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Why Did You Believe?


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When you were a Christian, why/how did you become a Christian in the first place?

 

Me, it was all I knew. Mom took my sister and I to Sunday school class when we were little and was told what to believe, no questions asked.

 

 

But then I grew up. :phew:

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How and why I got into Xianity is tangled up with a lot of painful, complicated emotions and crap, involving life as an alcoholic's teenage daughter.

 

I remember the process but I didn't have conscious reasons at the time. I was sixteen and was under house arrest for having been sexually violated by a boyfiend. (No, that's not a typo.) I'd been pretty consistently vilified for not being perfect for a good portion of my life anyway, and with the sexual assault added to it, it was pretty clear who the family whore was.

 

At some point in there my alky mother found Jeebus and quit drinking. I converted shortly afterwards. I don't remember having any reason at the top of my mind other than that I thoroughly believed that I was completely and totally evil to the core, unredeemable without some kind of divine intervention. I probably knew that my mother believed I was dirty, and was looking for some kind of "cleansing" so that my mother could somehow see that I was worth loving and would finally treat me decently. I was probably also looking to be as much like her as possible, so that she'd have little cause to criticize me.

 

I don't know why I stayed in it as long as I did. I bought it hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and copy of "Angling Times", but I'm not sure why. I suppose it seemed safe, it provided some kind of structure, some kind of easy formula for becoming Good. Say the right words, eat the wafer at the right time, pray the right amount, and Jeebus will cleanse you, and your mother will stop talking to you as if you're spawn of Satan! Prayze Gawd!!

 

It just seemed to make sense for such a long time. And then it just didn't anymore.

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Guest Ivy Leigh

Primarily I think I believed because the world was a scary and confusing place. Christianity offered an explanation, a moral code, a road map.

 

In addition, I'd had a lot of death in my pre-teen/teen years and it gave me the hope of death not being permanent. It made it a lot less painful to view goodbyes as temporary.

 

Finally, all my family were fundys. So it was "default position." And not hurting them KEPT me in it for a good long time. (Bad long time?)

 

Ivy

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Me, it was all I knew. Mom took my sister and I to Sunday school class when we were little and was told what to believe, no questions asked.

 

But then I grew up. :phew:

 

Ditto. Parents raised me to be a good little Morgling from day one; never got the chance to decide whether or not I wanted to participate in the first place.

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Indocrinated into Catholicism from birth, then went along with my mother to the Methodist church when I was 4.

 

She switched over to Methodism because she wanted to marry her second husband (my stepfather), and the Catholic church (at that point) wouldn't let a divorced mother of two marry an ex-Deacon. He was involved in the Methodist church at the time as their head usher, so she must've thought "why not?"

 

Me, I followed her because it simply was the thing to do. When you're that young, you don't believe that your parents are subject to human error. I didn't actually start to question my faith until I hit my teens.

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The main reason why i converted was because i was going through a rough time in life and i needed something to keep me emotionally stable.

 

For a long while i didn't question that Jesus was the truth and that people who didn't believe in him would go to hell.

 

But the events of this year have changed all that.

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I probably knew that my mother believed I was dirty, and was looking for some kind of "cleansing" so that my mother could somehow see that I was worth loving and would finally treat me decently. I was probably also looking to be as much like her as possible, so that she'd have little cause to criticize me.

 

....and your mother will stop talking to you as if you're spawn of Satan! Prayze Gawd!!

 

 

Gwenmead,

 

I am just curious to know if it worked with your mother. Did the relationship improve?

BTW, the rape thing really sucks! Not only violated but also shunned and misunderstood? Geeezz!

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I think it was just all that I knew. I started going to church with my grandparents when I was just a baby. I didn't really start to question anything seriously until after my grandmother passed away.

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My beliefs were strong until I read the Bible, until I absorbed the conflicting doctrines, and was unable to make any clear decisions.

 

I was raised Christian and that's the main reason. But I also witnessed "miracles" - at the same time, these miracles could have been extremely good luck, and not miracles at all. Kindof like when sam Jackson was spose to die in pulp fiction but he had a "divine intervention" - lol. I've experienced things like that in my life. That is really my foundation in faith.

 

My biggest problem with Christianity is that the Bible makes no damn sense, and other so-called Christians can be the biggest assholes you've ever met. Then you have people that tell you ya have a demon in ya... Sheesh. That's the kind of stuff that really makes one figure if there was a Christian God, why all this nonsense?

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I suppose there was a myriad of reasons why I believed. Like others here, I certainly can't discount the fact that I was raised in a Christian environment.

 

One moment in particular though stands out for me. I know it's silly, but at the time I was after all a child. I saw this movie. I think it was "Jesus of Nazareth". I remember seeing the depiction of the life of Jesus and all the cool things that he supposedly did. I remember the surmon on the mount and I remember thinking that surely this was a good man. And then the people crucified him. I was crushed. I cried and thought, how could people do this to a good man? Seeing that movie actually solidified my belief that Jesus was a rightheous and sacred leader.

 

Sure it's silly. But hell, I was a child. I was probably six or seven at the time.

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In the UK, schools are required by law to have daily acts of collective worship of a mainly Christian nature. So whilst my entire family don't believe, my school had me praying, singing hymns and listening to bible stories since I was five years old. Being young, and since all this was coming from teachers, I just accepted it as truth. So since I was five I believed in god and only about a year ago did I ever question it.

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1) I trusted that my parents and other adults, the preacher for one, were telling me the truth.

 

2)I was scared of going to Hell.

 

3)I longed for a placed like Heaven.

 

4)I felt blessed that the God of the Universe heard my prayers and would help me in my struggles

 

Waking Up

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I started believing in God in my teen years as I was looking for meaning in my life. I turned to Christianity to learn about God because it was the religion of my culture. It offered clearly defined borders for me which was appealing because I was desperate for hard, clear, and reliable truths in my youth. It promised absolute truths, and the hope of having those sorts of answers is what kept me in it. Obviously it didn't deliever, and I needed to move on.

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I was 13, gullible and going through a lot of teenage angst, trying to find myself. Homelife was insane. I just wanted a better life and didn't know how to get it. Not only this, but youth pastors are very talented at playing head games with kids. Since they are kids, it's easy to spot their weakness and play off of them in order to get them to buy Christianity.

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I converted because I was going through a time in my life where I was constantly questioning my existance because most of the people in my life had made it very clear I was worthless and unwanted. Since Jesus had the biggest banner ad....

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I fit into the "from birth it was all I knew" category. We went to church regularly until I was age five, my parents both played the guitar and hyms on the church bus and for Sunday School. My folks divorced when I was five but both were still believers and we'd still go every now and then. I also went quite often with my grandparents. No one in my family was a fundy and my grandparents are very kind and loving. My dad is now is a conspiracy theorists and he has turned fundy but he doesn't bug me and because we don't speak of religion, our relationship has been great. My mother is a non-practicing Christian, others will go to heaven despite religion because they couldn't help believing in the wrong god...lol..anyone who doesn't believe in "any" god will suffer eternal torment.

 

On top of that, belief in a literal hell, belief in a literal heaven and feeling sorry for putting Jesus in pain kept me in belief. At 30 when I got serious and then a few years later actually read the bible...that was the beginning to the end of my faith........WHEW! :-)

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Me, I was at a low point in my life. I was very insecure and vulnerable at the time, and Jesus 'wiped my slate clean'. Very emotional conversion. :HappyCry:

 

 

 

Unfortunately, I found out the slate never really gets wiped clean, and the bible only makes it worse. :twitch:

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I am just curious to know if it worked with your mother. Did the relationship improve?

BTW, the rape thing really sucks! Not only violated but also shunned and misunderstood? Geeezz!

 

Nope. It never worked with my mother. I failed miserably at being an extension of her, and she let me know it. She was a right royal critical bitch up until I got married and moved out at 22.

 

The relationship improved after I moved out and stopped putting any effort into it. It's not too bad now, but it's extraordinarily shallow. And she's still a critical bitch, though less so now.

 

Yeah, the assault thing totally sucked ass. But, in retrospect, I'm not surprised at all that I wasn't believed. My mom was convinced that all teens are uncontrollable horny spawn from hell, so my "having sex" just proved it to her.

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With me it was a combination of cultural conditioning, gullibility and the bad timing of a "mid-life crisis." I was looking for answers (much like Antlerman stated) and I thought religion/Christianity held them. Critical analysis proved otherwise.

 

On an anthropological study note, I notice that all the responses thus far have been a mixture of "Cultural/family conditioning" and "I was feeling bad/vulnerable and religion was the answer." I find it interesting that NO ONE came to Christianity during a time of strength, by themselves - no external prodding, and having logically determined that it was the Truth™. Very interesting indeed.

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