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About Insightful

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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. Well written! Welcome I love this line! Permission to steal it?
  2. Hi Blue - Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for the situation you are in. Are you old enough to move out? It certainly sounds abusive to me. If you are a minor, i would absolutely advise reporting this to child protective services. That can be a scary step but you absolutely must protect yourself! Please embrace who you are - resist the guilty feelings others are trying to place on you. You sound smart and strong. We're here for you.
  3. Welcome Jane! Thanks for sharing your story. I had so many similar thoughts on my path out of Christianity - especially related to gratuitous suffering. Even if much suffering of animals could be attributed to "human sin", what about a deer who burns to death in a forest fire caused by lightening? How could that be man's sin? It's just unnecessary suffering allegedly caused by/allowed by someone who could totally prevent it. Something that also put a huge dent in my faith was a question someone posed: if you knew a child was burning in a building and you knew you could run in and rescue her and save her life, would you? Of course you would. So what do we do with a God who does know the child is burning, is able to save her, but doesn't? The whole "there is a higher good that we don't see" argument - I just can't buy... I too accept others' offers of prayers on a humanist level - in their own little world, they are wishing me the best... I totally hear u when, on FB for example, everyone is posting "praying for you". If you write "sending positive feelings" you've pretty much declared your atheism/agnosticism. Instead of either option (offering prayers or warm thoughts), I say something empathetic and uplifting - something that affirms the person suffering while neither making religious pretense nor telegraphing my unbelief. For example - someone posts that their parent died and asking for prayers. Everyone posts "praying for you". I might say "I'm SO sorry. May all the sweet memories you treasure of your Dad comfort you and make him feel near." Or, someone's dog is in surgery and they ask for prayer. "I know how much you love your dog! Please keep us posted on how the procedure goes." Hope that helps! All the best to you.
  4. That was awesome, TABA. Glad to hear Citsonga is not trading sexual favors to get his letters read. Haha! Btw - his letter to his parents really is pretty spectacular.
  5. Hey Myrkhoos - Wow I'm sorry man that sounds pretty intense. I suffered from panic disorder for about a year and that is not something I would wish on anyone. Once in awhile I get a momentary fear - the " what if I'm wrong to reject Christianity?" moment. Because, damn, if we are wrong we're pretty screwed! But try out this little logical thought sequence and see if it works for you: 1. If the Bible was true, we would be judged on whether or not we believed that Jesus was actually the Son of God who actually died on the cross for our sins. 2. And if it were true, God would be all-knowing. 3. The Bible is full of hopeless contradictions, inconsistencies, moral atrocities, and historical incongruities such that no clear-headed person could conclude with any degree of certainty that Jesus actually was the son of God who came and died for the sins of the world. 4. I don't know about you, but if I knew for certain that it was absolutely true then I would certainly acknowledge that it was true and live my life accordingly. 5. Therefore I conclude that if an all-knowing God exists, he would also know and understand all of the reasons that I simply cannot believe that it's true. And he also would know that I would have readily believed it had he made it sufficiently clear. Therefore I cannot imagine on what basis such a God would ever condemn me if he existed.
  6. Totally! I loved CC back in the day. Not that I think all ex-Cs were never true believers, but even as a true believer myself back then, i always wondered about Derek!! The rest of CC sang more "Christian" stuff and his was more secular... In fact, I remember him having a solo album sold at my local Christian bookstore with a "explicit lyrics" label!! ("I am a whore, I do confess...") Anyway, I digressed! As i wrote to my brother in law when I shared my deconversion with him: I think perhaps the saddest aspect of the post Christian experience is that believers only have negative categories to put us in - deluded, self-deluded, deceived, confused, lost, bent-on-sin, knowingly rejecting, etc. They do not have a category for "believed with all his heart, lived out his faith as fully as he could, found his belief system to be faulty, fought with all his might to hold onto his faith, finally, out of honesty and humility and for the sake of integrity, walked away in tears, but remained a good man who lived a noble life, did much good, and added much love and kindness to the world he left behind."
  7. So sorry for you. 9 yrs is a long time that you 2 have shared together. I agree with the others - red flags for sure and lots of problems ahead. Seems wisest to move on... But I can't imagine the pain you must be going through.
  8. 6 years post-faith, I still sometimes get the urge to pray... What I do is just say my thoughts out loud, knowing that I'm talking only to myself. Depending on my mood and what's going on, sometimes I'll go through some "I'm thankful that______" statements. I might have some "I'm angry that_______" statements, or some "I wish/hope that________" statements. It gives me the chance to emote, express, vent and hope... All while understanding that it's just me talking to... me.
  9. Hi Moby! Welcome. For me it was the cumulative weight of unsolvable theological / biblical problems that I kept trying to ignore. For many of the problems I encountered as a Christian, I was able to convince myself with hermeneutical gymnastics into thinking they weren't problems, or at least they weren't big enough problems to Rattle me. But some problems just couldn't be explained to my satisfaction no matter what length I went to rationalize them. One by one they piled up until the cumulative weight was too much. I remembered feeling like I had so many problems that required faith to accept. But then I began to wonder what evidence was providing me with the faith in the first place to be able to accept all the problems on faith... Ultimately I realized I was only continuing on in Christianity because I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt. Until one day I asked myself why am I giving it the benefit of the doubt??
  10. Hi Serenely Blue - I haven't read too many threads that you were a part of, but I did see one thread where you were treated pretty badly and I felt sad for you. Glad you're back.
  11. This gave me a little chuckle. They can always reply that the ark itself survived =P https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/05/25/us/noahs-ark-replica-park-sues-for-rain-damage/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F
  12. Oh no. I'm sorry LB. Perhaps when all the dust settles, divorce will turn out to be the better path - but it totally sucks the way it went down for you. Please keep us posted.
  13. Welcome IP! Thanks for sharing your story. I agree it's very well written. I definitely feel existential emptiness that you convey. Just going with my initial gut reaction, I would say quit your job even before you figure out what else you're going to do! I know that sounds Reckless but I feel like you're just going through the motions and kind of living a lie, supporting an organization you don't believe in, pretending to be someone you're not. Anything else, even homelessness sounds more fulfilling! ( no offense to anybody who has been homeless. I can't imagine how much that must suck). My point though is that you're spending the best years of your life left in a situation where you cannot be your fullest self. What good is any extra money you earn doing it? I'd vote for any job where you are working for a company you believe in. Sounds to me like you would be fulfilled if you were doing something that helped others - tutoring, teaching, coaching, etc? Tour guide? Museum staff? Amusement park - at least there you helping families smile.. You sound stuck and it's time to move on.
  14. Your honesty with your wife it is excellent - and whatever the outcome is I believe that Honesty will serve the both of you best. And I think it's so healthy for you to have had the courage to express your thoughts and desires. I couldn't tell by what you wrote - do you feel like this is the beginning of the end of your marriage? Or do you see your marriage continuing on but just looking a little different? I'm married to a believing wife and for a good 5 years after me announcing my unbelief I did not think we were going to make it. Finally during year 6 we have turned the corner. Our marriage definitely looks different than it once did. And that Gulf that you describe is always there. But somehow it's gotten smaller has our relationship has gotten better. The more she knows and is convinced that I still love her and I'm still committed to her and that I'm not going to run headfirst into a life of "sin" the more it gives her a chance to come out of that defensive reactive place and just forget about religious belief for a while and be in the moment enjoying one another and enjoying our lives. All the best to you.
  15. Welcome Markus! Crazy guy actually isn't so crazy, I think he hit the nail on the head. One of the most frustrating but important things to accept is that committed Christians will not and cannot understand you nor be convinced of the correctness of your position no matter how much perfect logic you use or how many facts you have on your side - that is because their belief is reinforced by many many walls of rationalization and emotional, psychological, and social necessity. I spent a good two years trying as graciously and thoroughly as possible not to deconvert those around me but just to at least get them to see then I had some very legitimate reasons for doubting. I couldn't even get that far! I agree with crazy guy learn as much as you can and have peace within your own self. This journey will require a lot of inner strength - but the good news is you wouldn't have come this far already if you didn't possess that inner strength. All the best to you
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