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My Epic Struggle With Christianity


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Hi guys,

 

This is my first post.

 

Here's my story.

 

Just to let you know up front that I found my way out of Jesus's deathgrip about 2 years ago and now i'm 29.

 

But my story starts much earlier in life. As a young man growing up in North Carolina I was forced from a very young age by my super religious Mom to attend the local Pentecostal church. I'm sure that you all have a good idea of what some of the crazy things that I was exposed to! I remember people jumping up and down and skipping and speaking in tongues, a loving caring Gawdf, preaching about Hell fire n brimstone Lol, and all sorts of other crazy stuff. One day my Sunday school teacher asked us if we wanted to get saved and allow Jesus into our hearts so we could go to Heaven and live peacefully forver and ever. Naturally this is what I wanted so I did as the teacher asked and got saved. Anyways, the man thing that I wanted to say was that my Mom was always telling me that God spoke to her. We would be driving down the road and my Mom would pull over to some random house and knock on the door to ask if they knew Jesus. After a short bout of preaching we would pile back into the car and she would explain to me and my sister that God had told her to do this. Over the course of my life things like this and even crazier happened many more times. One day the family was at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg VA and my Mom starting recieving strong messages from God. She walked up to the nearest police officer and asked the officer to Arrest her because she was guilty and a sinner. I think my Dad had always turned a blind eye towards my Mom when it came to her religion but I think this was the last straw. He enrolled her into the Looney bin and they diagnosed her as Schizophrenic Doh! These messages that she had been recieving from "GOD" were really just inside her head and the church that she was enrolled in just encouraged her to act on these voices. So it leads me to believe that (some) of the most devout religious people are sometimes extremely mentally ill. She is much better now after a few years of being on the proper meds. But strangely she is still religious! When I got saved I would ask God to talk to me and despite my most honest attempts it never ever happened. I always wondered why God would so openly talk to my mother but would not communicate with me at all. After finding out that she was Schizo I'm now thankful that it didn't happen. I began to question religion and starting looking into it's history and also into other religions. I developed the ability the think for myslef and slowly started to lose my faith thank GOD LOL! Thanks for reading!

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Epicname, Welcome to Ex-c. You are lucky to have reasoned things out at such an early age. You'll save yourself a lot of heartbreak wondering why god doesn't answer your prayers, speak to you, etc.......

 

I found your story to be a bit sad. Your dear mom was 'sick' and didn't even know it. I'm glad she is doing better now.I think you might be right, that there is a little 'schizophrenia drama' in all the pentacostals. I could have sworn a million times - god was speaking directly to me, directing my life, telling me to make phone calls to certain people, etc.... Now I know it was just me making it all up in my head. I still direct my life and make those phone calls to people, but that's because my 'gut' tells me it's the right thing to do!

 

Hope to hear more from you and again, wecome to EX-c! Sincerely, Margee

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wow... that is quite a bit for a child to go through. You have strength to have come through that with your reason intact. I'm seriously beginning to think that these belief systems are child abuse. I realize it isn't intentional but still.

 

My great Uncle was paranoid schizophrenic (non-religious) Lovely man, gentle, scary intelligent (170 IQ) and often quite delusional. I remember being a very young girl and him telling me about how the 'government and police' were trying to control him through radio waves and they had conspired against him for decades and were still doing it. Yes, he had tinfoil on his windows, and had set up his apartment in sort of an 'anti-gov' feng shui - seriously had arranged the content to 'channel' the 'waves'. He 'heard' voices all the time.

 

That was his matrix - the gov. and authorities conspiracy thing, But.. is that any different from the paranoia of a wrathful God who can read your mind?, or fear of demons and such? Hearing 'god' tell you to do things? Same stuff, different matrix.

 

Glad your mom is better, and glad you are able to see her illness for what it is, and to think for yourself.

 

Welcome

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From what I've read up on it and the bit of it that I've self-diagnosed, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder seems to have a lot in common with religious rituals. Imagined, unbidden fear/though -> anxiety -> ritual action -> temporary peace. Have this happen to some ancient tribal leader that doesn't know what's going on, and he'll tell everyone that he knows how to ward off demons that are constantly attacking.

 

Between that, all the unfortunate aspects of Schizophrenia, and possibly other mental illnesses, it's no wonder that religion is in the state that it is.

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Welcome! Stick around and check out the many stories here. Sorry to hear about your mom. I have noticed an association between mental illness and religiosity, too. @CatholiKitty, you make a good point about ritual and OCD--I'm going to contemplate this further.

 

Peace.

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Welcome Epicname!

 

From what I've read up on it and the bit of it that I've self-diagnosed, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder seems to have a lot in common with religious rituals. Imagined, unbidden fear/though -> anxiety -> ritual action -> temporary peace.

 

This is my conclusion as well. When I was a Christian I had symptoms of OCD too. Without knowing what it was, but after I deconverted I saw a lot of people on this board talk about OCD and I started to read about it and now I'm pretty sure that's what I had too. Obsessive thoughts, repetitive behavior, anxiety and fear if I don't do certain things (such as praying at least twice a day, reading the Bible at least once a day) etc. And it cannot be a coincidence that so many people have it in religion. Maybe you need an inclination first, but I'm pretty sure religion helps it to develop. Someone needs to write a study on it! (Though it would cause a big uproar in Christian circles.)

 

BTW, since I left Christianity my OCD went away too. I stopped having fears from not doing certain things and rituals required in Christianity. It's a miracle! The God of Atheism healed me! GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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One of my best friends from high school, when we were 19 he had his first manic episode (he was later diagnosed bipolar), and during it he believed God had told him to marry this girl, so he went to her house and wouldn't leave and he got arrested. They put him in jail where he saw visions of demons. 10 years later he's still a Christian, but medicated. It was a bad scene, social delusion and personal delusion combined like waves in phase and amplified. But is actually a reflection of how people might act if they really believed Christianity was true.

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The most religious member of my family was diagnosed with OCD. I wonder if the religion is a symptom or a cause?

 

Most of the mentally ill prisoners that my GF deals with as a counselor are hyper religious. I'm not equating all religious people to being mentally ill, but there is definitely something that makes mentally ill people be susceptible to religious claims. Things like voices, demons, spirits, tongues etc... are all easier to believe if their grasp of reality is already tenuous. I will say that at times it certainly makes some people's mental issues even worse for example my high school history teacher's brother had severe schizophrenia. He went off his medication because his church convinced him his mental illness was the work of the devil and that their prayer vigils would cure him. He almost ax murdered his family because he thought they were making him vulnerable to Satan.

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