Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
shelleymak6376

Newbie to the exChristian world

Recommended Posts

Welcome. It's kind of like a big weight being lifted off of you isn't it?  When you realize sin only exist in religion. There is no such thing as sin in the real world. A person's action are either legal,or they aren't, but they certainly aren't sinful.

 

The Bible is a collection of fictional stories with fictional characters. There is no historical Jesus or Paul either. It seems the only place they ever existed was in the Gospels & Epistles.  Dr. Bart Ehrman & Dr. Robert M. Price are two good historical scholars to read when it comes to real Bible & Christian history. 

 

I'm glad you found your way out of religion & that you found this site too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! I'm glad you finally realized what had been done to you. I live in Scientology country, and frankly I don't find their beliefs any stranger than Christian beliefs. Crazy wears different hats, but they're all crazy!

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Geezer - YES!!!  A huge weight  - gone!  It feels weird but so right all at the same time.  haha.  Thank you for the names of the scholars, I will check them out! 

 

Hi Florduh - Thank you!  And you're right, they're all crazy.  I just never saw it because I was wearing that baptist blindfold!!!  I was in Clearwater for business a few weeks ago & saw their huge church.  Wow.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome.  Glad to hear that you found happiness in your second marriage.  When I first deconverted from Christianity I felt betrayed and angry for about five months.  But it gets better.  Now you are free to pick your own goals and live your life for your own reasons.  Enjoy it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mymistake - Thank you so much for the support & encouragement!!!! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums, shellymak!

 

I am glad to hear that you were able to get away from that life. As for the one you are now living, things will be bumpy for you as you deprogram from all the stuff that you used to believe.

 

There will be anger, maybe depression, and loneliness (maybe) as you separate from the Christians in your life. You will find yourself on the outside looking in at times because everyone else still believes in the stuff you don't anymore and that gets frustrating. But I think there will be peace and joy about life that you never had before. Living now means something. and making the best of your life becomes more important than it ever has before.

 

Developing a new worldview is difficult at times and I struggled with who or what to trust. Christianity made all those tough decisions for me, so I often never had to formulate any ideas of my own. Once I left Christianity, I had to figure out what I wanted to think about the world and the ideas I felt were worth having. There is a lot out there to process and consider, it can certainly be overwhelming.

 

But hang in there. Take your time. Live your life.

 

Good Luck!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, it is nice to have you aboard. Welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-C, @shelleymak6376.

 

Glad you found you way of of the mind F*ck that is all religion but, in particular, the Abrahamic varietals.

 

It is interesting to me, in in particular, that exposure to other cults lead to an epiphany for you. Mrs. MOHO headed down that path last month (studying cult behavior) but abruptly halted her efforts after a couple weeks of intense almost daily study/investigation. I' m thinking that she realized, like you, that it was hitting too close to home regarding her devout xtian fundyness.  I find it intriguing why you had one reaction to knowledge and my wife had quite another. I'm holding out hope that she just needs to process for a while and will return to her quest at some later point.

 

In any event welcome and I hope to read more from you...

    - Mind Of His Own

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Shelley

 

I had a similar experience. I had periods, I guess, of doubts that under the Christian mindset you prayed to Jesus for faith to overcome. But one day I decided to breach a taboo and watch stuff that clearly was in opposition to my Christian world view. What I found shocked me so I kept research, then watching debates on the existence of God.

 

Then I remember one day in May 2016 I realised with that same sickening feeling you described that I no longer believed, and that all of the religious stuff I had believed was a lie.

 

So yes others have had similar experiences.

 

As to advice: Well don't rush things. You are not necessarily going to be all fine and dandy tomorrow. Cleaning out the mental filters of decades of indoctrination will take time. Ask questions, talk to people - that's what this forum is here for.

 

If you expect a lot of knockback and arguments from Christians around you (Friends, family etc) then learn about the arguments for God and why they fail.

 

All the best

 

LF

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the site!!

 

I think most of us had that moment of realization that you described. The only thing I can tell you is it takes time. And the more you learn about the truth the better you will feel. This site will help a lot. Sounds like it already has :-) It's nice to know that you aren't alone isn't it?

 

DB

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Storm  yes!  that's exactly what i'm trying to do.  Deprogramming from everything I was taught.  I have a feeling its going to take awhile considering my 39yrs in Christianity.  LOL.

 

@Tsathoggua9  Thank you!

 

@MOHO  Well, it took me awhile before I actually noticed the similarities in the cults or cult-behavior.  I watched the show for the longest time and thought THEY were the crazy ones, not me.  lol.  It wasn't until I started researching for myself that I came to the realization that Christianity was just as crazy.  But it was over time.  Because like you said, it starts to hit close to home & your whole world is turned upside down.  Its rather hard to accept at first. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LogicalFallacy  Thank you for the advice!  And yep, I do expect a lot of pushback.  Especially from my family,  who are more religious than I ever was.  I expect them to do some sort of exorcism on me when I tell them I no longer believe in God.  Should be fun!  hahaha

 

@DarkBishop  omgosh, YES!!!  it is so nice to be able to come here & read all of the stories & comments of people going through (or have already gone through) the same thing.  Thank you for your kindness & support!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, shelleymak6376 said:

Hey guys... I'm new to the site & newly ex-Christian.  Born & raised in a southern Baptist family, I am now 41yrs old.  I married a Christian minister in '96 and we had 2 kids.  We continued in the Baptist religion & raised our kids in its teachings.     Fast forward about 20yrs - I started stepping away from Christianity. Bored & worn out with all the "churchy" stuff.  It felt so fake to me.  I quit going & I started re-examining my entire life.  I divorced the minister, married an atheist!  lol.  (side note: I never knew he was an atheist - we never talked about religion).  He's been so good though.  He hasn't pressured me in any direction.  So last year we started watching that Scientology series by Leah Rimini.  Its funny because I actually think everything started making sense when I started watching those shows - I was like "that is such a cult!  I can't believe people would believe such nonsense & follow it without question."   It was then that I started researching more into my own faith.  Much to my surprise, I saw some of the same type things in my own religion!!  Believing nonsense blindly, but calling it "faith"...and so much more.  I remember thinking "I can't believe Scientologists believe in the Xenu story".... but yet I believed the story about Eve and a talking snake.  It was like a light bulb came on in my brainwashed mind.   And immediately I felt sick & like I was going to pass out.  Everything I had ever been taught & raised was "right" was suddenly a bunch of lies.  Anyone else feel this way?  I'm still in the early stage of de-conversion... any advice to share?  I have read so many posts on this site & it has helped me SOOOOOO much!  I feel such a connection with many of you!!  

 

Welcome to Ex-c, Shelley.  Funny how the Jesusy feeling starts to evaporate once you give up church. :)  My advice is enjoy life, maybe read some blogs or threads on this website, but don't obsess about religion or non-religion. And even though something BIG in your mind has changed, the world is pretty much the same whether you are a full blown believer or non-believer. You are still the same person. You just have a different outlook now. As a Christian you probably enjoyed many good things in your life. As a non-Christian you will enjoy many good things in life. You just won't have to deal with a nagging imaginary friend anymore. LoL.

 

Participate in the threads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Ex-C.

All religions, including Christianity started out as a cult at one point.  2000 years ago, some Jewish guy who claimed to be the son of god would have sounded equally as absurd as Xenu.  In the distant future, one of the cults of today will be a mainstream religion with millions of followers.  I really hope not but it seems to be the general trend through human history.  Keeping this in mind should facilitate the deconversion process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
12 hours ago, shelleymak6376 said:

Hey guys... I'm new to the site & newly ex-Christian.  Born & raised in a southern Baptist family, I am now 41yrs old.  I married a Christian minister in '96 and we had 2 kids.  We continued in the Baptist religion & raised our kids in its teachings.     Fast forward about 20yrs - I started stepping away from Christianity. Bored & worn out with all the "churchy" stuff.  It felt so fake to me.  I quit going & I started re-examining my entire life.  I divorced the minister, married an atheist!  lol.  (side note: I never knew he was an atheist - we never talked about religion).  He's been so good though.  He hasn't pressured me in any direction.  So last year we started watching that Scientology series by Leah Rimini.  Its funny because I actually think everything started making sense when I started watching those shows - I was like "that is such a cult!  I can't believe people would believe such nonsense & follow it without question."   It was then that I started researching more into my own faith.  Much to my surprise, I saw some of the same type things in my own religion!!  Believing nonsense blindly, but calling it "faith"...and so much more.  I remember thinking "I can't believe Scientologists believe in the Xenu story".... but yet I believed the story about Eve and a talking snake.  It was like a light bulb came on in my brainwashed mind.   And immediately I felt sick & like I was going to pass out.  Everything I had ever been taught & raised was "right" was suddenly a bunch of lies.  Anyone else feel this way?  I'm still in the early stage of de-conversion... any advice to share?  I have read so many posts on this site & it has helped me SOOOOOO much!  I feel such a connection with many of you!!  

Welcome to Ex-C! I was where you are at just over a year ago. It has been quite a road from there, but a very worthwhile one. I know what you mean by sick feeling, for me it happened after reading about other fundamentalist religions, and how similar they were to my own. I remember the moment very clearly when I realized I had been believing an illusion, it felt like time stopped and froze for a bit, that's what the shock was like. The shock itself takes some time to get used to, as you reconfigure your thinking. And don't be surprised if your emotions are all over the map, mine were - anger at being betrayed, anger for lost opportunites, a lot of grief, bitterness. But also a lot of pure joy and freedom because what I believed had been incredibly stress inducing for me. Dealing with all the emotions that came with it was helped greatly by reading the book by psychologist Marlene Winell (Leaving the Fold), I've given this advice to several people here so I'll give it to you too. Too often we're told that negative emotions aren't ok. In deconversion, there's no point repressing them, better to process them and get on with the healing process. That book made me revisit my religion in an entirely different light, and develop some empathy and healthy coping mechanisms for myself.

 

We also have a great chat room on discord for the ex-c crowd, feel free to join in if interested, I found and continue to find that place very helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@midniterider  Hi and thank you so much for the advice!!  :)  "nagging Imaginary friend"  hahaha 

 

@RealityCheck  You're so right!  Thanks for the encouragement!

 

@TruthSeeker0  Thanks for sharing - yep, it felt like time completely stopped!  I actually think I'm still experiencing some shock.  And I'll definitely check out that book you mentioned - thank you for your kindness & support!!!!!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ann
On 3/1/2018 at 3:01 PM, shelleymak6376 said:

So last year we started watching that Scientology series by Leah Rimini.  Its funny because I actually think everything started making sense when I started watching those shows - I was like "that is such a cult!  I can't believe people would believe such nonsense & follow it without question."   It was then that I started researching more into my own faith.  Much to my surprise, I saw some of the same type things in my own religion!!  Believing nonsense blindly, but calling it "faith"...and so much more.  I remember thinking "I can't believe Scientologists believe in the Xenu story".... but yet I believed the story about Eve and a talking snake.

I know what you mean. I had already de-converted before Going Clear and Leah's show.....and watching them only reaffirmed my "disbelief." I found this site because of those shows when I started to wonder if xchristians have a support site or group like the Scientologists seem to have and need. I have found ExC is a great resource, helpful, and supportive :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! When I deconverted I had a lot of anger and depression that I kind of bare-knuckled my way through, mostly alone. I didn't come here until much later. Looking back I think it would have been a lot easier if I sought support from others like me back then. I think you're making a smart choice!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that Leah Remini series. So relatable as an Ex-C.

 

Welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Everything I had ever been taught & raised was "right" was suddenly a bunch of lies.  Anyone else feel this way?"

 

The folks above have given you great advice.  I would just be repeating.  I now have been free for nearly 8 years.  The first couple years are the hardest....and the fact that your legacy church relationships will have zero empathy for what you are feeling/experience compounds it all.  But, it is definately worth.

 

Finally, don't be surprised by your anger when a legacy church relationship tells you someday that you really never believed in the first place...that you "never truly believed".  This is what they are told by leadership to allow them to dismiss you and your change of beliefs.  They have no clue how painful these words are.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your decision!  Hang on!  The ride may be bumpy, and lonely, at times, but reality is better than fantasy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Ann  Thank you!  and yes, this site is so supportive & extremely helpful in realizing that you're not alone.  

 

@RealityCheck  thank you :)

 

@DestinyTurtle  yes, it is so nice to have this website & to be able to read others posts and feel a connection!  I've had so many moments where I want to scream at the computer "ME TOO!!!"  haha.  

 

@disillusioned  I love it too - and thank you!  I just saw on Leah's Instagram this morning that they started "The Aftermath Foundation", a non-profit to help victims of cults.   We should all join!!!  (seriously, tho)

 

@ConsiderTheSource "legacy church relationships will have zero empathy" is exactly right.  They had zero empathy for me a couple of years ago because (shocker) I am a SINNER - I divorced my husband!!  Wha????  How could she do that??  Divorce is a sin!  Literally, all of my church friends walked away from me.  They never asked why I divorced him or tried to reach out to me, NOTHING.  If they really thought I was a sinner and needed to repent & change my ways, why did they walk away?  Why didn't they try to find out what was wrong?   I think that was my first clue that something wasn't right here!

 

@Weezer  thank you so much!  Reality is wayyy better than fantasy!  :)

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/1/2018 at 7:01 AM, shelleymak6376 said:

Hey guys... I'm new to the site & newly ex-Christian.  Born & raised in a southern Baptist family, I am now 41yrs old.  I married a Christian minister in '96 and we had 2 kids.  We continued in the Baptist religion & raised our kids in its teachings.     Fast forward about 20yrs - I started stepping away from Christianity. Bored & worn out with all the "churchy" stuff.  It felt so fake to me.  I quit going & I started re-examining my entire life.  I divorced the minister, married an atheist!  lol.  (side note: I never knew he was an atheist - we never talked about religion).  He's been so good though.  He hasn't pressured me in any direction.  So last year we started watching that Scientology series by Leah Rimini.  Its funny because I actually think everything started making sense when I started watching those shows - I was like "that is such a cult!  I can't believe people would believe such nonsense & follow it without question."   It was then that I started researching more into my own faith.  Much to my surprise, I saw some of the same type things in my own religion!!  Believing nonsense blindly, but calling it "faith"...and so much more.  I remember thinking "I can't believe Scientologists believe in the Xenu story".... but yet I believed the story about Eve and a talking snake.  It was like a light bulb came on in my brainwashed mind.   And immediately I felt sick & like I was going to pass out.  Everything I had ever been taught & raised was "right" was suddenly a bunch of lies.  Anyone else feel this way?  I'm still in the early stage of de-conversion... any advice to share?  I have read so many posts on this site & it has helped me SOOOOOO much!  I feel such a connection with many of you!!  

 

Welcome!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.