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About Kat34

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    Spending time with my family, reading, psychology
  • More About Me
    I’m 34, live in the UK, have a toddler and a baby.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Not actively. I’m now agnostic.

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  1. Ah I didn’t spot that the theology guy had linked to it! Interesting that he didn’t then address any of Webb’s points, just said God had never actually saved him.
  2. You can listen to an interview with Webb on the Life After podcast if you’re interested. Someone in a Facebook group made me aware of this podcast. https://www.thelifeafter.org/podcast
  3. @TABA exactly - how could you ever have security about your eternal fate? And this author is a Calvinist I’m assuming per the Edwards quote, so I’m even more confused!!
  4. Fair points! I think it touches a nerve because I grew up believing in the truth of Christianity completely but never had experiences of my own, even when I was prayed over etc., which always left me with this insecurity about whether I was truly saved - so it’s triggering to find that some Christians actually think that people can believe it and ask Jesus into their heart but not experience true saving belief from God. It plays on all my insecurities. But then with this way of thinking, how does this person know they won’t turn out never to have been a true Christian in 10/20/30/40 years’ time? How could you ever have eternal security, like Calvinists like the author supposedly do?
  5. I came across the name Derek Webb and googled and found this post (had never heard of this blog, so had no idea if it was conservative or progressive or what - turns out not so progressive!). The author acknowledges that there are people who genuinely believed Christianity was true and built their lives around it but says that their faith was not of God but built on circumstances and education, as opposed to “true” saving belief that comes from God. My question is how can any Christian then know the difference?! Interested in your thoughts if you can stand to read it. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/theologyalongtheway.org/2018/04/10/derek-webb-wrestling-with-the-category-of-ex-christian-and-the-nature-of-true-saving-faith/amp/
  6. Wow thanks everyone, I’ve never had anything like any of these amazing experiences, I wonder why not?!! @Joshpantera thank you for sharing that link, I have to avoid Christian discussion at the moment - still too easily triggered...
  7. I don’t think I ever had one, but I know many of you will feel that you did when you were Christians. I’m interested in reading about profound religious/ spiritual experiences in people from other (preferably non Abrahamic) faiths or no faith. This might sound silly but I have to be really careful with what I google as I’m very easily triggered so if anyone has any links to articles they recommend that would be fab. I am also interested in hearing about anyone’s past experiences and how they interpret those now and in any articles on psychological explanations of such experiences. Thank you!
  8. Thanks all for your hellos, welcomes and messages of support! I have to say I feel like a bit of a fraud when I think about my own past experience as a Christian compared with most of yours. I became one as a child because it’s what I was taught but I was constantly drifting away and never “spiritually mature” or developing sound biblical knowledge. I think as I got older both my increasing objections to hell and original sin and the fact that this country is so secular were factors that stopped me really throwing myself in whole heartedly, although there were certainly periods when I tried to do this. I could never talk about it at school for example though, because no one else was religious and I would’ve been subject to ridicule! So I’d worry about the son of man then being ashamed of me (if I’ve accurately remembered that reference). My church was very calm and non challenging but my mum would often read and talk about end times stuff which really freaked me out from my teenage years, though this wasn’t at all her intention. I didn’t find a huge amount of peace in Christianity, but found a lot of fear. This probably speaks a lot to my personal psychology. I used to beg God to help me with my fears of heaven, hell, the second coming and judgement but felt no comfort. Through my early 20s I asked God to help me to want him. I prayed “Lord I believe; help thou my unbelief” and asked him to help me with my fears. I tried really hard to make original sin make sense or seem fair at all. I read about alternative views of the atonement and about universalism and finally felt some hope, but still remained terrified of the second coming. Then with great relief I came to think none of this was probably true after all, following several Facebook conversations with an old friend who had lost his faith. This was my position until a few months ago when the fears came flooding back and then some! I recently read something which really hit home, which was about the importance of conversion and deconversion being your own. And neither of mine were. Both times I relied on other people’s thinking and what other people told me. But what I was told and what was constantly reinforced as a child clearly had far more impact than conversations on social media in my late 20s. So my hope is that if this time I do the thinking for myself (but with support from this community, for example) then I will achieve a deconversion that is truly my own and I won’t have such a serious relapse in the future. I’ve been reading constantly for 3 months (I have to say that I mostly avoid the New Atheists and mythicists, though) and am going to work with a professional on the psychological side of things. I feel very guilty and sad about all the time this has taken away from my children but this is when it’s happened (and actually triggered by fear for them - if it was just me I think I’d be done by now) and I have to deal with it now. It’s possible that there is indeed some kind of personality-disordered god that created many of us with the sole purpose of eternally tormenting us but the only reason I have to think so is that that’s some people’s reading of an ancient book. This same god has allowed us to gain insight into the evolutionary, psychological and neurobiological drivers for human behaviour, all of which seem to dilute the argument for original sin. Or maybe our brains became corrupted as a result of that original sin and the Fall - but this same god has allowed us to discover that actually death and suffering existed in the world long before Homo sapiens did. This paragraph suggests I think more rationally than I usually do, but I’m trying. I still find it very hard to reconcile the fact that there are extremely intelligent people out there who believe the Christian story, but I’m hoping those kinds of thoughts will resolve themselves over time.
  9. Thank you DT, and for all your support! Will always appreciate it!
  10. Hi again @Joshpantera! And thanks again for all your input. I think I’m definitely going in the right direction but am very up and down with it (often within one day!). I continue to read loads - which sometimes is a real help and sometimes makes things worse and try to reject what I know would be the Christian interpretation of the things you mention (hell and Satan) i.e. progressive revelation!! One thing I’m trying to do is notice how external factors can heighten/ trigger fears, as these clearly have no bearing on the truth of the issues but can have a big impact on how I *feel* about the likelihood of them being true. So when it gets dark, that has a negative impact. When my children are in bed, sometimes my fears are alleviated, because they are not in front of me as a constant reminder of how awful it would be for them to end up in hell. When I’m even more exhausted than normal, or when I’m unwell, that has a negative impact. Seeing my mum triggers my fears and anxiety. And I can think back to when I was 15 and definitely did believe in hell and was going through an extremely fearful period and all these same external factors (minus the children) also exacerbated things. In the summer time, things abated a bit. So my next steps are 1) to try again to get a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication - if this can dull the intensity of the fear then that might help me keep rational, plus confirm the psychological/ brain-based nature of it and 2) to work with a counsellor on understanding how these fears relate to my own background and psychological makeup rather than to an objective reality. Sound like a good plan?
  11. Hi all, I joined this site a few months ago but had “browsed” it a few times a couple of months before that, with the purpose of confirming I was right in having concluded a few years earlier that Christianity was false. Worries that I could be wrong had started to creep in and then hit me with full force (mainly featuring a fear of hell) 3 months ago. I’ve posted on here a few times and have been lucky enough to have had some great support from members. I think I’m right that the majority of members live in the US and wondered if there’s anyone else England-based here?
  12. Thank you for this, Tin Man. Really honest, heartfelt and reasoned. I absolutely identify with the mental health bit. I would say the last 3 months I’ve spent agonising over all this stuff has been its own kind of hell. I’ve also wished I could be a “spiritual zombie” - or even an unspiritual one and just not give a second thought to any of this. I agree that a loving god cannot be reconciled with the individual struggles we’ve all had with Christianity. I hope therefore that there is either no god or a disinterested god out there and not a god whose ‘goodness’ is wildly removed from all of our notions of it. Tin Man I hope you don’t mind me linking to another author but I found these blog posts well written and argued too, especially in the way they critique 20th/ 21st century notions of hell as being self-imposed (think C. S. Lewis) - as if this version is any more convincing or reasonable! https://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2014/11/23/why-i-reject-hell-and-why-you-should-too/ https://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2017/04/25/faq-ever-still-worry-hell/ https://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2015/09/10/hell-2-0-same-eternal-punishment-now-with-fewer-flames/
  13. Yes I think you’re probably right actually. And by way of reassurance the Holy Spirit would tell them they are a child of God. Whereabouts in UK are you btw if you don’t mind me asking?
  14. Oh okay I see - yes totally - as some Christians (like John Wesley maybe?) argued, that view of God made him worse than the devil. In a different context, C S Lewis said his fear wasn’t “So there’s no God after all” but “So this is what God is really like”.
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