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MamaCaz

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Hello 👋

I'm 36, preacher's/missionary's kid, former southern Baptist.  Almost 2 years ago I began to accept the scientific evidence that the universe is old, rather than 6-10k years old.  Because my faith had been built around the necessity that the bible must be interpreted literally, and considered inerrant, my faith began to fall like a chain of dominoes.  First was accepting evolution, then rejecting the idea of original sin, then rejecting the concept of hell, then believing possible universalism, then deism...which is where I am now.  

 

Its been a difficult two years, but I think when I come out the other side of all this it will be rewarding.  My husband is still a believer, but is extremely understanding of my situation.  I've explained to him that through all this I have realized that nobody on this earth has any more control over what they believe than they do which country they're born in.  We have 4 young children and I'm concerned that they will be confused about receiving different answers to questions as they grow, but hopefully we will figure it out together.  We haven't been to church in 2 years, so at least that's not an issue.

 

Anyway, thanks for reading, I'm glad I found this forum.

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Yeah, bible innerrancy was taught to me as a kid. “If the bible isnt true, then we have nothing to stand on!”... oopsie🤷🏻‍♂️

 

Good luck with your husband. Get him a Bart Ehrman book on the bible. If he is also into the infallibility of the bible. It will shake him up. 

 

Oh and welcome!

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Thanks!  He doesn't think it's inerrant, and he has listed to some of "Misquoting Jesus", which is one I listened to several months ago.  He's open to the idea that nobody REALLY knows for sure, but he believes and loves Jesus.  

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5 minutes ago, MamaCaz said:

Thanks!  He doesn't think it's inerrant, and he has listed to some of "Misquoting Jesus", which is one I listened to several months ago.  He's open to the idea that nobody REALLY knows for sure, but he believes and loves Jesus.  

 

Welcome aboard!!!

 

Your husband sounds like an agnostic (not knowing) theist (believer). That seems like a popular mid way point that's been going around in recent years. And you have to give him credit for at least taking the intellectually honest approach of admitting that ultimately this is all unknown.

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Welcome to the website. Would you like to share what made you start to accept the scientific evidence? Was it just the first time you had read about it and it made sense? Or maybe something else?

 

Regarding raising your children, Christians dont have all the answers, especially when the child turns 13 (eww). Nobody has all the answers. Don't sweat it too much. If they have parents that love them no matter what, then they will be ok. Children do grow up to be responsible Christian  adults as well as responsible heathen adults. Two Christian parents may be on the same page about faith, but have differing or conflicting views about lots of other topics. Two atheist parents may have conflicting views about certain things. Differing views does not screw up a child but massive fighting about those differing views could have an impact.

 

Being a good parent you will do what you can to make sure they are good people. But you won't have ultimate control when they leave home, anyway. I had two atheist/agnostic parents that raised me in an atheist/agnostic fashion, but at age 30 I gave my life to Jesus! (But then I took my life back. haha)

 

Just don't let your un-belief turn into unshakeable dogma. Remember that once you believed one way and now you believe another way. Beliefs and attitudes change...yet reality seems to not be affected. :)It's ok to believe or not believe or be somewhere in between. It's just not ok to badger your kids to believe your way. Teach your children that.

 

Finally, and most important, never take advice from strangers on web forums. (haha).

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Welcome to Ex-C, @MamaCaz!

 

Looking forward to an expanded extimony if you care to expound. 

 

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own) (Also unequally yoked)

 

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Welcome, Mama!

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Thanks guys!

 

What made me accept the science wasn't just one thing, it goes back yearssss.  As a child I was hugely fascinated with evolution, and my parents let me read some library books on it with the condition that I understand that it is fantasy, like greek mythology is fantasy.  So while I wholeheartedly believed that genesis 1 was how god actually made the world, part of me wished evolution to be true because it was just so damn cool!  I used to pretend to be various hominids, acting out how they might have lived.  But it sadly just was a fantasy...  in my late 20s I began to be really interested in cosmology.  I devoured Carl Sagan on Discovery Channel, but scoffed at his "billions of years" statements.  

 

BUT... I had gone to a Baptist bible college at age 26 and earned a Christian studies degree, and believe it or not it was there that I learned that scribes had inserted their own comments here and there into the bible, and that some passages weren't even in the earliest manuscripts.  I was immensely angry that my KJV only parents had duped me into believing the KJV was the true translation, and a kernel of doubt was planted.  One of my professors was an old earther (although he wasn't really open about it lest he lose his job), and although I disagreed with him I realized that actual Christians could believe some different things amd stir be Christian.  So I graduated, had kids, life moved on, and my interest in cosmology sparked up again and I was loving it.  Then that same professor shared an article he had written in Christianity Today (I think it was) that talked about how Christians aught to be careful not to condemn each other for differing views on non-salvific issues, such as age of the universe, and how an ancient universe is perfectly plausible, and that when every physical science discipline all agree across numerous methods, we're being ignorant to deny it.  That was it.  He was right, and suddenly I had permission to accept the things my intellect had been screaming were true all my life.  It was an instant moment, but it was a slow buildup over many years to get to that point.

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Your story is similar to many on this site. At some point doubt sets in. That often leads to a search for proof that the Bible is literally true and historically accurate, That often leads to scholars like Dr. Bart Ehrman. And that often leads to a loss of faith. 

 

I was a fundamentalist for 47 years. My faith vanished about half way through the first book of Ehrman's that I read. I soon realized Christianity is just one of the thousands of religions created by humans. Christians are blissfully unaware they are worshipping a mythical Canannite War God. 

 

It is common knowledge among religious historians there is no historical Jesus. The only place a person identified as Jesus of Nazareth is found is in the Gospel story. That leads to the obvious conclusion that Jesus, real name Joshua, was a fictional character in a fictional story. 

 

True freedom is freedom from religion.  Congrats on your decision to leave religion. 

 

 

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I notice that you're dappling in Deism now. Deism is a rather common next step/alternative to Christianity. I took that path too and was active on Deism web sites for year or so. Deism is a form of spirituality that works for some people and I have nothing negative to say about it per say. I eventually let go of it for two reasons. 

1. If this creator God exists but moved on after creating the universe, then why would I want to worship an absent God? And if this God moved on after creating the universe that seemed pretty clear to me that IT wasn't much interested in mankind. 

2. Someone posted on the Deist web site I was active on, "Isn't Deism really the last door out of religion?" I thought about that for a little bit and decided that poster was right. However, for those that need some form of spirituality in their life Deism is a good choice. There are no laws, rules, or commands to follow. Sin and salvation isn't an issue and there is really no need to worship a God that isn't there. There are no worship centers and no requirement to give anybody a percentage of your income. As religions go those are all positives. Deism is a religion that demands nothing but doesn't promise anything or any benefit for being a Deist. I guess it's as close to a perfect religion as there is. :woohoo:

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I don't view deism as a religion.  For me, it's simply that I believe an intelligence of some kind has made the universe, I call it Mind.  I don't worship or pray, I just contemplate the amazing intelligence that I see when I study the cosmos.

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On 8/20/2018 at 3:51 PM, MamaCaz said:

I don't view deism as a religion.  For me, it's simply that I believe an intelligence of some kind has made the universe, I call it Mind.  I don't worship or pray, I just contemplate the amazing intelligence that I see when I study the cosmos.

 

You may already be talking beyond deism (a mind 'outside' of the universe) as this great mind. We have some pretty heavy conversations on mind, consciousness, awareness in the spirituality section that you may enjoy reading through and participating in at some point. One of which that covers many different directions is here: 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MamaCaz said:

I don't view deism as a religion.  For me, it's simply that I believe an intelligence of some kind has made the universe, I call it Mind.  I don't worship or pray, I just contemplate the amazing intelligence that I see when I study the cosmos.

 

No offense intended. I was being facetious with the intent to be humorous. I'm glad you found this site. I think it will be helpful for you to be among like minded folk. Oh yeah, welcome aboard. :)

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Welcome, @MamaCaz! The programming goes deep, and I'm glad to hear you overcame it!

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Welcome! I'm glad that I was raised in a fundamentalist tradition, because it made it much easier to realize that the Bible was simply myths, followed by legends, followed by embellished history, then transitioning back to myths!

 

Had I been raised in a liberal Christianity, I might never have stumbled upon a reason to doubt.

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@Geezer I love seeing hot takes like this

On 8/20/2018 at 11:43 AM, Geezer said:

Your story is similar to many on this site. At some point doubt sets in. That often leads to a search for proof that the Bible is literally true and historically accurate, That often leads to scholars like Dr. Bart Ehrman. And that often leads to a loss of faith. 

 

I was a fundamentalist for 47 years. My faith vanished about half way through the first book of Ehrman's that I read. I soon realized Christianity is just one of the thousands of religions created by humans. Christians are blissfully unaware they are worshipping a mythical Canannite War God. 

 

It is common knowledge among religious historians there is no historical Jesus. The only place a person identified as Jesus of Nazareth is found is in the Gospel story. That leads to the obvious conclusion that Jesus, real name Joshua, was a fictional character in a fictional story. 

 

True freedom is freedom from religion.  Congrats on your decision to leave religion. 

 

 

. You have to break out the sword and gut the entire thing from head to toe. You really do. When you get to the place where you realize it is more likely to be 100% bullshit than it is true, well my friends, you have entered reality at that point. True reality. Then comes the mind fuck that you were literally living in a dream world. So for me now, I don’t care what is is, deism, atheism, theism, science, history, philosophy; anything written by man has to be questioned. Within reason. We know 2+2=4. We don’t know or understand fully how the moon was formed. There’s a lot of shit we don’t know. We have theories. And these theories have to be tested and verified by the best of your ability along with the collective whole. At the end of the day though, you have to decide what you will believe. You have proved that you can’t rely on data written by man alone. You’ve got to use the entire human capacity for analyzing evidence to make an informed decision. Life experience. This is how you don’t get stuck into shit like flat earth.  You’re mind is different at 30 than it is at 20. The most honest teacher is your own life. If you want to learn about something, live it. The ability to draw logical conclusions based on knowledge and experience is what gets you out of religion. To ascribe to another dogma that claims to know about life-origin or existence after death would be foolish. I don’t care what it is. If that illusion you speak of (Christianity) fooled me that badly, that concludes me to believe that I am succeptabel to being deceived again in the future. Therefore I question everything!  

 

I don’t know why I ranted on this. Guess it wanted to come out lol

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I have to say, I've come a long way in two months since writing this post.  I am so at peace and loving it.  For the first time in my life I feel no guilt, even over the little things.  If I screw up, oops, move on and do better next time. There is no more Cloud Man leering over me with a magnifying glass pointing out all the things I've done wrong... actually, many of the things I thought were wrong aren't a problem at all.  What a controlling mind fuck religion is!  I'm appreciative of folks like Erhman, these forums, and similar Facebook groups where I can read about others' experiences and share my own, it really helps to know that so many people have had these same thoughts and feelings.

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6 hours ago, MamaCaz said:

I have to say, I've come a long way in two months since writing this post.  I am so at peace and loving it.  For the first time in my life I feel no guilt, even over the little things.  If I screw up, oops, move on and do better next time. There is no more Cloud Man leering over me with a magnifying glass pointing out all the things I've done wrong... actually, many of the things I thought were wrong aren't a problem at all.  What a controlling mind fuck religion is!  I'm appreciative of folks like Erhman, these forums, and similar Facebook groups where I can read about others' experiences and share my own, it really helps to know that so many people have had these same thoughts and feelings.

 

MamaCaz, the changes you’ve experienced are familiar to me and to many others here.  Christianity - and the fundamentalist version in particular - needs to keep people inside the bubble.  Once people leave the bubble and are exposed to alternative views, the whole belief system becomes unstable.  Coming to this community and being surrounded for the first time in our lives by people who don’t buy the story - that works wonders.  I’m so glad you came here and that you too are seeing the benefits of letting go of the belief system!

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On 10/15/2018 at 12:05 AM, MamaCaz said:

I have to say, I've come a long way in two months since writing this post.  I am so at peace and loving it.  For the first time in my life I feel no guilt, even over the little things.  If I screw up, oops, move on and do better next time. There is no more Cloud Man leering over me with a magnifying glass pointing out all the things I've done wrong... actually, many of the things I thought were wrong aren't a problem at all.  What a controlling mind fuck religion is!  I'm appreciative of folks like Erhman, these forums, and similar Facebook groups where I can read about others' experiences and share my own, it really helps to know that so many people have had these same thoughts and feelings.

 

Not sure if I said welcome earlier or not, but this makes me smile! I'm thrilled that you're so at peace, that's exactly how I feel too. It's amazing how I used to thank Jesus for breaking me free of my chains and now.....after forsaking christianity, I actually, truly feel the way I used to say I felt. It only gets better, seriously, I'm like a couple years out maybe and it's just amazing. I've also found that I am MUCH MORE awe-inspired by Earth and our universe after dropping the "everything was made special for me" narcissistic bullshit. When you feel how  ultimately insignificant you are to the planet/universe, you are that much more impressed you're even there at all. 

 

:)

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23 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

Not sure if I said welcome earlier or not, but this makes me smile! I'm thrilled that you're so at peace, that's exactly how I feel too. It's amazing how I used to thank Jesus for breaking me free of my chains and now.....after forsaking christianity, I actually, truly feel the way I used to say I felt. It only gets better, seriously, I'm like a couple years out maybe and it's just amazing. I've also found that I am MUCH MORE awe-inspired by Earth and our universe after dropping the "everything was made special for me" narcissistic bullshit. When you feel how  ultimately insignificant you are to the planet/universe, you are that much more impressed you're even there at all. 

 

:)

Thanks ag_NO_stic!  It's so true, I am even more in awe of nature now that I can actually see it for what it is.  I was always a nature lover, but I was a YEC and thought God snapped everything into existence in 6 days.  Now, understanding the natural processes that have developed the universe, I am just so enamoured by it all.  It's so amazing.  Not only that, but not believing in an afterlife (or accepting that it's impossible to know) has deepened my relationships and my appreciation for humanity.  This life is what we get, and I want to make the most of it, loving the people who are right in front of me rather than looking forward to a "better" life.  What a wasted existence living with your eyes on the sky waiting for Jesus to return!!

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1 hour ago, MamaCaz said:

Thanks ag_NO_stic!  It's so true, I am even more in awe of nature now that I can actually see it for what it is.  I was always a nature lover, but I was a YEC and thought God snapped everything into existence in 6 days.  Now, understanding the natural processes that have developed the universe, I am just so enamoured by it all.  It's so amazing.  Not only that, but not believing in an afterlife (or accepting that it's impossible to know) has deepened my relationships and my appreciation for humanity.  This life is what we get, and I want to make the most of it, loving the people who are right in front of me rather than looking forward to a "better" life.  What a wasted existence living with your eyes on the sky waiting for Jesus to return!!

 

You are so right, it has made life that much more precious. I used to think the sweet kisses of a breeze at the beach were from god.....now I think the universe is blowing me a kiss and it's way more awesome. :D I wish you the best of luck as you continue on in your deconversion journey and, again, so glad you found us. I think you will find a great deal of community and support here, we look forward to being a shoulder for you to lean on when you need it. ❤️

 

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