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justaskingquestions

I Just Realized That I Don't Want to Be a Christian...

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I am struggling right now.

 

I am in a strange limbo with my faith (previously Christian) that's difficult to verbalize. What I know is that last night I had an epiphany concerning A. the toxic nature of religion and B. how those who have forced their faith upon me have been emotionally neglectful and even abusive at times.

 

I have several realizations  swimming around in my mind, and to say that it has been overwhelming is an understatement. What I've found is that  listening to my inner conscience has been liberating beyond my wildest dreams.

 

What I've Realized:

1. Religious (Christian) people who have told me that being gay is wrong, and that my being bi is a sin, told me a bold-faced lie. 

2. People who believe being gay and/or trans is a sinful choice live in willful ignorance.

3. When my parents didn't allow me to express my attraction to girls in healthy ways, but instead by yelling at me, shaming me, and shutting me down, they were being emotionally manipulative in ways that even they do not fully comprehend.

4. By not allowing me to have access to proper, correct LGBT information about healthy relationships and sex, my parents denied my right to basic health information.

5. People who don't allow their morality to be ruled by logic and compassion, but instead a book that is thousands of years old, are allowing themselves to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stagnant and even backwards.

6. The fact that I have OCD is not part of a bigger plan - it is a random result of genetics.

7. The fact that I have Binge Eating Disorder is not part of a bigger plan - it is the result of being an emotionally unwell child who didn't receive the proper mental health care I deserved.

8. The fact that I have been able to overcome mental health struggles is not because of a divine being, but because I garnered my own emotional strength and took initiative to seek out mental health care.

9. Every skill and talent I have is either random or something I worked for through practice.

10. On the same note, I get good grades because I study hard. I get the jobs I want because I made an excellent resume and impressed the boss.  Not because of anything divine. 

11. Religious leaders benefit off of their people being ignorant. Their livelihood comes from donations (tithes) from people who truly believe their lies. 

12. The fact that I'm a woman who wants to do "untraditional" things is not because I'm denying God's "plan" for me - it's because I'm female, and my own person, and I am not controlled by my gender.

13. The fact that I'm female does not make me inferior or mean that I must "submit" to anyone.

14. My purpose is not divine - nothing put me here for any specific task. My purpose lies within me, and what I define to be a good, healthy, prosperous, successful life.

15. I should not have to dumb myself down to be seen by a higher power as worthy of love and acceptance.

 

All of these realizations have of course been overwhelming and emotionally stressful, as I have spent my whole life as a Christian - at one point seriously dedicated. But I realized that I was running around in circles which launched me into skepticism.

 

I hope that if reading this has compelled you to share any thoughts with me, you do so. I want to learn as much as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

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Welcome to Ex-C!

You have certainly learned a lot of profound truths. The journey out of Christianity is a difficult one at times. But it is so worth it. There is a lot of wisdom here in these forums. Spend time reading the posts and learning from the other members. Many of their stories are relatable and you can learn a lot from them. Post here, ask questions, get involved in discussions and stretch and grow as a person. I look forward to seeing what else you have to share.

Good luck!

Storm

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Hi @justaskingquestions.

 

That is how it begins.

Asking from a point of really wanting to learn and understand will likely lead to another epiphany . And another. And another. 

Wherever you end up just make sure you have done diligence in your quest for knowledge. 

 

You are correct that religion - especially the xtian varietals - are manipulative, controlling, and abusive. Individuals administering same frequently are victims themselves and are only partially responsible. HOWEVER, there are those who are NOT innocent and know damn well what they are doing so be CAREFULL!

 

You have support here. Hang around... 

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Welcome. Those are some important realizations. Most of us are amazed we didn't see them even sooner.

 

You say you want us to share any thoughts with you. Are you sure? Because here are some thoughts. I hope I'm not rushing you, but you did ask.

 

Another crucial realization involves the Jesus character and the Bible he exists in. It's mythology. The essence of Christianity is the belief in Jesus. If one retains a belief in Jesus but takes issue with his teachings, then that just makes for an unhappy and cognitively dissonant Christian who doesn't go to a church or read what's actually in the Bible that underpins the whole mess. 

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Welcome @justaskingquestions 😃

 

I enjoyed reading your list.

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Welcome @justaskingquestions! You've made a lot of very important realizations. This is very important. Welcome, as they say, to the dark side.

It's not so bad over here. It is difficult at first, but it gets easier in time.

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4 hours ago, justaskingquestions said:

I hope that if reading this has compelled you to share any thoughts with me, you do so. I want to learn as much as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

Welcome, JAQ. 

 

This sounds pretty serious from an emotional stand point. And you're coming into this, as Florduh noted, from a position of what sounds like first steps towards understanding more about the issues of Jesus and the Bible. That's a pretty long rabbit hole to dive into. Takes time and energy to tackle. So if you want to explore why he said the things he said about the bible as mythology then it will take some time. And I'd suggest that you spend some time going over the issue in Spirituality section for a while, before looking at it in a more aggressive area like General Theology. To get a better feel for christianity compared against some of the other world religions: 

 

 

Yeah, I literally just started this for you to explore. But I hope that we can use it for others as well who are coming into the site with the idea that Jesus is as described in the bible, which, many of us take issue with. And I'd like to wade, even if slowly, into explaining why many members here think that way. I hope you'll join me in discussion. 

 

Thanks for posting. I wish you the best. 

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4 hours ago, justaskingquestions said:

I am struggling right now.

 

I am in a strange limbo with my faith (previously Christian) that's difficult to verbalize. What I know is that last night I had an epiphany concerning A. the toxic nature of religion and B. how those who have forced their faith upon me have been emotionally neglectful and even abusive at times.

 

I have several realizations  swimming around in my mind, and to say that it has been overwhelming is an understatement. What I've found is that  listening to my inner conscience has been liberating beyond my wildest dreams.

 

What I've Realized:

1. Religious (Christian) people who have told me that being gay is wrong, and that my being bi is a sin, told me a bold-faced lie. 

2. People who believe being gay and/or trans is a sinful choice live in willful ignorance.

3. When my parents didn't allow me to express my attraction to girls in healthy ways, but instead by yelling at me, shaming me, and shutting me down, they were being emotionally manipulative in ways that even they do not fully comprehend.

4. By not allowing me to have access to proper, correct LGBT information about healthy relationships and sex, my parents denied my right to basic health information.

5. People who don't allow their morality to be ruled by logic and compassion, but instead a book that is thousands of years old, are allowing themselves to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually stagnant and even backwards.

6. The fact that I have OCD is not part of a bigger plan - it is a random result of genetics.

7. The fact that I have Binge Eating Disorder is not part of a bigger plan - it is the result of being an emotionally unwell child who didn't receive the proper mental health care I deserved.

8. The fact that I have been able to overcome mental health struggles is not because of a divine being, but because I garnered my own emotional strength and took initiative to seek out mental health care.

9. Every skill and talent I have is either random or something I worked for through practice.

10. On the same note, I get good grades because I study hard. I get the jobs I want because I made an excellent resume and impressed the boss.  Not because of anything divine. 

11. Religious leaders benefit off of their people being ignorant. Their livelihood comes from donations (tithes) from people who truly believe their lies. 

12. The fact that I'm a woman who wants to do "untraditional" things is not because I'm denying God's "plan" for me - it's because I'm female, and my own person, and I am not controlled by my gender.

13. The fact that I'm female does not make me inferior or mean that I must "submit" to anyone.

14. My purpose is not divine - nothing put me here for any specific task. My purpose lies within me, and what I define to be a good, healthy, prosperous, successful life.

15. I should not have to dumb myself down to be seen by a higher power as worthy of love and acceptance.

 

All of these realizations have of course been overwhelming and emotionally stressful, as I have spent my whole life as a Christian - at one point seriously dedicated. But I realized that I was running around in circles which launched me into skepticism.

 

I hope that if reading this has compelled you to share any thoughts with me, you do so. I want to learn as much as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

 

You raise many personal issues all of which will be best initially addressed in cooperation with a competent secular mental health professional.

 

Good luck.  Work hard on your health.  Be patient.  Healing will take some time.

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Welcome to X-Xian, justaskingquestions!! Glad to hear you get good grades and you get jobs easily. Financial independence really goes a huge way in freeing yourself from your parents' manipulations and control. I think my parents thought I'd use my intelligence and education to show the world how right and wise they are, but to their great demise I cared more about truth than convenience! How strange!

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On 6/18/2018 at 11:43 AM, justaskingquestions said:

What I've found is that  listening to my inner conscience has been liberating beyond my wildest dreams.

 

Yes. It feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders, doesn't it?

 

On 6/18/2018 at 4:37 PM, sdelsolray said:

Religious leaders benefit off of their people being ignorant.

Yup. You got it.

 

Keep us informed as to how it's going.

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Welcome!  You are asking good questions, and have come to what I consider some rational, logical conclusions.  You are on the right path and have excelent ability to continue the journey.  It takes time, but things will get clearer as you go along.  Travel at your own pace.  It took me 30 years of off and on study to get to the point of being comfortable and secure with myself and my own spirituality.  

My church beginnings were similar to yours and I understand your reluctance to leave Jesus behind.  I never left him completely behind.  I still cling to "his" doctrine of loving neighbor as self, but deciced he was not "divine" like we were taught in church.  By the way, the doctrine is not original, or exclusive to him.  It can't be proven he actually existed, but I think he probably did, and considering the context of the situation he lived in, and his "conditioning" as a child, he honestly believed he was a savior.   Whether real or not, it is a valuable myth, and the basic message attributed to him has had a positive influence on the world.

 

If you haven't already, read the testimonials section.  They will help you sort through your questions.  The one I wrote is long, but is a step by step story of my search, and may be of help.  HANG IN THERE!

 

P.S. my testimony  is called,  "Personal story:  Truth. A gradual awakening"

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Welcome to the struggle. When I'm weary, I tell myself that I'd rather be on this journey, than stuck swallowing all the shaming messages of the church's teachings.

 

Your list is a great personal manifesto, and also a great source of reminding yourself of your personal boundaries. You fought hard to come to these conclusions, they are your victory. And there is much more to come.

 

I wish I could say that peace will come, it does -- in spurts (at least for me), but the journey is the journey. And it's worth it.

 

Welcome. I"m pretty new too, and I recently wrote a list too! 🙂 You're in good company!!

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On 6/18/2018 at 1:43 PM, justaskingquestions said:

All of these realizations have of course been overwhelming and emotionally stressful

 

Maybe for now, but I hope those thoughts eventually bring you peace. The Bible is bullshit. People who try to live by it, and who try to force others to live by it, have been deceived -- not by a higher power, but -- by the meme that is called Christianity.

 

I hope that once you've gotten over the initial shock, you'll truly feel a peace that passes anything that the Christian can understand.

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Hi justasking. So nice to have you here. I am compelled after reading what you've written to say congratulations and that I want you to know that I've been on the path you've just begun traveling down for many many years now and I am daily convinced that it is the right one. I read an article yesterday that made the point that the biggest regret that people typically had at the end of their life was that they didn't do more of what they really felt compelled by their inner self to do, that they didn't ever really explore who they were. I looks to me like you are making a timely move away from this trap and I'm sure this change will serve you well. Don't let anything shake your confidence in your clearly excellent ability to reason things out. You're doing great so don't stop now!

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