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Looking Now At The Church For What It Really Is


OnceConvinced
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I've been an ex-Christian now for five years and hadn't attended in about as long until about two months ago. Now its for the entertainment value really and only when I have nothing better to do on a Sun morning. I really do get a kick out of looking at the people and the delusional world they live in and seeing it without the Christian goggles -seeing it for what it really is - a big game. There are also things about it I miss. I miss my friends there, the fellowship, the activities and the acting in particular. I often got to play key roles in big budget stage shows and I'd really love to do that again. I also see it as a bit of a social experiment. Kind of to endorse what I now believe about what a big game it all is and especially to be able to use those experiences as arguments against fundamentalist Christians I come across on line. I also have to admit that I would really really like to believe it all again, although I know I can't. But it doesn't stop me from wishing that I could. So I've been going back pretending to be a Christian still.

 

Some may say it's silly for a former alcoholic to be heading back to the bar, but knowing what I know now I could never believe again. It would be like going back to belief in Santa Claus. So there is no danger. The worst that could happen is that I get called out as a fake Christian, but I doubt that because as we all know there is no Holy Spirit discernment telling Christians who the real Christians really are and I've been playing the game for so long now I'm an expert. It's only until someone leaves the faith that the finger is pointed and it's "you were never a true Christian to begin with". My biggest danger is getting pissed off about some crap a Christian says and then blowing my cover. :lmao:

 

It's amazing. I can slot right back in and can even pray, speak in tongues and all that. I even discuss my new beliefs, but under a Christian guise and have people agreeing with me! In church today singing some old songs I used to know I even felt the familiar buzz which I always used to attribute to the holy spirit. Of course I know now it's just the music and the atmosphere that brings that on (I mean come on, according to some On-line Christians I've blasphemed the holy spirit!). I've also had an issue I've been going through this year and when the chance to come up for prayer came, I figured I'd go up and "give God a chance to do his magic." To see if I felt anything while being prayed for. Of course I felt nothing. But what I really found amusing was that they guy who was praying for me told me God had a word for me.

 

He told me that I needed to seperate the issue I was dealing with from God. As in don't blame God for it. I'm thinking "Hellooooo. In no way have I even insinuated that God was in any way shape or form responsible for what I was dealing with because I don't even believe in him anymore! God would realise this! And then this deluded Christian went on to tell me other things he felt God was saying to him, which were all very presumptious. Ie, presuming I was a Christian who believed. lol. It seems even the God of the universe knows nothing about me and has to take wild stabs in the dark about my background and beliefs.

 

Once again it demonstrated that God tells nobody anything. Christians like to believe God's telling them stuff to give as words of wisdom and prophecies, but obviously it comes from their own mind, nothing more. Of course this is nothing new to most of you here, but I find it all very fascinating, seeing the reality of it through a fresh perspective. I will continue to do that for as long as it entertains me and gives me fuel to add to my debates I have on line with Christians. And for as long as my cover remains intact.

 

I'll probably keep updating this thread from week to week with my observations. If no one's interested, that's fine. I'll probably refer to it when arguing with the odd fundie Christian that comes through here.

 

Anyone else have any similar stories about going back to church after becoming an ex-Christian?

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I hadnt gone to church in about 6 years when my grandmother died. I was about 24 (33 now). I have always liked my old church architecture, brick floors and walls, 50'+ high ceilings made of wood with huge wooden rafters, seating for over 1,000. Then the ceremony started and I was dumbfounded by the robes, the singing, chanting, prayers...the whole show basically. I remembered all of it, hell, I still instinctively start to recite the lord's prayer when I hear it. The paster (evangelical lutheran) started talking about how my grandma was in heaven now, with her other daughter who she never knew (preemie who died 2 hours after birth). This actually angered me, because I could now clearly see the emotional crutch religion plays in people's lives. I was also angered cause my grandmother used to be catholick but converted to lutheranism to marry my grandfather and was condemned to hell by her priest for leaving. She told us this story all the time growing up, and if my mother was not right next to me on our way out of the church, I would have brought it up to the pastor. But i didn't, out of respect to my mother cause she was pretty raw from dealing with grandma's decline over the last 5 years of her life.

 

That got me thinking for the next week about how every religion and every denomination says they are the only ones who are right, and everyone else is wrong and hell bound. Obviously, they can't all be right, but what if they were all wrong? That was the first time I started allowing myself to plug that answer into all my questions about religion. Amazingly, after never having a question be answered satisfactorily by anyone in the church, I started getting my answers. All I had to do was allow myself to think that god may be a human construct and does not actually exist in any fashion. I was amazed at how simple the answer really was.

 

About a month after her funeral, 9/11 happened, and I became a full blown Atheist.

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A while back, while I was sort of a agnostic/deist but had a mental road-block up and was still pretending to be a Christian, my husband and I went to a relative's church while we were visiting them. My husband has herniated lumbar discs (bad back + hard pew + long, boring sermon = pain), so at one point during the sermon, he hunched over to stretch his back and I was rubbing it for him. After the service, a lady in the pew behind us insisted on hugging him and telling him how she felt from God that Jesus had "touched your heart". I think she thought he was praying or crying or something.

 

We all had a good laugh about it afterward, even my relatives.

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I have to admire your adventurous spirit! I absolutely wouldn't pray in a church or even sing their stupid songs again.

My wife still goes and I occasionally consider going with her but I KNOW the complete BS would drive me out!

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I think what your doing is hilarious, and if it gives you something to enjoy in this pathetic life, I say go for it. I look forward to reading your weekly updates.

 

If you really want to have some fun, find a local Baptist church. Start going for several months, and then drop a bombshell on them. Like tell them your Gay and the holy spirit told you that it’s o.k. to be gay and be a Christian too.

 

Lol

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I don't know if I could ever go as far with it as you are, but I am getting enjoyment from sitting there mentally picking apart lessons and song weekly when I take my grandmother to church. It's a real riot when you know the prayers, scripture, and parts of the mass better than the "buleavers"

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  • 2 months later...

Well I finally got around to going to church again.

 

The speaker today started going on about how when you read the bible you shouldn’t approach it with your own biases in mind and that you should read what it says, not what you want it to say. I thought that was good advice, which Christians often don’t take, but then as he spoke it became obvious to me he was being a complete and utter hypocrite. His views were based with his own pre-conceived biases, which he went on to explain as if they were the only way you should view scripture. It also reminded me that EVERY Christian looks at the bible with a bias – that being that it’s the word of God. They are always going to expect it to line up with that bias.

 

One new thing that occurred to me today was to do with the praise and worship songs. Words like “There’s healing in the name of Jesus” and “There’s power in the name of Jesus” sung over and over again, which is very typical of Christian songs. It’s almost as if they’re trying to convince themselves that the words they’re singing are true. It occurred to me that what we have here are what the secular world would call “positive affirmations”. Self-help gurus like Tony Robbins teach this sort of thing to help you overcome negative thinking. Things like “Every day I’m getting stronger and stronger”, or “Now it’s time to love myself”, or “Every day I’m getting happier and happier”. They are a kind of self-hypnosis technique that if you say aloud over and over again for a long period of time you start to believe it. Singing songs of praise to Jesus is EXACTLY the same thing. And you have music to go along with it to make it so much stronger. So yeah, you will get healing, you will get strength… at least psychologically and it has nothing to do with God.

 

I see it more now than ever how much Christians contradict themselves with their doctrinal beliefs. The speaker was going on about how there is freedom in Jesus, but yet then goes on to immediately say we must surrender ourselves to God. I used to hear this all the time and never had a problem with the obvious paradox, but now it stands out as being such a contradiction. That’s not having freedom as you are expected to serve God and go by his rules. Plus there is always the horrible threat that if you don’t kiss God’s ass, it’s off to the eternal BBQ pit for you. Much like those slaves that suffered horrible beatings or death if they didn’t obey the commands of their slave masters. Yep, you have freedom. Either conform or burn.

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I was a non-believer in the last year that I attended church. I loved the music,(depending on the song and words) I loved the 'high'. Even being the skeptic that I was, I still sincerely prayed and asked God to 'revive' me again. I couldn't do the communion? I just couldn't 'drink the blood and eat the body'. I went to all the bible studies, etc..... some times my heart was more in it, than others - but I could feel everything dying.

 

The biggest ego trip I was ever on, was the really cool Gospel 'blues Band that I was in. I have one of those low voices and I always did want to sing blues. These guys grabbed a hold of me and before I knew it - I was one of the lead singers. i also converted secular songs for them.

 

Now, these guys were no amateurs - they were all ex-drug addicts and alcoholics, who played in big bars for a long time before they got saved. The black lead singer could play a guitar and sing better than Carlos Santana! I mean it - these guys were awesome and they made my voice sound like I was a professional! It was the biggest free-kin high I was ever on in my life!!

 

Do I miss some of this things - you bet your sweet ass I do! I loved all the music -the swaying and lifting up hands and praising god - I do miss it! :clap:

I loved the Pentecostal church. I couldn't go to any other!

 

I just cant go back. If they started on some of the things that disgust me - I would have to get up and leave.

But if you can go and enjoy the music and such - power to you. I too, will be one that follows this post to see how you do with it all.

This is very interesting......................

 

:scratch:

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We had communion. I had no issue taking it to look the part, because to me now it's just a silly religious ritual not deserving of any respect. It amazes me just how full a church service is of religious ritual. Even just turning up to church every week is no diffent to a Muslim facing Mecca every day to pray.

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That got me thinking for the next week about how every religion and every denomination says they are the only ones who are right, and everyone else is wrong and hell bound. Obviously, they can't all be right, but what if they were all wrong? That was the first time I started allowing myself to plug that answer into all my questions about religion. Amazingly, after never having a question be answered satisfactorily by anyone in the church, I started getting my answers. All I had to do was allow myself to think that god may be a human construct and does not actually exist in any fashion. I was amazed at how simple the answer really was.

 

 

This was a huge factor in my deconversion. No one could really explain to me how they know they have the "right" way to worship and understand the bible and god. And like you, I was finally able to say "what if" god really isn't real? Then of course it made sense why the church was always trying to discourage critical thinking, and questioning, and an open mind. And that idea seems to match up to reality much better than xian dogma.

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Guest Babylonian Dream

I loved the high I got from the group gatherings, the church basketball team (praying thinking God will make you win, alongside those guys on your team in shorts and a t-shirt and all muscles being eye candy, etc... as well), praying, singing hymns; all of that was great! Even if the lyrics to it all disgusted me from as far back as I've been reading the Bible.

 

I didn't admit to it at first, my first reaction was to run from it. It wasn't until I read the entire Bible, and began to ask pastors more and more questions, that began to see more and more, something wasn't right. I went church hopping, it was all the same. Eventually I did figure out it was BS.

 

With the magic gone, I wanted back in, but I just couldn't get myself to believe. Denial gone crazy, I went religion to religion. Eventually, I accepted the fact that I'm an atheist. It took 4 years to come to grips with the fact. I always subconsciously knew it, so it was ultimately my fakeness that drove me to accept my being godless.

 

I still want the feeling I felt then to come back, the religious high, but I'm trying to figure out how to get it without lying to myself of the existence of God, or torturing myself singing about how great someone being tortured on a cross is.

 

It did me more harm than good chasing after religion until I was 19. I stalled alot of recovery that i could've been making.

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