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A Few First Words About My Faith


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Hi, :grin:


I hope that this is the right place for my posting. If not, please let me know.


First let me tell you, that I am German. I do my best, but it is possible, that you might not understand what I am talking about (due to my english). So if you have any questions, just ask.


I am reading your homepage for a few days and I just need to write about my experiences, just to get rid of them. You might have heard those stories over and over again. But I just have to wirte about this and I hope it is the right place.


My conversion to the christian faith is quiet a long story with ups and downs. My conversion happened while reading C.S. Lewis „mere christianity“. I went on my knees and gave my life to god. I am a man who needs to understand something, before he does something. I need a why for my brain, before I act. So C.S. Lewis was the right choice for me.


When I was 19 I started to meet with other young people in a baptist church. Due to the fact, that I loved punk music and was very open minded toward woman, I got extremely bored by these folks. From the first day on, they let me know, that I was not like them. They treated me not very friendly. Maybe I was not boring enough? The adults in the church would not talk to me either, so as a first experience christians were boring and unfriendly. I expected them to be open, friendly, forgiving and accepting. Maybe just the wrong church?


With 20 I was already fed up with the Baptistchurch and I was looking for something more “realâ€. I read the bible every day, listened to Keith Green and thought „there has to be more“. I found this “more†in a small church, with about twenty people. They were loving, caring and understanding. And they were more radical and that was what I liked about them. The next years we had a good time. We became the first German Vineyard Church, grew and in this process we needed leaders and when I am looking back, we have chosen three unbelievable big assholes as our leaders. In our church leaders spoke the "word of god", so you could not argue with them. The church broke down, twice and every time the assholes prevailed (one said, that he had the "gift of anger"). My wife and I became very disappointed about this stuff. We thought christianity would look different, more caring, more kingdom of god and less „flesh“. (This process took years).

We left Germany and went to England to join the Jesus Army (a christian community). We really left everything behind. But this group also broke down, and disappointed we went back to Germany. At that time, I knew I could never go back into a regular church and pretend playing christian. I would either be a radical christian or none.


My wife and I went with our kids to a bible school and told them that we want to become missionaries. We were young, willing, and still exited about the gospel. They rejected us, because we did not belong to a regular church to „back us up“. And that after years and years that we invested in church planting, praying and so on. For years we had given everything for god and now this.


We went back frustrated. We really wanted to please god, but there was no interest on his side. Btw. all the years in small churches, I had the impression, that god is not intrested in me.


So we settled down in a small village, raised our kids and tried to forget god. That did not really work. My wife has strong baptist roots and I still hoped and prayed, that there was a god. If there ever has been a god he still ignored me, over years. Praying, screaming plenty of tears. All the xiang friends started to ignore us. Maybe they thought our doubts could be a dangerous disease (and it is). All the years I thought that gods silence is my fault. I never thought about the possibility that the xian god never existed.


Then came the day, when I went out for a walk and started to argue with god. I screamed at him, insulted him and got a massive nervous breakdown, followed by panic attacks. Everything we built our life upon broke down. For two weeks I was sitting on the bed, staring at the wall, did not recognize my children and thought about killing myself. God gave a shit about me in this terrible time. For a few hours my xian friends discovered, that they had ignored me the last years (because in a church you are “always busyâ€) and they wanted to meet again, but as I said that last only a few hours. If I would join their church (they are planting a church around the corner), we would be "really good friends" and would spent time together, but as a non-xian? No chance. They only spent time with peolple, who are xians or people they want to convert.


I still have not finished with this faith stuff, although I will never again go back to christianity as I experienced it. I still hope that there is a god, but the god of the xians (loving, caring, interested, careful, always on my side, the loving father) is not existent.


I have seen quiet a lot of the christian way of living. I was a worship leader, housegroup leader, I went to plenty of seminars. “Prophets†and "famous" people prayed about me. I went to inner healing sessions, conferences, jumped and screamed like animals (Toronto „blessing“).

I know that there are xians who will tell me, that I was not a real xian. But hey, I got baptized as a child, as an adult, I got baptized in the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and done everything that could be necessary to become a real xian, whatever that is.


I have met some wonderful xians. They really helped me, when I was in financial trouble. But I guess, they would have been wonderful without being xians.


So far a few first words. I hope they make sense.




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Perfect sense. I'm so, so, sorry that your path has been so traumatic... It's a hard thing to find the thing you'd built your life upon wasn't rock but pretty unstable sand.


"I have met some wonderful xians. They really helped me, when I was in financial trouble. But I guess, they would have been wonderful without being xians."


That last part is profound. I've had more 'Christian' charity from (liberal)Muslims and Hindus than I ever did from Christians, in care, money, and shelter, with nary a word about 'recompense' or converting to their version of an imaginary best friend... (they got a bit huffy when I did offer to pay them back... although I did get to take them for a meal... breaking bread with a non-beleiver was fine with them, which is more than I could ever say for the 'faithful'



So, welcome aboard!

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Yes, welcome! Great to have you here.


Your story was heartbreaking and something I can't comprehend or understand. You've given much and received little in return and your feelings of frustration and hopelessness are warranted. There is healing. You can find a way past all that occured and, in time, move forward with a happy heart.


Warmest wishes to you as you begin this new journey.

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It is weird, but even the word "healing" sounds disgusting to me. I guess because the xians I knew and know, proclaim healing for the soul and the body "God can heal your broken heart." (morons).


And the strangest thing about it is, that I ask myself how I will make a living without god. But this god never helped me, never supported me, he frightend the shit out of me. So how will I make a living without a cruel and abusive god? Am I an idiot? I am not afraid of hell or something. It is more the fear of being not able to handle the burdens of life without god. Although he never done the tiniest bit for me. I am afraid to commit (although the reality of the last twenty years proofed), that there is no heavenly father that cares. Man, that really hurts. It is like loosing someone important. The last time I went to church is five years ago, so how long can this process take?


I am afraid of change, but I will get over it.


And I am very, very angry about all the abusive sermons, the faked prophecies, the faked friendships and so on. The abusers are still leaders (in new churches) and the part I love most about: They are counselling other xians and are giving "inner healing seminaries".



As I said it is weird and it is interesting how emotional it can be to write the truth to some real people, who might even understand. As long as I just thought about it I was fine, now when I write about it the pain about the lost years comes back, all the invested hope.


Well, life goes on and billions of people are able to live without the xian god.

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First, I need to say it's not about living without god... the god you believed in didn't do for you as you had always believed he would. I read that very clearly in your post. So, what difference will it be now without your god? It's the same. But, the difference I see is that you will view things in your world a lot more clearly without the fog of a pretend god watching over you. What you have accomplished in your life, you did by yourself. You set your sights on what is dear to you and you will succeed. It doesn't take divine intervention.. it's all about you.

I'm sorry for the wrongs you have suffered by christians. We're a good bunch of people here and would love to see you post your feelings and questions because it is a good way to get things off your chest. And maybe we can be of some help. Consider us your friends.

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It is weird, but even the word "healing" sounds disgusting to me.


I understand that remark. I truly do. It's funny how even the jargon of Chritianity is painful. And with the specific word you keyed on, "healing", you're more than aware of the fact that in the church, the healing they promise is false. I want to encourage you to believe (there's another one of those words!) that you can find your way out of the bitterness you currently feel and experience honest to goodness healing - healing that you can see and feel! Once you are able to begin focusing on what's real in your life and on what you can change and influence, you'll find a measure of happiness. Right now, you're wounded deeply. That's going to take time to get over! You know of problems that still exist with the leaders, but those leaders are no longer over you. It may really upset you that there are people being treated like you were because of those leaders, but like you, they are free to choose their way. You realized that they were wrong and that the way they were doing things is wrong and YOU LEFT IT BEHIND. That was the first step in beginning a new life. There may be rough spots as you continue your journey, but you will get over them easier and easier as you keep moving forward.


bellsybop is correct. It's all you. Don't let that frighten you! It's not you all alone, but rather you who's in control and in charge. Hang in there!

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I know what it's like feeling trapped and hopeless because there are still people trapped in the system that nearly killed me. I see people being maimed for life, even being killed on various levels--perhaps even physically. Who knows how many suicides and other deaths are the direct or indirect result of severely abusive religion? And some people simply cannot leave for various reasons.


It is to nobody's benefit if I dwell on those horrors. I am obligated to block it out of my mind till I am able to integrate it, which may be never.


I need to take care of myself first and foremost. I need energy to do this. Thus, I dare not squander it by dwelling on hopeless situations. Some people will not make the extreme sacrifice of leaving all behind for the sake of peace. Maybe it is easier for them to die a physical death than to die the psychological or emotional death required to cut the social bonds with church and god.


I've had people scream at me on the phone when I suggested that staying with the church was the easy route and that leaving was the difficult way. They screamed because their conscious mind (and the church) told them I was preaching a false doctrine. I think their subconscious mind told them I was right. If they had peace and were solid in their faith, surely they would not have had to scream to make their point.


I'm not sure why I'm saying all this. I'm not sure how it fits the topic. You seem to know yourself very well. You seem to be in touch with your feelings and they are very painful right now. There seems to be much grief and sorrow for what can never be. Michael, I know what you're talking about. I, too, left a culture and way of life behind. One day within the past month I had a very strong feeling that God--a Being much larger than life--was standing at my right side. It was only for a moment and I just wanted to go back to believing and trusting that God really is real. He was more real to me in that moment than perhaps in all the years I tried so hard to find him, to believe that he really is real.


There is scientific evidence for such experiences. I'll list a few articles so you can check them out if you like, and possibly research the matter further by following link if you so choose.

  • God and the Brain: Is belief a psychological condition? A collection of articles on the subject written about 1997 about God Spot on the Brain.

The human brain does not contain a single "God spot" responsible for mystical and
experiences, a new study finds.

I can't find my notes, or the website, on a scientist who is doing work on this at the moment. He is in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He applies magnets to a person's frontal lobes and this causes the person to experience "God." It's about the same as the first link above but I like it because it's newer information.


The reason I find this information helpful is that I know what is happening. I think some of us activate this part of the brain naturally, or without scientific technology. Some people say they can really get "into the Spirit" of speaking in tongues, and others say they can't do it. I suspect this has a lot to do with how easily a person can self-stimulate this part of the brain. I think it depends on a person's genetic make-up.


None of this will make the emotional pain go away. It may help a person realize they're not crazy to have the pain and that can mean a lot.

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I found my notes and the website I was looking for. The scientist is of Clinical Neuropsychologist Michael Persinger of Laurentian University. His website is here. Here's a quote from his site:


[A]fter writing the Neuropsychological Base of God Beliefs (1987), I began the systematic application of complex electromagnetic fields to discern the patterns that will induce experiences (sensed presence) that are attributed to the myriad of ego-alien intrusions which range from gods to aliens. The research is not to demean anyone's religious/mystical experience but instead to determine which portions of the brain or its electromagnetic patterns generate the experience.


More articles about this kind of thing can be found here.

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Thank you for your replies.


I am already looking for a new way of thinking. In three weeks I am starting a training as a hypnotherapist. I have always been fascinated how the mind works, so I will definitly read the articles. I am writing a book and look after my three kids, Ben, Nele and Leon. One thing that I am good at is writing, so I hope to earn a little bit of money with this book and hypnosis ("stop smoking" and "loose weight" sessions). I became sceptical about people offering the "truth". There are thousand of selfhelp seminars out there and they all have the "perfect" sytem to become rich, happy and beautiful. It is new to me, that I will have to trust me first. But I have goals for this year (the book, the hypnosis traning and enjoying my family).


The xian hook has been the "loving father", because my father always (you might not believe it...) ignored me, my entire life. So they said that this heavenly father is different. Christianity is a sect, no matter what they say. I can not even imagine how terrible it must be to leave the mormons, jehovas wittnesses or the amish. Right now I am glad that I did not have a christian family, that raised me. My wife has a strong baptist background, she experienced the same as I did, but she is not willing to talk about it yet. Her mother ist a schizophrenic. This condition combined with the religious ideas of her mother has been a nightmare for her. She knows I am in this forum, but she is not willing (and I can understand that), to talk about it.


What have you done with all your anger? I do not like this blasphemic stuff, although I can understand why people talk and behave this way.

What happened to your xian friends?

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What have you done with all your anger? I do not like this blasphemic stuff, although I can understand why people talk and behave this way.

What happened to your xian friends?


I have not felt a need or inclination to go the Blasphemy Challenge, either. I think we each need to find what works for us. As for the anger, TIME helps me. There's too much inside of me for it all to come out at once. But the tension has eased a lot since I'm here. I've done my share of chewing up Christians who come into the Lion's Den. I'm not sure if this is helpful or if it just fuels the anger. But talking about things that bug me has helped--I guess. Sometimes I'll be writing about something and I find myself crying as I write so I think, "That must have been more important than I realized." And perhaps another tiny bit of tension or anger seeped out. I don't know. It's an on-going process for me.


My Christian friends? They are no longer friends--not the ones for whom religion is the "tie that binds." I have some Christian friends who are people first, and christians second. So their talk and values do not center exclusively on religion. We share so many other interests that religion doesn't even have to come up.


Deconversion is definitely not the "easy road" if you're among the evangelical crowd.


Have you met Thurisaz and his wife Islington? They are on these forums and also from Germany, in case you want someone who knows your language. Your English is really good, though. Just thought I'd mention it so you know you're not the only German on here.

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