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To Thine Own Self, Be True

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Deidre

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I think back to when I first joined ex-christian, and it was a great day. I felt so resolved about departing from Christianity, and when I ''concluded'' that atheism was the logical next step, I felt immensely free. It wasn't until a little over a year ago, that I began to question my atheism. On a logical front, atheism is a very practical approach to life. It's a worldview that doesn't support belief systems that have no substantial evidence to support them. But, I always felt a little flat as an atheist, from an emotional perspective. I've talked about those feelings with a few people from this forum, and it's not an uncommon feeling when one departs from a religion, that largely defined us at one time.

 

But, I came back to faith last year, and it's been roughly 6 months since my return. I've gone to church a few times, but have abandoned the Catholic faith, which is the religion I was raised in during my childhood. This time, my faith is different. Christianity is different to me, this time. Maybe because I walked away from it, I feel like it's a choice to believe now, as opposed to a feeling of obligatory acceptance since I was indoctrinated into the faith as a kid. I'd classify myself as a non-denominational Christian now, and just strive to follow Jesus. I read the Bible, again...out of choice. Out of desire to learn about a faith that I don't think I really understood, for most of my life. That is why I'm writing this blog, it certainly isn't to convert anyone ''back'' to Christianity. I'm not really much of an outspoken evangelist, but rather enjoy just sharing what returning to faith has meant to me in my life. No one converts anyone else, if someone is drawn back to faith...or away from it, even...it must be a choice from within themselves to do so. But, I think it's important to leave any faith/religion, for the right reasons. Looking back a few years ago when I left Christianity, I was in a vulnerable place in my life and my faith was hollow, it seemed. I went through the motions of being a 'good Christian girl' but those motions didn't have much behind them. Having had an experience of faith last year, it changed my perspective on God, and what He has come to mean in my life.

 

I've often said 'stay true to you,' both offline and online...and it was advice given to me by my grandmother, a few years ago before she passed away. And what she meant by that was whether you are an atheist or not, you must follow what makes the most sense to your mind...and also, your heart. We are not merely logical creatures, we are also emotional. I can honestly say, I've stayed true to myself, and for me, that means following Christ. For others, that means following another set of beliefs, or no beliefs at all. It is vital to underscore the value of staying true to yourself, because in that...you will be set free. I thought I was free as an atheist, but I was only free from a dysfunctional way of viewing Christianity. I had left a faith that I didn't fully understand, and now I do. Or, at least I understand it...on my own terms, now.

 

Stay true to your own ideals, convictions, and beliefs. The path that led me here, was slightly long and winding. I came to a point last year, where I resigned myself to atheism. But there are people in life who are natural seekers...and I found myself always seeking something, even though I identified as an atheist. Atheism isn't exactly a choice, but it's rather a conclusion that one comes to, but at the same time, one has to be content with atheism in order to stop seeking. I guess I was never content in it...and whether that is viewed as right or wrong, no longer matters to me. There is a sense of peace in my life now, that I didn't have as a Christian before I initially decconverted, nor when I was an atheist. It is very challenging to struggle with one's belief system, and feel that you are lost in a world that tries to categorize you as an atheist, or agnostic, or religious zealot. But, the beauty of where I am now, is that I don't hold any label at all. I had someone ask me recently, 'what kind of a Christian are you?' I explained that I just wish to follow Jesus, and they sort of gave me a blank look. KatieHmm.gif

 

We do love labels in our culture. People like to define us, but it's up to you, to define your own life. Anyway, I'm rambling, but just wanted to share an update of where I'm at since returning to faith.

 

I really want to insert one of those perv emojis, but I won't. lol FrogsToadBigGrin.gif

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Very well put Deidre! It's okay to have differences in thought, philosophy, and direction - doesn't mean we can't all be civil.


 

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Your faith seems to be focused on what's important: spirituality and emotional well-being, not dogmas and doctrines.

 

If I ever converted (not very likely), I still wouldn't regret any of the criticism I've expressed towards Christianity, because first of all, most of my criticism has been directed at the literalist fundies, who I've always detested, and secondly, that's what made sense to me at the moment. If that makes me an unrepentant blasphemer, well, so be it.

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Thanks very much Travi and rjn for your comments, today. So true, Travi. It's interesting how some people treat you differently in life depending on your label. I think our differences are what makes life interesting. :) @ rjn, yes, that's exactly it. I'm aware of what the Bible has to say on certain subjects, but God is a loving God to me, and we are not to use the Bible as a tool to condemn someone else, that's how I see things now. Now that I ever condemned anyone before lol But, my faith is about a purity in Jesus, and not about doctrines and dogmas that are what led me away from the faith initially. Have a good day, guys!

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