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My Greatest Dilema - Please Help Me


shockwaves
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Hello,

 

I've never posted in these forums before, I'm new here. Nice to meet you all. Someone told me about this website, and I really, really hope someone here can help me. I feel more depressed at this very moment in my life than I have ever felt before. Never before have I felt this close to losing my life - I honestly don't care whether I live or die right now, unless I can dig my way out of what I have believed all my life I fear I will ruin everything I have worked for thus far. So please, help me if you can.

 

I am 20 years old (male), and live on the West Coast of America. I was raised in what I consider to be a very strict Christian family my entire life, in fact I still live with my family. I work as an EMT for an ambulance company, and I'm a photographer for my community college's newspaper. I've won several awards for my work there. I ran varsity track in high school. I've got a 3.9 gpa now, though this is only because I'm trying to get into a better college. I had a 2.8 in High School.

 

Gosh, I dont' know where to start. I've questioned things my entire life. I'm supposed to be pretty smart - I've got a 145 iq, not that that's ever helped me. I'm constantly told that I'm not living up to my potential, but how can I? the motivation isn't there. But you don't know why, I'm sorry, I'm being extremely distracted and stuck up. I'll start by describing my parents.

 

I go to a 'non-denominational' church. My dad was raised in a catholic church, but eventually left that church because he felt he saw too much 'pomp and circumstance' in the catholic church. He landed in the church he is in now because he fell in love with John Macarthur's teaching. Both of my parents are first-generation christians, meaning they were both able to live unrestricted lives as youths. This is the main reason they don't realize how much pressure they put on me with their rules. The rules are pretty complex, and I'm so used to some of them by now that when I mention them to my friends I don't even know why they look so surprised.

 

I am not allowed to date, and never have been. I've had several girls ask me out over the course of my life (only the brave ones actually do that), and I've always said no. Once I tried to say yes - to a girl that asked me to be her date to the prom, but my dad refused to let me go to my Senior prom, as he felt it would offer an opportunity for sin. He claimed a prom is a worldly event, for which I should have no desire. My parents tell me I should consider dating only after college. They claim there is no point in dating now, because dating is only for marriage. Dating is not supposed to be just for fun, so if I'm not ready to get married (ie. I don't have a career, and good pay, and able to support a wife), the only reason I'd date now would be to 'get in trouble' with girls.

 

I've never been allowed to see movies with cursing in them, at all. We have a system connected to our TV that mutes tv shows whenever cursing comes along. I can rarely go out to see movies in the theater, unless I do so without their permission.

 

I was not allowed to wear jeans all throughout High School, and only in College did my parents finally let me wear jeans to school - I have no idea where this even came from, they just always told me it was unprofessional to go to school looking that casual.

 

We have a 'porn filter' on our computers. My best friend in High School was a mormon, but my parents constantly urged me to cultivate 'christian friendships' instead. They always discouraged me from hanging out with my friend. They were afraid I'd 'fall.'

 

I am not allowed to smoke, and I am not allowed to drink (yes, that obviously means no drinking even after I'm 21).

 

We read a devotional every morning at the breakfast table, and go to church every Sunday.

 

 

 

Ok, now I need to explain how I dealt with all this. Up until junior high, I was a very confused lad. I remember always 'thinking' about something. I always gave myself what I considered to be problems, or puzzles, which I then had to figure out. One day, I was consumed with the idea of completely purging my mind of 'curse words' consumed me for a while. I spent alot of time trying to resist porn too. I had the overall feeling that I wanted to be a good person, because I realized that I felt good when I followed all the guidelines my parents/christianity had laid out before me, at least this is how I thought at this time. I set myself up for a constant circle of happiness and depression, though. I'd be 'satisfactorily' sin free for a while (which is ridiculous, because according to christianity i am never sin free), but I resisted sin for a while in a way that seemed to me to be good enough, but then I'd always relapse into sin for a bit, and get depressed. Then , Once I got into High School I had this urge to really figure out what I believed. I did this little 'test' where I decided to not think of myself as a christian for a while, and to try to be the best person I could possibly be. I of course failed, and so I told my parents that because my test failed, I realized that I could not be a good person alone, I needed Jesus. This was my sophomore year of high school. I took the test to mean that I could never match up to the standards in place, so i needed jesus to cover my faults.

 

This answer never really satisfied me either, and I continued searching. I spent these years talking to bible counselors, christian teachers, trying to get my head straight. This was the hardest 'problem' I had ever introduced to myself. I couldn't solve it. I couldn't disprove or prove God's existence, yet he asked so much of me. All throughout high school I was in this horrible phase where I felt out of place no matter who I talked to. I didn't want to be around christians because I did not feel any of them felt the same conviction I did to truly 'serve God' or find a good reason not to. Most people I encountered had no emotional stress, yet they were doing things that christians were not supposed to be doing, and they couldn't care less about God. I hated these posers, probably because I was jealous of the fact that I, for some reason, felt compelled to learn the truth, while they were happy to live in ignorance. This is the way I have always been, though, so there was nothing that I could do to go back.

 

I entered college sort of thinking that I was a Christian, but then two classes hit me square in the face, and made me begin to question God's existence more than ever. The first was English 101, and the second was Sociology. English 101 presented me with many different social questions that I had to choose a side on. Homosexual marriage, abortion, etc. I knew what I was supposed to believe, but that didn't make me want to stand up for it. I wondered why I should stand up for all these things because they were in the Bible. The only proof for the Bible's existence that the pastors could give me was to show me verses IN THE BIBLE that proclaimed the validity of the Bible. I couldn't believe they would try to verify a book's truth by showing me passages within that book. John Macarthur does this too. I really couldn't believe it. Of course I also got the 'faith' answer, but that helped even less. Sociology taught me about the ways we learn about the world around us, and the attachments we have with it and the things we first learned. I had many private talks with that professor, she really was a wonderful lady. She did not give me the 'answer' however, she told me I'd have to come to a conclusion on my own, or else I wouldn't believe it.

 

I haven't told you half the doubts I had about the Bible yet, but I'll take this chance to give you a small sampling of some of the things I came up with in opposition to the Bible. Probably my biggest problem with Christianity is the idea of work. Work seemed pointless to me. We heard several sermons about how we are to value nothing in this world, nothing is more important than witnessing to others about Christ. We are not to take the credit for anything we do, it is all God working through us. Now, if God works through me, and I can't take credit for the work I accomplish, I might as well sit around and wait for God to do what he's going to do, right? If I'm not the one doing what I'm doing, then Jesus had better give me the inspiration. Well the inspiration never comes from him. I finally realized that to be a christian, to be happy as a christian, I would actually have to WANT to live for Jesus, something I had never wanted. I wanted to sort of follow him because it felt right, but I had never wanted to do it FOR him. See the difference?

 

Anyway, next I began the great look at motives. Oh God I hate this. Motives are the ABSOLUTE WORSE THING THAT I EVER TRIED TO ANALYZE. I was taught, "I must keep my motives pure." This absolutely crippled me. At this point in my life (this was last year), I was 'trying' to be a christian, ie. trying to see what it would feel like to be a christian by emulating what I knew the christian life would be like (from bible study). (I later found out that, according to my youth pastor, This wouldn't work because I hadn't given my life to jesus yet, and the things of God are 'foolishness' to man). But I tried, and I still think I came up with some good arguments. First of all, motives: I began to think of the things I had always considered to be good, the things that even christians consider to be good. These included working out, going to school, and others. Working out: I began to analyze my motives for working out. I knew I wanted to work out to look good. Distressed, I talked to my youth group leader, and he said I should not stop working out, but just to purify my motives. The only problem? If I purify my motives, ie. not care about just looking good, I don't want to work out anymore. My motivation is gone. Then, what about doing my homework?? What would a Christian response be for why they attend school? I'll tell you one thing, they won't tell you they want to be successful in life, yet that underlying motive is there. Then I asked myself the question: Is it better to sin (do things for the wrong reasons) and to continue on in something (doing my homework), or is it better to quit doing whatever that thing you were doing was , and there for not sin? The Bible addresses this issue - it claims "If your eye causes you to sin, then rip it out and cast if from you." Basically, the bible claims that it is better to leave something that is normally considered good (an eye, or in this case, school) if it causes you to sin. So then I have to wonder what type of person the Bible is looking for. Is the Bible then looking for a monk-like person??? I know all the Christians I've ever met could not care less about their motives for what they do. They live to have fun.

 

That raises another problem: the Christian who lives to have fun. Why is it, that I have several friends who claim to have been christians for 5 years or more, and yet they live to go to volleyball tournaments, bible studies, hanging out at the beach, going to movies, etc?? It has been taught over and over again at my church that the only reason we are here on earth is to witness to the lost. All other things on earth are considered to be worthless. That means that when christians hang out with other christians, they are simply self-gratifying. They are not accomplishing anything of heavenly value. Now, one could say, "well maybe these christians are just too young, maybe they have not yet matured into the believers they are supposed to be." I hear this phrase alot: "Baby Christian." Well, lets think about that. Maybe all these "baby christians" need to wake up and wonder whether they really even WANT to be a christian. The way I understand life, people shoot for goals. If the goal of a christian is to be a person who no longer lives for themselves, why would they place themselves on the TRACK of a person who strives to serve only christ, and then only serve themselves?? This is when I realized that most christians believe in christianity simply because it makes them feel better. "Not sinning" is not enough, if one is a real believer he or she should also have a drive to serve christ. Barely anyone I knew had that drive. The people I knew wanted to have fun. The girls spend their time making sure they look good, the guys flirt with the girls. How are the girls glorifying christ by looking pretty? Aren't they wasting their time? Yes, God sanctions marriage, but then I am told the only reason I should get married to a girl is if she is at the same spiritual level as I am. Our love for each other is supposed to grow out of a love for christ. Anyway, this thinking led me to become extremely depressed, and I pretty much lost all motivation to do my homework.

 

Another problem: Why would God take the Jews as his people? This whole plot point of the Bible screams to me: JEWISH NATIONAL PRIDE! Who, other than a human, jewish, man would come up with a story where an ALMIGHTY GOD creates humans, says they are his most precious posession, and then offers salvation to only one ethnicity amoung them? "First to the Jews, then to the Gentiles." I am taught that the jews rejected God, so he offered his salvation to the gentiles. What if the jews had accepted? The Gentiles would be out of the picture? Holy crap - really!!!?? Then what about the OBVIOUS differences between Jesus' ways of dealing with things and God's in the old testament? God promised the Jews land, in Canan. Why in the world would he offer them material possessions, when Jesus later comes and tells the rich man to forsake all his material posessions to follow him? What about how Jesus goes around using all these vague references that anger the jews, and never clears them up? He said the phrase, "I will tear down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." The jews used that against Jesus during his freaking trial. He was really supposed to be talking about how he would raise himself from the dead three days after they killed him. Why would he let them believe that? Did he want to die? Yes, according to the story he did. But he wanted to die because they hated him, not partly because of a simple misunderstanding. And what of sacrifices? Jesus came along and looked with disdain on the whole system, he was there to change it, couldn't he have been a little more diplomatic about it? It is as if God set the people up to think the way they did, and then Jesus came to wreck their world, and then he was surprised that they killed him. And then why didn't Jesus appear to the jewish Leaders after his death? Why would he supposedly appear to 500 christians? Why is it that God in the old testament loved proving that he was God with little tricks like turning a serpent into a rod, or the burning bush, or the 10 plagues, etc. Yet Jesus refrained from using such tactics to convince people he was God? He chose not to do anything flashy at all, completely different from god's style.

 

My parents have been getting mad at me lately, because I am so good with computers, they want me to help them with their computers. I had been slacking off on that, as well as my homework. I did not feel the necessary motivation from God to help them. I felt like I wasn't allowed to help them because I loved them, or because they were my parents, I was supposed to help them for Godly reasons. Finally, one day, I told my parents (during one of my many talks on my 'faith') that I did not want to be a christian any more, that I wanted to step back, and re-analyze the reasons I had ever wanted to be one in the first place. I assured them I wasn't giving up on God, just sort of taking a breather. They were extremely mad, of course, and told me that this didn't mean I could just bring girls in, or go partying, and that as long as I was under their roof I still had to follow their rules, or I shoudl just move out. Well, for the first couple weeks after this decision, I felt great.

 

Now, however, I feel like my entire life has been turned upside down. I don't know what to do. I have no moral compass, I don't know what to believe, I feel like an extremely wishy washy person, and I'm so depressed I can barely look my teachers in the face when they talk to me. I'm really in some bad times right now. Fortunately God gave me good looks, or I'd REALLY be depressed hahaha (little joke there..heh..lols). HEY LOOK AT THAT! I've got some good old pride goin there............ I'm sorry, its getting late, early actually, its morning, I really do apologize. Anyway, that's where I am right now. I don't know what to do. I'm pretty low on friends right now, not because i'm wierd or anything, but because I don't know who to befriend. I've got christian friends i've been ignoring, and then I've got non-christian friends I'm not sure will accept me right now. I feel like I don't even know what I am, what I believe, how can I push myself onto others? I feel like befriending anyone would be a horrible imposition. I have never been to a party with alcohol, Never done any of that stuff, I want to, but now I'm not sure what I'm doing.

 

The worst part is, I feel like the entire world is suddenly empty of purpose. I have soo many problems with christianity that I don't even have time to put them all down in this thread right now. I only gave you a TINY sampling of what might go on in my head on a given day. So why do I feel so scared now? I'm scared of many things. I've always considered myself to be a nice person, now I suddenly feel like there is no point in being nice, even though I desperately want to be nice. I've lost the christian idea of a 'nice christian man' but I still love helping people, I love my Job as an EMT. That's another thing - my job. I felt like as a christian it wouldn't even be right to spend my time studying my EMT skills, because I'd only be helping people with their physical pain, when I should've been helping them with their spiritual destiny. Christians see it as pointless to 'save the body' when that person has 'lost their soul.' Go figure. At least they should. But I don't know, now, if there is no God, what is my purpose in life? I'm afraid of dying, I'm afraid I'll never find a way to make friends, and I'm afraid that I'll become a bitter old person in no time. Sometimes I really wish I had never started questioning. I wish I could live the light, superficial life of a christian. Most of this sadness is coming from my loneliness. I've got a good personality, but the way I work, is it only shows when I feel like things are RIGHT. When I feel like I am right with God, etc. Right now, I feel like I have no idea what I am, so I don't know how to talk to people. Am I talking to them as a christian? a non-christian? Do I want to continue not-cursing, what do I believe about sex, should I date behind my parents backs? How do I find new friends that think like I do?

 

 

I've really got to bring this thread to a close, I'm really glad I got all that down, though. It helped a little just to think it all through again. I really don't know where to go from here....I'm asking you, begging you, please help me.

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I don't know what to do.
Yes, you do! You've been doing it. The fact that you're in the "turmoil" stage of taking responsibility for your beliefs does not mean that you're doing the wrong thing.
I have no moral compass,
Yes, you do. And it's a perfectly fine one, too. Your moral compass is exactly what's telling you to be bothered by the immoralities you've been noticing in Christianity. The very length and depth of your post and emotions about these things shows that you have a perfectly functional moral compass. You've got a strong understanding that you must take responsibility for your own religion. Taking responsibility along with compassion is the very heart of morality. Mindless, blind obedience to authority is not to be equated with morality. From where I sit, it looks to me like your moral compass is just fine.
I don't know what to believe,
If you absolutely must have a belief in something, how about a belief in your own ability to work through this stuff deeply and thoroughly enough to come to a point where you are satisfied with the result? I'd say that would be a well founded belief.

 

Sorry I couldn't reply at more length, but I have to get ready for work. Please don't be so hard on yourself. I think you're doing a great job and are totally capable of handling this in the best way. Just because it's very unpleasant doesn't indicate that it's wrong. You can do this. You are doing it. You've been doing it.

 

Loren

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First off...welcome to the site. :)

 

More importantly you've offered up a lot of information. Far more than I'm going to be able to address (fortunately for you I imagine that plenty of good people will contribute to this thread).

 

Part of your story sounds similar to the experience I had when I first deconverted (before I came to this site). I recall it taking several years total but when I finally got through it I felt as if a great weight had been lifted and I was probably the happiest I had been in years (then other things happened that caused me to end up here...but that's another story).

 

I can tell you that it will get better. Really. It takes time. You're young and your "compass" has only been allowed to point to xianity. It's going to take a little while for you to get your true bearings. Look at it this way. Your "compass" is just fine but you've been forced to live with the magnet called xianity sitting next to it your whole life. Now that magnet is gone and the compass is swinging back and forth while it settles where it should have been all along. It's a little frightening since you had that steady course and now you just see the unknown but before long you'll be locked back in and ready to go your own way.

 

As for some of the other things. You're an adult. You've given your parents far too much control over your life. You need to assert control over your own life and if that means moving out then do so. You have a job (an EMT and/or computers?) so do that and get a roommate or two if you must. You don't need to get in over your head. You don't need to go to wild parties. You don't need to do all sorts of crazy things just because you're no longer xian. You're taught that's what non-xians do but only do them if you really want to and not because you think that's what people do. Trust yourself. Be yourself. If you want to try alcohol then go ahead but there's no need to jump in and be a sloppy drunk out of the gate. And above all that go date someone (or three). You don't need to get married (and USE BIRTH CONTROL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't take her word. USE YOUR OWN!!!!!). If sex is too daunting then just date. Have fun. A little fun is good because getting in over your head could just drive you right back in your shell (and back to thinking of this whole "evil/sinning" thing and then back to where you started). Ease in. Did I mention have fun?

 

I think if you take responsibility for your own life/future and start having a little fun you'll see that "compass" start to settle in. Right now all those people and ideologies that were running your life are gone and you have to replace them...with YOU. That's not to say be a selfish ass but you have to take care of yourself and think for yourself.

 

Finally, You say you don't care if you live or die right now. I think you do otherwise you wouldn't have reached out to anyone. If things get too bad then you need to call 911 or the local suicide hotline so you can talk to someone in person.

 

I'm sure others will have lots more for you and probably say it a lot better than I did.

 

mwc

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  • Super Moderator

Hello and welcome.

 

You have quite a story! And I can attest that an IQ as high as yours guarantees nothing. It does, however, aid in critical thinking, which you have started doing.

 

I don't understand the neurotic hold parents can have on an adult child. You ARE an adult, after all. It's time to think and act as you see fit.

 

I am not allowed to drink (yes, that obviously means no drinking even after I'm 21).

A little "tough love:"

 

Hello? You need to grow a pair and act like an adult, not a small child. Your parents will never understand or accept anyone or anything that doesn't conform to their tiny world. They will survive it, however. You can't live your life as a dependent child begging approval and living a lie. Be yourself at all costs. There is really no other viable way. A great life awaits you if you'll just take it.

 

I wish you well on your journey.

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Welcome to the boards. You'll find a lot of us came from similar backgrounds, i.e. fundamentalism. The word mental is in there for a reason.

I won't lie and say it's easy breaking free, but you're starting to think for yourself and that's a good beginning. We're all here if you need us, and best wishes on the journey ahead.

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Thank you so much to all that responded so far.

 

Today, I was more depressed than ever. I need some help guys..I almost feel tempted to jump back into Christianity. I feel dull right now...I have this overall fear like I will never be able to truly enjoy life again if I 'forsake' Christianity. I keep remembering all the things Christians say about people that 'fall away' from the faith, and I keep wondering whether they are really right or not. Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin? When I think about the things I read on here, the old 'red flags' I was taught to see pop up all over the place. I hear someone say they are no longer limited by the idea of 'sin,' I remember what I was taught about how people will become confused as to what is right, and about what is wrong.

 

And then, what to you guys make of the fact that Christians always say (it is somewhere in the Bible, I'm not gonna look for it right now) that to unbelievers the things of God are foolishness?.....That is scaring me a little bit as well. What if I am really just 'blinded' to the sight of what Christianity is. Or what if the people here were never really Christians to begin with, the people in this forum are all the posers, like me?

 

 

HOWEVER, something happened today between my parents and I that really reminded me why I wanted to get away from Christianity. I was sitting at the table, eating with my parents, and telling my mom about my Anthropology class. At one point she just stopped me and said, "It would be a much better use of their time (the anthropologists') if they would read the Bible instead of spend all their time studying such nonsense." You see! this is what I am growing up with. I feel so disheartened...They see anything that simply advances mankind as meaningless in comparison to advancing one's spiritual walk. How can I regain my interest in things 'of this world,' that they have helped me lose? I feel so sad looking out at the world...my parents make it look so dry and worthless. I said back to my mom, "But, I have to take this course for my GE's." She said, "Well, son, it's just gonna have to be one of those things you just 'get through.'" So I'm not allowed, apparently, to have any real interest in my subject, so they really shouldn't be angry if I don't get an A? Wrong, they still value school in general, probably because they haven't thought about it. If they had, they'd recommend I be a monk, I'm sure. FML

 

If any of you have any advice you think would help me, I'm listening

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Thank you so much to all that responded so far.

 

Today, I was more depressed than ever. I need some help guys..I almost feel tempted to jump back into Christianity. I feel dull right now...I have this overall fear like I will never be able to truly enjoy life again if I 'forsake' Christianity. I keep remembering all the things Christians say about people that 'fall away' from the faith, and I keep wondering whether they are really right or not. Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin? When I think about the things I read on here, the old 'red flags' I was taught to see pop up all over the place. I hear someone say they are no longer limited by the idea of 'sin,' I remember what I was taught about how people will become confused as to what is right, and about what is wrong.

 

And then, what to you guys make of the fact that Christians always say (it is somewhere in the Bible, I'm not gonna look for it right now) that to unbelievers the things of God are foolishness?.....That is scaring me a little bit as well. What if I am really just 'blinded' to the sight of what Christianity is. Or what if the people here were never really Christians to begin with, the people in this forum are all the posers, like me?

 

There is no such thing as sin. Christianity creates a fake disease called sin, and then tells you that the cure is Jesus. Then they tell you to follow their religion or threaten you with torture forever. It is the ultimate snake oil sales pitch. There is nothing wrong with you, you are normal. But Christianity turns normality into a problem. Lust is normal, it is what drives us to mate. Anger is normal when people imprison you physically or mentally. Then when you feel these normal things, they get you to feel bad about it and press you to confess and fast and buy books and tapes, just to feel ok again. Christianity is a warped mindset that claims to be freedom, when it is nothing but self-enforced slavery to an imaginary god. Think about how many times God himself has spoken to you or appeared and shown you his reality... I would guess never. Therefore all the rules and regulations are simply running on autopilot as long as you are willing to submit.

 

The religions of old had people that believed strongly enough to mutilate their flesh and spend fortunes building lavish temples to them. Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Baal, Isis, Osiris, the list goes on and on. But no one fears these "gods" today. Their temples lie in ruin and the world goes on as it has before anyone invented the names and stories of these "gods". The same holds true for the deity of the Bible. Christianity is a huge mishmash of beliefs and dogmas based on bronze-age tribal writings. If you submit to the rules, your life is no better, and if you disobey and do what you want, your life is no worse. That is a generalization, but it seems to be the case since most of the world does not follow the Bible rules.

 

HOWEVER, something happened today between my parents and I that really reminded me why I wanted to get away from Christianity. I was sitting at the table, eating with my parents, and telling my mom about my Anthropology class. At one point she just stopped me and said, "It would be a much better use of their time (the anthropologists') if they would read the Bible instead of spend all their time studying such nonsense." You see! this is what I am growing up with. I feel so disheartened...

 

Your parents make me angry. They strike me as ignorant and proud of it. I hope they make you angry as well. They seem to have you cornered emotionally. If you were to walk away and never speak to them again, you would be just fine on your own. The only thing that would stop you is you. I encourage you to stand as a man against the lies that your parents call truth, and to quit allowing yourself to be treated like a child. It is time to "put childish ways behind you". You should be able to live on your own and hopefully remove yourself from their influence. It is good to like girls. It is good to want to be with friends and to laugh and have fun. It is good to be human. It is good to be free. It is a big beautiful world and I welcome you to explore and enjoy the life you have. They can't stop you, but you can stop you if you choose to bow to them. But life stands before you with open arms. Run into it and live, and don't look back. Your parents superstitions will fade the farther away from their mind games you get. Freedom is all in your hands. Grab it and run!

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should I date behind my parents backs?

Of course,I don't believe,that they have any moral right to limit your contact with other people (friends,women e.t.c.) anyway and there's no reason I can think of why you should play along by obeying theese sectarian restrictions.

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You are deeply immersed in the most ignorant and virulent form of cult brainwashing. Grow up and get away from the influence. You already know that the beliefs of your parents make no sense, so do something about it. As long as you subject yourself to their control and indoctrination you haven't a chance. Get out from under now, or be a good little obedient Christian child the rest of your life.

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Welcome to our website. Be sure you come here often--for encouragement, to vent, to ask questions...and for a little fun also.

 

And then, what to you guys make of the fact that Christians always say (it is somewhere in the Bible, I'm not gonna look for it right now) that to unbelievers the things of God are foolishness?.....That is scaring me a little bit as well. What if I am really just 'blinded' to the sight of what Christianity is.

 

The buybull is full of contradictory quotes and can be used to scare anybody into believing anything or to justify anything--i.e. slavery is one blatant example.

 

Here's one of my favorites about fools:

 

Proverbs 20:3 -- It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

 

That pretty much sums up funnymentalists. They are ALWAYS meddling, causing strife. So now, who's the fool?

 

Or what if the people here were never really Christians to begin with, the people in this forum are all the posers, like me?

 

Oh yes, the you were never a True Christian™ argument. That's why there are over 30,000 denominations of True Christianity™. They all think they've got a monopoly on The Truth™. Think about it.

 

I agree. You are in a scary situation. But that doesn't mean you chicken out and go backward! You are not alone. Even if you are still dependent on your parents for your education, you can still mentally carry on. Perhaps an open-minded study of the bible and how the bible came into existence will help you. There are many resources available, including the various areas on this website. Another good source is evilbible.com.

 

You've already started down the path. Keep it up. Don't let your toxic parents emotionally blackmail you into retreat -- back into something you already know is not logical. You are your own person. No one has the right to keep you from being that.

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Today, I was more depressed than ever. I need some help guys..I almost feel tempted to jump back into Christianity. I feel dull right now...I have this overall fear like I will never be able to truly enjoy life again if I 'forsake' Christianity. I keep remembering all the things Christians say about people that 'fall away' from the faith, and I keep wondering whether they are really right or not. Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin? When I think about the things I read on here, the old 'red flags' I was taught to see pop up all over the place. I hear someone say they are no longer limited by the idea of 'sin,' I remember what I was taught about how people will become confused as to what is right, and about what is wrong.

 

This is all the old programming. It is just that and no more - mental programming. Start questioning the basic ideas of Christianity. What is sin? Why should you believe the Bible? Find these things out for yourself and don't stop until you do.

 

I take it that God hasn't struck you dead yet for going to this site, so forget the red flags.

 

And then, what to you guys make of the fact that Christians always say (it is somewhere in the Bible, I'm not gonna look for it right now) that to unbelievers the things of God are foolishness?.....That is scaring me a little bit as well. What if I am really just 'blinded' to the sight of what Christianity is. Or what if the people here were never really Christians to begin with, the people in this forum are all the posers, like me?

 

I don't make anything of it because I don't believe the Bible is anything more than another product of the human mind, and an inferior one at that. As to whether anyone was Christian or not, how do we know what a "real" Christian is?

 

HOWEVER, something happened today between my parents and I that really reminded me why I wanted to get away from Christianity....

 

You have a job, do you have enough money to live independently? If you said so, I missed it. It sounds like you need to put some distance between you and your parents. My recommendation is that you work on separating yourself physically and emotionally with regard to this religion issue.

 

Deconversion takes time, sometimes a lot of time. Cut yourself some slack. Its ok to feel confused and empty and fearful. It is a phase but with time and work, it will pass.

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<i>"It would be a much better use of their time (the anthropologists') if they would read the Bible instead of spend all their time studying such nonsense."</i>

 

I heard things like that from my friends when I started deconverting from Christianity about a year ago, ugh! It really sounds like you have been thinking through things very clearly.

 

Couple of thoughts for you: First off, I am sure you can see from the replies so far that, get this, you are experiencing normal things as you go through the process of doubting the things you have believed for a long time, maybe all your life. It is really OK to question and to find yourself where you are today. It is important to realize you are not alone. You are not the crazy one for wanting the freedom to think rationally!

 

Second, it is a very hard time, leaving Christianity, even just asking questions about it, when you are in a conservative Christian setting that does not encourage questions. Most of us who leave the faith go through a very difficult time. It is obviously especially difficult for you growing up in a family situation like you have, and still living with them today.

 

My advice is to try to look at try to look at the big picture. You are 20 years old. It sounds cliche I know, but you have a lot of life ahead of you, and you have only experienced a very (relatively) short period of life so far as an adult. So things that seem huge now will seem smaller in retrospect years later. Not that they are not important at all, but you will likely see them in a different perspective someday.

 

When I was 20 it a relationship with a girl was the hugest thing in my life ever, and when it fell apart I felt much like you have described, not caring if I died or not. Actually thinking it would be easier not to put up with the pain. I deconverted when I was close to 40, having been a Christian for about 20 years. So that makes it easier now, even when things are still hard with it, to think that things will be better, more normal, in times to come. You are going through a life-changing time and have the opportunity to re-define yourself. It will likely not be the last time you do that during your lifetime. Try to enjoy it as much as you can, things like the freedom to think for yourself, and endure the difficulties knowing they won't last forever and there will be new adventures ahead.

 

Again, I am sure a lot of that sounds cliche, but it really does get better.

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Welcome shockwaves!

 

I am new here also. You absolutely made the right decision by leaving Xainty. Don't ever let anyone tell you different!

It has got to be the most toxic, evil belief system on earth, besides maybe Islam. Your situation with your parents

proves it. I am going through something similar with my brother & sister-in-law. Although, I don't live with them thank goodness.

 

I left the faith over four years ago, but just recently informed them of it and now they treat as if I am some kind of degenerate loser,

because I don't believe in their twisted fairy tale anymore. It is so sad that beliefs can separate families like this.

Try not to become too isolated and find some people that will support you no matter what you believe or not.

That is what I am trying to deal with now also.

 

Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin?

 

On the contrary. I've found that I am actually a better person for dumping Xainty. Now, I am not a hypocrite at least or look down or feel better than

other people because they don't believe something. Like Fuego said " there is no such thing as sin." I do the same things now that I did when I was a

Xain,but now I just don't feel guilty about them because what some barbarians wrote 2000 years ago. I feel I am a far more ethical person now

because I question things, instead of doing things just because some religious leader told me to.

 

Good luck on your journey!

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Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin?

 

On the contrary. I've found that I am actually a better person for dumping Xainty. Now, I am not a hypocrite at least or look down or feel better than

other people because they don't believe something. Like Fuego said " there is no such thing as sin." I do the same things now that I did when I was a

Xain,but now I just don't feel guilty about them because what some barbarians wrote 2000 years ago. I feel I am a far more ethical person now

because I question things, instead of doing things just because some religious leader told me to.

 

Good luck on your journey!

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion." ~ Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in physics

"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." ~ H. G. Wells

 

"Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -— several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven." ~ Mark Twain

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HOWEVER, something happened today between my parents and I that really reminded me why I wanted to get away from Christianity. I was sitting at the table, eating with my parents, and telling my mom about my Anthropology class. At one point she just stopped me and said, "It would be a much better use of their time (the anthropologists') if they would read the Bible instead of spend all their time studying such nonsense."
We could ask the same thing about your parents. If your parents believe nothing is more important than advancing the spiritual cause of Jesus, why are they wasting their time eating at the table? Wouldn't it be a better use of their time to read the bible than to eat food? Why did they bother to get married at all? Wouldn't it have been a better use of their time to read the bible? Next time they say this, why not point out every single second you see them not reading the bible? Why don't your parents sell all their possessions like Jesus said? Why don't they go around murdering non-Christians like in Luke 19:27? If you need to believe in the bible god to have a moral compass, why is it that religion has caused more harm to society than good? What about the Salem witch trials, the Spanish Inquisition, Christianity's support of slavery and suppression of women's rights? What about how in Africa there are Christians who brand children as witches and murder them because the bible says not to suffer a witch to live? Why aren't your parents going out and murdering witches or murdering people for eating shellfish like it says to in the bible?

 

Why is Christianity doing more harm to spread AIDs in Africa than condoms are because the pope said not to use condoms and bans any comprehensive sex education? Why is it that countries that legalize abortion actually have lower abortion rates than the countries that ban them when the countries that legalize abortion teach comprehensive sex ed instead of abstinence only? Why is it that all the most violent countries are the most religious? Even in the U.S., the states with the highest crime rates are the ones which are the most religious and the states with the lowest crime rates are the ones that are the most secular. According to this list, the U.S. is only the 97th most peaceful nation in the world: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings.php Why is the U.S. so low on the list when the majority of the nation is Christian? On the other hand, all the most peaceful nations on the list are interestingly the most secular nations.

 

Just recently there was a fundamentalist Christian who murdered this girl and committed suicide. He was taught to believe that you couldn't be moral without God and everything else but God was meaningless. If you had to believe in God to have a moral compass, why didn't the bible God's moral compass help him? Just look at the news and think about how many times have you seen some Christian priest in a sex scandal or how many times religion has been involved in something immoral the last year? When was the last time you saw non-believers in the news committing evil deeds in the name of non-belief? Don't you think that's a bit strange that religion is in more scandals in the news than non-believers are? Even just looking at the bible itself, who causes the most immoral actions? Compare how many times God has murdered innocent children to Satan. Why did God murder all those innocent babies in the flood if he's such a great moral compass? Why did he murder the first born children of Egypt? Why did he command Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Why did he command King Saul to murder all the children and babies of the Amalekites? Why did God command the stoning of children simply for disobeying him?

 

Why did God command a woman to marry her rapist if she gets raped? That doesn't sound very moral, does it? Even Jesus wasn't all that perfect. Why did Jesus support slavery in Luke 12:47-48 if Jesus was such a great moral compass? Why did St. Paul tell Christian slaves in 1 Timothy 6:1-2 that they should obey their masters and that Christians should work their slaves harder than non-Christians if God is such a great moral compass? What about when Jesus told parents to murder their children in Matthew 15:4? As nottoearth pointed out, people are nice to each other because we live in a society where we depend on each other to exist. A society who behaves morally will naturally be less chaotic than a society that doesn't. People don't follow the Golden Rule simply because God commanded them to but because it's simply common sense to treat others the way they want to be treated. The Golden Rule itself was not original to Jesus and had been taught by the ancient Greek philosophers long before Jesus came along. As for the meaning of living without God, the thing you have to remember is that whether you believe in God or not, it's ultimately you who choose what do do with your life. From reading your opening post, as far as I can tell from what you've told us, it was you all along deciding what to do with your life, not God. Christianity just made you think it was God doing it all along. And isn't it strange that Christians often talk about how have we freewill to make our own choices yet we're supposed to live out God's purpose for us at the same time? Isn't this a contradiction in their theology? I recommend reading this article written by the atheist Richard Dawkins: http://richarddawkins.net/article,91,To-Li...Richard-Dawkins

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Wow, what a way to come into the forum. Well, firstly, all I can say is this: Welcome! I’m sure we’re all glad to have you with us. It’s rough questioning Xtianity and it’s ways. The world we live in has a dominance of Xians and it’s hard to deal with that when you’re starting to either move away, or just back up and look at some things.

 

It sounds to me, like you do have an extremely strict family. The jeans thing just gblew me away. I’ve seen a lot of High School teachers and College professors wear jeans to work every day, and all of those, have been my favorite teachers, and in my opinion, did the best job.

 

Your parents are in a complete “Control” stage. It sounds like they’re trying to be the puppet-master with your every move. I feel very bad for you that you’ve never been allowed to do anything like go out on dates, hang out with non-christians, watch movies with cursing (I don’t really think there are very many movies without that anymore, unfortunately), and having to miss your senior prom.

 

As many have said before me, you are an adult. You may still live with your family, but just because you live with them, doesn’t mean that you have to still be their puppet. I have been in similar situations, though not as extreme as yours. Try to find a family member you can talk to about your parents, or maybe go to a therapist once a week if you can afford it. It can really help at times.

 

Computers is something you can probably use to your advantadge. Your parents have likely getting mad about them because you can use them, and they cannot use them so well. That is a big variable that you can use in their controlling attitude. If they knew how to work computers, I’d suggest you set a password on it. If they’re as controlling as they seem, I wouldn’t be surprised if they searched through the history and Cookies until they found this topic on this website.

 

Not telling you to disrespect your parents, but this could be a major factor in starting to break their Controlling attitude towards you. Controlling is not a good thing to do to your children. I’ve seen it happen to my family and to others. All I can say is that when one is too controlling, one is keeping their children from living their life the way they should be living it. You’re only young for awhile, and you need to be able to go out and have fun in life.

 

After you made your decision and told your parents, it’s typical that they’d get mad. Not only would they get mad because of them being xians, and you are trying to backstep and rethink your life, but that is also something that will halter their controlling aspect of your life.

 

As for your moral compass, just sit down and think: What do I think is the right thing to do? You don’t have to believe in anything. You’ll eventually come to your own, special set of morals, that you believe firmly, and that you believe is right. It doesn’t have to be from some text, book, tablet, or anything like that. It just comes from you. What you think is the right thing, and how you think you should live your life.

 

Your job is a good job. It would be a crime to just sit there and let someone be in pain, just because their “Soul is lost” If a Xian thinks that’s the right thing to do, then they need to get a grip on reality. Pain is Pain, and you, as someone whom wants to help them, would want to help them in any way you can. If a sick patient is in a critical stage, a Christian Doctor won’t just give up on them because they’re Atheist or Wiccan or Pagan. They will do their job and what they know is right. They’ll try their absolute best to bring that patient back to health.

 

Just think about their families? What would happen if you had a loved relative in extreme pain, and a Christian doctor came up and just said “You’re Atheist, you don’t deserve my help” and just walked away while they withered away? That would never happen, I can assure you, but that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. Religion aside, if it’s your job to help people, you help them.

 

You’re also very unsure of what you believe. You are still young (Not that I’m not or anything) and it will take time to find what you truly want to believe in, if nothing at all. Find your own morals, what you believe is right, try to figure that out, and go from there. Take the process slowly, and steadily.

 

Things will come on the way, like I imagine your parents will make many attempts to “Bring you back to the Lord” but just remember that it’s your life. Not theirs. Do what YOU want with it. You’ll know what is right and know what to do on that bridge when you come to it.

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Could we, all of us as 'ex-Christians' really just be doing all this because we want to sin?

What? Are you kidding? Make a definition of sin that we can agree on first... and you'll discover we really can't.

 

It's either:

 

1) Sin as immoral behavior - which can be argued from a natural standpoint why you shouldn't do. I don't kill now, and I didn't kill before, so serious things like this has not changed. The things I do now I also did before. I'm not doing more "sinning" now than I did as a Christian.

 

2) Sin as disobedience towards God - well, if you don't believe in God, then "sin" according to this definition becomes meaningless.

 

3) Sin as absence of God, or disconnected from God - again, if you don't believe in God, it's true, you're disconnected from God, but it's not because you want to be, but because that's what you just are.

 

When I think about the things I read on here, the old 'red flags' I was taught to see pop up all over the place. I hear someone say they are no longer limited by the idea of 'sin,' I remember what I was taught about how people will become confused as to what is right, and about what is wrong.

Right and wrong is mostly defined completely outside the idea of sin, Bible, or revelation. It's based on reasonable arguments and sometimes emotional arguments. According to the Bible, rape isn't wrong, but yet we know that it is, because we can argue from a better standpoint than just "written code" or "holy spirit revelations."

 

 

And then, what to you guys make of the fact that Christians always say (it is somewhere in the Bible, I'm not gonna look for it right now) that to unbelievers the things of God are foolishness?.....That is scaring me a little bit as well. What if I am really just 'blinded' to the sight of what Christianity is. Or what if the people here were never really Christians to begin with, the people in this forum are all the posers, like me?

The Bible also says the gospel is hidden or foolish to the wise men. So in that sense, people who reject the Bible are declared wise in that context. Which is it? Wise men calling the Bible foolish, or foolish men saying there is no God? And what about that Jesus say you should never call anyone a fool? That is a sin... I think.

 

HOWEVER, something happened today between my parents and I that really reminded me why I wanted to get away from Christianity. I was sitting at the table, eating with my parents, and telling my mom about my Anthropology class. At one point she just stopped me and said, "It would be a much better use of their time (the anthropologists') if they would read the Bible instead of spend all their time studying such nonsense." You see! this is what I am growing up with. I feel so disheartened...They see anything that simply advances mankind as meaningless in comparison to advancing one's spiritual walk. How can I regain my interest in things 'of this world,' that they have helped me lose? I feel so sad looking out at the world...my parents make it look so dry and worthless. I said back to my mom, "But, I have to take this course for my GE's." She said, "Well, son, it's just gonna have to be one of those things you just 'get through.'" So I'm not allowed, apparently, to have any real interest in my subject, so they really shouldn't be angry if I don't get an A? Wrong, they still value school in general, probably because they haven't thought about it. If they had, they'd recommend I be a monk, I'm sure. FML

Well, there you have it. The religious mind wants you to be unlearned, uneducated, lacking knowledge and insight, because religion is based on superstition and a large amount of gullibility.

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Welcome, shockwaves. The others have provided some excellent advice, so I'll try not to make mine a long post, but I did want to take a moment to echo the major points:

 

1. You are doing a great job thinking about this and making careful decisions. It is very smart of you to not just blindly accept things, but to actually think about them and study them. Sometimes the process of deciding leave a religion or remain in it can take years, so don't be so hard on yourself. These things can take time.

 

2. Put together a financial plan for supporting yourself and move out ASAP, even if that means one-bedroom apartment stacked high with roommates. LOL. Most of us have been there. The level of control your parents are exerting over a 20-year old adult is WAY overboard. I grew up with very fundy parents who sound similar to yours (minus the "jeans" rule and some of the finer points of your "movie" rules) but even they weren't controlling enough to begrudge me moving out on my own at 18. It is important for adults to learn how to be independent.

 

3. Once you move out, you should find that it gets a little easier. You will have much more freedom to think about and study this issue and spend time talking to others who are struggling with the same questions. There are folks still struggling on these forums, and maybe some of your Christian and non-Christian friends would be willing to help you, if you have any who are open-minded.

 

4. Again, and above all, remember that it's okay to take your time if you need to. I wish I had come to my final decision a little quicker so that so much time wouldn't have been lost to believing in sky fairies, but if I had proceeded too quickly, maybe I wouldn't feel so confident in my decision. Example of how long it can take: When I first deconverted a year or so ago, I thought it was a fairly quick process, but looking back recently, I realized I have been slowly deconverting for many years, possibly since I was a child. Questioning as a child, rebelling as a teenager but still fully believing and seeking and feeling guilty for any sins I committed, accepting Christianity but not organized religion in my early twenties, reading religious history and realizing Christianity was made up (but still believing in God) in my mid-twenties, all the way to reading arguments for and against the existence of God and becoming agnostic in my late twenties. Two days ago at almost 30 years of age, I am almost certain I became a card-carrying atheist. :-)

 

5. Also, I have to address the argument that your parents will almost certainly make about you not being a Christian in the first place. I don't know about you, but I am 100% certain I was a Christian. I believed every single bit of it and spent many years praying and reading the Bible and attending church and seeking God with all my heart and soul. People just use that argument because they don't know what else to say when someone realizes Christianity is false. They are still in their "true believing" stage so cannot imagine anyone questioning or disbelieving after they once believed.

 

Okay, I lied. That was long. Anyway, all that to say we are here for you.

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Oh, and one more quick thing to answer your question:

 

I do not commit more "sins" now that I am an atheist. I hate it when people try to say folks deconvert just because they want to sin. In most cases, that simply isn't true. In fact, I am a better person now because I'm not loaded down with all that guilt and consternation over things that aren't even wrong. This gives me clarity of mind to better work on the one thing I do that really is wrong (selfishness, but that is a whole other story).

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Indeed, deconverting has nothing to do with sin or morality, except for the fact that athiests are no longer constantly lying to themselves to make themselves feel safe in a troubling world.

 

Asking hard questions, and not accepting bullshit answers, has made me honest(for I know how dangerous lies can be), compassionate(I judge from my heart, not a book), and patient(I understand that people tend to default to learned cultural behavior).

 

I know I can not be forgiven for my crimes, so I take extra care not to cause harm, but I also can judge my actions by their true effects, and not from the laws of a tribal society that existed years ago. This allows me to be more just, because I can fully understand the situations and motives of actions I observe.

 

But I became an athiest because I wanted to embrace reality, and to stop making excuses for it's harsh truths.

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Welcome to the forums, man. I have to echo some of the other comments here; you have to move out. How can you take a step back if your entire environment is immersed with what you step back from.

 

You've made an important first step in becoming a human being, though. You're looking and examining things and finding out if they stand up, and at the same time are doing so in such a way that you can admit you were wrong.

 

If Christianity is so right, and truth wins, then why all the shielding and protection? You may want to look at the others here for a hint on that score...

 

And the just leaving to sin is complete bullshit. If I wanted to sin, then what better cover than a pious Christian pillar? No, that is a lie Christians tell themselves, and repeat loudly. Still, pious fraud is fraud.

 

Welcome, and good luck.

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I could kiss you all, I really could! Thank you so much for your honest, from the heart answers - you have no idea how much that means to me. I half expected to come back on here and find 20 angry, derogatory posts. I really did expect you all to scoff at my indecision..to laugh at the fact that I am still struggling with a possibly illogical fear of sin, all that. Not even one post like that, though, I can't believe it. I honestly feel like crying right now (sorry, i'm an emotional fella!)...whenever I showed any inkling of indecision among Christian friends they often ceased to be my friend, or took a 'holier than thou' attitude - none felt it was worth it to continue hanging out with one of the 'doubters.' You all proved the point some of you brought up - that one does not need to be a Christian to be a good person, I already regard all of you as much better people than the hypocrites I've spent my life around. The cruelest people I've known were Christians. They don't accept anyone that doesn't conform exactly to their beliefs (homosexuals, etc).

 

I feel like there is some hope for me now. I feel like I have a plan. Many of you re-iterated the idea that I need to move out, I feel this is very wise council. You're right, it is very hard to step back to examine my true feelings in this setting. Today, my dad asked me if I was "still unsure in your head about this God thing, you know, those weird mind games you keep playing about God? Why can't you just accept Him , and just trust Him for the rest? Have the Faith of a Child." Then he read to me from Hebrews 11, and told me that if Hebrews 11 didn't help clear my mind, he didn't know what could. My brother makes things even worse. He treats me like I'm an ignorant fool to question God. He is one of those that thinks he is a very strong Christian because he never doubts God, yet he doesn't care about God in the least. Perfect example of living just to have fun, sadly he hates the idea of analyzing his true motives for what he does, I've tried to make him. That brings me to a little side-theory - I think that perhaps Christians have to come to a realization that they see something wrong with Christianity on their own, but I'm not sure.

 

 

 

I think the main reason I fear a horrible, guilt-ridden life is because I am still having a hard time completely getting a belief in God out of my head. Even though I want to reject it, I still feel sometimes like he is still out there, I fear the consequences of rejecting him. Even though I am certain in my head that I do not believe in Christianity, I do not agree with most all of what I see in it. Such a strange mixture of feelings.

 

I am very glad that many of you pointed out that leaving Christianity doesn't have to instantly make me a horrible, evil person. Gosh..I can see I do have a lot of reprogramming to do (as some of you put it). I continue to assume every non-christian has to do drugs, get drunk 24/7, and have sex all the time, cheat, and eventually end up in prison, just like I've been taught all my life. How foolish of me. I'm acting like I HAVE to act that way just because that sort of behavior is the REQUIRED non-christian behavior. Says who? My parents, I guess. If I'm not going to believe that way anymore, I also don't have to believe their idea of non-christian behavior.

 

Welcome shockwaves!

 

I am new here also. You absolutely made the right decision by leaving Xainty. Don't ever let anyone tell you different!

It has got to be the most toxic, evil belief system on earth, besides maybe Islam. Your situation with your parents

proves it. I am going through something similar with my brother & sister-in-law. Although, I don't live with them thank goodness.

 

I left the faith over four years ago, but just recently informed them of it and now they treat as if I am some kind of degenerate loser,

because I don't believe in their twisted fairy tale anymore. It is so sad that beliefs can separate families like this.

Try not to become too isolated and find some people that will support you no matter what you believe or not.

That is what I am trying to deal with now also.

 

This relates well to another question i brought up earlier - is it a good idea to try to 'preach atheism?' It really is sad that it can separate families.

 

We could ask the same thing about your parents. If your parents believe nothing is more important than advancing the spiritual cause of Jesus, why are they wasting their time eating at the table? Wouldn't it be a better use of their time to read the bible than to eat food? Why did they bother to get married at all?

 

Why did St. Paul tell Christian slaves in 1 Timothy 6:1-2 that they should obey their masters and that Christians should work their slaves harder than non-Christians if God is such a great moral compass? And isn't it strange that Christians often talk about how have we freewill to make our own choices yet we're supposed to live out God's purpose for us at the same time? Isn't this a contradiction in their theology?

 

You had many, many great statements, but I'm afraid I would make this message way too long if I addressed every one. You think very much like I do - in fact the whole marriage thing has come up alot in my family. When I was still trying to make Christianity work in my life, I had many 'counseling' talks with people in my religion, where I asked them what the point of marriage was? I pointed out how Paul said it was better for him to be single so as to better spread the word of God. They said, "That's why you marry another Christian girl, so that your love for Christ will keep you together." My dad always tells me that married couples ultimately join together because they want to cut a 'broader path,' because they think that together they can do even more for Jesus. OMG...another example...in an interview with a pastor's wife, when asked if she got lonely when he was gone, she responded that she married him because he served Christ, and that since he was out serving God she never Got lonely, because God always sustained her. It is this kind of talk that drives me crazy. Talk like we are not even allowed to be humans. If I have any human attraction for a girl, if I love her for any other reason than for her love for Jesus, I am supposed to feel guilty? I'd live a life of suppressed feelings, I'd surely go mad.

 

It was this talk, however, that first made me think I was not a believer. When I heard these people say these things, I said to myself "wow, I definitely don't feel like that about Jesus. I wouldn't get married just to serve God. So at first I tried to force myself to feel that way, then finally I decided i wasn't a Christian yet, but still felt there was a God I wasn't loving enough. Then I searched for how to love God more, and I couldn't find any answers other than to "read the Bible." Main problem with that was that I was supposed to have this intense desire to "read the Bible," but I didn't, so I figured I should wait until the desire hit me, but it never did. Ya...horrid cycle.

 

Thank you for your help, friend :D

 

Wow, what a way to come into the forum. Well, firstly, all I can say is this: Welcome! I’m sure we’re all glad to have you with us. It’s rough questioning Xtianity and it’s ways. The world we live in has a dominance of Xians and it’s hard to deal with that when you’re starting to either move away, or just back up and look at some things.

 

It sounds to me, like you do have an extremely strict family. The jeans thing just gblew me away. I’ve seen a lot of High School teachers and College professors wear jeans to work every day, and all of those, have been my favorite teachers, and in my opinion, did the best job.

 

Computers is something you can probably use to your advantadge. Your parents have likely getting mad about them because you can use them, and they cannot use them so well. That is a big variable that you can use in their controlling attitude. If they knew how to work computers, I’d suggest you set a password on it.

 

Your job is a good job. It would be a crime to just sit there and let someone be in pain, just because their “Soul is lost” Do what YOU want with it. You’ll know what is right and know what to do on that bridge when you come to it.

 

Thank you, I do enjoy my Job. I'm going to try my best from now on to be the best EMT I can be.

 

Welcome to the forums, man. I have to echo some of the other comments here; you have to move out. How can you take a step back if your entire environment is immersed with what you step back from.

 

And the just leaving to sin is complete bullshit. If I wanted to sin, then what better cover than a pious Christian pillar? No, that is a lie Christians tell themselves, and repeat loudly. Still, pious fraud is fraud.

 

Welcome, and good luck.

 

Thank you very much Blue. uhh...I don't really know how to move out, but I agree it is necessary. Sadly, I plan on going to the same school I'm going to now next year (its a community college). I am just about 9 credits short of being able to transfer. It would be a great insult to my parents to move out while I am going to a school that is only five minutes away..I really don't know what I can do about this. Do I wait until I transfer? Good point about the Christian cover-up, never thought about that.

 

 

 

 

 

There were so many other great comments on here, I'm really sorry I couldn't address them all, I'm pretty tired now, I've got to go to bed (work tomorrow morning).

I'd just like to say again how grateful to you all I am, you all really seem to care, and your advice will not be ignored. Thank you for that :D I am very glad I found this forum

 

Warmest Regards,

-Shock

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Shockwave:

 

Moving out: Start looking around for apartments in your area. See how much rent costs a month. Write down all your expenditures per month. See what kind of rent you can afford along with groceries, car payment, insurance, etc. If you see a place you like and can afford, try to talk with someone who already lives there about how they like it. Or if not, drive by at various times during the day and night to see what the place is like, for noise and overall quality of living. This is the bottom line. You don't need a really nice place, either. For awhile move into a crummy place if you have to or get a roommate if need be, until you can finish school, hopefully get a raise in pay and go to a better one. This search process alone will make you feel better. You are doing something to benefit yourself.

 

I very seldom give direct advice not knowing the parties involved, but from what you have written, I would strongly recommend that you get out as soon as possible. Don't wait one year. You wrote: "Today, my dad asked me if I was "still unsure in your head about this God thing, you know, those weird mind games you keep playing about God?" -- this, and you are concerned about insulting your parents? What about them insulting you by suggesting that you are playing "weird mind games"? Hate to be blunt, but that is an insult to your reasoning ability and your intelligence. Your relationship with them is bound to further deteriorate unless you distance yourself. No wonder you feel God is out to get you. Get out as soon as you can. In the meantime, refuse to discuss religion at all with your parents.

 

If they want to know why you are moving out say something like you are an adult now and you just want to live independently. Don't bring up religion as the issue. They don't need to know.

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It sounds to me as if your parents are extremely controlling.

 

18 is the legal adult age in the U.S. (at least, in most states). If they cannot come to grips with the fact that you are an, adult, and not a child any longer, you need to take steps so they see that. Whether it means moving out and going to college, getting a job, whatever, you need to show them that you are an adult. I'm not saying start fights with them, but you need to be making your own decisions. And yes, I agree that if you are financially able to move out, that you need to move out. It is not healthy to live with one's parents forever or to always worry about what they think of you, which you seem to be doing.

 

You wrote:

I am just about 9 credits short of being able to transfer. It would be a great insult to my parents to move out while I am going to a school that is only five minutes away..I really don't know what I can do about this. Do I wait until I transfer?

 

You worry about insulting your parents. What hold do they have over you? Do they threaten physical abuse? They are already insulting you by being so controlling and treating you as if you are a child. Is it an inheritance hold? Figure out how to make your own money and be successful at something in life, so you will not be dependent upon them for financial means. Do they yell at you and belittle you? Verbal abuse also can leave long-lasting emotional scars. If none of the above, then why worry?

 

You need to gain your independence and learn how to make your own life decisions. Move out when you are financially able to.

 

Good luck.

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