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I Haven't Left Yet.


Guest faithhopelove
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Guest faithhopelove

Dear God,

 

I am sorry. I know we have been in this a long time together, but I have come to the conclusion that Christianity and religion in general doesn't do you justice. I don't believe that every word of the bible was inspired by you, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in you. I think that there is a lot of beauty in the bible, the koran, and other books that claim to be direct revelation from you, but I also think that some of their contents use your name as the authority for them to attack other tribes of people. When people use God to get ahead in politics, it is wrong. You created the world. You gave us everything in the world as a gift, but we have abused it and for that I am sorry. I don't think you want us to ask you to fix things, because we are the ones who made a mess of things. I think that we should thankyou for what you have given us, but we should take the responsibility of cleaning up the mess. I am not saying you won't help us, but we must be willing to do it. You do help us of course. You gave us our beating heart and made sleep so that we could rejeuvenate our bodies. Isn't that help enough? I think you have given us all the resources we need and left us with the choice of being constructive or destructive. I do not claim to know everything about you, but I think that I can connect with you, when I live with others in mind. I think if I love my neighbour as myself and choose to live to build others up, that that is how it is meant to be. When I don't abuse the plants, animals, and people of the planet, I am pleasing you. I think you are somehow in everything. I see your fingerprints in the beauty of nature and in the hearts of living beings. You chose to give humans the gift of reason. A higher level of reason than any animal has. This gift is a beautiful thing. It wasn't meant to be replaced by superstitions and theological beliefs. By asserting I know your true will, I am taking away from your divine power. I am putting myself in the place of God. You deserve to be greater than my expectations of you. You are bigger than my picture of you. How can a man or woman know your name? You are simply who you are. Your substance is other than us. I think you have given us Spirits. Being alive is more than just breathing. I don't understand all of this, but I think you are the great Spirit. And our spirits need to seek to be one with yours. I don't have a religious text or a set of particular beliefs, but I know in my Spirit that you are. And that one belief is enough for me. You are enough for me. I do not want to add or take away from your greatness.

 

May I learn to better use the resources you have given me, but give me strength to leave.

 

 

That is my prayer to God. It is to help me leave Christianity. I am so afraid. I work for a church and still have 2 months left. It is a one year program to learn theology and grow spiritually. I have done both, but I have grown spiritually away from Christianity. I look at the bible and I see a God who endorses poligomy, rape, war, murder, hate, and injustice. I believe in God, but not the God the bible portrays. My family are fundementalist christians... and they will shun me if I leave. My christian friends will all try to reconvert me. It is going to be really painful. I am also scared of hell and I have no clue why. I just need support and advice. I nee to know that it is possible to leave christianity and still be happy and hopeful. Have any of you left christianity and have found God? I mean like become more connected with God since you left. I just don't know what to do. I am so tired of faking it. I am only 19 and I feel so lost. Help please!

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Dear God,

 

I am sorry. I know we have been in this a long time together, but I have come to the conclusion that Christianity and religion in general doesn't do you justice. I don't believe that every word of the bible was inspired by you, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in you. I think that there is a lot of beauty in the bible, the koran, and other books that claim to be direct revelation from you, but I also think that some of their contents use your name as the authority for them to attack other tribes of people. When people use God to get ahead in politics, it is wrong. You created the world. You gave us everything in the world as a gift, but we have abused it and for that I am sorry. I don't think you want us to ask you to fix things, because we are the ones who made a mess of things. I think that we should thankyou for what you have given us, but we should take the responsibility of cleaning up the mess. I am not saying you won't help us, but we must be willing to do it. You do help us of course. You gave us our beating heart and made sleep so that we could rejeuvenate our bodies. Isn't that help enough? I think you have given us all the resources we need and left us with the choice of being constructive or destructive. I do not claim to know everything about you, but I think that I can connect with you, when I live with others in mind. I think if I love my neighbour as myself and choose to live to build others up, that that is how it is meant to be. When I don't abuse the plants, animals, and people of the planet, I am pleasing you. I think you are somehow in everything. I see your fingerprints in the beauty of nature and in the hearts of living beings. You chose to give humans the gift of reason. A higher level of reason than any animal has. This gift is a beautiful thing. It wasn't meant to be replaced by superstitions and theological beliefs. By asserting I know your true will, I am taking away from your divine power. I am putting myself in the place of God. You deserve to be greater than my expectations of you. You are bigger than my picture of you. How can a man or woman know your name? You are simply who you are. Your substance is other than us. I think you have given us Spirits. Being alive is more than just breathing. I don't understand all of this, but I think you are the great Spirit. And our spirits need to seek to be one with yours. I don't have a religious text or a set of particular beliefs, but I know in my Spirit that you are. And that one belief is enough for me. You are enough for me. I do not want to add or take away from your greatness.

 

May I learn to better use the resources you have given me, but give me strength to leave.

 

 

That is my prayer to God. It is to help me leave Christianity. I am so afraid. I work for a church and still have 2 months left. It is a one year program to learn theology and grow spiritually. I have done both, but I have grown spiritually away from Christianity. I look at the bible and I see a God who endorses poligomy, rape, war, murder, hate, and injustice. I believe in God, but not the God the bible portrays. My family are fundementalist christians... and they will shun me if I leave. My christian friends will all try to reconvert me. It is going to be really painful. I am also scared of hell and I have no clue why. I just need support and advice. I nee to know that it is possible to leave christianity and still be happy and hopeful. Have any of you left christianity and have found God? I mean like become more connected with God since you left. I just don't know what to do. I am so tired of faking it. I am only 19 and I feel so lost. Help please!

 

Faith, you've come to the right place. We all have had concerns like yours. I think there's some kind of higher power, some kind of "God", but I know it's not the mean old man of the bible. In regard to post christian spirituality, you'll want to check out the Ex-christian theism and spirituality board. We're here to help .

Good luck in your journey.

Tabula Rasa

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Faithhopelove,

 

I think that once you have truly left Christianity, you will find that you have not lost anything but have made great gains in understanding of the world.

 

It doesn't mean you have to get rid of a spiritual life, either.

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Sounds similar to one of my prayers that I said over and over as I was slowly leaving the faith...man is it difficult and painful to feel like your losing God like that.

 

I wish you luck and good judgment as you move forward....when you get to the point where you challenge God...don't be afraid of getting the answer...thats what keeps so many people from taking the next step...all the fear that gets put in you, that's programmed into you---that's the hardest part to overcome after you feel that initial gulf of god

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faithhopelove,

 

Just be true to yourself. :) My family is disappointed as well, and I have yet to talk to them face-to-face about my atheism, but I'll make it, and you will too. Honestly, I couldn't say that there is no God, but I imagine that if there is, he/she/it is far more like the one you have portrayed than the atrocity that Christians call "Love."

 

Quoted below I have a letter from a great thinker and a Deist, Thomas Paine. I'm sure you will enjoy it, and I hope his wise words help you to find comfort and strength with yourself and your beliefs.

 

On May 12, 1797 while living in Paris, France Tom Paine wrote the following letter to a Christian friend who was trying to convert Paine to Christianity.

 

"In your letter of the twentieth of March, you give me several quotations from the Bible, which you call the Word of God, to show me that my opinions on religion are wrong, and I could give you as many, from the same book to show that yours are not right; consequently, then, the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it.

 

"But by what authority do you call the Bible the Word of God? for this is the first point to be settled. It is not your calling it so that makes it so, any more than the Mahometans calling the Koran the Word of God makes the Koran to be so. The Popish Councils of Nice and Laodicea, about 350 years after the time the person called Jesus Christ is said to have lived, voted the books that now compose what is called the New Testament to be the Word of God. This was done by yeas and nays, as we now vote a law.

 

"The Pharisees of the second temple, after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, did the same by the books that now compose the Old Testament, and this is all the authority there is, which to me is no authority at all. I am as capable of judging for myself as they were, and I think more so, because, as they made a living by their religion, they had a self-interest in the vote they gave.

 

"You may have an opinion that a man is inspired, but you cannot prove it, nor can you have any proof of it yourself, because you cannot see into his mind in order to know how he comes by his thoughts; and the same is the case with the word revelation. There can be no evidence of such a thing, for you can no more prove revelation than you can prove what another man dreams of, neither can he prove it himself.

 

"It is often said in the Bible that God spake unto Moses, but how do you know that God spake unto Moses? Because, you will say, the Bible says so. The Koran says, that God spake unto Mahomet, do you believe that too? No.

 

"Why not? Because, you will say, you do not believe it; and so because you do, and because you don't is all the reason you can give for believing or disbelieving except that you will say that Mahomet was an impostor. And how do you know Moses was not an impostor?

 

"For my own part, I believe that all are impostors who pretend to hold verbal communication with the Deity. It is the way by which the world has been imposed upon; but if you think otherwise you have the same right to your opinion that I have to mine, and must answer for it in the same manner. But all this does not settle the point, whether the Bible be the Word of God, or not. It is therefore necessary to go a step further. The case then is: -

 

"You form your opinion of God from the account given of Him in the Bible; and I form my opinion of the Bible from the wisdom and goodness of God manifested in the structure of the universe, and in all works of creation. The result in these two cases will be, that you, by taking the Bible for your standard, will have a bad opinion of God; and I, by taking God for my standard, shall have a bad opinion of the Bible.

 

"The Bible represents God to be a changeable, passionate, vindictive being; making a world and then drowning it, afterwards repenting of what he had done, and promising not to do so again. Setting one nation to cut the throats of another, and stopping the course of the sun till the butchery should be done. But the works of God in the creation preach to us another doctrine. In that vast volume we see nothing to give us the idea of a changeable, passionate, vindictive God; everything we there behold impresses us with a contrary idea - that of unchangeableness and of eternal order, harmony, and goodness.

 

"The sun and the seasons return at their appointed time, and everything in the creation claims that God is unchangeable. Now, which am I to believe, a book that any impostor might make and call the Word of God, or the creation itself which none but an Almighty Power could make? For the Bible says one thing, and the creation says the contrary. The Bible represents God with all the passions of a mortal, and the creation proclaims him with all the attributes of a God.

 

"It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. That bloodthirsty man, called the prophet Samuel, makes God to say, (I Sam. xv. 3) `Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.'

 

"That Samuel or some other impostor might say this, is what, at this distance of time, can neither be proved nor disproved, but in my opinion it is blasphemy to say, or to believe, that God said it. All our ideas of the justice and goodness of God revolt at the impious cruelty of the Bible. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

 

"What makes this pretended order to destroy the Amalekites appear the worse, is the reason given for it. The Amalekites, four hundred years before, according to the account in Exodus xvii. (but which has the appearance of fable from the magical account it gives of Moses holding up his hands), had opposed the Israelites coming into their country, and this the Amalekites had a right to do, because the Israelites were the invaders, as the Spaniards were the invaders of Mexico. This opposition by the Amalekites, at that time, is given as a reason, that the men, women, infants and sucklings, sheep and oxen, camels and asses, that were born four hundred years afterward, should be put to death; and to complete the horror, Samuel hewed Agag, the chief of the Amalekites, in pieces, as you would hew a stick of wood. I will bestow a few observations on this case.

 

"In the first place, nobody knows who the author, or writer, of the book of Samuel was, and, therefore, the fact itself has no other proof than anonymous or hearsay evidence, which is no evidence at all. In the second place, this anonymous book says, that this slaughter was done by the express command of God: but all our ideas of the justice and goodness of God give the lie to the book, and as I never will believe any book that ascribes cruelty and injustice to God, I therefore reject the Bible as unworthy of credit.

 

"As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case.

 

"You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel. But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New.

 

"When you have examined the Bible with the attention that I have done (for I do not think you know much about it), and permit yourself to have just ideas of God, you will most probably believe as I do. But I wish you to know that this answer to your letter is not written for the purpose of changing your opinion. It is written to satisfy you, and some other friends whom I esteem, that my disbelief of the Bible is founded on a pure and religious belief in God; for in my opinion the Bible is a gross libel against the justice and goodness of God, in almost every part of it."

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