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Month: April 2016

My name’s Mikel and I’m a GIRL

I have a traditionally male name. I mean, sometimes it’s used as a girl’s name but not very often. I was also born in 1980, when Michael was the most popular name for baby boys. I’ve heard speculation on why my parents chose this name, but I don’t really know the whole story. My mother didn’t have an ultrasound — I don’t think it was available at the time — to be able to determine my sex before I was born, so it’s not implausible to think maybe they were hoping for a boy. Anyway, in my early school years,...

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‘God’s Promises’ are not real promises

When I was coming to terms with what it meant to live a Christian life, I wondered about God’s promises. I had a Teen Study Bible that highlighted “God’s Promises” in the margins, and it made me wonder. Are these promises for me, or for someone else who lived long ago? Is this Bible verse spoken as a promise in the context where it is found? How would I be able to tell if this promise has been kept? If I think a promise has not been kept as spoken, what does that mean? What would it mean if...

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They Said/I Heard

This post was inspired by the post Sexual Purity: What They Said vs. What We Learned. That post is about how the lessons about sex learned by children of Evangelical parents don’t necessarily match the intentions of their parents. If that sounds like an odd idea to you, then go back and read that post before you continue on mine.  That post got me thinking of the other things said by my parents and other religious influences — including my former pastor, my homeschool texts, and various media from Focus on the Family. They said: You are valuable because God...

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My ‘Raised Evangelical’ Story

I’m using the questions from the Love, Joy, Feminism blog series “Raised Evangelical” as a guide. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/raised-evangelical-adult-children-reflect). There are more stories at that blog for any readers who are interested. Raised Evangelical Questions Section 1: Introduction **Question 1: Please introduce yourself before we get started, providing a brief snapshot of your background an overview of your beliefs today.** I am currently an atheist, and an organizer and volunteer for local atheist groups under the banner of Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers. I was raised in the Church of the Nazarene, homeschooled in grades 9-12, listened to Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) exclusively until age 17, did Bible quizzing, went to church 3 times a week, prayed often with the church leadership before services (I think I was the only teen that did this), listened and read Focus on the Family materials and went to their “Living on the Edge” conference in the 90’s, and when I went to college my first choice was Trevecca Nazarene University. I was pretty fully immersed in the “Christian subculture” and was proud of my difference. **Question 2: How did your family and religious community self identify? As evangelicals? As fundamentalists? Or as something else? What did these terms mean to your parents and religious community?** When I was a kid, we identified as Christians and more specifically as Nazarenes. I recall Dad saying that we...

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