Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Anat

How Studying The Bible And Being A Very Good Girl Led Me Away From Chritianity

Recommended Posts



Keeping this site online isn't free, so we need your support! Make a one-time donation or choose one of the recurrent patron options by clicking here.



Welcome Anat! I always thought the Episcopal Church would be fine if they would just drop the BIBLE. As it is, it is quite dishonest in parading the Bible down the aisle as a sacred text when we know damn well none of them take it seriously.

 

My .02 cents.

 

Don't worry about your story being "old hat". This is your place!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anat Welcome to Ex-c! You're home girl. Thanks for sharing your story with us - I enjoyed reading it.. I love the testimonies because I never feel alone anymore when I read them.

 

Go to the testimony sections and you will see your (very similar) letter in there a thousand times. We were all in the same boat when we came to EX-c. You stay here and read, read, read. You got a place to hang out now with some real friends. It's not always easy being a non-believer...but eventually you can find the ''perfect peace that passes all understanding!!!''biggrin.png

 

glad to have you with us!!

Sincerely, Margee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You saw the difference between philosophy and mythology. The philosophical teachings of Jesus of Nazarene are sound. Echoed through time by people who have championed the call of compassion and justice in this world. One can believe in doing good without having to tie it in with fantastical beliefs of magic men, plagues, justifiable genocide, and some pretty outlandish stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!!

 

Yeah, I'm in the South too, and still even go to a fundy church with my awesome (but undeniably fundy) wife. seein and hearing all the madness is pretty maddening. Thank "god" for xanax!!

 

Welcome to the Reality Club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Anat! This was a great read. Our life stories may be different, but the problems which lead us out of Christianity are pretty much the same! It came as a bit of a shock when I finally acknowledge that I was more moral than the Bible God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, thanks for sharing your story. Seeing others find the truth about the bible never gets old. Congratulations to now be among the sane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Anat! You aren't alone. I tried to believe, obey & be the good little christian...but over time the inconsistencies, hypocrisies, cruelty became too much to reconcile in my mind.

Something had to give & so my faith evaporated over time.

 

It's funny how actually studying the bible was what really made me lose my faith. the bible is no "Holy book"...humans aren't that cruel & why should anyone worship a god who is that vicious?

Also, while I was willing to "lay down my life for the brethren" I saw they weren't willing to do the same for us...of course they'd do it for the pastor & his family.

I began to see it all as one big ass charade.

 

Just wanting you to know that you are not alone in your struggles & doubts. I'm glad you found us "outcasts" here at Ex-Christian. Stick around, read & begin to enjoy the ability to come to your own conclusions, which

was not allowed in the christian cult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, and thanks for sharing your story! I can relate to the shock you experienced the first time you encountered real scholarship on the Bible. But what motivated you to take that scholarship seriously, instead of dismissing it out of hand as ramblings of the "natural" mind (1 Cor 2:14), and assuming that apologists must have it all under control? And similarly, at what point did you start to see inconsistencies in the Bible and think, "There must be something wrong with the Bible" rather than, "There must be something wrong with me"?

 

(I think the fundamentalist denominations are shooting themselves in the foot by not inoculating their kids against real scholarship, when they're young and still firmly within the fold, with carefully controlled exposure. That leads to a lot of kids being shocked into doubt when they get to college, but it also leads to a lot of kids plugging their ears and becoming even *more* fundamentalist against the tide)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, really great post, Anat! Welcome to Ex-Chr. I'm going to quote to JayL on another thread part of what you said here. I hope he reads your whole post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I went to the gym and came back to so many wonderful, kind comments! Thank you all so so much. It really does mean a lot. Luckily, though I grew up in an extremely devout and fundamentalist area, I now live in a more progressive city. Several of my friends here are not religious, and the ones who are are more of the Unitarian Universalist, feeding the poor & kicking injustice's ass type. Also Mr. Anat is also an atheist/agnostic, though he had to suffer through 13 years of private Christian school before coming to our Christian based college. Poor guy has never been to a not-Christian school. He is understandably pissed at Christianity.

 

Tall Mike- I think the reason that I didn't automatically deny the textual criticism I was taught in college was because it was taught by two pretty religious people, one who had been a Baptist minister before becoming a professor, and the other was a wife of a minister. I never had any reason to think of them as "heathens" who were trying to pollute God's word. Also, the way textual criticism was taught just made sense. Instead of my profs saying "The Bible has inconsistencies!" they would make us compare Bible passages in multiple translations to see the differences on our own. My New Testament prof also had great handouts for the differences between the Gospel stories, laying out the passages in 4 columns. How can you deny what is right in front of your face? The inconsistencies were SO blatant that it never even occurred to me to blame my faith or my interpretation.

 

Ficino- Please do! I've been observing some of his conversations and will probably jump in at some point. Maybe it will give me a chance to brush off my Hebrew lexicon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I went to the gym and came back to so many wonderful, kind comments! Thank you all so so much. It really does mean a lot. Luckily, though I grew up in an extremely devout and fundamentalist area, I now live in a more progressive city. Several of my friends here are not religious, and the ones who are are more of the Unitarian Universalist, feeding the poor & kicking injustice's ass type. Also Mr. Anat is also an atheist/agnostic, though he had to suffer through 13 years of private Christian school before coming to our Christian based college. Poor guy has never been to a not-Christian school. He is understandably pissed at Christianity.

 

Tall Mike- I think the reason that I didn't automatically deny the textual criticism I was taught in college was because it was taught by two pretty religious people, one who had been a Baptist minister before becoming a professor, and the other was a wife of a minister. I never had any reason to think of them as "heathens" who were trying to pollute God's word. Also, the way textual criticism was taught just made sense. Instead of my profs saying "The Bible has inconsistencies!" they would make us compare Bible passages in multiple translations to see the differences on our own. My New Testament prof also had great handouts for the differences between the Gospel stories, laying out the passages in 4 columns. How can you deny what is right in front of your face? The inconsistencies were SO blatant that it never even occurred to me to blame my faith or my interpretation.

 

Ficino- Please do! I've been observing some of his conversations and will probably jump in at some point. Maybe it will give me a chance to brush off my Hebrew lexicon!

 

JayL will brush you off as "notatruexian". So get ready for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Anat, and welcome to ExC. I'm glad you made it out of the religion.

 

HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week? I give the congregations more of a pass, but if you have studied the actual language of the Bible and still believe it to be infallible, you are an idiot and a liar.

 

This is the exact conclusion to which I came after a thorough study of the Bible. Those pastors and priests who have had a good theological education from a reputable theological seminary know the problems of their Bible but they will never present those problems in their feel good sermons. My conclusions are:

 

1. Some of them may have let their faith sway their intellect so they rejected what they learned in favor of their faith. (I think this when I'm feeling kind).

2. They did not really understand what they studied. (I doubt this in 99.9% of the cases).

3. They know the truth but do not want to hurt the members of their congregations by saying something that may cause them to lose their faith. (This may be true for some of them).

4. They know the truth but they do not want to lose their jobs and want to keep the offering plates full so they never speak of what they really know of the bible. (I suspect this of a fairly large number of pastors/priests who graduated from reputable theological seminaries).

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Anat, and welcome to ExC. I'm glad you made it out of the religion.

 

HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week? I give the congregations more of a pass, but if you have studied the actual language of the Bible and still believe it to be infallible, you are an idiot and a liar.

 

This is the exact conclusion to which I came after a thorough study of the Bible. Those pastors and priests who have had a good theological education from a reputable theological seminary know the problems of their Bible but they will never present those problems in their feel good sermons. My conclusions are:

 

1. Some of them may have let their faith sway their intellect so they rejected what they learned in favor of their faith. (I think this when I'm feeling kind).

2. They did not really understand what they studied. (I doubt this in 99.9% of the cases).

3. They know the truth but do not want to hurt the members of their congregations by saying something that may cause them to lose their faith. (This may be true for some of them).

4. They know the truth but they do not want to lose their jobs and want to keep the offering plates full so they never speak of what they really know of the bible. (I suspect this of a fairly large number of pastors/priests who graduated from reputable theological seminaries).

 

Number 4 FTW!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings anat! I enjoyed reading your story, and I'm glad that you've been able to break free.

 

You will find that there's quite a number of us here from a similar background, realizing through Bible study that it's mythology. Like you, some studied the original languages, while others studied church history and how the Bible was put together, and yet others (such as myself) did comparative studies of Biblical texts in our own language (I also used an Interlinear Bible, but that's only scratching the surface of the original languages). All of those avenues, when approached reasonably, reveal serious problems for the Bible and Christianity.

 

Anyway, welcome to the board. It's a great place for ex-christians to hang out and learn from each other.

 

Those pastors and priests who have had a good theological education from a reputable theological seminary know the problems of their Bible but they will never present those problems in their feel good sermons. My conclusions are:

 

1. Some of them may have let their faith sway their intellect so they rejected what they learned in favor of their faith. (I think this when I'm feeling kind).

2. They did not really understand what they studied. (I doubt this in 99.9% of the cases).

3. They know the truth but do not want to hurt the members of their congregations by saying something that may cause them to lose their faith. (This may be true for some of them).

4. They know the truth but they do not want to lose their jobs and want to keep the offering plates full so they never speak of what they really know of the bible. (I suspect this of a fairly large number of pastors/priests who graduated from reputable theological seminaries).

 

I would add another option:

 

5. They know the truth but they think that religion is necessary to keep the masses in line, so they feel that they benefit society by advocating religiously based morality.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate to the thread's title. Reading the Bible only drew me further from faith and I was always a good boy. Never got in trouble in school, made good grades, etc. I thought atheist kids were hooligans and delinquents who just wanted to rebel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Anal, I lived in the deep south 84-88 and understand the cultural issue of church in the south. It is like grabbing a hoagie or pizza up north: you just have to do it. As you grew out fundy baptism and met muslims, and others, you also found out that the fundy christian religions keep your mind closed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed reading your post. I kind of went the opposite way, myself. I just quit reading the Bible and going to church for a long time because of some issues with other Christians. When I tried to read it again, it just seemed ridiculous, and I started believing less and less of it, more for philosophical reasons than from a deep study of the text. First it was Paul's ridiculous sexism. Then it was the atrocities of the OT. I don't think it would have been nearly as apparent though without me having stepped away for a few years. Now, I'm pretty fascinated with the history of the Bible from a secular/neutral viewpoint.

 

The sad thing is the average person is just going to see the Bible filtered through their church's interpretation of it instead of really looking at it for themselves. Kudos for you for being intellectually honest with yourself and getting away from the lies. It certainly isn't easy to leave the Christian worldview behind, as you and all of us here can attest.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story. I really love when I read about a religious scholar agreeing something's not right. Confirms my belief that I didn't just "miss" some great truth all the Christians "get". Episcopals are pretty easypeople, but reformed episcopals are less so. My wife is reformed. They consider regular episcopals to be misguided since they allow women priests, etc.

 

Oddly enough, some of the biggest detractors to women priests that I know are other women... they truely believe the men are meant to be their holy leaders. *shrugs* I just don't get religion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Anat!

 

Great to hear your story. My Christian son is currently in seminary and called me up recently to tell me, his atheist dad, that his Hebrew text book is written by Bart Ehrman. He got a kick out of that. I hope it conveys to him the caliber of writers who are making a stand for biblical criticism.

 

To your point of pastors who lie to the folks, I have also found LOTS of doubt among the pastors and church leaders I have shared my deconversion with. The usual response is - "hey we ALL doubt but you didn't have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Let me help you get to a more "mature" faith." I don't hang around long enough to find out what that is. Plus my income does not depend on me having to fake anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week?

 

Welcome to Ex-C, Anat!! I loved your story. I'm still miffed at my own deconversion. I'm no longer angry--just miffed at the whole thing.

 

As for how these pastors lie, I am from a charismatic background, so formal education and knowledge of the Bible is not as important as 'being called". I think the less these pastors know, the better (at least from a fleecing perspective).

 

Find peace, sister. Good things await.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear your out, and so an exiting story too. You know, i would be interested, of you would, if you could possibly start a topic expressing some of the miss translations and discrepancies between the English bible and the Hebrew text. I know quite a few but it would be interesting to get it from a proffesional biblical scholar.

 

Also how many preachers would you geuss actually know there are problems with the text but still go on preaching? I mean preachers in small christian communities not mega churches, since obviously they dont believe in the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The usual response is - "hey we ALL doubt but you didn't have to throw the baby out with the bath water. Let me help you get to a more "mature" faith."

 

We didn't, the baby was never really there in the first place.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-C Anat!

I think everyone else pretty much said it already. I'll just say, I love this quote form Where The Heart Is:

Thelma: 'You read the Bible, Ruthie?'

 

Novalee: 'Not as much as I should.'

 

Thelma: 'Good. I think that's good. Folks read too much of it. They just get confused. That's why I like to hand out just one chapter at a time. That way, folks can deal with their confusion as it comes.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Over time, I found myself both more and more troubled by the concept of God and at the same time just not caring any more. It was truly exhausting to try to stick up for God/Jesus when the things they did seemed pretty indefensible. Eventually I stopped going to church at all and told myself that I just was taking a break, and that I would consider myself "not religious" for a bit. Then two thoughts came to my mind. 1) How can I believe in a God who is less kind and just than humans are? and 2) If I'm having to work this hard to defend the concept of God and Christianity and to suspend this belief in my mind, maybe this belief isn't worth having. Despite thinking these things I still did not consider myself an atheist or an agnostic, just really not religious.

 

A few weeks ago I visited my parents in the south. I went with them to church and it was one of the most depressing things I experienced in a long time. All these truly kind people believing truly stupid and cruel things. When I got back from the trip I realized that I was more than "not religious," I was an agnostic/atheist (still researching to find where I actually fit). And now I am more pissed than ever. HOW ON EARTH can these "pastors" and "priests" who actually studied the text stand there and lie to their congregations every week? I give the congregations more of a pass, but if you have studied the actual language of the Bible and still believe it to be infallible, you are an idiot and a liar. I can't deal with it. And now I sit and simmer as my Facebook is constantly populated with idiotic Christian sayings and verses and ideals.

 

 

I am so angry. But I don't want to be. So here I am to blow off steam and read other Ex-Christians' experiences and to rebuild my philosophy for living.

 

 

If you've made it to the end, you are a trooper. So thanks. smile.png

 

Hi Anat,

 

You can really be angry ! because when we recover we realize step by step we have been abused and we received lies and wasted our time for so many years.

 

Personally my anger was the thing that really helped me to go out of all this brainwashing after having spent about 20 years with the born again christians.

 

I was angry more against God because I really had emtional and affective needs with wounds in my childhood and christians promised me I had to seek Jesus and this

jerk never satisfied my needs. It makes me angry because I really had a lack of love that I didnt receive from my parents and because the bible is fake. God is love ? really ?

so why do you have to deal with your problem ? why does God not grant your prayers more if the world needs to see his "so called goodness" ?? why did he test Job by

sending Satan. God in Bible would not be evil in this case ? where are all these innocent and children in old testament he ordered to kill ? in heaven or in hell ?

 

One of my cousin is baptist and when I confronted her with this reallity she just said : well perhaps god killed all these children because they would be a "Hitler"!! is it an excuse

to kill them ? is it really true that all these people would become like Hitler ? that makes people with extremist beliefs and accept the most not acceptable`..is is acceptable to

kill a poor baby, defensless ??

 

I am glad you start opening your eyes. And welcome on Ex-Christians forum !!yellow.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.