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starlyte777

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if you look down the bottom of the page, you will see your own name, mine and that of 2honest (right now anyways) this indicates there are people actually reading your posts as we type. Many, many people watch these forums, some lurk (don't post anything) and many are prolific posters. Whatever floats yer boat!

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you ARE being heard Starlyte, loud and clear, great to have you aboard.

A good place to begin would be to read over some of the many, many "Extimonies" that people have been writing about their own experiences, which vary quite dramatically in many ways. Folks have come through a lot of harrowing stuff to get here, and there are fascinating, inspiring and truly heartwrenching tales that people have spilled out here to share. We are all going through the same thing, but in myriad ways. These stories may be found by going to the main menu (discussions) and searching through "testimonies of former Christians, of which of course I am one, after 29 years in the faith I discarded the worldview some four months or so ago. It's a very hard road but in the end it is so worth it, I encourage you to take things slowly, read and examine what many of the people here have gone through. This community has become very precious to me already, and I haven't been here long, when it all fell apart for me I was simply desperate to share the devastation, the lonely experience of rejecting all I believed to be true. I am so happy I found ExC, it truly has borne my burden in so many ways.

 

ty thinker..............yes, i know i am NOT unique...............ty for responding........i will read thru those.................

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baby steps are cool. I began deconverting within six months of my conversion lol.... Only took 29 years to finish the job ;-)

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i have no idea what to do know.......saw your post, son......ty.......just don't know how to move on from here!!

ok

am trying to figure this out......i need some advice, as my hubby, whom i LOVE dearly is having me listen to Christian Apologetics people.......and other stuff...I have no idea if this will even be seen sad.png and if it is......do i sit here and wait for a response? Or do I close and come back tomorrow? arggg

 

If you decide to listen to the apologetics, pay attention to how they make excuses as opposed to using logic and facts. Ignore the tone of voice and hear the words. Usually the tone of voice is used to convince you emotionally and override your logic.

 

A forum is like a bulletin board in a community center (they used to be called "boards" in the olden days of the internet). You post your messages and when other people come online, or get notified by email that a post happened, they come in and read and sometimes post as well.

 

You can post and wait around or you can post and come back when you want, it's all up to you.

 

Glad you came back. :)

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baby steps are cool. I began deconverting within six months of my conversion lol.... Only took 29 years to finish the job ;-)

if you look down the bottom of the page, you will see your own name, mine and that of 2honest (right now anyways) this indicates there are people actually reading your posts as we type. Many, many people watch these forums, some lurk (don't post anything) and many are prolific posters. Whatever floats yer boat!

 

ok ty..........29 years? slo learner or leaver :) jk ty for responding

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There is an absolute sea of resources here for you to study, should you choose to do so, videos linked, books recommended and some great debates (I'd steer clear of the lions Den for the first while lol....;-) You will find here most of the primary resources needed to find your way through the fog of doctrines and theology if that appeals to you. The main thing, as has been previously stated, is that everyone has come from a slightly different background, but we are all basically going through the same thing. Some stay for a long time, some come in, get what they need and carry on, it's all good.

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responses feed into this forum quickly, depending on the topic, all you have to do is click your refresh button and you will see if anything new has come in. WELCOME!!!!!

 

ty so much! I will be here for a while...........so much confusion!!

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fear kept me in, fear of the ire of the old bloodyminded git upstairs. Indoctrination is an amazing thing.

But yes, I'm still kicking myself repeatedly for not having the intestinal fortitude to throw it in the can years ago.

enjoy the ride !!!!

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There is an absolute sea of resources here for you to study, should you choose to do so, videos linked, books recommended and some great debates (I'd steer clear of the lions Den for the first while lol....;-) You will find here most of the primary resources needed to find your way through the fog of doctrines and theology if that appeals to you. The main thing, as has been previously stated, is that everyone has come from a slightly different background, but we are all basically going through the same thing. Some stay for a long time, some come in, get what they need and carry on, it's all good.

 

thanks for the warning.........if you knew me......you would know that is the 1st place I would go.......just cuz you said not to :).......but, in this case will heed your warning. ty for your response.......and for caring...........means so much right now!!

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lol.... good for you.

the Lions Den is where things get heated because it is the only place here where the "True Believers" are permitted to put forth their positions and have them challenged. The Testimonies section is absolutely sacrosanct and evangelism is not permitted at all because of the trauma that many have been though. Lions Den is a cage match fair game bring it on slugfest ;-)

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fear kept me in, fear of the ire of the old bloodyminded git upstairs. Indoctrination is an amazing thing.

But yes, I'm still kicking myself repeatedly for not having the intestinal fortitude to throw it in the can years ago.

enjoy the ride !!!!

 

am familiar with the concept of kicking one's own ass repeatedly!! My background of sexual child abuse has led me to seek some sort of validity for breathing air that someone more deserving should be breathing. I hate to admit this here.........fear of rejection i guess..........it went for far too long, and I did nothing to stop it. But, have come through to the other side. Trying to write a book to help other women of sexual child abuse. Have talked to hundreds, and yet........I keep going back to the familiar.........the God that didn't protect me..........and yet, I still chose to accept and follow.........with very little trust in Him.....or any other man, for that matter.......with the exception of my awesome hubby........and great sons........that being said........I wrestle with the need to lean on someone loving and bigger than me.........and the fact that "person" doesn't exist........so, I turn to wine.......please forgive me, kids, but.......if I am to hear REAL responses.......I need to tell the truth about where I am........where I am is NOT a good place, physically or mentally, I know that......and my family lovingly reminds me of that. I have put them all in a very hard place........and I hate myself for that!!! I want to be the wife/mom/gramma/friend that they all deserve! I even feel guilt for being here right now.......taking up precious that belongs to people more deserving!

And yet, here I am........spilling my guts and hoping to be accepted by total strangers. I also know total strangers are more accepting of you than people close to you.........altho my family have totally accepted me and loved through all my darkest hours.......and always will......that's just who they are.......I still hate letting them down.......ok babbled enough.......ty for listening........I hope I don't get kicked out for being honest! :)

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you simply couldn't have found a place more accepting but here, to be honest.

I drink too, it helps smooth out some of the rougher spots along the way.

The anonymity of an internet forum is a great place to spill out, very therapeutic. I thought I was going to explode before I found this place (my wife still believes and doesn't particularly wish to hear a great deal of what I am going through. (faith-wise anyways) She is also a child sexual abuse victim.

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i need some advice, as my hubby, whom i LOVE dearly is having me listen to Christian Apologetics people.......and other stuff...

 

Ugh. Can you be honest and say, "I'm kind of past that right now"? Or, put the podcast on your iPod and listen to it as you clean the house. tongue.png Maybe make a trade: He has to listen to/watch a video/read a book of your choice and you will do the same for one of his choice.

 

Can't hurt to listen to one or two and then say, "You know, I found the arguments really lacking, because of {reason x, y, z]"

 

Keep us posted! smile.png

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i need some advice, as my hubby, whom i LOVE dearly is having me listen to Christian Apologetics people.......and other stuff...

 

Hi, Starlyte:

 

Based on the above, I assume your husband is still a Christian. The more you read these forums, the more you will learn that when one member of a family leaves the religion behind, those who are still Christians often feel it is their "duty" to "help" their loved one stay in the religion. There are a number of ways this is done. One common way is to try to lay a guilt trip on the one who left the religion and thus put emotional pressure on him/her to stay in the religion. Another way is that they will sometimes use fear tactics and say things like "you are going to hell" or "God will cause bad things to happen to you" and on and on it can go. Yet another way is for the Christian to try to "reason" with the loved one who left Christianity and direct them to apologetics like your husband is doing with you.

 

The approach people take in the face of these tactics varies with the individual and the family situation. Some who leave Christianity are gentle with their Christian loved ones and will politely listen to what they have to say for the sake of family harmony. Some have thought through their reasons for leaving the religion and present that to their Christian loved ones, not so much to try to convince them to leave Christianity, but to help their loved ones understand that they had valid reasons for leaving. Others who leave Christianity take a much more hardline approach with their Christian loved ones and frankly tell them they do not wish to discuss matters of religion and try to put a halt to it there and then. How you handle it is, of course, your call and will depend on a lot of things which you will have to consider.

 

I think the important thing, though, if you decide to listen to the apologetics, is not to be taken in by what you hear. Think about this: if the Bible really were the word of god which conveyed a message with the eternal consequences which it claims, why would there be the need for apologists? It seems to make sense that an all powerful, all knowing god would know how to communicate his message to us in a straightforward and clear way. Yet the bible is anything but straightforward and clear and that is why there are thousands of Christian denominations, each with their own (and often opposing) view of what the Bible has to say.

 

Do not take what an apologist says as truth. Rather, if you feel the need, go straight to the source - the Bible and see what it says. Let the Bible speak for itself because it is its own worst enemy. What apologists really do is take a confused book (the Bible) and try to smooth out the rough edges. But the rough edges can't be smoothed. They are there and speak volumes about the fact that the Bible is not a divine work of some god.

 

I'll give you an example for you to think about if you wish to. According to the Bible, what happens to babies who die? Do they go to heaven or do they go to hell? Most apologists will declare that babies who die go to heaven because they are not capable of sinning. However, according to the Bible, every person ever born is guilty of original sin and that includes babies. Therefore, babies are, according to the Bible, as sinful as everyone else. Being sinful, there is, according to the Bible, only one way to escape hell (even though some denominations dispute this) and that is through belief in Jesus. However, a baby is not capable of expressing belief in Jesus. Therefore, by being sinful and never expressing belief in Jesus, a baby who dies must go to hell.

 

Don't get me wrong. I do not believe for even a second that babies who die go to hell. No one goes to hell because such a place does not exist. Rather, I was giving you just one example of where some apologists will try to gloss over an extremely difficult situation which a reasonable reading of the Bible requires.

 

So, do not be fooled by apologists. They are the supreme excuse makers.

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you simply couldn't have found a place more accepting but here, to be honest.

I drink too, it helps smooth out some of the rougher spots along the way.

The anonymity of an internet forum is a great place to spill out, very therapeutic. I thought I was going to explode before I found this place (my wife still believes and doesn't particularly wish to hear a great deal of what I am going through. (faith-wise anyways) She is also a child sexual abuse victim.

 

ty for you kind words..........I could totally help your wife .......is she is still having problems dealing with her abuse.........it doesn't apply "christian" princlples, just good advice from who was there and got through that

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i need some advice, as my hubby, whom i LOVE dearly is having me listen to Christian Apologetics people.......and other stuff...

 

Hi, Starlyte:

 

Based on the above, I assume your husband is still a Christian. The more you read these forums, the more you will learn that when one member of a family leaves the religion behind, those who are still Christians often feel it is their "duty" to "help" their loved one stay in the religion. There are a number of ways this is done. One common way is to try to lay a guilt trip on the one who left the religion and thus put emotional pressure on him/her to stay in the religion. Another way is that they will sometimes use fear tactics and say things like "you are going to hell" or "God will cause bad things to happen to you" and on and on it can go. Yet another way is for the Christian to try to "reason" with the loved one who left Christianity and direct them to apologetics like your husband is doing with you.

 

The approach people take in the face of these tactics varies with the individual and the family situation. Some who leave Christianity are gentle with their Christian loved ones and will politely listen to what they have to say for the sake of family harmony. Some have thought through their reasons for leaving the religion and present that to their Christian loved ones, not so much to try to convince them to leave Christianity, but to help their loved ones understand that they had valid reasons for leaving. Others who leave Christianity take a much more hardline approach with their Christian loved ones and frankly tell them they do not wish to discuss matters of religion and try to put a halt to it there and then. How you handle it is, of course, your call and will depend on a lot of things which you will have to consider.

 

I think the important thing, though, if you decide to listen to the apologetics, is not to be taken in by what you hear. Think about this: if the Bible really were the word of god which conveyed a message with the eternal consequences which it claims, why would there be the need for apologists? It seems to make sense that an all powerful, all knowing god would know how to communicate his message to us in a straightforward and clear way. Yet the bible is anything but straightforward and clear and that is why there are thousands of Christian denominations, each with their own (and often opposing) view of what the Bible has to say.

 

Do not take what an apologist says as truth. Rather, if you feel the need, go straight to the source - the Bible and see what it says. Let the Bible speak for itself because it is its own worst enemy. What apologists really do is take a confused book (the Bible) and try to smooth out the rough edges. But the rough edges can't be smoothed. They are there and speak volumes about the fact that the Bible is not a divine work of some god.

 

I'll give you an example for you to think about if you wish to. According to the Bible, what happens to babies who die? Do they go to heaven or do they go to hell? Most apologists will declare that babies who die go to heaven because they are not capable of sinning. However, according to the Bible, every person ever born is guilty of original sin and that includes babies. Therefore, babies are, according to the Bible, as sinful as everyone else. Being sinful, there is, according to the Bible, only one way to escape hell (even though some denominations dispute this) and that is through belief in Jesus. However, a baby is not capable of expressing belief in Jesus. Therefore, by being sinful and never expressing belief in Jesus, a baby who dies must go to hell.

 

Don't get me wrong. I do not believe for even a second that babies who die go to hell. No one goes to hell because such a place does not exist. Rather, I was giving you just one example of where some apologists will try to gloss over an extremely difficult situation which a reasonable reading of the Bible requires.

 

So, do not be fooled by apologists. They are the supreme excuse makers.

 

OMG you are reading my mind...........I totally get what you are saying, and yes.......I, too, don't believe in a heaven or a hell........most of the time.......but listening to countless Christians...........debating atheists........who sometimes do NOT make a good case...... the A i mean..........it is so hard to get the 2 opposing views to negate each other........or coincide..........it is puzzling while still on the fence........feeling as though I'm leaning to my ultimate demise whichever way I go.......ty......much more to think about. :)

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i need some advice, as my hubby, whom i LOVE dearly is having me listen to Christian Apologetics people.......and other stuff...

 

Ugh. Can you be honest and say, "I'm kind of past that right now"? Or, put the podcast on your iPod and listen to it as you clean the house. tongue.png Maybe make a trade: He has to listen to/watch a video/read a book of your choice and you will do the same for one of his choice.

 

Can't hurt to listen to one or two and then say, "You know, I found the arguments really lacking, because of {reason x, y, z]"

 

Keep us posted! smile.png

 

LOLOL I don't have an IPod....wouldn't know how to use that either.......did I mention I'm OLDER'N dirt? anyway........I have given him things to listen to, per my kids on here.......he listened.......got NOTHING from it, obv........so I try to just accomodate to keep the peace........and suffer in silence......yes I am the quesessential martyr................argggg........ty for respondinng.....:)

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Star,

 

Right now I'm reading a book that's a collection of essays of some of the best and brightest Ex-C's/atheists/agnostics in the world today. They hit every conceivable angle on Christianity, and utterly destroy it, showing it for the complete fraud it is. It's called "The End of Christianity" by John Loftus. It logically rips apart everything from the doctrine of hell, the atonement, the resurrection, EVERYTHING. and I'm only halfway through it! Now, I don't know if you want an absolute Nuke to your faith like that, or if you'd prefer to take things more slowly. I could recommend some other books that would do that as well. Thats how I left the faith, I had hundreds of questions that, while addressed by apologetics, the answers they gave were completely lacking in logic, reason, or evidence. "just have faith". no thanks, i need real answers tyvm. The only way to really get past where you're at and be SURE that you're leaving behind a scam and not the truth is to educate yourself.

 

There's a reason that the more educated (especially in religion) a person is, the more likely they are a non-believer.

 

I used to think it was because they were "too smart for their own good".

 

What a bunch of baloney.

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Hey, Mom! :) I'm glad you found your way back to your post! I'm proud of you for being honest and open about what you're going through. This is a great place to ask questions, vent, and to find good info and resources. You'll get through this, I have no doubt about that. No matter where you land we love you and support you. kiss.gif

 

PS - Thanks to all of you for being so welcoming and encouraging to my mom. It's what I expected from you, but it still means a lot!

 

2H

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Star..........Wow! Your wonderful family have read enough of my posts to know that I would be able to relate to you. And I do. Even with all the shit that happened to me as a child.... and through my whole life...I still innocently believed in god. Even through I had a million questions about the bible...I still innnocently believed. Even with horrible things happening around me and in the world....I still innocently believed that ONE DAY SOON..........god would show the fuck up and explain to me about why 'he' set the world up the way 'he' did. And THEN, I would finally understand 'his' ways. As much as I prayed for 'him' to show up and explain the whole 'mess' of life to me - he NEVER did. And my world fell apart a couple of years ago when I knew, (and finally admitted) in my heart, that the bible god was probably a myth.

 

If and when this happens to you - you're whole world view will fall apart and you are going to need us. So stay on the boards with us as we tell you our experiences. This might not be easy for you. It is for some people. It depends on how long one was involved with christianity, what doctrine you believed, how 'hard-core' the church was that one attended and how much you actually believed. I was a die-hard believer, so my journey has been a little on the difficult side. That's why I come here everyday.... to get my 'fix' of sanity in this crazy world.

 

You said this in your post: '' ........I wrestle with the need to lean on someone loving and bigger than me.........

 

This is a lesson I am desperetly learning right now - that I am my own 'higher power' and that there isn't a human being outside of myself.... that can make me feel like I am worthy of love - I have to feel that way. I have to learn how to validate my own self, without sucking other people dry. I have leaned on others my whole life to make me feel like 'something' and it only satisfies the 'neediness' for a short time and I am back looking to 'whoever' that will make me feel worthy (again). I am the one who has to feel worthy. That is what I am working on right now. People pleasing and people's approval has haunted me my whole life and it's one bad habit to break, but I'm workin' real hard on it. I barely give a shit what people think anymore. This has helped me to build up my self confidence so much in the last while. I still like to be 'nice' and respecful'...I just don't really care if they approve of me or not. I approve of me - that's what matters. woohoo.gif

 

I'll tell you my wine story another time... Wendytwitch.gif .........stay tuned.... you may want to cut back a little if you don't want to end up where I did!!

 

......until then, have a little drink for me and keep posting....... 68.gif

 

P.S. Listen to the young ones on this board......they know what they're talkin about!!

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It's nice to hear from you again, Starlyte! I'll second McDaddy's recommendation of John Loftus. He writes to Christians. His written arguments tend to hit harder than most. His book "Why I became an Atheist" is excellent. He has a blog at http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/. Bart Ehrman has also published some great stuff discrediting the New Testament. "Jesus, Interrupted" and "Misquoting Jesus" are both great. For great debates, watch more with Christopher Hitchens. http://worldviewnaturalism.com/debates/ has a wonderful list of debates.

 

Hope to hear more from you! :)

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Hi Star! I think you are well on your way to resolving the painful cognitive dissonance you are currently living with. I am going to highlight just a few things and comment:

it went for far too long, and I did nothing to stop it. But, have come through to the other side.

...I keep going back to the familiar.........the God that didn't protect me

First, children cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. The people who hurt you were in a position of trust and they violated that trust. Your brain and personhood and sense of self was not developed enough to push the other person away. I am glad you have come through to the other side.

 

In the past 10 years I have suffered a great deal. God has done absolutely nothing to ease my difficulty. I am left to believe that God is either (1) non-existent or (2) not interventionist. I think the cruelest thing about our brand of Christianity is that it gets us to expect something. This expectation has been, in my case and it sounds like yours, repeatedly unmet, resulting in great personal peril. Which is truly fine, except that our belief system tells us to expect something, based on the Bible, etc..

I wrestle with the need to lean on someone loving and bigger than me.........and the fact that "person" doesn't exist........

I too am learning that I AM OKAY. I AM STRONG. I CAN DO THIS!!! Christianity makes us weak and depletes our self-efficacy until we can't even decide what pants to wear without asking God for help. I think this is especially true for women: we are taught that we are weak and likely to fall and that we need a man to rely upon.

Check this out: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_moore/weak.html

This article is about the pathological aspects of prayer.

...listening to countless Christians...........debating atheists........who sometimes do NOT make a good case......

...t is so hard to get the 2 opposing views to negate each other........or coincide..........it is puzzling while still on the fence........feeling as though I'm leaning to my ultimate demise whichever way I go.......ty......much more to think about. smile.png

Please bear in mind that these questions of truth have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, and many very bright people have come to all different conclusions than other bright people. My advice to you is to take your time. Scale back your "certainty" to things of which you can really be certain. You will not find solid answers, but you can find peace.

I have given him things to listen to, per my kids on here.......he listened.......got NOTHING from it, obv.......

I think it is nearly impossible to actively or by force/persuasion change the mind of another while still respecting the individual (this is one of the problems with Christian missionaries). If you can keep the peace, great. But if reading apologetics crap is getting on your nerves, say so, like "I'm really not in a space to appreciate the merits of these arguments right now". Or, as my husband tells his fundy parents, "The more you bug me about this, the more you push me away from it/you".

 

Keep us posted. Glad you're here. Leaving Christianity is a very difficult transition and that's why we are here! smile.png

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I even feel guilt for being here right now.......taking up precious that belongs to people more deserving!

 

........I hope I don't get kicked out for being honest! smile.png

 

There is no reason to feel guilty. You deserve as much attention as anyone who comes here. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for being here.

 

I have yet to see anyone get kicked out for being honest. There is a wide berth for what you can post on this website. The more you read through and participate in threads the more you will see that. And being honest is actually a healthy thing, you can't heal if you lie to yourself or others.

 

I'm glad you are here and I suspect you have many things to share. We all learn from each other. Oh and there are a bunch of goofballs who like to have fun as well. The humor section is a great vacation from all the serious talk at times. And I believe laughter is essential to life anyhow. :D

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Hi Star! I think you are well on your way to resolving the painful cognitive dissonance you are currently living with. I am going to highlight just a few things and comment:

it went for far too long, and I did nothing to stop it. But, have come through to the other side.

...I keep going back to the familiar.........the God that didn't protect me

First, children cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. The people who hurt you were in a position of trust and they violated that trust. Your brain and personhood and sense of self was not developed enough to push the other person away. I am glad you have come through to the other side.

 

In the past 10 years I have suffered a great deal. God has done absolutely nothing to ease my difficulty. I am left to believe that God is either (1) non-existent or (2) not interventionist. I think the cruelest thing about our brand of Christianity is that it gets us to expect something. This expectation has been, in my case and it sounds like yours, repeatedly unmet, resulting in great personal peril. Which is truly fine, except that our belief system tells us to expect something, based on the Bible, etc..

I wrestle with the need to lean on someone loving and bigger than me.........and the fact that "person" doesn't exist........

I too am learning that I AM OKAY. I AM STRONG. I CAN DO THIS!!! Christianity makes us weak and depletes our self-efficacy until we can't even decide what pants to wear without asking God for help. I think this is especially true for women: we are taught that we are weak and likely to fall and that we need a man to rely upon.

Check this out: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_moore/weak.html

This article is about the pathological aspects of prayer.

...listening to countless Christians...........debating atheists........who sometimes do NOT make a good case......

...t is so hard to get the 2 opposing views to negate each other........or coincide..........it is puzzling while still on the fence........feeling as though I'm leaning to my ultimate demise whichever way I go.......ty......much more to think about. smile.png

Please bear in mind that these questions of truth have been around for hundreds of thousands of years, and many very bright people have come to all different conclusions than other bright people. My advice to you is to take your time. Scale back your "certainty" to things of which you can really be certain. You will not find solid answers, but you can find peace.

I have given him things to listen to, per my kids on here.......he listened.......got NOTHING from it, obv.......

I think it is nearly impossible to actively or by force/persuasion change the mind of another while still respecting the individual (this is one of the problems with Christian missionaries). If you can keep the peace, great. But if reading apologetics crap is getting on your nerves, say so, like "I'm really not in a space to appreciate the merits of these arguments right now". Or, as my husband tells his fundy parents, "The more you bug me about this, the more you push me away from it/you".

 

Keep us posted. Glad you're here. Leaving Christianity is a very difficult transition and that's why we are here! smile.png

 

This reminds me of something in the new Batman movie. There is this pit that there are prisoners in, and they are able to climb up the wall of the pit, to the point they are ALMOST out. Then they only need to jump to a ledge to get comPletely out. But it's just a liiiiiittle too far, so when they try, they fall all the way to the bottom.

 

One of the prisoners says something like " it's only true despair when you have a shred of hope". It's like how holding onto that hope will drive you mad.

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..." it's only true despair when you have a shred of hope". It's like how holding onto that hope will drive you mad.

So true! Hope is a cruel mistress.

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