Jump to content

What Started It All?


pratt
 Share

Recommended Posts

was iMing my old methodist friend the other day after he saw my group picture with Dalai Lama.

 

he asked about salvation between buddhism and christianity. he asked if hypocrisy a major factor for me to disbelief. he asked what started the fall away from christianity.

 

we usually chat about anything other than jesus though we were once in the same church.

 

come to think about it, it was kinda difficult to pinpoint a single factor to disbelief. but somewhere along the line, doubts raises, questions cannot be answered to MY satisfaction. i think it started with these 2.

 

1. why bad things happen to good people, and still wanting to send them to hell for not believing in jesus. i had read many books by many christian apologists during my chrsitian era and the best answer they come out with is "he works in mysterious ways" and "his ways are not my ways". not exactly answering my question, but it comes a time that i cannkt accept such BS anymore. i know of people who are kinder and more compassionate than jesus in the bible.

 

2. i once trying to calculate the time of jesus birth to adam, and it falls kind of short of at least few hundred thousand years of earth age. I once accept the BS explanation of thousand years is a day crap, and play mind gymnastics with it till I would not know how the bible should be interpreted. if there is no adam, there is no need for jesus.

 

i no long be bothered what people may threaten me with salvation, bible, hell and such, because there is a life to live as i. NOW and not waiting for jesus Enterprise to pick up up.

 

p/s i like some of buddhism teachings, and dalai lama on his views on humanity and compassion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was iMing my old methodist friend the other day after he saw my group picture with Dalai Lama.

 

he asked about salvation between buddhism and christianity. he asked if hypocrisy a major factor for me to disbelief. he asked what started the fall away from christianity.

 

 

So near as I can figure out, they have to convince themselves we are deconverting because of hypocrisy or bad treatment (got hurt by the church) or some such nonsense. (For some people it may be true, or what starts them thinking, but it is seldom the real underlying reason.) The reason Christians have to believe this is that they can actually answer it--they have a cure for it. But they have no cure for the real reasons we leave: problems with basic theological principles. They can only falsely accuse us of not wanting to believe. That's the way it looks to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So hard to pinpoint. I think it might have been wondering why if we are supposedly filled with the holy spirit there are so many disagreements on what certain verses mean and why some denominations see some things as sin and others don't. If the HS is the same for everybody, then we should all be in agreement.

 

It just snowballed from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually reading the bible cover to cover is what did it for me. It is only in that manner that you see how utterly dependent the entire bible is to a literal Adam, to which cannot be homogenized with modern science.

 

Eidt, oh and how much of a fucking incompetent dick the god of the bible is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...come to think about it, it was kinda difficult to pinpoint a single factor to disbelief. but somewhere along the line, doubts raises, questions cannot be answered to MY satisfaction. i think it started with these 2.

Many Christians cannot pinpoint a single factor in their belief, either, although those Christians who can are often smug towards those who cannot.

 

Sounds like your friend is making an honest inquiry and may be having his own doubts.

 

At any rate I don't see anything wrong with saying, "it wasn't any one aha moment, just an inexorable buildup of conviction." In some ways that's actually a more impressive answer than many other possible ones, anyway. Don't feel you have to apologize for it. Not everyone's awareness grows in fits and starts. Mine didn't either. I probably took 20 years to gradually drift away from the faith. I've only firmly self-identified as an unbeliever and left behind the last vestiges of any hedging (i.e., "maybe there's a supreme being of some kind somewhere") only perhaps 5 years ago. I'm 54. It takes time, sometimes, particularly if you grew up in the faith and it was not a particularly traumatic experience for you. I saw no need to rush it, and now that I've allowed it to develop organically at its own pace, it's all the more solid for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It started with watching Joseph Cambell's "Power of Myth" series on PBS

 

Thank you for this. I just found Part I and am about halfway through and I am fascinated!!! Is the whole series online and if so, do you know where I might find it? I found the comparison of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed to be right on! And I was reminded of Greek mythology which I studied avidly in high school, but because I was so young it never occurred to me that the Greeks actually believed it. The word "myth" created my mindset before I even started reading it. Another example of controlling what we think...my teacher never even mentioned that anyone had ever believed it was more than myth to the Greeks. It was presented to me in much the same way Aesop's Fables were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it was a lot of factors, really. As a kid I really loved science. As in, really, really loved. I told everyone I wanted to be a "scientific preacher." Thinking back, the preacher part was just a way of getting people's approval, i think.

 

In high school I was in a tough magnet program that emphasized critical analysis and a rounded exposure to ideas. It was called International Baccalaureate. If you have kids about to go into high school, I'd recommend it - if they're up to it. It is one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Pretty much turns high school into an academic meat grinder, but hey, you come out the other end a much better thinker and writer. Anyway, while there, I read several different books in literature class, including books like The Stranger and Siddhartha. I remember latching onto the existential stuff - I found it pretty fascinating. I was still definitely a hardcore xtian, but I guess things started there. But at the same time, I also was exposed to different kids, way different from the kind of people that were in my former ACE curriculum baptist school.

 

Then college. Yea. Lots of people, lots of ideas. Clashes with the parents forced me to pave my own way in several areas. Senior year of uni saw my start into political thought and other matters. I became less and less dependent on xtianity to explain things.

 

And then later on, the actual deconversion came. You'd think it would've been an easy deal at that point, but nope! I've been deconverted for about 1 1/2 months now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad was an intellectual and taught me to question everything. So I was fortunate that christianity wasn't forced down my throat growing up. I did choose to join a church on my own but my parents didn't go. As I grew up I grew away from church but still believed in a casual kind of way. I got seriously into christianity after I almost lost my husband to cancer. It was reading the bible straight through (twice) and learning the doctrine of Calvinism that did it for me. I tried so hard to accept it, but simply couldn't. I still clung to the hope that the "good news" was true, but I can't do it anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...come to think about it, it was kinda difficult to pinpoint a single factor to disbelief. but somewhere along the line, doubts raises, questions cannot be answered to MY satisfaction. i think it started with these 2.

Many Christians cannot pinpoint a single factor in their belief, either, although those Christians who can are often smug towards those who cannot.

 

Those who do that, though, are referring to when they supposedly "gave their lives to Jesus" and "got saved," wuch is not actually the same thing as starting to believe. You have to believe it before you choose to commit yourself to it, so those people already believed to some degree or other, but had a moment when they decided to take it seriously. Their reason for belief is almost always nothing more than simple demographics.

 

As far as my loss of faith, it was caused by studying the Bible. My first doubts arose from irreconcilable contradictions, but the real clincher for me was seeing how NT authors repeatedly took OT texts completely out of context in order to fabricate prophetic fulfillments. It's all a sham.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...come to think about it, it was kinda difficult to pinpoint a single factor to disbelief. but somewhere along the line, doubts raises, questions cannot be answered to MY satisfaction. i think it started with these 2.

Many Christians cannot pinpoint a single factor in their belief, either, although those Christians who can are often smug towards those who cannot.

 

Those who do that, though, are referring to when they supposedly "gave their lives to Jesus" and "got saved," wuch is not actually the same thing as starting to believe.

Well, okay, but many evangelicals equate belief with acceptance of Christ, even absent a very public "profession" of faith. If you don't accept the "lordship of Christ" then you necessarily don't believe. I suppose others slice and dice it differently but that was the way my tribe did it.

 

I think the purpose of altar calls is to fix a specific decisive moment in people's memory so they can point to that as a time and place of conversion. It's true that belief may have built up to that point but evangelicals tend to point to some specific decisive moment as a "spiritual birthday". At the other end of the process, however, those of us who lose our faith don't generally respond to anything equivalent to an "altar call". The closest we come is if we experience some traumatic loss or other shock that gives us a sudden "aha" moment where we realize that the promises of God are bullshit which eventually leads us to the reality that God is himself a bullshit human construct. Even then we often face years of deprogramming before our heart entirely catches up with our heads.

 

Because conversion is a "leap of faith" and by contrast a proper deconversion is the result of a slower, more deliberate process of thought, I think that unbelievers generally can't give a simple two-sentence reason why they quit believing, at least not one that makes the slightest sense to a believer. Put another way, belief is often a pleasurable "rush", whereas the unwinding of belief is a much less pleasant process, akin to drug withdrawal.

 

Another part of the problem is that doubt, which we unbelievers now recognize as a healthy and useful agent of growth, is demonized by Christians as a dangerous threat and a sickness -- in fact, it's a sin. How dare you doubt god? So we often find ourselves describing feelings and thought processes connected with our deconversion that Christians are heavily inoculated against.

 

I've long since quit feeling inadequate about this. Religion is all about certitude and easy answers and abrogation of personal effort and responsibility. Unbelief is all about making your own meaning and owning your beliefs and having good reason for them rather than accepting an external given reality coming down from the sky. The original poster is looking for a quick, easy way to explain his unbelief that matches the quick, easy way a believer explains their faith. It's not going to happen. It's apples and oranges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree completely, DesertBob. I was merely pointing out that Christian claims about belief are flawed. It is true that they usually claim to have become a "believer" when they supposedly "got saved," but for the vast majority of them that simply isn't true. They were already conditioned by their cultural surroundings to believe and technically did already believe to some degree. They act as though when they started to take that belief seriously is when they first became believers, but usually that's simply not the case. Their perceived reality is nothing more than imagination.

 

Again, I agree with you. Their perception of a defining moment of starting to believe doesn't fit the reality of most ex-believers' experience of going from belief to nonbelief, so they create this distinction in their minds. I was merely pointing out that it's usually a misconception because they didn't just suddenly start to believe the way they believe either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.