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Everything posted by skysoar15

  1. Whatever you do, don't join him. It sucks, but there may be no winning him back. I'm so sorry to hear about your predicament. I truly feel for you.
  2. Hey y'all, it's been a little over a year since I've joined here. It's been good in many ways, but also batshit hard. I moved to a new city to start grad school a few months ago. I've been battling heavy depression and have generally felt very alone. Driving a car is one of the life skills I've always had problems with. When living with family, I failed my test four separate times and never felt comfortable practicing with mom because of the anxiety I feel around her. (Her religiousity and tendency to judge makes it hard for me to be around her). While out here, I've been biking a lot, but after recently experiencing a flat, I've gotten so fed up with it all. I have my permit, but I dont want to risk getting another friend's car into an accident again. (Happened two years ago) And I want no help from family. I need to get some other sort of help to at least conquer getting my license. I'm tired of settling for less because I dont have a vehicle, but since I left my church fellowship behind, I havent had ANY reliable resources to help me. I'm even considering using my credit card to pay for physical driving practice at a school, even though Im trying to pay it off. At this point, Im considering finding some church fellowship just for the sake of receving some help. I acknowledge this is my own fault. I should have taken more initiative in the past about driving. I can't be at the mercy of people anymore. If I have to stomach church again for the sake of getting generous 'hand up' help, Im willing to do it. Any thoughts on this? The Christian fellowship (bad as they are) at least are willing to bend over backwards for people if they find it advantageous toward them. The bus routes are far away. My bike can only take me so far. I may not be able to get a car right away, but I need to get practice behind a vehicle.
  3. Interesting. There are no 'real' Christians if there wasn't 'real' salvation. Hmm...something to chew on. I also like how as Fuego pointed out, salvation is usually seen as 'simple,' but it takes a lifetime to escape from the idea of it. Very much an abusive type of relationship model. Hook the person in with sweet phrases and then make the person feel guilty upon leaving. Not only that, but hurl threats and question that person's integrity for trying to get out of the situation. Grateful I was willing to leave, but damn...this world doesnt make it easy.
  4. What are your thoughts on them? I'm currently in one, but I'm at odds with the 'higher power' mentality. Does anyone have an objective view of the 12-step programs? Has it worked for you? If so, how have you incorporated the higher power philosophy into your life? Has it worked for people you care about? I'm not in the program because of any legal reasons, but because I've seen habits inside of myself I'd like to improve. These are certain habits that I just can't seem to stop for whatever reason. Figured I'd give the 12 steps a try since my mom has 30 years sober with alcohol because of it. My main fear is that it's just another form of dogma with it's "do this or die" mentality. I don't see how that's much different from Christianity's "do this or risk Hell." Yet, I like aspects of it. Curious what your thoughts on the 12 steps are, because they seem to work for a LOT of people.
  5. https://www.gotquestions.org/ex-Christian.html The link above asks if it's possible for Ex-Christians to exist, to which the site claims no, due to biblical 'reasons.' Hopefully the above link works. I'm not as bitter as I once was toward Christianity, but it still enrages me to hear something like that. It both amuses me and enrages me at the same time.
  6. I currently live with my aunt and mother. I've come a long way since my Christian faith dissolved, but one thing utterly baffles me: my mom's liberal christian faith. It's bewildering. My mom will preach at me using words from the Bible...and then seem clueless about Jesus being the one way to salvation. She always claims there is more than one way to God, which is completely contradictory to Jesus' sayings. When I was a Christian in college, I did it because I really believed Christ was the only way. It was Jesus or bust. My mom interprets me leaving my college campus group as leaving a cult. She believes that I was 'religiously' motivated and not 'spiritually' motivated. The hell? I don't argue her, but it's mind-boggling. My mom believes that we all our different journeys with how we see God and is vehemently against dogma. A lot of this comes from the 12-Step AA program in which she is one of the sponsors (leaders). It's not scriptural, but good luck convincing her that the AA Big Book isn't the actual Bible. Again, I've never tried debating my mom on this stuff. She's too...*into* it. I don't think she has the ability to think about it rationally. Heck, she has a hard time accepting gays because it's against the culture she was raised in. It's all cultural to her. None of it seems born from a sincere desire to walk with Jesus the Christ. She will claim she is and I think she really believes it, but my mom doesn't fully *walk* with Jesus. Does anyone relate to what I'm going through? It's a little hard being preached at by someone who doesn't seem to logically get what they're preaching about. It might sound better than living with a fundamentalist, but at least their logic would be based on what the Bible actually says, as extreme as they are.
  7. I lost my mom's support for a while. She follows a New-Agey type of Christianity. She's too into it to realize it's not the genuine article, but as a Christian I tried to witness to her so many times. I slowly realized that God was a waste of time and am still trying to make sense of the hold religion has on the world. My mother's attempt to preach at me from the Bible is something I accept with humility...even if I think it's bullshit to preach one aspect of the Bible and not take seriously the rest. I also lost my goddamn mind following it.
  8. What's sadder is that we live in a society like this. Where there is so much hurt and pain that we feel the need to rely on something like Christianity.
  9. Fair enough. My college group was a mixture of both. It wasn't a bad (shameful) thing to cry, but there was obviously an insistence on the 'proper' role of Manhood. Also, it was usually just in the context of small group or a worship service.
  10. It's bullshit. Plain and simple. Now, I agree that crying over everything is absurd (unless youre a child), the fact that men AND women are conditioned to treat crying as a weakness is stupid. Many people dont know how to manage their emotions as a result. Culture of stoicism. One of the refreshing things about Christianity at first was the allowance of tears among men. I cried my eyes out during some of those small groups. I keep thinking about the movie 'Fight Club' where this guy was so desperate to let his emotions out that he chose to attend support groups irrelevent to his life. That's fucked up commentary right there.
  11. I love my mother to death but hearing her 'praise God' for any little good thing that happens is just so stupidly annoying. I hate how 'God' gets off scot-free for every little thing. Please dont bother reminding me that God isnt actually real. Just assume I mean the idea of him. Im currently living at home with my mom, so I keep my opinions to myself. But man...part of what fuels me in the gym is just my hatred for the idea of God. If he exists, then why the hell does all of this shit and confusion exist? It's maddening. If I were to earn a great opportunity, God would get the majoriity of credit. How the hell does that work? Blows my mind.
  12. One of my favs was this: "Christ knows what it's like to suffer and you are in excellent company."
  13. I was almost one of those young guys who threw their lives away as well. Two years ago, I was so sure I wanted to choose ministry as a profession. I was so sure that I chose to stay in my hick college town one year after graduating to really see if it was what I wanted to do. After becoming disillusioned from the faith, I realized how much of a life I could be having. My mom never supported my earlier inclinations to become a missionary. I see now that she was right. Deep down, I knew I didnt really want to be a missionary. I just felt guilty doing something else when 'soul-winning' was apparently the highest calling one could have. It bothers me that many of my old friends and acquaintances are stuck in that world. I'm glad I was able to see what a gigantic sham it all was. What's sadder is that many college freshman are about to move into that town being convinced to join 'small groups.' The next generation of brainwashing is becoming more powerful. This time, many young people are being fed up with "rules based" Christianity and jumping into "radical" Christianity. The relationship versus religion mindset. It's the same thing given a fresh coat of paint. It's sad to know that more and more college aged students will be suckered into it all. It was a nightmare to leave.
  14. Hi y'all. What are your thoughts on the act of crying? Many adult people (at least in America) seem to look down on it. Some say it's childish, especially for men. Many people are more accepting of women crying than men. I've heard the phrase: "Seeing grown men cry" used in a derogatory way. It seems that tears are only reserved for the most absolute of tragedies to be considered 'acceptable.' Nobody would bat an eye if you cried over a son or daughter dying. However, tears from a panic attack are a different story. This becomes more subtle because not everyone would understand this pain. I regularly fight the urge to cry all of the time. I'll let them flow when I'm by my absolute self, but in public...I never show them. My mom has shown negative connotations toward crying. While she's no stranger to tears during stressful times, they seem to be reserved ONLY for that. She'll often roll her eyes if a character cries during an apology (in a movie). This has made me hesitant to come to her with my emotional problems. I wish this society was different in handling their problems. We live in such a stoic society where we're told that tears are weak and children's stuff. I just don't get it. It causes a culture of repression. At what age did tears become a bad thing? The idea is absurd.
  15. I'm still learning what it means to have boundaries with people. As a Christian, that didnt exist. All that mattered was showing 'the love of Christ.' I'm also learning that going on a simple date doesnt have to potentially lead to marriage. People CAN date just to have a good time. Back in church, you always needed a serious intent before dating anyone. This stifled me personally and made me neurotic as hell. LOL.
  16. After leaving the faith, I felt like I lost almost 5 years of maturity, if not more. I suddenly felt like a child, angry and frustrated at the world. Gone was my calm sense of self that everything was going to work out because of God. Instead, I struggle to regain my sanity on a daily basis. This affects me somewhat at my job as well. I'm learning to take it one day at a time. I'm realizing how much of a journey life really is. I won't wake up in a day and suddenly be 100 percent okay. As long as I'm at least 1 percent better each day, that's honestly enough. Exercise, focusing on hobbies/goals and self-improvement are the main ways I see out of this depressed funk I've been in all summer. Even if it's just for 30 minutes, stepping into the gym is a huge deal. Etc.
  17. Tell me about it. I was hesitant to date anyone because I was afraid that it'd be scrutinized by the whole church. That's not a good way to live. I could never just feel comfortable talking to a woman out of fear of being 'judged' or monitored by a pastor. All of the women at church were closely watched by father-like pastors. I've been in small groups where guys 'confess' to spending too much time alone with a girl. This is out of fear of 'committing adultery' and temptation to sleep with her. (Usually in the context of a romance). Pretty stupid stuff.
  18. For me, it was not only coming to this website, but realizing that the facts about evolution made too much sense. I questioned a god who was willing to allow so much seeming evidence for it if he was against it. We have scientists who have dedicated their lives to researching evolution. Why wouldn't God just perform a miracle to shut them up? Why would God just allow so much confusion to blind us to the possible truth. The answer for me? It was all just a big fat lie.
  19. That's awesome that you attend for your mom's sake. I can say a very convincing prayer just to comfort my mom. Assholes will be assholes. If the pastor is reasonable, I'd talk to him and let him know that his actions are alienating people from coming to the church. If he responds rudely or dismissively, then either suck it up (sadly) or maybe even talk to your mom about it. Does she care that you choose not to stand? In my college church group, many students had different ways of worship. (Some kneeled on the ground, some simply stood up, some laid on the ground, others danced..etc) Your mom seems pretty relaxed to not say anything to you about reading a non-Biblical book during service. Does she believe you're there on your own accord?
  20. Yeah no kidding. This type of shit is what I am trying to move past as well.
  21. I'm realizing how much of a chip on my shoulder I've got. Stems from past bullying as a child to feeling isolated as a teen. Now, with all of this Christian stuff, I often feel angry and perpetually negative. The self-help books I read don't click to me. It's like my brain is addicted to negative patterns of thinking. I see the words and they make sense, but my brain has been so used to being hurt that it doesn't absorb the information. I do a good job hiding it under a veneer of professionalism in my day to day life, but one day I'll meet somebody and perhaps get married. Therapy is something I'll have to do one day, I'm sure. (Circumstances prevent it for now) How did you guys let go of bitterness toward leaving Christianity and toward life, in general? I ask because as pathetic as it sounds, it feels impossible to be a good person without 'God' behind me giving the motivation. (And yeah, I know how stupid that sounds.)
  22. This is a really good thread. I think it's striking a chord with a lot of members on here. Kudos, Dark Bishop
  23. It's been hard for me as well. I think I've been trying so hard to suppress having empathy toward a lot of things just to protect me. After I left Christianity, I mentally put up barriers to protect myself. While I can fake empathy well, I put in so much mental energy trying to appear positive and nonchalant to the people around me that I end up exhausted at the day's end. Christianity allowed me to see others with inherent value. It unfortunately also caused me to see others as pre-broken human beings. This caused me to take on an almost 'Messiah' complex to want to share the gospel with others at all costs. I felt important and well-liked at my church. These years were the first time I had friends and a feeling of importance. But after I grew increasingly more hostile toward Christianity, I realized that my growing depression was a result of trying to trust something I couldn't see. Suddenly, my darker feelings just grew more and more. I started blaming the world for my desperate need of friendship that I would even fall for something like Christianity. I blamed almost everyone from my past, unfortunately including my mother. I started seeing people as the enemy. Right now, I am learning to accept people as the different beings they are. I am learning the difference between action and intent. (Many people did not MEAN to hurt me). Many of my conversations are me watching my body language. I learned even as a kid that if I wanted success, I needed to not frown or look negative all the time. It takes up a LOT of energy for me to talk to people these days. The thoughts of "what not to say," "what can I say," "how should I respond...etc." Mainly because I'm either on the verge of tears half the time or I want to respond indifferently. Two things I just NEVER want to do in front of people. I only have a few people I feel comfortable letting it all out to. I too am very emotionally sensitive, especially for a male in American culture. I often overcompensate in public by coming up with a very neutral facial expression. I've seen people who go around with frowns on their faces EVERY DAY and I've been that type of person before. People never want to approach somebody like that.
  24. I am actually going through the dark side of that. In an effort to distance myself from Christianity, I struggle now with regaining empathy. It's not that I would ever hurt people, but because I gave so much of my life for the church and people around me, I have to remind myself that there is worth in just being a good person. Sometimes I just get so apathetic to life that I unknowingly act selfishly. The cross became a point of anger for me. Everything was about the cross this and the cross that. It made me almost completely numb to it all. Once I stopped trying to 'please God' and just thought about everything logically, I grew to hate the cross symbolism. It represents everything that once ensnared me. The idea of the cross sounds almost completely asinine to me now. 'God placed a tree filled with temptation and allowed Satan to tempt his children. When his children (who didn't know any better) fall to said temptation, God kicks his children out and allows centuries of suffering. At one point, he even wipes out all of humanity with a flood. The only way to fix the mess HE allowed to happen is to send his son to face excruciating torture to clean it up. And we are supposed to be grateful for that. Yeah, no thank you. But I do see where you're coming from. The Christian idea of Jesus' death and rise is beautiful. When applying thought to it though, it just enrages me completely.
  25. A lot of older Christian music honestly isn't good. I'll give it credit now, though. There are a LOT more options to choose from. Fireflight, Fireleaf, Day of Fire, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Jimmy Needham, Lecrae, Tedashi, Jonathan Thulin, Liz Vice, Lauren Daigle...etc. Spotify helped me discover a huge variety of different Christian Artists. The problem for me are the messages inherent in the songs, not the quality. The old school type of hymns was never my thing. Chris Tomlin is also the white bread of Christian music. But a good deal of it is actually quite good. I forced myself to stop listening to it. The music was a big part of the Christian mentality.
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