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Giving Up On God


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#1 pinkcece

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:38 PM

Giving up on God

This is very long, but a text I wrote to get my feelings on paper. Thanks a million if you bother reading the whole thing :)

Over the past few years I have slowly begun questioning my faith. After spending years as a fervent follower of Christ, and seeking desperately to be more like, learn more about, and know Him on a deeply personal level I’ve lost the fire. I sought him through almost ceaseless prayer, Bible study, worship music, quiet times, Sunday services, prayer meetings, and reading books to deepen my understanding and to come as close to the throne of the heavenly Father as humanly possible. It was an intense quest. That lead nowhere.

I was raised as a Christian. The daughter of a magnanimous and charismatic pastor I went to church every Sunday, both morning and evening services. As I grew older I went to youth group on Fridays in addition. Easter vacation, New Year’s vacation, and weeks during summer were spent at Christian camps where we had Bible study every morning and Worship services every evening. My life was engulfed in Christianity.

In the midst of all this I still felt like I didn’t quite get it. I watched people around me seemingly deeply attached to Jesus, and living in such powerful personal relationships with Him that I figured there had to be something to it. I didn’t feel it myself, but the only plausible reason for that had to be that I wasn’t “doing it right”. I figured I just wasn’t saved yet. I must not have prayed the prayer of salvation right.

Sunday school was so boring I could barely stand it. I’d zone out most of what was said as they never said anything new. I knew every story, and moral lesson. I sung along to the songs, and folded my hands dutifully when there was prayer. After a few years I started making sure I was at the back of the line when all the kids were dismissed from the service to go down to Sunday school. I would hop off the line and disappear into the baby nursery and spend the rest of the service time down there. I loved the baby nursery. My dad knew I did it, and would occasionally ask me to go to Sunday school instead, but never made a huge deal about it.

Many write stories of being raised under the heel over overly religious and judgmental fundamental parents. I can make no such claim. My father, now passed, was one of the most amazing men I’ve ever known. His faith was truly based in a true and loving heart. His preaching of hell and damnation was always sidelined to his preaching of God’s love, forgiveness, and a conviction that through God you would be able to live a fulfilled, happy, wonderful, and exciting life. Seeking Him with a full and fervent heart was more a way of helping you be happy than a way to avoid damnation. “All” you had to do was to accept Christ as your Savior and you would be saved. He preached that hell wasn’t fiery pits of hell, but rather the absence of the love of God. My father never told me that if I didn’t listen to him that I would burn in hell. He never told me horror stories about the devil, or attempted to exorcise me if I did something wrong. My father truly loved me. He was my rock. My mother was a mentally unstable, and awfully difficult person to deal with. Without my father in my life it would have been dreadful at home to grow up in. I would never dream of disappointing him, or sadden him by telling him that I didn’t “feel it”. I knew it would break his heart. Seeing me seek God brought him such joy.

When I got old enough to go to youth group I joined with excitement. They really seemed to have it together, and I thought this was my chance to truly find the God everyone else had such a great relationship with. Unfortunately I didn’t suddenly find the answers there. So I kept playing along. I had heard enough people praying out loud over the years that I could pray with the best of them. I quickly got a reputation for being such a solid Christian. My father was so proud of me, and his approval meant everything. So I kept going, even though it felt like a total farce.

One day in youth group we were asked to draw God. That was easy enough. I had a rather clear picture of him in mind. I drew a bearded old man on a big thrown. One side of him was smiling lovingly, he was sunny and bright, had a greeting arm, a lovely lap, and looked like the most wonderful grandfather. The other side of him was one of wrath unfurled. His hair was messy, his face was furious, flames and lightning surrounded him, and his arm was raised to fight. It shocked my youth leaders. I was pulled to the side afterwards and asked to explain. I explained as well as I could that this truly was my view of God. There was the God of Love, and there was the vengeful God who killed, waged wars, and condemned people to death. I got a long talking to about how wrong I was, and quickly admitted my mistake as I knew I couldn’t convince them of my point anyway. I was never one to fight, so I just left it alone. We prayed together, and my leaders went happily on their way, I’m sure soundly believing that they had done a good job of guiding their sheep that day.

Faking falling down when prayed for, begging Jesus to save me over and over and over, crying to God, praying to God, teaching people about God, attending church, and being the best Christian I could be my teenage years went by. Besides feeling tortured by guilt that I didn’t “get it”, I truly had a good time. I had tons of friends, and we had lots of fun. It wasn’t bad. I just carried a big secret, and I certainly wasn’t going to let anyone find out.

My junior year of high school I joined a non-denominational high school ministry group, and for the first time I actually felt like I got it. I started having quiet time of Bible reading, prayer, and listening to worship music every single day. I felt at peace, I felt like I was getting there, and that I wasn’t such a fraud anymore. It felt good.

The next years of college, working, getting married, and having children, were spent totally devoted to church. I had a huge study Bible, and for a long time spent up to two hours a day in quiet time with the Lord. I wrote my prayers in a prayer journal so that I would not only keep focused on the prayer for an hour or more, but also so that I could look back and see all the answers to prayer. As the years went on there weren’t many of those. “A purpose driven life” by Rick Warren, “Prayer on Fire” by Fred A. Hartley, and “Brokenness” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss were just a few of the books I studied in an attempt to grow even closer to God. I tried to memorize 100 names of God because I heard calling him by his name would make him hear me better, because he liked to hear his names called out. I lay prostrate before God when I prayed. I wanted him to know that I had truly laid down my life for Him.

My devotion and dedication to God was noticed, and I was invited to be a part of the intercessors at our church. This was a small and exclusive group of people who were particularly called to be prayer warriors and that would storm the throne of God on behalf of our church. I was the youngest one that had ever been given such a privileged position, and I was awed, intimidated, and flattered at the same time. I vowed to pray for my church every day, and each Sunday morning we gathered to pray for an hour before the service started. This was to make sure that the service was covered by a blanket of prayer, that all demons were cast out of the sanctuary, and the space was ready for God to meet his people. Each service one intercessor would spend the entire service in the prayer room covering the service in prayer. In addition, when there would be a special service, or the head of the intercessor felt the need, we would schedule an overnight watch before the service. Each intercessor would pray for an hour before the cross in the sanctuary. My slot was between 3 and 4am. I would get up at 2:30, throw sweats on, and drive to church to lay prostrate in prayer, begging God to bring revival to our church. I would try to cry with tears. Couldn’t. I would try to stay focused. Couldn’t. Only reason I didn’t fall asleep was that it was really cold on that floor...

It would shock the intercessors to know that my time as intercessor was the beginning of my return to feeling like I didn’t get it again. I felt like a fraud. I would sit in the pre-service prayer gathering and think: “What am I doing here”. When scheduled to pray through the service I would force myself to pray hard, and I would be intensely nervous that it wouldn’t be an amazing service where lots of people were saved. After all, the battle of souls is won from the upper room, not from the sanctuary. I feared that this was when I’d be found out for who I was – someone trying to be somthing I was not. It wasn’t quite as fearful to pray from 3-4am because people were praying all night, so if my time-slot failed I figured it wouldn’t ruin the whole effect of the night. I can’t remember a single one of these nights in prayer resulting in some sort of amazing church service.

In the midst of all of this I started getting sick. I started having tremendous amounts of muscle aches and joint pain. It was so bad I couldn’t pull a plug out of an outlet. The pain would jolt through my arm. It was awful. I could barely lift my baby out of the crib, and to avoid having to lift her in and out of the high chair I would feed her sitting on the kitchen floor. It got worse and worse. I had another baby, and that set of a landslide. It got to a point where I could barely stand on my feet. My husband carried me to the bathroom, changed my clothes, and people came to clean our apartment, care for our children, and brought us dinner every single day for 6 weeks straight. Therein lies the beauty of a Christian family – they were truly there for me when I needed them. I was taken to church in a wheel chair. Nothing could keep me from the house of God.

They prayed for healing over me over and over and over. All I needed was the faith of a mustard seed, but apparently my faith wasn’t strong enough. Not that I thought it would have been. My husband went to his men’s prayer meeting “Iron men” (iron sharpens iron and all that) every Wednesday begging God to help us. God was nowhere to be found. I started slipping away. My quiet times got shorter and shorter, and eventually faded almost completely. What was the point? God wasn’t listening. I was too tired to live, much less keep up this intense search for God. I was getting luke-warm in my faith. I was getting depressed. I couldn’t be a mother to my children, or a wife to my husband. God, for all my efforts to please him, to know him, and to be near him, didn’t come through for me. For all my prostrate prayer, Bible study, dedication, devotion, time spent, and brotherly love shared, God stayed distant. What more could I do?

As I wasn’t so intensely engulfed in the Christian life it was slowly occurring to me that it was a little preposterous to believe that out of the millions of people that live on this earth my father and our little denomination of the protestant faith were the ones who got it right. Did we really have the answer? Were we truly the ones who knew the one and only way to heaven? Some churches believe in salvation through child baptism, saints, and that you must be baptized as an adult in the name of the Holy Spirit. In our church all those things were wrong. Baptism was only for adults who could make a sound and clear-minded decision to do so, and you had to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To only be baptized in the name of Christ wasn’t right. Babies are dedicated by being brought to God in prayer in front of the congregation. There are no godparents as the entire congregation promises to help raise the child in the way he should go. Saints were surely of the devil as they led us from praying to the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost to praying to deceased people. This was clearly disillusioned and wrong. It became difficult to me to swallow that our narrow interpretation of the Bible, the literal and true word of God, was the correct one. We were the ones who knew how to interpret the word of God in a way that lead us to heaven. People who interpreted it otherwise were just as doomed to hell as any atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, or satan worshipper.

As a parent myself it became more and more difficult for me to swallow that God was Love. My whole life I was told that God loved me more than anyone, more than my own parents. He knew me before I even entered my mother’s womb. He knew the number of hairs on my head and his plans were to prosper me, not to harm me. If I delighted myself in the Lord he would give me the desires of my heart. What a wonderful thought. However, as I am born a sinner I am doomed to eternal damnation. If I don’t follow the narrow path of salvation and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and spend my life following him, then hell is my reward. Even before I got a chance to do something wrong I had failed. This also meant that my children were born sinners. I had friends who were quick to point out how true this is if they saw a child throw a tantrum, or rip a toy out of another child’s hand. It just didn’t ring true to me. If God loved my children more than I loved them, and I truly and deeply love my children, then how could he have sentenced them to death? How could any simple sin, such as saying they didn’t take the piece of candy out of the cabinet while the candy was in their mouths, deserve such severe punishment? I would never, ever, wish that on my children. I would aid in their demise in any way shape or form. What kind of God is this anyway?

After a while I started feeling fairly certain that this whole “Jesus thing” was hokus pokus. I just couldn’t swallow or stomach it anymore. To reject the idea of an allmighty God, or higher power, was a different story. I have seen people healed from all sorts of things, my own brother being one of them. He suffered from a severe citrus allergy and a bothersome lactose intolerance. After his daughter prayed over him, and literally smacked him in the head with a Bible, he was healed. Why? I can’t explain it. However I also have a co-worker who had terrible back problems. She went to a healer, and after two sessions was perfectly fine. That was five years ago. This wasn’t a Christian prayer-based healing. She is not a Christian herself. Why was she healed? I can’t explain that one either. Is our mind so powerful that we can heal ourselves if we believe strongly enough? I don’t know. It seems pretty evident that healings take place other places than in the Christian church. That is pretty significant where faith is concerned. If God, or “the universe”, or whatever you would like to call it heals people without it being “in the name of God”, then how could Jesus be the only way, truth, and life?

Several seeds of doubt had been planted. This was pretty scary, because it didn’t just mean that I might not believe in God, it meant rejecting everything my father had lived and breathed for. He was everything to me, how could I do that to him?

We moved, and that meant having to find a new church. I wasn’t very inspired to. I felt defeated. My father tried to help me find a church for a while, but gave up without much of a fight. I know he prayed for me every day, probably several times a day. He approached my husband about him failing as the spiritual head of the household and asking him to bring us all back into the fold. My husband, thankfully being on the same spiritual journey as myself, didn’t heed my father’s word. It was difficult for him, as my husband respected and adored my father almost as much as I did. I believe my father decided to allow us to pursue this “crisis of faith”. He fought his war to win us back in the “upper room”, in prayer.

My father loved me. He was my very best friend. Knowing that I was causing him grief by not going to church was something I had to just put aside. I couldn’t let myself touch the emotions that evoked with a ten-foot pole. Even as an adult the mere idea of hurting him tore me apart. It wasn’t out of fear. It was out of an intense love of a magnificent man.

The day he died it felt like an earthquake. I didn’t know where to go. My safety net disappeared and I was alone. I felt like a lost little kid, and I wanted the safe arms of my dad to still be within reach. Even though I had begun rejecting his faith, his life’s work, and everything he stood for, I needed him. I believe it was his greatest sorrow that I stopped going to church. I have to live with that.

A year after his death it’s easier to allow myself to explore what I truly believe, or don’t believe. It’s easier to stomach. If he was still alive I still wouldn’t be going to church. Not living a lie has become more important to me than pleasing him. Amazingly. I guess I’ve finally cut the cord.

I don’t have the answers, but maybe I’m on my way there? I know at least that I no longer live guilt ridden, and stressing to find a relationship that isn’t there. Amazingly, I’m not sick anymore. Maybe it was the pressure? The inability to fit in? The inability to be who I was expected to be? The feeling of failure as it seemed God didn’t care to be in a relationship with me? Could be. At least today I can say that I raise my children with love, and I don’t tell them that they’re doomed and need to apologize for their very existence. I’m relieved, and infinitely happier today. I feel like a boulder has been lifted off my shoulders. It feels great.

I have no label for myself that fits right now. Atheist? Agnostic? Universalist? Somehow I feel like I need one. I don’t know why. It’s taken a long journey to get to where I am today. I suppose it’ll take a little longer before I’m finally “there”, wherever that may be.
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#2 Shyone

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 12:51 PM

I have no label for myself that fits right now. Atheist? Agnostic? Universalist? Somehow I feel like I need one. I don’t know why. It’s taken a long journey to get to where I am today. I suppose it’ll take a little longer before I’m finally “there”, wherever that may be.

Sometimes I hate labels, sometimes I embrace them. It really isn't important.

Some people approach their former religious life from the emotional viewpoint; that God was not there, or he is presented inconsistently, or things didn't go the way one would have expected if there were a god. This is all important, but I found that even when I believed there were conflicts with everything from science to the text of the bible and problems with every religion that made even the concept of "gods" incomprehensible and insane.

If you keep searching, you will know what I'm talking about. It doesn't mean that you will come to believe what I do, or that you will become an atheist, but you will know the kinds of problems that, beyond the emotional aspects of belief, make religion, and religious beliefs, unnecessary for the conduct of your life.

Welcome to Ex-C, and I hope you find what you seek, or at least the direction you wish to follow.
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#3 Citsonga

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 01:18 PM

pinkcece, that was a very touching story. Thanks for sharing.

I hope things continue to get better and that you find the answers you're looking for.

Out of curiosity, are you still confined to a wheelchair? Do you still have the physical pain? And how did your mother deal with your father's passing?
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#4 pinkcece

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:30 PM


I have no label for myself that fits right now. Atheist? Agnostic? Universalist? Somehow I feel like I need one. I don’t know why. It’s taken a long journey to get to where I am today. I suppose it’ll take a little longer before I’m finally “there”, wherever that may be.

Sometimes I hate labels, sometimes I embrace them. It really isn't important.

Some people approach their former religious life from the emotional viewpoint; that God was not there, or he is presented inconsistently, or things didn't go the way one would have expected if there were a god. This is all important, but I found that even when I believed there were conflicts with everything from science to the text of the bible and problems with every religion that made even the concept of "gods" incomprehensible and insane.

If you keep searching, you will know what I'm talking about. It doesn't mean that you will come to believe what I do, or that you will become an atheist, but you will know the kinds of problems that, beyond the emotional aspects of belief, make religion, and religious beliefs, unnecessary for the conduct of your life.

Welcome to Ex-C, and I hope you find what you seek, or at least the direction you wish to follow.


Thank you for your reply Shyone! :)

I think for me the journey started in an emotional place of frustration and feeling like no matter how hard I tried this god that everyone else had just wasn't there for me. That frustration got so strong that just the thought of reading the Bible, praying, or going to church made me feel like I was trying to walk through a wall. I just couldn't do it anymore.

Now that my life truly is SO much better than it was as a Christian I find that I am able to read up on the science etc. I don't have a stone in my stomach when I do so anymore. I don't want a replacement religion, I'd like nothing more than for it all to be over and done with when this life is over. I never, even on my most devout days, ever wanted eternal life. I'm very happy to have found Ex-C, it's helping me confirm that I'm heading in the right direction.
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#5 Fuego

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:08 PM

Welcome Pinkcece! I'd be willing to bet that some of the others that seemed to be "getting it" back the your church days were also faking it. In my first church, some "prayer warriors" didn't like others to show uncertainty or show that we struggled. They wanted pat answers and loud praise to God regardless. They had no idea how callous and cold they sounded. They wanted a homogeneous group of unquestioning drones that looked alike and prayed alike. Since people don't like to be the odd one out, they tend to conform.

We hope that Ex-C can be an oasis for the ones looking for a way out, and for those that have found their path out. I only left a little over a year ago, but it seems a lot longer. I don't resonate with everyone here, but there are enough with a similar background to make it a healing place for me.
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#6 Dagan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:41 PM

Thanks for sharing that story, it was very powerful.

The phantom pain thing reminded me of something -- before I deconverted, while I was still a Christian but was just starting to doubt, I had terrible pains in my guts. Sometimes they were so bad I could barely walk straight. I don't have them anymore.

I wonder if they were a manifestation of the turmoil in my mind. Maybe the mind really is powerful enough to translate mental stress into physical pain.

I'm glad to hear your partner is on a similar path as you. That must be a real relief!

I hope you find a place here, and thanks again for sharing.
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#7 pinkcece

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 04:37 AM

Thank you all for replying. I look forward to getting to know you better as I surf around the boards :)

Citsonga:
I replied to you yesterday, but it seems the post disappeared... strange. Anyhow: This site and links I find from here are definitely helping me confirm that I'm finding the right direction. Makes me feel like I can breathe again.

I am not bound to a wheel chair. I was extremely ill for a while so for a few months I was being carried to the bathroom, and if I left the house I needed a wheel chair to get around - which means I really didn't leave the house. I only went to doctor's appointments, and church. With good medical help from an amazing doctor (yay for science) I am now able to work full time at a job that fits me like a glove. I get tired extremely easily and always have some level of pain, but it's manageable. I'm just thankful to be free of guilt, and able to function every day :) When you've lost that ability you appreciate the little things more.

Interesting that you'd ask about my mother... after my father died he suddenly turned into a "saint", and their marriage was "amazing", and she "loved him so much". The fact that she screamed on a daily basis that she hated him and that she would do everything in her power to ruin him seems to have slipped her mind completely. I speak to my father's therapist sometimes (long story) and she believes my mom is creating a new reality in her own head because she can't handle the truth. Maybe so. I could certainly write a book on what it's like to have an alcoholic pastor's wife for a mother - sheeesh!


Jabbrwokk:

I really think that mental stress can cause physical pain. If we don't deal with things emotionally then our physical body will start reacting. Because I've been through a tremendous amount of insanity (at the hands of my mother) I've had to learn to be able to just suck it up and move on. That hasn't done me any favors. I also used to have horrible stomach pain as a Christian. I was even tested for Chron's disease, and eventually they said I have irritable bowel syndrome. Now I haven't had stomach pain like that in a couple of years. I live a more honest life today, I'm not constantly stressing with hiding all the skeletons in the closet. I think that is actually a big part of me being healthier today.

Fuego:
I think you're right. There are definitely more people faking it. In our church it was really "in" to be "broken". Constantly confessing what a failure you were was the thing to do. The trick was to have the right wrong thing to confess ;) You had to appear broken before God and confessing your flaws and at the same time stay "holy" enough to be an intercessor. Maneuvering my way through that life, and having to hide my mother's insanity in the midst of it all, has made me quite skilled at diplomacy, reading faces/body language, and communication. I now work in the communications field, and at this point I find that the one good thing out of this all is that it actually, weirdly, makes me better at my job. I can navigate pretty stormy seas.

There's a lot of great stuff here at Ex-C :)
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#8 Citsonga

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:45 AM

Thanks for the reply. It's good to hear that your physical condition is much better and that you've got a really good job.

Enjoy the journey ahead of you....
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#9 HRDWarrior

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:46 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum - I truly enjoyed reading through your story.

I wouldn't worry too much about labels - if your journey turns out to be anything like mine, you'll go through a lot of them before you settle somewhere lol! Sounds like you're already reading up on things and staying honest to yourself, that is one of the greatest things about my own deconversion - no longer living a lie.

As for stress/mental issues causing health problems, that is a very real thing, much of which has actually been proven by science. I would highly recommend looking into adrenal fatigue if you haven't. Although not uncommon, I've yet to hear a regular doctor bring it up as a cause for a lot of issues. In women especially it can be the root cause of many health problems, and adrenal exhaustion can take months to recover from, if not longer. Getting a good dose of Omega-3's specifically is helpful. I went through a very stressful time a couple years ago that led me to adrenal exhaustion - once I knew what the issue was, I was able to respond properly, but until then, no one suggested it as a cause to my symptoms. Someone on another forum I was part of saw the same symptoms as she had gone through when she had adrenal problems - well worth looking into.

Glad to have you here!
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#10 pinkcece

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 02:46 PM

That is one of the greatest things about my own deconversion - no longer living a lie.


I feel exactly the same. In the church choir we used to sing the song Shackles and the chorus goes "take the shackles off my feet so I can dance, I just wanna praise you" etc. Well it wasn't until I stopped the praising that I felt the shackles came off. Relief.

I will look into adrenal fatigue. Thanks for the tip :) - and thank you for taking the time to read my story :)
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#11 chercheur

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 12:34 PM

I read it all. :grin: Fascinating, well-written and deeply painful. I could have written a lot of that myself. So very like my experience in some major ways.

I am so sorry you went through so much pain, and not only that, felt so alone in it. I often wonder how different things would have been for me if someone in my life had "made room for" the reality of doubts/questions/wondering. Instead I felt like the lack of intimacy with Jesus was my fault, something I was doing wrong, or something I hadn't done. Not in a religious way...I understood from age four when I asked Jesus in my heart that it wasn't a religion, but a relationship. I was taught and believed that Jesus didn't just die for my sins; he died because he longed for a personal relationship with me and was just WAITING for me to take part in it. So deeply painful to pour everything I had into it and it not work...it genuinely felt like honest-to-god heartbreak, rejection and as though I, for some reason, no matter how hard I tried to "surrender all," failed over and over.

I'm writing a book about the way evangelical Christianity fails as a relationship and I'd really love to quote you and anyone else who experienced something similar. Please get in touch with me. I think my profile links to my blog, but if not it's www.livinginabeautifulmess.blogspot.com
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#12 JohnK

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 04:03 AM

"Not living a lie has become more important to me than pleasing him. Amazingly. I guess I’ve finally cut the cord."

Pretty amazing story. Your story makes my own experience with Christianity seem like a walk in the park. Your quote about not living a lie anymore definitely resonated with me. I gave up Christianity because, at the end of the day, it just doesn't make sense and doesn't seem to work. The so-called inerrant word of god is full of contradictions and absurdities. There is no noticeable difference between Christians and non-Christians. Answers to prayer towards the Christian god can easily be attributed to other causes or events. In other words, Christianity showed every indication to me that it was just not true. Some people may stay in the church even after they lose their faith, because it provides a social network for them, or because it still gives them good feelings, or because all their family and friends are Christians and they are afraid to "come out of the closet". When I lost my faith, I never set foot in a church again, and I threw away all my Christian books and belongings. I knew that any further time spent worshiping a man-made god would be just more unrecoverable time wasted on a man-made religion.

I think you are very brave to be rejecting the religion that you grew up in, and it must be very painful as well because your dad invested so much of himself in it. It shows that the truth matters to you more than anything else, and that is something to be admired.

Good luck to you!
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"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." -Stephen F Roberts

#13 StevoMuso

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 04:18 AM

To JohnK, Chercheur and Pinkcece - welcome. Read all your stories with fascination and heart-felt empathy. Pinkcece ... can I please post your story onto my blog? It's brilliantly written and would make a valuable contribution to my research. And JohnK and Chercheur? I collect stories of people who have converted from Christianity to atheism and post them onto my blog. I started a thread on this subject here if you'd like to check it out. There is also a link to the blog on the first post - would LOVE to hear from you guys.
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#14 zandurian

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:24 AM

Read the whole thing too *gold star* :HaHa: Actually it was an enjoyable, easy read.

Sounds like your dad had the right heart but just didn't know how to express it outside of Christianity? In any case, the relationship is what matters.


It's funny how things go in opposites. Sometimes a miserable atheist finds peace in Christianity, and sometimes a miserable Christian finds peace in Atheism.

I was the miserable atheist who had a spiritual awakening. I became a universalist but worked with 'regular' Christian organizations that were the type like your father pastored - a big focus on God's love and loving others.

After 911 I just couldn't take the fear and negativity and "end time" doomsday scenario - it was confusing the hell out of my 16 year old daughter so I quit (I was a music director) and told my daughter about my universalism.

I think the doctrine of hell makes parents so scared about what their kids believe. I'm a firm believer in exposing a child to various options and ideas and letting them find their own path or it's not real to them. Of course I do think I'm right and all but would hate to force feed a certain belief on my kids and put them trough the anguish like you went through.

Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Edited by zandurian, 17 March 2010 - 06:26 AM.

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#15 lulukan

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:03 AM

Wow! What an awesome story!

I am so sorry about your dad. :( That had to be rough losing someone so close to you. He sounds like the kind of person we would expect a christian to be.

I felt the same way as a teenager- like a fake. I felt that I was missing something that everyone else knew but me. Had I prayed wrong? Maybe I did not have a right to take that communion last week? Did I have unforgiven sin? I had these questions always going through my mind. My dad was the assistant pastor at our church and I was told what I believed, how to act, and that I needed to be a good example.

I think it is cool and funny that your dad let you escape to the nursery. I tried to do that a few times, so much nicer to hang out there!

Thanks for sharing your amazing story! :)
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#16 OnceConvinced

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 04:15 PM

Great story indeed. I think it's a classic example of Christianity and the games we play with ourselves. It is all a game and you play it the way everyone else plays it, or at least you do your best to. Not that any of us are insincere when we do, I certainly wasn't. Sometimes I think it's even psychological. Like when you're standing up being prayed for. Everyone else is falling over, slain in the Holy spirit, so you should too. So you feel a little light headed? a little dizzy maybe? Oooh, did I just reel a little there? Ok, I better fall backwards, it's the Holy spirit prompting me.

Yep, I'm convinced it's all just a big game and all Christians participate in it. Some are more convincing than others and some are more deluded than others. That's the way it is.

As for healings, I wonder just how much is mind over matter and postive thinking. Those things are a lot more powerful than many people think.
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Check out my website where I poke a bit of fun at Christianity:  http://reckersworld.jimdo.com/

 

Breaking free from the Christian delusion is a lot like giving up smoking. Many will fail. They are the weak ones who never really broke the addiction in the first place. Those who succeed will go on to live a happier and healthier life without the need for the damaging nicotine that is Christianity.


#17 hamashiachfollower

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 10:26 PM

Spoiler



Message from moderator:

Read the f*ng guidelines for this forum!

Hans

Edited by Ouroboros, 20 March 2010 - 10:44 AM.

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#18 bdp

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 11:07 PM

...letting a few things that Christians did inside of a church influence your entire worldview.


Wrong answer, try again.
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#19 hamashiachfollower

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 11:20 PM

Spoiler

Edited by Ouroboros, 20 March 2010 - 10:45 AM.

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#20 Citsonga

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 09:35 AM

I completely disagree with faith based on feeling. I think that it better have a rational substance to it, or its not worth having.


Beware: That's exactly the stance I took as a christian, and it eventually led me to realize that christianity is irrational.

PS - Proselytizing is forbidden in the Testimonies and Ex-Christian Life forums, so you're breaking the rules by posting here. Go to one of the other forums if you want to proselytize.

Edited by Citsonga, 20 March 2010 - 09:38 AM.

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