Jump to content

On The Rocks


Recommended Posts

Well, I've been lurking here reading like mad for the past several days, and I've decided to take the plunge and actually post.... This is the not so short recap of how a former Charismatic Biblical-literalist went from fervent faith to wondering whether I've been had.

 

I grew up in a mostly charismatic evangelical Christian family - they don't claim a denominational label, but they're pretty damned Pentacostal for all practical purposes. Why they don't take the name, I have no idea. Anyway, I was taught that the Bible was the literal, inerrant word of God from the time I was a baby - creationism, sin, Jesus = salvation, the rapture's going to happen any day now, hell = eternal, Dantesque torture, and that spiritual warfare is going on all the time. Oh yeah, and of course God speaks to you in a "still, small voice" and with visions/dreams, spirit-filled believers speak in tongues, miracle healings, exorcisms, and some other odd stuff.

 

For the first 22 years of my life, I followed most of what I just mentioned above. I read my Bible from cover to cover several times by the time I was 18, watched for signs of the impending rapture and did the charismatic thing. I spoke in tongues, claimed miracle healings, and rebuked demons. Aside from two *very* fleeting times as a kid that I don't remember well enough to post about, I didn't have any doubts whatsoever - I could rationalize anything. However, that all changed when I started law school. I thought I was "led by God" to go (and of course, it fit my *own* career ideas, conveniently).

 

The first little crack in the foundation came with the LSAT. I prayed like crazy before, during, and after the exam. I had a specific score in mind I wanted. I waited for the results... I had missed my target by a single point. Seems petty, but it's not when you're working under the assumption of "anything you ask in my name will be done for you." I felt betrayed. I'd trusted completely that my prayer would be answered. I prayed to understand God's will and why I hadn't gotten what I asked for. There was only silence for months. However, I managed to push that aside when I got accepted to a good school with a good scholarship - I thought my prayer had been answered, that the previous problem was just a test of faith. So I was happy again, and off to school I went.

 

The first year of law school isn't fun, let me tell you, especially when you need to incur massive debt to do it even with a scholarship, and your younger brother is about to be sent to Iraq as an infantryman. Stress, stress, and more stress, compounded by the fact that I'd moved 1200 miles across the country to attend that school. I responded by immersing myself in the New Testament constantly, up to two hours a day, and praying like mad. I felt reassured, convinced that God was guiding me and looking out for me. And then my final exam grades came in. Bad news. I'd fucked up an exam royally for a class that was important to the area of law I originally intended to practice.

 

Total depression. I felt betrayed again. And once more there were no answers to my pleadings for understanding. When I expressed my confusion and pain in the face of God's seeming refusal to give me even the slightest idea of how this fit in his plan for my life, I didn't get a lot of help from my family. My mother, an uber-pentacostal if there ever was one, quite helpfully speculated that I was "angry with God" and that my "demands" for answers were possibly why I was getting only silence. She kindly informed me that if I didn't just praise God and stop thinking about it, I'd risk losing my faith. Thanks Mom! :Hmm: Never mind that I was a total nervous wreck, and that what hurt me more than the academic misstep was the seeming abandonment by God. Nope, best to just shut up and sing some praises. The knife was twisted when my scholarship was reduced, forcing me farther into debt to continue pursuing a degree I was no longer certain that God was leading me towards.

 

Year 2 was miserable. My confidence in myself was shattered (I was always the straight A student most of my entire academic career, especially in college). Still, I clung to hope and kept reading the Bible and praying. Only now I started reading other stuff too. I figured that I wasn't understanding it well enough, and if I understood it better I'd understand why God was silent. Maybe he wanted me to spend yet more time studying scripture and building my faith in this crappy time. Of course that must be it! So I studied theologians and apologists. Luther, Lewis, Augustine, among others. I pratically wore out my library card. I pored through websites and Christian fora for answers. Big mistake. The more I read, the less sense it made. No one could agree on even the most basic doctrines, let alone the advanced stuff - and of course the arguing Christians never practiced what they preached and behaved in a hateful way. And I started really noticing the unpleasant parts, starting with Job and the fact that there is no way to spin that book that makes it anything but horrific. It moved on from there to the genocides, slaughter of the Egyptian firstborn, eternal damnation, bizarre commandments, and the suspicious way that the OT's god seemed to fit the local culture's morality a little too perfectly. Shouldn't a perfect god come up with *better* morals than the average ANE tribe from 4000 years ago? I had to keep pushing away the feeling that it all made perfect sense IF the god's morality and sense of justice was made up by men - of course it would perfectly conform to the ancient culture's own norms. (See the "collectivist society" bullshit that the jackass on Tektonics uses to justify punishing the innocent for the sins of their evil leaders.)

 

I prayed for wisdom to understand this stuff, and as usual, got only silence. Now I was *really* confused, as didn't the NT say God would always answer sincere prayers for wisdom to understand the Bible? Then the lovely passages talking about how doubters wouldn't get any answers nagged me and made me agonize over whether I was praying with conviction and faith, with a nice side of guilt to go with it. At this point, the guilt, doubt, and worry were starting to piss me off severely. I had been doing everything I was supposed to do as well as I could, seeing as how I couldn't force myself to have no doubts, and I couldn't get even a little communication from my Heavenly Father? What kind of a father lets his daughter suffer in silence for two years?

 

Finals came and went for the year, and out of the two prayers I made, one was "answered," and one was "not." The sense of overwhelming relief I had at the first was smashed to pieces by the second a few days later. So much ambiguity! The results weren't any better than random chance! That was the last straw. I have spent hundreds of hours praying and studying the Bible. I have pleaded for forgiveness for my doubt and any sins that may have been blocking God from answering. I have lain on my face on the floor sobbing, begging for any reassurance or answers to my rapidly growing list of questions. I have screamed to the sky for a response, even if it was the whirlwind of Job. Nothing.

 

So.. I started reading the other side's arguments. I've been poring over Secular Web, Ebon Musings, this forum of course, and read every deconversion story I can get my hands on. And what I've seen has matched my own experience. No one gets answers, and the past devoutness and present pain I've seen in the extimonies destroys the typical Christian excuse of "oh, they never REALLY believed" or "they're just willfully rebelling." Horseshit. And I've put the inerrancy stuff through the wringer, examining every proposed Bible contradiction the skeptics have raised. Even under the most forgiving approach, some are beyond my ability to reconcile and maintain intellectual honesty. Plus, Farrell Till's critique of the Tyre prophecy is devastating - I can't conceive of any way that one is NOT a failed prophecy. That can't be explained away like the myriad other ultra-vague prophecies. Ebon Musing's essays on the archaeological problems with Exodus do even more damage. In a nutshell, the more I study, the more problems both the NT and the OT keep racking up in history, morality, archaeology, consistency, prophecy, the list goes on.

 

So where does that leave me now? Poised on the brink. I'm still studying before I come to a firm conclusion, but what's left of my faith is on the ropes. This process has left me utterly exhausted and depressed. I'm fucking sick of it all, and I'm done waiting. Faith's had 2 years to make its case. So the jury's out, and I doubt it will be long before there's a verdict.

 

Anyway, that's my story so far. I'll end it here for now, and maybe share some thoughts on the irrational fundyness I've been witnessing in my own family sometime in the future. And I'd like to thank everybody here for their own very moving deconversion stories, they've really been a help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bluescreen, nice board name, btw. Heh

 

Welcome to ExC from a fellow former-inerrantist. Raised Southern Baptist, did my time in the Charismatic/Non-denom world, didn't escape until I was 40+. I only wish that I had run into the truth at your age!

 

Expect to spend a lot of time whacking your forehead with the palm of your hand and saying things like "How could I NOT SEE THIS before?" and "How did I ever believe in this crap?" It's a bit humiliating. But the resulting freedom is worth it.

 

Reading your post is a bit painful because it is evident that you have been putting yourself through an emotional wringer. I've found my emotional health and mental stability are GREATLY improved since I lost my faith. I hope you can already see that to some extent. Not having to worry about whether or not you are "in God's will" and not having to battle non-existent demons helps a lot too. LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice to see you here, Bluescreen! I hope that you will find the further answers you need to be at peace about the matter of religion. I know from experience that it is difficult once you leave. It feels somewhat empty and lost. But you will gain confidence as you see through the lies of the Christian doctrine. Just give it time.

 

I can't wait to see the things you have to contribute to this forum. I hope we can all be of help to you and you to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So where does that leave me now? Poised on the brink. I'm still studying before I come to a firm conclusion, but what's left of my faith is on the ropes. This process has left me utterly exhausted and depressed. I'm fucking sick of it all, and I'm done waiting.

 

 

Welcome Bluescreen!

 

Deconverting is so difficult that, sometimes, I think the devotees, like your family, are better off not knowing any better. I am not surprissed that you are depressed and have a huge sense of loss right now; after all, the bullshit was your entire life.

 

My faith also proved worthless during my time in college (at 40+ years old, last year). And right now, I am sort of starting my life over from scratch. This is very difficult to do, because I am angry, tired, and afraid--but I must start over or die. I don't want to die, because now I have good reasons to live a fun, enlightened life.

 

I wish you the best in your new journey. It will be difficult, but it will be worth it. And if you haven't yet, read Marlene Winell's Leaving the Fold.

 

Good luck to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Truth Seeker

Dear Bluescreen,

 

WELCOME! I too am kind of new here, but have been lurking around for a while now. I just recently posted my own deconversion story here, and I invite you to read it if you haven't already (entitled "Breaking the tie that binds"). A LOT of people have been right where you are. I remember the two years that I went through my own deconversion were mentaly HORRIBLE! It was a very painful time in my life. Anytime your whole world if founded around one principal, and then you realize that it was all a myth and a fable, it can very tramatic. As to your christian family and friends, you will realize that, if and/or when you tell them of your non-belief, you will find that these so called christians will leave you COLD!!! So much for Christian love. I feel as if I live a better christian lifestyle NOW than back then. And I am certianly more happy and well adjusted. NEVER, EVER have I felt more at peace. I agree with trashy....expect lots of time spent smacking yourself on the forehead, wondering how in the world you could have believed it for so long. I wish with all my might that I could have gotten out earlier than I did....I feel like the majority of my life up until my deconversion was partialy wasted. If you ever feel the need to talk one on one about any of this, feel free to e-mail me at truth_seeker_ms at hotmail dot com ( spelled out to foil spammers). I also have a yahoo messenger ID, so e-mail me if you ever need to talk. I wish you well!!!!!

 

Truth Seeker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Bluescreen. A very moving story. This former fundy identifies with many of your experiences.

 

I, too, lost my faith while I was in college, and ironically enough it was at a Christian college, of all places. I had been "called" to be a pastor, and went to the college to further my education in preparation for bi-vocational ministry or something of the sort. I was an apologist myself, reading the works of Lewis, Strobel, and McDowell and arguing for them vehemently. I dated and became engaged to a fundy girl who I met at the school. However, I constantly felt like my life was empty and that I was faking it all. Many devout Christians would have just come forward on a Sunday morning and re-dedicated their life or give some testimony about how they needed to really get saved, but I could not do that. The answers I needed were not with my parents, church, the Bible or Christianity. When I finally realized that and started opening up to people, my life began to crumble around me. My fiancee left me, my parents turned their back on me, and my Christian friends ostracized me.

 

When you talk about nights lying on the floor sobbing or screaming out to God, I am right there with you. For me it was not lying on the floor, but sitting in my car for hours on end, crying and cursing at God for not giving me the answers I needed. The hardest part of it all was trying to move on, which I am still working on. I was raised Southern Baptist fundamentalist, and that was what I had believed my entire life. How exactly do you pick up and move on? You have severed ties with the only beliefs you have ever known, and as a result you now have no idea what to believe. Besides, pretty much everyone you knew and loved has abandoned you, so you don't even have a shoulder to cry on anymore.

 

All I can say is good luck and good hunting. Your story has been an encouragement to me, and I am sure you will find stories here that are an encouragement to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome Bluescreen!

 

Seems like you have done an incredible study of the flawed theologies of Christianity. I sure hope you'll spend some time here in the debates.

 

:wave:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, Bluescreen! Welcome to the board! :bounce::clap::woohoo:

 

You're experiences sounded very familiar to mine, except that for me,

my prayers were almost always answered with a resounding NO.

I, too, tried to cling to my faith for years, trying to rationalize away the

failure of prayer. I finally got to the point where it made no sense to me

any more, and I soon left the fold, never to return. At first, it was a little

scary, but over time I got used to a life beyond christ. And I found myself

in far less emotional turmoil than I was when I was a christian. Being

a christian left me an emotional wreck!

 

Anyway, best of luck on your journey. I hope you can find the peace that

you are looking for!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

when I was holding on by a thread like you were I simply did one thing:

I asked god, jesus, hs, everyone outloud to speak to me and tell me that they were here for me. I waited about 10 days and at the end of the tenth day I had still not gotten a answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest revpo

WELCOME Bluscreen

What a narrative, All that time in school asking for something..who you were praying to the supernatural never answers, its all a fable.

 

I read THE AGE OF REASON a number of years ago<40> by T. Paine, and it changed my life on the OT and NT, never finished them anyhow, boring reading on all the killings etc.

 

Welcome AGAIN

 

REVPO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To everyone who's taken the time to plow through my little novella - Thanks for the warm welcome! I suspect it's much more enthusiastic than what I would've gotten somewhere like Theologyweb ("Home of the Largest Collection of Arrogant Twats Outside of the Vatican"). :grin:

 

Trashy - Hehe, thanks for the compliment on the screenname. <bows> And thank you also for the kindhearted sympathy.

 

You're right about the emotional wringer, and it definitely contributed to where I'm at now. There just comes a point where one can't stand all the psychological/emotional gymnastics it takes to explain away the problems.

 

Young Mother Atheist - <blush> Thanks, I hope I can contribute something to the board that'll compare with the kindness you guys have already shown a total stranger. "Empty" is a good word to use - right now I'm experiencing a weird kind of empty calm that kind of reminds me of the sudden silence after a violent storm. I think finally sitting down and spending a couple hours writing out my story helped to eject some of that turmoil I've been wrestling with. And I'm willing to give it time, especially now that I've gotten back a little toehold of serenity. A weird, pondering the unknown kind of serenity, but I'll take what I can get! <g> I plan to keep reading and studying - I'll be hitting "Unearthing the Bible" this weekend with any luck.

 

BTW, I see you live in Tennessee. I lived there for about 15 years (was born in Chicago, now I live in Connecticut in case anyone's curious - the switch's been interesting in terms of the religious behavior I see). I know how rough that place can be... :vent:

 

Lorena - I agree with your comment about some people being better off not knowing. You can bet that my relatives aren't going to hear anything at all about this... That'd be one ginormous stupid fight I do NOT want to have, especially right now. I've got enough on my plate without getting a lecture on how the devil's got a "spiritual stronghold" of deceit in my mind.

 

I know exactly how you feel, especially the exhaustion and sense of needing a fresh start at all costs. I wish you the best of luck in finding a healthy, happy future (and any more college/grad school you plan on). Thanks for suggesting Winell's book, I'll have to see about getting my hands on a copy.

 

Truth Seeker - Thanks for the email offer, I just might take you up on it sometime. And I did read your deconversion story, I'll post on it once I've gotten some sleep. I'm glad you've found peace at last and a way of life that is fulfilling! Don't feel like your past was wasted - it's the stepping stone to a lot of self-knowledge and development.

 

As for my friends and family, you'd probably be correct on some of them. I can only speculate as to the reaction of the evangelical relatives (evangelatives?), and it ain't pretty. Fortunately, I've got at least one friend who's taking it well. Ironically, it's my boyfriend (my childhood sweetheart) who's studying to become a preacher! He had his own dark night of the soul several years ago, and abhors the thought of judging anyone who's dealing with their own. He's not a pentecostal like my family, but more of a moderate, somewhat liberal Christian. (Accepts the NT, but tends towards the

idea that good chunks of the OT are symbolic or mythologized.)

 

Misterspock1 - I'm glad my story has been of help to you, it reassures me that posting it was the right decision. I wavered for a while on whether or not I'd hit that "submit" button. I hope the healing process has been good to you after your deconversion. And your own story gives me a sense of deja vu. I know exactly how you felt - after one of my exams this last semester that left me trying to quell a panic attack, I sat in my car in the parking lot on campus and screamed my utter frustration and confusion at the lack of help and answers. Cars are strangely good places for that.

 

HanSolo - <chuckle> I can't hold a candle to the research that some have done, but I'll contribute what I can! I know my way around theories of justice, something I'm sure I can apply in a debate at some point. I wouldn't mind tearing into one of those predestination-loving coldblooded Calvinists or atrocity apologists - I can't believe the utter inhumanity those assholes show, it's disgusting. I swear some of them have an outright fetish for Hell.

 

Gnosis - I feel your pain all right. And of course you never get a reason WHY the answer was "no"... that seems to be *our* job to concoct for some unfathomable reason! I don't know how so many people can swallow the Magic Eight Ball view of prayer I see spewed on plenty of Christian fora - "Oh, it can be yes, no, or later!" Wow, where's the "future hazy, try again later" option?? The strangest thing is when at first they're convinced the holy spirit told them that the prayer would be answered the way they want, then it's NOT, and it's like they don't even notice! For example, my mom was convinced, absolutely certain that she would get an emotionally-destroyed woman who hadn't spoken to anyone in years to recover and live a normal life again. Did it happen? Nope, not by the time we'd moved across the country. Same thing for a cancer patient she prayed for and was sure would recover - he just died. "I KNOW God wanted him to be healed, but he just lost the will to try..." Convenient. BTW, that came *after* she claims to have literally seen a demon come out of his body when she rebuked the cancer. :twitch: Anyway, I'm happy to hear that you're emotionally better off now - I hope I can pull that one off myself.

 

Nicoleeann - <nods> I've done the same thing myself. My daily prayers for the past two or three months had devolved to nothing but simple, pitiful pleas for the slightest reassurance. No one can accuse either of us of being impatient!

 

Revpo - Ah, the infamous "Age of Reason." I recently read that one. Not too bad, Paine's critiques of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah are still pretty good. The bizarre formatting and broken structure in some of them was a particularly sharp point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Gnosis - I feel your pain all right. And of course you never get a reason WHY the answer was "no"... that seems to be *our* job to concoct for some unfathomable reason! I don't know how so many people can swallow the Magic Eight Ball view of prayer I see spewed on plenty of Christian fora - "Oh, it can be yes, no, or later!" Wow, where's the "future hazy, try again later" option?? The strangest thing is when at first they're convinced the holy spirit told them that the prayer would be answered the way they want, then it's NOT, and it's like they don't even notice! For example, my mom was convinced, absolutely certain that she would get an emotionally-destroyed woman who hadn't spoken to anyone in years to recover and live a normal life again. Did it happen? Nope, not by the time we'd moved across the country. Same thing for a cancer patient she prayed for and was sure would recover - he just died. "I KNOW God wanted him to be healed, but he just lost the will to try..." Convenient. BTW, that came *after* she claims to have literally seen a demon come out of his body when she rebuked the cancer. :twitch: Anyway, I'm happy to hear that you're emotionally better off now - I hope I can pull that one off myself.

 

 

 

Give it time, Bluescreen, give it time. Even now, I still find myself blaming gawd

for bad things that happen (as they do), but I recognize this as being emotion and

some residual christian programming. It even sounds silly to me now....why am

I blaming a non-existent entity for my problems? I'm better off redirecting my

energies to solving whatever problems come my way, or accepting the problems

that I can't do anything about.

 

It does take time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Bluescreen

 

It's a lonely path towards understanding. Only you know the best way to approach it. I am as certain of the non existence of the Christian God as I am of my own existence. I don't have a word to describe the force which created and sustains us. I am at peace with myself and take great delight that in all matters I am my own master. The peace and joy I feel at present surpasses anything I experienced as a Christian before I thought for myself. So my journey towards understanding has been worthwhile. I hope yours is too.

 

Regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So where does that leave me now? Poised on the brink

 

Welcome to the brink Bluescreen. We’ve all been there. The choice is yours, take a walk into the unknown, or turn around and walk back into the misery of the familiar.

 

 

Oh yeah, and of course God speaks to you in a "still, small voice"

 

I had a Christian ask me last year whether or not I also had that “small voice” in my head that told me right from wrong. When I explained to her that I did, but that same “small voice” also told me to buy a 12-pack of Ding Dongs every time I went to the supermarket, she was not amused.

 

Bluescreen, the people on this side of “the brink” have much better sense of humor. :woohoo:

 

IBF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally relate to your story.

Once you start to see it, you can't just unsee it. Even the "that's the devil" programming doesn't really do the trick. Coz in your heart, you know when you're lying to yourself, and eventually that "I'm just lying to myself here" feeling forces you to step back and wonder "Is it possible I was just deluded?"

And yeah, it is humbling realizing how powerful self-delusion can be...how utterly convincing it is at times.

 

I've drifted in and out of feeling very peaceful with deconverting, to occationally wondering if the process might leave me stark raving mad and frying in hell...but as time goes on, I'm feeling more and more sure I made the right choice.

 

If I ever choose to believe in god again (the christian one or any other flavor) it will be a choice made of sound mind, not the product of childhood brainwashing.

Any god worth a damn would understand this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boyfriend brought up the religion thing again yesterday, it was a little uncomfortable. Apparently my late-night rant a few days earlier gave him some crap he had to try to reconcile for himself. He realized he's more theologically liberal than he originally thought. The part that made me uneasy was when he said that if I did choose to go infidel (not his phrasing) it would put him in an "awkward position." I didn't want to know exactly what he meant right then. I know he didn't mean it as a threat or anything, and he's already stated repeatedly that he'd never want to force any choice on me. The phrasing was just a little.. egh. The questions I've raised have nudged him to start digging into the OT, and he's ordered his own book on it for a different perspective than Finkelstein and Silberman. Could be interesting.

 

Gnosis - Yeah, I have to remind myself to chill out from time to time with all this. The interesting thing is, this phenomenon can be seen with regards to strongly-held nonreligious ideas. I mean, notice how many Cold War generation people *still* curse the Communists (and their liberal lackeys) for sneakily taking over America? For a fine example, check out Ann Coulter's book, "Godless." Had a good laugh at that one while in the bookstore today! Ever read Jacques Ellul's "Propaganda"? It's an EXCELLENT study on the psychological effects of propaganda, how it changes perception, and the unwillingness to confront flaws in belief it produces. Fascinating book.

 

Padhyde - Thanks for the kind wishes. Peace is really at the heart of what I want. I know what you mean about peace and joy as a Christian not being all it was cracked up to be. Having the certainty that everything would work out in the end was a nice boost, but, man, you paid for it with so many other worries. Hell, who's going there, the end times, trying to decipher "God's Plan " in every tiny event, and on and on. Throw explaining away revolting Bible passages into the mix and it's a slow, grinding exahaustion. The freedom to question the shit out of the Bible and feeling able to simply say "This crazy passage is probably just the ramblings of a guy stuck in his own cultural POV, it's not binding on me" is refreshing. No more having to swallow my own judgments or hide behind elaborate explanations as to why a certain verse doesn't really mean what it sure seems to. (Ala Paul's infamous bits about women.) :woohoo:

 

Burnedout - Hehe, thanks for the offer, I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of ranting and rambling in the future. The sad thing is, just hearing that it's ok to be pissed and upset is healing. It's something I haven't heard from my family before - and I know I wouldn't hear it now that I'm doing a lot more than just complaining about God's confusing silence on one problem...

 

I Broke Free - <lol> Good rebuttal to the small voice question. I have to agree with you about the sense of humor thing, too many Christians (especially online) can't take a freaking joke. I know I could never go back to what I thought before, any kind of conservative orthodoxy or fundyism is dead to me. Theologically liberal is the most I could possibly manage, and that would take some unambiguous divine contact or some damn powerful circumstantial evidence, combined with a reason NOT to expect communication/answered prayer. I'm not real confident in receiving either, but I'm refusing to allow myself to make any final decisions while I'm upset and stressed out. I'm working to put myself in the eye of the storm, so to speak. Quiet all the chaos down and step back to weigh the evidence on both sides rationally and neutrally. I'd hate to make the wrong choice, and if I let any bias taint my decision, I know I'll always have doubt nagging me. I figure it's best to move cautiously and get it right the first time.

 

KellyB - <nods> I know exactly what you mean, and I'm trying hard to choose in as detached and logical of a way as I can. The childhood indoctrination thing pisses me off, because it just gets in the way of making a neutral evaluation. Friggin' smokescreen! I'm trying to ignore it as best I can and look at the Bible as a total outsider, using only what I've learned to weigh it. That tactic has already shot down Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangelists" pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting your story. I was where you are roughly 6 months ago and never thought I'd smile again. My whole life for 46 years had revolved around God and the possibility of living without him seemed impossible, added to which, no one else followed me in my family, leaving somewhat out on a limb on my own.

But I have come to an understanding of life that is far more coherent and peaceful than any period I had as a Christian. Yes no eternal life, but yes, no fears that those I love will end up forever separated in the fires of hell. No sky practical joker sending trials and tribulations to see how I'd react, no impossible things to believe before breakfast and no ancient rules of conduct that seek only to terrorise and make miserable lives that cannot fit them.

The path you've got to go down now can be rocky and dark, there's no denying it. But once you step out of the abyss, into the sunlight of reality, the whole process seems so worthwhile, you'll hardly look back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, lost my long reply to the internet satan!!

 

Anyway, welcome BS.... :HaHa: sorry couldn't resist.

 

Feel free to discuss whatever you want on these boards, you'll not find a better bunch of people anywhere else on the 'net!

 

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest cerebral

Bluescreen,

 

Your story sounds so familiar. Mine has also been unraveling partly on being "led" into a path of total heartache and then from there finding Job, OT slaughters, the 12th plague, etc. disquieting, right on through to finding errancy problems, prophecies, etc. that can't be reconciled unless your really "stretching". I'm also right "on the rocks", as you said; I've been there from 3 years. I haven't trashed it all but I'm pretty close. I just got "demoted" to a "nonbeliever" on the Christian boards where I guess they got tired of my doubt-filled questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cat - You're welcome, you have my sympathies for having gone through what I'm dealing with now! It sucks for sure. Deconverting after 46 years... that took some courage for sure. So many people wouldn't have done it, if anything because they wouldn't want to admit they'd been wrong for so long. I hope I'm as peaceful as you six months from now. The possible lack of an afterlife has been kinda bothering me lately - it's kind of sad, especially when looking at some precious creature and thinking of it as utterly nonexistent. On the other hand, we live in a weird world according to chaos theory, quantum mechanics, and string theory - maybe, if there is no Heaven after all, we just slip into a different universe when we die. :shrug: BTW, I like the phrase "sky practical joker" - sometimes that's really how the whole "testing" thing comes off...

 

Dan - Cursed internet satan, surrounded by his hoard of typo demons!! <g> Thanks for the welcome, I think your assessment of the people on this board is correct.

 

Cerebral - <nods> I know exactly what you mean. Your list has hit most of the highlights of mine - I've had problems with Job for a long time, and it's gotten to the point where I can't look at that book without feeling total revulsion. There's just so much butchery in the OT, it's exhausting trying to find a way to put a "happy face" on it to keep the thought out of your head that Jehovah sure looks...less than perfect and loving in those passages. The errancy and prophecy problems are bad too, especially some of the ones about Tyre and Egypt that seem blatantly unfulfilled no matter how you look at it. The mental gymnastics just get to the point where one starts to feel both weary and dishonest for keeping them up - "oh, it's a double fulfillment/partial fulfillment." Oh, really? I guess when the prophet said "Nebuchadnezzar," he really meant "Alexander the Great and some other future dudes." Right. :Wendywhatever: Don't even get me started on Revelations - my mom's been studying that book and prophecy for over 30 years now, I've heard it ALL.... And the mods on that Christian forum demoting you just for asking questions.. that's just cold. But sadly, it seems to be par for the course. I hope we can both come to some kind of satisfying conclusions about this whole damn mess that sets us free - good luck to you in your own quest!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Bluescreen, thanks for sharing your testimony.

 

I'm with Gnosis and a few of the others...the longer you remain an unbeliever, the better it gets. It's good just to accept life on its own terms and for what it is, rather than infuse it with myths. In the beginning of deconversion, those long abiding fears implanted from childhood are still there, such as judgement, hell, rejection by "the Faithful", etc., but they pass, and rather quickly.

 

Best wishes...looking forward to your continued participation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, Bluescreen is a dandy of a name.

Feel like I know you...along with so many others here.

Isn't it amazing that the faith required to become a Christian, which performs the greatest miracle of all...is resident in a "Sinner"... While the faith to get the little crumbs falling from God's table is so elusive. Have to wonder then...if the greatest faith doesn't belong to sinners, and you lose your faith when you're born again.

When I first exited the faith (less than a year ago), it felt like I was in a free fall, from a very tall cliff. My arms were flailing...reaching and grasping for anything to replace that sure foundation I'd just lost...until I finally recognized...I wasn't falling at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.