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How I Came To Be Here


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How did I come to be an ex-christian....It has been a gradual process one that has been difficult trying to discover fully who I am and what I believe and how I want to live my life. I didn't go about trying to find the truth, but it is how I ended up on this journey.

I was raised by a single mom in a very pentecostal assemblies of god, church, went to the church camps ever summer..which was even more repressive and into rules than normal sunday, wednesday.friday church..hurt by a lot of people and a lot of legalistic people.. memories included holy spirit days at camp... and seeing how fake some of the people were. But more damage was done by my mom who used god as an excuse to try to control my life...and excuse her choices.

As a young adult, I became involved socially in the church, and started going to a womans prayer group which I had many spiritul experiences, and even sung in tongues once at a womans retreat after for eons of praying for the holyspirt to come.....tried at home many times..but knew I was jsut babbling...anyhow. and became facinated with the spirtirual realm and all that. After I moved out, I eventually stoped going to church and thease groups. My friends would call me and convince me into going to church with them.. and I would bow into peer pressure for a while and go with them, though mostly I think I just went to get out the house because I was so lonely living alone for the first time in my life.

I had my doubts of faith, but I never questioned christianity then or the core foundations... I did have trouble with some of the biblical views on woman,homosexuality,and a few other things too I am sure of...but I believed the trinity and God...and heaven and hell........ and hell mostly so I had to believe.. I had a couple of days where I rember that I did not think i believed anymore..but had my friend manipulate me into beliving and accepting christ again... I didn't want to loose my friends or go to hell.. that mostlly freaked me out.

As I continued to figure out what I belived, I didn't really want to go searching I did mostly accept that this was the way to go...UNTIL I realized that I didn't like the people, I didn't like them telling me what to think and how to think and how to worship and when to worship and that only men were allowed to serve on the board or usher on sunday mornings..and what the heck was with the whole submission thing.. I really tried to belive that one but just couldn't. So I stopped going to church for the most part.. with the odd attendence here and there..sometimes my roomate would convince me to go to church with her.

I ended up deciding that I wanted to live by myself and live how I wanted to live. I tried going back to church and was saddened and dissapointed and felt alienated. I went to the church I was raised in and relized that if I ever had kids I did not want to raise them there..thought maybe I can find a church I feel safe in..lol that does not exsit... I have come to the conclusion. Have been hurt by so many christians over the years and only once ever had a close friend from church. (I ended up meeting my christians friends through my former christian job...)

I guess my faith really started to erode last december when I didn't want to spend my time in church and I didn't want to do great things for the kingdom... I wanted to sleep and do pilates and gasp YOGA.. and read books that had magic in them...sigh... and when my former spirtiual mentors husband died of a heart attack in his 40's... I just wondered how could God allow this wonderful person to just die and leave my then mentor a widow..It didn't seem right. I also had a personal crisis where I tried turning to God and could not find any comfort or hear anything at all from him, and had to draw on other strenghts and coping mechanisms to get through it..and you know what I got through it..and felt very dissapointed.. I called my christian friend and asked for prayer..but she did not seem to care about me..and has since and before said many many hurtful painful things to me and not really cared or been there when I really needed someone. I finally started doing things that made me happy, and started doing things that I had always wanted to do but just couldn't. I finally felt like I could breath again and was happy. And all this with out religion or jesus setting me free... I tried praying and beliving and having faith..It didn't work.

So finally I could not belive all of the bible...then if I didn't belive all of the bible I did not belive the bible was gods word... which took me a long time to accept. I also did not belive a lot of the teachings and core principles of christianity... It was kind of at this point where I realized if people were telling me how I am living my life is wrong or a sin.. that I dont want to be apart of it anymore and need to find out the truth and what I do believe. Not beliving in the god and jesus of the bible was really scary......and not sure about the other spirtual realms and heaven and hell and a god or divine power was freaky as well... I am at the agnostic point.. where I think there might be a god...but not the god of the bible.. but am not sure.. My friends know I am nolonger a christian, but I haven't told anyone in my family. I am tired of living a lie to my family, they do not know who I am. I know they will worry about my soul as they have already expressed concern that I no longer attend any church or group.My friends are very sad that I don't believe anymore, and one old aquantince from prayer group years ago had a hard time when I told her I was a christian with a small c...a the time.She now says she is praying for me... but doesn't judge because she went though a crisis of faith but came back. My other friend now has started inviting me to church since I have said I dont believe anymore.AHH hello... and tells me not to sin.. lest it be harder to come back.. I said I don't belive in that..and she ended her lecture, and slowly our friendship has been eroding as my faith has and as my confidence in myself increases as well. I no longer am willing to put up with crap and judgments and others values and belief systems...and the friendly advice is not so friendly or wise anymore.

I hope you were able to follow this. sorry sometimes my thoughts can be a bit scattered. This is where I am at and where I have come from. I do need to do more reading and research to figure out more of what I believe..

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hiya and welcome to the forum.

 

Your testimony seems to follow a similar pattern to quite a few others here. You have said that your confidence in yourself has increased. Funny how that's the case for a lot of people, including myself. Hope things go well for you :)

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Welcome! Thanks for sharing your story. YOu have come to a good place to do some more reading and research. I hope you continue to move in the direction of peace.

 

WakingUp

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Welcome to the forum; I too, was raised Pentecostal. It's hard to come out of.

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Welcome aboard.

 

 

I wanted to sleep and do pilates and gasp YOGA.. and read books that had magic in them...sigh...

 

I finally felt like I could breath again and was happy. And all this with out religion or jesus setting me free.

 

I am no longer am willing to put up with crap and judgments and others values and belief systems...and the friendly advice is not so friendly or wise anymore.

 

These are the 3 paragraphs from your intro that struck a chord with me. The believers will accuse you of being selfish and following your own carnal desires and of it not being "of God".

 

The hell with that!! If it means you can't even go to a Yoga class and chill out a bit then stuff it.

 

Your growing self confidence is not selfish or pride, it's the start of an emergence from the shadow of being told that you are sinful and weak and incapable of anything outside of jesus.

 

Shrugging off the strait-jacket of christianity is both scary and exhilirating. Relish every day of this new life, it's exciting

 

regards

 

Stew

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Thank you for your thoughts and memories. I hope that being able to sort through your life on your terms, with or without our help benefits you!

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Thank you for your thoughts and memories. I hope that being able to sort through your life on your terms, with or without our help benefits you!

 

 

I agree! I love reading how others find their way through the maze. They're not exactly "happy ending" stories but there is a deep theme of searching on the deepest level of being human that runs through them all. Welcome and enjoy your stay.

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Welcome aboard.

 

 

I wanted to sleep and do pilates and gasp YOGA.. and read books that had magic in them...sigh...

 

I finally felt like I could breath again and was happy. And all this with out religion or jesus setting me free.

 

I am no longer am willing to put up with crap and judgments and others values and belief systems...and the friendly advice is not so friendly or wise anymore.

 

These are the 3 paragraphs from your intro that struck a chord with me. The believers will accuse you of being selfish and following your own carnal desires and of it not being "of God".

 

The hell with that!! If it means you can't even go to a Yoga class and chill out a bit then stuff it.

 

Your growing self confidence is not selfish or pride, it's the start of an emergence from the shadow of being told that you are sinful and weak and incapable of anything outside of jesus.

 

Shrugging off the strait-jacket of christianity is both scary and exhilirating. Relish every day of this new life, it's exciting

 

regards

 

Stew

 

 

Shudder! That thing in there about carnal desires. A person who had been a good friend for many, many years told me:

 

We are disappointed that you have chosen to forsake Godly teachings to follow your own lusts and desires.

 

I was still going to church at the time but it was a "worldly" church where people dressed like anyone on the street. They drove cars and women wore pants and cut their hair. They also used musical instruments in their church and allowed divorce.

 

I could have chosen any of a number of more liberal churches rather than one "totally" out in the "world." But I did NOT want to change my dress and all those churches had dress codes. The last thing I wanted to tamper with was my outward appearance. I had enough to deal with the inner turmoil. I did not want to change denominations every few years. If it had to be done I wanted to do it once and for all and get it over with.

 

They preach that peace of God comes with surrender. That part is true. I surrendered on a level not many people do. And I got peace like many people never do. But it was NOT in surrendering to God. It was when I turned my back on God and all I had been taught to hold sacred. Like truth says: it was all without Jesus.

 

I don't understand why some of us get this peace when we let go of God and Jesus, while others get it when they turn to God and Jesus. Another example is: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.

 

Why did that happen only when I turned my back on God? I guess this is rather off-topic for this thread. Just saying I know what you are talking about, Truth.

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Hey StewardP,

Yep those selfish and carnal desires, so far I haven't had any of my christian friends come out and say that, but I think that they are still in denial over my deconversion... and I still haven't told my family. I did have the chance to last night on the phone I could have but I am chicken.

 

And to everyone else as well that has offered words of support and welcome,

hhank you for your encouragement, it really does mean a lot to know that others think the same way and their is nothing wrong with that.

 

RubySera,

I am glad that you can relate. The church that I was raised in, was pretty worldy when it came to outward apperances. It is a large church with mostly middle class and weatlhly people...of corse poor people too. Most people do get dressed up a bit, for sunday morning service, but in the evenings it is pretty casual.

 

There were some people that did not approve of the wordly things however and were a bit more fundamentalist. I recall one girl my age when we were teenagers, wasn't allowed to wear nail polish??? My mom was pretty liberal and allowed me to start wearing some makeup at eleven and high heels at twelve to church. I was allowed to wear miniskirts as well, this was the 80's when they were in big time too.

 

I remember years latter in young adult bible study finding out that alot of my peers parents were a lot stricter in what they deemed was appropriate and not... I was allowed to watch Three's company which alot of my fellow pentecostals were not allowed to watch.. I was also let to watch Cheers too... I was NOT allowed to watch the Smurfs though.. my mom drew the line at "wizardry and witchcraft" and not to mention one smurfette to all those smurfs..

 

Dancing was a big NO... I remember begging my mom to let me go to a dance in 8th grade...and no dating till I was 16... It seemed like everyone had a different view on what was okay and what was sinful to do.. Gee whiz...

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