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WaitingInfinity

I Thought It Was Finally Time To Add My Story :)

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I grew up in a Christian household with my parents and sister. My parents are very fundamentalist. My dad became a pastor of a small church when I was in the eighth grade. We were raised watching Veggie Tales , listening to Christian music, going to church twice on Sundays and once on Wednesdays. I was a very sheltered child. We never talked about sex. We were never allowed to go to movie theaters, watch R-rated movies, listen to secular music, read books on witches or wizards, listen/tell dirty jokes etc.

 

Fortunately, I was allowed to go to public school when private school became too expensive for my family. The ratio of nonChristian friends to Christian friends I had was probably 10:1. Religion was never discussed among my friends much. As they now say, "We knew you were a Christian, but it wasn't at the front of our minds. You were just our friend and we loved you." They are great, loyal friends to this day. :)

 

As I began planning for college, I had two choices. I could go to OU and get almost a full ride for my ACT score or to a small Christian college and get almost a full ride for my academics and for my dad being a pastor. I thought I would prefer the small Christian college. My best friend was going there and we could be roommates, plus my faith could grow.

 

While I had always been labeled as a Christian, I had never done devotions or prayed regularly. The most I read the Bible was in church during sermons when I would find the gory stories (Elisha and the bald-head massacre, the sword that goes into a fat man and disappears, intestines spilling everywhere, heads on pikes, Jezebel's body thrown to the wild dogs, etc.). I'm not one for gore and blood, but I found these stories more exciting than the standard Biblical fare. As a result of this, I got to know my Bible very well. I had never truly experienced God. I wondered if I ought to be baptized, but as I was shy, I didn't want to be publicly "humiliated" (in my mind) by being dunked backwards into water and emerge spluttering. However, during my senior year of high school, I started to get more involved in church. I started to feel my faith grow as a result. I got excited. 

 

My freshman year of high school, I met a senior whom I fell for. I craved romance. Though I wasn't allowed to go out with him, we secretly had a relationship. I thought he was a great Christian guy. Unfortunately I was blinded. I had no idea how a relationship should be. He was verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, manipulative, and he was sexually abusive, though we never actually "did the deed". We broke up before my senior year and the three years we had been together weighed heavily on me. I felt guilty for lying and angry at him for what he did. However, I felt my faith begin to grow. This tragedy had brought me into seeking God more. 

 

Seven months later, I fell madly in love again with a man I had known for 12 years. He was smart, had dreams, was hilarious, was kind.....and was an agnostic. In fact, he was an ex-Christian! He swore and watched plenty of what I thought were sinful things at the time (R-rated movies lol). But he was gentle and sensible. He asked me out and even though I felt guilty doing it, I said yes. I really liked this guy and thought he was already ten times better than my ex. When I told my parents about him, I told them that he went to such and such church (because he did attend still on Sundays for his parents) so I could have them approve. 

 

As I was with him, we discussed religion. I told him that God had brought us together to give him hope that God existed and he thought that could be true. We were not shy of religion and talked about it some. He was very respectful of my beliefs and even encouraged me to pursue them! We went to different colleges and we stayed together. We fell more and more in love. He was kind to me, loving me even as I told him of my past relationship, which to that point no one knew of. I read a few apologetics books and reported to him the (poor) arguments they made for God. When they didn't seem to affect him, I didn't understand why. God made perfect sense. Still my faith grew and I knew that I accepted him no matter what he believed.

 

I continued to read apologetics to solidify God's existence for myself, so I would be a strong and educated Christian. One night, I stumbled upon an article talking about why God didn't exist. I was a Philosophy major at this point and began reading it. And it made sense! I brushed the article away, but the doubt began chewing at the corners of my brain. By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, I could barely write a paper integrating psychology and Christianity without feeling like a liar. I thought that the devil had put these doubts into my mind because I was dating a nonChristian. This was my punishment. I asked God to help me. I asked God why my boyfriend was so perfect for me. Why does he complete me, God? I asked. Why would you create someone perfect for me and not want me to be with him? Who could possibly be better than him?

 

I studied God more and more. 

 

I went on a research trip to another country. I met a guy on the trip who was a leader in the student government at my Christian college and he and I began talking. He asked me if I believed in God and I looked up at the sky and said I didn't know for the first time. He revealed that he didn't know either and that he was keeping it a secret because he was expected to be a Christian. This was the first person at my school who I knew was not a Christian! We discussed God and my faith continued to slip. 

 

When I returned and went to church with my family again, everything was different. I felt like an outsider. I questioned what was being said. I told my boyfriend I was doubting. He told me that it would work out in the end and I would believe stronger than ever after this trial. But still. Doubt. I cried out to God. Nothing. I still remember the first time I went to church and felt absolutely nothing. It was like God had abandoned me for questioning.

 

I had heard of people becoming Christians after being nonbelievers before. But I had never heard of the opposite. I Googled it and found this site. I was amazed that so many people were ex-Christian! I consumed the posts, the blogs, the comments like a hungry animal. I saw things I hadn't heard before and researched them. Every day my doubt grew larger and my faith smaller. It happened so fast.

 

And now, it is gone. I don't have a label for what I believe. I just don't believe. 

 

At the college I am at, I must remain closeted. I must remain closeted to my family for the time being, though my dad suspects something is going on. It is hard to suffer alone. The support I've found here is incredible! biggrin.png

 

My views on the world have completely flipped. They say you experience such a change when you accept Jesus. I never did. This has changed my life. I am more in love with life and the world than ever. My horizons have expanded and I see so many more possibilities. I'm still with my boyfriend, celebrating a year and 5 months of pure happiness. I've never been so happy and never felt so much love and forgiveness as he has given me. I used to say that he demonstrated God's love for me in a human form, but maybe that's because I never felt anything from God and had only read about God's love, never experienced it.

 

So that's it.

 

That's me. smile.png

 

 

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My views on the world have completely flipped. They say you experience such a change when you accept Jesus. I never did. This has changed my life. I am more in love with life and the world than ever. My horizons have expanded and I see so many more possibilities. I'm still with my boyfriend, celebrating a year and 5 months of pure happiness. I've never been so happy and never felt so much love and forgiveness as he has given me. I used to say that he demonstrated God's love for me in a human form, but maybe that's because I never felt anything from God and had only read about God's love, never experienced it.

 

 

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Yes, I kept waiting to feel the "peace that passeth all understanding" from God's love, too. And all that was a long-distance call that never connected.

 

I'm glad you have a good support system, WaitingInfinity. It also sounds like there might be others at your school that feel the same as you. Time for a secret club?wicked.gif

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WaitingInfinity, it seems strange that you weren't baptized even though you grew up in such a strongly Christian environment (with a father who is a pastor, Christian school, etc.). Was that normal and acceptable in your denomination? I know there are many different beliefs about baptism. Just curious.

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Cults come in a variety of forms that range from abusive to benign. The one thing they have in common is their dedication to indoctrinating their adherents.  All religions are cults because their survival requires them to be able to control their devotees. Education is the only way to break the spell they cast over their followers. Deprogramming is often a long, difficult, and an emotionally challenging experience but in the end a rewarding and enriching undertaking that compensates the effort with a restored mind and the experience of enjoying true freedom.

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Welcome, WaitingInfinity!

 

I just love your story, and I love that you found us!

 

Freedom and happiness.  It just doesn't get better than that.

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WaitingInfinity, it seems strange that you weren't baptized even though you grew up in such a strongly Christian environment (with a father who is a pastor, Christian school, etc.). Was that normal and acceptable in your denomination? I know there are many different beliefs about baptism. Just curious.

 

It was acceptable. No one said that I ought to, though my dad asked if I wanted to be included in the last baptism service he had. It was a person's decision to be baptized when they wanted. My dad was first baptized at the age of 40. You would go to the pastor and say you wanted to be baptized. Then you would have a short "counseling" session with the pastor. Finally, you would prepare a testimony to be read before you were baptized. 

 

I never liked the idea of being in front of people and being dunked under water. I asked my dad once when I was younger if I could just be sprinkled with water but he said it was reserved for people who could not be dunked. I also asked if I could not read something in front of the congregation, but he said that was the most important part. I even considered not ever being baptized because I felt it was so embarrassing. Surely Jesus would not turn people away from heaven who had not been baptized. That would be petty, I thought.

 

So, my younger sister was baptized and I was not. I never had that truly life-changing experience. I was waiting until God changed my life so I could have something grand and true to say at my baptism. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif clap.gif

 

Yes, I kept waiting to feel the "peace that passeth all understanding" from God's love, too. And all that was a long-distance call that never connected.

 

I'm glad you have a good support system, WaitingInfinity. It also sounds like there might be others at your school that feel the same as you. Time for a secret club?wicked.gif

 

 

 

Great idea about the club! A nonChristian support group meant to help those who feel oppressed by the very Christian campus we are part of. Haha. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

 

 

Welcome, WaitingInfinity!

 

I just love your story, and I love that you found us!

 

Freedom and happiness.  It just doesn't get better than that.

 

Thanks so much. smile.png I am really blessed by all the support.  

 

 

 

Cults come in a variety of forms that range from abusive to benign. The one thing they have in common is their dedication to indoctrinating their adherents.  All religions are cults because their survival requires them to be able to control their devotees. Education is the only way to break the spell they cast over their followers. Deprogramming is often a long, difficult, and an emotionally challenging experience but in the end a rewarding and enriching undertaking that compensates the effort with a restored mind and the experience of enjoying true freedom.

 

It is very much like a cult. My boyfriend and I were just talking about that the other day. Reasoning and logic and just thinking for yourself changes everything. I never thought about it being strange, I just accepted everything and it made sense. The moment I stepped back and saw it from a different light, I realized just how weird it is that to go to heaven, you pretty much believe that a guy died for you 2,000 years ago. If you don't believe that, but you live a good life, you go to hell. That was never weird to me until I stepped back. 

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There's lots in your experiences that feel similar to mine!

I never put myself forward to be baptised for similar reasons, I hate being the centre of attention and being under water, in a way now it's good, out of all the promises you make as a Christian (singing about loving God forever etc) that I've now broken it's a relief not to have had them as official as that, but I'm a bit worried as I don't feel ready to 'come out' to my family they'll start to encourage me to take the plunge before I'm ready to tell them my reasons for never doing so.

 

And I also got confused about how well I fitted with my boyfriend and how fulfilled I felt with him when he was an atheist, I started wondering if God loved me why had he given led me to this amazing man who encouraged me in my faith when he was an unbeliever? I also considered I might be there to 'lead him to God' but since faith seemed such an alien concept to him I started to feel like it was a really really cruel test God had given me to challenge me on where my loyalty lay.

Anyway, it was highly unpleasant so I'm glad you've managed to get out and avoid that with your guy before it became too much, I wouldn't wish that feeling of loving someone who your faith says you're going to have to live without on anyone!

 

I'd never heard of deconverted people either, if they were touched on they were just people who 'fell away', their faith never being that strong or being distracted by tragedy. I kinda feel like the community here is Christianity's dirty secret hehe, the people who have looked at Pascal's wager and taken the risk! :o

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Welcome to the club! Glad to hear of another person "saved" from the clutches of religion and superstition! I was raised in a very similar environment to yours, homeschooled, sheltered, very little exposure to "the world," etc. It took joining the military and being away from my family and Xtian community to start thinking for myself and questioning and doubting and ultimately not believing. As you said, you really feel a sense of purpose and meaning and freedom once you realize there is no sky daddy with a preprogrammed "plan for your life." You can embrace your humanity and other people and not worry about what future they or you face in an afterlife. Atheism is liberation of the mind and spirit! wink.png

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There's lots in your experiences that feel similar to mine!

 

 

That is so neat how you have had some similar experiences in love! I wondered why my ex-boyfriend had been Christian and a cad and why my current boyfriend was agnostic and the kindest of men I've known. I wondered if God could possibly have someone better for me that was a Christian, but since my boyfriend was everything I had ever wanted, I didn't imagine I could find anyone else who would be all that. How could I give up on something like that? Did God really want me to be with a lesser man who was a Christian?? Not to mention, I found most men obsessed with God. Nothing came out of their mouth without God relating to it in some manner. Such an attitude towards God was not something I really wanted either. I'm glad I didn't give up on my boyfriend. Now we are practically the same in faith!

 

 

 

As you said, you really feel a sense of purpose and meaning and freedom once you realize there is no sky daddy with a preprogrammed "plan for your life." You can embrace your humanity and other people and not worry about what future they or you face in an afterlife. Atheism is liberation of the mind and spirit! wink.png

 

I've heard it said so often that God has a purpose so you don't have to worry about a purpose because God will fulfill it in you. What is so wrong with having a personal purpose? I've never found it to be an issue to discover my own purpose. And I have always had my own plans for my life that I thought were fantastic. Why would I want to give those up? I don't want to be a puppet. And, as for humanity, it is so much more precious now. Life is so precious as a nonbeliever! You aren't stuck in the future when you die and go to heaven. You aren't stuck wishing that you were with God now. You don't long for the future as Christians do. They can't wait to get to heaven! Looking always to the future is unhealthy and puts a damper on happiness. Focusing on every present moment is how you find happiness. 

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I really respect the directness and honesty in your story. Those are good traits to develop the rest of your life. Just be aware abusive bad men come in all varieties. Christians are however notorious for showing one face to the congergation and one to their family. A former pastor of mine, thought to be a walk on water type intellectual from Wales, has a drunk driving conviction no one knows about.

 

The short version is: Christianity is crap. A false, mind controlling doctrine of fear and guilt. It has brutally murdered MILLIONS who got in its way and it would again if it had the power. Pascal's Wager is also a phony trick with no philosophical basis.

 

Youre out of it and I think you will stay out because you see it for what it is; and once you do there's no going back.

 

My cousin back in the day was a hippie type and had rebelled against his own fundy family. We played a lot of music and partied hardy. Then a few years later his wife, raised Catholic, fell back into religion hard and he soon followed. He quit his corporate job and felt "led by the Lord" to become a pastor. All this did was lead to him burning out his good will with family by borrowing money to pay for what the lord was supposed to be leading him to. He is still lost in religion and cannot see how idiotic this whole episode was. Now he is back as a corporate controller living the good life and still sold out totally for Jesus. So if you want to stay free, do NOT let family members cajole you or use fear against you. They are still deluded and deranged without the guts to face life and its unknowns. I personally believe in a higher being whatever it is. I just dont accept this is a purposeless accident. But as I said, Christianity is total balderdash.

 

Stay out and find your new life on your own terms. Explore the ultimate meaning of existence and love your fellow humans, thats the best we can do until we see the other side (if there is one). Since I got free of this stuff and I was evangelical for 23 years, I have yet to have on Christian try to seriously re-convert me. I think they may be afraid of what I will say in my defense. Maybe my words will expose their own folly. Or, maybe they're glad to be rid of me! LOL!!  Doesn't matter we have no real connection anyway and I am so happy I am not deluded.

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