jenstar

Glad to be here

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I was so happy to find this site and these discussion boards. It truly makes me feel that I am not alone in this journey of leaving Christianity. I have been struggling with many aspects of Christianity for many years, but have only made the step out of the church in the last couple months. I am reading about everything I can get my hands on at this point. I still have yet to share my deconversion with my husband of 25 years, although obviously he knows I am no longer attending church. I am struggling how to approach this as I am fearful that it could damage my marriage. This has been really the only down side to deconversion. 

 

I have felt more relief and freedom since coming to the conclusion that I don't believe in the God of the Christian bible. I no longer feel like I have a hammer over my head ready to come down on me with any misstep I might take. This is really how I felt for most if not all of my time as a Christian.

 

I became "saved" in an Assembly of God church when I was 19 and my boyfriend who is now my husband did as well a few months later. It was a very legalistic church with many rules. We were youth leaders and very involved for many years. There came a point where I started having a lot of questions that I just couldn't find the answers for. I started asking some questions to church leadership and friends and was generally meet with non answers or in some cases out right hostility. I had an associate pastor tell me in our small group study that we just skip that part of the bible when I asked why our denomination didn't believe something that seemed clearly spoken of in the bible. To say this response bothered me would be an understatement. Over the continued years we stayed in the church but I still had a lot of questions. I eventually started studying Catholicism and after 2 years of study our family (husband and 2 sons) converted to the Catholic church. We lost a lot of friends to that process.

 

After several out of state moves and about eight years later we started attending a non-denomination church as my husband and I were having a hard time not feeling like we were going through the motions of going to church. We were just finding so many things were so inconsistent in the Catholic church especially as we started moving around. Once we started going to the Non-denominational church I really tried to get back into the faith but just found I still had so many unanswered questions and couldn't buy into most of what was being preached. It hard to believe God heals when you have struggled with Depression most of your life and asked so many times to be healed but yet no change. Of course it you start to ask why people would put the blame back on me even though I knew I was asking with all my heart. I think this struggle was really the main reason I just could never buy into so much of what the church taught. I knew depression was real and all I got from the church was more guilt to add to it and absolutely no help.

 

Over the years I have meet a lot of good people from all walks of life and I have found I just can't believe in a God that would send them to hell because they weren't born in the right country, right family or whatever situation that caused them to not believe in the Jesus my church taught. Many loved God just as much as anyone I knew and I wondered what makes them wrong and me right? I couldn't reconcile that. I just couldn't get to a point where I believed I had all the right answers and everyone else who thought differently was wrong. 

 

I continue to read and listen to different you tube videos on arguments against Christianity and it is a relief to find out others have had the same questions that I did. I feel freed in the fact I no longer believe there is a hell that I will go to if I make one wrong step.  Now that I have stopped going to church I can't imagine ever believing in those things again. I am now faced with sharing this news with my husband and two grown sons, who are the only ones I really care about what they think of me. I am grateful for this community and hope to find others to share this journey with.

 

Jennifer 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


PLEASE EXCUSE THE ANNOYING COMMERCIAL BREAKS IN THE CONVERSATION:

As with everything these days, the cost of keeping the Ex-C forum up and running has been rising. Inflation? In part, but the primary reason is this: As participation in the forums grows, costs increase. The Ex-C forums will remain free of charge to everyone, but if you believe this little corner of the Internet provides value to you or others, and you feel inclined to help keep us online, please consider making a one-time donation or becoming a regular contributor. Contribution options appear under the "Upgrade" link above, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Oh, and as an incentive (no, you won't be given any bogus promises of eternal bliss), if you do become a regular contributor by signing up for any monthly or yearly patron package, this annoying ADVO will disappear.

And now, back to the regularly scheduled conversation...



Welcome!  I responded to your post in the questions section.

 

Sounds like we have some things in common. One, being born with a logical brain, and two, suffering from depression in the past, which I blame partly on the religious guilt piled on me at church as a child.

 

There is a lot of good information here.  Hours and hours of excelent reading.  My own story of 30 years of gradual de-conversion is in the "Testimonials" section, page 2,  "Personal story, Truth: A gradual awakening." Hopefully the logical approach can help you with your journey.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums, @jenstar.

 

Lot's of folks here either are, or have been, where you are. 

 

As for me I've come out twice after ducking back in and trying, in vain, to make a go of the mind-control garbage - just to appease the fams. I know, first hand, the concerned with coming out to one' spouse who is devout. Once in a while there is tension I think, largely, because she listens to pastar Ass-Hat or her little shadow. But , for the most part, the unequally yoked-ness is a non issue. I think, deep down inside, most reasonable folks don't really go along with decent, kind people being tormented for life due to their honesty. 

 

Hopy you hand around and read/share with us. 

    - MOHO  (Mind Of His Own)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Weezer said:

 

There is a lot of good information here.  Hours and hours of excelent reading.  My own story of 30 years of gradual de-conversion is in the "Testimonials" section, page 2,  "Personal story, Truth: A gradual awakening." Hopefully the logical approach can help you with your journey.

 

Thank Weezer for both of your responses. It does sound like we have several things in common and I appreciate your input. I will definitely look up your testimonial.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jenstar said:

I became "saved" in an Assembly of God church when I was 19 and my boyfriend who is now my husband did as well a few months later. It was a very legalistic church with many rules. We were youth leaders and very involved for many years. There came a point where I started having a lot of questions that I just couldn't find the answers for.

 

For some reason we have a lot of Church of God ex christians on these forums, from both the northern and southern hemispheres. A similar sounding legalistic, literalistic sort of denomination. I came from the SDA church which is another version of the same kind of crazy. Anywho, you're in good company jenstar. Welcome aboard. 

 

3 hours ago, jenstar said:

Once we started going to the Non-denominational church I really tried to get back into the faith but just found I still had so many unanswered questions and couldn't buy into most of what was being preached. It hard to believe God heals when you have struggled with Depression most of your life and asked so many times to be healed but yet no change. Of course it you start to ask why people would put the blame back on me even though I knew I was asking with all my heart. I think this struggle was really the main reason I just could never buy into so much of what the church taught. I knew depression was real and all I got from the church was more guilt to add to it and absolutely no help.

 

It was similar with my parents getting out of SDAism. Non-denominational church is a crutch that often breaks down over the long haul. Let's face it, it's depressing to be part of a grim world view, dark and depressing group of legalistic, and literalistic people. It's no fun. There's isn't very much "light" in any of it for all of the talk and claims of "light" going around in those circles. Been there, done that. Kicked depression after leaving it all behind and haven't suffered from it since. That may not be the case with everyone, but for myself and most of family who left, that was the case and depression eventually subsided on it's own and things started looking a lot more bright and sunny thereafter. 

3 hours ago, jenstar said:

I continue to read and listen to different you tube videos on arguments against Christianity and it is a relief to find out others have had the same questions that I did. I feel freed in the fact I no longer believe there is a hell that I will go to if I make one wrong step.  Now that I have stopped going to church I can't imagine ever believing in those things again. I am now faced with sharing this news with my husband and two grown sons, who are the only ones I really care about what they think of me. I am grateful for this community and hope to find others to share this journey with.

 

Jennifer 

 

Have you done a lot of reading in our General Christian Theology section? There's a wealth of relevant info to be found in there. 

 

https://www.ex-christian.net/forum/12-general-christian-theological-issues/

 

This is not a professional level help center, as other mods will also point out. But we're here to help in what ever ways we can. Our members are here because they care about christians going through this type of struggle and want to help others get through issues just like this. If you need some advice about telling the family, just keep checking in. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Jen! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MOHO said:

But , for the most part, the unequally yoked-ness is a non issue. I think, deep down inside, most reasonable folks don't really go along with decent, kind people being tormented for life due to their honesty. 

 

 

Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel better to hear that unequally yoked part can be a non issue.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

 

Have you done a lot of reading in our General Christian Theology section? There's a wealth of relevant info to be found in there. 

 

https://www.ex-christian.net/forum/12-general-christian-theological-issues/

 

 

I haven't checked out that section yet, but I will be sure to do so. I love to continue to read new information.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to X-Xian, @jenstar! I'm glad you're here and you are absolutely asking the right questions. The amount of hostility you can face for changing/leaving a religion can be a lot to handle, and it takes enormous courage. Cudos!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Jen.  It took me over 25 adult years to break free too.  My mind was quite good at the mental gymnastics it takes to mentally maintain the greatest mindfuck ever created by man.  The joy, freedom, and daily peace I have enjoyed in over the last 8 years or so has been amazing.  I mourn often about wasting the best years of my life, yet am glad I wake up every day with an opportunity to live one more precious day of existance. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Jen. You will find a lot of positive information on this site and likeminded folks that have been where you are now.

 

All of our stories have some similarities, as do our journey's out of religion. It took me 47 years to pull the plug. All versions of Christianity display cult like traits, some more than others. Fundamentalists are the worst and I think some of them are definitely cults. I have found that true freedom....is freedom from religion. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a pleasure to read your story Jenstar. Very clear and nicely written. I was 15 when I decided I couldn’t pretend to believe any longer so when I told my mother whose job it was to tell my father I also think I put up a wall unnecessarily between myself and all the believers in my family. I was fully prepared to be shunned but their approach was to put me in the “questioning” category which I hated along with any praying for me remarks or I can see you’re not happy remarks. There was never an official rift between us but I think I assumed from my understanding of our evangelical christianity that they would necessarily put me in a crazy category so I just didn’t believe a meaningful relationship could work between a more cult like believer and a non believer. Today I think that those of us who leave the faith may have much more interest in the doctrine than those who stay in. I think that the double standard and logic falicies go hand and hand with belief so a loved one may very well find a way to fit you (a non believer) in if that’s what you want. I think that the only point you need to get across is that you are certain you don’t believe but that you hope that this one thing as important as it is doesn’t destroy your relationships with loved ones. I would say as little as possible about why you don’t believe and stick with that you have spent a lot of time considering and that for you it just doesn’t seem true. You appreciate you could be wrong and that there are many very smart people who are Christians. As quickly as possible I would move the conversation to how much your relationship with your loved one means to you and how much you don’t want to lose that. You may want to point out the many interests and concerns you still have in common and that your feeling toward the loved one have not changed in any significant way. This is a topic that comes up often so when and if you decide to tackle this issue please write back and tell us what happened and how you feel it went. Best of luck!

Adding just a bit here. Things that a believer and an ex believer can still have in common include almost everything except church and evangelizing such as having a meal together either in or out, watching any movie that isn't religious, playing games (including videos) or puzzles, playing physical sport activities, going hiking or camping, swimming, fishing, attending a birthday or graduation, sharing stories or concerns, etc. etc. Clearly a workaround to no longer sharing a religious belief can be found if that is the goal of both parties so their is good reason to hope for a happy ending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now