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Not Sure What To Say...


openpalm45
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My deconversion has come to a surprise to the many people who are used to me being the most religious, spiritual or "best" Christian they know. They all seem to ask me the same questions, and I answer them honestly, and as best as I can. And although I dont think that I need to answer everything (my choice is my choice, and I dont need to defend it), I feel like they would take me a bit more seriously if I COULD defend it a little better, by responding to their questions or comments more.

 

Before I really go into that, I have to say that the main reasons I deconverted were 1) After 3 years of seeking God "with my whole heart" I felt like I got nowhere. And if God wanted me, he was going to have to show me that, because I was too brokenhearted to keep feeling rejected by him. and 2) Christianity just wasnt working for me. It was doing me more harm than good. It was inhibiting my growth and maturity and happiness.

 

I explained those things to the christians I have told that I have deconverted, and they dont know what to say when I go into the details of it.

 

But I have had some go into defending the legitimacy of Christianity, and I must say that although Christianity just seems rather silly to me now, I dont have many logical arguments against it. I talk about contradictions that Christians live out, and about how Christianity is unhealthy, but I dont know a lot about history, and science has always been my worst subject. So if a Christian says something about "history this, Christianity that" I have nothing to say. And scientific arguments supporting evolution and different things just leave me confused. (But I am more interested in the history, as of right now)

 

I'm very newly deconverted, only a few months now, and I would really like to know some history, to understand what arguments people use for and against Christianity, but Im not sure where to begin. Im not looking for something biased, one way or the other. I want objective history that cant be denied.

 

If any one could point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it. Like I said, my choice is my choice, and I dont feel like I need to defend it. But I would like these people to take this choice a bit more seriously, and stop thinking that they need to save me because I have been fooled by the devil.

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Hi, OP89:

 

I hear what you're saying. That's part of the reason I starting blogging to really nail down my reasons, in my words, and to make sure I really understood why I was leaving it behind.

 

This site has an enormous amount of info, but it's not always organized in a systematic way (and it's not meant to be.)

 

Bart Ehrman's books are excellent works going into the scriptures, their authorship, development, canonization, etc. Those will keep you busy for a long time.

 

Many of the books listed on the front page of exchristian.net are some of the best resources available.

 

Probably my favorite of all of them is Trusting Doubt, by Valerie Tarico, who is a regular contributor to this site. That book is one of the most comprehensive available.

 

John W. Loftus's books are also fantastic. He's a bit snarky sometimes, which can get in the way, but the info is excellent.

 

Richard Carrier is another favorite. Others are Robert Price, Dan Barker, Hector Avalos.

 

But if you were going to pick one book to start with, I'd pick Trusting Doubt. Best of luck to you. You haven't been fooled by the devil. You've woken up :)

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But I would like these people to take this choice a bit more seriously, and stop thinking that they need to save me because I have been fooled by the devil.

 

If only it were that easy! ToonForever listed off some great resources. Bart Ehrman's is my favorite because he is Christian but he is honest about the Bible. But the problem is that having great answers does not change the way Christians view an ex-Christian. You can have the best answers in the world and they are just going to bounce off the Bible believer. The world's leading scientists cannot get Christian respect because Christianity starts with what it wants for an answer and then bends all ideas to make that answer fit.

 

It sounds like you have an inner strength. You don't need to explain your choices. Good for you. That is the very best attitude to have.

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You can have the best answers in the world and they are just going to bounce off the Bible believer. The world's leading scientists cannot get Christian respect because Christianity starts with what it wants for an answer and then bends all ideas to make that answer fit.

 

That's VERY true - but having the information will give you more confidence in your own decision, and you can sometimes end the crusade early by giving them a few tidbits they can't answer without invoking the "I don't know, but God does" defense. :) Sometimes that's the best you can hope for.

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There are some good books and recommendations here. I suggest you google the Roman god "Mithras" as well as "virgin births before christ." Historically, finding out that the whole story of Jesus was a piecemeal plagiarism of early mystery religions was kind of a clincher to me. I remember when I took a New Testament class at my state university and the secular professor stated that he didn't believe the person of Jesus ever existed at all, I couldn't figure out how he could ever say that! But with historical study, as well as in-depth critical analysis of the different gospels, it's actually pretty easy to see that it was just a fiction written a couple generations after the "eyewitnesses" were long dead.

 

As much as I encourage you to study these things for your own benefit, and for the sake of being able to give a good answer to your friends, the fact is that NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY TO THEM it will go in one ear and out the other. Maybe there will be some doubters that are truly interested and receptive, but the real believers don't really care the reasons. They will just try to get you back. Well-intentioned and all, but that's the way it is. They won't hear anything you are really saying.

 

My deconversion has come to a surprise to the many people who are used to me being the most religious, spiritual or "best" Christian they know.

 

I was this person too. Many people looked up to my faith and followed my example. I spent a LONG time with those i really loved and cherished, trying to explain my deconversion. A LONG time. I wasn't trying to convince them or convert them, just explain and keep them in my lives. It was actually quite heartbreaking to see that they couldn't accept me anymore (so much for the "come as you are" slogans!). They were actually scared of me...they were afraid my thinking would poison them, their children, their new sheep.... In the end, I wish I would have just moved on with my life and found new friends sooner. It sounds really harsh, but the Bible wasn't kidding when it said this belief in Jesus would divide people, even families.

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You can study history and science as it suits you, but you will learn nothing that will win an argument with a True Believer. Remember that you are not required to prove Christianity false; it is up to the proponents to prove it is true. Also keep in mind that hard core Christians require little in the way of fact or evidence to maintain their delusion.

 

What it all comes down to is that you have come to a different conclusion than they have, and they accept that fact or they don't.

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