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Other Things That Keep People In Christianity


Tabula Rasa
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For most of us, it was the fear of hell , or otherwise being punished by Yahweh, that kept us in the faith so long and made it hard to break free.

 

Besides those two reasons, here are some other reasons I think it's so hard for people to break free.

 

1.Hoping for the punishment of the wicked. People get tired of how it seems evil men seem to get away with so much in the world, so despite the horrible concept of eternal damnation, people want to believe the wicked will one day get theirs.(Also the hope that the wicked might be punished in this life.)

 

2.Fear of the Unknown. With christianity, and with so many other religions, people are given a specific worldview that explains things for them. They don't have to figure things out for themselves. I believe there may be some christians out there who do see how the logic of their faith just doesn't hold up, especially in the face of science and even just common sense but they just don't want to admit the truth to themselves.

(Which leads me to a very big reason)

 

3. Fear of death. It's been said that religion is a hedge against it. We all want to believe that once we die it's not the end, that we live on. It's a fear I still personally struggle with, the idea of ceasing to be when I breathe my last.

 

What do you folks think are other reasons people are afraid to deconvert besides the ones I've listed?

 

Looking forward to your replies,

 

Tab

Tab

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For me, it was fear of nihilism. I was terrified of the idea of life without some sort of God to give me meaning.

 

The second I had a moral foundation that was secular, I was done.

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I think fear in general is the main cause, which says a lot about the religion.

 

Also don't forget, fear of no longer fitting in with your friends and family when they find out you don't believe the same things they do. I think that's a big one too.

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Sex. Some people are blackmailed into submission of the church. Confession lightens the soul but it gives one's enemies control if they get their hands on that info. Some who confess to affairs with other church members may find themselves being threatened exposure unless they submit to the good reverend or one of his henchmen.

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I see folks here centering on the negative aspects and, yes, these can be factors. However, most of the people I met were not staying out of fear ... even of hell. That does not mean that most aren't. This was just my experience. Most of the people I knew were staying because of what appeared to be a loving community. Church was an instant network of people from all walks of life ... people who often were there when you needed them, who seemed to care, who could be called on a moments notice, who would visit you in the hospital, bring food when the fridge was empty, etc. This sort of community is not easily found outside of the church. For people embroiled in such an environment, losing all those intimate connections can be scary. To leave can mean feeling all alone in the world.

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The reason I stayed as long as I did was because of all the freaky demons and shit that I thought I was seeing. It made me believe two things: 1) the good/evil Christian cosmology is frightfully correct; 2) you're totally fucked, doomed, outta luck, if'n you ain't got Jesus protecting you from 'Them.' Bat-shit Pentecostalism/Charismaticness will either keep you chained tightly to it or send you screaming into the night. Extreme religion begets extreme reaction.

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I generally wasn't afraid of hell or of something metaphysical. I was afraid of being rejected by my family and friends, put under lockdown, subjected to constant preaching, and who knows what else. And when I did deconvert, I was rejected by most of my friends. So much for a loving community. But inconsistent affection can create stronger bonds than consistent affection. Better than the devil you know who occasionally pretends to care for you than the possibility of being outcast for the rest of your life, which seems like a real possibility to the very sheltered.

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Social rejection is a powerful incentive to remain. Also, as has been said before, fear is a major factor.

 

If you are raised in it, a part of it always remains with you. In this case you just have to realize that, find a way to deal with it and then finally to transform it into something positive. Fighting against it is a quite natural and necessary stage, but doing so is to still remain in it. That is my view.

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Social rejection is a powerful incentive to remain. Also, as has been said before, fear is a major factor.

 

If you are raised in it, a part of it always remains with you. In this case you just have to realize that, find a way to deal with it and then finally to transform it into something positive. Fighting against it is a quite natural and necessary stage, but doing so is to still remain in it. That is my view.

 

I've never had that problem. Being a goth, I was already on the outskirts of society who could never be accepted in the Christian community.

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I'll have to echo Looking4Answers. Church was never traumatic for me. I left based on study of the inconsistencies, lies, and the gross evil of God that his followers are compelled to call good. Well, that last bit came later really, but it certainly helps keep me out. For the most part I was happy in church, had lots of nice folks that I've known for years, met my best friends there, and the church even fed me when I was too poor to buy any food myself. I guess since I didn't see church as something I had to do to get to God, they never held any real power of guilt over me, so I didn't feel bad when we left (due to the increasing time and energy they were requiring of us). My wife felt tremendous guilt, but then again she was raised to feel such things and I was not. Now she feels free to explore other spiritual avenues and that was my goal.

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I've sometimes compared it to being an addicted gambler... The blatant untruth of it led me away, but I didn't exactly skip away. I felt cheated and robbed, and like I'd kept investing hoping to hit a jackpot and get back what I'd already put in...and then some. Thinking about how much I'd already put into it and how I'd have to rework the way I looked at the world and my own purpose in it really freaked me out and made it harder to leave. And there was of course the gobs of fear of rejection from my family, hell, etc...

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I've sometimes compared it to being an addicted gambler... The blatant untruth of it led me away, but I didn't exactly skip away. I felt cheated and robbed, and like I'd kept investing hoping to hit a jackpot and get back what I'd already put in...and then some. Thinking about how much I'd already put into it and how I'd have to rework the way I looked at the world and my own purpose in it really freaked me out and made it harder to leave. And there was of course the gobs of fear of rejection from my family, hell, etc...

 

Holy shit, that's brilliant. Totally true. And I live in Vegas so the "gambling addict" thing really hits home. I'm not one, but you can't throw a stick around here without hitting one.

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Another prevalent reason would be to have a simple and complete explanation for everything. No fear of being wrong - as long as you cling to The Book™ you are always right. No open questions - The Book™ has an explanation for literally everything.

 

Of course you mustn't care about whether the explanation is useful or even correct... but you can't have everything.

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Another prevalent reason would be to have a simple and complete explanation for everything. No fear of being wrong - as long as you cling to The Book you are always right. No open questions - The Book has an explanation for literally everything.

 

Of course you mustn't care about whether the explanation is useful or even correct... but you can't have everything.

 

Haha yes, they must be so smug never having to say, "I don't know."

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I think greed is another reason why some people might still stay in xtianity. Like as xtians, you're taught that if you believe in God, he'll bless you with wealth, power, and immorality. Some xtians like the televangelists preach that God will give you these things in this life whereas most preach you'll get it sometime in the future, but they all preach this greedy message that you can get power and wealth if you follow their rule book. If you're gullible enough, it might sound like a reasonable plan, and so xtians who think this will be a surefire way to get rich will buy into it as long as there's the possibility of getting their rewards. Politicians will also use religion to manipulate the masses to further their agendas to get what they want. Even politicians with moderate beliefs are sometimes guilty of doing this. I think it was Napoleon who said religion is excellent stuff for keeping the common people quiet or something. Xtianity is basically like the biggest ponzi scheme ever made yet people still keep falling for it.

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I liked being a part of a community. It's kinda like a fraternity in college. You have a ready-made friend base.

 

But I decided that I like sleeping in on Sunday much better :lol:

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I think one of the things that compelled me to convert when I did was that I had a deep, deep sense of being thoroughly depraved and evil, and I was desperate for some kind of relief from that. So the possibility of forgiveness and redemption was a big factor in why I converted.

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Also don't forget, fear of no longer fitting in with your friends and family when they find out you don't believe the same things they do. I think that's a big one too.

I agree with Amethyst here. I think most everyone wants some group with which to belong.

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