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My Introduction And Testimony


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Hey Everyone!

 

I'm new here as you can tell so I figured posting my personal story would be a pretty sufficient way to start off.

 

As far as my background goes, I've been brought up in pretty devoted Christian household. My parents are not fundamentalists but they were never the type of people to simply slap on the label "Christian" because that was the societal norm, we've gone to church ever since I can remember and they have always read devotionals and purchased a few Lee Strobel books. As far as my personal experience with church, I never remember questioning any of the teachings since I was so young. However, church could be a pretty dangerous affair. I remember being forced to dress up every Sunday and attend Sunday School, where I incessantly harassed the teacher and other students for the entire hour and a half. It was just too boring for me, we read the same mundane and overused stories every week and I would declare my distaste by asking obnoxious and sarcastic questions the entire time and screwing around with my friend. One Sunday I took it so far as to steal another kid's hat, throw it across the room, where it spilled a cup of water all over somebody. Needless to say, that didn't go over well when the teacher told my parents. Outside of church I was always really vivacious and enthusiastic about everything. I always had to read the most books in the class, run the fastest mile in PE, and outsell everyone else in the elementary school fundraisers. As far as science goes, I was enthralled by all topics, particularly outer space and space travel. I had many books that I read for hours on the subject and others.

 

So that was the first phase of my life as pertaining to my religious experience. The second part was dumped on me rather surprisingly and uncomfortably. When I was going into the fourth grade my family moved from rural, small town, Vermont, to a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. This was a big change for me, coming from a small school and community to a place where there were more shops, schools, construction, (At the time we moved here, the county I live in was the fastest growing in North Carolina, and North Carolina was one of the fastest growing states in the US) and most of all, people. So it was a bit of a culture shock for me. We started attending churches and quickly settled for a nondenominational one that was up to date with the current styles of Southern Christianity, worship bands and preaching that was light hearted and most of all, nontraditional. While I wasn't completely excited by church, I didn't hate it any more. By middle school, I started attending youth group and became "on fire for God." For the first time in my life Christianity was actually a major factor in my life. I prayed, read my bible, invited friends who weren't Christians to church with me, and even practiced with the worship band for a while. By the time I finished middle school I wasn't quite as excited by church as I previously was. But I was still certainly a Christian.

 

My deconversion started with a series of conversations I had with an atheistic friend soon after I finished my freshmen year of high school. He didn't have any real deep critiques of Christianity other than the fact that the whole thing seemed ludicrous to him. However, his attitude infuriated me. One night we were out with a group of friends and we were walking around after eating dinner. We were discussing the bible and he said something to the extent of, "well the bible's just really bullshit." Having already made fun of Christians earlier when we were at dinner this REALLY pissed me off. I shoved him up against a wall and threatened to hit him. He kind of just laughed it off and went about his business. Later that evening I was laying in bed fuming from the whole situation. I got up and punched the wall in anger, I was enraged that somebody would insult and make fun of God like that and at this point I thought that God was probably disappointed in me for not punching my friend in the face earlier that night!

 

A few weeks after this I stumbled across a youtuber by the name (or username rather) of Solrosenberg84. He had some pretty interesting commentaries on subjects pertaining to religion that got me thinking. However, I took the typical attitude of "Well that doesn't disprove God in any way, it's still possible." After this I came across another series of videos by Evid3nc3. He had a series which described his deconversion from Christianity to atheism and this interested me so I began to watch it. After watching the videos in which he presented his story, but also arguments against Christianity, I became very uncomfortable. This stuff was starting to make sense to me and it perturbed me. After going through the series a few times I really began questioning. I went from a "That still doesn't disprove God" mentality to seriously considering the arguments against Christianity. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the realization that biblical inerrancy was almost definitely a crock of shit. At this point I would probably say I was no longer a Christian. I went through a brief phase of pantheism, as I couldn't reconcile spirituality with atheism, but I was on my way. After this point I renewed my interest in science and began reading history, particularly learning about the gospels and coming to the conclusion that Jesus was not devine and that these texts were probably not very reliable. After this I quickly became a hardcore atheist but then took on a more agnostic mindset. I have recently began to have a more atheistic outlook again, and I came to the realization that you can in fact disprove religion, but just not deities, which seem to not exist when logically thinking about the subject, and I thought that even if they do, it almost certainly didn't affect me.

 

Telling my parents wasn't too terrible, but they still expect me to go to church. I presented my reasons to my mom and she couldn't provide any answers other than the predictable "God works in mysterious ways" and "We just can't comprehend it" crap. My dad tried to convince me that I actually did believe in a god, even after I repeatedly told him I didn't. He can't seem to reconcile the complexity of life and the universe with the absence of a creator. (Which by the way, saying that something infinitely more complicated than the universe itself, simply existed, when you dismiss the theory of evolution because "life is too complex to have evolved" is kind of ridiculous.) My dad is the more thoughtful of my parents and he's actually a pretty intelligent guy, so it kind of surprises me that he subscribes to religion.

 

Currently I just finished me sophomore year in high school and have been devoid of Christianity for a little under a year. My parents have basically come to terms with, but not really accepted, my beliefs, and we don't discuss it much anymore. I have had a few discussions with my younger brother who is still a Christian and I think they made him question some stuff. I have pretty much adjusted to life as an atheist and am trying to figure out where I stand politically as I can't really subscribe to any party. The greatest thing I've learned from the whole experience is that life really can be enjoyable, and in some ways more enjoyable than a religious life, without God. I was always taught that non-Christians are always trying to fulfill a God shaped void in there heart and are never truly happy. Shattering this myth was pretty refreshing for me, and at this point I'm just enjoying living my life.

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Welcome - I'm proud of you for being yourself! Lots of people are too afraid of hurting or pissing off their parents, and it takes guts to be honest and just tell them you don't believe anymore. You will go far with that kind of loyalty to yourself.

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The straw that broke the camel's back for me was the realization that biblical inerrancy was almost definitely a crock of shit.

 

That's what's done it for a lot of people, me included. Glad you found us; welcome to Ex-C!

 

 

 

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Jason, I enjoyed your story. Thanks for sharing and welcome to Ex-c! Looking forward to more of your posts!:grin:

 

 

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