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Goodbye Jesus

I Finally Said It.


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"I don't believe in Jesus." It was utterly terrifying to speak those words aloud. I was convinced I would be immediately struck dead for saying that the first 29 years of my life, but you know what? Nothing horrible happened. In fact, I felt as if this monumental burden had come off my mind. "Wow," I thought, "if I don't believe in jesus then I don't have to believe in sin and hell either!" :o Slowly, what seemed like years of x-tian frameworks in my brain became dismantled. I have been cleaning out the old thought patterns and replacing with them with a clean slate.

Coming to ex-c has been a huge benefit to my deconversion experience buy offering support and enjoyable conversations with like minded ppl.

So with this in mind I would like to submit the later part (it is a long story)of my deconversion experience. I actually just typed this up in an e-mail to a prof. at my university who asked me about my post-cult experience and I think it is the most detailed account I have ever typed so I'll share it with you guys. Thank you to all the people on this board for your candid advice and for helping me to finally break free of the chains of x-tianity. I hope that reading this helps somebody else they way that others have helped me. :)


***Please forgive the format, there were paragraph indents in the preview but they didn't show up in the post***




The church I was involved with wasn't the same as Watchtower, Brooklyn (they are Jehovah's Witness, which is a different religion altogether) but there is a branch of my former church here "The Church in NY" (which thankfully I have never been to or been involved with).

This is a very long e-mail and I hope it's not TMI but I have been studying this for months and now I know more about how the church worked than I ever did while I was a member. So this is my story...


The cult period in my life was pretty strange, I didn't realize that they were following Watchman Nee texts till after I left the cult. Since my parents are Charismatics, I assumed that because this church used the bible that they were theologically sound but I was definitely wrong! Basically WN was a chinese christian in the 1970's who did not believe that the x-tian churches should be split into denominations. He preached that there is "one church" which meant that instead of people meeting in a church building they should meet in each others homes and only call themselves "The Church in (insert city here)". You can find out some interesting stuff online about it here ().

Anyhow, I went through a big change in my life in 2003 while I was in college. I was a party girl and my grades were slumping so I decided to quit drinking and try to devote my life to helping people. I met these really nice kids at the coffeeshop where I used to hang out and they immediately accepted me and invited me to have pizza and watch movies with them. Since I was trying to clean myself up, and pizza and movies is about as wholesome as it gets, I accepted their offer.

From then on I became involved with the church on a daily basis. It seemed so open and different from my parents church that I really felt at home there. I started attending daily prayer meetings and trying to conform to the strict rules of the bible. Dress modestly, don't listen to secular music, pray constantly, don't rely on yourself; rely only on God (this one is really problematic to overcome, since I have no clue what this is supposed to mean in real life), don't drink, don't dance, don't make $, don't study philosophy (I got rid of 500.00 worth of German philosophy books) and DON'T QUESTION ANYTHING!

Anyhow, this is close to my parents charismatic evangelism so it seemed like you just had to accept all of this to be a "real" x-tian. So I got baptized with the church in the university water fountain (totally over the top, I know) and became really involved in the church. Evangelicals and "home churches" focus on "revelation" being available to all members of the church through prayer and fasting. Instead of a pastor teaching from the pulpit, church is conducted in the round and is lead by 4 or 5 main church leaders. I began fasting and I probably went around two weeks on nothing but raw veggies and water.

In retrospect, I think the fasting promoted by charismatics is very dangerous and lends the person fasting to mind control (I'm being dead serious). F.A.C.T.net is a great online resource.


1.) Link to msg. board thread on WN churches. http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/3454.html

2.) Link to page on religious mind control: http://www.factnet.org/coercivemindcontrol.html

3.) Link to pg. where WL/WN (Watchman Nee and Witness Lee) "Local Church" is listed as a cult (scroll down): http://www.factnet.org/CultGroups.html#W


In fact, the actions of my former church conform perfectly to ALL of the coercive tactics listed in the second link. It was pretty shocking to realize how deluded I was. Anyhow, the story is not over yet.

So, I basically gave my life over to the church and I quickly alienated myself from all my old friends. My family was ecstatic, though. I became adept at speaking "Christianese" which is my mom's native tongue, which includes answering all questions with a bible verse and using the words "blessed" instead of "lucky" (evil word), and speaking for God as in "God told me to tell you...blah, blah, blah".

So after two years of total immersion and "submission to the leaders" of the churches every whim not to mention tythe $$$$, I started to become disillusioned. The girls in the church all lived together in this huge Victorian house and they began pressuring me to move in with them. I had my own apt. and I had no desire to live in the house as it was very strict. Around this time, I also began to hear rumors that a person had been dis-fellowshiped for some sin and that we weren't allowed to speak to him anymore. I became aware that this could happen to me and I started to pull back from the meetings. This pissed of the leaders and I had a lot of pressure to keep going to meetings. In May 2003, I finally decided that I needed to break away for a bit and go on a road trip. None of the "sisters" would go with me so I went to the gas station, bought at map, and decided to drive to Boulder, Co. At the gas station, I called Alan (who was just a friend at the time) and he said that he wanted to go with me. I knew that taking my jewish ex-boyfriend to Colorado for a week was not going to sit well with the church so I just decided not to tell them .

Long story short... Alan and I fell beck in love had a wonderful time in Colorado. When I got back, however, things went really sour . When I showed up at the coffee shop and told one of the sisters that I had gone on a road trip with Alan and she totally blanched. I tried to go to a prayer meeting and one of the leaders told me "You are not welcome here anymore we will have to fellowship with you until you repent ." So , I being the educated woman that I am, said "What exactly am I supposed to be repenting for?" He responded, "blasphemy and fornication." Ok, I won't argue that didn't do those things according to church rules I was guilty without trial, but demanding that I repent for falling in love with a man who respected and loved me despite my evangelism was too much for me to accept.

So they disfellowshipped me which meant that every time I would call any of my 20 friends in the church they would yell "repent!" and hang up the phone. I was totally alone so I just packed up and moved back to Colorado by myself to sort things out. Alan and I married 2 years later and the rest is history.

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So they disfellowshipped me which meant that every time I would call any of my 20 friends in the church they would yell "repent!" and hang up the phone.


You know... if they put something like that on Saturday Night Live, people would laugh and think it was just too bizzare to be true.


Thanks for sharing your story.


My sister used to mention Watchman Nee occasionally. I'd never read his story but a cousin of ours (the two were close) have always taken an arms length approach to xtianity. I'm wondering if they cross-polinated ideas.


In another thread I mentioned going to a bible study in a home where the leader went from room to room casting out demons. (I bet that doesn't even cause you to raise an eyebrow - you've seen this crap up close and personal haven't you?)


The leader of that bible study had what I describe as an arms length relationship to churches too.


My fundy third of my family gravitate to this style of home bible study version of church rather than demoninational affiliation.


Thank you so much for making that linkage. If I'm ever in the mindset to ask my sister, I'll ask her about it someday and where she thinks the ideas like that come from.





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As far as your relationship with Alan goes, I can easily relate. Long story short, I know that the warm, loving feeling I felt for and from my girlfriend (now fiancee) was so much more intense than any bond I had ever formed with "God". Which to me is clue #1 to any rationally thinking person that such a feeling that could be felt for another human being and yet be chastised by a group of people that were your "friends" is reason enough to doubt that religion.


And, although there are several differences because it's a different religion, the Southern Baptist church I attended at the time had fellowship meetings on wednesdays, which I attended regularly - but as soon as they figured out that I listened to secular music and was interested in a girl that was what they called a "goth" (although she wasn't, she just liked rock music) they stopped asking me to come to church with them on sundays and wednesdays.


Funny how that works, huh? You find something that makes you feel good and opens your mind a bit and your religion shuns you.


I found your post easy and interesting to read. I look foward to reading more from you :)

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Wow, fascinating story, Gabby! Thanks for sharing it with us.


Sounds like things turned out for the best despite the guilt and shunning your "brothers and sisters in Christ" dumped on you. Many Christians so often portray themselves as loving and caring, that is, when they're trying to lure you in. But when you start to think for yourself or do anything outside their idea of conformity, they turn on you with a vengeance.


Sorry you had to go through that, but so many of us can identify with your experiences. Most of the people I interacted with from church suddenly had no interest in being around me once it became clear I wasn't one of the sheep anymore. But the feeling was mutual, so that was fine.


Congratulations on your life of freedom from the lies, superstitions and thought-control of Christianity.


All the best,


Alpha Centauri

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Curiouser and curiouser said Alice.


Man! I really hung out with some pretty decent and normal folks, who happened to be Christians. That's one of the things that made my de-conversion so difficult. If people had treated me like your Christian folks treated you I would have told them to fuck off long ago.


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm glad you are here. :)

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Hey Mongo,


I think the non-denominational issue is really interesting. I have seen a boom in this type of church (mine was def. on the fringe) whether it's a "bible church" or "home type church". I have also been researching "dominionism" online b/c my parents are really into the Focus on the Family, Left Behind, YWAM stuff. If you are interested, "dog emperor" on Daily Kos as done an incredible amount of research on these issues...you can find the posts here( http://dogemperor.dailykos.com/user/dogemperor/diary/3 )

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Good for you, Gabby, that you got free from that group! I don't know anything about them other than seeing a Watchman Nee book in an xian bookstore and hearing him occasionally talked about by my fundy siblings.


I've heard about "dominionism", which is exactly opposite, I think, from what I grew up with, rapture theology. I think it's rather dangerous and hope it doesn't catch on. I've seen on a web site or two that one of the movement's main leaders lives in my city. :ugh:

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Welcome Gabby. It sounds like they didn't like you thinking in their church, typical of christos. I was drawn to the fact all your 'friends' were such dweebs to you. Apparently they weren't really good friends at all.

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