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Can You Relate To This?


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Hey all,

 

My user restrictions prevent me from posting in other forums, so I'm posting in here. So, if the topic is in the wrong area, please feel free to move it! :)

 

I've been Christian since the beginning of time it feels, heh. I can't help but to be the type of person that is curious about everything and who questions it all. The contradictions found in the Bible I'm unable to answer. When applying reason the Bible even gets even harder to udnerstand.

 

I dont like being a "Christian" who has all this faith in God but cannot reason with the Bible. In fact, I hate it. I wish it wasnt this way. I feel like I'm completely nuts for doing so, and that I'm suckered in lies that seem to be so strong that I can't break away from my faith even if I tried. It's strange. Its like my "heart" believes in this stuff, but my MIND does not! I wish I could explain it correctly but its hard to get it all out into words. I just hope I'm not the onlyone whose going through this, its like a roller coaster ride that isn't in the slightest fun.

 

I'm tired of feeling guilty for "sinning" - I'm tired of not being able to make any sense out of the Bible, and I'm tired of switching from agnostic to Christian. I want to break away from it all, but I want to make sure I'm doing the "right" thing.

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Its like my "heart" believes in this stuff, but my MIND does not! I wish I could explain it correctly but its hard to get it all out into words. I just hope I'm not the onlyone whose going through this, its like a roller coaster ride that isn't in the slightest fun.

 

I'm tired of feeling guilty for "sinning" - I'm tired of not being able to make any sense out of the Bible, and I'm tired of switching from agnostic to Christian. I want to break away from it all, but I want to make sure I'm doing the "right" thing.

Welcome to the club with most of us, and welcome to the forums. One thing for you to consider is that those things you feel in your heart most likely have nothing to do with the claims of the Christian faith as far as having a corner on the market for ideas that people call "God". It took me a long time after I left Christianity to feel it was OK to feel "inspired" in my heart again at the beauty of the world, the elevation of spirit that music brings, etc, without feeling hypocritical, like I was enjoying something that was within the domain of religion or the church. It isn't. Quite the contrary in fact.

 

In fact religion, and in my case Christianity in particular, actually stood in the way of my responding with my heart to the world, to existence. "Spirituality" is killed by religion. You'll find it becomes a matter of not allowing the "authority" of religion to speak to these very human matters. You are very correct in recognizing they don't know what they're talking about. Now you just have to give yourself permission to walk out on your own two feet.

 

P.S. We're all here for you.. :grin:

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Hi, velocity child. I agree with Antlerman (as usual). Stuff that's imprinted on your emotional life early on has tremendous power. It's like the imprinting of your first lover - the person may have been a bastard, but you always have special feelings. If you step back and look at Christianity as though you weren't enculturated in it, its clothes fall away and you see it's naked. (Too bad it's anti-sex, actually - one of its strategies is to take normal human stuff and make us feel perpetually guilty about it). Welcome, and I invite you to hang around on here.

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Hey VC Wecome to Ex-C,

 

Not only can we relate to this, we've been there. It takes a while for your heart to catch up to your mind, and even then, you still have little pangs once in a while of wanting to believe it's true, but they get less and less the more you are out of Christianity and the more you learn.

 

Taph

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Hey VC Wecome to Ex-C,

 

Not only can we relate to this, we've been there. It takes a while for your heart to catch up to your mind, and even then, you still have little pangs once in a while of wanting to believe it's true, but they get less and less the more you are out of Christianity and the more you learn.

 

Taph

I hate to admit it Taph, but it's been longer than I care to admit how long it kept after me. It wasn't until after putting it on the back burner for almost 15 + years that I finally began the process of letting it go. It's not easy to let go something that promises so much of what we all hope for. But being sincere to who we are is the key to beginning the healing process.

 

BTW Ficono, thanks for the compliment. It means a lot to me.

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Listen carefully to the debate between your heart and your mind, velocitychild. If your experience is anything like mine, you may find that the two divergent views timidly shuffle towards each other and merge somewhere in the middle.

 

Don't feel pressure to resolve this instantly. If you jump to one or the other extreme it may not last. Ultimately, all of you has to be satisfied with the answer.

 

The hardest part is going to be living with doubt and ambiguity while various parts of your psyche are screaming for you to Just Make Up Your $%#!! Mind. You will.

 

And welcome to Ex-C!

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It is horrible isn't it?

 

When you feel you have to stay with the faith but you don't really want to. Just give it time. Let it be. The day will come, soon, when your heart will catch up with your mind. Eventually, just the very thought of making yourself believe something without a good intellectual foundation will make you want to puke.

 

It is painful but growing hurts.The caterpillar is becoming a butterfly and you must go through birth pains. Listen to yourself and hang in there.

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Guest Ivy Leigh

When I was in the same kind of turmoil, I would imagine myself before the Throne of God. Him questioning me.

 

And I would always come to "How could this 'God of Love' forbid me to use the mind he gave me? Why would he PUNISH me for that? What would we, mere 'sinful' humans do if a parent punished a child for thinking and questioning? It would be monsterous. How much more so in a god!

 

The more I ran those internal conversations with god, the more clear my path to free thought became.

 

Best wishes to you in this difficult time.

 

ivy

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"Spirituality" is killed by religion.
I agree with this as far as xtianity and islam are concerned, but other religions promote spirituality in a non-dogmatic way, such as some forms (not all practices) of buddhism.

 

Couple of things velocity,

 

1. No one here has the answer to the nature and relevence of god in the universe, but you'll find plenty of discussions about the topic. Whether you're a deist, agnostic, atheist, theist, pagan,pantheist, polytheist or otherwise is up to you.

 

2. Christianity is a steaming load of crap. That we can almost unanimously agree on. Some of us are pretty salty about it too, so don't let anyone here ruffle your feathers.

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Y'know, it's entirely possible that you can't make sense out of the Bible because the Bible doesn't make sense, not because there's something wrong with you.

 

A lot of us have been in that place though, coming to question what we've been taught to believe without question (!), and finding that the Holy Book we followed for so long really doesn't have any answers after all. Which can be rather dismaying, especially in the face of a tenacious, emotional faith.

 

Pay attention to what your head is telling you. Acknowledge what your heart wants, but don't be afraid to ask questions. It might make you a good little sheep to shut down your questioning mind and obey your heart without thinking, but I suspect you know that wouldn't be honest anyway. If there's a deity out there, I don't think it serves us to be dishonest about trying to figure out where we fit in the world and in relation to said deity.

 

Hang in there, and welcome to the forum.

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Looking back, I never believed the Bible. I only said I did. How can on ebelieve something they do not understand? or to put in better words, how can someone say they believe something they do not read?

 

Its strange but all my doubts didnt start coming about until I started reading the BIble. When I became all super-evangalistic, I realized that the Bible was 100% truth. In the back of my mind I kept saying "But man wrote it" and then as I found contradictions (the very first one I found was the death of Judas Iscarot sp?) and then of course browsing skeptic websites pretty much showed me other things.

 

I do have an apologist friend who cleared up one of the questions for me, but then again: Why the hell would it need cleared up in the first place? I mean really.. If the Bible is 100% right then why does it not seem so and why would it require numerous explanations to be made so. Where some explanations seem outlandish....

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Its strange but all my doubts didnt start coming about until I started reading the BIble.

 

 

That is EXACTLY what happened to me too. I went to a xtian school, and when I was in 6th grade I was grounded for a month, and I was only allowed to read. Within a week I had run out of reading material, so I decided to read the bible from front to back as if it was a novel. I quickly became quite shocked and confused. I of course skimmed over all the "begats" chapters, but I remember several occaisions when my mother was making dinner and I walked into the kitchen with my bible:

 

"Mom, did you know god allows soldiers to take the virgin girls of the enemy as wives, but commands them to kill all men, boys, and women?"

 

"Um, no, I didn't know that."

 

"Mom, did you know that women are not supposed to teach men and need to be quiet in church?"

 

"Um, no, I didn't know that."

 

I was equally suprised at my mother's attitude, especially as she was a woman, and a teacher in the same xtian school. She just didn't seem to care, and probally wasn't listening.

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I do have an apologist friend who cleared up one of the questions for me, but then again: Why the hell would it need cleared up in the first place? I mean really.. If the Bible is 100% right then why does it not seem so and why would it require numerous explanations to be made so. Where some explanations seem outlandish....

 

That happened to me, too. It was a Sunday morning and I had to be in church early because my husband had band practice.

 

So I let myself in the library and picked up the Josh McDowell book, Evidence that Demands a Veredict. It's huge, and it supposedly contains answers to any questions you can possibly have about the bible.

 

First thought: why is a book which explains the bible thicker than the bible itself?

Second thought: (after reading a few answers) with all that twisting, spinning, and stretching of the bible verses, anyone can explain anything to fit their version of truth. No wonder there are 28,000 sects of christianity around.

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My husband has a T-shirt that says:

 

Religion is for people who are afraid of hell

 

Spirituality is for people who have already been there

Assuming by "religion" we mean "religions that teach eternal damnation for nonbelievers" it says a lot!

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Velocitychild, you've come to the right place. Welcome!

 

Others have already posted so well and true regarding the conflicts you're feeling. I would suggest that these conflicts are to be welcomed. Your inner turmoil may be unsettling, but I believe it is truly healthy for you. To me it says, here is someone who's using the brain, and seeing the light.

 

Take it slowly. Use this time to read what so many others have said about christianity. There are links on this site, and in other sites such as www.positiveatheism.org (an excellent source for resources such as Robert Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell, Joseph McCabe, Joseph Lewis, and more) or www. infidels.org. (By the way...atheism is just one alternative to christianity). Compared to their writings, Josh McDowell is a dunce.

 

Glad you're here...

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Thanks guys, I've seen that Religion vs Spirituality quote as a bunmper sticker before :D

 

It is all very sobering, and somewhat depressing to walk away from faith. I look back at past experiences involving my faith and get upset that it isnt real. But then, I feel like there is another force at work which I no longer deny. That force is something that has been with me since birth, and I suppose I can say that it is the force of Intellect.

 

My last pastor would yell "Dont question! Dont question!" and that only made me angry. As a Christian, I found it was important to question otherwise how would you know the truth?

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I do have an apologist friend who cleared up one of the questions for me, but then again: Why the hell would it need cleared up in the first place? I mean really.. If the Bible is 100% right then why does it not seem so and why would it require numerous explanations to be made so. Where some explanations seem outlandish....

 

This is something I've come to realize. Really - if a divine being were going to communicate with us through a book, do you really think it would be this hard to understand, especially regarding important things like salvation? If a deity would make a book so difficult to figure out that it condemns people to the hell the god created, then the god would simply be playing mind games with its creation, and would indeed be torturing us for the hell of it (pun intended). There's a great deal that makes no sense. IMO, IF the bible god were real, he could not hold us accountable for anything based on the bible.

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My last pastor would yell "Dont question! Dont question!" and that only made me angry. As a Christian, I found it was important to question otherwise how would you know the truth?

Of course they don't want you to question...if you do, you might see that the whole christian construct is utter nonsense. As you've seen, the more questions you ask, the more it becomes evident that christianity is pure bunk.

 

The more I read testimonies of other ex-christians, the more I see that that damnable religion causes a type of post traumatic stress disorder. How can any religion that causes such a mental anguish be good?

 

So no doubt...the depression and mental conflicts are real. Give yourself time, keep reading, and you'll sort it all out. There's relief on the way.

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Sounds like velocitychild is coming under attack. Listening to the lies of the deceiver. Being led away from the truth. On the verge of backsliding.

 

(all xian code-words for "beginning to think for oneself")..

 

congrats, dude. Real life awaits you.

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