Derek

just saying "hey" :)

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Hi everyone, I'm Derek...I left the christian cult 30 years ago and I never looked back. I must admit that I spent quite a bit of time "lurking" here and I'm happy to see that there are indeed some enlightened people in the world. Looking forward to interacting with all of you...will share my story when I get a chance. Cheers :)

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Hey, Derek. Welcome. 

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Welcome to Ex-C, @Derek.

 

After 30 years I'll bet you have some stories and insight that would assist quite a few folk here.

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Yo! The doors open, so come on in and sit a spell. And tell us what’s on your mind. :goodjob:

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My story, like so many others I have read here, started when I was a young child. When I was about 6 years old, my parents converted to pentecostalism from another protestant denomination (like there's a difference lol) so I spent my childhood and teenage years listening to a constant barrage of "hell fire and damnation" sermons. I was led to believe that any little wrongdoing on my part would damn me for eternity, and that the lake of fire was waiting. I spent countless sleepless nights, terrified...Wondering if I had inadvertently done some little errant thing to earn condemnation from God and feverishly praying for forgiveness for such things. At home, my parents were very negative towards the "evil world" and anytime I expressed any fondness for anything secular I was instantly rebuked with something like "don't you know that's from the devil?" and I would be met with some scriptural flourish or other. 

*to be continued...my lunch break is almost over :D *

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I was Church of Christ for 27 years. They are bat shit crazy fundies, but I think the Pentecostals are even crazier. I’m glad you found this site, I know you will find it informative and helpful. You will find likeminded folks here that understand how difficult it is to leave Christianity because we’ve taken that journey ourselves. 

 

In time it gets better and easier. I found studying and researching the origins and evolution of both the Bible and the Christian faith to be enormously helpful. That information confirms it’s all man made BS. 

 

Glad and you found this site, it will be helpful in your journey out of religion.

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41 minutes ago, Geezer said:

I was Church of Christ for 27 years. They are bat shit crazy fundies, but I think the Pentecostals are even crazier.

 

That's pretty scary to think about. 

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...and the story continues. I lived my childhood and early teen years being constantly fearful of offending the invisible terrorist in the sky. School was hell--I was bullied, harrassed, emasculated, and jeered at because of my beliefs. Over time, I became increasingly introverted as a result. I had no friends. Being a straight guy, there were girls in school that I wanted to talk to, but the thought of it petrified me. I would always imagine the girl rejecting me in a very public way, and I had already taken more than my fair share of ridicule, and the fear of more ridicule overruled the possibility of getting a date.

But then, in my mid teens, something inside me began to change. For some reason, I started to develop a more inquisitive nature. I questioned EVERYTHING--even though the invisible terrorist clearly says not to in his "holy scripture". I began to ask why--why does God allow so much evil...why doesn't God heal amputees...why doesn't God show himself...why doesn't he even give one solid sign of his existence? Just after my eighteenth birthday, the answer, which is the same for all those questions, became blindingly clear--GOD DOES NOT EXIST. All of a sudden so many things began to make sense--why prayers go unanswered, why children are starving in Africa, why Adolf Hitler was allowed to run amok. That one statement explains it all. HE does not exist. Much to the chagrin of my parents and many others in the cult, I walked away from christianity about a month after I turned eighteen.

I had to leave. Logic and reason are powerful tools, and they had been chipping away at my faith for years. Now, in the cold light of reason, religion seemed like just another work of fiction. After I left, members of the pentecostal cult tried desperately to "win me back" as it were, but they failed. 

Just before I moved out of my parents' house, my father came to me and told me that I would never make anything of myself because I had "succumbed to the ways of satan", in his words. That broke my heart...here was a man who, up until then, I had a deep respect for. Even though the christian side of him was out to lunch, this was the same man who, when I was a young child, taught me to hunt, fish, camp, drive a boat, and fix stuff. Now he was telling me that I was going to be a loser. His words still haunt me even now. 

I set out to prove him wrong. I never made it big---I'm a powersports mechanic and I have been for many years. I have earned a reputation as one of the most proficient techs in my region. Sadly, my father passed a number of years ago, and he died still believing that I would not become any kind of a success.

In the early nineties, I read a book by Dr. Carl Sagan entitled "Pale Blue Dot". There is a chapter in that book entitled "A Universe Not Made For Us". That chapter in that book really put things into perspective for me, and it helped me to cement my relatively new-found sense of logic. I highly recommend that you read it. Being a book that's almost 30 years old, there's lots of outdated info in it, but that one chapter is inspiring.

Anyhoo, that's basically the story of me...if you made it this far, I thank you for reading. I hope I didn't bore you too much lol. Hopefully something I wrote here can help someone in some little way. Cheers :)

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Derek, it’s good to have you here!  Good that you figured it out at an early age: some of us are slower learners...

 

People come here in various stages of deconversion.  It sounds like you’ve pretty much completed the process and are reaping the benefits - congratulations!  You will be able to help and encourage others who are just beginning the journey away from faith, so I look forward to hearing more from you. 

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Welcome to X-Xian, @Derek! Glad you found success in your way, despite the brutal rejections you've faced in life! I like to think I did too :)

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Thanks for the welcome...and Geezer, I think the church of Christ and the pentecostal church are very closely related. Maybe one splintered from the other due to some childish spat, as happens quite often...?

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Hey, admin...is there a way to copy what I posted here and paste it in the "testimonies" forum? My apologies...still finding my way around here :)

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On 12/6/2018 at 11:25 AM, Derek said:

Hi everyone, I'm Derek...I left the christian cult 30 years ago and I never looked back. I must admit that I spent quite a bit of time "lurking" here and I'm happy to see that there are indeed some enlightened people in the world. Looking forward to interacting with all of you...will share my story when I get a chance. Cheers :)

 

Welcome aboard Derek! Look forward to hearing more. 

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27 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Welcome aboard Derek! Look forward to hearing more. 

Thanks, Joshpantera...peace :)

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4 hours ago, Derek said:

Hey, admin...is there a way to copy what I posted here and paste it in the "testimonies" forum? My apologies...still finding my way around here :)

Thank you, admin :)

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On 12/8/2018 at 4:34 PM, Derek said:

Thank you, admin :)

 

The admins are holyrollers in disguise.   They can work miracles!  

 

Seriously, I can really identify with you.  Although it was much later in life, with my career established, (I was about 50 years old) my father told me there was no more hope for me.  That really hurt.  But I told myself it was due to the religion, and the fact that he had an extremely abusive father, that had infected his mind.  As the saying goes, he was scared to death of god.

 

My de-conversion wasn't as sudden as yours.  It went through several steps, over several years, but one of the "ahha"  moments for me was when I figured out the bible was not inerrant.  Things were suddenly much clearer. 

 

Isn't it a scary thought when you realize that such a large portion of the world has been tricked into believing the largest superstitions in the world?  I forgot who said it, but  religions really are the opioids of the people.  The largest scams every pulled.  WELCOME ABOARD!

 

By the way, I need some work done on my motorcycle!

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8 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

The admins are holyrollers in disguise.   They can work miracles!  

 

Seriously, I can really identify with you.  Although it was much later in life, with my career established, (I was about 50 years old) my father told me there was no more hope for me.  That really hurt.  But I told myself it was due to the religion, and the fact that he had an extremely abusive father, that had infected his mind.  As the saying goes, he was scared to death of god.

 

My de-conversion wasn't as sudden as yours.  It went through several steps, over several years, but one of the "ahha"  moments for me was when I figured out the bible was not inerrant.  Things were suddenly much clearer. 

 

Isn't it a scary thought when you realize that such a large portion of the world has been tricked into believing the largest superstitions in the world?  I forgot who said it, but  religions really are the opioids of the people.  The largest scams every pulled.  WELCOME ABOARD!

 

By the way, I need some work done on my motorcycle!

Religion is nothing more than a worldwide mass delusion, the motive behind it being financial gain for its perpetrators.

Oh...you'll have to make an appointment at my shop. And I'm damn good at what I do, so I'm not cheap :D

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On 12/7/2018 at 2:54 PM, Geezer said:

I was Church of Christ for 27 years.

Wait what!? Goddamn! That is quite the trophy 🏆 to hold up around here. Be proud!

 

My paternal grandparents were Church of Christ and I attended whenever I was in their care, which was quite a bit growing up. Church of Christ, ahh yes, all those who didn’t get baptized are going to hell, no instruments allowed, communion every Sunday, oh the memories! Yea I hated (HATED) going to their church growing up. So boring and awful. 27 years? I can’t even fathom what you felt like getting out of that shit. 

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On 12/8/2018 at 4:10 AM, Derek said:

Now, in the cold light of reason, religion seemed like just another work of fiction.

 

You got it, @Derek!

 

The Bible is not a history book but a collection of fictional stories. 

 

Of course the fundy crowd will point to current events like those swirling around Jesus's possible/supposed/believed by some "scholars" burial sight and proclaim "SEE! That PROVES the entire Bible to be the absolute, inerrant word of God!"

 

Grasping at straws they are. :Doh:

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Hey Derek!  Welcome and thanks for sharing your story.

 

Man, I am so sorry that your father's view of your life and worth hinged on what you believe or don't believe...

 

I've experienced similar from my wife. We were having a discussion about whether non-christians have a legitimate basis for Morality.  In the course of that conversation I expressed how I am a much better man as a non-Christian.  Her response: "That's debatable".  Ouch!

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That is sad, Insightful. However, it is nice knowing that other people experienced similar things. I thought for years that I was the only one

21 hours ago, Insightful said:

Hey Derek!  Welcome and thanks for sharing your story.

 

Man, I am so sorry that your father's view of your life and worth hinged on what you believe or don't believe...

 

I've experienced similar from my wife. We were having a discussion about whether non-christians have a legitimate basis for Morality.  In the course of that conversation I expressed how I am a much better man as a non-Christian.  Her response: "That's debatable".  Ouch!

.

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On 12/10/2018 at 4:33 AM, Derek said:

Religion is nothing more than a worldwide mass delusion, the motive behind it being financial gain for its perpetrators.

 

And control of the ignorant masses of people.

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On 12/10/2018 at 12:54 PM, Insightful said:

 

I've experienced similar from my wife. We were having a discussion about whether non-christians have a legitimate basis for Morality. 

 

 

If she believes you need Christianity, or God for morality, have her Google and read about the Hadza tribe in Africa.  They had never heard of God or Christianity, but evidently have been some of the most peaceful, egalitarian people on earth for thousands of years.  They have a "WE" mentality, instead of "ME" and my ego.

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On December 13, 2018 at 1:45 PM, Weezer said:

 

And control of the ignorant masses of people.

Absolutely...don't know why I forgot to include that in my post...they say the mind is the first to go lol

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