known or understood. I would invite you to consider that God loves us all in our brokenness. They have a different kind of broken. It should comfort everyone reading this to know that God loves hypocrites and died for them. And they often take a long time to get through to, just like me and my blindspots, and you and your blind spots. God says “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” If you comfort yourself by deciding they’re beneath you, you’ve missed Jesus’ point. He came and died for people like that. They, and you, are that valuable to him. Am I saying you should stay in that church? Well, you shouldn’t leave until you find a way to express to the entire lot publicly why you are leaving, so they have to take responsibility for their actions before God. But if you think being with them made you a Christian, then you weren’t one to begin with. Being born again is a radical experience with the Creator in which you recognize you aren’t God, you need him, and want him as he is, not as you would make him. Don’t throw God out because you found some unhealthy humans.

  • Momminator

    The problem for me in what you’re saying is that what the Bible says is always different from what these types of small-minded low-information ‘Christians’ do. Just because there are groups of believers with really lousy leadership, doesn’t negate the truth of the Bible. Folks who desire pure sweet faith and kindness to their fellow man often get taken advantage of and are misled. The Bible says there’s a straight line from Nimrod’s Chaldean priesthood to ALL PAGAN practices. Paganism is active religious organization, while heathenism is having no religion at all. You can look at history. When Nimrod’s dynasty fell to the Medo Persians, the priests/magi/prophets moved into the administrative leadership of the MedoPersians, then the Greeks, then the Romans, and with Constantine the “Christians”. The leadership of the Vatican is not Biblical. They are Mithraism, handed down worshipers of Baal, Ishtar and Tammuz. Ishtar became Ashtoreth, became Aphrodite, became Diana, and then Mary. Separate yourself from that mess.

    Jesus was God, lived among us, died physically in our place, and being innocent and fully God, raised himself again in his human form as proof that he has the power and authority to do the same for us. He doesn’t ask for chanting, (hates it), good works, charity giving, self-sacrifice, or any other ritual activity as a way to buy our way to heaven, and views our attempts as an insult.

    All he asks is that we recognize we are NOT GOD, we are created creatures, and that we honestly desire relationship with him as he is. AFTER we recognize our failure to relate to God correctly, as one being to another, and approach him without the nonsense, the false bowing and scraping, and the joke of paying for heaven ourselves (when all we produce is manure), then we will learn what pleases him, and do those things. Those good things he also promises to reward us for, but NOT to get his favor. We already have it. The rewards are simply a celebration in the future for how we enjoyed him now, an echo of joy through eternity.

  • Anne Lorenz-Ray

    If you were not “ghosted,” the practice aimed at you would become expectations of you and your family, of which to conform, when another member is “ghosted.” And, quite possibly, you might conform and follow the practice of the “accepted” congregation in order to keep your membership within this church community. Unless you recognize it for what it is, the whole process is a never ending cycle of abuse and collective behavior. Unless, of course, you choose to see it for what it is.

  • Digitali

    soooo right!

  • Norascats

    Perfect!

  • Karen

    I hope you are right that they do not know what they did…….. unfortunately in my experience there are at least a handful who know exactly what they are doing and who often lead the shunning or ghosting process by starting and ensuring others will follow by lots of gossip and even out right lies. When family members and close friends choose to lead or participate in this process the purpose is to push you out of the church……especially if you were in a leadership role when either your theological beliefs or opinions dared vary from those in power or, God forbid, you now need help and support for a change — when it has always been you and your family caring and ministrying to others. No one wants to see the truth and when someone who has always appeared to be the strong one is now in need of support and healing and ministry they are sadly………sometimes treated this way. Often it is just the human power struggle within a church but it is so sad how often this is how our churches choose to shoot our wounded rather than help them heal…….unfortunately I have lived through it from both perspectives. The pain and betrayal and loneliness can be unbearable BUT for God. Eventually the emotional and spiritual healing does come if you lean on him fully rather than people. Am not sure I will ever be able to trust and be open in a church or with people ever again though………..

  • Gary Mathis

    Typical liberal winning. Sorry.

  • Mary McAlister

    I echo Al’s reply. Having gone through the same thing on a smaller scale one close friend, I can say that reconciliation is not in the mix. I have emailed , mailed, called ans sent cards and received NO response. This was after helping the person spiritually and financially through financial troubles and a job loss and the door is shut in my face.

  • Matthew Wiltshire

    Did you mean whining? You’re lack of compassion is disappointing to see.

  • Al Cruise

    Maybe try and learn how to spell. Are you in a Church that hates education?

  • rtgmath

    Typical conservative ignorance. Whining. God knows we liberals would like to win a few now and again.

  • Troy Boyle

    Typical conservative. Emotional cowardice.

  • Troy Boyle

    You are welcome within atheism. You will never be “ghosted” or ostracized. There are no “in groups” and “out groups” in atheism. No one is condemned socially or to a Hell that doesn’t exist. There are no dogmas to be held sacred. You were “excommunicated” for independent thought; the hidden but primary sin of all religions.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I don’t understand “I am correct that the heart of Christianity is unconditional love”

    It seems like every denomination put conditions on who they love and who they don’t.

  • Mr. James Parson

    “With God’s help we will keep loving them even when they are hurting us.”

    With all due respect, spend time loving those who show love back. Life is too short for people that hurt you.

  • Closure is a cruel myth. The sooner you release yourself from the bondage that this myth creates in your mind, the happier you’re going to be.

  • deedwan

    Does the Bible not say: 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
    And…
    “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be My disciple.

    One of the most significant things anyone shared with me, is not to look at the people…people will and do fail…always keep your eyes on Yeshua.
    I am in this position…I’ve walked away from my denomination because they were more about upholding their doctrines than biblical truth. I believe the whole word of God is true…not just bits and pieces of it. It has put me at odds not just with that fellowship but even members of my own family. Not what I would want, but I have zero loyalty to any denomination…my loyalty is to God and His truth…harder when you are speaking about family…but only the Father made my salvation possible through His Son.

  • deedwan

    Benjamin, I’m sorry about the pain you experienced and that you are still dealing with. You know one thing is sort of standing out. You wrote: I was a teaching elder at our church, and made the critical error of pushing back on folks when they challenged my fitness for serving as an elder when it was said in a meeting, “We have a deep concern that you’re not truly the head over your wife.”

    It is biblical that the husband is the head over the wife. Which of course some people twist into thinking it’s about the wife being under the boot of her husband or something…not even close. But the wife is to be submitted to a man who is submitted to Christ and who loves his wife even as Christ loved the church.
    You mentioned that your marriage unraveled…and I wonder if they were seeing something you were unwilling to acknowledge. Perhaps they saw trouble in your relationship and they were trying to be a help to you…but you pushed back and refused to submit.
    You also wrote: I made the error of saying we shouldn’t force two of our most committed, reliable, and spiritually mature community members to be re-baptized as a condition of being a full voting member of our church.
    Which I am not sure if this is regarding you and your wife or someone else…if it’s regarding you and your wife…your refusal looks like a pride issue.

    You wrote: I made the error of advocating for a higher minimum wage in a television interview (which led to someone literally yelling and walking out of church). So, I don’t know if you realized it was a controversial issue or not…but it is and why you need to be advocating for this at church I don’t know.
    You can see what McDonald’s is now doing to deal with that. They are just going to kiosks and eliminating jobs. And perhaps you are not able to fully understand the impact on small business owners who are already struggling under many regulations etc. So, I’m just not sure why you needed to use the church for that platform when church is about worshiping God. It should be a time to step away from the world and all the concerns of the world and just draw close to Him, but you brought in politics.

    You wrote: I made the error of preaching a sermon on Matthew 5 and what it means to love our enemies– which got me cornered and rebuked by the other elders because the sermon was, ironically, “unloving” to preach to a bunch of gun owners, apparently.
    But of course we have no details of what that means to you…but if I were to venture a guess, it is going to be about people needing to be okay with open borders and taking in Muslim refugees…or something along that order.
    Well, you should know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever….and you might want to read from the Tanakh and see that God is the one who established borders and He was for driving out people from the land that He had given to Israel…nowhere in Scripture does it say you need to let people in who want to be a drain on your nations welfare system, or people who want to set up their own law, people who have no interest in assimilating to your culture, and who are committing acts of terrorism around the world. Now of course, your sermon may not have been anything like that…it was just a guess.

    You wrote: I made the error of suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place of worship, prompting some folks to threaten leaving the church.
    It sounds to me like you were a member of a conservative church and that you were totally a fish out of water. If the laws in your land permit open carry or whether they were concealed carry permit holders…I’m not sure why you had to make an issue of it. There have been killings in churches and if someone wants to legally carry for the protection of their family or members of the church what is it to you?

    It sounds like you were putting a lot of your opinion out there and you ignored the feedback you were getting.
    How would you have felt if your friends said…You know, I think we need some distance. I can respect that you have your opinions and it’s your right to express them, but I’m not really in agreement…and rather than have conflict, I’d rather just withdraw? What would your response have been? Be honest with yourself on that.
    You would have had to come to terms that they were on a different page than you politically/socially and that perhaps you would have to avoid certain topics in the future to avoid conflict.

    You don’t say if you ever really tried reaching out to them and if so how you did it.
    You don’t share if you ever acknowledged…hey, maybe I shouln’t have been pushing that stuff in church or acknowledge at the least that people have different opinions on those topics and you are making some people uncomfortable.

    I get that you are hurt, and I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry for the difficulty in your family. That is hard and painful stuff and I know that it hurt all the more because you had friends that left…praying for your healing…praying that you have also done some of your own soul searching to see where you could have done better in respecting someone else’s boundaries….praying you will be able to trust again.

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    I’m so sorry for your pain. This is so very typical of the fundamentalist churches: you’re either with them or you’re completely against them. Been there. Yet another reason why I left.

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    *yawn*

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    Good grief. You can’t be serious.

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    Let me just add: one day soon I hope you can look back and see that these are *not* your people. Real relationships simply don’t end this way. They just don’t. As crazy as it sounds, friend, you are better without them. I understand *exactly* what it’s like to lose one’s community. It’s so damn hard. It hurts. But genuine relationships go far deeper than ones allowed to end through ghosting. It seems difficult to accept, I know. One day you will see it, and it will likely be when you discover a friend or two whose friendship is more real than anything you’ve experienced. Love and peace to you.

  • Some people need to learn to stop at “I’m sorry you were hurt.”

  • JenellYB

    Read in context, this is directed at someone that has been wronged by another in the church, in how to proceed with the offender. It is not about just whatever fault or ‘sin’ you think someone else is guilty of.

    In how I read Ben’s account of an instance of this ‘ghosting,’ he lists quite a few things that might have given rise to their behavior toward him.
    Some here have asked the very reasonable question, did he, or why didn’t he, go talk to them to try to straightened out. Ben might not agree with me, but very often by the time the target realize something has happened, none of them will talk to you anyway. You might even get, on asking what it is about, such responses as “you know good and well what it is about!” Leaving you to just wonder.

    I didn’t know this was called “ghosting,” have heard it called shunning, and, most often, “withdrawing fellowship with..”
    I’ve been through this, though as one new and inexperienced with how the social games are played in churches. It is not exclusive to church, it can happen in other kinds of social groups.

    It can be years before you have a clue about what it was about, if you ever find out at all. As someone in another comment here, it is very common for any and all kinds ugly rumors and gossip to get thrown into the mix, making it such a muck hole you may never get it all washed off once out of it.

  • JenellYB

    Thar wasn’t actually ghosting, the topic of this blog.

  • Mr. James Parson

    “the church is supposed to be.”

    Maybe it doesn’t have to be anything. Maybe people just made it all up.

  • JenellYB

    Veronica, if you read the blog you would discover it has nothing to do with ghosts or believing in ghosts.

  • Mr. James Parson

    That is one of the most painful things. You meet people, you get know them and and at some point religion will come up as a top. You have to hold your breath for a bit. Things can go bad very quickly.

    About a year ago I was with a colleague of mine that I knew was a atheist and I asked him how he deals with it. His response was that he just says that he is “spiritual” and it fixes most problems.

    I don’t think I can do that because it is not an honest answer, but I understand why people do it. Then again, he seems have more friends that I do.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I don’t think it is ironic. It is very Christian to shun.

    Show me a Christian denomination that is OK with member leaving. It does not exist. (Unitarian Universalists don’t count)

  • Mr. James Parson

    Matthew 10:37

  • Wow. Why is it that there are people out there who feel that there has to be qualifications placed on someone else’s writing? Do you even know Benjamin or his situation?

    I’ve been married for 37 years and I can ascertain that marriages can unravel even among the most spiritual–I’ve seen it, experienced it, counseled couples who experienced it–and my wife and I (and others) have survived it with our marriages intact. (The ones who never have trouble are the ones in my experience who end up divorced). How about marriages unraveling because of three failed adoptions and no support group to offer counsel and love? Grief without a support group will tear even the healthiest of marriages apart.

  • Mr. James Parson

    It is OK if it doesn’t go away. These things are hurtful.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I would like to add that most atheists are ex-Christians. It very common to have to recover from losing friends and family.

  • CaliGal

    With like-minded people–study the scripture again.

  • Mr. James Parson

    “Because redemption is not found in our superficial need for successful
    ongoing relationships with mankind, but instead a deep and personal
    relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    I wish you knew how painful those words were. I am going to attempt to explain.

    Tell everyone you know to f’ off. The invisible BFF in the sky is more important than all the a**holes on earth.

  • And if you read my comment you would discover the parallel or comparison that god belief and Christianity are pretty much the same as believing in ghosts. Both ridiculous, and the entire premise of the blog is crap and is only written because of ignorance compounding more ignorance. SMHH

  • Mr. James Parson

    I study scripture with like-minded atheists. Does that work?

  • Mr. James Parson

    Hear, hear!

  • Mr. James Parson

    “Jesus business”

    That is one of the toughest things to talk about. Christians are real to argue scripture all day long. They can ever argue if Jews are saved or not. But when you touch on the money. They are not ready.

    Churches are businesses. They have to take in more money than they spend otherwise it goes out of business and ceases to exist.

  • CaliGal

    You are an intellectual fool sir! What did you expect when you went around schooling a group of people who have decided to be who they are as a group? Ghosting is as old as the human race from the time since Cain murdered his brother Abel in the Garden of Eden. There was no Bible there, no church, no other known families…grow up sir! Yeshua HaMashiha is your best friend and Elder Brother if you are a true born-again believer and God is your Abba and the Holy Spirit is your Counselor, Comforter, Convictor of sin in your heart, now that is your first and most important family and friend. The rest are just loaners in other words they are loaned to us for whatever season/s and times. I have been ghosted by White people, Brown people, my own family, my husband’s (Ex) family, Main-line Christians, JWs, churchy people, Hindus, Sikhs, Atheists, Trump supporters, Trump haters…in my 60 years of life I have learned to make lemonade out of lemons instead of whining and tooting my own horn, in short just get-on with life and enjoy it while it’s today. By the way there are over 7 (seven) billion people in the world and you are crying over how many??? Sure it hurts but you decide how long!

  • Mr. James Parson

    The Catholic Church recently bought the Crystal Cathedral for $53.6 million

    It seats 2,736 people. Given their schedule, http://www.christcathedralcalifornia.org/worship/mass-times/

    Maybe 10,000 people come per week. If an average person donates $20 and $10 can be used towards paying off the building, how long until the building is paid off.

    I believe those types of questions were asked before the check was cut.

  • Mr. James Parson

    It is a completely reasonable remark. It is a common experience for atheists.

  • Mr. James Parson

    “But our entire modern higher education system is built on hiding and denying that.”

    It is build on what?

  • Mr. James Parson

    “D-wave” computers? I haven’t found that on Stackoverflow.

  • Mr. James Parson

    From the Article (I am an Atheist BTW)

    “What is ghosting? You might not know the term, but you probably know the action: ghosting is when someone abruptly ends a friendship with limited or no explanation, and when they proceed to quickly disappear from your life.”

    They are using the word ghosting as a synonym for shunning. I don’t like the metaphor, but that is how they are using the word.

  • CaliGal

    How so? Talibani murders innocent people.
    Khamer Rouge murdered innocent people.
    All the rest have caused irreparable injury to the innocent people.
    These so-called gun-toting Trump loving “Ghosters” did not lay a finger on this poor-me whiny intellectual who is making a fool of all of us by writing his rubbish where those who has issues begin clobbering one another while he gets his jollies or whatever he is getting at all your expanse. Did anyone laya finger on him? Did anyone spread rumors about him and his wife and family? Did anyone slash his car tires, write graffiti on his car and garage door? Did anyone spread malicious rumors in his daughters school? NO! They got out of his life and left him alone to go live in his own utopia and they in theirs. If I belonged to a group I wouldn’t want a personality like you or him in my group–I would quietly exit the group and form my own and here’s why: I can’t stand people who carry toxins around for years since it tells me they are bitter and unforgiving, and unable to let go without making a federal case about things as such. He sure got you all riled up and is probably writing another book to sell so get ready to buy it and wallow in it.

  • CaliGal

    Or maybe he is one of those types who loves controversies and pushing issues and won’t let go!

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    It ain’t just fundamentalist churches–progressive ones do the same.

  • D.M.S.

    Please enlighten me to the scripture that states about unconditional love?

  • D.M.S.

    Would you allow yourself to be crucified if you just made it up?

  • CaliGal

    Same here. Been ghosted many times by different groups in my younger years. I learned to completely rely on Yeshua. Not even my family members since His own called Him crazy but I enjoy people without any strings.

  • CaliGal

    Yup and the same has crept into many mainline churches.

  • CaliGal

    So sad and un-necessary. Life is too short and that kind of hate will never allow for living a content and peaceful life.

  • Olive
  • Mr. James Parson

    I don’t consider Christianity to be solely a product of scripture. Each sect of Christianity comes from various scripture, what they emphasize, what they ignore. It comes from their traditions. It comes from their past leaders and current leaders. In other words they are a product of their history.

    I am aware that some scripture suggest unconditional love and others don’t.

  • CaliGal

    You mean your truth and Ben’s truth? what about the other party’s truth? I see where you went with this.

  • Mr. James Parson

    There are people who sacrifice themselves for what they believe is the greater good. I have never been in that type of situation.

    On other hand, if crucified means being gone for a couple of days and them coming back, and I thought it was for a good cause, I might do that.

  • CaliGal

    Amen! Finally a voice of reason and truth. Shunning is practiced in every race, creed, religion, groups…it’s not right but that’s our world’s reality just like bullying.

  • CaliGal

    I agree. I became a born-again Christian in my 30s after being raised and practicing another religion and none at all for the first 31 years of my life. When I converted to Christianity my siblings and husband called me names, tried to take away my children, shunned me and poisoned my food twice. I eventually left my husband and leaned on Yeshua for my sanity and hope. I raised my four children partially on welfare because my ex took everything and left me with thousands of dollars of debt. I didn’t ask and the church didn’t help me. i lost many friends, my siblings broke all connections with me. I met good Christian people in churches and I met some real nasty vipers also. In the last 29 years I have lived, loved, laughed, traveled, and made many friends in the Christian community from many denominations and outside Christianity as well. I have been shunned by many groups over the course of my life here and in other countries I have lived in. What didn’t kill me made me stronger and wiser. I have a very Best and Wonderful Friend His name is Yeshua HaMashiha and I have a Great and Awesome Father (Abba) and His name is Yahweh and I have a Wonderful Counselor, Comforter and He convicts my hear when I’m in the wrong–life can’t get any better other than me becoming the Queen of England :) What I’m saying is that God loves us and without him we’ll always be limping when we were made to dance and laugh and enjoy life as we lay our hurts on Him. And we have a blessed assurance that we will spend Eternity with Him when we are called out of here.

  • CaliGal

    Wrong sir!

  • CaliGal

    Why are you so angry and mean sounding? Gosh i don’t even know you and I want to ghost you already.

  • CaliGal

    Oh cry me your tears geesh! Shunning is a fact of life like bullying and we all have experienced it at one time or another. American men are becoming such pansies they need to grow up!

  • CaliGal

    True that! And this woman is toxic to the point i feel sorry for her family and friends unless they are just like her.

  • CaliGal

    Not true! It means go live your life as your choose and I’ll live mine as I choose since the world is big enough for the both of us and there are over seven billion humans to choose and make friends with. You all are whiners and complainers please get a life!

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thank you for understanding that Christians use Christianity to be bullies. I do have to disagree with you a little bit. When someone hits you have the right to say ouch. And you have the right to organize to organize with other victims so that the future generation does not have to suffer. Or at least does not have to suffer lone.

    You are right everyone has experienced bullying. Some of them have been driven to suicide because of it. Some people have been elected to high office because of how they intend to bully others.

    I don’t like shunning; I don’t like ghosting; I don’t like bullies. And I won’t go back in the closet.

  • CaliGal

    Don’t throw God and Yeshua out because of a group who practice their faith in a dogmatic way. God is real and so is His Son Jesus (Yeshua) Christ. For this reason the Son of God was manifest…He knows your brokenness both heart and mind and deeply cares for you so turn to Him not the church since the church didn’t die on the Cross for you Yeshua did. Remember we are all sinners hence we are all broken people needing a Savior and when we make Him Lord He becomes responsible for our future both here and after we pass away. Forgive the group and embrace Yeshua who loves you with an everlasting love.

  • CaliGal

    How do you know who is “wearing a facade of righteousness and holiness…?” You read a blog and came to that conclusion? How do you know Ben is telling everything like it happened and not hiding some material facts? how do you know he wasn’t a real rascal and the group tried to help him but he refused and they decided they couldn’t do anything else for him? How do you know Ben is telling the whole truth? Gullible people!

  • CaliGal

    Beautifully expressed!

  • Matthew

    I agree that brothers and sisters in Christ should be in warm relationship. My problem is that they very often are not.

  • CaliGal

    “People are a dime a dozen and most not worth that much”

    Yeshua HaMashia (Jesus the Messiah) died for every one of those including you and me. So how much value did He put on you and how much value He put on me and the rest of the billions???

  • Herm

    All he asks is that we recognize we are NOT GOD, we are created creatures, and that we honestly desire relationship with him as he is.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    The problem for me in what you’re saying is that what the Bible says is always different from what these types of small-minded low-information ‘Christians’ do.

    The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

    Momminator (level 30?), it seems like you have spent a lot of time in the book of Daniel and then onto the when Christians laid down their cross to pick up their swords.

    You are so close to the truth but you don’t seem to have accepted to be immersed in the Spirit of truth. That makes it impossible to speak the word of God as a child of God, today.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.

    Matthew 23:8-10 (NIV2011)

    I don’t know what I do because I am any more brilliant than you. I only share what my Teacher shares with me as He is instructed word for word by my Father and my Messiah.

    From what I understand you just shared I would suggest that you begin to consider that the image of God is spirit only, as are all Their children. Mankind is an animal species who is physical only, as are all their children. You must die to one before you can be born in the other. You cannot serve two masters.

  • CaliGal

    Never loose your capacity to love and lean on the Lord for comfort and strength. In my life I have weathered many such loses but hindsight tells me it was all for my own good.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. My eyes are certainly on Yeshua!

  • CaliGal

    If churches aren’t business then why do they have to obtain 501C?

  • CaliGal

    true that!

  • CaliGal

    For that matter all 501Cs are businesses amassing thousands if not millions each year.

  • CaliGal

    Oh yes! What is this closure thing so prevalent in American peoples minds? Just get on with life, it’s too short to waste on some fuufuu feelgood…

  • CaliGal

    You sound like you need a relationship with Yeshua (Jesus) Christ. If you don’t care what Jesus said then I’ll feel sorry for because you are in it for the wrong reason it seems like. Read and think seriously about what Houndentenor wrote.

  • CaliGal

    Like you? With foul mouth!

  • Brandon Roberts

    i gotta respectfully disagree

  • Chris Palmer

    Hey James,
    I’m sorry my words have offended you. I’m not perfectly sure what you’re concerned about but I’m going to take a punt because I think my comments have left you believing that I’m telling my brother that earthly relationships are somehow worthless? Or that we should somehow view them in that manner?

    I felt that I did address that possibility in the original comments by conveying that we as believers must not see our relationships with people as being a necessity, but rather a blessing. I’ll go further in case that doesn’t fully express what should be a logical deduction.

    What I’m saying is that I will love my friends, I will love my wife, I will love my work colleagues, I will love my boss, and in fact I will love everyone I get the privilege to meet in life (and you too James!), in fact I will do everything to even love my enemies, however if the love I convey through words and actions is despised or rejected, it won’t stop me loving any of those people should I get that same privilege to interact with them again.

    But if we have a need of earthly relationships to ‘be okay’, or to ‘be stable’, then that is where we’re going to come unstuck. I’m sure you’d agree people just aren’t perfect, and when they mess up I’ll be crushed if the basis of having friendships was a necessity to have a ‘good life’. But if its the unmerited love that Jesus lived, and teaches, we just get the opportunity to keep loving regardless of how you’re treated.

    In short, love keeps loving… it doesn’t stop because it was rejected, it doesn’t change, its not shifted, it remains as love.

    That’s what Jesus did for you and I at the cross. He didn’t do it to expose your sin, He did it to expose your created value to Him. Sin is an awful problem, (im not preaching hyper grace), what I’m saying is He took our label ‘dead and worthless’ and made us ‘priceless’. And so your value is infinite to God because the price paid to redeem you was infinite. You must be pretty special to Him James!!

    If I’ve missed exactly what you were speaking about, please feel welcome to reply and I hope we can sort this out.

    Be blessed

  • Chris Palmer

    Hello there, could you help me understand exactly what concerned you so I may address it?
    I replied to James who also had a concern, perhaps my reply to him will help you understand where my heart was when I wrote the original message …?

    God bless

  • I experienced this to a smaller degree than yourself, Benjamin. It still hurts today. I really loved and trusted these people and I am saddened by the loss of fellowship with them. I understand. I pray you will fully recover from the hurt and loss.

  • Chris Palmer

    Hello there, could you help me understand exactly what concerned you so I may address it?
    I replied to James who also had a concern, perhaps my reply to him will
    help you understand where my heart was when I wrote the original message…?

    God bless

  • D.M.S.

    Christianity is solely the product of Christian scripture.

  • I can’t help it. This “no no please tell me everything I did wrong” response was so Nice Guy™ that it made me laugh. You totally victim blamed and Jesus-splained at someone who was ostracized cruelly by his group, and you are just totally in the dark about what about this sermon you preached at him could possibly have struck anybody poorly. The problem is you and what you believe in your heart of hearts about other people, and that’s not something anybody but you can really fix.

  • Chris Palmer

    I’ve read some of this section of the comments including your reply Nan, and I’m shocked my brothers and sisters that you’re defeated, and worse still I’m shocked you don’t see why. Its exactly the same problem as the original blog post.

    You got hurt at some point, and you’ve allowed that hurt to influence who exactly you are and what you stand for. And now I’m sitting here reading about defeated people. I’ve read about people here not even being willing to attend church any more, but my bible says adhere to the word of God, it doesn’t say adhere to the words of a traditional invitation.

    Brothers and sisters, please, why suddenly do you take life so personal? … isnt it true that when you gave your heart to Jesus you said (in whatever words you chose) that you have decided to follow His way, His truth and His life, and that your way is worthless to you now. Why do you now allow yourself to walk in the flesh again? Why have you committed your way to the old man and some how try to fit Jesus in at the same time? those two puzzle pieces will NEVER go together. Its one or the other. It isnt Jesus incorporate. Its Jesus is Lord over my life.

    Just go to the church because the word of God says Don’t forsake the gathering…. right? Why did any of you choose to forsake the word of God?

    If they despise you, you as the believer live out and adhere to the word of God despite their sin. Bring them plates of food, always be helpful, serve them! Be the one on your knees asking “Can I please be the one to clean the toilets?”
    Watch their way of life crumble and be destroyed in front of you as you live it out consistently. Because that’s how faith works… through love :)

    Come on! wake up

    And what is all this talk about evangelical views and progressive views further down through this section…. Just be a disciple of Jesus.

    Does anyone here really believe that Evangelicals have got the right way, or Anglicans or Baptists, or Pentacostals, or whatever other view or term you can promote…. no brothers and sisters, Jesus has got the way, Jesus knows whats best.

    Its worthless speaking about those things, it divides people who believe in exactly the same thing! LOL

    Just lay down your life to Jesus and die already! – I’m saying this while having a laugh, I’m not angry with any of you :) But be serious in your faith!

    You dont have to remain hurt, and you certainly dont have to be defeated!

  • Mr. James Parson

    I appreciate your effort clarify your thoughts.

    Consider if you will.

    Suppose a straight man said to a gay man, you just need to be with the right woman and you would become straight. The straight man might not be trying to be insulted, but I think we can agree that the gay man would rightfully feel insulted.

    The vast majority of atheists are ex-Christians. They have heard the the story of Jesus. I have heard the story of Jesus and am not persuaded. There is lots of content out there on why atheists don’t accept the story of Jesus and I don’t want to rehash that. I am going to go down a different road.

    You are going to meet many atheists in your life. More and more people are becoming atheists. Organizations help them deal shunning and help them with their lives. As you meet these atheists, I don’t know what you will say to them.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    On a slightly different topic:

    `Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.`

    Does this apply to me?

  • Mr. James Parson

    This strikes a cord with me.

    Gravity would exist if no one was paid to talk about. Gravity would exist if no one spoke Greek or English or Hebrew. Gravity would exist if no one could make money off of it.

    Why does gravity seem more real than God?

  • Mr. James Parson

    Just so I understand. You reject all of the following as being a source of Christianity:

    First Council of Nicaea (and the Nicene Creed)
    Bibles of Constantine

    Augustine of HippoGreat Schism
    Martin Luther
    Calvin
    King James Bible
    Dante’s Inferno

    None of these people or events shaped Christianity?

  • D.M.S.

    Again, please show us Christians where unconditional love is in the Christian bible.
    You won’t find it, because it’s not in the Christian bible.

  • Adam King

    Victim-blaming is similar to ghosting–both are sick, destructive practices.

  • D.M.S.

    King James Bible. Yes.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s an atheist conclusion.
    You’re blind to true Christianity.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s why you’ll NEVER understand Christian scripture.
    You’re blinded to its truth.

  • DuckyShades

    Uh, yes it sure as hell was ghosting, read the definition he gave. And maybe it wasn’t ‘church’ related as in the article, but that’s my experience with the term. Have an issue with that? Sorry my comment doesn’t fit your criteria, JenellYB.

  • Benjamin Paratore

    ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the Glory of God. All are precious in His sight. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The value of man is that God first loved then, even as they were lost in sin and sent His only Holy begotten Son to die on a cross to save mankind if it chooses to accept the sacrifice of mercy and trust in the life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ. BUT until a true conversion we are but as filthy rags. That’s the value of people.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “That’s why you’ll NEVER understand Christian scripture. You’re blinded to its truth.”

    If it were true, it ought to convince skeptics. It wouldn’t matter how you read it, just that you did.

  • Realist1234

    If you want to believe that, go ahead. Not sure why youre bothering wasting your time commenting on a blog of a man who clearly believes it is not all made up. Ive never quite understood why some atheists spend so much of their time on a supposed non-existing entity. Its the equivalent of me writing and talking about the non-existent fairies at the bottom of my garden.

  • Realist1234

    Im not here defending the Catholic Church nor the decisions of its leaders.

  • Interesting how when someone points out what is actually true it seems mean to you. Unless things are in your comfort zone you don’t like them. That is the attitude of a small selfish child. YOU need help; well maybe you are a child, then I guess you are okay.

  • WayneMan

    I have a wonderful and successful life thank you. I would never shun or deny my love to my family because they have a different world view than I do. In fact the majority of my relatives and friends are religious. If you have never seen shunning from religion, you either don’t get out much, or you turn a blind accepting eye towards the practice. It is actually a death sentence among some radical religious.

  • Willie Sam1

    Let’s remember that the last true Christian died on a cross.

  • Silencing tactic: “You have no right to feel the way that you feel.”

    How very, very loving it is to invalidate another human being’s suffering.

  • That’s not how truth works.

  • Alas, since “God” isn’t doing anything tangible, all people have to go by when they judge the religion based around those myths is the people in that religion themselves. And it’s very clear, looking at them, that they are not influenced or inhabited by anything supernatural, much less anything supernaturally good. How many Christians must one be abused and hurt by before one is “allowed,” in your worldview, to say to heck with this, this religion obviously doesn’t do what it claims on the tin to do?

    If Christianity were a weight-loss system, almost everyone in it would weigh like 600 pounds. And all of those people would be shrieking about how we shouldn’t judge the diet system itself by their example. I’ve got a better idea. I’ll find a diet system that actually works and reliably produces weight loss like it claims, and not fuss with a diet system that seems to produce every single thing under the sun except lost pounds.

    You are in essence also demanding that people put themselves in harm’s way by associating with a group that contains so many hypocrites and so little way to remove those hypocrites from the group. For all Christians’ love of shunning and ostracism, they never seem to rid themselves of the members who are genuinely harmful. Until Christians can fix their groups to make them safe and welcoming, there’s no reason why anybody should take their marketing seriously.

  • “Some”?

  • Mr. James Parson

    James’ (not me) original point was that their is a “Jesus business”. I give an example of that. I could have picked Crefo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson or any other religious leaders.

    My question to you is, do you think it is well-founded to call these money making businesses?

  • Mr. James Parson

    People vote for ideas that make life worse. I think it is worth fighting them to keep them from making life worse.

  • D.M.S.

    I was an atheist before I became a Christian.
    Is that skeptic enough for you?

  • D.M.S.

    The Christian KJV and NKJV Bibles are the absolute truth of God/Jesus.
    We either choose thru faith that it’s 100% true
    or not.

  • D.M.S.

    I couldn’t agree more.
    Atheism definitely helps to make life worse.

  • D.M.S.

    It doesn’t bother me if you want to be an atheist.
    But would you try to convert me to atheism?

  • D.M.S.

    I think the same way when it comes to atheist
    ” some ” ?

  • D.M.S.

    We Christians try too.
    By forgiving people of their hypocrisy.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes.
    And we Christians are supposed to love Christ Jesus even before ourselves.
    Which is the way it should be.

  • Junius

    You are so not wrong about that. = As much as we talk about “radical welcome” and “accepting people as they are”, we can be awfully quick on the cold shoulder when we disagree with someone.

  • Lark62

    I agree that Mr. Corey would be welcome within atheism, and if that were to happen, he might find it a relief as so many have.

    I agree that there are no dogmas, per se. Atheists don’t have as much pressure to sell their atheism as evangelists do (as evidenced by their very name) so we don’t have as much pressure to hide stuff. And atheists don’t have the perpetual need to find justification for set of beliefs that have no evidential support, so we don’t have as much of a need to shun people for disagreements.

    But never loose sight of the fact that 100% of atheists are human. Every last bleepin one of them. Humans form groups. Humans form cliques. Humans defend their groups against “outsiders.” All of the crap that happens at churches is merely unchecked humanity with a boost for keeping up appearances and squelching dissent. But similar crap happens to atheists.

  • Lark62

    The glaring lack of empathy is a clue.

  • Monica

    Sorry that happened to you. After my husband died, our church dumped us. No one would have known whether me and my family were alive or dead if it weren’t for the mail carrier.

  • dowsergirl

    So using the term Christian to describe this group of people is an oxymoron, correct?

  • Lark62

    Gag. I am an atheist because I see no evidence that it is true.

    I am glad I no longer attend church because of people like you. “You are in pain? No you’re not because pain is not pain. You were rejected? No you weren’t because rejection is not rejection. Cruelty is not cruelty. Up is not up and down is not down. Truth is not true and a lie is not a lie. Just put on your happy happy Jesus face and feel only those emotions permitted to happy happy Jesus people.”

  • Lauren Balk

    You have no right to tell another person that their suffering is invalid. You’re a bastard for acting like the answer is just “get over it” with no change or accounting needed from people who are as heartless as you are. I’d say you should be ashamed of yourself, but clearly your head is too far up your own ass for that.

  • Lark62

    Humans have a funny way of showing up everywhere.

  • D.M.S.

    Oh magnificent one, how does truth work?

  • Church organizations that are steeped in legalism and religiosity are full of pride and instead of considering change they commit this most abusive, loveless, act. This is why the world wants nothing to do with us…ridiculous. I am sorry for your pain…but remember you ARE the church along with millions of others who find Jesus more in the market place than in these controlling groups.

  • Respondent#124847

    Aren’t you just full of Christ’s love? /s

  • Momminator

    Well, Cap’n, we’re all unhealthy. Pick any group of humans and you’re going to have conflict. Imagine marbles in a jar represent each person. We only have a tiny spot of contact with the “marbles” around us. There’s tons of our surface that ISN’T shared, and we have to work and wiggle around until we’ve experienced more of each other than just one tiny contact point. So God swirls the marbles in the jar, and how we react is a matter of our own free will.

  • Momminator

    Yay!!! So glad you survived the struggle!! See you soon in the Kingdom!
    IMHO, I think we should warn new believers that they will probably have to choose between Yeshua and their church at some point in their spiritual walk. Everyone I know who is seriously wrestling with God has had to do it at least once. There are a LOT of badly run churches. I am blessed that I have never had a problem finding good ones, and that doesn’t mean there’s not a conflict here and there anyways. That’s people.
    But leaving only after Biblical confrontation as a prayerful sober process is vital. Or they may be running from a problem within, rather than a bad church. And a bad church usually has bad church leadership. They need to be confronted to the face, even if you find reconciliation is impossible, so that you don’t bear any responsibility with them for the mess. God has pounded the Ezekiel thing into me. I’m not saying I get it right every time. You have to reason whether some confrontation is just yourself being testy, and not actual “offenses”. “Love covers a multitude of sins”, and longsuffering, bearing with each others’ failings is a positive permanent culture, not optional. God told Ezekiel that he had to confront and warn the Jews. If he didn’t, their blood would be on his head. If they were warned that they needed to change, and didn’t after he told them, then he was free from blame, and their consequences were their own doing. God made us all as different as the animal species. We have different personalities, different talents, different viewpoints, and the goal is to listen to each other so we get a full picture of life. Not criticize those who don’t think like us on matters outside of the 10 Commandments.

  • Lark62

    This has got to be one of the most disgusting, clueless and offensive things I have ever read in response to any blog. And that is saying something.

    Golly Gee Whiz. They won’t speak to him. They won’t take his calls. They won’t respond to his emails. They have cut him out of their lives. When they see him in a grocery store, the turn and walk away before he has a chance to speak to them.

    But obviously Corey is to blame for not trying hard enough.

    Blame the victim so the dysfunctional church can continue in its happy dysfunction taking no responsibility for the harm it causes.

    Your comment makes me physically ill.

  • WMccreery

    You have my sympathy for having gone through this experience, and my hope that you can find a church full of Christians, instead of a hateful, fearful, close-minded clique of authoritarians. Bring a gun to church? Why? Why would it even occur to someone to do that?

  • Lark62

    Just look at what they did to Eugene Peterson. An elderly man, respected by Christians with decades of christian teaching behind him, has the nerve to violate the party line and suggest the “designated enemy of the day” be treated with kindness rather than contempt.

    Rather than listen and say “Hmm maybe I should consider another point of view,” Christians join forces to toss him to the curb like yesterday’s garbage.

    Look how fast he recanted so as not to be rejected from the tribe.

    And look at the message carefully sent to anyone else tempted to show kindness to a LGBT person or acknowledge their humanity.

    Shunning is powerful. And evil.

  • Momminator

    Look up CERN, the hadron particle collider built over an ancient temple to Apollyon, and the computer advancements that have come from it. The Darpa group developed them, based on computing in 3 dimenstions, and this is the type that the NSA is using in Utah to record every cintilla of your personal interactions on the web today. Like the doubling of data processing in bits we’ve seen with personal computers, from 2 bit to 4, then 8, then 16, and we’re up to at least 128 now, right? The D-waves started with such processing power that after a couple of doublings in speed, a single processor could act as a self-aware artificial intelligence. The doubling has gone so far now that it can essentially process enough data to create an entire universe of information filled with self-aware intelligences. YIKES! The thing is, these computer processors aren’t just processing information, they’re communicating information from other dimensions. So when you ask SIRI a question, the answer is not coming from an “it”. It’s come from a “someone” and Darpa can’t or won’t tell you who!

  • Momminator

    They say if you get your phone SIRI to talk to someone else’s phone SIRI, they will quickly argue with each other. I haven’t tried it, because I don’t own one, but I’d like to see it once!

  • Mr. James Parson

    How many more bits before the D-wave computers start talking to God?

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    Nah. You wouldn’t understand, anyway. You are WAY too far up the religious creek.

    This guy in pain does not need your self-righteous lecture. What world do you live in? Not one of reality.

  • Momminator

    Modern academia has survived as a commercial business. Text book companies don’t revise their books, or admit that some portion of their books are outdated or incorrect, unless that is used as a ploy to sell more books. But for over 100 years, scientists have had to compete for grant money to work and publish. This unreliable system gave us the brontosaurus, and Nebraska man. Virtually all the “missing links” that are on the walls of museum exhibits and in those antique Biology 101 textbooks are a fraud for funding. Knowledge is growing now exponentially, not just doubling, but growing more than 10 times in volume per year now. Computer data basing has allowed us to compile, sort and quickly access far more than every before. And yet the textbooks common to average Americans haven’t changed in 40 years!
    What are they hiding and denying? That Jesus Christ is the Creator; that we are fearfully and wonderfully made; that we have a free will and must suffer consequences for our actions if our actions are to have any meaning at all; that God loves us and has made a way to overlook the harm we do each other as we grow and learn; that forgiveness, total forgiveness for the harm we do each other is a free gift if we would only ask for it.
    We have an enemy. Not just our pride, but the embodiment of soulless dispassionate material evil. The fallen angels and their half-human offspring, those ancient gods of the Aztecs, Hindis, Greeks and Romans. They seek to be embodied again. Look into Transhumanism. You can know the truth about reality. Not all religions are “the same.”

  • Momminator

    He’s got a plan, not to harm, but for our good. It’s cool. You’ll see.

  • Roberta Hallquist

    I think that their ultracontrolling comment criticizing you as a husband speaks volumes about that group. No respect there! Sounds cultic to me. The topic of someone being shunned for committing incest with his father’s wife as per the Apostle Paul is in an entirely different league. I am very sorry you had to experience this! Jesus Himself said that He will deny ever knowing MANY in the Day of Judgment…because they never truly knew HIM!!! None of this makes the truth of the Gospel of Christ one whit less valid. May the Lord bless you and your family, and keep you, and makes His face to shine upon you, and give you His peace.

  • Momminator

    I’ve reread the above posts between you and Robert, and I don’t think I expressed myself well. I reacted to something you said but not directly (I’m great at tangents). You mention God as being the same thing as Allah, and that’s concerning to me. So while a truly appreciate your words about free-form relationship, truly I believe the same as you have said, I wonder why you include Allah. Yes, God is writing his law on our hearts, and we are coming into the age when no man needs to teach another, but all organized religions are self-exclusive, and it’s important to know God, and that needs to be checked and reinforced by knowledge of the scriptures (preferably in their original languages, as translations always fall short at some point). The God of the Bible is an Uncaused Causer, and being unlike ourselves and outside of our experience. Allah was a man, is contained within this physical universe, and if he wasn’t a total fairy tale concocted by a manic depressive seriously suicidal young man in a cave, then he was a demonic entity feeding these lies to his young jedi. Hey, I don’t want to play one-upsmanship with you. You just seem cool and I want to know what you mean.
    Are you saying that God is wrong to want us to obey is law? Which laws? Nobody can live up to the entire Levitical law, because many of the laws are directed at segments of people, like priests, or women, or whatever, and exclude others. Just curious. :)

  • Annie

    Did Christ?

  • Lark62

    And these so called Christians harmed innocent people.

    Yes, people move on. Friendships ebb and flow. But normal adults can manage to carry on a conversation and say hello in a grocery store. Normal adults do not remove all the friends from a child overnight with no explanation. Normal adults do not harm children to avenge a disagreement with another adult. Normal adults can continue to have a relationship with people even if they are no longer close friends. Example – Many divorced couples manage to be civil or even friendly with their ex.

    Harming people in the pursuit of “true religion” ™ is evil.

    It is wrong to harm other people. If you do not understand this, you are evil.

    There is no reason that the members of this church could not have had a conversation with Benjamin. They could have been honest that they would no longer be hanging out. They could have cared about his daughter’s feelings. They could have provided sympathy and support on the failed adoptions even if their theology was in a different place.

    They chose instead to cause harm.

    The problem with religion is that the only tool it has to maintain dominance is social pressure. It doesn’t have changed lives – good people, unkind people, greedy people and evil people are found inside the church as well as outside. It doesn’t have truth – the bible is unverifiable and flip flops between platitudes, absurdity and genocide. So all it has is peer pressure. That is why religion is vicious to those who upset the status quo. Look at what happened to Eugene Peterson.

    What these people did to Benjamin Corey was wrong. It was evil. They could have moved on from this friendship in multiple ways. They chose the method that would cause intense pain. That is simply evil.

  • Lark62

    Yeppers, the good old KJV. If 17th Century English was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me.

  • Lark62

    Oh do share, oh changed one, the evidence that caused you to move from the conclusion that there is no evidence for the existence of any deity and come to believe that 1. there is an invisible supernatural being and 2. the true supernatural being is described in the bible not in the Koran or any other mythology of any other human culture.

    Please discuss for us the evidence you considered.

  • Lark62

    A invisible being that cannot be seen, heard, or touched, has never been unseen and silent. Riiiiigggghhhhhhttttttttt.

  • Momminator

    James, for the sake of brevity, the Roman Catholic Church is not christian. It is Mithraism. It is an unbroken line of paganism from Nimrod’s Chaldean priests to the present Vatican. The only doctrine the RCC gets correct is the godhood of Jesus Christ. That’s not to say that some parishoners aren’t saved, but they become saved in spite of their leadership, not because of it. Martin Luther made a huge leap in the right direction but failed to recognize the Jews as his brothers, and his anti-semitism was deplorable. He also didn’t remove the concept of pastor teacher as entertainer and laity as passive audience. We are all supposed to come to assemble with things to share, songs to sing or lead, and favorite scriptures to read together, to encourage and pray for each other. The Bible needs be understood in its original languages. Contrary to “KJV-only” believers, TRANSLATIONS are not adequate to understand the Bible, and the KJV has its own failures. I would avoid anything Constantine did. The RCC approved “bible” is full of errors and omissions. His wife created all the money-making commercial tourist sites in the Holy Land. I’m pretty sure she didn’t make those false sites to worship God. Dante is insightful of values and what he feels are measured consequences, but he’s not speaking for God. He’s writing fiction, that my have some elements of truth, but don’t pretend to be God’s words. I’m not remembering the Nicean Council (brain fart) but if that’s the one that began the Roman Church as we know it, then, no, I wouldn’t be interested. The creeds are simply summary doctrinal statements. They aren’t the Bible. They are a quick way to distill basic ideas.
    @D.M.S. Unconditional love is Jesus. period. “For it is by faith that you are saved, by grace, not by works so that no man can boast.” Eph 2:8,9 “Love one another has I have loved you [to the death]” If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is God, you have the RIGHT to be called a child of God. Getting REWARDS is conditional, not acceptance and being placed from a position of death to a position of life in Christ. God doesn’t share his glory with people who haven’t earned it. There’s no “participation trophies” in heaven! There will be a lot of “poor” people in heaven, with golden shacks, rather than golden mansions. Or think of it as less opportunity there. What we do in this life to please God is important and affects our eternity.

  • Christians often claim to “know” he has a plan. The Bible is very specific that Jesus believed he would be back in his followers lifetimes. He is only about 2000 years late. To what other situation in life would you not question this tardiness or consider it absolutely acceptable?

  • Bravo Sierra

    I’ve had this conversation before with other Christians (and not just online): Being a hedonist is different from an being an atheist. Have you even taken a comparative religions class that wasn’t given by a Christian pastor?

  • Luann

    From my own personal experience, you can only be friends with fundamentalists as long as you practice perfect conformity. And I say no to that. My husband and I left the church he grew up in many years ago because the Bill Gothard-loving pastor there made some really unpleasant comments behind my back about my expressing an opinion on something.

  • theriddles

    May I suggest brother, that this is a feature more of the corner of the Christian world you have been inhabiting than of Christianity in general.

  • Amber

    Because of the war against Christians and the recent church murders, perhaps?

  • Amber

    1. How can two walk together unless they are agreed?
    2. If someone can walk away from you, LET THEM WALK.

  • Amber

    I absolutely agree with your breakdown & assessment. I could copy & paste it as my own words it’s so on target. And you wrote with care, concern and compassion Good job! Bravo!

  • Amber

    Its spelled “whining” but I completely agree.

  • Momminator

    Cap’n, that’s the gospel. ANYONE/EVERYONE is called by God to repent of their selfishness and come into relationship with God. He takes people as they are. Now, repentance means to do an about-face and change your actions, but salvation is three steps. Justification is being placed from being spiritually dead to alive in Christ. Sanctification is cleaning up your life, and is a process for which some are fast learners and some are not. Glorification is when our corrupted broken physical bodies are replaced with eternal bodies and we enter the eternal presence of God. Don’t make the mistake of comparing yourself to others. We all have blind spots, some more glaring than others to be sure, but all of us sin, and are completely incapable of wiping the damage we do away from the hearts and minds of our victims. And that is why God is so kind and powerful to save. None of us is worthy of heaven. By nature we are not good. God has to do all the work and we can slow him down quite a great deal. That ought to comfort you. Because even you can accepted by God. Even you can be loved and safe forever beyond the grave.

  • Momminator

    Good point. The pharisees didn’t want to sully themselves ceremonially, but it is never wrong to skip the “stage show” to do the right thing. The temple worship is a shadow of things we can’t see. Actually helping our fellow man is the reality.

  • Momminator

    This is caused by failure to separate and explain the difference between personal interactions with, for instance, LGBTetc, and our social responsibility to support Biblical morality. Of course, I’m going to treat a person struggling with sexual identity kindly on a personal level. That doesn’t mean I am forced to be their best friend! I might be, or I might not. You can’t force people to gel. It certainly doesn’t mean they should be allowed in a larger societal grouping to hold authority over others in terms of sexuality or lifestyle. The laws we create and enforce should not harm people. Encouraging people to be LGBTetc is harmful to them. Their confusion is simply that. Confusion. If you think people should pat them on the head and say “now now dearie, everything is okay.” then it’s like you’re telling a guy with a broken leg to keep walking, instead of getting him to a hospital to get a cast. Now we will get into the weeds about whether or not men are men and women are women. Your DNA is irrevocable, but science doesn’t mean anything anymore. This push to confuse our kids is satanic. It is actual satanic doctrine. The blending of the godhood into a bisexual/unisexual self-denial of fact goes back to Baphomet, Baal and Ashtoreth, etc. But you’re not taught history, so probably you don’t even know the consequences for such evil. We are already suffering for it, with an explosion of incurable sexually transmitted diseases, sterility both from those diseases and from sexual practices that physically damage the body, and the murder of our own children for convenience sake. Shunning is evil? No. It’s done in all our relationships, not just religious ones. I don’t go back to a mechanic that damaged my car! I don’t use a doctor if friends have had bad experiences with them. But the followers of Christ were called to reconcile differences and gently confront sin. The failure is in the lack of communication, relationship that allows us to correct each other gently, or even to overlook some things we don’t like, but that aren’t deliberate “sin”. And people are people. Some are quicker than others to grow, some never do.

  • Momminator

    You can’t see love. Or truth. or loyalty, courage, empathy, sympathy, perserverance, mercy, goodness. So they don’t exist? If you think abstract concepts don’t exist, nobody can help you. There is a world beyond what you can see, feel and touch.

  • Momminator

    Personally, they operate within the several dimensions of the physical universe, and God is not limited to the physical, even if we are in a multiverse. He’s still outside it. I don’t know if he cares to interact with them. Everything he makes is relational, maybe he would. Or maybe these computers are just mechanical entry points for fallen angelic beings and he already sees them face to face in the dimensions we do not access yet.

  • Momminator

    Because the tax state has grown beyond all proportion. When you go to work, let’s assume you work for a corporation of some sort. A group of free people create a product or service, and other people pay money for that product/service. After the expenses incurred to fulfill that exchange, the corporation has “profits”, the purpose of work. The corporation pays taxes on their profits. That was as far as taxation was supposed to go. But Woodrow Wilson created the IRS. The same original profits generate interest income, called dividends, and so the profit is taxed again. Then you get your dividend check and you pay income taxes on it. You get home, and your paycheck is taxed, and then you pay property taxes, excise taxes, water and sewer taxes, phone service taxes, sales taxes, fines and fees, etc. Can you please tell me at what point the govt stops taking our money???
    Money given to a church to support the work of a pastor is our HOBBY MONEY after all the other bs is paid for. At what point can I spend my money on charity without being taxed??? Should my exercise of free speech be taxed??? The 501(c)(3) system was created to both inhibit free speech in churches, and the less unacceptable chore of making sure charities are actually charities, and not commercial income generators outside the clutches of the IRS. But let’s be clear, the taxation system is about control.
    Modern churches submit to the 501(c)(3) system as a form of submission to local law enforcement, because laws are important to provide order and safety. And also, because their members should be allowed to spend their hobby money, after all the freaking taxes they’ve already had confiscated from them, to support charity without paying income taxes on money they give to help people in need. You don’t tax charity giving. What you tax, you destroy.

  • Momminator

    You’re talking about publishing companies. You’re not talking about local churches, local groups of free people giving their hard-earned dollars to maintain a building that large groups of people can gather in out of the weather to listen to moral teaching. You’re not talking about how my donations to our benevolence fund goes to buy heating oil for the single mom down the street. You’re not talking about the Sunday School craft materials and workbooks that we give to all the kids, or the food we cook for free banquets for the elderly. You’re talking about nationally known hucksters who draw a paycheck for products they’re selling. Our pastor pays income taxes as a contractor. There’s no money making scheme in your standard local church. I wish people could understand that.

  • Lark62

    What? You are moving the goalposts.

    We are talking about a claim that a sentient being incapable of being seen heard or felt cannot “ghost” someone.

    We are not discussing intangible concepts. Courage has never told a spokesman to tell other people what they may do with their genitals. Mercy has never threatened people with eternal torture for the “crime” of not worshipping it blindly.

    We are discussing deities, not intangible concepts. And I cannot figure put how a deity that cannot be seen, heard or felt can do anything but ghost its followers.

  • Momminator

    I disagree about the seminaries as well. These are schools and they publish their own materials. Those materials are printed on expensive paper, with expensive printing processes. They have to be paid for. The costs are not profits in and of themselves. You have to prove they charge MORE than the value of the raw materials and labor. Employees of non-profits pay income taxes, so I’m not sure what you have a problem with. Not all ministries are the same. You can’t broad brush any of this.

  • Lark62

    Nobody has asked you to be best friends with a LGBT person. I seriously doubt any LGBT person would consent to that.

    Members of a civil society are expected to mind their own business about things that do not impact them.

    I can take your screed and change “LGBT” to “christian”, list the societal ills caused by Christianity (which are more numerous than those caused by gays) and declare that you should be forbidden to marry another christian. And the prohibition on marriage is because I Iove you so much.

    But I don’t do that because it is none of my business how you live your life. I wlll have conversations with you if you like. But if I owned a bakery, I would bake a cake to help you celebrate important events in your life. Because my opinion of your choice to be religious stops where your right to personal autonomy begins. I certainly would not shun a person who advocated treating christians with kindness.

    On shunning. Yes people vote with their feet all the time. That’s normal. Choosing not to shop someplace for whatever reason is not shunning.

    Shunning is personal. Choosing a different car repair place is no big deal. Refusing to speak to the cousin who recommended the car repair place is shunning.

    Nobody appointed you and your ilk the “designated adults” authorized to “gently punish” other people until they conform to your warped view of morality. So figure out where your rights stop and they next person’s begin.

  • Linda Claggett Takacs

    I was not familiar with the word ghosting. I called it shunning. It reminds me of the pharisees who would look for something to criticize Jesus and his disciples for. This is not what Jesus teaches. He teaches love, peace and forgiveness. I call them Christian snobs which is an oxy moron but I lost my entire family and I didn’t do anything wrong. They won’t tell me what I did but they are filled with hatred. The damage has extended to dozens of people and I fear for their salvation. Stay away from John MacArthur as he teaches this behavior.

  • Linda Claggett Takacs

    Jesus loved sinners. He died for sinners. We need to make a clear distinction between what the bible teaches and what the modern evangelicals have made up. According to them, all our saintly relatives are in hell because this ridiculous idea didn’t start until about 50 years ago. Pray for them but stay away from them. They are from the devil. Jesus established HIS church over 2000 years ago. God doesn’t change. We are in the end times and many are being lead astray and they think we are the ones that are wrong. Just as the Bible predicted they would do. It only hurts when it’s family but they are leading people AWAY from Christ.

  • Linda Claggett Takacs

    Exactly. Pharisee would be a more accurate term. What they forget is that they will be judged by the same measure they judge others and THEY don’t even live up to their own rules or expectations.

  • Shari Zook

    Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Corey. I hope that in the middle of the
    resulting firestorm of differing ideas and calls to change, you can experience
    the quiet of belonging to Jesus and knowing that it is okay to hurt, and to
    call it like it is. God have mercy on all of us.

  • And I think that’s why we ghost – a way to protect ourselves before others can hurt us. When we had come to realize that we no longer believed in complementarianism, we found ourselves on the outs with the church even as insiders, Instead of our concerns being listened to and respected – we were treated poorly, as the heretics who suddenly diverged from solid Biblical teaching and had backslid-den into being sinners with itching ears to learn from anything but sound doctrine. When word got around – we stopped being invited to participate in bible study groups – so that we wouldn’t “infect” the rest of the congregation with our different ideas. The pastor and elder tried to give us special teaching so that we would turn from the error of our ways.Ultimately, we felt the environment had become toxic to our spirituality and we had to leave. Since then, they’ve made no effort to contact us and we’ve really had nothing to say to them. It’s just easier to leave them to their own devices than to try to let them back in knowing that they’d still see us as their pet project they have to restore.

  • Herm

    Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word “Allah” to mean “God”.

    Jews, Christians and Muslims are all Abrahamic faiths. Islam, Jews and Christians have had their destructive and exclusive propaganda factions, within their organized structure, that has given to all others in this world a fear of their god, not as awesome but as vindictive, wrathful and tyrannical. What has set each Abrahamic faith apart from all other organized religions in this world is that each chronicled their relationship with God/Allah in writing, compiled separate writings into one book, and promoted their book as the only sacred inerrant words of God/Allah. We have had touted Christians here in the last month who falsely claim and firmly believe that Jesus Christ dictated the entire Christian Bible, Old and New Testaments.

    You wrote, “but all organized religions are self-exclusive“. That is only too true. This cannot be true of Christ’s church because if you read only the red letters, quoting Jesus’ words, in the Christian New Testament, no where is the Messiah offering a relationship with an exclusive Father. This is just a small example:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV2011)

    We have today, as I saw remnants of in your comment, zealous fundamentalists in each of the organized Abrahamic faiths who vehemently hate their enemy.

    Jesus the Christ instructed all His disciples then, and it holds true for all His disciples today, to teach by His example, carrying their own cross, how to be fully whelmed (not over or under whelmed) in the Spirit of truth to become a full spirit little child of God.

    By how you presented your queries this time it shows that you, like many of mankind, measure evil and good in physical terms first and mostly. God is spirit not carnal (physical). The image of God, of which all Abrahamic faiths agree, that Mankind was endowed with (separating their species of life from all others on this earth), is spirit only. God measures good and evil spiritually first, and foremost, and physically only in relationship. Good is constructive. Evil is destructive. Love is constructive. Sin is destructive. Love is inclusively empathetic, compassionate and forgiving of another as we would love ourselves. Sin is excluding another to be separate from our empathy, compassion and forgiveness. All the laws of God, and all the efforts of God’s emissaries throughout the time of Man, are summed up in everything do to others as we would have others do to us. Upon only two commands do all the laws of God, and Their emissaries, hang:

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

    Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV2011)

    Who is my neighbor? The one who shows me mercy is my neighbor; no matter what exclusive physical tribe, language, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation or ability (s)he might be associated with. God’s laws are all, according to the Messiah, relational and thereby apply equally in force in heaven (spirit) and on earth (physical).

    As a side note: all physical life will end as all physical life has had a beginning. Spiritual life knows no beginning and no end relative to the awareness and influence of God/Allah (God has no name and each presence within is known by their unique spirit essence of heart, soul, strength, mind). The second death, noted in the Bible, is the only exclusive act of God by separating destructive (sin full) individual spirit awareness and influence (the image of God) from an awareness and influence within the hearts, souls, strengths, and minds who are immersed in the Holy Spirit to live with and in God bound in all love as one forever more, no end, no pause, beginning today.

    Thank you for your questions. I probably have done more to increase your list of questions than I have answered.

    The most important message I can share with you today is that the Spirit of truth is right there in your midst. He can teach of the aware and influential God who graced you Their image as you can bear. Ask Him to lead you in the Way to be aware and influential forever more.

    I can only teach of God as I know Them from my infinitesimally small perspective as not even a crawling spirit infant of Allah. The God, who I know from within Their care, is inclusive to all who seek to be constructive for all time for all others.

    I am convinced that it will take me past eternity before I can know all things, adventure in all ways, and love as fully as does my Allah. My God, without pause and end today, teaches me, nurtures me, is empathetic to me, is compassionate to me, forgives my childish errors, provides for all my needs, and will never leave me orphaned.

    Love you!

  • gimpi1

    Oh, heavens, that’s horrible… that’s the worst example I’ve ever seen of the weird demand many Christian groups seem to have for total conformity. The pain they cause is truly hard to forgive and I doubt I’d try. This may be a case of realizing that you’ve seen their true colors, and that they are pretty ugly.

    That they would involve a child in disputes about minutiae of their parent’s beliefs says they are just cruel. They want to cause pain, and don’t care where that pain is felt. It’s despicable.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

  • gimpi1

    This is one reason why I absolute hate gossip. People’s lives are ruined by gossip. Careers are destroyed. Marriages are ripped apart. Friendships are shattered. Heck, people die from gossip. Suicides, murders and lynchings have all occurred due to gossip. I’m sorry you were its target.

  • gimpi1

    That’s possible. It’s also possible that it has something about the way you put your views forward. We’ve corresponded a few times, and I’m sorry to tell you this,but occasionally you’ve come across as, well, kind of rude, to be frank. I get that you are confident of your views, but it might help to learn to use a few qualifiers such as “I think,” or “It seems to me.” I know can feel ‘fake’ if one is sure they’re right, but it really helps take the sting out of differences – it shows that they are understood to be differences to be discussed, not reasons for attack or abandonment. Just a thought…

  • gimpi1

    How so?

  • gimpi1

    Um, offering ‘help,while “Watch(ing) their way of life crumble and be destroyed in front of you…” sounds kind of creepy. How do you mean that?

  • gimpi1

    So, do you understand that part of what Dr. Corey was upset about was how people he considered friends tuned on him for a difference of opinion? Because that’s what he’s talking about in this piece, not the best way to address wage-stagnation or the working poor.

  • gimpi1

    OK, you’re doing a form of ghosting right here. You’re declaring that you, and only you, know the truth and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong. You acknowledge no reasonable difference, no nuance, no history and no differing experience. When someone won’t simply submit, you attack.

    This sort of thing is the problem being discussed here. Can’t you see that?

  • gimpi1

    I agree. I don’t exactly share your or Ben’s beliefs, but I generally learn things on this blog, and I find Ben to be one of the best writers on Christianity that I’ve read. I understand his beliefs, his heart for others and his willingness to take risks through his writings, and that’s a whole lot more convincing to me than someone throwing around random Bible verses and cultural condemnation. I’ve learned more here about why someone would embrace Christianity than anywhere else.

  • gimpi1

    Is James’s use of a swear word really more important than comforting Ben right now? This really seems to be an example about caring about the wrong thing – something that does no harm rather than the pain Dr. Corey and his family has been dealing with.

  • Terri

    Thanks gimpi1. This is ghosting done right in front of my face, with distant smiles and vague cheery comments to continue to appear kind and Christian to themselves, while shunning someone (to use Linda Claggett Takacs’s term).

    It’s chilling and painful. I’ve selected another church to attend even though my husband still goes to this church and is a church officer here. This’ll be an interesting situation. Thanks for your kind words.

    I’m sure I have been guilty of some sort of ghosting at some point; but from now on I am going to be very aware of what I’m doing and not ghost people.

  • Terri

    So sorry Monica. That’s awful. You matter.

  • Terri

    As LostMySouthernGraces and others have pointed out, the writer failed to comply. He failed to agree spiritually with everything, he failed to seek more power over his wife (a built-in power imbalance that is obvious to everyone being considered biblical), and worst of all, he failed to agree politically or else keep his trap shut. Non-compliance is met with lecturing (at best), shunning, and other unchristian practices. The long comment above is Exhibit A.

  • Terri

    A bit of balance: Many atheists are notorious sexists as well. I can’t speak to how various groups have experienced atheism, but women struggle to be heard there as well as other places. The ideology considers women equal in theory (as Christianity says women are equal no matter how they’re treated or regarded) but in practice, men still struggle with this, even in atheism.

    It does seem much more open and accepting than Christianity, but it’s not perfect either.

  • Herm

    … and you are recognized and loved equally here as with all who seek to be constructive for all others. Thank you for being here for us!

  • Margaret Wolfinbarger

    This happened to me when I chose to reconcile with my adulterous husband and I had to leave the church I loved. I lost many friends and it was terribly painful. I didn’t know there was a word for it. This reopened so many wounds, but naming it–I believe–will help me to heal. Thank you for writing this piece. It will truly help me to heal. And also to forgive those who so callously hurt me.

  • They Live

    What idea started 50 years ago? Jesus died for sinners, but we have to appropriate that through faith in Christ. As he states in the John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Also further clarified in Acts 4:6, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” What has changed in the last 50 years?

  • Kelly Minter

    You sound kind of angry, and are coming across as pretty mean. Do you have something you want to talk about? On some level I can see where you are coming from, but maybe there is a better way to go about it? Just something to think about.

  • gimpi1

    If you’d read his writings and looked into his various charitable activities and outreach actions, you would not likely claim he could be a “rascal.”

    Also, short of violence, there’s no excuse for simply walking away from someone you consider a friend during their hard times. You don’t abandon them when they are dealing with adoptions falling through or marital strife. You just don’t.

    This “ghosting” or shunning practice is common in enough churches, and done over minor doctrinal or political differences that I see no reason to assume Ben isn’t being honest. Do you?

  • gimpi1

    Check out Sarah, down-thread. People being shunned for taking appropriate medication – often for psychological issues but also sometimes for other physical illnesses -are shunned by those who regard illness as “weakness” or a sign of “lack of faith.” In “prosperity Gospel” groups, people can be shunned for losing a job or suffering a foreclosure. People have been shunned for having a child born with a birth-defect, for having a child run away, for accepting a gay child. This is real and nasty.

  • gimpi1

    “You are all whiners and complainers, please get a life”

    That’s rude. You’re dismissing the pain that people feel when supposed friends boot them out for minor disagreements or nothing at all. Yes, blowing someone off, someone you’ve claimed to love, because they support a higher minimum wage or tighter firearm restrictions is cruel and stupid. Doing it because others have pressured you to do it in the name of a united front is cowardly.

  • apoxbeonyou

    What war against Christians?

  • percy82

    Our Lord was ghosted in his final hours. Only John remained.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Why are you reading this blog? Also, Proggies don’t really believe in evangelizing anyway, as far as I know.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Q: Evidence? Counter-point? Reasonable Argument?
    A: None!

  • Herm

    Amber, you clearly have not even begun to reach to pick up your own cross.

  • gimpi1

    Well, I can speak best to geology. My husband is a geologist and I have picked up a few things (along with lots of rocks). As to the Bible being inerrant:

    The world is 4.5 billion years old and change. The moon is slightly younger, and appears to have been created as the result of a collision between the early earth and another, smaller early planetoid. The sun pre-dates both the earth and the moon, having sucked up around 99% of all the matter in our solar system. At least. this model is, right now, the best way we have of understanding it. It answers questions, conforms to the laws of physics and has some predictive abilities. However, since it mostly pre-dates the geologic record, we don’t have evidence in the geologic record – except for remnants from the late, heavy bombardment period and the evidence the moon’s chemistry and surface shows us.

    The fossil record clearly shows several mass extinctions, and many different explosions of different life forms. It also shows the development of all modern life forms (including us) from other, earlier ones. This is easy to see in the fossil record, which is part of Earth’s geologic record. Common ancestry and the biological evolution of life is as proven as plate tectonics.

    Speaking of plate tectonics, the current position of the continents, their rate of movement and the clear evidence that they were conjoined once is also clear evidence for a old earth. This is all clearly shown in the geologic record.

    Humans are relative newcomers on earth. So are many modern forms of life. Our age is pretty clearly shown in the fossil record – a part of the geologic record.

    There never was a “great flood” a worldwide flood at any time when humans were extant on earth. Now, there have been massive regional floods as the last ice age ended and water – previously locked up in ice – was released or ice-dams fractured. These may have formed the basis for that idea, but a world-wide flood would have left distinct evidence in the geologic record, and it’s not there. Massive, regional floods – yes. A worldwide flood? No.

    I have to say, when someone claims the Bible as a science text, I can’t help but dismiss what they say, since it’s clearly not true.

  • They Live

    Does it not disappoint you one bit that someone is blogging and selling books on the credit of these multiple degrees, as an authority on Christianity, and doesn’t have anything better to share than this? I find it extremely disappointing. What he wrote is not spiritual food four anyone’s soul and his scriptural application only suits his victim complex. There is no power in that, no testimony. If he were just some guy at church I wouldn’t be so direct, but he is a self described “theologian” and a christian author.

    I’m sure his plight is difficult (as is everyone’s), but where is the real spiritual substance here? Anyone can complain and blame someone else. All this does is appease his own flesh and appeal to yours, we can all identify. This is low-realm living.

    You know what we need to hear? We need to hear about how God healed his heart and he forgave those people in sincerity and love that flowed from the inside out. We need to hear about how God set him free from this prison of self pity he wrote the article from. That is what begins to do God justice and it brings life by inspiring hope and faith. This is a counterfit, just look at the fruit. This guy wants people to feel sorry for him and to take his side against people that he is maligning constantly in writing and in his own heart. It is trash under the guise of a christian blog. I just discovered this guy today, but judging from his other posts, he is not free and is not operating in the life and freedom of God. There is no testimony here, no life. You can see the fruit and the commentary he attracts. Just look through the comments, it is other wounded people with a chip on their shoulder. Do you know what I see? I see people who aren’t in a position to know God well enough to let Him clarify and heal them. They are all seeing him through a lens of people at church or some other circumstance, but they are stuck to varying degrees and come here to feed at this wounded expert’s trough. This isn’t a work of God, it is an extension of a wounded man. Jesus has much better news than being wounded, angry, and depressed.

  • gimpi1

    For me, truth is about facts. If there is no way to factually verify something, it can’t be defined as truth. I can’t simply decide to believe something without verifying it, or decide that it’s “true” when evidence shows it’s not.

  • gimpi1

    Very true. Many religious, political and even social groups demand a huge amount of conformity, and ostracize anyone who won’t or can’t conform. Religion often brings in an unpleasant “we’re the chosen/true-believers/most-pure aspect, but it happens in many sorts of groups. Forming and restricting cliques is one of the more destructive things people do.

  • gimpi1

    What you need to understand is that your opinion is no basis for law. You can believe to your heart’s content that gay people are confused/misled/satanic or whatever. You don’t get to restrict their lives based on that. You just don’t.

    It’s no different than those folks who, in the past, used the Bible to argue against interracial relationships. Now, I know you think that you’re right. You may think they were wrong. That matters not a bit. They are every bit as entitled to their beliefs (nonsense,but their beliefs) as you are. They are no more entitled to force them on others or restrict their choices than you are.

    Believe what you want. You have no right to enshrine your beliefs in law. That is not what a free society is about.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    I’m not the brother in question, but, speaking for myself, defending “Christianity in general” is no way to respond to his complaint. If you’re a committed Christian, you should read the piece carefully, talk about it with friends and fellowship-group members, and search your own heart: will you be tempted to commit the same sin as Corey’s ex-friends? Because, if you’re on the side of the relationship that has the more power to do damage, this behavior is not only cruel — it’s a cop-out.

  • gimpi1

    I’ll try:

    You took his pain and blamed him for talking about it. You somehow assume that simply ignoring the situation is better. It’s not.

    You also aren’t holding the people behaving in a hypocritical, cowardly way responsible for their actions.

    The only way to fix a problem is to start by acknowledging it. Right now, many Christian churches have big issues with demanding total conformity on relatively minor matters. There’s nothing in Scripture that either demands or decries a higher minimum wage or gun regulations. Yet these issues are a big deal… why? Because of the need for conformity and the discomfort many churches have developed over differences of opinion.

    How can any group that has developed this sort of cliquish, fearful behavior change it if no one calls them on it?

    To use a Christian phrase, think about your witness. I’m not a believer. When I hear about this sort of thing and especially when I see it defended, I pull away. Its ugly and nasty. You might want to fix that….

  • gimpi1

    Being a strong advocate of any position will place you at odds with other people.”

    Why? Can’t Christians agree to disagree on tangential issues like gun-regulations or the rate of the minimum wage? Why do some groups insist on total conformity and regard anyone who disagrees on minor or tangential points as needing to “pay the price?”

    Oh, and here’s a tip; If you lead off with a phrase like “Stop whining…,” when someone is clearly in pain, most people will assume you are a jerk. Only jerks ridicule people in pain.

  • gimpi1

    He did point out how people will turn and hustle away from him if they see him on the street or in a store. It’s hard to attempt to reconcile with people who won’t talk to you. I’ve read about this, and it’s nasty. People literally declare you “dead to them” and won’t acknowledge you. There’s no reconciling with them that doesn’t involve abject surrender, and even that may not do the trick.

  • gimpi1

    Well said.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Encouraging people to be LGBTetc is harmful to them. Their confusion is simply that. Confusion.”
    Bullshit. I am not, in any sense, “confused” or “struggling with [my] sexual identity.”

    You are the one who is confused if you think presenting who and what I am as “confused” is a “kindly” way to treat people.

  • Jennifer A. Nolan

    Or, at least, a church whose members would GHOST!

  • gimpi1

    Again, perhaps you can tell me, why do churches demand such conformity? I’m an outsider to your faith. (And likely to remain one, perhaps, since I don’t do conformity well at all.) I just don’t get this.

    Most professional and social associations I know of wouldn’t freak out if someone voiced a different opinion on the minimum wage or gun regulations. Now, if someone called for re-instituting slavery or executing women for wearing miniskirts, maybe. But, within basic boundaries of normal, you just don’t see this. We can agree to disagree.

    Religion appears to change that. Why? Is it the “God says I’m right” factor? Is is fear of “ungodly contamination?” Is it something else, something I can’t even guess at? Why are so many religious people unable to simply let disagreements go and still like, associate with and help out someone they don’t agree with?

    What’s up? Anyone?

  • gimpi1

    Why? Do conservatives demand such conformity? Are you saying they’re worse than progressives in that regard?

    Also, why are you so unsympathetic to someone in obvious pain? Don’t you give a damn? If not, well, why bother posting? Just to rub salt in the wound? Now, that’s nice…

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, I caught that, too.

  • gimpi1

    What are you talking about?

  • gimpi1

    “How can two walk together unless they are agreed?”

    It’s easy. You simply decide that the thing you don’t agree over simply isn’t as important than the friendship. You can agree to disagree on the need for a higher minimum wage or gun regulations. Our experiences often teach us different things, and sometimes there simply isn’t one right answer to many problems in society. The whole idea that people have to be in agreement over every detail of their every thought is weird…

    Look, you can like someone who loathes Parmesan cheese on their pasta. You just don’t order the same thing in the restaurant. Why are differences on matters where there is clearly room for disagreement not like that?

  • Hanna Metsola

    I pray your scars continue to stretch and soften, so that one day they do not pain every time something or someone pokes at them by accident or by design. I know the scars never really heal.
    I’ve seen this happen many times. This piece mainly had me going through my friends and hoping none of them have ever felt this way about me. Though something that total would take deliberate abandoning and that I have not done so far.
    I actually find that your way of telling this story is full of grace. I can’t detect the bitterness some seem to read into this.

  • TS (unami)

    First of all… paragraphs, please.

    I doubt that you’re a qualified medical professional with the experience and personal contact with patients to justify calling *anyone* who might be LGBT “confused”. Perhaps, just perhaps, you might be “confused” about what it means to be LGBT in the first place.

  • TS (unami)

    Showing your true side, again, eh?

  • TS (unami)

    “Blame the victim” doesn’t always apply, does it? Especially when the shunning/ghosting was *initiated* and *perpetuated* by the ones doing the shunning.

  • TS (unami)

    Blaming Ben for the ungodly actions of others… and telling *him* to repent?
    Wow.
    Just, wow.

  • Lark62

    Read the comments. Benjamin’s honesty and openness in this post have brought comfort to a lot of people.

    No one needs your permission to feel what they feel.

  • Lark62

    Yes, as someone once said

    If two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary.

    Disagreements challenge us and give us opportunity to learn.

  • AJ

    “Low-Realm” living? This ain’t the Lord of the Rings

  • Brenda Finnegan

    God bless you, dear Mr. Corey. The depth of your pain is obvious through your message shared here. I know similar pain, and it is a lonely, lonely place. I sat for five hours in a empty waiting room while my husband underwent surgery with no one to share this experience with, no one to comfort me, to pray with, to tell me it was going to be OK. No one. Thank you for offering me the one prayer that I can honestly say: “God forgive them” (because I am not ready to do it myself yet). “They know not what they do.”(And please Lord, bring them to an understanding of what they did, because until they do, I do not know how we can reconcile.)

  • gimpi1

    Yes! Absolutely. Look, I get that someone trying to raise a child on a minimum wage job may have a different perspective than someone trying to staff their dream-restaurant in a high minimum wage area. And that’s fine. Perhaps, by talking about their perspectives, they can learn something. Maybe, even find a compromise or a new solution to the problem… it could happen.

    I don’t totally agree with anyone (including myself). Why are people threatened with different ideas and experience? Every commonplace element of our society was new and likely threatening to someone at some point. This demand for conformity is truly weird.. at least to me.

  • gimpi1

    Ick. The “distant smiles and vague cherry comments” are just salt in the wound. People using them to feel better about their despicable actions are, well, despicable.

    Best of luck. I hope you and your husband can work around this. Personally, if any group treated my husband the way this group treated you, I’d bounce out of it so fast I’d rebound. Is there some reason he’s staying?

  • gimpi1

    Aww, thanks, Herm.

  • Herm

    Brenda, in no way is this meant as a judgment, this is truly empathetic, been there. You must forgive them to relieve yourself of this painful burden, for your sake, not theirs. You made a good step in caring enough to ask your Father to forgive them. Jesus Christ first forgave those who persecuted Him before asking His Father.

    For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV2011)

    If it helps, many here feel your pain and wish we could heal it ourselves, even if by taking it upon ourselves. I really hope that your husband’s surgery was constructive, that he is healing, and you two are again one. The deepest pains are not with those under anesthesia but is with those those who count the hours without end, alone, who care enough to consciously consider all the what ifs for those they love. It is time for you to heal that you may share your all together.

  • Matthew Barrett

    I appreciate that the author defined ghosting. Thank you. As to the rest of the article… A bleak picture is painted. The word “I” is used a lot. Finger pointing is done. The “sins” of others are sensationalized. Everyone else seems to be at blame for the authors problems. The author does not seem to possess sin. The author paints a hopeless picture. Where is God in this article?

  • Herm

    Aww, gee whiz :-)!!! Thank you, Mrs. gimpi1! The sun is shining in the great N.W., today!

  • gimpi1

    And supposed to for the rest of the week. My tomatoes may actually ripen on the vine this year!

  • Herm

    Though it concludes the commands through which you inherit eternal life, love begins with you and from you, for you can only love your merciful neighbor to the degree you love yourself. You are not told to love the Lord your God with all love but only all the love you can possibly bear from your whole self. God can bear infinitely more love to give to you first. Perhaps, it would help to count how many times Christ Jesus used the word “I” before you judge the speck in “The author“‘s eye. I noticed that you began your judgment with the word “I”. I saw no hopeless picture in the article when it concluded with practicing forgiveness.

  • Phil

    Actually Jesus had a bad weekend for sinners. He came back to life remember?

  • sblawyer

    You must be a special kind of snowflake if a comment on a blog can make you physically ill. Where in his story did he say that they won’t take his calls, or respond to his emails. He said they don’t call or email him anymore. I’m not blaming him for being shut out, but if I were in his shoes and saw my wife and daughter being hurt, I would have been proactive from the beginning to find out what was going on that actually caused my friends to ignore me. I suspect there’s more to this story than he has written, but then it wouldn’t have elicited so many comments that basically say, “Oh, you poor man. How rude of your friends. You were totally justified in letting your family suffer at their hands. You should never try to reconcile with them because they are evil.”

  • sblawyer

    I wouldn’t say that is obvious. I’ve been shunned, and if the relationships were important to me, I tried to talk with the people to find out what happened. They aren’t always willing to discuss it, and in that case there’s nothing more you can do.
    What I think is obvious is that your reading comprehension is obviously lacking because you totally missed my point.

  • TS (unami)

    For those of us who have been mercilessly shunned, this is no academic discussion. This reality of our lives hurts… a *lot*.

    In my case, I was rejected by a church where I’d spent most of my life, a place where my family was active and integral to the life and growth of the parish. When I finally came out as LGBT, we were rejected by our priest (who we’d known forever it seemed) and the families and friends we’d shared our lives and table with frequently. To be completely cut off, and then hear *nothing* — no word from anyone, just *silence* — was beyond cruel.

    This is not an example of Christian charity or love. It is not “putting out a sister” until she repents. This is fear and ostracism and hard-hearted callousness that none of us who claim His name should do to one another, either inside or outside the church.

  • apoxbeonyou

    You are welcome at my church :)

  • TS (unami)

    Thank you, wullaj :-)

    For a while, I seriously thought about just walking away from faith, but we’ve since found a wonderful accepting Episcopal parish nearby, and they have welcomed all of us completely.

  • apoxbeonyou

    You know how many articles Dr. Corey has written? A lot. Can’t cover everything in one article.

  • TS (unami)

    No, he is telling others who have experienced this in their own lives, that they are not alone. That they matter to God even though they have been horribly mistreated by fellow Christians.

  • TS (unami)

    Your going to lecture her, while excusing people who physically turn away from Ben and walk away when they see him?

  • apoxbeonyou

    Thank God for the American Church of England :)

  • apoxbeonyou

    Also, blogs aren’t “Christian”. There are blogs written by people who try to follow the Gospel; i.e., the teachings of Christ. Feel free to be a ‘hater’, but I, personally, am incontrovertible proof of Dr. Corey’s fruits. I would not be healed of my hatred of organized religion without Dr. Corey and people like him.

  • TS (unami)

    Gotta love that big boat of the Anglican Communion! :-)

  • sblawyer

    Nope, I never excused them. Not once. As for “lecturing her”, I just see it as hyperbole if someone says she (or he, I can’t tell by the name) became physically sick from reading a comment on someone else’s blog. She must be a very fragile person if this were true.

  • TS (unami)

    It’s a figure of speech. Surely, you’re not taking that literally, are you?

    Her point was that your lack of empathy toward others is a serious problem.

  • otrotierra

    Oh, so glad to hear the rest of your story. I was about to post a list of affirming denominations, though there are plenty of lists and other resources online. Thrilled to know you have a new faith community.

  • sblawyer

    No, that’s more than a figure of speech. “You make me sick” is a figure of speech. “Your comment makes me physically ill” is not. But, whatever. I don’t lack empathy at all. I just tend to take a big-picture view, and I’ve been around long enough to know that relationships don’t usually break down in a vacuum, where one person just abandons another person without what they believe is a good reason. You really seem to have a hard time grasping my point about both sides taking ownership of the breakdown and making an effort to reconcile. It’s pretty simple, so if you can’t grasp it by now, I am giving up hope that you will get it no matter what words I use.

  • They Live

    I’m not familiar with that reference.

  • They Live

    All hail the great “Doctor” right? Go ahead and stroke his ego, he needs it.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t believe for one second that evolution is a fact of any kind. All their scientific evidence is pure conjecture as far as I’m concerned. Your so called proof of evolution is pure fantasy in my book.
    God/Jesus is absolute fact as far as I’m concerned.
    All I have to do is look at this world around us and know it couldn’t happened by accident.
    Evolution and your scientific evidence of its existence is a complete hoax.

  • They Live

    If you read between the lines, he is clearly having a pity party and attacking a straw man. Hardly respectable behavior from a christian “expert”. Where is the redemption and the power to live again? Nowhere… it isn’t there. Don’t coddle someone like this. You think you are helping them and you aren’t.

  • They Live

    Funny, he doesn’t sound like he is over anything in this article. It could have happened yesterday. His version of God isn’t greater than his situation. Again, this isn’t a testimony. It is the musings of a depressed pretender.

  • They Live

    Well I would say healing the broken heart and forgiving others are pretty basic concepts. Odd that those are not represented here in any way. His other post titles seem to be aimed at stirring up strife as well. This ship isn’t going anywhere you want it to go.

  • D.M.S.

    You and your ilk are more than welcome to believe the baloney of evolution.
    But you’re not going to FORCE us Christians to believe in evolution.
    I’ve noticed when we Christians want to believe in God/Jesus. You atheist want to attack us Christians with ridicule.
    If you want to believe evolution go right ahead, I won’t mind in the least.

  • Speaking as someone who is not a Christian: no, “cruelest, insensitive, hateful” are accurate adjectives in this context.

    I’m a wee bit tired of people who seem to think that the only bar they need to clear to achieve moral and intellectual greatness is “don’t be Christian.”

  • They Live

    The minute he posts his diary for the world to see, he opened himself up to debate. He is a big boy and I’m sure he realizes that. Anyone can be honest and open. However, what I expect to hear from someone who makes a living claiming to be an expert on Jesus is how God can heal you and set you free. Anyone can give you a pat on the back, God is much better to us than just that.

  • DebbyJane65

    I found a Church that I thought was “home”. Then this “home” became unbearable. I never thought that “Church People” could do that! The manipulation and disregard has been very painful. Now, I see it as a “resting place”; a stepping stone; for over a decade! God’s timing is not the same as mine. I miss “being there’. I thought I was a part of “something special” and I wanted to be “more” than what the religious minded could not see. I keep praying. God continues to take care of me.

  • D.M.S.

    By trying to force Christians to believe in atheism.
    Why is our Christian belief in God/Jesus so upsetting to atheist?

  • D.M.S.

    I’ve never taken a comparative religions class.

  • D.M.S.

    Faith and prophecy.

  • Matthew Barrett

    As for the forgiveness piece, He’s asking, “God”, to forgive them but not really. The article seems to be an angry rant complete with profanity. This type of article is common today, one of many. “Ghosting” is serious. As for judgement, the article is being critiqued, not the author. An article should not be written in such a way. It does not present a good witness. It’s hard to take the author seriously.

  • D.M.S.

    Oh’ contraire!
    The 17th century must be good for the theory of evolution as well.
    Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed his theory of evolution as the transmutation of the species in the late 17th century.

  • D.M.S.

    What do you want to talk about?

  • apoxbeonyou

    Read what you want, lol. I get a lot from these blogs. They make me think.

  • apoxbeonyou

    How is he a pretender?

  • apoxbeonyou

    Sounds like you love stroking your own ego with these responses. You get the giggles when you troll?

  • TS (unami)

    Thanks otrotierra! I’m glad too! :-)

  • TS (unami)

    Oh, I get it… You alone understand perfect stranger’s situations and the details involved.
    Gotcha.

  • TS (unami)

    You “seem to have a hard time grasping” that sometimes the fault actually *does* lie with those who chose to just *walk away* from someone, without an explanation, a word or any communication at all. And then they continue to refuse any attempts to reach them.

    It’s not *always* both sides taking equal ownership.

  • special kind of snowflake

    I will never get over how a character designed by a gay man to represent toxic masculinity and its depths of wrongness has become memetic within the culture of the very people he was criticizing.

  • It also helps to be aware, rational, scientifically literate and honest and willing to face life as it is, rather than how we would only like it to be.
    Anyone that follows ancient doctrines and cannot figure out things for himself in today’s information age is certainly not any of these things.

  • TS (unami)

    No, I think perhaps your attempt to read something in-between the lines is clouding your understanding that this is a human being relating an all-too-common occurrence in the church today.

  • Herm

    Would you like me to share what I read between your lines?

  • Herm

    You are full of colloquialisms but no references to any authority other than your own. Help us out here, else woe to you blind guides and teachers of your law.

  • Herm

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

    Matthew 7:1-6 (NIV2011)

    You expect too much from children of God who are not expected to be of the caliber of their Father nor have the authority of their sibling Lord. If you do not see the empathy, compassion and forgiveness here you do not know the divine love of our God.

  • Ohhhh, no, no, no. People absolutely do get shunned in atheism, condemned socially, and relegated to the out-groups. Just for slightly different criteria.

    I say this as someone who was made an unperson by most of the rest of their entire family — of atheists.

    Because I told them I’m trans.

  • Troy Boyle

    That isn’t an example of being shunned by the atheist “community” AnonymousSam. That’s an example of familial intolerance and ignorance. I have multiple trans friends on my Facebook page. You are welcome to add me as a friend. I have 5,000 like-minded atheists on my page that will welcome you.

  • Ah, so what you’re saying is that dismissing people as pathetic, stupid children isn’t “mean,” it’s just the truth which those of superior rationality are able to comprehend in a way those of outdated dogmatic beliefs are not.

    Which is curiously like the logic those of outdated dogmatic beliefs tend to espouse, only dressed up in a veneer of modern enlightenment rather than an appeal to traditionalism. Both rely on an interesting system of “believe it and then you’ll see it” perception filters, using the conclusion itself as a litmus test for the veracity of the evidence. Add in poorly understood Nietzsche-esque philosophies and you have the modern anti-theist.

    Another thing they resemble: a cleaver. All edge, no fucking point.

  • Kim

    I agree, They Live. Paul had a lot of problems of folks turning from his doctrine, but he forgave and moved on. This guy is pretty angry over all of this. Got to walk in love and let it go.

  • Al Cruise

    No, my comprehension is very good. You don’t understand shunning. You are also placing the blame on the author. Typical blame the victim. If you read the blog again he did try to reach out. I hope your not a lawyer and it’s only a name you use.

  • Kim

    I agree, They Lived. There’s a lot of anger in that post. God’s word says Walk in love, forgive, let it go. There isn’t any ‘letting go’ here, just, they hurt me and I”m effing pissed. Nope, sorry, doesn’t hold water. We all go through it and we all get over it.

  • I don’t think Corey was referring to having been shunned by the Christian community at large either. Put the extended family which shut me out in a building once or more often a week and let someone drone on about the moral failings of kids these days and the two groups would be largely indistinguishable, except mine would be more poorly dressed. XD

    My point is that atheists are just as capable of shunning people as Christians, and I have plenty of friends who cite having been ejected from atheist groups under similar circumstances that I don’t think it’s an exception so much as it’s only less visible because atheists tend not to gather under that moniker or act in its name. Take any group of like-minded people and introduce an outsider who doesn’t mesh well with them, however, and you’ll likely soon see some attempt to eject them from its boundaries — formally if the means exist to do so, and with polite (or sometimes not) refusal to engage otherwise. I think it’s more part of human nature than due to the traits of the group in question, religious or otherwise, but it probably doesn’t help (as with Christianity) if the group is actively encouraged to cut off ties with others.

  • Kim

    T Sawesome, don’t you want to see the other side of the story? Their side? I do. I’d like to hear why they walked away from him. You don’t walk from someone b/c they have a difference of opinion. You walk away b/c someone acted like a jerk. It’s good that you want to stand up for him, but I’d like to hear the other side of the story before I rally around him.

  • Kim

    Agreed.

  • Kim

    Herm, I”d like to see verses that say, I’m not expected to be the caliber of my Father nor have the authority of my sibling Lord. No, that’s not what God’s word says. Eph 5:1 says Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children

    And, yes Luke 10:19 says I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. iN other words, Jesus gave me His authority.

    I think I”m just going to move on b/c you all seem to use the verses you want to use and ignore the rest. Bye!! I’m out of here!! I’ll let you all defend this guy all you want. I’m gone!!

  • TS (unami)

    I disagree, Kim, that the *only* reason people walk away is because the one being scorned is “acting like a jerk”.

    In my own case, I had done nothing to any of the people who decided to turn their backs on me and my family — despite years of relationship. When they learned that I am a lesbian, suddenly to them I was “unclean”. I had previously approached my priest in humility and asked for help with how to reconcile my orientation with our church tradition (Russian Orthodox). His response was to cast me out. The people we had been friends with for decades acted like they never knew us. I hardly “acted like a jerk” and yet still received this kind of treatment.

  • paganmegan

    This is not merely ghosting. What it looks like to me is church discipline gone awry. Even assuming your expressed views violated church bylaws, proper discipline would have allowed you to defend yourself, rather than employing the cowardly approach used by the members of your church. (You didn’t mention whether your minister or another elder might have been behind this.)

    There may be times when it’s appropriate for a church and a member to part ways. However, any church that doesn’t at minimum visit with the member, allow him to share his side of the story, and explain the church’s response, is engaging in persecution, not discipline. Inasmuch as such behavior generally entails bearing false witness against the “guilty” party, it puts that church in a state of sin.

    It’s not just a matter of whether you forgive them; it’s a matter of whether God does, especially since it put your daughter’s faith in jeopardy. This is serious, millstone around the neck and being thrown into the sea, kind of stuff.

    Sadly, people who are persecuted by their fellow Christians are often not in a good position to complain because they’ll be accused of airing the church’s dirty laundry. In effect, they get persecuted for being persecuted, as can be seen by some of the comments here.

    As for your friend, I’d like to think I’d leave my church before I’d betray a friend.
    –Matt 5:11,12

  • disqus_YCbqnqQaEX

    I don’t think you understand my comment or I don’t understand yours. We are saved through grace by faith. Yes you have to accept Christ to be saved. I am talking about people who have been mis lead through evangelism that has strayed from that truth. My sister was raised Christian. She says all the right things but has been taught by her minister to shun anyone who claims to be a Christian but continues to sin. That would be ALL of us. I am not talking about a person who refuses to repent. She says if you own a television or go to the movies, you aren’t saved. The misconception is that once you are saved, you are incapable of ever sinning again. Not true. We are not saved by our works. We cannot earn salvation by doing good deeds. The 50 years I am talking about is her minister is 70 years old. He has been preaching since he was 20. He teaches that if HE (her minister) doesn’t see fruit, you aren’t saved. The bible clearly states that you should go in a dark closet when you pray and not in the street to impress other humans. People who do that, already have their reward. I have helped a lot of people but I do it for God privately. Not to impress my sister. Man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart. Any religion that suddenly pops up in modern times is probably manmade. I am not talking about ALL evangelists. Just the ones who have perverted God’s truth by adding their opinion to the word of God as if it were Gospel. If you have never been shunned, you probably can’t understand. (Linda Claggett Takacs)

  • disqus_YCbqnqQaEX

    I’m sorry I don’t understand your comment. Yes He came back to life and died to save those who would choose Him, believe in Him and follow Him. But ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s glory so let no man boast. When you shun people because you think their sins are worse than yours, I feel this is being proud and boastful and not following the Christian values of love and forgiveness. (Linda C. Takacs)

  • Terri

    The Christian high school where he works is a boarding school, and the church where we attend is the congregation for the boarding school (for students, staff, and whatever community members want to attend). Puts him in a bit of an awkward position if he changes churches now. We’ve been here a decade, he’s school staff, and he serves in several church offices each year.

    He’s not *required* to attend there, strictly speaking. There are a few other staff members who don’t. But it wouldn’t be smiled upon if he changed churches, let’s put it that way.

    Still, this writer’s experience sounds just terrible. It does sound like he stuck around for a while, trying to make it work and find fellowship, but it just was never going to mesh again for him there. My heart goes out to him, because even though he needed to leave, it still hurts to lose the fellowship you used to have and thought you had. And it really hurts to be treated that way. And for your kid to be affected is inexcusable.

  • Colin Smith

    I don’t agree with you and I think everyone except you understood what I was saying. I’ll take dogmatic Christians over dogmatic atheists any day.

  • Terri

    Re the original post, this main poster in this thread does seem to want to *only* hear about victory at all times, otherwise it’s unchristian and self-pitying. If this poster only ever experiences victory, or only ever admits victory in his/her own life, that is a pretty destructive “Christianity.” I have been there and hope that this poster finds a perspective that works for sinful realities (including Christ’s life on this earth)–it will be healing and it will bring compassion.

  • Herm

    In answer to your query this verse should answer the status we each have when a child, born of the spirit, in God:

    At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

    He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

    Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV2011)

    Kim, in the full context of Luke 10:19 it in no way says Jesus gave you His authority. Why does it seem like all those who accuse us of using the verses we want, and ignoring the rest, never read the full context.

    After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

    “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

    “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

    “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades.

    “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

    The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

    He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

    At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

    “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

    Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

    Luke 10:1-24 (NIV2011)

    This is the only one with full authority and He wasn’t given it until after He rose from the dead:

    Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV2011)

    Perhaps, as you wipe the dust from your feet you might consider this to know the truth available to you:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    and this:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    and this if you truly wish to be a disciple (student) of Christ:

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    Yes, I do know the full context within which each of these scriptures came. You are welcome to stay and learn with us. It would help you to understand that we will be glad to use all scripture in context if you have the time to read it, we do. Scripture without living with and in the spirit of truth is only hearsay, known as testament new and old, and many of us here, filled with the Holy Spirit, know that there is only one living word of God and that is not the Bible.

  • Herm

    Thank you, Terri. The second prerequisite for anyone seeking to be a student follower of Christ is this:

    And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:27 (NIV2011)

    I do not feel the martyr but I certainly do know that I would lay down my life that another might live. That is one of the differences in my heart and mind when filled, without pause and end, with the Holy Spirit. On the cross I carry I would not consider my pain and anguish a victory over my enemy, but a service in love to my enemy, who does not know what they do.

  • D.M.S.

    Jesus rebuked the Pharasees for there traditions.
    The interdenominational church that I attend tries to live by scripture only.
    Not mankinds traditions.

  • D.M.S.

    Please describe organized religion?

  • Paul didn’t have a wife and 12 year old child. This is not an apt comparison. And excusing the wrongs committed against him while judging him for feeling hurt and abandoned is not Christian behavior. Are you willing to lose your entire life because you disagree with some people? Matthew 6:5 should be the guide. Are you a Christian or a Paulist?

  • Did those people he’s talking about forgive and let go of his trespasses? Did they turn the other cheek? Or did they decide punishment and exile were the most loving Christian thing to do?

  • otrotierra

    Or, you could instead follow what Jesus taught.

  • If you look back in history a bit to Martin Luther you can see this behavior in full view. Luther a Catholic priest directly challenged the authority of the Pope: he wanted changes. This led to his excommunication. His beliefs are the foundation of Protestantism. So today instead of 2 billion Catholics you have 1 billion and i billion Protestants.

    This behavior continues until today; my way or the highway. Even simple things like asking too many questions can get one in trouble with his group.

  • I really think it depends on the group being discussed. One can’t label “Christianity at large” in this discussion anymore than one can label “Islam-at-large” or “Judaism-at-large”.

    There are as many diverse groups in Christianity as in any other religion. And in the diversity you have subgroups. Like families.

    While it is true many social and professional associations wouldn’t freak out over those particular issues (unless they were made up of a particular political ideology) they might freak out over different issues. If the said professional/social organization was composed primarily of the opposite group they might “ghost” a member who voiced what ever was the unpopular view du jour. Why? Because we are dealing with human beings, some of whom are unhealthy emotionally, some whom have very strong feelings about particular issues (whatever they may be).

    It’s just my observations from being alive for a fairly long time. Folks are folks and sometimes regardless of their stated association they can be inconsistent, defensive, and over-reactionary (I am also included in that group! I don’t claim to be particularly better than anyone else!).

  • I simply read this as someone who shared their experience of a very difficult time in their lives. The point seems to be in the final two paragraphs: 1) Now you know what “ghosting” is, refuse to be someone who practices it, and 2) Pray forgiveness over the ones who have hurt you.

    This a a simple standard way of communicating in a brief talk or article: Lead with an illustration defining a problem or issue and then: offer a solution or lesson coming from the illustration.

    I thought it was quite effectively done. What strikes me as strange (well, not really–it sounds more like justification) is that so many would attack the author for sharing a difficult situation he experienced, second-guessing and reading between the lines. It is as if some feel they are better judges of someone they do not know and of their situation than the person who actually experienced and presumably knows a lot more about the situation than he has the time or space to explain.

    I am not a psychologist and the author did not ask me to evaluate his psyche or his response to his illustrative experience. Even if I were a therapist I would certainly not attempt to analyze someone from an article and especially when not invited to do so.

    So, how about acknowledging that “ghosting” does happen, it is painful to those who experience it, and admit it is a bad thing to do to someone?

    Does anyone disagree with the main points? It happens, it hurts, don’t do it, forgive those who do!

  • No. It doesn’t bother me. When someone hurts and grieves they are allowed to fully experience their grief. The blog is a personal sharing of a bad experience and the lessons he learned from it. The bad experience draws a reader in because most of us who have lived any length of time–especially in ministry–have experienced similar pain (if not exactly ghosting, similar tactics). We can say, “Yes, that’s what I’ve felt before. He understands what it means to struggle with this.”

    And then he makes his points: If you’ve been hurt this way, do not repeat the offense by ghosting others and pray God will forgive. Even if you haven’t gotten to the point of full forgiveness (it’s a journey folks), you keep on praying for those who have hurt you. Eventually integration will happen.

    Those who have been seriously wounded understand this. I recommend Miroslav Volf’s books Exclusion and Embrace and Free of Charge.

  • I don’t know exactly what experience you come from, so I hope you won’t see my comment as presumptuous. If it is, please forgive my insensitivity.

    But may I offer a counterpoint?

    It seems to me that humans in general are very good at breeding hate, division, discrimination, etc. whether it is a Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung or various religionists of all kinds of faiths and non-faiths.

    The common denominator is not belief in God or gods. The common denominator is humanity. We are very adept at latching on any excuse to protect ourselves and hurt others.

    The very existence of hospitals, hospices, orphan-care, elder-care, care for the homeless, etc.–especially in the Western tradition stems directly from belief in God, specifically in Christianity. (Most all of the Ivy League schools were theological schools of divinity).

    The explosive growth of Christianity in the first three centuries came because the Christians refused to flee from diseased cities when the wealthy did, but stayed behind to nurse even their enemies to health–often giving their own lives up to disease to nurse and care for others. They also buried the dead (the poor who had no professional associations to take care of their burial expenses), took care of the powerless and the outcast (usually widows and orphans). That impacted the culture of the first three centuries because it was not the norm in the Roman Empire.

    You say there is no God or gods? That is your right. I can’t. Not definitively. It’s not a provable (or disprovable) proposition. I choose to believe in God because it makes the most sense to me. Just my two cents. I am not seeking to convince you–but I did want to offer you a different perspective.

  • Bravo Sierra

    If religion is important to you, you might want to consider it.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m a Christian.
    I don’t believe in religion.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Well, that does not compute, unless you are you saying your Christian inclinations are more like having a relationship with an imaginary friend.

  • Kim

    Oh, you mean the part about walking as Paul did in letting stuff go, or this bible that you make up? I’m confused. bc you’re saying what Jesus taught, but Jesus taught to let things go, not be bitter about them. Or are we talking about a different bible? You know what really gets me are folks who say read the bible yet have no idea what it says. Why don’t you show me chapter and verse that says, be bitter, be angry and curse about others who do you wrong. Can you do that please?

  • Al Cruise

    The most important part of these stories is we can use them to warn others about these types of Churches. Stories like this are invaluable when it comes to teaching young people on how to discern a safe Church to attend. I use blog stories like these all the time with College young people. Mr Corey’s story is not a isolated case, this stuff happens all the time and there is always a student who can relate through a personal family experience. The way to stop it is by warning people not to join Churches like this and encourage anyone who attends and has doubts to leave and find a Church that loves the way Jesus did. It works, and these stories are powerful. The Mars Hill Seattle case,[shunning was a cornerstone] is literally one of the best teaching tools on planet to open the eyes of young people about wolves in sheep clothing and how to avoid such Churches.

  • Kim

    And so I guess we shouldn’t get the other side of the story either, right? Just throw out all these people that we have no clue what they did or not even hear their side, cause that the christian thing to do, right?? Gesh!! Do you folks even read your posts?? Do you ever read the bible at all?? You can’t just dismiss the church folks without hearing their side of the story. this isn’t rocket science. Personally I’d to hear their side before I jump to standing on this guy’s side, but I guess that’s not the christian thing to do right??

  • Kim

    I’m so sorry that had happened to you, no they shouldn’t have tossed you out of your Church and that is horrible. I’d like to hear the other side of Corey’s story as opposed to his congregation was mean to him. I won’t stand by his side until I hear them. He has a lot of bitterness in that blog and I wonder if that bitterness was the reason folks walked away. I don’t think he’s as innocent as he’s making himself out to be.

  • Where did I dismiss them? I pointed out that a few folks here are casting stones.

    From what I can tell, most people are just fine judging others until they’re in a similar position themselves. Then it’s different, or so they think.

  • Kim

    . Am I a Paulist?? LOL!! You do know that Paul had every right to be bitter and angry, right? You do know that Paul said to let go of all bitterness, right? And do you think it’s ok to dismiss the entire congregation? And did you even read Matt 6:5???? And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. I think you might want to read the verses before you post them. My point is that God’s word says we need to let junk go. I’ve been hurt by church people as much as this guy has and being bitter about it doesn’t help. Letting go and forgiving is the way to get through it. why? because God said so.

    And as for judging, maybe you should hear the other side of the story first. And please, look up your verses before posting them. And yes, I am do believe that Jesus died for my sins and now I stand before God forgiven. Why? B/c I read my bible. And this verse is in matt 6: 12 and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Or does this not make me a christian?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    “Doctor”?
    He can prescribe medicine?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Oh, do!

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You feel righteous when you ask rhetorical questions?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    LOL, yeah, big like the “Andrea Doria”.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    And so nobody’s doing it right?
    Great-which means I can dismiss all of you out of hand.
    And demand that you start paying your fair share of taxes!

  • Are you always this defensive? You didn’t answer my question. Would you be willing to walk away from you whole life because some within the church turned the congregation against you? Is that really fair to ask of someone?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So why bother to run twice as fast when you obviously stay in the same place?
    Why bother with the freak show of religion?

  • otrotierra

    Neither Dr. Corey nor wullaj ever made such a claim. Either you already know this or you have difficulty with elementary reading comprehension.

    In either case, educate yourself.

  • Kim

    Well, I was at a church in which some judged me harshly b/c I was struggling in my faith about finances and turned away from me. I had to forgive them and let it go. Was it painful? Yeap. So yeah, I’ve had it happen, so have others here on this board.It happens to almost all christians. I know you’re trolling and I get it. But you really need to focus on Jesus not trolling. And you didn’t ask me that question earlier. And again the christian response should be I’d like to hear the other side of the story, which you ignore. Yes, I know, trolling. So have a great evening!! Bye!!

  • I absolutely did ask you that question. Go back and read my whole post. I’m not trolling. I’m trying to call people’s attention to the way they’re judging. Some criticised you sharply. I’m sorry that happened to you. Did they get your best friend and the entire congregation to ghost not just you, but your children? Because no matter what their reasoning may have been, I cannot think of a single excuse for intentionally hurting someone’s child over something their parent did. No 12 year old should be held responsible for their parents’ actions.

  • TS (unami)

    Since I doubt that you’re Anglican, that sarcasm doesn’t phase me. Have a nice day!

  • D.M.S.

    If you think that I believe in what you consider religion.
    You think that anyway.

  • D.M.S.

    Religion is made by mankind.
    Christianity is made by Jesus Christ.

  • Gotta say, those “errors” tell me more about certain sects than I knew before and it scares me.

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    Definitely. :)

  • TS (unami)

    That’s sad.

  • Herm

    George, this is between They Live and I.

  • They Live

    What a ridiculous response, Jennifer. I’m starting to see a trend in this fan club. You don’t even realize kindness and someone reaching out when you see it. I wonder if the author perceived any overtures this way. You presuppose the church body as adversarial, but what you really have is a complex. I’m not surprised to see you here because this blog is practically a cult of victimhood, worshipping and planning around a life consumed with personal offense. You don’t have one scripture to justify this attitude. It is a doctrine of men who don’t know God well enough or just don’t believe Him. John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” God doesn’t hand us everything, we have to fight for quite a bit of it. Healing and freedom might be just beyone where the snowflakes melt.

  • Renee’ Flory

    Thanks for this article. I had never heard of this term before but I think it is so important to bring it up, as a warning to those found on both sides. For me, this has been a reality and a spiritual check. When I am in conflict with someone and find I don’t know what to say, I often simply go quiet. If I am not pursued in that ‘silence’, and knowing that I will be heard with love and patience, the silence slowly (or often fairly quickly) erodes the relationship. Honestly, I’d hate to think of those who have been hurt by my silence (and I can name a few), not realizing the devastation I have wrought. Working through that hurt is a real thing and can take time. Sometimes trust cannot be built again after that, or it a very difficult and risky thing that takes time, effort, honesty, grace, forgiveness…from both sides. Repentance, I’d say, from the offending side is a must. What that repentance actually needs to look like I’m not sure. Is it just the acknowledgment of the hurt we’ve caused or is it something deeper? I’d say the latter, in order for a relationship to be developed again. I say all this as I am realizing much lately of the sin of my silence and unintentional abandoning of others. Sometimes we simply grow apart. Other times there is conflict that I just don’t know how to break through. Lord, have mercy on us who are on the offending side. Set us free from our own sin and fear. Teach us how to love and walk with those whose paths, decisions, perspectives become different from ours. Give us wisdom, courage, and give us words to walk through differences and conflict with love. I have not meant malice in my silence as a weapon. I pray for those whose silence is an intentional weapon to wield a sword that is meant to deal a death blow. Yes, Father, forgive us for we don’t know what we are doing. Thanks again for this important article of one of our sins in the Body that destroys from the inside and can wreak havoc for years to come without sincere repentance, a turning, and brave forgiveness and vulnerability in re-engaging.

  • Lark62

    The realization that christianity did not in fact make anyone “a new creature” was one of the first things that caused me to question the truth of christianity.

    All humans are pretty much the same. The same types of strengths and weaknesses show up everywhere.

    The example that struck me was that the when catholic priests protected their own even if the weak and vulnerable were harmed, this looked just like the behavior of police protecting bad cops and Penn State coaches protecting their friend. Christians aren’t more moral than any other group, but they aren’t necessarily less moral either. Because all human groups are made up entirely of humans.

  • Bravo Sierra

    You don’t go to church? You think old JC wrote the bible?

  • Bravo Sierra

    I never asked you to believe as I do.

  • Phil

    As a christian you wouldn’t understand.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes I go to church.
    Yes Jesus Christ wrote the Christian bible.

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Jesus can speak every language in the entire world.
    The lgbt think that Christ Jesus and all of the disciples were gay.

  • D.M.S.

    Evolution is pure fantasy.
    We can have fun doing this all day.

  • Chris Palmer

    Life in Christ is not about me, myself and I, its about how we can serve the Father, as a believer even in the midst of all circumstances that face us.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I understand the pain and hurt involved, it would be terrible! I believe anyone would suffer to some extent going through such a process. But that’s where Ben leaves it, the pain and suffering. As one other put it (not quoting) there is no testimony of God’s goodness here, there is no power, or Godly change in Ben’s life as a result. Its just suffering without end..

    And if you would read again, I didn’t actually blame Ben for their actions at all. Their sin is their own!

    Instead what I attempt to address (because Ben didn’t make the point), Jesus has told us to lay down our lives, pick up our cross and follow despite the hardship and suffering we endure. I’m not saying this is an instant thing we learn, nor when we learn it, are we necessarily able to put it into action immediately. I accept this is a process, and likewise I’ve made various mistakes along the way!

    I’m not sure of your own commitment to Jesus, but thing of taking up our cross means that when we accepted Him, we made a choice to no longer live selfishly. If I, or Ben, or any one of us ‘requires’ friendships to remain emotionally, socially or spiritually stable it proves at some level our affections are in temporary things, and not completely in Jesus as our worship should be.

    That is why I must, as his brother in Christ, seek that he would repent of this stance, because there is no victory found in a life of hurt and misery.

    God bless

  • Chris Palmer

    When we live love consistently in front of people who are bitter/angry etc their resentments and anger start to erode away. It completely disarms that way of living. I’m not speaking of people’s view of what love is, I mean the God kind of love… that selflessness, that believing that others and their needs are more important than mine, that serving kind of love.

    That’s why I used the example that he could be so lowly that he could offer to clean the toilets of the church group that have an apparent desire to reject him!

    Be blessed

  • Bones

    Except you just prove to everyone visiting here what an ignorant fool you are.

    And why not to have anything to do with your religion.

  • Bones

    Complete and utter bs…

    No scientific theory has as much evidence across nearly every strand of science.

    And evolution has probably saved your arse more than once which is more than could be said about your religion.

    But do keep posting to confirm why not to have anything to do with your ignorant beliefs.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Since you say you go to church, you might want to talk to your pastor about who wrote the bible.

  • Bones

    No, he didn’t…..

  • Bones

    No, JC lived and died a Jew.

    Christianity was made by those who came after.

  • Bones

    That’s obvious.

  • Bones

    Not skeptic – stupid by the sounds of it.

  • Bones

    And you have nothing better to do than bitch and moan on the internet.

    Corey’s doing far more good works than you are.

    Go do something with your life.

  • Bones

    He’s raising an issue in Christianity.

    If you don’t like it, piss off and find your own fan club where you can all hold hands and hate gays or whatever you people do to entertain yourself nowadays.

  • carillon246

    Given the choice between continually fighting with a friend or disappearing, I would choose to disappear. Or at least put some distance between me and him. I’m all for discussion and change but I would rather not live with constant conflict which is often spiced with shaming, browbeating, etc.

  • Bones

    So you haven’t come to discuss the issue but have a bitch about the blogger.

    Ok, now piss off.

  • Bones

    Is this like being defriended on facebook because you support gays or won’t fall for right wing bs….

  • D.M.S.

    Why do you want to take away people’s belief in Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior away from them?
    If you don’t want to believe in Christ Jesus as your Savior and Lord then don’t.

  • Bones

    A couple of members have said that….not all. In fact very few….

    But you live in a world of generalisations….

    And no, JC didn’t speak every language in the world.

  • Bones

    It was also the century that they discovered a sperm fertilised an egg.

  • D.M.S.

    Jesus Christ is GOD.
    He created every language in the world and can speak every language in the world including every animal
    ( mammal ), fowl, insect, and sea creature language there is, also.

  • D.M.S.

    Call me all the derogatory names that you like, they won’t do you a bit of good.
    I still love all of my neighbors.
    God/Jesus loves everyone.
    Take care, neighbor.

  • D.M.S.
  • Bones

    No, he didn’t

    What a stupid comment.

    There are over a thousand different dialects in the Australian Aborigine culture alone.

    In fact the Old Testament counters that by the Tower of Babel myth.

    Do you think Jesus was taught to speak Hebrew or did he just start speaking it from the womb?

    Grow a brain and stop being stupid.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ve had interactions with fellow Christians who insist that everyone who doesn’t follow [their particular expression of] Christianity is a Pagan. No other faiths were considered real or valid – just one or the other.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re welcome to your belief.
    But you will never have the capacity no matter how hard you try to turn some of us Christians away from the belief of Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
    Take care.

  • Bones

    Honestly, now out comes the sanctimonious bs.

    You aren’t my neighbour.

    Neither does your god love everyone as you claim – there are massive conditions attached to your god’s ‘love’ (those conditions are made up by you of course).

    And being shown up for being an arse isn’t persecution.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Why do you want to convert people to Christianity?

  • Bones

    It’s not a belief.

    It’s a fact.

    Did Jesus die as a Jew or not?

    Hey dude, you’re the one coming on here condemning people.

    If you can’t handle it then get lost.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, Christ did write the Christian bible.
    We can do the yes, no squabble all week if you like.

  • TS (unami)

    I don’t think Ben intended for this to be a “beginning to end” story. He’s not under obligation to wait until all is resolved to share his experience, and claiming that because the story here doesn’t have a happy ending is somehow not “godly enough” shows that maybe the reader isn’t fully paying attention. By that, I don’t mean to insult you, but to show that a shared experience is precisely a “slice in time”, a personal experience that’s been entrusted to our view. As such, I think our first responsibility is to *listen*. Without judging, without making reasons for what we think we’re hearing… just listen.

    And after that deeper listening to the heart of someone who has been wounded and might *still* be grieving the loss of friendship, to extend some empathy and caring rather than judgement, or “here’s how to fix it”. When someone is hurt, often the thing they *don’t* need us to say is “how to fix it” right now… what they need to know is that someone hears them, someone cares and someone is still there for them.

    In time, I pray that the people who deliberately chose to walk away from Ben and who deliberately cut him out of their lives, will be reconciled to him. Until then, prayer and consolation will go a long way toward both mending the heart and soul of the wounded, making the way for forgiveness and eventual peace.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Bones

    Well we could but you have no evidence.

    I have books of it including the gospels themselves , the Old Testament and the other books as well.

    Comments like where Paul says he writes this of his own opinion, the extracts in the gospels where Jesus refutes the torah (supposedly given by him), and the blood thirsty Jesus at the end who destroys all of humanity.

  • D.M.S.

    Our pastor tells all of us, in his congregation that the Christian bible is the irreverent word of GOD at least once a month.

  • Alyce-Kay Ruckelshaus

    I appreciate Mr Corey’s courage and vulnerability in sharing this. Rather than waiting until it’s all worked out and he has perfectly forgiven others, etc, he is allowing us to see his process, his struggle. This is very important. When Christian leaders present only the “godly” outcome, other believers are left feeling like they can never measure up. At least, this was my experience. Most of my Christian life was spent in churches where no one ever shared doubts or struggles. When they did, they were immediately condemned. I thought I was the only one experiencing them and that I was a failure as a Christian. There was no way I would have shared those struggles with anyone who could help me, because I was afraid of the consequences. And it turns out I was just normal. So I appreciate seeing what it’s like, what the process is for a mature Christian to struggle through something like this. It’s also helpful to know that the things I suffer from other believers are something that happens to others. It helps me realize it’s not so personal … and it’s probably about them, not just about me.

    I also really appreciated Renee’s response. Being open and honest that she may have actually done that and is rethinking it. Wow, that took courage. It also shows that it really helps when people share something like Mr Corey did.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • TS (unami)

    You are the real deal, Alyce-Kay! :-) Thanks for your encouraging words!

  • D.M.S.

    You’re welcome to believe in your scientific belief of evolution.
    I choose not too.
    As far as I’m concerned
    God/Jesus created everything good in the world.

  • David Ross

    MY SAVIOR YAHUSHUA (JESUS) IS THE ONLY ONE I PLEASE

  • TS (unami)

    It’s deeper than that. Family who won’t even speak to you any longer. Lifelong friends who suddenly stop all communication and who won’t even allow their kids (who maybe good friends with your kids) to come over to play. Physically turning and walking away when they see you coming. That’s bad schoolyard behaviour that I would have thought that adults would be well beyond… but as we see, sometimes, they still treat others this way and it’s sad.

  • TS (unami)

    No friends or family, then? The church is a body — not a bunch of individuals ignoring each other.

  • Bones

    Yeah I know.

    My aunt’s been a jw for over 50 years.

    Some of her children are no longer jws and she regards them as dead.

  • D.M.S.

    I really do enjoy when people like you call me an ignorant fool..
    You your trying to get a response out of us.
    Here’s one.
    Hallelujah praise Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
    You kind of remind me of the history of Nero.
    He tried to eradicate Christianity also.
    He was an epic failure at it and you are as well.
    Take care,

  • Bones

    Well you’re giving him more hits….

    So he must be doing something right.

  • TS (unami)

    Ugh. I’ve heard about their extreme shunning. But we’ve experienced a similar ostracism from some of extended family. It hurts, we’ve tried to “keep the door open” but at some point you just have to tell yourself that they are making this choice of their own volition and ultimately, it’s their loss. :-(

  • Bravo Sierra

    Re: “Our pastor tells all of us, in his congregation that the Christian bible is the irreverent word of GOD at least once a month.”

    Irreverent is right.

  • Bones

    Of course you enjoy it.

    There’s no Nero here. Just people trying to get through this life on this rock – form all walks of life, gay and straight, many of them getting away from people like yourself.

    You think you are being martyred for a cause.

    But you’re no more a martyr than the Muslim suicide bomber.

    Your idiocy doesn’t impress god or anyone.

    It just shows that you are an idiot….

    And that’s the type of Christianity you’re promoting.

    Well done for turning people away from your religion. Praise God, your kind will be gone in a generation where gay people can walk without harassment.

    The epic failure here is you and your epic level of stupid.

  • Bones

    Another dumb question.

    I’d gladly go through a crucifixion if I knew I was going to come back to life and live forever….

  • Bones

    Well it’s not a belief.

    It’s scientific fact – like you have to get new flu vaccines every year.

    Maybe Jesus made that.

  • D.M.S.

    The only evidence that I need is that Christ Jesus is my and our Lord and Savior.
    Absolutely there is nothing that you have that trumps that, no matter how much that you will try.
    You just don’t get it do you.
    I firmly believe that you think that you are right in your belief system.
    But know one is allowed any other belief system other than yours.
    Kind of sounds like what atheist say about true Christians, doesn’t it.

  • D.M.S.

    I believe that Jesus Christ can remember what it was like being in His mothers womb.
    And yes He knew Hebrew before He was born.
    He created the language.
    Fa-la-la I’m stupid in your book la-la-la.
    Take care, neighbor

  • D.M.S.

    A sperm didn’t fertilize Christ Jesus in His mothers womb.
    Science is NOT 100% true.
    Take care, neighbor

  • Bones

    Anyone and everyone has a belief system.

    You seem to think you;re more special because of that.
    no.

    It’s quite obvious from doing detailed studies on the books of the Bible that not only didn’t Jesus write them, but some contradict him.

    I take it you think Jesus is going to burn all the non-believers alive, like he did in the gospels. And like the way he commanded people to be put to death in the Old Testament.

    You’re the one on here making completely unsubstantiated and stupid claims.

  • D.M.S.

    Thank you you’re so kind.

  • Bones

    Yeah you are stupid.

    Given that the Gospels say Jesus “grew in wisdom” (Luke 2:52) would tell us he was educated like any other Jewish boy. Which means that the baby Jesus knew far less than the infant Jesus who knew less than the child Jesus and the teenage Jesus and probably why he didn’t start his ministry until in his 30s when hes finished his rabbinic training.

    It’s called development eg language , intellect.

    Congratulations on being stupid.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t get a flu vaccine every year.
    God/Jesus has created everything, yes.
    Created every plant, tree, soil, etc.
    Everything that we have is created even scientifically from the earth. God/Jesus created everything on and in this earth.
    So everything that’s in and on this earth science has used to make everything that we use.
    Take care, neighbor.

  • D.M.S.

    Fa-la-la I’m having fun that you keep calling me a stupid idiot la-la-la.
    Have a nice day, neighbor.

  • Clearly you are confusing religion, namely “Christianity” with empathy. Interesting you do not see that.
    Your last paragraph exemplifies a person that does not know the difference between knowledge and belief. Never mind anyone’s two cents or opinion about anything. If you understood the word evidence, and the evidence for the non existence of things supernatural, magical, or gods, is found in quantum field theory, something I am sure you KNOW nothing about. If god existed,and I wonder if even you KNOW what the word means, they would have been detected by now. Either you are ignorant and likely willfully so, or just like to feel comfortable believing in crap, or you have something to gain by this kind of apologetic.
    You believe in gods because it makes you feel good, you have been indoctrinated, and you are ignorant of the applicable Science. Belief in gods has nothing to do with making sense. It is nonsense on so many levels.

  • LostMySouthernGraces

    *yawn*

  • TS (unami)

    Get some sleep.

  • Danny Smith

    You built a life around people. People will always let you down so learn not to expect anything else. I learned that Long ago and it doesn’t hurt so much that way cause you know its going to happen sooner or later but you have to love them anyway. People hurt people it is just part of who we are. if a Christian matures he will try harder not to but will fail occasionally it is just a fact of life. Ghosting as you call it is a survival technique albeit a bad one it is the easy way out from a situation that is hurting you.It is hard to confront someone who is hurting you and usually ends up with angry words that hurt even more that’s why people choose ghosting but ghosting isn’t the path of love we are supposed to follow.

  • The only different perspective you could offer me regarding the existence of gods would have to be based on sound evidence. You cannot do this as no on has ever produced even the smallest shred of evidence to support the contention that any gods exist or have ever existed. If gods existed as described in scripture, people as they are, could not exist, nor would they want to exist on this Earth.
    I read your profile and see you are a theologian. Theology, at least as I see the evidence it derives from inaccurate History, myth, magic, and illogic. Theology, as I see it, is a serious problem in this world.
    Ever hear of the Clergy Project, Dan Dennett or Linda LaScola? Maybe you should check it out.

  • D.M.S.

    I believe God/ Jesus can do anything.
    He chose to do these things in scripture so He could relate to all of us that He loves so much.
    Jesus wanted to come across to all of us as human. Hebrews 2:17.
    But do you know of any other human being that can live without food and water for forty days as He did in the wilderness.
    Mathew 4:2
    Mark 1:13.

  • D.M.S.

    How would you know what impresses God?
    God likes a generous giver.
    Is that impressing God?
    I don’t believe that it is.

  • D.M.S.

    Remember what Jesus told the Apostles.
    When I am gone the ravenous wolves come to devour us.
    Mathew 7:15.
    Mathew 10:16.
    Luke10:3.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes it’s a fact, that Christ Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins.
    And three(3) days later he rose from the dead.
    Praise the Lord!
    Hallelujah!

  • D.M.S.

    We are everyone’s neighbor.

  • D.M.S.

    So they will know the Love and Sacrifice that our Lord Christ Jesus made for all of us.

  • D.M.S.

    Corey is taking people away from God/Jesus.
    That is not good works.
    And it never will be.

  • Calimerican

    I’m not a regular reader or commenter here, but there’s something I really wanted to say. It’s not related to the article, but the comments on it. It makes me sad and more than a little bit uncomfortable to see the way people have been talking to each other. I assume that most of us here have some kind of a Christian background, but yet people are being just as nasty to each other as on many other websites.

    I grew up in the church, but haven’t attended in over a decade because of junk like this. I know that I should anyway, but between past experiences and social anxiety it’s hard.

  • IntellegenceWins

    Everything in this is a dark unrepentant finger pointing and blame at others and it misrepresents the fruit of the spirit and the Heart of God- and I’ve never even heard of the guy. It sounds to me like he was confronted on a whole lot more than being a leader of his wife from the amount of case building and bitterness he’s built up, as much as that point was easy to pull out for his defense, and that he was unwilling to look at his own fruit and issues and severed his ties with his own attitude. There have been times I’ve had to pull away from someone who is doing what is right in their own eyes and living in sin willingly still professing that God was behind it, after confronting them. They also were confused why I pulled away. Today they have righted themselves and understand completely why I had to do what I did. The bible says we are to have nothing to do with those who practice and preach that which is contrary to the word. There is bitterness, conceit, and pride in his tone and probably in how he’s portrayed his children’s friends to them and no healing or true forgiveness or self reflection.

    2 Corinthians 5:18 “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;”

  • IntellegenceWins

    The issue is- people ARE the church. The body.
    And we’re all sinners who fall short of the glory of God. You wouldn’t go to the hospital with cancer and have them tell you, “Oh sorry you have cancer- come back when you’re cured…” Because we all are in the ER.
    We need to stop judging God and living our lives based on how other people feel and what they do, because we will be miserable people.
    The bible is clear- we are to forgive those who hurt and betray us and to expect those in the church WILL do these things, and that God will reconcile us through our own forgiveness and repentance. You will never find a perfect church, Jill, because we are all messed up people in need of Jesus. But we are not to forgo it, as is the custom of some, because we need accountability and we need encouragement in the word.
    What matters is this: does the church teach the Bible, teach all of it (not just pick the parts they like) and is the Holy spirit moving in the church? Don’t be surprised if people, even the pastor, isn’t perfect. What matters is the teaching of the word because WE dont clean people- God does that and through the teaching of the word of God. I pray you can find this!
    <3

  • Luke Cypert

    Why do you want people to give you some excrement?

  • Calimerican

    I understand what you’re saying, but accountability and encouragement isn’t really possible if I don’t trust people. I’m not talking about petty everyday stuff here, I’m talking about people who act like they care but are nowhere to be found when things get rough. I’m talking about people who act like they care but then you find out they’ve been laughing at you or talking about you behind your back. I’m talking about people who judge YOU when you tell them you are in an abusive situation. That last one didn’t happen to me but a relative.

    I know it happens wherever you go, but sadly I’ve seen some of the worst instances of it in church. I honestly don’t see much benefit in a church “family” and a heck of a lot of drawbacks. I just don’t know why I would want to put myself through that.

  • Stuart Blessman

    Source?

  • Nicole

    I don’t know, Christians can be really petty and unloving. My younger sister had led worship at our childhood church for years after my parents moved on to a different congregation. Knowing that she was serving in Afghanistan with the Army, the women’s ministry called my mom to offer to send her a care package. They had a nice conversation, etc., but when they found out that my mom and dad were now at a different CHRISTIAN church, they said that rather than send a care package, “they would just pray for her”. I see a couple of things happening in the author’s story: 1) our standards for Christian love and empathy are really high, so failing those standards is substantially more hurtful than failure outside the community; 2) if we’re to understand that our Christian brothers and sister are vessels for Christ and have his love dwelling in them, then either Christ’s love sucks or these people are lying. I prefer to think the latter is in play. But if I say this, then someone is going to respond “but we’re all imperfect”. Well, seems to me that Christians have gotten their bases covered everywhere, then. They can be petty in service of Christ but they are also petty because they are not perfect. This author is completely justified in his wounds, fresh or stale.

  • luvfreedom

    Come on don’t take yourself so seriously.
    This happens in the non-Christian world too.
    As long as people are not broke, sick or mentally ill, you gotta move on dot org.
    And oh yeah, that church you described, it is nut central.

  • D.M.S.

    Thank you, Bones.
    I’ve had a chance to read more Christian scripture today because of our discussion.
    Thanks, neighbor.

  • Sorry and I know you won’t believe it but you don’t need friends like that. I think they knew exactly what they were doing and gloated over how it hurt your daughter. I consider myself a Christian but I do not consider many of the so called American Christian congregations as Christian. I don’t consider them as heretics, I think they have fallen by the wayside. To me any church or church members that spout hatred towards other groups of society, be it different religions, different sexuality, race or nationality and especially those who think they have the right to tell women what to do are following the words of Christ are not behaving as Christians. I pray for them because I believe they are damning themselves by their actions.

  • Ron McPherson

    Exactly. Like ‘Just go to church, spew the correct sound bytes, bring your bible, and leave your problems at home. To all the people honest enough to open up with real problems and real hurts…well, we don’t need your kind here Ben, at the First Church of Pretentious Spiritual Platitudes.’

  • Ron McPherson

    Ben follows the words of Jesus too closely I suppose, which makes a lot of Christians very uncomfortable.

  • Bravo Sierra

    Really? Who? How? When? and Why?

  • Sofia Abresch

    I read through the blog post. My first time here…I found it touching, sad, human and honest. Then – I read through about 100 comments. I had to stop – the bile was so awful. All I can say is – if the people posting here are examples of “Christians” (and many of them say they are) – I’m very glad I’m Wiccan. What hostility, bigotry, intolerance, hatred and pride. Thank you for confirming what many non-Christians either know or sense about your faith. I can’t help but think Jesus would weep reading the comments from “Christians” on this blog.

  • otrotierra

    The teachings of Jesus are terribly offensive to religious fundamentalists.

  • Herm

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

    Matthew 22:14 (NIV2011)

    Making disciples of all nations is not a quota thing.

    Good works are dependent upon in everything doing to all others as you would have all others do to you, first. That is a law of relationship within a body dependent upon itself, which determines from application how well grounded our works in spirit are, today, no less certain than the law of gravity determines how well grounded we are on this physical earth, today.

  • D.M.S.

    And neither are you, goodbye.

  • Mark Drummond

    Sorry you had to experience that. It may also be God removing those people from YOUR life. Only tomorrow will tell.

  • D.M.S.

    Hello wolf.
    Goodbye.

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Jesus died for everyone’s sin.
    It’s only been being told to all for centuries.

  • grammaob

    Sounds like you fell into a major “can’t please everyone” moment. Too bad people who knew you couldn’t let you speak your beliefs, then discuss them with those who disagreed. Sad

  • Herm

    D.M.S., you attribute attributes to Jesus of Nazareth that are not even close to biblical and definitely not the truth according to the Advocate. I would suggest, if you truly want the inerrant truth, that you pursue the Spirit of truth for today’s testament of God, not the aged new and old testament compiled 1,692 years ago.

    If you say, “well, I think I’ll wait for the movie”, or, “well, I think I’ll wait until Jesus’ return”, it will be too late. If you do believe your scriptures then pay extra attention to where you, too, can find eternal truth.

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    … and this:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    … but, also, go to the end of the book and read what the author has to say:

    This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:24-25 (NIV2011)

    How much of God is contained in your Bible relative to Christ who ascended into heaven 1,984 years ago? Why don’t you ask Them?

  • Laurie

    Yup, been there. Been “ghosted” by the Christian Community we had belonged too for years.
    Had asked the Elders if my Husband & I should marry, and leave the Community to move to another city for work. We were told that God had not given them an answer… So, we felt that WE had been given an answer and a path. We left. Found out later that an Elder had stood up at a meeting of the group, and named us “anathema”, because we left after they said we should stay. (They lied.) So, it answered the question of why no one came to visit, or returned calls and would avoid us in stores or on the street. Still do to this day, and it’s been over 40 years!
    We no longer identify ourselves as Christians. We have seen nothing but hypocrisy and heresy in most of the people we’ve had dealings with over the years.
    Jesus did say that few would enter the Kingdom… even those who claimed miracles in His name.
    This type of treatment is SO hurtful. So sorry for anyone who has gone through it… I call it “Christians doing the devil’s work.”

  • Bravo Sierra

    Well, for the benefit of all the people who don’t understand the story in the same way you do, could you please explain what was done and why it was necessary?

  • Herm

    That’s absolutely ignorant of any real relationship with God. Jesus of Nazareth was functionally illiterate, as was over 95% of all Jews at that time. God is spirit. The living word of God is spirit. God only communicates with receptive children of Man in God’s image. God’s image, graced mankind, is spirit.

    If God spoke all languages and wanted all of mankind to do
    Their will precisely, wouldn’t They, in Their divine wisdom, have written a more clear and complete owner’s manual, in stone? Why do you think that the two sections of your Bible are Old and New “Testaments” and not dictates? Could it be that God is dependent upon Man to testify to their relationship with God rather than have Man take down dictation from God?

    Until He appearing as a dove whelmed Jesus, the Christ, there was no direct communication bond between He and the Father. That is why, to be a child of God today, each of us has to be born of the very same Spirit as was Jesus.

  • Jimmy G

    You were NOT “ghosted,” by your own definition of “when someone abruptly ends a friendship with limited or no explanation.” You listed a long series of events in which you went against the norms of the congregation. I’m not saying either side was right – but I am saying you can’t play the victim of “ghosting” because there was ample reason for the “other side” to say, we just don’t have enough in common with this guy anymore. You stood up for what you believed. Now stand up and admit that they had the right to end the friendship with you. Quit crying about how terrible “they” are.

  • Herm

    How can you judge?

  • douglas gray

    I have a book called “The Spiritual Legacy of Mary of the Holy Trinity.” It contains personal messages to a cloistered Catholic nun from Jesus. For those of you are Catholic, it does have the “nihil Obstat” and the “Imprimateur” in the front. In one of these conversations Jesus said to her:

    There are souls who reject My words, who
    do not believe in My divinity, but who act toward their neighbor as I have
    done. My little daughter, they are of my
    family; they are Mine who act as I do.
    There are souls who believe in My divinity and in all My words, who
    profess to serve Me, but who do not act toward their neighbor as I did. They have given Me their life, but they have
    not given Me their heart. Their heart
    remains closed to joy.

    That is why My mercy sometimes grants them sufferings to save them from
    the narrow limits of their contentment.”

    It is interesting and enlightening to know that he places much more value on how we act towards others, as opposed to what we believe. Although I feel that this man brought a bit too much politics into church, I would have lovingly and openly told him so, and continued to be his friend. It seems to me that would be good Christian behavior

  • Lugash Gilgamesh

    You don’t think even a short explanation was appropriate? Just never speak to someone again? Sounds like a terrible person to be friends with. Someone who never really cared about you, but instead only cared about how the relationship reflected their own beliefs and desires. It’s called a toxic relationship.

    On the other hand, sadly this is the reality of “fellowship” in a church. It is always conditional on your towing the line. If you question the dogma at all, you will be cast aside without a thought. These aren’t real friends…they are conditional co-members of a strict social club. Every church is different and the rules of their social club vary. But you can be certain that every church has them and every church will toss you out if you question them. Just like Jesus would have wanted….

  • Lugash Gilgamesh

    Jesus supposedly came for the wounded, you seem to only want to trample on the wounded while they are down and bearing their soul. Christian or not, this is a horrible way to treat someone who is expressing their pain. Shame on you.

  • Guthrum

    This often happens in the church and other organizations .
    Churches will divide over issues ranging from what color of carpet to install, seating places, calling a new pastor, and the music. People will fuss and argue about Sunday school classrooms, yet say very little about theology, a Bible lesson, or church membership requirements. I have always been amazed when members will just leave – giving no reason.
    Over the past decades I noticed a distinct change in habitats of church members. Sunday morning Sunday school and worship are in transition. Visitors come for a few weeks and don’t return. Once traditional Sunday night services are rare.
    Some things haven’t changed. Some people only attend Christmas and Easter. The heavy lifting and clean up is done by the same 5% of the members. Young people drop off or out once they get a drivers license.
    I have spent time studying church growth. I read everything I could find. Among the many things I learned: what works great in one church will not necessarily work in every church. It takes more money and work to revive a church than to start a new one. Churches go through predictable cycles. Location may not be everything, but it is close.
    I would like to hear from anyone else about church growth experiences and factors.

  • Lugash Gilgamesh

    No, I don’t have to hear their stories because I’ve seen this happen so many times in so many churches that it’s completely common place. Therefore, what he describes is completely believable and unless he committed some crime against his fellow church members then they were wrong to shut him out with explanation. Now if it turns out that he was harming someone in the group then that changes everything, but this is just an expression of his feelings. I guess Jesus would have dismissed his feelings and asked for the other side of the story as well? I wish Christians would read their Bibles more often…

  • Reva Madison

    You appear to he the Christian of the group. Its time to find a new group, one that can take into consideration that many Christians are not really living that life. The one thing you can always throw out is the 11th commandment: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” People who do not do that, are NOT CHRISTIAN. One could throw out every other rule that we understand from God and Jesus – because that one covers them all. This sounds like one of those groups that has a rule “do as i tell you, not that I particularly do” Sorry for your weak friends, or should we say people who you know There are others out there, who believe as you do. Find them, join them and enjoy them.

  • Ron McPherson

    Nice

  • Loloyique Mango Totomico

    On behalf of the church, Please, Benjamin, forgive us,

  • Lambchopsuey

    Can you prove to me that “Christ Jesus” exists? Because there are lots of things being told to all for centuries that aren’t true – and YOU don’t worry about them any more than *I* do. For example, I’m sure you don’t believe that Allah gave his true revelation to Mohammed his prophet, even though a billion Muslims believe that – and have been telling that “to all for centuries”.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Really.

    Yet nobody of that time/place noticed. The accounts weren’t written until a century later at the earliest. None of the contemporary sources from that time/place show the slightest awareness of any such person or series of events, and there are enough of THESE witnesses to fill a library.

    You’re making the basic mistake of accepting a business’s marketing materials as fact.

  • Lambchopsuey

    The only evidence that I need is that Christ Jesus is my and our Lord and Savior.

    Then you’re very stupid and/or delusional, because there’s no evidence that such a being even exists.

    You won’t find a lot of sympathy for your inanity and intolerance here.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Yes, Christ did write the Christian bible.
    We can do the yes, no squabble all week if you like.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Yes I go to church.
    Yes Jesus Christ wrote the Christian bible.

    What are you, 12 years old?? Because NOBODY thinks “Jesus Christ” wrote the Christian bible. That’s beyond dumb – that’s the bastard child of ignorance + blind faith. Try thinking once.

    NO original texts of the Bible exist. The earliest COPIES are from the 4th Century CE at the earliest – and these may be far later, as their caretakers have not allowed radiometric dating to verify the ages being claimed.

    There are more fragments of Paul’s writings than of any others – some 800 copies – and each of these varies from the others to some degree, to the point that one scholar has commented that there isn’t even a single verse that is identical across all copies.

    If your imaginary friend wrote it, then he’s truly an incompetent loser.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So you and he both suck?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Who cares?

  • Lambchopsuey

    Religion is made by mankind.
    Christianity is made by Jesus Christ.

    And your abysmal ignorance is your OWN fault and you should be deeply ashamed to be so uninformed. Especially since you have access to the Internet, there’s really no excuse for being in such a ridiculous state of unawareness.

  • Lambchopsuey

    I’ve never taken a comparative religions class.

    Surprise surprise O_O

  • Lambchopsuey

    You just don’t get it do you.
    I firmly believe that you think that you are right in your belief system.
    But know one is allowed any other belief system other than yours.

    YOU’re the one coming on here preaching at people – MOST OF WHOM USED TO BE CHRISTIANS – and threatening them.
    YOU are the one who doesn’t think anyone one else is allowed any belief system other than yours – your behavior makes that abundantly clear.
    You just don’t get it, do you?

  • Lambchopsuey

    The explosive growth of Christianity in the first three centuries

    NEVER HAPPENED – FIFY. Christianity grew at a paltry 2.5% per year during its first 3 centuries – that’s a church of 200 people managing to convince a mere 5 people to join PER YEAR. Christianity only grew “explosively” when it gained government endorsement and the power to destroy other religions and force people to join.

    Without coercion, Christianity can’t survive. Christianity only grew and spread through force, at the point of the sword. ISLAM spread farther in its first 100 years than Christianity managed in its first THOUSAND years.

    Even the strangest cults manage to find a few weirdo maladapted misfits to join, you know.

  • Lambchopsuey

    because the Christians refused to flee from diseased cities when the wealthy did, but stayed behind to nurse even their enemies to health–often giving their own lives up to disease to nurse and care for others. They also buried the dead (the poor who had no professional associations to take care of their burial expenses), took care of the powerless and the outcast (usually widows and orphans). That impacted the culture of the first three centuries because it was not the norm in the Roman Empire.

    Complete and utter hogwash. How long did it take you to make that bunch of bulloney up?

  • Mauicio Gonzalez

    welcome to the club. you christians do this all the time when someone grows beyond the concept of god. to the credit of your religion and it’s people though… you don’t try to kill us apostates.

    i can think of a couple of world religions that could learn A LOT from Christianity.

  • Herm

    Why would you think that, George? Elaborate, please!

  • Lambchopsuey

    It seems to me that humans in general are blah blah blah

    Let’s talk about the impact of Christianity on an individual, shall we? Every hour a person spends doing religious rituals and activities is an hour s/he can’t spend doing anything else. So unless a religion is based in fact (which NONE of them are†), this person is wasting hours of his/her life that can’t be gotten back.

    So while others are using this same amount of time to catch up on rest, take classes to improve their skill sets or get certification to advance at work, build bonds with friends and family, become more healthy through exercise, and/or enjoying a favorite hobby, Christians are sitting in church, wasting their lives and growing obese. The goes a long way toward explaining why Christians tend to do worse in life than their nonChristian peers.

    And those who donate money to churches might as well just flush it straight down the toilet. Donate $100/week to your church starting at age 29, and by age 65, you’ll have exactly NOTHING. $0. But if you invest that $100/week in an IRA for the same amount of time, you’ll reach retirement with over $200,000 extra. That goes a long way toward explaining why Christians tend to be less wealthy than nonChristians.

    Christians just make so many stupid and self-destructive choices…

    † – There are now more than 46,000 different sects of Christianity, most of which insist that theirs is the only “correct”, “TRUE” interpretation – and that all the rest are wrong and false. A new sect of Christianity is established every 10.5 hours on average – more than 2 per day. This is all the evidence I need to know that Christianity is completely devoid of anything useful.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Oh, stop right there, Mauicio Gonzalez! Until secular governments stopped allowing Christians to kill apostates, Christians killed apostates! Christianity grew within a climate of terror that reached fiendish full bloom with the Inquisition.

    And there are STILL Christians killing people – it’s just that, most of the time, the killer isn’t identified as a Christian and it’s chalked up as “road rage” or “crimes of passion” or drug use or whatever, whereas if the killer is a Muslim, it’s loudly announced as the fault of Islam. Christianity’s got the bloodiest history of any of the major religions – BY FAR.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Exactly what value is there in god belief and ancient religious dogma?

    There is none. The Bible is the product of primitive, violent, uneducated people who couldn’t conceive of any system of government other than monarchy (churches replicate this structure on a small scale) and who couldn’t conceive of many of the concepts we absolutely regard as essential today, such as basic, fundamental, inalienable human rights, freedom of conscience, and, most importantly, CONSENT.

    No, you won’t find a single verse explaining THOSE anywhere in the Bible. We had to wait for the brilliant atheist minds of the Enlightenment to formulate these concepts we now take completely for granted but would never agree to give up.

    And the Bible, from cover to cover, accepts and endorses slavery. There is not a single verse that states, clearly and unequivocally, that slavery is wrong. We know better, though – don’t we?

    Jesus was such a stupid, ignorant bumpkin that he thought that paralysis and illness were caused by “demonic possession” or “sin”, and that “forgiving sin” cured them. Ha ha ha. Oh, that’s beyond stupid! JESUS wasn’t aware that illness is caused by microscopic organisms – that’s the “germ theory of infection”, and, yeah, it’s JUST a theory. Mental illness is not caused by demonic possession, though Christians have tortured numbers beyond count of helpless victims just because JESUS supposedly said something really, REALLY inane, asinine, ludicrous, fatuous, and idiotic those times.

    And caused humanity immeasurable suffering.

    If you Christians out there don’t believe Jesus Christ was a completely useless buffoon, stop going to the doctor when you are sick or injured. Oil up and pray per James 5:14-16. The rest of us will continue going to the doctor, thankyouverymuch O_O

    Christianity is an utter blight upon humankind and is responsible for incalculable suffering and stagnation. The sooner we’re rid of it, the better.

  • Steven Blankenship

    You’ve been excommunicated by your so called church. And why for the life of me you would want to associate with this ilk is beyond me. It’s the Lord’s way of telling you to flee and don’t look back.

  • percykins

    Absolutely. If there’s one thing we should learn from Christ’s life, it’s that if you judge someone to be living in sin, you should abandon them completely.

  • Lambchopsuey

    Actually, Jesus was virulently intolerant. Christians have created this cuddly/fuzzy Jesus mythology such that everybody is supposed to believe that the supposed “Jesus” was just the greatest, nicest, most insightful and wise person to ever walk the face of the earth.

    But Jesus lied. Insulted people, even helpless women. Jesus was RUDE to people and apparently LOVED to see people squirm. Further, what’s good about Jesus’s teachings is not original, and what’s original about Jesus’s teachings is not good. Jesus introduced the concept of “thought crimes”, you know. That’s purest evil.

  • Lambchopsuey

    but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)

  • Lambchopsuey

    There are no genuine friendships in church. It’s more like work friendships, where people who are at the same place at the same time for hours on end make the best of it by being friendly with each other. If you leave the church, you’ll see. It’s like leaving a workplace for a new workplace – if you meet former coworkers for lunch, you’ll see that all you have to talk about is the former workplace, the people, the projects, the drama. Even though you’re now in a new environment with new people, projects, and drama. So you’ll make new work-friends and your former work-friends will fade out of your life.

    Church is no different. So long as you’re seeing each other at the same place on a regular basis, that is considered “friendship”. But once you’re no longer there, forget about those Christians ever thinking about you again. They’re really only interested in using you, you see, and if you have established that you’re no longer going to be doing things for them, they haven’t the slightest use for you.

    I’m sorry it took you so long to see the reality of Christians and Christianity. At least you got a nice retirement out of the deal.

  • Roosevelt32

    No, Corey is not taking people away from God/Jesus. He is showing that some Christians deserve to have the words “so-called” in front of that designation because they do not follow Christ.

  • Craig Dougan

    I like Jesus.
    It’s the christians I can’t stand

  • TS (unami)

    Why are you here?

  • HMH

    In my experience, people who identify themselves as Christians are evil, judgmental, malicious personalities that represent nothing even remotely similar to the teachings of Christ.

    You’re better off without them.

  • Middling

    But during the inquisition, at least they were not allowed any blood-letting which led to the Christian tools like Thumb screws, branding with hot irons, smashing hands and limbs (which is totally ok with the church as long as there is no blood.

    Yes, those Christians are a peaceful bunch. NOT!

  • Middling

    DMS did you not read the article. The author was outed by his church group. If there was truly a just god, they would have all been killed by lightening, swallowed by an earthquake or killed in some other godly way for the ungodliness!

  • Calimerican

    This is such a bogus argument. For one thing, even IF someone calls themselves a Christian it doesn’t make them one. That includes people who attend church every week.

    You’re also very wrong about how Christianity grew. It did grow in an atmosphere of terror, but it was Christians who were being killed by the Roman government. What you describe in the Inquisition and (I assume) the Crusades was NOT Christianity. It was men drunk with power using the Church as an excuse for their ambition. It was without a doubt a shameful period of history, but why is it that Christianity is still held accountable today for the heinous acts of people hundreds of years ago who were just using the Church as a cover? Modern Christianity is as far removed from the Inquisition in its values as anyone with Scandinavian ancestry is from the pillaging the Vikings did.

    Also, I don’t know where you’ve been seeing it “loudly announced” that crimes committed by Muslims are the fault of Islam, because it certainly isn’t in the mainstream media. And how in the world do you think Christians are being protected from this? Can you even give me one example of an instance where a person’s Christianity was covered up?

  • MrNight

    Meh sounds like you just drifted apart if you prefer to call it ghosting so you can assign blame perhaps you should look at your own actions. Did you make yourself socially available to your friends? Did you miss engagements with them? Did you not invite them over for a couple of weeks? Did you call them? In the course of our now busy lives it is easy to lose connections with our friends and yes family too. That does not mean they did this intentionally it is just life. You sound like you’re looking to be a victim….stop that. If you want them in your life make yourself available. Call them weekly. Go see them again weekly. Invite them out as many times as it takes to get a yes. It’s called being a friend.

  • Steve Clearwater

    Through this difficult process you find out who your friends are. Many Christians are way too exacting about “my way or the highway,” and many are hurt. The most heartbreaking is our kids losing their friends over some obscure fine point of doctrine! I do wonder how the author of this article found himself in a group with views so radically different from his own. Part of protecting yourself from being “ghosted” is to get with people on your same page. “How can two walk together unless they are in agreement?”

  • SuperTroll

    That’s one risk of basing your worldview on a lie, and all religion is based on a lie. Lies never produce good.

  • HMH

    I actually volunteer at a homeless shelter. Also, I communicate in full rational sentences. I bet you’re not too smart to realize you’ve now enforced the stereotype I mentioned before. Try again judging ‘christian,’ or better yet emulate Jesus and stop.

  • Little David

    Some religions are worse than others.

    ‘I Am Now a Ghost’: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Shunning | HuffPost
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rodney…/i-am-now-a-ghost-jehovahs_b_9764478.html
    May 3, 2016 – Both are former Jehovah’s Witnesses who were disfellowshipped years ago, exiled from family members who remain loyal to the Watchtower …

  • pope whatshisname

    Well written. Well stated. Thanks for reminding us that as much as we would like to think it, we are not the center of things, and not as perfect as it seems.

  • kidd754

    Really, isn’t this the result of a religion-centered life? There are other people out there who may stretch your boundaries and be perfectly fine friends. You obviously already think out of the box. Now you need to live out of the box. In my experience, the most intolerant people are the most “Christian”, which I’m pretty sure Jesus would debate the reality of their christianity.

  • mf2112

    This is a tough one. I admit I did this to someone I was close for a long time, but at that time I guess I felt that it was better to avoid the fight. Then time passed, and more time. Then it felt like it really was too late.

  • stan0301

    Fundamentalist Christians are not that far removed from fundamentalist Muslims–they would love to burn a witch

  • Nitrobuz Ae

    You’re better off. Christians are a wack cult. Try a nice Buddhism/Christ-based blend.

  • Bob

    That is so easy, someone stands in front of people and tells them all what to believe. Then he teaches other to do the same thing. Then it gets repeated and repeated.

  • Bob

    Looks like you don’t, so why are you here?

  • MadasAHatterson

    That isn’t a Christian practice.

  • cathy

    good grief. good reason to stay away from all churches, and any discussions with anyone whose viewpoints you aren’t already semi familiar with. good reason to stay home, get in the recliner and watch netflix.

  • jgreencyclist

    Reminds me of the old saying, the reason the arguments are so bitter is because the stakes are do small. This article validates my choice to be a non-believer.

  • Transward

    Funny. Listening to those who most loudly proclaim themselves Christian, (see many of the comments here) one would think Christianity is all about hating gays and trans folk and Muslims and liberals. They must worship some other Jesus. The one I worship told me to love my neighbor, do good to those who hate, and specifically not to judge or risk damning my immortal soul.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, the teachings of Jesus are terribly offensive to U.S. Evangelicals, as Dr. Corey’s comment sections consistently reveal.

  • morganne

    Thank you for this informative article. Before I was a Christian, I “ghosted” (I had no idea this was a thing until just now) a lot of people… At first it was because I was raised that way.. always moving in a flash about once a year or in a matter of months but then as I got older I realized I didn’t know how to say goodbye and it just seemed better and easier to disappear. It was all I really knew when it came to goodbyes. I even got to the point later on where I warned people that I tend to disappear. I always had my reasons and I never thought that anyone cared enough about me to be hurt by me disappearing anyway. Since becoming a Christian, I have slowly been learning that I am not as worthless or unlovable as I believed myself to be and now reading this has put my heart in my stomach for I fear that I have hurt a good many people by ghosting. As a new Christian I will not make this mistake again and hurt more good people. I hope those I hurt can forgive me. I am deeply sorry. I never meant to hurt anybody.

  • Tim Roark

    I wouldn’t sweat it, never heard of it, but people come and go, some return and some you wish didnt, don’t be a whiny crybaby, if what you believe is true. The truth is the way.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Geeze. That’s just terrible. I don’t know what else to say. I’d talk about being part of a faith community that’s broader in beliefs and more welcoming to people where they are. But it sounds like you’ve been hurt to the quick and it’s going to be a while.

    A better suggestion might be to join a volunteer group. Something low key and outward oriented doing good work. It’s not the same. But then, that might be a plus.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Not all religious centered lives, fortunately. But it does seem popular…

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    The way the writer describes it, they all just quit answering their phones suddenly. It was coordinated.

  • True American Patriot

    What a disgusting statement. And with that “whiny crybaby” part I’d probably be right in guessing you’re a typical pure right winger, ay?

  • Jeff Billman

    Actually, as a non-Christian, I find this powerful testimony indeed. It assures me that, despite my having left the Church, Jesus is still there, ready to forgive and welcome me.

    God bless you.

  • True American Patriot

    Another useful term for this is being “blackballed.” This is a great and important article for the church.

    Extremely important point:

    “Somehow, someway, too many Christian circles have failed to realize that we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.”

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    They were trying to lord the power over you to decide whether or not you should marry? Geeze.

  • True American Patriot

    Your statement is also disgusting nonsense, at least the part I got through before stopping reading.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Indeed.

    “But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

  • True American Patriot

    Both of you would probably still consider me further to the right than Attila the Hun, but I’m not. And confusing “right wing politics” and “conservatism” with true Christianity is definitely a serious problem.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Oh, I know religious and political people who will walk away precisely because of a difference of opinion!

  • True American Patriot

    Right, not really, but when it’s done in church by those professing to be Christian that’s the problem.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    So sorry this happened to you. :(

  • True American Patriot

    And on that note, Steve, I’ll just say that infant baptism is incorrect and unbiblical, and see what happens after that! :)

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Thanks for sharing this.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    I’m so glad.

  • GeckoShamelessRaceMixer

    Big and boisterous and a great thing.

  • True American Patriot

    You’re making a very big mistake there. This is an open forum, and the most likely thing really is that most of the people commenting here are not real Christians at all. The Bible even talks about our day being one of people holding to a form of religion while being fake, to paraphrase. So be sure of this: just because someone represents themself as being a Christian hardly means they really are.

  • True American Patriot

    This commenter is talking pure nonsense, Jeff. However, as far as what you said goes, unfortunately we can’t exactly count on that in any normal sense at all, and we also don’t know when we might die at any moment, sorry to say, but it’s true.

  • David Duchene

    It is Biblical to not even eat with one who claims to be a Christian but behaves in a perverse sinful way(Corinthians) ..the article doesn’t describe any behavior on the part of the author as such. From being a member of various Churches and an intended target of destruction by Church members because of slander (“pastor” Barry Duguid of Toronto,ont. got it in his head that I was a false David, therefore the”antichrist” and a “sexual pervert” ..no, I’m not making this up – tell the whole Church) .. I mean,it gets very satanic very quickly when a “pastor” decides to spread a lie and manipulates the congregation into backing him ( not her)in the iniquity. It’s about as far from the apostolic origins of Jesus Christ’s Church as you can get.

  • John Richardson

    The term is neither ghosting, nor blackballing. It is shunning. It is a long and proud Christian tradition reserved for those who masquerade as Christian while working to corrupt the Church and subvert the Gospel.Which in spite of your white-washed and self-serving spin on these events, sounds like exactly your modus operandi. These folks may not be as educated or as articulate as you, but they recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing when they see one. I am proud of them for having the courage to shun you, but I am sure that you will not learn a lesson and repent, but will instead exaggerate your suffering and leverage it to continue your overall purpose of attacking and destroying the Church. Save your lying rationalizations for your true master, who is, after all, the father of lies.

  • Jeff Billman

    That knowledge alone, though, is sufficient. Nowhere in the Bible do I read that one must recite certain creeds, or attend certain services, in order to receive Grace. Instead, I read passages such as this:

    “And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,

    “And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grieviously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.

    “And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.” — Matthew 8:5-13 [Douay-Rheims]

  • morganne

    Christians are called to love thy neighbor, that does not mean your literal neighbor, that means everybody. Shunning is not love. You love the wolf, not shun the wolf. The wolf is still a child of GOD. We all are.

  • D.M.S.

    Middling have you not read the Christian bible?
    It doesn’t work that way.
    The bible is about faith, works, and forgiveness.
    But mainly it’s about Gods grace.
    The only people who get condemned for eternity are those who choose to be condemned for eternity.

  • D.M.S.

    The past is gone, done.
    All our choices are of today and possibly our near future.
    We can only hope that a few are smart enough to choose Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
    Take care, neighbors.

  • Al

    Why would you even care to lose such people from your life? Rejoice that they have revealed their true selves and move on. You are better off.

  • D.M.S.

    If they can’t back it up with Christian scripture.
    Don’t believe them.
    That’s why for many centuries the catholics Pharasees liked their parishioners illiterate so they could control them.

  • morganne

    Try not to forget to love the wolf or you risk being a wolf.

  • Cynthia Schletzbaum Gee

    Sounds to me like you were true to Christ and people got offended by that. It’s a funny (albeit painful) fact that most of the time, Christians needen’t separate themselves from unbelievers, especially unbelievers in the church – just keep on following Christ and THEY will separate from YOU.

  • D.M.S.

    In your world I don’t.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m not going to, either.

  • D.M.S.

    I wouldn’t advise anyone to trust the Internet.

  • D.M.S.

    Faith is what I have that God/Jesus wrote the Christian bible.
    Take care, neighbor.

  • morganne

    God gave us free will and this means we suffer because of our siblings free will to hurt us. If God swooped in and saved the mortal day, than there would be no true free will. It is not what happens to us in this world that matters, it is what we choose to do with the free will that we have. Do we try our best (and sometimes faulter since we are all merely children of something far greater than ourselves) to follow God’s will with our free will or do we use that free will to deny God and give into sinful earthy pleasures and hurt our brothers and sisters.

  • D.M.S.

    I wouldn’t advise trusting the Internet.
    That’s where all the wolves are.

  • D.M.S.

    Easy, scripture states to judge righteously.
    Stop typing your lies to me I won’t read one more lie that you try to tell me, goodbye.

  • itsallinplato

    He is writing about Christians shunning (whether they would call it that or not) other Christians, and the harm that causes. He has had a personal experience with it, yes, so it’s a personal issue for him. That does not mean that it’s not a really important issue. As Christians we need to realize again a couple of really important points:
    A. We are called to a hope. We are not perfect here, and neither is anybody else. We need to correct errors where they arise, but short of actively sowing division in the body of Christ it is not our job to give up on anybody.
    B. Doctrine matters. Nobody’s got perfect doctrine, but we can agree on really important things and quibble about the rest. It’s not “anything goes,” scripture does have objective meaning.

  • christina l

    You are the exact fake Christians she’s speaking about. You judge and only God can do that. The blind hate that fills your heart is the opposite of Jesus’s teachings. Love and compassion should be the foundation of a person’s faith. You need to actually find out why Jesus wept and maybe you would understand true love of God.

  • morganne

    Maybe this is his way of letting go? I find it is better to feel the pain and express it to let it go, than to say nothing and bottle it up. I would be so hurt I would be angry if I were him too and I would certainly need to vent before I could forgive. We all may be children of God but we are still only human. We will feel anger, hurt, and pain, especially for our children if we are loving parents.

  • christina l

    To discredit this person’s feelings isn’t the right thing. I’m sure this hurts and they have preyed to God about it. I’m sure it’s important to him.

  • Transward

    Christ said the fruits of the spirit are love, and a tree can be told by the fruits it bears. Your post shows no love. A little more attention to the log in your own eye and less on the splinter in other’s might be good for your soul.

  • Mike Lyle

    As someone who considers himself more superior in the knowledge of Christ than anyone this world has ever known, ever, let me say that, we’re all learning. Let’s allow others to learn as we would want to be allowed ourselves to learn, amen? (Proverbs 4:18; Luke 6:31)

    Still, there are so many unexplored and unappreciated benefits to rejection. It’s one of the particles of existence in this cruel world that no doubt aided our Savior in staying close to our Father. Bask in it, rejoice in it, let all that God can accomplish by it, accomplish!

    In the end, you will learn what small minds and small people have no possibility of learning with regards to the great power of greater revelation and love of God Almighty!

    P.S. Isn’t that an oxymoron, “proud Christian”?

    If God has granted you the blessing of being shunned, or “ghosted”, it’s because He has faith in you that you will come out of the experience stronger than when you went in. By His grace, the subsequent experiences will deepen and broaden your witness in Him! (Romans 8:28)

  • Jim Terr

    I’d say good riddance to those “friends” – period.

  • Mike Lyle

    You’re not atheist, you’re agnostic… Believers wonder, what’s God’s purpose in allowing this?

  • ChristopherATL

    I feel “ghosting” is one of many realities of Christianity that expose what’s wrong with those who say they follow it.

  • As a believer, I apologize that you’ve only been exposed to evil, judgmental, malicious people who claim to be Christ’s disciples. As you pointed out, those people obviously aren’t following His teachings. How interesting (and admirable) that you, as a non-believer, are more closely following His teachings–or at least exemplifying them–than so many Christians. Jesus must cringe at many of us who claim to represent Him. Jesus said the world should be able to recognize us by our love. We’ve fallen so far!

  • Mike Lyle

    Had to cross into Panama today, along with many strangers, including a two-family group of Muslims. Wondered, What would Jesus think of this crew? I saw the youngest boy as a beautiful child; saw his whining older sister (about five years old) as typical of tired children in such circumstances. Liked the garb. Made a superficial contact with one of the men. Smiled. Shared an amiable remark. Shook hands. It was the best I could do under the circumstances, but the gist of it was that I, neither Jesus, held no animosity toward these precious folks. Reminded me of the Lord’s meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, which concludes that “they who love God, love Him in spirit and in truth.”

  • queenofromania

    Would this mean that you were visited by Casper, the ‘un’friendly ghost?

  • FQB

    Sometimes it is impossible to forgive someone until you fully understand and mourn the damage done. Mourning the hurt is in no way persisting in unforgiveness, but is often the first step toward forgiveness.

  • D.M.S.

    I love my sister, but I don’t like her.
    The same goes for the wolf.
    I love the wolf but I don’t like the wolf.
    I don’t like the wolf for the same reason I don’t like my sister.

  • Herm

    D.M.S., you began this with, “Corey is taking people away from God/Jesus.”

    … then you have the audacity to usurp the LORD Almighty’s authority to judge as it is said in Jeremiah 11:20:

    Because the LORD revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” But you, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.Jeremiah 11:18-20 (NIV2011)

    You must have known I would refer you to “God/Jesus”‘ words:

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    Luke 6:37-38 (NIV2011)

    If you saw the Spirit of truth you would understand that Dr. Corey is introducing the real live God/Jesus/Spirit that all organized “christian” churches don’t know, either:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    Disciples (student followers) of the Messiah know what they must do to be chosen:

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

    And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    So, by those standards it is you who attempts to take people away from Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit – God.

  • D.M.S.

    There’s nothing that you can say that I will believe.

  • D.M.S.

    I am right, strictly scripture.
    How many Christians are saved by God the Fathers grace only?

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t need to prove that Christ Jesus exist I know He does.
    And no internet lies are going to tell me differently.
    Take care, neighbor.

  • D.M.S.

    LOL…..

  • TurinTurumbar

    While many Christians believe that they are engaging in biblical-based, church-backed discipline (shunning) what they are really doing is proving their Pharisaical nature. What these Sunday morning “Christians” are really doing is using their own self-righteousness to excuse ostracizing their fellow Christians.

    The congregation described here, and indeed most church communities which engage in such behavior, forget that while they may disagree with the ostracized individual, Jesus Christ disagrees with us all and would be well within his rights to exclude every last one of us from his father’s kingdom. If God engaged in this kind of mentality, there would be no modern church and indeed no Heaven. They forget the importance of conflict resolution, and navigating interfaith and religiopolitical disagreements, as a paramount aspect of being peacekeepers and loving one another… All too often Christians confuse forgiveness and real conflict resolution with “compromising on their faith.”

    This dangerous mentality is one aspect of what fuels the hateful vitriol that permeates America today and prevents real and healthy dialog, the kind which even Jesus would attempt with the Pharisees. When confronted by hypocrites, Christ responded in love and challenged these men to think deeper, beyond their own agenda and to consider God’s truth and not the “truths” they wanted to perpetuate (usually for their own gain).

    Ostracizing under the guise of “shunning” is only serving to further divide an already insanely divided modern church (this is Satan’s work, by the way). Rather than agreeing to disagree about worldly, and ultimately eternally unimportant, positions and uniting under the banner of our Savior, most modern congregants would rather disengage from peacekeeping and keep perpetuating the rifts which shape the modern American Church.

    How is it any wonder then, that the modern world doesn’t see Christians, Christianity, and the Church as a bastion of love? When our example is how the world judges us, and we would gladly ostracize our brothers and sisters instead of forgiving, agreeing to disagree, and make peace, then the only logical conclusion to an outsider is that Christians are no different than any heathen and that we are not, in fact or action, a religion of love. No one who gladly or readily turns their back on their brothers and sisters can be viewed as someone who is filled with the spirit of Love — this wasn’t how Christ operated, it wasn’t His modus operandi.

    However, as someone who has endured this, I speak from experience when I say that we also must be prepared to follow in Christ’s footsteps and be prepared to forgive those who have hurt us. This is arguably the hardest part of being unjustly wronged by our bigoted Christian brothers and sisters.

    Too bad Christians are regularly more interested in concerning themselves with the splinter in their brother’s eye than they are in removing the plank from their own eye.

  • D.M.S.

    Sin!

  • D.M.S.

    Liar…

  • Herm

    FQB, I disagree with mourning the hurt, for mourning is what we have to give value to a life’s relationship lost. Hurt is not life, and is not meant to be a welcomed relationship, but is a warning to do something to begin healing rather than continue in the direction that will certainly cause greater pain.

    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

    Luke 23:34 (NIV2011)

    Jesus forgave while in more agony than any ghosting or shunning could inflict.

    I am not suggesting what I am to Brenda without some real experience here. I am a Vietnam, in country, vet. I had friends spit on me when I returned home. I guarantee, without forgiving my anti-war protesting friends, and those who sent me and my comrades there not knowing what they were doing, I would have died much earlier from the weight of mourning those I loved and watched die and all those I loved and knew who died in country.

    Forgiveness, as soon as it can honestly be given, is for the relief of the offended more than the offenders, especially the offenders who knew not what they were doing.

  • Herm

    Then ask God directly! If they don’t answer, God is dead to you.

  • Herm

    Your humor is deadly! Your guide is blind!

  • Herm

    By what authority do you judge?

  • D.M.S.

    Righteously… Liar!

  • Herm

    There you go again, usurping the authority of the LORD Almighty who you don’t know.

  • D.M.S.

    Liar…

  • Bob

    Okay, then which Christian scripture would you accept. My oldest can read write and in some cases talk in different languages, the point being, as a philosophy major the bible was not well translated by King James. The lord prayer has gotten her into more trouble than it was ever worth. Trespass is english, everybody else at the time used debt.

  • Herm

    … sticks and stones … I carry my cross for you … for without being filled with the Holy Spirit you will never know the word of God so you will always know not what you do!

  • Herm

    I gave you scripture right out of the Christian Bible and you called me a liar, without refuting the scripture.

  • Bones

    It has nothing to do with your lost argument but just off the top of my head a heap of Irish hunger strikers went for over 50 days in the 80s.

    You don’t think much.

    Even the bible disagrees with you.

  • Bones

    If God impressed by you it must be pretty shallow.

    Like being impressed by Muslim nutters.

  • D.M.S.

    Chapter and verse please.

  • Bones

    Unfortunately reading and understanding are 2 different things as evidenced by the work with primary school kids.

  • Bones

    Actually it’s people like you who turn people away from God.

    Why would I follow the god of a bigoted idiot?

    I’d sooner have my brain cut out.

  • Bones

    No. You’re not.

    You are no neighbour to gay people and I don’t want you as one.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re mostly a 3 + paragraph writer. With you if it’s 1 or 2 sentences. I may skim over it but most the time I ignore your writings, because you’re a liar.

  • Bones

    I accept your defeat that jesus died as a jew and that the disciples continued to worship as Jews.

  • Bones

    Once again irrelevant and those verses indicate a later time of writing – the latter part of the first century when some Christians were being persecuted.

  • Herm

    I see. You haven’t read the Bible.

  • Chris Palmer

    Thanks for your reply, some of the things you wrote near the beginning are quite insightful. Especially to the Father’s heart and where He wants us to grow toward. Faith to faith, glory to glory, strength to strength as the bible says.

    So yes, point taken. I hope to remember what you’ve said as I approach these things in the future.

    I know a spiritual man can judge all things, but I think the mistake I’ve made is exactly what you’ve said… that I’ve thought Ben is finished and stuck at this point, rather than realizing this is just part of the process he is going through.

    I’m still learning to serve God by His word. And for me God asked specifically that I teach His people. My hearts’ desire is that I don’t want any to suffer unnecessarily through these things, but that they understand and know who they are in Christ.

    Thanks for your input, its good.

  • HighestHotLiver

    What an ugly little person you are

  • Bones

    Of the Irish hunger strikers?

    That was later.

    The bits in the Bible that disagree with you would be Luke 2:52 which tells us Jesus “grew in wisdom” which according to you, he couldn’t have because he was already all knowing and all wise while in the womb.

    Jesus didn’t need to go to school, he started speaking all languages when he was born while contemplating Quantum physics and whether Android was a better platform than Apples.

    Heck, probably even built himself a ferrari.

  • pud

    You are all lunatics

  • pud

    Your made up non existent “christ” was quoted by no name delusional religious apocalyptic lunatics who weren’t even in the same time period as endorsing slavery…but you don’t like the icky parts do you? Just the happy feel good parts.

    You are all delusional lunatics…every last one of you

  • Bones

    And acting like a complete jerk is such a great witness of your religion.

    Well done!

    You’re the best advertisement for atheism on here.

  • Bones

    So God created the eye worm which lives in children’s eyes and causes blindness???

    That’s nice of Him.

    Flu vaccines are changed every year because the flu virus evolves……same goes with pathogens building up antibiotic resistance which could well be a threat to humanity in the future.

    And a shame god didn’t get around to giving it to people over a hundred years ago. Some of my ancestors might not have died from it.

  • Bones

    No problem.

    I’m especially enjoying showing your stupidity to everyone here.

  • Bones

    It is 100% true that a sperm fertilises an egg.

    None of the biblical writers would have known that. Not one.

    Religion is NOT 100% true….maybe 1% at best.

  • Bones
  • Bones

    I’d be glad to be shunned by someone like you.

    Who needs you in their life?

  • Tom_P

    And one day; you.

  • Realist1234

    Fair enough though I dont think that explains all of the comments Ive rec’d…

  • Bravo Sierra

    Okay.

  • Guthrum

    Unnecessary name calling, berating, and disrespect.

  • Guthrum

    What evangelicals are you talking about ? There are evangelicals in every denomination . Evangelicals have a close relationship with Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. They seek to teach the Gospel to those who are lost and without Jesus.

  • Guthrum

    Christians do not want to hurt anyone.

  • Guthrum

    JW is a cult.

  • pud

    Grow a pair. You absolutely deserve berating and disrespect. You lie to children, propagate falsehoods, repress knowledge, depress humanity…you deserve only contempt. Your cult indoctrinates children, poisons minds, peddles fiction and false hope…stupid ideas deserve contempt. You’re earned nothing. You deserve nothing.

  • D.M.S.

    Opinions differ.
    Take care.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s fine, too.
    Take care.

  • D.M.S.

    Mankinds sin has created these viruses and diseases nothing else.

  • D.M.S.

    I said he knows all of the languages as God.
    You do realize that Christ Jesus is God?
    Maybe that’s what’s wrong with these conversations on this forum, no one here realizes that Christ Jesus is God.

  • HeywoodJabuzov

    It’s not a religious practice, it’s simply the result of challenging the very narrow and bigoted worldview of ignorant people who aren’t able to handle it. You chose to populate your life with those sorts of people, thus my sympathy is limited.

  • “If your friend is no longer your friend, they were never your friend in the first place.”
    I remember attending a conference of Mormon missionaries in the UK in 1972. A couple of lady missionaries wanted to know how to handle a very delicate problem. They had been contacted by a black family and had even visited them twice to give them the “lessons”.
    This was before blacks were recognised as equal to whites in the Mormon Church.
    These young ladies were very concerned and confused. What to do? I will never forget the Mission President’s reply:
    “What if you just never went back and never saw them again?”
    Er, ok…
    The official advice was “Ghost them!”
    The in-group / out-group is a recognised social phenomenon, and it works that way even in (shock! horror!) Christian groups. I say that speaking as an atheist.
    Bon courage, mon ami.

  • D.M.S.

    The bible is worth reading to understand Gods word.
    You’re not worth reading, you have nothing to offer but deceit.

  • D.M.S.

    Irrevalent to you…

  • D.M.S.

    Lol….

  • D.M.S.

    How would you know that?

  • D.M.S.

    Yes I’m a bigot, but so is 99.9% of the world.
    I’ve noticed that you’re not tolerant of me.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t believe anything that you have to say.
    You take scripture and twist it to agree with your Sinfilled world.

  • sporadic -Z

    wow! this dude touched a nerve.
    are there stocks in the village square in your town?
    maybe form a new group of the forgotten ghosts to have something to commiserate? i see few remedies. the answer is in there _somewhere_.

  • Mike D

    Are the people who ghosted on you really people you’d want in your life?

  • God’s existence has nothing to do with dogmatism, it has to do with what is true and what is not. I am thinking you likely have differentiating between the two or maybe you just do not care.

  • SirRoland

    Sounds like some of your fellow parishioners put guns higher on the board than Jesus.

  • Ed Hagan

    Apparently you were ghosted because you went against the principle reason for religion. That is to control people. They should all live, think, and act the same according to the leaders of their particular religion. You showed that you could learn and grow. That was your sin.

  • Colin Smith

    As an atheist AND someone who leans toward Universal Unitarianism, you’re right: I don’t care whether God exists or not and I don’t need to care.

    The only thing I care about is having a secular society that allows all beliefs (and none) to flourish.

  • D.M.S.

    The one the HolySpirit directs us too.
    I have KJV and NKJV.
    I started with KJV went to NIV and came back to what I have now a few years ago.
    Mankind usually only tries to seek mankinds intelligence. Which will be their downfall.
    Philosophy what a complete crock of baloney.

  • D.M.S.

    Grow in what? That is the real question.

  • Momof5

    It sounds like they DID attempt to speak to him about the issues. They addressed one concern in a meeting where, rather than listening and being open to iron sharpening iron, he “pushed back”. Some tried to speak to him about the content of a sermon and I imagine he didn’t react well to that rebuke because he described it as them “cornering” him. The whole blog is about how he is better than they are. He “grew” beyond their theological understanding. I call BS. I would bet this guy has an issue with pride and refused to hear correction. There’s no man more insufferable than one who feels he’s beyond reproach in all matters and remains stiff-necked to the authority God has placed in his life.

  • Herm

    Define what sin is, please.

  • Herm

    So, disciples of Christ ,dead to us for over 1,900 years, are worth reading, but disciples today are deceitful. You do know, from your reading, that Caiaphas said pretty much the same thing, don’t you?

  • D.M.S.

    I wonder how Martin Luther felt when he got ghosted by the RCC?
    Disgusted at first, Eventually he was relieved. I thank the good Lord for bringing Martin Luther to the world and exposing all of the RCC’s lies.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, all non-Christians are lunatics. You are correct.

  • Mike Magnet

    Run… run from the churches, run from the superstition, run from the control. The further you are from the delusional, power-hungry auspices of guilt fermenting Christianity and its churches, the closer you’ll be to a god (though remember personal gods don’t exist).

  • Herm

    Poetic! Elucidate!

  • D.M.S.

    Yes….run, run, run to the open arms of your master satan. That satan will do everything he can to everyone to go against God/Jesus.

  • D.M.S.

    Philosophy mankinds dismal attempt at trying to be intellectual.
    Thank the good Lord thru prayer that we have the KJV and the NKJV, to help all of us in every aspect of life today.

  • pud

    Anyone who willingly subscribes to an ancient book written by no name barbarians in an apocalyptic ignorant age…who willingly “believes” in things totally lacking evidence….who thinks “faith” in the absurd is a virtue…who talks to invisible friends and thinks the laws of physics are routinely violated via angelic miracles is indeed a lunatic.

  • Khandvagoft

    You would have to wonder, I suppose, as to whether those people were ever truly your friends? Why waste your time with people like that?

  • Stan Neubert

    They never where your friends. Your real friends are people with whom your share a bond without having to share beliefs, not people who belong to the same organization as you, their first loyalty will always be to the group, not to any one individual.

  • Sofia Abresch

    Thanks for your reply. But, isn’t this the same old story? One group of Christians pointing to other Christians and saying “Well, they’re not REALLY Christians…but, us. . .” (What hubris.) So – it seems to me that the only one that can say who a “real” Christian is – is God/divinity-name-of-your-choice-here. I don’t think anyone knows enough about someone else’s heart, history, path, or life circumstances to say someone else’s path is “fake”. But, I can tell you – fake, not fake, real or not real – this is not a group I’d join. Take care.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Actually, it is. Now, this conversation isn’t heading anywhere constructive, so I’m just going to end my half of it. Feel free to keep replying.

  • apoxbeonyou
  • pud

    Nothing could be more stupid and infantile as what you just wrote. Your delusion runs very very deep. LOOK OUT! a demon is eating your corn flakes! OH NO!

  • Herm

    Have you tried asking God, Jesus, Allah, the Father in heaven, the Christ, the Messiah or the Advocate, by whatever name you know your personal god to be, to protect you from evil and teach you in truth … and then trust that They do, and will, without your hiding behind your closed heart and mind?

  • pud

    Maybe he doesn’t have an invisible friend to talk to or he’s more than 3 years old?

  • Little David

    Some religions/cults are worse than others.

  • D.M.S.

    All non-Christian are lunatics.
    But God loves everyone including the lunatics.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, all non-Christians are lunatics.

  • gimpi1

    I’m sure you’re right about that. No amount of manners can guarantee reasonable responses from everyone – especially on the web.

    I do find it helps to remember that my opinions are just that, opinions. When I have independently verifiable facts I’m not shy about citing them. Sometimes, especially in matters of faith, it’s hard for people who believe strongly to remember that there simply are no proven, independently verified facts. It truly is all subjective. Remembering that can help in conversation.

  • D.M.S.

    My heart and mind is quite open to God/Jesus/HolySpirit.
    They’re not open to mankinds lies.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    Man, you need a new religion.

  • TS (unami)

    I’m grateful that you took the time to fully read and consider what I wrote, and that your own approach toward others who are hurting has softened. Thank you. :-)

  • ben

    I want to be sympathetic, i truly do. It sucks being excluded and even worse when people take their anger out on children.

    That being said if youre a member of an ultra religious, ignorant, borderline cult, you cant be terribly surprised when the members behave like… well a cult.

    This is par for the course for religious crazies, mormons, scientologists, etc

  • sblawyer

    Since your comprehension is so good, Al, where did I place the blame on the author for his friends ghosting him, and where did he try to reach out? Nowhere. What I did point out was that he didn’t mention any steps he took to try to get to the root of the problem. If someone ghosted me and my family, if the relationships were important to me, and if my family were suffering the way he says his family was suffering, I would try to find out what had happened, instead of sitting back and just bitching about how mean they were. If the relationships weren’t important, I’d just let them go. What he said was, “Sadly I don’t think they care, either– because if they did, they would have attempted to bind up the wounds they inflicted without letting years go by and life fall apart.” So, he puts the burden on them to attempt to bind up the wounds. Meanwhile, he has let years go by without attempting to bind up the wounds – wounds that he assumed are due to his self-described “errors.”. I have a close group of friends, and we sometimes have conflict. It can get painful, but we have a commitment with each other that if we have been hurt by someone in the group, we go to that person and work through it. It’s amazing how often the conflict stemmed from miscommunication. And yes, I am a lawyer. A successful one at that. That being said, I’m done with this. I’ve made my points. You disagree with me. You and I have no relationship, so I have no interest in continuing in a dialogue with you.

  • AugustineThomas

    Especially Secularists. You guys are the worst cultists of all.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why do people go to zoos?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Because you both…suck?

  • Kit Springs ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ₕₑᵣₘᵢₜ

    No, just someone describing a tired 5 year old. Nothing more.

  • Maybe

    This is what cults do, not Christians.

    But then, nowadays a whole bunch of “Christians” in this country sound more like cults than what-would-Jesus-do Christians.

    I’m an atheist myself, but I have friends who are Christians in the spiritual, not political, sense and I respect that.

  • Maybe

    You do realize that there are more than two directions, right?

    Sigh. You probably don’t.

  • Maybe

    Your mind is so open that everything important has spilled out.

  • Maybe

    You do realize that there are more than two different types of “Christians,” right?

    Or do you equate Pope Francis with Westboro church?

    You sound like one of those people who relies on using labels in order to avoid having to actually think.

  • Momminator

    I can’t stand Gothard, what a douche, and I know a fair number of gay people, men and women, and they tell me their stories. No child is born wanting homosexual sex. It’s about same sex disassociation. A child can decide their same sex parent isn’t worth modeling well before they have the words to understand what has happened to them. One fight between parents where the same sex parent is being really horrible, and a 2-yr-old, can either reject the parent because they are perceived to be the meaner aggressive one, or identify with the opposite sex doormat in the relationship because they aren’t personally of an aggressive nature in their personality. It’s about fear, power, and whether or not a child’s personality can accept or reject what they see. It’s spiritual. My heart bleeds for the friends I have that are trapped in this self-hatred. It is rejection of one’s own body, one’s own born and unchangeable self. I don’t hate them at all. But what they believe is normal, while it may be the normal they grew up with, is not normal and healthy.

    The other 3 reasons I see for confusion are childhood sexual abuse, often in which children are groomed for abuse. Your first sexual experience is hardwired into your brain. This is why pedophiles cannot be remediated. Your “first times” are precious and to be guarded. The partner, the emotional atmosphere, what you touch and what you feel, the lighting, sounds, smells, location, all are imprinted on your brain as “normal” that first time. Your body memorizes your partner, and bodily fluids are exchanged that actually do beneficial things to physically bond. You become “one flesh”. Adding multiple partners confuses your body and your mind.

    This is why virginity is so important to protect! In the largest study done on sexual satisfaction, virgins who married virgins were the most happy! Because they had no emotional scars, no regrets, nothing to negatively compare their spouse to, nor use to belittle their spouse, no confusion in their bodies from one partner to another. Just a pure happy future of pleasant discover and enjoyment.
    It’s especially sad to me that the LGBTetc crowd sees sex as a mechanical act, not as a gift to one special person you will depend on, trust, and grow old with for your lifetime. It’s such a cheapening of the unique individual that each person is.

    The other 2 reasons for activity and confusion are what I call the Business Man in Bankok rationale, in which people experiment with perversion because they are working out issues of humiliation, power, and a sense of control over their lives by abusing others, and then there’s the mess that chemical food additives and artificial hormones are wreaking in children because we continue to buy food that is, of all things, rainbow-colored with artificial flavors! How fitting to end on that.

  • UltraAK

    especially fundies….seen it first-hand…

  • Traitor

    “I don’t think they realize…”

    Please. You know very well they realize all of this, which is exactly why they behaved this way. And you are a fool to forgive them, because forgiveness is an expensive gift they do not deserve.

    Also, I doubt that you didn’t realize you were a member of an insane cult – it simply worked for you while it did.

    I do wonder what you felt you had in common with these people in the first place, and whether you think you still have any of those same things in common.

  • Traitor

    First:

    “As someone who considers himself more superior in the knowledge of Christ than anyone this world has ever known, ever, let me say that…”

    And later:

    “P.S. Isn’t that an oxymoron, “proud Christian”?”

    It’s interesting how you managed to write both of those things in one comment, and see nothing wrong with it.

    Or maybe your sense of humor is very subtle.

  • Traitor

    Oh, that’s too funny.

  • Traitor

    You might want to try actually reading his post…

  • Traitor

    No True Scotsman seems a favorite of many Christian commenters.

    It’s always those damn imposters, isn’t it?

  • D.M.S.

    There is only one kind of Christian those that adhere to the Christian bible.
    Not from some man in a denomination that states that he is right over God/Jesus Christian bible.

  • D.M.S.

    We either serve God/Jesus.
    Or we serve Satan.
    Those are our only two choices.
    There are no more that those two.

  • D.M.S.

    God/Jesus/HolySpirit are the only ones that are important on this earth and always will be.

  • Pecos45

    Sounds like your church is full of Trump voters: bigoted and ignorant.

  • D.M.S.

    There is only ” ONE ” kind of Christian. Those that serve God/Jesus/HolySpirit only.
    All others serve Satan.

  • Pecos45

    That’s awfully intolerant of you.

  • Eugene Hartke

    Ghosting doesn’t occur in the True Christian church. That only happens in the Satan-spawned evangelical churches.

  • JimmyGotHisKornCracked

    When I come across messages such as these, it tends to remind me how broken most churches have become.

    Most stand on tradition alone, and tend to become everything but what is expected from Christians, when those traditions are treaded upon.

    I would wonder how it could be, if I hadn’t seen the world in which Christianity is a part. A world where money is king, sex is queen, narcissism there child; and god is just an afterthought… If even a thought at all.

  • D.M.S.

    He can have all the cereal that he likes. I don’t eat cereal, way to many chemicals and sugars.

  • D.M.S.

    Get behind me satan….

  • D.M.S.

    All sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant of one woman only married to one man only.
    Is sexual sin.
    Which other categories would you like?

  • Nathan Hyatt

    Sounds like a typical church, mostly devoid of true Christians. Sorry you’re surrounded by people like that. Good luck and God bless…

  • Barbara Judd

    What is good? What is evil? If you treat your fellow human beings solely according to your interpretation of God’s will then you are guilty of hubris, and are capable of great evil. It was God’s people who murdered people in the name of the inquisition. It was God’s people who enslaved the inferior black race for their own good. It is God’s people, in the name of Allah, who murder apostates.
    If you cannot treat a person of good will with kindness and respect then it is you who is guilty of hubris, and evil.
    Posted under my wife’s account.

  • cc

    “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” Benjamin Corey was not ghosted. He knows precisely why his associates ended their personal relationships with him and, tragically, with his daughter. Those of us who find verbal expression easier than our fellows frequently forget that what we frame as a discussion is for others an assault. Others experience our “helpful insights” as someone much bigger beating them up “because we can” and then claiming that we have been victimized because the people that we failed to recognize that we were hurting decline to enter yet more unequal, discussion with outcomes predictable to everyone but us. Mea culpa.

  • D.M.S.

    Opinions vary…

  • Weevie

    You’re describing and concerned about losing membership in a clique, not a church. A poor clique at that. Move on, find some decent people and think about all the effort you’ve put into these shallow people. As they say, let the door hit your backside on the way out to be sure you don’t do this again.

    There’s a lot of this A to Z in ten seconds behavior going on today; no thinking just gut level reacting. Shallow leaders breed shallow followers and you seem like neither!

    Maybe your friends’ behavior is temporary, maybe it will turn around, but let them come back to you, then help them.

  • Momminator

    Yeah, you have read and understand the Bible in it’s historical and linguistic context. I can see that now. You have spent time with real scholars. The entire Christian education community bows to your learned wisdom. Their eons of careful guard and transmission of the texts were certainly foolish, and academia, the majority of whom are atheists or agnostics, know far more than centuries of dedicated thoughtful men and women.

  • Weevie

    define God.

  • Weevie

    Just outed yourself as a troll. Nice run, though! Peace!

  • D.M.S.

    I will die for that belief in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
    I hope some day that you grow up and see the real truth of the world.

  • D.M.S.

    Christian scripture tells all of us what is good and evil.
    It’s man’s pride that has him do atrocities against his fellow mankind.

  • Yata-Hey

    Could your “friends” be heeding scripture?

    Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)

  • morganne

    TurinTurumbar said it best but unfortunately his comment got pushed down by hate so here it is again:

    While many Christians believe that they are engaging in biblical-based, church-backed discipline (shunning) what they are really doing is proving their Pharisaical nature. What these Sunday morning “Christians” are really doing is using their own self-righteousness to excuse ostracizing their fellow Christians.

    The congregation described here, and indeed most church communities which engage in such behavior, forget that while they may disagree with the ostracized individual, Jesus Christ disagrees with us all and would be well within his rights to exclude every last one of us from his father’s kingdom. If God engaged in this kind of mentality, there would be no modern church and indeed no Heaven. They forget the importance of conflict resolution, and navigating interfaith and religiopolitical disagreements, as a paramount aspect of being peacekeepers and loving one another… All too often Christians confuse forgiveness and real conflict resolution with “compromising on their faith.”

    This dangerous mentality is one aspect of what fuels the hateful vitriol that permeates America today and prevents real and healthy dialog, the kind which even Jesus would attempt with the Pharisees. When confronted by hypocrites, Christ responded in love and challenged these men to think deeper, beyond their own agenda and to consider God’s truth and not the “truths” they wanted to perpetuate (usually for their own gain).

    Ostracizing under the guise of “shunning” is only serving to further divide an already insanely divided modern church (this is Satan’s work, by the way). Rather than agreeing to disagree about worldly, and ultimately eternally unimportant, positions and uniting under the banner of our Savior, most modern congregants would rather disengage from peacekeeping and keep perpetuating the rifts which shape the modern American Church.

    How is it any wonder then, that the modern world doesn’t see Christians, Christianity, and the Church as a bastion of love? When our example is how the world judges us, and we would gladly ostracize our brothers and sisters instead of forgiving, agreeing to disagree, and make peace, then the only logical conclusion to an outsider is that Christians are no different than any heathen and that we are not, in fact or action, a religion of love. No one who gladly or readily turns their back on their brothers and sisters can be viewed as someone who is filled with the spirit of Love — this wasn’t how Christ operated, it wasn’t His modus operandi.

    However, as someone who has endured this, I speak from experience when I say that we also must be prepared to follow in Christ’s footsteps and be prepared to forgive those who have hurt us. This is arguably the hardest part of being unjustly wronged by our bigoted Christian brothers and sisters.

    Too bad Christians are regularly more interested in concerning themselves with the splinter in their brother’s eye than they are in removing the plank from their own eye.

  • Herm

    Are you being facetious and/or flaunting your ignorance on a subject you have no first hand experience with?

  • Subflow22

    Sounds very codependent. I’d subscribe to a different religion.

  • D.M.S.

    Don’t care.

  • Herm

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    Who’s your teacher?

  • Momminator

    Personal interactions with others are different from involvement in political discourse and debate. Most people don’t separate the two. This causes a lot of trouble for all involved. Each person in the U.S. has a right to voice their thoughts, and if enough people make an issue of something, one might even get to vote about it.
    Each person only has responsibility for what they themselves do. Discussing ideas offered in the religious and political world are “pie in the sky” kinds of conversation. They don’t have much to do with the world in front of each of us each day. There’s no material harm in free speech! Therefore, we should all be backing off and calming down. Unless someone has done something that materially harms you, you’ve got no reason to be aggravated with others. You may not like what they say, but yes, you can remove yourself from their proximity.
    Ghosting is another matter. It’s cowardice and faithlessness. It’s being unwilling to confront because you believe they “won’t get it” or “will get angry” or they’ll “never change”. That is a total lack of faith in God to overcome the blindness of their hearts, or your own. And if it’s a matter of believing someone else is so sinful you can’t be near them? But you won’t ask them what they’re thinking? Coward! Go read 1 John.

  • D.M.S.

    I just did, didn’t you read it?

  • Scott Mendelson

    If you hang out with a bunch of fanatical religious screwballs, what would you expect?

  • morganne

    Please read TurinTurumbar’s comment. He explains it best.

  • Herm

    Yup, gravity keeps us well grounded because it sucks, too.

  • morganne

    Again, the best comment on here is from TurinTurumbar:
    While many Christians believe that they are engaging in biblical-based, church-backed discipline (shunning) what they are really doing is proving their Pharisaical nature. What these Sunday morning “Christians” are really doing is using their own self-righteousness to excuse ostracizing their fellow Christians.

    The congregation described here, and indeed most church communities which engage in such behavior, forget that while they may disagree with the ostracized individual, Jesus Christ disagrees with us all and would be well within his rights to exclude every last one of us from his father’s kingdom. If God engaged in this kind of mentality, there would be no modern church and indeed no Heaven. They forget the importance of conflict resolution, and navigating interfaith and religiopolitical disagreements, as a paramount aspect of being peacekeepers and loving one another… All too often Christians confuse forgiveness and real conflict resolution with “compromising on their faith.”

    This dangerous mentality is one aspect of what fuels the hateful vitriol that permeates America today and prevents real and healthy dialog, the kind which even Jesus would attempt with the Pharisees. When confronted by hypocrites, Christ responded in love and challenged these men to think deeper, beyond their own agenda and to consider God’s truth and not the “truths” they wanted to perpetuate (usually for their own gain).

    Ostracizing under the guise of “shunning” is only serving to further divide an already insanely divided modern church (this is Satan’s work, by the way). Rather than agreeing to disagree about worldly, and ultimately eternally unimportant, positions and uniting under the banner of our Savior, most modern congregants would rather disengage from peacekeeping and keep perpetuating the rifts which shape the modern American Church.

    How is it any wonder then, that the modern world doesn’t see Christians, Christianity, and the Church as a bastion of love? When our example is how the world judges us, and we would gladly ostracize our brothers and sisters instead of forgiving, agreeing to disagree, and make peace, then the only logical conclusion to an outsider is that Christians are no different than any heathen and that we are not, in fact or action, a religion of love. No one who gladly or readily turns their back on their brothers and sisters can be viewed as someone who is filled with the spirit of Love — this wasn’t how Christ operated, it wasn’t His modus operandi.

    However, as someone who has endured this, I speak from experience when I say that we also must be prepared to follow in Christ’s footsteps and be prepared to forgive those who have hurt us. This is arguably the hardest part of being unjustly wronged by our bigoted Christian brothers and sisters.

    Too bad Christians are regularly more interested in concerning themselves with the splinter in their brother’s eye than they are in removing the plank from their own eye.

  • Cody Heitschmidt

    I wonder if you should explore the potential that you weren’t “ghosted” and maybe you slowly drove these people out of your life but continually questioning their belief system?

  • Yata-Hey

    Have you heeded Jesus’ advice… seeing as how you have taught from Matthew chapter 5?

    Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

    That might prove to be a more effective solution than “casting your pearls before the swine”.

  • morganne

    These people did not practice love and Instead chose to ostracize him.

  • pud

    LOL…more idiotic brainless commentary!

    If the buybull was the WORD OF GOD it would not need context, historical clarification, interpretation, study, interpolation, revisions, translations or anything else! It would be instantly recognizable as the PERFECT book without error or contradiction! (It has hundreds) There would be but one denomination not 40,000, one religion not 10,000 and there wouldn’t be blogs like this having to explain the nonsense or debate the nuances! Bible scholars are almost entirely “believers” so anything they have to spin is useless garbage

  • D.M.S.

    You just wrote one of His many teachings to us Christians thru scripture.

  • morganne

    The swine are still our brothers and sisters. Do not forget Jesus surrounded himself with murderers and theives.

  • Scott Mendelson

    I don’t know about this girl god business. It makes sense, but I’ve seen the FSM and seen two balls, albeit with garlic and parmesan cheese on them.

  • Herm

    So, you trust your church, with Peter as your rock, rather than the Spirit of truth as your rock who lives to Teach. Oh, ye of little faith that God is in your midst to teach, today. John 14:15-21 and 16:12-15 is worth reading for the truth.

  • Herm

    You’ve been told that, but tell me what sin is, please, not the categories of sin. Use your dictionary to prompt you.

  • Herm

    Yes I did. What does it truthfully tell you about who you should follow as your Teacher?

  • Wmass Indivisible

    Many years ago I was a bible teacher in a very conservative christian church. The moment my husband and i began to actually behave in the way described in Bible by Jesus, we were shunned as well. That was over 20 yrs ago and I have never stepped inside a church again. Christians today are not the same. They are the fakest people I’ve ever had the displeasure of being around. I highly recommend finding a terrific theater group and surrounding yourself with people who will accept you for you who are and be your true friend. Peace and love to you from an atheist.

  • Russell Houghton

    I’m not sure you were ghosted. You know exactly why they broke off contact with you. The disagreements kept coming and the tension kept mounting. Not that I’m defending their behavior, but this wasn’t ghosting, as far as I can see. I could be wrong, of course.

  • DennistheTall

    These people sound very thin skinned. If you were surprised by what happened you weren’t paying attention! You sound like you would make a good Methodist. Drop by sometime.

  • Mir Captain

    I fail to see what ghosting has to do with Christians.

    Christianity may have been the context/backdrop of the disagreements that led to the ghosting of the author, but ghosting is human behavior that cuts across all denominations and belief systems.

    Atheists do it too.

    Is there irony in its stark contrast to Jesus’ teachings? Sure. But it also goes against the Golden Rule and any number of secular measures of decent behavior.

    Perhaps the author would do well to consider a broader audience.

  • Herm

    “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV2011)

    He, who I follow to emulate, ate with tax collectors and pagans (holding beliefs other than His mainstream religion) in their homes. My Lord will not teach those who shun, because they refuse to carry their own cross for those they believe don’t know what they are doing. Those who ghost another, in any way they would not have others do to them, love their local church family more than He who the church uses His name in vain.

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

    Those who are not listening to the living word of God in their heart and mind of spirit (the image of God), to teach them today, are not who this article is directed towards.

  • Hɐlbe

    This is the biggest pile of nonsense, ignorance, outright lies and bad reasoning I have ever read in my life. Lyin’ For Jesus™ is still “bearing false witness”, so unfortunately it will be eternal torture for you. Repent, before it’s too late! On the plus side: it is people like you and their toxic bigotry that makes people leave Christianity in droves

  • Herm

    The broader audience is welcome to sit in, even respond in comment, but the name on the door is Christ’s, first and foremost.

  • Barbara Judd

    Christian scripture has always been open to interpretation. We do not read it in the original language, and even to the extent that we are capable of reading it in nominally the same language, the meanings of words change with time. Nor is it just the words. Context matters, and is not always clear over the millenia.
    Christian scripture was used to justify slavery. Is this what you believe? No matter what you answer, it is your interpretation of scripture that you, in your hubris, are claiming is the intent of God. You cannot claim the righteous mantle of God for your actions, because you are not God. If you cannot treat a person of good will with dignity and respect, regardless of that person’s beliefs, then it is clear that you are not a person of good will – regardless of your perception that you follow scripture.
    Have you forgotten that people are fallible? Have you forgotten that you might be fallible? Cast the sin of hubris out of your heart. Treat people respectfully.
    Posted under my wife’s account

  • Mir Captain

    What door? This is a blog.

  • Tanya Erin Kuzara

    When I finally stopped attending all Christian churches, was after many years of moving from one to another and another finding nothing more than love of the law of the Pharisees over the love of Christ.

    More interest in the appearance of righteousness by whom they exclude over the mercy of Christ by whom they love and aid.

    More interested in the politics of man, than the love of God…

    Judgement, exclusion, hatred of those with a differing opinion. Fear of having their sacred lambs challenged by evolving understanding of faith and clinging to law over love…

    Disappointing, because in the words of Christ, there are so many beautiful tenets to bring man together, and yet, we focus on words of man trying to push us all apart. Pushing us apart successfully I would say.

  • Bob Jarvis

    “Ghosting”? Nah – that’s “shunning”. Amish, y’know?

    So because you tried to *be* a Christian and preached to them from the Gospel, you got dumped by your friends because Christianity and their political viewpoints didn’t mesh? Good news – these weren’t friends. I’m not positive they’re fully human. Whaddya call apes of the genus homo who have learned to put on clothes and not throw poo? Probably not “human”. I’m sure it still hurts but from my angle you’re better off without this bunch.

    Full disclosure – not a Christian. If I get shunned for that – sucks to be me. :-)

  • Tanya Erin Kuzara

    In the author’s list of “offences” which led to the ghosting, he sounds like he was speaking to Christ’s love, and the politics of his congregation weren’t compatible with Christ’s message…

    Seriously? Bringing firearms to church? Rejecting the idea of making sure you’re a responsible employer by paying your employees a wage they can live on? Looking at your wife as an equal instead of as some kind of servant?

  • Tanya Erin Kuzara

    It’s as simple as… “Well if they’re not TRUE Christians™, then I have no responsibility to check their actions! Because TRUE Christians™ would never do THAT!” Somebody ELSE’S problem!

    It’s an exhausting mindset to deal with… What is it in the belief system that attracts and allows certain mindsets not only to feel safe, but flourish and corrupt? Find those doctrinal issues, and then you can address the issues…

  • Melita

    I understand that this isn’t the main point of your essay, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around “I made the error of suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place of worship”.

    For full disclosure, I’m an atheist and not a member of any religious organization. However, I am a member of the faculty of a university, the staff of a hospital, some professional organizations, a chain of warehouse retail stores, an entertainment/theme park complex, and the fan club of a sci-fi/fantasy television series. None of these organization professes a mission of love, peace, or brotherhood. However, bringing a weapon into any them would be considered outrageous and probably forbidden. It’s not even a point of debate.

    The fact you were ostracized for even suggesting banning weapons IN A CHURCH just bowls me over. I’d say the “ghosting” was a clear sign that you don’t belong in that club and that it’s time to find a new one.

  • Justice Carmon

    You really need to read what happened to Jesus on His first sermon. Wasn’t pretty.

    But don’t imagine that running from all conservative Christians to embrace all liberal Christians – or liberal non-Christians – makes you better.

    You just wanted better actors, not better saints.

    And without Christ, you have nothing eternal.

    I am a former liberal apostate turned Bible teacher.

    And Jesus’s style? Only possible when you have the Holy Spirit, this I fully know.

    Perhaps you can just go to Jesus and tell Him you are sorry for your sins and want his Spirit.

    That was probably the problem you ran into – Christians who read their bible but did not ask for the Spirit to change them and make them new people.

    And you followed suit, before going your own way. [I did about the same thing for 10 years.]

  • D.M.S.

    The HolySpirit will decide that not any human being.
    There is only one interpretation God/Jesus/HolySpirit.
    It will be the few that enter through the narrow gate that will have salvation.
    It won’t be anyone who believes that there are many interpretation.

  • D.M.S.

    The teacher ( Pastor- male only ) who follows His teachings.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s what scripture states.

  • Herm

    You really don’t understand the reality of rooms and partitions in the cyber world you are relating through right this moment?

    Were you forced into the Internet door marked patheos_blogs_formerlyfundi?

    How did you know to come this way?

  • D.M.S.

    I definitely don’t trust you.
    That’s for sure.

  • Herm

    What does sin mean to you?

    Is it a transgression of divine law, maybe?

  • True American Patriot

    Well we don’t want to fall into the trap of over complicating things or confuse multiple topics with one. A person is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This grace and this faith are received as a gift apart from anything having to do with church attendance or reciting any creeds. People can’t and don’t do anything to receive this grace, faith, and salvation, and cannot contribute anything to it. In fact, the terrifying truth and reality which even many in the church cannot or will not accept is that it is predestined from eternity before the creation of the world itself even as to whether or not we do receive it. This is also not merely based on divine foreknowledge, as in foreknowing that we would choose, because no matter what we will never choose in truth and for real, every one of us, but rather based on God’s sovereign election by grace. Once people do receive this grace, faith and salvation, however, then certain “fruits” naturally flow and should flow from it. The Bible is also a book of progressive revelation, and was not yet complete by the time of the centurion. Further along in the Bible, God does make it clear that we should engage and participate in the corporate gathering together of the people of God. That is not to be thought of as some kind of “legalistic” rule required for salvation, however. That gathering may normally consist of a formal church service, but in some cases perhaps something not entirely like a typical church service as well.

  • Herm

    That’s okay with me. If you are actually here to be constructive, not disruptive, I would like to know who you do trust.

  • D.M.S.

    And Russian, Chinese, Persian, Indian, etc.
    He created all of those languages.

  • D.M.S.

    Opinions vary….

  • Momminator

    If I gave a 4-yr-old a manual regarding a riding lawn mower, I couldn’t think of a worse situation than handing you a Bible. What you have said defies all logic. I hope you never take up aviation or marine navigation. Reading the Bible requires work. It’s not “Good Night Moon”. The details you think are contradictions are actually proofs of its age and legitimacy. Archaeology is proving that all the time.

  • D.M.S.

    It’s to be repented of to our Lord God in Jesus name.

  • Herm

    I rest my case, according to scripture you are hopeless. You have nothing to offer us here.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

  • mike g

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f3f092039dbb340318444959360003c1804036ae911a7937bbce83e7a2e3c1b.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a9fda6b22324e1d5cf50848b94cd91f286a6cab41cc9920d129ab35960c7d23.jpg
    I have read most of the posts here and it makes for great reading. For and against. Some comments read like cat people and shut-ins just wanting to have their voices heard because it mentions Jesus, A psychological phenomenon that explains why
    people tend to seek out information that confirms their existing
    opinions and overlook or ignore information that refutes their beliefs. Confirmation bias occurs when people filter out potentially useful facts and opinions that don’t coincide with their preconceived notions.
    Sourc:http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/confirmation-bias.asp

    The
    human mind can hardly remain entirely free from bias, and decisive
    opinions are often formed before a thorough examination of a subject
    from all its aspects has been made. H. P. Blavatsky

  • Yata-Hey

    A search through the blog’s archives might reveal much that could be considered “contrary to the doctrine you have received” and perhaps destabilizing especially to a young believer.

    Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

    Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. (Romans 14;19)

  • Mir Captain

    Gee whiz, Herm. It was a simple question, what door?

    You responded to my post with a two part sentence:

    “The broader audience is welcome to sit in, even respond in comment, but the name on the door is Christ’s, first and foremost.”

    The first part I understand. It’s what comes after the qualifying “but” that I asked for your help in understanding.

    I’m an I.T. professional. I understand how the internet works. Why the derision?

    I clicked on a link to this story because it intrigued me. I read it. I posted a comment.

    When you started talking about doors with Christ’s name on them I asked you for clarification.

    Is He running a DNS server now?

    Why not just just answer my question? What’s the condition placed on a broader audience commenting that you refer to in your response above?

  • D.M.S.

    That’s fine.
    I forgive all of you here on this forum for the trespasses you have all brought to me.
    Take care, neighbors.

  • pud

    Are you a god? Was the lawn mower manual written by an all powerful deity?

    Your argument is stupid

    The contradictions PROVE that the stupid book is NOT the perfect word of a god. Contradictions by definition DISPROVE a proposition they do not confirm it! LOL! What an idiot!

    Archaeology has demonstrated NOTHING supernatural EVER

    If you were an all knowing deity you wouldn’t hand a 4 year old a riding lawn mower in the first place!

    If you were an all powerful deity carrying the most important message of all time you would leave NO room for error…unless you can’t or you don’t fucking exist!

  • WayneMan

    If the Hindus are right, you should be praying to Brahma, Vishnu, Hanuman, and others. You could well be on the wrong plan.

  • D.M.S.

    Then why does our scripture state as you recited earlier. If you love father and mother before Me, you are not worthy of Me.
    Why does scripture refer to my dad as father if I’m not to call him father?
    I believe you have misinterpreted scripture as many have. Scripture would not refer to my dad as father if we’re not to call him father.
    God is always referred to as Father with a capital F.
    My dad is also my father.
    As all of you here have nothing to offer me as well.
    Take care, neighbors.

  • WayneMan

    Take this test. It easily shows the contradictions by selecting the opposing verse to make your multiple choice answer wrong, no matter what you pick.

    Bible quiz where any answer is shown incorrect.
    http://exchristian.net/3/

  • Kensington

    It happened to me. One of my best friends suddenly disappeared from my life. He’s a Bible-beating Christian and I’m a anti-theist Jew. When I confronted him, he told me that it was because I “believed in the God of Abraham.” A blatant lie and he knew it because we had discussed my beliefs on numerous occasions. I was as dumbfounded as I was devastated. A few more discussions with him got me nowhere. I’ve since given up. I found that literal belief in the Bible (no matter what your religion) is not only a nod to ignorance, but a sure sign of intolerance.

  • (((VidkunQuisling)))

    Christians are jerks, glad you finally found out

  • (((VidkunQuisling)))

    not really how the internet works herm

  • (((VidkunQuisling)))

    and a true scotsmen would never murder a child

  • Barbara Judd

    You are letting your pride make you obtuse. The fact that there is disagreement over the meaning of scripture shows that there are many interpretations of scripture. The existence of many interpretations does not mean that they are all correct. Your insistence on there being only one interpretation indicates that you do not even recognize the possibility that yours might be wrong. This is hubris. Your hubris has lead The fact that you apparently are alright with disrespecting people of good will indicates that you believe God is alright with this. Your “God” sounds more like what most people would think of as Satan.
    Posted under my wife’s account.

  • Herm

    Really?

  • Herm

    What door? This is a blog.

    christian-ghosting-destructive-christian-practice-dont-talk” is a door you opened and you entered. The article was addressed to “christian” behavior of which the broader audience is welcomed to comment on even when they are not being addressed.

    Perhaps the reader, who entered freely, would do well to consider the audience to whom the article was clearly addressed.

    Do you not find it contemptuous, as in disregard for something that should be taken into account, telling the author that (s)he should consider a broader audience?

    The broader audience would be any who have no allegiance to Christ. The problems as defined and the solutions suggested would not be apropos to a broader audience than those who claim adherence to Christ.

    The newest article is addressed to a much broader audience.

  • Andy Prokhorov

    So you belonged to a company of some backward lunatics you called “friends” and then it turned out you’re not lunatic enough for them. Well, it seems you’ve got exactly what you deserve. Next time try to befriend normal people. Like atheists.

  • Barbara Judd

    Shredded Wheat. No sugar. Wheat plus vitamin E.
    Posted under my wife’s account.

  • D.M.S.

    Any chemicals, dyes, etc.
    Ill check the next time I’m at the store, which will be 2 hours from now after bible study.

  • D.M.S.

    No pride, just fact. There is only one way to interpret scripture and that is Gods way through the HolySpirit.
    Take care, neighbors.

  • D.M.S.

    The Hindus are just another of satans many religions to take away from God/Jesus.

  • D.M.S.

    Which case is that?

  • D.M.S.

    My dad is my father, just as you mentioned earlier in Mathew 10:37.
    He who loves father and mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me.
    Scripture states my dad as father.

  • WayneMan

    That’s funny, since Hinduism was around long before Christianity (around 1500 BC). There is absolutely no validated process to verify any of them over any others, so it is all just random opinions. A religious demographics map makes it very obvious that the vast majority of believers think their religion is the “true one”, simply as a result of where they were born and raised (it is random).

  • J. A. Schultz

    Instead, we become only willing to love people who we are in harmonious agreement with.

    You just figured this out?

  • Julius Lannutti

    Satan has a firm grip on them.. they are republican nationalists more than christians

  • Julius Lannutti

    Good riddance

  • Completely delusional.

  • Christopher

    Religion poisons everything.

  • Mir Captain

    Well Herm seeing as I didn’t tell the author what to do but offered instead a suggestion: no. No, I don’t find it contemptuous.

    Like the author, you seem to share the belief that the examination of ghosting within the Christian community offers some insight that an examination of ghosting without that constraint does not:

    “The problems as defined and the solutions suggested would not be apropos to a broader audience than those who claim adherence to Christ.”

    To which I can only respond (again) that processing grief, seeking healing and finding forgiveness may yield more illuminating results when considering universality of ghosting behavior, independent of the faith of those who practice it, rather than trying to wrangle simultaneously with its ecumenical implications.

    Unless chewing on bitter irony is your thing.

    Speaking of which, given Christ welcomes all, what I do find contemptuous is the suggestion that an audience who claims adherence to Christ somehow benefits from a different analysis than those who do not.

    Maybe Christians need their own private internet so others won’t bother them by reading what they write and commenting on it, sharing heathen thoughts of enlarging the scope of their message to a larger community as it were.

    You know, Mission and stuff.

  • hneftafl

    You don’t call a Jew racist for bashing Jews.

  • mf2112

    Do you feel like you won something there? Besides douchebag of the year?

  • Herm

    It is clearly not my, nor my God’s, mission to share this enjoiner, relative to ghosting, on anyone outside of this cyber room. It is 100% apropos to the “Christian” audience within. In the interest of transparency here, it is good that the broader audience can read, should they choose, how we check and balance each other within our Lord’s pervue as noted on the sign on the door.

    “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    Matthew 18:15-20 (NIV2011)

  • kradek

    In the discussed case the gentleman is far better off without his “friends”.

  • El Howard

    Ghosting isn’t a sin. It’s Biblical. See Titus 3:10: “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Maybe that’s part of the problem; you aren’t that familiar with the Bible! (Full disclosure: I’m a Buddhist.)

  • Rizdek

    I read the post and saw clearly how it pertained to Christians. But the post also includes, “Ghosting can happen to anyone, but we Christians sure know how to do it well.” So the poster already pointed out what you mentioned. I have to wonder…did you actually read the entire post?

  • Momminator

    This is exactly why context is important. But you won’t go to a scholarly source. You’ll just read Richard Dawkins books. The Bible is self-defining. There are set questions to ask about each passage before you just treat it like a ladies magazine article. Can you name a contradiction that bothers you?

  • pneumatictrousers

    “Oh, so extremes are equal to majority now?”

    Loaded question fallacy

  • TS (unami)

    Question response fallacy

  • True American Patriot

    Not so, Veronica.

  • Momminator

    My point was that a mower manual is far more easy to understand, but not if you don’t have the mental development to understand it. None of us walk up to the Bible and understand the hard passages without a great deal of study, but even a person with a mental handicap can understand Jesus when he tells us he loves us. If you want the Bible to stay at the primary level, then know that Jesus loves you. If you want to get knowledge and understanding, you’ll have to work for it. God hides things to give us the fun of finding them out. And he doesn’t share his glory with people who don’t earn it. We are all loved unconditionally, and he hopes we will come to that starting faith. But rewards and accolades for intelligence require perserverance, and meeting goals.

  • pud

    Total horseshit. You do not KNOW a lick of that tripe to be actually true. It’s all made up nonsense that you’ve swallowed wholesale.

    All powerful “gods” don’t need to hope..they KNOW the future

    All powerful “gods” don’t require “glory” a frail human desire

    You know nothing…you’re just another simpleminded cult member

  • WayneMan

    Never bought nor read a Richard Dawkins book. As a former born, raised, baptized Christian, I figured out the Biblical BS (and religion in general) all on my own. Did you take the test. Take it two or three times with different answers. Some are very straight forward and simple conflicts. The basic problems for me were the OT is full of folk lore that cannot possibly be real (the flood, the Exodus, talking snakes, …), and the NT is full of hell and damnation (the boogieman), none of which can or has ever been verified. So then there is the Vedas, the Koran, the Book Of Mormon, The Book Of Wicca, ….. all claiming their versions of magic and BS. None of them can be verified, and they simply do not match with reality. Even if I am wrong, you could be in the wrong club as well, and the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Hanuman will be pissed at both of us.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s funny Christ Jesus is the alpha and the omega and He was here before Adam and Eve existed.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s funny Christ Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, He was here before Adam and Eve existed.

  • WayneMan

    That was an obvious tap dance. I was talking about religions, and that Hinduism was here well before Christianity. Since you can’t respond to that you slide into some “my dad is tougher than your dad” BS.

    PS: Adam and Eve is folk lore, and snakes don’t talk.

  • Michael

    This probably happens on any side of any given divide. Join the wrong side of a civil war—ghosted. Your friends leave your church and become atheists—ghosted. You decide to become a vegan—ghosted. The other name for it is, “We don’t understand you enough to have a relationship with you anymore.” The article itself sounds like a self-pity party. The author was dumped by some friends who belonged to an obnoxious group of religious conservatives. Instead of finding another church where the people are kinder, or looking at church as an opportunity to share with others and set an example worthy of imitation, he just bails out on the whole idea. Furthermore, he projects his individual experience as though it is the norm, failing to realize that churches — let alone the people within them — vary dramatically in character, temperament, personality, interests, and beliefs. And on top of that, makes it sound like its a Christian thing, when in reality it sounds like good old fashioned isolationism, which is a problem all classes, cliques, and belief systems struggle with.

  • Momminator

    That’s what the Bible says about itself! And God doesn’t need hope. He IS HOPE. He IS GLORY. If you’d like to stay in your present form, like most all humans, scratching, farting and burping your way to your grave, then more power to you. But God has a different plan for your life. He’d like you to know who you are in relation to him, free you to make positive choices in your life, and learn to relate to and love others. Sorry for suggesting such a thing. But he’s not going to give up on you.
    The Bible mentions the Book of Life twice. In one passage it says that those who mock and reject the Spirit of God and refuse to acknowledge the Creator they already know exists will have their name blotted out, erased, from the Book. That means you were born with your name in the Book of Life, and only by your own choice will it be removed. The second place it is mentioned is after this material world comes to it’s end. There will be a Great White Throne and Jesus will sit upon it, and if your name is not found in the Book of Life, you will get your wish. You will get your just wages for the things you have done in this life. God will separate himself from you permanently and completely. No more sunny days, no more fluffy kittens and the breeze in your hair. God is not going to force you to be friends with him. But remember, that place you go wasn’t made for humanity. And you were never intended to be there. You can have your own way.

  • D.M.S.

    It absolutely amazes me that people can sit around and know that Christ Jesus is God.
    And then have the audacity to say that He’s ignorant.
    He created every person and every language on the planet.
    And people call Him ignorant. Amazing.

  • Sorry you had to go through this, and I totally agree w/ you about biblical literalism. What puzzles me about your ex-friend’s reason, though, is that the last time I checked, “the God of Abraham” is the God whom Jesus called “Father,” since Jesus was a Jew. I mean, whether you believed it or not, that’s pretty much the traditional story, so his reason for ghosting you makes no sense from the standpoint of his own religion.

  • Maybe

    There are all kinds of Christians who claim to adhere to the Christian bible–you, for one. That does not stop people from having different interpretations, as I’m sure both Pope Francis and Westboro Church would tell you.

    Though I suspect you believe that only your interpretation counts. I don’t have any idea if you are “some man in a denomination,” but I would bet that you claim that you are the one who is right. People like you always do.

  • Maybe

    Based on your posts it seems that you think that you are important on this earth. Important enough to lay down the law to every other human being, at any rate.

  • redmoonrising

    Learn to let go of toxic relationship s , teach kids that many relationship s dissolve through out life, new relationship s are created,

  • Tinker Wings

    It appears that no one in this church followed the teachings of the bible.

    This situation might be calling for a biblical response.

    Luke 17:3 : New International Version
    So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.

    Matthew 18:15 : New Living Translation
    “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
    16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

  • Momminator

    I could go through all the questions here, but that would take a lot of space. When you read the Bible you first have to Observe the text. The first question is not a contradiction. The Luke text says a young man sat by the grave bed. The Mark text says 2 men STOOD by them suddenly. There are reasons why THREE persons were in the tomb. Jesus had just revealed himself as he was, as God, a week before the crucifixion, on Mount Hermon, where the Sumerians record that fallen angels, or ‘gods’, first came down to earth. There’s still a temple there you can visit. It is quite possible that the 2 men who stood were Moses and Elijah, reaffirming the risen Christ, who was likely the young man. Jesus was only 33 when he was killed. A youngster compared to both of the prophets. They could all be angels. If you want to know for sure, you would have to carefully look at the exact words used in Greek and compare them with other passages in the Bible, and with other “theophanies” or “Christophanies”, places in the Old Testament where Jesus shows up in the past to interact with humanity.
    Luke was a careful historian. All the things he wrote were after careful interviewing with the eye witnesses, and there were tons of eyewitnesses who would have spoken up if something was told incorrectly. But Luke has a REASON for including some details and leaving out others. So does Mark. Luke’s target audience in writing his book on the life of Jesus was the Greeks. They felt that they had the most intelligent and genteel society in the area, full of logic and reason and all those ancient sages. Luke was also a doctor, which shows in his descriptions of some of the illnesses and Christ’s death. So he would have a different reason for what he mentioned or omitted than Mark.
    Mark wrote his book to the Romans. The Romans were about power and force, so Mark’s book is full of the miracles that Jesus did. He too may have a reason for mentioning only the young man who was sitting, and not the 2 who were standing.
    This is what I mean about careful study. Observation is only the first step to rudimentary personal study(there are at least 5 different things you have to do before you can think you know it). The ancient rabbis had about 70 questions you had to answer about a text before you could know for sure what it said. Not all texts are difficult, but some are very difficult. Also, the Jews had specific ways of expressing legal arguments. They didn’t waste time explaining things. They might mention a name or a place to reference an entire different story, and the reader was supposed to know the backstories. If you don’t know the backstories, you’re stuck, and you get confused. It’s okay. God will help you.

  • Herm

    ???”every language“???

    Your pastor isn’t being taught by the Spirit of truth!

  • BarryG

    Those weren’t Christians. Those we’re white, conservative, gun owning bigots. Learn to tell the difference. US has very few Christians, look at their bowing so willingly to Trump. You are much more likely to find them in liberal areas.

  • BarryG

    Thou doest protest too much me’thinks. An evil practice is exposed, but pointing out a failure shatters your walls and must not be.

  • BarryG

    If truth does that, and must be avoided … whose side are you really on?

  • I’ve never actually been “ghosted” per se by a church, but I have been ostracized or assigned a lesser status, like a second-class citizen, while still being allowed to attend church and contribute tithes. These were [relatively – for Southern CA] fundie churches I attended as a recent convert to the faith.

    I got in trouble at the first church for having a business card that said “Metaphysical Consultant” with an abstract drawing of a morning glory flower that looked like a pentagram. If you look at those flowers, they do have a star in the middle, but apparently “metaphysical” + star = demonic. Also, being a surfer girl, I preferred to wear long, loose t-shirts w/ Christian rock themes (e.g. “Jesus Freak”) over jeans or leggings, and no makeup, whereas the “godly” women at the church wore long dresses and were carefully adorned. So, I was BAD and they would pray for me but I couldn’t join the band despite being a singer and musician, and none of the “cool” people would hang out with me.

    In another fundie church they also wouldn’t let me be on the worship team because I wasn’t “spiritually mature enough,” but they said I could serve in the nursery, taking care of their precious infants (?!) which I declined. On one occasion the church was called to banish demons from a house and I offered to help. I actually had experience doing that in my pagan past and was quite confident, but no – they said I lacked sufficient faith because I had [an “incurable” per mainstream medicine] chronic illness. The elders had laid hands on me and prayed over me but the illness persisted, clearly demonstrating that I wasn’t “right with the Lord.”

    Fortunately I discovered the Episcopal Church and it was a very good fit, with a lot less drama – “all the pageantry, none of the guilt,” with an emphasis on Liturgy and Sacrament. They were delighted to have me in the choir and playing guitar at the Folk Mass. They also didn’t have a problem w/ “metaphysical” and even asked for my input on spiritual matters.

  • Yeah, as clearly demonstrated by the teachings of Jesus. ;)

  • wordsmith56

    I found this blog post quite interesting. Normally, I won’t read much of anything with a “Christian” theme. The mythology does not hold up well in modern society. I see Christianity as the perpetrator of much evil. I had never heard the term “ghosted” used to describe this phenomenon. I had this happen to me, albeit differently. I had a “friend” of five years refuse to be my friend anymore because I did not want her to look at me as a person she needed to save. I made the mistake of being honest with her about my beliefs. I was very respectful of her beliefs, even attended her church’s Christmas pageant, paused while she prayed before meals, etc. Yet, in the end, she had no respect for me as an individual; I was just someone she was hoping to check off on her “saved” list. We were like sisters, talked every day, etc. Then we weren’t. Her main reason to have me in her life was to judge me. She was/is nothing but a hypocrite. All I can think and what goes through my mind when I remember this event in my life and hear stories of similar events is: What would Jesus do? And the answer is quite simple: Not what she did. This woman was the final straw for me to throw off the “fairy tale” of “Christianity.” I have no problems with the teachings of Jesus. I can accept just the words that are attributed to him. It is what others have done to his teachings over the years that has created the evil. I saw how afraid she was to hear of anything that was different than what she was being taught through Christianity. I am happy that I have used the brain god gave me to think for myself. And I am happy to say I am not fearful to not be a “Christian.” I am grateful to be free of that hogwash. Thank you, Mr. Corey, for writing a thoughtful, mind-stretching article.

  • Momminator

    I can suggest a lot of materials for you. I personally get a lot out of videos because it’s easy, right? To understand the purpose of each book of the Bible, I would start with https://thebibleproject.com/

    The Bible Project explains the structure of each book, and the intention of it. It’ll BLOW YOUR MIND!

    The Blue Letter Bible is useful, although I find it difficult to use when I’m trying to find a phrase, and can’t remember where it is. It’s not great at word searches. But if you need to find a specific verse, it’ll find it in any version you want.

    There are solid philosophers and apologists you might like to watch on youtube. Try vids by these guys:
    R. C. Sproul
    Ravi Zacharias (solid explanations from scripture)
    Greg Koukl (likes discussion and debate)
    Frank Turek (debater)
    Rob Skiba (Deep into the Old Testament and what It means)
    Dr. Michael Heiser (super linguist)
    Chuck Missler (interesting view from science)
    Check out these guys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpUuC980Pug

    We are in the days Daniel spoke of. We are learning more and more ABOUT the Bible, the languages of the area around Israel, and finding all the cities and places described in scripture, simply by following the Bible texts to where they say these places should be. Start with the 2015 movie Patterns of Evidence: Exodus. It was offered on Netflix recently, and it’s on youtube. There are bad vids on the Holy Land, and there are good ones. I just found this one, and it shows a ton of dig sites.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxHYh3QZbTI
    If you want exposure to stuff you’re not going to get from modern academia, I can load you up. You don’t have to give up on learning. But there’s a lot out there that is designed to discourage you. Don’t stop asking God to show you where you don’t understand something. He’ll send you what you need. Wish I could talk to you on the phone.

  • WayneMan

    When I was a Christian I read it as a believer, so conformation bias was in full swing and it seemed great (critical thought checked out). If the Bible was not full of ambiguities and contradictions, your spin and excuses not withstanding, there would only be ONE Christian faith period. But there are thousands. Just ask a Calvinist about no free will and pre-selection. They can give you multiple scripture quotes that support their “interpretations”.

    Sorry but I now am convinced that all gods, yours and others, are all man made and won’t be helping anyone. None of this old folk lore can be verified, whether it is the Bible or some other religion’s ancient books. Mentioning real places and people occasionally does not verify it as truth. Any James Bond novel can do that.

    I don’t even need one of those old books to just look around and conclude that, if a god actually designed this place then either:
    a. they are not omnipotent and omniscience,
    b. they are a complete sadistic entity that enjoys misery,
    c. or god was man made by ancient superstitious people.

    Option “c” is the only thing that makes sense.

  • Momminator

    You already know God is there. You know he doesn’t enjoy watching us harm each other, which is why he set up rules and consequences.

    Look at Cain. He gave God his sorry leftovers from his garden, and not his best, and he kills his brother out of envy, and does God say “you’re a jerk?” No. He says “If you do well, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t, Sin is crouching at your door and you must master it.” God’s describing a free will choice, and inviting Cain to try to relate to himself and others in a selfless way. I used to think we were born evil. I think we are born selfish. Satan is evil, and we can fall to his level or we can love others and rise to God’s.
    Satan is the author of confusion and lies about God. There are as many lies about God as there are people on the planet, which is why God moved men to pen his words. Even that, even causing men’s hearts to put down his thoughts in words is a proof. Whole families devoted themselves to copying just one chapter of the Bible for hundreds of years. If an error was made, it was immediately burned, and the pen and the ink that were used. It wasn’t a casual process, and it was overseen by many people. We have the same Old Testament as the ancient Jews. This was proved by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a massive burial of low and middle class Coptic Christians in northern Egypt who had papyrus with verses in their graves. Tons of them.

    You know he’s there. You know he’s not sadistic. You know Satan is sadistic and out to kill us all. You know you need to take an active part in your relationship to God, and actively pursue education, not just stand under a tree and expect fruit to fall into your hands all day long. Somebody let you down badly. But it wasn’t God.

  • Momminator

    Your cognitive dissonance is showing.

  • Jesus also said, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword”, and rebuked Peter for cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant, whom he then healed (Matt 26:52, Luke 22:51). And Isaiah says that the Lord will judge the nations, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares – or did you miss that part? (Isa 2:4)

    It really must be a terrible thing, to be so fearful of the other people in your society that you feel the need to be constantly armed and vigilant. And in a sanctuary, a place of worship. Are you really that afraid of your fellow man? Or am I misunderstanding your words?

  • D.M.S.

    Answer:
    God/Jesus/HolySpirit.

  • Herm, you wrote “It is clearly not my, nor my God’s, mission to share this enjoiner, relative to ghosting, on anyone outside of this cyber room.” Um, no, that’s not clear to me at all. That’s not how this “internet” thinggy works. If it’s posted on an open chat room or blog, it’s open to anyone and everyone on the Internet who happens to stumble across it. It’s only private if it’s in a private chat room. Oh, and it’ll be here forever – try looking up the internet archive some time.

    And BTW, I think God is bigger than your estimation of Him.

  • Momminator

    Jefferson believed the whole Bible, and even went into debt once to pay to print bibles. He took it upon himself to try to put a Bible into the hands of every person living and passing through Virginia. He thought that a compilation of mostly the words of Jesus would be the purest way of expressing Jesus. So he made a book, not a bible, just a small book of the words of Jesus with a smattering of surrounding verses to give a little context, making a huge error. Native Americans had this Bible for a few decades, and when they first got a full Bible, and heard the Beginning of Matthew, which begins with the geneaology of Joseph, their response was “Oh, this is a true story?” They had thought for decades that Jesus was an idea, not a historical figure, because they had never heard that he had family! The whole Bible is the key.

  • D.M.S.

    Can God/Jesus speak every language?
    Did God/Jesus create every human being? Creature?
    Can God/Jesus communicate with every species on the planet?
    There are a few certain things that God/Jesus can’t do and they are stated in scripture.

  • Momminator

    You need to read The Jefferson Lies, by David Barton. What you’re saying is proven wrong.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m not important in the very least.
    But God/Jesus/HolySpirit is for mankinds salvation.

  • WayneMan

    1. A child under 5 years old dies from disease or starvation about every 6 seconds (nonstop).
    2. Disease carrying mosquitoes, ticks, and reptiles
    3. 99% of all sea and animal life must brutally kill and eat some other poor creature for their very survival (complete blood and guts “design” for them right?)
    4. Lightning, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes… all out of our control.
    5. not to even mention man made horrors

    When you even consider this short partial list, if you think there is a god behind this then option b, they are a complete sadistic a-hole, describes this god. Do you believe in werewolves and vampires? If not you are inconsistent in your logic. I do not believe in monsters or the boogie man Christians call Satan. They are all make believe. Those things scared me when I was young, but it was very freeing when I realized none of it was real. The only boogie men to worry about are the Charlie Manson’s and Warren Jeff’s’ of the world.

  • D.M.S.

    It amazes me on what people think Our Lord Jesus Christ would really do.
    Remember GOD hates sin.
    It’s quite laughable what they think that He would do.

  • Momminator

    Gee, I’m glad you’re not God! We’d all be dead a long time ago, and so much for patience,
    kindness, personal growth and reconciliation!

  • Momminator

    We’re all going to physically die. Nobody dies healthy. You think monsters are fairy tales, and I say our military industrial complex and the wealthy are experimenting with all sorts of crazy scary things to live forever and create super soldiers that are exactly vampires, werewolves and orcs. If you met Manson, or George Soros, you’d probably sense the demonic. Hey, if I don’t always respond quickly, it’s because my computer or internet connection is running really poorly. I can’t even access the earlier posts below because it literally takes a half hour to get the posts to scroll down. Internet sucks this year.

  • Herm

    David, I do not feel compelled to go out and enter other chat rooms or blogs, who do not address themselves as relative to Christ, to impose upon them Matthew 18:15-20 as a solution to their having been ghosted, or their ghosting. That the only way that “the author would do well to consider a broader audience“.

    The doors are open to Baptist sanctuaries but we don’t expect Jehovah Witnesses to enter to tell the pastor (s)he should consider a broader audience.

    I’ve been doing archiving on computers since 1969 and am fully aware of our information age, but thank you for warning me.

    On the by the way, how big or little do you think is my estimation of God, and why?

  • WayneMan

    “We’re all going to physically die. Nobody dies healthy.”

    That in no way addresses items 1 thru 4, under the belief that some omnipotent loving god created and watches everything. Your god is either powerless to do anything, could but won’t which makes them evil, or they simply do not exist. Yes, us humans could certainly create our own monsters or monster robots. That is feasible. Some supernatural magical sky god creating monsters makes for a good scifi movie, but is just not reality.

    As for response speed, sorry to hear you are having issues. I have the top tier from Comcast, so pretty fast here. My replies may not be fast today because I am multitasking (snacking, trying to watch a movie, and helping my wife trim the back of her hair). If your slowness just happened recently, you could have a virus or some adware eating up cpu cycles. If you have a good cleaner like CC Cleaner or IObit’s Advanced System Care (both have free versions), you might want to run them and then reboot. If it is just your service provider (like DISH or AT&T) you are just screwed. Sorry…

    Edited to add:
    One other point to consider about all religions. Most believers feel very strongly that it is their religion that is the “true one”. That is natural. The interesting eye opening thing is looking at a global religious demographic map, based simply off of census data. It becomes obvious that the vast majority believe their religion simply due to where they were born and raised. Born in India, likely Hindu. Born in Mexico, probably Catholic. Born in the U.S., likely some form of Christian. Born in Iran, Muslim. Southeast Asia, probably Buddhist… It is basically random, based on where you were born and raised. That reality seems worrisome to me, considering that most people swear that their religion is the “one true” religion, yet born 100 miles south (just an example) and that belief would very likely be different. It is just crazy to me.

  • Herm

    Can God/Jesus speak every language?

    Speaking in tongues, when understood by everyone hearing, is God speaking in His word which is spirit, not physically frequency changes in the audible range. Conversing with God is in spirit and is not carnal. I can share what God tells me through the best words I can find but what They tell me is in spirit image, understood by all born of the Spirit. Did you ever wonder why Man has been dependent upon prophets? Why didn’t God just command and teach all concerned directly?

    God is spirit who as one can be in all places at one time, omnipresent. God, compared to Man, is all powerful, omnipotent. The word of God comes to Man from those of Man filled with the Holy Spirit today as it was 1,984 years ago.

    God does not know all (omniscient) for all will not be known until the end of eternity. Eternal life, with no beginning and no end, never pauses and changes with every new influence. We, having the spirit image of God (heart, soul, strength, mind) are invited to share in this never ending adventure with and in God beginning as little children. The only prerequisite is that we are empathetic, compassionate, forgiving and merciful to all others throughout (Luke 10:27), bound in reciprocal love.

    Did God/Jesus create every human being? Creature?

    No, the process began, possibly by God’s intentional initiation, about 14 billion years ago, with a big bang, and the animal species mankind was not graced the image of God (which is spirit, not carnal) until between 200,000 to 300,000 years ago. Human beings were most receptive of all life on this earth, apparently, when homo sapiens.

    There is no other species of life on this earth who appears to have any long term awareness in spiritual.

    Can God/Jesus communicate with every species on the planet?

    Can you communicate with every species on this planet? Why must God, any more than you, especially when we’re the designated steward species? I am sure you can influence every species of animal on earth, as can God.

    There are a few certain things that God/Jesus can’t do and they are stated in scripture.

    Do you mean like these? I can honestly say that these are not all as true as people would like to believe:

    http://cgi.org/twelve-things-god-cannot-do/

    I can honestly say, by education and experience, that the Bible you seem to idolize is not the word of God but is a testament to the available word of God, though only when whelmed by the Spirit of truth.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re a fool….tongues has nothing to do with my statement.

  • Bones

    No. I’m not.

    But I’m not trying to get people to follow my religion.

  • Bones

    I know what I know. And I want nothing to do with you.

    Ask gay people if they want a hater as a neighbour.

  • Bones

    Defeat accepted.

  • Bones

    Irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    You are incapable of responding to an argument.

  • Bones

    Well no. What’s wrong is the ignorance of clowns like yourself who spout complete bs. Especially when presented with a verse which disputes their nonsense.

    You know you could actually do some study and find out what JC is God actually means and the whole heap of theories about that.

    Eg the early church believed that JC’s knowledge was limited by his humanity.

  • Bones

    Lol….the eye worm is a creature not a disease or virus.

  • ItsNotTheSameThing

    Our church ghosted us, when we had to stop attending, to care for our mother, who had been a member since the doors opened. She was there, for any and every event, pertaining to the church, when she was healthy. It was only after she was gone, that we heard from them again. I told them it was too late, she was gone. Now they send her announcements, every week! Amazing!

  • Bones

    Keep posting so people can see how stupid your religion is.

    I’m having fun tearing you apart.

  • Bones

    Facts don’t differ.

    Piss off.

  • Perfidious Albino

    I find it difficult to have much sympathy for anyone experiencing problems stemming from their adherence to an institutionalized superstition.

    One person’s irrational thinking is no better than another’s.

    The final sentence of this story should read: “Fortunately this whole ordeal prompted us to examine our beliefs and to engage in critical thinking for the first time. As a result we are now Atheists and much happier.”

  • D.M.S.

    No facts here.

  • D.M.S.

    Enjoy yourself…

  • D.M.S.

    Hooray…..

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Jesus knowledge will never be limited. Mankind can’t phathom that much knowledge that Christ Jesus has. It was even documented in scripture and most people overlooked how great He is.
    Take care neighbor.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m still having fun…

  • D.M.S.

    Lol

  • D.M.S.

    They’re going to get them whether they want them or not. But not from me.

  • Bones

    No…they aren’t.

  • Bones

    That’s because you’re just an immature troll.

  • Bones

    The exact sort of immature response I would expect.

  • Bones

    Well it obviously was…hence why the child Jesus ‘grew in wisdom’ as the author of Luke put it.

  • Bones

    Yep….

  • Bones

    News alert.

    A sperm fertilises an egg.

    F### me, I have to teach you about sex as well.

  • Bones

    Liking gay sex would be one….

    Changing gay people is another…

    Yet surprisingly he doesn’t mind a bit of genocide.

  • Momminator

    David Barton’s book is based on source documents, not revisionist history. 1/4 of his book is bibliography. Your high school and college profs are regurgitating opinions formed by communists over the years since Woodrow Wilson rewrote American history for the public schools. He’s the guy who created the Bretton Woods Accords (which we are still not allowed to read, but which form an unconstitutional alliance with foreign bankers) and the rip-off cabal called the Fed. None of the information in high school texts has changed from these lies in decades. As for homosexuality, what I wrote was “solid science” by the APA until that organization was bullied by protestors into removing it from the roster of mental illness at their 1973 convention in NYC. Protestors brought the convention to a halt for 5-6 hours, invading the room, blowing whistles and shouting until the leadership gave up and took homosexuality off the list. They’ve gradually recanted all their actually pretty solid observations on the roots of the problem, which I have found 100% true, and we’re now to the point where they want to tell us sexual attraction to children is “normal” and NAMBLA will continue to pester politicians to lower the age of consent. This is actually recently in the news.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Also, being a surfer girl, I preferred to wear long, loose t-shirts w/ Christian rock themes (e.g. “Jesus Freak”) over jeans or leggings, and no makeup, whereas the “godly” women at the church wore long dresses and were carefully adorned. So, I was BAD and they would pray for me but I couldn’t join the band despite being a singer and musician, and none of the “cool” people would hang out with me.”

    What those “godly” and “cool” people didn’t get is that if Jesus were walking the earth today, he would probably be hanging out with you, not them.

  • D.M.S.

    Gay sex is a sin.
    Gays choose to be gay. So they can choose not to be gay.
    Unrepentant sinners chose their fate.

  • You wrote “It is clearly not [..] my God’s mission to share this [command about ghosting] on anyone outside of this cyber room.” Why not? I kinda thought His message was for the whole world. Or are you riffing off the fact that He taught the masses in parables, but reserved the fuller explanation for the close disciples? And this blog fits that category?

  • D.M.S.

    Thank you you’re so kind.

  • D.M.S.

    Gay sex is a sin.
    Gay people choose to be gay.
    All Unrepentant sinners recieve genocide, eventually.

  • D.M.S.

    The Christian bible KJV and NKJV are 100% true.
    The 1% you speak of is about how many true believers in Christ Jesus there are on earth

  • D.M.S.

    Not always…

  • Kensington

    Exactly right, Jamie.. There may have been more to it, but, either way, it was mean, pathetic, and cowardly. Interesting how people hide behind their beliefs.

  • Herm

    Christ continues to teach those who come to Him, and come to the Father and come to the Holy Spirit, today. That’s our message to those who come to us. None of us are the Teacher. Every so often you will hear the word of God come from one of us but it is from He who we live with and in without end, not us who don’t know the heart and mind of the recipient.

    David, most of us share as little children growing stronger in team play together. We make errors, even within our shared individual missions to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, with all our minds and like that love (empathy, compassion, forgiveness and mercy) our merciful neighbors as we do ourselves.

    I very clearly knew to avoid the loaded word of command. The word used was enjoiner relative to how to respond to one another within the church that Christ administers (Matthew 18:15-20).

    The command we have to share in our actions toward a broader audience is first:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV2011)

    Love is the same empathy, compassion, forgiveness and mercy for another as we would want the same to be loved by another. The enemy are those who persecute us while the neighbor, regardless of race, creed, religion, sexuality or gender, are those who show us mercy.

    Today, the Messiah instructs the Spirit of truth in the words to teach each and every student exactly as they can bear living with and in each, and each living with and in Him, without pause, without end. The message we can testify to by our experience is that you, too, can invite Him in to be your Teacher as you can bear, beginning with the honest attitude in humility of a little, otherwise helpless, child. If you already have then you know what I am sharing.

    This blog is a spiritual meeting place, a sanctuary if you will, intentionally open to the broader public who come to listen and watch us worship, with the respect as would be expected in any other sanctuary open to the broader public. When I enter any other clearly addressed cyber sanctuary I respect their worship as I would want them to respect mine. If I did not then I would be the cyber troll with the sole mission to sow discord.

  • Just because people are screwed up does not mean God is. To turn away from Him because of the way people act is illogical. It would mean making choices based on how your feel. Would you turn away from supporting Hillary just because one of her followers was a jerk? That’s a lack of critical thinking.

  • Herm

    When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.

    Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

    Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

    Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

    Acts 2:1-13 (NIV2011)

    But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

    Matthew 5:22 (NIV2011)

  • lingo009

    Sounds like you weren’t with Christians at all, but rather this bizarre mutation seen in the U.S. over the last few decades where hate, misogyny, xenophobia and violence is somehow to be worshiped as part of god’s plan. I’d say you are better off being “ghosted” by this particular community. I’m sure there are better ones out there to socialize with. Good read and best to you.

  • therealmattdamon

    I ghosted my two best friends of 44 years. Their conversations became more and more centered on hating minorities. Trying to reason was met with a smug grin. Finally I asked if they had no concern for the less fortunate members of society. The response was “I don’t care!” I don’t hate them, I just don’t want to be around them. I didn’t return their last phone call and feel like a burden has been lifted.

  • HangFire

    You weren’t “ghosted”. You systematically destroyed all your relationships by bringing up hotbutton issues faster then everyone could manage to establish some sort of detente on each issue. The end result was inevitable.

    The reason this happened is severalfold. First, you usurped the role of the Pastor in taking actions against the flock for perceived issues. Second, you are an illiberal SJW in a conservative assembly who cares more about broader social issues then actual personal relationships. Third, you didn’t act with sensitivity and love.

    Then, you do what every SJW does, act offended and blame everyone else when their offensive behavior causes them social backlash.

    Maybe you were right on some issues, a valid “other side of the coin on others”, maybe all, but it doesn’t matter. You didn’t act in love inside the church. I wouldn’t want such a divisive person as an Elder, either, even if they were right on EVERY issue.

  • douchebag

    There are no spirits or ghosts, or magic. It’s laughable. Try stepping off the crazy train, and you wouldn’t have these issues.

  • Perfidious Albino

    Again, there is no rational basis for believing in god.
    None.
    How is ISIS any different than any other religious group?
    They all believe in god, they all know what he wants and are carrying out his divine plan.

  • kchase77

    Seems you brought this on yourself. Your friends tried to reason with you and then just gave up. Some do not want to argue ad infinitum and walk away. Perhaps you need to rethink your stubborness and “Christian” views on certain subjects. They don’t sound Christian to me at all. HangFire is correct!

  • kchase77

    Very well said!

  • fancygapva

    A religious community shares certain beliefs and if you begin not to match the template of the group, one way or another you will find yourself outside the group. Maybe you need to find a group that is not based on a strict commonality of interests but on exploring diverse or new interests–or one with a commonality regarding fairness or supporting the less fortunate.

  • fancygapva

    try reading past the headline.

  • kchase77

    Well, let’s see how you handle a home invasion should you ever have one. Then we’ll see who is fearful. And I guessed you’ve missed the shootings at several churches in the past. What planet are you living on?

  • kchase77

    Well, then he does not know the bible he thumps as Christians worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

  • MrNight

    I was but then ya’know I “ghosted” it.

  • D.M.S.

    Is Christ Jesus the only way to the the kingdom of God?

  • Kensington

    You’re correct. But I suspect it was the fact that I don’t believe in a personal God. Perhaps it challenged him in a way that made him uncomfortable.

  • Herm

    Becoming immersed, born of the Spirit, forever more with and in the Spirit of truth, as like a little child, is the only way to enter the Kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God, for all children of God, is here today with Christ having all authority in heaven and on earth.

  • MarkThisDown

    Really? How can it be unChristian to increase the minimum wage so families can survive and stay together? How is it unChristian to suggest leaving firearms in the car? And finally, I guess Jesus didn’t love his enemies.

    You are what’s wrong with “Christianity” today.

  • MarkThisDown

    And that can work for some. My best friend of 55 years is the polar opposite of me when it comes to social issues yet we remain brothers and can discuss, vehemently argue and never agree, so we find other areas of commonality, like our childhood bond.

  • WayneMan

    That’s what Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists likely think about Christians. At least atheists don’t believe in talking snakes and donkeys, magic sticks, zombies, or flying horses, which seems a lot like lunacy.

  • jontrott

    I appreciate this column very much… but like some of the (rational and kind) responders, also see some issues with the framing of it. Yes, some people don’t brook any disagreement. But here’s an interesting question I ask myself… “What issues do *I* make litmus tests of friendship?” I do have some. Here’s a short list:

    1. Did you vote for Donald Trump? We’re probably not going to be / remain close.
    2. Do you reject women’s leadership in the church and mutuality (egalitarian practices) in marriage? Deal-breaker for me.
    3. Do you use gawdtalk but over and over exhibit hateful language and / or actions toward others of different belief / orientation / race? Friendship-buster.

    I do think this issue is one needing a lot more thought… and hope you write a follow up perhaps dealing with more of the complexities. It is real… but it does underplay the role community does (like it or not) have re border maintenance re shared beliefs. And it doesn’t grapple with — tough one — what exactly “friendship” itself actually is. A dive into C S Lewis’ Four Loves might be interesting on that one…

    Thank you for the very provocative article.

  • Clyde Barrow

    Agreed. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  • Clyde Barrow

    Just because people are screwed up does not mean God is.

    Have you ever read the Old Testament? It’s chock full of instances where “god” is nothing more than a petulant, genocidal megalomaniac.

    “God” is the projection of those that created and worship him.

  • 21Palms

    Sounds like in Ghosting you your Christian non-friends did you a favor. Enjoy being alone with your family.

  • 21Palms

    BTW… this behavior is rooted in the “leap of faith.” When one makes a “leap of faith” the intellect is checked that the door and the whole iron sharpening iron process is permanently replaced with dogma dulling mind.

    No one should be asked to make a leap of faith. It’s perfectly possible to be utterly convinced of the reality of Jesus and His creation.

  • Oscarthe4th

    Loss of friendship is one thing. People have a right to their standards.

    However, “Shunning” an entire family by entire families for the statements made by one member of a family is a very different thing. It’s a social nuke with lots of collateral damage.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s because all of you serve your master Satan.

  • D.M.S.

    Not!
    Is Christ Jesus the only way into the kingdom of God?
    How are we saved?

  • JD

    Ever wonder why your deity cannot seem to keep one pesky demon under control…?

  • JD

    Ghosting isn’t just a Christian thing. It happens in other circles as well. Speaking from personal experience it sucks. However looking back I realize I clearly didn’t lose anything other than shallow people in my life. True, real friends, are few and will stay with you no matter what. And they won’t hesitate the b!tchslap you when you need it. ;-)

  • Herm

    Before I answer, tell me what you believe we would be saved from and for?

  • Hopsgegangen

    Christianity has nothing to do with spirituality. Never did. Christians with different views, such as Catholic and Protestant, French or German, have killed each other by the millions over the years since Christ. If you want proof that humans are descended from apes or monkeys, you need look no further than Christian tribal behavior.

  • TS (unami)

    Perhaps you’re the wolf… something to think about, DMS.

  • HangFire

    Well, that’s the real case the article is trying to make, isn’t it? That people with these belief systems aren’t really Christian. Since we are only hearing one side of the issue, I’ll reserve judgement on that one.

  • Bennett Willis

    I suspect that you disappeared from his life just like the others did. The “errors” that the person reported did not all happen the same day–and most of them, seem (from my point of view) quite reasonable. But I have never had close friends from my church either. :)

  • Momminator

    Then you’re basing your life on false data. We’ll have to agree to disagree. You can believe Throckmorton, everything he says goes against reliable, legally trustworthy testimony. Academia’s ideas don’t keep you alive in rural areas. We’ve even got electricians fresh out of college miswiring houses out here because they didn’t learn from real electricians, only theories. You’re living an insulated life, and you don’t even know it. NAMBLA is the North American Man Boy Love Association, a group of pedophiles, about 45 yrs extant, trying to legalize sex with children. InfoWars is a CIA disinformation outlet. Worldnet daily is not something I trust. I trust people who have lived in foreign countries with the poor there. When you don’t have financial interests in a foreign nation, you get to see what’s really happening there. Press employees often get guided tours that only show them what the ruling classes want them to see. You have to talk to real regular folks on the ground.

  • deedwan

    Sometimes we are the victim of our own choices. I don’t know if that is the case here. But I think this is actually a very liberal site (I came here through a link, not having been here before) and so if that is the case, which I think it is, I can see why taking some responsibility for what transpired and looking within would be challenged here. I never said they handled it perfectly, in fact I asked if he would have preferred if his friends said, we are feeling a need to withdraw for a time.
    The reality is, every single person is broken, flawed and sometimes just doesn’t know how to handle a situation that is causing them stress…and so they just back out. I do think it is wrong that they couldn’t at some point at least have written him and said something like, we are just at odds with how you are seeing things, we respect your right to your opinions but we just don’t share them and see cause for concern, and we are just going to withdraw…at least for a time, but will keep all of you in prayer.
    I would think that could have been the least they could have done.
    But just a reminder, we only have this man’s side of the story…and last I knew, there are at least two sides to every story. I really am not trying to assign blame to anyone. Just simply gave some points to consider.

  • JD

    And you’re intolerant of anyone or anything non-Christian claiming they’re of your demon.

    So, yeah, if the shoe fits, lace that b!tch up and wear it.

  • JD

    Its difficult to tolerate someone who thinks they’re of your demon. You’ve already closed your mind so there is no chance of or trying to have a conversation.

  • JD

    And there you go, stomping off in a huff. Dont like it when someone judges you, dont you. Poor baby.

  • JD

    Back at ya.

  • deedwan

    Darryl, I’m not sure where I ever insinuated that he was not spiritual enough.
    Nor did I condemn him.
    Every story has a minimum of two sides, we are only reading his. I guess everyone here automatically wants to assume that only his side is valid.
    However, just from what I have read…I would says it seems very surprising why the husband of the other family couldn’t have at the very minimum written him a letter (better in person obviously) and said something along the lines of we just need some time apart. You are bringing up a lot of topics that are divisive in our estimation (I say that because that appears to have been the case), and we are not interested in these discussions, but certainly appreciate your right to have your opinions. However, we find that these things are stirring up negativity and we need a break. Please know we will continue to keep you and your family in our prayers.
    There is a decided lack of maturity, at least from appearances, in not at the very least being able to say that. If he had pressed with questions or details, they simply could have said, we just have no desire to get into that discussion with you at this time. Perhaps with some space and distance …at some point in the future we can.
    I also can appreciate that the stress of 3 failed adoptions would take a huge toll on a marriage. No question.
    Nothing is really said about why or how or in what way they failed.

    Our nation over all is extremely divided. That’s not a revelation I realize…I’m just saying bringing in things that are tearing this nation apart into the church just really may not have been the wisest choice.
    No one is debating his right to his opinions.

  • JD

    I’m rather fond of wolves. Magnificent creatures they are.

  • JD

    Herm, if DMS heard god say something different than what he hardheadedly believes he’d just call god the devil and turn a deaf ear. Its rather sad really.

  • Elspeth

    The people doing the disappearing act were never your friends to begin with. Sure they looked like it, but in reality they were just actors playing a role. Sounds like they probably aren’t even true Christians to begin with.

  • shadymae62

    I talk to God on my own now. He has never ghosted me.

  • deedwan

    What I find interesting is that it seems many seem to forget in this case (which is not like Job) there are at least 2 sides to every situation. We are only hearing this man’s. And I guess you all felt he is like Job…Here is what God said of Job: “And the LORD said unto Satan: ‘Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a whole-hearted and an upright man, one that feareth God, and shunneth evil?'”
    So are you saying that the author of this article is like Job? That there is nothing on his side to consider? He has no room for improvement or need of self reflection?
    The other people involved are not represented here. However as I have said to others, I would think the least that they could have done is for the husband of the other family to say something along the lines of “We need a break. We respect your right to your opinions, but our nation is so very divided now, and we don’t want to bring these kinds of polarizing topics into a time when we are there to worship God. We have different opinions than you do, which brings friction into a time when we want to draw close to God and experience His presence in our midst. We know this is difficult but we will be withdrawing, at least for a time…but know that we will continue to keep you all in our prayers.
    I didn’t realize that the only acceptable response to this article was just to judge the other people involved, even if they are not represented or heard here.
    I didn’t realize the only acceptable response was to only be in agreement with him and the sentiments that he has written.
    And I guess it isn’t enough to acknowledge that I understand this hurt and that I have prayed for his healing and am sorry for this painful experience.
    Gotcha.

  • Starchitect

    this is exactly right. They were never christians, and all you did was point that out to them, so they ditched. Most people I’ve met over my entire life who actively said they were Christians or Religious were the first to lie, cheat, steal.

  • PaulOtt

    “Somehow, someway, too many Christian circles have failed to realize that we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.”

    Then why were you trying so hard to bring them to your understanding of scripture? If complete agreement isn’t necessary, why did you try to forbid guns, for example? They weren’t trying to force you to carry, were they?

    It sounds like they did accept you despite a lack of complete agreement. However, did you really accept them? If so, what’s up with the condescending ‘holier-than-thou’ approach you displayed toward people you call friends?

    I ask these questions as someone with non-traditional Christian views. I keep the Sabbath on Saturday, but still go to a Sunday church for fellowship. You won’t find me getting up in front of the Sunday congregation and trying to push them into having a Saturday Sabbath.

    Why would I? We don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete relationship.

  • Gigantipithecus

    Well technically he’s always ghosted you along with everyone else, unless he’s actually talking back.

  • MaryE2

    This ghosting can be unbearable. A friend of mine ended up committing suicide over it. It was a small town where it happened. Don’t blame the victim; it is truly abusive.

  • Starchitect

    The guy has a ted cruz icon by his name…all you need to know.

  • ReligionIsPoison

    He’s never existed, you’ve been talking to yourself this whole time!

  • ReligionIsPoison

    Sounds like excommunication to me. Christians are a loving, tolerant bunch*, aren’t they?

    *mostly s#itheads and hypocrites

  • Gigantipithecus

    The last sentence applies to me. Except I was like 12 when I wrote it. We just believe in one less god than these people, who have zero problem dismissing the gods of anyone else that doesn’t believe what they do, but cannot comprehend when people don’t believe in theirs.

  • ReligionIsPoison

    What a loving Christian hypocrite you are! You’re truly sick.

  • master chain

    As others have said, this isn’t a Christian phenomenon. But, as I see it, the telling reality is that being Christian doesn’t prevent it. If I were in this situation, I’d be questioning why I needed Christianity at all if it does not help people even function as a genuinely caring community at even the most petty signs of disagreement. This is what most Christians (and most religious people in general) don’t seem to honestly question: you would claim that your faith and the Bible help serve as your moral compass in life, but if you already have a moral compass and have a healthy spirituality, why do you need this book and why do you need this church in your life, which serves to ostracize you?

  • Herm

    Thank you, JD. Maybe, (s)he might consider what you just wrote and actually begin seek a live god who wishes to serve her/him as a little child. You know, a god proficient enough in the business of god that (s)he doesn’t need D.M.S. for any more than humble affection. My God only asks that I relate with Them with all the value and respect I have to give while being honest enough with myself to humbly accept that I have nothing else of value to offer.

    If God couldn’t communicate with me, and I with Them, all I would have left is to incorrectly guess from the testimony of others who and what God is to me. I certainly don’t trust God because someone else from the perspective of mankind made a good argument from one, or another, pulpit somewhere according to a couple thousand year old book of testimony. I don’t know why D.M.S. seems so defensive and simultaneously satisfied to do just that.

  • I am sorry to hear about your experience, especially concerning the adoptions. I hope you and your family is doing better.

  • Dea Riley

    Ther e s no such thing as ‘Christian Ghosting’. It is not taught or practiced in any Christian faith of which I am aware. The Amish are known to shun. The Mormons shun ex Mormon members but what you endured is simply your friends discovered you weren’t much of a friend and disassociated with you. I’m sure they made that decision for more reasons than the events you listed and I have no doubt there’s another side to this pity party story.

    i think your friends were kind to not have confronted you or they knew it wouldn’t matter if they did – it’s clear you’re full of yourself.

    I don’t know you but from reading this diatribe I’m crrtain I’d likely avoid you at the grocery store too

  • FishyLuv

    Maybe you were ghosted because you are a self-absorbed liberal who cavorts around pretending to be a Christian. Maybe after trying to reason with you and express their concern about your rebellion against God’s Word and common sense, they’re giving you the Matthew 10:14 treatment. I have a feeling you’re telling us very little, if any, of the full story.

  • RobS

    Sounds like your former friends place righteousness over love/compassion. Which to me means the using their religion to support their ego, missing the whole point of Christianity ( and most religions) which to surrender one’s self to God or others or something greater than us. I call these folks “chinos” – christians in name only!

  • RobS

    The verse you site doesn’t tell the apostles to shun or ghost anyone. This was the time when Jesus thought that the Kingdom of God was coming within weeks or months…I don’t ever recall anything in the New testament that recommends cutting off relationships because of someone’s beliefs or actions. Jesus hung out with the poor, with the sick, with prostitutes, and he never rejected any of them. I guess he really understood what “Christianity” should be like.

  • FishyLuv

    Check out Titus 3:10. Also, I won’t waste my time arguing. When I say “liberal,” I do not reference politics. I mean liberal interpretation of the Bible. Which you just did.

  • Stan

    Everyone gets to be a snowflake these days.

  • RobS

    ‘Course Jesus didn’t write Titus – it was a letter from Paul to a congregation. and I don’t believe it said to shun the whole family. Well, I won’t argue (too much) either, but I think my understanding of what Matthew was talking about is pretty literal rather than liberal.

  • FishyLuv

    Whatever Paul wrote, God said. But liberals like yourself assign Scripture levels of importance. Doesn’t work that way. These days, it’s fashionable to write off what the Apostle Paul said because it makes people uncomfortable.

  • RobS

    “Whatever Paul wrote, God said.” Now where in the Bible does it say that?

  • Bob Labla

    Well, you are a christian .

  • Michael Mayo

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    .

    Down steep hills, through crowded
    streets I walk…

    and behold the emptiness of human kind.

    “Come dance with us,” cry some, “for it is pleasing to the Lord
    our God.”

    “Come sing with us,” cry others, “surely the Lord will bless us.”

    “Come, let us proclaim the Gospel,” cry others, “for this is the good
    work to which we are called.”

    “Let us lay hands on the sick that they might be healed,” they called,
    “surely the Spirit of God is upon us.”

    “Behold, “they cried in unison, as one standing together, “see what
    great things the Lord has done; we are free from the corruption
    of the world. We are clean, no longer defiled.”

    In their midst sat a man with a book who proclaimed, “Behold, the
    Word of Life wherein may be found all righteousness and truth.
    Let us learn of its mysteries that we may be the children of God.”

    Onward I walked and soon found a path, overgrown with thorns and little
    used. As I walked the path thorns pulled at and tore me in many places, and
    at each cut I remembered a face from the crowd.

    Alone I walked, and came to a hill at the foot of which were scattered many
    bones. As I climbed the hill I beheld at the top a tree, and on the tree
    aperson, nailed and torn, weeping in great sorrow. But as I looked into their
    eyes I saw that which was missing from humankind, that which would fill
    their emptiness and loneliness. Without a word my destiny was revealed.

    As I turned towalk down the hill I beheld the great crowd casting a broken
    bodyto the ground at the foot of the hill. I heard the crowd cry outas
    one, “How dare anyone come amongst us and behold thegreat works of God
    which we do, how dare that person ask us “Where is Love, have you crucified
    It?”

    I set my face to the crowd, and of humankind I ask;

    “Whereis Love?”.

    (1 Corr. 13 & 1 John 4:8)

  • D.M.S.

    No I wouldn’t. We are only to go by scripture, that is the words of God/Jesus.
    When Christ Jesus returns to take over this world.
    The entire world will see His return.
    It will not be 1 or 2 or a few people.

  • D.M.S.

    Judge me to your hearts content, enjoy.

  • D.M.S.
  • D.M.S.

    This is satans world until Christ Jesus returns.
    Ask your bud Herm, he might know that, maybe.

  • JD

    So your deity and demon are partners.

    Got it.

  • JD

    I’ll take that as a yes. Typical.

  • JD

    I’ve always found it rather odd that god only left a 2000 year old voicemail and nobody has heard from again….

  • MrNight

    Finally read the whole article and it just seems like your friends had different values and opinions and when they found out how you truly felt about certain issues decided they no longer wanted to be friends and instead of confronting you about it just kinda deleted you from their circle. My advice find a group/church where you can meet people with similar opinions. Or at the very least be up front about how you feel or take a lesson from this friendship misadventure and keep your opinions to yourself. It’s your choice I am not advocate any of these ideas. I would stay there and make them squirm but I am just mean like that.

  • Jim G.

    Wow. While I agree with some of the initial observations made of the writer and even some of the points made in the response, the response then continues on with a lack of empathy and vitriol that really can only be described as rude. It is interesting that many of us seem to forget that when we do things like drive our cars or make comments on social media, grace and manners really do still apply.

  • ER

    I’ve seen this happen, too. 40+ years ago, a relative left a particular church that was almost a cult, due to doctrinal differences, and he was totally ghosted. This is often the reason why people who have differences of belief, opinion, etc, and who keep this to themselves don’t leave churches or other groups as they don’t want to lose their social circle. In your case, your differences became public for various reasons, so you are being judged and punished because of that.

    As other commenters have said, look around and find people who are open to what you think and believe and realize that the people who ghosted you were not your friends to begin with. And, maybe some day, the children of the adults who ghosted you and who are now ghosting your daughter may see her again when she and they are grown up and have moved away from their parents and may become friends again. They have probably been told to shun her and have no choice but to do so as long as they are under the control of their parents. I saw this happen to a friend’s daughter.

  • Pat McCord

    There is nothing so threatening as someone who has grown past you.

  • D.r. Supe

    Simple, the people who ghosted you weren’t actual Christians, they were the Pharisees praying in public to “show” how wonderful they are. A true Christian would never have treated you as they did.

  • D.r. Supe

    you obviously have never truly studied the New Testament, a follower of Christ would never say such vile comments about someone, especially someone in pain. So tell me, what religion are you since you don’t follow Jesus Christ’s teachings of love??????

  • D.r. Supe

    gosh, I thought Christians followed the words of Christ, not some dude named Titus

  • D.r. Supe

    exactly, those who ghosted him are NOT true Christians, they are like Pharisees making a fuss in public but ignoring the word of God in private.

  • D.M.S.

    Telling people to live for God/Jesus only. Is not what wolves of scripture do. Wolves take people away from God.
    By telling them for one of many that their sin is fine with God.
    Like for instance God/Jesus created heterosexuals only.
    As He intended.

  • D.r. Supe

    how so? all he has done is point out the very non-Christian behavior of his former friends

  • D.r. Supe

    and you are proud of being a bigot? Definitely not a follower of Christ’s teachings then.

  • Jim G.

    The writer of this article took a risk and expressed his opinions and some of those opinions were not in alignment with this circle of “friends”. Obviously these people in the writer’s life were not actually his friends, they were just people that got together to share some cultural rituals together. Maybe these people were actually uncomfortable with his opinions or it could have easily just have been a Middle School “Mean Girls” situation, where someone in the group decided to assert their dominance and drive someone, who appeared a bit different (therefore vulnerable), from the social circle to promote their own personal social agenda. In the end, we need to rise above these childish situations and find people who demonstrate that they are open to hearing differing view points. I find that those people also tend to be much more fun to be around.

  • TS (unami)

    Surprise! God created *everybody*! :-) gay and straight!

  • JD

    God is actually intersex.

  • D.M.S.

    God is no sex.

  • D.M.S.

    Surprise no He didn’t.
    Anyone who tells you that God made anyone gay is a liar and hates them and wants them to live an eternity in hell.

  • JD

    And yet it made mankind in its image, male and female it made them.

    Which means *gasp!!* god is both.

  • sean

    Typical religious hypocrisy.

  • JD

    No. He’s just taking people away from your version of what you think god is.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m not proud that I’m a bigot. That’s what’s secular society tells everyone that tells them the truth about God/Jesus.
    God/Jesus is not acceptable of any sexual sin. And all sex outside of the covenant of one woman only MARRIED to one man only is always sexual sin.

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Christianity of scripture is pretty straight forward, we are all to live a certain way. We Christians are supposed to have fellowship with other Christians that are there to serve God/Jesus.
    Not ourselves.

  • Tripod

    The author found out that he never actually had any friends in the first place. He also found out just how shallow and petty his community was. These are both good things to know. It can lead to making real friends based on valid reasons.

  • JD

    If god has no gender then how could it make mankind in its image…?

  • D.M.S.

    God left a 4000 year old voicemail to the Jews that their Messiah was coming. And mentioned of His coming a few more times in scripture. They were not prepared or even aware of when He did come.
    And when the Jewish king Herrod found out that He was here. He had every boy killed in Bethlehem and all the male children under the age of two killed in the district.

  • D.M.S.

    I actually feel sorry for you and your complete hatred of your Savior Christ Jesus.
    Goodbye.

  • TS (unami)

    Surprise! God loves all people and your theology isn’t what Jesus taught.

  • D.M.S.

    I understand you, you’re just lost to this world.
    I was just like you a few years ago.
    But Herm spouts scripture left and right, twisting it to his world view and hasn’t faintest idea about his Savior Christ Jesus one bit.

  • Jomo

    I suppose when your entire world-view is based on a fantasy, your relationships with other people are a mirage, too. And I am not at all insensitive to Benjamin’s plight. But at a certain point, you have to see things for how they are.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re right God loves everyone.
    But if you don’t think tha God won’t send anyone to hell for their unrepentant sin, you are sadly mistaken.

  • D.M.S.

    In a congregation, if a person is living a sinfilled life. They’re supposed to confront their freind privately and let them know that they’re not living a Christian life. If they still carry on in this manner, it’s brought before the Pastor and the elders. And the friend and a elder confront this person privately. If they still carry on in this manner they are brought before the Pastor and the elders and put on probation. If they still carry on in this sinful manner, eventually they will be dismissed from the congregation.
    You can find all of what I’ve stated here, in scripture.

  • qcdude3

    This of course is the problem of joining any group. When you “join” you give tacit approval to the “Groups beliefs”, forsaking your own. I never if possible join anything but if I need to for some reason I would never attempt to adjust the group beliefs. I have yet to meet any christian that is willing to follow the teachings of Christ. They sell their program on his teachings, while they themselves ignore them.

  • Tony

    You call the man a ‘self-absorbed liberal who cavorts around pretending to be a Christian’ after he states liberal ideals(some of which are also Christian ideals), such as loving your enemies, higher minimum wage, not having weapons in a church…and you expect people to think that you’re not making this political?

    I looked at your Disqus posts and you’re as big of a nut-job as they come. You apparently believe that Pizzagate is real and they just got the wrong business.

    You are definitely not a Christian regardless of whether you claim to be or not.

  • WayneMan

    No, atheists do not believe in Satan either.

  • John Mason

    It is sometimes hard to know when to leave your church, but in your case, I cannot think of a better reason.

    If you want to be in good standing at a church like that, no one will want to hear your opinions If they differ from the majority. I would go to a church that encourages some level discussion, at least SOME discussion of important topics, where individual opinions are not categorically condemned. If you were made elder and even then cannot voice your opinion, then you are probably not at the right church! I would be especially concerned that your views concerned social matters, and were not issues of core Gospel belief. You should ask yourself why they made you elder in the first place. Certainly at this church not to use your God-given ability to think. A church that shuns you for having your own thoughts is not my kind of church.

    Oh and those people were never friends to begin with. They were church members that you socialized with. Even your enemies wouldn’t act that badly, and pious so-called Christians to boot. I would write that lovely church a note and tell them how much I’ve enjoyed their church and not return. To quote the old Neil Sedaka song, breaking up is hard to do.

  • TS (unami)

    Where is your faux outrage toward the greedy, the gluttons and the multiple divorcees? Jesus had even more to say about those than anything at all about gay people.

  • alltruthbrandon

    I’m a Christian and I think the article’s author sounds like a good guy. But you are trying to use his article to promote some kind of perverted junk. What the heck is “LGBTQ2”?

    Wait…on second thought, I don’t wanna know.

  • alltruthbrandon

    oh, and there aren’t also lots of terrible atheists? Don’t be ridiculous.

  • John Mason

    If you think abusing an old man for speaking his mind is liberal, then all is most certainly understood on my end, my dear comrade.

  • Thomas Pawlenko

    Pat, you could not have hit the nail on the head with more accuracy. Way too many in the body are only willing to grow to a certain point, usually where they are comfortable, and no further. When someone comes along and had insight and knowledge beyond that point, they lose it and must run to hide themselves from it. This was the first thing I taught my wife when we began going to church together. She was a relatively new believer and I had been in the faith for decades. I told her that there would be things she would hear that she would not understand right away, but to just file them away in her mind until the rest of the pieces came along and brought everything into focus more clearly.
    With most other believers, I have to temper my knowledge, teaching, and even just talking about certain subjects to keep from overwhelming them with things that they have not grown to be able to accept yet. Strangely, the hardest thing for many to accept is that a believer is free in Christ – in everything. That they are not subject to the OT Law, which so many of the pastors and preachers continue to shout from the pulpit and bind their flocks with. I have been seen by some of the leaders in the church as a “lukewarm believer” because I do not tow their line of legalism. Their loss.

  • Thomas Pawlenko

    And yet, apparently none of that was followed in this case. none of the views that the author held could be called sin except in the most legalistic pharisaic sense. Differing on social issues and governmental policy does not determine whether one is living a “sin filled life”. In fact, just that judgmentalism is itself a sin. While I may not agree with the author on these issues, that does not make him a sinner to be shunned, or ghosted.

  • Alison Kirkpatrick

    We previously attended a church I now call the “perfect people” church. Everything is fine until you or someone in your family steps beyond the invisible line of what is acceptable regarding “big” sins and “little” sins. Our case wasn’t as extreme as yours, but we feel your pain. We did leave that church, and we have found REAL people who actually realize that we’re all just sinners saved by grace. I’m very sorry this happened to you. One wise man once told me to “never judge Jesus by the church” and “there are no perfect churches.”

  • Lydia lysaught

    Can someone explain something to me?
    My daughter is part of the youth group at our church, she was asks a personal question answered with truth. Then spoke to the youth pastor, was told to either stop doing what she’s doing or step away from being a group leader with the youth.
    I understand do as you teach. But does this give this person the right to “threaten” my daughter with, if you don’t tell the pastor, I will.

  • Thomas Pawlenko

    1 Thess 2:13, 1 Cor 2:13
    As Jesus said, If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.

  • delzel

    actually this is just one of many destructive practices not talked about

  • evo34

    Not really surprising that friendships don’t last if the only thing bringing people together in the first place is adherence to certain beliefs and practices.

  • Sentient

    “Religion poisons everything.” I’d do faith instead.

  • Hp

    First of all, the appropriate term is not ghosting, but excommunication. It has also been called disfellowshipping, banning and shunning and is as old as Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. I know that ghosting sounds clever and avant garde, but the truth is that you are not a victim of anything new.

    Secondly, your admission of “errors” is hilariously self-serving. You obviously offended a lot of people, which happens to be a sin. But you apparently have no intention of ever apologizing or repenting in order to restore those relationships. Relationships are a two-way street and rarely do they survive your level of self-righteousness and condescension.

    Thirdly, your refusal to attend any other church is very telling. Combined with your declaration that there could never, ever be a reconciliation illustrates a level of conceit that should be terrifying. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of the gospel and your refusal to either ask for it or tender it, places you in dangerous territory. Calling yourself a “public Christian” is a joke. If you don’t love Jesus’ body, which is the church, you don’t love Jesus.

  • Ashwin Campbell

    All stupid!

  • John Eitel

    The church has always had the methods you describe, but whether you call it disfellowshipping, excommunication, or whatever, it is always known to the person and made public as a form of spiritual ‘discipline’ of the person involved. What the writer is describing is something different- without describing any justification for disfellowshipping, to suddenly withdraw from a close relationship without stating any reason for it is not ok.

    But then again, we’re only hearing one side of the story here and it wouldn’t be the first time that a picture changed once both sides of a dispute made their positions known.

  • PJ

    Tragic as it is to read about what happened with the writer’s family I can’t help but wonder what’s the other side. When people are in church with each other and one person is in a position of authority, as in teaching elder, there exists a leader/subordinate relationship.

    Some people are not emotionally equipped or feel intellectually capable of arguing with a elder/leader. If the writer began making announcements or pronouncements that were taken as either unbiblical or self-serving it may be wrong but understandable to draw back from the leader. Is that unchristian like, yes. But not unhuman like. Why again was his marriage falling apart. Why again are they going through attempts at adoption when the family and marriage were suffering. Is his house in order

    I think the writer seems to want it both ways. He wants the equal footing of being just another member of the church and a friend but also maintain the benefits of the leader/follower relationship. Seems he doesn’t understand that the members may feel his actions were unchristian like. I could hear them say “why is he treating us like this after all the fellowship we’ve had”.

    Unchristian or not, church leadership is still leadership. And a leader without followers is not a leader. This may be more of a leadership problem than a Christian one. But a problem that affects young children more than it affects mature adults.

    Still, this is a family who needs prayer.

  • PJ

    Faith in what….

  • PJ

    If she’s a leader in the youth group then she’s dealing with children. You don’t mention the question or the truthful answer but it may very well be something inappropriate to be discussing with someone else’s children. Sounds like the youth pastor did what he or she is supposed to do, directly confront admonish and educate or separate for the good of the body.

  • Sentient

    Faith in Jesus Christ.

  • D.M.S.

    God loves them also.
    These people will also be condemn for their sins, if they don’t repent of them.
    But I have yet to see one glutton pride parade, or one multi divorce pride parade. The greedy they have a pride parade Monday thru Friday on the financial channels
    The lgbt has a grotesque pride parade every single day thru our liberal news agencies, magazines, TV shows, etc.

  • myvoicecounts

    The is an excellent book called- “The Bait of Satan ” (offended). It’s premise is that when we become “offended” with our spouse, our church, our friends, the end result is a lot like what is being described here. The goal is to understand Satan’s sly scheme and not allow this “offense” to get this far. It is enlightening and thought generating reading, espically in an era where there always seems to be somebody offended and “leaving the church.”
    . I too have been “ghosted by Christian friend in a Christian church. The pain is quite unlike any other-a real betrayal of an extra special trust. Maybe this is how Jesus felt with Judas? I wonder…

  • JD
  • myvoicecounts

    I simply do not have enough faith to be an Atheist.

  • myvoicecounts

    Christianity is not a religion. Religion/religious people, are exactly as described in this article. The mans marriage? MYOB. Bringing guns to church? ok-call a meeting and agree as a congregation-done. Not casting out someone because they preach a sermon on forgiveness.
    Christianity is supposed to be Gods people, in a loving way, talking it out. Reaching UP to God for answers. Disagreeing and resolving issues. Divisive people are the ones carrying the gossip and stirring up trouble ,running their neighbors down, THEY are the ones who need to go. Religion is Man trying to please God with rules. Christianity is God reaching down to Man in love and forgiveness, The sad fact is that Churches are made up of Human Beings, who are petty, nearsighted, self-indulgent and mean. They are also kind and loving and in need of God. It is really really hard to be a Christian. How I long for a time when this day is past and I can worship with the Lord Himself, No more BS!!!

  • myvoicecounts

    Seems he had befriended some for 5 years or more! How do you know who to befriend ahead of time, anyhow? How do you know WHAT qualities a person has, until you ah er get to know them? Or is there a flashing sign I can buy-or something in a juice box that will tell me ahead of time? Just askin…

  • myvoicecounts

    It is against the Torah law for a Jew to bash another one. Or see one starve.

  • Maybe

    Well, at least we can agree on the first part.

  • Maybe

    I suspect you really believe that your god hates whatever you happen to define as sin.

  • D.M.S.

    LOL…Today’s skeptic theologians should be taken with a grain of salt.
    When atheist try to show me how today’s world looks at our past theology.
    I’m going to be very cautious in what I read.
    Back all of it up with scripture and I might read it.

  • D.M.S.

    I have that book it quite good.
    I enjoyed reading a few years ago
    Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. By Hal Lindsay.
    It opened my eyes to a lot of this worlds evil.

  • myvoicecounts

    He is always listening for you. I am always amazed by people who think that because they don’t hear God-he isn’t speaking. Or they don’t see Him so he must not be there. I cannot see Oxygen-or India or even my spouse sleeping in the next room. But I bet my very existence that they are real and here ! So is his voice, Honey. You keep talking. I promise He hears you.

  • True American Patriot

    I go to one of the most famous and respected churches in the evangelical world, and this article definitely resonated with me (and not just me). It’s even tempting to say which one though I won’t. The term “ghosting” is just another term for “blackballing.” And yes indeed, it’s about evil, unbiblical, horrible turning away from and wrongly ostracizing someone – having nothing to do with proper justified biblical excommunication or anything of the sort. It is sin and selfishness and “politics” in action in all it’s ugly ugliness and wickedness – in the church. Sad to see someone writing like Hp here. That is also exactly the kind statement someone who practices this evil would write when it might sometimes be covered with a phony pretext of misusing and abusing Scripture to justify it if there is ever a reason given instead of just the silence.

  • myvoicecounts

    Very well said.

  • myvoicecounts

    “Never judge Jesus by the church”…I am going to write that on the front page of my Bible so I remember it. Churches are maintained by flawed human beings and sometimes we need great patience to endure our blessings!! Thanks

  • True American Patriot

    “we don’t have to be in complete agreement to be in a complete
    relationship.”

    If only more people thought that way and realized that.

  • David Henry

    Dr. Ben may have gotten his Doctor of Intercultural Studies from Fuller, but he missed his class in humility. When your more mature, Doc, you’ll use examples from your life that aren’t so self-glorifying.

  • myvoicecounts

    I agree. You didn’t give details but in our society today that is rife with issues regarding kids-it sounds like the youth pastor was doing the best for all involved. And your daughter. Good she answered with the truth BUT if what she is doing is harmful to her-she should not have the responsibility of leadership. What are you doing to help her? It’s your job too ya know..

  • True American Patriot

    Elder: “I think we should not allow guns in the church.”

    Others: “We disagree. Let’s decide.”

    Later: “We decided. Let’s move on now.”

    Case closed. We’re all still friends.

    ————————————————-

    Was that so hard? And I disagree with that gun-banning too no less, but I’m still ready to go out to lunch with the guy after the service and “agree to disagree.”

  • JD

    Are you saying you know more than the Jewish do of their own religion?

  • TS (unami)

    Ah, so it’s about parades.
    How could I have possibly missed that in the scriptures?
    / S

  • True American Patriot

    Your accusation there holds no water. When your comment still appeared the first time in your earlier version I also said I doubted you were regenerate, but I got a message saying your comment had already been removed. An accusation like that here is ridiculous and unwarranted.

  • myvoicecounts

    Offending people is a sin? What Pharisee school did you get that? Jesus offended everybody-that’s why they crucified him! “But in Him was found no sin.. As for not loving a church means not loving Jesus-there was NO CHURCH when Jesus walked the earth-but he still asked Peter, “do you love me…” YOU need to read the Gospel and stop putting your ignorance forth as the word of Godl. People like YOU are the reason so many Christians are lost. Gawd go away!!!

  • True American Patriot

    That’s how it starts: “you are the bad guy. you did this. you did that. now we must turn away from you.” When the truth is something very different, that they are creating a false pretext to do evil and twist the Bible rather than following the Bible.

  • David Henry

    “I was a teaching elder at our church, and made the critical error of pushing back on folks when they challenged my fitness for serving as an elder when it was said in a meeting, “‘We have a deep concern that you’re not truly the head over your wife.’”

    (Those horrible people. You, Dr. Ben are a hero.)

    I made the error of saying we shouldn’t force two of our most committed, reliable, and spiritually mature community members to be re-baptized as a condition of being a full voting member of our church.

    (Dr. Ben .. heroic)

    I made the error of advocating for a higher minimum wage in a television interview (which led to someone literally yelling and walking out of church).

    (Can you believe that? They YELLED at you? You’re my hero, Dr. Ben.)

    I made the error of preaching a sermon on Matthew 5 and what it means to love our enemies– which got me cornered and rebuked by the other elders because the sermon was, ironically, “unloving” to preach to a bunch of gun owners, apparently.

    (Sure, Dr. Ben. Clearly … you are an amazing human being.)

    I made the error of suggesting we should have a policy against people bringing weapons into our place of worship, prompting some folks to threaten leaving the church.

    (That’s right. Who are they to have constitutional rights? You’re incredible, Dr. Ben.)

    I made many “errors,” and the net result was the tension in our little group continued to increase until my best friend bailed instead of navigating conflict– taking the rest of our social circle with him. We went from texting countless times a day and spending individual, and family time together, to…. nothing.

    (You are the victim of victims, Dr. Ben. I’m so glad there are people like you in this world.)

  • myvoicecounts

    I am a Veteran and a Minister. If we could only get that message across-I would not have needed to be in service because Army’s would be unnecessary. My country would not be divided and coming apart at the seams because of politics. My lovely neighbors from India would not be afraid for their safety and road rage would have no more victims. If only

  • D.M.S.

    LOL….

  • True American Patriot

    I could easily address every point there, and rather well in fact, but it’s a waste of time. For you to even use them is incredibly warped, because every single one of them has merit. You have a “tell” though – when you mention “constitutional rights.” Don’t get me wrong – I completely support the 2nd Amendment right too, and the whole Constitution. And I would have simply disagreed with him about banning guns in church – and then we’d go out to lunch and laugh about it. But you mentioning it like that is a tip off that you probably approach this whole thing from the mind of a typical right wing “conservative” ideologue rather than with a truly regenerate mind devoted to the truth of the Word of God and to thinking and acting biblically.

  • True American Patriot

    Of course, but right now I’m just thinking of when it’s people who are supposed to be fellow members of the body of Christ under the authority of God’s Word, as it would seem the author also was thinking there.

  • myvoicecounts

    Hey you two-enough of the vitriol already! Yikes. Someone needs to practise some control maybe…

  • True American Patriot

    I didn’t go as far as “vitriol.” :)

  • JD

    Unless you are a Rabbi you don’t have the authority to tell Jews what to believe of their own religion. So go ahead and LOL for shows your ignorance.

  • myvoicecounts

    Ah David-you made that accusation 20 minutes ago. You’re ranting pal and I’m beginning to think you should not have skipped anger management this week. Doc-stop egging him on!

  • Jerry Brian

    I would not think so, as Jesus knew the betrayal would occur and even said so, and without that incident there would have been no Crucifixion and resurrection to offer fallen mankind an opportunity of redemption. Why would the word in the flesh, fully human and fully divine feel betrayed by God’s plan?

  • True American Patriot

    He had it posted, then I replied, but it said it was removed. So he deleted it apparently shortly before posting again. No worries – nobody’s egging me on. If that were so, I would have addressed every point in his long reply below, but I refrained.

  • D.M.S.

    It’s not about parades, lol. It’s about people flaunting their sins to the world, like there’s nothing wrong with it. The gluttons don’t flaunt their sin to the world. Especially when the weight loss industry makes billions a year from people who are trying to lose that weight.
    I’m sure there’s plenty of divorcees that have asked God to forgive them of there past sins. Kim Davis did.
    They don’t flaunt their divorces either. In her case the media did.

  • myvoicecounts

    No True Patriot-I meant you were egging David. on. The guy is an idiot or disturbed, clearly and arguing with him only makes it worse. I do wonder why, exactly, he is soooooo mad though….go figure.

  • D.M.S.

    How many were on that panel that wrote that document 20, more?
    And by their finding all Jews are to adhere to everything that they came up with in that document. I’ll wager that if I searched, I could find other documents that rebuff their findings.
    By just as many prestigious colleague of the Jewish Faith.

  • The church is not the way to heaven. Only Christ is. Christ’s forgiveness is the cornerstone of the gospel, and although we should strive to be Christ-like, we are human and not God. Saying that offending someone is a sin is completely asinine and it is far from Biblical. First off who are we to judge other humans? There is only one Judge and our human judgement is worth nothing and does not point people to Christ. Please tell me what direct line you have with Christ where let’s you in on who is in dangerous territory or not? And please tell me what do you mean by dangerous territory? Is that a stab at the state of one’s soul who you do not know at all, and furthermore even if it was your brother you still would have no right or justification in making that call. Only Christ knows our hearts and any guessing we do does nothing good for us or them and at the end of the day it does not glorify God or allow us to project Christ to others.

  • myvoicecounts

    Something to be said for learning from your mistakes, eh?
    I was a member of one of the largest churches in Minneapolis with a very famous pastor. I was marginalized because I was a single women. The pastor;s refused to counsel single women and some of the men would even walk away, with a comment like,”I don’t talk to unmarried women…” I found a new church that didn’t care what my marital status was.and understood my place in the body of Christ. Sometimes you just gotta shake the dust off your feet and mosey on down the road.

  • Kevin Coffer

    Doesn’t sound like a church. Sounds like a cult.

  • TS (unami)

    Ah, but four-times married Kim Davis felt compelled to deny the legal right to marriage to American citizens, and broke the law. Not exactly a righteous example.

  • Jerry Brian

    This looks more like an advertisement for book sales and Facebook followers to increase ad revenue than an actual faith based topic of discussion. Oh, don’t forget the big banners for podcasts on the side of the page. Do we really need another Cha-ching preacher in Christendom?

  • Bob Kennedy

    Benjamin Corey, I suspect there’s much more to the story than you’re telling. And simply by the language you use, it’s apparent you don’t live by scripture. The Apostle Paul said to not let any cursing or coarse talk come out of your mouth. The fact that you do is a strong indicator that your friends may simply have been tired of being around a person who wanted to live by his own rules and create discord instead of seeking peace and Jesus’ love.

  • D.M.S.

    It’s right there in plain English and other languages for anyone to read in Christian scripture.
    What God/Jesus considers sins.

  • I know nothing about “ghosting”, Christian or otherwise. But the author has a personality problem – he seems to think that he can say whatever he wants to without anyone daring to disagree with him. Whether you are right or wrong in your opinions, what gives you the idea that there is no potential cost in expressing them? What do you care about more – your opinions or your friends?

  • D.M.S.

    Every pastor is allowed by God to govern his flock.

  • D.M.S.

    That’s fine, they’ll get to meet him when they go to hell for not repenting.
    Repent soon, before its to late to do so.