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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, & welcome aboard.
  2. What everyone else said, me too. Congrats!
  3. So happy for you that you managed to recognize you were in a cult & found a way out. I hope folks here will be able to contribute to your healing. Lots of folks here can empathize with at least some of the things you've experienced. Glad you found this site.
  4. I wouldn't presume to give you any advice because your situation is too serious & I'm not qualified. When you read the de-conversion stories here you will see that leaving Christianity often has serious consequences. I am convinced Xianity is a cult & leaving any cult is difficult and often includes serious problems in the life of the person that is leaving. Your marriage may not survive but that might be a good thing in the long run. I suggest you seek out some professional help to get you through this period in your life. One way or the other it will get better with the passing of time. Glad you found this site. You will find likeminded folks here with similar experiences.
  5. Welcome ExM. Each person develops doubt about their faith for a different reason, but whatever the reason once a believer begins to doubt that conflict must be resolved. That process often leads to a loss of faith.
  6. Welcome NF. Leaving religion & your beliefs is almost always a lengthy experience that occurs in definable stages. Letting spirituality go is often the final stage & it isn't unusual for it to take years to reach that stage. And some people never reach that stage, and that's okay.
  7. Isn't it interesting how similar our stories & experiences are & comforting to find a community of likeminded folks.
  8. No & that's the point. If the Bible isn't true, or you get to pick & choose what is, or might be, true then none of it really matters. It's either true or it isn't. I don't see any middle ground or wiggle room. Liberal versions of Christianity strike me as pointless. They make good social clubs but that's all I see they're accomplishing.
  9. My wife won't let go either. She recently placed membership with a large Methodist church near us. I agreed to go with her as long as she didn't attend a fundy church. I've found the Methodist to be pretty benign. I think my wife needed to rebuild her social structure more than she needed Jesus & this church has lots of social functions for our age group. I've learned how to look like I'm paying attention when I'm not, by placing my mind somewhere else when I'm there. It's kind of like a mental on & off switch I've created. I've learned how to think about other stuff during SS & the sermon & smile while I'm doing it. So far it seems to be working & my wife is happy. Win win as far as I'm concerned.
  10. We stayed as long as we did due to the friendships we'd developed. We knew if we left the church our social structure would be destroyed & that is what happened. I think your post was spot on. The church of Christ in this area now that are stable or growing are taking members from the old time conservative congregations that will never change. The "liberal" c of c's are not growing by evangelizing the "lost" they are just taking members away from other congregations. The Church of Christ nationwide is in serious decline.
  11. I enjoy reading your thoughts GG, and I agree with pretty much everything you've posted. Unfortunately I was indoctrinated by one of the really, really, far out nutty versions of Christianity. I am truly embarrassed now that it took me so long to figure out just how crazy they were. The Church of Christ I was part of focused on the NT because that is where salvation is found. The OT was history but had no relevance for salvation so it wasn't viewed as being all that important. The NT was where truth was found so symbolism & metaphor just wasn't part of the teaching or thinking. Baptism certainly wasn't viewed as symbolic. Salvation only attached when the person was dunked & completely covered by water as per Acts 2: 38 & the words I baptize you for the remission of your sins had to be said, or the person wouldn't be saved. Is that nutty enough for ya?
  12. GG, one of the major differences between so called Liberal & Conservative/Fundamentalist forms of Christianity is how they interpret scripture, as I'm certain you are aware. The conservative forms tend to be literalist while the liberal forms do not. In my younger days my only exposure to Chriatianity was the conservative & the fundamentalist extremist versions. I was indoctrinated to believe every word in the Bible was true & that God personally put every word there. I had to work through that before I could even think about critically analyzing the Bible. As you know fundies generally don't even recognize liberal Chriatians as being real Christians. Fundy Xians are a very different thinking group of folks & they don't compromise.
  13. My wife & I were members of the Church of Christ for 27 years. They are Bible literalists & that is how we ended up being part of that group. My wife was born into the Southern Baptist Denomination. I was not a member of any religion until I met my wife. I was baptized a couple of months after we were married. Eventually I bought into the whole package. I believed the Bible was the inerrant inspired word of God, so 12 years later when we agreed to a Bible study with a Church of Christ preacher, & he showed scripture by scripture where the Baptist did not follow scripture but the Church of Christ did we decided we had to make a change in our Church affiliation. I wanted to follow God's will so we were re-baptized, but this time into the one true Church of Christ, because our other baptisms were't scriptural & that meant we were't saved. The Bible only allows one exception for divorce & that's for infidelity. The offending party can never remarry or have e sex again & if they do they will be condemned to hell, as another poster noted. I eventually learned the Church of Christ doesn't actually follow every scripture literally because that simply isn't possible, but they do sincerely try to follow scripture as literally as possible. I've said all of that to make this point. If the Bible was true then it obviously would have to be interpreted literally. Logically that is the only way to interpret the supposed literal words of God. A literal interpretation obviously produces some troubling results, some of which are illegal in most countries, but the alternative is cherry picking scripture following only the scripture that people choose. I eventually figured out a literal interpretation of scripture requires a perfect Bible. That realization led me to years of study & research to see if the Bible is the perfect word of God. My study convinced me the Bible isn't even true much less perfect. When I realized the Bible isn't true I realized Christianity is built on lies & misrepresentations. My faith disappeared. If the Bible isn't true then God probable doesn't exist, so what would be the purpose of prayer?
  14. Emotion & indoctrination is the foundation of religion not science, reason, or logic. Experience has convinced me the Bible itself is where Christianity is most vulnerable. Prove the Bible isn't literally true or historically accurate & the basis of their faith will be shattered. I think they have another vulnerable issue to deal with too. The inability of their God to deal with evil. Where was God at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, & the beheading of Christians in the Middle East? A God that cannot or will not act in the face of evil is useless. In other words where is God when He/It is desperately needed?
  15. My journey out of religion took many years. It began in the late 90's and ended around 2010, but I still didn't sever my membership until 2012. It came about due to an accumulation of many things mostly having to do with the inconsistencies & contradictions that are replete throughout the Bible. Those Biblical issues led me to begin a multi year study & research of the history of religion & Christianity. That study lead me to read a number of books written by Historical Critical scholars like Bart Ehrman, Robert Price, Elaine Pagels, and many others. Their books convinced me the Bible isn't literally or historically true. When I became convinced the Bible wasn't true my faith melted away. The most difficult part of leaving the church was the complete loss of our social structure & dealing with my wife who is still a believer. I have since then at least convinced her the Bible isn't literally true. She left her fundy church and placed membership with a liberal Christian group. I can tolerate liberal Christians so her continuing to be a believer isn't a major problem now.
  16. Welcome! The question people of faith constantly ask says quite a lot about religion. "What do you believe?" "This is what I believe." "This is what We believe." Religious people never say, "What does science and the historical evidence lead you to accept is the most reasonable & logical option when it comes to the possibility of there being supernatural deities? If I'm asked about my religious beliefs I say that I'm not a religious person. That seems to end the conversation without further inquires.
  17. Rather than arbitrarily pronouncing Islam a religion of peace, investing some time in studing & researching its history, teachings & traditions might be a wise thing to do. If that is done I believe people won't be so quick to declare it a benign religion of peace.
  18. Glad you found this site abk. You have certainly had your share of challenges but it appears you have been able to find the strength to handle them. Most people never hear about the harm Christianity does, and would find a way to rationalize them if they did. Welcome aboard. I'm looking forward to reading more of your post.
  19. A History of God, is an excellent book by Dr. Karen Armstrong. She is a former Nun. The book doesn't attack religion it simply presents the historical beginnings & evolution of the major religions that worship "God". It's an interesting read & very informative. She also writes to the general public rather than to other academics. He might find such a book interesting if presented as a way to understand Christianity better. Just something to consider.
  20. Being unequally yoked is a bummer. I am fortunate that I was able to convince my wife to leave her fundamentalist roots & join a liberal version of Christianty. I was also fortunate enough to convince her the Bible isn't literally or historically true. I think church has become mostly a social thing for her now & I can deal with that.
  21. You know you shouldn't be smoking that stuff, right? Smoking that stuff makes Jesus cry. Don't do it!
  22. Rethinking religion, for a long time believer, is usually a journey not an event. And each persons journey is different. You are where you are now, but your journey will likely take you down many more paths before it ends. Welcome to ex-Christian, I hope you find information here that will make your journey easier.
  23. I am convinced the evidence confirms that all religions are cults in some form. Severing ties with any cult is difficult, sometimes even dangerous, and it almost always results in the destruction of established social structures and that often includes families members. I celebrate your freedom and wish you much happiness in the future. And welcome aboard.
  24. As others have noted, you are under no obligation to reveal your religious status to anyone. Oh yeah, welcome aboard. Glad you found us.
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