Off the Wagon – day 7

On the seventh day she rested.  Fell off the Christian wagon.  Or got tired of it.  Or plainly was just done.

Like I said in the previous post, I have been listening to Christian Radio.  I don’t know why but today it really was bothering me.  It was just grating on my nerves.  I wanted to listen to something that wasn’t going on and on about their love for Jesus and God.  It caught me off guard because in most cases the radio is just background noise even when I am driving, so to actually be hearing it enough to be annoyed by it was odd.

Then when I was trying to read the Christian non-fiction I have; I couldn’t even get past the first page.  I tried a different book and it was the same thing.  I tried to further my reading in the bible.  I am on Matthew 13 so I haven’t made it very far from yesterday and the idea of reading any further made my head spin.

Instead I spent the day in places I assume a Christian wouldn’t hang out.  Virtually of course.  Atheist Facebook groups, not ignoring my Atheist friends’ posts, reading some humanist and secular blogs and mostly just not caring.

I am not quitting.  I think I just needed a reset today.  Everyone has set backs.  Maybe I can blame it on the  fact that today was  Leap Day  and that obviously means there is some sort of rip in the space time continuum (or something like that).

I’ll climb back up on the proverbial wagon tomorrow.  It will be a new day.


17 thoughts on “Off the Wagon – day 7

  1. Hi Dy-Anne,

    I am not really a fan of my local Christian radio station. I believe they are good intentioned people who want their station to bless people. But the music gets annoying. Sometimes it’s too saccharine for me. >_> So consequently I don’t listen to it that often. I do listen to other stuff though – like mixed CDs of “secular” music (gasp!) or the like. And guess what, I have not lost my faith inspite of it.

  2. Lol. That is quite alright Dy! Believe it or not some of us do not eat, sleep and breathe churchy stuff. I NEVER listen to Christian radio. It bores the crap out of me 🙂 I need my rock-n-roll! I don’t even read the Bible daily. My faith is strong and steady every day but it isn’t what my entire life of activities revolves around. That is for hyper-Christians 🙂 lol. No worries about your day, every body needs a break once in a while from anything that you are fully emersed in.

    • Yeah I know that; many Christians don’t read the bible or go to church at all.
      It’s just to fully be in it I have to be in it completely.
      Plus it’s a new day and I have 39 to go.

  3. Christians do get burnt out. Especially when they are so fully immersed like you’ve been.
    And yea, Christian radio – boring.

  4. Hi Dy-Anne

    Can I say ‘Well Done’ for choosing not being like the many Christians you know who don’t read the bible or go to church at all? I’m not mocking you, I am being honest here.
    I do read the bible everyday. Even if it is only one verse, I read it and I digest it.
    The bible says: Give us this day, our daily bread. The natural and the spiritual go together, hand in hand. Just as we eat to live in the natural, we eat from God’s Word in the Spirit. So like food, we need to digest what we read. This part is tricky because it’s to do with the Holy Spirit and he helps us to digest the word of God and bring it to manifest in our lives. He brings understanding of God’s word. He is the Helper or advocate.
    So, I don’t know how you spend time after reading the bible but just as a suggestion – after you read the bible, or even as you read it, make notes about what you read. Questions about a verse that stands out, seek to understand. Ask God to make it clear. Keep this private. Just for you (and the Lord… I have to say it, you’re reading His book! Lol)

    I’ve gotta say ‘WOW’ because there is a marked change in your posts. I can say I truly admire your perseverence. I’m glad you aren’t quitting.

    Pinch and a punch for the first of the month! It’s 1 March here!

  5. Christian radio is so stinkin’ cheesey. As a believer, I find that the syrupy vapid voices of Christian radio are a misrepresentation of the heaviness of the human reality. But, there are folks who are encouraged by that and it serves them well, I guess.

    My thought is that if you’re really gonna do this, do it! When I fall off the Christian bandwagon so to speak, the first things that go are prayer and–get ready for some Christian-speak–surrender. The biggest part of knowing and trusting God with your life is saying, “despite all this crap in my life, I’ll trust you and I’ll talk to you, God” or “all this good stuff that just happened to me and I’m going to give you credit for it coming my way”

    Until you’ve done that, you haven’t given up your atheism at all.

  6. Even as a Christian, we all slip at some point. I’m in a lull for sure right now. It’s part of our walk. I see it as a test that will help bring me closer to God when this is all over – the lull that is 🙂

    I think that God is working in you though. The fact that you are feeling some tension is god pulling the string tugging at your heart. And what you are feeling is OK. We’re human, we are going to rebel. It’s all part of the walk.

    One thing I would suggest about your bible readings is to not hit it so hard. I appreciate that you want to read the bible, and I applaud you, but doing too much can be so overwhelming. If you are just reading Matthew, I would suggest to do just a chapter a day. Really think about that chapter, make notes, jot down things that stand out to you either for further study and exploration or to ask the pastor of the church you are attending. Or if you are not comfy with that, ask your Christian friends.

    I think what you are doing is great. Keep it up. don’t worry about the days that you just don’t feel it. Even the most “hyper-Christians” have days like that. We pick up where we left off and continue the walk.

  7. Christian radio can be boring, but there are alot of secular artists that are ok to listen to as well. I listen online to a channel, which isn’t all music, there is talk radio on there to and some good programming I might add. As far as being immersed and reading the bible and christian non-fiction, we “christians” aren’t immersed in this all day. Yes, alot of us do daily devotions, meaning we spend time with God reading our Bible, praying and seeking him and we stop throughout the day to seek him, but we don’t spend our whole day doing it. I truly believe that God is already working with you on this journey. I am praying for you that you will feel absolutely surrounded by God and his love for you. I am praying that you see Jesus not only as historical, but also as divine and living.

  8. Dy-Anne,

    What’s happening right now is probably a very normal reaction. Really, what you’ve been doing is kind of like homework – and everyone has to take a break from that now and then. Actually, that’s how “Bob” referred to one of our earlier attempts at studying the Bible: homework. And at the time, he was less than enthralled about doing it. I think he wanted some supernatural “pop” to just put it all into place at once. But the thing is, he did come back to his study later, with another approach.

    I’m not sure what Christian non-fiction books you’re reading at the moment. You said you had several to choose from. Could it be that you need to find even something else that might appeal to you more? Once we found something that Bob was interested in, he couldn’t wait to read and study every day. Then, he wanted to RE-read what we had read.

    (BTW, the reason I labeled my husband “Bob” to begin with was b/c I had not asked his permission to use his name on here. Now, I figure I’ll just continue referring to him that way.)

    I don’t know – perhaps there are some particular books that might address some of the issues that you have with God and/or Christianity in a more specific way. Maybe you might not want to read those right now, though, b/c if I understand your experiment correctly, you are immersing yourself into the *Christian* lifestyle – perhaps not into the “I’m an atheist reading apologetics” lifestyle.

    Concerning your Bible reading itself, if you get bogged down in Matthew, you might consider Mark. It moves fast, and you can finish it more quickly – only 16 chapters. In that way, it’s a good approach to get a sense of accomplishment. I personally don’t like to quit something in the middle – like possibly changing from Matthew to Mark – but sometimes it can actually be a good thing. I’m not pushing you to do that, just offering alternative tactics.

    I also found a site that offers these plans: “Bible Reading for New Christians” (In their words: Thirty-one Days to Know God’s Plan for Us. This plan is a general overview of God’s encounter with humanity, our responses to Him, and how He gives us Hope, Salvation, and an Eternal Future.) and “Beginning Bible Reading Plan” (Again, in their words: A 31 Day Encounter with Jesus. This is an excellent plan to start out with, or use to refresh yourself in Him. In just a few minutes a day for a month, you will be stronger in your faith and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.).

    I haven’t done either of these reading plans myself, but they sound interesting. I also don’t want to throw out too many ideas so that it’s confusing – but personally, I like a lot of things to choose from.

    These are just thoughts. In the end, you’ll need to find the pathway that works for you. Like I said in my first post, God is reaching out to you with energy right now, just the way the way he is reaching out to Adam in the Sistine Chapel. (Yeah, I know that’s a manmade work, but it still speaks to me.) And if we consider everything that’s in the Bible, we have to also recognize that Satan is tapping you on the shoulder, beckoning you at this time as well. I truly know that these are hard concepts to accept, and that’s where, ultimately, our faith can come in – after we accept some of the rudimentary things.

    Good luck climbing back on the wagon. Speaking of faith – I have faith that you’re going to do just that!

  9. Zacs h and I play Christian radio chicken. The longest either of us has gone has been about a minute. Christian radio is just awful. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. And ironically, Christian music sounds so soulless.

  10. This is so fascinating to me. I think you are so brave to put aside your beliefs (non-beliefs?) and try something new, even if only temporary!

    I am a new Christian. I made the decision to follow Jesus in October 2011, and I have to tell you, it was NOT an easy journey. I never believed in God, was adamant that he didn’t exist… fully respected (and admired) what other people believed, and was interested in learning about world religions, but it wasn’t for me. And then honestly, one day I just woke up and couldn’t get the thought “what if God is real?” out of my mind. It started a 6 month adventure for me as I tried to wrap my mind around it all and decide whether or not I could believe in something that seemed so foreign to me.

    A Christian friend encouraged me to just ask God to show Himself to me. She said, “just ask Him – God, if you exist and you want a relationship with me, then show me.” I resisted, saying, “even if He did send a sign, I would miss it! I’m oblivious. I would need a billboard with my name on it.” But she encouraged me to just watch and wait. So I did ask, one day while I was driving.

    I waited months. I scrutinized everything that I saw and everything that happened, wondering if it was possibly my sign. And then, I have to tell you, 4 months later I experienced something that was so seemingly impossible and out of this world that it left me trembling and glancing around as if God himself would appear. It changed me. He took His time, but when He sent me a sign, He made it so completely obvious that no matter how hard I tried, I COULDN’T deny that there was SOME kind of higher power.

    Here’s the thing. I haven’t reconciled everything I previously believed in with everything I feel like some would EXPECT me to believe in now. As a fierce believer in evolution, I can’t just jump over to the intelligent design camp, just like that. I’m also a staunch pro-choicer. As a Canadian I’m thrilled that same sex marriage is legal across our country and can’t wait for the day the U.S. (and everywhere else) goes the same route. Those are things I can’t just give up because I’ve made a decision to follow God. I also don’t think I know for sure that my God is the only God, and I HATE when people use religion to further a message of hate and discrimination. God doesn’t hate homosexuals, He loves them the same way He loves everyone else.

    And I can’t expect myself to figure it all out in a day. It’s a journey. It’s an ever-changing thing. I have a lot to learn. But if you take religion and divinity out of the equation, Jesus, as a historical figure, was still a pretty cool, foward-thinking guy.

    I now attend a “blue jean church.” I love that I don’t have to get dressed up to worship. I sing with the worship team and have discovered a love for contemporary Christian music that I NEVER thought I would. I HATED this music before – and don’t get me wrong, some of I still can’t stand – but some of it is really beautiful, even if you have to put aside the lyrics to appreciation the music. But I also still listen to country, rock and roll, pop and R&B. It doesn’t have to be an either/or.

    Faith is a choice. Not one of us has ANY concrete proof that any God exists. I have chosen to believe that He does. Praying brings me comfort. If I’m wrong about His existence, will it done me any harm? I don’t think so… but I do know that I’m a better person for having made this choice. I’m happier, more peaceful, I think I’m a bit kinder and gentler and more community-minded. For me, it’s only been a positive change.

    This is a novel now, and all I really meant to say was good luck, and thanks for having an open mind. If nothing else I’m sure it will be eye opening! I’ll be following along. 🙂

      • Kate, I enjoyed reading your post and hearing about the newness – and the excitement – of your Christianity. My husband became a Christian almost two years ago, and it’s still exciting for both of us. Glad you shared.

      • I’m not comfortable posting it here but I am happy to share it with you. Feel free to email me at the address I posted the comment with. 🙂

        Also… I can’t figure out how to reply directly to Sallie’s message below, but… thank you! It is pretty exciting. Way more so than I expected it would be.

  11. Oh! Wait! One other thing.

    I read Atheist and Humanist blogs and forums. 99% of my friends aren’t Christian. I found out about your blog through the Twitter feed of a vocal Atheist, whose posts I really enjoy.

    Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t also have an open mind about others’ opinions, beliefs and viewpoints. Doesn’t mean that non-Christians don’t have incredibly interesting and thought-provoking things to say. I like being challenged in my beliefs – it forces me to pause and evaluate. That’s a good thing.

    I don’t think that just because you are doing this experiment means you have to turn your back on everything “un-Christian.” I think it’s healthy to know as much as you can about as many things as you can.

  12. Dy-Anne, I am incredibly appreciative of the transparency and authenticity with which you seem to be approaching this endeavor. I look forward to reading more.

  13. Dy-Anne,
    Just had to chime in on this one… I think the trouble you are experiencing is the difference between “like” and “as”. ??? let me explain. Your experiment has let you to live life like a Christian, or at least what the worlds view of a Christian may be, God wants us to live life as a Christian, see the difference. Living Like a Christian you would spend your days surrounding yourself in an unnatural environment. It would be like me taking a hip hop dance class, it’s something I might think would be fun but it would suck the whole time and in the end I would just not be very good at it… and would last only a few days. Now put me in an environment that I am good at like a news room with high stress and deadlines I thrive on it, equally as hard but I am a news guy, not a hip hop dancer. I have lived the past 15 years as a news guy, I sometimes try to dance like a hip hop guy… mostly that is just painful.
    Thing is, Christianity is hard but it is also the easiest thing in the world!
    Look at it this way,
    Do you believe that Jesus was a real person? Well I do because there is a historical record of his life outside the Bible.
    Do you feel joy in your heart when you look at your children? I do it’s a natural feeling of love… what is love? where is that feeling coming from? I mean if we just happened and our kids just happened without any higher being would we really feel love or would we just be indifferent to each other only concerned with our kids survival to pass on the genetic makeup of our bloodline… OK that’s nuts… thought so as I was writing it, but point I am trying to make is where do these feelings come from? It is in our nature to love to feel kindness and to feel anger, to wrestle with emotion is a difficult task.
    I believe that God created us with a heart like his, to love to show kindness toward others, to be concerned with the well being of those we love. I also believe that He will sometimes pull on those emotions to trigger questions about His existence.
    To look at this as a Christian here is what I feel you are experiencing… it’s hard.
    Deep huh…
    When we spoke at church last week I had said that to believe in Satan you must also believe in God, you agreed strongly with that idea. Well I do believe that Satan is there he is a fighter and he will do whatever he can to keep you right where you are, as his prize, on of Gods children who has fallen away from the flock. Trying to live like a Christian you will feel disappointed and tired, because you do not yet have the filling of Christ in your heart, cliche words I know, but that’s the bottom line. When you accept that God is there, He is standing right next to you saying come drink of the living waters that will save your life, when you believe that Jesus came from God was God and is now seated at the right hand of God, he walked that road to the cross beaten and bleeding to pay the sacrifice for YOU to God that YOU might be saved, and when you truly pray in your heart for his salvation to come to you then you will have that relationship that will change everything.
    The difference between what you are experiencing now and what you can have is night and day. God loves you, I am sure that he loves the fact that you are even trying this, but I know that I got up this morning with you on my mind for a reason. So I hope that you understand sometimes as a Christian God will put people on our hearts, and today it was your turn…
    I hope you come tonight to our Study, I know Stef feels the same way.
    I also hope that I didn’t ramble on too long and freak you out too much… well maybe just a little freaking out is good.
    See you tonight.

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