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Hey. We probably aren’t supposed to say our real names on here so I won’t lol. For some months, I’ve been wanting to leave Christianity but the fear of hell has held me back. I get cautious of so many things being a sin and it has made my life miserable. I just want to be a “normal” teen and enjoy life again but this “what if I’m wrong and I made the wrong choice” thing is always here with me. Hell is scary to say the least and I don’t want to end up there. Hopefully this miserable stage will pass…I’d like to learn more about the origins of the Old Testament, New Testament, Hell, and Christianity itself. If anyone has any advice/recommendations/links they can put some if they want.

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Hi fluffyapple, and welcome to the community.  You’ve come to the right place!  A lot of people over the years have been in exactly the same position you are in, and have gone through successful deconverison processes and now live happy and fulfilling lives as ex-Christians.  I see no reason why you can’t do the same thing. 
 

I’d say a successful deconversion requires four things:  firstly an openness to questioning Christianity and to the possibility that it is not true.    Seems like you’re already there: most Christians never get even that far  - good for you!  
 

Secondly, gaining knowledge.  Knowledge about the history of Christianity, Judaism, the Old and New Testaments, about how the concepts of God, Satan, Heaven and Hell all evolved though the centuries.  Of course knowledge of science helps a lot too.  All that knowledge is more readily available than ever before.  A lot of it is contained in these forums, and we can certainly point you to a lot more. 
 

Thirdly, a support system of like-minded people.  This community has that, for sure.  People who have been deconverted for decades and people just starting out in the process.  Nobody “gets” us like other ex-Christians!  And we’re here to support you.  
 

Fourthly, the passage of the time is a key element.  You can be virtually certain that Christianity is not true and that Hell doesn’t exist, but sometimes it just takes time to get fully over it.  The fact that you’re young should help there: Christianity hasn’t had decades to program your mind to not question. 
 

A great way to learn about the origins of the New Testament is through the books of Bart Ehrman.  He is a distinguished scholar and a former Christian himself.  One of my favorites is “How Jesus Became God”, but all his books are worth reading.  “Heaven and Hell” by Ehrman shows how these concepts developed over time, as Judaism and then Christianity evolved.      
 

I’m sure others will chime in with other suggestions.  For now, welcome again and I look forward to you becoming a regular around here! 
 

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6 hours ago, fluffyapple said:

Hey. We probably aren’t supposed to say our real names on here so I won’t lol. For some months, I’ve been wanting to leave Christianity but the fear of hell has held me back. I get cautious of so many things being a sin and it has made my life miserable. I just want to be a “normal” teen and enjoy life again but this “what if I’m wrong and I made the wrong choice” thing is always here with me. Hell is scary to say the least and I don’t want to end up there. Hopefully this miserable stage will pass…I’d like to learn more about the origins of the Old Testament, New Testament, Hell, and Christianity itself. If anyone has any advice/recommendations/links they can put some if they want.

 

Welcome to the forum fluffyapple!!!

 

I'm going to direct you to a good thread about satan and hell posted by one of our staff: 

 

 

You can start by reading through the above and then following much of the citation given in the thread. Those of us who are immune to believing any of it now - heaven, hell, satan and the rest - know too much about the subject matter to ever get caught up in believing it again. That's how many of us get from point a to point z.

 

I'm one of the point z people. I live completely free of things like debating to myself whether or not hell is real. I've been free of that sort of thing for a long time. Anyone else can get to that point too if they stay the course and put mythology and religion into perspective and keep it there.

 

None of these things are literally true. They may not have been meant to be taken as literally as people now take them. It's just what happened over time. As you can see in the video citation above, these conceptions were slowly invented over time and step by step. You can literally see how they were created by people making them up and in what order they were made up. All the evidence is there for the taking. You just have to wade through it and allow your mind to ingest the evidence and take an objective look at the whole thing. 

 

Hopefully the link will help you get started on the right foot. 

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WELCOME FLUFFY!

 

A book you might enjoy is A LITTLE HISTORY OF RELIGION.  It is a cleaver, easy to read, rational look at how religions and gods came to be.  It is obvious the author, Richard Holloway, sees the big picture.  HANG IN there! 

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Hello. I truly know that fear.

  Simple easy to test info. Our mind (.body, brain, etc) remembers things and acts as response to powerful stimuli. Like, you learned English as a child, now you automatically understand and respond. Try listening to a foreign language you do not understand. It has no power over you so to speak. 

      The same with many skills. With repetition and enforcement they become automatic. Like driving or playing the guitar.

       You may have noticed that things which are 1.often 2. Emotionally powerful are remembered better and their memory triggered easier. Hell fulfills both of those things. Just think if your parents taught you that mice are extremely poisonous. You would freak out when you see a mouse. Later you find out it is not true. But it is possible that the emotional reaction willl remain for some time.

       So you can view Hell through the lens of psychological habit learned over time ( thoughts, feelings, behaviour). With help you can dis-learn it. Think about how much time you spend worrying you do not recognize Muhammed as a prophet. Probably 0. The cause probably lies in your lack of exposure to such things. I have read ex Muslims fearing Hell for leaving Islam for example.

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Welcome to Ex-C fluffyapple

 

I'll ask you the same question I ask anybody when they say they are afraid of hell. Usually most people are afraid of only one hell, that of the religion they were brought up with.

 

So I ask them, and you, are you afraid of the Islamic hell? The Egyptian underworld? Do you fear being judged unworthy by Anubis, God of death? What about the Norse Hel? The Greek Hades? Are you afraid of them?

 

If the answer is no, then why fear the Christian hell? There is no more evidence for it than any of the other hell's that I mentioned. Ultimately, like all things religious, it's just man made stories. Sure preachers will say contrary, but when asked for proof fail to provide any.

 

Hopefully the above line of reasoning helps ease the fear you feel.

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Hi, good to see you here. I'm not a regular poster but I am a keen reader of this site.

I was a Christian for just under 60 years, including many years as a church minister both in UK and overseas. I preached it all because I believed it all. Then I retired and began to ask questions. Been a non-theist for about 15 years now and happier than ever before. Still reading, still asking questions but convinced the only gods are created by human imaginations.

Keep searching with an independent mind-set.

There's loads of excellent support here so don't be shy to ask and say what you think.

Best wishes

 

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5 hours ago, Weezer said:

OMG, you blew our cover!

Only my own.  I never mentioned you, Tim; I wouldn't do that.

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20 hours ago, fluffyapple said:

I just want to be a “normal” teen and enjoy life again but this “what if I’m wrong and I made the wrong choice” thing is always here with me.

There is no "right" or "wrong;" there is only "is."  We have been taught to think of everything in terms of duality: good & bad, light & dark, right & wrong.  But life isn't always just black and white with shades of grey; there's an entire spectrum of colors that presents itself to those who can see it. 

 

There will be plenty of decisions in your life that you will question/regret/doubt/second-guess.  That is part of the adventure.  But in the final tally, you, alone, get to decide if those choices were "good" or "right" by determining the cost/benefit of the consequences to your life.  What is "good" for you is good; what is "right" for you is right, so long as your choices do not harm yourself or others.  

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On 2/21/2021 at 8:29 AM, fluffyapple said:

Hey. We probably aren’t supposed to say our real names on here so I won’t lol. For some months, I’ve been wanting to leave Christianity but the fear of hell has held me back. I get cautious of so many things being a sin and it has made my life miserable. I just want to be a “normal” teen and enjoy life again but this “what if I’m wrong and I made the wrong choice” thing is always here with me. Hell is scary to say the least and I don’t want to end up there. Hopefully this miserable stage will pass…I’d like to learn more about the origins of the Old Testament, New Testament, Hell, and Christianity itself. If anyone has any advice/recommendations/links they can put some if they want.

 

Seems like you're in a tough spot. Does Jesus want people to be miserable? Why doesnt Jesus allay your fears? If he existed and loved us, wouldn't he give us peace and especially reassurance? People who love us dont extort us by forcing us to pretend to love them or burn in the Hell. And who created Hell? Who decided on the entry criteria to Hell? God did. 

 

What determines whether or not you are a Christian? Do you need to say like three prayers a day to remain in good standing? Do you need to announce to someone (like yourself) that you are officially a Christian? Or officially not a Christian? What happens if you dont make an official declaration of anything? Maybe Jesus  will sit in his chair in heaven tapping his chin thinking, "Damn, does this girl love me or not? I can't be sure..." (haha) Sorry, I digress. 

 

My only offering about conquering Hell is ...well, conquering Hell. Religion is all a mental construct. Church is a gathering of people who share a fantasy in their head about something that doesnt really exist. Nothing real from Heaven or Hell ever materializes in our world. You never see Jesus or Satan or angels ... maybe the occasional hallucination or vision, but that's all...nothing concrete. It's all mental. You are afraid of Hell because some people convinced you it was a real place, that you should be afraid of it, and that you are powerless to conquer it. Hell was designed to keep people under control and it works pretty damned good. It's just not real. 

 

So take a look at Hell, and why you thinks it's real. What actual evidence is there of such a place? Go on the offensive against it. Stop being afraid of it. Maybe imagine Satan cowering in fear at your feet. Not cowering before Jesus, but cowering before you. Take back the personal power that you have given away to imaginary beings. 

 

If someone tells you you're going to burn in hell, tell them, "I just dont believe you." Tell them you will make Satan wash the windows as you take over his office. As a matter of fact you will take over the throne of God as well... God and Jesus can wash the windows in heaven for you...all of this is mental nonsense. Anything is possible in our imaginations...

 

(No, I'm not insane. I've been tested. haha) 

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 11:29 AM, fluffyapple said:

 Hell is scary to say the least and I don’t want to end up there. Hopefully this miserable stage will pass…I’d like to learn more about the origins of the Old Testament, New Testament, Hell, and Christianity itself. If anyone has any advice/recommendations/links they can put some if they want.

Trust your judgement. People and institutions that rely on intimidation for persuasion are trying to get you to second guess yourself, and thereby hand over the choices you have over your life to them. People who are defensibly right do not need to rely on intimidation. 

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On 2/21/2021 at 11:29 AM, fluffyapple said:

Hey. We probably aren’t supposed to say our real names on here so I won’t lol. For some months, I’ve been wanting to leave Christianity but the fear of hell has held me back. I get cautious of so many things being a sin and it has made my life miserable. I just want to be a “normal” teen and enjoy life again but this “what if I’m wrong and I made the wrong choice” thing is always here with me. Hell is scary to say the least and I don’t want to end up there. Hopefully this miserable stage will pass…I’d like to learn more about the origins of the Old Testament, New Testament, Hell, and Christianity itself. If anyone has any advice/recommendations/links they can put some if they want.

Welcome to ExC!!

 

 

Hell is the absolute worse part of the Christian hook. Just like a fish. They get your attention with jesus' love and mercy talking about how he will forgive you for everything wrong you have ever done. And let's be honest. Even in a kids mind they know they have done something wrong, even if we don't consider it a sin, they probably do. So you realize you have "sinned" and that your bound for hell if you don't accept Jesus and his mercy. It is really ridiculous. 

 

If you look at my profile pic it is Jesus knocking on a door. The meme is a knock knock joke. 

 

Knock knock

Who's there?

Jesus let me in

Why?

Because I need to save you.

From what?

From what I'm going to do to you if you don't let me in. 

 

So naturally if you suddenly realize your unavoidable destination is this horrible hell. Coming to the opposite conclusion (that you are now saved and free from hell) will give off an extreme emotional release of stress. Which is the "salvation experience". 

 

If it was really gods will that none should perish but have everlasting life then why doesn't he do it? He is supposedly all powerful? 

 

Well thats easy. He just doesn't exist. 

 

You mentioned wanting some links on the old testament. 

 

As I'm sure you know the church in general believe Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. First I would challenge you to research archeological finding from the journey that some 2 million people took through the desert. You'll find that they couldn't find anything even remotely close to the biblical account. So most likely Moses didn't exist but if he did his real story is lost to legend. 

 

Here is a good article outlining the 4 writers who did write the old testament. Known only as J, E, P, and D. 

 

http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat55/3sub1/entry-5727.html

 

I think this is the article I came across when I was deconverting. 

 

I wish you well on your journey. We are here to help in anyway we can. Dont be afraid to ask. 

 

Dark Bishop

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