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  1. 13 points
    Okay, folks.... It's time to come clean. I've had an extremely hard time being honest about something, but I've decided that now is the time to let it all out. My father was a respected minister of a huge church with hundreds of faithful members. He authored a number of Christian books, and he won many awards and commendations for his "service" to the Lord. The only problem with all of this is that he turned out to be a child molesting rapist... He molested my little sister for a solid five years before she finally got the courage to come out and tell all of us what had been going on. I could probably write volumes about how this experience has changed me, shattered my worldview, messed me up on a personal level, and caused me to lose my faith completely. But, I'm not going to. All I'm going to say is that God sure does have a "funny" way of choosing the people who he wants to use to spread his wonderful message. My dad led hundreds of people to the Lord (salvation), and he influenced hundreds more to give their day to day lives over to Christ (service, etc.). The whole time he was a sick freak of nature who was using his charisma, charm, and his ability to lead people in a church setting for the purpose of making money and building an empire. After he was exposed, it didn't take long for me to give Jesus a big "fuck you." However, it actually took me many years to let go of my Christian faith completely. What can I say? When you've been brainwashed and programmed to believe something is true, it is nearly impossible to reprogram yourself overnight no matter how badly you might want to or feel compelled to. In other words, I didn't immediately lose my faith because I was mad at the church or my father, even though I was heartbroken and furious to the point of rage. However, those events are what caused me to take a few steps back and open my eyes to take a closer look at everything I had been raised to believe in. Once I started asking the really tough questions, the doubts started pouring in like a flood, and eventually, after years of soul searching, prayer, anguish, and research, I was forced to let all of it go. I eventually ended up taking a number of history courses in college that really opened my eyes to the fact that the Bible is not an academically reliable source of history, and after coming to that realization, it was so much easier for me to overcome the fears that I had been silently harboring about losing my faith and going to hell. Long story short, when a person has been brainwashed to believe that Jesus is completely in control of every aspect of life, reality, and the world in general, it is extremely hard for that person to ever completely wake up on his or her own without a little bit of outside help. Had I not had my eyes violently pried open via tragedy, I'm not sure that I would have ever fully caught on to the charade that is known as Christianity. So, for anyone out there who might be reading this, please remember that not everything is as it seems. The man or woman you look up to the most could be a monster, and the faith you cling so dearly to could be nothing more than a total sham. I sincerely hope none of you ever have to go through what my family and I have been through... We went to hell and back, and it wasn't pretty. Please take it from someone who has experienced a dark side of reality that few people ever come into contact with. Christianity, the church, and the Bible are nothing more than tools of mind control that were created for the sole purpose of manipulating the masses. There is nothing sacred and holy about any of it. If the God of the Bible really does exist, why in the hell would he choose someone as sick as my father to do "his will?" If Jesus truly does exist, why would he allow one of his faithful servants (my father) to rape his own daughter repeatedly in his "temple?" The fact of the matter is that the God of the Bible does not and never has existed. He is a man-made fabrication, and he is only kept alive and relevant by people like you and me who refuse to let go of the fantasy. I really don't have anything else to say about this... The next time you want to defend the church or the Bible, just remember that you are defending an institution that has been a safe refuge for not only my father, but thousands of others like him. Just look into the history of Catholic priests who have molested their tenants if you don't believe me. Yeah, the God of the Bible is awesome, right? Give me a fucking break.... smh :/
  2. 13 points
    No one is expecting me to work. With no stress on my mind and good medication bipolar episodes are not resurfacing. I am living a normal life for the first time in a long while. I have peace and sanity. No more voices and visions that come with constant hypomania.
  3. 13 points
    Life was a lot simpler before. I was a Christian, who hung out with my Christian friends. I was always religiously supported by my parents (one of whom is Christian, the other goes along with it.) I lived in a Christian community (Young Earth and fundamentalist). All of my friends were Christians whose parents believed as I did. I was taught this by clever Christian teachers at my Christian school, who seemed so adept in the purest forms of sophistry that it seemed they could answer almost all my questions. Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. Only now do I realize the true gravity of that statement. I had no reason to doubt. Life was hard, but I only allowed that to convince me that God was testing me, and that he was going to “bring me through the storm.” That in the end it would all be worth it, because I was going to Heaven. Me. Yes, out of all the religions ever conceived, mine was right. And by the purest accident, I just happened to be brought up in the right faith, while others were brought up on faiths that would lead them straight to hell. But one day, I was reading the news and pulled up a story about a child sex trafficking ring that had been uncovered. The details were horrific, and I went to bed (I read the news before bed, I know, not the smartest thing ever…) with that on my mind. I was furious, sad, and horrified all at the same time. The one question I had was, how could God allow something like this? For children, innocent children to be subjected to sexual torture and mutilation, and eventually death? For the parents who suffered because their child never came home? The parents who cried out for god to just save their child, which seemed to me like a decent request. I never found an answer, and I doubt I ever will. That instilled the first seeds of doubt in me. I began to doubt whether God was really good. So, with a reluctant heart, I began to read my Bible to look for answers. Now I don’t remember exactly how I got into philosophy, but for some reason I was so intrigued that I bought a Socratic dialogue, Gorgias I believe. It was great, and I recommend it to anyone interested in philosophy, if not for the topic discussed then just for the Socratic Method that Socrates employs. It’s come in handy during the many debates I’ve had. Well, with my love of philosophy growing, I went out and bought The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. My mother, the devout Christian out of the two of my parents, would never have let me bought it if not for my father’s insistence that I be allowed to read what I choose. What I found from Thomas Paine was enlightening, it changed the course of my life forever. I still, from time to time, read a few pages of the Age of Reason, just to refresh myself. After that, I threw out my Bible and all the dogma I had in my room. I replaced it with philosophy books, which I can attest have been far more beneficial to me. I became a Deist, and was hungry for more philosophy. By this time, my mother began to worry about me. She set up meetings for me with different pastors in the area, and I felt intellectually outmatched. But I would not give in. I began to browse YouTube and watch atheist speakers and debaters, like Hitchens, Dawkins, Dillahunty and the rest. I read David Hume, Plato, Voltaire and other intellectual giants. I took notes from them, and went over and over again in my mind what they said and how they said it. I began to speak to my parents about it, and question them, but they would hear none of it. They would take my privileges away and attempt to censor my queries. They would also force me to go to church. In response to these things, I began to argue more and more violently, and now I regret that. But a few months ago, I began to ask myself this question. Is God even necessary at all? Do I need a God to explain the universe, or is there a simpler explanation? You see, the concept of God began to raise more questions than it answered. Sure, it answered the cause for our existence, but it left me with questions like, “If God created the concept of time, does that mean he existed before time? How could he move if there was no time?” or “If God is infinite (which he must be, according to the Cosmological Argument), does that mean he exists everywhere in space, or outside of space, or outside of that?” or “what does it mean to have no beginning and no end (immortality)? How could something have no beginning at all?” Also, as David Hume pointed out, the argument from design is a poor one. If we conclude that things are designed because they are complex, then God to must be designed because his mind must also be infinitely complex. This would progress ad infinitum, so I began to question if there really was a God at all. Plus I now realize that many of the arguments I employed were just arguments from ignorance. I would look around at all the mysteries of the universe, and appeal to a bigger mystery (god) to explain them. Only now do I realize this error. Because I could not answer these questions, I became an agnostic-atheist (I do not believe in a god [as traditionally defined], but I acknowledge the remote possibility of his existence). I remain so today, and I’m glad I finally can identify as a ex-Christian. I can think for myself finally, instead of groveling before my imaginary friend for pre-prescribed morals and opinions. Good bye, grand delusions. Hello reality.
  4. 12 points
    Awhile back, I crashed my car. My whole life was thrown into a tailspin because of it. I had to find alternate transportation to work, and I nearly lost my job over it. But, things are better now. I believe Jesus allowed me to crash my car so that I could learn to better appreciate the things I have. Just the other day, I had to take my car on a long trip through the big city. I nearly got into a huge wreck when a truck driver forgot to hit his breaks. The truck came about six inches from smashing right into me. I really believe that Jesus caused the truck's breaks to work just a little bit better than they normally would have. I'm sure that my car would have been totaled and I might have even died... But, Jesus saved me from crashing my car! Hallelujah! A long time ago I tripped on acid, and I really believe that Jesus spoke to me in a vision while I was tripping. He was so real and so kind. Because of that wildly spiritual acid trip, I came to the realization that Jesus is real. I really believe he worked through the acid trip to reveal his true nature to me. Thank you, Jesus! About a month ago I smoked a little bit too much weed. I got too high and started freaking out. Within minutes, I was having a full blown panic attack. During that time I swear I could feel the devil's angels trying to rip my life away from me. I started frantically praying, and Jesus calmed my spirit. It was almost like I could hear his voice speak to me telling me that everything was going to be alright. He showed me that day that drugs are bad, and there is no place for them in his beautiful world. Now, I'm going to do my best to make sure no one ever touches the devil's lettuce again! Praise his holy name! A few years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to help a young Ethiopian girl out of poverty. She came here with a missionary, and we volunteered to let her live in our home. Jesus used us to keep her from living a life of poverty, pain, and misery. She is now going off to college here in the U.S.A. She is going to become a minister! Isn't Jesus great? Two years ago, I saw a video that showed thousands of poor Ethiopian children who were on the brink of death by starvation... I knew there was nothing I or anyone else could do to help them. I said a prayer for them and turned the television off. I guess Jesus just allows those things to happen so that we can appreciate the blessings he's bestowed upon us and our beautiful country. It's really a shame, but sometimes we've got to be able to see the bad to appreciate the good. Can I get a witness?! A year ago, an entire town was wiped out in a tornado. Over 100 people died. It was such a terrible tragedy to witness. However, I know there was a reason that Jesus allowed it to happen. Since the disaster, I've heard that so many people have given their lives back to him. They probably wouldn't have had the disaster never struck their town. But, thanks to the efforts of the church and Jesus' wonderful grace, those people have been able to find a true calm after the storm. About six months ago, a tornado swept by the town I live in. The weather forecaster said that had the wind direction been just a little more to the south, our town would have been wiped out for sure. Thankfully, it didn't. I really believe that Jesus spared our little town. I mean, what would we have done? Praise him for his eternal mercy... Two weeks ago, my grandpa died from lung cancer. He was such a good man, but I guess it was his time to go. My family and I prayed for him day and night, but I guess Jesus was ready for him to come home. I know he's not in as much pain now, and I know he's in a better place. The craziest thing about it all is that unbeknownst to any of us, grandpa had a secret inheritance of a million dollars that he left behind for us. Now, my family can afford to do all of the things we've always wanted to do. It turns out that Jesus knew the whole time what we really needed even when we didn't. Five days ago, my aunt Lorraine came home from the doctor and told us that she was officially cancer free. We were all so happy and overjoyed. I know in my heart that Jesus worked through the doctor's hands and the drugs to bring about a miracle recovery in her life. Isn't Jesus great? He truly is the great healer! Eight months ago, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary. We each drank a bottle of wine, and we had the most romantic and fun night of our life. There was candlelight, dinner, plenty of dancing, and lots of lovemaking afterwards. What a memory! That night revealed to me just why Jesus didn't mind turning the water into wine every once in awhile. Praise Jesus, the true vine and the creator of real mirth and joy! Four months ago, I met a poor sap who had a drinking problem. I invited him to my church recovery group, and now he is clean and sober. Jesus really did a miracle when he delivered that young man from the demon spirits that surround alcohol! A few weeks ago, I experienced a real miracle. I went to my mailbox and found a letter that was addressed to me with no return sender. I opened it up, and it contained five fresh one hundred dollar bills. It was the exact amount of money that I needed to pay my electric bill. I was so overjoyed. I'm so glad I told the members in my church to pray for my finances because Jesus sent me just the amount of money that I needed to keep the lights on. That day he showed me that he truly is the Giver of Light! Glory! Two and a half weeks ago my neighbors had their electricity shut off. I hated to see it happen to them, but in my heart, I understood why. The father of the family of four has been backsliding for some time now. He hasn't been to church in nearly a half a year. He can't really expect Jesus to reward him for that kind of behavior, now can he? I'm sure that Jesus is using this bad experience to teach him a lesson. Maybe he'll get his life right and come back to church! I'll be praying for him regularly - you can count on it! I looked in the mirror today and realized how strong and healthy I am. Jesus sure has taken good care of me. I know that I'm going to need my strength and health to participate in all of the work he has for me to do. For example, next week I'm helping to build our wonderful pastor a brand new house! Thank Jesus that I have the strength and the know-how to accomplish this huge task. I know that I couldn't do it without him. Yesterday, I ran into one of my old friends that I used to go to the gym with. I hadn't seen him in awhile, and I was shocked by how terrible he looked. He told me that he had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and his health and strength was fading fast. Tears welled up in my eyes, and I gave him a big hug. I know that Jesus is using this terrible turn of events to teach him a lesson that he needs to learn. Maybe he needs to learn to not be so prideful? Or maybe he needs to learn to rely less on himself and more on Jesus? Either way, I'm going to be there for him because that is what Jesus would want me to do! ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* In case you missed it, the moral of this story is that Jesus didn't have a thing to do with any of the things I mentioned above. For many people, Christianity is nothing short of a live action role playing game in which each participant makes up the rules and the explanations for things as he or she goes along always being sure to fit the miraculous and powerful interventions of Jesus in when applicable. Now, to be clear, I'm not trying to make the point that a god, a higher power, a higher order, or a collective consciousness etc. doesn't exist. I don't claim to have enough knowledge to make those kinds of assertions. Maybe science will eventually figure it all out... or maybe not. It really doesn't matter. What I do know is that Christianity is a mind control game that saps its participants of their intellect, their common sense, and ultimately, their ability to clearly see the true nature of the lives that they lead in this world. There is nothing holy, sacred, or miraculous about any of it. Thanks for taking the time to read!
  5. 12 points
    ag_NO_stic: TrueScotsman: I can say that with our family, TrueScotsman is 100% correct. At the time that our transgender child came out to us, my wife was still opposed to it and resisted it for a while. Even though I had already changed my mind on the issue by that time, I had never talked about it with our child, nor with anyone in the family, for that matter. It hadn't come up and I didn't want to start any unnecessary controversy within the family. I also didn't want to put any ideas in our child's head. Even though in the back of my mind I had wondered for a long time if "she" would have rather been a boy, I figured that if that was the case, then it would come out on its own. I did not want to instigate with our child an issue that is severely stigmatized in our society. There was a long process that led to his coming out when he was almost 14. Going back to the beginning, she (I'll use the terms "she" and "her" when referring to the time before coming out) had always been a tomboy. Of course, there are plenty of tomboys who aren't transgender, so that was of little significance by itself, but it is a piece that fits in this puzzle. Even as young as probably around 3 or 4 years old, she would refuse to go in the girls' toy aisle when we were in stores. It was too embarrassing for her. Whenever we'd get Happy Meals at McDonald's, she always had us order for a boy so that she would get a boy's toy instead of a girl's toy. When she got big enough for a gender specific bicycle, she insisted on getting a boy's bike. She refused to even get on a girl's bike. The tomboy in her continued, and we had no problem with it. It wasn't a big deal, but it also didn't automatically mean anything more than that she was a tomboy. When she was probably around 11, she started going through a time of depression, and at one point my wife caught her getting into the medicine cabinet to try to find something to overdose on. I quickly bought a chain and a lock for it. She also started cutting a lot, but she would hide it by always wearing hoodies, even if it was really hot. At some point when she was 12, she told us that she liked girls. My wife wasn't thrilled about it but didn't press the issue, seemingly thinking that it would probably just be a phase. I just told our child that it was OK; it didn't matter to me whether she preferred boys or girls. I figured that that was what the depression had been about and that things would get better now that she'd gotten that off her chest. There was even a time when she said that she didn't want to ride a boy's bike anymore and even wore a dress or skirt a time or two, so at that point I thought that my unverbalized question about her wanting to be a boy had been answered. However, the depression continued, and a little while later she became anorexic and started shedding weight quickly. It was confusing to me because she was such an intelligent child who excelled beyond most of her peers. I couldn't wrap my head around how someone that smart could fall into such a clearly irrational disorder, but it turns out that that's not uncommon. We tried to talk to her to find out what was really going on with her, but as with many children that age, she didn't want to open up to us. We did inform her, though, that if she kept losing weight, then we'd have to get her into therapy. Well, that's what ended up happening. After going to a couple counselors, we ended up having to admit her to a full-time eating disorder center a couple hours away. It was a very painful period, but we didn't want to lose our precious child. We got to see her once a week for about an hour, but otherwise it was just a phone call each night. After a few months she was still struggling, but she'd made enough progress that they released her to an out-patient facility. There she had to go to their program five days a week and then she was off for the weekends (but still had to log what she was eating). Though this facility was closer than the other one, it was still a little over an hour away. During this time my wife and I (and often our other child) took turns staying with her through the week at the Ronald McDonald house close to the clinic, and then we'd all be together for the weekends. After a couple months of that, she had improved a little more and they released her to go home as long as we continued other local therapy a couple days a week, which we did. It was still a struggle, but she made strides because she didn't want to have to go back into the eating disorder facilities. Then one evening when I was painting our outside picture-window frame, our child came out and told me that we needed to talk. I agreed and asked what she wanted to talk about. After some hesitation, he finally came out and said, "Dad, I'm not a girl." This was just a few weeks before his 14th birthday, and it was the first time I'd heard a clear indication that he was in fact transgender. I really didn't want that to be the case because of how prejudiced much of society is, but I was very accepting and reaffirmed my love and support no matter what. Eventually he explained to me that the time in which he had tried to be more feminine, it was because of an online Christian friend trying to get him to conform to his birth-gender, as well as what he was hearing at church (when he still went with my wife and daughter) and from some family members, including even my wife and our older daughter. As our child attempted to be feminine, it just didn't work for him. The whole bout of depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting, and anorexia all stemmed from trying to suppress who he is and grapple with issues pertaining to his gender, society's perception, and religion. It had all come to a head and it was just too much to bear. Now that he's out as a guy and being accepted by us (my wife did eventually come around) and accepted or tolerated by others in the family, he's doing much better. Of course, breaking free from religion and getting some ferrets also helped his morale. It was so great once we finally, after a couple dismal years, started seeing him be more alive, chipper, happy, laughing and carrying on again. The difference between the depressed years and now are like night and day. It's great to have our child back, even if he's not the same child we thought we had for many years. I can say with confidence, though, that if it hadn't been for the accepting environment that we created for him, there's a good chance we would've ended up having to bury him. I really think that he would've eventually ended it, and it's painful for me to think about that. I tell you, I am so glad that I have a living son instead of a dead daughter.
  6. 10 points
    Vigile, I cannot tell you how much this relates to something I have been going through in the past couple of years. I haven't been completely honest with Ex-c because I am so ashamed and embarrassed about 'coming back out into the sunlight' again. (I always feel that I have to be strong) But I wore those chains around my neck for years. The church had convinced me that I needed to be saved and that I had a personal god looking after my life and safety. The whole doctrine made me feel safe and I needed to feel safe because I came from a lot of dysfunction. Let's just sum it up without any gory details and say my childhood was not a completely safe place. As I just stated on another thread...at the age of 20, I was a 'sitting duck' for the doctrine of getting 'saved'. When the pastor told me that god had a very special plan for my life, I was naively hooked. After about 5 years of being on this board and writing here every day, I found I was hiding more and more in my house and making excuses for not going out into the big world. The big world became so scary to me knowing that I did not have the protection of any god. So I needed to protect myself from my own death and the only way I could do this was by staying as close to my 'safe' house as possible. I very slowly and without realizing it, became quite agoraphobic. I won't bore the board with all the details about my recovery from this.. but let's just say that every day right now, I am forcing myself to go further and further from my home. It's very hard to understand for some people how hard it is for me to go to the local grocery store. To drive to my little summer trailer is torture for me until I get there. But I am doing it and I am proud. We were financially strapped this year because my hubby was laid off for 5 months and we could not take a winter trip and I was soooo happy about this (not about him being laid off) but because it meant I did not have to worry about going away from my house on a winter trip. I literally became afraid of everything in the past 2 years. I couldn't even go for a walk around my neighborhood for fear of getting hit by a car or a hoodlum jumping out at me. I hope I don't regret writing this out and coming out of the closet with it. But I feel it's time to come clean. Deconversion and learning how to come out into 'sunlight' again has been very hard for me with my anxious personality. When I say on the board that forming a 'new world view' has been very hard, it is alllllll about those chains coming off of my neck and leaving the dark cave to go out into the light and learn how to feel safe again. When I say chritianity screwed up my life, it did in many ways that believers could never understand because they still have those 'smoke and mirror's' of the fantasy that they are protected by god. Last night we had company over and my girlfriend who has a very wise husband said something to me that hit home so much. (as they completely accept me as I am and they know my struggle because they were both once born again believers) He said, ''you only have to die once but this condition has me dying my death every day because I am not truly living.'' I am trying to control how I die. I know that's what I am doing. And I just can't do it anymore. I need to live again. Really live and not be afraid. I need to go back outside and take the chance that today I won't get hit by a car, I won't get in a car accident, I won't get shot in a mall by a lunatic, etc. Taking those chains off my neck has been one of the hardest things in the world for me. But I am going to fight to my death and learn how to live again. There, I'm out of the closet. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because it has been a roller-coaster ride. 7 years on this board to learn how to live again. So when people come here and write how afraid they are, I truly understand. Thank you for posting this today. The timing was perfect for me to make this admission. So today, I am going to force myself out into the sunlight. I will make this breakthrough and then try to help others who go through the same thing. I am determined. Thank you again, my friend. I think this condition (agoraphobia) describes the analogy you posted today so much. For an analogy like this to be created, it shows me that I am not alone. Thanks to everyone of you who have helped me just by being on this board and by being honest. Love to you all.
  7. 9 points
    You know, I was a former Islam Sunni and from Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaah - Imam Shafi'i denomination to be precise. For your information I was born Islam at birth and due to both my parent were moslem.I joined Christian about 4 years ago and deconverted last year. I thinked only Koran contains such ridiculous,silly,outdated rules,warlike god Allah by name and enjoy suffering of creations. I was shocked by the facts that Bible or supposed loving god of love or biblical god possessed such immature,childish and petty behaviour and even more so bible god 1000 times or infinite more wicked than satan. Oh yes,all religion actually about control and put all human being into one simple minded thinking and worldview. I already practice Sufism and research about other esoteric offshoots or philosophy such Hinduism,Buddhism,Taoism,Deism,Jainism. I agreed that was much more spiritual or closer to truth but because it was taught by human it was filled with control. For example,Buddhist in Thailand firmly believe that literal 13 level of hell indeed exists and you would be punished for petty crimes by simply lying,take flower offered to Buddha in temple without permission and mind-numbing dogma which means all people probably enter hell. Don't take my words but please go to youtube.com and type in search bar "buddhist hell" and pick the first one. I was once Gnostic when I decided to drop all creeds,dogma or religion. I was impressed by Jennifer Shephard from lipstickmystic.com writings. I soon found myself in maze. We can't possibly clear our mind and think logically if we subscribe to particular creeds,teaching,or belief. Then, I denounced all type of spirituality creeds,mysticism,religion. I didn't find it reasonate with me. I am an atheist free thinker now. No matter how good that philosophy is, I need paradigm shifts and think as outsider because when I think inside the circle of specific ideas and regard that ideas as ultimate truth I will close my mind to other possibilities. For that reason, I will think I am open-minded but actually I am not, I don't realize that I am not outside but I am still inside maze of that previous idea we talk about. I applaud to all ex-christian on this site dubbed Ex-Christian.Net. I offer my greatest gratitude to webmaster of this site, WidenedSage,Neal,Valeria Tarico and long list of active contributors. You just wrote such thoughful and outstanding articles. Please forgive me for my grammar error , we always mistake 'past tense' with 'present tense' or vice versa. My language had a backward sentence and grammar and my brain hardwired to my native grammar ( Malay Malaysian language ) . It was difficult to translate idea or expression from one language to another one 100% accurate. I think this similar thing happens to all language and which is why I didn't think King James Bible got it right when it was translated from unknown language and then to Hebrew,Greek,Roman and then last one in English. During oral traditions or process, the original one would be lost,ommited,shredded,jumbled down,reinserted with new and unrelated idea or opinions. Over thousand of years and predated the oldest religion human already built stunning,organized civilization and they lived perfectly happy based on carbon dating the ruin of civilization found under the sea . Why the heck did I need to follow such new religion (Islam and Christian) appx. 2000 years ago. Why did supposed omnipresent God didn't tell this 'truth' earlier? Ancient civilizations and other civilizations in this modern world didn't follow such silly religion and according to Bible or Koran they will be burned in hell. Each religion contains booga booga boo concept and silly rules to follow and it's all devoid of common sense, heartless and time wasting. If the follower don't follow it, then they got demerit and divine punishment.
  8. 9 points
    So sorry you had to go through this. There is nothing worse in my eyes than bullying or embarrassing someone in public. As much of a 'softee' as I am, I can be the most passive-aggressive bitch you ever met when embarrassed. That's why I know this trait so well. (but I must be pushed to my limits before I get to this point) My pastor did something to me in front of the whole church at the last of my going to church and let me tell you when he pushed me over the edge, the whole church knew my anger and so did the pastor after the service. I embarrassed him back in front of the church in the sweetest, non-drama way. I never went back to that church, but I did torture myself by going somewhere else for awhile. Next time you go and want to sit down and the guy comes up to you, gently whisper to him in his ear (make sure no one can hear you)... and tell him to go fuck himself. He won't bother you again. (hug) because you have to tolerate this for your dear mother. Kudos to you.
  9. 9 points
    You might be an ex-Christian if you can come right out and tell an old friend (who dropped in here today) that you don't believe in the bible anymore when she started talking about the goodness of god. And you might be getting to be a strong ex-Christian when you stopped the conversation and made it move to another topic without any hesitation!
  10. 8 points
    Sometimes the only thing more challenging than re-orienting myself to a healthy way of living after deconverting is trying to talk about issues of faith with believers without my head exploding! How did so many of you atheists remain so relatively calm when debating myself when I was a believer or any of the other believing whack-jobs lol. I am not saying you never let it rip at times but now it all seems so small in comparison to the lunacy that comes out of believers mouths. What I am trying (unsuccessfully admittedly) is to remember just how sure I was that I had the truth as a believer. To be honest doing so is kinda painful because I get embarrassed at how I could have been so blind. It reminds me to stay humble enough to be willing to engage with those who believe what I once believed. Cognitive dissonance, compartmentalization, these are powerful tools that have kept beliefs safe for a long time. Still it is tough to even know where to begin when some unknowingly arrogant believer spews a word-salad full of Bible quotations and personal anecdotes. I do better with the William Lane Craig types because they at least attempt to make the best rational case possible. What's worse is I don't like being placed in a position by believers where they assume that if I criticize the Bible that I therefore think every single thing in it is rubbish. This is where I think I see atheists make a mistake. The power of religion is that in spite of all of the horrific things in it that there are ideas that resonate with people that are enough to push past the terrible things it contains. That means something. I am with A.C. Grayling who also understands that religion is often where we used to do our deepest meaningful contemplations. Just look at Song of Solomon and it's beauty or at least some of the beautiful things said about love in 1 Corinthians 13. I am not fighting against love, joy, peace and etc. Far from it! I am seeing terrible things within Christianity that undermine so many of those principles that Christians hold dear. Lastly If there was any one cause of a religious mindset hyper-resilient to criticism it has to be fear and you all know specifically that I mean the fear of hell. This hovering blackmail in the background of the Christian mindset makes it almost impossible to truly be open-minded as to whether or not Christianity might not be true. The stakes are too high. It pains me that I and many of my fellow ex-Christians still every now and again feel the sudden terror of going to hell come to the surface of our consciousness from where it still has a grip deep within our psyches where it was drilled in from when we were kids. In fact I don't know if I ever truly faced fear on anything. Any courage I mustered was from a false belief that God was giving me a helping hand in trying, and was there with a loving embrace if I failed. This is the opposite of growing up. It is infantilizing and I still get angry about it in others and I get angry that such fear exists within myself. At this point I am not sure if any of my ranting comes to one main point. The frustration remains but knowing you are all out there helps me because I know I am not the only one feeling this.
  11. 8 points
    There are many different kinds of testimonies on this website, some represent a triumph where the person couldn't be more elated to have moved on from what they believe were delusions and constraints from the Christian faith. I think there is for all Ex-Christians a realization of the chasm that we have now surpassed, namely that the weight of judgment and performance is ended and the threat of hell extinguished. Everyone can sigh a relief, even though we're doomed to oblivion still. What I see more and more, and has been my own experience is that a loss of faith precipitated a mental health breakdown, most commonly seen in serious bouts of depression or activation of childhood bullshit previously kept in submission by religion. What are we to make of this phenomenon? It is a question that has had major significance for me of course, and I have seen it intimately in other family members even. How do we bridge the gap from a shift in a belief, to a correlation of mental health problems. In this thread, I will make several observations about the role of religion is in mental health, and also conclude with some of my personal speculation on why monotheistic religions, such as Christianity or Islam constitute such a major change in cognitive behavior that it can sometimes lead to significant health challenges. Point #1 | The Genetics of Depression Since the most commonly suffered ailment of those who come out of Christianity is Depression, this is a particularly interesting case to examine. What we find is that when it comes to heritability, we do see that it is heritable in a different way. These genes when turned on, are only really activated through childhood trauma or other related stressors which can occur in formative years. This was true in my case, as I have a nearly perfect score on the Adverse Childhood Experience test, and also true for my siblings who now all deal with similar issues as myself. This brings the next connection point of trauma and its relationship to the genetic predisposition to mental health problems, but also how trauma can relate to spirituality and religion. Point #2 | Trauma and Meaning This combination of a genetic predisposition and associated trauma is a trap that many people sadly face, as it lays the foundation as well for questioning religion. Here is an excerpt of an interesting study on this subject which can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269830/ "Religious and spiritual cognitions should be considered in the context of trauma, because religious beliefs comprise a substantial part of many people’s global meaning system and therefore inform their coping responses (Park, 2005), and because they address issues of existential meaning, which may be called into question by trauma (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). Most often, religious meaning systems provide a helpful vehicle for making sense of seemingly random, nonsensical, or tragic events, by seeing them as part of a larger, more benign plan (Frazier et al., 2004; Pargament, 1997). Indeed, religion can be involved in changing the appraised meaning of a stressful situation by (a) providing a means to make more benign reattributions, (b) helping the individual to see the positive aspects of the stressful situation, and (c) facilitating perceptions of stress-related growth (Park, 2005)." This study also points to the fact that religion is used as an aid, albeit archaic one, for managing the stress from trauma as it becomes integrated with your memory by becoming integrated in your meaning system. The problem can become worse though, when such beliefs become deprogrammed and the integration of those memories is broken up. Here I will get into what I speculate is the case given my experiences and research on the subject. Speculation The example of Martin Luther's guilt is an example of mental health surely, but also of how obsessed one can become when one truly considers the reality of a divine judge. The guilt you feel for having lied, or masturbated, or having sex, or even just not believing enough can be crippling as a Christian. This guilt management can for many people be a sort of container for what I would consider larger mental health problems, manifested in the obsession with guilt. However, for even the average Christian it becomes an embedded cognitive habit which is exceedingly difficult for people to break, as some here even have trouble separating the concept of hell from this feeling which creates all sorts of odd cognitive dissonance after the fact. The thing is, is that those who suffer from major depression also deal with tremendous guilt, or what I would characterize as self-aggression which can be exacerbated by the cognitive patterns given by Christianity, but without the absolution of having that guilt taken away by the mechanisms of forgiveness. You also have a preponderance of trauma which is generated by the church itself, whether that be through sexual molestation of children by ministers, as has been reported on this site countless times sadly. The beliefs themselves can be traumatizing, if you as a child are introduced to the concept of eternal torment and the conception that loved ones will be there. This means that you're setup for all the reasons to doubt your faith, such as it appears to be bullshit (i.e. hell), hypocrisy and harm from supposed believers, and of course the suffering experienced in your own lives which contradicts the idea of a benevolent god. But for many here, they also have been setup for a trap of mental health but find in many cases a nihilistic conception of the world to hold on to which will feed the despair and anguish. What I mean is that having always looked outside of oursevles for that which gives us meaning, and that what we are grateful for, I think the challenge each of us faces in the absence of the divine is to truly address our humanity and our own existence. Yeah I don't believe in god, but what do I believe in now? What do I stand for, and what gets me up and gives me purpose in the morning? These are not questions which are made irrelevant or unanswerable by the absence of religion, religion only gave us the illusion that there was only one right choice when really we get to make it up. There is no ideal blueprint for life, and the acceptance of our past as not the result of cosmic evil but of natural causes which when reflected on should promote compassion and forgiveness independent of some mandate that we do it or we won't be forgiven. What I am saying is that even though losing your faith may precipitate a mental health episode in your life, don't forget that reality has far more tools to help you in these battles than superstition ever did. Just make sure you don't lose community with others, as the reality is we are all social beings who need relatively healthy doses of human contact to maintain stability. Understanding your biological and psychological nature gives you the freedom to explore answers based in science, rather than having to grasp in agony waiting on god. These are my thoughts and speculations on this subject matter, what are your thoughts about the relationship between losing your faith and mental health, and what has worked for you after the fact in order to move forward if you did have these challenges? Thanks for reading, TS
  12. 8 points
    If the only times you can force yourself to show up in a church are weddings and funerals, you might be an ex-christian.
  13. 8 points
    You might be an ex-christian if you love these memes......
  14. 8 points
    Sin isn't an issue in your life anymore.
  15. 8 points
    This is the crux of the "good news": god created you just the way you are; but he refuses to accept you just the way you are. Who the fuck needs a god like that?
  16. 7 points
    Man, you are now free. Before, you were nothing but a worm, undeserving of salvation, saved only by grace by a god who couldn't look at you unless you were hidden from his sight by his son's blood. You were constantly held to an impossible standard designed to keep you feeling guilty and thus designed to keep you under the thumb of your church, your rituals. Now, your life is an open canvas. You are only limited by physics, morality (don't hurt people) and your own mind. Do stuff. Explore stuff. Push boundaries. Enjoy life. There is no sky daddy judging you.
  17. 7 points
    Arguing the faith with a believer is like trying to calmly use a malware infected computer. The computer was loaded with it with the thought that this is going to help; the computer is no longer "thinking" correctly nor can it; has been hijacked by a program that has its own intentions and will carry them out at the expense of the other data and even the desires of the operator; it protects itself from being removed by disabling common tools that the user would have to get back to normal; the malware may keep promising that it is protecting the computer and urgently displaying warnings about what is to come if more malware isn't paid for NOW!!!! Christianity, like other cult programs, infects the mind with promises of love, salvation, relationship with daddy in heaven, and once infected has self-protection defenses against being removed, believers will warn of demons and devils and the horror of damnation and never consider how very unloving, unholy, cruel, sadistic, narcissistic, and psychotic their god is, even though the evidence is staring them in the face (Bible). The more the malware spreads, the more it may seem normal to other users. The only way out I've seen is when the system check finally realizes that something is terribly wrong and begins undermining the malware and not heeding the dire warnings. It took me a year to undo 30 years of ardent faith in Jesus, and I had the help of the other "techs" here who deconverted before me. Now when I see the same infection in others, I would very much like to disable the malware but I don't have admin rights to the system. Only they do. So if they are content with it, and see it as helpful instead of harmful, there is little that can be done. Only those who question, who doubt, can find their way out. But keep talking to them regardless of your frustration. Something may replay what you said and it may be the system interrupt needed to start the process.
  18. 7 points
    So I was sitting down during worship in church on Sunday next to my brother when an impudent toad known as "Brother Eric" (a newlywed whose wedding in the church we attended a few weeks ago), came up to me and began demanding that I stand up and "get involved". (To add to the irony, I was holding a copy of Nietzsche's Ecce Homo which I intended to read during the service but ultimately ended up too pissed off to do). I stood up in order to make him go away. Then after a few seconds I furiously stormed out of the room and went to the bathroom to calm down for a bit. It was insulting and humiliating. How dare this jumped-up prick ask me to stand up. Does he think I'm a child? I doubt he would have treated an older person in such an arrogant and despicable fashion. He wouldn't have the balls. I have no intention of allowing this to happen in future Sundays. I will sit down if I want to and I refuse to be bullied by holier-than-thou idiots in the church staff. It's church, not a Nazi Party rally. They can go screw themselves.
  19. 7 points
    If you agree to go to a religious service you tacitly agree to observing their customs, protocol and generally refrain from being disruptive. If you can't handle that, then don't go at all. It's just adult behavior and common sense.
  20. 7 points
    Apologetics is so easy when you can just make shit up about God on the fly.
  21. 7 points
    My initial reaction was to say to her, grow the fuck up and quit whining. Religion wasn't created to make you, or anyone else, feel good, needed, or wanted. Religion was created to extort gullible people, like you, out of your money so the Church Hierarchy can live a comfortable, if not luxurious, life style. Why do you think religion has to brainwash their adherents? It's because people, if they aren't brainwashed, would never believe the bullshit they're selling. An invisible man in the sky watching and listening to everything you do and say that will burn you alive forever if you don't follow his rules? Seriously, who in their right mind would believe that? Religion is the oldest con game in the world. It's all about rewards, punishment, and controlling the membership and separating the suckers from their money. I was hoping the Millennials were sufficiently educated enough to figure out that that Bible simply isn't true literally or historically, that there is no such things as invisible deities that live up in the sky. Did you not take any science classes in school? Mankind has actually explored deep into space and guess what. Yep, not a single invisible deity has been found. When you were in school did anyone ever mention DNA, genetics, evolution and stuff like that? No? They told you an invisible man in the sky created everything, and you believed it? Who would believe that God created the world in 6 days by speaking everything into existence and then Adam and Eve sinned and everyone born after that is going to be punished for that? Seriously, who would believe that story if they weren't brainwashed? I thought Millennials were supposed to be the best educated folks the world has thus far produced. Apparently they are no smarter or less gullible than their parents, grandparents, and great, great grandparents. Solomon was apparently right, there is nothing new under the Sun.
  22. 7 points
    Has he tried begging to da lawd about that? I think they call it, wait, "praying", yeah that's the word...
  23. 7 points
    I don't believe I have insulted you in this forum. But when you go into an Exchristian forum. (People that once truly believed in the bible) and say this. That is not just an opinion. That is an incredible insult to the people here. And just because you apologised doesn't mean we have to forgive you. That's a bible thing and we've already said the bible is BS. This also makes me think this was your reason for coming here. You saw a forum with a bunch of people you thought were weak. So maybe you said to a buddy or yourself. Ha I'm bored I'm gonna fuck with these losers and make them think I'm a christian. I could probably make a better arguement than some of these other christian on here. And it didn't work. Because for one, you have no knowledge of the bible to draw from. And two, we do and we can already see how truly flawed the bible is. How is someone who doesn't know jack shit about the bible going to make an arguemrnt on it here? Seriously? Now I'm going to insult you. Your a fucking immature idiot asshole who got the only sensible christian on this thread to call you a deuche bag. I would have to say that if that is what you were going for you succeeded. And since we've already seen your keen debating ability when you were playing the Christian (which were weak) then I guess that means your weak. There are people dealing with real life issues as a result of their christian experience. Some worse than others according to how abusive the teaching of the church happened to be. Maybe even some from true cults who had "prophets" and "pastors" and "Catholic priests" that molested children and such. These people are the ones that are the strong ones who are rebuilding their whole concept of reality well into their lives. I'm in my 30s and have just realised it was all a lie. Some people are senior citizens before they realized this. Can you imagine living almost your whole life or even half of your life believing in something like that to find out it was all a waste? Then some pimple popping deuce bag like yourself comes in here and basically calls them all weak. Weak for what? Being indoctrinated since childhood that the bible was true and then actually realising on their own, through study and rational thinking that it wasnt? How many children do you know that believe in Santa clause? A lot right? We're you disappointed when you found out he wasn't real? I know I was. Now imagine this. Your parents teach you Jesus, your friends parents teach them Jesus, your whole family BELIEVE and teach you Jesus. NO ONE EVER SAYS OTHERWISE. your whole life. So you believe in Jesus, heaven, God, and an after life. Just like everyone else you love. It is anything but imaginary to you. Just like for billions of kids Santa isnt imaginary to them. Hell they even have news companies on christmas "tracking santas slay" But at some point you stumble on something that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that that the bible is all a lie. Everything you know to be true has just crumbled around you. And with it your relationship with your friends, parents, aunts, uncles, wives, and even your kids. How would you feel bibler? These people are not weak because they are having such a hard time with this. They are stronger than your immature ass ever will be for realizing these things and still continuing on to rebuild their lives on the truth even tho everyone else they know are against them. So with that I will bid you a hardy Farwell with a good ole fashioned. Go fuck yourself bibler, Dark Bishop
  24. 7 points
    DB, This is only my opinion. I believe that it is 'high' empathy. (Almost too much empathy) Most people who have high empathy are very sensitive and feel emotions very strongly. I feel everything very strong. I can't kill a bug. The fact is that the cross was a form of torture. It wouldn't surprise me if they still used this form of torture today as I feel we haven't completely come out of the dark ages yet. You are probaby a highly sensitive person. The thought of anyone dying this way would bother you. If any type of abuse shakes you to your core, you could be a highly sensitive personality and it can be a curse because HS personalities suffer more depression. People like us were 'sitting ducks' for the story of Christ. Stay away from anything that might trigger you. (Hug)
  25. 7 points
    Hi I arrived here today for the first time via some historical Jesus research I was doing. Unfortunately the internet didn't exist when I had my Xianity is bullshit revelation. I was left to research the old way, library and bookshops. I read a lot ! I was just a teenager and my dad died which I couldn't reconcile with the caring god of the bible and Jesus his son who died on the cross for me ! Anyway I ended up reading all sorts of stuff on other religions and none. I meditated. Eventually I read about astral projection and all sorts of eastern theology which led me to my own enlightenment. I was born and raised Xian by my mother who died 5 years after my dad, gods will again hahaha. I am glad I was led to this site today. Keep up the good work.
  26. 7 points
    I'm describing you about as "dishonestly" as you are describing us. You may not be meaning to convey that you think we are these ignorant rebels, who "understand not what we do," but that's wrong. We understand exactly what "we have done." You skirt around basic logic with even more basic illogical statements. "Logic" (which god created) is "of the world" (which god created) and has "been perverted" (god did this) because of "the fall" (god could fix it) which your god orchestrated as part of his almighty plan makes no heathen-ly sense. What you are telling us is: "Good news, you're going to roast in hell for all eternity. Because you motherfucking deserve it, you disgusting and sinful piece of shit. Your ancestors fucked up, as part of his holiness' magnificent plan, because your god set them up to fail. Unless, of course, you believe that god, in his perfect and powerful will, conceived of this giant troll plan to slaughter himself manifested as his son to calm the bloodthirsty rage at your sinful existence enough to tolerate you again. You see, there must be blood, because he loves that shit. The pleasing smell of blood calms him enough to tolerate your sin and if it's not going to be an animal's blood, or your blood, it must be his own son's (as himself, of course). This is, obviously, because only his own holy, righteous blood atones for your sin due to his unattainable, immovable standard. Believing in this holy zombie jew's bloody sacrifice as payment for your unwitting transgressions is the only way, because it's the only payment acceptable to our heavenly father. So, have faith. But only God can only give that faith to you. So you'll have to cross your fingers and hope that you are one of God's favorite people. Because he did plan in the beginning that you would roast in hell for not believing and you can't change his sovereign plan. Unless...of course you do believe. In which case it was his plan that you believe. He just wants a relationship with you, you see, but he prefers the relationship on his terms. He prefers only to test you, reveling in your tears, cries, and pleas with him to have mercy because it points to his majesty and his ultimate glory. And this life of trials isn't even the worst part. He'll fucking torture you forever if you don't believe. Because, remember, God loves you so much." If you do not see a problem with any of this....at all, then we're done here and there is nothing to discuss. You look down on us as if you've been given some sort of secret, divine wisdom that we shall never have and you get high off of it. If we are destined for hell, as you have said, because we are all mired in sin, which you have said, without escaping it because of our ancestors, which you have said.....then it sounds like we are just categorically fucked, excuse my french. You can go to sleep tonight knowing that not only have you not converted any of us back, you have confirmed why we left in the first place and have sent us running even further "from the lord." I "have faith" that your god, if he exists, is evil incarnate.
  27. 7 points
    I have a friend near where I live. He is under much stress. His wife is fighting cancer. He is trying to convince himself he can do fine and ignore that he is worried and under stress. Well.....he snapped at me and went off on me and others at a BBQ last Saturday. Today, I received a very apologetic letter for his behavior. Upon reading the letter and then thinking about what I would say, I got on the phone where I told him that we are fine, we are still friends, and that never ended. I told him that the stress he is feeling is totally understandable and he should not ignore it and even get some help. It told him that it is OK to be human once in awhile. This guy is a retired Lt. Colonel from the US Airforce, he is Catholic. He takes things like this and beats himself up WAAAAAAAY too much. I have been where he is at in terms of stress fucking you up. What is bad, he will do his best to ignore but that will, in the end, consume him. What is funny, is that the most church going folks are the least forgiving of the bunch he snapped at. He knows I don't believe. He told me that he has received more kindness and forgiveness from me than the other, church going folks that he yelled at. I found that kind of profound.
  28. 7 points
    You don't want to forgive other people for being assholes.
  29. 7 points
    If you purposefully avoid saying that "you'll pray for someone" and choose to actually do something to help another person's predicament, you might be an ex-christian.
  30. 6 points
    Matthew 22:21 Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's. Now this part will make sense later but if it's anyone else, like Kentucky, then fuck'em. Taxes are really just a gun to the head." Weird how I never noticed how that verse really went before. mwc
  31. 6 points
    Those of you who have been around these parts for a while know that I live in Russia. I decided it was high time I started a blog covering some of my experiences and observations here. I'm not the only American living in the country, but there aren't many of us and certainly not many who have lived here as long as I have so I imagine I have an unusual perspective to offer. So far, I think it offers up some interesting insight -- I hope. I'd love to know what you all think. Most of all, I hope you enjoy: http://ddharder.wixsite.com/thequixoticdefector
  32. 6 points
    I had an interesting conversation with my ex-pastor last night. Anyone who has seen my post about him emailing me for money will know who he is. I agreed to meet with him for ice cream last night to see if I could still talk to him as a friend even though I'd stopped attending church. I was half right, half wrong. Once we had exhausted "catching up" topics, he pounced on my thought processes for having left church. He is a younger pastor (33, I think), so I at least didn't have the problem of speaking to someone twice to thrice my age. I had explained to him why I stopped having faith in god and he listen patiently. Then he made it seem like my responsibility to ask him and his colleagues questions about god's validity (using apologetics, I'm sure). Instead of them having to explain to me why their god is the true god. He likes to claim that christianity is the thinking man's religion, as if listening to both christian and atheist viewpoints (as he does) somehow makes his religion more credible because he chooses christianity in the end. Christians truly do love shifting the burden of proof.
  33. 6 points
    I was raised in fairly conservative churches/schools. Gradually I started to move away from some of the more extreme elements of that, I believed in evolution, didn't take the Genesis creation narrative literally, was open to certain Bible stories being myths, exc.. Even since I was a little kid and first found out what gay people were I've never understood why anyone cared what gender you liked. The reason I ultimately rejected the whole thing isn't because of anything in the outside world, though, to go along with the whole idea of "faith" you need to accept believing in things that aren't verifiable anyway. Instead it's that the central premise of Christianity doesn't make sense to me now that I've finally seriously examined it, and that the god described in the Bible doesn't sound all wise or all good. It boils down to- A- One thing I've always struggled with is why Jesus needed to die on the cross in order to save people. I got into a lengthy exchange with a school teacher when I was 7 or 8 about this and never got a satisfactory answer. The Bible makes very clear that god can do anything, so why can't he forgive people without killing someone else? Recently I've thought about this in even more depth and it goes beyond the issue of whether god is omnipotent. Forgiving people because Jesus died doesn't make any sense. If I'm going to forgive someone, I don't insist that some random, unrelated person be punished before I can forgive someone. I can either forgive them or I can't. Someone might respond by saying "but that's why god is merciful" but if he were truly merciful wouldn't he be able to forgive someone without killing an unrelated innocent person? Christians consistently say that we should "forgive as god forgives" but wouldn't that mean that when someone asked our forgiveness we'd have to go and crucify someone first before we could forgive them? That kind of thinking only makes sense in the context of a society built around animal sacrifices. It makes the Bible sound less inspired by an all knowing, timeless god and more like a product of a primitive ancient civilization. People try to explain this with the analogy that Jesus is like our parent and it's like he paid for a window that we broke. But that analogy doesn't work because breaking a window isn't a moral issue, and paying for it isn't retribution. It's just an issue of someone suffering a loss and that loss being made right, irrespective of who actually is the one paying. A better analogy would be someone being sentenced to death and Jesus taking their place. But nothing works like that. Even if someone for some reason volunteered to be executed in another person's place, that wouldn't nullify the sentence of death on the other person. Retribution is attached to the person who committed the crime. Again, Christians would say that that is why god is merciful, but if he were truly merciful why couldn't he just forgive people. Killing Jesus was irrelevant to any sins anyone has committed. Another thing Christians say is that the crucifixion was to satisfy god's wrath against our sins. That makes him sound like an unenlightened barbarian, not an infinitely wise god who created the universe. He's so angry that he wants to take it out on someone who did nothing to him? Yet the Bible says humans are supposed to control their anger. But it also says we're to be "holy" like god, and being holy apparently includes murdering innocent people to punish them for things other people did. Add to that that Jesus' sacrifice isn't at all proportionate to evils he's answering for. Killing one person supposedly answers for the death that everyone who has ever existed deserves? Add to that that Jesus didn't truly "die" in the narrative, he never went to hell and came back from the dead. If God is merciful enough to accept a non-proportional sacrifice why isn't he merciful enough to just forgive anyone who asks? Continuing on the topic of forgiveness, for me not forgiving someone means I stay angry at them, it doesn't mean I want someone to be sent to hell and tortured for all eternity after they die. I don't really want that to happen to anyone. Even for someone like Hitler, I'd be sufficient with just letting him die, or just not letting him into heaven and having stay in cosmological limbo. Wanting to endlessly torture someone is vindictive, sadistic, and evil. Especially when it's not just mass murderers but even someone who commits a "sin" as small as stealing a cookie from a cookie jar as a small child. B- I've had some serious bouts of depression recently and I thought in relation to god that if I truly loved someone and I could ensure that they wouldn't feel like this, then I would. Of course the common rebuttal to this is that there are lots of people with worse problems than me, but that just compounds the point. If you look at all the suffering that has occurred throughout history, would a good and loving god allow it all to happen? If a person knew about a child getting raped by someone, didn't tell anyone, and did nothing to stop it, there isn't a court in the world that wouldn't convict that person. Any Christian would agree that it was a sin to not intervene. And yet that's what god does for every murder and every rape that has ever occurred. Again, if we're supposed to be "holy" like god, wouldn't that mean that we'd be as indifferent to all this as he is? I know that the Christian conception of god gives people the free will to sin and that's why we're responsible for our actions. That makes sense for sins that don't directly effect anyone else, like getting drunk, gambling, consensual fornication, lust and so forth. But in the case of sins against others, if it's such a serious sin against another person to justify sending someone to hell, then wouldn't it also be a sin to be able to stop that sin and not do it? Christians talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue. They defend god allowing, say, 9/11 to happen by saying that people's souls are eternal. But if killing another person is serious enough to warrant sending the murderer to hell, wouldn't it be serious enough for god to intervene and stop it? C- This is a smaller thing and it's an issue I've always had, but the New Testament is terribly inconsistent in regards to how to attains salvation. On the one hand there's John 3:16, and on the other hand there's the book of James, which pretty much goes full Catholic. People try to explain away the book of James by saying that the "works" described are simply an outgrowth of faith, but the book specifically says "faith without works is dead" implying that someone who actually does have faith but doesn't couple it with good works is going to hell. Even more blatantly John says "whosoever believeth in me shall not perish but have everlasting life" but then James explicitly says that belief in Jesus is not enough noting that "Even the demons believe and shudder". That sounds like something written by two different authors and not inspired by one source. I could write more, but this is the main stuff. I just finished graduate school and am stuck living at home until I find a job. I'm going to keep going to church with my parents and not rock the boat for now. I'll probably formally "come out" once I'm living somewhere else. I thought of myself as a "bad Christian" who didn't pray that much, but it didn't occur to me how much I really did throughout the day until now, I find myself thinking "Oh yeah, he's probably not real" a lot of the time now. I get the periodic worry about going to hell, and worrying about not being able to pray when I'm afraid, but mostly I feel really good, because I think these are things I've known deep down for a long time. PS- I was automatically logged out when I spent a lot of time writing this and worried that my long post would all be gone and thought "thank god" when I saw that it was all here. Some habits take a while to go away.
  34. 6 points
    That doesn't mean you can't piss them off with "prayer requests" for other people. "Dear God in heaven, hallowed by thy name.....I pray for that toad you created, Brother Eric, father.....please, father god, please help him to get it up for his wife. I know erectile dysfunction is part of the fall, pun intended as you well know, god, but please help him to overcome this, father. Fill him with your spirit, father god, and ultimately help him to be happy with his size, for you know more than any of us that 'it's not about the size of the ark,' but about 'the wife's submission and perdition.' And please help Betty's whore prodical niece, Debby, for being such a harloty piece of abominable crap, forgive her and make her paths straight....."
  35. 6 points
    If you enjoy comedy that Christians would find offensive then you might be an Ex-Christian
  36. 6 points
    I took the time to think this topic through a bit more and I do not at all see how the sacrifice of Jesus determines whether Yahweh does what is right because it’s right, or whether he does whatever he wants and then calls it right. Here are my reasons why: Right from the start, Adam and Eve were set up to fail in Eden, with your god ALREADY KNOWING how the situation would turn out. He knew beforehand that they would disobey and eat the forbidden fruit, resulting in death and the sinful nature programming that everyone is allegedly born with, making it impossible to resist the temptation to sin on our own. This means that regardless of our will, we cannot be anything but pieces of trash in the eyes of “God” and we are condemned merely for existing. Yahweh then arbitrarily decides that sin is deserving of death as a punishment. Using Jesus to atone for every sinful act committed by every human as a result of their programming to sin, does not demonstrate that Yahweh is righteous. It instead demonstrates that Jesus was nothing more than a scapegoat, with the sins of everyone else pinned on him to appease Yahweh’s sadism. If Jesus was indeed somehow “God in the flesh”, then the body of Jesus was merely a puppet being controlled by Yahweh and since Yahweh is supposedly a god and cannot die, then he sacrificed NOTHING. When you look at it closely and are actually open to questioning what the Bible is saying, you will see that Yahweh is responsible for his creations having a programming to disobey him. Not only that, but by sacrificing Jesus, he is then offering the cure for the disease he gave everyone (but only if they worship and obey him without question) and then threatening a punishment worse than death for those who either do not accept the cure or do not even believe that it exists. Stranger, I realize that you will likely never see it the way that I do and that is okay, but in the end, your god’s actions in the Bible only make him look more like a malevolent dictator and less like a loving father. You have failed to demonstrate to any of us that your god is actually righteous, let alone that he actually exists. “The Bible says so” and “God said so” are not adequate reasons for any of us to conclude that any of your assertions are correct. The errors in the Bible that Citsonga has pointed out in the “salvation from Hell” thread, such as the contradictions and the dishonesty of the gospels' authors, who took verses out of context and used them to invent prophecies that were never there, only serve to demonstrate that it is highly unlikely that any sort of god inspired the Bible. It is clear that Christianity is a religion of fear with the sole purpose of being used to control other people. It is also clear that it was humans who arbitrarily decided which Christian writings were “God’s Word” and then put them together for their own reasons. If you have evidence that your god played a role in that process, then show it to us, otherwise, you’re wasting your time here.
  37. 6 points
    Wow. As usual, all of you are freakin' awsome! Thank you @Buff, TABA, Ficino, Vigile, knightcore, Truthseeker and TrueScottsman for the wonderful replies. I read them very carefully and am so grateful for this board and it's members cause you guys (besides the two friends last night and a couple others) are the only ones to know this. I certainly did not mean to make this post all about me - it's just that when I read this-this morning, it blew me out the door because my friends talked all about this last night and I knew I needed to write this morning. Man-oh-man, ya' never know when someone posts something, how many members can relate. As I said many times, I just can't fight my christian friends about their faith. I think they are so lucky to have the hope that god is directing their every move. I once felt that very much. Mo matter what was going on, I was trying my best to trust god to show me directions for my success and fuck ups. I think the agoraphobic feelings started when I had a bad car accident that triggered me for driving. I was rear ended by a van and he sent my car flying through an intersection and my car was smashed up to the back window. I have never felt so out of control. Then I took my 90-year-old MIL to live with us and I didn't get out much for those 3 years so I lost my confidence. Add shootouts and bomb scares in malls... and all the other crap that happens in cities and I developed huge anxiety, especially knowing that no god was looking after me anymore. I couldn't even go to the movies in comfort because of the shootings that have happened in theaters. This is why I try so hard not to hear all the bad news in the world. I got a huge imagination that won't let go of 'imagines'. I need to recover for me. I need to get back on that airplane (when things get better financially) and go south in the winters and not sit there in terror during the whole flight without being so stoned on medication. So please, anyone else who can relate to Vigile s post, I'm dying to hear how you all removed the chains from your neck and came out of the dark cave into the light again. Thank you all so much. I love you guys in such a special way. P.S. I went through 3 very busy intersections today! I'll report this news to my therapist next month.
  38. 6 points
    I come from a family of scientists. If my dad said something like "If you put pennies in a dish, add some vinegar, and then sprinkle salt on it, the pennies will turn shiny," I didn't have to take his word for it. I did the experiment, and the mixture removed the tarnish from the pennies. If I was told that there was a lunar eclipse that evening, we went out in the back yard and watched it. If I didn't know whether a resistor was 4.7 ohms or 47 ohms, I plugged the leads into the volt-ohmmeter and measured it. That is a big, big "if." The last time I checked, snakes did not talk and dead people stayed dead. Literally everything I have experienced in my nearly 60 years of life points to the Bible being false, and to God and Christ being no more than fiction. I dare you to make one of your prayers work, not in your indoctrinated imagination, but in my life. I predict that you will fail totally. You have 24 hours, ending at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, July 10, 2017. If anything the least bit out-of-the-ordinary happens, I'll be delighted to announce it on the forum and then we can hash out what actually happened, and whether there's even a faint hope that your imaginary friend was responsible. In the interests of scientific rigour I request that Ex-C regulars and lurkers refrain from praying to rival deities or resorting to anti-prayer magic of any sort until the end of the experimental period. (We can always do that later.)
  39. 6 points
    When I woke up to reality, I was a bit bitter about how I had been misled and fed a lie my whole life (29 years at that point). I had built my whole life around something that I thought was a sure thing, but it came crumbling down. That was very painful and frustrating. However, to whom could I direct my bitterness? The people who taught me to believe in Christianity weren't intentionally deceiving me. They were deceived themselves, so they were just as much victims as I was. I didn't really have anyone in my life to be bitter towards, so I just had to let it go. In time the frustration subsided. Even though I still wish I hadn't been indoctrinated into religion, it's over and done with now, so for the most part I just don't think about it anymore. I just try to live a decent life by taking care of my family. It's my hope that time will heal your frustrations as well. Good luck, and enjoy the journey ahead of you....
  40. 6 points
    If you are no longer compelled to say "I lost my faith," out deference to saying "I threw my faith the fuck away," you might be an ex-christian.
  41. 6 points
    You are seeking approval hon. Once you stop seeking aprroval from everyone, you will experience freedom beyond everything you ever imagined. I did it my whole life. I totally understand. If a person is extremly important to you, sit down and talk things out. If they are not in your life on a day to day basis, it's OK to let them go. I don't even care who talks about me behind my back anymore. You will get to this point. Keep reading. Keep posting. No, I don't like hurting anyone but if they are only interested in my life for their own benefit, I let them go now. Big ((hug))
  42. 6 points
    skysoar, the experience of living is a bitter-sweet pill we all have to live with. For instance, this morning I wish I had enough money that I wouldn't have to work one more day of my life. I've been working since I was 12 years old and I'm tired of working. I got up this morning with the feeling of dread but looked at myself in the mirror a few minutes ago and told myself to shut up from whining. I have to get real angry at me. But I do it with a 'healthy' anger. I'm like a mother taking taking care of her spoiled child and I have to use disipline on myself all the time or it's real easy for me to fall into self pity. I said it many times before that 'acceptance' of the cold, hard facts of life are the answer for me. If I continue to fight against the way life is, I stay miserable. So I will force myself to make the best of the day. I will try everything in my power to see the best in the day today. I'm not always completely succesful but I put the effort in because I do not want to remain a dread to myself and others. With or without god, I always feel better if I am trying to do the right thing. There's a couple of things that I really don't want to do today but I know as soon as I do them, I will feel really good. This is how I fight my depression everyday. I look at it like an enemy and tell it that I will not let it get the best of me. I put my boxing gloves on and tell the negativity to fuck off. It's the only thing that works for me. And once I get into that 'mind-set', I generally start to feel better. I talk out loud to my brain and tell it to take better commands. I pretend to be the 'sergent' of my brain. I give it commands. The more things I force myself to do, the better I feel. So off I go to work wheather I want to or not. So I shall paste a smile on this face and go do what a million other people have to do. I consider myself to be very lucky compared to many others on this earth. But it's only when I fight my way out of self-centeredness that I can feel this way.... and it's not always easy. It's this way for me or I remain bitter and I despise that feeling. I would rather fight the good fight than to stay depressed and bitter. I hope this helps a little knowing that you are not alone in the battle of life. (hug)
  43. 6 points
    The Christianity related bitterness took me a couple years. At first I didn't realise I had any, and then when I did it took a little while to process. I'd say maybe 2-3 years overall. I had a very hard time growing up, and I missed out on a lot of opportunities so I can certainly appreciate the general bitterness you feel towards life. This is still something I am working through but I am in a much better place now in my 30s than I was in my early to mid twenties. I feel some of this is simply the time you're given to process it, but it's also the opportunities that come to you in life. For example, I met someone very special to me, and having someone else love me helped me love me. I also started working towards things I always wanted (a better career, a college degree, losing weight) and making strides towards those goals helped me too. Lastly, I started focusing less on others and more on myself. Nothing kills joy in your life more than entering a dick measuring contest. There will always be people who are more social, more attractive, who have better jobs and interesting lives (and so on and so forth). For every 1 thing that you can find that you're good at, there will be 10 others where you'll lag behind. Focus on where you were 5 years ago and how far you've come now. It'll help with the negativity.
  44. 6 points
    If on a holiday with your believing relatives, you have to bite your tongue repeatedly to keep the peace.
  45. 6 points
    Hello, I am Figures. I am decidedly indecisive (oxymoron), and much of my current life feels like I'm making oxymorons out of life choices. If that makes sense, than perhaps you can sympathize, or maybe even empathize with my plight, and recognize something within my struggles as running a parallel path to your own. I feel happily sad that I am breaking free. Because I am free, but at a cost I'm a peacefully mired in the confusion. Becoming grounded in who I am and what I think, while my world around me falls apart. I am hopefully despondent. Believing that there is a better way, in fact knowing that I am learning it, simultaneously discovering that for those around me it will most likely not be the same. I am Figures, and through both speech, and action, thought, and discovery, I hope to find some semblance of objectivity to base my logic upon, and ultimately help others to do the same. I am tenatively excited as well. My purposeful intent, will not be dismayed by fear, or by feeling, but rather be endorsed by a sound mind, built by reason and logic. I look forward to growing with you all, With hope, Figures
  46. 6 points
    Synonyms Biebs.... One of the most valued lessons in the Bible is this sir.....that we know others as Christ knew God......and they were considered one. The take home message is when we know others, then we are much more likely to understand their experiences in life and them ours......allowing for understanding and Grace. When you mock that, it just reinforces the brokenness already experienced. Take care...
  47. 6 points
    An Ex-C member recently asked me if I would talk about my journey and spirituality, so this post is by way of an answer. If you are still questioning, and haven't completely severed from Christianity, this post may be triggering for you, so exercise your judgment. I myself have been comfortably severed from Christianity for about 5 years, and don't subscribe to any religious dogma, organized or disorganized. Some think of exploring spirituality as a stop on the path to atheism; for me however, atheism was a necessary step to jettisoning religion, leaving me free to explore spirituality. What do I mean by "spirituality"? I mean human psychology, emotion, philosophy, and systems of meaning. I see spirituality akin to self-therapy. For example, studying Hindu and Zen Buddhist philosophy provides insight into the human condition. Meditation provides self-insight, and less stress/more clarity of mind. Those are all very practical things, and they make me feel good. There's nothing wrong with endorphins! My basic practice is regular meditation. There are quite atheistic strands in orthodox Hinduism, and of course in Zen Buddhism, but even theistic religions can have value if you control how you use them. For example, meditating using the Buddhist goddess Quan Jin, or the Hindu Avelokiteshtevara, or even gasp! Jesus (don't go there if you're not fully ready) as bodhisattvas of compassion is treating them as symbols of human qualities, not deities, giving a symbolic face to relate to as you begin the meditation. As you continue the meditation, the faces that served to focus you on the human quality meld into your own, and you absorb the idea and the associated emotions. It's a meditation technique. All gods/bodhisattvas etc are symbolic archetypes that spring from the human mind, they are psychological vehicles and you can use them therapuetically. They are symbols, tools. Again, this is my take on it; your mileage may vary. You'll have to find what you're comfortable with and works for you. This lets me use symbols that resonate with me from around the world. Besides, I like candles and incense. Do I value internal consistency in this? No, because emotions and human psychology are not consistent,. The subconscious doesn't care about logic. So in my journey I moved away from the black and white thinking that was useful early in my deconversion (religion=bad/atheism=good) towards an entirely different interpretation of religious symbols and rituals. Am I an atheist? Yup. But I find religious mysticism can provide the symbols and tools that are psychologically powerful and emotionally satisfying. Would I ever join a religion? No. Would these religions approve of the way I use their symbols? No. I could say more I suppose, but this is probably more than enough to generate discussion. I'm happy to talk about meditation if anyone's interested. I list my religion as "Dinner". That's pretty accurate.
  48. 6 points
    If you're in the grocery store and the only thing in your shopping cart is wine and beer, and you no longer worry about who you might run into. . . you might be an Ex-Christian!
  49. 6 points
    To touch on the main part of the question first, that is "why has Christianity managed to spread if it isn't true?" I'd simply point to other religions. Why are there billions of Muslims in the world, and hundreds of millions of Hindus and hundreds of millions of Buddhists? Your family would acknowledge that these religions are "false" and really any explanation for their spread is just as able to be applied to Christianity as it is to them. There's also some false assumptions here. Christ wasn't widely talked about. Tacitus and Pliny the Younger mention him to the extant that that's who Christians believe in, and Josephus' mention is likely a later Christian interpolation. A couple of mentions about some dude literally dying and then being raised from the dead seems highly suspicious, no? We also have to keep in mind that this was also a time where historical figures were later mythologised (such as Alexander the Great, among many others). Roman emperors were even deified. As time passes on stories have a tendency of becoming grander. If Alexander the Great can go from being a mortal to the son of a god, then why can't Jesus? Ultimately, the more I read about ancient history (especially primary sources) the more I realised how absurd it was for me to have believed in Christianity. As others have mentioned, Ehrman is a good starting point. I also recommend both volumes of "The Story of Christianity" as it gives you a nice readable history of it and will probably serve as a good foundation to anything else you read. Misquoting Jesus and Early Christianities are probably Ehrman's best books on this topic. Robert Price's "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man" is also a good book, he is somewhat "radical" in that he doesn't believe Jesus (or even the apostles, including Paul) existed but he provides pretty compelling evidence why. When you see how so many of the tales of Jesus in the gospels have equivalent pagan stories featuring different gods it makes it harder to accept that he ever really existed, and if he did then everything recorded in the gospels is made up and really gives us no insight into who he was, and only really tells us of the agenda the gospel writers were looking to push, but I digress. Ehrman and Price are good for looking at 2 different perspectives of Jesus and will probably help you formulate your own opinion. In summary, Christianity's spread can be explained by simply looking at how other religions spread. Nothing fancy there.
  50. 6 points
    If you get a little sad thinking about your old Christian friends or seeing them around town, knowing they are living in a fantasy and allowing great amounts of their time and money to be wasted supporting that fantasy.