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justin.graves was suicidal and a porn addict

justin.graves
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7/4/2013 9:36:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Start this off. My name in real life is Justin Graves (Shocker, right?). I am going on a missions trip in a few days and will be giving my testimony. Thought I'd try it out on the good people of DDO for a diverse view of my testimony. This is draft three. I will revise it again after this.

"I was born in a very Christian home. My dad is a respected deacon and my mom is involved with a lot of ministries. From an early age, the Bible was drilled into my head. My teenaged years were set for me to be a perfect, respectful, God-fearing teen, but at age 11, I began struggling with depression. I never felt good enough, and I also was convicted that I was not a Christian. I knew it, but fought God all the way. At one point when I was little, I read something about evolution, and, for a while, I decided there was no God.

By the time I was in 8th grade, I was in bad shape, on the outside I was perfect, but on the inside I was torn apart. Depression, low self-esteem, self harm, and suicidal thoughts reeked havoc on my life.

The summer before I started school at my church's school for the first time, I got a computer for my birthday. In the middle of November of 2011, I was looking for pictures of soccer balls when I stumbled upon soft-core pornography. By the time the new year started, I was knee deep in it.

My addictions got worse and worse. I started eating more food, drinking more sodas, making more friends, hurting myself physically more... anything to dull the pain.

But all the porn and other addictions did was add a new negative emotion to my burdens: shame. In the summer going into high school, I went to the WILDS Christian camp. I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on.

Flash forward months of arguments, pain and anguish later, and I'm sitting at an empty desk in a library holding an empty bottle of pain meds. I had taken all of them.

That was NOT the right thing to do. Instead of just slowly peeling away the mask, I ripped it off for my parents to see, and they were angry and appalled.

That next January, 2012, my mom caught my looking at porn at 4 in the morning. I started going to weekly counseling meetings, and they helped some, but I still felt an emptiness. I stopped my really bad addictions, like porn, but not the others like eating, caffeine, and occasional self-harm.

While the pornography and suicide was out of my life, I had flashbacks of self harm, lust, and deep rooted depression often.
Summer of 2012 I went to work full time at the Anchorage Christian Camp. It was a mixed bag there, everyone seemed to have it all together, and I was falling apart.

That summer made things both better and worse. The depression was worse, but I had more of a desire to change. a big desire. The year that went on since then was one huge war marked with glorious victories, but marred with horrible failure.

Just very recently, I finally feel renewed. Why? Because I am no longer ashamed. I no longer hide my failures and my shame. I tell people about them. I tell them what I am telling you. and more than once, the conversation ends with "I've never told anyone this, but..."

Friend after friend has told me: "Hey, I struggle with porn." "Hey, I used to smoke crack." "Hey, I cut myself." "Hey, I have suicidal thought. "Hey, I have anorexia." "Hey, I've been abused."
I have become a focal point where people can be honest and get help. I can be brutally honest about myself and about them. I don't judge. I don't counsel. I just listen. I give advice. I pray for them. I suggest they get help. And lives have been changed.

In a way, my addictions and depression was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a gift. Openess and a story to share. I have learned that God never loved that kid wearing the mask, but that he loves the broken kid who is willing to admit he screws up sometimes."
And that, my friend, it my full, brutal, honest testimony. Comments?Questions? Advice?
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
Magic8000
Posts: 975
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7/4/2013 11:00:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why were you so depressed? Is it something genetic or what?

Do you think you could've done the same without religion or with some other religion?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.

"So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity"- GWL-CPA
Mysterious_Stranger
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7/4/2013 11:05:14 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Did religion help stop the depression?. I have heard that having faith helps overcome some problems like depression.
Turn around, go back.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:15:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:05:14 AM, Mysterious_Stranger wrote:
Did religion help stop the depression?. I have heard that having faith helps overcome some problems like depression.

It does. If your life is messed up, Christianity will help big time. Most of the big stars that went through depression ended up as Christians (Eminem for example). It is just a pattern in humans. F*ck up. Find Jesus. Seems to work for many people.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/4/2013 11:16:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It doesn't make Christianity true, however I'm sure it helps depression more than Atheism (which would probably make it worse ha).
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/4/2013 11:43:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:00:31 AM, Magic8000 wrote:
Why were you so depressed? Is it something genetic or what?

Do you think you could've done the same without religion or with some other religion?

I've done some research into my family history, and chronic depression and addictions has been prevalent for years. I'm guessing I've got a genetic link, but I just always felt depressed regardless of if something was wrong.

I looked into a LOT of religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, JW, the occult, etc. I dabbled in some demonic things for a while. I had no belief in God at all for a while. I had no real beliefs. Even when I "found" Jesus, it was a long journey to getting better that I am still on as opposed to a lightning strike change. Since I tried a lot of other things but only my faith in Jesus has worked, I'd say that is the only thing holding me together a lot.

Did I mention I struggled with a form of un-diagnosed and not talked about mental illness? I saw things and heard things that were not there, things made sense that didn't, I had the sudden urge to kill people a lot. All that subsided after I became a Christian.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/4/2013 11:45:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:05:14 AM, Mysterious_Stranger wrote:
Did religion help stop the depression?. I have heard that having faith helps overcome some problems like depression.

No, "religion" did not help. I tried a lot of "religion" before I became a follower of Jesus. It wasn't what I did, but what I believed that helped. When I found a power greater than myself that promised to protect, love, and cherish me, it helped a lot more than going through the motions.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/4/2013 11:46:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:16:42 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It doesn't make Christianity true, however I'm sure it helps depression more than Atheism (which would probably make it worse ha).

yeah, my sporadic days as an unbeliever and skeptic were some of the darkest of all.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
MassiveDump
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7/4/2013 12:04:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Your situation was so similar to mine it's scary. Glad to know it turned out well. This is a good testimony, 9 dumps out of 10.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/4/2013 1:06:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:16:42 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It doesn't make Christianity true, however I'm sure it helps depression more than Atheism (which would probably make it worse ha).

Depends. For allot of people religion depresses them for various possible reasons, such as fear of hell/purgatory, for them and others, constant restrictions and constraints in their lives, legalistic beliefs, struggling with whether they're truly a Christian/Muslim or whatever. I think all of those applied to me when I was Christian. However, I wouldn't say atheism (well deism first) exactly helped immediately. Actually it made it worse initially but now I think I'm better off than before. Atheism is freeing and religion is constraining, as well as, to me, often full of nonsense that hinders enjoying life.

I believe it depends on the person. I can see how religion can bring someone out of depression but other times secularism does the same.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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7/4/2013 1:07:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:06:52 PM, phantom wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:16:42 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It doesn't make Christianity true, however I'm sure it helps depression more than Atheism (which would probably make it worse ha).

Depends. For allot of people religion depresses them for various possible reasons, such as fear of hell/purgatory, for them and others, constant restrictions and constraints in their lives, legalistic beliefs, struggling with whether they're truly a Christian/Muslim or whatever. I think all of those applied to me when I was Christian. However, I wouldn't say atheism (well deism first) exactly helped immediately. Actually it made it worse initially but now I think I'm better off than before. Atheism is freeing and religion is constraining, as well as, to me, often full of nonsense that hinders enjoying life.

I believe it depends on the person. I can see how religion can bring someone out of depression but other times secularism does the same.

Correction: Some of my terms are too general. Religion can be very freeing to some even if it's not to me.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Fruitytree
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7/4/2013 1:29:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
All this and you're just 15 ?!!

what type of home did you spend your childhood in ? a flat, a town house? were you in the city or country ?( just curious questions cause I have my own theories about depression and modern society).
drhead
Posts: 1,475
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7/4/2013 2:37:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:16:42 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
It doesn't make Christianity true, however I'm sure it helps depression more than Atheism (which would probably make it worse ha).

Atheism wouldn't inherently make things worse. With atheism and secular ethics, you have to accept that you have to find your own purpose in life. It's sometimes harder to see what this purpose should be (religion has it more straightforward - do what your god says and you'll be rewarded), but really it's a lot simpler than it seems at first (do whatever makes people happy). Atheism is better on this front, since instead of serving towards a supposed afterlife, it focuses on what is here and now. I want to assist in technological progress and to live as long as possible so I can see where we get in terms of technological progress - this is a goal that would undoubtedly help many people, but it isn't quite a goal that religion would have you go out of your way to do. With atheism, what else is there that you can do that will have a lasting impact? This is what I like about atheism - it focuses on the physical world instead of losing sight of important things by getting lost in spirituality.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
s-anthony
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7/4/2013 2:47:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:45:16 AM, justin.graves wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:05:14 AM, Mysterious_Stranger wrote:
Did religion help stop the depression?. I have heard that having faith helps overcome some problems like depression.

No, "religion" did not help. I tried a lot of "religion" before I became a follower of Jesus. It wasn't what I did, but what I believed that helped. When I found a power greater than myself that promised to protect, love, and cherish me, it helped a lot more than going through the motions.

It sounds as though the greatest cause of your depression was guilt. You even said in your life's story that pornography was a prime source of shame.

So, the question remains, what brought about the guilt. Was it your rebellion against the god of your ancestors? If so, that would explain why it was no other religion would do. However, if you had been born in India to Hindu parents or the Middle East to Muslims, believe me, Christianity would have done nothing to assuage your guilt.
GOP
Posts: 453
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7/4/2013 3:51:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 9:36:30 AM, justin.graves wrote:
Start this off. My name in real life is Justin Graves (Shocker, right?). I am going on a missions trip in a few days and will be giving my testimony. Thought I'd try it out on the good people of DDO for a diverse view of my testimony. This is draft three. I will revise it again after this.

"I was born in a very Christian home. My dad is a respected deacon and my mom is involved with a lot of ministries. From an early age, the Bible was drilled into my head. My teenaged years were set for me to be a perfect, respectful, God-fearing teen, but at age 11, I began struggling with depression. I never felt good enough, and I also was convicted that I was not a Christian. I knew it, but fought God all the way. At one point when I was little, I read something about evolution, and, for a while, I decided there was no God.

By the time I was in 8th grade, I was in bad shape, on the outside I was perfect, but on the inside I was torn apart. Depression, low self-esteem, self harm, and suicidal thoughts reeked havoc on my life.

The summer before I started school at my church's school for the first time, I got a computer for my birthday. In the middle of November of 2011, I was looking for pictures of soccer balls when I stumbled upon soft-core pornography. By the time the new year started, I was knee deep in it.

My addictions got worse and worse. I started eating more food, drinking more sodas, making more friends, hurting myself physically more... anything to dull the pain.

But all the porn and other addictions did was add a new negative emotion to my burdens: shame. In the summer going into high school, I went to the WILDS Christian camp. I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on.

Flash forward months of arguments, pain and anguish later, and I'm sitting at an empty desk in a library holding an empty bottle of pain meds. I had taken all of them.

That was NOT the right thing to do. Instead of just slowly peeling away the mask, I ripped it off for my parents to see, and they were angry and appalled.

That next January, 2012, my mom caught my looking at porn at 4 in the morning. I started going to weekly counseling meetings, and they helped some, but I still felt an emptiness. I stopped my really bad addictions, like porn, but not the others like eating, caffeine, and occasional self-harm.

While the pornography and suicide was out of my life, I had flashbacks of self harm, lust, and deep rooted depression often.
Summer of 2012 I went to work full time at the Anchorage Christian Camp. It was a mixed bag there, everyone seemed to have it all together, and I was falling apart.

That summer made things both better and worse. The depression was worse, but I had more of a desire to change. a big desire. The year that went on since then was one huge war marked with glorious victories, but marred with horrible failure.

Just very recently, I finally feel renewed. Why? Because I am no longer ashamed. I no longer hide my failures and my shame. I tell people about them. I tell them what I am telling you. and more than once, the conversation ends with "I've never told anyone this, but..."

Friend after friend has told me: "Hey, I struggle with porn." "Hey, I used to smoke crack." "Hey, I cut myself." "Hey, I have suicidal thought. "Hey, I have anorexia." "Hey, I've been abused."
I have become a focal point where people can be honest and get help. I can be brutally honest about myself and about them. I don't judge. I don't counsel. I just listen. I give advice. I pray for them. I suggest they get help. And lives have been changed.

In a way, my addictions and depression was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a gift. Openess and a story to share. I have learned that God never loved that kid wearing the mask, but that he loves the broken kid who is willing to admit he screws up sometimes."
And that, my friend, it my full, brutal, honest testimony. Comments?Questions? Advice?

Bold testimony, Justin. I like how God changed your life. My life was ruled by pornography before I became a Christian too. Ever since I became one, I have been getting better and better at battling that urge for it. Here is my advice for you: If you are going to deliver this testimony, then make sure you incorporate Bible verses in it. Your audience will be benefited by the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 KJV
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Btw, I highly urge you to use the KJV Bible. Almost all the other Bible versions are counterfeit and heretical.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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7/4/2013 6:18:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
It gets annoying hearing people they got an outcome in their life which they liked, therefore it was an act of God. All the meanwhile children with limbs cut off don't get such intervention.

Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing...

1) Pray to Jesus about X
2) Did X get a positive outcome ? If no Step 3 if Yes step 4
3) Pray to Jesus about X
4) PRAISE JESUS !!!

Just replace Jesus with anything you want, still works.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
annanicole
Posts: 19,787
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7/4/2013 7:24:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Why don't you just preach the gospel instead of wasting everyone's time with a silly testimony? I'm not being ugly: I'm being serious. Notice your statement in there:

"I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on."

Who said the way to get forgiveness in the mind of God is to sit down here and ASK for it? Does it not depend upon your situation? Were you an alien sinner who had never repented, confessed Christ, or been baptized? Or were you an erring Christian, a child of God, with the right to pray, "Our Father ..."
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/5/2013 9:23:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:29:04 PM, Fruitytree wrote:
All this and you're just 15 ?!!

what type of home did you spend your childhood in ? a flat, a town house? were you in the city or country ?( just curious questions cause I have my own theories about depression and modern society).

A three story house in a upper class family in the oustkirts of Wilmington, NC Population 100,000.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/5/2013 9:23:39 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 1:29:04 PM, Fruitytree wrote:
All this and you're just 15 ?!!

what type of home did you spend your childhood in ? a flat, a town house? were you in the city or country ?( just curious questions cause I have my own theories about depression and modern society).

A three story house in a upper class family in the oustkirts of Wilmington, NC Population 100,000.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/5/2013 9:27:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 6:18:45 PM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
It gets annoying hearing people they got an outcome in their life which they liked, therefore it was an act of God. All the meanwhile children with limbs cut off don't get such intervention.

Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing...

1) Pray to Jesus about X
2) Did X get a positive outcome ? If no Step 3 if Yes step 4
3) Pray to Jesus about X
4) PRAISE JESUS !!!

Just replace Jesus with anything you want, still works.

Funny, I tried prescription drugs, food, porn, masturbating, music, athletics, atheism, political activism, Islam, and a multitude of other things. Nothing helped. The difference between "All the meanwhile children with limbs cut off don't get such intervention." and my story is that mine required no miracle. Not only that, God promised to do what He did to me if I asked.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/5/2013 9:34:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 7:24:08 PM, annanicole wrote:
Why don't you just preach the gospel instead of wasting everyone's time with a silly testimony? I'm not being ugly: I'm being serious. Notice your statement in there:

"I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on."

Who said the way to get forgiveness in the mind of God is to sit down here and ASK for it? Does it not depend upon your situation? Were you an alien sinner who had never repented, confessed Christ, or been baptized? Or were you an erring Christian, a child of God, with the right to pray, "Our Father ..."

I was an alien sinner who had never repented. And this is where the Bible says that. (I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness.): I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

And by the way, I use my testimony too preach the Gospel. I do a LOT of street evangelism. This is a great tool. And, I'm sorry, but I am a little hurt by calling my testimony "silly." I went through years and years of addiction, suicidal thoughts, heck, I have scars from where I took a bundle of cord and whipped my arms until they bled! I punched a wall so hard it broke my fingers! I reached a point where physical pain was the most pleasurable thing in my life because it took my mind off the emotional pain.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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7/5/2013 9:34:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 11:45:16 AM, justin.graves wrote:
At 7/4/2013 11:05:14 AM, Mysterious_Stranger wrote:
Did religion help stop the depression?. I have heard that having faith helps overcome some problems like depression.

No, "religion" did not help. I tried a lot of "religion" before I became a follower of Jesus. It wasn't what I did, but what I believed that helped. When I found a power greater than myself that promised to protect, love, and cherish me, it helped a lot more than going through the motions.

Why is religion in quotes?
Fruitytree
Posts: 2,176
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7/5/2013 9:43:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 9:23:20 AM, justin.graves wrote:
At 7/4/2013 1:29:04 PM, Fruitytree wrote:
All this and you're just 15 ?!!

what type of home did you spend your childhood in ? a flat, a town house? were you in the city or country ?( just curious questions cause I have my own theories about depression and modern society).

A three story house in a upper class family in the oustkirts of Wilmington, NC Population 100,000.

Thank you, I then suspect you had a lonely childhood? this doesn't have to be your parents fault, it could just be the combination of your personality and the environment you've grown in. and loneliness can cause these feelings you had.I hope you're enough strong to overcome these things now. Besides faith, having dear friends who care may help.
bulproof
Posts: 25,274
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7/5/2013 10:55:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 9:34:46 AM, justin.graves wrote:
At 7/4/2013 7:24:08 PM, annanicole wrote:
Why don't you just preach the gospel instead of wasting everyone's time with a silly testimony? I'm not being ugly: I'm being serious. Notice your statement in there:

"I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on."

Who said the way to get forgiveness in the mind of God is to sit down here and ASK for it? Does it not depend upon your situation? Were you an alien sinner who had never repented, confessed Christ, or been baptized? Or were you an erring Christian, a child of God, with the right to pray, "Our Father ..."

I was an alien sinner who had never repented. And this is where the Bible says that. (I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness.): I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

And by the way, I use my testimony too preach the Gospel. I do a LOT of street evangelism. This is a great tool. And, I'm sorry, but I am a little hurt by calling my testimony "silly." I went through years and years of addiction, suicidal thoughts, heck, I have scars from where I took a bundle of cord and whipped my arms until they bled! I punched a wall so hard it broke my fingers! I reached a point where physical pain was the most pleasurable thing in my life because it took my mind off the emotional pain.

Do you need some tips on how to top yourself or have you abandoned your self pity. If you need some help I can supply a list.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
justin.graves
Posts: 220
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7/5/2013 11:41:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 10:55:23 AM, bulproof wrote:
At 7/5/2013 9:34:46 AM, justin.graves wrote:
At 7/4/2013 7:24:08 PM, annanicole wrote:
Why don't you just preach the gospel instead of wasting everyone's time with a silly testimony? I'm not being ugly: I'm being serious. Notice your statement in there:

"I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on."

Who said the way to get forgiveness in the mind of God is to sit down here and ASK for it? Does it not depend upon your situation? Were you an alien sinner who had never repented, confessed Christ, or been baptized? Or were you an erring Christian, a child of God, with the right to pray, "Our Father ..."

I was an alien sinner who had never repented. And this is where the Bible says that. (I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness.): I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

And by the way, I use my testimony too preach the Gospel. I do a LOT of street evangelism. This is a great tool. And, I'm sorry, but I am a little hurt by calling my testimony "silly." I went through years and years of addiction, suicidal thoughts, heck, I have scars from where I took a bundle of cord and whipped my arms until they bled! I punched a wall so hard it broke my fingers! I reached a point where physical pain was the most pleasurable thing in my life because it took my mind off the emotional pain.

Do you need some tips on how to top yourself or have you abandoned your self pity. If you need some help I can supply a list.

I have no self pity. I was just momentarily angered by that post and felt like saying that.
-Justin K. Graves, Demon Hunter
annanicole
Posts: 19,787
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7/5/2013 11:41:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Anna: Why don't you just preach the gospel instead of wasting everyone's time with a silly testimony? I'm not being ugly: I'm being serious. Notice your statement in there:

"I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on."

Who said the way to get forgiveness in the mind of God is to sit down here and ASK for it? Does it not depend upon your situation? Were you an alien sinner who had never repented, confessed Christ, or been baptized? Or were you an erring Christian, a child of God, with the right to pray, "Our Father ..."

Justin: I was an alien sinner who had never repented. And this is where the Bible says that. (I confessed my sins and asked for forgiveness.): I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Anna: That passage was written to saved people - people like Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8. Alien sinners should believe the gospel, repent, confess their belief in Jesus Christ (not their sins), and be baptized unto the remission of sins. At that point, they would be saved and have a resultant right to pray "Our Father, Who are in heaven ... " The 3,000 on Pentecost in Acts 2 would be an example.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
bulproof
Posts: 25,274
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7/5/2013 12:08:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Street Evangelism"
I'll draw up that list and post it for you.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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7/5/2013 12:19:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/5/2013 9:27:22 AM, justin.graves wrote:
Funny, I tried prescription drugs, food, porn, masturbating, music, athletics, atheism, political activism, Islam, and a multitude of other things. Nothing helped. The difference between "All the meanwhile children with limbs cut off don't get such intervention." and my story is that mine required no miracle. Not only that, God promised to do what He did to me if I asked.

1. Why did you think drugs, porn, masturbating, and atheism would help your depression? Drugs, porn, and obsessive masturbation decrease overall satisfaction with life and decrease the drive necessary to make something you're proud of.
2. All you needed to do was change your mindset from a negative spiral to a positive spiral. Christianity is one of the lowest ways to do that, but it does help. It takes much more courage to face problems as they are, accept them, and take right action to get your life in order: pursuing your passions, doing well in school, bringing value to everyone you interact with, getting a girlfriend, eating healthy food, sleeping 8 hours a night, exercising, having a good group of friends, doing the activities that make you happy.
DRUG HARM: http://imgur.com...
Primal Diet. Lifting. Reading. Psychedelics. Cold-Approach Pickup. Music.
THE_OPINIONATOR
Posts: 575
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7/5/2013 12:32:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/4/2013 9:36:30 AM, justin.graves wrote:
Start this off. My name in real life is Justin Graves (Shocker, right?). I am going on a missions trip in a few days and will be giving my testimony. Thought I'd try it out on the good people of DDO for a diverse view of my testimony. This is draft three. I will revise it again after this.

"I was born in a very Christian home. My dad is a respected deacon and my mom is involved with a lot of ministries. From an early age, the Bible was drilled into my head. My teenaged years were set for me to be a perfect, respectful, God-fearing teen, but at age 11, I began struggling with depression. I never felt good enough, and I also was convicted that I was not a Christian. I knew it, but fought God all the way. At one point when I was little, I read something about evolution, and, for a while, I decided there was no God.

By the time I was in 8th grade, I was in bad shape, on the outside I was perfect, but on the inside I was torn apart. Depression, low self-esteem, self harm, and suicidal thoughts reeked havoc on my life.

The summer before I started school at my church's school for the first time, I got a computer for my birthday. In the middle of November of 2011, I was looking for pictures of soccer balls when I stumbled upon soft-core pornography. By the time the new year started, I was knee deep in it.

My addictions got worse and worse. I started eating more food, drinking more sodas, making more friends, hurting myself physically more... anything to dull the pain.

But all the porn and other addictions did was add a new negative emotion to my burdens: shame. In the summer going into high school, I went to the WILDS Christian camp. I finally broke and asked God for forgiveness, but I told no one of my porn addiction or suicidal thoughts. I still wanted to keep my mask on.

Flash forward months of arguments, pain and anguish later, and I'm sitting at an empty desk in a library holding an empty bottle of pain meds. I had taken all of them.

That was NOT the right thing to do. Instead of just slowly peeling away the mask, I ripped it off for my parents to see, and they were angry and appalled.

That next January, 2012, my mom caught my looking at porn at 4 in the morning. I started going to weekly counseling meetings, and they helped some, but I still felt an emptiness. I stopped my really bad addictions, like porn, but not the others like eating, caffeine, and occasional self-harm.

While the pornography and suicide was out of my life, I had flashbacks of self harm, lust, and deep rooted depression often.
Summer of 2012 I went to work full time at the Anchorage Christian Camp. It was a mixed bag there, everyone seemed to have it all together, and I was falling apart.

That summer made things both better and worse. The depression was worse, but I had more of a desire to change. a big desire. The year that went on since then was one huge war marked with glorious victories, but marred with horrible failure.

Just very recently, I finally feel renewed. Why? Because I am no longer ashamed. I no longer hide my failures and my shame. I tell people about them. I tell them what I am telling you. and more than once, the conversation ends with "I've never told anyone this, but..."

Friend after friend has told me: "Hey, I struggle with porn." "Hey, I used to smoke crack." "Hey, I cut myself." "Hey, I have suicidal thought. "Hey, I have anorexia." "Hey, I've been abused."
I have become a focal point where people can be honest and get help. I can be brutally honest about myself and about them. I don't judge. I don't counsel. I just listen. I give advice. I pray for them. I suggest they get help. And lives have been changed.

In a way, my addictions and depression was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a gift. Openess and a story to share. I have learned that God never loved that kid wearing the mask, but that he loves the broken kid who is willing to admit he screws up sometimes."
And that, my friend, it my full, brutal, honest testimony. Comments?Questions? Advice?

Sir, where is your mission trip? I'm leaving tomorrow headed for Bryson City North Carolina on a mission trip.
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