A forum to discuss how ex-Christians have dealt with family members, replaced the church as a place of community, reactions of your family, friends, church, acquaintances upon learning of the de-conversion, or anything else relevant to the Ex-Christian Life.
The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
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So the husband sort of forced it out of me last night. He was guessing and I couldn't lie. Now he wants to tell the eldership at church (he is employed as a youth pastor) and I am worried he is going to lose his job. He is not indicating that he wants to leave me, at least not yet, he is still going through lots of emotions so I am just trying to give him the time and space to process and be as understanding as possible. I'm kinda scared guys.
My response to this question posed to me today is as follows.
The generally accepted history of the early church, based on the Gospels and Acts, is actually quite different from the real history. Establishing what the real history involved is extremely difficult, and is a question of high and broad controversy, with serious scholars subjected to exclusion and shunning. The whole set of questions around how the New Testament came to be written, in what order, for what purpose, by whom, produces wildly conflicting answers.
Part of the problem is that for more than a thousand years, under Christendom, any questioning of the accepted literal faith in Christ was condemned as heresy or blasphemy, and became a capital crime. As a result, scholarship was corrupted and intimidated, and people assumed that generally believed stories must be true, a syndrome that continues to degrade the conversation about Christianity.
Against this history, the view is strongly emerging that the Gospels are entirely fictional, that Jesus Christ was invented, that there is no evidence whatsoever for any claims in the Gospel, and that the whole story of Jesus can only be explained as imagination, not as reality.
If this shocking claim is true that the Gospels are fiction, then it stands to reason that Jewish communities early in the common era would have been well aware of this fact, because they were the victims of the mass deception which falsely blamed them as Christ killers. Jews would have strongly protested the Christian effort to claim ownership of the Jewish sacred texts to promulgate a political lie.
Unfortunately, almost all ancient writings that might support that theory have failed to survive. We have the Church Fathers texts where apologists attacked their critics, such as the Contra Celsus and the Dialogue with Trypho, but never hear these early critics of Christianity speak in their own voice.
We might think that such general failure of the sources to back up the hypothesis that Jesus was fiction in a clear way makes the hypothesis weak. But this is a very special case. Firstly, the Roman destructions of Jerusalem in the first and second centuries were the biggest war effort in the whole history of the empire, a military context that made religious propaganda, including the development of literal belief in the gospels, a key instrument of strategic conquest. Then, as literal Christianity triumphed, the faith was co-opted by the empire, and imperial edicts made possession of heresy a capital crime for more than a thousand years.
In that context, it actually is plausible that the efforts to eradicate specific major heresies such as the belief that Jesus was fictional could have been successful. And indeed, that heresy has a name, Docetism, the belief that Jesus only seemed to come in the flesh, a widely discussed belief for which almost no supportive documents exist in any direct way. The only support is found in concealed locations, in cryptic language in other texts, of the type that could plausibly survive the monkish sieve, the efforts of librarians over generations to neglect and discard any writings seen as suspect.
My reason for introducing this material in response to the question of the end times conversion of the Jews is that explaining Christianity in a rigorous way is essential for an understanding of the relation between Judaism and messianism. Judaism maintains that the messiah has not yet been born. I think that is a very plausible argument, set against the real framework of what Harry Marks has called the arc of history.
The real ‘arc of history’ can be seen by study of deep time, the emergence of humanity from Africa a hundred thousand years ago, then the peopling of the world over the five successive glaciation cycles of rising and falling seas and advancing and retreating ice since then. Against this big arc, the modern world is a severe aberration, since our technology dating from the Neolithic prevented the natural fall back into a new ice age, due mainly to methane from rice and cow cultivation. So we have an artificial world where humans exercise dominion. In the fallen alienated context of supernatural religion, dominion over nature is wrongly interpreted as domination, while in the messianic transformed vision of the future seen in the Gospel texts, dominion is read as stewardship.
I find it very helpful to interpret these big issues against the real astronomical framework of climate change, with the orbital drivers producing what Indian myth calls the cycle of the Yugas, between gold and iron ages over a twenty four thousand year period, in a remarkably accurate intuition of the historical reality.
By that frame, the messianic impulse is the presence of the spirit of the golden age in the midst of the iron age, with a transformative call that is utterly rejected by the alienated ignorant spirit of iron, and yet proves redemptive, powerful and enduring. This historic vision of gold and iron ages extended from India to Babylon, Israel, Greece and Rome, including in Plato’s Noble Lie as the basis of the philosopher kings, and is encapsulated in the archetypal Christian myth of cross and resurrection.
Now what is really interesting in comparing Judaism with Christianity is that this astronomical orbital model of time can also see the messianic impulse against the framework of zodiac ages, produced by precession of the equinoxes. While speculative, this model has enough purchase on scientific reality to be worth pursuing. What it indicates is that the Christian messiah Jesus Christ was imagined by his astronomer-priest inventors as the avatar of the Age of Pisces, when the equinox precessed from the sign of the ram into the sign of the fishes in 21 AD, a celestial event they could predict for centuries beforehand. The Jewish coming messiah, by this astronomical model, is imagined as the avatar of the Age of Aquarius, the transformation of global consciousness that is occurring as a result of modern global unity.
Further, this model involves the idea that Piscean Christianity has ‘primed the pump’ for the emergence of an Aquarian messiah, through an explanation of what messianic consciousness involves, in a world that was not ready to hear those transformative ideas. Therefore, the advent of the Jewish Aquarian Messiah is one and the same event as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Aquarian Messiah will arrive in power as king of the world while the Piscean Messiah only fulfilled that role in imagination. Christianity has explained what a Jewish messiah will do, around the central ethical principle of the Gospels, from Matthew 25, that the least of the world should be treated as though they are Jesus Christ.
Marlowe’s line about awaiting the conversion of the Jews in his famous poem To His Coy Mistress therefore emerged from the false consciousness of Christendom, the corrupted Roman idea that the Gospels were history. The end of the age will not bring conversion of Jews to Christianity, but rather conversion of Christians to a renewed form of Judaism that recognises the Christian Gospel message as the central ethical story of salvation through love and truth, while seeing how the depraved state of fallen humanity failed to accept the imaginative truth of that story and instead twisted it into a mythical doctrine of imperial security and stability.
Empowering Jesus Christ as king of the poor does not imply a communist revolution, but rather a complex open redemptive dialogue, a scientific analysis of how the truth may set us free, and an evolution of culture building upon the rich precedents of Christendom, Judaism and all the deep religious heritage of all humanity.
Hun, I'm so sorry you are facing some triggers. They will come and go. It gets a bit better with time. I'm at least 10 years into it and I can still get triggered. Right now, when I'm out in a store shopping and I hear songs like, ''Away in The Manger'' I can literally start crying. I calmly make my way to the washroom so no one will know about my sadness. Even the new worldviews that are discussed here on Ex-c can trigger me because in many ways I still think a lot like a christian would and can barely accept what some people believe now as a non-beliver. But I must keep open-minded, so I go away for awhile and think about it. I find ''new worldviews'' sometimes hard to accept. For instance, let me give you an example. I still don't know what I believe about abortion??? I can see 2 sides of that issue but I still don't know how I really feel? See what I mean? There's more to deconversion than just letting go of old beliefs. It forming new worldviews. That's hard to do when you've been indoctrinated by the church with only following ''gods ways''..
So old stuff and new stuff can still trigger me. You are so not alone! Keep posting sweetheart!
You mean like in Luke Jesus is passed between Pilate and Herod (back and forth) and Herod's soldiers mocked Jesus with the purple robe etc but, in Mark, there is no mention of Herod and he flatly states that Pilat's men mocked Jesus. Also Luke states that Jesus put the ear back on that unfortunate Roman guard the night Jesus was arrested but there is no mention of said ear healing in Mark.
Welcome to the Ex-C! Glad you found us!
Deprogramming is a bitch - we all know. Took me about two years and I was never "on fire for Jesus!" My biggest challenge is getting on with the fams. Bunch of screaming fundy-ass, uneducated (for the most part), verbally violent, misguided coke-soccers they are.
If you want to see a picture of them grab any encyclopedia (or google) and look under SELF-RIGHTEOUS.