Jump to content
Goodbye Jesus

Struggling Lately...


Recommended Posts

I have fairly recently left the Christian faith, although it has been in process for about a year now. I came out about it to one of my christian friends when she asked why i was dating a non-christian. Of course this started a whole spout of how I used to praise God for the things He'd done, and how faith is believing when you can't see anything happening, and her final proclamation was to "LIVE FOR GOD!" before i cut off the conversation. I was doing well, i wasn't feeling guilty so much for leaving, and i was happy and enjoying myself. Well now I feel guilty. I can no longer force myself to believe in the Christian faith, when it doesn't make sense, yet it seems the easiest thing would be to at least pretend.


I've been struggling with my moral compass as well lately. I used to have all these rules, and now that those rules don't apply I don't know what to do.


The christian circle I'm from, and I'm sure most of you are too, says you shouldn't date a non-christian. Funny thing is... i've been treated way better by him than i have by any of my Christian ex-boyfriends. I just don't get why even that part is so wrong. I feel guilty, but yet this guy makes me very happy. The main reason I feel bad about it is my family and friends don't like that I'm dating someone who isn't a christian.


Then there of course is the whole sex thing. Now that I'm not a christian, it would be ok right? Well for some reason I can't get my brain around it being ok, and any time something sexual comes up I feel horrible for it. I don't want to feel this way. Any ideas on how to move past that?


I think part of it is fear. My family would pretty well disown me if they found out i was having sex before I was married, plus it is just hard to make that leap from the faith you grew up in to, wait, there is no one there who really cares.


That is just an example of one of the things I deal with with this deconversion. I'm struggling, but i don't want to give in and just go back to Christianity, because then i'm acting my whole life instead of enjoying it. I do worry about what if I'm wrong? is God going to send me to hell? Probably... and i suppose if that's the case then i deserve it for turning my back, but at the same time, i feel like he shouldn't making himself so hard to believe in if He is there.


Thanks for reading my ramblings. Any advice is appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-Christian, movingon.


Its always risky telling someone you are deconverting. Someone getting all worried because you are "dating a non-Christian"-- sounds like your friend is a hard core fundamentalist to me. That is not an attitude commonly found in liberal Christian circles. I wouldn't waste my time with further explanations to these people. It was a good move to cut the conversation off.


Part of maturity is to make your own decisions and live your own life, despite what parents, friends and family say. I am not saying its easy, but if you are old enough to be a college student, it is time to start. You don't have to explain everything.


My advice on some of these matters depends on whether or not you are still living with your fundamentalist family.


I've been struggling with my moral compass as well lately. I used tohave all these rules, and now that those rules don't apply I don't knowwhat to do.


All the rules can still apply, if you want them to, without God. I say if these rules still make sense, why not keep them? If not, discard them. It is your life, just take big, bad, punishing God out of the picture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You always had your own moral compass. The only difference is that Christians use the handpicked bible verses to justify their compass, and atheists accept the truth that all morality is subjective. I am a pacifist. When I was a christian I would say Jesus was too, and I was following him in that. Obviously you can probably think of many Christians who disagree with pacifism. I am still a pacifist, but now I am forced to actually explain my position.


Yes, this can be hard, because sometimes when we think about our morals and if they are valuable to living in this world we start to shift them to adjust for reality. When Christians do this they quickly find more bible verses to back up their conclusions, but you can feel good in knowing that you believe in your morals and you can actually debate the point beyond quoting a bible verse.


Here is a video that might help understanding some of the advantages of being a nonbeliever

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a very similar experience in that I deconverted partly through dating an atheist (who I am now married to). We had many long talks about morality and the possibility of an afterlife and the existence of god. He wasn't a strong atheist so it wasn't like he was trying to convince me of anything, we just talked out the logic and the evidence and all the other reasons people give for believing. Anyway, we did not have sex for over 2 years of dating. I had a lot of issues i had to work though in that department not all relating to Christianity. If it feels wrong, if you get negative feelings, then you should not do it yet - you aren't ready. But keep working those feelings out. Do you think its objectively wrong to have sex before marriage? Probably not. Do you feel ashamed of your sexual impulses and desires? I did, and it sucks - it made me so mad for so long. When your brain has been wired to react "Oh this is bad" when you feel aroused and sensual, it can really ruin a good moment. Talk about it with your boyfriend, by what you have described I am sure he will be understanding. Let him know that it isn't his fault, that it will just take time to work out your feelings about the idea of sex. And if he is worth it he will wait as long as it takes.


Morality in general is difficult because there are things that aren't wrong in principle but can be wrong subjectively. Having sex before you are ready to isn't wrong in the sense that its a sin, but it can cause harm to yourself and your relationship and it is not worth it. The first thing is to try and work on the guilt complex that has been installed. Even when you do make mistakes, there is no reason to be thrown into a guilt cycle over it. Just deal with the consequences, take responsibility and learn. Someday you will be filled with longing for your man and you will not feel guilty over it. And then you can enjoy a passionate and purely amazing experience with him and there will be only joy and not shame or guilt. When that time came for me, I finally felt free at last from the clutches of my christian upbringing. My body was my own, my mind was my own, and I could experience love. Orgasms are the original religious experience, the most sacred of human experiences.


I feared my family would totally freak out when I got pregnant out of wedlock. It wasn't the first time it happened in my family (in fact my mom got pregnant with me before she was married) so it wasn't too bad. Not that they were happy about it (except my mom and it does make all the difference to have one supporting voice amongst the assholes). My dad couldn't talk to me for some time and hasn't really gotten over my apostasy but I figure that's his problem. I am a pretty straight forward person, not to the point of causing conflict, but I refuse to pretend to be something I am not. And being free of guilt was so empowering I felt that nothing could keep me down again.


While I still believed I came to the conclusion that I had already sided with the heathens and sinners. I had many non christian friends from all types of beliefs (and none at all) and I found their company to be far superior to the Christians I had come in contact with. I decided - even prayed to God once - that I would rather go to hell with them than to heaven with the saved. I didn't feel like it was too great a sacrifice because what heaven could exist without the beautiful variety of human beings? And what creature of pure goodness could send sentient beings to be eternally tormented beyond imagining for the finite and relatively innocent sin of disbelief? It was no god of mine that would do such a thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the responses. You guys are great, and very helpful to me in my deconversion. None of it is easy as I am still living with my family, and my friends for the past 10 years of my life are all strong fundamentalists. None of them are happy I am dating this guy, which tends to bring me unnecessary guilt.


You talked about moving past the guilt complex that is generally ingrained in Christians. Any advice on how to begin that journey?


Thanks again for the replies!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is important as Downtoearth said to allow yourself to feel what you feel without further judging it. Your emotions are legitimate even if you wish you felt differently. I had other causes for my guilt so what I did may not apply to you. But I wrote a lot in journals to sort through those feelings and get to the source of them. I also kept an open dialog with my boyfriend so he didn't feel guilty either - because it can be hard for men to understand some of the things women go through in this regard. A part of it for me was becoming comfortable with my body. Being about to be explore it and experience it without judging myself made it easier to share it with my boyfriend. I am an emotional person, but I tend to critically examine my feelings logically until both parts of my brain can accept them. So for me, dissecting my thoughts and feelings and making them more logical was helpful, but it might not be for everyone. Just keep reading, feeling, talking and thinking and eventually the guilt complex will unwind itself - at least in as much as it can be.


The topic of sexuality and guilt and shame is one that I feel pretty strongly about. It is the biggest personal problem I have with Christianity and it makes me sad to see that others suffer as I did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Justyna

Oh Wow...this must be hard. I dont understand get what you are talking about casue I am new to this deconversion thing..like really new to it, only a few days old to be exact. :P but I am sure I am going to go through the same stuff. Try and get support here, thats what I plan on doing too if I go through things like that. The thing is for me I see clearly now how I was programmed from a young age to believe in Christianity and that really pisses me off. I was a child for goodness sake, I had no choice in the matter. Its been clear to me as night and day. Its like my eyse are openning now for the first time.


If you go back they are just going to get in their huddles and disect everything you've done, and everywhere youve been. I wonder how I am going to react to the whole "able to have sex now" thing as well as able to live with someone of the opposite gender, as well as able to cuss...Im so new to this that I am afraid I cant offer you and advice except learn from you experience. YOu are in my thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to believe alcohol was sinful, and I would not go to parties and would stay home and watch boring sitcoms.


But it unnerved me that some people would drink and talk happily about it.


One day, at age 19, I decided that it was impossible to truly judge alcohol until I truly understood it. Then with the help of some close friends I got wasted in a safe environment and passed out to Radiohead's Kid A in what was an amazingly fun and almost spiritual experience. Alcohol actually would medicate my anxiety and nueroticism and I would feel normal and amazingly confident, and my friends got to see my creative and comedic side at it's fullest. Of course, I still knew that binge drinking was wrong because of the health effects, but now I could drink a beer or two without feeling guilt, because I had mastered the thing I feared and had thus hated.


Once I started applying that sort of logic to other 'sins', I sought to understand them and why people did them, and I was able to enlighten myself with the knowledge, and with that knowledge I can build a moral compass for more entrenched in reality. For example, once for a whole year I had a gay roommate. After that I could never see homosexuality as anything but naturally created, even if it is unintuitive to a straight man. And what's more is that he taught me this thing called 'fashion'.


Hope that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.