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Ex-fundie Turned Athiest...still Read Decoversion Stories With The Bias That You Were Never Real Christians!


AC Skeptic
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Okay, so I BELIEVED from age 5 to age 31. I believed it, damn it. I had some doubts in college and in my 20s, but my real doubts didn't start until 28 or so, and lasted YEARS until I was roughly 31 (when I finally stopped believing completely).

 

During my believing years I of course KNEW most professioning Christians weren't really Christians (not REALLY saved as not REALLY believing the right things), and never accepted decoversion stories as people who REALLY believed. I wasn't a total fundie, and started having problems with the idea that all Catholics were going to hell, etc, but for the most part I really did believe in the protestant version of the gospel and its consequences.

 

And then through a slow painful long drown out process I realized the whole thing was mythological.

 

Yet . . . when I read decoversion stories on this site I still, STILL, think "you were never a Christian"

 

It's so laughable. I still can't take serious the decoversions of Catholics, Mormons, Church of Christ, because I never believed you were saved int he first place.... And it is so funny because I get the idea that ex-Chruch of Christ members had the exact same idea and don't think i was ever a true Christian. It is pathetic how long it has taken me to accept these people were just as convinced and deluded as me.

 

But then there is another class, those who escaped in their college years. And I am like, "Bitch, stop posting here, you were never a REAL Christian", because if logic and reason in the formative years of your life had affect you never ACTUALLY REALLY BELIEVED in those earlier years. All these people who screwed around in their teens and then made a commitment to Christ for year after a Navigagters meeting and then had no faith before they graduated,. . . . Jesus I was a Virgin when I was married post colllege. . . . that was a true Christian.

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I don't think I've ever felt this. I suppose it had to do with my own path to find the Truth. I was raised Pentecostal, but switched to Presbyterian, then Eastern Orthodox while testing Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism on the way. I couldn't very well pretend I wasn't earnest at each stage of the game, so I think that automatically predisposed me to believe others claims of earnest belief as well.

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Haha. Your post brought back some memories. Back in the day, I never really encountered people who left the faith, because we were "hardcore" believers! I wasn't as judgmental, because I was so enveloped in my own subculture I didn't have much time for even other groups of christians.

 

But I do have to confess, as a guy who was a virgin until i was 29 (damn!), I was secretly jealous of (yet spiritually superior to) people who sowed their wild oats before finding Jeebus! Haha.

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And then through a slow painful long drown out process I realized the whole thing was mythological.

 

Yet . . . when I read decoversion stories on this site I still, STILL, think "you were never a Christian"

 

Your story is a lot like mine except I married a couple of years earlier (which isn't much) and when my Christianity fell apart different aspects lingered. For me I still have a hard time shaking a belief that there might be a God out there who created our universe. Before I de-converted I went through a stage where I was a liberal Christian. I knew the Bible was rubbish but I still loved Jesus so I figured God understood that humans got doctrine all wrong and God didn't mind so much. Realizing how wrong my sect had been allowed me to realize other Christians sects would get the same grace.

 

Beliefs can be goofy. yellow.gif

 

Anyway I still couldn't bring myself to see Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses as Christians until after I de-converted. Sometimes it's hard to shake long held beliefs. I wish you the best of luck in your struggles.

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Its interesting because as a complete non-believer I no longer think anyone is a "Christian". I don't think anyone is supernaturally changed in anyway, just self imposed changed by their own beliefs. I have a new friend who is a co-soccer dad who is a pretty devout Mormon. He never brings it up (which is cool), and still thinks i am a conservative Christian. We talk college football non stop (I'm more into the NFL but I gather he never watches it because it is on Sunday and they are pretty strict about that day). It took a decoversion but I finally realize he is not part of a "cult" because he is Morman. He is part of a church that was probably very similar to many that I was part of. Just non-evangelical beliefs.

 

And yet even still, I come here and read deconversion stories and it is hard for me to realize that someone who really really believed the catholic faith, or JW faith, or Mormon faith, could have really had as hard a time as me of coming out. Because. . . . well those faith weren't really real, they were OBVIOUSLY fakeyellow.gif

 

This Mormon friend's daughter and my daughter are really good friends. Both families have made it a priority to ensure they are always in the same class in elementary school (4th grade, same class since 1st grade) and on the same soccer team. At some point with them, their differing upbringing will become an issue (Morman versus predominantly secular), though I am still such a conservative dad I don't mind the very conservative influence this friend might have.

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AC, unfortunately, I can relate on some level...for a very long time (and even still now on some small minute level that I do my best to ignore) I would become almost offended by people who would claim to be Christians, yet their entire life was one of doing whatever they wanted. Basically, Christianity served as fire insurance and to make them feel good. After putting so much effort into something, and then finding out that it was all just a super elaborate (albeit believed) lie, I would get bothered by these "surface Christians." Funny part was, I've had that residual feeling even after I had become a full atheist. Almost like they were damaging something I had worked so hard for, and yet were still able to reap all the benefits without any of the work.

 

It has bothered me less and less over time, but even a year or so ago I struggled with that one. The logical dissonance going on made it even worse, because I realized just how silly those feelings were, yet I really struggled to shake them. Maybe some of it feeds into feeling like I missed out on so much in my 20's because of being held back by nothing more than religious guilt and pressure, only to later in life realize I had done it all for nothing.

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During my believing years I of course KNEW most professing Christians weren't really Christians (not REALLY saved as not REALLY believing the right things), and never accepted decoversion stories as people who REALLY believed... Yet . . . when I read deconversion stories on this site I still, STILL, think "you were never a Christian"

AC, it's taken me a while also to drop this perspective. As a Christian, had a read this site, I'd definitely have thought "You were never a Christian" as a pored over testimonies. Is this a flaw in the prose? Maybe. Maybe we are so brainwashed to believe that actions can be hollow that we can't see when they are not. Maybe the testimonies don't express the same feeling we had as believers. Anyhow, I know what you're saying. Finally, I am learning to trust the stories of others.

I was raised Pentecostal, but switched to Presbyterian, then Eastern Orthodox while testing Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism on the way. I couldn't very well pretend I wasn't earnest at each stage of the game, so I think that automatically predisposed me to believe others claims of earnest belief as well.

thesadclown, I admire your objectivity. One big "a-ha" moment for me was reading "Eat, Pray, Love". At the final section of the book the author has a powerful spiritual experience. It is undeniable. This was part of my undoing.

But I do have to confess, as a guy who was a virgin until i was 29 (damn!), I was secretly jealous of (yet spiritually superior to) people who sowed their wild oats before finding Jeebus! Haha.

Me too! I love what you said, "secretly jealous of (yet spiritually superior to) people...". I am ashamed to admit I felt the same way. So smug. So wrong.

I would get bothered by these "surface Christians." ...Maybe some of it feeds into feeling like I missed out on so much in my 20's because of being held back by nothing more than religious guilt and pressure, only to later in life realize I had done it all for nothing.

I, too, felt this way for a long time. I too frittered away the best years of my life caught up in this ridiculous myth. I pay for it every day. I'm trying to make the most of it and turn the corner. I wonder how you and I can reconcile the present with the past and that awful feeling of having "done it all for nothing". Let's not live with regrets!

 

Peace, all.

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I'm sure you know and understand that your lingering feeling that many who post their deconversion testimonies were not real Christians is part of the brainwashing you underwent. That happens to be the part you are having trouble shedding from your life, but others have other parts of Christianity that seem to linger for them. For example, a fair number of people on this site still have a lingering fear of hell. Others have fear of the end-times. And yet others have a hard time getting past the notion of sin in their lives. It's perfectly natural and with time I dare say you will get past it.

 

I don't know how difficult your deconversion was (I'm sure it was bad), but one thing for sure is that many, many people have a terribly difficult time with it. The difficulties they face is all the proof (not that proof is required) I need to know with certainty that they were Christians in their own way.

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I understand your whole argument on the college "believers" however, there are those that have been raised as fundies and when they find out the truth once they really have the ability to make their own decisions it's a serious blow. I'm only 21, but I can tell you, I was a "True Christian." It's actually only in the last few months that I have realized that I simply cannot force myself to believe any of it. Now that I don't have this burden of an ever-watching, ever-knowing God counting every mistake I ever make I feel like a weight has been lifted. I don't have to live with this guilt that I am doing something wrong when I support homosexual and pro-choice rights. Neither do you!

 

So, welcome to a better life bro!

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