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A Biblical crisis of faith


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Sent in by Jim RL


I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from kindergarten through high school. I read the Bible often and prayed every night. God was very real to me through college. During college I went to church every Sunday with my grandmother.


I quit reading the Bible when I got to the end of 2 Samuel and it tells the story of God killing 70,000 Israelites via an epidemic because David took a census that God told him to take. I just couldn't accept that story. I had a pretty liberal view of the Bible, but this story couldn't be true. My God wouldn't do that. The God I prayed to, talked to wouldn't do that...couldn't do that. The crisis of faith was never quite settled, but the feelings that story gave me eventually died down.


After college I still went to church in Columbia, South Carolina. I wasn't very comfortable with the more conservative church there. A priest in a homily once referred to NPR as "National Communist Radio". I didn't like the fundamentalization of the Catholic Church, so I went less and less.


I then began looking around at other faiths. I read Taoist and Buddhist literature. I attended a UU service a couple of times and even visited a Zen Buddhist temple. I began meditating and did some Tai Chi. I liked a lot of it, but it wasn't really right for me. But, I need some faith...didn't I?


Last spring I began reading a lot of the atheist bloggers over at ScienceBlogs. Pharyngula and Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge stick out the most in mind. At first the outspoken atheism rankled me quite a bit. I really liked their writing in general, though. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that atheism was a real option. I started thinking "Why not?", and it short order I had accepted that I was an atheist.


It was months later that my wife and I really talked about the issue. Apparently she had gone through a similar crisis of faith, and had given up on God soon after I had. It was a great discussion. I still haven't talked to my family about it. I don't know how they will react, but I am not looking forward to it. The conversation has to happen soon, though.



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Guest eejay

It's great your wife deconverted also. Any conversations with other family members won't be so bad, because the person you live with is the most important. I was a little surprised that you read the bible a lot. Most catholics really don't. Glad you decided to join the forums. I think you'll gain a lot from it.

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Hi Jim,


I'm interested in hearing about the process you went through to resolve the loss of faith. Do you still find yourself feeling guilty at having left the religion? If you do, what are some of the techniques you use to get past it?



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Congratulations on escaping from the mythology and superstition. Your story is similar to mine in some ways. I too was once very devout in my beliefs, but I was an evangelical Christian (attending Methodist and Southern Baptist churches).


One of my Sunday school classes involved the indutive study of the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy via the Kay Arthur method. It led me go way beyond those books and read the Bible very intensely and passionately. There were days when I would spend hours reading the Bible (and other days when I was lax and would feel very guilty). It was that intense study that led to some doubts. How could this loving god do all these horrible things, or allow such horrible things to be done in his name if his is truly loving and all-powerful? And how could he condemn anyone to hell for eternity if it is such a terrible place?


I tried to justify or rationalize things for a while. And finally, the thought of god actually sending people to hell, and of Christians being given a "get outta hell free" card was just too much.


I could no longer worship such a god.


It's amazing that so many people still cling to Christianity.


But as the members of this message board — and I myself — attest, there is hope for those blinded by religion to come to their senses.


My wife, on the other hand, still clings to Christianity. She's rather liberal in her views, which makes things easier. Maybe one day she, too, will leave Christianity behind, and maybe not.


Either way, it's nice to have a place like this website where people experiencing similar things can offer support, fellowship and an exchange of ideas!

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Guest Net Eng

I am glad to see your wife de-converted at same time you did. My wife and did much the same thing.


Welcome to ExC!!


P.S. Today's animal sacrifice is at 9pm EST. Tonight we're featuring deer (damn things are eating my flowers)!! :lmao:

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That is an amazing story, and one which moves me because you must have gone through a lot. Being raised catholic means you would have been influenced by the apparent existence of a deity the whole time. A problem I have is that I was too raised in a christian family, and for a long time my "default" thinking was that there was a deity out there, watching me, sending me to hell etc... It is a strength that is needed to overcome such thoughts, and no doubt a lot of christians whilst being "soldiers of god" will never think this hard about their faiths.

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