9/24/05                                                                                       View Comments

Another ex-spirit filled

sent in by 33yroldsinglefemaleinDallas

My story is like so many here. I was raised in a typical Christian family. My father passed away when I was 14, which made me become more serious about my faith for a while. I think it was the only way I knew how to deal with the loss at the time, thinking I would one day see him again in heaven. I went of the deep end in what I thought was sin in my early 20s. I was so miserable. I had such bad depression that was compounded by eating disorders and a drug problem that developed trying to stay thin. After sever panic attacks, I picked up my bible. I went so full force into Christianity thinking I would be set free from my "evil" desires. I went to a spirit filled church and bible college. I was on staff at the church. I was so consumed by the whole lifestyle I lived in as much of a constant state of prayer and worship as humanly possible. I was obsessive compulsive about it. I even went around bursting in tongues in my car driving around and all. While I must admit I feel I had some spiritual experiences that seemed very real, I saw many fake put-on experiences going on by many in the church.

I knew there was things that didn't make sense, like why it says you shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, yet they never did! SO many things I was taught was my lack of faith, some unknown sin I needed revelation on, or just it wasn't gods timing. I never got rid of my depression despite the fact of all the hands that were laid on me in prayer or despite all the times I spent as a holy roller on the ground laughing at Rodney Howard Brown meetings. Really, the depression just got worse. I always what I was wrong with me, and put on that happy church face. I "crucified" so much of my flesh thinking that would ease my burden. I cast my cares by faith on Jesus everyday, yet he just handed them back. I tithed faithfully for years, yet was always poor and broke, even though I was responsible with money. I did everything I was taught and told.

I thought I discovered why none of it worked a few years ago because I was taught the wrong names. I started praying to YHWH in Yeshua's name. I learned all about the feasts and Torah. I was taught by some that Paul was just misunderstood, kept Torah, and taught others to do so. That didn't really ever make much sense to me, but it did as far as the teachings of Yeshua alone. SO I went pro-Torah.
Still many prayers went unanswered, many flesh desires never left. I studied the Old Testament enough to realize Yeshua could not be savior. I was convinced he wasn't anymore, but that it says, "YHWH alone is savior." Keeping Torah was still to hard. You can't keep it in modern world, even if the "exile" was over. If you run any electricity on Sabbath energy is being consumed and someone is working at a power plant. All the Messianic and Jewish sects more many splits and ways to interpret the word as Xians. I studied with some very respectable people who are very educated in the Hebrew language. All it did was get me to doubt to many books int the Old Testament, esp Daniel. Now I question the first 6 books too, that I thought could be the only truth left.

I just don't see how a loving god could tell these people to kill babies when they take over cities. Why couldn't they just go live and build their own cities? Did those babies who where not old enough to even know what they considered pagan religions know the pagan religions? Why did he not reveal his truth to everyone on the earth? If he wanted to he could do it! I also was unable to accept he told the Hebrews he would make things so bad for the them if they didn't obey that they would hide and eat their children from starving.

I see Xtianity as based on all the pagan religions. It started with Nimrod, Mithra, Ishtar, and other pagan deities that where in ancient religions. Christmas was around way before Jesus, as were passion plays. My unfulfilled search and hunger for the truth has lead me into not knowing what to believe anymore. I know there is something supernatural out there because I have had psychic experiences that were real. I was also sucked up into a space ship once and I don't think it was my mind playing tricks one me. I feel at peace more than ever knowing I may know all of the truth. Those who feel they can know the whole truth are prideful control freaks in my book. Now if I can just find a way to survive in a family and town full of Xtians.

Dallas
Texas
USA
Joined at: Got saved at 6 yrs old
Left at: 32
Was: Assembly of God, Baptist, nondenom, spirit filled, messianic, karaite
Now: no labels anymore
Converted because: xtian was what I was raised believing was right
de-converted from researching many things
email: cryersf at cs dot com

9/22/05                                                                                       View Comments

Freedom from YHVH's Death-Cult-Armageddon

sent in by Ethan S.

Well, I have been coming to this site for over a year, but only now have I decided to actually post.

First of all, this site has really helped me a lot. As far as proof there were others like me, and that "leaving the faith" was possible.

Also, it's been great as far as a place for resources when debating Christians.

My story is a long one, but I'll try to keep it short.

I was born in a very Christian household, and I was raised that way. As a child, I was always the best in giving answers in Sunday School. I could always tell them what they wanted to hear, and they would hear it.

However, at the same time, things just didn't fit in. One teacher I had told us dinosaurs did not exist. I was confused. Also, I wondered why Yahweh no longer spoke to anyone and why there were no more Jesus-like miracles performed by Christians to this day.

I was never exposed to anything else. This was the only paradigm I knew for viewing the world, so I could never question it that much.

I did however, seem to impress a lot of adults. I would debate with them whether or not memorizing verses was important, as opposed to what the meaning was. I also got bored easily and was eventually taught things of a more "theological" nature as opposed to simple bible stories and myths.

Around my middle school years, like any good teenager, I became more rebellious. Not only that, but at the time I was never a social person.

Church gradually became more and more like school, with it's social classes and cliques, except there was no one like me. This led to a lot of alienation in the church, and I eventually went from being talkative, to completely silent in the youth group.

One of the primary reasons for this alienation was pride. My parents were very Hard-Core, more-so then most people in the church. I was raised in such a manner, and was always told by my parents how I was such a good Christian, with a heart more pure than the others in the youth group. I was told that I was spiritually stronger, and that I should be wary not to keep bad company.

Sadly, I believed this. I stayed away from everyone because they were hypocrites. My parents just saw this as me being "spiritually superior". I wonder what they were thinking.

Also, it was around this time I was beginning to get exposed to different beliefs. One of my friends had bought a copy of the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. Although not a Satanist, he agreed with some of the theories, such as no life after death, and making the most of this life and doing things yourself. I realized this was a different view and made some sense. I had been exposed to a different paradigm.

My friend was never a Satanist, and neither was I, but I began to read into philosophy after that incident. All the while, my relationship with the church became colder and colder, more and more distant. I was beginning to formulate questions to which my preachers and teachers at my church could not adequately answer.

Eventually, I was no longer part of the youth group. My parents still made me go (they were very strict Christians), but I never got anything out of the "bible studies" which were nothing more than reading a bible story and then discussing it. No philosophy, which is what I was really interested in. Whenever I tried to bring up something, it was usually killed quickly.

Time went on, and I became isolated even more. Christianity was such a big part of my parents life (heck, it was their life) that when I was no longer participating, I was practically doing nothing. The isolation from others continued and that finally led to depression.

During my time of depression, I cut myself and even had one suicide attempt. It was at this time I was hospitalized and decided that my philosophical ideas were wrong. I decided that because my life was miserable, that it was god punishing me. So I converted back to Christianity and got the love of god and all that.

But then, one day, I seriously thought.

What I thought about is too complex to describe here. Suffice it to say, it was a long, long, long philosophical debate that I had with myself and others that lasted several weeks. I was beginning to believe there was no god...

Then I found this site. And I was shocked. Not only that, for the first time ever, I had the INTERNET. I was able to research better than ever. I discovered I wasn't the first to come up with certain philosophical conclusions, nor was I the last. I could also research the bible and what not.

Well, the atrocities of the Old Testament Yahweh were enough to convince me. Even when I looked at them in context like Christians told me, it still wasn't a loving god. What really did it, though, was that Yahweh tolerated Rape.

I knew a girl that was raped by her father, and as a result killed herself because she couldn't live with it. Just thinking about it brings a flood of sorrow, hatred, and confusion.

I decided even if Yahweh was real, I would refuse to worship this monster.

Christians have told me that the Midianites were taken as wives. I try to explain to them that rape is rape whether you are married or not. None of them believe this. They are indeed carrying the beliefs of a backward primitive culture, and that sickens me.

Christians have told me the tribes Yahweh commanded the Israelites to slaughter were "bad" or "evil" because they attacked the Israelites before. Why didn't Yahweh protect them? He's supposed to be god, right? And what about love and forgiveness? Or surely he could have sent a prophet or done a miracle or something.

But no.

It was, I believe, more of an excuse for a political campaign and justified genocide.

So many Christians tell me I'm taking things out of context. When is murder of infants that did nothing, slavery, or rape of women ever justified in any context?

Thus, began my descent into truth. I manged to convert two other people over the course of my high school years, as well as plant the seeds of doubt of countless others in my church, which for the most part, now hates me.

I'm too old for the youth-group now, and I no longer live at home, but go to college.

Recently, I have been debating Christians online. It is, to say in the least, quite frustrating.

I'm afraid that I'll have to give up, as they are stubborn. One of them told me "I know that Christianity is right, so therefore, any argument against Christianity is wrong." That's his logic. Also, I read "The case for faith" and "the case for Christ" but he refuses to read "the case for atheism" because it got bad reviews by a Christian Author.

Not only that, he's been giving me arguments, but he's twisting the words such as telling me "No, you're wrong... they were taken as wives, god does not allow rape."

Not only that, but he's very tenacious in that all he does is say "No, your arguments are wrong, mine are right, now don't bring them up again because we have established you are wrong"

I'm just afraid if I back away he'll just rub it in my face. The main issue is contradictions in the bible... so if anyone can give some suggestions, they are welcome. But for the most part, not even the fig tree contradiction was good enough for him. He told me it was obviously a metaphor. Sigh.

Well, that's my story, from my conversion to what I've been up to now...

9/21/05                                                                                       View Comments

Christian Love

sent in by Sandy

So many Christians claim to love those around them, but cause so much trouble and heartache when they show that "love". And unfortunately my six year old child was hurt by this Christian "love". In December I realized what a sham Christianity is and left a home bible study group. People who I thought were friends, my kid even called them "grandma" and "grandpa", have helped to traumatize a small child.

I most unfortunately went with the "spare the rod a spoil the child" idea of parenting. I sadly gave in to the pressure. Well in July i realized that I was being abusive to my child, so I went to the Child Protective Services for help. I have been very lucking in that they have truly helped me and my child. Shortly after asking for help I sent my child to a relatives house, who kept in contact with the former bible study group.

At this point CPS had already closed the case against me. (after only two weeks). Suddenly I was not allowed to talk to my child on the phone and if I went to the town she was in they would not let me see her. So of course I had to call the police to get my kid back. And when she got home she had some things she had to talk to me about. These people had said that I was demon possessed, that I would abandon her, and that they would break into her window in the middle of the night and "rescue her". Two months later and she is still afraid to sleep in her own room. All this in the name of god.

Although, on the good side of things, I have been learning how to be a good parent and things have become peaceful in the home. I find it funny that Christians say you have to have god to know peace, but it was rejecting god that brought peace into my home.

How old were you when you became a Christian? 21
How old were you when you ceased being a Christian? 27
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Christian
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? FREE
Why did you become a Christian? desperation
Why did you de-convert? started to think

Irish ex-Christian

sent in by Joanne

I am from Ireland but I have lived in the USA for several years now. I was raised Catholic and was a regular churchgoer. I said the rosary a couple of times a week. I disagreed with the church on some issues, such as birth control, but I still saw it as a force for good.

In 1992, the High Court in Ireland ruled that a 13 year old suicidal rape victim could not go to England to have an abortion. The girl was prohibited from leaving the country for a period of nine months. The ruling created national outrage and the decision was overturned a couple of weeks later. http://www.swp.ie/html/Abortion%20pamphlet.htm
Of course, the Church was opposed to the second ruling allowing the abortion. A friend of mine was raped, so I have some understanding of the horrible impact this crime has on it's victims. I was troubled at the Church's lack of compassion for this child. I had been raised to believe that God/Jesus was loving, merciful and compassionate. Yet the Church's stance went against everything God/Jesus supposedly stood for.

One evening I went out to the pub with some friends and acquaintances. Ryan, a guy I never cared for because of his absolute hatred of the church, brought up the case. A huge row broke out with most of us siding with the victim. While I had heard some of Ryan's anti-church views before I never took them seriously. But now he got me thinking.

I started to question the idea of the Church being a force for good. The church created more misery for this already suffering thirteen year old rape victim. What about the misery it was creating for others? Gay people, parents who have more children than they can afford because of the prohibition against birth control, women who find themselves pregnant with children they are not ready or able to care for, and so on.

About a month after the row in the pub, I met Ryan on the street. I asked him if he'd like a drink because I wanted to talk to him about the turmoil I was going through. He was more than happy to listen. He shared more of his feelings and opinions about the Church.

Ryan asked why I would allow a bunch of celibate MEN, who are completely out of touch with how normal people live, dictate how I live my life. He also shared with me the Church's shabby, to put it mildly, treatment of women throughout history. For example, the Church used to forbid the use of painkillers during labor because the Bible says women should suffer during childbirth.

I was completely ignorant of most of the things he told me. He really opened my eyes. Since then the sex abuse scandal and revelations about the existence of Magdalene Convents (see the film The Magdalene Sisters) have reinforced my view that the Church is more of a negative than a positive force.

It took months but I finally stopped going to Mass. Despite my doubts, years of habit and guilt prevented me from making a clean break. Ryan's gentle prodding and support help me break away. I have become a better person since I abandoned organized religion. I have become less judgmental and more compassionate. I no longer condemn people for their flaws or for being different.

I'm sure some of you won't approve but neither Ryan or I are atheists. We do believe there is something out there. However, we reject organized religion. We see no reason to follow ancient Middle Eastern tribal beliefs. Religion is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Compassion, love and mercy on the outside but inhumane, sexist, and intolerant on the inside.

Ryan and I have been married for several years now and we have two children. We have watched with horror the increasing dominance of religion in our adopted homeland. We feel this country is becoming another Ireland, where religion is imposed, rather than a personal choice. If a religious conservative wins the presidency in three years we have decided we will pack up and move to England.


Chino Hills
California
Joined: Born into it
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 22
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? RC
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now?
Why did you become a christian? Born into it
Why did you de-convert? See testimony

9/10/05                                                                                       View Comments

Childish things

William Boutwell

'Twas long ago, and yet not that long, that I found myself on my knees blubbering tears of guilt and "giving" my heart to Jesus.

I'd just attended a chapel service at a youth camp on scholarship from my local church during the summer of '66. The minister was shooting fish in a barrel that year, it seems, as I wasn't alone there on my knees.

Several other kids were there blubbering along with me. It seems silly to me now, but at the time it was easily the most profound thing that had ever happened to me. I was "saved" from my sins...

The next summer, I was baptised in one of the lakes that abound in this part of Florida. Yes, I was dressed in Sunday best, and Reverend Black gently laid me back into the water and dunked me under for a few seconds.

Shortly after being removed from the water, it occured to me that something wasn't quite right about all of this.

Later that day, when he asked me if I wanted to join the rolls of the chuch, explaining that my folks would have to do my tithing for me, I had a stunning revelation.

Call it epiphany, if you like. I certainly do.

All that I'd been taught, the stories, the sermons, the parables - everything - finally made sense. Unfortunately for the church, the sense it made wasn't quite what it expected of me.

Finally I knew what it was all about, and it had nothing to do with Original Sin, Heaven, Hell, morality or any of the other things the church will tell you only it can tell you. Even the God I'd been taught was real was only periphery to the purpose of the church.

All in a flash I knew what the church was. By extension, I also knew what religion was all about, why the appeal was strictly to the emotions and not the intellect, why the promised reward was so "great", why the threatened damnation was so "horrific", and why it was so important that my parents do my tithing for me.

It's all a confidence game.

Now, I can imagine many of you reading this and saying to yourselves, "That's an epiphany?"

And I reply, "You're damned straight it was!"

There I was, 13 years old, suddenly feeling all of the things I was taught that Jesus would bring to me when I accepted him into my life, and I'd just rejected him.

Joy, freedom, lightness of heart filled me to the brim. Believe it or not, I still feel that way.

Maturity has brought me clearer understanding of the underpinnings of religion and why it is so successful an enterprise.

Maturity is the enemy of religion. That's why you have to be as a little child to accept it...

Some folks never grow up.


Orlando
Florida
USA
Joined: 11
Left: 13
Was: Southern Baptist
Now: Atheist
Converted because: Emotional coercion
De-converted because: Good question - see testimony
email: dale-b at cfl dot rr dot com

Ex Congregational Methodist

sent in by PastorPrime

I was brought up in a Congregational Methodist family in the Southeast US. Congregational Methodism (http://congregationalmethodist.net/churches.htm) is Wesleyan in theology (John Wesley; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley). In its governance, each church is controlled by its own congregation, not by some bishop apart from the local church, and is in this way unlike United Methodist churches. It differs, also, from most United Methodist churches in its conservatism and biblical literalism.

In my youth (1960s), I learned from my parents that I was to believe in God; I was to read my Bible and pray; I was to learn from preachers and Sunday School teachers. These things I did. I love history and enjoyed Bible stories, especially from the Old Testament. The Bible was the most readily available way for a boy to indulge his natural interest in violence and warfare…and sex! I took it very seriously and learned to be quite dogmatic. And, why not? After all, the “Truth” is the truth!

Church services had a regular format: congregational singing; public lead prayer; offertory (collection of tithes and offerings); special song; preaching; “alter call”; closing prayer. Alter call was the closing exhortation to come forward in church and kneel at the alter rail to pray and ask God for forgiveness or for blessing.

Much of the preaching was an internal argument on interpretation. That is, it was about the “world” within the biblical writings themselves—what the Bible says and means, and how absolutely consistent and infallible it is. Religious belief is an attempt (usually futile) to make biblical writings relevant to the real world. Therefore, my family (and nearly everyone to whom I am related) went to church twice on Sundays. Many went again on Wednesday evenings for the regular Wednesday “prayer meeting.”

Most of the preachers and church leaders in Congregational Methodist churches took their training in a college sponsored by the church. First located in Dallas, Texas, and, later, at Tehuacana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_College%2C_Texas), the college is now in Florence, Mississippi, and renamed Wesley College (www.wesleycollege.com). I pretty much wasted two years of my life at Wesley College. (Note that it is wesleycollege dot COM! Why is it not dot edu? I do not know, but it could be because Wesley College fails to merit that designation.)

The college has never had enough money to operate comfortably. Teacher salaries are sacrificially low. When I was there, the president made a point of turning off the lights in the hallways during class to save money. Quality instruction was inconsistent. The best teachers were in religion. Courses needed to do well at other colleges and in the real world were worse than mediocre.

Wesley College was an indoctrination mill. When I was there in the 1970s, every class tended to be Guilt 101. Original Sin-R-Us. It was constantly drilled that the devil was after us young (virile, passionate, borderline degenerate, carnal) people and your rear-end had better be hiked in the air with your face at the alter at least several times a year during alter call at the twice-weekly chapel services. You had to learn to be emotional and show emotion about your faith. The CM church and the college took a stand against the charismatic movement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Movement) and we did not have to learn to “speak in tongues.”

Those readers who know Wesleyan theology will know that the Congregational Methodist Church teaches the doctrine of “sanctification,” by which a believer who really really really really seeks God’s blessing can receive a “special indwelling of the Holy Spirit” that will cast out the carnal and purify the person. Despite the Guilt 101, rest assured that we learned we could be free from guilt by becoming sanctified holy. But, hey, what’s a holy person to do? Read on.

Wesley College’s mission is to produce Christian “workers” to staff churches and to be missionaries. The highest status workers of these categories are church pastor, evangelist (a kind of super preacher), and missionary to a foreign country. Guilt 101 contained the message that we were not serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ if we were not seeking the “calling” into full-time Christian service. I am sure that most of us secretly dreaded that fate. Many of us heard and heeded the calling, however, and began spending our lives in service to the “God” we had been taught to fear and revere. Sanctification and service…or guilt. What’ll ya have, Bub?

After taking the two-year degree, I struggled valiantly for many years to maintain my faith. A huge part of my identity consisted of my association with like-minded believers. Subsequent real education allowed me to free myself from dependency on belief.

I remember talking with a faculty counselor at the college I attended after Wesley College. The fellow was a Ph.D. graduate of Notre Dame. He looked at my two-year transcript from Wesley and marveled at the number of credit hours I had in religious studies. He said to me, “I wish I had your background.” I was flattered that he had acknowledged evidence of my piety. I puffed myself a bit and told him, “Yes, I have been taught the Bible though the fundamentalist perspective.” I could not see that my mind had been closed; therefore, I was actually proud to be a fundy! I am still embarrassed by my ignorance.

Something that I would really like to know is, are there others who went through Wesley College or its predecessor, Westminster College, who have cast off the chains of religious belief? Maybe some have had their eyes opened, but I bet there are very few if any—so deep was the indoctrination.

I want to include here one thing that should have caused some Wesley College people to think. At Wesley, when I was there, there was an older female teacher of religion, Ms. Mary Alice Langton. A sweet, saintly widow lady, Ms. Langton had earned a master’s degree in theology from Reformed Theological Seminary (http://www2.rts.edu/). She taught a course on the Pauline Epistles and was the resident mother in the girls’ dormitory. Who did I think closer to God? Nobody! Ms. Langton was rewarded for a life of sacrificial service to her precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by being given a holy dose of cancer. She suffered painfully for a long time and was in utter poverty. Through church and college publications and other means, requests went out for donations to help defray medical expenses as this saint of God, who had testified of longing to go to Jesus in heaven, fought by means of godless science to stay alive! For her faithfulness to the universe-size space alien, she was reduced to a beggar for herself. I cringe.

Many things killed the religious urge in me. For one, the illogicality of spatially anchored spirit that is supposed to live inside us. Another, an understanding of the scientific method of conjecture and refutation (http://www.public.iastate.edu/~cfehr/201%20n%20Popper%202002.htm) that no religion can tolerate. Another, understanding that there are fact-based non-supernatural explanations of our existence, combined with a realization that primitive man turned to the supernatural to explain his ignorance. More, seeing the ridiculosity of Western man embracing a religion with its cultural roots in the craziest part of the world, the Middle East! Learning that Jesus rehashed some philosophical sayings of Rabbi Hillel from several years before him. The centrality of the Apostle Paul, not Jesus, in the creation of Christianity. The admixture of Paul’s mithraism culture from Tarsus (http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/mithraism.html) in his Christianity. The senseless cat-and-mouse game life is if god were to exist (yeah, man is the mouse).

It became clear to me that man had created the Jewish and Christian god in his (man’s) own image. I could afterwards read the Bible and see the god there as a pompous, jealous creation of political leaders inventing their own political support.

I think the proper stance toward religion is to recognize that, for the religious person, “God” is the belief in God. That belief is what zealous fools the world over are fighting about—to protect that precious belief. They are unprepared to live free from their religious chains. For me, atheism is not a belief. I do not “believe that there is no god.” Rather, I have the same belief in any god as I do in any unicorn: simply no belief.

Exchristians well know that Christian prayer (and, I suspect, all prayer) is carefully non-specific, never really wanting to pray God into a corner and have him need either to perform or else be revealed as impotent, unlike Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:21-40 (http://www.gracegems.org/JM/e08.htm). At Wesley College and in other Christian churches, I have heard countless times the old reliable “Be With” prayer. It is perfectly illustrated by the comedian known today as “Larry the Cable Guy” when he prays for forgiveness after telling an especially crude joke. Larry says, “Lord, that therer’n jist wudn’t right. I apologize fer that’un, Lord, and please be with the starving pygmies down in New Guinea.” Perfect! All dear ol’ God has to do is merely “be with” people who might be desperately in real need. Nevertheless, as long as Christians pray “be with” prayers, God is never on the hook to do anything. Smart! Pray all you want and keep that faith!

It is that faith (ultimately, faith that God exists) that is the religionist’s problem. I do not accept that it makes any sense to retain any religious belief in absence of evidence—real, replicable evidence, not words in a book. (Yes, I have read Josh McDowell’s books.) If someone is no longer a “fundamentalist” Christian but claims now to hold some variety of substituted mysticism or religion, he is vainly clinging to faith as a path to knowledge. I utterly reject such thinking as nonsense because it promotes belief in the absence of evidence.

Recommended Reading: http://www.stupidwish.net/religion.html

9/6/05                                                                                       View Comments

No longer the mindless doll

sent in by Christopher Michaels

Four years ago I thought I had found what so few around the world needed. The cross, a testament of his glory and love for all of humanity. This man, Jesus Christ, was the person who for the last four years I had made the center and core of my life. I remember the heartache I felt when people would put down or curse the Holy Trinity or when a non-believer would reject the offer of eternal salvation. These people were fools to reject such an offer, and I would debate with them for hours for their lack of faith... I now realize that I was the one that was the fool and how wrong I was for believing in such a cult. But I now stand before you with my testimony and assurance that I am no longer a doll. I apologize...

I was raised with a mildly christian childhood, my mother and father were believers of the faith, but not very devouted. I lived a pretty much normal childhood before christianity, a life free of judgment of others, or fear of being unequally yoked... Life was simple then, as it is now that I have abandoned cross carrying.

We lived regular lives unitl my aunt joined this church, Harvest Outreach. Her already radical personality latched onto this church like a leech on human flesh. The christian virus soon began to infect us all when she created a family bible study. I must say that out of my 13 cousins, 2 aunts, uncle, mother and grandmother, I was the virus' most useful doll. I became so amazed at the power and might of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that I read the bible daily, prayed to God on an hourly basis (literally) and gave him all the glory and praise. The hardest part was supressing my unpure thoughts and wandering eyes when it came to females. I began making friends in the church and got involved in childrens ministry (my biggest regret). I started to abandon all of my other friends after they failed to accept the gospel under the doctrine of not being yoked with un-believers. I must admit that I felt somewhat superior to these damned creatures (despite the sorrow I felt for them)

After bathing myself in the New Testament I decided to read the Old Testament beyond the Genesis and Exodus childhood stories. What I saw was the most sickening thing I have ever read in my life. This loving and all forgiving God commited the most horrid abominations that would make a saint out of Hitler. That conclusion planted seeds of doubt into my concrete faith. Soon those seeds would blossom from within the cracks of my unwavering faith.

The contradictions, the lies, the excuses for slavery, the crusades, the witch trials, the degrading of women and the pagan roots all contributed to my disbelief. I prayed for God to help me, to save me from these evil thoughts (or should I say facts). I was greeted with cold silence...something that I had mistaken for "It's not his will at this moment" as a christian. Well if it is not God's will for me to be one of his blessed children, then I would gladly smirk at the bastard from the darkest depths of hell.

I declare that I am no longer a doll to be manipulated and controlled. This doll has deemed the master unfit for worship and his entire agenda to be false. Christianity is a home for the sheep and dolls, for people who long to be controlled by the pastor, bishop, pope and the so called early christians of past. I whole heartedly apologize to every atheist, gay or nonbeliever that I have ever offended. I regret being a tool of this orgainzation and teaching little children to believe in a non-existent God or judge others on a level that equals and even surpasses racism. By sharing my testimony with others perhaps I can repent lol. Goodluck everyone and I hope that you all enjoy life to the fullest.

"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish with intelligence but will have the delusion of everlasting life" (BS 3:16)


Joined at 13
Left at 17
Was: Non-denominational
Now: Freethinker
Converted becuase of: The love, hope and message it presented
De-converted because: I awoke from the illusion and saw the error, horror-filled past and actually read the entire bible
email: kelley123757 at cox dot net

9/4/05                                                                                       View Comments

The Wondrous Act of Hypocrisy that is Christianity

sent in by Kevin Cadman

I was quite a happy teenager, partying, drinking, girlfriends -- the usual. I've never been into drugs and never will be. I was a typical, run-of-the-mill teenager, getting up to a fair amount of mischief, but nothing serious. Then, my mother converted to Christianity. I'd always labelled myself as somewhat agnostic (although, at the time, I did not quite know what that term meant), as I didn't really have much of an interest in Christianity or any other religion - I simply enjoyed my life too much. I had no interest in changing my life. My brothers' conversion soon followed, and he too started attending the non-denominational, exceptionally happy-clappy church.

They were often on my case, asking my silly thought-provoking questions to try and get me thinking. None of it really worked, but I was vehemently assured that they were praying for me.

When I stopped and looked at my life, I didn't think there was something "missing" as my Christian family so colloquially implied. However, when I looked at my brothers' life, which seemed to be filled with happiness, I envied him. I started questioning what I believed in and considered the option that he may be on to something. I wasn't unhappy, I simply juxtaposed my genuine state of contentment with his newly found state of constant jubilation. Now, I'm sure you're all familiar with the situation of the stereotypical "Happy Christian." They're trained to act and think that way -- even when things are falling apart, they're adamant that everything is working "for the good who those who love Him." My brother was the epitome of this.

With time, I became bored of the clubbing and drinking scene. In my mind, you were either "social" or "Christian." I didn't quite stop to think that one can be a perfectly content atheist. With my new found boredom, I became somewhat susceptible to the surrounding cliche Christian suggestion. I then, against much protest from close friends, decided to give Christianity a try.

This in itself was not easy. My conversion was not dramatic or emotional. I simply decided I'm going to give it a try, went to the front, received Jesus into my life and went home somewhat indifferent towards the inevitable lifestyle change that lay ahead of me. Once I accepted Jesus as my "Lord and Saviour" I was determined to make a whole-hearted attempt at my new found passion. I firmly believe one must do something properly or not at all.

Upon investigation, I was most certainly "unequally yoked" with my "old" friends. I knew that if I was to do this properly, I had to cut them out of my life. I explained to them that I had been converted to Christianity and could no longer go out drinking and clubbing with them. If they wanted to socialize, we could do so at a coffee shop or, conveniently, at church. I was determined to meet them on my level, not theirs.

With time, I grew in my new found faith. I devoted myself to the study of the Bible, to praying and to fellowship with Christians. I was generally happy with my life. However, something was missing. I had yet to receive the inner revelation of a God, the "settling" of unbelief which is somewhat required to be a successful Christian. The advice I was given was to pray about it, and God will reveal himself to me. I prayed every single day; I read the Bible for hours; I took an interest in the "things of God" and expected results -- nothing came.

I then decided to start an informal study of Christian theology. I spent hours researching sites such as http://www.carm.org (Christian Apologetics Research Ministries), http://www.tektonics.org (Tektonics Ministries) and http://www.theologyweb.com. My thinking was: "If this God is so real, I must rid myself of all unbelief. I will take the advice given in Timothy (open to correction) where it states "Study to show yourself approved" and study Christian Theology. SURELY that will show me that Jesus really is "The way, the truth and the li(f)e." As you're probably guessing by now, the exact opposite happened. Through studying CHRISTIAN theology, I soon realized the countless number of assumptions and errors in the Christian faith. By this time, I'd became annoyed with myself as I was sick of the Christian life. I was tired of the falseness, the lies, the guilt and of course, the massive amounts of hypocrisy. I'd spent 2 years trying to convince myself that I do believe in Jesus and the doctrines of Christianity when in fact I didn't - not in the least! On the contrary, I found it quite comical. I then made the decision to leave.

For those of you who have left a church, I'm sure you can empathize with me when I say that this task is nowhere near easy. By this time, Christians and church activities were my life. I'd left my old friends behind and I felt completely trapped in a world where I was an outsider. I began a slow transition into atheism. I'd reached the logical conclusion that I simply do not have sufficient faith to subscribe to any religion. Also, I have no fear of death, thus rendering the main selling-point of Christianity somewhat moot.

Ironically, my "old" friends welcomed me as if I was never gone, although, almost inversely proportional to the "old" friends I was re-claiming, was the amount of "church" friends I was losing. The tables had turned, and now I was the one they were unequally yoked with.

Today, I'm a happy atheist. I still have many Christian friends, however, that number does not come close to the amount of people I assumed were my friends when in fact they were no more than "church greeters."

In conclusion, I've come to the decision that I shall remain an atheist until a God proves me otherwise. If this all-knowing, all-caring God really wants me in Heaven, He'll show up.

Durban
KZN
South Africa
Joined: 19
Left: 21
Was: Charismatic, Non-Denominational Christian, Happy Clappy, Pentecostal
Now: Atheist, Free-Thinker
Converted out of: Boredom, Curiosity
De-converted because of: Lies, Hypocrisy, Falseness, A Fallible Religion
email: kevin dot cadman at gmail dot com

Ex-pentecostal preacher

sent in by Fred Brane

I became a Christian, about a year after the death of my first wife, while on active military duty in Kunsan Korea in 1977. The trek through Christianity went from baptist, pentecostal and non-denominational churches. Some of the churches were independents, not affiliated with any denominational organizations.

I read the bible trying to figure out what was what, finally found a minister who studied a lot and he taught me how to use methods of interpretation and what resources to use to dig out what was in the bible. He also told me I would not agree with any of the sources totally when I got into the deeper study, and he was right.

He made a statement from the pulpit on one occasion, he said "there are four to five thousand errors in the King James version Bible alone." When he made the statement I saw him cringe. He knew what was said was accurate, I found many as I studied myself. I don't think he included the additions, blatant lies and changes that took place over the centuries. These were just plain errors.

By the early eighties I was convinced that Christianity was under a self-imposed curse due to its history of murder etc. I continued in Christianity and later became a minister. My views of several subjects ran contrary to Christian theology. The hypocrisy in churches and in the pulpits was a real sore spot with me.

I found that most ministers did not study, nor did they know how to study. I also found that they did not have any kind of a prayer life. Later I found that they will cover up for and support other ministers in their ministerial associations that are blatant incompetents and sex offenders, this is in the protestant realm not catholic. The catholic record of cover-up is well documented.

The ministerial association I had some knowledge of would also black ball anyone who was a threat to them and their hypocrisy. This was not a painless discovery for me personally.

In 1988 I got a fifteen-minute spot once a week on a radio station that had a Christian format. I paid for the spot myself for the five year span.

After being on the radio for a while I was talking to a technician at the station one day and told him I had expected more open opposition from the local ministers. He told me that they would not do that but they would pray against me.

I was taken aback by his comment but it made sense, I was still very naive. If they openly engage an enemy they have to be able to answer for their own hypocrisy, improper ideas and wrong doctrine. This cannot be done when what they believe is false and is easily disputable. Those who do not study fear those who do. It is easier for ministers to hide behind denominational doctrine than to study for themselves.

I helped a young minister start a church in 1988. We were pretty like minded at the time. That like-mindedness changed as time went along.

My personal home situation was not good. The lady that I was married to became a Christian black magician. Our views were considerably different.

I use the term black magician in the context of using spiritual power to try to control, manipulate or do harm to another person etc. There are many in the church world that fall into this category be it from ignorance or vindictiveness.

No one reading this has to take my word for the concept mentioned in the above paragraph. There will, however, be those who know its truth.

I stayed with the church I helped start for about two years, there were signs that the situation was deteriorating but I mentally tried to over look the problems.

I started a series of messages for the radio broadcast on what happens to the mind of a hypocrite. After three of the series had aired I was called into the basement of the church and charged with preaching the programs with a bad spirit and that I should quit preaching till I got the situation or condition remedied.

Because there was a charge laid and a judgment given this constituted a tribunal.

It was about three days before I could pull the tapes of the programs to check to see if what I was charged with was in fact accurate. I worked a job and some days I was required to put in as much as fourteen hours. I didn't find the charge to be accurate, so I wrote a letter to those involved to make a defense for myself, in accordance with Deuteronomy 19:15-21. I asked for a meeting to be able to present my case. I felt that the charge had been on the witness of one, this is not proper in such a case.

The meeting was granted but I was not allowed to make the defense. I was given a set of papers stating their view as to me personally and I was given an ultimatum to either accept the pastor’s view on a point in Deut.28 or face ex-communication. I opted for ex-communication.

The pastor who instigated my ex-communication was the first person to exhibit pure hatred for me, and what was said on the radio programs. I spent six years in the Far East from 1964 to 1978, was in and out of Viet Nam, Thailand, Okinawa, Japan and Korea. I never experienced the intensity of pure hatred from anyone, even in Viet Nam, than I did from this man.

When a hypocrite is backed into a corner they will attack, you have brought their hypocrisy out to a point of having to defend it. If I would have been given the opportunity to present my case. The young pastor would have been shown to be the hypocrite, a false witness, and therefore would have had to quit preaching till he got his issues straightened out as he had made the judgment against me; according to Deut. 19:15-21.

I was emotionally devastated by the ex-communication. People in the church were told that if they saw me on the street etc they could speak but were not to share a meal with me.

There was only one predominately white church where I was known in which I was still welcome, and it was fifty miles away. I opted to go to a predominately African American church were I was not known. I had taught and preached in African American churches in the past and was always welcome and treated with respect. This church was no exception to that; I was shown kindness and respect.

After about a year or year and a half I helped an African American start a church. I stayed there and worked in that endeavor for about a year before leaving the area.

Tried different churches in the new area, finally pretty much settled in at a small non-denominational church. I was again licensed to minister after some time passed. When the pastor went on vacation I preached two services, which were recorded. After his return I was sent a notice and let to know that I wouldn’t be preaching there anymore.

The morning service was on a wounded spirit and the evening service was on covenant. At the morning service the congregation just sat there when the message was over. Normally they would get up and leave immediately. The message evidently touched people. The evening service was in-depth as to the strength of the covenant relationship. Covenant was a subject that I had spent a significant amount of time studying.

It was the same problem again; when it becomes evident you have studied, you are a threat. Covenant is a subject that few in the Christian church world have little to no in-depth knowledge. I make this statement from observation and from conversations.

Shortly after this last episode with Christianity I knew that I could no longer stay in that kind of an atmosphere. I knew that much of what Christianity propagated was wrong. I stayed for a while not knowing where to go next. Starting my own church didn’t seem like a good option.

I had started taking some astrology classes, and things begin to make some sense. I knew why Christianity did not want people to get involved in any of the metaphysical studies. If people understood their own true natures this would eliminate the churches ability to control people through imposed guilt.

I had known for several years that the church outlook on human sexuality was totally incorrect. They try to put people into a box where their sexuality is concerned and have them fighting the natural sexual energy. The gross sexual crimes committed by church leadership, by others involved in churches and those influenced by their ideas forced on societies is testimony that their doctrines are incorrect.

Religions gross civil rights crimes against women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals and any one who thinks differently from their twisted point of view are innumerable

My own detox where Christianity is concerned has taken many years and is still not totally complete, but the process is well underway. It started almost at the time of conversion with questions that did not make sense and continued to question areas I considered incorrect. I have had to reevaluate every thing I thought I knew about religion and spirituality.

The astrology classes were a major stepping stone for me personally. The hypocrisy I had been exposed to within Christianity and having been expunged from its less than hallowed walls were also major points. I continued to study, I studied other religions, forms of spirituality and metaphysical topics. I discovered that religion and spirituality are not synonymous. There is no common ground.

Religion is the greatest dividing force on the face of the earth. Religion has been the biggest murderer on this planet as is well written in the blood of the millions who have died at its hands.

We as people have been brain washed into thinking that because something has been around for a long time it is credible. That is not the case, especially where religion is concerned.

Christianity propagates and thrives on self-hatred. Those who suffer from debilitating emotions such as self-hated are easier controlled. Christianity cannot survive if people cannot be controlled. The brain washing techniques applied in Christianity are self motivating, people are programmed to debilitate themselves through self hatred and trying to restrict natural human energies designed to make us whole.

The self-hatred keeps people off center and they in turn project hatred outward. People who hate are not able to think clearly. Their thought processes are self-restricting. The creative and reasoning processes of the mind are always clouded in such an environment.

It was a long time before I figured out why there has been so much murder and mayhem involved with religions. The old testament of the Christian bible records when another people were conquered, their whole populations had to be murdered and anything that had to do with their spiritual aspects was to be destroyed.

If a religion has to destroy another people just to survive, it is because it has no legitimacy or authenticity. Whatever god it allegedly adheres too is false if it cannot stand the competition.

Through out history anytime that Christianity has gotten a foothold in an area the next move is to destroy any other form of religion or system of spirituality.

Over the years that I have studied I have found the Christian bible to be a twisted compilation of myths and stories of older religions modified to suit the purposes of a controlling few. I find nothing original on its pages or in the religion that claims to adhere to its dictates; both I find to be totally illegitimate. The Christian bible is probably the most grossly flawed document on the face of the earth. As history records in blood the Christian bible has been used as the authority to commit the most horrendous crimes, and is still being used to commit more crimes against humanity.

Those of us in the deprogramming process from Christianity are survivors of its emotional, physical and sexual death warrants. Our wounds and scars are emblems of courage. We are now battle tried soldiers.

Ex-pentecostal preacher, Ex-Christian
Fred


Williams
Arizona
USA
Joined: 32
Left: about 50
Was: baptist, pentecostal and non-denominational
Now: solitary pagan
Converted because: was a widower of about a year and was looking for something
De-converted because: knowledge, reason and experience
email: fredbrane at direcway dot com

9/3/05                                                                                       View Comments

You only doubt because you think too much

sent in by Mitch

When I was growing up everyone I knew was a believer. Even when I moved to California everyone was always respectful about my beliefs.

In my Junior year of college I was working on a project. One member of the group was a born and raised agnostic. I was really attracted to her and decided this was the girl I was going to marry. Of course, I had to save her first.

One day we were alone together at the library working on our part of the project. I invited her to Bible study. She said to me do you really believe that stuff? I said of course I do. She looked at me incredulously and said you really believe it? I didn't know what to say.

Whenever I went to Bible study or church services I found myself thinking do I really believe this. I felt like an outsider seeing something for the first time. I finally confided my doubts to a friend. He said "You only doubt because you think too much."

I found Dan Barker's and Ruth Hurmence Green's books and read them. Well, to make a long story short I married that girl but instead of me saving her, she saved me.

To Christians out there, for your own sakes, think and question. You are devoting so much of your time and money to your religion. Shouldn't you put that religion to the test to ensure that it's worth it. You live with so much guilt and fear. Don't you want to be certain that it's even necessary. Read the opinions of doubters and if you still believe then fine. But put it to the test.

Free at last

sent in by Terrence Anderson

Wow, hi every one this is quite ironic that I'm posting a testimony on being an atheist seeing I was a theology student a couple of months ago. I would like to thank all the people on this website for being an invaluable source of info and wisdom.

My story begins with me being born into a Christian family in South Africa where Christianity is pretty much the norm.

I was a devout Christian my whole live and in high school I decided to become a minister to help people that have being lead astray by evil.

I decided to put myself in their shoes and this is where the paw-paw really hit the fan cause low and behold the rubbish the atheists where talking made more sense than my story.

Thus my journey began and the past few months have being hell. I was torn between the truth and the fear of letting go of all the crap I’ve been fed my whole life.

I finally managed to let go and, damn it felt good. I still respect peoples religion because I once too was deceived and alienating my entire family wouldn't do any good.

I also believe that I am a much better person because now I accept people unconditionally regardless of race or religion. I am no longer a racist, although most people I known are Christians as well as racist.

Am I still scared of dying? Hell, yeah but at least I'm free and I can appreciate the delicacy of life and life now while I am alive.

One thing I do have to add is although I don't believe in god or at least Jehovah or any other religious figure I still think there are some questions unanswered by anyone thus there might be a god when just don't know him.

Thank you all and have a wonderful prosperous life.


Cape Town
South Africa
Joined: very very young
Left at: 19
Was: Protestant
Now: atheist
De-converted because: found the true path