Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm not a Christian because(An open letter to Russell)

Personally, I’m, not a Christian because I have seen wonderful examples of goodness from Christians. The only one I ever knew was my dad who I treated with utter contempt for his trouble of trying to alert me to the nature of the beast holding me captive. I wish a “Bill” to have penetrated my force field of memorized Armstrongisms to cast some light through my paranoid defensiveness. Because my dad was the “devil” I drove him away. Yes, even a 9 year old can be a dyed in the wool Armstrongite.

I grew up in the WCG, and ended up completely non functional. I mean, like needing to be locked up in a mental hospital non functional; both suicidal and with an anxiety disorder that remains and requires constant meds to ameliorate. I was unemployable since I could never know when my nerves were going to send my brain buzzing, jamming up and shutting me down.
Years ago, in church, my left leg would quit working, and I’d have to drag it with my hand to get across the floor. I can’t remember a single attempt by a single WCGer to find out why I was the way I was. They would have opened quite a can of worms of years of extreme child abuse. I only received ostracism.

I’m not a Christian because I expect to find goodness in Christians, but rather that I find no real goodness in myself, therefore I find a need to be re-created. I really don’t care to convert anybody, but I do aspire to return good for all the evil I have endured, but the ability doesn’t exist. There were years of just wondering around the gray dreary streets of an impersonal ugly city in utter despair, with no friends, money, or way to escape; couldn’t think, couldn’t remember, no energy, just a black pit with no light. My anger has been more like an endless wave of rage that I can’t cure.

Only because of prophecy and painstaking research for verification, do I believe, and have some hope. I have tested with pessimism in the attempt to filter out the results of wishful thinking, because yes, it is good to be able to believe a wasted life can be salvaged; that “life is a bitch, and then you die,” isn’t the only reality as I had concluded, and there after saw no point in continuing. I’d rather face the truth than delude myself, although deluded is exactly how I’m regarded by my own brother who has lacked for nothing, but seems more vehement than I because of his suffering. Without this hope, I would have none at all, and no hope for the cure for the rage that has possessed me. I’m thankful that it’s not like it was, but I’ve got a long way to go.

I’m not Christian because I see myself as good; it’s because I see that I am not; for all the abuse I’ve endured resulted in hatred. My mettle has been tested, and it was insufficient. I seek goodness that must be created within me, that I can’t produce no more than I can make a hand or an eye.

I can’t condescend to anyone. I tested many Ideas, philosophies and religions, including the occult. I would like those without hope, to find some; and my experience is that OWCG type cults could lock people into a state of hopelessness; and I wish that some one could have shown me that Armstrongism was a lie, and spared me the mental anguish and carrot and stick parental modal (mostly stick) that instilled in me a view of reality as being tantamount to an ongoing horror picture.

Russell, I wish for you to find peace. What you believe or don’t believe doesn’t cause me to rate you on any scale. I don’t rate high enough to presume to rate any one, although I make an exception for spiritual terrorists. I have no wish to attack anybody. I wish for freedom for those whose minds are in bondage simply as a reaction, to revulsion from my own bondage. You’ve read a few snippets of my story from when Seeker just called me CW (contributing writer) because I said : “I’m nobody, I don’t need a name.”

You were writing about Bill, but we too might strike some one in the same way, so it’s worth addressing. Frankly, if you should disapprove of something I say, and turned loose on me a hurricane of invectives, it wouldn’t bother me much. I’m way beyond that. Friends I have not; not being approved of is quite the norm, so if it makes you feel better to cut loose, feel free.

Russell's post


It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.



xHWA said...

I love you, Russell.

Nah. I can say it, but I don't mean it. So that can't be what we're commanded to do. To lie?
So how's about this...

God loves you, Russell; every bit as much as He loves any Christian. He didn't die for us because we deserve it.

You're not catching anyone with honey, either. You have your course side just like Bill. I would wager that as much as you dislike Bill's shortcomings, he dislikes them more. You want to find peace, and Bill wants to find peace. But if you don't like what Bill writes, don't read his stuff. What if Bill hung out on your blog and posted a diatribe every time you did something he didn't like. You talk about how Christians hurt you, then you lash out at a Christian who said nothing about you. Buddhists have standards. Are you holding yourself as closely to those standards as you hold Bill to his?

I agree completely with Luc. We all fail. I don't know your failures, but I know mine. I fail miserably. And I really hate that I try so hard yet I suck so bad. None of us can meet our own standards, let alone God's. But a Christian sees his failure, then gets back on the horse again. I don't know if you see yours. If you do, you don't write like you do. But if you do, then you see how hard it is. Give Bill a break. He's not having any easier time at life than anybody else is. Your diatribes aren't helping anybody.

God loves you, Russell.

Russell Miller said...

Luc, I hope it's obvious that I'm kind of past the whole "invective" thing, at least for the sake of invective, and I would hope that you'd at least noticed that I put some thought into the post. I also don't think that my response would be all that welcome here, so once I've had some time to think about it, I will post it on HMA.

xHWA: Bill can post a diatribe blasting me if he wants to. He has that right, and then perhaps we will get into a back and forth that worst case won't accomplish anything and best case might. I am not lobbing softballs over a fence and not expecting a response.

On the flip side, I don't plan to stop speaking out about stuff I don't like, and as you well know, posting on a public blog is not only inviting but welcoming a response. If you don't want a response to something you write publically, don't write it publically. It really is that simple. That is what blogging is about, and I have no plans to pull my punches just because someone doesn't think I'm "helping".

Response forthcoming on HMA at some point in the near future.

Seeker Of Truth said...


I don't have any objections to you submitting a response here if it's civil... like our exchange at HMA.

Luc said...

No christian died on a cross to pay any ones sins. The Christ did. I'd hate to have anyone base their belief or non belief on my behavior,on one who is empty and in need of filling; wishing for a little flame to take hold that some times flickers through the encapsulation of accumulated crud, and reveals some small sign of the fruit of the spirit; like a seed barely showing its tip poking out of the ground.

"By there fruits you shall know them," in my case may some times require a magnifying glass, but hope is a fruit, and maybe that one thing, that is strong in me, is the fruit that I may be known by. Not my goodness, but the hope I have that he is, and he will finish the work he has started in me, however Pollyannic that might apear to some.

Russell Miller said...

Luc, that's not a "fruit" in the bible, nor is it something that can be recognized easily.

Seeker, my concern is that my version of "civil" may not match yours, and I am not inclined to have my response drop into the ether because I violated some rule or another. That happened once before. I tend to swear, if not with abandon, at least without regret, and that is not welcome here, I'm pretty sure.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Okay then, I guess we'll play it safe and read your response at HMA. : )

Luc said...

Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Not all fruits of the spirit are in Gal 5:22-23

Seeker Of Truth said...

Russell, what would the characteristics of a hopeful person be? Wouldn't you think optimisim? Maybe antisipation? Longevity? Wouldn't those be easily recognizable?

xHWA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xHWA said...

God loves you, Russell.
But you didn't answer my question. I am asking you if you see your own failings? And if so, why do you come down so hard on others?

Which of these 8 does your insistence on diatribe fulfill?
Right Understanding
Right Thought
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

Do you prescribe to the 5 Precepts? The 4th being:
"I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech (lying, harsh language, slander, idle chit-chat)."

...or are we to understand that you've left Buddhism too? That would be very sad. Many people have expressed hope that this path would bring you peace (myself being one). I would hate to see you give that up so soon.

Russell Miller said...

I never seriously entertained buddhism. Just some kind of eastern thing that I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to.

And yes, I see my own failings. Every single one of them. And yet, I'm OK with it, because they're what make me me. I know they will resolve themselves in their own time. I don't see any reason to beat myself up over them.

I come down so hard on others because I hate hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Russell, I think your last sentence says it all when it comes to understanding where you are coming from.... you hate hypocrisy. The leaders of "Christian" institutions are very prone to it. I admire those who prayerfully seek the truth in God's Word and then, in their often less-than-perfect way attempt to live by it. Without hypocrisy. Above all in love (God IS love!)
One of the hardest things to do is to reject all forms of fear, which itself is the opposite of love.
I was a member of the WCG from '67 to '79 and I sure didn't learn those things mentioned get into the Kingdom, just keep the lore!!Sorry, Law!!
Yes, God does love you and, because he is absolutely sovereign,
He cannot fail and you will be, and for that matter are, one of His precious sons.
Please forgive my "preaching", but I only want you (and all dear people hurt by HWA et al) to be encouraged and be given hope in this life.

Seeker Of Truth said...

Anon, I'll allow your comment,(I don't really like to reject comments), but I have a feeling it will get Russell's ire up.

Anonymous said...

Please remove my comment then.
I do not intend to offend anyone, especially Russell

Russell Miller said...

It's alright, Seeker. I'm not offended. I guess I've learned that whenever I get th attention of Christians, I can expect the anonymous hordes to come down and passive-aggressive me to death.

Honestly, I'm too busy right now being a wreck to have the energy to get angry. Maybe later.

Russell Miller said...

I have posted an incomplete response at I don't expect you to like it or understand it, but it's the truth.

Bill said...

What Russell failed to consider in his "diatribe" against me in regards to the one who sent me the email in big red letters is that I was trying to engage the person in some dialogue through my response. But Russell preferred to read into it a self-righteous response. I wish I was as good a mind reader as Russel claims he is.

At least I have gotten past anger... something Russell needs to do also. Once you get past anger, you can start to really think clearly. Maybe then he will think twice before unleashing vindictives, and come up with constructive things to write instead.

xHWA said...

Amen to that, Bill. Getting past anger is important.

I ask you to pray for me in that regard because even though I'm doing much better than ever before, I see that I could do much better.

I have a standard for myself. I try very hard to hold myself to it. I fail at times. I admit that. I hope anyone that I've let down will find it in themselves to forgive me for that.