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New Exchristian


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Howdy folks,

 

I am a new exchristain.

 

I was a Christian for 20 years.

 

I still feel like I have the same relationship with God that I had when I was Christain. I never feel like I am all alone. I feel like God is always with me.

I learned a lot from Christianity. I learned about love, spirituality, and learned to love myself.

 

I no longer qualify as a Christian because I do not believe that Jesus is coming back and I don't believe that God would require a

sacrifice in order to have a relationship with mankind.

 

I believe that doctrine is the main block to spiritual growth.

 

I was raised in a Independent Fundimental Baptist Church. Dad was agnostic and never talked of spiritual things.

Mom started us in the IFBC when I was about 8.

 

Hooked up with the Way International for a brief period, and stuck with some of the splinter groups after they had their big split.

 

I am used to forums that allow you to EDIT after posting.

I noticed in my first post that you can not do that here, or am I missing something?

 

Anyhows I look forward to loosing my religion here.

Glad that this site is here.

 

So that spell checker seems like a pain to download. Is there an easier way? I just kept getting new windows and started to not trust it?

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Hi, PatrickG and welcome to Ex-C. I hope you enjoy your time here. If I remember right, you'll get an edit button after your 20th post.

 

Welcome PatrickG! Sounds like you have a real handle on things and you will just enjoy all the different topics we post here. Good for you!

My 'spell check'' eventually did download for me - try again..... Looking forward to hearing more from you! :grin:

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Welcome Patrick,

 

I also came out of the independent Baptist Church.

 

I am always interested in hearing from people who have left this type of Christianity, but still manage to retain the feeling of a presence of God.

 

I agree with you about the doctrine - it kills a spiritual life. Much of it is so egotistical in a way if you think about it for five minutes. "I" am saved. "I" am this or that, on and on. Its all defined and mapped out so neatly, isn't it?

 

If I may ask, since you have rejected the major Christian doctrines, how do you view Christ?

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I was raised in a Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.

Welcome.

 

I came out of the IFCA (Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America, which most often label themselves "xxx Bible Church"). We probably differed only in our detailed views on Baptism, and at the end of the day, not even that much difference in that department. The differences in the groups are probably more cultural than doctrinal, more practice than faith.

 

Unlike you (so far!) I came all the way out. I didn't see any congruence at all between any of the doctrines and actual reality. I grew tired of talking to thin air with outcomes no different than random happenstance, even when I was asking for absolutely critical things, things that would have halted pointless misery or saved lives or marriages or childhoods. At first I figured the only explanation for stuff like that was that God had wandered off and gotten interested in other things in some far corner of the universe, but upon further reflection realized that a much simpler explanation is that he was never there in the first place.

 

I grew tired of my life unfolding no differently than it would for any random person with any random belief system. I wanted the system to deliver either on its promises of God's favor, or failing that, at least God's peace and comfort. Otherwise what is the point of the whole dance? I have better things to do Sunday mornings / evenings and Wednesday nights.

 

I suppose that sounds like a "what's in it for me" stance but I would have been happy if there had even been anything in it for God, since making him happy could well have been reward enough. But I saw that Christians actually don't stand out in terms of anything like divorce rates (if anything they're slightly worse than the general population) or other meaningful metrics. I saw Christians using Christianity as an excuse to do shoddy work or rip people off as much as I saw them using it to bring "glory to God".

 

And not least, despite my personal Prime Directive to reproduce the intact, stable family milieu that I grew up in, I ended up with a divorce, remarriage, and then was widowed. All against my will and against my most concerted efforts, because the worst thing the church did for me was to set my expectations sky high and give me zero tools to deal with the real world. The extent for example of what I knew about women was "marry a Christian girl" as if that fixes (in the case of my first wife) borderline personality disorder or (in the case of my second wife) bizarre rare illnesses that eat a person alive before your eyes.

 

So I made the transition from Christianity to agnosticism and of late have been willing to admit that I am (*gasp*) an atheist.

 

I wouldn't want to scare you off but as you read back posts around here you're going to find that a lot of us -- maybe even most of us -- who have come out of fundamentalism brook no half-measures and have either become rigorous empiricists or have a spirituality that has more in common with Eastern mysticism or paganism than anything else. In other words many of us get as far away as we can from pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by.

 

If you want support in a spiritual journey the best place to get it here is probably the spirituality forum. That is the one place where you are guaranteed space to believe in deities. Everywhere else, you're going to get varying levels of skepticism and challenge -- most of it very friendly and courteous, but just the same, not accepting the assumption that there's some kind of omnibenevolent Orchestrator at the helm of things.

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Howdy folks,

 

I am a new exchristain.

 

I was a Christian for 20 years.

 

I still feel like I have the same relationship with God that I had when I was Christain. I never feel like I am all alone. I feel like God is always with me.

I learned a lot from Christianity. I learned about love, spirituality, and learned to love myself.

 

I no longer qualify as a Christian because I do not believe that Jesus is coming back and I don't believe that God would require a

sacrifice in order to have a relationship with mankind.

 

I believe that doctrine is the main block to spiritual growth.

 

I was raised in a Independent Fundimental Baptist Church. Dad was agnostic and never talked of spiritual things.

Mom started us in the IFBC when I was about 8.

 

Hooked up with the Way International for a brief period, and stuck with some of the splinter groups after they had their big split.

 

I am used to forums that allow you to EDIT after posting.

I noticed in my first post that you can not do that here, or am I missing something?

 

Anyhows I look forward to loosing my religion here.

Glad that this site is here.

 

So that spell checker seems like a pain to download. Is there an easier way? I just kept getting new windows and started to not trust it?

 

Interesting ... just out of curiosity, what did you believe when you considered yourself to be a Xian and what do you believe now? I can't help but contrast your deconversion with my own. I'm surprised you learned to love yourself as a result of Xianity. For me, I'd say I managed to love myself inspite of it! Was the human sacrifice thing the only thing you questioned? For me it was the genocides, the pro-slavery stance, the rampant sexism, the homophobia, eternal heaven and hell for the "crime" of disbelief and stupid, unbelievable stories that an 8-year old would have doubts about!

 

When I deconverted, I became a liberal Xian for a while (as if the Bible is a liberal book!). I would defend the doctrine in public but deep down I thought it was all bollocks. I then rejected Xianity altogether and adopted some spiritual New Agey stuff such as The Law of Attraction (which I still quite like) but they turned out to be flawed. I am much more skeptical than I used to be and if I can't honestly define God, there's no point in me believing in one, as much as it might feel good to believe in an afterlife or that someone is watching over me. I've learned to only believe stuff for which there is good evidence or reasoned argument. That's just me. I hope you find this site helpful in helping you through your exchristian journey and I hope occasionally it challenges you - just a little!

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Welcome Patrick,

 

I also came out of the independent Baptist Church.

 

I am always interested in hearing from people who have left this type of Christianity, but still manage to retain the feeling of a presence of God.

 

 

Hi Deva.

 

I never did get past the angery God, while in the Baptist church. I was about 18 when I started actually knowing the presence of God in me.

I was looking for love when I found God. I was dealing with self hate. I found that God was in my inner dialogue. I think that there are a lot of people who never find God in the

way that I did. Listening to the voice of God, in my inner dialogue, was somethng that I learned after leaving the Baptist church.

 

 

If I may ask, since you have rejected the major Christian doctrines, how do you view Christ?

 

I think that Jesus could have been tapped into the same Spirit that I feel that I tap into. This is why I do not

reject Christ. I reject the religion of Christainity. A few years back I started going to a "Science of Mind" church.

The author of "Science of Mind", Ernest Holmes, uses the Bible quite a bit in his book. I have not pinned him down

on his exact belief about the resurection, and other major doctrinal issues.

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Welcome.

 

 

Thanks for the welcome and the sharing.

 

I do find it encouraging that people here are willing to share their experiences.

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Interesting ... just out of curiosity, what did you believe when you considered yourself to be a Xian and what do you believe now? I can't help but contrast your deconversion with my own. I'm surprised you learned to love yourself as a result of Xianity.

 

Well love is my religion.

 

I had an experience while journaling as an adolescent. I was messed up. I wrote of my self hate. Some thoughts struck me

as I journaled. The thoughts where that I was selfish and that the biggest problem in the world was selfishness. I decided that

I did not want to be part of the problem. I wanted to be part of the solution.

 

I tried to be unselfish for a few days. Then I realized that what I was doing ,was trying to love, like they always

"talked" about in that Baptist church.

 

I started reading the Bible, with love in my mind. I found that if Christ could love me, then I could love myself. It took a while.

I memorized scripture verses that spoke to my heart. I learned how to explore my inner dialogue and find love.

 

To make a long story short, most of my spirituality, comes from my personal study of the Bible, and working my inner dialogue.

 

 

 

The Law of Attraction (which I still quite like) but they turned out to be flawed. I am much more skeptical than I used to be and if I can't honestly define God, there's no point in me believing in one, as much as it might feel good to believe in an afterlife or that someone isI hope you find this site helpful in helping you through your exchristian journey and I hope occasionally it challenges you - just a little!

 

Yeah I don't totally follow any particular New Thought plan. I do go to a "Science of Mind" church. I do think I will find this site helpful and I am always willing to be challenged.

 

Thanks for the post.

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Howdy folks,

 

I am a new exchristain.

 

I was a Christian for 20 years.

 

I still feel like I have the same relationship with God that I had when I was Christain. I never feel like I am all alone. I feel like God is always with me.

I learned a lot from Christianity. I learned about love, spirituality, and learned to love myself.

 

I no longer qualify as a Christian because I do not believe that Jesus is coming back and I don't believe that God would require a

sacrifice in order to have a relationship with mankind.

 

I believe that doctrine is the main block to spiritual growth.

 

I was raised in a Independent Fundimental Baptist Church. Dad was agnostic and never talked of spiritual things.

Mom started us in the IFBC when I was about 8.

 

Hooked up with the Way International for a brief period, and stuck with some of the splinter groups after they had their big split.

 

I am used to forums that allow you to EDIT after posting.

I noticed in my first post that you can not do that here, or am I missing something?

 

Anyhows I look forward to loosing my religion here.

Glad that this site is here.

 

So that spell checker seems like a pain to download. Is there an easier way? I just kept getting new windows and started to not trust it?

 

Wherever you might be on the scale of religion, if it gives you comfort and peace then it's a good thing. If it causes pain, guilt, fear, or some other feeling you don't like then it's time to say bye bye to it.

Congratulations on taking the step away from some of the dogma that doesn't work for you. People spiritually evolve during their lives and it is good to be able to follow new paths and not be stifled by rigid church doctrine.

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I never did get past the angery God, while in the Baptist church. I was about 18 when I started actually knowing the presence of God in me.

I was looking for love when I found God. I was dealing with self hate. I found that God was in my inner dialogue. I think that there are a lot of people who never find God in the

way that I did. Listening to the voice of God, in my inner dialogue, was somethng that I learned after leaving the Baptist church.

 

Thank you for your response, Patrick. Yes, I think you are right, there are a lot who never find God in the way that you did. It certainly isn't something taught in the Baptist Church.

 

Instead of God, the Baptist Church is chained to an idol called the Bible, as interpreted by the pastor.

 

 

 

I think that Jesus could have been tapped into the same Spirit that I feel that I tap into. This is why I do not

reject Christ. I reject the religion of Christainity. A few years back I started going to a "Science of Mind" church.

The author of "Science of Mind", Ernest Holmes, uses the Bible quite a bit in his book. I have not pinned him down

on his exact belief about the resurection, and other major doctrinal issues.

 

I don't know anything about the "Science of Mind" other than having just heard the name before, but I think that the New Testament writers did not understand who Jesus was, or what he was trying to say. They made him into something he never intended, then a whole edifice of doctrine was built up into the monstrosity we see today called Christianity.

 

In a sense I can say that I also do not "reject Christ". I reject the interpretation of Christ that the established Church developed.

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