Lurker decloaking off the port bow

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 22, 2006, 3:54:54 PM10/22/06
to
Hello everyone :-)

*offers jelly babies*

I have been lurking on u.r.c. off and on for a few years. I originally
came here because of things linked to because of Gareth McCaughan's
excellent articles on his web site. I have met Angela Rayner (who used
to post on here, I don't know if she still does).

I thought now would be a good time to introduce myself, let you all
know about my past (I used to be a Christian but now I'm not), and
invite comments on my current thoughts about Evangelical Christianity.

8 years ago I became an Evangelical Born Again Christian. God was
important to me, really important - I read my bible every night,
prayed to God, planned my future according to what I thought his plans
were, and so on. It was quite incredible, quite a different experience
to the one I had before and the one I have now. God was someone who
was very real to me - I would say I definitely felt internally that
God was there, and on a few occasions I had experiences where I felt I
heard God speak to me or saw spiritual beings and so on.

My faith was steeped in rigorous study of the Bible (in the way that
Evangelicals do such things), an internal 'experience' of God, making
daily choices to do things 'God's way', and being part of a wider
community of Christians. For me this meant being in the Christian
Union primarily, and a church go-er secondly. The Christian Union was
a much more intense experience than the church one, I suppose because
we were together all the time so that encouraged us to think and talk
about God far more than I would when I became less involved in later
years. I was zealous, my 'relationship with God' was real, and I
wanted to go out there and tell people about Christ, in fact my
'career plan' was to work for New Tribes Mission, a group who are
missionaries to people unreached by modern civilisation (in jungles
and so on).

After about 5 years I met a girl, Tiggy. One day I asked Tiggy to
become my wife and she agreed. Things were great, but my father who I
had not seen in many years got in contact and I became quite
depressed. I took this depression out on Tiggy, and she became quite
unhappy. I didn't realise I was doing it until she told me that she
was leaving me. This was about a month before our wedding. I tried to
change but it was too late, she cut off contact and I went into a
really depressive spiral. All that mattered to me was getting Tiggy
back but that never happened. To me at this point God was the only
person I felt I could really trust, He was the person I clinged to,
the person I cried to at night (for I cried pretty much all the time
day and night). Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
breakup. I became furious!

God was to me the most trusted person there was and the very idea made
me extremely angry. Over the next few weeks I began to consider this
idea and so turned to my Bible to determine it's truth. What I found
was that ultimately God was much more interested in his own holyness
than in my happiness. This meant that it was conceivable that God
could have been involved in this kind of thing. Now it is important to
note that I did not (and still don't believe) that God was actually
involved in what happened (I blame myself entirely for that) but what
it did was make me lose that unconditional unquestioning trust in God
thatI had before. So my faith became unstable in the same way that my
emotions (or rather mental health) was.

It was about 6 weeks after the breakup and I discovered for sure that
I would never hear from Tiggy again and I decided to end my life. I
took a sledge hammer and a crow bar and broke onto the 13th floor of a
tower at my university with the intention of jumping off. I was on the
roof for several hours with the serious intent of jumping off but
didn't. Eventually I was picked up by the police and taken home (after
spending a few hours at a hospital).

After a few weeks I suffered a terrible betrayal by my flat mate
(Oliver) which meant that I felt I had to leave the city and start a
new life elsewhere. Unforunately because of how it happened I also had
to leave the vast majority of my friends behind (I could explain this
in detail but just take my word for it).

Alone in a new city (York) I was afraid to even leave my flat (at that
time I worked from home for my employer) and although I still believed
in God and wanted to be a Christian my faith was on the wane. I joined
a new church (St. Michael le Belfy) and a small group. My attendance
was erratic as was my faith. Over the next year and a half things were
extremely hard for me, I felt alone and uncertain about trusting
God. Most of my time was spent sobbing in the darkness in my flat.

I was visiting a friend in Cambridge when at her church (St. Andrew
the Great) I realised that I was just singing the songs without really
meaning them. As I thought I realised that over time that internal
sense of God being there that I had always had had gone. It wasn't a
fuzzy warm feeling it was a kind of certainty about God's existence
that I had always had since the moment I was converted. When the time
came to stand up to sing the next song I stayed in my seat. What was
the point of singing something that I didn't believe? At best it would
be pointless, at worst it made a mockery of what I had done before.

When I got back to York I told my small group that I didn't believe
any more and so wasn't sure there was any point continuing to go. They
didn't really question this and so I slipped away in silence.

I no longer had faith, and no longer followed Christ, and so I wasn't
a Christian anymore (I would say that choosing to follow Christ would
be the minimum prerequisite for being a Christian). It wasn't that I
was excited at all the naughty sinful desires I could now go out and
feed though (as some in the church viewed my lack of faith), indeed my
'moral choices' were virtually the same now as they were before. I
wanted to become a Christian again - I thought that Christianity was
true, after all how could it not be? For me the experience I suppose
was something like the one the people in the film the Matrix have,
questionning which is reality.

I desperately wanted to become a Christian again so I signed up for
the Christianity Explored course being put on by the local Christian
Union. I expected to be converted immediately in the first session as
I was sure that Christianity was true, all I needed was that jolt from
God and bam I'd have faith again and would be a Christian. This didn't
happen though, prayer and so on seemed to have no effect. I fell back
to logic and reasoning. If Christianity was true then probably by
having the evidence presented to me I would find my way back
again. Unfortunately this didn't happen either - the arguments given
in the course seemed to be weak at best but usually circular in
nature. I didn't find them convincing, which was quite distressing for
me. Eventually the course ended and I became persuaded that
Christianity or at least Evangelical Christianity was not true.

Over the 2 years since that happened I have remained interested in
Christianity. It was part of my blood for so long, part of who I am. I
am still unable to properly explain the desire to return and be
different inside to how I am now. Added to that I feel an affinity for
Christians (especially Evangelicals) that I have never experienced
with non-Christians. These desires have been tempered though by a
stronger desire to live a life of truth - I don't think Christianity
is true.

Every now and then something will happen and my thoughts will flit
back to Christianity or the life I had then. Recently it has been two
things, that I'll be moving to Cambridge, and bumping into an
Evangelical girl when looking at new flat. The girl didn't say
anything new or different in her attempt to cajole me into thinking
about Jesus again, it was just being around her - being around an
evangelical - I felt at home, it was a powerful experience. The second
thing is that there is a preacher (Julian Hardyman) who became
something of a hero to me when I was a Christian and I will soon be
living in the same City as him, it is hard to resist that desire.

If I am so sure Christianity (or at least Evangelicalism) is false
then why waste my time going to church? I suppose there are two
reasons I am considering this:

1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
part of their community
2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to

If I think about these things sensibly I don't expect the fellowship
point to hold very well, that vanished fairly quickly after I stopped
being a Christian, it seems to be something that is reserved by
Evangelicals for other Evangelicals and without going along pretending
to be an Evangelical (which I could do but I think down that road lies
madness) this simply wouldn't happen, anyone who spoke to me would
mainly be thinking of how to convert me in their conversations.

The lack of clarity is a more interesting one. I think I would find it
valuable to discuss Evangelicalism with an intelligent well prepared
Evangelical. I could of course make notes on my own but I don't think
that would work as well as it would with another person. My thinking
on this subject is to email Julian's church (Eden Baptist) asking if
there is anyone prepared to spend an evening every week discussing and
debating whether Christianity is true. If someone were to agree to
this I think it would really help my thoughts and would allow me to
turn them into notes that won't fade in the way that my memory has
done.

It is a funny place to be in, being a fairly strong atheist (at least
when talking to people who are certain about their faith - described
as a fire breathing atheist in the past when talking to evangelising
Evangelicals) yet seriously considering going to church (or at least
meeting up with church people to talk about God). ... Considering is
perhaps the wrong word, maybe 'drifting towards' is a more appropriate
way of describing it.

I don't believe that getting involved with Christians in this way will
convert me (although that door like all other doors is not permanently
closed), I suspect more that it will sharpen my mind on the subject. I
really expect that it will make me much more certain about my atheism,
but that is just an expectation. Above all things I want to know the
truth, and if it were shown to me that it was likely that Christianity
was true I would continue looking in that direction.

So... what do you guys think? Perhaps this is shocking? Perhaps
exciting and joyous? Perhaps terrible? Please comment and influence my
thinking, I'm very open to that.

-Rob
--
http://www.robhulme.com/

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

Richard Corfield

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 3:07:26 AM10/23/06
to
On 2006-10-22, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:
> I don't believe that getting involved with Christians in this way will
> convert me (although that door like all other doors is not permanently
> closed), I suspect more that it will sharpen my mind on the subject. I
> really expect that it will make me much more certain about my atheism,
> but that is just an expectation. Above all things I want to know the
> truth, and if it were shown to me that it was likely that Christianity
> was true I would continue looking in that direction.
>
> So... what do you guys think? Perhaps this is shocking? Perhaps
> exciting and joyous? Perhaps terrible? Please comment and influence my
> thinking, I'm very open to that.

It was a very interesting post, and I think contains things that we can
all learn from.

I'm not sure what to suggest, apart from finding a good church. Look
around to find one that fits you better. I've found one that is more
outward looking than evangelical, that talks more about caring for other
people and doing good and you can quietly close your ears for the few
bits you don't necessarily believe in.

This is a Church of England church as opposed to an evangelical one. It
does a lot in its community. Its focus does seem more 'pure', as opposed
to a church who's focus is "Get them in and convert them", which seems
more 'fiery'.

The church can provide good community. If it has good clergy they can
also provide support. I wonder if for you support is a case of balancing
things out. Emotional and spiritual needs also need balancing.

- Richard

--
_/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ Richard Corfield <Richard....@gmail.com>
_/ _/ _/ _/
_/_/ _/ _/ Time is a one way street, .
_/ _/ _/_/ _/_/_/ except in the Twilight Zone 3^

Nick Milton

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 4:22:17 AM10/23/06
to
On 22 Oct 2006 19:54:54 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:


>So... what do you guys think? Perhaps this is shocking? Perhaps
>exciting and joyous? Perhaps terrible? Please comment and influence my
>thinking, I'm very open to that.

I think that faith is a journey. It has many stages. Sometimes it's
hot, sometimes cold. Sometimes people leave the faith for a bit. Some
for longer than others.

I think the key is to stay open, and stay listening. It's when you are
"certain you have the answer" that progress along the journey becomes
impossible, and that may happen in a University Christian Union (who
are often some of the most "certain" people you will encounter) just
as easily as in atheism. Don't worry about sharpening your mind.
Mind's are like parachutes - they work best when they are open.

david

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 4:59:23 AM10/23/06
to
Rob,

That's certainly some life story.

So God is a jealous God and concerned about his own holiness. I think he
might well be, but probably only because he knows, like all good fathers,
that for you to be truly blessed you must live in him and he in you. He
needs us to be committed to him for his creation to work. But over all this
is the gift of free will - if you prefer Tiggy, well, that's your call.

I agree with you, God would have spoiled your life with Tiggy just to get
rid of her as some jealous wife might get rid of a girlfriend etc. He has
no reason to. The gift of free will will either see you with God or not -
Rob Hulme might fall for want of God, but God sure won't stumble for want
of Rob Hulme!

So why lose your trust in God? Perhaps you were expecting his full time
support - you know, you dig yourself a big hole and God'll get you out every
time.? That's no way to treat our children. It's an immaturity on your
part, as was taking out your depression on Tiggy.

If there was anything in this at all then I suggest it might be this: you
were devoting your life to God, but was it a thinking devotion? Maybe God
is trying to make you think it through, then go back to him. Remember how a
little boy looks up to his father in a reverential way - until the boy is
about 13 then he starts to regard him as old and past it. It take some years
of thought and observation for the boy to come back and say "actually, Dad,
you're okay!".

As for the betrayal by your friend; this suggests (the word 'betrayal') that
you did something wrong yourself - in which case God has no part in your
downfall. The Devil maybe, but not God. If you did nothing wrong and your
friend's 'betryal' was more of a stictch up then it's Old Nick's work I
reckon!

I'm intrigued by the idea that 'Chritianity is false'. How can this be, or
which bit do you think is false?

Christ existed - it's on record.
Christ has a following - it is observable.

So is it the resurrection you think is false?

I can only think this i what you mean. Whether or not you believe in the
resurrection you can't really fault the works of a chap like Christ as an
all round good egg. You ought to read a copy of Frank Morison's book "Who
moved the stone?". Worth a read!

The value of debating whether Christianity is true will depend on which bit
you think is false. You might like to tell us here?

For my own part I believe in Christ as the man who lived 2000 years ago, I
believe he who he said he was and that he was raised from the dead. I
believe that he did great works of goodness and not a few miracles of work
that defied the natural laws.


Not sure why you think your testimony should be shocking though - so you've
lived a little. I think you need to grow up a bit, take responsibility for
your own actions and their effects and get on with your life. I suspect
that when you show God you can live with him in a two way relationship, then
he'll be visible to you. For sure he hasn't left you though - you're just so
tied up in you that you can't see him.

Regards

David

Richard Emblem

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 5:50:54 AM10/23/06
to
On 22 Oct 2006 19:54:54 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:

>I don't believe that getting involved with Christians in this way will
>convert me (although that door like all other doors is not permanently
>closed), I suspect more that it will sharpen my mind on the subject. I
>really expect that it will make me much more certain about my atheism,
>but that is just an expectation. Above all things I want to know the
>truth, and if it were shown to me that it was likely that Christianity
>was true I would continue looking in that direction.
>
>So... what do you guys think? Perhaps this is shocking? Perhaps
>exciting and joyous? Perhaps terrible? Please comment and influence my
>thinking, I'm very open to that.

Welcome into the daylight, we are supposed to give you the jelly
babies (but thanks anyway).
I hope your search will be fruitful and that real Christianity will be
the answer.
--

Richard Emblem
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin.

Simon Robinson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 6:03:31 AM10/23/06
to
Robert Hulme wrote:
> Hello everyone :-)

Hello Robert! ;-)

> *offers jelly babies*

Evidently you've been lurking a while. Aren't we supposed to offer you
the jelly babies? Not that I care. *munch* *munch* Any more going?

Interesting story, thanks for sharing that. Quite brave of you to reveal
what you did in public. I have a lot of sympathy, since my path was
quite similar in many respects, and my first encounter with and
conversion to Christianity also took place in an evangelical context,
with a University Christian Union.

> Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
> Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
> suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
> breakup. I became furious!

Oooh, I've heard that one a couple of times too. I'd say I'm now *very*
certain that God would never no any such thing. To break a couple up
because someone in the couple doesn't love you enough. That's not the
action of a God of Love (or of a God who gives us free will). I think
you're right now to assume the break-up would have been to do with other
things. Sadly, the most evangelical strand of Christianity does lend
itself to the idea of God doing things like that. Combine that with
people, perhaps young people, who don't know much of the psychology of
relationships and what causes them to fail or succeed etc., and it's not
hard to see how such silly advice as what you quoted Jonathan as saying
can emerge.

> Over the 2 years since that happened I have remained interested in
> Christianity. It was part of my blood for so long, part of who I am. I
> am still unable to properly explain the desire to return and be
> different inside to how I am now. Added to that I feel an affinity for
> Christians (especially Evangelicals) that I have never experienced
> with non-Christians. These desires have been tempered though by a
> stronger desire to live a life of truth - I don't think Christianity
> is true.

I guess the one point I'd add is that from what you're saying, virtually
all your encounters with Christianity have been with the
evangelical/conservative variety. If it doesn't sound too much like
nagging ;-), I'd encourage you to keep your mind open to the possibility
that there is a God, and that Christianity, in its more liberal forms,
gives a pretty good description of that God and of how to live. (After
all, the essays of Gareth's that you mention you're impressed by were
written at a time when Gareth was a Christian!)

btw have you considered looking to the Roman Catholic church for the
contact/fellowship with Christians that you seek? Although I'm not an
RC, my limited experience is that people in the RC, with its greater
emphasis on 'Tradition' and interpreting God's wishes through the church
(as opposed to the sola scriptura thing of many protestants) will
probably give you a different, and in some ways less dogmatic,
perspective on God.

Nice to have you here anyway. You sound like quite a thoughtful person :-)

Simon
http://www.simonrobinson.com

David A.

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 6:42:02 AM10/23/06
to
In article <deOdnYD4Q_mxGaHY...@bt.com>,

"david" <david...@btconnect.com> wrote:
>
> Christ existed - it's on record.

What record? Some of the life and sayings of Jesus are indeed recorded
in the Gospels, but the Gospels are often obscure and sometimes
contradict each other. How do you know they are not essentially pious
fiction? The only other near-contemporary record of Jesus is a disputed
paragraph in Josephus's 'Antiquities of the Jews'. All that Paul tells
us about is his birth, death, resurrection and reappearance to the
apostles. That's not an awful lot to go on when you're considering Jesus
as a historical figure.

DA

Paul

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 7:32:33 AM10/23/06
to
> 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
> part of their community

Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion" mentions Martin Rees (the
astronomer royal) who goes to Anglican services because it is "his
Tribe" - but Martin is as much an atheists as Richard! So you could
continue hanging around with Christians even if you are not
a Christian.

> 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
> turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to

Why not try to get clear? Read books like Dawkins to test your views.
Your Christian pals will, no doubt, have other recommendations.
Certainly
take notes - that usually clarifies things for me.

> It is a funny place to be in, being a fairly strong atheist (at least
> when talking to people who are certain about their faith - described
> as a fire breathing atheist in the past when talking to evangelising
> Evangelicals) yet seriously considering going to church (or at least
> meeting up with church people to talk about God). ... Considering is
> perhaps the wrong word, maybe 'drifting towards' is a more appropriate
> way of describing it.

This isn't strange. I just had a long conversation with a Jehovah's
Witness on my doorstep. It's interesting talking to people who have
strong view on fundamental matters, in fact it's even better if those
views are diametrically opposed to yours!

> So... what do you guys think?

Your post and web site are very interesting. It would be great to hear
exactly how you moved form being an Evangelical Christian to a Bright.
What people, books, or arguments moved you onto the Bright path. You
write so well why not write a book about it!

Paul

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 7:41:20 AM10/23/06
to
> For my own part I believe in Christ as the man who lived 2000 years ago, I
> believe he who he said he was and that he was raised from the dead. I
> believe that he did great works of goodness and not a few miracles of work
> that defied the natural laws.

Why do you believe this? Some people believe that Christ was an OK
prophet but
Mohammed was the main guy. Why do you believe that Christ is 'the man'
and not Mohammed?Why do you belive he was raised form the dead? Do you
believe the Dali Lama is the reincarnationation of a former Dalai Lama.
If not why believe the former and
not the latter? What proof have you for miracles? If God turned Lake
Windemere into red
wine tomorrow then I might believe, but where are the miracles?

> Not sure why you think your testimony should be shocking though - so you've
> lived a little. I think you need to grow up a bit, take responsibility for
> your own actions and their effects and get on with your life.

And do you need God to do this?

not...@ukonline.co.uk

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 7:50:35 AM10/23/06
to
Hi Rob,
My story would be very similar. Loads of life shattering events over
such a long time caused me to lose my faith. I did everything to get it
back - full emersion baptisms, alpha courses etc but nothing powerful
came back. When previously I had certaincies now I have doubts.
The only thing I can say is that you are still a Christian regardless
of how you feel. However, you're probably now in a different category
than an evangelical charismatic. In your case these kinds of Christian
would probably say you're a bad or inferior Christian or that you can't
possibly know God. So I'd suggest you move on from these groups. You've
been through too much pain to ever find acceptance with those.
They are not 100% right - and you are not 100% wrong - regardless of
what they or you say or think.

I can't think of a category to fit yours or my standing in the
Christian faith. There's got to be a name so I'll think of one now:

"Post Catastrophic Rectification and Re-Adaptation of Assured
Conviction of Faith"

Seems to fit the bill and seems to cover your questioning and doubts.
Before your faith was certain and assured - now due to lots of horrible
thing happening over a long period of time this is not so simplistic.

Gordon Hudson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 8:30:07 AM10/23/06
to
"Robert Hulme" <r...@robhulme.com> wrote in message
news:453bcc8d$0$19646$8826...@free.teranews.com...

> 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
> part of their community
> 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
> turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to

I went through something very similar (I have suffered from depression for
many years linked with self harm).

What I discovered was that I had got the wrong end of the stick about the
gospel.
I believed it was performance related (that if you did A, B and C God would
do X, Y and Z).
Therefore because God was not doing anything for me it must be because I was
inadequate in some way.

What I eventually discovered was Grace: that God loves me and is not angry
with me and that Jesus has come to declare the year of the Lord's favour.
That was the starting point for me coming back into proper fellowship with
God.
Please don't get bogged down in the church issue. I got stuck on that for a
long time but its a red herring and will resolve itself once you are back in
relationship with God.

Sorry, thats not a very good expression of what I am trying to say, but its
the best I can do right now.
I also had a fairly supernatural revelation of God's love back in February
which helped me along the way, plus I decided to reevaluate everything I
believed because the doctrine I had wasn't working.
It has been a very beneficial experience and I am much more firmly grounded
than I ever was before.

One thing you might find helpful is finding Christians outside of church
like Christian Union, BMF or (as you said) an Alpha tyoe course.

Gordon Hudson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 8:36:33 AM10/23/06
to
"Simon Robinson" <em...@via.my.web.site> wrote in message
news:4q3i84F...@individual.net...

> I guess the one point I'd add is that from what you're saying, virtually
> all your encounters with Christianity have been with the
> evangelical/conservative variety.

Sounds more like a type of evangelicalism that cincentrates on trying to get
an intellectual assent to the logicality of the gospel rather than a proper
preaching of God's grace.
Certainly, a lot of what I see in evangelical churches amounts to an attempt
to persuade people by rational argument that they need to be saved from
their sin (rather like a barrister or advocate in court) rather than God
already having done it and it being made freely available by grace.

What you can end up with is a twisted version of Christianity without any
real joy or victory (and I rarely use that word but its appropriate here).

I need to write up properly what happened to change my mind.

I do agree somewhat about the Catholic thing, in this respect, that there
seems little room for contemplation in evangelical christianity. People
alsways seem to need to be doing something. I woud refer you to Mary and
Martha in the bible for a story on this theme.
However, most RC's I know are very very superstitious and have little
understanding of the gospel or indeed their own faith. I am sure this is a
local geographical problem (I live in a sectarian area).

david

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 9:15:04 AM10/23/06
to
I think you need to grow up a bit, take responsibility for
>> your own actions and their effects and get on with your life.
>
> And do you need God to do this?


I never said one did. I said I wasn't shocked.

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 7:28:15 AM10/23/06
to
In message <304pj2df5eq4i86db...@4ax.com>, Richard Emblem
<rem...@aol.com> writes

>On 22 Oct 2006 19:54:54 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:
>
>>I don't believe that getting involved with Christians in this way will
>>convert me (although that door like all other doors is not permanently
>>closed), I suspect more that it will sharpen my mind on the subject. I
>>really expect that it will make me much more certain about my atheism,
>>but that is just an expectation. Above all things I want to know the
>>truth, and if it were shown to me that it was likely that Christianity
>>was true I would continue looking in that direction.
>>
>>So... what do you guys think? Perhaps this is shocking? Perhaps
>>exciting and joyous? Perhaps terrible? Please comment and influence my
>>thinking, I'm very open to that.
>
>Welcome into the daylight, we are supposed to give you the jelly
>babies (but thanks anyway).
>I hope your search will be fruitful and that real Christianity will be
>the answer.

Nice to see you back on here, Richard.

Have you recovered fully?

Mike

[The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
--
Michael J Davis
http://www.trustsof.demon.co.uk
<><
For this is what the Lord has said to me,
"Go and post a Watchman and let
him report what he sees." Isa 21:6
<><

Neil Davey

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 9:27:32 AM10/23/06
to
On 22 Oct 2006 19:54:54 GMT Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> jumped up
and down excitedly and wrote the following:

>Hello everyone :-)
>
>*offers jelly babies*

I like you already! :O)

*proffers Jellybaby bag in the other direction*

Cheers

Neil
--
Deadspam e-mail address is a spamblock.
Please use daveyneil_at_yahoo dot co dot uk if you wish to contact me.

David A.

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 9:51:04 AM10/23/06
to
>
> However, most RC's I know are very very superstitious and have little
> understanding of the gospel or indeed their own faith. I am sure this is a
> local geographical problem (I live in a sectarian area).

I've no idea where you come from (Northern Ireland?), but I would
testify that the Catholics who post in this forum are learned in their
Bible and Christian theology and are not in the least bit superstitious.
Of course, most Christians, of whatever denomination, do not meet those
high standards.

DA

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 8:06:31 AM10/23/06
to
>It was a very interesting post, and I think contains things that we can
>all learn from.

Oh good! I hadn't considered there would be anything useful to others
in there. What part of it was interesting to you?


>I'm not sure what to suggest, apart from finding a good church. Look
>around to find one that fits you better. I've found one that is more
>outward looking than evangelical, that talks more about caring for other
>people and doing good and you can quietly close your ears for the few
>bits you don't necessarily believe in.

The reason I haven't considered other variants of Christianity is
because I think I'm drawn to Evangelicalism because it is what I used
to be part of - something like RC Christianity (for example) would
feel very alien to me and hence I don't think I'd get the feeling of
being part of that community that I miss.

The other reason is that I like the way that Evangelicals have a kind
of modernist / logical approach to their faith. I've talked with
Christians who don't take the same approach (Angela Rayner) for
example and not particularly liked their way of reasoning.


>This is a Church of England church as opposed to an evangelical one. It
>does a lot in its community. Its focus does seem more 'pure', as opposed
>to a church who's focus is "Get them in and convert them", which seems
>more 'fiery'.

As an aside the church where I declared myself to no longer be a
Christian was a CofE one as well as being an evangelical one. I don't
think they like the CofE much though, they had literature there that
argued that Rowan Williams was not a Christian at all.

-Rob

Paul

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 11:15:31 AM10/23/06
to
Gordon Hudson wrote:

> "Robert Hulme" <r...@robhulme.com> wrote in message
> news:453bcc8d$0$19646$8826...@free.teranews.com...
>
> > 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
> > part of their community
> > 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
> > turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to
>
> I went through something very similar (I have suffered from depression for
> many years linked with self harm).
>

> What I eventually discovered was Grace: that God loves me and is not angry
> with me and that Jesus has come to declare the year of the Lord's favour.
> That was the starting point for me coming back into proper fellowship with
> God.

Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
depression?
From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
scientifically,
to have a significant effect. (See "Feeling Good" by Burns, for
instance --
an inexepensive, respected book which is easy to find).

Tony Gillam

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 11:42:32 AM10/23/06
to
Robert Hulme wrote:
> Hello everyone :-)
>
> *offers jelly babies*
>
> I have been lurking on u.r.c. off and on for a few years. I originally
> came here because of things linked to because of Gareth McCaughan's
> excellent articles on his web site. I have met Angela Rayner (who used
> to post on here, I don't know if she still does).
>
> I thought now would be a good time to introduce myself, let you all
> know about my past (I used to be a Christian but now I'm not), and
> invite comments on my current thoughts about Evangelical Christianity.
>
<snip Life Story>
A bit of a turbulent time pone way and another. Not the sort of
circumstances that lend themselves to good reasoned decisions. At a
quick glance your present viewpoint seems to be a bit "baby and
bathwater". I note that some of the others have made some useful
suggestions. As an Evangelical myself, I would make the observation that
some of them are a bit "OTT and in your face". You would probably
benefit from mixing with some of the less "extreme" elements for a
while, at least until you have got yourself back in balance.
--
Tony Gillam
tony....@lineone.net
http://www.bookourvilla.co.uk/spain
Sun, sand and sangria

Richard Corfield

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 1:04:51 PM10/23/06
to
On 2006-10-23, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:
>
>
>>It was a very interesting post, and I think contains things that we can
>>all learn from.
>
> Oh good! I hadn't considered there would be anything useful to others
> in there. What part of it was interesting to you?

I took it as a warning not to allow faith in any direction to pull me
off balance, to keep an eye on where it takes me. I asked myself if
there were any parts of my life at the moment that resembled what seemed
to take you to the point of standing on that roof.

The answer was "none as yet, but beware".

Thanks

Paul Wright

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 1:08:53 PM10/23/06
to
In article <453cb046$0$19716$8826...@free.teranews.com>, Robert Hulme wrote:
> The other reason is that I like the way that Evangelicals have a kind
> of modernist / logical approach to their faith. I've talked with
> Christians who don't take the same approach (Angela Rayner) for
> example and not particularly liked their way of reasoning.

A logical approach to Christianity must inevitably lead to atheism,
surely? You and I have had this discussion elsewhere. Evangelicalism's
modernity means it tends to end up hoisted by its own petard.



> As an aside the church where I declared myself to no longer be a
> Christian was a CofE one as well as being an evangelical one. I don't
> think they like the CofE much though, they had literature there that
> argued that Rowan Williams was not a Christian at all.

Splorfle! StAG FTW!

--
Paul Wright | http://pobox.com/~pw201 | http://blog.noctua.org.uk/
Reply address is valid but discards anything which isn't plain text

Gordon Hudson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 1:52:06 PM10/23/06
to
"David A." <da014...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:da014b1983-881C8...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...

>>
>> However, most RC's I know are very very superstitious and have little
>> understanding of the gospel or indeed their own faith. I am sure this is
>> a
>> local geographical problem (I live in a sectarian area).
>
> I've no idea where you come from (Northern Ireland?),

West of Scotland (segregated schooling, orange marches etc)

> but I would
> testify that the Catholics who post in this forum are learned in their
> Bible and Christian theology and are not in the least bit superstitious.

So were the catholics I met at university and the ones I know from England.

Gordon Hudson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 1:57:56 PM10/23/06
to
"Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1161616531....@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com...
> Gordon Hudson wrote:
>

> Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
> depression?

I didn't say that it did.
I had been recovered for a few years before the events I mentioned in my
previous post.

> From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
> scientifically,

CBT is very bad news.
It made me significantly worse because it forces you to challenege every
thought to see if its correct or not.
This is impossible if you do any work that involves intuition (tryingt owor
out what a customer is really asking) or anything that requires self
confidence.
You end up questioning if grass is green or (on topic) if its God guilding
you or something else.

I am sure CBT can work but it is promoted by people who seem that 80% of
people with mental health problems don't work and spend their time chain
smoking.
The psychiatric system in this country is a scandal.
In spite of the severity of my depression my GP would not refer me toa
psychiatrist for fear I would get dragged into the system and end up
institutionalised into that mould.

Simon Robinson

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 3:10:50 PM10/23/06
to
Paul Wright wrote:
> A logical approach to Christianity must inevitably lead to atheism,
> surely?

Not at all. ISTM that any logical approach is inevitably going to lead
to the conclusion that materialism cannot be true (because materialism
appears to be incompatible with the existence of consciousness), and if
materialism is false, then it's hard to see how atheism can be true.

Of course since different people appear to come to opposite conclusions,
it's more likely that the actual answer is that a logical approach could
lead you to any number of different conclusions about the truth of
Christianity, depending on your starting assumptions and the weight you
give to different bits of evidence.

Simon
http://www.simonrobinson.com

Trevor Jenkins

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 3:23:28 PM10/23/06
to
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 18:57:56 +0100, Gordon Hudson <host...@gmail.com> wrote:
> "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:1161616531....@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com...
> > Gordon Hudson wrote:
> >
>
> > Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
> > depression?
>
> I didn't say that it did.
> I had been recovered for a few years before the events I mentioned in my
> previous post.
>
> > From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
> > scientifically,
>
> CBT is very bad news.

Albert Beck, the pyschologist who devised CBT, was interviewed on Radio 4
a few years ago (March 2003 on All in The Mind I believe). He could just
as easily have been billed as Lily the Pink claiming that CBT was pretty
much the universal panacea. He was also arrogant enough to agree that CBT
is "nothing more than pulling oneself up by the bootstraps".

Sadly some weasel pyschs treating M.E. patients really do think he is Lily
the Pink and force these seriously ill people to conform to a treatment
that is even more injurious to them than the illness itself. This despite
the evidence of the Chief Medical Officers Research Group on ME whose
examination of treatment plans for the illness showed that for the
majority of patients CBT was harmful or ineffective.

> It made me significantly worse because it forces you to challenege every
> thought to see if its correct or not.

Pretty much why it fails for M.E. as patients have "brain fog" as a major
symptom. When I had M.E. I couldn't think let alone challenge every
thought. Thankfully my GP knew enough about the illness (ahead of that
CMOs report) not to refer me to one of the weasels.

Regards, Trevor

<>< Re: deemed!

Richard

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 5:51:39 PM10/23/06
to
"Robert Hulme" <r...@robhulme.com> wrote in message
news:453bcc8d$0$19646$8826...@free.teranews.com...
> Hello everyone :-)

Hi.

> I thought now would be a good time to introduce myself, let you all
> know about my past (I used to be a Christian but now I'm not), and
> invite comments on my current thoughts about Evangelical Christianity.
>
> 8 years ago I became an Evangelical Born Again Christian.

You did what was required to take upon yourself a label: "Born Again
Christian".

What I mean at least is there's a point of proceedure not attended to,
that did not enable you to actually receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


> After about 5 years I met a girl, Tiggy. One day I asked Tiggy to
> become my wife and she agreed. Things were great, but my father who I
> had not seen in many years got in contact and I became quite
> depressed. I took this depression out on Tiggy, and she became quite
> unhappy. I didn't realise I was doing it until she told me that she
> was leaving me. This was about a month before our wedding. I tried to
> change but it was too late, she cut off contact and I went into a
> really depressive spiral. All that mattered to me was getting Tiggy
> back but that never happened. To me at this point God was the only
> person I felt I could really trust, He was the person I clinged to,
> the person I cried to at night (for I cried pretty much all the time
> day and night). Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
> Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
> suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
> breakup. I became furious!

"he suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the

beakup." One guys opinion.

> God was to me the most trusted person there was and the very idea made
> me extremely angry. Over the next few weeks I began to consider this
> idea and so turned to my Bible to determine it's truth. What I found
> was that ultimately God was much more interested in his own holyness
> than in my happiness.

Stop! You did not find in the bible that God is more interested in his own
holiness rather than in your happiness.

You have got that from a misconception as to your true relationship with the
Father. You are son of God, made in His image and likeness. You were not
made for the purpose of worshiping God any more than an earthly son is
made for the purpose of worshiping his father.

> This meant that it was conceivable that God
> could have been involved in this kind of thing. Now it is important to
> note that I did not (and still don't believe) that God was actually
> involved in what happened (I blame myself entirely for that) but what
> it did was make me lose that unconditional unquestioning trust in God
> thatI had before. So my faith became unstable in the same way that my
> emotions (or rather mental health) was.

You came upon false doctrine that screwed things up a bit.

> Over the 2 years since that happened I have remained interested in
> Christianity. It was part of my blood for so long, part of who I am. I
> am still unable to properly explain the desire to return and be
> different inside to how I am now. Added to that I feel an affinity for
> Christians (especially Evangelicals) that I have never experienced
> with non-Christians. These desires have been tempered though by a
> stronger desire to live a life of truth - I don't think Christianity
> is true.

You have not really had the proper teachings in all respects. You have been
handed a corrupted form of Christianity. That's caused you a problem.


> If I am so sure Christianity (or at least Evangelicalism) is false
> then why waste my time going to church? I suppose there are two
> reasons I am considering this:
>
> 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
> part of their community

That's understandable.

> 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
> turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to

What you need is some truth to bring back your faith.

> The lack of clarity is a more interesting one. I think I would find it
> valuable to discuss Evangelicalism with an intelligent well prepared
> Evangelical. I could of course make notes on my own but I don't think
> that would work as well as it would with another person. My thinking
> on this subject is to email Julian's church (Eden Baptist) asking if
> there is anyone prepared to spend an evening every week discussing and
> debating whether Christianity is true. If someone were to agree to
> this I think it would really help my thoughts and would allow me to
> turn them into notes that won't fade in the way that my memory has
> done.

Non of your choices quite have the truths you require.

> I don't believe that getting involved with Christians in this way will
> convert me (although that door like all other doors is not permanently
> closed), I suspect more that it will sharpen my mind on the subject. I
> really expect that it will make me much more certain about my atheism,
> but that is just an expectation. Above all things I want to know the
> truth, and if it were shown to me that it was likely that Christianity
> was true I would continue looking in that direction

You have to get some better teachings than you have been getting. And you
must go beyond the first principles of the gospel.

Gareth McCaughan

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 7:40:44 PM10/23/06
to
"Richard" wrote:

> What I mean at least is there's a point of proceedure not attended to,
> that did not enable you to actually receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

...


> You came upon false doctrine that screwed things up a bit.

...


> You have not really had the proper teachings in all respects. You have been
> handed a corrupted form of Christianity. That's caused you a problem.

Yeah, 'cos if he'd been a Mormon instead then he wouldn't have
had any problems, 'cos Mormons never lose *their* faith. Riiiight.

--
Gareth McCaughan
.sig under construc

Jeffrey Goldberg

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 10:58:08 PM10/23/06
to
Robert Hulme wrote:

> I thought now would be a good time to introduce myself, let you all
> know about my past (I used to be a Christian but now I'm not), and
> invite comments on my current thoughts about Evangelical Christianity.

Let me just say thank you for your post.

I don't really have much of substance to say, but I will add that even a
hardened atheist like myself recognizes the value of the "fellowship"
that can come from a Church community.

I hope that you find the sort of fellowship you need.

Cheers,

-j

--
Jeffrey Goldberg http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/
I rarely read top-posted, over-quoted or HTML posts
My Reply-To address is valid.

Jeffrey Goldberg

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 11:37:46 PM10/23/06
to
Gordon Hudson wrote:
> "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

> CBT is very bad news. It made me significantly worse because it


> forces you to challenege every thought to see if its correct or not.
> This is impossible if you do any work that involves intuition
> (tryingt owor out what a customer is really asking) or anything that
> requires self confidence. You end up questioning if grass is green or
> (on topic) if its God guilding you or something else.

While I don't have a great deal of confidence in Cognitive Based Therapy
for episodic depression, I also think that you've produced a somewhat
unfair caricature of it. People who suffer from various anxiety
disorders may see the bad in everything. I friend of mine who was going
to be traveling to her family (a great distance away) was panicked about
many things before leaving. She was convinced that her husband wouldn't
rotate the compost heap (true enough) and that it would spontaneously
combust and set the house on fire (known to happen). So we got rid of
the compost heap. Then she got worried about a loose hinge on some
internal doorway, the door falling off and killing someone. So we fixed
that. After that she worried about quirk of the toilet and wouldn't
rest until we fixed the toilet. Then there was something about the
window screens.

I certainly knew that this was a never ending battle. Episodes like
this came and went (and they were coming with more frequency and
intensity in those days). And they weren't exclusively about the house,
although that seemed most common. Her husband needed a break, and I was
basically on suicide watch for the day. (And learned a great deal about
maintaining a house). Although I did "give in" to the series of
particular worries by helping her with each specific one, I was
constantly and gently reminding her that I believed that her worries
were extremely disproportionate and that even though she felt them as
real, she needs to learn how to recognize those feelings for what they are.

It was absolutely clear that she was going to continue to experience
these worries. And I suffer a similar affliction and could fully
sympathize. The crucial difference between me and her however was that
while all of these sorts of worries come flooding into my head, I have
learned to put them aside, and to recognize that they are debilitating
fears that would make existence miserable if I took them seriously. So
the feelings and the fears rush in, but I don't let them control my
life. Instead I've done the opposite. I've learned statistics and risk
assessment. So I can calculate and consciously choose which fears I
should worry about.

Over the decades, on my own, I had developed for myself what CBT is
intended to help people achieve. Believe me, it's not enough. But it
can make the difference between being overwhelmed by worries or functioning.

For some people, with some disorders, I think that CBT (or something
like it) can make a big difference.

(She is much better now, mostly due to changes in medication).

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 23, 2006, 3:52:44 PM10/23/06
to
In message <453bcc8d$0$19646$8826...@free.teranews.com>
Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:

> I took this depression out on Tiggy, and she became quite
> unhappy.

It seems a bit hard that you should turn against God because *you*
mistreated your fiance and she, very sensibly, decided not to marry you. I
think you need to come to terms with the fact that the break up the
relationship was *your* fault[1], not Tiggy's and not God's.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

Note 1: I'm not saying that there may not be mitigating factors, such as
mental illness or clinical depression, but even there, the decision to deal
with those factors by abusing your girl friend instead of seeking medical
help was yours.

--
================ ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIGGINGS ===============
| Australia's premier archaeological magazine |
| http://www.diggingsonline.com |
========================================================

Richard

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 4:22:59 AM10/24/06
to
"Gareth McCaughan" <Gareth.M...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:87zmbm4...@g.mccaughan.ntlworld.com...

People from all faiths lose faith. But I was responding to his particular
doctrinal problem.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:13:30 AM10/24/06
to
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 18:57:56 +0100, "Gordon Hudson"
<host...@gmail.com> wrote:

>"Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:1161616531....@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com...
>> Gordon Hudson wrote:
>>

>> From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
>> scientifically,
>
>CBT is very bad news.
>It made me significantly worse because it forces you to challenege every
>thought to see if its correct or not.

Speaking as a CB therapist, can I offer my sympathies. That is not in
any way how CBT is supposed to work, and I think you've been unlucky
in the therapist you got.

It's quite legal for anyone to call themselves a CB therapist with
only the bare minimum if training (or, indeed, none). It's also very
common for such people to take one method and ride it to death without
understanding its limitations or the alternatives. Even in the NHS a
counsellor can have done one residential workshop weekend and start
calling themselves a CB therapist.

>This is impossible if you do any work that involves intuition (trying to work

>out what a customer is really asking) or anything that requires self
>confidence.

>You end up questioning if grass is green or (on topic) if its God guiding
>you or something else.

This sounds like your therapist had half-understood Beck's Cognitive
Therapy.

>I am sure CBT can work but it is promoted by people who seem that 80% of
>people with mental health problems don't work and spend their time chain
>smoking.
>The psychiatric system in this country is a scandal.

I whole-heartedly agree.

>In spite of the severity of my depression my GP would not refer me to a
>psychiatrist for fear I would get dragged into the system and end up
>institutionalised into that mould.

That's horrible. I understand her concerns - see
http://www.walnet.org/llf/ROSENHAN-BEINGSANE.PDF for a classic paper
on how that can happen.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:26:49 AM10/24/06
to
On 23 Oct 2006 19:23:28 GMT, Trevor....@suneidesis.com (Trevor
Jenkins) wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 18:57:56 +0100, Gordon Hudson <host...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>> news:1161616531....@m7g2000cwm.googlegroups.com...
>> > Gordon Hudson wrote:
>> >
>>
>> > Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
>> > depression?
>>
>> I didn't say that it did.
>> I had been recovered for a few years before the events I mentioned in my
>> previous post.
>>
>> > From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
>> > scientifically,
>>
>> CBT is very bad news.
>
>Albert Beck,

Aaron Beck.

>the pyschologist who devised CBT,

Yes, he likes to claim that. It isn't true. He devised one form of
cognitive therapy. There are several others, but Beck's has become the
market leader, largely because it can be easily taught to counsellors
and and nurses. It's by no means the best approach

>was interviewed on Radio 4
>a few years ago (March 2003 on All in The Mind I believe). He could just
>as easily have been billed as Lily the Pink claiming that CBT was pretty
>much the universal panacea. He was also arrogant enough to agree that CBT
>is "nothing more than pulling oneself up by the bootstraps".

Yep, that sounds like him.

>Sadly some weasel pyschs treating M.E. patients really do think he is Lily
>the Pink and force these seriously ill people to conform to a treatment
>that is even more injurious to them than the illness itself. This despite
>the evidence of the Chief Medical Officers Research Group on ME whose
>examination of treatment plans for the illness showed that for the
>majority of patients CBT was harmful or ineffective.

The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
(http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:

"3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
• “13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot.” (Report on
Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"

....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
zero)...

"• Mixed results for CBT depending on practitioner. Issues
repeatedly crop up about language and relationships
indicating the problem may not be CBT but poorly practiced
CBT. n=354 (Action for ME, Members Survey, 2003)"

....which doesn't surprise me, as there are lots of half-trained
Beckians out there who think they're doing CBT.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:31:37 AM10/24/06
to
On 23 Oct 2006 08:15:31 -0700, "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote:


>Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
>depression? From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
>scientifically, to have a significant effect. (See "Feeling Good" by Burns, for
>instance -- an inexepensive, respected book which is easy to find).

CBT and antidepressants at least have the advantage that one can
choose to take them; one cannot choose to 'take' grace in anything
like the same way. So properly randomised control trials are not
possible.

Also, we don't know how to measure grace in a way that would be useful
for performing statistical tests: but if we take worship as at least
correlating with grace...

Baetz M, Bowen R, Jones G, Koru-Sengul T. (2006) "How
spiritual values and worship attendance relate to psychiatric
disorders in the Canadian population." Can J Psychiatry
51(10):654-651

Abstract:
Research into risk and protective factors for
psychiatric disorders may help reduce the burden of these
conditions. Spirituality and religion are 2 such factors, but
research remains limited. Using a representative national
sample of respondents, this study examines the relation
between worship frequency and the importance of spiritual
values and DSM-IV psychiatric and substance use disorders.
METHOD: In 2002, the Canadian Community Health Survey
obtained data from about 37,000 individuals aged 15 years or
older. While controlling for demographic characteristics, we
determined odds ratios for lifetime, 1-year, and past
psychiatric disorders, with worship frequency and spiritual
values as predictors. RESULTS: Higher worship frequency was
associated with lower odds of psychiatric disorders. In
contrast, those who considered higher spiritual values
important (in a search for meaning, in giving strength, and
in understanding life's difficulties) had higher odds of most
psychiatric disorders. CONCLUSION: This study confirms an
association between higher worship frequency and lower odds
of depression and it expands that finding to other
psychiatric disorders. The association between spiritual
values and mood, anxiety, and addictive disorders is complex
and may reflect the use of spirituality to reframe life
difficulties, including mental disorders.

OK, the study has its problems - it can't tell whether happiness is a
cause or an effect of religious behaviour - but it ties in with other
research that all points the same way. I'd really like to see a
longitudinal study. Like this one, perhaps...

King DE, Cummings D, Whetstone L. (2005) "Attendance at
religious services and subsequent mental health in midlife
women." Int J Psychiatry Med. 2005;35(3):287-97

Abstract:
Spiritual and religious factors may influence mental health
in midlife women. The purpose of this study was to explore
whether strength of religious beliefs or attendance at
religious services helps to mitigate the stresses of life in
mid-life women. METHODS: Data are from a sub-sample of 265
women, ages 40-70, who were participants in the REACH study,
a longitudinal study investigating health parameters in a
representative sample of households from rural communities in
eastern North Carolina. Using t-tests and linear regression
analyses, we analyzed the relationship between frequency of
attendance at religious services and strength of religious
beliefs in 1997 and subsequent mental health in 2003 as
measured by the mental health component score (MCS) of the
SF-12. RESULTS: The mean MCS in 2003 was significantly higher
(better mental health) in women who reported attending
religious services > or =1/week compared to those who
reported attending <1/week (53.9 vs. 51.7; p < 0.05). In the
linear regression model controlling for self-reported health
status, baseline attendance at organized religious services
remained a significant predictor of the MCS at six-year
follow-up (standardized beta = -0.123, p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Attendance at religious services is positively
related to subsequent mental health in middle-aged women. The
findings support the notion that religious commitment may
help mitigate the stress of the midlife period. More research
is needed to translate these findings into clinical
interventions that can decrease the burden of anxiety and
depression on midlife women.

HTH

Gareth McCaughan

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:41:43 AM10/24/06
to
"Richard" wrote:

>>> What I mean at least is there's a point of proceedure not attended to,
>>> that did not enable you to actually receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
>> ...
>>> You came upon false doctrine that screwed things up a bit.
>> ...
>>> You have not really had the proper teachings in all respects. You have
>>> been
>>> handed a corrupted form of Christianity. That's caused you a problem.
>>
>> Yeah, 'cos if he'd been a Mormon instead then he wouldn't have
>> had any problems, 'cos Mormons never lose *their* faith. Riiiight.
>
> People from all faiths lose faith. But I was responding to his particular
> doctrinal problem.

His "particular doctrinal problem" isn't peculiar to evangelical
mainstream Christianity, and I beg leave to doubt whether it's
unheard of among Mormons. Unless by "his particular doctrinal
problem" you mean not-being-a-Mormon, in which case my remark
above stands.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:51:02 AM10/24/06
to
On 22 Oct 2006 19:54:54 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:

>Hello everyone :-)
>
>*offers jelly babies*

Why, thank you! You wouldn't be trying to butter us up, would you?

As a RC I don't feel qualified to comment on your Evangelical
experience, except to say that oranges are not the only fruit..

Anyway, welcome back.

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:02:33 AM10/24/06
to
> A logical approach to Christianity must inevitably lead to atheism,
> surely? You and I have had this discussion elsewhere. Evangelicalism's
> modernity means it tends to end up hoisted by its own petard.
Probably. That was what I concluded before and what I think now,
I want to have it all on paper (or html) though.

>> As an aside the church where I declared myself to no longer be a
>> Christian was a CofE one as well as being an evangelical one. I don't
>> think they like the CofE much though, they had literature there that
>> argued that Rowan Williams was not a Christian at all.
> Splorfle! StAG FTW!

Yes...

At the time I was quite enamoured with the StAG way of things and
was persuading this really sweet Christian theology student that
she wasn't really a Christian (by StAGs definition of
things). She almost was persuaded but her sanity detector beeped
when she saw the booklet I had that said he wasn't a Christian
and she made a lucky escape.

-Rob
--
http://www.robhulme.com/

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:08:15 AM10/24/06
to
Simon Robinson <em...@via.my.web.site> wrote:
> Paul Wright wrote:
>> A logical approach to Christianity must inevitably lead to atheism,
>> surely?
> Not at all. ISTM that any logical approach is inevitably going to lead
> to the conclusion that materialism cannot be true (because materialism
> appears to be incompatible with the existence of consciousness),
What do you mean here by consciousness? If you mean something
that has a non material component then yes. I don't think there
is a broad agreement even on what consciousness is never mind how
it actually works. There are certainly people who have a
materialistic view and believe that 'consciousness' fits in to
it, e.g. Penrose and Hameroff (http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/).

-Rob
--
http://www.robhulme.com/

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 6:11:33 AM10/24/06
to
On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 22:37:46 -0500, Jeffrey Goldberg
<nob...@goldmark.org> wrote:

>While I don't have a great deal of confidence in Cognitive Based Therapy
>for episodic depression,

In this country, the 'B' stands for 'Behaviour'.

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 5:17:06 AM10/24/06
to
Nick Milton <nickspamt...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I think the key is to stay open, and stay listening. It's when you are
> "certain you have the answer" that progress along the journey becomes
> impossible,
In your analogy though what if you have reached the destination?

In Richard Dawkins' new book The God Delusion (for which there
seems to be an immense thread about here of which almost none is
about what the book sadly) Dawkins says that we can never prove a
positive but we can find that thing to be increasingly
improbable. Given that we have a finite amount of time to
dedicate to things is it not reasonable to decide one way or the
other if you feel the evidence is overwhelming?

> and that may happen in a University Christian Union (who
> are often some of the most "certain" people you will encounter) just
> as easily as in atheism.
I don't think the path to university Evangelicalism and atheism
are the same. For most atheists they've had to reason and think
their way to that position but a different effect is the main
cause of university Evangelicalism, a kind of religious
experience - from the CUs I've been to few of the members got to
that point by thinking, reasoning, and researching what they were
doing.

> Don't worry about sharpening your mind.
> Mind's are like parachutes - they work best when they are open.
:-)

Thank you for that, I think there is a fair amount of truth in
it. I also think that this quote is worth bearing in mind:

"Be open minded, but not so open minded that your brains fall
out!" -- Carl Sagan

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 6:06:02 AM10/24/06
to
Simon Robinson <em...@via.my.web.site> wrote:
>> *offers jelly babies*
> Evidently you've been lurking a while. Aren't we supposed to offer you
> the jelly babies? Not that I care. *munch* *munch* Any more going?
:-)

> Interesting story, thanks for sharing that. Quite brave of you to reveal
> what you did in public. I have a lot of sympathy, since my path was
> quite similar in many respects, and my first encounter with and
> conversion to Christianity also took place in an evangelical context,
> with a University Christian Union.
Oh yes? What happened after that?

>> Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
>> Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
>> suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
>> breakup. I became furious!

> Oooh, I've heard that one a couple of times too. I'd say I'm now *very*
> certain that God would never no any such thing.

Interestingly my church leader (Tim Gunn) at the time said that
what Jonathan had said was very unwise. It may be true he said
but it was an unwise thing to say! Jonathan afterwards did say
that it wasn't his opinion that God had done that but rather that
it was a possibility. At the time I reasoned that I didn't think
that God had done that (most people hearing or reading my story
ignore this bit and assume I stopped being a Christian because I
hated God or some other such nonesense) but thought that even if
he had it would have been the right thing to do (if 'good' is
defined by God's actions then by definition his actions are
'good' whatever they may be).

I did come to the conclusion that God might do such things based
on my own personal reading of the Bible. Of course there is
always a debate to be had over whether one has interpreted the
Bible correctly, but sufficed to say it was a conclusion I came
to on my own (which originally I thought was wrong) after many
weeks of hard study.

> To break a couple up
> because someone in the couple doesn't love you enough.
Well in the pop version of Christianity I got at church services
they repeatedly said that an idol is anything in your life which
is more important than God. That's quite a simplistic way of
looking at things but at the time I thought it was in keeping
with the general message that the Bible had about such things.

> That's not the
> action of a God of Love (or of a God who gives us free will). I think
> you're right now to assume the break-up would have been to do with other
> things.
Absolutely. I have never doubted that it was because of my actions.

> I guess the one point I'd add is that from what you're saying, virtually
> all your encounters with Christianity have been with the
> evangelical/conservative variety. If it doesn't sound too much like
> nagging ;-), I'd encourage you to keep your mind open to the possibility
I would say my mind is open to the possibility but from where I'm
sitting at the moment the possibility looks very improbable.

> that there is a God, and that Christianity, in its more liberal forms,
> gives a pretty good description of that God and of how to live. (After
> all, the essays of Gareth's that you mention you're impressed by were
> written at a time when Gareth was a Christian!)
I was mainly referring to his article about the problems with
inerrancy in the Bible.

> btw have you considered looking to the Roman Catholic church for the
> contact/fellowship with Christians that you seek? Although I'm not an
> RC, my limited experience is that people in the RC, with its greater
> emphasis on 'Tradition' and interpreting God's wishes through the church
> (as opposed to the sola scriptura thing of many protestants) will
> probably give you a different, and in some ways less dogmatic,
> perspective on God.
I must say I like the dogmatism to some degree :-D

I feel drawn back to the Evangelicals because that is what I
was. I'm not sure there is any internal desire towards
Christianity or any religion in general.

> Nice to have you here anyway. You sound like quite a thoughtful
> person :-)
Thank you :-)

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 6:21:56 AM10/24/06
to
Gordon Hudson <host...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I guess the one point I'd add is that from what you're saying, virtually
>> all your encounters with Christianity have been with the
>> evangelical/conservative variety.
> Sounds more like a type of evangelicalism that cincentrates on trying to get
> an intellectual assent to the logicality of the gospel rather than a proper
> preaching of God's grace.
In what way are the two incompatible? Also how else does one
preach if not with logicality?

> Certainly, a lot of what I see in evangelical churches amounts to an attempt
> to persuade people by rational argument that they need to be saved from
> their sin (rather like a barrister or advocate in court) rather than God
> already having done it and it being made freely available by grace.
The Evangelical churches I have been to tended to believe that
while it is a mystery how a person becomes convinced of their
sin (in that it is largely something that the Holy Spirit does)
we ought to engage with people's brains because that is how God
made people. Also they would have pointed out:

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a
reason for the hope that is in you. --1 Peter 3:15

Not directly relevant perhaps but I think the gist they were
getting at is that if Christianity is true it should largely hold
together logically. I've not met any Christians who think
otherwise (although most would say [and they would agree] that
you can't reason someone into belief). So in general they think
that it is important to show that Christianity can be argued to
be true through logic and reason but wouldn't say that you get
there just on that basis.

> What you can end up with is a twisted version of Christianity without any
> real joy or victory (and I rarely use that word but its appropriate here).
I don't know about the experiences of other Evangelicals who are
here but I would say that along with what I felt was a rigorous
logical look at truth in a modernist manner I also had great joy
and a feeling of victory as a Christian. I suppose there is no
real answer to someone who says I wasn't a /real/ Christian but I
felt that I was, I felt internally that Yahweh was real and that
I had some kind of connection with him. I 'heard' what I
considered to be God speak to me on one occasion, I saw various
'spiritual' things (demons, etc?), and I believe that I came to a
good understanding of Christianity from my own personal study of
the Bible and through prayer. That's never going to satisfy
everyone but it satisfies me that I was some kind of 'real
Christian' should such a thing exist.

Nick Milton

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:19:48 AM10/24/06
to
On 24 Oct 2006 09:17:06 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:

>Nick Milton <nickspamt...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> I think the key is to stay open, and stay listening. It's when you are
>> "certain you have the answer" that progress along the journey becomes
>> impossible,
>In your analogy though what if you have reached the destination?

Always possible. If that is really the case, then you will find out.
The risk comes in believing you have reached the destination, while
you are still on the journey.

>> Don't worry about sharpening your mind.
>> Mind's are like parachutes - they work best when they are open.
>:-)
>
>Thank you for that, I think there is a fair amount of truth in
>it. I also think that this quote is worth bearing in mind:
>
> "Be open minded, but not so open minded that your brains fall
> out!" -- Carl Sagan

Absolutely.

Paul

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:24:50 AM10/24/06
to
> The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
> (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:
>
> "3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
> · "13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
> were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot." (Report on
> Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"
>
> ....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
> zero)...

This is for ME, I was talking about depression. But even for depression
there
is not a 100% success rate, so individuals who say it failed for them
are to
be expected. It certainly worked, and continues working, for me. I like
to keep
an open mind and consider other techniques, including ones that come
from religous sources -- mindfulness meditation now has a lot of
scientific
evidence backing its usefulness for keeping the black dog away.

Robert Hulme

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 6:38:06 AM10/24/06
to
Paul <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
>> part of their community
> Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion"
Yes, it's a terribly good book isn't it? :-)

> mentions Martin Rees (the
> astronomer royal) who goes to Anglican services because it is "his
> Tribe" - but Martin is as much an atheists as Richard! So you could
> continue hanging around with Christians even if you are not
> a Christian.
I could hang around /Christians/, and I dare say most Christians
would treat me just the same as they would their Christian
friends but the same is not true of
Evangelicals (IME). Evangelicals seem to be able to have non
believing friends but a special level of relating (which I
suppose it what I hankered for when I made the post) is reserved
for other Evangelicals. I don't think this is intentional
however.

>> 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
>> turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to
>

> Why not try to get clear? Read books like Dawkins to test your views.
> Your Christian pals will, no doubt, have other recommendations.
> Certainly take notes - that usually clarifies things for me.
Yes, I think this is a good idea.

I did make some notes when I did the Christianity Explored
course, for instance there is a good 'for and against'
section (http://robhu.livejournal.com/105510.html).

I don't find the idea of God very probable, but as I was an
Evangelical, and as so many of the people I know are Evangelicals
I'd like to have a higher level of positive reasoning for this
view w.r.t. Evangelical Christianity. I think this is possible if
for example (as I thought when I did CE) Evangelicalism contains
logical contradictions.

>> So... what do you guys think?
> Your post and web site are very interesting. It would be great to hear
> exactly how you moved form being an Evangelical Christian to a Bright.
> What people, books, or arguments moved you onto the Bright path. You
> write so well why not write a book about it!
I think a book may be too much but I will write at a later point
about that journey :-)

Paul

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:35:00 AM10/24/06
to
Alec Brady wrote:

> On 23 Oct 2006 08:15:31 -0700, "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
> >Can you quote some scientific papers to show that "Grace" cures
> >depression? From what I've read only CBT and certain drugs have been found,
> >scientifically, to have a significant effect. (See "Feeling Good" by Burns, for
> >instance -- an inexepensive, respected book which is easy to find).
>
> CBT and antidepressants at least have the advantage that one can
> choose to take them; one cannot choose to 'take' grace in anything
> like the same way. So properly randomised control trials are not
> possible.
>
> Also, we don't know how to measure grace in a way that would be useful
> for performing statistical tests: but if we take worship as at least
> correlating with grace...
>
> Baetz M, Bowen R, Jones G, Koru-Sengul T. (2006) "How
> spiritual values and worship attendance relate to psychiatric
> disorders in the Canadian population." Can J Psychiatry
> 51(10):654-651
>
> Abstract:
> Research into risk and protective factors for
> psychiatric disorders may help reduce the burden of these

> conditions. Spirituality and religion are 2 such factors...


>
> OK, the study has its problems - it can't tell whether happiness is a

> cause or an effect of religious behaviour ...


> CONCLUSIONS: Attendance at religious services is positively
> related to subsequent mental health in middle-aged women. The
> findings support the notion that religious commitment may
> help mitigate the stress of the midlife period. More research
> is needed to translate these findings into clinical
> interventions that can decrease the burden of anxiety and
> depression on midlife women.

Also it does not say exactly what might cause the happiness boost. Is
the cause cognitive? Is it social? Is it God? Is it a charismatic
leader? Is
it the type of religion, e.g. are Buddhists as happy?

Paul

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:42:23 AM10/24/06
to
Alec Brady wrote:
> As a RC I don't feel qualified to comment on your Evangelical
> experience, except to say that oranges are not the only fruit..

Careful with the metaphors! Do RCs now accept that lesbian activity
is acceptable? Or are they just against tying them down and
thrashing out the demons?

Trevor Jenkins

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:35:39 AM10/24/06
to
On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 10:26:49 +0100, Alec Brady <alec....@virgin.net> wrote:
> On 23 Oct 2006 19:23:28 GMT, Trevor....@suneidesis.com (Trevor
> Jenkins) wrote:

> ... someone said:
>
> >> CBT is very bad news.
>

> >the evidence of the Chief Medical Officers Research Group on ME whose
> >examination of treatment plans for the illness showed that for the
> >majority of patients CBT was harmful or ineffective.
>
> The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
> (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:
>
> "3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
> • “13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
> were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot.” (Report on
> Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"

Well the CMO's report (2003) says this in Appendix 3 Patient Evidence.

Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
CBT 285 7% 67% 26%


http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPAmpGBrowsableDocument/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4095249&chk=jVPh3V

The Department of Health keep moving it around in the hope that no one
will find it and the evidence that it contradicts what NICE think should
be done. The reason I believe is that the only patient evidenced
"treatments" that do little or no harm are

Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
Pacing
activities 2180 89% 9% 1%

Rest
inc bed rest 2162 91% 8% 1%

But these are inconvenient to CBT (and IAIYH weasels) because it means no
revenue for them so the numbers get hidden and moved.

> ....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
> zero)...

And so vastly different from what patients actually experience though.

Whenever I hear of "NICE" I always think of C S Lewis' "That Hideous
Strength". As someone who was ill with M.E. (and thankfully was healed
without recourse to weasels preaching CBT) the sort of junk that NICE is
saying about M.E. treatment protocols does nothing to change that thought.

Regards, Trevor

<>< Re: deemed!

Paul

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 7:57:57 AM10/24/06
to
> > Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
> > Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
> > suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
> > breakup. I became furious!
>
> "he suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
> beakup." One guys opinion.

Why not ask Tiggy? Did God tell her to break up?

> > God was to me the most trusted person there was and the very idea made> > me extremely angry. Over the next few weeks I began to consider this
> > idea and so turned to my Bible to determine it's truth. What I found
> > was that ultimately God was much more interested in his own holyness> > than in my happiness.
>
> Stop! You did not find in the bible that God is more interested in his own
> holiness rather than in your happiness.

He just said he did! Why should your interpretation be more important
than
his?

> > it did was make me lose that unconditional unquestioning trust in God
> > thatI had before. So my faith became unstable in the same way that my
> > emotions (or rather mental health) was.
>
> You came upon false doctrine that screwed things up a bit.

You just said he read the Bible! Are you saying the Bible is false
doctrine?

> > I don't think Christianity is true.
>
> You have not really had the proper teachings in all respects. You have been
> handed a corrupted form of Christianity. That's caused you a problem.
>

How can ypou be so ure of this? Maybe he has enountered another
philosophy? For instance, atheism is getting a lot of press recently --
thanks to Professor Dawkins et.al.

> > If I am so sure Christianity (or at least Evangelicalism) is false
> > then why waste my time going to church? I suppose there are two
> > reasons I am considering this:
> >
> > 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
> > part of their community

You can test this by going to other communities. For instance: evening
classes,
sports, Buddhist or Yoga classes.

> > 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
> > turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to

If you take an evening class in Philosophy then this might help
with fellowship & truth seeking.

Nick Milton

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 8:33:31 AM10/24/06
to
On 24 Oct 2006 10:21:56 GMT, Robert Hulme <r...@robhulme.com> wrote:

>Gordon Hudson <host...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I guess the one point I'd add is that from what you're saying, virtually
>>> all your encounters with Christianity have been with the
>>> evangelical/conservative variety.
>> Sounds more like a type of evangelicalism that cincentrates on trying to get
>> an intellectual assent to the logicality of the gospel rather than a proper
>> preaching of God's grace.
>In what way are the two incompatible? Also how else does one
>preach if not with logicality?

Through stories.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 9:11:54 AM10/24/06
to
On 24 Oct 2006 04:24:50 -0700, "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
>> (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:
>>
>> "3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
>> · "13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
>> were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot." (Report on
>> Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"
>>
>> ....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
>> zero)...
>
>This is for ME, I was talking about depression.

Yes, but Trevor was talking about ME, and I was responding to his
comment.

>But even for depression there is not a 100% success rate, so individuals
>who say it failed for them are to be expected.

Of course. And some (like Gordon) may find it harmful - especially if
it's applied by rote.

>It certainly worked, and continues working, for me. I like
>to keep an open mind and consider other techniques, including ones
>that come from religous sources -- mindfulness meditation now
>has a lot of scientific evidence backing its usefulness for keeping
>the black dog away.

Yes - John Teasdale at Oxford and Mark Williams at Lampeter have done
some splendid work on this. Recent research suggests it has its best
effect on recursive depression rather than reactive depression.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 9:34:34 AM10/24/06
to
On 24 Oct 2006 11:35:39 GMT, Trevor....@suneidesis.com (Trevor
Jenkins) wrote:

>On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 10:26:49 +0100, Alec Brady <alec....@virgin.net> wrote:
>> On 23 Oct 2006 19:23:28 GMT, Trevor....@suneidesis.com (Trevor
>> Jenkins) wrote:
>
>> ... someone said:
>>
>> >> CBT is very bad news.
>>
>> >the evidence of the Chief Medical Officers Research Group on ME whose
>> >examination of treatment plans for the illness showed that for the
>> >majority of patients CBT was harmful or ineffective.
>>
>> The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
>> (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:
>>
>> "3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
>> • “13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
>> were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot.” (Report on
>> Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"
>
>Well the CMO's report (2003) says this in Appendix 3 Patient Evidence.
>
>Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
>CBT 285 7% 67% 26%
>
>
>http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPAmpGBrowsableDocument/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4095249&chk=jVPh3V

Thanks for the link. I'll read through it when I have the time to do
it justice.

I notice that the CMO's report is 2003, while the Cooper survey that
NICE cite is 2000. What was the standing of each of these groups, do
you know?

>The Department of Health keep moving it around in the hope that no one
>will find it and the evidence that it contradicts what NICE think should
>be done. The reason I believe is that the only patient evidenced
>"treatments" that do little or no harm are
>
>Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
>Pacing
>activities 2180 89% 9% 1%
>
>Rest
>inc bed rest 2162 91% 8% 1%

I have know ME sufferers who insisted on over-exerting themselves (and
then crashing afterwards). Might some CBT or counselling be a useful
way of dealing with the guilt or perfectionism (or whatever) that
produces such behaviour?

>But these are inconvenient to CBT (and IAIYH weasels) because it means no
>revenue for them so the numbers get hidden and moved.

What's IAIYH?

>> ....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
>> zero)...
>
>And so vastly different from what patients actually experience though.

But still enough to conclude 'no effect' and therefore not to be used.

Mind, I'd like to see some clinical research rather than anecdote -
it's possible (for example) that both CMO and Cooper were interviewing
only those who still attended ME groups, so producing a bias in favour
of the 'not helped' or 'harmed' numbers.

>Whenever I hear of "NICE" I always think of C S Lewis' "That Hideous
>Strength".

Me too!

>As someone who was ill with M.E. (and thankfully was healed
>without recourse to weasels preaching CBT) the sort of junk that NICE is
>saying about M.E. treatment protocols does nothing to change that thought.

I'd like to see a decomposition study done so we could evaluate which
bits do what job. Most CBT for ME will include pacing, so studies of
the effectiveness of CBT may look better than they should because
they're benefitting from the pacing component. Conversely, they may
look worse than they should because psychological treatments don't
provide the same placebo-credibility as pharmacological treatments. In
addition, what gets called 'CBT' these days may be no more than
cognitive therapy, and there's no reason that I can think of why that
should be of any value at all in ME.

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 9:37:19 AM10/24/06
to

Now there's an image I'll have to use a hacksaw to get out of my head!

Yes, you're right, I wasn't thinking.

(BTW, this RC doesn't have a problem with lesbian activity)

Alec Brady

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 9:35:24 AM10/24/06
to
On 24 Oct 2006 04:35:00 -0700, "Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Also it does not say exactly what might cause the happiness boost. Is
>the cause cognitive? Is it social? Is it God? Is it a charismatic
>leader? Is it the type of religion, e.g. are Buddhists as happy?

Quite right. More research is needed!

Paul Wright

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 9:40:26 AM10/24/06
to
In article <4q4iacF...@individual.net>, Simon Robinson wrote:
> Paul Wright wrote:
>> A logical approach to Christianity must inevitably lead to atheism,
>> surely?
>
> Not at all. ISTM that any logical approach is inevitably going to lead
> to the conclusion that materialism cannot be true (because materialism
> appears to be incompatible with the existence of consciousness), and if
> materialism is false, then it's hard to see how atheism can be true.

I think that consciousness is sufficiently badly understood that there's
nothing to say that it cannot arise out of material causes, although
strictly no-one has shown that it can either (clearly, someone who takes
materialism as axiomatic would say that it must, since there's nothing
else to cause it, but that seems to be cheating). The fact that
consciousness is influenced by brain damage or surgery is a strong
indicator that it arises in the brain. Are you suggesting that brains
have a non-physical component? Pineal gland, or similar? :-)

> Of course since different people appear to come to opposite
> conclusions, it's more likely that the actual answer is that a logical
> approach could lead you to any number of different conclusions about
> the truth of Christianity, depending on your starting assumptions and
> the weight you give to different bits of evidence.

My original comment was referring to the tendency of physical
scientists, mathematicians and engineers, and other nerdy types, to
become evangelical (or at least, small-o orthodox) Christians and then
leave Christianity after thinking about it some more. This has happened
to about 5 or 6 people personally known to me (I include myself in that
count).

My pop-psychological theory about this is that evangelicalism is
attractive to such people because it is realist and individualist in the
same way that science is[1]. Even as an atheist, I tend to regard liberal
Christianity as somewhat woolly.

However, if you treat Christianity in this way and start looking hard at
it, it doesn't measure up, IME. Hence my comment about hoisting by their
own petards: evangelicals want to treat their religion as if it's really
real, but that makes it amenable to logic and science, which tend to do
away with it (as Dawkins points out in his latest book).

[1] See Angela's comment at
http://pw201.livejournal.com/34514.html?thread=86994#t86994

--
Paul Wright | http://pobox.com/~pw201 | http://blog.noctua.org.uk/
Reply address is valid but discards anything which isn't plain text

Trevor Jenkins

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 10:55:17 AM10/24/06
to
On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:34:34 +0100, Alec Brady <alec....@virgin.net> wrote:

> On 24 Oct 2006 11:35:39 GMT, Trevor....@suneidesis.com (Trevor
> Jenkins) wrote:
>
> >On Tue, 24 Oct 2006 10:26:49 +0100, Alec Brady <alec....@virgin.net> wrote:
>
> >> The current NICE consultation document on CFS/ME
> >> (http://www.nice.org.uk/page.aspx?o=368958) says on page 55:
> >>
> >> "3.2.1.1 CBT/modified CBT
> >> • “13% were made worse by CBT, 32% were not helped at all 37%
> >> were helped a little and 18% were helped a lot.” (Report on
> >> Survey of Members of Local ME Groups, Cooper, 2000)"
> >
> >Well the CMO's report (2003) says this in Appendix 3 Patient Evidence.
> >
> >Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
> >CBT 285 7% 67% 26%
> >
> >http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPAmpGBrowsableDocument/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4095249&chk=jVPh3V
>
> Thanks for the link. I'll read through it when I have the time to do
> it justice.

Better be sooner rather than later. This is at least the third home the
report has had since it was published. By the time you have chance to read
the text it could well have been moved again because of its inconvenient
data. I have the entire report downloaded to my workstation especially
since it was never available in printed form from HMSO.

> I notice that the CMO's report is 2003, while the Cooper survey that
> NICE cite is 2000. What was the standing of each of these groups, do
> you know?

The CMO's report was compiled by a research group directly tasked by the
Chief Medical Officer. It was revoluntionary (not only for the CBT patient
evidence) but also for waking up many GPs to the existence of the illness;
many had merely thought it malingering.

> >The Department of Health keep moving it around in the hope that no one
> >will find it and the evidence that it contradicts what NICE think should
> >be done. The reason I believe is that the only patient evidenced
> >"treatments" that do little or no harm are
> >
> >Therapy Patients Helped No effect Made Worse
> >Pacing
> >activities 2180 89% 9% 1%
> >
> >Rest
> >inc bed rest 2162 91% 8% 1%
>
> I have know ME sufferers who insisted on over-exerting themselves (and
> then crashing afterwards).

This is something that people ill with M.E. very quickly work out for
themselves. Can take some time though to work out that everything needs to
be paced not just physical activity but also mental. When I was ill the
physical was easy to organise (as I knew many chronic M.E. patients who'
were on averaging over 10 years of the illness). What took me time to deal
with was the mental. Being at home I used to rely on email and newsgroups.
Until I realised that that activity needed to be paced too. Eventually I
was down to replying to no more than five messages a day; a hard-and-fast
rule.

> ... Might some CBT or counselling be a useful


> way of dealing with the guilt or perfectionism (or whatever) that
> produces such behaviour?

I prefer simple and sensible education. Dr Charles Shepherd and Dr Anne
MacIntyre (both medics who have M.E. themselves) are probably the best
references for this. Both have written books for the audience of patients
and GPs/consultants treating those patients. [I knew I was "safe" with my
GP because he has a copy of Shepherd's book "Living with M.E." prominently
displayed up on the reference shelves in his consulting room.]

> >But these are inconvenient to CBT (and IAIYH weasels) because it means no
> >revenue for them so the numbers get hidden and moved.
>
> What's IAIYH?

"It's All In Your Head".

> >> ....which looks to me like a normal distribution centred around
> >> zero)...
> >
> >And so vastly different from what patients actually experience though.
>
> But still enough to conclude 'no effect' and therefore not to be used.

Well I'd take the 67% "no effect" in the CMO's report to mean *no effect*
and the 26% "made worse" to be a very clear reason not to use.

> Mind, I'd like to see some clinical research rather than anecdote -
> it's possible (for example) that both CMO and Cooper were interviewing
> only those who still attended ME groups, so producing a bias in favour
> of the 'not helped' or 'harmed' numbers.

As the CMO's research group on ME reported later I give more credence to
that. Especially as NICE seems to be concerned only with money --- saving
it by withdrawing expensive but efficaious medication from vulnerable who
would benefit (early stages of breast cancer, initial stages of dementia
to name just two where they've interfered very recently).

It's been some years since I read the fine print of the report from the
Chief Medical Officers research group on ME but I think you'll find that
this anecdotal evidence was culled from papers published in the medical
literature.

> >Whenever I hear of "NICE" I always think of C S Lewis' "That Hideous
> >Strength".
>
> Me too!

I've never really considered Lewis to be a charismatic but since NICE was
created by HMG I think That Hideous Strength is a prophetic book.

> >As someone who was ill with M.E. (and thankfully was healed
> >without recourse to weasels preaching CBT) the sort of junk that NICE is
> >saying about M.E. treatment protocols does nothing to change that thought.
>
> I'd like to see a decomposition study done so we could evaluate which

> bits do what job. ...

Unlikely to happen. There is no money in it for the drugs cartels. Another
GP working with ME patients has had papers returned by medical journals
because the pharms companies don't like what was written. By the way his
is the only workable theory on the aietology of ME; it results from back
trauma --- no amount of CBT will sort that out.

> ... Most CBT for ME will include pacing, ...

Even a physiotherapist can organise pacing without the explicit IAIYH
presumption of CBT.

> ... In addition, what gets called 'CBT' these days may be no more than


> cognitive therapy, and there's no reason that I can think of why that
> should be of any value at all in ME.

I think for once we agree on something.

As much of the accessible literature on CBT for M.E. portrays the
treatment it seems to me to be putting people under law rather than grace.
OBS Christian reference because this newsgroup is afterall u.k.c. ;-)

Regards, Trevor

<>< Re: deemed!

Richard

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 11:14:53 AM10/24/06
to
"Paul" <pgr...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1161691077.8...@f16g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...


"Paul seems to be answering two people me "Richard" and "Robert Hulme".


>> > Then a friend of mine (Jonathan) asked me if I loved
>> > Tiggy more than I loved God, I told him (honestly) that I did and he
>> > suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
>> > breakup. I became furious!
>>
>> "he suggested that maybe God being a jealous God had had his hand in the
>> beakup." One guys opinion.
>
> Why not ask Tiggy? Did God tell her to break up?

That is a question for Robert.

>> > God was to me the most trusted person there was and the very idea made>
>> > > me extremely angry. Over the next few weeks I began to consider this
>> > idea and so turned to my Bible to determine it's truth. What I found
>> > was that ultimately God was much more interested in his own holyness> >
>> > than in my happiness.
>>
>> Stop! You did not find in the bible that God is more interested in his
>> own
>> holiness rather than in your happiness.
>
> He just said he did! Why should your interpretation be more important
> than his?

Well, I'm just saying that that interpretation he's got is wrong. And that
seems to have caused a problem.

>> > it did was make me lose that unconditional unquestioning trust in God
>> > thatI had before. So my faith became unstable in the same way that my
>> > emotions (or rather mental health) was.
>>
>> You came upon false doctrine that screwed things up a bit.
>
> You just said he read the Bible! Are you saying the Bible is false
> doctrine?

A lot of bible interpretations are incorrect.

>> > I don't think Christianity is true.
>>
>> You have not really had the proper teachings in all respects. You have
>> been
>> handed a corrupted form of Christianity. That's caused you a problem.
>>
>
> How can ypou be so ure of this? Maybe he has enountered another
> philosophy? For instance, atheism is getting a lot of press recently --
> thanks to Professor Dawkins et.al.

I'm sure.

>> > If I am so sure Christianity (or at least Evangelicalism) is false
>> > then why waste my time going to church? I suppose there are two
>> > reasons I am considering this:
>> >
>> > 1. Fellowship - the desire to be around other Christians and to be
>> > part of their community
>
> You can test this by going to other communities. For instance: evening
> classes,
> sports, Buddhist or Yoga classes.

(For Robert)

>> > 2. Lack of clarity - I feel pretty sure that it is false but I never
>> > turned my thoughts into notes that I can refer to
>
> If you take an evening class in Philosophy then this might help
> with fellowship & truth seeking.

(For Robert)

Jeffrey Goldberg

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 1:17:50 PM10/24/06
to

My error.

That's how it is here, too (with different spelling of course).

-j

--
Jeffrey Goldberg http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/
I rarely read top-posted, over-quoted or HTML posts
My Reply-To address is valid.

Gordon Hudson

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 12:54:23 PM10/24/06
to
"Robert Hulme" <r...@robhulme.com> wrote in message
news:453de943$0$19740$8826...@free.teranews.com...

> I don't know about the experiences of other Evangelicals who are
> here but I would say that along with what I felt was a rigorous
> logical look at truth in a modernist manner I also had great joy
> and a feeling of victory as a Christian. I suppose there is no
> real answer to someone who says I wasn't a /real/ Christian but I
> felt that I was, I felt internally that Yahweh was real and that
> I had some kind of connection with him. I 'heard' what I
> considered to be God speak to me on one occasion, I saw various
> 'spiritual' things (demons, etc?), and I believe that I came to a
> good understanding of Christianity from my own personal study of
> the Bible and through prayer. That's never going to satisfy
> everyone but it satisfies me that I was some kind of 'real
> Christian' should such a thing exist.

So why do you think its not true now, which I think is what you are saying,
correct me if I am wrong :) ?

Jeffrey Goldberg

unread,
Oct 24, 2006, 1:57:50 PM10/24/06