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I Don't Want To Believe


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Hello, I'm new here :) I'm so glad I found this community, I found it a while ago actually and have been following a lot of posts. It was very helpful when I first "de-converted". I think now is a good time to introduce myself and share my story.

 

I am now 21 years old (almost 22). I was raised in a Southern Baptist church, but I was never all that "religious". I went to church with my Grandma every Sunday morning, but my parents weren't very religious. Looking back, Christianity NEVER made sense to me. I think I was smarter as a kid than I was for a while as a teenager/adult.

 

I left the Church when I was 12 out of boredom basically. I went to explore other spiritualities and religions. I read a lot, was on the internet a lot and became interested in paganism/wicca/shamanism and all that sort of stuff, as well as ancient egyptian reconstructionism and something called "otherkin" (where you believe you are a misincarnated animal/alien/etc). I believed in a bunch of different things, but I didn't really adhere to it. This went on until I was about 19, when a lot of things started falling apart in my life. I stumbled across some websites about christianity and asked God if he was real to prove it to me. A string of coincidences followed that I felt were undeniable proofs of God. I met a guy who was also Christian and he invited me to his youth group.

 

I got the "new christian" fever and started preaching to all my friends ... I lost a lot of friends. I just wasn't myself anymore. My life was changing for the "better", I was happier, more confident, I could feel God living in me. The more I read of the bible the more it all "made sense". And the things I didn't understand I was sure I would. The things I couldn't accept I just ignored. All my friends assured me that no matter what, God was real and everything was going to be OK. There was a way around everything, an excuse for everything, it was all very convienient. Plus Jesus was a cool guy, he was our friend, he was our buddy. The music was happy and uplifting, I heard peoples stories of miracles and angels and life changing experiences. Life was great and Heaven was going to be even better. We hardly even thought about Hell. This seemed like a good thing at the time, but it was ultimately one of the biggest problems with the Church I had.

 

I have always been a logically inclined person. Maybe not a 'reality' inclined person, I love fiction and fantasy. But I value logic and science. I question everything. It was inevitable that I would begin to question things about my beliefs. This would be the beginning of the end. As questioning your beliefs is a Bad thing in the world of Christianity. I began to have arguments with my best friend about dinosaurs, space, scientific fact, the nature of reality. And most especially, Hell. This was the biggest thing I could not and WOULD NOT reconcile. It offended me completely and that is why it was better I didn't think about it. I felt horrible about the fact that I couldn't agree with what God felt was moral and right. I couldn't understand, and I couldn't ever be completely happy with my faith, because most everyone I knew was going to be tortured for eternity. My friends told me not to think of it like that, that there was still a chance for them to be saved, and no one knew how God decided those things. But that didn't make sense. We DID know how God decided, it was right there in the Bible.

 

When someone starts to question a religion such as Christianity that instills in you a horrifying threat, you are not really left with much of a choice. You either believe, or you are going to hell. There is no "not believing" option. Because it's THE TRUTH. Even if you HATE god. Even if you think it's UNFAIR. Even if you cannot fathom in all your little puny human capacity to be compassionate that any god would send any of it's beloved creations to a pit of torment and nothing in your being can rationalize this. And not to even begin to mention the sheer amount of evidence supporting biblical fallacy. You still MUST believe in it because "what if you are wrong?"

 

I have not even read the Bible in it's entirety. I had not even read most of it when I came to the conclusion that I didn't like most of what I'd read. But that didn't matter, because God Loved Me and It Was The Truth. But after a while, even that was not enough. My tendency towards reason was in constant conflict with what I was desperately wanting, needing, believing to be the Truth despite it. Because I thought that is what I was supposed to do. "Existence isn't supposed to be easy, Good is an inconcievable concept to morally insuperior beings". I could not know the mind of God, I had no room to talk. Even in an extremely liberal church, reason has no authority over the word of god. And I grudgingly accepted this as just one of the cold hard truths of the universe that I had no control over. God was a bastard and I was stuck with it. But atleast I got a Get Out of Jail Free Card.

 

I became severely depressed. It wasn't just the religion that I was stuck with believing, it was also the state of my life. In highschool I developed a hardcore case of social anxiety and it never really went away. In the past few years, it has began to get increasingly worse. I went to God for help, I went to Church for help. I asked all my friends and those that actually believed I wasn't making it up (!) said that all I had to do was ask and God would answer. Too bad I'd been asking for years. When I tried to express my frustration, they got ANGRY with me, saying that God was not the one at fault, that it was MY fault for not being SINCERE enough. Obviously I didn't really want to get better or God would have given me the power to magically cure myself. I cannot adequately express how much that shit pissed me off. First my friends accuse me of lying and not being sincere which is completely against my character, and then they try and tell me I enjoy being miserable. Sure.

 

The God thing just wasn't working for me anymore. But the fear of Hell, the fear of being wrong, kept me firmly in my place. I dared not budge, because I would be led astray. I thought surely this was some kind of test of faith. But another year went by, and nothing changed. At this point I had stopped going to church regularly, and I was still being accused of being insincere in my quest for a healthy mind and life. I was utterly convinced that God just WANTED me to be miserable for some reason and I had to accept it, I wallowed in self pity and found solace in the fact that no matter how horrible or worthless I was, God would still love me and I would atleast find happiness and peace in Him after my life had ended.

 

And I would have kept going on in that miserable state had it not been for some part of me that desperately wanted me to Live. Some part I'd buried and forgotten about a long, long time ago. I think I can safely say, it was my imagination and creativity that saved me. The one part of myself I could never reconcile with Christian beliefs, stood up bravely and said "Cut the crap, I'm dying here". It's a long conicidental silly story that I like to attribute to a certain diety simply because change and destruction is what he stands for. Although I have no intentions of jumping into another organized religion. I just simply like to believe that "something" is out there looking out for me. Even if it is just some metaphor for part of myself.

 

So the healing process began and I began peicing myself back together. I have decided to go to college and start working towards a degree in Animation or Illustration. I still have a lingering fear of Hell and have my doubts and insecurities, but I have promised myself not to let fear factor into my decisions anymore. Ever. Life is too precious and wonderful and short to let myself be chained to a miserable belief system because I'm afraid that God will condemn me. If God is real, and he loves me, and he understands me, he will not send me to torment just because I don't have the capacity to understand HIM. I really believe that Christianity is a sadistic form of thought control and I HATE it for what it has done to me. It shattered my self confidence more than I ever could have myself, it wasted 3 years of my life (which isn't nearly as long as some of you and Im thankful for that), and I have a feeling I will never fully be free of that lingering fear of Hell.

 

I would like to think, that if any God exists, he is the god of life, love and creation. And if any evil exists, it is the absence of that force. Not a thing or a tool, just simply a nothingness that is left, when we deny that which is accessible to us always. I believe in potential, in growth, in learning and hoping and wondering, and most importantly to simply LIVE and ENJOY what we have. Life itself is worthy of veneration and awe. Why fear death? If there is an afterlife, and I do hope there is, I hope it's an adventure, a challange. I would expect nothing less of any God who made me. If "faith is the substance of things hoped for", then we ought to believe in what we hope is true. I do not understand how anyone can hope that the God of the Bible is real. I certainly hope he is NOT. I can do a lot better than that.

 

 

Well this was long enough. Thanks for reading it if you did. I think I will like it here :)

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Wow, that was a great read, and thanks for sharing your story. Like you, most of us went through such periods of depression because of what religion does to the mind. If you are not ready to give up on God, then perhaps consider yourself a Deist. But like you, I cannot fathom that any God could be the cruel sadistic son of a bitch that BibleGod is. Glad you found your groove ...

:clap:

 

Oh, and welcome - hope you enjoy!

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That was tremendous, monsterfeets. I truly enjoyed reading your story.

 

If the animation thing doesn't work out, you might pursue writing or journalism. You have a great way of expressing yourself.

 

:3:

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Welcome, monsterfeets! I enjoyed reading your story, and though it was sad it had to happen to you, you seem to have been improved by it. I sympathize with some of what you said, and I too just could not bring myself to believe in that psychopath the Holah Babble offers to us. I was also appalled when I realized the true nature of the "free gift" of Jesus - it's more like a gun held to your head with Biblegodzilla saying "give me your soul or I will blow you away to suffer for all time in Hell!"

 

Xianity is not about love. Xianity is not about peace. Xianity is about slavery, selling your soul to Jesus and being a zombie out foraging for souls to feed your god. It's anti-life, anti-human, and just plain stupid.

 

I agree that you sound like a Deist. Being one myself, I recognize many Deistic elements in what you say, positing that God cannot be nearly as irrational and sick as Biblegodzilla. Deism may be a great place for you to continue your spiritual journey, and in the interest of preachin' some actual good news, check these links for some valuable info on rejecting Xianity and religion, but not rejecting God: www.deism.com and www.deism.org

 

Welcome to the board again and I hope your stay is pleasant and enlightening!

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Hi monsterfeets! :wave:

 

It sucks to be dealing with depression/anxiety. It sucks far more to be dealing with it as a xtian, where no one encourages you to get sensible help and instead they try and 'pray it away'.

 

When that inevitably fails, they start with the accusations and group-think. Things aren't working the way the church says it should, so obviously you must be the problem. Ah, the love! :brutal_01:

 

Glad you made it out - the hellfire fades eventually, but it does take time. Hell's the only reason anyone stays with this cockamamie cult, and it's a big fear to get over. But you will! :woohoo:

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I held on to the fear of hell for several years after abandoning christianity... but it'll pass- just give it time. The more you read up on christianity, the more absurd you'll realize it is. Nowadays the concept of hell is just laughable to me.

 

I mean... you don't fear the wrath of Allah or the Great Spirit, do you? Does a fear of Zeus keep you up at night? Well, Jehovah belongs in the same club... as does his bastard son.

 

Anyway, great story, and welcome.

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Thanks for the welcome everyone :) I'm glad it was an enjoyable read, too. I actually do want to be a writer as well. I want to do way more than I have time to learn I think :HaHa: But thank you

 

My anxiety persists but the suffocating depression I felt, and all the feelings of guilt and deserving misery are gone (for the most part).

 

I think I am technically already a Diest, I will definately check out those links. Learning about religion is one of my favorite things. I kind of have some ideas, but they aren't fully formed. Ancient Egyptian religion in particular fascinates me, a lot of their ideas just 'agree' with me. But I like to take peices of everything I learn and try to put things together. Ofcourse, I'll never figure it all out, but I kind of like that. There's all sorts of what-ifs out there, if I ever ran out I'd really be bored.

 

I held on to the fear of hell for several years after abandoning christianity... but it'll pass- just give it time. The more you read up on christianity, the more absurd you'll realize it is. Nowadays the concept of hell is just laughable to me.

 

I mean... you don't fear the wrath of Allah or the Great Spirit, do you? Does a fear of Zeus keep you up at night? Well, Jehovah belongs in the same club... as does his bastard son.

 

Anyway, great story, and welcome.

 

That's good to know, it's really hard to shake. I even have nightmares about it :\ Just reading/talking on here helps a lot, too.

 

And that's a very good point, I don't fear the wrath of any other Gods. I'll have to keep that one in mind when I start to dwell on things too much. Thanks :3

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Monsterfeets, welcome to the board. That was great introduction!

 

saying that God was not the one at fault, that it was MY fault for not being SINCERE enough.

 

Sometimes I think God and the Great Pumpkin have more in common than Christians would like to admit.

 

IBF

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Hey MF, and welcome. It's always good to see someone of your kind of integrity make it out in one piece. The best part of deconverting is experiencing how liberating the it is. Once you cast off your old beliefs and fears, you realize that you and you alone are in charge of your destiny. Only you and your personal perceptions of life can make your life meaningful. Any life lived in fear isn't a life worth living. So, hope you stay a while, and best of luck wherever you happen to end up.

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Hi Monsterfeets.

 

Welcome.

 

Like you, I've been lurking for a while, and occasionally post. Now that I have finally completed my CIS degree perhaps I'll be more active here. Every time I consider posting my story, something changes! Oh well, such is life.

 

You are wise beyond your 21 years, and so wonderfully expressive through words and illustration. You will be a great animator. Your artwork is fabulous! (no, I haven't looked at all 1014 of them ;-/ but I spent more time there then I should have).

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Welcome aboard Monsterfeets! :clap:

 

Great ex-timony! Glad you've made your way out of

the mind-controlling death cult! It leaves its scars,

but spending time with other Ex-C'ers helps with the

healing process. Stick around and keep posting!

 

:woohoo:

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Hi MF!

Like you, I have residual fear of hell and anxiety- it takes a long time to shake once its been drilled into you. But it gets better with time (I hear) and places like this certainly help, even just lurking.

Thanks for sharing your story...

Cat

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This board is a great place to get over Hell at. When you read the evidence and see that Hell is based on a number of earlier Heathen ideas in that region, the Xian and Islamic notion of Hell is seen for what is it - a cut and paste job of recycled myths.

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