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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
  1. Sorry you're hurting, man. I've been through it all as you describe, but at twice your age. I actually envy you. You have so much good time left.
  2. Toufuckinche DevaLight!! Couldn't have said it better myself! And Evening, I'm with you. Been there. Coming out of the anger. Biggest issue now is wasting half my life. That is a real bitter pill to swallow. And, I'm with you on Benny Chicken, too. I think he is by FAR the worst one out there. Dan Barker said it best in his book "godless", when he said it's all just a big game that they all play and that we played. I just wish I could get back the 30 years that I pissed away.
  3. Hi jlw, I haven't posted in awhile, but i couldn't resist typing a response to what you wrote. Much of it sounds just like me, particularly the depression, wasted life parts and "this is all there is". That one has weighed heavily on me, as well. And, I agree, as shitty and crappy as this life is, it would be a comforting thought to know there was something better ahead of us. Also, I find no comfort in knowing that I will "not exist" one day. The only way I can counter it is with one question: Do you remember the 1929 Stock Market Crash? How did you FEEL when it happened? The answer is simply, you felt NOTHING, because you didn't exist then. I hope that makes you feel better, (just a little! I am struggling with that one, too! and, I also wish I could "go back" sometimes; it wasn't all bad. But, I agree with Dr. Carl Sagan that a delusion is never preferred to reality, no matter how comforting the delusion may be. I wish you all the best in your journey. It has only been about a year for me. But many in struggles and doubts. Gotta cut this short; 2 year old is screaming off the charts. One quick qestion: Are you near Longview? I noticed you were in East Texas. I went to "Bible College" there. It was a REAL nightmare!
  4. Anyone else remember this little movie? And please guys, no wisecracks about it being "fake" or a "hoax". This was a REAL movie when I was little. I had forgotten about it until I stumbled onto it on YouTube. http://www.youtube.co... (I would end with "enjoy", but there isn't much to enjoy here...)
  5. Hi, I am in the same boat that you are, even in the Carolinas, only I am old instead of young. One thing I can say, be glad you didn't waste half your life on it, like some of us out here. Also, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you tell your family. None. If they get nosey and suspicious, and they WILL, if you are not "living the life", or worse, ask, lie. Trust me, this will make things easier. I have a few friends around here that are in all sorts of groups that REQUIRE you to believe in Gd, (as they spell it in Israel) and they don't. They even take their oaths and just "pretend". That may not be the most honest and "fun" way to live, but, believe me, here in the South and with a family like yours, (and mine), it will make for much more peace, especially since you say you really love your family. Since you do, trust me on this, do NOT tell them. It will only make things REALLY bad for you and unlock a Pandoras Box of nightmares. You can talk and ask questions and see what they are thinking, (who knows, 1 or 2 of them could be like you), but keep it at that, if you want a happy life with them. If you want to tell them, wait at LEAST until you are on your own and can take care of yourself. But, believe me, once you do, there is no going back and life as you knew it is changed forever. (No, not forever. Sorry, a little of the old "Christian" coming out!). It is changed though, for as long as you and your relatives live. Good luck. Hope you find peace and much joy and happiness!
  6. Woww! Awesome story, dude. Similar to mine. Glad you made it and with no regrets! I am near your age and have mountains of regrets over so many things. I wish I could have so much lost, wasted time back. Thanks for your story! I'm glad it turned out happy for you!!
  7. Thanks, Rob! And all the recent posts! I'm trying to figure out how to condense my "story" so that it can fit on here and not in an encyclopedia. Hope to post it soon. Note to future responders: please, don't mention "move away from your town" as that is not an option for my family. Reading that one really hurts, as I loathe everything ABOUT this town, only I am trapped here and cannot move. Any other practical advice would be greatly appreciated!
  8. Thanks for all the nice responses, guys. Keep 'em comin'!! I hope all of you have a wonderful and "debate free" Thanksgiving!!
  9. From over 30 years in active Christianity, 2 times in Bible College studying to become a "Man of God" and 41 years of life-experience, here are my observations on Christianity and why I stopped going to Church. Please note: this is not an endorsement of Agnosticism or Atheism at all; these are just my personal reasons for not going anymore. After 30+ years "in the Faith", I am just tired and need "a break". None of these are designed to be offensive and I certainly hope no one is. Any Christians reading this, I honestly hope your experiences have been different; I’m sure they have and I wish you all the best. Maybe ministers reading this one and all the other ones on here, will learn from them and realize things that they can change in their Churches to make lives better for their parishioners. I don’t know. Hopefully, some good will come of this post. This post is not to sway anyone’s faith at all or try to "change your mind", just how I feel and why I have stopped active participation in Church, for awhile. Please note: I readily admit that I lifted a few of these off a post I saw on here many months ago. But, those points were so good and mirrored exactly how I felt; I had to add them to mine. I have tweaked them some, to reflect my experiences. To the original author, thanks for having mercy on me! Here they are, in no particular order: 1. The church talks a lot about God's grace and love, but after being part of the institution for so long, I have realized that there is just as much love in church as there is in a bar or nightclub; it is all an illusion. You are loved just as long as you adhere to the church doctrine, theological belief system, dogma, and oh, by the way abstain from the big sins, sexual immorality being high on the list. When you decide to "go somewhere else" or leave, for pretty much any reason, you are forgotten by your "family" who "loved" you so much. This is true in even most of the better Churches. Don't even THINK about leaving the more cultlike ones. 2. I realized the meaning of the saying "hypocrisy enables people to keep their values". I found that church reeked of inauthenticity, and got sick and tired of hearing sweet sounding and simplistic testimonies over and over again. You know the ones like, "I was once a dirty rotten sinner, I found Jesus, and now I don't struggle with ______________ (insert big name sin here) anymore!" When I got to know people better, I realized that they were either lying or they had simply swapped sins or addictions. 3. Church has become a corporation very similar to corporate America. The product is Jesus, the pastor is the CEO, the tithing members are shareholders, and the blessings or prosperity or church growth is the dividend. There is practically nothing different between today's mega-churches and for-profit corporations, the only difference is that one purports to be non-profit because it is there to make your spiritual life better when it is actually using fear (of hell) as the primary tool to get you to obey and get in line. The non-profit part is REALLY annoying, as they get the benefit of Fire and Police services WITHOUT contributing any $$$ towards them. This one gets to me, too because while they build their grand buildings and temples, MILLIONS are starving. Forget the world, how about our OWN country! With the economic situation like it is right now, I shudder to think what may be on the horizon. 4. I simply got tired of the implied assumption that if you live by Christian principles, your life will be an oasis on earth and if you don't find this joy from the Christian life it is because YOU have either not repented of some sin or are not faithful in your obedience. I have seen many, MANY devout, good and loving people, who never questioned and lived moral lives, but who still suffered a lot, in some cases, greatly. 5. The merging of Christianity and politics. Each election cycle, we would get these fliers in church that come from groups like the Christian Coalition and others, that imply that if you vote for a Democrat, you are voting for a flaming liberal who hates America, hates the troops, kills babies by abortion, sacrifices children to Satan and wants to marry off homosexuals. Neither Party, in my opinion, has any monopoly on "values" and morals. In fact, the average politician today is corrupt off the scale and it is getting worse all the time. In my opinion, Christians need to organize their own party. That way, they can support their own candidates, have their own agenda and their own convention. Then, they can see if they can sell their ideas to the voters and get the support of voters of the other parties, as well as their own. 6. Christians cherry pick sins in the Bible to criticize opponents, while ignoring sins that they themselves struggle with. Certain sins are on the repulsive list, like any sexual immorality (especially homosexuality) and abortion, but then they totally ignore Bible verses that point to sins like gluttony (a big problem, especially here in the South), lust, pride, unforgiveness, jealousy, lying, hatred (which is equaled to murder in the Bible) and gossiping; no doubt the NUMBER ONE in the average "Church", (that I have seen). I also have seen and know of many, many cases where someone on the “staff” has “run off” with someone else’s Wife or Husband in the Church, which is completely despicable, in my opinion. 7. I was simply worn out from trying to adhere to all the principles; I had to come to the harsh conclusion that the very thing that was supposed to make my life better was making me more miserable. The illusion that one is completely immoral if one does not embrace contemporary Christianity is totally untrue. We are created "in Sin", but we have to apologize to the Creator for anything that we do wrong. Huh??? Also, no matter how hard you work, it is never good enough. You always feel guilty for not "doing enough for the Lord". 8. Denominational differences. How can God write the Bible, but so many different denominations exist? Don't they have the Holy Spirit helping them understand "the things of God?" In Churches that I have been in, fist-fights could break out over how to set up the floral arrangement, let alone any "big things". 9. "Pastoral Authority". This one I have seen devastate and destroy many, many lives, as the "Man of God" is always right and never makes a mistake, so what he says GOES. No matter how Hellish, maddening or insane. But he is a sinner too, right? How can he be "perfect?" He isn't and I have been a member of ones where a complete sociopath, on the same line as BTK or Gacy, (yes, I am serious and they claimed to "do it for you because I love you so much!"), were in charge and ruling people with an iron fist. In ANY other industry, even the madness of Wall Street, they would be fired and ran out of town on a rail, if not arrested. 10. Probably the biggest reason of all. Being a lifelong Baptist, this one hits home very hard. Please, view this site for more info. http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm How God can tolerate this, for so long in some cases, is beyond me. After 30 years of this, whether God exists or not, I honestly don't know. Maybe he does, we just don't understand how to relate to him or something. I honestly think it comes down, just like I have always believed - Faith. Hopefully, there is nothing wrong with Faith in and of itself. Faith of course is not Science and can't be proven; it is individual and mine is at the weakest that it has ever been right now. Maybe it will come back stronger than ever one day. Or, simply dissolve away. I don't know what will happen. I guess I am having "Spiritual Burnout". I have been through Burnouts in life before, but nothing has ever been like this. I don't know what I am anymore. An Agnostic, Deist or just someone who is burned out and needs a break; I honestly don't know anymore. Wait, I know, I’m “Backslid!” Of course! How stupid of me!! Maybe I will go back to Church, maybe not. Time will tell I guess. I guess “God only knows” where I will end up. Hopefully, happy. The Depression I have had since childhood has been so bad for so long I don’t think I know what “normal” feels like anymore. Ironically, after all of this, it has lifted, a little. I’ll post my story, eventually. But I am not a writer and it will take forever. It took me forever to write this little post. Take care, everyone. Thanks for your time in this little corner of Cyberspace.
  10. Thanks Pitchu and Vomit. Yeah, I hate this town. I always have. Even in my "righteous" days, I loathed it. Now, my hatred is akin to Sidious' for the Jedi! I wish moving were an option, but alas, unless I leave my family, there is no hope of that. And, it really sux here. I thought it did before. What I didn't realize is how much it sux even more when you're not "one of them". Here, EVERYONE goes to Church and, yes, I do mean everyone. Here in the South, Church is part of the culture, like shooting people, complaining about Liberals and voting for the "Godly" candidate". You go wether you believe it or not. And if you don't believe if, you keep your opinions to yourself. (Here we con't call it "opinions", we call it "grave sin". But, the South has it's good points, even this place where I live, it's just everything and I mean EVERYTHING revolves around Church or Church related activities. Anyway, thanks everyone for the posts. Keep 'em comin'. Thank God (or something), for the Internet. No, wait, how about the scientists that created it! Oooops, I forgot, "God uses scientists and gives them their knowlege!" How stupid of me! When I finish "my story", I'll post it. It should be a classic. Some of which I'm sure will not be believed. But, it will all be true.
  11. Thanx, L4. Yeah, I read your story on here; very sad and heartbreaking. I have to go now, but later on tonight I'll answer your questions. Some of them will be in "My Story", when I can get around to writing it on here. Take care.
  12. Thanks, guys! I value your input greatly and really appreciate it. "And anyway the behavior ascribed to the "God" in question much more closely resembles that which one would expect from a demonic entity" That is one of the funniest things that I have read on here! Thanks for making me laugh! It's also a very true statement. Which is really sad, if you think about it...
  13. Been here for a few weeks. first time posting. My story would be long and fill volumes. Someday, I'll post it here and hopefully, my experiences can help, encourage or enlighten someone else. Today, I just have a few questions. I'm not even sure where to post them, so please, forgive my ignorance. I also can't type, so this will be filled with typos. 1. How do folks like us deal with the "holidays"? The next 2 are sooo religious, as everyone here knows. How, (after a LIFETIME of propaganda and indoctrination), do we get meaning or joy from them? 2. What do you do when you get "outed". I live in the Bible Belt and Gays here get treated better than the "evil" Atheists. The only exception to that one may be racists. But, I'm not sure. No one here in this town has been "outed", (that we know of). 3. How has this madness been allowed to continue to go on a several millenia without any real challenge? (As far as hope, logic REAL compassion, Science, etc). 4. How do you tell older children, (16 & 13), of your new "views"? Or do you? We have one younger one that I think I am going to let make up her own mind. 5. From expereince, would those of you that "outed" yourselves, consider it a mistake and not worth the headache or the most liberating thing you've ever done? Or, somewhere in the middle? As far as "Christianity" goes and all the rest of them. It's peculiar to me that the town that I live in has over 100 Baptist Churches! Yes, you read that right! Just BAPTIST Churches! And a PLETHORA of others! Now, you would THINK that in a small town, (farely), we would be the most saved, happy, joyous place on EARTH. However, that's not the case. This place is one of the most vile, evil, "wicked", (an old Church word coming out there!), crime-ridden, vulgar, etc. I could go on and on and on. You would think that this town would be more like "Heaven"; you would be wrong. It's more like the "other" place. If this town is what "Heaven" will be like, I'm not interested. This website has been my only real outlet for weeks. Thanks for having it up and offering comfort and support to all of us "evil" people out there. Thanks also for the help and insight in advance. I'll post my story soon. Take care, Reason
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