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About Christopherhays

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    classic cars and motorcycles, football, photography.
  • More About Me
    I was homeschooled through high school by an extremely legalistic Baptist church, stuck around through college, and now I’m finally “ex-Christian” :)

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I’m Agnostic

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  1. Your absolutely right about the fear and control. I had a friend while in the 9th grade named Kenny. He was a few years older than me and honestly one of the nicest people you could know. I remember feeling very disconnected from the other church kids at the time. There wasn’t many people my age and the social gap between ages seems to peak during freshman year... I still don’t know if Kenny would look out for me because he genuinely liked me, or because he knew what it was like to feel disconnected. Kenny was a non practicing homosexual. He had been a converted Christian for a few years and actively participated in church counseling. I remember him opening up a few times about his struggles but I had no idea what to say at the time. He had same sex attraction and he knew it was a sin. A sin he never once acted on, but thinking about it was just as bad. He lived every day knowing something was wrong with him and he couldn’t figure out how to fix it. I knew Kenny for about a year and a half before he committed suicide. I would give anything to go back to those moments and say something different... This is exactly why forums like this need to exist. People in these Christian communities are being psychologically abused. People are afraid to even think! How could you tell someone they deserve to burn for eternity because of attractions they’ve never even acted on! People form crazy thoughts before they even know what they’re thinking... it’s NOT the same as acting on it! I was fortunate not to experience the same bigotry as Kenny, but I was told that doubt is the only sin god won’t forgive... another thought crime that I was hopelessly guilty of. I remember weeping and begging for forgiveness because of thoughts of doubt I had. I didn’t even know if I’d committed the “unforgivable sin” or not but I was absolutely terrified of it. The absurd thing is doubt isn’t even a choice. It’s not a violation you can actively commit or not commit. Either you’re convinced or not convinced, and I was helplessly unconvinced. I’m out of all that now. My biggest regret is not bringing Kenny out with me. I didn’t know enough back then to even help myself... there are countless others still trapped in these situations so I hope you all continue to provide this community of support. I truly appreciate everyone who took the time to leave a comment, it means allot
  2. Thanks! Everyone I grew up respecting was wrong about this. That was the hardest thing to admit. I started doubting at around 18 but I didn’t think so many smart people could be so wrong... I was never really a Christian because I found specific people/arguments compelling. That said, Dinesh D’Souza and Mike Licona were my favorite apologists. There are a number of books and speakers that sound very compelling if you only hear the arguments from one side.
  3. We did watch some highly filtered Christian movies, I remember Aladdin and Pocahontas and a few other Disney movies being strictly off limits but veggie tales and stuff was always on lol... but it was going to the movies that was considered a sin... the idea was even if you saw a good movie, there are other bad movies at the theater and it’s sinful to associate with places like that. I remember we had a respected member mention something about Rocky Balboa in a church meeting and he was asked to step down from leadership because of it and eventually asked to leave... there was way more crazy rules too but the main point is they’re the kind of people that judge you for literally everything, so that’s sorta my Christian experience.
  4. Hey everyone I just wanted to introduce myself. I was homeschooled through a very legalistic Baptist church all through pre-k to high school graduation, all my friends were also homeschooled by the same baptist church. Everything I knew about the world was essentially filtered through the church until I was 18. I remember some crazy rules like no music in headphones, no movies, no kissing before marriage, no “non-christian” friends etc... literally all my family including aunts, uncles, and cousins belonged to this church (and also homeschooled) I have about 7 pastors in my immediate circle of influence, including my brother, father, best friend growing up and his dad, and a few cousins. I was essentially trained to follow the same path and in my effort to become a good fundamentalist baptist pastor, I lost my faith. It took about 2 years of seriously studying apologetics to realize it was a losing argument. Now I’ve quit the church, started a business that operates on Sunday, and started dating a catholic (oh my!) so I’m very much the family disappointment and still trying to recover from that psychologically. You all are the first people I’ve really talked to about this and I really appreciate the forum and the opportunity to talk with like minded people. Cheers!
  5. Thanks everyone for the replies, I really do appreciate it I asked this same question on quora and people compared me to Stalin and North Korea... I hope you all understand I’m motivated by a position of love for my family rather than arrogance or selfishness. This is my first time talking to a bunch of ex-Christians and it was a good first impression, thanks
  6. Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.
  7. Should I try to deconvert my religious family? My family are extremely religious fundamentalists and engage in some radical activities like faith healing/exorcism, evangelizing in Muslim countries etc. Is it worth it to try to deconvert them? I’m afraid they’ll think of me differently… My parents are almost 60 and get allot of respect and enjoyment from their church so Is it horribly selfish of me to make them question their faith? My brother also recently finished an expensive college indoctrination process and is the most radical of them all. so should I present my case for why their beliefs (and judgements of me) are illogical and risk devastating the core of their identity, or just accept my role as the family disappointment without presenting my defense
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