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Welcome, Jeff! I'm glad you found us, and I hope this place will at least provide some kind of affirmation that you're not alone. I'm one of the outliers here, being that I wasn't raised in any religion, but religion got its claws in me for a few years. I saw Jesus Camp toward the end of my honeymoon with christendom, along with Deliver Us from Evil, and looking back, it was all downhill from there. 

 

You're free now. 

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Were you referring to Jesus Camp?  That film was tough for me to watch as it was like watching my childhood. 

 

yeah, I like the idea of moving on, but sometimes you gotta go back and open those old wounds up so they can heal.  I'm still wavering on watching it. So, are you glad you watched it?  What's your opinion?

 

I've been wondering the last few days if that movie was more damaging to the kids and some viewers that the actual stuff they filmed the kids doing.  I don't think they really cared.  They almost got their Oscar... in fact damnit.  The filmmakers absolutely did do more damage to those poor kids.  And what about you?  stirred up all that old junk for you... grrrr!!  that can't have helped much.

 

Shit, now that I think about it, the only real thing that hurts me about the whole thing badly is the fact that my kid's face got dragged all over the country and world I guess..... god dammit I'm really getting angry about this now!!! F!

 

I keep trying to get past this thing and stop beating it like a dead horse but I'm just so pissed about it and don't know how to wrap it all up nice and tidy... nice and tidy would be good.   )(*^*&%^&*(^%(&^%&*%*&$*&$

 

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sheesh my blood pressure

sorry Vigile, not yelling at you, you know.  Just yelling.

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Jeff, 

 

Welcome to the forums and very good posts by the way.

 

Keep up the good work

 

Cas 

 

Thanks Cas, this is a nice surprise.  I figured you would be sick of me by now on your threads ;)

 

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Welcome, Jeff! I'm glad you found us...

 

Thanks!  Such a warm welcome from so many nice people here.

 

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... Next Sunday.  There's that image flashed up on the screen in front of the church.  "Children in prayer for their missionaries" ... I am ashamed of the fakeness of it all. ...The church crowd ooohs and awws...A-mum is beaming with pride.

 

wow, after reading your other post here... wow.

 

That is pure fake BS and what's worse is that it used you as a child to manipulate people.  I am more and more seeing that religion is really hurting people.  There are prob a few that are just nice and whatever, but omg...

 

you hang in there girl! OK?

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I've figured out that if something is truly compelling, it will be compelling without any dramatic music or speech.  One of the big problems with churches and camps is they won't let you escape from the emotional minefield.  There is always music and dramatic speaking and acting going on. 

About the camera stuff.  When I was eight years old I was at church with my mum after-hours who was working on some things.  A few other church kids were around and we started to play.  In came a man with a camera.  "Everybody get down on your knees and fold your hands in prayer".  Huh????  I was so confused.  I kept asking the man "why?" since we weren't really praying to god.  He said just do it, it's for a video.  So we obey the command from the man, and a group of us children sit in a circle with folded hands and eyes looking up to heaven.  Next Sunday.  There's that image flashed up on the screen in front of the church.  "Children in prayer for their missionaries" is how it is labelled.  There also is music playing in the background about god sending missionaries.  I am embarrassed. And, I am ashamed of the fakeness of it all.  I don't know the god I am supposedly praying to.  The church crowd ooohs and awws at the power of God who has led the children to gather in prayer.  A-mum is beaming with pride.  Years later, when I start to read and watch film, missionary becomes a 4 letter word to me. 

 

 

I don't get this at all. Why not just ask you all to join hands. Explain that you are going to pray for the missionaries. And then lead you in a prayer for the missionaries for real? I can't imagine someone doing this sort of staging for a church promo video. There's a big difference in scripted acting and blatant lying about what's going on in the scene. I've been on a reality documentary show and the director never had us do a scene that was scripted lying. He would ask us to do things that we would normally be doing.

 

Like, "Do you usually ...?" or "How do you ...?"

Followed by, "Could you do that while we video."

 

A lot of leading and suggestions. But nothing that was blatantly false.

 

The idea that someone would just lie about what's happening in a scene in a church is nuts to me. I'm assuming the cameraman was a Christian who was also part of that church?

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Jeff, 

 

Your story resonates so strongly with that of my own. I too, am in my mid 40s. I travelled the christian journey at a young age through the Assemblies of God, travelled in music ministry, became a youth pastor after studying at Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Texas. All I wanted to do was to sincerely serve the Lord, but was racked with spiritual abuse by numerous leaders in the college and A of G churches. I was expelled from the college based on fabricated lies with the intent of saving high profile donor dollars; long story. I pressed on rationalizing ministers depraved behavior, yet in time the reality began to soak in. I now find myself still trying to cope with my past and working through it's current effect on my life. It is not easy and I wish for no one to travel down this road. Should you get the time you can find my story on X-C. You may find many similarities. http://new.exchristian.net/2012/06/diseased-by-religion.html#disqus_thread

 

May you find freedom Jeff. 

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 When people are poor and working the land hard every day, they need a "heaven" to look forward to.  They need a scary god to keep folks in line to survive and grow the population.  But, I had spent my whole life looking forward to heaven and totally missing what was going on right here under my feet.

 

The good news for me is that I actually feel free for the first time in my life.  I enjoy every day and I feel like celebrating when I've worked hard at my job and succeeded by climbing past a weaker performer to attain reward and position.  I don't have to feel love for every single person on the planet!  I don't have to carry the burden of every brainless person who refuses to take care of themself.  I still am tender hearted toward helplessness, but I can't abide cluelessness that insists that I pick up the tab.

 

 

 

 

Somehow the quote bubble disappeared on me... Anyway.

 

I can relate to you on this. I felt like a lot of things I wanted to do, I was just putting off for the afterlife. Sometimes I felt guilty for doing things that had nothing to do with God. I also felt responsible for helping people less fortunate than me. You feel like you're helping someone when really it's just enabling their bad behavior. The Bible says you should just help anybody that asks you for help. Anyone that follows these teachings are setting themselves up to be taken advantage of by ungrateful moochers, lazy people, and time wasters.

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What Christianity stole from me was that I built my life completely on nothing.  I could have done so many things with my life if I hadn't always been worrying about what god wanted me to do.

Such a waste of years.

 

 

 

Welcome to Ex-c, Jeff! I finally got some time to sit here and read some of these posts. Your whole story is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 

 

I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up in childhood with this doctrine. I came to the lord when I was 20 and that was enough to screw my life up for many, many years. It is soooo wonderful not to have to worry anymore about the monster god up in the sky. Deconverting is quite the 'trip'. I had a real hard time with it and still do every now and again because there is always 1/16 of an ounce of me that wonders if the world could be right. But on the other hand, the more I learn about evolution, the more my mind quiets.

 

You stay right here with us and someone is always here to help you. I would not have survived my deconversion if it wasn't for EX-c. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your story. You've got a great gang of people here who truly understand what it's like to be under the spell of the christian brainwashing. I was a Pentecostal and 'Word of Faith' person......not easy to let go of . These religions are truly cults. I t's hard to believe that so many belong to cults and don't even know it!! Sorry you were one of them. You're home now.....

 

Hug

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Lucy, the cameraman was part of the church, yes.  He didn't think he was doing anything wrong or manipulative because the adults impression of the kids at church was that joining hands in prayer was something we would naturally do.  We were hooligans!  Little hellraisers that loved to go screaming through the halls.  I think the adults were in a bit of denial about our natural behavior yellow.gif

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Hi, Jeff, and welcome. I don't mind reading your posts at all. You're smart and insightful. Keep it up: that's what it's all about.

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Welcome to Ex-c, Jeff! I finally got some time to sit here and read some of these posts. Your whole story is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 

 

I can't imagine what it would be like to grow up in childhood with this doctrine. I came to the lord when I was 20 and that was enough to screw my life up for many, many years. It is soooo wonderful not to have to worry anymore about the monster god up in the sky. Deconverting is quite the 'trip'. I had a real hard time with it and still do every now and again because there is always 1/16 of an ounce of me that wonders if the world could be right. But on the other hand, the more I learn about evolution, the more my mind quiets.

 

You stay right here with us and someone is always here to help you. I would not have survived my deconversion if it wasn't for EX-c. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your story. You've got a great gang of people here who truly understand what it's like to be under the spell of the christian brainwashing. I was a Pentecostal and 'Word of Faith' person......not easy to let go of . These religions are truly cults. I t's hard to believe that so many belong to cults and don't even know it!! Sorry you were one of them. You're home now.....

 

Hug

 

 

I'm very pleased to meet you Margee.  Your story was beautiful and very moving.

I recommended your apology letter to someone who I know feels much the same way but maybe doesn't know how to put it in words the way you did.

I'll take that hug.

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.... I also felt responsible for helping people less fortunate than me. You feel like you're helping someone when really it's just enabling their bad behavior...

 

 

There was a motivational poster at my job during some community service campaign "Give your community what it needs most"... um, how do I give them a sense of self-responsibility and drive to succeed?  Cause that's what they need most in my opinion.  And more logic and rational thought would be nice.

 

I still help people, but I don't do it to my own hurt anymore... not unless I really WANT to.  There has to be some relationship going on; it's not random or blind help usually.

 

Enjoy your life Lucy!

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Jeff, 

 

Your story resonates so strongly with that of my own. I too, am in my mid 40s. I travelled the christian journey at a young age through the Assemblies of God, travelled in music ministry, became a youth pastor after studying at Southwestern Assemblies of God College in Texas. All I wanted to do was to sincerely serve the Lord, but was racked with spiritual abuse by numerous leaders in the college and A of G churches. I was expelled from the college based on fabricated lies with the intent of saving high profile donor dollars; long story. I pressed on rationalizing ministers depraved behavior, yet in time the reality began to soak in. I now find myself still trying to cope with my past and working through it's current effect on my life. It is not easy and I wish for no one to travel down this road. Should you get the time you can find my story on X-C. You may find many similarities. http://new.exchristian.net/2012/06/diseased-by-religion.html#disqus_thread

 

May you find freedom Jeff. 

 

I read your story... the crap that you had to deal with is just way too common.   The stuff about your pastor letting you in on his "secret" about how to get all this stuff... he is willfully blind to the irony of what he's saying.  "minister"... I do not think this word means what they think it means... ha

 

I'm not really mad at the church personally, but it does serve to remind me that they've got nothing of substance going on, so why worry about what they say.

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Hi, Jeff, and welcome. I don't mind reading your posts at all. You're smart and insightful. Keep it up: that's what it's all about.

 

thanks ExCB! I don't mind reading yours either... hope I run into you more around here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

 

I am in my late forties and have not believed for a few years now.  But, I spent so many years in Christianity that when I found this site recently, it was extremely upsetting to me.  To read such similar stories to mine was both confirming and yet I found myself getting angered over what I have lost and suffered for years: self inflicted suffering over guilt; fear; feeling left out; missed oportunities; regrets.  I had to go away for a couple of days to deal with it in private without causing damage to my loved one.

 

I have struggled with similar regrets/anger over my past.  I mainly feel screwed out of a childhood.  So many things I was denied...a decent education, friends, music (no rock, any music with drums, ect), couldn't even wear my hair down (had to have it pulled back with a barrett b/c if not I was too sexy...yes you can laugh), couldn't hold hands with a guy till I got engaged (I broke that rule...geez!), no TV (so every time I went to a friends house I was transfixed by their television to the point that friends didn't want me to ever come over), and could never attend any parties (unless it was a party for Jesus or a birthday party) or dances.  There is the whole philosophy of "we are all worms" also did some damage.  My parents would tell me that there was nothing good about me but thanks to the Lord b/c he chose me and I can find my value in him. Then there was all the exclusivity of our conservative christianity that made loving even other Christians near impossible (they were all liberal and weren't following God's word like they should) or being part of the club that said only hymns were what God liked sung.  I remember helping my dad white out all the words "jehovah" from hymnals and putting in "yahweh" b/c to call God Jehovah was wrong.  Minutiae and pettiness!  It is hard to look back and feel good about it all.  So I understand where you are coming from.

 

What is cool is that we have broken the cycle!  We can apologize for the past and move on to make a better future.  Don't let your past drag you down.....just let it serve as a reminder to be compassionate to those till trapped in it and why you don't want to go back to that.

 

Thanks for sharing your story!

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... I remember helping my dad white out all the words "jehovah" from hymnals and putting in "yahweh" b/c to call God Jehovah was wrong.  Minutiae and pettiness!  It is hard to look back and feel good about it all.  So I understand where you are coming from.

 

What is cool is that we have broken the cycle!  We can apologize for the past and move on to make a better future.  Don't let your past drag you down.....just let it serve as a reminder to be compassionate to those till trapped in it and why you don't want to go back to that.

 

Thanks for sharing your story!

 

 

Oh wow... the "yaheh" thing... just wow, ha.

 

I read your story and I really admire you Salemite... I think you are extremely brave how you seem to be handling your de-conversion.  I look forward to future conversation with you.

 

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sheesh my blood pressure

sorry Vigile, not yelling at you, you know.  Just yelling.

 

No worries.  As for the film.  It stirred up memories, but nothing that was too distressing.  It's been a long time since I deconverted, so it doesn't have the same old hold on me it might have a year or two out. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jeff, thanks for sharing your story. I especially identify with this part:

 

What Christianity stole from me was that I built my life completely on nothing.  I could have done so many things with my life if I hadn't always been worrying about what god wanted me to do.

Such a waste of years.

 

I could have had a much more rewarding career if I hadn't been brainwashed with religion to the point that I believed I had a calling from God. Instead of pursuing a viable and rewarding career that interested me, I chased a stupid religious dream. I would LOVE to have those years back to completely change the direction of my life.

 

Oh well, I'm making the most of where I'm at in life, and I wish you all the best in yours. Enjoy the journey ahead of you....

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