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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