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Kat34

Dealing with uncertainty

Question

Did anyone else find the period of uncertainty once you strongly suspected (but weren’t sure) that Christianity wasn’t true even harder than trying to reconcile the difficulties you had within Christianity? I keep thinking of objections to the way I’m thinking e.g. I’m being overly influenced by a hard rationalism approach to what’s true and maybe this is unreasonable. 

 

What’s really frustrating is that I’ve been pretty confident for the best part of 5 years that it isn’t true before suddenly fearing again that it might be (I say fearing because I focused on hell, a teaching I always struggled with). Last time a friend had done all the thinking for me but perhaps everything was still there deep down somewhere, ready to be re-triggered. 

 

I start wondering maybe God is trying to reach me but have to remind myself that all I’m feeling is fear and surely that’s not how God would be reaching out. Plus I feel no peace or comfort after praying. 

 

How do you get to the stage where you can trust your own thinking?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kat34 said:

I start wondering maybe God is trying to reach me but have to remind myself that all I’m feeling is fear and surely that’s not how God would be reaching out. Plus I feel no peace or comfort after praying. 

 

 How do you get to the stage where you can trust your own thinking?

The answer to the question in the second paragraph above is in the first one. It's fear that sends people to Christianity. And when you look at the evidence and the facts, some of which you've written in graf 1 above, you'll shed that fear and you'll be OK.

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Sorry for your difficulties Kat34. There is so much programming that goes on with fundamental/evangelical Christianity. They tell you what to do in the sermons, in the songs and in the stock explainations for what people do and why they do them. Some are obvious and meant to direct your behaviors while in the cult like how many times you are told to smile and act happy so the world can see the great joy in the Christian message. Other are more subtle and set to take effect if you start to wonder too much or drift too far away. Christians are implanted with the characterization of agnostics as uncertain not just about god but about Christianity. That association makes Christianity appear much more difficult to see through than it actually is because it gives one the impression they’re  either Christian or confused but definately they’ve can’t come to a clear rejection of the message. They then seal the deal by painting atheists as irrational, angry, nasty and evil. It puts the person who really doesn’t see any truth at all into the roll of someone they have been programmed to despise. (How many times do they repeat that the Christian message is THE TRUTH.) And it doesn’t end there. You are taught that god is following you everywhere begging you to repent and waiting with open arms. He’s always right there knocking at your hearts door for days, weeks, years, as long as you live and then of course if you miss the boat by dying before you relent and repent...hell’s tortures await you. It’s much easier to see the flaws in a very flawed story than it is to escape what is likely to have been years of brainwashing by a tribal cult that has loved and cared for you just as long as you supported the cause and the message. I think this is why it typically takes years to get free. Try to take comfort in knowing you’re part of the 2/3rds of humanity who doesn’t buy the Christian story. Hell is apparently what Jesus loves best of all. Do yourself the kindness of looking at evidence for and against believing in Christianity and trust your obviously “god given” mind to make the correct choice. People are not given books when they’re born they’re given brains. It will take time because your emotions almost certainly are not  driven by reason. However they will eventually back completely off if you keep demonstrating to yourself that those fearful feelings (the ones planted by your church) are without reason. Good luck. It’s a nasty trap they put you into.

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Thank you @DanForsman... I haven’t actually attended church regularly in years and didn’t have bad experiences there, my programming is all from my mother... you’re right about how atheists have been portrayed and I’m sure that must be part of it. So much of her voice to try to overcome. 

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10 hours ago, Kat34 said:

Did anyone else find the period of uncertainty once you strongly suspected (but weren’t sure) that Christianity wasn’t true even harder than trying to reconcile the difficulties you had within Christianity? I keep thinking of objections to the way I’m thinking e.g. I’m being overly influenced by a hard rationalism approach to what’s true and maybe this is unreasonable. 

 

What’s really frustrating is that I’ve been pretty confident for the best part of 5 years that it isn’t true before suddenly fearing again that it might be (I say fearing because I focused on hell, a teaching I always struggled with). Last time a friend had done all the thinking for me but perhaps everything was still there deep down somewhere, ready to be re-triggered. 

 

I start wondering maybe God is trying to reach me but have to remind myself that all I’m feeling is fear and surely that’s not how God would be reaching out. Plus I feel no peace or comfort after praying. 

 

How do you get to the stage where you can trust your own thinking?

 

 

With patience. And being kind to yourself, reminding yourself that all those fears are just the remnants of indoctrination. And when they strike, set out to read things that reassure your logical reasoning about Christianity. As Dan said, you were given a mind capable of logic and reasoning, only it was highjacked by religion. It might also help to remind yourself you're the product of a long history, and a highjacked version of Judaism, which is where Christianity gets its roots. When you look at it through a historical lens, it's so obvious that Christianity is only a popular meme due to people like emperor Constantine, who spread it by force. The fact that it's popular does not make it true. We humans are prone to wishful thinking. 

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@Kat34 That is totally normal. Depending on the level of indoctrination it can really take about a decade (which was my case), or more, to get rid of those deep rooted programming. Keep in mind that - especially if you were exposed to it as a child - it goes really deep into the way you process and think about things, in unconscious ways, even after you deconvert. I assure you that you can get passed those fears, though, with perseverance.

 

A good rule of thumb (spiritual or not) is: If you're acting from a place of fear no good will come of it. 

 

Another good thing to remember is that you have tried Xianity before, already, and (I'm guessing, since you're here) it didn't work. There is no point in going back to something that you already know from experience doesn't work. Did Xianity dispel your fears? I'm guessing no. Aside from some occasional fleeting trance-induced catharsis, Xians fear just as everyone else does if not even worse.

 

On 11/24/2018 at 2:32 PM, Kat34 said:

How do you get to the stage where you can trust your own thinking?

You always rely on your own thinking - whether you like it or not. Even fundamentalists who try to escape the fallacy of their mortal thinking through divine revelation rely, fundamentally, on their own thinking to interpret and judge scripture (or religious experiences). This is why they can never agree on a consistent interpretation.

 

You have no choice but to trust your own thinking. Even if you try to rely on another's thinking... it is *your* thinking that decides initially to rely on another's thinking ; what in effect you would be doing would be to transfer responsibility for your own thinking from yourself to that other person (or scripture), but not the fundamental fallibility of that choice to rely on that thinking. What we *can* do is take responsibility for our own thinking, while simultaneously accepting our fallibility as human beings. At least in my case the emotional process of accepting this responsibility relieved me of the anxiety of wondering whether I can trust my thinking. Hope that helps!

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On 11/24/2018 at 3:32 PM, Kat34 said:

 

 

How do you get to the stage where you can trust your own thinking?

 

 

 

Kat, It has taken me a decade to trust my own thinking. The thing that I struggled with the most (and still do) is how we are so out-numbered by christians. We are still such a minority and the name of ``atheist`` doesn't often go too well. Just the other day I had a conversation with what some would call a regular christian. She is not even a born again. But she wanted me to believe in jesus again. Now, I have belonged to Ex-c for quite some time now and by the time she got through with me, my head was spinning. I tried to talk about the silly book of Genesis to her and she would have no part in it. It is the worst crazy making conversations which make you doubt your own thinking. The thing is, I know it is not true anymore, even when I didn`t seem to have the ability to present a half-decent case. This is one of the reasons that Ex-c is still my home. When the christians make me crazy, I just check in here, read a little bit and I`m reassured that I`m saner than how I feel! For some of us, it takes a long time to get through deconversion but no matter how long, this site (and all the wonderful members) will help you to learn how to believe in yourself again.  Big (hug)

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4 hours ago, Margee said:

Kat, It has taken me a decade to trust my own thinking. The thing that I struggled with the most (and still do) is how we are so out-numbered by christians. We are still such a minority and the name of ``atheist`` doesn't often go too well. Just the other day I had a conversation with what some would call a regular christian. She is not even a born again. But she wanted me to believe in jesus again. Now, I have belonged to Ex-c for quite some time now and by the time she got through with me, my head was spinning. I tried to talk about the silly book of Genesis to her and she would have no part in it. It is the worst crazy making conversations which make you doubt your own thinking. The thing is, I know it is not true anymore, even when I didn`t seem to have the ability to present a half-decent case. This is one of the reasons that Ex-c is still my home. When the christians make me crazy, I just check in here, read a little bit and I`m reassured that I`m saner than how I feel! For some of us, it takes a long time to get through deconversion but no matter how long, this site (and all the wonderful members) will help you to learn how to believe in yourself again.  Big (hug)

 

Thank you @Margee - I’m actually really lucky in a way as I’m in the UK which is very secular on the whole and most of my friends aren’t Christians. However like you guys, it means there’s no one I can really talk with about it as no one else would really get where I’m coming from! Also the Christians I do know (with the possible exception of my mother) do believe in the Big Bang and evolution etc so seem a lot more reasonable - and that makes me second guess myself too! Thanks for the support on this site x 

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7 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

@Kat34 That is totally normal. Depending on the level of indoctrination it can really take about a decade (which was my case), or more, to get rid of those deep rooted programming. Keep in mind that - especially if you were exposed to it as a child - it goes really deep into the way you process and think about things, in unconscious ways, even after you deconvert. I assure you that you can get passed those fears, though, with perseverance.

 

A good rule of thumb (spiritual or not) is: If you're acting from a place of fear no good will come of it. 

 

Another good thing to remember is that you have tried Xianity before, already, and (I'm guessing, since you're here) it didn't work. There is no point in going back to something that you already know from experience doesn't work. Did Xianity dispel your fears? I'm guessing no. Aside from some occasional fleeting trance-induced catharsis, Xians fear just as everyone else does if not even worse.

 

You always rely on your own thinking - whether you like it or not. Even fundamentalists who try to escape the fallacy of their mortal thinking through divine revelation rely, fundamentally, on their own thinking to interpret and judge scripture (or religious experiences). This is why they can never agree on a consistent interpretation.

 

You have no choice but to trust your own thinking. Even if you try to rely on another's thinking... it is *your* thinking that decides initially to rely on another's thinking ; what in effect you would be doing would be to transfer responsibility for your own thinking from yourself to that other person (or scripture), but not the fundamental fallibility of that choice to rely on that thinking. What we *can* do is take responsibility for our own thinking, while simultaneously accepting our fallibility as human beings. At least in my case the emotional process of accepting this responsibility relieved me of the anxiety of wondering whether I can trust my thinking. Hope that helps!

 

Thanks so much @DestinyTurtle - yes I was a child and a particularly anxious one at that with a particularly authoritarian mother - not a great combination maybe. And what you say about thinking makes a lot of sense! Btw I remember reading your extimony and it made me sob. I’m so glad you are doing better now and I’m sorry it took so long - but can completely understand why it did.

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On 11/24/2018 at 2:32 PM, Kat34 said:

I start wondering maybe God is trying to reach me but have to remind myself that all I’m feeling is fear and surely that’s not how God would be reaching out. Plus I feel no peace or comfort after praying. 

 

Yeah, that's pretty evident. We talked about this at length before. A god would be something very all encompassing and the fear factor diminishes when you focus in on it that way. Leaving the fear oriented business in religion as man made, political based social constructs that reflect the opinions of a given priesthood. I would say that if god is real, christianity is almost certainly false. For these very reasons. If god were to "call out to you," it would more likely being calling you to open your eyes and move away from errant christianity than draw you in to it. And if the devil is real, he more likely want you IN christianity than out of it. 

 

If that sounds odd to say, just consider the focus here. 

 

In christianity god is out there far away, somewhere else and you're struggling to get to god. It's a perpetual carrot on a stick. You're told that you're the dung of other earth, stricken with original sin and basically not worthy. It's down trodden and lowly based. But an eternal, omnipresent god is real, then he'd be the source of your own being and existence. Recognizing the god within yourself would be the intention of such a god, wouldn't it? 

 

So what would block out that all encompassing god's intention? What would be the devil and satanic in this scenario? 

 

It would be exactly what christianity is. It would be something that makes you feel disconnected, separated, isolated, discrete and ultimately FEARFUL. That's a completely different way of looking at god. And maybe it's something to consider. 

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 4:44 AM, Joshpantera said:

Yeah, that's pretty evident. We talked about this at length before. A god would be something very all encompassing and the fear factor diminishes when you focus in on it that way. Leaving the fear oriented business in religion as man made, political based social constructs that reflect the opinions of a given priesthood. I would say that if god is real, christianity is almost certainly false. For these very reasons. If god were to "call out to you," it would more likely being calling you to open your eyes and move away from errant christianity than draw you in to it. And if the devil is real, he more likely want you IN christianity than out of it. 

 

If that sounds odd to say, just consider the focus here. 

 

 In christianity god is out there far away, somewhere else and you're struggling to get to god. Its a perpetual carrot on a stick. You're told that you're the dung of other earth, stricken with original sin and basically not worthy. It's down trodden and lowly based. But an eternal, omnipresent god is real, then he'd be the source of your own being and existence. Recognizing the god within yourself would be the intention of such a god, wouldn't it? 

 

So what would block out that all encompassing god's intention? What would be the devil and satanic in this scenario? 

 

It would be exactly what christianity is. It would be something that makes you feel disconnected, separated, isolated, discrete and ultimately FEARFUL. That's a completely different way of looking at god. And maybe it's something to consider. 

 

Dang, this is sooooooooooo good. So, so good. I don't even know where to start or what to say so I bolded The statements that really hit home the most.

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On ‎11‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 4:06 PM, DanForsman said:

You are taught that god is following you everywhere begging you to repent and waiting with open arms. He’s always right there knocking at your hearts door for days, weeks, years, as long as you live

This craziness really stressed me out while a Christian.......I could never figure out why I could never find God, receive anything from him (physical, emotional healing, clear directions what to do or not do, protection from harm etc.) IF he supposedly was fervently  pursuing me 24/7/365.

It cant be both ways; us spending thousands of hours reading his word, praying, singing, worshipping, repenting, casting down and out every evil being/thought/emotion  trying to get the three stooges to show up and yet we are told they are constantly pursuing us, always right there with us! Huh? Good god no wonder people are messed up...

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