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What In Your View Constitutes "successful Deconversion"?


Guest wasachristian
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Guest wasachristian

If you had to give someone starting the journey out of xianity a goal to aim for, what would it be?

 

What does it mean to you to be free? (ok, "freedom" is the big one on my radar, maybe not for everyone)

 

Whatever deconversion means, what is it?

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When you wake up in the morning unafraid of hell, unconcerned with what an invisible man thinks of you and looking forward to what the day brings, taking joy in each moment because this time is all you've got.

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Thinking for yourself instead of repeating what's been taught.

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  • Super Moderator

You can laugh at dick jokes about Jesus.

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Losing your fear of believing the wrong thing.

 

That would include no longer being afraid of hell, not having to do certain things because its what religion requires of you, not having to be in the closet because you can't be honest with family and friends...

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Guest riverrunner

If someone were to at least get to claiming to be an agnostic I would be happy. the certainty of faith is disturbing (opposite of what darth vader would say). "I find your faith disturbing."

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All of the above! And...

 


     
  • feeling perfectly comfortable telling others that you do not believe in god
  • not feeling guilty when others disagree with your viewpoint
  • dropping the “not worthy” mindset
  • being content with the idea that this life is all there is and striving to enjoy each moment to the fullest
  • being twisted and enjoying it :grin:
  • knowing that my accomplishments are my own and that my poor decisions are my own... enjoying the knowledge that I am the primary decision-maker in my life

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Thinking for yourself instead of repeating what's been taught.

 

Yes, just that is major, and getting out of the black and white type of thinking. You know, the truth with a capital "T" mindset. Also, being easy with folks who are still in the rut. You can see it for what it is, you have overcome it. Finding your way - if its into a different philosophy or religion that's OK too. See there is no one solid answer for everyone. Be understanding of where you have come from, and the distance you have come from.

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No more fear. No more judgment. No more cultural and moral myopia brought on by the bible. No more "I know what's go for you and everyone else, so you better listen to me, sinner."

Freedom to be yourself, and not what a dead book tells you to be.

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You can laugh at dick jokes about Jesus.

 

Hell, I did this before deconversion was a serious concern. One of my favs (though less about Jesus than God).

 

Successful de-conversion...to be able to not see god or the believers in your life as threats to your self esteem and personal well-being.

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I want to address this topic about what "constitutes 'successful deconversion'" mainly because there are a lot of people who read ExChristian.net who are confused and new to the whole idea of leaving Christianity behind. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers and I will readily admit that I don't, but I do have some thoughts on the topic which I will share.

 

The word "successful," in my opinion, does not belong in the question. The opposite of "successful" is "unsuccessful" which brings up images of failure in one's pursuits. So, for example, if someone is rationally convinced that Christianity is a false religion, but still has a fear of hell, that person is not a failure in their deconversion. Rather, they just have some more work to do to rid their mind of the fear of hell which may have been instilled since childhood. I like the way the OP stated the following in the actual post (as opposed to the title of the thread):

 

If you had to give someone starting the journey out of xianity a goal to aim for, what would it be?

 

So, it is the above question which I will try to answer and not the question in the title of the topic.

 

We must first define what we are talking about when we say "deconversion." Since this is ExChristian.Net, "deconversion" means, in the context of this website and for my purposes, to stop being a Christian. What this means can be stated in a few words as follows: Acceptance that the entire New Testament was written by people and was not inspired by god or any spirit and that, though there may be some historical validity to some of it, it is mythology and not truth.

 

Having defined "deconversion," I will now list some of the specific goals for achieving it:

 

1. Acceptance of the fact that the character named Jesus as described in the New Testament was not the Messiah or the son of god, was not born of a virgin, never performed miracles of any type whatsoever, did not die for anyone's sins, was never resurrected from the dead, does not live today, cannot come into one's heart, does not speak to anyone, belief in him is not necessary for anything, he does not now and never has answered prayers.

 

2. Acceptance of the fact that there is no trinity.

 

3. Acceptance of the fact that the New Testament concept of faith is not a virtue, but is, in fact, a hindrance to understanding the truth about Christianity.

 

4. Acceptance of the fact that we were not born in "sin" and, in fact, that "sin" does not exist so we are not in need of a divine savior of any kind.

 

5. Acceptance of the fact that the New Testament concepts of Satan, demons, and hell do not exist.

 

6. Acceptance of the fact that the New Testament concepts of angels and heaven do not exist.

 

7. Acceptance of the fact that there is no eternal life through Jesus.

 

8. Acceptance of the fact that no miracles have ever been performed in the past nor ever will be performed in the name of Jesus.

 

9. Acceptance of the fact that there are no prophecies concerning "end times" which will herald the return of Jesus because the Jesus as described in the New Testament never existed and so cannot return.

 

What I have stated above leaves a lot of room for various religious beliefs. For example, I never set a goal of not believing that there may be a god, even the god of the Old Testament. But remember, I am describing deconversion from Christianity not deconversion from all religions or how to become an atheist. The reason for this is because I think it should be clear that what we are dealing with on this website is deconversion from Christianity. Thus, we could have a person who was formerly a Christian who becomes a Jew and they still belong on ExChristian.Net because they are an exchristian.

 

Many people, myself included, began by deconverting from Christianity and after some time (two years on my part) eventually became atheists. But that's not the route that everyone takes. And of great importance to those who are struggling through the mindboggling problems of losing their Christian religion should always be the assurance that they can take things one step at a time. They don't have to chuck the whole notion of god when they are having a hard time leaving Jesus. They can, if it is best for them, just concentrate on Christianity and address the other questions when they are squared away on Christianity.

 

To be sure, some people are able to short circuit the whole deconversion process by quickly losing all belief in any god which, out of necessity, means that Christianity (and all religions) are false and that there is no satan or hell and thus those fears simply disappear. That's great for them, but it's not that way for everyone. Some people require a much more structured and methodical approach and must work through their tortured emotions. It is those people who I had in mind as I wrote this.

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If you had to give someone starting the journey out of xianity a goal to aim for, what would it be?

 

What does it mean to you to be free? (ok, "freedom" is the big one on my radar, maybe not for everyone)

 

Whatever deconversion means, what is it?

 

1)An absence of fear.

 

2)Liking oneself.

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Guest I Love Dog

To me it's the realization that humans are just one of the myriad life forms that exist on this wonderful planet. Humans are not "special" in the scheme of things, just part of the never-ending cycle of birth:life:death and that all life forms depend on each other.

 

All humans are equal in Nature, and none are given special treatment because they believe in invisible deities. All humans have the same basic needs; food, shelter and safety and acceptance.

 

Once a person realizes that there is no "god" gazing down from above loving "his" creations and demanding worship and that the reward and punishment system of heaven and hell is merely a human construct and that we are responsible for our own actions and decisions and compliance with societal laws, then and only then, can we became mature and complete.

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What I have stated above leaves a lot of room for various religious beliefs. For example, I never set a goal of not believing that there may be a god, even the god of the Old Testament. But remember, I am describing deconversion from Christianity not deconversion from all religions or how to become an atheist. The reason for this is because I think it should be clear that what we are dealing with on this website is deconversion from Christianity. Thus, we could have a person who was formerly a Christian who becomes a Jew and they still belong on ExChristian.Net because they are an exchristian.

 

Thanks for seeing that we "believers" in other religions/spiritualities are still Ex-Christians. :D

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  • Super Moderator

All of the above!

 

I also knew I was really free once I could listen to a xtian's blatherings, and instead of feeling fear or anger, I felt sorry for them.

 

But if they were the Really Obnoxious Xtians, it was when I could WendyDoh.gif right in front of them.

 

(I try not to do that too often -- I'm usually nice and polite -- at least up to a certain point. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif )

 

 

 

 

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If you had to give someone starting the journey out of xianity a goal to aim for, what would it be?

 

What does it mean to you to be free? (ok, "freedom" is the big one on my radar, maybe not for everyone)

 

Whatever deconversion means, what is it?

 

It's honestly a daily thing for me. The trauma maybe with you for the rest of your life really, you will still see christian evidence in society, you still get enraged, you still may even have nightmares about hell (don't be too worried about that, I still have nightmares about grasshoppers spitting acid at me because some kid told me that the black stuff they spit is acid when I was like 5)...

 

I think it's better to tell someone that life gets better, rather than tell them there's some kind of complete success if they do X for X time and get X result. I don't obsess about is there a heaven and hell, is god real, am I going to hell and did I make a mistake anymore, but because I was christian so long, and because I was so into it, of course I think about it nearly every single day. I mean, this is my childhood, teenager years, family...used to be my life's goal, and told me many things about my body, my sexuality and relationships, my habits, and dictated what I read, watched and listened to. The key is learning to not obsess, to not let it depress or anger you too much (feeling sad and angry is ok, just not all the time, and not super intense).

 

It's a life-long process that changes person to person. It's the most beautiful thing about religion and philosophy. We come to a deeper understanding of our own views and attitudes every day. Religion and philosophy are not beautiful when stale and absolute, they must be ever evolving. Even christians claim they believe that (it's why they call it a "walk"), regardless of whether they follow it or not. Coming to a deeper understanding about your disbelief is a journey that ends when we do, not at a designated ending point.

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Guest wasachristian

Amazing responses so far ....

 

And the big one that keeps coming through for me is ... an absence of fear.

 

What kind of a sick message of love it the gospel ... on second thoughts, it's not the 'gospel' it's "Go Spell" , as in 'put under a spell' like! The more you listen to other experiences the sicker xtianity seems. woohoo.giflmao_99.gif

 

I just want to be completely free of any xtian legacy ... where it is totally irrelevant.

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The ability to be your perverted self without feeling an ounce of guilt.

 

License to hate motherfuckers that are worthy of your hatred, instead of forgiving them and pretending to 'love' them.

 

Hell, demons, and all that other shit don't keep you up at night except on maybe sporadic occasion.

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I think a person is deconverted when

 

1. They realize they can no longer believe that the Christian version of god exists.

 

2. They come to understand that the Bible is just another set of religious writings alongside all the other writings from non-Christian faiths. It has no special "authority" or "power" to dictate or explain reality any more than other pre-scientific writings.

 

3. Any pretending about still being a believer is done as a survival strategy in a christian dominated family and /or culture and not as an attempt to convince themselves that they are still a "good christian person."

 

Despite what our visiting Christian apologists say, deconversion is not a choice. It is an awakening to and an acceptance of what is often, at first, an unhappy and unwelcome truth: the religion/deity in which we believed is not true. The religion is false. The deity does not exist. Becoming aware of that, we must move on.

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For me there are two parts.

 

The first is the letting go of the fear, guilt, dogma and thought-control of christianity.

The second is the finding of a new viewpoint - humanistic morals, freedom to think what I want and to question everything

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It was nice to be rid of all that hatred towards people that weren't like me. In spite of all the blather about hate the sin, love the sinner, the reality is that xians hate the sinner.

 

Also, I found that people and their actions made a lot more sense after deconversion. Realizing that none of them were inspired by god but by their own motives opened up a new understanding for me.

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Being able to see the heaven right in front of you instead of looking beyond the grave for it.

 

Losing the belief and fear in hell.

 

I would think that if a person chooses to still believe in a god of some sort, that would not be a bad thing...as long as they kept their belief to themselves rather than trying to sell it to others.

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I consider deconversion to be "successful" once you're past the doubting stage and you fully realize that the religion is indeed nothing but a bunch of bullshit. At this point it becomes next to impossible to ever be entrenched in the lie again (barring a brain injury or illness, of course).

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