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Everything posted by SarahJaneSmith

  1. I’ve found the deconversion stories on this site very helpful. I also read books that would’ve been taboo before because of their anti-theist or anti-biblical content. I’m currently reading through Bart Ehrman’s “Heaven and Hell: A Story of the Afterlife.”
  2. No, but I’d live in despair at my complete inability to follow the law and would overwhelmed with the ongoing condemnation I’d be under.
  3. @Myrkhoos, thank you for your reply. You’ve given me a lot to think about. It’s incredible to me how similar the biblical stories are to other mythologies and yet how I never admitted it when I was still a believer. I would’ve said the myths stole from the bible!
  4. @TABA, thanks for your response. Interesting you bring up anesthesia. That’s been what I’ve tried to make death seem like now. Over time I’m sure I will become more at ease with my new beliefs, er, non beliefs.
  5. Have found this. It’s been helpful. I’ve also ordered Ehrman’s book on heaven & hell. Part of my fear (today. Maybe it will change tomorrow, haha) is not existing. For some reason living forever - even in hell - is comprehensible to me but the thought of just not existing takes my breath away.
  6. Yes and no. Intellectually no, but the fear is still there. “Yeah, but what if?” I will check out the invention of hell. That will probably be a big help.
  7. Christianity caused me paralyzing anxiety. When I left my last church I genuinely intended to find another one after a brief break. Because of “legitimate” reasons it’s easy for my still-christian friends to understand why I don’t attend church on Sundays. For the most part I’m comfortable with my newfound non-religious self. As for how it’s changed my relationships, I haven’t disclosed it to any believing friends yet. For the sake of honesty I hope to, but I’m not there yet. I no longer have this anxious, condemning voice inside my head berating me for not sharing the gospel with people. I’m able to enjoy people as they are and get to know them for them. They’re no longer “projects” or “my mission field.” I sucked at it, but that only added to my shame. I appreciate life more than I have before. Have you heard the saying “make sure you’re not so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good”? That was me. Not externally - I rarely ever shared the gospel and when I did it was probably just as excruciating for my victim as it was for me, but internally I appreciate life in a way I haven’t before because I was wasting so much time on things that I now believe didn’t matter. This is not at all to say my life is perfect or that I don’t ever fee anxious. I just appreciate being alive in a way I haven’t before.
  8. Welcome! I struggle with guilt, too. I still feel scared to post on here because I remember verses like “if you disown him he’ll disown you” and so I think “here I go sealing my fate in hell!” and yet it’s also liberating. It’s a strange journey for sure.
  9. When I was younger I was afraid of the type of man I would marry. I saw so many marriages that were held up as godly examples and yet I had seen enough of them behind the scenes so to speak to want nothing to do with marriage if that was what marriage was supposed to be. I’m not as fearful of marriage now but I enjoy being single and think if I were to marry I’d regret it, even if my husband were a good man.
  10. This is a good description of where I’m at. I don’t know if there’s some impersonal Supreme Being out there, but I have concluded the god of the bible doesn’t exist (which still feels scary to type out but yet it’s my honest belief).
  11. It’s interesting how well read many ex-christians are. It was easy to believe when I blindly accepted it. When I started looking for evidence of a flood or an exodus or evidence of miracles outside of the bible it was shocking to discover there isn’t any. My favorite “I can’t believe I taught that!” was when I was asked by one of the youth (who happened to be the pastor’s kid) about evidence, I actually brought up how NASA could go back in time and see thousands of years in the past where the sun stood still for Joshua! Fortunately his question was a catalyst in my own deconversion.
  12. @TABA & @Lerk, thanks for the info! I’ve been thinking of attempting to wade through the old testament to see what it’s like for me as a non-theist. For my whole life I’ve known the “right” theological answers but they were from extra-biblical sources - commentaries, pastors, (believing) bible scholars, etc. Reading it without any outside opinions may be enough for me to completely give up heaven & hell. That leads me to another question. For those of you who don’t believe in an afterlife, did you grieve the loss? Over the last few weeks I’ve accepted the reason I’ve held onto the concepts of heaven & hell so tightly is because I can’t fathom not existing after death! As my spiritual beliefs dissipate, though, I feel profoundly sad at the thought of death being the end end, rather than a new beginning. But no, I have no desire or need to go in search of any other belief system that requires faith for belief in lieu of evidence it’s true.
  13. I don’t have enough posts to this, but this is excellent. Thanks for sharing!
  14. I’m so sorry for your loss.
  15. This is a scary, unprecedented time we’re in now. As far as finding comfort now, I can look back at the amount of crazed anxiety I felt when I spent hours in pleading prayer. So for me, I wasn’t feeing reassured by Jesus or reading the bible or praying. I could never understand people who would say they couldn’t cope with their days if they didn’t start by first “having a quiet time” where they’d pray, read the bible, sing, or whatever. I always envied people who did. Sorry, that’s probably not helpful to you. A couple things I do are to take some deep breaths, like five to ten second inhale and the same with exhaling. That alone is sometimes helpful with mild anxiety. Sometimes I need to journal. Sometimes I need to see my therapist and sometimes I take medicine to take the edge off. None of these fix problems. I’m sorry I don’t have comfort for you. What they do is allow me to take a step back and give me the space to figure out my next step, hopefully without the side of panic.
  16. Kudos to the foster agency for weeding them out! And I agree this has nothing to do with their religious beliefs. They were rejected because they encourage life-threatening child abuse!
  17. It’s only when I started questioning christianity as a whole (rather than just the particular sect I was in at one point) that I finally saw all the gymnastics I did to make it work! I’m with you, @freedwoman, in feeling angry. I have no interest in worshipping any other god at this point and I doubt I ever will. I no longer see a difference between supernatural belief of any kind and superstition. I also enjoy not feeling guilty that I feel angry wasting so much time participating in church and bible studies and other “fellowship” activities I only participated in out of guilty obligation.
  18. Personally I never felt “less than” as a woman, but I was confused by all the hypocrisy in the church. One church was perfectly ok with women as CEO’s, but when it came to church the only thing women were allowed to do was clean. No voice, no vote, no teaching roles outside of teaching young children. My last church was very shaming towards women who worked outside the home. Publicly (women’s bible study) the women taught that women should submit in all things, even if the husband demands the woman stay up til midnight to make sure the house is clean (real example the pastor’s wife used). In reality those same women were super manipulative towards their husbands in order to get their way and encouraged others to be deceptive to get their way. I agree with you, @freedwoman, that being direct & honest would have been the ethical way of handling it. All the women were doing was proving to me how unliveable complementarianism is. My last church was going through the horrible “let’s be subservient for Jesus” book The Excellent Wife. I’m 40 (soon) and happily single (never married). I was at lunch with one of the women’s leaders towards the end of my time at that church. She knew I had some concerns about the book so we were there to discuss them. At one point I held up the book and asked, “If this is what marriage is supposed to look like, why would I get married?” The only thing she could reply was “it’s biblical.” (I wanted to respond “by what standard?” but we all know how that would’ve gone) On a side note I now despise anything that contains the word “biblical” because all it is is a way of controlling others and completely minimizing any struggles that are. “God told me...” also makes me ragey.
  19. Thanks for posting this. This is the kind of thing that got me started reconsidering christianity.
  20. Me me me! I grew up Lutheran, too. Was confirmed LCMS. I’m new to this site, too.
  21. Good to know I’m experiencing a normal thing. I didn’t wake up one day and say “aha! There is no god!” It’s been a gradual process over many months culminating in me reaching a place of saying I don’t believe anymore (which still feels blasphemous to type!) after many years of considering myself a devout christian. Yet looking back even years ago there were things I struggled with and questions I had that were never answered in a way that felt “right right.” I had the correct answers according to the churches I attended but - again, even when I was devout - the answers were never satisfying. They always left me with a feeing of “that’s al you’ve got?” and now as I read heretical books by authors who are most definitely hell-bound, (/s) I’m finding a place of “wow! Everything’s starting to make sense!” Except heaven. I’m still clinging onto the thought of seeing loved ones & pets again. But I don’t see going back to christianity.
  22. For some reason I can’t react to anyone’s posts, but I really appreciate everyone’s responses!
  23. Thanks! I’ve been camped in the testimonies section for a couple days. I’ll search for yours.
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