Deconverts - What part of Christian culture do you miss the most? Is there a worship song or hymn you find yourself humming? Do you miss the after church coffees and potlucks? Do you get sentimental about an author or children's book?
I realize there is plenty to NOT miss, but for those who were in the faith longer than out, I'd be very happy to hear about the cultural soft-spots you have since leaving the faith.
There's only really two things that I miss about my days as a believer. First, when I was in 4th grade, I sang in the choir. That was kinda fun. Second, for a year or two in high school, the church youth group was pretty fun. We'd hang out, have fun, and religion was rarely brought up. This ended when we got a new pastor who disliked the 'easy-going' nature of our youth leader and so fired him and brought in a new evangelical one. I quit youth group the next week.
Other than that, I don't really miss anything about it at all.
My parents aren't overly religious and I never liked going to church when I was young, so I'd say that there's nothing that I miss about it. I was catholic though, so we didn't go to church since we moved in '94, and even before that it was mainly for family things or holy days...
I don't miss a thing about it. I never was involved enough to get that warm, fuzzy, communal feeling. Everyone seemed strange to me and their stories made no sense. Plus, when I would ask serious questions, like "how can I be happy in heaven when my loved ones burn in hell" or "do animals go to heaven", the answers ranged from conflicting and unsatisfactory to dismissive and very unsatisfactory.
Good questions - that never got a solid answer. The happy in heaven one makes sense. As a born-againer who more-or-less believed the once-saved always-saved thing - it was an even BIGGER frustration knowing that total assholes, douchebags, and child molesters could be in heaven hanging out with me because they were born again. And to top it of - my atheist grandpa who was the nicest, kindest person ever would burn in hell. But I also knew that "not by works are you saved" spiel pretty well - so - yeah - if you believed - but by the grace of god were they Saved, because no human in their right mind would want to be in heaven with those jerks. Sure - "god judges the heart" - but old habits are heard to break. Do we really want pedophiles hanging out around all those cherubs?
Do we really want pedophiles hanging out around all those cherubs?
Haha! I figure that cherubs came from the mind of pedophiles. Certainly a place filled with such creatures would be heavenly to them. I find it creepy.
But to your other points, I never as a child felt that God was a fair or just God. But the adults did not care about my protests. In fact, my questions and protests were probably why I never felt that communal feeling. I was an outcast and I didn't even know it.
This is an interesting perspective. I never got too hung up on God's fairness. I had "only God can judge the heart" hammered into me - which wasn't all bad. I also was pretty big on allowing and figuring out God's will - which of course meant that sometimes shitty things happened, but it was still okay if God wasn't fair, because ultimately God's Will was evident. I did a lot of soul searching but never out and out questioned. This is where personality greatly factors into the faith experience.
Often believers circled their wagons around those who questioned - as a means of smothering them with Love. Probably better you didn't get smothered because being an outsider always helps a person make that last step out.
and good point about the cherubs - whoever invented them was clearly disturbed.