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Loopylou    38

I've just joined this site as I'm an ex-Christian. I've left the church three times. The first was when I was five and refused to go to Sunday School any more after being ordered to draw a picture of Jacob's ladder leaning against a cloud. I knew this was impossible but was told it was in the Bible so it must be true. I therefore concluded the Bible was wrong. My parents weren't churchgoers so didn't force me to go any more. Then in my 30s I had a 'born-again' period, and this ended in one sense about a week later, when I realised I couldn't believe the Bible was literally true. I persisted with it for ten years, I think because I wanted to belong to a 'family' and close community. I left after a nasty episode in my church that revealed to me that my 'family' members were actually homophobic, narrow-minded, ignorant, and nasty people that I didn't want to associate with. I drifted back again later to a new church, again I think because of a desire for a community, but I have left because of their misogyny, rising homophobia again (over marriage equality), ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and the extreme patriarchal nature of the Abrahamic religions in general. I have followed Bishop John Shelby Spong for a while, but I don't think he's a Christian any more either. 

 

I don't really know where I'll go from here. I'm a scientist at heart so I can't see myself going anywhere near paganism, but I still find a need/desire for ritual and that sense of belonging to something much greater than myself. I'm very much a work in progress and searching, but for what? I don't know.

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Greetings!

 

On the bright side, at least you were never thoroughly indoctrinated into religion the way many of us were, so leaving it behind shouldn't be as tough for you as many of us experienced.

 

As far as community goes, you could look for groups on www.meetup.com that fit your interests, whether it's freethinker groups or science clubs or anything else that may interest you. You could also check into organizations in your area that may need volunteers, possibly finding friends among them while using your spare time to help out in the community.

 

Anyway, I wish you the best. Good luck!

 

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Margee    3,492
12 hours ago, Loopylou said:

I've just joined this site as I'm an ex-Christian. I've left the church three times. The first was when I was five and refused to go to Sunday School any more after being ordered to draw a picture of Jacob's ladder leaning against a cloud. I knew this was impossible but was told it was in the Bible so it must be true. I therefore concluded the Bible was wrong. My parents weren't churchgoers so didn't force me to go any more. Then in my 30s I had a 'born-again' period, and this ended in one sense about a week later, when I realised I couldn't believe the Bible was literally true. I persisted with it for ten years, I think because I wanted to belong to a 'family' and close community. I left after a nasty episode in my church that revealed to me that my 'family' members were actually homophobic, narrow-minded, ignorant, and nasty people that I didn't want to associate with. I drifted back again later to a new church, again I think because of a desire for a community, but I have left because of their misogyny, rising homophobia again (over marriage equality), ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and the extreme patriarchal nature of the Abrahamic religions in general. I have followed Bishop John Shelby Spong for a while, but I don't think he's a Christian any more either. 

 

I don't really know where I'll go from here. I'm a scientist at heart so I can't see myself going anywhere near paganism, but I still find a need/desire for ritual and that sense of belonging to something much greater than myself. I'm very much a work in progress and searching, but for what? I don't know.

Welcome to Ex-c Loopylou! So glad you are here with us. You'll be so happy to know that you are not alone in your doubting about the christian bible and the christian god. I can really relate to the close-mindedness. I remember clearly one time the pastor of our church walked out on the platform and said in his loud Pentecostal voice, ''Aren't you glad you're not a Catholic this morning?'' and I nearly fell over because I had so many wonderful Catholic friends. This was one of the first comments I heard after I got 'saved' and it disturbed me to no end. That was just the beginning of me watching the close-mindedness of the 'literal christian'. but it still took many, many years to finally break away.....

 

So we certainly understand you. Read the many hundreds of testimonies on Ex-c. Ask a lot of questions. Someone is always here to help you if you need it. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

 

(hug) 

 

 

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Geezer    2,005

Welcome Loopylou! As a Christian fundy I wasn't aware there was such a thing as a Historical Critical scholarship dedicated to examining Christianity and the Bible from a historical and critical perspective. Once I became aware of this field of study I devoured one book after another. The bottom line is that it is highly unlikely any of the events recorded in the gospels actually happened and it is also unlikely any of the characters in the gospel story actually existed, including Jesus. These stories are classified as Theological Myths and that makes Christianity a Mythical religion.

 

Dr. Robert M. Price and Dr. Bart Ehrman are two of my favorite bible historians. They've written many books about this subject. Good reads if you have an interest in this field of study.  

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Loopylou    38

Thanks very much for the welcoming messages everyone. I'm looking at many of the testimonies here and yes, Citsonga, I am fortunate that I wasn't as indoctrinated (brainwashed) as many here have been. I think I'm also fortunate living in a country that is so secular that people "come out" as Christians rather than atheists!!!  It must be so hard for people in the Bible belt of the US who are surrounded by it all the time. I have it easier, but still find it hard to finally cut the emotional ties, possibly because I actually like Jesus, or the popular image of him as a gentle, peaceloving hippie-type telling everyone to love their neighbours and "do unto others" etc. I love the quote from John Fugelsang: “I’ve come to view Jesus much the way I view Elvis. I love the guy but the fan clubs really freak me out.” It's also puzzled me why we seem to have evolved with a universal need for something that doesn't exist, and I wonder why that is.

 

I have studied theology formally and informally and I do find it fascinating. I'm familiar with Bart Ehrman but not with Dr. Price, so I'll look him up -- thanks Geezer. I found "The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright a great read too.

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Hello from a fellow scientist.

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