Jump to content
NuckChorris

A forced, fake faith built on fear

Recommended Posts

Hey there,
My name is Alex, and I'm excited to finally be on this site! Without the words of your experiences I wouldn't be where I'm at today. This looks like a necessary part of my recovery from indoctrination. So I have just this week told my dad, who in turn told my mom, that I am no longer a Christian. I haven't spoken with them since telling my dad, so we'll see what happens.. I was very hesitant to ever even do that, fearing that it would break my mom's heart, and sever my relationship with them, and potentially damage my financial support from them (I live on my own and support myself, but extra income never hurts). Basically every worst case scenario played through my head, but i finally worked up the courage to speak up for myself. I found it harder and harder to bite my tongue while talking with them. My mom constantly talks about how great church service and worship was, wants to pray over every little thing in life, and my dad has said pretty ridiculous things like him "seeing" a demon, which he later described as having a vision of a demon. He also seems to think that neanderthals were a product of demons breeding with humans... At least he acknowledges that they existed! It boggles my mind that he can say that stuff, being the brilliant guy that he is. So I'd had enough of listening to this stuff and just told him on a trip that I really didn't want to ever tell him I didn't believe in God, but found that I had to, and that I owed him the honest truth. So here's my story: I've finally outgrown religion through freethinking, reason, and lots and lots of research, and being honest with my doubts and actual beliefs. Through my soul searching I realized that my faith was simply not legitimate, in a journal i wrote "I don't have a faith muscle." I grew up in a non-denominational, charismatic, evangelical, spirit-filled mega church. I still consider most people I know from there to be very nice and well intentioned people. Unfortunately my experience was a nightmare that I am only just reckoning with. I initially accepted Jesus when I was around 5 or 6, for the single reason that I didn't want to go to hell. The following days and weeks consisted of uncertainty that I was actually saved, and sheer terror if I wasn't. I had nightmares of satan, hell, and demons. I would lay awake in the dark feeling helpless against possible demons attacking me. I was afraid of the number 6, I thought I might be the anti-christ. Eventually I must have moved on, convincing myself I was indeed saved. From there I became a pretty standout Christian kid, becoming on fire for God for a month or two at a time. There was another side to church life though, one of seriously dreading going to church on Sundays. Occasionally I convinced my parents I was sick, but mostly I was forced to go. This forcing me to go was important in defining my relationship with the church. It was obligatory. I dare not refuse or I would be punished in some way. So I gave in. I gave in to going to bible camps, sharing personal stories, crying during worship about our sinful state because every other kid was crying (little did I know that my sins paled in comparison to everyone else's). The defining moment of giving in was when my sister and I were summoned by our parent's small group to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They sat us in the middle of their circle, and said that we would likely speak in tongues if it worked. So I remember them praying, laying hands on us, anointing us with oil, and I remember the inner turmoil of what I should do. I wanted it to work to please my parents and get a taste of the supernatural, but nothing was happening. So I forced it, pretending to speak in tongues (quite well I must say). Following that, I remember hearing advice about speaking in tongues, to not question if it is legit. So I started to convince myself I didn't pretend after all. I continued to do it during worship, and would sometimes feel a rush of energy on the top of my head. I thought it was the Holy Spirit. Turned out to be the same chills I get at concerts. Then came two more moments of giving in, this time on a missions trip in early high school. During a service we put on in the Dominican Republic one of our leaders was doing the classic Benny Hinn style "slay them in the spirit" routine. It was my turn to be slain. I went with her push and fell back, and layed there with eyes closed, just like one does when they are in bed, pretending to be asleep. Again I tried to force an experience, vision, whatever. Nothing. Later on in that trip we were on the beach and the same leader was with a local lady who braided tourist's hair. I was far away when there was a commotion and when I asked what had happened people said the woman's hands were healed of arthritis, and that her fingers had magically straightened out. I was pretty convinced, and wanted to tell people when we got back home. So I repeated what I had heard but said I'd actually seen it happen. I remember telling this story to quite a few close friends and family members, and regret having lied. What I know about healing stories now is that they are almost certainly not true or verifiable... I have plenty more stories like these of false claims of the supernatural either by me or told to me. So, from this point until 2 years after college I considered myself a serious Christian. The bumps in the road I encountered had to do with sex. I had, and still have, an underdeveloped understanding of sex. I never got a sex talk from my dad, and had a Christian school version of health class. I never had a girlfriend in high school, and was told to guard myself against any sexual thoughts. I did a great job at it until college. In college I made a choice to given in a little bit, never crossing the forbidden home base. Unfortunately, anything that I experienced was followed by serious guilt and paranoia that my parents knew what I had done. The only thing I ever admitted to them was that I had kissed a girl, and then lied about our break up being because she wanted to go too far. This guilt was part of my indoctrination into purity culture. It placed a super high value on virginity, and as hard as it tried not to, it placed serious shame on anything other than that and abstinence. Anyone who strayed from this was treated differently, looked down upon, and badmouthed by supposedly loving people, even by myself at times. The consequences of this have been devastating for me. As I write, I am afraid of actually going all the way. I also know that if I did, I would still have an irrational guilt. I also have an instinct to fight attraction. If I see an attractive woman, my warning alarms go off, I look away, and can never initiate a conversation. This probably stems from a tip I got in men's group to have bouncing eyes to avoid lusting. It has taken away my self worth and confidence, and I can't currently see a hope in sight for being able to pursue someone I am attracted to. The few times I have been in a sort of relationship have been because she made the first move, and I was settling for less than I wanted, but I needed someone. Moving on to my deconversion, I had always had doubts, but those seriously picked up steam about a year ago. A coworker challenged my belief in a literal Adam and Eve and Noah's flood, mentioning DNA evidence and how we couldn't all come from one couple. I fought that by saying God is all powerful and could have used supernatural DNA. That quickly sounded dumb to me, so I researched it. That led me to re-evaluated the evidence of a global flood. Shouldn't the locations of types of animals point to a single origin around Mt. Ararat? Why are Marsupials only in Australia? Shouldn't there be evidence of a global flood in geology? Why aren't any human fossils mixed in with dinosaur fossils? Why do fossils lie in predictable rock layers which can be pretty reliably dated to very old ages through plenty of kinds of radiometric dating? How can I be seeing light from stars so far away that it traveled for 13 billion years? I used to solve all these questions by thinking God can do anything, like create things to appear older than they really are. But why would he do that? To test our faith? Well then he's playing hide and seek with us. He's forcing us to choose his Bible stories over our own knowledge and observations. That was where I realized I didn't like this god. Then I dug in to the things this god did in the Old Testament. I was absolutely disgusted. I remember a few times myself and others would explain away the horrors of the Old Testament as that all being under the Old Covenant, but Jesus came and fixed everything. That's a TERRIBLE answer and doesn't excuse the initial way God ran things. God commanded genocide, murdered Job's 10 children to test the faith that he already knew was solid, required circumcision (I thought he created man perfect, in his image), hardened Pharoah's heart before killing every first born son. This stuff started sounding like nonsense. But it made sense when I viewed it as man-made. God did not create man, man created God. Even Christians would agree with this, with the exception of their God. In fact, every religion would have to agree with this, with the exception of their own gods. Then I started thinking about how badly God did things. He created Adam knowing Adam would fail, and tried to fix things with Noah and the flood, but then regretted that, and it failed miserably. And to finally fix everything that he messed up, he sent his son/himself to "die" on a cross, but he was only "dead" for 3 days, before returning to heaven. And while he "fixed" things, he's been hanging out in heaven for 2000 years, allowing the crusades and the spanish inquisition and the holocaust to happen, when allll he has to do is come back. Well he'd better hurry up and come back before his religion is completely dead thanks to the internet... Once I admitted to feeling this way, I began reading books by Bart Ehrman, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins (who I remember seeing get badmouthed in a creationist film). I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy, wrong, and making a terrible decision. These guys were the brightest people I'd ever heard, and I couldn't believe how misrepresented their positions were by Christians. My nights switched from video games and netflix to books, podcasts, and debates on youtube. I was hooked. I'm still hooked. So that all has brought me here, seeking communication with like-minded people, so that I can start to live life again. I am struggling with occasional deep depression, anxiety, isolation, crisis of self, sometimes feeling disconnected from reality, emotional dullness, loss of joy, and trying to shake the thought that an invisible dude is watching everything I do. (Basically all the symptoms laid out by Marlene Winell about RTS) I've felt like I don't fit in anywhere. Christian friends don't understand me, keep trying to convince me i'm wrong, and add to the trauma i'm trying to fight. I also want to respect their personal faith, as I remember the pain of having it ridiculed and challenged. So I just can't talk to them in depth about this stuff. And my secular friends don't fully understand where I've come from. I never seem to fully relate to them, and I've missed out of years of normal secular life to I often feel like a fish out of water. All that said, I do have moments of feeling happiness and achievement in being true to myself finally. I've made the decision to attempt to heal, to live the life I want, and to accept the help I need to get there, and be ok with living life on my terms and no one else's. Thanks for reading this, and looking forward to your advise on where to go from here, self-care, therapy, local community, how or if to keep religious friends in my life, resources on biblical criticism, science vs. religion,  etc..

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome @NuckChorris.

Glad you found Ex-C.

 

That's quite an "extimony" there and much of it is echoed throughout this site. You are not alone.

 

That's a huge step - revealing your unbelief - and requires a great deal of courage for most of us. When I came out (twice) I was certain that divorce would be the eventual result. Nope. 

 

As far as pretending to speak in tongues goes I have no doubt that all of those who do so are very much aware that they are pretending. Pastor ass-hat did this to me a few short years ago when I confessed my difficulty with faith. It really creeped me out and served as a catalyst for formulating even more doubt and prompted me to research the origins of Christianity - outside of faith based sources. 

 

Congrats on your throwing off the chains of indoctrination and hope to hear more from you.

    - MOHO (Mind Of His Own)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Nuckchorris...like MOHO said, many of us here have similar stories, and I can definitely see some similarities between yours and mine. Welcome to Ex-c...you're among friends here :)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to freedom. The journey out of religion is often long and treacherous but in the end it’s worth it. :3:

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies everyone. Just knowing that random people heard my story and can relate is very helpful. It's wild to me that so many people have had to go through this on their own, and that churches have done such a terrible job in being aware of the potential harm that can come from these strict and lazy teachings. You'd think that if they're so convinced that they're right, they would teach the atheist point of view just to show how wrong it is. Instead, indoctrination locks you in to one lens, and hides or misrepresents the other sides. The fact that I have, at 27 years old, just learned for myself the actual atheist arguments is unacceptable and demonstrates the close-mindedness of even the most well-intending Christians. And I can also say I feel lucky that it only took me 27 years to deconvert. I can't imagine what some of you have gone through by deconverting later in life, having kids and spouses, or having been pastors. So I'll try to count my blessings haha. I just ordered the book Leaving the Fold, hoping it will help me improve my mental state and get life back on track now that I've addressed most of my lingering doubts. One open question I have for you guys is what were some of the glaring issues you noticed about the validity of the Bible? One funny point I just heard was by Matt Dillahunty, he asks a caller, how could Adam and Eve know that disobeying God was wrong if they didn't yet have the knowledge of good and evil, which they got by eating the fruit? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi NuckC. Glad you got out. Oddly the most powerful revelation regarding my deconversion came more than 50 years after the fact. I stumbled upon this site and became fascinated by the large number of exchristians who were in so many ways just like me. At the time quite a few christians would also stop by and comment in the main area so this provided an opportunity for me to see their arguments. When I deconverted at 15 I believed as I had been told that there were many good historical, archeological, logical, etc. proofs for the truth of the bible and christianity. I had known at 15 that whatever these proofs were they would not convince me but now with the anonomous nature of the internet I would have a chance to see these proofs for myself and I was excited by the prospect. Well about 2 or 3 years after joining I was getting impatient to see some of these proofs so I finally put a comment on something the very reasonable long term ExC member WisenedSage had written asking what was the most convincing piece of evidence he had come across in all his years on this site in support of truth of Christianity. His answer was shocking to me in that it didn't have any proof in the ordinary sense. His answer was that he felt the King James translation of the bible was christianity's most powerful convincing force rather than a specific proof! No proof!  So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity. I know that sounds impossible with all the appolegetic books and all the public debates but I think I can show you. How about if I show you how this would played out in a US courtroom? It just so happens that i believe I can do just that if you have a couple hours to devote to watching the PBS documentary,  "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", on the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board trial. Nova has taken it down but here it is on a youtube:

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, NuckChorris said:

 And I can also say I feel lucky that it only took me 27 years to deconvert. I can't imagine what some of you have gone through by deconverting later in life, having kids and spouses, or having been pastors. So I'll try to count my blessings haha. 

 

Yes, you are fortunate- congratulations on clearing your head at a young age!  Never stop thinking critically - even outside of religion it’s easy to swallow a line of bullshit because you want it to be true, or because people you like believe it.  It’s as true in politics as it is in religion.

 

12 hours ago, NuckChorris said:

One open question I have for you guys is what were some of the glaring issues you noticed about the validity of the Bible?

 

Where to begin?  How about the supposed Old Testament predictions of Jesus... many Christians believe that the OT clearly predicts Jesus and Christianity.  But when you look at the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the NT, you generally find one or two verses that could fit Jesus and his ministry, surrounded by other verses that don’t fit at all.  I suggest you could take just about any historical event or person and lift OT verses here and there out of context to show how it was foretold.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, NuckChorris said:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Just knowing that random people heard my story and can relate is very helpful. It's wild to me that so many people have had to go through this on their own, and that churches have done such a terrible job in being aware of the potential harm that can come from these strict and lazy teachings. You'd think that if they're so convinced that they're right, they would teach the atheist point of view just to show how wrong it is. Instead, indoctrination locks you in to one lens, and hides or misrepresents the other sides. The fact that I have, at 27 years old, just learned for myself the actual atheist arguments is unacceptable and demonstrates the close-mindedness of even the most well-intending Christians. And I can also say I feel lucky that it only took me 27 years to deconvert. I can't imagine what some of you have gone through by deconverting later in life, having kids and spouses, or having been pastors. So I'll try to count my blessings haha. I just ordered the book Leaving the Fold, hoping it will help me improve my mental state and get life back on track now that I've addressed most of my lingering doubts. One open question I have for you guys is what were some of the glaring issues you noticed about the validity of the Bible? One funny point I just heard was by Matt Dillahunty, he asks a caller, how could Adam and Eve know that disobeying God was wrong if they didn't yet have the knowledge of good and evil, which they got by eating the fruit? 

 

Welcome aboard NuckChorris! 

 

You came at an interesting time. I am currently engaged with a christian member (was two against me, but one already quit) in an informal debate about the bible and whether it's demonstrably true, or demonstrably false. And we're three pages in at this point and haven't left Genesis 1. I invite you to follow along and check in on the debate as it unfolds and see what points you can glean from the interaction between christians and atheists: 

 

 

Luth has some personal issues to attend to at the moment, but I believe he will be getting back to the debate when he can. Christforums is apparently shut down and out of it already. We're still held up on the six day creation and all of it's contradictions and problems.

 

I suppose that next we can face the issue of Adam and Eve not knowing of any good and evil prior to eating the forbidden fruit.  But as you can see if you read along and follow the links, Genesis was written during a time when reflections of the old polytheism still existed. The "gods" (Elohim) were something like Zeus and the greek pantheon, looking down on the earth, creating a garden, then putting some workers in the garden to tend to the garden. They created the garden workers in "their" (Elohim, gods) own image according to "their" own likeness. This mythology is not very different than Zeus and the gods creating people in "their" (humanoid) images. Then you can see why the workers were not meant to have the knowledge of the gods, just to simply tend and work a garden, forever I assume. Once they gained the knowledge, they would be like the "gods," and the "gods" didn't want that. It all makes sense when it's put back into it's mythological context. 

 

You can post in the side gallery if you want raise any points about the debate, ask questions, or include some type of question for the christian member. 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome @NuckChorris

 

Wow your story could have been mine! It is eerily similar. I empathise with you on the points about relationships and how it screws up perceptions and the fears associated. It takes a long time to fully get over those fears, and I've been deconverted for 3 years and still have them lingering so... yeah. The one thing I'd say you still have to your advantage is that you've come out of religion in your 20's. I was mid 30's and I keep wishing I'd seen the light in my mid 20's. 

 

On your question of glaring issues with the bible... good God I don't know where to start. How about with Genesis 1:1 as Josh has pointed out?

 

But generally my issues are historical reliability, or the lack thereof. Certain parts to do with the Kingdom of Israel seem to be somewhat historical. Others like the Exodus story have no supporting evidence at all, as well as huge logical problems. Logical inconsistency is another big issue, and as you pointed out Matt D mentions the problem of Adam and Eve being judged when they can't have known it was wrong.

 

If you want to learn more about what factors lead to my deconversion you can read in detail here: https://iwasfreeborn.wordpress.com/  (My site still in progress 3 years later - I'm a procrastinator :P )

 

All the best and hope to see more of you. Feel free to join us on discord chat - details here:

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on leaving the mindfuck behind! Your story is very similar to mine. There's a high price to pay for leaving. All the consequences, with family and friends, the isolation, lingering fear, anxiety, they take quite awhile to deal with. I left over two years ago and it's a slow road to recovery but it gets better with time. My advice is start building a support network of people that can be there for you, go to therapy/counseling if necessary, and yes hang out here or in the chat room with like minded people. You've probably already read Marlene winell's excellent book, that helped me a lot. Mindfulness and self compassion have helped me when things get really tough. I wish you all the best and welcome! 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 9:04 AM, DanForsman said:

Hi NuckC. Glad you got out. Oddly the most powerful revelation regarding my deconversion came more than 50 years after the fact. I stumbled upon this site and became fascinated by the large number of exchristians who were in so many ways just like me. At the time quite a few christians would also stop by and comment in the main area so this provided an opportunity for me to see their arguments. When I deconverted at 15 I believed as I had been told that there were many good historical, archeological, logical, etc. proofs for the truth of the bible and christianity. I had known at 15 that whatever these proofs were they would not convince me but now with the anonomous nature of the internet I would have a chance to see these proofs for myself and I was excited by the prospect. Well about 2 or 3 years after joining I was getting impatient to see some of these proofs so I finally put a comment on something the very reasonable long term ExC member WisenedSage had written asking what was the most convincing piece of evidence he had come across in all his years on this site in support of truth of Christianity. His answer was shocking to me in that it didn't have any proof in the ordinary sense. His answer was that he felt the King James translation of the bible was christianity's most powerful convincing force rather than a specific proof! No proof!  So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity. I know that sounds impossible with all the appolegetic books and all the public debates but I think I can show you. How about if I show you how this would played out in a US courtroom? It just so happens that i believe I can do just that if you have a couple hours to devote to watching the PBS documentary,  "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", on the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board trial. Nova has taken it down but here it is on a youtube:

 

 

Thanks for the link DanForsman. I'd listened to Ken Millers presentation on this trial, but this helped get an overall sense of it. ID is such a strange movement to me, it seems like they embrace the archaeological record, and embrace microevolution, but never macroevolution. So they're left with the conclusion that every new species just poofed into existence the first time we see it appear. And then there's the inevitable question of which designer is it? Do other religions embrace this as science and then claim it's their designer, or is it really just a complicated argument made by Christians.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 6:34 PM, TruthSeeker0 said:

Congratulations on leaving the mindfuck behind! Your story is very similar to mine. There's a high price to pay for leaving. All the consequences, with family and friends, the isolation, lingering fear, anxiety, they take quite awhile to deal with. I left over two years ago and it's a slow road to recovery but it gets better with time. My advice is start building a support network of people that can be there for you, go to therapy/counseling if necessary, and yes hang out here or in the chat room with like minded people. You've probably already read Marlene winell's excellent book, that helped me a lot. Mindfulness and self compassion have helped me when things get really tough. I wish you all the best and welcome! 

Actually when you posted this I had just ordered Marlene's book. I'm 4 chapters in and its just an absolute game changer for me! I scored so high on the manipulations test that it hurts haha. Thanks for the tips!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 3:24 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

Wow your story could have been mine! It is eerily similar. I empathise with you on the points about relationships and how it screws up perceptions and the fears associated. It takes a long time to fully get over those fears, and I've been deconverted for 3 years and still have them lingering so... yeah.

Well that's both comforting to know, and sobering that others have to go through this too. I'm glad you were able to see the light and deal with it as well. I'll have to keep my expectations realistic and understand that recovery will be a drawn out process..

 

On 6/17/2019 at 3:24 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

But generally my issues are historical reliability, or the lack thereof. Certain parts to do with the Kingdom of Israel seem to be somewhat historical. Others like the Exodus story have no supporting evidence at all

Yeah this was a big one for me too. I mentioned this to my mom after she said a pastor told her that Egyptians removed Moses from their history books or something. Technically they would have removed a lot more than that from history books and archaeology..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  •  
On 6/17/2019 at 9:04 AM, DanForsman said:

Hi NuckC. Glad you got out. Oddly the most powerful revelation regarding my deconversion came more than 50 years after the fact. I stumbled upon this site and became fascinated by the large number of exchristians who were in so many ways just like me. At the time quite a few christians would also stop by and comment in the main area so this provided an opportunity for me to see their arguments. When I deconverted at 15 I believed as I had been told that there were many good historical, archeological, logical, etc. proofs for the truth of the bible and christianity. I had known at 15 that whatever these proofs were they would not convince me but now with the anonomous nature of the internet I would have a chance to see these proofs for myself and I was excited by the prospect. Well about 2 or 3 years after joining I was getting impatient to see some of these proofs so I finally put a comment on something the very reasonable long term ExC member WisenedSage had written asking what was the most convincing piece of evidence he had come across in all his years on this site in support of truth of Christianity. His answer was shocking to me in that it didn't have any proof in the ordinary sense. His answer was that he felt the King James translation of the bible was christianity's most powerful convincing force rather than a specific proof! No proof!  So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity. I know that sounds impossible with all the appolegetic books and all the public debates but I think I can show you. How about if I show you how this would played out in a US courtroom? It just so happens that i believe I can do just that if you have a couple hours to devote to watching the PBS documentary,  "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", on the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board trial. Nova has taken it down but here it is on a youtube:

 

 

Thanks for the link DanForsman. I'd listened to Ken Millers presentation on this trial, but this helped get an overall sense of it. ID is such a strange movement to me, it seems like they embrace the archaeological record, and embrace microevolution, but never macroevolution. So they're left with the conclusion that every new species just poofed into existence the first time we see it appear. And then there's the inevitable question of which designer is it? Do other religions embrace this as science and then claim it's their designer, or is it really just a complicated argument made by Christians.

 

Don't know if you got to watch this but the several day presentation put on by scientists who had volunteered to represent evolution had the judge and the media just mesmerized particularly when the altered chromosome that evolution had predicted was discovered. That engaging testimony had raised expectations for what the creationists would present. The thing that shocked everyone was how simplistic and easily disproved the "evidence" was that the creationists presented. Here was their big chance to demonstrate their alternative "science" and they had all their money and hired their best scientists but lacked the critical evidence. Creation scientists had absolutely nothing to present. The judge just ripped them in his decision.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NuckChorris said:

Yeah this was a big one for me too. I mentioned this to my mom after she said a pastor told her that Egyptians removed Moses from their history books or something. Technically they would have removed a lot more than that from history books and archaeology..

 

Huh, that's what my ex church preaches. The Egyptians removed all evidence blah blah. Ad hoc apologetics. It's like how'd the fit all animals on the arc. Oh they only included one of each "kind". Mmmm hmm and what's a kind? ….. *crickets*

 

Uh huh, yeah, and also no evidence of wandering, and you fail to account for the sheer amount of water require for 2 million + people, plus livestock in a desert! I've calculated the amount of water required and water from the rock doesn't cut it!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2019 at 5:21 AM, NuckChorris said:

 So that all has brought me here, seeking communication with like-minded people, so that I can start to live life again. I am struggling with occasional deep depression, anxiety, isolation, crisis of self, sometimes feeling disconnected from reality, emotional dullness, loss of joy, and trying to shake the thought that an invisible dude is watching everything I do. 

Welcome to Ex-c Nuck. So glad you found us. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You will get a lot from Ex-c. These guys saved my sanity when I first joined here.

 

Most of us can totally relate to how you are feeling right now  going through the shock of finding out that what you have believed in for so many years was a complete lie. It can be quite traumatizing to a lot of people. It was for me.I can't believe now (after almost 10 years here) that I even fell for it. But I was young and naive and I was 'prime' bait coming out of an alcoholic family to want the 'special' love of god. So I accepted jesus at 20 because the pastor told me that I was going to be  a 'chosen one' for god. We all get sucked in somehow. Some are born into the cult here and their stories are fantastic to read.

 

I'm not a bible debater here at all. We got tons of those wonderful scholars here. They know the bible inside and out. Better than the  christian apologetics and debaters!  I just keep things real simple. For instance, when I was just newly converted, I studied the book of genesis and it didn't make sense to me. I went to the pastor and asked him one time, ''Pastor, was it only Adam and Eve and the talking serpent in the garden that day?'' He said, ''Yes, my dear''. And I repeated it again. ''Are you absolutely sure pastor? Just Adam and Eve and the talking serpent (and god up in the clouds of course)?''. He repeated, ''yes'' again. I then asked him, ''if it is true what you are saying, who was the 'stenographer' who stood out the gates and wrote the account down?'' His jawed dropped and he told me in a cute, little manner that I was the pastor's worst nightmare. He then told me that the author was unknown and that I had to stop questioning and doubting and just live by faith in Jesus and ''gods word''. So I continued in the church for another 30 years until I was suspecting certain things were  very wrong and I came back to that innocent question I asked him many years ago. This started my hunt into finding other people who might be able to help me with my doubts and the ''angels'' led me to Ex-c! Lol (just joking but somehow, I found this site that night) Once I found out that the book of genesis was man written many years later, the whole bible fell apart for me. We were not born sinners, therefore we had no need for a 'human blood sacrifice'' (who was jesus of course) and we didn't need to be saved after all.

 

My point here is, you will get the complicated biblical stuff worked out. The bible scholars will help you with all that and then you will get some of the simplest explanations like mine and the pieces of the puzzle on the bible will all come together for you. And it takes time. Took me a long time. So take your time. Breathe and relax. Post and read a lot. You're in a good family here.

 

 Happy journey. Not easy..... but worth it.

 

(hug)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 1:04 PM, DanForsman said:

Hi NuckC. Glad you got out. Oddly the most powerful revelation regarding my deconversion came more than 50 years after the fact. I stumbled upon this site and became fascinated by the large number of exchristians who were in so many ways just like me. At the time quite a few christians would also stop by and comment in the main area so this provided an opportunity for me to see their arguments. When I deconverted at 15 I believed as I had been told that there were many good historical, archeological, logical, etc. proofs for the truth of the bible and christianity. I had known at 15 that whatever these proofs were they would not convince me but now with the anonomous nature of the internet I would have a chance to see these proofs for myself and I was excited by the prospect. Well about 2 or 3 years after joining I was getting impatient to see some of these proofs so I finally put a comment on something the very reasonable long term ExC member WisenedSage had written asking what was the most convincing piece of evidence he had come across in all his years on this site in support of truth of Christianity. His answer was shocking to me in that it didn't have any proof in the ordinary sense. His answer was that he felt the King James translation of the bible was christianity's most powerful convincing force rather than a specific proof! No proof!  So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity. I know that sounds impossible with all the appolegetic books and all the public debates but I think I can show you. How about if I show you how this would played out in a US courtroom? It just so happens that i believe I can do just that if you have a couple hours to devote to watching the PBS documentary,  "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial", on the 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board trial. Nova has taken it down but here it is on a youtube:

 

 

@DanForsman, thanks for posting this. I'm gonna watch it right now!! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2019 at 1:21 AM, NuckChorris said:

Thanks for reading this, and looking forward to your advise on where to go from here, self-care, therapy, local community, how or if to keep religious friends in my life, resources on biblical criticism, science vs. religion,  etc..

 

Hey Alex, quite a story. Thanks for sharing. Biblical criticism/biblical scholarship is my area, science vs religion kinda, sorta is :P Also a few others. So I might be able to help here with suggestions for further reading. Are there particular arguments for or against god you're looking to explore more? Is there an argument an apologist has brought up that you don't think you have a sufficient answer for? Also, you said you read Ehrman. May I ask which book(s) of his? Just curious. Thanks.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2019 at 4:05 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

It's like how'd the fit all animals on the arc. Oh they only included one of each "kind". Mmmm hmm and what's a kind? ….. *crickets*

Bill Nye had a great bit on this, how do we get from 7,000 original "kinds", to ~16 million known species, in 4,000 years? You'd be seeing 11 new species popping up every day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2019 at 11:30 AM, DanForsman said:

Don't know if you got to watch this but the several day presentation put on by scientists who had volunteered to represent evolution had the judge and the media just mesmerized particularly when the altered chromosome that evolution had predicted was discovered. That engaging testimony had raised expectations for what the creationists would present. The thing that shocked everyone was how simplistic and easily disproved the "evidence" was that the creationists presented. Here was their big chance to demonstrate their alternative "science" and they had all their money and hired their best scientists but lacked the critical evidence. Creation scientists had absolutely nothing to present. The judge just ripped them in his decision.   

Yeah that was pretty incredible.. I'd actually never even heard about the altered chromosome bit, super cool. I found it interesting that the Dembski and Meyer didn't testify, I'd expect them to be eager for another debate, except this one really mattered... and the Discovery Institute's silence on this speaks volumes..

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2019 at 11:03 PM, Luke6188 said:

Are there particular arguments for or against god you're looking to explore more? Is there an argument an apologist has brought up that you don't think you have a sufficient answer for? Also, you said you read Ehrman. May I ask which book(s) of his?

Hey Luke, as for the Ehrman books, I've read God's Problem and almost done with Misquoting Jesus. And other topics I'm interested in are researching the supposed Messianic prophecies, researching similar creation myths to Genesis, and why Christians think this one is the real one. In high school I took an apologetics class where we went through the book by Josh McDowell, New Evidence that demands a verdict. I'd be curious if you've read it. Its quite thorough, but I recall it making the argument that Jesus was either a liar, lunatic, or lord. And i find it curious that the possibility he was a legend wasn't addressed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah OK, interesting. I went to a Christian school for grade 11 and 12 and we read The Case for Faith instead. It was either that or The Case for Christ. In any case, I've read them both and it looks like there's a fair amount of overlap between those books and McDowell's. Anyway, one of my favorite articles on messianic prophecy was written by NT scholar Robert M. Price. Price's article is part of a multi-part, multi-authored response to McDowell's original book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. You can read it here: https://infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/psychics.html


Another site you may wish to check out is Paul Tobin's The Rejection of Pascal's Wager. He has a fairly good, thorough section that covers messianic prophecies: http://www.geocities.ws/paulntobin/messianic.html

And if that's not enough then I would recommend you check out a book by Robert J. Miller called Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy. It is very thorough. Kindle price is good.

Regarding the Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument ("The Trilemma"), Ehrman has a chapter titled "Liar, Lunatic, or Lord? Finding the Historical Jesus," in his book Jesus, Interrupted. While I don't agree with Ehrman on everything (surprise), I think the book is a fine intro to mainstream NT scholarship.

No good resources readily come to mind regarding similar myths to Genesis; perhaps someone else can help. But I'll take a look around.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2019 at 3:21 AM, NuckChorris said:

All that said, I do have moments of feeling happiness and achievement in being true to myself finally. I've made the decision to attempt to heal, to live the life I want, and to accept the help I need to get there, and be ok with living life on my terms and no one else's.

Welcome!!! I hope you find comfort in our posts on this site.  I remember coming on this site and reading posts well before I fully deconverted, (skulking in the background :)).  Last year, when I did finally come to my own very drawn out conclusion that Jesus never existed, Christianity is a man made myth, and man, himself, really really f'd things up, I joined this site.  I was so angry the night that I joined!  I remember freaking out because I had to wait to post (totally understand guys, I was just in the moment).  It was a good thing that I did have to wait.  The post I would have wrote that first night would've been awful! Once I was able to post, though, I tried three different times before I could actually write anything!  I just sat at my computer and cried.  My initial elation at realizing the religion is bunk, had quickly turned into a white hot anger.  I feel so deceived!!  Like most, I was only a child (barely remember) when I "accepted" this religion.  I think we tend to put on blinders (that for me never really worked) and, like you clearly illustrated, play along with our Christian families.  My Dad thinks he's a prophet for crying out loud. 

 

I am really proud of you for telling your family. Unfortunately, I am a total chicken shit and can't even fathom that discussion.  I know how they (ok, mainly my Dad, but my family always backs him) would react.  I've tried to broach other controversial topics tentatively in the past and it has gone over like a ton of bricks, really angry bricks.  I haven't believed there actually is a hell for years now.  I also had rationalized that the Bible couldn't possibly say what it does about the LGBTQ+ community, man had messed that up, too.  It did make some sense to me.  Hell seems to come from older religions.  The Jewish people didn't believe in hell until they were influenced by the Zoroastrians.  Pretty sure some eastern religions have a hell concept, too.  Gay people could have been a target because of the excesses of Greece or Persia? Maybe?  Historically, if you wanted to get rid of a minority group - you demonize them and make their practices illegal (and often worthy of death).  Kind of fits along with the history of Christianity (the actual history, not the bullhonky they like to spout), at least that's what I have come to think.  Anyway, I wanted to meet my family on middle ground.  I've realized with sadness that I don't think there is one.  My family still definitely believe in a hell, and gay people are possessed by demons.  Yeah, that's just great.

 

Try to be patient with yourself and how you feel your upbringing has held you back.  I'm sure a lot of us can commiserate.  I'm hoping this will all get better with time.  Maybe time will help me figure out a better way to express myself more authentically to the world.  For now, there are these forums.  YouTube has some really good channels also. I personally enjoy AronRa, The Thinking Atheist (Seth Andrews), The Atheist Experience (Matt Dillahunty) and Mr. Atheist (Jimmy Snow).  There are many others!  Ok, sorry, now, I've wrote you a book. :) Hang in there, though, and good luck!  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/24/2019 at 8:23 PM, Margee said:

So my discovery was that there is not even a single compelling proof of Christianity

Yup. So Many Lies.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.