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Maybe I Should Give Up On Deconversion?


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Last night I realized that my interpretation of Christianity is not costing me much. I don't have any desire to go to church, read the bible, volunteer, etc. I believe in universal salvation. I don't pay any attention to the bible or Christian dogma; I try to follow my instincts about what is right and wrong and I assume that my instincts match God.

 

If I was an atheist I would not live my life any differently. The only gain from deconversion would be eliminating cognitive dissonance, but I can also eliminate cognitive dissonance by thinking about something besides religion and my psychotic memories. Furthermore, I'm beginning to suspect that deconversion is impossible for me due to my personality and psychological weaknesses.

 

Oh yes, one other benefit of deconversion would be to stop the habits of autonomously praying to fill silent moments. That would be a huge benefit, but again I suspect deconversion is impossible for me.

 

So I wondered if I should give up the deconversion effort.

 

EDIT: I should add, that my last experiment in Christianity was horribly damaging to me. I gave away all my retirement savings. I made a fool of myself. I wasted huge amounts of time trying to understand and practice Orthodox Christianity (and never succeeded). Also Christianity may have magnified my psychotic episode.

 

So there is some risk to leaving the task undone. It could come back and bite me again.

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"Deconversion" is not a goal to be attained with effort. If you reasonably conclude that the religion in question is false, makes no sense, is on shaky historical ground and is generally out of touch with reality and known facts about our universe, then the logical thing to do is "deconvert."

 

If you can stomach the contradictions of the message, the harm it does to so many, the invalid basis of the holy book it's based upon, then there is no need to "deconvert."

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Might help if you stop thinking about it. You don't need to make a declaration of deconversion. Just get a new hobby.

 

Call yourself a Christian if you like or a Pastafarian ... titles don't mean much.

 

Your statement is great, "If I was an atheist I would not live my life any differently." So enjoy life.

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"Deconversion" is not a goal to be attained with effort. If you reasonably conclude that the religion in question is false, makes no sense, is on shaky historical ground and is generally out of touch with reality and known facts about our universe, then the logical thing to do is "deconvert."

 

If you can stomach the contradictions of the message, the harm it does to so many, the invalid basis of the holy book it's based upon, then there is no need to "deconvert."

Thanks, florduh. I agree with the arguments against Christianity that you listed. Also your second comment makes me realize that deconversion is also a duty to society (i.e. people who see that Christianity is unlikely to be true and that Christianity continues to harm society have a duty to openly oppose Christianity).

 

I suspect part of my difficulty is coming from a Episcopalian background. As I read "Caught in the Pulpit", I noticed that the Episcopal priests tended to claim to be Christians even though they did not believe anything recognizably Christian. I bet it is more painful for a conservative Christian to deconvert, but it is probably more slippery for a liberal Christian to deconvert.

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Might help if you stop thinking about it. You don't need to make a declaration of deconversion. Just get a new hobby.

Good advice. You're right it is a hobby, but it is also an obsession - not specifically Christianity but trying to understand things I experienced during psychosis (or whatever it was). It's twisted because I can't seem to put the memories behind me, but when I ruminate too much I start get anxiety instead of answers.

 

I've never been abducted by aliens, but I suspect those people face the same issues.

 

I used to read history books as a hobby, but now I read religion or UFO books. I learned more from history books.

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I cannot speak for anybody else but deconversion was not an intentional choice that I consciously remember making. Deconversion is rather the name I use to describe a complex process that I went through. It started with a few questions, nothing more than that. I believe that my experiences living in Afghanistan probably did something to break through my cognitive dissonance and pull my ego back a bit. Then, in this psychological state of uncertainty I found myself thrust into the physical sciences over a period of a couple of years where I was able to look at what evidence, logic, belief, knowledge, truth and making reliable, falsifiable predictions meant. I had some powerful, almost what I would say could be called spiritual experiences in a certain sense while doing spectroscopic experiences on excited atoms. I don't know but something was moved inside of me when I used theory to make predictions only to verify said predictions perfectly. So profound were those experiences, I found my self tearful and sobbing for reasons that I cannot describe. So important were these experiences, I include a picture of the visible Hydrogen atom emission lines as my avatar. A picture that I actually took while performing these exercises. At no point during that did I feel as though I was consciously making the decision to leave Christianity. It just kind of happened. Honestly, my whole personality changed during this long, uncertain and painful period. I think leaving Christianity was the result of profound cognitive and affective changes to my personality, but never a goal or something that I ever intended to do.

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When I left the church, I never thought I would end up where I am now, completely void of christian faith. I left because I thought we got Church wrong and I still believed that God was there and he would show up and let me know he was here etc. But as I left church I stepped on a path and started to discover the real world. I found out that there where people who did not believe in God and had love...where even more caring then christians. I also found out that a lot of activities like praying and reading the bible, singing songs I only did, to fill a deep painful void within me. It was like every day a step further from religion.

 

Today I can't really say I believe and did not actually take that decision. It just happened.

 

Now, after almost 7 years I am more open to new thought processes and ideas and also I am able to analyze some of my behaviors and short comings that make it difficult to socially function. I just had a situation where someone hurt me with something normal people can take and it went so deep that my emotions took over. Not sure if you can call such thing psychosis but maybe. Because it takes me a few days to calm down against all better knowing. It is hurtful and also weird because it is not who I want to be. For this, I wish I had realized way more in the beginning of that journey away from faith that there might be a severe personality disorder...so I could have gone to a psychiatrist and get the help I needed. Right now I decided to get an appointment, only problem I have a high deductible on my health care insurance and it is possible that I can only take it down for the coming year. Means I have to wait till January or someone shows up and pays for it...but I am eager to start treatment. And I am still baffled that it took me so long to realize that my relational problems where not just some past wounds that needed to heal but probably some real stuff I have to get help from someone professional. And to be open to it as well.

 

I am writing this because you are saying things about psychosis...and I think this are things we ought to take serious. Don't focus on deconversion, that will just happen as you work on getting well. So I encourage you to seek the help you need for whatever psychic issues you have (if I got that wrong, I am sorry...). I mean if you need seven years to get there, that is totally ok, but if you can get the help you need now, if you need that help, then even better...because we can't turn back time and every day is precious...too precious to not be happy.

 

Hugs

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I agree with everyone here.. there's no reward certificate for when you finally "achieve" deconversion.  But I can definitely relate to obsessing over it.  The more you learn about the stuff, the harder it is go to back.  I can't imagine going back to believing again, but I'm sure it is not uncommon for people to go back and forth.

 

What do you mean, 'it could come back?'  What circumstances do you think would cause you to get involved with a church again, knowing how much it as cost you in the past financially and emotionally?  Is there some 'religion trigger' in your life, and if so is there something you can substitute?  

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When I left the church, I never thought I would end up where I am now, completely void of christian faith. I left because I thought we got Church wrong and I still believed that God was there and he would show up and let me know he was here etc. But as I left church I stepped on a path and started to discover the real world. I found out that there where people who did not believe in God and had love...where even more caring then christians. I also found out that a lot of activities like praying and reading the bible, singing songs I only did, to fill a deep painful void within me. It was like every day a step further from religion.

 

Today I can't really say I believe and did not actually take that decision. It just happened.

Your experience of deconversion as a natural result of discovering new information seems to match other responses. It's hard for me to understand my own journey towards deconversion. I've always had a stubborn faith in a vaguely defined God/Jesus, but the specific details of God/Jesus and the theology has grown and shrunk and changed its character. For about 20 years after college I considered myself an atheist, but really I was discouraged in my efforts to experience God and I had given up. So when I began having hallucinations and delusions, I thought I had proof of a supernatural world and therefore Christianity. When the hallucinations became less frequent, I began to have doubts again. Now I've returned to my minimal beliefs in a vaguely defined God/Jesus. The hallucinations and delusions are now intertwined with my faith in Christianity. I think it would be good if I can forget these hallucinations. If I can convince myself that Christianity is false, then a vision pertaining to Christianity is easier to dismiss as a hallucination.

 

Now, after almost 7 years I am more open to new thought processes and ideas and also I am able to analyze some of my behaviors and short comings that make it difficult to socially function. I just had a situation where someone hurt me with something normal people can take and it went so deep that my emotions took over. Not sure if you can call such thing psychosis but maybe. Because it takes me a few days to calm down against all better knowing. It is hurtful and also weird because it is not who I want to be. For this, I wish I had realized way more in the beginning of that journey away from faith that there might be a severe personality disorder...so I could have gone to a psychiatrist and get the help I needed. Right now I decided to get an appointment, only problem I have a high deductible on my health care insurance and it is possible that I can only take it down for the coming year. Means I have to wait till January or someone shows up and pays for it...but I am eager to start treatment. And I am still baffled that it took me so long to realize that my relational problems where not just some past wounds that needed to heal but probably some real stuff I have to get help from someone professional. And to be open to it as well.

 

I am writing this because you are saying things about psychosis...and I think this are things we ought to take serious. Don't focus on deconversion, that will just happen as you work on getting well. So I encourage you to seek the help you need for whatever psychic issues you have (if I got that wrong, I am sorry...). I mean if you need seven years to get there, that is totally ok, but if you can get the help you need now, if you need that help, then even better...because we can't turn back time and every day is precious...too precious to not be happy.

 

Hugs

I can totally relate to your experience of being hurt by something that a normal person wouldn't even notice. In school I felt increasingly alienated and alone. That created low self esteem, and probably created my chronic depression problems. Unfortunately chronic depression has caused me to be unsuccessful at many things and that further lowers self esteem. ... So people can say something completely innocent, but I can take it as criticism and disrespect of myself (that I agree with).

 

My sister was visiting and I don't know how many times I became depressed due to some small thing.

 

Believe it or not, RogueScholar's post in this thread made me extremely depressed. I originally majored in physics, but I failed and had to switch majors. So the smallest mention of science causes me to beat myself up over that.

 

I have been thinking about getting therapy again too. Last time was discouraging, but I learned a few things.

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I agree with everyone here.. there's no reward certificate for when you finally "achieve" deconversion.  But I can definitely relate to obsessing over it.  The more you learn about the stuff, the harder it is go to back.  I can't imagine going back to believing again, but I'm sure it is not uncommon for people to go back and forth.

 

What do you mean, 'it could come back?'  What circumstances do you think would cause you to get involved with a church again, knowing how much it as cost you in the past financially and emotionally?  Is there some 'religion trigger' in your life, and if so is there something you can substitute?

Thanks, the 'it could come back' risk is based on my experience. In college I sort of deconverted and thought of myself sort of as an atheist. Then 20 years later, I went on a vacation and had a psychotic episode for some reason. I became very religious and stupid for a couple of years.

 

So sometimes I think if I had been a stronger atheist then I might have handled the psychotic episode better. I don't know.

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I cannot speak for anybody else but deconversion was not an intentional choice that I consciously remember making. Deconversion is rather the name I use to describe a complex process that I went through. It started with a few questions, nothing more than that. I believe that my experiences living in Afghanistan probably did something to break through my cognitive dissonance and pull my ego back a bit. Then, in this psychological state of uncertainty I found myself thrust into the physical sciences over a period of a couple of years where I was able to look at what evidence, logic, belief, knowledge, truth and making reliable, falsifiable predictions meant. I had some powerful, almost what I would say could be called spiritual experiences in a certain sense while doing spectroscopic experiences on excited atoms. I don't know but something was moved inside of me when I used theory to make predictions only to verify said predictions perfectly. So profound were those experiences, I found my self tearful and sobbing for reasons that I cannot describe. So important were these experiences, I include a picture of the visible Hydrogen atom emission lines as my avatar. A picture that I actually took while performing these exercises. At no point during that did I feel as though I was consciously making the decision to leave Christianity. It just kind of happened. Honestly, my whole personality changed during this long, uncertain and painful period. I think leaving Christianity was the result of profound cognitive and affective changes to my personality, but never a goal or something that I ever intended to do.

That's interesting. Now I know the story behind your avatar. Having that kind of reaction to a lab result shows you must really like science. smile.png

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Might help if you stop thinking about it. You don't need to make a declaration of deconversion. Just get a new hobby.

 

Call yourself a Christian if you like or a Pastafarian ... titles don't mean much.

 

Your statement is great, "If I was an atheist I would not live my life any differently." So enjoy life.

Thanks for the encouragement. smile.png

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"Deconversion" is not a goal to be attained with effort. If you reasonably conclude that the religion in question is false, makes no sense, is on shaky historical ground and is generally out of touch with reality and known facts about our universe, then the logical thing to do is "deconvert."

 

If you can stomach the contradictions of the message, the harm it does to so many, the invalid basis of the holy book it's based upon, then there is no need to "deconvert."

 

Pretty much this and I could say that about 90% of the statements he makes.

 

The only person to determine if this is right for you is you. I can promise you that god is not the person you want making any decisions for you because then you are still making them while pretending someone else is guiding them.

 

 

I agree with everyone here.. there's no reward certificate for when you finally "achieve" deconversion.  But I can definitely relate to obsessing over it.  The more you learn about the stuff, the harder it is go to back.  I can't imagine going back to believing again, but I'm sure it is not uncommon for people to go back and forth.

 

What do you mean, 'it could come back?'  What circumstances do you think would cause you to get involved with a church again, knowing how much it as cost you in the past financially and emotionally?  Is there some 'religion trigger' in your life, and if so is there something you can substitute?

Thanks, the 'it could come back' risk is based on my experience. In college I sort of deconverted and thought of myself sort of as an atheist. Then 20 years later, I went on a vacation and had a psychotic episode for some reason. I became very religious and stupid for a couple of years.

 

So sometimes I think if I had been a stronger atheist then I might have handled the psychotic episode better. I don't know.

 

 

 

Stop labeling yourself. You are a human being and I think even that is to strong of a label. We are part of the universe nothing more.

 

When you slap these labels on yourself you end up forcing yourself to conform to fit them. No reason to be anyone but the unique you that you already are.

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You know, I had gone to therapy last year and I just had the feeling we where going nowhere. I attempted to get therapy when I was still in church but then after a few sessions I stopped going because of 'deliverance' prayer...I thought that this was it and my problems where solved and also I did not feel too comfortable with the therapist. But both, the one I was seeing last year and the one I was seeing back then where no doctors or psychologists. Just counselors who work with different methods. While I think they are good for certain people I think, if you have some serious condition as you mention it with your hallucinations etc. it might be better to see someone with medical training like a psychiatrist because sometimes therapy only helps if you get a proper diagnosis with the appropriate meds to it. Maybe you still need to find out more about yourself and all, that is something you have to figure out. And I don't tell you to do anything, just encouraging you not to wait too long because it is not worth to suffer all that time. It is a lonely place that way.

 

And I think you being all alone in school might not be the cause of your sensitivity and all...it might be a symptom of the real issue that lies way more back in your childhood. But I am no therapist and I don't know you so I just make assumptions.

 

I was all alone back in seventh to ninth grade and I got bullied, was an outcast. Now I don't see the root of my social problems and depression in that. I know it goes way back. The fact that my parents just blamed me for being bullied tells me, it has to do with family, expectations put on me my own history and having to deal with all my issues on my own without anyone supporting me. I was born to a teenage mom, spent my first three years at seven different places like day care and foster families, grandparents etc...right from birth, coming into my adopting family when I was four, getting adopted by the age of eight and going back and forth between my adopting family and my grandparents during that time. I know if I was a parent and had a child that was like me, I would seek a psychologists help pretty early on. But since my parents where christians and God is the healer of the souls...psychologists where the evil ones.

 

As for your major you could not achieve...I went to graphic design school and got a graphic design degree, so I made it I thought...against my parents predictions...but then I could not find a job and I also felt very weird every time I wanted to do some creative work for someone. I had people believing in me and I could have done some really nice stuff. But somehow something within me just said no. To this day it feels as if someone is just holding that door closed for whatever reason. There are ups and downs and sometimes I feel more depressed then others. But one thing is coming up again and again. That feeling of being stuck in the middle of life. That feeling of going nowhere. That feeling of walking in circles. The way you describe your issues with deconversion sound a little bit like this to me.

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You know, I had gone to therapy last year and I just had the feeling we where going nowhere. I attempted to get therapy when I was still in church but then after a few sessions I stopped going because of 'deliverance' prayer...I thought that this was it and my problems where solved and also I did not feel too comfortable with the therapist. But both, the one I was seeing last year and the one I was seeing back then where no doctors or psychologists. Just counselors who work with different methods. While I think they are good for certain people I think, if you have some serious condition as you mention it with your hallucinations etc. it might be better to see someone with medical training like a psychiatrist because sometimes therapy only helps if you get a proper diagnosis with the appropriate meds to it. Maybe you still need to find out more about yourself and all, that is something you have to figure out. And I don't tell you to do anything, just encouraging you not to wait too long because it is not worth to suffer all that time. It is a lonely place that way.

Thanks. Deliverance prayer - yep that sounds familiar. I had an exorcism performed on me. smile.png That is one of the dangers of well-meaning Christians - people don't get psychological help. But also I think Christianity helped me have hope, because I thought God would take care of me. So it wasn't all bad in my case.

 

For me the problem is insurance. In the U.S. the insurance companies don't want you to get therapy because it is expensive. They just want you to go to a medical doctor and let him/her prescribe an anti-depressant as though your problem is as simple as a stomach ache. Even the psychologists and psychiatrists seem to be biased towards solving everything with pills. I would feel better about taking medication if they were actually taking chemical samples from my brain to verify that I needed the medication. But it's just "how do you feel? ... o.k. well lets increase the dosage". But I know many people benefit from medication.

 

I hope you are able to find another therapist if that is what you want. I think I will try also.

 

And I think you being all alone in school might not be the cause of your sensitivity and all...it might be a symptom of the real issue that lies way more back in your childhood. But I am no therapist and I don't know you so I just make assumptions.

 

I was all alone back in seventh to ninth grade and I got bullied, was an outcast. Now I don't see the root of my social problems and depression in that. I know it goes way back. The fact that my parents just blamed me for being bullied tells me, it has to do with family, expectations put on me my own history and having to deal with all my issues on my own without anyone supporting me. I was born to a teenage mom, spent my first three years at seven different places like day care and foster families, grandparents etc...right from birth, coming into my adopting family when I was four, getting adopted by the age of eight and going back and forth between my adopting family and my grandparents during that time. I know if I was a parent and had a child that was like me, I would seek a psychologists help pretty early on. But since my parents where christians and God is the healer of the souls...psychologists where the evil ones.

I think you're right that the social problems that developed in adolescence may have been a symptom of earlier problem. It sounds like you had a difficult childhood. I don't know what would be my excuse for having psychological problems. My childhood was very ordinary.

 

As for your major you could not achieve...I went to graphic design school and got a graphic design degree, so I made it I thought...against my parents predictions...but then I could not find a job and I also felt very weird every time I wanted to do some creative work for someone. I had people believing in me and I could have done some really nice stuff. But somehow something within me just said no. To this day it feels as if someone is just holding that door closed for whatever reason. There are ups and downs and sometimes I feel more depressed then others. But one thing is coming up again and again. That feeling of being stuck in the middle of life. That feeling of going nowhere. That feeling of walking in circles. The way you describe your issues with deconversion sound a little bit like this to me.

Graphic design sounds interesting. I was pretty good at drawing when I was younger and have always liked art. I think careers that involve creativity are probably very difficult because good or bad depends on personal taste.

 

My problem with failing as a physics major is really silly. It happened in 1987, but I continue to have dreams where I'm back in college as a middle aged person wandering the campus like a ghost trying to start anew. Sometimes I think I might haunt the place after I die. smile.png

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Stop labeling yourself. You are a human being and I think even that is to strong of a label. We are part of the universe nothing more.

 

When you slap these labels on yourself you end up forcing yourself to conform to fit them. No reason to be anyone but the unique you that you already are.

That's true.

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I sometimes recommend a little experiment.  Ask yourself if you can sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea whether christianity is true or not.  Then try it.  Just sit down and enjoy a nice cup of tea.  Do this as you go about the mundane things that fill your day.  The goal is not to decide whether christianity is true or not, but rather to decide if you can enjoy daily tasks without wondering about the religion.  Chances are, if you can enjoy one cup of tea, a walk in a park, a drive in the country, without worrying whether christianity is true, then you'll eventually be able to enjoy your life with or without it.  The goal is to find out what truly works for you.

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Stop labeling yourself. You are a human being and I think even that is to strong of a label. We are part of the universe nothing more.

 

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, I am That! :-)

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All great points here.

I don't think it's wrong to label yourself, if that helps you understand things. After all 50,000 years' worth of evolution set up your brain to categorize and sort data in a meaningful way, and a label is an association, no more and no less. In contemporary culture we have this bad attitude about labels, and that causes confusion.

The trick is to put off labeling yourself until you are sure of a definition that fits.

I agree that you don't need to rush deconversion, or deconvert at all. Your challenge with deconversion from a liberal church is fascinating, since fundamentalism's demands for orthodoxy typically make for deconversions.

Also, remember few of us thought, "I'm deconverting now." We simply had unresolved challenges and were separating from the matrix, one data bit at a time.

We're not better, smarter, more advanced humans because of it. We're just unplugged from the matrix.

A lot of great advice has been given here. All I would add is, don't ask the questions that aren't bothering you.

Many of us can't appreciate the slippery nature of deconverting from a liberal denomination.

I like the Redneck Professor's advice. It's pretty mindful.

 

Leo

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All great points here.

I don't think it's wrong to label yourself, if that helps you understand things. After all 50,000 years' worth of evolution set up your brain to categorize and sort data in a meaningful way, and a label is an association, no more and no less. In contemporary culture we have this bad attitude about labels, and that causes confusion.

The trick is to put off labeling yourself until you are sure of a definition that fits.

I agree that you don't need to rush deconversion, or deconvert at all. Your challenge with deconversion from a liberal church is fascinating, since fundamentalism's demands for orthodoxy typically make for deconversions.

Also, remember few of us thought, "I'm deconverting now." We simply had unresolved challenges and were separating from the matrix, one data bit at a time.

We're not better, smarter, more advanced humans because of it. We're just unplugged from the matrix.

A lot of great advice has been given here. All I would add is, don't ask the questions that aren't bothering you.

Many of us can't appreciate the slippery nature of deconverting from a liberal denomination.

I like the Redneck Professor's advice. It's pretty mindful.

 

Leo

Thanks, there definitely seems to be a difference for liberal Christians vs fundamentalist Christians. It's strange that the liberal denominations seem to be losing market share to more fundamentalist denominations such as the pentecostals. I have read that the pentecostals are the only growing denomination in the US. Probably people are looking for the "dancing bear" experiences you mentioned to help counter their doubts. In a way, liberal denominations are like neo-Paganism where the ceremonies and mythology happen to come from Christianity but nobody is quite sure what they believe.

 

In my case, I've got tendencies towards paranoia now after my psychotic episode several years ago. A strange coincidence can cause me to start wondering about reality - is that person reading my thoughts? is he actually a person? is somebody making these things happen? I don't know if Christianity makes it better or worse. Belief in God gives hope and peace that probably helps to diminish the anxiety. But if I could have a strong faith in atheism, then it might be easier to laugh-off my worries. Also Christianity can cause compulsive behavior like repetitive prayers that I don't like.

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Regardless of what many will claim, you can not choose what you believe.   If you were to stand on the edge of a cliff and will yourself to believe gravity is false, you couldn't do it.  Rather, belief is a product of the information in our brains.  You believe what you are exposed to.  

 

That being said, if you are still trying to decide on deconversion, I'd suggest make a list.  Make a pro and con list for deconversion.  What do you have to gain?  What do you have to lose?  Make it explicit.  Run it by the people on this website and maybe a friend in real life to see if you forgot something.  Be sure to remember that losing salvation is always a possibility no matter what religion you follow, because there's the chance you picked the wrong religion, so losing salvation really isn't a con for deconverting.  Furthermore think about the affects of believing something simply because you want to for emotional reasons.  Is this really belief?

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Regardless of what many will claim, you can not choose what you believe.   If you were to stand on the edge of a cliff and will yourself to believe gravity is false, you couldn't do it.  Rather, belief is a product of the information in our brains.  You believe what you are exposed to.

True, but currently I have compartmentalized beliefs and beliefs that change based on my mood. I can choose to ignore that problem, or I can choose to invest time reading arguments for and against my beliefs in hopes of tidying-up that incoherent jumble. So we can choose what we believe simply by choosing to examine our beliefs or leave them alone. Like I can decide that my wimpy interpretation of Christianity is a harmless eccentricity and invest my time in other things.

 

That being said, if you are still trying to decide on deconversion, I'd suggest make a list.  Make a pro and con list for deconversion.  What do you have to gain?  What do you have to lose?  Make it explicit.  Run it by the people on this website and maybe a friend in real life to see if you forgot something.  Be sure to remember that losing salvation is always a possibility no matter what religion you follow, because there's the chance you picked the wrong religion, so losing salvation really isn't a con for deconverting.  Furthermore think about the affects of believing something simply because you want to for emotional reasons.  Is this really belief?

Thanks, the list sounds like a good idea. Here is a first attempt off the top of my head. Keep in mind that my background was Episcopalian. The Bible wasn't central to my faith. I don't intend to go to church, read the Bible, or do anything "Christian" - I'm just hesitating about trying to club to death the remainder of my faith in God.

 

Pros for deconversion:

- no more habitual praying

- less vulnerability to superstitious thinking (residue from psychosis)

 

Cons for deconversion:

- no more God to accept me and give me hope and purpose

- lots of effort reading books and no guarantee of eventual success

- no guarantee that my superstitious thinking will go away with deconversion

 

That's all I can think of right now.

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I was feeling a little bit guilty that I might be giving the impression that Episcopalian beliefs are extremely unorthodox or ridiculous. To be honest I don't know what Episcopalians believe because I didn't have any religious education in our tiny church. For me it was a vague belief in God and heaven and an impression that communion was Jesus body and blood and therefore a serious thing. That's about all I knew. I picked-up other Christian beliefs from friends and my mother's interest in 700 club, etc.

 

So I'm sure Episcopalians have some beliefs.

 

Also, I've noticed that the Episcopal diocese in my area was very active in helping needy people after the area suffered a natural disaster. So it seems like a very normal Christian denomination in practice.

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