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The Beginnings Of Doubt


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I have been thinking of this some lately and wanted to share it.

 

Though I grew up in church, as a child and teenager, I was not taken in by Christianity at a young age.  When I was about eight or nine and in Vacation Bible School, the week ended with an altar call for all us kids (that was the kind of church I was in, with altar calls).  Though several of my siblings went forward and gave their hearts to Jesus, I did not.  Later, my mother asked me why I didn't go and I told her because I was not ready.  Honestly, I did not feel "called" to go forward.

 

As a teenager, and still in church, I recall looking at the teenagers who were "on fire" for Jesus and thinking how different I was from them because for me, being in church was something I did because it was required of me.  There were a lot of teenagers in my church who felt the same way.  We would endure church and then afterwards, we would all go somewhere and have fun.  One time, one of the teenagers said something I had never thought of before.  She said something to the effect of, "What if everything in the Bible is just made up and none of it is true?"  We all laughed and then changed the subject.  But that thought stayed with me and I thought about it.

 

A year or two later while still a teenager, I told my mother that I did not want to go to church anymore because I was getting nothing from it.  She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Until you turn 18 and are no longer living in this house, you WILL go to church!"  So I stayed in church until I left home at age 18.

 

During Sunday school when the topic of evolution came up and was, of course, called untrue since God had created everything, I challenged that out loud.

 

Once I left home, I stopped going to church altogether except for rare occasions.

 

When I was in college, I took a religion course that I thought might be interesting.  It had nothing to do with my major, so I took it as one of my electives.  The course was a study of the book of Genesis.  But it was Genesis with a twist.  In that course, I was introduced to the documentary hypothesis which posits that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible as Christians believed.  Rather, they started as an oral tradition and the various versions of the stories were much later synthesized by a number of writers into what we have now.  That was an astounding view to me.  I had never heard of such a thing and found it extremely interesting.

 

After all of that, you would have thought that I would have remained Christian free.  But despite my doubts throughout those years, there was still the fact that I had been raised in church and exposed to it all.  I could never completely view it all as rubbish.  I was conflicted but leaned toward the Christian worldview.  As I got into my twenties, I began really fallling for the religion until I sank into it with full force.  I became a full fledged bible believing Christian.

 

It took me somewhere around thirty years to finally shed myself of the religion after that.  But I was finally able to mainly because of a traumatic event in my life which made me realize that everything one is told and one believes to be true is not necessarily true.  That event had nothing directly to do with Christianity, but the principle I learned made me start questioning everything, including especially Christianity.  If something so fundamental to me which I had thought was true turned out not to be true, then I couldn't believe anything until I tested it for myself.  When I tested Christianity by studying the Bible in great detail, I learned that what I had been taught and believed was simply not true.  So I stepped out and left the religion behind.  I am glad I did, though it was extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that Christianity is not true

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Things unrelated to Xtianity had their impact on my deconversion, too. I found I had made erroneous assumptions about things in my early adulthood that I discovered as I grew older were not true, things that probably were obviously not true, I suspect, to a lot of people, but not to me. I went to an AMWAY meeting (tricked into it)yeas ago. The thing that impressed me most about the meeting was not the subject of the talks, but the charisma of the speakers. They sounded and acted like evangelists. They

used the same type of emotions and appeal. I had no interest in becoming an AMWAY representative, but if I had had any interest,these speakers would have hooked me. This made me think immediately about fundamentalist preachers I had heard frequently. I thought (it's embarrassing to admit it now) that preachers talked the way they did because they were filled with the Holy Spirit! I asked myself, does this mean that non-christians can speak the same way as preachers do in the spirit?

 

Years later I went to a lawyer's seminar on trial practice- how to try cases. The teacher was a former US attorney and US District judge. These are very important positions in the law and the ones that hold these positions are usually very good. This teacher's main point was this: If there is a point that you MUST prove in order to win a case, you must act in the courtroom in every way like you personally believe it is true with all of your heart. IF THE EVIDENCE IS WEAK ON THIS POINT, THAT IS ALL THE MORE REASON

THAT YOU MUST ASSERT IT AS THOUGH THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT ABOUT IT AND TELL THE

JURY THERE IS NO DOUBT. The only way this can be done effectively is to act from the

the first moment the jury sees you until the trial is through as though you are a 100% honest person. Every comment, nonverbal communication, your dress, your communications with the judge and the adverse attorney must be consistent with what is to be expected of an honest person. No tricks, no wise cracks, rudeness or aggressive behavior should be shown. Assertive behavior is ok, but not aggressive. Total respect for the judge and cool politeness to adverse counsel should also be shown. In this way, if you can carry it off, the jury will decide the case based on your supposed honesty and ignore the

weak evidence.

 

Also, when I was a young attorney, I noticed that the really good attorneys' demeanor

was exceedingly likable inside the courtroom, but frequently obnoxious in person, away from the courthouse. Could a preacher possibly be like that also?

 

Well, I think you can see where this is going. I was young and inexperienced when I

learned these lessons. Some of you will think me naive even as a young man. Maybe I

was. But I was taught to trust people unless they gave me reasons not to, be honest and polite and respectful, not just to some people, but to my friends and enemies alike.

But dishonesty is not at all uncommon in the business world, as I'm sure you know, and if you trust your enemies you'll get your head handed you.

 

The point is that all of these lessons taught me to be skeptical about religion as well as many other things. Once skepticism stepped in, Xtianity was on its way out, whether I knew it or not. bill

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Thanks for your comment, Bill.  I enjoyed reading it.

 

It's amazing how we can think we know and understand something until one day, if we are fortunate, we learn that things are not always as they appear on the surface or portrayed to us to make particular impressions and to shape our thoughts and opinions.  Your description of such things is much like my own, though different in kind.

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Overcame Faith, thank you for sharing this. I enjoy reading the ventures you had with Christianity. I can relate to this on so many levels. You are a man of intellect and deep thought, so I can imagine how hard this this must have been on you. You are quite a bible scholar  and I can  recognize how difficult this would be to be able to see all the inconsistencies of what was supposed to be, ''The word of the almighty god''. I have depended on you (as many others have)  to point out these inconsistencies in the bible. I just simply did not believe anymore by looking around at the world. That was enough for me. I did not know that the bible was so inconsistent. I always have said here on Ex-c that the Genesis story was enough to stop me dead in my tracks when it came to believing the bible. But I LOVE to know the rest of it...the intelligence of bible scholar's like you.

 

To find out that something you believed in is not true is one of the hardest things for us as humans. I have had a really hard time with deconverting, as you well know. This post is so wonderful for all the newcomers to read. Just to hear that one is not 'crazy' for questioning the 'holy word' and the existence of the Christian god alone, can help the newcomer to  feel better.

 

It always hurts me when I hear of the terrible stories that humans have had to endure and work through. I am so sorry for whatever traumatic event you faced in your life. Life is not easy. I am preparing my two kids right now on this issue before I die....the hard knocks of life. I don't want these two precious children of my sister's growing up waiting for the big fairy tale reward. I want them to know they must work to get ahead - that things don't come as easy as what I once believed. Thank you for confirming that I am doing the right thing.

 

Learning the truth about a lie is very hard and changes the course of ones' life and way of thinking. It's important to work through the grief. As much as these things hurt and we don't allow them to make us bitter - they can help us grow  and become more mature about the reality of life. It's the hard knocks that have made me into the strong person I am today. But, none of it was fun.

 

I hope anyone who reads this post will start to ask even more questions, knowing that the doubts they feel inside can be validated by us who have already been deconverting for some time now.

 

Thanks again for sharing.
 

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Doubts is where it all starts, I have had so many christians tell me doubts are normal in faith, but do they admit that they might go somewhere. No, they admit that they are there but not where they lead. It takes a brave person to investigate there doubts and what they really mean.

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Overcame Faith, thank you for sharing this. I enjoy reading the ventures you had with Christianity. I can relate to this on so many levels. You are a man of intellect and deep thought, so I can imagine how hard this this must have been on you. You are quite a bible scholar  and I can  recognize how difficult this would be to be able to see all the inconsistencies of what was supposed to be, ''The word of the almighty god''. I have depended on you (as many others have)  to point out these inconsistencies in the bible. I just simply did not believe anymore by looking around at the world. That was enough for me. I did not know that the bible was so inconsistent. I always have said here on Ex-c that the Genesis story was enough to stop me dead in my tracks when it came to believing the bible. But I LOVE to know the rest of it...the intelligence of bible scholar's like you.

 

To find out that something you believed in is not true is one of the hardest things for us as humans. I have had a really hard time with deconverting, as you well know. This post is so wonderful for all the newcomers to read. Just to hear that one is not 'crazy' for questioning the 'holy word' and the existence of the Christian god alone, can help the newcomer to  feel better.

 

It always hurts me when I hear of the terrible stories that humans have had to endure and work through. I am so sorry for whatever traumatic event you faced in your life. Life is not easy. I am preparing my two kids right now on this issue before I die....the hard knocks of life. I don't want these two precious children of my sister's growing up waiting for the big fairy tale reward. I want them to know they must work to get ahead - that things don't come as easy as what I once believed. Thank you for confirming that I am doing the right thing.

 

Learning the truth about a lie is very hard and changes the course of ones' life and way of thinking. It's important to work through the grief. As much as these things hurt and we don't allow them to make us bitter - they can help us grow  and become more mature about the reality of life. It's the hard knocks that have made me into the strong person I am today. But, none of it was fun.

 

I hope anyone who reads this post will start to ask even more questions, knowing that the doubts they feel inside can be validated by us who have already been deconverting for some time now.

 

Thanks again for sharing.

 

 

Yes, coming to terms with the simple fact that I was wrong for so many years and that I fell for it all was the root of my difficulties.  I have heard questions expressed so many times on ExC by others to the effect of, "How could I have been duped?"  Add me to that list.  That is why I do not and never will maintain that Christian believers lack intelligence.  It's not that at all, in my opinion and based on my experience.  There's something more to it than that and, at least for me, that something was faith.  Some call it brainwashing and perhaps that is a proper characterization, but it's not a full brainwashing.  Rather, it is a filtering of anything that goes against one's faith so that either it is ignored or explained away.  I view it more as a selective filtering of many things that would cast doubts on the Christian worldview.  I think it's related to our human desire to understand that which we do not comprehend and to make sense of a world full of pain and suffering.  At least Christianity offered a God who was in charge and, though we did not understand his ways, at least we could maintain that it all has a purpose.

 

Absent bad things having a purpose, we are left with something that can be fairly frightening - randomness.  It is something, I suppose, like a soldier landing on Omaha Beach during D-Day in 1944.  There are thousands of bullets whizzing by and his fellow soldiers are falling dead and injured all around him.  (If you haven't already seen it, see the movie, "Saving Private Ryan" for a good theatrical reenactment of this.)  If one of these soldiers continues on with the fight, I think he would come to realize that what actually separates him from his fallen comrades is the simple randomness of his not having been in the path of a bullet.  I think that would be quite frightening because randomness is not predictable and no amount of skill is likely to make much of a difference in his ultimate chances of survival. The next time bullets are flying, he may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and he, like his fallen comrades, may be a statistic of war because of the randomness of where he happened to be when a bullet flew to that exact location at that exact time.

 

Leaving Christianity behind is, at least to some degree, accepting the randomness of life.  Why was I not born into a starving family in Africa?  Because of the randomness of who my parents were and where they happened to live, circumstances over which I had absolutely no say and no control.  Why was there only one survivor in a plane crash?  Because of the randomness of having just the right seat, of how the plane impacted the earth, how the flames went in a particular direction and pattern, how the survivor perhaps had his head shielded by a suitcase in the overhead bin, and maybe a hundred or a thousand other random circumstances over which he or she had no control.  In other words, coming to terms with the fact that god is not protecting you and you are on your own and subject to, among other things, the randomness of life is a major blow to one's nice and comfortable worldview in which there is a god out there which eliminates randomness and turns everyting, both the bad and the good, into a "plan."

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Doubts is where it all starts, I have had so many christians tell me doubts are normal in faith, but do they admit that they might go somewhere. No, they admit that they are there but not where they lead. It takes a brave person to investigate there doubts and what they really mean.

 

I'm not so sure that doubts are necessarily where it starts for everyone, but it certainly is for some.  For me, though as a young person I had doubts, once I went into Christianity with full force, my deconversion started with a reason for reviewing those early doubts and coming to terms with them.  I do agree completely with you, however, on the notion that many Christians have doubts but fail to look into them and then act on them.  See my post above in which I reply to Margee on this subject.

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Overcame Faith: You made some really good points. It is a mystery to me how such intelligent people

become Xtians at the peak of their adult maturity or stay Xtians though they are smart enough to know

better. I can understand it with the vast majority of people, because (without intending to sound

elitist) they really are not very smart. That has been remarked on by many brilliant authors, etc. over the years. That was, more or less, the theme in, "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis, a popular book in the

twenties, I believe. But the really intelligent ones, that's a mystery.

 

One thing that only partially explains it is that there are, I believe, a number "Xtians" who don't

believe what they preach, but found a way to make a good living or simply have no where else to go. ButI also am puzzled by the devonversion of ordinary folks, like myself. How did I do it when so many

really smart people don't? bill

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Bill,

 

If one grants the premise that there is no strong connection between intelligence and wisdom, then it should not be surprising that many "smart" people are believers. The classic example of the difference between intelligence and wisdom is this (of which I am an example of): I have the intelligence to recognize that smoking is harmful to my health, but I lack the wisdom to desire to quit.

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Overcame Faith: You made some really good points. It is a mystery to me how such intelligent people

become Xtians at the peak of their adult maturity or stay Xtians though they are smart enough to know

better. I can understand it with the vast majority of people, because (without intending to sound

elitist) they really are not very smart. That has been remarked on by many brilliant authors, etc. over the years. That was, more or less, the theme in, "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis, a popular book in the

twenties, I believe. But the really intelligent ones, that's a mystery.

 

One thing that only partially explains it is that there are, I believe, a number "Xtians" who don't

believe what they preach, but found a way to make a good living or simply have no where else to go. ButI also am puzzled by the devonversion of ordinary folks, like myself. How did I do it when so many

really smart people don't? bill

 

On the issue of intelligent people who, as adults, become Christians, I think that Dr. Francis Collins, who headed the Genome Project is a prime example.  In the article he wrote in 2007, part of which I quote and provide the link, he explains that he became a Christian at age 27.  While he writes that there are rational reasons to believe in God, in this snipet, he admits that ultimately there is a leap of faith.

 

But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/collins.commentary/

 

If you read the article in its entirety, you will see that he had a number of questions about matters for which there was no scientific answer.  It seems to me, that his way of answering these questions was through faith in Jesus.

 

I don't think that intelligence negates the human desire to understand that which cannot be rationally explained and for some that "explanation" comes through faith.  Of course, not every intelligent person tries to use Christianity (or other religion) to explain questions about purpose, etc.  But, clearly, some do.  The question of why do some turn to religion and others don't is a mystery to me, too.

 

Your second issue relates to why do some deconvert and others do not.  I think you are correct that there are some charlatans who know none of it is true but use religion to dupe people out of money.  There are also others who are more or less "cultural Christians" and, quite frankly, they don't bother thinking things through since going to church and mouthing the right words is cultural rather than a true and deeply felt experience.

 

But there are those who are true believers, and some of them (few, I think) will deconvert while some of them (the majority, I think) will not deconvert.  What sets the two groups apart so that some true believers will deconvert while others will not?  That is a question for which I have no answers.  Rather, I can only relate my own personal experience and how representative that experience is, I do not know.  As I explained in the OP, for me it was a traumatic event which forced me to realize that not everything we are told, even when told to us by those we love with all our hearts, is necessarily true.  It was the shock of learning that which "clicked" in my brain and allowed me to question even Christianity.

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A little bit more concerning the issues set forth in the above post by me as it relates to why some deconvert and others do not.

 

I have tried to read as many of the testimonies on this website as possible.  I don't claim to have done any sort of statistical analysis, of course, but there does seem to be a pattern among members here.  These are some of the common characteristics which I have noticed.  They do not apply to everyone, but are very broad and general statements.

 

1.  A disproportianate number of our members tend to be of a rare personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  The most rare personality type is INTJ, with only about 2% or so of the general population having that personality type.  There have been several topics posted on this issue here on ExC and, based on the responses to those topics, it seems that a lot of people on here have that, or another, rare personality type, with definite leanings toward the introverted personality type.  Perhaps there is a correlation between the introverted personality type and deconversion.

 

2.  Many people on ExC have or had serious questions for which they sought answers from their pastors, Christian books, etc. for which they found no satisfactory answers.  Not finding satisfactory answers there, they turned to other non-Christian sources, including coming to ExC and asking their questions.  Based on that, perhaps one difference between those who deconvert and those who do not is having a mind which demands answers and if the answers are not satisfactory, it forces the person, even if a solid true believer, to come to terms with the likelihood that maybe Christianity is not true.

 

3.  For a fair number of testimonies I have read, the turning point was when they finally actually read the Bible for themselves.  It was then that they were confronted with the atrocities set forth in the pages.  There were things like God ordering genocide, including children, sanctioning of rapes, orders to stone gays and others.  Then, of course, there is the New Testament concept of hell which many realize is one of the most unjust concepts contained anywhere in the Bible.  So, perhaps one of the important factors is an unwillingness to accept the sugar coating given by pastors and other Christians and reading the actual words in the Bible for themselves.

 

4.  There is also the willingness to accept conclusions no matter the personal cost.  There are a number of posts on ExC about how difficult it was to accept that Christianity is not true and how they suffered mightily with their findings.  Yet, many people on ExC have been willing to deal with it even though it was, in itself, traumatic for them and, often, for their personal relationships with family members and friends who are Christians.  It seems to me that this willingness shows a strong longing to know the truth whatever the truth may be.

 

5.  Another fairly sized number of our members resorted to one final effort to hold onto their faith.  That final effort was to cry out to God (or Jesus) to make himself personally known to them.  These cries are heartfelt, but they were met with silence.  In those cases, the people were forced to accept that the God of the Bible (or Jesus) is not there despite the promises in the Bible.  A promise broken on such a profound level dictated moving on beyond the religion and and trying to come to terms with their inevitable conclusions.

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1.  A disproportianate number of our members tend to be of a rare personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  The most rare personality type is INTJ, with only about 2% or so of the general population having that personality type.  There have been several topics posted on this issue here on ExC and, based on the responses to those topics, it seems that a lot of people on here have that, or another, rare personality type, with definite leanings toward the introverted personality type.  Perhaps there is a correlation between the introverted personality type and deconversion.

 

2.  Many people on ExC have or had serious questions for which they sought answers from their pastors, Christian books, etc. for which they found no satisfactory answers.  Not finding satisfactory answers there, they turned to other non-Christian sources, including coming to ExC and asking their questions.  Based on that, perhaps one difference between those who deconvert and those who do not is having a mind which demands answers and if the answers are not satisfactory, it forces the person, even if a solid true believer, to come to terms with the likelihood that maybe Christianity is not true.

 

3.  For a fair number of testimonies I have read, the turning point was when they finally actually read the Bible for themselves.  It was then that they were confronted with the atrocities set forth in the pages.  There were things like God ordering genocide, including children, sanctioning of rapes, orders to stone gays and others.  Then, of course, there is the New Testament concept of hell which many realize is one of the most unjust concepts contained anywhere in the Bible.  So, perhaps one of the important factors is an unwillingness to accept the sugar coating given by pastors and other Christians and reading the actual words in the Bible for themselves.

 

4.  There is also the willingness to accept conclusions no matter the personal cost.  There are a number of posts on ExC about how difficult it was to accept that Christianity is not true and how they suffered mightily with their findings.  Yet, many people on ExC have been willing to deal with it even though it was, in itself, traumatic for them and, often, for their personal relationships with family members and friends who are Christians.  It seems to me that this willingness shows a strong longing to know the truth whatever the truth may be.

 

5.  Another fairly sized number of our members resorted to one final effort to hold onto their faith.  That final effort was to cry out to God (or Jesus) to make himself personally known to them.  These cries are heartfelt, but they were met with silence.  In those cases, the people were forced to accept that the God of the Bible (or Jesus) is not there despite the promises in the Bible.  A promise broken on such a profound level dictated moving on beyond the religion and and trying to come to terms with their inevitable conclusions.

 

Overcame faith, these 5 points are wonderful to the newcomer. I think my first 1,000 posts were about these very issues. This five explanations that you wrote out for us, is a great way for doubters to start asking themselves, ''Are these the questions and issues going on in my head right now?''

 

Number one always fascinates me because I think it is very true for most of us when we take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test.....that most of us  do have that  rare personality type ...... INTJ. I recommend that the newcomer would do this test. It does seem that we are definitely deep thinkers.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write this great information out!! Hug!

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This makes me wonder once again, as I have elsewhere here, what the graph would look like if belief is plotted against susceptibility to being hypnotized. After reading the OP, I'd be very interested in seeing the graph of personality types plotted against the susceptibility.

 

I come in as INTJ, which is not surprising. But I also know that I come close to being amoral, and asocial as well on other tests.

 

An interesting insight into my character might be seen from this story. Part of the vetting process I had to go through when I met my wife was that I had to take part in a penny-ante family poker game that had people ranging in age from 10 to 70 years old. I played to win every penny I could, whether it be from the youngest or oldest player at the table. They were all fair game in my view. That won the approval of the family.

 

All things considered, it really isn't surprising that I find religion to be touchy-feely.

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Overcame faith, these 5 points are wonderful to the newcomer. I think my first 1,000 posts were about these very issues. This five explanations that you wrote out for us, is a great way for doubters to start asking themselves, ''Are these the questions and issues going on in my head right now?''

 

Number one always fascinates me because I think it is very true for most of us when we take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test.....that most of us  do have that  rare personality type ...... INTJ. I recommend that the newcomer would do this test. It does seem that we are definitely deep thinkers.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write this great information out!! Hug!

 

 

Many of my early posts were about those issues, too.  They, and other issues as well, seem to be some of the top issues many deal with upon deconversion and the process leading up to it.

 

The issue of INTJs is interesting.  Of course, my observations are nothing more than that and don't really prove anything since we are a self-selecting group.  It could be that INTJs feel a need to talk about their deconversion and maybe it doesn't predispose one to deconvert.  I don't know.  But, still, it is interesting that ExC has so many in that personality group.

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This makes me wonder once again, as I have elsewhere here, what the graph would look like if belief is plotted against susceptibility to being hypnotized. After reading the OP, I'd be very interested in seeing the graph of personality types plotted against the susceptibility.

 

I come in as INTJ, which is not surprising. But I also know that I come close to being amoral, and asocial as well on other tests.

 

An interesting insight into my character might be seen from this story. Part of the vetting process I had to go through when I met my wife was that I had to take part in a penny-ante family poker game that had people ranging in age from 10 to 70 years old. I played to win every penny I could, whether it be from the youngest or oldest player at the table. They were all fair game in my view. That won the approval of the family.

 

All things considered, it really isn't surprising that I find religion to be touchy-feely.

 

The issue of whether there is a correlation between belief and susceptibility to being hypnotized, or, to put it another way, susceptibility to suggestion is interesting and one I had never considered.  What tends to support something along these lines are Jesus' words to those he "healed" as reported in the Bible.  The prerequisite was always "belief".  I take that as something along the lines of the placebo effect which means, whether someone is susceptible to the suggestion that the alleged spiritual healer is capable of healing.  I don't know, but quite interesting. 

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A little bit more concerning the issues set forth in the above post by me as it relates to why some deconvert and others do not.

 

I have tried to read as many of the testimonies on this website as possible. I don't claim to have done any sort of statistical analysis, of course, but there does seem to be a pattern among members here. These are some of the common characteristics which I have noticed. They do not apply to everyone, but are very broad and general statements.

 

1. A disproportianate number of our members tend to be of a rare personality type based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The most rare personality type is INTJ, with only about 2% or so of the general population having that personality type. There have been several topics posted on this issue here on ExC and, based on the responses to those topics, it seems that a lot of people on here have that, or another, rare personality type, with definite leanings toward the introverted personality type. Perhaps there is a correlation between the introverted personality type and deconversion.

 

2. Many people on ExC have or had serious questions for which they sought answers from their pastors, Christian books, etc. for which they found no satisfactory answers. Not finding satisfactory answers there, they turned to other non-Christian sources, including coming to ExC and asking their questions. Based on that, perhaps one difference between those who deconvert and those who do not is having a mind which demands answers and if the answers are not satisfactory, it forces the person, even if a solid true believer, to come to terms with the likelihood that maybe Christianity is not true.

 

3. For a fair number of testimonies I have read, the turning point was when they finally actually read the Bible for themselves. It was then that they were confronted with the atrocities set forth in the pages. There were things like God ordering genocide, including children, sanctioning of rapes, orders to stone gays and others. Then, of course, there is the New Testament concept of hell which many realize is one of the most unjust concepts contained anywhere in the Bible. So, perhaps one of the important factors is an unwillingness to accept the sugar coating given by pastors and other Christians and reading the actual words in the Bible for themselves.

 

4. There is also the willingness to accept conclusions no matter the personal cost. There are a number of posts on ExC about how difficult it was to accept that Christianity is not true and how they suffered mightily with their findings. Yet, many people on ExC have been willing to deal with it even though it was, in itself, traumatic for them and, often, for their personal relationships with family members and friends who are Christians. It seems to me that this willingness shows a strong longing to know the truth whatever the truth may be.

 

5. Another fairly sized number of our members resorted to one final effort to hold onto their faith. That final effort was to cry out to God (or Jesus) to make himself personally known to them. These cries are heartfelt, but they were met with silence. In those cases, the people were forced to accept that the God of the Bible (or Jesus) is not there despite the promises in the Bible. A promise broken on such a profound level dictated moving on beyond the religion and and trying to come to terms with their inevitable conclusions.

I fit into number 4 & 5
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  • 3 weeks later...

I am ISFJ. Is that another common type on here?

 

I think there are more "IN"s,  than "ISs" here. But there are a few of us. I am ISTJ.

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I am ISFJ. Is that another common type on here?

 

Here are links to some of the threads in which members reveal their personality types:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/50191-whats-your-mbti/?hl=intj#entry730210

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/52290-whats-your-personality-type/?hl=intj#entry776199

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