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FloridaGirl last won the day on July 3 2013

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About FloridaGirl

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. 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
  2. Good luck! That takes a lot of courage. I hope it goes well.
  3. I'm a bit extreme that way, too. I think living in a Campus Crusade house with fundigelicals would be hell. Yep! I agree with my husband when he says that Christians don't need to bother believing in a real hell after death, because they have already created one here on earth. This option is getting really tempting. I am not sure how I would pay for two leases though. My mom pays for all my college and rent and thinks I should just stay in the Crusade house since I already signed the lease. I could care less about people's religious beliefs. I just do not like the feeling of being judged in my own house. I have already been looking up single bedroom apartments openings in my area online, as a daydream. Whether it is this year or next year ( the lease in the Crusade house is one year) I am definitely getting my own apartment. I guess I could talk further with my mom. Thank you so much for all your helpful replies, everyone
  4. Hahaha these posts are way too funny. You just made my day.
  5. Wow. I have heard most of this same stuff from Christians I know and thought they were just isolated nut jobs. I had no idea how common this line of reasoning was. May I ask what denomination the preacher was?
  6. Asking myself questions: 1. If there is a loving God, why would he allow 27 million slaves, 40, 000 people dying each day of preventable diseases, etc. Why would he answer my prayers to, say, get a good grade on a test, and let others die? It just seemed so narcassistic to me. 2. Why would a loving God, who created people in His own image send people to rot forever in Hell for all eternity just for believing or acing different than a prescribed " plan of salvation" says they should? 3. The Bible says that when you allow Jesus into your life, you recieve the holy spirit. Fruits of the holy spirit include love, kindness, patience, etc. If this is true, why do Christians act no different than anyone else? There are loving, kind ones; incredibly mean ones, and everything in between. The same can be applied to anyone else in the world. I also became a Christian later in my life and did not notice changes like these in my own life either. I was still faced with the same problems and same joys I had before I "accepted Jesus". No theology books I have read (and I read way too many) provided adequate answers to these questions. Then when I started watching debates between Christians and Atheists, the Atheists always made more sense.
  7. What Milesaway mentioned here is extremely important as well. College is meant to be the best years of a person's life. One of my deep regrets is that due to being a Christian, I didn't get nearly as much out of these years as I could have. And I'm not even referring to partying, hooking up, etc. (though that's certainly a good thing too, for those who are into that sort of thing). College is a great time to meet different types of people, join new activities, advance your future career, maybe even spend a semester abroad. If you're a Christian, you can forget all of that. Meeting different types of people is out the door since Christians will only allow you to become close friends with other Christians. They will likely cite the 2 Corinthians passage about being "unequally yoked." Campus Crusade obligations will take up enough of your time that you won't be able to participate in other, more worthwhile activities (and if you live with Christians, you will be expected to participate in ministry). As for advancing your career...the way someone in my old church's college ministry put it, "if you're getting all A's in school, you're not witnessing enough." Evangelical Christianity will take everything from you, drain your resources, and leave you I'm not trying to scare you out of your mind, here. If it's any consolation, it's not like your life will be utterly destroyed. After all, I wasted my sophomore through senior years (and two years of grad school) on it, and I'm still mentally stable. But this is time you'll never get back. I would do almost anything to go back and not waste my college years on Jesus. He is no savior at all, and isn't worth your time. Neither are these people from Campus Crusade. Hi again everyone! Thanks for all the advice. I am so sorry for everyone who had to go through difficult situations. Being judged by others is not a good experience for anyone. One thing I forgot to mention about this house is that although it is an evangelical Christian house, not everyone is in Cru, so I do not think they are going to force me to do anything. The others are in other evangelical Christian clubs. I think I am going to go to church on Sundays and not say anything to anyone about my unbeliefnto keep up appearances. The rest of the week, however, I will probably just do swim team. I want to let them think I am a Christian because if I don't, I will never truly get to know anyone. They will all think of me as a sinner wo needs to be converted, and nothing else. That is not anything I want to live with. One of the girls in that house witnessed my baptism. Breaking a lease and /or telling them I am not a Christian just seems like a really jerk thing to do to them. I asked my agnostic mom again for advice on these points you all brought up here. I am more worried about people being judgemental towards me than I am about their religious beliefs. I don't care what a person believes as long as they do not use it as an excuse to be rude to me. My mom said people are judgemental no matter where you go. If I hung out with partiers for instance,they would judge me for not smoking the right amount of weed, I have found the issue of judgemental people no matter where you go to be true in my own experience. My sophomore year of college, I had eight suitemates, all non Christians or non practicing Christians. They were all best friends with each other and pretty much ignored me. I was really sick that year and had to spend a lot of time in bed. I was just recently diagnosed with osteoporosis and had a lot of bone and joint problems. When I was feeling better at the end of the year and wanted to hang out, they did not care at all. I found out they would go to parties all the time with each other and just not invite me. The best thing to do is just not care what people think of you. On a separate note, the part about Jesus not being a savior or worth your time, I totally agree with. I have wasted way too much of my life trying to make nonsensical things make sense in my mind. It is really lonely though knowing that if somebody knew just one thing about you, that would change the entire way they think about you. My boyfriend, my friends. I am just lucky I don't have to worry about family, and that my campus is large enough where I can join clubs not based upon religion. I found that outside of religious groups, the topic of religion comes up very little, if at all. I am also really greatful for this website. Thank you so much for the support everyone! You all are so coregeous and I really admire that.
  8. Enjoy your freedom! There are a lot of people who give their whole lives for what you now know to not be the truth. Be glad you are able to question strongly held beliefs and have the courage to drop the ones you believe are wrong. A questioning mind will serve you well. It is a wonderful gift. and you have the rest of your life to enjoy it. Good luck with everything.
  9. Hi everyone! Thank you for taking the time to read my (long) story of how I became a Christian and then left. You also all brought up really insightful points which I would like to respond to: I am so sorry you had such bad experiences in church and am so glad you had a better experience at the freethinkers group. Some church people can be really sweet, but others can be really rude and judgemental. I hope you continue to have lots of fun at the freethinkers club! As for me, I am going to join the swim club at my school next year. I love swimming and the people at the club not only swim, but travel together to meets, and have dinners and parties. It sounds so fun! I only regret that I did not find this group sooner. I am looking forward to doing something I am genuilly interested in, rather than forcing myself to believe in something that makes absolutely no sense to me As for my boyfriend, I know I will eventually tell him the truth about what I now believe( simply for the fact that I am a terrible liar) but I am just not ready right now. He is my best friend and so wonderful. I value relationships as much as I value truth and I don't want to lose him. I even asked my agnostic mom for advice on this and she told me to keep quiet so that I don't lose him. My lack of belief in a God is such a small part of who I am. It is strange though how it has almost as much power to destroy a relationship as having an affair would. I have seen multiple therapists throughout my life. It always makes me feel worse when I talk about my problems, especially when the therapist offers no real solutions that I could not have thought up myself. I don't know. Maybe I have just seen some bad therapists. I can see some situations where it could help people but as for me, it has had no effect and I don't want to spend any more time or money on it. They did give me some medicine that helped me though. Some things that help me feel better , however, are exercise, spending time with people I care about, and helping others. I wish I realized that before I became involved with Christianity. There is no such thing as "God shaped holes" in people's hearts. Religion is really just a placebo that drains you of the energy to enjoy things in life that really matter, and solve real problems which have real solutions. They would most likely try and evangelize me, like any "good Christian" would do. Then when they saw I was not converting, they would get super annoyed Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses everyone! If you have other suggestions too, I would love to hear them. I know that by no means, do I have this thing called life figured out
  10. I am ISFJ. Is that another common type on here?
  11. Hi everyone! My name is Amy. I did not grow up in a Christian family. My family involves two loving and kind parents, but my dad is a non-practicing Mormon and my mom is an agnostic. Religion was not something that I thought of very much and neither did my parents. My extent of church going was Sunday school a couple times when I was little. In sixth grade, I made up my own mind to be atheist. I learned that there were a bunch of religions in the world, and there was no way any particular one could be correct. Then, I went on with my life. That was about the extent of my religious background. My life was filled with all sorts of other stuff. I loved swimming and still do. I was on summer swim team in middle school. Later, I was on high school swim team and did year round club swimming. My passion for fitness also lead me to finish six triathlons. My family went on lots of fun vacations. We went on cruises to Europe and Alaska. I grew up in Florida and moved to a different state when I was 11. My parents and I traveled back during school breaks, however, to visit my grandparents and stay in our vacation condo. During senior year of high school, I started working at a grocery store. That was the first time I was exposed to religion in any significant way. A friend at work who I later dated for 10 months told me about Jesus. He, like me, grew up in a nonreligious family. He became a Christian at the same age I currently was:18. He struggled with lifelong depression and before he came to Christ. He wanted to take his life. Once he became a Christian, however, he had a newfound hope and did not want to take his life anymore. I had no idea religion could have such an impact on people. Like him, I also struggled with lifelong depression and had thoughts of taking my life. I never felt like I was good enough. I was also really shy which caused everyone at school to pretty much ignore me, making me further feel that I wasn't worth anything. I decided to go to church with him. On Easter Sunday 2010. I "prayed the prayer" and "gave my life to Christ". This was at a Pentecostal church. I did not feel any different but I still kept searching desperately for this hope he had. I read the Bible, listened to Christian speakers on the Internet, and went to as many different churches as I could ( his was pretty far from where I lived). In college, the search did not drop. In fact, it increased exponentially. I moved an hour and a half driving instance from him to go to college. He did not like being that far from me. He was afraid I would cheat on him, even though I told him that I loved him with my whole heart and would never do that. I meant it too. He did not believe me though. 6 weeks into college, even with visits home on the weekend, he broke up with me. On all places, he did it on Facebook. This completely crused me. I struggled with anorexia since I was 9 years old. When he left, I lost 20 pounds. At the end of the year, I could barely walk and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. My depression over the breakup and losing my health led me even deeper to religion. I regained the weight over the summer but the search did not stop. During the total of my college years, I attended about a dozen different churches and was a member of 5 different religious organizations. Something about each one would just feel wrong to me. Instead of realizing religion was not for me, however, I would just try a different religious club. My school is huge, so there were plenty to try. Pentecostal, baptist, non denominational, church of Christ, catholic,etc. Last year about this time, I also begin to read a bunch of religious books. Everything from Joyce Meyer to Systematc Theology textbooks. I also got baptized September of last year. I developed an intense desire to know everything I could about Christianity. In less than a year I had two suitcases full of purchased Christan books. I also had countless others I checked out from the library. No religious group, church, pastor, or book however could really reassure me. About a month and a half ago, I made the mistake of reading a book about Human Trafficking while at the same time, listening to Praise and worship music. " oh, how He loves us...." was playing in my ear while I was reading about current day sex slavery in America. I was reading about people being brutally abused by their pimps while being forced to do things that no human being should ever have to do. I bean to wonder: if God could not answer the prayers of 27 million current day slaves, either forced into labor or sex trafficking, if God could not answer the prayers of those starving to death in Africa or dying of preventable diseases each day, why would he care about, say, my grade on an exam? It just seemed like a narcassistic lie to me. I also wondered about Hell. I don't see how a loving God could send even one person there that He created in His own image; even if they "sinned", which God knew everyone would do before He even created us. I wondered what loving God would send one group of people to heaven and the other to hell, just for believing different things. I also begin to realize Christans were just like everyone else. There are some good people, some not so good people and others that are a mixture of good and bad. Christians do not become "born again' and exhibit special fruits of the holy spirit such as "love, patience, kindness.." that the bile promises. I also have lived this year with three evangelical Christan roommates who are some of the meanest, most judgemental people I have ever met. In January they told me that they did not want me living there next year because I did not do some chores properly and brought my boyfriend over too much ( different guy, I met him last year at church). I have since corrected the chores but still bring my boyfriend over. He comes over a couple times a week. On weekdays he never stays later than 10 and on weekends he is always out by 2:30. He never spends the night. They also don't believe in kissing before marriage. Me and my boyfriend kiss a lot. We always do it in the privacy of my room. We never bother anyone. They have since stopped talking to me. They treat me like I am invisible. It makes me feel like I have been punched in the gut. I am so glad there are only three months left on the lease. I have also heard them say nasty judgemental things about other people too. They said one girl was "not a real Christian" since she has pictures of herself in a bikini on Facebook. Anyways, I am not a Christian anymore. Sorry. That was kind of long. It is time to move on with my life now. I have enjoyed so much freedom not having to force myself to believe something that makes no sense at all. I also feel less numb to life. I m experiencing both more pain and more pleasure since losing my faith. I feel the freedom to sing at the top of my lungs when no one is home. I feel the freedom to dance. I feel the freedom to take in the beauty of the world. I have even got drunk a couple times I also feel so much sadness at the years I have wasted. College is supposed to be some of the greatest times of your life. I have been robbed of three years of it. At least I have learned a lot though. I am going to take advantage of every opportunity next year. I also have made no close friends. All I have done outside of school is church and I have never stayed in one church long enough to relly get to know anyone. I still have tons of health issues too, that need to be taken care of. My greatest challenges for the next year are where I am living: a Campus Crusade for Christ house with nine other girls. That should be interesting! I already signed the lease. I also am trying to hide this newfound lack of faith from my devout Catholic boyfriend. It is just not worth risking the relationship to me. That means I still get to go to mass every week. Yeah... My biggest hopes for the next year are to make friends outside of church, improve my health, and do something to help aleviate world suffering. There are two local organizations which do stuff to help victims of Human Trafficking. It is so nice to have my messy, beautiful life back. It is also such a gift to not have it numbed by the false hope, fears, and lies of Christianity. Best of luck to everyone on this site. I admire all your courage and strength to question your strongly held beliefs. -FloridaGirl
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