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The "christian Relapse"


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"Over time, and time after time, we are trying to teach our brains, "I know you are accustomed to going this way [back to Christian-Land] but it never works.  We've got to go to uncharted territory".  Our brains and emotions do not like that a bit and they rebel. 

 

Rach: EXACTLY!!!  That's what's happening now.  But I don't think I'll walk back into a church completely.  I'm just not into it anymore

 

This thread has generated a lot of discussion.  Very cool. :)

 

Andrew

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 A person should leave Christianity because he or she has come to the factual realization that it is a steaming pile of bull ____.

 

Nonetheless, belief is a great catalyst for kicking off the deconversion process.  A person may start believing that Christianity is false, and that belief can effectively propel a person to start looking for real answers.  If a person goes about the deconversion process properly, he or she will work to fill his or her mind up with real answers that dispel any hidden doubts that he or she may be harboring in regards to the validity of Christianity, the Bible, etc.  To achieve this goal, a person can watch atheist YouTube channels, read books that highlight the discrepancies in the Bible, or spend time researching history, science, and archaeology.  Eventually, this person will find that there is no good reason to hang on to Christianity in any way, shape, or form.

 

 

Totally agreed!  You can't have enough information.  In the beginning I still clung onto the belief that the Bible was full of wisdom even though the supernatural sugar daddy bit died a natural death.  The more I have researched (science, economics, theology etc.), the more I have found the Bible to be outdated,  out moded and generally rotten.  It teaches me absolutely nothing about the world or how to live life.  I would no sooner turn to the Bible for guidance than I would recommend Iron Aged treatments for the sick, or Iron Aged legal remedies for victims of crime, or ask an Iron Aged natural scientist / philosopher about how to fix a computer.  It just doesn't speak to me in any way at all.  It is interesting to study as a historical document however.  

 

I am listening to a Youtube New Testament lecture series at the moment with great interest, where they link Biblical text to reality, the authors' intentions and so forth rather than reading it as something divinely inspired eg.  The lecturer talks about how the prophecies in Daniel are accurate and can be archaelogically confirmed upto a point in time, but then suddenly go against the archaological record.  He suggests this is the time when the text was actually written,  with the date of authorship backdated to make the text APPEAR prophetic.  He then goes on to analyse the intent of the text.

 

There is so much information like this.  Another:

 

Despite the Roman's keeping accurate details and records, there is no evidence that the census that led Mary and Joseph back to Bethlehem as told by Luke ever existed.  Its nature went against the grain of every other Roman census, to discover how much taxable income can be expected in each area / town.  How would say being born in Bethlehem matter if you settled and worked in Nazareth for tax purposes? Even if your birthplace was important information why wouldn't they just ask someone where they were born?  Why make a person travel across the country JUST so they can be counted physically in place where they were born?  Also if this actually happened, it would have counted as one of the biggest migrations of people in the history of that time.  Yet apart from a small mention in Luke, evidence of a massive migration doesn't exist in any other source or the archaological record. It makes no sense.  Unless of course there was a prophecy in Isaiah that said the messiah would be born in Bethlehem... then you might be tempted to make something up so it gets fulfilled.

 

And how did Jesus clear the temple when it was the size of 3 football pitches, with stationed troops to keep the peace as it was an important place of business?  To actually clear the temple, he would have needed a small army.

 

Honestly with analysis and information like this, it beggars belief how anyone can ever be a Christian with faith in the Bible. This sort of information is freely available in seminaries, bible schools etc.  What that says about the priests and pastors who teach this shit without any disclaimers, especially those who claim Biblical inerrancy, I don't know...  Frankly I wouldn't want to spend any time with someone who openly lies to themselves and others in order to propagate their own agendas, let alone confide in them in a time of crisis as someone else posted here earlier.  They may be human and deeply flawed, but you wouldn't go to a drug dealer cum drug addict to ask them for solution to your suffering / problems now would you?

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^ Wyson, really hurts to know that our ministers must have known all along that parts of the bible's accuracy was in doubt.  They promised us the bible was inerrant.  They assured us that Satan was using historians and archaeologists to deceive us.  Talk about betrayal!  We put our very lives and souls in the hands of those men of God. And they lied!

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^ Wyson, really hurts to know that our ministers must have known all along that parts of the bible's accuracy was in doubt.  They promised us the bible was inerrant.  They assured us that Satan was using historians and archaeologists to deceive us.  Talk about betrayal!  We put our very lives and souls in the hands of those men of God. And they lied!

 

That's what I mean.  And that's what CptPicard was going on about.  In an iron aged / superstitious belief framework, this sort of thinking makes perfect sense.  They didn't know better back then.  But why would anyone choose to live these values and take on this world view in the 21st Century?  Literally millions of people have toiled to test / hypothesis and discover, spilled blood, sweat and tears to know more, create and defend freedoms, to lift humanity from ignorance.   To say this work, these people are the followers and the work of the devil?!   It doesn't make any sense to me.

 

Rach if you are susceptible to this sort of talk, the best defence is knowledge and education.  What is it that historians and archaelogists do?  Find out about some recent Bible research, what they did and the tests they made.  Then find out where the pastors got their opinions from.  Then decide who you think is more credible.  Its not as easy as accepting and following pat answers, or deciding to "believe" one camp or the other, but if you want to move on, you need a solid foundation of knowledge based on your own investigations.   

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I suppose it's the sense of community and supernatural support that I miss, and therein, have been unable to find a replacement for.  For a long time I had relied on spirituality to make sense of situations and circumstances that made no sense, and now that security is no longer there...if it had ever been there at all.

That is a tricky one.  The time gained we replace with other interests.  Although I know what you mean about sense of community, which I think is lacking in modern life.  I guess it is a trade off, you lose some security, but gain in sanity by replacing fantasy with reality.

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This topic made me happily realize that I am not the only person who has ever "relapsed" - though I called it ping-ponging. It's embarrassing to admit, but it took a whole lot of struggle over years and several "tries" before my deconversion would finally stick (fairly recently). It is amazing how tightly we hang on to our delusion - even when our rational mind is screaming at us the whole time!

 

The hardest thing for me to accept was the finality of death. I suppose that is really why I couldn't do away with Christianity in one quick, band-aid rip. When you grow up having it pounded into your head that every time a loved one dies that "you will see them again", that IS your reality. So I'm now having to accept a new reality - the real reality - that there is no reason to think that life goes on after death. It's been a brutal process to be quite honest. But I will take brutal reality over pretty fantasy any day! 

 

There is also a weight that is lifted in the process. A HUGE weight. It's comforting to realize that there is no "Big Brother" out there in the cosmos, and nobody is watching me when I poop or have sex. Except for whichever pet wanders in to take a gander.

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Hey everyone.

 

So my apologies for not being as active; work late last year went crazy so i didn't have a lot of time for Internet.

 

Anyhow...

 

I was wondering if anyone has had experience with "relapsing" into Christianity and what that was like for you?  There were a few times that I tried reading my old prayer book and seeing if I 'could' get back into the faith, but each individual time I felt like I was trying to put a virus back into my body, if that make sense.  What was familiar to me at one time now is just alien.

 

I suppose it's the sense of community and supernatural support that I miss, and therein, have been unable to find a replacement for.  For a long time I had relied on spirituality to make sense of situations and circumstances that made no sense, and now that security is no longer there...if it had ever been there at all.

 

Anyhow, I thought I would ask for that insight.

 

 

I know what you mean, it's hard when you lose a sense of community and support (and all the good things which came with this belief system).  But it's the price you pay for deconverting.  There are some cons and some pros.  I have more pros, so I am ok with the losses.  Although it's still something to recover from, to grieve, to get past it.  There are clubs of all sorts and meet ups (on meet up.com) so maybe you could find a group that more closely fits your beliefs.  Or you can just enjoy the fellowship of Christians without sharing their views (not easy, but possible).

 

Think of it this way: if you're missing some of it that means it wasn't so bad for you.  Some people had really bad experiences and can't stand the sight of it.  So they don't have to grieve over any loss.  But they also had a hard time when they had to be in it.  It's usually like that: either you become close and then later have to grieve the loss of someone, or you have a troubled relationship and later are happy to be separated from that someone.   So it's never 100% happiness.

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Hey everyone.

 

So my apologies for not being as active; work late last year went crazy so i didn't have a lot of time for Internet.

 

Anyhow...

 

I was wondering if anyone has had experience with "relapsing" into Christianity and what that was like for you?  There were a few times that I tried reading my old prayer book and seeing if I 'could' get back into the faith, but each individual time I felt like I was trying to put a virus back into my body, if that make sense.  What was familiar to me at one time now is just alien.

 

I suppose it's the sense of community and supernatural support that I miss, and therein, have been unable to find a replacement for.  For a long time I had relied on spirituality to make sense of situations and circumstances that made no sense, and now that security is no longer there...if it had ever been there at all.

 

Anyhow, I thought I would ask for that insight.

You can check out central spiritualist church (it's like a denomination).  They welcome all beliefs and they are not religious, but focus on self development, a sense of community and just an overall inspiration from different beliefs (like picking out all the good things from all the beliefs).

 

So it could be like a transitional period (like a nicotine patch).  But they won't judge you since they all have different beliefs and that's the point.

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I went to church with my mom for the first time since my deconverion, and I realize why I joined up in the beginning. You feel so excluded when you are sitting there not participating. You are the "other" and if you would just give in and join them, everything would be all right. Except it's not. There were certain things I believed about it. I thought there was life after death, a spirit, and that Jesus would help us get to heaven. I didn't believe in Adam and Eve, the resurrection, the virgin birth, and a lot of other things. I tried to make it all work for about 20 years, but eventually it just hit me. It's not real. None of it is real. It's still a harsh reality to accept sometimes. I feel a bit like I've been in shock for the last year. On the one hand, I know it's all not real, but on the other I'm terribly disappointed. I won't ever go back because I can't unknow the truth. 

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I haven't relapsed, per se, but I have sometimes wondered--and feared--if I'm wrong. What if there is a God, a Christ, a Hell, and all of that? The truth is this: we cannot know. Christians cannot know. We have no proof of any of it. It takes faith to believe it all exists, and it takes faith to believe it all doesn't exist. The difference is not in our faith, but in the evidence upon which our faith is built. Christians build their faith upon their subjective experiences, their emotions, and a book that most of them hardly read, much less know anything about. Free Thinkers build their faith upon objective examination, their emotions (yes, their emotions), and a critical thought process toward a book that we know something about. That's painting with a broad brush, but I think it illustrates my point.

 

 

This post really spoke to me, 

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 It takes faith to believe it all exists, and it takes faith to believe it all doesn't exist. The difference is not in our faith, but in the evidence upon which our faith is built. 

 

 

I am going to respectfully disagree that non believers have to exercise faith to believe the facts that xtianity is not true. If you tell me that you are holding a green leaf in your hand, but do not show me the actual green leaf, then it takes faith on my part that you are holding a green leaf. However, if you are telling me that you are holding a green leaf and then open your hand and show me the actual green leaf, then i don't need to exercise faith at all, it is a fact that your holding a green leaf. My point is, faith and fact cannot be mixed together. It took faith for me to believe the supernatural nonsense of the bible. Through my own experiences and seeing the the actual evidences that the bible is not true actually killed my faith in the bible and it's claims. I don't need faith to disbelieve the bible and it's claims, because the evidence against it are facts, not maybe's or possibilities. If it took faith to not believe the bible, then i would still have remained a believer till this day. Saying it takes faith to believe and faith not to believe sounds like pascals wager, no one knows for sure, but why take your chances, believe anyways. I am no longer a believer because of facts, not faith. I don't need to have faith because facts don't require it. -peace/cat

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  • 3 weeks later...

For me, it's positive memories associated with Christian holidays (Easter, Christmas) that make it difficult at times.  I have no issues in questioning whether the related stories are complete fabrications, but I hate the fact that I'm the only one in my family who knows they are malarkey.  

 

Seems like a lot of us who are posting on this thread struggle more with the pull of family, friends, and memories than we do with the religion itself.  Once you've passed a certain point in your journey where you can see the bible for the tapestry of repellant Bronze Age myths that it is, it's easy to stay the course where the facts are concerned - but emotional and family ties run deep and are hard to unseat.

 

Not fun, but certainly better than the alternative.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm stressing out over my exams, and this pentecostal forum I am usually able to read without any positive emotions had this thread about inner peace indescribable, joy unspeakable and living in complete care and guidance.

 

Felt the call for a moment. Felt crazy for a moment.

 

Then I told myself that no, my head should not be doing such things as feeling the call to escape reality, and took my meds. Besides if I assume for a second that god did call me, he was planning to get credited for the studying I do. Selfish jerk.

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I've 'relapsed' a few times from atheism to belief to maybe Christianity wasn't all that bad to atheism to a brief look at Islam to Buddhism to atheism to.......you get the picture. smile.png

 

Yes, it happens. Don't beat yourself up. You are human, and shedding the skin of Christianity is hard work. Be patient and loving with yourself, and remember...we know what you're going through. It will get better. smile.png

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I haven't relapsed since after I decided that Christianity is not true for sure.

 

I had previously been back and forth. I was swaying from "strong belief" to "strong doubt" which is different from relapsing from atheism back to Christianity. 

 

A friend of mine who was an atheist for years switched back to theism after his whole family died because he couldn't cope with the idea that they don't exist anymore. So it's not that odd to relapse.

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I actually had a relapse about seven months ago when I started dating a girl. I thought it was maybe that "gift from God" finally because she was such a good woman. However, six months later - she broke it off for BS reasons and again, I was left shaking my head at why I even entertained the idea of it. I left god, religion etc. all behind because the prayers were left unanswered. Just like they were this time.

I agree with everyone, it's not too odd. If you were in the chains of it for so long, it takes a long time to turn yourself completely loose.

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