On this weeks episode, a fellow Loser and show producer Susan Ardrey sends us her story of growing up being afraid of the rapture, being killed for not believing, and living with the fear of eternal damnation.
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THANK YOU SUSAN FOR SHARING YOUR MELTDOWN STORY
Hi, Zac. Hope you're doing well. I continue to enjoy your podcasts. A couple of people in podcasts I've heard lately, yours and others, have mentioned the rapture, and I realized I wasn't the only one who was terrified by it as a kid. One former Jehovah's Witness (The Minimalists podcast) said that he was encouraged not to worry about college as a kid because the world would end before it would be time for him to go. People from his church went deeply into debt thinking they would never have to pay it back for the same reason.
When I realized I wasn't the only one who was taught this stuff, though not to the degree the Jehovah's Witness was, I decided to share this. Please feel free to use it or not. Considering the "F" word is in play, you might be able to tell there was alcohol involved when I wrote it. - Susan Ardrey
The Deconstruction of my Christianity
Begin deconstruction: I bought into it. From childhood, I believed. As a kid, I lay awake in my bed at night believing that Jesus died to save me from my sins, rose again, and would someday come back. I also believed that I could possibly be "left behind" when He returned if I didn't do everything just right. We watched scary movies about this in church. There were guillotines for the unbelievers. As a child, I prayed and prayed almost every night that my soul would be saved and that I would go to Heaven when Jesus returned. I did not want to be guillotined.
Thank you, and fuck you, Hal Lindsey. Growing up, Hal's book "The Late Great Planet Earth" was considered gospel. Jesus would return sometime around 1988, which would mean that in 1988, I wouldn't get to graduate high school. But it was okay because I would be in Heaven, celebrating with Jesus. I'm now 47. It's 2018. Jesus still hasn't returned. The good news is that I got to graduate from high school. Huzzah! My dad was an Evangelical pastor. He often said he was convinced that Christ would return his lifetime. Again, thank you and fuck you, Hal Lindsey. Dad died in 2014. No Christ. No Battle of Armageddon. No rapture. None of it was true.
I believed until I didn't. And when I didn't, I REALLY didn't. I struggle to walk outside and look around me and say that God doesn't exist. I can't imagine that this world I live in just *evolved.* On the other hand, I can't rationalize the thought that a God who loved the world would condemn large numbers of it to hell and eternal torture OR that a god who created men with the potential for "evil" would then condemn them for using the capabilities and nature with which he created them.
So, I give up. If I am condemned to Hell for not believing in the Christian God, then, I guess I have no choice. I don't argue for or against His existence. I just think that I can't win against the Christian God. I don't even want to try. I want to live my life-be as happy as I can, help as many people as I can, and love as many people as I can. While it would be nice to think that there's a heaven at the end of this life where I will see my loved ones again, I suspect that it's just a fantasy. I'm okay with that. If when I die, I cease to exist, I hope I'll have left the world a better place and gotten as much enjoyment out of life as I can. That's it. End Deconstruction.
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THE PRODUCERS OF THIS EPISODE ARE...
Brendan Gladney, Stacy Osiowy, Kimberly Nelson, Christian Grindstaff, Larry Overstreet, Heather Washburn, Alan Lamon, Michael Schmitt, Grace Kwon, Allen Mattox, Roberta Ballard-Myer, Alyssa Milan, Luis Castro Jr, T.O. Knowles, Jonathan Bowles, Thiago Bodini, Travis Turner, Samantha Davis, Chad Weber, Mary Ratti, Justin Beal, Matt Proudfoot, Alf Herigstad, Kaeleb Reyes, Mekenna Rose, Christy Feltman, Morgen Carpenter, Rachael Wold, Morgan Weisz, Sarah Matthews, Jay Middleton, Diana Brown, John Stuart, Mandy Logan, Susan Ardrey, Blake Willis, Anonymous Butterfly, and Anonymous Couple..