ThereAndBackAgain

The Importance of "Full Deconversion"

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Thanks for the great advice!  I shelved all my Christian books and reworked my social media feeds. My point of view is changing day by day- all for the better!  I am lucky to be in a place where I have some support in place who love me for who I am, and not just because I am a fellow believer.

 

I think you nailed the process

above- you realize there's no going back, mentally. And you also see the benefits. I think I've been stuck in a slow process of losing my faith for so many years that it is an amazing load off my shoulders to suddenly be done with it. And to not have to constantly make the Christian narrative work in my head while going about my daily life.

 

I am so much more grateful for the world, now that I don't have to be. And I am happy for how hard things have been because I know I wouldn't have left the faith without it. All this time, I've been trying to convince myself, as a good Christian, that I was rejoicing in my sufferings. Lol. But now I actually am!  It's also really freeing to see all religions as methods of control. I was starting to feel the need for interfaith meetings as I became more of a progressive christian. And while I think people of different faiths need to be able to work together, I am now happier thinking of them all as a bit nuts(rather than trying to see the good in all). :-)

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For me, consciously it was a done-deal once I knew the Bible was not true, and its god was dependent upon those words. My mind though had spent 30 years in superstition and conditioning, and peeling those layers off took some time. I had already left church about 5 years previous due to the politics of filling pews and becoming a cog in the religion machine to generate money for a new building. There was no separation anxiety, just lovely silence and a clear view with no more goggles of superstition (well, none that I am aware of currently). I said to myself something that I still ask, "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie."

 

I now look at my loved ones who are staunchly fundamentalist and find myself trying to find ways to plant seeds. I know damn well they each have doubts and disappointments with the faith that they cover up and push down out of dedication. I want to find ways to make those questions and doubts surface, since only they can free themselves. I want to find ways to demonstrate, beyond facts, that our god is no more real than Spiderman, and all of the self-punishment and hard-nosed dedication is misplaced and harmful instead of leading to salvation through death of self. They each have brilliant minds, but they are also stubborn as mules. They have to realize deeply that they were tricked, lied-to, misinformed, and be willing to admit it and embrace the actual truth that their own choices guide their lives, that they have already been doing without Jesus, and that freedom is preferable to a cult.

 

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I really didn't know when I wrote that, that it would have resonated with everyone like it did. I'm just glad that everyone whether they've been here years or just recently deconverted are encouraged by it ?. 

     As there and back again pointed out. It is important not to stop studying. The more you know and understand about the true origins of Christianity and the bible, the more those bonds are released. It really is important to get a full deconversion. And it takes time to get years of fantasy and superstition out of your head. I am a newbie to deconversion myself and this group has been SOOOOO helpful during this time. The more you learn the more everything begins to make more sense than it ever did as a christian. Knowledge is power.

 

DB

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I am a strong advocate for education. Indoctrination is an essential element in religion & indoctrination is a trait associated with cults. And that is why many religious scholars refer to Christianity as a cult. I don't think it's sufficient to say the Bible & hell isn't true. There is plenty of scholarly evidence that confirms it isn't true. I think it's essential to know for certain it isn't true or it's going to be difficult to walk away & stay away. And that seems to be especially true for those who continue to believe hell is a real place. 

 

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Yes. Completely out = GOOD!

 

My take is that we can "leave the door open". That is to take the approach or attitude that, by all means, if a god shows up and demonstrates, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this being is, in fact god or a god, then accept it. 

 

Until then - no preying, talking to "god", relying on a make believe entity to help you cope with life.

 

And, certainly, no vises! No replacing xianity with progressive xianity, or hinduism, or islam, or budhism, or that extra creepy witchcraft bullshit, or the flying spaghetti monster.

 

I am also beginning to doubt how healthy it is to cohabit with fundy family members - including fundy spouses - if they are stark-raving, over the firgg'n top, militant evangelical types, after one  deconverts.

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I'm trying to remember what it was like when I first left Christianity. I suppose it's different for each of us because all of our situations are different. I had already started my study and research into the historical critical bible scholarship before I made the decision to walk away from religion. I'm sure the many years I'd been a member of the Church of Christ (A group that takes biblical literalism to the extreme) was a major factor in the process I used to be convinced Christianity and the Church of Christ were false man made religions.  

 

I'd already recognized my "faith" was tied more to the Bible being true than any belief I may have had in God or Jesus. Well, being that it was the Church of Christ, I'd have to add Paul to that list. The Church of Christ in reality worships the Bible first, then God, then Paul, and then Jesus fits in there somewhere. Essentially, even I recognized my faith was tied to the Bible being factually true and accurate.

 

Once I'd been exposed to enough evidence to be convinced the Bible is nothing more than a collection of myths, legends, and folklore that had been edited, redacted, and completely rewritten more times than there are even words in it (and that part of my de-conversion took years of study) then I was done with Christianity and religion in general. And that event was pretty much a light switch epiphany. I was a believer and then pretty much in the next second I wasn't a believer anymore.  And I've never regretted my decision or has any second thoughts. I'm sure, after reading so many de-conversion stories, my experience was unusual because I put so much effort and emphasis in studying the bible from a historical critical perspective first. And because I did that all of my questions had been answered by the time I hit the eject button.

 

I see so many new folks, that have or are about to leave their religion, post lots of Biblical text wanting to discuss it's meaning. And of course the continuing fear of hell is common among that group too. Hopefully I'm not being judgmental here, but it seems to me, at least some of them, have decided to leave their faith before they thought that decision out as thoroughly as they probably should have.

 

My unsolicited advice would be, if you have doubts about leaving, then you probably aren't ready to make that decision. And if you do not know exactly why you are no longer a believer then you probably aren't ready to leave either. Leaving your faith, in my opinion, is one of the most important and difficult decisions most believers will ever make in their life. The consequences of walking away from your faith is often much more complex and more painful than many realize until it's too late.

 

And even though your group would probably take you back, don't kid yourself it will never be the same as before you left. They will tell you they "forgive" you but they really won't. Once you leave your only hope of going back to your faith will require a completely new start in another church and probably in another community. Therefore, when you make the decision to leave your faith make sure you've thought that through and you know exactly why you're leaving and you're committed to shutting that door behind you and locking it forever.

 

Once you pull the trigger you can't get that bullet back.

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Geezer said:

I'd already recognized my "faith" was tied more to the Bible being true than any belief I may have had in God or Jesus. Well, being that it was the Church of Christ, I'd have to add Paul to that list. The Church of Christ in reality worships the Bible first, then God, then Paul, and then Jesus fits in there somewhere. Essentially, even I recognized my faith was tied to the Bible being factually true and accurate.

 

This holds true with me as well. I had been indoctrinated and truly believed that God's word was infallible. And deep down I knew if I ever saw that the bible was truly false then I could no longer believe. 

       When I saw those studies on ancient semantic mythology, and saw it related to existing scripture almost word for word with a few tweaks here and there I knew it was all a lie. And from there thanks to you and others for referring me to more authors to read from. It has only shown me more and more just how false the bible really is. 

 

38 minutes ago, Geezer said:

Therefore, when you make the decision to leave your faith make sure you've thought that through and you know exactly why you're leaving and you're committed to shutting that door behind you and locking it forever.

 

 

I like the way you put forever in bold print. Makes it more ominous. Lol. I think it deserves and echo too ?

 

Locking it FOREVER, FORever,  forever, forever.  Lmao!

 

DB

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4 hours ago, MOHO said:

or the flying spaghetti monster.

 

(Psst.... Allow me to let you in on a little secret.... The Flying Spaghetti Monster was invented to show the ridiculousness of religion, not as something for anyone to actually take seriously.)

 

;)

 

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1 hour ago, Citsonga said:

 

(Psst.... Allow me to let you in on a little secret.... The Flying Spaghetti Monster was invented to show the ridiculousness of religion, not as something for anyone to actually take seriously.)

 

;)

 

 

You're KIDDING ME!

I just spend $5k on DVD's from some nice lady in a navy business suite, sensible shoes, and blue crap in her hair, on the one and only TRUE religion of the FSM!  :49:

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We all don't know how impactful our choice of words can be, DarkBishop. But it's also within us on how it's embraced and seen upon hence, the cause and effects of actually believing in biblical characters--such as our friends and family members and to this day very much is it laughable yet sorrowful that Noah's Ark still rides on those beliefs while you and I sit and wonder about certain animals such as the Kangaroo? To be basic as many here would put it honestly, the more you duel with superstition will conquering such become a literal ease. I, myself, am new to this and in being here have I also been further enlightened with my new teachings of becoming anew and by far has it sped up my process to simply discard what delusions were once there and remember moments like remaining up until about two in the morning nearly every night discussing my wonders with absolutely nothing about what i'd written about marriage someday, my life generally, job opportunities and so on. So yes, Geezer. It truly is a bullet once pulled in escape you can't exactly take back. But once you wake up is it regrettable? Not at all since it's a part of your life you can replace with a strong sense of normalcy.

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(Psst.... Allow me to let you in on a little secret.... The Flying Spaghetti Monster was invented to show the ridiculousness of religion, not as something for anyone to actually take seriously.)

 

;)

 

You...you lie. I was touched by his noodley appendages, and had the ramen fill my soul. 

 

Look at the human nervous system when laid out, and look at the FSM! Checkmate! 

 

Okay, I'm done with my attempt at humor. 

ZyEw2ZF.jpg

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Just today, @Insightful posted a new topic describing how he feels he has completed the deconversion process and how good it feels.  It really illustrates the points I was trying to make in my OP...

 

 

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"It hardly needs saying that making the transition from being a True Christian to being an Ex-Christian does not happen overnight."

 

It depends on how intense was the brainwashing, aka child abuse. It would be easier for Christians who want to throw out their cult to just understand this simple logic: Magic is not real therefore magic god fairies are impossible.

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There are so many sentiments in this thread that I can only echo because I couldn't do them justice lol. In reading the OP, I think I'm further along in my journey than I realized, with regard to deconverting. I'm over here thinking I'm a bit of newb, but the fear really is dissipating and I don't think anything could ever convince me to go back. Christians DO sound legitimately crazy! 

 

"We found a parking spot, God is so good!"
"God is so merciful and loving, he let your cousin get a job!"

"It's all in God's plan...."

 

.....and let us not forget family kumbaya prayers before meals in public restaurants!! *sigh* I should have known this would happen back when I was like 9 and wondered why we shouldn't be jealous if God was. That's what started it. :D

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Reading the posts about deconstructing the bible reminded me of a couple of points I'd like to offer for what they are worth.

 

There was no internet when I deconverted. I visited the library and bookshops. I devoured the religion sections, copying down references to look up and talking to people who weren't Xian or religious.

 

There are two parts to deconstructing the bible. One is the religion, the other is the history. The area where Xianity started is very difficult to excavate archaeologically and so historical proof is thin on the ground but it's getting better all the time. Always check the date of your reading texts.

 

religion is a much bigger area of subject matter but be careful about the motives of the authors. Many Xians pretend to be objective historians and theologians but give themselves away after hooking you for several chapters, at least they did me.lol. They pretend to be looking for evidence and end up saying something like I Couldn't Find Any Evidence Of Dishonesty And Now My Faith Is Stronger Than Ever!

Shame they didn't say that on the first page !! Or they use a pseudonym and you end up reading something by a priest !

 

Its a literary minefield but it is plentiful. Keep reading until you are satisfied. 

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I am also beginning to doubt how healthy it is to cohabit with fundy family members - including fundy spouses - if they are stark-raving, over the firgg'n top, militant evangelical types, after one  deconverts.

It's not healthy. It's probably really difficult to leave if it's a spouse. If it's not and the decision is easier, get out if you can. And for some of us, it probably makes sense to come out with your unbelief after striking out on your own. Make plans and put them in action is my advice, if you know that things will turn into a battleground.

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       When I saw those studies on ancient semantic mythology, and saw it related to existing scripture almost word for word with a few tweaks here and there I knew it was all a lie. And from there thanks to you and others for referring me to more authors to read from. It has only shown me more and more just how false the bible really is. 

 

You guys have probably covered this elsewhere but any books you would recommend regarding this mythology?

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I just stumbled upon this post after logging in for the first time in a while. I can certainly relate, as I've been "stuck" in the middle of deconversion since I started asking the really tough questions about a year and a half ago. I feel about 80% sure that there is no god and no afterlife, but that still leaves (in my mind, anyway) a 20% chance that I am wrong, and that I'm going to burn in hell for failing to believe that it's true. It's a difficult place to be -- not really believing, but having enough doubts about my non-belief that I worry about the consequences of being wrong. I really wish I could be fully sure (one way or the other), and then I could stop worrying.

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I just stumbled upon this post after logging in for the first time in a while. I can certainly relate, as I've been "stuck" in the middle of deconversion since I started asking the really tough questions about a year and a half ago. I feel about 80% sure that there is no god and no afterlife, but that still leaves (in my mind, anyway) a 20% chance that I am wrong, and that I'm going to burn in hell for failing to believe that it's true. It's a difficult place to be -- not really believing, but having enough doubts about my non-belief that I worry about the consequences of being wrong. I really wish I could be fully sure (one way or the other), and then I could stop worrying.

 

Hi HoustonSeeker!

 

i don't recall seeing you around before, and I'm glad you came back.  In fact I hope you'll be a regular visitor now.  You will find - over and over again - people expressing how much this community has helped them.  Even if you don't post a lot, there is so much good stuff to read.  Once you start listening to reason and thinking that way, faith eventually cannot compete.  But it takes a while for your brain to reprogram itself.  Stay the course, read, ask questions, read some more, and faith will lose its hold over you.  

 

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yup,

 

We've all been there, @HoustonSeeker.

 

It would seem that the mind can be programmed, just like a computer (well, kinda), and it takes time and being subjected to reality on a constant basis for you to snap out of it.

 

That's why I come here. I am subjected to such fairy tale BS by Mrs. MOHO and her critty friends that I need a dose of reality each day - sometimes twice! :P

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Thank you, @ThereAndBackAgain ! Even though I haven't been on this specific site that often, I have been "listening to reason" this entire time -- a lot, actually. I listen to Seth Andrews' The Thinking Atheist podcast just about every chance I get, and I supplement that with some of Waking Up with Sam Harris and Dogma Debate with David Smalley. In addition, I managed to connect with some good people in a secular humanist group called Houston Oasis, and that has given me new friends with whom I can actually talk in person about my skepticism without being judged. That certainly helps.

 

Alas, I am in the same boat as @MOHO, as Mrs. HoustonSeeker would be very displeased if I didn't continue going to church. Assuming I do eventually move completely away from my former beliefs, it will be interesting whether and how much I still go. And what will be the dynamic between me, my immediate and extended family (who are mostly believers), and the many friends I've made at church? One thing is for certain -- we all still have to live with each other.

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Hi HS.

Just because you reject Xianity doesn't mean you can't believe in an afterlife, it just isn't the Heaven &Hell of the bible.

 

I believe in the astral plane. I've been there and I'm convinced. However I can't prove it to most people's satisfaction which doesn't concern me. You might look into alternative belief systems and find something that resonates and most include an afterlife of some sort. Probably best to avoid the hellfire and damnation ones tho??

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Hi HS.

Just because you reject Xianity doesn't mean you can't believe in an afterlife, it just isn't the Heaven &Hell of the bible.

 

I believe in the astral plane. I've been there and I'm convinced. However I can't prove it to most people's satisfaction which doesn't concern me. You might look into alternative belief systems and find something that resonates and most include an afterlife of some sort. Probably best to avoid the hellfire and damnation ones tho??

 

It has been a very long time since I have done any lucid dreaming or astral travel, but I think that you may be correct about this. Can't prove it, but I have my suspicions, as well. As far as death is concerned, I'm fine with either annihilation (the likely probability) or some sort of noncorporeal existence (I'll hold this out as a possibility).

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Hi Mr T

Any reason you haven't had lucid dream or astral projection in a while?

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