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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/27/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Dude's been dead for a while. Call me crazy, but I generally try to keep my house corpse-free.
  2. 2 points
    So start some shit! You can be the new BO!!!!!
  3. 2 points
    B.O. never bothered me because I didn’t take him seriously. Some of his posts were funny and some were obviously just B.O. blowing off steam and being B.O. I’ve never encountered any poster on this site that has been a problem for me personally. Lots of good folks here and some exceptionally smart ones too.
  4. 2 points
    Second the IDGAF response. Bonus points if you can get to a place where you actually give zero fucks. It takes time, but you can get there.
  5. 2 points
    Yeah that was pretty incredible.. I'd actually never even heard about the altered chromosome bit, super cool. I found it interesting that the Dembski and Meyer didn't testify, I'd expect them to be eager for another debate, except this one really mattered... and the Discovery Institute's silence on this speaks volumes..
  6. 2 points
    There is nothing one can do about gossip. People often make up shit to serve their own agenda, and denials just keep it going. It's hard, but ignoring it is the only course of action here aside from moving away from the toxic environment and people. Of course, that's an option that should be considered.
  7. 2 points
    I personally haven't heard any about myself, though I am quite certain my once fellow church members whisper in the shadows. My advice. Fuck 'em and Ignore it. You should practice IDGAF. In my gaming group we would say In DSA games are fun. In other words I don't give a fuck! Sometimes that is the best attitude to take. Nothing you'll do can change the mind of somebody intent on being an malicious gossiper. True friends, the people you should spend energy on, will come to you if they have concerns and will be genuinely interested in what you have to say. Everyone else give a one fingered salute... metaphorically speaking.
  8. 1 point
    Hey there, My name is Alex, and I'm excited to finally be on this site! Without the words of your experiences I wouldn't be where I'm at today. This looks like a necessary part of my recovery from indoctrination. So I have just this week told my dad, who in turn told my mom, that I am no longer a Christian. I haven't spoken with them since telling my dad, so we'll see what happens.. I was very hesitant to ever even do that, fearing that it would break my mom's heart, and sever my relationship with them, and potentially damage my financial support from them (I live on my own and support myself, but extra income never hurts). Basically every worst case scenario played through my head, but i finally worked up the courage to speak up for myself. I found it harder and harder to bite my tongue while talking with them. My mom constantly talks about how great church service and worship was, wants to pray over every little thing in life, and my dad has said pretty ridiculous things like him "seeing" a demon, which he later described as having a vision of a demon. He also seems to think that neanderthals were a product of demons breeding with humans... At least he acknowledges that they existed! It boggles my mind that he can say that stuff, being the brilliant guy that he is. So I'd had enough of listening to this stuff and just told him on a trip that I really didn't want to ever tell him I didn't believe in God, but found that I had to, and that I owed him the honest truth. So here's my story: I've finally outgrown religion through freethinking, reason, and lots and lots of research, and being honest with my doubts and actual beliefs. Through my soul searching I realized that my faith was simply not legitimate, in a journal i wrote "I don't have a faith muscle." I grew up in a non-denominational, charismatic, evangelical, spirit-filled mega church. I still consider most people I know from there to be very nice and well intentioned people. Unfortunately my experience was a nightmare that I am only just reckoning with. I initially accepted Jesus when I was around 5 or 6, for the single reason that I didn't want to go to hell. The following days and weeks consisted of uncertainty that I was actually saved, and sheer terror if I wasn't. I had nightmares of satan, hell, and demons. I would lay awake in the dark feeling helpless against possible demons attacking me. I was afraid of the number 6, I thought I might be the anti-christ. Eventually I must have moved on, convincing myself I was indeed saved. From there I became a pretty standout Christian kid, becoming on fire for God for a month or two at a time. There was another side to church life though, one of seriously dreading going to church on Sundays. Occasionally I convinced my parents I was sick, but mostly I was forced to go. This forcing me to go was important in defining my relationship with the church. It was obligatory. I dare not refuse or I would be punished in some way. So I gave in. I gave in to going to bible camps, sharing personal stories, crying during worship about our sinful state because every other kid was crying (little did I know that my sins paled in comparison to everyone else's). The defining moment of giving in was when my sister and I were summoned by our parent's small group to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They sat us in the middle of their circle, and said that we would likely speak in tongues if it worked. So I remember them praying, laying hands on us, anointing us with oil, and I remember the inner turmoil of what I should do. I wanted it to work to please my parents and get a taste of the supernatural, but nothing was happening. So I forced it, pretending to speak in tongues (quite well I must say). Following that, I remember hearing advice about speaking in tongues, to not question if it is legit. So I started to convince myself I didn't pretend after all. I continued to do it during worship, and would sometimes feel a rush of energy on the top of my head. I thought it was the Holy Spirit. Turned out to be the same chills I get at concerts. Then came two more moments of giving in, this time on a missions trip in early high school. During a service we put on in the Dominican Republic one of our leaders was doing the classic Benny Hinn style "slay them in the spirit" routine. It was my turn to be slain. I went with her push and fell back, and layed there with eyes closed, just like one does when they are in bed, pretending to be asleep. Again I tried to force an experience, vision, whatever. Nothing. Later on in that trip we were on the beach and the same leader was with a local lady who braided tourist's hair. I was far away when there was a commotion and when I asked what had happened people said the woman's hands were healed of arthritis, and that her fingers had magically straightened out. I was pretty convinced, and wanted to tell people when we got back home. So I repeated what I had heard but said I'd actually seen it happen. I remember telling this story to quite a few close friends and family members, and regret having lied. What I know about healing stories now is that they are almost certainly not true or verifiable... I have plenty more stories like these of false claims of the supernatural either by me or told to me. So, from this point until 2 years after college I considered myself a serious Christian. The bumps in the road I encountered had to do with sex. I had, and still have, an underdeveloped understanding of sex. I never got a sex talk from my dad, and had a Christian school version of health class. I never had a girlfriend in high school, and was told to guard myself against any sexual thoughts. I did a great job at it until college. In college I made a choice to given in a little bit, never crossing the forbidden home base. Unfortunately, anything that I experienced was followed by serious guilt and paranoia that my parents knew what I had done. The only thing I ever admitted to them was that I had kissed a girl, and then lied about our break up being because she wanted to go too far. This guilt was part of my indoctrination into purity culture. It placed a super high value on virginity, and as hard as it tried not to, it placed serious shame on anything other than that and abstinence. Anyone who strayed from this was treated differently, looked down upon, and badmouthed by supposedly loving people, even by myself at times. The consequences of this have been devastating for me. As I write, I am afraid of actually going all the way. I also know that if I did, I would still have an irrational guilt. I also have an instinct to fight attraction. If I see an attractive woman, my warning alarms go off, I look away, and can never initiate a conversation. This probably stems from a tip I got in men's group to have bouncing eyes to avoid lusting. It has taken away my self worth and confidence, and I can't currently see a hope in sight for being able to pursue someone I am attracted to. The few times I have been in a sort of relationship have been because she made the first move, and I was settling for less than I wanted, but I needed someone. Moving on to my deconversion, I had always had doubts, but those seriously picked up steam about a year ago. A coworker challenged my belief in a literal Adam and Eve and Noah's flood, mentioning DNA evidence and how we couldn't all come from one couple. I fought that by saying God is all powerful and could have used supernatural DNA. That quickly sounded dumb to me, so I researched it. That led me to re-evaluated the evidence of a global flood. Shouldn't the locations of types of animals point to a single origin around Mt. Ararat? Why are Marsupials only in Australia? Shouldn't there be evidence of a global flood in geology? Why aren't any human fossils mixed in with dinosaur fossils? Why do fossils lie in predictable rock layers which can be pretty reliably dated to very old ages through plenty of kinds of radiometric dating? How can I be seeing light from stars so far away that it traveled for 13 billion years? I used to solve all these questions by thinking God can do anything, like create things to appear older than they really are. But why would he do that? To test our faith? Well then he's playing hide and seek with us. He's forcing us to choose his Bible stories over our own knowledge and observations. That was where I realized I didn't like this god. Then I dug in to the things this god did in the Old Testament. I was absolutely disgusted. I remember a few times myself and others would explain away the horrors of the Old Testament as that all being under the Old Covenant, but Jesus came and fixed everything. That's a TERRIBLE answer and doesn't excuse the initial way God ran things. God commanded genocide, murdered Job's 10 children to test the faith that he already knew was solid, required circumcision (I thought he created man perfect, in his image), hardened Pharoah's heart before killing every first born son. This stuff started sounding like nonsense. But it made sense when I viewed it as man-made. God did not create man, man created God. Even Christians would agree with this, with the exception of their God. In fact, every religion would have to agree with this, with the exception of their own gods. Then I started thinking about how badly God did things. He created Adam knowing Adam would fail, and tried to fix things with Noah and the flood, but then regretted that, and it failed miserably. And to finally fix everything that he messed up, he sent his son/himself to "die" on a cross, but he was only "dead" for 3 days, before returning to heaven. And while he "fixed" things, he's been hanging out in heaven for 2000 years, allowing the crusades and the spanish inquisition and the holocaust to happen, when allll he has to do is come back. Well he'd better hurry up and come back before his religion is completely dead thanks to the internet... Once I admitted to feeling this way, I began reading books by Bart Ehrman, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins (who I remember seeing get badmouthed in a creationist film). I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy, wrong, and making a terrible decision. These guys were the brightest people I'd ever heard, and I couldn't believe how misrepresented their positions were by Christians. My nights switched from video games and netflix to books, podcasts, and debates on youtube. I was hooked. I'm still hooked. So that all has brought me here, seeking communication with like-minded people, so that I can start to live life again. I am struggling with occasional deep depression, anxiety, isolation, crisis of self, sometimes feeling disconnected from reality, emotional dullness, loss of joy, and trying to shake the thought that an invisible dude is watching everything I do. (Basically all the symptoms laid out by Marlene Winell about RTS) I've felt like I don't fit in anywhere. Christian friends don't understand me, keep trying to convince me i'm wrong, and add to the trauma i'm trying to fight. I also want to respect their personal faith, as I remember the pain of having it ridiculed and challenged. So I just can't talk to them in depth about this stuff. And my secular friends don't fully understand where I've come from. I never seem to fully relate to them, and I've missed out of years of normal secular life to I often feel like a fish out of water. All that said, I do have moments of feeling happiness and achievement in being true to myself finally. I've made the decision to attempt to heal, to live the life I want, and to accept the help I need to get there, and be ok with living life on my terms and no one else's. Thanks for reading this, and looking forward to your advise on where to go from here, self-care, therapy, local community, how or if to keep religious friends in my life, resources on biblical criticism, science vs. religion, etc..
  9. 1 point
    I was thrilled when I came across ex-christian.net. I was born into a Roman Catholic family, but my mom had been Greek Orthodox. When she and my dad divorced we bagan visiting many other christian churches, from christian science to lutheran. I didn't think much of it because mom said they were basically the same and she was more looking for a group of people that she clicked with. I began to question religion when I had to move in with my dad and go through the process of First Communion again because I had initially gone through it in the Lutheran church so it wasn't valid. WTF? I began to question my beliefs when I began the process of Confirmation, and realized that I just didn't believe. I finished the process because I still lived with my dad at that point and my mom couldn't take me in. I fully believe that words have power and hated making a promise that I knew I wasn't going to keep. I swore I would never lie like that again. I explored paganism and witchcraft for awhile, and while much of it resonates with me, I can't bring myself to follow any one path as they all seem like the same thing but viewed through different colored lenses. I still struggle a bit, as my husband is christian (though mostly ok that I am not) and we agreed to raise our children christian so they had a foundation to start from. I live in a smallish city about an hour south of Dallas so finding like minded people is a challenge. I hope to meet some people that I don't have to pretend with.
  10. 1 point
    Many aren't intent on being malicious gossipers, though. They just have a biased viewpoint that their conversations are filtered through. Many mean well, but they can't think outside their little box.
  11. 1 point
    I don't really care about what people think or say about me. They can talk about me all they want, or even make shit up, I don't care. As long as the villagers ain't comin' after me with torches and pitchforks, I'm fine!
  12. 1 point
    Ah OK, interesting. I went to a Christian school for grade 11 and 12 and we read The Case for Faith instead. It was either that or The Case for Christ. In any case, I've read them both and it looks like there's a fair amount of overlap between those books and McDowell's. Anyway, one of my favorite articles on messianic prophecy was written by NT scholar Robert M. Price. Price's article is part of a multi-part, multi-authored response to McDowell's original book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. You can read it here: https://infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/psychics.html Another site you may wish to check out is Paul Tobin's The Rejection of Pascal's Wager. He has a fairly good, thorough section that covers messianic prophecies: http://www.geocities.ws/paulntobin/messianic.html And if that's not enough then I would recommend you check out a book by Robert J. Miller called Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy. It is very thorough. Kindle price is good. Regarding the Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument ("The Trilemma"), Ehrman has a chapter titled "Liar, Lunatic, or Lord? Finding the Historical Jesus," in his book Jesus, Interrupted. While I don't agree with Ehrman on everything (surprise), I think the book is a fine intro to mainstream NT scholarship. No good resources readily come to mind regarding similar myths to Genesis; perhaps someone else can help. But I'll take a look around.
  13. 1 point
    I cut communication with some family for a while. I would let them know how I feel about it and base next steps on their reactions.
  14. 1 point
    Welcome to Ex-c Nuck. So glad you found us. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You will get a lot from Ex-c. These guys saved my sanity when I first joined here. Most of us can totally relate to how you are feeling right now going through the shock of finding out that what you have believed in for so many years was a complete lie. It can be quite traumatizing to a lot of people. It was for me.I can't believe now (after almost 10 years here) that I even fell for it. But I was young and naive and I was 'prime' bait coming out of an alcoholic family to want the 'special' love of god. So I accepted jesus at 20 because the pastor told me that I was going to be a 'chosen one' for god. We all get sucked in somehow. Some are born into the cult here and their stories are fantastic to read. I'm not a bible debater here at all. We got tons of those wonderful scholars here. They know the bible inside and out. Better than the christian apologetics and debaters! I just keep things real simple. For instance, when I was just newly converted, I studied the book of genesis and it didn't make sense to me. I went to the pastor and asked him one time, ''Pastor, was it only Adam and Eve and the talking serpent in the garden that day?'' He said, ''Yes, my dear''. And I repeated it again. ''Are you absolutely sure pastor? Just Adam and Eve and the talking serpent (and god up in the clouds of course)?''. He repeated, ''yes'' again. I then asked him, ''if it is true what you are saying, who was the 'stenographer' who stood out the gates and wrote the account down?'' His jawed dropped and he told me in a cute, little manner that I was the pastor's worst nightmare. He then told me that the author was unknown and that I had to stop questioning and doubting and just live by faith in Jesus and ''gods word''. So I continued in the church for another 30 years until I was suspecting certain things were very wrong and I came back to that innocent question I asked him many years ago. This started my hunt into finding other people who might be able to help me with my doubts and the ''angels'' led me to Ex-c! Lol (just joking but somehow, I found this site that night) Once I found out that the book of genesis was man written many years later, the whole bible fell apart for me. We were not born sinners, therefore we had no need for a 'human blood sacrifice'' (who was jesus of course) and we didn't need to be saved after all. My point here is, you will get the complicated biblical stuff worked out. The bible scholars will help you with all that and then you will get some of the simplest explanations like mine and the pieces of the puzzle on the bible will all come together for you. And it takes time. Took me a long time. So take your time. Breathe and relax. Post and read a lot. You're in a good family here. Happy journey. Not easy..... but worth it. (hug)
  15. 1 point
    Huh, that's what my ex church preaches. The Egyptians removed all evidence blah blah. Ad hoc apologetics. It's like how'd the fit all animals on the arc. Oh they only included one of each "kind". Mmmm hmm and what's a kind? ….. *crickets* Uh huh, yeah, and also no evidence of wandering, and you fail to account for the sheer amount of water require for 2 million + people, plus livestock in a desert! I've calculated the amount of water required and water from the rock doesn't cut it!
  16. 1 point
    Report post Posted 1 hour ago Thanks for the link DanForsman. I'd listened to Ken Millers presentation on this trial, but this helped get an overall sense of it. ID is such a strange movement to me, it seems like they embrace the archaeological record, and embrace microevolution, but never macroevolution. So they're left with the conclusion that every new species just poofed into existence the first time we see it appear. And then there's the inevitable question of which designer is it? Do other religions embrace this as science and then claim it's their designer, or is it really just a complicated argument made by Christians. Don't know if you got to watch this but the several day presentation put on by scientists who had volunteered to represent evolution had the judge and the media just mesmerized particularly when the altered chromosome that evolution had predicted was discovered. That engaging testimony had raised expectations for what the creationists would present. The thing that shocked everyone was how simplistic and easily disproved the "evidence" was that the creationists presented. Here was their big chance to demonstrate their alternative "science" and they had all their money and hired their best scientists but lacked the critical evidence. Creation scientists had absolutely nothing to present. The judge just ripped them in his decision.
  17. 1 point
    Well that's both comforting to know, and sobering that others have to go through this too. I'm glad you were able to see the light and deal with it as well. I'll have to keep my expectations realistic and understand that recovery will be a drawn out process.. Yeah this was a big one for me too. I mentioned this to my mom after she said a pastor told her that Egyptians removed Moses from their history books or something. Technically they would have removed a lot more than that from history books and archaeology..
  18. 1 point
    Actually when you posted this I had just ordered Marlene's book. I'm 4 chapters in and its just an absolute game changer for me! I scored so high on the manipulations test that it hurts haha. Thanks for the tips!
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    It really comes down this:



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