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You Mean Ex-Christians Really Exist?


LifeCycle
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  I'm finding that a lot of Christians are shocked to hear of people like us and it seems with atheism as the fastest growing "belief" structure in the country where many are said to be Christians, this would be rather common and lot more people would be aware of it... So what's the deal?  Why don't they know? 

 

  I think many have the same questions and complaints we had during our deconversions but probably think they're alone.  It would help if they knew there was actually a rather large segment of the population who were once just like them.  Don't you think? 

 

  So what's up?  How come they seem surprised people who actually believed, no longer believe?  I mean, the sheer number of us should serve as evidence for something, right?

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Christians are fed a steady stream of propaganda about ex-Christians the whole time.  If you are a Christian then you will believe that propaganda because Christians believe what their pastors and the Bible say.

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Oh, they know we exist, they just refuse to accept what that really means. How often have you heard christian parents sobbing over their adults kids who don't go to church any more? All the times they pray for god to make their kids' lives horrible and miserable without him so that they'll come crawling back into the fold? Of course there are backsliders, people who know the Truth but choose selfishness instead. They just refuse to admit that we can leave for reasons outside of their narative.

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I can't speak for others, but for me, I cannot come out to my family or friends at this point in my life. I have too much to lose and I am truthfully not ready yet. I hate that I have to live a double life, but its easier than what would happen if I "came out".

I agree that it would be easier to come out if I knew other people in my area that are like me. But, I think the backlash of what friends and family think is a huge deterrent for people like me that keeps me from sharing what I am going through, and it is probably the same for others. I feel very alone and I wish that I had someone here in my hometown to talk with and process what I am thinking. But I don't. So, I play the game and hope that I will find a way to make it work. I find good solace in this forum and it helps immensely.

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Christians are fed a steady stream of propaganda about ex-Christians the whole time.  If you are a Christian then you will believe that propaganda because Christians believe what their pastors and the Bible say.

 

Really?  Something must have changed.  I was the only xer I'd ever heard of when I deconverted.  I guess if there is propaganda about us, it means there's been some progress in recent years.

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I can't speak for others, but for me, I cannot come out to my family or friends at this point in my life. I have too much to lose and I am truthfully not ready yet. I hate that I have to live a double life, but its easier than what would happen if I "came out".

I agree that it would be easier to come out if I knew other people in my area that are like me. But, I think the backlash of what friends and family think is a huge deterrent for people like me that keeps me from sharing what I am going through, and it is probably the same for others. I feel very alone and I wish that I had someone here in my hometown to talk with and process what I am thinking. But I don't. So, I play the game and hope that I will find a way to make it work. I find good solace in this forum and it helps immensely.

Good stuff, folks!

 

Norm, I understand completely.  Curious... Was it pretty surprising to find a resource like Ex-Christian.net online?  I know it was for me.  I really had no idea and for whatever reason was not very aware ex-Christians existed. 

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I can't speak for others, but for me, I cannot come out to my family or friends at this point in my life. I have too much to lose and I am truthfully not ready yet. I hate that I have to live a double life, but its easier than what would happen if I "came out".

I agree that it would be easier to come out if I knew other people in my area that are like me. But, I think the backlash of what friends and family think is a huge deterrent for people like me that keeps me from sharing what I am going through, and it is probably the same for others. I feel very alone and I wish that I had someone here in my hometown to talk with and process what I am thinking. But I don't. So, I play the game and hope that I will find a way to make it work. I find good solace in this forum and it helps immensely.

Good stuff, folks!

 

Norm, I understand completely.  Curious... Was it pretty surprising to find a resource like Ex-Christian.net online?  I know it was for me.  I really had no idea and for whatever reason was not very aware ex-Christians existed. 

 

Actually, yes I was surprised. I found this site through searching for the truth about what I believe and I found a Christian who has a blog and he mentioned ex-C and how he participated in the forums and felt compassion for you all. I decided to check it out and now I am apparently a regular member.

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I can't speak for others, but for me, I cannot come out to my family or friends at this point in my life. I have too much to lose and I am truthfully not ready yet. I hate that I have to live a double life, but its easier than what would happen if I "came out".

I agree that it would be easier to come out if I knew other people in my area that are like me. But, I think the backlash of what friends and family think is a huge deterrent for people like me that keeps me from sharing what I am going through, and it is probably the same for others. I feel very alone and I wish that I had someone here in my hometown to talk with and process what I am thinking. But I don't. So, I play the game and hope that I will find a way to make it work. I find good solace in this forum and it helps immensely.

Good stuff, folks!

 

Norm, I understand completely.  Curious... Was it pretty surprising to find a resource like Ex-Christian.net online?  I know it was for me.  I really had no idea and for whatever reason was not very aware ex-Christians existed. 

 

Actually, yes I was surprised. I found this site through searching for the truth about what I believe and I found a Christian who has a blog and he mentioned ex-C and how he participated in the forums and felt compassion for you all. I decided to check it out and now I am apparently a regular member.

 

Yes you are.  I'm the same.  I remember doing a search for the term "Ex-Christian" when I was on my way out of the belief... This is one of the first results that populated the list and I'm a forum junky so I got pretty stoked. 

 

Christianity is doing a good job at pretending we don't exist.  I'm not sure how, but they are.  People just flat out are not aware and it protects the faith for sure.  Our existence shines a light on the kinks in the armor.

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There's still a strong social and religious stigma associated with the word "atheist, at least in the south. Maybe if we toned down the baby-eating devil worship sex orgies?

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Right now we are sill pretty spread apart and we are still a small minority even if we are growing in numbers. It is easy to ignore as well since a lot of us I think are not outspoken towards are friends and family about it.

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I don't discuss my exit from Christianity with friends and family because it will only start a stressful debate or cause them to worry about my soul.  I prefer they think I'm a bad Christian with doubts.  Also, I'm not a firm atheist; sometimes I think God might exist in some more general and profound way than Christianity teaches.

 

That might be a factor in hiding ex-Christians.

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It's kind of odd how, in a world where you can find groups of the most random sexual fetishes online, many of us never thought "I'll bet someone else might be going through the same crisis of faith that I am." I would guess that a lot of that repression on my part, at least, comes from the decades of hearing from the pulpit about how "atheist" = "devil worshiper" or something. Going to think this over for a while. dry.png

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There's still a strong social and religious stigma associated with the word "atheist, at least in the south. Maybe if we toned down the baby-eating devil worship sex orgies?

Ya know I have yet to get my invite for those..

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I was at my most "on fire for God" during college. After college I never found a church that I liked as much as the one I was in during college. I missed everybody terribly, and this went on for more than ten years.

 

But when I formally announced I was no longer a Christian, all of those feelings vanished instantly. Its been two years now, and I don't miss any of them at all. I want to get as far from all that as possible. I only told one person from college, and that was more of a symbolic thing, I needed to deconvert in person to burn that bridge and make it unequivocal.

 

But I didn't go out of my way to contact anyone else. So I think for many Christians they don't realize how many people have left because many leavers are out of sight out of mind.

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So I think for many Christians they don't realize how many people have left because many leavers are out of sight out of mind.

 

"Out of sight, out of mind" seems to be how they operate with leavers based on what i saw and experienced. The truth is probably too hard and ugly for them to deal with up front, so this helps them continue to bury their heads in the sand.

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So I think for many Christians they don't realize how many people have left because many leavers are out of sight out of mind.

 

"Out of sight, out of mind" seems to be how they operate with leavers based on what i saw and experienced. The truth is probably too hard and ugly for them to deal with up front, so this helps them continue to bury their heads in the sand.

 

What you don't know can't hurt you.

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I didn't know there were other people feeling the way I felt until i found out online. I didn't know there was a word for what I was going through, "deconversion", When I found out, it all clicked and solidified for me. It provided closure as well.

I think xians are just uncomfortable with the fact that real believing xians who were dedicated and passionate, loose their faith. They make up excuses for them without actually caring what they are going though. Basically the only thing they can say is "pray more", "turn to god", when those are the things that aren't working for the person in the first place.

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I think at least some of them know ex-Christians exist: the ones hit in the checkbook by people leaving. There's an increasing number of books about it, and how to win them back. I read one recently. Unchristian: what a new generation thinks about Christianity... and why it matters.

Actually, it really clarified my thinking on this. In a nutshell, yes, the ones that run the churches know people leave, but - although the conclusions the book comes to are utter horse pookie - it made me feel good. They are totally incapable, because of the tenets of their faith - namely the assumption that it is true - of realizing why people actually leave. Maybe Christians of that persuasion come off as hypocritical, mean, and bigoted is because... the beliefs they hold to are. Or, maybe people leave after a "season of searching" because they learn that it's not true. Duh. But they can't touch that. They can't even approach it. They have to have a false idea of it, they have to believe that it's an "image problem" or they're not communicating clearly enough. Rather than a selling people lies problem.

As for the flock, I think it's a similar thing, as people have mentioned above: cultural insulation and denial. Maybe they know, abstractly, that people leave. But they can't face why, and then it's denial, all the way. If they had to really confront people who left Christianity, and the real reasons why, they'd have to seriously challenge their own faith. So, they prefer to accept that there is no such thing as an ex-Christian. It keeps uncomfortable questions from coming up.

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So I think for many Christians they don't realize how many people have left because many leavers are out of sight out of mind.

 

"Out of sight, out of mind" seems to be how they operate with leavers based on what i saw and experienced. The truth is probably too hard and ugly for them to deal with up front, so this helps them continue to bury their heads in the sand.

 

What you don't know can't hurt you.

 

Except steal your time, money and energy and beat you up for being a an imperfect, incapable, sinful human-being...

 

Other than that, it's pretty damn great!!!

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I didn't know there were other people feeling the way I felt until i found out online. I didn't know there was a word for what I was going through, "deconversion", When I found out, it all clicked and solidified for me. It provided closure as well.

I think xians are just uncomfortable with the fact that real believing xians who were dedicated and passionate, loose their faith. They make up excuses for them without actually caring what they are going though. Basically the only thing they can say is "pray more", "turn to god", when those are the things that aren't working for the person in the first place.

Excellent post.  You're so right... They care not about our deconversion.  It's us, we're the problem.  It's excuse after excuse without an objective analysis of the data. 

 

I get it though... It's a protection mechanism.  But not all of us are like that.  We simply can't buy the bullshit anymore. 

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Christians are fed a steady stream of propaganda about ex-Christians the whole time.  If you are a Christian then you will believe that propaganda because Christians believe what their pastors and the Bible say.

 

Really?  Something must have changed.  I was the only xer I'd ever heard of when I deconverted.  I guess if there is propaganda about us, it means there's been some progress in recent years.

 

 

 

Well your millage might vary but I was told that ex-Christians had never really been Christian in the first place, had left because they love to sin, they can't submit to God because they are rebellious, they can't be brought back to Christianity because that would require Jesus to die a second time and so on.

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I think at least some of them know ex-Christians exist: the ones hit in the checkbook by people leaving. There's an increasing number of books about it, and how to win them back. I read one recently. Unchristian: what a new generation thinks about Christianity... and why it matters.

Actually, it really clarified my thinking on this. In a nutshell, yes, the ones that run the churches know people leave, but - although the conclusions the book comes to are utter horse pookie - it made me feel good. They are totally incapable, because of the tenets of their faith - namely the assumption that it is true - of realizing why people actually leave. Maybe Christians of that persuasion come off as hypocritical, mean, and bigoted is because... the beliefs they hold to are. Or, maybe people leave after a "season of searching" because they learn that it's not true. Duh. But they can't touch that. They can't even approach it. They have to have a false idea of it, they have to believe that it's an "image problem" or they're not communicating clearly enough. Rather than a selling people lies problem.

As for the flock, I think it's a similar thing, as people have mentioned above: cultural insulation and denial. Maybe they know, abstractly, that people leave. But they can't face why, and then it's denial, all the way. If they had to really confront people who left Christianity, and the real reasons why, they'd have to seriously challenge their own faith. So, they prefer to accept that there is no such thing as an ex-Christian. It keeps uncomfortable questions from coming up.

Right.  This is the problem when we arrive to conclusions without first seeking out the data.  Christianity is true because I'm a Christian and all these other people are Christians too!!!  Somehow that made me confident but I never really thought it through... You know, there's a lot of Muslims too, Hindus and ack! Even Atheists... They think they're right as well.  And they are also many. 

 

The reasons I used to legitimize my faith were so elementary.  But I digress.... People leaving the church will only cause people to think they're doing it wrong.  You're right, they will not ever consider the worst part of their reality... That maybe it is all unicorns and rainbows and people are starting to see through the fairy-tales.

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Christians are fed a steady stream of propaganda about ex-Christians the whole time.  If you are a Christian then you will believe that propaganda because Christians believe what their pastors and the Bible say.

 

Really?  Something must have changed.  I was the only xer I'd ever heard of when I deconverted.  I guess if there is propaganda about us, it means there's been some progress in recent years.

 

 

 

Well your millage might vary but I was told that ex-Christians had never really been Christian in the first place, had left because they love to sin, they can't submit to God because they are rebellious, they can't be brought back to Christianity because that would require Jesus to die a second time and so on.

 

That's a favorite of theirs... Despite our giving all, our decades of service, we somehow fooled even ourselves and were really never believers to begin with.

 

Or maybe the bible's bullshit? 

Hmmmmm......

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I didn't view those who left the faith as ex-Christians - they were back sliders - people who had turned their back on God for whatever reason, generally because there was some sin that they wanted more than God. I didn't have any idea that people left because intellectually the belief system fell apart. 

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I didn't view those who left the faith as ex-Christians - they were back sliders - ....... I didn't have any idea that people left because intellectually the belief system fell apart. 

^^ Yes!  This is what I thought as well!  It did not occur to me that anyone stopped coming to church because they no longer believed.....I could not comprehend it!  Just goes to show the level of brainwashing and mind control at work here! 

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