5/31/05                                                                                       View Comments

Thank God/dess!! *wink*

sent in by Lady Sidhe works

Simply put, I started reading the bible. I was just really indifferent religion-wise, before that. Never really thought about it, never really impacted my life, wasn't a churchgoer, wasn't a proseletyzing believer. It was just something that was there.

I started reading the bible just for the hell of it (no pun intended), and it just annoyed me that God was portrayed as this vengeful, violent, warlike, intolerant murderer. That's not how I saw God. I figured, "If God were perfect, the way He's supposed to be, he wouldn't have human failings. God of love, my ass." Then I read Ken's Guide to the Bible. THEN, my boyfriend at the time suggested Wicca.

I laughed it off. Witch? Please...but to humor him, I picked up a book by Cunningham called "The Truth About Witchcraft Today," and it all came together. It was like I finally found my beliefs written down coherently. That's all it took, and that's how I got where I am today.

I personally believe that all religions embrace the same basic ideas--the only difference is what they call Diety and how they worship Deity. All the particulars are irrelevant. If God/dess thinks that Wicca will bring me closer, that's how S/He'll approach me. If S/He thinks Christianity is better for someone else, or perhaps Buddhism, or Islam...that's the approach S/He'll use.

Who am I to say S/He can't? Anyone who thinks that their way is the "One and Only True Way" is deluding themselves.

Your Sex--Female
Your City--Hammond
Your State--La
Your Country--USA
How old were you when you became a christian? Baptized at 12
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 24
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Baptist, Catholic, Questioner
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Eclectic Pagan
Why did you become a christian?--born into an indifferent christian family--it;'s what you did.
Why did you de-convert?--Because I didn't agree with the version of the Creator as portrayed in the bible, or with religious intolerance in general.
ladysidhe at yahoo dot com

5/30/05                                                                                       View Comments

from fundy christian terrorist-wanna be to positive humanist rocker

sent in by joe blow

I was born into a very strict southern fundy family, grew up in private school, My family is all involved in the Ministry at some level, pastors, missionaries, I was a youth pastor at one time. I was looked upon as a uncompromising leader in the church. I naturaly found bible studys interesting, I commited whole heartedly to the Faith, I led bible study & prayer groups in public schools, I led downtown witnessing teams, I led youth groups and preached at the pulpit a few times.

Almost all my sermons were on the subject of GOds Unconditional Love.. A concept I still hold sacred and the biggest reason why I reject Christianity and its pardoxical hate filled theology of Eternal Hell and Hereditary Transmission of Orginial Sin Doctrine.

Secretly I admired,respected and justified the " brave and honorable" christians who bombed abortion clinics. I took christian theology and biblical literalism to its most logical conclution and could justify all sorts of actions that mimic todays Islamic Terrorists.. all in the name of GOd, when you interpret holy scripture in a literal sense.

Looking back I am sure I had a Martyr Complex.

Because I grew up in a sheltered environment, the only books I was ever exsposed to was christian books, young earth creationism, and the paranoid end time books of the 1980's.

In my mid 20's I started the bad habit of buying books on any subject I didnt know about. Because I was bored,single and lonley..... it turned into a hobby which I still practice today, my house is like a library with thousands of books. These days I mostly read science textbooks, I cant stand fiction. I also collect pages of the oldest bibles I can find ( my oldest being the first edition of the KJV 1616) and I also collect old science textbooks and out of print cult and occult books, just because of the "oddness" factor. And they are fun to read

Anyway I rememeber the first non-christian book I bought was a new age book from the 1980's that was critical of christianity and claimed the Yeweh was an alien.

I thought it was a christian book when I first bought it, and this silly new age book planted the seeds of curiosity that eventually led to my deconversion 5 years later. I started to mass buy books on every topic dealing with religion, philosphy, all the non canon bible books, dead sea scrolls, biblical history,UFO junk, new age stuff, cults, which after so many years of spending months on a particular subject,

I finally settled down in comforting "spiritual" bliss of Science and the "ologys", critical thinking, and Logic.

By now I am completely de converted. a few years into my education, I wrote a 10 page letter to my church and family outlining the detailed reasons why I am leaving christianity, outlining biblical contradictions and historical evidenc and so forth.... Things have never been the same since then. basically all my church family and friends shunned me and see me as a lost cause.

My family nevers talks to me anymore. every one avoids me like I am some Leper. If I see a old church buddy, they turn their back on me.

Oh well the price to pay I guess for wanting to know the Truth.

And the Truth is( as far as I can see) that fundy Christianity is a destructive false man made cult filled to the brim with destructive paradoxical logical falacy.

Now days i front a rock band. vocals and guitar.

My goal in life is to promote the value of education, science , critical thinking, positive ( even spritual) humanism in our anti intellectual and sex driven candy pop american youth worship culture. my other goal is to promote awareness that our elderly population is de valued and maginalized in our modern society, and that they need to find a constructive positive role in our society. I believe the future of our humanity is at stake by ignoring the wisdom and peaceful intentions of our elderly.

My third goal is to promote anti-materalistic lifstyle.

This is difficult to do in our institutionalized popular music culture that worships youth,looks, money, and anti-education, and self image... although I am positive the "demand" and maket is out there, and we have gotten nothing but positive feedback and support. We are on the verge if not already, of " breaking thru" to the "Top".

these next few years should be very interesting.

If I can turn one fan onto education,science, and critical thinking, then I have fulffilled my purpose.

How old were you when you became a christian? born into it. saved at 10
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 27 ish
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Holiness, Baptist
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? positive humanist
Why did you become a christian? I thought it was Truth, I wanted to know God
Why did you de-convert? Education, Apologetics, biblical studies

WHY I AM AN ATHEIST

sent in by Roy

This is a long overdue post . I would have liked to post this way back earlier, but due to my work commitments, I have decided to post this a little later than I would have wanted to, especially since Pope John Paul II's death. Better late than never, so here goes.

I have, for the past ten odd years, declared myself an atheist. And for some reason, people do not have a accurate perception what atheism truly entails, especially religious fundamentalists, who approach me from time to time, attempting to pry me away from the clutches of medieval demons and beasts.

Perhaps, before I begin to broach on the subject, it is perhaps prudent for me to explain what atheism means to me, or to the majority of atheists out there (If there ever is such thing known as a atheist majority, that is). Atheism is a state of non-belief of any phenomenon, creatures, deities, demons, objects, and everything that cannot be validated by the basic tenets of science.

Over the years I have had many religious friends coming forth to me, explaining their religious beliefs, and why it is dangerous, and sometimes immoral, not to have a basis of religious faith in my life. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, they have all approached me, Christians especially, at some point of my life. No disrespect to them, I like the way I am now, well, maybe not entirely, but I have no need for a belief in a god above me which I can neither speak to nor hear from (Unless you are talking about a bad case of schizophrenia) to sustain my emotions. I am not an adrenaline junkie, for goodness sake!

Having said that, it would be terrible easy and high-handed for me to simply criticize them as simpletons, or label them as religious extremists. The truth is, most of them are simply sincere, ordinary folks, which makes it all the harder to refuse them, although eventually I did, and sometimes it does get a little too difficult for my liking.

Perhaps a little explanation of why I became an atheist, will shed some light into my journey towards self enlightenment.

I was raised in a Baptist Church in Singapore. By that definition, I do not mean to say I was born to a Christian family. My parents were Buddhists, as stated in their identity cards, but technically they are no more religious than the average man on the street. And so I became a Buddhist too, by birth, but that is not a issue of contention.

At the age of five, my Christian aunt somehow managed to persuade my mom to haul my sorry ass to church every Saturday and Sunday. From what I could recall, my father was pretty neutral about it, while my mom thought I could use some good old discipline, since at a young age I displayed a complete lack of discipline towards life (And I still do, by the way).

So it was, at the age of five, I was brought to my first bible class on a bright Saturday morning. My first impression of the church was that it looked very alien, so foreign that I couldn't associate the church with anything I had ever seen in all my five years on Planet Earth. It was a odd building, two storeys high, and inside the Church you could almost smell the odour of medicine emanating from the Bible study classrooms. It reminded me of a very unwelcome visit to a doctor, most depressing for a young, impressionable little boy I was then.

I was unceremoniously chucked into a class full of young kids like myself. The kids, they didn't really like me. I was kind of a sore thumb sticking out of the whole class of twenty-something kids, because almost all of them could sing the little kiddie Christian songs, and I couldn't sing a word of it. I wanted to bolt out right there and then, but being timid and nervous I restrained myself, and went through the motions. The whole process was tedious and burdensome, one which I was to suffer for the next ten years.

The class ended by afternoon. I ran out into the carpark, expecting my Christian aunt to send me home. She was nowhere to be found. Feeling, lost, helpless and entirely screwed up for a whole wasted Saturday, I cried. In fact, I cried so hard, I attracted a lot of attention. Of course, my aunt came and chided me for my entirely "unnecessary, immature" backlashes.

And so it was, that I was initiated into a fundamentalist church. As the years went by, I began to comprehend the basic fundamentals of the Christian religion, based on the Church's definition of the bible. My aunt tried her darn best to convert me, but somehow I always seen to elude her "fisherman's net" (Remember the one when Jesus brands his disciples "Fishers of Men"?)

Back then, I was pretty much a curious little lad, and throughout the next four years I was constantly indoctrinated by fundamentalist beliefs. I was taught that God created Man, and that we were born sinners, and that if we did not repent from our sins, we shall be burned in hell for eternity. At that point of time, hell didn't seem so scary to me, I mean, I was only a kid, although I must say some of the new kids who came and went didn't react to well to it. I could see it in their faces, that they really dreaded hell. Not that I loved it, but at that point of time, I just couldn't be bothered.

There were loads of issues that the Baptist Church frowned upon, chief amongst them being the mainstream media. I remembered that on one occasion, there was this newspaper cutting on the Christian Bulletin Board, about a bunch of kids who went down to the sewers to look for Ninja Turtles, after watching an episode of the cartoon series. They were finally discovered by the school authorities, who promptly put a stop to such a dangerous nonsense. I think i was about 8 years old then, and I thought:" Man, how stupid can the Americans get?" Jeez. I mean, out of millions of kids watching the Ninja turtles series, how many of them truly believe they exist in the sewers? I couldn't believe it. I thought, if they could cook up delusions about ninja turtles living in sewers, will not allowing them to watch the cartoon series make them any more smarter than they were? A classic example of stupidity, or bad evolution?

And there were the American sailors, who checked in with the Church from time to time, along with their Battle Groups from the United States Navy. I remembered this pastor, who told me that these guys, they were the righteous fellas, that they were the ones who were protecting the world from evil. I remember him saying, that America was a righteous religious country, and he showed me an American coin, bearing the four words:"In God we Trust". I was so in awe with these yankee sailors then, and when the first Gulf War came, I was thinking, oh, here comes the "Crusaders" to the rescue. Yes, pretty dumb, I must admit.

Before I was ten years old, I had pretty much asked her many questions that were to be the basic foundations of my atheism in the later stage of my life. Questions such as:"If God created Man, who created God?", and "If God consists of three characters, are there not three Gods, instead of one?", had already been figured out by my inquisitive mind, even though I had never read any of the atheist stuffs at that point of time. My Christian aunt, being a pious Christian she was, dismissed my questions, chiding me for my ignorance, or that the devil (Oh yes, the devil is blamed for almost everything) had planted just devious thoughts in my head.

At the age of ten (Or eleven), I was involved with the Vacation Bible School during my December holidays. Not the first time I attended, but it almost became the turning point of my life. I had reached the point of my life that I began to become a little too depressed for my liking. I had been in church for 5 years now, some of the kids in my original bible class had either been baptised, or were already Christians. Throughout this time, I couldn't bond with the majority of them, saved the Pastor's grandson (Larry I think his name was), and another Chinese guy. The rest, they treated me like some freak from a circus show. I didn't think I was too aloft, but I was quiet, and these kids seem to have a morbid fear of me (A case of the Beastly instincts peaking right about now? Probably) Whatever it was, Larry was the one who talked me into Christianhood, and being a fence-sitter I was then I didn't really want to make a decision, until the Vacation Bible School came along, and I was almost on the verge of being on my knees on the very last day of VBS. I was constantly bombarded with religious doctrines, that I became quite remorseful, that somehow my doubts were really planted by the Devil himself. I almost nearly converted. Somehow, I didn't. I couldn't be sure Christianity was what I truly wanted in life. Now I know.

When I went back to school I confided with my close friend, Han, about my near-conversion experience. He started hurling abuses at me, and after he calmed down somewhat, he gave me an hour-long lecture, on the importance of critical thinking, and why I should never fall prey to religious fundamentalism. He did strike a chord in me, despite the fact that he started off with a very terrible rant. My doubts were once again stirred up by his rants, and I decided there and then, that I must start to study and ponder on not just mere Christianity, but other religions as well, just to make sure, you know, that I don't drop into the wrong religion and plunge straight into hell (Very funny, I know, but back then it was serious stuff. Its my eternity, you know. Tsk Tsk)

Then came the period of self -enlightenment. For the next couple of years I began studying the world's religions, and in the midst of it all,my Christian aunt was sent off to America to take care of a dying Church member. I began to see less of the Baptist Church, but at the same time I was attending a Pentecostal Church near the secondary school I was studying in For the record, I was enrolled into a Catholic School for my secondary school, and by then I was a full-fledged Beast. I would miss homework, skip classes, and get into trouble with the school authorities, not to mention the famous incident when I was caught red-handed for a unpardonable crime: attempting to escape Mass after class had ended. The school disciplinary mistress was shrewd enough to lock up all the gates, and I was caught red-headed by her, since I was the only guy in shorts attempting to get out of school. The rest in long pants were from the upper secondary classes. A humiliating experience, to be dragged up to Mass by the disciplinary mistress. In fact, the feeling was quite akin to a infidel being dragged into the fires of the Inquisitors.

The Pentecostal Church I attended was located right in one of the bomb shelters built underneath a HDB flat, and three of my friends tagged along with me. I could still remember the enthusiasm etched onto their faces, as they sang praises of worship and uttered prayers to their God. Two of my friends showed a inclination to conversion, and I talked their way out of it. The church members, well, they were quite insistent with regards to our salvation. I declined, politely of course, since they were the ones who graciously granted us the study place for us to study our exams. My friends, well, they were, for the most part, toying with the idea, since Christianity was considered a hip religion at that point of time. After a year or so, I stopped attending the Pentacostal Church, and my friends ended their liasons as well.

The more I read, the more I couldn't reconcile the Baptist faith (Or any other faith for the matter), with my own logical mind. I could find no proof that God existed, neither could I prove God didn't exist either. But that logic applies to fairies, elves and what-nots too. Am I supposed to believe in elves, since I cannot prove they do not exist? There was this one bible class, when the preacher made a valiant attempt at discrediting evolution. He builds a pyramid of lego toys and asks the class: If this pyramid was to remain untouched for a billion years, would the pyramids be dismantled, or would the pyramids grow taller, or evolve into some other structure other than a pyramid? Of course he goes on to discredit Evolution further, by saying that if you place all the parts of a Swiss watch on the table, that if no watch maker is available, would the parts evolve and join up to make a watch. Of course, by that time it sounded to me as silly, though I thought he was right about the watch analogy. As for the pyramid, I do think that the pyramid would have disintegrated into carbon, since the lego toys are made of plastic, and plastic does self-decompose, abet after an extremely long period of time (Time to recycle, folks!). As for the watch, sure, Man made the watch, but not all things can be created. After all, the age-old argument holds: If God created Man, who created God?

Just before I decided to call it quits, I was asked by a pastor to become a full-fledged member of the Church Team, by taking up a rather misery post of Sunday school teacher. Having been a pain in the ass for generations of teachers, I have no love for teachers, much less serve as one. Very politely, I rejected. I may have disagreed with their teachings, but I have always held a certain level of respect for them, because they were upright, honest folks, and that is something I will always credit them for.

Anyway, after my last visit at about the time I was 16, I finally resolved never to go back to the Baptist Church. I became an atheist officially after my first year as a polytechnic student a year later, on the grounds that I finally came across the meaning of atheism on the internet. In reality, the day I finally decided to turn my back against the Church, I had effectively renounced religion. I have never gone back to that Baptist Church ever since. I do attend other Churches once in a while, though, usually at the behest of friends, or when friends request that I bring them in, since I have a lot of connections from which to fulfill their morbid curiosities.

There goes for de-conversion tale. Its a really long tirade, but hope the folks out there will enjoy it.



Sincerely
The Beast

Singapore
Passive Christian, since five yrs old
I left at 16 yrs old
I was a Baptist, evangelistic, pentecostal
Now I am an Atheist
I converted becuase I didn't have much of a choice
Why did you de-convert? Logical, critical thinking

5/28/05                                                                                       View Comments

Just Wanted God to Answer My Prayers

sent in by anonymous

Well I started out in the religion realm as a Muslim, born to muslim parents.

At the time that I can remember first becoming a Christian I was in a foster home, and the family was Methodist. My brother and I were the center of a really nasty custudy battle between my mother and her ex. Some genius judge decided to sentence me to foster prison, I mean care. I had a hard time dealing with being away from my parents so my mother tried to help me deal with it all by teaching me to pray. Religion in our house had been open and never pressured onto us, I was the kid who begged to go to Mosque to hear stories about God, Heaven, Angels and Miracles. Of course she being Muslim, taught me to pray in Arabic. When we talked about God we used the Arabic word for God, Allah. My foster parents went nuts the first time they heard me say Allah. So instead of being left at a neighbors when they went to church, I was taken along to enjoy the Christian "Truth".

I still kept saying my prayers in Arabic to Allah, even after months of sitting in the church 3 days a week hearing about this Jesus man. I knew from Islam that Jesus was a very important person to God but he was not God and not God's son, he was Joseph and Mary's son, the anointed one who could do all kinds of great things. So one night after checking off another day past the big day i was supposed to go home, my foster mother tells me maybe the reason God hasnt answered my prayers about going home is because Im not praying to the right person. I remember her showing me how to get on my knees next to the bed and giving my soul to Jesus. Then she told me to never pray to Allah again and only to Jesus. I remember the next weekend telling my dad the big news and he wasnt to happy.

My soul is saved now and Im now praying to Jesus, begging to go home to my mommy and daddy but time goes on. So then there is the you have to be baptized for Jesus to really answer your prayers, so i agree to that too. Anything to get out of that place. While all this saving my soul is going on, an older foster kid has been sexually abusing and exploiting me and the other children in the home. So now im trying to save my soul from hell, keep the molestor away from me and just get back home to my mom through my prayers to Jesus.

My parents had started to teach me to read at 3, so I could read some of the children's bible stories they gave to the older kids in my group. But then there was a lot of confusion on who Jesus was exactly after reading the stories. My first issue with Christianity was the trinity. I wanted to know how could Jesus be the son of God and God? Why did he call God his Father if he was God? And why did we pray to Jesus and not Jesus father like he did? I was only 5 and knew something wasnt right with this religion but i was scared of hell so i didnt question it too much because adults would tell me i was going there if I didnt believe Jesus is God. At least in Islam I had been given some hope as a child of escaping hell cause God would never punish kids with hell but Jesus sure would if I did anything wrong or questioned the bible.

Then comes my first communion, the blood and flesh battle. In Islam we were taught never to eat or drink blood. I didnt understand that the lords supper wasnt real blood, they didnt say we are going to offer up the grape juice and bread, the pastor said blood and flesh. I remember my foster mother dragging me up to the front of the church kicking and screaming that i didnt want to drink blood, guess i had a demon or something lol. Then the pastor helps her hold me down on the floor and pours the grape juice in my mouth and when i tasted it i stopped fighting lol. I still feel shame for acting stupid about it but i was a kid.

By the time this event happened the pastor and I had already debated several times. I refused to eat hot dogs and ribs at a church picnic because I knew not to eat pork and he told me that Jesus made it ok to eat those things. I knew that Jewish people didnt eat pork, so why would Jesus make it ok if he was Jewish, Pastor didnt like me after that. After a nice spanking for disrespecting the pastor I ate a hot dog.

So until a few months ago I have been a good, confused Christian, and church goer off and on. I have never been a completely brainwashed Christian. The final straw was my studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses. I picked them because they dont believe in the Trinity doctrine, but I didnt believe in a lot of the other things they taught. So i decided to read the bible on my own and find the truth.

When I got to the killing of everyone except virgin girls in Numbers, I was offically done with the bible and Christianity. Up to that point there had been other little things that stood out but that was it for me. How could I pray to and believe in a God that would be ok with the actions like that. And why hadnt in all the years of church going i had never once read about it in church. But I kept reading just to see if God punished them for those horrible actions and if God ever made the violence stop. Well not only did the violence get worse, I was seeing no love anywhere in the O.T. Once you open your eyes, its hard to close them again and play follow the bible.

So now im on a search for a God of love, kindness and peace. Taoism is looking really sweet these days.


Your Sex: Female
State: New York
How old were you when you became a christian? 4
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 24
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Muslim, Methodist, Non-Denominational, Jehovah's Witness
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Spiritual
Why did you become a christian? Wanted God to Answer my prayers
Why did you de-convert? Numbers 31:17
Email: nlap_16 at yahoo dot com

Totally Unnecessary

sent in by Jason

I grew up believing that I was in the one True denomination in the one True religion. I was a Seventh-day Adventist, God's chosen remnant church, commissioned with spreading God's truth to everyone, including other Christians who had the wrong message. Basically Seventh-day Adventists believe that the final dividing line between God's faithful and those who have fallen away, is whether you go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. Pretty stupid, huh?

The reason I was able to agree to believe that for so long was that I only knew other SDA's. I never actually had to think about how ridiculous the whole thing was. Then I went to a non-denominational high school and realized how cruel and arbitrary that dividing line was. These people are going to hell because they go to church on the wrong day of the week? It was ludicrous.

It was about that time that I started searching for information about Ellen White online. There was all kinds of information about how her "visions" contradicted the Bible, and how they were probably caused by epilepsy. I also found out that she was a major plagarist. At that point I decided I was just some kind of generic Christian.

But I had more questions. A Jehovah's Witness pamphlet made me question whether the Trinity was really Biblical. At school I had a "doctrine" class where the teacher would just go through a bunch of standard Christian beliefs and have us memorize that Biblical texts that "proved" it was true. Well, the only texts that could give did not point to a Trinity. They made Jesus sound like some kind of divine being that God had created.

So I started reading the New Testament for myself to see what the truth was. I only got as far as Matthew 16:27-28:

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

It scared the shit out of me. Not only was the Bible not making Jesus out to be God, he made a false prophecy. All the disciples were dead and Jesus still hadn't come back. I couldn't understand how people could read this and still believe in Jesus. Couple that with the fact that his narrative sounded crazy and disjointed, and my faith was only hanging on by a thread.

Then a Christian friend sent me a link to the Skeptics Annotated Bible message board. It was there that I found out about the contradictory lineage of Jesus, and a lot of other contradictions. But it was not the contradictions that shattered my faith completely. It was the absurdities and the cruelty. Why was all this magical, fairy tale stuff recorded in the Old Testament not happening now? Why should I believe these fairy tales and miracles, but not the ones from other religions?

And then there was the cruelty of God in the Old Testament. It became clear to me very quickly that the God they were talking about in there was not the God I believed in. It was a God as cruel as the times. There was no mercy or love from this God. It was just vengence and wrath. I realized that not only was there no evidence for the existence of this God, it was a God unworthy of praise. At this point I ceased being a Christian.

In the time since then I have come to see the ridiculousness of the entire sacrificial system of forgiveness and many other absurdities of Christianity. One of my biggest influences was Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason." My strongest religious conviction is that there is no such thing as divine revelation. If there is something called "God" that people experience, I think it is something psychological, not supernatural.

I think the only way many people will move forward is if they can get satisfactory explanations of the religious experiences. Hopefully then we can let go of these mythical beliefs and dogmas that so constrain human life at the present time. I don't have anything against people believing in God, I think the problem comes when the believe in a God that someone imagined in the iron age, when cruelty was more accepted.

Anyway, that's my anti-testimony.

Centralia
WA
USA
How old were you when you became a Christian? Born into it.
How old were you when you ceased being a Christian? 20
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Seventh-day Adventist
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Apatheist - Don't care about the question
Why did you become a christian? See above.
Why did you de-convert? It was completely unnecessary.

Mormons-the Israelites never made it to North America

sent in by Stormwarden

My name is Stormwarden, and I am an ex-mormon. To be honest, I quit the church well before the last straw. Having read The Bible cover to cover and the Mormon Trilogy as well, I felt I believed it less and less. I was baptized at age 10, and became a member of the priesthood at 14.

The last straw came the week of 9/11/01. I saw then the hypocrisy of not just the Mormon church, but of so many others as well. They claim to be of mercy, yet these places are usually the first to throw the switch. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell only confirmed my thoughts of the Xian faith. They didn't look for a moment at the truth of things: a combination of religion and historical blindness (much of our messes started with the Reagan administration and its meddling).

I quit that day. I have yet to inform the church or my parents that I have done so, nor do I wish to yet. I want to get away first.

As for what I am now, I am honestly not sure. I will admit I have far more sympathy for the "pagan" churches than I do the Xian ones, although followers of JS Spong, the Unitarians, and the United Church of Christ are good company.

I do not do right for any god. I do it because it is right. No more, no less. I just hope these self-proclaimed Christians come to their senses.

Buckhannon
West Virginia
United States
Joined at 7
Left at 21
I was a Mormon
Now? To be honest, I don't know yet, I just know it won't be Christian
Converted because parents insisted on it
De-converted because of 9/11 and Pat Robertson made me quit
Email: LordStormwarden at gmail dot com

5/21/05                                                                                       View Comments

I decided I no longer believed

sent in by Jen

I was raised christian. My parents are divorced and I spent half of my childhood with each parent and each parent had different beliefs but were (and still are) christians.

The first half was with my dad. He attended a Church of Christ. They believe music (even in church)is a sin, dancing is sin, etc. along with all the usual "sinful" things like cursing, impure thoughts and so on. My dad made me go to church everytime the doors were open. I remember always falling asleep it was so boring. Even if I was sick he made me go. He was very strict and everything was a sin. If we rented a movie that had anything remotely suggestive in it he would go nuts and make me turn it off. He read his bible all the time. I remember once buying a teeny bopper magazine and he got really mad and told me not to buy another one because it had lustful pictures of boys in it (who were fully clothed mind you). He would tell me that if I sinned he would go to hell too because the parent is held accountable and will be punished for the childs sins. His church did not believe children should be baptized untill they are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong though so I wasnt saved or baptized untill later when while living with my mom she started going to a baptist church and got saved herself.

She encouraged me to go with her and my stepdad. She attended a "spirit filled" southern baptist church with a choir and recorded music, shouting preachers, laying on of hands, casting out demons, speaking in toungues, foot washing, altar calls, etc. This was very different from what I had seen at my dads church.The first time I went they had the children come up and do alittle song. I dont know why but I started crying and couldnt stop. Then after the service they had an altar call,and asked if anyone was lost and felt the lord calling them to come forward and give their life the lord, repent of their sins etc. I assumed that the reason Iwas crying must be god pulling on my heart strings so I went forward. I remember thinking,when the pastor was praying the sinners prayer with me, "what am I getting into here? This is a big commitment." He talked about turning my life over to god and thats just what I did.

I dont know how many of you have ever attended a church like this but they believed that if you did anything sinful and did not pray for forgiveness right then and Jesus came back and you had sin on you then you would go to hell even if you were saved. They preached about being a witness and a warrior for god all the time. This meant wearing christian t shirts and handing out tracts and such. I spent alot of allowance money on that junk. They also believed satan and his demons were literally fighting a battle with god and were trying to trick christians into sinning or whatever. And that they are all around us all the time. Anything you did should involve god. And you sould not do worldly things when you could be worshiping god or studying the bible instead. If you were going to listen to music it better be christian music. In other words every second of your life should be about god/jesus.

I really fell for it for a while. My mom and stepdad were very devoted and we were at church most of the time. It was my life. I didnt have any friends and was very shy so I had nothing outside of that environment really, I guess that is partly why I got so involved with church. I became more of an outcast at school because of my witnessing. I wore a christian tshirt everyday because I felt like it was my duty and I would be letting jesus down if I didnt. I got so paranoid that I would do or think something sinful. I was praying and repenting all time. I thought there were demons around me. I slept with a bible under my pillow. I even thought I was possessed at one time because I would have these terrible sinful thoughts.



Finally I was introduced to a boy my age (by this time I was 16) at church.He wasnt really a christian he was just forced to go like I had been. I started having more of a social life outside of church after we started dating and I had someone to talk to about things that didnt set right with me or I didnt understand about the bible.

I started really listening to some of the things the preacher was saying and how hypocritical and contratictory it was. During sunday school we were reading the old testament. I remember "thinking how could a loving god do all these things to his children?" It talked about plagues, killing people, sacrifices, all kinds these terrible things. I began to open my eyes and see how I had been brainwashed. I got discusted with how everyone just seemed to act like zombies. If one person started clapping or raising their hands durning the singing everyone would follow along. If one person stood up and shouted "amen" ten more people would. I realized most people were just playing follow the leader but I didnt want to play anymore.

Unfortunetly I had no choice. I would still be forced to go. My mom would be devistated to learn I didnt believe and think I would surely go to hell. There was always an altar call at the end of the service and if I didnt go up they would wonder why.

Finally when I moved out on my own I didnt have to go. I was able to think for my self and had access to other belief systems and points of view. I decided I no longer believed or wanted to believe in their god. I have struggled with it though because I was taught all those years that the bible was true, Heaven and Hell were real, and Jesus died for my sins. Some part of me still feels guilty for not believing it. My parents dont know that I am not a christian and I dont see how I can tell them. It would break their hearts. Not to mention all the preaching at me they would do. I dont know I will ever tell them. I m not even sure exactly what I do believe I m still trying to figure that out. I do alot of reading about didnt religions and beliefs. I also try to read about science to get a grasp of how things really work instead of going on myths and superstitions. I hope this made sense. Any input would be appriciated.

City manchester
State tennessee
Country usa
How old were you when you became a christian? "saved" at 15
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 17 or 18
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Baptist, Christian
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? athiest/pantheist
Why did you become a christian?f orced to go to church, felt guilty
Why did you de-convert?l earned to think for myself

5/19/05                                                                                       View Comments

How Children Believe....Scary but Eye Opening

sent in by Sandy

My parents were Christian, my grandparents were Christian, everyone a Christian. However, my Christian parents divorced when I was five and my mother married an agnostic. I still went to church occassionally off and on throughout my early childhood, teenage years and twenties. At age 30 I got serious and wanted to truly live a life pleasing to God.

The road from there was hard. I started noticing at first the NT laws that were being broken by just about every single Christian I knew. They were watching evil movies, living the greedy life, some were snobby backstabbers, but yet claimed their love for God/Jesus. When I would, in a loving and gentle way, point out that God says right here that it is NOT okay to do these things, I would be immediately given one or all of the following speaches..."You are bordering on legalism, God doesn't expect us to be perfect, all sin and fall short of the glory of God!" Being OBEDIENT is LEGALISTIC??? I was doing this out of love with pure concern for the souls of my Christian friends. I did not want to do that to God because I knew in my heart that it was wrong. That caused me many tears and I bible thumped my husband and children for five years, and one man wouldn't let me discuss the bible truths with his wife. He had I butted heads many times.

I noticed teachings in the NT that were being yanked from context. Speaking in tongues was a major one. People would speak them in church, our children were taught tongues in the childrens area, etc. A light bulb went off but I just decided to accept the teaching anyway because everyone knew better than me. We were given the "tithe" threat several times throughout the five years at this Charismatic Church, no different than there Christian Network idols. When I piped up about that, I was given the boot and angered many. Why were people getting angry when my question was this "If the "law" is abolished, why do we tithe but not do Sabbath or Holy Days or the meat laws?" My pastor threw out the infamous Galatians cop-out "Who has bewitched you." I left his office not satisfied and heartbroken. Why is everyone mad at me for wanting to be obedient to God?

Then I came across Messianic Judaism and they still obeyed OT laws. At first I tried to save them because after all, Paul says the OT Laws are done with. What happened was the Messianics, "saved" me from years of false teachings. I started hating going to my church. Everytime the pastor spoke I was sitting there in judgement of every thing that came out of his mouth. Oh, don't get me wrong, he was a kind and loving man, I don't believe any of this was on purpose, it has been engrained in all of his teachings. The next step on my road was questioning the Trinity, I then found Monotheistic Messianics who blew holes all over the Trinity teaching. I was devasted, now I was worried sick about going to hell because I've been worshipping Jesus, and Christianity was the mark of the Beast! Sleepless nights haunted me, I cried and cried and cried. But, aren't I suppose to be joyful?

My heart was set on being God pleasing, not because someone forced me but because I "truly" loved him and wanted to honor him. We stopped Christmas, Easter, etc., all to please God, we even started Sabbath keeping and minor meat laws. Then, all of a sudden, all the biblical mistakes, errors, fallacies came shining through like never before. I searched for apologetic answers with tears in my eyes, "This cannot be, I'm to stupid to understand the Bible, these people have to be right." But they weren't, and I'm not stupid, the Bible says what it says. I started seeing that it was not that far a stretch to say that the Bible had been corrupted over all these years, especially in the NT and especially by the Catholic Church.

After all of that I still sought God, but my love and trust in him was truly fading. I then sat and read the Bible and was HORRIFIED at the OT teachings and what God asked the Israelites to do to others. God allowed women children to be raped (What ELSE are they going to be used for and how did they know they were virgins?) Why were all the little boys killed? I couldn't help but look at my own children and children of people who aren't believers with tears in my eyes, being choked up and hurting. What kind of ALL loving, all powerful God is this?!? He is no different than the god of Islam (which is the God of Abraham). The recycled prophecies describe in complete detail what will happen to unbelievers; "pregnant women's bellies being RIPPED open", "children being DASHED to pieces before the eyes of their parents" where on earth is the love there? What kind of God COMMANDS his followers to do this? I was just horrified.

Please, Christians. Don't tell me I was never saved, if anyone was "in the spirit" it was me. Don't tell me that that was the Old Testament because without the Old Testament there is no Christianity. The Old Testament describes your cold-blooded and evil God. What God would command his followers to be loving, patient, have the fruits of the spirit but not himself? A hypocritical one, that's who. Please, really one needs only look at two things, just two to realize that the bible god is a hypocrite. He requires his followers not to be jealous/envious but one of his commands is "The Lord thy God is a jealous god, and you shall have no gods before me." If there are no other gods, why is god jealous. He says there are other gods so either you believe him, or you don't, OR you are a christian who doesn't believe everything in the bible.

I titled this "How Children Believe...Scary but eye opening" because of the following that happened with my 7yo dd. (who has been a Christian since age 2) I told her that the Bible has many mistakes, and I believe that man corrupted it. I told her I believe in a higher power but that he/she is revealed in nature and not in anyones book. Do you know what she said? This little girl who draws "I love Jesus" pictures on a regular basis? She said, "Mommy, I believe WHATEVER you believe!" That terrifies me, because as parents, you can teach them whatever and they would believe it. That is how I see all religions. I started my children down that path but now my eyes are opening and the doubt is gone. Freedom came with my daughters statement because I realized how easy it is to just "believe" because someone has told you to. Not to mention the fear of hell hanging over you.

Well, I've ranted long enough.

FL
How old were you when you became a christian? 0
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 35
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Fundamentalist baptist, Fundamentalist Charismatice, Messianic Beliver
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Deist
Why did you become a christian? Indoctrinated at birth
Why did you de-convert? Actually studied and read the Bible without someone telling me what it "really means"
aplan4life at yahoo dot com

The Bible destroyed my faith

sent in by Jo

I was born into a practicing Catholic family. I became VERY religious in my early teens, so I decided to devote my Sunday afternoons to reading the Bible. Well, I was horrified by what I read. I don't like violent movies, so you can imagine how I felt reading the Old Testament. I was also troubled by the sexism of the New Testament, such as wives obeying husbands, man being made for God and woman being made for man, etc. I wondered what if my husband was wrong about something and I was right. Was obedience still required? What if I'm smarter than my husband? Why did different sex organs and hormone levels make men preferred over women in God's eyes?

So, my Bible reading started a general process of questioning that destroyed my beliefs. I also started to question why God had to send his son (who happens to be himself, because they are one) to die as a blood sacrifice to eliminate a sin committed by Adam and Eve. If God controls everything why didn't he just eliminate the sin without the blood sacrifice?

Of course, having been raised with Catholic guilt it took me years to throw off the shackles of religion. I had stopped practicing in my late teens but was still quite fearful of sin and hell until my late twenties. I'm 32 now, so it wasn't that long ago. I recently had my first baby. I don't want her to experience the kind of fear and guilt I went through.

I do believe in God or something beyond this world. I have had experiences that have made me believe that. But I don't believe that God is responsible for the existence of any religion. The idea that God would appear to an individual whether it be Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha and give his expectations for mankind and then send these people out to convince the rest of us is really ridiculous. Why doesn't he just appear in the sky even few decades and tell us all at once what he expects? That would eliminate a lot of confusion and religious bickering.

I do respect people's right to practice a religion. My husband is a devout Muslim (although he believes that women should have all the same rights as men and that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, so he probably wouldn't be considered a true Muslim by many of his religious cohorts) and I respect his right to practice his faith. Many religious people are good people who are open-minded and respectful of others.

My problem with religion is that too many religious people feel that they have the right to impose their beliefs and personal morals on others. That crosses the line. With the rise of the religious right in America I am starting to develop a hatred of religion in general. I'm tired of hearing the term family values, which insinuates that only religious people have values. Everyone has values regardless of whether they practice a religion or not. Anyway, I hope that religious people will soon be freed from the shackles of ancient religious philosophies.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy life (something religious conservatives are soooo afraid to do).

Orange County
CA
USA
How old were you when you became a christian? I second old
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? My views evolved throughout my teens and twenties
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Catholic
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Believe in God but not religion
Why did you become a christian? I was born into it.
Why did you de-convert? It didn't make sense
lr_oc_ca at yahoo dot com

Letting Go

sent in by Jodi

Even as a child, I felt that there was something horribly, horribly wrong with what I had been taught, but I could never really put my finger on it. I was a good Christian, loving God with all my heart, loving Jesus more than I could stand. But, somehow, as I grew, church began to make me sick.

One day, I was sitting in a Pentecostal church with my best friend, and I heard a thunderous noise. I nearly dove under my chair, but thought better of it and asked her what it was. She told me, it was the children stomping on the head of Satan, rejoicing in his destruction. Then, it dawned on me, the thing that had been making me feel sick all this time, was the churches need to blame someone, to hate someone. I don't care who the object was, these people were teaching their children to HATE.

Book after book has been written about spiritual warfare, about fighting in the army of God, destroying the enemy who hates you and wants you to burn. We are taught that we are loathed and that we must loath in return. This is war. This is brutal. Be afraid. It made me sick.

And, Satan is only the worst of the two evils, when we place him beside God. This God, who so desperately needs to be loved, that he would eternally torture people in order to get it out of them, is not an all loving deity. This God is a waster of life choosing to put a time limit on education. He placed two people in a garden with a tempting tree, and a tempting angel, then hit them hard when they failed. He demands that we know Him, but hides Himself amongst a myriad of religions that make more sense than the supposed Truth! He dangles all people over a pit, and proclaims that He will drop the majority of HIS creation, for the sins that HE instilled within them. Only the elite will survive. Only the elite who praise the right name, and say the right prayer.

Even after that, I hung on. I was called demon possessed by the people I loved the most for even having such thoughts, but I never dropped my Christianity. People called me unchristian, and told me they were praying for me without the slightest idea of how condescending that was. They claimed to know what God wanted. They claimed to know the Truth... Then, it occurred to me, perhaps we have it wrong all this time. Perhaps the reason that it makes no sense is not because "the Lord works in mysterious ways", but simply because we were wrong.

I dropped the name Christian, and began to think for myself. I wondered what I would learn about God if I was unafraid of Hell. I studied and thought, and learned all I could learn. I learned about all the inconstancies of Christianity, the way the religion was put together, the way the Bible was put together and edited for content. I found the whole thing terribly contrived and, ultimately, ridiculous.

Then, as though my eyes had been closed all my life, and were suddenly opened, the concept of the Fractured Deity came to me, the God who was all of us, the God who created the Earth out of Itself in order to have EVERY experience, including doubt, fear, hope, pain, birth, and death. What if the point of life... is to simply live... MY GOD! The burden was lifted, and not in the way the Christians say. It was not replaced with the new burden of pleasing a fickle God. There is nothing to do but experience life. There is no awaiting Heaven or Hell. There is only a God who will wake from a dream.

This is the place I have stayed, though not without learning or growth, and I look upon every person I meet, and every part of the world, as an aspect of the extended deity. I cannot have more respect and love for a God who lives and learns through the world. I finally know what Jesus meant when he said, "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do also unto me." It is a beautiful thing to finally let go, and know what God meant when IT said I AM. There is no "we"... there is only I AM.

USA
Born into Christianity
Let go of Christianity at age 23
I was a Non Denominational Christian
I now call myself an Agnostic Monist
I became a Christian because I wanted to love God
I left Christianity because I learned how to love God

5/18/05                                                                                       View Comments

Why dont they understand

sent in by ARTIST"X"

The other day I was walking into a store minding my own business and an older man came up to me and handed me a paper and said "God can put a smile back on your face". I struck back by tossing his paper onto the ground and i said "i hope you god helps you get out of my way". I walked away with a grin of achievement on my face because in the past I would simply walk away and toss it in the nearest trashcan. Why do they feel the need to impose their beliefs on me in a public place? It would be different if i were a guest visiting his damn church. I admit that I was an ass to this older man but he was pushing his god on me, its like assault and battery with a deadly god. I have always been VERY cautious of churches, god, jesus, and mainly his followers. Why? I dont really know, i was born a Roman Catholic but thanks to my mother i was never forced to attend and I respect her dearly for that. I guess at an early age I questioned alot of the "beliefs" that were pushed on me by others. I saw people giving and giving in the name of "Jesus", and felt the guilt that rained down from the alter for things that i had never done or even heard of at that age.

I tried praying many times and got no response, it was like calling a number and getting a busy signal or leaving a message on a answering machine and no one ever calling back. As an adult I was pressured by my ex-wife to attend, maybe i would find the spiritual healing that i needed i thought. Maybe I just didnt give it a chance as a young person. No I was right as a child but as an adult it was worse. I admire people with true faith and in my opinion that is faith in oneself. I was surrounded by sinners that expected one hour of listening and giving to wash away a weeks worth of sin. Smokers, drinkers, abusers, lyers, wife beaters and drug users is what i was surrounded by. I also meet the "Faithfully Old" who had been married to the same person for 40 years that their whole life was the church.

I am the type of person that is 100% brutally honest with everyone that comes into contact with me and this attitude was looked down upon in churches, and needless to say I was very popular in sunday school for the wrong reasons. I would purposely share my views to totally destroy the lesson plan weekly. My favorite topic is the bible. These people base their lives on a damn fairy tales that were passed down from generation to generation then finally compiled into a series of books. Well finally someone got tired of carrying all of these books and book the series into one long winded novel. And the funny thing is its still a best seller. Have you ever read it? I have twice, because i felt like maybe i missed something the first time. Why base your life on a book that was wrote how many years ago? The lives we live now are so much more complicated compared to then. Our society is filled with sin and temptation everywhere you look. I can remember when people would say you want to go to heaven dont you? You dont want to spend an eternity in hell do you? YOU KNOW WHAT WE ARE IN HELL ITS CANT GET ANY WORSE THAN THIS! IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER HUH? Look at all the pain and suffering that goes on every second...when does this "GOD" step in? Never. Im sorry if you believe in this mystical, powerful individual and his son that died for our sins but you need to pull your head out of your ass and thind about this. If you believe in the story of Adam and Eve then you believe in sleeping with your parents or children. Is that why we are all so messed up? Isnt it proven that family should not mate with each other? If god would have taught about it he should have made Steve and Marry....

In closing, more lives have been taken in the name of religion than all of the wars combined. The Roman Empire killed in the name of Catholic church and the Pope. Every heard of the Crusades? I believe...I believe in myself, my family, things that are touchable, and the theory of evolution. Peace.

Columbia
SC
USA
How old were you when you became a christian? birth
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? early
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you?
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? none
Why did you become a christian? born into it
Why did you de-convert? my own beliefs
artistx2005 at yahoo dot com

Christian Vomit

sent in by Jonathon "DeathWorship" Todd

i guess i should start earlier than age 15..

i was born into a heavily christian family so i was obviously forced to go to church every sunday morning when i was a child.. i never actually "got saved" when i was a kid because when you're 5-10 years old, you really dont worry about eternal damnation alot. i always just used to think that if you didnt do anything GRIEVOUSLY wrong (i.e. kill/rape etc..) then you were pretty much straight as far as the afterlife..

skip ahead..

age 15, a very very close friend to me died in a car crash.. this hit me extremely hard, and some vile christ humping god-body saw my weakness and bereavement as a PRIME oppurtunity to gain points with his imaginary best-friend, and proceeded to tell me things to the effect of "i sure hope she knew the Lord" and "i will pray for her soul". that was the first time in my life i ever really worried about MY "soul" and actually got scared for my afterlife. the next sunday i attended church, i got saved, in all of gods glory, i got saved, HALLELUAH!! the next 5 years of my life.. were horrendously depressing.

i found myself carrying a bible with me everywhere i went, and this frequently threw me in the debate arena with non-christians who, in retrospect, were ALOT better equipped for a religious debate than i was. i had heard ever argument to debunct christianity you can think of, predestination, suffering in the world, why doesnt god show himself these days.. etc.. and all i could EVER respond with was the magical christian failsafe "you cant understand god, i mean, hes GOD!".

if the constant contest of wills wasnt enough to discourage me and wonder where god was while i was being blasted by reason and logic, the guilt for just being human was absurd. almost everything i did that was fun, self-gratifying, or otherwise, i felt like i had to immediately drop to my knees and beg for forgiveness or be struck down right then and there. i also succeeded in supreme assholism by projecting my guilt on other people by condemning what they were doing, no matter what it was, the music they listened to, the movies they watched, the books they read.. it was ridiculous.

age 19 was when i really felt my faith starting to fade, i had gotten utterly fed up with always beating myself up for the things i did that TO ME didnt feel wrong, the lack of gods presence in my life had gotten much more apparent, until one day i just gave it up.. and i can honestly say THAT was my salvation, losing religion was salvation. i tried to hold on to relationships with my christian friends, but that was a total mistake, i finally saw them for what they really were, and what i was at that time in my life, we were snakes.. feeding off of misery. thats what made me hate christians so much, they think they are doing something wonderful when the amplify the sorrow in your life. when you are at your lowest point in your life, when you are beaten, run-down, and have noone and nothing left in this world, you either turn to jesus or put a fucking gun in your mouth (yes i stole that from Preacher), and i never realized the truth in that.

so here i am and thats my store.. 22, iconoclastic atheist, and ive never been happier.. and my thought now is.. if there IS a god, and there IS a hell, and i really AM going there (which i highly doubt all 3).. at least all my friends and my favorite bands will be there. :D


Manning
SC
USA
Joined at 15
Left at 19
I was a Southern Baptist
I am now an Iconoclastic Atheist
I converted because of Guilt
I de-converted for Freedom
infinitynihil at yahoo dot com

5/17/05                                                                                       View Comments

SACRED TRANSFORMATION

sent in by S.PEMPER

Being raised from day one to be a god-fearing, worshiper of the Christian god whose son is named "Jesus" was almost impossible to break from especially when the foundation of my family’s creed was "spare the rod, spoil the child" or " I am only doing this because god loves you and I love you".

Is there really any love in teaching your children to never look the adult in charge in the eye because that was defiant not only against authority (however right or wrong they may be) but to god who placed those adults in those positions based on their faith.

Should young people be taught not develop the strength of self-reliance ("just give it all to god and if it is his will, all will be o.k." or not....depending if you’ve tithed to the church or been humble enough to bloody your knees in solemn(desperate) prayer avowing your un-wavered servant hood to the supreme being who has known since the beginning of time of his un-matched power and all of the pathetic ass-kissing is just boosting his ego and he loves it, cherishes it, bathes in it, until you ‘just weren’t groveling enough and he is "forced" to pass judgment because of your insolence”. Oh don’t worry he will give you the chance to really kiss his ass and beg for forgiveness because he is “love”.

I think that, to god, We are nothing but his pathetic minions being put through a series of god-awfully complex tests of human limits just to see how long it will take us to be standing there with both fingers pointed toward the heavens in a solemn act of defiant faith and worship…. “Your number ONE god”, now can I please get a fucking break……I’ve been so good in putting up with your bullshit.

I say that I will live a life based on my own free-will and create a world to live in where adults take the time to answer any and all questions from young people, inviting opposition and higher thought processes so that they will sooner be able to sort things out and develop their own free-will and create a world for themselves where they are god the creator along with the others who were given the tools to create from the start, instead of being made to be submissive and fear “the manifestation of the controlling overlords selfishness and desire to outright control the masses”.

BE god to your children

Orange County
California
U.S.A
How old were you when you became a christian? although the brain washing began i was approx. 9 y.o.
18 approx.
I attended Calvary Chapel. Costa Mesa, went to christian school 5th thru 10th grade
Now I am a Visionary Man, Shaaman Guide through dimensional planes of existance
I converted because it was the thing to do then in my family
I de-converted because of self realization combined with freedom of will
email: elhombreelmito at hotmail dot com

My Loss of Faith in Christianity

sent in by Optimist

This summarises the process and reasons through which I lost faith in Christianity. You will probably not find anything new or original in it, but if it helps someone who thinks along the same lines that I do then it will be worth it. I apologize in advance for its length - I have never been able to write concisely.

My initial doubts were caused by the same factors that lead anyone else to have doubts in their faith. These were things like

· The existence of other religions

· The existence of, and conflict between, so many “Christian” denominations

· Why God allows such terrible suffering

· The incongruity between the concept of God’s “unconditional” love for his people, and his damning them to eternal suffering in Hell if they do not love him in return.

· The whole Creation versus Evolution debate

· The errors, inconsistencies and lack of clarity in the Bible which is supposed to be the Word of God.

· The lack of improvement in character and way of life of converted Christians. In fact after conversion they seem to become less forgiving, tolerant, happy and all the other supposed benefits of conversion.

· The obvious fraud and insincerity of the televangelists.

· Why we no longer see the dramatic miracles that occurred in biblical times.

As a Christian the obvious process to follow in attempting to sort out these doubts is to turn to the Bible as the Word of God. This is the process followed by the writers of Christian apologetics, but it has so many rationalizations and questionable interpretations of the Bible that I found it to be of no help. In fact this led me to have serious doubts in the validity of the Bible. When you investigate the accuracy of the Bible you find that there are people who seem to have made it their life’s work to dig out every possible error in the Bible.

I personally do not regard the minor errors in the Bible as sufficient reason to disbelieve it, and I do not believe there is much point in generating whole catalogues of the mistakes. However, there were plenty of serious errors or inconsistencies that I regarded as sufficient proof that the Bible is not the true Word of God. It is simply a collection of history, myths and advice for “pure living” compiled by humans.

The Bible errors that I regard as important are things like the fact that Jesus was supposed to be of the line of David, and born of a virgin. But the genealogy given in Matt 1:1-18 and Luke 3:23-38 are totally different from each other and in any case include Joseph who had nothing to do with Jesus’ birth and therefore Jesus was not of the line of David.

Another major error is that Matt 2:12-14 claims that Joseph took the new-born Jesus to live in Egypt until Herod had died, but Luke 2:21-39 claims that Jesus was taken openly to Jerusalem for circumcision and then to live in Nazareth. Obviously (at least) one of these accounts is wrong.

Similarly the date of Jesus birth traced via the claimed rulers of the time puts an 11 year difference between the calculated dates. If his birth was really heralded by shining stars and massed choirs of angels then the date would have been well known. This means that the gospels were not written by eye-witnesses. I regard this sort of error as sufficient to conclude that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.

Perhaps if the Bible is not the Word of God, it still contains a message to us from God. There are so many aspects to the Bible that it is hard to know where to start. After a lot of thinking on this subject I decided that the only way was to examine the core message of Christianity. In my opinion, the whole essence of Christianity is that through the Fall of Adam and Eve humanity lost its right to eternal life with God, and the only way this could be recovered was by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. I believe that if this concept is rejected, then the whole of the Christian message has to be rejected.

On careful consideration, this message made no sense to me. Firstly it is extremely doubtful whether there was ever an Adam and an Eve. If they did not exist where and when did the Fall occur? But even if we assume that they did exist, why would a loving God want to punish their offspring? What was the purpose of the Flood? According to the Bible, it was supposed to eliminate the unrighteous. The Jews before the time of Christ did not see the coming of the Messiah as the solution to the Fall. Current day Jews still do not look forward to the Messiah as a redemption of their sins. They look to the Messiah to re-establish the kingdom of Israel. So from a Jewish viewpoint the Flood could be regarded as the elimination of the unrighteous, but from the Christian viewpoint it seems to be just another cruel act by God to inflict further punishment on people who were already damned to eternity in Hell.

But let’s assume that all this is OK, and look at the actual crucifixion. Who was Jesus sacrificed to? If it was a sacrifice to God the Father it makes no sense. If it was God’s law that was broken, he had the authority and right to forgive the “guilty” without imposing any punishment. If a sacrifice was necessary, it implies that some higher authority than God the Father exists who had actually made the “rules”.

It is useful to consider the crucifixion using the analogy used in the Alpha course. In Alpha the story is used of the magistrate who has to hear a case against a poverty stricken friend of his. He (in his role as the magistrate) finds the friend guilty, and then (in his role as a friend) steps down from the bench to pay the fine on his friend’s behalf. This is supposed to explain God finding us guilty of sinning, and then sending Christ to die as redemption for our sins. Obviously in this story the magistrate is imposing not his own law, but the law of the country which he has no right to change. So he has no option of forgiving his friend and the analogy really has no relevance to the crucifixion of Jesus (unless there is a higher authority than God the Father).

A much more relevant analogy would be to consider a loan shark who has a rule of breaking the knees of defaulters. Now imagine that he wants to forgive a defaulter, but concludes that he cannot do that unless somebody’s knees are broken. So he decides to do the knee job on his own son. This would prove him to simply be cruel and vengeful.

I cannot accept that God could not forgive us without killing his Son first. In fact I cannot accept that he needed to forgive us in the first place because I cannot accept the notion of the Fall imposing original sin on everyone for all time. And without original sin there is nothing that I (and most others) have done that warrants being sent to Hell for an eternity of suffering. And there is nothing that I have done that should require me or anyone else to be crucified.

The whole link from the Fall through to the Crucifixion was just the rationalizing by Jesus’ followers at the time to explain his tragic death. They saw him as their Messiah, but when he disappointed them by dying before re-establishing the Kingdom of Israel they had to find a way of explaining it all. The exact same thing happened in 1676 when Sabbetai Zevi was acknowledged as the Messiah by a very wide audience of Jews. When he disappointed them by converting to Islam their only way out was either to reject him as Messiah, or to explain it away by claiming that it was necessary to experience the “ultimate evil” before they could be free and therefore they also had to convert to Islam. The majority of his followers then rejected him, but many did convert to Islam waiting for his “next move”, which of course never came. When Jesus died his followers rationalized it away by arguing that it was necessary for him to die for their salvation, and we are still waiting for the “second coming” which was promised to occur within the lifetimes of his followers. Sacrifice of the first born son was just a popular belief at the time (e.g. the worshippers of Baal), which thankfully has gone away (BTW, I am a first son).

Once we have seen that the Bible is just a collection of man-made stories, and that the central Christian message of the Fall to Crucifixion link is just an “after-the-event” rationalization, the whole of Christianity can be easily seen as a delusion. It was initially quite painful for me to have this belief destroyed. I suppose it is something like a child discovering that Father Christmas is only a myth, but worse because I realized that I had believed in it as a supposedly intelligent and rational adult.

In fact, understanding and accepting that the Bible is just a collection of myths is the only way to make sense of it. How else do we accept plainly ridiculous stories like the creation of Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark (that delivered kangaroos to Australia, bison to America and polar bears to Greenland), the Tower of Babel, Jonah and the whale, the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of the walls of Jericho? And when you accept god as mythological, you can understand the stories of why he created Hell for the people he loved, how he could negotiate with Satan the wanton slaughter of Job’s children, servants and livestock simply to test Job’s faith, how he answered Elisha’s prayer by sending bears to tear apart 42 children who teased him for being bald (II Kings 2:24), why he would instruct the Israelites to slaughter all the Midianites except the virgin girls who were allowed to be kept as plunder (Numbers 31). Even the hard-to-understand sections of the new testament make sense when they are seen simply as stories or legends. Why would Jesus curse a fig tree and cause it to whither away because it was not bearing fruit out of season, why would the man who taught that we should love our enemies as ourselves say that unless we hate our fathers and wives we cannot be his disciples (Luke 14:26), why would the “Prince of Peace” say “I came not to send peace, but a sword”, why would a god who taught that we should “turn the other cheek” lose his temper and become violent against the vendors in the temple, how did Jesus’ disciples know of his 40 day temptation when nobody was with him – did he boast of it? The bible is not the word of god.

The inbred indoctrination of the fear of hell also troubled me initially, but fortunately it quickly evaporated. This was aided by the realization that Christians reject hundreds of supposed gods, and adding one more to the list isn’t really that hard. Also it wasn’t so bad being “dead” before I was born, so death shouldn’t be too bad when it comes.

Another reason not to get too hung up on the concepts of heaven and hell is to realize that at the time of Creation, Adam and Eve were created “perfect”, and it was their disobedience that led to them being expelled from the Garden of Eden and to be subject to death and doomed to hell. If the very first humans on earth broke the law, there is a very real probability that of all the millions of people who could potentially have gone to heaven, someone has broken the law “up there” and now we are all doomed again while waiting for God to forgive us and sacrifice Jesus (or another son?) to save us once more. This sounds crazy, but it’s no different from the crazy story of Adam and Eve’s temptation and disobedience.

On re-reading what I have written above, I realise that it tries to explain everything through the use of logic. Many people would say that you cannot understand God through logic, only by experience and the much vaunted “personal relationship with Jesus”. But this “experience” of God is the most powerful argument against Christianity. Adherents of every religion will claim a personal experience of God, whether they are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Agers, Shembes or anything else. I believe this “experience” of God only shows that some people are more disposed towards religious feelings than others. Some people are left-handed, some have blue eyes, some are tall and some are religious. It’s just the way they are. When people like Nicky Gumble and CS Lewis try to prove Christianity by logic all they are doing is trying to rationalize their inner feelings, and they have made their conclusions long before applying their “logic”.

I suppose someone might ask me what “label” I would give myself now. To call myself agnostic sounds wishy-washy – it seems like trying to avoid the question of whether there is a God or not. But I do not believe it is possible to prove either that there is, or is not, a God so in this respect I would call myself agnostic. To call myself an atheist involves a whole lot of emotionalism because Christians regard atheists as “bad” people who hate their God. But in the sense that an atheist is an a-theist or non-theist who does not regard God as an integral part of their life, I am an atheist.

The term I like best is “humanist”. I have huge faith in the good of humans. It is true that some humans are bad, and there have been times that humans have let me down and disappointed me. But there are many humans who have performed heroic deeds for their fellow humans, and in my own experience I have been let down and disappointed by humans far less frequently than I have been disappointed by God. How many people have called out to God in times of dire need and been ignored? How many have called out to God and been saved? The ratio leans heavily against God. Yes, I would call myself a humanist.

After having lived quite a few months in the “post-Christian” era I can only say that I feel so much freer and happier than ever before. It is great to drop the concept of humans as “unworthy to gather up the crumbs under Your table”. It is sad to see Christians believing that not only are they too weak to do any good without the intervention of God, they are so useless that they cannot even do bad without the Devil or one of his minions possessing them. It is so much better to humbly acknowledge the good we do, and to accept responsibility for the bad we do, while attempting to put it right.


I was born into Christianity.
I left it at age 45.
I was an Anglican (Episcopalian).
Now I am a Humanist.
I finally left because when I eventually got around to thinking about it, it made no sense.

5/13/05                                                                                       View Comments

Recovering Pentecostal

sent in by cdmon

Hi all,

I've been lurking on this board for the past few days. I find that I share the same sentiments about xianity as many others on this forum. Although I am not an Athiest, but I do find their views on xianity quite refreshing.

I am a recovering pentecostal. I am a Pagan/Witch now and since this is a ex-xian board, I feel the same way as many of you.

As a xian, I was always under scrunity by the ministers. They had outlandish expectations of how I should live my life. Such expectations a messiah couldn't live up to. When I questioned scripture and started noticing the blaring inconsistancies and contradictions, they admonished me for questioning god by questing his "word."

These people did not live up to what they were trying to put on me. Even the ministers were getting caught up in scandles and trying to sweep it under the carpet while ostrasizing [sp?] their victims.

I tired quickly of their controling methods, and giving them 10% of my hard earned money, which I know god did not see a penny of. I know this because of the pastor's new Rolex's, his BMW, and his membership to the country club, where he spent an inordinant amount of time contemplating his next sermon. Also his yearly pilgramage to the Holy Land with the Church secretary was a sure sign the money wasn't going to the lord. And the pastor's wife wasn't getting what she needed either. She could be found here ot there hiding out with her gin bottle. And the pastor constantly fawning over the church secretary, and showering her with expensive gold jewelry. Go figure-

I've been clear minded and sober from the intoxicating effects of brainwashing and indoctrination for 20+ some years now. I couldn't feel any better. And the only regret I have would be not getting out of xianity sooner.

The only problems I have with xians now is their constant assertions that I am a satan worshipper, and their feeble attempts to reconvert me... THAT would really be backsliding.

1. I do not believe in satan. It is my opinion that in order to believe in satan you must ascribe to the xian religion, because satan is a xian invention, along with yahweh and jesus.

2. I find it highly offensive when ignorant xians try to tell me what I believe in or worship for that matter.

3. I actually do not worship any deities. My belief is more earth based, and far less supernatural.

I am so glad to be out of xianity. Even though they say I am a backslider, I say I have moved forward.

The bible is so full of shit. I often question how I could have ever been duped into believing it.

If anyone would just apply Ockham's Razor to the scriptures

(namely, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one) they might be able to see it for the bs that it really is.

Virgin birth, my ass!! And WTF does overshadowed mean?

They stold that from mithra and many other patriarchal pagan religions. Besides the OT prophesy in Isaiah "Behold a virgin shall concieve," the hebrew word "almah" did not mean virgin at all, it meant a woman of marrying age, and had nothing to do with her chastity. In fact in Song of Solomon, Almah was used in stark contrast to virgin. The hebrews had a word for virgin, "bethulah." Why didn't they use that? Because the jews would have thought they are full of shit.

And what about jesus' miracles? Any mediocre magician can pull these off. Our magick has more to do with herbs, oils, candles and personal intent. Nothing supernatural here.

About dying on the cross... umm Yeah, some idiots nail themselves to the cross in the Phillipines and Texas, every year around Ostara (easter). The fakirs in India put steel rods through their bodies and live to tell about it. No miracle here. And there are potions that can make one appear to be dead.... remember the gall or was it vinegar mixed with wine (words to that effect) yeah that is when it was administered. The Voudon religion uses that stuff in their rituals.

I think that there might be something to Holy Blood Holy Grail, and the DaVinci Code, that he faked his death and buggered off to the south of France with Mary Magdalene, and sired children who married the crown heads of Europe.

Seems far more logical than being crucified and rising from the dead.

There might have been a jesus, but I think he got a bad rap by his followers who imbued him with more power and deity than he ever really was. Kinda like the Hollywood star syndrome, where they can never ever live up to the image the media makes of them.

And the church have used the bible as a means to control its followers. Now we see what happens when they get some political power...

Enough of my ranting for now...

Just wanted to mention that I like this site, it is a good thing.

BB, cdmon

Breaking Baptist Barriers

sent in by Brandon Belden

I grew up literally smothered and confused by the dogmatic and polarizing messages I recieved weekly at our local First Baptist Church. My basic experience was go to church, sing some boring songs, listen to an emotionless preacher, and hope to get out in time for the kickoff of the Cowboys game. Of course 15 years of being dragged to "worship" instilled a fear-based confusion in me that was instrumental in abnormal behaviors and addictions that I adapted in adulthood. My mother was the most self-righteous, hypocritical, insecure woman I have ever met, except of course when she went to play church and "perfect mom" in front of the weekly congregation of Churchians.

I had no self-esteem or self identity by the time I was 18, and I figured the only way to get my mom's approval was to go off to Baptist college. The first thing that happened upon arriving at school was getting into an argument with a gluttonus blowhard professor who could not stand his ideaologies challenged. This pretty much sums up christianity as a whole. Do as we say, not as we do. Everything is the devil's fault. Paul is the Messiah of the Messiah. Religious cliche after religious cliche statements.

After years of putting up with this bullcrap, and figuring out the newest preacher at the local first baptist church was nothing less than a two-bit con artist, I had enough. For a brief time I hung out with a flaming zionist who could talk about nothing but poor mistreated Israel, and freemasonry. His concepts made alot of sense, about the decree of Constantine of Rome outlawing the Torah sabbath and instituting Sunday worship on penalty of death for violations, of the protestant obsession with building phallus symbols on top of church buildings, how protestants talk about God while violating all of his laws and teaching myths like Santa Claus and Easter bunny as truth, and so on.

What this did was teach me to not accept anyones interpretation or teachings as infallable truth. Eventually I met a girlfriend who had fallen prey to the same people, the messianic zionists, and I was introduced to the Nag Hammadi texts that the papal authorities tried to bury forever, and a couple of books called CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD, and THE BIGGEST SECRET.

TBS is by David Icke, and he pretty much destroys the origins of literal christianity and exposes christianity for what it is, mind control for people who refuse to think critically. His work is all referenced and cross referenced, and really helped me step out of my religious cage. The final straw on even associating with protestant/catholic types for this season was going into a baptist church office and finding a photo of George W. Bush hanging next to the 10 Commandments. The churchians have definately embraced everything that is against the basic teachings of God and or/ the Christ in pursuit of the all-mighty fiat dollar. I shake off my sandals, learn from the past, and look forward to embracing the gnostic and esoteric teachings of all enlightened masters whether it be Pythagoras or Buddha, a hindu sage or a muslim caliph.

There is wisdom to be found in the deepest meanings of the ancients that christianity has tried to destroy yet has not succeeded. Peace!

Dallas
Tx
USA
Became a Christian at 8
Left Christianity at 28
I was a Baptist, Non-Denom, Pentecostal, 7th Day Adventist, Messianic Jewish
Now I am a Gnostic
I converted out of fear
I de-converted through educating myself
email: namaste_1_61803399 at yahoo dot com

Emptiness of Christianity

sent in by Bria

I was born, raised, and baptized roman Catholic by two wonderful parents.

My bio grandfather insisted i go to a Catholic school. After a few years at a secular private school, I left because the principal had some mental problems.

I went to catholic school for a few years and did not do well academically.
The principal was fake, he put on a front to show he was nice but he was very arrogant.

At 16 I was walking through a bookstore with my Mom and i picked up a book called Zen Catholicism.

At 17 i encountered a book called the Te of piglet. I read it for a few minutes while i was at work

It opened the door slightly. I felt unsatisfied with Catholicism, the service was boring. (the history of Catholicism was unsavory too considering my ancestors were native Americans it puts me at an awkward position)

I went to other denominations Lutheran Baptist Pentecostal Anglican Messianic Jewish and Nazarene. At 23 I saw a fight break out in my best friends church. I also noticed the hate pamphlets lying around at the front of the church apparently Lutheran Missouri's use denomination bashing to win converts (I'm sure theres more that do this i remember hearing many Baptists say they hate Catholics and being raised Catholic it does hurt)

At 25 a few things really shook my beliefs my best Friend who wanted to be a priest(so i thought) nearly became atheist. How could such a thing happen? several months later i went to Odessa to meet my blood relatives.

I had an aunt and a blood mom that fought over who has the right religion and the false Christian was going to hell this started to get to me a bit more.

I decided to research other beliefs and read Taoism I felt a joy surge through me that i never felt with Christianity! I told my Mom and she was fine with it (she believes there are many paths to God.

I told my best friends parents i became a Taoist my best friend a staunch Lutheran Missouri fundie wasn't accepting and told me Only Christians go to heaven He also told me i was stupid for de-converting.

I was angry that he would suggest such a stupid thing and i realized

Christianity was an arrogant belief system especially since it talks of love and acceptance and most people get fear guilt shame and arrogance.

Cedar Hill
TX
USA
Became a Christian: 0
Left Christianity: 26 (last Nov)
I was a Roman catholic, Pentecostal, Southern Baptist, Nazarene, LMS, Messianic Jew, Anglican
Now I am a UU/ Taoist
I converted because I was born into it
I de-converted because of fights in church, arrogance, belief only Christians go to heaven,eternal hell doctrine
email: gaara_kazekage_sand_ninja at yahoo dot com

5/7/05                                                                                       View Comments

I Was Possessed!

sent in by Andrew

I was born into a family where my mom and dad were staunch Christians. The insanity started when i was a kid. I used to cry every night as a baby in the middle of the night and somehow, my dad claimed that it happened at AM every night. By some dysfunction in his skull he concluded that i was possessed and got some priest to come exorcise me. And he claimed that the nightly crying stopped after that. This got him very paranoid about "demons" and "devils".

The insanity continues into my childhood where he did not allow me to have toys which looked "evil" like skeletor in masters of the universe. so all my toys were the good guys. I was forced to go to church every Sunday and i pissed the shit out of me when i was dragged out of bed to go to Sunday school. To go against him i wreaked havoc in Sunday school but to maintain the "KIND" and "nice" people of the church image, they had to put up with me...boy that was fun!!

I decided when i was in my early teens that enough is enough. i told my dad to shuff the cross up his arse. he shuns me as the black sheep of the family but I'm so much happier not having to pray to some retard whose parents wont admit they had a quick roll in the hay.

In Asian culture, the dragon is a symbol of luck and prosperity. during my parents wedding my grandma hand sewed a blanket with a red dragon on it as a wedding gift to the newly weds. My dad the moron cut out the dragon and kept the blanket...the insane things Christians do.

I'm pissed when some young recently converted Christian comes up to me on the street and asks me if i know whats going to happen after i die. I usually politely turn him/her down but when he/ she gets persistent i will simply ask him/her one question. "what proof do u have that the bible is real?"...cuz the bible says that the bible is real? next question would be "what is so big a deal about an immortal hanging on the cross? is it greater then the heaps of soldiers who gave their lives in WW2??considering they were mortals, isn't that a greater sacrifice?"

The arrogance of Christians is disgusting and many of them are just losers that need some form of "love". They have already made up in their minds what it true or not and are not open to discussion. My message to Christians---Take a step out of this fools paradise, step out of your comfort zone and look at the other side of the coin. don't waste your time and money and life trying to make sense of a book which is riddled with contradictions.

From: Singapore
I was Born into a Christian family and forced to go to church
I left because of pure logic and the hypocrisy and arrogance of Christians
email: sandcastle1979 at yahoo dot com