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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/05/2009 in Posts

  1. Dearest Heavenly Bible God, Father, Jehovah, Jesus, Holy Spirit, The Creator of the Universe, I come to you with the utmost sincerity of my heart, to talk with you. I have wanted to please you all my life. I have searched for you all my life. I have wanted to be one of your chosen. I never wanted to worry on this earth about going to your hell. So I tried to be good. Yes, I screwed up quite a few times, made quite a few mistakes, but they told me it was because I was 'blood and 'flesh' and that you were like the potter, taking this ‘blob’ of sinful clay and turning me into a diamond. I have always asked for your forgiveness and to give me another chance to prove myself to you. I hated letting you down. I always wanted to strengthen myself and be a woman of god for you – but you did not want to prove yourself for me, no matter how much I asked or prayed to you..... Please forgive me for missing any signs that you did try to give me. I have also, throughout the last 30 years, asked for more faith because I always felt as if I didn't have enough. I was honest with you about this. I told you everything. I confessed everything. I was told by many, that the 'mustard seed’ was good enough and that's all I had to have. But I wanted more than a seed of faith. I wanted big faith; enough to convince my mind of you, enough to stop the questions that I continued to drive you crazy with. Enough to move all the mountains in my life.... Please forgive me for this lack of faith that I had during all the past years. I even joked with you, so many times that YOU were the one who gave me this inquisitive personality. You are supposed to be all powerful and therefore you could have changed me? I asked you to change me. Why didn't you? Why did you hesitate? Were you testing me all along like you did your servant, Job? I was even straightforward about that and told you that I would not pass that kind of test. Then I asked you why you would even want to test us? Why would you – a loving, kind father, even permit this devil you allowed to fall from grace, sit by our side and watch as we suffered through many horrific things in life? We are your children. You made us. You created us. You didn’t answer..... Please forgive me for my reservations with this issue. Now I am learning that you might not be there at all. You have watched me at my computer. You have seen the research I’ve been doing in the past 5 years. You have seen and heard me questioning the bible since the night I was ‘saved’. I have asked you a hundred times in the last year to show yourself to me. I have screamed in agony. I have told you that are about to lose me. I have asked you if you care that I am falling away from the faith. And still you do nothing. You don’t even kill me. I was honest before you concerning this ‘doubting Thomas’ syndrome... Can you really see what’s in my heart? If you can, and you are truly a loving entity - will you please forgive me? You give me no clues whatsoever. The world is falling apart. We are killing each other. There are murders, rapes, poverty, and slavery. There are people fighting over whose land is whose and bombings everywhere. Do you see this? Did you understand that your ''Holy Bible' promotes this?? There is torture, starvation, cancer, drowning, dismemberment, and very painful diseases. You are supposed to be ‘all knowing-all powerful’. You could give us the cure for cancer and yet you remain silent. There is an epidemic of depression and suicide and thus far - you do nothing. How could a good and powerful God who loves you stand aside, unmoved to action, while such things happen? Please forgive me for being angry at you. My biggest problem with you is you are supposed to be all powerful; Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. You are supposed to be all good...full of love and yet all this evil exists? They have reassured me that when I get to heaven, you will explain all these mysteries to me. Why wait? Why not explain them to me now? Why not appear at the bottom of my bed in the late of night to have a talk? Why not appear in the sky (or wherever), even one community at a time and tell us that ''you will bring all things together for good'' as you promised in your bible. So many unanswered prayers... Please forgive me for questioning your invisibility and indistinguishable lack of presence. You are hiding from me so effectively, that the world looks just as I would expect it to look, and be, without a God running the show. It doesn’t have any of the characteristics I would be anticipating to find, if there was a caring, intervening, superseding God. All of my attempts to confirm your existence have come up empty handed. You are hiding so successfully. I have to admit that in order to believe like I did for years, I must do it by ignoring the contrary evidence. I must resolve to this concept called ‘faith’. You are hiding so stubbornly, I must conclude, among other things, that you do not want or care if I believe anymore. If you wanted me to believe, you think would show me evidence in a thousand obvious ways, because my heart has yearned for the proof.... Please forgive me for giving up the search. One last quick discussion. Why didn’t you make us the way you wanted us to be in the first place? It could have been so simple – you are the God of the universe! Why tempt us in the garden? Why make hell? Why scare people? Why would you do this to us? I have been taught that all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will go to heaven, and the amount of reward in heaven will be directly related to how closely each one followed God's will in his life. I really tried to do this. Likewise, all those who reject Jesus Christ will go to hell, be tortured forever and will be punished to the degree of how much evil and sin they committed in their life. And you created this for us, your children?? Please forgive me for thinking you are cruel. Why did you need to resort to human sacrifices to ‘satisfy’ the sin disease - which you created and tempted us with in the first place? Why be so cruel? Obviously, I will go to this hell you created for people who reject. It’s not that I want to reject you – I just don’t trust you anymore. Trust is reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, of a person or thing; confidence. It is the confident expectation of hope that someone really cares for your well-being. It gives you confidence in the certainty of the future. It is a loving person on whom one relies. It is the condition of one, to whom something has been entrusted with, like custody or care. It is a commitment of love, and that love would not hurt you..... Please forgive me for not trusting you anymore. I loved you for a long time and yet, you scare me with hell? And then you tell me that you are a loving God. Would you be affectionate and forgiving enough to take my hand and walk in hell with me? I really wanted to believe in your existence, but you have gone to extraordinary lengths to make that difficult for me. The world looks just like there is no Bible God to me and I am heartbroken. It saddens me from the bottom of my heart to admit that I do not believe that the Holy Christian Bible is the ‘Word of God’ anymore. It grieves me very much to say goodbye to the God of the bible. It is your ‘Holy Scriptures’ taken literally from all over the world has made the planet into the mess it’s in today..... Please forgive me for saying this. One last prayer of forgiveness: I pray that you will understand all my questions and forgive me for not believing the ‘Holy Bible’ that I was brought up to believe in. I am asking for your forgiveness for my doubting. I am asking for forgiveness for not really believing in you – but please, if you do exist and I have missed it – before I end this letter – would you always try to remember the heart that searched long and hard for you? I will forgive you – if you will forgive me. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart – Your Child, Margee
    31 points
  2. Whatever... I have no idea what you are talking about. If you are saying I don't have a right to be angry at religion... you are wrong. If you believe that I don't have a right to be angry at certain religious people, you are wrong. The ENTIRE point isn't about wanting to 'sin', or tithe, or whatever. It's about promises made, supposedly by an omniscient creator.. that his people would be blessed. They are not. They are no different, and in some cases much worse than others. The institutions are corrupt and greedy and divisive. The entire legacy sucks. I'm not angry at christianity because I wanted to 'sin'.. you freaking idjit. I'm angry because it didn't live up to MY morality... and it was supposed to surpass my little human heart. It does not. I'm not angry at christians because I'm gay, or cheap, or any of those things.. I'm angry because on the whole (not every individual) they are the most backstabbing, delusional and hateful people I have met. Their beliefs create a culture of judgmentalism and ignorance that is stunning. Most of the time I'm not even angry... and after careful and thorough investigation and heartfelt, honest study I found out it is a bunch of crap... crap that has a negative effect on society. I get angry when I see the crimes perpetuated by religion, the hatred, the excuses for war and intolerance. That is a healthy anger, because it's against injustice and it motivates me to help those subject to this horridness. I don't need you to hear my pain and anger.. I don't give two shits about your pity. Don't pity me - I am no victim, I finally found some peace, and understanding of the world that makes sense and I have been able to release the existential shame and guilt that comes with religion. I found freedom, and I am a better person for it. I didn't even leave the church out of anger, but out of incredulity and the insult to my intelligence. I couldn't swallow the bullshit anymore. I got angry later. YOU are the one who isn't hearing... you post constantly with your preconceived notions of what atheists, agnostics, pagans buddhists, hindus and deists really feel, think, do and are. Good grief.. do you really believe we run around 'sinning' all the time? You arrogant, self-satisfied, hypocritical prick. Read Margee's Testimonial.. if you can't HEAR the anguish and the struggle and the honesty there then I fear you are far too gone to understand anything. Your empathy switch is broken. Typical. You are the one with the delusion..and your very obvious fear that maybe we actually have found some damn happiness and a life that makes sense to us... without your god.
    23 points
  3. You won't be around here very long before you hear people refer to deconversion as a process, rather than an event. It hardly needs saying that making the transition from being a True Christian to being an Ex-Christian does not happen overnight. Looking back at my own deconversion journey so far, and learning about the similar journeys taken by others among us, as well as seeing new members show up here "dripping wet" and frightened or in shock at realizing that they are in fact on the way to being Ex-Christians, I wanted to share why I think it is so important to "complete" the deconversion process, and also to show you - if you are new to this - some of what you can expect as you go through it for yourself. Getting stuck in the deconversion process is not a happy situation to be in. You have already seen some of the problems with Christianity, with the Bible, or the supposedly all-loving, all-powerful God that it serves. That's why you came to this place. But you may also be racked with fear: fear of Hell or the fear of getting it wrong, fear of living without a Heavenly Father, without a god-given moral law. That fear can keep you from moving forward and leaving Christianity behind you. It can dominate you, paralyze you, make you miserable. Yet you can't go back either because, deep down, you know it's not true. We who have already taken the journey can assure you that it does get better as you continue onward. Our archives probably contain many records of such journeys, but I wanted to point out one testimonial that was shared recently by one of our newer members, DarkBishop. I hope you will read his post before continuing... DarkBishop's experience highlights two things that happen in the later stages of deconversion: The feeling that you have reached a 'Point of No Return' with regard to Christianity. Experiencing the benefits of living without religious dogma or theology. A successful deconversion means that at some point you realize there is absolutely no going back to Christianity. You realize that you have seen enough, that you couldn't possibly believe it again even if you wanted to. It's not a case of God "changing the locks" when you leave the house, it's more a matter of realizing that faith is not a sound guide to what is true. Christians have it, Jews have it, Muslims have it. You once were sure the Muslims and Jews were mistaken, now you realize the Christians are too. Some people, early in the deconversion process, worry that they will one day realize that they were wrong, that Christianity is actually true, but it's too late to go back. It doesn't work like that though: realizing you're past the point of no return happens when you're convinced, as sure as you can ever be, that it's not true. Dark Bishop shared some of the rewards that appear in this stage of the deconversion process. He says it better than I could, so I hope you read his post above. Does this sound like somebody who has "no purpose in life" as they like to believe about us? It sounds to me like a man who has a renewed purpose, a renewed energy in life, without trying to satisfy an imaginary (and often contradictory) god and a one-size-fits-all-times-and-all-people moral code handed down from the clouds. So if you are early in the deconversion process and you're fearful and unsure, be reassured, the road ahead is often lonely (Dark Bishop also talks about the challenges of being an Ex-Christian in a world of believers) but it does get better and you can reach that point of confidence, joy and peace. So how do you get to that point? Some of it is just the passage of time. But there is plenty of help available here in this community. Old and new discussion topics, lots of testimonials from various stages of the journey, suggestions for books to read, blogs and podcasts to follow. When you first hang out among us unbelievers, the talk may sometimes seem foreign to your ears, used as you are to being immersed in Christianity, but a funny thing happens over time: there comes a point when you realize that it is the Christians who now sound strange and rather nonsensical. Guess what: you're just about there, starting to feel the benefits of the journey you've taken. Soon YOU will be eager to welcome and offer a confident hand up to the new arrivals. Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, it is going forward in spite of your fear. You will get lots of enCOURAGEment from this community! TABA
    21 points
  4. A strange thing has happened over the past few weeks - and I think it's a good sign: I haven't felt the need to logon to ex-christian.net EVERY SINGLE DAY... Don't get me wrong, this site is AMAZING. It has played a huge role in processing my deconversion experience, finding my new worldview, growing in confidence in what I believe and why, finding freedom from all of the fears Christianity had gripped me with. Everyday for nearly 3 years, I signed on - eager to hear another extimony, hoping people shared their thoughts about the issues I was facing - and they did. I had to RE-HASH everything over and over to deprogram myself from all of the indoctrination and to get over the fear. I needed to be SURE that I was on the right path. I'm sure now =) I've reached a really fantastic place in my mind - I have peace. I love the person I am now so much more than 4 years ago when I was still a Christian. Honestly, I was an anxious, chauvinistic, self-righteous, judgmental, authoritarian who preached grace and had very little... I have peace as an agnostic. NOT having all of the answers is a much lighter load to bear than claiming to know them all and having to square reality with my “certainty”. I live now in the present - eager to suck every drop of joy and goodness from each experience - whether that is a conversation with my wife, helping one of my patients, or taking my oldest daughter out for a plate of her favorite Vietnamese noodles (like I did tonight) and watching her gulp them down with sheer delight. I derive deep satisfaction from helping the hurting – supporting causes that improve the lives of orphans throughout the world, etc. I love getting to look at amazing creatures and just marvel at how they came to be. I don’t have to feel confused about why God created them with defense and attack structures if they were just all vegetarian. And it doesn’t cause me anxiety when their evolutionary relatedness is apparent. I can just appreciate it! I used to feel the burden of trying to make it all make sense with my worldview… I love not having to used convoluted explanations to defend the Christian worldview to my daughters. I am so proud of them for their bright, curious minds and I am thrilled to no longer be squashing their precious curiosity with “the truth” that I’ve already arrived at. Facing the coming death of my wife’s mother (she’s in her final weeks of life), my oldest asked me, “Why would God make us so that we die?”. Great frickin’ question! Four years ago, I would have said, “he made us to live forever, but we sinned, and the punishment for sinning is that we die.” Now, I can say “That’s a GREAT question. I don’t know. What I do know is that death is a normal part of life and not something to be afraid of. Flowers die and animals die. What death makes me do is focus on how precious each day is and live it to the fullest!” [I would like to tell her why her great question is actually evidence against God’s goodness/existence, but I’ve agreed with my wife not to go there…]. FINALLY, my marriage is beginning to heal from the ways that Christianity has screwed it up, bigtime. IF you take the Bible literally, like I did, verses like these absolutely WILL impact how you view your wife: “3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” And “9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.” And “…For this is how the holy women of the past adorned themselves. They put their hope in God and were subject to their husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord.” And “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Is it any wonder that my wife resented me for treating her like someone who needed to be under my authority/headship? Who should “obey” me just like Sarah obeyed her husband?? After all, that is how “holy women” acted… The irony is that most modern, educated women do NOT want to be treated this way, even if they revere a text that says they should. Pity the fool (aka ME) who tried to live that out. Finally, though, we are seeing healing. My wife is beginning to revive – to define her own identity as distinct from me – which is so healthy. We are no longer “complementarian” in our marriage, but “Egalitarian”. And it is great. I don’t spank my girls any more – haven’t in four years. Nor do I want to. (OK, maybe once in a while it’s tempting when they’re being total punks…=)). But now it is completely offensive to me and just plain wrong. And I feel awesome about my position on that. I spent 3 years being afraid of my old church friends “finding out” about me… especially because it would get back to my wife’s brother and cause chaos in the family… well now, most of the friendships have dwindled to nothing anyway – and I no longer care who finds out what. I’m not afraid any more of what I believe and why. Fundamentalist belief is so much like a computer virus – it hogs all of your system resources to the point that the computer can barely function. Well, when a mind is preoccupied with constantly trying to make a round world fit into a square worldview-hole, constantly feeling guilty about normal behaviors and short-comings, always wondering if your faith is genuine enough, if you’ve given away enough, if you’ve shared the gospel enough… then that mind is not free to run like it’s supposed to – to live, to work, to love, to experience, to share… Now the virus has been removed and my computer runs fast and free… And as I’ve come out “the other side” of this deconversion process, my existence is no longer defined by the struggle / the processs / the sorting-things-out. I’m actually living my life now on the other side. I suppose this site is much like a rehab facility for substance abuse: you should come and stay while you are sick, get the treatment you need, then get out and live a meaningful life. Some people will stay back as volunteers and help the newly-sick. Some will relapse and show up every now and again. And some will just ride into the sunset. I’m not sure which one I’ll be, but I’m pretty sure I’ve completed my treatment program. =)
    21 points
  5. I have a special moment to share with you all, I hope it makes you proud. As many of you know, I am a bit outspoken and feisty on the forum at times. I don't mind throwing "fuck" around or calling people out. It may surprise you to know that I'm not outspoken about religion in my personal life, I usually just shutup and think snarky things to myself. On Saturday evening, I let the snark show and it was pure beauty incarnate. Allow me to give you the details. I had a headache, but went to my sister's birthday dinner anyway. The whole table knew I had a headache, because I was impatient for the bread to come out so I could have food on my stomach for the advil. Towards the end of the meal, as we were all preparing to leave, my mother asked how my head was feeling. I said it felt a lot better and she said, "I prayed for you. It was Jesus." Mind you, this was not an audible prayer, she could have just as easily not said she prayed if my head still hurt. Nonetheless, she was completely serious. I, chuckling good naturedly, said 'I wonder how Jesus would have done without the advil!" And then I just moved on before she could sass me. She said nothing about it to me later. For many of you, this may not seem like much. I assure you, it was a huge step for me. I asserted myself to the family who has not yet had the "I am agnostic" talk yet. I think there is an unspoken understanding of where I am, but there is not much discussion about it and there has not been a line drawn in the sand. I put up with religious talk all day long and I am extremely proud of my retort. Cheers!!
    19 points
  6. It was 7 years ago tonight that I made my very first post on Ex-c. Sweet mossy, I was a mess that night. I guess you could say I was fantasizing how to get off this earth. Yep. My whole life was a mess....again. And now, no god to pray to this time. That was 2010. You guys don't know the whole story because some things ya just can't tell on a forum. Ex-c saved me. Not god. You guys. You gals. For the first time in my life, I started to feel sane. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. And Merry whatever you are celebrating this year. The very best to each and every one of you. I truly luv you guys. Let's keep helping each other through this journey. It's a real, hard serious road for some and that's what this site is really about. (((hugs)))
    18 points
  7. Just got off the phone with my Cardiologist. Um, I don't need a transplant anymore. In fact, they want to do surgery and close the hole in my heart and reroute some of the veins. I recently had a Heart Cath to measure the pressures in my lungs and the left and right sides of my heart, and my Cardiologist is fucking amazed. All of my pressures are pretty fucking close to normal. I am literally an unprecedented medical abnormality. What's happened to me does not happen to anyone ever. I'm on a couple of trial drugs [Tyvaso and Letaris] and apparently that shit fucking works. Let me put it this way, when I was admitted to the hospital, I was not expected to leave until after I'd had a transplant, if I survived that long. My current equipment was expected to completely fail in a year or two at most. I had a heart cath around the beginning of November, and I literally died on the operating table, shortly after I died again in a hospital bed. Both times I was revived. Two months later, just after Christmas, I was doing well enough to get a discharge. I was told I still needed a transplant, but that if I continued on as I was I could expect to delay it for several years. The medications were stabilizing me better than expected, and they were hoping it would continue for a while and that I could squeeze out a couple of more years by delaying transplant as long as possible. I was not anywhere near to normal mind you, but well enough I could get through daily life if I didn't push myself. Now, today, I'm told that my pressures are on the high end of normal. Not just in part of my heart, or just in my lungs. Across the board. They want to do surgery and fix the hole in my heart. In a month or two, I should be in better condition than I've ever been in my life. Huh? I had to get him to repeat that a couple of times just to be sure I was hearing it right. The right side of my heart will never be completely normal again, but if things go as planned, it's a very real possibility that it could get damn close to normal...I'm possibly looking at what could only be described as pretty much full recovery. Seriously. I'm an Atheist, and I've got what amounts to a miracle cure. It's awesome. I do have to have major heart surgery, which sucks...sort of. Bear in mind I've been repeatedly told that they were going to rip out my entire respiratory system and put in one that they cut out of someone else just before they died, and that after that my life expectancy was about five fucking years after that. Can you imagine what it's like to be relieved by someone telling you that you're going to have open heart surgery? It's seriously weird. I'm not out of the woods yet, I've still got to be careful, and open heart surgery is obviously risky. However, it's still less risky than staying in my current condition and having a transplant later. I'm not quite sure what to do yet, it's fucking epic that this is even a possibility. Nothing is scheduled yet but an MRI, and then I have to schedule a dentist appointment, but it will probably all happen within a month or two. Not sure yet, but it sounds like they want to do it very soon. I humored thoughts of this nature before, but never believed that it might actually happen. Doctors repeatedly told me that there wasn't any real chance that it would happen. This sort of recovery was extremely unlikely. Yet, here I am, and near as I can tell, it's actually happening. I'm not sure what to think about it all just yet. Don't worry, this hasn't changed my opinion of God. Science and Modern Medicine is fucking awesome.
    18 points
  8. religion is evil... it's so evil I can hardly find words to describe it's vileness... My deconversion, if you will, seems to have gone in a spiral... in steps. For a very long time even after I rejected christianity I clung to my various conceptions of god, or whatever—fuck—I don't even know what to call it anymore. I've studied and practiced various forms of theism.. from pantheistic witchcraft to Rosicrucianism, to Pentecostal, to... well, let's just say I've been to a lot of different branches of this faith thing, always thinking, nay believing, deep down that somehow there must be a loving force and if so, I can find it... call it god for lack of a better descriptor. I'm a seeker... it's my nature... but what I really desired was truth.(still do) The truth is I'm an evolved and intelligent and MORAL being. I've always been this, even as a child—there isn't a time when I can remember being different... I wasn't raised in religion, and even at 6 or 7 I remember being concerned about others and CARING about the world. I was BORN THIS WAY. I've done a lot of reading, here and elsewhere, I've watched video's, studied history, science and well... done my best to be well-informed and use the reasoning abilities I was born with, and I'm fucking pissed off. Because I've come to the conclusion that religion is evil. It's evil and it exploits human nature and needs in the worst ways possible, It negates reason, morality and humanity. This is not even close to the rage I am experiencing...or the thousand reasons why and how I have come to this conclusion... and expressing it is hard. Just getting over the hurdle of not being 'tolerant' and 'understanding' and 'accepting of others views' is like climbing Mount Everest... being afraid to 'offend'..etc.. blah blah blah... fuck it all because this is a truism... "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. " - Edmund Burke I think about Victor Frankl's, "The Search for Meaning" and many other books I've read that illustrate the true nobility that humans are capable of and I can see that religion negates all of that—makes it worthless, and teaches that we are less than, NO, REQUIRES that people are less than they can be. How much more despicable than, "without god you can do nothing" can anything be? It devalues people, it devalues people and makes it possible for atrocity. Religion requires that we see ourselves and especially others as not worthy... of anything, much less compassion or kindness. If our own creator can't accept us as we are... And christians are upset to think we are related to chimpanzee's, because they believe it devalues them? Their own book devalues them—the entire concept makes us less worthy than any animal.. animals are innocent! But we are the scum of the earth, and by making us believe that we become so incredibly gullible that we will do ANYTHING to relieve that sense of vulnerability and worthlessness, whether that's believing lies, or killing others... anything. It's an untenable psychic state. Throw in a good dose of fear (but make us believe we deserve it) and that's it folks... wrap it up.. you just created a battered woman out the majority of the human race. FUCK THAT! and Religion REQUIRES violence. Seriously... what is more abhorrent than blood sacrifice of the blameless? It requires that we accept this concept as fucking holy? What the hell is holy about being joyful that innocent blood is shed to keep you from taking personal responsibility? The whole concept is... makes me nauseous. I can see now why the religious are so damn quick to be violent—it's ingrained in their very matrix of how they see reality. How can they be peaceful when their 'creator' in who's image they are, (think about it) is such a violent, bloodthirsty monster? And i don't give two flying fucks if it's fundamentalism or moderate belief because in the end it's the same damn thing... if you really don't believe the world and humanity is intrinsically worthy, or stand against religious batshit crazyness then you ENABLE the worst of you and you are culpable. Religion, by it's very nature, opens the way for people to exploit and abuse others. Interpretation, vague texts, emotional understanding, giving the morally immature a parent figure so they don't have to grow up, feeding people's need for acceptance and society and approval, setting up systems where the immoral can whitewash their crap with 'righteousness'. Taking advantage of the simple human need to be loved, who does that? I'm a parent... of a rebellious teenager I might add... do I ever look at her, even in her worst moments (and boy oh boy, she can dish it out sometimes) and wish her any harm... EVER? The opposite is true... I want nothing for her EXCEPT the very highest happiness, wonderful life and self-fulfillment possible. If she rejects my 'way' would I disown her? never. God is love? Not from where I stand. And the evidence is all around... in spades. AND... If there is a different god, a loving god, why would it hide from me? I call bollocks. Fuck faith and the horse it rode in on. Absurdities. Religion makes people unbelievably stupid, mentally unbalanced, vengeful, arrogant and morally bankrupt. Yet hides behind this 'light and love' clothing. It's the very definition of passive-aggressiveness, malignant narcissism, and delusional projection. This particular wave of my enlightenment was precipitated by the muslim violence over that stupid ass movie (trailer actually) that was made by another group of religious nutjobs who think they have the truth... I'm sick of it. It's UNACCEPTABLE. Religion is a plague on mankind. A mental and moral social disease.. I'm thoroughly convinced now. I am not an atheist anymore... I am firmly an anti-theist. I believe that religion should be fought, torn down, whatever... with all the strength we have. sorry i went all over the place... it's hard to organize it all... because it's a whole lot of everything and it affects every single person on this planet. There is no longer anything that can convince me there is anything good about it.
    18 points
  9. For those of you who know of me and my deconversion/church exit, you know the stories of my crazy church and subsequent "shunning." It's not an official doctrine by any means, but I'm definitely on the outside, deliberately excluded from family and was on the end of some pretty vitriolic and nasty messages. In my tradition, we go to church twice on sundays and do not do anything else... the major sin is to spend money. I'm not sure why, but we're not allowed to work professionally (unless your role is deemed "urgent services" like doctors, nurses, ems, etc.) And absolutely you don't go shopping, eat out or spend money on entertainment. Well, I quit church in March; I obviously don't subscribe to any of that any more. Today, I went to a baseball game with some friends (Jays vs. Yankees; Jays lost... boo, I'm Canadian). I posted a picture on facebook titled "sunday funday"... now, don't get me wrong. Part of me knew it would bother some people I know from "then".. .part of me just wanted to stop hiding. I'm tired of having to walk on eggshells to not offend people because they're upset that I'm different. I really didn't think anyone would say anything... but my aunt commented: "Nope, Sunday a day of rest and comunion with the church and God" I initially responded with something along the lines of "well, I respect that..." but then a friend made a personal comment to me about how weird my aunt's comment was. I suddenly got really angry because it's true... I put up with a lot of this bullying bullshit from my family and it's rude to me and it's rude to my 100s of non-or-other-religious friends. I responded: "You know what? This might not be the place to put this, but I have gotten A LOT of not-so-nice comments, emails, letters/cards and non-verbal messages from people because they are offended and/or displeased that I don't go to church. NEVER EVER have I told ANYONE that they should not go to church, NEVER EVER have I commented on any of my friends' fb or elsewhere (friends, I might note, who are from all walks of faith and life) telling them that they should lead their lives a different way (especially without backing it up with care and concern) and NEVER EVER EVER would I dream of putting on one of their religious/church-related pictures that they should be living their lives differently. I find it rude and insulting (to both my non or different-than-you religious friends and myself), judgmental and unnecessary and I'm really tired of it. If my life offends you, delete me. If you want to debate with me, debate with me. If you want to ask me why I've made the choices I've made, ask me. Until then, I can say that I live my life with honesty, integrity and truth. I make MANY mistakes, which I try to learn from, and I'm far from perfect. But I love and ask to be loved. I will accept you, and ask to be accepted. If that's too much for you, I understand. Know that I will ALWAYS love and accept you..." I know it was a bit overkill in response to her message... but I also know my tradition and I read the pettiness in her message. Also, it's one piled onto many others... and kind of my breaking point. I'm pretty anxious cause this is my first "public" note on the topic and I dealt with a lot of nastiness from people already. I'm going to be pretty anxious when checking fb over the next few days... but on the other hand, I'm tired of "hiding." Anyway, just wanted to vent. Thanks!
    18 points
  10. Hi, all. This is my first time posting my very own topic, and I apologize if this sort of story is old hat. Thanks for reading my cathartic word jumble! I grew up in a very conservative Baptist church in the south. Went to youth group and all the Christian summer camps, memorized all the verses and did all the mission trips. Won lots of youth group awards. I mean, I was an obsessive student at school, why wouldn't I be one at church too? I did my devotionals almost every day, prayed, and even tried to model my high school dating relationships on "Biblical principles." I went away to a Christian-based college at 18 where everyone had to take Old and New Testament survey classes. This is where everything started to fall apart. My professors, though Christians, had studied Greek and Hebrew and textual criticism and wanted us to look at the Bible academically. I was so blown away by the two creation stories, the contradictory histories in Joshua and Judges and between the Gospels, and all the other problematic aspects of the Bible that I decided to become a Religion major just so I could better understand them. I mellowed out in my theology, started reading the Bible as a source of social justice and felt I was "called" to get people to stop being such fundamentalist jerks. I learned Hebrew and Greek, and took theology and philosophy classes. I worked as a youth leader for 2 summers at a Baptist church (despite my female-ness and nose ring!) and tried to teach the kids to think critically about the text and to just be really good to people. During all this time my church attendance was pretty sporadic. I didn't really feel the need for any church fellowship when I was taking so many religion classes with awesome people. After college I got into the graduate religion department at a prestigious American university to study the Hebrew bible. The divinity school there was multi-religion and extremely ecumenical. I met and became friends with Jews, Humanists, Muslims, and a myriad of adherents to various Christian denominations. I decided to become Episcopalian because they seemed the most social justice oriented and allowed gay people and women to be priests. I thought this was my happy medium. But as I delved deeper into the textual study of the Hebrew Bible, I realized that the text was more than just a little problematic. I mean, there are MULTIPLE Hebrew words whose meanings we can only guess at! I took a class studying and translating the Dead Sea Scrolls and realized, "Damn, we really don't know what a lot of this actually says." I took classes doing feminist and womanist and LGBT and Liberation interpretations of the text, but still the Bible taunted me with its dickishness. It often took so much work to make the Bible not say terrible things. But I couldn't stand the thought of it saying terrible things! Over time, I found myself both more and more troubled by the concept of God and at the same time just not caring any more. It was truly exhausting to try to stick up for God/Jesus when the things they did seemed pretty indefensible. Eventually I stopped going to church at all and told myself that I just was taking a break, and that I would consider myself "not religious" for a bit. Then two thoughts came to my mind. 1) How can I believe in a God who is less kind and just than humans are? and 2) If I'm having to work this hard to defend the concept of God and Christianity and to suspend this belief in my mind, maybe this belief isn't worth having. Despite thinking these things I still did not consider myself an atheist or an agnostic, just really not religious. A few weeks ago I visited my parents in the south. I went with them to church and it was one of the most depressing things I experienced in a long time. All these truly kind people believing truly stupid and cruel things. When I got back from the trip I realized that I was more than "not religious," I was an agnostic/atheist (still researching to find where I actually fit). And now I am more pissed than ever. HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week? I give the congregations more of a pass, but if you have studied the actual language of the Bible and still believe it to be infallible, you are an idiot and a liar. I can't deal with it. And now I sit and simmer as my Facebook is constantly populated with idiotic Christian sayings and verses and ideals. I am so angry. But I don't want to be. So here I am to blow off steam and read other Ex-Christians' experiences and to rebuild my philosophy for living. If you've made it to the end, you are a trooper. So thanks.
    18 points
  11. I just wanted to say hi and tell you that since the last time that I was here (not sure how many months) I haven't had a single manic episode and I have been living a normal life. I have the correct medicine and I have a secular psychiatrist. I have very little interest in religion. I just wanted to say hi and let you know all is well.
    17 points
  12. If someone told me that I would be on this website posting about de-converting from Christianity, I would have said laughed at the idea. Then probably started praying for that person to come to Jesus and for him to lift the veil from their eyes so that they could come to the truth. My name is Aaron, and I’m an ex-Christian lol! Is this what an AA meeting is like? This is awesome. I feel like I’m 16 again, rebelling against the machine all over again. I became a Christian when I was 18 years old. I attended a very loving church with an extremely empathetic pastor. For the first 4 years or so of my conversion I was extremely happy and very involved in my faith. I held bible studies, witnessed to many people, and even led some close friends to Christ during that time. I was forced to attend Methodist services as a kid with my mom but I hated it. When I became a “born again” believer it was a huge event in my life. I experienced a radical change and stopped using illicit drugs and partying and improved my grades enough to graduate high school. I was basically a kid who felt very lost and alone and Jesus gave me something I didn’t have before. I was what you would call an “on fire” Christian. I ate this stuff up. I was like a sponge. For the first few months after I became a Christian I read the Bible for at least 4 hours a day. Sometimes as much as 6-8 hours. I loved going to church. Sunday, Sunday night, Wednesday etc. If church was open, I was there. Anyway, at 22 I joined the Marine Coprs as an infantryman. I just recently got out after 14 years. While I was a Marine I went to Iraq, Kuwait, Philippines, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan, just about everywhere I guess. After I joined the Marines, or even slightly before, I was in a “backslide” as some call it. I was very much a believer but I no longer was “on fire.” I basically just felt guilty all the time. Through the years, I was up and down in my faith. Always chasing those early days of my faith when I felt so good about everything. So sure of my salvation. My first church I got saved in was a Baptist Church in Texas. It would be considered more of a non denominational church though. They had a band and always made alter calls at the end of service. That sort of thing. I tried to find that in California but I never did. The closest thing was Calvary Chapel. But I never really felt connected to a church like I did the first one. Through the years of bible study, I found numerous contradictions in the Bible. I wasn’t researching them online. I was finding them in my own. Very early on this happened. The first one I remember or one of the first ones was Judas’ death. Another one was conflicting accounts of the same story of David counting the army in Samuel and Chronicles. Actually there were several contradictions I found in Chronicles where numbers and names were off. I went to the pastor and he explained them I’m sure the same way you’ve probably heard yourself if you’ve went to someone for clarity about scripture. So then I began reading apologetics. Case For Christ etc. I was always searching for more answers. But I always had that fear of finding out things I really didn’t want to know. I couldn’t even fathom this not being real because of the big conversion experience I had. But my questions got deeper and deeper over the years as I got older. Especially into my 30s. Understand that I converted my wife, her brother, and her sister. I was as serious and strong a believer as anyone I know. And I felt more versed in the Bible than most as well. So these were serious problems I was having in my mind. Meanwhile I also cannot live it anymore. I was a Marine. I was a part of a warrior culture in every sense. I was just having internal conflict in general after a while with all of it. My self esteem was really suffering because of the unrelenting guilt. God it was bad. I felt guilty all the time. I stated having serious issues on my Iraq deployment. My platoon sergeant was killed and I knew he was not a Christian. He was a good dude and I had a real problem with believing he was in hell. Not just him but the Iraqi civilians that sometimes got caught in the middle and were killed. They were Muslim and didn’t believe in jesus either. And this bothered me. And for years I had all this guilt that we had sent people to hell. Fast forward to this past year. I heard about the Epic of Gilgamesh and then I watched a video or series of videos on YouTube one night. My mind was blown. Absolutely blown away. I had finally started to thoroughly research non religious sources for all these questions I had had. I was a sponge all over again. Day and night reading. Mind blown over and over. This was all fake? I had to reevaluate everything I had ever known. I had this strong feeling that I had been in this system of control. The more I researched the more I was floored. Literally. For about a week I was depressed. I was extremely disturbed at all I had learned. Because I was no longer trying to spiritualize the Bible or the contradictions. What am I now? Atheist? That one didn’t fit for me. I knew I believed in the concept of a higher being, god, the universe or whatever you want to call “it.” I just didn’t even know what that even meant. I definitely had zero belief in the god of the Bible and had zero interest in religion. After about a week I came to the realization that I just didn’t have all the answers and that was ok. I accept it. That’s when I had a strong feeling that everything was ok. And I became very excited about living a new life at 37. It’s like I got re-saved. Or the realization that I was never lost. I found myself again so to speak. And it was and still is amazing. I absolutely love life now. I’m very interested in hearing others stories and what they believe. Naturally because before I had all the answers and thought I had the truth. Now I’m very open. I’ll never go to another religion but I feel very spiritual (not sure if that’s the right word) in the sense that I just feel connected to everything and everyone. Before it was such a “us vs them” mentality. I think that’s why I feel that way. I don’t pray anymore but I found that taking to myself is still a positive thing. I’m just so excited about life now and for my family. I even called off a divorce and got my marriage back on track. I’ve so much enjoyed learning subjects that I was previously afraid to learn about. I’ve really enjoyed reading Allan Watts and others like him. But I’ve also enjoyed hearing atheists lecture and agnostics. I’m not sure what I would classify myself as now (maybe a deist?) and not sure it even matters. In fact it doesn’t. That’s the beauty of life for me now. I'm living it on my terms without religion! Ugh! What a drag that life was. So free to be out of it. Never looking back. Super excited to be here and happy to be apart of this community. Proud EX-christian!
    17 points
  13. I posted my leaving Christianity testimony almost 2 years ago, but have another testimony. I am 78 years old, but still functioning very well. HA! At least physically. But there is a history of strokes on both sides of my family with a couple of sudden unexpected deaths. Due to a suddenly occurring hearing problem, they did an MRI of my head and found I have already had 3 tiny strokes. But they were not the cause of my hearing loss, and there are no other obvious after effects that aren't typical for my age. But my mortality has reared it's head!! My New Testimony? My de-conversion must be complete. After decades of worrying about it, there are no second thoughts about my "salvation". Hopefully this can encourage those who might be having second thoughts.
    16 points
  14. In the matrix when Morpheus is ready to take Neo out of the matrix he offers him a choice. He holds two pills out front of him and says: "You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." We here at EXCHRISTIAN have at some point for whatever reason taken that red pill. I've been trying to keep up with the posts of other new comers and all have mixed emotions. Some are elated, some are depressed, and some have gone as far as to wish they could return to the old life that they new. That's the bitter sweet nature of the red pill. In the post by @skysoar15 in rants and replies skysoar points out that Athiests and agnostics seem to be a minority in the deep south, which is also where I am. It turns out to be a lonely life at times. Me personally I have to watch what I say around my wife as she is still a believer. Most of my family are believers especially my parents. So telling them isn't really an option. When your whole life has been established around the belief that there is a bible God and all of a sudden that foundation is no longer there, it becomes difficult to keep a habitable balance with everyone around you. For lack of a better word, we have become the outcasts. As skysoar said. When we were Christians we thought the world was against us, that we were fighting the good fight of faith, and that we had a higher purpose. Now that higher purpose has turned out to have been mostly a waste of time. I'm reminded of cypher on the matrix who made a deal with agent Smith so he could return to the matrix. Relating that to our own lives, it may seem at times like it would be so much better to just go back, to believe again. But the problem lies in the fact that the red pill completely changes your concept of reality. Once you've come to the knowledge that we have here, that we were fed horse shit our whole lives, the rabbit hole does go deeper. You find out how the bible really came to be, you start seeing the lies for what they are, and there is no going back from that. I mean sure if I really wanted to I could play church and go through the motions. But to what end? It would just be pointless now. But here's the sweet part of this. We know the truth. Or at least we know that the bible is not a true account of God as we were lead to believe. We can look at life with knew eyes and arrange our priorities to what really does matter. And that is our personal happiness and that of those we love. I am a strong supporter of our Constitution in america. We have certain rights as Americans. And we have certain rights as humans. The bible takes some of those rights away and now now we are free. The bible is filled with restrictions, rules, and oppressive ideals. We no longer have to live under that. There is no "devil" making us do "bad" things. There is no "god" watching us, making sure we don't break his rules so he can happily throw us in the fire when he feels frisky and comes back. We are the masters of our own reality now. This in my opinion is worth it. I didn't know that day when I was searching for proof to show my son that the bible was truthful, that I was actually about to pop the red pill into my mouth and swallow. I know my life will continue to change as a result of it. But I feel emboldened now. I feel a knew since of purpose arising. Far more so than I have the past few years while my faith was faltering. My family is first and foremost in my life now, not some imaginary diety. And I follow a close second. I have the rest of my life to live and I plan to make every moment I can of that life mean something to my family and myself. I'm going to make my mark on the people I love. Not Christs mark. I don't need to be someone else, I only need to be me. There won't be anyone at my funeral that says that I lived the life of Christ. But they will say that he was a good man, and I am better for having known him and have had him in my life. It is truly honorable when a man or woman makes that type of impression on those around them and I really hope I do. I hope this little spill encourages other new comers to Ex-C. I know it may seem rough now but eventually the storm will pass. We are here to help in any way we can. Time heals all wounds, Even this one. You may not know it but you have now joined an elite group of individuals. We have all been indoctrinated, brainwashed, and in some cases abused by religious theology. But we are overcomers. We have looked God and The Devil both in the face and called BULLSHIT! You are EXCHRISTIAN. Be proud! sincerely, Dark Bishop
    16 points
  15. Hi, ex-c fam! Wanted to let everyone know that I was recently involved in a car accident where I fractured my skull, got myself a couple concussions, a subdural hemotoma, broken capillaries in my eye.....and I'm alive. I'm okay. I'm here, been healing for about 6 weeks now. And with all the "God has saved you," "what a MIRACLE," "God had his hand on you," "I've covered you in prayer," yada yada yada. No, I didn't see Jesus. No, I didn't experience some miraculous epiphany that I've been saved from my "sins." No, he did not use this to bring me back to him. No, he does not have some kind of plan that involves using a severe brain injury to reclaim my faith. I have a shit ton of medical bills now, thanks for that, Lord. I just wanted to let you all know that I'm okay, still kicking, and more determined to see the reality of life as it is than ever before. I can't believe I ever fell for that shit.
    16 points
  16. Hi, all! Sorry if this isn't the best place to post this topic. Mods, feel free to move it. I promise I'll get around to an ex-timony, when it feels right. As for now, I just wanted to let everyone know that things are going pretty decent between Mr. ag_NO_stic and I regarding our faith differences. He is "unsure" to the point that he's not actively calling himself a Christian. Now he will still resist me on many points, but I have been REALLY making myself keep my opinions and rants to myself, not challenging him on belief stuff. When it does occasionally come up, I've been practicing and forcing self-discipline and not reacting out of emotion. This has done wonders! I think he also sees how content I am, as I've calmed with time, and how my new "beliefs" are not going anywhere. It helped in my case that he has never really been "up to fundamentalist" standards with his faith, his parents did NOT raise him like me so he doesn't have some of the wounds.....he doesn't understand some of my bitterness. But things are looking up as of now, fingers crossed! I just wanted to post this for those who know what's been going on with me and the husband, as well as give some encouragement to those with believing spouses. Show them the "fruits of the spirit" which ironically is just coming from yourself because you are in control of your actions. A calm and rational demeanor paired with facts/logic and not seeking out an argument all the time really has helped over time. He has also had some time to adjust to the changes and can see that I am still me, without being a pious asshole. I even got him to listen to little bit of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens and he chuckled a couple times, so it can't be long now! Cheers!
    16 points
  17. I cried myself to sleep again last night. I had hoped that you would come to me and talk to me; I waited up for you. But you didn’t come… You have been so many things to me over the years. You have been my provider, my hope in moments of despair, my strength in times of weakness. You have been my dearest friend, and my deepest love. I have always felt so grateful to you and have tried to live up to your expectations of me. I have tried so hard to be the person you needed me to be. But lately all of that has changed. It may be me and not you; I don’t know. You seem so distant. You won’t even do the simplest things I ask you to do for me. I’ve tried to talk to you about what I am going through and how it makes me feel. But all I get from you is stony silence. Like my words mean nothing to you. I even tried talking to your family about what I am feeling, hoping that they could help me get through this. I had hoped maybe they would talk to you for me. But instead they only told me that they never thought I was good enough for you to begin with. Do you have any idea how devastating it was for me to hear them say that? Especially after all I’ve been through with you and with them, it destroyed me that they would say such a thing. I can’t go on like this. I have done all I can to make you understand what I am going through. I wanted you to see what was wrong in our relationship so that we could work to change things and move forward. But I seem to be the only one interested in our relationship anymore. You seem to take no notice at all… I don’t know what I will do without you, or what will become of me. It may be hell. But I know that my life is in pieces now and I need to pick through the pieces and figure out which ones to leave behind and which ones to use to build whatever life I have left. I will not wait for you anymore… I’m sorry, Jesus; it is over between us. “Eternally Yours,” Me
    16 points
  18. I think I may have mentioned previously that I have not worked for the last five years due to physical and mental health issues. The damage 'the church' did to me contributed significantly to my health problems. For the last five years there have been many times I was hospitalized, I have been that ill. So to finally be able to get a casual job (as well as p/t study) is a demonstration of just how far I have come. I am so thrilled to be feeling kinda normal. The illnesses are not cured but I am stable. I have no doubt that being out of christianity for the last 18 months has helped, as has being able to chat with you guys - thanks. Happy Dance!
    16 points
  19. Why would you feel sorry? You know very little about women, not surprising... Being female I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of other women… a lot of us DO NOT WANT to get married. It's not the guy, it's us. There are many good reasons not to get married, independence, financial autonomy, etc. etc… and each women would have their own. Defining our relationships in new ways is part of the way culture and society is moving… most women make their own money these days and in a lot of cases getting married is not the best move. Commitment is very possible without marriage… and I've been married, twice… and I've experienced a deeper commitment with a live-in boyfriend than I did with either of my husbands.. actually, I had an even better long term relationship with a man I never lived with. I would never get married again..ever.
    16 points
  20. So, I still keep in touch with a couple of my Catholic school friends, one of which was the daughter of my old math teacher. Well, I really liked my old math teacher, so I asked my friend to have her mom give me a call. I get a call at work yesterday from my old teacher and after we catch up for a bit, she mentions that her daughter told her that I was an atheist. I'm like, "Yep." She also says that she remembers getting a letter from the Archdiocese requesting information about me in 2005. So I'm like, "I've been excommunicated since 1999... why are they asking about me?" She tells me that when Darth Sidious took over for JP2, he reworded the catechism so that only a doctor performing the abortion and the woman receiving it would be excommunicated. The driver of the car, the person funding it, and the nurses attending it would be held blameless, although they would be encouraged to go to confession and/ or choose another line of work. I'm like, "So, I'm not excommunicated?" She says, "No, everyone who was excommunicated latæ sententiæ for participation via funds or support in an abortion has now been reconciled with the church." Here is the doctrine: The word changed was, "formal." So I just finished the following letter and dropped it in the mail...
    16 points
  21. Stop reading my posts and telling my parents. This site is supposed to be confidential. You're a jerk and a jack ass whoever you are. Thanks also for hurting my folks. Good Christian actions. NOT.
    16 points
  22. I was raised in fairly conservative churches/schools. Gradually I started to move away from some of the more extreme elements of that, I believed in evolution, didn't take the Genesis creation narrative literally, was open to certain Bible stories being myths, exc.. Even since I was a little kid and first found out what gay people were I've never understood why anyone cared what gender you liked. The reason I ultimately rejected the whole thing isn't because of anything in the outside world, though, to go along with the whole idea of "faith" you need to accept believing in things that aren't verifiable anyway. Instead it's that the central premise of Christianity doesn't make sense to me now that I've finally seriously examined it, and that the god described in the Bible doesn't sound all wise or all good. It boils down to- A- One thing I've always struggled with is why Jesus needed to die on the cross in order to save people. I got into a lengthy exchange with a school teacher when I was 7 or 8 about this and never got a satisfactory answer. The Bible makes very clear that god can do anything, so why can't he forgive people without killing someone else? Recently I've thought about this in even more depth and it goes beyond the issue of whether god is omnipotent. Forgiving people because Jesus died doesn't make any sense. If I'm going to forgive someone, I don't insist that some random, unrelated person be punished before I can forgive someone. I can either forgive them or I can't. Someone might respond by saying "but that's why god is merciful" but if he were truly merciful wouldn't he be able to forgive someone without killing an unrelated innocent person? Christians consistently say that we should "forgive as god forgives" but wouldn't that mean that when someone asked our forgiveness we'd have to go and crucify someone first before we could forgive them? That kind of thinking only makes sense in the context of a society built around animal sacrifices. It makes the Bible sound less inspired by an all knowing, timeless god and more like a product of a primitive ancient civilization. People try to explain this with the analogy that Jesus is like our parent and it's like he paid for a window that we broke. But that analogy doesn't work because breaking a window isn't a moral issue, and paying for it isn't retribution. It's just an issue of someone suffering a loss and that loss being made right, irrespective of who actually is the one paying. A better analogy would be someone being sentenced to death and Jesus taking their place. But nothing works like that. Even if someone for some reason volunteered to be executed in another person's place, that wouldn't nullify the sentence of death on the other person. Retribution is attached to the person who committed the crime. Again, Christians would say that that is why god is merciful, but if he were truly merciful why couldn't he just forgive people. Killing Jesus was irrelevant to any sins anyone has committed. Another thing Christians say is that the crucifixion was to satisfy god's wrath against our sins. That makes him sound like an unenlightened barbarian, not an infinitely wise god who created the universe. He's so angry that he wants to take it out on someone who did nothing to him? Yet the Bible says humans are supposed to control their anger. But it also says we're to be "holy" like god, and being holy apparently includes murdering innocent people to punish them for things other people did. Add to that that Jesus' sacrifice isn't at all proportionate to evils he's answering for. Killing one person supposedly answers for the death that everyone who has ever existed deserves? Add to that that Jesus didn't truly "die" in the narrative, he never went to hell and came back from the dead. If God is merciful enough to accept a non-proportional sacrifice why isn't he merciful enough to just forgive anyone who asks? Continuing on the topic of forgiveness, for me not forgiving someone means I stay angry at them, it doesn't mean I want someone to be sent to hell and tortured for all eternity after they die. I don't really want that to happen to anyone. Even for someone like Hitler, I'd be sufficient with just letting him die, or just not letting him into heaven and having stay in cosmological limbo. Wanting to endlessly torture someone is vindictive, sadistic, and evil. Especially when it's not just mass murderers but even someone who commits a "sin" as small as stealing a cookie from a cookie jar as a small child. B- I've had some serious bouts of depression recently and I thought in relation to god that if I truly loved someone and I could ensure that they wouldn't feel like this, then I would. Of course the common rebuttal to this is that there are lots of people with worse problems than me, but that just compounds the point. If you look at all the suffering that has occurred throughout history, would a good and loving god allow it all to happen? If a person knew about a child getting raped by someone, didn't tell anyone, and did nothing to stop it, there isn't a court in the world that wouldn't convict that person. Any Christian would agree that it was a sin to not intervene. And yet that's what god does for every murder and every rape that has ever occurred. Again, if we're supposed to be "holy" like god, wouldn't that mean that we'd be as indifferent to all this as he is? I know that the Christian conception of god gives people the free will to sin and that's why we're responsible for our actions. That makes sense for sins that don't directly effect anyone else, like getting drunk, gambling, consensual fornication, lust and so forth. But in the case of sins against others, if it's such a serious sin against another person to justify sending someone to hell, then wouldn't it also be a sin to be able to stop that sin and not do it? Christians talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue. They defend god allowing, say, 9/11 to happen by saying that people's souls are eternal. But if killing another person is serious enough to warrant sending the murderer to hell, wouldn't it be serious enough for god to intervene and stop it? C- This is a smaller thing and it's an issue I've always had, but the New Testament is terribly inconsistent in regards to how to attains salvation. On the one hand there's John 3:16, and on the other hand there's the book of James, which pretty much goes full Catholic. People try to explain away the book of James by saying that the "works" described are simply an outgrowth of faith, but the book specifically says "faith without works is dead" implying that someone who actually does have faith but doesn't couple it with good works is going to hell. Even more blatantly John says "whosoever believeth in me shall not perish but have everlasting life" but then James explicitly says that belief in Jesus is not enough noting that "Even the demons believe and shudder". That sounds like something written by two different authors and not inspired by one source. I could write more, but this is the main stuff. I just finished graduate school and am stuck living at home until I find a job. I'm going to keep going to church with my parents and not rock the boat for now. I'll probably formally "come out" once I'm living somewhere else. I thought of myself as a "bad Christian" who didn't pray that much, but it didn't occur to me how much I really did throughout the day until now, I find myself thinking "Oh yeah, he's probably not real" a lot of the time now. I get the periodic worry about going to hell, and worrying about not being able to pray when I'm afraid, but mostly I feel really good, because I think these are things I've known deep down for a long time. PS- I was automatically logged out when I spent a lot of time writing this and worried that my long post would all be gone and thought "thank god" when I saw that it was all here. Some habits take a while to go away.
    15 points
  23. I remember the first time I stumbled onto this website. I was deep in ministry, saving souls for Christ, and left the site in prayer for the souls of all those who’d turned away. Today, after 30 years of devotion to the faith I proclaimed as a kindergartner, I revealed to my husband of 11 years that I’m no longer a Christian. This five-year deconversion comes as the biggest part of a life change I’m going through. Personality-wise, nothing has changed, but as far as beliefs go, everything has. It’s challenging and unnerving, but necessary. My husband, who’s been in ministry for several years, who I built a life with on the foundation of Christianity, was more understanding than I’d anticipated. I’ll spare the details for now, but man, I don’t really know how we can make this work. Anyhoo, I’m glad this space exists, as opposed to a few years ago, when I wished it didn’t. Irony.
    15 points
  24. It is with great sadness to learn of Marks' death this morning..... better known to us as BAA. Today most people refer to the internet and boards like these as if they weren't 'real' life. But the internet and boards like Ex-c are real life for many of us. It is part of our real life. And we get to know people in this internet world. And they become our friends. And it was part of BAAs' real life. For many, many years, people had no choice but to write long letters to each other and those letters were how people stayed in love.... and in touch with each other. Many times (back in my day) you could find a 'penpal' and write for years and never meet them in real life. We may have never met Mark/BAA in RL but he was our friend. BAA has written and left us many letters on this board. He was a relentless teacher and loved helping us understand the cosmos. He has helped me and many others on this board. I am shocked this morning. And I am very sad. I hope his atoms will become part of the sun. That way, he can continue to help us stay warm and comforted like he did in his posts. That's how I am going to try and remember him. Every time I see the sun or feel its warmth, I will take a moment to say, 'Thank you' BAA, for everything you taught me. We will miss you very much in our community. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds...it is through us that they live on. Please accept my condolences that BAA will not be forgotten. I wish his whole family much comfort and love as they grieve during these difficult days. Rest in Peace my friend.
    15 points
  25. There's too much negativity in the world right now... I have deleted this post's content because I can't live with myself knowing that I've been contributing to all of it. Sorry, family.
    15 points
  26. The really nice thing that I have noticed, is that all most people here are so kind without any hope of a heavenly reward. You are so supportive, and I hope that one less child ( or adult) needs to go to bed afraid of hell or worrying that they have done enough to achieve heaven. I have always thought that if there is a god, whatever needed to be written would be on our hearts and not in a book. You have always been kind people because you have followed you heart and truth. So, it is not a high god that wants bless you, it is I , a simple human errant being. I am so glad to have your insight, and glad to find you. Blessings from one human to many humans!
    15 points
  27. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god, and the Word was god… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” So proclaims the gospel of St. John, the Beloved. We are, thus, invited to believe that jesus was, in fact, god. But should we? Does this claim of St. John’s stand up to what we “know” of god? Does this claim even stand up to the information provided in the other gospels? I propose we look at the divinity of jesus with just a modicum of simple logic, and I predict we will raise more questions than we answer upon the subject. For example, St. Matthew provides a lineage in order to demonstrate that jesus was a direct descendent of Abraham, through the line of King David, on his father’s side. Matthew then immediately says that Joseph wasn’t jesus’ father, but that Joseph had adopted jesus. If jesus was the son of god, born of a virgin, why go to such great lengths to tie jesus back to such an admirable ancestry? Was his status as the son of god not already enough? Why not simply state that jesus was the son of god, born of a virgin, and then get on with the rest of the story? Was this an attempt by St. Matthew to express what a good man Joseph was, because he was willing to adopt the child? If so, then why is Joseph hardly ever mentioned again after the blessed nativity? Moreover, if Joseph was such a good man, why was jesus overly obsessed with his “heavenly father”? Children who grow up under good parents rarely have such father-figure issues. If jesus was god, then why did he curse the fig tree? The gospel makes it plain (Mark 11) that it was not the season for figs. Surely an omniscient god would have realized this, especially if that same god had divinely inspired the writer of Ecclesiastes with the words, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecc. 3). Moreover, an omnipotent god should have been able to make the fig tree bear fruit out of season, if he could also turn water into wine and feed 5,000 with a few fish sandwiches. So, why would an omniscient, omnipotent god become so enraged against an innocent tree? Why resort to hurling curses, when he had so many other recourses? If jesus was god, then why did he heal people? I know we are supposed to accept these healings as miracles and accept the miracles, in turn, as proof of his divinity. But surely, an omniscient god must have realized that we would eventually learn to make our own medicine, and surely that same god must have known that many of our medicines would be simple chemical compounds easily found in nature. For practical purposes, wouldn’t jesus’ time have been better spent counseling Luke the Physician on the healing properties of the berries, herbs, roots, and flowers that grew locally, rather than casting out demons on a first-come, first-served basis? Wouldn’t using his omnipotent knowledge of the human body and the medicinal qualities of natural extractives have given us a better foundation upon which to build modern medical practice? And wouldn’t this have been a better demonstration of his divinity than slaughtering an entire flock of pigs because of a schizophrenic called “Legion”? The jesus in the gospels seems to have not even known that boiling willow bark would yield a highly effective pain killer in the form of acetylsalicylic acid, commonly referred to as “aspirin”, yet we are compelled to believe he was god? Here is an interesting consideration: Do suicides go to heaven? Most of the christians I know would say absolutely not. But doesn’t the gospel make it plain that jesus knew that if he entered Jerusalem again, the chief priests and elders would have him put to death (Matthew 16)? Knowing that it would mean death, jesus still returned to Jerusalem. How is that any different from young Timothy drinking a gallon of anti-freeze, knowing it will mean his death? They both made choices that they knew would lead to their deaths. If there is another definition for “suicide” of which I am not aware, please enlighten me. Yet, in the face of christian doctrine, not only did jesus knowingly place himself in a situation he knew would lead to his death, we are encouraged to think that he rose again and is seated at the right hand of the father. Then there are the questions regarding jesus praying. In the garden of Gethsemane, we are told that jesus prayed this prayer: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Never the less, not my will, but yours be done.” Firstly, to whom is this prayer directed? If jesus is god, then he is simply talking to himself. Secondly, if jesus is god, then he should already know whether or not it is possible for the cup to be passed from him; he should already know that he has the power to say, “Cup, pass from me.” Lastly, if jesus and god are one in the same, how could the will of jesus be anything but the will of god? Why this need to submit his will to god's, if he is god? If it is indeed possible that jesus’ will was different from the will of god (and the prayer certainly makes it sound possible), then jesus could not have been god. Jesus also prayed while he was on the cross. He prayed “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani” (Mark 15), which we are given to understand as, “My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?” But if jesus was god, then he had already forsaken himself; and he already knew why he had forsaken himself, because he had entered Jerusalem knowing it would mean his death. If jesus genuinely did not know why god had forsaken him, then he could not have been god. Just before jesus gave up the ghost, the gospels tell us that he prayed one final prayer saying, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” Again, to whom is jesus praying? He made it plain in the gospels that he and the father were one (John 10); into whose hands is he committing his spirit? If he is god, then he is simply committing his spirit into his own hands, just as he took his life into his own hands when he returned to Jerusalem. And if he is god, he should know this. I therefore submit to you, that not only do the gospels fail to present a convincing case for the divinity of jesus, when looked at with a skeptical eye, they also provide clear evidence that supports a contrary view.
    15 points
  28. This is my reply back to him. "i have pondered on what to say or if i even wanted to say anything. i told myself i wouldn't, but then again, i know myself better than that. i am done fighting and bickering and longing for a lost cause. i'm so sick and tired of all that and i have moved on. it isn't easy. i do still hold on to the past and i'm not ashamed to say i cling to it dearly, for in the end that is all we have left anymore. the wound rendered around 5 years ago hangs like the death of a loved one and you simply cannot ever completely forget them and the whole ordeal. i will not fight but i want to make some things clear. if at the end of the day all you have is scare tactics and fear what do you really have? for lack of truth and evidence you try to install a sense of fright and horror with the hope of persuading me. have you forgotten that for nearly 26 years i was a christian? fully aware of the definition of hell that you talk about. living for 26 years fearing hell and wondering about this and worrying about that. did you know that the concept of hell is one of the reasons why i left? not because i think it an actual place but the whole moral and philosophical debate around it. it is absurd. the christian worries about hell, not the atheist. your whole argument centers around fear and the idea of what if by chance i find out i'm wrong one day. all you have done is reworked and repackaged Pascal's Wager. an argument that proves nothing and is as flawed as they come. apply the Wager to Islam or Scientology or some pagan religion and you get the same results. if you think it's a valid argument then i guess it validates all religions. what if by chance one day you find out when it is too late that Allah is the one true god? any religion can pull the Wager card. and it all falls back to fear and scare and the phrases "just in case" and "just to be on the safe side". what a foundation for any system of thought. but i take greatest exception to your claim that i am twisted, hateful, spiteful and foul. whether you say i am this towards god or this in my life in general does not matter, for i can safely say that i am not bitter or angry at anything. i know that you think otherwise, you have to to keep up appearances. your prophecy 5 years ago told that i would either be dead or twisted, hateful, spiteful or foul. and i know you believe that whether you actually come right out and say it or not. but i am no more angry at god than i am Zeus or Thor or Godzilla. are you angry and bitter for what Darth Vader did to the rebel alliance? you may think i am being smart and sarcastic but i can assure you i am not. for the same reason you don't give a flip about Vader and the rebel alliance i don't give a flip about God. I cannot be angry toward what i don't believe it. but as for my attitude about life in general, i couldn't be happier. i can honestly tell you that i am more honored to be alive than i ever was as a christian. i can live life without blinders and see things as they actually are and journey down paths that i simply wouldn't allow as a christian. paths of inquiry and knowledge and to just experience the world as it is without any superstitious agendas hidden under every rock. to know the real stories of us and all living things without demonstrably faulty stories telling of conjuring up magic and the paranormal. Yes my friend, i can say that i enjoy life to the fullest. you can say what you want but i live the proof each day i get up. and if it can be said that i have any aspect of my life that is angry and bitter, it is in regards to what you did those 5 years ago. not you so much, but what you did, but i addressed that in my first paragraph. if i had any fear that you talk about, any worry about whether or not i am right, i am going to say something for the very first time on here. last Wednesday morning when i had my anxiety attack and when for over an hour i thought it was a heart attack and that i was going to die, you want to know what was going through my mind? my loved ones, friends and family, even you all. i wanted all these people there with me. i also thought i really didn't want to die strapped down in the back of this ambulance. i was scared in a way i had never been scared before. but you want to know something else? in that dark and bleak moment in my life not once did i think of god or heaven and hell. so whenever my day comes around, whether it's today, tomorrow or decades from now, i will be sacred, we all will be, but i will not be worrying about making it to heaven or just falling short and instead hitting hell. i will be thinking about the ones i will never see again. i will be thinking things like i thought last Wednesday, dear people that mean everything to me. and also 2 people now 3 who i would want by my side who might not be there because there is this senseless gulf that separates us all because we have a difference of beliefs." I refer to "you all" and "2 people now 3" meaning he and his wife and their young son. He has since had a child in the time that me and him have had this strife and i have only seen his child two or three times. That bothers me a little.
    15 points
  29. “Who are you to question god? Who do you think you are that you would judge Him? You are a mere human—fallen, sinful, a disgusting, miserable wretch. Who are you to question your Creator, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who loved you so much that He gave His only Son to die for you and save you from your sins? You should be falling at His feet and begging Him for mercy because you are a sinner and the wages of sin is death. God could crush you in a second and not think twice about it. The only reason He hasn’t already done so is because He wants to give you as many chances as possible to repent of your sins and escape the flames of Hell. Yet you sit there, with that smug look on your face, and in your arrogance, you question God? How dare you! Who do you think you are?” Your God said that you would know them by their fruit. By what fruit is your God known? Who am I to question God? I am a man. I am a moral, ethical human being. I am an individual who would see justice done, who would see evil prevented, and who would see the weak and powerless defended. I may be only one man, but I am not alone. I am a man gifted with an insatiable intellectual curiosity—a man whose quest for truth will not be satisfied with anything less than absolute, indisputable proof. Possessing the ability for logical, objective reason, coupled with the capacity for abstract thought, I am a man who can examine the evidence as it is placed before me and draw sound, well-balanced conclusions. For this reason, and this reason alone, your God condemns me to Hell. He doesn’t condemn me because I have murdered, raped, or stolen; He is willing to forgive these treacheries. But for the sin of using my own free will to seek the truth rather than seeking first the kingdom of God, He is willing to cast me into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. What sort of father would take his son into a candy store and say, “Son, you can have anything in this store that you want; but if you don’t choose what I want you to choose, I will beat you until you are black, red, and blue”? What would we, as a society, think of the father who would commit such emotional blackmail? Would the bile not rise in our throats? Would we not rejoice when the police and the child welfare agents removed the child from such a tyrannical monster? And if you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so the Father who is in Heaven? Why should your God’s behavior be excused, simply because He is your Heavenly Father? His actions are no different and neither are His motivations. So, why do you recoil when I call Him into question? Why are so quick to join your God in His vengeful damnation of my eternal soul in eternal Hellfire and Brimstone? I am a man who has seen first hand in Northern Ireland the hatred one man can have for another, simply because the one sees your God through the eyes of a Catholic and the other sees Him with Protestant eyes. I have seen the kneecapped legs, felt the terrifying rumble in the streets as pipe bombs exploded nearby. But the evil I felt was not that of bigotry; it was that of indifference. I am a man who has walked through the archway of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland and felt the evil that is still just as potent, just as palpable today, as it was when the smoke rising from the crematoria chimneys still snowed ash down upon the inmates. The evil I felt there was not the evil of the murderous Nazi regime, nor the evil of collaboration, either forced or willing, of the Poles and Jews, in the extermination of more than a million and a half human beings. The evil I felt there was the evil of ambivalence. I am a man who has looked into the eyes of a young Bosnian girl who escaped from a rape camp during the genocide in her country during the 1990s. I saw in her eyes the horror that she, along with more than 50,000 other Bosnian women and young girls, some as young as 10 years old, experienced as they were systematically brutalized by Serbian soldiers who had come to cleanse their country of the Muslim hoards in the name of your God. The evil she spoke of was not the wickedness of men, but the benign indifference of God. And there is the crux of it; your God sees the atrocities committed against the innocents of this world and He does nothing to stop it. Was He able to stop the troubles in Northern Ireland but not willing to? Was He willing to prevent the Holocaust, but not able? Was He both able and willing to keep 10-year-old Bosnian girls from being brutalized by drunken soldiers to the point that the majority of them took their own lives just to escape the abject horror their lives had become? Then WHY did it happen? Do you want to tell me that your God refuses to intervene because He doesn't want to interfere with free will? If so, you are telling me that your God would rather send me to hell than to provide me with the proof of Himself that I needed when I was in my darkest hour. You are also admitting that your God would rather allow the free will of 10-year-old girls to be violated in the most brutal of ways, simply so that He doesn't have to interfere with the horrific intentions of evil men. Do you still wish to argue that your God has a plan for everybody? Was His plan for those 10-year-old Bosnian girls that they be gang raped on a nightly basis? If so, then His plans are atrocious! Did He have different plans for those girls, but His plans were ruined by the evilness of men? If so, then His plans are appalling! Isn't it more logical to conclude that He simply doesn't have plans for anybody? Your God tells you that if you fail to prevent evil from happening, then you are guilty of the same evil through the sin of your omission. He tells you that if you see a 10-year-old girl being raped but do not try to stop it, you are as guilty as the rapist. Yet, He, Himself, did nothing for the Bosnian girls, or the Jews of Europe, or the people of Northern Ireland. Human trafficking, child molestation, famine, pestilence, wars and rumors of wars—these define the world we live in, and your God does NOTHING! Yet He still blames you for the sin of omission. There is a word for that kind of mentality, a term that we use to describe that kind of behavior. The word is “hypocrisy”. That is correct, I have just called your God out as a hypocrite. No God, who displays such cavalier behavior, such ruthless ambivalence, should be considered divine; just as no person, who justifies such a God, should be considered human. So let me ask you this: Who are you that you would worship God? Who are you that you would fall at the feet of that menacing demon and call Him good, and call Him righteous? Who do you think you are that you should attempt to force, manipulate, and cajole the rest of us into joining you upon the altar of such a despicable fiend? What does it say about your character that you would use the Word of that insidious tyrant as the basis of your perceptions of the world in which you live? What does it say about you, as a person, that you would use the Hate of that maniacal despot to pass judgment upon the people around you? I do not need you to try to convince me of who you think your God is; I've already seen Him for a liar and a hypocrite. I want you to try to convince me, and yourself, that you are something other than what we both know you are. Who am I that I would question God? I am a Man. Tell me who you are that you would worship Him.
    15 points
  30. I'll pray for you because that's the nicest way of saying I'll do nothing.
    15 points
  31. I remember how happy I was to accept Jesus as my Savior at the age of 19 after being witnessed to by a good friend and watching “The Jesus Film”. Jesus, you promised me eternal life. What I got was 15 years of false and damaging beliefs and psychological manipulation and abuse. So, fuck you! I worshiped you privately and publicly. I made a fool of myself for you in front of many people. I annoyed family and friends for you. I told my loving mother that she was going to hell. I annoyed and no doubt amused convenience store clerks and toll booth operators for you. My reward? 15 years of psychological manipulation and abuse. Fuck you, Jesus! I have bipolar disorder that had not then been diagnosed. I was prayed for many times. Nobody knew what was wrong with me. I hit the floor for you many times, “slain in the spirit” hoping for healing. My reward? I got a religious high, but nothing else. You failed to heal me, Jesus. So, fuck you! You said you were coming back again and I expected it at any moment for 15 years of my life. I looked forward to being with you in heaven. You lied and gave me a false hope that I held on to for years. So, fuck you! You gave me heartache and heartbreak. You stole 15 years of my life and the pain still remains. So, fuck you, Jesus! I loved you and I thought you loved me. I thought I had the greatest friend in the universe forever. It was just a lie – a myth and nothing more. So, fuck you, Jesus!
    15 points
  32. My grandma died last weekend at age 96, one month shy of her 97th birthday. She left instructions that she didn't want a funeral saying that as she had outlived all of her friends and most of her family (my dad being her sole surviving child) so she wished to be cremated and have her ashes added to my grandads in the veterans cemetery. She made sure to state that she wanted no priests, no prayers and none of her money to go to the church. She was born and raised a Catholic but turned against them when her sister had a still born baby and the church said as it was unbaptised and born into sin it couldn't be buried on church grounds. There was no support just rejection and the whole family broke ties with the Catholic Church most switching to Anglican or deist beliefs. My grandad was anti church but wouldn't talk about his belief so I don't know if he was deist or atheist. He said that his dad was a vicious abusive man who quoted the bible to justify his violence (spare the rod, spoil the child), he literally had religion beaten out of him. What really amazed me about her life is the massive amount of change she saw occur. Born in 1922 she was a teenager during WW2, married my grandad when he returned from the campaign in Egypt and had my dad in 1945. In her lifetime there has been cars, planes, TV, computers, phones, even electricity itself. The nearest supermarket was a 5km bicycle ride and she had to buy lamp oil to keep the home lit as they didn't get electricity connected until the early 30s. International travel was primarily by slow boats, with air travel only becoming available after WW2 but with very limited runs and high prices. As far as I know she never travelled outside of NZ. She lived through the depression, WW2, Korean and Vietnam wars, was married for 66 years with 2 children, 4 grandchildren and lived long enough to meet my daughter, her great grandchild. Sadly my daughter was too young to remember the meeting but I gave her my grandmas name Kathleen as her middle name. A full happy life through some of the worlds years of turmoil. A long life of joy without religion.
    14 points
  33. I know I already don't feel *that* new on this site, but it really has only been a little over two weeks. After an emotional post at midnight this morning on a different thread, I am taking @Margee's advice and just taking a breather to focus on the positive things for a while. I truly feel I have gotten in over my head a bit in trying to "rush my deconversion" and "have all the answers ready" for all my loved ones. I want to really thank all of you for taking the time to post your thoughtful feedback when you really don't have to; hugs all around. Anyway, it's really high time I introduced myself. I jumped right in and started posting, but I didn't take the time to let you all know who you're dealing with. I am Jessica (Jess is fine too). I am 25 years old, have a husband and two fur-babies. I love to bake and make chocolate desserts like truffles, definitely a passion of mine. I have the distant and unrealistic dream of having a little hole-in-the-wall bakery/truffle place some day. There is truly nothing like baking something tasty and watching other people close their eyes in appreciation, knowing their in "yummy food land," a place I visit regularly. I love food in general, I truly enjoy how textures and flavors blend together to make an experience. When I'm not in the kitchen or at work, I love to watch dark shows like Dexter or Breaking Bad, currently watching Handmaid's Tale (unsure if I like it or not...) on Hulu. I was a sociology major, psychology minor in college. I didn't think through how that would affect me with getting a job, but I am fascinated with how the brain and genetics work with our environment to make us who we are. I watch youtube videos on current political issues and then proceed to rant to no one in particular when I'm driving, because I like my opinions more than anyone else will. I LOVE to laugh and have a self-deprecating sense of humor (among many, can't go wrong with a terrible pun), so I'm kind of an asshole to myself for the lulz. No need to go into a "deep history" or anything. Long story short, I am the first born daughter to two really successful parents who had pretty high standards for me and my siblings. I'll tell a therapist all the drama that comes with that, but I don't think a sociology majoring baker is what they had in mind for me when I was a toddler. I know that I am my own person, that it's my life and my dreams that count, not to worry about what they think, but that doesn't change a child's desire for their parents to be proud of who they are becoming. It is still devastating to have accepted who I am and know that, on some level, my parents might have picked a different path for me and are "settling" for what I'm passionate about. When you pair that with a fundamentalist christian upbringing, you don't have a very good product, I guess. As for as being an ex-christian, I ended up where I am now because I have always questioned things, even as a really young child. "Mom, why does a GREEN light mean 'go' and not BLUE?" "What color hair does God have, Mom?" I remember growing up that I really wanted to genuinely please God and tried to be very sincere in my faith, to "die to my flesh" and to relinquish my understanding of reality for His ultimate will. This desire for sincerity of faith ultimately led to me seeing through it, whether I wanted to or not. The more I tried to find answers to my OWN questions, to answer them for others, the more I realized that I was wrong and that I couldn't reconcile them. Assuming it was about the "relationship with Christ" and ignoring the fact that I was extremely bothered by the very existence hell, why do you not answer me in the way I need, when you know I need it? Isn't a "relationship" mutual? When I'm sitting here "knocking" and "seeking," why am I not "finding"....anything? Why would I need to so desperately fear a being that claimed to love me so much? Why should I worship something so fervently when, after knowing the deepest parts of me-- my fears, dreams, passions, intentions, desire for truth-- he could cast me into eternal damnation on a whim. What kind of being would do that to someone they claimed to love so much? I remember I would regularly chastise myself for my "conviction of sin" and "shame" for knowing God was disappointed with me or with a decision I had made. This deconversion process, while comforting in a few ways, has been very devastating for me because of this being that I was raised to believe in, who is in total control and created me exactly the way I am with purpose for my life, not being real. I now feel a bit aimless, a bit "just one of billions" and not all that unique. It's true, which I appreciate, but kinda sucky. Now, other values of mine are beginning to change (I hate change) and it's begun a quarter-life crisis. Everything will be ok, I know and trust that, I'm just embracing the crumminess of it all for now. Longer than anticipated, but all of that to say: Here I am, flaws and all. This post has been cathartic, I'm taking it one day at a time, taking all kinds of new information in stride, and it will get better. I am TRULY thankful already for the past few weeks where I have found support and encouragement. Nice to meet you; This site is a treasure.
    14 points
  34. Hello all! As I’m new to Ex-C, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself and give a little background on how I stumbled upon this community. I grew up as a Roman Catholic in the Bible belt. Ironically, combining my geographical location with my belief system in a way isolated me from the evangelical Christians that inhabit much of the South. Catholics are a minority where I’m from and I would often receive questions such as “Catholics are Christians, right?” or “But, don’t you worship Mary?” This isolation in turn drove me to take refuge in Catholic communities my whole life, which began to determine who most of my friends became. But I digress: this is not a story of being Catholic, but one of becoming a non-believer. I added this anecdotal history merely to show that I am used to the feeling of being isolated when it comes to religion. So to begin...fast forward to the end of high school, where I first learned about a branch of thought that seemed terrifying: philosophy. Philosophy was the catalyst for my deconversion by offering me viewpoints differing from my own and forcing me to expand my mind and think critically rather than rely on the thoughts of others. I began to experience doubts about God, and strove towards “proofs” for God to justify my beliefs. Ultimately, all of these proofs failed when I critically examined the arguments they tried to uphold (ontological, cosmological, teleological, moral--I guess). Upon realizing this, the authenticity of the Bible was called into question and I began to recognize its flaws. Then I noticed extreme hypocrisy within the (mostly Catholic) Christians I called my friends; they would glorify teachings of love while doling out hate through much of their wider social discourse. Finally, I began to research the beginnings of religion and started to learn about the psychological tactics religions use to perpetuate indoctrination in order to gain followers. With this last point, the veil came away from my eyes and I finally saw truth. The moment of me lifting the veil from my eyes was recent—as in, within the past month, though the journey to this point has been several years. Now, I believe we live in a godless universe. (Most) everyone else I know believes the opposite. I am at odds with most of the people I love and trust and am unsure how to express these feelings. Cue the wonderful thing called the Internet, and my search finding other Christians who have deconverted. That was when I found Ex-C, this wonderful community full of resources and support for anyone who has or currently is undergoing this painful transformation of beliefs and ideals. I am so happy to be here and am willing to learn and listen and grow in my experience!
    14 points
  35. Some good news today! The nurse from the surgeon's office called me today to take care of some paperwork, meds I take and past surgeries, etc. She also told me the name of my tumor, and explained that the word "carcinoma" in it was mis-leading; my tumor is actually pre-cancerous!!!!!!!! And it has not spread from what they can tell so far!!!!!!! They will still take it out, and the strange thing in the other breast is benign but will still be taken out and both will be biopsied. There should be NO chemo or radiation! There will still be surgery and I will get more details from the surgeon, but I feel immense relief and she assured me I was not going to die in the next couple months. Hopefully, everything will have been caught early enough! I was driving to work when the nurse told me all this and I was crying with relief and happiness. The first nurse that called me a couple weeks ago and told me "You have cancer and the surgeon can answer any questions, I can't," should be shot. Now I'll be able to sleep this weekend, and go to the surgeon on Monday morning more cheerfully. I updated this on facebook and the first response was "prayers answered." I thought of all of you immediately! Thanks for helping me see the humor in that response!
    14 points
  36. Do you consider a book that begins with a talking snake and ends with a seven headed dragon to be non-fiction?
    14 points
  37. So I've been thinking about advertising schemes and branding and product pushing lately, just noting how someone comes along with a great brand that appeals as a direct counter-balance to the current thing a population of people is feeling bad, anxious, angry, or sad about... just at the right moment and the right time. Along comes a solution, a way to make you feel the exact positive opposite of that exact negative feeling! Just a few examples: Obesity becomes an issue for health or sexual confidence... sales for workout videos, exercise equipment, diet plans explode. Wages stay flat while incomes at the top spike up... get obsessed with following celebrities through reality TV and vicariously live through them, use your credit card to buy something that makes you feel like a million bucks, or play the lottery and fantasize about what it would be like to have millions. Feeling down about technology and mass production churning out cheap, convenient, and useful but bland products? You can go to etsy and sell your hand-made crafts and "artisanal" products or buy someone else's. Shop at Whole Foods. Brew your own beer. Or day dream about moving to a farm and growing your own food, making your own soap, and keeping chickens. There's a website or TV show or product for that! (This one feels like we came full circle, that they're selling back to you what we were once so happy to escape.) Following the most iconic fashion, music, sports / fitness / recreational activities, and TV shows (not to mention the vitamin and drug market) through the ages really reflects the most common negative / positive feelings of particular decades. Trends come and go as different anxieties come and go. How Christianity solves our negative feelings with positive promises: Do you miss your deceased friends and relatives? Don't worry, you'll see them again some day in heaven. Are you scared about dying some day? Don't worry, you'll go to heaven, a place of perfect paradise where you'll never get sick or die and you'll live forever in bliss. Feeling alone and misunderstood? Don't worry, Jesus loves you and God is with you all the time, just a prayer away. He understands you completely. Worried about your career? Don't worry, God will guide and direct your path. Angry at your enemies? Don't lose any sleep over it. God will give them their just punishment in the afterlife. He'll whip 'em good. No wonder it's depressing for a lot of people to de-convert: In a way, you're losing your favorite product. You've been convinced you need it and that it's the solution to all of your life's biggest problems and negative feelings. Once you've come to rely on that product, you have to learn how to cope with all those negative feelings--to face them, deal with them, and solve them or accept them some other way. And these anxieties are pretty timeless and universal. How Christianity's Brand has adapted to changing anxieties: It should be no surprise that Christianity comes in so many flavors today--lots of different denominations. But it's also interesting to see how it evolved over time. It used to be more severe, more reverent. But then to reflect different era's desires: Is sitting on a wooden pew for an hour or so too hard for you? No problem! Churches now have padded pews so you can listen to the sermon in comfort. Is your old stuffy church no fun? We have praise and dance music at our church! Come celebrate with us! (And guitars and contemporary music move in, big screens with words projected onto them rather than hymnals, and praise and worship time feels "hipper" to the teens.) Does your church make you feel like God wants to be respected as a king rather than as your loving and down-to-earth friend? Step away from the formal Catholic churches with their stained glass windows, robes, rituals and formalities then, and go to a church that looks more like a community center. Are you realizing that it's wrong to discriminate against women and gay people? Come to our progressive church, where we ordain female ministers and gay people are welcome. It isn't that with Christianity, one size fits all... no, they'll tailor make it just for you! You can find exactly what you want. We even used to call that "church shopping" for the right fit. (I suppose in the olden days, everyone in the community would go to their local church, but that was before we all became individuals. Once, we had less education and more similar beliefs with each other, and we'd want to fit in to our local church or community. Now, we are more educated, diverse, and mobile... so we can find and go to a community that fits us. The Christian Brand adapts accordingly. I'm not sure this is a rant so much as musing..... What do you think?
    14 points
  38. As I was sitting on the throne earlier today perusing my copy of "Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader", I came across this glorious quote: "There is no more expensive thing than a free gift." - Michel de Montaigne As I read that glorious quote, it struck me how true it is when applied to Christianity. Christians love to go on about how salvation is a "free gift" from God. They won't shut up about it any more than they will about how Christianity allegedly isn't a religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus. Assuming for the sake of argument that the Christian God is real and that he is the one true God and that the Bible is his word and is trustworthy (yeah, I know, a highly debatable and extremely improbable proposition given the complete lack of evidence for the existence of God and the many serious problems with the Bible), what does it cost us to believe in and accept God's free gift of salvation? The short answer is, "EVERYTHING!" Let's say that you hear the Gospel message and believe it and you submit to God's Plan of Salvation (which is http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2002/10/gods-extremely-complex-plan-of.php" extremely complex, btw) and go through the process of accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then what is your salvation going to cost you after the emotional "honeymoon" high of your religious conversion wears off? Being a Christian is very much like being a drug addict. When you first try a new addictive recreational drug, every time you use it you get a great high and feel fantastic, which keeps you coming back for more. But soon, addiction sets in and using the drug starts becoming an obsession and a need rather than a fun diversion. Everything but getting your next fix begins to fade in importance - job, family, friends, hobbies, etc. - until nothing is left except using the drug and doing whatever is necessary to get your next fix. Drug addiction is a tragedy that frequently robs its victims of everything that had value to them from their jobs and families to their possessions, and then it all too frequently takes their lives as well. In the same way, involvement in Christianity starts out with some wonderful emotional highs that feel fantastic, but then it slowly but surely robs you of everything that makes you valuable and unique as a human being - your mind, your will, and your emotions. So he (Jesus) answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself. According to Jesus, one of the things we should love God fully with is our minds. But what happens to the mind as a result of religious conversion? It is put in neutral! People don't convert to Christianity - or any other religion - based on a reasoned, carefully thought-out assessment of the available facts and evidence that exists in favor of or in opposition to a set of religious beliefs. Religious conversions typically take place in an emotionally charged atmosphere after a sermon laced heavily with fear, guilt, and shame (the three things religion thrives on, besides ignorance) has been preached. Religious conversions generally only occur after the victims have been subjected to substantial amounts of emotional manipulation, and in some cases, abuse. Christians are taught to view their own instincts and “worldly” knowledge (such as the latest scientific findings) with suspicion. Intellectualism is frowned upon and ignorance (scientific and otherwise) is proudly hailed as a virtue. Christians are taught that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) and that they should trust in the Lord and lean not on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and things just go downhill from there. Trusting in Jesus may sound great, but what about trust and belief in oneself? The self is subordinate to “God’s will” in Christian teaching… Christians coming out of the cult after years of brainwashing and indoctrination frequently don’t know themselves or how to trust and believe in themselves. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” In Christianity, the individual will is subordinate to the will of God. Millions of Christians pray daily for God’s will to be done in their lives. But what about their own will? What about the individual’s right to make their own decisions about their own lives? That doesn’t concern devout Christians because they have been taught that they are not their own, that they have been bought with a price, that being the Blood of Jesus. (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Christians are taught in Romans 12:1-2 to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice and to renew their minds and not be conformed to the world. And what about Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” A committed Christian will have no concern for their own will and they will constantly be trying to figure out what God’s will is, which is a very unhealthy state of affairs since God is nonexistent and is therefore silent. Christians coming out of the cult frequently have issues trusting themselves and making their own decisions about their own lives. Emotional issues can run deep for Christians and for those coming out of the cult. Christians – especially those involved in the Charismatic “health and wealth” teachings – can lack trust in their own emotions. Christians caught up in those teachings expect to live victoriously in Christ. They expect to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) and for them anything negative comes from the devil. Of course, being taught that you are a terrible sinner who deserves to burn in hell forever can cause emotional issues too. When you believe that your righteous acts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), how can you feel good about yourself? How can you trust yourself? As should be obvious, this wonderful-sounding “free gift” can end up costing a great deal! This is one offer you can and should refuse! LINK: http://religionisbullshit.me/its-a-free-gift-glory/
    14 points
  39. Here is my letter of what I would say to God. Thanks for reading. I admire each and every one of you for questioning things that were once the foundation of your life. I admire your courage. That couage serves a person very well in life. Dear God, I want so much to believe in you. Whenever something good, yet unexpected happens to me, I want to think it was you who was behind it. I want to think it was you behind setting up me and my boyfriend. I want to think it was you who led me to be bapized. I want to believe it was you there who helped me find the resources I needed to fight my depression. I want to believe that you are there in my suffering. I want to believe you are there to hold me when I am sick. I want to believe you are using physical sickness to help slow down my life and bring me closer to you. When I see something beautiful in the world, I want to believe it was you who created it. When I step inside a beautiful church, I want to believe you are waiting for me there inside it. I want to know you. I want to open a Christian theology book and believe I am unlocking the secrets to a loving creator of the universe. I want to believe that you are the source of all truth, morality, and goodness. I really admire the faith of the person who told me what it meant to be a Christian. I want to emulate his simple, childlike trust in you. I can’t though. I can’t believe anymore and it absolutely breaks my heart. It leaves me with a deep emptiness inside. I can’t believe in hell. I can’t believe that you, a loving God, would send people to such a terrible place just for having the wrong religion or making a wrong decision in their life. I can’t believe that you would send my mom to hell to burn forever, simply for being an agnostic. I can’t believe that you would send the suffering here on earth to suffer more in another eternity. I can’t believe that someone as privileged as myself would hear about you and go to heaven- …but someone on the other side of the world who is without food and happens to be Islam would burn in hell. I can’t believe you would allow 27 million people to be slaves and then send them to hell if they never heard your name. I can’t believe you would answer my prayers to find a nice boyfriend or book on depression and let someone else’s prayers for food to survive, or basic human dignity and freedom to go unanswered. I can’t believe people have used your name to start wars I can’t believe so many Christians persecute homosexuals when what they do is in love and harms absolutely no one. I can’t believe the false pride of your followers. Not all of them are like this but some of them have been the most nasty, judgemenal people I have ever met. I can’t believe they would use your name to justify their own superiority. I can’t believe churches tell us so often not to do silly things like get drunk or have pre-marital sex, yet do so little to help hurting people in the world. I can’t believe the only evidence for your existence is one small book. The same can be said for many other religions. I can’t picture my mom burning in hell any longer. I couldn’t worship a god who would do something so awful. I can’t believe in you anymore. It brings me so much pain and emptiness, but I have to follow truth. God, if you are there, please reveal yourself. I want to believe that my assumptions about you are mistaken and that you are truly there. I want to believe you are a God of love who cares for all people and would never send anyone to hell. All I hear is silence. All I need is truth. Despite your absence, I still have the beauty of the world around me to see every day. I still can see the dignity and value of every human being- a dignity that is immensely greater now that I don’t believe anyone is “damned”. I still have the people in my life who I love very much. I can still help those oppressed people in the world that you have seemed to be ignoring. I still have my thoughts and a deep curiosity about the world around me. I can still ask questions and devour books by sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers- all trying to make sense of the world. I can enjoy life. I can laugh, I can sing, I can explore new places, new thoughts, new ideas, new experiences. I am so sorry I had to let you go, God. I feel a deep emptiness without you. I realize, however, that the world is beautiful whether you created it or not. There is good in life whether you are behind it or not. Regards, FloridaGirl
    14 points
  40. The temptation to end it with, "So fuck you." was almost unbearable, but I persevered.
    14 points
  41. I'm toying with the idea of responding. I go back and forth. I have typed this out but I have not sent it: (former mentor), I have debated whether or not to reply, but decided that while we may not see eye to eye, it is most respectful for me to at least acknowledge your concern. You're right that I do feel freedom. I no longer feel the need to answer to people who are picking and choosing from a set of ancient books written and re-written time and time again. I do not mean to offend you, as I fear this may, but I want to be honest with you about my thoughts. I do not perceive god to be "too far away" but rather, nonexistent. A figment of my imagination. Yes, I really felt the things you talk about. They were very real to me. But not because of a spiritual "truth" but rather, because of a psychological manifestation. You are right, we cannot suppress the truth and that is why I am where I am. I will not argue doctrine with you because I know that you are firm in your beliefs and I do not wish to try to change that or convince you otherwise. It works for you, and that is great. It did not work for me. I have a great deal of respect and love for you and (your wife) and I sincerely want things to be good between us, which is why I almost didn't say anything, but I wanted you to know.
    14 points
  42. A strange thing happened yesterday. A strange, exhilirating thing that came out of nowhere, maybe like that ex-nihilo thing the cult apologists love to toss around at us. I had just opened up my car and was putting groceries in the trunk when a lady got out of her car and walked over to me. She had a copy of that WatchTower magazine which you know comes from the Jehovah Witness cult and with a nice smile she said 'hello' and tried to give me the copy. I polititely refrained and shared my background with her. We spoke mostly about the xtian cult and she agreed with me regarding it's sociopathic nature while still trying to show me how her religion has some practical doctrines to it. I politely dismissed the various proofs she attempted to offer but did say I really respected their belief in no involvement in governmental policies such as war. I also said this was very similar to what the 1st century xtians attempted to behave like. After a few more comments we said our goodbyes but before leaving I said, "Anytime you want me to share more with you about my non-beliefs, just ask okay?" "Oh no", she replied with a big smile, "I could never deny god's existence". "Never say never okay? I used to say that same thing before coming into the real light my friend", I retorted. She got into her car and drove away. I guess she must have realized it was going to be a dreary day in that parking lot. Oh yes, I forgot - I did say something wonderful happened and the title of this essay is about coming out of the closet completely. Well that wonderful thing was that at the beginning of our talk when she tried to hand me their magazine I said without even thinking, "No, I'm sorry but I can take that because I'm an atheist". It came out so effortlessly as though there was nothing else I could possibly describe myself as being. Yes, after a year of deconverting and trying to define myself as a deist or an agnostic or even an agnostic deist, I've finally concluded that I'm really an atheist. But I promise to try to not be an obnoxious atheist like some of them seem to be. Actually I can be quite obnoxious on my own without any theological tags. LOL So that's it - I guess I've been an atheist all along without wanting to admit it for whatever reasons. There is one thing that I believe separates me from the some other atheist however. I've heard many atheists say that if they were presented with overwhelming proof of a god or the bible being true, they would then reconsider their stance and perhaps, for some, even change it to theism. Me? I don't give a shit. In fact, if I were presented with those same proofs I would be even more committed to the atheistic philosophy because, after all, my moral laws and behavioral actions are much more rational, humane and mentally balanced than those depicted from this all loving god who seems to love blood for some sick reason. That's it folks - nothing really astounding and yet, for me, it is - it's another load off of my back...
    14 points
  43. I called Stephen Hawking about this. I got the machine, so I hung up.
    14 points
  44. I feel like I am completely, 100%, abso-fucking-lutely done with my personal deconversion process. I no longer have even a shred of doubt or an iota of fear. Do I regret coming down this path? Mostly no, but yeah, I do wish some things were the way they used to be. But overall Im much more at peace with my place in the universe. Although I occasionally still feel irritation or anger at xians when they say or do stupid shit, that will always be the case and isnt an emotion thats part of the deconversion itself. I'm free.
    14 points
  45. Okay, rant on: You are the little fucker that makes nonsensical dipshit arguments and comparisons at every turn, derailing thread after thread with your fucktarded, lameass, tapdancing defense of Christianity, who then whines and moans at every fucking turn about how fucking persecuted you are, and how nobody understands what you're saying when you're such a simple, simple man, and you whine about how everybody that points out that the things you say are retarded is making ad hominem attacks against you. Then, you pull shit like this little statement from out of fucking nowhere like the total douchenozzle you actually are. That is the very definition of ad hominem. You aren't attacking any argument. You're just attacking the person. If you're an example of Christianity, then I am fucking glad I left. I hope Jesus and God see how fucking big of an asshole you are, and send you straight to fucking hell for turning people away from Christianity, you useless fuckwit.
    14 points
  46. 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.
    13 points
  47. No one is expecting me to work. With no stress on my mind and good medication bipolar episodes are not resurfacing. I am living a normal life for the first time in a long while. I have peace and sanity. No more voices and visions that come with constant hypomania.
    13 points
  48. I was reading http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-i-am-atheist-my-statement-vs-dr.html The first point struck a chord with me. He says one myth is: "If there is no god, my life has no meaning" I came to realize this has been an endless source of anxiety for me. All through my childhood I went to countless missionary meetings, told countless times that I am part of a grand divine plan, the god wanted to use me. (But only if I do his 'will'). I waited. I waited to be told what college to go to. He didn't answer, so I went where my mother told me to go. I waited for him to tell me what career to have. He never answered me, so I flunked out. I waited for the right man to be dropped into my lap but I met my husband in an online Christian chat room, not in the church sanctuary. I waited for answers that never came, and felt more and more worthless. I've developed an anxiety about death, a horrible fear that I will die without discovering or fulfilling this divine purpose for my life. I've had two beautiful boys, remained married to my wonderful and amazing husband for almost 15 years, and our life is pretty good (not perfect, of course, but damn good). Yet, still I've had this lingering fear that I wasn't doing enough or finding that divine purpose. Now I see it. There is no divine purpose. My life does not belong to an almighty god, it belongs to me. I am a wife and mother. I have no career at this time, but maybe when our kids are old enough I will think about it. I am happy just the way things are, with the kids playing in their room upstairs, a lit Christmas tree and a glass of bourbon, my husband just getting out of the shower before we watch one of our favorite tv shows. Life isn't some divine plan, it is about living, loving and learning. It's time I took back my life from my mother and 'god', and lived it the way I want to - without guilt and without fear.
    13 points
  49. Dear god, please provide comfort to the families whose children you have just killed, and lord we just lift up all those whose homes you have reduced to splinters, may they know your love and mercy in this time of trial. Fathergod just let them realize that even though you sent a mile-wide tornado to murder their loved ones, it's just your way of telling them that they need to turn back to you so they don't get tortured for eternity lord. Let this tragedy drive them into your arms and make them believe that 2,000 years ago a magical godman was executed for their sins lord, because that is a logical conclusion to draw from tornadoes lord. We lift up in prayer all those who you have caused to feel unbearable grief and suffering. Amen.
    13 points
  50. "The Lord has laid it upon my heart to inform you that your financial difficulties stem from the fact that you are one of the apostate churches. Neither God nor I will tolerate false teachings."
    13 points
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