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Painful Journey From Faith


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I'm not sure which category to put my post under, sorry.

 

I have been grappling for the last few years with doubt. I am finally beginning to say I don't believe in a god. Sometimes I revert back to old habits and thought patterns, as it has only been a couple of months since I have admitted this to myself. I just can't get past certain issues that others seem to be able to just accept as a mystery we will understand someday. I'd like to post some of my issues here, and get some feedback from others.

 

If there were a god, wouldn't he have to be a really cruel and horrible entity to allow 26,000 people to die from lack of food every single day? I mean, if he can just "speak" and entire universe into being, what effort is it to say "food"?

 

I have had to watch several people die horrifyingly painful, futile deaths. Ones where they leave children without parents, spouses alone, parents broken.  Disease has no purpose in the god paradigm of benevolence and "life more abundantly".

 

Poverty. A world where some people are so oblivious to the challenges of others, where some sit by the pool all day, while others grind away at subsistance jobs and still can't keep themselves healthy.

 

In every case, it breeds hypocrisy. Love is like spices, and only the best get your top dollar seasoning of love. The reast get a little salt now and again so you don;t have to feel like you don;t love people who aren;t enough like you.

 

The thing is, these are the very things god calls sin, so doesn't it make him a hypocrite for failing to live up to a standard he requires of us? After all, its his plan and omnipotence.

 

That's a start.

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  • Super Moderator

Welcome to the forums. 

 

I can relate to a lot of your issues with god's unselfless lack of action.  When I was finally ready to admit that I was angry at god, these were some of the very reasons I stated as the cause of my anger.  god has a plan for everybody, but his plan either fails or is completely screwed up for 90% of the earth's population.  What sort of god is that?  And, yes, god is a hypocrite, not only for failing to live up to his own standards, but for stating that if we fail to prevent evil, we are guilty of the sin of omission, when he fails to prevent evil everyday.

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Thank you, and yes, I am quite angry. It seems stupid though, to be angry at was does not exist. An all powerful being acting like an absentee parent, refusing to pay support for the children they wished for. A god who really wanted us to believe, would have left no doubt whatsoever of its presence. I don't leave pieces of paper lying around to tell people about myself, and then refuse to show up for the meetings I demand.

I've had some days over the last few months where I've felt inordinately sad, and cried as though someone has died. Is this normal? Not always in reference to the god thing, but other serious things, and I wonder if it isn't because I'm in some sort of mourning period, and everything is amplified?

 

On the other hand, part of me, a still weak and vulnerable part of me, feels a sense of acceptance, and a bit of relief. I never believed in hell, so I wasn't afraid of eternal hellfire, I was afraid of enernal annihilation. Ironically, that's what will happen when I die - I'll just cease to be, and that's still a rough thing to accept.

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  • Super Moderator

Anger and heightened emotions are not uncommon during the deconversion process.  I was angry for a little while myself; fortunately it didn't last long because, as you say, it is irrational.  Confusion and depression are usually also part of the process.  What you're feeling is normal; but it will eventually pass.

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Thank you Redneck, that gives me some real encouragement that I'm not becoming unstable. The circular reasoning of religion is fierce.

 

MSense, yes, exactly. How often I cried tears, fasted, prayed, begged, pleaded, you name it. I was tortured in my very being, for just one sign, one unmistakable moment that would forever solidify my devotion and faith - but there was always silence.

 

I recognize now that any small coincidence was merely my brain recognizing pattern and synchronicity. Like when I would find 5 dollars in my pocket, after praying. That money was already there, and i had forgotten, so my brain WANTED it to be god, because the absence was deafening. Also, why promise abundance and all good things, but only manage to scrounge up a fin for someone? So ridiculous!

 

Always, these verses come to mind:

 

"he who does not provide for his own is worse than an infidel, and it would be better that a millstone were around his neck and he be tossed into the sea".

Cue starvation, war, disease. That's not providing froma  guy who just has to speak it.

 

Test all things, whether they be of god.

Cue doubting Thomas, never test god, whatever is not of faith is sin..

 

We are blamed and condemned for being just like him then.

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"How often I cried tears, fasted, prayed, begged, pleaded, you name it. I was tortured in my very being, for just one sign, one unmistakable moment that would forever solidify my devotion and faith - but

there was always silence." Flutters

 

That is one of the things that worried me the most. But, like you, no response. The main thing that

bothered me is what you said before that,the poverty, disease, suffering right under god's nose (if he has one)without any help. The OT makes it abundantly clear that god can and did respond to his own

"people's" suffering.

 

Of course he also caused as much if not more suffering and he relieved. But the point is he has the

power to help as demonstrated by the bible. That means that he chooses not to do so. Like you, I can't believe in a god like that. He demands from us what he clearly refuses to give himself.

 

Welcome! I think you will like it here. And congratulations for escaping from the great myth and

seeking the truth, wherever it leads. bill

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Thank you Bill. I actually feel like I can breathe better. Knowing that other people have had these same thoughts, and didn't just default to "god has reasons we can't know" crap. Love isn't torturing, denying and creating suffering, just to refuse to let your children understand why your doing it, and only save them if they believe this without question. That doesn't produce faith, it's self medicating in the face of inexplicable pain.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Flutters, and welcome. I've been there, too. My faith really took a lethal hit when a friend died of cancer at age 26, despite prayers of a great number of people, including children. Why would God reject the prayers of believing children? I could not give a religious answer to that question. That was one of the straws on the camel's back of my faith.

 

It took me years to become comfortable with not believing. Upbringing and religious influences, even culture in general, really exert powerful force.

 

All best. You're not alone!

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Hi, Flutters, and welcome to ExC.

 

Your questions about god are very good ones. If you ever asked your pastor, priest, or Christian friends about those issues, you probably got such answers as, "God has a plan and we need to have faith in Him"; "God's ways are mysterious and we do not always understand them"; "None of it is God's fault; rather it is humanity's fault for sinning which brought evil into God's perfect world." And on and on it would go with non-answers to the tough questions.

 

If you think about it, the way the world is with starvation, diseases, children dying, etc., is exactly what we would expect if there were either no god at all or a totally hands-off god something like deism proposes. So I think that by asking the questions, you have the answers. Now it's a matter of coming to terms with them. It can be an emotional ride and I assure you that the emotions you are feeling are normal.

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Wow guys, thanks! Your support is invaluable. It was a few weeks ago when I was able to understand that what I was going through was a grief process. Since then, I have expected less from myself in terms of accepting the obvious. My mind knows, but my heart needs time to catch up and be OK with giving up everything it has ever relied on.  

 

I have not "come out" yet, but I have told a few select people. One is a wonderful example of what you would hope a christian would be. Although he said he could not condone walking away from god (and I didn't argue his point, because to him god is real), he agreed that the worst thing I could do was be to afraid to ask questions and be afraid of what I would find out. He tried valiantly to shore up my faith, (and he is an extremely intelligent guy, so he tried to approach it from a cerebral perspective, knowing that I tend toward that side) but in the end, his reasoning was based on "it's all too amazing to have just 'happened' " and "without god there is no purpose, hope or meaning".

 

Interestingly, a friend who is an atheist, simply replied "You're not an atheist".

 

I think I did the bargaining thing when my friend was diagnosed with cancer in December. I've lost loved ones to cancer before, but maybe because this came along at my time of reasoning, it hit me hard. Very hard. I dared god to deny himself. I had nothing left to lose. I simply said the only way I would believe he was there was if my friend defeated his cancer. He did not. He died recently. So I was enraged, bereft and felt alone. I had no one to work through this experience with. I'm working on it, and I know that my dare was a last ditch effort to hang onto what I wished for. Bargaining phase is over. I know in hindsight I had been bargaining for a long time. Patience in waiting for god to act is not proof of god, it's proof of fear.

 

Human, you have verbalized very well much of my thinking process at this point. I feel robbed of a lifetime of freedom. I'm taking a while to get through that part, for various reasons.

 

Thank you all, your words are a comfort in a time of confusion. :) You rock.

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No edit button. I can't beleive I mistyped *too as *to. Ugh! I hate that lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Human, and likewise, that you have every good thing that this life can provide. May you always find peace and wholeness.

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  • Moderator

Welcome to Ex-c Flutters!! You are definitely not alone coming here with your doubts about the christian god. We all came to this board with the exact same questions. It was the world's very sad state and personal sadness in my own life that started my doubting. Where was this very powerful god?? I wrote this  letter when I first arrived here at EX-c because I was in a terrible state of mind. Maybe you would like to read it, just to show you that you are not alone in your questioning....http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/44259-please-forgive-me/#.U87zwfldWDg

 

I've also posted this several times on Ex-c. I found it to be a great benefit for me. Hope it helps a little. Read it over and see if it makes sense to you. It's a wonderful article on deprogramming your own mind. http://www.orange-pa...-deprogram.html

 

The cognitive dissonance can be pretty upsetting at first. Your mind swirls with thoughts of ''How could I have believed this all these years??'' Your world view is about to change and that can be quite a bumpy ride. You will look at everything differently now.... and we'll be here to help you along!! 

 

Best to you on this new journey hon.

 

hug

Sincerely, Margee

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