From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. So Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” Then Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
I remember having a strong, passionate attitude for Christ just graduating out of highschool a few years ago. I had just gotten baptized into Eastern Orthodoxy and had put my Evangelical viewpoints behind me. I even brought multiple people into my church, and some of them ended up baptized themselves or got something out of it. I was having so much fun learning more about the Saints, Church History, and how Christianity developed.
While the fire didn’t burn out for me in Christianity at first, it did in populism. Seeing as how stupid Trump acted, how brainless the GOP is, and the very creepy cult of personality that developed around Trump from the old guard GOP and boomer voters in the US distanced me a lot from it. Heck, Trump did more effort in regulating firearms in the US than the democrats ever did (red flag laws anyone?). It convinced me that the greater threat to firearms in the US isn’t Democrats, it’s Republicans. Trump also did a terrible job at handling the BLM protests. His attempt at suppressing them created even more sympathy for them, making them the largest movement in American history. It showed me something interesting. Direct Action works, but only when it’s used properly. The left is very good at direct action as it stems from old labor union movements, and they know how to get concessions from this action. The right seems to just fumble around until something sticks. Good examples of the right wing “activism” being stupid would be Charlottesville, the Legion of St. Ambrose LARPers, and the siege on the US Capital Building. I do believe that all this chaos made the American people run back into the arms of the old guard Democrats.
Small tangent here, but I didn’t predict Bernie Sanders being Senate Budget Chairman at all. Keep in mind that that position isn’t a meaningless concession. Bernie Sanders is in charge where money goes in the US now. He’s one of the most powerful people in the United States.
Anyways, the strange cult of personality around Trump, and around race pushed me away from right wing populist activism. We didn’t see too much Trump worship in /rel/, but we did see some who tried to put race above God, and some who tried to blur the lines a bit and test the boundaries between race worship and Christ worship. I never found the reason to be in a “white people’s club”. Even when I was more passionate in my Christianity. Frankly, I never cared. I even remember forcing myself to pretend to care and looking rather stupid in some of my older posts in the Facebook group. Overall, I found my political side wandering around, unsure where to go.
Fastfoward to 2020 and covid hits. My priest got covid, our deacons got it, and my spiritual father had it. Thankfully, no deaths occurred. But this resulted in DL being suspended for a very long time, giving me free time to study more. This brought me to eventually reading more about the earliest Christians, when it was considered by the Roman government to be just a small cult with nothing to worry about. Which well…led me to question Christianity itself.
Now before I continue, I’d like to point out that these are MY PERSONAL experiences and readings, and mine alone. I’m not trying to “deconvert” any of you, I’m not trying to convince you to my side, I’m simply telling you my story. I’m more than open to talking about these, in fact, I want to now that the fire from 2016 has settled from all of us. I will however, be only skimming the surface of the objections I developed to the Scriptures to keep things simple in what I’m writing here.
I ended up putting my reading into two separate categories. One being about the gnostics and how their ideas were battling with other Christians throughout history. Another being about philosophy, more specifically the existentialists. The various philosophers I read about were people like Sartre, Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoire, and Max Stirner.
Looking into the gnostics showed me about the various types of battles and writings that the Scriptures had, and how books seemed to be written, rewritten, taken out, put in, altered, etc. So many people genuinely believed scriptures like the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, etc. were divinely inspired by God. It made me wonder why or how God could even work in such a disorganized system of believers at this time. And keep in mind, this was when information wasn’t spreading as fast as it is now. The church of Rhossus was using the Gospel of Peter for a long time, even allowed it by the bishop Serapion despite it’s docetic leanings. How were they supposed to know whether a text like that was inspired or not?
Now for the existentialists, these modern writers talked a lot about how the world basically has no meaning to it. Camus eases you into it, while Sartre and de Beauvoire smack you over the head with it. Stirner takes this to a larger extreme in that he believes that morals and culture don’t exist, and should only be used to a humans advantage. The existentialists do…well…let’s just say a really good job at shaking faiths. And I have yet to really receive an answer from God in regards to the idea of zero meaning in the world. Because if all our meaning only comes from God, that’s rather depressing to me. I like what I can put in the world and my efforts, but if I can’t do it without God, then what’s the point other than doing it “just because he said so”? The existentialists (especially Camus) say that just because something is meaningless, doesn’t mean it’s useless.
For a while I ended up wandering around aimlessly in the “spiritual but not religious” area, simply because I was desperate for God to give me an answer. To talk with him. I tried DL, I tried confession, Eucharist, going back to my old Protestant church (for Saturday services that they did. I did eventually stop going to DL however), I even was so desperate that I tried psychedelics from a self proclaimed “shaman” just to talk to God.
If you’re thinking there’s a point to all this I’m REEEEing about, there isn’t. I’m just venting here. And this is where my story ends. It’s why I call myself an “observer” instead of a Christian. Because I don’t know if I can call myself one now. I’m a totally different person than I was in the glory days of /rel/ or /cult/ or whatever you wanna call it. I’m now trying to figure out what I am, who I am, who God is, if God even exists, what God is…I’m just frustrated to where I’m stepping back from it all.
“But why are you here?”
I don’t know. Closure? Answers? I remember feeling safe with other like minded traditionalists. With all the confusion of Facebook gone due to the purge, I decided to come back now that we’ve effectively been deplatformed.
I’d love to hear responses to this. I know you guys have no idea who I am or why I barged back in here. But I’m willing to discuss these things with you. No, I don’t know why I even typed this out. Likely it’s just therapeutic on my end.