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Losing Your BFF

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General blog items, introductions or explanations

The Comfort of Having no Comfort

or: The Dark Side of Christian Hope

It seems that religion has a monopoly on providing answers surrounding death. Especially Christianity is good in providing comfort, with the streets of gold and a new earth where every tear will be wiped off our cheeks. All our loved ones (or well, those who believed as well) will be there too. Preachers say the loftiest things about the dead who are now at peace with God. I have fervently believed this for some three decades. It was called hope.

Compare that to a secular funeral, at least from a Christian perspective. Death is death, there is nothing more. No afterlife, no hope of ever seeing each other again. This is it, or more accurately: this was it. Gloomy and bleak, right?

Or is there more to it? Continue reading “The Comfort of Having no Comfort”

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I Went Back to Church – And it was Powerful

“Your daughter would like you to come to church, because she will sing on stage. But she doesn’t want to ask you, because you don’t believe in God anymore”.

So there you go, I was back in church at Easter Sunday. After 34 years on this planet in which I attended church on every single Sunday (sometimes even twice), I abandoned it cold turkey style some 9 months ago.

But today I was back. For my daughter, but also curious how I would (dis)like it.

And you know what? I found the service to be quite powerful. I get it now. This is why church services have survived for centuries. What am I rambling about? Continue reading “I Went Back to Church – And it was Powerful”

The Invisible Dragon and the Use of Logic

A story this time! First part is a famous piece written by others, but I made an extended version about the brick wall that I hit in conversations with many believers.

The Fire Breathing Dragon – a Short Story

“A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage” Suppose I seriously make such an assertion to you. Surely you’d want to check it out, see for yourself. There have been innumerable stories of dragons over the centuries, but no real evidence. What an opportunity!

“Show me,” you say. I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle–but no dragon.

“Where’s the dragon?” you ask. Continue reading “The Invisible Dragon and the Use of Logic”

Have You Prayed For Me?

You know what has been the most common response to my de-conversion from Christian friends, family and colleagues?

“I will pray for you”

I have not heard this ten times, or twenty, but I guess at least a hundred times. Some even said that other groups, with people I don’t know at all, were praying for me! Maybe you have been praying for me. Maybe you are still praying for me every time you see another one of these blog posts come by. If you are my parents, probably every day.

Continue reading “Have You Prayed For Me?”

Reader Questions #1

Time for some reader questions! Many of you have been asking me questions, some of you a whole bunch of them. One of my friends, an active missionary, send me this list.  Perhaps some of his questions were also on your mind…

Continue reading “Reader Questions #1”

Playing Chess with a Big Mouth

I guess I am crazy for trying to teach my 6 and 4 year old kids to play chess. I hope I won’t become one of those parents that insists on straight 10 out of 10 marks (or A+) and will blame the school if the result is anything less. Nevertheless it is great fun teaching them new things, and I always try to make sure they want to learn it themselves, instead of me pushing it on them.

Success rates in playing chess are not remarkable though, to say the least… these kids of mine change the rules constantly. They perform impossible moves (a queen jumping over other pieces, horse moving only in one direction) but will happily play on. They have no idea about checkmate yet (so the game usually ends weird), and they have the strategic insight of about zero to one moves. There is a long way to go…

My Life

While having fun with chess, I thought about how my life feels a lot like playing chess right now. Who do I tell what, in which order? How about my work? How about the prayer supporters, how about my family? What will others do, which pawns will they move, how will this affect me, or others close to me?

Continue reading “Playing Chess with a Big Mouth”

Labels!

One question that popped up a few times so far is which labels I would now apply to myself. That is a fair question and a good opportunity to clear up some things that I confused myself over for years.

Continue reading “Labels!”

Hidden Immigrant

Out of the Closet

There you go. I am ‘out’ of the closet! I now dare to say I have a good understanding how LGTBQIA must feel doing a similar “dad, mom, I have to tell you something” kinda thing.

I guess I may have left many readers/friends wondering where I am at now. Some asked me directly. Don’t be afraid to ask me more questions, I have not been overwhelmed with hundreds of emails, so don’t worry to ask, vent, or just communicate some feelings. I have really appreciated those friends who said that they were sad about the results, or couldn’t sleep well after they read my blog, because that is a proper response as friends when someone no longer identifies with your core shared beliefs.

So what’s it like for me? Thanks for asking.

It feels like I have just been teleported by Star Trek’s Scotty/La Forge from planet A to planet B and am facing some interesting challenges (with apologies for non-Trekkies).

Venus_Earth_Comparison

Continue reading “Hidden Immigrant”

Let It Go

We all lose things. We all have to let go. Small things like the fleeting expressions on your tongue when that sushi slides down your throat. But also bigger things, like your new shiny phone that drops on the floor and cracks all over.

Sometimes though, it gets huge, and we desperately want to hold on. Ever seen the response of parents to the news that a child has died? Chances are you will hear “no, no, no, no” for a long time. Such big news takes a time to process…

I have had the same type of loss. And it took me years to process the news. Five long years of saying “no, no, no, it can’t be true” to myself. Who did I lose?

Continue reading “Let It Go”

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