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Recovering Christian


Guest Starlace
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Guest Starlace

I grew up Methodist and Southern Baptist. My mother's side of the famliy was methodist and my father's baptist. I switched of churches each weekend and I was baptised both ways. I was the candle girl (lit the candles at the beginning of church, put them out at the end) in the methodist church from age 7-12 and I also helped keep the nursery at the Southern baptist church.

My methodist grandmother (who I love and chrish with all of my heart to this day) instilled the fear of God within me at a very young age. When I was small, about six, it was raining. She told me that God was crying because I was a bad child. She also told me that God had a book with my family's names in it and every time I was a bad girl he put a big black mark by everyone in my family's name and if we got too many black marks we would go to hell.

Naturally, I deemed it necessary to get saved as soon as humanly possible.

The first time I attempted to get saved ( also, oddly, the first time I had a problem with Christianity) I was eight years old. I went to a stuffy private school in the deep south and despite what other schools might be doing with prayer we still had chapel for two hours every Wednesday morning. After a rather brash fire and brimstone lecture the preacher instructed us all to bow our heads and close our eyes. He told us what to say if we wanted to get saved and he told us to raise our hands.He said we would feel cleansed, renewed, fabulous. I raised my hands and I said my prayer. I felt nothing.

I was immidiately convinced from this day forward that I could not be saved. I obsessed over it...even at the tender age of eight. This may be hard to grasp but I will explain it as well as I can...not one moment went by from that day forth in which there was not a conversation going on in my head between God and I. I begged him every second of every day to save me. The talk in my head went something like "Dear God please save my soul. I love you. Dont send me to hell, dont kill me, please dont let me die" over and over and over and over and over and over all day, everyday, from awakening to falling asleep. I never felt anything. I would get panick attacks at school and at dance classes and at bible study and everywhere else thinking about how I was going to go to hell. I talked about it with my mother, my grandfather, my father, my grandmother... my Grandfather was a deacon. Nothing they said ever made me feel any different.

The second thing that happened to me as a young girl that made me question my religion happened in Sunday school at the Southern Baptist church. I was around ten years old and it was a bunch of girls that I knew (They seperated the Sunday School classes by sex) and they were talking about jesus coming back. The prettiest girl in the class with her bouncy blonde hair and perky smile chimed in as cheerful as a child on the way to the fair " I CANT WAIT until Jesus comes!!! It will be the happiest day of my life!!". I sat there and stared at her. At that moment I knew that I was not like other children. I did not feel the same. I did not want Jesus to come. That would be the worst day of my life, and I knew it.

From this point on I hid the fact that I didn't feel the same. I lied to my family, they were big members of the church. I lied to people in church. I tried to get saved several more times hoping that it would make me feel differently but it never did. Several more instances happened, I remember, my aunt was talking about a trip she took to Disney World. She said she was standing in line in Epcot and all she could think was how WONDERFUL it would be for Jesus to come. To Disney World. To take them all away. I was blown away. I remember being accused of having no faith by my uncle because the lights went out at the dinner table during a horrible storm one night and I screamed. He said I had no faith in god, if I did, I wouldnt have screamed.

All and all, by the time I was thirteen I was traumatized. I would argue with my deacon Grandfather about Christianity and he would get so angry at me that my father even PAID me to not speak of religion in front of him. So after that and for the past eight years I havnt thought much about religion at all.

I knew I wasn't a Christian but I didnt know what exactly I was so I waited a while and then at about age nineteen I developed my belief system. I believed that we are all part of God. God is in all of us and everything that we touch and interact with on a daily basis. I believed that God is the fiber of the universe, everything, period. Little did I know this was called Pantheism.

Here recently I have been researching Panthiesm and coming to find that it is very very very much so what I believe. It is ridiculously similar to what I felt in my heart was right. I am still researching it and I am no expert by far but right now the closest thing I can say I am is a Panthiest, and entirely relieved to be free from the guilt of Christianity (for the most part).

I was and AM too scared to say out loud that I am not a Christian. I am still a scared little girl, a part of me still feels like if I say it out loud I will get struck down by ligtning. A part of me feels like it makes me a bad person to not be a Christian. A part of me wishes I could be. But this is a very very small part in comparison to the part of me that cannot stand the religion. This is the first step I have really made in recovery from Christianity. It took a lot of willpower to wright this all down and expose it to you all. This is the first time I have ever really said "I am not a Christian".

So I am not a Christian.

And thanks to anyone who read all of this, I know its long, but I truly appreciate your support :)

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The first time I wrote it down...was the first time I allowed myself to honestly question Christianity...and I almost had a heart attack. Thanks for sharing. Hope you feel free enough to talk openly here. That "absence of confirmation" you felt in your conversion-attempts is such a marvelous example of just how empty the religion is. I didn't know what pantheism was until you said it, here...and that is pretty much where I am, as well.

Thanks for the lesson.

Be Well.

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Guest Starlace

The first time I wrote it down...was the first time I allowed myself to honestly question Christianity...and I almost had a heart attack. Thanks for sharing. Hope you feel free enough to talk openly here. That "absence of confirmation" you felt in your conversion-attempts is such a marvelous example of just how empty the religion is. I didn't know what pantheism was until you said it, here...and that is pretty much where I am, as well.

Thanks for the lesson.

Be Well.

 

Thanks :) The abscence of confirmation killed me more than anything else I think. I had heard about panthiesm when I was younger but I really didn't know anything about it. I ran across www.panthiesm.net and they have a lot of information and Ive been reading up on that as of late. Im reluctant to really say Im a part of anything anymore since I have accepted that I am not a Christian. It scares me a little. So Im kind of just testing the waters :)

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Starlace, thank you for sharing your story! I am sure your grandmother meant well about the big book with marks in it because as Baptists(and some other fundie denominations) we are taught that the most loving thing we can do is witness and help our loved ones get saved. However, what she did was verbal abuse and set you up for much mental anguish. She didn't know it but you do...so you will never put that burden on your children. The burden of thinking they might be going to hell. I've been thinking about how I will be a different parent than my parents because I no longer believe in Hell. Well, mostly no longer believe. Those "tapes" keep playing.

 

It's wonderful that you have made this realization about your beliefs now and not at 45, like me. :-)

 

I'm new here too and it's been a lifesaver to meet other former TRUE believers who can no longer believe. I don't feel quite so alone.

 

Welcome, Starlace!

 

WakingUp

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Starlace,

 

Thanks for posting your testimony, and welcome to the ex-c community.

 

I can certainly relate to much of your experience, though I've been an ex-christian for almost forty years now. "Saved" as a child, as a result of a hellfire/brimstone regimen, and all that heaped-up guilt for all that "sin". And, for me it wasn't long before the questions started to surface, which led to a lot of common sense reasoning, even in early adolescence, to the point where I finally said, "Bullshit". Thankfully, I had a mother who was a "nominal" christian, and a father who was a lifelong agnostic, so they encouraged me to think these things through, at my own pace, and arrive at my own conclusions.

 

We're a pretty diverse community here, Starlace. You'll certainly be accepted as a pantheist, deist, or freethinker...there are a number of them here, and we all respect each others' choices.

 

Looking forward to your sharing your thoughts in the forums.

 

 

 

"“To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master” (Mark Twain)

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Guest Starlace

Starlace, thank you for sharing your story! I am sure your grandmother meant well about the big book with marks in it because as Baptists(and some other fundie denominations) we are taught that the most loving thing we can do is witness and help our loved ones get saved. However, what she did was verbal abuse and set you up for much mental anguish. She didn't know it but you do...so you will never put that burden on your children. The burden of thinking they might be going to hell. I've been thinking about how I will be a different parent than my parents because I no longer believe in Hell. Well, mostly no longer believe. Those "tapes" keep playing.

 

It's wonderful that you have made this realization about your beliefs now and not at 45, like me. :-)

 

I'm new here too and it's been a lifesaver to meet other former TRUE believers who can no longer believe. I don't feel quite so alone.

 

Welcome, Starlace!

 

WakingUp

 

Thanks WakingUp! This is a really great breath of fresh air, I agree completely. It's better to have realized at fourty five though, than to never have realized wouldnt you say!! :) Nice to meet you!

 

Starlace,

 

Thanks for posting your testimony, and welcome to the ex-c community.

 

I can certainly relate to much of your experience, though I've been an ex-christian for almost forty years now. "Saved" as a child, as a result of a hellfire/brimstone regimen, and all that heaped-up guilt for all that "sin". And, for me it wasn't long before the questions started to surface, which led to a lot of common sense reasoning, even in early adolescence, to the point where I finally said, "Bullshit". Thankfully, I had a mother who was a "nominal" christian, and a father who was a lifelong agnostic, so they encouraged me to think these things through, at my own pace, and arrive at my own conclusions.

 

We're a pretty diverse community here, Starlace. You'll certainly be accepted as a pantheist, deist, or freethinker...there are a number of them here, and we all respect each others' choices.

 

Looking forward to your sharing your thoughts in the forums.

 

 

 

"“To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master” (Mark Twain)

 

Wow thats great that you had a nominally Christian mother and an agnostic father. That is simply unheard of where I grew up...and (unfortunately) that happens to be where I live for now. Its a small southern town.

Diversity is good. One of the first things I noticed about being an ex-Christian was that I really didn't care what other people's religions were. So bring on the diversity, If it works for you thats fine with me :)

My boyfriend actually pointed me in the direction of this forum after a pretty lengthy discussion of religion one night ( unfortunately I have no idea what his forum name on here is lol ), and he did say that this board was very friendly and understanding, that was the main attraction for me to come here so, I am very much looking forward to being a part of this community ! :)

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Starlace, thank you for sharing your story! I am sure your grandmother meant well about the big book with marks in it because as Baptists(and some other fundie denominations) we are taught that the most loving thing we can do is witness and help our loved ones get saved. However, what she did was verbal abuse and set you up for much mental anguish. She didn't know it but you do...so you will never put that burden on your children. The burden of thinking they might be going to hell. I've been thinking about how I will be a different parent than my parents because I no longer believe in Hell. Well, mostly no longer believe. Those "tapes" keep playing.

 

It's wonderful that you have made this realization about your beliefs now and not at 45, like me. :-)

 

I'm new here too and it's been a lifesaver to meet other former TRUE believers who can no longer believe. I don't feel quite so alone.

 

Welcome, Starlace!

 

WakingUp

 

Thanks WakingUp! This is a really great breath of fresh air, I agree completely. It's better to have realized at fourty five though, than to never have realized wouldnt you say!! :) Nice to meet you!

 

Starlace,

 

Thanks for posting your testimony, and welcome to the ex-c community.

 

I can certainly relate to much of your experience, though I've been an ex-christian for almost forty years now. "Saved" as a child, as a result of a hellfire/brimstone regimen, and all that heaped-up guilt for all that "sin". And, for me it wasn't long before the questions started to surface, which led to a lot of common sense reasoning, even in early adolescence, to the point where I finally said, "Bullshit". Thankfully, I had a mother who was a "nominal" christian, and a father who was a lifelong agnostic, so they encouraged me to think these things through, at my own pace, and arrive at my own conclusions.

 

We're a pretty diverse community here, Starlace. You'll certainly be accepted as a pantheist, deist, or freethinker...there are a number of them here, and we all respect each others' choices.

 

Looking forward to your sharing your thoughts in the forums.

 

 

 

"“To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master” (Mark Twain)

 

Wow thats great that you had a nominally Christian mother and an agnostic father. That is simply unheard of where I grew up...and (unfortunately) that happens to be where I live for now. Its a small southern town.

Diversity is good. One of the first things I noticed about being an ex-Christian was that I really didn't care what other people's religions were. So bring on the diversity, If it works for you thats fine with me :)

My boyfriend actually pointed me in the direction of this forum after a pretty lengthy discussion of religion one night ( unfortunately I have no idea what his forum name on here is lol ), and he did say that this board was very friendly and understanding, that was the main attraction for me to come here so, I am very much looking forward to being a part of this community ! :)

 

 

I need someone to tell me how to delete posts. I hit reply before replying in the above post. ;-)

 

Anyway Starlace----YES! Better late than never.

 

Now it's time to make up for lost time. ;-)

 

CARPE DIEM!

 

WakingUp

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Definitely! How long have you been an exchristian?

 

Well, 2 months. :shrug: I still believe there is some sort of Divine Energy/Purpose because of the similarities between religions. Nature is my sanctuary so in that way I lean towards Pantheism but I think there is something more than nature. But I am no longer a "Christian".

 

WakingUp

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Guest Starlace

Definitely! How long have you been an exchristian?

 

Well, 2 months. :shrug: I still believe there is some sort of Divine Energy/Purpose because of the similarities between religions. Nature is my sanctuary so in that way I lean towards Pantheism but I think there is something more than nature. But I am no longer a "Christian".

 

WakingUp

I know what you mean, I feel exactly the same way. Panthiesm is really the closest thing I can find to what it is that I feel.

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Well, at least you got paid to not talk to your grandfather. There was some positive outcome!

 

Anyhow, your story had a lot in common with lots of us here. I had the same doubts as a child, but refused to admit them for a couple more decades out of the fear of hell.

 

Welcome, and good luck.

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Well, at least you got paid to not talk to your grandfather. There was some positive outcome!

 

Anyhow, your story had a lot in common with lots of us here. I had the same doubts as a child, but refused to admit them for a couple more decades out of the fear of hell.

 

Welcome, and good luck.

Thank you so much for being so kind!

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thank you for posting your testimony, starlace. i hope you enjoy yourself here, this is really wonderful group of understanding people. take care and be safe.

 

:) ttyl

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thank you for posting your testimony, starlace. i hope you enjoy yourself here, this is really wonderful group of understanding people. take care and be safe.

 

:) ttyl

Thanks :):grin:

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Isn't it great when you have a hunch about something and then you find out that there is actually a belief system out there that goes with the hunch?

 

I, too, consider myself pantheistic. It isn't as rare as it may seem to be. Buddhism tends toward pantheism, as do New Thought churches. Most motivational speakers and advocates of positive thinking are also DEEPLY pantheistic e.g. Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and others.

 

Welcome to ex-c and good luck in your search for Truth.

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Guest Starlace

Isn't it great when you have a hunch about something and then you find out that there is actually a belief system out there that goes with the hunch?

 

I, too, consider myself pantheistic. It isn't as rare as it may seem to be. Buddhism tends toward pantheism, as do New Thought churches. Most motivational speakers and advocates of positive thinking are also DEEPLY pantheistic e.g. Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and others.

 

Welcome to ex-c and good luck in your search for Truth.

 

Yeah!! Its incredible, its very refreshing to know other people feel the same way you too. I didn't know all that, thank you for the information!

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Isn't it great when you have a hunch about something and then you find out that there is actually a belief system out there that goes with the hunch?

 

I, too, consider myself pantheistic. It isn't as rare as it may seem to be. Buddhism tends toward pantheism, as do New Thought churches. Most motivational speakers and advocates of positive thinking are also DEEPLY pantheistic e.g. Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and others.

 

Welcome to ex-c and good luck in your search for Truth.

 

Yeah!! Its incredible, its very refreshing to know other people feel the same way you too. I didn't know all that, thank you for the information!

 

I forgot Eckhart Tolle. His book The Power of Now has changed my life. I borrowed the CD's from the local public library, loaded the files to my MP3 player, and listened to the book during my daily walks.

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