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Oh The Irony


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I find it incredibly ironic that we all come here to find support from each other and, at some point, find ways to refute Christianity (or whichever religion you believed) and basically rant about our past with chirstianity, but in reality, we are likely who we are because of christianity (or said religion). Many of the choices we have made were a result of our beliefs and our upbringing and, I don't know about you, but I have experienced many good things because of christianity. I am a divorcee because my first wife (who was infertile) felt that because of something jesus said about looking at another woman (blah blah blah) she decided to divorce me. Well, I am so glad because I found a great woman (who is a Christian, but that is another story) and I now have a beautiful daughter who is my world and I just cant imagine life without her. I have had many good friends and experiences because of god, but now I find I am on a different path and I am ok with that. I understand that I made the choices and it wasn't god who made it happen, but christianity made it so because of what I believed. I totally understand the bitterness towards god and all that christianity did to us, because I am feeling that bitterness as well. But I can't say that christianity has been bad for me, at least not in a way that I can see at this point in my life. So I look at it like this, I travelled down the highway of christianity and I got off at an exit and now I am faced with the decision to go a different road or get back on the highway. Right now, I am leaning towards a new road. How exciting. Wherever you go, there you are!

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Christianity is a destroyer of individuals and families. You are one of the lucky ones (as am I) who escaped relatively unscathed; perhaps just a bit pissed about being lied to and being so gullible.

 

but christianity made it so 

 

Christianity didn't actually do anything. You just happened to be involved in the cult during the time certain things happened in your life. You would no doubt be married and have children had you been a Buddhist, Scientologist, or atheist during that time of your development. You're obviously a family man regardless of religious veneers.

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I see you going back.  Just sayin'.

I am curious why you would say that.

 

 

Christianity is a destroyer of individuals and families. You are one of the lucky ones (as am I) who escaped relatively unscathed; perhaps just a bit pissed about being lied to and being so gullible.

 

but christianity made it so 

 

Christianity didn't actually do anything. You just happened to be involved in the cult during the time certain things happened in your life. You would no doubt be married and have children had you been a Buddhist, Scientologist, or atheist during that time of your development. You're obviously a family man regardless of religious veneers.

You may certainly be right. But I am the sum of my choices. Many of them were made as a christian and were influenced thusly. Maybe I am lucky. If so, I am glad.

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Just a hunch.  Perhaps I'll be proved wrong.

 

If Christianity was not bad for you, why did you leave it?  For me, it is bad simply for being nonsense even if it did not negatively affect me in other ways.

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Just a hunch.  Perhaps I'll be proved wrong.

 

If Christianity was not bad for you, why did you leave it?  For me, it is bad simply for being nonsense even if it did not negatively affect me in other ways.

I cant say christianity is bad per se, but I am leaning towards leaving it because it makes no logical sense to me. Too many contradictions, too many interpretations of the same things, too many church doctrines that aren't matching up with scriptures. I have to say that, truthfully, I have already left christianity in my mind, however, I am having a hard time leaving the friends and the life I have had for so many years. Some people have been able to cleanly cut themselves away from it all without much difficulty, but I am not in a position where I can do that. I will likely have to be a closet agnostic/atheist/humanist (or whatever I decide to follow) with family and friends for the time being. My family and my wife's family are very much Christians and I will not be able to make a clean cut from christianity with the situation I am in. I stand to lose a lot if I just came out and left. I guess you could argue that that very thing is bad. You are probably right. Maybe the bad stuff for me will occur as I continue to deprogram.

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 I totally understand the bitterness towards god ...........

 

Hmmm, I disagree, I don't think he really left.

 

This statement is based on what? I made a big picture statement and everyone sees small picture. Surely you cannot disagree with the logic in my post. The sum of our choices made us who we are. If you never were a christian (or whatever religion), you would likely not be here responding to my post. Thus, you would be a different person. For me, many of the choices I made have served me well and I was making a point of the irony that because many of the people (including me) in this forum hate christianity because of the bad things it does to people, despite the fact that likely there are many good things that came from it as well. How can you judge whether or not I have experienced bitterness through one post? You don't know me. You don't know the frustration and anger that I have experienced over the past 2 months and how I have grieved over the very thing I sold my life out for for all these years. You don't know how I wish I could actually sit down and actually talk to someone objectively about the many things that are going through my mind and how I wish that they would just shut up with the stupid christian crap I see all the time. I ranted here. Big flipping deal. It doesn't mean anything. Its a rant. I wanted to get it off my chest.

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I cant say christianity is bad per se, but I am leaning towards leaving it because it makes no logical sense to me. Too many contradictions, too many interpretations of the same things, too many church doctrines that aren't matching up with scriptures. I have to say that, truthfully, I have already left christianity in my mind, however, I am having a hard time leaving the friends and the life I have had for so many years. Some people have been able to cleanly cut themselves away from it all without much difficulty, but I am not in a position where I can do that. I will likely have to be a closet agnostic/atheist/humanist (or whatever I decide to follow) with family and friends for the time being. My family and my wife's family are very much Christians and I will not be able to make a clean cut from christianity with the situation I am in. I stand to lose a lot if I just came out and left. I guess you could argue that that very thing is bad. You are probably right. Maybe the bad stuff for me will occur as I continue to deprogram.

 

 

 

When I left, it wasn't planned or a choice. It was a process of increasing doubt and questioning. I didn't want to leave. I saw the contradictions and tried my best to hold it together. One day I woke up and realized that I had lost faith in all Christian belief.

 

To me, your process sounds very different. It sounds to me that you're trying to figure out a way to leave, but your heart is still in it. I can tell you, you won't be able to leave by choice. It doesn't come from your mind even though it's a part of it. Your mind will question the rationality of your religion, but you won't really, truly leave until you wake up one day and look in the mirror and shockingly discover that there's no faith/belief/delusion going on anymore. It's a process, and I don't think you're at the end of that process yet. If you choose to go that path, you might not end up liking the end result. To me it was a scary realization and something I didn't want, but I couldn't help it. It just happened.

 

So good luck. I hope you find answers to your questions one day.

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I cant say christianity is bad per se, but I am leaning towards leaving it because it makes no logical sense to me. Too many contradictions, too many interpretations of the same things, too many church doctrines that aren't matching up with scriptures. I have to say that, truthfully, I have already left christianity in my mind, however, I am having a hard time leaving the friends and the life I have had for so many years. Some people have been able to cleanly cut themselves away from it all without much difficulty, but I am not in a position where I can do that. I will likely have to be a closet agnostic/atheist/humanist (or whatever I decide to follow) with family and friends for the time being. My family and my wife's family are very much Christians and I will not be able to make a clean cut from christianity with the situation I am in. I stand to lose a lot if I just came out and left. I guess you could argue that that very thing is bad. You are probably right. Maybe the bad stuff for me will occur as I continue to deprogram.

 

 

 

When I left, it wasn't planned or a choice. It was a process of increasing doubt and questioning. I didn't want to leave. I saw the contradictions and tried my best to hold it together. One day I woke up and realized that I had lost faith in all Christian belief.

 

To me, your process sounds very different. It sounds to me that you're trying to figure out a way to leave, but your heart is still in it. I can tell you, you won't be able to leave by choice. It doesn't come from your mind even though it's a part of it. Your mind will question the rationality of your religion, but you won't really, truly leave until you wake up one day and look in the mirror and shockingly discover that there's no faith/belief/delusion going on anymore. It's a process, and I don't think you're at the end of that process yet. If you choose to go that path, you might not end up liking the end result. To me it was a scary realization and something I didn't want, but I couldn't help it. It just happened.

 

So good luck. I hope you find answers to your questions one day.

 

Thank you. I am at the crossroads. I admit it. Logically, I have dismissed christianity. But I cant stop there. I have always been someone who needs to know what I believe and I will search and study until I find it. I feel lost right now. I have no idea what to do now. I have been a christian my whole life. I know no other way. This is a harrowing experience for me. I always felt bad for those in cults who got excommunicated because I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be cut off from everything you've ever known. I am now realizing that I am in that very boat. I would be lying if I said I don't want to be a christian. I want things to be like they always have been. I admit that. But I also know that its not going to happen. My life has been forever changed. I don't see a way that christianity can ever logically work for me. I guess the purpose of this rant is just me thinking out loud. Like I said earlier, I have no one but the forums to talk with.

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I want things to be like they always have been.

 

Obviously, all of us who were once Christians found there certain degrees of happiness, contentment, peace, etc. or we wouldn't have started down that dead end road in the first place. Ignorance can be bliss, but it's still ignorance. The world outside of the one ruled by superstition is so much better in every way, I wouldn't want to return to the bliss of ignorance.

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I think I am who I am despite Christianity.

Sure being raised a Christian child did good things for me and I met a few great people through church, but it also I think stunted the way I interpreted the world in that sense while everything else was developing - I was a bright and enquiring child and I was told I'd already reached an answer when really I should've been encouraged to keep searching, it gave me a false sense of peace that only served to leave me feeling more alone and uncertain when it fell away.

It's great that you see your faith as a positive experience, but... it's not ironic being here in that way for me.

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I think I am who I am despite Christianity.

Sure being raised a Christian child did good things for me and I met a few great people through church, but it also I think stunted the way I interpreted the world in that sense while everything else was developing - I was a bright and enquiring child and I was told I'd already reached an answer when really I should've been encouraged to keep searching, it gave me a false sense of peace that only served to leave me feeling more alone and uncertain when it fell away.

It's great that you see your faith as a positive experience, but... it's not ironic being here in that way for me.

I cant help but wonder that, as I travel down this road of deconversion, I will look more pessimistically at christianity. Possibly. Many of you all are in a different place than I, and your perspectives reflect that. It appears I did have a positive experience with my faith, however, it does not mean I am not bitter and resentful. If anything, I might consider myself to be even more so. I wasn't burned by anyone, I was deceived by may people, but I don't believe that anyone of them intentionally deceived me with malicious intent. I believe that they genuinely believed what they taught. I am a typically optimistic person. I am in a place in my life where I have never been. Maybe I am looking for a ray of light in all this fog. I don't know. I like being challenged. I like seeing the big picture. I like constructive criticism. I don't always handle it as best as I should. But I still like it. I guess that was the point of my post.

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Aye, I realise I was bought up as a Christian with the best intentions, but since I do see negative effects from it I put the blame on the religion rather than the people themselves since Christianity encourages making sure your children are 'saved' too. Maybe I'll start to see some positives too as I continue to grow my own beliefs, but at the moment I'm comparing myself to my friends who were bought up expected to figure it out themselves and think I'm the one lacking, not them!

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Just take the plunge (aka the honest road) and regardless of what happens, you, too, can just look back and either thank, or condemn christianity for putting you wherever you are at that point.

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It is obvious, and Norm has noted, that he is in the initial stage....not of de-converting but the questioning and exploration stage. I remember that stage well. That is probably the most difficult stage of the process for a lot of people. It was very difficult for me.

 

Once a person experiences that stage, they may indeed remain in the faith, but it will never be the same if they do. When a person becomes aware of the contradictions and inconsistencies they can’t simply unlearn them or erase them from their mind.

 

I tried liberal versions of Christianity after I'd become convinced the Bible wasn't true, but I couldn't make that work. If something isn't true then it isn't true. A water downed version of a lie is still a lie and a myth is still a myth and it didn't matter to me how people wanted to package it.

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Christianity created a bitterness in me that I hope I can eradicate eventually.  But it causes me to be unable to trust, and truly care about others.  I hate that part of my life and it is a hurtful memory, if it was a part of my body I would rip it out with my bare hands.

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I find it incredibly ironic that we all come here to find support from each other and, at some point, find ways to refute Christianity (or whichever religion you believed) and basically rant about our past with chirstianity, but in reality, we are likely who we are because of christianity (or said religion). Many of the choices we have made were a result of our beliefs and our upbringing and, I don't know about you, but I have experienced many good things because of christianity. I am a divorcee because my first wife (who was infertile) felt that because of something jesus said about looking at another woman (blah blah blah) she decided to divorce me. Well, I am so glad because I found a great woman (who is a Christian, but that is another story) and I now have a beautiful daughter who is my world and I just cant imagine life without her. I have had many good friends and experiences because of god, but now I find I am on a different path and I am ok with that. I understand that I made the choices and it wasn't god who made it happen, but christianity made it so because of what I believed. I totally understand the bitterness towards god and all that christianity did to us, because I am feeling that bitterness as well. But I can't say that christianity has been bad for me, at least not in a way that I can see at this point in my life. So I look at it like this, I travelled down the highway of christianity and I got off at an exit and now I am faced with the decision to go a different road or get back on the highway. Right now, I am leaning towards a new road. How exciting. Wherever you go, there you are!

Perhaps you could remove the bad and retain the good in your quest.  After all, Christianity does not have a patent, trademark or copyright on moral behavior, healthy emotions or critical and rational thinking.  I suspect that you will also find that the magical/supernatural aspects of Christianity are superfluous and not needed to live a meaningful life.

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Thank you. I am at the crossroads. I admit it. Logically, I have dismissed christianity. But I cant stop there. I have always been someone who needs to know what I believe and I will search and study until I find it. I feel lost right now. I have no idea what to do now. I have been a christian my whole life. I know no other way. This is a harrowing experience for me. I always felt bad for those in cults who got excommunicated because I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be cut off from everything you've ever known. I am now realizing that I am in that very boat. I would be lying if I said I don't want to be a christian. I want things to be like they always have been. I admit that. But I also know that its not going to happen. My life has been forever changed. I don't see a way that christianity can ever logically work for me. I guess the purpose of this rant is just me thinking out loud. Like I said earlier, I have no one but the forums to talk with.

 

 

Yeah. It can be a very difficult road to travel. Many are stuck in a social group where the religious faith is shared and any deviation from the set path is look down upon and outsiders are ostracized. I can only wish you good luck.

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I find it incredibly ironic that we all come here to find support from each other and, at some point, find ways to refute Christianity (or whichever religion you believed) and basically rant about our past with chirstianity, but in reality, we are likely who we are because of christianity (or said religion). Many of the choices we have made were a result of our beliefs and our upbringing and, I don't know about you, but I have experienced many good things because of christianity. I am a divorcee because my first wife (who was infertile) felt that because of something jesus said about looking at another woman (blah blah blah) she decided to divorce me. Well, I am so glad because I found a great woman (who is a Christian, but that is another story) and I now have a beautiful daughter who is my world and I just cant imagine life without her. I have had many good friends and experiences because of god, but now I find I am on a different path and I am ok with that. I understand that I made the choices and it wasn't god who made it happen, but christianity made it so because of what I believed. I totally understand the bitterness towards god and all that christianity did to us, because I am feeling that bitterness as well. But I can't say that christianity has been bad for me, at least not in a way that I can see at this point in my life. So I look at it like this, I travelled down the highway of christianity and I got off at an exit and now I am faced with the decision to go a different road or get back on the highway. Right now, I am leaning towards a new road. How exciting. Wherever you go, there you are!

 

Throughout my time as a christian I met many beautiful people and had many positive experiences so I think I can see where you are coming from. To my deep grief though I have come out of it going through a divorce and most likely barren so although I longed for the warm-fuzzy family experience, christianity did not provide it. My marriage and health issues were not caused by christianity but they were definitely exacerbated by it. My point is connecting christianity to positive experiences may be more emotionally driven than driven by logic and reason. 

 

Christianity did almost destroy me mentally, emotionally, relationally and did drive me to attempt suicide, although of course the big picture is much more complex than that statement allows. When a religion has caused such devestation to your life it is natural to be extremely angry for a time, and always consider religion with the skepticism and contempt it deserves. Feeling this way is of course very hard when surrounded by christian family and friends so I can understand why you want to keep your thoughts around christianity positive even as you consider it may not be true at all. 

 

It took some months for me to allow myself to be angry at religion after I had deconverted, and I did think some anti-theists were over the top, but now I totally agree with the likes of Christopher Hitchens on this topic;

 

“So when I say religion poisons everything, I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity. It says we can’t be moral without Big Brother, without a totalitarian permission. It means we can’t be good to one another. We must be afraid, we must also be forced to love someone who we fear, the essence of sadomasochism”
— 

Christopher Hitchens

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I think it is a very different journey for everyone. While I realise my own stupidity for staying involved as long as I did, I did what I did for what I believed were the right reasons at the time.

 

I believe religion is an evil, whatever kind it is, particularly for people like me, prone to obsession and depression. I don't think it affects everyone the same way. But then I also think capitalism is evil as well. I don't hate religion more than I hate other things which are stupid and unjust.

 

I also think it is important to make a distinction between people who have a head connection and people who have a heart connection to religion. I feel both types also have very different journeys.

 

Religion taught me to tell the truth, no matter what. As time progressed I realised it had not taught other christians that. When it came time for me to face the fact there was no evidence, I HAD to tell the truth. If religion taught me anything of value, it was that one thing.

 

We need to let people travel their journeys in their own way and their own time. We cannot know what goes on inside other people.

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Other christians never were able to set a good  example of what they claimed they believed. I did get some good thoughts about forgiveness, love, charity, etc. from reading portions of the NT. But the people I knew never put any effort that I was aware of toward helping the poor. The churches were about promoting themselves.Some of the ideas of Jesus were helpful to me and I carry them with me to this day. I can no longer accept any of their salvation or sin doctrines. They make no sense to me.  bill

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 I totally understand the bitterness towards god ...........

 

Hmmm, I disagree, I don't think he really left.

 

This statement is based on what? I made a big picture statement and everyone sees small picture. Surely you cannot disagree with the logic in my post. The sum of our choices made us who we are. If you never were a christian (or whatever religion), you would likely not be here responding to my post. Thus, you would be a different person. For me, many of the choices I made have served me well and I was making a point of the irony that because many of the people (including me) in this forum hate christianity because of the bad things it does to people, despite the fact that likely there are many good things that came from it as well. How can you judge whether or not I have experienced bitterness through one post? You don't know me. You don't know the frustration and anger that I have experienced over the past 2 months and how I have grieved over the very thing I sold my life out for for all these years. You don't know how I wish I could actually sit down and actually talk to someone objectively about the many things that are going through my mind and how I wish that they would just shut up with the stupid christian crap I see all the time. I ranted here. Big flipping deal. It doesn't mean anything. Its a rant. I wanted to get it off my chest.

 

 

you speak of a god as if it exists

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... I have already left christianity in my mind, however, I am having a hard time leaving the friends and the life I have had for so many years. Some people have been able to cleanly cut themselves away from it all without much difficulty, ...

 

Say what? We all lost almost all friends from our churches when we left. This trend is often pointed to as the hardest part of leaving -- the loneliness, abandonment, betrayal, confusion, starting over with all new social connections. I have not heard one person say it was "without much difficulty."

 

You are right to move carefully with your deconversion. You will lose some of your Christian friends, probably most of them, even some of the ones you think you will be able to keep. You will realize that some of them are judgmental, some are lazy, some are selfish, and all kinds of stuff. If you are not bitter now, you may well be one day. But in the end, you will be better off without them. It can be a very eye-opening and freeing experience.

 

Best of luck on your journey.

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I've been able to look back on my time in Christianity and glean the goodness out of it too, and I'm not in any danger of going back.  It is possible to not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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