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  1. 10 points
    Hello, Ex-C community. I've roamed these forums on and off for over a decade, since shortly after deconverting about 15 years ago. Mine was a traumatic exit from the church, then it took me a few years to realize that the break was permanent. I'm an older woman (as implied by my name, I guess). I came to faith for the last time in my mid-30's, after a couple of decades of trying to find my way to something in which I could honestly believe, trying very hard to make a spiritual home somewhere. I blindly accepted the lie that children require spiritual training to become moral adults, so when my three kids were 4, 6, and 8, my now-ex-husband and I accepted a neighbor's invitation to church and ended up staying ten years. It was my family, my social life, my purpose, my creative outlet, my solace, my hope; it was also, for the last two years, my employer. For the first time in my life, I belonged somewhere. But it ended badly, and the day that happened is, as for many of us here I'm sure, my before-and-after moment, the day I can point to and say "everything before THAT was a different life, and everything since has been something else entirely." I've never been the same; sometimes that feels like a good thing, sometimes not. My relationships with my husband and with the church died in the same week, and though that may sound simplistic, believe me -- it wasn't; by the time I arrived at that point, the marriage was easy enough to walk away from, but the loss of faith was a four-year-hell. So I'm turning off the invisibility screen, because after two decades of kicking around a novel I've promised myself to finish some day, I find myself halfway through the writing and I'm getting to the hard part. It's not autobiographical, but it does come from the place where my end-of-faith pain is stored; the old wounds need to be inspected and cleaned again, and maybe this time I'll get it right and it'll finally heal. Thanks for all the help you've given without knowing it; your existence here means something to the world, even if we're not all brave enough to say hello at first. DD
  2. 10 points
    I am finally ready to share my story. I read many testimonies on here in the beginning of my deconversion that really helped me feel less alone. Maybe my story will help someone too. I grew up in a relaxed Christian home. My mom was very involved in the church, but we didn't live out our faith at home. My childhood was normal and I didn't become a devout Christian until I was in college. We attended church reguarly, but our Pastor didn't really preach from the Bible. He would throw a verse into his sermons now and then, but every service was more of a feel good, God loves you sort of thing. Fast forward to my last few months of college. I was depressed. I hated what I was going to school for, had zero friends, and felt like I had ruined my future by racking up college debt for a degree I hated. After several months of misery, I remembered how good church used to make me feel. I had a part-time job that prevented me from going to church, but I loved to read. I felt so silly for not turning to the Bible earlier! I had a giant love letter from God!! That night I opened my Bible eager to be encouraged... Well as everyone here knows, the Bible is NOT a big self-help book. It's got lots of wrath, Hell, genealogy, and prophecies. When I realized this, instead of running in the opposite direction, I became angry. Not at the Bible, but at my church for not teaching me the real word of God. I felt like I had been lied to all these years. I now wanted to learn who God really was... I got "saved" and found a church that taught the Bible verse by verse. It was actually a good time in my life because I went from depressed to madly in love with Jesus. I was so happy and deeply devoted to God. It was a big non-demonanital church with loud music and a welcoming atmosphere. I learned about sin for the first time, but also learned how much God loved me. It was actually a decent church. Fast forward a few months later and I met my husband. He was exactly what I was looking for faith wise. He also became a Christian as an adult, and was so passionate about God that he did street evangelism, taught adult Sunday School, and was working to become a church deacon. He was a member of a little county Baptist church. I loved my church, but the first time I went to his, I was in love. Not only did his church teach from the Bible, his pastor was not afraid to preach about Hell and God's wrath. I felt like I was finally learning what the Bible actually said. No more feel-good sermons, you left feeling convicted! Just like everyone else at his church, we were married a few months after meeting. I couldn't wait to begin my life like everyone else at the church. I envisioned my life as a devout Christian wife with a couple kids that we would homeschool. I would bake cookies for church, make friends with the other church women, do Bible studies with my husband daily, fall more in love with Jesus, it was going to be a wonderful amazing future.... Yeah that didn't happen....What happens when you marry someone you barely know just because you're both Christians and love eachother? You argue...A LOT. And guess what also happens when a shy awkward person tries to join a group of people with strict beliefs and ideals? They recede further into their shell. And what happens when someone who was told at 17 they only had a 5% chance of getting pregnant? Jesus doesn't magically heal their infertility! And guess what happens when you combine all of this with NON-STOP preaching about Hell? Well, let's just say anxiety ensues!!! I gave up everything for Jesus. I missed so many family events and functions because they happened on a Sunday. I refused to go for Jesus.. I also continued to have no friends. I didn't fit in with the other church women because my marriage wasn't blissful, and I didn't have kids to homeschool. I felt so alone and couldn't understand why God wasn't helping me. I'll fast forward through all the drama but I had a really rough 4 years. Long story short my husband got so involved in the church we didn't have time for anything else. I didn't have a single friend at the church so I was alone during church 100% of the time (we couldn't even sit together because he had lots of responsibilies during the service). I eventually asked to switch churches, which caused more arguing but finally we left after 4 long years... When we left that church, I was still a believer. Which actually made things more difficult because I couldn't understand why God wasn't making life easier for me. I had done EVERYTHING I was supposed to, but my life was still a mess. I truly thought I wasn't saved. I also thought God was punishing me for making my husband leave his church home. I honestly kept waiting for something horrible to happen to me as punishment. We church shopped for a while, and eventually found somewhere that we both liked. We agreed to only attend services for the time being until we healed from the damage caused by being too involved in our old church. But slowly, our attendance began to waiver... It was a combo of our work schedules, and a fear of getting overly involved again. Then I broke my ankle and it made going to our church (lots of stairs) nearly impossible. After 3 months of no attendance, I started allowing the questions I always had about the Bible to start playing in my head. I really hated the idea of Hell. And the main one (that I NEVER let myself think as a Christian), an eternity worshipping at the feet of Jesus didn't sound like fun. It actually didn't seem fair. I didn't ask Jesus to die for me, so why do I have to spend eternity bowing down to him? A few months later after doing some research, I nervously broke the news to my husband that I didn't believe in the Bible anymore, and questioned if there really was a God. I had no idea what this would do to our relationship. I was worried he would drag me back to church and it would be a nightmare.... But to my SHOCK, he admitted he didn't believe anymore either, but was too afraid to tell me!!!! It's now been 5 months since we officially said we don't believe anymore. Things are getting better and I now love learning about all the errors in the Bible! Thanks for reading, hope this encourages someone.
  3. 9 points
    As moderators, we have this entire website under our purview. This includes newly deconverted members who are still struggling, christians who are facing crises of faith, and lurkers who might be anywhere on the spectrum. When one member actively seeks to undermine our primary purpose, we have to weigh the needs of everyone against the possibility of offending the one who was deliberately running riot in several forums. If sparing further trauma to already traumatized members means seeming to disrespect the one, I'm comfortable with that. Because my purpose here is reaching out to other recovering ex-christians, not walking on eggshells for the occasional christian apologist. Thanks, TRP
  4. 8 points
    I'm glad you're here, @WWOAC. Yes, you were a Christian. If you called yourself a Christian that's what you were. If you are not anymore then that's great! Don't get caught up in the constant goal-post shifting and weaponized delegitimization of people's experiences. They beckon you to do that because it helps them ignore counter-evidence when they delegitimize the experiences and perspectives of anyone who disagrees with them, outright. Christians like to claim ownership of everything, but in reality they robbed most things from other cultures - like components of their own mythic language and story. If you do some research here you'll see countless examples of how Christianity is not unique in the ways that the believers claim it is (I recommend expanding your mythic knowledge by reading scriptures and teachings of other religions). There's a lot of propaganda framing everything culturally "good" as coming from Christianity - it's just cultural narcissism. Anyways, your questions are valid. Trust your curiosity, your intellect, and your instincts. Don't get bullied by people who make you question your sanity.
  5. 7 points
    If there are any spelling errors or pronunciation errors in this article then I ask for forgiveness in Jesus's name. Amen!!! Here are my reasons for deconversion. It's more to do with the reasons why, rather than telling my story, after all that's what matters. Some of my points are from great minds other than myself, and I do not appologise for this as these people have inspired myself and many others to lose faith. I started losing my belief with the 1st scenario below. To me this is ENOUGH proof that Bible god is NOT real Scenario I'm very interested in coming along and maybe joining your church. I attended church for many years and eventually made a commitment to the Lord. I went on Sundays, to every church meeting but I remember one such occasion of attending church when my grandfather had a heart attack and we called out one of the Elders from the church because he was also a Doctor. He was brilliant and he opened up the church for us as we were nearby and we laid my grandfather down inside the church near the pulpit. The local Hospital was packed solid so we thought it was a good idea that the church could help. Then the Elder of the church said something very strange but actually very obvious. He said "If you had a serious accident at work or someone fell seriously ill why does everyone always phone 999 instead of calling on the church for healing help". He then said " You don't ever hear people saying, Quick they've had a stroke, get them to a church as soon as possible, and you never see any Emergency church vehicles running to the scene of a multiple pile up on the Motorway to offer help from God but on the other hand, the Hospitals are packed solid night & day with the sick but if you drive past a church at midnight the car park will be empty and it's doors will be locked with not a soul in sight.. No-one ever goes to a church for proper aftercare either to get healed. Imagine if your church Pastor said "Take 2 of these prayers every 4 hours and if after 7 days these prayers aren't working then come back and see me and I will put you on a different course of prayers" or "Quick take them straight down to the Emergency Altar as they might die so they need to be given emergency prayers now!! Why do people not use all the churches for all our sick and dying people. Imagine if we were to drive past and our churches were full and then see all the redundant hospitals that lie empty because of the amazing work that God is doing because of his amazing prayer promises that Jesus proclaims in the bible. Surely then even in the real world we should see some churches at least three quarters full or even half full of sick people being healed by prayers! but No; They are completely empty. So Why? If prayer works as Jesus emphatically claims in the verses below are the churches completely empty regarding healing the sick James 5:15 “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.” Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” John 14 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ASK ME FOR ANYTHING in my name, AND I WILL DO IT." Matthew 18:19 “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about ANYTHING THEY ASK, IT WILL BE DONE for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 17:20 “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” ....Simply because the churches would be full to the brim if prayer worked but the evidence shows overwhelmingly that prayer doesn't seem to work and science has gone further and proved prayer doesn't work without doubt but having a belief in something that isn't real but you are desperate to believe that it is true is easily illustrated in the next paragraph Why does Santa not give all the needy children in the world presents. Exactly the same reason that Jesus doesn't feed them and lets millions of children end up being abused and starving. Because that's how imaginary Characters work. Christians often try to claim that God has healed someone and it's a miracle but forget to tell you the truth that the person was in Hospital having specialist treatment from Doctors and Nurses for weeks, or even months. This isn't God and it also isn't a miracle, it's just dellusion and wishfull thinking of trying to show that an imaginary God is in control when you're actually telling lies! Christians tell lies when converting people by only using a very small portion of John's gospel instead of telling people the truth about the whole book that you must hate your family, He's not come with peace but with a sword, he cruely tells someone that their dead relatives can bury themselves, he calls a woman a dog for not being a Jew. His father order David's wives to be raped by Neighbours for something David did (imagine if you were one of those wives or do you Christians lack real empathy to put yourself in other peoples shoes just so you can still justify your horrible book). Yahweh the father is an unjust, brutal, murdering, child abusing, rapist, and he's an egotistic maniac and madman but you don't tell the new converted person any of this because you know that they wouldn't convert if they knew the truth so you hope that they continue in the Church and by time they find out the real truth you hope it's too late for them to get out. You say “The bible is true in every way because the bible tells us so”. A book that no one has any proof of that any of its thousands upon thousands of words were actually ever spoken or even true. A book that is without any proof that it is even from any god as there's not one shred of evidence. So by "faith" you base your whole life on it (Faith just means "relying on stupidity", just like driving your car 10 miles blindfolded and expecting to reach your destination without crashing or killing people on the way. No chance!!) even though it condones lots of evil things such as burning alive your only daughter after a promise to god. You then via the preaching from other humans (no words from god), and soft sales music in the background, convince yourself that every single bible word was true from that moment someone converted you with just ONE verse. John 3:16. Then I hear you say “I am a Christian of the One and Only true god”...........but all I really hear you saying is.......... “You were most likely raised by Christian Parents of exactly the same belief structure & denomination which just coincidently happens to be, in your eyes, “the one true religion” because it's the only thing that was bashed into you until you submitted, passed down from your parents and you just happened to be born in a Christian, instead of Hindu or Muslim, geogrphical area of the world.....and that you have total blind faith in a set of man made stories that reflect the awful morals and culture of the time they were written....it's a book that you have never really read properly, after all these years & years you've never read the “Almighty's” book properly, so what does that say about your real belief in god's book, plus you would of read it thousands of times from page 1, without any influence from biased church Pastors, if you actually truly believed that he is the true GOD. It's simple, the bible is not from god because most of this book is confusing and doesn't make sense and the stories just go on and on relentlessly before it even gets to the point of the story because most of it's very poor literature writing.......... So instead you use a set of biased human beings every 7 days to carefully cherry pick it so you can willingly be indoctrinated and brainwashed via repetition to enable you to easily accept and believe in their interpretation, especially if you need to convince yourself that the bad parts are all irrelevant now and that the bible is only full of “good and love”(Angel of Light)......... and these Pastors ensure that they only cherry pick about 15-25% of the whole book, namely all the agreeable and the good parts, which means that you are really just deceiving yourselves by pretending the bad stuff doesn't exist and/or apply any more, except when it suits you ie Gays....Therefore deep down surely you realise that modern Christianity is just deceit and lies because the other 75-85% you avoid to mention or preach about as you are told to convince yourself that the whole book is true and never to question as “god knows best”, even though your church cult only believes in 15-25%. You are bashed repeatedly with “this is just Satan attacking and god will punish you in Hell if you dare leave the “flock”. All for doing nothing more than using your god given brain instead of a cherry picking book ........ Take Note that If you are his “sheep” then remember a Shepherd only keeps sheep for a couple of reasons, and it's not because he loves his sheep, One reason is that the sheep are going to blindly follow their Shepherd straight down to the Slaughter House...Only fools would be proud of being sheep. The more I studied the Bible, the more contradictions I found there and the more I saw things in the scriptures that were 100% immoral or unethical. Things like God killing women, innocent children & babies and innocent animals in the flood. Things like God commanding the Israelites to absolutely slaughter their enemies, including women, innocent children and animals and ordered not to spare one single person or animal, unless they were CHILD girl virgins of course. I just couldn't understand how God could order Israel to kill entire cities, including women and small children. I imagined them being lined up for execution, the woman holding onto their children who were crying and then getting a sword run through both of them. It didn't make sense to me at all. I imagined myself an Israelite soldier being ordered to kill the children and If I didn't kill them I would be disobeying God and would be killed. This made god seem just like our recent dictators and the Nazi regime and I find this very upsetting and then to hear in my head the daft excuses that Christians say to try and justify these awful murders, ie "god knows best" and "he does things for reasons that we cannot understand but his ways are righteous and just" Things like God testing people (remember Job) when he is supposedly omniscient and he killed Job's family just because of a bet with Satan. Things like God wanting his people to show their devotion to him by mutilating their sexual organs. David, according to Paul, is a man after God’s own heart who murders to gain a wedding gift of foreskins. Putting aside the fact it's genocide, it's also far too primitive to ever be from the real God who created this amazing universe using systems of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology that only we could ever hope to understand. This foreskin rubbish from this jealous, angry & tyrannical bible god is clearly just a massive insult to the true designer of our vast universe and an insult to his/her intelligence, unless it's evolution. Also this bible god couldn't defeat an army in the OT because they had chariots made of iron!...So he's got no chance in the 2nd coming now we've got metal war Tanks and planes...Remember this one too from the bible “God loves the smell of burning sacrificed human & animal flesh.” Wow...for me this is just too stupid to ever come from the real Maker. Also things like all the Middle Eastern gods claim that blood must be shed to remove sin. Everything in Christianity always has to do with death, blood, sacrifice, murder, torture, strict & impossible to keep conditions and forgiveness via blackmail. Killing innocent animals and people as a sacrifice cannot ever pay for the wrongs you do. Things like making others pay for your sins as with David's wives - God actually commands all David's wives be raped by his neighbours to punish David. Now imagine if YOU were one of David's wives!! This awful notion someone else can pay is evil. Say you commit a wrong doing and the Courts decide to punish that whole family next door, that you're good friends with. Everyone knows they're innocent but they are going to be tortured and put to death for a wrong doing that YOU committed. There would be an outcry but this sort of payback system seems to be an all too familiar theme throughout this bible, including god offering to kill and murder a very tiny part of himself and calling it his Son. Why create evil then in the 1st place; also heaven must have been full of sin before the world even began because a whole third of all the Angels insisted on rebellion and then became more evil than your worst nightmares – hence Demons. Therefore bible gods heaven is just a pure mess and was full of the most awful sin and was certainly not perfect in any way right from the start. Its all wrong and being portrayed as “right” when it's just a “lie” that anyone can pay for the crimes that you commit. It's just a cop out to make you think that you've got away with your sins in life, and that's why the Police and the Courts don't kill innocent animals and innocent people for any crimes you commit today because everyone knows that it would be wrong, disgusting and evil to ever command such things. Please Christian why don't you try to live in fear everyday knowing that you could be tortured & executed at any time because of a Neighbour's sin, Let's see how you feel about it. Christians always claim that their bible is justified in every way in what it does to other people as long as it's always someone else that has to suffer and not YOU or any family or friends close to YOU. Study what they used to do to a goat in old times and hence the reason we have the term “scape goat” And why does God send evil spirits. Things like God slaughtering an innocent child or baby in every Egyptian home after God hardened Pharaoh’s heart on purpose and then he killed Pharaoh for having a hard heart, only after God had deliberately killed thousands of innocent 1st born and 1st born cattle!!. Imagine if it was your Son or Daughter and the family cat or dog!! Things like God commanding genocide. I couldn’t help but wonder, this is supposedly the God that so loved the world? And yet he thought slavery and giving instructions on how to sell your own Daughter into it was OK. It took America 245 years to find out slavery was wrong all because the bible said it was right and it took an atheist to get it banned!! Again dear Christian this book is perfect in your eyes as long as it's not YOU or your Daughter that must be sold!! The New & Old Testament can't even get its story straight as the bible's so called Christ did not even fulfill all of the prophecies that the Messiah was supposed to fulfill. So the bible deceitfully tries to claim Jesus (this name Jesus is only 600yrs old) is the Messiah but then you find that He was obviously not the Messiah if you study carefully God kills millions of innocent babies and animals in a flood (estimated 20+ million people murdered and imagine how many innocent animals) when he could of saved every single one of those murders just by putting Adam & Eve to sleep and starting again...Then he starts the whole process again with 8 faulty people in a boat leading to far more mass murder and torture (the 8 people couldn't of been very righteous so why doesn't this god who loves to murder the innocent any way just kill 20,000,000+8 and start again without sin). This from the all knowing god. Christians are no more innocent than those unlucky souls who were tortured and murdered back in the OT. ...”Well, they were evil back then” according to you and your almighty Gawd. They were right to be stoned to death for picking sticks up on the Sabbath even though today you might just pop into Sainsburys on a Sunday for some bits. Have you ever watched a rock being smashed into someone face & body (stoning) where their body and face is crushed in with rocks, wounds pouring with blood. Then maybe you should and then you may realise just how wrong this OT god is and how lucky you were to be born today... Only “Time” separates what they suffered in the OT and why you live your scot-free life today...The Jesus sacrifice is all wrong because of the amount of elapsed “Time” that it took for the bible story writers to copy similar stories and a similar 3 day sacrifice story that many Egyptian & Babylonian gods had already come up with centuries before this Jesus story. These Pagan stories were used to form the very similar bible story for this Jesus character, and in many cases the Jesus story it's just a varied copy of the many previous Pagan god stories that came before. The Jesus story came thousands of years too late from an “all knowing” god as millions of his unnecessary tortures & murders would have been prevented just by sending his son after Adam & Eve and this would of halted that evil flood. “By the fruits you will know..." Yes, this fruit seems rotten But this is the God of the Old Testament and that Jesus came to show us a different view of God A “New Testament” God, a kinder, gentler God. But the God that Jesus describes, while maybe not calling for God’s people to kill their enemies too often, steps things up by warning people of everlasting torment. He's miles worse than YHWH. In the OT, if you sinned against God, you were just killed for your sin (god's very small mercy of no more pain). In the NT, if you sin against God or Jesus, you will suffer everlasting torture. I’ve never been comfortable with all of Jesus’ teachings either. After all, according to the gospels: He said that he didn't come to bring peace to the earth, but to bring a sword. He said we should hate our families. He said that we shouldn’t marry or have children. He never denounced slavery; instead he advocated that some slaves should be beaten harder than others. He supported physical mutilation – cutting off your hand/ foot and gouging out your eye, and before you start with your silly excuses, nowhere does it say that this language is just metaphoric language! That's just the excuses Christians invented to try and justify his words as well meaning. He said that the poor would always be with us. He said that marrying divorced women is forbidden. He forbade planning for the future. He forbade having sexual urges. He forbade stopping thieves or physical attackers. He then chucks 2,000 innocent pigs off a cliff top as he says it was to remove demons! Don't try to tell me that there wasn't an alternative way to do this peacefully when he is the GOD of love and justice!!! Jesus is a monster but in disguise this time with some “love” thrown in, but it's all based on “strict” conditions, and not true unconditional love. Jesus also clearly reiterates in the NT on many occasions that no law, no matter how awful, is to be changed in the OT and anyone trying to change any bible words or add/miss anything out to suit themselves will be in very serious danger but you lot do it all the time as you only use 15-25% of the bible in the modern Church's because secretly you know that 75-85% of the book is disgusting and makes no sense This simple quote puts things in the correct perspective. “Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.”....... but If you read the bible about god's character it is the complete opposite of this quote, god is't very patient and he's jealous, boastful and very egotistical, seeks revenge, conceited, rude and selfish, he easily takes offence and is resentful, he takes pleasure in peoples' sins and delights in punishing people without mercy or remorse often for little things and even sometimes just for being an innocent bystander. He constantly changes 'His' mind as to what truth is or isn't and He certainly doesn't like excuses, trusts no one and his claimed love is purely conditional, based on fear and wrath and he demands arrongant worship of himself constantly.........God is the contradiction of what love is supposed to be... so therefore this god of the bible is NOT love but the complete opposite of love......When you are in such an abusive relationship with someone Eg Husband, Wife, Father or even this "bible god" you constantly make excuses for them (bible twisting, lame excuses or simply ignore all the evil injustices & atrocities within the bible) and then you say things like "I know him and he's not really like that. He doesn't really mean to call me "evil and undeserving of anyone" and that without him "I'm useless and lost" and that's why he demands that I put him 1st and that I never look up to someone else apart from him......He's even had his own Child tortured and killed for me and it was all my fault....He was far too busy at the time to take any of the responsibility for creating people he already knew inside out; like Hitler, Stalin and ISIS....Look! I know he created evil & Hell but he did it all for you and me and all in our best interests and you're forgetting again that he tortured and murdered his own child and soon I will sit next to him in heaven so he must love me really, doesn't he??" ..........You best join the heavenly queue quickly as billions also state that they too will be seated next to Jesus in heaven, and these billions of other people came 1st before you........... if you think that this heaven will be that good and you're so confident about it, to the point of extreme arrogance with some Christians, then why bother to put your seat belt on in the car.....and why do you fear death so much?? It is glaringly obvious that in order to believe one must ignore whole sections of the bible, often claiming that it can't be interpreted literally. Let's take for example " Those who trust in the Lord will want for no good thing" "Do not worry about the clothes you wear or food you eat but put the kingdom of heaven first and all these things will be added to you”. Obviously I'm paraphrasing but the point is there are promises that clearly state those who believe will be fed, clothed and want for nothing that is good for them. Now I'm going to get a little harsh and hope I don't offend anyone but you probably don't have much empathy for people if you can't even see the bad stuff in the Old Testament and New Testament for what it really is. Anyway, to illustrate my point I will resort to using an example that is unfortunately far too common and not pleasant. Think of all the millions of young children being abused and molested and praying with great faith that this God will protect them. Is this not wanting for something good? and it is of course the desire of their heart which is also promised them in the bible yet why don't they receive the fulfilment of those promises, not to mention the obvious fact that millions of Christians are starving to death all around the world and god promises numerous times in different wording that his followers will be fed as I pointed out before. Has Religion brought more harm or good to this world? Are Christians necessarily better people than anyone else? I think not. It was Christians who burnt women as witches (with biblical sanction). It was Christians who burnt scholars for translating the Bible into English. It was Christians who stood against women’s rights (with biblical sanction). It was Christians who stood against the abolition of slavery in Europe & America (with biblical sanction) and who donned the robes of the KKK. It was Christians who wanted us to go to war with Iraq and destroy that country in retribution for 9-11. It's Christians who can't wait for Jesus to inflict murder on billions in the world just so that YOU can see the day that YOU can float up to the clouds and be with Jesus. Most of you beg for this return of Jesus without caring how many people have to be murdered by Jesus to get to this point, as long as you're not hurt in anyway of course. If Jesus so loved the world then he wouldn't murder even 1 person but you can't see the irony in how evil this doctrine is that you follow. For any Christian to deny these things proves that they either don’t know their history or they simply chose to ignore it. "Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." Thomas Paine:... The God that you call your “Father” - I've got a Dad but he's not a proper Dad ever since Christians got hold of him at a Billy Graham event he's turned into one of those Fundamentalist bible extremists, you know the sort, the one's that want to punish everyone who break YHWH's laws, stone 'em to death, kill the Sabbath breakers and kill all Gays as they are evil. I feel like I have woken up one day to discover that my 'daddy' (and I never really had one) -- the man that's supposed to love you, admire and encourage you, try to do their best for you in life and be there for each other, now bases all his views on the Christian Dad, “Our Father God” who is a just murderer, a rapist, a blood-thirsty tyrant and a hater of women & children, in fact of everyone and a Dad who would sacrifice his own child (Son) instead of himself for the mistakes and evil that he made in the 1st place and then threatens the rest of his children with eternal and everlasting burning just for being normal....What parent would do that and what parent would be so jealous and insecure to demand such egotistical worship of himself (yes jealousy is a SIN so YHWH and Jesus were sinners!!)....this isn't grace or love......it's abuse If one person were to say to another: "I love you. You will love me too, and do what I say, without ever questioning me, or I will punish you with the worst torture you can imagine for the rest of your existence" We would, as a society, cry out loudly: "That's not LOVE, that's ABUSE" But apparently it's OK, if it's coming from the 2 Christian Gods Christians tend to be angry & judgemental towards non believers threatening them with Hell, even though there is no proof of a bible or a Quran heaven and hell, but they still discuss the non believers during their church services and hatefully condemn them to this eternal Hell for not following these myths and fairy stories and I should know as I've sat there and had to listen to these Pastors spout these hatefull words for nearly 15 years thinking that they know better than everyone else in the outside world. Then you conveniently drive the non believers cars, use our shops, banks, swimming pools, Hospital to heal your sick!!, schools etc, so I'll now quote your "no evidence Bible" - Judge not lest ye be judged. Simple really, You need to take heed of what I'm about to say in the next sentence - "You are risking judging yourself to your own Hell for judging others for the way that they choose to live their lives just because they are contrary to your book of superstition" . You also need to remember that Jesus and YHWH have a simple get out clause to stop you getting to your heaven "Many will say Lord, Lord" and he will say "Depart from me I never Knew you" or should I translate that properly from the Hebrew "Many will say Baal, Baal" (the Babylonian god).........Now let's hear you say Amen (Amen from Amun-Ra the Egyptian god)......I think you best check who you are actually worshiping especially as the name Jesus didn't exist 600 years ago as there was no letter "J" and the Greek sounding name for Jesus "lesous" is pronounced "Heysus". If you type "Jesus" to translate into Spanish on Google translate the audio sound will speak the sound "Heysus". Now say this same sound in the Hebrew language and you will be heard saying "The horse". So when spoken in Hebrew it litterally means "The Horse". Hebrew is the LANGUAGE of your Father God and "Heysus" would of been used in the verse below Psalm.33:17: “The horse (Hebrew. pronounced Hey-soos (Hey-sus)) is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.” No salvation is found in the Horse "Hey-sus" - "Hey" means "the" in Hebrew but has no mumeric value in Hebrew, whereas "sus" means "horse" therefore "Hey-sus" in the Hebrew language totals the number 60-6-60 and in Hebrew the zeros are removed as they have no value. Does 666 spring to mind which is the number of a MAN. This MAN will exalt himself above the true GOD.....mythological Jesus exalted himself above GOD by saying no man comes to the Father (GOD) except by me....and the bible (probably a book inspired by Satan and not God) completes the lies by saying he performed magic tricks and miracles to fool the WHOLE world....watch out for the Angel of Light that has deceived the WHOLE world and this is exactly what Christianity has done....more people have been murdered, abused, tortured, child indoctrinated, alienated, disowned and judged by this "Jesus and his cross image" than any other religious doctrine . Now there is no way on earth that if YAHWEH and JESUS were the real God that they would ever allow the name Jesus to be linked with 666 but the writers of Revelation knew that they were describing a man from inside the bible and not from outside the bible, litterally to fool the readers, which has worked as every single one of you have been looking for this code outside of the bible (ie Satan is the MASTER of deception and not just a POORLY PAID WORKER of deception, he is the MASTER and he is fantastic at deception). The word "Jesus" is only used in English speaking countries, it is not spoken as Jesus anywhere else apart from in English. You should not use the name Ge-sus (Jesus) anyway because the Ge means earth or soil in Greek, and the SUS means swine or pig in Latin, so you are saying "Earth pig" “Earth swine” “Earth Beast”. Jesus is a corrupted name derived from the Greek IESOUS. Blind followers with dangerous blind beliefs just blindly except hundreds of thousands of words, contradictions, mistakes, failed prophecies to all be true. But now comes the real problem with all Christians and religious people - YOU then judge others based purely on these blind words, to the point of killing, abuse, torture, indoctrination, criticizing, alienating, condemning non-believers to a fate worse than Hitler's death camps (You should be ashamed of yourselves) when in actual fact if you read your bible you would find a phrase that conquers anything and everything you say and it's simply this.."Even the impossible is possible with God"....and yet you still say that all other religions are going to Hell according to you lot, just for not believing this "no evidence" book that has a talking snake and a talking Donkey in it, a chariot riding up in the sky, a cut off human hand that then begins scribbling words on a wall at a party and the rest of the Childrens characters that are described within...shame it's so nasty and evil then Children could of read it as a story book but too many people in the past have been hurt via this book Bible Kill Count (not inc the flood) - God killed 2,476,633 people - Satan killed 10 people and it doesn't include all the millions of innocent animals god slaughted that wasn't to be used for food, in other words slaughtered for nothing If you think bible God id good then read this list below - God Brings us Evil - Quotes straight from the Bible I, the Lord, make peace and I create evil. God repented of the evil He thought to do to His people. God brings upon you all evil things. God sent an evil spirit. God sent Saul an evil spirit. God said: I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. God brought upon them all this evil. God will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam. God has spoken evil concerning you. Behold, this evil is of the LORD. I God am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah. God said: Behold, I will bring evil upon this place. God said: I will bring evil upon this place and the inhabitants. God said: I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. God said: Hear and behold, I will bring evil upon this people. God said: I will bring evil upon them. God said: For, lo, I begin to bring evil. God will bring evil upon Judah and all Jerusalem. God said: I will bring evil upon all flesh. God said: I will bring evil upon them in my fierce anger. Out of the mouth of God proceeds not evil and good? They showed Job sympathy for all the evil that God brought him. Did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Evil came down from God. God said: Against this family do I devise an evil. God said: I am planning an evil against this race. Shall there be evil in a city; the Lord hath not done it? God said: I may repent of the evil, which I purpose to do. God's Lies, Deceptions & Murders - Quoted straight from the Bible The Lord said I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. Oh Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. God sends a strong delusion to make them believe what is false. God killed / drowned all but 8 Human Beings and a boat-load of animals. God kills innocent babies and animals in a flood (est 25+ million murdered) when he could of saved all those murders by putting Adam & Eve to sleep and just started again from scratch God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God killed Lot's wife, mother of 2 virgins, by turning her into a pillar of salt. God killed Onan who refused to knock-up his sister-in-law. God killed by hail every man that was outdoors. God claimed to make the dumb or deaf, the seeing or blind. God killed all of Egypt's firstborn. God drowned the Egyptian army. God directed how to sell your daughter. God wants all killed who curse their father & mother. God condoned the killing of slaves. God directed to kill witches. God ordered to murder any who sacrificed to another God. God wants the first-born of your sons. God wants the first-born of animals sacrificed to Him. God said: Obey Me, do what I say, I will hate and murder your enemies. God ordered: Who dares to work on the Sabbath day shall be murdered. God had Moses to slay 3,000 of their own relatives. God murdered two of Aaron's sons by fire. Bare your heads or tear your clothes and God will murder you. Anyone unclean defiling Gods dwelling, God will murder. God ordered: Anyone who curses his father or mother shall be put to death. God commands: If you commit adultery, you shall be put to death. If a man has sex with his father's wife shall be put to death. God ordered: If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, murder them both. God commands to murder gay men. God commanded: If a man marries a woman and her mother, murder all 3. God commanded: If a man has sex with an animal, murder both of them. God commanded: Murder women who have sex with animals. God commanded: If a man or woman acts as a fortuneteller, murder them. God ordered: A priest's daughter who fornicates - burn her to death. God said: Any one with a handicap shall not profane God's sanctuary. God commands: Obey my rules or I will murder you. God ordered an Israelite who and blasphemed God's name murdered. God ordered the whole community murder a man. God said: I brought the Israelites out of Egypt and they are My slaves. Slaves, male and female you may indeed possess. God said: If you disobey Me, I will make you eat your sons and daughters. God said: I will have them eat their sons and daughters. God said: Fathers shall eat sons and sons shall eat fathers. God said: Murder any stranger who comes near God's dwelling. God documented: I murdered all the first-born in Egypt. I am God. God claimed whom He would murder if they look at sacred objects. God can't stand sick, suffering people. The people complained, so God murdered many of them. God made them eat meat until they died. God said: I will murder all who saw what I did in Egypt but who still don't obey Me. God saved people from Egypt and later murdered those who did not believe. God told Moses: You, and all out of Egypt over 20, shall die in the desert. God murdered men who gave a bad report about The Promised Land. Caleb and Joshua were the only 2 God spared of 600,000 infantry. Catholic God ordered to murder a man found gathering sticks on The Sabbath. 250 Israelite leaders disobeyed Moses. God burned them all alive. Israelites complained against Moses. God murdered 14,700. God ordered: Any layman coming near the alter will deserve murder. God sent poisonous snakes against His people. They were bitten and died. God said: I command the serpent and he shall bite them. God ordered Moses to kill all the King's people and to take their land. God said: I would have murdered you - but I would have spared your ass. God stopped killing after murdering 24,000 more of His chosen. God ordered Moses: Treat the Midianites as enemies. Crush them. God murdered all males, mothers and babies and kept the 32,000 virgins. God made the Israelites wander 40 years in the desert til they all died. God: Drive them out or I will do to you what I thought to do to them. 38 years later, God had murdered the whole generation of soldiers. God: Begin murdering. Provoke war. I will make all nations fear you. God destroyed all men, women, and little ones. God left no survivor. God delivered Og and we killed all the men, women and children of 60 cities. Moses said: God is angry. I will die, not make it to The Promised Land. God commanded: If you make a statue / image, you will be destroyed. Without pity, murder all the people who God delivers to you. God will send hornets to destroy your enemies. Kill nations little by little. Like nations God destroys, you shall be murdered, if you do not obey God. God, a consuming fire, will subdue them so that you can murder them quickly. God said: You shall destroy / murder places God chooses. If brother, son, daughter, wife, friend entices you to other gods - kill them. If a city serves other Gods - murder the city. God ordered: Murder any man or woman who worships the Sun / Moon. God said: At an execution, the witnesses kills first and then all join in. God said: Any who doesn't listen to God's priests / Judges shall be murdered. God said: The cities I give you, you must murder them all. God ordered: If a father has a stubborn, rebellious son, murder the son. God ordered: If a father has a stubborn, rebellious son, murder the boy. God ordered: If the tokens of virginity be not found in a girl, murder her. God ordered: If a man has sex with a married woman, murder them both. God commanded: If a man has sex with a betrothed virgin, murder them. God ordered: If a man rapes a virgin he must marry, never divorce her. God will defeat every enterprise you undertake until you are destroyed. God will make disease attach to you until you are murdered. God shall murder you by consumption, inflammation, fever, burning, sword. God will make your land powder and dust until you die. God will cause your enemies to murder you. God said: They will eat your animals and crops until you are destroyed. You will eat your own sons and daughters for food. God said: The most delicate woman will eat her afterbirth and her infant. God said: I will make my arrows drunk with blood. They didn't obey God to murder all men, women, children. God destroyed them. God ordered Joshua's army to slaughtered men, women and children. A'chan took war-spoils. God burned A'chan and his children. God tells Joshua to murder the city of A'I, to take its spoils, livestock as booty. God said to Joshua: When you have taken the city, set it on fire. God murders, by ambush, all 12,000 men and women and hanged their King. God slew cities. Victims fled, God cast down great stones from Heaven. Joshua ordered God make the Sun to stand still to finish God's killing. 5 kings remained alive Prisoners Of War. God's Joshua killed the POWs. Joshua and God slaughtered the cities person leaving no survivors. God hardened the hearts of the people God wanted killed for their land. Joshua captured and murdered over 30 countries and their Kings. God boasted: Then I, God, sent Moses and Aaron and murdered Egypt. God said: I gave you land that you did not till and cities you did not build. God slew 10,000 and cut off Adonibek's thumbs and big toes. Shamgar (God's savior) slew 600 Philistines. God murdered 120,000 men that drew sword. Abimelech, God's chosen, murdered his 70 brothers. The anger of God was hot against Israel and God sold Israel out. God had Jephthah kill 20 cities and his 13-year-old daughter sacrificed. Israelites offended God. God sold-out the Israelites to Philistines for 40 years. God had Samson born and he become a weapon to murder the Philistines. God inspired Samson to murder 30 men for their tunics to pay off his debt. God released Samson's hands to murder 1,000 men. Samson killed men and women bringing down the temple and died himself. God had His Israelites attacked Laish, a quiet and trusting people. Israelites asked God: Should I again war with my brother? God said yes. The 2nd time, God had the Benjamites kill another 18,000 Israelites. Israelites offered sacrifice. God said: Attack. I will deliver them to you. On the 3rd day the Israelis killed 25,100 Benjamites. Israelites murdered Benjamite cities. They destroyed, by fire, all their cities. God ordered 12,000 soldiers to murder women and children. Except for 400 virgins, God murdered all the Benjamite women. God kills, and makes alive. God makes the rich and the poor. God's priests had sexual relations with women. God put them to death. God had the enemy Philistines murder about 4,000 Israelites. God killed 30,000 more Israelites and His 2 bad priests. God slaughtered 50,070 men who looked into the Arc of God. God said: Smite Amalek, utterly destroy both man, woman, babies and suckling. King Saul killed but spared King Agag. God regretted having made Saul King. God's prophet said: Saul, murder them. Why have you disobeyed God? Samuel said to Saul: You rejected God's command to murder them all. Samuel cut King Agag to pieces. God regretted having made Saul King. God's chosen David murders and circumcises 200 Philistines. God said: Attack the Philistines! I will deliver them to you. Uzzah guided the tipping Arc of God. God murdered Uzzah. God told David: I have murdered your enemies before you. David knocked-up Uriah's wife, Bathsheba and ordered Uriah murdered. David shall not die. God, instead, murdered David's & Bathsheba's baby. God told David to choose of 3 punishments. God murdered 70,000 Israelites. God used a destroying Angel to murder 70,000 men. God Murdered 500,000 of His own chosen Israelites. God had His prophet, Elijah, murder 450 prophets of Baal. God caused a lion to kill His prophet's companion. God had two she bears tear 42 of the children to pieces. God kills and God makes alive. God sent lions to kill people who did not know how to sacrifice to God. God's (Death) Angel murdered 185,000 Assyrians. God said to Satan: You enticed / moved / tempted Me to ruin Job without cause. God, who smote great nations and slew mighty Kings. God inspired: Happy is he that takes and dashes your little ones against the stones. God said: Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers. God said: Cursed be he who holds back his sword from blood. God said: Slaughter and doom them. Do all that I commanded you. God said: With you, My weapon of war, I will murder man, wife, old and young. God said: Fathers shall eat sons, sons shall eat fathers. God said: I will rob you of your children. I have jealousy, anger and fury. God said: Slay old, young, maids, little children and women. Wipe them out. God said: All souls / lives are Mine. All sinners shall die. God: I gave them statutes and ordinances that were not good so they could not live. God: I let them sacrifice their first-born. I smell children passing through fire. In sacrifice, the fragrance of the burning fat is God's. I claim the first fruits of your offerings. As a pleasing odor, I accept you. God: I pour out My wrath on you. I hand you over. You shall be fuel for the fire. God said: I will let loose My jealousy against you, they will cut off your nose and your ears. God said: Hack them to pieces and slay their sons and daughters. God said: Know I am God when I wreak My vengeance. Daughters shall be slaughtered. God: I will bring against you enemies that will murder you. I, God, inflict punishments. God said: I gave Egypt to him (Moses) so they will know I am God. God said: They shall know that I am God when I set fire to Egypt and break all who help her. God said: My command to terrify unsuspecting Ethiopia is coming. I shall put an end of Egypt. God said: You shall have flesh to eat and blood to drink until you are drunk. God said: Little ones - dash to pieces and expectant mothers - rip open. God said: I loved Jacob but hated Esau. It is written: Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated. God said: I will corrupt your seed and spread dung (shit) upon your faces. God: The day is coming, all the proud evildoers will be set on fire, murdered. God and / or Peter murdered Ananias and Sapphira for not giving all their money. My enemies, who would not have Me be King over them, bring them before Me & slay them. The Son of Man / Jesus Christ said: "I will kill her children". If you claim that the Biblical God is in control, you know who is to blame for all the evil.
  6. 6 points
    A diagnosis couldn't be done without a full evaluation, but I am a retired Psychiatric Social Worker and can pick up clues from what is posted. I PMed SV and highly suspect he has a mental disorder, but will not disclose what was discussed out of respect for his privacy. The way some people are treated on this site has bothered me previously. We expect respect from them, but at times are just as disrespectful in return. I don't know if anyone else agrees, and maybe I am just an old foggie, but the figure with head up ass is highly disrespectful. How can we demand respect if we don't show it ourselves? I would hope a site that declares to be a support group would have a little more sophistication. And I am somewhat talking to myself, as my sarcasm occasionally comes through. Overall this is a great forum, but this has been my biggest disappointment. Back to mental illness. Not everyone fits into neat categories, or is fully "ill", or fully "well". There are different degrees of mental ilnesses, and different mixtures of features. And many of us have different degrees of "quirks", but would not be classified as mentally ill. The correlation between religion and mental illness was of interest to me from the beginning of my education. As it turns out, the correlation seems to be pretty loose. I think it figures into the situations, but it is the overall family and community atmosphere, and heredity, that seems to matter more. Inconsistency is a HUGE problem, and really effects our development. Did our parents practice what they preached? Did we know what to expect from day to day? Were there deep secrets in the family? Things that were too disturbing to think about, or even admit it happened? Etc. And to complicate situations are things such as brain damage, chemical inbalances, etc. If you think about it, why would a rational thinking person come onto this site and try to bring us back into the fold? And why would they hang around after obviously hitting a brick wall? That is an obvious clue that something is wrong. Why don't they follow the command to shake the dust off their feet As they leave? And are we "using" them to get our "jollies"? To me, the respectful, humane thing to do would be to firmly escort them off the stage when we sense they are not thinking rationally, and become abusive. And sensing irrational thinking does not take a professional. Anyone living in regular society, half way educated, with ability to navigate the web, and believing the earth is flat, is very likely to not be thinking rationally.
  7. 5 points
    “The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.” Carl Sagan
  8. 5 points
    Welcome! Keeping a false peace by lying about who you are serves no one. You are as entitled to your own opinions as anyone else. Many Christians can't handle the fact that lots of people finally see the sham of religion. How they react to that reality is not your fault. It's usually the same story; "It would break my heart if you don't believe what I believe" "I'm so afraid for your soul" "What did we do wrong to make you do this?" How can you do this to us?" .... and blah, blah, blah. Do not allow their emotional blackmail dictate how you live your life honestly. There may be some fallout but the pretense can't continue forever. I wish you all the best. Remember, you've done nothing wrong and their reaction is their choice.
  9. 5 points
    Welcome to Ex-Christian @Dandilion! You’ve come to the right place. You’re absolutely not alone in what you’ve been going through, both the deconversion from Christianity and the heartache of dealing with loved ones who are staunch believers. At the age of 40 you have every right to be your own person and not to have to pretend to be something you’re not. Alas, life isn’t always fair. Every Ex-Christian is unique, and so is every family. From my experience, and reading other people’s stories, a good way to proceed may be slowly revealing your unbelief. Most people still have an instinctive dislike and distrust of people who don’t believe in God, or who have left their religion, and they can rush to judgement about what kind of people we are, or have become. My suggestion would be to gradually reveal yourself: you’ve made a start by no longer going to church. You could mention that you have questions or concerns about the Bible. You could say later that you still believe in something (we all believe in something, even if it’s just peace and love) but not in traditional religion. Let them down gently, so to speak. I realize that works for some families but not for others. I’m sure you will receive other good advice here and I know you’ll receive encouragement and support. Welcome again! TABA
  10. 5 points
    This is exactly the response my parents took. I had to learn that, not only can I not control their responses, it's not even my place to do so.
  11. 5 points
    "I feel guilty going to work because I know I don't believe this stuff anymore." If you worked in a bookstore that sold Harry Potter books and you discovered that the boss and all employees actually believed that Harry Potter was a real living human being and expected you to also believe that way, would you feel guilty about working there as a non-believer? Probably not. Granted you are in the process of deconversion so Christianity may not appear as fictional as HP, at the moment. But consider that all these people have a screw loose. Christianity is a tribal thing. They expect people to think the way the tribe thinks. It sounds like you have a touch of that tribal thinking going as well because you feel guilty for thinking differently than them. You most likely will have to work there until you find some different job. There's no need to feel guilty because a group of people all believe something silly and you dont. So do your job, and dont tell anyone you dont believe in Christianity until you are gone from there...and maybe gone from the parents' home.
  12. 5 points
    But is he actually confused, or does he just prefer to believe in a god? I think that’s how it is for a lot of people, and they fashion their own idea of God as a Lowest Common Denominator of Christian teachings: a kind of Mister Rogers in the sky. Our atheistic view of the world just doesn’t appeal to them.
  13. 4 points
    ( flings the door open) Mooom! daaad! I’m hoooome! ( studio audience applause) OMG it’s been 6 years since I last visited the ExC Forums! i see some old faces: Margee, Florduh, Redneck Professor! You guys were part of the ExC generation that raised me. Seriously, I started here in like 2007 as a terrified young adult who had just left Bible college and could barely find my vagina with both hands! You guys were with me through awkward virginity losing and coming out to the family and my 4-year “ let’s date a Christian” phase. I took a long break because I was in a really healthy place, comfortable with life as an atheist and just didn’t need the extra support anymore. now I’m returning at age 33 because I’m in a weird place spiritually. Atheism was perfectly fine for 14-ish years and it gave me a great life but I’m moving into more of a non-Christian spirituality now. I’m planning to hang out in the ExChristian Spirituality forum. Join me if you want to talk weird stuff!
  14. 4 points
    Hi Simone, I am with @TheRedneckProfessor , if you are feeling guilty about how you may have spoken to someone, it is never too late to apologize and explain yourself. I went through a period of my life where I had guilt about how I acted in relationships and even though it was years later, I went back and apologized for my behavior. I am not sure if you are still working in the same location, but if so, I am sure your coworkers would appreciate it if you waited for the appropriate time and tactfully stated how you believe you wronged them or made them feel uncomfortable, apologize, and explain where you mind was at the time and where you are now. Even if they do not accept your apology, which I am inclined to think most people would, you will feel a lot better about mending those relationships.
  15. 4 points
    Guilt is a very big part of the christian religion. It is one of the tools christians use to keep people in the church; and it is very powerful. It is natural to still feel guilt long after leaving the religion; because guilt becomes such a major part of your christian life. Overcoming the guilt you feel may take time; because it has become ingrained into your way of thinking. However, going directly to the people we have wronged, apologizing, and asking for the opportunity to make amends often helps out a great deal.
  16. 4 points
    Happy Father’s Day to all you Ex-Christian dads! Today I sent greetings of the day to various friends who are lucky enough to be fathers. Text messages mostly. Some guys I see regularly, some Army buddies I haven’t seen for a while, and some of my Ex-Christian friends that I’ve never met but whom I value a lot. It did me good to get in touch with these guys. Life is short. Think about saying Hi to somebody you appreciate today!
  17. 4 points
    Be thankful you don’t have a fear of Hell. Many other people are not so lucky. I never really had a strong belief in Hell myself, which made deconversion quite a bit easier. Roght now I’m reading Bart Ehrman’s book “Heaven and Hell”, which talks about how the concept of life after death evolved through the course of history, ancient, Jewish and Christian. It’s a good read!
  18. 4 points
    Why y'all keep talking about pans of sperm? Y'all nasty motherfuckers need jesus.
  19. 4 points
    Flat earth ponderings: Why the heck cant I watch any of that gosh darn great Middle East satellite TV programming over here in the USA? I oughta just be able to aim my dish up at the flat earth's sky and pick it up easy, from anywhere on our flat earth. And if the earth is flat then why is it dark in Russia when it's midday here? Is half of the world lying to the other half about it being night time when it's daytime here? And why the heck cant I see New Zealand from the USA with a pair of binoculars? Or a telescope. I have even been way up high in several airplanes and have never ever been able to see New Zealand. If the earth was flat I could certainly see any place from any other place, especially if I was in an airplane way above all the mountains. Satan must be hiding half the earth from me! .... Why is Satan so powerful that SV's words from almighty Jesus are unable to penetrate Satan's grip on us heathens? You would think that if Jesus wanted us back that he would just destroy the evil one's power over us and his love would flow into our ears. Either Jesus doesn't really care about us enough to kick Satan's ass ...or he doesn't exist.
  20. 4 points
    Good god this is the greatest benefit of departing the horrid Christian faith. Once your heart is no longer in it, waking up at the crack of dawn to go to church, followed by "afternoon fellowship" is a genuinely torturous experience. I'm a pretty early riser. Heck, I'm one of those nutjobs who's out jogging at 6 AM in the winter sub-zeroes. But there are few greater joys than sleeping in on a Sunday morning while the Christian fools are outside worshiping their fake deity.
  21. 4 points
    Hey @Dandilion. Honesty is the best policy - with the exception of our dear old mum on her death bed. I went to church with Mrs. MOHO for a couple hears after deconverting and not telling anyone. I could stand, no more one day, sitting there listening to the rapid-fire bullshit and becoming more aware of my frowny face and wrinkled brow. I finally realized I was sending a silent signal to all around me that I was not in control of my life...and quit. Mrs. MOHO, instead of asking for a divorce, simply stated that she questioned my faith all along. When I asked if she questioned hers and, if so, why, the fecal matter slammed headlong into the Sears and Roebuck 18" oscillator. This was, much to my surprise and delight, the only fallout. I happily enjoy my Sunday AM's now with her at church and me at home. My marriage is strong. She still sends emails with church crap and when I reply I get yelled at but that's about it. We hang out with Christian friends because I like them - and they me. I realize I have focused your thread on myself but only to illustrate to you and any non-member readers that outcomes are seldom as bad as we anticipate and it is most often better to be forth-coming. If your fams annoy you over this then simply spend less time around them. They'll get it. They'll back off. - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)
  22. 4 points
    I feel for you; it's a difficult position to be in. I chose from the outset to live my truth and let the chips fall where they may. It did break my mom's heart; and she's still very passive-aggressive About it even after 17 years. I learned during the process, though, that their response is their responsibility, not mine.
  23. 4 points
  24. 4 points
    Another thing people don't think about is all the hard conversations you are going to have. When you realize you based your entire relationship on a fairytale, you start realizing how many things each of you did wrong to eachother in the name of those fairytales. Some good memories will turn bad, you might get angry about something that happened 2 years ago because you suddenly have a new perspective, and your spouse will remind you of things you had forgotten about. I will admit it's definitely better than the alternative of your spouse thinking you are going to Hell, but people don't realize how much harder deconversion can be when it's not only you going through it, but your spouse too. The awesome part of it though is your spouse knows EXACTLY what you're going through. They went to the SAME church, heard the SAME sermons, watched your faith both grow and deconstruct. It's really amazing to have someone who can 100% relate to your struggles. On these forums you read stories that you can kinda relate to, but not exactly. They held different beliefs about certain things, had different family, different pastors, different influences...so there is a lot of explaining and comparing notes. When you can talk to your spouse about your deconversion it's truly amazing because they can be like, "Yes! That sermon was awful! Do you remember when the Pastor said this..." I do feel fortunate to have my husband deconverting with me.
  25. 4 points
    @MOHO I think another important thing to note is while readers may have a different experience, if their partner does happen to stop believing too, it's not an easy road. Deconversion doesn't fix every marriage problem. Sure it helps with some issues, but it also creates new ones. For example you might deconvert at different speeds, develop conflicting views, etc. The big issue is if your marriage REVOLVED around faith, you are now left wondering who you are as a couple. It's a weird situation to be in.
  26. 4 points
    Thank you for posting your extimoney, @FreeFromGuilt. I think that it is really swell that your hubby admitted his lack of faith when you opened up to him about yours. Readers should be advised that heir actual mileage may very, like it did for me, but this is very encouraging and I wonder how many families would have a similar revelation if one member should choose to start the dominoes. Kudos to you for thinking your way out of the mind-control. That takes courage and, frequently, tenacity!
  27. 4 points
    Academics often refer to Christianity as the Christian Cult for a reason. All religions practice some form of mind control aka indoctrination and brainwashing, as essential tools necessary to obtain blind obedience and control of their members minds and lives. Congratulations on your successful escape from the cult. Life without the fear of Hell is exhilarating. True freedom is freedom FROM religion.
  28. 4 points
    This site actually played a huge role in my deconversion. When I first started admitting to myself (before I told my husband) that I didn't like Christianity, I found this site. Reading testimony after testimony highlighted even more things I didn't like about the faith. My deconversion started as a dislike of Christianity and eventually became more academic when I started reading Bart Ehrman's books and realized the Bible wasn't actually inerrant like I had been taught.
  29. 4 points
    Regardless of which party or candidate you prefer or dislike, I’m concerned that the Constitution has, or is dangerously close, to becoming irrelevant. Freedom of speech appears to me to have been rescinded. When employers can terminate employees based only on their political opinions, preferences, affiliations, and leanings then the Constitutional guarantee for freedom of speech and association has become meaningless words on a piece of paper. If just thinking about robbing a bank is not an actionable offense subjecting the individual to arrest and prosecution, then how can preferring not to associate with certain ethnic or political groups or organizations be grounds for an employer to dismiss an employee or take legal action against them? IMO, in order to qualify as a racists, bigot, or homophobic some form of economic, physical, or emotional damage must be done to a targeted group or individual. Merely disliking, disagreeing, or avoiding them, without causing them identifiable harm is not a crime. The term political correctness is the culprit. It is also known as “The thought police”. I am neither a Republican or Democrat but I will admit the far lefts political agenda troubles me much more than Trump or his followers. I find much on the political lefts agenda I can agree with, but their tactics and lawless acts trouble me greatly. I am more concerned with the left attempting to establish a dictatorship than Trump. IMO, Trump is the worst President in the history of the country, so when I say the far left concerns me more than Trump that is saying something. IMO, if Trump wins another term he can thank the far left for his victory. How in the world can a country with 350 million people come up with Trump and Biden as the choices for President? Demanding the Police be defunded or disbanded is a terrific strategy to get Trump re-elected. It’s a toss up between the far left and far right to determine which one is crazier. I’m stepping off my soapbox now. Hopefully, I didn’t offend anyone or I offended both the political left and right followers equally.
  30. 4 points
    My thoughts on getting married young is that it's quite likely a bad idea. My ex-wife and I met at Bible college, and we had no idea then who we even were as people. Marriage needs to be thought of as more of a legal contract than what it typically is. Marriage can be complicated and lots of work. It's certainly nothing to rush into simply so one can get laid. It pays to know what the other person is at their worst. Because if your marriage does end, that will all be dumped on you.
  31. 4 points
    Thanks to all for the warm welcome. One of these days I'll try to edit my testimonial down to a manageable size, but in the meantime I look forward to participating. I went through a very lengthy thread in the Lion's Den the other day: y'all are good!! I'm neither scientist nor logician so I'll leave the debating to those who know what they're doing. Had to laugh at the irony: all the talk about humility among believers, but honestly the best lesson I've ever had on the subject is realizing I used to sound like them. cha·grin /SHəˈɡrin/ noun distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated. "Jeff, much to his chagrin, wasn't invited" verb feel distressed or humiliated. "he was chagrined when his friend poured scorn on him" Thanks again, everyone! DD
  32. 4 points
    A warm welcome, indeed! Those of us who often refer to lurking readers in our posts, are not just paranoid or insane! The reading audience is much broader than people realize at times. And these discussion threads can be helpful in ways that are not always evident simply based on the participants of the threads themselves. Thanks for signing in and letting know more about you.
  33. 4 points
    Welcome and as my name implies I’m an old coot. I was a Christian fundamentalist for 47 years. Elder, deacon, teacher, and evangelist. Doubts began setting in the late 90’s. Mentally I was gone by 2005 but didn’t officially cut all ties until 2012. Leaving was/is hard but freedom proved to be worth all the trauma. My group ostracizes those that become apostate. It was difficult to lose close friends, but I eventually realized they weren’t really friends. They were simply fellow believers and I was no longer a member of their cult. I don’t miss that nonsense and would never go back. Glad you found like minded folk that understand what leaving religion is like and have experienced some version of religious trauma syndrome.
  34. 4 points
    I can think of at least two strategies that some Christians use to wave away Bible contradictions, falsehoods, absurdities, etc. 1. they'll say that the Bible is not God's revelation but is the record of the believing community's encounter with God. They may add that the Bible is not the Word of God but Jesus is the Word of God, and the Bible witnesses to Jesus. I think some liberal Protestants take this "it's a record of revelation, it's not revelation per se" approach. 2. sophisticated members of denominations that claim the Bible is inerrant (e.g. sophisticated Catholics) may say that the Bible is inerrant in all it asserts for our salvation, or that its assertions are for the sake of our salvation. So they try to bracket off some stuff that they find embarrassing and say either that it's not what the Bible is really asserting (e.g. the Flood story asserts truths about God's saving His people but is not asserting history), or that stuff in the passage that ISN'T for the sake of our salvation is not the inerrant assertion (e.g. stuff that is scientifically wrong). I still see no reason to believe what the Bible says about doctrine and precepts, which can't be tested, when what can be tested in the bible so often fails the test: e.g. consistency between authors, historical and scientific matters, etc.
  35. 3 points
    I realized recently that even though my deconversion process happened 14 years ago, there are aspects I'm still grieving. I've learned in therapy that if I ignore the parts of myself that are sad, it will eventually come back and bite me. So, I decided to write a letter to my deconversion process, as if it were a person. I was really surprised at what I wrote: I want to thank you for coming into my life at a time when I needed you but didn't want you. I was clinging to poison. Dysfunction felt like home to me. I was not grateful when you showed up. I was sad and scared. I thought you just came to take away everything I loved. I was angry and I felt alone. I was mad that you ruined my carefully planned future, my sense of purpose, my safety, my community, my friends. There were a lot of days I wondered if it would ever get easier. And there was so much to learn! You dropped me in the middle of the unsheltered real world and I had to play catch up. But I had courage and grit and I could learn! You gave me new friends, a new purpose. You gave me professors who cared and a library full of books. You gave me Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, a new online community. You revealed who my real friends were. You gave me space. Silence. Emptiness. Choices. So much room to run and question and demolish and create. Opportunities without judgment. You gave me new music! Bowling for Soup, Augustana, Gavin Degraw, remember the monthly CD club? You gave me rejection and pain and it hurt like a bitch. But afterward, there was hope. You gave me Fight Club. Rent. Marjoe. The God Who Wasn't There. Prple Fox videos. You gave me panic attacks and friends who supported me through the panic attacks. You gave me stress and the means to deal with stress. You gave me everything I love about my life. I didn't know how strong I was until I had no other choice but to be strong. I didn't know what I could do until I lost my support system and had to do things myself. I just assumed I couldn't swim until you dropped me in the deep end and somehow, miraculously, I kept my head above water. All this time I thought you were the villain in my life story. Now I see you were the hero. You saved me. As I wrote this letter, it dawned on me that my deconversion wasn't a tragedy that I somehow survived. It was the actual mechanism that saved me from a life of judgment, fear, dependence, and black and white thinking. If you wanted, you could even call it a blessing.
  36. 3 points
    Welcome to the world of ex christianity spirituality!!! It doesn't have to be anything in particular. An interconnection to all things, the earth and universe abroad, is just the base level for pretty much all spirituality. From there it can take off into some organized form of it, or not. Some prefer to just leave it be in it's natural, base level form. And live independently spiritual minded. You don't have to believe in gods. You don't have to believe in just about anything. You can just feel it. Live it.
  37. 3 points
    I'm a fan of Tucker Max and he's been vocal about how much MDMA has helped him in addition to psychotherapy. Tim Ferris is a huge fan of psychedelics for their benefits for PTSD sufferers. In fact, he's pouring a lot of money into research happening in the US, I think. Back in April, I started visiting the little chapel we have at work (hospital) to be alone in silence. I started talking aloud about how stressed and angry and sad I was about COVID and being an essential worker and how I felt like I was barely hanging on. When I had gotten everything off my chest, I started spontaneously talking to myself in the most compassionate, accepting way. I've never done this before. I was saying "It's okay to be scared. It's okay to be upset. Everyone is having a hard time right now. You are so important to me and I'm going to take care of you. I love you and I've got you." And I kept going back to the chapel and doing this every day. Being open about how I felt and giving myself compassion. And I started feeling unconditional love for myself to a degree I've never felt before. Tucker Max describes MDMA as having a huge dose of dopamine dumped into his brain. Just complete safety and unconditional love. And in those moments, I would think "This is what Tucker was describing."
  38. 3 points
    Keep in mind thay your only responsibility here is acknowledging your wrong and apologizing for it. Should they choose not to accept your apology, then you have done everything you can do and you bear no further responsibility.
  39. 3 points
    I wasn't here when you started, but here's hoping that your homecoming is pleasant and beneficial. Talk of the weird can be good; the very phenomenon of existence can be the weirdest thing of all to contemplate.
  40. 3 points
    Two things about SV... He clearly wanted to fight Satan, but since the guy is rather elusive, he figured we were the closest he could get. It looked like he was commenting on various threads with the goal of getting them moved to the Lions Den. A kind of hack of our forums.
  41. 3 points
    Let me tell the reading audience in general what growing up in the Seventh Day Adventist church was like. It was exactly where your mind is right now. Everything is satan!!! All of it!!! All of science, all secularism, the whole of scholarship and academia and even to the extent of all non-SDA christians are under the deceptive influence of satan!!!!!! The entire world is deceived. Only the chosen few, set aside by jesus going into the last days, have the special ability to read and interpret the bible correctly. And I questioned every bit of the claim. I found it lacking through and through, from beginning to end. It's some of the most ill founded subjective thinking that exists in the world. Objectivity being it's mortal enemy. The problem is that the bible itself doesn't have a leg to stand on. Let alone fast forwarding through centuries and centuries of mythological evolution looking for correct, true, and objective answers. There's no frame of reference to prove it's truth. Not from Genesis. It starts out as contradictory creation myth from the "beginning." Which, doesn't gel with any objective reality. Not the geological and fossil records, not cosmological observation and inquiry, not any of it. So, I realized that on the one hand we have some crack pots claiming the entire world is deceived by an evil entity fallen from heaven, and everything is a conspiracy. When challenged they have no leg to stand on, because they try and stand on the bible, which, folds immediately. And doesn't provide a firm foundation to stand on. On the other hand, we have academic speculation based on many objective evidences that have been discovered and observed. The crack pots say, 'no, that's all just satan.' But they (the same said crack pots) can not substantiate (1) the truth of the bible from the outset or (2) that the very satan they are referring to didn't evolve as a mythical character over many centuries - like a comic book character starting out one away and then growing in detail and depth as people add more and more to the stories. This is the sort of thing that inquisitive christians and questioner's need to start examining if truth is actually their primary concern. An honest devotion to truth seeking and it's path requires working for it. It doesn't just fall in your lap. It's a tough path requiring work on your part! Who is right or wrong? And how can someone try and find out for themselves? They have to study with an objective mind, in depth, and take in all of the relevant information available. If not, then they are up against taking someone at their word. You can take the apologist at his word, and you can equally take me at my word. But I'd advise studying this out all the way through for yourselves. And then revisit the question of who is correct about the bible and about satan, in the first place. Someone here is incorrect. And not just a little incorrect, out of the ball park incorrect........
  42. 3 points
    I think blind chance is a false dichotomy. Based on not yet fully understanding how or why something works. We don't know the specifics. But we do know that there's a ton of ways that life can potentially come into existence. And the philosophical question is why does anything exist at all? The answer seems to be that we're in a position where it can't be any other way. Existence exists because the absolute non-existence of anything at all, isn't possible. Life exists, and functions as a type of observation and experience of the existence of existence itself. What if life within existence always happens. That where ever the conditions come together for life, life will necessarily emerge over and over again, and from place to place? As part of the on goingness of existence itself. Such as with eternal inflation, infinite replication paradox, and similar issues popping up in cosmological theory. Life will pop up over and over again. Possibly anything that exists now, like the earth, will be replicated over and over again in that sort of frame work. These are speculations. But they point to the fact that it's conceivable for reality to operate in these ways. It's not inconceivable. It's not a situation where god is the only option to explain everything, which, is what the christians are trying to do with the false dichotomy. The "god did it!" explanation is a theory too, among every other theory. And between theories one can deduce which theories make more or less sense as a theory. If the god did it, then why does the god exist? When did it began? How did it create life? There's no reason as why the god exists, it just does. The god had no beginning. And created life through spoken word, like some sort of incantation spell in magick. Existence also exists without reason, it just is. It couldn't have any fixed beginning. But it's all natural, as opposed to supernatural. And life would have to emerge through natural processes within the scheme of the realm(s) of existence. Possibly in repetitive ways over and over again. Leading to our current existence now. And extending to beyond our current experience of existence. Suck on that for a while, christian visitors.....
  43. 3 points
    I was 19 she was 21 when we got married. I was in the Navy. That was 54 years ago and we’re still very happily married. That was a different time though, I wouldn’t recommend it now. I think you ought to live together for a while first now. My wife was a Christian when we got married, so living together first or even having sex, was out of the question. It worked out for us but I wouldn’t recommend that approach now.
  44. 3 points
    @GrandmaDeeDee Welcome to Ex-C. This community was instrumental in helping me work through some issues and reprogramming my mind to think more clearly. Glad to have you with us and I admire your bravery for introducing yourself. I know how challenging it can be to put yourself out there.
  45. 3 points
    midniterider is right on. It seems to me that many who leave christianity hold a kind of sacred reverence for the church that is totally undeserved especially in the first few years. These fundamental churches operate a cult and you are the one who has lost years of clear thinking and self direction by getting sucked in. Anyhow it's fair under christian terms to be in a period of deep questioning. Please keep your job as long as it is helpful to you. You're doing a service to others stuck in the cult by being there and no longer accepting all the logic fallacies. You really can't tell how your family will handle your disbelief until it's out there. If or when your ready be sure to ask here or read up on the best way to approach this topic to give yourself the best chance to achieve the outcome you most want. It's a two sided thing and you have much more power to possibly influence the outcome than you think. Maybe it will be a disaster no matter what you do but there have been some surprisingly great outcomes we have seen on this site from time to time. You're doing the right thing for yourself by looking honestly at what you see around you and making you own decisions about what is true and what isn't. Be proud of yourself! The weight of taking responsibility for your own decisions seems heavy at first but that is a small price to pay in order to run your own life. This is the best part of your life coming up so keep trusting your ability to reason and keep listening to your inner self.
  46. 3 points
    There is a terrific YouTube series’s called Closer To Truth. Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a scientist, wants to believe in God. In this series he travels the world interviewing intellectual Christians to find out why, as academics and intellectuals, they believe in God. He acknowledges he cannot overcome his logic, reason, rationally, and knowledge of science and just accept God as a reality on faith. I found this to be a very interesting and informative series. Kuhn challenges each of their arguments for believing in a supernatural entity with reasoned arguments. Spoiler alert, he never finds new or supportable reasons to believe. He does, however, present strong defensible reasons not to believe. Just put Closer To Truth in the search engine in You Tube to find the series.
  47. 3 points
    There's one thing my former fundamentalist church said that I still agree with. Either the whole Bible is valid or it is not. Accepting some of it while rejecting other parts is like writing your own Bible. It says what it says, take it or leave it. I left it.
  48. 3 points
    That made me laugh...great analogy. Speaking to the atheistic view, I am sure that has a lot to do with it. They just cannot accept the fact that life is ultimately without purpose or direction. In my opinion, that is the biggest hangup for apologist like William Lane Craig. They cannot stand the idea that morality is really a human interpretation of the world and that even things we find abhorrent are subjective interpretations of behavior by imperfect beings. You can see them about to have a stroke when they even think about it.
  49. 3 points
    Exactly. Both fundamentalist and liberal Christians do it, but in different ways. The fundamentalist, whose basis is the belief that the Bible (or maybe just the King James version) is inspired by God, word for word, and without error or contradiction. But some fundamentalists believe that salvation is freely accepted or rejected by each individual. Other fundamentalists insist that God chooses those whom he will save before they are even born. These beliefs are directly at odds with each other, but each is passionately held by many millions of people. So how can an inerrant Bible provide support for both? The answer is to insist that the passage that seems to oppose the favored position actually doesn't really mean what it seems to say. This often requires serious mental gymnastics, but you gotta do what you gotta do to make it all line up. The liberal Christian (the ones @Hierophant is asking about) on the other hand, admits that the Bible is not infallible. That avoids the contortions the fundamentalist has to go through to make it all seem consistent. But there begins a slippery slope that leads many liberals to question the Resurrection of Jesus, or his divinity, or maybe even the existence of the man Jesus himself. But they still consider themselves Christians because they like the Sermon on the Mount, or they like the Golden Rule, or it gives support to their fight for justice. Or maybe they just love the liturgy, observing the seasons of the Liturgical year, or the beauty of Gregorian Chant, or the magnificence of Notre Dame de Paris. I get it , I love those things myself. I often attend Catholic mass with my wife in a beautiful basilica. But I don't consider myself in any way a Christian or a theist. One last thing about fundamentalists: by no means all of them experience cognitive dissonance, because many never even see the scripture passages that contradict their doctrine. If they study the Bible at all it's likely a carefully curated study within their denomination, that emphasizes the helpful scriptures and ignores the awkward ones. Problems occur when Christians study the Bible - the whole Bible - for themselves. That's when cognitive dissonance can kick in. Some people back away from that and retreat into the comfort of their group's selective reading. Some recognize the problems and become liberal Christians. And others . . . become Ex-Christians.
  50. 3 points
    I think what you’re referring to is called rationalizing a cognitive dissonance. All religious people have to do this in order for the Bible to make sense in their minds. Why do intelligent people believe things that are not believable or scientifically possible? Google the term “cognitive bias” and you will find the answer.



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