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Questioner

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About Questioner

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    Questioner

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    Female
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    Planet Earth
  • Interests
    Reading, crafts, games
  • More About Me
    I am a former Christian who is still struggling even saying that I am no longer a Christian. I have been reading posts on this website and they have been very helpful to me.

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

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  1. Thanks Dan Forsman. Lurking on this site has been rewarding, so I expect as I take the next step to be more active will be much more rewarding. Questioner
  2. Thank you ThereandBackAgain. That is exactly what I do - I travel to places through the internet and go to school. I'm so glad it is available now. Why was it that after I rejected the idea of hell I was still tormented by the fear of going there if I rejected christianity? The brainwashing really is powerful. You are right - I won't be posting as much as I want - but I will continue to participate by following the conversations. Questioner
  3. Riven, thanks for the welcome. Lerk, I'm sorry to hear about your wife - it's a hard disease to live with - and I mean both for you and for her. As far as the depression - it could be both a trigger and exacerbate her condition. Same with the fibro - it has other main causes, but stress can trigger it in the beginning and will trigger fibro flares. So getting away from anything that causes stress (such as religion) can help with the symptoms. I wish I could give you good advice, but if I had any I wouldn't be sick myself. Good luck to both of you. I also hope I can get some energy back - but I have found a place of peace both about christianity and about my illness. I am enjoying spending time learning more about religion and where it came from. Just wish I had more time. Questioner
  4. sdelsolray - I love that quote, it is so true. My husband grew up with a Catholic father and a Lutheran mother and was brought to both churches. He figured out as a child that it was all bullshit. Questioner
  5. Welcome to Ex-C. I'm so sorry to hear about your job in a christian school. That will make things harder for you if you cannot find an alternative position. What helped me at the beginning when I was having a lot of cognitive dissonance, I would come home every evening and get on this or other ex-c-type websites and read obsessively. For awhile after reading my thoughts would feel less crazy. Good luck with your process. Questioner
  6. Thanks everyone for your kind welcomes. MOHO - there's a lot less stress in my life since I finally found peace. And yes it is much better for my health and energy. Josh - yesterday I saw your post about comparative religions and my eyes lit up. I am very interested in this topic and it has been on my list to study. So, yes I will be there. Thanks for the reminder. Questioner
  7. Hi all! I finally decided I had better introduce myself. I am 63 years old and am disabled (I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia). I was born to Christian parents, and raised in a conservative evangelical church – at least it wasn’t a fundamental church. When I was 8 years old I said the sinner’s prayer and became saved. I loved god so much! I loved going to church – my deconversion did not have anything to do with my experiences at church. When I was a teenager the charismatic movement came to my church – which was absolutely wonderful. I started going to a charismatic church with all the woo woo – raising of hands, speaking in tongues, casting out demons, etc. I felt so close to god and loved him even more. I knew that I would never be one of those people who backslide and go away from god. Eventually I went to a Christian college – but I never learned about the background of Christianity – they never taught me anything that would shake my faith. However, after college I hit a real rough spot in my life. I prayed and prayed to god to help me. I was so desperate, but I got no answers. I thought that god didn’t love me, that I had done something wrong. Then I met some non-christians and got to know them very well. They were such good and kind people that I didn’t know how god could send them to hell. That was the beginning of my deconversion – I stopped believing in hell. This was all back before the internet and I didn’t know there were any books that would help me. So I lived in spiritual limbo for the next 25 or so years. I dabbled in the New Age movement – that gave me some relief from my cognitive dissonance. About 5 years ago I started searching for resources to help me and I discovered this site, among others. I’ve been lurking here off and on since then – but about a year ago I created a login and started spending regular time here. I went through all the stages of feeling anger, fear, feeling like I was going crazy, and sadness. I have finally gotten to a point where I am at peace with myself and my beliefs (which I don't know what they are anymore). The only time I feel cognitive dissonance anymore is when I get a little bit into the New Age type stuff (I guess I need to find a website to help me deconvert from that!). Now my beliefs waver between being an atheist, an agnostic, and a deist. I can never be a theist again unless I find a good explanation why a god would not prevent all the truly horrible things that happen. Anyway, I am now fully disabled – my health has crashed to the point that I am almost completely bedridden. You would think that would give me lots of time to study this stuff – but I sleep 14 hours a day. When I am awake I have only a small amount of time that I can study because mental concentration wears me out as quickly as physical activity. But despite that I am still at peace and content with my life. I am focusing on trying to learn more about ancient religions and the history of the bible; mythology; and critical thinking. I wish I had time for science also (including cosmology and evolution), but I have to prioritize myself. I also have a number of questions I would like to start threads about, but with my limited time I don’t know if I would have time to respond to others’ posts. But I’m going to at least start responding in others’ threads. Anyway, that’s about it until I have time to do a full extimony.
  8. Riven - this is a great rant. You hit all the points and wrote it so clearly. Good job!
  9. Oh. My. God! I haven't laughed so hard in years! Thanks for sharing.
  10. Questioner

    BAA

    I just read this and I can't believe it - I think I'm still in a state of shock. I've mostly been lurking here, so people don't know me, but I feel like I know some of you pretty good by reading your posts. Those posts have been very important to me and have helped me a lot. BAA was one of those people that I paid a lot of attention to his posts, and enjoyed them a lot. His understanding of science and his use of logic have been so valuable. I feel like a really big hole has been left here by his loss. He will be so missed.
  11. Seajay, This is my first post - wanted to post an introduction first, but then I saw this and just had to reply to you - I hope you are still out there and will see this. Like you, I went through a period of severe anxiety and obsessed about what was true. I had quit going to church years before this, and lived in limbo - not able to call myself a christian, but also not able to say I was not a christian out of fear. I had a lot of anger when anyone brought up the subject of god. Then I hit this period of severe anxiety. I felt like I HAD to have an answer. I could not say that it was okay to not know if there was a god or not. I did not know how I could live the rest of my life without an answer. But I also knew that there was no definitive answer. I started to read the bible again - only got through the four gospels. After 20+ years of not reading the bible - I was shocked. I couldn't believe how harsh it was - I just remembered the love. Then I read the book of Revelation. Oh. My. God! I sat at the kitchen table and shook and cried as I told my husband about it - it was horrible! I was traumatized! That was the first time I said out loud that I had been brainwashed as a child. I spent days, weeks and months going to work and crying and trying to talk to god, yelling at god, begging god for help and for an answer - then I would do the same thing on my drive home. My mind went round and round trying to find some way to believe. My anxiety was at an all time high - many days when I walked out of work I felt like I could not stand one more minute of this anxiety. I would have to tell myself to just make it through one minute at a time. This went on for about six months. Eventually one day a thought popped into my head - I don't know where it came from. The first piece of my beliefs that I gave up was a belief in hell - that is, I gave it up intellectually, but emotionally I was still terrified of it. But one day I was wondering if I shouldn't go back to christianity so that in case it was true I would not go to hell. I saw myself as having two choices: 1. Return to Christianaity and assure myself of heaven. But I realized that I don't want anyone to go to hell - not even Hitler. It is too horrible of a punishment for any amount of sin we can do in this life. I could never be happy in heaven knowing that there were people in hell suffering horribly and could never get out. And how could I worship the god who was causing this to happen - as would be required of me in heaven. That would feel like torture to me - and I believe I would totally lose myself as I would be twisted into someone I would not recognize by giving up my integrity. However, my sister had told me that Christians would be made to forget their loved ones that went to hell so they wouldn't be unhappy about it. But the thought of this was even worse - to be unknowingly praising a god who was torturing people for eternity - besides I did not believe this is true. 2. Give up Christianity permanently and reserve for myself a place in hell. In hell I would be suffering horribly and would likely go crazy after a while - but at least I would still have my dignity, my integrity and my ethics. I would not have to go against my values. I thought about these two options for a while, but in the end I knew I had no choice but to cling to my values no matter what the cost. It was a very terrifying decision to make, and very hard to do, but it felt right in my heart. Ever since then, every time the thoughts of hell enter my mind and I start to worry a little, I remember the alternative, and I simply find myself unable to change my mind. I thought I would be living in terror the rest of my life - but the opposite has happened. Since I made my decision the fear has become less and less over time. I may never be rid of it, but it is totally manageable now, just a little bit of fear when I think about it. I'm hoping that in time you will find the one thing that for you will not allow you follow god anymore, regardless of whether he is real or not. I hope this story will give you some hope of an end to your terror. Forgive me if I'm being a bit presumptuous, but I also want to give you a little bit of advice. Stop reading the bible and any books/websites/etc. written by christians!! I believe it was you that someone gave this advice to a while back, and I believe you said you wanted to research in a balanced manner. But you have had years and years of christian indoctrination - you need to create the balance by researching only the other side for a while. I believe you are feeding the terror, and strengthening the indoctrination you received over many years. You can only go back to the bible and christian writings when you have healed yourself and it can no longer hurt you - and yes that can happen too.
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