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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/14/2020 in all areas

  1. Thank you to all of you for these honest replies. It has helped me so much in seeing that my decision was not an incorrect one. It hurts a whole lot but I do understand that it is for the best. I've had a hard time accepting and understanding how a person can changes so drastically so soon. But again, he believes that Jesus is speaking to him and wants him to live such a life. I wished him the best in his journey to whatever it is and I am now focusing on myself and moving on from this. We all love God to some extent but it does not mean that we have to give up everything else for that. How do you find your true purpose in life then? I'm glad I did not let my ex hold me back from finding my purpose in my life and achieving my goals. I have decided to take time out and just embrace the single life. What's meant for me, will find me in due time.
    4 points
  2. I never thought I will say this, after 40 years of being a Christian - How I wish I never met Jesus and its over zealous followers. What I thought a chance encounter with a fellow student as a divine appointment is one single most tragic event in my life. As a gullible young man longing for friendship, I surrendered under relentless "witnessing to say sinner's prayer in 1975 and accepted the mind control of an extremist ministry group whose unofficial motto by some "spiritual giant" team leaders was "never dater". Dating was, as proudly proclaimed by these leaders, were too distracting to serve God. What was the utmost daily activities were Cold turkey witnessing, memorizing the scriptures, mandatory discipleship activities. Even you felt like crap, you had to psyche yourself up to appear to be spiritual, to show that you are worthy of the calling. The team leader talked about " body count, close the sale" in the number of people accepted Christ through their campus ministry. For the good part of the years afterwards, my brain was programmed to do the same, giving up time with my kids to do God's work. How I hate it !! Hardly a day went by since I walked away from my Christian faith that I do not regret and feel angry of the time cheated. Time I should be spending with my kids or have a hobby to enjoy life. 8 years ago, I walked away from Christ. It was not perfectly happy life but I felt so liberated that I no longer have to prepare for church services or felt guilty for not saving another soul. I would like say to all those self appointed soul winners - leave other people alone, do not impose your idea of happy life to others. And to this ministry group, that I heard have learned their lesson to be more sensitive to young believers, you own I and others an apology for life that were so rudely interrupted.
    3 points
  3. We are all work in progress, never ending exploration of what life can offer. One small upside of leaving Christianity behind is how much more relaxed and enjoyable talking to people. In the past, I always want to strategize, prepare what to say to a person with the objective of sharing the gospel (bridge illustration) or train him to be a disciple ( hey, man where is your Timothy ? Born to reproduce.... that is how my former team leader challenged us or shamed us). Now I can truly share a no expectation chat and enjoy the friendship. Really a burden off the back. Other big upside for me is "intimacy" liberation. With the "never Dater" campus ministry group I mentioned, self gratification let alone real intimacy were major issues to spiritual growth. I was so concerned with my own youthful lust I marked down failures on my calendar to better monitor and hopefully control my transgression. It is laughable to look back but I was quite ashamed and guilty at the time. Now being single after a painful divorce, I am much more liberal minded. I just wish I am liberated earlier. I can not turn back the clock. The precious time with my kids when they were young were no more. I was too busy doing God's Holy work. Learning to look forward not the past is something I still need to work on. I am using my profile page as a place to store and organize the bits and pieces my self analysis. Ex-C and its members are wonderful place and resources to share and learn.
    3 points
  4. Obligated? No. I am under no obligation to validate someone else's beliefs, especially if they know that I don't believe and ask anyway. This is about mutual respect and healthy boundaries. If the other party is not willing to respect my lack of belief (which would be evident by their prayer request), then I am not willing to respect their belief by fulfilling their request.
    3 points
  5. This is exactly the problem. It's fine to narrow the focus to those who, in your opinion, do the most harm. I think we need to realize that such cults can only exist because of the general atmosphere of magical thinking and imaginary gods that make it seem "reasonable" to many. IOW, "I know that god(s) are real and that prayer (spells) actually work, so just maybe these guys got it right." A rational, sane society grounded in science, facts and critical thinking tends to limit the growth of cults. Just look at the statistics contrasting superstitious America with some other industrialized nations who have larger atheist populations. Christianity finds a stronghold here because Americans are trained from birth to believe in crazy shit.
    2 points
  6. @Josh19 I really understand where you are coming from. I had the same thoughts before I ended up leaving Christianity. I did not leave it right away, but the doubts were definitely there. I thought about how insane of an idea Hell was. How could a loving God, or really a God with a shred of compassion continue to hate elements of his creation for eternity in Hell, especially in light of the fact that he is asking us to forgive our enemies (as you mentioned in one of your statements, Jesus = God within Trinity theology). It occurred to me, God was asking us to do one thing, while he did another. It was perplexing because then what do you do with ideas like, "be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Well, if God is perfect, and he is justified in genocide and torturing people forever, should I emulate that as well? I would always get bogged down in the details of these teachings and principles. It seemed the rules for us were different then the rules for God, but yet we are supposed to be matching God's glory. It is confusing. I never thought I would leave the faith either, and I am not telling you that you should, all I would ever ask is that you are willing to look at the arguments and the evidence and decide for yourself. When I first came here, I had a few tidbits of apologetics in my pocket that I thought justified my belief in Christianity. I posted a lot, I mean a lot in the General Theological Questions area. I really wanted to see a different perspective on what I thought were convincing arguments. There are a lot of folks here with a lot of knowledge that opened my eyes, and my mind.
    2 points
  7. Hi , so delighted to see all your replies. I am still evolving so I am not sure who I am and how I should be profiled. What I put together are random thought. Hopefully I will see more clearly and better know who I am. I read that many became atheists. I can never be one. The existence of the Biblical God is overwhelming through the beauty and complexity of nature. God is very real to me, I converse with him often, mostly cursing him Best described where I am is a father & son relationship that went sour. A rebel who got so mad with who God is I left him for good. The all loving, all just, all forgiving father are not what I think. Of all the reasons I can think of, one is deep disappointments of what God said in the Bible. I have couple chronic ailments and health issues since youth days. Very annoying that I begged for God's healing. I claimed the Biblical promises. Make no sense for the suffering. Not just me but what happen to other people - why Palestinians are treated like step child over the favorite Israelites ? atrocities in wars, innocent children molested.... on and on . I started building a folder titled " God is love ? ". It was so full with newspaper clippings I have to start another one. Where is this loving God, how long is he going to hide behind the devil and watch on the sideline. I used to be inspired by the book of Job. Now I read that as an extremely cruel and callous God using Job as a chess piece. Whatever that inspired me before in the Bible, I see the polar opposite now. Yes, the early falling out is sad and difficult. It get easier over time. I found nothing in common with my Christian friends who wanted to reach out to me. Thank goodness, no more calls or email anymore. One thing I realize is there is so much happiness, so much joy and love in this world outside Christianity. Chairman Mao said one time " religion is an opium". I have to agree, looking back, I felt like an addict. This drug control my mind, my finance, my everything.
    2 points
  8. Hey, @Josh19, Welcome to Ex-C! Most of us here were authentic Christian believers at one point. Most have similar extimonies and many have differing ones. Many point to unreasonable demand such as those you specify but it seems to me that most reference the doctrine itself and how it was so obviously authored by ancient small-minded control freaks and, possibly, war lords. Some Christian friends of mine point out that fundamentalist Christians are not any "better" than the Sadducees but, if you believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, then you really must behave as most fundamentalist Christians. So, my point here is if you are not at or near fundamentalism then you might just be on your way out because if some parts of the books are not accurate then what parts are, eh? Welcome again and I hope to "hear" more from you... - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)
    2 points
  9. @Josh19 I read your profile, especially the "About me" section. I think you are in good company here. Matter of fact, you remind me of myself, and my thought process, when I first joined Ex-C three years ago. I look forward to seeing more content from you.
    2 points
  10. Hi Josh, and welcome to our community! The feeling of liberation you have experienced in moving away from fundamentalist Christianity is one that so many of us here have experienced. I understand you still believe in the god of the Bible: most of us here have ended up with no god-belief whatever, but in any case it seems like you are sufficiently Ex-Christian that you should feel at home here with us. Deconversion is a process and I hope this will be a good place for you to continue your journey among people who understand and empathize. I look forward to hearing more from you! - TABA
    2 points
  11. Sorry for everything that happened to you Brianna...there are a great many religious people in the world who put their church above all else, including family, and that's just not right. The important thing for you now is to stay on your own path and find your way. You will be ok.
    2 points
  12. Hi @Brianna I’m so very sorry you have to go through this. I am familiar with the pain of being in love with someone who puts Jesus before you. Was your ex raised fundamentalist? It was courageous of you to create boundaries for yourself. It was absolutely the right decision. Now you just need to wait for your feelings to catch up. They always do. What hurts the most? That he doesn’t love you for who you are but what you believe? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone who loves you conditionally? You are worth more than that. He is asserting hardline control instead of building love, trust and respect. My ex morphed into a fundamentalist in the last few years of our marriage. Be grateful you discovered this now rather than after having three children. That is a special kind of nightmare. Our relationship was not strong enough to survive it. Living with a fundy is like living in a prision. Every discussion becomes an argument. You are talking with a religion not a person. I agree, your ex could be experiencing scrupulosity (religious OCD). My ex developed a need to control everything and everyone in order to have a personal sense of peace. He was living in a warped reality where Satan was lurking around every corner. He had some extreme views, combined with black and white, inflexible thinking. It was all or nothing, no middle ground. Your ex is also showing signs of narcissistic behaviour; expecting you to adopt his preferences, disregarding your needs - his needs are more important, not respecting your boundaries, being controlling and uncompromising. In reality you had no choice, this situation is out of your hands. You can’t fix him. He can’t be the man you need him to be. You are both heading in different directions. Try to focus on your long-term happiness. Big changes are never without pain. Trust the boundaries you made. Trust yourself and your inner guidance system. Best of luck x
    2 points
  13. @Brianna Time, reflection and moving on will resolve the surprise, grief, and pain you are now experiencing. I strongly suspect you will eventually conclude your former boyfriend was not the one.
    2 points
  14. It sounds like he wants a relationship where he will always get the last say and that he won't have to compromise or hold himself accountable for anything. You should feel betrayed, because what he did is in fact betray your reasonable assumption that you were pursuing a mutual and respectful relationship, not an absolute, domineering one. I'm sorry you had to go through this. Please respect your boundaries and expectations - they are very reasonable and he will try to make you think they're not.
    2 points
  15. You do have allies where opposition to fundamentalist christians are concerned. It's just that it can come from different perspectives, either negative or positive minded directions. But the allies in opposition are there. I can't imagine anyone here happy to sit back leave these fundies unaddressed, or not debunked.
    1 point
  16. I have had two relationships with people I would now call fanatics. In one of them I, as a man, was physically abused in a fit of religiously framed hysteria by a woman. I suffered massively from that and other things in the religion. If you take the Bible word for word like that you may start to have trance induced psychosis, bipolar disorder and other mental ilnesses brought on by extreme beliefs and practices. It can literally drive you certifiably insane in a very short period. And even if that is just normal religious behaviour for him which it could be, that much difference in values makes a relationship very hard , close to impossible.Sorry for your pain, it will get better. If you feel the need, try some good therapy to process your emotions.
    1 point
  17. Probably, from what I read in the Bible, God's justice is rather arbitrary like a tyrant. Remember he struck this fella dead simply because this man, out of good intention, tried to adjust the Holy Ark when the oxen stumbled - 2 Samuel 6:7. So unreasonable ! God also said he will give mercy to whoever he like, or does not. This is the scary part, God can do whatever he pleased, we have no say in it. God hardened Pharaoh's heart (even he want to let the Israelites free) so he can complete the last plague to kill all the first born. Romans 9:17-18
    1 point
  18. I was thinking about an example, maybe a bit extreme. Let us say your mother had head injury and started having hallucinations - this is actually a real thing as far as I know. In those hallucinations, you will die unless every midnight you start hitting yourself with a stick until you bleed. Being hallucinations, they are very resistant to logical thought unless the person acknowledges them as just hallucinations. You do refuse to do that, so your mother is in a constant state of anxiety. Who IS really responsabile for her suffering? Your refusal, or her mind altering head injury?Now replace head injury with various sorts of indoctrination. Maybe this helps?
    1 point
  19. Your experience really strikes a cord with me Brianna, and brought back a lot of memories of my own experience with religious fanatiscm. Stay strong and be thankful you found this out now. Although i know that is of little comfort to your broken heart right now
    1 point
  20. I was that guy many years ago; and I consider it to have been one of my worst mistakes. It is said that time heals all wounds. I'm not so sure about that. But I do know that time wounds all heels. Trust me, I'm a heel.
    1 point
  21. Having din din last Friday night with devout friends of Mrs. MOHO's from church (one a psychologist) the topic of "that moment YOU believed" came up. My turn was last and I could feel Mrs. MOHO's eyes on me - knowing I am agnostic/atheist. As I revealed to the group that I am a non-believer I told of a lack of logic and reason in the doctrine as well as my feeling that much of it resembles ancient controls freaks with blood lust. When I finished with the part about god being silent there was...well...silence. None of that "God spoke to ME in a human voice!" or "You are not listening." or "God does not speak to humans in human voices - he uses signs." Nope. None of that. Just silence and Mr. psychologist was especially so and , staring directly at me for several moments, had a look of deep pondering. He had previously during this conversation mentioned that he was, most of his life, a non believer but that certain circumstances and investigation lead him to the Lord. I felt his conviction was not nearly as strong as most others who's testimonies I have suffered through. I hope I did not take this in a direction unintended by the OP but felt this was a good segue into what I have been wanting to post for about a week.
    1 point
  22. My ex boyfriend and I had been in a serious relationship for 3 years and it was great despite us being 2 different religions. He is Christian while I am a non-Christian. I helped him move ahead in life and he was my strength. We brought out the best in each other. It was agreed that I would convert to Christianity in due time. Upon having the conversation again 3 months ago, he flipped the script and said he would not be able to ask me to marry him until I become a Christian. He became adamant and basically started forcing me. I was in shock as this was never discussed in the last 3 years. He then went on to say that he wants to become more religiously inclined and get involved in the local church. He also stated that he wants to live his life for Jesus only going forward and will now dedicate his life to Jesus and serving his people. He wants to donate all his savings to the needy, and maybe even become a pastor if Jesus wants him to. He has stopped watching tv, listening to any music that is not gospel and wants to spend most of his time in church. He said if I wanted to be with him, I would have to live the same as well. He believes that Jesus is talking to him and wants him to live in such a manner. He says he will give up absolutely anyone or anything for his religion and to live like that. He lives in fear that if he does a single thing that is not Christian inclined, Jesus will punish him. I knew I wanted a different kind of life. I believe in God and I pray every single day but I want to do other things in life as well. Like work, live a good life, travel, have a family. And he wanted that too. He broke up with me because I did not want to live this new version of life that he decided within a few days. He basically gave me an ultimatum. It's either that life that HE wants or we cannot be together. I feel betrayed because he threw away 3 years of love and future plans for a decision he made over a few days. He refused to understand my logical points or even try to compromise to meet my needs and wants. Its basically his way or no way to put it bluntly. He believes that if he compromises even a little, he will be hurting Jesus. I am so shocked and confused by all of this. This change and the break up was so sudden. I never saw it coming. Prior to 3 months, he was a fun loving man but still loved his religion. Now he is basically like an extremist. He speaks like someone who is brainwashed. He has become so cold hearted towards me. He does not even take my calls or respond to my texts messages anymore. Yet he was so in love with me. Prior to this, our relationship was beyond amazing and we were at such a good place as a couple. This is not the man I fell in love with or was in a relationship with for 3 years. I am gutted and heart broken because I am so in love with the man that I was with for 3 years who is nothing like this. How do I move on or even understand what is happening? Can someone please help me try make sense of this. It's been 3 months yet I am still so miserable and heart broken. I do not want to be without him but I know I cannot give him what he is asking. He is asking me to change myself to meet his needs and that is so unfair. I know that but how do I move on when I know what kind of person he really is?
    0 points


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