Pray? Me? Pass.

 

I never got in a regular habit of praying as a believer and here’s why.

I’m an introvert. We hate small-talk…with anyone…including ‘God,’ whomever that is. I don’t like talking when I really have nothing to say and unlike many people I crave silence when there’s not an active conversation going on with another person. I have only heard of one person who said they heard the ‘audible voice of God,’ and I wasn’t told that by the person. That was in my Foursquare days when there were demons under every placemat. When I was there I was encouraged to not meditate as I had practiced it in my ‘former’ life as that was leaving doors open to ‘demons.’

I talked to ‘God’ because I was told by some that I needed to. I was told by others that I had to. In fact one pastor said I’d lose my ‘salvation’ if I didn’t pray. I guess we’ll overlook Romans 11:29 while we’re trying to scare a group of newbies into conforming and so they’ll keep coming back.

Talking gets to be exhausting. I just never liked being the only thing speaking in an empty room and that was what praying to ‘God’ felt like EVERY TIME. I did some of it but ‘I never prayed without ceasing.’ I suspect it was part of what led to my eventual exit from the faith. Today when I meditate I may state an intention or chant a bit but it’s very limited and not consistent. I ‘pray’ a little but I am no longer sure who I’m praying to anymore or if there is anyone to pray to. I may return to it as part of my spiritual practice, but I doubt it’ll be at the core. It will be my decision and not at anyone’s behest.

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Carrying the sack: Some thoughts on deconversion

tatersackprisma-finalI’ve been headed in the direction of deconversion for several years. I strongly suspect the process began the day I first converted. It’s like carrying a sack on your shoulder with all the stuff of a religion…beliefs, concepts, commentaries, notes, sermons you’ve heard, ideas, thoughts, prayers, texts, dogma, emotions, rules, regulations, testimonies, myths, legends, all of it. And every so often you have to toss something out of the sack because you have no use for it anymore. Then over the years some doctrine or other, some belief that people hold tightly to but rarely, if ever, examine very closely rattles to the top of the sack and falls out. So you keep walking. And if you don’t tend to the sack weekly spots become frayed and more stuff drops out. Then some time passes, and later you start to realize that the sack has gotten really really light. Finally you stop and ask yourself whether you need what’s in there at all.

That’s the place I arrived at, and my answer to that question was, no.