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  1. 8 points
    I’ve shared my xtestimony briefly on the introduction forum but I wanted to share a visual aid of my story. The reason being, watching watching ex Christians share their stories on video was extremely powerful for me. Especially in the early stages of my pre and post deconversion. I remeber watching a video on deconversion by a former pastor named Joshua Tongul. Had I just read it, I don’t believe it would have had the same impact that it did on me. Seeing his facial expressions and listening to his tone of voice was extremely helpful to me. The video experience felt very personal. It also generated all the same emotions I used to mistake for the holy deceiver (opps I meant Holy Spirit). Now I understand that it’s my ability to empathize with human emotion and not the holy deceiver (damn, did it again) touching my heart. The point I am making is, these “deconversion videos” were extremely encouraging to me during my pre and post deconversion experience. I hope this video will encourage you on your journey out of Christianity and into reality. If you think it would be helpful to someone, share the hell out of it. I don’t have a social media account so I have only uploaded onto YouTube. We have to get the word out! There should be thousands of extestimonies out there by now but I’ve found very few myself. We really need to get the word out! I thank all of you who invest so much time and energy into this website and community. You have truly helped me grow.
  2. 7 points
    Tell them it's a load of crap. Because any self-respecting person who reads the OT will conclude that that god is sadistic, cruel, and misogynistic and won't worship them anymore. If they do, they've abandoned any sense of innate morality and gone along with the crowd think and easy answers. That's what I would tell them. If they insist, I quote Dan Barker: “I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.”
  3. 6 points
    ...... your answer is in that exact statement! If our minds are that finite that we have no capability of understanding the infinite ... we therefore have no knowledge of who or what god is ... NEITHER DO THEY!
  4. 6 points
    There are 4 steps: 1) Be nice. 2) Don't talk about yourself. 3) When explicitly invited to talk about yourself, deflect. 4) If forced to talk about yourself, stick to predetermined, "normal" parts of your life that you are ok with discussing. Keep it light, and deflect as soon as possible. People mostly want to talk about themselves. For the most part, they aren't actually that interested in you. And, unless you disavow them of the notion, they will usually assume that you are pretty much like them. I just exploited this until I became more comfortable with myself. And to be honest, I still exploit it with everyone that I don't care about. The people I care about are the only people I open up to. Like I said, I'm not sure this is a healthy approach. But there it is.
  5. 5 points
    If someone told me that I would be on this website posting about de-converting from Christianity, I would have said laughed at the idea. Then probably started praying for that person to come to Jesus and for him to lift the veil from their eyes so that they could come to the truth. My name is Aaron, and I’m an ex-Christian lol! Is this what an AA meeting is like? This is awesome. I feel like I’m 16 again, rebelling against the machine all over again. I became a Christian when I was 18 years old. I attended a very loving church with an extremely empathetic pastor. For the first 4 years or so of my conversion I was extremely happy and very involved in my faith. I held bible studies, witnessed to many people, and even led some close friends to Christ during that time. I was forced to attend Methodist services as a kid with my mom but I hated it. When I became a “born again” believer it was a huge event in my life. I experienced a radical change and stopped using illicit drugs and partying and improved my grades enough to graduate high school. I was basically a kid who felt very lost and alone and Jesus gave me something I didn’t have before. I was what you would call an “on fire” Christian. I ate this stuff up. I was like a sponge. For the first few months after I became a Christian I read the Bible for at least 4 hours a day. Sometimes as much as 6-8 hours. I loved going to church. Sunday, Sunday night, Wednesday etc. If church was open, I was there. Anyway, at 22 I joined the Marine Coprs as an infantryman. I just recently got out after 14 years. While I was a Marine I went to Iraq, Kuwait, Philippines, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan, just about everywhere I guess. After I joined the Marines, or even slightly before, I was in a “backslide” as some call it. I was very much a believer but I no longer was “on fire.” I basically just felt guilty all the time. Through the years, I was up and down in my faith. Always chasing those early days of my faith when I felt so good about everything. So sure of my salvation. My first church I got saved in was a Baptist Church in Texas. It would be considered more of a non denominational church though. They had a band and always made alter calls at the end of service. That sort of thing. I tried to find that in California but I never did. The closest thing was Calvary Chapel. But I never really felt connected to a church like I did the first one. Through the years of bible study, I found numerous contradictions in the Bible. I wasn’t researching them online. I was finding them in my own. Very early on this happened. The first one I remember or one of the first ones was Judas’ death. Another one was conflicting accounts of the same story of David counting the army in Samuel and Chronicles. Actually there were several contradictions I found in Chronicles where numbers and names were off. I went to the pastor and he explained them I’m sure the same way you’ve probably heard yourself if you’ve went to someone for clarity about scripture. So then I began reading apologetics. Case For Christ etc. I was always searching for more answers. But I always had that fear of finding out things I really didn’t want to know. I couldn’t even fathom this not being real because of the big conversion experience I had. But my questions got deeper and deeper over the years as I got older. Especially into my 30s. Understand that I converted my wife, her brother, and her sister. I was as serious and strong a believer as anyone I know. And I felt more versed in the Bible than most as well. So these were serious problems I was having in my mind. Meanwhile I also cannot live it anymore. I was a Marine. I was a part of a warrior culture in every sense. I was just having internal conflict in general after a while with all of it. My self esteem was really suffering because of the unrelenting guilt. God it was bad. I felt guilty all the time. I stated having serious issues on my Iraq deployment. My platoon sergeant was killed and I knew he was not a Christian. He was a good dude and I had a real problem with believing he was in hell. Not just him but the Iraqi civilians that sometimes got caught in the middle and were killed. They were Muslim and didn’t believe in jesus either. And this bothered me. And for years I had all this guilt that we had sent people to hell. Fast forward to this past year. I heard about the Epic of Gilgamesh and then I watched a video or series of videos on YouTube one night. My mind was blown. Absolutely blown away. I had finally started to thoroughly research non religious sources for all these questions I had had. I was a sponge all over again. Day and night reading. Mind blown over and over. This was all fake? I had to reevaluate everything I had ever known. I had this strong feeling that I had been in this system of control. The more I researched the more I was floored. Literally. For about a week I was depressed. I was extremely disturbed at all I had learned. Because I was no longer trying to spiritualize the Bible or the contradictions. What am I now? Atheist? That one didn’t fit for me. I knew I believed in the concept of a higher being, god, the universe or whatever you want to call “it.” I just didn’t even know what that even meant. I definitely had zero belief in the god of the Bible and had zero interest in religion. After about a week I came to the realization that I just didn’t have all the answers and that was ok. I accept it. That’s when I had a strong feeling that everything was ok. And I became very excited about living a new life at 37. It’s like I got re-saved. Or the realization that I was never lost. I found myself again so to speak. And it was and still is amazing. I absolutely love life now. I’m very interested in hearing others stories and what they believe. Naturally because before I had all the answers and thought I had the truth. Now I’m very open. I’ll never go to another religion but I feel very spiritual (not sure if that’s the right word) in the sense that I just feel connected to everything and everyone. Before it was such a “us vs them” mentality. I think that’s why I feel that way. I don’t pray anymore but I found that taking to myself is still a positive thing. I’m just so excited about life now and for my family. I even called off a divorce and got my marriage back on track. I’ve so much enjoyed learning subjects that I was previously afraid to learn about. I’ve really enjoyed reading Allan Watts and others like him. But I’ve also enjoyed hearing atheists lecture and agnostics. I’m not sure what I would classify myself as now (maybe a deist?) and not sure it even matters. In fact it doesn’t. That’s the beauty of life for me now. I'm living it on my terms without religion! Ugh! What a drag that life was. So free to be out of it. Never looking back. Super excited to be here and happy to be apart of this community. Proud EX-christian!
  6. 5 points
    Well, it looks like the time has come. We've finally reached the point where my struggles, my loneliness, my failures (all of which I admit) have become MY fault in her mind, because I'm not "trusting", "praying", etc. She says she wants me to be whole and to deal with my issues - I agree; one of my issues is the rejection I have received from the Christards, even while I was still actively involved in their world and trying to believe what they all did. No, she says; she'll never stop "following Christ". I ask, "What about the fact that your church and your religion teach that I'm either a 'backslider' (very bad) or an 'unbeliever' (even worse)? What are you going to tell our children when their youth-group leaders preach about people who don't believe, or who reject the faith, and they start to think of their father as one of 'those people', who are 'lost' and going to 'hell'? What about YOU? What are YOU going to think, since you believe that the Bible is the entirely-true word of your god, transmitted through his faithful scribes?" She equivocates, and says that maybe it's MY responsibility to change my ways, my attitude, so that maybe my children will see that I'm not a bad person, or something. She says maybe, just maybe, we should go find a church where I can 'be myself' and not have to pretend (pretend to what? be a Christian? I'd never pretend that.) Then she texts me and says she's convinced that we need to go see a counselor together, so that our children can see us 'fighting for us', and have more respect for me, or something. In other words, she's not changing her mind about her religion, and the lack of it is a huge barrier between us now, and she believes this is critical to the survival of an 18-year marriage and a 25-year relationship and my role as a father. The line has been drawn. I am going to see a counselor on my own, because I need to, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be threatened by her over her refusal to abandon those asinine ideas about hell and the unbeliever. What would happen if I went to a counselor with her and we worked out all kinds of emotional issues? So what? None of that would make me a bit more interested in belonging to her religion or any other religion again - that, I can guarantee.
  7. 5 points
    Hi guys! I'm 23 years old male about a year out of college, and officially decided to leave religion about 6 months ago. This has simultaneously been the best and scariest decision of my life. I think parts of my story are fairly unique, even for a forum labeled "ex-Christians". I grew up with a Catholic mom and an evangelical dad. I sort of got the "worst of both worlds" so to speak, the rigid authoritarianism and superstition of the Catholic church, along with the loony politics and weird spirituality of the Pentecostal evangelical movement. My parents met at a college Christian group that was associated with a larger organization called the "Sword of the Spirit". As far as I can tell, the Sword of the Spirit is fairly unique as far as cults go. There are actually some quite positive aspects of it. For example, it calls for the unity of all Christians (hence my mom and dad), and the craziest elements of cults were noticeably absent (for instance, I am unaware of any abuse scandals, and there is more democratic leadership as opposed to one tyrannical leader). Nonetheless, I would consider it a cult for a few reasons. First is how the people inside the group acted. Almost all of my parents' friends were members of the community, and this was not uncommon. This bubble created an environment were critical thinking was almost nowhere to be found. Second, there was a heavy emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gifts of tongues and prophecy. Almost everyone in the group (including me) believed that the Lord could talk authoritatively through them into their own and other people's lives. Finally, there was a feeling of superiority, that we were somehow a "chosen people" by God, called for a crucial task in serving the Church. My dad implied multiple times that he believed the community was the most important thing happening on Earth right now. There was even a famous prophecy to back it up, that the Sword of the Spirit was a "bulwark" for God's kingdom, that our communities were the first line of defense that God had placed on Earth to protect his church from Satan (this seems almost laughable now considering how little impact we actually have on the church as a whole, evidence by the fact that I guarantee you've never heard of us). I was a gullible and neurotic child and really took everything my parents taught me to heart. I remember being kept up at night as a child, terrified of hell and Satan. I had a difficult time making friends, not so much because I was an abnormally awkward kid, but because my parents didn't allow me to watch the same movies and play the same video games and go to the same birthday parties as the other kids. They were always very strict and over-sheltering, which I believe stunted my social growth. We moved when I was in middle school, which made things even more difficult for me. Towards the beginning of high school, I began to take my faith more seriously, and became obsessed with different parts of the Bible. I developed Scrupulosity, or "Religious OCD", and suffered from it throughout high school. My mental health really took a turn for the worse toward my 10th grade year, which prompted me to research my condition. When I finally picked up the courage to tell my dad about my illness, he didn't believe me. Due to this I never received the treatment I should have. This was the beginning of my crisis of faith that eventually led to where I am today. I remained a devoted follower of Christ into college, and even went to a college where I could be a part of the campus outreach run by the community, but I began questioning things. I started realizing that people never had great answers for me. This didn't particularly bother me, since my main reason for believing in God was that I "knew" Him directly through personal experience. But it did start to wear away at the "solid foundation" that I had been given as a child, and I stopped accepting things like Creationism and the absolute inerrancy of the Bible. Ironically enough, it was one of these so called "experiences of God" that caused me to drop my faith altogether. In the summer of my sophomore year, I attended a conference put on by the community. A lot of Christian groups emphasize "sexual purity", but few I've ever seen are as rigid about it as the Sword of the Spirit. As an ecumenical group, they combine the absolute paranoia of evangelicals with emphasis on life-long celibacy of the Catholics. At the conference, the speaker called us to consider taking a year off of dating. I had not been allowed to date in High School and really not had much success in college (shockingly!), but I felt the "movement of the Spirit" and had a religious experience that seemed to confirm what the speaker was saying. I got a chance to pray with him later, and he assured me that this impulse decision would be difficult, but that the Lord would bless me abundantly for it. About four months later, I fell head over heels for a beautiful girl who worked at the front desk of my dorm. Not only that, but she really liked me too! We would laugh and talk for hours at the front desk. I had never had this effect on a girl I liked before. One small problem: I had made a commitment to the Creator of the universe that I would not date for the year. Every impulse in my body (literally haha) wanted to break my oath, but I knew that although the year would be a struggle for me, the Lord would "bless me abundantly" at the end. Long story short, one of my best friends grew tired of waiting for me to ask her out and did it himself. And they're still dating to this day, over 3 years later. Not only did this rock me to the core, but it really hurt my relationship with my friend as well. I grew depressed and really started questioning. Was this really God's plan, to ruin my whole life over an impulse decision after a religious experience? I still cannot deny the experience itself, but I started questioning my interpretation of it. Was it really God, or was I swept away by the music and the hundreds of people around me who were just as into it as I am? I moved away from my home after college for work, and to really take time to think about these things on my own. I began listening to lectures by people like Sam Harris and Bart Ehrman, and came to the intellectual conclusion that I had known deep down for years: this stuff just doesn't make logical sense. The fear of hell from my childhood and the anxiety from potentially losing friends and family were the last things that held me back, but about 6 months ago I decided it just wasn't worth it. Religion had cost me far too much. It made me constantly anxious, and socially inept. I hated the person I was becoming, and I needed a change. I still struggle socially, and especially sexually, but I am slowly getting better. I'm still going through quite a bit though. I'm actually starting to be comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life! Despite this, I'm struggling to make friends. I'm struggling to get more than 3 dates with a girl. And last but not least, I'm struggling with finally coming out to my parents about my new beliefs (or rather, lack there of). I have no idea how they will respond to the idea that their first born son will be spending eternity in hell. I still get anxiety and panic attacks from time to time. I'm currently seeing a therapist, and she's great, but you can tell that deep down she can't really relate to what I'm going through. I guess that's why I joined this site. I still desperately crave the "community" aspect of the community, the support and love they gave me, no matter how judgmental it truly was. So I look forward to joining in discussions here, and I really hope I get the support, and can give the support, that I believe I need in this scary time of my life.
  8. 5 points
    I like to reference the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and suggest that all of humanity now has an inalienable right to judge anything and everything, including gods.
  9. 4 points
    I've been in the process of de-coversion for several years now. I think one of the hardest things for me has been separating my identity from my religious family and in particular their cult like religion. For the first time I think I am beginning to be able to see myself separately. And this has brought a lot more health into my life. One of the hardest things has been separating from my relationship with my mom who really doesn't have any identity outside the cult. She has been in the cult her whole life and I just don't have any way to have a secular relationship with her. Because of this its taken that much longer to realize that I just can't do it any more for my health. Time and time again she has used her place in my heart to push the ideals of their organization, its hard for me to explain really what it feels like to be used in this way. It feels really bad. I've been depressed lately, but I wanted to post this, since it seems close to progress. IDK.
  10. 4 points
    This is the crux, IMO. Guilty? Innocent? Yet to be determined. But there should be an investigation. This isn't a criminal proceeding, for what it's worth, so "reasonable doubt" is not really the question at hand. The question is, "is this guy the best option for a lifetime appointment to the US supreme court?". The only way to properly answer this question at this point is to look into this issue seriously, via an investigation. And this cannot occur over the next 24-72 hours. I don't see how this can be reasonably disputed.
  11. 4 points
    TruthSeeker where do you see the words "These people" in my post? These proceedings are about politics, not truth. I hope most people understand that.
  12. 4 points
    "Fuck Off!" generally works well for me.... kevinL
  13. 4 points
    I used to follow the Facebook page of a guy who calls himself "the dirty Christian". The guy was obsessed with Calvinism. Like every few posts he was rubbing it in everyone's faces. Someone commented on one of these posts asking how he would feel if God predestined his children to go to hell, and if he would accept that. The Calvinist bastard responded, "I would have to accept that they were exactly where God wanted them to be". Like how sick is that? His own children. If God decided he wanted them in hell, he wouldn't object. It honestly scares me how otherwise good people can subscribe to such a vile doctrine. At this point I interjected and said, "So God wants people to go to hell, then?" Of course I got no response.......
  14. 4 points
    I echo what several others have said and then some. Who are you to run around and shatter a belief system that brings them peace? That’s like going up to a 7 year old in the month of December and informing them that Santa isn’t real. You just fucked up Christmas asshole lol. A lot of people will never be ready to know the truth about Christianity. Dare I say most won’t. Think of the Matrix. Some aren’t ready. They never will be. Consider yourself fortunate but not ‘holier than though’ just because you have this knowledge. You’re only going to push them farther into it by trying to deconvert them. This shit is engrained in their heads. They don’t want to go to hell and they sure as hell won’t risk that over a YouTube video on the Big Bang. A powerful thing happened to me after being deconverted. I realized the importance of staying out of other peoples heads. I can barely navigate my own mind. What makes me think I can navigate someone else’s? I have found a lot of joy in just accepting others based on their character and not their belief system. I also realized that some people probably operate better being religious because their mind is simply too fragile to accept reality. Dude just love your family and accept them. You’re no better, nor am I.
  15. 4 points
    Choosing to act with compassion and love is fine. Being forced to accept a proxy human sacrifice under threat of eternal torture is implacably evil and abusive. Utterly despicable, and I reject that mindset unconditionally.
  16. 4 points
    godSo, my mom bottled up a lot of water in case they had to live rough during Hurricane Florence. We are planning to visit Redneck Jr. this weekend, and will need water for the trip. So what does mommy dearest post on Facebook? "god knew we would need water for our trip this weekend, and I've got plenty now because of the hurricane. he truly is jehovah jireh, who provides for us. Praise him." Yes. The fucking lord god sent a fucking hurricane that fucking killed a dozen fucking people so your fucking ass could have some bottled fucking water on your fucking trip to fucking Georgia. May their fucking sacrifice be fucking remembered every fucking time you fucking take a fucking drink.
  17. 4 points
    To continue your marriage: Does she have to stop believing? Would the children have to stop believing? Do you HAVE to go to church? Children might be told about backsliders and think of you, but they probably also think Dad is pretty awesome...you're Dad! How many Christian ideas get kind of blended, morphed, changed, adjusted to fit reality and individual personalities to make them more acceptable? Half the Old Testament is ignored by Christians who claim to be faithful believers. Can you love your wife if she believes in Jesus? Can she love you if you dont? I wish you the best. I hope you are both able to hammer out something acceptable to you both and still are able to love each other.
  18. 4 points
    Welcome! Those small cults are EVERYWHERE. I encountered a handful of them in my 30 years as a believers. Different flavors depending on the people involved, but always end up controlling lives of humans and indoctrinating in complete lies that seem to be true when the Bible is treated as authoritative and real. My own singles group at a Baptist church developed cult-like ideas, and a few of them tried to manipulate me and a woman to stop seeing each other because god didn't want it to happen. I showed them over and over again that they had no evidence of that, and that the leader himself was actually interested in her. We left and have been married for 20 years. We also had to cut off some nice people that we'd known for years because we really had nothing in common anymore, and increasingly so since we started enjoying a new life away from the church. The emotional fears you feel about your parents reactions likely feel more powerful than they need to feel. Most of us went through separations from friends and family over our deconversions. We made it. Others try and stick it out and keep some kind of ties to their believing family, but there are inevitably ongoing conflicts with the controlling aspects of the cult (generally speaking Christianity is a popular cult). Some here are married to believers still. Your life is your own, and toxic people (whoever they may be) don't deserve your time. Keep walking or running towards your new found freedom. Church messes up natural sexuality and human relationships. I had to overcome years of fear of females, learn to just be social, learn how to be more "alpha", and to see that there are a lot of females with whom I could enjoy spending time and perhaps more. The more time you can spend being involved with things you enjoy, the more you become you instead of being a drone of belief. Push yourself to do things like taking dance lessons of different kinds, maybe try singing, things that can get you with other people being humans and having fun. Sex is a natural thing, one of our most basic drives. That is why Christianity labels it as a problem and uses it to control people, it gives them a never-ending power over the believers. But as you find a life apart from the manipulation, you'll find yourself becoming more natural.
  19. 4 points
    Welcome Stargazer95! Yes, it is a human book, entirely made-up. Here and there are enough bits of "nice" to make people think there is something divine behind it, but the bible god is not nice at all, even though he demands that we be. That's rather like an abusive husband always blaming his wife for things while demanding praise and adoration.
  20. 4 points
    I can't say I fully agree with that. I live in the south in a VERY Christian area. And yet despite all our churches and evangelical world mission associations, day-to-day I really don't get that much constant Jesus in my face. I could probably totally ignore Christianity here if it weren't for a few family members.Most people even here are deep down pretty secular in their day-to-day life. And I would say that even as hardcore Christian as this town is that still less than half the population attends church regularly. I think the "south" stereotypes really only hold up in VERY small towns where everybody knows everybody. When you get up over 50k people, you're looking at a much less cohesively religious group. At least that's true for my area.
  21. 4 points
    There seems to be no end to the religious nonsense that humans are willing to believe. God, Satan, Angels, Demons are all imaginary things that only exists in the minds of indoctrinated believers. Christians are convinced they must be "saved" from an imaginary God of Love that will burn them alive in an imaginary place called hell, because they are all "sinners", if they don't believe in their invisible, imaginary, God. That is complete and utter nonsense. And it takes a hell of a lot of brainwashing to convince people all of that rubbish is true.
  22. 3 points
    “God cannot be judged by human standards.” “Our finite human minds are incapable of understanding the infinite.” These Christian non-answers and loopholes are often thrown at me to shut down my questioning. And it works. How best should I respond?
  23. 3 points
    Ah, just do something outrageous in public and you'll be a star! People are so eager to follow.
  24. 3 points
    On another forum my electronic signature is a quote from a Greek poem that translates as "Always keep Ithaca in your mind. Arrival there is your goal". The idea behind the poem generally is that it's the journey that matters, and upon which we should spend our time. Not being locked into one belief system, allowing yourself the freedom to question, challenge and change any orthodoxy (religious or secular) is all to the good. In that sense, may we never arrive.
  25. 3 points
    The bible says "it proves they were not of us,becauce if they were they would if stayed" The fact you turned away fron God;does this not prove you never were true christians in the first place?