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About Insightful

  • Rank
    Strong Minded

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    orange county CA
  • Interests
    Learning, Loving
  • More About Me
    38 year old male
    3 year crisis of faith
    Ended early 2015 with shift to agnosticism

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

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  1. Thanks RNP - that's a great example my temptation is to say "Sorry you didnt get the position", but it looks like you made peace with it quickly. You have a fantastic outlook/perspective. Thx for sharing.
  2. Thanks Margee! I totally agree - Ecclesiastes is on to something... Thank you for the encouragement and reminder to change it up / break out of the rut. I really appreciate it.
  3. Thank you so much Redneck Prof - You hit the nail on the head 1,000%. YES - I definitely still carry with me an expectation of a bigger than normal life and in fact I've spent the last 6 years moving from one Quest to another that was supposed to elevate my fairly average existence into something incredible / bigger / great / more. As Christians, my wife and I started adopting orphans and my goal was to adopt 8. Even as an ex Christian, I still wanted to continue the quest as a good humanist. Having two kids was so normal and boring and not exemplary and not an extra-incredible life. But because of my loss of faith and related (and unrelated) marriage problems, my wife did not want to adopt any more children after our 2nd. I spent two to three years trying to figure out how to be a good enough husband in her mind so that we could continue adopting. As that Quest / Adventure seemed to be less and less likely, I found a new adventure in my oldest daughter who began to show incredible Talent as a figure skater. So I set my sights on Crafting a skating champion, five to six days a week at the rink, up at the butt-crack of dawn, Olympic coaches, Etc. And although she enjoyed skating, she did not have the drive, desire and determination to be an Olympic champion - and I had to accept the reality that it was totally wrong for me to force my quest for an extraordinary life onto her. After that, I set my sight on wealth. I bought 10 rental homes and four Massage Envy franchises ( in addition to the business and home I already owned). My goal was to live a very comfortable life and have a ton of money to give away to help orphans... Well the businesses have been a crap ton of work. I'm stressed and exhausted and I'm not making any more money than when I just had one business! And i pay way more in taxes too, thank you California. In business I've been stolen from, duped into WAY overpaying for a business (like 200k over) and now im facing a wrongful termination lawsuit from someone i did no wrong to... So I think I'm having to make peace with the fact that try as I may, I don't think I'm going to live a much bigger than average life. Like my previous quests this current Quest is not going do *the thing* I'm hoping it will. I'm not getting Uber Rich anytime soon, and in fact I would have had more money to give to orphans had I not invested in these businesses... You know what's funny? Putting our stories together sounds an awful lot like the Book of Ecclesiastes - which is the one truly good book in the Bible (that was probably written by a non-believer anyway). I think your advice is exactly correct - don't look for an incredible life measured by accomplishment or status, but live in the moment and string together a series of incredible moments. Thank you for that great advice. Your title of "Professor" is well deserved.
  4. Thanks TABA - I really appreciate the perspective/advice/thoughts! Being thankful is a great place to start And i love stoic philosophy - I will get myself thinking rightly again.
  5. I left evangelical Christianity 6 years ago and, once the dust settled, I became quite happy with myself and my life. I enjoyed some very successful years in my career and derived a lot of joy and satisfaction from my work. Family, although difficult (both marriage and parenting), has also generally been a source of much joy. In the past couple of months everything has become more difficult in my life. Nothing tragic but but I'm stuck in a rut in my career working harder than ever while income has gone down some. My marriage has gotten harder in many ways and and parenting has continued to be exhausting. Now that the circumstances of my daily life have become much less enjoyable, I am finding it much more difficult as a non-believer to find happiness in this "down season" of my life. Before, even if work sucked and family life was hard, I had that sense of community and belonging and felt my sense of purpose in a reality that was much bigger than myself. And, I'm not going to lie, that really carried me through the darker seasons. As an ex-C, when things were going my way I didn't miss all of that so much. Now I do. How do you guys handle periods in your life where the Earthly things that typically bring you Joy are not bringing happiness the way they used to? Have you found something like that takes the place of that bigger sense of purpose and belonging and community we had before?
  6. Hi Kd - I really feel for you right now - you seem SUPER conflicted and anxious. The best advice I can give you for this moment in your life is: IT IS OK TO "NOT KNOW" We so desperately want to resolve the conflict because it is uncomfortable. EMBRACE the uncertainty you feel right now and don't force a resolution. Allow the conflicting "truths" in your mind to coexist. Time will allow you to untangle the jumble. For now, just get to know your jumble and hold it without the urge to untangle it. Allow "not knowing" to be a PEACEFUL resting place on your journey. It's ok to not know and it's ok to spend some time (weeks months or even years) there. The key is figuring out how to make peace with not knowing. Resist all of the pressures and threats others and you are placing on yourself to find a quick solution. I have found great peace as an agnostic. I don't know if God is there or not and I am perfectly content and at peace not knowing. I have sufficient reason to disblieve the claims of the bible so I live as though it is not inspired/inerrant/authoritative. But beyond that, I enjoy the mystery of life. I don't live near you, but I'd be happy to connect via phone. Feel free to pm me. Hang in there and give yourself some space to not know.
  7. That's awesome. I'm really happy to hear that. Wishing you many many years of peace and happiness.
  8. Hi Nimrod! ( kind of feels wrong to say that like I'm insulting you!) Welcome glad to have you here! It sounds like you came out of Christianity relatively unscathed? Was your wife a Believer too? If so it sounds like she deconverted as well? Hope you enjoy the community
  9. I'm not sure how many of you still have Christian friends on Facebook/etc., but something really interesting happened yesterday. The news was all abuzz about Ellen Degeneres sitting next to George Bush at a baseball game - specifically, the very gracious way that she defended her friendship with someone very ideologically different than herself. She spoke about showing kindness to ALL PEOPLE, regardless of faith, gender, politics, orientation, etc. The interesting thing was that several of my conservative, evangelical, anti-gay, Christian facebook friends independently posted support for Ellen's comments. They took them on as a challenge - saying, basically, "Ellen is right! This is what love and friendship and kindness need to look like. And we Christians need to be like this!" I thought it was so cool because here is someone who Christianity would say cannot be a truly moral person because she does not believe in Biblical Christianity, YET she schooled the world on what true love and kindness looks like. Go Ellen!
  10. Hi kdeaustin, Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and... welcome! I can definitely relate to so much of what you wrote. I believed with all my heart for a solid 14 years and then, like you, I experienced some life circumstances that caused me to stop giving Christianity the benefit of the doubt. Once I started looking at the Bible with fresh eyes everything began to unravel quickly. Those Old Testament stories deeply bothered me as well. I remember reading numbers 31 where the Israelite soldiers were told to kill everyone except for the young women to keep for themselves ( obviously to rape), and I remember just trembling with my heart pounding. I just knew the Bible couldn't be true anymore and I was so angry about it and so upset and so confused and so scared. It's been about 6 years now and I can honestly say I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. I no longer have to try to make my conflicted illogical worldview somehow fit the reality I'm experiencing. I've learned so much about myself and about others in the last 6 years. I feel truly free. Although I believe many things differently, at the core, my values are still the same - but now those values are not constrained by anything external and I'm free to truly live by them. You may have some really dark and scary months ahead. Please hang in there. I promise there is another side that you'll come out that will be really really good. You will find true peace and joy. Your life at that point might look nothing like you ever thought it would but you won't mind in the least. A book that I really loved during that season of my life was "Why I believed: reflections of a former missionary" by Ken Daniels. I also found this site (ex_C) to be a lifesaver - something I could hold on to when I felt very alone. A sad reality is that most people in your life will not be able to understand what you are going through. The Believers in your life will have absolutely no clue. If you're lucky someone will see the light and join you. But you really can't count on that. In order to preserve their own faith ( which will feel necessary to them for their own Survival) their only option will be to figure out a reason why you stopped believing that fits within their worldview. So it's either because you are never truly a Christian or because you really want to go and sin or because you're really proud etc etc. There is no room for someone who looked with sincerity and concluded that Christianity is wrong about truth. I wasted a lot of breath trying to convince people and get them to understand that I was a good and sincere man trying to live the best life I could and just choosing to be intellectually honest. But they won't see that. You have to be strong in Who You Are even if no one around you truly understands you. That in my experience was the biggest hurdle. Once you can clear that, things get a lot better.
  11. Totally! That one made my document of problems with Christianity. Have David's bowels liquify on the spot? No problem, he had it coming. (Ok, arguably cruel, but within a god's prerogative). But kill... THE BABY??! What in the name of anything good and decent? Can you imagine any system of justice that did that today? I can't even get my wife to attend jury duty in my place...
  12. Rainbows used to mess with my head. As a believer, i thought they were supposed to be a reminder of the promise that God wouldn't send another flood... But every time i saw them, i would think about how the prismatic effect of water on light is just its natural property. It looks like magic when you dont understand it... But then i would feel anxious and guilty for doubting and worry i wasnt a real believer and pray for forgiveness. All for doubting the supernatural origin of the rainbow... Man i was messed up!
  13. *This. Fuego - when I began seriously questioning my faith , it was this story out of Numbers 31 that literally affected me physically. As I read it with open eyes for the first time, my heart began pounding and my body began shaking. I think it might have been the moment that i knew EMOTIONALLY that the Bible simply could not be true. I had all of my intellectual doubts but this story rocked me to the Core. And I thought about it just like you did - so having watched these soldiers slaughter your family, now you get raped by them?
  14. If a Christian came with me to my father's grave (he passed away 4 years ago. I was with him for his final breath, he was cremated, and his ashes buried), prayed for him to be raised in Jesus' name - and my dad immediately rose, presented himself alive, and remained alive, I would believe.
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