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crazyguy123

My Deconversion

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Thanks for sharing your story.  Hell brings the fear necessary to keep people in the fold.  Fear is one of the best motivators, after all.  Just an outside point here... Jesus never said the world "hell."  He said the word "Gehenna" which is a physical place on earth just outside of Jerusalem.  Of course, none of that really matters as it was just a story and not an account of a real event (Biblical Jesus never existed).

 

Christianity causes guilt-trips and low self-esteem.  It hardly builds people up...  After all, we're fallen, we're imperfect, we're prone to be fuck ups.  Well, isn't that just dandy!  How inspirational!  It's bullshit.  You're a good person and you don't need a god or a "saviour" to make you better. 

 

Welcome to the club.  Grab a chair and stay a while.  =)

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Thanks for sharing your story.  Hell brings the fear necessary to keep people in the fold.  Fear is one of the best motivators, after all.  Just an outside point here... Jesus never said the world "hell."  He said the word "Gehenna" which is a physical place on earth just outside of Jerusalem.  Of course, none of that really matters as it was just a story and not an account of a real event (Biblical Jesus never existed).

 

Christianity causes guilt-trips and low self-esteem.  It hardly builds people up...  After all, we're fallen, we're imperfect, we're prone to be fuck ups.  Well, isn't that just dandy!  How inspirational!  It's bullshit.  You're a good person and you don't need a god or a "saviour" to make you better. 

 

Welcome to the club.  Grab a chair and stay a while.  =)

 

I learned about "Gehenna" after my deconversion and how it was a physical place. I don't remember what it was exactly. Wasn't it a place to burn dead bodies or something like that? I might have to research it to know more about it. I just know I saw it mentioned. Isn't it funny how some people learn more about Christianity during and after their deconversion than they did before?

 

Thanks for the welcome. smile.png

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Thanks for sharing your story.  Hell brings the fear necessary to keep people in the fold.  Fear is one of the best motivators, after all.  Just an outside point here... Jesus never said the world "hell."  He said the word "Gehenna" which is a physical place on earth just outside of Jerusalem.  Of course, none of that really matters as it was just a story and not an account of a real event (Biblical Jesus never existed).

 

Christianity causes guilt-trips and low self-esteem.  It hardly builds people up...  After all, we're fallen, we're imperfect, we're prone to be fuck ups.  Well, isn't that just dandy!  How inspirational!  It's bullshit.  You're a good person and you don't need a god or a "saviour" to make you better. 

 

Welcome to the club.  Grab a chair and stay a while.  =)

 

I learned about "Gehenna" after my deconversion and how it was a physical place. I don't remember what it was exactly. Wasn't it a place to burn dead bodies or something like that? I might have to research it to know more about it. I just know I saw it mentioned. Isn't it funny how some people learn more about Christianity during and after their deconversion than they did before?

 

Thanks for the welcome. smile.png

Haha, yeah, if you have Christian friends, you're bound to be in debates for a while. 

 

Yeah, Gehenna was a trash dump outside Jerusalem.  It was also a place where offerings and burnt sacrifices were offered up to foreign gods.

To take a physical place on earth and turn it into a mystical place of endless torture, is not a translation.  It's an interpretation and a very liberal one.  Every other physical placed mentioned on earth is translated to its English name.  They don't turn it into a place not even on the freaking planet!  So why the hell did they do that with the word "Gehenna?" 

 

Oh that's right, because it's all bullshit.  That, and it lines their pockets.  Religion is a good great money-maker.

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Oh that's right, because it's all bullshit.  That, and it lines their pockets.  Religion is a good great money-maker.

 

Yeah... definitely. I've recently been trying out writing songs and I think I'm getting better at it. I'm working on one now that is actually, all basically about what you just said in 3 short sentences, while also encouraging doubting believers at the same time. How do you put a line through text like that anyway? I do not know how to do that.

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Oh that's right, because it's all bullshit.  That, and it lines their pockets.  Religion is a good great money-maker.

 

Yeah... definitely. I've recently been trying out writing songs and I think I'm getting better at it. I'm working on one now that is actually, all basically about what you just said in 3 short sentences, while also encouraging doubting believers at the same time. How do you put a line through text like that anyway? I do not know how to do that.

There's an S icon right near the Underline icon up on the top left of your message window.  The S with the line through it.  =)

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Ok, thanks for letting me know how to put the line through text.

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You have been through the ringer as the saying goes. It's good to be free of extremists. As you know one of the major tactics of the Xtian strategy is to tell their converts to read the scriptures  every day. That is a significant part of the conversion process: repetition. It is ever so effective. In reading scriptures, Xtians focus on the portions they have already been taught. The others they either don't read or, if they do, they don't really try to understand how they fit with the "main" scriptures. I truly do not believe that the vast majority of people are capable of reading and understanding the whole bible. I know I wasn't until I was through college and had some life experience under my belt. It is a real dedication of time and energy to really study the bible. I don't think that many Xtians actually do it. Those that do usually do so under the supervision of a fundamentalist with a plan. 

 

So why do we exchristains need to read the rebuttal to fundamentalists to keep from freaking out at times? I think it is because the repetition strategy used in converting christians is so effective on a deep emotional level that it takes at least some of the same tactics to purge oneself of the poison. That old default way of thinking is easy to resurface without the use of an effective antidote: Repeated reading and talking about Xtianity's gaping holes. It sure has helped me.  bill 

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Welcome, crazyguy!

 

It's funny, I used to think that 'still, small voice' in my head was God.  That little voice of reason was trying to get through to me for years, and I kept justifying things away...

yes, there is hell - but God's judgment is perfect and he won't send anyone there unless they REALLY deserve it

yes, there is hell - but it is not eternal torture but just eternal separation from God - it's just sad but not painful

yes, Jesus is the way to heaven - but he will judge people on the state of their heart if they never heard of Jesus in their lifetime

etc. etc. etc.

 

Eventually I heard that little voice telling me that all of this stuff was nonsense.  It took a long time to get to that point, and it was fear (of God and of hell) that kept me from getting there sooner.  Throughout the evolution of the Christian religion, they sure have perfected the art of frightening people into obedience (and out of their money.)

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Hi crazyguy,

 

I was touched by your testimony and went through the emotions with you as I read.

 

I'm glad to see you deconverted at your age.  Man, when I was 20, I had just given my will to Jesus and I was in for a long painful ride through mental-torture land!

 

You are better equipped now than I was, so you should have a successful life!

 

Thanks for sharing, I appreciate it.

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"So why do we exchristains need to read the rebuttal to fundamentalists to keep from freaking out at times? I think it is because the repetition strategy used in converting christians is so effective on a deep emotional level that it takes at least some of the same tactics to purge oneself of the poison."

 

This is so true.  Replacing the indoctrination with the rebuttals works. It requires repetition of the new thoughts until they have become well-established and they have replaced the previous indoctrination with the new concepts.

 

Reading these refutations of indoctrination is really helpful.  I spent a whole night on this site and felt MUCH  better by the end of it.

 

 

 

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Our brains have been altered by the indoctrination. So much so that to reverse it we have to indoctrinate ourselves the other way. 

So, we must be careful not become a robot again, only with a different. message.  bill

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This is a reawakened thread! I hadn't seen it before, and there is something I'd like to comment on.

 

It's the "lust" part. Churches today have boys really freaked out about lust. It's so bad that they feel guilty when they look at a girl and thnk she's pretty. They're told they're awful, depraved beings, and that if they see any cleavage at all, they can't help but lust.

 

Of course, this is aimed at getting girls to completely cover up, but the message to the boys is that they have no self control, and it results in their feeling guilty for nothing. I've seen a couple of Christian websites that are starting to address this, but it's still more common to see quotes from brainwashed boys pleading with girls to make themselves unattractive.

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This sounds like psychological torture, MisterTwo.  Can't this kind of thing be made illegal?

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Absolute silence, but I managed to deceive myself into believing I had gotten an answer...

 

Apparently he either didn’t care or was not real...

 

My main doubt arose when I realized that there was a big contradiction between the god of love I thought I believed in and what the god of the Bible actually was...

 

Yes, Yes, YES!

 

I totally feel you, my friend! That "trickery of Satan" excuse was a hard one for me to overcome. So glad you overcame it too.

 

As to all your other points that I did not quote, I have one more thing to say: YES!

 

I'm so glad you are here. Thanks for sharing.

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"Researched everything I could", that sounds like what I did too. I had one of those ginormous industrial size white binders full of "Christian Literature" that I printed from the Internet, along with some apologetics books, etc.

 

I'm glad to hear you have decided to think for yourself!

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I knew some Christians who were visiting a church

I was attending, and one of them said to me:

 

"This place is a lot different. My normal church is more into total depravity and inherrent sinfulness of mankind."

 

I remember thinking how I could never want to attend that place! I also remember a couple years later telling him that I didn't interpret the resurrection literally and did not believe in heaven or hell as literal afterlife destinations. We discussed it for a while. He said something like "you're getting too cerebral about this." He wasn't mean about it, just was admitting that he preferred to take it on faith instead of "overthinking it".

 

 

This is a reawakened thread! I hadn't seen it before, and there is something I'd like to comment on.

It's the "lust" part. Churches today have boys really freaked out about lust. It's so bad that they feel guilty when they look at a girl and thnk she's pretty. They're told they're awful, depraved beings, and that if they see any cleavage at all, they can't help but lust.

Of course, this is aimed at getting girls to completely cover up, but the message to the boys is that they have no self control, and it results in their feeling guilty for nothing. I've seen a couple of Christian websites that are starting to address this, but it's still more common to see quotes from brainwashed boys pleading with girls to make themselves unattractive.

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I'm late coming to this, but thanks for sharing your story. I think it's so sad that religious dogma makes us loathe ourselves just for our natural instincts as human males and females. I had so much Catholic guilt growing up, even before joining the fundamentalist Calvin/Baptist cult, which was a million times worse as far as supposed "sins".

 

Making out when i was a Catholic was OK, just NO sex....but in the IFB cult even looking at one of the opposite sex was sinful, let alone kissing. It is soooo oppressive and I think really messes w/ our minds.

 

And realizing that bible god was a mean mother fucker and NOT some "loving father" was eye opening for me. It's hard to undo all of the brainwashing, but it just shows how if we open our minds to question and allow for real study that we can free ourselves from the religious dogma.

 

Thanks again for sharing and good luck!!

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The legend that Gehenna was the trash dump outside of Jerusalem was a guess that first appears in medieval rabbinical commentaries. It could be true, but it's just a guess. 

 

Gehenna is barely mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. There it just means the place where the Canaanites burned the bodies of human sacrifices, including (we're told) children. There is no reason to think this actually happened. Biblical writers excelled at vilifying anyone who was not them. 

 

So the Jesus character basically has no idea what he's talking about when he talks about going into Gehenna. Mark just found the word in the Bible and understood it to mean a place where sacrifices occurred a long time ago. 

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I am somebody who took the hell thing extremely serious and cried all the time and was extremely panicked about it as "a believer."  Unsuprisingly the threat of hell is the very thing that made me a "believer."  Anyways I was in for a medical procedure a couple years ago and had to go into the MRI scanner the whole way.  So I was in this very small tube, very claustrophobic, head to toe, and it was really nervewracking for me.  I really realized then, hell would be like being closed up inside that tube, and being ignited into flame, and kept alive in that state forever (for fucking ever.....one thousand years, two thousand years, four billion years, ten zillion years, you're not even close to done.  There is no done).  Having experienced the agonies of just minor burns, I was shuddering in complete horror at the thought.  I saw a video of men who had actually set themselves aflame in a government protest, and the screams of those men just in those few seconds they were lit, were unforgettable.  What kind of mind other than Yahweh himself could even be capable of the very idea of burning somebody forever.  He's a monster, a monster.

 

The other thing I realized is I've never met a Christian other than myself, and Andrea Yates (who I didn't actually meet) who really believed in this eternal burning stuff.  Yeah they all say they believe in it.  Yeah they preach the hellfire and brimstone.  But there's no way you genuinely believe in possibilities like eternal burning and then proceed to bear children.  There is no way.  Christians who get pregnant don't really believe it.  Andrea Yates really believed it.  And what she did to those kids, was completely rational in light of the expectation of what she thought she was sparing them from.  Andrea Yates was more of a "biblical Christian" than anybody I've ever heard of.  And you see what a tragedy it wroght.  Christianity wrought many tragedies in my life, mental and psychological breakdowns.  Every day I am trying to take another step, then another, away from the religion that has dominated and destroyed my life.  I still feel the grip of Yaheweh holding me down.  But at least now I can admit to myself what he really is. 

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I am sorry to hear what you have gone through, but I am glad that you feel you have more clarity now and are loosening the grip that the belief in yahweh had for so long.

 

How long have you been in the loosening process?

 

I am somebody who took the hell thing extremely serious and cried all the time and was extremely panicked about it as "a believer." Unsuprisingly the threat of hell is the very thing that made me a "believer." Anyways I was in for a medical procedure a couple years ago and had to go into the MRI scanner the whole way. So I was in this very small tube, very claustrophobic, head to toe, and it was really nervewracking for me. I really realized then, hell would be like being closed up inside that tube, and being ignited into flame, and kept alive in that state forever (for fucking ever.....one thousand years, two thousand years, four billion years, ten zillion years, you're not even close to done. There is no done). Having experienced the agonies of just minor burns, I was shuddering in complete horror at the thought. I saw a video of men who had actually set themselves aflame in a government protest, and the screams of those men just in those few seconds they were lit, were unforgettable. What kind of mind other than Yahweh himself could even be capable of the very idea of burning somebody forever. He's a monster, a monster.

 

The other thing I realized is I've never met a Christian other than myself, and Andrea Yates (who I didn't actually meet) who really believed in this eternal burning stuff. Yeah they all say they believe in it. Yeah they preach the hellfire and brimstone. But there's no way you genuinely believe in possibilities like eternal burning and then proceed to bear children. There is no way. Christians who get pregnant don't really believe it. Andrea Yates really believed it. And what she did to those kids, was completely rational in light of the expectation of what she thought she was sparing them from. Andrea Yates was more of a "biblical Christian" than anybody I've ever heard of. And you see what a tragedy it wroght. Christianity wrought many tragedies in my life, mental and psychological breakdowns. Every day I am trying to take another step, then another, away from the religion that has dominated and destroyed my life. I still feel the grip of Yaheweh holding me down. But at least now I can admit to myself what he really is.

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I am sorry to hear what you have gone through, but I am glad that you feel you have more clarity now and are loosening the grip that the belief in yahweh had for so long.

 

How long have you been in the loosening process?

 

The process is in it's third year I think.  It was about three years ago I finally got brave enough to start looking into atheist and agnostic blogs.  My brain has been like, well you know those lights that have a dimmer and so you can gradually brighten them slowly?  That's how my brain is going.  Brighter and brighter and brighter as I question things I was always too scared to question. 

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