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One Step At A Time


Guest JeniMac
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Guest JeniMac

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to have found these forums. :)

 

I was raised in the South and brought to church at 2-weeks old and indoctrinated into the religion from that moment on. Of course as a kid I knew it was the "right" thing to do to get saved, which I did at VBS when I was only 9. My parents weren't overly religious (not strict 2 or 3 times a week church goers or the "honey say your prayers before bed" types), but my dad was a deacon and being Christian was just what we were supposed to do. As I grew older I think I surpassed my parents in my religious fervor. I lived and breathed my faith. I wanted only what God wanted of me and all my choices were based on being a Christian, including which college I went to.

 

In college I developed a love of studying religions. Not believing in any of them apart from Christianity, of course, but studying them to prove to myself that my faith was "the right" faith. I got involved in a Messianic/Hebrew Christian group on the internet and learned all about how Christianity today is nothing like it would have been around the time of Jesus, blah blah. I thought I had struck gold! Here was history and a faith, a raw faith, that I could identify with--being Christian without being Christian...being "the right" kind of Christian where all those others had been so poorly misinformed. So I was passionately Messianic for a couple years, and my world revolved around this new Hebrew understanding of God. So much so that I alienated myself from friends and family and even quit a job over it. I'm embarrassed looking back now at this point in my life, but this was definitely the jumping off point that brought me to where I am today.

 

When one starts questioning Christianity, like I was doing even as a Hebrew Christian, one cannot help but learn that it's false. No matter how much I wanted to hang on to this faith, the more I learned the more my eyes were opened. The process began about a year ago...I questioned the apostle Paul and thought he was the "false prophet," I questioned other books in the New Testament and finally figured they're all false, I gave up Jesus and focused on the Old Testament (fully believing I would one day convert to Judaism), I gave up the idea of converting and settled for studying the Noahide laws, but eventually I found the Old Testament to be false so I looked for something else. Not another religion...I found them all to be man-made.

 

I read Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason" and it was like a light went off in my head. He was expressing the very same ideas I myself had already concluded, and I was finally able to sort them all out. I left religion behind completely and was content to call myself a deist at that point. For the first time I seriously researched evolution and took the next step...agnostic. While I still consider myself agnostic, I'm pretty much on the cusp of atheism. This is certainly a far cry from where I was, and in so little time!

 

And you know what, I'm happy! The process was very painful and the worst thing I have ever gone through in my young life, but it's been worth it. :) I still don't understand evolution completely, but I have a new fascinating subject with which to pacify my craving for knowledge--and I still love studying comparative religions although it's more now about the motives behind why people are religious. I have a brand new outlook on life and hope to meet new people who have had a similar experience to mine.

 

 

 

JeniMac

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Welcome JeniMac!!! I enjoyed reading your testimony and I look forward to hearing more from you. You don’t mention whether or not you’ve shared your outlook with you family, and I find myself curious about that. I’m wondering if you have, how they reacted and if you have not, what you expect the reaction to be.

 

Anyway, welcome and enjoy! I think you’ll find this a fun and an informative place!!!

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I still don't understand evolution completely, but I have a new fascinating subject with which to pacify my craving for knowledge--and I still love studying comparative religions although it's more now about the motives behind why people are religious.

Welcome to the forums, and to the wonderful world of freedom in which to explore knowledge and new ideas. I smile a little to hear you say you don't understand evolution completely... who does? :) I know what you mean though. There is a great deal of basic information that people are woefully unaware of. I think you will enjoy jumping into our Science and Religion forum for lots of discussion on that. Feel free to start a topic.

 

Actually for me, it was when I came to understand how life works on this planet that finally freed me from hanging onto the idea that God has to exist to explain this. Once that happened, suddenly life looked wondrous! It didn't reduce our significance being human to understand how we were part of this tree of life, it actually elevated the meaning and significance of it! We weren't the top of the pile with all other animals as beneath us. Not at all. We are a vibrant and living animal species among all the wondrous creatures that have emerged from the first animal. Beautiful in our qualities and attributes, as are all other creatures in theirs. It's both humbling and ennobling in the same breath.

 

I look forward to your participation here.

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Guest JeniMac
Welcome JeniMac!!! I enjoyed reading your testimony and I look forward to hearing more from you. You don’t mention whether or not you’ve shared your outlook with you family, and I find myself curious about that. I’m wondering if you have, how they reacted and if you have not, what you expect the reaction to be.

 

Anyway, welcome and enjoy! I think you’ll find this a fun and an informative place!!!

 

 

Thanks for the warm welcome! No, I have yet to share these things with my family. Thankfully I didn't have to go through this completely alone, as my husband shared in my new found knowledge and has grown along with me. We're both pretty much on the same page although he leans more toward a creator of some sort and I lean more toward atheism. I may be able to tell my family someday, but if we ever told his mother it would probably kill her. Mine would definitely be disappointed with me--they never understood my wanting to learn the roots of Christianity and that alone became a big source of friction between me and my mom--but I think eventually they would accept it. I want to tell them...I just don't know how.

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Guest JeniMac
Actually for me, it was when I came to understand how life works on this planet that finally freed me from hanging onto the idea that God has to exist to explain this. Once that happened, suddenly life looked wondrous! It didn't reduce our significance being human to understand how we were part of this tree of life, it actually elevated the meaning and significance of it! We weren't the top of the pile with all other animals as beneath us. Not at all. We are a vibrant and living animal species among all the wondrous creatures that have emerged from the first animal. Beautiful in our qualities and attributes, as are all other creatures in theirs. It's both humbling and ennobling in the same breath.

 

Oh I know exactly what you mean! I feel there is so much more significance to life now. I don't know how to express that to my religious friends. Most of them stop living because they're waiting on God (some friends of ours will be left with their parents' multiple mortgages because they've been getting further into debt "knowing" that the rapture will happen in their lifetime). I used to be this way (although not to that extent), but now life itself is so much more precious. I understand about it being both humbling and ennobling at the same time. It's amazing.

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While I didn't go to your extent before doubting, I also had a 'messianistic' phase. I knew most christians were not living up to the bible's standards and wanted to show them the right way...it was frustrating how obviously incorrect many of them were, and had been over the years(ie. the pope and his gold is not in the bible, wtf). Luckily I was taught to question authority by a high school teacher and when I looked at the world through my own eyes instead of through the bible I realized I had no logical basis for my beliefs when considering the whole history of mankind.

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Welcome JeniMac!!! I enjoyed reading your testimony and I look forward to hearing more from you. You don’t mention whether or not you’ve shared your outlook with you family, and I find myself curious about that. I’m wondering if you have, how they reacted and if you have not, what you expect the reaction to be.

 

Anyway, welcome and enjoy! I think you’ll find this a fun and an informative place!!!

 

 

Thanks for the warm welcome! No, I have yet to share these things with my family. Thankfully I didn't have to go through this completely alone, as my husband shared in my new found knowledge and has grown along with me. We're both pretty much on the same page although he leans more toward a creator of some sort and I lean more toward atheism. I may be able to tell my family someday, but if we ever told his mother it would probably kill her. Mine would definitely be disappointed with me--they never understood my wanting to learn the roots of Christianity and that alone became a big source of friction between me and my mom--but I think eventually they would accept it. I want to tell them...I just don't know how.

 

That is very much like my husband and I except I lean towards a higher entity/creator and he leans towards atheism. I haven't told my mom, she'd flip and I am 37 yrs old! I may tell her one day but for now I just want to keep the peace because I know she will NOT RELENT to having my soul saved. I may never tell her. Who knows. I go home this summer for a visit and we'll see how long I can tolerate being in her home. I am in Korea, BTW, my husband is military.

Welcome tot he group!!

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