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I've Gotta Tell Some Body.


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Guest Science!

How do I explain my deconversion? Well...

There's a quote by Ronald Reagan. He said "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin.

And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

 

It's a little like that.

 

From birth, I was pretty "blessed". I was born into suburban White Protestant America, and

I was PROUD of it. Most of my family is deeply involved in Christianity, everything from missionaries to big churches. I was lucky enough to be born to a part of the family just a little bit less religious than the rest.

I suppose my family should've keep a better eye on me, since I was a born philosopher (and Geek). I liked

thinking about all those deep questions, and learning all about that science stuff, and reading all about those

fantasy books. (My copies of the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia have been read so many times

the covers just disentigrated) I watched Veggie Tales and Bill Nye the Science Guy and loved 'em both.

I never was good with the whole "people" thing, though, and I only kept around a few best friends.

 

Come junior high, at my family's desire, my parents decided to take me out of the corrupt world of

public school and enroll me into a Christian School. I can't deny that this was a good time of my life,

as the people here were good and trustworthy, and we were far removed from the popularity-obsessed

cliche-driven world of the typical high school.

We had Bible class and we knew all about Balaam and his talking *ahem* Donkey and we memorized the lineage of Jesus, but like many

Christians, I still hadn't really read the Bible. My school was one of those schools which taught

Creation "Science". Intelligent Design? That was for wimps who were too willing to

surrender a literal interpretation of Scripture to appease the Darwinists who were in league with Satan.

Evolution's just a Theory anyway .

Of course, I was a reader of that science stuff by those "darwinists", and it didn't make sense, how could all those

scientists be wrong and deluded by Satan? Anyway, a theory in a scientific sense didn't mean the same thing in colloqial English, and...well...

Nonetheless, you judged science by the Bible, not the Bible by the science.

I decided that the scientists must be wrong and Ken Ham and AIG knew the truth. They had the Word of God to guide them, after all.

 

We also had classes about geography. I always found different cultures fascinating.

I began wondering why God let them end up without him. They can't really all be evil or misguided by Satan. Can they?

Of course, the Bible said that if you didn't believe in Jesus, you were willfully ignorant of him and going to Hell. But..really?

Even if they'd never heard about Christianity from somebody, or their culture had religion deeply ingrained, or the person who taught them about Christianity was a big ol meanie head?

Troubled, I turned toward apologetics, and for then, they satisfied me. I had my doubts, and I never really

understood what people meant when they talked about "feeling God", but I assumed it must be true, how could

all these Christians be wrong? Not being the spiritual type, I resolved to be an intellectual Christian. I'd

arm myself with the apologetic armor of God and be like C.S. Lewis. Free Will pretty much explained

everything, anyway. Praise the Lord for that gift of Free Will.

 

What is free will, after all? The more I thought about it, the less sense it made. People didn't

purposely go out to make bad decisions, and Hell is a hell of a bad decision. And how is the will free, anyway?

We can't just randomly make a decision, we base it on past experiences. Sometimes it seems like we make

a decision spontaneously, but when you look back, you can see trends, or you can figure out the reason why

you acted the way you did. It's all cause and effect. And what about neuroscience? Or is that just

a creation of Satan? But if Free Will didn't work, then what's the deal with devil? What's he doing hoping around everywhere?

Doesn't that mess with the plan? And wouldn't he be screwing up Free Will will if it did exist? It HAD to work somehow. Christians

much smarter than me had it all figured out. How could they all be wrong?

 

By the time I graduated high school, I'd had a lost a good deal of faith...and friends. Many of my friends

had moved away, and I was wary of making new ones. So many people my age these days didn't seem that

much like True Christians, and I was worried that it would allow satan into my life.

My family was big on spiritual warfare, so I knew that stuff was real, and I had to watch out! How could

all those Christians be wrong? Maybe I'd be better defended if I read the Bible...

I kept more and more to myself, and got more lonely. I decided to take a semester off before going

to College, so I could find out what God's plan for my life was.

I was embarressed about my doubts, so I prayed that God would relieve me of them

so I could be a better servant, since I had no idea what to do, but he was quiet.

I turned to apologetics and my "how could they be wrong?" rationalization. Even

If I couldn't believe as strongly, I still had the duty to support my family and their beliefs.

I got a job so I could get used to the "Real World" outside of Church and School. Fall came and I

still hadn't decided on a college. I decided to go to a community college nearby so I could stay at home. I'd

join Campus Crusade for Christ and I'd be safe and things would turn out well. (I ended up not joining them)

 

My faith declined. I talked to God more, trying to figure out how to rationize all the different worldviews.

How come he let all these bad things happen to people? Why can't you reveal himself to us? Satan seems

to be having a hayday here, what's keeping you from stopping him? How about a sign, here, God? Please?

Silence. Well, even if I had trouble believing it all, it was my duty to defend Christianity. It

was the only thing keeping us moral. Without religion, we'd all be savage murderous homosexual animals!

Sweden? Never heard of it...

I decided it was time to actually read that Bible. Cover to cover.

So I started with Genesis. A little scientific bit in my brain went "Urk!" as I read over the creation of the world,

but I ignored it. Ken Ham had it all worked out, how could he be...you know the drill.

Then I got to chapter 3. Adam. Eve. Talking Snake. Apple. Kicked out of the Garden. But wait...That doesn't seem right...

Where did the whole idea of the original sin come from? It isn't there. And God kicked them out so they wouldn't live forever? Not because

they committed a sin?

Where did all the apologetics come from? And talking snakes? Why doesn't it just say "Satan"? I kept reading, but I'd changed since I was younger. The flooding of the Earth wasn't about abstract beings of evil being destroyed, it was about real people and real animals being ruthlessly exterminated. How come I never noticed that earlier?

 

For the first time in my life, I decided to look up something that wasn't pro-christian. It was then that I felt that

freedom that I read about here. I could finally try to figure out what was actually going on here.

I read about contradictions, and the genocides, and the implications.

The more I read the bible, the more I realize how culturally ancient it is. It's a bronze age book that

we've just get reinterpretting to fit in with the mindset of our times. Things that worked

for gods back then just don't work for gods today. I read about the history

of Christianity and Judiasm, and I looked at modern religioisty. You should know them by their fruits, right?

That does it for the defender of morality. Urk. In the end, it was the very book that's the foundation of

the Christian faith that lead me away from Christianity. See that one coming?

I've now gone completely agnostic. I just can't take the bible seriously.

 

How can people not see all these things in the "good book"? I think people don't really consider it "real" the way they think of things today are. It's a simplistic wordview; there's good people and there's bad people. It's Indiana Jevoha and the CaNaazis. It's a dangerous mindset, for

us and whoever gets victimized by it. After all, when a portion of a people group think that you're pure evil, it won't fare

well for either parties. Just ask Muslims. They won't be laughing.

 

But now I'm stuck, and I don't know where to go. I don't have much in the way of friends, since I still suffer from

debilitating social awkwardness, and I feel bad around my family. I feel like I've failed them by not staying a Christian,

and it gives a whole new dramatic irony to whenever we talk about all those poor lost souls. I'm not sure how I'll break it too them,

and I'm afraid of how they'll react. I don't really have a plan, and I don't know how I'd fare seperate from my family. I feel lost and alone,

and I often worry about how I'll face my family with the facts, since they've been pushing me more and more toward going to a Christian college.

 

I can say for sure though that I'm glad I've discovered this website. Finding out that I'm not broken or alone in my struggles have really helped. It's nice to find people who won't say that I've just fallen for satan's lies and to have faith ©.

Thanks for wasting a few minutes of your life reading my badly written story.

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Welcome to the board, I just want you to know that we've been in the same boat as you. I came from the same background: proud to be a christian, going to all the events and even dropping my non-christian friends for christian friends. Now the dealing with your family, I haven't done that with my mom, but my new job did it for me, I work at night and can't make it to church, and I told her I'm going to go ahead and leave my home church because I like to sleep when I get home from work and not wreck my car. I just want you to know that you are not alone, as in there are people on these board that will give you their stories and let you know how they broke it to their parents, and family members. Some with good results and some with not so good results. It wasn't a waste reading about your deconversion, it never is.

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Welcome! Thank you for sharing your story, it is one that many of us recognize and have been through in some way or another.

 

My best advice for you for now is to find more support online, as you have here. These people have been down the same road as you and are always willing to offer support where they can. In time it will make you stronger and more sure of yourself and your beliefs. There are way more of us out there than any Christian would like you to believe. Some are open about it, but many are like you, living in the closet, afraid of family, friends and their community. It takes time, but we will all eventually be recognized for what and who we are. Decent, hard working, moral people who simply do not believe in fairy tales.

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Things that worked for gods back then just don't work for gods today.

 

I love this line. It's a bette way of saying, "They don't make gods like they used to."

 

Welcome to the fray.

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Greetings! I was in a similar boat, following the writings of creationists and apologists. Luckily for you, you seem to have seen through the bullshit quicker than I did. I had read the entire Bible multiple times before the brainwashing finally started to wear thin and I started seeing problems in "The Word." Breaking free was tough, but after a while I finally became comfortable with my agnosticism. I'm sure things will be fine for you.

 

As far as meeting other people, check out meetup.com and look for freethinker groups in your area. I recently did this and enjoyed my first meetup last month, and I'll be leaving for my second meetup very shortly (it starts in less than an hour).

 

I liked your WTF moment with Genesis 3. Another aspect to look at in that story is this: Even though Adam & Eve were told not to eat of the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil," how the hell could they have really understood that it was wrong to do so if they didn't have a "knowledge of good and evil" before eating from it? This account just drips with stupidity.

 

Anyway, enjoy the journey ahead of you....

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Welcome!

 

There is so much of your story that I could quote and claim as my own! I understand well what you went through, as I have just gone through it myself. You're lucky, though, as you figured it out pre-college. I fought to retain my (ever-decreasing) blind faith until age 35.

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Welcome to the forum, thanks for sharing your extimony.

 

I'm assuming the knowledge that you no longer believe (and admitting it out loud) is still fairly fresh...either way, the whole deconversion process doesn't end with admitting we don't believe - there is still a long journey ahead of you as you begin to figure out who you are (for real this time), rewrite your life without religous bigotry, and for once start making your own decisions (which is thrilling, but can also be very scary till you're used to it).

 

As for family, personally I let that one sit for a long time. Several years in fact between when I stopped calling myself christian and when I finally told my parents (I had "come out" to more open minded family, such as my sister before that, but not parents). Since you're still not away to college, once you do it should be a bit easier to put that off until you're ready.

 

Seems like you've got a great grasp on figuring out why you don't believe - in all honesty, right now I'm in the process of learning the truth behind why I just couldn't accept things - the inability to accept some of those things were enough for me to finally stop believing. Now I'm backing that up with more knowledge than I have time.

 

As for support, this forum has been terrific for me. There are other online communities as well, I started out with a known ex-christian on a horse forum I'm a part of - she was my first contact with someone who left the "family faith." Online support is great, especially when you're surrounded by either christians, or people who never were (and just don't get why it's such a big deal to leave). Meetup is a good place to find local groups just to meet people - there weren't any free thinker groups real close to where I live, but I found another group and have thoroughly enjoyed the few get togethers I've gone to! I think it's important to meet people outside of your normal circles just to know that they are normal, caring people, and probably more open than those you grew up with.

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Guest Science!

Thank you everybody for your posts. I found reading the testimonies has been an educational experience. People here have really come from all sorts of different lives.

 

Oh, and sorry about that big glaring spelling error. I checked my post for spelling errors, but making an error in the topic title? Yeah right.

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Congratulations! I hope you are proud of yourself or that you will be soon. It's a big wide world out there. We all owe it to ourselves not to take any other human being's WORD FOR ANYTHING! The Bible...yeah...written by a bunch of guys way after most of the facts. Not such a reliable piece of source material, for my money. That goes for most of the Holy Books out there. Not to say that there isn't a great mystery and wonder to be found in this living. I'm just not gonna have it shoved down my throat by any other HUMAN standing up in front of me telling me what to believe and what not to believe, what is "right and holy" and what is "Wrong and evil". Sorry! Am I foaming at the mouth yet?

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Do you play DnD? I have found that role playing groups can be quite fun and I always enjoy an excuse to indulge in wanton nerdiness. As a geek, I seek out other geeks. Even Christian geeks are usually pretty open minded, interesting and philosophical.

 

And I just finished reading LoTR for the 12th time. I tell people its my bible. I have a JRRT symbol tattoo. Have I outgeeked everyone out yet? :HaHa:

 

But yeah we used to hang out at a rpg/ card game store that had tables set up for dnd and magic tournaments. If you are into that sort of thing. Might be extrapolating too much from your testimony of fantasy geekdom.

 

Welcome to the forum.

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Guest Science!

Your extrapolations are correct. Though I've only been recently introducted to DnD, been playing it about half a year. I find that the more geeky a social activity is, the more fun it is. You've got me beat on LOTR readings, I've only read it 4 times. However, how many Terry Pratchett books have you read?

 

I've watched people play magic, though I haven't gotten into it myself. I prefer card games more along the line of Munchkin. :HaHa: (<-Give this guy evil eyebrows)

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