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I was raised sort of Catholic. You know, going to church on occasion, and Sunday school as a kid.  I was abused by several people as a child and teenager. I have also endured A LOT lot of rejection from family and other people throughout my life.

I got I married kind of young and became a Christian for 18 years with that marriage. My ex-husband abused me the whole marriage. My ex and his family kind of "perverted" the Christian faith for me by their actions (abuse, pornography, drugs etc). Other people in various churches, also helped to change my mind about being a Christian. 

 

From October 2009-September 2016 I left Christianity and got heavily involved in the new age /  hippie / occult lifestyle. I also tried a wee bit of witchy stuff.  I felt very free and life made more sense for a while. That is until I got hurt by that lifestyle and the people in it.  One person in particular was my narcissistic, sociopath ex-boyfriend who practiced black magic. I even had something scary happen after dabbling in what I thought was white magic.

 

In October 2016 I felt nudges to try Christianity again. For example, I kept seeing ads for Christian movies, I felt an urge to try a Christian dating site, and I looked for Christian meet-ups to find "safe" friends.  For a while, Christianity and it's teachings of the devil made sense to me. It helped explain my abuse, rejections, and suffering. It helped explain my bad time with certain new age friends, and also the scary witch craft incident. I started to believe the devil / demons were responsible for the crap I went through in my occult life. So I stripped myself of everything tied to new age/ occult / witch craft. So many books, CD's, DVD's, decorations, etc. have ended up in the trash this past year. For a while I actually felt "cleaner" and safer. 
 

I've tried 7 different churches this past year, and I feel let down all over again. They are all full of hypocrisy, false teaching (according to what the bible says), and other uncomfortable things. The more I sit in church the more angry I become. The more I hear the "words of God" the more pissed off I get. I have recently began to question Christianity and religion yet, I am full of fear and guilt for doing so.
 

Sooooooo, now I am totally confused. 

Christianity makes me angry. Religion makes me angry. It all feels wrong. But so does the new age / occult life. Tired of the fear and guilt I feel for wanting to leave Christianity. Tired of being confused by what I feel inside and not having a path to go down outside of Christianity. For example. I feel strongly there is a higher power and supernatural forces. Yet I feel Christianity is the wrong path. I am very empathic. I have dreams that come true. I sometimes see things before they happen. I "feel" when the "air out there" is crazy. Yet I feel like new age / occult / witch craft are wrong too. 
 

Now what? Where do I go from here? I tired of it all.

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All churches are full of hypocrites, so don't look at Christians as morally superior to anyone.People both in and out of the church will always disappoint you because they're human beings and human being are flawed.

 

All Christian forms of religion are about two primary things. 1. Taking your money 2. Controlling you by subjecting you to a wide range of laws, rules, and commands.Failure to believe their B.S. is rated as the #1 sin for obvious reasons. If they can't convince you to believe their stories then they can't control you or extort money from you. So, convincing people they must believe the Bible or spend eternity in hell  is paramount to their survival. 

 

All Christian forms of religion use fear, intimidation, and indoctrination to control their members.Religion is a business and like any business they must have money and lots of it in order to survive. 

 

The Bible is neither literally or historically true. The Bible is a collection of myths, legends, and folklore. No one knows who wrote any part of the Bible. Scholars know for certain the Bible has been edited, redacted, and parts of it completely rewritten to make it say what early church leaders wanted it to say. There is no historical evidence that men named Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus ever existed in the flesh. It seems they were fictional characters in fictional stories. 

 

I was a Christian for 47 years living in fear but the happiest times of my life have been after I left Christianity. No more fear or guilt and I got a 10% increase in pay. We all have to find our own way in this world but being affiliated with some religion isn't necessary and in fact is often detrimental. 

 

I'm glad you found this site. I think it will be beneficial for you and welcome aboard. :wave:

 

 

 

 

 

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@searchingforanswers,

 

Welcome to the forum. You are in the company of folks who have been were your are now.

 

Give it up.

Give it ALL up.

You do not need a "path to head down" nor do you need some jackastical religious group, of any kind, to direct you in life. All religions are man-made bullshit intended either to lighten your wallet, give some egotistical, self-centered, narcissistic prick political clout, or motivate you to charge into the on-coming enemy - or all of the above!

 

Like @Geezer said the bable is literature - not history - and it was written by control freaks. There are a number of works by Hitchens, Ehrman, Carrier, Fitzgerald, Dawkins and a host of others if you need proof of this. These are folks who set out to validate Christianity, via history and philosophy, but wound up doing the opposite in the attempt.

 

My advice is to plan on spending the next year just being serchingforaswers (by that I mean just being YOU). You will truly only be happy when you find out who that is.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

 

 

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Thanks for the replies. It's hard to let go of the fear of not believing. Yet believing makes no sense. Such a dilemma in my mind right now.

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5 hours ago, searchingforanswers said:

Thanks for the replies. It's hard to let go of the fear of not believing. Yet believing makes no sense. Such a dilemma in my mind right now.

 

That is a normal & predictable part of the journey out of religion. It is not unusual for the de-conversation process to takes years to complete. Indoctrination is a vital part of religions success in retaining members. It takes time, study, effort & determination to overcome that indoctrination and to let go of the doubt & fear. In other words de-converting is a process not an event & I think it's important to understand that & mentally prepared yourself for that reality. I assure you the effort is worth it. What's that old saying, "Freedom is never free, but the cost is worth it." And you will find lots of help, understanding, & encouragement here. 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Geezer said:

 

That is a normal & predictable part of the journey out of religion. It is not unusual for the de-conversation process to takes years to complete. Indoctrination is a vital part of religions success in retaining

 

 

 

 I thought I had de-conversioned when I got involved with the new age / occult movement for 7 years.  One thing that bothers me now is not understanding why I felt "called" last year to leave the new age life and come back to Christianity. Why did I feel the nudge to come back when I only ended up doubting it again?  Why did I feel "cleaner" and more safe when I rid my home and life of new age / occult items?

Confusing moments like this are when I can visualize a Christian telling me it's the devil confusing me. Moments like this are when the fear is strong. I don't want to be doing the wrong thing by leaving Christianity IF it's real. BUT at the same time I cannot handle feeling so shackled by the religion.  UGH

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1 hour ago, searchingforanswers said:

 I thought I had de-conversioned when I got involved with the new age / occult movement for 7 years.  One thing that bothers me now is not understanding why I felt "called" last year to leave the new age life and come back to Christianity. Why did I feel the nudge to come back when I only ended up doubting it again?  Why did I feel "cleaner" and more safe when I rid my home and life of new age / occult items?

Confusing moments like this are when I can visualize a Christian telling me it's the devil confusing me. Moments like this are when the fear is strong. I don't want to be doing the wrong thing by leaving Christianity IF it's real. BUT at the same time I cannot handle feeling so shackled by the religion.  UGH

Hello Searching, I'm new to the forum also, but would like to welcome you!

 

I really connect with what you're saying about feeling called or nudged back. I feel this many times a week and it seems very strong, but at the same time that same feeling which I think is divine never offers any answers to my questions. So, I've deduced that it is not a legitimate message from a supernatural deity. What a waste of time it is to nudge me back without resolving my initial concerns? Plus, a nudge alone doesn't justify a purpose for faith. I'm sorry that I cannot offer any other observations than that. I feel for you, as do I feel for myself (sad).

 

I never did convert to another religion or practice, but I did read a lot about non theistic satanism which was interesting.  I was also a christian at a young age and am only deconverting properly at 31. Feel free to talk me anytime.

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17 hours ago, searchingforanswers said:

 

Sooooooo, now I am totally confused. 
Now what? Where do I go from here? I tired of it all.

 

Welcome to Ex-c sfa. Thanks for sharing your story. First thing I want to say is you're going to be all right.  We here at Ex-c know how you are feeling. We understand. This confusion you are feeling will eventually go away as you face the reality that christianity is a lie. It just takes time when you've believed it for so long. It can be a shock to the brain. If you read all the testimonies and the people who arrive here, you will see that you are not alone. Like Geezer said, it's a process to deconvert from all the brainwashing. You hang in there. You are about to form a new world belief and it takes time. We're right here for you. 

 

Big (hug)

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This feeling of being called is simply your mind reacting to the indoctrination you've been subjected to. Heaven, hell, Angels, & Devils only exist in your mind, and again it's the indoctrination that is creating these illusions. 

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Thanks everyone. By the way, are there instructions somewhere to say how to quote someone or tag them like on Facebook? I tried the quote thing but don't know if I did it right. Also, can you"like" a reply without responding to it? Not quite sure how this works on this forum.

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Welcome SFA.

There is a box on the bottom left that you check to quote text for a reply. 

And you can Like, Thank, etc by clicking on the heart icon in the right.

 

I am new here too, and that's about all the tech advice I have :)

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On 11/1/2017 at 1:52 PM, searchingforanswers said:

Thanks everyone. By the way, are there instructions somewhere to say how to quote someone or tag them like on Facebook? I tried the quote thing but don't know if I did it right. Also, can you"like" a reply without responding to it? Not quite sure how this works on this forum.

 

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On 11/1/2017 at 2:52 PM, searchingforanswers said:

Thanks everyone. By the way, are there instructions somewhere to say how to quote someone or tag them like on Facebook? I tried the quote thing but don't know if I did it right. Also, can you"like" a reply without responding to it? Not quite sure how this works on this forum.

sfa, you must make so many posts (I think it is about 25 ) and then you will begin to have these features.

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Hi SFA, after I deconverted, I read a lot about the new age stuff, crystals, energy healing, took 2 Reiki classes, felt very at home with witchcraft imagry or shamanic path (turns out more of the nature side of it than any sort of structure or spellcraft), and now am more neutral about it all. I still respect the cycles of nature, and see my connection in them, but not from any kind of worship or prayer usually.

 

I do find myself somedays waking up with Christian songs in my head, and it can take a while to replace them with Sinatra or something. I was a believer for 30 years, and "on fire", so I crammed a ton of it in and it can have an emotional pull sometimes, even though I have no interest in returning. I'm fully aware that the Bible is artificially made, mostly non-historical, and the wonderful sounding promises are simply lies to fool the gullible into thinking they are loved. When it comes time to collect on the promises, suddenly god seems to always have a better plan that he won't explain, and believers insist that you just keep trusting and that he's always faithful and good, blah blah blah. It's a shell game of trying to find the pea under the constantly moving shells, only there is no pea.

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Hello SFA, welcome to ex-c. I hope you make yourself at home here. I'm still pretty new to the community, but it's been a good experience so far. It helps knowing there are others who have either left Christianity or are struggling to let go of it.

 

I can relate to a lot of what you're saying here; I really understand that pain of feeling drawn back to Christianity--feeling almost guilt-driven to do so, especially when I have so many friends and family who are still so ardent about it. Geezer mentioned this is a result of indoctrination, and he's right. At a young age we were instilled with Christian values and superstition, told that God loves us and wants what's best, told that Christians are the only truly good people in the world, and told that Hell awaits us if we deny him. When you're a kid, you accept it all without question, and when you're hurt and searching for answers you can sometimes revert to that kind of state, willing to accept anything that brings you comfort. When we're hurt, and were previously indoctrinated, we have a tendency to fall back on those early teachings, and because it was ingrained in us at such a young age as fact it can seem inherently true. It's important to know that just because something brings you comfort doesn't even remotely mean it's true. With me personally, I've had problems with the opposite: Struggling with the idea of Hell. Every time I began to doubt my faith, I would be shocked back into it with the thought "Holy shit I'm going to burn for eternity if I stop believing". I would even pray to God and ask him to kill me before I'd stop believing--that's how much I feared Hell. It really helped me to take a step back and realize that even if I still followed Christianity, there are many other equally valid/invalid religions out there that say I would burn in their version of Hell for doing so. Just because I was raised to believe one doesn't make it more valid than those others, and people indoctrinated into those other religions could look at Christianity and think the same thing. Our only bastion of hope, then, relies in what is real and true. What we can observe, prove, disprove, and review with our peers, because our subjective emotional experiences hinge on our conditioning, and those experiences not only vary wildly from person to person, but from time to time as well. What you feel today will be different from what you feel tomorrow, but water will always be wet and fire will always be hot.

 

You mentioned having dreams that came true. This is a very hard idea to separate from, because it really makes us feel special, and I've at times thought I was prophetic because of dreams and visions/daydreams. The thing about dreams is that they're incredibly foggy and easy to forget, and you never remember all of them. However, when an event happens that seems to line up with something you dreamed, suddenly the dream comes back to you... but you never once consider the countless dreams that you've forgotten, that may have predicted things that never ended up happening. It's like... reaching into a jar of jelly beans hoping for a red one, pulling out the wrong one time and time again, then the moment you finally find the red one you either forget or excuse all the times you failed to get it before. Nothing prophetic happened, it's just natural you would eventually get what you were looking for. It's confirmation bias hard at work, and everyone's guilty of it. You have a particular dream that sticks out in your head that might be more symbolic or abstract, then an event happens that seems to line up with it and suddenly you felt like you've predicted it. This even happens with psychic readings, where they'll tell you something vague about your future that can be applied to almost anything. You want to believe in it/are scared of it, so you're searching for how it fits, and eventually you find a place for it. I've seen this time and time again with my family, who are saturated with dreams and visions and prophetic words, clinging to the ones that give them hope often for years without results, but when even one prediction seems to line up with what's happening--or worse when they follow what one of these supposed prophecies say and it seems to produce results, it only confirms their superstitions, when in reality they either just got lucky or the prediction was so vague or shallow that it was inevitably going to come true no matter what happened.

I should probably stop there because I have a tendency to ramble, but know that I'm happy to see you break free from the indoctrination. It's a huge step, and not an easy one to take. If you have any questions or want to respond to anything I've said, I'm open to talk more, as is the rest of the community here. MOHO mentioned a bunch of authors worth reading, and I'd like to second his suggestions. One book that really helped me was "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" by Christopher Hitchens. Though I'd recommend purchasing it, I think there's an audiobook form of it you can listen to on youtube if you're currently short on money.

Again, glad to see you here, and I hope things get better for you going forward.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm still having trouble letting go. There is a big part of me that feels like religion is BS but then there is this other part of me that feels like maybe some of it is correct. I grew up with a lazy catholic mother and most of my dad and my mom's side are still catholic to this day. I was never into it and didn't really "find God" until I got married to my ex-jerk. He was a sorry excuse for a christian and so was his family. His evangelic mother would always have something to say about what kind of wife I was to be to him by quoting the bible. I can say that as I look back, A LOT of my stress was due to spiritual issues.   I'm still not liking religion, but I don't feel atheist either which probably sets me apart from many people in this group. I feel like there is more to us and more to life. I feel there is something out there, I just don't feel it is the Abrahamic God.

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1 hour ago, searchingforanswers said:

Thanks for the replies. I'm still having trouble letting go. There is a big part of me that feels like religion is BS but then there is this other part of me that feels like maybe some of it is correct. I grew up with a lazy catholic mother and most of my dad and my mom's side are still catholic to this day. I was never into it and didn't really "find God" until I got married to my ex-jerk. He was a sorry excuse for a christian and so was his family. His evangelic mother would always have something to say about what kind of wife I was to be to him by quoting the bible. I can say that as I look back, A LOT of my stress was due to spiritual issues.   I'm still not liking religion, but I don't feel atheist either which probably sets me apart from many people in this group. I feel like there is more to us and more to life. I feel there is something out there, I just don't feel it is the Abrahamic God.

 

Much will depend on the effort and time you invest in and with a variety of subjects and concepts, along with your ability to use such tools as intellectual honesty, curiosity, patience, skepticism and courage.

 

Feeling "maybe some of [religion] is correct" and "there is something out there" does not indicate much, if any, prior effort on your part.  Choosing to remain trapped with family peer pressure and related emotional issues indicates a similar lack of desire to explore and learn.  All of that is fine, if that is what you choose.

 

Is that what you have choosen?

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