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Dear ex-christian forum people

 

I am in my last year of university and I first accepted Christ when I was in Gr 10 (High school). I guess for the most part, as is the case with christianity, its about God's love and being tat nice christian humane person trying to live a life that is worthy of God. Emotionally thats all nice, but about a year ago I thought more critically about why and what it is that I believe in. Purely subjective, I came to the realization that I coudnt believe in a place called hell. A place where people spend eternity suffering is not something I can comprehend and grasp for people who dont believe in Christ...people who do bad things in this lifetime like commit murder and etc, those individuals who believe in a different religion, or those that just dont believe in religion and that are just trying to live life for what its worth. I coudnt accept it in my heart and my mind that these people were going to a place after death where there is eternity of suffering. I know this is just purely subjective. I dont care if people can prove me wrong or whatever. Thats just my own personal opinion and I coudnt live with myself if I did believe in it.

What does not believing in hell have to do with believing in Christianity? Well if there was no hell, then Christi died for no purpose on the cross. And theres my crossroad in life right now. This past year has been the most lonliest times in my life because many of my friends in uni have been built around christian people by going to campus groups and etc. Now that I dont believe, its kind of awkward talking to them and going to the weekly meetings.

So ya, thats my short to the point story. I dont know whether its supposed to be sad or depressing or whatever but I thought I would come on here and share it with this community to see if I can bounce any ideas or something since I have not moved in my understanding of philosophy and religion since last year. I still believe there is a God (generalized) but to not know any direction and etc is hard.

 

Thats my story

Thank you

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Hi JT85,

Welcome to the forum! I still believe in a generalized sort of God, mostly based on the past lives stories of children. That isn't much to go on, but I think it indicates something more than just physical life and then nothing. But if I'm wrong, at least there is no hell. It was my investigation of hell in the Old Testament and in Jewish belief that was one of the primary reasons for de-converting. Hell just isn't there, it was added on, probably from the Greek religion common in the day of Jesus. Some of us are definitely atheist, some are Buddhist, some agnostic, some pagan, some...

 

So feel free to browse around and ask questions or even rant (in the appropriate forum).

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Welcome to the forums, JT85.

 

It's hard for a young person in a university setting, with Christians everywhere he turns, to come to the conclusion you've reached about hell and salvation. So I'm really glad you're here where you can share thoughts with like minds.

 

I coudnt accept it in my heart and my mind that these people were going to a place after death where there is eternity of suffering. I know this is just purely subjective. I dont care if people can prove me wrong or whatever. Thats just my own personal opinion and I coudnt live with myself if I did believe in it.

 

When you say this, you show yourself to have more capacity for love, understanding and forgiveness (the alleged hallmarks of Christianity!) than do those Christians who are just okay with accepting that about 90% of humanity will burn for eternity.

 

I wonder if you've ever looked around at your friends in the campus Christian groups and asked yourself if, due to your changed convictions, it's now, suddenly, just okay with them that you burn for eternity.

 

The concept of hell is a pernicious and evil doctrine that separates us from the very neighbors Christianity orders us to love.

 

Good for you for knowing better!

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Dear ex-christian forum people

 

.... This past year has been the most lonliest times in my life because many of my friends in uni have been built around christian people by going to campus groups and etc. Now that I dont believe, its kind of awkward talking to them and going to the weekly meetings.

So ya, thats my short to the point story. I dont know whether its supposed to be sad or depressing or whatever but I thought I would come on here and share it with this community to see if I can bounce any ideas or something since I have not moved in my understanding of philosophy and religion since last year. I still believe there is a God (generalized) but to not know any direction and etc is hard.

 

Thats my story

Thank you

 

Welcome JT85 - I think I can speak for most of the other apostates on this board that leaving The True Believers' Club is extremely alienating - none of us ever did it just to have a good time. Losing most of your close friends and/or family is a loss that most get through, but not without some pain and, yes, scars.

 

Sounds like to me that, rather than being subjective, you've come to a rational conclusion that the idea of hell is simply preposterous, and anyone who takes it seriously has a very warped view of all of our value as living beings. Yeah, Jesus loves all of us, but if we don't do precisely what his followers have decided we need to do, well it's Fire and Brimstone, with a Hot Poker chaser.

 

I hope that you're able to connect with some more broad-minded people in your life, and take heart that life is not only worthwhile, but really much better than the preachers ever described.

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Thank you all for your wonderful comments. It has been a very lonely year. I try to join other non-religious type groups on campus but theres really nothing interesting. My university is in a small city so its not like New York or some big city where I can go out and meet people. So ya, im stuck here for another eight months so its kinda depressing.

Once I came to the realization of hell in my mind, I did question. So much of the present christian population is based around God's love and trying to lead to "good" life of faith and especially for university groups, I dont think the reality of hell and who goes there really matters to them. I think its just being surrounded by like minded people and doing activities with one another which really makes them keep going out to weekly events...well thats what I think anyway. The group that I had been going to since 1st year were just like that...including me as I went to 2nd yr and 3rd yr. "Oh its so great to hang out with like minded people and do christian things where I can grow in my faith" but the reality and talk about hell never came until I thought about it for myself. Its like I have been vortexed into a world where I am alone and Im just waiting to get out so I can start a new life where I can start to meet new people again....but for now, in this small university setting, where its not like I can go "hi!" to a random person sitting beside me, its a lonely place.

I really coudnt bare with such a thought that people could suffer for ETERNITY. I just coudnt live with myself being a christian if I believed in that because I care about everyone. Even though I dont know 99% of the population of the world, I still care deeply for those people who dont believe....I dont want to see them suffer for ETERNITY....so yes....its a very confusing time for me in terms of beliefs in religion.

 

Once again, thank you for your comments. I would love to hear more.

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JT85 welcome to the forums. I, and many others here, do not think it is possible to be a truly compassionate and loving person and believe in an eternal hell. It is immoral and reprehensible. Furthermore, many varieties of Christianity teach that it is purely what you believe in and not what you do that gets you there. This is also immoral, as you realize.

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Its like I have been vortexed into a world where I am alone and Im just waiting to get out so I can start a new life where I can start to meet new people again....

 

It's fortunate that you realize both the limitations of your current situation and the limitless possibilities you'll have in just a few months. Very practical and very sane, JT.

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?

It sounds to me that you just couldn't swallow and take to heart the Sadist doctrine of eternal hellfire.

 

Good on you JT, good on you.

 

If something is irrational and cruel then by all means reject it, and especially be suspicious if believing it would mean you would have to be someone other than yourself.

 

My two cents.

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Im glad that I joined this forum. Thank you for your encouragement.

I havent really talked to anyone about my loss in faith so I dont really know what other people go through when they are in my situations. I dont know why all of you lost your faith. Im sure each individual has their own logical explanation but what do you people do when you come to that realization that you arnt a believer anymore? Its like ive been stuck in a room for the past year and without anyone to really express my thoughts to or hear any suggestions and past experiences from other people.

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what do you people do when you come to that realization that you arnt a believer anymore? Its like ive been stuck in a room for the past year and without anyone to really express my thoughts to or hear any suggestions and past experiences from other people.

 

Well, everyone's situation is different. My family are all Christians but they live hundreds of miles away. I don't have to live in close proximity to family members and I don't have spouse or children. My parents don't know, but suspect I am ex-c. I express myself on this site when it comes to religion, or lack thereof. I feel that there are people here that do understand, but my family (being Baptist Fundamentalists) can't and won't.

 

So I don't tell anyone. I once sent an e-mail to my brother saying I was interested in eastern religions. That is all.

 

If circumstances change and I would have to move closer to the family, I would probably have to say something, since I don't believe in living a lie either.

 

Like some others here, I have switched religions. After many years being deconverted from Christianity, I am now a follower of the Dharma (Buddhist). No one outside this site knows this except one friend of 15 years, who I feel I can trust with such matters.

 

We can be your sounding board here and we do understand, but if you want to tell others, that option is also open to you. I personally would advise caution. Some will understand, some will not. Just be prepared.

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Well I havent really told a few people, only one being a christian, and the others just really good friends. I would rather not tell any of the christian "friends" or go to the group on campus that I used to go to because last year, ironically I was a co-bible study leader.....ya a bible study leader all the way to a person that doesnt believe. Im not preaching to people not to believe in christianity so for reputations sake of the group that I went to, Id rather not attend anymore and thus, Id rather not tell my friends there that I dont believe anymore.

 

How long have you people stopped believing in christianity? and how did u go about living life the first few months, yrs etc

 

Thanks for all the replies

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How long have you people stopped believing in christianity? and how did u go about living life the first few months, yrs etc

 

Thanks for all the replies

I feel a little awkward welcoming you when I've only been a forum participant here for less than a week myself. But I'm glad you found this place. The forum members here have certainly been an encouragement to me in the face of familial opposition to my deconversion from Christianity.

 

As for post-deconversion life: I don't know the exact day, but I officially stopped considering myself a Christian about 4 or so months ago. I first called myself agnostic, but I have now come to identify myself as an atheist (I think perhaps I was just a little scared of the title previously - I hate titles). :) You just have to live your own life, and for me that includes being honest with those around you. I'm not saying you should be obnoxious to Christians or rub anything in their face, but I personally couldn't have been happy hiding the truth about myself - even though I knew revealing the truth meant rejection and pain. It may mean your having to find new friends, or perhaps you'll be surprised and your existing friends won't mind the way your beliefs have changed.

 

For me the strangest part of life has been undoing all of my Christian habits and thought patterns. I still often think of praying for people, or thanking god for some, "blessing," and I'm trying to find the best ways to take back the indoctrination I'd already given my kids about god's omnipotence, creation, etc.

 

Maybe others have more specific suggestions, but I guess, for me, the basic suggestion for how to live post-deconversion is just to LIVE. Cheesy as it may sound, be yourself - don't be ashamed of the truth.

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