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theyownyou33
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Hello Everyone, I'm still a little bit shocked that I'm on a site such as this and what that now means for the rest of my life. See, I'm 31 now and have been struggling with my faith throughout my entire life, but most notably since I turned 29 did I begin to have serious thoughts that  I may be becoming atheist. I was raised in a very conflicted and confused home that was quick to thrust the charismatic version of God down my throat at a young age. The interesting thing is my parents never stayed with one denomination for too long and for what ever reasons they had at the time I got the benefit of being taught by baptist, southern baptist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ etc.. Each new iteration of the faith chipped away at what I was initially taught and left me with a lot of questions. It was probably when I was about 10 or so that I noticed that some of the stories I was taught in Sunday school were changed by what was actually in the Bible. Small things like the fact that David cut of Goliath's head and so on. My parents told me that most kids aren't ready to handle certain details of the stories and even as a young boy that never made sense. Why would God's perfect word not be fit for all?

 

As I grew older I started to get a great fervor for God and finding his mission for my life. I would go to my mother nightly who would pray over me and speak prophecy after prophecy about who I was to become. She told me that I would I would be a light unto the world and that God himself had spoken to her before she knew I was to be and told her to name me Joshua for this very reason. I was always so excited to think that God had a special plan for me. Some of the excitement was truly because I wanted to serve God, but a lot of it was because of my own ego and that I liked the idea of being more important than everyone else. So, this continued to go on over time and my mother would tell me stories about how God has protected me while I was growing up. That he stopped my biological mother (I'm adopted) from aborting me and that he's saved me from car accidents as a child. Going as far as to tell me that an entire semi truck went through our car when I was a baby. As though it was only a projection of light and not comprised of matter. This only stoked this fire that I had for this mission that I was chosen for. Desperate to hear God's voice myself I asked my mother and other authority figures how it can be done and I was met with the same answer from everyone. God speaks in a small voice and if I'm quiet enough I can hear it. This lead to me spending hours away in my room at night in silence or with sermons playing on my old tape player. Never did I ever hear a word. Yet I continued to search.

 

Now, while I had what I thought were positive experiences with the faith (prophecy, life plan) I had also had terrible problems that plagued me constantly. One of the denominations taught that God doesn't speak at all and even more so, they taught that there was no such thing as once saved always saved. This doctrine which I had based my entire salvation on was now being torn a part (effectively) by this new teaching. After being exposed to it for only a short time it scarred me terribly. I had the worst anxiety of my life starting from that moment all the way to when I turned 29 or so. It was an agony that I couldn't describe and later had to be treated with anxiety medications. This fear and the fact that there were so many conflicting doctrines pushed me to study more. I was still obsessed, but for new reasons. I figured I need to find out what all those silly atheists are upset about, so I can help them. This lead me to all sorts of places on YouTube like AronRa and so on. Needless to say that the debunking of Noah's flood and the harsh slave loving blood lust nature of the Old Testament God blew me away. How had I missed this before? One of the events that lead to me finally starting to give up on faith had to due with this new King James Only Church I started attending a few years ago. I told the pastor how trouble I was and that the more I studied the worse it got. His answer still makes me shake my head in disbelief. He said if reading those things made me doubt my faith that I should simply stop reading them or asking questions (what? Why would God want this?). Unfortunately, it was by that time that I realized that there was no special plan for my life and lost it. There was suicide attempt with police that thankfully didn't lead to my arrest, but did thankfully lead to my hospitalization where I learned that my anxiety and delusions of grander and a lot of other symptoms were related to me being  undiagnosed bipolar 1. I know that some people even here may not believe in certain mental conditions, but when they finally put me on lithium (a drug mainly used for Bipolar) my life changed. I lost most of my anxiety about hell and my religious obsession started to fade.

 

So, here I am today. I'm learning more and more about science and evolution due to the isolating nature of my christian home school education. I'm constantly thirsty for knowledge, but I still suffer from time to time with the idea that God is real and that he is still calling to me. I do still feel worried about hell, but instead of being a bone crushing anxiety it's now been reduced to a small feeling in the back of my mind. I do, however, have four kids and am married to a woman who is still christian. While my initial turn into atheism was a big rock in the boat, she is still committed to me. That's another whole can of worms, but you get the idea. I'm here to make  friends and learn anything from anyone who willing to teach me something that is demonstrable and true lol. One final thought comes to mind and it's a verse from the new testament about those who seek God. There is a passage in Jeremiah that states that you will seek me and find me if you look with your whole heart. I still think about his today, because never have I ever met anyone who searches for truth like the Atheist community and by people like myself. Yet, we find nothing...Anyway, a big thank you to all who read my story. I appreciate it.

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Welcome to the forum, @theyownyou33,

 

And welcome to the Unequally Yoked Club!

 

Glad to year that the fear of hell has been demoted to TinyLittleThought and relegated to the back of your mind. That's usually a toughie for folks here.

 

" never have I ever met anyone who searches for truth like the Atheist community "

My feeling too. Yes there are folks who do, and have, researched in earnest and wound up embracing the faith but I am under the impression that they are in the minority. If I am wrong about that statistic folks here will correct me.

 

" Some of the excitement was truly because I wanted to serve God, but a lot of it was because of my own ego and that I liked the idea of being more important than everyone else "

Owning that one says a lot about your character. I commend you. If I could just get Mrs. MOHO to own that one we'd be far better off.

 

" I'm here to make  friends and learn anything from anyone who willing to teach me something that is demonstrable and true lol. "

You're in the right place for those things for sure. The friend part I can do but, for the rest, I'd defer to the smart folks that post here.

 

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

 

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What you really want, although you may not realize it right now, is to be deprogrammed. You have been deeply indoctrinated (brainwashed) into believing the various Christian dgma's are literally true & historically accurate. They are not. 

 

The authors of the Bile are unknown (nobody named Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John wrote one single word of the Bible, those names were added to anonymous manuscripts in the fourth century as a way of identifying them.)  Present day Bibles are forgeries that have been edited, redacted, & parts completely rewritten to make it say what some of the church fathers wanted it to say. 

 

I would recommend the section  on this site called General Theological issues as a good place to get information about the Bible. I would also recommend Dr. Bart Ehrman as a good scholar to read. You can find his books on Amazon & they come in Kindle versions.

 

I notice you listed The Church of Christ as one of the places you attended. I was an Elder in the c of c when I came to the realization that the Bible contained endless contradictions & inconsistences. I also accepted the fact some of the stuff in the Bible just isn't believable because it's impossible.

 

Last but not least, welcome aboard. I know you will find the help you are seeking here. 

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Welcome! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Every one of us on this site can relate to some of the points you made in your post. You are here with people who have gone through exactly what you are going through. Hang in there. It takes time to deprogram your brain from all the brainwashing that was done to you. You're home with us! Keep reading - keep posting. Someone is always here to help you. I personally wouldn't have made it without Ex-c. I actually thought I was the only one who had the nerve to doubt the christian god. So glad you found us! 

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14 hours ago, Geezer said:

What you really want, although you may not realize it right now, is to be deprogrammed. You have been deeply indoctrinated (brainwashed) into believing the various Christian dgma's are literally true & historically accurate. They are not. 

 

The authors of the Bile are unknown (nobody named Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John wrote one single word of the Bible, those names were added to anonymous manuscripts in the fourth century as a way of identifying them.)  Present day Bibles are forgeries that have been edited, redacted, & parts completely rewritten to make it say what some of the church fathers wanted it to say. 

 

I would recommend the section  on this site called General Theological issues as a good place to get information about the Bible. I would also recommend Dr. Bart Ehrman as a good scholar to read. You can find his books on Amazon & they come in Kindle versions.

 

I notice you listed The Church of Christ as one of the places you attended. I was an Elder in the c of c when I came to the realization that the Bible contained endless contradictions & inconsistences. I also accepted the fact some of the stuff in the Bible just isn't believable because it's impossible.

 

Last but not least, welcome aboard. I know you will find the help you are seeking here. 

But how did someone find out what happened in the 4th century? I highly doubt that the people who added those names to the manuscripts wrote a note saying 'yeah we did it'. 

 

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Yeah different denominations believe different things. And each of them believes only they are right and that others are wrong. A Pentecostal pastor who still comes to my house once told me years ago that those who pray to Mary are walking on the path to hell. I used to believe this and trying to make one of my Roman Catholic friends to stop praying to Mary. I regret doing such things. I did not succeed though as my RC friend had her own arguments.

In my opinion, Pentecostal teachings are the worst- it has the worst mind control.

I am so glad you are out though.

Welcome to a new world! X

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19 hours ago, MOHO said:

Welcome to the forum, @theyownyou33,

 

And welcome to the Unequally Yoked Club!

 

Glad to year that the fear of hell has been demoted to TinyLittleThought and relegated to the back of your mind. That's usually a toughie for folks here.

 

" never have I ever met anyone who searches for truth like the Atheist community "

My feeling too. Yes there are folks who do, and have, researched in earnest and wound up embracing the faith but I am under the impression that they are in the minority. If I am wrong about that statistic folks here will correct me.

 

" Some of the excitement was truly because I wanted to serve God, but a lot of it was because of my own ego and that I liked the idea of being more important than everyone else "

Owning that one says a lot about your character. I commend you. If I could just get Mrs. MOHO to own that one we'd be far better off.

 

" I'm here to make  friends and learn anything from anyone who willing to teach me something that is demonstrable and true lol. "

You're in the right place for those things for sure. The friend part I can do but, for the rest, I'd defer to the smart folks that post here.

 

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

 

Thank you! The unequally Yoked Club made laugh out loud. I appreciate that.  I really feel like my wife is taking all of the things I talk about in, but the internal conflict is a bit too much for her to bear, so she stays where shes comfortable. I understand that, I guess. Thanks for the friendly welcome.

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14 hours ago, Margee said:

Welcome! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Every one of us on this site can relate to some of the points you made in your post. You are here with people who have gone through exactly what you are going through. Hang in there. It takes time to deprogram your brain from all the brainwashing that was done to you. You're home with us! Keep reading - keep posting. Someone is always here to help you. I personally wouldn't have made it without Ex-c. I actually thought I was the only one who had the nerve to doubt the christian god. So glad you found us! 

Thanks for the warm welcome. The deprogramming started with this multi-part series called my deconversion story on YouTube. It was rather well done and was more or less at the level I needed for the time.  Here is the link for anyone that is interested.  I will be sticking around and hopefully contributing for some time!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Anushka said:

Yeah different denominations believe different things. And each of them believes only they are right and that others are wrong. A Pentecostal pastor who still comes to my house once told me years ago that those who pray to Mary are walking on the path to hell. I used to believe this and trying to make one of my Roman Catholic friends to stop praying to Mary. I regret doing such things. I did not succeed though as my RC friend had her own arguments.

In my opinion, Pentecostal teachings are the worst- it has the worst mind control.

I am so glad you are out though.

Welcome to a new world! X

 

The treatment of Catholics was always confusing to me. I would find more  conservative christian types who would call them a cult (hahaha!) and say they're going to hell, but then I would meet more liberal charismatic types  that'd say they were all brothers and sisters in Christ and they were just a little off with some doctrines.

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Greetings, and welcome! 

 

When I was a believer, I also would not have believed it if someone would've told me I'd end up here. I was also 29 when it started to unravel for me, but I hadn't even been questioning it before that. I was one of the 100% convinced Christians, so it was a huge shock when I started to see genuine problems in the Bible (or Bile, as geezer aptly put it, whether intentional or a typo) and Christian beliefs. 

 

We're glad you're here. Keep seeking truth and following the evidence wherever it leads. Good luck, and enjoy the journey ahead of you....

 

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Welcome to the forum! I relate to a lot in your story, most of all thinking when younger that my childhood was "protected" and this was seen in many miracles (in fact, my home was abusive), and also the suicidal thoughts (and almost actions) when it all came tumbling down - at 29.

 

I too never thought I'd end up here. The Rock of Ages was supposed to be the one thing in my life that wouldn't change. I'm still learning what I really want from my life, and also making decisions without asking what someone else sees as fit for me. Seems that it's going to be worth it, though, especially the living here and now instead of waiting for blessings and prophecies and..death and eternity, yeah. I was a Pente once and they talk about death so much with a grin on their faces. I didn't see anything wrong with it then! 

 

I too have found plenty of help in modern medicine and psychiatry. Apparently my tendency to dissociate (I'm diagnosed with DDNOS, a dissociative disorder) pretty much created my religious experiences. Learning bit by bit how my mind works helps so much, and there is no longer the previous guilt of thinking of "flesh". 

 

I'm sure you'll find this forum very beneficial, and I hope to see you writing more!

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21 minutes ago, yunea said:

Welcome to the forum! I relate to a lot in your story, most of all thinking when younger that my childhood was "protected" and this was seen in many miracles (in fact, my home was abusive), and also the suicidal thoughts (and almost actions) when it all came tumbling down - at 29.

 

I too never thought I'd end up here. The Rock of Ages was supposed to be the one thing in my life that wouldn't change. I'm still learning what I really want from my life, and also making decisions without asking what someone else sees as fit for me. Seems that it's going to be worth it, though, especially the living here and now instead of waiting for blessings and prophecies and..death and eternity, yeah. I was a Pente once and they talk about death so much with a grin on their faces. I didn't see anything wrong with it then! 

 

I too have found plenty of help in modern medicine and psychiatry. Apparently my tendency to dissociate (I'm diagnosed with DDNOS, a dissociative disorder) pretty much created my religious experiences. Learning bit by bit how my mind works helps so much, and there is no longer the previous guilt of thinking of "flesh". 

 

I'm sure you'll find this forum very beneficial, and I hope to see you writing more!

Hi Yunea. Yes, i know what you mean. I suffered sexual abuse in my own home, but lusting and all the normal behaviors that come with being young and eager (lol) were completely demonized. I still suffer from guilt from normal relations with my own wife. How sick is that?

 

I'm sorry to hear about DDNOS, but I'm glad that you've found help in psychiatry. I can't believe that there are parts of Christianity that either ignore mental disorders altogether or say that it's demonic. It's funny, because Lithium has done more for me than any prayer I've ever prayed in my life. I did a few partial outpatient groups as well and found that helped a lot as well. The main focus was CBT, but DBT was taught also.  Have you done anything like that before?

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Indeed I have. I'll get back to you with a longer reply when I can, as I was browsing ExC on the train and I'm reaching my destination right now. But I'm happy to discuss meds, therapies and self help! 

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I can certainly relate to your story, in particular the parts about being so indoctrinated that doubting or questioning was somehow sinning (as you were told), and not being able to view the bible in any kind of critical, rational way. It's extremely difficult when you are indoctrinated to that extent. Welcome to the club, you have plenty of company here :)

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On 10/27/2017 at 6:28 PM, theyownyou33 said:

Hi Yunea. Yes, i know what you mean. I suffered sexual abuse in my own home, but lusting and all the normal behaviors that come with being young and eager (lol) were completely demonized. I still suffer from guilt from normal relations with my own wife. How sick is that?

 

I'm sorry to hear about DDNOS, but I'm glad that you've found help in psychiatry. I can't believe that there are parts of Christianity that either ignore mental disorders altogether or say that it's demonic. It's funny, because Lithium has done more for me than any prayer I've ever prayed in my life. I did a few partial outpatient groups as well and found that helped a lot as well. The main focus was CBT, but DBT was taught also.  Have you done anything like that before?

 

All right, sorry about the delay, I had a busier weekend than expected!

 

Yeah I know right, abnormal becomes the norm, yet healthy stuff becomes dirty sin. 

 

I bolded a part of your comment because it rings so true. How much I tried to treat myself with religion, to how much hurt! There was some temporarily relief and bliss, of course, but nothing ever actually healed for good.  Also in some churches, things that are pure delusion and tricks of the mind are praised as God's work. I wonder how many untreated psychosis patients I knew! 

I did CBT before, it was relieving but it didn't go "deep" enough for me so to say. I'm in trauma therapy now, with a therapist who is very experienced in treating PTSD and dissociative disorders. She is 100% secular and doesn't really have experience of cults or intense religious beliefs, but I showed her videos of how it was like for me and we were able to work with that. I also have positive experiences with medication, in my case they've helped me through the worst of times. Right now I only take something for my sleep, and I also have an emergency stack for anxiety but only take it about once a month. If it some day turns out that I function better with some regular medication though, then so be it, I'm long since over fearing the "demon pills". 

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23 minutes ago, yunea said:

 

All right, sorry about the delay, I had a busier weekend than expected!

 

Yeah I know right, abnormal becomes the norm, yet healthy stuff becomes dirty sin. 

 

I bolded a part of your comment because it rings so true. How much I tried to treat myself with religion, to how much hurt! There was some temporarily relief and bliss, of course, but nothing ever actually healed for good.  Also in some churches, things that are pure delusion and tricks of the mind are praised as God's work. I wonder how many untreated psychosis patients I knew! 

I did CBT before, it was relieving but it didn't go "deep" enough for me so to say. I'm in trauma therapy now, with a therapist who is very experienced in treating PTSD and dissociative disorders. She is 100% secular and doesn't really have experience of cults or intense religious beliefs, but I showed her videos of how it was like for me and we were able to work with that. I also have positive experiences with medication, in my case they've helped me through the worst of times. Right now I only take something for my sleep, and I also have an emergency stack for anxiety but only take it about once a month. If it some day turns out that I function better with some regular medication though, then so be it, I'm long since over fearing the "demon pills". 

Don't worry about the delay! I just came back from my 3rd wedding this year, so I can relate lol.

 

I'm glad that you found somebody who is very experienced. A lot of the inpatient and partial programs here in the States are pretty good, but the regular run of the mill therapist feels like fast food to me. All of them seem really wet behind the ears and inexperienced. I'm still looking for someone who can help me with talk therapy.

 

Before I totally deconverted I followed an online ministry and the leader of that put out a video on how mental illness was either from Satan or it was just a person using an excuse to sin. He told people that they should take the pills because of the "illuminati". It made me so mad, because you can really get someone killed with that level of irresponsible hog wash. Anyway, I confronted him on it and felt like I left him thoroughly debunked, but his views carry on today.

 

Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. I appreciate it.

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Hi theyownyou33

 

Welcome to Ex-C!

 

Glad you have managed to find your way out of the shite that is religion. Many on the things you hit on like mental illness being of the devil we taught in my church also. Heck just about anything bad was of the devil in my church... the Pastor said my doubts about Christianity were of the devil. No they weren't, they were because I couldn't find any evidence to back the bible up! That aside, I have also suffered from anxiety, still do sort of, but nothing approaching the struggles you and others here have gone through and go through.

 

I can relate to growing up in a fundie church where natural processes were not talked about but you were made to feel like a sinner for even taking an interest in the opposite sex. It certainly stuffs your perspective up and takes time and effort to correct it.

 

Wishing you all the best and hope to see you hanging around.

 

LF

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Hi! Welcome to the forum!! I, like MOHO, am a part of the Unequally Yoked club. Might I suggest (if it has not already been said) that you let her come to her own conclusions on her own time. There is a desire to force your spouse to see what you've discovered, because it's such a relief! (It's funny, I always hated "evangelizing" as a Christian, but now I want to tell everyone and their mom the good news.....that they aren't going to hell because it doesn't exist!) If you start to force her before she is ready, she will run screaming toward Jesus and his groupies, which will make things worse. Show her that you are still the same moral person and now you don't consider her property, woohoo! :D

 

Look forward to your posts, we love to see new faces!

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1 hour ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Hi! Welcome to the forum!! I, like MOHO, am a part of the Unequally Yoked club. Might I suggest (if it has not already been said) that you let her come to her own conclusions on her own time. There is a desire to force your spouse to see what you've discovered, because it's such a relief! (It's funny, I always hated "evangelizing" as a Christian, but now I want to tell everyone and their mom the good news.....that they aren't going to hell because it doesn't exist!) If you start to force her before she is ready, she will run screaming toward Jesus and his groupies, which will make things worse. Show her that you are still the same moral person and now you don't consider her property, woohoo! :D

 

Look forward to your posts, we love to see new faces!

'She will run screaming toward Jesus and his groupies'

 

LOL!

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