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JoeFriday
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:ugh: I've fairly recently started to have serious doubts about christianity being true. I've had doubts before but only now have I really started investigating the possibility of christianity being verifiably false. I've been thinking through the implications of not believing and I was wondering what have people replaced the social aspects of church related activities with? My parents are christians and most of my friends are christians although some are more "active" than others. I go to a large college where it can be hard to develop friendships with people because you don't see them on a regular basis, I met most of my friends through various christian groups, etc. Have the people who have gone through this, continued to go just for time with friends, and basically just ignored the rest? How do you respond to questions that they ask about faith, etc. My parents are christians and I told my Mom a while ago that "I was having doubts, but still wanted to believe" Of course at that time I was not quite to the place I am now. My Dad was asking questions about my spiritual life, recently and I had no idea whether I should come clean or just be vague and backsliddenish.

 

Should I tell my parents? Family? Friends? Or keep my doubts under wraps and just live my own life? Should I try to convince my family, or keep mum about it? How do you get over the feeling that you might be making the biggest mistake of your life? What do you do when asked to pray?

 

They do believe literally in the bible, so should I attempt to show them the things that causes me to think that it's not true? What kind of success do people have with this? My parents do believe in "once saved, always saved" so fear of me going to hell may not apply, but I do know would upset them. I hated the person that tried to deconvert me, but only accomplished creating doubts and sticking me into the horrible place of belief and disbelief at the same time for around two years. I especially wouldn't want to deconvert one parent and have the other still believe. I love my parents and don't want to cause them needless pain, so I'm really in a quandry.

 

Also, what are some basic scientific evidences that prove the bible false?

 

I realize that this is a ton of questions but I'm thankful for any help or relevant experiences that others have had,

 

Joseph

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Welcome JoeFriday,

 

To answer some of your questions... I didn't find anything that replaced the community and social activities that the Church provided. Well, I wasn't looking too hard either. Having several kids and one in wheelchair, it's easier to be home and spend time with the family. Or have parties with friends, and such. And this website has become a place for me to let my thoughts out and get responses.

 

Personally, I have not told my family yet, except for my little brother, who I told the whole truth that I'm an atheist, but I did that because he's in serious doubts too. One of my older brothers know I'm a "backslider", but so is he. Rest of the family have no clue (as far as I know.) And I going to keep it that way. It's not their business what I believe or not anyway, even though I love them, I don't trust them with knowledge they can't handle, when they still are deep into fundamentalism.

 

Regarding evidence for the Bible true or false and such, that's what we discuss a lot here! :)

 

Just dive in and participate. :wave:

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Hey JoeFriday.

 

I wouldn't tell my parents or any uber-fundamentalist friends if I were you, most apostates here haven't had have too much luck with that as far as I know. It depends on what kind of people these are, of course, and where you live (is Christianity really dominant in your area?). They may see you as a threat to their faith, or an evil Satan spawn, etc.

 

There is something about you that has caused you to seriously reconsider your religious views that most people in this world don't seem to have, and I don't think that attitude can necessarily be passed on through mere discussion to those who are naturally close-minded to it. People who are comfortable with their beliefs or afraid of nonbelief will almost never reconsider them even in the face of logic or evidence. They will often switch into conspiracy-theory mode, questioning everything except their religion (like saying that evolutionary scientists are part of a Satanic conspiracy to discredit Christ).

 

My parents do believe in "once saved, always saved" so fear of me going to hell may not apply

 

Be prepared that they might think that if you deconvert you were never really saved in the first place (a common view toward apostates in my experience).

 

How do you get over the feeling that you might be making the biggest mistake of your life?

 

If you feel you made a mistake after leaving Christianity or changing denominations or whatever you end up doing, you can always change your mind again, right?

 

Also, what are some basic scientific evidences that prove the bible false?

 

I don't think its that simple, since there are near-infinite possible interpretations of the Bible. Once you disprove one interpretation of the Bible its possible to simply switch to another one. But, for example, strong scientifically accepted facts like the age of the Earth contradict the literal interpretation of the Bible.

 

Here's a question: Why believe what the Bible says in the first place?

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Hi Joe. It's up to you how to deal with your questioning/lack of belief. Personally, I choose to be open about my atheism. My family knew very shortly after I stopped believing, and anyone who asks or ought to know will get the straight-up truth from me. But then, I am prepared to deal with it and I am willing to walk away from anyone who cannot accept it. That's the way I am and I don't like bullshit, but there is a price to pay for it. To me, the price is negligible. You have to decide what it is to you.

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Hi Joe,

 

Telling family and friends is a very personal choice and what is best for you, may not be best for another. If you do decide to spill the beans, I beleive it is very important to have a support system in place for the emotional upheaval that can result. If you don't have one, I would wait until your are in a stronger place with your convictions. Although, like HanSolo said, it's not any of their business, unless you choose it to be.

 

I haven't told my family. My mother is not physically well and she depends a lot on her faith as a psychological tool to get her through some of the physical hardships she faces.

 

I go to a Unitarian church. It provides the fellowship and friendships of a church, without any of the religious aspects. The people who attend are mostly Agnostics, Athiests, or Diests.

 

Here is a website that might help you.

 

Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth

 

We discuss the Bible a lot here and we discuss Christianity, and the differing beliefs that each sect has. There is a lot of info on this site.

 

Taph

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Welcome to Ex-c Joe! I hope you find what you're looking for here.

 

:ugh: I've fairly recently started to have serious doubts about christianity being true. I've had doubts before but only now have I really started investigating the possibility of christianity being verifiably false.

 

I'm sorry to break the news to you, but you've already aposticized. You just haven't realized it yet. Take heart. On the side of the fence you've already moved, you will find freedom like none you've ever known before. The cost of freedom is that you have to quit thinking you have all the answers (including this one!). Cheap!

 

I've been thinking through the implications of not believing and I was wondering what have people replaced the social aspects of church related activities with?

 

Drinking and casual sex. Ok, not exactly. It isn't uncommon to become involved in secular organizations as a replacement for church. The Unitarian Universalists work as a nice half way house for a lot of people as you transition to activities you actually give a shit about - like drinking and casual sex.

 

My parents are christians and most of my friends are christians although some are more "active" than others. I go to a large college where it can be hard to develop friendships with people because you don't see them on a regular basis, I met most of my friends through various christian groups, etc. Have the people who have gone through this, continued to go just for time with friends, and basically just ignored the rest?

 

This is a tough one. You need to find people who do not hold your metaphysical beliefs hostage as a price for friendship. Personally, I wouldn't fake it for friends. Parents and relatives are different. It might be worth lying to them. These are decisions you must make for yourself.

 

What do you do when asked to pray?

 

Lie usually. The beauty of freedom is that you get to decide when it's appropriate to violate your own ethics. You are not a slave to someone else's idea of perfection. The nice thing about beliefs is that no-one can hold you accountable unless you admit you lied. You can always just say you changed positions (again and again), and there is no way for them to verify otherwise. THEY SHOULDN'T BE ASKING. They have overstepped their bounds by asking and deserve to be deceived. It should be legal to deck them just for asking, but unfortunately it isn't.

 

They do believe literally in the bible, so should I attempt to show them the things that causes me to think that it's not true?

 

Do you enjoy talking to walls and then listening to the recordings that the walls play back?

 

My parents do believe in "once saved, always saved" so fear of me going to hell may not apply, but I do know would upset them.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to confirm that you were once saved. This is the approach any fundy asshole you tell will take. They will just conclude you never were saved, else you could not have apostacized. I like to agree with them when they say things like that. It boosts my ego a bit to imagine I had never been taken in by the bullshit. :sigh:, unfortunately I know better.

 

Also, what are some basic scientific evidences that prove the bible false?

 

There aren't any. If you believe it is true, nothing anyone says can prove otherwise, as it is alwasy possible to invent some story like "well, maybe the animals were magically induced to enter the ark by god directly". The question you shouild be asking is, why should I believe the fantastic aspects of the Bible are true? This is the standard you aply in the rest of your life. Why do you apply a different standard for the Bible?

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Welcome, Joe.

 

You've received some great responses here.

 

The only thing I have to add is that it's harder to be a hard-ass about your apostacy when you're young -- too little time has been spent learning to be "at one" with it and there's too much at stake if you alienate people you need in your life right now.

 

As you grow older, the picture will change. People will have gravitated to you based on who you genuinely are, and those family and friends whom you don't tell now will eventually give you clues as to how willing they are to accept you in your infidel state.

 

Over time, your gut will tell you how to be wise with each individual relationship. Just be prepared for some amount of hurt and anguish, whether you're wise or not.

 

Eventually you'll be a geezer and you'll have your main relationships soundly in place and you won't give a damn what any casual observer thinks about you. That is delightful, delicious, earned freedom, Joe.

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Please check out the following Jewish Counter Missionary Websites

 

Messianic Verses in Tanach (short and sweet)

 

Messiah truths (More Indepth and highly detailed website)

 

Also do check out the website in my signature.

 

I guess the biggest scientific proof against the bible would be age of the earth and evolution.

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"Should I tell my parents? Family? Friends? Or keep my doubts under wraps and just live my own life?"

 

Unfortunately, I haven't received the best responses from my two adult neices whom I have told or even mature responses for that matter. So far it's been pretty hysterical reactions. They are the only two so far I have informed. I am beginning to regret telling them. Might as well be another bleating sheep for all they care. Their response just reinforces my decision to never go back to that mind virus!

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I still don't get why some ex-christians have such a hard time letting go of the church and church friends. :shrug: After I de-converted, I couldn't stand being around them. I made better friends outside the church, and they were my friends because they liked me.

 

Why would you want to hang around with a bunch of 'friends' who try to make you into something they can feel comfortable with?

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I still don't get why some ex-christians have such a hard time letting go of the church and church friends. :shrug: After I de-converted, I couldn't stand being around them. I made better friends outside the church, and they were my friends because they liked me.

 

Why would you want to hang around with a bunch of 'friends' who try to make you into something they can feel comfortable with?

 

 

Speaking for myself, it hasn't been hard to let go of church or church friends. I haven't had any contact in several years with my past church friends. I don't have any current friends that are churchgoers either. It's just the family that is primarily my christian contacts. Every time I go home I just have to sit and cringe whenever the subject comes up. Or stare off into the distance. To be honest, I tend to gravitate to people with like-mindedness now. Which is the polar opposite of what I used to be.

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....I realize that this is a ton of questions but I'm thankful for any help or relevant experiences that others have had,

 

Welcome Joeseph!

 

Any way you choose to deal with this whole complicated issue will make you a stronger person.

 

From my experience, you will learn who your family is, how good your friends are, and what it feels like to be alone. I hope you like yourself, because without christianity, you must deal with your inner life alone. If you don't particularly like yourself, perhaps staying in the church is better, since it caters to the "lowly-sinner-in-need-of-god" mindset.

 

Others will be there, of course, if you possess the social skills not to alienate those who would be good friends and family. Gracious good manners helps in these times of change and upheaval, and your true character, as well as the true character of others, will shine through.

 

It also helps to be tough as nails emotionally. Having your dad and mom tell you they are totally disappointed in you will come as a shocker. Even if you never have a "come clean" session with them, they will certainly figure out that you are an apostate, unless your relationships with them are superficial already.

 

But when you are ready, these moments of laying it all on the table will make you the man you could never have been as a believer. One who thinks for himself and chooses his battles wisely.

 

Take care. I actually went to a therapist for a couple of months and found him helpful in dealing with the gay issue for me. Hopefully you have less baggage to deal with. Good luck, dude. :wink:

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