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An Ex-Independent Fundamental Baptist Testimony


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Welcome to Ex-C, we are so glad you're here.  Your story is very well written and I found it moving.

 

I was raised in a more mainstream xian environment but I know a few people who live the Quiverfull way and it is not pretty.  The sheer number of children the women have has got to be bad for their health, for starters.  Not to mention of course the psychological impact of the repressive and abusive environment fostered by the philosophy.  My heart goes out to you.

 

I know of a couple of websites that may be helpful for  people (esp. women) who were raised in such an environment:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/

 

No Longer Quivering is a support community that includes both atheists and xians.  The aim is to help people escaping from Quiverfull/Patriarchal xianity, wherever they are at on their journey.  The woman who runs the site is an atheist.

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Welcome to Ex-C, we are so glad you're here.  Your story is very well written and I found it moving.

 

I was raised in a more mainstream xian environment but I know a few people who live the Quiverfull way and it is not pretty.  The sheer number of children the women have has got to be bad for their health, for starters.  Not to mention of course the psychological impact of the repressive and abusive environment fostered by the philosophy.  My heart goes out to you.

 

I know of a couple of websites that may be helpful for  people (esp. women) who were raised in such an environment:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/

 

No Longer Quivering is a support community that includes both atheists and xians.  The aim is to help people escaping from Quiverfull/Patriarchal xianity, wherever they are at on their journey.  The woman who runs the site is an atheist.

Thank you for the links. It was difficult. It has caused me tremendous guilt to be  happy with just one child and not want anymore. I honestly feel i am done having children and the comments i have gotten from family are horrid. :( My body doesnt respond well to pregnancy and I and my child almost died in childbirth. Repeating that experience (with a potentially different outcome) is not high on my list of things to do.

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Welcome, earthmama.  Great extimony!  You've been through a lot.  I'm glad that counseling has helped you.  Enjoy your small, cosey  family!

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First of all, I admire your courage in speaking out.

I'm glad there are resources for you. And thanks for educating the rest of us on that circumstance. I have never been to an Independent Baptist Church, so would not have known. Although, if Westboro is any indication, I might have guessed.

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First of all, I admire your courage in speaking out.

I'm glad there are resources for you. And thanks for educating the rest of us on that circumstance. I have never been to an Independent Baptist Church, so would not have known. Although, if Westboro is any indication, I might have guessed.

Ironically, the churches i have attended condemn westboro and do not consider them even remotely close to the same IF church as they are. hahaha

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I definitely understand where you are coming from. Though it was not as strict a background, it wasn't far off. When I had the realization that the god of the bible was a myth, I suddenly felt so free. It made me happy to realize that no one would end up burning in hell for eternity. And I have never thought more clearly and rationally in my life.

 

The problem is I am being drug down from this happiness whenever I discuss this issue with my wife or other family members. It is such an annoyance. Why can't Christian family members just let us be happy and free?!

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Thank you for your testimony. As a victim of the Independent Baptist Church I fully related. 

 

Actually the only churches considered not to be in error are other Independent Baptist Churches, and even some of them are suspect.

 

This is a world most can't imagine - really.

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I definitely understand where you are coming from. Though it was not as strict a background, it wasn't far off. When I had the realization that the god of the bible was a myth, I suddenly felt so free. It made me happy to realize that no one would end up burning in hell for eternity. And I have never thought more clearly and rationally in my life.

 

The problem is I am being drug down from this happiness whenever I discuss this issue with my wife or other family members. It is such an annoyance. Why can't Christian family members just let us be happy and free?!

I agree. My family members are some of the most miserable people on the planet. Constantly negative and joyless and somehow I get told that I shouldn't be happy like I am unless I'm attending church regularly and reading my Bible and praying. Ugh

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Deva, I'm sorry you suffered the same childhood. I agree that lot people have no clue (even other Christians) just how crazy they are and damaging it is growing up in them.

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Welcome to Ex-C!  Your story is so moving and I'm glad you made it out!  I was raised catholic, but I have some relatives who are independent baptist because southern baptists are just too liberal.   And catholics, well, we were all going to hell anyhow.  GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

For me, after years of questioning, the realization that I -- a mere mortal -- am a better parent than biblegod was my major step toward atheism.     The way biblegod treats his children (according to the fictional bible) is nothing short of abuse.

 

Glad you stumbled upon Ex-C and hope you enjoy your time here.  There are a lot of us here who are unequally yoked, so you're in great company.  I hope your husband will follow the logical path out of christinsanity with you.   

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Welcome to reality. 

 

You really have to look at things with a wide philosophical lens. Your parents are a product of a certain time and place. They thought by raising their children in the church they were doing the most honorable thing. I must assume that their church experiences had been mostly positive their entire lives, and so it made sense to them to share this "blessing" with their children. 

 

They will never be able to understand atheism, because even irreligious people in the USA hardly ever used that term until recently. They've lived like pod people, afraid of the wide scary world outside of their pod. Their religion has taught them to fear everything outside their pod. 

 

"God" is a projection of mankind's basic fear of being alone and his fear of the unknown, and of course the fear of death. All human cultures invented gods as a coping mechanism for basic fears. It certainly made sense 3,000+ years ago. It makes no sense now. It's like a vestigial organ that refuses to go obsolete. 

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I had to look up "quiverfull." I'm really out of it when it comes to these Christian trends and subcultures. 

 

 

Psalm 127:3–5 

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. KJV

 

"A quiver is a container for arrowsbolts, or darts."

 

I'm pretty sure most men and women are happy to only have one child in their quiver these days. 

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Welcome to ExC, earthmama.

 

Your extimony was well written. What struck me the most was your family's willingness to ostracize you. I could never under any circumstances I can conceive cut off contact with my child. I don't know your parents and siblings, of course, but their willingness to ostracize you seems to be a wholly religious thing. I suppose they would call it "tough love" or some such.

 

I am glad you are here and look forward to reading more of your posts.

 

One other thing, take your time about coming out to your husband, family and others until YOU are ready. From what I read in your extimony, they will challenge you and probably abandon you (though hopefully your husband will not). My point, though, is for you to use your timing. Say nothing until you are ready.

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For me, after years of questioning, the realization that I -- a mere mortal -- am a better parent than biblegod was my major step toward atheism.     The way biblegod treats his children (according to the fictional bible) is nothing short of abuse.

 

I believe this kind of idea is also what led to my acceptance of the reality of "biblegod's" non-existence. I was studying the "conquest narratives" of the Old Testament in Seminary and gradually began to realize that my idea of morality was more moral than Yahweh's morality.

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Welcome to reality.

 

You really have to look at things with a wide philosophical lens. Your parents are a product of a certain time and place. They thought by raising their children in the church they were doing the most honorable thing. I must assume that their church experiences had been mostly positive their entire lives, and so it made sense to them to share this "blessing" with their children.

 

They will never be able to understand atheism, because even irreligious people in the USA hardly ever used that term until recently. They've lived like pod people, afraid of the wide scary world outside of their pod. Their religion has taught them to fear everything outside their pod.

 

"God" is a projection of mankind's basic fear of being alone and his fear of the unknown, and of course the fear of death. All human cultures invented gods as a coping mechanism for basic fears. It certainly made sense 3,000+ years ago. It makes no sense now. It's like a vestigial organ that refuses to go obsolete.

Well actually 90% of my parents church experiences have been negative even when pastoring. Yet no matter how much they despise the church they attend they keep goin back because the Bible says "forsake not the assembling together of believers" I never hear anything positive from them about church but that doesn't stop them. I really don't get how they can continue to go when they hate it.

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Welcome to ExC, earthmama.

 

Your extimony was well written. What struck me the most was your family's willingness to ostracize you. I could never under any circumstances I can conceive cut off contact with my child. I don't know your parents and siblings, of course, but their willingness to ostracize you seems to be a wholly religious thing. I suppose they would call it "tough love" or some such.

 

I am glad you are here and look forward to reading more of your posts.

 

One other thing, take your time about coming out to your husband, family and others until YOU are ready. From what I read in your extimony, they will challenge you and probably abandon you (though hopefully your husband will not). My point, though, is for you to use your timing. Say nothing until you are ready.

Yes "tough love" is their favorite way to accomplish their goal of getting you in line. I never understood it as a child but I understand it even less having a child of my own now. No matter what she does I would never treat her that way.

 

In fact having a child is what started me really opening my eyes. When she was born she was perfect. I looked at her and thought "there is no way this little person is evil. She can't be." And to this day that's true. She's kind hearted gentle sweet and has a moral compass already that was there when she was born and we are just helping her hone it. That sealed the deal that "original sin" couldn't exist and as such what else was wrong that I had been taught was true? It naturally followed from there that I started looking into other ways to raise a child that didn't involve fear, intimidation, hitting, or telling her God was going to come down and strike her dead or send her to hell. That opened the flood gates to other information.

 

My favorite thing I have done so far since deconverting was running out and chopping my hair off in a funky asymmetrical Bob and getting bright purple highlights. :)

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Yes "tough love" is their favorite way to accomplish their goal of getting you in line. I never understood it as a child but I understand it even less having a child of my own now. No matter what she does I would never treat her that way.

In fact having a child is what started me really opening my eyes. When she was born she was perfect. I looked at her and thought "there is no way this little person is evil. She can't be." And to this day that's true. She's kind hearted gentle sweet and has a moral compass already that was there when she was born and we are just helping her hone it. That sealed the deal that "original sin" couldn't exist and as such what else was wrong that I had been taught was true? It naturally followed from there that I started looking into other ways to raise a child that didn't involve fear, intimidation, hitting, or telling her God was going to come down and strike her dead or send her to hell. That opened the flood gates to other information.

My favorite thing I have done so far since deconverting was running out and chopping my hair off in a funky asymmetrical Bob and getting bright purple highlights. :)

Yes, I know exactly what you are saying. Even though my mother never quite knew it, it was something she said about original sin that helped me so much during my deconversion. When I was a young child, she had heard a sermon during which the preacher said that because of original sin we are all deserving of hell. Mom said,

 

"I don't care what he says, I will never believe that a young, innocent baby deserves hell."

 

Even as a young child, I knew intuitively that Mom was right. Original sin is total bullshit and I have the ultimate authority on my side for this proposition. That authority was my Mom and about that she was 100% correct.

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earthmama514: I think the first duty of a mother and father is to their minor children, not to their

parents.

The behavior of your parents is not uncommon in fundamentalists families, as I 'm sure you know. Their

control over you terminated (1) when you reached adulthood and (2)became financially independent.

Once those to things have occurred the you have the ability to terminate their manipulation and

control.If you don't take action nothing will change.

 

Many parents try to control their adult child as though she were a minor.And many adult children

haven't reached the emotional maturity to know how to avoid that. And the issues may or may not relate to religion. Parents of adults primarily use religion and/or money as ways of controlling and

manipulating their adult children. That control must be severed if you are to become or remain an

adult.If isn't you will not grow emotionally nor will you mature as you should. And the ability to

terminate the parental control is yours to use.

 

If you don't step forward to sever the control it will last their lifetimes and have a damaging effect upon your maturity. You can't control them any more than they can control you. That means you must be

willing and able to accept the consequences of your informing them that, while you love them and always

want to have a close relationship with them, you must make your own decisions about your life,

including your religion. As I suggested above, what they do about this is up to them exclusively. Just as they must accept your decisions you must accept theirs.

 

The sooner you are able to take this responsibility upon yourself and act, the better off you will be

regardless of their reaction.I hope I don't sound too harsh, but on this issue, I know what I am

talking about.I truly hope it goes smoothly for you, but you will be better off however it goes once

you assert your rights to your parents. Best of luck and welcome to this site. bill

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Bill, I wrote them a letter in November telling them in no uncertain terms would I let them run my life anymore and I was done being scared of what they thought or would do. I would love if they came along with us in this life but if they chose not to I would accept that and leave.them be. They have chosen to pretty much stay away. I do not miss them nor do I feel sorry for them. I do feel happy that they will never hurt my child like they did me because they will have no presence in her life.

 

I forgot to mention in my OP that a couple months ago I was diagnosed with bipolar and PTSD. The psychologist said that he believes with little doubt that my crazy religious upbringing caused the PTSD and that while I probably had a propensity for bipolar already that my parents unbringing pulled the trigger. Therapy has been helping with all that so much though.

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I am not in the least surprised by the PTSD, because I have it to an extent.

 

I am glad you have been helped with therapy.

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"Again after more reading, connecting with a counselor that has been showing me a different path, and finally acknowledging that I was happier without god and Christianity in my life, a few weeks back I stopped going to church and the past week and a half have declared myself an atheist. I have never felt so happy and free."

 

I am so glad for you, Earthmama!  You deserve to be free from all that unnecessary mental baggage.  Your story is so important to be told and I am so glad you are here at ex-c to speak out about quiverfull.  Being raised pentecostal myself, I understand the shunning part of the independent baptist denomination and what it does to families.  Your story was very moving to me.  I am just so happy that you are atleast mentally free from that, (dare I say it?), "cult".  Welcome!

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In fact having a child is what started me really opening my eyes. When she was born she was perfect. I looked at her and thought "there is no way this little person is evil. She can't be." And to this day that's true. She's kind hearted gentle sweet and has a moral compass already that was there when she was born and we are just helping her hone it.

 

smart girl.jpg

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I had to look up "quiverfull." I'm really out of it when it comes to these Christian trends and subcultures. 

 

 

Psalm 127:3–5 

 

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:

and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;

so are children of the youth.

Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:

they shall not be ashamed,

but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. KJV

 

"A quiver is a container for arrowsbolts, or darts."

 

I'm pretty sure most men and women are happy to only have one child in their quiver these days.

Welcome, earthmama514. I appreciated reading your extimony - though didn't appreciate the ostracism and neglect you experienced. I'm glad you are out of the cult. As you poke around on here and elsewhere, you'll see more of how the "logic" side of your decision is well founded. Bible contradictions, all sorts of stuff.

 

I quoted Blood's quote of Ps. 127 because it struck me now - though it didn't when I was a Christian - that the psalm talks about children from the point of view of what power or prestige they confer on the parent. Not from the point of view of them as people who are moral ends in themselves. They are presented as extensions of the father.

 

BTW why do so many extimonies of women have the theme of an abusive Christian husband or boyfriend? Very disturbing.

 

Anyway, welcome again!

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Welcome to ExC, earthmama.

 

Your extimony was well written. What struck me the most was your family's willingness to ostracize you. I could never under any circumstances I can conceive cut off contact with my child. I don't know your parents and siblings, of course, but their willingness to ostracize you seems to be a wholly religious thing. I suppose they would call it "tough love" or some such.

 

I am glad you are here and look forward to reading more of your posts.

 

One other thing, take your time about coming out to your husband, family and others until YOU are ready. From what I read in your extimony, they will challenge you and probably abandon you (though hopefully your husband will not). My point, though, is for you to use your timing. Say nothing until you are ready.

Yes "tough love" is their favorite way to accomplish their goal of getting you in line. I never understood it as a child but I understand it even less having a child of my own now. No matter what she does I would never treat her that way.

 

In fact having a child is what started me really opening my eyes. When she was born she was perfect. I looked at her and thought "there is no way this little person is evil. She can't be." And to this day that's true. She's kind hearted gentle sweet and has a moral compass already that was there when she was born and we are just helping her hone it. That sealed the deal that "original sin" couldn't exist and as such what else was wrong that I had been taught was true? It naturally followed from there that I started looking into other ways to raise a child that didn't involve fear, intimidation, hitting, or telling her God was going to come down and strike her dead or send her to hell. That opened the flood gates to other information.

 

My favorite thing I have done so far since deconverting was running out and chopping my hair off in a funky asymmetrical Bob and getting bright purple highlights. smile.png

 

 

"Original sin" is a clever way of getting you hooked for life on church mind control. You were born depraved, so it goes, but Thank God you have churchmen there to help you with the cure: the Bible, properly decoded. 

 

First, they create a problem that doesn't exist, then they offer a fake solution to the problem that doesn't exist. It is self-empowering for the churchmen and self-destroying for the victim. You must be made to constantly feel that you are nothing and cannot survive without the village witch-doctor. Only the witch-doctor can protect you from the evils of the world. 

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